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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 82
9 - 15 May, 2016

Editorial

Give Two Thirds Gender Principle a Chance When it is Re-introduced

Kenyans celebrated Mother’s Day a few days ago and the social media was awash with praises for our loving mothers. The hypocrisy of mother’s day celebrations however, is how most of us are willing to testify of our mothers impeccable abilities yet deny those very women a chance at political leadership. Nothing could be more controversial.

A Bill that was supposed to level the playing field for women was not able to go through because some MPs feared it would be used to “reward people’s girlfriends” or that “women are not ready for leadership” needless to mention that these are quite sexist statements..

Here’s what those opposing the Bill are missing. The two thirds gender principle is not about women. No, it’s about equality. The principle aims at preventing domination of one gender at the expense of another. Perhaps, the National Gender Equality Commission’s (NGEC) overall goal should guide us here. There website notes, “The over-arching goal for NGEC is to contribute to the reduction of gender inequalities and the discrimination against all; women, men…” The gender debate is not about women but equality for all gender.

If anything, the duty of a member of Parliament and County Representatives is to represent Kenyans. This representation has everything to do with how Kenyans live at home. Who is better placed to offer accurate representation than one who is or has been involved in the day-day budgeting of the family and knows the needs of every member of the unit? To elect a woman is to simply give her an opportunity to perform the same job she’s been doing, which is solving the needs of the people but on a bigger platform.

News of the Week

Thank You For Making Us Winners At The BAKE Awards

Mzalendo emerged the best political blog in the 2016 edition of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) Awards. We take this opportunity to thank all our esteemed readers who made time to vote for us. Your vote renews our resolve to keep an eye on Parliament. Thank you.

 
Shoddy Procurement Haunts IEBC

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has threatened it will not approve IEBCs budget with the current commissioners still in office unless each of the indicted commissioners explained their role in the bungled Ksh.4 billion procurement of BVR kits ahead of the 2013 elections.

The botched procurement was captured in a report tabled in Parliament last month by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC). The reports recommended IEBC chairman Issack Hassan and two other commissioners: Mohamed Alawi and Thomas Letangule be investigated and prosecuted as they're alleged to have orchestrated the scandal that led to the loss of the money.

Other commissioners implicated include: Albert Bwire, Kule Godana, Yusuf Nzibo, Abdullahi Sharawe and Muthoni Wangai. The report further recommends a lifestyle audit for the commissioners to determine their source of wealth.

This comes at a time when the IEBC chairman is facing pressure from politicians and civil rights leaders to leave office as people had lost confidence in the electoral body. The call to leave office happened during the launch of Kura Yangu, Sauti Yangu initiative organised by the Kenya Human Rights Commission and other CSOs.

 
Opposition MPs Want Report on El-Nino Funds

Members of Parliament now want want a breakdown of how the Ksh. 15 billion set aside for El-Nino was used. Opposition MPs led by Dagoretti North MP, Simba Arati claimed that the rescue operations had since been left to the Kenya Red Cross while agencies charged with the mandate were conspicuously missing. This despite the Ksh. 5 billion allocated to them from Contingency Fund and another Ksh.10 billion from donors.

Parliament on Recess

Kindly note that both the National Assembly and Senate are on recess until 6th June, 2016

Quote of the Week

"We, Kenyans, are interesting people because we kill each other over election results. If we go into elections with an IEBC that does not have the confidence of the public, then we will be deliberately setting this country on a path to self-destruction. What has the IEBC done? What measures will it take to restore public confidence in this very important institution?"

Sentiments by Sen. Moses Otieno Kajwang' while contributing to the debate on status of IEBC's preparation for the next general elections on September 29, 2015

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

" As they [Senate] ask the Kenyan people to give them more powers, let them also ask the Kenyan people to choose whether they need a Senate or not... They should not give the people of Kenya leading questions. Kenyans should be asked whether they want a more powerful Senate or want the Senate to be abolished completely. That is a better way."

Sentiments by Hon. Aden Duale when contributing to the Statement on Adjustments of the 2015/2016 Budget Estimates on June 16, 2015.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Chairman Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Hon. Samuel Chepkonga played an important role in having the joint sitting between National Assembly and Senate to discuss the IEBC financial management and reforms. Hon. Chepkonga, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ainabkoi said his committee was open to receive a petition by any Kenyan on removal of the commission.

... PROFILE

Public Participation

Call to action  How Did Your MP Vote on the Gender Rule?
 

For a second time running, the National Assembly failed to raise the threshold required to pass the 2/3 Gender principle even though it is a Constitutional bill. The amendment dubbed "Duale Bill" was tabled on 5th May. The Bill has divided the National Assembly into two with some Parliamentarians being decisive while others being fence sitters. On the voting day, a half of Parliamentarians boycotted the session, four of them women.
 
How did your MP vote? To find out click on this link. Please call, text or email your MP to inform them how you would like them to vote next time. Remember to commend those who voted yes.

Invitation by the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to interested members of public and organizations to submit any representation on the County Government (Amendment) (No.4) Bill, 2014 on Thursday 19th May 2016.

The submissions may be made orally or by submission of written memoranda in the following manner:

1. Public hearing shall be held on Thursday 19th May, 2016, from 9:00am to 12:00 noon, Shimba Hills Hall, First Floor, KICC; or

2. A written memoranda can be forwarded to the:The Clerk of the Senate,
P.O.BOX 41842-00100 Nairobi
or hand-delivered to Office of the Clerk, First Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to csenate@parliament.go.ke on or before Thursday,19th May 2016 by 5:00pm

Invitation by the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to interested members of public and organizations to submit any representation on The Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (National Assembly Bill No.2 of 2016) on Thursday 19th May 2016.

The submissions may be made orally or by submission of written memoranda in the following manner:

1. Public hearing shall be held on Thursday 19th May, 2016, from 9:00am to 12:00 noon, Shimba Hills Hall, First Floor, KICC; or

2. A written memoranda can be forwarded to the: The Clerk of the Senate, P.O.BOX 41842-00100 Nairobi or hand-delivered to Office of the Clerk, First Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to csenate@parliament.go.ke on or before Thursday,19th May 2016 by 5:00pm

Invitation by the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to interested members of public and organizations to submit any representation on The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2015 on Thursday 19th May 2016.

The submissions may be made orally or by submission of written memoranda in the following manner:

1. Public hearing shall be held on Thursday 19th May, 2016, from 9:00am to 12:00 noon, Shimba Hills Hall, First Floor, KICC; or

2. A written memoranda can be forwarded to the: The Clerk of the Senate,
P.O.BOX 41842-00100 Nairobi or hand-delivered
to Office of the Clerk, First Floor, Main Parliament Buildings, Nairobi; or emailed to csenate@parliament.go.ke on or before Thursday,19th May 2016 by 5:00pm

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