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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 215
3 December - 9 December, 2018

Editorial

Parliament 2018; the Year in Review

Slightly over a year ago when MPs and Senators took their oath of office; nobody could’ve imagined a Jubilee and NASA lawmaker agreeing on anything. Coming on the backdrop of a divisive and controversial election that saw the nullification of the Presidential elections; the 12th Parliament started on the wrong footing.

Parliament has officially adjourned until February 2019, although National Assembly will be having a special sitting on Tuesday 18th. Here’s a review of the August House, the past 15 months.

The 12th Parliament’s performance has been dismal to say the least. Firstly, they wasted nearly half of the year fighting useless wars between the government and opposition MPs that only injured the common man. The least said about Opposition NASA MPs’ decision to abscond Parliamentary sessions, yet drawing salaries and sitting allowances the better.

There’s little tangible evidence that MPs or Senators did anything meaningful the first few months up until the handshake. In a rather surprising turn of events, Parliamentarians from both the ruling Jubilee and opposition NASA found new cooperation after the President and his opposition counterpart shook hands on the steps of Harambee House and announced the Building Bridges Initiative shortly after.

The handshake and the falling in line by MPs from both sides was a great learning opportunity for Kenyans. It revealed a most unprincipled, probably uncaring group of leaders. While the decision by the two opposing leaders to come together brought with it peace and ended the violence, mostly in the opposition turfs – perpetrated by the police – it also showed how the common man is but a pawn in a rich man’s game.

Nine solid months have passed after the much publicized handshake but baby Moraa, baby Pendo and all those who lost their lives during elections are yet get any justice. In fact none of the opposition supporters who suffered personal loss as a result of the political violence have gotten any form of justice. The MPs representing these areas have also since forgotten having adopted the government’s slogan on the Big Four Agenda.

The first year of the 12th Parliament was characterized with petty fights – sometimes physical – mostly in the National Assembly. As a matter of fact, Senate just like in the 11th Parliament remained the sober House, often carrying out their debates with decorum. Indeed, the Senate debated more Bills the past 15months compared to the National Assembly.

News of the Week

ODM Reigns in on Rebel MPs

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party has recommended the expulsion from the party vocal Coast MPs, Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Suleiman Dori (Msambweni) over gross misconduct. The two MPs have been associating with the Deputy President William Ruto. Malindi MP has openly declared her support for the DP in 2022 something the ODM party has not taken kindly. The party leadership had earlier in the year expressed ODM would field a presidential candidate despite unconfirmed reports their party leader would not be running in 2022. Also recommended for expulsion are six MCAs from Homabay County accused of disorderly and violence. The embattled MPs have a chance to explain themselves to the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) early next year before a final decision is taken.
 

President Uhuru tells off MPs Planning to Increase their Perks

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pre-empted MPs in the National Assembly pushing to increase their benefits through the Parliamentary Service Commission Bill telling them he will not sign the Bill. The Bill that is currently in the committee stage proposes to give all the 349 MPs rent-free housing, a government vehicle, an expanded medical cover among other benefits. The President told the MPs he will stand with Kenyans who have expressed dissatisfaction with the Bill. He warned that the lawmakers should be more concerned about changing the lives of their constituents, rather than enriching themselves.

Rift Valley MPs Claim their Community is targeted in the Ongoing Fight Against Corruption

MPs from the Rift Valley region have taken issue with the rate at which senior government officers from their region are being exposed for alleged corruption leading to resignation or dismissal. The MPs now say the fight against corruption is but a witch-hunt aimed at purging the government of high-flying career civil servants who are from the Kalenjin community. President Uhuru has insisted the ongoing war on corruption is not tribal asking MPs to let the culprits bare their own cross as individuals, a position supported by opposition leaders, Raila Odinga and more recently, ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi. The Rift Valley MPs on the other side remain suspicious arguing the war on corruption is skewed towards one region of the country.

Parliament Adjourned for Holidays

The National Assembly on Thursday 6th December adjourned for the December Holidays and will resume session on February 12th 2019. The Senate consequently commenced its recess on Friday 7th December and will resume session on 11th February, 2019.

Quote of the Week

“The President deserves applause for the much he has achieved so far in the fight against corruption”

Quote by the former Vice President and Opposition, NASA Co-Principal, Kalonzo Musyoka on December 10, 2018

Lest we forget

"The fight against corruption should not be politicised in the way it has been done. Frankly, it is no longer a fight against corruption. It is a question of trying to bring down the Government using other methods."

Sentiments by the former Vice President Moody Awori when contributing  to the Motion on the Presidential Address on April 5, 2006.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Former Vice President, Moody Awori made headlines this week after President Uhuru appointed him a member of the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund board. The irony of his appointment earned the President sharp criticism from members of the public who weren’t amused that at 91 the former VP was still employable at time the government is tackling the youth unemployment challenge. The President in his defense insinuated the youth in the country were too corrupt to be trusted hence his decision to go for the old Uncle Moody. His remarks were also not taken well by majority Kenyans who went as far as accusing the youthful MPs who were clapping as the President berated the youth. The former VP has not made any statement yet regarding his appointment even as sections of Kenyans urge him to turn down the offer.

... PROFILE

Bills before the National Assembly

First Reading
Second Reading
THE INSURANCE (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 21 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning  Hon. Joseph Kirui
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE COUNTY ALLOCATION OF REVENUE (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 29 OF 2018 - SENATE BILL
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee Hon. Anthonu Kimani Ichung'wah
THE NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE BILL
- NO. 26 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Leader of Majority Party Hon. Aden Duale

Bills before the Senate

First Reading
THE MENTAL HEALTH (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 32 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Sylvia Kasanga
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 33 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Ledama Olekina
THE COUNTY WARDS (EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT) BILL
- NO. 34 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Finance and Budget Sen. Mohammed Mahamud
THE TEA BILL
- NO. 36 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
THE ELECTION LAWS (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) BILL 
- NO. 37 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen.(Dr.) Agnes Zani
Second Reading
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS RETIREMENT SCHEME BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2018 - NATIONAL ASSEMBLY BILL
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE TREATY MAKING AND RATIFICATION (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 23 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Fatuma Dullo
THE LOCAL CONTENT BILL
- NO. 10 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Gideon Moi
THE STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 24 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Sessional Committee on Delegated Legislation Sen. Samuel Poghisio
THE COUNTY LAW COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT BILL 
- NO. 25 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. George Khaniri
THE COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION BILL
- NO. 26 OF 2018
Sponsored by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Education  Sen.(Dr.) Christopher Andrew Langat
Third Reading: Committee of the Whole House
THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL
- NO. 13 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
THE URBAN AREAS AND CITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 04 OF 2017
Sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen
THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF OLDER MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BILL
- NO. 17 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Cheruiyot
THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS (DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND DESIGNATED STATE OFFICERS) (AMENDMENT) BILL 
- NO. 02 OF 2018
Sponsored by Sen. Ledama Olekina

Public Participation

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