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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 327
5th September - 11th September 2022

Editorial

A full in-tray awaits the 13th Parliament, may it deliver

Newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs), in both the Senate and the National Assembly, took their oath of office on Thursday marking the beginning of the term of the 13th Parliament. An immediate task that the members undertook was the election of the Speakers and Deputy Speakers of both Houses.

Former Governor of Kilifi County, Hon. Amason Jeffah Kingi clinched the Senate Speaker seat with 46 votes out of 67. In the National Assembly, two-time Bungoma Senator, Hon. Moses Wetang’ula was declared the Speaker after garnering 215 votes against former Speaker Kenneth Marende’s 130 votes, who conceded in the first round.

Newly elected Meru Senator, Hon. Kathuri Murungi was declared the Deputy Speaker of the Senate, following the withdrawal of his only opponent, Kilifi Senator, Hon. Stewart Madzayo. Uasin Gishu Women Representative, Hon. Gladys Shollei was declared the National Assembly Deputy Speaker after garnering 198 votes against her opponent, Hon. Farah Maalim who got 139 votes and conceded in the first round.

With the two Houses having reached this decision, the next key task will be determining the leadership of the House by the two leading coalitions. The parliamentary groups for the ruling and opposing coalitions will have to reach a decision on the Majority and Minority Leaders, Whips, Chairs and Vice chairs of parliamentary committees and their membership.

Kenyans expect the MPs to hit the ground running to put in place policy reforms that would address issues of priority to mwananchi. Key among them is the high cost of living. This proved to be the dominant theme among our SMS respondents who called on the MPs to lower the cost of everyday consumer goods such as fuel, food, cooking oil and other household items.

Coincidentally, this is highlighted among the pledges that the administration of the President-elect, William Ruto will seek to actualize within 100 days of being in power. 

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News of the Week

Supreme Court upholds Ruto's win

The Supreme Court, on Monday, unanimously validated the presidential election results of the vote held on 9th August 2022 that saw Deputy President William Ruto declared winner with 50.5%. Chief Justice Martha Koome delivered the verdict on Monday afternoon by dismissing many of the petitions that alleged fraud in the technology used in the electoral process while recognizing what it called a serious malaise in governance of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
However, the court concluded that the last minute "electoral rupture is insufficient to invalidate or annul the vote". Judges also found no credible evidence that there was any tampering with the uploading of forms 34A to the public portal and no evidence of unexplained discrepancies between votes cast in various elective positions across the country and those cast in favor of Dr Ruto. 
The lawsuit had sought to overturn the results of the presidential election.

New leadership in Parliament

The 13th Parliament, both the Senate and National Assembly, held its first sitting on Thursday where newly elected members took oath of office before proceeding to elect their Speaker and Deputy Speakers.
The Senate was quick to conclude the swearing in of 66 members before they embarked on task of electing a new Speaker. Hon. Amason Kingi and Hon. Kathuri Murungi were declared the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Senate, respectively following the withdrawal of candidature by their biggest competitors, Kalonzo Musyoka and Sen. Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi).
In the National Assembly, Bungoma Senator, Moses Wetang'ula emerged the winner with 215 votes after beating former Speaker Kenneth Marende who garnered 130 votes but chose to concede in the first round. Uasin Gishu Women Representative, Gladys Shollei beat veteran Farah Maalim (Dadaab Constituency) to clinch the seat of Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. The two Houses will now be tasked with identifying the rest of the House leadership and setting up the Parliamentary committees. 

Governors order revenue audits to stem loss of funds in counties 

Newly sworn-in governors have ordered a forensic audit of the revenue department to establish loopholes exploited by rogue senior officers to siphon public funds. The move comes after it was established that millions of shillings collected by revenue officers were either lost through dubious means or diverted for personal gain.
Immediately after taking office, the county bosses have been making impromptu visits to the treasury offices and revenue department unearthing the racket of rogue staff that has been fleecing the counties of their own generated revenue. Such cases have been witnessed in Tana River, Kericho, Turkana, Meru, Isiolo, Kisii, Uashi-Gishu, Wajir, Mandera, and Taita Taveta counties.

Talib wins Wiper MP nomination case

The High Court in Nairobi has ordered the IEBC to gazette the nomination of Mombasa businessman Abubakar Ahmed Talib of Wiper Democratic Movement to the National Assembly. Justice Joseph Sergon issued the order after setting aside the decision of the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal to dismiss Mr Talib’s complaint that he had bee shortchanged by the party.
The judge substituted the tribunal’s decision dated August 3rd, with an order allowing the complaint. He declared that the revised list of nominees forwarded by Wiper to the IEBC on July 22 omitting Mr Talib’s name was illegal, null and void.
When nominated MPs of other political parties were being gazette by the IEBC chairperson, the slot for Wiper was left vacant following an interim court order restraining the commission from allocating the seat. In his court papers, Mr Talib alleged that Wiper revised the original list and his name was unlawfully omitted. He has been listed as the first nominee to Parliament but after the revision, his name was replaced with that of Mr Lucas Mulinge Wambua.

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