Drought in Turkana: A Failure of Policy, Priorities & Planning

Posted by on 29th January 2014

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Last week the story below the impending drought/famine crisis in Turkana appeared in the press:

“The government has dispatched a team to survey the famine situation in Turkana County. The drought has affected at least 400,000 people. More than 35,000 children are out of school due to the drought. Most school children have dropped out to join their parents in the search for water and food…  the county government has sent out an appeal to humanitarian groups to come in aid of the starving families.”

It is no secret that Turkana is one of the country’s driest most food insecure regions. However despite the fact cyclical droughts in Turkana is common knowledge it seems that no sustainable plan has been put in place to mitigate the effects of the drought.

Even with the discovery of vast amounts of water in Turkana it appears that Turkana will suffer drought and famine yet again? Last year two underground aquifers, storing billions of litres of water were discovered in Turkana. The aquifers are estimated to hold enough water reserves to sustain, not only Turkana’s water consumption, but the whole of Kenya’s water consumption for the next 70 years as well.

There is little doubt that with the right policies the discovery of the water aquifers has the potential to change the lives and livelihoods of the people of Turkana County and the country as whole. So where are the policy makers, given the drought situation in Turkana is well known?

However for arguments sake let us say it is too soon to take advantage of the water in Turkana because the requisite infrastructure is yet to be put in place, and it  will be a while before the Turkana will be able to take advantage of the discovery of water. It is still ironic that people in one part of the country are currently suffering for lack of food, when the National Cereals and Produce turned away produce from farmers in a different part of the country.

At end of last year NTV reported that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) turned away farmers produce for lack of ways and means to the store the produce:

“Maize farmers in Uasin Gishu and Tranz Nzoia counties say they have nowhere to take their produce. The NCPB depots in Ziwa, Eldoret and Moi’s Bridge are not taking any maize, and the one in Moi’s Bridge in particular is our point of focus today. Hundreds of trucks have lined up at the depot for a week now, but they can’t deliver the maize, as the facility does not have fuel to dry their maize.”

However this may not be ironic as one thinks, as maize or the lack of maize, has been a subject of several scandals. A World Bank Report estimated that the country had lost nearly Kshs 1 billion in the maize scandal of 2009.

So drought and famine, in a region of the country that has the most water, and people in one section starving while NCBP turns away produce; failure of priorities, and policy?

On the Parliamentary Committee Report on the Westgate Attack

Posted by on 24th January 2014

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Since 2010, there have been at least 30 terrorist attacks in the country, with a majority of the attacks occurring post Kenya’s Somalia intervention. While in this light the Westgate attack was only one of many, it is that attack that has by far received the most international and national attention. Following it the National Assembly set up a Joint Committee to investigate and report on all matters surrounding the attack, as well as make recommendations on preventative measures and steps to be to improve the internal security.

Given the varying accounts of the terrorist attack in the media with regards to fatalities, causalities and even the number of the terrorists involved in the attack, one hopes the parliamentary report will shed some light not only the attack, but the on the structural and institutional failures that led up to it. 

The committee held a total of 20 meetings the summoning the National Intelligence Service, the Ministry of Interior, the Inspector General of Police, the Ministry of  Defence, the Department of the Immigration, the Departments of Refugee Affairs among others – to appear before it.

Approximately 3 months from its first sitting in September 2013 the committee has published its full report.

According to the report, 67 people were killed and 200 injured in the attack, 4 terrorists were shot and killed, 4 accomplices have been arraigned and 5 suspects remain at large, it is interesting to note that these numbers are at variance with the numbers in the press.

The report further highlights the fact that the country’s National Security machinery had received warnings regarding the impending attack, and notes the general laxity by the police over terror warnings.

It is interesting to note that while the Parliamentary reports a, “nationwide systemic failure on the part of the Immigration Services Department, Department of Refugee Affairs; and Registration of Persons Department attributed to corruption at the border control points and registration centres, mainly in Nairobi, Coast and North Eastern area,” it leaves out failures in national security bodies.

The report confirms what every Kenyan knows that Kenya is still susceptible to terror attacks. The Committee attributes this susceptibility to political factors, specifically Kenya’s relationship with the United States, porous borders, corruption particularly with regards to immigration, low levels of preparedness, proliferation of small and light weapons, youth radicalisation, and the refugee problem.

Recommendations the Parliamentary Committee makes in response, include a whole gamut of legislative, institutional and structural reforms including:

  • Declaring war against al Shabaab wherever they are. That the war against terrorism should be intensified within and outside the country.
  • Investigating lapses in the country’s security agencies
  • The establishment National Inter-Agency Co-ordination Center (Directorate of National Security) and well trained and well equipped Special Rapid Response Commandoes to respond to emergency situations
  • Radical surgery in the Department of Immigration Services. As well the holding the Department of Immigration Services, the Registration of Persons Department, the National Registration Bureau and the Department of Refugee Affairs accountable for compromising national security.
  • Repealing of the Refugee Act of 2006
  • Closure of Dadaab (Daghale, Ifo, Ifo II, Hagdera, Kambios) and Kakuma Refugee Camps and return of resident refugees repatriated to their country of origin
  • Fast tracking of the National Disaster Management Policy

The Report will be one of the issues before the National Assembly when it resumes sitting in February.

Find the full report here.

Of County Budgets, Priorities and Public Participation

Posted by on 20th January 2014

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Devolution is intended to bring services closer to the people. The county budget process is a big part of doing this as it is how the government, including the county governments, allocate scarce resources to various programmes and services. Under the Division of Revenue Act Ksh 210 billion was allocated to county budgets, Ksh190 billion in unconditional transfers, and Ksh 20 billion in conditional transfers.

To say that the last county budget process was messy is an understatement. Several counties almost missed the July deadline for submission of budget estimates, when the budget estimates were submitted they revealed skewed priorities.

  • Nairobi County set aside 462 million shillings to renovate county assembly representatives’ chambers, 100 million shillings for new vehicles, 172 million shillings for vehicle maintenance, 30 million shillings for transport allowances for county representatives. Sitting allowances were doubled to 160 million shillings
  • Nakuru County budgeted 40 million shillings  for the construction of the governor’s residence and an additional governor’s entertainment allowance of 33.5 million shillings
  • Kisumu County set aside 72 million shillings for a fleet of Toyota Prados for its executive committee members.
  • Homa Bay County earmarked 70 million shillings for vehicles and 2.5 million shillings for construction of a health fitness centre for the county’s executive committee members.

Though people expected start up costs associated with setting up of the county governments, most Kenyans were expecting that the set up costs would be weighed against development needs of the counties and a reasonable ground between development and recurrent costs set up. An audit report on county budgets from the Office of the Controller shows that county governments spent a majority of their budgets on recurrent expenditures e.g. salaries and allowances. According to the report more than half of the 47 did not spend a single cent on development during the quarter between July and September.

To rectify the above the Senate Committee on Devolution has announced that is currently in the process of legislating county budgets to ensure 70 per cent of the budget is reserved for development projects while the rest will cater for recurrent expenditure. But what is the role of citizens in ensure the county budgets reflect their priorities?

There are broad provisions for public participation in the county budgeting process both in the constitution and national law. Article 201(a) of the constitution requires openness, accountability and public participation in financial matters further the Public Finance Management Act, Section 125(2), demands that the County Executive Committees ensure there is public participation in the entire budget process. Despite these provisions the frameworks for participation are sketchy at best, not to mention that the budgeting processes can be daunting to most people.

The International Budget Partnership Kenya has created tools that can help the public ensure that the next budget cycle caters to their priorities i.e. health care, education, infrastructure and development 16 Key Questions About Your County Budget: A Tool for Reading and Understanding County Budgets and Learning By Doing: Toward Better County Budgets in 2014/15. Hold county governments accountable.

Three Laws to Watch Out for in 2014

Posted by on 15th January 2014

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Just before Christmas 2013 the President assented to 8 bills, it will be interesting to watch the implementation of the three laws below given their wide reaching effects on social justice, cohesion, and the freedom of the press respectively.

The National Social Security Act

Article 43 (1) of constitution entitles every citizen to social security and Article 43 (2) requires that the government, ‘provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependants.’

In line with these constitutional requirements the National Assembly passed the National Social Security Act in December. One of the more controversial clauses in the Act is the clause that aims to increase employees’ contribution to NSSF from 200 shillings to 6% of their monthly salary. Considering that Kenyan workers are some of the most taxed individuals it is unsurprising that the increased contribution was met with resistance despite the assurance that the implementation of the clause will be progressive. In the first year 2014, employers are expected to contribute 1.2 % of the employees pensionable salary, 2.4% next year, 3.6% the year after that, ramping up to 6% by 2018.

The increased contribution may not have been so problematic if contributors were assured that the fund would pay out when required to do so a valid concern considering the NSSF has been the subject of several corruption scandals. Just this week the Labour Cabinet Secretary asked that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate a section of NSSF board members following allegations of corruption. Last year the EACC froze Kshs. 14.3 billion that NSSF had invested in the stock market. Then there are the irregularities in the NSSF’s Kshs. 5 billion Tassia Project. With increased contribution it is hoped that there will be increased accountability.

The Media ACT

The Kenya Information Communication (Amendment) Bill (KICA Bill) better known as the Media Bill was and continues to remain controversial. The president refused to assent to the initial version of the bill passed by the National Assembly, and sent it back to the house. On 24th December the President assented to the revised version of the bill but it appears the controversial provisions of the law still remain.

The Bill establishes a Communications and Multimedia Tribunal that has the power to impose hefty and punitive fines on media houses and journalists. The Act allows for fines as high as Kshs. 20 million for media houses and Kshs. 500,000 for individual journalists. The Act also expands offences for which journalists and media houses can be punished and allows parliament to revise the journalists’ code of conduct as now forms part of the law.  The Act places the under the state controlled Communication Authority which calls into question the independence of the Tribunal.

While there are positives in the Act i.e. the promotion of locally created content, the more retrogressive clauses seem to contravene freedom of the press expressed in Articles 33 and 34 of the constitution. It will be interesting to see how the act affects freedom of the press.

The Truth Justice and Reconciliation (Amendment) ACT

The report of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission published in June 2013 not only implicated several high level government officials but also recommended their prosecution for alleged crimes.

Initially Parliament’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee gave members of Parliament (MPs) permission to debate the TJRC report, but also insisted that the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Amendment Bill prohibit MPs from altering the report.  In December last year the National Assembly voted to delete the prohibition, and permit the National Assembly to alter the content of the TJRC report and which leaves the door open for the National Assembly to remove mention of prominent persons from the report. Once parliament begins debating the report it will be interesting what alterations are made considering the report adversely mentions the President and his deputy.

Will the Real ‘Mzalendo’ Stand Up

Posted by on 26th September 2013

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Our Constitution states “All sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya …” and never has this been more evident than in the aftermath of the Westgate Mall terrorism incident on Saturday, 21 September 2013.

Kenyans took ownership of their country, not waiting for politicians to drive the agenda and shape the story.  We owned our flag, our city and our land. Adversity birthed brotherhood in Kenya, across tribe, race, class, religion and politics. No one could have envisioned this. Kenyans sang one song: #WeAreOne.

Unity indeed became our strength. We woke up to the truth that if one hurts, we all do.  It did not matter which part of the country one lived or hailed from. Kenyans abroad and within. Blood bound us together more than tribe ever could. We stood as one. Members of the human race. Service to our brothers and sisters became our earnest endeavour.

Cost was not in question. The Westgate attack was both personal and corporate. Our security forces willingly lay their lives on the line in service of the nation.  Voluntarily, we gave our blood, money, time, services and resources to the rescue and recovery endeavour.

In three days, the challenge was addressed. Kenya Red Cross raised Ksh 56,911,215 through M-Pesa from Kenyans to support their exemplary work the rescue and recovery response effort. Rare feats of statesmanship were evident across the political divide, as our politicians expressed the need for solidarity and pushed their differences aside to address the terrorism challenge at hand.

Kenyans rose to the task and ably honoured the lives of the 69 people who died, more than 1000 rescued and 175 injured.  Ordinary Kenyan citizens set the bar, on selflessness and service. Can our politicians follow suit?

What will it take to keep ordinary citizens engaged in civic action in their counties and nation at large – beyond just emotive giving borne of disaster, Harambees and chamas?Selfless contribution to nation-building through active engagement in county governance processes, strengthening political parties, taking ownership of state funds under the Uwezo and Constituency Development Funds (CDF), holding public servants accountable, scrutinising legislation and petitioning Parliament and much more.

Will the real ‘mzalendo’ stand up? What will you do?  Thoughts?

On the National Assembly’s Attempt to Redefine ‘State Officer’ to Exclude MPs

Posted by on 17th September 2013

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Since the promulgation of the constitution three issues have been particularly contentious, and more for Parliamentarians than for the public. These are the issues of MPs salaries, MPs paying taxes, and the standard of leadership and integrity required of state officers. While the public have pushed for a following of the constitution with regard to these issues, the National Assembly seems to be pulling in the opposite direction.

Yet the constitution is clear on these issues: Chapter 6 sets the bar for leadership and integrity for State Officers.

With regards to taxation of members of the National Assembly the constitution requires all State Officers to pay taxes stating, “no law may exclude or authorise the exclusion of a State Officer from payment of tax Article 210 (3).

On the MPs salaries, Article 230 (4) (a) of the constitution removes from the members of the National Assembly the mandate of setting their own salaries and transfers it to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC); requiring the SRC “to set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State officers.

Members of parliament in both this and last administration have fought and continue to fight these requirements. The last parliament watered down the standards of leadership and integrity in the Leadership and Integrity Act and the current National Assembly refused to adhere to the new salary scale set by the SRC.

Most recently Ruaraka MP, Otieno Kajawang, has introduced a bill to amend the constitution to exclude Parliamentarians from the constitutional definition of State Officers.

One wonders if this will mean that MPs will no longer be constitutionally bound by the requirements of leadership and integrity that applies to state officers. Will they be free from the provision that requires all state officers to pay tax? And will Parliamentarians be able to set their own salaries? Seeing as they will no longer be defined as State Officers

The Preamble to the bill states that the, “bill is informed by the need to uphold the doctrine of separation of powers between the various arms of government [the Legislature, Judiciary, and Executive]…by including all the officers of these three arms of government under the definition of State Office, it compromises their independence.”

This logic is flawed on several levels firstly all the above are State Officers i.e. they perform functions of the State, secondly I am sure the public can easily differentiate by title which State Officer belongs to which State Organ. It is highly unlikely that a member of public will mistake a member of parliament for belonging to the Judiciary, or a member of the Judiciary, say a Judge, for belonging to the Legislature. Finally it is difficult to see how calling State-Officers by the name that relates to their function compromises their independence.

The above not withstanding there exists wider questions with regards to what the passage of such a bill would mean for supremacy of the constitution and what this means for the future of the constitutional implementation.

If Members of the National Assembly do not like provisions of the constitution will they just make legislation to make the provisions null and void?

On Violence Against Women in Public Office

Posted by on 13th September 2013

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Last week an article appeared in the Standard Newspaper in which the author Pravin Bowry wrote, “Gender equality amongst the emancipated women in Kenya and the world over is a mantra sung repeatedly. But in Kenya, there is under the Constitution — the National Gender and Equality Commission — yet there are disturbing indicators that women’s rights are only a myth.”

Last week’s assault of Nairobi Women’s Representative, Rachel Shebesh, by Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero, was illustrative of this point. And this is not the first time a high level State Officer has assaulted a woman colleague nor is it an instance of a single isolated incident.

In June this year on the floor of the National Assembly during the debate on the one-laptop per-child project Suna West MP, Joseph Odege, shouted at female colleagues to shut up; and during the same session poured a glass of water on a fellow female MP and slapped MP Sarah Korore.

Last week, Senator Gideon Mbuvi (aka Mike Sonko) verbally assaulted radio personality Caroline Mutoko, during a radio programme to which he called in and then was unable to answer a question regarding sustainable solutions for those he represents.

That the prevalent public narrative around the assault of the Nairobi Women’s Representative by the Governor, seems to be the – ‘she must have done something to provoke him,’ or that, ‘she went too far’ or is ‘too aggressive’ narrative – is worrying as it speaks to society’s (men and women) acceptance violence as viable method to control female behaviour and justifies female subordination.

While all these incidences have been caught on one form or another of media and there is evidence to prove what happened in all cases there has been resounding silence from the government.

Kenya has several laws that prohibit violence against women i.e. the constitution and several international instruments that promote the rights of women and call for an end of violence against. The constitution also makes provision for equality, affirmative action and obligates the state to take measures to increase women’s participation in political leadership.

However the government’s silence on the incidence on violence carried out by state officials negates these laws and raises issues of accountability, and the government’s commitment to  gender equality. The states ambivalence and inaction against its own officers will allow such violence to continue.

I could was lyrical about the National Assembly being the house that patriarchy built I won’t. It is however evident that structural and institutional change is needed to ensure women are recognized as equal citizens in line with the provisions of the constitution. In the meantime where is the National Gender and Equality Commission?

 

On the VAT Act 2013

Posted by on 11th September 2013

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Last month the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury, Henry Rotich, stated that there was no cause for alarm over the new Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill. The Cabinet Sectary also stated that the new bill would only revise the list of goods exempted from tax, and was not intended to hurt mwananchi, similar assurances were given by the Deputy President. However it is clear since the Act became operational on 2nd September, that this is not the case.

The VAT Act imposed a 16 percent tax on essential goods and services that had been zero-rated. Under the Act previously zero-rated goods which became taxable at 16 per cent include milk, maize and wheat flour, bread, sanitary towels, medical dressing and plasters. Some of the zero rated services that became taxable at 16 percent are electricity and water.

Proponents of the new VAT Act argue that it will increase the government’s revenue, in his budget speech the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury stated that VAT reforms including revision of the list of VAT exempt goods would afford the National Government Sh10 billion more monthly. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has also argued that the new VAT bill will increase tax compliance, the logic being because everyone is taxed at every transaction VAT is able to capture more revenue and also revenue that had previously been missed.

While the VAT may increase government revenue, something that still needs to seen, it does so by reducing the number of goods and services of both the exempt and zero-rated items. The thing is a number of these goods and services are essential milk, water, bread, maize flour, medical dressing, transport, while 16 per cent may not seem like it puts several of these essential goods and services out of the reach of many Kenyans.

In addition VAT on previously zero rated items will negatively affect poor Kenyans. Yes everyone will be charged 16 percent VAT on every transaction; however this tax has more of a negative effect on someone earning 30,000 shillings a month, than someone earning 1 million shillings a month.

So while there is no question that the government does need to increase its revenue. Is the VAT Act the best way to do considering regressive disproportionately affects the poor? And what happened to the promise that the VAT Act would not hurt mwananchi?

On the National Assembly’s Motion to Withdraw from the ICC

Posted by on 9th September 2013

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Earlier in the year while attending his pretrial hearing the Deputy President, William Ruto, stated, “the new Kenyan administration … will cooperate with the court, because President Kenyatta and myself believe in the rule of law.” The President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has also made similar promises to cooperate with the ICC. There is also Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Kenya and the Court in 2010.

However a few days to the start of the Deputy President’s trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the National Assembly has approved a motion to begin Kenya’s pull out from the Rome Statute. Many would argue that the motion brought by the Leader of the Majority, Aden Duale, was inevitable considering that both this and the previous administration have spent considerable time and state resources to get the trial stopped, postpone or get them moved.

If Kenya successfully pulls out of the Rome Statue, along with being the first country to have ICC indictees elected to office, it will become the first country to pull out of the ICC. However even if Kenya withdraws from the Rome Statute the cases against President and Deputy President will proceed as scheduled (the Deputy President’s trial will begin in later this month and the President’s trial will begin in November). Under article 127 of the Rome Statute, withdrawal from the treaty would not suspend judicial proceedings that began before the date of withdrawal.

Further under international law Kenya would still be required to cooperate with the ICC on obligations that arose while Kenya was still party to the Rome Statute. However from the emergency parliamentary session held on Thursday last week it is clear that the State has little or no intention of cooperating with ICC in the ongoing trials after it pulls out from the Rome Statute. The original motion contained the phrase stating that Kenya would “suspend any links, co-operation and assistance” with/to the ICC, the phrase as was later deleted from the motion.

Now that the motion to withdraw from the ICC has been passed by the National Assembly, the relevant government offices are probably in the process of drafting a bill to facilitate Kenya’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute. The bill will be debated in parliament and if passed, the bill will be forwarded to the President for his assent.

It will be interesting to see whether or not the President will assent to a bill to withdraw from the Rome Statute given the conflict of interest issues, previous promises to cooperate with the court and the fact a bill to withdraw would not stop on going proceedings at the Hague.

Jubilee’s Govt’s first 100 days in Office a Statement from MP Aden Duale (Leader of the Majority)

Posted by on 4th July 2013

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During its campaigns the Jubilee coalition made several promises, the most famous being the one-laptop per child project. However the Jubilee government also made promises with regards to security, maternal health care and youth unemployment among a whole gamut of other promises.

A few weeks ago the MP for Rarieda, Nicholas Gumbo, sought a statement on the progress of the programmes and promises made by the Jubilee Government. The specific promises he wanted addressed were: the provision of security services, the one laptop per child programme, and the rollout of the free maternity service in all public hospitals.

These seem to be the most controversial promises given the countries shortage of finances and the practicality implementing these promises; the laptop project especially seems like a white elephant considering the government cannot at the moment seem to adequately remunerate teachers.

Last week Wednesday the Leader of Majority, MP Aden Duale, gave a statement on the progress that the Jubilee government has made on its promises within its first 100 days in office, below are some excerpts from his statement:

On Security, the Leader of the Majority stated that there had,been an improvement on the state of security in our country over the last 60 days,” and that, “the crime rate in the country has gone down by 14 per cent in the last five months.” He did admit however that the country continues to face major security threats from organised criminal groups, including Al Shabaab, Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) and Mungiki.

Budget wise in its first 100 the Jubilee government has allocated Kshs. 67 billion shillings to security in the next fiscal year. The government has also transferred security personnel who overstayed insecurity-prone areas and deployed additional security personnel to contain emerging areas of insecurity. There has also been a move to prioritise the repatriation of Somali refugees from Kenya to Somalia.

On the Lap-tops, MP Aden Duale, stated that within its first 100 days the Jubilee government through the Ministry of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has put in place a strategy for the implementation of the project which includes development of the technical specifications for the computers to be procured for schools and testing the machines to ensure they actually work (important after the BVR kit debacle which cost the country billions). The government has also put in place a steering technical committee to deal with the development of infrastructure and electricity for power provision, creation digital content, capacity building and, the procurement process around laptops.

The promise, on Free Maternal Health Care at Public Hospitals was effected on June 1st this year. According to Aden Duale’s statement, “the free maternity initiative of the Jubilee Government is being implemented in 293 hospitals and in all the 372 health centres across the country,” and the government expects, “that upon implementation of the initiative, the health facilities will experience a 15 per cent in service utilization.” Budget-wise, “Kshs. 1 billion has been provided for free maternal health care in the Revised Estimates of the Budget for 2013/2014, another Kshs. 4 billion has been provided for in the Budget of 2013/2014 for reimbursement to facilities for free deliveries and Kshs.3.6 billion has been provided for in 2013/2014 Financial year to recruit additional health workers and another Kshs. 1 billion for equipment for all the health centres under this programme.”

With regards to Youth Unemployment, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Services, developed the National Employment Policy and Strategy for Kenya, this was forwarded to parliament last month. According to the leader of MP Aden Duale, “The policy proposes to address the issue of youth unemployment by developing employment programmes for youth with different skills levels.” This includes the development of a national internship policy to promote acquisition of practical skills and work experience to the relevant labour market; Creation of awareness to change the perception by the society and youth towards informal sports, agriculture and creative industries to promote job creation for the young people.

Budget -wise the government intends to restructure both the youth fund and the CDF to cater for these initiatives and has allocated Kshs.6 billion to these initiatives this financial year.

The Statement made by the Leader of the Majority paints a decidedly favourable picture of the Jubilee government’s achievements in its 100 days. The statement fails to mention that also within the first 100 days of the Jubilee government there have been several strikes by government employees most recently the teachers. There have been several protests by the populace first against the increase of salaries of members of the National Assembly, secondly against the VAT bill. There seems to have been a systematic a undermining of independent commissions most recently the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. In addition the devolution process continues to come under threat as national government and the newly devolved institutions buttheads over which institution should do what….and the list continues.

What is your take of the Jubilee governments first 100 days in office?

Read full statement here