Thursday, December 09, 2004

Our Elected Leaders: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

The Good
Parliament passed the finance Bill yesterday, which means that it is finally illegal to issue a bouncing cheque. For years now MP’s, who are reputed to be repeat offenders, have resisted passing such a Bill (Standard 9/12 page 1)

The Bad
The Parliamentary Select Committee brushed aside Constitutional Affairs Minister Kiraitu Murungi’s opposition to the Bill and endorsed their own recommendations, which they will present to the Attorney general. The last year has shown the folly of crossing paths with Kiraitu – and it will only lead to delay in completion (if ever) of the very expensive new constitutional process. (Nation 9/12 page 2)

The (Very) Ugly: Ngilu’s sucker-punch
Late on the 2nd last day of the parliamentary year, while most of her cabinet opponents were settling down to plan their retreats and holidays, parliament unanimously passed Minister Charity Ngilu's controversial National Social Health Insurance Fund Bill. The Nation errs in using the word ‘unanimously’ because other reports indicate that there were only about 30, mostly opposition, MP’s in the house at the time of the debate and voting. However good or bad the bill will turn out to be next year, the fact that 30 non-working, non-taxed, wealthy people who will not pay for, or use, the new scheme can pass such a momentous Bill in the middle of the night defies logic.

Other Good and Bad Events

(Almost) Good
All top parastatal jobs will in future be advertised and open to competition, says Muthaura (yeah, right!)

Bad (Sign) – Somali Peace Plan in Jeopardy
A Somali minister and two deputies have resigned from the country's newly-formed transitional government. While the trio complained that the administration was too large and not representative enough, correspondents say they may have simply been unhappy with the jobs they were awarded in the new team.

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