Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give Notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Fifth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament held at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, South Africa from 2nd to 12th May, 2006 laid on the Table of this House today on 7th November, 2006.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not received a written answer. However, I beg to ask the Minister for Lands the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that Plot No.191 in Lesirko Scheme, belonging to Madaraka Primary School in Ol Kalou Constituency, has been grabbed and sub-divided? (b) Is he also aware that private developers have threatened the school with eviction? (c) Could he tell the House who the owners of plot numbers 1057, 1058, 1133, 1134, 3133 and 3134, all of which were part of the school land, are?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer was dispatched on time. I do not know where these logistical problems came from. Nevertheless, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware. 3412 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 (b) I am also not aware. (c) I am aware of the existence of plot numbers 3114 and 3115, which still belong to the Settlement Fund Trustee (SFT) as there is a dispute between Madaraka Primary School and Lesirko Co-operative Society.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this is a very unfortunate answer by the Assistant Minister. This school dates back to before Independence. When land was being set aside, Plot No.191 was specifically set aside for Madaraka Primary School in Ol Kalou Constituency. If the Assistant Minister is already aware of Plot No.3133, then who is the owner of Plot No.191, which grabbers have taken and are now threatening to evict the school?
Order, Eng. Muriuki! You are not entitled to be a judge. Anybody owning land does not necessarily become a grabber until otherwise lawfully declared to be so.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is why I am asking the hon. Assistant Minister to tell the House who the owner of Plot No.191 is. This plot has been sub-divided by these other people and I would like to know whether they are grabbers or not. They are threatening the school with eviction and this school dates back to 1959.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Plot No.191 was sub-divided into two parcels. It was divided into Plot No.1057 and 1058. Plot No.1058 was supposed to go to the school but Plot No.1057 is supposed to go to the co-operative society. The same plots were amalgamated into Plot No.3113.
I have a little problem. I understand that the hon. Member does not have a copy of the written answer. Mr. Assistant Minister, you are referring to Plot No.3113. I cannot see it on the Question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is supplementary information from the Ministry.
The plots mentioned in the answer are different from the ones mentioned in the Question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the moment, we do not have the owner of Plot No.191 because the same plot was divided into two; that is, 1057 and 1058. Plot No.1058 went to the school and Plot No.1057 went to the co-operative society. The two were later amalgamated into Plot No.3113.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what plans does the Ministry have to address this perennial problem? We have schools that have been evicted by persons allocated land illegally or legally. We even have a case of Kipsombe Primary School in my constituency where we have put close to Kshs1.5 million from the CDF. This problem is rampant across the country. What plans does the Ministry have to secure schools from all manner of allocations and therefore causing schools to be closed by persons who have been allocated land by whatever means?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have elaborate plans to address the matter raised by Mr. Samoei. Our District Land Adjudication Officers and District Land Officers have been instructed to liaise with all schools in this country so that their land can be secured by way of being given title deeds or allotment letters.
Mr. Assistant Minister, it would help the House if you tell us how big Plot No.1058 is, which you now say belongs to the school.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said initially that Plot No.191 was sub-divided into two plots; that is, 1057 and 1058. Plot No.1057 went to the co-operative society. Plot No.1058 was given to the school. The two were later amalgamated to give rise to Plot No.3113. The same Plot No.3113 was subsequently sub-divided again to give rise to Plot No.3114, which is 5.63 acres, and Plot No.3115, which is 90.36 hectares. Both are in the name of the Settlement Fund Trustee.
Mr. Assistant Minister, I think this is what the hon. Member is concerned about. There is a school called Madaraka Primary existing on the ground. Does it have any land or does it not? If it has land, how big is the land that belongs to the school? November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3413
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister says that Plot No.191 was sub-divided into two and then later, it was owned by two different people. Now he is saying that it was amalgamated. Is this not malicious? Something sinister is happening. This land was amalgamated and is owned by who now?
Let the Assistant Minister first deal with what I have raised. Does the school have any land at all?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the land is still in the name of STF but the school does not have registered land.
Mr. Assistant Minister, does the school have any land?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I have been very clear on this matter. The land is still under SFT. The school was given land. The school exists on the land, but it has no title deed.
Mr. Assistant Minister, let us get this thing rationally so that we get out of it. Initially, Plot. No.191 was sub-divided to Plots 1057 and 1058. One of those plots was given to the school and the other remained with the co-operative society. Subsequently, they were amalgamated and one plot was allocated to the school while the other to the co-operative society. This land was subsequently amalgamated, which means it was taken away from the school and the co-operative society. Why do you now say that the land belongs to the SFT? Why?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to point out that a survey was done and the school was given 5.9 acres of land. However, the school was not given any plot number. We will find out a way of assisting this school.
Mr. Kamama, how do we resolve this issue? It is in the interest of the public that we sort out this issue. Could you, please, come back on Tuesday, next week, with all the facts?
Much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Yes, what is it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no way a plot can be sub-divided and it is not given a plot number. The survey must have been carried out and the plot number must have been given. So, the Assistant Minister is not coming out clearly on this issue.
Hon. Members, we will revisit this Question on Tuesday, next week. We may think this issue is not very serious, but it is. A public institution like a school could actually miss out completely.
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he could inform the House whether schools in Thangatha, Ankamia and Buuri locations in Tigania East Constituency are within TSC designated hardship areas; (b) whether he could also name the schools in the locations whose teachers are receiving hardship allowance; and, (c) why the TSC withdrew hardship allowances for Rumanthi Primary School in Buuri Location. 3414 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg the indulgence of the House. I sympathise with the hon. Member because they had agreed with my colleague to defer this Question. This Question has been deferred twice because there was a contradiction between the answer that my colleague, Mrs. Mugo, had given and the one which was given sometime in May this year. I insist that we must resolve this contradiction at the policy level. We should not tackle this Question until that issue is resolved. I had spoken to Mr. Munya regarding this. I, therefore, beg for the extension of time to resolve this issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Capt. Nakitare, what is it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister in order to sympathise with the hon. Member for having failed to answer the Question on the Floor of the House? He is trying to bring in another story that will make the hon. Member more angry because the Question was not answered.
Absolutely! Suggestions are welcome all round! Mr. Munya, what is your reaction?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have a choice. I need to wait until I get the correct answer.
Very well. Dr. Mwiria, how long will it take you to resolve this matter?
Order! Dr. Mwiria, what time do you require to come up with an answer to this Question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was just being reminded that given what Capt. Nakitare was saying, maybe I should not be sympathetic to the hon. Member, but ruthless. Nevertheless, we would like to have at least one week to resolve this matter.
I will give you two weeks, but I will not allow you to be ruthless!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will be away the whole of next week.
Mr. Munya, I gave Dr. Mwiria two weeks to resolve this matter!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, two weeks is good enough.
Thank you. Next Question, Mr. Kagwima!
on behalf of
, asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security whether he could consider retiring Mr. Daniel K. Mucee (P/No.96115974) in public interest as he was acquitted of court charges.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. Mr. Daniel K. Mucee whose personal number is 96115974 was dismissed from service with effect from 1st February, 2003 on account of negligence of duty. So, the issue of retiring him in public interest does not arise.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is clear that the retired assistant chief was, in fact, November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3415 acquitted by the court of this accusation of negligence of duty. Is the Assistant Minister in order to insist that the issue of retiring him in public interest does not arise when the courts declared him innocent?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, maybe I should give a brief account of what happened with regard to this issue of the assistant chief who was appointed on 26th August, 1996. He was interdicted with effect from 25th June, 2001, having been arrested by the police on the same date in connection with the murder of a Mr. Muriithi Mwangangi and his son Mwangangi Muthini. He was acquitted due to the amendment in the Criminal Procedure Code on confession having to be corroborated with other evidence to enable any other charges to be preferred against him. However, realising that the role of Mr. Mucee as an assistant chief was to ensure that the lives and properties of citizens were protected, we found that he had failed in his duties. He was, therefore, suspended. Finally, he was sacked because of negligence of duty. He failed to secure the life of Mr. Muriithi and his son. He was also implicated in the murder of the said people.
Bw. Spika, hili ni Swali linalohusu haki. Je, ni jukumu la mahakama au la Afisi ya Rais kuamua haki katika swala hili? Ikiwa Bw. Mucee aliachiliwa huru na korti, basi Afisi ya Rais haina uwezo wowote wa kubatilisha uamuzi huo.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have no problem with a decision of the court. We had employed this assistant chief to be solely in charge of the lives and property of the citizens he was supposed to serve. Having failed in his cardinal duties, we found him negligent and that is why we sacked him.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the accusation as tabulated by the Assistant Minister is very serious. However, the truth of the matter is that the assistant chief was listened to by a very professional court and he was acquitted. Why should he not enjoy his rights to either be retired in public interest or be compensated?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is the same question I answered. Besides the court's ruling, I said that the assistant chief was responsible for protecting the lives and property of his people. Having failed to do so and, unfortunately, having himself been incriminated in the murder of some two people, we found him negligent. That is why we---
Order, Mr. Kingi! When you say he was implicated, that status remained so until he was acquitted. Once he was acquitted, the implication was thrown away and it does not have any legs to stand on. Unless, of course, you are saying you do not recognise the authority of the court.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the assistant chief being an employee of the Office of the President, had responsibilities to perform. According to us, he failed to perform his cardinal responsibilities. That is why we found him negligent. We advised the Public Service Commission-- -
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it?
My point of order is, the Assistant Minister is not being humanitarian. This man was acquitted by the court. The hon. Member is being so lenient; he is asking the Office of the President to retire him on public interest. He is not in order to mislead the House and the nation at large. I feel it is in order for the Office of the President to consider retiring this man on public interest for the sake of the community.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Billow?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister in order to continue asserting that it is the responsibility of a chief to save the lives and properties of Kenyans? I do not think that is the primary responsibility of chiefs. That is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies.
Maybe, next time when there is a breakdown of law, pillage or murders, we should begin by sacking the Ministers concerned! Is that what you are saying? 3416 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am saying that we all have responsibilities to do and we have officers working under us. When one of our officers does not perform his responsibilities, I think we have every right to decide the fate of such an employee. That was what we did.
Very well. I will leave it at that now and go to the nest Question. The hon. Member for Kisumu Town West.
asked the Minister of State for Public Service:- (a) how much is paid to the Government spokesperson in form of monthly salary; (b) what other benefits are in his renumeration package; and, (c) what his specific duties are
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government spokesman, who has the official title of Public Communications Secretary and Government Spokesperson, earns a monthly basic salary of Kshs277,960. (b) The other benefits in the renumeration package for the Government spokesperson are as follows: house allowance, Kshs80,000; medical allowance, Kshs2,490; entertainment allowance, Kshs85,000; extraneous allowance, Kshs85,000, and domestic staff allowance, Kshs15,600. This is, therefore, a total renumeration of Kshs546,050 per month. (c) The duties of the Public Communications Secretary are to effectively enhance Government communication with the public. The main thrust is the use of communication to highlight Kenya's positions and achievements in a continuous and open basis. His other duties include: (a) building the image of the Government and the country; (b) highlighting Government work and enabling the public to ask questions; (c) national orientation, using communication for development, promoting virtues such as patriotism, empowerment and son on; (d) liaising with the media to enable them receive timely and accurate information about the Government.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, part "c" of the answer talks of building the image of the Government and country, and also says that the Government spokesperson is supposed to give accurate information about Government. In a public lecture at the University of Nairobi, during his recent visit, Senator Obama said that corruption in this nation is a crisis. The Government spokesman, however, denied what the Senator had said about corruption in this country. Given that Kenya has now been rated the most corrupt country in East Africa, could the Minister confirm or deny that the Government spokesman misled the country and should be fired immediately?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Member to mislead the House that Kenya is the most corrupt country in East Africa? There is no objective way of measuring---
Order! Order, hon. Members!. That is his opinion. Which country do you think is the most corrupt in East Africa?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no objective criteria for measuring corruption.
November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3417
Mr. Twaha, that is your opinion and the hon. Member expressed his opinion. So, let us leave it at that. Everybody is entitled to his opinion. Mr. Minister, could you respond to what the hon. Member has said?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member says that Dr. Mutua misled the country. I really do not know how that relates to this particular Question. Secondly, we have not received official communication of results of corruption indices in this country. If the hon. Member has it, let him table it and I will look at it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you heard that the man in question is the Communications Secretary. Is his job distribution of leaflets stating "I am proud to be a Kenyan"? Is that part of the job of the Government spokesperson? If this is part of his job, how much did he use to print those leaflets? The use of money for this work can easily be termed as corruption. Why should the Government not use such money to pay university lecturers instead of creating offices that have no definite roles? Who appointed the Government spokesman and what are his terms and conditions of service?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is the Government of Kenya which appointed the Government spokesman.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister is in charge of the Public Service Ministry and appreciates that renumeration is determined on the basis of job evaluation. Mr. Minister, are you satisfied, as the Minister in charge of public officers, that the money paid to Dr. Mutua is commensurate to his responsibilities, given his job description that you have read out, as compared to the job description of university lecturers? I do not begrudge the Kshs546,050 he is given for the dirty work he does for the Government!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Dr. Mutua has signed a performance contract. In the performance contract there are various objectives which have been laid down. What I have read out are just his key responsibilities. You all know very well that when you give key responsibilities you cannot set them out on pages and pages. So, I am satisfied that what we are paying to Dr. Mutua is reasonable.
Last question, Rev. Nyagudi.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that the Minister did not understand my question. Is he satisfied that Dr. Mutua gave accurate information to the nation when he said that the country is not corrupt and yet the effects of corruption can be felt everywhere?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am satisfied that he gave the correct information.
Order, hon. Members! I am satisfied.
Hon. Member for Nyeri, if I could just explain to you, the Minister and the Assistant Minister are out of town. They actually called my office and asked me to defer this Question until Thursday, this week. Is that okay with you?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, but this is the third time that this Question is being deferred. Is it intentional or not? 3418 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006
Do you know, Mr. Mureithi, that the Speaker never enters into conspiracy? I really do not know what happens. However, I will ask the Leader of Government Business to ensure that one of the Ministers will be present on Thursday, this week to answer your Question.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will ensure that the Minister is present. However, I also suggest that you have a word with the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Musila, so that he does not sit in the Chair that afternoon because he has a special interest in the Question. So, you had better be in the Chair, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the Minister will be present, then the Question will be answered.
I understand that the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Musila, sits in the Board of the National Fund for the Disabled. I think the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs is just confirming the fact that the Chair cannot be involved in conspiracy. So, Thursday, this week will be fine.
on behalf of
asked the Minister for Science and Technology:- (a) how much money for bursary the Government has set aside for students in technical institutions in the 2006/2007 financial year; and, (b) if he could table a breakdown of similar funds allocated by Government for the same purpose between 2003 and June, 2006.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry of Science and Technology has recognised the importance of providing bursary funds for poor students in technical institutions, and as a result, we have forwarded requests to the Ministry of Finance for the Supplementary Budget 2005/2006 and the main Budget for 2006/2007. Although the Minister for Finance supports the idea, funds were not made available to support this very good initiative. Unfortunately, we will continue to support only secondary and university education. However, as soon as more resources are made available, this facility will be extended to technical and other tertiary institutions. (b) In view of the above, therefore, it is not possible to give any breakdown of what has been allocated to technical institutions for the bursary fund between 2003 and June, 2006.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is now a known fact that the Minister for Finance has no heart for children from poor families. In the first place, he had scrapped the bursary for secondary schools. What other alternative can the Assistant Minister pursue? I am specifically directing my question to Dr. Mwiria. Could he consider talking to the Head of State in order to get the money for bursary?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, all I can say is that I will continue to pursue the Minister for Finance and even go to Treasury. In any case, that is where all Ministries go when they need extra resources. We hope, now that times have changed, that they will enable us have adequate resources to support this sector as well.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have heard the Assistant Minister talk of persuading the Minister for Finance. The crisis we are now having in the Ministry of Education is as a result of lack of a substantive Minister in that Ministry. That is even why university lecturers are on strike. November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3419 Could this Government advise the Head of State to appoint a substantive Minister to negotiate with the Ministry of Finance in order for children from poor families to get bursaries? What is he doing to ensure that these poor children get the bursaries?
I think the hon. Member is completely out of facts and out of order. There is, in fact, a substantive Minister for the Ministry you are talking about.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Ojode! There is a Minister for Science and Technology. What we do not have is the Minister for Education. So, get your facts right!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Ojode! It is a factual situation. There is in place a Minister for Science and Technology known as Dr. Noah Wekesa. So, would you have another Question directed to that Minister?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wanted to explain to the House one thing. As we speak, you are aware that we have a crisis at the Ministry of Education. This particular problem has arisen because we do not have a substantive Minister for Education. This problem has now even extended to the bursary fund and how it is allocated. We are seeing a situation where we will not get money for bursary---
Order, Mr. Ojode! You must respect the Chair. You are absolutely irrelevant. This Question is not directed to the Minister for Education; rather, it is directed to the Minister for Science and Technology. If you do not know it, the two entities are different and separate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the importance of tertiary education in this country, and in view of the fact that recently the Government launched Vision 2030 which, without proper financing, cannot be achieved; what is the Assistant Minister doing to ensure that tertiary education in this country is either free or affordable to the majority of Kenyans?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we will continue to look for additional resources to support tertiary education as well. We are already in collaboration with a number of donor organisations to support specific institutions. We are, indeed, making some progress and I believe that in the next one year or so, we shall be able to support students in technical institutions like we are doing with students in secondary schools. It is all about how much we have in terms of resources.
If I got the hon. M'Mukindia right, how do you propose to achieve your vision for 2030 if you have no vision for technical institutions?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, that question assumes that we have no vision for technical institutions. That is absolutely incorrect.
I thought that is what he was asking you.
I know, but I want to say that he is wrong to assume that we have no vision for technical institutions in this country. We have a vision and it is included in Sessional Paper No.2 of 2005 on Education and Training. Also, we have a specific document now looking at technical institutions as a whole. We are doing a great deal to mobilise resources in order to ensure that they have the respect that they deserve and in a position to support Vision 2030 and other technical programmes that are planned in this country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, something is very amiss with this Government. The Minister for Education and the Minister for Finance have been bragging that the economy of this country has grown by 5.8 per cent and the Government is now collecting more taxes. How come then that when we want money for bursary, we are told that it is not there?
Are you accusing the Ministers, and what are you accusing them of?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer here says that there is no money, but the Minister has been---
Order, Mr. C. Kilonzo! Would you, please, stand a little bit away from the 3420 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 microphone so that we can follow you? I cannot get what you are saying. Please, go slow.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister, the Ministry of Finance and the Government have been going round saying that the economy has grown by 5.8 per cent. At the same time, they have been bragging that they are collecting more revenue when, in actual fact, it is not there. Where does that money go to? Why is it not available for a genuine cause like bursary funds?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, obviously there has been an improvement in the revenue collection---
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! There are very loud consultations in that corner. In fact, it has now become traditional that, that corner disrupts the business of the House. Very soon I will ask the House what to do with that corner.
Disorganise the sitting arrangements!
I am informed that I may have to disorganise the sitting arrangements there. Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think there is any contradiction in the fact that we have seen an economic growth rate of 5.8 per cent, and there are not enough resources for everything that we want to do. It is not possible. So, already, resources have been made available for CDF, free primary education, bursary funds and so on. So, whatever money that we collect is never going to be enough for everything that we would like to do in this country. There is a limitation on how much we can do for the time being. So, when the situation improves, obviously we are going to address this issue alongside other matters.
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) whether he is aware that a task force was appointed a few years ago to look into the settlement of people on Plot No.284/III/MN, Kikambala Division, Bahari Constituency; and, (b) if the answer to (a) above is in the affirmative, when the sub-division of the plot will begin to settle squatters currently occupying the land.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that a task force was appointed a few years ago to look into the settlement of people on Plot. No.284/III/MN, Kikambala Division of Bahari Constituency. (b) My Ministry has no plans of sub-dividing the plot to settle the squatters since the plot has already been sub-divided and transferred to various persons. Currently, there are very many beneficiaries who have been transferring their shares to the current owners.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is already a task force which was commissioned by this Ministry, and at the moment about 300 squatters have filled in their questionnaires. We will give them the title deeds as soon as this task force's mandate is over.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will find that countrywide, this Ministry has not acted on sub-divisions of land, especially in areas like Kuresoi where today four people were killed. Could the Assistant Minister hasten the sub-division in areas where it has not been done in order to avoid deaths like those in Kuresoi and in other areas where people are living on land that has not been sub-divided? Could the Assistant Minister carry out the necessary sub-divisions countrywide, so that we can avoid this kind of loss of lives? Nobody knows exactly where they sit!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the House will recall that last year, the people of Kuresoi were given over 12,000 title deeds by His Excellency the President. We are aware that this problem is rampant in the whole country and we have embarked on a programme of sub-dividing land and giving people title deeds. We have done it in Coast and Eastern Provinces and we will move to Rift Valley Province very soon.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Assistant Minister is confusing between two task forces. The task force that I am talking about was specifically appointed for this sub-division in 2002. The task force that the Assistant Minister is talking about is the one that is being implemented now. However, the reason why I brought this Question is because there is a lot of victimisation of the school that is in this plot. It is being victimised because its land belongs to one of the sub-divisions and it has not been given a title deed. Could the Assistant Minister ensure that this exercise is hurried up so that the beneficiaries can receive the title deeds so that the victimisation ends?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, last week the hon. Member for Bahari moved a Motion to fast-track this process in Coast Province and I do not know why he is taking us back. Nevertheless, we are going to fast-track this exercise and make sure that this school will not be victimised.
Very well. Next Question by Mr. C. Kilonzo!
asked the Minister of State for Youth Affairs:- (a) what criteria the Government will use to disburse the youth enterprise funds; (b) when the funds will be distributed; and, (c) whether he could ensure that all constituencies benefit equally.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) (i) The Government will allocate the available funds to youth interested in starting or scaling up business ventures in their districts using an objective criteria. The allocation criteria will consider the population of the youth in a particular district.
Order! Hon. Members in that corner. If you do not want to be in Parliament, please, give way! Proceed! 3422 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Whereas an appropriate formula is being worked out, we may have an equal amount to all the districts, and an additional amount using the score from the population of young people. (ii) The Ministry will identify financial service providers countrywide, including banks, savings and credit co-operatives, co-operative societies, micro-finance institutions and Post Bank. Funds will be channelled through these institutions using agreements drawn between the Government and each financial service provider. (iii) Youth and youth groups implementing income generating activities will be encouraged to make applications to the financial service provider in their area to access the funds. Such arrangement will enable the fund to commence disbursement soonest and avoid having to create a huge and expensive bureaucracy. (b) Disbursement of funds from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund will commence in the second quarter of the current financial year, 2006/2007. (c) Yes, the Ministry hopes to ensure equity based on the number of youth in each area. This will be achieved through:- (i) Initially disbursing district allocations that will be objectively pre-determined. Subsequent allocations would, however, increase for districts that have good borrowing and repayment rates. This will not only motivate slow repaying districts to improve, but also facilitate sustenance of the revolving fund. (ii) The Government to invest in entrepreneurship training to minimize perceived unbankability of the youth by financial providers and increase borrowing through such training. (iii) Finally, negotiating with financial institutions to design products that are affordable even in the remotest areas. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it appears that there is no difference between what banks are holding because, all these banks have money to lend. So, what is the point of creating this Fund if our youths are not able to access these funds easily? Unless the financial institutions consider availing very soft loans at very low interest rates and, perhaps, grants, to the youths, you might as well not have the Youth Enterprise Fund at all. I can see that, in his written reply, the Minister has used the word "may", which means he has not made up his mind. The question is: How soon is he going to come up with these funds and how soft are the loans going to be for the youth?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are not grants. This is not free money. It is an enterprise development fund. It is money to inculcate an entrepreneur culture, which has not been existing among our youth. An entrepreneur culture is one of hard work, where one has to try and repay what one has been lent. However, we have taken into consideration the fact that our youths do not have the collateral that would be required by the banks. Therefore, this Fund is different in that the youths will not be required to surrender title deeds or any other collateral to the banks. Secondly, as it has been clearly indicated, the interest rates will be negotiated between the Government and each financial service provider. We hope that the rate of interest will be in the range of between 5-7 per cent, as compared to the current interest rate of 18 per cent being charged by banks.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy to hear the Minister say that the funds will be disbursed based on the number of youths in each district. Has the Minister carried out a census to determine how many young people we have in the country and the age bracket thereof?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have statistics from the Kenya Bureau of Statistics. On the issue of age bracket, we are currently using the ages between 15-30 years, as we await for the outcome of debate on the National Youth Policy Paper. November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3423
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Minister in order, being a Muslim himself, to expect that Muslims will pay 18 per cent interest? Our faith does not allow us to accept any loan that will attract any interest. What is he going to do for the interests of Muslims in this country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has been clearly stated here that the Government will negotiate with financial institutions to design products that will be affordable, even in the remotest areas. Such products will not only be affordable, but also acceptable. Specifically, for Muslims, we have special considerations. Lately, I have been moving around the country to clarify some issues regarding this Fund. I have specifically stated that for Muslims, there will be no interest. Currently, banks have products specifically designed for the Muslim community. We will negotiate with banks to apply those products while lending money from this Fund to Muslims. Secondly, I would like to point out that the interest rate chargeable will not be 18 per cent, as stated by Mr. M.Y. Haji. Eighteen per cent is the current lending rate by commercial banks. With regard to this Fund, we are currently talking about an interest rate ranging between 5-7 per cent, which is meant to cover administrative costs.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you probably appreciate that the Minister is not clear on what he wants to do. Could he table before this House for discussion and approval, the procedures and systems going to be used in the disbursement of these funds before they are implemented?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not implemented any rules relating to disbursement of these funds. In actual fact, we are putting all the structures in place. They are ready. We are awaiting gazettement of the Fund by the Minister for Finance.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is obvious that the Minister has not decided on how these funds should be disbursed. The Ministry has not yet come up with a criteria of disbursing the funds. Therefore, may I, kindly, request that this Question be deferred until when we have a specific criteria of doing so?
Mr. C. Kilonzo, do you mean that the Question be deferred indefinitely?
Order! Order, hon. Members! We must all realise the following: First, this concept is new. Therefore, the Ministry needs to develop modalities of disbursing, recovery, et cetera . I also recognise the fact that hon. Members have great interest on how this issue goes. I also recognise the fact that Members of Parliament, from both the Front Bench and the Back Bench, are under considerable pressure from the youth---
Order! Order, hon. Members! Order, Mr. Leshore! Hon. Members, it was not part of my job to stop noise from grown-ups! My job was to arbitrate. In fact, I should never ask hon. Members to keep quiet. They should themselves keep quiet.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you said that hon. Members do not make noise!
The difference is the same!
Anyhow, I should not, actually, be interrupting the House on matters like this one. Please, listen. That is why we are in the House: To listen to one another and debate on issues. What I was 3424 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 saying is; I also believe that hon. Members, either from the Front Bench or Back Bench, are under considerable pressure from the youth to know how they can access the funds. So, because of that, I think there is logic in letting the Minister complete what he must do. We must all appreciate the fact that it is not a simple job; that, he has to actually tackle this issue. He is new. The issue is complex and it requires time. So, maybe, I can put this Question back for a month. Meanwhile, I hope that the Minister will have attempted to put in place certain programmes and machinery, so that he can inform the House, so that hon. Members, in turn, will inform the youth back home on what is going on. What is your reaction, Mr. Minister?
Basically, the major structures are in place. I think, for the nitty-gritty, we may need a Kamukunji where we can share ideas, discuss this matter with hon. Members in detail and come to some agreement.
Order! Order, hon. Members! Order! I think that is a reasonable request by the Minister. You will make that suggestion to the Chair; meanwhile, I will defer this Question for a month. If we can complete it informally elsewhere, then we will come here and formally finish it in the House. This Question is already formally in the House and we must conclude it formally here. Is that agreeable to you, Minister?
As far as this Question is concerned, I think I have answered it in detail.
But Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is just the fact that in this particular Question, I cannot answer all the issues that affect the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. However, as far as this Question is concerned, I think I have adequately answered it.
Order! Order, hon. Members! Order! I do not think that this should be a contest! Quite frankly, it should not be a contest. Everybody recognizes or, at least, ought to recognize that this is a complex matter; it is new, it is novel and it requires a lot of things to be done or to be put in place for it to be operational. Everybody ought to understand that! But the Minister must also understand the following: The youth, including the ones from your constituency---
The youth are anxious to gain access to these funds, and hon. Members have no answers to give to them! I also appreciate the fact that in three or five minutes, you cannot go through this matter in detail. So, please---
Order, hon. Members! Who is this again? I will get rid of you now, hon. Billow! Do you know what I mean? Completely out! But relax now! What I am saying, Mr. Minister, is that you may, as a Ministry, be satisfied, but your consumers, the hon. Members and the youth are not satisfied! I am the judge for that. So, I have now judged that I should give you time and I will allow your application to have an informal meeting with hon. Members so that you can inform them properly, then we can come back here. So, that Question is deferred for a month! November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3425
Next Question by Maj. Madoka!
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) what criteria is used in determining payment of hardship allowance to teachers; and, (b) why the teachers in Ronge Nyika of Tausa Division of Mwatate Constituency are not being paid hardship allowance?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Categorization of the hardship areas by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is based on a number of factors, including:- (a) Availability and accessibility of food and quality portable water; (b) Climatic conditions; (c) Availability of basic social services and amenities; and (d) Transport and communication services that are available (e) Security situation. Usually, schools that are to be gazetted as hardship areas are at first discussed by the District Education Boards (DEBs) and then forwarded to the Teachers Service Remuneration Committee (TSRC), which will then gazette the schools, depending on whether or not that criteria I have read is reached. (b) Hardship allowance cannot be paid to teachers in Ronge Nyika of Tausa Division of Mwatate Constituency since it has not been gazetted. The last gazettement was in 1997, and then there was a revised version in 2005. However, I would like to tell the hon. Member that we are harmonizing this. There is already a task force which has been formed to harmonize this issue, because there seems to be some contradictions. Some areas that are supposed to be gazetted as hardship areas have not been gazetted, while those that are gazetted as hardship areas are not supposed to be gazetted so. There is a report which was submitted in 2002, but it is again being revised further to harmonize allowances for all civil servants. Once that is done, maybe then, we will be in a position to know whether or not Ronge Nyika will be among the new hardship areas.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heard the Assistant Minister, but he did not quite address himself to my Question. My Question is about hardship allowance in Tausa Division. Ronge Nyika is one-third of Tausa Division. In other words, teachers in the other two-thirds are being paid hardship allowance. They are all in the same ecological zone and they all suffer the same hardships as outlined in the criteria given here. Why then are these teachers in Ronge Nyika Location not being paid hardship allowance?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is why I alluded to the various contradictions, not just in Tausa Division but in the rest of the country. Even hon. Munya asked about a division in Tigania East Constituency. Therefore, it applies to many divisions and constituencies in this country. That is why we are trying to harmonize. Harmonization will, hopefully, lead to the removal of this contradiction, which also affects the hon. Member's constituency.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Taking into account the Assistant Minister's 3426 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 answer, that there is need to harmonize, and taking into account the fact that insecurity is so prevalent in the country that every teacher is at risk of dying and there is shortage of food all over the country, could the Assistant Minister consider suspending the application of this criteria and pay hardship allowance to all teachers all over the country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would very much like to do that, but I need to have the resources to do that. Right now, no resources have been voted to take care of all the districts and divisions. I am afraid that this is not possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister consider paying hardship allowance to these teachers in Ronge Nyika so that they can share this benefit with the others until the task force completes its task, because we know that it will take a bit of time?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to do that, but that would open a Pandora's Box. What will we do with all those others that are suffering the same difficulties as the ones in Tausa Division? Unfortunately, we have to wait until we harmonize.
Order, hon. Members! Order! Question Time is up. In fact, we have exceeded the time by ten minutes, which we should not have done, because we shall never get the opportunity to deal with Bills the way we should. Therefore, that is the end of Question Time. There are three Questions which have not been dealt with. These are Questions by Messrs. Karaba, J.K. Kilonzo and Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o. These Questions are deferred and shall be placed on the Order Paper between tomorrow afternoon and Thursday. So, that is the end of Question Time!
I have received requests by two hon. Members to seek Ministerial Statements and I will begin with hon. Billow. Was it two or three requests? They were three November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3427 requests. Proceed, hon. Billow! TABLING OF VISION 2030
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Parliament, constitutionally, is the top legislative and policy-making institution in the country, yet this House is being rendered ignorant on such important national matters as Vision 2030. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we learned through the Media that Vision 2030 was launched by the Government a week or so ago. Could the Leader of Government Business undertake to lay on the Table Vision 2030 in this House so that hon. Members can not only understand and educate their constituents, but at the same time also make an input into the vision for this country for the next 30 years?
That is a reasonable request. Indeed, it should have come automatically. As I have said several times, let us keep the House informed. So, your Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, I hope, very soon, you will do so.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you. Yes, Mr. Ojode! RISING INCIDENTS OF INSECURITY IN THE COUNTRY
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of State for Administration and National Security. There has been rampant insecurity incidents across the country, with reference to the following particular ones: On 5th November, 2006, in Mathare, two people were killed. More than ten people were injured and a number of houses were torched. It was alleged that this was caused by a clash between members of the Mungiki sect versus those of the Taliban group. On 4th November, 2006, the Njoroge family was massacred in South B Estate, Nairobi. On 10th October, 2006, Mr. Martin Ochanda Odongo from Kachuth in Kobama Division of Ndhiwa Constituency was found murdered and his body dumped by the roadside. On Sunday 5th November, 2006, Mrs. Dorothy Anyang'-Nyong'o was attacked by unknown assailants. Three weeks ago, in Kibera Estate, three people were killed. As a result, there was mayhem. It is alleged that, on Saturday this week, there will be chaos led by Mr. Waruinge in Kibera.
Order! Have you become a prophet? I do not want you go become a prophet here, because the Standing Orders do not allow you to speak on presumption! You must speak on facts! So, please, forget about the future and talk about what is factual already.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is exactly what I will do. We lost eight lives in Turkana last week. Likewise, in North Horr on the Kenya/Ethiopia border, we have lost more than 300 lives in the last one year. The last incident, which is quite disturbing and embarrassing to me, the House and the whole country, is that the home of the Minister of State for Administration and National Security was attacked. But what really perplexes me, and many other people, is that we are not aware whether it was stage-managed or not. This is because the Commissioner of Police denied that there was a raid, while the Minister himself said that there was a raid on his home. If I take the House back to 1975, when Mr. J.M. Kariuki was just about to be killed, what is happening now is a replica of what happened then. So, we never know whether the Arturs are back to perform their 3428 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 duties; to kill and assassinate prominent members of this country. I would like the Assistant Minister who is in the House - and it is good that His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs is also in the House - to come up with an elaborate Statement, so that Kenyans can know whether they are safe or not. Are we safe?
Mr. Ndolo, I think Mr. Ojode has taken away what you wanted to say!
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
All right! So, we do not have to come back to you. Mr. Kingi, are you ready to respond to that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I have gotten the gist of the matter from the hon. Member. I undertake to give a Statement on the issues that have been raised, on Thursday, next week.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think the Ministers in this House must be serious. Two weeks ago, I raised an issue about insecurity in Kasarani Constituency. Mathare encompasses Kasarani and Starehe. At that time, the mayhem had not erupted. Mr. Ojode says that people have been killed and women raped. Up to now, the Ministerial Statement I requested has not been delivered. Are the Ministers really serious?
Order, hon. Members! I think the matters being raised this afternoon are grave matters to everybody. Whether you are in Front Bench or Back Bench, it does not matter! I think everybody must face the reality; that many Kenyans are losing their lives and property. There is generally uncertainty. Therefore, I really ask the Minister responsible, not only to come forward and give a comprehensive Statement on this matter, but, in the meantime, also to address those issues that are causing anxiety across the breadth and length of the country.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think in this particular case of the Turkana incident, I really want the Minister to be specific about the bombing of Kenyans on the Kenya/Uganda border. He should tell us in his Statement, how many people have died. What caused the Ugandan Army or UPDF to drop bombs across the border and kill our people? What has the Government done about it, both diplomatically and militarily to stop the incidents from continuing? Those are the details that should be added to this Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Ogur?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, all our mayors cannot be recognised as mayors without mayoral chains and maces. It is important, when the Minister will be giving the Statement, that he remembers to tell us about the mayoral chain that has been stolen twice and the mace that has also disappeared.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This issue of insecurity has also affected many hon. Members. It affected Dr. Kituyi, Dr. Oburu and I. We would like the Minister to come up and tell us how far the investigations on the attack of the hon. Members have gone. I think these must be organized criminals coming to our houses.
Order! I would not go to that length if I were you! In fact, the life of every Kenyan is as valuable as that of every hon. Member. I think we should not make it trivial by bringing it to ourselves and leaving out the rest of Kenyans. Let us address the matter as a national problem. That is the end of the story! Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Western University of Science and Technology Bill be now read a Second Time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I get to the nitty-gritty of this Bill, I want to inform the House that so far we have six public universities. These are: University of Nairobi, Moi University, Kenyatta University, Egerton University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Maseno University. This Bill seeks to recognise and give credence to Western University College of Science and Technology as one of the seven public universities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also need to share information, which is in public domain, that we also have a category known as chartered universities. They are seven. These are, the University of East Africa, Baraton, the Catholic University Eastern Africa, Daystar University, Scot Theological College, the United States International University (USIU), Africa Nazarene University and the Kenya Methodist University, which got its charter this year. We also have a category of universities which have received letters of authority. These are, Kabarak University, the Aga Khan University, Strathmore University, Kereri Women's University, Gretsa University the and the Great Lakes University. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what this means is that Kenyans are becoming aware that acquisition of knowledge, particularly university knowledge, is crucial in the development of this country. In order to move towards the industrialisation of this country and education for all by 2015, it is important that public universities are supported by private universities. Indeed, this is the trend in most of both the Developed and Third World countries. We no longer depend on the Government- sponsored universities. Nationals in various countries are busy establishing private universities to boost public universities. Indeed, in Kenya we are moving towards that direction. If you look go to India, you will find that there is a plethora of private universities. So, as we address the issues of transition rates from secondary schools to universities, in Sessional Paper No.1 of 2005, we are saying that, we need to improve them. Currently, the transition rate is at 57 per cent and we hope that, very soon, we will attain the 70 per cent that is stated in the Sessional Paper. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this means that there will be greater need for establishment of universities. There will also be need for our young people to go to universities and attain degrees. Currently, as you are aware, only 10 per cent of young Kenyans attain university education at our public universities. This means that 90 per cent are seeking university education elsewhere. This is happening more and more as we address the issue of the quality of education and retention rates of our students at secondary schools. As the retention rates increase, we are going to have more and more of our young people needing university education. Mr. Speaker, Sir, part of the remaining 90 per cent access university education abroad. I want to recognise countries that are friendly to Kenya. These are countries that give us scholarships. Just to name a few, they include India, the United States of America (USA), Britain and, of late, more and more of our students are going to Australia. These are friendly countries that are making it possible for our students to get scholarships and access university education in these countries.
3430 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of the students comprising the 90 per cent also get into parallel degree programmes at our public universities. This means that, the quest for knowledge amongst our people is getting greater. It is in this regard that we, as a Ministry and a Government, are making it possible for Kenyans to come forward and start universities. If you remember, it is only this year that we had to give a charter to Kenya Methodist University. Therefore, the more universities we get, the more chances we create for our youth. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will also agree with me that, as we try to address the issues of the Millennium Development Goals, education for all will remain a very crucial issue. We will do every thing we can to make sure that we provide education to our students. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already referred to the fact that every year we have an increase in students from secondary schools wanting to join universities. In 1995, we had 140,000 students from secondary schools. This year, the figure is close to 270,000. So, you can see the increase in the number of students that have to look for places in our public universities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have made proposals to deal with the issue of access to education. It is in order for me to share with my colleagues that the following proposals have been put forward as strategies to deal with the issue of access to education. First, we need to expand the existing public universities to be in tandem with the increasing population and, therefore, the increasing numbers of students, as I have already said. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, secondly, in our public universities, we need to de- link the availability of accommodation from the issue of admissions. We should encourage students to look for accommodation outside universities. It is expensive to construct halls of residence. Indeed, if you look around the world, you will find that many university students do not depend on staying in halls of residence. Once we control the number of students in universities, because only a certain number can be accommodated in the halls of residence, we will be inflicting a big blow to those who want to join universities. Therefore, in towns like Nairobi, we should encourage our students to get accommodation outside the universities, so that we can have many students joining the University of Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. This will enable our universities to deal with the ever-increasing number of students who want to join universities only to find that we have linked bed space to their admission. We also need to establish a mechanism to ensure that there is credit transfer to cater for post-secondary entrance into public universities and close movement of students from one university to another. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is in the light of the above scenario that a Bill to upgrade one of the university's constituent colleges to a full-fledged university is being presented here today. It is envisaged that the upgrading of this university will go a long way in enabling us to admit more students to our universities and the magical figure of 10,000 students will be increased. With improved infrastructure and capacity, the Western University of Science and Technology will be admitting more students and this will solve some of the problems that we are facing today. You are aware that this college was started on 5th December, 2002, as a constituent college of Moi University. It is very positive for universities to establish institutions that can offer various faculties outside the parameters of the campuses. People are talking about facilities in western Kenya that can be converted into constituent colleges of this university should we pass this Bill. I want to underscore the fact that the establishment of this university will open up space for students in Kenya in general, but in particular, in western Kenya, where, indeed, we are still very short of university institutions. November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3431 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this college was started in 1972 as the Western College of Science and Technology (WECO). We must recognise the leaders who sustained WECO up to the time of the establishment of the Western University of Science and Technology. Without these leaders, who had a vision, maybe I would not be standing here to talk about upgrading the college to a public university. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to commend the leaders in western Kenya who had a dream and a vision about the establishment of WECO as it was called at the time. The mandate of the university will be the usual mandate that we attach to all the universities that have been established. The Western University of Science and Technology will provide, directly and in collaboration with other institutions of higher learning, facilities for university education. This will, of course, include the technological, scientific and professional education. Secondly, the university will participate in discovery, transmission and enhancement of knowledge. It will empower Kenyans with knowledge, so that they can be players in today's global world where science and technology is the engine of growth of any nation. That includes our country. Obviously, the university will conduct examinations for academic awards as may be provided by the statutes pertaining to the university. Finally, the university will examine and make proposals for new faculties, departments, resource and research centres for scientific innovations. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in order for a university to be established in this manner, we have a Commission for Higher Education, that is manned by very able Kenyans. Part of the Commission's mandate is to make sure that, as we establish universities, we are also addressing the issue of quality education. We do not want to reach a stage where we are establishing universities for the sake of granting degrees to Kenyans. As we do that, we want to make sure that the education that Kenyans are getting in our public universities is of high quality and Kenyans who have qualified in our public universities in whatever---
Order, hon. Members! Why are there loud consultations? Please consult in low tones! Proceed, Mr. Minister!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to make sure that Kenyans who have qualified in our public universities in whatever profession can work anywhere in the world, be they doctors, teachers or electrical engineers. The knowledge that we impart to our students should be of the highest quality. Therefore, I want to stress the point that we should not just establish institutions of higher education, but we must also guard against the provision of second-rate education in those institutions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this regard, I would like to urge the Commission for Higher Education to make sure that the institutions that operate under it are of high quality and that their manpower is composed of the right people. In so doing, we will be in tandem with exactly what we are doing at the primary and secondary schools levels where the quality of our education should be of the highest quality. We should extend that to the university level and at the same time make sure that they operate under the right environment and the right acreage. We are endowed with good land and climate and we should make sure that universities are established in an environment which is conducive for students to learn without any interruption. Of course the Western University of Science and Technology (WUST) fits in this Bill. To be able to take in many students, we need proper infrastructure. WUST, since the year 2002, has made great efforts in establishing good infrastructure. It has a good catering complex, 3432 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 many lecture rooms and hostels which have been put up, which is the environment that we want. The university will be run by a council which is already in place. We inaugurated the council three months ago and it is led by a Chairman who has very able members; Kenyans who have a lot of knowledge in education matters. Along with that, there is an academic board which is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor. The academic programmes have been approved by the Moi University Senate which has been administering the board members. I want to point out that WUST will have a niche of its own because there are many innovative subjects being taught there. One is about disaster management. Students will be able to acquire knowledge on conflict resolution, mechanisms and methods of disaster preparedness, sustainable development and humanitarian assistance. As you are aware, Kenya is a recipient of refugees from all places. We are currently receiving refugees from our neighbouring countries, particularly Somalia. Kakuma Camp was mainly established as a centre for refugees. Kenya is playing a major role in that social aspect. It is good if we have Kenyans who can deal with conflict related situations. We need to have enough Kenyans who can deal with conflict management and disaster preparedness. It is only a few years ago that we lost over 200 Kenyans through the bomb blast that hit the former American Embassy. At that time, friendly countries sent people who could deal with the situation. The WUST has established a faculty that will give that type of knowledge to Kenyans so that they can deal with refugees, conflict management and disasters such as the Tsunami which occurred recently. This is an innovative subject and we have others that will be taught in that university. I want to commend the Vice-Chancellor and the professors he is working with because they have been able to establish collaborative efforts with other universities. In particular, they are in collaboration with Chinese universities. They are also working together with the Coventry University and that is the right way to go because there will be need to exchange lecturers between the WUST and Coventry University---
Order, hon. Members! Consultations are getting louder.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was saying that the leadership of this university has set the ball rolling and has created contact with universities around the world to exchange knowledge and expertise with. The WUST lecturers will be visiting other universities and vice-versa and that is a very positive trend within our university system. I also want to point out that currently, there are 200 post-graduate students at the WUST. This shows that not only will the university target under-graduate education but also post-graduate students who will go all the way to PhD level, which is very positive. Last year, as far as finances are concerned, the WUST got close to Kshs0.5 billion. To be specific, it got Kshs444,474,970 for its Recurrent Expenditure. For Development Expenditure, they received Kshs75 million. This goes to show that even financially, with the staff they have got, they are able to pay the teachers and the non-teaching staff. In this regard, the College at the moment has a work force of 411, among whom are 100 academic staff and the rest are non-academic. Of the academic staff, eight are professors, 16 are senior lecturers, 31 are lecturers and 45 are assistant lecturers. The student population today is 1,806. Along with giving degrees, this university is very cognisant of the fact that there are a number of Kenyans who want to pursue diploma and certificate courses and facilities are in place November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3433 for them. This cadre of people is also very important in our industry and ---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. There seems to be consistent loud consultation to the extent that we cannot even hear. Can you take action?
Order! I think I specifically need to name some Members who are consulting loudly. Proceed, Minister!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In fact, my colleagues ought to know that the need for higher education is paramount among our people. When you look right across the country, from the Coast to Nyanza, Kenyans are very anxious that university institutions are established. So, this Bill is a precursor of what is actually going to come. I am thinking of the Lake University which has already started, and at the Coast, there are institutions that are currently discussing about starting a university there. Our polytechnics; Mombasa Polytechnic and Nairobi Polytechnic, will also be elevated to university level next year. So, as we address the issue of science and technology, we should also be keen to prepare our young people to move in that direction. I have always said and believed that the saviour for this country is agriculture. But I am very slowly changing my mind, that unless we do something about science and technology, we are not likely to attain the industrialisation that we are talking about. When you look right across the globe, countries that are doing very well, including the Asian Tigers, you will find that they have embraced science and technology. We cannot do so unless we establish institutions such as WUST. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am aware that Members are very keen to contribute to this Bill. I would like to conclude and request my colleagues to support this Bill. With those remarks, I beg to move.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to second this very important Bill. First of all, it is over- due. The Minister has stated that there are only six public universities in the country, and this is going to be the seventh. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, devolution does not start and end with governance. It must also go into education and, therefore, we would like to ensure that all things devolve all the way. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, WUST, which is now going to be a full-fledged university is situated in a very heavily populated area of western Kenya. It has taken a long time. All of us from that area have wanted this university to be started. within Western Kenya, there are very many tertiary institutions that are offering some learning that could eventually be constituent colleges of this university. We would like this university to start immediately. I am going to be very brief so as to allow others to contribute. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Speaker, Sir, within Western Province, we would like to see that immediately this becomes a reality, we would like to see that there are constituent colleges in almost every district. For instance, in Teso District, we have Alupe Leprosy Centre which is very renowned in various fields. I think it can do very well as a constituent college where medicine is taken. The center of education in Western Province is Butere where education really started, and what a better place to have the education faculty! We have Sang'alo Institute of Science and Technology, Bukura Institute of Agriculture and various other places which can help to strengthen the university. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to advise my colleagues in Western Province 3434 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 and other parts of this country, to avoid the construction of huge grandeur buildings. We spend a lot of money putting up beautiful buildings which do not add any value to education. I am sure many hon. Members have travelled to London several times. During their tours, they have seen a number of universities there. One cannot believe when you look at them, that they are universities. What is required is just a shelter; a place where students can access books, instruments and where professors and students can interact. Let us, therefore, try and save money instead of putting up very huge buildings, we should come up with simple buildings and ensure that students are assisted. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need this university and several other universities to be initiated and built because of the out-flow of our students to other countries. Although nobody has worked out the exact amount of money we spend educating our children in foreign countries. It is said that we are spending about Kshs50 billion. I am sure hon. Members can imagine how many universities we can set up in this country with that kind of money. We want to keep our students here because we know that quite a number of them who go to get education overseas tend to stay there. This is really the brain-drain that we keep on talking about. Let us use our education as an enterprise where other countries can come and spend their hard currency thereby increasing our economy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to encourage universities to be self-reliant. We know that many innovations are carried out in many countries through universities. There is no reason why our universities cannot be the same. I want to congratulate the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) because they have attempted to do so. We want to try and encourage our universities to do the same by being self-reliant. All over the world, research has been carried out mainly at the universities. We would like to do the same here. We have seen many people come from outside and, for example, take our plants and trees to their universities, carry out research, produce medicine and bring it back to this country at a very high price. Let us use our universities to do the same. By so doing, they will earn money and make them self-reliant. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know about energy, that oil is running out in the world. Let us use our universities to do research in alternative energy, so that we are prepared. We are an agricultural country. Currently, most of the machinery that we use in this country is imported. Some of it is not suited to this country. Let us use our universities to do research, so that we end up with suitable equipment in this country thereby earning the universities money and making them self-reliant. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate some regions in this country for setting up private universities. These are the Rift Valley, Eastern and Central provinces. We have no private university in Western Province. While we are setting up a public university, let us encourage our people to also set up private universities. We can never have enough institutions of higher learning. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in some of the private universities that we need, we want to train our young people in entrepreneurship. Earlier on, there was a Question on the Floor of the House asking how we will disburse the Youth Enterprise Fund. Of course, the Question had to be deferred. We have been given another month to see how we can deal with the Kshs1 billion allocated to the Fund. Although we have set aside that kind of money, we do not have many of our young people who know how to utilise it. That is an area where the institution of higher learning can assist. We still require Masters in Business Administration (MBAs), but we need to deal on a lower scale where the day to day life is carried out. I remember what is coming to be the Western University of Science and Technology (WUST), when it was the Western College (WECO), it did extremely well. It produced water November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3435 pumps, which really helped the people in the rural areas. We want to improve on what they produced at that time. We cannot wait. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to stop there. I support this Bill. I want to allow my colleagues to contribute to this Bill, so that we can finish with it this evening. With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to contribute to this Bill. I want to join the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs in saying that the establishment of a full-fledged university in Western Province is long overdue. It is very good that we have brought this Bill. This Bill has been waited for very anxiously. I believe, looking at the Bill, it is standard. This Bill has no complications. I think we can pass it today. If there are any amendments, they can come later. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, looking at the name of the university, the Minister say that there are now six public universities in this country. These universities are named after the regions they are located, for example, the University of Nairobi (UoN) is in Nairobi; Egerton University, is named after Lord Egerton and Maseno University is in Maseno. I do not see why we cannot name this university, the Kakamega University of Science and Technology. If we call it the Western University of Science and Technology, one would imagine it is located somewhere, probably out of this country. There is no harm in changing the name. I believe we should name this university by the town in which it is located. Kenyans are really yearning for education. If you look at the data provided, you will realise that 90 per cent of Kenyans who qualify to go to university, actually do not go to universities here. They prefer going to universities outside this country and that is how we are losing huge amounts of money in foreign exchange to educate our children. I believe that 10 per cent is still a very small number. There is, therefore, need for us to move very far and make sure that we pass this Bill quickly and establish the Western University of Science and Technology (WUST). Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was looking at Clause 5 of the Bill. It states the following: "The President may, on advice of the Council, by Order in the Gazette, (a) establish any college as a constituent college of the university, or---" This is a very important clause and once this Bill has been enacted, we should focus on upgrading other institutions in Western Province. There are very old institutions of repute in the province which have been neglected for very many years. I am thinking of institutions like Sigalagala Technical College, Sang'alo Institute of Science and Technology, Kaimosi Teachers College, Alupe Leprosy Institute and many others. All these institutions can be upgraded into constituent colleges because they can absorb a lot of students. If you look at what is going on at WUST, you will see that there is a clear lack of critical facilities. A few weeks ago, I was talking to the principal who told me that they cannot admit everybody because of lack of very critical facilities such as halls of residence, lecture halls, playgrounds and so on. It is high time the Government allocated enough funds for the development of this institution if, indeed, it is serious. When it comes to matters to do with land, there is no shortage of land in WUST. There is plenty of it. In fact, just adjacent to the university, there is what used to be the Agriculture Show of Kenya (ASK) grounds which was grabbed. This appears in the list of those properties that were stolen---
What did you just say?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I meant "misappropriated". 3436 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006
You can say "grabbed".
Yes, grabbed. Thank you, Mr. Sungu. The property appears in the list of properties that were grabbed. It is, indeed, a very huge ground. It is also Government land which should be passed on to WUST and it will make good use of it.. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about the courses that are offered at WUST. As the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs said, Disaster Management is one of the unique courses being offered at WUST. You and I know how unprepared we are when a calamity strikes. We normally cry out to foreign countries to come and assist us because we do not have the technical know how. We really do not have people who have studied courses of this kind. Therefore, this is a right course that the University is offering and should be encouraged to expand it so that it can produce more people who can handle conflict resolution. The University was established close to Kakamega Forest. This is the only tropical rain forest that still exists in this country. However, it is being decimated day and night. In the next five or ten years, that forest will not be there. When you move around that forest, you will get students studying Medicine in foreign universities taking plants from that forest. They use the plants in their countries to produce good medicine which they sell to us at very high prices. I think Forestry is a course that should be embarked on very seriously in this university. Probably, it will be even better for the Government to take a very bold step and make sure that it actually offers this forest to WUST once this course has been established. That way, we shall be able to conserve Kakamega Forest. At the rate at which it is being destroyed, if nothing is done, we shall have the forest completely destroyed in the next few years. In a certain clause in this Bill, the intake of students is mentioned. Of course, there should be no discrimination in the admission of students. I believe that students should come from all walks of life. However, I would rather that we look at Kenyans, first and foremost, so that once they have been admitted and are satisfied, then we can look at other people who come in search of education. If that cannot be the case, we would rather have other people joining this university and paying just as much as our students who go to Uganda, Tanzania or India pay. It is important that we give Kenyans the first chance when seeking admission into this university. The creation of WUST is necessary. This Bill has been on the waiting list for too long. Now that it is here, I want to ask my colleagues to hasten its passage so that in the next few days it goes to the Committee of the Whole House and be made law. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Bill. Indeed, this is a happy day for me because we are going to see yet another university being born. Normally, when the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results come out, I am saddened to see students who have attained grades B (Plain) and B- (Minus) being left out of university education. We only absorb 10 per cent into our public universities. I saw in the newspapers an advertisement for industrial training. I am not sure whether it was a diploma or certificate course being offered. Most of those who applied had attained grades B (Plain) and B- (Minus). For the first time, I am glad, we saw many women apply for the course. We are all aware that Grade C (Plain) is average. Everywhere in the world, Grade C (Plain) can get somebody into a university. So, we have so many Kenyans waiting to join university. Previously, in my various contributions in this House, I used to say that we need to take universities to the people. As far as I am concerned, every community must have access to a university. The pastoral community can also have mobile university for themselves. With the current technology, we can access university education through Information and Communications Technology (ICT). It is true that we can do that. I am aware that this country can afford to do that. November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3437 This year, we have about 270,000 students sitting for their KCSE. Come next year, we shall be faced with same problem of being unable to admit 90 per cent of qualified students into our universities. Right now we have about 650,000 students sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations. They are already looking ahead, that is, which universities will admit them in the future. When university lecturers go on strike and when we discuss university education, we do it in a very simplistic way. The minute you go to nursery school, you are already focusing on university education. That is the ultimate and every Kenyan has a right to earn that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Western College (WECO) was starting, I was a member of the Board of Governors. We used to discuss how it could be turned into a university. At that time, it was just like a dream. Where WUST is now located is the prime centre of Western Province. When we talk of university education we are insisting on local people accessing it cheaply. Those who have retired and those who passed to go to university, but never got a chance to be admitted into any university should be able to leave their homes on bicycles and access university education very cheaply. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the same time we are talking of unifying Kenya through university education. We should have it as a national institution and have students from all over the world. Many of them will be going past Nakuru to western Kenya for the first time and through that way, we can stop talking tribalism and know that we are Kenyans and one country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, also universities always have a quota system for international students. Let me tell you what international students do, they bring diversity. We are talking of cross-fertilisation. So, we cannot shut out everybody and I always marvel when our universities shut out foreign university students. We can charge them four times what our own students are paying because we know when we go to America, Germany, Japan and many other countries in Europe, we pay through the nose. So, we can have them but say we are limiting them to a certain percentage because they add value to what our students are going to experience. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate the Minister. I am aware that he fast-tracked the establishment of this university. I remember when he was put in the acting position, that is the first thing I told him. However, I also told him that as soon as we have it as a full-fledged university, we need constituent colleges and the one I have in mind is a stone's throw away from where I was born. It is called Bukura Agricultural College. That will be the university's constituent college which will offer agriculture for Western University of Science and Technology (WUST). We should say that for every province we must have a university and every district needs to have a constituent college. That way, we can have many Kenyans accessing university education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was in India and you will be amazed that every Indian who stood up in this conference of about 4000 people was "Doctor Somebody". It is not a miracle to be "Dr. Somebody". It is just that you feel good about yourself because you have been given an opportunity to access that knowledge and I hope this House will go down in history as having established as many universities as we can. The next one as far as I am concerned, should be a mobile university in the arid and semi- arid areas because that environment creates an opportunity for excellent research. As you know, those areas do not produce much, but it does not mean they cannot produce something. Universities are centres of excellence. They are all about research, seeking knowledge, safeguarding and questioning knowledge. Universities should withstand the test of time and politics and all of us should support the establishment of universities in all our areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we talk about accommodation. I know the Minister for Tourism and Wildlife, who is here, told me he is looking for very innovative ways of promoting tourism by having people stay in our own houses, whether they are grass thatched or not, but make 3438 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 sure you provide the basic amenities. We are always constrained by where our students are going to stay and I would like to see that kind of innovative thinking in education; that lets us have students come from western Kenya and go to Mount Kenya region for university education and go to the Coast but they can stay in somebody's house. That way, it is affordable for them. So, let us not talk of no bed capacity and, therefore, you cannot go to the classrooms. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has said here in his Bill that there will be no additional funding required from the public kitty. University education is expensive. If it is going to be of quality, right now we have to have in place modern technology, we need computers since they are easily accessible. We need every professor to be computer literate and it should be a requirement. I usually tell my fellow professors that if you "google" and not find "Ruth Oniang'o" on the internet, then you are not worthy your name as a professor. It means you have not published, not done research and you are not known internationally. University professors are the epitome of knowledge and scholarship. They are the ones who actually contribute Africa's knowledge to the international body of knowledge. I would like to urge the Ministry to make sure we remunerate our professors properly but at the same time, we demand that they help in the development of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we bring in consultants; some little boys who have just attained their PhDs. These are 23 to 30 years olds to come and advise Kenya where it should be going when we have our own professors here and we complain when they want to be remunerated better. We ask what they are doing and yet we do not give them an opportunity to contribute towards the development of this country. I am aware that in Tanzania, a consultancy job cannot be given to a foreign body unless local professors, academicians and intellectuals are actually involved in bidding for that job. We need to have that here as well. Through that way, we can develop as a nation and talk of realising our 2030 vision. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have talked about linking this to international scholarships and taking the universities to the people. I want to talk about accreditation. I do not know what the Commission for Higher Education does. They only look at whether you have met the criteria or not. When I visited Nigeria as part of a team looking at the university accreditation system, they had just closed down a medical school because they have an accreditation system which ensures competitiveness in their universities. As we go on establishing more and more universities, both public and private, we have to ensure that our children access the best education possible because God did not discriminate when it came to giving grey matter. Even Africans here have the best grey matter in the world and our children should be able to access that education. It is always in my view that we should have local education when it comes to the first degree but, at the same time, we should make sure that we have scholarships for our children to go out, seek knowledge and then give them reasons to come back. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally because my colleagues want to contribute, the Minister talked about the founding fathers of Western College (WECO). Many of them have passed on and I hope I do not have to bring an amendment here because I know the Minister will do so. I would like the Minister, at the inauguration of this university, to have a monument with their names on and also to give them honorary degrees posthumously because then we shall be recognising the founding fathers and mothers of this university.
The Minister will do that.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, he will do that. I want to say that one of the advantages of this university is---
Order! You want to establish a university. Let the university do those kind of things. Do you want the Minister to start awarding degrees? November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3439
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to join my colleagues in supporting this very important Bill. I also want to congratulate the Minister for his efforts in crafting this Bill and bringing it to this House. He should, indeed, ensure that it passes. We have also been told that this proposed university will be the seventh public university in Kenya. I hope that it is not going to be the last public university to be established. We have also been told that education is the cornerstone of this country. I say this because we at the Coast province have also been clamouring for establishment of a public university in our region for a number of years. We hope that the effort we are seeing today will be the beginning of a serious effort by the Government to expand access to university education to other areas, including Coast Province. It has been said that Coast Province is the cradle of knowledge. This is simply because of the fact that the first missionaries passed through Coast Province on their way to upcountry. We would like the benefit of this historical fact to be realised by not only the people of Coast Province, but also by those other regions which have also been shut out of access to higher education such as North Eastern Province. There should be equitable distribution of educational opportunities in this country. We have also been told that only 10 per cent of our students gain entry into our local university. The other 90 per cent find their way to overseas universities. It is obvious that this country is spending a lot of money in funding foreign education. This is because we cannot satisfy our people's quest for higher education. The Coast Province needs an opportunity by the Government to expand its field of knowledge. We have been told here that one of the main faculties at the proposed Western University of Science and Technology will be that of disaster management. Coast Province will provide study opportunities in the fields of marine technology, marine biology and agriculture. I hope that the current initiatives at the Coast Province by upcountry universities, which are offering courses specifically at the Kilifi Institute of Agriculture and Bandari College, will be elevated and make these institutions full universities in due course. We also need to look at the fees we charge in our universities. The poverty levels in this country average 60 per cent to 65 per cent. It is important that when we talk about expanding education at the higher level, we also look at how we can rationalise our fees structure. Currently, the fees that is being charged in our public universities is beyond the means of many of Kenyans. We hope that the Government, in its wisdom, as it did in the provision of free primary education, will look at ways and means of rationalising university fees in order to make it affordable by the majority of Kenyans. I also wish to support a previous speaker on the issue of grading system. We are losing many good intellectual minds because we peg our education at a slightly higher level than most universities abroad do. I think we need to accommodate every Kenyan in their endeavour to find knowledge. As we do that, we need also to look at our research opportunities. In the academic arena, research is very important. We also need to look at how we can provide adequate facilities such as books, computers and other modern equipment to our universities to make it easier for them to work effectively. We cannot talk about university education, particularly now, if we do not talk about remuneration of our teaching staff. It is embarrassing for this country to have fallen into the 3440 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 situation that it is in now. Out of our six public universities at least four have closed down due to the on-going lecturers strike. This is sad not only for the students but also for this country. We need to devise a way of conflict resolution, so that we do not shut down our universities because of a fight for better salaries. This is a situation that should not be allowed to happen again. We appeal to the Government, through the Minister, to find a solution to the crisis facing our universities. We have also heard that this proposed university will establish constituent colleges in various districts. This is a very innovative way of expanding education in this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not want to take too much time. But I want to support this Bill wholeheartedly. Hopefully when we come here next time, I will bring a Private Member's Motion---
Order, Order, hon. Members!
I will introduce a Private Member's Motion to establish a university at the Coast Province, so that we, too, can get the kind of support we are now giving to our colleagues in western Kenyan. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Bill. First, I would like to congratulate the Minister for bringing this Bill. I remember with nostalgia the establishment of Western Institute of Science and Technology. Many steps have been taken and now it is becoming a university. This is something to congratulate the Minister for. I agree with my colleague, Prof. Oniang'o, that we should recognise the founding fathers of this university. One of them was a colleague of mine at the University of Nairobi, Prof. Kamara. I also want to recognise that the NARC Government has done an excellent job. It has done something wonderful. This is the provision of free primary education in this country. There is nothing we can do for ourselves, as a country, that is greater than investing in the education of our people. I want to say that we must do our best in this regard. I am sure that the Minister is doing what he can to provide free secondary education, the same way we have done with the primary education. This is because without an educated citizenry, it is always very difficult to attain development. This is because you will continue to depend on outsiders to provide the knowledge and skills that are required for development. In this country, if we provide primary education and do not provide free secondary education, it means that we will have many children dropping out of school after getting primary education. Such children will not be able to contribute to the development of our nation. Countries like the Peoples Republic of China, where our Head of State has just been, Korea and India were underdeveloped not long ago, but became giants in the world because they invested in their people. They gave their people knowledge and skills so that they can participate in the development of their country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would wish we, as the November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3441 Government and as leaders, can truly try to find out what we can do because we are losing a lot of our young people to drugs. We have raised this issue in this House many times before. We know what countries such as China, Hong Kong, India, and especially in South East Asia have done. They have really made a deliberate effort as the governments to ensure that drugs are not brought into their countries. If we, as a Government and as leaders, cannot protect our children from drugs and we hope that they can save themselves, I really think that we are failing our young generation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to invest in free primary education as much as we are and then in secondary education to the extent that we are and then leave our children at the mercy of drug barons in this country is, to me, one of the biggest failures that we shall leave as a legacy. I know for sure that no country can develop if its youth is involved in drugs. We can see the result of these drugs in the slums; we can see our young people, instead of being engaged in development, they are engaged in killing each other, burning houses, running against each other and shooting each other. Sometimes, you look at the television and you ask yourself: "Is this a country that is developing or a country that is going backwards?" Yet these are children who, if we stopped them, they all speak English! So, for sure, they must have gone through school. So, what can we do? This is probably, obviously, not just the concern for the Ministry of Education. This is something that we, as a Government, as the people and as leaders, must address. We will never compete with those countries that are protecting their young people from drugs and investing in education. We will never compete with them! We shall continue to depend on handouts! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, training, especially by giving skills, is extremely important. As much as we want to give basic education, if we do not give skills, we shall, again, continue getting people graduating from our universities--- I am in a position to hire people who are in the universities. I try to hire people who have degrees in Natural Resource Management, Forestry Management, and any of these issues that I work on in areas of environment. One of the most disappointing aspects of our education system is that our people have a lot of book knowledge, but they have no skills. They definitely have very poor writing and speaking skills. It is difficult for people who cannot write to communicate. And if you are going to be a project manager or a leader in any place, you must provide leadership. People coming out of the universities must surely provide the leadership. If they cannot write or speak, how do we expect them to provide leadership? There is also very little encouragement in our institutions on creativity. There is a sense of education that we have that actually goes to the primary level and you can see it all through to the university, where you have people who do not have the freedom to think or be creative. They are taught to receive information, they take notes and at the examinations, they regurgitate what they got from the professors or teachers and they pass their exams. What we need is an examination system that encourages people to be creative and innovative, so that people do not come out of the university and literally depend on somebody else to help them to do something, because they cannot create. I hope that the Minister for Education will look into this issue. All the things that we admire and want, whether it is electricity, cars or aeroplanes, these were, at the very outset, ideas. These ideas were picked by people who were creative. They innovated and created something that has now become a big thing. We must become creative. What we are seeing in Asia, Europe and in other countries is as a result of creative minds. So, I hope that our universities and, indeed, our education system, will be improved so that it can allow for creativity. Sometimes I ask teachers, especially in the primary and secondary schools, why we need to instill fear in our children. Maybe it is where I come from, but I quite often see children having fear in them. They are afraid of talking or expressing themselves to their teachers. If a person like me goes to a school and wants to speak to the children, they fear and run away from me. Why is it like that? We really need to look into our education system and ensure that our children do not suffer from fear. When children suffer from fear, when they grow up, they will not express that fear in the 3442 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 way that we see in small children. Those are the kind of children who, eventually, when they are frustrated and feel angry, instead of engaging their professors or administrators in dialogue, they find it easier to go to the streets and start stoning passers-by who have done nothing to them. To me, these are symptoms of an education system that has failed to produce students who are confident, creative and willing to engage other human beings in dialogue rather than in confrontation. Because to me, if you go to the streets and start burning cars, hitting people or passers-by who are completely innocent, yet you are a university student, then you are really no longer using your intellect. You are actually expressing a form of fear that I actually see in pupils in primary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in closing, I want to say that it is important that we give quality education. We have been told that quite often we allow so many students in a classroom because we do not have facilities. Sometimes students, especially in the universities, stand up during lectures because there is no room in the classroom or they cannot sit because there are no chairs. What kind of a classroom is that? How can anybody learn if they do not have a conducive environment? It is very important for us to take our university education seriously and give quality education. Nobody wants to hear that they came out of a university which is poorly rated. I was reading in the newspapers how our universities are very poorly rated. Our universities should be tops, especially the older universities, so that the new universities can have something to emulate. One way of improving education is, of course, by giving the universities resources. We should also adequately remunerate the lecturers, so that they do their work properly. We should also avail adequate resources to our professors to undertake research, then we shall not experience the brain-drain that continues to deprive us of good teachers who prefer to go to countries where their skills and knowledge are appreciated. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Bill. First of all, I want to congratulate the Minister for fast- tracking this Bill. It is long overdue, but we are happy that he has been able to fast-track it. We need to pass it. I know that we have a lot of interest in it. If we could possibly pass it today, I will be a very happy person. Like my colleagues have done, I would also like to congratulate our fore-fathers who started WECO. Some of us, were public servants then and we participated in one way or the other way in developing it. We must all give recognition to people like the late Masinde Muliro, Reuben Olembo and Festus Mutere, who sat for long hours on end to start the WECO. They also used their own resources as founder members of the college. If this was not done, the WECO would not have been started. In addition, it would not have been a constituent college of Moi University. More importantly, today we would not be talking about the Western University of Science and Technology (WUST). As Prof. Oniang'o said, when we have the inaugural ceremony of this University, we should give special recognition to those founders. They did us proud. Without them, we would not have achieved this. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want also to emphasize the fact that this university is one of science and technology. This is the in-thing for the future. If we want this country to aspire to the vision of 2030, science and technology must be the way forward. We already have a good foundation at this university college. I think we must build on it. We must expand its scope to ensure that we emphasize, particularly the technology part of it. We want to be practical, so that our people can aspire and develop in the way other countries are doing so, particularly the Tiger countries. Some 30 years ago, we were at the same level with Korea. But now, they are miles ahead of us because we mark-timed while they went ahead. They were practical. We should be practical to ensure that we develop our country into the technological or science age. November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3443 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate the President of this country for having divested himself from being the Chancellor of all the public universities. I think we must give credit where it is due. The days when we had to wait for the Head of State to find time to be able to preside over graduation ceremonies, are long gone. There are many Kenyans who can play that role. I, therefore, want to congratulate His Excellency the President for divesting himself from that responsibility and appointing other Kenyans to play that role. I am sure that when the WUST is inaugurated, he will find it fit to appoint a good Kenyan who will be able to preside as its Chancellor. I think we must give that recognition to our Head of State. He did the right thing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are many colleges that can be constituent colleges of this university. We have a number of them in Western Province. Certainly those that come to mind include, Alupe, Sang'alo, Bukura and Kaimosi. They are already developed. We only need to incorporate and add value to them as constituent colleges. They will be a very good milestone as developing centres for science and technology in that Province. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to ensure that this college develops. I would like to join my colleague, Prof. Oniang'o, in saying that clearly, for us to have this university properly established, there will expenditure to the public coffers. We must give it a good ground, although we do not want to invest in grandiose buildings and infrastructure. But, at least, some basic infrastructure should be there. Land is available for that. If we can use this university to conserve that indigenous and equatorial forest of Kakamega, by ensuring that research is carried out, I will be a very happy man. I hope we can do that because the land for expansion is available. All we need to do is to provide some basic infrastructure and the university will be able to expand. The people of Western Province are happy. This day is a proud day for us. I would like to urge all my colleagues wherever they come from to support this Bill. If we can have it passed and His Excellency the President accents to it as soon as possible, I will be a very happy man. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Bill. I will be very brief. Just like my colleagues who have contributed, I am very excited that we have reached this level with this university. We laud our founding fathers who collected Kshs2 from local farmers at the beginning to start WECO. This is a culmination of a long road for the people of Western Province. I want to congratulate the Minister for bringing this Bill. However, I want to point out two things in the Bill that I think the Minister can address at the Committee Stage. One of them concerns Clause 5 on page 1151. A university should not be vetted in the manner in which it opens or extends its constituent colleges. It should not be a matter that should be tied to the President. So, I do not understand why the Clause says that the President may, on the advice of the council by order in the Gazette, establish a college. Once we have established a university, we should give it freedom. It is up to it to decide whether to open a constituent college or not. These constituent colleges should not be limited to Western Province. We can have its constituent college in Mombasa or Garissa. We should not limit ourselves to say: Let us have a constituent college in every district of Western Province. Certainly, it is closer for management and administration. But we have seen this happen in other universities. For example, the University of South Africa, UNISA, has a college in this country. There is also a university in Australia called Monash which has a campus in South Africa and Malaysia. We should now start thinking big. The bounty that is in southern Sudan can open a campus in Juba and give services to the Sudanese. Such a university can open a campus in Mogadishu and give services to our brothers in Somalia. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have Ugandans trying to open campuses in Kenya here, and our universities should do the same. They should open campuses in Dodoma, Mbale or 3444 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 Kampala. This will help the growth of our universities. It will also help create the diversity that we are talking about. So, I want to urge the Minister to amend Clause 5 at the Committee Stage. This would allow the university administration, on its own, to decide how, where and when to open constituent colleges and not unnecessarily tie this to the Head of State. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, President Kibaki has given this country a lead by disengaging himself from being the chancellor of every university. Being an academician himself, he certainly qualifies to be a chancellor. However, we will have some crazy President who will want to be the chancellor of all universities even if he does not qualify to be one. We should not have a legal instrument that gives somebody a chance to abuse such a privilege. I want to urge the Minister to amend Clause 10 at the Committee Stage. This clause says that the President shall be the chancellor of this university, unless he deems it fit to allow somebody else to be. We should not have such a law in this day and age, in this country! We should only vest the powers of appointment of a chancellor in the President on the recommendation of the university council. We, however, should not say that, unless he deems it fit that he should not be the chancellor, then somebody else can be. That is not right. We should vest that authority in the university council. The council should recommend the appointment of the chancellor to the President, the same way it is done in other countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on general issues, I want to talk about the cost of university education. We have the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). I have said it here before that I think this Parliament, particulary the Committee on Education, Research and Technology and the Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade, should encourage the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance to put more money into HELB, so that funds are available to all our children whether in tertiary institutions like the Kenya Polytechnic or in a university, and whether on parallel degree programmes or not. Students should have access to these loans because the loans will be repaid anyway!
I think we need to expand the portfolio and profile of the HELB. Equally, this Board should be decentralised! If we have universities in Nyanza Province, like Maseno University, Moi University and Egerton University, the HELB does not need to be administered centrally from Nairobi, so that everybody who wants a loans has to come to Nairobi to talk about it. We need to have a branch of this Board in almost every province, so that when students, or parents want to talk about loans, they have a local office to go to. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to mention something about the remuneration of university professors and other lecturers. I think the way forward, and this has been done in other universities, is to give every university the authority, and autonomy to hire each and every lecturer and professor on negotiated terms between the individual and the university. If you are good, you can negotiate your salary at a rate you deserve. Then, we will not have this issue of bringing trade unionism into a scenario where intellectualism is supposed to be the key. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you can understand if railway workers were in a union. However, intellectuals, professors and lectures, should each be given an opportunity to negotiate their terms of employment according to their brain, ability and capacity. This is what happens in other universities. if you go to the University of London, you will find that every professor has his or her own terms of employment with the university. If you are a research fellow, reader or whatever, you get your own terms. This will help reduce the problems we are having now. Lastly, I want to give notice to the Minister that at the committee stage, I will move an November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3445 amendment to change the name of this university from Western University of Science and Technology to Masinde Muliro University. Thank you.
Thank you Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to add my voice to the very positive points made by the immediate hon. Member who has contributed, and who is a good friend of mine. I know he was agitated during his university days. However, he has turned out to be an eloquent speaker on university matters. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a former Assistant Minister for Labour and Manpower Development, I wish to urge the Government, especially the Acting Minister for Education, to talk to the University Academic Staff Union (UASU) members. He is not talking! The way you manage university professors is not the same as way you would manage other trade unionists. I urge the Minister to talk to the professors and lecturers. It is not possible to replace professors and lectures at the universities. The gestation period is five to ten years. We cannot replace these professors. If they go home, we must find a way of bringing them back. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we did something with teachers when the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) was agitating for their remuneration. We agreed on a three to four year programme with them. This is what the Minister should be doing as far as lecturers are concerned. He must talk to UASU members so that we can have a graduated system of paying lecturers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, during the first strike led by UASU, I was the Assistant Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development. At that particular time we talked, and a major strike was averted. On this occasion, I believe that an Assistant Minister for Education has valuable insight which is not being utilised in negotiations at present. As a former agitator in UASU for better salaries, his experience must be made use of. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the formation of this university, I wish to say the following. First, we must set up our universities to be world-class centres of knowledge. In the current rankings of Africa and the world, Makerere University is nowhere. The University of Nairobi is nowhere. Dar-es-Salaam University has moved. What has happened? Part of this problem has to do with the promotion of professors who do not write or publish! Promotions are given in universities without full---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to say that professors are promoted without publishing? I know very well that one must have at least three publications before they can be promoted from a lecturer to a senior lecturer.
Mr. Angwenyi, besides that, I was just wondering why we do not become a little bit more relevant to the Bill before us? Mr. Odoyo, please, continue!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am aware that "Professor" Angwenyi is a former lecturer.
Order, Mr. Odoyo!
I withdraw, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the research aspect of any university is what determines its ratings in the world. At the moment the kind of original research that our universities are coming up with is what we may call "repeated" or "regurgitated" research from the Western universities. Time is ripe, for example, for Maseno University to be known as a centre of 3446 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 excellence in matters of fresh water lakes. I hope that the proposed Western University of Science and Technology will have an opportunity to lead the world in matters of population. We are aware that Western Province is one of the most populated areas of this country. We are also aware that people from this region can lead in micro and small-scale agriculture. This will be a university of science and technology and the new technology today includes internet and computers. It is the responsibility of our universities, such as the one we are establishing, to make our country an e- country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was said at one point that there should be reconciliation between universities, the Government and industries. The Government of today does not consult the "good heads" at the universities. We are not consulting them to give us their input on how we can better our country. Our industries do not utilise the little research that is being done at the universities to improve what they are doing for our people. Time is ripe for the research that is being done to be put into use. For example, today, nuclear technology is becoming the horizon of power. Time is ripe for universities to tell us how we can use nuclear technology to run power stations in Kenya and in East Africa. It has been proven that this is one of the cheapest ways of producing power. Science is the vanguard for development of the key countries like the United States of America, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany. We must emulate these people by letting professors to lead us from a point of knowledge and strength rather than keep on relying on people who will not serve as a good example to our young and upcoming graduates. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to urge the Government not to be over- taken by Kenyans. Today, Kenyans are moving very fast. As I stand here, I am the convenor and regional co-ordinator of e-Parliament in East and Central Africa. I would like to request all the hon. Members to attend a meeting on 17th November, which will be held in Parliament Buildings. The Secretary General of the world e-Parliament will be attending the meeting, which will focus on issues like e-Parliament and e-commerce. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to contribute to this very important Motion. From the onset, I would like to support the establishment of the Western University of Science and Technology in Kakamega. The Government is showing, yet again, that it wants to bring education to our people. It demonstrated this when it introduced the Free Primary Education Programme in the country. The Government is showing that it wants to create more opportunities for our youths to pursue higher education. I am aware that admission into our universities is limited due to lack of accommodation. I would like to propose a method of expanding our accommodation capacity in our universities, so that we can admit more students to pursue higher education. The cost of putting up the National Health Insurance Fund Building has escalated from Kshs1.3 billion to Kshs5.6 billion. If the difference amounting to Kshs4.4 billion was used to put up accommodation facilities for students in our universities, we would have put up, at least, 40,000 housing units. This means that an additional 40,000 students could have been accommodated in our universities. If we had saved the amount of money that we over-spent in the construction of the National Social Security Fund Building, where the cost escalated from Kshs1.7 billion to Kshs4.7 billion, we would have saved Kshs3.3 billion and the money would have been used to put up a minimum of 30,000 housing units for our students. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we have any surplus of funds in some of our parastatals, the Government should make a deliberate move to mop up that money and use it to put up accommodation facilities for our students. As you know, only 10,000 students can be November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3447 accommodated in our public universities on regular and parallel degree programmes. This means that only 20,000 students can be accommodated in any one year in our public universities. If we make the savings that I have stated, we will be able to increase the intake from 20,000 students per year to, at least, 100,000 students per year. This will be about a third of the students who qualify after sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE). The rest of the students can join private universities in this country. I hope that when we pass this Bill, the Government will move with speed to establish this university. We should not have another "Kibabii Teachers Training College", which was supposed to be put up in Western Province decades ago, but has not been put up to date. I believe that once we have passed this Bill, the Minister will move with speed to upgrade Kisii Campus, Mombasa Polytechnic and Machakos Teachers College to full-fledged universities, so that university education can be available to our youths everywhere in the country. The minimum qualification for students to join our public universities is Grade C+. We have not changed that. Students strive to attain the minimum grade, but once they have attained it, there are no opportunities for them to pursue higher education. Today, even if students attain Grade B, they do not get opportunities to pursue sensible university education. Therefore, Parliament should support the Government in its effort to establish more universities, so that we can create more opportunities for our youth. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, adequate funds should be set aside for our professors to conduct research, which should benefit this country. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, fir giving me an opportunity to support this Bill. I would like to appreciate and commend the Minister for fast- tracking this Bill. This is a commendable effort. I would like to appreciate the creation of this university. Although the university is based in Western Province, it belongs to all Kenyans. I hope that when the Minister will be inaugurating the university, he will invite us to share the joy with him. I would like to support the hon. Member who has requested the Minister to rename the university and use the name of the late Muliro. The name is befitting. The late Muliro was a great Kenyan and should be remembered, not just in Western Province, but all over Kenya. I would like to request the Minister to consider upgrading other institutions which are long overdue. We need many more universities. We now have one university in Western Province, one in Nyanza Province and one in the Rift Valley Province. We should have two universities in the Rift Valley Province. We also need to have a university in the southern part of Kenya. I would also like to request the Minister to upgrade the Ukamba Agricultural Institute (UKAI) to a full-fledged university. It is already in the process of being integrated with Kenyatta University. If the institute is made into a fully fledged university, students would have an opportunity to learn how to farm in dry areas, because it would be an agricultural university. It would offer a range of agricultural courses that have to do with management of farming in dry areas, bearing in mind that most of our country is dry. We need to have more universities and that should not cost us more than we are already spending because we use a lot of money to send our students out of the country to study. We have been sending our students to Uganda and other African countries. Therefore, if we had enough universities which are set up properly, we would also attract students from other countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it would make a lot of sense if we implemented the free secondary education programme, since we already have the Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme. If that was to be implemented, where would our students go after completing their secondary education, if we do not create more universities? We cannot afford to be sending them 3448 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 out of the country. Therefore, we need to establish more universities. I look forward to a time when we will have a university in the North Eastern Province and another one in the Coast Province so that we can share our country's resources. I support the former contributor who said that secondary school education should also be offered for free. Our CDF bursary money cannot meet the cost of our secondary school education. The need is too high and the Government must meet the cost. I would also like to request the Minister to think about creating middle level and tertiary colleges because we have many students who drop out of schools and others who do not make it to join universities. We also have students who cannot afford to go to secondary schools. We cannot afford to leave our children idle, and therefore, we must keep them busy doing something. We need to have enough polytechnics and colleges. If you go to certain countries like Switzerland, you will find that students attend small colleges, but they eventually upgrade their courses to attain degrees. Students are trained very well to work in different sectors like planning, mechanical and electrical. They work very well and manage to earn a living. I would like to comment about the problem we are currently experiencing in our universities, regarding lectures' salaries. We are very concerned about what is happening at the universities. We hear that some lecturers are paid high salaries while others are paid very low salaries. I worked very hard and could not manage to become a professor. I left teaching at the university at the level of a lecturer, while still trying to become a professor. I am sure that it is not in order to be a full professor, and at the end of the day, be able to afford to drive only a pick up. Let us look at the welfare of our professors and the teaching staff because we have lost many of them to other African countries. Many of them have been relocating to Botswana and South Africa. I think Kenya is better than Botswana and South Africa. It is lecturers from those countries who should be coming to Kenya and not the other way round. Let us look at the welfare of our academicians so that they can do a good job. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Asante Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa fursa hii. Ningependa kumshukuru Mwenyezi Mungu ambaye alitujalia elimu kupitia ufunuo na uhusiano kupitia Mitume, kati yao akiwa Mtume wa mwisho Mohammed, ambaye katika ufunuo wake wa kwanza kwa mitume, aliwaambia, "soma." Neno soma ni tendo ambalo halifungamani na wakati au umri. Hivyo basi, utu au kufaulu kwa mtu duniani kunategemea kusoma kwake au uwezo wa mali aliyo nayo. Kamwe, sitasahau kumpongeza Waziri na Serikali kwa kukumbuka na kusajili au kuleta Mswada wa kusajili chuo kikuu cha WUST. Ingawa amechelewa, bado tunampongeza Waziri. Kuna vifungu kama vile 5(10) na vingine ambavyo tuna matatizo navyo. Hivyo nitavijadili wakati Mswada huu utafika mbele ya Kamati. Kenya inataka vyuo vikuu, si sita, bali zaidi ya 60. Kwa nini nimesema hivyo? Utapoangalia sera ya elimu iliyo katika Kenya leo; ya kutoa elimu bila ya malipo, imewasaidia watoto wa darasa nane, idadi 660,000. Baada ya miaka michache ambayo inakuja, tutalenga watoto zaidi ya milioni moja. Je, watoto hao wataelekea wapi baada ya kumaliza elimu yao ya shule ya msingi na ya upili? Kwa sababu ya uchache wa vyuo vikuu katika nchi hii, elimu ya vyuo hivyo imekuwa ya watoto wanaotoka katika jamii tajiri. Maskini hawapati fursa ya kujisajili kwa chuo kikuu kwa sababu hali yao ya mapato haswa ya kifedha ni ngumu kwao. Gharama ya vyuo vikuu iko juu sana na jamii maskini haziwezi kuimudu. Kuna changamoto nyingi ambazo zinafaa kufanyiwa utafiti. Hadi leo, hatuna muongoza kamili wa utafiti. Tunatoka katika sehemu kame, sehemu ambayo haina uhakikisho wa chakula. Je, ni haki kutumia viini tete? Adhari ya viini tete kwa mwili wa binadamu na ardhi ni nini? Kuna maswala mengi yakiwemo ya kimazingara ambayo tunafaa tuyaangalie. Kuna miti ambayo inaitwa Prosopis Juliflora ambayo ililetwa kutoka nchi za ng'ambo. November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3449 Ukosefu wa utafiti baina ya maprofesa wetu ndio uliofanya watu kuleta miti hiyo ambayo ni tisho kwa maisha ya watu wetu wanaoishi katika sehemu kavu. Hayo ndiyo baadhi ya maswala ambayo yanafanya tutake idara za utafiti kuanzishwa. Utafiti hufanywa tunapokuwa na vyuo vikuu na mapato ya kutosha. Kisha, ari yetu inaamshwa, tunatiwa tamaa, dakika ya mwisho tunaambiwa hakuna mafuta katika nchi yetu. Ni lini tutakuwa na watafiti wetu ambao wataenda kufanya uchunguzi kama huo? Haya tutaweza kuimudu iwapo tutakuwa na vyuo vikuu vya kutosha. Tunapozungumza sasa, zaidi ya asilimia 90 ya watoto wetu wanatafuta elimu ya vyuo vikuu kutoka nchi za nje. Ujiulize, mtoto mmoja anatoa senti ngapi kutafuta elimu hii? Ikiwa asilimia 90 wanasomea nje, wanapeleka pesa ngapi nje? Ni kwa nini tusitumie changamoto kama hicho kuboresha hali ya uchumi ya nchi hii? Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, baraza linaloshughulikia usajili wa vyuo via umma na via kibinafsi lisifanye ubaguzi linaposajili vyuo vikuu. Ninasema hivyo kwa sababu zaidi ya miaka saba leo, chuo cha kiislamu cha Thika kimeomba usajili lakini mpaka leo hakijasajiliwa.
Order! Could you please consult quiely!
Asante, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ninasema kwamba baraza la vyuo vikuu lisifanye ubaguzi wakati wanaposajili vyuo vikuu. Ninasema hivi kwa sababu sasa ni zaidi ya miaka saba tangu chuo kikuu cha kiislamu cha Thika kiombe usajili. Ukiangalia makanisa karibu yote leo yana na vyuo vikuu vyao. Kwa nini kusiwe na chuo kimoja kwa jamii ya waislamu ili nao waweze kuendeleza shughuli ya dini yao? Hii imelazimu watoto wengi wa kiislamu waende Sudan, London ama Uganda kutafuta elimu. Mbona Serikali inatuweka kwa gharama hii na sisi tuko na chuo hapa ambacho kinaweza kufaidi watoto wetu? Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nitarudia kuhimiza Waziri afikirie kuteremsha kiwango cha watoto kuingia vyuo vikuu. Ninasema hivi kwa sababu ukiangalia maprofesa wengi, akiwemo mashuhuri kabisa, Prof. Ali Mazrui, hakufanya vizuri katika kidato cha nnne. Lakini alipopata fursa, Prof. Mazrui anatambulika leo katika nyanja ya kielimu. Watoto wanaotoka katika sehemu kame, kwa sababu ya ukosefu ya karakana hawawezi kushindana na watoto wengine. Ninauliza Waziri aangalie sehemu hiyo na aboreshe hali hiyo. Jambo la mwisho, iwapo Serikali inataka kufaulu kwa watoto wetu, ni lazima iangalie masilahi ya wahadhiri wa vyuo vikuu. Tumesikitishwa na vile Wizara imeshughulikia swala la wahadhiri. Mishara yao lazima iboreshwe. Kwa hayo machache, ninaunga mkono.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Bill on the University of Western Kenya. I want to thank the Ministry and the Minister himself in person for bringing this Bill to this House right now, because it is part of spreading education to the people of this country. We know that education is the basis for any development of any nation. The question of spreading, financing and establishing universities and their constituent colleges is very important. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a few days ago, I said that this country is notorious for inequality. There are some areas in this country like the pastoralist communities which are never considered at all for education. Let us take the example of USA when the Mayflower ship crossed the Atlantic and went to establish education in America and the education that came later. Look at the civil rights struggle. They had to admit students to white universities from the slave communities. We are not saying we are the slave communities, but I do not think that in the history of this country, the Government has tried to develop the whole country, especially the far-flung areas. It has not. 3450 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 In the USA, Colorado is an arid area, like some of our areas, but they have not been left out. They have universities, because the Government is particularly interested in all the people, especially by giving them education and all the other necessary services. The same is not true in Kenya. The whole thing started with the white man. By discriminating against the pastoralist communities, all they wanted was to rob us of our livestock and conscript our people to fight in the First World War and Second World War. That is what we were needed for, but when it came to education, we were not needed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want the attitude of the Government to change in such a way that they will go to every corner of this country to try and bring up the people as citizens of this country, and note areas that are supposed to be developed. We must go to those areas that have been left out for many years, in education in particular. If you do not give education to the pastoralists, then you are definitely marginalising more people. Why do we not just establish two pastoralist constituent colleges; one in the north and another in the south? It is so important. We come here and glorify Western Kenya, Maseno and everybody. What has ever been given to us as pastoralists? Nothing! Yet, when it comes to all these parties going round and about, we are the first to be wooed; kuja tutawasaidia. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must reach all the borders of this country. In fact, I do not want to talk too much about other areas. But if you look at the education of the Maasai in Tanzania, they are now better than us in Kenya. The Government is going into all those areas to see that primary and secondary education is given to these people free of charge. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on this question of establishment of universities and constituent colleges, we must take affirmative action, just like the Americans did to the blacks, the Red Indians and the Latinos by enabling them to get into universities even with lower grades. As we are here, our children are not stupid; they just lack opportunity. If you lack opportunity, then there is nothing you can do. We must now come to the realisation that when we admit students to the Western University of Science and Technology, good luck for them, or any other university or constituent college, which we do not have in the pastoralist areas, we consider affirmative action. We must consider people who have been left behind. They need to be propped up because they are Kenyan citizens so that we can reach everybody and bring the whole country together. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was told by some intelligent people, who know sociology very well, that if you leave certain people so much behind, definitely, you are creating conflict in some of those areas, because the country does not move together. That is why we have conflict all over our borders. People living on the Kenya/Ethiopian border think that they do not belong to Kenya. They think that they belong to Ethiopia. Some of the Kenyan Somalis living on our border with that country say that they belong to Somalia. The Turkana people living on the Kenya/Uganda border think that they can join their Karamojong brothers in Uganda, because Kenya is a "foreign" country. We must not allow these things to continue. They are not small things. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are some things which we must start thinking about very seriously. The other day, I pointed out the issue of serious shortage of teachers in some pastoralist areas. This is because people do not want to go and work there. People from traditionally agricultural areas, and those from developed districts, do not want to work in the North Eastern Province or in certain remote areas of Masailand, because those areas do not have roads and other infrastructure is poor. The only persons who can teach in those areas are the locals, but they are not there. They are not trained. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other day, I said in Narok it was unfortunate that the Government had raised the admission grade for Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) from D+ to C plain. I am glad that the Minister for Science and Technology, who also holds the education November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3451 portfolio in acting capacity, Dr. Wekesa, is listening. Former President Moi had lowered the admission grade to D+, so that the pastoralist communities could have their own admitted to TTCs and other colleges. It was not for nothing that he lowered the admission grades to colleges. I want to repeat that children from pastoralist communities are not stupid. They just lack the opportunities, and the Government decided to "guillotine" them out. If they do not have teachers and the essential facilities, nothing can happen. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say very frankly that even during the colonial days, headmasters of some very famous schools in this country, like Dr. Carey Francis of Alliance High School, Dr. Clockard of Kagumo High School and the headmaster of Mangu High School, where His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs went to, went out of their way to areas like Narok and Kajiado to pick up students to join those schools. Normally, students from those areas would have been of lower academic standards but when they joined those schools, they excelled and were admitted to universities like Makerere, where they became doctors and very good professors. However, we no longer do this in Kenya. There is a lot of discrimination in this country. We are considered as outsiders, and as people who have no value to this country. Therefore, I would like the Government to lower the minimum qualification for admission to university from Grade C+ to D+ for students from some of these areas. Doing so would be affirmative action to the people of those areas. I would like to repeat again that children from those areas are not stupid. They just lack the opportunities. Children in pastoralist areas have no teachers or books. Secondly, the education inspection teams do not reach those areas because there are no roads. What would you expect of children from such areas? Would you expect them to compete favourably with children in Central Province and Nairobi, who are already using computers? How would you expect children in pastoralist areas to compete with children in Central Province and Nairobi? There is no way they can do so. They are going to be "completely" guillotined all the time. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must start thinking about equality. We must start thinking about bringing our people to the real forum. This is marginalization. If you deny education to a people, you want them to continue to be slaves of other people forever. We are, definitely, not building that kind of situation, where you want all the communities from the north, and from our own areas, to remain slaves of other people for a long time. That is the ultimate effect of not giving them education. That is the effect of marginalizing them. That is the effect of leaving them out. I am glad that my friend, Dr. Wekesa, was here. The other day, we had a delegation. We wanted to see him, so that he could lower the minimum entry points to colleges for students from pastoralist areas, to D+. He did not give us a chance. The other day, I carried out some research and established that we have more than 50 students in Narok who had scored Grade C plain and C+, who had applied for admission to TTCs, but they were not accepted. I would like the Minister to check out that one. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if that position is correct, then it is an unforgivable sin that our people can be denied entry into their own teacher training college in Narok just because some silly education officer wants to admit to that college students from other tribes. It is true that any institution established in any area, the Western Kenya region included, must reflect the development of the community around it. I am glad that this argument has the backing of a gentleman from Western Kenya. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the community around that institution must not be isolated. You cannot start importing everybody. You can bring people from the Coast Province and 3452 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES November 7, 2006 elsewhere. My friends here from the Coast Province are, definitely, going to talk about their university, because they have also been left out. Such an institution must reflect the development of the community. If Narok Teachers Training College does not reflect the development of the community around it, then it should be moved elsewhere. Just uplift it and take it elsewhere. If even our children who have scored Grade C plain and C+ cannot be admitted there to train as teachers, we can as well forget about that college. The Government can as well send bulldozers to lift up the buildings and take them elsewhere. We will, definitely, have no use for it if our children cannot be admitted there.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to call upon the Mover to reply since hon. Members are repeating themselves?
Order! Order, hon. Members. I would like the House to decide on the suggestion made by Mr. Bifwoli.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I would like to donate two minutes to Mr. Bifwoli.
Order, Mr. Wekesa! You only have six minutes to respond. If you donate two minutes of your time to Mr. Bifwoli, you will only have four minutes to respond.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Odoyo! You have already had your time! All we are debating here is whether the Minister will be able to respond or not.
Order, hon. Members! There can only be one presiding officer, not two and that is me for now! Mr. Wekesa, you still have six minutes before the business of the House winds up. What you are saying literally is that Mr. Bifwoli takes two minutes of your time and you remain with four minutes.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to request Mr. Wekesa to respond because this Bill is very important.
Order, hon. Members! Mr. Wekesa, I am advised that you can only donate your time if you have got your normal time. However, for now you must reply.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, I am overwhelmed by the interest of hon. Members in this Bill. I want to take this opportunity to thank hon. Members for having shown so much interest in our education system. I know that given time, many points would have been expressed by hon. Members. However, I want to underscore a few things that have been raised. The issue of research has come out very clearly, that universities are centres of research. Therefore, establishment of the WUST will boost research. It is also common now that the issue of e-learning is becoming very crucial. It gives an November 7, 2006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3453 opportunity to our students to access knowledge. On the issue of remuneration, we will be moving towards making our universities autonomous. Once universities are autonomous, they will be in a position to negotiate with the lecturers on how much they should be paying them. We realise that the performance of lecturers will be a measure of their progression in as far as their salaries are concerned. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of establishment of universities right across the country has been ably expressed by hon. Members, especially from the ASAL areas. I want to support this idea because in those areas, there are issues of oil exploration and range management. These can be centres where those issues can be addressed. Finally, I want to recognise the fact that the President, in his own wisdom, has disengaged himself from officiating at university centres and allowed other Kenyans to play that role. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, 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 tomorrow, Wednesday 8th November, 2006 at 9.00 a.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.