Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 170
22 January - 28 January, 2018


The tale of a country marred by illegalities

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised was a song done by Gil Scott-Heron. An American spoken word artist, Musician and Poet. On 30th January NASA’s ‘illegal’ oath was not televised; but was this a revolution?

I’ll get to that question. In the meantime, let me explain that the song released in the early 70s appears to attempt to disabuse the notion that revolution will be broadcasted in all its glamor or that it will be grand or fit certain stereotypes because everyone will be on their way to witness and not watch from the comfort of their living rooms.

On 30th January, the government through the Communications Authority (CA) switched off signals for NTV, Citizen and KTN for their decision to broadcast the NASA swearing-in ceremony despite having been warned (according to the Kenya Editor’s Guild) not to do so. It’s not clear whether that may have contributed to many supporters choosing to go witness the event for themselves instead but the illegal oath was well attended by any standard.

Opposition NASA have effectively set the agenda for the local media houses for the next few days with that ‘illegal’ oath eclipsing, albeit momentarily President Kenyatta’s naming of his cabinet. And while we’re on this. It appears the President has little incentive to toe the line when it comes to respecting the Constitution.

The proposed cabinet as constituted fails to meet the two-thirds gender test despite the High Court pronouncing itself expressly on the matter in 2017. The warning remains unheeded. Only six nominees are women out of a cabinet of 22 CSs. The President also went ahead to create new positions not envisioned in the Constitution to reward loyalists.

While announcing the full cabinet the President announced the creation of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) saying he had consulted widely on this and was in accordance with article (132) (4A) of the Constitution and as advised by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

In all honesty, the President merely created these positions to reward his stalwarts who lost in the August 8th elections. Otherwise if it was about the face of Kenya and efficiency, the CS position is enough to give a tribal balance. For such positions, it goes without saying that a technocrat would’ve done better than a politician. Sadly, Uhuru’s second term cabinet has more politicians than the first.

News of the Week

Supreme Court Nullifies Presidential Elections

The Supreme Court has nullified presidential results and ordered fresh elections be carried out in 60 days. President Uhuru Kenyatta grudgingly accepted the ruling and hit the ground running almost immediately. Opposition NASA were excited with the ruling but have indicated that they will not be going into another election with a tainted IEBC. They now want some commissioners and the Secretariat overhauled. The land mark ruling by the Supreme Court was a first in Africa and has affirmed to Kenyans and the world the independence of the Judiciary.

Will NCIC bite as campaigns kick afresh?

In a forum held to engage the community on fake news, dangerous speech, and the elections, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) explained they were currently investigating over 250 Social media fake news reported to them. Perhaps it’s time to act now that the next round of elections look charged already following the Supreme Court’s nullification of the presidential elections.

The forum organized in conjunction with Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) discussed among other things the need to fight fake news by bringing known bloggers on board to help sensitization as well as working with institutions developing curriculum to help nurture right from school the ability to identify and handle fake news and dangerous speech.


Number of Committees drop in the 12th Parliament

Both Senate and National Assembly have reduced number of committees saying the move is aimed at making law makers more efficient and effective when discharging duties in committee members. The Senate committees have been reduced from 18 to 12 while in the National Assembly the number has come down from 29 to 17 committees.

Nyamira County Finances collapsing on the weight of excess MCAs

Nyamira County Assembly Clerk has raised an alarm that the county may not be able to pay all MCAs following the nomination of extra MCAs to meet the two-thirds gender rule. The County Assembly anticipated at least 7 nominees but have ended up with 16. County Assemblies are expected to enforce the law on two thirds gender.


Quote of the Week

“The pretenders to the throne have panicked and are now saying all manner of things…there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind whatsoever who won the August 8th elections...”

Quote by NASA Co-Principal Kalonzo Musyoka during a NASA presser to confirm the principals were united, after claims that he had abandoned Raila Odinga on the 30th January swearing-in; on February 1st, 2018

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"If this Government wants openness, it should be accountable to the people. I thought we had reformists in the Government. It looks like the reformists are not there because of all these cartels and the roadblocks that they have put in place."

Sentiments by Hon. Sammy Arthur Weya when debating the introduction of freedom of information bill on October 18, 2006.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Ruaraka MP, T.J.Kajwang’ made headlines this week after he was arrested following his role in the illegal swearing in of NASA leader Raila Odinga. The MP donned the court room rob won by lawyers on special occasions complete with a wig an indication that he was the one playing the role of the Chief Justice in the occasion that saw Raila sworn-in as athe People’s President-though unclear. The outspoken lawmaker was arrested by plainclothes police officers outside Milimani law courts where he had appeared on behalf of the Parliamentary Service Committee (PSC) in a case against the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC). Contrary to initial fears that Police will open fire the event attended by thousands of NASA supporters was generally peaceful. His arrest is seen as the government’s crack-down on those involved in the oath. Several NASA MPs including the co-principles who skipped the event have had their security detail withdrawn.


Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved.

Mzalendo Trust, Heinrich Boll Foundation,
Prof. Wangari Mathai Road.
P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

Please share your thoughts with us:

Unsubscribe from this list.   update subscription preferences