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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 238
27th May - 31st May 2019

Editorial

Let’s bring back the Madaraka joy

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain.

Last Saturday Kenya celebrated one of her most important days when our motherland gained independence 56 years ago. Kenya had finally gotten out of the shackles of slavery and colonialism and was now taking back the reins to finally attain its purpose.

Sure enough, our country started on a high. With the leaders then speaking in one voice and selling the promise of a united, progressive nation. Things came crashing shortly after our founding leaders opted to pursue individual gain over national cohesion. Which then birthed the current divided nation we are in. Year after year, we’ve swung our flags high on every 1st June to commemorate Madaraka Day but when the noise of celebration dies down we retreat to our ethnically divided mindsets. We go back to condoning corruption that has made us lag behind those who were our peers in the ‘60s. We set the bar even lower with acts of nepotism, hate speech, abuse of power and blatant disregard of the rule of law.

We have seemingly forgotten what our national values are. Article 10 of our constitution makes a good attempt at summing them up as follows; patriotism and unitysharing of powerdemocracy, participation and rule of lawdignityequal rights and justice, integritytransparency and accountability in public life and institutions; and sustainable development. The joy about these values is that they’re intertwined in such a way that exercising one of them creates a domino effect that makes the rest fall into place. However, our actions and those of our leaders have eroded us of our sense of nationalism to the point where celebrating Madaraka Day feels insincere.

News of the Week

High Court extends Suspension of Housing Levy

Formally employed Kenyans have been spared from the 1.5% deduction that was meant to commence in May 2019, after the High Court extended the suspension of the Levy to June 10th. Labour Court Justice Maureen Onyango ordered 11 petitioners who are challenging the levy be consolidated to be heard together. Justice Onyango will also hear an application on contempt of court filed by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) against KRA. 

                                                                                                     

NBK on the spot for allegedly dodging audits

National Assembly wants National Bank of Kenya (NBK) to explain why they have failed to allow the Office of the Auditor General to audit the lender despite numerous audit requests by Edward Ouko. This comes as the House Committee on Finance and National Planning starts investigations into the NBK’s Ksh 5 billion controversial takeover by Kenya Commercial Bank. In the 19th report of audited accounts of state corporations, the Public Investments Committee observed that NBK was not being audited by the Auditor General.

SRC takes on MPs

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has moved to court to compel MPs to refund millions they have received as the contentious house allowance. The Commission filed the case on May 31st arguing that the legislators violated the constitution by irregularly allocating themselves hefty benefits at the expense of the taxpayer. SRC further seeks to stop implementation of the allowanced which were awarded by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). Also at SRC's radar are PSC members who the commission accused of facilitating payment of the illegal allowances. The members who include National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, MPs Aisha Jumwa, Aden Kaynan, Naomi Shaban and senators George Khaniri, Aaron Cheruiyot and Beth Mugo have been listed as respondents.

Governors accuse Senators of "eyeing" their seats

Governors have accused Senators of using the audit probes as an opportunity to position themselves as viable candidates for the Gubernatorial seat come 2022. This comes after several Governors including Mike Sonko, Ferdinand Waititu, Ann Waiguru among others were summoned to appear before Senate Public Account Committee to answer to audit queries. Ironically most senators and governors from various counties hail from the same party but do not see eye to eye. Case in point, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, and his Senator Mithika Linturi's political rivalry played during Kiraitu's questioning over 2017/2018 audit report.

Quote of the Week

"The constitution says no one should be discriminated, everyone should be treated equally, everyone should be accorded good healthcare. Even the mentally ill"

Quote by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr while in support of the Mental Health Amendment Bill that was read a second time on May 29th, 2019. 

Lest we forget

"The theme of this year's Madaraka Day was: "I am proud to be a Kenyan". Today, how many Kenyans can stand up and say that they are proud to be Kenyans after what has happened?"

Sentiments by the former Assistant Minister for Defense David Musila during the debate on the Breach of Security at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Armenians on June 13th, 2006.  

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko caused an outrage after publicly humiliating the Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris during the Nairobi County Madaraka day festivities at the Pumwani Police Grounds. This was after Ms. Passaris claimed that her efforts to reach the Governor had been futile to which he retorted by saying that he is not her husband that he should answer her calls any time. This led to Ms. Passaris walking out during Sonko’s speech. This drew criticism from various people and groups, that demanded Sonko to apologize for his statement.

... PROFILE

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM AND HERITAGE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 7 OF 2019 
Sponsored by Sen Alice Milgo
THE CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 9 OF 2019
Sponsored by Abdullahi Ali
Second Reading
THE DETERMINATION OF THE NATURE OF BILLS (PROCEDURE) BILL
- NO. 30 OF 2018
Sponsored by Minority Whip Sen Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Sen Johnson Sakaja
THE MENTAL HEALTH (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 32 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Sylvia Kasanga
THE NATIONAL COHESION AND PEACE BUILDING BILL
- NO. 35 OF 2018 
Sponsored by Sen Judith Pareno
THE KENYA MEDICAL SUPPLIES AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 38 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Mary Seneta
THE COUNTY HALL OF FAME BILL
- NO. 39 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen
THE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 01 OF 2019
Sponsored by Sen Aaron Cheruiyot and Sen Isaac Mwaura
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SEN. BILLS NO. 20 OF 2018
Sponsored by Senator Naomi Jilo Waqo
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 11 OF 2017 
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Sen Kipchumba Murkomen
THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEDURE BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 15 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Samson Cherarkey
THE PRESERVATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND ENFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RIGHTS BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 27 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Abshiro Halake
THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS (DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND DESIGNATED STATE OFFICERS) (AMENDMENT) BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 2 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Ledama Olekina
THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF OLDER MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BILL
- SENATE BILLS NO. 17 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen Aaron Cheruiyot

Public Participation

Invitation by the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to interested members of the Public and organizations to submit any representation on The Control of Stray Dogs Bill (Senate Bills No. 4 of 2019) on Wednesday 12th June 2019. 

The submissions may be made orally or by submission of written memoranda in the following manner:

1. A public hearing shall be held on Wednesday 12th June, 2019 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, at the Ground Floor Boardroom, Red Cross Building, Nairobi; or

2. Written memoranda can be forwarded to the:

The Clerk of the Senate,
P.O. Box 41842 – 00100 Nairobi

hand-delivered to the Office of the Clerk/ Secretary, Parliamentary Service Commission, First Floor Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or
emailed to csenate@parliament.go.ke on or before Wednesday, 12th June 2019

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