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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 104
3 - 9 October, 2016

Editorial

Patriots Vote: Take the First Step – Register!

Kenya is a venting nation. We just love to vent. Social media has given Kenyans a good avenue to complain about anything and everything. While politicians are ready to spend an arm and a leg in preparations for the coming elections, the electorate is making excuses about being too busy to register and other short stories. Not voting is not an option, one still votes. If Kenyans are serious about getting the leaders we need, at some point, we have to stop giving excuses and take action.

There’s a lot at stake and the local Mwananchi is set to lose big time unless he wakes up and smells the coffee. According to the Common Wealth Observer Group report regarding the 2013 general elections, IEBC then, had only 30 days to conduct voter registration and only 14 days to have the public verify the register. This was due to the delays in acquiring the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and the cancellation of the procurement process that was later taken over by the government. Nonetheless, IEBC managed to register 14.3 million although the target was 18 million.

First forward to 2016 and it’s deja vu all over again. While the current nine commissioners and the chair have resigned as the electoral laws came into effect paving way for a new team; challenges with acquiring technology to aid the electoral process hang in the air like a dark cloud. Worse still the first phase of the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) carried out from February to March earlier in the year was quite underwhelming. IEBC missed their own target by over 70% after registering a little under one million.

It’s surprising that the electorate missed this registration despite the heightened political temperature at the time linked to the Kericho and Malindi by-elections as well as heavy civic and voter education. The last minute culture that Kenyans have developed where they hope to show up in the second phase or expect extensions is the reason we are having poor leadership on display. This exercise is too important to play the “We are Africans” card.

News of the Week

IEBC Commissioners Resign to Pave way for a new team

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is now ready to have a new team of commissioners after nine electoral commissioners and their chair formally resigned after agreeing on their exit package. Both opposition CORD and the ruling Jubilee have named two representatives to represent them in the panel that will interview the new commissioners.
 

Eyes turn on DPP over Chickengate as IEBC Commissioners Exit

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko is in the spot light for remaining mum on the chickengate scandal despite receiving a file on the same from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) two months ago. EACC had recommended the prosecution of the former IEBC CEO and three other junior officials. However the anti-graft agency had exonerated the top officials who had been allegedly accused of pocketing KES 52 million in bribes.
 

Speaker Muturi Submits Nine Nominees for IEBC Panel to the President

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta a list of nine nominees for the IEBC-select committee. The nine will lead the process to pick new electoral commissioners who will oversee the 2017 August elections. The panel will have seven days to advertise the position of chairman and the commissioners, after which it will conduct interviews and recommend to the president two names for the position of chairman and nine commissioners. Once the president picks the names he will send it back to Parliament for vetting. Once Parliament approves, the names will be sent back to the President for official appointment.

Maraga to be vetted in one week-Speaker Muturi

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee tasked with the mandate of vetting Justice Maraga has been given one week to complete the exercise by the Speaker Justin Muturi. If this is done accordingly, Kenya will have a new Chief Justice in office by end of next week.

Meanwhile a report by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) reveals that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is the only of the `15 commissions surveyed that does not meet ethnic balance in the work force. NCIC faulted JSC for violating Section 7 (2) of the NCIC Act by hiring more than a third of its workers from the same ethnic community.

Quote of the Week

"One of the reasons we are targeting harambees is because there has been tremendous abuse of the spirit of public collection through volunteerism and mutual help... This Bill hopes to do that so that society does not begin to feel that when people are engaged in mutual help, they are engaged in a form of help which is very exploitative and extortionist... As Senators observe, harambees have gone haywire to include people outsourcing their private responsibilities to the public."

Sentiments by Sen. Anyang' Nyong'o while contributing to the debate on The Public Fundraising Bill on March 12, 2015

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) produces a lot of power but Kenya Power has failed to retail, distribute and transmit it to Kenyans. We have so many houses unconnected. Why should my television or any of my electronic gadgets get burnt because of a problem from Kenya Power? Kenya Power should compensate ordinary Kenyans when they suffer problems caused by their company."

Sentiments by Hon. David Kangongo when contributing to the debate on Liberalization of Power Distribution in the country on July 9, 2013.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Member of Parliament for Sabatia, Alfred Agoi made news this week following the revelations that the National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which he sponsored takes away the Kenya National Examination Council’s (KNEC) power to cancel examination results arbitrarily.

The Bill scheduled for debate proposes that KNEC notify students suspected of exam irregularities before cancelling their exams. Further, the Bill proposes that the accused student has a right to defend themselves, including representation by a lawyer. Consequently, should the Council proceed to cancel the results the aggrieved student will have a right to appeal within 28 days at an Independent body.

 

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE LAND VALUE INDEX LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 40 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

The aim of the Bill is to control the process of compulsory acquisition of land to successfully implement public infrastructural projects under Vision 2030. The bill block courts from giving orders to stop Mega projects by the government over land compensation disputes. The Bill states that projects that face land compensation dispute cannot be stopped through court injunctions.
 
The proposed law instead vests the power to make decisions on land compensation on a proposed Land Acquisition Tribunal, which will hear and determine appeals on matters relating to compulsory acquisition of land.
 
Do you think the Bill encroaches the functions of the court? What’s is your take on land disputes between the government and citizens? Look out for the call for memoranda, submit your opinion to Parliament and propose changes to the bill.
 
THE BASIC EDUCATION (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 39 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Grace Kiptui
Second Reading
THE COMPETITION (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 24 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

 
This Bill is in line with proposals announced in the Budget for 2016/2017. The Bill aims to enhance consumer protection from unfair and misleading market conduct. The Bill also proposes to amend the Competition Act, 2010 to put an obligation on stakeholders to provide information required from them when the Competition Authority conducts an enquiry.
 
The Bill proposes to amend the Act to empower the Authority to initiate investigations on its own volition for the expedient resolution of consumer complaints.
 
What do you think on the state of consumer protection in Kenya? You can write and send your proposals on consumer protection to your MP.
 
THE PUBLIC FUNDRAISING APPEALS BILL 
- NO. 28 OF 2014 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga
 

The Bill institutes a regulatory mechanisms at the national and county levels which manages the conduct of fundraising appeals, to provide for the licensing and regulation of fundraisers and the promotion of transparency and accountability in their conduct. The Bill acknowledges the need to maintain the altruistic rationale that Harambees serve in the Kenyan society while addressing the shortcomings that have accompanied this process.

The sponsor of the Bill (Prof Nyong’o) says that there is need to reduce the culture of dependency that harambees have imbued in society, extending even essentially private affairs to the larger public.

What is your opinion on Harambees? Do you think the government should control Harambees, which are largely social affairs? Let your Senator know your opinion so he can inform the bill discussion.

THE INSURANCE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 28 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE KENYATTA MAUSOLEUM BILL
- NO. 11 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Muthomi Njuki
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (No.2) BILL 
- NO. 58 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE COUNTY ASSEMBLY SERVICES BILL 
- NO. 27 OF 2014 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security Hon. Asman Kamama
THE NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE BILL 
- NO. 26 OF 2014 (SENATE)
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Hon. David Were
THE COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL
- NO. 23 OF 2014 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Education Research and Technology Hon. Sabina Chege
THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 24 OF 2014 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Hon. David Were
THE WITNESS PROTECTION (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 12 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Mithika Linturi
THE KENYA UWEZO FUND BILL 
 
- NO. 65 OF 2015
Sponsored by Hon. David Kangongo
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The County Assemblies Powers and Privileges Bill
- NO. 14 OF 2014 (SENATE)
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE COUNTY STATISTICS BILL 
- NO. 11 OF 2016 
Sponsored by Sen. Naisula Lesuuda

This Bill puts in place a framework for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information by the county governments. The bill is going to create bureaus of statistics in counties more or less similar to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

According to the drafter, statistics are an important part of planning process for governments since they help in determining whether the government is meeting its goals in providing services to the people. For this reason, this Bill institutes county statistical systems which are envisioned to help the counties in planning.
 
Do you support the establishment of a County Statistics office? You can send your memoranda to Parliament with proposals and ideas on the yet to be established County Statistics Office.
 
THE CYBER SECURITY AND PROTECTION BILL 
- NO. 12 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Mutahi Kagwe


The Bill intends to provide increased security in cyberspace and to provide for the prohibition of certain acts in the use of computers which include, unlawful access to a computer system, system interference, unlawful interceptions, interception of electronic messages or money transfers, willful misdirection of electronic messages, forgery, fraud, unauthorized modification of data, cyber terrorism, issuance of false e-instructions, reporting of cyber threat, phishing, the Cyber Security and Protection Bill, 2016, identity theft and impersonation, electronic distribution of pornography, cyber-bullying, child exploitation, wrongful distribution of intimate images and cyber-squatting.
 
The Bill proposes to establish a national cyber security response unit in the Ministry responsible for security. The unit will be responsible for receiving and investigating reports on cyber threat incidences, running a national computer forensic lab for the benefit of law enforcement agencies, advising on measures to combat cyber threats and supporting research into cyber security. The Bill also proposes mechanism to enable the sharing of information between private entities on cyber threats under certain circumstances.
 
What is your take on the scope of the cyber- security bill? You can write a memoranda to parliament for your proposals to be included in the final version.
THE LOCAL CONTENT BILL 
 
- NO. 13 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Gideon Moi


This Bill intends to provide a framework for the development and adoption of local content through ownership, control and financing of activities connected with the exploitation of gas, oil and other mineral resources by local persons and local enterprises in order to ensure – the development of local economies; stimulation of industrial development; increase in local capability; building of a skilled workforce; and the creation of a competitive supplier base.
 
This Bill therefore seeks to provide a framework whereby – there is involvement of local communities in the extractive industry value chain to improve the income received by such locals following their involvement in the extractive processes; ensuring that land owners and owners of resources receive the revenue due to them; targeting income streams to local communities, local enterprises and financial institutions.
 
This Bill expects that there will be creation of employment opportunities, ensure there is procurement of goods and services that are produced locally, stimulate local industrial development, build capacity and increase the local capability to meet international standards in the supply of goods and services
                          
Do you think the bill has sufficiently catered for the interests of the local communities in the exploitation of resources? If you have more that can be included in the Bill you can write a memoranda to parliament.
 
 
THE WAREHOUSE RECEIPTS SYSTEM BILL 
- NO. 12 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
THE KENYA ROADS BILL  
- NO. 26 OF 2015 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
Second Reading
THE NATIONAL COHESION AND INTEGRATION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 06 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Beatrice Elachi
THE TREATY MAKING AND RATIFICATION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 05 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations Sen. Yusuf Haji
THE ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE OF GOVERNOR BILL 
- NO. 10 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Kimani Wamatingi
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr
THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE BILL 
- NO. 08 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. (ENG.) Muriuki Karue
THE SELF HELP ASSOCIATIONS BILL 
- NO. 02 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari
THE ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY BILL 
- NO. 36 OF 2014 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS (PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL) (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 09 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Fatuma Dullo
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 16 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Judith Sijenyi
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE COUNTY OUTDOOR ADVERTISING CONTROL BILL 
- NO. 11 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr
THE EMPLOYMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL 
 
- NO. 01 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari
THE COUNTY LIBRARY SERVICES BILL 
- NO. 06 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Joy Gwendo
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 04 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. Daniel Karaba
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
 
- NO. 04 OF 2014
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
THE PRESERVATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND ENFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS BILL 
- NO. 08 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Hassan Omar
THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BILL
- NO. 35 OF 2014
Sponsored by Chairperson, Standing Committee Legal Affairs and Human Rights Sen. Amos Wako
THE PHYSICAL PLANNING BILL 
- NO. 46 OF 2015 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki

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