, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi on Thursday hailed outgoing US Ambassador Robert Godec for his role in fostering the increasingly closer ties between Kenya and the United States during his tour of duty.
Speaking when he bid Ambassador Godec farewell during a courtesy call, Speaker Muturi observed that the two countries had developed deeper cooperation especially in regards to electoral reforms and enhanced national security, but added that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) still needs to be strengthened.
“I am grateful for the partnership we have had during your time in Kenya and in helping us address our electoral systems. IEBC however still needs to be strengthened and it is risky that at the moment we have the Commission operating at the bare minimum, which effectively means there is lack of capacity to make important decisions like the forthcoming by-elections,” the House Speaker noted.
On his part, Ambassador Godec noted that there could be need for a referendum to address a few provisions in the 2010 Constitution, but said it has a few gains that need to be preserved.
“The 2010 Constitution brought about some gains that need not be lost, for instance the gains on observance of human rights among others”, Godec remarked.
On Corruption, Speaker Muturi underscored President Uhuru Kenyatta’s resolve to deal with the vice adding that the Kenyan Parliament intends to work closely with the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (APNAC), a continental body comprising a network of Members of Parliament from Africa, and which he was elected to chair last year.
Terming corruption as the greatest challenge Kenya is facing currently, Ambassador Godec also hailed the renewed war on corruption, noting that it would be important for the political class to be on the lead in the anti-corruption crusade if the war is to be won.
He submitted that the US was willing to work with the local APNAC chapter.
APNAC’s vision is to develop maintain and promote a network to build capacities of Parliament and legislators in Africa to fight against and address corruption.
Ambassador Godec leaves office early next month after a six-year stint in Nairobi.