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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 206
01 October - 7 October, 2018

Editorial

Affirmative action; balanced representation or advancing interest of the marginalized?

Politics and politicians in Kenya are the unwanted gifts that keep on giving. We hadn’t even mulled over that chaotic impeachment of the Nairobi County Speaker or that strange condition that requires she travels first class, and now MCA Mary Njambi decided it was time Nairobians realized they’re paying for someone who never wanted the job, let alone knowing her job description.

What was more disturbing about this disclosure was the nonchalant manner in which the Nairobi city MCA narrated her initial lack of enthusiasm in the job and the appointing authority’s insistence that she was the person for the job.

In light of this revelation, is it therefore far-fetched, to imagine the unnamed appointing authority; who must be acting on behalf of the party was equally clueless about the functions of an MCA – a nominated MCA for that matter?

It’s not hard to imagine majority Kenyans don’t know the functions of their elected leaders. I mean, the fact that we vote in the same individuals and spend an entire election cycle complaining, confirms we don’t get what elective leaders are supposed to be doing; otherwise we would vote differently.

However, it is one thing for sections of the society to not know the functions of say, an MCA, and it’s totally another for an MCA to admit ignorance of the role for which she holds.

Considering the government is telling the overburdened tax payers to tighten their belts further as it tries to navigate out of this economic crisis, isn’t it about time we had the uncomfortable discussion on the role of nominated leaders; especially now that we’re paying heavily for some of them who are not only ignorant of their role but also never wanted the job to begin with?

The reasoning behind this premise is that, elected leaders (Senators, MPs and MCAs) all somewhat knew what the electorate wanted and managed to convince their constituents enough to get voted. To that end therefore, we can argue the elected MPs know their JD; whether they deliver is a story for another day.

Nominated Members of Parliament and County Assemblies on the other hand are individuals who may (as in the case of MCA Njambi) be disinterested in the job they’re being offered or are not driven by the same passion as their elected colleagues because they lack a constituency they really care for and understand.

It’s therefore important to debate the role and indeed relevance of these special seats especially when we can’t quantify the return on investment.

News of the Week

Former Head of Public Service puts retired President Kibaki right in the middle of a scholarship scandal

MPs in the Public Accounts Committee heard that retired President Mwai Kiabaki used his position to award government scholarships irregularly. While addressing the watchdog committee, former Head of Public Service, Francis Muthaura told the MPs that the former President directed him to liaise with the ministry of education to give scholarships to the children of his (the President’s) nephew. The government therefore paid Sh25million to educate the two relatives of retired President Kibaki. The committee wanted to know among other things why the two couldn’t study locally. The two siblings are reported to have overstayed their studies by more than 2years. The scholarships were awarded in 2011

Senate spends 32 million in first sitting outside Nairobi; Speaker says Kenyans got value for the money

The Senate spent a whooping Sh32 million in their first ever sitting outside Nairobi but the Senate Speaker says Kenyans got value for the money. The expenses including air travel for the 67 Senators, their accommodation at top hotels and renovation of the Uasin Gishu County Assembly where they held their plenary has been defended by the Senate Clerk as prudent, arguing they’d have spent more if the session was in Nairobi because 10 committees managed to carry out public hearings. Consequently, Governors who would’ve traveled to Nairobi to appear before the Public Accounts Committee met the Senators there. The Governors: Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo) and John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot) were responding to queries raised by the Auditor General concerning the financial year 2014/15.

Former MPs weigh in on the Murang'a County Water debacle

Three former MPs from Murang'a County added their voice to the ongoing debate on the Murang'a water crisis. The former MPs Humphrey Njuguna (Gatanga),Elias Mbau (Marugua) and Joshua Toro (Kandara) together with the Murang'a Senator want a 25 per cent levy imposed on Nairobi residents for sourcing water from their county. This boosts the County Governor's position who is in a war of words with the Nairobi Governor over the same. The county leaders say the water channeled to Nairobi and does not benefit the locals. The former lawmakers were nonetheless were against the manner in which the Governor is planning to impose the levy.

Quote of the Week

"We have a new Constitution but that new Constitution like all Constitutions all over the world, requires to be looked at after eight years of its implementation, so that we can preserve what's working and correct what's not working for our people."

Quote by NASA coalition leader and former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga on October 5, 2018

Lest we forget

"I would like him to clarify the following issues:- (a) What the Government is doing to avert a repeat of the 2005 Referendum when our Cabinet was split right in the middle leading to the violent Referendum of 2005 that many people think was a precursor to the bloody post-election violence of 2008..."

Sentiments by former Kakamega Senator Hon. Bonny Khalwale when seeking a ministerial statement from the Prime Minister in the 10th Parliament concerning the plight of the impending referendum on the new constitution on April 8, 2010.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Narok Senator, Ledama Olekina made headlines this week after political leaders from Bomet including the Senator, Woman Rep, and MPs from Belgut, Kipkelion West, Bomet Central, Chepalungu, Bomet East all called for his arrest over his remarks on the MAU evictions. The vocal Senator was reportedly interrogated for 2hours by the Narok Security Committee Chairman and the County Police Commander over incitement allegations over his public comments that allegedly incited the Maasai against the Kipsigis. The first time Senator has since denied the allegations terming them the work of his detractors who want to distract the people’s attention from the real issue; which is eviction of people from the Mau forest.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
SUPPLEMENTARY APPROPRIATION (NO.2) BILL
- NO. 23 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriation Comm Hon.Anthony Kimani Ichungwa
Second Reading
THE URBAN AREAS AND CITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 04 OF 2017 (SENATE BILL)
 
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE WAREHOUSE RECEIPT SYSTEM BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2017 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE HEALTH LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 14 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE CAPITAL MARKETS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 19 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning Hon. Joseph Kirui Limo
THE INSURANCE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 21 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning Hon. Joseph Kirui Limo
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 11 OF 2017 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE PARLIAMENTARY SERVICE COMMISSION BILL
- NO. 06 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
Second Reading
THE PETROLEUM BILL
- NO. 48 OF 2017 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE LOCAL CONTENT BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Gideon Moi
THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE BILL
- NO. 15 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. William Kipkorir
THE DATA PROTECTION BILL
- NO. 16 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Information, Communication and Technology Sen. Gideon Moi
THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF OLDER MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BILL
- NO. 17 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE FOOD SECURITY BILL
- NO. 12 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY PRINTER BILL
- NO. 07 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Petronila Were Lokorio
THE DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT BILL
- NO. 08 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Sen. Johnson Sakaja
THE COUNTY BOUNDARIES BILL
- NO. 06 OF 2017
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr
THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BILL
- NO. 22 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Judith Pareno

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