NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Cabinet Secretaries will now attend sittings in Parliament every Tuesday to answer questions relating to their respective ministries.
This follows amendments to Standing Orders which were aimed at creating time for the Cabinet Secretaries to make them more accountable to Kenyans.
“The separation of powers is still there and ministers will come to the committee of the whole House,” said Majority Leader Aden Duale who moved the motion.
The General Oversight Committee comprising all Members of Parliament and chaired by either Speaker Justin Muturi or Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso will sit every Tuesday between 10am and 12.30pm where Cabinet Secretaries whose questions will be listed on the Order Paper will personally appear before the committee to respond to them.
Muturi dismissed claims that the decision could interfere with the clause on separation of powers, saying the MPs were simply implementing the Constitution.
“For those who may be doubting what the National Assembly is doing they can only blame themselves for lack of knowledge and interpretation of this which is obvious if they still entertain the doubts in their mind. If you approve this, as soon as you resume at 10am on that Tuesday, there will some cabinet secretaries attending here to answer any questions,” posed Muturi.
While lauding the motion, Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo said more needed to be done to ensure the current system was a success.
“Now you are lucky that the Speaker is trying to give us a solution, a way forward for the next two years or so, but we will have to find an ultimate solution; the ultimate solution is having Members of Parliament in the Cabinet from here, and some people fit the menu, they could that job and be paid extra allowance like we used to do,” Stated Midiwo.
Before the implementation of the new Constitution, Members of Parliament doubled up as Cabinet Ministers and responded to questions during sittings.
Lugari Member of Parliament Ayub Savula is currently drafting a bill seeking to have MPs appointed as Cabinet Secretaries.
Duale will be required every Thursday to submit to the Clerk a list of questions to be responded to the coming Tuesday and in consultation with the Speaker, they will determine the agenda of the committee including a list of order of appearance by the Cabinet Secretaries.