During the second day of the National Assembly’s inaugural leadership retreat, spearheaded by Speaker Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Moses Wetang’ula, the focus was on refining and enhancing the legislative agenda.
Hon. Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u, representing the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, stressed the Judiciary’s acknowledgement of Parliament’s role as a co-guardian of the nation’s constitutional values and principles.
Lady Justice Ndung’u pointed out that the separation of powers principle was intended to instil a sense of duty and accountability rather than create divisions. She underscored the Judiciary’s responsibility to interpret the law, ensuring the rule of law and safeguarding citizens’ rights and freedoms. In contrast, the National Assembly represents the people’s will, formulating policies and enacting laws in line with the nation’s aspirations.
“It is inevitable given our distinct roles that we may at times find ourselves on differing paths. However these differences should never be seen as conflicts but an opportunity for dialogue, understanding and growth”, said Justice Ndung’u.
She emphasized the significance of a democratic system with robust checks and balances, promoting harmonious collaboration among the three arms of government. She also emphasized that differences between arms of government should be viewed as opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and growth, fostering respect and mutual recognition of constitutional mandates.
“The two arms of government should not view each other through lenses of confrontation or divergence,” posed Justice Ndung’u
Eng. James Mwangi, Director and Chairman of the Public-Private Dialogue and Thought Leadership Board Committee at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), highlighted the critical link between the legislative process and Kenya’s private sector competitiveness. He emphasized that the National Assembly plays a pivotal role in policy and legislative entrepreneurship, essential for improving the country’s ease of doing business, competitiveness, inclusive growth, and shared prosperity. Parliament, he noted, reflects the will, aspirations, and needs of the people, emphasizing the importance of aligning with the nation’s political, economic, and social realities.
“We need to work and walk together on this transformative Agenda,” said Eng. Mwangi.
Ms. Diana Gichengo, in her role as the coordinator of the Institute for Social Accountability (TISA), discussed “Remobilizing Citizens and Institutions for Debt Accountability and Responsiveness for Economic Recovery in Kenya.” Their objective is to promote political accountability in Kenya’s public finance management. She identified key drivers of the high cost of living, including debt servicing, unsustainable public spending, high taxation, and inadequate economic policies in trade, investment, production, and agriculture.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker called on leadership and Honorable Members to rise above party differences, emphasizing the need for collaboration and unity to address the nation’s challenges and promote its growth and prosperity.