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Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 12, 8 - 14  December 2014

News of the Week:
 
  • The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has invited the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate how a contractor was paid close to Sh89 million for a stalled petrol station at State House. EACC is also supposed to unearth how the station was turned into office suites. In a report tabled before the National Assembly, PAC says the contractor was paid Sh88.8 million without proof that the work was done. The report also says it is a puzzle how a supposed petrol station – with 85 per cent of work done – could be turned into offices for the President’s staff at State House. The initial work was to cost Sh105 million. Records supplied to the committee show that the contract was awarded on May 23, 2011, when President Mwai Kibaki was serving his second term at State House. The contract was to last for 52 weeks and the work completed on May 23, 2012. Although the contractor was paid Sh88, 826,396 (85 per cent of the contract sum) by June 30, 2013, a review of the contract in January 2014 indicates that the plans stalled in June 2011.

     
  • The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) is set to commence auditing of Parliament’s financial management system. The move is aimed at sealing loopholes that could lead to corruption in the undertakings of Parliament. National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi wrote to the anti-corruption watchdog in September to request for help in designing an efficient finance management system for Parliament to stop cash misappropriations and pilferage by MPs. Various oversight institutions have concerns on financial impropriety relating to various claims and allowances which have also been replicated at the County Assembly level. The initiative is aimed at re-looking, strengthening and reviewing the PSC financial systems for effective allocation and usage of parliamentary funds to ensure value for money and transparency.
 
  • The Public Investments Committee has recommended the cancellation of a Sh3.6 billion contract given to a consortium headed by a Chinese company to supervise the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway. It has also recommended to the House that top managers at the Kenya Railway Corporation, led by managing director Atanas Maina, be investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for possible corruption in the tender award. In a report tabled in the National Assembly, PIC said the consortium of TSDI and Kenyan firms Apec and Edon consultants “lacks the necessary competence, expertise and experience to undertake the role envisaged in the contract.”
 
  • A controversial proposal to amend the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill resulted in a deadlock in the National Assembly as MPs debated its last stages. The proposed amendment sought to have Cord leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka resign from their party positions and quit active politics. National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale is behind the amendment to the Bill, which faced resistance from the Cord side, which is behind the Bill sponsored by ODM chairman Hon. John Mbadi.
 
  • Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro is yet to occupy a palatial residence in the upscale Karen estate that cost the taxpayer Sh150 million. The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) says the house that was purchased in 2012 has been vacant for two years. It is alleged that Mr Ethuro recently requested for an additional Sh50 million for "repairs and renovations". The Speaker however dismissed claims that he had refused to move into the house. He said he has written to PSC inquiring when he could move in, but said he could not get a concrete response. He also denied claims that he had asked for an extra Sh50 million for renovations. Ethuro said questions being raised concerning the house were part of supremacy battles within the commission, although he did not provide details of the alleged squabbles.
  
  • The Senate started its annual recess on Thursday, 4th December. It will will resume on 10th February 2015. 
 
  • Kenya lost former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament Joseph Kamotho. He died aged 72 had having been in active politics since 1979. He had vied for the Murang'a Senatorial Seat in the 2013 General elections and lost.
     
Editorial: What do the People’s Shujaaz Awards represent?


The core of human life when being worked on should be highlighted and appreciated. The People’s Shujaaz Awards are meant to do just that. The Awards spotlight the Parliamentarians that have made game-changing contributions in the House on issues of great public interest. Availing information on Parliamentarians and the contributions they made on the issues is the first reason behind the awards. Kenyans need to develop an interest in what goes on in Parliament. Parliamentarians should also be challenged by seeing their colleagues taking a deeper interest in the affairs of the public. Read more



Quote of the Week

Comments emanating from discussions on the adoption of report on nomination of National Cohesion and Integration Commissioners on Tuesday, 12th May, 2009 made by Hon. Eugene Wamalwa


“We have had the problem of negative ethnicity in this nation. It is something that we need to work on. Talking about Tanzania, our neighbor here, Mwalimu Nyerere, the founding father of Tanzania, set a very firm foundation of one nation, one people. When you look at the founding father of Zambia, President Kenneth, also embraced the notion of one Zambia, one nation. But after our Independence, the issue of national cohesion is something we, as a nation, have not focused on. We have fallen into the traps of pulling into tribal cocoons and feeding our people when we get the chance to be in power. When one of ours is there, it is now our time to eat. These things have actually increased the gap between communities. It increased hostilities. It is time we started addressing them head on.” Read Hansard



Lest we Forget!

Comments emanating from a Special Sitting of the National Assembly on September 5th 2013 by Hon. Rachel Shebesh

 “We can never change history. Kenyans know exactly how we got to the ICC. So, being lectured about it continuously does not make sense, because we all know. However, I believe that, as a leadership, we can determine the future of this country. The future of this country is that we must be part of the African nations that have decided that we should come up with African solutions to African problems. I want to echo what the person who has just spoken talked about: How the ICC prosecutor can ignore the voice of the victims. Every time we speak, it is assumed that we are protecting the President, the Deputy President and Mr. Sang but we have always spoken in this House for the victims of the post-election violence. I believe that the victims’ voices must be heard.” Read Hansard



Upcoming Bills in the National Assembly


Bills up for Second reading 

THE PRIVATE SECURITY REGULATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 4 OF 2014)  is sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale

THE BUSINESS REGISTRATION SERVICE BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 5 OF 2014)  is sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale

THE PROHIBITION OF ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 7 OF 2014)  is sponsored by Majority Leader Aden Duale

THE TRAFFIC (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 33 OF 2014) is sponsored by  Hon. Joseph Lekuton
 


Public Participation Opportunities; 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is seeking views on the draft Foreign Service Bill, 2014. Written memoranda should be submitted to ps@mfa.go.ke and copy legald@mfa.go.ke by 10th December 2014 to facilitate finalization of the Bill.

The National Assembly is seeking views on the nomination of Hon. Major (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery as Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Coordination of National Government Ministry. Written memoranda can be submitted to clerk@parliament.go.ke, sent to Clerk of the National Assembly P.O.Box 41842 - 00100, Nairobi or hand delivered to the Clerk at Main Parliament Building by 10th of December 2014.

The National Assembly is seeking views on the nominations of persons to sit in the CDF Board. The nominees are Hon. Elias Mbau, Dr. Mike Iravo, Eng. Hillary James Nyaanga and Dr. Margaret Jepkirui. Written memoranda can be submitted to clerk@parliament.go.ke, sent to Clerk of the National Assembly P.O.Box 41842 - 00100, Nairobi or hand delivered to the Clerk at Main Parliament Building by 10th of December 2014.




Newsmaker this week:

Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to come up with cheap fights to ensure safety of Kenyans. She said it would be safer for people to board affordable flights to those areas instead of buses which, she says are easy targets for terrorists. Murugi was speaking yesterday in Nyeri where she met more than 100 people who recently evacuated because of insecurity. Profile


 
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