Mzalendo

Mzalendo

09 December 2016 » Mzalendo

273 Members of Parliament were reported to have allegedly looted Sh 4billion from Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in less than one year. Consider that 290 are the total number of elected MPs. But if you think this is appalling, wait for August next year and watch as we vote in the same people back to power. No study has been done to ascertain why we hate ourselves so much to keep repeating this every election year. Assuming the Sh 4billion squandered by the 273 MPs was divided equally then...

02 December 2016 » Mzalendo

Kenyan celebrated musician Julius Owino aka Juliani in the popular song Sheria by Sarabi Band has this verse where he says, things are so bad to the point that when something good happens we’re amazed. True to that Education CS Matiangi broke the internet yesterday after releasing this year’s KCSE that was near perfect. Kenyans on social media were so amazed that a minister was actually working as expected that the hash tag #IfMatiangiwaspresident trended for the better part of the day. Exactly...

25 November 2016 » Mzalendo

Eleanor Roosevelt, perhaps America’s most outspoken first lady did say that, women were like tea bags. That you wouldn’t know how strong they were until you put them in hot water. The testament that is that statement is the calmness that Hillary Clinton displayed at the hands of a bully during the US presidential debates. In a civilized society that takes pride in the fact that they are better than their history, it is rather surprising how much Kenyans belittle women, especially in politics...

18 November 2016 » Mzalendo

Recent opinion polls have shown that the country is deeply divided as we head for the 2017 elections. The war of words between the government and the opposition only serves to set the stage for what could be another violent election. Post-election violence (PEV) in Kenya is rarely about political ideology but rather more emotive issues like land. Consider the 1992 Molo clashes or the 2007/08 PEV and you can see the role land issues play in electioneering period. It’s safe to argue that the...

11 November 2016 » Mzalendo

Donald Trump is America’s president-elect. We need a moment of silent to let that sink. His win has sent political pundits and pollsters back to the drawing board. Firstly, the least Republican candidate managed to beat the most conservative candidates in the primaries to clinch the party’s presidential nomination. That a business man and reality TV star could edge out such experienced politicians or well-connected leaders with impeccable public careers simply says, the electorate are not moved...

04 November 2016 » Mzalendo

Last week Kenyans were falling over themselves on social media trying to comprehend how Sh.5billion could disappear at the Health Ministry, following what the government now calls an interim audit report. People were in uproar and irked at the wanton theft. Meanwhile those sensible couldn’t comprehend how the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is always playing catch up; having not a single major scandal successfully closed and culprits jailed. Institutions that in one way or another...

28 October 2016 » Mzalendo

Kenya begun 2016 on a high corruption note, and it appears the momentum has not been lost even as the year draws to a close. Early in the year a frustrated President Uhuru told Kenyans in Israel that back home, Kenyans were experts at stealing. Corruption is so rife in Kenya the Auditor General has been having a field day revealing shocking financial misappropriation, almost on the daily. It appears Nick Schrifrin, the American Journalist couldn’t have said it better, “In Kenya, even the world’...

21 October 2016 » Mzalendo

It’s somewhat immoral to talk about Heroes and not mention the Field Marshall, Dedan Kimathi or the Kapenguria six. While a lot’s been said about these heroes’ selflessness. Very few people pause and think what if their mothers aborted them? Abortion may seem a far-fetched idea in the colonial era but it existed in many forms-including artificial miscarriages; that is to say the war heroes lived up to that name because their mothers wanted them to live-technology or no technology. But several...

14 October 2016 » Mzalendo

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) appears to have quite a lot on its in-tray about 9 months to the polls. This week the electoral commission announced they will be revising their timelines with regard to phase two of the Mass Voter Registration (MVR). The MVR will therefore be carried out in February 2017 and not December this year as earlier anticipated. However, to navigate the prevailing challenges; credibility and efficiency will be IEBC’s best asset. The idea being...

07 October 2016 » Mzalendo

Kenya is a venting nation. We just love to vent. Social media has given Kenyans a good avenue to complain about anything and everything. While politicians are ready to spend an arm and a leg in preparations for the coming elections, the electorate is making excuses about being too busy to register and other short stories. Not voting is not an option, one still votes. If Kenyans are serious about getting the leaders we need, at some point, we have to stop giving excuses and take action. There’s...

30 September 2016 » Mzalendo

The report by the joint team on electoral reforms chaired by Senators KiraituMurungi and James Orengo that saw electoral reform laws passed unanimously in both Houses gave Kenyans the much needed impetus to regain their trust in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) at a very crucial moment. But those efforts now seem to be under threat. IEBC officials have expressed fears of failure to meet key deadlines especially linked to procurement processes to obtain equipment...

22 September 2016 » Mzalendo

The American Writer Suzy Kassem is known for making this remark in one of her books that, “A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people.” And no statement so aptly describes the mutation of corruption in Kenya as that. If you look at what is now commonly referred to as tenderprenureship in Kenya in light of this statement then you will see how corruption has metamorphosed. But is the situation hopeless? Certainly not; we can still...

16 September 2016 » Mzalendo

The 2017 general elections is already taking shape with politicians taking advantage of every opportunity where Kenyans gather to popularize themselves. It doesn’t matter if it is a burial, the dead can wait as they whip the emotions of the living. But the 2017 poll will be different because of the many laws that are expected to shape its course. Since we shifted to multiparty politics in 1992, general elections have been characterized by rigging claims and complaints about its undemocratic...

09 September 2016 » Mzalendo

By Bankelele About two weeks ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed off on the Banking (Amendment) Act 2015 introduced to Parliament by Jude Njomo, the Member of Parliament for Kiambu. It among other things requires banks and financial insitutions to disclose all bank charges relating to a loan to a borrower, sets the maximum loan charge at 4% above the base rate, and requires interest to be paid on deposits at least 70% of the base rate. The bill also barred people from entering into loan...

02 September 2016 » Mzalendo

Retired Chief Justice Willy Mutunga was quoted by African Arguments blog referring to the cartels promoting corruption in Kenya as protected. He insinuated that the law was also protecting these individuals. The blog quotes him saying, “You are taking these people [Cartels] into a corrupt investigating system, through a corrupt anti-corruption system, and a corrupt judiciary.” This is quite a sobering statement considering only this week we had the chairman of the Ethics and Anti-corruption...

26 August 2016 » Mzalendo

The Swahili people have a saying that if you don’t seal a crack you will end up building a wall. True to that saying, if the electorate doesn’t act on the cracks the 11th Parliament is showing, building a wall will prove most costly. The 11th Parliament is keen on passing laws that only appear convenient to them. Consider the constant extension of Bills they should pass, like the gender Bill but don’t feel inspired enough. Development that trickles down to the average Mwananchi only happens...

19 August 2016 » Mzalendo

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) invoked Article 88 (4)(i) of the Constitution that allows them to regulate the amount of money that may be spent by or on behalf of a candidate or party in respect of any election through a Gazette notice last week. The announcement was made in good faith and with the view of creating, “…equal opportunity for eligible persons to compete in elections by not allowing money or resources to be a key determinant of the outcome” their statement...

12 August 2016 » Mzalendo

Political Parties are Re-aligning So Must You It’s interesting how Kenyans describe themselves as political animals because of the “interest” in politics yet never participate actively in political matters outside of voting. However, this is not entirely their fault. Political parties in Kenya lack anything remotely interesting outside the usual chest-thumping characters. They have a structure only on paper, but handle things ad-hoc and at the interest of the party leader most of the time....

05 August 2016 » Mzalendo

It’s something strange that most people who complain the most about the government and poor policies are the same ones who see no point in voting. What they fail to realize is that their inaction is rewarded by the leadership on display. Anybody who doesn’t vote when eligible to do so has no moral ground to complain about the direction the country is taking. In working democracies, being a registered voter and going out to vote on the actual election date is revolutionary by itself. Voting,...

29 July 2016 » Mzalendo

Political drama is fodder for many Kenyans and that explains the heavy political content offered by our media houses. Unfortunately, our political players get carried away in their desire to show their political bravado and keep up the drama a little too long. Thereby, sending signals that outside intervention might be necessary to calm their braggadocio.  At least that is what some Kenyans including political scientist Professor Bogonko think about the IEBC conundrum. Prof. Bogonko recently...

22 July 2016 » Mzalendo

It is something of a paradox that general elections can create a better or a worse future for a country. This is especially in transitional countries where democracy is prone to sabotage. For instance, over a year to the 2017 polls, already three people have died and scores injured, following anti-IEBC protests. It is needless to mention the dangerous speech that quickly followed the protests. This is why the Election Laws (Amendment) and the IEBC (Amendment) Bills are key and needs solid input...

15 July 2016 » Mzalendo

When Josiah Mwangi Kariuki referred to Kenya as a nation of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars, most people marveled at how someone could capture the problems bedeviling a country in one statement. What is even more surprising is how 41 years later, our economy’s performance and the relationship to the people (in terms of direct benefits) confirm, repeatedly, the genius that statement was. When news hit the country that we had gone a notch higher from importing toothpicks and sugar (among...

08 July 2016 » Mzalendo

Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Practitioners were in an uproar on Wednesday 6 th July 2016 over a bill that attempts to regulate the nascent sectors ‘training, registration, licensing, practice and standards.’ A quick perusal of the bill proposals reveal an attempt to control the sector, its practitioners and their operational space. The Bill is sponsored by the Majority Party leader in the National Assembly, Aden Duale who is not a stakeholder of the ICT industry. Furthermore,...

02 July 2016 » Mzalendo

Students in Kisii County took matters into their own hands and burnt down their school after they were reportedly, denied a chance to watch the ongoing Euro-cup football games. The decision to “punish” the administration by razing the school despite the ramifications is a sign of a society where impunity reigns. To begin with the violence that met the decision is perhaps what we have now come to know as responding to a mosquito bite with a hammer. You end up doing more harm than the remedy...

27 June 2016 » Mzalendo

After intense lobbying by members of the clergy and diplomats, opposition leaders softened their hard stance and called off their weekly demonstrations in favour of dialogue. The two main Coalitions- Jubilee and Cord who are antagonists in the IEBC debate agreed to form a team to iron out the electoral contentious issues before they are discussed in Parliament. 1st June: Parliament reduced the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) budget by Ksh 450 Million. The Chair of the...

24 June 2016 » Mzalendo

Cabinet Secretary National Treasury Henry Rotich was quite upbeat about the 2016/17 budget that he presented in Parliament, terming it pro-poor. He further admitted that he was glad the government was allocating money to among other areas, education, health and Agriculture. But that wasn’t exactly accurate. Compared to the 2015/16 budget, a summary of the budget by Jane Kiringai, a senior Economist, Macro Fiscal Management GP reveals that, Agriculture, rural and urban development allocations...

18 June 2016 » Mzalendo

This week has been interesting. For starters, Nairobi politicians, Senator Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko and Governor Evans Kidero decided insulting each other wasn’t enough and engaged in a physical fight to the amusement of the other politicians present and indeed most Kenyans who watched the video. Indeed leaders elected mirror the electorate. The behavior of the two leaders is a direct reflection of the voters in Nairobi. Meanwhile, it appears Ole Kaparo’s team is finally proving it can bite,...

10 June 2016 » Mzalendo

The budget read this week by government’s admission was supposed to be pro-poor. This is no coincidence considering it comes a few months to elections. Women and the youth who form the bulk of the electorate are poor and the kitties linked to the two groups received larger allocations. The consideration extended to women and youth in the budget shows politicians are aware of their significance in the coming election. This demographic therefore must be ruthlessly selfish if they are to make...

04 June 2016 » Mzalendo

Trust was the key theme in this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. It’s a timely topic to discuss in the country right now considering the fact that we are a few months from elections and key institutions that we expect to depend on are losing public trust. If it’s not yet lost. In the last general elections in 2013, we experienced Post-Election-Peace (PEP), even where media reports, especially international, predicted violence. This happened simply because there was a general trust in the then...

27 May 2016 » Mzalendo

Rick Warren, an American Evangelical Christian author couldn’t have captured the mood in Kenya better when he made this statement, even though it was not intended for a Kenyan audience, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” In Kenya today...

27 May 2016 » Mzalendo

Demos by the opposition Cord were at their peak. In the street protests, three people were shot dead in Kisumu and Siaya. Opposition was adamant dialogue on IEBC reforms could not be brokered within Parliament under the standing orders. 4th May: The Council of Governors stated that the IEBC needed to be a commission that meets the satisfaction of everyone.   4th May: The Methodist Church led by its presiding Bishop Joseph N’tobura distanced the Church from the NCCK stand on disbandment of...

20 May 2016 » Mzalendo

This week the country was treated to horrific pictures of police brutality reminiscent of the “Nyayo days”. When the police appeared to be a law unto themselves. The name General Service Unit (GSU) evoked fears that could chill your spine. It is not clear yet how the “peaceful demonstrations” against IEBC, as CORD terms it, turned so ugly and quickly. But, as expected fingers point to police’s overreaction. Perhaps, the Law Society of Kenya puts it better, that, the police show lack of training...

18 May 2016 » Mzalendo

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, three of them women. How did your MP vote? To find out see the list: Gender Bill...

12 May 2016 » Mzalendo

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...

09 May 2016 » Mzalendo

C.S Lewis once said, “If you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.” The 11th Parliament has done one good deed in passing the long overdue, Access to Information Bill. The bill sponsored by Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi ends an over 10 years wait. Kenyans for a long time, have had to conform to the idea that information was a privilege of a few powerful bureaucrats both in private and public institutions. But it’s the government officials that...

29 April 2016 » Mzalendo

Ever wondered why the goat would never dance to tune no matter how beautifully you play? Indeed Kenyans wonder with the same intensity why MPs would never do their bidding regardless of how much they shout on social media and different platforms about what they want. It’s sad that the National Assembly need another week to be convinced to pass the two thirds gender principle. Never mind that both President Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga both supported the Duale Bill and marshaled...

22 April 2016 » Mzalendo

Not so long ago Kenyans were ranked second happiest people in the region after Somali. For a happy people, it’s rather disturbing how quarrelsome and petty we can get with each other. From the National to the devolved government, Senate to National Assembly, Kenyans are always shouting at each other. The apparent grudge the two levels of government have towards each other is playing out in Parliament. The Senate and National Assembly are at each other’s neck. One minute debating which House is...

14 April 2016 » Mzalendo

Someone did say Kenyans were born on the eighth day. To prove the unique-ness that is our country, trouble is brewing in the banking industry but important people want bloggers and users of social media arrested for the collapse of these banks not fraudsters. Meanwhile, our MPs are now breathing fire! But the all-important question Kenyans are asking is, why the knee-jerk reaction when they could have formulated laws to protect Kenyans before? As the MP for Tongaren Hon. David Eseli puts it,...

08 April 2016 » Mzalendo

Our law makers, besides debating and passing bills have the mandate to represent their constituents and nothing explains proper representation than ensuring they get appropriate service delivery from especially national institutions. Unfortunately, most of our MPs and Senators have never grasped the work cut-out for them. Now that the ICC issue has been put to rest – which pre-occupied our lawmakers so much – let’s revisit this matter of service delivery. It’s becoming common to have...

04 April 2016 » Mzalendo

After two years of scandalous headlines. Kenyans should be forgiven for being a little cynical. Additionally, what equally breeds apathy and hopelessness in the country is the reality that there appears to be no alternative voice. A voice that can be relied upon by Kenyans, all we seem to have are goons. As we approach elections, Kenyans are more concerned about corruption and whether we can have leaders who respect the rule of law. Therefore, it is hypocritical for one to claim a government is...

24 March 2016 » Mzalendo

Our law makers are always attentive and enthusiastic when scrutinizing anything relating to their heavy perks. This excitement and attention is hardly reciprocated when important issues come to the floor of the house. Take the Distribution of Revenue Allocation Bill for Instance; National Treasury and Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) disagree on many issues with regard to funding of counties. But, MPs and Senators who should debate and provide way forward remain lethargic. Devolution was...

18 March 2016 » Mzalendo

Nothing irks than watching someone engage in a pointless activity; even worse when such an activity indirectly affects your life. Despite having been a King of what is now Corinth, Sisyphus is mostly remembered for the useless job that he was cursed to do-rolling a huge rock up a hill and watching it tumble down and repeating the exercise over and over. Like Sisyphus Kenyans have a penchant for using our hard earned taxes on institutions we know won’t deliver but we don’t mind the cycle. It’s...

11 March 2016 » Mzalendo

Most of us have only guessed at it but it turns out educated legislators actually perform better than less educated ones. While compiling Parliament’s annual scorecard, we realized that education played an important role in the quality of debate argued by an individual on the floor of the House For instance, the top five best performers in the National Assembly in the year 2015 all have a postgraduate degree. Indeed this is also true of the Senate where most members are educated; the quality of...

04 March 2016 » Mzalendo

Over 5000 students had their KCSE certificates cancelled over cheating cases in the just released 2015 KSCE examination results. And while the Education CS says, the sharing of the cheating cases shows they had nothing to hide, it also communicates volumes about the moral fabric of our time. Cheating cases in primary and secondary schools examinations have been on the rise. No doubt in our universities as well. However, there’s a direct correlation in the rise of cheating cases and corruption...

26 February 2016 » Mzalendo

The relationship between Kenyans and their elected members of Parliament borders that of an abusive relationship. It’s a typical prime time soap opera TV program that is popular with most Kenyans. These soaps are usually very linear, nothing out of the ordinary. The protagonist (say a woman) will live a miserable life, keeping up with an abusive partner until one day she meets Prince charming who will “open her eyes” to realize she owes the antagonist nothing and she can have a better life with...

23 February 2016 » Mzalendo

The deadline for the submission for Public participation on the Kenya Uwezo Fund Bill, 2015 is Friday 26th February 2016. The said Bill has undergone the First Reading pursuant to Standing Order 127(3) and is now committed to the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade for consideration and thereafter makes a report to the House. Pursuant to Article 118(1)(b) and Standing Order 127(3), the Committee invites interested members of the Public to submit any representations they may...

23 February 2016 » Mzalendo

The deadline for the submissions for the public participation on The Election Laws (Amendment) (No.3) Bill, 2015 is on 24th February 2016, closing at 5:00pm. The said Bill has undergone the first reading, pursuant to Standing Order number 127(3) and is now committed to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs for consideration. Pursuant to Article 118(1)(b) and Standing Order 127(3), the Committee invites interested members of the Public to submit any representations they may...

18 February 2016 » Mzalendo

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was supposed to be the savior we turn to when all else fails. As the anti-graft body, it’s the institution that we hoped could bring sanity in all the three arms of government in matters corruption, especially after the underwhelming performance of the 11th Parliament and the judiciary’s reputation hanging in the balance with all the controversy surrounding the highest court in the land. Since its conception under the previous Kenya Anti-Corruption...

15 February 2016 » Mzalendo

Law and policy are closely intertwined, therefore the process of making each must be informed by the other. Legislation is an exclusive Parliamentary task, consequently legislators are expected to take time and observe the environment in its entirety before making a law. In this sense, legislative work is tedious and requires dedication. For a long time now, research in government institutions including Parliament, has been an anathema. This has led to making laws and policies that are out of...

05 February 2016 » Mzalendo

The 11th Parliament may not be Kenya’s favorite House despite its inclusivity. Since its inception in 2013, the National Assembly has been defined by gaffes that range from physical fights to passing pathetic laws. The Senate on the other hand has spent most its time crying wolf and does not have much output to show. As Parliament resumes business, the National Assembly has on its plate Constitutional laws that must be passed before the August deadline. Some of the pending bills are so...

01 February 2016 » Mzalendo

The centrality of political parties in the growth of progressive politics cannot be gainsaid. In democracies political parties are expected to set the standards of good leadership and progressive politics. In a nutshell, they are the drivers of politics and the quality of political parties determines the overall politics in a state. Articles 91 and 92 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, set the threshold for political parties so high in order to prepare them for the respectable job of governing...

22 January 2016 » Mzalendo

Uhuru visits Lamu and issues title deeds to Waitiki’s land squatters. The Kenyatta family gives 2000 acres of land to squatters in Taita Taveta. The two prior statements are recent examples of attempts to address historical land injustices facing Kenya. Given that resolution of historical land injustices remains very emotive is there an attempt to put a framework in place to guide the process? Which institution has the final say on the matter? The National Land Commission was established under...

19 January 2016 » Mzalendo

Last week IEBC launched the “2017 elections operational timelines”. But what is more worrying is that the Electoral commission is preparing us for another seemingly competitive election with a limping integrity. Although, the “Chicken gate scandal”  has already secured convictions in the UK, in Kenya, cases linked to the scandal appear to have been swept under the carpet. Meanwhile, the IEBC lays plans for the next election as if nothing happened. The Chicken gate scandal involved Smith &...

11 January 2016 » Mzalendo

Twenty months away from the 2017 General elections, politicians have started evoking political temperatures and subjecting the country to unnecessary tension. Just last week a foreign journalist expressed her dislike of the current early campaigns by a tweet that read, “It’s literally full election mode here in Kenya and we have another year to go. Not sure I can take this”. The frustrations by the journalist indicates the dangers that politicians are exposing our country to. One, early...

06 January 2016 » Mzalendo

The Miscellaneous Amendment Act that alters section 30 of The Judicial Service Commission Act is suspicious. These changes by the Executive comes at a time when Kenya is gearing up for 2017 general elections. The amendment gives the president a larger latitude in determining the holders of the position of Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice. This sudden quest for more powers by the Presidency raises a number of questions. One, the Chief Justice shall be retiring soon, while his deputy is...

28 December 2015 » Mzalendo

The president recently signed into law the Bill that regularizes the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The new CDF act known as National Government Constituencies Development Fund sponsored by Eldama Ravine’s MP Moses Lessonet was unanimously passed by members of the National Assembly. This means that the constituencies will continue to receive CDF funds. The new law makes the funds a mandate of the MPs with monies being used to supplement national government development projects in the...

22 December 2015 » Mzalendo

The just concluded People’s Shujaaz Awards offered Kenyans a fresh lens through which to look at Parliamentarians. Despite the despondency that Kenyans show when a thought on Parliament crosses their mind, People’s Shujaaz brought a ray hope. These are the few lessons we learnt from the campaign: Lesson one, there is demand for Parliament to change how it operates. The Legislature has to change the way it communicates to the people. Parliament needs to re-engineer its image. For a long time now...

14 December 2015 » Mzalendo

The corruption song has been sung tirelessly by Kenyans for years; from the Goldenberg Scandal, to the Kazi Kwa Vijana Initiatives and recently the Eurobond Saga and the NYS millions. The need to fight corruption has been reiterated over and over but the government has been a toothless, barking dog. The current government has continuously made promises about curbing the heightened graft in the country but little has happened thus far. With the recent Jamhuri day celebrations, the president once...

07 December 2015 » Mzalendo

Parliament has betrayed its social contract with Kenyans! It is difficult to understand why the most powerful institution established by the 2010 Constitution has consistently performed dismally. Sadly, Wanjiku’s supposed guardian angel has allegedly turned on her by plundering her meagre resources. Since 2013 the 11th Parliament has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This tendency risks obscuring some of the good work that few Parliamentarians have done. Specifically, Article 94 (4)...

01 December 2015 » Mzalendo

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet reshuffle this week was met with split reactions from Kenyans. One side questioning the Constitutionality of the appointments while the other praising the move as symbolic of renewed zeal in the war against graft. Both arguments raise an array of issues that Parliament is expected to navigate when reviewing the recent Cabinet Secretaries appointments. To begin with, President Kenyatta seemed to have created a problem in an attempt to solve one. The...

23 November 2015 » Mzalendo

The People’s Shujaaz Awards 2015 are here with us for the second year running and it’s fulfilling to realize that indeed there are Kenyan politicians in Parliament who are working to represent their constituents and the general voter interests.  In a country plagued with massive corruption, incompetent leaders and bad governance systems, we hardly take the time to notice when progressive contributions are made in the both the National Assembly and The Senate. The focus on the negative political...

13 November 2015 » Mzalendo

Presently, the problem of Kenya is not lack of laws, we have enough of them. If they were to be implemented many leaders, politicians, their families and cronies would be in jail. Wherever you look at, from Counties to the National Government corruption glares at you in the face without blinking. In Kenya we have socialized corruption such that the acceptance level of it is really high. Kenyans across the political divide have all become either active supporters and beneficiaries or unworried...

06 November 2015 » Mzalendo

Kenyans would be surprised to know the 2016/17 government budgetary process is already under way. In many ways, the current discussion on the 2013/14 budget implementation and audit reports distracts from the task at hand. Officially, the budget process starts in August of the prior year. From August to December, Treasury must have ministerial consultations and conduct public hearings on the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) before submitting it to Parliament. The budget making process was one area...

02 November 2015 » Mzalendo

Since the 11th Parliament was sworn into office, the opposition has proved to be rudderless and tactless in keeping the ruling coalition in check. While they are outnumbered by the Jubilee coalition, CORD has not shown that even with fewer members, they can still contribute qualitatively to enriching the August House. This has been most vivid in the National Assembly which undertakes national functions. In the House, it only fiercely fought to chair the Public Investments Committee (PIC) and...

26 October 2015 » Mzalendo

Revelations by the Controller of Budget that the Eurobond proceeds were deposited in an offshore account which she has no control over shocked the country last week. The Controller told the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) the said Sh53.2 billion was withdrawn from the account and used to pay a loan without her approval. It was also unclear if the balance of Sh73.4 billion was spent or whether it is still in the account. Her report confirmed findings captured in the 2013/14...

19 October 2015 » Mzalendo

The 11th Parliament had a false start in 2013 and it has never quite found its foot since. Goofing has become its enduring identity. The high House has put aside legislating on national issues and focused on the personal. Last week, the Eldas Member of Parliament received wide support from his colleagues over a Bill that cushioned MPs from criticism. Additionally there is another ridiculous – Parliamentary Society Bill – Bill that proposes counselling and psychiatry services for MPs who lose...

13 October 2015 » Mzalendo

Article 81 of the Constitution stipulates that there should not be more than two thirds gender in elective and appointive positions. Attaining the appointive requirement is quite easy but it is the elective one that needs more focus. The National Assembly pushed the realization of this principle to August 2016. As Kenyans ponder on the final formula, findings from a research Mzalendo conducted suggests women have earned the political positions they hold and make valuable contributions. Some of...

05 October 2015 » Mzalendo

According to the recent Ipos-Synovate study, Kenyans in rural areas are more aware of their legislators and also engage them more than those living in urban areas. This finding goes to show that urban dwellers are disinterested in their local politics, a surprising fact given the ever increasing rural to urban migration. Article 1 of the constitution vests the sovereign power to the people of Kenya and therefore a disinterested citizenry gives out their power. This is unfortunate considering...

28 September 2015 » Mzalendo

The four week long teachers’ strike ended in a stalemate as the Executive remained adamant that the 50-60 per cent pay increment teachers were demanding for could not be met. The strike had significantly affected learners in public schools more so those preparing for their final examinations – KCSE and KCPE. The Employment and Labour relations court stepped in and ordered teachers to suspend the strike and return to class as arbitration was pursued. Though, this teachers strike has been the...

19 September 2015 » Mzalendo

Every year on September 15th the world marks the International Day of Democracy as a special day to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. This year’s theme ‘space for civil society’ was timely especially for us in Kenya where Parliamentarians have recently rejected oversight over their role be it in the form an ombudsman office or media coverage. This week, MPs rejected a proposal to establish an ombudsman office to receive complaints against...

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