Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 14, 1 - 11  January 2015

News of the Week:
  • MPs and Senators plan to vet Joseph Boinett, the nominee Inspector-General of Police after February 10, 2015 when they resume. This is because the position has been temporarily filled by Deputy Inspector-General Samuel Arachi in an acting capacity. The Constitution states that the Inspector General of Police will be vetted by Parliament hence the two houses have also agreed to form a joint committee of members from the Senate and National Assembly’s security committees. Tiaty MP Asman Kamama chairs the National Assembly’s committee and will be expected to co-chair the proposed team with his Senate counterpart Yusuf Haji.

  • The National Assembly is likely to debate the conduct of some MPs during debate on the Security Laws Bill late last year. CCTV camera images which have since been reviewed have identified all those who participated in the chaos. They include six MPs from the Jubilee side and seven from Cord coalition who were captured disrupting the order of the House. The complaints will be represented to the Committee on Powers and Privileges which is chaired by the Speaker for debate and its report tabled in the House. It is after this that the Speaker will be free to mete punishment on the named members which will include suspending them for a period ranging between three and eight sittings. The catch is that if the Speaker decides to suspend all or some MPs to a period of eight sittings, they will automatically lose their seats.
  • Travel allowances for Members of Parliament were slashed by the Salaries and Remuneration Committee (SRC) in a move that could open fresh confrontation with the legislators. SRC communicated new foreign travel per-diem rates to the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) in a circular dated December 10, 2014. Members of staff are also affected in the new changes which affect popular destinations for MPs such as the UK and the US. Other public servants are also set to be affected by the far-reaching changes. PSC has already communicated the changes in a memo to staff and MPs. However, the travel allowances for the Speakers of the Senate and the National Assembly have been slightly increased.
Editorial: Why Eight Clauses of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act were Suspended 

Judge George Odunga suspended the implementation of eight clauses in the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 which pose an imminent danger to the Bill of Rights. The Judge suspended clauses 12, 16, 26, 29, 48, 56, 58 and 64. He was very critical of the Speaker in the manner in which he allowed the debate to continue agreeing that it was shambolic. However, this did not amount to a determination that those provisions are unconstitutional. Read more

Feedback from Uganda on the behavior of MPs during the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill debate

Charles Kizito, a Ugandan observes that the behavior of MPs when passing the Security Laws (Amendment) Act was wanting. He was taken a back since he is a keen follower of debates in Parliament. He says MPs are astute in their contributions and always observe decorum, something he thought should have happened. Read more

Quote of the Week

Sentiments made by Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri on March 28th 2007 during debate in Parliament.

“We believe in reforms, but not the ones which will be forced down our throats. You cannot say that you are a democrat and appear in the headlines of the local dailies everyday giving conditions of what should be included in the reforms. If one wants to be a democrat, he or she should know that the reforms will be a matter of give and take. We should not force our demands on others.” Read Hansard

Lest we Forget!

Sentiments made by Hon. John Pesa on 16th of June 2010 as part of feedback from a Ministerial statement from the Minister of Internal Security on the widening rift between €yes €and œno €groups on the campaigns on the Constitution and the explosion at Uhuru Park.

“While we are talking about people who are fond of making hate speech, we should also think of the people who have been affected by the hate speech throughout the country. You will remember that my constituency and Uriri are really affected. People are wondering what the Government will do to heal the people who are affected because of the hate speech that was given sometimes back.” Read Hansard

Newsmaker this week:

Bureti MP Leonard Sang has taken advantage of Parliament's recess to dump his top-of-the range vehicle and traverse inaccessible parts of his constituency using a boda boda. The 39 year old MP has managed to inspect over 950 projects, funded through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). He said using boda boda has enabled him to personally inspect all the projects under CDF especially since some areas are inaccessible, so only a motorcycle can do the job. Profile

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