NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – MPs on Wednesday unanimously approved the appointment of Michael Sialai as the incoming Clerk of National Assembly to replace Justin Bundi who is retiring in March.
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) had proposed Sialai’s name as the best placed candidate in its report which was submitted to the House by Majority Whip Katoo ole Metito.
In their consideration of Sialai’s suitability, MPs showered praises on the often chatty and knowledgeable officer with most saying he is the ‘undisputed heir to the office.’
Katoo pointed out that Sialai’s sterling and illustrious service rendered to Parliament and the Nation has earned him various titles including last year when he was conferred the national award of the Elder of Burning Spear by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“There is no doubt that Mr Sialai, has the requisite qualification, charisma, experience, demeanour and flair of parliamentary work that makes him more suited for the appointment,” Metito said of Sialai who has worked at the Kenya Parliament for 21 years raising from a clerk to Senior Deputy Clerk.
Sialai who is known for easy going nature with staff, journalists and regular visitors to Parliament, was described as an officer with a deep understanding of parliamentary jurisdictions which he usually exhibits in his often very detailed presentations on any matter that he is contributing to.
National Assembly Majority Aden Duale who is serving his second term in Parliament lauded the appointment by the PSC as ‘spot-on’
“Mr Speaker, I have worked with Mr Sialai in the Tenth Parliament when I was a new MP and Sialai is one officer who has amassed an overwhelming wealth of knowledge of the workings of Parliament; its legislative procedures, jurisdictions. I am sure that you and your predecessor will agree that Sialai was key in making sure that all the proceedings of the House and its committees were up to date.”
Duale added that: “Hon Sialai wrote a Masters Thesis which forms part of the authorities which are being quoted internationally in the cases relating to historical injustices regarding the Talai people of Tinderet. That Thesis is used at the ICC.”
Minority Deputy Leader Jakoyo Midiwo said he has known Sialai for 15 years and can attest to his suitability and professionalism.
He also lauded the PSC for the timely transition.
“This is now a good time, so that when a new parliament will come in September, there will be continuity and we will not be up and down as we were four years ago. This to me, is just good order. I know Michael Sialai is equal to that task, I know he has the experience,” Midiwo stated.
Bundi, who is on leave pending retirement, had a chequered career, including serving as a former Clerk of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) from 2004 for a period of five years.
In 2009, after five years of duty, he resumed duties at the National Assembly and served as Chair of several Committees; Committee on Implementation of the Constitution, Tender Committee, Projects Management Committee and Vice-chair of the Steering Committee of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training.
He took over from Patrick Gichohi, who retired in 2012 as the Clerk of the National Assembly.
He has attended several courses and attachments in Legislative Management and Administration.
“Allow me to appreciate the outgoing clerk for his selfless, dedicated and dynamic service rendered to the Kenya National Assembly as its pioneer clerk under the 2010 Constitution and also as the Clerk of the EALA,” Metito said of the outgoing Clerk.