Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 1, 22 - 28 September 2014
News of the Week
  • Senator Muriuki Karue has published the County Industrial Development Bill, 20140 which will create County Industrial Development Boards in all counties whose main aim is to guide the devolved governments in establishing manufacturing units. This Bill is likely to further the supremacy clash between Senators and Governors.
  • Public participation: The Senate is seeking views through written memoranda on the Amendment to the National Youth Service and Persons with Disabilities Bills. This was published in all leading newspapers. The memoranda should be sent to the Clerk of the Senate. The deadline to receive them is Friday, September 26th at 3pm.
  • The Parliamentary Budget Office wants the government to find innovative ways of raising capital to finance the much-needed infrastructure upgrade and other development projects, avoiding putting the country in huge debts. The MPs have also requested that the government reduces its domestic borrowing to trigger a drop in interest rates. The country’s debt portfolio has been increasing reaching 51.1 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product to Sh2.1 trillion in March. Out of this, 42 per cent is external debt and 57.9 per cent is domestic debt. They recommended the use a mix of alternative forms of financing such as public-private partnerships, annuity concessions and project bonds as alternative to traditional debts.

Newsmaker this week
Bureti MP Leonard Sang intends to petition Government through a motion that will oblige it to fund the treatment of serious diseases. The serious diseases he wants funded include cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Profile

Editorial: Powers and Privileges Bill 2014 Unsound
The proposed Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill (2014) published by Hon. Adan Keynan is wanting. Sections of the Bill will water down the gains in the constitution and also restrict access to information. These sections are not only in contradiction to the constitution but also various sections of the law. Read more

Quote of the Week
“The candidate was very clear and forthright; it was put by our Members that we did not want to see a continuance of the blame game that we have seen in the past within the intelligence and security sector. It was important for the candidate to outline to us, which he did in a clear and forthright manner, his intentions and plans in order to ensure that the blame game that we have witnessed in the past will not be witnessed again in the future” – Hon. James Ndungu Gethenji, when tabling the report on the adoption of nominee for the position of Director General of the National Intelligence Service, Major General Philip Kameru Waweru on September 10th 2014. Read Hansard

Lest we Forget!
Allegations against Equity Bank: Members should not use Parliamentary Privilege to Malign Individuals/Institutions
On 10th July, 2007, the Assistant Minister for East African Community, Dr. Boni Khalwale, made serious allegations against the integrity of Equity bank while contributing to the Vote of the Ministry of State for Administration and National Security and tabled a letter addressed to the Minister for Finance to prove his claim. He went ahead to table the necessary documents and received support from some members. On September 5th 2007, Deputy Speaker Hon. Farah Maalim ruled on the matter calling on members not to abuse their privilege powers. He stated “…Members should not use the privilege granted to them to malign or make allegations that, for all intents and purposes, are clearly intended to injure the character of individuals or institutions that may not have access to the Floor of this House. Hon. Members, may I point out that the privilege granted under the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, Cap.7 of the Laws of Kenya is not absolute, but must be exercised with the responsibility and dignity worth the institution of Parliament…” Read more

Events this week
Sunday, 28th of September 2014, will be Freedom of Information Day. It is a day for Kenyans to reflect on freedom of expression and access to information.

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