Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 84
23- 29 May, 2016


Will Ole Kaparo’s Commission Bite as Temperatures Rise?

Rick Warren, an American Evangelical Christian author couldn’t have captured the mood in Kenya better when he made this statement, even though it was not intended for a Kenyan audience, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

In Kenya today, people hate (probably fear) each other and are ready to kill each other over difference in political opinion. Worse still, Kenyans will agree with their political leaders even when they are out-rightly wrong because they love them. They feel, they owe them loyalty. This is absolute nonsense.

CORD’s IEBC protests are getting uglier by the day with reports of increased police brutality. The people suffering the most are women and children who unfortunately, are not directly involved in these demos. You would therefore expect that for the sake of our humanity majority Kenyans would at least condemn the excessive use of force even as they demand that CORD seek to follow the rule of law. But no, some are going as far as justifying those killed.

John Githongo the former anti-graft czar speaking at a conference on Integrity this week reasoned that culture is the foundation of a nation and further suggested that we have drafted enough laws, we must now go back to our cultures. His reasoning is echoed by former presidential candidate Martha Karua who argued in the same conference that the problem in Kenya was not lack of laws but enforcing them.

Picking from their argument and putting Rick Warren’s quote into context, we can safely assume that, we are cultured to engage in public theft, insult those we disagree with and be dishonest with each other for as long as our political leaders believe in these vices.

News of the Week

Senators & MCAs Sideline Governors as they Meet in Mombasa

Governors have complained they've been sidelined in the inaugural Senate and County Assembly Forum (CAF). The first legislative assembly summit under devolution held in Mombasa brought together Senators MCAs and devolution stakeholders to take stock of the progress made.

The governors expressed surprise because they invited the Senators in all their annual conferences, including this year’s 3rd annual devolution conference which the latter absconded. Nonetheless the Council of Governors (COG) chairman Peter Munya argued that it was okay they weren't invited because they are not legislators.

Auditor General Report Renews Senate Governors' Supremacy Battle

Auditor General's report on governor's expenditure in the 2013/14 financial year has given senators a new impetus to revive their accusation against Governors' spending. Senators and Governors have had a bitter exchange with the governors accusing the legislators of being anti-devolution. The Senators have on the other hand accused Governors of devolving corruption.

Members of County Assembly (MCA) have also accused Senators of failing to represent their needs despite being the custodians of devolution. They said this at the inaugural Senate and County Assembly summit in Mombasa.

As the supremacy battles continue, Senate is becoming less appealing to politicians with most revealing their intentions to vie for either the Governor’s position, National Assembly, Women Rep and some even County Assembly. This is mainly because of the seemingly powerful role MPs and MCAs seem to have with regard to circulation and control of money.


Senators MCAs want EACC devolved

Senators and MCAs want the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to open office in every county in a bid to curb the runaway corruption experienced at the county level. The decision to allocate EACC resources to have offices in every county was one of the 17 resolutions adopted in the inaugural Legislative summit.

The resolution comes at a time when Members of County Assemblies (MCA) are grappling with cases of corruption allegations. Kiambu MCAs are the most hit with recent reports that they're taking bribe to cover up corruption.


MPs Working on a Plan to Remove Current IEBC Commissioners

MPs have agreed the current IEBC commissioners will not handle the 2017 elections. However, they're yet to find an agreeable formula on how to replace the current commissioners. Opposition Cord has been holding nationwide demonstrations demanding the removal of the current IEBC commissioners. More than three have been declared dead and several others injured when the demonstrators clashed with riot police.


Parliament on Recess

Kindly note that both National Assembly and Senate are on recess until 6th June, 2016. Nonetheless, there has been a special sitting since May 26th to allow MPs debate on the Anti-Doping Bill 2016 to ensure Kenya complies with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommendations ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Quote of the Week

"Hon. Members have raised the question of Somalia and asked what our role is. Some hon. Members raised the issue that we were an optimistic nation in 2003, and stressed that peace itself must start with Parliamentarians. I cannot agree more! It also means that the way we behave, in terms of the utterances we make, that we need to preach water and take water."

Sentiments by Senate Speaker Ekwee David (then an MP) while contributing to the debate on recognition of Amani Forum, Kenya Chapter on August 26, 2009

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

" I would like to urge hon. Members that it would be dangerous now to allow individuals, who are not even trained as police officers, to enjoy ranks of senior police officers. That really, is not the right way to go. The police force is anchored in Section 108 of the constitution of Kenya. Let us not create a parallel police force. We have seen the danger of attempting to run a parallel police force. That is what led to appointment of the Artur brothers as senior police commissioners."

Sentiments by Hon. Paul Muite former Kikuyu MP when contributing to the debate on the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 Section 7  on October 4th, 2007.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Mukurwe-ini MP Kabando wa Kabando and Ugenya MP David Ochieng made news this week as they led a team of 50MPs from both CORD and Jubilee to form the bipartisan Parliamentary Caucus involving both the National Assembly and the Senate in a bid to resolve the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) stand-off.


Public Participation

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