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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 101
12 - 18 September, 2016

Editorial

New laws will test the strength of our democracy

The 2017 general elections is already taking shape with politicians taking advantage of every opportunity where Kenyans gather to popularize themselves. It doesn’t matter if it is a burial, the dead can wait as they whip the emotions of the living. But the 2017 poll will be different because of the many laws that are expected to shape its course.

Since we shifted to multiparty politics in 1992, general elections have been characterized by rigging claims and complaints about its undemocratic nature. This gave impetus to what had already begun as the second liberation; a need to truly free the country from the anti-democracy forces. This fight has been bloody and many died in the fight for second liberation and others like Matiba ended up paralyzed.

Until recently the need to ensure absolute democracy was largely about individuals but the passage of important laws such as the Election Laws (Amendment laws) and the Election Offences Act that have shifted the weight from key political figures to institutions. With these laws Kenyans through the institutions mandated to implement them can demand for real democracy. The test nonetheless lies in the ability to implement these laws.

If the launch of the Jubilee party has proven anything, it is that political parties have a war chest of money to succeed in the coming elections, and it is almost certain that CORD or a new opposition coalition will respond in kind. This effectively puts on spot Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) assertion that they will cap the spending for aspirants and political parties. This was to ensure fairness among political aspirants and political parties. It’s still not clear how they intend to achieve this mammoth task.

Additionally the passing of the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 removes the requirement that IEBC commissioners must be Kenyans. That is, foreigners can be appointed to the electoral commission. This is supposed to restore confidence in a section of the electorate that feels nationals are likely to be compromised. If indeed the team that will conduct recruitment goes for this option then 2017 poll will be the first of its kind.

News of the Week

Uhuru signs the much anticipated Bill on Electoral reform processes

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law The Election Laws (Amendment) and the Election Offenses bills. The two Acts not only set the stage for the exit of the current Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners but also introduce a range of electoral reforms.

Before the Presidential assent to the two laws, there was general concern the delayed recruitment of the IEBC commissioners means the current officials cannot leave the office by the September 30th deadline. However, now Kenyans can rest easy and hope that the August 2017 elections will remain on course.

 

Senate unanimously rejects impeachment motion against Nyeri Governor

Embattled Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua is in office after an attempt to impeach him by the County Assembly flopped. Nyeri MCAs had passed a resolution to have him leave office 10 months to the general elections citing violation of the Constitution, failure to follow the laid down law and abuse of office. Senators dismissed all the charges against the governor after hearing his defense as well as weighing the issues brought before the house. Other governors who have also survived impeachment include Mwangi wa Iria of Murang’a County; Martin Wambora of Embu County; Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni County and Paul Chepkwony of Kericho County.
 

Mutahi Ngunyi to return excess paid by NYS and accrued interest-MPs

National Assembly Public Accounts Committee has directed Public Service and Youth Affairs Ministry to ensure that Political Analyst Mutahi Ngunyi refunds KES 12.5 million that was paid to his firm Consulting House irregularly, plus interest accrued over the period. This directive comes following revelations by the Permanent Secretary ministry of Public Service that Mutahi Ngunyi had not yet refunded the amount despite his public declaration that he will do so promptly.
 

Witness Protection Bill to aid in fight against corruption

The fight against corruption might get a boost if the Witness Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is passed into law.  The Bill in its third reading introduces a new raft of security measures to ensure witnesses are given proper safety despite the status and influence of the accused. One of the key proposals the Bill makes is that a person admitted into the programme remain protected for as long as the danger or risk to their safety exists. Presently, protection mostly ends after conclusion of cases.
 

National Assembly on Recess


Members of Parliament are on a month long break that begun on Monday 5th September

Quote of the Week

"As you may agree with me, the product is as good as the process. We have been there before where political parties have nominated individuals to sit in the electoral commissions. If you remember the 2007 elections, that was the point. If you remember again the 2013 elections, that is what happened. So, these proposals are as a result of back pedaling. We are going back to the old order instead of moving forward with the new Constitution."

Sentiments by Hon. Isaac Mwaura while contributing to the debate on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill on July 21, 2016

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"The EU happens to be our biggest trading partner…So, it is very important that every forum that gives us an opportunity to address some of our predicaments as trading partners with EU from a position of weakness, which is a reality, should be taken seriously. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with our limited resources, more often than not, our delegations to the EPAs negotiations with the EU are extremely small... As a result, we always come out of these negotiations completely defeated and all our issues are hardly looked at and, at the end of the day, the EPAs favour the EU."

Sentiments by fomer Gwassi MP Zaddock Madiri Syong'oh  when contributing to the Motion on Adoption of the Fourth ACP and 11th ACP-EU Assembly Reports on
 April 10, 2007.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

The National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale made headlines after his constituency Garissa Town was voted best among the country’s 290 constituencies in management of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) the last three years.

Other MPs who also posted better results include: Hon. Simiyu Eseli (Tongaren); Kabando wa Kabando (Mukurweini); Joyce Laboso (Sotik); William Kisang (Marakwet West); James Lomenen (Turkana South); George Omondi (Alego Usonga); Stephen Karani (Laikipia West); Francis Chachu (North Horr) and  Suleiman Ramadhan (Msambweni) ranked in that order.

Parameters used included consideration of the financial service delivery, operational, dynamic and non-financial indicators. Evaluators were drawn from the CDF board and State Department of Planning and Statistics in the Devolution ministry.

Hon. Duale however attributed the success to the management of the CDF committee members who manage his constituency’s NGCDF.

... PROFILE

Public Participation

Invitation by the National Assembly's Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to interested members of public and organizations to submit any representation on Institute of Directors of Kenya Bill, 2016.

The submissions may be forwarded to The Clerk of the National Assembly,
P.O.BOX 41842-00100 Nairobi; h
and-delivered to the Office of the Clerk, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or 
emailed to clerk@parliament.go.ke to be received on or before Tuesday,27th September 2016 at 5:00pm

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