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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 121
30 January - 5 February, 2017

Editorial

Post truth politics will be the end of Kenyans

Our Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary failed to clinch the much publicized African Union (AU) chair position and naturally focus shifted to the millions used by government to support her bid. However, the debate on social media took a different turn and those asking for the monies to be accounted for were labeled unpatriotic.

That’s the post truth era we are in. Nobody cares about the facts anymore; it’s all about how we feel. Perhaps we also feel the doctor’s strike is not worth talking about until we have a generation of disabled people because of lack of immediate medical attention then the numbers would make us emotional enough to look at the facts.

Our eyes have been on stalks this week as we watched the opposition drop mindboggling allegations that continue to widen the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) credibility gap and are likely to affect negatively the ongoing voter registration. Opposition leader Raila claimed that IEBC’s software has been tampered with. Reports of double registrations have emerged with shared Identity Numbers alleged and the IEBC has confirmed this.

Whichever way the stakeholders choose to look at it the allegations are serious and should be addressed with the seriousness they represent. Chebukati’s team must make it their objective to allay any fears that the commission is compromised. The casual handling of the BVR procurement queries in 2012 is what later metamorphosed into the Chicken-gate scandal. The new team must therefore not shy away from asking difficult questions including investigations into whether their staff on the ground are part of the National Intelligence Service as was alleged by the opposition leader.

In addition, there have been claims citizens of neighboring countries are being registered though the IEBC denied this allegation. However, this week the Teso South MP was allegedly caught doing exactly that. IEBC is not helping the situation when they appear defensive all the time. It’s prudent that they also conduct internal auditing of their voter register so far and proactively inform Kenyans of the challenges they’re finding and how they’re planning to deal with them. That would reassure Kenyans that there was no mischief and that the new team was on top of things. Otherwise, politicians from both government and the oppostion will sell their supporters their truth without facts and that will only stoke the embers of fire.

A Turkana resident told a TV news reporter it made no sense to register as a voter only to get the leaders focusing their projects in Nairobi when drought kills them year in year out. The county is one of the most hit areas with the ongoing drought. Her sentiments are not that different from those in Mandera or Marsabit either. But there are Kenyans who feel the media is giving too much attention to drought and the ongoing strikes to undermine the re-election of Jubilee. Because in post-truth world nothing matters anymore except where your heart is politically.

News of the Week

MPs block attempts to reduce age of consent to 16

The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill, 2016 that contained the proposal to allow a person to legally consent to a sexual activity from age 18 to 16 was thrown out by MPs who saw it as an attempt to legalize under-age marriage among other vices. The supporters of the Bill sponsored by Leader of Majority Aden Duale argued that if passed it would have protected young boys who are sued by their girlfriends. However, majority MPs felt the Bill would protect sexual offenders at the expense of their victims.
 

Court temporarily blocks IEBC from disqualifying public servants

A petitioner from Kericho County challenged in court a directive from the Head of Public Service that the IEBC had enforced instructing all public servants planning to run for elections resign by 7th of February. The petitioner argued that if the directive was effected the IEBC stood to illegally grant governors, senators and MCAs undue advantage as they will still be in office while other public servants are expected to resign. The Employment and Labour Relations Court temporarily stopped the Electoral agency from disqualifying the public servants seeking elective positions in the August poll pending a ruling on the petition on 6th February. The petitioner wants the court to order public servants leave office to vie for electoral seats after dissolution of Parliament and the County Assemblies.
 

Isaac Hassan Team to get Diplomatic Appointments

Former IEBC team lead by Chairman Isaac Hassan are set to land lucrative ambassadorial positions. Their yet to be named new jobs are raising eyebrows considering the team had already been awarded packages estimated at Sh330 million each for their early exit. This also raises debate on whether ex-high ranking electoral commissioners should work for the executive immediately after leaving office, considering the stakes they hold in determining the next executive arm of the government. Nonetheless there is no official confirmation regarding the expected ambassadorial appointments. 

Former Presidents Part of Kenyans Whose IDs used to Register Others

Kenya’s second and third President, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki are among thousands of Kenyans whose IDs have been used to register other Kenyans to vote.  Speaking to the local media President Kibaki’s spokesperson, Gituku Ngare, said it was alarming that people “have the temerity to manipulate such rare ID numbers” and claimed that the whistle-blowers were probably behind the scheme. Lee Njiru, President Moi’s press secretary described the use of the former president’s ID number as unfortunate and urged the electoral agency to correct the irregularity.

  
The Medical Fund Bill of 2016 Timely

Kenyans suffering cancer, heart complications and kidney failure among other life threatening diseases will breathe a sigh of relief if the Medical Fund Bill, 2016 becomes law. The Bill sponsored by Nandi Hills MP Charles Keter seeks to establish a medical fund board that will identify and provide free treatment both locally and abroad to individuals whose body organ or organs and the whole body have been affected. The Bill comes at a time when health statistics show increasing lifestyle diseases in Kenya, with poor families unable to afford the expensive treatment.

Quote of the Week

"The KDF have the best weapons. We cannot equate the KDF to a marauding militia. So, I want the negative notion retracted. The KDF have done a wonderful job. They have secured Southern Somalia. They have dismantled AlShabaab’s infrastructure in that region."

Sentiments by Hon. Aden Duale while contributing to the debate on insecurity in Saboti constituency on July 3, 2013

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"In case there is any problem in any registration centre, please, alert the IEBC through the given centres...Further, the Commission is due to open a public call centre, where members of the public can address queries and receive authoritative answers on all matters touching on elections."

Sentiments by CS  Eugene Wamalwa when tabling the judgement on denial of opportunity to register as a voter due to religious dress on November 27, 2012.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Teso South MP Mary Emase made headlines after she was allegedly caught in neighboring Uganda country attempting to register foreigners as voters for the 2017 elections. According to local newspapers Kenyan Police were aware the MP’s bodyguard had been disarmed and detained at Mawero police station. This comes shortly after opposition alleged that the government was using the National Intelligence Service to enlist foreigners from neighboring countries as voters. Local journalists also reported that attempts to get the MP’s version were futile as she didn’t respond to any of their calls.
 

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading
THE PRIVATIZATION (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 27 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE HYDROLOGISTS BILL 
- NO. 10 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE BETTING, LOTTERIES AND GAMING (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 49 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL
- NO. 45 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE CLINICAL OFFICERS (TRAINING, REGISTRATION AND LICENSING) BILL 
- NO. 27 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Leonard Sang
THE NATIONAL CORONERS SERVICE BILL 
- NO. 46 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
THE NATIONAL AUTHORITY FOR THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 35 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Ferdinand Waititu
THE SACCO SOCIETIES (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 26 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

THE SEXUAL OFFENCES (AMENDMENT) BILL

- NO. 33 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Florence Mwikali 
THE PREVENTION OF TORTURE BILL
- NO. 47 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

KENYA NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (AMENDMENT) BILL

- NO. 42 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Alfred Agoi

THE NATIONAL POLICE SERVICE (AMENDMENT) BILL

- NO. 43 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Abdulswamad Sherriff Nassir
THE MOVABLE PROPERTY SECURITY RIGHTS BILL
- NO. 50 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

THE DIVISION OF REVENUE BILL 

- NO. 02 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee Hon. Mutava Musyimi
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
The Public Service Commission Bill 
- NO. 36 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

The Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill

- NO. 64 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) (NO.3) BILL 
- NO. 63 OF 2015 (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL)
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader Sen (Prof). Kithure Kindiki

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