Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 164
4 December - 10 December, 2017


Anything to smile about after 54 years of self-rule?

Our country Kenya turns 54 on the 12th of this month and like every birthday we have plans to throw a party on the Jamhuri Day complete with a great speech from the President. But really, besides getting older what else is there to celebrate?

We’ve just gone through a most trying period in a competitive poll that nearly tore us apart and left a section of the country still sore. But being the people that accept things and move on, we’ve moved on.

Essentially we’ve gone back to being our usual mediocre selves. It appears 54 years of self-rule has turned us into lawless, angry people who have little patience for logic.

It sure does sound like a broken record every time analysts come on TV to remind us that at independence we were at par with Malaysia which is not the case now. Or how we gave aid to South Korea in the 60s and now we’re beneficiaries of their tax payers money, yet these statements are quite telling.

What then are we celebrating? Retrogressive-ness? We have retrogressed in nearly every sector despite the choir of politicians in government singing about this development and that development.

Major Towns stink

The major towns that became cities after independence were already set for the same by the white government. They had running water, proper sewerage system and a good public transport system.

Today, nearly every city that’s worth that term struggles with a broken sewerage system. Poor garbage collection system and a complete lack of urban planning and development.

Even the capital Nairobi has nothing worth to report home about after 54 years. God forbid it rains for one week straight. You’d be forgiven to think we’re living in the days of Noah. All the roads get flooded and pedestrians wade through the water which sometimes is knee-deep. You can only imagine the waterborne diseases that come out of that clear lack of urban planning.

The white man left us clean organized cities that we turned into filthy, disorganized urban places. And today more than 50years later, for every posh estate we have a slum as a reminder that ethnicity is not the real problem.

News of the Week

Senate wants to give MCAs fund similar to NGCDF

A bill drafted by Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata wants Members of County Assembly (MCAs) to get each Sh. 15million annually for purposes of development. If enacted the Bill will see all the 1450 wards receive funds directly from the National Treasury to fund minor projects. Senator Kang’ata who is also the Jubilee Deputy Chief Whip in the Senate said he is lobbying his colleagues in the Senate but insists it is a private member’s bill and not a Jubilee party bill.

The fund is expected to fund such things as nursery schools, bridges, street lights among other minor projects that directly fall under county government. The Jubilee Senator nonetheless says there will be no duplication and that the fund is aimed at preventing discrimination in development within the wards as well as preventing Governors from intimidating MCAs.


Government withdraws Bills on Energy

The State through the National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has withdrawn the Energy Bill and the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill over what it termed typographical errors. Apparently, the Government Printer had also left out parts of the bill when republishing. The areas missing include parts of the bill that had been amended in the 11th Parliament which the Majority Leader said must be included because they also contain public views.

The Petroleum exploration bill remains a thorny issue as the MPs in Turkana have fought with the National government to over the share revenue due to the locals. They want it capped at 10% of what the national government is getting.


NASA MPs scramble for positions in lucrative committees

MPs are all lobbying to get into committees that appear more lucrative ditching more crucial yet less glamorous committees. The committees on demand are the Defence and Foreign Relations, Energy and Communication, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Public Investment Committee (PIC). But by far the most sought after committee is the Transport Committee that has attracted at least 40 MPs from NASA coalition which is nearly double the expected number.

The Justice and Legal Affairs committee on the other hand has only two members from NASA who are interested but neither of them are lawyers hence do not meet the pre-requisite requirement. The committees deemed lucrative is partly because they deal with state firms that are seen as having money and also likelihood to travel are higher. There are 32 committees and membership for each is between 15 and 27 members.


MPs want Civil Servants working less than 10years locked out of pension

The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 3) Bill 2017 if passed into law will see civil servants who have worked less than 10years blocked from accessing pensions. The draft law if brought into force will affect Senior government officials including Cabinet Secretaries whose term is not renewed after five years. The Bill also seeks to  amend The Salaries and Remuneration Commisson (SRC) Act to give SRC commissioners full-time jobs.


Quote of the Week

"The NASA leadership wishes to advise the NASA fraternity and the general public that the swearing in of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, and the launch of The People’s Assembly scheduled for Tuesday 12 December have been postponed to a later date."

Quote by NASA Co-Principal Hon. Musalia Mudavadi when announcing the postponement of the swearing in of their party flag bearers on December 10, 2017

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"I want to speak here, and I am also to blame because in the county where I come from, we literally pulled a person from bed and made him a governor and he cannot prepare a budget today."

Sentiments by Former Rarieda MP, Hon. Nicholas Gumbo when debating the motion on liberalization of power distribution in the country on July 11, 2013.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Opposition NASA leader Raila Odinga made headlines this week after his coalition party bit a hasty retreat on the much publicized swearing-in much to the disappointment of his supporters. The former Prime Minister had promised to take oath of office as president on Jamhuri Day insisting he was not recognizing the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. It now emerges that the position was not popular among NASA leadership who some felt was hollow and had no meaning while others felt was treasonable and could derail their agenda. The former PM has not spoken since his about-turn and the message to dismiss the event was delivered by his co-principals in his absentia.


Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading
- NO. 35 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 34 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 44 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 33 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 32 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved.

Mzalendo Trust, Heinrich Boll Foundation,
Prof. Wangari Mathai Road.
P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

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