Home COLUMNS AND OPINIONS It’s time for senators to quit the drama and do their work

It’s time for senators to quit the drama and do their work

by biasharadigest


The Council of Governors released a statement this week pleading with our senators to end their protracted dispute over the new county revenue sharing formula, saying county functions were on the verge of grinding to a halt.

The governors are not alone in their concern at the sudden increase in political bickering in the Senate. Two weeks ago, Kirinyaga County MCAs told the senators that if they were tired of performing their oversight function, they should shut the chambers and go read bedtime stories to their little ones instead of competing with ghost workers for the Employee of the Month award.

While no one is justified to address senators as they do stray dogs in the village, the increasing erosion of trust in the Senate to be a fair arbiter in public interest matters should cause them to hear this wake-up call.


There comes a time when public servants have to rise above parochial interests and political sectarianism. If senators want to compete for the honour of being the loudest voice in this formula debate, they should wait for sporting activities to resume and take it to one of those portal stadiums we were promised.


Kenyans have lately been struggling to understand what the Senate exists to do, why Kenyans should invest in it, and what returns on investment to expect.

When the discussion on the establishment of the Senate was introduced to Kenyans during the 2010 Constitution making process, we were told the House would be the very face of respectability whose occupants ate wisdom for breakfast and washed it down with a cup of reason.

We now know that was a lofty dream is now turning into a shocking nightmare. What was supposed to be the gold standard of sober debate and political maturity has turned into an indoor arena of chaos, personal score-settling and external interference.

This week, just when we had thought they could not cross the red line separating servant leadership and personal aggrandisement, senators decided to dig their heels further in the ground – you wonder why Kenyan farmers save to buy compact tractors when we have free labour on the Senate floor.


We are concerned that senators cannot agree on how to best share taxpayers’ money because they each want their county to get the biggest allocation.

Senators whose counties have not even met the bare minimum for ICU beds should not be speaking on national television asking for more money for their respective governors to continue building Covid-19 isolation facilities in their stomachs.

Kenyans know the counties that have put taxpayers’ money into good use; we read the Auditor-General’s report every year flagging the indiscriminate looting of public funds in the counties. But the senators for those affected counties have always remained so silent you’d think corruption would come for them if they called it by its name.

Kenyans expect that the same way senators have been quiet when their governors have been eating pan-fried public money is the same way they should remain silent when other senators who grilled theirs are enjoying the sweet aroma of the fruit of their vigilance.

 The best way to protect devolution is to provide unbiased oversight over the use of public money entrusted to your governor, instead of making noise on the Senate floor boasting about how you have a tyranny of numbers. If Kenyans wanted noisy senators, we would have told the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to send an urgent memo to all hornbills, asking them to present themselves for elections.


Many Kenyans out here see the good things happening in other counties and they are jealous every time they see those working governors on television. There are counties that now have new Level 5 hospitals, built from scratch; low-cost housing projects tangibly taking off and basic education facilities with modern learning tools and highly skilled instructors.

When you go to those counties, you ask yourself what sin your great grandfathers committed to stop your county from enjoying the nice things in life, yet all governors have the same 24 hours to reap from where they sowed.

These are the critical national issues Kenyans would love their senators to spend time on. We cannot be bleeding our pockets every year to provide life to a legislative entity that is finding it difficult to justify its relevance.

If senators feel that their 2022 political ambition is more important than the job Kenyans gave them to do, then all we ask from them is that they take advantage of the coronavirus to stay at home as we set up Zoom meetings to discuss their fate.

The author comments on topical issues; [email protected]

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