Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Kenyan Senate looks to stronger ties


President Kagame shares a light moment with visiting Kenyan Senators yesterday. The delegation, which was led by Kenyan Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro (2L) was accompanied by Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo (3L) the president of the Rwandan Senate. 
Kenya’s Senate is looking to learn from Rwanda’s experience and to build stronger bilateral ties.

The remarks were made by Kenyan Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro yesterday while addressing journalists shortly after meeting President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

Ethuro, who was leading a delegation of other senators wanted to get first hand information regarding Rwanda’s senate operations.

“This is the first time we are getting a Senate in Kenya after promulgation of the new Constitution in 2010. We had our first Senate in 1963 but it did not last long enough, getting abolished within three years,” he said.

“We came here to learn from our neighbours Rwanda and Burundi because they are the two countries that have senate structures. We want to deepen the East African Community (EAC) integration by bringing the EAC states together and to move faster.”

Ethuro said after establishing strong links with Rwandan senate, both institutions will learn a lot from each other in terms of the committee working systems.

He noted that he invited his Rwandan counterpart to Kenya to explore together more potential  ideas as of  cooperation.

The Speaker added: “The issue is not really learning from each other but comparing notes and improving on what we have.”

“For us senators, the primary objective of protecting devolution is to see our counties work and as we look forward to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Rwanda’s Vision 2020, we want to establish the role, an effective legislature can play to ensure that governments are put to account and ensure better service delivery.”

Stronger ties 

The Kenyan delegation also called for stronger relations among EAC countries.

The Speaker pointed out: “One of the good things we have actually learnt is the nature of the Rwandan Parliament. The relationship between the Senate and the Upper Chamber of Deputies is very cordial, and this is what we need to start working on back home.”

The team also appreciated Rwanda’s gain in gender equality.

“We have a constitutional obligation that requires that by 2015 we fulfil a certain threshold which we are yet achieve and we concerned about it, but here in Rwanda we have learned how the country established women councils.”

According to Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, the president of the Rwandan Senate, Rwanda and Kenya have strong bilateral relations and working together as senators was vital for the betterment of the citizens of both countries.

“The Kenyan senators have learnt how our two parliamentary chambers work and implement the constitutional requirements especially on unity and reconciliation and fighting genocide ideology,” he said.

Ntawukuriryayo, who accompanied the senators to meet the President, said Rwandan senators will also visit their counterparts in Kenya to share experiences and land learn essons.


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