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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 241
24th June - 28st June 2019

Editorial

Heavy is the head that wears the crown

Article 75 (1) (c) of the Constitution states, “A State officer shall behave, whether in public and official life, in private life, or in association with other persons, in a manner that avoids demeaning the office the officer holds.”

This is just one part of the Chapter on Leadership and Integrity that clearly spells out how a state officer should conduct him/herself, which sadly has been violated in recent and past times. We have been treated to the spectacle of MPs making derogatory, inciting and demeaning comments and even worse, facing allegations on their involvement in corruption. Which makes the xenophobic comments by Starehe MP Charles Njagua, appalling but not surprising. Mr Njagua, alias Jaguar, is not the first and certainly won’t be the last legislator to make headlines for the wrong reasons. Stemming from the fact that the office of an MP is yet to be given the respect it deserves.

Those caught in the wrong have enjoyed the privilege that comes with the political and social capital tied to their positions which has been used to shield them from the consequences of their misconduct. More effort should be put in bringing dignity and honor to the office of a legislator who is supposed to reflect the thoughts, attitudes and morals of the people he represents.

While Mr Njagua meant to protect his constituents’ interests, it was the manner in which he approached the matter that stirred up a storm. What is discouraging though is that our neighbours, perhaps to prove that the political class is cut from the same clothe, retaliated with equally xenophobic comments against Kenyans on the floor of the House. Leaders, regardless of country owe it to the people they represent to have sober-minded conversations through the right legislative and judicial channels as opposed to making comments that endanger specific groups and stir diplomatic tiffs. It does no one a favor to rile up citizens in fury that could lead to irreversible consequences.

News of the Week

Turf wars between Senate and National Assembly head to court

The Senate is expected to file an application at the High Court to challenge at least 18 Bills passed by National Assembly and assented to without their input among them the recent Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018. This current show of a supremacy battle between Senators and National Assembly will also be seeking an interpretation of the term “money bill” which has been largely misused by their National Assembly counterparts to lock them out.
The Senators will also seek a final determination of the procedure to be followed in respect of all the bills that are pending before Parliament to ensure compliance with Article 110 (3) of the Constitution.

                                                                                                     

Civil servants to retire by 60 on the new PSC (Amendment) Bill

Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Githaru has sponsored the Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that will see Civil Servants no longer allowed to hold office in an acting capacity for more than six months. This law seeks to end the tradition of keeping posts for long periods before substantive recruitment. If passed into law, the retirement age of 60 will become mandatory without exception, getting rid of the tradition of civil servants working beyond the age of 60 on the account of possessing rare knowledge, skills and competencies.                                                                                

PSC proposal on civil service raises concern with Senate

Senators are concerned on the new government policy to freeze permanent employment in the civil service claiming no consultation/public participation happened. PSC announced as part of reforms to reduce the wage bill, the gov't will hire civil servants on contract from July 2019. New civil service will sign 3-year contracts, renewable after a satisfactory performance while serving staff will sign performance contracts.
The Senate’s Labour Committee dismissed this proposal and warned on negative implications on productivity. The Labour Committee promised to invite the PSC to give an explanation on the process. The committee will engage the CoG, trade unions, PSC to ensure that it is implemented in the public’s interest.

Bill draws attention from the Attorney General

Majority Leader Aden Duale told his colleagues in the House that he had turned down a request by Attorney General Kihara Kariuki to defer the debate on the Law of Contract (Amendment) Bill 2019 and await further directions from the government. Duale did not disclose the reasons as to why the AG wanted the withdrawal of the Bill which will lay down rules for the signing of loan agreements. The Bill proposes that in case of a default by a principal borrower, the creditor should first auction the assets of the former before going for a guarantor's assets.

Quote of the Week

"When we came to this House, we took an oath of office which said we must defend and protect the Constitution as state officials. This is done by respecting the institutions created to protect the Constitution, which includes this House."

Quote by Hon Junet Mohamed sharing his sentiments during a discussion in National Assembly on the recently released Bunge Scorecard by Mzalendo on June 27th 2019.

Lest we forget

"We have seen that one of the roles of the Committee of experts is to make sure that we have civic education. One thing that I will urge this House is that when we get to the stage of civic education, Kenyans must be educated on the issues of having responsible leadership. We need to have responsible leaders. Kenyans must be reminded of their role in electing responsible leaders."

Sentiments by Cabinet Secretary Hon Mwangi Kiunjuri, while he was Assistant Minister for Water and Irrigation during a debate on a motion, tabled on the adoption of the report on nomination of Director/Members of Committee Experts on February 10th, 2009.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Starehe MP Charles Njagua made news over xenophobic comments against other East Africans and the Chinese in a bid to address the flooding of foreigners in the Nairobi business sector. The comments resulted in a diplomatic tiff with legislators from Tanzania countering with equally xenophobic comments against Kenyans in what seemed to be a case of "an eye for an eye". The MP cum artist was arrested and held for a few days before being released on a cash bail of Sh 500,000. 

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE CROPS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 25 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Tandaza Kassim Sawa
THE KENYA INSTITUTE OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 33 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Joyce Emanikor
THE ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY BILL
- NO. 34 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Millie Odhiambo Mabona
THE APPROPRIATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL 2019)
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Ichung'wah
THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 15 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon William Cheptumo
THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 20 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon Paul Koinange
THE PRESERVATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND ENFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 27 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon William Cheptumo
THE TEA BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 36 0F 2018
Sponsored by Hon Adan Ali Haji
THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF OLDER MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 17 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon Ali Wario
Second Reading
THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY BILL
- NO. 27 OF 2018
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale
THE LAW OF CONTRACT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 1 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Francis Waititu
THE APPROPRIATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL 2019)
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Ichung'wah
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
Presidential Reservations on the Insurance (Amendment) Bill
- NO. 21 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon Joseph Kirui Limo
Consideration of Senate amendments to the Public-Private Partnerships (Amendment) Bill
- NO. 52 OF 2017 
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale
The Kenya Accreditation Service Bill
- NO. 17 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale
THE APPROPRIATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL 2019)
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Ichung'wah

Bills before the Senate

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