Hon. Members, the Chair had ruled on Thursday last week that Question No.065 would come first on the Order Paper for today. So, we will begin with Question No.065. Eng. Gumbo!
asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) whether he could state the country's current peak electricity demand, peak generation capacity (excluding emergency power) and the electricity demand growth; and, (b) whether he could give an assurance that there will be no shortfall to necessitate additional emergency power in the future.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The current peak electricity demand is 1,049 megawatts, while the peak generation capacity, excluding the emergency capacity, is 1,074 megawatts. The emergency is 146 megawatts. The peak demand is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent during the 2008/2009 Financial Year, and by 7 per cent thereafter. (b) A total of 212 megawatts of new generation capacity will be commissioned within the next two years, while completion of the upgrading work at Kiambere Power Station by March, 2009, will add an additional 20 megawatts of new generation capacity and restore a further 72 megawatts, which is decommissioned at the moment. The new generation plants to be commissioned are as follows:- (i) The Orpower Geothermal - 35 megawatts. (ii) Mumias Baggase - 26 megawatts. (iii) Iberafrica - 53 megawatts. (iv) The ABWSC Consortium - 88.6 megawatts. (v) The Tana Power Station Redevelopment - 10 megawatts. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the existing 100 megawatts emergency power will be retired by December, 2009. The demand is expected to reach 1,200 megawatts by 2010, while the peak generation capacity will then be 1,378 megawatts. This capacity will provide a reserve margin of about 15 per cent, which is larger than the largest generation in the system. Mr. Speaker, Sir, emergency power will only be introduced in case of unforeseen hydrological conditions likely to negatively impact on generation capacity. Therefore, I can comfortably say that the peak capacity will be okay.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister's answer is slightly different from the answer in the sheet I am holding. Nevertheless, I thank him for the relevance of the answer. It has addressed the issues I had raised. Mr. Speaker, Sir, however, we know that, at the moment, Kenya is pursuing Vision 2030, July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1799 which aims to increase the economic growth by 10 per cent by 2030. For that economic growth to be attained, we need to have a similar growth in power generation or availability of power. Has the Ministry of Energy developed a national energy model to be in complicity and in tandem with the goals of Vision 2030?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there was a slight amendment to the figures in the answer but, generally, it is the same answer. The Ministry of Energy is embarking on geothermal and hydro- power to increase the reserve margin from 15 per cent to 30 per cent by next year. Therefore, Vision 2030 will be achieved.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, quite a number of people have paid for transformers, but they have waited for many months to be supplied with electricity by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). What steps has the Assistant Minister taken to ensure that this is done?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a different Question, but I will answer it because it falls under the same Ministry of Energy. Where there are existing transformers throughout the country, the KPLC is embarking on marketing. There are projects like Umeme Pamoja and Customer Creation, which aim at providing electricity to the people. Our target is to increase our percentage, from the current 10 per cent to 20 per cent, by 2010 and to 40 per cent by 2012. To achieve that target, the Ministry, through the KPLC, is connecting people to the national grid in areas where there are transformers. Where there are no transformers, those are the projects which we will fund. Where the projects have been funded, they should be completed by 30th September, 2008.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has listed a number of Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Could he inform the House at what rate his Ministry purchases power from these IPPs?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, 76 per cent of power generation is through KenGen and 16 per cent is through the IPPs. The IPPs are Tsavo, Iberafrica, Orpower and Mumias. Currently, Mumias is producing only 2 megawatts, but it is expanding its baggase. At the end of the year, it should be producing 26 per cent. The rate varies. The KenGen uses both hydro and geothermal power. At the end, it sells its power to the KPLC at about Kshs3.30 per megawatt. Generally, the IPPs use diesel engines and have factored in the cost of fuel. The rate ranges between Kshs9 and Kshs13 per megawatt in terms of emergency power.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister explain to this House the rates at which IPPs are selling power to us? How many years have they been signed for? Could he produce the contract documents for verification?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I had explained the rates. The only thing that I cannot produce at the moment are the contracts because the Question did not ask for that. However, I would like to say that the contracts are running for long periods. It is up to about 15 years, because we cannot afford to stay without the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), who contribute about 15 per cent.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister said that he cannot produce the contracts at this moment because he did not anticipate that kind of question. Could he give an undertaking to this House then that he is going to bring the contracts for this House to scrutinise?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the contracts have no problem. They are okay. They state the period. However, for the sake of clarity I think there is the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communications and Public Works which can be asked for that. However, I will attempt to give this when answering another Question on that.
Eng. Gumbo, last question! 1800 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister said that 76 per cent of our power generation currently comes from KenGen and 16 per cent from the IPPs. I think the interest of Members, and the country as a whole, is to know; as compared to KenGen, what percentage of our power purchase bill goes to the IPPs. This is capacity. KenGen gives 76 per cent and the IPPs give 16 per cent. However, because at the end of the day the Kenyan consumer has to pay the bill, how much, in percentages, do we pay to the IPPs as opposed to KenGen?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said 76 per cent is from KenGen and 16 per cent is from IPPs. I have said what the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) purchases. KenGen sells at Kshs3 and the others vary per company. But I may not be able to tell him how much it is being bought for.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It seems the Assistant Minister still does not understand my question. I said that he gave us percentages of generation capacity. He also explained that KenGen sells power to the KPLC at a cheaper rate than the IPPs. If he does not have the answer right now, I would request that he tells us that IPPs give us 16 per cent of the power we require; KenGen gives us 76 per cent. But what percentage of the bill do we pay goes to the IPPs?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said that, that should be in tandem if it is 76 per cent. The contracts are running whether for---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Eng. Gumbo, order! Let us first of all hear the Assistant Minister! He has hardly said anything! Mr. Keter, please, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said clearly that IPPs produce 16 per cent, KenGen 76 per cent and emergencies eight per cent. We consume and pay for that.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I do not know how to put it. I probably would have to explain in elementary terms. We buy power from KenGen at a lower rate than from the IPPs. The IPPs charge more than KenGen. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what he gave us is the generation capacity; IPPs give us 16 per cent. IPPs sell power at a higher unit rate. The Kenyan consumers buy this power from the generators. What percentage of our power purchase bill is consumed by IPPs? It cannot be 16 per cent! It has to be higher!
Very well. You have put your question! Mr. Assistant Minister, do you have the answer to that question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I gave the breakdown of each one. It ranges between Kshs6 and Kshs13. Out of that, you can calculate the percentage.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order! That was the last question! We will move on to the next Question by Mr. Pesa!
asked the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) wether he could explain the role of the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) given the Government's decision to partner with private banks to give loans to farmers; July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1801 (b) whether he could assure the country that by the decision above the Government has not set out to promote the banks at the risk of crippling theinstitutions set up to benefit local farmers; (c) whether he could table the list of local banks in the above partnership and indicate how much has been borrowed by farmers from each of them under the partnership; and, (d) whether he could table a list showing the number of farmers in Migori District that have benefited from the partnership and indicate how much has been lent to each.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The present role of the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) is to assist in development of agriculture and agricultural industries by providing affordable loans, managerial and technical assistance to loan beneficiaries as stipulated in Section 2 of the AFC Act, Cap.323. (b) I assure the House, as well as the country, that the aim is to supplement the Government effort through promotion of public-private sector partnership to enhance access to inputs and other services towards raised farm productivity, and not to cripple the institutions set up to benefit local farmers. (c) The Government has, as of now, entered into partnership with Equity Bank and other financial institutions like SACCOs to disperse funds to farmers. (d) Modalities of rolling out the Kshs3.2 billion partnership with Equity Bank are being finalised and farmers, including those from Migori, will benefit from the Fund in addition to disbursement by AFC. I table the list of farmers from Migori who have borrowed money from the AFC.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my intention of asking this Question was that I wanted to know where farmers in Migori should go to get their loans. I do not believe that it is only Equity Bank that is intended to come to Migori, apart from the AFC. In answering part "c" the Assistant Minister has stated that there are some SACCOs. I think if there are SACCOs which are lending money to farmers, the Assistant Minister should specify which ones.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to clarify the issue of Equity Bank partnership with the Government. I would like to say here that the Government has never given money to Equity Bank to loan to farmers. This was purely a private initiative, which is being guaranteed by AGRA and IFAD, each contributing US$2.5 million. That gives a total of US$5 million. The Government has nothing to do with it. The only reason the Government came in was that we negotiated with them, so that it could be put in Equity Bank and make it a revolving fund. Equity Bank agreed that if we placed the US$5 million with them, they were willing to give US$3.2 million to farmers dealing in grains. So there is no money from the Government. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other issue is that there are other banks, which are willing to come in; examples are the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, the Kenya Commercial Bank and the Family Finance Bank. They have approached us for a similar arrangement. Mr. Speaker, Sir, however, at the moment, the only institution giving farmers loans, and in which the Government is involved, is the AFC. Up to the last financial year, the Government had injected Kshs1.3 billion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, our partners have also injected Kshs1.5 billion into the AFC. So, there is no crippling of the AFC. The AFC is doing its work and nothing has changed. 1802 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This House resolved unanimously, a few weeks ago, that the Government should write off loans owed to Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) due to the post-election violence. We had expected the Assistant Minister to tell us about the plans to restructure AFC. His answer is disappointing because there is nothing to indicate that there are plans to restructure AFC to make it more effective in future. Could the Assistant Minister inform the House what plans the Government has to restructure AFC so as to write off the loans as this House had resolved? What steps have been taken so far?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very much aware that the House passed a Motion here which resolved that we should write off those loans. But, according to the funds that we allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture, we are not able to do that at the moment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are even trying to look for more money to advance to farmers. The farming community in Kenya requires Kshs10 billion. We do not have money close to that figure; not even a tenth of that amount. So, the issue of the write-off cannot be dealt with at the moment until we raise more money from other sources.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for his attempts to answer this Question. But there is one part which is worrying me. In his answer to part "d" of my Question, he says that there are plans to give Kshs3.2 billion to Equity Bank. That is a large amount of money which will not be spent overnight. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will take time before this money is given to the farmers. Could the Assistant Minister inform the House what steps and modalities his Ministry is putting in place to ensure that the interest that will accrue at the bank will be used in subsidising the farmers problems?
Order, hon. Members!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to, first of all, correct the hon. Member. I did not say that the Government is going to give Equity Bank Kshs3.2 billion. I only said that by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Adventist Development Research Agency (ADRA) are putting Kshs300 million in Equity Bank and the bank agreed to lend to farmers an amount of Kshs3.2 billion. So, the Government is not giving any bank any money. It is just, as I said, a private initiative which was negotiated by IFAD and so on. However, once the modalities of how the money will be dealt with are through, the money will be given out to the farmers and the branches-- -
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Allow the Assistant Minister to finish!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am saying that, once the Ministerial Committee which was set up by IFAD and ADRA finalises its modalities of dealing with the Kshs3.2 billion, that money will be given to farmers through the branches of Equity Bank.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister has confirmed to this House that the Ministry is depositing Kshs300 million in Equity Bank to enable it to provide a special loan arrangement to farmers. The Assistant Minister has then proceeded and said that the Government has not given any money to any bank. If there is a deposit of Kshs300 million in Equity Bank to enable it provide a special loan arrangement for farmers, what does that amount to? July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1803
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other one is---
Order, Mr. Linturi! If you stand on a point of order, it just concerns one matter which is out of order. Mr. Assistant Minister, can you respond to that, please!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said that the Kshs300 million was contributed by ADRA. It contributed US$2.5 million and IFAD contributed the other US$2.5 million. It is not the Government which did that. The reason why the Ministry got involved is because the money was going to be given just once. But we agreed with Equity Bank to keep that money and then disburse to farmers about Kshs3.2 billion. Otherwise, we were not depositing it as security.
Next Question by Mr. Were!
asked the Minister of State for Public Service:- (a) whether he could confirm that there are wide income/salary disparities between various Job Groups in the Civil Service; (b) if he could explain the reasons for those salary disparities; (c) whether he is aware that morale among civil servants is low and many highly- trained professionals in the Civil Service are leaving for jobs in the private sector; and, (d) what urgent and specific interventions he is putting in place to ensure that the gap between the various Job Groups is narrowed and that the flight of professional civil servants, which ultimately compromises the quality of service delivery to the public, is reversed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I apologise because this answer was not available last week. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer this Question today. (a) There are really no wide income salary disparities. There are only rationalised remuneration differentials between the various Job Groups.
(b) As indicated in "a" above, the remuneration differentials are based on the following:- (i) The salary in the Civil Service is structured into different levels according to the competencies, skills and responsibilities at each level. Each level is, therefore, separately compensated. (ii) As the Government moves away from providing non-core services within the public/private sector partnership arrangement, it needs to have remuneration structures that attract the required professionals in the service to drive the reforms we are undertaking. (iii) A comparison of the salary levels in the private sector and in the Civil Service indicates that, at the lowest levels in the Civil Service, the payments are closer to the private sector than at the higher senior levels. I have looked at the reports on compensations in the private sector and compared them with the pay we are giving in the Civil Service and found out that, at the top level 1804 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 of policy makers, the Government is paying approximately 56 per cent of the emoluments obtaining in the private sector. In the middle category, the Government pay ranges between 26 to 43 per cent of what obtains in the private sector. Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the lower levels, actually the Government compensation is 135 per cent of the private sector emolument standards. (c) I am not aware whether morale can be a matter of degree. The reasons affecting staff morale vary on different factors, other than salary, and in different work situations. The Civil Service salary is now reasonably competitive and is attracting professionals from the private sector and the other sub-sectors of the economy. We expect, in future, a free flow of skills between the Civil Service and the private sector. Therefore, the leaving of professionals is not likely to adversely affect service delivery. (d) The interventions the Government is putting in place are:- (i) The Government established the Public Service Remuneration Review Board under the Ministry of Public Service in 2003 to harmonise and continuously review the salaries in the Civil Service. Mr. Speaker, Sir, that Remuneration Review Board will need to be legislated for because, as of now, there are different pay review committees established under different laws applying, for example, to military, Parliamentary Service Commission, Teachers Service Commission, among others. The Remuneration Review Board has already prepared a harmonised and rationalised salary structure based on universally acceptable salary determination standards which include ability to pay equity, competitiveness and compensation for skills and competency. The final stage---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Chair has ruled, on very many occasions, that the answers from the Ministers should be brief and precise. They should not be speeches. The Minister is reading a speech to us!
Order, Mr. Minister! Indeed, the Chair has ruled many times in the past that answers must be brief and to the point!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also wish that Questions were also concise and not so broad! The final phase of the banding of salaries for junior civil servants will be implemented this financial year and provision has already been made; of Kshs3 billion. Economic conditions allowing, it is expected that the Treasury will continue to provide the required funding to support the pay policy in the Public Service.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister, in his answer to part "c" of the Question, has said that he is not aware that there is no morale in the Civil Service. He went ahead to say that the Civil Service salaries are now competitive and are attracting professionals from the private sector and other sub-sectors of the economy. However, if you look at the table he has given to us, if you compare the earnings of the Permanent Secretaries in the higher entries with managing directors and chief executive officers, you will find that they only earn 26 per cent of what is paid to their counterparts in the private sector. There is a 31 per cent increase for Permanent Secretaries compared to CEOs and 28 per cent for HODs as opposed to managers in small organisations. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not understand how the salaries are now competitive and that someone can leave a job in the private sector to go and earn 26 per cent of what he was earning before. Is it really true that the Civil Service salaries are competitive by looking at the table that you have given to us?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sure that the hon. Member is aware that the intention is not to recruit professionals from the private sector. Up to now, the Government has its own mechanisms of recruitment, training and promotion within the service itself. I have already July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1805 clarified that motivation is not only a function of salaries.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This Ministry pays the Deputy Commissioner of Police Kshs49,000. How do you expect a Deputy Commissioner of Police to be paid Kshs49,000 and, at the same time, expect him or her to provide security to Kenyans? Is it a wonder that those same police officers kill members of the public to try and recover money from them?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think this hon. Member is misleading this House. How can he say that the Deputy Commissioner of Police is paid Kshs49,000? Could the Government prove to the hon. Member that the Deputy Commissioner of Police is paid much more than that or will they just give in to this serious accusation?
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not aware of the source of the figure that the hon. Member has quoted. However---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is in today's Government release; that it has reviewed the salaries of Administration Police Officers and---
Order, Dr. Khalwale! You are citing as if you are an authority to that contention; "today's release!" You have not indicated "release" in respect of what! Is it a Government release or a peoples' release? What release?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for that correction. The word came out so fast.
I meant that, that was the front page story in the newspapers today. There is a Circular from the Government---
Order! Order, Dr. Khalwale! You cannot cite, as your authority, today's release being the front page of the media! You will have to clarify that using something authoritative such as a Government Circular, if you have it!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I was just begging the House to ignore what they read in the Press today. I wanted to assure them that in a circular that leaked to the Press today, the Government has released the salary structures for police officers and it says that the Deputy Commissioner of Police will be paid---
I am on a point of order! They said that a Deputy Commissioner of Police will be paid---
Order! Order, hon. Members! Mr. Balala, the Standing Orders are clear that, when an hon. Member is on a point of order, he should not be interrupted by another point of order until he finishes and even so, only with the lead of the Speaker.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. No wonder people who are working under the Ministry of Tourism, the wardens, are so poorly paid!
In that particular Circular of the Government, we are underpaying a Deputy Commissioner of Police to that extent. Could the Minister tell this House when he is going to correct that anomaly, so that police officers could be compensated for the risks that they take in their service?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is the intention of the Government to continuously 1806 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 review and improve total remuneration and conditions of work for all the public servants. That is an ongoing process and the limitation is only the resources. I am sure we are as concerned as the hon. Member that people who serve in the security agencies and, indeed, all public servants delivering service to the people of Kenya, should be properly remunerated. A set of reforms will be undertaken to ensure that, that is done.
Last question, Mr. Were!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. K. Kilonzo?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My point of order is very serious. The reason we are getting into this quagmire is because neither the Minister nor the hon. Member is giving authoritative figures. Could the Minister deny or confirm that, indeed, the Deputy Commissioner of Police is being paid Kshs49,000? It will be a sad day for this country if it is true!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can bring the actual salaries for all the Deputy Commissioners of Police. But the hon. Member is aware that entry points and terminal points for any particular officer also differs, depending on where you start and where you grow to. So, what may be quoted may be at entry point for a new and youngest Deputy Commissioners of Police. But I can give the exact figures.
Last question, Mr. Were!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Can you allow the House to receive allegations from Dr. Khalwale as "information leaked by the Government?" Is it in order to allow that to happen in this House?
Order! Order! Order! It is legitimate for hon. Members to seek information from the Government.
If the Government has valid reasons not to give that information, and which the Government is under duty to disclose to the House, then it will be allowed to leave the information as classified. But the Minister has not made any such indication. There has to be rationale for withholding information. The Minister has not sought protection from the Chair.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. A few minutes ago, you said that you cannot refer to headlines of newspapers, as Dr. Khalwale has done. But here, he referred to a "leakage by the Government." So, we thought it would be important for him to raise a Question to the Minister to bring the formal statistics of how much is paid to every police officer.
The allegation of leakage from the Government is---
Order, Mr. Balala! The hon. Member made a claim that the information he is relying on is contained in a Government Circular. The Minister---
Leaked! July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1807
Even if it is leaked, it is information, no matter how it was obtained! If the Minister has objections as to the manner in which that information was obtained, then the Minister will have been at liberty to say so. The Minister has not said so! It was a claim made by the hon. Member. If the Minister felt that, that claim is not valid, he should have said so! But he has not!
Last question, Mr. Were!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, about two months ago, the salaries of Permanent Secretaries, and a few senior officers, were increased by between 30 per cent and 47 per cent. The reason was that it was to cushion them against rising inflation. Inflation affects all civil servants. When is the Minister planning to increase the salaries of other civil servants by the same margin to cushion them from inflation?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me clarify that the information I will give is not about the personal salary of a particular officer. But salary scales in the Public Service are not secret. We can give that information freely because Kenyans need to know in the course of those careers. As to the increase of salaries in the Job Groups that were adjusted, the adjustment is continuing to be handled by the Pay Review Board in the different bands in the Public Service. I indicated earlier that the process is continuous until we narrow the gaps that exist as of now.
Order, hon. Members! We will have to come to the end of Question Time at this point; the reason being that today is a Supply Day and we must move on to that Order not later than 3.30 p.m. But before we do so, there are a number of communications from the Chair and we have, I think, one request for a Ministerial Statement. So, I will take the request first. It appears that the hon. Member requesting for the Ministerial Statement is not present. Mr. Imanyara?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, over the last few days, there has been a spate of strikes in various secondary schools throughout the country leading to great loss of property and also personal injuries to the students. I would like to request the Minister for Education to give a Ministerial Statement on what steps have been taken to contain the situation and what are the costs.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, I have noticed and I had an occasion to address that issue in some various fora last week, when I was having education days in some other centres. Yesterday and today, as a Ministry, we are re-examining the whole issue vis-a-vis what is going on. Regarding the immediate reaction, I will be able to give a detailed statement next week. At around this time, when students are about to sit for their mock examinations, tensions run very high and, therefore, they tend to react in a manner that is different. We cannot allow that type of indiscipline to continue in our institutions. Therefore, I will be able to address that issue comprehensively next week on Wednesday. 1808 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 DELAYED MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON INVESTORS IN SUGAR FACTORIES IN TANA RIVER
Mr. Speaker, Sir, two weeks ago, I sought a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Regional Development Authorities about which investors have shown interest in developing sugar-cane factories in the Tana River area.
That is fine! That is fine! Where is the Minister for Regional Development Authorities?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will bring the statement on Thursday this week.
Very well! Proceed, Mr. K. Kilonzo! DELAYED MINISTERIAL STATEMENT ON SALE OF PUBLIC PROPERTY BY NSSF
Mr. Speaker, Sir, two weeks ago, I sought a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development regarding the sale of a public property by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Since I was travelling, you gave a ruling that the statement should be brought today. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry or the alleged NSSF decided to go public instead of giving a Ministerial Statement in this House. They put an advertisement in the newspapers trying to explain the circumstances which led to the sale or otherwise of that property. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will agree that, that is not in keeping--- While making your ruling, I will need an indication as to when, this week, we are going to receive that statement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Minister, are you up to give the Ministerial Statement sought by the hon. Member?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Should I proceed?
No, do not proceed! You will get your timing and you will have to explain why you went public before giving the House the Ministerial Statement.
I direct that you give that Ministerial Statement on Thursday this week, among other things, capturing reasons why you went public when ought to do it to the House rather than the newspapers.
Order hon. Members! I have the following communication to make. Hon. Members, before we move to the next Order, you will recall that on Thursday, 10th July, 2008, the Member for Imenti Central, Mr. Gitobu Imanyara, sought to know whether the provisions of Section 39 of the Constitution applied to the Attorney-General with regard to his absence from the House. Further, the Member sought to know whether there is a procedure for communicating to the House the absence of the Attorney-General whenever such absence has been permitted by the President pursuant to Section 39 of the Constitution. Section 39(1)(b) of the Constitution requires that a Member shall vacate his seat if without having obtained the permission of the Speaker, he has failed to attend the Assembly on eight consecutive days on which the Assembly was sitting in any session. However, Subsection 4 of the same section categorically states that the section shall not apply to the Attorney-General. Section 39 of the Constitution, therefore, does not apply to the Attorney-General. Hon. Members, the Attorney-General does not lose his seat in the House on account of failure to attend the House for eight consecutive days without the permission of the Speaker. Indeed, the Attorney-General does not require the permission of the Speaker to be absent from this House. However, the Attorney-General, like any other Member of this House, is required by Standing Order No.173 to notify the Speaker of his intention to travel outside Kenya before he does so. Standing Order No. 173 requires Members intending to travel outside Kenya whether in an official or private capacity to give written notice to the Speaker to that effect indicating inter alia the destination to be visited, the dates of intended travel, the period of absence, their physical address while away and telephone contacts during their period of absence from Kenya. Hon. Members, let me take this opportunity to remind all Members of the need to strictly comply with Standing Order No.173 when intending to travel outside Kenya and to notify the Office of the Speaker accordingly. I have directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to maintain a register wherein shall be indicated the appropriate information on Members travels. Hon. Members should additionally note that in terms of Section 39 of the Constitution, the permission of the Speaker must be separately sought if the Member will be absent from the House on eight consecutive sitting days in a session. In respect of the specific question as to the procedure by which the House is notified of the absence of the Attorney-General, Section 39 of the Constitution contains no provisions to that effect as implied by Mr. Imanyara. No such procedure is provided for. That notwithstanding, let me inform the House that the Attorney-General had, in fact, vide the letter dated 3rd July, 2008 notified the Speaker that he will be absent from the country on official business from 6th July, 2008 to 13th August, 2008 and had requested that Questions, Motions or Bills requiring his response be not listed during that period. Hon. Members, the interest of the Chair in the Attorney-General's actual presence in the House is to see to it that the business of this House is not disrupted on account of the absence of the Attorney-General. It, therefore, behoves the Government to try to ensure that no business of this House is disrupted on account of the absence of any Member of the Government.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for that communication. Indeed, the founding fathers of the Constitution almost 45 years ago in exempting 1810 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 the Attorney-General from the provisions of Section 39 of the Constitution must have had regard to the many roles the Attorney-General plays under the Constitution and the laws of Kenya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on my part, I have always taken my responsibilities to the august House seriously. Indeed, I have always notified the Speaker, through the Clerk of the National and the Leader of Government Business, of my absence. I have always endeavoured and will continue to endeavour to ensure that the business of this House is not disrupted but is, in fact, expedited. This year the first Question for me to answer is that of Mr. Ekwe Ethuro which is listed for tomorrow and I will be present to hear it. In terms of Bills, I am among the few Ministers, if any who have so far successfully moved two Bills through the First and Second Readings, namely, the Criminal Procedure Code( Amendment) Bill 2008 and the International Crimes Bill, 2008. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me pledge to you and to the Members of this august Assembly my commitment to play my role in the discharge of immense responsibilities that has been conferred on Parliament under the Constitution.
Order, hon. Members! That statement was given pursuant Order No.69 of the our Standing Orders. It is neither open to debate nor questions. But if you have a different matter, you can raise it.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. When you gave Communication from the Chair you indicated that you got a letter from the Attorney-General that he will be absent up to 13th August, 2008. Could he explain his presence in this House?
Order! Order! Mr. Sirma, you are gravely out of order! More so, after I cautioned that the Attorney-General had proceeded pursuant to Standing Order No.69. Given that you are out order, I want to read Standing Order No.69 for you. It says:- "By the indulgence of the House, a Member may explain matters of a personal nature although there is no question before the House, but such matter may not be debated." Mr. Sirma, as I have indicated, you are gravely out of order particularly after I had intimated that this matter is not subject to debate nor question. I demand an apology.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I raised it because it informed many hon. Members that he had actually lied to you. But I wish to withdraw and apologise. HOUSE BUSINESS COMMITTEE DECIDES THE ORDER IN WHICH VOTES WILL BE DISCUSSED
Order, hon. Members, before we proceed to the next Order, I have this further Communication to make. Several hon. Members have come to my office wanting to know how the Order of Ministries to be debated in the Committee of Supply was arrived at. The House Business Committee during its sitting on Tuesday, 24th June, 208 under minute No. 71 of 2008 decided on the order of consideration of various individual Votes. The order agreed on by the Committee is as follows: Vote 42 will take position number one pertaining to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; Vote 57 will take position number two July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1811 pertaining to the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development; Vote 36 will take position number three pertaining to the Ministry of Lands; Vote 30 will take position number 04 pertaining to the Ministry of Energy; Vote 31 will take position five pertaining to the Ministry of Education; Vote 12 will position six pertaining to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Local Government; Vote 10 will take position seven pertaining to the Ministry of Agriculture; Vote 06 will take position eight pertaining to the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030; Vote 01 will take position nine pertaining to the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security; Vote 32 will take position 10 pertaining to the Ministry of Information and Communications. Finally, Vote 35 will take position 11 pertaining to the Ministry of State for Special Programmes. Hon. Members who may wish to change the order of the Ministries are at liberty to put their request to the House Business Community (HBC). It is important to note that the House only considers ten Ministries, and all the others are put under the Guillotine procedure.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to seek clarification on the communication from the Chair, which you have just made. While the Attorney-General was out of this country, serious adverse allegations were made against him by the former Minister for Finance. Mr. Speaker, Sir, would I be in order to request, just as the Prime Minister did, the Attorney-General also be afforded an opportunity, so that the House can know, from his own mouth, what is it that he did in respect of the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel?
Indeed, the House will extend its indulgence to the Attorney-General, if he seeks to be accorded that opportunity. It is up to the Attorney-General to seek that indulgence.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in fact, I want the record to be put straight. I am very pleased that the Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade Committee, which I understand you gave two weeks to compile their reports, has asked me to appear before them on Friday and you will hear my version on the issue when the report comes to this House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to correct what Mr. Sirma said. I was going to be away and, in fact, right now I am supposed to be in Geneva, but---
Order, Mr. Attorney-General! You are totally out of order, given that the point of order by Mr. Sirma was not valid and that it was misplaced. Mr. Sirma having apologised, you should not revisit that matter.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I can see the Vice-President, who is the Leader of Government Business, is looking at me. He assured me that he would be giving a Ministerial Statement with regard to the absence of the President and the Vice-President at the same time from the country. When can we expect that Ministerial Statement?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I seek the indulgence of the Chair and the House and request that the Ministerial Statement be issued on Thursday.
Very well; I direct that it be issued on Thursday this week.
Anybody interested? Mr. Muthama, I understand that you have two more minutes.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know what I can say in two minutes. I want to donate my two minutes to the next speaker.
Is there anybody else who is interested?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Vote of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The youth constitute a very important segment of our population. When we talk about Vision 2030, we are basically talking about setting up a foundation, and that foundation relies on the youth of this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Vision 2030 relies on three pillars, the social pillar, the economic pillar and the political pillar. If we do not attend to the needs of our youth today, then the pillar that will support the Vision 2030 will be very weak. We need to strengthen the education of our youth and empower them. I must congratulate the Ministry for coming up with a youth policy in the last Parliament. I urge the Ministry to take some time and spend some resources to disseminate the content of that policy to us, as Parliamentarians, to the youth and to the nation at large. It is out of that policy that we will be able to come up with strategies to support the youth of this country. It is rather sad that only about 1 per cent of the Budget is allocated to this very important sector. Let me say that even with this little allocation, with goodwill and hard work on the part of the officials and the Minister to drive the youth agenda, a lot can be achieved. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you require some institutions to be looked into when talking about the implementation of the youth agenda. I want to say that it is important that we have polytechnics all over the country. It is important that we have polytechnics also in the constituencies. During the last Parliament, there was a requirement that we set aside funds from the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) for such projects. I felt that we were rather ambushed at that time. Funds should be disbursed for setting up of polytechnics in every constituency without any conditionalities from the Ministry.
July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1813
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me talk about my own constituency, Samburu West Constituency. I am rather disappointed that the polytechnic land and equipment for my constituency have been misappropriated by some people. So, the buildings, equipment and the land allocated for the setting up of a polytechnic over ten years ago have now been taken over by some people. I would like the Minister to look into that issue of land and equipment for the polytechnic in Maralal, so that the assets are reverted to the polytechnic. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is also important that it is set aside and resources given in an equal way. These centres are very critical for the development of Information Technology (IT) resources where students can learn about Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and even generate businesses using IT. It is also important that those centres enable the youth to attend to other problems that normally face them with regard to their own health. In fact, it is in those centres that youths can have access to voluntary counselling centres. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, while talking about those centres, it is also important to look at the power requirement in those centres. This is because we are not equally endowed with power availability in this country, particularly in certain remote parts of Kenya such as northern Kenya and a number of pastoralist areas. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with regard to the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), it is also with deep regret that I have to report to this House, that because of lack of financial infrastructure in certain areas of northern Kenya, funds have had to be returned to the Ministry. There is no financial intermediary to distribute the YEDF money to youths in Samburu District. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is only one operational bank, that is Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in the whole of Samburu District. The KCB is not a financial intermediary for the purposes of this YEDF. Therefore, my constituents are disadvantaged when it comes to the utilisation of the YEDF. However, I am glad to report that I have been able to utilise the services of the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE). I must take this opportunity to congratulate the KIE, because they did hold a kamukunji in this House and alerted Members of Parliament that with as little money as Kshs200 for consultancy fees, they could assist Members of Parliament to train the youth on how to access and utilise the funds through the YEDF. So, I must also record my appreciation and note that among the financial intermediaries - because I see a list being circulated by the Ministry indicating 28 financial intermediaries - I can now see that six of those intermediaries are teachers' SACCOs. I do hope that the Samburu Teachers SACCO, who now own a bank in Maralal, will also get the opportunity to access these funds for distribution to the youth. My final contribution is with regard to the National Youth Service (NYS) which falls under this Ministry. We know that the Government policy in recent times is to recruit police officers, Administration Police officers and, indeed, Armed Forces personnel through the NYS. I would like to urge the Ministry to recruit at the constituency level, so that young people from every constituency of Kenya have an opportunity to access jobs in the NYS. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to support this important Vote No.42 for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Just going by what has been said now and what we know, the youth constitute a very large proportion of our population. They constitute more than 70 per cent of the population. Therefore, it is very important that we also lay emphasis on this. If you imagine that the youth in our country constitute about 70 per cent of the population, we need to ask ourselves what will happen in the 1814 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 next five or ten years. Over time, the youth will eventually graduate into grown-ups. That is the reason why I support the Vote. I think, in future, the Government should consider allocating more funds to this Ministry. This is because if you go by numbers and you allot money per youth, I think you will find that the calculation gives you much more. But this time, just like the previous speaker said, the Ministry has been allocated about 1 per cent of the total Budget. I would have liked a situation where we have got a starting point. We should not be talking about 1 per cent for a proportion of the population which is over 70 per cent. I think something like 10 per cent of the Budget would have been a good starting point. If you do not allocate funds for a certain purpose or function, you will not acheive the desired results. So, I think in future, we should look at a possibility of increasing the allocation to the Ministry. I also want to say that the idea of the YEDF was a very noble one. But these ideas come up around the time we are going for general elections and sometimes they are not well-thought- through. It is a noble idea, but by the time it was implemented, the Government was not prepared for it. I think the idea was to entice the youth to vote in a certain manner. But I think it is something that we should be thinking about when we have got enough time like now, so that we do not think about giving Kshs1 million per constituency for the youth. We know the value of money today. An amount of Kshs1 million per constituency for the YEDF is a drop in the ocean. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate that the Minister, who is here, has shown that she is very active. She has got a lot of interest in the issues of the youth and sports. I would like us to support her, so that more funds can be allocated to her Ministry. We want to support this Ministry. I appreciate the fact that the former Minister for Finance allocated an additional Kshs1 million for each constituency to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. However, I think it is the view of the hon. Members that this money should be channelled through the constituencies, so that there is proper control. This is because what I have seen with the YEDF and Women Enterprise Development Fund (WEDF) in the constituencies is that there are many youth and women who do not know who to approach when it comes to disbursement of the money. That is why you will find that on the schedule which was supplied to us sometimes last week, there are a lot of disparities in the utilization of those funds. So, I would like to request the Minister to look into the possibilities of this money being channelled through Members of Parliament, so that even if it is less, it be subsidised from CDF when they are taking care of the entire amount. In order to encourage sports at the constituency level, we must be ready to finance the infrastructure so that we have stadia and so on. There is no point of taking money where the youth do not have playing grounds. The other day, some youth approached me and told me that I should try to talk to school heads to allow them to use school grounds. But the reason why school heads do not want to give out their sports fields is because of lack of security. Sometimes chaos erupt and property is damaged. So, that is why I am saying that we need to be prepared for this. It should not be like what we saw with the introduction of Free Primary Education. Even today, you will find about 80 children in a classroom. How can somebody teach such a class? It means that we were not prepared. So, I would like the Minister and the Government to consider facilitating the infrastructure. We must know where we are going to have these sports grounds and so on. They must also be funded by the Government. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also wanted to say something that came up in the Budget about youth polytechnics. There is something we are missing. Most of the polytechnics we had in this country have been turned into constituent colleges of the universities and yet we are not July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1815 replacing them. It will be my wish that instead of restraining the amount of money we are giving to these polytechnics--- If we could get these youth polytechnics funded at the locational level so that, at least, in every constituency you have a number of youth polytechnics. If you look at the number of children who finish KCPE, quite a good number of them may not further their education. The polytechnics at the locational level could be a good area where they could be occupied as they mature. I was even going to suggest something although this could be under another Ministry. For the same reason I have stated, the Kenya National Library Services should extend its services to the constituencies. Those who are idle and may want to pursue further education could do that privately. They will be able to access materials they can read. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to support and say that we should give the Ministry more money.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the House for supporting the Vote of our Ministry. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, our Ministry is really endeavouring to ensure that the youth of this country are engaged and that they are well taken care of. We know what happened during the post-election violence. Our youth have a lot of energy. Unfortunately, it was not used in the right way. So, it is our duty to ensure that the energy of the youth is directed in the right way. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is also our duty as a House and a Ministry to let our youth--- When we were growing up, we were taught to be proud of our country. It is high time we made the youth understand that Kenya is their country and that they were born here. They cannot go anywhere else and so they have to take care of the country. They need to ensure that we do not destroy our own country. We have a mandate of ensuring that our youth and the resources in the country are really taken care of. The Ministry is endeavouring in improving the welfare of the youth through programmes geared towards empowerment and employment and also character building and service to the nation. I would like to, particularly mention the youth empowerment centres. These will be a one- stop shop where the youth will be provided with services like information on employment, sports facilities, guidance and counselling, social halls, internet resource centres and others. It will also be a forum for the incubation of young people and innovation. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the National Youth Service (NYS) plays a key role in modelling our youth for nation building. They normally take six months in paramilitary training. After that, they undergo two years of nation building in different parts of the country. The recruitment of youth into NYS is conducted countrywide. In the Ministry, we have an allocation of Kshs220 million which is meant to support activities in the constituencies. This is expected to further enhance national cohesion. It is expected that competitions will be organised from the sub- location level to the locational level and then the constituency level. The people who will emerge winners will meet players from other constituencies. Establishment of offices in all districts with officers up to the divisional level countrywide is expected to enhance services to the youth. Affirmative action has to be considered for the youth. We have considered affirmative action in public procurement. This is a positive move that is expected to create more employment opportunities for the youth. The Ministry has also created a database of youth enterprise. This will enable us keep information about the youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the introduction of Information and Communications Technology course in youth polytechnics is a positive development in line with global trends. In the financial year 2007/2008, the Ministry supplied over 100 computers to youth polytechnics.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Has the Mover been called upon to reply? This is because the speaker is from the Ministry and yet it is time for the 1816 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 rest of us to be given time to speak before she elaborates on some of the points that have not even been made.
Mr. Nyammo, you are out of order! She is making her own contribution. Maybe, the language you are using, Ms. Wavinya, seems to be betraying you to look like you are talking for the Ministry. I think you are doing your personal contribution at this stage. Proceed!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry is trying to empower the youth with the sort of programmes that have come up. I would really like to thank the House for supporting us. We, however, need to speak to people who own businesses also so that they can come up with business plans for the youth. That way, the youth will be able to sell their services. There are other activities that we would like the youth to be engaged in. I am sure the Ministry has some ideas on planting of trees and other job creation ideas and programmes that would help our youth. We want to support the youth of this country. We want---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to make a personal contribution when we will be waiting for her to give a reply?
Mr. Bett, I had ruled earlier that Ms. Ndeti, except for the language she is using referring to the Ministry, is giving her own contribution in the House at this stage. We have not reached the stage of reply. Ms. Ndeti, please wind up. You have one minute!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to support this Motion. The Government should give more money for the youth, so that, at least, we can enable them to do tangible things that can help them. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
(Prof. Kamar); Mr. Langat, make your maiden speech!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to clarify that I made my maiden speech a few weeks ago. I rose to contribute to this Vote of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. First of all, I want to thank the Minister for the manner in which she presented the Vote. The youth, as we all know, form a substantial proportion of our population in this country. As we all know, they are the most vulnerable group in our country, and are prone to such things like drugs and alcohol. Therefore, they need to be engaged, so as to refrain from activities such as drug and alcohol abuse. I want to thank the Ministry because they have realised that they need to engage the youth, so that we are able to protect them from such activities. The youth need to be empowered in two main areas. The first is through training. Training is very important, because it gives the youth the power to be employed and, therefore, to support themselves. After training, the youth also need to be empowered with employment and business opportunities. I have already thanked the Ministry because they have realised those two things. In terms of empowering the youth through business, I have seen the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), which is a very good programme. I only want to say that though the programme is very good, we will need to be sure that the funds that are allocated to the YEDF are actually reaching the people they are supposed to be reaching. One of the things that hinder those funds from reaching the youth is the vetting process that is being applied. Some of the youth will come from backgrounds under which some of them were not well educated. When we use stringent vetting processes, we recall them to make some amendments and the second time we send them back, they will never come back again. Therefore, July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1817 they cannot access the funds because of the process. So, I wish that we could make the vetting process under the YEDF less stringent, so that we can capture as many youth as we can. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also want to look at the idea of training, where we have talked about youth polytechics. This is a very important programme but when I look at the Budget provision of Kshs1 million per constituency for construction of youth polytechnics, I think it is too little to even complete a single youth polytechnic. The idea is very good, but with the funding allocated, we may not realise that project. If we were to use the Kshs1 million allocated to our constituencies for the construction of youth polytechnics, I am sure that we will be starting a white elephant project; I think we should not take that direction. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the issue of youth empowerment centres is also a very important idea which has come. However, I want to urge the Ministry, that we should have a strategic plan of what we want to do in the constituencies. Let us work in phases, so that we identify which constituencies have the best youth polytechnics. If we are satisfied that the youth polytechnics have been completed properly and they are functioning, then we move to the next phase, which is the youth empowerment centres. But if we allocate Kshs1 million for each constituency to do the polytechnics, and then another Kshs1 million for the youth empowerment centres, I do not think both projects will be completed if we do work in that manner. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would wish to see a situation where we start from the youth polytechnics then within them, we see the youth empowerment centres also developing as a value addition centre within the youth polytechnics. This will ensure that we come up with projects that we can see in the constituencies as opposed to coming up with very small projects, which may not add a lot of value in the constituencies. Otherwise, the idea of youth polytechnics and youth empowerment centres is a very good one. But we need to ensure that any funding that we allocate to it is enough to complete the projects. As regards the sports, I also want to say that we need to engage our youth in sports. We have seen countries where people make money from sports. I think it is only fair that in Kenya we also recognise the importance of sports, and empower our youth so that we can prepare them to make a career from sports. Otherwise, I support the Vote of the Ministry and it is a very good idea. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, first, I would like to thank the Ministry for coming up with this allocation. Secondly, I wish to thank the Ministry and the Ministry of Finance for allocating more money for the first time for development, unlike last year when so little money was allocated to it. The youth, as my other colleagues said earlier, are the biggest resource for this country. If we cannot invest in the youth, then we are not doing a lot. So, I would expect, in future, that this Ministry should be allocated a lot of money because the youth constitute over 70 per cent of our population. So, I hope that in future, we could have more allocation for this Ministry. Of particular importance, since we are dealing with the youth, we should focus more on technical skills. We have a lot of youths who go through primary and secondary schools, but who do not make it to university. The best we can do, particularly for this Ministry, is to establish youth polytechnics in most of the constituencies, so that our youths can acquire technical skills, which will enable them to get jobs, or set up their own businesses. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to stress the importance of technical training for our youths. In this regard, I believe that we, as a country, lost track. In the early 1980s and 1990s, we stressed more on setting up of youth polytechnics and centres of science and 1818 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 technology. Later on, we deviated and went back to normal education. This country tends to put more emphasis on university education. Most of the people coming out of the universities do not have the technical skills required for them to undertake technical jobs directly. So, they end up looking for jobs. So, we, as a country, need to focus more on enabling our youths to acquire technical skills. Madam Deputy Speaker, even in Europe, the United States of America and Asia, more emphasis is given to middle-level training institutions, which train people to do jobs. However, in this country, we have adopted a trend whereby most of our middle-level colleges are being converted into constituent colleges of public universities. Therefore, we are not having the real technical people to carry out the work. So, basically, we are going for the upper end of training. That is why we have so much unemployment in this country. People have degrees, but they cannot get jobs. Neither can they do anything for themselves, unless they are employed. I want to emphasise that this Ministry, in my opinion, is the most important in this country. We should focus more on technical training. We should not allow our polytechnics to be converted into constituent colleges of public universities. If we do so, then the process should be such that institutions like the Kenya Polytechnic are allowed to graduate into technical universities, and not just general universities, which give general degrees. Madam Deputy Speaker, another area I would like to emphasise on is that of leadership. The youth need leadership if they are to conduct any business. So, leadership is very important. I would like this Ministry to work in collaboration with the Ministries of Communications, particularly with the ICT sector. The ICT sector has a very high potential for creating employment for the youths. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, therefore, this Ministry should work in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications, so that they can work together on the programme of creating digital villages and digital kiosks within those villages, so that they can create employment. So, these are areas I feel the Ministry should take a lot of interest. Madam Deputy Speaker, regarding the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, I would say that it is a good initiative. As my colleagues have said, the YEDF needs to be well managed. Given that our youths do not know how to access this money, a mechanism must be put in place, so that our youths can have better ways of accessing this YEDF. I also support my colleagues who said that these funds should be channelled through the constituencies, where the youths' problems are most understood, and where they can be helped to write proposals and address other necessary aspects to access these funds. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, sport is very important for the youth. It is high time this country took sport as an enterprise, and not just an activity for relaxation. We need to make sport an enterprise. This is an area where I would like the Ministry to collaborate with the private sector to start making sport an income generating activity. That way, sport will be an activity which will earn youths money. The youths can know that if they excel in any sports, they can make some money. So, this is an area I wish to highlight. So, in the long-term, sports should be commercialised to earn dividends to those who will participate. Finally, I would like to commend the Ministry for coming up with the youth empowerment centres. This is a very innovative idea. Those centres will provide all the essential information the youths require, in terms of their professional development and otherwise. So, I wish to support this Vote. Thank you very much.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. From the outset, I support the Motion. July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1819 The 2008/2009 Budget underscores employment creation for the youths as a key cornerstone for the development agenda of this country. The reason is that it was realised that the youths can be a source of social instability if their agenda is not addressed. We are likely to suffer a huge economic burden on the youths, both in the household and in the nation at large. Therefore, I want to commend the Government for placing the Department of Sports where it belonged from the beginning. In the last Parliament, the Department of Sports was domiciled in the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services. It is now in its rightful place, where the youths should be involved in sports as well. So, that is commendable. I think it is the right direction to go. The youths in this country constitute over 70 per cent of the population, but are we addressing their agenda adequately? The other day, a veteran politician, Mr. Martin Shikuku, told me that a young journalist had to ask him, when he was with other freedom fighters, why they think they are so special. Of course, the young journalist may have erred, because he did not respect the elderly, but he was communicating something to them. He was saying: "Why we do not understand you is because you do not speak our language." Are we adequately speaking the language of the youths in this country? What is it that persuaded the youths, during the post-election period, to behave in the manner they did? Why was it not possible for most of the youths, even during the electioneering period, to identify with the Government of the day? Are they communicating something we have failed to notice? That is why it is very easy for the youths to be misused these days. It does not matter what somebody has done. It is easy for a politician to go out there, bring the youths together and tell them: "We must bring somebody out of his office", and like the Jews of the old, all that they will say is: "Do you want Jesus or do you want Barnabas?", and they will shout: "We do not care what he has done. Release Barnabas and crucify Jesus." Those are our children and we are not addressing their needs and concerns adequately. That is why they are causing strikes in schools now. It is because we do not speak their language. We do not understand them. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, is what is allocated to the youth in terms of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund sufficient? Are we still in the back door insisting on some form of collateral to be able to provide this funding to the youth? What is it that they have, in terms of collateral? I think that something more should be done. a feedback from what has already been distributed to the youth, in terms of usage, are issues we should address and look at emergent issues after issuance of these funds. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, turning to village polytechnics, how adequate have we staffed them? Are we addressing these inadequacies in terms of staffing? We are aware that village polytechnics are not even supposed to receive money from the Central Government in terms of salaries. They are assumed to be generating their own income, so that they can pay salaries, and whatever the Government gives is supposed to provide other services and not salaries. Is there something more we can do other than just the money that was given to one village polytechnic in every constituency last year? I think we should, if we expect these polytechnics to be relevant. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, who inspects the curriculum and evaluates performance in village polytechnics? Are we turning our village polytechnics to be like adult education in this country that for a long time was never supervised by the Ministry of Education? It was in a different place, and there were no supervisors and nobody to ensure that curriculum implementation went on properly. Can we do something about supervision of the curriculum in our village polytechnics? Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, sport is an important activity just as my colleagues have said. We are looking for a day when sports will be able to generate real income for this country. I have had the privilege to serve as an Assistant Minister for Sports in the last Parliament. 1820 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 I want to say that the budget given to sporting activities in this country is so little. We need to increase the budget for sports. However, we cannot contain the cartels in sporting activities if we do not have a legal framework to control the functions and operations at the Ministry. The Ministry came up with a sports policy. However, that policy has been lying at the Attorney-General's Chambers for over two years. It has not come to Parliament for debate, so that it can be adopted to provide guidelines on the operations of sporting activities in general. So, the Minister may have grand ideas. You may want to do a lot in terms of soccer activities in this country, but we have cartels who will speak with FIFA directly. The Minister will just be there and will do nothing if that sports policy is not debated in this House and passed to provide a legal framework. I think this is what should be expedited. The Attorney-General should look at that policy, fashion it and bring it to the House so that we assist the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Kshs1 million kitty that has been set a side for every constituency to fund recreational activities is commendable. However, I think we can do more. Let us also know the framework in which this money will be spent in our constituencies, so that, as leaders, we are involved in the constituencies. Kshs1 million is too little to even run activities in the constituency. However, I think we can supplement this with funds from the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). We need to know the framework in which the Kshs1 million kitty will operate, so that we can chip in. In the Western World, especially the United Kingdom (UK), 70 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated by creative arts. The youth in this country are involved in many activities, for example music, theatre, art, design and fashion. More money needs to be allocated into these activities, so that, as a nation, we can provide a way out for our youths to generate money for their up- keep. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we can talk and talk about our youth, but if you do not find a way of creating jobs for them then I think what we saw in January is what the Swahili people call "manyunyu" . Proper rain is coming! The youth of this country are listening and are depending on us, as their leaders, to chart out their agenda and speak their language, so that together we can move ahead as a nation.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will make a few observations. The first one is that, as a nation, unless we admit that the youth we have today are products of our educational system, we will probably be treating symptoms. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the education system we have is such that we emphasise on numbers. We have, kind of, neglected skills. We have forgotten there is something called attitude. We have forgotten there is something called talent. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in our education system, we have assumed that everybody in Classes One, Two, Three and Four can become an academic. So, we herd them as goats. We refuse to identify talent. Some of them can become first class footballers; some can become first class musicians and some first class this or the other. We herd them together. We need to go back and answer some very fundamental questions towards the development of our youth. As far as education is concerned, we must answer the question: Education for what? Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if we answer that question adequately, then we shall be able to overhaul our education system with a view to providing skills for our youth. As it is, we keep on telling everybody "be university educated", "be tertiary institutions educated" and we end up with misfits. Everybody complains that we have graduates who are unemployed or are unemployable. This is just because we have not wanted to find out the stock of our skills, as a July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1821 country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, what inventory of skills do we have as a country and what are the gaps? If we know the skills and gaps that we have in the country, we have every reason of telling institutions: "Please, provide for the gaps! However, we have not done that. I suggest in all seriousness that the country should take a moment and take an inventory of the skills that we have. Coming to the youth, we have assumed - and I hope the Minister is listening - that every youth is destined to be a businessman or businesswoman. That is not the case. When we go to training, we want to train all of them to be business people. They do not have the skills or even the wish to be business people. Let us make the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) to be a little bit flexible, to provide for other kinds of training, for instance, Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Those who do not want to get into business, let them be given other kinds of skills which will enable them to go into self-employment or get employed a lot more easily. The other point is that YEDF is channelled via intermediaries like banks and so forth. I do not know whether it is known that some of those banks, instead of disbursing the funds to the youths, they persuade them to borrow their money, which is a lot more expensive. The youth do not take the money from YEDF, which is disbursed at an interest rate of 8 per cent. The banks are lending at an interest rate of 18 per cent. That is something we need to look at. Whether that is desirable or not, I do not think so. When we disburse the YEDF monies, we do not provide money for monitoring and evaluation. When there is something wrong, those officers are not empowered. If there is a problem between a group and a bank or an institution, those officers will have to use their own money to go and find out what is wrong. We need to look into that. The other point is about dispute resolution among the groups. Here, again, the officers are not empowered. Those groups borrow but, as soon as they team up with a view to going to business, they start quarrelling. The officers are not empowered to move quickly and assist in dispute resolution. So, those groups fall apart and, therefore, the benefit does not accrue to anybody. I do admire the courage of the Minister and the Treasury for providing funds for sports. Yes, sports has put this country on the world map. But why are we shy and not tell our children that they can make a career in sports like football, athletics and so on? If you look at some of these few points, I think the Ministry will be doing a commendable job and I wish them well. I beg to support the Vote.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Motion. I wish to start by congratulating the Minister for a well presented document. It is a good policy if only it can be polished. This is a good start and being a first-time Minister, that is a commendable job. I will not belabour on the issues that have been touched on by the various contributors to this debate. But I wish to raise a few pertinent issues that the Minister would wish to address because they are very critical. Being on the ground where the youth are, and having come here on the strength of the youth vote, I know that I have the mandate to comment on these issues. The youth comprise 60 per cent of the population.
1822 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for hon. Nyammo to cross the Floor without following the correct procedure?
Hon. Nyammo, could you correctly follow the procedures as you cross the Floor?
Thank you very much.
Proceed, Mr. Mwathi!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Some of us are still learning. I was at the point where I was saying that the youth comprise 60 per cent of the population of this country and, at the same time, we know very well that, in that 60 per cent, about 75 per cent of that percentage are not employed. It means the issue of the youth has not been previously handled very keenly and with the importance that it deserves. We have so many employment opportunities that we can create for our youth. But let me touch on one that has come recently and which has caught the attention of most Kenyans, including the youths from all constituencies, called the Youth Employment Scheme Abroad. It is good. We are happy that our youth are going out. But I want to say that we must be able---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the hon. Member to address this House from the Dispatch Box?
Hon. Members, I think the Speaker ruled earlier in the year that because of the Grand Coalition, even Ministers can mix with Back-benchers in the Front Bench. So, I think we will continue until a clearer ruling on where the Ministers should speak from will be clarified.
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I do not wish to go against your ruling, but what you are ruling on is provided for in our Standing Orders that the only Members who can speak from the Dispatch Box are Ministers or Shadow Ministers who are not there! It should not be any other Member.
Hon. Members, what is provided for is the sitting arrangement. I am trying to look for the point of order which the hon. Member has referred to. But I do remember that the hon. Speaker ruled that, under the circumstances we are in, Ministers and Back-benchers can now mingle in the Front Bench, which is not normally allowed. However, if I may defer the ruling while I am searching for that--- Let us allow the Member to continue from where he is standing right now. That is the microphone near to him.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I will continue. Probably, you should also be able to bring a Motion to allow Parliamentary Service Commissioners to also address the House from the Despatch Box. I am a Parliamentary Service Commissioner and in the Parliamentary Service Commission Act, I am rated equivalent or above the position of an Assistant Minister. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the issue of youth employment abroad, which is a very noble idea, most of the youth are running around looking for those opportunities to go out. But I want to draw the attention of the Minister to the following. If we allow that trend to continue for a long time without creating employment opportunities in our country, then we are going to lose very July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1823 good and valuable talent. So, even as we look at the employment schemes abroad which are exciting our youth, we should be able, at the same time, to create employment opportunities locally. That should, probably, be created through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. The Youth Enterprise Development Fund is a very good and noble idea. I do not know whether hon. Members have realized that the banks are also creating other schemes. The moment we go to the bank, and I say this from experience, they now want to deviate the youth from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and into their own funds, which have equal or slightly higher rates of interests and, therefore, the youth end up taking the money from banks and not from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. Be that as it may, the point is that, if you go to take money from the bank, you are required to meet so many conditions. The banks are putting so many conditions for the youth to access that money. I lost some time because there were many points of order. When the youth want to access that money from the banks, they are told:- "As condition number one, you have to have a bank account. Condition number two is that you have to have started a business which is running and, probably, we are able to see the returns for three or six months." The Minister is required to put it clearly whether those conditions are as the banks put it or furnish us, as hon. Members, with the conditions that are supposed to be met by the youth so that they can access the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. However, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, a big number of the youths who should access that money are actually not trained. They do not have bank accounts. So, what they end up doing is giving the youth, who already have money and are doing business, extra money to promote their businesses. That, therefore, means that the youths who do not have any income and are hopelessly sitting somewhere waiting for any help, will continue sitting hopelessly so, until one such time that they are going to put in place a scheme of entrepreneurship training, whereafter, they will be able to access those funds. What I am saying is that we should find a way of helping the youth who are not having any income generating activities, show them how to open bank accounts--- Out of the 60 per cent youth population, another 80 per cent do not have anything to do. Those are the two critical areas. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I finish, there is the issue of youth and sports. We also have the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) kitty catering for youth and sports. I know we are about to form committees for those funds from the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and Sports. But I also want to point out that we have committees which are running the youth affairs, sports and environment in the CDF. I would, then, therefore, propose that we merge these committees, so that we do not have one running youth and sports for CDF and another one for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other points have been well articulated and I concur with all hon. Members who have contributed. On that note, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, I just want to rule on what I had said earlier. We did not want to take sides in the drafts. Yes, it is true that, according to our Standing Orders No.172, all seats on the Front Benches of the Chamber to the right of Mr. Speaker shall be reserved for the exclusive use of Ministers. I am advised that it is for that reason that the microphone on that side belongs to the Ministers and Assistant Ministers. So, in future, that is something that we should be able to note. Proceed, hon. Nyambati! 1824 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to catch your eye. First of all, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to say that it is such a shame that this Government is not giving enough funds to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It is such a terrible thing that we are not giving them even one per cent of the total Budget! The youth of this country make up a big population. I am not sure how much, but I think it must be about 30 per cent or something. I intend, may be, to bring a Motion to this House to ensure that, that very important population of this country gets not less than 10 per cent of the total Budget.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is extremely important that we take care of our youth. Any country or nation which cannot take care of its youth is doomed! The future of any country belongs to its youth and, it is for this reason that, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports must be given enough money to do business in this country and take care of our children. Those are our children; they are the future of our nation and it is imperative that we give them enough money. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is such a shame that we are giving them only Kshs3 billion! What is Kshs3 billion when we have our children languishing at home doing nothing? It is important that the Government begins to plan for the children of this country. We know the Government knows how many students we produce from universities, colleges and secondary schools. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, so, it is extremely important that planning must be done. By so doing, we will not only allow our children to dream of a good future that they must be having. We will let them believe in the beauty of the dream that they are dreaming. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for our children and the youth of this country to be patriotic, the Government must be seen to be fair in all spheres. We must give them equal opportunities! Our children, whether in schools, employment or whatever else, must be given equal opportunities! They must know that they are Kenyans. It does not matter which part of the country they come from. They must be given equal opportunities! Once we do that, that is the only time our children will now begin to appreciate that they are Kenyans. They will begin to appreciate how important it is to be patriotic. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I, therefore, want to submit that we will not ask the Ministry to do anything because there is nothing they can do with the little money we are giving them. There are many youths out there. We need to improve on polytechnics. We need to give our youths technical knowledge so that they can cater for themselves. If they become artisans, they will be able to cater for themselves. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, until and unless we ensure that the kind of polytechnics we are talking about are in every part of the country, then we will not be doing justice to the children of this country. I, therefore, want to request hon. Members to look at this issue very critically because it is affecting our children. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if I may talk about sports and I want to thank the Minister for Finance for, at least, giving a token of Kshs1 million to every constituency for the promotion of sports. This is not enough. I want to suggest that this should be co-ordinated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports so that we improve sports in this country. I want to urge the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports to bring a Supplementary Budget which must be supported by every Member who has the interest of our youth at heart so that we increase the funding even to July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1825 Kshs10 billion, if we are serious about helping our youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I come from a community which used to excel in sports. I remember that the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in the history of this country, Mr. Naftal Temu, comes from my constituency. Subsequently, we had several other members of that community excelling in the world of sports such as Mr. Robert Ouko, Mr. Charles Onsati and others. What has happened to this nation? Why have we not tapped this talent? This is because we have neglected sporting activities. Athletics is a foreign exchange earner for this country. I want to suggest that the money allocated for sports be increased. I want also to suggest that the Ministry goes out of its way to improve playing grounds in every constituency, if we are serious about sporting activities. At least, each constituency should have one stadium. Where I come from there are no stadia. We cannot ask the Ministry to do this if we cannot give them money. The issue of soccer is a very touchy one. Soccer is the most popular sport in this country. But it is such a shame that it is totally mismanaged and the Government is just watching. I think it is important that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports goes out of its way, at least, to conduct elections of sporting activities, especially soccer, throughout the country so that we do not have these wrangles coming in day in, day out. We want soccer to be managed professionally so that this country can regain the lost glory in terms of soccer. We all love this game and every Kenyan supports it. However, we cannot support it, when we are doing so badly in terms of international competitions. This is because of the kind of wrangles that we have throughout the country. I also want to---
Order, hon. Nyambati! The time allotted for this debate has now lapsed. I will, therefore, call upon the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports to reply.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I would like from the outset to thank hon. Members for their support and contribution to the Vote of my Ministry. Secondly, I wish to sincerely thank the Members for their support towards the revival of football spirit in this country. Many hon. Members attended matches including the leadership of this country. His Excellency the President and the Right Honourable, Prime Minister attended matches and as a result of that, Harambee Stars has moved from position 130 to position 92. I want to thank all the Members very sincerely. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to respond to various points that hon. Members have made. On the matter of the Development Estimates which were missing in the district allocation booklet, I would like to clarify that the policy of the Ministry is to collaborate with the Constituency Development Fund in the development of youth polytechnics and Youth Empowerment Centres. I, therefore, request hon. Members to nominate or identify one youth polytechnic within their constituencies that will be turned into an empowerment centre. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to respond to the points that have been raised this afternoon because I had a written response. I would like to assure Mr. C. Onyancha that with respect to accreditation, the Ministry is working with the Kenya Institute of Education in developing a curriculum for youth polytechnics. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to respond to the contributions of Mr. Mwathi with regard to the Kshs1 million allocated to each constituency for sports. The Ministry will be expecting suggestions from the constituencies regarding the formation of sports committees. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we hope that those committees that are already in place will be empowered to look at proposals that will be developed regarding the use of that 1826 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 Kshs1 million so that we do not duplicate responsibilities. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the 2008/2009 financial year, Kshs100 million has been allocated for the rehabilitation of youth polytechnics. This will benefit 23 institutions which are spread equally in every province, separate from those that have been identified by hon. Members. A further 16 institutions out of the identified institutions will be equipped with the Kshs100 million allocated for the purchase of specialised plants like computer labs, equipment and machinery under Head 689. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me clarify that the youth polytechnics are under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and that they are different from the national polytechnics of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret, which are under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in order to streamline the operations of the youth polytechnics, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has developed a draft national youth polytechnics policy. This will provide guidelines on the management of these institutions. I request this House to support by contributing and giving suggestions for the improvement of the institutions when it is presented here in the House. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, a number of hon. Members have suggested that the curriculum being taught in youth polytechnics needs to be market-driven. I am glad to inform this House that the Ministry, in conjunction with the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), has reviewed and developed a new youth polytechnic curriculum that will address the identified shortcomings. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the new curriculum is in its first year of piloting in 35 youth polytechnics across the country. The curriculum emphasises skills development, self- employment and enables the progression of the trainees up to university level. The Ministry has noted the need to expand the youth polytechnic training, and I wish to point out that 40 youth polytechnics were revived last year and nine new ones are being constructed this year. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Kshs465 million provided in the 2008/2009 Financial Year for vocational training will be used to subsidise tuition fees for the trainees in public youth polytechnics, beginning in January, 2009. In order to ensure that the training among the nomadic communities reaches a good number of the trainees, the Ministry has put in place programmes such as multi-shift systems that target training of youth polytechnic students. That means that training will be done in shifts and that will assist in reaching the youth in those particular areas. On the issue of the youth polytechnics instructors, the Ministry has employed 700 instructors and plans to employ another 4,500 by 2012. However, there is no budgetary allocation for recruitment in the 2008/2009 Financial Year, and I am glad to note that the hon. Members are supporting the Ministry in asking for more funds so that we can reach our youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on Information Communication Technology (ICT), the Ministry has ensured that ICT training is one of the 13 trades in the new youth polytechnic curriculum. Further, in the 2007/2008 Financial Year, the Ministry procured and distributed 100 computers to various youth polytechnics. The Ministry is also seeking collaboration with development partners in the area of ICT, in partnership with our Ministry of Information and Communications. In that respect, 210 computers were made available by the Microsoft Foundation and the Digital Opportunity Trust. These computers have been distributed to various youth polytechnics. Regarding the Youth Empowerment Centres, an allocation of Kshs250 million has been made under Head 904 and the Ministry plans to construct 50 youth empowerment centres in this financial year. Hon. Members will be expected to identify the preferred location in their constituencies, and also contribute some money from their Constituencies Development Fund July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1827 (CDF) allocations for the preparations of the development of the youth empowerment centres. The centres will be a one-stop-shop for the youth providing information on employment, sports facilities, guidance and counselling and so on. The inclusion of ICT within the centres will bring the youth to the current trends in globalization. We know the challenges that are there like the lack of electricity and the relevant infrastructure. I want to thank the hon. Members for supporting the Ministry in asking for more money. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry has formulated strategies and designed programmes of activities that will empower the youth through the following areas: environment, crime and drugs, health, leisure and so on. Regarding employment, the Ministry is undertaking the following; co-ordination of an inter-Ministerial task force on youth employment to absorb the youth in labour-intensive projects such as the Roads 2000 Programme, which targets the construction of urban-rural roads; the development of internship and placement policy and networking with the private sector on attachments for university, college graduates and youth polytechnics trainees; training, entrepreneurship and business development services. That also includes the development of policy for affirmative action in public procurement for youth products and services. The Ministry is in the process of creating a database of all youth enterprises for this purpose. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on guidance and counselling which was raised last week, the Ministry has already started a Youth Guidance and Consultancy Section which has embarked on preparing a framework on guidance and counselling to assist in the development of a guidance and counselling action plan, which will also include training of peer counsellors. The Ministry intends to partner with the Ministry of Education to enhance this programme. Regarding character building, the Ministry is sensitizing the youth on crime, problems of drugs and substance abuse as well as health issues. In the 2007/2008 Financial Year, the Ministry sensitized the youth in three correctional institutions, and we intend to continue with that in the current financial year. The Ministry has identified the following measures which are aimed at building character among the youth: Issues to do with human rights sensitization, life skills education, and peace education, which was done through the zuia Noma campaign. In addition to the above, the Ministry, in collaboration with the Kenya Scouts and Girl Guides Association, has developed a programme called "scaling up the best practices in youth development and empowerment in Kenya". This programme is geared towards equipping the youth with knowledge and life skills. Regarding the issue of mentorship and leadership training, which came up this afternoon, the Ministry has been training and will continue to train the youth on leadership, mentorship, entrepreneurship, life-skills, conflict resolution, peace education and good citizenry, among other areas. Towards the leadership development of the youth, the Ministry has collaborated with the Presidential Award Scheme and has trained 100 youth leaders in every province on leadership and life-skills. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on mentoring, the Ministry has conducted 21 career fairs aimed at sensitizing 22,911 youths, mostly students in High School, on career choices. We would like to ask hon. Members to assist the Ministry to get various professionals to talk to our youth, particularly Form Four and Form Three students. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, regarding the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, which was transformed into a parastatal or State Corporation in May, 2007, the Fund was created to address the needs of the youth, especially the unemployment problem. Over the last one year, the Fund has disbursed Kshs1.2 billion to over 40,000 youth enterprises countrywide. This is quite an achievement. 1828 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 However, the Fund is managed by a Board of Directors whose membership is drawn from young private sector professionals. But the Fund has also just concluded its recruitment exercise in which nearly all positions were taken up by young people below the age of 35. Some positions like that of Marketing Professional, are still being advertised. We intend to get the best of the youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Fund is evolving in response to the needs and expectations of its clients. I have just completed the three-year strategic plan that is focused on addressing the emerging issues and inherent limitations. The hon. Members are kindly requested to give us suggestions like the ones that have been raised this afternoon. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, from the list distributed to the hon. Members showing the disbursement status of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), the amount of Kshs715.8 million shown as commitment by 28 financial organizations is not an amount committed by them, but rather funds that have been lent to them by the YEDF for on-lending to the youth. Let me also state that any donors that would be willing to invest in the youth are welcome. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to say that we have taken note of what was said this afternoon by the hon. Member for Samburu. If there are financial intermediaries that are abusing this particular YEDF, then we are willing to consider because we are committed to assisting the youth of this country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the involvement of the Members of Parliament in the management of the Fund at the constituency level, the area Member of Parliament is an ex-officio Member of the YEDF committees at the divisional level. In this role, the Member of Parliament is expected to positively influence the decision as to which group receives the funds at the constituency level. This is because he or she is the one who knows best the needs of his or her people. The area Member of Parliament is allowed to nominate his or her representative to the divisional committee. In view of the fact that the funds available are not adequate to match the needs of the youth, the Fund will explore a partnership with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) with a view to strengthening the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme capacity to meet the needs of the youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the status reports of the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme in each constituency will be availed to the respective Members on quarterly basis. Very soon, perhaps this coming week, the Ministry will be launching the report of the YEDF. At that point, we will give detailed information on the status of the allocations for each constituency. The Fund allocation criteria was based on the districts and the number of youth for the funds disbursed through financial intermediaries. This afternoon, we have been told that the youth do not actually understand this. I would like to say that there are forms for accessing these funds and the youth can even fill them by hand. We will be willing to avail them to the Members, so that they can distribute them to the youth of this country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme allocation was Kshs2 million to each constituency. This allocation criteria will be reviewed, taking into consideration the constituency's size and population in addition to the repayment performance. The Ministry has taken note of the low YEDF uptake in some areas, especially the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). We have targeted sensitization programmes or campaigns that involve area's stakeholders, especially the leaders and local leaders, so that we can have training activities which will be conducted to inculcate entrepreneurial culture among our youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry has also taken note that there are areas with no financial intermediaries. Indeed, this has come up this afternoon. We would like to say that where the financial infrastructure is almost non-existence, it posses serious disbursement July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1829 challenges to the YEDF. However, a number of options are being pursued to reduce the magnitude of the challenges. This includes the opening of partnership talks with key financial institutions that have widespread reach, especially in remote areas. These include Kenya Commercial Bank as well as teachers SACCOs. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the National Youth Service (NYS), I would like to confirm that the Service is, indeed, under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. I also concur with the hon. Members that the equipment of the NYS is obsolete and in need of replacement. In the 2008/2009 Financial Year, an allocation of Kshs100.7 million has been made under the Development Vote to renew obsolete plant and machinery. I also welcome the suggestion that the Government Ministries give the NYS first priority in undertaking public works. I am glad to inform this House that the NYS has the capacity to undertake such projects. It is already undertaking projects such as the Tana Basin roads project as well as the construction of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) perimeter fence and the Budalangi dykes project. The NYS has also successfully completed the following projects: The 112 kilometres Kindaruma Hydro-electric Scheme, 130 Kilometres Thika-Garissa Road, 400 Kilometres road linking Kenya and Ethiopia and 42 Kilometres Machakos-Wundanyi Road, among others. I also welcome the suggestion that the NYS be used to maintain Government vehicles. My Ministry will liaise with the relevant authorities to determine how these suggestions can be implemented effectively. We welcome comments made by hon. Members on employment creation through the Tana Basin Roads Project. I also concur that the allocation of Kshs900 million should be increased to create more jobs for our youth. On youth and sports, I would like to thank hon. Members, as I said from the outset, for their contributions on how to improve the sports sector of the Ministry. I would like to say that on the issue of sports diversification, the Ministry, through the Department of Sports, has requested for extra funds to assist in promoting smaller disciplines such as darts, judo, karate, pool and others. To this end, the Government has also allocated Kshs1 million per constituency to enhance sports. As we heard this afternoon, this amount is not enough, because our youth are blessed with energy and they need to constructively use it in various sports. I would like to request hon. Members that as they give the Ministry proposals on the development of sports, let them consider all sports, including athletics. This is because there are areas in this country which are very good in swimming, for example. Therefore, we would welcome suggestions that would develop that particular sport. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the motivation of sportsmen and sportswomen, the Government has already set in motion a programme of awarding sportsmen and sportswomen who excel in international competitions. In the 2008/2009 Financial Year, an allocation of Kshs60 million has been made to cater for incentives. Although this is not sufficient, it is a step in the right direction. I want to thank the hon. Members for suggesting that the Ministry be given more money. On the rehabilitation of stadia, the Ministry, through the Sports Stadia Management Board, is in the process of identifying suitable public grounds with the aim of rehabilitating and refurbishing them. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry had requested for funding of Kshs200 million this financial year to develop stadia across the country and rehabilitate the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret specifically because there are a lot of youth there who are keen and gifted in sports. However, these were not availed to the Ministry. It is hoped that the funding will be availed, perhaps, during the Supplementary Budget as has been suggested by my colleague this afternoon. On the issue of promotion of sports, the Ministry has put in place a deliberate effort to promote sports in the country and bring us funds to our stadia. I am happy to report that these efforts are bearing fruit and lately, we have seen stadia filled to capacity. The Ministry takes the 1830 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 15, 2008 issue of agents and managers with a lot of seriousness. I have directed all sports organisations, particularly Athletics Kenya to register all foreign and local agents wishing to transact business with our athletes. This is because we have learnt that some of the agents who come to this country really do not have this country at heart. We would want to deal with that issue effectively. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in my contribution last week, I talked of the need to address declining standards in boxing. However, I wish to state that boxing is one of the sports where Kenya has been performing fairly well in the international arena. In the Ninth All Africa Games held in July, 2007, Kenya entered seven boxers in the game and managed to win three medals. Our country was placed fourth overall. I am glad to report to this House that Kenya has also won four slots in the Beijing Olympic Games which will take place in August, 2008. On the issue of sports management and administration, the Ministry has noted the concern of hon. Members that sports administration has not been very effective thus leading to poor performance of our teams. The Ministry will be working with the international federations to ensure that elections are held and the youth take up the leadership of sports in this country. This is because they are the beneficiaries. They are the men and women with the gift of sports. So, they should be given an opportunity to contribute to sports and manage it. In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs and his Ministry for formulating a foreign policy that recognises successful sportsmen and sportswomen as part of our diplomacy. This was said last week and our Ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to improve on the policy, taking into consideration issues of foreign employment of our youth. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I once again take this opportunity to thank hon. Members for supporting our Ministry.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I be to move:- THAT, a sum not exceeding Kshs3,509,634,500 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2009 in respect of:- Vote 42 - Ministry of Youth Affairs July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1831 and Sports
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am directed to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs3,509,634,500 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2009 in respect of Vote 42 - Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and has approved the same without amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Ms. Ndeti) seconded.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for having moved this Vote, contributed and answered the concerns of hon. Members. She needs to be congratulated, and I just wanted to say that this House approves of her.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also join my learned friend and colleague in congratulating the Ministry for putting forward one of the most important, aggressive and highly desirable proposals in this country for our youth. I believe that we ought to support the Minister in this ambitious programme of raising the standards of our youth, addressing their needs, and above all investing in our people. The famous July 15, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1833 saying that if you want to invest for one year, you grow wheat, if you want to invest for ten years, you plant trees but if you want to invest for 100 years, you invest in people, is very applicable to this country. I thank the Minister. God bless her!
Hon. Members, that marks the end of our business for today. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 16th July, 2008, at 9.00 a.m. The House rose at 5.40 p.m.