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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 237
20th May - 24th May 2019

Editorial

Are our leaders capable of introspection?

The United Kingdom Prime Minister seat was rendered vacant last week after Theresa May announced her resignation just three years in office. This came as no surprise as pressure had been piling on her to deliver the Brexit promise, following the astounding 52% yes vote to Brexit that cued fellow Conservative Party Leader and former Prime Minister David Cameroon’s resignation in 2016.

Such a scenario is a rarity in the Kenyan context. Never has there been an instance where a leader transitioned out of office on the basis of failing to deliver that which he/she was expected to do. In the same breath, never has there been an instance where a leader, who was strongly opposed to a referendum, stepped down when said referendum was voted in by its citizens.

To refresh your memory, in 2010, 69% of Kenyans voted in favor of the new constitution that the current Deputy President, William Ruto was strongly rallying against. Which makes it quite puzzling as to how he was the 2nd in command in a government that was historically the first to be voted in under this constitution. Mr. Ruto even went ahead to term the constitution as “faulty” and was confident enough that the “No” camp would carry the day, only for them to garner 31% of the votes. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s stance, on the other hand, was questionable even being labelled as a watermelon alongside former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, despite being one of the constitution’s proponents at the time.

Fast forward to his presidency, and his true position on the new constitution has come out strongly for all to see. His actions have been a big mismatch to the lip service that he has paid us over the past 6 years. Being the final say when laws are passed, he has assented to some laws that have contradicted the role and powers of county government. Case in point, the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) and National Government Affirmative Action Funds (NGAAF) violate the principle of separation of powers and encroaches on county functions. Doesn’t the Big 4 Agenda, that the Jubilee legacy is pegged on, heavily reliant on counties for successful implementation? Isn’t that, therefore, an infringement of county functions?

News of the Week

Constituencies not spared in Auditor General's audit reports

20 constituencies are now on the spot after the Auditor General Edward Ouko revealed misuse of millions meant for development projects and bursaries for needy students. According to Ouko, some of the MPs issued bouncing and stale cheques while others failed to vet beneficiaries and provide supporting documents to prove who the beneficiaries were. He also said that some constituencies failed to account for bursaries while in other cases legislators budgeted for non-existing projects. In the report tabled in the National Assembly by Leader of Majority Aden Duale, Ouko expressed concerns over how some of the projects that have so far commenced in the constituencies are substandard and have already started wearing out yet they have not been occupied. The affected constituencies include Chuka Igambang’ombe, Igembe Central, Mwingi North, Mathare, Sigor, Mwingi West, Maara, Othaya, soy, Taveta, Tigania West, Samburu East, Pokot South, Mwingi Central, Kitui South, Jomvu, Kibra, Tetu and Kangema.
                                                                                                     

NBK on the spot for allegedly dodging audits

National Assembly wants National Bank of Kenya (NBK) to explain why they have failed to allow the Office of the Auditor General to audit the lender despite numerous audit requests by Edward Ouko. This comes as the House Committee on Finance and National Planning starts investigations into the NBK’s Ksh 5 billion controversial takeover by Kenya Commercial Bank. In the 19th report of audited accounts of state corporations, the Public Investments Committee observed that NBK was not being audited by the Auditor General.

Contention over Revenue Bill persists

The mediation committee formed to reach an agreement over the Division of Revenue Bill has scheduled a second meeting for next week Monday, May 27th 2019 after failing to agree on an amount that should go to county governments in the next financial year. During yesterday’s meeting, there was considerable climbdown form the previous hardline positions adopted by the two Houses even though they could not break the deadlock, but a positive sign though that it will not be lost. Whereas the team from National Assembly led by Majority Leader Aden Duale proposed SH 316 billion from Sh 310 billion as contained in the Bill, Senate was able to cede from the Sh 335 billion as recommended by CRA. Their Sh 326 billion proposal was however not agreed upon by National Assembly team.

Belgut proposes new Bill that will be a reprieve for mobile loan defaulters

Belgut MP Nelson Koech has initiated the process of scrapping the law that has seen hundreds of thousands of borrowers listed for defaulting on small loans with the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB). He says it is unfair for lenders to treat defaulters of billions the same way as those who borrow Sh 1000 from mobile loan providers such as Tala & CBA’s Mshwari. He instead proposes a new Bill that will see defaulters not listed but their creditworthiness rated and given points. He also noted the oddity in employers using the CRB listing as part of the employment process and wants it scrapped. He argues that listing by lending institutions through the CRB is stifling growth among youth. Recent data shows that more than half a million Kenyans have been blacklisted by the CRB up from 150, 000 three years ago.

Quote of the Week

"If I will not be the flag bearer, I will support the person who the Jubilee Party members choose as their presidential candidate. It is not a must I be the candidate"

Quote by Deputy President William Ruto during a breakfast show interview on Kameme FM on May 23rd, 2019. 

Lest we forget

"We know very well that corruption starts from the top to the bottom. There would be no corruption if it was not supported, aided, condoned and if it had no sympathizers at the top. We know that corruption is embedded among the top hierarchy and officials of this country."

Sentiments the late Minister of State for National Heritage, William Ole Ntimama while debating on the President's State of the Nation Address speech March 4th, 2010.  

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Deputy President William Ruto says he's ready to retire with President Uhuru Kenyatta, should he lose in the 2022 general election. During the Kameme FM interview, the DP said he would gladly embrace the opposition role and keep the government in check. This comes at a moment when the political mood in the country is one that is glued to the recent rift in the Jubilee party, with leaders allied and opposed to the DP forming teams under the Tanga Tanga and Kieleweke camps. He also pledged to support whoever will be picked to be the flagbearer of the Jubilee party come 2022.

... PROFILE

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 3 OF 2019
Sponsored by Senator Agnes Zani
THE CONTROL OF STRAY DOGS BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 4 OF 2019
Sponsored by Senator Mary Seneta
THE COUNTY TOURISM BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 5 OF 2019
Sponsored by Senator Agnes Zani
THE COMMISSION ON ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILL NO. 6 OF 2019
Sponsored by Senator Petronilla Were Lokorio
Second Reading
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 33 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senator Ledama Olekina
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 37 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senator Agnes Zani
THE DETERMINATION OF THE NATURE OF BILLS (PROCEDURE) BILL
- NO. 30 OF 2018
Sponsored by Minority Whip Sen Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Sen Johnson Sakaja
THE MENTAL HEALTH (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 32 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Sylvia Kasanga
THE NATIONAL COHESION AND PEACE BUILDING BILL
- NO. 35 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Judith Pareno
THE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS BILL
- NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILLS NO. 9 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 38 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Mary Seneta
THE COUNTY HALL OF FAME BILL
- NO. 39 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen
THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 01 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Aaron Cheruiyot and Sen Isaac Mwaura
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SEN. BILLS NO. 20 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senator Naomi Jilo Waqo
THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION BILL
- NO. 04 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Amos Wako
THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BIL
- NO. 22 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Judith Pareno
THE TREATY MAKING AND RATIFICATION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 23 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Fatuma Dullo
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 11 OF 2017 
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen
THE COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL
- NO. 26 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senator Langat Andrew
THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 15 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Samson Cherarkey

Public Participation

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