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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 228
17th March  - 22nd March 2019

Editorial

Address loopholes to solve the food crisis

Images of dry skin hanging on to the protruding bone structure of those on the brink of death by starvation are not about to let the conversation on the food crisis die down. The same images that caused an uproar are what must’ve driven the government to deny any occurrence of death related starvation while trying to save face over their failure to act on warnings given before.

This has however been contradicted by several media reports and officials on-ground confirming that by 13th March, there were approximately 5 people who died in Turkana. It sure takes a brave man to admit his mistakes and forge ahead with lessons, but Kenya battles with a goldfish memory that sees us handling one crisis to the next with zero preparation as is the case with the droughts and floods.

This conversation was taken to the floor of the Senate where Nominated Senator Abshiro Halake termed the failure of our leaders to provide and protect their citizens, a crime against humanity. More Senators acknowledged the food crisis and blamed the county governments for inadequate planning to avert the food shortage. Almost in unison, they wanted those responsible for allowing this crisis to happen brought to book.

But who’s really at fault? The National Government has sustained significant punches in the wave of criticism, with stakeholders and Kenyans generally questioning their slow response rate and the inability of government agencies to provide efficient channels that’ll swiftly move food from regions with an excess to those without.

News of the Week

Short  recess date pushed for MPs to vet IG nominee

MPs delay their short recess slated for the end of March to vet Mr Hilary Mutyambai whose name was submitted to the parliament by President Uhuru Kenyatta to be considered as the next Inspector General of Police following the end of Joseph Boinnet's four-year term. If the Parliament fails to approve or reject the nominee within the required timelines, the Public Appointment Act presupposes that the nominee will be deemed to have been recommended for appointment.
                                                                                                     

Government clashes with local leaders over deaths caused by the food crisis

Local leaders in hunger-stricken counties contradict National Government claims that there have been no deaths borne out of the food crisis. Silale Ward Representative Nelson Lotela claimed to have 17 names of those who died of hunger in Baringo County. Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa said the government released KSh 2 Billion to cushion Kenyans against the dry spell attributed to the unreliable rains. 

Governors back Raila's three-tier government plan

Governors have endorsed a proposal to involve a third-level of Government (Regional Government) on top of the already existing National and County Governments. Through the Council of Governors Chair, Wycliffe Oparanya, they said that this form of government first proposed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga would strengthen devolution. He also denied allegations that governors serving a second are looking a soft landing spot come 2022.

Quote of the Week

"This is not really a food crisis or a drought crisis. It is a leadership crisis. And in fact I think Madam Speaker this leadership crisis borders on crimes against humanity... We as leadership have failed our countrymen and women.

Quote by Senator Abshiro Halake while supporting Senator Wetangula's sentiments on the food crisis in the Senate House on March 19th, 2019.

Lest we forget

"So, if we could prioritize the use of resources that have already been allocated to the Ministries, we could be addressing some of those problems even as we vote for 30 per cent of the Budget to that Ministry. We need, therefore, to ask questions about what priorities are being put in place to address the specific problems facing the people who are living in ASALs with the resources that have already been voted in specific Ministries."

Sentiments by Former Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Valerian Kilemi Mwiria while contributing to the motion of Enhancing of Budgetary Allocation to Northern Kenya on August 12, 2009.
 

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

On a TV Interview, Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa denied there being proof of deaths by starvation and insisted that Kenya is food secure with enough in the reserves. His claims have however been contradicted by local leaders on-ground and several news reports that have confirmed deaths in the affected counties with Baringo and Turkana counties being most affected. He called on the county governments to beat hunger in their own capacity and issued a stern warning to anyone found guilty in the drought mitigation process. 

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS MARKETING BOARD BILL​
- NO. 02 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Bashir Abdullaih
THE INDUSTRIAL TRAINING (AMENDMENT) BILL ​
- NO. 04 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon. Jude Njomo
THE NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL (AMENDMENT) BILL ​
- NO. 08 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon. Gideon Keter
THE HIGHER EDUCATION LOANS BOARD (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 09 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Ruweida Mohamed Obo
Second Reading
​THE DIVISION OF REVENUE BILL ​
- NO. 11 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Inchung'wah
THE COUNTY STATISTICS BILL
- NO. 9 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon. Joseph Kirui Limo 
THE SALARIES AND REMUNERATION COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) BILL ​
- NO. 12 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon Joseph Kirui Limo
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The County Governments (Amendment)(No.2) Bill ​
- NO. 7 OF 2017
Sponsored by Administration & National Security Committee Chairperson Hon Paul Koinange
The Division of Revenue Bill
- NO. 11 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Inchung'wah

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE COUNTY HALL OF FAME BILL
- NO. 39 OF 2018
Sponsored by Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen
Second Reading
THE NATURAL RESOURCES (BENEFIT SHARING) BILL
- NO. 31 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani 
THE TEA BILL (SENATE BILLS)
- NO. 36 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
THE MENTAL HEALTH (AMENDMENT) BILL ​
- NO. 32 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Arch Sylvia Kasanga
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL ​
- NO. 33 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Ledama Olekina
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE OF THE COUNTY GOVERNOR BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 01 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Kimani Wamatangi

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