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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 163
27 November - 3 December, 2017

Editorial

What Kenyans do MPs really represent? Certainly not the poor

This country has a lot of money. We spent Sh. 42billion in a sham election that the Supreme Court nullified and found another Sh.13billion to conduct a second exercise.

It’s like money falls from trees until it’s the common man that really needs it. Never mind since April this year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been warning us about rising public debt in the country.

The latest warning came only a few days ago. IMF said the rising debt is likely to shock the economy and one would expect that such a warning would make us check our appetite for spending but no, we’re unfazed.

Statehouse only this week spent another Sh.300million to entertain foreign guests who attended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing-in. But Head of Public Service and State House Chief of Staff, Joseph Kinyua said there will be no waste; so we should all rest easy, right?

Anyhow, some people have reasoned that the government-executive arm has always been aloof since time immemorial. One therefore expects that Parliament as the arm of government that actually represents the common man would grasp the public mood but Parliament is no different.

As I write there is a construction of a Sh. 110million tunnel connecting the Parliamentary Office block a couple of meters across the road. The Parliamentary Service Committee says it is part of a plan to decongest the city traffic.

It’s hard buying that tale because MPs are on record complaining about annoying constituents who wait for them outside Parliament buildings or their offices to ask for this or that help. So the tunnel is purely to keep off these poor folks from disturbing the honorable as they go about “important” business.

And by-the-way the Sh. 110 million could fund 688 university students through university all the four years. But that’s nothing compared to the privacy that MPs need as they go about their business.

Never mind that 900,000 Kenyans, out of the two million with HIV, are the only ones on treatment according to Ministry of Health PS Mwilu.

Today is World Aids Day and seeing as we have been on a divisive mode the past few months one would expect our MPs could’ve come together on this day and direct this money to this national challenge right?

The tunnel we’re constructing for MPs privacy-because that’s what it’s really about-can ensure another over 423 Kenyans access the highly successful Tenofovir drug by Gilead Sciences which by-the-way doesn’t exist anywhere in Africa because it’s retailing at Sh. 260,000.

If one is to consider the many projects that we undertake at the expense of priority stuff one would get a serious headache because our inability to figure what’s priority is disturbing.

This spendthrift habit in difficult times should serve as a wakeup call to all Kenyans. There are only two tribes in Kenya-the haves and the have-nots

News of the Week

MPs to clash with Treasury over pensions and send-off pay

Treasury is set to clash with lawmakers over send-off package and pension for MPs who lost in the August 8th elections. The 12th Parliament wants their former colleagues who failed to capture seat in August polls get at least Sh.7million each and a lifelong pension of Sh. 118,000. These demands are contrary to the law for lawmakers to get both minimum gratuity (Sh.7million) and life-long pension as it will be paying two retirement packages. Only two term MPs are guaranteed pension and first-time MPs can seek a refund at 15% annual interest. The situation is further complicated by the fact that some MPs who served in the 10th Parliament but failed to retain their seats in the 11th Parliament have already been paid both pension and the gratuity.
 

NASA submits list but coalition partners unhappy

Opposition coalition NASA has finally submitted list of their leaders in the House to the National Assembly Speaker amidst murmuring from coalition members. The list submitted include: John Mbadi (Suba South) as Minority Leader, Robert Mbui (Kathiani) Deputy Minority Leader. Others include: Junet Mohamed (Suna East) as Minority Whip and Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) as the Deputy Minority Whip. While the Speaker Muturi has accepted the names and called for speedy formation of House Committees smaller parties in the coalition have cried foul over the list. Critics have accused the coalition of gender insensitivity and lack of regional balance in their appointments.
 

Senate divided over legalizing Bhang

The Senate had a heated debate over a private member bill seeking to legalize marijuana and setting free those jailed for handling or dealing in the outlawed drug. NASA co-principal Wetangula was among the most vocal Senators who were angered by the petition. A number of Senators including Narok, Vihiga and Kilifi Senators argued that the petitioner should be given an opportunity to argue out his case.  
 

EALA list shows how parties reward cronies

MPs can finally vet the list of nominees to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) after NASA submitted their list. However, the names from both opposition and ruling Jubilees contain those close to party leaders and loyal to the party. Jubilee has submitted 15 names for five slots. Some of them include: Wanjiku Muhia, Simon Mbugua and Mpuru Aburi; all former MPs of Nyandarua, Kamukunji and Tigania East respectively.

Also standing out on the Jubilee list among others include former National Assembly clerk Justin Bundi, former CIC boss Charles Nyachae and Bishop Jackson Kosgei from Baringo. NASA on the other hand has submitted 12names for the four slots and like Jubilee appear to have rewarded those close to its leadership. The list includes the former Bondo MP Oburu Odinga, Kennedy Musyoka who are brother and son to the two NASA co-principals respectively. Also nominated among others is the NASA Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya.
 

   

Quote of the Week

"To effectively combat the pothole menace in Nairobi County we must employ new strategies that are quick, cost effective and durable."

Quote by Nariobi Governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko after launching giant pothole patching machines in Nairobi City on December 6, 2017

Read his profile

Lest we forget

"As leaders, let us make sure that we do not spoil this country."

Sentiments by the late Hon. Francis Nyenze when debating motion on establishment of joint parliamentary select committee on IEBC matters, on July 5, 2016.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Kitui West MP, Francis Nyenze has died while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital. The late MP took oath of office about 3 months ago carrying an oxygen tank. The MP had roughed his coalition party NASA the wrong way after announcing his support for the incumbent’s re-election at the expense of NASA where his party leader Kalonzo Musyoka was running as the running mate for Raila Odinga. The late MP served as the Minority leader in the 11th Parliament. He has also served in Parliament in the Public Investment committee. Other public positions he had previously held include the Minister of Environment and Minister of Heritage and Sports.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL 
- NO. 44 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Second Reading
THE PUBLIC TRUSTEE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 32 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE COPYRIGHT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 33 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE BUILDING SURVEYORS BILL
- NO. 35 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE PETROLEUM (EXPLORATION, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION) BILL
- NO. 40 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE COUNTY ALLOCATION OF REVENUE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 9 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE COUNTY BOUNDARIES BILL 
- NO. 06 OF 2017
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
THE WAREHOUSE RECEIPTS SYSTEM BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2017
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) (NO.2 ) BILL 
- NO. 07 OF 2017
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
THE NATIONAL FLAG, EMBLEMS AND NAMES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 08 OF 2017
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.

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