Kenyans elect Members of Parliament to represent thier issues in parliament and have high hopes in them and part with high amounts in salaries to them frm public coffers but a new report on parliamentary debate over the March – December 2013 period is frustating.
The report from Mzalendo.com shows that a third of Kenyan MPs contributed less than 10 times to debate in the house. This is a dismal report given participation to debate is one of the key metrics in ensuring an MP fulfils his overall responsibility of representation, oversight and legislation.
On the other hand, about a third of the Senators dominated debate in the Senate with each speaking in the house over 100 times. In terms of the coalitions’ performance, the Jubilee coalition led the pack in contributions in both the National Assembly and the Senate, taking advantage of its size of representation in Parliament.
The Parliamentarians Debate Participation report http://goo.gl/rSHcD8 is compiled by Mzalendo.com based on the official Hansard contributions published by Parliament after each sitting. “Mzalendo believes this information is of great public interest as Parliamentarians are custodians of peoples’ sovereign power. It therefore follows they should be open to scrutiny and accountable to the country for their time in the House,” says Mzalendo.
The Leader of Majority Hon. Aden Duale emerged as the most active contributor to debate in the National Assembly and Hon. Amina Abdalla as the leading woman legislator. In the Senate, Senators Kembi Gitura and Elizabeth Ongoro emerged the best debators based on the number of contributions tallied. Most of the leading debators in both Houses were seasoned legislators but a few new legislators held their own. These included: Honourables Tom Kajwang, Priscilla Nyokabi, Johnson Sakaja, Moses Cheboi and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.
Founded in 2005 by Ory Okolloh (@KenyanPundit), currently at Omidyar Network as Africa’s Director of Investments in Africa and formerly Google Policy Officer for Africa and co-founder of Ushahidi.com and Conrad Akunga (@roomthinker), a software architect, engineer and tech-entrepreneur and currently on the IHub Advisory Board, Mzalendo.com aims at promoting greater public voice and enhance public participation in politics by providing relevant information about the National Assembly and Senate’s activities.
Every MP and Senator’s contribution to the Hansard shows under their profile on www.mzalendo.com. Mzalendo’s site managers hope Kenyans will visit their MPs and Senators records to see their overall performance over the period, identify the issues they contributed to and also assess the quality of the contributions put forward. The actual data is available at http://goo.gl/ftyj1m and http://goo.gl/TpckOP.