Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 7, 3 - 9  November 2014
News of the Week:
  • The National Assembly wants the government to set standards to help devolved units implement water projects. The committee on Environment and Natural Resources says a lack of clarity on the management of water resources between the national and county governments in the Water Bill, 2014 needs to be addressed. The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution places the responsibility of protection of environment and natural resources on the national government. However, the same schedule of the places the responsibility of implementing specific national policies such as soil and water conservation, county public works and services like storm water management systems in built-up areas and water and sanitation on the county governments. The MPs recommended that the regulatory function in the water sector remain with a national regulatory body.
  • Eldas MP Adan Keynan plans to introduce an amendment to the standing orders and repeal the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act to ensure cabinet secretaries honor their summons. His decision is informed from the failed attempt to have Cabinet Secretaries appear before a special committee on general oversight. Kenyan plans to introduce the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill 2014, to repeal the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act. His bill seeks to enforce Article 125 of the constitution. The Article stipulates that either House of Parliament or any of its committees has power to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information. Though the committees have been invoking the provision, they don’t have powers to enforce it. President Uhuru has expressed his displeasure at having his CSs appear before MPs.
  • Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has faced the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Committee on Lands to explain details of the disputed Sh8 billion Karen land. Ngilu has twice snubbed invitations by the committee to give records of the 134 acres at the centre of ownership dispute between city businessmen Da Gama Rose and Jos Konzolo. Da Gama Rose through his company, Muchanga Investments, has since moved to court after the land was allegedly grabbed and subdivided to private developers. Last week, the National Lands Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri told the committee that the land is owned by Da Gama Rose through Muchanga Investments.

Newsmaker this week:

Lugari MP Ayub Savula vowed to move to court to block the national government from importing sugar. The legislator said importation of the commodity may cripple the local sugar industry as the country currently has enough stock. He has faulted the move by the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Felix Koskei to allow importation of cheap sugar from countries that are not members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa). Savula noted that most millers in the country have enough stock in their stores to sustain the country until they resume normal operations, and wondered why the Government was rushing to allow importation of the commodity. Profile

Public Participation Opportunities:

The public have until 4th of November to present their views on the legal regime on In vitro fertilization should entail. The In Vitro Fertilisation Bill, 2014 drafted by Mbita MP Hon. Millie Odhiambo is an attempt to address concerns about infertility in society where it is argued that many women of reproductive age in Kenya suffer from infertility, hence their only chance to conceive would be through in vitro fertilisation (test-tube babies). Public's views can be sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Editorial: CDF must be planned and utilized prudently

CDF is critical to poverty alleviation and economic development. It is another form of decentralized power and functions, apart from devolution, whose funds should be directed at ensuring the lives of Kenyans, are better. What happens in the CDF planning stage matters. The planning must be as transparent as possible and include people’s input right from the committee selection through to the projects management. Read More

Quote of the Week

Hon. Kajwang' Tom Joseph Francis “My reading of “public participation” is in Article 118 of the Constitution, which says that Parliament shall conduct its business in an open manner; that Parliament shall facilitate public participation, and that you must not exclude the public. So, the question here would be: “What was the tool that you used to ensure that there was public participation?” The Constitution does not say that you must publish these things in newspapers. So, the issue is what tool you used for public participation.” The comments were made in the National Assembly on 5th February 2013. Read Hansard

Lest we Forget!
Comment on the Audit Report of CDF by NTA on 1st of July 2010. 

“I have no quarrels with Kenyans or groups of Kenyans who would want to independently audit the activities of the CDF. However, some of the comments from this particular body mentioned that there was re-allocation of funds which they falsely reported as having been misappropriated according to the rejoinder from the CDF Board. I am concerned and I do not know how the Minister will address this, because almost all our constituencies apply for re-allocation for funds from one project to another. If these reallocations will be highlighted by bodies that, probably, the Ministry has no control over, as embezzlement of funds, then I think majority of us will be painted in bad light before the public. How will he address this issue, given the fact that he has expressed his fears that he may not be in control over some of these organizations?” Hon John Mbadi.  Read Hansard

Call to vote for Mzalendo's MAVC idea

Mzalendo submitted a proposed to Making All Voices Count (MAVC) dubbed 'Raising MPs Responsiveness in CDF Implementation'. Mzalendo would like to pilot a fix-my-constituency portal in one constituency to map Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects and provide for an open accountability process. Our MAVC idea was among the 241 ideas shortlisted for the public voting stage. We are currently at position 85 and need to move to the top 50 list. Kindly vote for our idea and share to with your community. 

Upcoming Bills in the Senate

Bill before Committee of the Whole 

THE NATIONAL HONOURS (AMENDMENT) BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 16 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Amos Wako

Bills up for Second Reading

THE GOVERNMENT PROCEEDINGS (AMENDMENT) BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 10 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr


THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (NO. 2) BILL 2013, (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 33 OF 2013) is sponsored by Sen. Kithure Kindiki

THE NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE (AMENDMENT) BILL, (SENATE BILLS NO. 26 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Beatrice Elachi

THE COUNTY ASSEMBLIES SERVICES BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 27 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Amos Wako

THE PUBLIC FUNDRAISING BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 28 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Anyang' Nyong'o  

THE NATIONAL POLICE SERVICE (AMENDMENT) BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 29 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. John Lonyangapuo

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