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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 235
6th May - 10th May 2019

Editorial

Retrogressive Bills should be fought at all costs.

Many times leaders forget that the Constitution is the law on land that guides our nation and dictates the conduct of her population. Recently we’ve witnessed the law being bent and twisted to drive the personal agenda of a few, and the Rule of Law being applied subjectively. Our current political climate explains why we hold on dearly to the Bill of Rights that grants us the freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition that have become our line of defense. If we stay silent, carefree leaders could eventually strip us off our rights and they would get away with anything.

However, there’s comfort in knowing that there are a few who still press on and fight fiercely against ills. But before anyone thinks of rallying other Kenyans and swarming the streets, they need to take a step back and process the Public Order (Amendment) Bill 2019 that was recently open for views from the Public. If passed into law, it will grossly undermine Kenyans right to picket given the stringent measures it proposes. Sponsored by Ruiru MP, Simon King’ara, the Bill proposes stiff penalties on organizers if their public meetings or public processions lead to loss of property or life.

The public’s right to protest is enshrined in Article 37 of the constitution thus the Public Order (Amendment) Bill not only threatens the rights and freedoms of citizens but also shrinks the civic space that is at the forefront of fighting for a better nation. The Bill does not take into consideration factors like goons who may not be affiliated with the protesting group that take advantage of the situation to cause harm. Moreover, this particular bill shifts the responsibility of the police to provide security to aggrieved citizens.  This becomes an unfair means to penalize harmless protesters armed with a good cause. Especially knowing that goons are hired to trigger disorder and violence during protests, the bill disregards the real problem.

News of the Week

National Assembly,Senate in supremacy battle over Revenue Bill

National Assembly rejected a proposal by Senate to increase revenues allocated to counties to Sh 335 billion. National Assembly accused their counterparts of failing to follow basic principles of budgeting by not indicating where they wanted the extra Sh 25 billion sourced from. Senate had initially considered the Bill passed to them from the National Assembly which had pegged the allocations to counties at Sh 310 billion but amended the same by asking for devolved units to be granted more monies. Budgets and Appropriation Committee chairman Kimani Inchung’wah led the House in rejecting the proposed changes and called for representatives from the two Houses to go for mediation.
                                                                                                     

Waiguru under fire for mass sacking of workers

Kirinyaga Central, Gichugu and Mwea MPs have threatened to sue Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru if she fails to reinstate more than 200 casual workers who were sacked the previous week. This comes after the County Secretary Joe Muriuki said the wage bill was unsustainable and the move to sack the workers would save the county Sh 48 million annually.

Laboso shifts blame on NCA

Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso has accused the National Construction Authority (NCA) of hurriedly making a ‘biased’ judgment over the bridge without engaging her officers. The Sh2.4 million Kirwa footbridge at Chemagel in Sotik has been at the center of debate over its standards, with residents claiming that the ramps and pillars are made of material that won’t last long.

Quote of the Week

"Devolution is here to stay. I'm aware that there are some governors who are corrupt and money meant for development goes into their pockets, but we shouldn't mix the two"

Quote by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa while supporting the Senate's proposals to the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 on the floor of the National Assembly on May 8th, 2019. 

Lest we forget

"For us to reduce the wage bill, we should oppose this Bill. By doing that, we will bring the wage bill down. We have also to fight corruption from the highest to the lowest level. We have also to fight nepotism, tribalism and also spread the national cake equally."

Sentiments by the late Kitui West MP, Francis Mwanzia Nyenze on the floor of the House contributing to the debate on the Kenya Qualifications Framework Bill on March 11th, 2014.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Kirinyaga Governor, Ann Waiguru has been on the spot the past week for mass sacking of casual workers and the deplorable state the Kerugoya Referral Hospital was in after being featured in an expose by Citizen TV. Three MPs from the county even threatened to sue her if she failed to reinstate the casual workers. 
On the matter of the healthcare conditions in her county, the Governor blamed Senior Medical officers for negligence and sabotage and has since set up a task force to carry out investigations.

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 28 OF 2019  
Sponsored by Hon Jude Njomo
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS’ RETIREMENT SCHEME BILL
- NO. 29 OF 2019 
Sponsored by Hon Chachu Ganya
Second Reading
THE NATIONAL COHESION AND INTEGRATION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 12 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Maina Kamanda
THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY BILL
- SENATE BILL NO. 3 OF 2018
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale 
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL
- NO. 21 OF 2019
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments)(No.2) Bill
- NO. 13 OF 2018
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale
Consideration of Senate Amendments to the Division of Revenue Bill
- NO. 11 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Ichung'wah

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