The People’s Shujaaz Awards 2015 are here with us for the second year running and it’s fulfilling to realize that indeed there are Kenyan politicians in Parliament who are working to represent their constituents and the general voter interests. In a country plagued with massive corruption, incompetent leaders and bad governance systems, we hardly take the time to notice when progressive contributions are made in the both the National Assembly and The Senate.
The focus on the negative political news that continues to saturate our traditional media and digital platforms has somewhat eclipsed and blocked us from taking notice of important legislation being discussed in Parliament and the parliamentarians championing these issues. In as much as we must keep the government on its toes when it comes to corruption and poor governance, we must not forget to highlight the good work by some of our politicians.
People’s Shujaaz Awards acknowledge the progress that the country is making when it comes to issues that affect majority of the public. It’s imperative that Kenyans realize that Parliamentary business as captured in bills presented and discussed as well committee reports, motions and petitions tabled in Parliament have short, medium and long time effects on the state of affairs in the country. Repercussions of some of these Bills can be felt immediately and do contribute to an improvement in the state of things.
For example in 2015 Kenya was ranked 108 out of 189 countries in World Bank’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business Report, up from position 129 last year. A number of Business Bills including; The Companies Bill 2015, Insolvency Bill 2015 and The Special Economic Zones Bill, 2015 can be linked to these improvements. In the Financial sector, The Budget Policy Statement, proposals made provisions for Treasury to ensure sufficient public participation during the budget making process and an increase in funding in the office of the auditor general for more effective output. The Excise Duty Bill contribution by calls for friendly excise tax rates, for instance by Ali Rasso Dido and The Supplementary Appropriations (No. 2) Bill 2015 proposes that money put under a particular agency, it should be spent by only that entity
Other sectors that saw impactful contributions include Health where devolved healthcare has been a cause of concern around the country. The Health Bill 2015 seconded by Naomi Shabaan seeks to revert the management of level 5 hospitals to the central government for improved efficiency and it also seeks have all doctors and nurses managed from a central point like teachers. The Mining Bill seeks to improve royalties collection in mining areas and reinvestment into communities in those areas. Other sectors that have seen impactful contributions include; Institutional Oversight, Mining, Access to Justice, Devolution, Education, Special Interests, Security, Progressive Contributions and Land.
Voting opened on 17th November 2015 and will run all the way till 9th December 2015 at midnight. To view a list of the nominees and to vote visit here.
You can also vote for your favourites via the SMS see the attached poster for details. (Poster details)