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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 113
5 - 11 December, 2016

Editorial

The Cost of Corruption and why CJ is on track

273 Members of Parliament were reported to have allegedly looted Sh 4billion from Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in less than one year. Consider that 290 are the total number of elected MPs. But if you think this is appalling, wait for August next year and watch as we vote in the same people back to power. No study has been done to ascertain why we hate ourselves so much to keep repeating this every election year.

Assuming the Sh 4billion squandered by the 273 MPs was divided equally then each MP misappropriated about sh 14.6 million. With that amount each MP would have constructed at least 20 dispensaries in their constituencies complete with a budget for staff kitchenette and sleeping arrangement in case of a shift. This is according to the estimates used to construct Ojwando Community dispensary in Rachuonyo South district. But alas that’s not the case, thanks to corruption.

Meanwhile nearly 20 patients have died following the ongoing doctors and nurses’ strike while another 87 patients escaped from the psychiatric ward. But if blame is to be put where it deserves, these deaths and any injury by the patients who escaped lies squarely with the corrupt officials who would rather steal public funds than find ways to pay hardworking Kenyans. It is really something of a wonder that both the county and national government could not in three years act on the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) leading to constant strikes, yet mismanage public funds running to the tune of billions.

The dust had barely settled on the Afya gate scandal where sh 5billion later revised to 3billion was allegedly missing after an internal audit report. More recently the Auditor General’s report revealed brazen theft after reviewing 37 counties where millions were misappropriated. That, counties have enough money to swindle millions of tax payer’s money but not enough to pay doctors and nurses is enough reason to put the rising number of deaths and injuries squarely on their shoulders. Lack of priority and appetite for theft of public funds is the reason for the current deadlock. We can only imagine how much services and useful projects we’ve lost at the hand of devolved corruption.

2016 has provided a huge canvas to paint corruption in Kenya. From the executive to legislature and Judiciary; all the arms of government have been stinking with corruption throughout the year. If there’s anything to take from this year, it’s that most of our politicians and public officials are irredeemably corrupt.  It’s not easy to have one corruption scandal after another and with such frequency unless we’re completely numb to public theft.

News of the Week

IEBC effects Election law barring MPs contribution in Harambees during campaigns

Politicians showed mixed reaction after IEBC cautioned hopefuls and incumbents against engaging in any form of Harambees after the deadline. Lugari MP Savula has complained that the anti-Harambee law hinders development as majority Kenyans are poor and rely on resource pooling. West Pokot Senator Prof. Lonyangapuo on the other hand welcomed the directive by IEBC saying Harambees amounted to voter bribery.
 

Gem MP proposes tighter control of sports betting firms

Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill, 2016 sponsored by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo seeks to impose a ban on advertisement of competitions in which prizes are offered forcing those betting to rely on the betting firm’s platforms to bet. The betting firms will not be allowed to advertise in print or electronic media ahead of important local or international football games. Betting firms that go against the proposed law will pay fines ranging from Sh1 million to Sh4million up from Sh3000.
 

MPs react angrily to audit report linking their constituencies to loss of billions of shillings

MPs mentioned in the audit report as having misappropriated billions of shillings from their CDF kitties have threatened to sue the Auditor General Edward Ouko on grounds that the funds Act prevent them from management of cash. The Garissa Town MP Aden Duale who is also Leader of Majority party said the Auditor General was using the audit reports for political reasons. Gatundu North MP Kigo Njenga was equally angered by the audit reports that showed his constituency could not account for 72million in CDF. He has asked the Auditor General to resign over what he terms as lack of objectivity.


 

Reprieve for MPs, MCAs as academic threshold for Diploma and Degree pushed to 2022

Members of National Assembly and County Assembly without degrees and diplomas breathed a sigh of relief after Justice and Legal Affairs committee mandated with finalizing the Election amendment Bill which also contains the requirement fell short of the deadline. National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said they will introduce a transitional clause to allow it take effect in 2022.
 

 
IEBC to conduct next year’s election at a cost of Sh.30billion

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chair Ezra Chiloba said the commission needed Sh. 30 billion to run the 2017 elections. He allayed fears the figure was too high and said they will account for every cent. He also said they will be able to deliver free fair and credible elections.

  
Political parties reject campaign financing regulations

Parties under the banner Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) have shown their dissatisfaction with the campaign finance regulations saying non-elected Kenyans will be blocked from participating in next year’s election. They said the regulations are unrealistic and want them suspended until after Parliamentary endorsement.

 
Parliament on Recess

Kindly note that both National Assembly and Senate are on recess until February, 2017

 

Quote of the Week

"At what point do we demarcate between the functions in health that are supposed to be handled by the county health facilities and which ones should be addressed to the Ministry of Health"

Sentiments by Sen. Mutahi Kagwe while seeking clarification from the Speaker during the debate on increased cases of pneumonia in children and elderly  persons on June 2, 2016

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"The Prime Minister is a great nationalist. He has great ideas for this country. We have been opposing him and we are also going to oppose him again…I want to encourage the Prime Minister to start some discussions with his Deputy, Mr. Kenyatta, so that we can have another grand coalition between CORD and the Jubilee Alliance, so that we can lead this country in peace and prosperity for another five years until 2017."

Sentiments by Sen. Kiraitu Murungi when contributing to the achievments of the grand coalition government/tenth Parlisment on January 2, 2013.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura made headlines this week after he proposed a Bill that seeks to remove Nairobi from the list of counties and make it the capital of the national government.  The Bill also proposes that the president appoint a Cabinet Secretary in charge of the capital’s administration. This has not gone well with a number of politicians including Nairobi Governor Kidero and Nairobi County MCAs who will be rendered jobless if Bill comes into law.

Also Nairobi residents will only vote for MPs and Women rep positions if Bill is passed. Critics however term the Bill mischievous and a move to wrestle the county from the opposition. Claims that Senator Gitura has denied, stating the proposed law is in good faith. Lawyers also say the Bill is unconstitutional as that is a matter that would require a referendum and can’t be subjected to Parliament only.

 

... PROFILE

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