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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 162
20 November - 26 November, 2017

Editorial

How to heal our nation; lessons from Zimbabwe!

The world’s most quoted (unfairly mostly) and oldest president resigned this week-under duress. Robert Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years finally called it quits.

The end of Mugabe regime is also interesting because it is the first ever “bloodless coup” in a continent where people die over “democratic elections”.

The situation in Zimbabwe is a stuck contrast from what we’re witnessing here at home.

Women MPs from the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition now claim 54 people have been killed since last Friday –  17th November – and are putting the blame squarely on the Jubilee government. The government on the other hand will hear none of it and are promising to deal with those causing chaos accordingly.

That Mugabe was president long enough for a child to become a professor one would expect that Zimbabweans would go ballistic once the chance to overthrow Mugabe became apparent but no, everything was so civil it was unbelievable it’s an African country.

I dread to imagine if that was Kenya. There are those who argue Zimbabwe is where Kenya was in 2002. There are a thousand reasons why we can’t compare those two events but I digress.

The events in Zimbabwe are therefore important because a despot was convinced to leave power without any bloodshed. And since then a lot of praise has been hailed on the political leaders-both opposition and government (ZANU-PF) as well as the army that was reported to have conducted itself professionally.

One therefore wonders, where are the Kenyan leaders to stand up and be counted?

News of the Week

Does Court ruling mean end of NGCDF?

MPs were dealt a blow after a three-judge bench ruled that they had no role in the implementation of Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The law makers are likely to lose their executive role after the Court of Appeal ruled that the CDF Act 2013 violated the principle of separation of powers and therefore unconstitutional.

In 2015 High Court made a similar ruling declaring the CDF Act unconstitutional but suspended the verdict for one year to allow the national government to remedy the defect in the law. However, the judges while acknowledging the function of NGCDF across the country they faulted the executive powers of the law makers arguing the executive functions could be properly allocated to sub-county administrator as an officer of the national government.

 

Are MPs avoiding constituents or reducing traffic congestion?

The construction of Sh. 110 million tunnel connecting Parliament with County Hall and the MPs Office blocks is already underway. The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) says the tunnel was one of the measures undertaken by Parliament to reduce traffic congestion when the MPs Office blocks was put up. The public is however seeing it as a way for MPs to avoid meeting with their constituents. MPs have in the past complained about annoying constituents who camp outside Parliament hoping to bump into their MP for help. The tunnel is expected to be completed by May next year (2018).
 

Senate wants say in how County Government is suspended

Senator Mutula Kilonzo has authored a bill that gives Senate the power to analyze reasons for approving or disapproving a commission of inquiry by the President. The County Government (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend the County Governments Act to provide for the procedure for the disposal of a report of a Commission of Inquiry established under Article 192(2) of the Constitution of Kenya and to provide for the termination of a suspension of a county government under Article 192(4) of the Constitution. If the bill becomes law then any Senator can move a motion for termination of a suspension of a county government and the Speaker of the Senate will refer the proposed motion to the relevant Senate committee for consideration on whether or not to terminate.

  

MP wants Elections moved from August to December to accommodate Kenyan traditions

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa wants the General Elections date moved from August to December to favorable to Kenyan traditions and circumstances. The draft Bill however is likely to face so many challenges as critics argue only Kenyans can extend the term of the President signifying the process can only work through a referendum. Speaker Muturi already approved the draft bill and it will be up for debate today.

   
New Bill to allow patriots fly national flag at home

Kenyans who want to hoist the flag in their homes as a sign of patriotism may finally get the chance to do that if The National Flag, Emblems and Names (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is successfully debated and made into law. The bill wants to amend the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act to allow members of the public to fly the national flag in their places of residence work and business. The only impediment is that it does not undermine the authority or the reputation of the state.

   
Parliament resumes business after three-week recess

The National Assembly resumed business today Wednesday 29th November after abruptly adjourning the House following what majority leader said was a request from NASA to put house in order and submit names for Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader and Whip among other key roles. National Assembly is expected to finally vet committee members to help steer House business. Lack of committees has stalled Parliamentary business since members took oath of office.

  

Quote of the Week

“I undertake to be the custodian of the dreams of all and the keeper of the aspirations of those who voted for me and those who did not...”

Quote by President Uhuru Kenyatta during his inauguration speech at the International Sports Center Kasarani, shortly after being sworn in on November 28, 2017

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"The word “stray bullet” is now a euphemism for negligence. It is now synonymous with saying that, the way you can be bitten by a stray dog is the same way you can be harmed by a stray bullet."

Sentiments by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr when discussing the shooting of a school girl from Ulanda High School on October 11, 2016.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina made headlines this week after MPs from Central Kenya told him off over his alleged comments on the expected Cabinet reshuffle. Fifteen MPs from the Mount Kenya region warned the Senator against his remarks against the Devolution Cabinet Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri. The legislators claimed that the Senator had asked the President to sack the Devolution CS. They warned the Senator against pretending to speak on behalf of the community or interfering with the cabinet making process. Senator Maina on the other hand claimed he was quoted out of context and that he was only pointing out the obvious; that people who are underperforming should not be allowed back to the cabinet. The MPs however want the President to disregard the Senator saying CS Kiunjuri is a defender of devolution and his work can be seen. They also point at his strong campaign for the president in the recently concluded polls.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE COUNTY ALLOCATION OF REVENUE (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 5 OF 2017 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL 
- NO. 44 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Second Reading
THE PETROLEUM (EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION) BILL 
- NO. 40 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE ENERGY BILL 
- NO. 41 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE COUNTY ALLOCATION OF REVENUE (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2015 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE COPYRIGHT (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 33 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The County Allocation of Revenue (Amendment) Bill 
- NO. 9 OF 2017 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) (NO.2 ) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2017
Sponsored by  Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. 
THE NATIONAL FLAG, EMBLEMS AND NAMES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 08 OF 2017
Sponsored by  Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. 

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