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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 230
1st April - 5th March 2019

Editorial

State of the Nation Address Needs to Move Beyond Mere Rhetoric

Kenyans were treated to an underwhelming State of the Nation address after weeks of anticipation, even when the political environment has been rife with opportunity for President Uhuru Kenyatta to seal his legacy. The President kicked off his speech in a full-on self-praise session about his government.

He tooted his own trumpet on his government’s achievements, some of which were as old as 3 years. The irony of that didn’t escape Kenyans who have been told on countless occasions to forget the past and live in the present, whenever the subject of historical injustices comes up. The celebration of past milestones revealed how contradictory his speech was. On one hand, it painted a picture of a proactive government driving infrastructural development with the expansion of roads and house projects and on the other, he exposed the laxity to implement other projects such as the  Kes 10 billion fund meant to heal wounds of those affected by historical grievances even after he gave the directive in 2015.

The fund was just one among the many unmet promises by the Jubilee government which has seen the State of the Nation address become an annual formality. The food crisis isn’t entirely new to Kenyans. In the 2017 address, the President addressed the matter with the promise of making Kenya a food secure nation. Fast-forward to 2019 and we had deaths by drought that were being denied by the same government. President Uhuru’s opening remarks, “There will be no turning back in our quest in transforming the economy, no turning back on government reforms, no turning back on fighting enemies of Kenya…there will be no turning back on the war of corruption as it is a just war” were a resounding start. 

News of the Week

Calls for Public Hearings on the JKIA-KQ Merger

Kenyans will have an opportunity to present their views to the National Assembly Transport & Housing Committee on the proposed takeover of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport operations by Kenya Airways from 8th to 12th April 2019.
The committee will meet with a number of stakeholders before drafting its report. Among those scheduled to appear before the committee are Ministry of Transport, KAA, State Corporations Advisory Committees, Kenya Civil Authority and Public Commission.

                                                                                                     

Moses Kuria seeks to draft Constitutional Amendment Bill

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria is seeking permission to draft a constitutional amendment bill that will introduce the post of Prime Minister through expanding the cabinet as opposed to going the referendum route.
The changes he proposes will affect the composition, not structure of Parliament and the Executive. Through his letter to parliament, he also seeks to alter the composition of the county executive, county assembly and the Senate. If the Speaker acquiesces to the proposal, Mr Kuria will draft a Bill that will see the Cabinet comprise of the President, the Deputy President, the Prime Minister, two Deputy Prime Ministers, not more than 26 ministers and not more than 26 Assistant Ministers.

Food crisis far from over with looming maize production decline

A report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected a 12% decline in the production of maize this season. The agency also forecasts a drop in the production of wheat and rice, a situation attributed to reduced acreage under cultivation.
These findings dampen hopes of the food crisis ending soon. The agency also attributed the decline in the maize yield to low morale among farmers triggered by lack of market for their produce the last season.

High Court sets conditions on the NIIMS registration

The High Court declined to temporarily suspend the National Integrated Identification Management System (NIIMS) but set a number of conditions to be followed even as the President is expected to officially kick off the initiative.
The conditions include:
i) Stopping collection of DNA & GPS data
ii) Not compelling anyone to submit to the data collection
iii) Not barring any person from accessing services/facilities because they haven’t submitted their information or
iv) Putting restrictions on anyone.
The government has already distributed 31,500 kits in readiness for the mass roll-out covering 8500 sub-locations, counting on Assistant Chiefs to mobilise locals.

Quote of the Week

"County oversight without information is dead. We need to work on access to information to enable public participation"  

Quote by Senator Johnson Sakaja while supporting the County Oversight and Accountability Bill sponsored by Senator Ledama Olekina on April 3, 2019. 

Lest we forget

"If we do not watch corruption very carefully; if we do not control it; if we do not fight it properly, this country could easily degenerate into a failed state for many reasons. Definitely, we know that corruption destroys the economy of the country."

Sentiments by Former Narok North MP and Minister of State for National Heritage, the Late William Ole Ntimama while sharing sentiments on the Presidential address on March 4th, 2009.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

President Uhuru Kenyatta delivered the highly anticipated State of the Nation speech in a joint house meeting. The presence of NASA leaders; former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi reaffirmed the leaders' commitment to the handshake to foster peace and cohesion. His speech touched on matters development, healthcare, education, national security and corruption. His address however drew criticism from Kenyans who termed it as underwhelming for failing to address pressing issues and sacking government officials who've been implicated in draft. There have been numerous calls for the President to action his threats against the corrupt to create an environment for a thriving economy.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES (CONTROL) (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 07 OF 2019(
Sponsored by Hon Mohamed Ali Mohamed
THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Kimani Inchung'wah
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 19 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Florence Mutua
THE EMPLOYMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 15 OF 2019 
Sponsored by Hon Martha Wangari 
Second Reading
THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY BILL
- NO. 3 OF 2018
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE COUNTY STATISTICS BILL
- NO. 9 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon. Joseph Kirui Limo 
THE SALARIES AND REMUNERATION COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) BILL ​
- NO. 12 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon Joseph Kirui Limo
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments)(No.2) Bill
- NO. 13 OF 2018
Sponsored by Leader of Majority Hon Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
Second Reading
THE NATURAL RESOURCES (BENEFIT SHARING) BILL
- NO. 31 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani 
THE COUNTY OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY BILL
- NO. 28 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Ledama Olekina
THE DETERMINATION OF THE NATURE OF BILLS (PROCEDURE) BILL
- NO. 30 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Sen Johnson Sakaja 
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) (NO.2) BILL
- NO. 37 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Agnes Zani
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE OF THE COUNTY GOVERNOR BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 01 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Kimani Wamatangi
THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION BILL
- NO. 04 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Amos Wako 

Public Participation

Deadline for submitting representation on the Livestock and Livestock Products Marketing Board Bill, 2019 and Higher Education Loans Board (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 9 of 2019) is on Thursday 4th April 2019.

Interested members of Public are advised to forward their presentations to:
The Clerk of the Senate,
P.O. Box 41842 – 00100 Nairobi

hand-delivered to the Office of the Clerk of National Assembly, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or
emailed to csenate@parliament.go.ke on or before Thursday,4th April 2019.

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