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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 195
16 July - 22 July, 2018

Editorial

We need to be sober about two-thirds gender debate and the Green Amendment Campaign is on track

In Kenya, the law is always very clear until it is not. A few months ago when opposition was toying with the idea of the People’s Assembly, politicians from both sides kept shouting the law is very clear and then would proceed to make very incoherent statements that left the public more confused.

This week, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) was at the Supreme Court once again to get a proper interpretation on Chapter Six of the Constitution in a bid to guide vetting institutions such as the IEBC when deciding candidates who’ve met the integrity chapter. Never mind this case has been in court since before the elections and several individuals unfit for office and re-carded by the civil society under the Red Card campaign were elected.

The thing is despite having a Constitution touted as the most progressive yet; it appears to be lame and ineffective or has too many grey areas on key issues. For instance, the ongoing debate on gender inclusivity is absurd considering the Constitution is quite explicit in Article 27(8) that Parliament should not have more than two-thirds members from the same gender.

Indeed in accordance with Article 27(6) the 11th Parliament attempted to legislate the constitutional directive before the August 27th 2015 deadline but failed. The Bill on two-thirds gender was brought back to Parliament following the extended deadline of August 27th 2016 and failed again.

 

News of the Week

Public unhappy with MPs decision to vet Chumo despite court case

Members of the public took to social media to lament Parliament's decision to proceed with the vetting of the former Kenya Power CEO, Mr. Ben Chumo for the position of Chairperson at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) following a pending court case. The MPs had initially indicated they would boycott the session due to the corruption allegations. The embattled candidate for SRC top job explained to the Finance and Trade committee that he had left the office when the said corruption allegations on procurement of faulty transformers worth Sh4.5 billion took place. 

He further explained the charges against him are over procurement of transformers in the 2012/13 financial year and that at the time he was not in procurement but Human Resources. Mr. Chumo worked at the Kenya Power for over 32 years rising through the rank to CEO. In that period, he told the vetting committee that his networth had grown to Sh212 million. The public also directed their anger at the President for nominating a candidate with an ongoing case that touched on integrity. 

 

CS Amina tells MPs due diligence not followed in Ruaraka Land saga

Lands Cabinet Secretary, Amb.Amina Mohamed told Senators it possible the law was not followed to the letter regarding the ongoing Ruaraka land saga. The investigations by the ministry also reveal the former CS, now Internal Security CS, Fred Matiangi ignored the ministry's internal report on the controversial land. The report reveals the land was surrendered for public use as a mandatory condition for subdivision of the 96-acre piece of land and thus there was no basis to seek compensation for the land.

The team that penned the report also advised the CS to begin a process that will see the schools in the said land protected from grabbing or encroachment but in a surprise turn of events the then CS termed the land 'private' and informed the National Land Commission to begin the process of acquisition. CS Amina in what appeared as throwing the hot potatoe to her predecesor told the Senate Public Accounts committee it appears the recommendations in the report were not fully followed.

On MAU, the Executive is the position of government; not Legislature - Tuju

Jubilee Party Secretary General (SG), Raphael Tuju made it clear the government will continue with the MAU forest evictions and that any voice contrary is not speaking for or on behalf of the government. The party SG was speaking after the Senate Minority leader alleged to speak for the government when he told squatters in the MAU forest to stay put. Mr. Tuju explained that where the Legislature and Executive clash on a matter, even when it is the leader of Majority, the Executive position carries the day.

Quote of the Week

"If by standing with the poor, the weak & young children who are suffering in Mau I am being disrespectful, then I am guilt as charged."

Quote by Senate Majority Leader, Kipchumba Murkomen following criticism that he's undermining government position on the Mau evictions on July 21, 2018

Lest we forget

"I would like the Minister to tell this House when he will embark on resettling the Mau Forest dwellers."


Sentiments by Sen. Fredrick Otieno when seeking a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources concerning the resettlement plan for the MAU forest dwellers on August 6, 2009.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Elgeyo Markwet Senator, Kipchumba Murkomen made headlines this week after hundreds of Narok residents held peaceful demonstrations condemning what they termed his politicization of the Mau forest evictions. The Senator who is also the Senate Majority Leader had told those evicted to stay put and alluded that it was the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who was secretly leading the evictions. The utterances by Senator Murkomen was criticized by both opposition and government legislatures who saw him as undermining the President and the bridging bridges initiative. Sen. Murkomen had intimated that the evictions were aimed at denying the DP a chance at the presidency in 2022. He has since remained defiant and went ahead to deliver iron sheets warning that if being standing with the poor meant defiance then he remained guilty as charge. He also told his colleagues who criticized him that they were salivating after his Senate Majority post and they will not succeed. 

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) (NO.2) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE NATIONAL FLAG, EMBLEMS AND NAMES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 08 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE OF THE COUNTY GOVERNOR BILL 
- NO. 01 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Second Reading
THE LAND VALUE INDEX LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 03 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE WAREHOUSE RECEIPTS SYSTEM BILL
- NO. 02 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE SACCO SOCIETIES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 01 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL
- NO. 12 OF 2018
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
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The Copyright (Amendment) Bill
- NO. 33 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF OLDER MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BILL
- NO. 17 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
Second Reading
THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS (DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND DESIGNATED STATE OFFICERS) (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 02 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Ledama Olekina
THE COUNTY STATISTICS BILL
- NO. 09 OF 2018
Sponsored by  Sen. (CPA) Farhiya Ali Haji
THE SALARIES AND REMUNERATION COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 12 OF 2018
Sponsored by Chairperson, Standing Committee on Finance and Budget Sen. Mohamed Maalim Mahamud
THE IRRIGATION BILL
- NO. 46 OF 2017 - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL
Sponsored by Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE LOCAL CONTENT BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Gideon Moi
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 13 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot

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