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Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 26, March 30 - April 5 2015


News of the Week:
 
  • Speaker Justin Muturi informed MPs that if any of them chooses to step aside, over the allegations made in the EACC report, they will be required to get the permission of the Speaker to be away from Parliament. In that case, an MP would be entitled to the normal salary but no sitting allowances as they would not attend plenary and committee sittings, for which they are paid Sh5,000 each time. They would, however, continue to claim mileage allowance, which they usually do on the assumed basis that they travel to their constituencies by vehicle every weekend.


     
  • The National Assembly Powers and Privileges Committee has recommended the dissolution of the House Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and barred its chairperson, Ababu Namwamba and four others from serving on a new committee to be reconstituted. The probe committee, which has been investigating graft allegations against PAC members, came out with a stinging verdict on Mr. Namwamba and four PAC members, who separately made claims touching on the integrity of the committee. The four are Cecily Mbarire, Ahmed Abbas, James Bett and Omondi Anyanga barred from serving on the new committee whose members will be nominated within seven days of the House considering the report. All five were at the centre of claims that they received money to alter the outcome of a report that implicated Defense Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo in a matter of cash missing in the Office of the President. Allegations that PAC members had been receiving favors from subjects they were supposed to investigate also surfaced during the investigations.


     
  • A Nakuru court has directed that five MPs from Narok County be served with court orders through advertisements in the local newspapers. The ruling came after the court was informed that it had become difficult to directly serve the MPs with the orders. Judge Abigael Mshila directed that the orders be published in the local daily newspapers for the MPs to abide by, until a case filed by Narok Governor Samuel Tunai is determined. The High Court had in January 14 barred the politicians from holding any meetings or demonstrations in an alleged hatched plan to oust Tunai. The sued politicians are Senator Stephen Ntutu, former ambassador Julius Sunkuli, MPs Patrick Ntutu, Korei Lemein, Johana Ng'eno and Moitalel Kenta and two others. The court also warned the MPs through a penal notice that should they disobey the orders served through the newspapers, they will be cited for contempt of court and their property shall be attached and sold by public auction or committed to civil jail.

 
  • Imenti Central MP Gideon Mwiti was released on a Sh100,000 cash bail after denying raping, intimidating and assaulting a woman in his Westlands, Nairobi. The MP pleaded not guilty to three counts relating to the Sexual Offences Act when he appeared before Milimani Resident Magistrate Edda Agade. The charge sheet stated that on March 21, Mr. Mwiti intentionally and unlawfully obtained consent by force and had sex with the victim at Tana Club on Woodvale Grove in Westlands, Nairobi. It also stated that on the same date and venue, the MP intimidated the victim with intent to cause her to have sexual intercourse with him, yet he is not legally bound to do so, thereby causing her injuries. The other charge stated that he unlawfully assaulted the woman and occasioned her actual body harm’.

 
  • Governors and members of the county assemblies have gotten a reprieve in the use of the title ‘Excellency’ and ‘Honorable’ respectively after the Senate deferred the bill stripping them of the titles in protest. The action by the Senate once again brings to fore the silent war between the two houses of Parliament. The Senate indefinitely suspended legislation on the bill protesting delays by the National Assembly to consider a similar bill; the National Flags, Emblems and Titles Bill, passed to them for concurrence in 2013. The senators expressed their displeasure at the National Assembly’s decision not to fast-track the bill that was sponsored by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale. The senators further accused Eldas MP Adan Keynan who is the author of the Order of Precedence Bill, 2014 of plagiarism, saying the MP had lifted the work of Dr Khalwale in drafting his bill.

 
  • Kenya’s next Parliament could have 453 or 444 MPs if a proposal to increase county women seats is forwarded and adopted by the National Assembly. The assembly is expected to receive the recommendation by the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) within the next five months. The aim of the proposals, already discussed by the leadership of 59 registered political parties, is to provide a road map towards the realization of a constitutional provision which requires that no single gender occupies more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. Increasing the number of county women seats from 47 to 94, while retaining the 290 elective positions from the constituencies and the 12 nominated from the parties’ lists is among the proposals. In a scenario where all the 290 elective and 12 nominated seats are held by men, the proposal, if implemented, would result in 453 members of the National Assembly, including 151 women members to achieve the one-third gender requirement. But where all the 290 elective and six out of the 12 nominated seats are held by men and six by women, this would give a total of 444 members of the National Assembly with 148 women members to achieve the one-third gender requirement. And if women’s seats are doubled, not all counties may have an equal number of women representatives, going by the proposed formula seen by The Standard on Sunday. The slots will be distributed proportionate to the existing number of constituencies in each county. For example, Nairobi County, which has the highest number of constituencies at 17, will have an additional six women representative slots, followed by Kiambu, Nakuru and Kakamega counties with four additional slots each.
     
 
Editorial: To Curb Corruption Integrity in Public Office is a Must! 

 

Tabling of the list of shame in Parliament coincided with the Parliamentary Initiatives Network (PIN) release of a report on the implementation of chapter 6 by all arms of government. Commonly used avenues of corruption include: procurement procedures, abuse of office, diverting public funds from intended use and questionable wealth. The lack of transparency around procurement, tendering and signed agreements provide avenues for looting in public office. Corruption is not limited to bribery alone. People need to resign when implicated as a sense of honor not when told by someone else. Read more





Quote of the Week

Speech by H.E. Mwai Kibaki to Parliament during a Presidential address on Tuesday, 21st March, 2006 at the state opening of a new session


“Challenges facing our country require a more responsive and innovative public service. It is the public service that provides services to wananchi. It also provides facilitation and an enabling environment for the private sector operations. It is for this reason that my Government is according high priority to reforms in the public service, focusing on result-based management, performance contracting, e-government and restructuring of the ministerial portfolios. These reforms aim at instilling ethics and efficiency so as to ensure that the quality of service delivery meets the expectations of the people of Kenya. When we took over the leadership of this country, we identified corruption as one of the most serious obstacles to development. We, therefore, embarked on major legislative and administrative reforms to create a system that fights corruption in a sustained way.” Read Hansard





Lest we Forget!

Question by Sen. Mong'are Okong'o on the drop in fuel pump prices and the impact on the matatu industry on February 19, 2015


“I also rise to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Energy on the drop in fuel prices and the significant fall in pump prices in the country and the impact on the matatu industry. In the Statement, I need an explanation on:- (1) The rationale used by the transport industry to set fare charges and how the Government regulates falls. (2) What fuel price drop in Kenya Shillings will be significant enough to guarantee a drop in the fare charges; and, (3) What the national Government is doing or is planning to do to regulate the transport industry so that Kenyans enjoy the benefits accrued from the drop in the fuel prices.” Read Hansard





Parliament on recess

Parliament is currently on short recess. The National Assembly will resume sittings on 14th of April. However, The Senate will hold a special session on Thursday, April 9, to debate the Division of Revenue Bill, which sets the stage for sharing of revenue between the national and county governments. The session is necessary in order to ensure the flow of funds to counties is not delayed. The Bill has a constitutional timeline of April 10 and that is why the senators must cut short their break, which was to end April 27, to discuss it.





Newsmaker this week:

Mr. Peter Kaluma who sits in the Justice and Legal Affairs committee, claims that the chairperson of the committee Samuel Chepkonga is colluding with some State officers to sabotage the anti- graft war. Kaluma also alleges that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) submitted different documents to the President and to the team on the status of corruption in the country. Kaluma censured for attending a meeting at the State Law office where two EACC commissioners were allegedly forced to resign and promised ambassadorial positions. Profile




Public Participation Opportunities


The National Assembly is seeking input on two Bills; The Traditional Health and Practitioners Bill, 2014 and The Engineering Technologists and Technicians Bill, 2015. Written memoranda should be submitted to clerk@parliament.go.ke or sent to Clerk of the National Assembly P. O. Box 41842 - 00100, Nairobi or hand deliver to the Clerk at Main Parliament Building by Friday April 10th 2015 at 5pm for the first Bill and Monday 13th April 2015 by 5pm for the second Bill.





PIN Launches report on the Implementation of Chapter six of the Constitution of Kenya

The Parliamentary Initiatives Network (PIN) has launched a report titled: Towards Hazy Horizons: A report on the Status of Implementation of Chapter six of constitution of Kenya. It audits the legal and institutional framework of Chapter six, the roles of the three arms of government in implementing the provisions, challenges in the implementation and recommendations moving forward. Find the report here




Mzalendo in focus: 

Mzalendo API

Mzalendo Application Program Interface (API) is now publicly available. An API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. The API makes our data accessible to users wanting to extract it. Find it here here


Mzalendo Joins PIN

Mzalendo is now a member of the Parliamentary Initiatives Network (PIN) of Kenya. PIN is a network of eighteen, now nineteen, non-state actors in Kenya with a programmatic interest in Parliament. It brings together a diversity of civil society organizations (CSOs) including professional associations, think tanks and research institutions that focus on affecting parliamentary business from a technical perspective. 
Read more about PIN



Mzalendo Survey

We’re running a short survey to help us understand how well Mzalendo works and how we can make it better. If you’d like to take it click here



Blog Awards 2015

Our blog has been nominated, in the political blogs category, in this year’s Blog Awards, organized by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE). The awards aim to single out bloggers with great creative and innovative, useful and regular content and posts. This year’s awards themed “Content is King”.  We urge you to vote for us. Vote Here

 
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