Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 94
1 - 7 August, 2016


Register as A Voter, Don’t Give Up on Kenya

It’s something strange that most people who complain the most about the government and poor policies are the same ones who see no point in voting. What they fail to realize is that their inaction is rewarded by the leadership on display. Anybody who doesn’t vote when eligible to do so has no moral ground to complain about the direction the country is taking.

In working democracies, being a registered voter and going out to vote on the actual election date is revolutionary by itself. Voting, like Abraham Lincoln would say, gives rise to a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

A vote cast out of convictions and betterment of prevailing conditions would go to a leader who listens to the people and acts. This relationship between leaders and citizens definitely brings about good healthcare, food security, secure neighborhoods, employment and a corruption free public service. It is the people through the vote who change nations. Democracy works when the people take charge, when they abandon their roles it degenerates into a deadly monster.

In a country where over 9 million people remain unregistered as voters, we can derive that the people care less about the future of their children and grandchildren. Isn’t it manifestly clear that the future of Kenya is too important to be left to a minority?

Pondering this, is it not surprising that the people to whom the future belongs the most, ironically, are the ones greatly disengaged from it. Here are some statistics. A report by the Aga khan University confirms Kenya as a youthful country with a median age of 19 years. So we can rightly assume that the majority of the over 9 million unregistered voters are youth and off course their partners in marginalization – women.

Time to correct the past wrongs is nigh and we must therefore take up our role as good citizens and define the masterplan of the future. It is important to underline that voting alone can make you one of the planners.

While there are a number of challenges facing key institutions and therefore triggering apathy, the vote have immense powers to change institutions too. The secret is in identifying leaders who matches up our picture of the future. Sincerely, disenfranchising ourselves cannot make things better but worse. Refusing to register as a voter is tantamount to giving up on Kenya and your future, whereas making deliberate bad choices on the ballot box is equivalent to hawking your future at thirty pence. 

News of the Week

IEBC warns against push for new voter register

Outgoing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Isaac Hassan told the joint committee deciding the future of IEBC that it would be unwise to entertain the push to have a new voters register. Mr. Hassan argued that it would be a costly and time consuming process and advised that the committee should instead consider updating the current one.

Jubilee oppose some recommendations on IEBC by CORD

The Opposition coalition’s recommendations on changes at IEBC ahead of the general elections have been met with criticism from the Jubilee MPs including the National Assembly speaker. The recommendations they opposed include announcement of presidential results at the polling stations and having IEBC commissioners on a part-time basis. Jubilee leaders termed some of the proposals “impractical and unconstitutional” saying amendments should be in the interest of Kenyans and not a few individuals.

Meanwhile CORD and Jubilee are set for a showdown over the appointment of the selection panel that will be tasked to recruit the new IEBC commissioners. CORD prefers an Inter Party Parliamentary Group (IPPG) while Jubilee wants a panel of seven members drawn from the Public Service Committee and Religious groups.


Efforts to withdraw ICT Practitioners Bill from Parliament fails

A request by the Information Principal Secretary to withdraw the ICT Bill 2016 from Parliament was declined by the House committee. National Assembly Energy, Information and Communication committee chairman Jamleck Kamau explained that it was beyond the committee to withdraw the Bill as it was now a property of the house. He further suggested that the only remedy would be to amend contentious clauses.  PS Victor Kyalo had requested the withdrawal of the Bill on grounds that it went against the ministry policy, and that it was likely to stifle innovation and economic growth.

MPs approve Bill to bring back school ranking

Members of Parliament approved the Kenya National Examinations Council Act (Amendment) Bill sponsored by Hon. Chris Wamalwa to revive school ranking. However, this time round the ranking will not only focus on academics only but also take into account extracurricular activities.

Kenya to spend over 8 Million to send MPs to Rio Olympics

Kenyan tax payers will foot Ksh 8.4Million that will be required to send a delegation of 12 Members of Parliament and Parliament staff to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. While Senate Clerk has defended the delegation insisting it’s a normal practice for both houses to send relevant committees to attend such global games, key Athletes such as Joseph Yego missed his ticket and only got one after public uproar. The Javeline Gold medalist traveled to Rio later after needless consultation.

Quote of the Week

"I think it is in order that when we are making this Selection Panel, we are very clear that nobody has a window where they can disadvantage the other. We do not trust each other; accept that and then we deal with it. We do not have to love each other but we have to set the modus operandi…We are looking for an opportunity where one side does not cry foul if it unfairly loses and the loophole used is known. Let us seal all the loopholes."

Sentiments by Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo while contributing to the IEBC (Amendment) Bill on July 21, 2016

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

" Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other issue is that the Kenyan team took 84 officials and only 40 athletes. These people went with their families while some athletes were left behind. I think it was a tour for these people who never take this issue seriously."

Sentiments by Hon. Elijah Lagat when seeking clarification on "joy-riders" during the PM's time regarding the Statement on History of Kenya's Olympic Performance  on August 29, 2012.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Kiambu MP Jude Njomo has caused a lot of debate in the country with his Bill that will cap interest rates at four per cent of the Central Bank (CBK) rate if signed into law by the President. The proposed law that is meant to protect Kenyans from burdening loans has been opposed by the Kenya Bankers Association and the CBK, although the latter agrees that Banks are charging unnecessarily high interest rates. Additionally, if the President assents to the Bill, then the minimum interest on a deposit held in the interest earning account will be at minimum 70 per cent of the base rate set by the CBK.


Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading


- NO. 31 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology Hon. Sabina Chege

The objective of this bill is to amend the Universities Act, No. 42 of 2012, so as to provide a link and coordination between the Commissions for University Education and county governments on matters of provision of university education at the county level of government. The Bill further proposes to amend section 26 of the Universities Act so as to require the Commission to report to the National Assembly and the Senate on the progress made in the establishment of public universities in the counties. The establishment of public universities in each of county is meant to ensure: equitable access to university education in all the counties. The universities would then provide centres for research and innovation that would address the needs of the national government as well as the county governments.

What’s your take on the establishment of at least one University in all the 47 counties? Are you satisfied with the current universities? Please let your legislators know your opinion about Public Universities as currently constituted and how to raise their quality.
- NO. 20 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade Hon. Benjamin Langat

The Bill elaborates the proposals announced in the Budget for 2016/2017 relating to liability and collection of taxes. For instance, in the last budget the Cabinet Secretary of finance increased tax on Kerosene and cosmetics products. The bill also seeks to amend the Special Economic Zones Act, 2015, to provide tax incentives - to special economic zones - under the tax statutes. Secondly, the Bill proposes to amend the Capital Markets Act to enable regulation of online foreign exchange trading and provide protection to consumers.

In case the new tax regime wasn’t favorable to you, you can write to your MP to express the concerns when the Bill is discussed in Parliament.


- NO. 41 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 64 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale


- NO. 39 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale


- NO. 24 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Hon. David Were


- NO. 26 OF 2014 SENATE BILL
Sponsored by Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Hon. David Were


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


- NO. 07 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Mithika Linturi


- NO. 65 OF 2015
Sponsored by Hon. David Kagongo


- NO. 16 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale


- NO. 14 OF 2016
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House

Fisheries Management and Development Bill

- NO. 20 OF 2014
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

This proposal emanates from the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture. The aim of this Bill is to provide a framework for the development, governance and investments of the oceans and fisheries resources; to bring them in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and Vision 2030. The bill is also aligned to international and regional frameworks governing global fisheries and the relevant national laws. It ensures community participation in the management of the resources and safeguards their access and benefits to oceans and fisheries conservation, management and development by all agencies with interest in the Kenya fishery waters.
The bill also legislates on sustainable fish farming development hence increased fish production which will support industrial development and food security. The Bill provides for development of Sanitary and Phytosanitary fish quality standards which will make Kenya competitively participate in international trade. The Bill enables Kenya meet its international obligations in fish trade and sustainable fisheries; especially the fight against Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing so that States benefit from the fisheries resources within their Exclusive Economic Zones. It further protects the territorial waters for exploration by the local communities while giving opportunity for sustainable exploration of the Exclusive Economic Zones by both local and foreign fishing vessels without the loss of revenues as currently is the case.
With the current importation of fish from China, what is your take on fisheries sector in the country? What would you like Parliament to do to improve the fisheries sector and make it internationally competitive? Let your MP know what you think, his contact is available on his profile on our site.

Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 

- NO. 44 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

The legislation seeks to provide a structure for the contracting, exploration and development of petroleum together with production of petroleum discovered within licensed petroleum exploration blocks. The Bill also provides a framework for the safe stopping of upstream petroleum operations. The Bill also repeals the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Chapter 308 of the Laws of Kenya. The Bill further seeks to give effect to Constitution of Kenya, 2010 on environment and natural resources, in so far as they apply to upstream petroleum operations.

Management of natural resources is key for smooth and effective exploitation. Kenya is in the process of exploring oil which is a critical milestone in our country. Send your views to your MP and Parliament on how you would want to see the management of petroleum in Kenya.
Forest Conservation and Management Bill 
- NO. 49 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Natural Resources (Classes of Transactions Subject to Ratification) Bill 

- NO. 54 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

The Kenya National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill

- NO. 01 OF 2016
Sponsored by Hon. Chris Wamalwa

The Controller of Budget Bill

- NO. 21 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

The Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Bill

- NO. 30 OF 2015
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

Second Reading
- NO. 04 OF 2016
Sponsored by Sen. David Karaba

The Bill wants to amend The Third schedule of the County Government Act, No, 17 of 2012 to change the location of the Headquaters of Kirinyaga County from Kerugoya urban areas to Kutus urban areas. The location of Kirinyaga’s headquarters has been an issue that has divided the people of Kirinyaga County. The Act of Parliament that gazetted county headquarters was initially debated in Parliament and passed without any objection from Kirinyaga County representatives.

Do you have an issue with where your County Headquarter is located? In this Bill the people of Kirinyaga can participate to support or reject the change of their County headquarters location. 
- NO. 04 OF 2014

Sponsored by Senate Majority leader Sen.(Prof.) Kithure Kindiki

The Bill seeks to deny governors discretion on where to buy drugs and medical supplies. The Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Amendment) Bill gives KEMSA exclusive rights to procure drugs and medical supplies for the 47 counties. There is however no legal provision that obligates the devolved units to buy drugs and equipment from KEMSA.

Should Counties be forced to by medical equipment from KEMSA? 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.
- NO. 09 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari

Sponsored by Senate Majority leader Sen.(Prof.) Kithure Kindiki
- NO. 21 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen.(Prof.) John Lonyangapuo
- NO. 16 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen.Judith Sijeny
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
- NO. 06 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Joy Gwendo

The principal object of this Bill is to facilitate the construction and use of libraries in counties. This will enable easy access to information in the entire country. The spread of well-equipped libraries in the counties may also improve education standards and reduce illiteracy. The Bill also gives effect to paragraph 4(f) of Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution which gives County governments the powers to control public libraries. The Bill proposes a County Library Development Committee in each county to establish and promote the use of libraries in the counties.

What’s your take on this law? Are there enough public libraries in the Country?
- NO. 17 OF 2014
Sponsored by Sen.Judith Sijeny

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 ambulances, equipment for intensive care and gynecological services.

The Bill proposes unhindered comprehensive sexual education through 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.
- NO. 11 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
- NO. 01 OF 2015
Sponsored by Sen. Martha Wangari

Public Participation

Deadline for submitting representation on the International Crimes (Repeal) Bill, 2015 is on Thursday 11th August 2016.

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

hand-delivered to the Office of the Clerk of National Assembly, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to on or before Thursday, 11th August 2016.

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