asked the Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he is aware that 87 employees of the Kisumu Municipal Council were dismissed from service in September, 2006 for unknown reasons; and, (b) what action he is taking to have them reinstated.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry is partially aware of the details in part "a" of the Question. The Kisumu Municipal Council conducted a staff head count between 12th and 22nd April, 2005, whose findings were presented to the council on 25th May, 2005. The findings revealed that some of the members of staff had letters of appointment with scant signatures. Others had false signatures which were disowned by the previous town clerks of the Kisumu Municipal Council, who were purported to have signed them. There were also some members of staff who could not present the original copies of their appointment letters. Instead, they presented photocopies. Consequently, the Kisumu Municipal Council dismissed 61 out of 67 members of staff on account of irregular employment, while six of them were dismissed for various disciplinary cases. (b) The aggrieved members of staff were advised to appeal to the Public Service Commission for a review, in accordance with the Public Service Commission regulations relating to local authorities.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is deliberately misleading this House. I have in my possession a letter from the former Town Clerk, Mr. Tubman Otieno. In brief it reads:- "This is to certify that Mr. James Lagat was employed by the council on 12th March, 2001, when I was the Town Clerk, hence, the issue of acquiring the job using a photocopy should not cause his summary dismissal." I wish to lay this letter on the Table of the House. Given that the former Town Clerk has written a letter confirming that he actually employed this particular former employee of the council--- 2204
If you want to table something, then you should do it!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will table it, but I want to ask my question first.
I would like to have a look at it!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for an hon. Member of Parliament to jog within the Chamber?
Order! That is a frivolous point of order!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was trying to save time and also prove my fitness.
Did you run?
I was not running!
I do not think that you were running!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what steps will the Assistant Minister take, now that he has a confirmation that some staff members were actually dismissed unfairly?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will have to peruse that letter pertaining to Mr. James Lagat. But we are aware that two of the members of staff appealed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government and they were reinstated. So, I am not sure whether Mr. James Lagat is one of those who were reinstated. But I can confirm that two of those who appealed were reinstated on 2nd February, 2007.
Is the Minister aware of this?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying that I will have to peruse that letter relating to Mr. James Lagat, and do further research. But I wish to confirm that two of the members of staff were reinstated on 2nd February, 2007. But I will have to check the list to find out whether Mr. James Lagat was on that list.
But the copies of the letter look okay! So, you may need to have a look at them.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Ministry has a problem when it comes to employing people. I hope the Assistant Minister is aware of that. Is he aware that most of the employees in many municipal and county councils are employed on some dubious grounds by the officers? Some of them are their relatives who have no qualifications at all. As a result, they are defrauding the councils of a lot money, from the fees collected from the markets and kiosks.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that was the very reason why we conducted the head count. But I can confirm that in the Kibaki Administration, we have streamlined employment in all local authorities. In fact, we recently launched the Public Service regulations pertaining to the members of staff of local authorities. I can assure the House that there July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2205 are no such malpractices that are happening now. But, if there are specific cases, we would like to deal with them very squarely.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy to hear that the Ministry is doing something about the employment problems within the local authorities. Molo County Council unilaterally dismissed some officers without following the right procedures. Over the years, we have had head counts in various local authorities, including Nairobi City Council (NCC). We have officers who have been defrauding this country by employing ghost workers. Could the Assistant Minister tell us what the Ministry is doing to either take those officers who are irregularly employing ghost workers to court or to surcharge them?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as I speak, we have frozen all employment in local authorities unless there is consent from the Minister for Local Government. So, the local authorities, as of today, cannot employ without giving him the establishment requirements and asking for specific authority to employ. We are avoiding to employ people who cannot be paid. We are also insisting that our local authorities must be viable. We just do not employ for the sake of it. We want to employ people who will be productive to the local authorities. So, we have tightened the ropes and the Public Service Commission (PSC) is also assisting us in bringing reforms into the sector and I must thank them. At the moment, I must assure the hon. Member of Parliament that we are very much alert on those matters.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister did not address my concern about the letter which I have tabled. That is just one example of many other letters. However, the case of forging signatures, I believe and I am not a lawyer, is a criminal offence. To prove that he is actually not misleading the House, could he tell us how many people who forged these documents have been arrested, arraigned in court and charged for that criminal offence?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a good question. However, I do not have any information indicating that anybody has been arraigned in court. So, if the hon. Member of Parliament would like further action to be taken we will definitely pursue that particular line. However, it behooves good prudence that sometimes when such matters involve many people, we do what is necessary by dismissing them because it requires two to tango. If the previous fathers of the Kisumu Municipal Council were aware of these malpractices, then does it mean that we have to take everybody to court? This was not found to be prudent. But if the Member of Parliament for Kisumu Town West wants us to pursue that line then we shall do so.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It looks like the Assistant Minister is not fully prepared to answer this Question adequately. Would I be in order to ask the Chair to defer this Question, so that he can come with a complete and adequate answer to it?
Mr. Angwenyi, if we did that for every Question, then we will never move forward. The Assistant Minister has answered most of the questions. This is basically the last question. We have within our Standing Orders, a process through which we can still come back to it and address those issues if Rev. Nyagudi is not satisfied with the answer given to him. I will not allow that to happen.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I asked the Assistant Minister to respond specifically to a particular issue. Secondly, I have proved to this House that the Assistant Minister was actually misleading the House. Would I be in order to request the Chair to defer this Question until he is fully prepared to answer it adequately?
2206 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007
Rev. Nyagudi, you can pursue your Question through other means. Next Question by Mr. Mwancha!
asked the Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he is aware that Mrs. Mary Kemoni Mauti (ID No.8162847) NTC/STA/1/128/(11) who was working for Nyamira Town Council has not been paid her retirement benefits and salary arrears since 30th August, 1998; and, (b) when the benefits and salary arrears will be paid.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I seek the indulgence of the House to be allowed to answer this Question on Tuesday, since there are very important details of it that I am waiting for from the parent local authority.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Question that is before the House is on payments of benefits. Every week such Questions are asked on the Floor of the House, they take a lot of our time. Could the Government consider opening a customer care desk to deal with such matters, so that we able to deal with other these issues? We have so many of these questions coming from the constituencies. I think we should not be spending the time of Parliament asking such questions given the fact that we have even passed legislation here to sort out this mess. Could the Ministry consider other ways of dealing with such issues?
Mr. Assistant Minister, what do you have to say about that?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just wish to be given time to answer this Question on Tuesday because this is a 1998 issue.
No! I am asking you about what the hon. Member for Molo, Mr. Mukiri, was asking.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg that he repeats his question.
He is basically asking if there is another process whereby people can just go straight and have their matters addressed without basically coming to Parliament.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Leader of Government Business should take up these issues. We cannot be coming here every week to ask about benefits considering that we took a lot of time to pass legislation on it.
This is for the Assistant Minister for Local Government.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is in all the Ministries. We keep on asking these Questions. It is the Government that should be addressing these issues.
They have heard!
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We have, indeed, opened customer care desks in every Government office, including the Ministry of Local Government and police stations. So, they are July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2207 there. I am surprised that an hon. Member of Parliament has not even bothered to use some of these facilities.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
(Mr. Poghisio); Order, hon. Members! Mr. Mwancha, this is a request by the Government. What do you have to say?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I accept the Assistant Minister's request that he answers this Question next week, the Minister of State for Public Service stands before this House and tells us that there are customer care desks that are supposed to address these kinds of issues. How dare he say this when this issue has been on since 1998? What kind of desk is he telling us he has which cannot address these issues? Even the Assistant Minister for Local Government does not seem to be aware of these customer care desks. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, I have no objection to this Question being answered next week on Tuesday. But, please, I beseech the Chair to note that this lady's benefits have not been paid since 1998. We are dealing with issues of retirees who are prone to diabetes and high blood pressure. Where do they get money from to access treatment?
Order, Mr. Mwancha! Could you save all that for next week?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Then the Question is deferred to Tuesday, next week.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. You have just heard the Minister of State for Public Service talk about customer care desks. Members of Parliament always get frustrated when they write letters to this Government and Ministers do not respond. If a Member of Parliament cannot get a response from the Ministry, what about the ordinary
? How will he get a response?
Is that a point of order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, they are more or less the same.
"More or less", like you say! Next Question!
The hon. Member for Rongo is not here? The Question is dropped!
PAYMENT FOR PRIMARY EDUCATION 2208 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 BY DISABLED CHILDREN IN SPECIAL SCHOOLS
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he is aware that children with disabilities in special schools are paying for their primary school education; and, (b) whether he could indicate which special schools are run by the Government in each province.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Many Questions are dropped during our morning sittings because the hon. Members are not there to ask them. This is not the first Question that is being dropped. Last week, another Question was dropped because Members were not there to ask them. Is it in order for the hon. Members not to come and ask Questions which they have been intending to ask, like hon. Ochilo-Ayacko?
That is why the Question has been dropped! Where is the Minister for Education?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have information that he is abroad.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Assistant Minister is actually complaining that hon. Members are not available in the House. Of course, you have rightly said that when hon. Members are away, their Questions are dropped. The Minister for Education has two Assistant Ministers, who have all joined the other Assistant Ministers in complaining that they are idle. Why would there be nobody in this House to answer a Question in a Ministry where we have a Minister and two Assistant Ministers?
Maybe I will hear something from the Leader of Government Business.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, as the Assistant Minister, Office of the President, has said the substantive Minister is out of the country. One of the Assistant Ministers went for a funeral. I was expecting to get the answer, so that I could give it to the House. Unfortunately, it was not brought to me in time. May I, therefore, request that the Question be scheduled for tomorrow and I will answer it myself?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Vice-President has only talked about the Minister and one Assistant Minister. What about the second Assistant Minister? Why is she not available to answer the Question?
Well, he has actually said that he was hoping to get the answer.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question was brought to the House in the last Session. The Ministry requested for more time to answer it. It has now been brought to the House again. The Minister is out of the country and one Assistant Minister has gone for a funeral. Are we allowed to attend funerals when we have parliamentary business to conduct? Hon. Mugo was outside there a few minutes ago. Has she gone for a funeral right now? A few minutes ago she was out there.
Prof. Olweny, I have been requested to defer the Question. If that is okay, the Question is then deferred to Tuesday next week.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is acceptable to me, but Assistant Ministers should not attend funerals when they have Parliamentary business to conduct. July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2209
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am also very worried that we are not having Assistant Ministers answering Questions. We have heard about Assistant Ministers' rebellion. In fact, as we speak, some of them are out there, whereas, they can be able to answer Questions like this one. Is this a sign of a rebellion by the Assistant Ministers?
Again, that would have made a very good Question. In any case, if there are Assistant Ministers who are not coming to answer Questions, could there be a problem? If they are here as hon. Members have claimed, then that is something that should be clarified.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to my knowledge, there is no rebellion by the Assistant Ministers.
They are hon. Members of Parliament and they cannot rebel.
asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) whether he could tell the House how many projects under the Rural Electrification Programme have been undertaken in Bahari Constituency during the past four years; and, (b) whether he could further explain the locations, the routing of such projects, how many of them have been completed and how many are still pending.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are available to answer Questions---
Order, hon. Members! You know that our definition of "Ministers" includes Assistant Ministers. So, we do not want to identify anybody here as being anything else. They are Ministers. When Assistant Ministers stand up to answer Questions, they are Ministers. Proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are ready to answer Questions. The Ministry of Education, in particular, has very senior Assistant Ministers. However, I beg to reply.
Where are you getting that clarification?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I talked about very experienced Assistant Ministers. For example, I already qualify to be a Deputy Minister. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Projects under the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) which have been undertaken in Bahari Constituency during the past four years are six, namely; Chonyi Divisional Headquarters, Matsangoni Market, Dzitsoni Secondary School and Library, Lutsangani Secondary School, Chasimba Health Centre, school and chief's office, Kibarani Market, Kolongoni Market and 2210 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 Kizingo Dispensary. (b) Locations, routing and status of the projects are as follows:- (i) To Chonyi Divisional Headquarters, the power line emanated from Chasimba near the chief's office. Construction has been completed. (ii) The Matsangoni Market has been served from the power line between Kilifi and Malindi. Construction has been completed. (iii) To Dzitsoni Secondary School and library, the power line emanated from Dzitsoni line. Construction has been completed. (iv) The Lutsangani Secondary School, Chasimba Health Centre, school and chief's office have been supplied with power from Chonyi power line, Lutsangani being a spur line. Construction has been completed. (v) To Kibarani Market, the power line emanated from the Baricho line. Construction has been completed. (vi) To Kolongoni Market and Kizingo Dispensary, the power supply line will be from the existing Chonyi line. The design has already been completed. As per the above status, five projects have been completed while design works for the pending projects, namely, Kolongoni Market and Kizingo Dispensary, have been completed. The same is scheduled for implementation within the next five months since my Ministry has provided requisite funds to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister and the Government for providing these facilities to my people. However, since this is the last year of the GNU, could the Assistant Minister tell this House whether there are any funds that have been provided in the 2007/2008 Financial Year for projects in my area?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to confirm to the hon. Member that the GNU will be in existence beyond this year. A total of four other projects are to be implemented in Bahari Constituency. These will include Veroka Market, Mwarakaya Polytechnic, Bomani Market and Msumarini Market. These projects have already been earmarked for implementation during the year 2007/2008.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you know where the GNU will go after December this year. During the last campaign, in the by-election of Magarini Constituency, the Assistant Minister ordered posts to be spread around in the constituency as a way of campaigning to get the votes from the people of Magarini. Indeed, poles were put all over constituency. Could the Assistant Minister confirm or deny that there was no actual project design for Magarini Constituency and that these poles were just taken there in order to hoodwink the people not to vote for the candidates of their choice and that the projects have now been abandoned and that there is no contractor on site?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to confirm to the House that the existence of GNU has already been assured by the same hon. Member who is handing over a free ticket to us as a result of the way they are treating each other. Indeed, with these type of problems we are assured of another term. On the issue of Magarini, I want to inform this House that the Opposition did not do their homework right. Those poles are the same ones that can be found all over the country including almost every hon. Member's constituency. This Government has been known to be very active especially, the Ministry of Energy. Therefore, I want to confirm that the construction work in Magarini is ongoing. It is a very good way of making ODM leaders shed tears. They are now saying that they lost the Magarini by-election because the Government was busy implementing projects there at that time.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you can see the imbalance in the July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2211 economic distribution in this country. A lot has been done in Coast Province where campaigns were being conducted. Very little, or nothing, has been done in terms of rural electrification in Saboti Constituency where the late Vice-President, hon. Wamalwa, came from. Could this Ministry consider giving priority to projects in Saboti Constituency? The Government promised, in January, that we would get electricity supply in two months.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Member that there were no by-elections in Joe Khamisi's constituency, that is Bahari. As regards his supplementary question, it is only fair for the hon. Member to bring a substantive Question to the House and we shall answer it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the list that the Assistant Minister has provided, you will find that all these projects are actually concentrated at institutions, which is just fine. However, rural electrification means supply of power to rural areas. Could the Assistant Minister tell this House what plans he has to spread this programme to homesteads and villages across the country instead of getting people to go for assistance under Umeme Pamoja Programme?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are concentrating on institutions regarding the Rural Electrification Programme. Any domestic customer who is within 600 metres from the transformer is benefiting. We also encourage people to apply, under the Umeme Pamoja Programme as a group so that they can benefit. This is the best we can do.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to ask the Assistant Minister to table in this House the list of projects reviewed for implementation in the Financial Year 2007/2008 under Rural Electrification Programme?
What is your point of order? That is a question!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point of order arises from the answer that he has given to the Questioner. We cannot be satisfied with that kind of an answer unless we have a list of projects reviewed for implementation---
For which constituency?
For the whole country because the hon. Khamisi has said---
For which constituency?
For the whole country! Hon. Khamisi has said that---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that has got nothing to do with this Question. He did not ask anything to do with the original Question. His point of order is not even relevant to the Question on the Order Paper.
But is it possible to do it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been doing that and we are not reluctant to do it. If the hon. Member so requests, we shall do that given time. The allocation for this financial year has been done. Therefore, it will take us about one month to analyze completely the finer details of it. We shall table it.
asked the Minister for Health:- 2212 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 (a) why it takes over one year to release the results of graduands of Kenya Medical Training College; and, (b) what the Ministry is doing to speed up the release of the results so that graduands can seek employment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Kenya Medical Training College does not take over one year before releasing results of graduands. The academic year schedule is that final qualifying examinations are conducted between June and July each year. Results are released to the candidates by the end of September and the graduation ceremony is held in late November or early December of each year. Kenya Medical Training College is not aware of any results withheld over one year. (b) Kenya Medical Training College adheres to the planned academic schedule which ensures that results are released promptly.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for the answer. The problem with the Kenya Medical Training College is that they are withholding results of some graduands from my constituency. That is the reason why I raised this Question. If the results are withheld by the institution for more than 12 months these students are not able to do anything. They are not productive. Some of them are the ones who are joining criminal gangs like the Mungiki sect and causing problems in this country. Could the Assistant Minister undertake to tell me the reason why these results are being withheld, if I give him the names of these students?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with all due respect, I wish the hon. Member could have given me the names of those students rather than ask a sweeping question like: "Why does it take over one year to release results of graduands of the KMTC?" That is a very sweeping question. It implies that all the results have not been released. I wish he had asked this Question with some specific candidates in mind because we would have given him an answer. Again, with due respect, I wish we could avoid trivialising the issue of Mungiki . Mungiki is a serious issue in this country, therefore, let us not trivialise it. Just because people do not have results, they should not join the Mungiki sect. I think we need to pass that message.
I think the Question needs to be more specific than that. The hon. Member should liaise with the Assistant Minister to get those specific names so that he can sort the issue out.
Fine, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not have any further question.
Very well! Next Question by the Member for Mbita!
asked the Minister of State for Youth Affairs:- (a) if he could enumerate all the financial intermediaries that were appointed by the Government to disburse the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) in Kenya; (b) if he is aware that Western, Rift Valley and Coast Provinces and large parts of Nyanza Province have no such intermediaries; and, (c) how the youth groups and individuals from the excluded areas are supposed to access the Fund. July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2213
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Before I answer this Question, I would like to thank the hon. Members of Parliament, who were able to attend our Kamukunji which we held last week. We really appreciated those who attended. We are organising another one because the attendance was not enough. I would like to encourage all hon. Members to attend so that such issues about youth polytechnics and the Fund could be clarified. However, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry has entered into an agreement with 21 financial intermediaries in Kenya to disburse the YEDF. The list is attached. I think the hon. Member has the answer. If they want us to enumerate all the 21 intermediaries, I am ready to do so. The list of financial intermediaries operational in Rift Valley Province are eight; Western Province, six; Coast Province, nine; and Nyanza Province, eight. The list is attached for the hon. Member's perusal. I am, therefore, not aware that a large part of the country is not covered. (b) The Ministry has posted Youth Officers to all districts and most divisions to deliver services to the youth in all parts of Kenya. Youth groups can easily access funds through the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme using widely available proposals and formats given out freely through the youth offices. No parts of the country are excluded and, therefore, eligible youth will access the funds.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Minister for a very detailed answer. Out of the intermediaries in Nyanza Province, I have not seen any of those in Suba District. Is the Minister making any preparation to disburse money, say, through the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank so that every bank or postal institution can be one of the intermediaries? That way everybody can be reached.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this agreement with microfinance institutions was arrived at after we requested for expression of interest. Unfortunately, the Kenya Post Office Savings Bank was not one of those institutions that expressed interest. Having said that, if for any reason, Suba District does not have any of these financial intermediaries that we are working with, as you can see on the list, there are names like Lokichoggio Multi-purpose Co- operative, Elgon Teachers SACCO Ltd., Lamu Teachers SACCO, Adok Timo, et cetera. All these are financial intermediaries that help us reach farther. So if, for any reason, the hon. Member feels that his area is not well or adequately covered, we are always willing to negotiate with interested financial institutions that are willing to work with us in those areas.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the co-ordinators who are posted to our respective districts--- A case in point is Bomet District. We have two co-ordinators who have been posted there. The problem we have with them is that instead of hiring support staff from a particular district, they go ahead and hire their own from other districts. Could the Minister ensure or give a directive that those support staff from my constituency, for example, are given priority in terms of employment?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware that we have hired support staff yet. Actually, we have only posted Youth Officers and we are now awaiting approval from the Directorate of Personnel Management (DPM) to hire clerical, secretarial, drivers and support staff.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am happy to hear the Minister confirm to the House what his Ministry has done. However, in Nyeri Town, we have one disbursing enterprise known us Kenya Entrepreneur Empowerment Organisation. This organisation is going round the whole constituency recruiting members who, eventually, will apply for loans. The organisation is collecting Kshs500 from individuals and yet it has not approved even a single loan application. What is the Minister doing to ensure that my people are not misused and that money is not taken from them without being given loans?
Mr. Minister, it is a serious question. 2214 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said earlier on, we have negotiated with various local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and SACCOS which have had experience in disbursing funds. Initially, we give them very limited funds and they also must provide security and show that they have the capacity to manage the funds correctly. If, for any reason, any hon. Member feels that in his constituency the NGO or SACCO, that we had picked and negotiated with, is not effectively doing its work, we are willing to sit down with that hon. Member and sort out his case.
Actually, the hon. Member also raised the issue of people collecting money. His case was about an organisation raising Kshs500 from each applicant.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very clear, and we put this in both the print and electronic media, that the forms are issued free of charge. I have, personally, travelled round the country and one of the issues I have been telling the youth is that the forms are supposed to be issued free of charge and no payment, whatsoever, should be made for the application forms. If there are such instances, I think that is very serious and the hon. Member should take the matter to the police, and also inform us, so that we can immediately relinquish our relationship with such microfinance institutions.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am happy to hear that the complainant should go to the police. Instead of being helped, he was locked up in a police cell. I wrote a letter, but his officers have not cared to reply to my letter. The man who went to complain why his loan application had not yet been processed was locked up at Nyeri Police Station!
Yes, Mr. Weya!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
But Mr. Weya is on the Floor!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, in a district like mine, which is agriculture-based---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could you, please, protect me from hon. Ojode? Sit down, Mr. Ojode! The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs has given Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) an opportunity to---
Ask your question!
Yes, I am asking my question! It is only that I was being interrupted by hon. Ojode. That is why I was having that problem.
Okay, just ask your question!
Could the Minister tell us what he is doing to give the youth the capacity before they disburse the funds to them? This will help them to utilise the funds properly. There has not been any capacity training that has been carried out in most of the constituencies.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a very good question. We, at the Ministry, have a training of trainers exercise going on. We already have about 125 Trainers of July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2215 Trainers (ToTs) posted across the country to enable young people receive the necessary training. Also, out of the microfinance institutions' 8 per cent interest, 2 per cent is for training. I have even gotten feedback from young people that the training given to them by the microfinance institutions, especially the KWFT, K-Rep and the rest, has been very effective. We have held training sessions at all the provincial headquarters, after picking young people from the districts. We are now proceeding to train youths at the district-level. We will continue doing so up to the divisional and locational levels. So, we have now finished the exercise at the provincial level. We are now heading to the district level. The microfinance institutions offer training to the youths before disbursing the funds.
The hon. Member at the back, Mr. Manoti!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask the Minister what security was offered---
Order! Order! I have never known Mr. Mwancha to be known as Mr. Manoti as well. This is Mr. Manoti's turn. You cannot share in his time, Mr. Mwancha!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We commend the Minister for giving the youth the money. Each constituency is receiving Kshs1 million. I would like to know from him how the microfinance institutions are going to be paid their commissions. Is it from the Kshs1 million that has been given to each constituency or will the Ministry pay them directly for handling the money for each constituency?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to clarify to the hon. Member that the Kshs1 million that we give to the constituency is not through the microfinance institutions, but through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Committees, which are based at the divisions, and then it is passed on to the Ministry. That amount has neither interest nor collateral. However, the money that goes to the youth through the microfinance institutions attracts 8 per cent interest.
Order! Order! Mr. Weya, if you want to sit with your colleagues, just turn round and sit over there! Proceed, Mr. Minister!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I appreciate the interest this matter is generating. That is why I am saying that we will hold another Kamukunji with hon. Members and, maybe, publicise it. I was saying that the money that is channelled through the microfinance institutions attracts 8 per cent interest, of which 5 per cent is to cater for administrative and other costs that the microfinance institutions incur, 2 per cent is for training, while 1 per cent is the figure that the Ministry has put on top. So, this was negotiated at 8 per cent. I would like to take this opportunity to let Kenyans know that this interest rate has been negotiated across all the microfinance institutions, and that no microfinance institution should charge any interest that is more than 8 per cent. That is how the microfinance institutions will meet their administrative costs or whatever expenses they incur. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The last question, Mr. Kajwang!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Mwancha?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the work the Ministry is 2216 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 doing. The Minister has very much clarified the issue of interest---
Order! Order! Mr. Mwancha, a point of order needs no introduction! You should proceed to say what Standing Order the Minister has breached.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, would I be in order to ask the Minister to clarify the issue of collateral now that he has clarified the issue of interest rate?
That is a back-door question! It is not a point of order, and I am not going to accept it!
It is a good point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
So, could we have the last question?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Mr. Ojode, you are not Mr. Kajwang!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I just wanted to ask the Minister to confirm whether he received an application from one of the intermediaries called "Suba Teachers SACCO". The SACCO runs a bank for teachers in Suba District, and I think it can be very useful and proximate to our people. My last question to the Minister is this: Could he confirm to us how much money has been disbursed? The Youth Enterprise Development Fund is now one year old. You cannot keep on going round and round, just consuming this money! How much have the youth used?
Order, Mr. Kajwang! You are talking to the Minister directly!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, through you, could the Minister confirm how much money has been disbursed to the youth? The Youth Enterprise Development Fund is now one year old. Are the youth just going to be trained as the Minister goes round the country in airplanes and finishes this money before it reaches them?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member will appreciate that the airplane actually managed to land in Mfangano Island, where I trained the youth even before the vehicle reached the island, which is in his own constituency. Having said that, I would like to add that the disbursement of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund money through the constituencies has exceeded 80 per cent. By last week, we had signed off over 5,000 groups. Applications are still coming in, and we are processing them. So, that has been very successful. I am sure that, by now, most constituencies have received money for their youth. Regarding disbursement of the money by the microfinance institutions, I do not have the details with me because this issue does not relate to the Question brought by the hon. Member earlier. However, I will be able to table the details later. I know that close to 50 per cent of the Kshs690 million that we channelled through the microfinance institutions has been disbursed. I know one microfinance institution which has already trained over 8,000 groups and disbursed over Kshs25 million. In order to get a detailed picture, I probably need up to next week to be able to table the amounts disbursed by the various microfinance institutions and the groups that may have received the money. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Order, hon. Members! I know that most of you could hear yourselves consulting loudly. At least, I could hear from here. I am sure all of you hear yourselves when you consult loudly. Everybody's voice goes up and consultations July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2217 get louder, and you can hear the Minister beginning to raise his voice. Can we, please, maintain a very low level of consultations, so that we can hear? I know that the Minister has explained the much he could, and that he cannot explain enough in the short time allocated to the Question. However, Mr. Minister, is there a chance that some constituencies will not have any of these microfinance institutions to service them?
It is possible that some constituencies, which are far from district headquarters, do not have those organisations to service them. That is because many micro-finance institutions are based in district headquarters. So, constituencies which are outside district headquarters, especially in remote parts of the country, may not have such services to their youths. That is why we are, sometimes, willing to negotiate with weak authorities, which is a risky business. We would like to deal with, for example, Lokichoggio Co-operative Society (LCS) or Adok Timo in Nyanza Province so that we can reach the young people who cannot access those funds. But we usually look at their capacity, the kind of security that they can raise and then give them funds calculated on that level of capacity and the security they have.
Let us move on to the next Question!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a request to make to the Chair. I am disadvantaged. I have been standing in order to ask a supplementary question in vain! Am I in order to ask you to ask Mr. Ndile, who has been relocating elephants, to relocate Rev. Nyagudi because you cannot see me when I stand?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, hon. Members! Order! I can see Mr. Ojode has a problem!
It also looks like the hon. Member for Samburu West Constituency is also complaining! Since I cannot translocate Rev. Nyagudi, will Messrs. Ojode and Lesrima try to find new territory where they can sit?
Mr. Ndile, translocate Rev. Nyagudi!
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda.
Mr. Ndile, where did you come from?
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ukinipa hiyo nafasi, naweza hiyo kazi ya kumwondoa kama huwezi!
Order, hon. Members! Order! Next Question by Eng. Muriuki! Eng. Muriuki is not here!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have been asked by Eng. Muriuki to ask the Question on his behalf, since he is not feeling well. I, therefore, wish to ask Question No. 2218 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 345!
Order! Mr. C. Kilonzo, where did you come from? I have asked for the hon. Member for Ol Kalou Constituency!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, maybe, you did not hear me---
Since when did you become an alternate hon. Member for Ol Kalou Constituency?
Obviously, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you did not hear me. I said that I have been requested by Eng. Muriuki to ask this Question on his behalf, since he is not feeling well! I am the hon. Member---
Order, Mr. C. Kilonzo! As a matter of procedure, you should have brought that to my attention!
Rush and tell him!
Bow kwa Chair!
Hon. Members, you are making the hon. Member do things that we do not do in this House! An hon. Member has told him to go back to the Bar, bow and come here! He should not have done that! Anyway, Mr. C. Kilonzo, ask the Question!
on behalf of
asked the Minister for Finance how much money was actually disbursed into the CDF kitty for the financial years 2003/2004, 2004/2005 and 2005/2006.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The actual amounts that were disbursed into the CDF Kitty were as follows:- 2003/2004 - Kshs1,260,000,000. 2004/2005 - Kshs5,421,999,997. 2005/2006 - Kshs7,028,619,994.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the last financial year, the Treasury was not able to release Kshs400 million. That, in effect, means that 19 constituencies did not receive the 50 per cent balance for that financial year. That has also not been reflected in the current Budget. What does the Assistant Minister intend to do to ensure that those constituencies get their funds?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I am not aware that 19 constituencies have not been allocated their money. The reason is that CDF is allocated 2.5 per cent of the ordinary revenue. Where there is a surplus, that has been extended to all the CDF July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2219 committees, as happened in the 2005/2006. If there was a shortfall in 2006/2007, which the hon. Member has not asked about in his Question, what should happen is that, that should be recovered in the next financial year. That way, no constituency misses its allocation.
Mr. C. Kilonzo, was that your second supplementary question?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was the first question!
Then, let me move to this other side. Mr. Angwenyi, you had a question!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell us how much money was disbursed in 2006/2007? Have the additional funds, if any, been disbursed?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the figure for 2006/2007 was Kshs9,240,000,000. I am not aware about the second question that Mr. Angwenyi has asked. He has asked whether other funds have been disbursed. I am aware that one of the problems that is arising from the Question could be that, arising from the 2.5 per cent that was allocated, there could have been a shortfall in ordinary revenues which would be adjusted in this coming year. The surplus that was distributed, and each constituency got Kshs700,000, was for the year 2005/2006.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Government has expressed satisfaction with CDF several times. That has been included in statements by the Head of State and many other Government officials. They have said that, indeed, CDF is transforming the lives of Kenyans. If that is the case, could this Government consider, as a matter of policy, to actually increase the CDF beyond 5 per cent, so that we can carry out infrastructural development, reduce poverty and benefit this country?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Shadow Minister for Finance is talking as if the CDF has not improved his own Mandera Central Constituency. He has put his question by saying "this Government" while pointing to this side, as if he is not a beneficiary of the same. The fact remains that CDF has transformed the lives of Kenyans whether hon. Members are from this side or that side. It has concentrated on the basics that the common man in this country requires. One of the things that I agree with, and one that has been a matter of consideration in this House, is that because it has improved the lives of Kenyans, there is a need to hold discussions on enhancing the percentage that is allocated to CDF.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what happened and, which the Assistant Minister does not want to tell this House, is that during the last Budget, no funds were allocated for bursaries. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance decided to get Kshs400 million from the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) kitty and gave it to the Ministry of Education. That is why there is a shortfall by the same amount meant for the 19 constituencies. He says that they are supposed to balance in this budget. However, the money is not factored in the budget. Where is this Kshs400 million for the 19 constituencies going to come from?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, basic accounts require that when there is a surplus, it is appropriated. When there is a shortfall, it is recovered from retain earnings. In this case, retain earnings would be from the next allocation of the CDF which is this year's allocation. It cannot be recovered retrospectively. What we are speaking about is that in the year 2005/2006, there was a surplus. Hon. Members got the surplus. In the last financial year, where this shortfall has come in, it will have to be recovered from the CDF allocation for this year.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is avoiding the question. I think the basic premise of this question is, why in the first place would your Ministry allow Kshs400 million from CDF to be transferred to the Ministry of Education's bursary scheme? I think that is the main question. Then it becomes a habit. I think it is 2220 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 not a question of whether you will finance it this year or not. Why would you get into that habit?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not avoiding any question. First of all, I am not even aware of the facts that are being quoted here that there was transfer of funds. I am more concerned with the shortfall that has arisen and which is affecting 19 constituencies. I am looking for the best way to move forward. That is what I have been responding to.
Very well! Next Question is by the hon. Member of Parliament for Nyeri Town Constituency!
asked the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development:- (a) what the status of assets belonging to Uplands Bacon Factory is; and, (b) when the factory will be revived.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to seek the indulgence of the House for this Question to be deferred to next week, so that I get more information to answer it properly.
Is that okay, hon. Member for Nyeri Town Constituency?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is all right.
The Question is deferred to next Tuesday!
asked the Minster for Water and Irrigation how much funds had been allocated to water projects in Runyenjes Constituency to date by Tana Water Services Board and/or the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. A total of Kshs19 million was spent on water projects in Runyenjes since 2003.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while appreciating the allocation for the last four years, which averages Kshs4.75 million for water projects in Runyenjes, I would like to ask the Minister to consider funding one of the other prime projects which need funds this financial year.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Financial Year 2007/2008, I have allocated Kshs6 million for Embu District. This is mainly meant to buy land for a sewerage project for the town. If we get surplus out of this, I will consider funding that project.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am aware that there is Mt. Kenya East Project which covers Embu District where we have Runyenjes Constituency. Could the Minister consider using the funds to assist the projects in Runyenjes Constituency? July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2221
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is also an option. I will look into it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation has been allocated a lot of funds this financial year. It is a pity that they are only allocating Kshs6 million for a sewerage project in Embu Town. Could the Minister consider sourcing enough funds for projects in Runyenjes Constituency which are in big demand? I have already given him the figures. Could he source for funds even from the Tana Water Services Board?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can look for funds here and there, to see what we can do in the area. However, I want to confirm that I am satisfied with the work we have done in Runyenjes. I have visited Runyenjes personally and inspected the works done. People are getting water, but now we can move to another project. I am willing to do it to get other beneficiaries, but this can only be done when we have funds. I will look at how we can do it either through the Ministry's funds or the Board.
That is the end of Question Time! Next Order!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the last time that this matter came to this House, you were the Chair. I was also on the Floor.
Mr. Muiruri, you actually started walking to the microphone before the Order was even read!
You know, I am supposed to call you to the microphone! Now, you can move on to the microphone! 2222 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Motion by Mr. Angwenyi was asking the Minister to amend the KTDA Act. I, however, said there is nothing like the KTDA Act. As I said, KTDA was formed by a Legal Notice by the then Minister for Agriculture. Therefore, I would like to move an amendment:- "THAT, all the words appearing after the words "this House" on the 11th line to the end be deleted and the following words be inserted in place thereof; "resolves to urge the Minister to rescind the Kenya Tea Development Authority Revocation Order (1999) contained in the Legal Notice No.44 of 22nd, March, 1999 establishing the Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited."
Then? You have just moved your amendment!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.
And then what? What comes next? Who seconds the amendment?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to second.
Mr. Mwancha, did you just second?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to second this amendment because during the days of Kenya Tea Development Authority (KTDA), the problems facing the farmers were much less than what they are facing now. The Mover of the Motion has mentioned the problems they are facing in funding the construction of new factories, just like in the constituencies. Whenever farmers want to put up a new factory, they are required to raise equity amounting to 50 per cent. To construct a new factory, you require more than Kshs400 million. Farmers are, therefore, required to raise Kshs200 million. Those farmers depend only on that crop and for them to raise Kshs200 million it is impossible! Once the Kenya Tea Development Authority come into power, it will finance the construction of factories 100 per cent. It will also be able to give a grace period---
Mr. Mwancha, are you seconding this amendment?
But then you are not telling us anything about this amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are seeking to reinstate the Kenya Tea Development Authority. I am expounding on why we want to do that, and those are the reasons. With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Hon. Members, I will definitely put the question, but I have to do some consultations.
July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2223
Hon. Members, that means that the Motion as amended--- We have to go back to the 11th line and remove what has been removed. Now, the new Motion that you are going to debate is going to read like this:- " THAT, in view of the Government's prime role and policy to spur the economy to an accelerated growth to catch up with the Asian economic tigers; conscious that agriculture is the engine of the country's economic development; noting with appreciation that the tea sub-sector has sustained itself as well as the economy through a very long recessionary period without any direct Government investment; cognisant that small tea production has by far surpassed the existing factories' processing capacity with resultant enormous loss and wastage of green leaf; bearing in mind that the cost of factory construction is sky high and beyond the ability of the small-scale farmers; and commending the Government's demonstrated commitment to revamp, boost, rehabilitate, revive and/or expand various important sectors of the economy, this House resolves to urge the Minister to rescind the Kenya Tea Development Authority Revocation Order of 1999 contained in Legal Notice No. 44 of 22nd March, 1999, establishing the Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited." That is the end. Everything, thereafter, is deleted. All right! Mr. Assistant Minister, you were already replying anyway.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer to the background of the Kenya Tea Development Authority. The Kenya Tea Development Authority was established under a statutory legislation on 20th January, 1964, under Legal Notice No. 42, Section 190 of the Agriculture Act, CAP.318 of the Laws of Kenya. The enactment charged the KTDA with statutory responsibilities of promoting and fostering the development of small-scale tea growers within specifically scheduled tea growing areas. The subsidiary legislation empowered KTDA to assist small-scale tea farmers in expanding their holdings through the following goals and objectives:- (i) To manage tea extension programmes with the aim of improving the level of management of crop husbandry, (ii) To develop and maintain a tea in-feeding programme to cover vacancies within farms, (iii) Increase the area under tea by recruiting more farmers, (iv) Providing tea planting materials, to collect, purchase and handle green tea, to process the tea leaf, manufacture tea, market the manufactured tea and pay the growers after statutory reductions; and (v) Lastly, to develop sound technical financial and management infrastructure. However, the change from public to private entity was rushed and there was no transition period to put the necessary structures in place for proper functioning of the institution. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, trouble started from there. When the KTDA was done 2224 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 away with by a Kenya Gazette Notice by the then Minister for Agriculture, paving way for a limited company, the Government totally lost control of the industry. That is what hon. Members are complaining about. Since then, many things have gone wrong. One, farmers under KTDA were able to get 100 per cent loan facilities, guaranteed by the Government. The repayment was ten years, plus two years grace period. After the KTDA Limited was formed, the period has now been reduced to five to six years. The farmer is now required to raise an equity of over 50 per cent. The short term time period to the farmers has been affected and the concessioning of their factories is too low. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard in this House that there are a lot of things that are not going well within the KTDA. We, in the Ministry, have problems with them because they say they are a limited liability company, and yet the tea farmers are quite a number. They are many and this cannot be allowed to go on. When you leave it to them, it cannot work. There is need, therefore, for the Government to be closer and pay more attention to the operations of the KTDA with a view to addressing how best to assist small-scale holders at this particular time. Direct interventions will only be possible if the current legislation is changed. This is basically what we are saying. Since the KTDA Limited was formed by that Legal Notice, Mr. Angwenyi is asking that the status quo remains. That is, we go back to the KTDA where the Government has some control and will guarantee loans at softer and manageable conditions. The construction of the factories will also be supervised, and we will have some members appointed to the board, because as of now there is nothing of that sort. We cannot, as a Government, let the KTDA remain as it is! We have no control over it and farmers are complaining all over the country. There are also a lot of losses in the tea industry, and the amount of money that the farmer is supposed to be making is getting lower and lower. There are some other loans that have been guaranteed by the KTDA from various banks overseas and locally. You saw it here the other day, that we were not even able to answer a Question on a tender procurement. They do not even go for open tender; they go for quotations. You will find that one of the lowest bidders, Visram of India had quoted Kshs6.6 million, but they went ahead to award the same tender to a different company at Kshs7.2 million. We later discovered that it was Kshs7.2 million but over Kshs10 million. So, we, as the Ministry, are happy with this Motion. It is welcome and we will do something to ensure that the tea farmers countrywide, who contribute over 60 per cent of the tea production in this country, are well protected. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Assistant Minister, I just want some clarification. The Ministry wants to revoke that order, and I asked you before whether you have looked at all the implications exhaustively, including the fate of the company right now. What would happen?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the then Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Mudavadi - and I said it - created the KTDA by a Legal Notice No.44 of 1999. What the hon. Member is asking the Minister for Agriculture to do is to revoke that order. That is it!
By the way, this amendment is coming from you.
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We have discussed it with the hon. Member and agreed that we bring that amendment. We are bringing it because originally, you remember, the hon. Member was asking us to review the KTDA Act. However, I said that there is no KTDA Act in existence. What exists is the formation of the KTDA by a Legal Notice No.44. So, there is no KTDA Act to discuss and the Motion was wrongfully in the House. What we have done is to correct the anomaly, because originally that is what the hon. Member should have asked but he did not know. July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2225
I am only trying to avoid us getting into something in a manner that may not be appropriate. I think the time left is for the Mover to reply. Therefore, I call upon the Mover to reply!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I conclude my Motion, I would like to give two minutes each to Messrs. Mwancha and Karaba to say a word.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said in this House many times that if it was not for the fact that tea is a perennial crop, many Kenyan farmers would have uprooted it. I am happy that now we have rescinded the order that was made by Mr. Mudavadi in 1999. We have put KTDA in a manner that the Government will have to intervene whenever farmers are not satisfied with any activities in their agency. It is hoped that the Government is going to do all that is necessary to ensure that the price paid per kilogramme is increased, and that the farmers can sell their crops with value-addition, internationally. This will, therefore, enable them to get more money to educate their children and do all the necessary things to fight poverty. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I support the Motion in the sense that tea is now a leading foreign exchange earner in the country. We export tea to various countries, and earn the country a lot of foreign exchange. For that reason, therefore, we expect the tea farmers to be the best earners in this country, because they contribute a lot to our foreign exchange. A lot of exploitation is going on in the tea farms. If you go to the tea farms, you will see how those people earn their living. It is very bad! They live in deplorable conditions. This Motion, therefore, seeks to make sure that the tea farmers, countrywide, are going to benefit. The benefits should go to farmers themselves and not to the companies, the Government or even to brokers. We need to see very improved conditions for the tea farmers. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, I am thankful to all hon. Members who have supported this endeavour to assist our small-scale tea farmers. Small-scale tea farming supports 12 million Kenyans, who derive their livelihood from it. The small-scale tea farmer supports this economy more than any other sector. The small-scale tea farmer grows his or her tea on a very small scale shamba . From what he or she earns from that investment, they cannot afford to provide for their families in terms of food or other needs. We have discovered that when the KTDA was established by that Legal Notice, the Government never received value for the assets that were transferred to that Agency. They were worth billions of shillings. Be that as it may, I want to thank the Ministry of Agriculture - I want specifically to thank the Minister and the Assistant Minister for Agriculture - for supporting this Motion on behalf of the poor small-scale tea farmers in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to move.
THAT, in view of Government's prime goal and policy to spur the economy to an accelerated growth to catch up with the Asian economic tigers; conscious that agriculture is the engine of the country's economic development; noting with appreciation that the tea sub-sector has sustained itself as well as the economy through a very long recessionary period without any direct Government investment; cognizant that small tea production has by far surpassed the existing factories' 2226 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 processing capacity with resultant enormous loss and wastage of green leaf; bearing in mind that the cost of factory construction is sky high and beyond the ability of the small scale farmers; and commending the Government's demonstrated commitment to revamp, boost, rehabilitate, revive and/or expand various important sectors of the economy, this House resolves to urge the Minister to rescind the Kenya Tea Development Authority Revocation Order, 1999, contained in Legal Notice No.44 of 22nd March, 1999, establishing the Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited. INTRODUCTION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION BILL THAT, in view of the fast changing information and communication technology environment and the ever-increasing need to foster e-commerce and e-government to ensure penetration of ICTs into rural and remote areas in this country; aware that there exists a complex cumbersome licensing system of broadcasting and multi-media services; this House grants leave for the introduction of a Bill for an Act of Parliament entitled the Information and Communication Bill to set up a universal access fund, to create a one-stop shop for making decisions affecting the use of radio frequency spectrum and access networks and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.
Mr. Weya, take Floor!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Please, sit down, Mr. Weya. It is not your turn.
But this is my Motion I think hon. Koigi Wamwere was on the Floor.
No, that is not your work. Just sit down. Who was on the Floor? Proceed, Mr. Wamwere!
Asante, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Wiki jana, Wizara yangu iliwasiliana na mheshimiwa Weya katika semina moja kule Naivasha na tulimfahamisha kwamba Wizara imetayarisha Mswada kuhusu Teknolojia ya Habari na Mawasiliano. Kwa hivyo, jambo ambalo linatafutwa katika Hoja hii limeshughulikiwa vya kutosha katika Mswada huo. Mswada huo unaeleza kwa kikamilifu namna Serikali imeunda mfuko wa pesa ambazo zitatumika kusambaza teknolojia ya habari na mawasiliano katika kila pahali nchini. Serikali imeunda mpango maalum wa kuhakikisha kwamba kuna kijiji cha teknolojia ya tarakimu au digital village katika kila eneo la uwakilishi Bungeni. Kwa hivyo, ni wazi kwamba kinachotafutwa na Hoja hii kimeshughulikiwa na Mswada ambao Serikali inataka kuleta Bungeni, pengine wiki hii. Kwa hivyo, hatuna sababu yoyote ya kupinga Hoja hii. Ninatumai kwamba mheshimiwa Weya, labda, atakubali kuondoa Hoja hii kwa sababu inashughulikiwa na Mswada ambao Serikali imetunga na ambao utakuwa sheria ya habari na mawasiliano ukipitishwa na Bunge hili. Mswada huu utaletwa hapa Bunge hivi karibuni, pengine wiki hii. Shukrani, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda.
Mr. Weya, do you have anything to say? July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2227
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, is he the official Government Responder, or should I proceed with my contribution?
He is the official Government Responder. He has requested you to withdraw the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will not withdraw. I am carrying on with the Motion.
Proceed, Mr. Wamwere! It is still your time.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nilikuwa nimemaliza kujibu. Nimesema kwamba tumeelewana na mheshimiwa Weya na hatuna upinzani. Tunafikiria kwamba lengo la Hoja hii ni sawa na lengo la Mswada wa Teknolojia, Habari na Mawasiliano. Kama hataki kuondoa Hoja hii, sisi tuko tayari kuiunga mkono tukiamini ya kwamba aidha wiki hii ama wiki ijayo, tutaleta Mswada ambao utashughulikia Hoja hii.
Mr. Wamwere, I think this matter had come up earlier on and Mr. Weya had said the same thing regarding it. Let us proceed with the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this very important Motion, which is long overdue. In the same spirit that the Government is going to bring a Bill regarding the same issue, I think it is, therefore, in order for the Government to support this Motion so that the Bill can be enacted before this Session is over. I want to agree that this Motion cannot be withdrawn because the Government is known to delay issues for a long time. I, therefore, want to congratulate Mr. Weya by saying that this Motion has come up at a very opportune time. Every country in this world is now investing in ICT. Yesterday, we discussed the Media Bill. The Media Bill and the proposed ICT Bill should have been incorporated because ideally, they will be dealing with the same issues. I asked the Minister to tell us who will deal with the licensing of media houses and I was reliably informed that the ICT Bill will take care of those concerns. I am, therefore, happy that in spite of the fact that the Assistant Minister said the Bill will come this week, it should have come yesterday. We are losing many employees in this country--- When you go out of this country, you will realise that most of the developed countries outsource most of their labour force from the developing world. Kenya, as a nation, is losing a lot because our infrastructure is not adequately developed for the advancement of the ICT. Many companies which operate in America outsource their personnel from Kenya where labour is still very cheap. As we continue to delay introducing ICT in our country, countries like India, are advancing in ICT because they have developed their ICT infrastructure. If this Government was serious, it would have created a Ministry to deal with ICT issues. We should forget about the Departmental Ministries which have been created. This would have been a Ministry on its own. The ICT can easily create the 500,000 jobs which the Government promised Kenyans when they came to power. If the Government was serious, it would have, in its budget, invested a lot of money in ICT. If you look at the budget of every Ministry, you will see that there is always money reserved for the advancement of technology. However, if you visit each Ministry, you will find that, for the last few years, there is nothing to show for the money which has been budgeted for ICT. If, really, digital villages--- Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, after attending a seminar which was sponsored by the World Bank, I am aware that the Bank is keen to sponsor some of these activities. However, we are aware that the Bank does not have much work in this country. Given that they are idle, we want to request them to give us more money to invest in digital villages. This is not a matter concerning the constituencies. Many of the technologies which are being developed are concentrated in the urban centres. The reason why we have the rural-urban migration is because this country has tended to plan its programmes to the detriment of the rural areas. There is no reason why someone should 2228 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 come from the rural areas to urban centres to seek for assistance which can be found in the rural areas. But, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the biggest handicap in the development of this technology is the development of power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as long as the Ministry of Information and Communications does not work hand in hand with the Ministry of Energy, it will be an exercise in futility. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) requires the development of electric power everywhere in the country. There are very many areas in this country that are not yet connected to electricity. If, indeed, electricity cannot be connected to those areas, the Government must invest in other sources of power, including the use of solar energy. We must know which comes first. We cannot, today, tell the country that we are going to invest in ICT. But where and how? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the first infrastructure that will lead to easy development of ICT would be the development of power in those areas. As it is now, it is the policy of the Government to take power to institutions of the Government only. But many, probably 60 per cent of this country, is not yet connected. Therefore, I would like to request the Minister, even before we pass this Bill, to liaise with the Ministry of Energy and also source for more funds from development partners to fund the expansion and distribution of electric power. While electric power is ideally now being distributed, of course, it will reach a time when the supply and the demand will not match and, therefore, there is need to develop the sources of the generation of this electric power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to request that this Bill be brought quickly so that before we go for our long recess--- And this fund that the Minister wants to develop must not be based in Nairobi. We are aware that many of the funds that are developed are always in the headquarters of this country. If this fund is developed, we would like everybody; all the stakeholders to be involved. I have not even seen a provision in this Budget for the development of the same and, therefore, when the Minister says that the Bill will be passed and, therefore, there will be digital villages, you wonder where they are going to get the funds from. Ideally, that should have been foreseen in advance and, therefore, provision for that money should have been made. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion. In supporting this Motion, I am fully aware of what the Assistant Minister has said about this Motion; that he and his Ministry agrees with it. Therefore, a way should be found to ensure that it awaits Government action. If that was the case, then the Ministry should have moved faster and taken over this Motion and reproduce it through the Government machinery. But now that it is the property of the House and it is here in the House, I think it should be allowed to go through and they should find a way of harmonising the wishes of the hon. Member who has moved this Motion with those of the Ministry and produce a Bill which will cater for this access of technological advancement. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no doubt that this is the way to go. The future will depend entirely on this type of development. But it is a complex matter which involves the international community. It is part of the globalization process which is taking place at the moment and most of the business in future will be done through e-commerce. Therefore, the Ministry should spend as much time as possible on this issue in order to get the best for this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with the sentiments that were expressed before I rose to speak about the urban-rural development balance. That can only be achieved if ICT is taken throughout the country, and that will follow the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). The REP has been accelerated and is going on very well and I think we should congratulate the Government on this achievement. It is the integration or co-ordination of commerce and the availability of electricity which should be addressed in order to enable the people to stay in the July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2229 country and participate in international trade, which is going to grow and become a big business in future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the complexity of this is how to source business, how to get it to the right place and how to get the right service which one wants. That has to be done in complete co-ordination with the collaboration of the sector which deals with quality control in order to ensure that the country and the customers get the best service. At the moment, we are dealing with leave; I mean, this Motion is only asking for leave to introduce a Bill by a private Member, and the Government is agreeing with the private Member. So, it means that there has been a lapse on the part of the Government because they are now following an hon. Member instead of the hon. Member following the Government, which is responsible. I think this is the work of the Attorney-General, the Government and the individual Member who is concerned, to find a way in which they can then participate in the introduction of this Bill in future for the benefit of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, nobody disagrees with the importance of ICT in this country. It is, in fact, the thing to go for in order to catch up with the rest of the world. Zimbabwe, which is now having teething problems, is advanced in terms of accessing international business, but Kenya should actually move fast and become a centre for outsourcing business to catch up with other countries like India, which is doing a magnificent job in getting business. With those few remarks, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute.
Why are you contributing from the Dispatch Box? Are you a Shadow Minister?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is the right place for me to speak from, but that time will come. Let me thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion which, I think, has come at the right time. I would like to commend and congratulate Mr. Weya for bringing this Motion to the august House. This Motion is long overdue and it is high time the Government brought a Bill on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in this country. Information is power and a source of wealth. What we have seen happening in so many countries which have adopted ICT is that, they have created wealth. They have engaged their youths in employment, thus reducing idleness among the very active members of the society. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting this Motion, the Government should move fast enough to bring the Bill so that information technology is utilised in this country. We can use electronic technology by distributing electricity. I believe that we can distribute electricity using electronic media so that we can sambaza electricity all over the country. If we can adopt the technology of frequencies using the airwaves, they can, also in the same way, distribute energy to every household in Kenya. Technology that God created man with is the same technology we can use to reach and light every household. ICT is the in-thing now in Kenya and this Government should move to allocate money in the Budget for it, so that more money can be availed to this sector. I would like the Assistant Minister to bring this Bill to this august House so that we can discuss it before the end of this session.
Mr. Sudi, I think the Motion is not asking the Assistant Minister to do it.
Sorry for that, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. That is exactly why we are discussing this Motion. This will enable the Government to prepare a Bill so that we can set aside 2230 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 funds for it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we communicate to people so that they can do what is proper. We can use solar power to power ICT and that can bring a lot of resources to Kenyans. With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I would like to join my colleagues in supporting this very important Motion. I would like to thank the mover of this Motion, Mr. Weya, for having brought it before the House. I also wish to thank the Ministry of Information and Communications for the assurance that this particular Bill will be tabled in this House before the end of this session. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we talk about creation of ICT centres in the rural areas and creation of the fund on ICT, we must also take cognisance of the fact that in as much as we would like to have digital villages out there, maybe, the starting point should be Parliament. I am saying so because more than 50 per cent of Parliamentarians are not computer literate. In fact, most of them have computers in their offices which are not being utilised. Maybe as a first step in demonstrating that we are serious about creation of digital villages, we should donate those computers to schools in our respective constituencies so that---
Order, Mr. Minister! You know that Parliament is capable of doing that on their own and we are already taking steps in that direction. That has been offered to hon. Members and each one of them has been trained. Is that not what happened? Were hon. Members not trained? Where are you getting your statistics of 50 per cent from?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am being informed by the Assistant Minister for Information and Communications that, in fact, it is 80 per cent and not 50 per cent. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I say so because when the school within Parliament was opened three years ago, I was among the first Members of Parliament to attend computer classes. I do remember very well that at any one given time, we were not more than ten Members of Parliament. I am happy that the honourable Mover of this Motion was one of the very first people who took advantage of the school. As we talk about these digital villages, the Ministry of Education should also liaise with the Ministry of Information and Communications in their efforts of trying to create these villages, maybe, through identifying one or two institutions in every constituency, which can be made centres for enhancing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) activities in those areas. It is true, we need electricity in most places for this kind of activity to go on, but, the Ministry of Information and Communications should not wait for the Ministry of Energy to connect electricity to all corners of the country. This is because we have many other sources of power like solar and wind. As the Ministry embarks on this programme, it should be looking at those alternatives also. Maybe, at some level, also, we can create these digital villages and then, let them remain unutilized or under-utilized. This is because of poverty levels in some areas, where the poor may look at these digital villages as creations of a privileged class. If this Motion is passed into law, the Ministry of Information and Communications needs to go out there and carry out workshops and seminars, to educate people on the importance of ICT. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to finish by saying that, as we talk about the creation of digital villages, we should also look at those areas where literacy levels are very low, so that through the Ministry of Education, we can also harmonize the efforts of addressing illiteracy, together with ICT diversification in those areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Since it looks like there is no one else who wants to contribute, I will call upon the Mover to reply. July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2231
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. First of all, I want to thank my colleagues who have supported this Motion, that is, hon. Ochilo-Ayacko, hon. Capt. Nakitare, hon. Kosgey, hon. Tarus, hon. Biwott, hon. Kipchumba and hon. Sudi. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to congratulate Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the House, for embracing ICT within this Ninth Parliament, because before that, there was no ICT in this Parliament. So, I congratulate him for availing that facility and enabling this Parliament to have a website. I remember, at the beginning of this Parliament, I went to represent Parliament in an ICT conference in Thailand. At that time, the Kenya National Assembly did not have a website. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, as hon. Members of Parliament, are responsible for giving guidelines to our constituents, regarding the way we should progress as a country. The reason why I am introducing this Motion in this House, is to allow a Bill that will be able to create a legal framework, because technology also has to be guided when it comes into being in society, otherwise, it can be abused. We know very well that even in this country, we have not been able to monitor the second-hand computers with obsolete technology, that are being dumped in Africa in form of donations to societies. So, we need to safeguard those kind of things from happening, even though we are a developing country that requires these resources. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reason why we are asking for a rural access fund is because multinationals are really making huge sums of money from the Kenyan taxpayers. Recently, Safaricom Limited made Kshs17 billion in profits; a multinational company taking most of that money away, in order to benefit its societies overseas. If we create a rural access fund and even just charge 2 per cent, the Government would be able to generate close to about Kshs340 million which may---
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ningependa mhe. Mbunge aeleze kama halipotoshi Bunge anapodai kwamba Safaricom ni kampuni ya kimataifa, wakati asilimia 60 ya hisa za kampuni hiyo zinamilikiwa na Telkom ambayo ni kampuni ya taifa hili.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Member, because he might not be having a clear insight of how Safaricom Limited was created. When Safaricom Limited was formed in this country, its investment was about Kshs2 billion. But the company has generated huge sums of money from Kenyan people, because they are the ones who use these airwaves. Therefore, the returns on investment of that company is a huge amount of money. So, it would be good if some of the money that is generated by the company went back to the rural areas to create infrastructure. As a result, our children in those areas would be able to complete with the children all over the world, for example, in Japan and United States of America. Children in those countries are encouraged to utilize computers from as early as nursery school level, whereas, in our constituencies, as many hon. Members know, some students even leave Form Four---
Order, both of you! Mr. Weya, his contention is that you must have said something about Safaricom Limited not being---
He called it a multinational company.
He called it a multinational and not a Government-owned company. That is only where the contention is. There is nothing else!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is very much aware that Safaricom Limited is being run by multinationals and the people there are the Chief Executive and- -- 2232 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda---
You cannot both be on your feet! Proceed, Mr. Wamwere!
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kama ulivyoeleza, swala ambalo tunahitaji kulielewa vizuri ni kama hisa nyingi za kampuni ya Safaricom zinamilikiwa na watu kutoka nje ya nchi au watu wa hapa nchini. Kama hisa nyingi za kampuni hii zinamilikiwa na Wakenya kupitia makampuni yao, je, mhe. Mbunge, si analipotosha Bunge anapodai kwamba hii ni kampuni ya kimataifa? Ninachosema ni kwamba hii ni kampuni ya kitaifa.
Order! You are arguing now! It is neither here nor there. It is basically clear that you know who the shareholders are. So, you do not have to argue about who has more shareholding in this company. Proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are not debating about the shareholding, because we know that even the Chief Executive Officer, does not display parastatal number plates on his company car. So, we know what is happening in Safaricom Limited. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, naomba---
Order! What is happening? You know, you are saying the same thing in different languages. You do not have to argue about this. In fact, your point of order is in a different language, while the response is in a different language. Maybe, that is why there is--- It is the same thing!
We are talking about the same thing!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, maybe, I can now explain in English what my contention is.
What is your point of order? I am not asking you to argue, Mr. Wamwere.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point of order is whether the hon. Member is not misleading the House when he claims that Safaricom Limited is a multinational company, when, in fact, it is a national company, because the majority of the shares in that company are owned by Kenyans and not foreigners.
That is exactly how he has explained it.
No, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Weya continues to insist in his explanation that it is a multinational.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Wamwere is not a businessman. We are speaking the same language. It is like Kenya Airways and all these other companies. Kenya Airways is a multinational company. It is a shareholding. The Government has a stake in it, but it is still run by multinationals. It has got shareholding with KLM. So, we are talking about the same language. Safaricom has got Vodafone as a shareholder. Vodafone is a multinational company. Does he think that Vodafone is a local company? We are talking the same language and I do not know why---
But how did you get there?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know why he is getting there. I have got a lot of things to discuss and talk about. I am responding and so let him not interfere July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2233 because he had his opportunity to speak.
Order! He has his rights to ask. He is not wrong to ask, but I just want to make it clear that what he is asking is what bothers him when you say it is "multinational" and "not national". That should not really be an issue for us to take time on. Proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was telling him it is being run by multinationals.
Order, Mr. Wamwere!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me continue with my response. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what we are trying to embrace in this country of ours is e-commerce, e-government and also e-parliament, if necessary. Hon. Members of Parliament do not necessarily have to come to Parliament to be able to contribute or present themselves here. In the morning from their residences or constituencies like in many parts of the world, all they need to do is to log in and they will be keyed in and listening to what is happening in Parliament. They will be able to follow the proceedings even from their own constituency offices. That is the kind of technology we are trying to embrace even as far as this Parliament is concerned. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also had an opportunity to go to Finland where even young children have the opportunity to create their own Parliament in what you call a cyber web. They behave like parliamentarians from a remote station. They even choose which hon. Member of Parliament they are going to mimic. So, these are the kind of things that we need to be able to encourage our children and the generations to come that they must know that technology is key for us to develop. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want that when an operation is being undertaken in Siaya and there is no neuro-surgeon there, we be able through a computer to perform a surgery from Nairobi with instructions from somebody in Japan or Germany. So, a doctor can give instructions to a dispensary, so that a surgery can go on without having to wait for an expert to continue with that surgery. This is the kind of technology we are trying to embrace. That is why I am saying a rural access fund is key where these companies who are operating in this country and making huge sums of money should give back to the rural society. I am saying that computers should be installed in health centres, market places and schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that the Government is running fibre optic cables through major towns and cities in this country. We would like that when they get to the district headquarters, they should proceed further into market places and villages, so that in all these areas our people embrace this technology. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to tell the Minister that we are trying to encourage our youth to be able to use computers during the day, particularly in the evenings. We are talking about educating the elderly and grown up. They can go and read newspapers on the same facilities and it will be cheaper for them to do so through the internet in a small market place and you will find that they will quickly adapt to this kind of technology. In a place like China, you only need one cable connected to your house. That cable will be used for telephone, television and internet services. It will also cut the cost of all the technologies we are using in this country from as high as they are now to a lower figure. We know that companies like DSTV are charging up to Kshs6,000 per month to just install a cable in your house to be able to get information through the satellite. This cost can be reduced to Ksh1,500 where you will be having internet access, a television and a telephone as a monthly payment, so that you can keep in touch with whoever you want all over the world. 2234 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have talked about these companies coming in and creating wealth. Google is going to come in. Celtel is there already. We want to create, like in other countries, what we call empowerment--- I beg to move.
Next Order! REPEAL OF RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES, MONOPOLIES AND PRICE CONTROL ACT THAT, this House does grant leave to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament to repeal the Restrictive Trade Practices, Monopolies and Price Control Act (Cap.504 of the Laws of Kenya) and to replace the same with appropriate law entitled The Competition Act in order to reduce monopoly and collusion between firms and for matters incidental and connected therewith.
Is Mr. Sungu here? Anyone to move this Motion on behalf of Mr. Sungu? No one knows where he is. The Motion is, therefore, dropped.
Next Order! ESTABLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOOLS
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, in view of the fact that there are several children in the country living with disabilities who need special education and that special education is too expensive for them, and taking into consideration that there are no adequate Government supported special education schools in the country; this House urges the Government to establish at least one fully Government supported special education primary school and secondary school in each district to cater for the education of children living with disabilities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country has a large number of people living with disabilities. These are people living with various kinds of deformities which could be physical, sensory, mental or other kinds of impairments. We have a total of 3 million Kenyans living with disabilities. Out of these, 1.3 million of them are below 15 years. They are children. About 1.8 million people with disabilities are below the age of 19 years and they still belong to the category of school-going children, but only a small number of them go to school. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, over the centuries, people with disabilities have been neglected across the world. They have been cursed and considered worthless by their societies. They were considered a sign of bad luck to their societies. In fact, some of them were killed at birth and some societies still kill them at birth even today. There has been change of attitude across the world and some societies now put them in homes although they still mistreat them. These people were subjected to isolation and kept in homes or institutions earmarked for them. They faced a lot of hostility from their societies. July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2235 It is good that things have changed a bit, across the world. At the beginning of the last century, several countries realised that these people could also get education. They realised that people with disabilities could learn although others still consider them as slow learners. These people are very brilliant. A good number of them are more brilliant than some of the normal people in our society. At the beginning of the last century, countries in the United States of American and Europe developed schools for the disabled, where people with disabilities could be taught. Education was developed for people living with disabilities, so that there were schools which could cater for people with specific disabilities. In this country, people living with disabilities were catered for immediately after the Second World War. That is when the colonial Government thought of coming up with schools to take care of the soldiers who had been disabled in war.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the colonial Government came up with institutions and homes to rehabilitate the soldiers who had been injured in the war and, therefore, had some form of disabilities. So, institutions were established in this country for people who had visual and hearing impairment, mental and physical handicaps and other forms of impairments. A number of schools have been established in this country to take care of these people. People with disabilities are segregated in particular schools, for example, the Thika School for the Blind, which was established in 1957, and the Lucy School for the Blind, which was established in 1958. There are other schools for other impairments like the Dagoretti Children's Centre, which was established in 1961. We have Joy Town Special School. We also have schools for hearing impairment like the Agha Khan School for the Deaf and many others. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has also come up with the idea of integrated schools where we have special units in the regular schools to take care of people with disabilities. The Government has also come up with the idea of inclusive education, where those children who do not have very serious impairments learn in the regular schools with the other children. We have a number of these institutions in this country, but the unfortunate thing is that most of the specials schools were established by churches and a few Non-Governmental Organisations. The Salvation Army, the Lutheran and the Catholic Churches have done a lot of good to this country by establishing some of these institutions. For example, NGOs like the Red Cross and the lottery clubs have also helped in establishing special schools in this country. As I have said, there is some Government support. The Government is simply a collaborator in most of the special schools which have been established by other organisations. The Government chips in, in various ways and allocates a little money here and there to support some of those institutions. However, apart from the Kenya Institution of Special Education (KISE), I do not think the Government has come out of its way to establish special schools in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, today, the number of schools that cater for people with disabilities in this country are very few. For example, we have only 40 primary schools that cater for children with hearing impairment. We have only 47 primary schools for mental disabilities, nine for children with physical disabilities, seven for children with visual disabilities and two for children with cerebral palsy. We have only one primary school for the deaf and blind children. That is not enough, taking into consideration the fact that we have so many children with disabilities. 2236 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have very few secondary schools for people with disabilities. For example, we have only three secondary schools for students with hearing impairments across the country. We have only three secondary schools for students with physical disabilities and one for students with visual disabilities. The Government knows very well that we have thousands of people living with disabilities in this country. We have only one special technical school for people with visual and hearing impairments. All the same, the Government has helped in having special units attached to the regular primary schools across the country. We have 140 special units for children with hearing impairments which are attached to the regular primary schools. We have 85 special units for children with visual impairment, five special units for the deaf and blind, 1,107 special units for children with mental and physical impairment, which are attached to the regular primary schools across the country. That means that we do not have enough institutions to take care of these people. I have said that we have 1.8 million people living with disabilities who are below the age of 19 years. These people should be in school, but they cannot go to school because we do not have enough facilities, funds or schools for them. Out of these 1.8 million children with disabilities who are below the age of 19 years, only 27,701 are attending schools. Among those 26,000, 14,928 are boys while 11,753 are girls. One hundred and forty-seven thousand, six hundred and thirty one children have been assessed by the Government and it has been confirmed that those ones need special education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in addition to that we have several Kenyan orphans who could also benefit from special needs education. If you look at the number of secondary schools I have talked about here, you will note that there are only three for the hearing impairment; three for physical disability and one for visual disability. They do not match the primary schools that are already established for various forms of impairment. We have no secondary schools for those suffering from mental disability, or for children suffering from cerebral palsy. These seven secondary schools are not adequately taking care of Kenyans that have various forms of impairment. Several problems are barring Kenyans with various forms of impairment from going to school, one of them being that the schools are too few. These schools are also too far away from them and therefore, their parents have to part with a lot of money to transport them to school, if at all they manage to get any admission in those few schools that are available. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is generally very expensive to take such people to school. It is a very expensive affair. We know that many Kenyans are poor and if you are unfortunate to have a child living with disability, it is expensive to keep the child around in the house. Furthermore, it is now terribly expensive to educate them. So, the Government needs to address this problem. The Government should bring more of these schools closer to such people. That means that we solve the distance problem and that of having few schools when the Government establishes at least one special education school per district. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that the Government has come up with the idea of inclusive education which is very good, but it does not take care of all these people. You can see the number that are not educated. The issue of poverty which prevents parents from taking these children to school could be handled if the Government gives more support. Today, the Government is supporting special schools, but let me inform you how much money it is giving. For every child living with disability that is in school, the Government is giving only Kshs2,000 to support that child. The Government is giving Kshs1,020 to support a normal child in a regular school. That is a difference of Kshs780. These children with disabilities have special problems and are fairly expensive to educate. The average cost of educating such a child is about Kshs17,000 for a day primary school. They have to pay Kshs6,000 for learning devices per year while assistive July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2237 devices cost Kshs2,000 per year. Sports and recreational therapy costs Kshs2,000 per year. Mandatory medication costs Kshs2,000 per year. Support services cost Kshs4,000 per year while environmental adaptation costs Kshs1,000 per year. That amounts to Kshs17,000 per year. That is fairly expensive for a primary school. But if, as they always do, they have to board in schools, then the parents must raise another Kshs15,000. So, the total comes to Kshs32,000 to take one child living with disability to a primary school. That means that these people might not afford to go to school. The schools are too few, the cost of education is high and they are also discriminated against by culture! Whichever way you handle the situation, if you take them to the regular schools, their fellow pupils look down upon them because they are disabled. The parents still have to cough out a lot of money for school capital development because the schools need special buildings, special security, special books and so on. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that the Government has been giving some of the special schools some money, but I feel that is not enough. On average, the Government gives special schools about Kshs153,000 per year. However, if you look at the costs involved, that money is not enough. The Government also gives regular schools, which take care of children with special needs, about Kshs10,000 a year, but still that is not enough. That is why so many of the disabled children, in millions, are out of school. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am calling upon the Government to look at the problem and come up with schools, at least, one primary school and one secondary school in every district to take care of these children. I thank the Government for taking up the cost of paying the teachers who are in some of those schools, but still that is not enough. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to move and call upon hon. Ojaamong to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to second the Motion that has just been moved by hon. Prof. Olweny. The issue of children with special needs in Kenya needs real Government attention. This is because, I have been both a primary school teacher and a secondary school teacher. I know how difficult it is to take care of children with special needs. Currently, the Government is trying its level best, but I think the task ahead for the Government is too monumental to handle at ago. However, with proper planning, I think we can achieve a lot and see to it that children with special needs are catered for and live like other ordinary citizens. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, currently, in the primary schools, we have the special units. If I can just give examples of three primary schools in my constituency which have special units, you will find that out of 18 primary school teachers in a school, like, Kasinya, we have one classroom for the pupils with special needs. This has been classified from Standard I to Standard VIII. How does one single teacher handle, maybe, all the physically handicapped pupils from Standard I to Standard VIII? So, you will find that in most cases, these kids are just assembled under a tree or put in a hall. What kind of education are they getting? I think they are just being taken care of to keep them busy and not to give them quality education. That is why I stand to second this Motion and ask the Government to put effort and, at least, start one primary school that is well established and a secondary school for the children with special needs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the Government is doing something about it because two or three months ago, the districts were requested to submit names of, at least, one primary school where the Government could channel funds so that special schools for the challenged children can be established. It is my hope that in this Budget it will be put into practice, and that those schools will become operational. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding education for children with special needs, like those who have hearing problems, just as the previous speaker said - that educating a child with special needs is very expensive - hearing equipment is too expensive for ordinary people to afford. That is why we want the Government to intervene and, at least, provide hearing equipment, 2238 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 and other necessary equipment, to people with hearing disabilities. If you have ever come across mentally challenged people, you must know that a single teacher is not able to handle even one such person. You will find that a mentally challenged child might need two or three people to take care of him, and those will include a counsellor, and many other things, or, somebody who is well trained all round, so that he can handle the situation. So, training, or teaching, children with mental disability needs a lot of sacrifice. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is my view that even the teachers who take care of mentally disabled people tend to be given very low salaries. In fact, they just do charity work, whereas the job ahead of them is too challenging. Therefore, it is my appeal that teachers in those institutions, be they primary or secondary schools, should be given a very good pay compared to teachers in ordinary schools, so that they can be motivated and have the morale to teach and take care of these less fortunate people in our society. Regarding the physically disabled people, I would like to thank the Office of the Vice- President and Ministry of Home Affairs for trying its level best. At least, it organises clinics in districts and constituencies to try and find out the kind of disabilities these people have, unlike in the past when somebody could just come with a wheelchair for you, even if the nature of your disability is a crooked hand. This time round, the Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of Home Affairs goes round to conduct clinics to find out the nature of physical disabilities these people have, and then recommends the right equipment for them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is my appeal, therefore, that the Government steps up efforts to give physically challenged people the right equipment, so that they are able to move around. I would also appeal to Members of Parliament, that from their Constituencies Development Fund allocations, they allocate these people some funds, so that they can get wheelchairs, walking sticks and any other equipment that might be necessary. That way, we might supplement the Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of Home Affairs efforts to ensure that these people also have something to use to enable them pursue their daily activities. When it comes to the blind, it so happens that this lot is usually very intelligent. I do not know how it happens. If you have ever been taught by a blind teacher, you have found that your performance in that subject was usually excellent. Unfortunately, blind teachers also have problems when they are out there. They need walking aids, people to take them round and show them what to do. Currently, the Government is trying to assist. It is paying blind teachers and other employees who are disabled some small honoraria. But the amount of money that is given is too little. Complications usually occur when blind teachers or employees retire. Despite the age, that person is left in thin air. They disappear that way and continue suffering. It is my appeal that those aids for the blind should be co-opted into our systems, whether it is the Civil Service or the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). That way, the disabled people could continue living normal lives while supporting their families. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I conclude, our Government is rich enough to take care of the physically challenged. There is no reason why we should have so many Assistant Ministers who are complaining that they are so idle and yet, they are earning hundreds of thousands of shillings. One hon. Member, while contributing to this Motion, said that to educate a child with special needs requires Kshs17,000. A sum of Kshs100,000 could take care of around five children who are physically challenged in one way or another. If our NARC dream, which we fought for so vigorously has been achieved--- We said that we are going to have a lean Government--- If this Government could go down memory lane, we only wanted 18 Ministers and around 32 Assistant Ministers. But now, we have over 90 Ministers and Assistant Ministers. If we could just cut down that number by a half and channel those funds to educate those with special needs, we shall be doing this country a lot of justice and good. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to second. July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2239
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to talk about this Motion. For the first time, it was very refreshing to listen to the Mover of the Motion, who moved it so clearly and in a very articulate manner. I want to congratulate Prof. Olweny. I think he took a lot of trouble to look at this Motion and bring it to the House. I thank him. I also want to thank the Seconder of the Motion for three quarters of his contribution. His last bit had nothing to do with the Motion. That removed a little bit of how well he had seconded the Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of disability in this country has been very complex. For a long time, parents and relatives of disabled children looked upon them as if they had wronged somebody or the deity, in order to have children with disability. As a result of that, it has been a long journey for the society to accept disabled children and give them education. I want to thank Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) starting mainly with the missionaries who became volunteers and friends of children and people with disability. Over a period of time, the Government has recognised that, indeed, these are citizens who must be taken care of. This is the reason about three years ago, the NARC Government enacted the Disabilities Act. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that Act specifies that people with disabilities have every right to all services such as education, housing, protection against abuse, security and all that. That Act which came into effect three years ago, indeed, recommends almost everything that the Mover has stated. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, I cannot stop thanking Prof. Olweny because he has really come out clearly. Right now, there are development partners helping us in carrying out a survey. We have always stated that ten per cent of our population is composed of people living with disabilities. Out of this, about 50 per cent of them are children. This goes to say that, indeed, nearly 3.2 million Kenyans are people with disabilities. Out of this, about 1.8 million are children who should be in school. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we now want to be specific. In fact, in a week's time, I will be officially launching the survey. It will establish, without any doubt, the number of people with disabilities, their ages and all that. We know that there are many types of disabilities. However, the only ones which are visible to us are people who are sight challenged and the physically disabled. However, there are many people, particulary children, who are mentally handicapped. Again, within the mental handicap, there are classifications; like autistic. These are children who are neither mentally nor physically handicapped. Nevertheless, they are handicapped. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when volunteers started taking interest in the children with physical challenges by giving them education, they segregated them. They started special schools for physically handicapped, blind, deaf and dumb and so forth. However, in the 1980s, a voluntary policy was set up in to integrate children within the society and schools. I think that this is what the Mover is advocating. I strongly support it. I know that the Ministry of Education has been doing something about it. That is the reason why we have special units in various schools. For some time now, an amount close to Kshs150,000 has always been sent to these special units, mainly in primary schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, once the survey comes out, we would now like to 2240 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 ensure that we should be talking of a minimum of one such primary school and secondary school. Ideally, there should be a school in every constituency to cater for everybody. That way, if there is lack of equipment for hearing, it should be the responsibility of the Government. There should not be a necessity for a child with such disabilities to pay the scale that the Professor has been stating. It should be the responsibility of the Government so that, in every budget of the Ministry for Education--- Once we have established the number of those children and schools, the budget of the Ministry of Education should cover all that equipment. We need to do that so that people with disabilities can feel that they belong to us. They should not be discriminate against. In any case, even now, when a child with disabilities qualifies to go to a secondary school of his or her choice and finds that the environment does not allow such a child to go to such a school, that child has a right to sue that school under the current Constitution, where disabled people are now protected. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it does not cost that much money when you consider the number of those people with hearing problems or physically handicapped. It is important that the communities, and not only the Government as the Seconder has said--- We could utilise the money from the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) to help those children. I know, for instance that, when the Government starts taking care of those integrated schools, they might not necessarily have all the facilities that are required. That is where the communities, through CDF, should be able to help in funding. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the disabled work harder than others in order to pass their examinations. That needs affirmative action. We have to help the disabled with affirmative action. The Mover is only talking about schools. But I think we need to include the question of cut- off points in examinations for people with disabilities to go to universities. That is because when you take a student who has to think about his or her crutches or the wheelchair, and such a student has to study and do the same examinations with a student who does not have that burden, that is completely unfair. When the cut-off marks are 65, that is what we expect the disabled child to get. That is because they have to work extra hard. With those few remarks, I really want to congratulate the Mover of this Motion and support the Motion.
Ahsante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa nafasi hii ili nichangie Hoja hii ambayo ni muhimu. Inahusu walemavu katika nchi yetu na hasa watoto walemavu. Nikianza, ningetaka kusema ni imani yangu kwamba jukumu la kuwaelimisha watoto walemave, na hata wale wazima, ni la Serikali. Wengine, kama makanisa na wafadhili, wanaweza tu kusaidia. Lakini jukumu lenyewe ni la Serikali. Serikali ina uwezo huo. Ni vyema Serikali itumie pesa za kodi kuhakikisha kwamba wale ambao hawana nguvu wanafaidika kutokana na pesa hizo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni jambo wazi kwamba kwa bahati mbaya jamii yetu haionekani kuwaheshimu walemavu ya kutosha. Ukiwa mlemavu, mara nyingi utaonekana kama wewe si mtu. Ni rahisi sana kwa watu kukubagua, kukutukana na kukutupa kando. Walemavu wanaonewa sana! Wanachukuliwa kama si watu, wananchi wakamilifu au kama si walipakodi. Ukweli ni kwamba hata walemavu wanalipa kodi na ni haki yao kurudishiwa hiyo kodi kwa njia ya huduma kutoka kwa Serikali. Hizo huduma ni kama elimu na nyinginezo. Kuna wakati tulikuwa na shule nzuri sana zilizokuwa zinashughulikia elimu ya walemavu. Lakini viwango vya shule hizo vimekuwa vikishuka hivi majuzi. Sijui tatizo ni nini. Wakati Prof. Olweny alipokuwa akitoa Hoja hii, nilidhani labda angetuambia ni kwa nini viwango vya shule hizo za walemavu vimekuwa vikishuka. Labda ni kwa kukosa pesa au kudhaminiwa vya kutosha. Ukiangalia shule tulizo nazo za walemavu wakati huu, na uzilinganishe na zile zilizokuwako miaka 20 au 30 iliyopita, utaona tofauti kubwa sana. Nahisi sana sana ni kwa sababu ya kukosa July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2241 pesa za kuzisimamia. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, hivi majuzi nilikuwa na mkutano wa walemavu hapa mjini, na nilikuwa nikiwashawishi wajiunge na Chama cha Mwananchi. Katika mkutano huo, walinieleza matatizo yao mengi. Waliniambia kwamba wakisoma, wanakuwa ndio wa mwisho kupata kazi, au mara nyingi hawapati kazi kabisa. Wamesoma, wana ujuzi wa aina moja au nyingine, lakini hawapati kazi. Waliniambia kwamba wakisafiri, kwa sababu ya viti vyao, wanatozwa nauli mara mbili ya nauli ambazo zinatozwa watu wengine. Nilishangaa kabisa, eti wakati watu wazima wanatozwa, kwa mfano, Kshs40 kutoka sehemu moja hadi nyingine, mlemavu, yule ambaye angestahili kueleweka na kusaidiwa zaidi, anatozwa Kshs80 kwa safari ile ile. Huu ni ubaguzi ambao haueleweki! Ungefikiri kwamba kama kuna kubagua, ni kubagua ili umsaidie mnyonge. Lakini hapa mlemavu anabaguliwa na kulazimishwa kutoa pesa zaidi anaposafiri. Sikujua hilo jambo, lakini ni tatizo kubwa linalostahili kushughulikiwa, si tu na Serikali lakini pia na wale ambao wanamiliki magari ya usafiri. Ni lazima waache kuwabagua walemavu. Jambo lingine ni kwamba katika Jiji hili letu utakuta kwamba, kwa sababu walemavu hawawezi kupata kazi afisini--- Walisema kwa kweli wakijaribu kwenda afisini mwa mtu kuomba kazi, wakati mwingine hata hufukuzwa. Wanaambiwa: "Nyinyi si watu wa wakuja hapa afisini. Tokeni!" Kwa hivyo, ili wapate riziki yao, wengi wao wanajishughulisha na kazi ya uchuuzi. Wengi wao ni wachuuzi wa bidhaa hapa mjini, lakini kwa bahati mbaya wakipatikana wakichuuza, badala ya kusaidiwa na askari, wananyang'anywa hata viti vyao na kuwekwa korokoroni. Sasa wewe waza: Wewe unatembea kwa kiti cha magurudumu, halafu unakinyang'anywa na askari, utarudije nyumbani? Ukienda kwenye kituo cha polisi cha Central, utakuta mlima wa mikongojo iliyonyang'anywa walemavu wakati wa hekaheka za kuwatoa mitaani wasichuuze. Unakuta viti viko pale ambavyo vimenyag'anywa walemavu. Ukimnyang'anya mlemavu kiti, atapata wapi pesa za kununua kiti kingine? Ni kama unataka wafe kwa sababu hawezi kutoka nyumbani. Hana namna ya kutembea. Hili ni jambo ambalo silielewi. Sijui ni kwa nini askari wetu hawafunzwi kwamba kuna tofauti kati ya walemavu na watu wazima. Huwezi kumnyang'nya mlemavu kiti chake au mkongojo wake na wakati huo useme kwamba unamsaidia. Watu hawa wangeruhusiwa kuuza bidhaa zao bila kusumbuliwa. Wakati watu wazima wanafukuzwa, walemavu wanafaa kueleweka vizuri. Lakini badala ya kusaidiwa, wanasukumwa vile nilivyoeleza. Kwa bahati mbaya, mhe. Makamu wa Rais na Waziri wa Mambo ya Nyumbani ameondoka. Nilikuwa nikitaka kusema kwamba walemavu wanafaa kuwa na jela zao kwa sababu wakiwekwa katika jela moja na watu wazima - kule ni jehanamu. Kila mtu na lake - hawawezi kuwa na amani. Watasumbuliwa na wafungwa walio na nguvu. Hataweza kutoka katika jela hilo kwa sababu utakuwa umempa hukumu ya kifo. Kwa hivyo, natumai kwamba Makamu wa Rais atalifikiria jambo hilo na kuona vile anaweza kujenga magereza maalum ya wafungwa walemavu. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni ajabu kwamba kuna wanaume ambao hufanya mapenzi na walemavu ambao huomba katika miji yetu na kuwatia mimba, kisha wanawaacha. Utakuta mlemavu ambaye anatembea na kiti ana watoto. Ukimuuliza alivyopata watoto hao, utapata kujua kwamba wengine walinajisiwa na waliofanya kazi hiyo mbovu hawawasaidii. Nadhani kuna umuhimu wa kufundisha wanaume wa nchi hii utu ili waache kufanya vitendo ambavyo matokeo yake ni mabaya sana. Ningetaka kushukuru mashirika ya kimataifa ambayo yanawanunulia walemavu viti, mikongojo na vifaa vingine ambavyo wanahitaji. Hilo ni jukumu ambalo Serikali ingejitwika badala ya kungojea watu wa nje waje kuwanunulia walemavu wetu viti na vitu vingine vya kutembelea. Kusema kweli, hiyo ni aibu kwetu. Jambo lingine ambalo ningetaka kuomba ni kwamba, Serikali, katika kutatua matatizo ya walemavu, ifikirie sana kuhusu kutembelea nchi zile za Scandinavian ambapo walemavu wanatunzwa vizuri. Niliishi huko na nilishangaa kabisa kwa sababu haungepata mlemavu ambaye 2242 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 amekosa elimu. Walemavu wanashughulikiwa kwanza kabla ya watu wengine. Huwezi kupata mlemavu asiye na kazi katika nchi ya Norway. Niliishi huko miaka mingi na sikuona mlemavu hata mmoja akitafuta kazi. Walipomaliza masomo yao, walikuwa wakipata wametengewa kazi tayari, na kazi yao ilikuwa kuifanya tu. Walemavu wanaposafiri pale, wao hutozwa nauli ambayo ni nusu ya ile watu wazima wanatozwa. Mahali kwingi, wao husafiri bila kutozwa nauli kwa sababu hali yao inaeleweka. Huwezi kukutana na mlemavu akiomba. Nimezunguka nchi hiyo na sikukutana na mlemavu yeyote akiomba chakula au pesa mitaani. Wote wameshughulikiwa ili wapate kazi na kila kitu. Naomba kuunga mkono.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Ten per cent of Kenya's population is made up of disabled people. That, therefore, gives you the statistics that one out of every ten Kenyans is likely to be disabled. With those statistics, therefore, the chances that you, in this House, was to be disabled is one out of ten. That is a high chance, indeed. Nobody chooses to be born disabled. At the same time, nobody chooses to give birth to a disabled child. There is a chance that is equally distributed in all the population of this country. Therefore, there is the necessity to support disabled people, as it was put by the Professor, with all the vigour it deserves. The blind, deaf and mentally sick and so on are a people of this country. As we deliberate and try to change the Constitution to put a special salary to the over 65 per cent of the 65-age old people of this country, I think it will be prudent to consider also putting the disabled that are not employed and are above 18 years of age on the same category to be put on a special salary. Therefore, this requires that the Government, in its budgeting in future to consider putting a special percentage for the purposes of benefits for the disabled people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is, indeed, ironical that we do not include the disabled in any of our planning. Look at our road infrastructure; the only thing that can be done is, maybe, to consider lanes for bicycles which are usually driven by able people. There are no special parking places for disabled people; there are no special engineering companies or even firms in this country that produce vehicles that can be driven by the disabled. It is a detriment to be born disabled. Even in hospitals, most of them do not have special wards for the disabled. This is where sympathy is actually to be considered maximally, and you will find the disabled being thrown in the same space in which the able people are put in hospitals. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member that has just finished contributing has talked about jails. Let us look at all the educational facilities in this country; even universities, not only primary and secondary schools as thought by the professor who proposed this Motion! I, therefore, say that 10 per cent of every facilitation should be given to the disabled; 10 per cent of everything, because that is the population that these people command in this country; 10 per cent of the space in the university, hospitals and even in jails should be left and prepared for the disabled people. Indeed, in some districts, we have not had even one facility, leave alone the few districts that were well endowed with this kind of facilitation by missionaries and other philanthropists. But we think it is prudent now to consider having these facilities in every district, especially in cognisance of the fact that the population has increased. At Independence, we had a population of 7 million. Now, we have a population of nearly 34 million, an increase which is nearly five-fold of the population with no increase in the facilities that serve the disabled. It is wrong! It is, indeed, wrong! There has to be more than five-fold increase in the facilities that were put hitherto, for the purposes of serving the disabled. Indeed, I think having at least 90 facilities that are being run by the Government, by the taxpayers' money, budgeted for by this House, will be the best thing we can do for the disabled. This will enable us to facilitate, not only schools, as this Motion proposes, but also other facilities. But I think we should start somewhere. Let us start with a primary and secondary school that is specially modelled for the purposes of helping those people in every July 4, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2243 district. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Vice-President for personally taking charge of running some firms that produce wheel-chairs and other facilities. Being disabled is not only being crippled. There are other disabilities like the blind, the deaf, and so on. But some of the most endowed people in terms of intelligence are the disabled. They have all the qualities of leadership. One of the Presidents of the United States of America was disabled. Even when the NARC Government was coming into power, our own president was temporarily disabled at that time and was able to win the elections in a wheel-chair. Those are small examples that can be shown on how important these people are and what position they can hold in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, these are gifted people. Just losing the sense of sight enhances your other senses. These people are able to monitor and manipulate the environment using the other senses even better than you do. They can use this to be in the fore-front in nation- building. We should not discard 10 per cent of our population just because we are ignorant. That ignorance has to be discarded and we have to facilitate it for the disabled. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Olweny, the Mover of the Motion. This Motion has come in at the right time. I must also thank the Leader of Government Business, who is also the Vice-President for giving us information on how prepared the Government is to deal with these unfortunate members of our society. Those who are disabled, whether they are blind, deaf or lame, are not in that state by choice; it is a natural fate. We as Kenyans must take care of them. We have been informed that about 10 per cent of Kenyans are in that state and about 50 per cent of them are the youth. We now have free primary education. If there is free primary education and we have these people in our country, we must take care of them. It is something that they need as a right. We are not even doing them a favour because they are in that state because fate decided so. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what the Motion is asking for is one primary school, at least, in a district. In a district like Nyando, we are about a half a million. Surely, to ask for one primary school and one secondary school to cater for them is really being fair. We are saying that, that should be the minimum. I believe that we need to spare money and contribute to their welfare. We have the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money and one hon. Member suggested that we can channel it there. I believe that Members of Parliament would be able to chip in something from the CDF. But the Government has to put in place structures that are required for the physically challenged people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government should recruit teachers because CDF does not take care of Recurrent Expenditure. While CDF can also support in creating certain physical facilities in such institutions, the Government must take the lead in making sure that teachers who are required to take care of the physically challenged members of the society are there.
Order! The hon. Member will continue for seven minutes. Hon. Members, it is time to interrupt the business of the House. This House, therefore, stands adjourned until this afternoon Wednesday, 4th July 2007, at 2.30 p.m. 2244 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 4, 2007 The House rose at 12.30 p.m.