5 Key Roles of the Senate
The Senate came in being under the 2010 constitution where major changes in the structure of government were made. We decentralized power, resources and responsibilities from the national level to county level, all the way to the village level. At national level, one of the major changes was the creation of a parliament that has two houses, the Senate and the National Assembly.
The senate comprises 47 members, each elected at county level by registered voter’s, 16 women nominated by political parties according to proportion of members elected, representatives of youth and persons with disability, 1 male and 1 female for each, and the speaker who is an ex officio member. So what are the roles of the senate?
- Representing Counties and Protecting their Interests
The senate should at all times serve to protect the interests of counties and their governments. Since senators represent counties at national level, they are required to keep safeguard the interests of counties in policy making and resource allocation.
- Impeaching the President or his Deputy
The senate oversights state officers by contemplating and making decisions to remove president or deputy president from office as stipulated in Article 145 of the constitution. In the event that the president or his deputy are to be impeached from the office, the speaker of the senate would convene a meeting of the senate to hear charges on the president or the deputy president. A resolution committee would be appointed to investigate the charges and come up with findings that would determine the decision to be made.
- Determine Revenue Allocation to Counties
The senate is also responsible for determining allocations to counties from national revenue. The senate consults with governors, the cabinet secretary for finance and other government offices in determining the share of national revenue to be allocated to counties. The senate is also required to invites the public including professional bodies to make suggestions on the same before making a decision.
- Making Laws
As part of the legislature, the senate is involved in making laws. However, the senate only legislates on matters that concern counties. Therefore, senators are expected to participate in considering, debating and approving Bills pertaining to counties in accordance with Article 109 and 113 of the constitution.
- Oversighting Counties
The senate is responsible for oversighting counties revenue allocated to the counties by the national government. This means the senators supervise how the funds allocated are spent in their counties hence ensuring proper use.