Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 4, 13 - 19  October 2014
News of the Week:
  • The National Assembly resumes sitting on 14th October. Its first agenda is the Committee on General Oversight, a new forum MPs created to question Cabinet Secretaries. The three Cabinet Secretaries who start are Charity Ngilu (Lands), Jacob Kaimenyi (Education) and Joseph ole Lenku (Interior). 
  • Senator Agnes Zani has proposed a Bill that will see more revenues allocated to communities where natural resources are found. The Natural Resources (Benefit Sharing) Bill 2014, has two main prudent provisions. One is to define what local community is. This is something that is missing in the constitution and existing legislation on natural resources. It defines it as the people living in a ward within which the natural resource is situated and are affected by the exploitation of that natural resource”. Secondly, it proposes an increased share of allocated to counties from royalties and fees paid to 32 percent. The Mining Bill has proposed 25 percent while the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) had proposed 20 percent.
  • Public servants who fail to provide the Auditor-General with any documents it may require risk being held responsible for delaying Parliament’s oversight roles. Parliament has raised concern over failure to submit critical documents to be used for auditing. This in turn delays audit reports. The Constitution provides that within six months after the end of each financial year, the Auditor-General shall audit and report, in respect of that financial year. Delaying to provide these documents therefore also delays these critical reports.

Newsmaker this week:
Homa Bay Town legislator Peter Kaluma has filed a Motion in the National Assembly, seeking to establish a 23-member special committee with the mandate to establish the exact number of victims and the amount of money so far paid to them. The team will also recommend measures to secure justice for victims – including reparations by the national government. Profile

Kenya's Open Government Partnership (OGP) Draft National Action Plan is out and open to public input. The draft plan has been developed by the ICT Authority, an agency under the Ministry of Information Communication and TechnologyRead more

The Office of the Deputy President has sent out a call for nominations for National Honors. This is in line with the National Honors Act 2013. The forms can be downloaded from the Deputy President's Website, filled and returned by 30th October, 2014.

The Senate's standing committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has sent out a call for written memoranda or attend public hearing on the Food Security Bill 2014. The public hearings will be held on 22nd October 2014 at Shimba Hills Hall, KICC and the written memoranda should also be submitted by the same date to the clerk of the Senate.
Editorial: Public participation in governance and the place of mobile and web tools

Public participation in governance has been a reverberating issue since the promulgation of the constitution on August 27th 2010. Participation of the public in their affairs can take various forms: bills, policies, vetting of nominated officials, shaping of development agenda and budgetary oversight. When these issues are to be addressed, the public can participate in them either through public hearings or written memoranda. Read more

Quote of the Week
Hon James Nyikal when commenting on the Kenya Heroes Bill 2014 on 27th February 2014 affirmed that “we must look at this in the context of the Constitution. The Constitution invites that for any public activity, there should be public participation. As it is now, the council can do it in any way they like. We know that in this country we have had complaints that when people are given positions, they start picking their friends and relatives.” Read Hansard

Lest we Forget!
Comments on the repeal of the International Crimes Act on 16th of December, 2010. 

"I just want to say that, yes it is unfortunate that we have to open ourselves to the International Criminal Court because, as Parliament and a leadership, we failed to carry out our duties. In winding up that I want to say that we move with speed to reform our criminal justice system, the Judiciary, the police and the prosecution. We have many other victims who will not be served by the ICC. This time should be utilized reforming those institutions, so that victims can get justice and we, too, when we annoy each other, we are able to get justice," Hon Martha Karua. Read Hansard

Upcoming Bills in the National Assembly this week
  • THE IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 36 OF 2014) sponsored by Hon. Millie Odhiambo Mabona). It will be the First Reading
  • THE PHARMACY PRACTITIONERS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 37 OF 2014) sponsored by Hon. Dr. Rachel Nyamai, the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Health). It will be the First Reading
  • THE BASIC EDUCATION (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 35 OF 2014) sponsored by Hon. Sabina Chege, the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology). It will be the First Reading
  • THE BUSINESS REGISTRATION SERVICE BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 5 OF 2014) sponsored by Majority Leader Hon. Aden Duale. It will be the Second Reading
  • THE SECURITIES AND INVESTMENT ANALYSTS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 21 OF 2014) sponsored by Hon. Benjamin Langat, Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade. It will be the Second Reading
  • THE WATER BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 8 OF 2014) sponsored by Majority Leader Hon. Aden Duale. It will be in the Second Reading.

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