By Ngunjiri Wambugu
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LEADERSHIP RETREAT
This week I had the opportunity to attend my first National Leadership Retreat, which is a retreat held every year. This was the 3rd leadership Retreat held for this particular parliament and the theme was “Safeguarding the welfare of society amidst the Pandemic’s New Norm.”
The Retreat was held at a time when the National Assembly here and all Parliaments across the world are grappling with how to effectively conduct business in the midst of the Covid 19 Pandemic.
The Retreat discussed the roles of committee leadership, the role of the legislature on the two thirds constitutional issues, charted a way forward on processing of legislative business emanating from constitutional commissions and independent offices, examined successes so far, considered avenues for continuity of House business under the “new normal” and the role of the legislature in safeguarding the economy pre and post Covid 19.
Participants included the speaker and the Deputy speaker of the National Assembly, members of the speaker’s panel, the Majority and Minority Party leaders and their deputies, commissioners of the parliamentary service commission (PSC), the Majority and Minority Party whips and their deputies, chairpersons and vice chairpersons of all committees, Member of the House Business Committee and senior Parliamentary staff.
One of the presentations was by CS Ukur Yatani and I got an opportunity to seek clarity on the following issues.
1. What has happened to money that had been allocated to deal with infrastructure in schools? In regard to capitation whether the Ministry has finally released money for fixed costs that schools include even now that they aren’t in session.
2. Whether the government has considered offering players in the education sector a stimulus package similar to what was offered to players in the hospitality sector.
3. Whether we will now see a special investment in security officers/police similar to what has gone into health-workers considering they are also frontline workers on matters related to Covid, including transporting bodies of people who die outside medical facilities.