Members of Parliament wishing to travel abroad can now put a smile on their faces after National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai asked the Immigration department to allow them travel outside the country without seeking the 'required' approvals.
Sialai wrote a letter to the Director for Immigration Services, Major- General (Rtd) Gordon Kihalangwa and copied it to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and the 349 MPs notifying them that MPs will not be required to seek clearance when traveling outside for any duty, whether private or official.
Sialai said that only parliament employees working under him will need to seek authorization before traveling abroad.
“Our attention has been drawn to concerns by members of the National Assembly that in some instances, they have been asked to produce travel clearance at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while traveling outside the country,” Mr Sialai told Mr Kihalangwa in the letter dated September 27, 2017.
He added; “This is therefore to request you to bring this information to the attention of the officers working in your office and in various border points and to advise them that no Member of Parliament should be required to produce any approval to travel outside the country.”
The good news come amid lamentations by a section of MPs, who had experienced problems in traveling outside the country having been blocked from for lack of “the required authorization” from state house.
In the letter, Sialai told the immigration department that National Assembly is an independent body of the State, therefore, they have no authority to bar its members from traveling.
Other state organs include the executive headed by the president and the Judiciary under the Chief Justice.
Only the speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly have the authority to restrict MPs from traveling abroad.
Last month, Head of Public Service Staff Joseph Kinyua ordered that all state officers must seek approval from his office before going abroad. This included CSs, PSs, head of parastatal among others.