Mzalendo

Mzalendo

28 August 2015 » Mzalendo

Kenyans went through a grueling past to birth the Constitution in 2010, yet the last five years has seen them leave its implementation to political leaders who as time has proven cannot be trusted. The great expectations and policy demands captured in the Constitution need an engaged citizenry to be realized. The Constitution in article 3 states that every person has an obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution. This clause should translate in Kenyans taking the challenge or...

24 August 2015 » Mzalendo

MPs will have an informal Kamukunji to change the dates for the passage of key Constitutional Bills as August 27th nears without them discussing them as stipulated in the Constitution. A total of 28 Bills were required to have been passed by August 27th. They are the Minimum and Maximum Land Holding Acreage, Agreements on National Resources Bill, Forest Bill, Community Land Bill, Physical Planning Bill, Investigation and Historical Land Injustices Bill, Land Use Bill and Evictions Bill. Others...

17 August 2015 » Mzalendo

The Kenya Defence Forces (Amendment) Bill 2015 that seeks to amend the Kenya Defence Forces Act 2012 has wanting provisions. A study of the recently published Bill reveals key issues that are inconsistent with a free and democratic society. The Bill: Removes the legal requirement for Cabinet Secretaries to monitor defence matters and report the same to the President and Parliament; Removes the requirement for service commanders to commission research and benchmark against best practices on the...

08 August 2015 » Mzalendo

The Auditor General’s recently published audits of national government ministries, state institutions and county governments need to be improved to better communicate to the public. While auditing is the Auditor’s constitutional mandate, poor communication of its contents make the reports prone to political machinations and failure to capture its true meaning and message. Communication lies at the core of effective messaging. It can make a whole difference as it would assist citizens to read...

03 August 2015 » Mzalendo

Shocking revelations in the recent Auditor General’s reports on the use of public finances by the national and county government over the 2013/14 financial year, point to misuse of executive power and general institutional inefficiencies. Only 1.2 percent of national government expenditure for the period under review was incurred in a lawful manner, 60 percent had issues and 38.5 percent could not be explained. The 2013/2014 gross budget of sh1,557,192,721,388 was shared between the National...

27 July 2015 » Mzalendo

Auditor General’s most recent report reveals some glaring inconsistencies in counties’ financial probity that call for the Senate to check their lack of prudent expenditure of public money. Twenty-nine Counties cannot account for their budget allocations and reported revenues remain low despite increased levies. The report sheds light into a web of mechanisms employed by county government officials to avoid accounting for public funds. Local revenue remains low in counties and waste, over-...

20 July 2015 » Mzalendo

Rule of law means that citizens and those who govern them should obey the law. On the 9th of July, the National Assembly proposed two controversial amendments to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) bill 2015. One proposal is to have the Public Service Commission (PSC) recruit EACC Commissioners where a vacancy arises. This is utter disregard of Article 249(2) of the Constitution which secures the independence of Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices. The second...

11 July 2015 » Mzalendo

The most important conversations in Parliament happen in committees hence when such a meeting becomes chaotic, the prudence of continuing to hold it is washed away as substantive debate cannot take place. In committees, legislators look through ideas, vet individuals, consider motions, debate proposals and interrogate key office bearers to understand issues. Eventually, committees present their findings and proposals to the house plenary sittings. Unfortunately this week, the joint Finance,...

03 July 2015 » Mzalendo

Political parties are foundational to politics and democracy. Under constitutionalism, political parties are the essential vehicle for establishing governments as without them hardly any meaningful public participation can take place. They invite people to register as members who legitimize aspiring candidates to vie for office and if successful form government. At a recent launch on political parties’ adherence to the law in line with the Constitution in Article 91 and 92 and the Political...

26 June 2015 » Mzalendo

The National Youth Service (NYS), a very promising institution is currently embroiled in accountability issues that need concerted efforts to resolve them. The work that the NYS has undertaken especially in building roads, opening up drainages and providing some socio-economic facilities for people especially in slum areas has been evident. In the recent one week, there have been strong allegations of impropriety. Later, Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru came out to state...

21 June 2015 » Mzalendo

The raging supremacy war between the Senate and the National Assembly over budgetary allocations are unfortunate and against public interest. The two houses have severally fought over their mandates and from time to time, taken parallel positions over Bills, decisions or some assertions. This current public spat over the budget should never happen. The creation of the two houses was informed by history and the need to protect devolution. Senate has the mandate to ensure devolution works and...

12 June 2015 » Mzalendo

The manner in which MPs handled the nomination of Amb. Dr. Monica Juma as the Secretary to the Cabinet calls for a vetting law. This is not the only case in point but since the Uhuru government was sworn in, the vetting exercises have been wanting. It would be okay if her rejection was based on substantive reasoning, but nothing is further from the truth. During the vetting, the committee clearly established the following: Dr. Juma has the requisite qualifications and vast experience in public...

08 June 2015 » Mzalendo

Parliament has been engaged in intense negotiations over the division of revenue Bill that finally saw an agreement passed. The National Assembly deducted funds from Senate, Judiciary and the Salary Remuneration Commission allocations as a form of punishment. The three institutions especially SRC and Judiciary have stood up to Parliament, something the legislators have felt should not be the case. Even as the debate settles, there is need to scrutinize the specifics of the budget. Public...

29 May 2015 » Mzalendo

Kenya’s constitutional movement from old to the current one has been eventful and inspiring. Five years on, much has been accomplished and much still needs to be done. Any transition requires changes in attitudes, values, practices and mindsets. Development of a new constitutional culture will also depend on whether there is genuine, collective and deliberate effort to embrace the new order. Even with the desired political will to implement the Constitution, the complexity involved in building...

23 May 2015 » Mzalendo

Article 35 of the 2010 Constitution clearly stipulates that Kenyan citizens have a right to access information. When article 35 (1) (a) is interpreted loudly, it may also requires government to ensure that information is not just accessible but also sufficiently understood by Kenyans. This is for purposes of empowering them and ultimately enriching our young democracy. Solid democracy is pegged on an informed citizenry. The Parliamentarians ranking stories published by the Daily Nation earlier...

18 May 2015 » Mzalendo

Critical to determining how bread and butter is allocated to who, why and how much is the budget. The budget guides how the development of a country or county will be curved out in a given a financial year, so citizens need pay it some attention and engage in its development. In Kenya, the government embraced Program Based Budgeting (PBB) in 2012. PBB can be described as a budgeting structure where money is distributed by program or functional area with an emphasis on the latter’s service...

08 May 2015 » Mzalendo

Debate on the realization of two thirds gender principle has elicited mixed reactions. Some reactions have been inaccurate while others from leaders usually expected to steer debate send the wrong message to the public. Kenyans needs to recognize that the overwhelming support they gave to the Constitutional enactment entailed the gender requirement to ensure there is not more than two thirds of one gender in elective and appointive office. While appointive is more easily attainable, elective is...

02 May 2015 » Mzalendo

President Kenyatta appointed 302 Kenyans to various parastatal positions, making a bold move to appoint many candidates who were rejected by voters in the ballot. The move by the President is not only regrettable but also unfortunate at a time when so many things in government are going wrong. It was an unprecedented move to not only see many rejected politicians being rescued through appointments, but also relatives, brothers and sisters of the same family being appointed. This is really sad...

24 April 2015 » Mzalendo

Elections lie at the core of how governance is established and developed. The Presidential Elections petition presented to the Supreme Court after the 2013 General Elections, warrants interrogation so that any lapses in law and practice can be rectified before the next elections. It is on this premise that stakeholders converged at the ‘Rethinking Elections Management in Kenya’ forum to audit the elections and the Supreme Court decision, as well as interrogate the case, judgment and consider...

17 April 2015 » Mzalendo

At no time in the history of Kenya have integrity issues been highlighted at a scale like the previous one month. These alleged integrity issues have spotlighted corruption and abuse of abuse by key officers in the public service including Parliamentarians, cabinet secretaries and heads of various public institutions. In the National Assembly, the focus has been on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), albeit even the Agriculture committee members are alleged to also have been compromised to...

10 April 2015 » Mzalendo

Innocent Kenyan lives cannot continue to be lost unabated while Parliamentarians as their representatives take a back seat. Government is primarily supposed to provide security to its citizens but President Uhuru’s administration so far seems to have bungled the job. Terrorist attacks have taken away many innocent lives and the recent Garissa Attack adds to the concern. Parliament in its oversight and representation roles has the mandate and power to bring this to an end. Parliamentarians...

03 April 2015 » Mzalendo

The List of Shame made public this week has shed light into corruption in government. Commonly used avenues of corruption include: procurement procedures, abuse of office, diverting public funds from intended use and questionable wealth. Various public officers allegedly have cases to answer. Most of the elected officials have declined to step aside, citing various issues, either law or jurisdiction, as directed by the President. Stepping aside, while only a Kenyan practice, does not amount to...

30 March 2015 » Mzalendo

In this second part of the interview with Hon. Johnson Sakaja, he discusses reasons behind setting up a new institution and not amending existing laws within the Ministry of labor. He also discloses the interests both local and international for the Bill, how it will be devolved to all Counties, including areas with less ICT penetration, the public interface of the registry and what will be public or not and reasons behind requesting for this information and in-built checks and balances. In...

24 March 2015 » Mzalendo

Hon. Johnson Sakaja is sponsoring the National Youth Employment Authority (NYEA) Bill (2015) which is meant to be a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for employment. The Bill is premised on the lack of accurate data on unemployment in Kenya and knowledge among youth, especially graduates on how to go about seeking for a job. It is an added effort by Government to help people find jobs, both locally and internationally. In doing this, the Bill proposes to provide incentives to both public and...

14 March 2015 » Mzalendo

Over the past one month, news on parliamentary committees and budgetary allocations have painted the institution charged with legislation, representation and oversight as corrupt and self-centered. Serious corruption allegations have been leveled against the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) members including its chairman. These allegations have been about its members soliciting and taking bribes from senior public servants to influence the outcome of a report under investigations. PAC audits all...

09 March 2015 » Mzalendo

It cannot be that a person from a certain village, when they exit public office, is replaced by another person from the same village, went a paraphrased comment from Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula, during the debate in the Senate that approved Joseph Boinett as the Inspector General of Police. That comment reverberates with how many senior public appointments are being treated. It seems it comes down to ethnic arithmetic. The Boinett appointment is the most recent example. Many others...

02 March 2015 » Mzalendo

Resources meant for development at the grassroots always excite various interests, something the Judgment that found the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as unconstitutional has proven. Interests are always good and welcome but worthy interests are those which are about developing the social fabric of society; schools, healthcare and infrastructure. In the Petition filed by the Institute of Social Accountability (TISA), the petitioners wanted the Judges to find the CDF (Amendment) Act 2013...

24 February 2015 » Mzalendo

Parliament is scheduled to debate the Public Audit Bill, 2014, setting stage for a new and critical framework to ensure accountability and transparency of public funds. Public Audit Bill is crucial in entrenching a system that will better ensure that public servants are better held to account through proactive measures that also ensure efficiency at the Auditor General’s office. A quick glance of media reports including social media indicates questionable financial malpractices covering the...

18 February 2015 » Mzalendo

The Access to Information Bill 2014 will be presented to Parliament by Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi  this year. She will also talk about it today’s at the bloggers forum at the iHub. Interested people should raise their concerns and interests. Find it here to read and learn more Access to information Bill Feel free to comment on it on our blog of Facebook page and we will share your comments and concerns with her

13 February 2015 » Mzalendo

Parliamentarians as the indirect people representatives are not above the law. However, their recent actions seem to assert they are! The National Assembly Speaker’s decision not to punish MPs who acted dishonorably during the Security Laws (Amendment) bill debate is essentially tolerance of status quo. The decision sends a wrong message on how to deal with difficult situations. Apparently, the Parliamentarians only got a warning that such behavior will not be tolerated again. Some MPs had...

06 February 2015 » Mzalendo

It is no doubt that since the establishment of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), tangible projects have been undertaken in most constituencies across the country. CDF has helped construct classrooms, bridges, roads, hospitals and paid school fees for many among other noble tasks. However over the period, allegations impropriety have abounded. First, low public consultation in projects prioritization is often mentions. Secondly, social audits have revealed the amount allocated to the...

30 January 2015 » Mzalendo

Of late Parliamentarians have been acting in an undignified manner. Relevant Constitutional offices and institutions need to check Parliamentarians behavior to remind them the offices they hold require high integrity and good behavior at all times. The recent behavior of Hon. Alfred Keter in which he used his office to abuse public officers and demand release of a truck owned by Hon. Sunjeev Birdi which had been lawfully held for lack of proper documentation is a case in point. The behavior of...

23 January 2015 » Mzalendo

In his book ‘Episodes; From an MP’s Diary’, Sen. Eng. Muriuki Karue shares his journey on how development projects initiated through harambees did not see the light of day. The government never saw much need to support projects like classrooms and health centres to support the welfare of the people. This became his agenda when he joined politics as an MP in 1997. Considered the father of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which came to fruition in 2003, the then MP, now Senator for...

15 January 2015 » Mzalendo

Recent misbehavior by Parliamentarians within the precincts of Parliament and in public have brought to the fore questions about their actual roles and responsibilities. As representatives of the people in Parliament, Parliamentarians activity in many ways should reflect the pulse of the nation. Parliament – Senate and National Assembly – performs representative, oversight and legislative functions which define and distribute the national cake to all. These functions being pivotal, mandate the...

13 January 2015 » Mzalendo

I am living in Uganda and like many others from around the World, I have been always watching and enjoying the Kenya Parliament debates held in both the Senate and National Assembly. I wish to state that the Kenya Country Constitution has been observed by many outside Kenya as one of the best governing documents not only within the Commonwealth but also in Africa. Many people cherish that Constitution and have been waiting to see how that Good Document will be implemented. While watching the...

07 January 2015 » Mzalendo

On January 2nd 2015, the High Court ruled regarding a petition tabled by the CORD Coalition and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) questioning the legality of the process by which The Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 and the constitutionality of some of its clauses. They sought orders to have these sections suspended pending determination of a full hearing. Judge George Odunga did not have kind words for Speaker Muturi as he said “… if the process was shambolic as it is alleged, it...

05 January 2015 » Mzalendo

Please find the conservatory order suspending eight clauses of the Security (Amendment) Act 2014 here Conservatory Order (Security Act) Petition No. 628 and 630 of 2014      

19 December 2014 » Mzalendo

The Security Laws (Amendments) 2014 Act provided an opportunity to deliberate very serious provisions about Kenya but also brought out an ugly side of our legislators. The amendments to 22 security related legislations will go a long way in helping address our security challenges. Rising insecurity may not be wholly dealt with by adequate laws, but this remains a critical first step. MPs demeaned the National Assembly and did not demonstrate any respect for their offices or the people they...

18 December 2014 » Mzalendo

The amendments that were passed today related to the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 can be accessed here THURSDAY DECEMBER – 18-12-2014 SPECIAL SITTING (1)

11 December 2014 » Mzalendo

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) recent report is troubling. It revealed that two out of ten Kenyans distrust each other. Trust, which was measured against six other pillars used to gauge national cohesion, recorded 43.7 per cent. Kenya’s mutual suspicions are stoked by land grievances, youth unemployment, growing drug and substance abuse, delinquency and crime, food insecurity, income inequality and poor infrastructure. Speaking at the launch of the report, NCIC chairman...

10 December 2014 » Mzalendo

The Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 seeks to amend the laws relating to security.   Find it here THE SECURITY LAWS AMENDMENT BILL 2014 The brief to the proposals is here Brief on Amendment to Security Legislations

09 December 2014 » Mzalendo

This Bill seeks to provide for the regulation of the private security industry, to provide for a framework for cooperation with National Security Organs. Find it here The Private Security Regulation Bill 2014  

03 December 2014 » Mzalendo

The word honorable is a title indicating eminence or distinction. A person holding the title is therefore supposed to be revered especially through actions. This however is not the case with regard to many elected representatives. Some of their behavior in public forums brings into question the judgment of the voters who elected them. Even so, there are certainly some representatives who work hard for the public. Sometimes the impact of their work may not be immediately visible, but inside the...

28 November 2014 » Mzalendo

Press Release – Mzalendo Launches the People’s Shujaaz awards Nairobi, 28th November 2014 – Mzalendo Trust today launched the People’s Shujaaz Awards – an initiative to celebrate Parliamentarians that have excelled in championing issues of great public interest in Parliament – the National Assembly and Senate. The Parliamentarians were selected based on bills moved, contributions to bills, motions raised and statements issued from March 2013 to date. “At the centre of these Awards are the bread...

27 November 2014 » Mzalendo

Napoleon Bonaparte famously defined a leader as a dealer in hope. Dealing in hope is no mean achievement to any who surmounts but which dictates character and commitment to a course of public interest. It must be evidenced in words and deeds. For instance, such a leader would not only call to order the men stripping women naked in public, but use lawful means to have them arrested and prosecuted for their backward behavior. The rising insecurity calls for our President to give hope to Kenyans...

24 November 2014 » Mzalendo

By  Alan Masakhalia Kenyan’s have over the years suffered at the hands of corrupt and at times brutal and trigger happy Police Officers who were a law unto themselves. With the setting up of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) there was obvious relief to Kenyans as we now had a place to run to when abused by rogue officers, unlike in the past when a police officer would be reported to his fellow colleagues, who would hurriedly discard the complaint immediately you left the...

21 November 2014 » Mzalendo

The thinking around revenue sharing between National government and County government has been a subject of discussion for the past few months. The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has held various forums, finalized its proposals and sent them to the Senate for consideration and adoption. The new proposal is a slight departure from the current one and if adopted will be used for the next three years. The current formula in operation is distributed as follows; population (45%), equal share...

13 November 2014 » Mzalendo

  Ongoing efforts to legislate in the mining sector are crucial and laudable in instilling proper governance in the sector. The law when it comes to effect will not only have better provisions like the current one but align the regime to contemporary realities of technology, transparency and accountability, public participation and other constitutional requirements among others. The current law dates back to the colonial period and is therefore ‘archaic’ and not suited to present realities. Mr...

07 November 2014 » Mzalendo

  The rising insecurity in the country has to be handled with the seriousness it deserves. Security is one of the primary guarantees a government must offer its citizens. The current administration has handled the security docket in an incompetent, ineffective, inefficient or unconcerned manner. Wanton loss of life has been reported in many parts of Kenya. In 2013, residents of Bungoma were killed mercilessly for a whole month unabated. The violence moved to Mandera, Garissa and Mombasa among...

30 October 2014 » Mzalendo

A recent report on Constituency Development Fund (CDF) use published by the CDF Board calls for deeper interrogation on how exactly these public funds should be allocated and utilized. The Board declined to approve proposals from 137 constituencies as it termed them ‘not of public interest’. Some reflection of what these legislators wanted would put it to better context. Voi constituency sought to use CDF money to take teachers on trips it termed “inter-county benchmarking”. Turkana Central...

23 October 2014 » Mzalendo

Supreme Court Judge Justice Njoki Ndung’u arguably reflects how best women Parliamentarians have a critical role in politics. Through focusing on one issue, sexual offences and drilling it down, she was able to birth the Sexual Offences Act 2006. The journey towards realizing that law was fraught in many hurdles but she never lost sight of what she wanted to achieve. Today, while sexual offences continue to occur, the current regime is incomparable to before. Tougher penalties with broader...

17 October 2014 » Mzalendo

Two related issues have re-ignited the anti-corruption debate. One is the order from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that State officers should not engage in harambees as it is against the law. Secondly is the decision by the President not to assent to amendments to the Public Officer Ethics Act (2003) that would have led to executive office bearers to take personal responsibility when adversely mentioned in corruption cases. Kenya cannot afford to continue making anti-...

10 October 2014 » Mzalendo

Public participation in governance has been a reverberating issue since the promulgation of the constitution on August 27th 2010. While the Constitution did not expectedly give, the modus operandi of realizing it, it offered broad principles that should define good governance, transparency and accountability in public affairs. The Buntwani conference held earlier this week was therefore very critical in shaping this issue with a view to find ways, already being practiced, and new ones that...

02 October 2014 » Mzalendo

Parliament’s move to have Cabinet Secretaries respond to questions in the created session called general oversight on Tuesday fails to abide by the Separation of powers principle as the Constitution envisions. One of the reasons CSs were supposed to be technocrats are they are to engage Parliament on the technical level at committee stage. Going to Parliament plenary is not their role. The move by Parliament seems calculated picking from sentiments from legislators who want to amend the...

25 September 2014 » Mzalendo

By Shitemi Khamadi Parliament is aggrieved by the Judiciary in how it has exercised its powers in the recent months. On Tuesday 23rd September, when the Senate resumed sittings, Senators led by nominated Senator Beatrice Elachi discussed the Judiciary at great length. They were all united that the Judiciary is overstepping its mandate with its temporary orders that are impeding the work of the house. Two weeks ago, the National Assembly had raised the same concern. In fact, National Assembly...

18 September 2014 » Mzalendo

  By Shitemi Khamadi Sections of the proposed Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill, 2014 of Kenya that touch on access to information not only contradict the Constitution but also fail to align to basic democratic tenets that Kenya has gained so far. Article 35 of the Constitution provides for the right of access to information held by the State. This is the guiding principle applicable to parliamentary processes that Parliament must be open, transparent and accountable to the public in its...

12 September 2014 » Mzalendo

By Shitemi Khamadi Thomas Paine, the English-American political activist stated that “what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” These words reverberate when reflecting on the Kenyan politics of the day. This past week has evidenced news on magnitude of greed from the politicians....

05 September 2014 » Mzalendo

“Being single is a status, not a competitive advantage,” replied Lucy Chelimo, the Kenyan nominee ambassador to Canada when asked by MP Chris Wamalwa how her single status would affect her work. In her case, what would status really mean! Status could mean being politically correct! It could mean being ethnically correct! It could mean an age transition that she will surmount, like all else and be older, probably wiser and have this question not asked again if she is to appear before any...

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