Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 83
16 - 22 May, 2016


Police Brutality is a No! But so is Reckless Demonstration

This week the country was treated to horrific pictures of police brutality reminiscent of the “Nyayo days”. When the police appeared to be a law unto themselves. The name General Service Unit (GSU) evoked fears that could chill your spine.

It is not clear yet how the “peaceful demonstrations” against IEBC, as CORD terms it, turned so ugly and quickly. But, as expected fingers point to police’s overreaction. Perhaps, the Law Society of Kenya puts it better, that, the police show lack of training and inability to handle unruly demonstrators professionally.

“.. The police must be trained to efficiently and safely extract from lawful protests those whose behavior falls outside Article 37 in a manner that respects even such persons’ unlimited right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 25(a)).” LSK said in reference to the unorthodox use of force during the IEBC demonstrations.

It is not lost to the country that not so long ago, Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) launched investigations over GSU policemen. There were allegations of them using excessive force and raping rioting University of Nairobi students. Additionally, it’s still vivid in our minds how police teargassed Lang’ata Primary School pupils. Our men in uniform appear to be less and less interested in the rule of law.

This is worrying trend, especially as we near the general elections with political temperatures rising. The horrific events of 2007/2008 post-election violence should remind us to exercise restraint and tolerance with one another. In the meantime, we are following keenly the investigations by IPOA on the anti-riot police who were out of order.

News of the Week

MPs who Fail to Attend House Committees to be Discharged

The National Assembly Speaker and chairman of Procedure and House Rules Committee Justine Muturi has resolved to ensure House Rules are adhered to by Members of Parliament (MPs). Failure to attend house committees without permission therefore would lead to immediate discharge from their respective teams.

He complained that failure by MPs to attend committee meetings and subsequently adopt committee reports led to delays in Parliamentary debates. Similar sentiments were offered by other committee members who also reported that some members only appeared to sign in for their sitting allowances but were nowhere when adopting committee reports.

Partial attendance of committee sittings has been prevalent in the 11th Parliament. However, no MP has been censured so far. Will the National Assembly Speaker take action this time?

Uhuru Signs Private Security Regulation Act 2016 and the Political Parties Amendment Act 2016 into law

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Private Security Regulation Act 2016 and the Political Parties Amendment Act 2016. The Private Security Regulation Act aims at providing a framework for cooperation between private security companies, and the national security organs. It further requires that all private security firms be registered, ensure training of its personnel and proper remuneration for all employees. It will also provide guidelines for foreigners ownership of private security firms.

The Political Parties Amendment Act on the other hand allows for merger of political parties by forming a new outfit or being absorbed by another. It also allows for a member whose party has been absorbed to continue serving or move to another party within 30 days if no longer interested in the new party.


MPs Approve IEBC's Ksh. 17Billion Budget

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee approved IEBC's Ksh. 17 Billion budget for the 2017 elections with a directive to ensure credible elections. The decision came shortly after the same committee had threaten to block the budget unless commissioners named in the damning PAC report on allegation scandals appeared before it to defend themselves.

The Chepkonga led committee told IEBC that they now had no reason not to carry out credible elections because they had enough time to buy the equipment needed and avoid repeat scenarios that led to the challenges witnessed in 2013. This is happening at a time when CORD coalition is leading nationwide anti-IEBC demonstrations to disband the current electoral commission.


MPs Summon Cabinet Secretaries over Daadab Closure

The Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights asked the House committee on Defence and Foreign Relations to question Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery over government's decision to expatriate refugees at Daadab camp to Somalia. The government embarked on a move to close down the Daadab refugee camp siting security and national interests.

Parliament on Recess

Kindly note that both National Assembly and Senate are on recess until 6th June, 2016


Quote of the Week

" Is Sen. Wamatangi aware that on 21st March, I was teargassed along with other Members of Parliament while walking peacefully along a deserted road? Is he not aware that the military is being introduced into civil government by none other than Maj-Gen (Rtd.) Nkaisserry, who is a former military man? Yesterday, innocent people were also teargases in Huruma. Is this the direction the Government is moving? Is this a military or civilian Government?"

Sentiments by Sen. David Musila while responding to Sen. Wamatangi's contribution during the motion on the appointment of senators to the select committee to spearhead the process of the general suggestion for the draft Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2015 on Wednesday May 4th, 2016

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

" The issue of saying that all we are doing is waiting for the General Election, there is nothing else to wait for, unless we can actually address and talk to one another..But for that to happen, there must be an air of trust and respect...You cannot have your cake and eat it. You must be able to take into account the feelings and views of others, especially when you recognise that this nation is composed of 42 different ethnic communities; each with their own insecurities and fears. Unless we do it, there will be more tribal clashes reminiscent to those in Likia."

Sentiments by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta when making his contribution to the Presidential Address on the opening of the Fifth Session of the Ninth Parliament as the Opposition leader on Tuesday 28th March, 2006.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Murang'a Women Rep, Sabina Chege has promised to draft a bill that will allow President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint Governors and Senators. Her argument is these positions will have more accountability if they are answerable to the President. She also proposes to have a professional Senate that serves for life or until they withdraw at will. Isn’t this proposed bill seeking to interfere with County governance unconstitutional? What do you think?


Public Participation

Invitation by the Standing Committee on Land and Natural Resources to interested members of public and organizations to submit any representation on:

1. The Forest Conservation and Management Bill, 2015 & 
2. The Natural Resources (Classes of Transaction Subject to ratification) Bill, 2015 on Thursday 2nd June 2016.

The submissions may be made orally or by submission of written memoranda to: The Clerk of the Senate, P.O.BOX 41842-00100 Nairobi or hand-delivered to Office of the Clerk, First Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to on or before Thursday, 2nd June 2016 by 5:00pm.

Public hearing shall be held on Thursday 2nd June, 2016 Shimba Hills Hall, First Floor, KICC as follows:

The Forest Conservation and Management Bill, 2015 from 9:00am &
b. The Natural Resources (Classes of Transaction Subject to ratification) Bill, 2015 from 11:00am

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P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

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