Serah Kioko: First woman Clerk to swear in MPs
Serah Kioko, acting Clerk of the National Assembly, will make history on Thursday make history as the first woman in Kenya to swear in MPs. She will also oversee the election of the Speaker.
337 elected members of the National Assembly will take their oath of office today (Thursday), which will see Ms Kioko who boasts over 30 years experience as a parliamentary officer, having several firsts in her career.
She was the first woman to become Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly. She was also the first, and so far only, woman to serve as director of Services and Legislative Procedures in the Senate.
She was also the first, and so far only, woman to serve as director of Services and Legislative Procedures in the Senate.
“I’m trusting that we will have a smooth process of swearing in the MPs of the 13th Parliament and electing Speaker. It is the first time I’m doing this as a Clerk, but I have participated in the process at lower levels for many years in my position as clerk assistant, director for Procedural and Legislative Services, and Deputy Clerk. So, the process is not new to me,” Kioko told NTV in an interview.
One of the reasons she was reluctant about her new assignment was that most of the officers in charge of the procedure were men.
“Although there were a few senior female officers, it wasn’t easy for us. However, duty called us to the chamber and we had to go,” she added.
The clerk is the administrative and procedural head of the National Assembly and oversees the day-to-day operations of the House.
She was among the first women to sit at the Clerks’ table inside the chamber for the first time during the Ninth Parliament.
The officers who sit at the Clerk’s table are referred to as clerk assistants and assist the Speaker on matters to do with procedures and advise on a number of issues as the House is in session.
The Clerk informs of the first sitting of the 13th parliament where she will administer the oath of office to the members before they elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
The Constitution requires that newly elected MPs be sworn in within 30 days from the date of the General Election.
The supreme law gives the National Assembly clerk sole powers to administer the oath of office to the 349 newly elected MPs who in turn will elect a new Speaker.