Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 2, 29 September - 5 October 2014
News of the Week
  • Senator Beatrice Elachi sparked a debate in the Senate when she raised on a point of order on whether court decisions have a bearing in Senate proceedings. The Senators overwhelmingly commented on the issue that the Judiciary cannot and will not intimidate them. They added that they are ready to pass a law blocking the courts from interfering with their oversight.
  • Members of Parliament have opposed a move by immigration to close down passport processing offices that are outside Nairobi. Immigration Director Major General Kihalangwa has instructed that all offices including Kisumu, Mombasa, Garissa   and Embu be closed. The offices will only be receiving applications but the processing will be done in Nairobi. The directive is meant to stem the rise of aliens getting identity cards but the legislators say it is against the spirit of devolution.
  •  Moiben MP Silas Tiren has blamed the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for delays in disbursing development funds to the counties. He said the chair of that committee, Hon Ababu Namwamba for failing to table various reports for debate in Parliament. This is the main reason counties are not being given the funds on time.
  • Cabinet secretaries will from October 14th start responding to MPs queries directly in Parliament.  Three CSs will be appearing before the MPs every Tuesday between 10am and 1pm in sessions referred to as Parliament's Committee on General Oversight. The sessions will not be normal House sittings. The quorum for the committee will be 16 out of the 349 members of parliament. Each CS will respond to between 10 and 20 questions during the committee. The CSs will also be allowed to respond in writing. Majority Leader Aden Duale will be the link between the Executive and Legislature. The Cabinet Secretaries who will start are Interior CS Joseph Ole Lenku, Lands CS Charity Ngilu and Education CS Jacob Kaimenyi.

Newsmaker this week
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen when commenting on devolution challenges especially in the wake of the conflict in Makueni County remarked that "when counties have challenges, let us not go for extreme measures such as impeachments or dissolution of County Governments." Profile

Editorial: Courts, Parliament 'Supremacy' Battles Unwarranted
Separation of powers is a gift the Constitution prides the country and all leaders must learn to respect and abide by it. Parliamentarians should ensure they always abide by the law so that their decisions are not impeded by temporary court order or injunctions. 
Read more

Quote of the Week
“If you think about the increasing rates of interest and the falling payments from tea and these people are deducted money from the source, you find that a lot of Kenyans will go bankrupt this season because of the non-payment of the bonuses they were expecting, banks will deduct their money from source and children will not go to school. The issue of rising interest rates is a matter of national importance. Coupled with other economic factors in our country, you find that the impact is so big. We do not know when this will end,” Senator James Kembi Gitura.  The Senator was seeking indulgence to get a statement from Vice Chairperson, Committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs committee, Senator Peter Korinko Mositet. Read Hansard

Lest we Forget!
Comments emanating from the first Presidential Speech to the National Assembly 
“Hon. Deputy Speaker, the issue of laptops which has been talked about is a very good and bright idea, but I was looking at the cost and then I was told that they are not going to be the laptops that you are talking about; they are actually going to be something close to toys. Fine, if it is toys costing Kshs1,000 I would not mind but if they are real laptops, I would hate to see a Turkana girl carrying a laptop in her hands and dying of hunger because she has not eaten for three days. I would expect a Government which is responsive to provide food to the Turkana girl to eat to her full and to go to school, and find a classroom and a teacher who is properly motivated to teach her,” Hon. Alice Wambui Ng'ang'a
 commenting on the president’s speech on April 18, 2013. Read Hansard

Events this week
This Thursday, 2nd of October 2014 Mzalendo will host a tweet chat to collect views from the public on how Kenya should implement the two-third gender rule. We will forward your proposals to the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) as memoranda. The chat will be from 11am to 12 noon. Join the debate: Twitter @MzalendoWatch #twothirds

The Bills coming up at the Senate this week include;
  • The National Honours (Amendment) Bill, (Senate Bill No. 16 of 2014) sponsored by Sen. Amos Wako. The Bill will be in its Second Reading.
  •  The County Assemblies Powers and Privileges Bill, (Senate Bill No. 11 of 2014) sponsored by Sen. Prof. Kithure Kindiki. The Bill is in its Second Reading.
  • The Government Proceedings (Amendment) Bill, (Senate Bill No. 10 of 2014) sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jr. The Bill is in its Second Reading.
  • The Reproductive Health Care Bill, (Senate Bill No. 17 of 2014) sponsored by Sen. Judith Sijeny. The Bill is in its Second Reading.
  •  The County Governments (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill, (Senate Bill No. 18 of 2014) sponsored by Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen. The Bill is in its Second Reading.

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