Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
Mps to debate VAT Bill before going on recess
Mps are expected to conclude and pass the Value Added Tax amendment Bill before breaking for one month recess. However, this could be delayed further should the government fail to pay the Mps and give them the sh5 million car grant endorsed by the Salaries and Remuneration commission (SRC).
Last week, the Mps deferred the bill after it became obvious that the government had not released the grant. Majority leader Adan Duale however assured the Mps that the money would be released by yesterday (Monday).
Government releases July salaries for teachers under conditions
The government has released July salaries for primary teachers that had been withheld for engaging in illegal strike last month. President Uhuru Kenyatta who brokered the deal however said the teachers will be required to compensate for lost time and support the laptop project.
The teachers who had threatened to engage in another strike starting Tuesday were on a go-slow and experts had warned that they would frustrate the pre-election pledged laptop project meant to give standard one kids laptops starting next year.
Functions to Devolved governments to be announced Friday
The government is expected to gazette the devolved functions on Friday after intense consultations between governors from the 47 counties and relevant government agencies.
During a meeting chaired by Deputy President William Ruto Monday, the group agreed on a set of functions that will be devolved as the county governments build capacities to take more. A section of the governors supported by a section of the senate have accused the national government of frustrating devolution, an issue President Kenyatta has denied.
Detectives now summon Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo over registration saga
The Criminal Investigative Department (CID) has summoned lawyer Kethi Kilonzo over the voter registration saga. Though details are scanty, sources say the lawyer is expected to record a statement over claims that the registration acknowlegement slip she produced during her nomination for Makueni senatorial by-election was stolen from the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
At the same time, Ms Kilonzo has gone to court to compel IEBC to provide documents and information that would enable her to lodge an appeal over the decision by the High Court a fortnight ago that barred her from running for the seat. The three –bench court concluded that she was not a registered voter and so could not run for the post.
Finally the anti-graft body gets a director
The former Kenya Revenue Authority commissioner Mr MumoMatemu was Monday sworn in as the executive director of the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission. Mr Matemu was picked by retired President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga last year but a section of the civil society challenged his appointment in court.
Mr Matemu is now expected to spearhead the war against corruption that is widespread in the country. Transparency International ranked Kenya among the top ten most corrupt countries in the world.
The government has ordered former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to reurn10 vehicles they have been using since they were in government.
In what is likely to worsen hostile relationship between the CORD leaders and the Jubilee government, Mr Odinga is expected to return eight vehicles and Mr Kalonzo two.
Immediately he arrives from a trip to the U.S Wednesday, Mr Odinga said he deserves some privileges from the government on account of his former position where he shared power with retired President Mwai Kibaki during the five-year grand coalition government.
Labour secretary Kazungu Kambi dim teachers’ hopes
Primary school teachers who participated in the recent strike will not get their July salaries. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) says the teachers will only be paid for the days they worked.
Labour cabinet secretary Kazungu Kambi maintains that the labour laws does not allows employees to pay workers who boycotted work and engaged in an illegal strike. According to the TSC, the teachers worked for 10 days upon which they will be paid.
Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo appeals court’s decision to bar her from running for senator
Lawyer Kethi Kilonzo has moved to the court of appeal to challenge a decision by the high court that barred her from running for Makueni Senatorial seat that was won by her brother Mutula Kilonzo Junior.
Her move comes amidst claims that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has summoned her to record a statement on how she acquired a registration slip from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). IEBC insists that the lawyer was never registered as a voter yet she had an acknowledgement slip that it believes was stolen from their offices.
Confusion as government delay July salaries
Most civil servants, including Mps are yet to be paid their July salaries due to what the government term as technical hitches in preparing the payroll after the consolidation of the former 43 ministries into 18.
However, it is also becoming evident that the government is facing financial constraints due to increasing wage bill as a result of devolution. Experts had warned that the cost of implementing devolution that has created 47 county governments would be very expensive.
A parliamentary committee quizzed director s of a commercial bank that gave Erad Supplies a performance contract worth Sh80 million to enable it import maize for the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
The committee that has been investigating the scandal that has paralysed operations of the strategic state corporation is far from concluding its work and decides the fate of the corporation. A leading lawyer who acted for Erad said NCPB board was careless and prone to making numerous mistakes.
Judiciary defends action on President Kenyatta case
Decision by the High Court Judge to bar the public and the media from a case in which President Uhuru Kenyatta has sued two mobile phone companies, Safaricom and Airtel is on order. The Judiciary through its registrar Gladys Shollei says the move was meant to protect the witnesses involved in the case.
Sources say President Kenyatta is in the process of seeking crucial information that would strengthen his defence at the International Criminal Court (ICC) where he and his deputy William Ruto are facing criminal charges for their alleged involvement in the 2008 post-election violence that left over 1,000 people dead and another 600,000 displaced from their homes.
Hired jet saga takes another turn
A parliamentary committee investigating the hiring of a private jet that took Deputy President William Ruto on a tour of several African countries in May is yet to make any progress. The auditor general now says it is proving difficult to obtain documents pertaining to the lease agreement.
Some member so the committee now wants some government officials who worked with former Prime Minister Raila Oding and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka questions over the deal. The two officials used the same services.
Mps draft bill to evade salaries commission
Mps have drafted a constitutional amendment bill that seeks to exempt them from the provisions of the public officers whose salaries and allowances are set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
Sources say the bill is expected to be tabled in parliament this week. If the bill sails through, then Mps will be free to set their own salaries and allowances through the Parliamentary Services Commission. The bill is likely to elicit strong opposition from the civil society.
TSC act tough on teachers
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will not pay teachers for the days they were on strike. In a move seen as an attempt to discourage public servants from clamouring for higher pay, the TSC says the law allows the employer not to pay workers engaged in an illegal strike. Sarah Serum- led Salaries and Remuneration Commission had asked TSC not to pay teachers.
This comes at time when lecturers and other workers in public universities are demanding the implementation of a collective bargaining agreement by the former government. They have issued a strike notice.
World Bank commits (Sh10 billion) for judicial reforms
Diariétou GayeThe World Bank has committed $120 million (Sh10 billion) to support on-going judicial reforms.World Bank Country Director Ms says the project is the first stand-alone judiciary project in Africa, and the second largest World Bank-financed judiciary project in the world.
She says the constitution, which Kenyans passionately endorsed in August 2010, recommended drastic changes to improve the performance of the Judiciary and emphasized the Judiciary’s central role in the administration of justice, stability and development of the country.
The Kenya Vision 2030 in its political pillar also emphasized the central role of the judiciary in development, which made it clear to the Bank that targeted interventions to the Judiciary were crucial for Kenya’s economic development.
Governors allied to the Jubilee Coalition Monday met Deputy President William Ruto in an effort to agree on roles to be devolved under the new system. Mr Ruto was also trying to convince the governors to drop their attempt to amend constitution to increase allocation to the devolved governments as well as give more powers to the Senate.
On the same day, CORD leader who is leading a delegation of 12 governors allied to his coalition on a trip to the U.S accused President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government for trying to ‘kill’ devolution. President Kenyatta has on numerous occasions assured Kenyans that he is committed to devolution.
Treasury disowns Sh2.5 billion budget for celebrations
National Treasury secretary Mr Henry Rotich has denied that the government will spend Sh2.5 billion to mark the 50th independence celebrations later in the year. Mr Rotich says no such monies were allocated in the budget.
A leading local daily had on Sunday said the money will be used for various activities including erecting a Sh50 million bronze statue of retired president Mwai Kibaki holding a copy of the constitution during its promulgation on august 27, 2010.
The government and the teachers are on a collision path again over July salary. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) that employs all teachers in public schools is under pressure not to pay teachers for the three weeks they were on strike.
However, the Kenya National Union of Teachers that had called its members on strike to demand for better pay says it is waiting for final word from the TSC before they can act.
Wiper party retains Makueni senatorial seat
Lawyer Mutula Kilonzo Jr won the Makueni by-election giving Wiper Democratic Party of former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka a boost in a region that overwhelming voted for the party during the March 4 poll.
Mr Kilonzo who succeeds his father Mutula Kilonzo who died in April got over 90 per cent of the vote cast last Friday while Prof Phillip Kaloki who was sponsored by the ruling Jubilee coalition got five per cent of the vote.
CORD governors U.S tour spark controversy
CORD leader Raila Odinga is leading 12 governors drawn from his coalition of a tour to the United States of America. The trip has elicited controversy with the government saying it had not endorsed the trip.
However, two governors Dr Evans Kidero (Nairobi) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa) declined to take the trip generating rumours that they were supporting the Jubilee coalition of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.