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Muturi aims at ‘paperless Parliament’ as he begins second term

The National Assembly Speaker said he hopes his second term will see less of the friction that his first term attracted with his counterparts in the other Arms of Government/HILARY MWENDA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31 – Newly re-elected Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi says he will use his second term at the helm of the Legislature to ensure the successful implementation of a paperless Parliament.

In his acceptance speech to the House, Muturi directed that all the 349 legislators to begin to familiarise themselves with details of the system.

“The Parliamentary Service Commission is in the process of implementing various Information and Communication Technology platforms to support this system. I therefore encourage members to equip themselves with the necessary tools that will assist them utilise the facilities,” he said.

This will be yet another advancement into digitising how the House transacts business after it adopted a biometric system to track attendance and keep tabs on MPs being among major highlights of Muturi’s first term.

The National Assembly Speaker said he hopes his second term will see less of the friction that his first term attracted with his counterparts in the other Arms of Government.

“I also undertake to work with all governance institutions including our sister House the Senate, the Judiciary and the Executive on the basis of cooperation, consultation, mutual respect and reciprocity.”

Speaking on the House Floor, Muturi called for unity among members as the country emerges from a highly contested poll.

He told MPs in the new Parliament they had the onerous task of surpassing their predecessors in the 11th Parliament who passed 180 Bills and considered 124 petitions and various motions.

“To put it candidly, the 11th Parliament nursed and weaned an infant which has now grown into a blossoming bicameral legislature. The 12th Parliament now has the responsibility of nurturing this infant. This, Honourable Members, will be achieved through continuous review of the various existing legislation to align them with the tenets of our constitutional dispensation and the promotion of effective public participation; one of the fundamental pillars of our Constitution,” the Speaker explained.

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As the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the National Assembly Speaker pledged to lead a team that will provide services and facilities to ensure the efficient functions of parliamentarians.

“In this respect the Commission is in the process of completing the new office block for Members of Parliament which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The new office block will have 20 committee meeting rooms, 338 executive offices and over 400 parking spaces. This will go a long way towards ensuring that your execute your duties and responsibilities effectively,” he told MPs.

He further announced that the PSC has organised a weeklong retreat for all Members of the National Assembly to apprise them on the legislative making processes including the introduction of Bills and Motions, the Budget Making Process, the Committee System, the Rules of Debate and the various aspects of Parliamentary Powers and Privileges.

Muturi on Thursday retained his position as Speaker after garnering 220 votes in an exercise that went to the second round.

In the first round of voting, Muturi got 217 votes against Noah Winja’s 4.

The vote went into a second round after both candidates failed to garner the two-thirds threshold set for the winner to be declared.

The exercise was however given a wide berth by a majority of opposition MPs. The few who were present did not pick the ballot and remained in their seats when their names were called out.

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