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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 216
10 December - 16 December, 2018

Editorial

Forget EACC what we need is a serious debate on Chapter Six of the Constitution

If an anti-corruption commission has a problem interviewing or vetting their next CEO in public, there’s cause to worry. Late last month, journalists were shocked to learn they were barred from witnessing the vetting of individuals interested in the post of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), CEO following the end of Halakhe Waqo’s six years non-renewable term.

But this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering a lot of the institution’s activities are not open to the public including their investigations. The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) – since the new boss came in office – hasn’t shied one bit from letting the public know who they’re investigating. In fact, only recently, a court order stopped them from putting up on social media, mug shots of suspects they were investigating.

Indeed, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has promised to go after the big fish and proceeded to name them even when it looked politically incorrect to do so. It’s only the EACC that feels obliged to protect the people they’re investigating.

When the civil society under the National Integrity Alliance (NIA) banner were pushing for the red card campaign to block leaders lacking integrity from being elected last year (2017), the EACC was pussyfooting; telling the members of the alliance they could not reveal names of those being investigated on grounds that one is innocent until proven guilty. This was a great opportunity for the EACC to ride on the good will offered by the civil society under the red card campaign to reveal these individuals and bolster the move to strengthen Chapter Six of the Constitution but they took a pass.

Never mind, the people they protect from public scrutiny are likely to use their offices to frustrate the investigations against them. No wonder, they have had some success in asset recovery but zero success in successful prosecution of high profile individuals.

News of the Week

Mzalendo Honors Best Performing MPs, 2018

Mzalendo honored seven lawmakers voted by Kenyans for their focus on Wanjiku's issues with the People's Shujaaz Awards. The Awards by Mzalendo complement the National Honours the Presidency bestows on Kenyans for xemplary service to the country every year 12th December during the Madaraka Day celebrations. As a Parliamentary monitoring organisation, we like most Kenyans spend a great deal of time pointing out the shortfalls of our Parliamentarians; often in a bid to make them style up. However, constant criticism without pointing out any positive efforts can end up doing more harm than good.

As an organisation, we lead from the front - criticizing where necessary and encourage when needed - this week, we encouraged the following lawmakers to keep up focusing on issues Wanjiku cares about: Hon. William Chepkut, Hon. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Hon. Sakaja, Hon. Petronila Were, Hon. Aaron Cheruiyot, Hon. Rose Museo, Hon. George Khaniri. The lawmakers were all awarded in different categories. Click on this link to read more about the People's Shujaaz Awards, 2018 Edition.

Senate Report on Mathari Mental Institution Depressing

Senate Health Committee has tabled a report revealing a sad state of affairs at the Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital. The committee reports that the government’s decision to slash the institution’s funding for medication budget by more than 14 million in the last financial year has seen the Doctors working their prescribing ineffective medicine with adverse side effects. Worse still they missed out on funding this year because they didn’t have a properly constituted committee that could draw up a budget for the Treasury.

That there was no intervention is an indictment on the government’s approach towards people with mental illness in the country. The institution with a capacity of about 600 hosts about 700 inmates most suffering some of the most sever forms of mental illness. The lack of proper medicine has seen patients staying longer and recovery taking even longer. The committee also took issue with NHIF who they indicate are not cooperating effectively with the ministry of Health. Most of the patients have no NHIF cover as they lack key documents.

Kiambu Senator wants County Revenue Sharing based on 2019 Census

Senator Kimani Wamatangi wants the Commission on Revenue Allocation to review their formula used to disburse funds to counties based on the expected 2019 Census. The Kiambu Senator says the 45 per cent of the distribution is based on population and to review the formula using the 2009 census would be unfair as they were controversial. Senator Wamatangi is also uncomfortable with the other parameters like poverty, land area and fiscal responsibility. His views are shared by majority Mt. Kenya region lawmakers coming from densely populated counties.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We take this precious opportunity to send you warm wishes of peace and happiness this Holiday Season. 

The newsletter will resume on January 8th 2019. 

Quote of the Week

"I urge Parliament to amend two laws. The CEO of EACC should not be defined as a state officer, and he should be appointed by EACC commissioners, not by Parliament."

Quote by Rarieda MP, Hon. Otiende Amollo while debating the report on vetting of the nominee for appointment as Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Ethics and Anti - Corruption Commission, on December 18, 2018

Lest we forget

"This House has a responsibility which is not given to us as a privilege. We are paid to do it."

Sentiments by former Gem MP, Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo when contributing to the motion on adoption of report on the 2014/2015 budget policy statement on March 19, 2014.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Kilifi North MP, Owen Baya made headlines this week after he petitioned the Controller of Budget to suspend the construction of a multi-million shilling ultra-modern office complex for Members of County Assembly in Malindi, Kilifi County. The MP now wants the project probed by the Controller of Budget together with the Auditor General over what he sees as a lack of priority by the County Assembly. He also says the project will cost the taxpayer’s more than Sh650 million owing to the fact that the first contractor, awarded in 2014 failed to meet targets and another was awarded to finish the job. The County Speaker has disagreed with his projections saying the project will cost Sh.408 million instead. He further dismissed the Kilifi North MP's allegations saying everything was done by the book.

... PROFILE

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