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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 205
24 September - 30 September, 2018

Editorial

The President and MPs all claim to care for Wanjiku, but how sincere is the Executive and Legislature?

President Uhuru Kenyatta had termed the decision by MPs to suspend the implementation of the 16% VAT on petroleum products as “good politics, but bad leadership” he went on to say that the MPs had chosen an easier path, and to that end he was probably right. But did he also choose an easier one?

The MPs indeed chose an easier path when they postponed the 16% VAT without considering how the government was expected to meet the revenue gap created as a result. In fact, even with the enactment of the Finance Bill 2018 into law there’s still a gap of about Sh17 billion after the president attempted to appease the public by slashing the VAT on petroleum products from the 16 to 8%.

And while the president struggled to assure the public their taxes will be used prudently following the many corruption scandals that have seen tax payers lose billions of shillings; the devil as we all know are in the details. There’s a need to scrutinize the budget closely and see what exactly we’re funding.

For instance, this financial year, the government is planning to spend the equivalent of 15.9 percent of our GDP (Sh1.55 trillion) on recurrent expenditure. Meanwhile, the development expenditure is projected to cost Sh625.1 billion (equivalent to 6.4 percent of our GDP).

It’s worth noting that our appetite for debt also ensures an increased recurrent expenditure because of the interest payments factored under recurrent. However, a bloated wage bill remains the big elephant in the room, but first things first.

To begin with, the President whether out of political shrewdness or outright disregard for the wage bill crisis, created new offices that appeared as an attempt at bringing back the Assistant Minister positions through the back door. He said these positions – Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS), would help the Cabinet Secretaries better coordinate the affairs of their respective ministries. Needless to mention the position comes with office staff and all the perks enjoyed by an officer at that level.

The President made that announcement in January with the full understanding of the wage bill crisis. In fact, at the height of campaigns last year, the President supported the proposal by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to reduce the pay for State officers and get rid of a range of allowances. He was quoted saying, “The days of wasteful allowances and peculiar but inexplicable payments are behind us. Better and more prosperous days lie ahead,”

Yet here we are with a more bloated Executive than we had in President Uhuru’s first term and Legislature that’s fighting the SRC on the same implementations which brings into question their sincerity on reducing Wanjiku’s tax burden.

News of the Week

High Court hears case on Tax law

The High Court is hearing the case challenging the implementation of the Finance Act, 2018 filed by Activist Okiya Omtatah. The Activist sued the Attorney General and the National Assembly over the procedure followed in which the Bill was deemed to pass and signed into law.

Privileges Committee summons MPs to shed light on the sugar report saga

The National Assembly Powers & Privileges Committee has summoned MPs Rehab Mukami (Nyeri), David Gikaria (Nakuru East), Joseph Tonui (Kuresoi South) , and Fatma Gedi (Wajir) over the bribery allegations that led to the shooting down of the report on contraband sugar in Parliament a few weeks ago. 

Senators warn slashing of county funds through the National Assembly illegal

Senators have termed illegal, the decision by government to slash Sh.9 billion from the counties kitty without consultation. The Senators warned reductions can't be done through National Assembly or Supplementary Financial Estimates as was the case when Finance Bill, 2018 was passed.

Narok leaders tell DP to stop misleading the families in the MAU forest

Deputy President William Ruto has come under fierce attack from political leaders in Narok county who accuse him of misleading the families resettled at the MAU Forest. The leaders, Ledama Ole Kina (Narok Senator) and Moitalel Ole Kenta (Narok North MP) maintain people must come out of the forest. The DP condemned the Narok clashes and asked that the two communities co-exist. Similar sentiments were shared by the Kericho Senator who also asked leaders to intervene. Narok Governor, Samuel Ole Tunai also held meetings with sections of leaders to propose a way forward.

Traffic Act gets green light

Starting next month, traffic offenders will pay their fines instantly after the court gave a verdict paving way for the implementation of the Traffic Act that was temporarily suspended in 2016. This will prevent time wastage on the part of the offender, police and courts.

Kiambu Woman Rep wants the Governor compelled to reveal details of land lease with Del Monte

Kiambu Woman Rep, Gathoni wa Muchomba has filed a complaint with the National Land Commission in order to to get Kiambu Governor, Ferdinand Waititu reveal details of a deal that saw the county government renew land lease for Del Monte for the next 99 years after the company allegedly ceded 635 acres.

Quote of the Week

"I was almost kicked off the medical commission for fighting against agents who wanted to force our athletes to dope. We later pushed to change Kenya athletes status from amateur to professional in order to stop them being exploited."

Quote by Hon. (Prof.) Sam Ongeri while contributing to the motion commending Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the world marathon record on September 26, 2018

Lest we forget

"In the last three years, it is so surprising that about 40 of our athletes have been banned for doping. It is very embarrassing."

Sentiments by Hon. Judah Ole Metito when debating the Anti-Doping Bill on April 12, 2016.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Deputy President, William Ruto made headlines this week after he sensetionally claimed that opposition and NASA leader Raila Odinga, is using the 'handshake' to remove him from his Jubilee party. The Deputy President was elected on the party ticket as the deputy to President Uhuru Kenyatta. However, since March 9th when the President and opposition leader shook hands as a sign to give peace a chance, the section of the party affiliated to the DP has been uneasy. In a public gathering the DP explained how he was removed from ODM comparing his woes to that of the current Coast MPs who have since been labelled as rebels for what their party says is acting contrary to the party. He alleged that the former Prime Minister was using the building bridges alliance to sideline him and eject him from his party. MPs in ODM have since rubbished the claims saying the DP wants to use their party leader as an excuse to leave his party.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
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 Limo Kirui
THE INSURANCE (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning Hon. Joseph Limo Kirui
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 11 OF 2017 (SENATE  BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL
- NO. 26 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Education, Sen. Christopher Andrew Langat
THE COUNTY COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT BILL 
- NO. 25 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. George Khaniri
THE PRESERVATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND ENFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS BILL
- NO. 27 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Abshiro Halake
Second Reading
THE PETROLEUM BILL
- NO. 48 OF 2017 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BILL
- NO. 22 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Judith Pareno
THE PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 52 OF 2017 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE COUNTY PLANNING (ROADS, PAVEMENTS AND PARKING BAYS) BILL
- NO. 18 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Ledama Olekina
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, Legal Affairs and Human Rights Sen. Samson Cherarkey
THE DATA PROTECTION BILL 
- NO. 16 OF 2018
Sponsored by Chairperson, Standing Committee on Information and Technology Sen. Gideon Moi
THE COUNTY STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS BILL
- NO. 21 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Samuel Phogisio
THE COUNTY OUTDOOR ADVERTISING CONTROL BILL
- NO. 19 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Samuel Phogisio

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