The official state re-opening of the 10th parliament was historic, not least because it featured for the first time in post-independent Kenya’s history a grand-coalition Government of president, vice-president and prime-minister(X2) not present during the 1st session, and born out of necessity from the post election crisis that rocked the country during the early part of this year arising from last December’s sham of a general election.
Ordinarily, the opening of parliament following an adjournment is characterised by the traditional week long debate into the President's speech, marking the start of the house's official calendar of business for the year. However, as you well know the 10th parliament is no ordinary sitting and first on the immediate agenda of MPs is to agree on fast-tracking implementation of the new executive power-sharing deal by passing into law the crucial National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, together with several other draft bills namely the constitutional Amendment, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation, and Ethnic Commission Bills
Difficult tasks ahead?
Judging by their previous track record, it remains to be seen whether or not our MPs will pass these and other all-important bills to come in record time, or even whether they will miss the boat completely and allow themselves to become side-tracked by other pressing yet secondary issues which are sure to arise during these early stages as the house gets down to business.
Kenya’s parliament has a poor legislative track record in comparison to other African countries we compete against (e.g. Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria) and we Kenyans hungry for change and massive reforms may all be waiting a long time yet before any urgent & pressing bills are actually made into laws (e.g. one example is the bill seeking to grant Mombasa and Kisumu city status-anyone recall that?)
Remember that in the previous past their first port of call for newly-elected MPs has traditionally been to increase their salaries while consequently saying goodbye to the sight of the toes on their feet which inevitably fail to effectively compete against the rapid forward expansion of their middle abdomens in the course of their short stays at house of parliament.
In 2007, the 9th parliament worked for a period of 27 weeks, and started with an agenda of 20 bills awaiting debate as part of business in the house. Throughout the whole of last year, their apathy during house debates was roundly condemned by the public at large, and more than once in the life of the 9th parliament business had to be interrupted due to a lack of quorum. In spite of this, amazingly they managed to pass 17 bills into law! including the monumental Njoki Ndungu Sexual Offences Bill in 2006. Compare that to 2005 where out of 25 bills that were presented to them for debate and enactment, concluded only seven, Just goes to show that when they want to, our politicians can actually do some work
In developed countries e.g. that “bastion of democracy” the
How hard is your MP working? Like a donkey
It’s known that our MPs split their time between sittings in parliament, working in the constituencies that elected them (standing waist-deep in mud, soiling their hands with
bribes bricks) and in addition as Government ministers working within their appointed portfolios. Not to mention various functions to conduct harambees, the occasional (cough) government sanctioned business trips abroad, and the rare (double cough) “pretty-boy” press conference appearances before media houses to address the public. But the days of deception conducted behind closed chambers while speaking in foreign tongues as the case has been is over; the past 45 years has simply amounted to a total defrauding of the Kenyan tax-payers’ money worth which unfortunately has gone to fund the hefty salaries and perks which our politicians and their significant others have grown accustomed to
Too long have Kenyans have suffered lightly the lot of clowns in charge of the destiny of our nation. Already the first chapter of
Its time for the people’s duly elected representatives to become a hard-working parliament,and I sincerely hope that they will have little time for sleeping before the TV cameras- they need to roll –up their sleeves and........wait for it............extend-yes extend.......both their sitting and opening hours, so that they can get more work done by debating and passing more bills into laws that will greatly enhance our independence and development.
All 210 MPs should be made to sign people perfomance contracts which set the bar on how high the need to jump if they are thinking of seeing the inside of parliament again come the next general election. we always like to say "wembe ni ule ule" lakini ule wembe tuna sema ni wembe gani? We been giving our MPs Gillete shaving blades to shave their faces with-indeed we've given them the best a man can get. Let us now give them machetes that are truly "wembes" which will not provide any sort of smooth shave unless they work for it
Coming soon: -dealing a deathblow to tribalism