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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 120
23rd - 29th January, 2017

Editorial

The Mass Voter Registration Campaigns Reveal What’s More Important to Our Leaders

 

Drought is ravaging the country. Thousands are going for days without proper food and animals are dying. Yet, our leaders are worried about tyranny of numbers and how to attain or retain power. For the second month now, Kenyans are unable to get affordable health care after doctors downed their tools. Now, students enrolled in public universities are not attending classes courtesy of the dons strike, never mind that time wasted can never be recovered. Yet again, our leaders are angry these students or their teachers are not serious about registering as voters. Could there be anything more selfish?

Firstly, politicians have hijacked the ongoing Mass Voter Registration (MVR) to begin their early campaigns ahead of the schedule. Not that it’s surprising, but it starting to sound very similar to the events that led up to the Post-Election Violence (PEV) following the disputed 2007/08 elections. The opposition – particularly CORD – is talking tough and using near threatening language. In a divisive environment like ours and indeed an election year, our leaders should be a little careful with what they say and not let the charged crowd excite them into saying things that can be misinterpreted especially by the unsettled, energetic and frustrated youth.

Pro-government politicians on the other hand keep challenging the opposition to engage the public on issue based politics but they are not doing that. Instead, pro-government politicians spend a good time talking about the opposition and obsessing over opposition leader Raila Odinga. Promoting Railaphobia can ensure Jubilee zones come out in large numbers but at what expense? Our leaders from both political divide should let the Mass Voter Registration exercise remain just that and wait for the campaign season. Even then, they should restrain themselves from combative politics and stick to issues they will do for Kenyans.

News of the Week

Electoral Agency Confirms I.D Sharing Puzzle in the ongoing MVR

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in a press conference said more than 128,926 Kenyans shared the same national identity card or passport numbers in the system. The Commission said this may have been as a result of the erroneous data entered by clerks or applicants submitting the same details to different registration centers. Opposition leaders had raised the red flag after Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka realized he shared his I.D number with another person.

IEBC to Introduce Mobile Voter Registration

Electoral Agency Chairman Wafula Chebukati said they’re considering introduction of mobile voter registration for Pastoralists, Students and Prisoners. The Commission says it will come up with a formula for the mobile voter registration in a week’s time. The mobile voter registration is meant to give these groups of Kenyans a chance to register as voters.
 

MPs gift themselves extra pay for the months they will not work

Members of Parliament have gifted themselves Sh. 11 million each and another Sh.1.09 million in salary for two months which they will not be working for. National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale assured MPs that they will continue earning in the two months Sine Die Recess. The only allowance they will not earn is the sitting allowance. This is set to cost tax payers at least Sh. 4.58 Billion. MPs earn a monthly salary of Sh. 740,000 and are entitled to a monthly airtime of Sh. 10,000, a monthly car allowance of Sh. 356.525. The Constitution also acknowledges that they take home sh. 11,011,200 as gratuity for service once their term expires on Election Day. 

Bill on AG’s Office in Bad Faith

Members of Parliament are set to debate the Attorney General (Amendment) Bill which seeks to establish the procedure for removing AG from office. The Bill drafted by the Justice and Legal Affairs committee looks fishy. While the bill sets precedence on procedure for removing the AG it notes that the Solicitor General can serve at the pleasure of the President therefore raising eyebrows over the Bill’s intentions. Media reports indicate that the Bill comes in the wake of AG Muigai’s refusal to cooperate with government Bills aimed at certain political outcomes.

Quote of the Week

"…the basic salary of the MPs is quite low and what boost us are the allowances that are paid. Those who do not qualify for a second term, the only thing they will get at the end, is gratuity which is not calculated against the allowances."

Sentiments by Hon. James Nyikal when contributing to a petition by former MPs on the Implementation of the AKIWUMI report on minimum living pension on October 13, 2016

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

" The Ministry of Agriculture is coming up with those policies. It is also mobilizing resources in the ASAL areas to ensure that we suppress drought."

Sentiments by Sen. John Munyes when contributing to release of report on food assessment survey in Kilifi District on April 8, 2006.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga made headlines after sensationally claiming that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) was illegally registering voters from Uganda and Ethiopia thereby interfering with the ongoing Mass Voter Registration. In a statement to the media the former Prime Minister stated that BVR kits were being taken to neighboring countries to have foreigners register as voters in a bid to influence the Elections in August 2017. The NIS Director has not responded to the allegations but the President dismissed them as propaganda.

... PROFILE

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