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Mzalendo.com – A new face of Mzalendo launched in Kenya

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Yesterday a new face of Mzalendo.com was launched. The new Mzalendo.com  has  detailed information about Kenyans  Members of Parliament. Among others ,there are  detailed info on the MPS profiles, a searchable Hansard, scorecards and?vital statistics  of most? counties?and  constituencies.

For ac ountry where MPs say one thing today and do completely the opposite the following day, this a welcome developement.  Kenyans now have a chance to  scrutinise the MPs speeches in Parliament ?as  documented in the Hansard.  Mzalendo does not make any commentary on the Hansard but, presents it in a user friendly, searchable format and makes the  entries available under every Member of Parliament’s (MPs) profile.

And already you can see the MPS trying to reach out to their constituents through Social Media .  According  to Mzalendo data so far, only, 47 current MPs are on Facebook, 20 on twitter and 19 have  websites.

I like the scorecards component of the site. According to Conrad Akunga, one of the Mzalendo co?founders

We  have also created three MP scorecards to allow citizens to make value judgements about MPs performance based on their accessibility, their Hansard appearances and Constituency Development  Fund  (CDF) spending. To make a difference in Kenya, we had to create context relevant score cards, since parliamentary attendance and voting records are often inaccessible.

Any Kenyan can access the website?through?their?computer?or?mobile?phone?and?find?out information about their MP or constituency by simply clicking or keying in the name. The website easily loads and fits to the screen of which ever internet device one may use.  Mzalendo could be the best tool ever for  Kenyans as  to track issues of importance to them .

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Mzalendo (‘Patriot’ in Swahili) is a non-partisan project started in 2003 whose mission is to ‘keep an eye on the Kenyan parliament.’ Mzalendo site seeks to promote greater public voice and enhance public participation in politics by providing relevant information about the National Assembly’s activities, MPs, and aspirants ahead of the 2012 elections.

In 2010 The Omidyar Network awarded funding to mySociety to provide technical and administrative support to Mzalendo to help relaunch the site, drawing upon their experience in building sites such as TheyWorkForYou.

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Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com



Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.


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