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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 253
23rd September - 27th September 2019

Editorial

Government agencies let down Mariam and her daughter

It’s certainly become a norm for death stories to top daily broadcasts to a point where we’re becoming numb to it. News of the death of a mother and her daughter cued in the last quarter of the year, and what has most infuriated most Kenyans is the way these deaths happened and the attention or lack thereof, that they’re being given. Mariam Kigenda and her 4-year old daughter Amanda Kiveu drowned on Sunday after their car slipped from the ferry and into the ocean as captured in several videos that have been making rounds online.

This is one heartbreaking memory that will be etched in the minds of the family of the deceased who now have to deal with the agony of waiting for the bodies to be retrieved from the ocean. Unfortunately, the incompetency displayed by Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) and all other maritime state agencies has subjected the family to more pain as they have to wait a while longer before laying them to rest. Kenyans are angry and rightfully so, because this is one thing that would and should have been avoided. When one pieces together different elements in this tragedy, it wholesomely speaks to the magnitude of negligence that has become the norm in this country.

Many hoped that appropriate rescue and recovery measures would have been put in place following the Mtongwe ferry tragedy that claimed 257 lives, but it appears that even 25 years later no one in leadership has been keen enough to make the Likoni ferry channel safe. As witnessed on the Sunday incident, the rescue personnel; equipment and protocol is wanting. But it makes one wonder whether it is an issue of inadequate funding, ignorance by leaders or utter disregard for people’s safety. What most may not know is that this incident is not in any way unique, since a Kenya Ports Authority accountant died in similar circumstances in 2016.

News of the Week

Controversial Bill to "police" social media communication 

Facebook, WhatsApp groups admins will be required to seek CAK clearance according to the Kenya Information and Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Malava MP Malulu Injendi, that is set to be introduced in the National Assembly. The Bill proposes that users and group administrators who allow offending content on their social media platforms be jailed.
Whatsapp group administrators will also need to keep tight control on their members and kick out those who post offending content. The owner of the media platform will also be required to carry out due diligence to ensure that all its users "are of the age of majority”. CA Kenya will also have a register of bloggers in the country and develop a bloggers' code of conduct.

Mombasa, biggest loser in county allocation of funds

Mombasa County tops the list of counties that experienced the biggest allocation cut according to the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2019, CARA, that was introduced and passed in the Senate Mashinani sitting last week in Kitui. Mombasa’s allocation was chopped by Sh 1.2 billion, followed by Lamu County at Sh 1 billion and Kilifi at Sh 400 million. Interestingly, the other coastal counties were the biggest winners of the allocation. Tana River saw an allocation rise by Sh 700 million, followed by Kwale with a Sh 230 million increase and Taita-Taveta with a Sh 200 million increase. Mombasa County Executive for Finance, Maryam Mbaruk, has however said they won’t downscale development spending, because most of the projects are funded by other sources.

Bill proposing safety rules for buildings in the offing

The Built Environment Bill, 2019 seeks to create the position of a building auditor, who will regulate the construction of new houses and ensure their structural safety. The Bill also adds another position of a building site inspector, who will handle all clearances in regards to proposed construction sites and access to them. A plan reviewer will be tasked with approving building plans to make sure people put up structures in conformity with the law. The Bill was tabled by Majority Leader Aden Duale and now is undergoing  public participation. It also seeks to have an accredited checker to inspect new buildings after 5 years. The "accredited checker" must be a qualified structural engineer or architect.

IEBC Bill passed, awaiting presidential assent

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment) Bill 2019 was yesterday passed in the National Assembly. The Bill seeks to provide guidelines for formation of the selection panel to pick commissioners and subsequent appointments should a vacancy arise. 69 MPs were in support of the Bill while 56 MPs voted against it with one abstention, in what was a manual voting process. National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has sought to fill vacancies occasioned by 4 resignations at the IEBC over a year ago. 
The Committee had proposed that a selection panel be set up at least six months before the lapse of the term of the chairperson or member of the commissioner within 14 days of the declaration of a vacancy in the office of the chairperson or member under the Constitution.

ICPAK urges Parliament to prioritize the review of the tax Bill

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) is urging the Parliament to fast track review of the income tax policy. Through its chair, Rose Mwaura, ICPAK says it’s imperative that parliament prioritizes the review of the tax bill, so as to define income, widen tax-base and modernize the regime to global standards. Ms Rose says the shortfall between the Budget and Kenya Revenue Authority Collection implies a problem which could only be remedied through a law review. ICPAK also says the Income Tax Law remains unchanged to date despite urgency of realigning this law to the realities of time.

Team divided over Kazungu, Galgalo suitability in NLC

An affidavit tabled before the Lands Committee revealed that former CS Kambi secured sh 250 million through his Riva Oils Company using a title deed for a piece of land belonging to the rach which was forged to indicate it was his own. Kambi defaulted in the repayment of the loan which has accrued to KSh 304 million forcing the Development Bank of Kenya to move to court. The matter is still pending and members said his name should not be cleared until the matter is concluded. Galgalo on the other hand tabled a fake tax compliant certificate. When the KRA commissioner James Mburu appeared before the committee he disowned the certificate saying that records with the authority showed that the former MP was not tax compliant.

Quote of the Week

"We're not talking about making legislation we're talking about effective implementation of the legislation that is already in place. From yesterday's tragedy, we've witnessed negligence especially in the setting of minimum national standards in operations of school."

Quote by Nominated MP Wilson Sossion on contributing to the statement on the collapse of Precious Talent School in Dagoretti on September 24th 2019.

Lest we forget

"We can stop other things and prevent or ensure we are able to investigate and come up with solutions as to why some of these acts are happening in our schools. I have done my investigation. Installing CCTV cameras is not an expensive exercise. All we need to do is have the Government spearhead it and prevent the schools from being exploited by people who take advantage of every opportunity that comes up in this country."

Sentiments by Mwea MP Joseph Wachira contributing to a motion on the installation of CCTV cameras in public secondary schools on July 25th 2018

Read the Hansard

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE KENYA INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 20 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Elisha Odhiambo
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT)(No.4) BILL
- NO. 60 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Jeremiah Kioni
THE PUBLIC FUNDRAISING APPEALS BILL
- NO. 66 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Jeremiah Kioni
Second Reading
THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BILL
- SENATE BILL NO. 22 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon William Cheptumo
THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL
- SENATE BILL NO.26 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon Julius Melly
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (REVENUE RAISING PROCESS) BILL
- NO. 24 OF 2018
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE BANKING (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 55 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Jude Njomo
THE ANTI-CORRUPTION AND ECONOMIC CRIMES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 6 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Ndindi Nyoro
THE EMPLOYMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 15 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Martha Wangari
THE LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS MARKETING BOARD BILL
- NO. 2 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Bashir Abdullaih
THE FINANCE BILL
- NO. 51 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Joseph Limo
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE FINANCE BILL
- NO. 51 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Joseph Limo

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILLS NO. 63 OF 2019
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen
Second Reading
THE COUNTY TOURISM BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 5 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
THE STREET VENDORS (PROTECTION OF LIVELIHOOD) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 10 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Charles Kibiru
THE COUNTY HALL OF FAME BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 39 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (NO. 2) BILL
- NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILLS NO. 13 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CHILDREN’S HOMES BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 12 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE COMMISSION ON ADMINISTRATIVE JUSTICE BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 6 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Petronilla Were Lokorio
THE NATURAL RESOURCES (BENEFIT SHARING) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 31 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
THE PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 3 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 38 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Mary Seneta
THE CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 9 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Abdullahi Ali

Public Participation

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