Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notices of the following Motions:- ADOPTION OF REPORT OF THE 114TH IPU ASSEMBLY THAT, this House adopts the Report of the 114th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly held in Nairobi from the 7th to the 12th May, 2006, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 27th July, 2006. ADOPTION OF REPORT OF THE 115TH IPU ASSEMBLY THAT, this House adopts the Report of the 115th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland from 15th to 18th October, 2006, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 7th December, 2006. RECRUITMENT OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, owing to the fact that over the last several years the Government has not been recruiting teachers for both secondary and primary schools; bearing in mind that several teachers have exited the payroll through dismissals, resignations and natural attrition without replacement; taking into account the fact that free primary education initiated by the Government in 2003 nominally increased enrolment in 196 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 primary schools and cognisant of the fact that such acute shortage of teachers tends to hit marginal areas much more seriously resulting in poor national examinations performance; this House urges the Government to instantly institute aggressive recruitment of teachers for both secondary and primary schools in order to achieve equity in the staffing of schools all over the country. ADOPTION OF REPORT ON CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW PROCESS
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs on the way forward on the Constitutional Review Process laid on the Table of this House on Wednesday, 28th March, 2007. ADOPTION OF REPORT ON FIDA NOMINEE TO KACA ADVISORY BOARD
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs on FIDA Nominee to the Kenya Anti- Corruption Advisory Board laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 28th March, 2007.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Education the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that a large number of pastoralists' children have not joined Form One due to loss of livestock markets closed because of Rift Valley Fever? (b) Could the Minister waive fees for Form One students from pastoralist areas?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that a large number of pastoralists children have not joined Form One due to loss of livestock markets closed as a result of the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF). I have, however, received requests from the communities living in the areas affected by either drought, floods or the Rift Valley Fever for extra support to secondary schools in view of the negative effects of these natural calamities including the RVF. (b) The Ministry cannot waive fees for Form One students from the pastoralist areas because we do not have alternative resources to cover the cost. However, the Ministry has given the following relief to ASAL areas as shown in the attached documents which cover years 2006 to 2007. These are the bursary funds, laboratory equipment funds, ASAL drought funds, fire equipment, infrastructure development and ICT funds. (c) Following the requests from the various communities living in the affected areas, we have released financial resources under ASAL Grants and Pockets of Poverty Support in order to mitigate some of the serious effects. We have also factored extra resources in our supplementary budget so that we can increase our support to the affected areas. Once the revised budget is approved by this House, we shall extend additional financial support. March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 197 (d) The said calamities affect all families in the particular districts. For this reason, any support available should be extended to all students in all the affected areas not necessarily the affected districts. For this reason, it would not be fair to select anyone for support. Indeed, we anticipate that we will have much more support for ASALs during this financial year after the supplementary budget and even factor in much more in the next financial year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, normally in this country, when there is a crisis in the sugar, coffee, maize and tea sectors, there is a lot of concern in providing relief to those sectors. When there is a problem among pastoralists, it is taken to be just one of those things. They get one or two lorries of grass to feed their cows. Could the Assistant Minister give an indication as to how much was given to, say, Samburu District or Marsabit District?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not true to say that ASAL areas get the least when there is relief support. In fact, the bulk of that support is targeted to those districts. I will give an example of how much went to Samburu District. In 2005/2006 we had Kshs3,372,207 for bursary funds. In 2006/2007 we had Kshs1,260,000 under the same Item and more is still to come. For laboratory equipment support we provided Kshs3,169,720 in 2005/2006. This year already Kshs1,899,647 has been disbursed. For the ASAL grant, Kshs651,410 was disbursed in 2005/2006. This year, already Kshs388,943 has been disbursed. On the drought fund Kshs250,427 was disbursed which is much more than for other districts. For fire equipment we have provided Kshs448,000 while under the Item on infrastructural development we gave out Kshs1,400,000. For ICT we gave out Kshs3 million for which two schools were targeted.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister admits to some extent that the floods and drought have affected the pupils and yet he is telling the House that there are various allocations for different items like fire-fighting equipment. Is he not aware that this money cannot re-allocated by the head teachers in those schools? What will the Government do about these children who are not going to school?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I itemised the various allocations that go to these constituencies. There is a relationship between them. If there is a fire, you need fire-fighting equipment. So, it is not totally irrelevant. Money was provided for the drought situation for all districts that were affected. There is much more money being allocated to pastoralist communities than to other districts. This is because we anticipate that people in these areas will experience many more problems. We are doing our best. We are taking account of the difficulties in those communities. As soon as we approve what is being proposed, there will be much more money flowing to those communities. Next year, with the support of this House, we hope to have more resources to support education in those districts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am baffled by the cosmetic answers from the Assistant Minister. You will find that a person has got only one cow that dies from Rift Valley Fever and yet he has a child who needs to go to school. What method is this Ministry using to help eradicate illiteracy among these people? Are these methods not cosmetic, based on the standards prevailing in towns and cities?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am baffled by the question from the hon. Member. Whatever we are doing to fight illiteracy runs across the board. There are other Ministries that support us in this regard including the Department of Adult Literacy. We have implemented free primary school education for all districts in this country. We are doing a lot to improve the quality of education in primary as well as secondary schools. This would be the basis in terms of fighting illiteracy. All districts of this country are benefiting from these programmes. I think a great deal is happening. It might not be enough, but every effort is being made to fight illiteracy especially with the support we are giving to basic education in the country which is compulsory across the board.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the 2005/2006 Financial Year, Kshs800 million was allocated for bursary. In this current financial the same amount has been allocated for bursary. This Question talks about the Rift Valley Fever which is currently affecting our livestock. The amount 198 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 of money being allocated is the same regardless of the fact that this year there was an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever and yet the Assistant Minister says they are doing something now. Will the Ministry allocate more funds under the supplementary budget to take care of this problem of the Rift Valley Fever?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not true to say that the allocation has been Kshs800 million in the last two financial years. It is also not true that there have not been other allocations. I have already said that some money was voted just to deal with issues related to drought. I also talked about some money that was allocated disproportionately to areas that are drier. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the money allocated for bursaries is not enough. We have been talking about ways to supplement it. We have even talked about using resources outside the Ministry. I would not want to say how much we plan to have in the Supplementary Estimates because it has not been approved. However, like most hon. Members, I look forward to having an increase. I have an interest in the issue.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not satisfied with the explanation given by the Assistant Minister. The hon. Member of Parliament for Samburu West Constituency asked a specific Question on Form One students from pastoralist communities. He said they are losing their chances of joining Form One due to the outbreak of the Rift Valley Fever (RFV) which has resulted in lack of markets for livestock. In his explanation, the Assistant Minister talked about some allocation in the Budget for other school projects. Does he, therefore, want us to use that money to pay school fees for those students?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not mean that. However, if a school has some money for a science laboratory or classrooms, it can be used to combat problems that go with drought. Any money that is available gives room to tackle the problem that is most in need. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in addition, there is money specifically targeted to deal with drought. I mentioned the figures. So, if the hon. Member looks at the answer closely, he will realise that in addition to that money, there are other additional resources to solve the problem.
We will now finish with Question Time!
Order, hon. Members! Which hon. Member is called "gender?"
Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry, please, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, gender applies to both sexes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you realise that the Government has been claiming that the economy has improved. One of the major areas to be given priority is education. A big chunk of our Budget is given to the Ministry of Education. However, there is also a big chunk of money returned to the Treasury by Ministries. This is done because of non-expenditure. Could the Assistant Minister tell us how much money has not been utilised and is available to his Ministry? We can use this money to give bursaries to these students.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot say that there is any money that has not been utilised as at now. When we get to the end of the financial year, we will have an idea about that. March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 199 However, when that happens we re-allocate the resources to support various aspects of things we do in the Ministry. That is done immediately at the conclusion of the financial year. As at now, I do not know of any money that has not been used and needs to be re-allocated.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister seems to be taking us round in circles. This Question is specific. It is about the RVF. This is something that has happened. Could the Assistant Minister tell this House what he has done to children in regions affected by the RVF? These children are at home. For example, Marakwet District was affected by the RVF. I went to the mass media to draw his attention to this issue. Children are at home because we are not able to sell our livestock to get school fees. What has he done to ensure that children in these regions are retained in school as he looks for the money?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the origin of this fever may have been Rift Valley Province, but the whole country is affected. Even in Meru, where I come from, we suffered because for some time we could not sell our livestock. The situation is even experienced in Sirisia Constituency. We have a quarantine in most places. However, this problem occurred after the Budget allocations. That is why I said we are taking this and other calamities into account in the Supplementary Estimates. We would like to address it. It is an issue of interest. It affects all of us. It is not just people who come from the Rift Valley Province who are affected.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister seems to be trivialising this issue. He is misleading this House in trying to put generic terms that all of us are affected by the RFV. In fact, the issue of pastoral areas cannot be compared with those of his constituency or Sirisia Constituency! Is he not misleading the nation when talking about pastoralists, whose livelihood only depends on livestock? When affected by the RVF, they are totally decimated!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will still insist that this is a national problem. The difference is its intensity. I know in certain parts of Rift Valley Province, it is much more serious. But, even in Tigania we are affected. I am not in any way not appreciating the extent of the problem. It is, however, not true to say that the rest of the country is not affected.
Last question, Mr. Lesrima!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I specifically referred to Form One students in pastoralist areas. It was not a big request. If the Assistant Minister did his sums right, it could probably be less than Kshs100 million. I talked about Form One students because those joining do not qualify for bursaries. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the amount of bursary has also been on the decline. You have to count the number of students in a school and consider the poverty index to allocate the bursaries. If someone is still at the gate waiting to join Form One and is not able to sell cattle, he or she is disadvantaged. Could he consider those areas, including his miraa -growing area?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it does not make a difference because the children will still be at home. It is the same as when you are waiting for bursary money to be allocated. So, the reconsideration takes a bit of time. Supplementary intakes are part of the effort to take account of this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say, though, that as Members, we need to be innovative. We have done this in several constituencies. As you wait for bursary money, it is possible to write letters to Principals of schools to ask them not to expel children from Form One as they await allocation of bursary money to them. Often, this is respected.
Very well. Everybody agrees I have been over-generous, because I do not have many Questions. So, we will revert to the usual five minutes when we will have more Questions. 200 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007
Hon. Members, as a reminder, this morning, I communicated to the House that tomorrow, there will be a briefing for all Members of Parliament on the East African Community, including steps being taken for the East African political federation, and the programmes that are under way, or have been undertaken, or will be undertaken. This will be done by the Secretariat of the East African Community. I think all hon. Members agree that we know very little about these things and, therefore, please attend. It will be done at the Old Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, Parliament Road at 8.30 a.m.
Very well. Next Order!
Was there any hon. Member on the Floor? Mr. Miriti, I understand you were on the Floor. Let me just check what time you have. Yes, you have eight minutes left. So, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Before the House rose, I had just observed that there is remarkable economic growth in the country despite the fact that there have been unwarranted criticisms from various quarters, including limousine-driving spendthrifts. I had also mentioned that there is a lot of noise in the countryside from people who call themselves aspiring candidates, yet the time for campaigns has not started. There are people who have been campaigning for the last four years and they continue to do so. I think we need to regulate campaigns in this country, because people have disrupted the working of the nation. People have distracted our people from nation-building in the name of campaign rallies, yet we do not know whether they are actual aspirants or political quacks. It has become very common in this country for people, when they fear that they might lose in their constituencies, to declare themselves Presidential candidates. They have always used that excuse to go round cheating their people that they will be elected by Kenyans. I do not know whether it is the Chair that will give the ruling or the Electoral Commission of Kenya, that until such time that elections are declared, people should not move around the country calling themselves candidates. March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 201 We now have Presidential candidates, Parliamentary candidates, and all over the country there is a lot of noise and people are not working.
I am afraid, Mr. Miriti, that is the price you pay for democracy, and that democracy must thrive.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was wondering if we had 1,000 Presidential candidates, what would happen in this country today! Mr. Speaker, Sir, on education, I want to say that the Government has performed very well in the area of free primary education. There is indication now, that with sufficient funds, there will be free secondary education. However, there is an area which we have neglected for quite some time, which is attending to gifted children. Very many children who are gifted in this country do not have the opportunity to advance their talents. I want to suggest to the Ministry of Education to establish centres of excellence, so that when we identify children who have better brains than others, they can be taken there and this will help us in innovation, invention and creativity and we will advance in the technological world. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the question of appointments, it is true that there should be fair play in appointments. It is necessary that we have regional distribution of appointments. But it is hypocritical for anybody who has turned down an appointment, either as Minister or an Assistant Minister and declined the appointment to come to this House and allege that there is discrimination in appointments. We have people who were Ministers and they rejected the system and said they did not want to work in this system, yet they were representing their communities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, now, they come here to tell us that their communities are not well represented in the Government. Who would represent those communities in a higher rank than a Minister? Who is more highly placed than an Assistant Minister?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Member to say that the appointments which were given to some of his colleagues were done on a regional basis, and that because we declined the appointments which were made on the basis of tribalism that means they can hire all people from one community?
Order, all of you! First of all, what was your grouse, Mr. Miriti, so that I can understand you properly?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there was no complaint. The hon. Member has been touched because he got a very respectable appointment in this country but declined it, and now he is saying his people are not represented in Government! How do you get your people represented in Government when you are declining taking up positions?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. That is quite misleading to this House. I was appointed the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, which I declined because it was a departmental entity. That does not necessarily mean that the Government should now employ people from one region. We are talking about equitable distribution of appointments. Let us consider other tribes also. That is what we have been saying. You know, this hon. Member was also in the Nyayo torture chambers!
Order, Members! Can you cool down now? Please, cool down! Proceed, Mr. Miriti!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is important that when hon. Members are advising their friends, relatives or members of their communities---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for an hon. Member to block the view of Mr. Speaker when another Member is on the Floor?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, he is just wasting my time. As I was saying, it is unfair to this nation for people to decline to take up positions and tell 202 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 their friends to disobey orders when they are working in their Ministries. When they are not promoted, they come here to complain. Let us be good role models if we want to lead this nation properly. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the constituencies boundary review, we cannot talk of equitable distribution of work, when some constituencies are more populated and larger than others and yet, the amount of money being allocated to the districts is the same. We have constituencies which are larger than the districts which were sub-divided. I would like to request this Parliament to pass a Motion in this House, asking the Government to carry out a review of the number of constituencies. Today, in the morning, I was surprised to hear an hon. Member advocate for his people to be allowed to carry illegal firearms. It is very unfortunate that people can go around killing others and stealing people's cattle, yet some legislators here support such moves. I support the proposal that a Bill be brought to Parliament to provide for capital punishment to those who own illegal firearms.
Your time is up!
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to make a few comments on the President's Speech. First, with regard to the economy, I support the saying, that there has been some growth in the economy as measured by the statistics, but the trickle down to the local people in the villages and low income estates including slums is negligible or not there at all. The Ministry of Finance, has to do something urgently and that includes taking action on the distributors of the petroleum products. This is because when the price of petrol is high, then the transport cost goes high and that affects the cost of every item in and outside the shops. Therefore, the Minister for Finance has to act on what he has said about the cost of petrol because it is still too high. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also support the Government with regard to the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT). They have to be even more stringent because there are many traders, particularly in large towns who collect VAT but do not remit it to the Government. That has to be enforced and we want to see action being taken against those who evade. I also support the envisaged Women Enterprise Development Fund and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. But the problem is the process of distribution. There must be equitable and transparent distribution of those funds. It has to be published in the newspapers just like the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Already, we have some youth development officers doing their own things in the districts. We do not want a repeat of 1997 when we collected funds for women and youth development groups and the money was never seen. This time round, we want to see transparency. We want to know what each constituency, not a district, is getting for the Women Enterprise Development Fund and for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. If we do not publish the names of the development groups, then a few individuals may form several groups and benefit from all the money. Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding education, I support the fact that we should have day secondary schools. The fees being charged in boarding schools is exorbitant and the Government is not controlling it. We have to control how much fees students pay. The Government says that fees is controlled but that is not so. The amount which they charge is so exorbitant. We must have controls. We have to control how much fees each student pays. Regarding day and boarding schools, what is the need of having boarding schools and yet a student comes from half a kilometre away? In boarding schools, they are charged Kshs25,000 or Kshs30,000 and yet for day schools a child coming from a kilometre away, can afford to be in a day school and pay Kshs9,000 as school fees and Kshs1,000 for lunch. Therefore, I would like to see more day schools put in place because it will help more children to get access to education because they will have to pay less fees. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about the medical treatment for the citizens of this March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 203 nation. The Government has to do something to alleviate the problems of medical treatment. When people go to hospitals, they are turned away because they cannot afford to pay for the medical charges. I have an example which I usually refer to, which is the Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret where the Government has given them Kshs700 million in the last financial year and yet the hospital still charges patients very high fees. Even others are being turned away because they cannot afford to pay for medical services. I would like the Government to do something about the high medical fees being charged. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have a problem regarding the Rift Valley Fever. I wish the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development could listen because the disease has not only affected the areas that have been mentioned. It affects many other areas because, in some areas, including my own district, we are being forced---
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I seek your protection. Well, even the Speaker himself cannot hear what I am saying! May I seek your protection? I can hardly even hear myself!
What is the problem?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are loud consultations, including yourself!
Order, Mr. Sambu! You are becoming very disrespectful. I think you are again trying to relapse to what you used to be. You had better not! Will you apologise to the Chair for the slur?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will apologise to the Chair but I will not apologise to the person who was speaking to the Chair, because I tried to---
Order, Mr. Sambu! Will you, please, do what is honourable? Comply!
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I oblige and I apologise. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was requesting the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development to take some action on the dipping chemicals being used in the district. In Nandi District, we have been forced to use something called Triatix. It is no longer controlling ticks and, therefore, the risk of tick-borne diseases is very high because in the adjacent district, Uasin Gishu, they are allowed to use a more effective chemical called Ectomen. We are requesting to be allowed to use the same acaricide in Nandi District. Mr. Speaker, Sir, finally, let me turn to the issue of constitutional reforms. Whether we are advocating for minimum or maximum reforms, I would like to see equal distribution of resources or income to the districts. The CDF is a good example. We would like the Minister for Finance to increase the allocation to the CDF to a minimum of 10 per cent of our revenue. Last time, I brought a Motion here, although it was time-barred, requesting the Government to increase the allocations to the Fund. We would like to see the allocations to the CDF increased. That is a good example of devolution of resources. We want devolution in terms of resources and not in terms of majimbo which some people are scared of. We want to see more resources going to the people. I would not be happy if we approved the issue of 50 per cent plus one in our constitutional reforms regarding the presidential election. That will bring a problem. We have seen it happen elsewhere. If we say that a presidential candidate must garner 50 per cent plus one, we will be setting a very dangerous precedence. Whether we include it in the elections of Members of Parliament or not, it is very dangerous. Those who do not agree with it will eventually find a way of agreeing when the elections are held. So, we should go for a simple majority. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me now turn to the issue of the Rural Electrification Programme. I want to thank the Government because it has provided electricity to some constituencies, including 204 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 mine, which had not been considered for a long time. However, the charges by the KPLC are too high. We would like to them to be reduced.
Your time is up!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Speech by His Excellency the President during the State Opening of Parliament. First, I want to commend the President for a well articulated Speech, well focused, very varied and one which covered almost all areas of development on what has been happening, where we are and where he intends to take this country. Moving further from that is the issue of economic growth. I recall during the presentation of the Budget by the then Minister for Finance in 2003, he promised this House that the Government would improve revenue collection by sealing all loopholes that had been allowing revenue leakages in the past and make sure that everybody pays tax and that whatever is collected is prudently utilised. That seems to have been done very well. Now that the economy appears to have been turned around, it is time, therefore, for the Government Ministries and the various departments to turn their attention to areas which have been neglected for a long time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my first focus is on education. A lot has been said about education, and specifically the Free Primary Education (FPE) Programme. For people who come from Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), like myself, the FPE Programme is a big deal. Before it was introduced, many of our children could not afford to go to school. However, many of them now are able to go to school. For the FPE Programme to be successful, it is important for the Ministry of Education to look into two areas which are tight, even before we talk about offering free secondary education. One, the Ministry of Education should take over the running of nursery schools and start paying nursery school teachers. All over the country, nursery school teachers are really suffering. Many parents are unable to pay fees to enable them pay teachers. These teachers are also parents and are unable to take their children to school. Even though we know that the Minister for Education gave an undertaking in this House that a new policy would be put in place to ensure that the pre-primary teachers are absorbed by the Government, I would like to appeal very strongly to him to expedite the process to ensure that, at least, from the next financial year, the pre-primary teachers are paid by the Government. Secondly, cost-sharing in public universities has brought untold suffering to our students. Today, a public university student is more worried of what will happen after classes and where his or her next meal will come from. This is affecting their academic performance in our universities. Now that our economy is growing, why can we not go back to the old system to ensure that every student who joins the university automatically gets a loan by simply filling the loan form so that there are no students suffering? Our students are really suffering. They resort to cooking in hostels. Some resort to hawking so as to make ends meet and that is a problem. I am appealing that every student who joins the university should be assured of, at least, three basic things. One, every student should have a book allowance to enable him or her buy books because, at the moment, books are very expensive at the universities. Secondly, every student should be assured of accommodation at the university being paid through the loan system. Thirdly, every student should have an allowance for meals. Students should be able to have meals. Without those three basic things, our academic standards will be affected. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to add my voice to what has been said by many hon. Members who have spoken before me about the just concluded World Cross-Country Championships. If you recall, a few years ago, this country was given the opportunity to host the All Africa Cup of Nations, but it was not able to do so. Now, we are able to do so. While I congratulate our boys and girls who brought fame to our country, I would like to congratulate the local organising committee for a job well done. At least, we were able to show the world that Kenya can make it. Now, we can even bid to host the World Athletic Championships, because we have the facilities, the human capacity, hotels and the human resource to compete in the March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 205 championships. I urge the hon. Kamanda and his Ministry to start bidding for the World Athletic Championship because it will bring so much publicity and positive light to our country. It will also promote tourism. As you know, of late, in the world over, tourism is diversifying from the traditional beach tourism and game tourism to eco-tourism, culture and sports tourism. In that area, we have plenty of resources. It is time also that the Government considered putting up an international stadium in Mombasa and Eldoret. Once that is done, we will be able to host international games of any standards. At this juncture, I would like to congratulate our media. It was one of those rare occasions that our media exhibited patriotism, and true professional orientation, through their reporting and through the many editorials that they put after the World Cross-Country Championships. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to add my voice on the issue that was raised this morning, about the amendments proposed to the Firearms Act. I was very surprised to hear an hon. Member opposing those proposed amendments. Let it be known that a firearm in the hands of a person who is not licensed to carry it is meant to injure, maim and kill innocent persons. We cannot have mercy on a person who is holding an illegal firearm. I urge my colleagues to fully support---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, hon. Members! What is it, Mr. Wamunyinyi?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you are aware that there is a proposal to amend laws in respect of guns. The hon. Member who is debating it is anticipating what will come for debate. Is he in order to talk about it?
Mr. Wamunyinyi, I am sorry you are wrong! There is no such Bill that has been published. At least, it has not been read a First Time in this House. Mr. Mganga, go ahead and speak a lot about it!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I hope the hon. Member does not know some people who are in possession of illegal firearms. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on that score, I feel very discouraged by people who move around in the name of human rights activists. They blame police officers for shooting criminals. I wonder whether any of those activists have found those criminals in their houses holding their daughters, wives and entire families hostage! What would they say? They will say: "Wait a minute! I will call the police to come and arrest you!" A man or a woman carrying an illegal firearm and aiming it at you is not a person you will arrest, unless you can do so when you are already dead! The issue of illegal firearms needs the support of all hon. Members and Kenyans, if we are to have security in this country. Many hon. Members have been blaming the Government about insecurity. We cannot have double standards. We are claiming that there is insecurity and yet, we want to defend those who are promoting insecurity. We need to be consistent. With those few remarks, I beg to support. Thank you very much.
Hon. Members, I do not know which group I have marginalised here.
I can see there is only one Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) hon. Member there. Mr. Ahenda, I recognise and protect the interests of the minority.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for being mindful of my welfare. Let me start by thanking the Kenyan men and women who participated in the recently 206 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 concluded World Cross-Country Championships. They brought us glory. Actually, when the World Cross-Country Championships are hosted in other countries in the world, Parliaments are closed for hon. Members to go and watch Kenyan athletes. I am surprised that not many of us were in Mombasa to cheer our men and women when they were wining those medals. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I also thank the Harambee Stars for bringing glory to our country, even after being under suspension for nearly six months. They went ahead and hammered Swaziland thoroughly. On the same note, my thanks go to our cricket team. They competed in a world championship recently and brought us some glory. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the Presidential Speech - and I have a copy here - let me start on the exposition of public policy as contained herein. The President mentioned, and I quote, inter alia :- "The future of this country rests on its children who must be nurtured, educated and trained to prepare them for the challenges of nation-building." It is ironical to say that we want to nurture and educate our children and yet, there are insufficient teachers in our schools. I am glad an hon. Member of this House has already given Notice of a Motion to compel the Government to employ more teachers to take care of the children of this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also intend to give Notice of another Motion on the juveniles. The aim of that Motion is to nurture and mould our children when they are still in their early childhood years. If we do not give that early childhood education attention, then teaching an old dog new tricks might be very difficult. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government is developing a policy to make secondary school education affordable. Secondary school education can be affordable to you sitting on that Chair, but not to me! When is education affordable? I cannot comprehend what the word "affordable" in this case means. That is because to me, the word "affordable" is rather ambiguous. Secondary school education should be made completely free. When it is free, then we can talk of being affordable. You cannot gauge the income of individuals and say that you will make secondary school education affordable. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the issue of the Women Enterprise Development Fund (WEDF), I need not thank the Government less. That is something that is overdue. During the recess, I traversed my constituency promising that when Parliament opens, I would bring a Bill compelling the Government to create the WEDF. I tend to believe that through some means, the Government learnt of my promise and sent word to His Excellency the President to create the Fund. I thank him for that. If it is true that the Government will create that Fund, let it not be a gimmick like the Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF). The way it is being handled leaves a lot to be desired. We are almost half way through the year and only Kshs210 million out of the Kshs1 billion has been released. I still do not know whether the Government will release the remaining Kshs790 million before the end of the financial year. His Excellency the President also said that the Government has invested Kshs12 billion for the development of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). During the last Session, I brought a Question to that effect. I think His Excellency the President borrowed a leaf from me. However---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to suggest to this House that His Excellency the President has been borrowing knowledge from him?
Order, Capt. Nakitare! What is wrong with that? Are you suggesting that hon. Members of this House have nothing useful to advise His Excellency the President?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, everybody has a school of thought. Whoever comes up with ideas does so for himself or herself. Nobody borrows ideas from another.
Order, Capt. Nakitare! You must begin by learning to sit down! Please, sit there because you are out of order! Proceed, Mr. Ahenda!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for, once again, being mindful of my welfare. I March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 207 agree that His Excellency the President can get advice from all quarters of this nation, including from myself. In fact, I have a lot in store to advise him. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the Kshs12 billion for ASALs--- I have indicated that I actually brought a Question to this House during the last Session! That is a phantom thing. For example, a district is declared an arid and semi-arid area and when you ask for the benefits that go with that, you are told it has not been gazetted. It will be of no use to declare those districts arid and semi-arid areas, if they cannot be gazetted and streamlined with the various Ministries. The Government must strike a deal with the people on the ground. That is why my district, which is an ASAL district, is really suffering immensely. It is not enjoying the benefits of other ASAL areas. Mr. Speaker, Sir, of the seven added incomes, corporate and valued added taxes largely remained unchanged. I must thank the Government here. They have done very well in revenue collection. However, they have done worse because of Anglo Leasing-related scandals. They are not accounting for what they are collecting. I must thank the former Minister for Planning and National Development, hon. Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o, who broadened the tax base. If they were to channel this money to the right places, it could be of more benefit to our people.
You can see the way they are laughing. They are enjoying that money. Mr Speaker, Sir, on foreign direct investments, this is the only Presidential Speech which never touched anything on our foreign policy. I do not know whether the Kenyan Government is still using the wait-and-see foreign policy to date. Otherwise, the President ought to have captured our foreign policy in his Speech. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the communications sector, the airtime rate charged is still too high. The sooner the Government brings it down to benefit Kenyans, the better. I must also thank the President for the eloquent manner in which he enumerated how the fishing industry is employing over 600,000 people. I think that is one of the biggest employers in this country. However, the Government has invested nothing in the fishing industry. If the Government knows this sector employs 600,000 people as it has been said in this Speech, then it should direct more of its resources there so that they can create more employment opportunities for our people. The fishing industry is a very big industry not only in Kenya, but the world over. Kenyan fish is eaten all over the world. Therefore, the Government should actually channel more of its resources into this industry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I happened to have attended the launch of the Vision 2030 at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). However, the people who were in the podium launching it were between the ages of 60 and 80. These are people with no vision for 2030 since they will not be there 30 years from now. Therefore, they know nothing about any vision. Why do they not be honest for heaven's sake and leave it to the people who have a vision for this country?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We know that in this august House we have hon. Members of Parliament who are of those ages bracket Mr. Ahenda alluded to. Is he in order to imply that people of that age bracket and who happen to be in this House have no vision at all?
You know there are also voters. So, I am sure they are listening very loudly.
So, they may decide to ask a question or two. Please, let us be mindful of our language. This is an election year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I was talking about was that the people in that age bracket normally talk of "when I was" rather than "when I will". 208 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will have very few words. First of all, I would like to thank the Chair for the statement it made here. I am happy that the Chair appreciates the fact that hon. Members work very hard. That is very true. Indeed, we need recognition just like any other Kenyans. I think all of us need be to come back in 2008. Mr. Speaker, Sir, secondly, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President for the beautiful public policy exposition. It has already been applauded by this House. I wish this Speech by His Excellency the President is captured on the internet, so that Kenyans in the diaspora could also have a chance to read it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, having said that, let me take this chance to thank hon. Members of this Parliament and all farmers in Kenya because we have come from a very serious position of the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) which had attacked Kenya towards the end of December. It is because of the co-operation of hon. Members of this House who I know are also farmers who took interest in it that we were able to fight it. Above all, I would like to thank my own members of staff, particularly the veterinary officers who themselves had to be vaccinated before they went to the field. They showed a very big commitment on their part. They sacrificed themselves in order to help livestock farmers in the affected areas. They worked very hard. Now the disease has been contained. The Ministry knows that the communities affected, particularly farmers in the North Rift and North Eastern provinces depend on livestock for their livelihood. So, they would like their markets to be opened, so that they can now sell their animals and start living comfortably and pay school fees for their children. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Ministry and the officers at Kabete, are working day and night to contain this disease. As soon as we are sure this disease is no longer a threat, we will open all markets. However, we must appreciate our handicap in containing this disease. I would like to thank the international development partners who helped us at that time of need. I have in mind organisations like the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the United States Agency for International Development and others. Mr. Speaker, Sir, having said that, I would beseech some hon. Members of this House that when they discuss a subject they must do so accurately. This is because some hon. Members would speak with authority about the fishing industry, but they knows nothing about it. It is very disappointing. When the NARC Government took over power, many people were not eating fish. Today, Kenyan fish is not only eaten here, but we also export a lot of it to European markets. This Government worked so hard to get fish products harmonised with the European Union (EU) markets and other international markets. Today this country is earning close to Kshs4 billion as revenue from the sale of fish. In fact, the research on Lake Victoria dwells so much on the fishing industry. Therefore, fish farmers are very happy with this Government. They appreciate what we are doing for them. Occasionally, we have been holding meetings in various areas to try and regularise the fish trade. We should speak about subjects that we know well. It is not good to talk about something that we do not have facts on. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have an appeal to make. I appreciate the efforts of His Excellency the President in reviving many things, especially the projects that stalled during the former regime, which number about 200. Many of them have been revived. Above all, I commend him for recognising the freedom fighters in this country. Recently, a statue of the late freedom fighter, Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, was erected on Kimathi Street. He fought for freedom, so that Kenyans could benefit. When a hero fights, he does not do so to benefit himself. He does so for the whole country to benefit. Last week we lost a hero in this country called Mr. Kisoi Munyao. He comes from Mbooni Constituency. Many people, including hon. Sambu, used to relate me to Mr. Kisoi. I have admitted all the time that he was either my brother or cousin, because all Kambas are my cousins and March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 209 brothers. Mr. Kisoi, dedicated, hoisted the Kenyan national flag on Mt. Kenya. This happened only once and it will never happen again. Unfortunately, he passed on last week; God bless his soul. We are now in the process of organising his funeral. I invite all hon. Members to attend the burial ceremony in Mbooni on the date we will announce. If it were not for Mr. Kisoi, today we would not be flying the kind of flags we fly. I am happy about the action the Government is taking. I am sure it will meet the hospital bill and also assist in the funeral arrangements.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Are we really taking this House seriously by claiming that we respect freedom fighters, yet we are handing over Kenyans to the United States of America (USA) Government, to be imprisoned and tortured in Guantanamo Bay?
Order! You must understand that there are, indeed, people who have done heroic acts in this country. There are also others who have not been heroic or demonic; they are ordinary. There are also those who are neither of the two. You cannot equate all those. Let us be serious! Proceed, Mr. Munyao!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is good to point out that there are some people who ran out of this country because there was no freedom. They went to Israel, Norway and other countries. Therefore, they do not appreciate the efforts that were made by those who fought for the freedom of this country. Mr. speaker, Sir, instead of the hon. Member remaining here and fighting for the country, he ran away to Norway. Surely, should he be talking here? He should be ashamed and keep quiet, because he ran away from Kenya, when we required some peace.
Order! Please, keep your peace now!
I will do so, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I was saying that we should appreciate what Mr. Kisoi Munyao did. I appeal to the hon. Members, who know and appreciate what Mr. Kisoi Munyao did, to attend his burial. I would also appeal that a statue of Mr. Kisoi be erected somewhere in Nairobi or Mt. Kenya, so that we can remember him. We should also take care of his family. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
I will give more hon. Members on the Opposition side a chance to speak, because the Government side is highly depleted. Yes, Dr. Rutto!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for affording me a chance to contribute to this Motion. First of all, I would like to make a positive comment on some of the elements of the Speech made by His Excellency the President.
Order, Mr. Munyao! You must now listen to Dr. Rutto, because he listened to you very attentively! Proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for protecting me. I wish to point out some of the positive elements of the Speech. One of them concerns education, which is my docket, as the Shadow Minister for Education. Indeed, the free primary education has created a mark in the educational development of this country. I think we need to appreciate the effort being made by the Government, particularly, in improving access and retention of our children in the primary schools circle. The President did mention that the free primary education has improved the transition from primary to secondary schools. I wish to commend him for the efforts that his Government is making in that regard. However, while this has happened, the increment of access, retention and transition that has 210 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 occurred has put a lot of pressure on secondary school education. Teachers, in particular, are very few in our secondary schools. Likewise, physical facilities are also scarce. Although the President did indicate that the Government is going to put more emphasis on secondary schools development, I am sorry to say that it is not quick enough to stem the problems that are arising in the secondary schools circle. We are very busy, as Members of Parliament, trying to assist secondary schools using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). But the Government is doing very little to increase staffing in those schools. I would like to urge that some measures be taken in that direction. The pressure on secondary schools is very high. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am afraid that if we do not attend to those factors that I have mentioned, the quality of education in secondary schools is going to drop. As a result, the quality of education in the higher education sector is also going to drop. I am sorry to say that with the introduction of free primary school education, there is little that takes place in terms of education. What the initiative has done is to improve access and retention to schools. But I wonder whether there is any education that is taking place. This is because in the absence of teachers - and we have lamented here time and again that staffing in primary and secondary schools is very low - I doubt whether any education takes place in those institutions.
There is need, therefore, to strengthen staffing and physical development, particularly in terms of laboratories in secondary schools, libraries, books and so on, so that the quality of education in secondary schools is improved. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the second point is that the NARC Government and also the previous Government have ignored generally, the development of middle level colleges. Many of the secondary school dropouts and those students who do not go to the universities are left at this level. We have left the development of middle level colleges to the private sector and we are not even checking the standards that are produced in those colleges. The policy of education in this Republic regarding the development of middle level colleges is wanting. The President should have given his direction on this matter. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also a need to expand university intake. Traditionally, universities have pegged their admission criteria to the availability of boarding facilities. Although I am told that they are going to scrap that unwritten requirement, universities have remained traditional, they are not creative and, therefore, they are now telling us that they are going to raise the cut-off point from grade "B" or "B+" to "A-". I think the Government should encourage the universities to be more creative. Pegging admissions to boarding facilities is unfair and I think universities should start rising up from their slumber. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to comment on the development of the economy, which the President kept highlighting and advising us to look at. The NARC Government should be appreciated in terms of collection of more money through taxes. I think we have realized, as a nation, that they have been able to establish mechanisms through which they have collected more taxes than any other Government before and we should clap for them.
March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 211 But the economy that the President kept reminding us about tends to favour the rich, in my opinion, in the sense that the rich are now having more money in their pockets than the poor. For instance, the cost of fuel, as an hon. Member has mentioned here before, went up very many times. The cost of fuel affects the cost of every other thing; the cost of sugar, transport, clothes, shoes and all the basic needs that the ordinary person gets access to. The ordinary person in the village does not feel that improvement in the economy as we were told here. In fact, if anything, the poor are poorer than before and the rich are now richer. I would like to echo what another hon. Member said earlier that, I am afraid we are developing a class society where the rich will continue to be rich and the poor will continue to be poor. There is need to distribute income evenly. If the economy has really improved, then there is need to distribute income fairly so that the benefits trickle down even to the rural person. We have been told that some of the benchmarks of an improved economy is, for instance, the increase of business in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE), increase in construction business, mobile phone communication, horticultural production, maize and dairy production. The question that we need to ask ourselves is this: Who controls those businesses that we are talking about? It is not the ordinary person! It is the rich! It is you and other people who are rich! In other words, at the end of the day, the gains that we make in horticulture, mobile phone communication technology, dairy farming and so on do not trickle down to the poor. We need, as leaders, to check that the benefits are finally distributed to the poor. Look at the agricultural inputs, they are very expensive! With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Do not stand up before the red light is on. Proceed, Mzee Nyachae!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is good that you have called me Mzee . My friend, who said that those who are 70 years and above are tired, has gone out. I would have given him a very appropriate answer because he needs to know that we may not be athletes at this time, but we used to be athletes. But the brains that we are using and the actions that we take in management, he is, perhaps, miles behind some of us.
He needs to know that. The driving force of any nation, village, clan or tribe are the wazees ; the people who are old. Until you appreciate that, then you will never understand which direction you are going. Interesting enough, when I hear people saying that the old people are tired and they are unable to do this and that, I look at the person and I start wondering: Do you know that you are getting old every minute and that you are going in the same direction? Let us respect one another. We know that the younger generation have a lot to contribute and that the older generation have a lot to offer in terms of experience and knowledge that they have acquired over the years. This is something that needs to be written off our minds. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we as a nation, linking it to this House and bearing in mind what the President said and also the Speaker's introductory remarks, we need to appreciate the fact that we, as the elected leaders who sit in this House, what we say is not for ourselves. It is for the people who elected us and sent us here. They are listening and watching us. The sooner we appreciate that each and every one of us, whether on that side or on this side has something to contribute in nation building, the better. It is very wrong every time I watch debate in this House that anything that comes from the Opposition has to be looked at negatively by my side, and every time the Government Side says something, the Opposition must take it in the opposite light. This is not nation building! It is important that if I say something that could be useful to our nation, both 212 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 sides should appreciate it. If I say something which has negative effects on our nation, I deserve to be corrected, just as anybody else should be corrected. However, people should correct each other in a reasonable manner. The language that we, hon. Members of this House, sometimes use, particularly when addressing the Press, is not good. I do not know what injections get into our heads. When you read what a leader has said as reported in the Press, you start wondering: Is this the gentleman or lady I was with yesterday? What is this that he or she has said? I thought we were looking for ways of working together. Competitive politics does not mean that I should always say the things that are unpleasant to your ears, and that whatever you say should be negative to my ears. That is not the way we should manage this nation. I have keenly listened to people talking about the rich and the poor. Could I, please, be guided by anybody who has knowledge of any country in this world which does not have the rich and the poor. There is no country which does not have the poor, or a country which has only the rich. What we should be working for is reducing the gap between the rich and the poor, but we will always have people who are richer than others. The gap is an important thing. In fact, over the years I have been a Member of Parliament, and even before, when I was a civil servant, I have always found myself very uncomfortable when I am seated with poor people, because they always tell you about one problem after another and yet you are a member of that society! You cannot be comfortable. So, there is nobody who is very pleased to see poor people. We sometimes tend to think that anybody who has done reasonably well is happy to see poor people. That is not true. Anybody with sincere moral feelings must be concerned about the wellbeing of the people in his or her community. In this case, this House should be talking about the wellbeing of the community of Kenya. As you listen to debate carefully, you note that whenever an hon. Member talks about anything, he or she talks about his or her own community. Anything one asks for, is about one's community. We complain that this or that has not been done. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us do the best we can for the period we have been given the privilege of representing our people in this House, but from experience I know that nobody can solve the problems of Kenya today just because he or she has been elected to this House. Even those who will come after us will not solve the problems of Kenya. There are countries which have been independent and have been managing themselves for over 200 years. They are very rich but they have not solved the problems of everybody in those countries. We, in Kenya, should appreciate the economic achievements we have made so far and encourage ourselves to move ahead. We have improved our economy to some extent. Let us join hands to build it even more, so that we can all benefit. When you become jealous and lament that so-and-so or such a community has done well, and that you or your community has not done well, one thing which you have forgotten is that the best way to improve your own living conditions is to face the challenge posed by the other person. Do not feel jealous. You must face the challenge and say: I must also have that kind of business. I must also be a good farmer. I must also be a good contractor. That is what you need to do. Face challenges rather than coming to this House to grumble. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the time I was appointed the Minister for Roads and Public Works, I have been having a rough time. We do one road today, the next day we are told another road is required to be done elsewhere. The day after, we are told that another road is required to be done in another area. So, people will continue asking for roads to be done. Access roads are essential. People are demanding them. We cannot say no to the requests, but we have no means to, all of a sudden, do all of them. So, let us face the challenge. Look at what has been done in the agricultural sector. We are trying to do the best we can in the tea, maize and sugar sub-sectors, among others. As things start improving, you face other March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 213 challenges like the cost of production, which has, again, become a bigger challenge for us. This becomes a major problem. We encourage farmers to grow a lot of tea. They work in their farms from 6.00 a.m. and by 12.00 noon they deliver their tea. You start transporting it to the factory and the rain comes. The roads are not so good. So, the vehicles carrying the tea leaf get stuck in the mud. The quality of tea goes down. These are the problems and challenges that we face. We cannot blame everybody. We cannot blame God for bringing us rain. If God refuses to give us rain, again, we will complain. So, let us co-operate and feel free to visit every area. Come to my area. Encourage my farmers. Encourage my traders. I will come to your area. There is no such thing as Opposition areas in this country. People keep on saying that certain areas are Opposition areas and so on. A person like me does not know of any Opposition areas, because my sons are married from all over the country. So, I do not know who is opposing me. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Presidential Address to this House. Taking queue from the wise counsel of the hon. Member who has just sat down, where he said that we should not just criticise, I think we should talk about things which we think should be made better to improve the general welfare of this country. I must say that the Address of the President was fairly general and that there are a few lacking details which would have made it better. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, talking about agriculture, for instance, for quite some time now, some sub-sectors have continued to be marginalised. There are sub-sectors into which the Government has put a lot of effort. However, other sub-sectors, particularly the pyrethrum sub- sector, have always been discussed in public rallies and other public fora, but in practice, have not been given the attention they are given in speeches and other documents in order to improve the livelihood of the particular farmers. Pyrethrum farmers have suffered for quite some time. While the Government has been looking into the cereals, cotton and sugar sub-sectors, what we hear about the pyrethrum sub-sector most of the time is the issue of sacking of directors. We hear about issues which are not very useful to the pyrethrum farmer. So, it would have been better if the President put more emphasis on the pyrethrum sub-sector. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some time back, Kenya was the leading producer of pyrethrum in the whole world. My constituency was the leading producer of pyrethrum in the country. Effectively, therefore, my constituency was leading in the whole world in terms of production of pyrethrum. However, over time, pyrethrum production in the country has gone very low. We have even been beaten by countries like Rwanda. We have been overtaken by the synthetic industries, which produce almost the same chemicals found in the pyrethrum plant. So, I feel that in future, the President should put more emphasis on all the sub-sectors of agriculture, including the pyrethrum sub-sector. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the increment of the number of judges from 60 to 200 and the Judges of the Court of Appeal from 50 to 150 is a very good idea. It is actually belated. But we also want to be given an assurance that the Judicial Service Commission will be strengthened. The appointment of judges should be through a competitive system and they should be recruited from every part of this country. I am sure you are aware that a few months ago, there was an appointment of judges that never was. Three judges were appointed, they went to State House and before they were sworn in, they were asked to go back. Actually, they were taken back to their stations. It becomes difficult to understand what happens once a judge has been appointed, gazetted, but he or she has not been 214 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 sworn in. You wonder whether these people are judges or they are still magistrates. Later on, two of them were made Chief Magistrates in different stations in this Republic. That is a case of flouting the very laws which this Parliament enacts.
There are loud consultations at the back. Dr. Manduku, please, consult quietly!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to have a situation where the Government follows the law to the letter. You will remember that in the last Session of this Parliament, there was the issue of the appointment of Dr. Rotich to be a director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC). His appointment was not approved by the President and it was said that there were some issues which were casting aspersions on the name of Dr. Rotich. About a month or two months ago, the name of Dr. Rotich was cleared and it has been said that he did not participate in any wrong-doing. That makes us wonder why the Government has not appointed Dr. Rotich to that office even after having been cleared. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the first place, the law had been flouted because the procedure should have been that he should have been appointed and a tribunal set up to look at his character. If he was found guilty, he should have been sent home and if he was found not guilty, then he should have proceeded with his appointment. Let me also talk briefly about the education sector. We are very grateful that free primary education has been introduced and quite a lot of pupils are now in school. However, we must look at the education sector in totality. First, we should not call this free primary education if we are not able to employ sufficient numbers of teachers. Prof. Saitoti was here, but unfortunately he has just left. In our constituencies, particularly mine, there are schools which have forced the parents to employ private teachers because they have one or two teachers from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). We should think of what to do about the teaching in our primary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us look at the university education. We have about 150 Kenyan students in Uganda. Most of them are in Kampala International University and a few others in Makerere University. This country is losing billions of shillings to our neighbouring countries, yet we can improve our education system and absorb those students. Quite a lot of other students go to the United States of America and other countries. It is about time we looked at the education sector more pro-actively, so that we can retain our students, train high quality students and take care of the parents, so that they do not suffer. Let me touch on the general issues of employment. I would not want to go into the details of that, but this Government has done a few good things. There was one genius in France in the 17th and 18th centuries called Napoleon Bonaparte, who was a very short man, probably the size of my friend, hon. Moroto. Mr. Napoleon Bonaparte was a genius. He was very good at war and at the economy. He even introduced so many things. He introduced something called Code Napoleon and the legion of honour like the ones which we keep on giving people and saying that, that is the Order of the Burning Spear and so on. He introduced very good military formations. He was a very sharp General and he became the Emperor of France. Out of the very many good things which he did, there are just a few things which led him to the Waterloo. Waterloo is a place in Belgium and that is where Napoleon Bonaparte's empire crumbled. The main reason why this happened, and this is why I want the Government to take cognisance of what it is doing, Napoleon Bonaparte made all his brothers kings of some small states within the Empire of France. He employed his brothers in-law and his sisters. His mother March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 215 was employed in one of the state institutions. Despite the fact that he was a genius, the French Republic crumbled. They could not go to war and win because when you are sending your brothers, it becomes extremely difficult to co-ordinate properly because there is no professionalism. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Government has done quite some good things. It has improved the economy and, at least, we can see the figures. In the agricultural sector, we can see some improvement. If you talk of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), which had collapsed, it has improved. I will not talk about the cereals sector because it has not improved much. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me give a few comments on the President's Speech. I am happy for the first time that His Excellency the President did not talk about zero- tolerance to corruption. For the last few years that I have been in this House, all the speeches of the President contain the phrase, "that we are committed to zero-tolerance to corruption". For the first time, the President did us proud by omitting something that has never been achieved in this country, and which his Government has been unable to achieve. Therefore, I was particularly very happy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is one issue that the President must address personally. The issue of insecurity in this country raises a lot of concern to many of us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very disappointed with our Departmental Committee on Administration, National Security and Local Authorities because it has done very little to assist the President, the Minister of State for Administration and National Security and this country to curb insecurity. My main concern are the on-going clashes in the Mt. Elgon region. As a country, we cannot pretend that by cordoning off that area, we will solve the security problem in that area. Sometimes, this country expects too much from ourselves. We appoint Ministers whose capacities cannot match the responsibilities they are given. It will be expecting too much to believe that the Minister in charge of security has new ideas to deal with issues of insecurity in this country. Those are people whose tactics are outdated. You cannot equate the Provincial Administration with the issue of security every time. Those are old tactics that were used during the colonial era. Today, we require new tactics to address insecurity. Crime has become very complex and we require people who are innovative and have new ideas. We need people who can go to the ground and ensure that insecurity is sorted out. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when there was a security threat from neighbouring Somalia, Kenya mobilised all its resources to ensure that there was no threat to this country. Every day, we are told that people are being killed in Mt. Elgon, but very little is being done by the Government. We have been told that 28 schools have been closed down due to insecurity. But nobody in this Government seems to care. Nobody seems to give that problem the attention that it requires. This is a shame to us, as a country. That is why my blame lies squarely with the Departmental Committee on Administration, National Security and Local Authorities. When hon. Mwenje was the Chairman of that Committee and there was a problem in Molo, resources were mobilised to enable the Members of that Committee to fly to Molo, asses the situation and find out how the problem could be sorted out. We have a Committee in this House that does not know its responsibilities! I do not know whether they want to go to workshops only, when Kenyans are losing lives every day. If you cannot manage a small Committee, there is no need for you to be in charge of that Committee. I think it is embarrassing and shameful. I think it is time for such people who cannot take care of our own people not to be given such responsibilities. If hon. Members cannot be allowed to go to that area, the Committee should be allowed to go to that area at anytime, assess the situation and establish the cause of the problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President, in his Speech, praised the work of the 216 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Public Investments Committee (PIC) and other watchdog committees of this House. But what the President failed to tell us is that his Government has failed to implement the recommendations of those watch dog committees year in, year out. It is always required that when a report of PAC or PIC has been adopted by this House, there should be a Treasury Memorandum. But since I joined this House, we have produced reports year in, year out, but we have never received a response from this Government. It, therefore, means that, as much as this Parliament has done its work in producing the reports that are required, the Government has failed to issue a report on the status of the implementation of those recommendations. We, therefore, request the President to go a notch higher and order the respective departments such as the Treasury, to ensure that the recommendations by the parliamentary watch dog committees are implemented. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President, in his Speech, said that there is transparency in the way the Government conducts its activities. As much as I appreciate that it has moved a step further, this House has failed to pass the much need budget law. Without this House passing the law that will give us powers to scrutinise the Budget in advance, we will, forever, cry foul. When the Budget time comes in June, this same House will complain of failure by the Government to distribute resources equitably. There is no point for us to complain every year that resources have gone to the Mt. Kenya region and Ministers' constituencies when we have an opportunity, as a House, to pass a law that will give us power to scrutinise the Budget and ensure that resources are distributed equitably well in advance, before the Budget is published. By the time the Budget is published in this House, we will have no control over it. All we will have to do is to say "yes". We are enemies of our own selves. I would, therefore, urge hon. Members to support that Bill when it come before this House. We should pass it. Otherwise, there will be no need for us to waste time in this House and pretend that we are concerned by the way the resources have been distributed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President also talked about giving 30 per cent of Public Service jobs to women. But he failed to appreciate that 10 per cent of the population of this country is made up of disabled persons. The other day, we had one disabled lady who came to attend a PAC meeting. She was unable to move upstairs. We had to physically carry her to our meeting room. It is a shame that even Parliament, which is supposed to be an example to other institutions, does not have facilities for the disabled. In the same breath, we want the President to ensure that 10 per cent of Public Service jobs are given to disabled persons. That is because for every 10 Kenyans, there is always one disabled person. We must never forget that very large population in our country. Many hon. Members have talked about the growth of our economy. The price of milk has risen to Kshs17. The price of a bag of maize has risen to Kshs1,200 to Kshs1,300. But people do not understand! At Independence, there was something called inflation. I appreciate the President when he talked about an underlying inflation of 5 per cent. We are not interested in the underlying inflation. The underlying inflation does not really affect us. What affects the common people is the overall inflation. That is the inflation of the prices of the various commodities in our markets. Therefore, for instance, at Independence, the price of maize could have been Kshs100. Now it is Kshs1,300. We would not have expected it to go lower. Therefore, when people come here and say the price of milk has gone up, what did they expect it to do? With inflation, the prices will always go up. Therefore, for you to come and tell us that the prices have improved without looking at other factors of inflation is hiding the truth from Kenyans. The cost of living in this country has sky- rocketed. We cannot hide behind the high prices, when we are spending all the money in buying the various commodities. We must be truthful and understand the basic tenets of economics. With those few remarks, I beg to support. March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 217
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In supporting the President's Speech, I would like to congratulate him for having brought up issues in his Speech that can make this country stable, rich and a country that we want. We, as leaders, should be able to look at the issues in that Speech and follow them without us criticising and not offering any alternatives. If we do not do that, I do not think this country can go a long way and be the country that we want to develop. If we do what the President says in his address, Kenya can be a country where people will be happy. I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services. I want to congratulate hon. Members for having turned up in Mombasa last weekend. I was very amazed and happy when we were all united as one country and one people; when we all applauded our athletes who did a tremendous job and made us proud. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to congratulate the Harambee Stars players who did wonders on Sunday and defeated the other team. If we could reward those athletes and the football players, as a country, I am sure we are going to get more and better athletes and players in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was also very happy to see the President sitting with us from the word go until the last minute. That showed a lot of commitment in our President and that he likes athletics. He also appreciated what our athletes did. That was very good of him! We should all emulate our President. Whenever we have such games outside the country, we should make efforts to go out there and cheer up our players or athletes. I also want to talk about the Women Enterprise Development Fund (WEDF). The women of Kenya are very happy. I have been happy to hear that all the hon. Members who have stood in this House have also shown their gratitude to the President for giving this Fund to the women. Some are hesitant that the Fund may be abused, may not be utilised or distributed equally. I want to assure the House that this will not be like the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). The YEDF has taken long because the youth were not organised. The youth did not have a Ministry. The Ministry had to organise itself before the youth could get the funds. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, however, for the women, there is a ready structure. The women are in groups and have been engaged in businesses. They have been selling vegetables, working in hotels, markets and selling cereals. They have literally been doing business in this country. It is only a matter of giving the women this money and they will just go ahead with their usual businesses. So, our Ministry is going to see to it that this Fund is distributed equally and it will reach the grassroots.
There is loud consultation again from the House. Could hon. Members, please, consult quietly?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. On the issue of the economy, I am happy about the way it is growing. I am happy about the way the Ministry of Finance is turning our economy around. I am happy about the way Kenyans are paying taxes. However, when we, as leaders, in this august House keep on blaming the Ministry of Finance yet we are doing nothing--- Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say this very seriously because when they start blaming the Ministry for having employed members of one community in this country, if that community or those people who have been employed in the Ministry of Finance have done a commendable job and the economy is improving, why are we bringing up the issue of tribalism? I would like to blame the leaders. They are the people who are promoting tribalism in this country. 218 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 Instead of thanking those who are working very hard, they go on looking at who is who in organisations. They look at who is "Kamau, Otieno or so and so". Why are we looking at who is who and which community they come from? We should be looking at the performance. That performance is what makes the country to develop. However, it is not a matter of the tribe or community which is doing that work. I would also like to talk about the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development. I do not think this Ministry has done enough and I want to wake them up. In my own constituency, Rongai, I have a sisal plantation which belongs to one person; a Mzungu, who owes the workers over Kshs150 million. The case has been taken to court. It has taken about four years, yet is it not being finalised and the prosecutors come from the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development. Why has this case taken so long, yet this one man is enjoying the sweat of those people? Up to now, they have not paid the workers their monthly pay and nobody is taking any action. I want to ask the Minister himself to go to Rongai, Mogotio Sisal Plantation and see for himself the way the workers are living and their welfare. The other day, the Departmental Committee on Health, Housing, Labour and Social Welfare came to that plantation. I took them round and they saw it for themselves. I am also wondering why the House Committee has not brought the report to this House. I hope they are going to do that so that hon. Members can debate that issue and put it to an end. I also want to talk about the issue of squatters in this country. Squatters are suffering a lot in the Rift Valley Province, and particularly in Nakuru District. We have some settlement schemes and Government money has been used to--- Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute on this Motion. From the onset, I rise to support the President's Speech. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to join my colleagues who have already contributed by thanking the Chair for recognising the good work done by hon. Members. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is sad that the President mentioned agriculture in passing and yet, this is a very important sector of our economy. This country is endowed with good climatic conditions. For example, coffee, sugar-cane and tea are grown in western Kenya. Therefore, it is not understandable why we continue to import sugar and yet, we have a lot of land in which sugar-cane can be grown in this country. The Government should give farmers incentives so that they can grow sufficient sugar-cane. We know the situation will be worse when sugar from COMESA countries will be imported into the country next year. We, as a country, are very lucky to have the potential land to grow tea, coffee, sugar-cane and pyrethrum. Therefore, this is an area where the Government should put in a lot of efforts. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a fact that for any economy to grow, there must be security. In this country, we have two parallel forces; the regular police and the adminstration police. I think this is where the problem of insecurity originates. I believe that these two forces are not properly co-ordinated and harmonised. At the end of the day, I believe we should have a properly structured and co-ordinated police force. We find that these two forces are put together, for example, at road blocks. Are they there to spy on each other? If the Government were to merge the two forces, we would have one properly structured police force. I also believe that there is total breakdown in collection of criminal and security intelligence in this country. For example, in Mt. Elgon region, people are butchered and others are fleeing the area because of insecurity. I believe that before this happened, there was some intelligence information on what was likely to occur. We have the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) charged with that purpose. We pass a lot of money during budget for that service. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that dealing with insecurity is a complex issue. This is particularly so with organised crimes like robberies, car-jackings and drug trafficking. However, with a proper system of collection of intelligence information, I think this matter should be brought under control. We know for a fact, that so long as human beings are in this world, crimes will continue to be committed. However, crime should be brought under control. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to touch on education. We appreciate the fact that the NARC Government has brought in free primary education. As a result, the number of children enroled in schools has gone up tremendously. However, that positive action by the Government is being negated by the fact that there are no teachers. Therefore, as mentioned by March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 221 other hon. Members, there is no learning in the institutions. The quality of education has gone down tremendously. I, therefore, want to urge the Government to consider increasing the number of teachers in primary schools to improve the quality of education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to touch on Rural Electrification Programme (REP). I must give a pat on the back to the NARC Government. This is an area the Government has done a good job. I would say there has been equitable distribution of this programme. In my constituency, I have about five on-going projects. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund is a good move in the right direction. However, there are a lot of teething problems. The administration and disbursement of this fund is a big problem. In fact, in my constituency, up to now, we have not made any headway. I would urge the Government to seriously consider going to the ground to carry out training programmes on how the fund should be disbursed and administered. The youth should be informed on how to access this fund and the kind of enterprises to undertake. Similarly, I would like to touch on the Women Enterprise Development Fund which the President mentioned in his Speech. I think this is over-due. However, better late than never. We should move very fast in this area. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, going back to the issue of security which I alluded to, I think we have had some sporadic clashes all over the country. We keep running up and down to deal with these situations. There is need for the relevant organs of the Government to sit down and discuss the issue in a critical manner. This is because no investor will invest in an insecure environment. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to make a few comments on the exposition of public policy by the President in his Address. I want, first of all, to thank him for the very elaborate Address which touched on many aspects of our lives as Kenyans. I want to start by commenting on what some hon. Members were asking about the Kenya Vision 2030, which we are drafting for the country. I want to indicate that we are at the initial stages. Right now, we have scheduled meetings in every province from yesterday for the next two weeks, so that we can hear views about what Kenyans think, and in which manner they are receiving this information about the Kenya Vision 2030. So, Kenyans are stakeholders in this programme, and we are going to consult them and walk together with them on this economic path. But the bottom line is that the vision is based on three pillars. The first one is the economic pillar, which aims at this country's economy growing at 10 per cent. The second pillar is the social pillar, where we want a just society, and a clean and secure environment for our country. The final pillar is the political pillar, which these Members of Parliament are supposed to address. We want an issue-based, people-centred and democratic political system. That is the only way in which we can grow and become a middle-income society that affords good life to its people. I wish many hon. Members were here to just hear that we are going to consult them. We are going to consult the people of this country. Our experts are working on the programme in the same manner as experts in Malaysia, Morocco and other countries did, so that we can work together. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also wanted to comment on the issues that have been raised here about poverty programmes. The poverty levels in this country are based on some exercise that was done 10 years ago, in 1997. The Ministry of Planning and National Development did initiate a one-year programme under which we are consulting members of the public, 13,000 people in every area throughout the year. We ask them about the kind of money they receive, what happens with it and so on, so that we can arrive at the poverty figures. We are putting this 222 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 information together, and we should be releasing it soon. But it is safe to say that the pro-poor programmes by this Government are in place and, therefore, we should not say, as another hon. Member was saying here, that we are promoting the rich instead of the poor. Even some of the devolved funds that are going down to the grassroots are supposed to address some of these issues. I was shocked by one of my colleagues here, who is actually my neighbour, hon. Ahenda, who claimed that the only person who can plan for this country is Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o, a political scientist who is not even an economist. Any Kenyan with adequate education and sound knowledge like Obwocha can plan for this country with the help of other people. I do not think we should be parochial to that extent. Some of us went to some of the best schools in this country, and some of the best universities in the world. Planning is not about Obwocha; it is about people coming together and putting their knowledge together. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the Constitution, I think we are ready as a people to talk together, because this is our country. But some of the proposals that are coming up, like the President dismissing some of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) commissioners--- Have you read what the Constitution says about appointments of those people? Once such people are appointed, there is a manner in which they can be removed from office. Theirs are constitutional offices. I think our country should also try and strengthen multiparty democracy. If we did that, there would be no need for all this quarrelling about the President garnering 50 per cent plus one votes in a general election. It is not necessary. What we need to do is to strengthen multiparty democracy in the country. If we do that, then we will get somewhere. But I do not think the Opposition should tell us to choose for them their Presidential candidate by imposing conditions like this one. I think we should sit down as a country and say: These are the issues that we want dealt with. For example, we know that constituencies boundaries are reviewed after every 10 years. We have done it all through. I remember that in 1987 they were reviewed by the late hon. Nyamweya and in 1997, they were reviewed by the late Justice Chesoni. I think in 2007, we should do it. There is no way we can skip this issue about review of constituencies boundaries. We should have new constituencies. I think both sides need to talk to be able to deliver to the people of this country new constituencies. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to say that some of the development programmes that the Government has put in place are there for all to see. President Kibaki is not talking much. But if you go to the ground, the common man will tell you: We do not know whether we are going to elect you, but for President Kibaki, we are going to elect him for what he has done for us. So, some of these development programmes have taken effect on the ground and they have a lot of bearing on the common citizen on the ground. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the CDF issue, I think as an Assembly, and for us in the Ministry of Planning and National Development, we need to put in place a programme that will control the project committees. The money is not misused by the CDF committees. Once the CDF committee has allocated money to the project committee, we must have a system in place to check whether that money has been used for the intended purposes and used well. I think this is the issue we should address. We should not say that so and so has this or that kind of CDF committee. That is not the point. The point is: Who are using this money? It is the project committees that are using this money. How are they using the money? Are they using the money to benefit the people of this country? I think that is the issue we should address. Hopefully, our brothers in the CDF National Management Committee will be able to bring these committees back on course. I want to finish by indicating that when we prepared the African Peer Review Mechanism Report, which covers a cross-section of many issues in this country, many of the countries in Africa were shocked. Out of the 53 African countries, it is only three countries that have been able to March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 223 prepare this report, which is self-examining. We re-examine our systems, and Kenya was rated to be one of the brave countries that have been able to do this. The other countries are Ghana and Rwanda. South Africa is in the process of presenting their report. The Chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism, which is Nigeria, has not even done it. So, many of these brothers of ours, who are go out to malign our country, should know that this country is far ahead of many other African countries. We should promote tourism. If you go to some of our neighbouring countries, you will find that they do not even have decent hotels. With those remarks, I beg to commend the President and support the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity. Let me thank the President of this country for giving a Speech which gave a vision on how this country is to develop. The President's Speech touched on the development needs of the youth through the Ministry of Youth Affairs. That the youth will be given money for development. The idea of giving the youth that money is very noble. However, the only problem is how the money is going to be disbursed to the youth. The President should have directed the Minister to channel the money through constituencies, so that it is spread to every constituency. The problem with that Fund is that, some youth do not know where to apply for the funds. Some are told to go to banks, but when they get there, they do not know what is to be done. Therefore, I request the Minister of State for Youth Affairs to disburse the money through the constituencies because at that level, the Member of Parliament would know which groups should be assisted. There is a lot of bureaucracy in the disbursement of funds. That will make the idea not useful. The Ministers who are here should tell their colleagues at the Office of the President, that the money should go directly to the youth so that they can make use of it and vote for this Government next year. Otherwise, the youth will get annoyed, beat you up and put you back to the Opposition side, come next year. So, be very careful.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President has also allocated funds to women groups. But the old men are asking us: "Where are we, if our women will be given money?" Let the President be informed that, that fund can serve both men and women. That is to make sure the money reaches everybody in this country and everybody will feel part and parcel of President Kibaki's reign. If it is disbursed selectively to the youth and women, where will the men get money? That fund should be for both women and men. This should be done immediately to enable Mr. Kibaki retain his position in the coming general election. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, even the Minister that I am addressing is not here. Why is he not here to note down the views of Members of Parliament, so that the Government could use it in future as a basis of running this country? Whenever we make our contributions, Ministers should be here to listen to what we are saying for the benefit of this country. The President said that the economy is growing, but that must go together with the improvement of roads. The roads in this country are in a pathetic condition. For example, roads in my constituency are not passable right now. Where is the Minister for Roads and Public Works? If, indeed, it is true that the economy has grown, we should be given money to enable us construct roads in the constituencies so that development can take place. If you milk money from everywhere and then you hide it somewhere and make it appear as if the country has money, then there is a problem. The roads in Sotik are in a pathetic condition. 224 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007
I wish the Minister was here to listen to me. Ministers should always be in the House. There is one Minister here but others have gone to places that we do not know. Mr. Kibaki should sack those Ministers immediately and bring on board those who can come to Parliament every time. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a lot of rainfall now. Is the Ministry of Agriculture prepared to take advantage of it or we shall be importing food come April or June? This is an agricultural country. Has he given wananchi fertilizers and seedlings so that they can produce food for this country, or are we waiting to import food from other countries? There is the New Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) in Sotik where dairy farmers take their milk. We have run that KCC for a long time. It is pathetic to note that a lot of milk is being returned to the farmers. The Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Co-operative Development and Marketing should understand that we have been running that KCC for a long time, but some people are now mismanaging it and yet is covers Sotik, Buret and Bomet areas. We want the Minister for Co-operative Development and Marketing to understand that milk is being imported from other countries and being processed in the New KCC in Sotik. Therefore, milk from farmers in the area is being returned to them. What type of management is that? We are completely perturbed with the way the Minister for Co-operative Development and Marketing is running the New KCC in Sotik. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me come to the issue of pyrethrum. The Pyrethrum Board of Kenya is said to have been dissolved. Since it was dissolved, the pyrethrum farmers who delivered pyrethrum from 2000 up to now, have not been paid. Does that mean that the farmers will not be paid? The Minister for Agriculture should immediately pay the farmers. At the same time, members of the board should be elected. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the board of directors of the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya should be pyrethrum farmers, instead of picking people who are not pyrethrum farmers to run the board. It seems they are trying to steal farmers' money. Pyrethrum farmers should be let to run the board.
Order, Mr. Kimeto! That is not parliamentary language. What did you say they do with the money?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya misappropriates funds.
That is better than the word you had used before, which is unparliamentary.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some things cannot be mentioned straightaway.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the action is still wrong. Let those people who are running boards of State corporations manage them in the best way possible instead of mismanaging funds and making farmers poor while educated people who have the potential---
Your time is up.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the opportunity to enable me to contribute to this important Motion. I wish to thank the President for the Speech which he delivered during the State Opening of Parliament. I am told that this is the last Session before we go back to our electors to ask them to vote for us. March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 225 Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I will not comment on everything the President said, but just to address a few issues. First, I will comment on the issue of the Women Enterprise Development Fund. We know that women are marginalised in this country. When the President decided that in future women would access credit facilities, it is because they form the basis of the family and the society. By empowering women groups, this country is likely to witness an unprecedented rise in economic growth in the next five years, because the interest rates will go down. Those people who are saying that they have not seen the benefits of the economic growth trickle down to the countryside will see the country grow like any other developed economy. There are a number of things we should note as a House. We will soon be going for meetings to address the issue of minimum reforms. There are minimum reforms that every Kenyan would support because we know they are for the good of our people and the country. There is need for us to discuss and agree, as a House, on what is important. If there is anything for us to agree about the Constitution, let the constitutional reforms or changes be decided by the people of Kenya because it is the only guarantee of their freedom and security. This can only be achieved when they have a Constitution that they have developed and agreed on through a consensus in a referendum. So, if we have to make any amendments in the Constitution in this House, they must be in conformity with the wishes of our people. One such request, which I must point out, is the issue of dual citizenship. Dual citizenship, while I agree with it, and indeed, falls under my Ministry, is something we should be careful about. I know we have many children and families in Europe who send a lot of funds to this country and who would like to come and reside here. All that is welcome. However, once we amend the law, our neighbours from Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia and Ethiopia will also have a right for dual citizenship. They will also demand to enjoy the same rights. If we amend the law with addressing that issue, that will be discriminative. I believe that is not right. This House should come up with a law that addresses the needs of everybody. We should not put ourselves in problems. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if a criminal commits a crime in this country, yet he or she has dual citizenship of another country like Somalia or Uganda, he will seek refuge in the neighbouring country for a few years and then come back here. We must address that issue. I would like that issue to be addressed by the committee, although I am not a member. This House must also form a committee to decide on who should qualify for dual citizenship. This House should put down conditionalities for dual citizenship. Otherwise, if we have a blanket dual citizenship law, we will be opening a pandora's box in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like also to add that the issue of additional constituencies is not a constitutional issue but a Parliamentary matter that must be addressed through a legislation by the Minister concerned by bringing up a Bill for this House to agree. Let us agree on the number of constituencies that we need to create because some of us have been waiting for a long time. We have been running very large constituencies that require additional support from other hon. Members so as to address the problems of our constituents. For example, the people of Embakasi and Trans Mara require additional constituencies. I believe those are the issues which this House should address. It is not a constitutional matter but a legislative matter that this House has the power over. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue that the President addressed is that of disarmament. Yes, we support the Government in the issue of disarmament. However, those communities which live along the borders--- You know that our neighbouring countries have not disarmed their people. Let us not bring a legislation that will disarm the people of Kenya and leave them to suffer. While I agree entirely with the issue of disarmament within our urban areas because it is causing havoc to our people, we must be very careful on how we disarm our people living along the borders. Those people require security and unless we are able to guarantee them 100 per 226 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 cent security, I think we should be very careful, as a House, to ensure that disarmament is not used as a blanket to harass our people. We need to ensure that our people at the borders are protected. There is also the issue of tribalism. Many hon. Members have talked about tribalism. They have alleged that this Government is encouraging tribalism and that employment is being offered on tribal basis. When you look at what has been going in this country for the last few years, I do not need to go into history, even now, there are departments of Governments where certain communities hold all the positions right from the bottom to the top. When we accuse this Government of tribalism, we are not being honest. I am not saying that all is well. There are situations which could be made better. However, I believe the Government has addressed the issue of equity. It has tried to equalise some of the inequalities which had been created by systems which existed and had deliberately been put in place to manipulate the resources of this country. Tribalism was entrenched in the past and not by this Government.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Minister to mislead this House by saying that, "yes, there is tribalism; no, there is no tribalism?" Where, exactly, is the Minister trying to get this House on the matter of tribalism?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am trying to say that I watched, the other day---
I did not see that as a point of order, but you can proceed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me address the observation made by the hon. Member that we, as leaders, are lying to our people. We are creating animosity among our people and misleading them by preaching tribalism instead of preaching unity. We have to unite our people and ourselves because a divided country without peace cannot develop. Recently, I watched one of our Ministers being interviewed on the BBC in London. I watched in amazement somebody reading a statement which had been written by someone in this House or a team from Kenya. There are people here who would bring down their country to please themselves and their masters. We should not go to Europe to look for money to enable us to destroy our motherland. You cannot go to a foreigner to seek support to destroy what we have built so far. Everybody can see, smell and hear what we have built. Today, we cannot---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could you protect me? My time is running out and I might not be able to complete my contribution to this Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I now have a point of order.
Well, that means you know the previous one was a frivolous point of order. Now, what is it? It had better be a point of order because you are taking Mr. Konchella's time!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard the Minister accuse an unnamed hon. Member of this House for having written a document to solicit funds to bring down this Government. That is a serious allegation. It is only proper that he names the said hon. Member. He should also lay the documents on the Table!
Mr. Odoyo, you know he cannot name the hon. Member!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my friend is denying me time to talk. I think he fears what I am talking about. I am not addressing or accusing anybody. I am saying that we have a duty, as citizens of this country and as leaders, to unite our people. We should talk the truth because this March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 227 Government is developing this country. Everybody knows what the Government is doing and many people are happy. Ten years ago, nobody cared about development in the constituencies. I am sure people are appreciating that development. We need to continue developing this country. Whoever leads this country now and in the future must know that the people of Kenya will not take anything less than what they have seen with the Government of His Excellency President Kibaki.
Order! Your time is up.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Konchella, you have to say whether you support or oppose the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support His Excellency the President's Speech.
Hon. Members, it is important that at the end of your contribution, even if your time is up, to state which side of the debate you fall. Yes, Mr. Karaba!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I support the Speech by His Excellency the President. Indeed, it was a keynote address. It had very important attributes that many people would support. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology, I will concentrate more on the education aspect. Without sound education policies, we are headed nowhere. It is only through a sound education system that a country like Kenya can forge ahead, even when we talk about Vision 2030 in terms of economic development. We have seen a lot, particulary in South East Asia, where education has been supported by both public and private sectors, thus resulting in progress in those areas. As a result of that development in education, we have seen a lot of economic development in the same countries. I attest that, unless our education system is sound, we will not reach far. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, His Excellency the President sounded as if he is aware of that. It is true that we have had an increase in the enrolment of students in secondary schools. His Excellency the President told us that there was an increase of 150,000 students in secondary schools. He also said that there was an increase of 1,500,000 students in primary schools. I would have expected that increase to be related to the recruitment of more teachers. That was not talked about. I thought he would comment about the recruitment of teachers. At the end of the Speech, nothing was said in that regard. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you go by what we call curriculum based establishment - or the teacher-student ratio - you will realise that we have a shortage of 3,750 teachers in secondary schools. As a result of increased enrolment of students in primary schools, we have a shortage of 37,500 teachers. That totals to 41,250 teachers in both primary and secondary schools. The Government has not said much about how it will tackle that shortage. If that continues, it means we are doomed. The quality of education will go down. The President stated in his Speech that we should continue putting up many day schools, so that we can make education accessible. We will not have teachers to teach in those day schools. That, therefore, defeats the purpose of the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP). Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saddened because we really do not have proper planning in the education sector. We are not thinking about the overall development of the education sector. It means that we are not even thinking about our future as a nation. If more students enrol in our schools, we must also recruit and post more teachers to those schools. That has happened in Tanzania. The Government of Tanzania recruited more teachers as the enrolment of students increased. In Kenya, we, sometimes, have very unbalanced recruitment and training. 228 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 Sometimes we over-train. Sometimes we under-train. That is a total mess. I, therefore, recommend that we declare the shortage of teachers a crisis. If we do not provide 41,250 teachers tomorrow, we will have a very serious shortage. Many Questions have been asked on the Floor of this House by hon. Members with regard to the shortage of teachers in their constituencies. The Minister always answers that he will recruit more teachers, but nothing happens. His Excellency the President also did not say anything about the recruitment of teachers. Whom are we going to turn to, to address the issue of quality education? We are defeated and we do not know what to do next. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when Form IV students sit for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, many of them pass and wait to join our public universities. But only those with grade "A" and "A"- are admitted. The rest of the students are a frustrated lot. Teachers and parents are also frustrated because those students cannot join our public universities. What kind of an education system are we having in our country? I would have expected universities to be expanded, so that more students are admitted. The same students will, in future, provide labour for industrial development. That is something that we are missing. The Government should address that issue very urgently. If that is not done, we might be sitting on a time bomb. When that time bomb explodes, it will injure even the innocent people. Our universities, few as they are, do not have inter-university programmes that are found in other countries. Our universities specialise in some areas and ignore others. There is very little correlation between what happens in one university to another. We cannot even transfer students from one university and another. We cannot have student exchange programmes with our neighbouring countries. We need to improve our education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, His Excellency the President also stressed the point on about Information and Communication Technology (ICT). I brought a Motion to this House about making ICT teaching compulsory in our secondary schools. It was passed, but unfortunately, there are no teachers to teach this subject. There is even no electricity connected to schools. So, why do we just say that things will happen and they are never seen to happen? We just talk! We need to come up with implementation plans, given the fact that our country is developing. We have seen a lot of development taking place in the education sector. I salute the Minister for Education for doing a commendable job. The same should even be extended to schools, so that schools afford ICT education. Lack of electricity should not be an excuse for schools not to offer ICT education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing which was contained in the Presidential Speech was bursary. We need to think about students from the disadvantaged background by increasing the bursary kitty. We should not only stick to Kshs800 million even when the need increases. When the need increases, the bursary kitty should also increase. Right now, we have only received Kshs400 million. We need the Kshs800 million, so that those needy students who have failed to join either secondary schools or universities get bursaries. We have cases where students under the parallel degree programme do not access bursaries, while those in private universities do so. What is the difference between a student under the parallel degree programme and one in a private university? Why should a student in a private university get a bursary while a student under the parallel programme does not? We need to come up with a policy where students under the parallel programme benefit from the bursaries. This is because it is not their fault that they have to join the parallel degree programmes. It is only because the subject combination that they would have preferred to do in those public universities was not available. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion in support of the Presidential Address. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my view, this was the most comprehensive Address March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 229 and the best Speech ever expounding on all policy areas on things we need to do for this nation. The Speech dwelt on our achievements because we are a country that is shy of singing its achievements. We always look for faults. It is good to identify gaps in order to grow. It is equally important to acknowledge where we have achieved. If we do not ever acknowledge our successes, then we shall never be able to move forward. That is why I am so appreciative that the Presidential Speech did capture our achievements. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is quite obvious, even to the most reluctant critic, that something is happening in our nation. In spite of inheriting a run down economy and a dilapidated infrastructure, something good is happening. The economy is on the upward trend achieving 6 per cent and, perhaps, will go to 7 per cent by the end of our term this year given what we have achieved in terms of building infrastructure. We know we have not completed, but we have taken strides that demonstrate to all and sundry that Kenya is on the move. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, being able to fund our budget to the tune of 95 per cent is no mean achievement. We must continue to sing our achievements and strive to achieve more. We have very many problems and challenges that we are yet to tackle, but these are challenges that need bipartisan support. I mourn the lack of patriotism among us, as the leaders of this country. It is time we rose to the occasion and addressed bipartisan issues that require the support of both sides in order to restore confidence in our nation and alleviate the suffering of the majority. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have had a chorus during contributions to this Motion on the issue of tribalism, but I want to say that for most of those raising the issue, one may be forgiven for thinking that they may be the agents of tribalism themselves. The tribal card has been played for over two decades now. However, at the time of Independence, we were one nation and that is why we were able to drive out the colonisers. Immediately thereafter, the ruling elite picked the divide and rule of the colonialists which has been perfected by some of our leaders today. Those who sing about tribalism most are the ones who are perpetuating it or using the policy of divide and rule. We hear leaders crying about their communities and yet they are the same people who exploit their own communities but when it suits them, they will talk about others. In order to address the ills of tribalism that has been fanned over the decades, we will have to apply sober minds. This Government has tried its best, in five years, to erase something that has been happening over two decades. However, it is not easy. Although the Government has addressed this problem and deliberately tried to create a balance, not only in the Civil Service, but also in appointments and in terms of recruitment, it is not something that can be achieved overnight. It is something gradual. Therefore, whereas we admit that there may be areas where imbalances are found, I want to stand here and acclaim this Government as the most representative since Independence and as the most responsive to the need for ethnic balance. What are the leaders doing? I hear people who were carrying flags as Ministers only yesterday talk of tribalism. Until we analyse the Ministries they held and see how they behaved when they were Ministers, we shall not be able to exorcise the ghost of tribalism.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to look at the Ministry of Roads and Public Works and see its history and what appointments were made when various people headed it in the capacity of Ministers. I want somebody to look at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, where I was, and to look at those who were there before me and my successor. I want us to analyse ourselves. Do not remove the speck in your brother's eye before you remove the log in yours. Until we level with each other, we shall never be able to completely exorcise this ghost. I want to see their participation. I want us to remember history and recall the participation of certain leaders in 230 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 atrocities that have occurred in this country, in fanning ethnic hatred. The way to finish the ghosts of tribalism is by being honest with one another; confessing where we have made mistakes and resolving to move on differently, but not by demonising a community. It cannot be that anywhere a member of the Kikuyu community is appointed, that becomes tribalism, but when a member of another community is appointed, it does not become tribalism. It maybe that there are areas that have imbalances. For example, you may find that in department "A" members of one ethnic group dominate, while in another department, it will be another ethnic group. Let us put everything on the table and agree on what to do, to make everybody comfortable. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kenyans have to be very careful. They should listen to us, as leaders, and determine for themselves who are genuinely speaking for harmony between the various communities in this country, and those who are looking for hatred and the eventual destruction of our motherland. It saddens me to see people, who are Presidential aspirants, insult and defame their motherland in foreign land. How do you hope to destroy your motherland and hope that when you become President, you will be able to rebuild it? It is sad that we can have a person who is a national leader by virtue of being in this National Assembly, go to foreign lands and start maligning his or her motherland. What do you expect the people you are telling out there to do? They will not come here and sort out any mess, if at all there is any. It is our responsibility, as Members of this august House, if we think anything is wrong with our country, to bring Motions and propose laws here. Let us initiate change of policies and movement in the right direction. Do not go out there, crying to people who are least concerned. They will only help you to destroy your country more. I would urge Kenyans to reject all leaders, who shamelessly defame their motherland in foreign lands. I have had occasion to spend ten years on the Opposition side. But I never, for a single day, went to stand before a foreign audience, to talk about the ills of this country. We did it here on the Floor of this House and on our soil, where Kenyans could listen to us and do something about it through the ballot. It is totally irresponsible for anybody to be so unpatriotic, as to spread falsehood and propaganda against his or her own motherland. Constructive criticism is allowed. When you go and attack the Nairobi Stock Exchange in a foreign land and when you come back you cannot say those words--- When certain tapes of people insulting their motherland overseas are finally released, some people will look for where to hide, because they talk thinking that nobody is listening. Patriotic people in those countries will have taped you in a Githongo-like fashion. When you hear it on air, do remind yourself that those were your words. As a Government, we are there to listen and respond, but we also have a responsibility to question proposals. However, we will be big enough to listen and do what is required to be done. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Asante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa nafasi hii niseme maneno machache kuhusu Hotuba ya Rais. Natarajia kwamba hii itakuwa mara ya mwisho kuwa na hali ambayo mtu atakuja atoe Hotuba hapa kama Rais, halafu sisi tuendelee kujadiliana wakati yeye hayuko hapa kusikiza yale tunayosema kuhusu hiyo Hotuba, hata kama anasikiliziwa na watu wengine. Nasema hivi nikitarajia kwamba mwaka ujao, tutakuwa na Katiba mpya ya Kitaifa ambayo itaruhusu kuwa na Waziri Mkuu ambaye ataongoza shughuli za Kiserikali na ambaye atakuwa anawajibika kwa maneno anayosema katika Bunge. Sio hali ambapo mtu atakuwa anaandikiwa Hotuba na maofisa ama na Mawaziri ili asome, kisha sisi tubaki tukicheza ngoma wakati mpiga ngoma hayuko. Nikisema hivyo, pia nasema kulingana na kule tulikotoka kihistoria kama nchi, tunaweza March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 231 kusema kwa ukweli kabisa kuwa hali ya sasa ni bora kuliko ilivyokuwa hapo awali.
Ukiangalia mambo yote yanayoendelea katika nchi kwa jumla, iwe ni upande wa demokrasia, uchumi au vile tunavyoendesha mambo yetu kama Taifa, tunaweza kukubali ukweli halisi, kwamba hali ni bora kuliko vile ilivyokuwa hapo awali. Kile tu tunachoweza kusema ni kwamba, hali ingeweza kuwa bora zaidi kama tungefanya mambo mengine vizuri zaidi kwa kuyazingatia na kuyatekeleza vizuri. Hata tukiikosoa Serikali, tunaikosoa kwa misingi kwamba wakati huu, kuna hali halisi ya hewa ya kisiasa, kijamii na kiuchumi ambayo inaiwezesha Serikali hii kuweza kufanya vyema zaidi kuliko vile ilivyofanya kwa hiyo misingi. Jambo la msingi kuzungumziwa ni kwamba kazi kubwa zaidi ya Serikali yeyote duniani ni kulinda uhuru wa kitaifa. Nawashukuru wale ambao wanasema kwamba wakati umefika wa kuwaepuka mabeberu, kwani ni watu wanaokuja na asali mdomoni na mkuki mkononi, chambilecho alivyosema Chairman Mao tse Tung wa Uchina. Kwa kweli, sisi tukiwa viongozi tukifikiri kuwa mambo ya nchi yetu yanaweza kutatuliwa na mabeberu na watu kutoka nje, basi tujue kuwa tutapotea.
Iwapo tutazingatia maswala ya kiuchumi na maswala mengi mengineyo, basi tungeweza kufanya vizuri zaidi kama tungepanga mipango yetu kwa fikra zetu wenyewe kama Wakenya na kama Wafrika, tukiangalia hali halisi ya nchi yetu. Tukitazama duniani, nchi ambazo zimeweza kujikwamua kiuchumi na kwenda mbele ni nchi zilizokataa kufanya sera na mikakati yao kwa kuongozwa na watu kutoka nje. Kadiri ambapo Wakenya tutaendelea kuongozwa na kuyumbishwa haswa na mabeberu kutoka nje tukifanya sera zetu, hapo tutakuwa tumepotea zaidi. Wale ambao wanafikiri kuwa mabeberu watatuokoa ni watu waliopotoka. Ikiwa Serikali iliyoko ndio yenye jukumu la kuulinda uhuru wa kitaifa, nasikitika kwamba Serikali hii ndiyo inapeana Mkenya kwa Wamerekani na kuwaruhusu wamhoji ndani ya nchi hii, halafu kumpeleka Guantanamo Bay, sehemu ambayo mabeberu Wamarekani wameinyang'anya Cuba na kuivamia hiyo nchi. Sisi tunashinikizwa na Wamarekani, sijui kwa sababu ya misaada au marupurupu gani, kuruhusu vyombo vya usalama vya Marekani kuingia ndani ya mipaka ya nchi yetu na kuwakamata watu wetu, haswa wa kutoka Pwani. Wanajaribu kutubagua, hasa kidini. Wanasema kuwa Waislamu ndio wanaoungana na magaidi, hivyo basi wanawakamata watu waliozaliwa hapa kutoka nyumbani mwao na kuwapeana kwa Wamarekani. Nafikiri kuwa huo ni ukoloni mamboleo na ni usaliti mkubwa sana kwa nchi yetu. Kusema ukweli, ni aibu kusikia kwamba vijana wamekamatwa na wanapelekwa katika hali ambayo wanaweza kuteswa, maanake pale Guantanamo Bay ni pahali ambapo Wamarekani wanawatesa watu duniani, na sisi tumepeana watu wetu wapelekwe huko. Huo ni usaliti mkubwa kwa nchi yetu, na Serikali ni lazima iwajibike kwa jambo hilo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuhusu suala la marekebisho ya Katiba, tunafurahi kwamba Serikali sasa imekubali shindikizo za wananchi za kufanywa marekebisho kiasi ya Katiba. Serikali imekubali kufanya mazungumzo na Upinzani kuhusu marekebisho muhimu ya Katiba, ambayo yatatekelezwa kabla ya uchaguzi mkuu ujao. Si lazima wakati wote Serikali ingojee mpaka isukumwe kwa maandamano ama maneno ndipo ifanye jambo fulani. Inatakikana Serikali iwe kwenye msitari wa mbele wakati wote katika kutoa hoja kama hiyo. Hata hivyo, tunaipongeza Serikali kwa kukubali kufanya mazungumzo na Upinzani juu ya suala hili. Hivyo ni kukubali kwamba demokrasia ipo katika nchi yetu. Kwa hivyo, tunasema kwamba ni pongezi kubwa kwa 232 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 Serikali yetu. Kuhusu suala la elimu, ninaipongeza Serikali kwa kuanzisha mpango wa elimu ya bure katika shule za msingi. Ingawaje mpango huo umekumbwa na matatizo chungu nzima, hiyo ni hatua muhimu sana ambayo Serikali imechukua. Tunachopendekeza ni kwamba, kwa sababu hali ni ngumu zaidi katika shule za upili, tunaiomba Serikali ifanye juhudi za kuanzisha mpango wa elimu ya bure katika shule hizi kufikia mwaka ujao. Ninaamini kwamba Serikali inaweza kutoa elimu ya sekondari bila malipo. Tukifanya hivyo, tutakuwa tumepiga hatua kubwa zaidi, pamoja na kuwaajiri kazi walimu wengi zaidi. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, tusikubali shindikizo za shirika la IMF ama Benki ya Dunia, eti tusiwaajiri watu wetu kufundisha shuleni ama kufanya kazi katika hospitali. Wanaoajiriwa kazi ni Wakenya. Pesa zinazotumiwa kuwalipa mishahara hazipotei, bali zinatumika humu nchini. Kwa hivyo, tutekeleze sera zetu kulingana na mahitaji yetu. Ninafurahi kwamba wakati huu takribani asilimia 97 ya Bajeti yetu inakidhiwa na fedha zetu sisi wenyewe. Kwa hivyo, sasa tunaweza, kwa ujasiri, kutekeleza sera zetu sisi wenyewe. Kama mkazi wa Wilaya ya Taita-Taveta, ninatarajia kwamba kabla ya Bunge hili kuvunjwa kwa sababu ya uchaguzi mkuu ujao, Serikali itakuwa imeleta Mswada wa kurekebisha sheria kuhusu wanyama pori, ambayo itasema kwamba takribani asilimia 25 ya mapato yanayotokana na mbuga za wanyama pori yabaki kufanya maendeleo katika wilaya husika. Kwa sababu Wilaya ya Taita-Taveta inapakana na mbuga za wanyama pori za Tsavo Mashariki na Tsavo Magharibi, tunataka tupewe asilimia 25 ya mapato yanayotokana na mbuga hizo ili tufanye maendeleo katika wilaya hiyo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, haiwezekani kwamba zaidi ya asilimia 60 ya ardhi katika wilaya hiyo ni mbuga za wanyama pori halafu tusipate cho chote kutokana na mbuga hizo. Wakenya kwengineko wana kahawa, chai na samaki. Sisi, wakazi wa Taita-Taveta, tuna wanyama pori. Kwa hivyo, tunataka maendeleo yetu yatokane na mbuga za wanyama pori. Tunajua kwamba pesa nyingi zinazotumika katika Bajeti ya nchi hii zinatokana na utalii, na shughuli nyingi za kitalii zinafanyika katika Mkoa wa Pwani. Kwa hivyo, tunataraji kwamba jambo hilo litafanyika mara moja. Vile vile, tunasema kwamba ni lazima Serikali itembelee mikoa na kutayarisha sera zake pamoja na wananchi. Tatizo kubwa miongoni mwa Mawiziri na viongozi wengine Serikalini ni kuketi maofisini huku Nairobi na kutengeneza sera zinazowahusu wananchi mikoani. Katika Wilaya ya Taita-Taveta, kwa mfano, kuna wenyeji kutoka Wundanyi na sehemu za Taveta, ambao baadhi yao ni wafanyikazi wa umma, na haswa walimu, ambao wanapata marupurupu kwa kuhudumu katika sehemu zenye shida kama vile Voi na Mwatate. Lakini, walimu wanaohudumu katika sehemu za Wundanyi na Taveta, ambazo zina mazingira magumu kama yale ya Voi na Mwatate, hawalipwi marupurupu hayo. Kwa hivyo, tunawataka wanaohusika na swala hilo Serikalini waende wakaangalie hali halisi katika sehemu hizo na wairekebishe hali hiyo ili iambatane na ukweli. Si vyema kwao kuketi tu hapa Nairobi na kufanya mapendeleo kwa sababu, labda, watu fulani waliwatembelea katika afisi zao. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa ufupi, ninafurahia kwamba Serikali inayamulika maswala yanayowahusu vijana na wanawake. Lakini ningependa kusema kwamba hizo ni sera rahisi. Tusigawanye nchi katika viwango kulingana na umaskini miongoni mwa wanawake, vijana na wazee. Tuuangalie umaskini kwa jumla. Hiyo ni sera ndogo tu inayotokana na fikira duni zinazoletwa na wageni, na ambazo zinatupotosha. Tuuangalie umaskini kama tatizo linaloikumba kila sekta ya nchi hii halafu tujaribu kupigana nao kwa ujumla. Tusijaribu kulitatua tatizo hilo kupitia sera rahisi ya kuwatengea kiasi fulani cha fedha wanawake, vijana, walemavu na wazee, March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 233 tukidhani kwamba tutafaulu. Kwa hayo machache, ninaomba kuiunga mkono Hoja hii.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to support the President's Speech. First, I would like to thank the Speaker for having recognised the role that is played by hon. Members in the development of this country. Out there, everybody has been saying that the hon. Members do not work. The reason why hon. Members "sleep" in the House is because they come here when they are tired. During the day, hon. Members are busy attending to their constituents and at night, they are busy in Harambees. So, they are bound to be tired. We actually work over-time. Let me go back to the President's Speech. Much has been said, but I expected to hear more. Let me start with the issue of free primary education. This is a good idea, but primary education is free and diluted. I, being an hon. Member of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology, have had the opportunity to visit quite a number of schools, for example, the Mumias Township Primary School, which has three classes and each class has over 200 pupils. On Monday this week, we were in Mombasa and we visited Vanga Primary School which has classes of over 150 pupils. The free primary education is a good idea, but what is the Government doing to ensure that it is giving quality free primary education? How many primary school teachers are there? You will find a school with about 500 pupils with only five teachers. Most of the time, these teachers are idle. Some of the pupils learn under trees. We expect to get a firm commitment from the Government. The other day, we heard the Minister for Education saying that the Government is going to employ 40,000 teachers. I would want to believe that, that was not a roadside decision. The Government should go ahead and, indeed, employ these teachers. A big percentage should be employed in primary schools. The other thing is the issue of secondary education. Most of our people in this country cannot afford to pay for secondary education. It is very disappointing to hear a Minister saying that the Government cannot afford to provide free secondary education while our neighbour, Uganda, has introduced free secondary education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not a great mathematician, but under the former KANU regime, we were collecting about Kshs178 billion. Under the NARC regime, we are collecting Kshs350 billion plus. So, in simple arithmetic, if we have 1 million students, each student should get Kshs8,000 and that amounts to Kshs8 billion. So, when the Minister for Education says that it is not possible to have free secondary education, I cannot understand. Where does the money go to? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do not have to pay for the boarders, but we should pay for the day scholars. If a student wants to be a boarder, he or she should pay the boarding fees. We cannot say that we cannot afford Kshs8 billion. We can afford Kshs8 billion and we can also afford to employ 40,000 teachers. This is simple arithmetic. It is a matter of putting our priorities right. In the short-term, there is the issue of bursaries. You will recall that the Minister for Finance had abolished bursaries. When you give Kshs800 million for bursaries for the entire country, indeed, you are not helping us. As an urgent measure, the Government should consider bringing in the Supplementary Budget, something to the tune of Kshs4 billion or Kshs5 billion to cater for bursaries for our students. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) is not a brain-child of the Government. It is a brain-child of Members of Parliament. If we put more money in the CDF, we will create more jobs for our people. We will also take services to our people. Therefore, you know very well that the Constituencies Development Fund (Amendment) Bill cannot come to Parliament without a clause on increasing the CDF. So, I would have expected the 234 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 President to say: "I have recognised the role played by CDF. Therefore, we will see whether we can increase the CDF to about 5 per cent." If we get 5 per cent, we will not want CDF to be increased again for very many years. Why am I stressing that? We have not seen any development undertaken with funds that go to the central Government. But whatever little that is given to the CDF is felt very fast. It has a big impact. On the issue of food reserve, the Government has increased it from 3 million bags to 4 million bags. But the additional funds allocated for that purpose amount to Kshs1.8 billion. Today, in my constituency, because there is bumper harvest, a kilo of maize is going for Kshs6. But in another two months, the same kilo of maize will cost Kshs20. That is how it is. So, I would have expected more funds to be given to that particular sector. The entire Eastern Province has been given Kshs100 million. That amount will only buy about 1,000 bags. That is enough for only two to three farmers; it is peanuts! We want to see the National Cereals and Produce Board enabled to play a more central role. It should buy the farmers produce when it is ready and sell it back to them during the dry spell. The middle-men are, indeed, exploiting our farmers. Our people are poor because the Government has made them poor. The Minister for Agriculture - and I have nothing against him, whenever funds are allocated to purchase maize, he concentrates on Rift Valley Province only. What about Eastern Province? We also have a bumper harvest. We also have farmers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of security, I wish to say that I am shocked. I am against crime. But we must fight crime using the existing laws. When a Minister, who is an hon. Member of Parliament, gives an order to the police to shoot and kill on sight, what are we saying? It only means one telephone call from a malicious person to say that your car has been stolen and the person is shot. The police will not ask any questions. The order is to shoot on sight. You will be shot. What happens in such scenario? There was a case of a United States International University (USIU) student who was shot on sight, and that was it! Are those the laws we should enact as proposed by the Minister of State for Administration and National Security, Mr. Michuki? It is wrong. He has said that on record and repeated that matter on very many occasions. The policemen will become the judges. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a more serious external insecurity. We have a war in Somalia. We have wars in Sudan and Uganda. We also have wars in Rwanda and Burundi. What is shocking is that we have kept our forces under-equipped. Our Air Force has only five operational jet fighters. In 1982, the Kenya Air Force had about 26 jet fighters. Today, we have only four such jet fighters. Word is that we are shopping for a second-hand one. We have read in the media that the Kenya Air Force is shopping for second-hand jet fighters from Saudi Arabia or Jordan. What would happen if, one day, a mad neighbour decides to invade us? That is what happened in Somalia. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Navy cannot control the ocean. We have tourists coming to this country and somehow because of insecurity, they are avoiding our country. We should have a very strong Navy for purposes of ensuring protection of our interests. When we have an army of about 20,000 soldiers in an area surrounded by countries at war, we are not serious. We need to become a regional power. We say that at times of peace, we prepare for war and at times of war, we prepare for peace. So, this is the time of peace and let us ensure that we have a very strong security force and give it morale. 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 the President's Speech. First, I support the President for the good Speech that he made and the points he dwelt on, especially, on the performance of the economy which is doing very well. This is so because of the good management of the economy by the March 28, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 235 Government generally. As we all know, production in the areas of milk, maize and wheat, tourism, horticulture and generally the agricultural sector is doing very well. Because of that, all we can expect is increased Government revenue. On that front, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is doing well and that has enabled the Government to collect more revenue. Therefore, we, as hon. Members and our constituencies are doing well because we have managed to allocate more funds funds to the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). This has boosted the economic growth. It will even grow further if there is more allocation to the CDF. This will boost the economy and we should even expect more growth in the years to come. I will not be surprised that if the CDF management is sustained for the next five years, we may find the economy growing past the 10 per cent rate per annum. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that the education sector has expanded and enrolment has gone up. In order to make the education growth more comprehensive, it is important that the Government considers seriously the issue of recruiting more teachers. That will make the student-teacher ratio more friendly to the quality of education. On the area of health, we know that our trained medics are strained. I would like to request the Government to consider employing all the nurses and medics who have been trained so that they can cope with the ailments among our population in the country. We know that our resources are constrained, but if we pay attention to this problem by increasing the funds allocated to the health sector every year, then we will overcome it. By doing that, we shall be making the Kenyan population healthier. This will also enable them to participate in various economic activities that will, generally, improve our economy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to recruit more medical staff and teachers. This will alleviate poverty. By doing so, the Government will improve the income of wananchi . Ultimately, the per capita income will also improve and in the process it will boost economic growth. We all know that good roads are very important when it comes to increasing agricultural productivity. Good roads aid the movement of agricultural commodities. So, I would suggest that more funds be allocated for roads and telecommunication. That will greatly improve the performance of our economy. The Government is doing very well in the energy sector. The people of Bonchari are so much excited about what the Ministry of Energy is doing. I am sure that the Ministry is performing well countrywide and the Government should be commended for that. Nowadays, democracy has been given a wider space than before. That is why I support my colleague, the hon. Member for Wundanyi, for recognising that the Government has provided us with the freedom of association and speech. It is for that reason that people are free to participate in the development of this country together with the Government. They are supportive of what the Government has put forth. We all know that if that continues, everybody will benefit immensely from whatever the Government is doing. With regard to telecommunication, a lot has been achieved. I want to thank the Government because it has embraced a free market economy. This has greatly assisted our economy to grow. The Government is trying to move away from monopolistic trade by encouraging free investment in our economy. That will greatly improve the growth of the economy. I said, earlier on, in the next five years, our economy will grow by more than 10 per cent. This is all because of the freedom that has been provided by the Government. In the area of livestock, the opening of abattoirs by the Kenya Meat Commission, for example, in Mombasa, will benefit people living in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). It will also increase employment opportunities in the country. We really encourage that. Fishing along the lake and ocean shores should be encouraged. This will benefit the people 236 PARLIAENTARY DEBATES March 28, 2007 living around Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean. We need to ensure that fishermen gain from their toil because they are exploited by middlemen. At the end of the day, that will reduce poverty in the countryside. This applies to all types of farming be it fishing or agricultural farming. We should guard them against exploitation to ensure that they benefit from their work. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to general performance of businessmen, the funds which will be disbursed to our youth will enable them to become investors. This will ensure that we have homegrown investors. In the long run, that will increase productivity and you will find that the local people are themselves the investors. We should not depend heavily on donors. I believe that in the future, we will not need to depend that heavily on donors to invest in our country because our own efforts will have become enough. We generate a lot of funds in this country, therefore, we must invest them locally. That way, we shall do away with dependency on donor funds. We know that about 95 per cent of investments in this country is locally generated. If we work hard enough, even the remaining 5 per cent can be generated locally. Sometimes the conditions that we are given---
Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. This House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 29th March, 2007, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 6.33 p.m