on behalf of
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) whether he is aware that the people who were allocated plots at Olchurrai Settlement Scheme in Gilgil Division, Naivasha District, have been displaced by outsiders; (b) how many people have been displaced and why; (c) whether he could state the names of the people who displaced them and where they are from; and, (d) where the displaced people will be re-settled since they have nowhere else to live.
Is the Minister for Lands here? What is the position, Leader of Government Business?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Minister for Lands, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that the people who were allocated plots in Olchurrai Settlement Scheme, which was established in 2005 in Gilgil Division, Naivasha District, have been displaced by outsiders. (b) I am further not aware of any number of displaced persons in Olchurrai Scheme. (c) I have no names of people alleged to have displaced others, nor areas where they come from. (d) There are no displacements at Olchurrai Settlement Scheme.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs has not done his homework. In part (a) of the Question, he has said that he is not aware. In part (b), he has also said that he is not aware. In part (c), he has said that he has no names. Could I request this Question to be deferred so that he could be aware and respond to it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I see no contradiction at all. In part (a), I 2384 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 have said that I am not aware. In part (b), I have also said that I am not aware of any displaced persons. Therefore, that means I have no names of people who are supposed to have displaced others. There were no displacements. Therefore, I see no reason to defer this Question.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, obviously, English is a foreign language. This is a very straightforward issue. All I am asking is for the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs to go and do his homework. What he has replied here is different from what is on the ground. The land was actually not given to the original allottees. There is a new generation of people who have settled on that land. If he is not aware, could he go back and get the proper information from the land officers on the ground?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I need the hon. Member to table that question!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Let us hear Mr. Awori!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member should table the list of the people he is alleging to have been displaced and a list of the people he is alleging to have displaced others.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some money was set aside to purchase land for the squatters. A number of Kenyans have no land. Could the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs tell us how many acres have been purchased so far and how many squatters have been---
Order, Mr. Manoti! Are you dealing with this Question or you are asking a completely different Question? That is completely a different Question! If you wish to ask such a Question, please forward it and it will be dealt with! We are dealing with a specific Question now!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the displacement of people from Government land has occurred because of the failure of the Provincial Administration. The Provincial Administration has been compromised. That area, which was an Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) farm, has double allocation. That is why Mr. C. Kilonzo is saying that there is a new generation of people. The Provincial Administration went ahead and duplicated allocations after being compromised. That means it is hard to establish the original or the correct allottees. Could the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs go back and do his homework well and establish who were the original people? That way, we can know which people have been displaced.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, obviously, when the hon. Member asked this Question, it is possible that he based it on particular names. I have just asked him to table those lists. That will help, rather than me going to look for non-existent names. If he has got the two lists - the list of those he claims to have been displaced and a list of the people who displaced the others, then we can do justice to the Question.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is common knowledge that many outsiders have been allocated land in various settlement schemes in this country, especially in the Coast Province. In view of that, and the difficulties that those people are having, could the Vice- President and Minister for Home Affairs undertake to review all the settlement schemes that have got disputes with the intention of actually making new allocations for those areas?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. There is a word that is commonly being used here; "outsiders". The hon. Member is talking of "outsiders" in the Coast Province. Who are these outsiders?
July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2385
Order! You are asking a question. That is not a point of order! Mr. Minister, what do you want to say?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, following the last disorder as it were, would I be in order to ask the hon. Member who asked the question to explain who outsiders are?
You are introducing a completely new phenomenon in this Question! I do not want to deal with it here. I would rather have the last question asked.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government policy on issues of land has been demonstrated very well by the current Minister for Lands. They have total disregard for original allottees or holders of title deeds. That is why we see him leading delegations of outsiders to farms owned by other people to grab them. That is exactly what has happened in this case. The original allottees who were given Letters of Allotment have all been displaced from that land by outsiders. The land was reallocated and given to outsiders. Since the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs is aware of this, could he go and find out who the outsiders and original allottees are? The land should revert to the original allottees. This is the reason we have land clashes!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to ask the Questioner to tell us who these "outsiders" are?
I have already addressed that issue and I do not want to deal with it here! I made a ruling on it and I am firm on it. Mr. Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, please, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this House both the Questioners and Ministers have one thing in common; to see that justice is done. Where land is concerned, I do not think there is a single Minister who does not want to see the correct person allocated land keep it. In order to get things done, all we are asking is for the Questioner to let us have lists of the people he says have been displaced and those who have displaced them. It is the two lists that will help us get the correct situation. It is as simple as that!
Next Question by the hon. Member for Molo Constituency!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Member for Bahari Constituency, we have dealt with that Question and we are through with it!
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security when the Government will equip the Police Department with a proper forensic laboratory.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Government has continuously equipped the Police Department with forensic equipment. As a result, the Police Department has acquired specialized forensic equipment which 2386 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 has been installed at various offices after customization to laboratory standards at the C.I.D. headquarters, in the following areas:- 1. Ballistics; 2. Document examination; 3. Bomb disposal; 4. Fingerprint analyses; 5. Scenes of crime; and, 6. Photography and intelligence gathering. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government set a side Kshs500 million in the last financial year, for the purchase of specialized forensic equipment. Currently, the Police Department is in the process of acquiring an Automated Palm and Fingerprint Integrated Analysis System (APFSI) for evidence collection and analysis at a cost of Kshs300 million.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, police investigation has become complicated over the years. The Police Department has been yearning to be equipped with laboratories that would be used to do DNA testing and such kind of scientific investigations. The Assistant Minister is talking of the last Financial Year 2006/2007. I, therefore, would like to know when they will provide this forensic laboratory. Remember there was the Anglo Leasing-type cases of contracts where the police had already procured to get these important pieces of equipment. However, it was not done because of some problems. Could he tell us when they will equip the Police Department with the equipment that was intended?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think what I said is that there are various items that need to be purchased. This is an ongoing process. It has already started. Some of the equipment has been installed. We are in the process of purchasing others. The moment it is purchased, we will instal it so that finally we can have a complete analytic procedure for identifying the criminals involved.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, investigation is what causes delay in very sensitive cases in this country like that of corruption. The Assistant Minister says that this process is ongoing. We have to investigate these cases without actually having to revert to outsiders to do it. How much money has been earmarked for supply of equipment this financial year?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have earmarked a sum of Kshs361 million this financial year for the purchase of supplementary equipment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is obviously not telling the truth. We are in the Financial Year 2007/2008. If you look at the answer, it is based on the Financial Year 2006/2007. The amount that was earmarked earlier was more than what is given in this answer. He knows which kind of equipment we are talking about. It is are not the one itemised in the answer. This is very important. Police officers have been complaining that they have a lot of problems with investigations. If you look at the equipment itemised in the answer, you will find that most of it cannot be used because scenes of crime are interfered with---
Yes, ask your question!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell us when they will provide the equipment? The police officers want them. By now they should have provided for it because he is dealing with a financial year that has already passed.
Are you dealing with the current financial year or the previous financial year?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that during the last financial year, the Government set aside Kshs500 million. Part of that money has already been utilised. I said that in this financial year, we have set aside Kshs361 million. We have a list of the equipment that we July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2387 bought under document examination. That equipment has already been installed in some of the areas of interest.
Next Question by the hon. Member for Samburu West!
asked the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources when the Government will operationalize the Forests Act.
The Minister for Environment and Natural Resources! Leader of Government Business!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry operationalized the Forests Act (2005) through Gazette Notice No.19 of 9th February, 2007. That automatically transformed the larger Forest Department into a fully fledged State Corporation - the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), whose Board of Management was put in place via Gazette Notice No.1189 of 16th February, 2007. (b) An all-inclusive Forest Reforms Committee to assist the Ministry to establish systems and structures that shall operationalize this law is currently in place and working. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry is currently undertaking the following activities to ensure that the Kenya Forests Service de-links itself from the Ministry:- (1) Availing the necessary information for the transition process. That includes a draft strategic plan, budget, workload analysis, revenue projections, forest inventory and an inventory of assets. (2) Formulation of rules and regulations for engagement with stakeholders in a consultative process. (3) Collection of basic inventory data of forest reserves by category of ownership. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was an urgency in passing this law and, indeed, it was passed three years ago. One of the objectives was to prevent rampant exploitation of forests. I come from a heavily-forested area and I am not aware of these academic activities listed here. Could the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs explain to the House who the Ministry is engaging in the implementation of the policies that he has outlined? That is because out there in the field, we are not seeing anything. It is business as usual. The District Commissioners still control allocations of licences and so on.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, we are now in the process of operationalizing the new Act. So, obviously, it will appear, at the very beginning, that it is business is as usual. But, in fact, special members of staff have now been engaged to deal with that situation. It is possible that they may not have reached Maralal and other places. But the staff are there and we are going to see a total difference in the operations. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as much as His Excellency the Vice- President and Minister for Home Affairs is saying that things are moving, it is obvious that there has been an increased activity involving sandalwood in this country. Could the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs assure this country that every effort is being made to protect sandalwood 2388 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 from being destroyed and poached by disgruntled individuals?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We realise the importance of sandalwood. As you are aware, on two occasions, even people in very high offices have been questioned about the possession of sandalwood. We have recovered quite a lot. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just want to use this opportunity to call upon Kenyans to safeguard their heritage and raw materials - including sandalwood - so that they can leave it alone for the posterity of this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come from an area which hosts the Mau Forest. As much as the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs is saying that something is being done, there is a lot of land that has been left idle for the last seven years. Trees have not been planted. This is a very important Ministry and we have been talking about increasing the forest cover. But the Ministry is doing nothing about the planting of trees. When will they move from their offices and go to plant trees? That is what is important!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is precisely why the Forest Department has been transformed into a Board. We will have a Board of Directors who will be operating independently from the Ministry. There will be increased planting of trees. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to what hon. Mukiri has said, it really makes one shed tears to see how depleted the area is. I can assure the hon. Member that trees will be planted.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the objectives contained in that law was to introduce community participation in the management and conservation of forests, so that communities could feel they are part of those forests. However, when you look at the appointments under Section 6, eight members are supposed to be nominated by the Minister, and one should come from an area that contains one or more forest communities. 25 per cent of our forest cover is located in Samburu District. But there is no single Board member who was picked from that area. What will the Minister do to correct the imbalance in the appointment of Board members to have the required representation?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, probably, apart from the extreme part of North Eastern Province, every region has forests. If members of the Board have to be appointed from every area that has a forest, we will have a bloated Board.
Next Question by the hon. Member for Amagoro.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) what urgent plans he has put in place to upgrade the Busia Water Supply to enable it serve the residents within its catchment area; (b) how much money has been allocated to Busia Water Supply this year and whether there are plans to extend the supply of piped water to other deserving areas; and, (c) what measures he is putting in place to ensure that the section of Busia Municipality that falls in Teso District is not discriminated against by the water office in Busia District. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2389
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Busia Water Supply will be upgraded under the ongoing Nzoia Cluster Water and Sanitation Programme. The programme is being undertaken by my Ministry through the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board, with funding assistance from the German Government through KFW. Detailed designs of the rehabilitation and administration works for Nzoia Cluster Phase II - Towns, which include Busia Town, is ongoing. My Ministry has, however, been undertaking rehabilitation works on that water supply to improve its service delivery. (b) My Ministry has allocated Kshs5 million for special water projects in Busia District in this Financial Year, 2007/2008. Out of this allocation, Kshs4 million will be spent on rehabilitation of Busia Water Supply. Augmentation works of that water supply is, however, included in the Nzoia Cluster Water and Sanitation Programme.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! Order, hon. Members! I can hardly follow the proceedings! It is now impossible! If you want to consult, why do you not do it quietly? If you are unable to do so, do it elsewhere and not here!
(c) Water provision services in Busia Municipality, and the surrounding areas, has been placed under the management of the Western Water Services Company, which is licensed by the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board. The company is not district-based, and is mandated to provide water services in a given region comprising of many districts, Teso included.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of the old systems have, sort of, deteriorated. The Ministry is doing two major works. First, there is a study on augmentation and expansion of the water supply system covering all those districts under that Board. There is also rehabilitation that is ongoing in order to replace old piping systems in the old water supply system in order to rehabilitate areas that have already been destroyed. It is also meant to expand areas that already have networks. For the time being, what we need to wait for, and I assure the hon. Member is aware of this, is that, in conjunction with the KFW, we are continuing to carry out a study and design to ensure that these works start the moment we complete the study. So, for the supply, for the time being, we are rehabilitating the old system through allocations on an annual basis.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member for Amagoro was very specific. He asked a very specific question to the Assistant Minister, that the authority is busy disconnecting water services in areas which are in Teso District, which would amount to discrimination. Could the Assistant Minister undertake to go and carry out investigations to establish if, in fact, it is true that there is discrimination against residents of the Teso part of Busia Town - which I know is contrary to the policy of this Government - instead of just coming up with generalities? Could he undertake to carry out proper investigations and then report to this House?
And take action!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, and take action! 2390 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with the hon. Member that it is not the policy of this Government to discriminate against any Kenyan in terms of provision of services. Where the hon. Member is specific with regard to people who have been deliberately disconnected, since the Ministry is not aware of it, I request him to give us further information. I undertake to carry out an investigation and take remedial action.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the Assistant Minister will just start from my home, because I am one of those victims whose water has been disconnected and the pipes are there. So is the whole of my village! So, he could start from there. He said that the Ministry has given Kshs4 million to the water supply. Considering that the extension works are very expensive, could the Assistant Minister consider allocating more money? This will ensure that other areas that fall under the municipality can get water. We have residents of Kenya who cross into Uganda to buy water. Could he, on humanitarian grounds, extend that piping to some estates like Bondeni in Busia Municipality, where people are really suffering?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to disconnections, where subscribers have defaulted on payment of their bills, it does not include what I need to investigate. However, where customers, or wananchi, are paying their bills and there is disconnection, definitely, that will have to be corrected. As regards money, the Ministry will only do what it has been financed, by this House, to do. So, it is within the Budget allocation that we are able to give that amount of money. Where there is extra funding, definitely, we will consider doing more.
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works when the Ministry will seal potholes that have emerged on the Wote-Katumani Road.
Mr. Ndambuki, the Minister has called the Speaker's Chambers to say that he is unavailable. He has asked that this Question be deferred till next week. Could you accede to that?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have the answer, but I can wait until--- Could it not be answered this week? Today is Wednesday. Could it be answered tomorrow?
He has asked for next week, when he will be available.
It is okay, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Thank you!
asked the Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he is aware that street lights in Kerugoya Town are not operational, leading to high insecurity in the town; and, (b) when the problem will be addressed. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2391
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that the street lights in some parts of Kerugoya-Kutus are not operational. (b) The problem is currently being addressed by both the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the Kerugoya-Kutus Municipal Council.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for that answer. The lights in Kerugoya-Kutus have not been operational for the last two years, and yet the Assistant Minister told us that he is aware. For how long do we need to be aware, so that the Ministry can go and save the lives of the people? I need a definite answer as to when those lights will be operational!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a short-circuit problem in the power supply line for street lights in the town. This resulted in the bulbs that were fitted blowing off from time to time. This has taken the KPLC a long time to repair, but it has now been rectified. I would also like to say that there are some street lights that have already been installed, particularly along the road connecting the District Commissioner's Office and the Total Petrol Station, and around the Milimani area in the last one month. The council is now moving to other areas that have the same problem. Thank you.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy to hear that the Assistant Minister is aware that most of the street lights, not only in Kerugoya-Kutus, are not working. Is he aware that in most of the slums in Kenya, particularly in Nyeri Town, there are no street lights, thus increasing insecurity? Probably, he could contract the Adopt-A-Light Company, which seems to have done extremely well, and secure the lives of Kenyans?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is purely a different Question. Generally, we are handling the situation very well, particularly in Nairobi. We installed a very high mast in Kibera the other day with Mr. Raila in conjunction with the Adopt-A-Light Company. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, street lighting is part of the performance contracts of the various local authorities particularly, urban local authorities. We expect them to handle the problem as we go on and as funds become available. I would like to request the hon. Members to also chip in through the CDF, so that we can do this work jointly with the local authorities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to Nyeri Town, we will discuss with the hon. Member to see what joint ventures we can engage in to alleviate such problems in the slums.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Ministry undertake to compensate for property that is stolen and people who are killed or injured in darkness which is caused by power failures in the future? This is the Ministry's failure. We need to be protected. It is not only the DCs who should be connected to power.
Mr. Assistant Minister, do you want to compensate all the injured people?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we cannot do that, but we are very sensitive to insecurity in our urban areas. My Ministry, in conjunction with the Provincial Administration, will do what it takes to alleviate insecurity in some of these areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, however, I would also like to request property owners to ensure that their property frontages are well lit. If all plots in all our towns were lit by their owners, then there would be no darkness in the streets.
2392 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 COMPENSATION FOR MAN KILLED BY CROCODILE
Mr. C. Kilonzo, the Minister has requested that this Question be deferred to tomorrow for him to answer it when he will be available. Is that okay with you, Mr. C. Kilonzo?
Very well, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! This was the communication to the Speaker's Chambers.
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Bunge haliwezi kuwa linapotezewa wakati. Tuko na Mawaziri na Mawaziri Wasaidizi. Ikiwa Waziri Msaidizi yuko hapa na hawezi kujibu Swali, ni wazi kwamba wanapoteza wakati wa Bunge!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Raila! It is not the business of the Chair to decide who, in which Ministry, is coming here to answer Questions. Once there is a communication to the Speaker's Chambers, we take it. We are not going to begin arguing as to who is here and who is not here to answer Questions. That is not the business of the Chair!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On the same issue?
Mr.Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on an important issue.
On the same issue? All right, Mr. Raila!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to the media, there was a very important meeting yesterday chaired by His Excellency the President regarding the distribution of responsibilities in the Government. This was on the roles of the Ministers and the Assistant Ministers. These people are being paid by taxpayers. Information that is now in the public domain is that all these people are idle. They are doing nothing. The Minister for Tourism and Wildlife is not here. The Assistant Minister who the other day complained that the Minister is spending time outside the country to escape harassment---
Order, Mr. Raila! You have made your point!
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, tunapata majibu yote kutoka kwa maofisa wetu. Kama hatujapata majibu yanayofaa, kuna uwezekano wa kuahirisha kujibu hili Swali mpaka wakati tutakapokubaliana na wao. Kwa hivyo, hii haimaanishi kwamba hatuna majibu, lakini ni lazima tutoe majibu sahihi.
Order, all of you! I have already made a ruling on this matter and we are not pursuing it any further. The position is well-known. When the Assistant Minister stood up, I thought he was going to say something different. He has not said anything different. So, we will go to the next Question!
July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2393 BANNING OF OMENA FISHING IN LAKE VICTORIA
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government has not banned the fishing of Omena on the Kenyan part of Lake Victoria. However, in pursuit of sustainable management of the Omena fishery, the Government, through a stakeholders/fishermen meeting held at Tom Mboya Labour College, Kisumu, recommended a closed season as a management measure vide Gazette Notice No.7565, restricting fishing of Omena from 1st April to 31st July. This was done in order to give the stock of Omena time to recover and regenerate. (b) There is no definite scientific evidence to prove that the closed season boosts fish stocks. However, catch assessment surveys indicate that the closure promotes good fishery practice and increased catch rate of Omena and other species in the lake and it also protects the fish nursery phase. (c) I concur that Omena is the most readily available source of animal protein for people in the lake region. It is probably the staple food, although I thought Ugali was the staple food for the people. This is the main reason that its continued supply should be safeguarded through sustainable fisheries management programme. (d) The four-month (April to July) closure season does not compromise the availability of protein for the communities in the lake region and, therefore, no alternative source of money is required. However, the Government is promoting the diversification of sources of protein for the riparian communities through:- (i) Fish farming in individual and community fish ponds. (ii) Consumption of other fish species not affected by the Omena closure season. (iii) Growing of protein-rich food crops such as groundnuts and beans. (iv) Livestock rearing.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, the Minister has admitted that there is no definitive scientific evidence to prove that the closed season boosts fish stocks or
stocks. However, the Ministry called the fishermen to a meeting at Tom Mboya College three years ago and convinced them that if there is a closure for three months, then Omena stocks would increase. That is why I asked this Question. So, if there is no scientific evidence to prove that the closure of the fishing of Omena will boost the stocks, why did they advise the ignorant fishermen that the closure of the lake is to their benefit when they know that there is no benefit accruing from it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I explained, this is a stakeholders' decision and the meeting is usually held every year. The hon. Member attended the meeting that I 2394 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 am referring to. We all agreed with the stakeholders because this is their business and the Government has no business in refusing what they want. It is for that reason that it was agreed that the productive months of April and July should be reserved so that farmers can get better yields after that.
Order! Rev. Nyagudi and Mr. Ojode, you do not need to push one another to catch my eye. You need only to stand! So, Mr. Ojode, I saw you.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is good that you have realised that Rev. Nyagudi has been blocking me. That is why I requested the hon. Minister for Tourism and Wildlife to try and translocate the hon. Member as he has been doing to the elephants. However, could the Minister confirm or deny that those who are dealing in Omena in the local markets are being harassed and arrested? Why are they being arrested?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, could the hon. Member confirm whether he is in Parliament or in a playing field because what I have explained here has got no reference to what he is saying?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Minister is trying to mislead this House! Due to the banning of Omena, fishing the authorities have been harassing the fish dealers in our local markets. I know of a woman from my constituency who was harassed and arrested for trading in Omena which was banned. Could he confirm?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I explained that it was the stakeholders and fishermen. The hon. Member has been attending the meetings where it was decided that there should be no fishing during that time. If people decided that there should be no fishing during that time, why should one individual take advantage?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Lake Victoria is a common-user lake for the three East African countries. When you want to regenerate fish, this must be done for all the three East African countries. Could the Minister agree with me that this control of fishing on the Kenyan part without reciprocal measures being taken by Tanzania and Uganda is actually useless because fish do not know boundaries? When they continue fishing and our people are not fishing, it is our people who are suffering. We have agreed that, scientifically, there is no proof that this control of fishing helps regulate the population of fish. So, why does the Government not remove this ban?
Order! I thought the Minister has been insisting that this was a decision of the stakeholders. I would like to be challenged that it is not. If it is true that this is the decision of the stakeholders, I think the stakeholders should rescind that decision and allow the business to go on. Mr. Minister, what do you have to say?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, all the hon. Members who are asking questions including, Dr. Oburu, were in that meeting. We normally hold such a meeting every year in Tom Mboya College to discuss with fish farmers because it is in the interest of the Ministry to work with the farmers and assist them to get the best yield. I agree with what Dr. Oburu is saying because all the fish is actually bred in the three rivers which supply water to Lake Victoria. That is why, the other day, I was threatening to brand fish with a "GK mark", because when they go to the lake, they do not know of any boundaries. They go all over. I have been with Mr. Kajwang and we saw that our people were being molested for nothing. We have proved that multiplication of fish, especially Omena, usually happens during this month. This has been proved over several years. In July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2395 March next year, we will also have a similar meeting and I welcome the hon. Members to come.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the statements being made by the Minister in this House leave a lot to be desired. There is nothing like Kenyan fish being bred on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria. That is a scientific fact which was disproved. The Minister is peddling it in the House long after that has been done. I am surprised that it does not concern the Minister that he has a Ministry which has a research department but it has not done this kind of research. Omena is now almost a staple food. It is not just for the Luos as people might want to think. It is being consumed all over the country. It is even used for protein and the manufacture of animal feeds. Some of the Omena we see in the villages is mouldy and it could be a source of Aflatoxin which affects our people. What is the Minister doing to ensure that we actually get good quality Omena which is now a major source of protein for our young children and ourselves?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, although the Questioner talked of so many things, some of which he was not sure of, I would like to assure him that we have got a body called KEMFRI whose duty is to do a lot of research on fish and assist fish farmers so that we get the best quality of fish. We are continuing to encourage researchers to get us the best fish. We are confident that we will do so.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with the Minister that there was a stakeholders meeting in Kisumu that agreed to place a ban on the fishing of Omena . There are people who could buy undersized fish from the neighbouring countries and bring them into the country. These are the people that get arrested. Why is it that these people, who buy fish probably from somewhere else, are arrested and harassed by Government officers at the market? Is there a ban on eating Omena anyway?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the hon. Member repeat the last bit of the question?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know if there is a ban on eating undersized Omena which has been brought from another country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, how would I know whether that fish is from another country? We are encouraging same-sized fishing nets to avoid farmers catching undersized fish.
Order! Order, hon. Members! I have given this Question more time than we normally give to a Question. So, we must come to the end of it. Mr. Kajwang, ask your last question!
On a point order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Please, this is a very important point. There is a type of the Omena fish which is already dead and is being imported from Uganda and Tanzania to Kenya. It is also banned. That is what the hon. Member was trying to say. Is there a permit required for people to eat Omena ? Why is the Government also confiscating
which is imported from Uganda and Tanzania?
Mr. Raila, sitting on this Chair, we also try to listen to Ministers when they are answering Questions. I thought the Minister responded to that issue.
2396 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 Order! Rev. Nyagudi, you have to sit down and observe the rules! Mr. Minister, would you like to respond to that?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for helping me. I will request the hon. Member, who raised the point of order, to note the difference between leaders. It is not every Kamba leader who should be taken to Khadija Grounds. I am honest and I am not suffering from the declaration of the Khadija playground!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker Sir, the answer that has been given is a bit contradictory. In his answer, the Minister said that the lake needs time to recover and regenerate the
. At the same time, he said that there is no scientific evidence that shows that there is a boost when there is this restriction. Secondly, we share the lake with Uganda and Tanzania and
moves from one part of the lake to the other. Could the Minister give us an undertaking that, unless the entire East African Community agrees to ban fishing of Omena, we should be allowed to fish because the restriction is discriminative against the Luo people around the lake?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a good question by the hon. Member. I also agree with him. Right now, the East African Community has come up with a common law which will address this issue. The law was proposed during the meetings we had in Kisumu and will be effected soon.
Next Question by the hon. Member for South Mugirango!
, on behalf of
, asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) when the construction of power lines to cover the following areas in South Mugirango will commence:- - Nyatike-Ramoya-Bokimai Health Centre; - Gotichaki Mongane; - Nyamarembe Mochengo-Nyangweta DOK Secondary School; - Keiyan-Nyamaiya Etago-Nyangweta SDA Secondary School; - Tabaka Kiorori Secondary School; and Ranen-Maroo Moticho Dispensary; (b) what has caused the delay in the commencement of the works under GoK and French Phase II Project; and, (c) whether he could state the exact dates of commencement and completion of the project.
Order! I saw Mr. Manoti and Mr. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2397 Ochilo-Ayacko standing up at the same time. Who between the two of you was given the mandate by Mr. Omingo to ask the Question?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have the written response with me here!
What about you, Mr. Manoti?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is nothing wrong with my friend asking the Question.
Order! Answer the question! Were you given instructions?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Omingo asked me yesterday to ask the Question on his behalf. Since Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko has asked the Question, there is nothing wrong with that.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a lot of confusion around after the Khadija Grounds meeting. So, Mr. Omingo might have instructed two hon. Members to ask the Question on his behalf. However, I beg to answer.
(a) Ramoya Secondary School, Bokimani Health Centre, Nyamaiya and Mochengo Market and the Divisional Headquarters are covered under Phase II of the French-funded programmes whose implementation is expected to commence in August, 2007, and is anticipated to be completed by the end of April, 2008. The Government of Kenya-funded programme namely; Tabaka-Kiorori Secondary School is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by September, 2007. The Gotichaki Mongane Scheme is scheduled for construction from August, 2007, and will be completed in October, 2007. On the other hand, Nyamarambe-Nyangweta GoK and SDA Secondary School and Ranen-Maroo Moticho Dispensary are among the priority projects to be considered for funding during this financial year, 2007/2008, alongside other projects from different constituencies. (b) There has been no delay in the implementation of the French-funded project, only that activities involved ranging from identification of the scope and procurement of services to actual construction are subject to procedures which are lengthy, while the Government of Kenya-funded projects have been delayed by the procurement challenges faced by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) from time to time. (c) Construction work for all the Phase II French Programme is expected to commence in August, 2007 in various parts of the country and it is anticipated that all projects will be completed by April, 2008.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Tabaka-Kiorori Secondary School Project under construction was expected to start from Tabaka. There are indications that the Ministry plans to change that proposal and start the project from Bonyancha, which will mean that the project will not traverse South Mugirango in the manner expected. Could the Assistant Minister consider commencing this construction from Tabaka-Kiorori side and not from Bonyancha?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member had raised that concern. He came to our offices and we assured him that we will make sure that Tabaka also gets power. In any case, we had noted that.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, arising from the answer which has been given by the Assistant Minister, that French Programme Phase II will commence in August, 2007, 2398 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 could he tell us who the contractor is and if the construction materials have been acquired?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, we have several contractors who are in charge of the French Programme. I will be able to give their names later. However, I would like to confirm that the materials have already been procured. We had a meeting last week on Thursday, and we have issued firm instructions to the contractors that they must start the work. I can assure the House that the project materials will be there in good time.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could the Assistant Minster tell the House what measures he has put in place to ensure that the distribution of the new projects, under the Rural Electrification Programme, is equitable and fair in relation to all constituencies?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have sent letters again to the District Development Committees (DDCs), in which we asked them to submit their priority projects in three weeks time. Right now, two weeks are remaining. We wanted to confirm, once again, that hon. Members were involved when decisions were made on which priority projects would take place in every district. I would like to ask hon. Members to make sure that they contact their DDCs and make sure that the lists we have are the ones they approved.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minster will recollect that the projects of Nyamarambe-Nyangweta GoK and SDA Secondary schools and Ranen and Maroo were submitted in 2003, when we were harmoniously working with the Minister. What happened to these projects such that the answer being given is that they will be considered? They were submitted in 2003 and approved, but the answer indicates that they will be considered in 2007/2008 alongside other priority projects. What happened? What caused the delay?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that we worked harmoniously. He was a very effective Assistant Minister and next year, we are still inviting him to come back to the Government of National Unity. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member also came and we considered those projects, alongside other projects. We identified other projects to be more urgent than those ones. Therefore, we substituted them with what the hon. Member considered to be urgent and of priority to him.
Next Question by the hon. Member for Mathira!
asked the Minister for Agriculture what are the categories of licences issued by the Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK) for dealing in coffee.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The following eleven categories of licences are issued by Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK) for dealing with coffee, pursuant to Section 17 and prescribed in Section 18 of the Coffee Act (2001):- Category "A" Licence, Category "B" Licence, Mbuni Dealers Licence, Marketing Coffee Licence, Millers Licence, Roasters Licence, Auctioneers Licence, Warehouseman Licence, Packers Licence, Pulping Licence and Management Agent Certificate. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I asked this Question because, under July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2399 the Coffee Act, the Millers Licence is supposed to be for firms that are doing milling, while those who are selling coffee are supposed to have the Marketing Coffee Licence. But what is happening here is that the same people who are holding Dealers Licences have been issued with Marketing Coffee Licence and licences for buying coffee. So, there is a cartel right now in the coffee industry and farmers are losing a lot of money. Could the Assistant Minister tell the House how come the same companies with the same list of directors are holding three different licences, resulting in huge losses to coffee farmers?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the hon. Member for bringing that matter to our attention. We have discovered that Rule No. 34, that prohibited double and duplicating of licences has been abused. So, in due course, we are going to issue another legal notice to ensure that no commercial dealers exporting or roasting coffee, will be licensed as marketing agents. Not again!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Coffee used to be a leading foreign exchange earner in this country for a long time. Now, it is not even in position three. It has been replaced by tourism and other cash crops. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will also note that coffee, which is a product mainly from highland areas, has made farmers' lives very miserable. Could the Assistant Minister tell us that, from now henceforth, he will have those licences cancelled and compensate farmers in coffee growing areas because of the huge losses that they have incurred?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that assurance has already been given to this House.
Last question, Mr. Gachagua!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy with the answer given by the Assistant Minister. He has said that he is going to issue a legal notice stating new regulations. But, in the meantime, could the Assistant Minister tell this House what he intends to do? We have a company called Mathira Coffee Mills that is now milling coffee in Mathira. There is a different company with the same directors called Coffee Management Services--- Another company called T. Dormans--- All those companies are owned by one, Jeremy Block. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the last sale of coffee, the Coffee Management Services withdrew coffee from the floor of the auction - coffee that had been offered for sale by Diamond Company at US$161 per bag, and sold it to themselves for US$133, making a loss of US$19 per bag. Now, I want the Assistant Minister to tell the House what steps he is taking in the meantime, before he introduces those regulations. That is because, as we are talking now, farmers are losing money. What immediate steps is he taking?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issues which have been raised by hon. Gachagua are very, very important. I know, and the Ministry knows exactly what is going on! We are going to address all those abnormalities because they are many. For example, you find that a company is licensed to market coffee, another one is licensed as a dealer in various forms, and they are the same people. All they do is just register the name of a brother or a sister in the two 2400 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 sister companies. There are a lot of things that are going wrong and we are going to address them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would advise the hon. Member, who is a member of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources that we have a session with them. The Minister and myself will be in attendance to try and address those issues because we must move together!
Hon. Members, we have gone past the Question Hour. Hon. Kombe, your Question is deferred until tomorrow. I have a few hon. Members who want---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Okioma! I have a few hon. Members who want to seek Ministerial Statements. There is one hon. Member who wants to make a Personal Statement. First, I will start with--- What is it, Mr. Kombe?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Will I be in order to request the Chair to have this Question to be among the first ones tomorrow?
Yes! It is a reasonable request.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Finance regarding an issue that was raised by an hon. Member of this House, so that full investigation is conducted---
Order! Is somebody from the Ministry of Finance here? Oh, yes! We have Mr. Kenneth, the Assistant Minister. Proceed, Mr. Arungah!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issues raised were very serious as they would have two-fold effects. One, they could very easily lead to the collapse of a very important institution, leading to the loss of savings by poor wananchi . It could also lead to the total collapse of the Nairobi Stock Exchange with obvious consequences. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are certain issues that were raised by the hon. Member. In his reply, I would like the Minister for Finance to address, amongst other issues that were raised:- (a) To confirm that one James Mwangi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Equity Bank, was a Finance Manager at Trade Bank and was also part of a senior management team supporting one Kassam, that led to the collapse of a key bank with billions of shillings belonging to poor July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2401
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could he confirm that it is the same, Mr. James Mwangi, who was adversely mentioned in the Goldenberg Inquiry? If, indeed, the three allegations are correct, is he fit to be a director of a bank? Is it true that the same gentleman owns a 30 per cent shareholding in Equity Bank through proxies? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, could the Minister for Finance clarify whether, it is indeed true, that a principal shareholder of Dyer and Blair Investment Bank, the leading broker on shares, is also a shareholder in Equity Bank? Is it true that the same gentleman is involved in the manipulation of shares of the said bank at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, with the effect that within a period of one year, the value of the shares are said to have multiplied eight-fold in a span of one year?
Order! One hon. Member is seeking a Ministerial Statement. I would like to hear what the Assistant Minister has to say on when he is going to respond. We cannot go on raising points of order. If the Assistant Minister agrees to bring a Ministerial Statement here, then you will raise the issues.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue that has been raised here is a weighty one and it goes to the very fundamentals of banking in this country. Aspersions have been raised when they should not have been raised because we all know who the Managing Director of Trade Bank was when it collapsed. It was one Ian Rayner. We all know who the General Manager was.
Order! Are you issuing a Ministerial Statement?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We all know who the General Manager of Trade Bank was. He is actually an hon. Member of this House seated on that side of the House.
Who is he?
There are Standing Orders. Could I, please, answer, then you can ask questions? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, banking is a fundamental issue. Last year, an issue was raised on a bank here and it led to the collapse of that bank. We must be very careful with some of the issues that we raise here. Unless they are verified and substantiated, we should not make light of the issues. Equity Bank was incorporated in 1982 by an hon. Member of this House who is seated in this House. The share capital at that time of incorporation, was Kshs1 million and, therefore, the issue of Kshs200 million having come from Trade Bank to incorporate Equity Bank would not 2402 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 have arisen. I am not aware that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was named in the Goldenberg Inquiry. The facts of the report of Goldenberg Inquiry are there for everybody. But I am not aware. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for you to qualify to be a Managing Director of a bank, there are various sets of requirements by Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) which the CEO of Equity Bank has fulfilled. He qualifies and is fit to be the Managing Director and he has been honoured by United Nations (UN) agencies for the role in which he has played in micro-finance in this country. In August last year, Equity Bank was taken to the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The bank met all the requirements of Capital Markets and Nairobi Stock Exchange and one of the requirements is that no shareholder should own more than 20 per cent of a bank. Mr. Mwangi, does not own more than 10 per cent of Equity Bank. I have been asked about the role of Dyer and Blair and I can only say that Mr. Jimna Mbaru is a shareholder of Equity Bank in his own right like any other Kenyan who would go to the Nairobi Stock Exchange and buy shares because Equity Bank is listed. I am not aware of any manipulation.
Very well, that is an instant Ministerial Statement. As usual, we cannot debate it. We can only seek clarifications which are limited; they are not endless. I want to thank you, Mr. Kenneth for a very focused Ministerial Statement instantly. I will only allow about two or so clarifications to be sought. First, I would like to give the opportunity to the hon. Member who requested for the Ministerial Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Now that the allegations have been denied, competently and effectively by the Assistant Minister - and they were calculated allegations - what is the House going to do with a situation like that, when someone decides to bring allegations of that nature to destroy somebody, could be, for personal reasons? What is the position of the Chair?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Let us have a response to this one first. When an hon. Member asks for a Ministerial Statement and the Minister agrees to respond to it, that is it. This Chair has got no powers to do anything about it. We want to hear more clarifications and if there is anything else that the Minister would like to add, he will do so.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Kiunjuri? But mind you, we do not want Members of the
Cabinet to be on the fore-front in seeking clarifications because the Assistant Minister has responded very effectively. So, for Members of the Cabinet again to stand seeking clarification on what a colleague has told the House, it does not look proper. Let us hear you, Mr. Kiunjuri.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are very much aware of the wars that are going on in the banking sector, especially now that Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank have been hit hard by Equity Bank. Also, considering that we want to have indigenous banks and companies motivated so that our people can come out of that cocoon---
Order, Mr. Kiunjuri! We are asking hon. Members to seek clarification from the Assistant Minister; where he is not clear. You are introducing debate, while I said that we are not going to debate. So, we are seeking clarification from the Assistant Minister, following his Ministerial Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2403
Mr. Muiruri, sit down! There are two Assistant Ministers who are being itched. I do not know what is boiling down there. Let us give the hon. Members an opportunity to seek clarification following the Assistant Minister's Statement. Mr. Kiunjuri, I cut you short because you had started debating what the Assistant Minister had stated here. If you have any clarification you want to seek, just do it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, mine was just to ask whether it would be in order for us to continue debating the character of a person who cannot defend himself. Allegations have been made against him and there is no further clarification or substantiation. Are we in order to continue debating while substantiation has not been made?
I have ruled out debate on this matter. I think I have been very clear. I have ruled out debate on this matter and I said that I will allow only two or three people to seek clarification. I want to give the Back Bench that opportunity, not the Government.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do appreciate the seriousness of this matter. But whereas we want to see indigenous banks grow in this country, we do have a responsibility to ensure that, that is done above board.
I want to seek a clarification on the following: One, I would like the Assistant Minister to confirm or deny that the Chief Executive Officer of Equity Bank was part of a bank that collapsed. Was he part of the management that led to collapse of a bank, where millions of Kenyans lost their money? If, indeed, that is correct, is the same gentleman fit to be a Chief Executive Officer of another bank, even if we were to put other issues aside? Could the Assistant Minister also confirm or deny that it is the same Mr. Mwangi - because names can be similar - who was mentioned in the Goldenberg Scandal? I do not want to go into other details. Most people have invested in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). But is it normal for the value of a share to grow eight-fold in a span of one year? Is it normal for this to happen, or those are exceptional---
Okay! Mr. Assistant Minister, note that!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a serious matter. I am a Member of the Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade, which has invited the management of the NSE. It has been admitted before the Committee that the NSE prices are being manipulated. All we want to know - and I thank the hon. Member for raising this issue - is whether it is true that the management of Dyer and Blair Investment Bank of about 16 people, where Mr. Jimna Mbaru is involved, determines the stock prices in the NSE. Is it also true that they own more than 90 per cent of the NSE? Our people are being fleeced! We saw what happened with the Uchumi Supermarkets stocks. This Government has put that issue under the table, yet, Uchumi Supermarkets Limited fleeced Kenyans at monumental levels. Lastly, it is important that we appreciate the activities of the NSE. But is it not only fair that the players in the NSE are held to account by the Government, so that they play by the rules, as opposed to the fleecing which is currently rampant in that stock exchange?
Lastly, Prof. Oniang'o!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have seen so many Kenyans lose a lot money through the so-called indigenous institutions, in the name of trying to be patriotic. 2404 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 Could the Assistant Minister name the two Kenyans here, whom he said have been part of some of these other institutions? On two occasions, he said---
Order, Prof. Oniang'o! You know that, that is against our rules. You do not begin discussing any Member of this House, unless you bring a substantive Motion. So, the Assistant Minister cannot do what you are asking him to. I think the Assistant Minister can now respond to the other issues.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Member to claim that it is I who first raised this issue, and that I was trying to, actually, cast aspersions against the shareholders of the bank?
Order! Dr. Khalwale, you are out of order! You better sit down! These are the sort of things that I said I am not going to entertain. You want to bring debate, but I am not going to allow it! I will ask the Assistant Minister to proceed along the line---
You should not stand up when I am standing, both of you! You must be seated when I am standing! What is it, Mr. Marende?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. You kindly had allowed three hon. Members to seek clarifications. Now that you ruled out hon. Prof. Oniang'o, could you allow me to seek a clarification?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy, Speaker. Could the Assistant Minister, in his clarification, rationalize to this House why Equity Bank is being treated by the Government as a favoured bank? Particularly, two years ago, the Government, through single-sourcing, under mysterious circumstances, allowed the acquisition of retail banking of the Industrial Development Bank (IDB), which is a public institution, to go to Equity Bank. There is also a directive that all farmers who produce and market their cereals through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) must get their payment through the Equity Bank. Equity Bank takes out of that payment 3 per cent. Could the Assistant Minister rationalize that apparent favouritism?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The law of natural justice requires that there be a right for reply. Yesterday, during the debate on the Vote of the Office of the President, it is hon. Dr. Khalwale, who raised this issue and tabled a document on the Floor of the House. Although the Chair has ruled that the Front Bench on the Government side should desist from seeking clarifications, I think this is one of those exceptional circumstances where hon. Dr. Khalwale, the originator of this matter, should be given a chance to seek clarification.
Order, hon. Raila! I did give hon. Dr. Khalwale a chance to seek any clarification. But from the word "go," he was not seeking clarification.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Now, you will be in trouble! You will have to obey the House rules! I want to proceed on how best I know the rules of the House. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2405 Yes, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the very beginning, I said that this was a very weighty matter, that we should not make light of. We are talking about the largest institution in this country in terms of a clientele base. There are over one million depositors or clients in that bank. Therefore, we must be serious, precise and go to the point of the truth of the matter. I did not, at any one point, say that the hon. Member cast any aspersions. What I said is that we must not cast aspersions on the integrity of an institution, because that bank is an institution which is serving over one million clients. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did say, and this came by way of clarification, that I am not aware that the Chief Executive Officer was mentioned in the Goldenberg Report, which is in the public domain. I do not know that the Chief Executive Officer worked for Trade Bank. But I do have two dates which are important for the hon. Member to know. Trade Bank went under in 1989, while Equity Bank was started in 1982. If as part of his history, the Chief Executive Officer had worked in Trade Bank and then moved to Equity Bank, it would be immaterial, realizing that the collapse happened in 1989 and Equity Bank was started in 1982. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was asked about the value of the shares. We addressed this issue, not so long ago, when hon. J. Nyagah, talked about the Capital Markets Authority. One of the things that I agree with hon. Midiwo, is that there is need for more players to be listed as stock brokers, and I answered that, in this House, affirmatively. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that this was a study that had actually recommended that there should be a number of more players, so that we can demystify the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). That is in process. Mr. Midiwo, in fact, talked about the NSE. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can also confirm to this House that going by the prudential guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Equity Bank is a very healthy bank. I can also confirm that going by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) rules, they have fulfilled all of them. I can also confirm that when these allegations, first of all, featured not so long ago, Keat Peak Marwick Group (KPMG) undertook a forensic audit of Equity Bank. It has also given it a clean bill of health. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, something was brought about Uchumi Supermarkets Limited. I would like to inform the hon. Member that the turnaround of Uchumi Supermarkets Limited has actually taken place. They finally declared a profit of Kshs35 million just a week ago. They are on their way back to the NSE. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, coming to the point that was raised by hon. Marende, I am not aware of any directive. I would actually ask the hon. Member, when he has an opportunity, to show me that particular directive. However, on the acquisition of Industrial Development Bank (IDB), which hon. Marende raised, the fact of the matter is that IDB had started a retail section when they were actually a development bank. On a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis, they sold out the retail section to Equity Bank. They did not merge. They sold the retail section of the development bank when the IDB realised that, that retail section was no longer making sales. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to rise under Standing Order No.69 to make a clarification--- 2406 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is the second time that I am seeing very strange things happen. You have given hon. Maore the Floor, but the members of the Press have all walked out. Are we being held to ransom by the Press as to who should speak and who should not speak? Why should they come back at all? We should close the door!
Order! Mr. Sambu, well, I can see you are very irritated.
Yes, we know a person who is irritated and one who is not. The Speaker addressed this issue yesterday. Of course, the Press comes here courtesy of this House. This House can decide that the Press covers the proceedings, or otherwise. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker said that he is not in control. We do not control who sits here and who does not sit here. So, unless there will be a specific request to the Chair where the Speaker will have to consider the merits and demerits of it, as we are sitting here now, the Speaker has got no control to force members of the Fourth Estate to sit in the Press Gallery.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, can I continue?
Yes, you can.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, under Standing Order No.69, I was rising to address the same issue whereby in my contribution last week, on July 3rd, on the Media Bill, I did quote a specific incident on a specific media house on page 2136 of the HANSARD. In the entire speech, which was three pages, the media gave it a blackout. However, as an afterthought which happened not on Tuesday the same day, or Wednesday or Thursday, but yesterday, the behaviour of the journalists is as what you have been told by Mr. Sambu. However, what I did say, in its proper context, I put it very clearly that it was the victims who are unfairly mistreated by the media. I quoted the 4th June edition of The Standard and I read an article on it where they had said in the same argument that the problem is that Ntonyiri residents believe that I will eventually expire through another road accident. I went down and read another sentence which stated: "If the rationale of joining politics is to form government, then it is right time to count his losses and rightfully disappear into the thickets of a miraa bush". Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in that context, I did put forward the next sentence which states: "It is a very offensive piece of article and I am actually intending to sue the newspaper". That was my quote. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, now it is the next sentence which the media houses are using as a pretext to force the House to oppose the Media Bill. It reads as follows: "I am trying to say that when you have a newspaper and using insults just because they have an outlet (that is of the media), it needs to be controlled. We do not want a situation whereby you have a pen and paper and you are not different from a monkey carrying a loaded gun". Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to the author of this piece of paper on June 4th in The Standard, to call him a monkey is an insult to the ape. It is worse. So, we need to put records straight to all the journalists. I can assure you I have been a friend to very many journalists July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2407 over the 15 years I have been here. Messrs. Muthui Mwai, Jacob Nthumbi, Eric Shimoli, Emman Omari and Ms. Mwenda Njoka have been my very good friends. I have no problem with this new breed of journalists who have come while I am here. I want to sincerely say I apologise if they feel offended, but it is wrong for them to be forced by The Standard to make sure they score a point of continuing the battle. I do apologise to them. Thank you.
Very well. You can see we have taken quite a lot of time. I will now call upon the Next Order.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Why are they back? The Speaker controls the proceedings of the Chamber. The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), of which you are a member, controls what happens within Parliament. Are we going to have people walking in and walking out at their leisure? What were they going to pick out from there? Guns? Why are they behaving like this?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. gentleman was not here, but I think the members of the Fourth Estate come here at their own discretion.
Order, hon. Raila!
Order! I think we need to be mature in the manner in which we conduct ourselves in here. I do not think it is necessary for two senior Members of this House to exchange words in this manner. It is not right. You need to be showing good examples to the junior Members of this House. Mr. Sambu, we have already dealt with this matter and the Chair has stated its position. If there is anything you want to raise as a substantive Motion regarding the conduct of the members of the Fourth Estate, that can be done separately. We cannot go back and forth on the same issue. So, I have already called for the next Order.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Raila! Order! The Chair will be respected. We cannot continue like this. Honestly, if you do not want to respect the Chair, please, just walk out.
He must apologise.
No, I am not going to take this one. If you do not want to obey the Chair, walk out! If you do not want to suffer the indignity of being sent out--- Next Order!
Who was on the Floor?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was on the Floor.
You have seven minutes to go.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We have free primary education and it must be seen to be all inclusive to all members of our society whether they are disabled or not. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the absence of Government-supported institutions for learning, we have left the disabled members of our society to be helped by NGOs and other well-wishers. We must do what makes these members of our society proud to be Kenyans. All we need to do is to make sure that we contribute to their welfare. We all know that for them to learn in primary and secondary schools, there are a lot of costs involved because there are special items that they require for them to learn. They do not just require pens and books like those who are not disabled. They require other facilities. Those must be funded by ourselves. Therefore, it goes without saying that the request that we are making of establishing one fully Government supported primary school and secondary school is, in fact, a fair one. Actually, we need much more than that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to repeat that for now, we have left these members of our society in the hands of NGOs to take care of them. They did not choose to be disabled. They have been put there by circumstances and we need to make sure that we support them so that they can be proud to be Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. The disabled people are the most marginalised in this country. They are marginalised at work, in their own homes and villages and even in education. It is the responsibility of this House to make sure that this is corrected.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need, first of all, to determine the number of disabled people in this country. It is very unfortunate that this Government does not have an accurate census of the disabled in this country. The excuse that we have been given is that parents are hiding some of these disabled people. It is the responsibility of the Government to make sure that in each village, sub location and location we know the number of disabled people be they the blind, the physically disabled and so on.
On a point of information, Mr. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2409 Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Do you want to be informed, Mr. Khamisi?
No, I do not want to be informed, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Thank you.
On a point of order, then.
Now, Dr. Machage, how does a point of information convert into a point of order in the same instance?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What do you have to say now?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it in order for the hon. Member to mislead the House that the Government does not have statistics of the disabled people in this country whereas we know that there are 3.2 million disabled people in this country? We also know where they are and the nature of their disabilities.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform my colleague that the figures he has mentioned are only estimates that have been announced by the various departments of Government. There has not been a census, and I am talking about an actual census of the disabled in this country. He should admit that this does not exist. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my own constituency, I have one school for the disabled called Kibarani School for the Deaf.
Dr. Machage, is that the correct statement?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have authenticated statistics on the disability status in this country. We have reports from sub chiefs in every village in this country. I served in the Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of Home Affairs and I know this.
I do not think you want to counter that. Just proceed, Mr. Khamisi.
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I really do not want to advance that point of view, but I would like to say that in my own constituency, Bahari, we have one school for the disabled called Kibarani School for the Deaf. I have visited this school and I have seen the wonderful work that is taking place there, including the sacrifice by teachers in that school. I am convinced that we have no legitimate reason to marginalise the disabled for the simple reason that these are individuals who are as gifted as we are in various aspects of their own lives. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is disgraceful that, yesterday, when we were discussing an issue regarding the disabled persons, the Minister for Education told this House that the disabled children do not pay school fees. I would like to tell this Government that, indeed, the students of this particular school I have mentioned, pay school fees. When I visited that school, I saw the suffering of, particularly, the orphans and I offered to sponsor four students. I am now paying school fees for those students. So, I want the Government to take responsibility and admit that they are not doing enough for the disabled. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important that we build more schools. The school that I am talking about is a primary school and it is the only one in the whole of Coast Province. In the next financial year, I have promised, through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), to build a secondary school for the disabled. For this reason, I would like the Government to come and offer its hand and make sure that each district and constituency has properly constituted schools that are well- funded and well-equipped. Presently, most of these schools are not equipped 2410 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 at all. They do not have the necessary facilities such as the teaching aids. They do not have facilities for the disabled in terms of mobility. I think it is important that if we are talking about assisting the disabled, then we must help them in mobility as well. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the education of the disabled people is a specialised area and we need people who are well-trained to teach these people. We need to have special teacher training colleges to teach teachers, who will then be deployed to these institutions. At the moment, most of the teachers are volunteers. They are people who do not have the necessary qualifications to be able to handle special cases that are provided by the disabled. So, it is important that, as we discuss and support this Motion, we also urge the Government to provide facilities for training of people and experts who can actually handle the disabled students. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, among the disabled, we have orphans and very poor people. Therefore, it is important that as we do that, we also put special emphasis on these students by offering them bursaries and other assistance in form of uniforms, et cetera . I fully support this Motion, because it is very important. So, this House should fully support this Motion. With those few words, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion. Now that when we pass this Motion there will be time to bring a Bill to make it into law, I would even think that when we say "---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 the children living with disabilities", we should further add a sentence there to say "that the services should provided to these children free of charge."
Mr. Sambu, you cannot amend the Motion now.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have not amended it. I said I wish such a sentence could be added. So, I am not repeating an amended--- I know the procedural Standing Orders. It was just my wish that even if this were to be the case, we should even go further and say that these children are facilitated to have free education when they go to these schools. It is not any child's wish, or anybody's wish, to be born blind or deaf or with any disability whatsoever. Not at least at birth or when they are young children. Therefore, the Government should do something for these children. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are now training teachers on special education, as they call it. They are going back to the districts, in those ordinary primary schools, but they cannot, really, help children with disabilities, because they do not have the facilities. Teaching blind children requires special facilities. Teaching deaf children requires special facilities. So, the Government, or the Ministry of Education, should use part of its budget to facilitate schools for special children. There are donors who come in to aid these schools, but you find that, in spite of the donors facilitating and giving help to these schools, the administrators of the schools still charge very high fees. So, I would like to say that we support this Motion. We want the Government to do something about children with disabilities. It is so serious a matter that children with disabilities have a problem. The problem is such that if it is not taken care of, children with disabilities will spread throughout the nation and will suffer. So, I would say that I would like to see the Government do something about children with disabilities to make sure that they are taken care of. If the Government could come out and tell us what it is doing with children with disabilities; it could come out openly, so that we know how deaf children, blind children or crippled children are helped. This could come out very clearly to help July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2411 these children. I support this Motion and hope that it will be implemented. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that we cannot be intimidated by the Press. Every time we stand up, they walk out, like they have walked out now. This nation has to make up its mind whether it is under the intimidation of the Press or it is a free nation which makes its decisions as per the laws of the nation. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Dr. Mwiria, are you responding to the debate?
No, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Somebody will.
Well, he can respond at any time he wants but, Dr. Mwiria, let us listen to a few more comments from hon. Members. Mr. Kipchumba!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also want to support this very important Motion. About 10 per cent of Kenyans are actually disabled. I know that the Minister has given statistics, but we must appreciate that there are so many other cases which have not been reported. I wish that the respective Ministry could update its data, so that we know for certain how many Kenyans are disabled. In my own constituency, I have two primary schools dealing with such cases. One of them is dealing with hearing impairment, while the other one is dealing with physical disability. However, yesterday, when the Minister for Education was asked about giving support to those schools, he seemed completely lost as to what happens in those primary schools. The fact of the matter is that those children actually pay school fees, ranging from Kshs10,000 to Kshs30,000, depending on which school they go to. Of course, schools like Thika School for the Blind could be very expensive. The school in my constituency charges Kshs12,000 per child per year in order for the children to be maintained in the school. Of course, the school must buy food, pay salaries to staff, et cetera . Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that a whole Ministry is run by a Minister who has no clue as to what happens in his Ministry. It is unfair to tell Members of Parliament that the Ministry is not aware of something, when it has the necessary machinery to establish whether those children pay school fees or not. Therefore, I want to urge the Minister, who is here today, to commence investigations. If, indeed, we want to assist those children, who are required to pay Kshs12,000, which they do not have--- Their parents already have enough problems. The fact that you have a disabled child is itself a difficulty financially and otherwise. Therefore, since this country every time talks of being mindful of disabled Kenyans, it is necessary that we show this with deeds. I know that such schools get money under the Free Primary Education Programme, just like any other primary school, but that money is not sufficient given that those children require extra attention. Therefore, in line with what we are doing for technical institutions, I wish to see a budget dedicated to supporting institutions of disabled children. This is not difficult. I witnessed cases where disabled children graduated, and they are now being given vocational training. The problem is that we lack workshops. We are supporting those schools through the Constituencies Development Fund to build workshops from where such children can get vocational training. We know that the facilities to support vocational training are very expensive. Therefore, I want to request the Minister to proceed expeditiously to ensure that all those institutions--- The easiest 2412 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 training that we can give to people who suffer from IQ disabilities is vocational training. Those are courses that they can do physically. They do not require a lot of items. If the Ministry is very serious about that, it should proceed this year and copy what is being done by the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs where, every hon. Member has identified one technical institution---
Order, Mr. Kipchumba! I am forced to ask you to conclude your contribution!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask the Minister to set aside a certain amount of money for each constituency to assist those institutions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, I now call upon the Official Government Responder.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to respond and congratulate all hon. Members who have supported this Motion, including the Mover, Prof. Olweny. He has picked an area that is crucially important - the education of those who are disadvantaged in this country. First of all, I would like to talk about the extent of the problem. It is a very serious one. Dr. Machage said that we have three million physically challenged Kenyans. In terms of the analysis and assessment that has been done through the Ministry of Education assessment centres, only 18 per cent of those who have been found to be physically challenged are actually enroled in special education programmes. So, it is a very serious problem. It is not just a problem that we should look, watch and do nothing about. There is a very serious Government commitment for a number of reasons. First of all, we have to be concerned about the disabled if, for nothing else, for reasons of equity. We need to see them treated equitably and fairly. We need to give them an opportunity to benefit in the same way that other groups in marginalised areas such as women in remote communities are benefitting from our equity related policies and programmes in the Ministry. It is also a human right. They have a right like everybody else. We say education is a human right. The physically challenged also have a right to education. They can do certain things to make them self- reliant. Hon. Members have proposed vocational education. That will allow them to earn an income so that they are not dependent on society, as has been the case. That way, the society will also respect them. Once someone is independent economically, there is that respect and confidence that is automatically in-built in the person who benefits from that kind of education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this issue also concerns the ability of the disadvantaged to contribute to the development of this country. If it is 10 per cent of the population that is physically challenged, we need that 10 per cent of the population to participate in various aspects of the development of this country, whether it in the political or economic spheres. It is important for them to feel that they have played a part. They have been given an opportunity to contribute towards the development of this nation. Education is one way of getting them to participate in the development of this country. In view of that, the Ministry has focused more on inclusive education. Given that we cannot do it as quickly as we can because we would like to have enough schools in every constituency and district, and given that we would like those who are physically challenged to see themselves as part of the wider society and not different, the policy is one of all inclusive education where students learn with those who have no disabilities. Essentially, the idea is not to have any discrimination. There are no feelings of lacking in any way. It is also possible for those who are fit to go to schools that are nearby. If we do not just emphasise on special schools and have schools generally, then there is an opportunity for those who are disadvantaged to enrol in a school. July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2413 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this matter is tough in terms of challenges. We have spoken about the resources that are available. Even for majority of children who have no special needs, it is still a problem. There are complaints about whether or not there are enough school places and whether the education that is being offered is of quality. There are challenges in terms of whether we have training personnel to manage all those schools that will be started everywhere in the country. There are challenges also related to how pupils and teachers respond to those who have physical challenges. There are issues of facilities and generally the expensive nature of that provision, not to mention the requirements of training teachers and so on. In this regard, therefore, we have to do much more. That is why the Ministry is progressively increasing the amount of money that is available for special needs training. In the last few years, for example, in addition to the Kshs1,020 that is allocated to every child in primary schools, children who are in specialised teaching schools get an additional Kshs2,000. In other words, a child who has a disability and has been enroled in a special unit is entitled to Kshs3,020, per year as opposed to Kshs1,020 that is only available to a child in a normal school, who has no disability. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are also grants in aid for special schools to cater for recurrent operations. In this regard, last year, Kshs380 million was voted for by the Ministry to support recurrent operations in special schools in this country. Also, resources were voted for infrastructural improvements and for classrooms and dormitories. In the Budget for the Financial Year 2006/2007, Kshs200 million was voted for that. A similar amount for both improvement of infrastructure and the maintenance of recurrent facilities will be voted for in the coming budget. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a lot has been done to support training. I would like to point out that, even though we seem to have serious challenges in this country, Kenya is doing much better than most countries in this region. In terms of what we have for training facilities, already, the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) is churning out 1,500 graduates every year. Three teacher training colleges namely: Machakos, Migori and Mosoriot are also admitting teachers to be trained in special needs education, so that they are available to teach in primary schools. Two public universities, Kenyatta and Maseno, offer degree courses in special education. Kagumo Teachers College offers a diploma course for teachers. Obviously, this is still a drop in the ocean given the nature of the challenge. That is why we have undertaken other measures, including strengthening assessments to facilitate identification of learners and where they can be placed. I have already spoken about the need for inclusive education given the difficulties of having enough specialised schools, co-ordinating with donors and NGOs that are investing in this, so that we can work together to ensure that there is no duplication of limited resources and waiving duty on specialised equipment for special schools. That is already happening not just for specialised schools, but for other institutions being supported by the private sector in that regard. They are supporting us in that endeavour. But, more importantly, was the development of a policy which was initiated following a task force on special education that concluded its mission last year, as well as the policies that are contained in Sessional Paper No.10 of 2005 on Education and Training. With regard to specific sex, affirmative action is being carried out in admission to institutions. There is also strengthening of relevant institutions and expansion of the Kenya Institute for Special Education (KISE) to be able to admit more students through the in-service training programmes. With regard to teachers training colleges, efforts of expansion are being made. In future, we will not have just the three colleges that I mentioned earlier. As already said in this House, there will also be a different curriculum and examinations that will address the needs of the physically handicapped. This will be in terms of the time given to do specific examinations and the kind of adjustments by invigilators to support students with special needs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the bottom line is that we, as a Ministry, agree there is 2414 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 need to set up special schools in every district. Ideally, resources allowing, we should have a special primary school and a special secondary school in every constituency. This is a long-term goal. Therefore, we must begin to look for resources to support that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, I would like to say that we already have 108 specialised primary schools in this country. We tabled that list here yesterday. We also have seven specialised secondary schools, four specialised technical schools and 1,340 special units attached to primary schools. I also spoke about three teachers training colleges and diploma colleges. I also talked about 72 special assessment centres in every district . So what is needed now is consolidation, so that where we already have the primary and secondary schools, we can support them to be the ones that represent particular districts, or constituencies. We need to incorporate relevant curriculum. A point has already been made about a vocational-type education that would prepare graduates from the institutions to be independent. We also need to support them in other ways. If one is studying for a degree in Bachelor of Education (BEd), he or she can be supported to teach better in a secondary school with the relevant equipment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, all this will require mobilisation of resources beyond the Government. I am delighted that Mr. Joe Khamisi is already thinking of establishing a special school in his constituency. As hon. Members of Parliament, we all need to consider this. Given the demand for education, we should also be at the forefront in starting these institutions which can then benefit from Government support. Once started, the Government would provide teachers, relevant material and capitation grants. In this areas, I think collaboration with hon. Members of Parliament would be greatly appreciated, in terms of ensuring that we move with greater speed than would be the case given the resources available for the Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, now that we are doing pretty well with the free primary education programme. I know there are needs and questions about the numbers of teachers, facilities available and so on and so forth. I think it is possible to persuade donors and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to move more resources into specialised education because of the general neglect that this sub-sector has experienced. In other words, more resources should be directed to these schools. Although there is still a need in formal schools, they have received much better support and made it above average compared with special education in both primary, secondary and higher levels. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, apart from education we have to do more for the physically challenged. Their problems would be better appreciated if you looked at them in a wider context. How represented are they in Parliament and other relevant bodies? How much say do they have in local government affairs? What are other Ministries doing in terms of voting relevant resources for supporting institutions that relate to their Ministries and would cater to those with special needs? This should include the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Transport. This is not just a Ministry of Education problem in terms of the overall environment in which people who are physically challenged have to operate. These issues are from awareness creation in everything else we do; things we do along the roads, so that they are better respected and so on. It is that wider environment that has to first be appreciated if we have to get more actors in this field to support what the Government, NGOs and hon. Members of Parliament are doing. The very fact that we are debating this matter and so many hon. Members of Parliament have an interest in it, is an indication of the fact that we have become much more aware and would be much committed to mobilise resources that we need to support this programme. During this session of Parliament, there have been a number of Questions on this matter. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, as a Ministry, support this and look forward to moving to a point where we have special primary schools and special secondary schools in every constituency. We must appreciate the fact that this is a sector of the society that requires the July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2415 attention of the Government just like other disadvantaged groups and all of us. We also have a right to benefit from whatever is available from the Government. With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Kosgey, you have about four minutes to contribute. Please, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, four minutes is adequate for me. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just want to add my voice to this important Motion. I support it fully. Special education is one sector of our education system that has been very poorly addressed. However, I am happy to hear what the Assistant Minister has said. I am happy that he has a broad understanding of special education and how to approach it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the Sessional Paper that was laid in this House, it has just a single paragraph that mentions special education. I hope that the Ministry will formulate an all-inclusive policy on special education right from the training of teachers. The Assistant Minister talked about 1,500 teachers being trained at KISE, that is the figure of those who go there for short courses. The actual output is only 80 teachers per year. That college can only accommodate 80 student-teachers. That is a drop in the ocean. It, therefore, should be expanded, so that we can have enough teachers for our children who are challenged in one way or another. I know that training a teacher to teach challenged children is quite involving. I have been there. I have seen that college. It requires a lot of money. It should be expanded. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think you know that there are over two million children who are challenged in one way or another. We should have a much more serious programme for them than what we have at the moment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, yesterday, the Assistant Minister did not seem to understand that these children in special schools pay school fees. We have one school for the deaf at Kapsabet and students pay school fees. They pay up to Kshs20,000 per year. That is quite a lot of money because they come from poor families. We have not addressed ourselves to offering education to our children who are challenged in one way or another. We should address this issue and come up with the way forward. Other than that, special primary schools are very few. I know there is a move to main-stream, so that if a child is physically challenged, he or she can go to a normal school. He or she does not have to attend a different school. However, there are certain cases where even attending a normal school may not be appropriate. In this case, they need special schools. The 108 special schools, therefore, is a drop in the ocean. Special secondary schools are almost non-existent because the ones we have are not enough. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion. We should emphasize on training our teachers to teach in these schools and expand our special primary and secondary schools. We should also create a policy that is all-inclusive and clear.
I will now call upon the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Let me begin by thanking hon. Members who have made their contribution to this Motion. According to me, the first mood by hon. Members--- We are dealing with a special group in our society. We are dealing with a group that was born with disabilities. Several of them acquired disabilities in life either through sickness, carelessness of the society or violence. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to train those people in schools is a very expensive affair. I just want to give a small example here, which I got from a school for the blind. For that school to be comfortable in keeping its students in school, it requires Kshs1.6 million for feeding them, medication, transport and other running activities. It requires braille papers worth Kshs95,000 per year. Perkins braillers will need about Kshs163,000. Literature and braille text 2416 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 books will come to about Kshs800,000, if they were to be comfortable. But we know that the Government is giving them some support, but not to that extent. The things for doing the brailling, that is the slates, the stylus and the braillon will come to about to Kshs60,000, if they were to be comfortable. But we know they will not get that much. The Government and donors are giving them some support, but not to that extent. But all the same, I am happy with the support that we have got from the Floor on this Motion. On that note, I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, in view of the escalating cost of living and the skewed employment opportunities available for the young educated people in the country; observing that crime rates have consequently gone up partly owing to the inadequate training, equipping and remunerating of the police force, thereby, lowering the morale of the police force to fight crime effectively; this House urges the Government to immediately initiate the payment of risk, medical and extraneous allowances to the police force, in addition to any other appropriate allowances and benefits like insurance on life. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the first recruitment of policemen in Kenya was done in 1887 by the Imperial British East Africa, which was to provide security for its stores within Mombasa. The coast-based company was under Sir William Mackinon who saw it fit to have security to guard the premises of their company. Why am I giving the genesis of that? It is because since 1887 to date, our policemen are still being underpaid. Our policemen are not being given allowances. Our policemen are not being supplied with bullet-proof vests. There is no equipment for policemen. They are still being called names. Some of these names include carjackers, bribe- takers et cetera, et cetera . Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is quite sad that after having attained Independence in 1963 to date, our policemen cannot be given enough allowances as other institutions. We are talking about security, which is a basic human right. As a nation, we regard security as a matter of priority. Some of the questions which kenyans ask are whether the police services in our localities have become better, worse or much worse! Is it just the same? The answer is that it is just the same or it is getting much worse. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we go by the crime figures, for the last three years, in the months of July, January, September and May, we had the highest number of crimes reported. Why was that so? It is because of lack of new modern technological equipment which is normally used to combat crime. The gist of the matter is that the morale has gone down. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Mover of the Vote for the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security said yesterday that they have acquired certain equipment in order to improve the services of the Police Force. He spoke about an electronic fingerprint identification equipment which the Government had to purchase at the cost of Kshs32 million. But is that enough to combat crime? Just electronic equipment for fingerprints! No! It is important for us to treat our policemen as people. If you look at other institutions, you will find that they are being given good allowances, which will take care of their needs. The Government needs to expand its facilities, equipment and technology in order to serve people effectively. We have July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2417 officers sharing crowded rooms with their spouses. What happens? When your spouse is around and you have to share the rooms, there are two things. The host can either go outside and get a hotel room in order to share with his spouse. Why is that so? It is because the Government is not doing anything to give adequate shelter to our police officers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will be surprised if I gave you a sample of the salaries and allowances the policemen are getting. A police inspector gets a basic salary of Kshs30,240, with a rental house allowance of Kshs3,000. We are talking about a police inspector getting a rental house allowance of Kshs3,000, and a medical allowance of Kshs990. If a police inspector gets a medical allowance of Kshs990 and contracts malaria, Coartem tablets for malaria go for Kshs700. If he is infected by Typhoid, a full dose of cyproxin goes for Kshs7,000. So, it means that the police inspector will definitely die, because he will not afford the whole dose of cyproxin tablets. That shows you that we do not want to assist the police officers to enjoy better health. I am not talking about insurance. There is no insurance cover! There is no life insurance cover for any police officer, leave alone an inspector. With Kshs3,000 as house allowance for an inspector of police, which estates in Nairobi would you recommend to this person to live in? It will have to be a slum area. Further, they are saying that if this police inspector dies on duty, his dependants will be given his three months salary. That means Kshs30,240 times three. That is what his dependants will get, which gives us a total of Kshs90,720. Maybe the inspector has five school- going children. What will happen to his family members?
Order, Mr. Ojode! Behind the hon. Member speaking, there are hon. Members consulting very loudly.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what will happen to the inspector's kids? They go without food, and will not go to school. We are going to ruin the family of this particular individual. That is for the inspector! There is no risk or extraneous allowance for the inspector. There is also no life insurance for him. If we look at the corporal, the basic salary is Kshs17,220 and his medical allowance is Kshs750. His housing supplementation--- Supplementation means that he is being paid that money and is housed at the same time.
Order, hon, Members! Please, consult in low tones! Proceed, Mr. Ojode!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the housing supplementation for a corporal is Kshs2,050, and he will also be sharing the same room with his colleagues. If the corporal dies on duty, he will get Kshs51,660. There is neither an extraneous allowance nor a risk allowance. There is also no life insurance. Let us now look at the senior sergeant. I am just giving you an example! We are sympathising with the way the Government is dealing with the policemen, from 1887 when the first recruitment was done in Mombasa. A senior sergeant gets a basic salary of Kshs27,435 and a medical allowance of Kshs990. His housing supplementation is Kshs3,050. There is no extraneous allowance, life insurance or risk allowance. That means that if he dies on duty, his dependants will get Kshs54,870. 2418 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us go to a police constable. This is the last example which I want to give. A police constable gets a basic salary of Kshs13,800. He gets a medical allowance of Kshs495 and a housing supplementation of Kshs1,640. We have 40,000 policemen in the entire Police Force plus the 20,000 plus Administration Police officers. That figure is so small for the Government not to decide on certain allowances. Officers in the other forces, which I do not want to go into detail, for example, the Armed Forces, were given a pay rise in this year's Budget. They even have an entertainment allowance to the tune of Kshs50,000 up to Kshs100,000. I am not saying that the Minister in charge of security should also pay entertainment allowances to the policemen, but why not? If their counterparts are getting an entertainment allowance, why should they not get the same? Do you know that if a policeman today gets sick, he has to go home and sell whatever he has in order to pay for his medical bills? That is the type of police officer that you want to serve Kenyans. Who are handling the dirty jobs? Is it not the policemen? You want to call the same policemen when you are car-jacked. The same policemen guard the State House and this House and they are not getting any allowances. What is wrong in giving each police officer a minimum allowance of Kshs20,000? If you multiply this by 40,000 officers, it adds up to a very small figure, and yet we are talking of purchasing second-hand jet fighters. How? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, just in June, we lost quite a number of Kenyan citizens. About 112 people died in the month of June alone. Among the 112 people, 15 policemen lost their lives. They lost their lives because they were not properly equipped and they had not been given bullet-proof vests. Their morale is down completely. When the Minister was moving his Vote, he said that this time round, he has included some money to purchase bullet-proof vests. Bullet proof vests are so heavy that you cannot wear one when you do not have food in your stomach. It is not practical! The first thing the Minister should have done was to say that he is going to give risk, entertainment and extraneous allowances to these fellows and on top of that, he is going to set aside money to purchase life vests.
Is the word "fellows" another name for officers?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am referring to the police officers. On 6th July, we lost a dedicated police officer by the name of David Wagura from Muthithi Patrol Base in Murang'a District; the Minister's district. I have been saying that we have moved from the analogue type of system to digitization and yet, when the Minister comes here he brags. He has precambrian ideologies. It is important for us to find ways of teaching our own people through our officers. The Minister should ask this Parliament for extraneous allowance now that he has a scheme of service for policemen. Before this allowance was increased in the last three years, they were getting Kshs80. Even those police officers who were guarding the President were getting Kshs80 but fortunately, somebody came to their rescue. The allowance was increased from Kshs80 to Kshs30,000. The allowances of the other police officers were increased from Kshs80 to Kshs3,000 but only those who were guarding VIPs. How about the rest of the policemen? Why do you have to put two or three options within the force? Why can we not generalise that each police officers whether handling a firearm or not, will be entitled to a risk allowance of Kshs10,000 or Kshs30,000? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently, on 11th February, we heard that there was a problem in Mt. Elgon and Kuresoi. It was reported that the police raided some caves within Mt. Elgon Forest where they found armed raiders who were terrorising people or residents at a settlement scheme known as Chebyuk. Those raiders opened fire on the policemen. That is the area where Mr. Serut who is an Assistant Minister in the same Government, comes from, who is denying police officers their allowances. The raiders opened fire on the residents. When the police July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2419 officers were called to assist the residents, about 80 policemen were injured.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. You have just heard the hon. Member say that Mr. John Serut is denying police officers their allowances. I think this amounts to imputing improper motives on a Member of Parliament. I would like to ask him to substantiate this: When did Mr. Serut deny police officers their allowances and which allowances is he talking about?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did say---
Order. That turned out to be more of a question than a point of order. On the other hand, I think the hon. Member said that Mr. Serut is part of a Government that has denied police officers their allowances.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is exactly what I said. Thank you so much for paying attention to what I am saying. It means you are serious because this involves all of us.
Order, Mr. Ojode. The Chair is always serious.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I totally agree with the Chair. I will not end my Motion without thanking The Standard Newspaper. I want to thank The Standard Newspaper for what they wrote today about police officers. You cannot even read that page if that is what is actually happening. It is not possible! All of us are privileged to have bodyguards. We have to cater for these bodyguards of ours. Even Mr. Mwenje pays allowances for his bodyguards. I am trying to rescue those who cannot speak in this House because of having Ministerial portfolios so that their bodyguards can also get the same allowances. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other day, I was told by Mr. Katuku that he was forced to buy cyproxin tablets for his bodyguard who was infected by typhoid. How many of us would buy the tablets?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for hon. Ojode to drag my name in his submission when, actually, I never talked to him about the issue? Why is he giving this House wrong information?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir the fact of the matter is that he purchased some syphroxin tablets for his bodyguard. His bodyguard was unable to purchase the tablets. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my time is running out. So, in a nutshell, I plead with my colleagues to pass this Motion in order to assist those police officers. With those few remarks, I beg to move, and request Prof. Oniang'o to second the Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not know whether you are satisfied with the way hon. Ojode has responded to the issue I raised of dragging my name into issues which are not true. He is, actually, misleading this House by saying that I told him about the issue. I never told him anything and did not buy any drugs. Is it in order for him to drag my name into issues which are not true? Can he withdraw that remark?
Order! order! Mr. Ojode, you do not have any more time, neither do you have a right to respond to that issue, unless I ask you to. The thing to worry about is if the information is correct.
It is not! 2420 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007
That is the only thing to worry about. I should tell Mr. Ojode that, although his time is up, he should be responsible for the accuracy of the information he gives to the world, through this House.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that he did not tell me. However, his bodyguard said that he got the money from Mr. Katuku. You are right, Mr. Minister!
Order! Order, Mr. Ojode! On that same note, Mr. Ojode, you have to apologise to Mr. Katuku.
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is true. I apologise to the Minister. However, he is the one who gave the money to his bodyguard. That is the same thing as him buying the tablets. I apologise by saying that it is true that the Minister did not communicate to me directly on that issue. It is the bodyguard who said that he got the money from him.
Does that mean that you have withdrawn and apologised?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it now?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have a problem with what he said because he has withdrawn and apologised. However, he is dragging the name of an officer who cannot come here and defend himself. I know that my security officers have been on duty. They have not been sick. How do we treat this? If need be, I can lay them on the Table, as evidence, to prove that.
Mr. Ojode is no longer on the Floor. I have already cleared that matter in principle that the hon. Members must be responsible for the accuracy of the information they give. They should not also drag names of people who cannot defend themselves. It does not, really, help to give information that you cannot stand by. I think that suffices.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I now have the Floor. However, I think this Motion is so critical that I have to play my part in seconding it. I would like to congratulate hon. Ojode for bringing it here. It is long overdue. I would also like to acknowledge the hon. Members who treat their security detail as human beings. If, indeed, the Minister did so, I would like to congratulate him and say these are the people who make sure that we are safe.
Prof. Oniang'o, you are still extending the same talk?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am just saying that it is true---
Order! Just leave it alone! Let it rest there. The Minister does not want his name to be dragged in. Use another example.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, It is a question of who said what and who did not say.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2421 you have just heard the hon. Member say that there are some hon. Members who do not treat their security detail as human beings. I would like him to substantiate which hon. Members are those? Otherwise, she should withdraw!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, he is putting words into my mouth. I never said anything like that! The HANSARD can vouch for that. It is important that you sit here and listen. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support this Motion---
You are seconding it.
Yes, I want to second it, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was brought up by a policeman father. He was in the police force for 33 years. He passed away in December; may God rest his soul in eternal peace---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know what being a policeman is all about. I am happy to support this Motion. We are a country that demarcates professions. We are a country that puts people "that way", and other people "this way". On many occasions, I have said in this House that we need to harmonise the salary structure in the public sector. We cannot have a police force of about 40,000 officers living in dingy places, not knowing where their next meal will come from. They sit out there in the sun, feeling sorry for themselves and are highly demoralised. No wonder we have this level of insecurity in this country! It is just not right! I think for anybody to perform that function, he or she should actually be well motivated. They must have incentives. They have to be assured that when they die in the line of duty, their families will be taken care of. That is not happening in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do not support the police when they kill somebody on sight. We know many innocent Kenyans have died when there is a fracas and my heart goes out to them. But, at the same time, the police have also died innocently! We are saying that the Government needs to look at the Police Force! The other day, I arrived at the airport and I was met by three policemen. They said:- " Mheshimiwa, we cannot defend ourselves! We cannot talk! Are you aware of the conditions that we live in? Are you aware that when we die, our children are not supported? They do not go to school? Are you aware that we get only Kshs495 for medical expenses?" Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is not right. We are here to talk for the voiceless! I would like the young people sitting here or out--- When we ask them: "What career would you like to pursue?" They would say: "I would like to be a policewoman or a policeman!" They should see that as a respectable and a respected profession. Those of us who travel are aware that when you look at police officers when they are near you, you feel safe. If you dare take out something to try and bribe them, you will go in for a period and you will regret in your life that you ever did that. So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree entirely with this Motion. I agree with hon. Ojode that this Question has come here before. We know that the police will not go on strike. By their training and ethical code, they cannot go on strike. They cannot say: "We are suffering!" You saw a Question here asking: "How do we promote them?" They do not seem to have a promotion structure! We do not even have a proper structure that remunerates them according to their level of qualification! So, we have to treat this particular sector of the public service as we do others. We have seen civil servants go on strike and we have sought how to stop them from going on strike and how to harmonise the salary structure so that everybody gets what they deserve. I remember the Attorney-General saying that he is going to bring here a Bill which will ensure that salaries in the public sector are harmonised, so that every Kenyan feels that we are all sharing the national cake equitably. Sometimes, we bring these Questions here but they are not answered properly. We get 2422 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 the impression that these matters are being treated casually. So, I am hoping that as we support it here, it is going to pass and the Government is listening. One way of beginning to deal with the issues of insecurity in Kenya--- We cannot deny that insecurity has reached high levels in this country. I do not know even why tourists are coming here because if you go out there, everything you read about Kenya is the level of insecurity in a country which is so strategic and which is ready to go forward economically. We need to deal with the level of insecurity. If we are going to deal with it, then we have to properly remunerate the people that we expect to provide us with security. I support everything that Mr. Ojode has said and I leave it there for other hon. Members to contribute. With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion and thank Mr. Ojode for bringing it forward. This Motion reflects the many comments that have been made in this House in support of our policemen and policewomen. So, it is very timely or even long overdue, that we should have a law that should protect and ensure that our policemen are taken care of. I want to express my sorrow for the policemen who lose their lives in the course of duty and then their families find themselves completely unsupported, forgotten and have to go back to their rural areas to suffer in silence. It is very important that the Government puts in place a mechanism that ensures that families of policemen and policewomen are taken care of. In any society where there is inequity, there will always be crime. Kenya is rated as the most unequal society in the world. We have few people who are extremely wealthy and a majority who are extremely poor. There is nothing to be proud of in having large slums like Mathare and Kibera where many of our children are raised in an environment that allows misuse of drugs and substances; and in an environment that allows children to grow with a deep sense of disrespect. When those children eventually, through the efforts of their parents, go to school, they cannot find employment. They stay in those circumstances and eventually organize themselves into gangs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that we speak about crime. Life in crime has recently been associated with organized crimes in form of what we are calling gangs. But these gangs are made up of our children. If these children have ended up being organized criminals, there is something that we have to ask ourselves, as parents and leaders. What have we not done in our society to allow our children to grow up to become people who are willing to cut our throats and kill each other? It should have been completely unnecessary for policemen to be pursuing youngsters and shooting them. The policemen are not supposed to be shooting young people, and quite often, without being able to avoid shooting innocent people. I think this is something that must disturb the hon. Members of this House. This is because we are the lawmakers, parents and Government. We should be unwilling to accept a situation where we allow our policemen and children to face and kill each other with guns. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, quite often, I am very much disturbed by the disrespect that I see when people are killed in this country. I have said this before, and I want to repeat it; that I do not know why we parade bodies of the dead on televisions, in front of our children, as if it is something to celebrate about. We call the dead all kind of names, be it gangs, misguided elements, or whatever names we give them. But I have a feeling that we have lost a sense of self-respect and compassion. I think that even if one is dead, he or she deserves to be treated with a certain amount of respect. I think that we actually help to create an environment in which crime is perpetuated, by exposing this kind of violence to our children. When I see the July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2423 policemen parading dead people and they tell us that they had guns, and then they are thrown into police vans, as if they were not human beings--- When I see children watching those scenes, I ask myself: How will those children grow up to become responsible citizens? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, yesterday, hon. ole Ntimama mentioned that we have failed, as a people and Government, to change the kind of Provincial Administration that we inherited from the British Government. I am quite sure that top officers in the police force live quite happily, because they represent the levels that were occupied by the British administrators. It is the police officers in the lower level who live in shanties. Two police officers share a room, even when they are married, because their level was made up of Africans during the colonial administration. I cannot understand why we continue to have the same system. We have not changed that mentality. To me, it reflects a certain amount of attitude that we have; where we continue not to encourage and inculcate a sense of culture, respect and passing value, not only in our society, but also in the police force. I think that the police force needs to be encouraged to have respect and compassion. It also needs to be tender and stop being so disrespectful to those who are perceived to be the enemy. All those who died; those who are pursuing, and being pursued, are Kenyans. When this Motion is finally passed into law, I would very much like to see our policemen being treated with a lot of respect. We should protect their families and teach them, during their training, to respect their fellow Kenyans, even when they are dead. Those of us who are in power should also promote equity in our country, so that we eliminate the Mathares and Kiberas of this world, where these criminals and very negative elements of our lives are cultivated. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently in my own constituency, I visited the local police station and noticed that they are operating in a very dilapidated building. I also think that we, as policemen or individuals, need to be able to take care of our environment. Just because we live in a dilapidated environment does not mean that we cannot plant some plants and flowers or fix a broken window. I do not think that police officers should allow themselves to be so powerless that they have to wait until the Provincial Police Officer (PPO) comes and does something to their environment. If the toilet is falling, surely, those are some of the things that they too can take care of. I feel that they have become so dependent on their seniors that even the little things that can help improve the environment in the areas they live are not done. With those remarks, I strongly support the Motion.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to support this Motion brought by Mr. Ojode who is my neighbour at home. Nyatike and Ndhiwa constituencies border each other. Therefore, we understand the situation together. We are far away from Nairobi. The only Government presence in those two constituencies are police officers. When we are in danger we need the police. Having the police force is good. We need them because they are very useful. These are very respectful people. They salute you whenever you meet them. What is wrong with them? Why do you not give them money? They salute us whenever they see us. They salute us not only as leaders, but they also inquire about our problems. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you go to sleep you close the door because you need protection. If an incident occurs you would like to report it to the police officers for them to take action. We should also take care of the police officers by increasing their salaries and allowances. We should accord them the necessary support, so that they can also take care of their families. In many areas, police officers are housed in terrible situations. Their houses are made of
. That is all walls are made up of mabati . They suffer from extreme heat and cold conditions, depending on the weather. We treat them as if they are not our brothers, sons and daughters. It is terrible! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we have a big traffic jam here when it is raining, 2424 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007 police officers help us to ease it. They stand there whether it is raining or not. I think we are not justified in allowing our sons and daughters to join the police force when we do not bother about their salaries. We do not bother even if police officers stay in one grade until they retire. We even discourage our girls to join the police force because of the negative attitude we have towards this profession, yet the recruitment of police officers is done in the open. If one wants to join the police force, he is asked to run in the open and not at night. In Nyatike, potential recruits run up the hills during the recruitment process to see if they are strong enough to do the job. Why do we not make them strong again by giving them good salaries? After they are recommended for recruitment into the police force, they still have to show their examination certificates. So, the police recruitment is similar to that of any other profession. People take up this profession with the desire to protect us. They would like to be good people in the society. Look at what is happening in Mt. Elgon! I am afraid that I cannot go there. I cannot even drive there, but policemen easily go their. They offer their lives to protect others in that area and yet we deny them risk allowances. We refuse to give them good salaries and good houses. They do not even have water! Why should they go far away to fetch water and then come back to protect us? What about their wives and children? Why are we so unkind? Why, and yet we have a lot of money, some of which is stolen? We do not channel that money to the right people, that is, the police. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in Nyatike Constituency, we are at the end of the border with Tanzania. We would like policemen to be around there all the time. When one lot works in the morning, another one should replace them in the evening because we do not want that area to be unguarded. Those who come to work in the morning stay their hungry until the next lot comes to relieve them. Why can we not give them something? This is because we are actually punishing them. We are actually encouraging them to be corrupt. In fact, we are the ones who are corrupt because we encourage other people to be corrupt. We are doing it! Anytime you want to have a chat with a policeman, you think you will be seen to be paying him or her some money, something which you ought not to have done. It is because you feel that they are not human beings. The way we treat them shows clearly that we disregard them. I support the idea that this people should be taken care of by the Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was one thing which I saw in my constituency where policemen may volunteer to go look for criminals. The criminals could be aware that the policemen are after them. These criminals are ready to kill the policemen. The policemen will not run away, but the criminals will be forced to run away by the policemen. In other words, the policemen are ready to die for us while protecting us. Why can the Government not go along with what brother Ojode wants them to be given? It is clear, good, honest and a thing that we already ought to be doing. What is wrong with us? What is actually wrong with us is that we are selfish, and yet we want someone to be a Commissioner of Police, the Inspector of Police, the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) and so on? Why do we create all these categories when the whole starting point is so hated? Why do we do that? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I would like to say that we do what has been asked because it is good.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, right from the outset, I would like to say that, personally, I support this Motion. There is nothing wrong with policemen getting risk allowance, medical allowance, extraneous allowance and even insurance. However, as we ask the Government to give the policeman these allowances, we must also take cognisance of the development that has occurred in the police force.
Mr. Githae, are you responding to July 11, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2425 debate?
No, I am not. This is my personal contribution, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was saying that as we support this Motion, we must also take cognizance of the developments and improvements that have occurred in the police force. I know as a matter of fact that there are some police stations where officers are still living in mud and mabati houses. That is true. However, there are also some police stations where the Government has constructed modern houses for the officers. Even in my constituency, we have used the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money to construct ten houses for police officers in an effort to supplement the Government efforts. I agree that more could be done, but the Government is moving in the right direction. It is only that the housing element has only started being addressed. If what has been done in the last four years had been done in the last 40 years, probably by now, we would have been able to eliminate all mabati houses at police stations. We must also take cognizance of the fact that this administration doubled the salaries of police officers, immediately it assumed power, from Kshs5,000 to Kshs10,000 for constables. Again, this is not adequate. More could be done but that is also a step in the right direction. I wish, again, that over the last 40 years, we had been increasing the salaries of police officers annually, little by little. By now, police officers would be adequately paid. Again, I accept that the current salaries for police officers are not adequate. I understand that there is a proposal in this year's Budget to increase the salaries of police officers alongside those of civil servants. So, again, we must commend this effort. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I accept that not all police stations have got police vehicles but, again, quite a number of them have vehicles. We must commend the former Minister in charge of internal security, Dr. Murungaru. I know that he bought more than 500 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for police stations countrywide. The two police stations in my constituency benefitted from those vehicles. I accept that these are not enough but, again, things are moving in the right direction. It is important that police officers have adequate life insurance. One of the reasons as to why the United States of America (USA) is able to recruit people, even from Africa, through their Green Card to go and fight in Iraq and other places, is because of insurance. If a soldier dies in service in the USA, he is entitled to Kshs20 million. So, he can fight knowing that if, unfortunately, he dies, his family will be taken care of. It is important that our police officers and civil servants have some kind of life insurance, so that as they perform their duties, they know that, if they die in service, their families will be taken care of. The only query I have with this Motion is that I wish my friend, Mr. Ojode, had also included a provision requiring that money paid to police informers is increased. That is where the problem is. At the moment, the police only react to situations. They only react to incidents of insecurity, because the money that used to be paid to police informers has been reduced. We need to increase this money so that police officers can be aware of what is about to happen before it actually happens. It is unfortunate that when Mr. Ojode was appointed a Minister, he declined the appointment. If he had taken up that appointment, probably, he would have been very instrumental in passing the benefits he wants police officers paid. Unfortunately, he declined the Ministerial appointment. With those words, I beg to support. 2426 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 11, 2007
Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt our business. This House, therefore, stands adjourned until this afternoon, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.