Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motions:- ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY THAT, this House do grant leave to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament entitled the National Constituent Assembly Bill, to provide for the establishment of a National Constituent Assembly where negotiations will be held to generate a new democratic Constitution, which shall be made available to the people of Kenya for scrutiny and approval in a national referendum, and for matters connected thereto and related therewith. AMENDMENT OF THE KENYA POST OFFICE SAVINGS BANK ACT THAT, taking into account that commercial banks have been unable to expand banking operations to many towns in Kenya and are, in fact, withdrawing their services in these towns; and aware that the spread of banking operations is key to developing all parts of the country, this House do grant leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank Act, Cap.493B of the Laws of Kenya in order to allow the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, in addition to and in furtherance of its responsibilities and current functions, to advance loans and other forms of credit service to its target group, that is low income individuals and households and small and micro-enterprises. 886 ESTABLISHMENT OF TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON YALA SWAMP THAT, whereas the National Assembly approved a resolution calling on the Government to reclaim the Yala Swamp, and to implement irrigated farming to increase food production, and to promote commercial farming in the area; and being aware that the Government through the Lake Basin Development Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with Dominion Farms Limited for the development of the Yala Swamp; this House urges the Government to set up a technical committee of experts to investigate and report on the extent of implementation of this project and to recommend an action plan on how the project can be expanded in Siaya, Bondo and Busia, and further that the findings of the technical committee be tabled in this House within six months.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister of State, Office of the President the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that the contracts of all parastatal chief executive officers appointed in the first half of 2003, have expired? (b) What action is the Minister taking to ensure continuity of operations based on new performance contracts? (c) Could the Minister table a list of the affected CEOs?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) No, I am not aware. Out of the 32 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) appointed in the first half of 2003, contracts of only seven CEOs have since expired. (b) Although we have given firm instructions that the process of renewal of the contracts or otherwise be initiated six months before expiry, this has not been taken seriously by some boards. However, my Ministry will ensure that the expired contracts are reviewed without further delay. In the meantime, both of the affected State Corporations have appointed CEOs in acting capacity to ensure continuity of operations. (c) The list of the CEOs whose contracts have expired and their status are shown below. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are only seven CEOs and I have already given out copies showing this information.
Read the copy!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, they are as follows:- (i) Under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, we have the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KFRI). The name of the CEO is Dr. P.K. Arap Konuch. The date of appointment and expiry is 25th March, 2003 to 24th March, 2006. At the moment, the matter is being discussed by the board. (ii) The CEO for the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) was Prof. Ratemo Micheka. The date of appointment and expiry of his contract was 25th March, 2003 to 24th March, 2006, respectively. Prof. Micheka was suspended before expiry of the contract. We have an acting CEO in place.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look at the list given by the Minister you will find that it was quite brief. He has dodged the question regarding what the other 25 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are doing, and whether their contracts have expired. My Question is about the first half of 2003 and we are now in the first half of 2006. Three years have elapsed. The Minister is being mean with information about the status of the other 25 CEOs. Could I ask him to explain the status of the other 25 CEOs? He has only given us the status of seven CEOs in his response to part "a" of my Question. Under part "b", he says his Ministry has given firm instructions, but the boards of directors are not taking him seriously. Which part of the centre is not working and hinders the smooth operations of these parastatals?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the contracts of the remaining 25 CEOs will expire in June this year. If the hon. Member wants to know their names, I am prepared to give them to him. But I came with only the names of those CEOs whose contracts have expired as required by the Question. We are asking the boards of directors to renew contracts of the affected CEOs as per the terms and conditions of their contracts. I am sure those contracts will be reviewed very soon.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, a report issued sometime last month by the Centre for Governance and Development, which looked at the performance of State Corporations between 1992 and 2002, showed that we have lost billions of shillings, because of poor management of State Corporations. The major problem is the way political patronage is used in the appointment of CEOs. We have seen in the last few months that all appointments of CEOs have been done by Ministers based on the ethnicity of the Ministers themselves. My question is whether this Government will recruit all CEOs competitively through recognised recruitment firms rather than through political patronage?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a good suggestion. Hon. Members are aware that the CEOs of the State Corporations have all signed performance contracts. I agree that when you look at previous reports you will see that the performance of most State Corporations was actually wanting. But at the moment their performances is above average. So, I entirely agree with the hon. Member that we need to do competitive recruitment of CEOs.
Mr. Minister, it appears that you are expressing a wish, but the hon. Member has asked you for a fact. Are CEOs going to be recruited on merit in future?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am saying that is what is supposed to happen. I am going to ensure that, that happens.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in part "c" of the Question, none of the old CEOs has actually been replaced as per the law. This Government has replaced only those CEOs it was in a 888
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not understand the hon. Member when he says that none of them has been replaced according to the law. Before a CEO is appointed the board of directors advertises the position and people apply. The Board then looks at the names of people who have submitted their applications and recommends three names to the Minister of the parent Ministry. The Minister will then look at the three names and appoint one of them a CEO.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Syongo?
Is it in order for the Minister to mislead this House that positions are advertised? Could he, as a matter of good faith, tabled in this House a single Press advertisement of a CEO's position?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, internal advertising is done.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I raised a pertinent question, that none of all those CEOs whose terms of office have expired has been replaced as per the law. My question is why they were not replaced according to the law.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In view of the foregoing, could the Minister admit in this House that the only employment the Government has created for the last three years has been by way of some Permanent Secretaries and Ministers sacking CEOs and replacing them with their brothers and sisters?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a good comment from my colleague. He is aware that I am have been there for only a few months and perhaps we will be replacing some of those Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) whose contracts were done by him. We, as a Government, are going to practice a lot of professionalism when hiring the CEOs.
Order, hon. Members! I think I will finish with Mr. Maore, but it is a much more serious matter than the way it is being treated. I think Kenyans deserve to know whether, in fact, they stand a chance in Heaven to be appointed as chief executive officers if they have no relationship with Ministers. That did not come out clearly.
Proceed, Mr. Maore!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek your indulgence. My question was that the contracts of the CEOs of the parastatals have expired. The Minister has said that in the first half of 2003, they appointed 32 CEOs. It is 32 out of 32 they have not replaced because even if you look at the schedule, either they have suspended the CEOs and somebody is acting or the matter is with the board. Could I, therefore, plead that the Minister goes back, brings us the list and the status of the entire 32 CEOs instead of just giving us names of certain individuals?
I will encourage openness called in Russia a long time ago as glasnost. You will bring all the information next week.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have the list here. I do not want to wait until tomorrow.
Order, Mr. Minister! We must understand that we do not do these things for ceremony.
If you wanted to lay that document on the Table, you should have done so, so that hon. Members can peruse it and participate. But when we are closing, you now table it. In essence, you are using the Chair as a cover-up.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the question here is for me to show specifics. It says: Could the Minister table a list of the affected CEOs? When the question is about the affected CEOs---
Order, Mr. Minister! There is no contest between me and the Minister. In fact, I am doing my job which is to arbitrate and I am trying to do so. You are also doing your job, which is to answer questions. In my view, that is not answering the issue being raised, so I will ask you to do it in two weeks. I will, therefore, defer that little bit.
Order! Why are you behaving like you are the Speaker? Do not challenge me like that. It is my job. Please, relax! Next Question! MEASURES TO AVERT DESTRUCTION OF MUNINA DAM
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Water and Irrigation the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that Munina Dam, which was constructed with funds from the donor community, is about to burst? (b) What action is he taking to ensure that the dam is not destroyed? (c) What measures is the Minister taking to ensure that projects funded by the donor community are carried out properly and to acceptable standards?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that the reconstruction of Munina Dam was undertaken in January, 2005, after the original dam constructed in the 1950s breached. The major components of the dam were funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) while the community was required to provide materials and labour for construction of the spill-way protection. The spill-way is yet to be undertaken. This may cause dam failure in case of heavy floods. (b) My Ministry is liaising with the local community and the donor to raise the required funds so that the outstanding works are completed in the shortest time possible to save the dam from collapsing. (c) My Ministry will provide technical assistance and has always done so to the local and donor funded projects in planning, design and their implementation. A structure has been put in place to ensure that design reports for water projects are checked by the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) while the water services boards (WSBs) supervise construction of these projects.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the Assistant Minister that if the dam was to breach, part of the Thika-Garissa Road Bridge would be swept away at Matuu. Secondly, people living downstream would be at risk, therefore, he needs to act very fast. 890
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this project had two components. There was DANIDA which was to pay for earth works excavation, auxiliary structures; that is, the cattle trough, community water point and fencing costing Kshs3 million. There was also the community contributions which was part of the agreement between the community and the donor. It was to provide the land, provide and lay hardcore for rip-rap along the spill-way bed. This was to cost about Kshs200,000. It is this contribution from the community side that never came and hence the part of the project that this money was supposed to implement, which is the spill-way, had not been done. However, I am telling the hon. Member that in view of the danger now posed by the breaching of the dam to the community, the Ministry is ready. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am urging the hon. Member to get in touch with the Ministry Headquarters so that we can move fast to alleviate the danger posed in case there will be any further rains that will cause the dam to collapse.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government is losing billions of money because of poor designs of dams. I remember very well that in 1997, the Government, through the Civil Service Retrenchment Programme, laid offmost of the technical staff. Therefore, you will find that the designs that are being done in the district are below standard and the destruction of this dam is something we are going to experience in the near future. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the Technical Department of Design in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation is well equipped with personnel who can handle this work?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, most of those projects have problems but they are not necessarily design or technical problems. Most of these projects are community projects where there is a component from the community side in terms of contribution in the form of either unskilled labour or even funds. When these funds do not come, no matter how well you plan or design a project, it becomes very difficult to implement it as per the standards. It is these particular projects, and not projects wholly owned by the Government, that are posing danger.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as much as the Assistant Minister might want to go to the donors, once a donor has done his job, it is only fair that the Government takes over the responsibility in case of an emergency like this. I would like to request the Assistant Minister to look into this matter and ensure that all the Government water bodies react to this issue as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have no further questions.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry intends to put in place projects which will be shared between the community, the donor and the Ministry to ensure that implementation goes hand in hand. This will ensure that standards are always met so that even if communities do not meet their part---
Hoja ya nidhamu, Bw. Spika. Je, ni haki Waziri Msaidizi kulipotosha Bunge hili kwamba anatoa wataalam wa kusaidia jumuia katika miradi ya maji wakati wataalam wake wanadai hela nyingi sana?
Hilo ni swali, Bwana!
Ningependa kumuuliza mhe. Mbunge ajifunze hoja ya nidhamu ni nini kabla hajauliza tena. Kwa hivyo, swali lako limepotelea mbali!
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works:- (a) whether the Government has any plans to tarmack Emali-Loitokitok Road and, (b) if the answer to "a" above is in the affirmative, could the Minister inform the House when the work will commence.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Government has plans to tarmac the 100 kilometres of Emali-Loitokitok Road. The Kenya Government, with the support of the Arab Bank for Economic Development (ABED) and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) will finance the construction and supervision of the road at an estimated cost of approximately Kshs2.45 billion. (b) The tarmacking of Emali-Loitokitok Road is expected to start in December this year after completion of design review and tendering process.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a very important road to the people of Loitokitok and to the economy of this country. It has been used as a campaign tool by successive governments to win votes from the people of Kajiado South. Its designing was carried out and according to the way it was done, it will cost a lot of demolitions on people's properties, and especially in a place called Kimana Town Centre. Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister consider reducing the width of the road, as per the survey at that particular point so that it can minimise and reduce the losses that will be incurred by the people of Loitokitok?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the design was done sometime ago. However, at that time, we had different financing conditions. When other donors come into play, they do not go by the previous designs. They normally come up with their own designs, done by their own appointed consultants. The review is now being done in cognisance of the other design which was done before. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in addition, during the designing, the road is made to pass through the most economic routes that will serve people better. If, for instance, the design warrants that a road is to pass through a shopping centre, compensation is done to those people who are affected.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you go round the country, you will see that all the roads are in a pathetic condition. The Government has no capacity to re-construct all of them. Could the Assistant Minister consider concessioning some of the roads so that private investors can re-construct them and help Kenyans have better roads?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have indicated, as a policy, that those who want to come in as private investors for concessioning purposes are free to do so. However, it is up to them to look into which roads we will concession and know whether they will have their money back if they invest. Owing to that reason, the Southern by-pass and the Over-pass along Uhuru Highway is the first concessioning that will be done.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the Assistant Minister has put it, the survey of the 892
Mr. Speaker, Sir, compensation will be done after the review of the design is done because there could be some changes when the new engineers come on board. Mr. Speaker, Sir, so, compensation can only be done after the final design has been approved.
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works:- (a) whether he is aware that Murang'a-Gitugi Road (D427) was designed to bitumen standard in the early 1980s and a contract worth Kshs99,410,842 awarded to Firoze Construction Company Ltd. on 4 April, 1988 for a period of 18 months but was abandoned on 19th August, 1991 after undertaking only the earthworks and installation of culverts; (b) whether he is further aware that after the contactor abandoned the road, the Ministry started tarmacking it, but abandoned the project after only three kilometres; (c) how much money was paid to the contractor and how much has been allocated to the road for maintenance since 1991; and, (d) if he could allocate adequate funds during the 2006/2007 Financial Year to complete this important road in Murang'a District.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Murang'a-Gitugi Road was designed to bitumen standard in the early 1980s. A contract worth Kshs99,410,842 was awarded to Firoze Construction Company Ltd. on 4th April, 1988 for a period of 18 months but was abandoned on 19th August, 1991 after undertaking the earthworks and installation of the culverts. (b) I am also aware that after the contractor abandoned the road, my Ministry started re- tarmacking it but abandoned the project after only 3 kilometres out of a total length of 26.5 kilometres. The project was abandoned due to inadequate budgetary allocations by the Treasury. (c) The contractor was paid Kshs48,635,327.85. Since 1991, the road has been allocated Kshs22,833,000 for both maintenance and improvement. The road will benefit during the construction of Saint Mary-Nyakahura-Gitugi Road since 3 kilometres is covered by the project. My Ministry will allocate funds during the 2006/2007 Financial Year to complete construction of this important road in Murang'a district and Kshs10 million has also been earmarked for design of Murang'a-Gitugi Road in the 2006/2007 Financial Year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am surprised by what the Assistant Minister is telling us because the road was earmarked and designed for construction almost 20 years ago. The Assistant Minister agrees with that. However, currently, the road the Assistant Minister is referring to as Saint Mary-Nyakahura Road is a diversion of that road which is categorised as an "E" class, E358. Could the Assistant Minister tell us the rationale of diverting the construction of Murang'a-Gitugi Road, D427 to construct a lower class road which has not even been recommended by the DDC or DRC? Is that being done because of political pressure from a powerful senior politician of this country?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to ask Mr. Kamotho to name the senior politician?
That is not a point of order. Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon. Kamotho knows, since he was once a Minister, that priorities in Government keep on changing. Both roads originate from Murang'a and move on up to the Aberdares mountains. It is not correct to say that one road is more important than the other. As I have said---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to say that priorities in Government can change, even after projects have already been started?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to what I have read here that priority changed even at the time hon. Kamotho was a Minister. That is why the road was not completed. What I am saying is that the construction of one road will start very soon. The road hon. Kamotho is talking about will be designed soon because Kshs10million has already been allocated for the next financial year. After the design has been done, it will be upgraded to bitumen standards.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister aware of the answer they gave to this House in November, 2003 regarding the same road? At that time, they said that they were allocating Kshs30 million for the redesigning of that road. How can he then tell us now that they have allocated Kshs10 million to design the same road?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Kshs30 million that hon. Kamotho is talking about was for the maintenance of that road and not for its design. This time round, I am saying that Kshs10 million will be allocated for purposes of designing the road before it is tarmacked. The design that was used in 1988, when the contractor abandoned the work, cannot be used now. It can only be reviewed and a new design done.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is totally wrong for this Assistant Minister to keep on giving us contradictory statements. I will give an example of Rodi Kopany-Karungu Bay Road, C18. This same Assistant Minister said that the road had already been redesigned and the Ministry had allocated Kshs50 million for its re-carpeting. Mr. Speaker, Sir, today, as I speak to you, the road is in a bad shape and, in fact, it is impassable. Would I be in order to request that we get the substantive Minister to answer some of these questions? The road that hon. Kamotho is talking about had been started. They had tarmacked three kilometres of that road. How come that we are now being told that it is being redesigned? Which is which? What is happening to Rodi Kopany-Karungu Bay Road?
Is Rodi Kopany-Karungu Bay Road in Murang'a District?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Rodi Kopany-Karungu Bay Road will be allocated funds in the next financial year, because its design is already complete. We promise that construction work will start in the next financial year.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order! Order, Mr. Ojode! You are trying to divert the Question from Murang'a to Homa Bay. That is not possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if hon. Ojode brings a Question with regard to Rodi Kopany- Karungu Bay Road, then we shall answer it substantively. The design that was used over 10 years ago cannot be used now. I wish to request the hon. 894
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister has not explained why there is the diversion to a place called Nyakahura, which is in category E. The Murung'a-Gitugi Road is category D. Could he, please, confirm that priorities changed when hon. Michuki was appointed a Minister because the Nyakahura Road goes to his village?
Mr. Speaker, Sir there is no diversion. That is an entirely different road which goes towards the Aberdares. The road, D327, is entirely a different one. As I said before---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am shocked to hear the Assistant Minister say that, that road is not a diversion. If he has not been there, I am ready to take him there tomorrow. The road he is talking about, that is E538, is a diversion from Murang'a-Gitugi Road, D427. So, what he is talking about is something that has been cooked. I do not even think that they have read the District Development Committee's (DDC's) minutes or those of the District Roads Committee (DRC) to see the recommendations that were made.
Are both of you not from the Murang'a?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I come from Murang'a South and he comes from Murang'a North. However, I do not agree that we are cooking anything in the Ministry. It is not possible to cook a road. I understand what hon. Kamotho is saying, and I know why he is so jittery about it. The plans to construct the road were started about 15 years ago when he was a powerful Minister in the KANU Government. The road has not been constructed yet. However, as I said before, the Ministry looks at priorities of the roads in terms of the areas they serve.
Mr. Speaker, Sir,---
Order, Members! I am inclined to send the two of you to Murang'a, so that you can go and discuss this local problem there. So, please, I think we have to stop this parochial issue. Next Question!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for agreeing to reinstate this Question, which I did not ask yesterday because I came in late.
asked the Minister for Transport:- (a) if he is aware that the trains ferrying passengers to and from Nairobi City and its suburbs during rush hours overload, with some commuters hanging dangerously onto the coaches, oblivious of the risk involved; (b) how many deaths have occurred as a result of (a) above; and, (c) what he is doing to alleviate the situation and protect the lives of passengers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that trains carrying passengers to and from Nairobi City and its suburbs during rush hours overload, with some commuters hanging dangerously onto coaches. (b) Regrettably, some commuters have fallen off trains because of hanging from coach doors and couplings. In the last one year, three persons have been fatally injured. They are: Mr. G.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for that answer. I realise that he is putting a lot of confidence on the concessionaire saying that it will provide safety and security measures for our people. He has told us that the Government is putting aside Kshs70 million for that purpose. Mr. Speaker, Sir, could he assure this House that these funds will be available at the time when they will be needed? In the past, we are aware that the Government made promises, but it never meets its obligations.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can confirm that the NARC Government always keeps its promises unlike the previous Government, so that money is available.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, railways transport is a very important and cheap means of travelling. The Assistant Minister is well aware that the road conditions in Kenya have caused a lot of deaths. Does he have plans to have a passengers' train from Kitale to Nairobi? If so, when will it commence?
As Capt. Nakitare has rightly pointed out, the Government has given a concession to Sheltham to run the railways. One of the conditions we have given this firm is that they must ensure that the passenger service and goods train run smoothly on time and cheaply. We will leave that to the concessionaire when they take over in July. We shall request them to, first of all, restart all the passenger and goods trains that Kenya Railways has been unable to do so because of lack of funds.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, rail transportation in Nairobi is a very important means of travelling. However, we find that school children have a lot of problems going to school nowadays. What measures will the Ministry take to make sure that school children who travel using trains would be given an easier way to travel from Eastlands to the City centre?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as rightly pointed out by Mr. Ndolo, it is true school children really suffer in Nairobi when they are going to school. We are aware that school children are waking up as early as 4.00 a.m. to be able to reach schools. These problems have been brought about by parents. We find a parent staying in Githurai, but wants his or her children to go to a school in Lavington or Karen. The policy of Nairobi City Council is that students should attend the nearest primary school from where they stay. If this policy were to be followed, that issue of children waking up at 4.00 a.m. in order to make it to school would go away. Therefore, I am encouraging Members of Parliament from Nairobi to build more schools near residential areas, so that children do not have to move from one estate to another in order to go to school. They can simply walk to school as it happens in other places. 896
Mr. Speaker, Sir, three Kenyans have so far died because of congestion in trains. I assume that once they board that train they had already been given tickets. Those tickets should be an insurance for them. What compensation will Kenya Railways give to the relatives of those who have died because they had already paid for the tickets and they were in the train?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, anybody who is travelling on top of a coach is not a passenger according to the law. They are trespassers and that is why they are arrested. Therefore, the issue of insurance does not even arise. They should actually be taken to jail. They should not ride on top of coaches.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) how many Kenyans have been displaced as a result of ethnic/land clashes within Kenya in the last 15 years, (b) whether he could indicate the number of such victims in Muhoroni Constituency; and, (c) whether he could specify the parcels of land from which the victims in Muhoroni were evicted and person(s) occupying the land now.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government appointed a task force which made visits to all areas that were affected during the ethnic/land clashes to establish the genuine number of victims. We said last week that this report will be given to the Government this month. It will enable us to know how many Kenyans were displaced. (b) Therefore, the exact number of victims in Muhoroni, if any, will be known when the report is released. (c) The parcels of land from which residents of that area were evicted will also be contained in the said report.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, these ethnic clashes have made thousands of Kenyans suffer for the last 15 years. They are still going on. For how long has this task force been working while Kenyans are suffering and ethnic clashes are going on?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the task force has already completed going round the country. They are now putting final touches to their report and it will be ready sometime this month. We are rushing it because we want to know its contents. We are also interested in it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell this House what relief they can give the displaced people who are languishing in squalid situations throughout the country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have been assisting most of these families by giving them relief food from the Government. We have been giving some of them humanitarian assistance.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to give the same answer to a question which was asked two weeks ago about this committee? This committee finished its work---
Order! That is your argument. Last question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell this House what measures the Government has to stop any further clashes from taking place in this country? Recently, we had clashes in some parts of Rift Valley.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have established quite a number of peace-making teams in our office. Most of these teams are in the countryside. There was a question about that this morning and we want to ensure that warring communities are arbitrated and that is what we are doing. Apart from that, we are sending out security to all those areas that are affected.
Very well. That is the end of Question Time. All unanswered Questions will be put on the Order Paper tomorrow.
Mr. Khamisi asked me for permission to seek a Ministerial Statement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement on the devastating flooding in the lower parts of Coast Province. Rains have been pounding the area for the last few days. They have displaced hundreds of people and destroyed property. At least, three people have died as a result of those floods. Some schools have closed following the continued rains this week. There is also some fear of serious outbreak of diseases as a result of burst sewers, particularly in the City of Mombasa. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister of State for Special Programmes to tell this House what urgent plans he has put in place to confront that emergency in terms of providing food, shelter and drugs to those affected. I would like that Statement to be made as soon as possible, so that the situation could be contained.
Is the Minister here?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I undertake to pass this information to the Minister in charge.
Very well. Next Order!
Who was on the Floor? Eng. Muriuki! Order, hon. Members! We have to be mindful of the needs of other hon. Members to debate on this important Motion. This House does not have endless time to debate on any particular Motion. So, please, those moving Motions and those contributing must be mindful that we have limited time, all the time. So, we need to be mindful of others. Proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me the chance to finish moving this important Motion to adopt the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) Report. The Report that we are urging the House to adopt has been discussed in various fora. We had a chance to discuss it informally, during the workshop at Safari Park Hotel. Therefore, I will take time to highlight what I think are the salient points. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the CDF Committee had the opportunity to visit various constituencies in the country to see for itself how the projects are being implemented. We have also observed certain things which are not for implementation by CDF, but they have been done. One of them is what we are referring to as affirmative action. That is not under the purview of CDF. But it is our wish that our Government takes note of the fact that, certain parts of this country have been forgotten in certain aspects. For example, where we have pastoral nomadic communities, the education sector
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In view of the importance of this Motion, could you allow the Mover to come to the Front Bench?
No! Absolutely no! There is no Motion that is more important than any other.
Order! I want to say the following to the hon. Members. Please, listen carefully to me. Please, do not treat only those Motions that interest you, either as a group or, as an individual, as important. Every matter affecting the Kenyan people is as equally important. So, let us keep that in mind. Proceed!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I agree with your ruling. I do not want to contradict it.
But you are already doing it!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other day, when Ms. Ndung'u was moving The Sexual Offences Bill, she was allowed to move to the Front Bench!
Order! I have said no! That is it! Proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before that interruption, I was saying that some parts of the country have been forgotten by the Government. Generally, there may be reasons why pastoral communities lag behind. Sometimes, it might be because of tribal clashes. It appears that a lot of money is being used for water instead of where it is critically needed in those areas. We, in the CDF Committee, are requesting the Government to look into that matter. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other aspect which we have looked at in the implementation of the CDF Act is the term of office of various committees, which has been put at two years. It means that the committees will be changed three times within one term of Parliament. Therefore, we are recommending a term of three years rather than two years. The other aspect which is of grave concern is how the money allocated per constituency is utilised on various projects. At the moment, that decision is with the Constituency Development Committee in every constituency. When it comes to the CDF Committee in Parliament, we merely look at whether they have utilised the money. It is none of our business to know how they intend to use their money. We set up a parallel body called the National Management Committee in good faith. What has been happening is that, sometimes, the constituency wants to do a certain project and when it goes to the committee which is supposed to disburse funds, they say it is not prudent. It is for that reason that we have included an amendment where that decision lies squarely with the CDF committees in the constituencies. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other aspect is what happens at the end of the financial year. We have very many constituencies which, for one reason or the other, end up with some savings. They may have wanted a project initially, but they no longer need it. For example, they wanted to drill a borehole, but the Government or an Non-Government Organisation (NGO) came and drilled the borehole for them. They require a system where that money could be re-allocated to something else within the constituency. There has also been a considerable problem with the emergency fund. That has also been juggled between the National Management Committee and the CDF Committee in Parliament. We are now saying that, that decision lies with the CDF in the constituency. There has also been a bit of concern on the mandate and the usefulness of the District Project Committee. However, after careful consideration, we have left it intact. We are 900
Order, Dr. Machage! Just a few minutes ago, you complained that you could not hear the hon. Member! But now, you are making the whole of that corner unable to hear what the hon. Member is saying. Will you keep the peace?
Speaker, Sir, I have not even uttered a word!
Order, Dr. Machage! Keep the peace!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my last substantive point is on the implementation process. As the Act stands now, we have a number of committees which are cumbersome and tend to have a parallel mandate. We have looked at that and our view is that the CDF Policy should be set up by Parliament and the Select Committee's role is to oversee the implementation of that policy. When a constituency wants to buy a piece of land, we shall pass it and they will buy. But before the cheque is issued, they are told to remove the item of the land because they do not think it is a good idea. Some other constituencies say they want to build tea collection centre or some such community project. It goes to the National Management Committee and they return it saying they do not think it is a good idea. When we engage the National Management Committee as to why they are saying so, they say part of their mandate is prudent management of the committee. The argument that has come is, we want to distinguish prudent management from prudent decisions as to what they want to do with their money. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we talk about policy, we expect that the body which is given the mandate for the disbursement does not also come up with its own policy. For example, recently, we ended up with a situation where some people started calling us from around the constituencies asking us who are these people called regional managers. I had not heard of it, it had not come to this House, and it had not even come to the committee for information. It is for this reason, therefore, that it is our considered view that we should be having a CDF Secretariat composed of professional persons, rather than another parallel body made up of persons like the hon. Members who make their own policies. We went ahead to even suggest the sort of persons who we thought should be in this CDF Secretariat, so that we have an officer administering the fund, an accountant, a finance officer, a legal officer, aproject management officer, an information technology officer, a public relations officer, an internal auditor and maybe, one or two other persons selected by the Minister concerned. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we also considered that if we had such a Secretariat which will be doing the day-to-day administration of the Fund, then the administration that is done in Parliament should be given to that Secretariat. So, we debated among ourselves as to where this Select Committee should be housed. We looked at Parliament and we thought it is the wrong place because they are implementors. We looked at the Ministry of Finance where, at the moment, the National Management Committee is located. What tends to happen is that when they sit on something and they make a resolution, then they have to report to the Ministry of Finance. It so happens that the Chairman of that Committee is also the Permanent Secretary for Finance, and so it is like reporting to himself. It is for this reason, therefore, that we suggested that this CDF Secretariat be put under one of the line Ministries. In this case, we suggested that it be situated in the Ministry dealing with matters relating to regional development. This is a good scenario and---
Order, hon. Members! I think the hon. Member is making very interesting contribution and Members ought to listen. But supposing the President tomorrow abolished the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities, then what happens to CDF? He cannot abolish the Ministry of Finance, but he can abolish the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities. Then, what happens?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is why we have talked about the Ministry dealing with matters relating to regional development. The way it is now, it is not proper. So, we made what we thought were fairly rational and considered proposals. I am giving the Report as it is now, but we are more than willing to talk about the issue and reach a reasonable conclusion. All we are saying is that, as it is now, without the roles being separated, it is not running properly. We would like to see a situation where the roles are properly separated. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other issue which drove us to a line Ministry is that the CDF is acquiring a lot of assets which do not belong to one institution or the other. They belong to the community generally. For example, we want every constituency to acquire a constituency vehicle. You will find that, in order to run CDF affairs, hon. Members are forced to use their own vehicles, which is not proper, because it is like politicking with it. If you have an asset like that, who owns it? As a matter of fact, the computers, desks and so on, which we have in our constituency offices at the moment, really are floating. They do not have a legal owner. Therefore, we thought that if this CDF Secretariat was hosted in a Ministry, then the issue of ownership of assets would not arise any more. So, we have a problem of who actually owns the assets that are acquired through CDF. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will now go to a point which has been very topical. At the moment, the CDF is 2.5 per cent of the Government ordinary revenue. Allow me to clarify. It is not 2 per cent of the Budget as it is reported quite often in the media and elsewhere. The Budget itself is about Kshs400 billion. Our observation is that, throughout the country, there are success stories everywhere we go. The CDF primarily is for the provision of community infrastructure. Therefore, the success in community infrastructure is so high that we would wish to see it enhanced. It is, therefore, our considered opinion that we recommend the CDF amount to be increased from 2.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent of the ordinary Government revenue. Mr. Speaker, Sir, lastly, I would like to acknowledge the good work done by various contributors. I would wish to personally mention the name of the former Minister for Finance, Mr. Mwiraria, without whom it would have been very difficult to implement CDF as it is now. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will recall that at the beginning, we had a major problem as to how to implement CDF projects with the cumbersome procurement systems of Government. It took the goodwill of the then Minister for Finance to agree to sit with the Select Committee to agree on a workable system through which CDF could implement its programmes.
I also wish to take this opportunity to recognise the good work done by hon. Members. Unlike what may be reported here and there, I am happy to note, on behalf of Select Committee, that Members of Parliament appear to have taken the CDF challenge much more seriously than the way we thought. Let me also mention that contrary to reports that there has been misuse of money, we have had only one constituency, namely, Fafi, out of the 210 constituencies, where money has actually been lost. Even on that case, where Kshs7.3 million was reported to have been stolen, I got a report 902
Who has asked you to do that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thought---
I have to look and see whether you have a supporter. I am the Chair. So, you cannot nominate anybody to second you. Just move!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.
Very good! Any seconder?
Can I nominate one?
No, you cannot, Eng. Muriuki! I am the Speaker, Eng. Muriuki!
Any seconder? I will give the Floor to Mr. Billow!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will contribute after the gracious lady!
Do you want me to give it to the gracious lady?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Proceed, Prof. Mango!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to second the Motion. The Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) is a result of the Constituencies Development Fund Act that came into existence in 2003. I have been a Member of the Committee. The CDF has done wonders in this country. We have travelled around the country, as a Committee, and witnessed that through the CDF, constituencies have been able to put up classrooms, build nursery schools, health centres and dispensaries. In schools where children were previously sitting on the floor, the CDF has provided desks. Where children were learning in dusty classrooms, the CDF has been able to cement the floors so that there are no more cases of jiggers bothering the children. The CDF has made a lot of difference in institutions in this country. Therefore, it is a great idea which needs the support of all hon. Members and Kenyans at large. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with the little amount of 2.5 per cent of national Budget allocation to the CDF, we have done a lot of wonders. If this allocation is increased, the CDF will revolutionise this country in very many ways. Initially, the Fund was meant for "fire-fighting" where there was no infrastructure. If you go to the rural areas, the CDF is the talk of every villager and everyone in the nation. Sometimes, the CDF is criticised by those who are not familiar with what it is doing. However, people in the rural areas know what work it is doing and they appreciate it. Today, if you say that we should disband the CDF, there will be a riot in this country because it has helped in very many ways to put up infrastructure.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is one bottleneck in the administration of the CDF. In many districts, the District Development Officers (DDOs) have proved to be a bottleneck in disbursing the CDF money. They do not seem to understand that the money belongs to the constituencies. They think that the money belongs to them and, therefore, they have the sole authority to disburse
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. The wrong perception about the CDF, created largely by the media, civil society and others, is misplaced. The impact of CDF in the last three years has been felt by communities, particularly in the rural areas. It is all there; very tangible results that can be seen. It has been realised by donors and the people of Kenya that the CDF has actually had an impact in terms of infrastructure development in the rural areas. I think that is a credit to the Ninth Parliament. There are those who said that the Ninth Parliament is a disaster but I would want to argue that, indeed, this Parliament will be remembered by posterity because of the introduction of the CDF.
The credit goes to this House which, in 2003, decided that we must have the CDF Act implemented. In that regard, although this is not the current Government's dream but rather something dreamt in 2002, when the Cockar Tribunal was established by the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Government gets credit for financing CDF in the last three years it has been in office. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the NARC Government has had its priorities misplaced. We have given many examples to support this opinion. A good example that I want to give is that, last week, when we passed the Supplementary Estimates, the Government, for instance, removed from the Budget over Kshs500 million which was intended for emergency borehole drilling, and for construction of water pans in ASAL areas. Through the same Supplementary Estimates that we passed last week, the Government removed from the Budget over Kshs500 million meant for construction of rural health centres. Because of the failure of the Government to stick to priorities for development, this House decided that we must use the CDF as the alternative to achieve our priorities in this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we should not lose sight of the fact that what we have been using as the CDF is only 2.5 per cent of the national Budget for the last two years. The Government had an opportunity to spend 97.5 per cent of the annual Budget. If you ask Kenyans today, they will tell you that they do not see the impact of the 97.5 per cent. The impact they see in the rural areas is that of the 2.5 per cent. It is also important to note that the question of capacity by the Government to utilise the Development Vote has been a major concern for the last 15 years. If you look at the Public Expenditure Review Reports which, unfortunately, are not shared 904
I must come to the Government's side now. I had two Backbenchers. So, I will come to the Front Bench and I see Dr. Machage.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Denying Dr. Machage a chance means denying a chance to 100 per cent of the representation of the Kuria people in this House.
I support the Motion. The CDF has revolutionalised the marginalised areas in this country; my constituency being one of them. Indeed, we have seen funds pushed to the marginalised areas that have never been seen since Independence. In the last two and a half years, my constituency has received slightly over Kshs65 million for its development projects. Indeed, 97 projects that have addressed mainly issues of education and health have adequately been promoted. Hon. Members have shown that they can adequately utilise this facility with their committees. There is a lot of development, not only in Kuria, but generally in Kenya only with 2.5 per cent of the national Budget. I would wish that the Press does not trivialise this issue. Instead, the Press should seek the views of the people of this country, which are that the CDF has been seen to work. Indeed, asking for an increase of 5 per cent is modest, like one hon. Member has just said. It would have been better if 10 per cent was directly disbursed to the constituencies. However, there are so many bottlenecks in the utilisation of these funds. When the CDF committee has approved an hon. Member's project, I find it not acceptable for the National CDF Management Committee to disapprove the same because priorities differ. In my constituency, where the illiteracy rate is very high, my priority is the provision of education and where infant mortality rate goes as high as 180 per 1,000, my priority is medical services. So, I find it difficult and unacceptable when I bring my priorities to the House, they are approved and the National Management Committee says that I must have only 50 per of my budget awarded to one specific priority. Education is a priority that requires more than 90 per cent of my budget. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this bottleneck must be addressed because the clause in the Act that manages the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) is a bit ambiguous on this. The benefit of the doubt should be given to the Member of Parliament and his committee who desire to have certain projects. In the endeavour to have equitable distribution of resources the CDF has proved to be a facilitator in this country. Indeed, I accept, with my colleagues in this House, that the emergency fund should not be dictated unto. It should be left for the committee to decide on where the priority should be. Mr. Speaker, Sir, apart from the CDF, with the facilities and functions it has been given, I think an allowance should be given maybe with more funds for the support of the marginalised population in the communities such as the women groups and the youth. This should actually be put into the Act so that Members of Parliament are not tied from addressing these two groups which are groups which have not been fully addressed by the previous Government in terms of facilitation. Otherwise, there should be a clause that allows a Member of Parliament to address in 906
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to support the CDF Report. This is a very important debate because it is being done for the first time I would say and it is not a wonder for 100 years, that the marginalised areas, the drought-afflicted areas, the people who are left behind, including by the colonialists, have felt that the resources have been fairly and equitably distributed. It is true that these areas until CDF came, had been forgotten and marginalised. They have been areas which had been peripheral but for the first time CDF has come and reached every corner of this country. It has not discriminated against anybody like normally it is done in the main Budget and this little money to the tune of 2.5 per cent to the country has done wonders. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in some of our areas it has helped us build classrooms which we did not have since pupils were studying under trees. Now we have got an opportunity to build at least some classrooms for these pupils. We have extended a little bit of health work. There were areas that had no dispensary at all; where citizens would walk up to 50 kilometres to reach a health care centre. This distance has now been reduced through building of dispensaries near their homes. We have also got this question of water in some of these areas. The dams have been built. The boreholes have been sunk even with that little money. It is wonderful that this distribution of resources has helped us people, who not only consider but can verify that we have been forgotten and thoroughly marginalised. Mr. Speaker, Sir, look at what we have been seeing in north eastern Kenya and not only north eastern Kenya but in all the drought-stricken areas. In fact, this is the first time that the deaths of our people have been recorded. Women and children died of famine. It is because we have not
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Report. It calls for our support because the institution of the CDF has assisted the development of this country to a very large extent. The CDF has revolutionised the development agenda of this country. I would like to thank the President because he assented to the CDF Act when others had refused to do so. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Report talks about various matters, some relating to change of the law and policy. It looks like it was very carefully thought out by the Committee. I must thank the Committee and the Chairman for the good work they have done. The District Projects Committee (DPC) is a very important committee as far as the CDF is concerned. I would want to see the DPC working more to regulate and arbitrate matters relating to the CDF. I do not see the reason why people should rush to court when they have not reported matters to this particular committee or even the NMC. Therefore, this committee just like the Select Committee has recommended, should be retained in the Act. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should disabuse the notion that has been portrayed that hon. Members can misappropriate the CDF funds. It is high time all and sundry, knew that most of these funds are sent to a project committee. That project committee is the one which should spend that money properly. The hon. Member is just a facilitator of these funds. He does not sign cheques. For it to be said that an hon. Member can misappropriate money, that is not good politics by those who propagate it in that direction. I support the idea of the committee that there should be a professional secretariat. I know we agreed that the NMC will be able to manage the funds, but we said that those who sit in that committee come from various institutions. However, we are also alive to the fact that they could also be politicians like we are. So, they could be doing power politics wherever they are. Maybe, as the Committee is suggesting, if we have a professional secretariat, it will go a long way in regulating the management of CDF and related matters. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the idea of enhancing the percentage of CDF to 7.5 per cent. It is good for the public to know that the CDF money is just an equivalent of Kshs2 out of Kshs100. If somebody asked you to give him Kshs2.50 out of Kshs100, he is not asking too much. If he asks you to give Kshs7.50 out of Kshs100, that is really peanuts. I hope that the Government, through the Minister for Finance, will be able to look into this issue with a lot of sympathy for the people who benefit from these funds. The CDF has benefited all corners of this country. This is one thing that the NARC Government must be very proud of. The number of employment opportunities that the CDF has created is enormous. In Ndaragwa Constituency, for example, when we give money for the construction of a school or health centre, there are a lot of people who are employed for those projects to be completed. So, this has been a source of employment. I believe, if we did the mathematics properly, we have created a lot of employment through the CDF. The CDF funds are Government money. We, as hon. Members, will never claim that it is from our pockets. However, it is this Ninth Parliament that created the CDF. This is a very
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to support this Motion. I want to congratulate the Chairman of the CDF National Management Committee for the Report, particularly for pointing out that in many areas CDF funds have been used to speed up development. The Chairman alluded to experiences his Committee has got from going round the country. He said that in many areas CDF funds were used to implement projects that ought to have been done by the Government many years back. There are cases where CDF funds are used to put up police stations. In my own constituency, I used CDF funds to buy radio communication sets for the police and the District Commissioner. Surely, the role of providing security to Kenyans lies with the central Government but not the CDF. But sometimes we are caught in situations where we have no choice. Things like providing radio communication sets and establishing police stations are a matter of life and death to our people. I hope that this point will be noted by the central Government to make sure that it takes seriously its responsibilities. CDF funds should be used to undertake people-driven projects in rural areas. I want to support proposals to increase the CDF rate from 2.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent. I know that the Minister for Finance will say that the pie is limited, and that there is so much in the kitty. We are not asking for extra funds. We are only asking for reorganisation of that pie, so that funds that now appear under the Constituency Roads Fund are reallocated to the CDF. There are other funds set aside for health and water which can be put into the CDF. I want to support hon. Members who said that the impression created out there is that CDF funds are totally in the hands of the MPs. I think those who read the law governing the CDF know that this is not the case.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I need your protection. There seems to be some recruitment going on here. 910
Order! Order, hon. Members!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the impression given to the public is that the CDF is totally in the hands of the MPs. This is not true. The law provides for a committee of 15 members to run CDF affairs. In that Committee we have councillors, religious leaders, representatives of NGOs and youth representatives. In fact, the law provides that the MP be the Chairman of the CDF Committee. However, in many cases, hon. Members are patrons. The law also provides for participatory appraisals to be undertaken. It provides that we should consult the people on the type of projects to be undertaken. So, there is participation of the people in CDF projects. I agree that we need to improve our capacity as we increase the funds. As we increase the CDF funds, we also need to increase our capacity to manage them. I know that there has been some difficulties in getting co-operation from civil servants. I support the idea of recruiting a co- ordinator who is qualified in economics and community development to run CDF offices. We should also improve our infrastructure by buying vehicles for monitoring and evaluation of projects. We should also modify the law and re-examine the role of the District Projects Committee. Many districts have several constituencies. As the Chairman of my District Projects Committee, I have no authority to amend the project priorities by my colleagues. So, I think that Committee is redundant. Its functions should be defined to include harmonisation of projects, so that you can rationalise the activities of the county Council and Government departments. We should avoid duplication of efforts during project implementation. I think the role of the District Projects Committee can be brought in at the beginning rather than at the end. I should not be allowed to examine and modify what is done by Members of Parliament. Finally, I do not support the idea of moving the CDF Secretariat to the Ministry of Rural Development. I was a Permanent Secretary in that Ministry before it was abolished. When it was abolished I went home. We should be satisfied with the current arrangement, or move it to the Budget Office. I think we should not make ourselves victims of another bureaucracy. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Motion. The CDF is a good idea for all of us. I know that Ministers and the other Members of Parliament are eager to see their areas developed using the CDF facility. I want to agree with hon. Members who have said that the CDF has made a great impact in all corners of this country. This being the first Parliament to implement the CDF, we should be careful to set a record that will last for years and be emulated. I am, therefore, calling for an audit of how we have utilised the CDF funds in the last two years, so that it can inform the strengthening of the systems that we are now developing. We should re-examine the system of disbursing the funds from not only the Treasury but also in our own constituencies. We should look at all the areas where people have raised issues, so that we can strengthen the CDF to be a vehicle that will propel this country to an equitable distribution of not only services but also infrastructure. We have seen classrooms, dispensaries, water projects and many other well deserving projects coming up. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have looked at the recommendations of the Committee which include a draft Bill. I would like to urge hon. Members that we look at the proposed amendment very carefully so that we do not introduce wittingly or unwittingly opaqueness into the management of the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). There must be checks and balances. The original idea of the CDF, as contained in the Act now, provides sufficient checks and balances to ensure that the money is spent well. That is why we go to the District Development Officers (DDOs) and District Accountants (DAs) for them to check whether we are
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support the idea of the Ninth Parliament, of coming up with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). The CDF is the only institution that has shaken all the corners of this country. I want to highly commend the Chairman for the work he has done and particularly, in raising the allocations from 2.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent. I do not agree with my colleague, Mr. Billow, when he says that we should reduce it to 5 per cent. Some of the funds which reach our constituencies are minimal, for some peculiar reasons. When we carried out the 1999 Census, the results were tampered with and some of our constituencies were not considered as populous. They were also under-estimated in terms of numbers and poverty index. The only projects which are vibrant, exist and compete with the Government, are the CDF projects. The danger in that is that, there is a lot of duplication when a constituency is under a municipality. The councils or municipalities duplicate exactly the same projects the CDF committee has agreed upon. That is where we need some clarity. I do not know at what level we can get some sanity between the CDF committees and the councils, so that rather than compete, they complement each other. We thought the idea of the District Projects Committees (DPCs) should do that job. However, the job of the DPC is not only to reject projects of the CDF committee, but also to understand the financial contributions of CDF in various regions. I think it is very important to institutionalise CDF. I do not agree that the Fund should be moved to the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities. I believe that we should either have an independent authority to handle CDF issues or the Ministry of Finance creates a section to handle CDF, so that there is efficiency and easy decision-making by the Minister. I think by turning CDF into another Ministry, considering the bureaucracy involved, would cause a lot of problems. Apart from creating a national secretariat which is highly commendable, in the national level, we need to strengthen the secretariat in the constituency level. We will now be handling a lot of money, but we do not have the staff and capacity to handle it. It is good to appoint a coordinator. However, having one coordinator with 25 projects to handle, is not impossible. The figure of 3 per cent for administration purposes is very small. I think it should be abolished and left to the committee to agree that maybe, it should not go beyond 10 per cent. That way, we will employ more qualified staff to handle the money and have good equipment. I am not talking about graders or motor-vehicles because I know the maintenance costs are high. I am
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to debate on this very important Motion. I wish to disagree with some sections of the media which have reported that Members of Parliament are pushing for this because they would like to amass power in preparation for the 2007 General Elections. The resources actually go to the people. The point about equity has already been made. However, I would like to reiterate the fact 914
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand to support this Motion and state that the CDF money has certainly made a great impact in the various constituencies. I was happy to hear from Eng. Muriuki that from their audit report, no CDF money has been misappropriated. The media should highlight that fact because there have been very many accusations and counter-accusations on the misappropriation of CDF money by Members of Parliament. I am glad that is not the case. I hope the media will help us in highlighting the proper use of CDF money by Members of Parliament. The question of raising the CDF allocation from 2.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent is an issue that we need to look at carefully. My concern is that we need a proper definition as to what the CDF money should be used for. I feel that there is a lot of duplication. We get requests from Ministries to do certain projects which we are not particularly fond of in our constituencies. For example, there are cases where the Office of the President or the Commissioner of Police require us to put up a police station using the CDF money. The responsibilities of the Ministry should not be taken over by the Constituencies Development Committees (CDCs). This is an area where I feel that we need to be very careful and ensure that we have a proper definition of what the CDF money should be used for. In my constituency, I know what I need to do and when we are pushed by the Ministries, we normally decline. That should be the position with other constituencies because Ministries 916
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Let me start by thanking Eng. Muriuki and the Members of the CDF for compiling this Report and bringing it on the Floor of the House. We are not opposed to the adoption of this Report. However, there are various areas that we need to discuss with the Committee. It is always a difficult start whenever something new is involved. Some of the things that are in this Report are as a result of that being the very first time that CDF has ever been in this country. I think the NARC Government must take credit for it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the CDF---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House that this was a Government initiative when we all know that the then Minister for Finance actually opposed it? It is a Parliament initiative.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Raila who was a Minister in the NARC Government, helped to see to it that the CDF Act came into being. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all appreciate what the CDF has done for this country. We know that a Government that runs the taxation regime and sees to it that the taxes are well utilised, is a Government that the citizens of a country would like to see in power for many
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Midiwo?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Midiwo is just wondering if the Minister is in order to mislead the House that CDF is not aiding the free primary education. If he may wish to know, I am spending over 90 per cent of my CDF on free primary education.
Order! Mr. Midiwo, that is your argument which you may express, if you stand and I give you an opportunity to speak. The Assistant has his say and anybody who wants to say something contrary to that, he has to stand up and catch my eye. Yes, Mr. C. Kilonzo!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Order! Did you finish, Mr. Assistant Minister?
No, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I am very sorry about that. So, you can continue! Sorry, Mr. C. Kilonzo.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was about to end when Mr. Midiwo stood up on a point of order. Maybe, just to respond to him, when I talked of free primary education, I talked of the materials that are provided for every primary school and there is no school fees paid and the teachers are paid by the Government. I am sure the CDF of Gem Constituency does not pay the teachers who teach in primary schools. They probably complement in building of classes. I know that hon. Members are eager to speak. I was just trying to articulate a position that we could move forward with. With those few remarks, I support the adoption of the Report.
I have seen you Mr. C. Kilonzo.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This topic has been going on and on and there is repetition. Could we call the Mover to reply?
I know that there is still a lot of interest in this debate. But I must also refer hon. Member to our Standing Order No.87 - repetition, either using your own facts or facts which have already been used. I am not hearing much in terms of difference of facts which have been used on the Floor. I will give a few people a chance to speak but I would like you to tell me something new that I have not heard. I will hear that application later on, Capt Nakitare.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to thank the
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to make a few remarks on this very important Motion. First of all, I would like to join those who have thanked the Mover, and also thank the Minister for Finance for supporting the Motion. We all know the achievements that our constituencies have had through the CDF 920
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do realise that there is no new point coming up. In that respect, would I be in order to ask that the Mover be now called upon to reply.
Yes, I think it is reasonable for the House to consider that now.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me start by thanking all the hon. Members who had the opportunity to support the Motion, as well those who did not have a chance to speak but are with us spiritually. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Assistant Minister for Finance for his response. I wish to comment on a few points he raised. As the Constituencies Fund Committee, we are more than willing to sit with the Minister for Finance and discuss the fine points they have
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Cotton (Amendment) Bill be now read a Second Time. I am glad the House has adopted the Report of the Constituencies Fund Committee. This will give hon. Members time to debate the Cotton (Amendment) Bill. This Bill aims to revive the cotton industry, but more importantly, it has a lot to contribute to the Poverty Reduction Strategy of the NARC Government. I hope that what we have proposed will interest the Government and it will be taken seriously. It is in the interest of Kenyans to improve their economic status. Prior to 1991, and a lot of this came to the Floor when we were discussing the Motion that enabled us to prepare this Cotton (Amendment) Bill, the cotton industry was very vibrant and contributed a lot to the economy of this nation. In 1991, the Cotton Board of Kenya, that had controlled the cotton industry in terms of regulation, licensing, control of ginneries, pricing and the quality control of plant seed, collapsed. The Government decided to liberalise the cotton industry. This literally amounted to the withdrawal of services from the cotton growers. At that stage, the cotton ginneries that had been maintained by the cotton growers were privatised. Some of them were privatised without the knowledge of the cotton growers. The cotton growers had maintained the services of the cotton industry under the cotton co-operative movement. The co-operative movement also collapsed. The Cotton Board of Kenya was literally left without a role to play because private investors came in and took over the cotton ginneries. The liberalisation, therefore, created an institutional vacuum. In the absence of the functions of the Cotton Board of Kenya and its services of regulating, monitoring and the development of the cotton industry, the industry collapsed. What is amazing is that even up to today, this country still maintains the Cotton Board of Kenya and the Cotton Act, Cap.335, as the only instrument that the cotton farmers are depending on. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the cotton industry suffered a lot in 1991 when the sector was liberalised. As I have said, the industry collapsed and, therefore, the yields dropped from 120,000 bales to 5,000 bales. At that time, there was a potential of farmers improving their yields to 300,000 bales. The industry literally collapsed and the farmers could not any more contain the production and the monitoring of the plant seed. Some of the seeds that remained were contaminated and of poor quality that could not improve the industry. The cotton lint was of poor quality because it was grown from poor seed. There was total lack of research and extension services because the Cotton Board of Kenya collapsed. Therefore, there were no cotton extension services from any of the officers. The farmers lacked credit facilities to enable them to buy inputs. Therefore, even the stakeholders' associations collapsed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the industry has suffered a lot of under-cultivation of land because the farmers could no longer maintain the service and, therefore, the strength to till the land. In this country, we have over 400,000 hectares that was under cotton cultivation. This went to waste. We also have a potential of raising further 600,000 hectares from the land that is held by the local authorities and other authorities such as the Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) that could be put under cotton production. This could no longer be utilised because the cotton industry had completely collapsed. It was due to this that consideration was given by the stakeholders in the cotton industry to support the amendment of the Cotton Act, Cap.335.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to support and second this important Bill. The cotton industry collapsed in the early 1990s when the co-operative societies, which were running this industry, also faced very big difficulties of loans which could not be repaid. This Act is long overdue because at that time there was the Cotton Lint and Seed Marketing Board Act. That Act regulated the industry and encouraged farmers to find markets for the lint and cotton seed. It also promoted the activities of the co-perative societies which were pushing for the cotton. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, lthis country seems to have let go the revival and vibrancy of this particular industry. We did not support this industry the way we supported other industries like tea, coffee, pyrethrum and sugar. At that time, the Tea, Coffee and Sugar Acts were reviewed substantially. They were so well improved that the prices that were going down seem to have come up. A similar thing was required for the cotton industry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of Kenya constitutes of arid land. It is either semi-arid or purely arid land. Most of our people occupy this land. The advantage with cotton is that it fixes nitrogen in the soil and improves the fertility of the soil. It is a crop that can grow in very marginal land. As a result, it is extremely suitable for the Kenyan soil. Indeed, it was one of crops that helped to develop our nation economically. It is the cotton industry that helped a country like the United States of America to develop. Therefore, it is a crop of great economic importance to their to economy. In fact, it is quite difficult for the United States of America to assist other countries with the techniques of growing this crop. This is why we, as a country, need to face the cotton industry squarely. This industry will employ many of our people and earn a living. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with the collapse of the cotton industry in this country, textile firms also collapsed. Textile firms cannot operate without sufficient cotton production in order to provide raw materials. It is important that this Bill has at long last been brought to the House. Let us discuss it and make sure that it is implemented quickly, so that it can facilitate the revival of the textile industry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, cotton consist of two main parts. One part is the lint itself which provides the fabric. The lint is just about a third of the total amount of cotton we can produce. The seed is the other part which provides a quantity of about two-thirds of the total cotton produced as raw material. These two products promote parallel industries, one for lint fibre and all the other things used for spinning. The seed is used to produce vegetable oil as well as the seed cake for animals feeds. I want to assert here that because we did not do much in the cotton industry, the mitumba trade found its way into our country and as a result, textile factories collapsed. Cotton farming was abandoned because there was no benefit in farming it. The countries that have mitumba have found a way of bringing their clothes at the expense of our textile industry. Today, we have the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This act allows African countries to export specified products to the American market and enjoy highly reduced duties. If we had a good cotton industry, we would have substantially improved our incomes and increased the development of our country. But AGOA has nothing to do with the cotton lint we are talking about. It refers to the clothing made from cotton lint products. So, we must grow cotton, harvest it, gin it and produce apparel to be exported directly to the USA. So, the AGOA will only benefit us if we promote the cotton industry. The application of AGOA too is for a limited period, so that if we do not take advantage of it now, as a country, we will lose the benefit that should accrue from it. I know that the EPZs have grown substantially because they imported cotton lint from countries like South East Asia and produced apparel in Kenya. We need to do something quickly. All this cannot happen without the Cotton Act we are talking about today. If we had this
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to support this Motion which is very important.
Order, Mr. Sungu! You will still have all your time when debate on this Bill resumes. Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the business of the House. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 4th, May, 2006 at 2.3o p.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m