Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 168
    8 January - 14 January, 2017


EU poll observer report unpopular with government but necessary for strengthening our democracy

The October 26th elections is one that will be discussed for many days to come despite the political fatigue-real or perceived. Only last week the government through the Ambassador to Belgium accused the EU observer mission of breaching protocol when releasing their report on the 2017 polls.

EU observer mission on the other hand accuse the government of lack of cooperation and were unwilling to receive them in Nairobi. Whether the EU mission dishonored the MOU they had with the government or released the report earlier than scheduled is immaterial.

The content of their report is really what we should be discussing. In retrospect, could it have been that it was the content of the report that the government wasn’t comfortable with and therefore the application of delaying tactics? If Kenya is really committed to strengthening institutions and realizing the much talked about electoral justice. European Union Observers Missions ought to have been welcomed as friends and not chased like enemies.

Shortly after the annulment of the August 8th polls there were reports of Police brutality that led to scores injured and many deaths including children. To this moment none of the cases have been successfully investigated and closed – to date, the police have denied responsibility. How do we bring justice to the affected families?

There was alleged ethnic profiling that brought with it bitter politics that has birthed secessionist talks by the aggrieved opposition NASA. These are not things we want to sweep under the carpet. How do we heal our land? And talks about giving opposition leaders positions in the cabinet is not a solution.

In their observation of the repeat polls the EU observer mission notes the harassment of the Civil Society by the government through the NGO board. This too must stop and the government must accept that the Civil Society exists for the betterment of Kenya.

News of the Week

Kenya still trails region in women representation

Rwanda is leading the region in observing gender parity in Parliament at 61% followed by Tanzania and Burundi tying at 36%, Uganda 34% and South Sudan at 28.5%. Kenya trails at 22 % despite the anchoring of the two-thirds gender rule in the Constitution. Women Parliamentarians expressed this concern in the recently concluded Kenya Women Parliamentarian Association (KEWOPA) meeting. Also discussed during the KEWOPA induction was the need for women legislators to work together despite being sponsored by different parties. The association also took the women MPs through crush course on communications skills, media and branding to promote effectiveness as they serve the electorate.

Jubilee Commands Senate Committees

The ruling Jubilee party has taken charge of 31 Senate committees leaving only one to the opposition NASA; the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee  (PAC) chaired by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’. Senate Chief Whip and Murang’a Senator, Irungu Kang’ata expressed satisfaction with the outcome saying Jubilee needed to win all seats and let NASA have only the oversight committee. Meanwhile Senator Kajwang’ and his deputy Mithika Linturi now want to draft a law that will allow PAC to issue arrest warrants to rogue Governors who refuse to honor their summons.

Senator Moi dispels rumors he’s joining cabinet

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has denied allegations that he was planning to take up a ministerial position in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet. Senator Moi said he was comfortable serving as a Senator and had only one goal, to serve the people of Baringo. The KANU chairman has also denied playing any role in the formation of the new cabinet that was read out in part by the President. He has also been elected chairman of the ICT committee.

Treasury gives in to MPs car grant demand

Jubilee and NASA MPs together defied the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) that cut down their salaries, perks and eliminated the car grant. The Jubilee MPs broke rank with the order by President Uhuru that they take what SRC had to offer and instead joined their NASA counterparts in admonishing the salaries commission. The President had warned that leadership was about service and not business asking that MPs and all public servants to support the SRC recommendations.

This means the 416 lawmakers can take home as much as Sh. 1.1million at the end of every month on top of the Sh. 5 million car grants. SRC however is fighting to reverse this. The commission applied to have the order by high court preventing their gazette notice from taking effect put aside on the basis that the Parliamentary Service Commission withheld crucial information to the court when presenting their case.


Quote of the Week

"We have known where a woman has killed all her five children and then killed herself. Men have done the same. These are the issues we want to address."

Quote by Seme MP Hon. James Nyikal when debating the Protection Against Domestic Violence Bill on August 20, 2014

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"A huge power house was constructed 10 years ago, posts were put but up to today, there is no power. So, all these wires that you are seeing are for “eating”."

Sentiments by Sen. Yusuf Haji when giving his views on a statement requested by Prof. Lonyangapuo on frequent power blackouts in West Pokot County on October 8, 2015.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Nairobi Governor, Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko made headlines this week after his deputy Polycarp Igathe resigned over what he termed his inability to win his (Sonko) Trust. Mr. Igathe becomes the first Deputy Governor to resign from office. Shortly after taking oath of office President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a meeting on regeneration of Nairobi in his Harambee House office where he appointed Tourism CS Najib Balala and Polycap Igathe to co-chair a technical committee of the special task force in Nairobi. The programme was expected to focus on Housing and Settlement, Infrastructure and Transport, Energy, Water Resources, Environment and Solid Waste, Youth, Women and Persons with Disability. While media reports indicate the fallout is as a result of power struggle between City Hall and State House, Governor Sonko has remained tight lipped over the reasons for his deputy’s resignation saying only that he will focus on service delivery and work with all leaders from across political divide.


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Mzalendo Trust, Heinrich Boll Foundation,
Prof. Wangari Mathai Road.
P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

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