Mzalendo's Weekly Newsletter

Issue no. 22, 1 - 8 March 2015

News of the Week:
  • The National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee has been suspended for at least three weeks in the wake of allegations of corruption. The Powers and Privileges Committee will now investigate the allegations. Speaker Justin Muturi announced the decision after several MPs, led by Majority Leader Aden Duale, raised concerns about the PAC's well-documented internal wrangling. Mr. Muturi also temporarily stepped down as the chairman of the Powers and Privileges Committee, ostensibly because he had spoken to PAC chairman Ababu Namwamba before, and appointed Kuresoi North MP Moses Cheboi to lead the investigation. The Powers and Privileges Committee have 21 days to carry out its investigation. Once its report is tabled, the House must debate it within three days.

  • National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has warned chairpersons of House committees that they risk being removed if they do not conclude petitions before them on time. He said members who do not uphold order in the House will be dealt with accordingly. Muturi told the lawmakers that the House leadership that met in Mombasa at the weekend recommended strict application of standing orders. Standing order 227 provides that petitions be cleared within 60 days from the date the matter is referred to the relevant committee. Despite this provision, more than 56 petitions filed as early as last year are yet to be concluded.

  • The Budget and Appropriations Committee wants the proposed Sh258 billion revenue allocation to counties reduced by Sh12.4 billion. The National Assembly committee proposes that Sh5.5 billion of the Sh12.4 billion be shared between the Constituency Development Fund (an additional Sh2 billion), Woman Representatives (Sh2 billion) and Senators (Sh1.45 billion). The increased CDF cash should be used to fund the development of village polytechnics. 
  • A commission of inquiry constituted to determine if the Makueni County government should be dissolved is set to start its work after the Senate approved its membership. The names will now be returned to President Uhuru Kenyatta for formal appointment through the Kenya Gazette. The six-member team will then embark on its work to establish if a petition by some Makueni residents warrants dissolution of the county. In a letter to Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro, the President had proposed lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga to head the commission. Other members will be National Police Service Commission Chairman Johnston Kavuludi, Ms Emily Gatuguta, Prof Harrison Maithya, Ms Alice Wairimu Nderitu and Mr Taib Ali Taib.
  • Lawmakers approved the nomination of Mr. Joseph Kipchirchir Boinett as the new Inspector-General of Police. Mr. Boinett’s nomination was approved by Parliament leaving it now to the President to appoint him formally. The approval of the report of a joint committee from both Houses was preceded by heated debate in the Senate, but it almost received unanimous support in the National Assembly.
  • MPs disagreed on the boundary between parental responsibility and child custody amid claims that a bill seeking to amend the Children Act would go against constitutional provisions on the rights of the child. MPs supporting the principle of equal responsibility on a child by both parents united to defeat changes proposed to the Children (amendment) Bill, 2014. Others said that the Bill was meant to give custody of a child to an undeserving parent through the backdoor. The Bill, by Peter Kaluma, seeks to open a window that would allow a child born out of wedlock to have the attention of both parents. The bill also takes away any superior claim to the child by either parent. 
  • A Bill that may result in three major political parties ceding part of their funding from taxpayers to smaller parties has been formally introduced in Parliament. The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2015, sponsored by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, was read for the first time in the House and handed to the Justice and Legal Affairs committee for scrutiny ahead of debate. The Bill seeks to amend section 25(2) (b) of the Act to reduce the threshold for a party to access government funding to two per cent of the total votes cast from the current five per cent. TNA, ODM and URP took majority share of the Sh204 million from the Political Parties Fund. In the current financial year, TNA was allocated Sh89.3 million, ODM got Sh87.4 million while URP received Sh28.2 million. Under the Act, a political party must garner at least five per cent of the total votes cast to qualify for funding. The amount a party gets also depends on the total percentage of the votes the party gets for all electable positions.
EditorialPublic Appointments should be about Meritocracy 

Above the need to recognize and appreciate diversity is the need to ensure that meritocracy informs public appointments. Merit is about providing opportunities to people based on their qualifications; both academic and experience in that field. Addressing this issue starts with having a process that is above board. At a time when the country is still healing from ethnic and political divisions, spewing bigoted hate on social media and feeling disenfranchised from the national cake, public appointments go a long way of showing them how inclusive a government is. Read more

Quote of the Week

Sentiments by Hon. John Mbadi during debate on non-implementation of policy on retirement of public officers on 14th December, 2011

“I am amazed and actually disturbed that the Minister in charge of Public Service has no information about the ages of staff in the public service. Is it in order for him to claim that when Members of Parliament ask Questions, that is when he sources for information which should be readily available in his office? Could we know why that Ministry then exists if he cannot have simple information like the ages of those who are serving in the Public Service?” Read Hansard

Lest we Forget!

Sentiments by Hon. Peter Gitau during debate on government funding for national poverty survey on 14th December, 2011

“This is a key Motion. It is very historic considering that we have had major complaints in this House and in the countryside concerning the latest census that was conducted. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, revenue collection is key to development of any country. We have seen countries fighting and the memories are vivid. In North Africa, we have had Governments already destabilized because of poor distribution of resources. Therefore, this Motion is looking for fairness and justice in the way we are going to share our resources. When resources are shared properly, a country gets stability and peace. Development projects are undertaken in the country. All the areas of the country will enjoy development in all the sectors. Hospitals, roads and even water in the country will be distributed properly. All areas of the country are represented by Members who are elected by wananchi. Members of Parliament are accountable to their own electorates. When an area is not properly represented, the leader becomes unpopular. Sometimes, the leader does not become unpopular because, in my view, the data being applied is not correct.” Read Hansard

Bills before the National Assembly

Second Reading

THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 1 OF 2014) is sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade Hon. Benjamin Lang'at

THE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS (AMENDMENT) (No.2) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 2 OF 2014) is sponsored by the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Hon. Samuel Chepkonga

THE NATIONAL HONOURS (AMENDMENT) BILL (SENATE BILL NO. 16 OF 2014) is sponsored by Majority Leader Hon. Aden Duale

THE PRIVATE SECURITY REGULATION BILL (NATIONAL ASSSEMBLY BILL NO. 4 OF 2014) is sponsored by Majority Leader Hon. Aden Duale



The Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) (National Assembly Bill No. 38 of 2013) is sponsored by Hon. John Mbadi

The Persons with Disabilities (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 43 of 2013) is sponsored by Hon. Wanjiku Muhia


Newsmaker this week:

Nominated MP and TNA Chairman Johnson Sakaja is sponsoring The National Youth Employment Authority Bill, 2015 which would offer information on jobs in every county. The Bill aims to maintain a database of all Kenyan youths seeking employment. It provides a framework to facilitate increased employment of youth in the national government, county government and state organs. These public entities will be required to first seek employees from the database before they fill vacancies. The proposed law will also provide for a framework and facilitation of employment of youth in the private sector. It will facilitate and promote equity and diversity and eliminate discrimination in the employment of young people. Profile

Public Participation

The National Treasury seeks your input in the making of the fiscal budget for the financial year 2015/16. Proposals could include measures on taxation, supporting conducive business environment, enhancing agricultural transformation and food security,empowering youth and women, support to infrastructure, enhancing to quality social services, and improving service delivery and rural economic development.  Proposals can be sent to not later that March 27, 2015.

Mzalendo Survey

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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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