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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 258
28th October - 1st October 2019

Editorial

Is Parliament Abdicating its Oversight Role?

“Economy: Going gets tougher for Kenyans,” read the front page of the Tuesday 29th October 2019 Daily Nation copy. A headline that has contradicted several statements by the government that were meant to assure Kenyans of “economic growth” despite massive lay-offs and steeper tax burdens by the day. With the 2019 census figures that put Kenya’s population at 47.6 million, each Kenyan owes Sh 130, 349 against the Sh 6.5 billion public debt. The raising of the debt ceiling to Sh 9 trillion could bring the indebtedness of every Kenyan to Sh 189, 218 if the National Treasury borrows an additional Sh 2.5 trillion.

These worrisome details have rendered Kenyans helpless as Parliament continuously okays Treasury’s massive borrowing despite public outcry and expert warnings. Couple that with admissions of Parliament’s failure from the likes of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Suba South MP John Mbadi, it is evident that the country is headed down a slippery slope.

Parliament is now on the spot for under-delivering on its oversight and representative mandate, constantly passing legislation that does not mirror public interest. Efforts by a few Senators who sought Treasury’s rationale behind the Public Finance Management regulations did not yield much as the majority of the House at the end voted in favour of raising the debt ceiling. Going by the sentiments shared by most proponents of the raised ceiling, the government intends to borrow loans with lower interest rates in order to retire the expensive ones that are worsening the ballooning public debt.

News of the Week

Mzalendo launches research on women and youth inclusion.

Mzalendo Trust launches two reports that focus on the Inclusion and Participation of Youth and Women MPs. The research was launched by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika who represented the Speaker of the Senate Kenneth Lusaka. Also present at the launch were nominated Senator Abshiro Halake, Nominated MP Dhennitah Ghati, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, Kasipul Kabondo MP Eve Obara, Kitui Central MP Benson Mulu and the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu. Thank you for your continuous support.
 

Law proposes penalties for uninclusive institutions

National Assembly’s Cohesion and Equal Opportunity Committee now wants the law amended to introduce penalties against public institutions whose workforce does not reflect the face of Kenya. The Committee chaired by Nominated MP Maina Kamanda wants section 7 (1) of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission Act 2006 amended to set the diversity threshold or requirement in relation to the latest published data on population and housing census. 
The Committee, through a report, noted that most public institutions do not comply with Article 232 of the Constitution, which states that public service should be representative of the diverse Kenyan groups. 
The recommendations follow an audit by the committee of 24 public institutions with revelations that there is a massive skewed ethnic imbalance in staffing. Among the parastatals audited include; Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Technical University of Mombasa, Kenyatta National Hospital, Coast Development Authority, Lake Victoria North Services Board, Maseno University, Lake Basin Development Authority, KPA, Rivatex East Africa, Moi University, Kerio Valley Development Authority, Parliamentary Service Commission, KRA, Kenya Power, EPZ, KNEC, NSSF, TSC, Public Service Commission, National Public Service Commission and OAG.

MPs move to protect borrowers ahead of interest cap repeal

A parliamentary committee moved to protect the rights of existing borrowers to ensure that they will not be affected by the scrapping of interest rate capping. The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning Committee chaired by Joseph Limo, agreed to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recommendation to do away with interest rate capping. They, however, said that there was need to protect existing borrowers from being affected until they clear loans issued before the scrapping of interest caps.

Quote of the Week

As a country, empowerment of young people and women is key to development of a generation.

Quote by Nominated Senator Abshiro Halake during the launch of the reports on Inclusion of Youth and Women in the 11th and 12th Parliament on October 31st 2019.

Lest we forget

It is normally said that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. On the contrary, the time for the youth is now and not tomorrow. We have also been saying that the youth are having problems in getting employment. I think that if this Youth Enterprise Fund is properly utilised, we will be able to see some enterprises being started by the youth and the women. This is where our future is and so we need to support the youth and women alike.

Sentiments by former Minister of Finance Robinson Githae contributing to the debate on the national budget June 15th 2006. 

Read the Hansard

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION BILL (
- NO. 69 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Joash Nyamache
THE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 70 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Silvanus Onyiego
THE SUGAR BILL
- NO. 68 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Wafula Wamunyinyi
Second Reading
THE PETITION TO COUNTY ASSEMBLIES (PROCEDURE) BILL
- SENATE BILL NO. 22 OF 2018
Sponsored by Hon William Cheptumo
THE REPRESENTATION OF SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL )
- NO. 52 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Jeremiah Kioni
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (REVENUE RAISING PROCESS) BILL
- NO. 24 OF 2018
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE DATA PROTECTION BILL
- NO. 44 OF 2019
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE PARLIAMENTARY PENSIONS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 45 OF 2019
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE COMPETITION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 49 OF 2019
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE INSURANCE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 50 OF 2019
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale
THE LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS MARKETING BOARD BILL
- NO.2 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Bashir Abdullaih
THE PARLIAMENTARY PENSIONS (AMENDMENT)(No.3) BILL
- NO. 57 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon Andrew Mwadime
THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT CONSTITUENCIES DEVELOPMENT FUND (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO.16 OF 2019
Sponsored by Hon (Dr.) Makali Mulu
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
Consideration of the President’s Reservations to the Finance Bill
- NO 51 OF 2019
Sponsored by Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale ) (The Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning)
The Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill
- NO. 51 OF 2017
Sponsored by (The Leader of the Majority Party)

Bills before the Senate

First Reading

Public Participation

Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock and the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security invite views from the public on:

1. The Sugar Bill,2019 (N.A. Bill No. 68 of 2019 )
2. The Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (N.A Bill No. 70)

Submissions may be forwarded to the Clerk of the National Assembly, P. O. BOX 41842 - 00100, Nairobi or;

Hand-delivered to the office of the Clerk, 1st Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi or emailed to clerk@parliament.go.ke to be received on or before Tuesday, 12th November 2019 at 5 pm.

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