Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 183
23 April - 29 April, 2018


Future Devolution Conferences should find Wanjiku’s voice or it risks becoming irrelevant

Devolution Conferences are starting to sound much like the annual Davos Conferences where the rich and powerful come together and spend millions discussing the fate of the millions who are poor yet things remain the same for this majority, if not worse.

Someone suggested these World Economic Forum (WEF) conferences will achieve nothing for the majority poor until they have a key role in these forums. It is therefore not surprising that the gap between the rich and the poor has increased considerably despite these annual meetings to prevent the same.

The 5th Annual Devolution Conference held in Kakamega came to an end but there’s little to differentiate this conference from the previous ones, except for the fact that the opposition leader Raila Odinga gave a Keynote speech at the invitation of the government.

These conferences are supposed to be about stock-taking; where are we going wrong? Which holes can we plug? Instead what we see is great speeches year after year with nothing tangible. We only circle around the real issues like devolved corruption and warning faceless and nameless individuals of dire repercussions when we know and can arrest them.

It’s not like the corruption happens through black magic! The Auditor General Reports doesn’t just name random counties but affected dockets and the people running them.  Parliamentarians call them for questioning and retreat to write reports that are inconsequential. It appears talking about corruption is a pastime activity for politicians.

The circa 6000 delegates who attended the Devolution Conference in Kakamega were mainly the ‘who is who’ in the political and government circles. The real people that made devolution necessary weren’t there. The mama mbogas, hawkers and boda boda riders among other Kenyans in the informal sector who expected devolution to change their lives were not part of the meeting. Just like Davos, the people living in posh areas met to discuss the plight of those in slums without a representative from them.

News of the Week

President Speaks Forgiveness, Reconciliation During State of the Nation Address

President Uhuru Kenyatta used this year’s State of the Nation Address to ask Kenyans for forgiveness and ask Kenyans to unite following a divisive election. He asked that if he said anything or divide Kenyans in last year’s elections, he be forgiven. He asked the leaders to admit they had failed in preserving the country’s unity and spend the weeks ahead forging unity and repairing the bonds broken last year. While he mentioned his handshake with opposition leader Raila Odinga, he steered clear of the debate on constitutional reform

Showdown looms as Senate rejects Ward Fund Bill

The Ward Fund Bill continues to spark more controversy after the Senate Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) rejected it. The Treasury through the Chief Administrative Secretary opposed the bill saying it negated the fiscal powers of the County Executives, sentiments shared by the Office of the Controller of Budget who termed it unconstitutional.  MCAs however have promised to put up a fight through the umbrella body-County Assemblies Forum (CAF). Political leaders appear torn on the subject with some favor of the bill and others opposing it.

Uhuru, Raila name 14 member team on building bridges initiative

The much talked about handshake appears to be taking shape following the naming of the 14 member team by President Uhuru and Opposition leader, Raila Odinga under the banner: building bridges initiative? The 14 advisers have been drawn from political, academic and religious circles. Notable names include, Sen. Amos Wako, Sen. Yussuf Haji, Makueni and Samburu Women Rep, Raila Odinga’s strategist Adams Oloo, Catholic Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Anglican Bishop Peter Njenga among others.

Opposition product boycott ends with no fanfare

NASA and Opposition leader Raila Odinga announced the end of the product boycott by their supporters and vowed to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda. NASA had last year at the height of political rivalry asked their supporters to avoid products associated with the Kenyatta family and Jubilee leadership in general over what they claimed was supporting institutions, companies or individuals who in one way or another supported the alleged rigging of August 8th polls by Jubilee.

Quote of the Week

"Our constitutional order is stable, secure, and growing in strength.  Devolution is no longer a baby; it is now an established framework for governing and delivering public services."

Quote by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta in this year's State of the Nation Address on May 2, 2018

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"Still on corruption, it is an open secret that nearly 80 to 90 per cent of our counties are very corrupt."

Sentiments by Hon. Mallan Omondi when debating the Division of Revenue Bill on March 24, 2016.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Embakasi East MP, Babu Owino made headlines this week after he left his seat to go shake hands with the President as he was delivering his State of the Nation Address. The MP has made headlines before having spent a weekend in the cells for making remarks that were seen as an insult to the President. As a staunch supporter of opposition leader Raila Odinga, Babu Owino had refused to recognise the President Uhuru's government insisting Raila Odinga was the validly elected leader that saw him exchange blows with his Starehe counterpart, Charles Kanyi, alias Jaguar. The MP whose victory was nullified in what critics saw as the government dealing with him is on record asking the government to change their tact following the handshake. He has since challenged the ruling.


Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading
- NO. 01 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
- NO. 02 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
- NO. 16 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee Hon. Kimani Ichung'wah
- NO. 15 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee Hon. Kimani Ichung'wah
The Physical Planning Bill
- NO. 34 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

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P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

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