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Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue No 58: 9 - 15 November, 2015

News of the Week:  
  • National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has criticised Chief Justice Willy Mutunga for giving to the media a letter he (the CJ) wrote to the leadership of the House regarding a damning report on the Judiciary's management.At the same time, the Speaker stopped debate on the Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) report on a special audit of the Judicial Service Commission, which is headed by Dr Mutunga.The Chief Justice had criticised the PAC report and said it was full of inaccuracies whereas the PAC had made it look like the Judiciary he heads is “headless” and that there was massive misappropriation of taxpayers’ money.Mr Muturi said that from the trail of correspondence between the Chief Justice and the PAC, it was clear he was given whatever he asked for from the committee, which also took the unusual step of sending him the questions he was required to answer.He, however, ruled out the option of saying that the Chief Justice cannot be summoned, suggesting instead that the House would have to put in new guidelines about how the different arms of government interact.
 
  • The Daily Nation's parliamentary Editor John Ngirachu has been released from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters after recording a statement in the presence of his two lawyers. The editor had been arrested on Tuesday afternoon at Parliament in Nairobi for reporting on procurement by the Interior ministry. The reporting was based on the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly. Interior Cabinet Secretary Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery had said Mr Ngirachu would be released when he reveals the source of the information he used to write his story. Mr Nkaissery was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, soon after Mr Ngirachu's arrest. Mr Ngirachu was held at the DCI headquarters at Mazingira House, off Kiambu Road in Nairobi. On Thursday, the Cabinet secretary blamed Parliament for releasing confidential information to the media, saying it exposed the government's security capacity and capabilities. He said his team presented the information to the PAC in camera as provided for in law. A social media campaign seeking Mr Ngirachu's release, #FreeNgirachu, was on Tuesday evening the top trending topic on Twitter.
 
  • Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa is in trouble again – this time over the alleged forging of a dead man’s signature in order to acquire land in Lamu. He is accused of forging the late Omar Kola Barisa’s signature and obtaining 4.5 hectares in the prime port area of Hindi/Magogoni. The MP is also said to have obtained a certificate of power of attorney with the fake signature, which he used to sell the plot. Ndegwa allegedly sold the plots to two businessmen in the area, Yussuf Sufi Abasheikh and Mohaddin Sufi Abasheikh, at Sh4million. During the land transfer, the anomalies were spotted, with the MP promising to pay a fee of Sh2million to the two individuals as a gesture of apology. The businessmen, who are brothers, now accuse Ndegwa of issuing at least six bouncing cheques for the refund of their money.The cheques were allegedly drawn on the Equity and Cooperative banks between September 30, 2014 and January 30 this year. The DPP, in a letter dated July 30, directed the CID to speed up investigations into the matter. Prosecution counsel Gertrude Kiilu, in the letter referenced ‘Complaint against Hon Julius Ndegwa Kariuki, MP Lamu West constituency, on allegations of obtaining money by false pretences, issuing bounced cheques, fraud and forgery’, asked the CID to forward the police file to the DPP’s office for perusal and further necessary action.
 
  • Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was on Wednesday saved — for the third time — from sacking, after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi rejected an impeachment motion, sparking a walkout by opposition MPs from the chamber. The MP said his motion was supported by 188 members, well above the 88 required by law. Standing orders allow the Speaker to reject a motion on various grounds, including insufficient evidence. Mr Alfred Keter called a press conference to protest the decision and accused the Speaker of working under orders from “State House”. He said Mr Muturi had made “suspect” demands that pointed to special treatment of Ms Waiguru. Earlier in the day, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi had claimed that the “boss” intervened to save Ms Waiguru from a similar impeachment motion that the Jubilee MP had filed 14 months ago. Mr Linturi said he had a discussion with the President, who explained that the timing of the motion was wrong.
 
  • Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee chairman Bonny Khalwale observed that some are travelling for leisure at taxpayers’ expense and that when the auditors come calling, they refuse to surrender the required documents. Dr Khalwale cited Makueni officials, whom he faulted for travelling to Israel to visit tourist sites and religious shrines. The county assembly also irregularly spent Sh3.6 million on subsistence and travelling allowances, for workshops they did not attend in the end, according to a report by the Auditor-General for the 2013/14 financial year. Dr Khalwale said the committee had resolved that the money must be recovered from those responsible and warned governors and Speakers against flouting the Constitution as they seek to please MCAs.He also said most of the queries by the Auditor-General result from weak internal audit systems. Some counties don’t have internal auditors.
 
  • The Council of Governors has praised the Senate for rejecting a petition to impeach Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria on Friday. Addressing journalists in Kwale Town on Sunday, CoG Vice-Chairman Salim Mvurya said the Senate had proved to Kenyans that the Constitution was alive. Mwangi wa Iria incurred the wrath of county assembly members who passed a Motion of impeachment, following allegations of corruption levelled against him. “Our Constitution is not just a mere document; it is our country’s operational manual and it must be respected and followed to the letter,” he said. By setting up high standards for impeaching governors, the Senate has set a precedence for the transitional period and beyond, said Mr Mvurya, who is also the Kwale governor. The governor affirmed that the council was aware of suspicions that billions of shillings were being siphoned from public coffers through embezzlement, fraud, bribery and mismanagement .However, he said, the issues have to be settled through anti-graft initiatives without political interference or settling political scores.
 
  • The Jubilee coalition will next week move amendments on the Political Parties Act (PPA) in a move aimed at clipping the wings of rebels within its ranks. The move has elicited varied reactions across the political divide, with pundits terming it a short-sighted strategy to ensure politicians do not lack political parties after December 18, when the coalition will dissolve its affiliates to form a single party. Under the current Act, parties can merge but members have a choice to remain in parties that choose to dissolve without being coerced to jump ship. The Jubilee NEC backed the amendment fronted by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga and agreed that members of parties to be dissolved will become automatic members of JPK. Uasin Gishu URP Chairperson Samuel Rutto said such an amendment is the only way members will have their place in the new party to be unveiled in December during the national delegates’ conference.
 
    




   

 
 


 
Editorial:  Rule of Law Must be Written in Hearts and Minds to Check Corruption!

 

Presently, the problem of Kenya is not lack of laws, we have enough of them. If they were to be implemented many leaders, politicians, their families and cronies would be in jail. Wherever you look at, from Counties to the National Government corruption glares at you in the face without blinking. In Kenya we have socialized corruption such that the acceptance level of it is really high. Kenyans across the political divide have all become either active supporters and beneficiaries or unworried and cooperative victims. In terms of world’s corruption ranking by Transparency International, Kenya has slipped further down to 145th out of 174 nations, from 136 in 2013. The Auditor General has identified dozens of corruption cases in procurement, in all government levels, where the prices of goods and services procured have been inflated to mind boggling prices. Since the tabling of the “list of shame” by President Kenyatta, coverage of corruption by the media has been on the increase. Even so, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that is supposed to make heads roll has continued to drag its feet in bringing the implicated persons to book. This has resulted into a mixture of an outcry and an appeal to public officials to “steal just a little’, painting Kenya as a country in an irredeemable crisis. Read more


Quote of the Week

Sentiments by President Mwai Kibaki regarding war on corruption and National cohesion during the State Opening of the Fourth Session of the Tenth Parliament  on 23rd February 2010.
 
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the last few months we have intensified the war against corruption. This momentum will be accelerated to cover all vulnerable sectors of the Government. In this regard, all anti-corruption agencies should fast-track and conclude pending corruption cases. All inter-corruption agencies have also been directed to enhance preventive measures. Secondly, we will enhance the investigative and prosecution capacity of the respective agencies. Thirdly, the Judiciary should also speed up the court process because speedy conclusion of corruption-related cases is a key pillar in this fight. The Government will provide adequate resources to improve the capacity of these institutions to speed up the processes. The public service has been directed to apply the law and regulations firmly and impartially. The Government is also consulting with the Judiciary on ways of placing a time-frame on the period within which a corruption- related case should be concluded. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I now turn to the matter of national cohesion. Hon. Members will be aware that nearly two years after signing the National Accord, we have made substantial progress in managing our diversity as a country. We now have a National Cohesion and Integration Commission and a new law that prescribes tough penalties for those promoting hate, hate speeches and ethnic tendencies. Read Hansard


Lest we Forget!

 

Sentiments by Hon. Raila Odinga when issuing prime ministerial statement on corruption surrounding the Tokyo Embassy.
 
“Indeed, I issued communication from the Chair confirming that he had received a letter from Mr.Moses Wetangula conveying his decision to step aside from office in order to give way to investigations into allegations of wrong doing by the Ministry. The Report of the Committee did recommend inter alia that:- (i) The Government should take decisive disciplinary action on public officers who may be found to have flouted relevant laws and procedures during the procurement of properties or Kenya missions abroad. (ii) Public offices found culpable in the transactions involving the purchase, construction and/or sale of Government properties are surcharged and made to refund money lost by the Government. (iii) Public officers found culpable in the transactions involving the purchase, construction and/or Government properties be barred from holding public office. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is now a well-established constitutional convention that Ministers are responsible, answerable and accountable to Parliament on matters of policy and those of operational nature within their docket. Where this duty is breached, a Minister may face legal sanctions if there are infractions of the law or bear punishment of a political nature.” Read Hansard


Newsmaker(s) this week:
 
Mzalendo launched the second edition of the People’s Shujaaz Awards to showcase and celebrate Parliamentarians that have excelled in championing issues of great public interest in both the National Assembly and Senate in 2015. The legislators exhibited great leadership through sponsoring and contributing to bills; motions they put forward; statements and petitions they represented as well as committee reports tabled. Kenyans often bash Parliamentarians yet some of them are working hard to make the lives of Kenya better. The issues and list of nominees were arrived at through mining the Hansard and reviewing committee reports as well as the bills, motions, petitions and statements trackers. The final list of nominees was agreed upon after consultation with civil society groups under the Parliamentary Initiatives Network (Kenya) umbrella that are issue specialists. Issues identified this year include: Financial oversight, Institutional oversight, mining, access to justice, devolution, education, health, special interests, security, progressive contributions, business and land. The issues list also represents the 12 categories covered in this year’s awards. The 36 nominees include: Johnson Sakaja, Mutava Musyimi,    Prof Anyang' Nyong'o, Wilfred Machage, Isaac MwauraAgnes Zani, Priscilla Nyokabi and Mutula Kilonzo Jnr . For the full nominee list visit here  and also vote for your favorites. Online voting starts today, 17th November and runs until 9th December midnight. Read more
 


Bills before the National Assembly

Bills in the Second Reading

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 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 HEALTH BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO.14 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party 
Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRADITIONAL CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 48 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party 
Hon. Aden Duale
 
THE FOREST CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 49 OF 2015) is sponsored by The Leader of the Majority Party 
Hon. Aden Duale
 
 THE NATURAL RESOURCES (CLASSES OF TRANSACTIONS SUBJECT TO RATIFICATION) BILL (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 54 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
 



Bills before the Senate

 Bills in the Second Reading
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS DISASTER MANAGEMENT BILL, (SENATE BILL NO. 40 OF 2014) is sponsored by the Chairperson, Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations Sen. Yusuf Haji



 Bills before Committee of the Whole

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


Consideration of the Presidential Memorandum on the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 40 of 2014) is sponsored by The Senate Majority Leader Sen. Dr. Kithure Kindiki
 
Consideration of the Presidential Memorandum on the Public Audit Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 38 of 2014) is sponsored by The Senate Majority Leader Sen. Dr. Kithure Kindiki


Public Participation
 
The National Assembly is calling for memoranda on The Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Bill, 2015 and National Government Constituencies Development Fund, 2015.  Written memoranda can be sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly P.O. Box 41842 – 00100 or hand delivered to the office of the Clerk, Main Parliament Buildings or emailed to clerk@parliament.go.ke on or before Wednesday 18th November, 2015 at 5.00 pm.

The Senate is seeking contributions on Persons with Disabilities (amendment) Bill, 2015 .The Bill has undergone first reading and has been committed to the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare for consideration and thereafter report to the House. Public hearings will be held on Wednesday 18th, November from 11.00am to 1.00pm at Continental Building 4th Floor, Parliament Building, Nairobi. Written memoranda can be sent to the Clerk of the Senate P.O. Box 41842 – 00100 or hand delivered to the office of the Clerk, Main Parliament Buildings or emailed to senatebills@parliament.go.ke on or before 2.00pm on Wednesday, 11th November 2015.

 

 
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