On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Keter?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand on a point of order to seek your guidance. The Order Paper which was forwarded to the Ministry indicated that Question No.071 was supposed to be the first one. This morning I found out that the Order Paper had been changed, such that the Question is now supposed to be asked in the afternoon. I am kindly seeking your intervention so that when you amend the Order Paper, could the Ministry be informed in advance so that we can also plan? This is because we do not want a situation whereby Questions are asked and the Ministers are not there. Some of us want to perform our duties to the satisfaction of this House. I am seeking your indulgence with regard to that matter.
Order! Hon. Members, it is the assumption of the Chair that there is always a representative of the Government in the Chamber. When instructions on these amendments are done, either the Leader of Government Business, or the Deputy Leader of Government Business or any other Minister is here. This Order Paper which is now with us is as a consequence of the fact that we wanted to go to the Finance Bill yesterday, but there were too many Questions. It was, therefore, ordered that all these Questions should appear on today's Order Paper. That is why it has taken precedence over your previous Question. So, it is assumed that you were present or somebody representing the Government was present to convey that information to you. Proceed! CONFLICTING UTTERANCES REGARDING MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON ENOOSUPUKIA PLANE CRASH
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Mwakwere? 1364
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yesterday, Parliament discussed the issue of a Ministerial Statement that was to be issued by my Ministry on the sad events of the plane crash that occurred early this month. I wonder whether it is in order for the House to give conflicting demands which end up tarnishing the name of an individual. Is it in order to give incongruous instructions? I have a letter here that a Ministerial Statement was being sought from my Ministry to be presented here tomorrow and not yesterday.
Order, Mr. Minister! Order! We are now on Questions. After Question Time, you will have an opportunity to issue your Ministerial Statement. It is at that time that you will indicate your own sentiments.
to ask the Minister for Lands:- (a) Is the Minister aware that a piece of land, LR.4918/8, within Thika Municipality was acquired by the Council in November, 1971 for a mortgage housing scheme? (b) Is the Minister further aware that sometime in 2007, some councillors from the municipal council illegally sub-divided the said land without the approval of the full council? (c) In view of the seriousness of this matter, what action has the Minister taken to guard public interest by ensuring that this piece of land is reserved for the intended purpose?
Mr. George Thuo! He is not present! The Question is, therefore, dropped.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Could the Minister confirm that a deportation order was issued against a Nigeria national, one Mr. Arthur Obima Efedigbo and explain the reasons for the action? (b) Is the Minister aware that, following the deportation order, a potentially damaging diplomatic row now threatens to erupt between Kenya and the Federal Republic of Nigeria? (c) What measures is the Government taking to have this matter resolved amicably to guarantee the rights of Mr. Efedigbo and protect the good relations between Kenya and Nigeria?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, this matter only came to my attention yesterday, although it has been in the public purview. I know that there is a civil case arising from this matter in court. However, I had already indicated to the hon. Member that I will look at this matter one more time and a little more carefully. Maybe I can give a proper answer sometime next week. If I satisfy him before he brings the Question, then he may appropriately withdraw it. That is the request that I can give.
When, next week? June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1365
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on Tuesday, next week.
Are you okay with that, Mr. Namwamba?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate that this matter is subject to mitigation. So, I will be willing to hold on until next week.
The Question will appear on the Order Paper on Tuesday, next week.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) whether she is aware that water dams in Ndaragwa Division are on the verge of being extinguished by weeds; and, (b) what the Government is doing to save the dams.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that out of 30 dams in Ndaragwa Division, there are two dams; namely, Kwajora and Bondo, that are covered by floating weeds. I am aware that 28 dams are partly silted up. (b) My Ministry has been undertaking rehabilitation measures on dams and pans in Ndaragwa Division and other parts of the country aimed at increasing storage capacities of those facilities. Those measures include de-silting, construction of check dams and sensitization of communities residing near the dams on the importance of catchments and soil conservation. My Ministry rehabilitated Nairobi, Dogino and Buyu dams in Ndaragwa Division in the 2005/2006 Financial Year, at a cost of Kshs2,380,000 and Kshs2,550,000, respectively. But due to budgetary constraints, the rest of the dams were not rehabilitated. However, my Ministry has placed top priority on rehabilitation and construction of water dams and water pans in various parts of the country, particularly in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) in which Ndaragwa is part of.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I think it is not accurate to say that only two dams in Ndaragwa Division have problems with weeds. We have other dams like Kanyagia, Muruai and Acacia which are having the same problem. So, the position that there are only two dams in Ndaragwa that are having problems with weeds is not accurate. Secondly, I would like the Assistant Minister to, perhaps, familiarise himself with the situation, so that he can get a more accurate position. As pertains to the amount of money that is said to have been spent, that is Kshs2,380,000 and Kshs2,550,000, I would like the Ministry to confirm whether it has been on the ground and satisfied itself that the money was spent on those dams. Is there anything to show that the amount of about Kshs5 million was spent on those dams? I was there yesterday and there is no evidence that such an amount of money was spent. Thirdly, the answer seems to place Ndaragwa within ASALs. There is a Question coming to this House asking as to why Ndaragwa is not covered under ASALs. So, I think that detail there 1366 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 is also not accurate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of Ndaragwa being mentioned as an ASAL, I would like to inform the hon. Member that we do not follow the Provincial Administration boundaries. We have our own boundaries and we place them under water authorities. So, for us, you are under the ASALs according to the geographical mapping that we have done. That is why Nyandarua is placed under the Rift Valley Water Authority and not in Tana, which consists most parts of Central Province. Equally, Laikipia District is also not in Tana. It is placed under the Northern Region Water Authority. On whether we are accurate about the issue of weeds or not, we have discovered that some parts of the upper Ndaragwa were not covered when this Question was being answered. Equally, it will not change the status quo because we cannot rehabilitee those dams at the same time. But we are carrying out a proper research to know how many have weeds and how many require to be rehabilitated. However, having said that, I would like hon. Members to take it as their responsibility to take care of the dams. The reason why the hon. Member could not see what happened with the Kshs2.3 million that was used to rehabilitate those dams is because even when a dam is constructed today, in the course of two to three years, it will be re-silted. Therefore, the Government will have to go back again and de-silt the dam. There are measures that we are taking as a Ministry to ensure that they are not re-silted. Every dam that will be constructed this year must be fenced, so that we can protect the catchment area, avoid re-silting and contamination of water. However, we are requesting hon. Members to take some funds from Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and fence the existing dams to ensure that we save them from re-silting and contamination.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the way the Assistant Minister has answered part "b" of the Question--- I am worried, especially when he says: "My Ministry has placed top priority on rehabilitation and construction of water dams and water pans." The amount of money allocated per district, for the entire country, is merely Kshs5 million. So, surely, is that top priority? Perhaps, with Kshs5 million, the best you can do is, maybe, two dams. On average, a constituency has about 30 dams. Is the Government really serious about rehabilitation of water dams? Where else are you going to get money from to ensure that those dams are rehabilitated?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Ministry draws its revenue from the Exchequer through the Budget. The Budget has been tabled before this House and the only people who can save my Ministry are hon. Members. They can allocate more funds to the Ministry, so that it can be a serious Ministry. There is no way we shall talk about Vision 2030, or poverty eradication, if we are not going to take the Ministry of Water and Irrigation seriously. It is one of the infrastructure Ministries like the Ministry of Energy, that can drive this Government to achieve Vision 2030. Therefore, we shall be requesting more funds. I agree that we do not have enough funds, but we shall do whatever we can to get money from other sources, especially from the donors.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister seems to accept the explanations from his engineers in the districts that, after they de-silt a dam, within one year, it is full of silt. What is happening in the districts is that the engineers are not doing anything. You just allocate them, for example, Kshs2 million, they agree with the contractor and they certify a dam that has not been done, as having been done. The Assistant Minister then comes to Parliament to justify that by telling us that we did not fence those dams. Could the Assistant Minister tell us whether they have put in place a better mechanism of supervising the engineers at the districts, who are now colluding with contractors to certify dams as having been done? Apparently, they just receive information from the districts and they do not cross-check it! June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1367
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am two to three months old in the Ministry and I am fully accepting. First of all, the water officers in the districts have decided not to work with the politicians. That has happened because I have been in this Parliament for ten years. It is true that all hon. Members will tell you that the water engineers never recognise them. I want to inform this House that the district water officers are under strict instructions to work closely with hon. Members. We are not going to give them any room to work without involving hon. Members, so that we can have checks and balances. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also want them to work with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), so that we can complement each other. A mistake was committed before. We have been constructing dams and pans, and not taking care of them. The first measure is to fence them. When my Minister comes back, we will be calling for a Members of Parliaments' Kamukunji meeting in the next two weeks, so that we can work together. We want to ensure that funds allocated to constituencies, through the CDF, in every financial year, are well utilised. We want to construct dams that have cattle troughs and water points for human consumption. That is the only way we can ensure the survival of these dams.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for the good attempt he has made to answer this Question. However, in his own admission, he says the information he has may not be accurate. Given that scenario, it may be important for him to pay a visit to those particular dams, so that he can familiarise himself and, in the process, be able to come up with an accurate answer. I was out in the field yesterday. I visited those two specific dams. I want to submit to this House that there is nothing to show for the Kshs2.3 million that was spent on one dam and another Kshs2.5 million that was spent on the other dam. It would be important for him to pay a visit to that area, so that he can verify whether what he has been told by the engineer has anything to do with this answer. It is not true that this amount of money was spent in Ndaragwa Constituency.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I undertake to carry out investigations, especially concerning these two dams and the amounts of money spent. At the same time, we would like Members of Parliament to give us information where they think money was not spent properly. We are ready to tour the constituencies to ensure that work is carried out effectively. I want to assure hon. Members that it will not be business as usual in this Ministry.
Next Question, Dr. Eseli!
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he is aware that since the creation of the Department of Adult Education in 1979, no scheme of service has been effected for the employees of this department; (b) whether he is further aware that the adult education teachers under this department have stagnated at one job group for over 20 years; and, (c) what steps he is taking to implement a suitable scheme of service for the teachers to improve their productivity.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Department of Adult Education was established in 1979, under the Ministry of 1368 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 Culture and Social Services, to spearhead the national campaign on eradication of illiteracy. As an education sub-sector, the Department initially used the same scheme of service as the Ministry of Education for senior officers. Adult education teachers were recruited in the same year, 1979, on temporary terms of service and placed on equivalent salary scales with untrained teachers employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). A teacher training curriculum was developed and approved by the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) and examined by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).
Mr. Assistant Minister, hurry up!
I am reading the answer, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir!
I want you to summarise that very long answer!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very challenging Question. Just be patient and let me satisfy the hon. Questioner!
Order, Prof. Olweny! We have the Business of the House for today, which is supposed to start in the next ten minutes. That is the Committee of Ways and Means. So, could you, please, summarise your answer? It is very long. It is almost three pages!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is actually ten pages, but I will read only three pages. Shall I now continue?
Summarise your answer!
I will read three pages instead of ten pages.
This is not a lecture hall, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Okay, thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The first group of teachers sat for the Adult Education Teachers Certificate Course Examination in 1991. The Director of Personnel Management thereafter released a scheme of service for adult education teachers, which was effected in 1991. (b) While it is not true that adult education teachers were stagnated on one job group for over 20 years, it is true that implementation of their scheme of service was delayed due to movement of the Department in 1979 and 2003, respectively. In 1999, the Department of Adult Education was moved to the Ministry of Labour and Human Resource Development and then relocated back to the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services during the re- organisation of the Government in September, 2003. The implementation of the two schemes of service has been undertaken by the two Ministries, which housed the Department since its inception. The upgrading of teachers has, in particular, been implemented through the Ministerial Human Resource Management Advisory Committee meeting every three years from 2000. (c) To ensure upward mobility of the personnel in the Department, a revised scheme of service for both adult education teachers and officers has been done and forwarded to the Ministry of State for Public Service for approval. I am also aware that the Directorate of Personnel Management (DPM) undertook a restructuring exercise in the Department of Adult Education in 2005. The restructuring report was approved by the DPM for implementation. The exercise came up with an appropriate organisation structure and optimal staff levels that will enable the Department undertake its functions effectively. The report has also highlighted various human resource management issues affecting the performance of the Department and suggested comprehensive approaches to address identified issues. As you are already aware, the Department has, once again, been moved from the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services to the Ministry of Education in the recent re-organisation of the Government. We shall study the June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1369 Department's personnel problems in order to address the apparent anomalies, which have been there over the years. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate that the two good professors in the Ministry of Education happen to have forgotten summary on their way to getting professorships. The answer is very verbose and it misses the whole point. So, maybe, just to help the good professor, I will just ask him a simple thing. He said that they will study the Department's personnel problems in order for them to address the apparent anomalies. When will you do so? Maybe, that is more simple. He can now give a clearer answer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to be very specific, already we are doing the restructuring. We have created a Directorate for Adult and Continuing Education. That means the process has already been initiated. Whatever changes will be made, will be implemented before the end of this calendar year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the Assistant Minister was struggling with his very wordy answer, he must have come across the budgetary allocation to this Department. Could he tell this House what is the budgetary allocation to the Department? Secondly, which areas are still benefiting from the Adult Education Programme? In my constituency, nothing is moving on.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to budgetary allocation, I am not going to pre-empt debate. A time will come for that and we will interrogate the budgetary allocation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the areas benefitting from adult education, maybe all the people in your constituency have had their education. So they are not registering.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Since the Leader of Government Business is here, could he take it seriously to ask the civil servants to differentiate between the brief they give to the Ministers, who know very little about their Ministries, and when they are answering Questions to Parliament? The Assistant Minister has taken a lot of time reading to us the briefs of the history of adult education. It has very little to give us as an answer to the Question that was asked. Could the Ministers restructure the answers they are giving us? They can receive the briefings about their Ministries, which they know very little about, in their offices. Apparently, they come here to waste a lot of our time!
Mr. Assistant Minister, there is a Question here that is very specific. It asks: "Is the Minister aware that since the creation---" You have not indicated whether you are aware or not. Then there is a second part to it. Could you go back to your Ministry, do a good job and answer this Question again? This Question is deferred to next week!
On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir. In view of yesterday's ruling from the Chair, given that today is a day for Committee of Ways and Means, and having recognised that this business should begin not later than 9.30 a.m., could you allow us to extend this time to allow for more Questions and Ministerial Statements that were deferred yesterday?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. In view of what has transpired, I 1370 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 would rather we get a Ministerial Statement regarding adult education.
Order, Dr. Eseli! That was a Question and the Chair can only rule on the basis of the Order Paper. It was a Question and the hon. Assistant Minister will bring a reply to that Question again. The Chair is satisfied that this reply is not adequate and does not address the Question. On the other issue, the ruling has been there. When I was in the Seventh Parliament, it was not there. It was specific and said "not later than"; it was not later than. However, I understand that the Ninth Parliament ousted that rule. So, in view of the mood in here, yes, the Chair takes cognisance of that. Therefore, we will have a few more Questions, and I will extend the Sitting of the House by as many minutes as we take from now on! We have to have three hours to discuss the Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Your point of order is overruled! Next Question!
asked the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) whether he is aware that Mumias Outgrowers Company (MOCO), established by an Act of Parliament as a trustee for sugar-cane farmers, converted into MOCO (1998) Ltd., a company limited by shares; (b) if he could table a list of the current shareholders of MOCO (1998) Ltd. and indicate the amount in dividends paid to them since 1998; and, (c) what role the company plays in the welfare of farmers in the Mumias Sugar Belt, considering the above changes in legal status.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Mumias Outgrowers Company (MOCO), established by an Act of this House as a trustee for sugar-cane farmers converted into MOCO (1998) Company limited by shares. (b) I have already tabled the list of the shares, names of the people and we have 16,839,118 shares. The company has never paid any dividends, because it has been making losses all through. I have a copy of the balance sheet, which I will pass to the hon. Member. (c) The company offers the following services for the welfare of farmers in the Mumias Sugar Belt; land preparation, transportation of cane and artificial insemination. This information can be found in the Company Registry and at Mumias.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is regrettable and embarrassing to hear from the Assistant Minister that the company that was meant to enhance the production of sugar-cane is today busy with artificial insemination. I do not know whether this artificial insemination is done on the farmers or animals. I want to get from the Assistant Minister clearly--- This company was formed as a trustee. Does it still play the role of a trustee to sugar-cane farmers in Mumias Sugar Belt? June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1371
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this company is no longer a trustee, and the Government ceased to be involved in it when it was changed to a private company. It is being run by the people and they can do with it what they want. The Government is not involved at all.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all know from law that a private company is limited to 50 shareholders, unlike a public company, which has no such limitation. Is the Assistant Minister telling this House that a public company that was established by an Act of Parliament was converted into a private company to safeguard the interests of 50 people rather than those of the people of Mumias whom the original Act of Parliament had intended to serve? If so, could he consider revoking that transformation so that the company can go back to serving farmers' interests rather than private interests?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this company is owned by specific people. I gave the shareholders who number 60,000, and number of shares is 16,830,000. This company was formed to manage the affairs of the growers of Mumias Sugar Company. These people formed their own company. Previously, it was guaranteed by the Government. Now, they went ahead and were allowed to form a company limited by shares. They continue to own the shares. The Government just looks at the company the way it looks at others. There is no specific involvement of the Government. They operate and run it; it is only that we get information when we want it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister telling us that now that MOCO is a public limited company they allow farmers to choose any other players to represent them to the miller?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a company. It has directors. They can sit and make decisions as to how they want to operate the company. The Government cannot regulate what they do. So long as they live within the mandate they were allowed by the law, they can go ahead and operate.
Mr. Washiali, last question!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am not satisfied because, as a trustee, for the farmers of Mumias to go the millers, it was a must that they go through Mumias Outgrowers Company (MOCO). But now that MOCO has changed its legal status to a limited company which is trading, could the Assistant Minister tell this House whether farmers will be free to use other players or go to the millers directly?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the farmers want to do something else--- I mean how can we regulate them? They can just go ahead and deal with the--- If they are currently dissatisfied with MOCO (1998) Ltd, it is up to the growers to come together and pinpoint what is wrong. If they want to deal with other players, that is up to them. They can do what they want so long as it is catered for in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the existing company.
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) whether he could state the amount of money allocated per month to fuel police vehicles in Githunguri Police Station; (b) whether he could explain why the residents of Githunguri are denied important services by the police unless they contribute towards fuelling of the police vehicles; and, 1372 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 (c) what steps the Government is taking to remedy the above situation and to ensure that police vehicles are provided with sufficient fuel at all times.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The police vehicle at Githunguri Police Station is allocated Kshs20,000 for fuel per month, while the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Kiambu has an allocation of Kshs500,000 for fuel and lubricants per quarter. The OCPD has 20 serviceable motor vehicles and one motorcycle spread out in other police stations under his jurisdiction. (b) The police in Githunguri have not asked anybody, and I want to repeat: The police in Githunguri have not asked anybody to contribute money for fuel in order to offer him or her services. The fuelling is being provided by the Government and additional supplies are made if the need arises. (c) Despite the budgetary constraints, the Government is committed to providing enough fuel to the police, as has always been the case. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has told this House that the police have been allocated Kshs20,000. That translates, in terms of litres, to about 200 litres per month and, per day, it comes to less than six litres per day. Considering that a police station has only one vehicle per day and it is supposed to operate for 24 hours, is that fuel adequate? If it is not adequate, is it not actually inviting the police to solicit for fuel from members of the public as they seek for their services?
Secondly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it in order for the Assistant Minister to mislead this House by saying that, actually, that fuel is being availed to the police station? Does he have anything to show to this House to prove that, actually, that fuel reaches the police station? The information I have on the ground is that there is actually no fuel that is reaching Githunguri and, specifically, in one police station in Kibichoi, where the lady Officer Commanding Station (OCS) does not even receive a litre of fuel for that police station!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to assure the hon. Member that if there is any known case that my officer - a police officer - misuses the fuel which has already been supplied to him, I would want the Questioner to put it in writing to me, and I will take action. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other bit is that we are giving Kshs500,000 quarterly for fuel supplies. If my colleague thinks that, that is not adequate, he can just write a letter and I will increase the supply of this important commodity with immediate effect.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to pretend that Kshs20,000 can fuel a Land Rover in a police station for a whole month? Ordinary mathematics will show him that, that is less than Kshs700 a day! Which Land Rover will run on that amount of fuel, if that officer is actually supposed to serve the area? He is now pushing the Question back to the hon. Member for that area. It is common sense that Kshs20,000 is not enough! That is only for three to four days!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I mentioned here that I have allocated Kshs500,000 to the OCPD for quarterly supplies. Once that money gets to the OCPD, he can allocate the same money to the OCSs. But since he is complaining that the amount of fuel allocated is not enough, I will be able to increase the amount to Kshs35,000 per month for Githunguri. Why am I doing that? It is because within the Githunguri area, we have a lot of criminal activities going on. We will be able to--- June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1373
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am too generous to the hon. Member. We will also be able to allocate an additional vehicle to patrol that area. So, I do not think he should have any problems.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is true, as the Assistant Minister has admitted here that, actually, the area he has mentioned is where everybody comes from, particularly from as far as Naivasha. But I do feel very bad because the Assistant Minister has talked about increasing the fuel by ten litres. Fuel amounting to ten litres is not even enough to do one round of patrol at night. Could he, at least, assure us that, that vehicle will be fully fuelled--- We do not know how much fuel it takes, but it operates for 24 hours. An amount of Kshs35,000 is not enough. Even Kshs50,000 or Kshs60,000 is not enough! Let us talk about Kshs100,000 and we shall see safety in Naivasha! Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think they should thank me for being so generous. I have said that, even within this year's Budget, we have increased the amount of money in terms of fuel. Now that I have given him an extra vehicle to patrol the area, he should, at least, thank the Government for having done that. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if there is anything else he wants the Government to look into I am ready in order for his people to sleep without any problems.
Last question, Mr. Baiya!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the Assistant Minister appreciates that local police stations do not have adequate fuel. The question of security is very paramount as far as the lives of the people on the ground are concerned. It is also true that when the police flush out criminals in Nairobi, they go to the neighbourhoods like Githunguri. There have been a lot of hardships there. So, could the Assistant Minister assure us that what he is going to allocate will reach the police station? Does he have a mechanism because the money actually gets lost on the way before it reaches its destination?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to assure the Member, as a colleague, that whatever money is allocated for the supply or purchase of fuel will definitely reach the Githunguri Police Station. Any police officer found misusing fuel or money allocated for purposes of purchasing fuel will be interdicted immediately!
asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs:- (a) whether he could confirm that although the Government increased salaries of Ambassadors/High Commissioners on 16th February, 2007, the salary increments have not been effected todate; and, (b) when the increments will be effected in line with the said decision.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to 1374 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 reply. (a) The Ministry is not aware of any salary increment to this effect. However, the Ministry has already undertaken a restructuring and rationalisation exercise which, inter alia, aims to streamline and close the existing disparities and gaps between staff, address the existing disproportional scales and ensure equity for all foreign service staff. The exercise is now complete and is awaiting Government approval. (b) In view of the answer in "a" above the question does not arise.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very clear that the Minister is not aware of what is happening in the Ministry. The answer given to this Question is diverting attention from the subject matter. I would like the Minister to know that in January, 2007, the Kenya Government, through the Public Service Remuneration Review Board which is established by the Government, increased the salaries of ambassadors. I have here with me the authority that allowed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to do the same. I just want to read this letter which is addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was written on 16th February, 2007, by the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service. The Head of the Civil Service is also Secretary to the Cabinet, where the Minister sits as a Cabinet Minister. It is not possible that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not aware of this decision. The letter reads in part:- " I am pleased to inform you that it has become necessary to adjust the salaries of Ambassadors and High Commissioners. As you may recall, the last salary adjustment of this cadre of officers was done in 2001. Since then the responsibilities entrusted to Ambassadors and High Commissioners have "increased". and also salaries have been eroded by inflation necessitating consideration for compensation". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has been instructed to adjust the salaries and effect payment to the Ambassadors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to comply with the decision of the Government of Kenya. Is he in order to mislead the country and the House? I beg to lay the letter on the Table for Members to see.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if my good friend was honest enough to read that letter very carefully, it does not in any way direct my Ministry to increase salaries of Ambassadors. Secondly, the Ministry does not on its own increase the salaries of any civil servant. This is done across the cadre of Government. The letter says---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Affey?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Minister in order to continue misleading the House? This is a decision of the Government. The letter says: "Adjustment of salaries for Ambassadors and High Commissioners". This letter can be authenticated. It is a reflection of the true situation. Is the Minister, therefore, in order to say that I am not truthful to the House?
He is out of order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the hon. Member cared to listen to what I was saying, because I have not finished, he could not have jumped to an irrational conclusion that I was misleading the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this letter is written to my Permanent Secretary. My Permanent Secretary is a responsible officer of Government. He does not just pick up a letter and embark on a mission that will create disharmony in Government. The letter proposes that salaries of June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1375 Ambassadors be increased. It further proposes that the adjustment applies to Ambassadors and High Commissioners who are currently serving in Kenyan diplomatic missions. This means that when they come back, we have to reduce their salaries because it only applies to those serving. Secondly, we have Ambassadors who serve out there, finish their term and come serve at the headquarters. It meant that we are going to increase salaries for ambassadors who are in missions but ambassadors who are at the headquarters like the Chief of Protocol, the DPA and others were not going to be affected. This creates disharmony and disparities, which I am not ready to encourage. Three, the letter was simply requesting and not directing the Permanent Secretary to effect the adjustments. The Permanent Secretary found this request, on consultation with me, untenable and wrote back to the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service to tell him that we need a holistic approach to adjustment of salaries of diplomatic staff and not just Ambassadors. This because diplomatic representation and staff is not just about ambassadors and High Commissioners. We have many more staff who do as much work and when we do such adjustments, we have a duty to consider everybody across board.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am hon. Mbadi, MP for Gwassi. Even as the Minister struggles to justify why his Ministry has failed to implement a directive from the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, on the same day, the same Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet wrote to all Permanent Secretaries and indicated that the salaries and allowances for Permanent Secretaries should be adjusted upwards. That directive was implemented, but this one of Ambassadors and High Commissioners was not. The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs adjusted his salary upwards. Why did he adjust his salary and leave salary increment of others? Is it because he has the authority to suppress other people?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is totally unrelated issue. We are dealing with Ambassadors. The letter has not directed the Permanent Secretary to effect an implementation. It has requested. The request must be evaluated within reason. Is it reasonable or is it not? We found that it is not tenable to do it the way it was requested. My Permanent Secretary wrote back to the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and the Head of public Service to tell him why a better way could be taken. We have undertaken that. We have prepared a rationalisation document and forwarded it to the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service. We are awaiting an implementation.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think there is a grave matter involved here in terms of honesty. I think both documents should be availed to the Chair to determine who is speaking the truth. A copy of the letter we have here says: "I am pleased to inform you"
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in ordinary reasonable conduct, whether directed or not, directives must be rationalised before they are implemented. If I told hon. Ethuro to shoot hon. Chanzu because I am a Minister and he is not, will he be insubordinate if he does not? I do not think so---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Of course, I cannot do that. He is not my immediate boss to give me such terrible directions. Even if he were my boss, I will not obey such unlawful orders! Is he implying that the letter from Amb. Muthaura, who was retained in 1376 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 office even after attaining the mandatory age of retirement, amounts to shooting down the Ambassadors/High Commissioners?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have not disowned this letter. We cannot disown the contents. The letter says: "It has become necessary---". Then it says: "Adjust the salaries of serving Ambassadors" without taking into account other Ambassadors. Then it says: "You are requested---". We have acted on this letter by writing back and explaining that what has been requested can only be done in a certain manner. We have carried out a rationalisation programme. This implementation would have meant that you will go to a mission and find an ambassador or a High Commissioner earning three or four times higher than his immediate deputy. This is unacceptable. We have to deal with issues knowing that we are administering human beings who have feelings and who must work together. They must work as a team and should not have visible gaps between them, so that they can work and function properly. In any event, rules of this House require that when hon. members raise Questions and issues should declare their interests. I am constrained to ask my colleague, Amb. Affey, to declare his interest in this matter.
The last question, Amb. Affey!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is a very important matter that I would request the Chair not to go to the last question before we raise all the issues.
Order! Order! What is your point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point of order is that the Minister has said that this was just a suggestion. My English Language tells me that this is a directive. It says: "And will be implemented with effect from January, 2007". This is from the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and the Head of the Civil Service instructing the Permanent Secretary to implement the directive. What does the words "will be implemented" mean?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. In normal terms, if this was in the Military, or in the Police Force or even in the Prisons Department, that would amount to a mutiny. He has been given directives by the Secretary to the Cabinet and has been told specifically to implement something. This is a directive. Is the hon. Minister in order to purport that this letter is a proposal? He has said that it is a request. Unless the Minister himself is on mutiny, he is misleading the House!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my good nephew's father was a policeman. That is why he is talking about mutiny and the Police Force. The letter is very clear. It is requesting my Permanent Secretary to implement the increment. My Permanent Secretary has written back, and I stand by him---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is only fair to this House, to the nation and the affected parties that this letter be tabled in the House.
Hon. Namwamba, the letter has already been tabled.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, then I would beg in simple, ordinary English to be told by the Minister what the following statement means. Allow me to read it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it reads: "In view of the foregoing, the Ambassadors/High Commissioners will be graded as at a new Job Group T1 and the salaries and allowances attached to this new grade are as follows and will be implemented with effect from the June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1377 1st day of January, 2007". Could the Minister kindly tell this House what that phrase means? Is that a proposal or is it not, in fact, a very specific and concise order to implement?
Hon. Minister, if that is not a directive, then what is a directive?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you cannot pick and choose phrases from this letter in isolation.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir---
He is responding to a point of order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the letter reads: "The ambassadors/high commissioners will be graded". It does not say that they "shall" be graded. It then says: "And will be implemented". It does not say: "Shall be implemented". At the end of it all, the concluding paragraph says: "You are requested to effect the adjustment". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want the House to know that a Permanent Secretary is an Accounting Officer. Whatever decisions they make, they must make sure that they fall in sync with other operational issues within the Ministry and the Government. The Permanent Secretary has written back dutifully. As I have said---
Order, hon. Minister! Yes, it is appreciated the letter says "will". It does not say shall, but it also does not say "may". The word "will" in Civil Service term from a superior officer is considered as a directive unless, of course, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs it means something different!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that the word "may" has not been used, but one would ask why the word "request" and not "direct" has been used---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Minister, who is a good friend of mine and an eminent lawyer, to mislead this House? The portfolio has got into his head to the extent that he is engaging this House in semantics. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have to know what the request was. The last paragraph reads: "You are requested to effect this adjustment on the payroll". The Permanent Secretary is not requested to implement the adjustment. So, we cannot continue being misled!
Order! Hon. Minister, the directive does not say that: "You are requested to consider". It is a very clear directive. In view of the interest this Question has generated, and the answer the Minister has given, the House is not satisfied that the Minister has brought in an adequate answer. Hence, the Chair directs that you go back to your Ministry and come back with an adequate answer to this House.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Amb. Affey!
We will go to the Ministerial Statements and take as short time as possible, so that we can go to the other business. This is a Finance Day. So, hon. Members, should be advised in advance that the Committee of Ways and Means will take three consecutive solid hours. So, it is the feeling of the Chair that we should not have a problem with the quorum since it was the mood of the House that all the Questions should be answered and the Ministerial Statements should be issued. It is now the position of the Chair that we should not be given a problem or the hitches of quorum in the House after the Ministerial Statements. Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister for Transport!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I read the Ministerial Statement, I would want to point out one certain issue. 1378 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 17th June, 2008, hon. Yusuf Chanzu, the Member of Parliament for Vihiga, asked that a Ministerial Statement be made in respect of the plane crash at Kajong'a airspace. I was in the House on that particular day and I responded. It is recorded in the HANSARD that I would bring a Ministerial Statement next Thursday. That means tomorrow. However, from the media, today, it is clearly indicated that the matter arose yesterday in the House. The report in the media seems to indicate that the Minister for Transport, Mr. Mwakwere, was in the House. The report depicts that he sneaked out of the House in a way to portray that he was going to look for a document from his car, and he never came back to the House.
Nevertheless, the media indicated that it was ruled by the Speaker that a Ministerial Statement be brought today. I have with me a letter that came from the Office of the Leader of Government Business. The letter is dated 17th June and reads that---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Let him finish!
What is your point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was wondering whether it is in order for the Assistant Minister to lead this House on a winding lane of explanations that purport to indicate that he is taking his instructions and orders from the media. He is being guided in his response to this House by what is reported in the media, in view of the past ruling by the Chair that this House is not guided or directed by the media.
Mr. Assistant Minister, proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My Ministerial Statement is in respect to the aircraft that had an accident at Kojong'a on 10th June, 2008. The aircraft, Cessna 210 Centurion was initially registered as 5 Yankee Bravo Uniform Mike (5YBUM) and later, at the owners request was registered as 5 Yankee Bravo Victor Echo (5YBVE) on 8th October 2007. It was a 6-seater high wing aircraft of high performance retractable gear system, equipped with a single engine for general aviation operations. The aircraft was manufactured by Cessna Company in the US and typed, certified by Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) of USA. The aircraft was operated by Skytrade Company based at the Wilson Airport Nairobi and was involved in an accident on 10th June, 2008 at Kojong'a. The following are the particulars of the aircraft. Aircraft type and model: Cessna 210E Date of Construction: 1965 Aircraft Serial No.210-58671 Registration No.5 Yankee Bravo Victor Echo Time Since New: 5,107.5 hours. Date of First Aircraft Registration: 2nd November, 2006. Air Service Licence No.0442, expiring on 17th July, 2008. Air Operator Certificate No.207 Certificate of airworthiness issued on 1st October, 2007. June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1379 Take off weight, 1,409 Kilograms Category of Aircraft: Public transport Engine Type: Continental 10-520 A5B Engine Time since new: 1,287.45 Engine TBO: 1700 Hours Propeller time since new: 1,325.45 Propeller TBO: 1500 Hours Owner: Christian Maria Schnerr Pilot: The owner Pilot experience beginning of the year: CPL with 500 total and 150 hours on type. Pilot Currency: Renewed CPL in January, 2008. Age: 51 years. Technical features of the type of Cessna 210E. Crew: One pilot, 5 passengers, ceiling 23,000 feet ASL Endurance: Approximately 6 hours. This aircraft was equipped with among others, ELT, VHF radio, direct reading compass, engine instruments, flight instruments, and the SSR transponder. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the description of the flight is as follows: Five Yankee Bravo Victor Echo (5Y-BVE) on a Visual Flight Rule with four passengers on board with two and a half hours of fuel endurance departed from the Wilson Airport for Kericho at 1800 hours on 10th June, 2008. The flight was issued with departure information, surface, wind condition and pressure settings, before it was cleared for departure from runway 14. Upon departure, the aircraft was instructed to squawk 2077 and to report at the control zone boundary. The aircraft 5 Yankee Bravo Victor Echo (5Y-BVE) reported zone boundary at 1428 hours and was instructed to contact Nairobi Control Centre on frequency 118.5 mghz. The aircraft acknowledged and this was the last communication from the aircraft. From the radar transcript, an aircraft believed to be 5 Yankee Bravo Victor Echo (5Y-BVE) departed from the Wilson Airport and turned right picking a westbound heading. The aircraft climbed to 8,500 feet. It maintained this altitude until it disappeared from the radar at approximately 52 nautical miles from Nairobi at 1440 hours. The officer in charge of the Wilson Airport navigation services received information from AMREF at 1559 hours that a white aircraft was seen crashing at a place called Kojong'a at 1400 hours local time. At 1610 hours, information was received at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport Police Operations that 5 Yankee Victor Bravo Echo (5Y-VBE) from Wilson to Kericho had crashed and killed four people in Kojong'a. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to air accidents prevention measures, there are several regulations and policies in place to cover accident prevention. These include the KCCA regulations that cover the ICAO annextures; annexes 1, 6, and 8 also known as the Kenya Civil Aviation Regulations (KCAR) published in 2007. The KCA has also developed regulations covering the air transport, aerodromes and security, although these are still awaiting the promulgation pursuant to the CAP 394 laws of Kenya, Section 8C(2) Requirements. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to safety requirements, from a review of the data, from 2003 to 2007, there have been 12 aircraft accidents. This is an average of two aircraft accidents annually in the country. Investigations into these accidents have traced their causes to malfunctions in the aircraft and human error on the part of the personnel. The safety mechanisms that are in place include continuous checks and inspection of aircrafts annually. There is also a continuous check and surveillance to ensure that the aircrafts being operated are serviced regularly. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this exercise has been supported by the upgrading of the air 1380 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 navigation system by the Authority resulting in an efficiency level of 97 per cent as recommended by the International Civil Authority Organisation (ICAO). Furthermore, the Authority is working to better this level of efficiency by installing new state-of-the-art equipment within the Kenya airspace in order to achieve 100 per cent satisfaction. Kenya airspace is currently under 100 per cent radar surveillance and pursuant to the civil aviation master plan, there is a process underway to re-sector the entire airspace. Part of this process has seen the recruitment of new personnel. In addition, the buying of a new radar is already underway and it is already---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think the Assistant Minister is now saying what they intend to do. What we are now discussing here is the loss of our dear Ministers. So, it is like closing the barn after the horse has gone. What we want him to tell us in his Ministerial Statement should be related to the demise of our colleagues and not all these technical data that he is trying to give us.
Order, Dr. Eseli! Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Part of this process has seen the recruitment of new personnel in addition to buying new radar which is already there. It would already have been acquired, save for a pending civil matter. The final investigation report and the findings will be made public as soon as they are completed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in spite of the lengthy and winding statement that the Assistant Minister has made, he has not told us why it was the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) that discovered the crash. Could he inform the House what mechanisms the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has to ensure that they are able to track an aircraft on its route since this one just disappeared? Secondly, could he also tell us why it took the whole day and night until the following day that they were able to ferry the remains of our departed colleagues? He is not also telling us what exactly caused the crash. Thirdly, could he inform the House how the plane crashed and what these human errors were? Fourthly, could he also inform the House what mechanical problems he suspects the plane had? Lastly, could he tell us why an aircraft that was manufactured in 1965 was operating in our airspace?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in response to the hon. Member, maybe it is good that I try to explain something. One thing is that this matter is emotional because already people have lost their beloved ones. We have already instituted investigations. However, the more we keep on fuelling it, the more it keeps on injuring those relatives who lost their dear ones. Secondly, I would want to say that the investigations are being carried out and so we should not do many things that would interfere with the actual investigations. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in response to the hon. Member's point of order, I said that the plane from Wilson Airport was cleared to fly on the Visual Flight Instrument (VFI) mode. That means that the plane must fly on visual reference to the ground constantly and permanently. This means that the flight is not using instruments. It is the pilot who must see all the time with reference to the sky and ground. Usually what happens is that at all times the pilot must be able to see the skyline. If he does not see the skyline, then that means that he can hit a mountain on the other side. So, usually if that happens and the pilot ignores that process then imminently something must be able to happen most of the time. Secondly, the flight that would fit the conditions that you are looking for is that one that flies the IFR that means that it is using Instrument Flight Rules which would mean that the pilot would only look at the instruments. So, the instruments would be able to detect if there is a mountain or cloud and it would be able to even direct the pilot on which way to steer the plane. So, in these circumstances, this flight was visual which means that the pilot must see all the time, and that is why the accident might have occurred.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think it is not in order for June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1381 the Assistant Minister to continue misleading this House on the conditions and visual flight rules. He has continued misleading the House on the conditions and the way we undertake instrument flights in this country. It would be good if he goes back to his Ministry and gets proper guidance and information on this accident.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has not done proper investigations. From his preliminary statement, this aircraft was flying at just over 8,000 feet in a mountainous area and yet, the pilot should have been flying over 9,000 feet to have been able to get to Kericho. Could he confirm whether investigations can be deemed to be fair when they are supervised by the same department that is supposed to ensure our airspace is safe? In 2002, this House in reaction to the mass sacking of air flight controllers passed a resolution and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government was the then Minister in charge, requesting the KCAA to reinstate those employees because they did not have enough qualified personnel to ensure air safety. That was not done. When this House was passing the amendments that created the KCAA, it was a condition inserted in the law that the KCAA reinstates those sacked workers in order to maintain air safety in this Republic. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Director-General, in total contempt of this House, refused to reinstate those people. The High Court of Kenya ordered that they be reinstated. However, they were not reinstated. As a result, we are short of air flight controllers who ensure air safety in this country and those who are there are not qualified. Can there be an investigation under the direction of the current Director-General when he is on record as having contributed to the lack of air safety in the republic? Can he ensure that the Director-General steps aside while this investigation is continuing, so that investigations can be independent and give us an accurate statement regarding the death of our two colleagues in this House? Lastly, if he is not so satisfied, could the Chair consider directing the relevant Departmental Committee to carry out a proper and thorough investigation and come back to this House within two weeks, so that we can get a fair report on the circumstances that led to the death of our two colleagues? The nature of the information we are being given in this House is just a technical information drawn from the manuals and it does not relate to the human nature and elements that clearly caused this accident and does not address the issue. Could he ensure that the Director- General of KACA is relieved of his duties?
Okay, Mr. Imanyara! You have made your point! Hon. Sirma, the last one!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do agree with the Assistant Minister that the issue is emotive. We are concerned about the Directors of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). They are operators and trainers. Mr. Reriani and Captain Kibe own flying schools. One of them trained Mr. Christopher and examined him. Mr. Wakahia, the Technical Director who is the current investigator in the crush, yet he is the one who trained Mr. Christopher. I have concerns and do not think that there will be any fair investigations into this matter. The Assistant Minister has said that they are putting up new radars. A company called "Seculex" is the one which has taken the KCAA to court. So, we shall not get radars in time. Therefore, we are just fighting a war in futility. There will be no answer on this.
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, we cannot continue debate on the Ministerial Statement any more than that. You have heard the sentiments of the House, and I presume that you will come to this House on the same. You have seen and heard the mood and sentiments of this House. It is a very grave matter. You will come back to this House at an 1382 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 appropriate moment, so that hon. Members can understand that in future we will have safe skies. Hon. Members, in view of that, debate on the Financial Statement will start at 10.30 a.m. and will proceed until 1.30 p.m. Next Order!
Mr. Kinyanjui was on the Floor last time. Is he around?
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to continue with my contribution to the Budget Speech. I wish to add a few points to the issue of the youth and how the Budget has taken care of them. I thank the Minister for the kind allocation to the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, and the addition of Kshs500 million to it. It will go a long way towards empowering our youth, especially at this time when business is very difficult. It is worth noting that the funds that had initially been given, through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, to the young people, especially in some regions that were affected by the post-election violence, have greatly been affected. Therefore, payment has become a big problem. In view of that, I request that a waiver, or an extension of the repayment period, be considered to assist some of the youth groups that had benefited from the Fund.
Further, there was an allocation of Kshs465 million towards the tuition of the youth who are going through the tertiary colleges in our country, especially the polytechnics. This will go a long way in empowering our youth and giving them the necessary skills and technics to be able to start their own businesses and improve their livelihoods. There was also an allocation of Ksh1 million for the mobilisation of the youth through soccer, and generally sports. This will help in bringing the youth together, and helping them to desist from harmful activities that have previously been the norm for them due to idleness. It will also help in creating harmony, especially after the problems we had earlier in the year. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would also like to commend the Minister for the good presentation in the area of tourism. There was more allocation towards the marketing of the June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1383 country to potential tourists. As you are aware, our country has been one of the best tourist destinations in Africa, owing to the good climate, diverse destinations and sites that we have in Kenya. However, it still remains to be seen what upgrading we can do to compete effectively with other destinations in Africa like Egypt and South Africa. We would have expected that more would have been allocated to the local tourism market for upgrading the market by not only focusing on numbers but also by raising the quality of the visitors who come and spend more money. Therefore, an initiative to try and position Kenya as a destination for premium visitors would, indeed, go a long way. I wish to note that tourism has offered a great market for agricultural produce and, therefore, it has been a good way of trying to reduce poverty, especially by supplying products that are consumed at hotels in the country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also wish to note that in the area of manufacturing, there are various incentives that have been offered by the Minister, but much more needs to be done. Towards that, I would like to remind the House that the textile industry, which has been---
You time is up!
With those few remarks, I wish to support
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Let me repeat my name once again. I am Mr. Mbadi, Member of Parliament for Gwassi. I appreciate the circumstances under which this Budget was prepared, and I believe that many expected a more unpopular Budget than what was presented on the Floor of the House. I can also not fail to highlight a few weaknesses that are in the Budget Estimates. When one goes through the copies of Printed Estimates, one cannot fail to notice that the figures that were presented by the Minister do not add up. The Minister did state that the total projected expenditure for 2008/2009 will be Kshs759.8 billion, and out of that the Minister stated that Kshs512.7 billion will be financed from both ordinary revenue and Appropriations-in-Aid (A-in-A). That leaves a balance of Kshs247.1 billion. Out of that, the Minister went ahead to state that 81.2 billion will come from external grants and loans. Arithmetic shows that, that would leave us with a Kshs165.9 billion deficit. The Minister stated that external financing, financing by privatisation proceeds and by infrastructure bonds, that are intended to be issued, would give Kshs25.2 billion, Kshs8 billion and Kshs52.1 billion respectively, giving us a total of Kshs85.3 billion. That leaves us with Kshs80.6 billion deficit to fund. But the Minister stated that only Kshs36 billion will come from domestic borrowing. That leaves a gap of Kshs44.6 billion, without a proper explanation as to how it will be financed. That is a danger that we, probably, will not finance the full Budget for the year. That will hurt the development Budget more. Further, if the total Budget has to be financed, then the Ministry will have to borrow more from the domestic market, and that will have the effect of distorting the economy, because the interest rates will rise, the private sector will be starved of cash and unemployment will be on the increase. So, I expected the Minister to explain and have the figures add up, unless my accounting knowledge failed me on this. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, expanding infrastructure capacity to facilitate investment and spur faster economic growth is a welcome move which must be fully supported. At one point, I mentioned, when I was contributing to the Supplementary Budget for the year 2008/2009, that the Government should think more of raising more funds through the issue of infrastructure bonds. When that came up in this Budget, it is a welcome move. However, by factoring in Kshs33.6 billion to be raised from sovereign bonds, I consider that doubtful, given the circumstances under which we operate. The credit rating of Kenya has gone down after post- election violence and to source for those funds might be an uphill task. So, instead of being too ambitious, I expected the Minister to be a bit rational and have amounts that can easily be sourced. 1384 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as the Minister rightly pointed out, one of the main priorities of the Grand Coalition Government is to promote regional development and reduce poverty levels. That can be done by reducing regional imbalances. However, if you look at the Budget Estimates - and I will give an example of the Ministry of Roads - it is very clear that some regions are favoured at the expense of others. I will cite Central Province and the wider Mt. Kenya region. One cannot clearly explain how Central Province has been allocated Kshs5,352,985,000 and yet, Coast Province only received Kshs355,015,000. That is unfair. As a matter of fact, the amount of Kshs2,230,015 allocated to Kirinyaga and Nyandarua North districts is more than the total allocation---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I reckon that there is nobody from the Ministry of Finance to listen to the debate. In addition, I also notice that there is no quorum in this House.
Could the Clerk-at-the-Table confirm whether there is a quorum?
We do have not a quorum. Ring the Division Bell.
Order, hon. Members! Please, take your seats! We have a quorum now. But I do note the concern raised by the hon. Member who notified the House about lack of quorum that the Ministry of Finance is absent. According to our procedures, that does not stop us from debating. There seems to be nobody in the Front Bench to take that responsibility, including the staff. We would like one of the Ministers to take responsibility.
Yes, the Ministers are here! Please, inform your colleague that we must always have somebody and the members of staff. That is because somebody must take note of the issues that are being raised by hon. Members. I think the debate on the Budget is more important to the Ministry than anybody else. That is because of the issues that are being raised in the House. They should take that very seriously. Hon. Mbadi, continue!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. As I was mentioning just before I was rudely interrupted, there is no regional balancing in the Budget Statement. I cited the case of the Ministry of Roads. If you look at the Ministry of Roads, the amount of Kshs5,352,985 that is allocated to Central Province is far more than, for example, Coast Province, which was only allocated Kshs355,015,000. In fact, the amount of Kshs2,230,015 allocated to Kirinyaga and Nyandarua North districts is more than the total allocation for Nyanza Province, amounting to Kshs2,090,056. I find that an unfair regional allocation of resources. If we are to support this June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1385 Budget, we need equity in the distribution of resources, so that all regions can grow at the same rate. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also wanted to mention that, if you look at districts like Embu, Mbeere, Tigania and Meru North, they were allocated huge amounts for the Road Fund and yet, other districts have nil allocations while others were allocated very little. I wonder why we have major road construction in certain regions of this country unlike others. So, the Ministry should try to ensure that it upholds one of the priorities that it has indicated, that is, regional balancing of resources. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also want to mention something about the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. The youth of this country need serious affirmative action. In fact, if you look at what happened immediately after election, you would realise that we need to pay more attention to our youth, and ensure that we give them more funds. Giving just Kshs500 million to the youth is a drop in the ocean. The Minister should have considered allocating more funds to the youth. Their development should be taken seriously. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, when I look at the allocation to the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) for last year, it stood at Kshs10.1 billion. Yet, the calculation is supposed to be not less than 2.5 per cent of ordinary revenue. In the last financial year, the allocation was the same. This time, we have more ordinary revenue. Why are we having the same amount allocated to CDF? Why are we not seeing an increase in the CDF allocation? Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I hesitate to support this Motion. So, I oppose it.
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. I think the Minister for Finance laid before us very well thought-out Budget proposals. I am particularly grateful to the Minister---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I know this matter has been raised before. However, if the officers in the Ministry of Finance do not deem it necessary to be in the House to listen to the views of Members of Parliament, it means that they do not care about our views. Therefore, I would like to request that this House adjourns until this afternoon when the Minister and the relevant people from the Ministry will be in the House to listen to our views. There is no point continuing with this debate on the Budget until the Minister, the Assistant Minister and the relevant staff from the Ministry are in the House. The Ministers present here are not even taking notes. We do not want to be told that they will go and read the HANSARD. Therefore, could I request that we adjourn?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to oppose the suggestion by my colleague, Mr. Kilonzo. Whether the Minister is there or not, the Motion belongs to the House. The good thing is that the hon. Member had already contributed to this particular Motion. I would request him to let his colleagues also contribute to this Motion. It is from this Motion that our CDF money will come. You are aware that the money meant for CDF has not been disbursed. So, let us hear the views of other people. We are here to take notes if it is a matter of taking notes. By the way, we can call the Minister for Finance, and if he is not there, then the Assistant Minister can come over and take notes. The officers are here and we are here too.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. In view of the fact that you are aware that a few minutes ago there was lack of quorum in the House, which indicates hon. Members' unwillingness and disinterest to participate in what we are currently discussing, 1386 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 could I be in order to request that the Mover be called upon to respond?
Hon. Members, I think I mentioned two things to you, earlier on after the Division Bell was rung and we got quorum. One, in our rules and procedures the Budget debate can continue in the absence of the Minister. So, we are in order to continue with the debate. What we asked for is for Ministers to take up their responsibilities seriously. We had two Ministers shooting up to say that they were in the House. I would like to rule that the debate should continue. However, we really want to emphasise that the absence of the Minister and the Assistant Minister from the Ministry of Finance is truly an embarrassment at this time when we are debating the Budget. Two Ministers took responsibility to call on their colleagues. We know that they will be reading the HANSARD, but it is very important that they also read the mood of the House. Therefore, I would like to rule that the debate continues. The two Ministers who had taken responsibility, that is, Ms. Mathenge and Mr. Obure will talk to their colleagues to ensure that we have officers here to take notes and also note the mood of this House when we are debating. Proceed, Mr. Obure!
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Your ruling is absolutely correct. I would like to confirm to you that we have conveyed these sentiments to the Ministry of Finance and I am optimistic that they will be here in a very short while. I was saying that I am grateful to the Minister for Finance because, in his proposal, he has come up with various initiatives to address the huge challenges facing this country. The removal of VAT on basic foodstuffs is a very welcome move, in my view. However, I think that a reduction of tax on fuel would have had a much greater impact on the economy as a whole. A reduction of fuel tax would, in fact, have had a spiral effect on the prices of other commodities across the board. That would have been a much more desirable move, in my view. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are all aware of the events that took place in the months of January and February this year. These events are vivid in our minds. It is, therefore, my view that any Government policies and any actions must be aimed at addressing the fundamental challenges which threaten Kenya's peace and stability. It is important that all policies and actions be aimed at addressing those factors that threaten our peace and stability. I will identify the major threat as the deep poverty which has afflicted many of our people. The massive unemployment amongst our youth is a huge challenge to this nation. Inequalities in income distribution and the imbalances in the rate of development in our various regions are also serious threats. With respect to addressing the question of inequalities in income distribution and imbalances in regional development, I feel that this can be addressed much more effectively if we all agree to adopt the policy of a devolved Government. We need to devolve funds to regions in an equitable manner. That will address this question of imbalances which is one of our major challenges in this country. Right now we have an avenue through which we can address this problem while we address the question of whether we accept or do not accept devolution. We now have CDF money going to constituencies. Personally, I think we should increase the rate of contributions being made through the CDF because that is one of the most effective ways to address inequalities in regional development. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with regard to the issue of youth unemployment, I am grateful that the Minister, in this particular year more than any other year before, has taken very deliberate and concrete steps to empower the youth economically. The proposal to amend the Armed Forces Act to allow the recruitment of people into the Police, the Administration Police, the General Service Unit (GSU), Army and so on, is a welcome move in my view. This is something that should have been done many years ago. I do not know why it was not done. However, the fact June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1387 that some initiative is being taken in that direction is most welcome. The move to employ teachers because we have many youths who have completed teacher-training colleges and have been out there for the last several years is welcome. The fact that a provision has been made to employ those teachers is a very welcome thing. It will relieve the pressure on unemployed teachers around the country. The establishment of an internship scheme is also a very welcome move. We think that, that should be extended. In fact, the Government should come up with a scheme of service to incorporate internship as a measure of joining the public sector. The internship programme should not be restricted to teachers only. It should be extended to engineers, agricultural graduates, veterinary graduates, nurses and all the other professions. It should be made part of our scheme of service for that category of professionals. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if we acknowledge that poverty is a serious threat to our security and stability, we must be prepared to invest higher levels of resources in sectors where we would have the greatest possible impact in our fight against that menace. I am of the view that the sector in which we must invest more resources is agriculture. Allocation of funds to agriculture is far less than what is required. I am proposing that more funds should be allocated to that sector in order to enhance food production to feed the increasing population, acquire better, more effective and more appropriate technology to improve agricultural productivity. In the face of declining parcels of land because of sub-divisions, the only way we can achieve sufficient food production is to increase productivity. We should make agricultural credit available even to the extent of accepting to introduce a farmers bank. That will make funds available to farmers when they need it. We should invest more in water and irrigation so that we can bring more marginal land into production. That is very critical if we are going to address our food requirements and the question of poverty. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am concerned about the tea and coffee sectors. We all know that tea and coffee sectors have been the leading foreign exchange earners for our country in the past several years. Those sectors have provided earnings and employment opportunities to thousands of people in the rural areas. The two cash crops are vehicles for alleviating poverty. In fact, they are very effective vehicles for alleviating poverty in the rural areas. But what has happened in the past few years? What we have witnessed is dwindling of earnings. Earnings have drastically come down, especially in the area of tea. The tea sector has been hit very adversely. It is grossly mismanaged, in my view and, especially, the small-scale sector. Some of the directors serving at the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) as well as some of the senior management staff in that organisation are doing business with factory companies which they manage. They own the tea broking companies which sell tea on behalf of small-scale farmers. There is, therefore, direct conflict of interest in relation to the functions that they are expected to perform. They cannot manage those factories. They cannot supervise the KTDA factory operations if their personal interests are in conflict with their functions. They cannot, therefore, champion the interests of the farmers. They cannot steer the industry to levels where the tea industry can be competitive viz-a-vis our competitors from Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other areas. I, therefore, hope that the Minister for Agriculture will understand the frustrations of the farmers. Farmers who wanted the sector to be liberated a few years ago now want the Government to intervene and take over the industry. Farmers need to be assisted. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Is there any hon. Member wishing to contribute?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand to support the Motion. It was 1388 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 25, 2008 well thought out and covered most of the aspects that need to be considered in the development of our nation. In particular, I commend the Minister for making serious commitments in the development of the infrastructure of this country. It is laudable that Kshs65 billion will be used to finance the road network in the whole of our country. The road network is critical for the development of this nation. That includes the development of roads in the rural areas to enable farmers to get their products to the market. I also want to commend the Minister for investing in renewable sources of energy. Environmental conservation is critical and very crucial for sustainable development of this nation. I commend the Minister, in particular, for investing over Kshs300 million in solar energy and over Kshs400 million in wind energy. Over Kshs4 billion is also invested in the expansion of geothermal energy output in this country. That is commendable. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also commend the Government for investing in rural electrification. I come from northern part of Kenya and I am glad to say that, in the last two years, most towns in rural areas like Marsabit and Maralal have been supplied with electricity. For the first time in many years, some homes have been supplied with electricity. Many of our secondary and primary schools, even in arid areas, have been installed with solar energy. Our students can read even late at night. That is really commendable because most of our schools - and I say that coming from one of the most remote and rural constituency in this country - have been installed with solar energy. Our students are able to invest their time, even at night, to educate themselves. I also commend the Government for furthering its vision to provide affordable - I will not call it free - secondary education to enable our youth to get free tuition whenever they join vocational schools as well as technical training institutions that are accredited by the Ministry. That is commendable because we have so many youths who are not able to join tertiary colleges as well as universities. But with that kind of support from the State, they will be able to join vocational training as well as accredited technical training colleges and gain some skills which will be vital in their lives. It is commendable that the Minister has invested over Kshs465 million towards that particular venture. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also appreciate the fact that the Minister, in particular, invested over Kshs200 million into the Marsabit and Maralal water supply. I live in Marsabit and I have seen the kind of water problems that people face both in Maralal and Marsabit. I commend the Minister for, specifically, addressing the water problem in those two towns in northern Kenya. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Minister recognised the existing regional development disparities in this country. While he went to a great length talking about disparities, particularly in terms of development of Northern Kenya and other marginalised parts of this country, it is disappointing that very little money has been set aside to ensure proper development of those areas, which have been marginalised for a long time. The minimal investment of about Kshs400 million that has been allocated to the Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands is really a joke. If the Government is really serious about investing in Northern Kenya and promoting development of the region, it should have allocated more funds. The major problem in the northern part of Kenya is drought and other drought-related problems. Very little was factored in this Budget to enable the people of Northern Kenya to have effective drought management strategies that are proactive, and which will make them less vulnerable when they are faced with that calamity. Very little money has been set aside for the development of the water sector in the ASAL areas. Without adequate water supply for livestock and production of crops that can grow in ASAL environment, the problem of food security and drought will continue being with us. This will be a major problem for the wholistic development of this nation. June 25, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1389 Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, finally, investment in the health sector is not something to be, really, proud of. Compared to investment in other sectors, the amount of money that has been allocated for the development of hospitals and health centres, and for procurement of drugs, is minimal. I come from a constituency where so many health centres and dispensaries are hardly staffed. Without adequate resources, health centres and dispensaries will stay without proper staffing for a long time, denying rural Kenyans this very vital service, in terms of support for their own health. Again, regional disparities in resource allocation is very evident. The whole of Northern Kenya and other arid areas have received a paltry Kshs2.4 billion through budgetary allocations to the various Ministries. On the other hand, the Central Province, as small as it is, has received over Kshs5 billion. If this Government is serious about narrowing the economic disparities amongst the various regions of this country, it should allocate resources equitably. The manner in which resources have been allocated in this Budget, surely, shows that we are not serious about fostering a wholistic development of this country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, allocating only Kshs2.4 billion to Northern Kenya and other arid areas, through the various Ministries, is really a joke, especially noting that the Central Province, as small as it is, has been allocated over Kshs5 billion. This is not something to be encouraged. With this kind of inequity in distribution of resources, this country cannot have the kind of development envisaged under Vision 2030. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Is there any other hon. Member wishing to debate? Since there is no other hon. Member wishing to debate, I will put the Question.
Hon. Members, we have come to the end of our morning business. The House, therefore, stands adjourned until today, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 11.15 a.m.