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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 257
21st October - 25th October 2019

Editorial

Let’s interrogate our past as we fashion the future

As the Building Bridges Initiative Report release fever rises, its contents remain subject of great public speculation. Kenyans’ cannot be faulted for this anticipation.  The 9th March 2018 Handshake, which was the precursor to the formation of the BBI Task Force came on the backdrop of high political temperatures and fears of an eruption of violence to the scale only seen after the 2007/8 Post Election Violence. This was to the detriment of the country’s economic performance and press freedom, following the media shutdown of 30th January 2018.  The 9-Points Agenda identified by the Principals, coined in the joint communique issued after their March 9th 2018, were therefore seen as the panacea for recurrent election antagonism in every election cycle.

By launching a programme that will address shared values, the two parties believed that the country will steer in the right direction and away from ethnic animosity that has existed because of political tension and insecurity. Since the March 9, 2018 pact, the country has been at a trajectory point of healing and resemblance of tranquillity. While this has been commendable, it is important that as a country, we do not lose sight of the factors that got us into the pre-handshake state in the first place.  Electoral malfunctions, distrust of the electoral management processes and ethnic divisions as well as perceived non-equitable and equal sharing of natural resources were some of the driving forces to these challenges.

Violence in Kenya has unfolded from general elections such as the one in 2017 in different forms, these include the use of excessive force against protestors and even innocent individuals by police, ethnic-based killings and counterattacks by supporters to both the ruling and opposition parties. This in most instances has been fueled by a great sense of political manipulation of ethnic tensions, impunity with longstanding grievances over land, corruption, and lastly political, social and economic inequality.

The handshake that caught many by surprise brought a halt to the post-electoral drama with a final rapprochement between the two parties. This dramatically changed the simmering political under-currents nationwide between the opposition and the governing party. To date it is viewed by citizens as one of the most constructive idea for the common good, that was watered away by political tensions putting the country at the verge of collapse each electoral period.

News of the Week

"Halt dam projects," MPs demand

National Assembly Environment and Natural Resources Committee wants the government to stop all dam projects that are at planning and procurement stage until a review of technical and financial aspects is conducted to ascertain whether Kenya is getting value for money. The Committee has also told the government to stop implementing any new projects using the Engineer, Procure, Construct and Finance (EPCF) funding model due to high cost associated with it. 
In a report tabled in National Assembly last week, the committee calls for a special audit on the model to assess the cost-benefit analysis, completion rate of projects and the viability of the model. Further, the committee wants the government to first acquire land for construction of dams long before the project implementation and before making any financial commitments with donors and partners to avoid huge costs associated with delays in the implementation phase.

Agriculture put to task over coffee challenges

National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee has one month to table a report before the House following Speaker Justin Muturi's directive to investigate the problems bedevilling the Coffee Research Institute (CRI). The speaker’s directive comes days after Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu called for intervention to cushion the agency from crumbling, terming it a critical component in research for the cash crop development. Muturi also called out the Agriculture Committee for failure to take up the matter, only to wait for a member to raise it despite the importance of the cash crop to the country’s economy.

Quote of the Week

"Let me tell you why buildings are more attractive to people. It's because if you were to buy medicine to treat people or hire the right health workers to serve people there's no 10% cut. But as long as you're building structures and huge buildings there kickbacks, they become avenues for corruption and avenues for people to make money."

Quote by Senate Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen during a debate on a motion on the Engagement of Community Health Workers by County Governments on October 22nd 2019.
 

Lest we forget

"We want also Kenyans to get value for the money that they have put into this process which is very critical for healing in this nation. As we move into the implementation of the new Constitution and working within the new constitutional dispensation, it will be very important that we move with people not carrying baggage and the traditional excuses of historical injustices"

Sentiments by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya supporting a motion to extend the duration for TJRC on August 18th 2011. 

Read the Hansard

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
Second Reading
THE KENYAN SIGN LANGUAGE BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 15 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen (Dr.) Getrude Musuruve and Sen. (Prof.) Margaret Kamar
THE REGISTRATION OF PERSONS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 14 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen (Dr.) Isaac Mwaura
THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILD PARENTS BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 11 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Beatrice Kwamboka
THE ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 18 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Ephraim Maina
THE ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 19 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Sylvia Kasanga
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE COMMISSION ON ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 6 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Petronilla Were Lokorio
THE NATURAL RESOURCES (BENEFIT SHARING) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 31 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
THE PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 3 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS (DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND DESIGNATED STATE OFFICERS) (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 2 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Ledama Olekina
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 33 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Ledama Olekina
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 38 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Mary Seneta
THE CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- SENATE BILLS NO. 9 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Abdullahi Ali

Public Participation

Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation invites views from the public on:
i) The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill (No 20 of 2019)
ii) The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill (No 61 of 2019)

Public hearings shall be held as follows;
a) Friday 8th November 2019, Baricho Sub County Hall - Kirinyaga.
b) Monday 11th November 2019, County Hall, Parliament Buildings - Nairobi.

Written memoranda may be forwarded to the Clerk of the National Assembly, P. O. BOX 41842 - 00100, Nairobi or;

Hand-delivered to the office of the Clerk, 1st Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi or emailed to clerk@parliament.go.ke to be received on or before Thursday, 31st November 2019 at 5 pm.

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