Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 207
08 October - 14 October, 2018


Until we realize the role inequality plays and challenge it; buses won’t be the only thing killing us

This country treats its poor with an unrivaled disdain. To be poor is not only a crime; it is also punishable by death. Worse still, the country has little time to think about the 55 people who died in a grisly road accident a few days ago.

We’re a country that can’t stick with one story long enough to digest it. We move from one scandal to another and the problems of the majority poor are too much to stay on one thing long enough to deal.

Sadly, the ruling class knows this and is actually counting on it. Not even death can keep us lingering. We’ve moved on to the next hot topic – for now it’s the IEBC drama. The week before the accident, it was the Monica murder and before that, it was the Sharon murder.

We move from one story to another completely numbed; unable to realize how tragic some of these stories are. Not even the fear of consuming deadly sugar has made us pause and think. We are a society conditioned to move on.

Our focus now is on the IEBC. The electoral agency has been treating us to a series of dramatic events since the bungled August 8th General Elections last year. The CEO got fired last week over gross misconduct but the Chairman is now pushing to have him, together with the other commissioners who resigned unceremoniously, charged for abuse of office.

This is a commission whose dismal performance indirectly led to the death and loss of property of majority poor in the slums. If their actions indirectly led to the death of someone important, they would probably been disbanded. But the justice in this country is much slower when it comes to the poor.

We are allergic to proper planning, preferring knee-jerk reactions instead and maybe it’s for this reason that we need to stay a little on this recent road carnage. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) displays on their website that as of October 8, 2018 – 2,345 people had lost their lives compared to 2,162 who succumbed to their injuries in 2017.

That our MPs suspended their business of the day momentarily to offer condolences to the bereaved families and talk tough shouldn’t come as a surprise. That’s been the established mode of engagement. A building collapses killing hundreds and our MPs will suspend their debate to talk tough and warn imaginary people.

News of the Week

Changes in committee leadership expected as NASA seeks permission from Speaker

NASA to reshuffle their House Committee membership in what pundits are seeing as the opposition outfit aligning self with the March 9th handshake. Majority of those targeted for reshuffle are those who are taking different positions from the coalition.

Also expected to be touched are the chairmen of the two watchdog committees; Public Accounts and Public Investment Committees. Minority Whip Junet Mohamed has since written to the Speaker seeking permission to shuffle membership of several committees.


MPs likely to vote in favor of shifting election date to December

MPs expected to vote on a proposal to shift the election date from August to December. The proposal is expected to pass considering it will extend the term of MPs in office by at least four months.

The sponsor of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2017 Hon. Chris Wamalwa says it’s important that the General Elections are held on a day favorable to Kenyan’s unique circumstances and traditions.

MPs oppose recommendation to admit weak students to the teachers training colleges

National Assembly Education Committee has halted the process of admitting students with weak grades to the teachers training colleges. The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) had recommended through a gazette notice that minimum entry grade for a Diploma be pegged at KCSE grade C (minus) and D (plain) for a certificate course. The Teachers Service Commission had opposed the recommendations and the move by the Education Committee is a major boost to them. The committee asked CS Amina and her PS to table a policy paper on the same when they appeared before the MPs. They also questioned KNQA’s motive especially because key stakeholders were not consulted.

Quote of the Week

"I will not read my speech because it is shameful. I am embarrassed to stand before you to be reminded of what we should have done many years ago."

Quote by President Uhuru Kenyatta having refused to read his original speech at an SMEs conference at Strathmore Business School on October 16, 2018

Lest we forget

"A sustainable economic transformation strategy must, at the initial stage, embrace sectors in which majority of our people derive their livelihoods. Agriculture is best positioned to open up opportunities across the country and sustain equitable development and prosperity."

Sentiments by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich when presenting the Budget Estimates for 2014/2015 financial year on June 12, 2014.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Migori Senator Ochillo Ayako made headlines this week after clinching the victory in the Migori Senatorial by-elections under ODM ticket. The seat became vacant following the untimely death of Senator Ben Oluoch who succumbed to Cancer. Ochillo Ayako had unsuccessfully contested for the Migori Gubernatorial position in August 2017 which Governor Obado clinched. He subsequently filed another unsuccessful petition to overturn Governor Obado’s win at the Court of Appeal. He has bounced back to national politics with this win. He is however no newcomer in politics having served as former Minister for Energy and Gender Sports and Culture in 2003 - 2004 and 2004 - 2005 respectively. He also served as Member of Parliament for Rongo Constituency between 1997 - 2007. 


Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading
- NO. 10 OF 2017 (SENATE BILL)
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 19 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning Hon. Joseph Kirui Limo
- NO. 05 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon. Chris Wamalwa
- NO. 06 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. William Kipkorir
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The County Governments Retirement Scheme Bill
- NO. 10 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

Second Reading
- NO. 17 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
- NO. 10 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Gideon Moi
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
- NO. 12 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
- NO. 08 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. and Sen. Johnson Sakaja
- NO. 02 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Ledama Olekina
- NO. 09 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. (CPA) Farhiya Haji

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.

Mzalendo Trust, Heinrich Boll Foundation,
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P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

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