The Alumni Relations Department holds CEO roundtable at Parliament

By Shyat Lemoshira

The USIU-Africa Alumni Relations Department continued their CEO roundtable series at the Parliament of Kenya on Friday, November 10. The roundtable was an opportunity to engage with the current USIU-Africa student leaders from the Student Association Cabinet (Student Council and the Electoral College), clubs and the Dean’s Residents Advisory Board (DRAB) who were present during the event.

Ms Serah Kioko, Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, welcomed the group and spoke on the significance of exemplary service and leadership at all levels. Ms. Kioko also praised USIU-Africa for molding competent professionals, noting that a large number of USIU-Africa alumni work as Parliamentary staff. "The USIU-Africa alumni that serve as Parliamentary staff are dependable, organized and diligent”, she elaborated. She also underscored existing avenues of collaboration, such as internships and attachments, and encouraged student leaders to identify other areas of collaboration for the mutual benefit of all parties.

Ms. Christine Nderitu, a USIU-Africa alumni class of 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism addressed the role of the Clerk's Chambers and other administrative entities in supporting the National Assembly's mandate. Ms. Nderitu previously worked as a reporter for the Standard Group (KTN) before becoming the National Assembly's Principal Clerk Assistant. She emphasized how she applies the knowledge and expertise she gained at USIU-Africa and after graduation in her current role. The Clerk Chambers are focused on following aspects: legislation, supervision, and presentation. These characteristics allow them to manage information flow in a communication chain, analyze committee documents, and examine audited finances.

Furthermore, Dr. Donald Manyala, Principal Research Officer and USIU-Africa alumnus class of 2007, delivered a presentation on the role of Parliamentary Research Services in supporting the National Assembly's mandate. Mr. Edwin Gichane (alumnus class of 2020) and Ms. Elizabeth Kibati (alumnus class of 2010) also shared their thoughts on how all research officers should be assigned to one of the 44 committees that focus on various fields. The Parliamentary Research section assists these committees by preparing bills, motions, and statements for debate on the National Assembly's request. Dr. Manyala also mentioned that the department prepares committee reports with recommendations and indicates how funds are utilized. In accordance with the Kenya Constitution of 2010, the Research Department ensures public participation and stakeholder engagement in Parliamentary documentations by posting research documents on the Parliament's website and social media platforms, as well as participating in forums with citizens, the private sector, and academia.

Ms. Catherine Gathura, a USIU-Africa alumna of the class of 2023 with a Master of Arts degree in International Relations spoke about the essential role of Hansard and audio services in supporting the National Assembly's mandate, drawing on her experience as an editor in both the National Assembly and the Senate. As Hansard records all Parliamentary sessions, these services allow Members of both Houses to review their past statements on issues raised by their respective houses. Ms. Gathura further stated that Hansard accurately transcribes all recorded statements in Parliamentary duties to avoid indirect miscommunication between the Upper and Lower Houses.

Ms. Florence Chemutai, Senior Food and Beverage supervisor, and Mr. Robert Masongo (Alumnus class of 2018) outlined the Hospitality Service Unit's role in carrying out the National Assembly's mandate. Ms. Chemutai stressed the importance of offering exceptional hospitality, sufficient food, and water during Parliamentary functions so that the Legislature can perform efficiently and in a congenial environment. Finally, before the roundtable concluded, Mr. Jumanne Shangirai, the Principal Sergeant-at-Arms, led the participants on a tour of Parliamentary buildings.

The activity created opportunities for not only networking on professional matters but also demonstrated the quality service and experience of USIU-Africa alumni in Parliamentary staff. In conclusion, the USIU-Africa Alumni Relations Department empowers alumni to fuel innovation and opportunities for future graduates as the USIU-Africa community celebrates their excellence in the world.

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