Mzalendo

Mzalendo

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...

28 August 2014 » Mzalendo

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 turns 4 this week, giving us a chance to reflect on the gains and missteps that have marked the implementation exercise. At the centre of the 20 year clamour for a new Constitution was the need to give the public a say in Kenya’s governance and development. This was meant to ensure the interests of the Kenyans are always represented as well as to provide a check against the wanton misuse and waste of public resources. Article 1 of the Constitution lodges all...

14 August 2014 » Mzalendo

The intention behind devolution is noble – to bring both government and services closer to the people. However the implementation of the devolved governance system is more than a bit clunky. Since its inception devolution has seen turf wars – between the Senate and Governors, between Governors and the National Assembly, between the National Assembly and Senators, and at times all three simultaneously. Issues of role clarity and hierarchy are especially apparent in the most recent power struggle...

03 June 2014 » Mzalendo

Fifty-one years ago, on 1st June Kenya attained “Self-Government / Self-Independence,” but do Kenyans individually own and occupy that political space beyond Election Days? Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 re-emphasises the same idea as it states, “All sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only in accordance with this Constitution.” Kenyans exercise this power indirectly through the democratically elected representatives including their...

28 May 2014 » Mzalendo

In early April the government began a nation wide crackdown dubbed ‘Operation Usalama Watch’.  The intention of the operation, arrest and prosecute people suspected of engaging in terrorist activities and eliminate terrorism. However almost two months in one wonders if the operation is achieving this. Since the start of the operation we have seen the arbitrary arrest, detention and deportation of thousands of people, mostly of Somali descent. According newspaper reports, since the 2nd of April...

26 May 2014 » Mzalendo

Land has always an emotive issue in Kenya. The new constitution with its provisions on land and the pursuant legislation were all intended to improve country’s contentious land situation. However the recent goings on between the National Land Commission and the Lands Ministry calls into question whether Kenya’s land issue will ever be resolved. Confidence in the ability of the bodies to resolve the country’s land issues is not helped by the sudden discovery of millions of ‘missing’ files from...

22 May 2014 » Mzalendo

Anglo Leasing seems to be one of Kenya’s most convoluted and drawn out scandals to date. The scandal has been going on for over ten years, has spanned three Presidential administrations, and most recently has cost Kenyan taxpayers 1.4 billion shillings (this figure could be much higher if one considers payments which may have made in the past). This most recent payment is a result of an order entered against the Kenyan government made in a London Court in December 2013. A case at which it turns...

22 April 2014 » Mzalendo

Kenya’s First Lady’s historic London Marathon run after barely six months training is a great shot in the arm for the child and maternal health sector; unfortunately, the President’s record after a year in office is not as illustrious. For instance, with regards to progress in the health sector the President referenced his declaration of free maternal health care in all public hospital and the positive outcomes stemming from this initiative stating, “Before we came to power, we had already...

04 April 2014 » Mzalendo

Shortly after the Westgate Attack, making the link between corruption and the increase in terrorism in the Guardian article ‘Kenya: behind the terror is rampant corruption,’ Giles Foden wrote:  “In Kenya crime and terrorism are deeply linked, not least by the failure of successive Kenyan governments to control either….These attacks are part of a spectrum of banditry, with corruption at one end, terrorism at the other, and regular robbery in the middle. Some Kenyans will feel that the conditions...

01 April 2014 » Mzalendo

Last week the President gave his second State of the Nation speech. A speech he is constitutionally required to give every year for the term of his Presidency. However if one was expecting this year’s speech to be a marker of the administration’s progress in achieving the goals and promises made in both its manifesto and during last year’s speech they were sorely disappointed.  The speech barely made reference to the administrations manifesto, or to promises made by the President in his last...

20 March 2014 » Mzalendo

It is laudable that the government is finally taking steps to reduce the wage bill and while the outcome of the efforts remains to be seen, it would be great if concrete steps were alsotaken towards correcting government inefficiencies particularly when it comes to the tendering process. Recently there have been a slew of reports on the inefficienciesin the tendering process and the resultant losses, for instance: The Public Procurement Administration Review Board found that the laptop tender...

13 March 2014 » Mzalendo

The Cabinet is back from its one week retreat, and if the President’s speech is any indication dealing with the country’s public wage bill is high on the government’s agenda. Unless you live under a rock it’s likely that you know or have heard, that two of the highest paid public sector workers (the President and the Deputy President) will be taking a 20% wage cut, the Cabinet will also be taking 10% pay cut all effective immediately. It seems that since the President’s speech, the offers to...

11 March 2014 » Mzalendo

According to a report in the Business Daily, “Parliament has questioned a Sh32.7 billion increase in public wages and benefits despite devolution of several functions and shifting of personnel to counties. The Budget and Appropriation Committee has asked the Treasury to explain its projection that the wage bill will rise from Sh263 billion to Sh295.7 billion in the financial year starting July 2013, a 12.4 per cent rise.” While it is a welcome move that the National Assembly is finally...

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