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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 200
20 August - 26 August, 2018

Editorial

Politicians are exploiting religion, tribalism and poverty to frustrate the war on corruption; we need to wise up.

There’s an ongoing debate about whether we need new laws to give all a chance at the Kenyan dream or whether the laws we have are sufficient enough to level the playing field; in which case the blame shifts to those charged with the responsibility of implementing these laws.

Both arguments have pros and cons but on the matter of runaway corruption; those arguing for a new set of laws or a complete overhaul of the system are closer to solving the problem with corruption in Kenya than insisting we implement laws that can’t deal with an evolving society.

The thinking here is that Kenya, as a former British colony, was run as a company rather than a country and all the laws by extension were made to serve the interest of the colonialists and keep the indigenous people submissive. We simply inherited the entire system at independence, substituting the colonialists with the ruling class. This is supposed to explain why the police for instance always appear more, a negative force than a service, or why the politician is such a revered individual yet it doesn’t take any special skills or education to become one.

There have been many attempts by well-meaning Kenyans to change the system and the promulgation of the 2010 constitution 8years ago was the closest thing to overhauling the entire system. And while it was a step in the right direction; we are yet to realize the full benefits of the 2010 constitution. We still have a Kenya of the haves and have-nots and justice still appears elusive for the majority poor.

Consequently, the constitution may have streamlined our laws with the present realities such as having an entire chapter dedicated to integrity or an impressive bill of rights but majority Kenyans are still reeling from the psychological effects of the old constitution. This explains why the laws are unable to sufficiently deal with the corruption culture.

What’s even more disturbing is that although religion is expected to help address ills in society, it continues catering to the government by viewing any form of criticism against the government as rebellion – something synonymous with satan. It doesn’t matter the merits of the argument. Religion therefore becomes more an enabler of corruption in that sense.

Nothing proves that more than an election year. Leading politicians become suddenly religious, moving from one church to another donating huge sums of money that are not commensurate with their public salaries. In turn, the clergy tell their congregants that politician x and y was God’s choice and voting otherwise was going against God’s will. This has also been used to undermine any opportunity to scrutinize further a contentious poll. These religious leaders don’t question the source of the money they’re receiving either.

News of the Week

MPs divided over decision to stop new projects

Members of Parliament are divided over decision by President Uhuru to stop all new projects until old projects that have stalled are completed. Some MPs who are against the directive view the order by the President as a lost opportunity for job creation and State funding in their Constituencies. Those supporting the decision say it is an opportunity to revamp stalled projects in their constituencies.

Senate summons Kenha, NTSA over poor state of road

The Senate has summoned engineers from the Kenya National Highway Authorities (Kenha) and National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) over the accident that saw at least 10 pupils perish and scores others injured after a road accident. The Roads, Transport and Infrastructure committee wants to know why that section of the road is in such a poor state and particularly why guard rails were not put up on the river bridge where the school bus plunged. The committee Chair, Sen. Kimani Wamatangi was disturbed there are no guard rails three weeks after the accident. He says they will also scrutinize the contract to see if there’s any malpractice.

MPs unhappy with opinion poll on corrupt leaders

MPs allied to the Deputy President, William Ruto are unhappy with an opinion poll carried out by Ipsos Synovate terming it erroneous. The MPs Martha Wangare (Gilgil), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East and Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North) want the Ipsos to reveal their source of funding. They said politics played a role and that it was not wise to carry out an opinion poll based on speculations. The survey revealed that Kenyans (33%) viewed the DP as the most corrupt of all political leaders both current and past, but still living. Others also ranked include: President Uhuru (11%), former Presidents, Moi (17%), Kibaki (5%), former PM, Raila Odinga (5%), former VP, Kalonzo Musyoka (1%) among others. Also highly ranked as corrupt was the Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru (31%).

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Quote of the Week

"The right to a fair trial of any citizen is basic...there's also an issue of decorum...we're dealing with a person who is the next in command of the entire judicial system and therefore, i want to urge that giving this matter time is not an act of indecision...but a recognition of the critical importance of the whole issue."

Quote by the former Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka, when he appeared as lawyer for the Deputy Chief Justice, Philomena Mwilu in court on August 29, 2018

Lest we forget

"... I am worried as a lady leader because we have seen in this country discrimination against women.When Nancy Barasa had an issue with a lady security officer, what happened? She was sent home. Yes, it is true. Dr. Evans Kidero is still seated in his office after slapping a woman leader of this country."

Sentiments by Hon. Peris Tobiko when debating the motion on adoption of report on irregular appointments on October 31, 2013.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Ford Kenya leader, Moses Wetangula made headlines this week after he claimed he was the target of a gun shoot out that left three policemen, three MP bodyguards and Kapomboi MCA, Ben Wanjala with bullet injuries. The MCA also supported the claims saying the bullet which shot him was meant for Wetangula and that he (Wetangula) only missed it by a whisker. The shooting happened in Trans Nzoia at the burial of Likuyani MP’s driver who was gunned down by armed gangsters.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading
THE WAREHOUSE RECEIPT SYSTEM BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE FINANCE BILL 
- NO. 20 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Finance and National Planning Hon. Joseph Limo
THE URBAN AREAS AND CITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 04 OF 2017
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 CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) (NO.2) BILL
- NO. 05 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon. Chris Wamalwa
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill
- NO. 12 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

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