A cross section of coastal leaders has continued to send hearty congratulatory messages to Amason Jeffah Kingi on his election as Speaker of the Senate.
Kingi a former two-term governor of Kilifi County was duly elected Speaker of the Senate after garnering a majority of 46 votes out of a possible 66 on the first round of voting.
The former Governor will preside over the 4th Senate in the 13th Parliament. The Senate is one of the two Houses of the Parliament and was first established as part of Kenya’s 1963 Constitution.
The Senate was abolished in 1966, when its membership was combined with that of the House of Representatives to form a unicameral legislature, the National Assembly.
After being abolished in 1966, the Senate was re-established by Article 93 of the current 2010 Constitution to represent counties’ interests as well as pass legislation concerning counties.
The powers and role of the Senate include representing the interests of the counties and their governments, participating in law-making by considering, debating and approving bills concerning counties, determining allocation of national revenue among counties and has powers of impeachment over the president, deputy president, county governors, and deputy governors.
Kwale Governor, Fatuma Achani, said Kingi’s election is a vivid display of transformation of our country’s advancement to parliamentary diplomacy and collaboration between our counties.
“We are honored to have one of our sons from the region at the helm of our country’s top leadership position,” she said.
She went on, “May the Almighty God guide him on this new journey as he remains committed to advancing the interests of the people whilst safeguarding the fruits of devolution”.
Achani said she hopes Kingi will place the interest of the 47 devolved units above anything else. She said coastal people are happy that Kingi will serve as Speaker many years after Timothy Chokwe a native of Kilifi, served as the first Speaker of the Senate in 1963.
She said as the Governor of Kwale she strongly believes that the Senate will exercise their constitutional mandate to protect devolution so as to benefit the local Mwananchi.
Achani said that what transpired in the Senate during the election of Speaker on Thursday was democracy in action urging him to be conscious of the fact that he emerged at a trying time in the country’s democracy.
Salim Mvurya, a former two-term Governor of Kwale also said having been the Governor of Kilifi County for 10 years he believed that the Senate under the stewardship of Kingi will work tirelessly to protect devolution and ensure citizens fully benefit through the oversight role.
Mvurya wished Kingi long life, good health and wisdom to keep serving the country and contribute meaningfully to its development. He urged Kingi to further ensure the stability and unity of the country, while working hard to deepen its democracy.
“I am sure as a former Governor Kingi will strive to create a smooth working relationship between the Senate, Counties and the National Government for effective service delivery to the people,” he said.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala, congratulated Kingi for his election as Senate Speaker and said he hopes he will do a remarkable job that will make the people of the coastal region proud.
Balala, a former Mvita MP has described Kingi, also a former Magarini MP as a patriot and a legislator par excellence and said he will foster cooperation and understanding of members in both chambers of parliament.
Balala described Kingi as a great patriot and said he rejoices with him for reaching this milestone in happiness and good health.
By Hussein Abdullahi