NCCK Urges Government To Consider Public Opinion On Finance Bill

Religious leaders from the Nyanza Region have urged parliament to consider the sentiments and feedback from citizens when developing the Finance Bill 2024 to establish a financial and economic dispensation that enables citizens to engage in dignified livelihoods.

National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) Nyanza Region chairperson, Rev. John Mark Godia, commended the National Assembly’s Finance and Budget committee for extensive public participation in the Finance Bill 2024.

This, he says, underscores the importance of incorporating public opinion to ensure that the contested issues are addressed effectively and the enacted bill is people-driven.

Taking citizen engagement input seriously in the important process, Rev. Godia noted, fosters a sense of ownership and increases acceptance of the proposed tax system.

‘We urge the committee members to take the sentiments expressed by the citizens seriously. Our position remains that the Finance Bill 2024 should inspire hope, not one that brings frustration and
despair by increasing taxes,’ Rev. Godia stated.

The government is conducting public participation forums nationwide to gather public views on the proposed Finance Bill 2024. The bill seeks to introduce additional taxes as part of the government’s plan to raise Sh3.9 trillion for the financial year 2024/25.

He made the remarks during the induction workshop for officials elected to the NCCK County Coordinating Committees and the Regional Committee in the Nyanza Region, held on June 10-11 in Kisumu.

Additionally, the Council encouraged the government to work together with all segments of society, including the clerics, to promote unity within communities. They also called for collective efforts to tackle the pressing issues currently affecting the nation.

Rev Godia raised alarms about the deteriorating state of the healthcare sector in the region due to the shortage of medicines and the lingering effects of a prolonged doctors’ strike.

‘Quite devastating is that the church-owned and private health faciliti
es have been crippled as a result of the failure of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to remit the funds due to them. We call upon the Cabinet Secretary for Health to speedily address this matter, before transitioning from the NHIF to the Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF),’ he stated.

At the same time, he highlighted the delay in the release of school capitation funds and the recent strike by Junior School teachers, which disrupted the education of the young ones.

‘We call upon the Ministry of Education to ensure equality of all counties and schools concerning disbursement of the capitation funds. The Ministry needs to speedily address the strike by Junior School teachers since these learners are expected to do the same exams as the learners whose learning has not been interrupted,’ Rev Godia noted.

Source: Kenya News Agency

County Impeachment Bill Set For Publication

Kiambu Senate Speaker has approved for publication of a County Impeachment Bill that seeks to remove county officials.

This legislation strives to provide a direct framework and guidance for the removal from office of Governors, their deputies, County Executive Committee (CEC) and County Speakers in Kenya.

The bill has received its first nod from the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights, with a few recommendations and amendments

Kiambu Senator Karungo Wa Thang’wa, who tabled the bill expressed his excitement on the publication of his bill and stated that the public would now have an opportunity to provide their input once it is published.

‘I am excited to announce that the Speaker of the Senate has approved my County Impeachment Bill for publication and the public will now have the opportunity to provide their input and opinions after the bill is published,’ Karungo said.

Karungo emphasised that the bill aimed at addressing the lack of procedural safeguards guaranteed by Articles 4
7 and 50 of the Constitution, concerning fair administrative action.

He added that the bill would provide a fair hearing to the accused making it harder for the accused to be impeached on flimsy, emotional or purely political grounds.

‘The new law makes it harder to impeach anyone on flimsy, emotional, or purely political grounds. Instead, it provides a fair hearing to the accused, ensuring that due process is followed and the rights of all parties are protected,’ he said.

The Kiambu Senator also added that the bill would lead to transparency and accountability at the county level, and urged the public to take part in contributing their opinions once the bill is published.

‘I am confident that this bill will contribute to a more transparent and accountable system of governance at the county level. I look forward to the public’s engagement and the continued support of my fellow legislators as we work towards its enactment,’ he said

Prior to the introduction of the county impeachment bill, Kenya’s framewor
k for the removal of county officials was seen as inadequate and lacking in procedural safeguards.

Existing laws did not sufficiently address the need for fair administrative action as mandated by Articles 47 and 50 of the Kenyan Constitution. This often led to impeachments based on political, emotional, or insubstantial grounds, causing instability and perceived injustices at the county level.

The absence of a clear, structured process for impeachment created loopholes that could be exploited for political gains, undermining transparency and accountability in county governance.

This legislative gap highlighted the necessity for a more robust and equitable system, prompting the development and eventual introduction of the County Impeachment Bill by Senator Thang’wa.

Source: Kenya News Agency

UDA Party Holds Elections In Homa Bay County

UDA party delegates in Homa Bay County went to the polls Sunday to elect twenty officials to coordinate the party affairs in the county.

The Party concluded its grass root elections in Home Bay County as one of the strategies for battling ODM party in its stronghold.

The Party’s National Election Board representative Halakhe Dida said the election was free, fair and verifiable and would strengthen the party in the county.

The officials elected included County Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and other 17 officials.

Dida said the election was conducted peacefully and that a total of 159 delegates participated in the exercise.

He said they had a total of 44 candidates vying various positions in the election.

Dida said every delegate got an opportunity to cast their vote electronically and that there were no technical hitches experienced during the election.

‘The election has taken place in a peaceful environment and every delegate had an opportunity to cast their vote.’ Dida said.

He expressed optimism
that the conducive environment experienced during the voting exercise would enable the will of the people to prevail.

‘The transparency in the election will enable the majority to have their way and the minority to support the winners for the party to grow stronger,’ Dida said.

Jakakimba said UDA had put in place working systems to ensure it gains ground in the county.

Jakakimba who was vying the post of UDA secretary in the county said the stiff competition he was facing was an indicator that UDA had become strong in the county.

‘I am facing a stiff competition in this race because UDA is becoming stronger by the day. I urge Homa Bay residents to join UDA because the party leader, President William Ruto, means well for us,’ Jakakimba said.

Kennedy Obuya who vied for the party Chairmanship expressed confidence that UDA would register more than 300,000 members by 2027.

‘We are committed to undertaking membership registration and we are going to resume immediately after the elections,’ Obuya said.

e: Kenya News Agency

UDA Elects Leaders In Busia County

Maurice Chetambe has been elected as Busia County United Democratic Party (UDA) chairman.

Chetambe was declared the winner after garnering 85 votes out of the possible 90.

He was followed by his immediate opponent Maxmillah Ouma who garnered four votes and Victor Masombo with one vote. Ouma was declared as the Deputy Chairperson

Joyce Auki was declared Farmers’ Representative after scooping all the 90 votes leaving her immediate opponent Arunda Ochieng’ with no vote.

The position of representative of the professional group was awarded to Michael Juma who bagged all the 90 votes, leaving the three other opponents with no votes to take home.

Ronald Engurat was elected as a male youth representative while Benard Nandieki secured the post of the representative of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises.

Fredrick Oundo was elected as the Party’s branch treasurer while Stephen Buluma and the former Chief Officer for ICT Lydia Nabwire clinched the posts of Secretary and Deputy Secretary respectively.

The forum
also saw the election of various group’s representatives; Hawkins Ouma (Male Rep), Wilkister Pamba (Female Rep), Zilpa Bett Chepkemoi (Women Rep), Stephen Owalet (Religious Rep).

The results were announced by Busia County UDA Returning Officer Raphael Macharia who said that the process was smooth with 90 out of the 136 registered delegates turning out for the exercise.

In his address to the press during the close of the exercise, Macharia stated that the voter turnout stood at 66.1% adding that the new leadership would now embark on an active membership recruitment drive for the political party in preparation for the 2027 General elections.

Source: Kenya News Agency

PM Abiy’s Bilateral Talks with S. Korean President Will Deepen Historical Ties: GCS

Addis Ababa: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s recent bilateral discussion with South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol will further cement the historical friendship between the two countries, Minister of Government Communication Service (GCS), Legese Tullu said.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and First Lady Zinash Tayachew accompanied by a high-level delegation are in Seoul, South Korea for an official visit where they received a warm welcome on Sunday at the office of South Korean President.

Minister of Government Communication Service told the media that Ethiopia and South Korea share a long-standing historical friendship

According to the minister, this longstanding friendship has been marked by a significant contribution from Ethiopians to the independence of the Republic of Korea during the Korean War.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during his official working visit to Seoul, South Korea has actively engaged in various activities aimed at deepening this historical friendship.

As South Korea is one of the nations that
has achieved remarkable economic growth over the past five decades, Legese pointed out that Prime Minister Abiy expressed desire to take lessons from this country’s development model.

In this regard, ‘Premier Abiy said in his discussion with the President Yoon Suk Yeol how Ethiopia has to learn a lot from the experience of South Korea.’

Speaking on the economic aspect, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed briefed the president on Ethiopia’s enormous investment opportunities and how it is favorable for investors from South Korea to invest in various spheres, the minister explained.

The premier further urged investors from South Korea to seize the opportunities in Ethiopia by investing in agriculture, manufacturing and mining.

Republic of Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol said his country is determined to strengthen its cooperation with Ethiopia.

The president mentioned that the two countries have signed a financing framework agreement as part of the commitment to consolidate their economic ties.

The president also af
firmed his country’s steadfast commitment to enhancing cooperation with Ethiopia across various sectors, underscoring the dedication to bolstering bilateral ties.

The two leaders also thoroughly discussed ways on sharing South Korea’s practice in the field of agriculture, including rice development, with Ethiopia, Legese explained.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Stakeholder Representatives Emphasize Active Engagement in Consultations to Consolidate Nation Building

Addis Ababa: Representatives of various stakeholders who are participating at the agenda setting and consultative chapter in Addis Ababa stressed through active participation at the nationwide consultation, they are leaving a historic milestone to the nation building endeavours.

Political parties, representatives of institutions, associations, representatives from the three branches of the government i.e. the executive, the legislative and the judicial, as well as representatives of opinion leaders and other stakeholders are participating at the consultation.

There are 121 participants who represented various parts of the society in the capital city and are actively engaged in the agenda setting discussions, agenda gathering to organize and ultimately set city level agendas.

Some of the representatives who are participating at the agenda setting and consultative chapter told ENA about the need to active participation to determine the fate of the country.

They observed that the representatives adhered to t
he principles of democracy, respect, and listening to the views of various sections of the participants.

Retired Colonel Admasu Berhanu, who represented the former Army Support and Development Association, said that the consultations are a major historical departure to resolve differences be they economic, political and social settings in the country through dialogue.

“This means that I have made history at my age,” he said, expressing the benefits of participating in the consultation that determines the country’s fate,’ he said.

Teshale Sebro who is among the prominent figures participating at the consultation pointed out that the consultation ‘will address our decades-old problems’, anchoring the peace of the country on solid basis.

He added that participating at the agenda setting and consultative chapter to foster Ethiopia’s unity, reach national consensus and lasting peace and sustainable development are historical phenomenon.

Mohamed Abrar, representing Gurage Unity and Justice Party (GOGOT) said t
hat they have a consistent position that Ethiopia’s problems should be solved through dialogue.

According to him, his party will actively participate to exploit the opportunity provided by the consultations to find solutions to our problems through dialogue.

For her part, Zainba Shakur, a representative of the Addis Ababa Government Council, said that the consultation forum was conducted freely and transparently.

Commissioner Zige Asfaw, Commissioners of the Ethiopian National Dialogue, said that the stakeholders participation at the consultation will set the agendas and should continue their consultations to determine the fate of their country.

Recall that the Prime Minister Abiy called on all stakeholders to seize this opportunity and participate effectively to find solutions to the country’s challenges.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Youths Actively Participating In Agendas Setting Consultations in Addis, Say Participants

Addis Ababa: Youths who have taken roles in the agenda gathering consultative chapter in Addis Ababa have said they are actively participating in the efforts of sorting out city level agendas.

Representatives of various segments the society in Addis Ababa have conducted rigorous consultation on setting the agendas of the city as part of the participatory nationwide agenda gathering and consultative chapter.

Samson Gelaw who participated at the consultation chapter in Addis Ababa, representing Yeka sub-city youths told ENA that the processes of agenda gathering is participatory and being conducted in good faith.

As a result of conducive situation created by the National Dialogue Commission, we have presented agenda items transparently and without restriction, he said.

And for similar agenda setting and consultations which will follow elsewhere, he urged youths in different parts of the country to discharge their responsibilities for lasting peace in the country by presenting their agendas in civilized mann

The other youth Simegn Tibebu on her part said they are actively participating in the agenda gathering and consultative chapter.

She stressed that the process of nation building will be successful through dialogue and consultations and added that youths should recognize these essential values and actively participate in the agenda setting and consultative chapter.

Rahel Yinesu who Represented Arada Sub-city youths on her part stressed that nation building will be anchored on solid basis and peace be solidified if we disentangle ourselves from individualistic feelings and collectively rally behind nation building.

Especially we youths should work together and in unison to ensure the peace of the country, she said.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency