Duale challenges proposal to make Senate ‘Upper House’

February 19, 2019 6:03 pm
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Duale faulted Senators who he said have failed in their oversight role over counties and questioned their capability to handle more responsibilities as an Upper House/file

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale has voiced his opposition to a proposal by the Deputy President William Ruto to elevate the Senate to be the Upper House similar to the model in the United States.

In his contribution during debate on the County Government (Amendment) Bill, Duale faulted Senators who he said have failed in their oversight role over counties and questioned their capability to handle more responsibilities as an Upper House.

“The Senate of the Kenya cannot be like the Senate of the US. The framers of the Constitution who included great minds like Anyang’ Nyong’o, James Orengo, Kiraitu Murungi, Amos Wako among others were in this House and they knew that the Senate of Kenya had a clear mandate to protect devolution. You cannot change the rules midway; if you want to deal with the Senate let us put it to be among the questions in the referendum,” Duale said.

The debate between the two Houses has intensified as both have claimed superiority over the other.

While giving a public lecture at Chatham House two weeks ago, Deputy President Ruto proposed that the Senate should be given extra roles to distinguish it from the National Assembly.

The Senate leadership last Friday renewed their push for recognition as the Upper House at a two-day retreat in Nairobi.

The Senators led by their Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said a constitutional bill they came up with in 2015 will be the much-needed remedy.

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