The row between the National Assembly,and,Senate;Where does the real power concentrate?

Where does the real power concentrate concerning the recent row between the Senate and the National Assembly?Constitutionally,between the two Institutions ,who possesses the constitutional mandate and supervisory roles?

Of late,we have being treated to a power tussle where the two institutions of the Bi-cameral Parliament have being pulling into different directions in what is seen as a political supremacy battle.And,the battle lines have being drawn which is causing the spat and indifference.The battle line is,which House wields more power than the other;which is the upper and lower House?

And,this has precipitated a clash of opinions concerning this political friction with protagonists offering their two cent worth of opinions while drawing and borrowing a leaf from other countries which uses the same system.Top lawyers have quoted the constitution in a move meant to back their arguments.

The subject of contenticity which caused this friction happened to be the division of the Revenue Bill which was accented by President Uhuru Kenyatta.The division of Revenue Bill has generated alot of heat.At the centre of the row is the row between the National Assembly and Senate,on the amount of monies that was devolved to the County governments.

This Revenue bill is the one which proposes how much monies goes to the devolved governments.And,as per the constitution ,the National Assembly approved shs.210 billion,a figure that had been proposed by the executive and justified on the basis that this is what the National Treasury could afford.

But,the Senate raised the figure to shs.258 billion,arguing that budget for the national government contained items that should be handled at the county level.So the funds should be sent to the counties where they are needed and thus avoid duplication of budget and tasks.

The National Assembly rejected the Senate’s proposal outright ,not on the basis of any rational arguement ,but,to spite the latter and score big on the infantile supremacy battle.And,it’s this move that irked the senate and that’s why they are questioning the legality of that bill which was accented to,without their considered input which was disregarded by the National Assembly.

Now they have lodged an interpretation of the law at the Supreme Court on the issue.Also,they have vowed to collect a million signatures to amend the constitution to give the senate more powers.

Other political commentators have argued that this is a slow process of dismantling the senate while putting into consideration the fact that a member of the National Assembly has sent a clear indication to the effect that he wants to bring a motion in the House to abolish the senate,as it doesn’t have specific role.

According to Abdullahi Ahmednassir,the real power in all it’s form and manifestations lies with the National Assembly.The senate is not even a paper tiger.It is much less than that.The senate ,as framed and formulated ,is a single ,or,mono agenda institution.It’s only serious mandate is to look into the agenda of counties.

He stresses that for quite sometime ,we were treated to a futile debate about which of the two Houses was superior.Politicians in the senate and national assembly debated the non-issue of the superiority of the Houses.It is simply amazing that the two sets of lawmakers can even debate ,or,quarrel on this issue.

Again it is simply unfair to have this debate when the constitution provisions that regulate the Houses are so clear.

Even in matters of counties ,the senate doesn’t wield absolute power.The National assembly plays a supervisory role even in that regard.Corresponding power for the senate in matters where the National assembly has a constitutional mandate is not provided for.

As a matter of fact,the senate needs to reorganise it’s format and operations.It is simply inconceivable for the senate to have the same calender and time schedule as the National assembly.It just doesn’t have enough agenda and jurisdiction to be busy like the National assembly.


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