News headlines December 21 2016

Another showdown looms in parliament tomorrow

Another showdown is looming in the National Assembly tomorrow between the Members of Parliament of the opposition and the rulling Jubilee coalition.
Just hours after the opposition Mps successfully blocked amendments to the Election Laws, speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has issued another notice of a special sitting tomorrow.
The main aim of the special sitting according to the gazette notice is to consider the Election Laws (Amendment Bill) and consideration of amendment Elections Act, 2011 and the Elections campaign Financing Act 2013 which is set to commence from the debate that was interrupted yesterday by opposition Mps.
“Pursuant to the provisions of standing order 29(3) of the standing order of the National Assembly, it is notified for the information of Members of the National Assembly and the general public that two special sittings of the Assembly shall be held in the National Assembly chamber main parliament on Thursday 22ndDecember commencing at 9:30 and 2:30pm and terminating at 1:00pm in the case of the morning session and not later than midnight in the case of the afternoon session for the purposes of transacting,re-commital of the whole House of the Election Laws(Amendment Bill) and consideration thereto to of amendment Elections Act,2011 and the Elections campaign Financing Act 2013 to commence from the debate interrupted on December 20,2016,” reads the notice signed by Muturi.
Other business set to be debated tomorrow is the third reading of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill.
During yesterday’s special sitting Speaker Justin Muturi was ultimately forced to adjourn debate at8.38pm after both sides failed to agree on whether the session was time barred or not. 
Cord Mps protested the extension of time, insisting that it was unprocedural to move debate past 6.30pm without notifying the Speaker half an hour before the time. 
Tempers flared in the National Assembly when Muturi ruled that he had the discretion to use standing order number 256 which gives him powers to extend debate time. 

Union officials to appear in court tomorrow after defying court order to return to work

 The Kenya Medical Practitioner, Pharmacist and Dentist Union official will tomorrow know their fate after the Labour relations court ruled that they should be punished for a contempt of court offense.
Labour Court Judge Hellen Wasilwa ruled that the officials are guilty of blatantly disobeying court orders after failed to resume duty as ordered by the court.
The court had on December 1st ordered the union to hold off the industrial action for 30 days to allow for negotiations, but doctors proceeded to stage picket on December 5.
While giving the ruling on an application by Council of Governors seeking punishment of doctors for holding the strike, the judge said that the court will not shy away with dealing with contempt, adding that the court has to safeguard the dignity of the law.
“Its apparent that the officials were aware of the orders and have blatantly disobeyed them. It’s essential that the rule of law is upheld at all times and the court will not condone disobedience of the law,” she ruled.
Governors want the doctors be jailed for three months or be fined for not calling off the strike as directed by the court.
The stipulated agreement states that on entry into the field a medical officer is expected to earn a gross salary of more than 300,000 shillings while the highest paid medical officer earning over 800,000 shillings.
However, the Council of Governors claims that the agreed demand, that was signed before the country was devolved, is outrageous and beyond the resource capacity reach of the devolved units.
This comes at time specialist in private hospitals have vowed to down their tools in solidarity with their public counterparts.

Jubilee aspirants express fear over fairness of Party primaries

 A faction of Nairobi Jubilee Party aspirants have expressed their fears of unfair party primaries as cracks continue to emerge after the just concluded party elections to elect interim officials.
Led by aspiring Starehe MP Stanley Gathogo, the hopefuls expressed their discontent in the manner the elections were held arguing that were inclined to favor the incumbent at the expense of locking out new aspirants.
They claimed that the campaign team led by Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and Women Representative Rachel Shebesh shared the slots among themselves locking out new aspirants to serve their own interest during the party primaries.
Read also: Keep off party nominations, IEBC warned
“We are not comfortable with the manner in which matters are conducted in our party. Incumbents are taking us for a ride and we appear to be playing a second fiddle. We are sure even the party primaries will be shambolic just like the election of interim officials,” said Gathogo who was accompanied by more than 30 hopefuls for various seats.
He said the campaign team was formed to spearhead the reelection of the president and not to sell their individual manifestos.
Similar sentiments were echoed by aspiring women representative Millicent Omanga who accused the Mania Kamanda led team of selfishness and exclusion while making decisions for the party.
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