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Senate to review physical sittings as Covid cases surge

henzykool

Oct. 29, 2020

In Summary
•Lusaka dismissed reports that the rise in the cases was due to the move by the government to ease restrictions, adding that the country could not be on lockdown into perpetuity. •“Senate was meant to resume full sittings next week but with an increase in the number of positive cases we shall have to review this,” he said.
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka in Naivasha on October 29, 2020. Image: COURTESY
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has raised concerns over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country. With the Senate set to resume its sittings next week, the Senate cited ignorance among Kenyans in the last couple of months which has led to a surge in cases. He said the Senate would have to review its programme and possibly lock out some members from live sessions in favour of virtual ones. Lusaka dismissed reports that the rise in the cases was due to the move by the government to ease restrictions, adding that the country could not be on lockdown into perpetuity. “Senate was meant to resume full sittings next week but with an increase in the number of positive cases we shall have to review this,” he said. Lusaka spoke to the press in Naivasha on Thursday during a two-day Senate retreat. On the BBI report, Lusaka said that the Senate committee on Justice and Legal committee was going through it before the Senate takes its position. He however lauded the proposal to increase funding to counties by 35 per cent, adding that the Senate should be ready to oversight the use of the funds. “The Senate made its recommendations and the legal committee is now studying the document before we make our position on Friday ,” he said. The Speaker also took issue with the Executive for continuous ignorance of Senate summonses to address critical issues. “We have raised the issue with the Cabinet committee that is headed by CS (Fred) Matiang'i who has agreed to make sure they respond to the summonses,” he said. This was echoed by Leader of Majority in the Senate Samuel Poghisio who warned of dire consequences against those ignoring the summonses. He noted that State agencies were notorious for sending junior officers who could not answer queries, a move that was adversely affecting the work of the Senate. “We want to issue a notice to Cabinet Secretaries and senior officers of government agencies that they are duty bound to respect Senate summonses,” he said.
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