Kenya Adopts UK-Style ‘Question Time’ to Keep Ministers Accountable

Kenyan ministers will now be required to appear before the National Assembly once a week to answer questions after lawmakers on Thursday adopted a new set of rules to hold them accountable.
Akin to the UK parliament’s “Question Time,” cabinet secretaries from March 23 will appear before the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoons, according to a report tabled in the chamber.
The three-hour weekly sessions will “allow members to raise concerns about any contemporary matters, including administration policy, responses to events as well as specific constituents’ concerns,” it said.
Ministers will need to reply to questions within 14 days unless the matter has been certified as urgent by the speaker, in which case they will have two days. They’ll need to provide physical and electronic copies at least one day before they appear in the House.
President William Ruto in September asked parliament to rework the new rules “to enhance executive accountability.” 
Members of the executive previously didn’t attend sessions in the House because the constitution states they aren’t lawmakers, and committee chairpersons would instead relay the information — a procedure described as “time-consuming” in the report. 
Of the 1,974 questions referred to relevant departmental committees in the last parliament, less than a third were replied to and concluded.
A tentative list of cabinet secretaries scheduled to reply to questions will be published on the parliamentary website, according to the document.

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