Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 249
19th Aug - 23rd Aug 2019


The success or failure of the census all lies in the planning

Unto whom much is given, much is expected. This aptly applies to Dr Fred Matiang’i, a man on whose shoulders many responsibilities have been placed.   It is no surprise that all eyes are on him during the census,  an activity that takes place once every decade to ascertain how many Kenyans exist. This one, however, could possibly be the most controversial coming at a time when the mood is rife with referendum and 2022 succession talks and a citizenry weary of any government efforts to harvest personal data. That’s besides the stringent last-minute measures that were put in place by the ‘Super CS’ in an effort to capture every single Kenyan in the count. A nationwide lockdown of bars and clubs aggrieved many revelers who complained of having lost on a weekend to unwind while most are yet to have a moment with enumerators doing rounds in every household.

This rushed move was symptomatic of poor planning by the government which would have been solved had there been extensive and prolonged civic engagement and sensitization. Had the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Planning used the communication arsenal employed during the Huduma Namba registration to educate the public on the census process, then perhaps the hostility that enumerators have been met with in some areas would not have been reported. While Dr Matiang’i was stamping his authority with the closure of bars he failed to factor in the complexities that come with conducting such an exercise during late hours. Not only did this move expose Kenyan homes to risks such as robbery but this put the enumerators in harm’s way. In an all too familiar move by the government, the ministry has just changed the working hours to 6am to 10 pm a little too late after this past weekend’s tainted exercise that saw an enumerator gang-raped.

Security matters aside, it is becoming evident that the training of enumerators wasn’t consistent across the board with several Kenyans reporting inconsistencies in the exercise.


News of the Week

Interest of current loans to remain

Commercial banks have offered not to increase interest rates on current loans after the law capping interest rates is repealed as has been practice in the past, instead only new borrowers will pay the new rates in line with their risk profile. Through memoranda sent to Parliament as part of the submissions on the Finance Bill, Kenya Bankers Association (bankers' lobby group) has committed to maintaining the current customers’ loan contracts within the existing contractual framework. The National Treasury seeks to do away with the interest rate capping law through the proposed Finance Bill.


Concerns raised on Isiolo residents missing out on census

Isiolo Women Representative Rehema Jaldesa has raised concerns over residents being left out of the census next week due to the effects of drought. During a census awareness campaign in Kinna ward, the MP pleaded with the county and national governments. to provide food and water to hungry residents, to ensure that pastoralist families remain at home on August 24th and 25th. Additionally, she said there is need to beef up security in disputed areas like Eldera on the Isiolo-Garissa counties boundary.

MPs oppose religious group proposals on IEBC commissioners

MPs are opposed to the inclusion of religious organizations and want political parties to be given a crucial say in the hiring of IEBC commissioners. The new commissioners will fill the vacant slots left by the commissioners who resigned last year. The Parliamentary Service Commission shall nominate four officials while the Public Service Commission and the EACC will nominate 7 officials. Other bodies that shall have representatives include the LSK, Attorney General, KNHRC, National Gender & Equality Commission and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.

Alfred Mutua calls out Duale on DoR stance

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has asked National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale to recuse himself as he has taken hardline positions on the Division of Revenue Bill and in turn frustrated the ongoing mediation between the two Houses. He called upon the Speaker to find a replacement for Mr Duale so that the new leader can concentrate on important national and parliamentary business. He noted that when counties are not funded are required by the Constitution, service delivery is crippled.

ODM meet up ahead of Kibra by-election

ODM party leader is expected to chair a meeting of the party’s Central Management Committee to settle for the mode of picking a candidate for the upcoming by-election in Kibra constituency. The party is expected to consider three options of identifying a candidate to replace the late Ken Okoth who succumbed to cancer last month. The committee will decide whether the part will go for consensus, universal suffrage or settle for direct nomination. 
Party chairman John Mbadi says the party will settle on the method that will not leave their supporters disappointed. This comes after the party asked all interested candidates on Tuesday to collect the forms from the headquarters and return them by Friday.

Transport PS on the spot over State Department variance

National Assembly Public Accounts Committee turned away the Transport PS Esther Koimett after she failed to explain a Sh 224 billion variance between the State Department’s financial statements balance and trial balance for 2016/2017. 
Ms Koimett claimed that the matter had been cleared and that the ministry had provided the Auditor General with the necessary documents, only for her to be forced to recant the response as officers from the Auditor’s office attached to the committee rebuffed her claims saying they had not received any documentation from the ministry for verification. PAC chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi was left with no option but to adjourn the meeting. The variances touch on deposit bank accounts, Unicef programme, debtors, transfer from other State units and imprests, among others

Legislator seeks to devolve land management

Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga plans to table a motion in Parliament seeking to devolve land management to the counties. Mr Chonga has faulted the Lands Ministry for failure to solve the ongoing land problems in the county. He says that as long as land disputes are handled in Nairobi, residents of Kilifi will still experience evictions since those claiming their land are grabbers who have processed title deeds in Nairobi.

Quote of the Week

The National Census 2019 is a critical tool for national planning, resource allocation and delivery of government services. It will enable deployment of requisite infrastructure to spur equitable development and promote national cohesion.

Quote by Deputy President William Ruto on the 2019 Kenyan Census that kicked off on Saturday August 24th 2019.

Lest we forget

"I feel a bit of discomfort in that the result of the census will be used in economic planning and resource allocation in this country. The clarification I am seeking is that the people who are outside Kenya and are Kenyans who are in other countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan, among others, are there because of the current climatic condition. If they will not be part of the census, it will adversely affect the resource allocation and other planning aspects in those areas. What will the Minister do to bring these people on board in terms of the census exercise?"

Comments by Former Isiolo South MP Abdul Bahari Jillo on the 2009 Census Strategy to capture Pastoralist communities on June 10th 2009. 

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Dr Fred Matiang'i singlehandedly brought the busy night-life to a standstill with a directive for all bar-owners to close shop at 5pm on the weekend of the 24th August, all in a bid to ensure all Kenyans were home for the census that kicked off on Saturday. This was later described as unnecessary considering that enumerators only covered a few households on the first weekend of the census. 
The CS wasn't spared from criticism as Kenyans called it an ill-advised move following the report of a gang-rape on one of the enumerators.


Bills before the Senate

First Reading

Public Participation

Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock invites members of the public to submit representations they may have on The Tea Bill, 2018 (Senate Bill No. 36).

Representations may be forwarded to
The Clerk of the National Assembly
P. O. Box 41842-00100, Nairobi;


hand-delivered to the Office of the Clerk, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi or emailed to; to be received on or before Tuesday, 3rd September 2019 at 5pm.

Departmental Committee on Labour & Social Welfare invites members of the public to submit representations they may have on The Care and Protection of Older Members of Society Bill, 2018 (Senate Bill No. 17)

Representations may be forwarded to
The Clerk of the National Assembly
P. O. Box 41842-00100, Nairobi;


hand-delivered to the Office of the Clerk, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi or emailed to; to be received on or before Tuesday, 3rd September 2019 at 5pm.

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