Speaker of Parliament, the Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Ocquaye, has disclosed that steps are being taken to turn the legislature from a mere spending organization to an institution that can earn income and take care of its staff.
According to the Speaker, a proposed Parliament hotel is among such high value ventures that the Parliamentary Service Board has approved.
Hon. Mike Ocquaye made the disclosure in his closing remark last Friday when Parliament rose Sine Die.
He lamented that Parliament has lost many of its lands and is unable to account for lands that used to belong to the institution.
Efforts, he said, are being made to protect the landed properties of the institution and also make public-private partnership arrangements thereby maximizing their use and benefits to Parliament.
“This is the part of the need to safeguard precious assets of the Legislature,” he stated.
“The Minister of Land is assisting to acquire part of the Ring Road lands that are being released and the one at Adenta so we can have housing for Members of Parliament as well as the staff.”
“It is appropriate and much safer to properly develop these landed properties for economic use of Parliament,” he stated.
He averred that works on the Parliamentary enhancement project is continuing steadily and that all certificates that have been prepared and presented to the Ministry of Finance have been honoured.
The House, he said, would continue to cooperate with the Ministry to ensure timely releases of Parliamentary subventions as well as all the relevant payments and pledged.
“Very soon all members would be comfortably housed in their offices and in the modern chamber complex.”
He urged members to, while on holiday, reflect on legislations they consider very important with their constituents so that Parliament would be seen as very responsive to the nuance and needs of the people throughout the country.
According to him, an official has already been engaged at the Office of the Speaker to compile all recommendations made in statements on the floor of the House in order to turn them into laws where necessary.
He indicated that the Parliamentary Service Board has also proceeded with the establishment of a legal and drafting department.
He disclosed that renowned legal colossus, Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, has been approached to serve as consultant for the initiative and stressed that he helped Kenya in the establishing of its legal department.
According to the Speaker, Justice Crabbe has agreed to support Parliament in this regard and noted that an office is already being prepared for him.
He added that a consultant and one other expert have been engaged by the Board to assist in the establishment of the office.
Prof. Mike Ocquaye advised the MPs to have more interactions with their constituents keeping in mind the challenges stifling their development and urged them to be mindful of the traditions and standards of the House and expressed hope that when Parliament returns, the matter of lateness will be a thing of the past.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org