Showing posts from June, 2015

Triple-threat to brokers from State House, Parliament and the National Treasury

QUICK READS: • Powerful cartels, rogue suppliers, and brokers target budget billions • Speaker says at least Sh300 billion exposed to theft, pilferage or wastage in procurement kickbacks, bribes. • Speaker Muturi proposes one government department to do purchases for the whole government • Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich insists purchases must be done prudently, projects priced competitively and the law obeyed • With 17 days left to the end of the financial year, Controller of Budget and Auditor General expected to give verdict on how public funds were spent • President Kenyatta has sent a memo to MPs to tighten the new procurement law to license all agents THE STORY:  The Jubilee administration has embarked on a policy and legislative drive to lock brokers, cartels and wheeler-dealers out of big-money government contracts. President Uhuru Kenyatta, Speaker Justin Muturi and Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury Henry Rotich have rolled out the three-pronged a

Uhuru’s first defeat in House 2015 as MPs reject Interior PS for Cabinet job

Caption: President Uhuru is seen-off at the JKIA by the Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Coordination of National Government Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Joseph Nkaissery the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces Gen. Samson Mwathethe among other senior government officials as he leaves for Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to attend the Emergency Summit for the EAC Heads of State on the Political Situation in the Republic of Burundi in this May 31, 2015 photo. Thanks to PSCU. President Uhuru Kenyatta tasted his first defeat in 2015 in the House when MPs, a majority from his ruling Jubilee coalition, voted to reject Dr Monica Juma, his nominee for the plum post of the Secretary to the Cabinet. The lawmakers in the National Assembly stamped their oversight authority and agreed with the committee that vetted Juma, the current Interior principal secretary to gauge her suitability for the seat of Secretary to the Cabinet. The verdict from the House was unanimous: the nominee had to be rejected.

Oh dear, so how do we balance 'national security' and 'public interest'?

I am sad. Not because of the renewed opacity in coverage of parliament – we can go around that— but because of the way issues of immense public interest are discussed behind closed doors because of, you guessed it, ‘national security’! I look at parliamentary journalism as one of those ways to expand the democratic space, to have people know what their leaders are talking about; the leaders to talk about the people’s needs, and for us – journalists and the people who read our stories— to keep these leaders on their toes. But today, the second day of June, 2015, is a sad one. The Senate had this pre-planned informal meetings – they are called The Speaker’s Kamukunji. They wanted to discuss insecurity in the country and terrorism. When Haji and Nkaissery were the bosses at the Ministry of Defence, they loved the limelight. They were politicians too. You can see the smiles on this screengrab. Now, that is a conversation that will help if Kenyans hear what their lea