Salary Review Commission to Move to Court to Block MP’s Retirement Package

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has vowed to move to court to block the send-off package if the President assents to it

Nation Sunday, October 7  2012

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has declared the hefty exit package that MPs have awarded themselves illegal and promised to consider moving to court to block it.

Commission chairperson Sarah Serem condemned the move saying it is unconstitutional.

She said such payments can only be effected by the Commission. “The decision by Parliament was therefore null and void and will be fought in the courts if necessary,” she said. (READ: MPs award themselves Sh2bn bonus in secret deal)

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission was established by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 with the mandate to set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State Officers and to advise the national and county governments on the remuneration and benefits of all other public officers.

The secret move has provoked outrage from Kenyans who have reacted angrily terming it selfish.

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution has also declared the package unlawful. The commission said changes made by MPs to the Finance Act sneaking in the hefty package was unconstitutional.

Its chairman Mr Charles Nyachae said the commission is ready to challenge the package if President Mwai Kibaki goes ahead to assent the Finance Bill into law to allow for implementation of the controversial package.

Each of the 222 MPs is set to receive a Sh9.3 million sendoff package as a result of the hush-hush manoeuvre by the MPs as the clock ticks to the next general election.

MPs on Thursday night sneaked amendments to the Finance Bill and overwhelmingly voted to award themselves the Sh2 billion gratuities at the end of their term.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende and Attorney-General Githu Muigai who are ex-officio members of Parliament—will take home Sh9.3 million at the end of their term that ends on January 15, 2013, if President Kibaki clears the package with a signature.

Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) Vice Chairman Adan Keynan introduced amendments to the National Assembly Remuneration Act pegging MPs severance allowance at the rate of 31 per cent of the gross remuneration payable to the legislators each month.

The severance pay includes the salary, constituency allowance, nominated members allowance, ex-officio members allowance, House allowance, extraneous allowance, transport allowance, entertainment allowance and vehicle fixed cost allowance.

The gross pay each member takes home every month is Sh851,000. MPs approved the amendment that was not listed in the Order Paper without any debate at about 8.40pm on Thursday night.

As a result, they will earn gratuity at 31 per cent of the salary for every year in service, in respect of the period up to August 26, 2010 and at the same rate after the promulgation of the new Constitution on August 27, 2010. Last year, the legislators amended the Finance Bill 2011 to increase their severance perks to Sh3.3 million each (Sh300,000 per month).

Civil society groups went to court to challenge the matter and a ruling is yet to be made.


MPs award themselves Sh2bn bonus in secret deal

Each of the 222 MPs will receive Sh9.3m in send-off perks as Kenyans prepare to pay higher taxes to foot bill

Nation October 5  2012

The higher perks, approved on Thursday night, however came about as Finance Minister Njeru Githae increased taxes to raise the money required to meet public servants’ demands for better salaries.

In the last-minute changes introduced in Parliament on Thursday night, each of the 222 MPs and House Speaker Kenneth Marende will take home a minimum package of Sh9.3 million on January 15 next year when their term expires.

Meanwhile, a 10 per cent Excise duty will now be levied on mobile money transfers such as M-Pesa, making the services more expensive. The services are run by banks, money transfer agencies and mobile phone companies.

The minister also raised taxes on beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks to Sh70 per litre – or 50 per cent of the ex-factory price – and on raw hides and skins destined for foreign markets in a bid to revive and improve local tanneries.

Mr Githae also has his eye on the money made in the data market – through cable, the Internet, fibre-optic and satellite – seeking to tax “gains or profits made from the business of transmitting messages”.

The mining industry will also pay more taxes after the House allowed Kenya Revenue Authority to tax proceeds from the sale of property or shares, more so for oil companies, or other firms involved in mining or mineral prospecting.

The vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), Mr Adan Keynan, sneaked in the amendments, as approved by the Finance minister, just moments before the House concluded putting final touches on the Finance Bill 2012.

Once assented to, the Finance Bill grants the taxman the licence to collect taxes in order to meet the government’s revenue targets as prescribed in the annual national budget.

Tellingly, the amendment was not in the Order Paper like the ones by the minister on raising taxes, and not all MPs had access to it even after it was tabled. There was no debate on the clause; it was just approved, unanimously.

The change will see the Treasury calculate the “severance allowance” at 31 per cent of MPs’ pay, including their hefty tax-free perks. The computation will be based on their basic pay of Sh200,000 and all allowances – except sitting allowance – amounting to Sh651,000.

The perks include house allowance, extraneous duty allowance, transport allowance, entertainment allowance, vehicle fixed cost allowance and constituency allowance. Each of the 12 nominated MPs also get an allowance; so do the two ex-officio members — the Speaker and the Attorney-General.

Second time in six months

This is the second time in less than six months that the lawmakers have raided the public coffers to line their pockets as they scrounge around in their brazen bid to raise money for the political campaigns ahead of the General Election.

On April 19, again in at dusk, they changed the law to raise the severance package – hitherto called “the winding-up allowance” – from Sh1.5 million to Sh3.72 million per MP. And just as then, this week’s Sh5.6 million addition was made through the Finance Bill.

The mischief of raising their perks through the Finance Bill ensures that MPs can do it at the eleventh hour, quietly, and since it has to do with taxes it is guaranteed that the President will have no option but to assent to it.

The law, once enacted, will see the MPs paid at 31 per cent of their Sh200,000 basic pay for every year in service until August 26, 2010 when the Constitution was promulgated. From then until the end of their term on January 15, 2013, the calculation will be based on a gross pay of Sh851,000.

Not surprisingly, the lawmakers are unbowed by the legal requirement to have the pay issue handled by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

They also approved changes to have all regulations by the Commission on Revenue Allocation and the SRC subjected to parliamentary approval, meaning they hold the trump card should the two regulators step in.

Mr Githae and the Finance Committee chairman, Mr Chris Okemo (Nambale), meanwhile agreed to shelve the plan to backdate the payment of taxes on MPs’ perks to June 15 this year, when the budget was read.

The minister had hoped to repeal the law that MPs have consistently relied on to shield their allowances from the taxman but they struck a deal on the floor of the House with the committee to have the law apply after the next General Election.

Kenya’s Constitution makes it irregular for a state officer to be exempted from paying tax, regardless of the office they hold.

The term of the current MPs expires on January 15, 2013. After negotiating with the Treasury, the PSC had already earmarked Sh500 million to cover the taxation of the MPs’ perks until the expiry of their term.

Bunge la Mwananchi: New Way to Push for Public Interests

Bunge la Mwananchi has become very influential. The Author indicates that there is very little women participartion in such bunges.

East African Standard, By Ken-Arthur Wekesa, 19 August 2012


One may dismiss them as idlers as they gather along City Hall Way, Nairobi, to discuss trending issues.

But on keen following of their proceedings, something is manifest: They are actively engaging in social, political, and economic discourses pertinent to the heart and soul of the public.

On this particular day, they interrogate the conduct of Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission officials over the controversial Biometric Voter Registration kits tender, suitability of presidential aspirants in line with Chapter Six of the Constitution, Transport Minister Amos Kimunya’s controversial cancellation of a multi-billion shilling airport tender among other issues.

So informed they are that they observe the sub judice principle of not discussing suspended Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza’s case, as it is a matter for the court’s adjudication.

Live debates

Their gatherings have adopted structures of the Legislature. They have a ‘Speaker’ who moderates the debate whose eye ‘MPs’ must capture to contribute.

There is also the ‘sergeant-at-arm’ whose work is to walk out unruly ‘MPs’ from the ‘House’. Indeed it is Bunge La Mwananchi (People’s Parliament).

It is not just restricted to Nairobi city, Bunge La Mwananchi has mushroomed in other parts of the country as well.

In Mombasa, there is one prominent gathering along the busy road that leads to Moi International Airport christened Bunge La Wazi Kwa Hola. There is also one near Eldoret post office, and another at the Kitale main bus station.

In Nakuru, there are a number of Bunge La Mwananchi assemblies near Telcom Building, Merica Hotel, Ogilgei Hotel, City Inn Butchery, and Utugi Club.

Similarly, there exists Bunge La Mwananchi in various spots in Kakamega town.

Joseph Magutt, a political scientist, says such gatherings are a clear indication that Kenyans are politically alert. “Kenyans are political animals if I have to borrow from the words of Aristotle, the philosopher. That is why they are actively engaged in the political processes to the extent that they hold Bunge La Mwananchi, borrowing from formal structures of the Legislature,” Magutt says.

He adds such assemblies indicate the moral maturity of the populace as they use their free time meaningfully. Mike Odhiambo, an avid member of Bunge La Mwananchi in Nakuru, says whereas sharp differences among members over an issue sometimes emerges, they are ironed ought amicably without raising a fist.

Edward Kisianga’ni of Kenyatta University says Bunge La Mwananchi is indeed a protest voice against the actual Legislature for the incurable transgressions like watering down the Integrity Bill.

“Whereas they don’t have the legislative capacity to influence policy, theirs is to decry the misrepresentation by elected leaders by sensitising their audiences and in a way, influencing those the electorate should vote for,” he says.

A check by The Standard in selected parts of the country on these alternatives to the official National Assembly indicates males predominantly attend such gatherings. Women are a handful if any, which brings into focus their involvement amid perceptions women, have historically been marginalised in political discourses.

“The solitary reason you find few women in informal gatherings discussing politics is because Kenya, like many African democracies, is a highly patriarchal society,” says Fibian Lukalo, a communication lecturer at Moi University.

Lukalo says the repeal of Section 2A of the old order, which had made Kenya a one party State is what has ostensibly informed the mushrooming of Bunge La Mwananchi.

He says women have historically engaged indirectly in the political process. She says: “It was Rosa Park’s decision not to give up her seat to a white person in a bus that catalysed the black movement cause against racial segregation in the US.”

Giant strides

Richard Bosire of the University of Nairobi says Bunge La Mwananchi illustrates the giant strides Kenya’s constitutional democracy has made in terms of political maturity. The don further observes that they are tools of civic education, as the moderators and conveners of such meetings are sources of information in themselves, having acquainted themselves with news and what is circulate in the social media.

On gender disparity, the don says whereas such informal gatherings are bereft of womenfolk, it does not mean they don’t sip from the cup of political engagement.

“There are more women registered pressure groups than those by men and it is through such that they wield influence,” says Dr Bosire who agrees with Dr Lukalo that women’s participation in political matters is sometimes indirect.

The content of their discussions vary from one gathering to the other. Geographical location, level of education of participants, ethnicity among other demographics influences the debate. In Nairobi, which is more cosmopolitan with more informed participants, there are debates of national issues compared to those in homogeneous settings where they debate local issues and sometimes in vernacular.

The fact that what Bunge La Mwananchi spends quality time discussing, including goofs of the political class, never influences policy begs the question of just how exactly they can be heard loud and clear.

Pundits say there are mechanisms thy can use to influence action from the policy makers.

“One of the ways to prompt higher action is to have Bunge La Mwananchi engage civil society groups whose activities are well structured. They may engage sitting MPs to sponsor a Bill on the floor of Parliament that resonates with their concerns.” says Magutt. Bosire agrees: “They ought to formalise their existence, liaise with pressure and lobby groups to get funding to bolster results.”

Challenges of decriminalising sex work

East Africa Standard By Beverline Ongaro June 5 2012

A Kenya National Commission on Human Rights report ‘Realising sexual and reproductive right; a reality or a myth’ had interesting findings and recommendations on sex workers that has unfortunately not generated debate it deserves; rather the focus especially, in the media has been on same-sex relations.

The report’s recommendations in relation to sex workers are a contradiction of some sort and will make eunuch the efforts to the safeguard of the dignity of sex workers. On one hand, the report recommends decriminalisation and regulation of voluntary sex work for men and women to make the practice safe for the sex workers and clients.

On the other hand, it calls for implementation of a counter-trafficking law to be implemented fully to eradicate instances of forced sex work.

The fact that these recommendations were made side by side demonstrates that there is no dialectical appreciation of how sex work and human trafficking for sexual exploitation are almost intrinsically linked. Human trafficking has become unfortunate social reality that is fuelled by sex work. This is on account it is not possible to fully regulate and ensure sex work is safe.

How feasible is it to differentiate forced and voluntary sex? Persons with licences to permit sex work within in their premises would just easily engage in human trafficking for sexual exploitation by stating that all women and men in their premises work there voluntary.

This leads to the question as to whether the booths should be installed with surveillance cameras including when sex workers are serving clients and hence raises the concern on right to privacy for both of them.

In other jurisdictions, notably Amsterdam with its ‘progressive’ laws have had to contend with these concerns especially after noting that sex work is purveyor to trafficking for sexual exploitation. Most of the workers had been trafficked and were abused even within booths with installed cameras.

And the demand side?

There were reported incidents of sex workers subjected to inhumane treatment. These forlorn states of affairs have been discussed by various stakeholders at international and regional levels. Notably culminating to a communiqué, “Global Efforts to Eradicate Violence and Discrimination against Women and Girls: A Discussion in Combating Sex Trafficking in Eastern Africa September 2009 in Nairobi” that was drawn by civil society organisations speared headed by Equality Nown.

The communiqué in line with singular observation and approach by human rights activists advocates for enactment and implementation of laws that criminalise the ‘customers’ to deal with the demand side of prostitution rather than simple blanket decriminalisation and regulation of prostitution. It would have been expected that Commission could have at least moved towards this direction.

Its quest for safe practice of sex workers will remain a Chimera for it failed to address how discrimination and inhumane treatment of sex workers is fuelled by the nomenclature-prostitution: the prevailing perception is that prostitutes evoke inhumane treatment towards them.

This invariably determines whether sex workers have access to reproductive health services from a society that perceives them as ignoble persons.

The report classified sex workers as sex minorities without analysing the plight of sex workers that would classify them as such. This makes the quest for freedom from discrimination and equality of sex worker to be pseudo- equality.

There is need to re-examine the plight of sex workers in prevailing local, regional and international settings, otherwise human rights abuses and violations will continue.

Standard 20th June: No one should be coerced into prostitution

There are some men and women who choose to work as sex workers. And there are those voices actively lobbying for Government to legalise it, ostensibly to “cut out the middlemen” to reduce slavery and child prostitution since all sex workers will be identifiable by the authorities. But that is not our focus today.

Those not forced into prostitution find themselves in the vice because they believe it is the only thing they have of value. They claim that they are the ones in control, or that it is a mere physical act.

That should not be confused with freedom of choice. It is a severe lack of self-esteem. Prostitution is heartbreaking and degrading, and is forced sexual slavery, for no right thinking individual wants to hawk their body.

In this regard, at the risk of being seen to be part of the enlightened lot that would like prostitution legalised, we shall defend the right of anyone to choose prostitution, but criminalise those forcing anyone into such bondage.

To avoid sub judice of a recent court case where a parent “leased out” her daughter to a paedophile, we can still cite daily reports of defilement of minors, and human trafficking for purposes of profit.

Our laws are clearly against these practices but as long as long as men are allowed to think they should access sexual services for the most competitive price they can negotiate, it will be hard to stamp out suppliers seeking to service this demand.

Debase their dignity

We must, however, draw the line where adults take advantage of children for self-gratification and in blatant disregard of their human rights, debase their dignity, leave them diseased, pregnant, out-of-school, bruised and psychologically traumatised.

Perhaps, legislation should be amended to hand out stiffer sentencing to offenders. Silence is akin to collusion and paints us as a morally deficient generation that could not stand up for the future citizens of this brave new world.

The degree law for Kenyan leaders is segregative: The president should not sign it

Muko Ochanda

The dream of this little angel matters alot. Thanks to the President and the PM the law was not signed at last. Find the story here and here. This move will ensure further deliberations that will lead to reasonable results for a majority of Kenyans.

The protection of the constitution can be done by all who can read it, understand and interprete it well. This can be done even with a keen form IV leaver. The law on representation based on degree requirements will make Kenyan leadership an oligarchy of the elites.

Here is an important question: Is there any scientific evidence that correlates university degree with better leadership acumen? If not then this  laws is just populist at best and adds no value to our national well being. Chapter 4 section 38 of the Kenyan constitution specifically sub section 3 provides that every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions — (a) to be registered as a voter; (b) to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum. Freedom of association on the other hand provides the right to assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition to all Kenyans. On political rights all Kenyans can be candidates for a public office, or office within a political party of which  the citizen is  a member and, if elected, to hold office. Chapter seven on the representation of the people only sets general guidelines for leadership and representation respecting the wider political playing field in Kenya. Please download the Kenyan constitution here.

The  constitution only mentions “unreasonable restrictions”. In this case an unreasonable restriction occurs when the legislature enacts laws that are segregative. For example introducing degrees in leadership is tantamounts to legislating infavour a minority and is ureasonable and unconstitutional. Have the politicians asked themselves what of if the political majority (the non degreed people) decide to reciprocate by refusing to vote because they have been segregated against? In trying to make this clause rosy these  controversial amendments on the elections Act 2012   give sitting MPs and Councillors a grace period of five years within which they must acquire the mandatory university degree. Their rivals however are not exempted from this requirement. The educational requirement (mandatory university degree) for political leaders aspirants in this case is segregative. People should not be forced to get degrees; in five years time or in any number of years. The electorate should always be given the power to decide who they want.

Too much education does not at all imply leadership abilities. We know for sure that it is much more easier for the children of wealthier people to get better education than their poor counterparts. In any case if this law will be passed then the Kenyan leadership will be going the bourgeous way. The real voice of Wanjiku the illiterate mama mboga,  and Mama Rhoda the local Busaa brewer and baba makaa and Mzee Mjengo  who are struggling so hard to make ends meet and all their descendants will not ever make it inside the Kenyan Parliament. Do these paople help in building the economy of Kenya? Are they in any way also contributing to paying the current MPs? If the answer is yes, then their aspirations should not be watered. In any case, we are bidding farewell to a parliament that has a wider representation from people of all classes, colours and sizes now. Whichever language is used to justify this law, cannot stand the test of  human rights fit as it makes some people more precious than others. Kenyans must rise up to reject this law, it is oppresive, segregative at best and it is against the poor people. All people are equal before the law and therefore they should have equal opportunities to participate in all political activities including those related to leadership and representation. The Kenyan citizenry should be allowed the chance to chose the  most preferred leader from competitive politics. If this law goes through the Kenyan people will be denied the opportunity of choosing some possibly good leaders because of the seggregative law.

Some of the best enterpreneurs in Kenya do not have degrees and many other people holding important responsibilities in our country. On the other hand if a “non-degreed” person outcompetes a “degreed person”, it is because he is smatter and understands the needs of the electorate better. If this person or any other for that matter does not do his or her job well, the electorate will punish him or her in the subsequent elections. There is evidence that the potential leaders in this class of  people, now blocked for good from the Kenyan Parliament are capable of doing better just as the “good leaders within the degree class” because they have the ability and are not taking anything for granted. They know that life is not a cup of tea for them and they take their responsibilities seriously. It is important to let the electorate have a bigger choice set in which to decide other than making impositions on them.  We also know that the intellectual class has always shuned politics looking for opportunities elsewhere.Now we are making a law that makes it easier for them, forgetting that all other people who have contributed to make Kenya the country it is today. This is a mistake. If the law favouring women representation had to be adjusted, there should be no special treatment to the academics. So this law should be returned to the parliament for the removal of this particular segregative clause that gives a few “political” advantages  at the expense of the rest of the society. Let Kenya be known as a land of opportunities for all its children.

I hope that the president will think of the majority and not legislate for a minority! The President should not sign this law! It’s against many people! Its against the poor and against the bill of rights enshrined in our constitution. The civil society should move with urgency to the constitutional courts to block this law. Please share this note if you agree with me.

Kenyan Women to Benefit from Leadership & Integrity Law

The Usawa Newsletter April Issue published by Gender and Governance found here

The Leadership and Integrity Bill which is being crafted by the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs is going to throw wide open opportunities for women into public leadership positions as it locks corrupt people who have perfected the art of bad leadership over the years.

The Bill which seeks to establish high standards for people to qualify into elective and public service leadership positions is going to lock out many individuals whose characters and integrity are questionable – most of whom have been responsible for entrenching corruption and impunity in the country through successive regimes since independence.

The law being crafted is supposed to see the implementation of Chapter Six of the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya 2012 which clearly stipulates the ethics and integrity thresholds of public holders most of which have dominated by men over the decades as women were relegated to play second fiddle.

It means that individuals who have been involved matters considered improper like facing criminal cases, stealing, any form of violence, sexual crimes, crimes against humanity, sexual crimes, abuse of office, corruption among many others will not be eligible to hold any public office as may be determined by the law.

Considering the fact that over the decades, most individuals whose ethics and integrities have been highly questionable and not above board, yet remained in public offices for many years without being relieved off their jobs, with the new law in force this will open the window of opportunity for women and men of integrity. According to the Permanent Secretary ministry of justice and constitutional affairs,  technocrats in his ministry are working on the round the clock to complete the Leadership and Integrity Bill 2012 in order to release it to the parliament for debate, also get public in-put to craft the law to ensure that it is place before the next general elections.

The PS  says it was the duty of all Kenyans and stakeholders to ensure that this law was in place and enforced so that people can elect only leaders whose integrity is above board including appopintment officers into public offices of high integrity.” Kibara says there should be strict implementation of Chapter Six of the constitution which deals with ethics and integrity of public officers. Any serving state officer facing serious charges in court must step aside immediately or be suspended from office pending the outcome of the case.

How embassy staff collude with cartels to con Kenyans

Ms Fatuma Athuman, 25, after she arrived in Kenya on January 11,2010 from Saudi Arabia with both hands broken by  her former employer.

Photo/FILE Ms Fatuma Athuman, 25, after she arrived in Kenya on January 11,2010 from Saudi Arabia with both hands broken by her former employer.

Posted  Sunday, March 25  2012 at  22:30

An international human trafficking ring is working with employees of some embassies in Kenya to recruit unsuspecting Kenyans into forced labour in the Middle East.

The cartel lures Kenyans by placing advertisements of well-paying job opportunities in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait in local newspapers.

Desperate young men and women, some of them university graduates, apply for the jobs, pay travel and contract processing fees only to end up as domestic workers and labourers.

The racketeers alternatively use their local agents to convince jobless youths to sign up for jobs abroad without following the required procedure.

All foreign employers are supposed to inform the Ministries of Labour and Foreign Affairs of vacancies in their countries before seeking applications from Kenyans.

In the recent past, scores of Kenyans have fallen prey to these crooks. Now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is warning jobseekers to beware of fake employment agencies.

The ministry wants all Kenyans seeking employment abroad to ensure their contracts are scrutinised by the Ministry of Labour and approved before taking up any offers.

It has also established a diaspora desk and wants Kenyans seeking jobs outside the country to register with it.

Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula, told Parliament early this month that some employees at the Saudi Arabia embassy were working with unlicensed recruitment agents to traffic Kenyans into forced labour.

“Sir, that problem actually involves a criminal network. We have engaged the Saudi ambassador in Kenya and he has advised us that, in fact, there are some members of staff at the embassy who work in cahoots with those crooked recruitment agents,” Mr Wetang’ula told a shocked Parliament.

The minister was responding to Lamu West MP Fahim Twaha, whose constituent Tashrifa Mohamed Said was found abandoned on the streets of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, without any documentation.

Mr Wetang’ula said Ms Said was a victim of dubious recruitment agents and the government was making plans to return her home.

Ms Said is just one of the many Kenyans who have in the past two months been subjected to untold suffering in the Middle East after being lured with promises of well-paying jobs that never were.

The minister said most of the victims were from Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Kinoo near Nairobi.

“They recruit young Kenyans, mainly girls, and collect very heavy commissions, take them to Saudi Arabia and dump them there in the hands of equally crooked employers who abuse those young Kenyans.

”We have said that any Kenyans going to work out there should report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leave their details there. They should also report at the embassy upon arrival,” he said.

 Mr Wetang’ula said the Ministry of Labour was signing agreements with countries in Middle East where Kenyans are seeking employment to protect them.

“The Minister for Labour recently signed an agreement with the government of the United Arab Emirates to regulate the working conditions of our nationals working there.

”Right now, I believe that the minister is in Qatar signing a similar agreement to also regulate the conditions of Kenyans working there,” he said.

And the US in its latest report on human trafficking says the government reported 236 investigations, 10 prosecutions, and six convictions of trafficking offenders, though only two of the convictions actually involved human trafficking offences.

The report adds that corruption among law enforcement authorities and other public officials continued to hamper efforts to bring traffickers to justice.

In certain regions, corrupt police, immigration, or labour officials were complicit, received bribes to overlook or provide lighter penalties for, or obstructed investigations of human trafficking.

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