The National Assembly of Kenya has launched the Committee Chairpersons’ Manual, the Annual Performance Reports of the Committees of the National Assembly, the Swahili Version of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, and live broadcast of committee proceedings.
The event dubbed the Parliamentary Forum for Committees of the National Assembly under the auspices of the Liaison Committee of the National Assembly was held at the Parliament Gardens on 31st October 2019. It sought to highlight the important role of committees and the place of Kiswahili in House business and rules of procedure.
The current committees of the National Assembly are very vital structures through which the running of the business of the House is effected much more comprehensively and in a manner that is streamlined.
– Hon. Justin Muturi, EGH, Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Rt. Hon. Job Yustino Ndugai, was the Chief Guest of the event. He congratulated the House for preparing the Committee Chairpersons’ Manual, Performance Reports of the National Assembly and the Swahili Version of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly.
Speaker Ndugai urged the Members of Parliament in Kenya to embrace the use of Kiswahili in their debates in the House and Committees since it is becoming the lingua franca in Eastern Africa and elsewhere.
“It will be a wonder that you would have spoken to your voters in Kiswahili, campaigned in Kiswahili but when you get to Parliament, you get embarrassed speaking in a language that your voters understand better,” he stated.
Speaker Ndugai stated that Kiswahili is now widely spoken in Eastern Africa and is one of the official languages in South African Development Community (SADC), African Union, Pan African Parliament, and East African Community.
Former Speaker, Hon. Francis Ole Kaparo EGH, traced the humble beginnings of the House when it had only three committee rooms and lacked offices for Members of Parliament. He stated that the Plenary cannot deliberate everything thus committees have a pivotal role in assisting the House fulfil its mandate.
It will be a wonder that you would have spoken to your voters in Kiswahili, campaigned in Kiswahili but when you get to Parliament, you get embarrassed speaking in a language that your voters understand better.
– Rt. Hon. Job Yustino Ndugai, Speaker of the United Republic of Tanzania
Speaking at the event, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Justin Muturi EGH, said, “The current committees of the National Assembly are very vital structures through which the running of the business of the House is effected much more comprehensively and in a manner that is streamlined.”
Speaker Muturi proposed that committees consider an additional use of core indicators to define and measure effectiveness of the National Assembly, namely, financial performance, operational performance, external stakeholder satisfaction, and a feel of internal stakeholders and membership level of satisfaction. He congratulated the Committees for their laudable performance. The Speaker indicated that the National Assembly now has a robust Committee on Implementation.
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the Liaison Committee, Hon. Moses Cheboi CBS, introduced former Members of Parliament who had graced the occasion. Some of the invited former Members were former Juja MP, Shujaa Hon. Dr. Gitu Kahengeri, an acclaimed freedom fighter; Hon. Wilson Gregory Nthenge, Hon. Dida Jaldesa, Hon. Nyiva Mwendwa, Hon. Mohamed Abdi Galgalo, Hon. Noah Katana Ngala, Hon. Lotodo Joseph, Hon. Mohamed Sheikh Abdi, Hon. Mwashengu wa Mwachofi. Others were Hon. Mathew Adams Karauri, Hon. Gerald Muia, Hon. Javan Omani, Hon. Benson Kegoro Ogero, Hon. Peter Steve Lenges, Hon. Boaz Kipchumba Kaino, Hon. Muriuki Karue, Hon. Samson Ole Tuya, Hon. Joe Ndonde and Hon. Adan Abdullahi.
The live broadcast (or “matangazo mubashara” in Kiswahili) of committee proceedings was launched and its inaugural broadcast was successfully done.
The Leader of the Majority Party, Hon. Aden Duale EGH and the Leader of the Minority Party, Hon. John Mbadi EGH, and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Michael Sialai EBS attended the auspicious occasion. Committee Chairpersons, Members of Parliament, Speakers of County Assemblies, invited guests and parliamentary staff also attended the event.
You can listen to Speaker Ndugai addressing the Kenya National Assembly during the event:
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