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Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue No 52: September 28 - October 4, 2015


News of the Week:  
  • Mzalendo study shows women parliamentarians offer value as much as men. The under-representation of Kenyan women in matters of politics and governance necessitated the formulation of the two thirds gender principle to ensure that women have a say. Despite the introduction of the two thirds gender rule, Women Parliamentarians continue to be subjected to stereotypes, sexism and accusations of incompetence. Mzalendo analyzed their contributions to the Hansard for the March 2013 – June 2015 period to assess the value they bring to their constituencies, counties and the country as a whole. From the study, Women Parliamentarians contributions span a wide variety of interests and topics, disproving the notion that most women parliamentarians only cover issues related to women. Read more, and download the report and Infographic.
 
  • The 12-month period given by a court to align the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Act with the Constitution, after the fund was declared unconstitutional, is not adequate. The CDF Board is seeking a court extension of the Act by four years to complete the process. It argues that the period would enable the fund to implement all the projects, some of which have already received funding. In an application, the CDF Board told a three-judge bench that the process of realigning the 2013 CDF Act was long and involved wider consultations to make it an all-inclusive exercise. But the application has been opposed by the Institute for Social Accountability and the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance, which had challenged the constitutionality of the Act. The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) also opposed the move.
   
 
  • The Government is once again giving a shot at having the controversial clauses left out in the Security Laws Amendment Act by the National Assembly reintroduced in the Senate. The Executive's proposals seek to amend six acts of Parliament, a move that might reignite a fierce debate not only by the legislators but a public outrage, as was witnessed last year in the National Assembly. The proposed law, the Security Laws (amendment) Bill, 2015 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kithure Kindiki, seeks to reinstate some of the disputed sections dropped by the National Assembly amid a chaotic legislative session. They include the Public Order Act, the Radiation Protection Act, the Rent Restrictions Act, Kenya Airports Authority Act, the Traffic Act and the National Police Service Act. If this bill is passed, all motor vehicle dealers will be required to keep a monthly record of all vehicles sold and those in stock.
 
 
  • Kenyans can expect to head to the 2017 elections in August as contemplated in the Constitution. This is after MPs rejected a Bill that would have changed the date to December. The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill No. 01 of 2015 to change the election date suffered a blow. The Bill, sponsored by Ugenya MP Hon. David Ochieng', failed to meet the required two-thirds. It managed 216 votes, 17 short of the required majority, with 24 voting against it and four abstaining.
 
 
  • MPs passed constitutional amendment Bill to transfer the Equalization Fund from the counties to the constituencies — by garnering the required two-thirds majority — the numbers fell moments later, defeating the second Bill. MPs from marginalized regions celebrated, as the billions of shillings in the Equalization Fund will now be handled by them. The MPs will now have a say on which projects will get priority, away from the governors. The Bill on the transfer of the Equalization Fund, which was set aside in the Constitution to benefit marginalized counties, was sponsored by Samburu West MP Hon. Lati Lelelit. A total of 246 MPs voted for the Bill and only two voted against it, leading to passage of the Bill, well above the 233 majority required. National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said the Bill, which would lead to the first amendment of the Constitution voted for by Kenyans in 2010, now goes to the Senate for consideration.
   
 
  • Super salary-scale civil servants are ceding only Sh2 million per month to the Treasury, thwarting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s effort to cut the ballooning public wage bill through voluntary pay cuts. Treasury secretary Henry Rotich said Transformative Fund Account formed 18 months ago at the Central Bank of Kenya to hold proceeds from the voluntary pay cuts has only Sh35.2 million. The account also holds savings from foreign travel restrictions, hotel accommodation and other non-core expenditures. Mr Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto — who are entitled to Sh1.7 million and Sh1.49 million per month respectively — pledged in March last year to take a 20 per cent pay cut as part of broader efforts to free up cash for investment in capital projects. The President also directed Cabinet secretaries, PSs and heads of government departments and agencies to follow suit and take pay cut of between 20 and five per cent to reduce the wage bill adding those who defied the order would be sacked. Later, the 18 Cabinet secretaries and 26 PSs also pledged to voluntarily reduce their salaries by 10 per cent. Last week, Mr Rotich said Sh5.2 million had been added into the account since July. Public servants earn an average of Sh47 billion a month or Sh568 billion annually. Mr. Rotich will in the meantime form a team to oversee the spending of the amount accumulated so far as Transformative Fund on development projects.
 
 
  • A lawmaker has filed a motion that seeks to get the National Assembly to discuss the Waki Commission report on post-election violence. Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairman Hon. Smauel Chepkonga wants a 15-member panel set up to investigate allegations of compromised and skewed investigations by State and other agencies on the post-poll chaos. According the Ainabkoi MP, the committee should submit a report to the House within 90 days. The defunct Commission of Inquiry into Post–Election Violence was headed by Justice Phillip Waki. The Waki Commission produced a 529-page report and presented it to President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on October 15, 2008. The commission’s report has never been discussed in Parliament despite demands by Jubilee MPs. Although the Waki Commission did not publicly disclose the alleged perpetrators of the violence, the commission gave an envelope containing the names to Kofi Annan, who brokered a power-sharing agreement between Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga. The then prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, relied on reports by the Waki Commission and human rights agencies to bolster his evidence against six Kenyans. The six appeared before the ICC but charges against four were dropped. Cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Hussein Ali and Henry Kosgey were dropped. The remaining two, Deputy President William Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang, are being tried at the Hague-based court.
 
  • Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye was put to task by a Senate watchdog committee over an expenditure of Sh2.5 million to buy 24 smart phones for county executives. The Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee demanded answers from the Governor as to why he approved the expenditure, with some members arguing phones are personal effects and should not be acquired through public funds. The money was used to procure Samsung Galaxy Note III phones for chief officers and county executive committee (CEC) members. In his report for the county executive expenditure, Auditor General Edward Ouko noted that the smart phones were bought at varying prices, raising doubts about their actual costs. Some of the phones were bought for Sh90,000 each while others cost Sh80,000. The prices, according to the Auditor-General, were beyond what is allowed by the Office of the President through a circular sent to all counties.



Access to information Bill

There is a draft Access to Information Bill 2015 which intends to give effect to Article 35 of the Constitution; to confer on the Commission on Administrative Justice the oversight and enforcement functions and powers and for connected purposes. You can download and read it here



Community Land Bill
 
The Community land Bill which is yet to be tabled in Parliament aims to give effect to article 63 (5) of the Constitution. The Bill provides the recognition, protection and registration of community land rights, the management and administration of community land and the role of County governments in relation to unregistered community land. Land being a political hot potato in Kenya the Bill has already stirred an emotive debate within the political circles. Read the Bill here




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Editorial:  Urbanites need to own urban politics


According to the recent Ipos-Synovate study, Kenyans in rural areas are more aware of their legislators and also engage them more than those living in urban areas. This finding goes to show that urban dwellers are disinterested in their local politics, a surprising fact given the ever increasing rural to urban migration. The five largest cities and towns of Kenya: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret have a combined total of 47 constituencies and an approximate population of 8 million and are the major socio-economic hubs of the country. The study stated that the proportion of knowledge about MPs is higher in western Kenya, eastern Kenya, central Kenya, northeastern Kenya and Nyanza at between 89 and 81 per cent, against 59 per cent in Nairobi. Voting in one’s rural constituency is the leading reason for non-participation in urban politics. Elected leaders who exercise our sovereignty in trust, have tremendous powers and responsibilities. Disinterest in politics is what is affirming mediocre leadership in Kenya. It is time to rethink our politics. Read more



Quote of the Week

Sentiments by Hon. Abdikadir Mohammed when moving the motion on the Approval of the draft Constitution of the Republic of Kenya on 23rd March, 2010
 

“… the Cabinet will be approved by the National Assembly. Parliament also has the authority to hold the Executive branch, because it can fire Ministers of the Executive. When it comes to impeachment, for the first time, if this goes through, we will have impeachment powers in this country. As I speak now, we have the ability to impeach in the books, but there is a suicide pact. So, if this House were to carry a vote of no confidence in the Executive, the House then has to go. The House naturally, does not want to end its own life. Therefore, the Executive has a free ride. That will end because if this proposal goes through, the lives of the House and Executive are not intertwined. Indeed, for the first time, we will have a free calendar of the National Assembly, so that Parliament and the National Assembly is free of the control of the Executive. But more importantly, Parliament can check the Executive by impeaching a sitting Head of State without having to end the life of Parliament.” Read Hansard



 Lest we Forget!

 

Sentiments by Hon. John Mbadi while making his contributions on the debate on the Budge Policy Statement on 12th March 2015


“The Government needs to talk about corruption and walk the talk. The President talked about corruption in his own office; the Office of the President. As I speak, there are no arrests. What we have had are some transfers. We want people to be arrested. The presidency is a very senior position in this country. When the President tells us that there is corruption in his office, the following day, we expect people being dragged to prison. We want to see action. What is happening in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is a clear case of people who do not want “chickengate” saga to be investigated. We know it. Someone is hell bent to finish this Commission completely because it is probably suspected to have started following some sacred cows in this country. We need to tell the Jubilee Administration that this diversionary tactics will not help. The President continuous to sit in his Cabinet with Chirchir, someone who has been accused extensively. Even the people who bribed him have been jailed in the UK courts. This President is not serious about corruption. We need to say this and repeat it to him so that he can listen: Please, President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, together with your Deputy William Samoei Ruto, wake up. You cannot continue sitting with corrupt individuals in your Cabinet and you go out there and tell us that going forward, if you are found corrupt, you will be arrested. Who will take you seriously?” Read Hansard

 

Newsmaker this week:


Meru County woman representative Hon. Florence Kajuju has decried the increasing cases of female circumcision in the county. Speaking in Ruiru rwa Reera in Buuri Constituency where she was meeting various women groups, Ms Kajuju said she was disturbed by the practice which was mainly propagated by parents. She said it was sad that there were areas where the practice was considered important for young girls despite complications it was associated with especially when giving birth. She said that in most areas, culture was the main contributor to the increasing cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) especially where people were desperate to preserve it. She, however, said the practice which was earlier performed on young girls in readiness for marriage is now outdated. She further said education would enable women to get prestigious positions in the government hence developing their areas. Profile


Bills before the National Assembly

Bills in the First Reading

THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 57 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (No. 2) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 58 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

THE FOOD SECURITY BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 23 OF 2014) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale


Bills in the Second Reading
THE ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGISTS AND TECHNICIANS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 07 OF 2015) is sponsored by Hon. Cecilia Ng'etich
 
THE AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO.17 OF 2015) is sponsored by Hon. Silas Tiren
 
THE HEALTH RECORDS AND INFORMATION MANAGERS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 24 OF 2015) is sponsored by Hon. Agostinho Neto
 
THE POLITICAL PARTIES (AMENDMENT) BILL (SENATE BILL NO.3 OF 2014) is sponsored by The Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga
 
THE STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 6 OF 2014) is sponsored by The Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga
  
THE COMMUNITY LAND BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 45OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE PHYSICAL PLANNING BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 46 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE LAND LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 55 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) (NO.2) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 26 OF 2013) is sponsored by Hon. Lati Lelelit
 
THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 01 OF 2015) is sponsored by Hon. David Ochieng'
 
THE MAGISTRATES’ COURTS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 41 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE HIGH COURT ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 47 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 50 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE COURT OF APPEAL (ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 52 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE PETROLEUM (EXPLORATION DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 44 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE COMMUNITY LAND BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 45 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE PHYSICAL PLANNING BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 46 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 36 OF 2015) is sponsored by Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi

THE BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 37 OF 2015) is sponsored by Hon. Stephen Mule



Before in the Committee of the Whole
The Parliamentary Society of Kenya Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 35 of 2013) is sponsored by Hon. Adan Keynan

The National Youth Employment Authority Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 08 of 2015) is sponsored by Hon. Johnson Sakaja
 


Bills before the Senate

 Bills in the Second Reading

THE HIV AND AIDS PREVENTION AND CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 4 OF 2015) is sponsored by Sen. Wilfred Machage
 
THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY ATTORNEY BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 37 OF 2014) is sponsored by the Chairperson, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights Sen. Amos Wako
 
THE KENYA NATIONAL EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (AMENDMENT) BILL, SENATE BILLS NO. 7 OF 2015 is sponsored by Sen. David Musila
 
THE PRESERVATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND ENFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS BILL, SENATE BILL NO. 8 OF 2015 is sponsored by Sen. Hassan Omar

 THE SENIOR CITIZENS CARE AND PROTECTION BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 43 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Wilfred Lesan

THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 35 OF 2014) is sponsored by Chairperson, Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights 
 Sen. Amos Wako

THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY PRINTER BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 42 OF 2014) is sponsored by Sen. Stephen Sang'

THE COUNTY LIBRARY SERVICES BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 6 OF 2015) is sponsored by Sen. Joy Gwendo


  
Bills before Committee of the Whole

THE CLIMATE CHANGE BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 1 OF 2014) is sponsored by The Senate Majority Leader Sen. Kithure Kindiki
 
THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS (COUNTY ASSEMBLY APPROVAL) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 20 OF 2014) is sponsored by the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare Sen. Stewart Madzayo
 
THE COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 32 OF 2014) is sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Education Sen. Daniel Karaba



Public Participation

Mzalendo will he holding a Tweet Chat, #DebunkMythsKE on the report released today on Women's  contributions in the 11th Parliament. The chat will be tomorrow, Thursday 8th October 2015 from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. 


 
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