The five-day induction conference for senators has kicked off in Naivasha.
Opening the workshop, Senate Speaker Amason Kingi said its main purpose was to provide the legislators with information essential in discharging their mandate in the Senate and on committees.
“The people of Kenya have for a long time been treated to interesting legislative and executive power plays whose outcomes have left the masses with more questions than clear answers on what constitutes the role of legislators in advancing equitable and un-biased development in our country,” Mr Kingi said.
He said the workshop will include information on key legislative processes.
The senators will also be told how the Parliamentary Service Commission works and its functions, the Senate’s role in advancing inter-governmental relations and devolution issues.
This should allow senators to start on the right foot, Mr Kingi said, adding that “things don’t just go wrong, they start wrong”.
“Kenyans had almost become tired of the casual conduct of the governance business,” he said, underscoring the importance of the Senate, which he said ensures principled moderation in the conduct of matters of state and governance.
Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye exuded confidence that the current Senate has what it takes to consolidate the gains made by previous ones, fine-tune existing grey areas and achieve the objectives of devolution.
He noted that the Senate has been at loggerheads with the National Assembly and other arms of Parliament, and that at the end of the conference, the legislators will find a solution to some of the issues they will face.
This is the first time the legislators are converging after their swearing-in on September 9. During their inaugural sitting, the 67 senators picked Mr Kingi as the third Speaker of the Senate and Meru Senator Murungi Kathuri as his deputy.
The two leaders are under the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
The Naivasha retreat, whose theme is “Understanding the Mandate of the Senate and Strengthening Devolution through Legislative Agenda”, will end on Saturday.
Notable speakers will include Chief Justice Martha Koome, Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki, EACC chairperson Eliud Wabukhala, Commission on Revenue Allocation chairperson Jane Kiringai, Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu, and the Cabinet secretaries for the National Treasury, Devolution and Foreign Affairs and others.