, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – “We are not scared. Everybody is threatening to call for a referendum, even a wife can now tell a husband that I am going to a referendum against you! They (Senate) should know that a referendum is a serious matter,” said Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale in response to the Senate’s plebiscite call.
While daring the Senate, Duale quipped that finally the Upper House had admitted to being weak and reiterated that Senators only had two roles: to oversight and monitor funding to the counties and to participate in the impeachment of the President, but this process too has to start with the National Assembly.
“The Senate of the Republic of Kenya is the ‘Lower’ House, and is weak. It is not me who made it weak, but it is Kenyans in the 2010 referendum.”
Duale cheekily told the Senate to brace themselves for a fight saying the referendum would actually give Kenyans the opportunity to decide whether the Upper House was really necessary even going ahead to ask them to put it as one of the referendum questions.
“The road to amending the Constitution is long and bumpy, the National Assembly will have a role to play, the County Assemblies will have a role to play… I wish them well,” stated Duale.
Referring the accusations by the Senate that the National Assembly was punishing institutions and bodies that has ‘wronged’ them Duale said those claims were baseless and unfounded.
He insisted that Senate was only aggrieved by the fact that they had lost the Sh1 billion allocated to them for oversight, money he said would have been wasted as it would be ‘pocket money’ to the senators who already draw a salary ‘for nothing’.
“You can’t tell me you want one billion for nothing. If they want the money, a law to govern the use of the money must be created, there must be a framework. You cannot pick one billion shillings of taxpayers’ money to put in your pocket and use it for political rallies, no! Give us a break,” he added.
The Senate on Monday held a special sitting to debate the re-allocation of the Sh1 billion where they accused the National Assembly of maliciously denying them the money.
Duale laughed off the accusations insisted urging them to use their salaries and allowances to perform their functions.
He further defended claims that the government had lost its agenda in Parliament after the rejection of Presidential nominee to the Secretary to the cabinet docket Monica Juma.
Duale said the National Assembly does not work on a script and a decision by the House must be respected.
“I have never lost a government agenda in this Parliament since I became the leader of majority, for me I respect parliamentary process,” said Duale.