NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 –The National Assembly on Thursday launched the Kiswahili version of its Standing Orders which will take effect during the 13th Parliament come 2022.
Speaking during the event at the Parliament Gardens, Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania Job Ndugai who was the guest of honor lauded the House for the initiative saying it is historic.
He challenged the lawmakers to use the same language they use while wooing voters to elect them.
“We like following up on what is happening in Kenya and I can confidently say that during campaigns, none of the MPs speak in English during their speeches while asking for votes from the electorates,” said Ndugai.
“I urge you to use the same language in parliament so that those who elected you, both literate and illiterate can understand what you are saying.”
“I am very happy, and I congratulate Speaker Muturi because this will go down as historic under his leadership.”
House Majority Leader Aden Duale said the standing orders will help many MPs enhance their mastery of the national language describing the launch as an achievement for the 12th Parliament.
“We will pride ourselves on this and I am sure those of us who are not good in Kiswahili will start learning and in a span of one year we will be fluent,” he said.
Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi who is the Chairperson of the Liaison Committee that organized the forum added that he was equally excited to have the legislators express themselves in Kiswahili.
On Wednesday, the House held its proceedings in Kiswahili even though some of the lawmakers hardly spoke for a minute before they switched to English.
The Constitution of Kenya recognizes English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language as the national official languages.
The translation of Standing Orders will ensure the legislative arm of government conforms to the provisions of the Constitution.
Kenya will become the second country to have Kiswahili Standing Orders after neighboring Tanzania.