Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motions:- AMENDMENT OF THE REGISTRATION OF PERSONS ACT THAT, taking into consideration the widespread poverty in the country, aware that many Kenyans aged 18 years and above are unable to obtain identity cards due to lack of money, considering that an identity card is a basic requirement for all Kenyans; this House do grant leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Registration of Persons Act in order to allow all Kenyans on attainment of the age of 18 years to be registered without paying any fees, and those who have attained the mandatory age but have not been registered due to financial constraints to be allowed to do so free of charge. ACQUISITION OF LAND OWNED BY ABSENTEE LANDLORDS THAT, in view of the chronic problems of landlessness in the country and especially in the Coast Province; and cognizant of the fact that large tracts of land are owned by absentee landlords, this House urges the Government to urgently take all measures necessary to acquire the said land from absentee landlords and distribute it to squatters already residing within the land and in neighbouring villages. INTRODUCTION OF CASHEWNUT BILL THAT, aware that cashewnut farming is an important farming activity at the Coast, considering the fact that farmers are facing a lot of problems due to the lack of comprehensive legislation to regulate farming, processing and the marketing of the product; cognizant of the fact that farmers continue to destroy cashewnut trees because of low prices and frustrations as a result of infiltration into the industry by unscrupulous middlemen, this House do grant leave to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament 326 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 to be called the Cashewnut Act to streamline the industry and provide economic safeguards to farmers in the region. INTRODUCTION OF COCONUT BILL THAT, aware that coconut tree with its multiple uses has not been fully exploited for the benefit of farmers and the country, considering that the Coconut Industry Act, which was enacted in 1948 and last amended in 1964 is now obsolete and no longer responsive to the economic needs of the people of the region, bearing in mind the need to fully exploit the industry so as to reap maximum benefits for the farmers and the country, this House do grant leave to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament to repeal the Coconut Industry Act and replace the same with the Coconut Development Act to ensure full exploitation of the coconut tree and its by- products. AMENDMENT OF THE DISTRICTS AND PROVINCES ACT
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, in view of the fact that there are 74 districts in the country which are currently operational; aware that these districts are catered for in the national Budget through financial allocations and cognizant of the fact that out of the said 74 districts, only 46 are officially gazetted, this House do grant leave for the introduction of a Bill for an Act of Parliament to amend the Districts and Provinces Act, 1992, to validate the 28 non-gazetted districts.
to ask the Minister for Energy: (a) Under what circumstances has the Government approved take-over by KenGen of ownership and management of hydro-power generation plants from the respective development authorities which were constituted expressly for that purpose in their areas of jurisdiction? (b) Could the Minister rescind the decision in (a) above, and leave the power generation function with the respective development authorities namely, TARDA, KVDA and LBDA to save them from collapse?
Mr. Marende not here? Mr. Marende is absent and, therefore, the Question is dropped.
MEASURES TO HARVEST April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 327 OVER-MATURE CANE AT SONY SUGAR COMPANY
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that there is excess and over-mature cane grown by farmers for South Nyanza Sugar Company Ltd? (b) What is he doing to ensure the cane is harvested and farmers are paid promptly?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have consulted with the hon. Member because the answer I got is not adequate for the purpose of answering this Question. I beg the House to allow me up to next week when I will give a satisfactory answer.
Is that all right, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko?
I have no objection, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Very well! The Question will be deferred until Tuesday next week.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) under what circumstances Mr. Chirunga Juma of Gandini Location, Kinango Division, Kwale District, met his death on 2nd July, 2005; and, (b) what measures he is taking to ensure the investigations on his death are completed and culprits apprehended.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have enough copies of the written reply and I beg to be excused. I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Mr. Chirunga Juma of Gandini Location, Kinango Division, Kwale District, was killed after an attack by unknown people. The incident occurred while the deceased was guarding his cassava shamba in the company of his wife, Mrs. Beyo Chitipo, on the night of 2nd March, 2005. The post-mortem report confirmed that he died of severe bleeding. (b) An inquest file No. 1 of 2005 was opened to assist in the investigations. Two people were arrested immediately but were released for lack of sufficient evidence to link them with the crime. So far, six people have already recorded statements with the police. The file is still open and the police are still appealing to anybody with information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of that crime to volunteer it. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Chirunga met his death due to a land dispute which was not resolved. On 28th June, he had been summoned before the DO, but a solution was not found, only for some of the people who had actually reported this matter to the DO to tell him that he will be finished. It is almost eight months since Mr. Chirunga lost his life and nobody has been arrested. Nobody has been arrested because they are just going round the issue and yet they know the cause of death. They are just saying that an inquest file has been opened. Could the Assistant 328 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 Minister tell us whether these people, who had reported this matter to the DO, have recorded statements with the police?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the two suspects who were initially arrested were Mr. Ngua Kajimbi and Ali Simba. The police could not find further evidence, to link them to the crime of murder. We only effect arrest and charge, if there is sufficient evidence to sustain a charge of murder. I appreciate that there could have been a land dispute. I would appeal to the hon. Member that all those people who seem to have some evidence to link anybody to the murder, even if it is circumstantial evidence, will be most welcome to record statements. So far, we have received six statements but they are not enough to sustain a charge of murder. The file is open for further evidence.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is now eight months since the death of Mr. Gandini. Suspicion is usually aroused when a person is killed and no action is taken. Why have the police not commenced the inquest so that those six possible witnesses who have recorded statements can give evidence? The inquest can then arrive at a ruling so that the file can either be closed or certain people can be charged with an offence after the inquest.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in response to part "b" of the Question, I said that an inquest file No.1 of 2005 has been opened. An inquest is normally carried out where the cause of death and the suspects are not known. Even if we were to commence the inquest tomorrow and the suspects are known, we will not have advanced our case very far. The only eyewitness to this murders is the wife of the deceased. They were just the two of them in the
If there is any other evidence that could assist, we are willing to proceed with the inquest so that the culprits can be brought to book.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are very many unresolved murders in this country. Could the Assistant Minister assure this House that his department has got enough investigative capacity, to deal with the rising cases of murder in this country?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one way of enhancing capacity, in terms of tracking down suspects, is our new policy on community policing. The members of the public should be in partnership with the law enforcement agencies to assist in tracking down suspects. We have enough personnel so far, but the police depend very much on the members of public who bring information on crime.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, among the people who have recorded statements, I do not know whether one Ali Kaima, who was the chief suspect in this particular murder has already recorded a statement. The widow of the deceased gave four names to the police and up to now, we do not know whether any action has been taken or whether these people have recorded statements. These people are Ali Kaima, Nduya Saibi, Ndegwa Juma and Kaema Saidi.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have received statements from six people, but they are not necessarily suspects. They are witnesses who might be useful in tracking down the suspects. The suspects were actually two; that is Nguva Kajimbi and Ali Singwa. We could not get sufficient evidence to sustain a charge against them.
asked the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) what legal arrangements are currently in place with regard to contract April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 329 farming in the country to safeguard the contracting parties from exploitation; and, (b) which crops have cases of contract farming.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) There is enabling legislation for certain crops, for example, sugar-cane, that provide guidelines within which contracting parties are supposed to negotiate. (b) The crops for which there are cases of contract farming are; sugar-cane, barley, horticultural crops and wheat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Minister for the answer. There have been cases of the contracting parties having serious problems when they enter into contracts with one another. The would-be buyer normally supplies the inputs and promises to buy the commodities. As a result, the farmer also promises to sell the commodities to the other contracting party. In some cases, farmers end up selling the commodity to another person instead of the contracting party who supplied the inputs. Sometimes the contracting parties do not buy the commodities from the farmers in good time, for example, in the case of sugar-cane. As a result, the crop over-matures, the farmer loses---
Ask your question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the process, the farmers lose while interest accumulates. What measures does the Ministry have in place to safeguard the contracting parties under such circumstances, so that either of them do not lose?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the case of sugar-cane which the hon. Member has just referred to, under the Sugar-cane Act, it is mandatory that farmers are paid within a certain number of days on delivery. This is something that we are stipulating. We are already adhering to that so far.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad that the Minister is referring to the Sugar-cane Act of 2001. There are provisions in the same Act which stipulate that the cane will be weighed on the farms. Could he confirm to this House that, that is the case today?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Bill that is likely to be brought before the House in due course will remove that provision because it is not practical to weigh all the cane on the farm.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you heard the Minister say that they have complied by paying farmers in time and that nothing is owed to the farmers. I am aware that farmers of South Nyanza Sugar Company (SONY) are owed Kshs200 million and that the company is in arrears for a period of about four months. Could the Minister confirm or deny whether that is correct?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can confirm that farmers in SONY Sugar Factory are owed Kshs171 million. I inherited those arrears when I took over the Ministry. I have given instructions that those arrears be cleared forthwith.
Last question, Prof. Olweny!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the Minister has indicated, there are several crops which fall under contract farming. But people who did not contract the farmers, and those who did, have fought several battles and engaged in tugs-of-war over some crops. A good example is tobacco where there is a tug of war between Mastermind and British American Tobacco (BAT). BAT buys tobacco from farmers contracted by Mastermind and vice-versa. What action can the Government take against BAT if it buys tobacco from farmers contracted by Mastermind and vice- versa? That is what I wanted the Minister to clarify to.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are no specific provisions in law to deal with some of those cases. That is why I have constituted a team to work on one umbrella legislation, keeping in mind some of those considerations expressed by my colleague. 330 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006
Next Question by the hon. Member for Tigania East, Mr. Munya!
asked the Minister for Information and Communications:- (a) whether he is aware that Tigania Central Division is served by a manual telephone exchange; (b) whether he is further aware that Karama Market has no public telephone booth; and, (c) what urgent measures he is taking to install a Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) facility and a public telephone booth in Mikinduri Telephone Exchange Office and Karama Market, respectively.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that Tigania Central Division is currently served by a manual exchange located at Mikinduri Market, which is connected to Meru Automatic Exchange. (b) I am also aware that Karama Market has no telephone service. The market could not have been served from Kianjai Automatic Exchange because of the distance; nor could it have been served from Kangeta Manual Exchange due to transmission limitations. (c) Telkom Kenya is taking urgent measures to serve Mikinduri and Karama Markets from Nyambene Hills using Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), which is a wireless technology in the rural telecommunication development project, whose engineering survey has just been completed. Once served, the markets will enjoy STD telephone facilities, fax, data and internet access services. The project is expected to be completed within the next 12 months. As for public booths, the technology that we intend to use to provide services in those areas will enable small businesses to set up their own pay-phones such as simu ya jamii . It is not in the interest of Telkom Kenya to compete with small enterprises in retail telephone services.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the people of Karama are not asking the Assistant Minister to compete with small-scale enterprises. They need a public booth because of insecurity. When a crime occurs, they are unable to report because of lack of telephone services. Could the Assistant Minister explain why the market was "jumped" when they were installing the facilities in Kianjai and Kangeta? It is situated in the middle of Kianjai and Kangeta!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I cannot explain why the market was "jumped"! But from the answer I gave to part (b), the two towns were far apart. That is why telephone services could not be extended. As for the supply of booths, Telkom Kenya is changing its system of doing business. It is going to do business the same way Safaricom and Celtel are doing. Running of booths will be done by individuals acting as dealers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister enlighten the House on whether that ancient first generation equipment in that place is in any other places in Kenya today? Should it not be in museums?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not get the question. Could he repeat?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am asking whether that first generation equipment that needs a human being to connect you still exists in this country, apart from Meru. Should it not be in museums? April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 331
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have indicated very clearly that the technology has changed. We are moving from the current system to the CDMA system. We will consign the old equipment to the museums.
And in the meantime?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the new system will be in operation in the next 12 months. In the meantime, since they have been using that system for many years, they can continue doing so for the next 12 months.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Muite asked a very simple question. Are those facilities available in other parts of the country, and if so, which parts?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, those systems are all over the country. But we are doing away with them very soon.
Last question, Mr. Munya!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, quite often, when Ministers and Assistant Ministers answer Questions here, they give time limits which they never meet. There are many Questions where Ministers commit themselves on the Floor of this House, but they do nothing! Could the Assistant Minister assure this House that the work will be done within 12 months? If not, I will stand up before this House and ask him about it!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can confirm that it will be done within the next 12 months.
Mr. Wamunyinyi called and inform us that he is unwell. He requested that the Question be deferred. It is deferred until Tuesday next week.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Procedural Motion:- THAT, this House orders that the Business appearing in today's Order Paper be exempted from the provisions of Standing Order No.33, being a Wednesday Morning, a day allocated to Private Members' Motions. I beg to move.
(Ms. Karua) seconded.
332 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006
Mr. Mwenje was on the Floor. He has five minutes! He is not here! So, he forfeits them! Mr. Chepkitony!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Presidential Address. The President did well to explain the Government programmes to the House.
Order, hon. Members! May I request hon. Members to consult in lower tones, and if they wish to walk out to do so quietly. May I also remind hon. Members that this is the last day on this Motion. Proceed, hon. Chepkitony.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, agriculture is the main employer in this country. I was happy to hear the President mention that irrigation activities will be expanded. However, if irrigation farming was to be profitable, it is important to lower electricity tariffs. We also rely heavily on horticultural farming. Of late, horticultural farmers have been shifting to Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries. But we need to encourage more investments in this sector because it employs a substantial number of people. Moreover, the country should meet the requirements of the residue levels. At the moment, we do not have a credible organisation to assist the farmers in identifying and giving out certification for export. We need to move fast and meet the requirements of the European Union. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also have a problem of marketing. Tea, which used to be our number one foreign exchange earner, is having problems. Coffee is no more an attractive business either due to the same marketing problem. So, we need to be careful and encourage tea production. We are still relying on the Mombasa Auction, and we are marketing tea as a raw material. I think this country should start exporting tea as a final product. We should not rely on auctioning which only benefits the traders while the growers do not get due value. This country should also encourage packing. We should package for leading tea farmers like Leafton and export directly to other markets like the USA. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although cereals farmers have tried very hard to produce maize and wheat, the return they are getting is not fair. The cost of inputs such as fertilisers, chemicals and fuel have more than doubled in the last three years. I remember, at the beginning of 2002, the price of diesel was Kshs31 and it is now Kshs65, and yet the selling price of these crops has even April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 333 come down. The Government needs to give support to this sector, otherwise we are going to be a net importer of cereals in future. Already, market for wheat has been a problem this year. The farmers cannot sell their wheat because there is over-importation. The only good thing the Government has done is to provide loans through the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC). I commend the Government for doing that and encourage it to give more loans. However, the Government should step up its support on the marketing of the cereals. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President indicated that the country may import maize by June this year. I think the Government should first assess how the crop will behave. At the moment, we are experiencing good rains in the main cereals growing areas, and there are indications that we may have a bumper harvest. By June, we shall be in a position to assess whether we shall have any shortfall or not. So, we should not rush to import maize before we know how the crop is behaving in the field. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the AFC promised to write off loans to various farmers and this House gave approval. Up to now, no action has been taken by the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) to write off those loans. These loans relate to the years when farmers could not produce anything due to drought. I urge the Minister to ensure that the promise is implemented within the shortest time possible because it is causing a lot of anxiety to the farmers. Let me now mention something on the infrastructure. Although the Government is claiming that we are experiencing 5 per cent economic growth, this has not trickled down to the common man. We still have to do a lot, particularly on the infrastructure, especially roads. Most of our major roads, for example, the Nakuru-Naivasha Road, are in a pathetic state. The tarmacking of that particular road is going on, but very slowly. We need to put more emphasis on the infrastructure, especially roads, so that it becomes cheaper to transport goods from one place to another within the shortest time possible. It costs us a lot of money to maintain vehicles because of our bad roads. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion. I also want to thank His Excellency the President for his Address to the House, which really expounded on the direction this country should take. I want to support the Motion, because the Presidential Speech touched me, especially regarding the portfolio I am managing as the Minister in charge of Special Programmes. Since December last year, we have been facing serious drought and famine. As a result, people have lost their lives and livestock. For the first time, we, as a Government, tried a lot, including using the military, to provide assistance to the affected Kenyans. So far, we have spent Kshs4 billion. We also intend to spend another Kshs7 billion by August, 2006. If the drought and famine continue, this Government will spend another Kshs18 billion. This is commendable. It shows commitment by this Government. It also shows that the President loves the people of this country. However, I want to raise an issue concerning these responses. Next time, we need to be more prepared. For many years we have allowed droughts and famine to affect our people because we have not been well prepared. I think we need to improve on our preparedness. We need to ensure that we have enough water in areas prone to drought. We also need to ensure that we have improved irrigation technology in these areas, so that people can have enough food and pasture for their livestock. I think, next time, much of this money should go to recovery and not famine mitigation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on recovery, I want to suggest that we need to expand our fields in terms of stakeholders. We should not only involve the Government alone, but also the private sector. We have seen what the private sector has done in this country. It has contributed a lot of 334 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 money through the Kenya Red Cross. So far, it has contributed about Kshs300 million. This kind of involvement through the private sector will save the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). Also, I think the ASALs have lacked the right policy. We need to fast-track the ASALs policy which is not in place. No direction is given to the ASALs. We want to put resources into the ASALs, but there is no guiding procedure or policy. I think that is where we need to start from. This country has no disaster management policy. We need a disaster management policy that will actually state the way forward for all kinds of disasters that are affecting us, for instance, the building that collapsed recently. We had to wait for the Israeli Army personnel to come and sort us out. I am happy that the Government has sent our experts to Israel and other countries to be trained on disaster management. I also want to commend the Government on the fact that the ASALs and disaster management policies are now being discussed and, very soon, they will be tabled before the House for discussion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me turn to the issue of corruption. A lot has been discussed about corruption cases, for example, the Anglo Leasing and Goldenberg scandals, and the Ndung'u Report which touches on land. We must commend the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) for the work it has done. I also wish to commend Kenyans for their openness and demand for the truth on all these issues that have come up. However, I would like the list of shame that was discussed by this House to be included in the corruption cases, so that we have a comprehensive list of all those issues, and we pursue them to a conclusion that is acceptable to all. However, I foresee a problem with the Ndung'u Report. Investigating something that the Late President Kenyatta or the former President, Mr. Moi, did, might be difficult for us, because they did so, in their capacity as Presidents. I do not think those are things we should pursue now. In fighting corruption, we need transparency. I want to thank our Government and His Excellency the President for the openness shown. Former regimes in this country were quiet. Nothing was said on corruption. But, for the first time, corruption is being discussed openly up to the grassroots level. What I do not like is the selective way of addressing corruption in this country. We do not need to question why So-and-so has built a big house. People can get money from many sources to build houses. I can also build a house. What is wrong with that? There are hon. Members in his House who we know have built houses using questionable funds and yet, those houses are not highlighted in our newspapers. We should not use corruption to victimise people. I think we need to investigate and get the truth. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Kenyans should not be selective and discriminatory. A few days ago, the results of an opinion poll were highlighted in the Press on the popularity of presidential candidates and there was no indication of FORD(K). Mr. Kombo, did not feature in the opinion poll. I could have voted for him. The problem is the Press in this country.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. You heard the Minister say that the chairman of his party, Mr. Kombo, was not featured in the opinion polls. Is he in order to say so, and yet, his chairman has not, at any time, declared that he is a Presidential candidate?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Kombo has declared his candidature many times, and it is obvious that I will vote for him.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me turn to security. I think we, as Government, have tried a lot to improve the security situation in this country. I just want to---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order on?
On the Minister's stand! April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 335
No! Please, continue, Mr. Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to commend the NARC Government for what it has done to improve security throughout the country. Let us not confuse the issue of the Armenians we have been talking about for the last few weeks with the gains we have made in containing insecurity in the country. That is diverting attention from what the Government has achieved. However, security at our borders needs to be tightened. There are some loopholes we need to fill. The most important thing I want to say about insecurity is on the disarmament that has been going on in ASAL areas. We need to embrace a regional approach in this exercise. We should create structures which will ensure that when pastoralists surrender their firearms, they are protected in return. There is need for creating special police formations and mobilisation of resources to address this issue.
Order! Mr. Munyes, your time is up.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Presidential Speech. First, this House should record its congratulations to the Kenyan team that participated in the Commonwealth Games, which put up a splendid performance in Melbourne, Australia. Secondly, it should also support the idea of giving our sportsmen and sportswomen some cash incentives. That would be a great motivation factor for our sports people. We should also all support the idea of setting up a lottery to raise funds for promoting sports in this country. Our sportsmen and sportswomen have been great ambassadors. Therefore, we should do all we can to promote their activities. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as usual, the Presidential Address was very academic, although he set up the legislative agenda for the coming year. He also addressed himself to the need for this House to provide leadership and address issues that affect Kenyans. As leaders, we certainly need to heed that call. In his introductory remarks, the Speaker also emphasised the need for us to set an example of leadership. This House has a pilot. The pilot is supposed to steer this House in its business by ensuring that we stick to the provisions of the Constitution, as well as the Standing Orders of this House. That pilot is the Speaker. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with utmost respect to the Chair, I would like to point out that whereas the Speaker has done very well in terms of ensuring that we stick to the various regulations and complying with the Constitution, there is an area I feel we have not been given proper direction. Consequently, this has led to a great deal of political instability and acrimony, both inside and outside this House. I am addressing myself to the question of the setting up of a Government of National Unity. We have put up a question on this matter and raised objections. We had sought guidance from the Chair as to whether "poaching" of hon. Members from the Opposition and including them in the Government was legitimate or not. However, unlike it, the Chair did not give any direction on this particular issue. Therefore, the Chair having failed to do so, we went to court to seek a proper interpretation of the Constitution relating to this matter. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the establishment of the Government of National Unity has, without any doubt, created a lot of animosity amongst us. This is because, whereas the concept of a government of national unity was supposed to bring us together, in our case, it divided us. The Government has ceased to be a Government of National Unity and is now a Government of disunity. When the NARC Government "poached" some hon. Members from the Opposition to its side, it pushed out some hon. Members who belonged to its own side. In doing so, we have had a lot of 336 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 problems from that particular group. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was so disappointed two days ago when a very senior Member of the NARC administration told an hon. Member in very strong terms: "There is no way we, in the Government, can sit with a certain community." I found that a very strong statement to have been made by a very senior Member of the Government. With such statements---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could the hon. Member on the Floor substantiate about the particular senior Member of the Government and the conversation he alleges took place? Who is the senior Member of Government in reference?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have no hesitation in stating who it is. It was none other than the Government Chief Whip who made that statement when we were having tea in the cafeteria. So, it is a statement of fact. Those who were present can confirm that position. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is this very attitude---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Which community was referred to by the Government Chief Whip in that conversation?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to dwell so much on this issue. I have made a statement which I would like the House to take as a statement of fact. I am not necessarily going to say which community was referred to. However, the statement was made. We have witnessed it within the deliberations of the various House Committees.
Order! Order! By the way, hon. Members, you must avoid making statements that have the effect of dividing the country. This House should not be used to divide this country. I allowed the point of order raised by Ms. Karua, on who made the statement, to which Maj. Madoka replied. Now, hon. Members want to know which community was referred to. From there, the matter will degenerate to tribalism and other things, which this House should not encourage. I do not know what you were alluding to and why you do not want us to stop that debate. It is not in the interest of this country.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. With due respect to the hon. Member on the Floor, is it right for him to bring to the Floor of the House matters we discuss out there over a drink?
Dr. Mwiria, that is why I said the matter should rest at that point so that the hon. Member on the Floor can proceed with his contribution to the debate on the Presidential Address. Proceed, Maj. Madoka!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. As I was saying, the establishment of the Government of National Unity was supposed to bring us together, but it has failed to do so. The point I am trying to make is that when we sought direction from the Chair on the constitutionality aspect of the NARC Government "poaching" hon. Members from the Opposition into Government, and we failed to get that direction, we went to court. Now, I feel very strongly that the Speaker should have joined hands with, maybe, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, as well as with the Attorney-General, to ensure that either a constitutional court is set up to look into the matter, or the court is forced to take immediate action in giving a proper constitutional interpretation, so that we know whether this House is operating legally or not. April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 337 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, once we lose that direction in this House, we continue to lose direction even in the Executive Arm of the Government. It has become very clear that even within the Executive Arm of the Government, there is no direction, as witnessed in this very House. For example, we had the Question on the alleged mercenaries asked in this House, but there was no clear direction as to which Ministry was responsible for answering it. Even the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ms. Karua, did agree that there was confusion. We cannot afford to have confusion in the Executive Arm of the Government. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was surprised the day when we, in the Opposition, organised a peaceful demonstration to protest violation by the Government of certain fundamental rights of the people, a group of Cabinet Ministers organised a counter-demonstration. Did they demonstrate against the people of Kenya or against themselves or against who? It was not proper for Cabinet Ministers to organise demonstrations. If the Ministers wanted to demonstrate that the Government was still in place and strong, they did not have to do it that way. That was obviously a sign of a Government which was running scared of the Opposition and the people of Kenya. If the Government is strong and in command, it should be seen to be running this country. Cabinet Ministers should not use cheap tactics such as organising street demonstrations. That lack of direction can be seen in other institutions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President spoke about corruption. We agree that a lot of steps have been taken to try and curb corruption. We are happy to see the steps being taken, but the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) is a bit too slow. We need to give it extra capacity. What concerns me about the KACC is when it starts making claims and counter-claims with the people whom it is supposed to be investigating in the media. If the Commission continues that way, then it will be losing the respect that we expect to give it. If proper direction is not provided, we will get into a lot of trouble. The Government seems to be so obsessed with the activities of a few individuals that it continues to address itself to these particular individuals. Every move that Ministers make is to counter these few individuals and then they lose direction. They stop being focused. The Government needs to be focused. Having said that, we, as leaders too, have to act responsibly. We have to have mutual respect amongst us. We must respect the institution of the President. The institution of the President, which is the symbol of the Government unity should be respected. There should be no compromise when it comes to that. The Government needs to continue looking at national issues, for example, famine. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Presidential Speech. It is very clear that the President was challenging us to do what Kenyans sent us here to do. Kenyans elected us to perform a particular duty of enacting legislations. It is true that we have failed to perform that duty and nobody can claim that we have performed it rightly. Twenty-five Bills were brought before this House and we did not have any time for them. We did not prioritise them and, instead, we have started to accuse each other. We have also decided to take politics at the centre stage of anything else instead of doing what Kenyans sent us here to do. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we fail to perform our duties as legislators, Kenyans suffer. When we come here and shoot down a Bill or a Motion just because the Opposition and the Government do not agree, Kenyans suffer. If for five years we will not have passed enough legislations to develop this country, our people will suffer. If the Opposition will hold the Government at ransom and sabotage every move that the Government makes for five years, this 338 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 means that there will be no development in this country for five years. That lack of development in the country for five years will translate to lack of development even in constituencies where we have Opposition hon. Members. If this country is not developing, it is not developing in North Eastern, Central or even in the Rift Valley Provinces. Every area of this country will be affected. Hon. Members must ask themselves whether they are here to fulfil their selfish greedy ends or to represent the people of this country. When we fail to perform our duties and every end month we smile all the way to our banks to draw our salaries, where do those salaries come from? Who is responsible for all these? Who are the taxpayers? Are we performing our duties? Even before the eyes of God, are we justified to draw salaries? The spirit of nationalism must be put in front of all what we do. We have to recognise and realise that we have a Kenya that will be there for our sons. A Kenya that will be there beyond us even for the next 200 years. The institutions that we have today were built by people who are not here today. What are we going to leave behind for our sons? Are we going to leave behind the quarrels that we are engaging ourselves in? Two years from today, this Government might be voted out or in. Does it mean that if I will be in the Back Bench, I will oppose the Government which will be in power for the next five years? We must agree as leaders that issues that pertain to ourselves and generations to come must not be politicised at all. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a Bill here that can give our courts a new lease of life. When I go to the courts, I ask myself how many Kenyans attend court sessions every day; the accused, the defendants, their sympathisers and witnesses. If you go to the Machakos Law Courts, you will find a lot of people lining up there. We have people rotting in remands, namely, the innocent and guilty ones. We should set up a Committee to tell us how much is being lost per day in our courts. A lot of time and energy are wasted, which could have been directed to other areas where some development projects may be initiated. Time is wasted because hon. Members cannot agree to bring a legislation here to increase the number of judges and magistrates or build more courts, so that cases can be heard expeditiously. We cannot do that because we do not have the welfare of Kenyans in our minds. All what we have in common is that we want power and power! We are thinking of nothing else. If we have the welfare of Kenyans at heart, we should reduce the number of Commissions that we have and direct those resources to the courts. This will enable us to employ enough judges, so that those who steal eggs and eat omelette which is not theirs, can be judged conclusively and those who purport to have tried to steal an egg can also face justice. However, justice will not flourish in this country as long as we attend court sessions everyday and as long as we are talking about fighting corruption when we do not have instruments and institutions to do so. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we are serious about fighting corruption, we should make sure that we have enough judges and magistrates. We should also have enough courts where these corruption cases can be heard. When you read the newspapers or listen to radio stations, you will find that instead of them concentrating on what the Government is doing, or focusing on the development projects that it has initiated, they are only criticising. People who are supposed to be very responsible have become very irresponsible. Wherever there is death in this country, that is where the congregation is. For example, we had drought in North Eastern Province and leaders were flying there to go and criticise the Government. They never offered any alternative. They concentrated resources there. They spent over Kshs1 million to fly to North Eastern Province while they could have used the same amount of money to assist the people of North Eastern Province. They could have sent a representative there to donate that money to drill a borehole. That money could have been enough to do that. Their aim is to get votes. We have become like vultures who want to live on carcasses instead of developing systems that can be respected. It is very unfortunate for us as leaders. We should come April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 339 to the negotiating table and ask ourselves: Which is the way forward? If we are a responsible Opposition, why do we not come up with concrete solutions? Why do we not come up with constructive criticisms? This way, at least, we shall pass other Bills, like the Forest Conservation Bill which is affecting our citizens. It is also affecting food security in this country. We are not asking ourselves why we are having these problems. We are only interested to know when we will ascend to the coveted seat of power. That is why most of us are declaring daily that we want to go for the Presidency of this country. It is good that some young hon. Members are also declaring their intentions to run for the Presidency. I wish them luck! However, before we do that, we need to come up with a programme to say that, for instance: "I, Mr. Kiunjuri, want to become the President of this country". Before we even tell Kenyans that we want to run for the Presidency, why do we not tell them what we intend to do? Why do we not tell Kenyans that this is what the Government has failed to do, and this is what we intend to do for them instead of just playing politics for 24 hours? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the first time, we want to listen to people, who have an agenda. We want to listen to young and old people but their arguments should be constructive. Let us hear what they can do for this nation. Let us think on the way forward for the next 50 years on what Kenya we want. Those are the arguments that must be advanced and that is the only way we shall eliminate ethnicity and tribalism. These must be fought! However, we cannot fight tribalism if we do not come up with solutions. Let us sit over a cup of tea and translate the sitting into action, so that this country can have proper guidance as to what is expected of it. Let us criticize this Government constructively but also acknowledge the achievements we have got. Nobody has stood up to question why the economy has grown at the rate of 5 per cent. Why are we not taking that route? We only want to talk about the bad things of this Government but we do not want to look at the achievements. Lastly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that we, the caucus of the Young Parliamentarians, should set a good example. We should initiate dialogue. We should sit down whenever Bills are brought before this House and put aside selfish interests for the good of the country. We should ignore people who are desperate to become presidents of this country and who can do anything on earth to achieve that. We are wondering whether some of them do not require psychiatrists to certify clearly whether their faculties are of sound mind. The conduct of some of these leaders is questionable. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I want to agree with the sentiments already expressed by my colleagues. I want to agree with the President that we are a country of diverse cultures, languages and religions, but we have a common bond as Kenyans. That is what makes our country great. Those statements coming from the President are, indeed, wonderful. The President continues to say:- "Let the people of Kenya judge leadership on the basis of positive direction and development that a leader is bringing to the people and not empty propaganda aimed at creating hatred and divisions amongst the people." Those are great statements coming from the President. I, however, want to ask a very basic question: Does the President realise that the actions of his own Government have brought this country to where we are today? All of us here are talking about tribalism and disunity. Even the President said that because of the disharmony that is in this House, we were unable to perform the functions for which we were sent here by the people of Kenya. It will help a lot if the President can lead from the front so that we can begin to deal decisively with the issues he is raising. My own view is that it is the failure by this Government to provide 340 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 direction for our country that has resulted in the current confusion and the levels of tribalism and disunity that are exhibited in our country. We were unable to perform our functions last year. The President clearly stated that out of 25 Bills presented to this House, we could only deliberate on seven, majority of which are Bills that are of a financial nature. When the President chooses to appoint hon. Members of the Opposition into Government, causing confusion in this House, where we do not know who is in the Opposition and who is in the Government, how else will we run away from the kind of confusion we are in today? It is very clear to me that the President needs to lead from the front in tackling the very issues he is raising here. The first person who should deal with them is himself and lead his Government in doing exactly what he is recommending to this House to do.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President mentioned the police force. As we are talking today, the police force is in a state of confusion. We seem to have several commands in the police force. This country is being ravaged by characters called mercenaries and all manner of human beings, threatening the Commissioner of Police with dogs and every Kenyan with dire consequences. How can we, as a country, entertain characters who come to our country and give them VIP treatment to insult our country? These characters went ahead and said that this country cannot afford to hire them. Who the hell are they for them to come and use our own facilities to insult us while the Government is standing by? When the President mentions in his Speech that reform measures being implemented by the Government in the police force and other law enforcement agencies are already bearing positive results, I wonder, where are these positive results? In which country are we talking about these things? The police force, for the first time in the history of this country, actually torches houses of Kenyans. It was both on the electronic and our print media and the world saw policemen engaging in acts of arson against their own citizenry; destroying the very property that the Constitution stipulates that they should protect.
It is my contention that the police force has degenerated into something else. In fact, the raid on
Newspapers which was executed by the very people we have paid to protect property is something that can never be forgiven. I think we should be candid and speak the truth. When the President makes such a Speech, many people wonder whether we live in the same country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President quoted correctly that 72 per cent of our population is below the age of 30 years. Apart from creating a Ministry for the Youth, the young people of this country are yet to see any tangible Government action to deal with their issues. It is very important for us to match what we say with what we do. I want to state that, for the last three years, the young people of this country have enjoyed lip service from this Government. Despite the Government having identified that, that is a very critical mass of the people of Kenya, we are yet to see any tangible Government policy targeting them. We have been talking about creating jobs. Majority of the youth in this country continue to languish in poverty and joblessness. They are "tarmacking" on the streets. The President always says that the Government will look into their plight. That has been the same story since 2003. We only tell stories, but we are unable to do April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 341 anything for the people of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I brought a Motion to this House and it was adopted. The Minister for Agriculture persuaded me to hand over the Bill to his Ministry. The Ministry was to do two specific things. Issue number one was to make sure that our strategic reserves are increased from 3 million bags of maize - a level that was there in 1963 - to reasonable figures that would make this country deal with hunger and famine, as and when they are reported. We have continuously managed the issue of hunger and famine in this country by crisis. We can deal with hunger decisively by amending the National Cereals and Produce Board Act. That way, the Government will be forced to set aside some funds every year to boost our strategic reserves. That way, we will deal with hunger and famine decisively.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we do not deal with that issue decisively, we shall continue to lose lives 40 years after Independence, just because we cannot plan. I would like to ask the Minister for Agriculture to expedite that particular amendment. This House had already agreed that the National Cereals and Produce Act should be amended to make sure that we have enough strategic reserves in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have heard some reports which may be true, that our economy is growing by 5 per cent per annum. The people of Kenya are wondering whether that is the same economy they are living in. The people of Kenya are getting poorer by the day. The prices of basic commodities continue to rise. People are getting poorer, and yet we are talking about an economy that is growing! Looking at the statistics that were provided by the President, the economy is growing in the following sectors: Horticulture, tourism and tea! Most of those sectors are controlled by multi-national companies. The only benefit the people of Kenya get from those sectors is working as casuals. We cannot run an economy that is sponsored and run by foreigners. I think we need to change!
Prof. Kibwana, please, proceed!
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the President's Speech. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my first point, and my colleagues have mentioned it, regards the Bills that were brought for enactment. Out of the 25 Bills that were brought to this House, only seven were enacted. That is a very dismal performance. I think time has come for Parliament to have a performance contract. Currently, only Permanent Secretaries and those below them have signed performance contracts. Therefore, they are doing what is expected of them. Therefore, in order to cure that problem of under-performance by Parliament, it is necessary to develop a performance contract. That way, in the area of legislation, it will be possible to promise Kenyans what we can achieve. The relevant Committees can look into that matter. We can be predictable. We can agree on the number of legislations to be passed within a certain time, so long as there is a contract between us and the voters. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is one issue that both sides of the House have repeatedly discussed; disunity among the political elite. In most democracies, it is elementary for the political class to be united. That is because, apart from being in the Government or in the Opposition, we should get united in order to harness the energies of our people towards achieving 342 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 our national interests and development. However, it is unfortunate because Members of the Opposition are hatching different schemes every day to keep us following issues that are of no consequence. Those issues consume our energies as the time ticks. We should, as a responsible political elite, pull our forces together, so that our people can live better lives. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his Speech, the President was very emphatic on the role of the youth. When the Ministry of Youth was being launched - and I had the benefit of being there - I heard the President talk very eloquently about 70 per cent or so Kenyans, who are below 35 years, being accommodated within our system. I think that, instead of blaming each other on what has been done for the youth, we should adopt a bi-partisan approach. We want youth affairs to be main-streamed in every Ministry. It is not easy to do positive things that would make the youth feel part of this country. For example, we can have internships in the private sector and all Ministries for youths who have finished Form IV, university or colleges to be incorporated. They can learn to work in those places while getting a small allowance. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is possible to incorporate many youths in the Ministry of Roads and Public Works, so that they can become part and parcel of its programmes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am looking forward to the discussion on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because we will amend the CDF laws so that monies are set aside for the youth. So, it is my suggestion that during this Session we are really going to debate matters relating to the youth from the Floor of this House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President talked about a new Constitution because Kenyans want a new constitutional dispensation. It is unfortunate that after the new proposed Constitution was defeated, some hon. Members are now bringing exact piecemeal constitutional amendments like those that were contained in the draft constitution. The best way of handling the Constitution is not to emphasise piecemeal amendments to it but to actually look at the Constitution in a comprehensive way. The starting point is for the entire country to engage the Committee of Eminent Persons so that we can get a credible formula for moving forward. The Government should be a mere facilitator but Kenyans should make decisions on what kind of Constitution they want. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to contribute in terms of the environment. Recently, I visited Brazil where 60 per cent of the country consists of forests. They have rain very regularly because of the way in which they conserve their forests. It is really very unfortunate that some of our leaders encourage people to go and destroy forests, leading to drought, famine and environmental destruction. I appeal to Parliamentarians to help the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources by talking with their people who are living in forests to vacate them. There are places like road reserves where you will find forests, but when you go inside, you discover that the forests have been destroyed. So, I will be talking with hon. Members of Parliament so that we are able to inform our people who are living in forests to desist from doing so. On the contrary, we should also begin budgeting for money so that we buy land to plant forests. By doing so, our forest cover, which is about 1.7 per cent can come to the acceptable 10 per cent. If we do this, we will be going towards the direction of Brazil where more than half of the country consists of forests. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his Speech, the President also emphasised about regional integration and it is good that, currently, in Arusha, there are discussions on the East African Community. This is the way forward for the future. The future is about us being one country in East Africa. We need to emphasise that businessmen, local communities, civil society and political class should be mobilised so that we build a robust East African Community. Of course, very soon we shall again be suggesting which name will go to the East African Parliament and, therefore, we require to make the community as robust as possible. April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 343 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, in areas where there is a problem of water like Ukambani and so on, we need to put in a lot of money, like Kshs1 billion in this budget, so that we can have an affirmative action for them. Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand here to support the President's Speech. In particular, we should address the challenge about the performance of Parliament in terms of delivery of legislation. It is a sad fact that we only managed to deliver seven out of 25 Bills. Indeed, this is below public expectation. It is one of the reasons why Parliament has become very unpopular outside there. It is important that we earn our upkeep. The primary role of hon. Members of Parliament, indeed, is to legislate. However, if you go out there, members of the public will ask you: What does an hon. Member of Parliament do? When you say that the primary duty of an hon. Member of Parliament is to legislate, our people do not understand. This is because, in terms of our own performance, it does not appear that we do so. There is something wrong. We need to address why we are under-performing. It is a question that is now known, even outside of Kenya. For those of us who are hon. Members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), we are consistently being challenged and told: "You are the Parliament that delivers the least, but is paid the most." We need to start giving what we are getting back in terms of development and in law. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are two significant reasons why I believe we are under-performing. One is that we need to address the Standing Orders and the calender of Parliament, so as to give us more time and hours to focus on passing more legislation and policies in the House. Secondly, and more importantly, it is time for us to play less politics and do more of law making. This House has become a political body beyond what it should be. All we do is talk about political parties; we are house keeping each others' parties. There is no party discipline and this reflects on what we are able to deliver. We are encouraged that the Political Parties Bill is coming to the Floor of the House. We must pass it. We must also be able to tell parties how to behave in the House even in terms of their own legislative agenda and delivery. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his Speech, the President mentioned a number of the Government Bills which will be brought to the House. I would like to alert the hon. Members of the House Business Committee that there are several Private Members' Bills, including the Sexual Offences Bill, coming on the Floor of the House. I hope these Bills will be given priority and consideration by the House Business Committee. Having been one of the Private Members who generated a Bill, I now recognise that is a very expensive and labour intensive process. It is time for Parliament to start looking into how Private Members can be funded and supported. We also need to see how research can be done for them. We may now need to look at a Fund for Private Members in order to assist them with their legislative agenda. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President emphasised that 72 per cent of the April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 345 population of this country comprises the youth. Indeed, we must work on the Sessional Paper on the National Youth Policy. However, apart from looking at the issue of employment of the youth, we need to ask ourselves: How do we export their skills? We also need to look at how we mentor and role model the youth. We are setting a very bad example for our youth. So long as we are quarrelling, intimidating and inciting each other, this is what our youth will become. After all, children become what their parents are. Therefore, it is time for us, as leaders, to become responsible. As we continue to discuss the participation of the youth in this country, there must be an emphasis on the registration of the youth as voters. We cannot have a democracy where 72 per cent of the population is not engaging in the politics of the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President also mentioned that there will be a Sessional Paper on Gender, Equality and Development. Having discussions with somebody who was sitting in the Gallery, there was a note that this particular Sessional Paper received the least applause from the Floor of the House. It may be a reflection, therefore, that women remain second class citizens, and that there is not sufficient interest in this House in terms of developing and empowering women. I hope that we will move away from that and give this particular Sessional Paper the seriousness it deserves. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, women in this country remain marginalised in terms of representation. They remain the poorest Kenyans who do not have equal rights under the Constitution. They are discriminated against formally and informally. Even in this House, women are discriminated against. It is unconstitutional for women parliamentarians to leave part of their dress at the door, when their men colleagues do not do the same. I think this issue should be addressed by the Chair. It is not proper for this House that makes laws to breach the law, particularly when it comes to discrimination against women parliamentarians. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, women's economic contribution has not been well documented. Even wealth, labour and welfare issues do not reflect women's dual role as workers and mothers. Also, the role of single women as parents is not reflected. I hope that a Sessional Paper will address all this. His Excellency the President did well to recognise the role of the police. I think we need to give the police credit that they deserve. There are under 40,000 police officers looking after over 30 million Kenyans. This disparity is too big. Unless citizens, through the community policing programme, assist the police, they will not be able to address the issue of insecurity efficiently. There is also need to enhance the technology that our police use. For instance, we need to introduce use of the forensic science laboratories, DNA and other scientific methods of gathering evidence to enable them to arrest culprits. We also need to realise that, as Parliamentarians, we have not helped the police very much. In the year 2003, we passed a Miscellaneous (Criminal Amendments) Bill, which contains provisions on confessions. But, in doing so we have rendered our police virtually powerless in terms of investigating, arresting and prosecuting suspects. We must go back to the drawing board on this issue. We must empower our police but ensure that confessions are not used to abuse human rights. We need to ensure that confessions can be part of the evidence that victims of crime can use in court.
346 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 It is time for us to see how we can increase the Budget for the Office of the President, particularly to the Police Commissioner. As at is now, we can see the results of police efforts. There are more police officers and police vehicles in this country than before. However, we do need some more money, because we need to increase police presence in hospitals, where victims of crime go. I think it is time for us to start setting up special sex crime units either in police stations or police posts with police officers who are specially trained to assist this class of victims, who under go a lot of trauma. I would like to see more spider squads. I do not think it is sufficient to have one spider squad. We need to have spider squads all over the country to deal with the issues of sexual violence and encourage detection and prevention of this type of crime. We are going to have a foreign policy Sessional Paper, and I think it is time we understood that Kenya's greatest investment out there is Kenyans who live abroad. We must recognise them and introduce dual citizenship. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to give my comments on His Excellency the President's Address. What His Excellency the President portrayed, especially on the economy, does not exist. For instance, when you look at the suffering of our people you will see that our economy has not improved. As we I speak here, Kshs11 billion worth of school fees has not been paid. This is a very good example to show how people are suffering. The growth of our economy is not being felt by the mwananchi. The mwananchi continues to suffer, and their purchasing power has gone down. Their disposable income has also gone down. This does not prove that the economy of this country is growing by five per cent as it has been said. His Excellency the President also said that many multinational companies, which moved to other countries, have started coming back. We are still experiencing relocation of companies. For instance, in our flower industry, many companies doing flower farming in Kenya have now started relocating to Ethiopia and Egypt. This is something which we would need to look into. It is something the Government should address. We do not need to believe that all is well when that is not the case. The Government should set an example by obeying the laws of this country. We have seen several occasions where Government officers have disobeyed court orders. They go ahead and do what they are ordered not to do by courts. We have also seen the Government breaching its own rules. For example, we were yesterday talking about how the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya was suspended from his office. We are arguing about whether he committed a wrong or not. Anybody can make mistakes; if he made a mistake let him face the law. But we are arguing about the procedure used by the Government to suspend this officer from his office. There are very many contradictory laws; there is the Public Officer Ethics Act, and also the Central Bank of Kenya Act. The Government should come clear on this issue. It should come out clearly, and ensure that wrongs are corrected according to the law. What happened was a violation of the law on the tenure of office enjoyed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. Some years ago this country used to have very good incentives for people who wanted to invest in this country. We have been talking of one license to enable people to do business. But it is still difficult to have an investor coming into this country to get licensed as soon as possible. Investors are tossed from one office to another until they give up. Many investors are moving to Uganda and Tanzania, because these countries have put their houses in order. We need to address this issue to make sure that if an investor comes into this country there is a particular office that assists them. It is not good to toss around investors who want to invest in Kenya and employ April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 347 Kenyans. We used to have some good incentives in the rural areas. Any company which operated from our rural areas used to get some incentives. This is one way of reducing rural-urban migration, which is causing problems because facilities in towns are over-stretched. We need to sit down and come up with incentives for those who want to invest in this country. As we know, 72 per cent of the population of this country is made up of youth, and we need to address their plight. One way of addressing this is to give investors incentives so that they can set up companies in areas outside Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. In that way our youth will be employed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in education, a lot is happening. Twenty years ago, we were talking of Standard 8 graduates getting good jobs. Today a Standard 8 graduate cannot get anything. Now, even Form Four graduates with grade C- or D and below cannot get anything in terms of training and employment. The Government needs to come up with a policy to covers school leavers, who do not get places in universities and polytechnics. Only a very small number of students from Makueni District manages to go to public universities. The majority of our children in this district loiter around, because they have nothing to do. Their academic grades are low. We need to look for ways and means of assisting them. It is not enough to say that we have put students through to Form Four when they end up not getting anywhere. We need to come up with a solution to this problem. When we are talking about the youth, we need to address the problem of these students who do not join universities. In trade, we are losing much business. In the fishing sector, we used to command the biggest market in fish processing in our region. However, all the investors who were running the business left Kenya and settled in Tanzania, because they are enjoying preferential treatment with the European Union (EU). We have lost our preferential treatment with the EU. This is an area we need the Minister for Trade and Industry to look into so that we can do what is possible to make sure that relocation of the companies does not continue taking place. Come July, our flowers will be subjected to price reduction by the EU, which is our biggest market. This is again because we will have lost our preferential treatment with the EU. Those are some of the issues concerning our trade. The economy of our country is based on agriculture. The agricultural sector employs majority of Kenyans. If we allow things to go wrong, we will not benefit from the EU the way we used to. That will frustrate our farmers, and we will be making a very big mistake. Those are issues we need to address before they get out of hand. If it is an issue of agreement, let us approach the EU early enough so that we do not subject our farmers to the rule of reduction of the quantities we can supply and also the issue of using insecticides. On the issue of food security, everybody knows that we have been suffering from famine. Thank God, the rains have now come down and every part of this country is enjoying it. This Government had promised Kenyans that it would give them seeds. However, you will not believe what it has been doing. It has been giving a bag of five kilograms of seeds to a village, for people to share. That cannot reach everybody in a village. The Government supplied the seeds late, after the rains had started. So, the Government should be serious in addressing the needs of wananchi, because they are the ones who put it in power. At one time, I had a lot of faith in the current Government. However, now, my faith is gone after seeing what it is doing. Government Officers are violating their own rules and doing things they are not supposed to do. Majority of them were serving in the previous Government and they know why it came down. However, they seem to be following the same footsteps. They will come down faster than the previous Government did. It is high time they followed the wishes of the President. The President wishes this country well. However, there are policy-makers who do not want to do their work. With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to congratulate 348 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 the President for his Address and add my voice to that of my colleagues. This country needs unity. It is only when we are united that we can stand together, address our problems and progress. However, when we are divided, the country cannot move on. This country has been independent for many years. So, we should have settled down in terms of the basic issues that affect us. We need to look at certain key Ministries and address their problems for the good of this country. For instance, the Ministry of Agriculture needs to take care of our food insecurity problems. The fact that every year we have Kenyans starving, and we go about begging for food does not reflect well on our planning. It is high time we planned properly so that we have food in every corner of this country. We should make sure that every Kenyan has enough food to eat and even surplus to sell to other countries. Agriculture is the backbone of this country. Let us address the food crops as well as the cash crops problems so that every Kenyan wherever she or he is, can be well fed. For instance, we have sugar cane in my area, yet the farmers there are very poor. Does that make sense; that the farmer who grows cash crops becomes the poorest person in this Republic? Those farmers lack money to buy school uniforms for their children and take care of their medical bills. They also lack money to take care of their other needs. The Ministry of Agriculture needs to have its facts put together. My colleagues have talked about exportation of crops such as flowers and others. If we get involved in the export of crops, we should do the right things to make sure that we are ahead of everyone else. I would like to comment on education. I would like to commend our NARC Government for the provision of free primary education. The free primary education has enabled many children to go to school. However, in the process of providing the education, there are many problems we need to address. Two weeks ago when we were touring Nyanza and Western provinces, we found out that in Nyanza alone, the shortfall of teachers was at 12,000. When a province has such a shortfall, we do not expect it to perform well. In Western Kenya, the shortfall was at 6,000. You do not expect the results to be good. But this is because teachers retire or die due to natural attrition and have not been replaced for two years, yet we are dealing with the issue of creating new jobs. What is needed is replacement. Therefore, the Ministry needs to come up with a quick way of replacing retired and dead teachers. Regarding universities, they admit 12,000 Kenyans only out of the 600,000 who sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). Is that not wastage of human resource? It is high time we thought about developing community colleges every year, so that Kenyans can access education near their homes, instead of limiting education to where they can get bed space. If they can acquire education in colleges where they do not require bed space, that would be very good. Similarly, the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) should increase the amount it gives to students as education loans. Currently, many Kenyans cannot access loans because the money is not enough to take care of every Kenyan. Pegging the loans at Kshs10,000 is not good enough. Education facilities should be expanded. After the expansion, we should plan for the school leavers. There is no need of putting them through education and later letting them languish at home. Many youths are unemployed and feel frustrated ad we cannot take care of them. The Government needs to look into that issue. Finally, I would like to comment on the problems of infrastructure. Currently, our roads are in a pathetic situation. When you travel to Uganda and Tanzania, you will see that they have better roads than we do. That is an issue which we need to address if we have to move on as a nation. Travelling from Nairobi to Kisumu is a nightmare. We should enjoy travelling on our roads and also discover the problems. Currently, it is not possible to do so because our roads are in a pathetic situation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need energy if we are to industrialise. Recently, I read that Kenya has now imported some kind of energy generating devices. Why have we not April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 349 thought of nuclear energy? It will save our forests from depletion because we will not have to cut trees in order to burn charcoal to use as fuel. We cannot think of industrialisation when we are still in darkness. Only a small part of this country has electricity. The rest of the country is in darkness. We often talk about the Jua kali sector, but do we know that it cannot develop without energy? Therefore, we need to have a visionary plan towards developing the energy sector in this country so that we do not depend only on hydroelectricity and fossil energy. We need to look for more innovative sources of energy supply so that we can supply Kenyans with better energy than what we already have. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to gender issues, in this country, women are the farmers. They are also the ones who fetch water and take care of their families and yet they are the most neglected people. Women are not even represented adequately in this Parliament and so they are a minority. Even in the public sector, they are a minority. That trend continues down the line. There is need to uplift the living standards of women in Kenya given that they form 50 per cent of our population. You cannot ignore that population of women. I take this opportunity to congratulate my colleague, hon. Ms. Ndungu for bringing a Bill that will address domestic violence. The woman has always been the punch bag when the man is frustrated. We need the woman to be given the dignity that she deserves. We need to commend the whistle blowers for pointing out corruption in our country. Corruption has left this nation poor. We have a lot of resources in this country, but we have not utilised them properly. As a result of that, we complain that we are poor. We need to fight corruption and fight the corrupt. We should recover whatever they have corruptly acquired so that this nation can move on. Let us not forget that we need to reward the whistle blowers who highlight corruption cases in this nation. If we continue covering up corruption in this country, then we are doomed. We will not move ahead. In that case, we need more brave Kenyans to blow the whistle whenever they come across cases of corruption. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when corruption is mentioned, we become very defensive. That should not be the case because corruption makes everyone suffer. Two weeks ago when I got an accident, I went to a district hospital. First of all, I was required to buy an exercise book to keep my record. I had to buy painkillers from a nearby kiosk to be injected. That shows how our medical care is in bad shape. I am talking about a district hospital and not a clinic. In this country, we really need to take care of the health of Kenyans because they are suffering a lot. There is no medicine in our health facilities and many people queue for long hours on end, but they are still not treated. Health is very important and we should address this matter seriously. The people who voted for us to come here do not enjoy the use of health facilities in this nation. We, must, therefore, tackle this problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Presidential Speech that was delivered during the opening of the Fifth Session of the Ninth Parliament. The Speech sends clear signals that the President really understands what the needs of Kenyans are. In fact, the President has shown unparalleled quality leadership such as has never been witnessed in this country before. This has been manifested by the creation of unprecedented democratic space which is being enjoyed by every Kenyan. Today, every Kenyan enjoys freedom provided that he meets the regulations and norms as expressed by all other Kenyans. We have also witnessed unprecedented economic performance. Today, every Member of Parliament can boast of having implemented a programme in his or her constituency through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Today, every family with a primary school child is proud of having eaten its share of the national cake. Before NARC took over leadership, it was 350 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 difficult for many Members of Parliament to tell their constituencies what they had done for them. However, this time round, every other Member of Parliament is always busy distributing Government resources when he or she goes to the constituency. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to quote part of the Presidential Speech: "We need to sustain this momentum and we should all work together to minimise negative political activities that can create and justify fear or uncertainty amongst investors." Some politicians have deviated from the course of real politics, that is, fruitful politics. Today, we are witnessing expressions of frustration instead of politics. Politics is not building Kenya, rather it is destroying it. We are witnessing expressions of hatred and that is a diversionary course from the real issues which could address the welfare of Kenyans. When you look at our politics, you are reminded of a psychological condition called delusional disorder. This disorder manifests in various ways. In some cases, we have people who seem to be haunted by unseen ghosts. Such types of disorders include persecutory disorder, grandiose disorder and many others. We should be careful not to react to politicians who have psychological problems. The President said that negative politics will never at any time help Kenya. Negative politics will create hatred, confusion and antagonistic tendencies. It will destroy the very base which has been reinforced for many years. These days, some key leaders engage in partisan and defensive politics; politics of hate. This country will develop if we address real issues. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the youth, while we appreciate the new directive that the youth applying for the issuance of the national identity cards should not pay anything, I would like a situation whereby those applying to be issued with those cards are not required to provide an affidavit from the Commissioners of Oath if they are over 18 years old. This is a very expensive exercise which some youths cannot afford. In fact, most youths, for reasons beyond their control, have been unable to obtain identity cards and yet, they are 20 years old and over. Those people cannot afford fare and the money charged by the Commissioners of Oath. In fact, some of them have decided not to apply for the national identity cards. The youth will benefit if this requirement is waived and many of them will apply for national identity cards. We shall also have more Kenyans registering as voters. Some of the youth have been unable to secure jobs because they do not have the national identity cards. On liberalization, I urge those concerned to be a bit careful because we can see many foreigners with an interest in Kenya buying public companies. The Kenyan economy will be taken over by foreigners, unless that process is controlled. Many foreigners are out to buy Kenyan companies, such as parastatals which are being sold. I feel that Kenyans should be given the first priority. On the manufacturing sector, I urge all hon. Members to put special effort in the industrial sector. They can do this by using part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to support this sector. This can be done through capacity building so that the youth and women groups are educated on how to be involved in value addition to our commodities and produce. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on exchange rates, although I am not an economist, I really do not know whether when the shilling appreciates, that is a loss to Kenyans or not. However, I tend to believe that we have more imports into this country than exports. If the shilling appreciates and we import goods, we are likely to give less than if it depreciates. So, I advocate for a stronger shilling. We have many parents who have students abroad. Those parents send money abroad every other day. The more the shilling appreciates, the less foreign currency those parents and other Kenyans will send abroad. Sometimes, I wonder whether we are supporting this economy or we have a tendency of April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 351 killing it. When we have leaders supporting demonstrations to sabotage Government programmes, we really do not know whether such leaders support the economic development of Kenya or they are against it. Sometimes, we wonder whether some of the things we do as leaders are not for our personal and partisan gains and not for the general good of Kenyans.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Did you hear the hon. Member imply that leaders have no democratic right to participate in demonstrations that express fundamental human rights when the Government is engaged in what is called "extortion and harassment" of the business community by charging an item costing Kshs20,000, Kshs120,000?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. That point of order is derived from vulnerability of---
Order! Mr. Miriti, your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to comment on the President's Speech, which purported to spell out the Government's agenda. I listened to the Speech and read it but it had no statement on how a farmer in this country would be assisted. Today, many farmers are giving up on farming because the cost of inputs has shot up to the extent that they cannot afford. Since 2003, this Government has not recorded any success in any sector; be it in the parastatal reforms, infrastructure, social policy and conservation of forests. I am sorry to say that there is no evidence on the ground to show that this Government has recorded any success. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Government promised that it will enhance democracy. Democracy is lacking from 2003 to today. Hon. Members have been arrested in court precincts. Where is democracy? Today, there is a lot of evidence on extra-judicial killings. Where is the democracy that was promised to Kenyans? The Government should improve on that aspect. On the parastatal sector reforms, I do not see any evidence of the Government privatizing the parastatals which year in, year out continue to drain the Exchequer. We were promised that Telkom (K), the Postal Corporation, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) would be privatized. The other day, a few politically-correct people bought shares in the KPLC. This is not the way we should privatize our State corporations. On infrastructure, I am sorry to say that the cost of doing business in this country has risen to the extent that many investors are leaving this country for our neighbouring countries because of poor infrastructure. There is no water for our industries and the cost of power has gone up. For example, the power tariff in Kenya today is about 11 US cents and yet in our neighbouring countries like Zambia, it is 3 US cents; Malawi, 3.5 US cents and South Africa, 1.5 US cents. This is the case and yet, most of these countries are supposed to compete with us in the COMESA market. How can we compete with them? If the Government cannot protect our industries, then we cannot call it a Government of the people. I would like to say something on social policy. We expect this Government to move very fast and convert the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) into a pension scheme. This will help tackle the social despondence especially in old age. I do not know why we cannot fast-track Mr. Oloo-Aringo's Bill in this regard so that we can convert the NSSF into a pension scheme. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the agricultural sector, we used to have the GMR insurance scheme. Today, farmers record losses due to drought and low prices offered to their produce, mainly because of competition caused by products from our neighbouring countries. I encourage the Government to reintroduce the GMR insurance scheme. However, to protect the scheme from being abused this time round, I implore the Government to use reputable financial 352 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 institutions to administer it. Otherwise, as I have mentioned earlier on, many farmers have given up on farming. We will not have a country which will just act as a supermarket for imported goods. We need to encourage our farmers by giving them good prices, low fertilizer prices and availing tractor hire services that existed some years back and the agricultural sector will improve. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the conservation of our natural resources, the Government needs to vigorously carry out re-afforestation programmes. A lot of trees are being cut, especially in our water catchment areas, yet the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has no personnel. So, we have lost out on this matter because trees are being cut down haphazardly, especially in the Aberdares. Very soon, we are going to see a catastrophe in this country. In this regard, I want to ask the Government to increase funding to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. We also need to repossess all the forest land that was allocated to politically correct people. We need to restore the bio-diversity to save our rivers. Kenya is the only country where individuals have title deeds for land which has rivers. There is nowhere in the world where you will find an individual owning a river. So, I am asking the Ministry of Lands and Housing to repossess all the riparian land for which title deeds have been issued.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member has stated that there are people who have titles for rivers. Rivers are in riparian land and have riparian rights, and no one should own that kind of land. Could the hon. Member substantiate his claims that there are people owning rivers?
That is easy, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member only needs to tour Lake Naivasha and he will see those flower farms. He needs to tour Western Province. Today, if you are flying over Lake Victoria, you will see that the water is no longer blue! It is---
On a point of information, Mr. Osundwa!
Order! Who are you addressing your point of information to? You know that you have to address the House through the Chair!
The permission has been given by the hon. Member on the Floor.
Order! You have to ask through the Chair!
I accept the information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Order! I do not think that, that is the right procedure. Information is asked for through the Chair and it is the hon. Member on the Floor who allows, but
in this case you have asked the hon. Member directly. We cannot run this House that way!
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Are you going to allow it, Mr. Osundwa?
Yes, I have allowed him, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. He is my good friend.
That is the procedure!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to inform the hon. Member on the Floor and the hon. Member who asked about the issue that he only needs to go to Lower Kabete Road at the Junction with Brookside and April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 353 he will see structures built across the river; not on the river, but across the river!
Thank you, hon. Wetangula. That is good information. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am decrying the fact that today, lakes are polluted because people, who have title deeds that include rivers, are cultivating in the water catchment areas. Therefore, this needs to be checked as a policy. This Government must not allow anybody to cultivate in the riverine areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support this Government but it is lacking in goodwill. This Government needs to do a lot to convince Kenyans to vote it back into power, but because of panic, it has raided the Opposition Side just for survival. If they implement good programmes, we will all support this Government because all of us are working for the betterment of wananchi . Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to finish making my contribution by mentioning something on the exchange rate. The cost of doing business in this country is going up because the exchange rate is not stable. Today, a lot of people are saying that Kenyans should devalue the shilling. Why should we do that? Let the shilling find its own course! With those few remarks, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the President's Speech.
The Member for Kipkelion!
Order, hon. Members! When one hon. Member has caught the Speaker's eye, the rest of you have to sit down. There is no point going on standing. What is your problem? I gave a chance to two hon. Members from the Government side and I am giving two chances to hon. Members on the Opposition side. I am just following up on my promise. Proceed, Dr. Rutto!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Chair's ruling should not be challenged by hon. Members. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to contribute to the Motion and Presidential Speech. The President said that the Government has improved quite a lot in the area of governance. While supporting views that have been expressed by my colleagues earlier on, for example, in the formation of the Government of National Unity, the Government has weakened the Opposition. Issues of governance have something to do with the promotion of democracy and democratic practice in the country and this House. By appointing Members of the Opposition with total disregard to the law, the Government lost marks in the area of governance by weakening the Opposition. Secondly, we have a bloated Cabinet. In other words, the President has enlarged the Cabinet while rewarding certain parties which are presumed to be loyal and supportive of the Government and, in the process they have weakened democratic practice.
What is wrong with that?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not need to answer that. We have seen the Government being anxiously intolerant to divergent views. A case in point is the removal of those who were in Government and who supported the "No" vote during the referendum. This is a show of intolerance that creates a negative mark on issues of governance which the President tended to---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have listened to my colleague talking about governance and the removal of some Ministers from the 354 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 Government. Is the hon. Member in order to think that the Government was wrong to remove those Ministers who were opposed to the Government and were frustrating Motions in this House?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was talking about intolerance and I do not think the hon. Member understands what the term "intolerance" means. The Government demonstrated a lot of intolerance in dealing with its own Members when we were voting for the referendum. That is one mark against the Government in terms of governance issues. While still talking about the Constitution, most of the issues that we dealt with during the referendum and the major part of the Constitution that we fought against was the executive structure. We noticed that the Government was unwilling to reduce the powers of the President as had been suggested in that Constitution. That is one area that hints to us that the issues of governance, with regard to this Government, are still very far from being sorted out. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a remark on corruption. In this country, we have established institutions which are meant to deal with issues of corruption decisively. We created the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC). We have written laws to crack-down on corruption. But we still witness cases of corruption. We ask ourselves: What has gone wrong in our crusade against corruption? I would like to make an observation. In the current crack-down on corruption cases, we still see political patronage, particularly from the Government side. There is lack of political goodwill on the crack-down against corruption. We implore the Government to move as fast as possible and as decisively as possible to prosecute the "big fish" who are involved in corruption scandals. So long as nothing happens in that front, the Government will be sending the wrong signals that it only talks about corruption and does nothing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government should encourage the public to fight corruption. There is need for public education. I notice that there is no intention to improve public education, particularly in the fight against corruption. The KACC should encourage the public to fight corruption. The Government should support any initiative that goes towards public education on matters of corruption. There is need to sensitise the public on corruption, and their role to reduce corruption in public places. In the same vein, we would like to encourage the Government to strengthen the prosecution capacity of KACC. As we talk now, KACC is still very weak as a prosecuting body. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about education. The President did not say anything about education. He does not have to. But there is need to address the quality of education in this country. With the advent of free primary education, the quality of education in this country has deteriorated. There is need to improve the quality of education by addressing the serious shortage of teachers. The Member for Butula mentioned earlier that there are a lot of disparities in the way teachers are distributed in this country. She noted that Nyanza has a shortage of 12,000 teachers. With those remarks, I beg to support.
By the way, I should not be telling an hon. Member his/her time is up because we have indicated so in the lighting system so that you can see it for yourself. The Hon. Member for Laikipia West.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also wish to join my colleagues in supporting the Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President's Speech was very encouraging. It captured the economic situation of the country. It shows we are moving from zero growth rate to somewhere. My only concern is whether the economic growth that has been reported is properly distributed. I am aware that some parts of the country can record high economic growth while others are going down. The important thing here is not to pronounce the achievements without April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 355 giving exactly how it has been recorded, whether it is national or regional. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must give credit where it is due. When the NARC Government took power, economic growth was at zero and now it is at 5 per cent. This Government needs a pat on the back. The security of this country is what should concern Members more than anything else. The way the previous and current governments have handled security leaves a lot to be desired. In my political career, I have never witnessed such infiltration of anti-Government agents serving foreign interests, like it is happening now. I wonder what is happening. This Government's biggest mistake was to allow a man who was in charge of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) in the previous Government to continue serving for a considerable time, perpetuating the previous philosophy. Politicians are spending a lot of time fighting among themselves along party lines and destroying the country in terms of political stability. Time has come for the new NSIS boss to renew his mandate. Time has come when all Ministers, Assistant Ministers and other Members of Government need to be vetted. We are in a post-modern colonial era. We continue to have these problems because today, unlike the experience we had before, there are so many political meetings being funded by foreign governments or agents. Why is it that most political meetings are being funded? I think Members of Parliament need to realise that with the collapse of the Cold War and Communism, there is a new war which has been taken to all the developing countries by the developed countries. It is like they have political offices manned by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). A lot of money has been spent and is still being spent through NGOs to perpetuate the interests of foreign powers. I think it is the high time we started realising that we are all penetrated to the point that we will find this Government unable to govern. It is well known that Kenya is the centre of international agencies. Therefore, the Government must be vigilant in trying to make sure that all the people who are involved in Government and Parliament, for that matter, are known. It should know who they work for. I think it is a very serious matter to find our country penetrated up to the level of where the Head of State stays. We need to ask ourselves really whether we know what is happening in our society. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you see Members of Parliament complaining that the Government is not doing "a", "b", "c" and "d", all they are doing is to tell the public that the Executive has more power than Parliament. That is not the case. If we, as Members of Parliament, want to compel the Government to do whatever we think is right for this nation, it is within our powers to do so. But we have a lot of excuses. We only talk about what the Government has not done. I think the Government should have gone a little further to demand from this Parliament or its leadership, why we only dealt with 15 Bills out of 25 Bills that were scheduled to be debated during the last Session. I think somebody should take responsibility for this, even if it is the Leader of Government Business, Speaker, or whoever. Whoever is responsible needs to come here and tell us what is happening. This is because we cannot expect Members of Parliament to go to Ministries and ask them to bring Bills before the House. Even if a Bill is published, it is not up to hon. Members to introduce it here unless it is a Private Member's Bill. So, this issue was not received well by the public. The public has been disorganised from this House. We need to ask ourselves whether the speeches and statements we make here are in the interest of the public or whether they are meant to further divide the country on tribal and regional lines. Our Standing Orders should be reviewed with a view to controlling people who make irresponsible statements and get away with them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kenyans are basically maturing. If, indeed, our economy has grown by the rate we have been told by the President, then it means that Kenyans have almost forgotten the political bickering that has characterised the leadership of this country and moved on to do their businesses. I must congratulate Kenyans for that resolve. 356 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. First, I wish to associate myself with the concerns of His Excellency the President for addressing various national issues worrying Kenyans as captured in his Address to this House. However, it is important for us to note that it is necessary for the Government to walk the talk. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, listening to His Excellency the President when he opened this Session, he did, among other things, re-emphasise what appears to have become hackneyed platitudes. Anybody who has listened to His Excellency the President's Speech to this House over the past three years will agree with me that, every time, he tends to use the same words he used in his previous Speech, only perhaps, differently prefixed. For instance, His Excellency the President did remember to say, once again, perhaps for the fifth time: "When we took over the Government---". He also said: "This Government aims to ensure that there is recovery of the economy." It ought to be noted that this Government has, in fact, been in power for the last three and a half years or so. Therefore, talk of "taking over the Government", should not be an issue any more. What the Government ought to be saying is what it has done since it formed the Government. The impression gathered from the kind of Speeches written for the President is that this Government wants to live in history. Kenyans are concerned about the present and the future. They do not want to dwell too much on the past. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President rightly noted that we want to see more efficiency in the performance of the Government, leading to conservation of resources and yet when it comes to action, we see very little being done. For instance, it was publicised as Government policy that there will be a reduction in Government spending, particularly with respect to usage of motor vehicles, so that Government Ministers and senior officers are restricted in their use of the number of vehicles for each of them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are yet to see any action being taken in this regard, notwithstanding the hard reality, as contained in the Report of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights for the last quarter, which indicates that during the period starting January 2003 to September, 2004, the Government spent a whooping Kshs878 million to purchase vehicles for use by Ministers, Assistant Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are yet to see any reduction in the number of vehicles that are attached to Ministers. We still see various Ministers running around with main cars, chase cars and cars that carry their security personnel. We would like to see the Government move in, in earnest to make the necessary reduction. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, His Excellency the President rightly identified the plight of the youth by citing among other things that 70 per cent of the Kenyan population is comprised of persons who are under 30 years of age. Indeed, the youths in this country are getting desperate because they have been made to live on promises for far too long. When opportunities arise, the trend is that they are given to persons who are well into their retirement. Most of our parastatals now are headed by persons who are in their 70s or so. The only serious position that is occupied by a young person is that of the Government Spokesman which is occupied by Dr. Mutua. Apart from Dr. Mutua, we do not see any other young person in a position that is of significance in the Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, talking about efficiency in the Civil Service, it is going to be very difficult to get performance out of the public service generally, which includes parastatals, as long as we still have disparity in the remuneration of various cadres of workers. We want to see a situation where salaries are harmonised. At the moment, we see a difference that is April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 357 not easy to explain. For example, a senior economist at the Treasury with a Masters Degree earns a salary that is hardly Kshs70,000 and yet an officer with the same qualifications employed by the Central Bank of Kenya earns five times the salary of the officer who works at the Treasury. We have a situation where Government officers are demoralised. This, obviously, will not be helped by the signing of the performance contracts. We need to see a deliberate policy that is translated into action where salaries are very urgently harmonised and rationalised. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, The President also expressed concern over what appears to be the creeping of a culture that is not very useful to this country, namely, that ethnicity seems to be finding its way in a lot of our establishments and, therefore, affecting the development of this country negatively. The Government, through its top leadership, must demonstrate that it is prepared to make ethnicity a thing of the past. It is not going to be good enough to give lip service alone to this matter. If you go to any given Ministry and find that the Minister comes from tribe A or B - and we should not shy away from this - if the Minister is a Kikuyu, the Permanent Secretary tends to be a Kikuyu, any other senior officers in that Ministry tend to be Kikuyu and the Managing Directors of parastatals in that Ministry will also be Kikuyus. This applies to all the Ministries.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to keep on talking about a particular tribe? This country belongs to every tribe. Why is he talking like that?
With great respect, the hon. Member did not follow me. I said "for instance". I also said that this applies to all Ministries regardless of who heads them. There is a tendency that where the head is from a given tribe, the other senior persons in those Ministries tend to come from those tribes. We even saw it recently when we had replacements of managing directors. We tended to see a situation where the person appointed to replace the one who previously served, came from the tribe of the Minister who was heading that Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am just saying that if we did not learn our lesson from the referendum that took place on 21st November, 2005, then we shall never learn that, no one tribe in this country can lord over the rest. We must learn so that we correct mistakes that other countries have made. We do not want to go the way of Somalia or Rwanda. The way to avoid this is to speak candidly about these matters as, indeed, His Excellency the President has shown concern. Other leaders must follow in the concern of His Excellency the President. That is how we will save this country for the good of all of us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am encouraged that from the utterances of His Excellency the President, we are concerned about---
Order, Mr. Marende! Your time is up! I have only two minutes. Mr. Munya!
There is only one hon. Member for Tigania East. Mr. Munya, are you not the hon. Member for Tigania East? You have two minutes!
Order, Mr. Mwandawiro! The two minutes will be lapsing before Mr. Munya even starts. It is in our tradition that 20 minutes before the time is up, the Mover is called to reply, in this particular case. I have given two minutes to the person at that point to just contribute.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will try my best. First, I would like to laud the President for a very focused Speech. It is a fact that the economy has been 358 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 growing. However, we have to make sure that the poor people in this country benefit from the economic growth. That is the next step that this Government must take. If they fail to do that, we will have problems like India had during her economic boom. The poor, who were the majority, were not benefiting and so the Government of the day was thrown out because the ordinary people were not benefitting. So, the next stage for this Government is to try to come up with policies that address the ordinary citizens. One of the most important thing is for the Government to focus on agriculture where most of our people are engaged in. Right now, the tea farmers are on strike because they have been earning very little from their produce. The sector that has been sustaining this country when all the other sectors were dead is now going down because the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is taking most of the money and the farmer is receiving nothing. It is high time that the Government focused on the tea, coffee, sugar and all other farming sectors. This is the backbone of our economy and this is where the ordinary citizen in this country will be touched. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government must also stop addressing the symptoms of our problems like trying to evict traders from the streets without addressing the problem of where they will get their livelihood. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
I will now call upon the Mover of the Motion to reply!
Order, hon. Members! It is only the Mover who can decide to donate time! Mr. Awori, please, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to donate three minutes to Maj. Sugow and two minutes to Mr. A.C. Mohamed.
Ahsante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa dakika mbili. Nataka kumpongeza Rais kwa Hotuba aliyoisoma hapa. Imejaa mambo ya busara. Alisema viongozi wote waungane pamoja, ili kuleta maendeleo makubwa katika nchi hii. Mwaka uliopita, tulizungumza mambo ya siasa tupu, ilhali wajibu wetu ulikuwa kupitisha sheria zinazoletwa Bungeni. Badala ya kupitisha Miswada 27, tulipitisha saba peke yake. Kiuchumi, Serikali imefanya vizuri. Serikali imeboresha hali ya uchumi wa taifa hili. Uchumi unaendelea kuimarika kutoka sufuri hadi asilimia 5. Ningependa kueleza shida ya maji katika eneo langu la Bunge. Tuna shida sana. Tunaomba Wizara inayohusika kuchukua hatua kurekebesha hali hiyo. Jambo lingine linahusu utafiti wa mafuta katika sehemu ya Lamu. Wakati sasa umefika kwa Serikali kuwajulisha Wakenya wote na watu wa Lamu kinachofanyika huko, ili wasiwachwe nyuma katika uvumbuzi huo. Kwa hayo machache, naunga mkono Hotuba ya Rais.
Proceed, Maj. Sugow! By the way, if you take more time than what was donated by the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, it will be deducted from his time! That is because we are not timing your contributions!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also thank the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs for April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 359 donating his time to me. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will be very short and to the point. One of the issues that I would like to talk about is the fact that, the President has good intentions for this country. If all leaders, both in the Government and Opposition take issues seriously, we can move forward very well. Hon. Members from both sides of the House stressed the need for dialogue. But dialogue is a two-way traffic. As much as it is important that the Government of the day takes the initiative, the onus is also on the Opposition to ensure that dialogue is promoted. It is very difficult to promote dialogue when institutions of the country are not respected by elected leaders. When leaders speak out there about those institutions in a derogatory manner, we are not promoting dialogue. It is important that we, elected leaders, respect ourselves. We need to respect Kenyans who elected people into those institutions. It is only then that we can promote dialogue among ourselves. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country is experiencing a devastating drought. The Government has tried its best. I come from an area that is seriously affected by the drought. The Ministry of Water and Irrigation and other key Ministries have done their best to assist us. I am also very happy because the private sector and different individuals have responded positively. I thank them very much, and encourage them to continue doing so. The problem is still with us, although the rains have started showing signs of falling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my people's source of livelihood has been lost and it is very important that we ensure this does not happen again once the rains come. Some pastoralists have lost 100 per cent of their livestock. Even if rains come their livelihood will have been destroyed. I think it is very important that the Government thinks of ways of restoring their source of livelihood. With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for granting me this little time to respond to the various contributors. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want first of all to thank all the contributors to this very important Motion which was the Presidential Exposition of Public Policy of our country. It is always necessary that we leaders should accord credit where it is due and then deal with our shortcomings so that we know that our interests is the growth of our country. Nobody can deny the fact that through the current leadership of this country, democratic space has been expanded considerably. I know it has been stated that democratic space is a right for everybody and I accept that but it is not always easy for regimes to accept and observe the democratic space. This regime should be congratulated because it has accepted complete freedom of speech that has not been seen before in this country. There is complete freedom of movement in the country and above all, we have a very vibrant media that is always alert to see, inform, criticise, investigate and do all that is necessary of the media. However, democratic space must come with responsibility. There are times when over-indulgence in the freedom of any kind without considering its effects is detrimental to the building of our nation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently, politics has taken centre stage in our lives. Everything that is done and stated is now politicised and, worse still, politics has become ethnic. This is a very sad affair because during the General Elections of 2002, we had worked in such a way that we had reduced completely ethnic divisions. This does not say that a person should not identify himself or herself with their origin. What we are saying is that we should not use ethnicity to dominate or marginalise another person. We need time to deal with issues critically. If we are looking at agriculture, for example, let us not focus on minor issues such as who is the Minister for Agriculture. There are core issues in agriculture that need to be addressed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many hon. Members have said that there is insecurity 360 PARLIMENTARY DEBATES April 5, 2006 in the country. Indeed, there has been some insecurity. However, we forget to see the genesis of this insecurity. It is because we have politicised and ethnicised everything and this creates a problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on many occasions, we forget the point that one hon. Member has alluded to. That is the foreign agenda. The hon. Member for Laikipia West did bring out this issue. I would like to remind my colleagues here that a lot of bickering, if I may call it, a lot of differences between the leaders in this country, and a lot of what is being written, we may not realise this, but, indeed, this is a foreign agenda. The foreigners do not like to see a successful African country. They started it with Mr. Kwame Nkurumah in Ghana way back in the early 1960s, when he ushered in freedom in Africa and he started taking leading roles, emancipating and giving examples to others. The foreign people did not like this. They orchestrated the coup d'etat against Mr. Nkurumah. I am not saying that Mr. Nkurumah did not have excesses. He had excesses. However, he was the true African. It is his example that made all of us seek independence and we earned it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is now happening here in the guise of fighting corruption. I am for fighting corruption. However, right now, what we are doing is not fighting corruption. Maj. Sugow has just mentioned here that one of the things we must do is to respect institutions. We have institutions that deal with all this. However, when we look at these institutions, we look down upon them. We fail in what we do. The fight against corruption should not be politicised in the way it has been done. Frankly, it is no longer a fight against corruption. It is a question of trying to bring down the Government using other methods. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President has led this country so well that in spite of everything that is going on, the economy has grown by 5 per cent. Indeed, it is said that this has not permeated right to the grassroots level, but it is only those who do not go to the grassroots who would subscribe to the fact that the economy has not gone down. The CDF has put money in the pockets of people in the rural areas. When people talk about the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP), they forget that there is Kshs1,400 per child in primary school which is being allocated for that purpose. That money is circulating. If it is in a place like Funyula Constituency, where there are about 25,000 pupils in primary schools, that translates to about Kshs30 million a year. That is money which was never seen there before. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a good number of hon. Members have only looked at the negative side of various issues. However, I am happy to say that quite a number of them have also pointed out various successes such as the FPEP. This has brought in 1.7 million children who would, otherwise, not have gone through primary education. That is a success. I know there is a weakness in what Prof. Mango said on the issue of shortage of teachers. This is another area where we must take charge of our policy and not to listen to foreign policy which says that we must not employ. We have not been employing teachers because we were told not to employ teachers. Yet, we have 60,000 teachers who have already been trained at the expense of the Government, and who are not in employment. These are some of the weaknesses this Government is looking into. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of health, we know that we have reduced the incidence of HIV/AIDS. There are now fewer deaths caused by this scourge. There is more hope for those afflicted by HIV/AIDS to live a good life. That is a positive thing for this country. Recently, a Ministry of Youth Affairs was inaugurated, so that it can take care of the affairs of our youth. In his Address the President said that 72 per cent of our population are people under 30 years of age. Soon the Minister for Youth Affairs will bring a Sessional Paper before this House, so that we can have a youth policy that will take care of the youth. This will remove a feeling of hopelessness from the minds of our youth. The youth need further education and economic empowerment. Although we may not necessarily get them into big companies, the April 5, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 361 proposed policy will help them. Kenyans are known for their diligence in the informal sector, the
sector. This policy will bring in the question of credit financing for our youth, so that the youth can be self reliant. We know that our security will improve when our youth will be fully employed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the agricultural sector has been a success, but still has some shortcomings. Today, our dairy farmers are getting paid for their milk. Even the sugar-cane farmers, although not all of them, have been paid. At least their arrears do not run into years as used to be the case some years back. Finally, we need unity in this country. It is unity that will bring peace. It is an environment of peace which will allow people to invest in this country. Kenyans who have invested their money outside will be able to bring it back. Promotion of peace and unity should be spearheaded by parliamentarians. Parliamentarians, let us not continue to look at each other as enemies. We are not enemies, but friends, brothers and sisters. Our only common goal is the good of this country. Let us start promotion of peace and unity here in this House. In December and January there was a lot of outcry out there for His Excellency the President to reconvene Parliament, so that we could discuss various issues affecting us. I am surprised that after the convening of parliament there is a problem of quorum almost every day, and yet 220 hon. Members were demanding that we should reconvene parliament. I want to appeal to my colleagues that we should concentrate on parliamentary matters in a more purposeful way. Let us not simply work at undermining each other. We should complement the developmental efforts of our people. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Hon. Members it is now time for the interruption of Business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.