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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 93
25 - 31 July, 2016

Editorial

Debate on Non-Kenyan IEBC Commissioners a Testament to an ailing Democracy

Political drama is fodder for many Kenyans and that explains the heavy political content offered by our media houses. Unfortunately, our political players get carried away in their desire to show their political bravado and keep up the drama a little too long; thereby, sending signals that outside intervention might be necessary to calm their braggadocio.  At least that is what some Kenyans including political scientist Professor Bogonko think about the IEBC conundrum.

Prof. Bogonko recently suggested that the IEBC commissioners eat a humble pie and resign with dignity to pave way for a new team to be led by two foreign commissioners. His argument stems from the fact the country has in the past hired foreigners to lead important commissions where impartiality was paramount. It therefore should follow that this could be the remedy for the electoral commission that is dogged with credibility challenges every election year.

The idea to have polls run by foreigners was first fronted by opposition leaders in 2014. The leaders led by Senator James Orengo claimed that management of elections remained a thorny issue so long as a Kenyan was at the top suggesting that non-partisanship required non-Kenyans to manage elections.

It’s quite disturbing that over 50-years after independence we can’t agree on a clear way forward on how to manage our elections. Considering foreigners to manage our polls is practically an admission that Kenya is a failed state. To date only Afghanistan and Iraq are known to have outsourced electoral commissioners in 2004 and 2005 respectively through the United Nations (UN). Other countries that have seen the UN get involved, at least in the managing of elections are Cambodia and East Timor.

That this debate is raging should be the watershed moment both for our drama loving politicians and the IEBC commissioners- who have decided to stay put despite obvious lack of confidence from the public. No truly democratic nation has non-citizens on its electoral commission. Only failed states tend to gravitate to this model. Perhaps our politicians from both sides of the divide that are maintaining hard lines on the matter should really think if we should be in the same league with failed states.

News of the Week

About 9.2 million Kenyans Not Registered as voters

The head of National Registration Bureau (NRB) revealed that over 9 million Kenyan eligible voters had not yet registered as voters despite having valid national ID cards. The IEBC has only registered about 14.4 million voters, although the actual number of Kenyans with IDs are 26.3 million people.

In 2012, the government waived fees for both new and duplicate ID applications to facilitate voter registration, to ensure no Kenyan was left out of the voters’ list. Will the same happen in readiness for next year’s election?

In addition, the NRB has proposed the delivery of IDs and enrolment of voters be done concurrently and urged the IEBC to conduct massive voter registration before the 2017 general election.

 

Electoral Body to have non-Kenyans for Transparency- Ombudsman

Ombudsman Otiende Amollo proposed to the joint committee probing IEBC that the commission should be reconstituted to have four non-Kenyan commissioners. He argues that this is not because there are no competent Kenyans to run elections but rather “to cure the current geopolitics and mistrust.”

The Ombudsman is also advising that the election date be altered, a position also shared by the Council of Governors and Members of County Assembly. Law makers from both Senate and National Assembly on the other hand have disagreed sharply with this position and maintained the election date remains August 8th.

 

Religious Leaders Draft Bill on Election Reforms

Religious leaders through the multi-sectoral forum have together with the civil rights group drafted the Election Laws (Amendment) and The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bills to effect a number of changes before the 2017 poll. Both Bills have been presented before the joint committee probing IEBC.

The religious leaders are proposing election results for all seats announced at the constituency level as a way of curbing rigging. They also want the number of commissioners reduced to five and hired on a part-time basis.

In another twist to the already complicated IEBC matter, the multi-sectoral dialogue forum wants religious leaders to have the largest share of panelists who will recruit the new IEBC chiefs. They want to have three representatives from the nine member panel. Jubilee two and CORD as a minority one representative while political parties with no representation to elect one representative through the Political Parties Liason Committee. Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and civil rights groups will also have one slot. Additionally, they want the panel to have a women’s representative.


 

Four Commissioners write to President expressing willingness to resign voluntarily

Commissioners Abdullahi Sharawe, Yusuf Nzibo, Kule Galma Godana and Albert Bwire wrote to President Uhuru expressing their willingness to resign voluntarily upon payment of all their dues. The four commissioners in their letter to the President argued that while the process of removing them from office was clear and required a tribunal, it was tedious and time consuming and would affect the timeline and preparation for next year’s poll.

 
MPs Pass Bill to cap cost of loans

Members of Parliament have passed a Bill that seeks to cap bank interest rates at four percent of the Central Bank (CBK) rate in a bid to protect Kenyans from burdening loans. Kenya Bankers Association has protested this Bill and asked the President not to assent it. The Bill sponsored by Kiambu’s  MP Jude Njomo also proposes to have the minimum interest on a deposit held in interest earning accounts to at least 70 percent of the base rate set and published by CBK.

Quote of the Week

"Some IEBC commissioners have volunteered to resign. I urge the Members of this House and the Select Committee to accept the resignation of those commissioners. Let us support that position and give them the packages they deserve, so that they can show the way out."

Sentiments by Hon. Francis Nyenze while contributing to the motion on the Establishment of Joint Parliamentary Select Committee on IEBC matters on July 5, 2016

 

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"Opinion polls have been used many times to mislead the public. We know that towards the run up to the last general elections, many opinion polls were churned out giving different figures. You would find three different opinion polls giving totally different positions on the same issue."

Sentiments by Sen. Sang Kipyego when contributing to the debate on rating of Senators by Infotrak on May 19, 2015.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro is likely to rub most legislators the wrong way with his suggestion that elected leaders be blocked from any direct access or control of county or constituency kitties. The Speaker says this will protect the economy because these kitties provide opportunities for politicians to loot public funds. Additionally, he says this will ensure MPs focus on their oversight roles and not focus on which funds to control.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE KENYA NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (AMENDMENT)
(No.2) BILL 
- NO. 14 OF 2015 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology Hon. Sabina Chege 
 
THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS OF KENYA BILL
- NO. 26 OF 2015
Sponsored by Hon. David Ochieng
THE CLINICAL OFFICERS (TRAINING, REGISTRATION AND
LICENSING) BILL 
- NO. 27 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Leonard Sang
THE CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 03 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Health Hon. Rachael Nyamai
Second Reading
THE KENYA UWEZO FUND BILL
- NO. 65 OF 2015
Sponsored by Hon. David Kangongo

The Uwezo Fund came from the promise by President Kenyatta to allocate the KShs. 6 Billion that was meant for a presidential run-off, to youth and women groups. After his election, the National Treasury allocated and Parliament approved the sum of KShs. 6 Billion to go towards this Fund in the budget covering the Financial Year 2013/2014.

The Kenya Uwezo Fund bill seeks to change the Uwezo Fund Regulations, 2013 into an Act of Parliament. Secondly, the bill adds the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Women Enterprise Development Fund into the Act. The Bill aims at making these funds available as loans to youth, women and persons with disabilities groups.

Do you support the merger of Uwezo Fund, Youth Enterprise Fund and Women Enterprise Development Fund? Please let your MP know what you think. You should also plan to submit your written opinion to Parliament when the call for memoranda is issued.
 
THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS (COUNTY ASSEMBLIES APPROVAL) BILL 
- NO. 20 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga

This bill provides a model which members of the county assembly shall be using in vetting nominees for appointment to public offices, in instances when they are required under the Constitution or any other law.

What would you like MCAs to consider when vetting nominees appointed for public office? Look out for the call for memoranda and share your opinion with Parliament then.
 
THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 24 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Hon. David Were

Article 54(1) addresses the rights of persons with disabilities.The Persons with Disabilities Amendment bill compels the National and County governments to deal with the needs of persons with disabilities. The Bill proposes to establish, in every county, a committee for persons with disabilities which shall have representations from the county government and organizations that run programmes to benefit them. The committee will be mandated to advise on and put in place measures to ensure the socio-economic development of persons with disabilities in the county. The Bill further proposes to review the membership of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities.

Do you think the proposed committees in each county will improve the welfare of persons with disabilities? Look out for the call for memoranda and share your opinion with Parliament then.
 
THE NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE BILL 
- NO. 26 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Hon. David Were

This Bill seeks to have NYS devolved to all 47 counties to ensure equity and equality. The Bill also proposes that on completing their training at NYS, the trainees have to be given the first chance in recruitment - as long as they meet all the other qualifications prescribed - to the National Police Service, the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Intelligence Service, and the Kenya Wildlife Service.

What is your opinion on the National Youth Service Bill?Please let your MP know what you think. You should also plan to submit your written opinion to Parliament when the call for memoranda is issued. You can also participate in a public hearing when one is held.


 
THE COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL 
- NO. 23 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology Hon. Sabina Chege

This bill provides a model for the implementation of early childhood education by the county governments. The billsets a criteria for registration and the circumstances under which the registration of an early childhood education centre may be cancelled or revoked. It provides for the establishment of boards of management of early childhood education centres, their functions in relation to the education centre and the record keeping and reporting requirements of the board to the County Education Board.

The Bill provides for the deployment of principals by the county department responsible for education in consultation with the County Education Board to ensure that the public education centre is managed and operated in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

The Bill provides for the administration of the early childhood education system in the county. It sets out provisions relating to the admission of children, the standards of education in a private education centre, the curriculum and school feeding programmes to be implemented in an education centre as well as the teacher to child ration required to be maintained in an institution.Quality of education and standards required to be maintained in an early childhood education centre are also set.
It also proposes the establishment of the county early childhood quality assurance committee to ensure the implementation of the policies and standards of education formulated by the National government in the county

What would you like included and considered in the management of Early Childhood Education? Please let your MP know what you think. You should also plan to submit your written opinion to Parliament when the call for memoranda is issued. You can also participate in a public hearing when one is held.
 
THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 18 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga
 
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (No. 2) BILL
- NO. 58 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE WAREHOUSE RECEIPTS SYSTEM BILL
- NO. 12 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 04 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE KENYA DEFENCE FORCES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 41OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME AND ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 64 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE BETTING, LOTTERIES AND GAMING (AMENDMENT) BILL
 
- NO. 31 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE KENYA REGIMENT (TERRITORIAL FORCE) (REPEAL) BILL
- NO. 39 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 07 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Mithika Linturi
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The Military Veterans Bill
- NO. 34 OF 2013
Sponsored by  Hon. Adan Keynan
The Kenya National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill
- NO. 01 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Chris Wamalwa
The Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Bill
- NO. 30 OF 2015
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

Second Reading
THE NATIONAL HOSPITAL INSURANCE FUND (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 09 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari

The Bill makes amendments to the National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, so as to reduce the penalties imposed by the Act for late payment of standard contributions and special contributions. The penalty as imposed by the Act has been a deterrent to defaulters who may wish to continue remitting payments to the Fund.

Will this Bill assist in increasing the number of insured Kenyans?Please let your Senator know what you think. You should also plan to submit your written opinion to Parliament when the call for memoranda is issued. You can also participate in a public hearing when one is held.
 
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 04 OF 2014
Sponsored by Senate Majority leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki

The Bill makes proposals for the actualization of reproductive rights. The right to make free and informed decisions. Respect for protection and fulfillment of reproductive health the rights and welfare of every person particularly couples, adult individuals, women, adolescents and mentally unstable persons. The Bill also seeks to deal with the issue of inadequate facilities at county government hospitals such as ambulance services, equipment for intensive care services and gynecological services.

The Bill proposes unhindered comprehensive sexual education through the school the school system and access to contraceptives.

What would you like to be removed, incorporated or regulated in this Bill?Please let your Senator know what you think. You should also plan to submit your written opinion to Parliament when the call for memoranda is issued. You can also participate in a public hearing when one is held.
THE PHYSICAL PLANNING BILL
- NO. 46 OF 2015
Sponsored by Senate Majority leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki

The Bill aims at implementing Article 66 (1) on “Regulation of land use and property” in Kenya. This section provides that the State may regulate the use of any land, or any interest in or right over any land, in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, or land use planning. For that reason the Bill will repeal and replace the Physical Planning Act, No. 6 of 1996.
 
Land has been at the centre of Kenya’s politics before and after independence in this respect, what’s your take on regulation of land use and property? Please let your Senator know what you think. You should also plan to submit your written opinion to Parliament when the call for memoranda is issued. You can also participate in a public hearing when one is held.
 
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 21 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. (Prof.) John Lonyangapuo
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 16 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Judith Sijeny
THE SELF HELP ASSOCIATIONS BILL
- NO. 02 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari
THE ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY BILL
- NO. 36 OF 2014 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL
Sponsored by Senate Majority leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
THE PARLIAMENTARY POWERS AND PRIVILEGES BILL
- NO. 35 OF 2014
Sponsored by Senate Majority leader Sen. (Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
 
THE TREATY MAKING AND RATIFICATION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 05 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations Sen. Yusuf Haji
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE BILL
- NO. 17 OF 2014
Sponsored by Sen. Judith Sijeny
THE COUNTY OUTDOOR ADVERTISING CONTROL BILL
- NO. 11 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
THE EMPLOYMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 01 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari
THE COUNTY LIBRARY SERVICES BILL
- NO. 06 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Joy Gwendo

Public Participation

Deadline for submitting representation on the following Bills is on Tuesday, 9th August 2016.

a) The Kenya National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill, Senate Bill no.14 of 2015

b)
The Kenya National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill, Senate Bill, Senate Bill no.7 of 205

c) The Universities (Amendment) Bill, Senate Bill no.31 of 2014

Interested members of Public are advised to forward their presentations to: The Clerk of the National Assembly, P.O. Box 41842 – 00100 Nairobi or hand-delivered to the Office of the Clerk of National Assembly, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to clerk@parliament.go.ke on or before Tuesday ,9th August 2016.

Invitation by the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations to interested members of public and organizations to submit any representation on the following Bills by Wednesday 10th August.

a) The Treaty Making and Ratification (Amendment) Bill
b) The National Cohesion and Integration (Amendment) Bill

Submissions may be made during the public hearing on Wednesday 10th August, 2016, from 0:30am to 1:00pm, Shimba Hills Hall, First Floor, KICC; or

2. A written memoranda can be forwarded to the:
The Clerk of the Senate, P.O.BOX 41842-00100 Nairobi or hand-delivered to Office of the Clerk, First Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to csenate@parliament.go.ke on or before Wednesday,10th August 2016 by 5:00pm

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