Hon. Members, this morning we will begin with the Question by Private Notice. Mr. Mukiri!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by Private. (a) Could the Minister confirm that a sum of Kshs200 million has been released by the Government to pay arrears owed to pyrethrum farmers? (b) What criteria is being used to pay the farmers, given the poor state of records kept by the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya (PBK)?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I confirm that a sum of Kshs200 million was released by the Government to pay pyrethrum farmers' arrears on 11th June, 2007. (b) The farmers are getting paid according to the records held by the PBK? They are also required to present a copy of their delivery statement to authenticate their debt-claim position to the Board before being paid.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me first thank the Government for accepting this time round to pay the farmers. The pyrethrum industry has completely been destroyed, because of the mismanagement by the PBK and the successive managers, who have been appointed by the Government to manage the industry. I would like to know from the Assistant Minister, this Kshs200 million that they have released--- We know that they have stated before that the farmers are owed about Kshs1 billion. Could the Assistant Minister tell us the period for which the Kshs200 million was paid and how they intend to pay the balance?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Kshs200 million covered mainly up to 2003. The rest of the money is factored into this year's Budget. As soon as the Exchequer releases the money, we will be able to pay. I also want to lay on the table a list of the farmers who were covered by that money so that hon. Members can also know them.
Do so, Mr. Assistant Minister! I think it is useful. 2562 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, pyrethrum farming in most of the areas, particularly those in the western parts Kenya and, of course, Nyandarua, has declined. Lately, there has been a lot of sacking of employees from the PBK, especially the top management. We want to know the reason for this sacking. Is it because, maybe, the crop is not selling? What is the reason for the sacking? Some of the people who were sacked were nearly due for retirement. Why can they not be retired rather than being sacked, unless they have very serious reasons for that mass sacking?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware of mass sacking. However, I am aware that about five employees were affected when the losses of the pyrethrin were occasioned, and investigations have been going on. Three of them opted to retire and we are paying them their benefits, but there are two with cases in court.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now that the Government has belatedly decided to pay the pyrethrum farmers, what specific action is the Ministry, and the Government, taking to revive the factory that was burnt, so that they can continue extracting pyrethrin?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the burnt factory has not only been rehabilitated, but also been built anew and it will be commissioned in January, 2008.
Mr. Waithaka, do you grow pyrethrum?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Nyandarua District is one of the major pyrethrum growing areas. We would want to know from the Ministry--- This time, farmers are confused as to whether the problem is with the market; they cannot get a market for the pyrethrum produced in this country. What is the problem? Recently, we heard that Kenya is now importing pyrethrum from a country in Africa. Is it true that we are rated to be a major grower, but we cannot sell what we have and yet we are importing pyrethrum?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that we have experienced a very sharp decline, because of lack of a market at that stage, and also because of the entry of synthetic products into the market. However, I want to assure this House that at the moment, the production has increased to 1,000 metric tonnes. Our Ministry is putting efforts into improved seed, and also free seed delivery to the farmers to ensure that the programme and the pyrethrum sector improves.
I think the hon. Member wanted to know whether we are importing pyrethrum or pyrethrin.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the organisation presented a proposal to us to ensure that they are able to sustain their operations. The Ministry is still looking at that proposal.
Hon. Members, I have to proceed to the next Question. Therefore, I ask Mr. Mukiri to ask the last question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, immediately the Government announced that this time round they were going to clear the debt owed to the pyrethrum farmers, there were people moving around the farming areas trying to authenticate how many farmers were owed money, and how much was owed to them by the PBK. This shows that the records that have been kept by the PBK, including the fact that part of the records were destroyed when the factory got burnt--- I would like to know from the Assistant Minister - he has already tabled a list - how sure are we that the list--- Because they went round, could he confirm to us that the other farmers who are owed July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2563 money and do not appear in that list will be considered, because it is the PBK that has kept poor records?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have confirmed to the hon. Member before and I want to confirm again, that the Kshs200 million cannot pay all the debts. The list presented here only covers up to the period 2003, and once the Exchequer does release the rest of the money, we will be able to pay all the farmers. I also want to confirm that it is true that we wanted to verify the records and the farmers were asked to bring the delivery schedules for authentication so that they could be marched against the records that the organisation has. Today, I can confirm that we do not have a problem in that regard.
I think the Assistant Minister has done justice to that Question and I ask the hon. Members to get in touch with the Clerk and get copies of these names so that they can verify the names for their areas.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) whether he is aware that dog kennels were put up in Maralal 20 years ago but the dogs have not been delivered; and, (b) when the dogs will be delivered.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that there are four dog kennels at Maralal that were put up 20 years ago but no dogs were delivered. The dog kennels have been undergoing repairs and were completed in June, 2007. (b) I want to grant my friend, Mr. Lesrima, his wish by taking at least one dog to Maralal. So, one dog will be delivered on Friday this week to Maralal Town and one dog handler as we wait to get more for Mr. Lesrima.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been borrowing dogs from a good samaritan to trace people who rob tourists and passengers between Isiolo-Maralal and Maralal- Rumuruti Road. The particular dogs I am talking about are called the Bloodhound. They never get it wrong. Those dogs are extremely useful. So, it may look like a laughing matter in this House but it is a matter of life and death for us there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have the written answer but I wish to thank the Assistant Minister, first of all for delivering the Land Rover to patrol the Highway and now for giving me one dog. Could I then ask him whether it is a German Shepherd or is it a Bloodhound and why is he not giving two of them?
Whatever kind of dog that will be given, Mr. Munya, that will be a very lonely dog. Do you not think so?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not really get into knowing which particular one but I have been assured by the Police Commissioner that on Friday a dog will be residing in Maralal. To give the House some more information, the police have started breeding their own dogs and they told me that the population is increasing. So, Mr. Lesrima will have more dogs soon. The police will also start selling dogs next year. We have been buying from dealers but we are now 2564 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 breeding our own in Lang'ata. So we will soon be having enough dogs to handle any crime situation that requires dogs and even make some money for the police by selling them.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, fortunately, dogs do not have a problem with breeding. Obviously, my colleague, Mr. Lesrima is in desperate need of dogs. Could I suggest to the Assistant Minister to give a male and female dog for purposes of breeding at Maralal?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have particular breeding grounds in Lang'ata. We do not want Mr. Lesrima to have some very useless kind of dogs; mongrels that may not be able to help him in his work. We shall give him those that have already been properly bred at Lang'ata.
Properly trained, just to add on that. I do not know why this Question is generating so much interest. Prof. Oniang'o!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, dogs are friends of man and are good in solving crime. Given that we have so much crime all over the place, we can see that they are just giving these dogs as a show of tokenism. This is not a serious matter that the Assistant Minister has taken on. Could he tell us at what rate he can breed dogs so that they could be distributed all over Kenya?
And given to hon. Members of Parliament!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already said that the information I have is that they are breeding enough and in fact, they have told me that by next year, they will have more than they need. So, they will even start selling them to private security firms. Before, we have been buying from private breeders. So, we are very serious about this. But it is not every crime situation that requires a dog. In some places you do not need dogs. So, they assess situations and see which ones do require dog presence. You also require training for these dogs. You can have a useless one. I have one that cannot even bark when visitors come.
I want to go to the last question. Let Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko ask, and then Mr. Lesrima.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister talked about preparing the dog kennels and I want to find out how much has been spent because this may be part of the contribution for the delay. How much money has the Ministry spent for the repair of the dog kennels?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not really know that, that information may be required but I can provide it tomorrow. I am talking about the information on how much was spent on repairing those kennels. I should have got it but I can provide it tomorrow.
I will ask you to just lay the information on the Table. But as far as this matter is concerned, we will not defer the Question. Last Question, Mr. Lesrima!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Please, this matter of the dogs has taken more than 10 minutes and already one dog has been provided.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Actually it is against the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA) laws in Kenya, to seclude a male or female dog. Is the Assistant Minister not breaking that law? Is he in order?
Is there such a law, Mr. Assistant Minister? If there was such a law, then many households would be breaking it. Do we have such a law?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am a lawyer by training but I am very "green" when it comes to those laws dealing with dogs. But if we check and find that we must have another dog of different sex in Maralal, we will make sure that, that happens as soon as possible. July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2565
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the dog handlers' allowance for the policemen has remained static, at Kshs30 shillings. Could the Assistant Minister consider increasing this allowance by double, given that Maralal is a hardship area, as opposed to the Kshs30 shillings which is paid to the dog handlers in Nairobi?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember mentioning, when I was talking about the allowances for police officers, that some of the allowances that were tripled were those of dog handlers. But I will communicate to the Commissioner of Police. If he finds that there is need to, specifically, give more allowances to the dog handlers in Maralal, that will be considered.
All right! Hon. Members, the next Question is by the Member of Parliament for Rongo Constituency. But, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko, I have communication from the Permanent Secretary that Dr. Kuti is not around. Likewise, Mr. ole Metito is in Naivasha presiding over a passing-out parade of some officers there. Therefore, there is no one to answer this Question.
I have the reply!
His Excellency, the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs is ready for it. Therefore, Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko, could you ask your Question?
asked the Minister of State for Youth Affairs whether he could include Kitere Youth Polytechnic, in Rongo Constituency, in the list of village polytechnics earmarked for improvement and staffing by Government.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Ministry has given an undertaking that every constituency will have a village polytechnic that will be refurbished and staffed by the Ministry. Provided there is not any other village in Rongo, the Kitere Youth Polytechnic will be taken care of by the Ministry.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Rongo Constituency is one of the densely populated constituencies in this country. Therefore, one village polytechnic would not suffice for the youth from that side of the country. We have two more youth polytechnics. Would I be in order to ask the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, to ensure that not just one youth polytechnic is earmarked for staffing and improvement, but more than one, depending on the number of youths who intend to benefit from training?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, we will have to ensure that there are 210 village polytechnics which have been taken care of. Then, the second round is to see where there is a necessity for a second village polytechnic in every constituency. I hope Rongo Constituency will be included in that programme.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a communication from the Ministry of Youths Affairs about a year ago, that every constituency will be given the opportunity of choosing two polytechnics to be run by the Government. After sometime, at least, in my constituency, we received a communication to give the two names. After a few months, we received another communication from the District Commissioner to give the two names again. Then, recently, there was a telephone call from the same Ministry to give the two names again. So, maybe, the Vice- President could kindly, perhaps, facilitate a list of those polytechnics which have now been 2566 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 earmarked for this improvement, so that we can know for sure which is in Rongo or Ol Kalou, and which one is number one or two, in order to avoid these kinds of Questions coming individually for each particular constituency.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a very fair question. I will ensure that a list of all the polytechnics that have been selected, as number one and two, is furnished to the House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hope His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, is aware that the only polytechnic that we have in North Eastern Province is the one in Garissa. It serves Ijara, Fafi and other constituencies which do not have village polytechnics. Are they included in this programme?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just as the previous Questioner, Eng. Muriuki, stated; there has been communication from the Ministry to all the District Commissioners in the country, to furnish the names of two polytechnics. If there are no polytechnics in Ijara or other constituencies, then, it is really the responsibility of the hon. Members to indicate that or start them and give the names to the Ministry, which will take care of them.
I think this matter can be resolved, if the undertaking the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs has given; to provide a list of the village polytechnics, in all the constituencies, that have benefited or are benefiting from this programme, is adhered to. Since, the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs has already undertaken that, I request that he lays that list on the Table, by tomorrow or Tuesday. This is because I can see many hon. Members standing up. If I was sitting there, I would also be standing up. Unfortunately, I am not sitting there. Yes, Mr. Ndambuki!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the funding of these polytechnics was supposed to be done in the last financial year. Now, we are in a new financial year. Could the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, give us a time frame as to when all these youth polytechnics will be equipped by the Ministry?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is an amount of money in the Budget which has been allocated for this purpose. We expect, during this financial year, that all the polytechnics will be equipped. But, as we are aware, sometimes, there is a delay. As a result, unfortunately, the money goes back to the Treasury and, therefore, we have to re-apply for it again. But I want to give an assurance that the Ministry of Youth Affairs intends to ensure that the polytechnics are fully equipped, because we know the number of youth who need to undergo training in these polytechnics is increasing.
For the purpose of this Question receiving the attention that it deserves, I will defer it to Tuesday, only for the list to be laid on the Table of the House. I will ask Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko to ask his last question before I defer the Question, for the purpose of laying of the list on the Table, on Tuesday. Proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although I have the opportunity to ask the last question, if the list is laid and something arises out of it, would I be in order to ask your magnanimity to reserve the last question until the list is laid on the Table?
Then, reserve your last question. That is fair enough!
Next Question by the Member of Parliament for Yatta Constituency!
July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2567 MEASURES TO ENSURE SAFETY OF KENYAN SOLDIERS ON UN MISSIONS
asked the Minister of State for Defence:- (a) how many Kenyan soldiers serving under United Nations (UN) peace- keeping missions have been affected by Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS); (b) whether he is aware that Kenyan soldiers are poorly protected against effects of war such as radiation; (c) what the Government is doing to ensure that Kenyan soldiers serving in UN peace-keeping missions are safe; and, (d) what compensation from the UN is available for the affected soldiers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that two soldiers have been affected by the Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). Currently, one of the soldiers is on treatment at the Forces Memorial Hospital as an out-patient. Another soldier who served in the same mission, died of the same disease early this year. This is a motor-neuron disease which affects human beings. Therefore, it has nothing to do with peace- keeping duties. (b) The Kenyan soldiers who are deployed in peace-keeping missions are well versed on their safety while serving with the UN. Before deployment, the soldiers undergo free Deployment and Mission Specific Training. On arrival, they also receive In-Mission Training. Depending on the degree of risk in the mission area, the Government equips the soldiers with the appropriate kit. (c) Where our soldiers are to be deployed in nuclear, biological and chemical radiation threat environment, they are provided with protective masks, coveralls, gloves, personal decontamination kit and all related equipment, including maintenance and supplies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy to note that so far, we have not deployed our soldiers in any of these harmful environments. (d) In the event of death, the UN compensates an individual up to US$50,000. The terms of compensation are normally agreed upon between the UN and the troops-contributing country. In addition to the compensation by the UN, our soldiers are covered by the Group Personal Assurance Policy.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, radiation can take a long time to detect in a soldier who has been in a war zone. Our troops, who were sent to the war zone in Eritrea/Ethiopia were basically not equipped apart from having a G3 and uniform. During the first mission that they went there, they were basically not equipped to deal with hazards of radiation. What action is the Government taking to ensure that our soldiers are properly equipped?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the hon. Member listened carefully, I said that our soldiers are properly equipped with the necessary equipment in every peace-keeping mission. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member raised the issue of Eritrea. That is an issue that we can investigate. However, I want to confirm that we have never taken chances with regard to the safety of our soldiers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister said that the UN compensates the affected soldiers. What about the Kenyan Government? Does it compensate the affected soldiers? The UN does so, but what about us in case a soldier dies or is injured?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as an initiative to ensure that our soldiers are properly covered, we have taken the Group Personal Assurance Policy for every soldier. Secondly, I have said that before the soldiers are deployed to any mission, there is usually a negotiation between our country and the UN. We always ensure that all those concerns of a soldier 2568 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 are taken care of.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is common knowledge that many soldiers from the Western countries, particularly the USA and the UK, have died following their service in conflict zones because of many diseases that have resulted from biological or chemical exposures and in recent times, also from psychological disorders. Could the Assistant Minister tell the House whether the Government intends to make it a policy not to send Kenyan soldiers who are ill- equipped to conflict zones and only send them to areas where they cannot be exposed to use of potentially dangerous equipment and weapons?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for purposes of clarity, our concern is our soldiers. It is up to whichever countries to take care of their soldiers, but we take care of ours. Secondly, when we deploy soldiers for peace-keeping missions, their duty is only to provide support on elements that help bring peace and not to participate in those conflict zones.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know whether the Government has done any medical research or study on all soldiers who have served under the UN in war zone areas to determine whether they have a common or peculiar problem as a result of the effects of war in those areas.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a good question. We have a record of all our officers, that is, those who have been deployed and those who have come back. We have a history of every soldier, but this is a continuous issue. We continue evaluating the impact of all these activities that we involve ourselves in.
Thank you, Mr. Assistant Minister! Next Question, Mr. Khamisi!
asked the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources:- (a) if he is aware that forest guards attached to Arabuko Sokoke Forest in Bahari Constituency are in the habit of harassing and demanding bribes from villagers on false claims of destroying the environment; (b) what steps he is taking to ensure that these inhuman incidents at Mkongani, Kararacha, Mpendakula and Matsanjeni are stopped; and, (c) in view of the seriousness of this matter, if he could take immediate action to transfer and replace all forest guards at Gede Camp.
We have a communication from the Ministry that the Minister is not available to answer this Question and that, therefore, it be deferred, Mr. Khamisi. Is that okay with you?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is fine.
Very well. The Question is, therefore, deferred until Tuesday, next week.
Next Question by Prof. Oniang'o!
July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2569 LACK OF COMPUTERIZED RECORD SYSTEMS IN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) if he is aware that there are no computerized record systems in all public universities in Kenya; (b) if he is further aware that university students end up being awarded wrong grades due to lost records; and, (c) what urgent steps he is going to take to ensure that all public universities introduce computerized recording systems in order to improve on their accuracy and efficiency.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that there are no computerized systems in all public universities. However, I am aware that some sections of the public universities have computerized systems at different levels, especially in the areas of finance and registration of students. (b) I am also aware that there have been some reports of students complaining about lost scripts and marks. However, these are isolated cases and universities are doing their best to ensure that this kind of problem does not recur. It has, however, been established that this has nothing to do with computerization. (c) Finally, all public universities have developed strategies and activities towards computerization of all systems in their respective institutions. There are many examples that we could cite.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Assistant Minister for that answer, but it is very general and highly inadequate. I receive many complaints from students who have their graduation delayed and, therefore, they are unable to join postgraduate programmes in good time or to get jobs. They have nowhere to complain because their transcripts or marks cannot be found. So, I would like the Assistant Minister to tell me which universities he actually visited to get this information.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to assure the hon. Member that I am also aware that there have been cases like those, but often, they have nothing to do with computerisation. Sometimes inefficiency has little do with computerisation. Even highly computerised systems have been known to be inefficient with respect to certain aspects of their performance. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have some information on what is happening in universities. For example, Kenyatta University has already obtained funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to expand their computerisation programme, which will include human resources, procurement, inventory and registration. Egerton University has already advertised for hardware and software to enhance computerisation. So, they are already taking steps. Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology is in the process of intranet implementation and so on. The University of Nairobi, in addition to the ICT strategic plan, is already focusing on implementing the latest technological advancements in the area of computerisation. Moi University implemented local and wide area networks, that is, LAN and WAN, and is re-equipping student's computer laboratories and departmental offices. I do not need to go through the whole list because so many other universities are doing the same. So, something is happening. It is true that record keeping in our public universities has been manual. Already, there is progress in this direction and we hope that in the next one year, complaints that may specifically have to do with poor record keeping will be a thing 2570 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 of the past.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has admitted that, indeed, there is a problem. Could he assure us that university students can inquire for transcripts and get them on the spot? Could he also consider having a general complaints centre for students? Many times, students are afraid to complain to anybody. They cannot even complain to the lecturers or to the administration. Can we be assured that university students have a place to take their complaints? Those of you here who have children or relatives in public universities know that what I am saying is, in fact, the truth.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that universities are doing their best to ensure that the kind of problems that are related to inefficiency will not recur. That is why there is an interest in computerisation. More importantly, management has to be improved even if you have computers. I am sure that students have places to complain. They have the Dean of Students and students associations. I am sure they can also go to their professors. The problem is whether or not the reaction is as quick as some students would like. We have to ensure that students are not delayed when it comes to their complaints and requests. I know that in some universities, transcripts can take a few days as long as you put in some money. At the University of Nairobi, for example, if you pay for a transcript, they tell you to go for it in two or three days. This is realistic because you have to go to the students' records. So, as to whether or not the students can get their transcripts on the spot, is another matter. I would like to assure the hon. Member that we will urge our universities to be more efficient with regard to dealing with not just transcripts, but with other students complaints.
asked the Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he is aware that ten employees of Kisumu Municipal Council were dismissed from service on allegations that they had heckled the Minister during his tour of the council on 11th March, 2005; (b) whether he is further aware that the said employees have not been reinstated to date and are undergoing much suffering; and, (c) what action he is taking to ensure that they are reinstated immediately.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry is aware that nine employees and not ten as alleged by the Questioner were dismissed by the Municipal Council of Kisumu on 1st March, 2005. (b) The employees were given six weeks to appeal to the Public Service Commission (PSC) through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, but only two of them appealed and they were accordingly reinstated to their positions. (c) The Minister shall direct the council to give the employees priority in any future vacancies that may arise.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has admitted that nine employees of Kisumu Municipal Council were actually dismissed for allegedly heckling the Minister. I find this extremely unfair. The Standard Newspaper carried an article on this event on 17th March, 2005. The Ministry's Public Relations Officer, Mr. Anthony Munyao, wrote a letter and signed it July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2571 on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, denying that the Minister was actually heckled. He went on to say that Mr. Kombo views the action taken by the Town Clerk and the entire council as irregular and has directed the immediate reinstatement of all the employees who were sacked. Based on this letter, which I am going to table in the House, when will the Assistant Minister reinstate these employees?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the employees were not sacked because of heckling the Minister. So, what the hon. Member is saying is not entirely true. The employees had actually gone on strike. They had absented themselves from work for a number of days. When the matter was being solved and they were summoned by the council, they hurled insults at His Worship the Mayor of Kisumu and the Town Clerk in the presence of the Minister. The employees were not dismissed because of heckling the Minister. It was because they deserted their places of work for a number of days. According to Section 18 of the Employment Act, if one deserts his place of work, he is liable to dismissal.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is deliberately misleading this House. I have a letter from the Town Clerk which clearly states that Ms. Penina Adhiambo Opondo was dismissed from service for allegedly heckling the Minister for Local Government. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to mislead this House?
Could I have that letter?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to see that letter. However, that could be one among many. I would like to have a look at that letter and maybe, after scrutiny, we can react to it. Generally, the nine employees were not dismissed for heckling the Minister. The hon. Member is aware that there was a strike involving the workers of the Kisumu Municipal Council. That is why the employees were dismissed.
I do not know whether the Assistant Minister has looked at the letter that the hon. Member has laid on the Table because there appears to be information that he clearly needs to look at. I do not know whether the Assistant Minister wants to look at this correspondence where the person is said to have been sacked for the reasons stated by the hon. Member. Do you have this information or not? Mr. Assistant Minister, would you like me to defer this Question, so that you can study this document and then, maybe, come with a more informed answer?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to that particular employee, I would like to inform the hon. Member that if that is the reason why she was dismissed, then she will be reinstated. That cannot be a reason for someone to be dismissed from service.
Mr. Assistant Minister, the letter states that:- "On 11th February, you, together with some other employees, deserted your place of work, came to the Town Hall and conspicuously behaved in a rowdy manner with intent to embarrass the Government, the hon. Minister for Local Government with his team, the Provincial Commissioner, the District Commissioner and your employer". Clearly, there is the issue of desertion, but there is also the other issue. Since even the Chair is also not very clear on this matter, let me give the Assistant Minister more time to study this document and compare it with the information that he has and then come to the House on Tuesday with more information. Is that okay with you, Mr. Assistant Minister? Shall I do that? 2572 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
That is fair enough, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Very well! The Question is deferred to Tuesday to allow the Assistant Minister to study this matter further.
Mr. J. Nyagah is not here. The Question is dropped.
asked the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) whether he is aware the seasonal crops loans advanced to farmers by AFC for maize and wheat farming this season were inadequate; (b) whether he could mention the number of farmers whose applications were received and approved by AFC Eldoret Branch but could not be advanced the loans due to shortage of funds; and, (c) when the AFC will re-open the Iten Branch to bring services closer to Keiyo farmers.
(Mr. Kaindi) Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that seasonal crops loans advanced to farmers by the AFC for maize and wheat farming this season were not adequate. (b) Out of the total number received, 123 loan applications could not be processed due to shortage of funds. (c) The AFC has put the Iten branch among the branches to be re-opened during the 2007/2008 financial year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Assistant Minister for the answer and I would like to let him know that farmers are suffering, having submitted their applications for the loans. They were told that the money was coming but eventually, it did not come. How much money is involved to cover all the 123 farmers who were left out? How much money was needed to give loans to the 123 farmers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a schedule of the money disbursed, not just for that area but for the entire country. Eldoret Branch under which Keiyo falls was given Kshs25 million for development and Kshs213 million for seasonal crop credit.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Assistant Minister was answering Question one by Private Notice, he indicated that some Kshs200 million was being extended to pyrethrum farmers. The AFC gave loans to some farmers 20 years ago amounting to around Kshs20,000 to 30,000. Those loans have now accrued interest to hundreds of thousands of July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2573 shillings. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that these loans are written off, other than subjecting these farmers to suffering now that other farmers are being compensated?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you are aware that sometime back, the Government waived some loans relating to the AFC. At the moment, we have about Kshs400 million outstanding in arrears. I think the Ministry is consulting to see which direction to go, particularly because we are cognisant of the fact that farmers are suffering in areas where there was crop failure.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Assistant Minister whether the Government is making arrangements to increase the amount of money given to the AFC in order to give loans to all the farmers who applied for such loans?
Today, the demand for AFC loans stands at Kshs1.1 billion. At the moment, the corporation does not have sufficient funds. We have been consulting with the Treasury to see whether they can be able to assist the Ministry so that we can be able to raise more funds to the organisation to enable it to on-lend to the farmers.
Is Mr. Rotino not here?
Professor, what is it?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could I ask this Question on behalf of Mr. Rotino?
No, because you have not been asked by the hon. Member to do so. The procedure is that the hon. Member should ask you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question is very important. He must have been caught up in the traffic!
There are no provisions for that. The Question is important but the hon. Member should be here. If there was any reason that he could not come, he could have informed the Chair or even asked you to ask it on his behalf. But you are very honest and have said that he did not ask you. So, the Question is dropped.
That is the end of Question Time. I have two requests for Ministerial Statements.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Local Government. Following the Nairobi City Council prohibition of plastic bags measuring less than 30 microns. I would like to have a clarification from the Ministry whether the City Council Enforcement Agency has the capacity to differentiate any material which is less than 2574 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 30 microns. Thirty microns is still very legal and usable. We are getting complaints from shoppers that The Nairobi City Council askaris are harassing shoppers who are using the 30 microns plastic bags and above. Could the Minister clarify this situation so that shoppers are not afraid of using the legal 30 microns plastic bags?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we can issue a comprehensive Statement on Tuesday. EARTH TREMORS IN THE COUNTRY
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from a Minister of State, Office of the President, regarding the earth tremors that have been rocking the whole country, and Nairobi in particular. How well are we prepared for any eventuality that might occur from tremors? Do we have any early warning systems? Telling us to sleep under our beds is not good enough. How prepared is Kenya for any disaster that might occur from earthquakes?
I Just wonder. Were we told to sleep under our beds?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will communicate to the Minister concerned to have the information brought to the House.
Let the Statement be brought to the House on Tuesday, before it is too late! INVASION OF NORTH AND WEST POKOT DISTRICTS BY UPDF SOLDIERS
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the 4th of July, I did seek a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Defence concerning---
Is Mr. Tarus here?
He is gone.
Then I ask the Leader of Government Business to listen to that because the Assistant Minister for Defence is not there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the 4th of July, I did seek a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Defence concerning the---
Mr. Tarus, you are here! The Leader of Government Business is looking for you. Could you listen to Mr. Poghisio?
Mr. Tarus is very much aware that I did seek the Ministerial Statement from that Ministry. It has taken some time now and he has assured me that he will bring it. As he is preparing to bring that Statement, yesterday, the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) came to the border of Kenya and Uganda, at a place called Asilong in Kacheliba.
Mr. Wamunyinyi, Mr. Wanjala and Mr. Kingi, could you let us carry on with the business of the House? Proceed, Mr. Poghisio.
In the process of carrying out the disarmament, two Pokot herders were shot dead and one was wounded and he has now been brought to the hospital---
Mr. Poghisio, you have already asked for the Ministerial Statement. The Minister is aware. What do you want? July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2575
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, am adding that since he did not bring that Statement to the House, something else has happened. I want the Minister to bring a Statement addressing both issues. Now, he has to explain why, in our relationship with Uganda, the military comes very close to the border, shoots to kill and no communication ever comes from the Kenyan side. Two people died yesterday. Can the Assistant Minister quickly investigate the matter, send a quick protest; send his officers to our border with Uganda and sort out this matter? Our livestock have been collected and are being held at Karita Military Camp, in Uganda. I would like to have that response very fast, because the situation, as it is now, is hurting our people.
Mr. Assistant Minister, what do you say? I remember Mr. Poghisio seeking this Ministerial Statement quite a while ago.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I informed the hon. Member that we will try to issue the Ministerial Statement tomorrow, Thursday. Secondly, we shall consider the concerns he has raised and find out how best we can handle that situation. However, I do not think we can go to the extent of sending soldiers to the border. As a scholar and a politician, the hon. Member knows the implications of that kind of action.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is, indeed, a serious matter. However, I think it is should be handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and not the Ministry of Defence, because it involves foreign military crossing the border into our country. So, it is not, really, an issue for the Ministry of Defence. It is an issue for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find out why Uganda People's Defence Force is crossing the border into our country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Shadow Minister for the information he has provided. Indeed, that was my concern earlier. However, the issue has been raised with the Government, and there is collective responsibility.
You are quite right, Mr. Tarus. The Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wetangula, has a Ministerial Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 23rd May, 2007, Mr. M'Mukindia asked for a Ministerial Statement concerning alleged attacks on Kenyans visiting South Africa. I would like to state as follows. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs joins the hon. Members of Parliament and all Kenyans in expressing concern over the increasing incidents of attacks on Kenyans visiting South Africa. The Minister has expressed this concern to the South African Government, through its High Commission in Nairobi, with a request for necessary action on reports lodged on the attacks. The South African High Commission has assured us that investigations have been launched, and that the Ministry should expect a formal response soon. The Kenya High Commissioner to South Africa has equally been instructed to follow up this matter and report back to us. Meanwhile, the Ministry is aware that there have been many cases of attacks on Kenyans, during which they lost personal belongings. In the year 2007, there were, at least, eight reported incidents in which Kenyans were attacked in South Africa, mainly on the way to Johannesburg from the Oliver Tambo International Airport. These incidents have been reported to have normally taken place between 8.00 p.m. and 1.00 a.m. The Ministry is also aware that incidents of crime in South Africa are not isolated to Kenyans, but are affecting many other people, including South 2576 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 Africans themselves.
The hon. Members on the Front Bench to my right, please, let us listen to what the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs is saying.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also concern among the diplomatic corps resident in South Africa over this increased insecurity. Attacks targeting diplomats are reported every month with, at least, nine violent cases recorded since January, 1997. According to information released on 3rd July, 2007 by the Minister for Safety and Security in South Africa, the crime situation in that country is at its worst, with violent crime increasing by 52 per cent for the last one year. It is estimated that about 50 murders, 148 rapes and nearly 700 serious assaults are committed every day in South Africa. Pending receipt of an official response from the South African Government on the findings of the cases of attacks on Kenyans, the Ministry wishes to advise that Kenyans visiting South Africa should avoid night flights as these seem to be the target of armed robberies. On the proposal and request by Mr. M'Mukindia that the African Union considers to temporarily move meetings of the Pan African Parliament from South Africa to a safe country until the security situation is improved, it is important to note that the escalation of insecurity is not particular to South Africa alone. Many African countries, including Kenya, are currently faced by the challenge of increased insecurity. There is, however, need to improve security for the Pan African Parliamentary dignitaries visiting South Africa, and communication from us has been made to the Government of South Africa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks forward to receiving from the Government of South Africa findings of the investigations, and we will communicate to the hon. Member and Parliament. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just as a matter of record, the following are incidents we have been advised from South Africa that have happened to Kenyans. On 3rd April, 2006, Mrs. Nyiva Mwendwa was attacked on arrival at a guest residence in Midrand, Johannesburg, as she was travelling from Oliver Tambo International Airport, at 1.00 a.m. She was robbed of all her belongings. She had gone to attend a Pan African Parliament session. On 18th September, 2006 a Kenyan, Judith Milicent Achieng' Odero, was robbed during a house robbery incident in Douglas Dell. Several household items were stolen. The matter was reported. On 29th August, 2006, a Kenyan, Sylvia Nanjala Walekhwa, was robbed of her belongings in Roosetenvil. The matter was reported to the police. There are many other serious incidents, counting up to 21. This report also shows the escalation of crime in South Africa. I note that the hon. Member who demanded the Ministerial Statement is not here. So, I rest the matter there.
Very well. Any clarification?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for issuing a very elaborate Ministerial Statement. The situation in South Africa is really worrying. My own son was attacked in South Africa, and robbed of all his belongings, including his passport and the money he was carrying. I would like to request the Assistant Minister to pursue this matter to the very end. Although we have our own problem here of increased crime, the situation in South Africa is really at the worst end. In fact, crime in that country is not targeted to Kenyans in particular. All other foreigners are suffering, and it would appear that nobody is safe. If visiting dignitaries like Members of Parliament, who have access to security, can be attacked, what about ordinary Kenyans who go there? We want more assurance than what the Assistant Minister has received so far. I am encouraged that he is pursuing this matter. Hopefully, at the end of the day, we shall get a July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2577 firm commitment from the South African Government that Kenyans and other people visiting that country, including their own citizens, can look forward to a day when they can be safe anywhere in South Africa, particularly in Johannesburg.
Thank you, Mr. Ligale. Let us have the last clarification request on this matter from Mr. Salat.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to also thank the Assistant Minister for that elaborate Ministerial Statement. Being an hon. Member of the Pan African Parliament, whenever we are in South Africa, we normally sense that the country is not safe. The Pan African Parliament was, at one time, raided by thugs and all the computers were stolen. After that, the security situation at Pan African Parliament has, somewhat, been improved. But for us who are accommodated outside, we still feel that our security is not secure. I urge the Assistant Minister to liaise with his counterpart in South Africa to ensure that when we attend the Pan African Parliament, we are accorded adequate security. But I thank him for being mindful of the welfare of Kenyans and his keen interest not only for hon. Members, but for other Kenyans and South Africans. South Africa will soon be hosting the World Cup in the year 2010. We urge that country to improve its security. Insecurity in South Africa, with the coming World Cup, is insecurity in Africa. If they need any assistance from Kenya, although we have our own problems, we should accord them that assistance.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in South Africa itself, crime has increased by 52 per cent in the last one year. There have been estimated 50 murders, 148 rapes and nearly 700 serious assaults committed every day. It is definitely frightening to anybody. We have spoken to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in South Africa and our mission there as well. First of all, we would like to advise all Kenyans going to South Africa, for whatever business, to avoid night flights. That is because the risks of attacks are more imminent. Secondly, to our colleagues who go to the Pan African Parliament, we want to advise them that whenever they go, as much as is practically possible, they should go as a group. They should inform my Ministry. We will then inform our mission in Pretoria to arrange for protocol and escort from the airport to wherever they are going. Those who arrive in Johannesburg at night are advised not to go to the city. They should find accommodation around the airport and go to the city the next day. That will minimise the risk of being attacked by armed gangsters. I express my sympathy to my good friend, Mr. Ligale, for the attack on his son. We will take up that issue. Let him, please, pass on the information, so that we can give it to the mission in Pretoria to take it up. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you very much, Mr. Wetangula! Next Order!
Where are we? Is Mr. Ojode here?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had already moved the Motion, unless you want me to reply!
I am sorry, Mr. Ojode! It is the Clerk-at-the-Table who had not informed the Chair of the position. The position is that this Motion was moved, seconded and the Question proposed. Prof. Maathai and Messrs. Ogur and Githae also contributed and finalised their contributions. This Motion continues for one hour and five minutes. Who is interested in making a contribution? Mr. Khamisi?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Mover of this Motion for bringing up a very important point of discussion to this House. It is common knowledge that police are working under very difficult conditions. In most areas, police officers still reside in colonial houses. I want to give you an example in my area. The police at Mtwapa Police Station are still living in mabati houses, 45 years after Independence. The police are also inadequately remunerated. Their terms of service still require a lot to be done. The Mover of this Motion has talked about the allowances that members of the police force do not get. They include risk, medical, extraneous allowances and so on.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the police are also poorly equipped. Today, we are living under a society where gangsters are more educated, equipped and trained in the use of firearms. Unless we are prepared to adequately equip our police officers, the dangers inherent in their daily lives will continue. We need to motivate the police. We can only do so if we are able to offer them better housing, better equipment and pay them not only their salaries, but also allowances that make it very difficult for them to perform their duties. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is time, given the increased criminal activities in this country, that we seriously consider having a Minister who will be in charge of police affairs. I suggest that, that Minister should be fully mandated to handle issues that have been raised in this House. At the moment, I believe the relevant Ministry is not well-equipped in terms of management, personnel and so on, to run an effective Police Force. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, today, we have incidences of more police officers being killed in their course of duty. If we are serious about enhancing the welfare of our forces, it is important that we protect them from gangs and gangsters that are roaming our streets. When we look at the figures of crime--- We are being told that the rate of crime is going down. But these July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2579 figures are only academic. On the ground, the incidents of crime continue to soar. We have just been talking about South Africa. Kenya is no better than South Africa. I urge the Government to put a little more effort in the fight against crime. Today, in our country, we have organised criminals who walk and attack in groups. They are able to outwit and out-gun the police. We have had occasions in Coast Province in recent weeks where gangs have actually invaded whole neighbourhoods. They have taken the people hostage. In one incident, women were actually marched from their residences to a spot two kilometres away, where they were raped by those gangsters. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, unless we are able to protect our people from these kind of activities, I do not know what kind of confidence we expect them to have in the Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, police officers work under very high risk conditions. We know, for sure, that bullet proof vests have not been adequately and widely used in our police force. I think it is high time our Government considered providing bullet proof vests to all police officers on duty. In this way, they can at least have some measure of protection from the gangs that roam our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the provision of gloves, it is very sad to see some of our police officers carrying dead bodies into their vehicles without having the protection of gloves. This is a period when the HIV/AIDS scourge and other dangerous diseases are prevalent in this country. I think that all police officers should be provided with gloves to be used when carrying dead bodies. In this way, they can protect themselves from the HIV/AIDS scourge and other diseases. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it we also need to consider providing armoured vehicles to our police officers. The vehicles that we provide now are for general-use only. They cannot protect our men and women from the hazards of the gangs. We have dangerous situations where police officers are forced to go into neighbourhood to flash out criminals. It is important that they go there, in armoured vehicles, so that they can ensure their safety. Is also sad that in this country, police officers in high attitude areas of the country such as Nairobi wear the same type of uniform as those in lower attitude areas. Where I come from the weather is always hot. We cannot expect police officers in those areas to effectively perform their duties while wearing very uncomfortable uniforms, considering the weather. Similarly, we need to consider police officers when it comes to the hazards of changing weather patterns, particulary in a place like Nairobi. During the rainy season, police officers must continue with their duties in spite of rain. You can see that these officers shiver in the cold. We need to be humane enough to provide over-coats, umbrellas and other clothing that will protect our police officers from the harsh conditions in certain parts of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, often we see some of our police officers wearing uniforms that have become a little bit colourless. We refer to them as men and women in blue. However, in some cases, we see the colour blue has faded and become grey! We need to have a proper system where our police officers are fashioned, every so many years, to prevent the situation that we see. Only the other day, I saw a policeman wearing a blue uniform, but underneath his shirt he was wearing a red T-shirt. This does not look very good. It does not enhance the image and confidence in our police force. If we want to increase the morale of our police officers, it is important that we provide them with several sets of uniforms, so that they can feel comfortable. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also need to be a little bit more creative here. We have been having these uniforms for a long time. Maybe, we need to look around and see whether we could fashion them a little more, so that they can be more presentable. Only the other day, the Government of China considered it necessary to re-fit its armed forces. The pictures that 2580 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 we saw of the ladies saluting were very smart. It gave a completely new image of the forces in that country. We can do the same. We spend a lot of money on issues that may not be extremely necessary. We need to pay attention to the people who give us peace day and night. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion on the Floor of the House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Motion tends to paint police officers as being very miserable in their duties. Indeed, it is a result of the misery caused by the escalating cost of living that has made them compromise on their official duties. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will touch on the issue of housing for police officers in Amagoro Constituency. If you went to our major town; Malaba, all the parcel of land that was meant for the construction of police houses was grabbed by individuals. However, the Government is doing very little to repossess it. Malaba Police Post which houses the station and officers, has been confined to a very small area. In the constituency, if you went to the far end, for lack of anywhere to go, police officers have taken over two classrooms from Moding' Secondary School. One is used for keeping armoury and the other is shared by police officers. They sleep in it. This paints a very bad picture of the housing situation within the police force. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will join other hon. Members to request the Minister in charge to put more effort to ensure that police officers are housed properly, so that their morale is boosted. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is because police officers lack morale that even the Commissioner of Police is not secure. He is very unsafe. The Minister of State for Administration and National Security is not safe either. That is the reason he has so many chase cars escorting him all over. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Commissioner of Police and police officers are seeking protection, where will civilians get protection that is supposed to be provided by police officers? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the situation of police officers being demoralised is so bad. If you travel from Busia to Kisumu, police officers are now competing to erect roadblocks, so that they can arrest any matatu, anybody caring bhang or little chang'aa, so as to extort them in order to increase their earnings. This is very unfortunate and the Government has to do something to increase their salaries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when it comes to recruitment of police officers, the Ministry has been very notorious. You will find that in the district I come from, ten or so people, can be picked for recruitment. The youths then run around the field, sure that they have been picked. However, when they go for training, they are all referred back and replaced by people, not from Teso District, but from other parts of this country. There are also reports that indicate that very prominent politicians, Ministers, wives of Ministers and the President take the role of recruiting police officers from nowhere, without going through the normal recruitment process. Those are the people who replace those who have been genuinely recruited. If this Government needs to survive, it has to be very transparent. We know those people. When they are recruited, they come back and tell us. So, it impacts very negatively on this Government. We want transparency. Every community should be given its fair share, so that it can feel it is in the same country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Khamisi has just been talking about police uniforms. If you look very closely at the kind of uniforms that are supplied to those police officers, starting from shoes, socks, long trousers, shirts, caps and belts, you will see that they are of sub- standard quality. You cannot imagine what the Government is giving them! But if you look at the July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2581 cost that has been incurred in buying those things, it is very high. The people who supply equipment and uniforms to our police officers and other armed personnel--- I think those should be people of good reputation and whose firms should be reputable enough to supply quality things. Now that even plastic bags have been banned--- Our police officers have been putting on plastic belts. I do not know how---
What plastic belts?
Most of them put on white plastic belts. If you look at them very closely, you will realise that even the caps they put on are made of plastic. Now that plastic bags have been banned in our Republic, I do not know what the Minister is going to do. That is because they have been mistreating our police officers by supplying them with very sub-standard shoes and torn undersize clothes which make them look awkward wherever they are on duty.
I hope the Ministers are listening to those things. I think the Minister is very keen.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will find that, due to the low salaries that our police officers are paid, starting from the Officer Commanding Station (OCS)-- I like giving examples from my place. There is Malaba and Adungosi police stations. Junior police officer are summoned every morning and each is given a target. They are sent out to the field. They are told: "Go and patrol! But when you come back in the evening, you should come with, at least, Kshs10,000". That money will be given to the OCS and forwarded to the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD). I do not know whether it goes up to the Minister! But I know it goes up to those levels. So, some of those junior who are not corrupt enough to obey that rule at times, go to the field and come with less than the target. What are they trained to do? Those are the officers who will be forced to sit at the counters at police stations. They will never go out again. They will do small jobs for the OCS and OCPD such as polishing shoes and the rest. If only there could be a very good salary scheme for our police, I do not think the OCS and OCPD could be mistreating their junior officers. In the end, it is the public who are also mistreated outside there. Those officers will have to effect charges on the people. The ordinary people have to cough up something to buy their freedom or else, they will go to the police stations. So, as a result of the poor pay, police officers are forced into taking bribes and extorting money from people in order to maintain their upkeep. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when it comes to the promotion of police officers-- Currently, we have a Police Commissioner who was appointed from the army. I do not think other police officers who were going up through the promotion ladder were happy when that happened. If we made that mistake, we should not repeat it again. That is because that man is trained to defend this country from external aggression. We have police officers who have gone through basic training and reached various levels, who know what police work is all about. Why should we bring in an army person to lead the police force? So, in order to avoid the mistrust between police officers themselves, we need to give them the morale that one day, they will move from a police constable to OCS, OCPD, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner! Let us ensure that there is smooth promotion of those police officers. Let us not start hiring people from elsewhere. Next time, we might even hire people from outside the country to lead our police force. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I must thank the Mover of the Motion, Mr. Ojode, because I know that, in our Government, he is going to hold a very big post when we form the next Government at the end of the year. I propose that he takes over the Ministry of State for Administration and National Security. That is because he is very much concerned about the welfare of police officers. I also feel that police officers who are currently on duty should give all of us sufficient security. With those few remarks, I beg to support. 2582 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to make a few comments on this Motion which, I think, needs to be supported. The issue of security in this country is paramount to Kenyans. The people who provide security are actually the policemen. I think it is necessary for police officers to be given the necessary incentives to do their work safely and efficiently. That is because the police and other security agencies are generally exposed to enormous risks. Those are men and women of this country who have chosen to protect Kenyans. I think they have chosen an exemplary undertaking. It is only fair that they are remunerated well. When President Kibaki took over the reins of this country, salaries of police officers were revised. I think for now, it is fair. It needs to be improved but, for now, it fair. It is not the way we found it when we took power. I think the Mover of this Motion is alluding to very important things such as medical, extraneous and all the other allowances listed in the Motion. I will only urge the Ministry to look into that because very pertinent issues are being raised in this Motion. It is all a question of funding. We would like to urge the Treasury to give a little more funding to the Ministry in charge of Provincial Administration so that, all these things could be carried out. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all know that the Budget for the Ministry of State for Administration and National Security is barely Kshs29 billion. Much of it, as we read in the Budget - about Kshs26 billion - is actually going to Recurrent Expenditure. Only Kshs3 billion will be spent on infrastructure and the rest. To that extent, the Government is on its track to have that Ministry well funded. I think there is still some room for the Treasury to look into the whole question of funding that Ministry. For all these things to be done, it will require some money. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think another thing that needs to be considered in line with this is the whole question of compensation to victims of crime. I feel we should start this kind of fund because a lot of people suffer from insecurity. In my constituency, for example, security is not good. This is because in order to move from one area to another, we have to go through a road crossing a forest. We are suffering a lot of insecurity in our area. It is only the other day that some people were gunned down in a supermarket near Nyahururu Town in my constituency. Although this Ministry has done the best it can, I think there is still room for the same to be improved. Sometimes I rank security top on the agenda of this Government. Where there is insecurity, education cannot flourish and even health issues cannot be tackled properly. Therefore, security matters must now be the top agenda in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for security to be the top agenda in this country, it calls for recruitment of more police officers. This is an area that can be looked into. Currently, we know the Government is recruiting officers into its various police colleges. However, if we really want to curb insecurity, we must be able to improve the police population ratio. It must be improved so that we are able to see, at least, a policeman handling a population of about 100 people. If that is not attainable in the near future, we should be able to recruit homeguards comprised of retired officers who are willing to protect the people in the villages. This happens in the northern part of this country and the pastoralist areas where some people are allowed to carry guns, so that they are able to curb insecurity. Sometimes a police station or base, may be far away from the citizens, like five kilometres away. For them to respond to an emergency, it takes time and these gangs know that. They know that our policemen are incapacitated in terms of transport. So, if there are people near that population who are able to own guns, for example, then the gangsters will be afraid to strike. These gangs are said to be powerful because they have guns. Therefore, I would like to call upon the Ministry to make it easier for those who want to own guns to do so. I am sure that if that happens, we will be able to curb insecurity in this country. This is happening in other countries. Even private security guards have guns in Uganda and Tanzania. The other day, I July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2583 was in Tanzania, and saw that every private guard had a gun. For that reason, I think we should move very fast, so that we can ensure that insecurity is being dealt with. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I must laud the good work the policemen are doing despite working in very difficult and strenuous circumstances. They are moving at night to ensure that security is in place. I must thank and laud the Minister, hon. Michuki, because much as he can be said to be tough, this kind of docket requires a no-nonsense Minister. We must thank him for the measures he has put in place to ensure that even the likes of Mungiki adherents are controlled. We need to encourage this Ministry. We do not need to bash them because that is not the issue. We need to encourage them to do even more good work that they are doing in this country, particularly in Nairobi. We want to ensure that urban areas are well lit, so that gangs have nowhere to hide. We also want to encourage property owners to ensure that their front rows are also lit because during darkness, the devil wants to sow his seeds. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are ensuring that our urban areas are lit and clean. Therefore, we would wish that security should not be just left to the Government. It is incumbent upon each one of us to ensure that our own security is well catered for because security starts with oneself. You must ensure that your security is, first of all, ensured. We can do that by avoiding a lot of habits like moving around at night. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, asante kwa kunipa nafasi hii ili nichangie Hoja juu ya kuwatakia polisi masilahi na mishahara bora zaidi. Nadhani hili ni jambo ambalo haliwezi kupingwa na yeyote kwa sababu maofisa wa polisi, kama vile Wakenya wengine, wanahitaji mishahara na nyumba bora za kuishi. Zile nyumba wanamokaa zinazoitwa A-frame structure ni vyumba ambavyo havistahili kuwepo tena. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nakumbuka zamani sana tukibishana na Mkuu wa Polisi katika Mkoa wa Bonde la Ufa, Bw. Mbijiwe. Wakati nilisema polisi wanastahili kujengewa nyumba bora zaidi, niliporudi nyumbani nilikutana naye na akawa mkali sana kwangu akisema sina haki ya kuwatetea maofisa wa polisi. Nadhani ni kwa sababu ya upinzani wa aina hiyo kutoka ndani ya polisi yenyewe ya kwamba maofisa hawa wameendelea kuishi katika nyumba ambazo hazistahili binadamu kuishi. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, pia swala la bima ni muhimu kwa polisi ambao wanakufa wakiwa kazini. Familia zao zina haki ya kushughulikiwa au kuhakikisha ya kwamba zinaishi katika hali inayostahili baada ya kufiwa na bwana na hata mabibi zao. Ili polisi wetu waweze kufanya kazi yao wanavyostahili ni muhimu---
Order! Could you, please, consult further away from the hon. Member speaking because your voices are being picked up! Proceed, Mr. Wamwere!
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nilikuwa nasema ni muhimu wakumbushwe kutekeleza kazi yao kwa usawa kwa sababu nadhani bado kuna tatizo miongoni mwa polisi. Kuna tatizo la kusema ya kwamba polisi wanatekeleza ule wito wao wa utumishi kwa wote bila ubaguzi. Wakati mwingine unakuta ya kwamba polisi wakihitajika kwenda kuwahudumia matajiri, wao huenda haraka kuliko wakati wanahitajika kuwahudumia maskini. Hili nalijua kwa sababu wakati mwingine hata utakuta kuna matajiri au viongozi wanafanya uhalifu ambao unaonekana hata katika runinga lakini unakuta hawashtakiwi. Je, kuna sheria mbili; moja ya viongozi na matajiri na nyingine ya maskini? 2584 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 Masikini akionekana akimpiga mwenzake ngumi vile Kimani Ngunjiri alivyoonekana akimpiga wakili mmoja kule Nakuru, analala ndani. Watu walioufanya ushenzi huo bado wanatembea na bado wako huru. Tunashindwa kuelewa sheria hii inatakiwa kufuatwa na nani. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuna swala lingine nyeti ambalo limenisumbua kwa muda mrefu. Tumepitisha sheria ya kuwalinda wapiga firimbi lakini utakuta kwamba wapiga firimbi wanapotoa habari kuhusi ufisadi unaohusu watu kama Kamlesh Pattni wanaomiliki hoteli kubwa kama ile ya Grand Regency, hata baada ya mahakama kusema kwamba ni haki ya wapiga firimbi kurudishwa katika kazi walizofutwa, wanashindwa kurudi kazini. Wanapoenda huko hotelini, wanakuta kwamba majambazi wameajiriwa kuhakikisha kwamba hawarudi kazini. Watu hao wamezunguka kwa zaidi ya miaka karibu mitano na hawana pa kwenda. Pia wameenda katika Wizara na Ofisi ya Rais, ambayo inasimamia polisi wote. Vile vile, wameenda katika Wizara ya Haki na Katiba ambapo huwa wanapewa barua za kuonyesha kwamba wana haki ya kurudi kazini, lakini sasa umefika wakati ambapo hawajui watakwenda kwa nani.
Mr. Wamwere, you now have two minutes to wind up.
Bwana Naibu Spika wa Muda, watu hawa wamekosa haki kwa sababu kuna maofisa wakubwa katika polisi ambao wanawazuia kurudi kazini. Mmoja wao ambaye wamemtaja katika affidavit yao ni Bw. Kimaiyo. Aliwaambia kwamba akiwa mamlakani, watu hao hawatarudi kazini. Hii inafanya tujiulize: Sheria hii ya kupiga firimbi tuliipitisha ya nini kama hatukuwa na nia ya kuhakikisha kwamba inawalinda wanyonge ambao wanapiga firimbi kwa lengo la kusaidia Serikali kupigana na ufisadi? Ningetaka kusema kwamba, wakati polisi wanakataa kuwasaidia wapiga firimbi, ni kama wanatoa ishara kwa nchi nzima ya kuonyesha kwamba Serikali haina nia ya kupigana na ufisadi. Naunga mkono.
Order, hon. Members! It is now time for me to call upon the Official Government Responder.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to take this opportunity to thank hon. Ojode for bringing this important Motion. I would also like to thank other hon. Members who have made very good contributions, that we have been taking note of, and which we will take into account when implementing this important Motion. This Motion shows that hon. Members recognise that police officers do a very important work for this country and regard them as a critical element of our security and our development. That is why we are supporting this Motion and we will implement it. Even as we complain and point out the inadequacies that are there in police training and equipment, it is important to take stock of the fact that this Government has done a lot in making the police force more responsive to crime and better equipped to deal with crime better. We took over the Government when the police force was one of the neglected sectors just like all other the sectors. Nobody cared for them. They had been left to fend for themselves. They had been left to get money from wherever they would because the Government was not ready to improve their remuneration. However, when this Government took over, their allowances were looked into and their salaries were, in fact, doubled from what they were earning. As we get more budgetary allocation, we will keep on looking into the salaries and allowances of police officers and make them better. So far, we have improved them. In fact, I dare say that the morale of the police officers is at the highest at this point compared to the past. They are not complaining about salaries at this point. As much as they might want more money given to them, they appreciate what this Government has done for them. In terms of housing, we found stalled projects and the police officers were sleeping in places I would refer to as shanties. Some of them were sharing rooms and beds, but we provided July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2585 enough money for housing. We have been building 3,000 units every year. Even with the existing budgetary constraints, everywhere you go, you will see police officers' houses being built. You will see police stations being renovated and some being rebuilt. That is a sign of a Government that cares. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have also provided a lot of money for buying police officers guns that are better than what the criminals have. We have provided them with vehicles. We are also repairing the police choppers so that they can respond very quickly to crime in distant areas. Most importantly, because this Motion talks about risk allowance, health, and insurance, there was a project to build a police hospital which had stalled. Right now, we are building it in Embakasi. This is a specialised police hospital which will offer medical services to police officers. It is modelled on the Moi Forces Memorial Hospital which treats Military personnel. So, soon, police officers will be able to, whenever they are injured or hurt, instead of going to public hospitals, they will go to a hospital of their own. That is an important improvement. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in terms of training, making the police better or more humane, because they had been left on their own, we have included the human rights training, disaster management and other related subjects that will make the police better trained intellectually to handle and understand the nature of their work. During the last recruitment, we doubled the number of recruits. Apart from doubling the figure so that we can meet the UN requirement of one policeman per 450 people, we have also increased the number of university graduates and specialised personnel who have studied subjects like criminology and forensic science so that we can have a highly qualified cadre of police officers at the top. These officers will help to shape policy and to make the police a better force. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have also started various specialised units to deal with various aspects of crime. We have the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, Anti-Stock Theft Unit and the Anti-Money Laundering. We also have a specialised unit that deals specifically with tourism and another that deals with diplomats such that when diplomats are in trouble, they can call the police and the unit responds immediately. Those are some of the areas we have been endeavouring to deal with to make the police force better. Since everybody is talking about low pay, I want to point out that there is no time anybody will say that their salary is enough. Everybody would want his salary to be increased. Lack of salary or low salary should not be a motivation to be corrupt. If that was the case, the watchman who earns very little and, yet they take care of our homes would be robbing the houses they guard because their salaries are very low. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the motivation for corruption is not poverty; it is a problem of the mind that needs to be addressed. The issue of work ethics, lack of commitment and people not being patriotic--- So, apart from just the pay contributing to corruption, we need to also address our own values as a society. The most corrupt people in this country are not the poorest people! Those who have squandered money and have been involved in mega scandals in this country---Those who have robbed the Exchequer in the past are not the poorest people in this country. We need to stop the business of saying: "Because we are poor, we become corrupt!" We need to look at how the poor--- Even as poor as they are, they can work harder. They actually work! In fact, most of the poor people in this country work very hard. Our mothers were peasants who were toiling every day in their farms! They are not corrupt! So, we should never make an excuse of not having enough money or not having as much money as other people have so as not to do your job the way you are supposed to do, even as we become sensitive. There is need to pay people better! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been addressing corruption in the police force. In fact, the Police Commissioner, whom one of the hon. Members was complaining about, was brought in to handle corruption! He was brought in as an outsider because people were 2586 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 thinking that the police force was so corrupt that it needed somebody from outside to come and help it address that problem. I remember that when he came in, he had senior officers in the police force fired because they were not seen to be fit. Many people raised hell in this House. They were saying: "Children and sons from our communities are being harassed." So, it is us, leaders in this House, who make it very difficult for us to do reforms. That is because instead of looking at reforms, we look at where people come from. We look at who is my tribesman. When your tribesman is touched, instead of asking whether that tribesman of yours was doing his job the way he was supposed to do, your knee-jerk reaction is to defend your own! So, this particular House is one of the hindrances of making reforms, even within the police force. That is because you are always defending! Any time something is done to make things better, you are up in arms. Therefore, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to address ourselves as a House. We should be committed to guide reforms. We are the ones who guide it. We are the ones who come up with policies here! When we come up with those policies, let us support those policies, even where they hurt us. Even where they hurt our own, let us support them so that our country could be better. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are pleased that the Police Commissioner is doing a good job in bringing those reforms. They have a board that listens to complaints. If you have a complaint against a particular police officer, you are free to bring it up and it will be listened to. Take it to the Police Commissioner or bring it to us and we will also raise it with them. We will deal with that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Wamwere has talked about the Grand Regency Hotel, where people who work there are not escorted to work. When he raised that particular matter, we addressed it. We said that those workers should not be harassed by the police. In fact, they were taken to their place of work but, because of the problem of Grand Regency Hotel having two Receiver Managers, that is why those workers are having a problem. It has nothing to do with the police! The police cannot come inside a private business and determine who works or supervises the work there. So, that problem can be addressed by other organs of the Government, and not the police force. The police force did its job. The officers released them. They escorted them to the Grand Regency Hotel. But those particular officers were frustrated internally from doing their work.
Order, Mr. Munya! Could you address the Chair!
So, really, Mr. Wamwere is expecting the police to do more than they are supposed to do. They have to do their work in the confines of the law. So, they cannot go into private premises and start supervising the running of a private hotel, which is already being run by a Receiver Manager who has been appointed by a court. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members raised the issue of promotions. Once again, let me state that there is a board in the police force that looks into issues of promotions.
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I really do not think that I need any information at this stage. That is because Mr. Wamwere had time to inform me properly. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was talking of promotions.
Order! You do not want to find out what he wants to inform you? But that is your prerogative.
Mr. Temporary Deputy July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2587 Speaker, Sir, let me listen to his point of information.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point of information is very harmless. I just want to inform
that, in fact, there has been a court ruling on the matter of Grand Regency Hotel, to the effect that those workers should return to work. To the extent of that court ruling, those workers cannot be expected to do anything more to deserve police protection to the very end.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is why I did not want the information! It is diverting me from this Motion! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have told Mr. Wamwere many times that he needs to look for other avenues for those workers--- Even if I am concerned about them just like he is, he needs to---
Order! Actually, you are now taking us to places where we should not even be! It has nothing to do with the subject matter!
So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion is timely and we support it. We will implement it. Lastly, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to emphasize the responsibility of leaders in fighting crime. You will find that in areas where crime is - where we have clashes and crime, there is involvement of political leaders. During the disputes over boundaries and land, you will see the involvement of political leaders. We are also asking them to take responsibility and resolve disputes in their areas, where different communities are involved, amicably. Take the moral responsibility of making sure that different communities in Kenya live peacefully together because they are all Kenyans! There is no time we will have certain Kenyans thrown out of Kenya, so that others can stay. We will always be together. We will live together as Kenyans. We need to show that leadership in areas like Mt. Elgon, where we have problems that have been fuelled by the leadership and land disputes. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion and thank Mr. Ojode for bringing it. I hope you will act like the Joshua of the Bible. He should rise up to the responsibilities that are attached to the name that he took when he became a Christian. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! How many minutes do we have?
We have enough time!
Order! Do we have any time for him?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Order! You cannot go back to the microphone! The hon. Member for Saboti, you have two minutes!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This Motion concerns the police force. It is very important because it involves security. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the police force is a reformation of good governance and it is a source of development. The welfare of policemen has a question mark. I can hear what 2588 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 hon. Munya is talking about. There are two languages here, when we talk about the police force: There is the "Nairobi language", which is the "headquarters language", and there is another language for policemen who work in the provinces. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is horrifying to find policemen at Gitwamba staying in off-skirt houses. The armoury where they keep guns is an off-skirt house - a makeshift house. The place where they hold prisoners or suspects is off-skirt house. That is in Gitwamba. Another one is in Saboti. So, the welfare of policemen is a big concern! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other---
Order! Your two minutes are up!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
I will now call upon the Mover to reply.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of my friends have approached me- --
Order! You cannot just inform of action!
Order, Mr. Twaha! The Mover has been called upon to reply!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was just requesting the Chair to allow some of my colleagues who have appealed---
Order, Mr. Ojode! If you want to donate time, just do it!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will donate six minutes to the following, two minutes each to Messrs. Angwenyi, Weya and Karaba.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish Mr. Ojode had brought this Motion three years ago. When you travel around this country and if, for example, you drive at night, you will find a policeman at 2 o'clock or 3 o'clock in the morning, persevering the cold and the wind that blows at that time of the night, when most of us are deep in our sleep. When most of us are busy manufacturing human beings, a policeman is on the road to ensure that we are secure. I tell you that the policemen are the worst people to be considered in this country.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Did I hear the hon. Member say that "when some of us are busy manufacturing human beings?" Could he elaborate what he means by that?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you know how human beings are brought into this world. You must have two people, mainly at night when they can bring them to this world. I am saying that the policemen should be paid well and their risk assurance be taken care of. Their families should be taken care of in terms of medical cover.
Order! The two minutes are over. I really want to caution hon. Members that when you speak, you want your information to be in clear language. Do not bring out a language that you know you will be challenged to explain further. We do not manufacture human beings! Proceed, Mr. Karaba!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. As I support, what I have July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2589 noted is that some of the policemen who we have in the country do not even protect innocent
. What they do is that they go and protect those rich and retired senior civil servants in their homes. I have a case in Kagumo, where I come from, where most or all the policemen in the area are found in people's home. They guard them at the expense of the majority shopkeepers in the urban centres. I am, therefore, asking the Minister, as we pass this Motion, to make sure that the job description of these policemen is well known even to wananchi, so that they can be given protection instead of the police only protecting individuals in their homes. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will go very quickly. I heard the Minister saying that this issue of resources is--- We see in the First World countries that people within estates have policemen looking after them. The amount of money they spend on watchmen, security fences and securing themselves with alarm systems is huge. If you go to the First World countries you will not see huge electric fences. So, we need to get somebody to come and advise us, as a country, on how we can really have that kind of facility. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about a medical scheme, we also need to talk about psychiatric services within the police force, so that we can have our policemen getting psychiatric help. This is necessary because it is also a critical part of the medical scheme that is required. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about the living conditions, we have seen policemen in this country really suffer, because of the conditions they live under. When they stay in a small mabati house, with their wives and children, during this cold season, you only expect them to be sick. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me start by thanking all my colleagues for having supported this Motion. I will start by thanking the Minister in charge of---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for Mr. Ojode to recommend all these benefits for the regular police and not to mention the Kenya Police Reserve, as well?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will go straight, and I will not reply to what he is saying because, first of all, he should have asked me, if he wanted some time.
That is not a point of order, anyway!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me also thank the Minister, in fact, the Assistant Minister, who is also a very good friend of mine, for having said those very good words. However, the Assistant Minister mentioned hospitals being constructed for the police force. But how about the policemen who are working in Migori and Kacheliba? Will they also be ferried when they are sick to go and be treated in Embakasi? No! It is important for the Minister to provide a medical allowance and life insurance. The reason why I am pleading with the Minister is because of the situation which they are in. I will give you one example. I think yesterday, or the day before, a traffic police officer went to the middle of the highway and stopped a matatu and those who had boarded it disembarked. That matatu was then taken to the police headquarters. If a matatu is taken to the police headquarters, its owners have to part with Kshs5,000, because they are told: "If we take you to court, you will have to pay a fine of Kshs8,000!" That, in itself, is extortion. Why? Because they are not getting good allowances. My friend, the Minister, is saying: "Oh, we got these fellows earning Kshs4,690 and then we doubled their salary". He is proud to say that the salary of a policeman was doubled from Kshs4,690 to Kshs9,600 or to Kshs13,200. That is the money the Minister uses for a drink in a night, yet he is saying that he is proud. How? We need policemen to be independent! The police force should be independent, because there is a lot of political interference. As we speak, why 2590 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 should the Minister in charge of security have a chase car, with eight policemen? What is wrong with him? Why? If he is a criminal, he should say so! That shows that there is a lot of insecurity in the country!
Order, Mr. Ojode! The Minister is a Member of this House!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that he is not a criminal but---
Order! You do not have to change the language. I am just warning you that the Minister is a Member of this House, and no Member of this House can be--- Do not even imagine that a Member of this House--- Will you withdraw?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I withdraw. However, my point is that if a Minister in charge of---
Order, Mr. Ojode! This is how you spend your time! If you want to withdraw---
I do not want any points of order. I want him to just withdraw, apologise and move on!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I withdraw and apologise. We need the police force to be independent, with no interference at all from any corner, not even from the Minister himself. The armed forces was recently awarded a 60 per cent pay increase.
100 per cent!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was a 60 per cent to 100 per cent increase. I would appeal to the Minister to also consider increasing these allowances and salaries. If he does that, the police will gain morale and serve wananchi without any problem. The other issue is about recruitment. Why can the Minister not consider recruiting directly from secondary schools? That used to happen! The reason why I am saying this is because when recruitment is done in Homa Bay, some of my friends come up with names from their own territories and locations and recruit them in Homa Bay. That is not fair! On the issue of policemen guarding wealthy people, it is true that the wealthy people are being considered first. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, in view of the Government's goal and policy to create 500,000 jobs annually; aware of the various measures and reforms being instituted to address the challenges arising from the fact that a huge portion of our population is youthful, educated, jobless and restless; appreciating that the economy has been turned round onto a positive growth plan; noting that good governance measures so far undertaken have plugged leakages in revenue collection and public expenditures; recognizing that there is great need for additional manpower in various economic sectors to spur accelerated socio-economic development; further aware that the private sector has started posting increasing profits since 2003; and conscious of the July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2591 contribution of the private sector in wealth creation and social responsibility, this House urges the Government to establish a special employment programme to be known as "the New Deal" in which a specific budgetary provision will be made so as to employ, at least, 250,000 people in the public sector annually and persuade the private sector to employ a similar number annually with a certain minimum number to be employed from each constituency in the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we were struggling to get our Independence, the clarion call was, "Uhuru na Kazi, " that is, freedom with employment. Sure enough, when we attained our independence, most African citizens were offered employment opportunities. I remember, a few years after Independence, I graduated from intermediate school. I was offered three jobs, but I decided to proceed with my secondary school education. At the end of my four years in secondary school, I still was offered several jobs. I only took one of them, while I was waiting to join high school. When I completed my high school education, I was offered several jobs. At one time, actually, I worked for two employers. I worked for the Government and the East African Railways at that time. Also, I was employed before I completed my last month at the university. Job opportunities were available throughout the country, at various levels of education. Even those who did not go to school, were able to get jobs. Therefore, they could profitably use their energy to produce for this country. What has happened since that time? During the period when the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was the President of this Republic, we would from time to time get directives from the Office of the President saying: "Employers should increase job opportunities in their organizations by ten per cent." It used to be called the ten per cent directive. As a result, the youth could get employment. But, at the demise of the late Mzee Kenyatta, job opportunities started decreasing. They dwindled to the extent that by the setting in of the Goldenberg scandal, there were no jobs any more. This is because Kshs138 billion was diverted to private use, under the Goldenberg saga. Since that time, employment opportunities are not available to our youth, who qualify from various institutions, including those who hold Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhDs). As I speak, I have got three members of my constituency who have got PhDs, but they do not have jobs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, during those days, again, if one did not want formal jobs, he could get land on which he could settle and produce for this country. But, today, there is no sufficient land. We have seen episodes of poor people, who are squatters on Government or other people's land, being evicted. We have seen the squalor in which people live in Kibera, Mathare and Mukuru Kwa Njenga. Three months ago, I carried out a survey. Every morning, I would rise up and go to park on Mbagathi Road. I would then interview some of the young people who were trekking to Industrial Area to look for casual jobs. Ninety nine per cent of them never got any jobs. They would trek back in the evening to their homes in Kibera after failing to get jobs. These are people who do not want to commit crimes. They instead want to fend for themselves. They are educated and energetic, but they cannot get a chance to employ their energy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that survey informed me how our youth are suffering. When I went to the Kenya Bureau of Statistics, I was told that 60 per cent of our youth are unemployed. Therefore, the employment rate for our youth is 60 per cent. That translates to more than seven million people in this country who are idle and in distress. They cannot provide for themselves. Therefore, they easily convert into engaging in crime. No wonder, we do have the
and other organized gangs all over the country! These groups are formed because the youth have no place to apply their energies and education. Some of them have graduated from colleges. Take teachers, for example. We do have in excess of 60,000 teachers who are qualified 2592 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 from teachers' training colleges, who are unemployed today. Likewise, we do have more than 25,000 people who have graduated from our medical colleges. We have thousands more from various institutions, who are idle and restless. The Government has taken measures to improve our economy with the hope that the economy can absorb some of these people. But the rate at which they are absorbing people into formal or informal employment is very low. You can remember the days when you could walk to Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) and get a loan to start your own business. That is informal employment. There were days when you could walk to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) and get money to buy a shamba and grow crops which you could sell and employ yourself and your family. Those days are gone. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, today, if you borrow money from AFC you are likely to lose your shamba because the interest rates are very high and the returns on production are very low. Therefore, you stand a chance of losing the shamba . Where I come from, the Gusii Highlands, and in many parts of this country, there are no shambas . I have four sons and four daughters but I only have a half an acre of land. If I have to subdivide that land to my eight children, there will be no land. There will not be enough land for them to build their houses. What I am saying is that, since this Government has plugged those leakages for revenue collection and since they have instituted measures of good governance in the expenditure of our resources, we can mobilise resources to employ the 250,000 youths per year. It is not a very high cost. If the Government was to employ 250,000 people at an average gross salary of Kshs10,000 per month, it would cost this Government only Kshs30 billion. That is only half of the amount which was lost in Anglo Leasing deals. That amount is only 25 per cent of the money we lost in the Goldenberg scandal. That is less the amount that we lose in cases which are instituted against the Government and which the Government does not defend in our courts. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what would that Kshs30 billion realise or achieve for this country? It will create employment for our children. For example, they could be employed to construct roads, dams, prepare water springs and to create forests. They can be employed to do nearly everything. For example, we want to expand our airport. Why do you want to import machinery? We can employ 10,000 people in Embakasi and that airport can be expanded two or three times in a year. Those people will expand the airport using their energies and in turn, provide for their families. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in recent times, private institutions have made exorbitant profits. For example, two years ago, Barclays Bank posted Kshs3.1 billion in profits. Last year, it posted Kshs4 billion in profits. At the same time, it was retrenching its workers. Why does this Government want to encourage people to take money from the poor people so that it can be shared by a few shareholders of such a bank? Recently Safaricom posted Kshs17 billion in profits. Safaricom is owned by Telkom Kenya, Vodafone and Mobitelea. Three partners! The portion owned by Telkom Kenya is 60 per cent. That translates to more than Kshs10 billion in profits that could be given to Telkom Kenya, whereas Telkom Kenya is currently in the process of retrenching its employees. Do we have any sense of morality in this country? Do we have any conscience when we retrench 20 or 30 year old persons? Where does he or she go and yet you are making such profits? What is happening to our country that we must take away from those who do not have or have little and give to those who have more? If Telkom Kenya wants to use the Kshs10 billion that it is getting to create jobs, they can create 80,000 jobs a year at a salary of Kshs10,000 per month, per person. That is what I am talking about. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we were to employ 250,000 people on the model of the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), that is, 500 from each constituency, we would employ 105,000 people. The balance can now be shared out on the basis of population, education July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2593 standards, qualifications and marginalisation. There are areas in this country where there are no people employed formerly by this Government. Those areas could be taken care of. That will inspire our youth who are going to school because they know that at the end of their education, they will get something to do and earn a living. That will have a major impact. It will actually eradicate poverty. It will have a multiplier effect and the economy will grow very faster. It will remove the restlessness of our youth and reduce crime in this country. It will make our private companies share out in social responsibility. They will be seen to be contributing towards the welfare of the people of Kenya. In fact, it will raise life expectancy substantially. As you know, since job vacancies started dwindling, life expectancy in Kenya reduced from 65 years on average to 42 years today. This is because people have no means to fend for themselves. They do not have means to access good health care. People cannot provide shelter for themselves. If the Government was to boldly address this issue, the benefits would be enormous. In fact, the benefits would translate to an overwhelming support for our system, whereby, we create profits for private enterprises. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we do not take that kind of action, next time, people are going to rise up against this profiteers like Safaricom, some of the banks and organizations like breweries who make a lot of money and they are at the same time retrenching our youth. We would be able to get Mungiki out. The members of Mungiki are our youths. They are our children. Except for those who have committed violent crimes, we should rehabilitate them by providing them jobs. That would be an alternative to extorting money from matatus . They would have a job to do and provide for their families and themselves. I am sure that, that kind of approach can be useful. This is not a new concept. This thing was done in the United States of America (USA) during the depression. They created "the American New Deal" and they were able to employ people to do some of the jobs that I have mentioned. They were able to almost wipe out crime committed by young people in that country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, why can we not adopt this kind of system which has worked elsewhere? Why can we not try to make use of our youth? What is the point of siring children, educating them and directing them to situations where they will end up committing crime? With those few remarks, I beg to move. I would like to ask hon. J.M. Mutiso to second the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to second the Motion by the hon. Member for Kitutu Chache, Mr. Angwenyi. First of all, he has proposed a very important policy direction in trying to look at the issue of the youth in a holistic manner. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the outset, I would also like to thank the Government for its concerted effort in trying to look at the issue of creation of jobs for the youth in a positive manner. The youth form a very important sector in any country's economic development. In Kenya, we have a population of about 35 million people and about 65 per cent of them are below the age of 35 years, which is actually the pro-active age. The Government has put in place various measures through the various policy pronouncements. We have had several economic policy papers, for example, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the Employment for Wealth Creation Paper, which actually capture some of the important issues in trying to mainstream the youth into the economic development of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, an active population of 7 million educated people is very huge. I have no doubt about the fact that instability and the rising crime has a bearing on the idleness of this active and productive population. The Bill of Economics--- 2594 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that we do not have a quorum in the House. This is a very important Motion to be discussed by a meagre ten hon. Members.
It does not take too long to find out if there is no quorum. Therefore, I will order the Division Bell to be rung.
Order! Order! We have a quorum now. You may now proceed, Mr. J.M. Mutiso!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Under the proposed Motion of the New Deal, the Government is being urged to set a special programme with a special budgetary provision to alleviate the unemployment problem in this country. There are many educated and jobless Kenyans in the various sectors of our economy. If you look at the education sector, particularly the free primary education, secondary education and the tertiary education, you will realise that the amount of under-staffing in this sector is enormous. In the current Budget, the Government did not even meet a quarter of the requirements of the staff level in the education sector. We have over 50,000 trained and qualified teachers, which is, actually, the requirement for the education sector as proposed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT). Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the Budget, we only provided for the---
Order, Members! Order! There is a lot of consultation going on. Could we, please, give the speaker on the Floor time to second this Motion? Continue!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, therefore, only provided for 11,000 teachers to be employed. Out of this number, the 4,000 teachers will replace those who have left the service through natural attrition. If you look at the health sector, we only provided for the employment of 600 nurses. If you look at the other sectors, like the technical areas, you will find that the number provided for by our Government is below the expectation. Therefore, through this Motion, the Government is being urged to come up with a new Bill dubbed "the New Deal" of looking at the issue of employment of the youth. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, even if you look at the private sector, with regard to the tax proposals, Kenya has been marked as one of the most highly taxed countries in the world. Therefore, there are no incentives. For example, if you look at the private sector, the Government July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2595 imposed Excise Duty on imported second-hand spare parts, which, actually, forms a very important component in terms of giving the motor industry the impetus that it requires. Therefore, the New Deal will be a supplementary effort to the Ministry of Youth Affairs which the Government has only given Kshs1 billion to alleviate the problem in trying to empower the youth. Therefore, with the use of these funds, we will be able to bring educated young Kenyans who are qualified into gainful employment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kenya is a signatory of various international conventions, particularly on empowerment of the youth. The employment level, particularly in industries is a very big problem. I remember the former Minister for Human Resources Development said that the Government was generating over 450,000 jobs every year. When we went into the real statistics of how much, how many and where these jobs were, he could not explain how the Government had arrived at that number. This special budgetary position will be able to empower the Minister and the Government to use other tools, for example, contract employment. For example, there is a proposal now to have those schools with more than three PTA teachers provided with a special fund to be able to contract teachers on contract terms to cushion the schools from budgetary constraints in terms of provision of education. This special budgetary provision will be able to alleviate the problem of unemployment. With a provision of 250,000 jobs every year and an equal number from the private sector, I think we shall mitigate the problem of youth unemployment in this country. This is a persuasive Motion and I hope the Government will look at this issue in a positive manner in order to provide our youth with gainful employment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, last week, I happened to be in a team of Members of Parliament. Who visited our national research stations. I was very much impressed by what was going on particularly, in the field of bio-technology in the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. With the provision of a special fund under the New Deal, I think effective technologies such as the one I saw in JKUAT, the aspect of reproduction, tissue culture technology and genetic modification are a window of opportunity to many of our people, particularly the youth. I found that they have a very special programme where people are trained to take activities in various crop production methods. Such funds would be used to create more job opportunities in such areas as food production in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the Motion and I hope the Government will be able to support the same.
2596 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the first chance to support this Motion. Employment is crucial for any nation. A nation whose people do not have jobs is headed for disaster. A nation whose young people, specifically, are not kept busy will find itself in problems; when young people are idle. Therefore, the Government must find ways, like what this Motion of hon. Jimmy Angwenyi is stating, of creating jobs. This Government, or any other government in future, when we have a lot of young people and middle-aged people who are idle, who have no jobs and who have no way of earning their living, is a very serious matter. So, I want to say that the Government should look at statements like this Motion, ideas which have been made by others, and ideas which Members are now going to make in this Motion, and take them in, analyse them. Why is it that countries in the Eastern parts of Asia, I do not want to mention specific countries, but they are all known---When we all attained Independence with them, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, their employment rates were very high but today you find they are countries which are exporting goods all over the world. You find that their currencies are so strong, because they are earning foreign exchange and they have no shortage of foreign exchange and, therefore, they can import, if it is petroleum, because that is what each country will need if it does not produce its own--- It is because they listened to policies from people. Individuals do not formulate policies. So, I want to state, in supporting this Motion, my own views about what the Government should do. One, whereas I support funding of youth groups - but you are funding a group - a group cannot have the same ideas, or the same energies. My idea is that we should fund the youth individually. We should say that any youth who has completed training in a youth polytechnic and has done Government Trade Test, and has a certificate to show that he or she is a tailer, then that youth should be given a sewing machine and some start-up capital for buying tailoring materials. I have done it myself. I have tried it in my constituency. Once in a while, when I have a little money, I buy a sewing machine, the East Asia type, not from the western countries, which inflate prices. You get a sewing machine for Kshs4,000, buy it and give it to a youth, whether a man or young lady. Give her another Kshs5,000, not in cash, but give her materials for making uniforms for others. She will get a shed and start her tailoring shop there. You will have created employment. If it is a carpenter, give him or her some carpentry materials. That person will be employed. You will be able to follow them up so that they can repay the money. So, support leavers of youth polytechnics and technical institutions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we still import labour. We see people like Indians specifically, I have to say. I cannot mince my words. They come here and within a few years, they come and work for another company. In a few years, they will be driving a car when our own youths, with better qualifications from technical institutes and universities, are still unemployed. I would ask this Government to fund our youths directly. We are sitting on a time bomb. If we do not start doing what we are saying--- Those with technical skills should be given equipment and a little start up capital. Those who do not have skills, but have the physical strength, can do bodaboda business. Buy them bicycles, so that they can start doing their own jobs. If they want, buy them the mkokotenis or hand carts in towns. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I come from a rural, farming constituency. Why can we not help the unemployed youth and women in the constituency? We should give them seeds of fast-growing vegetables or fruits so that they can turn it over quickly, for example, maize which we can harvest two or three times in a year. Fund them directly, but not by giving them cash, but by giving them materials to use, seeds and farming equipment. Let them be given on individual basis. That will help to keep those people busy. If somebody has been given seeds to grow cabbages and tomatoes on a little plot of 50 by 20 metres, that will keep that person busy. We should encourage July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2597 the Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) to go--- There are many areas in North Rift, South Rift and western Kenya where HCDA is unknown and yet, it is supposed to encourage intensive farming. What I am saying is that there is room for creating employment through intensive farming. We should not always rely on extensive farming like maize and wheat which take several months. Once it is planted, it does not need any care on a daily basis. If we have vegetables and fast-growing fruits, we will employ many people. That will keep them busy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, even in pastoralist areas, we could supply them with animals instead of giving them money. Those people will be kept busy with their dairy animals. They will also be earning a living. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fishing areas, give five or six youths a small boat with a net. Get them employed on a daily basis. If we wait for these big ideas, we will not get anywhere. Again, we start local processing in rural areas. I know some areas near my constituency where youths came together, they were supported by the church where I was working at one time and we started groups that processed milk into yoghurt and mala . You will find people employed. But, in Kenya, we are told, "here is a project,"people are taken to hotels for seminars and seminars and seminars! We spend millions of shillings organising those seminars. This Government must watch out on the issue of taking its people to seminars. Let us invest on people directly so that we can see the productivity. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that the Government must start by changing policy. Invest on the skills and then give them capital, so that they can start working for themselves. Self employment should be the mode of employing people. Finally, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion says the Government should employ 250,000 people. As far as education sector is concerned, we are told that the Government will employ 11,000 teachers only. How many primary schools are in this country? Nearly in every primary school, the pupil to teacher ratio is so high; it may be 100:1! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government should employ even untrained Form Four or university leavers so as to increase the number of teachers in our schools. Even if we will not pay them much, they will help in teaching our children. Although we have implemented Free Primary Education Programme, it is not the effective. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I want to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. This is a very important Motion. I would like to congratulate my friend; Mr. Jimmy Angwenyi, for coming up with it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that the NARC manifesto promised to create 500,000 jobs annually. However, these jobs were to come from all sectors; both the informal and formal. In fact, the sector that has created a lot of jobs is the informal sector. This is the sector that we really need to support. This is the sector that we need to put a lot of resources into, so that it creates more jobs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is on record that for every 10,000 jobs created by the informal sector, the formal sector creates less than 500 jobs. So, it makes more economic sense to put more resources in the informal sector rather than the formal sector. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am supporting this Motion because we need to create employment. We are sitting on a time bomb. A time bomb of unemployment. A time bomb in the sense that when a large proportion of Kenyans see other people driving flashy cars and living in palaces, they get frustrated. So, we must come up with ways and means of protecting this vulnerable group. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when an economy is growing, like the Kenyan economy, the people who benefit most are middle class. In fact, it true that the middle class has 2598 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 expanded tremendously. However, so far, there are still some people in the lower sectors of the economy who have not been touched by the growth of economy. Therefore, we must come up with innovative ways of how they can benefit from the economic growth. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has increased the intake of police officers in an effort to one, increase the police force and also reduce unemployment. The government has also doubled the intake of Administration Police officers to increase their number and also reduce unemployment. The Government has also doubled the intake of soldiers in an effort to reduce unemployment. But those efforts must be complemented by the private sector. The private sector is not playing its proper role. It is just interested in declaring billions of profits instead of employing our youths. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government has also, for the first time, said that it will employ 11,000 teachers. But that is a drop in the ocean. At the moment, according to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), there is a shortfall of more than 50,000 teachers in both primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Whereas we appreciate that, I think more needs to be done. But that can only happen when people start paying their taxes. I think that is why His Excellency the President, whenever he gets an opportunity, exalts Kenyans to pay their taxes. There is a number of rich Kenyans who are not paying their taxes. I think it is high time that Kenyans started seeing where their taxes are being taken. It is important that we preach to all Kenyans that they start paying their taxes. Everybody should pay taxes regardless of whether you are a farmer or a pastoralist. Everybody should pay taxes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also need to come up with innovative ways to deal with the rural roads. There was a time when we had a programme of repairing rural roads using manual labour. I think we need to go back to those policies. The rural roads should be done manually, so that Kenyans and youths could be employed. It is unfortunate that the good plans that the Nairobi City Council had formulated were not followed. If you look at the master plan for the Nairobi City Council, you will see that there was to be a market in every estate. There was to be a market in Westlands, which I understand was grabbed. There was to be a market in almost all the new suburbs; in Buruburu, Karen, Runda and all the other places. But, unfortunately, most of those markets were grabbed. That is why you find people who would, otherwise, be selling their items in those markets flocking to the City Centre. I am glad the President has now started that programme of constructing markets in all the suburbs. I understand that plans are at an advanced stage to construct a huge market at Muthurwa, where more than 10,000 hawkers will be given stalls to sell- --
It is 30,000 hawkers.
The figure is 30,000 hawkers! Sorry! In fact, I am being corrected by the Minister in charge! More than 30,000 hawkers would be employed in Muthurwa Market. I think that is a step in the right direction. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister for Local Government. I think he has put a lot of effort in that market. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my constituency has been a beneficiary of market construction. The Ministry is constructing a market at Kibingoti, but the contractor has taken more than three years to construct the market. I do not know where the problem is. Every time we confront him, he says that he is going to finish it. But I understand that the Assistant Minister for Local Government would be visiting the market on Friday, in an effort to make sure that the market is completed. What I am saying is that the Government is taking the right steps to create employment. One of the reasons being cited by youths who are joining Mungiki is lack of employment. Whereas we cannot condone the things that they have done, we can appreciate some of the reasons they give. If we offer employment opportunities to our youth in either market stalls July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2599 or in some other places, this attraction to join Mungiki sect will come to an end. So, we need to commence these steps. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing I would urge the Minister for Local Government to do is to copy what a city like London does. On certain days, particularly during the weekends, especially Sundays, they close certain roads. They allow people to come and sell their items. We need to come up with ways where, probably we can close the whole of Tom Mboya Street on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, so that people sell their wares. That has worked very well in London where there are free markets. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another very innovative way in which we can employ our youth is through afforestation. We need to employ youth to plant and re-plant trees in all our forests. This is the message that the hon. Member, Prof. Wangari Maathai, has been passing on to us. By so doing, we can reduce unemployment in addition to increasing our forest cover and reducing carbon dioxide emission. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we appreciate the efforts that the Government has done. It is now time for the private sector to carry on. Sometimes in 1979, the former retired President Daniel Moi, instructed all private companies, parastatals and Government Ministries to employ ten per cent of the youth. I know a lot of people who were employed during that time. I would like to call upon the private sector to see to it that at least ten per cent of its labour force comprise of the youth in an effort to appreciate what the Government has done. They should employ graduates who have no experience because that is the major problem. When companies ask for experience, where will our young unemployed graduates get experience before they are employed? You must be employed first to get experience.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to pass a law in this House saying that no experience should be required when advertising for jobs. With those few remarks, I fully support this Motion by hon. Jimmy Angwenyi.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise also to support this Motion. I think it is a timely Motion. I am surprised that the Government Bench is not full. They should be here to listen to what we want to tell them about a working nation. Indeed, they should be here to support President Kibaki's slogan of a working nation because this is what this Motion translates into. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that hungry people are also angry people. That is what we see in our youth who have joined the Mungiki sect. They are hungry and, therefore, angry. There is so much that this Government can put in place to get all able Kenyans to support the wealth creation of this nation. Indeed, it can keep the citizens of this country busy contributing to their nation. That is the only way to make them proud of their own country when they feel their efforts are being recognised and their brains and capacities are contributing towards building the nation. Indeed, they feel happy and appreciate the Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, our people are very hard working, but they lack support. They have the tools and knowledge. Indeed, they appreciate working on their land. As we have seen over the years, they lack the support they need. Those who go into farming, for instance, get loans which are given to them under strict conditions. Instead of being encouraged, these 2600 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007 conditions end up making them lose their land for auction. Sometimes the weather becomes unfavourable and the farmers do not get good harvest. Instead of encouraging them by giving them farm inputs, their farms are auctioned. This has denied the small-scale farmers the opportunity to participate fully in the creation of wealth for this nation. It goes without saying that the biggest contributor to the economy of this country is the informal sector. When we talk about the informal sector, we are talking about the Jua Kali sector. The Jua Kali artisans have made a tremendous contribution to this country. It is surprising to see that they are the least supported. These people are looking for small loans to support their businesses, but they hardly get them. Since their businesses cannot generate a lot of money, they are not given loans by the conventional banks. When they source money for business among themselves, they only fall back to the merry-go-rounds. Sometimes, it is not enough. They get very little amount of money from the merry-go-rounds, which cannot help them to make any profit. They get very little which they spend on their domestic needs. They do not get anything to enable them to hire other people to work for them and, therefore, create job opportunities for this nation. It is important, indeed, that the Government looks into this situation critically and finds ways of supporting those people who are able and have started their businesses to move on. Those who have skills, such as the many boys and girls who are being churned into the market by secondary schools, training centres and even universities, they are in the streets. They are unable to contribute anything of importance to this nation, as if they do not have any skills and brains. They have brains because the nation has invested a lot of resources in training them. Their Parents have put their energies and resources in training them. They only need to be given the start-up capital. It should not be attached to stringent conditions and red tape so that they can be encouraged to start small businesses for themselves. More importantly, they should be able to come up with businesses that can assist them to employ their brothers and sisters and reduce unemployment in our midst. There is no need for any Kenyan able child, man or woman to find themselves without work to do. There is a lot of work around. All we need, as a country, is to inject resources into our working environment, support and trust that if our people are given the resources, they will use them to create more resources and profits that can benefit our economy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about economic growth---We have time and again criticised the notion that economic growth is seen in the upper echelon, among those people who had money in advance and those who have big businesses. Many people who are contributing to the day to day running of the nation do not even know that the so-called economic growth is taking place. This is because the financial institutions that have money lend out to big people they know who have big businesses running. It is important that small business people at household levels be supported. In other countries, even housewives are supported to run homes. It is an activity. Running a home is an industry! Even housewives should be encouraged. That is how nations that believe in welfare support for their families start cottage industries at the village level. The little activities that go on to support those families also create employment for those people. That keeps people busy in their environment and communities. That avoids influx into urban centres, congestion and lack of essential facilities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is time we looked at what we have. We do have a lot to appreciate in this country, in terms of manpower. Kenya is gifted in education and, indeed, Kenyan children have been educated in large numbers. That education should not be left to go to waste. The only way we can stop it from being wasted is to create an environment. That environment can only be put together by the Government of the day. So, we are calling upon the Government to utilise the many opportunities that they have, the money that is being wasted by individuals who take it away or "sit" on it in banks, while others take it out of this country. We have lost money in the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scams. We should use that money to ensure July 18, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2601 that it is spread. That is why we talk about regional distribution of resources, so that everybody can have access to resources of this country. They, too, can use it to contribute towards the growth of this nation, as they improve their own lifestyles. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion by hon. Angwenyi is very timely and it should be supported. We hope that the Government will, indeed, think seriously about pumping enough money into activities such as the Women and Youth Enterprise Development funds, with a proper programme and legal framework, where it can be distributed equitably to all those who deserve it. We should have a programme of making that money create employment, yield results, contribute to the revenue base and be part of wealth creation in this nation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Twaha, you have two minutes!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to support the Motion and put particular emphasis on subsidising agriculture, which is what all the developed countries are doing. That is the only way we can create jobs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another thing is that with the production that we have, we have to include value-addition. For example, we produce 10 million kilogrammes of cotton every year in Lamu. But it is only the gin which is brought to Nairobi to enrich people here in the ginneries. What we need to have at the grassroots level is spinning, weaving---
I need to clarify to you that you have your ten minutes. But there are only two minutes that you can spend now. You will continue later. So, you have your ten minutes, but you will only use two minutes now.
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In addition to subsidising agriculture, we need value-addition in our local industries. We need spinning, weaving, cutting of cloth and a method where people create value where none exists such as through branding, fashion and such like things. In developed countries, a T-shirt which cost US$1 locally is sold at US$400! That is because an image has been created and people are buying those brands through advertising and brain-washing! They end up---
People get work through magazines, modelling, fashion designers and those sort of things. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another thing is that we have to lower interest rates so that people can have access to credit to develop the country. We are not going to have jobs unless we have extra production. Production is land, labour and capital. We have ample and qualified labour. There is land, but it needs to be developed through irrigation, accessibility and such things. Security needs to be provided in those marginal and semi-arid areas. Capital has to be accessible by all people. When this Government took power, it was able to reduce interest rates up to 1 per cent or 2 per cent of Treasury Bills. But now, it has gone up again. The interest rates on Treasury Bills is subsidising commercial banks which are, all the time, declaring very big profits! It is the Kenyan people who are paying them those subsidies. Instead of subsidising commercial banks, we should subsidise our farmers, tourism and other production sectors. That is because banks are only parasites who "eat" interest from people without doing anything. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you have a hotel today and it has empty rooms, you will sleep in those empty rooms. But a bank with idle funds takes them to Central Bank of Kenya and then it is paid overnight interest.
Order, Mr. Twaha. Order! You still have eight minutes! 2602 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 18, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the Business of the House. This House, therefore, stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.