Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like you to note that my Question was slightly altered when it was being drafted.
In other words, what are you saying? Do you want to ask the Question or what are you suggesting?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I request not to ask the Question in its current form.
That is fair enough. Mr. Washiali, you will go back to the Clerk in charge of drafting of Questions, consult and take it to the Speaker for approval. NON-PAYMENT OF 15 PER CENT RETENTION TO SUGAR-CANE FARMERS
to ask the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) Could the Minister explain why sugar-cane farmers are not being paid the 15 per cent retention by Mumias Sugar Company even after the conclusion of the court case by Mumias Outgrowers Company Limited (MOCO) against Sukari Sacco Limited? (b) Considering that the sugar-cane farmers are not party to the dispute, what urgent steps is the Minister taking to ensure that the sugar company starts paying them?
Next Question, Mr. Ruteere! IMPLEMENTATION OF DIRECTIVE ON SALE OF MAIZE MEAL
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by Private Notice. (a) What modalities will the Minister use to effect the recent directive to sell the 2- kilogramme maize flour packet at Kshs52 and Kshs72 for poor and other Kenyans, respectively? 3968 (b) Are there plans for similar arrangements with regard to other essential commodities?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) The modalities to be used by the Ministry to effect the recent directive to sell the 2- kilogramme maize flour packet at Kshs52 and Kshs72 for the poor and other Kenyans respectively are as follows:- The 2-kilogramme maize flour will be milled and distributed by the millers in the normal market way. The 2-kilogramme flour at Kshs52 will be milled on contract by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). The NCPB will brand and distribute the flour to the appointed stockist to sell to the consumers. (b) Currently, there are no plans for similar arrangements with regard to other essential commodities.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Assistant Minister for his reply. However, ordinary Kenyans will not go and buy the maize flour from the NCPB. It is only farmers who will go and sell their maize to the Board. It is odd that this maize flour is being availed to the stockist instead of being availed to traders who are accessible to the poor Kenyans. What will the Assistant Minister do to ensure that when this flour is taken to the shops, it will be accessible to every ordinary Kenyan at the grassroots level? What will he also do to ensure that rich people do not buy the maize flour cheaply and then sell it at Kshs72 per 2-kilogramme packet?
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. We are packing the maize flour that will retail at Kshs52 in special 5-kilogramme bags. The millers are packing the maize flour in those bags and distributing it through the NCPB. The Board will go an extra mile to appoint stockist who will dispose of the maize flour in 5-kilogramme bags to all consumers across the country. We have done the labelling and indicated a price of Kshs130 for the 5-kilogramme bag. This flour cannot be sold at any price above that. All the stockist will be paid directly a retainer fee of 10 per cent by the NCPB. So, we do not expect anything over and above the Kshs130 per the 5-kilogramme bag.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister should realise that the debate in most of the FM radio stations this morning touched on the issue of this maize flour and the prices. Is the maize flour the NCPB will sell at Kshs52 per 2-kilogramme packet to the alleged poor of high quality? Is it the same as the one that will be sold at Kshs72 or the former will be of poor quality for the majority of Kenyans? Could the Assistant Minister lay on the Table specifications to show that the maize flour that will be sold at Kshs72 and Kshs52 respectively, are of the same quality?
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The only difference is packaging. The maize flour that will retail at Kshs72 is packed in 2-kilogramme packets while the one that will sell at Kshs130 is packed in the 5-kilogramme bags.
Mr. Assistant Minister, could you complete your explanation?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the difference is not in the quality of the maize meal. The quality is the same. We launched the 5-kilogramme bags yesterday and gave samples to all the media houses. We are planning to bring samples to this House even today so that all hon. Members can see what we are doing. The difference is in packaging and not the quality of the maize meal. The quality is the same.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister has not addressed my question which is on the specifics. Could he lay on the Table the specifics so that we can take them for testing to confirm that the quality is the same?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, all that we can do as a Ministry, is to December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3969 table the two products in this House. At the end of the day, they are one and the same. I can table the two products this afternoon. I can bring the two samples; one which is packed in a two kilogramme bag and the one which is packed in a five kilogramme bag. We can even do the sampling in this House.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister has said that he will bring the two samples of the maize meal this afternoon. I hope he is not saying that the Chair will be one of its sellers.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, my concern is the ability of the traders to discern whether their customers are of low income groups or of high income groups. Could the Assistant Minister inform the House how that will be done?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there are two types of flour which should be selling in the market. One is packaged in two kilogramme packets while another is packaged in five kilogramme packets. The one on the lower end will be more subsidised than the other one by Kshs10 shillings. The one for the ordinary market which is packed will be selling at Kshs36 per one kilogramme. The other one will be selling at Kshs26. So, we have gone an extra mile to really subsidise more by Kshs10 but the distribution channel is just the same. We are going to ensure this product is in all the supermarkets. If you go to the supermarkets, it will be upon you to choose either Hostess, Jogoo or the five kilogramme bag.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister has not answered my question. This country has got low income groups, medium-income groups and high-income groups. He has said the maize meal is the same. Could he inform the House how the traders will know that their customers are of low-income, medium-income and high-income groups? What are the parameters?
Mr. Assistant Minister, are you going to distinguish who the buyer is? I think that is the question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are availing this product in the market. There is a very big distinction between the product and it is all in the packaging. The lower income maize meal is packed in five kilogramme bags. The other one is packed in the normal way by the millers. We have Jogoo, Hostess and the other brands for the higher income groups which is retailing at Kshs72. The lower one will be packed in five kilogramme bags and it is all over. Everybody will have an opportunity of accessing it.
Mr. Assistant Minister, the hon. Member is asking whether everybody will access it or you are going to distinguish.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are going to sell to specific market segments. By the end of the day, it will be in the markets. All the supermarkets will be able to stock this maize meal.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, could the Assistant Minister confirm to this House that the "balkanization" of this country into the poor and the rich is very dangerous? When we start doing it with a commodity like maize meal, we are going the wrong way. Could he confirm that he is going to remove this "balkanization" and just sell the maize meal at Kshs52 per two kilogramme bag?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me help the Assistant Minister. 3970 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker!
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The issue before us is very important because it is a national one and we should not be playing games. The Assistant Minister is answering a question. On what point of order is the Minister rising to assist the other one? If he wants to assist the other one, then he should go to the appointing authority and ask for a reshuffle so that he can be the Minister for Agriculture.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture, could you respond to the question?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wanted to make it simpler. There is no way you can distinguish between a poor and rich person. What ought to be done---
You are out of order, Minister! You have a right to consult between yourselves as the Government side. The Assistant Minister for Agriculture must respond. Please respond!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the only difference here is packing and it is very clear. In the market, there are different variants of flour. It entirely depends on your choice. The lower market may go for the five kilogramme bags. The other one will choose what they want to choose in the market. So, the price is in the region of between Ksh52 and Kshs72. The choice is with the consumer.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to evade questions? We are discussing a very serious issue of national importance and so far, no question has been answered in a straightforward manner. If the Assistant Minister does not have answers, could he seek for more time so that he can give the House proper answers?
Hon. Members, the last question was on whether anybody can access the flour and I think the Assistant Minister has answered it that it is going to be open.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, everybody and all Kenyans will have the privilege of accessing both the bags. Any time is ugali time. You can access the five kilogramme bags any time.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Would I be in order to say that since the Assistant Minister is not competent enough to answer this Question, could the Minister for Agriculture in the name of hon. William Ruto to come and answer it?
Hon. Chanzu, could we know which question was not answered?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Clearly, this is a matter of national importance as hon. Members are repeating. Questions which the Assistant Minister has not been able to answer are: One, he has not been able to distinguish the difference between the specifics of packaging of this flour. Two, he has also not been able--- December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3971
Hon. K. Kilonzo, you are out of order. You asked for specifics and you have been assured that they will be here to assure the House and the country that the quality is the same.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you have just asked me to enumerate and I was saying that the other question is the one the Assistant Minister is being asked to explain; how the traders will know who are the poor and who are the rich.
Hon. K. Kilonzo, you are out of order again! I have the answer; that every Kenyan will access any of those two products.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister has offered to come back to this House this afternoon as a result of this Question. Would I be in order to request that this Question be deferred until this afternoon when he brings the two packages so that the issues arising can be properly answered?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am willing to come back in the afternoon and table the different variants of the products which are in the market and allow the hon. Members to do the sampling. We will liaise with the Catering Department to ensure that it is done here.
Well, I think he is going to come with the products. Mr. Ruteere, you can ask the last question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the logistics that are to be used to sell this maize in supermarkets and shops have not been clarified. The categorisation of Kenyans depending on the foodstuffs that they are eating is sending very bad signals because those who will be buying the Kshs72 packets will be categorised as the rich and those buying the same at Kshs52 per packet will be categorised as the poor. When they carry the same commodities in the streets, Kenyans will know who is poor and who is rich. So, could the Assistant Minister ensure that this flour is repackaged so that a medium price is sought and Kenyans are not categorised depending on the foodstuffs that they eat?
Madam Temporary Speaker, for the lower end market, the Government is going out of its way to pay the milling charges. That is why we can be able to sell it at Kshs26 per kilogramme. The other one will be selling at Kshs36 per kilogramme. I want to assure this House that the quality of maize meal is 100 per cent the same. The same will be available in the same market shelves. It is upon the consumer to choose the product they want to pick. The price will range from Kshs72 to an average of around Kshs52 per two kilogramme packet. So, it entirely depends on what you want to pick. Most hon. Members will pick Hostess or Jogoo brands, at two killogrammes or five killogrammes. But the quality is the same. However, I will bring the flour in the afternoon for the hon. Members to do the sampling.
Thank you, Mr. Assistant Minister. We will expect the samples this afternoon. This Question has taken more than the allotted time because it is very important. I think it will be set aside until you complete that portion.
Ordinary Question No.341 by Mr. John Pesa.
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) whether he is aware that there is increased insecurity in Migori Constituency that has led to deaths, injuries as well as theft of livestock and other goods at various homes and market centres; (b) when the Government will post security officers in the cattle rustling- prone areas of the constituency; and, (c) what other urgent measures he is taking to curb the rising insecurity in the constituency.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware of increased insecurity in Migori Constituency. However, there are a few incidents of robberies and theft of livestock which have been reported to the area police. All the reported cases have been dealt with according to the law. (b) The areas prone to stock theft in the constituency are Sagegi Sub-location which borders Trans-Mara, and Marindi Sub-location which borders Kuria District. The Government has deployed a section of Anti-Stock Theft Unit at Masurura area near Ogwedhi trading centre on the border with Trans-Mara District. However, incidences along Kuria District border are comparatively minimal as at now, and are adequately dealt with by the police and the Provincial Administration. In case of need, the Government will open administration police posts in those areas. (c) The police have intensified patrols in the affected areas particularly at night, when livestock is normally stolen. Both mobile and foot patrols have been deployed jointly by Anti- Stock Theft Unit, regular and administration police officers. Through the new concept of community policing, security agents have deployed partnership systems with the members of the public in order to identify and arrest people who are involved in cattle rustling and other criminal activities. As a result of those initiatives, incidents of cattle rustling have drastically reduced in that particular area.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I really wonder whether the Assistant Minister got the right information from the ground before he came to answer this Question. For the last one month, a night has not passed without theft of livestock in Nyamsawa Location and Suna South. In fact, earlier this week, the community members of Nyamsawa had to demonstrate towards Migori. They wanted to see the District Commissioner. So, is the Assistant Minister getting the right information if he says that he is not aware that there is increased cattle rustling in Migori and yet, I am from there and I know that every other night, there is cattle theft in Migori?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I border that constituency also. First of all, you do not need to demonstrate in order to see the District Commissioner. District Commissioners can be seen any time without any form of demonstration. You are free to meet anybody any time. It is true that there are isolated cases of cattle rustling. I know of Migori Township, itself. I know of Awendo. There is also a place called Kanindo next to Kanindo Primary School where there is a lot of thuggery. I am aware of that. I am informed on a daily basis on what is happening, especially within that area. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to say this: I am going to make changes within Migori because of laxity of some of the police officers there. Heads will roll! At Gotawendo and Rongo, there are many small problems of thugs coming from the neighbouring district of Kuria. I am going to do something within this week. Otherwise, I do not think the Member should have any December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3973 other problem now that I have agreed that we are going to make those changes.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Samburu East District is one of the districts that is heavily affected by cattle rustling. I attribute that to the inadequate number of security personnel. What arrangements does the Assistant Minister have to deploy enough security personnel to Samburu East?
Where? We are talking about Migori District!
No. It is a national issue. We are talking about cattle rustling not only in Migori, but in the rest of the country. So, I am asking about Samburu East District because it is also a cattle rustling prone area.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you have realised that some of my colleagues have problems of cattle rustling in their areas. I want to assure my colleagues that the Government will deploy security officers in areas where cattle rustling is practised. We are also opening up new stations where we are going to have Anti-Stock Theft Unit. We will have administration police officers patrolling those areas which are prone to cattle rustling. I think the Government has tried its level best to solve that problem.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, one must really appreciate this Assistant Minister's determination. He gives answers with a lot of physical vigour. But we have heard him, since we came to this House, making promises about new police stations and police officers. I come from one of those areas where, despite promises by the Assistant Minister, there has been no change. There is the same Officer Commanding Station (OCS), the same drunkenness and the same insecurity. Could the Assistant Minister bring a list of the commitments he has made in this House since January, showing a case by case of the police stations where he has effected changes and where he has sent new administration police officers so that we know, in fact, that the authority with which he addresses Parliament is matched by action on the ground?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will agree with me that the Questioner has never asked me to transfer or make changes within his area of operation. But if there is any change that he would like me to make, I will do it like yesterday. There is one thing we have to realise also. I would not like a situation where I remove a police officer who is a drunkard and replace him with a thief. I would not want a situation like that. It is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister asserting that there are police officers who are thieves and he is not sacking them?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was just giving an example that, within a society where we have 40,000 police officers, you will definitely have good and bad officers. But I would not want a situation where I remove a drunkard officer and bring another who is not able to handle cases of insecurity. Yes, we have, indeed, promised to put up police stations in certain areas. But that comes as a result of insecurity within that area. We have tried as a Government. We have police patrol going on in those areas. We have also given out vehicles. Members can agree with me here that we have given out vehicles for patrol. We have also intensified foot patrols. We have done almost everything. That is why there is no insecurity in some areas where there was insecurity before. In hon. Wamalwa's area, there were a lot of problems. But now, we have reduced them. In a number of my colleagues places--- Hon. Ruteere and hon. Washiali are among those who have benefited. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have tried and are in control.
Last Question, Mr. Pesa. We have over- spent the time allocated to this Question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I appreciate that the Assistant Minister is trying to answer this Question. He has talked about the idea of community policing. I think that is 3974 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 very important especially where we have one or two cows stolen. The local people should be able to assist the chiefs who are directly under the Assistant Minister to identify the thieves and report them. Could I ask the Assistant Minister to ensure that he strengthens community policing, so that the thieves are identified by the communities and reported to his office for action?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as we talk, we have actually asked all the Chiefs within Migori District to give us their report as to what they have been doing as concerns cattle rustling. As I said, heads will roll in Migori District; just give me one week.
, on behalf of
, asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) whether he is aware that there is an escalation of insecurity in Ndaragwa Constituency, particularly along the Ndaragwa-Nyeri Road; and, (b) what measures the Government is taking to curb the insecurity.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that there is an escalation of insecurity in Ndaragwa, though there have been some isolated reports of crime within Ndaragwa area, especially along the Ndaragwa-Nyeri Highway. (b) The police have already intensified both foot and mobile patrols along the highway, assisted by a police patrol vehicle that has been assigned to that area. Ambushes are also laid in areas where motorists are known to fall victim to highway robbers. The police are also working closely with the public to eliminate criminal elements residing amongst them.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank the Assistant Minister for the answer, but I would like him to specifically assign one vehicle to patrol the highway since he said that he has assigned a vehicle for the police station and it is never on the highway.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the vehicle which I have assigned to patrol in that area is not the police vehicle in his constituency. This is a vehicle which we gave for a special assignment in order to reduce the insecurity.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I border Ndaragwa Constituency, and I have had several discussions with the very able Assistant Minister but what has happened is that since the patrol vehicle is on the Nyeri side, the thugs have moved to the Nyahururu-Gilgil side. May I ask the Assistant Minister to look at the overall security of that area because it has increased? What is he doing to ensure that the area is safe, because there is increased thuggery around Ol Kalou and Ndaragwa?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thought the hon. Member would stand and thank me for having beefed up security in his area. He used to have a lot of problems with criminals in that area, but now there is no criminal activity within that area. I will still beef up security in areas where he thinks he needs security personnel.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I agree that I have discussed with the Assistant Minister. Last night, councillors around Lurie and Pasega could not sleep because criminals armed with guns had gone there. What is the Assistant Minister going to do, because insecurity is increasing and people are having difficulties in handling it due to lack of enough personnel in the area?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that we will beef up the December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3975 security personnel not only in his area, but since we are going for christmas holidays, we will double the security personnel in areas of these hon. Members' jurisdiction. I take his concerns very seriously and I will personally check the areas where there is insecurity .
Last question on behalf of Mr. Kioni.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker---
I want the last question to come from the Questioner, Mr. Kioni.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the hon. Member is also a neighbour of the Constituency and maybe he had a very important question. Let me donate the chance to him.
Madam Temporary Speaker, the route from Ndaragwa to Nyeri passes through Kieni, and we have had several incidents of insecurity in the past. Could the Minister confirm that he will beef up security by giving the police stations along that road, including Mweiga, a vehicle for patrol?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think that is what I had said here. We are going to beef up security by providing personnel and increasing patrols, both foot and mobile. I do not think there should be any problem within that area because there is a vehicle which is patrolling it. So, there is no cause for alarm.
Next Question by Mr. Mbau.
SHORTAGE OF EDUCATION OFFICERS IN MURANG'A SOUTH Is Mr. Mbau not here? We will skip the Question for the time being. Next Question!
asked the Minister for Education what urgent measures he is taking to post more teachers to Ngukemwe Secondary School in Masinga which has only one Teachers Service Commission (TSC) employed teacher.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. Ngukemwe Secondary School, which is one of the upcoming secondary schools, was registered with the Ministry of Education in 2006. The certificate of registration and other documents were presented to the TSC in 2007 and a teacher was posted to the school. During this year's recruitment, the school was given one slot to recruit a teacher for Kiswahili and History. The school will further be considered, alongside others, during posting of teachers and normal staffing.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to appreciate the answer given by the Assistant Minister, but I would like to say this: This school has been operating with one teacher, who is the principal since it was registered. The Government recruited one more teacher the other day. It is difficult for these two teachers to operate four classes.
On a point of order, Madam 3976 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am not getting his question because his mouth is not close to the microphone. Could he repeat the question with his mouth closer to the microphone?
Please, move closer to the microphone and ask your question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am close to the microphone. I do not know why he is not hearing me. Does he want me to look up? I was saying that this school has been operating with one teacher since it was---
This is Question Time. We want the supplementary question!
Could the Assistant Minister give a timeframe during which he is going to post more teachers, especially a deputy Principal?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the normal recruitment takes place once a year, because of the way we receive the funds which are approved by the House. We approve the Government Budget once a year. So, when we get funds, we shall give him more teachers, otherwise, he will also benefit from the internship recruitment that the Ministry has just approved.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Education is causing a very sad situation in this country by registering all applications to operate secondary schools without assessing the capacity of each of the applicants to employ teachers. What steps is the Ministry taking to make sure that before schools are registered, their capacity to employ teachers either from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) or privately, is assessed?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have conditions that are well laid out which the people who apply to have schools registered must meet. All these applications pass through the District Education Boards (DEBs). All Members of Parliament are members of the DEBs. Therefore, before these applications reach the Ministry, even the Members of Parliament will have seen them at the DEBs.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister has confirmed that this school is under-staffed, and we realise that some students are striking and rioting because of inadequate number of teachers. Could the Assistant Minister confirm how many teachers are going to be posted to this school through the internship programme so that the kind of predicament this school finds itself in is contained?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, posting of teachers will be done according to the needs of the schools. If they have a problem, it will be sorted out as funds become available to the Ministry.
Last question, Mr. Mbai!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am satisfied with that answer.
Thank you. Next Question by Mr. Eugene Wamalwa!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I had received an indication from the Minister for Roads that there are consultations between the Ministry of Roads and the Ministry of Local Government with regards to this Question and that action will be taken. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would only request the Minister to confirm the timeframe within which the consultations will be concluded and action taken. The issue of---
You ask your Question and the Minister will respond!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like the Minister to confirm this because it is truly an emergency. December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3977
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member because we have already had consultations between my Minister and him. The Question refers to roads within Kitale Municipality which is under the Ministry of Local Government. My Ministry, actually, gives funds through the Roads Maintenance Levy (RML) to the Kitale Municipality to do the roads. In this respect, we want to refer this Question to the Ministry of Local Government so that appropriate answer can be given. I would like to give a timeframe of two weeks. Within this time he will have got the response.
Thank you, so the Question is deferred!
asked the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs what urgent plans she has to construct fully operational law courts in the vast Lari Constituency.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. Whereas the Judiciary appreciates that Lari Constituency is vast and has a population of about 150,000 people, they will, however, be considered together with the other needy areas when funds are made available. Financial constraints on the Development Vote do not allow the Judiciary to commence the planning of a court facility in Lari Constituency at the moment.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, while I appreciate the response given by the Assistant Minister, I would like the Chair to know that I do not have a written reply to the Question. Secondly, I am not satisfied by the response given by the Assistant Minister because, you note that Lari Constituency has been marginalised since 1963 on judicial service. Other constituencies neighbouring Lari have these facilities. These include Kiambaa, Kikuyu, Githunguri 3978 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 and even Limuru constituencies.
Could you ask your question?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, why is it not possible to look for a better way or shorter period to enable construction of a court in Lari Constituency as soon as possible so that my people do not continue to suffer by way of transport and investing their resources in other constituencies?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I said in the answer, Lari Constituency is among the very many constituencies in this country which do not have law courts. This financial year, the Government set aside about Kshs500 million to put up law courts in different parts of this country. However, Lari Constituency is not one of them. We hope that in the next financial year, Lari Constituency may be considered. Indeed, it is true that they are served from Kiambu and they need to have one court of law. In the next financial year, it will be considered.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, now that the Assistant Minister has acknowledged that the Ministry is violating the constitutional rights of citizens, including international obligations, in particular international covenants on civil and political rights, what is the Ministry doing to compensate the thousands of Kenyans who are not able to access justice, not just in Lari but even in districts like Suba where there is no court of law?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it would be difficult to asses compensation to be given to an individual who cannot access justice. I think the bit the Government can do is to ensure that we avail these facilities. For us to build these institutions, we need money. It is not that the Government does not intend to have them but the limited resources we have do not allow us to do so. We may not be able to talk of compensating Kenyans for not accessing justice. It would be difficult. However, the Government will commit itself to ensure that these facilities are availed to Kenyans.
Last question, Mr. Njuguna!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, while I do agree with the Assistant Minister that during the next financial year Lari Constituency will be included in the budgetary allocation, I think it is important to remember that the former President, Mr. Daniel Arap Moi, had already promised the people of Lari the construction of this judicial facility. I would think that it would be good to fulfil that promise immediately funds are available---
We wanted your last question!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I appreciate and I am comfortable with the reply given by the Assistant Minister, as long as it is implemented and carried as per that spirit.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for understanding the situation. I want to make a commitment that we will do our best to ensure that, in the next financial year, we will have a law court in Lari. Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Before we go to the next Question, hon. Members, arising from the complaint by Mr. Njuguna about not receiving a written reply prior to the Assistant Minister's answer, it is your right! But if you have asked the Question before demanding that right, we will still continue to get the answer. What I would suggest is that, if you want to demand your answer, that is your right. You can demand the written answer and if it is not December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3979 availed to you, we can defer the Question and come back to it when you have received a written answer. Next Question by Olago Aluoch!
asked the Minister for Medical Services:- (a) considering the Ministry's policy that each district should have an operational theatre, whether he is aware that the new districts carved out of the original Kisumu District - Nyando and Kisumu West - lack operational theatres, hence placing undue strain on the Provincial General Hospital; and, (b) in view of the availability of many more local medical consultants now, and the fact that the hospital attracts patients from parts of Western and Rift Valley provinces, what steps he is taking to enhance the capacity of the hospital to accommodate that influx.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that both Pap Onditi District Hospital in Nyando and Kombewa District Hospital in Kisumu West do not have operating theatres. Both have been upgraded from health centres in the recent past and the Ministry plans to improve their infrastructure, including construction of theatres in the Mid-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2009 to 2012. (b) It is true that the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital attracts patients from parts of Western and Rift Valley provinces. It is similarly true that the number of medical consultants has been steadily rising in the past three years. However, the Ministry's policy is not to encourage patients to seek treatment in provincial hospitals on first visits. Rather, the Ministry's plan is to strengthen the capacity for management of common and specialised conditions at the district and sub-district hospitals, so that the provincial hospitals can handle referral cases. Towards this end, with the aim of decongesting the provincial general hospitals, some of the increasing numbers of medical consultants are now being deployed in district hospitals to offer specialised medical services at that level. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in its initial phase of decentralisation, the consultants being deployed in the district hospitals are mainly surgeons and gynaecologists. Those categories of consultants happen to be the majority we have within our establishments. Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister's response in terms of the MTEF for 2009-2012 is not satisfactory unless it is broken down. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that hospital was built in 1969 and, since then, not much has been done. Is the Assistant Minister aware that in the delivery ward, there is only one bed that was built in 1969 at the theatre delivery room?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am very aware of the facts. In fact, there are many things that we need to do. I do not need to read them out here. But the way the Government operates in terms of development planning, we are doing it in a three-year cycle. It is not only in those district hospitals. There are several district and sub-district hospitals which were recently upgraded. Given the constraints that we have in terms of finances, we are planning within our capabilities and we are saying that, within three years, in the MTEF, which has now began, we 3980 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 have included district hospitals. So, I want to assure the hon. Member that they are going to be worked on to bring them to that standard that is required. But they have to be patient so that we can do proper planning. Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think the Government is not serious with the lives of Kenyans. That is because the answer that the Assistant Minister has given is quite unsatisfactory. Why am I saying that?
Ask your question, hon. Nyamai!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to know from the Assistant Minister what plans he has for those district hospitals. My district hospital, for example, in Manga District, does not even have a clinical officer and yet, it is a district hospital. It has no facilities! Could the Assistant Minister give us a time frame within this year when he will ensure that all the district hospitals in the country have got either doctors or facilities to serve our people?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to assure hon. Members that we are very serious about the lives of Kenyans. But I just want him to recall that we voted in a budget of about Kshs23 billion for the Ministry of Medical Services, which is already pre- budgeted. It will be an act of disrespect for this Parliament for me to give assurance that I am going to do something I cannot do. That money is already planned for. I am being honest and sincere to this House that we have embarked, not only on that one district hospital, but on several other hospitals within our MTEF. It will be in a three-year period. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we hope that this House will allocate more money to the health budget. But for now, with the resources that are in, we think that in a period of three years, we should be able to equip and do better than what we have. In the meantime, hon. Members can also assist us in terms of chipping in from the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) kitty. It will go a long way towards helping us bridge the health gap in terms of the budgeting. Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, is the Assistant Minister aware that, as a result of that fact, the Government is not able to provide for Kenyans? There are private medical companies and pharmacies which have set up shops around the hospitals so, that they can take advantage of the poor situation that Kenyans are in? What action is he taking to ensure that, that does not happen around hospitals?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not honestly aware that private pharmacies are congregating around hospitals to take advantage. What I do know is that we have improved, despite the difficulties, and the people are noting where the services are good and where it is affordable. So, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as far as I know, we are dealing with a lot of problems of trying to decongest hospitals. That is because we are trying to improve the services. I am aware that private hospitals are getting work, but I think the majority of Kenyans are still being served in our district hospitals. Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to alert the Assistant Minister, who is my friend, that, because of the great need to have a theatre in order to reduce the strain on Nyanza Provincial General Hospital, the Ahero Sub-district Hospital has acquired a modern theatre from our friends. Could the Assistant Minister, who is my friend, avail a certain amount of money to enable us to build and complete the theatre in Ahero Sub-district Hospital as soon as he can?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to assure hon. Outa, who is my friend, that we shall do everything possible. In fact, I laud his initiative, because those hon. Members who are putting money in health, we want to support them to the full. If you could December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3981 see me after this, I will make sure that, that happens. Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Last question, Mr. Olago!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that hospital was sponsored by the USSR Government, and for a long time, up to now, it has been popularly known as "Russia Hospital". I would like to have a detailed breakdown of the Medium-Term-Expenditure Framework, so that I can interrogate it more deeply. In the meantime, has the Ministry considered that Russia Hospital could attract funding and sponsorship from our friends out of the country if we were to consider re-naming it "Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Memorial Hospital"?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in fact, we are at an advanced stage of discussions with the Russian Embassy to support modernisation of that hospital. As for the re- naming of the hospital, we have absolutely no problem with it, but it has to follow the normal procedure. We have to get the hospital board proposing and the proposal has to come to us in the normal way. I am sure we will approve the re-naming to "Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital".
alimuuliza Waziri wa Maji na Unyunyizaji:- (a) anachukua hatua gani kuhakikisha kuwa mabwawa yaliyozibwa na mchanga katika Wilaya ya Samburu yamerekebishwa; na, (b) Serikali ina mipango gani kuchimba visima katika eneo hilo ili kukomesha shida ya ukosefu wa maji.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, naomba kujibu. (a) Wizara yangu, kupitia shirika la National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC), imekuwa ikichukua hatua za kurekebisha mabwawa yaliyozibwa na mchanga Wilayani Samburu. Kutoka mwaka 2005, mabwawa 12 yamerekebishwa, na katika mwaka huu wa Kiserikali mabwawa tisa yatarekebishwa. Pia kuna mpango wa kujenga mabwawa 12 kupitia shirika la Ewaso Nyiro North Development Authority. (b) Wizara yangu itachimba visima vitatu katika eneo la Samburu Mashariki na Samburu Magharibi mwaka huu wa Kiserikali. Visima vingine vinne vinaendelea kuchimbwa Wilayani Samburu Kazikazini. Kazi hii inafanywa kwa kutumia fedha kutoka shirika la Water Services Trust Fund.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni kweli kuna visima 93 vimetengenezwa katika eneo la Samburu yote; wamesema wamevichimba, lakini hawajaonyesha viko wapi. Hatujaviona! Kuna shida kubwa ya maji na sijui kama Wizara ya Maji na Unyunyizaji Wilayani Samburu ina hakika kuwa visima vinachimbwa ama vimeandikwa tu katika vitabu.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ukweli wa mambo ni kuwa visima vimechimbwa. Lakini ni kweli pia kuwa havitoshi na si eneo la Samburu peke yake linalohitaji visima, bali ni Kenya nzima. Tunajitahidi lakini hatuna pesa za kutosha. Tutakavyoendelea kupata pesa kutoka kwa Serikali ndivyo tutakavyoendelea kuchimba visima. Ikiwa Mbunge ana tashwishi kwamba tunasema tumechimba visima lakini havionekani kule mashinani, basi tungependa kujua, ili tuchunguze na tutatue hilo jambo.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, pengine Waziri Msaidizi angeeleza vizuri ni sehemu gani ambako mabwawa yamerekibishwa, ni sehemu gani yanakoendelea kurekibishwa; 3982 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 pia, visima vinachimbwa wapi na vingine vinaelekea kuchimbwa wapi ndipo tufuatilie na kujua hiyo shida inatatuliwa sehemu gani na bado iko sehemu gani.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sijui kama nitapata nafasi ya kusoma majina ya visima vyote, lakini nina majina 14 na niwaweza kumpa ajionee. Kwa mfano, kuna Metumi Dam, Naireri Dam na Laitasin Dam. Pia kuna visima tisa ambavyo tunahitaji kuchimba, na tunaendelea kuchimba vitatu wakati huu. Nitaomba ruhusa yako nimwonyeshe hayo majina, maanake yuko ndani ya Bunge. Tukimaliza hili Swali, nitakwenda kumwonyesha majina yote, na kama ana wasiwasi yoyote, tunaendelea kumtatulia shida zake.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningependa tu, Waziri Msaidizi afafanue jambo fulani. Amesema eti "wataziba" bwawa. Ni "kuziba" au ni "kuchimba"?
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, inategemea Kiswahili cha Mbunge. Hata katika Kiingereza, tunaadhiriwa na lugha zetu na tuna shida za matamshi. Hilo jambo halijawahi kinishtua wakati wowote, na hata katika siasa yangu, halijawahi kunizuia kwenda popote. Kwa hivyo, hiyo ni shida yake kwa sababu niko sawa.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ukiangalia mahitaji ya asilimia 70 ya wakaaji wa wilaya tatu za Samburu, ni maji. Ikiwa Waziri Msaidizi anasema kuwa katika mwaka huu wa Kiserikali atachimba mabwawa matatu katika Wilaya ya Samburu Mashariki na manne katika Samburu Kazikazini, je, hiyo asilimia 70 itasaidia watu wangapi kupata maji? Pili, anajua kwamba Ingarasa inategemea bwawa moja ambalo limeharibika sasa kwa miezi mitatu na watu wameanza kuhama kwa sababu ya ukosefu wa maji. Je, amefanya nini kuhakikisha kwamba watu hawataendelea kuteseka?
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni rekodi kuchimba mabwawa saba katika wilaya tatu, kwa sababu sehemu nyingi nchini hazijapata hata bwawa moja. Lakini ukweli wa mambo ni kwamba hayajatosha. Tunakubaliana hivyo, lakini kulingana na tulivyogawa nchi, mabwawa tuliyoweka kule ni mengi. Ikiwa kuna bwawa lolote ambalo limeharibika, na kwa miezi mitatu watu hawajapata maji, hilo jambo halikubaliki, na nitamuuliza Mbunge aniletee hilo jina, tujue ni sehemu gani ili lirekebishwe mara moja.
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, pengine Waziri Msaidizi angetujulisha vizuri ikiwa hayo mabwawa ni 93. Lakini mabaya zaidi ni 43, na eneo hilo linategemea hayo mabwawa zaidi. Wananchi watafanya nini?
Bi. Naibu Spika wa Muda, tutaendelea kurekebisha na ukarabati utaendelea. Jambo la muhimu ni kujiuliza ni wapi tutapata fedha zaidi. Tuna hiyo shida na tunaielewa. Pole kwa hayo lakini tutajaribu iwezekanavyo, hata kama ni mwaka ujao, kuwaomba Wabunge kutupitishia pesa za kutosha kujenga na kuendesha miradi ya maji ambayo itawasaidia wananchi.
on behalf of
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation how much money has been set aside this financial year, 2008/2009, for the improvement of Perkerra Irrigation Scheme, which was constructed in 1955 and is now in a dilapidated state.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Rulings have been delivered in this House that Members of Parliament cannot ask Questions on behalf of others unless notice has been given in writing to the office of the Speaker. Are we consistent?
Actually, I received the information December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3983 from Mr. Bett. So, that is okay.
I apologise, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Go ahead, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. A total of Kshs15,893,470 has been allocated in the current Financial Year, 2008/2009, for development, operation and maintenance of irrigation and drainage infrastructure within Perkerra Irrigation Scheme. However, the developed infrastructure for this Scheme is not fully exploited due to inadequate water for irrigation, caused by low river discharges, particularly during the dry seasons.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to assure the hon. Olago that I am not a usurper of other people's property. I want to thank the Assistant Minister for the answer that he has given. But I want to indicate to him that irrigation schemes in the country, including Perkerra Irrigation Scheme, are in a serious state of neglect. I do not think that is a matter of water because there is water in Kano Irrigation Scheme and, yet, there is nothing that is going on in that scheme. What is the Ministry's policy regarding irrigation schemes that are already operational, like Perkerra Irrigation Scheme?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will agree with me that we work under a budget, which is decided by this House. It is unfortunate that we have, for example, Perkerra Irrigation Scheme which might be requiring over Kshs100 million, but we cannot provide that amount of money. It is only important that this Parliament takes into consideration the Ministries that really touch on the lives of Kenyans, so that we can vote enough money that will enable us to operationalise these irrigation schemes. Regarding food security, we are already talking of lack of unga here, while we have irrigation schemes that are not working, even 30 per cent. This means that we could have mitigated this problem early enough. I would beg that in the next financial year, Members of Parliament consider voting enough money, especially to the Ministry of Water.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, while the Assistant Minister was answering the Question, he said that some money was allocated to Perkerra Irrigation Scheme this financial year. We are already in the middle of the year. When will repair works start in Perkerra Irrigation Scheme?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we allocated Kshs15 million, but it is true that not all the money has been released. We passed the Finance Bill and it has not been consented to. This means that the Government cannot fully spend all its money. However, the little amount of money that has been dispatched has been used at different levels. For example, we have the maintenance of the canal, repair of the water control gates, grading of the roads and castings installation of about 40 culverts. So, we are doing it in bits; one area after the other one. But once we get the full amount of money, we shall be able to spend the whole amount, which is Kshs15 million.
Last Question, Mr. Bett!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, this Scheme is the bread basket for three divisions of Baringo District and it also takes care of the lives of over 100,000 people. Since the problem is water, is the Ministry planning to construct dams before the river reaches Perkerra Irrigation Scheme, so that water is stored in those dams for use during dry seasons?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that can be considered but these days, we are very sensitive when it comes to issues of damming rivers. We have met a lot of resistance from the people who live within the areas that rivers are flowing from. Therefore, if a request is made, we shall go ahead and do feasibility studies and see whether it is viable, with the clearance 3984 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). If such a kind of request is placed, we shall consider it.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I had earlier asked the Assistant Minister the Ministry's policy on irrigation. He is now saying: "If a request is made." Who is supposed to make the request if it is not within their function, as a Ministry, to consider such possibilities?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not clearly understand his question. This is because we are dealing with Perkerra Irrigation Scheme. I have already given an answer here that the waters are not adequate. This means that there is a possibility that if you dam that river, even the little amount of water that is being received will not be there. Therefore, we have to carry out a feasibility study, to establish whether if we dam this river, it will be for the benefit or to the disadvantage of those carrying out irrigation schemes downstream.
Next Question by Mr. Kapondi! Is Mr. Kapondi not here? Since we have no information from him; whether to defer the Question or it should be asked by anybody else, the Question is dropped.
asked the Minister for Regional Development Authorities:- (a) whether he could state the mandate and activities undertaken by the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) and clarify whether the Authority is meeting its mandate; (b) whether he could state the specific beneficial activities the Authority has implemented in Nyakach Constituency; and, (c) what steps he is taking to ensure that the residents of Nyakach benefit from the activities of the Authority.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) The Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) was established by an Act of Parliament Cap.442 in 1979. The Authority's mandate is to plan, co-ordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate development projects and programmes in the Lake Victoria Basin Region. The Authority is active in implementing its mandate. (b) The LBDA has implemented the following programmes, projects and activities in Nyakach Constituency as indicated in tables "a" and "b" presented before the House. They are quite a number. So, I will table the list before the House.
December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3985 (c) I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities has put the LBDA under a performance contract, in which these programmes, projects and activities form part and parcel of the performance targets that the Board and management of the Authority are expected to implement within the stipulated timeframe. In addition, the Ministry has put in place a monitoring and evaluation system that will carry out regular progress status review of the projects for effective and timely implementation.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I wonder whether the LBDA has enough personnel and financial muscle to carry out its mandate as clarified in this answer.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, of course, it has and that is why it exists. I have just tabled a list of many projects which have been undertaken in Nyakach for a long time. If we get support from the hon. Members to get more money from the Treasury, then we can do more projects.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, considering that these regional authorities were created with a very noble intention and we have got bilateral friends, partners and so on, what is the Minister doing to source for some external funding so that he can revive such an important Authority?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is unfortunate that the people who managed these authorities before, really mismanaged them. We have come up with projects in almost every region. We are now soliciting for funds so that we can revive most of these authorities. I am sure that with assistance from the Government, by next year, there will be more projects in most parts of this country.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Minister has conceded that the LBDA has been mismanaged before. What I know is that the LBDA has had its assets stolen by players in the successive regimes that had been given the authority to manage it. What action is he taking to ensure that what was taken away from the LBDA is returned?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are in the process of doing so. As you know, it is not only the LBDA which was mismanaged, but many authorities were mismanaged before. I am sure that if we go through this process, thousands of people will be taken to court. With regard to this particular Question, we are trying to follow up whatever happened in this particular Authority. If we manage to get any culprit, we shall take action.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Minister was asked a very good question. Given the prevailing food scarcity situation in the country, what is he doing to look for external funding to invest in the LBDA, so that people can be fed again?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, while answering a similar question earlier on, I said that we now have projects which are supposed to be implemented by the LBDA. I have identified a number of projects. We are now looking for investors, to be assisted by the Government of Kenya, so that we implement most of these projects, maybe, by the next financial year.
Last question, Mr. Ochieng!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Minister has mentioned about Katuk Odeyo Galley in my constituency. This is a good example of soil erosion problem in that area. I would want to know when the Ministry will undertake the projects he has mentioned in his answer. Could they do so, as soon as possible?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will be visiting Nyakach early in January, because everybody is now going for Christmas. I will visit that particular project and make sure that we get funds, so that it can be implemented immediately.
Very well! Next Order! 3986 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008
Hon. Members, this is resumption of Debate. Mr. Ruteere!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I thank Eng. Maina for coming up with this Motion. This Motion is very timely. In the last few days, we have seen politicians going to meetings. When they shout their slogans, the answer from Kenyans has been unga ! unga ! Politicians have been met with shouts of unga, because ordinary Kenyans cannot access the maize flour at the price at which it is being sold currently. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, any country which is not able to feed her people is not worthy its name. The concern of the Government should be how its people should be fed. Kenyans can only contribute to the country's economic activities if they are healthy. In order for them to be healthy, they have to be fed properly. They have to be fed, so that they can work. Their children should access food and be healthy, so that they can go to school. Today, there is hue and cry across the country that people are dying of hunger in some parts of the country. There is no maize, which is this country's staple food. There is no maize flour. Even the price of rice has gone up drastically, and is now almost a luxury. So, time has come for the Government to fix the prices of basic commodities in this country. If the prices to be fixed by the Government are not acceptable to traders, the Government should subsidise those commodities, so that ordinary Kenyans can access them. We know that maize flour, maize, beans, rice, sugar, milk and bread are some of the essential foodstuffs that Kenyans eat on a daily basis. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the average Kenyan works the whole day and earns about Kshs100, with which he cannot buy a packet of maize flour. Even now, when maize flour is being sold at Kshs72 per two-kilogramme packet, one cannot buy cooking fat, some meat and vegetables, in addition to the maize flour packet, using only Kshs100. So, there should be a way of ensuring that food is accessible to Kenyans, which is to make sure that basic essential foodstuffs are subsidized. I used to stay in Scotland, where milk, eggs and bread were highly subsidised. There was guarantee that everybody could access the basic foodstuffs. One could, at least, buy milk at a price December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3987 one could afford. Kenyans are in need of unga . You realise that, that demand dictated on the question of the price of maize flour this morning. This was as a result of that demand by Kenyans - that the prices of maize flour must be lowered. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government today can say that the prices of maize flour are Kshs72 and Kshs52 per packet for the two respective brands, but eventually, traders and brokers will increase the prices of this commodity to an extent that it might become unaffordable. So, I highly support Eng. Maina's Motion that the Government steps in, as a matter of urgency, and puts in place price controls. Where businessmen and traders feel that they need to sell the commodity at a higher price than that given by the Government, then the Government should come in with a subsidy. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I would like to thank the hon. Member for Karatina for bringing forth this very important Motion at this point in time in the history of this country. I support this Motion on condition that it is going to be implemented as a short-term strategy. This is because you cannot subsidise forever. You have to come in when people are suffering the way Kenyans are suffering at the moment. The Maslow hierarchy of needs theory dictates that food, shelter and clothing are very basic to a human being. So, if you cannot afford the three of them, then it means that you are living in a situation that is unfathomable. I, therefore, support the Motion, but it should be implemented as a short-term strategy just like it was done in the USA during the bailout when Americans experienced a financial crunch. According to the poverty indices, pastoral areas have been found to be the poorest like Turkana District, where some constituencies registered poverty levels of between 96 per cent and 98 per cent. The people are almost dying in such places because they cannot afford the basic commodities. They cannot afford to buy unga, milk, cooking fat and bread, which is a luxury because there are no bakeries in those areas. I want this Motion implemented for, at least, six months until the country recovers. We have to encourage Kenyans to work. The culture of production must be inculcated amongst Kenyans. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to agree to the fact that getting three meals a day is a luxury to Kenyans. I want to confirm to you that most Nairobians cannot afford lunch. In fact, they go to Jeevanjee Gardens or Uhuru Park, just to listen to the word of God and get blessings. They cannot afford this. Most Nairobians can only afford two meals a day. We need this subsidy like yesterday, so that Kenyans can lead a better life. One may argue that regulating prices goes against the basic principles of a free market economy. Ours is a mixed one. It is not 100 per cent a free market. I would like the Government to chip in. The hon. Member should move with speed to come up with a Bill so that it is enacted into law and the Government is obliged to implement it. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support the Motion. In our Budget, we have a component on contingencies. I do not know what that money does. We should marshall all our resources, including money meant for emergencies to cushion our people who are suffering at the moment. Otherwise, let us go the USA way. We need to implement this as a bailout. We know that Kenyans are suffering. You all remember when the right hon. Prime Minister was addressing his residents in Kibera, people were shouting, "Unga!" because that is what is so close to their hearts. I support this Motion and want it implemented as a matter of urgency. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The matter we are discussing today is of grave concern. Millions of Kenyans will not be in a position to enjoy this 3988 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 year's Jamhuri Day, Christmas Day or the New Year celebrations. This is because they cannot afford to buy the basic foodstuff. We are experiencing this problem mainly because of bad policies which affect the ordinary people. The problem we face, at least, the way I see it, is a result of the previous Parliament which interfered with the prices for basic foods. The Government must be serious and form a committee that would be charged with the responsibility to monitor food security in the country. If we do not do that, the ordinary man and woman will be faced with difficult times. As a country, we must look at our own people. We must feed our people and not spend most of our time politicking for the sake of it. I want to thank the hon. Member for Mathira for having brought this Motion. I support it because I know that in my own constituency, in an area like Mbo-i-Kamiti, people are going without food for three or four days. That is a very serious matter. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this motion and hope the Government will take this matter seriously in order to help our people.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. I would like to thank the hon. Member for bringing forth this Motion. My wish to support this Motion arises from the fact that there is need to ensure that we have food security in this country. The policy of price control evokes controversy amongst various key players in our economy. It is important for hon. Members and the people of this country to appreciate the times we are living in. The world today, is faced with serious economic crisis emanating, first and foremost, in the USA. This crisis is of world significance in the sense that no country will escape it. We have seen the way the price of oil has been fluctuating. We have also seen the way food prices have been going up and down. Two years ago, we had a surplus of milk, but today, there is no adequate supply of the same. This means that there are no adequate ways of controlling the economy. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have seen the USA Government taking initiative to bail out its people from this situation. It was forced to come in and intervene. Putting taxpayers money into private enterprises, so as to sustain them is completely against the free market principles. So, even here, the Government should not be tied to market forces which do not work any more. I also think that for this policy to work, we need to think beyond controlling prices. The Government needs to possibly think about how to assist farmers to focus more on production and rationalise the way of allocating resources in this country. In this regard, I also want to challenge this House because Kenyans are looking at Parliament for leadership. They are looking at us to demonstrate our sense of time. Kenyans want us to pay taxes. These are hard times. Our people are making sacrifices. Why can we not also be ready to make these sacrifices? We should allow ourselves to be taxed, so that Kenyans can see that we are serious. We should lead by example. If we fail to rise to this occasion, even the reforms that are so badly needed in this country, will actually become a cropper. Kenyans have lost confidence in us. We need to reclaim our position by supporting them. We must come up with the most responsive policy to ensure that nobody starves in this country. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also rise to raise a few points in support of this Motion. It is quite important for us, as leaders, to understand the people we are leading. It is important for us to understand their abilities and capabilities. Today, Kenya has two classes of people. That is not a secret. The reason I say this is because the Government has been forced to come up with two different prices of one commodity. As a leader, I find it extremely difficult to explain to the people I represent why a packet of two-kilogrammes maize flour costs Kshs72, while another one costs Kshs52. If the price difference is in packaging, then it cannot be December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3989 more than 10 per cent of the cost. We all know that 10 per cent of Kshs52 is Kshs5.20. If the difference in the price of the maize flour is based on the packaging material, then the difference will be Kshs5.20. That explanation is understandable. However, when the difference is beyond Kshs20, which is almost a 52 per cent difference--- Kenyans are being cheated. One does not need a professor to explain to them that the maize flour being sold at Kshs52 is of lower quality than the one being sold at Kshs72. If prices of essential commodities were controlled sometimes back, we would not be where we are today. We imported maize from outside. We passed a Supplementary Budget here, allowing the Government to import maize. The maize was brought. However, the prices still remained high. Our people need to be guided. For us to provide good leadership, we need to take care of them. We ought to make them feel comfortable. The cost of food---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I do not want to be seen as if I am interrupting my friend when he is contributing to this important Motion. However, it is clear that all hon. Members who have contributed to this Motion are supporting it. Since that consensus is emerging in this House, would I be in order, to call on the Mover to reply?
You would be in order. However, I know that Mr. Muturi has been very keen to say something. We will allow these two hon. Members to contribute then we call upon the responder.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Mr. K. Kilonzo has just walked in. This issue is very important to me. It is not a joke. We need to control prices and be firm on it. We need to give Kenyans what they deserve. Kenyans cannot be left in the hands of a small cartel that is out to rob them for the sake of making money. The Government must be serious. I support the price control with all my soul and body. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion. I congratulate the hon. Member who brought the Motion. A lot has been said about control of prices. It is also important to note that the main problem we have here is the Government policy we are dealing with. It seems not to direct the country towards food security. We do not know, up to today, if the Ministry of Agriculture and the Treasury are ready to direct this country towards food security. We have been talking about maize and maize flour all the time as if Kenyans can only survive on maize. We have read and heard that the Minister for Agriculture spent a lot of time in North Rift, trying to persuade maize growers to sell their maize. Honestly, central Kenya, where I come from, is an importer of maize from the North Rift. Why has the Minister not addressed the prices of coffee, tea and milk? We cannot afford to buy the maize he is talking about if the prices of coffee and tea are not addressed. The pastoralists are crying out saying that their animals are dying due to lack of water. The challenge we have here is the Government policy. Could we get guidelines? We have other problems. Last week, the hon. Member for Kandara Constituency raised a Question here regarding hippos feeding on maize. Who is in charge of these animals? When we are buying maize, they are destroying our crops in irrigation schemes. I wish that these hippos were slaughtered for Christmas for the poor farmers who have to buy maize flour at Kshs72. There is no logic, whatsoever, for a group of people to be sold a two-kilogrammes packet of maize flour at Kshs72, while others are buying it at Kshs52. I listened to some leaders of this country, giving political slogans and poor Kenyans responding unga ! unga ! If this is what hon. Members of the Grand Coalition will do to our people; addressing them and telling them to elect them to political positions and yet we cannot even control prices--- Why does Kenya wait to be told what to subsidise? When we had a problem in South Africa, the South African Government went ahead and controlled oil prices. Why does our Government have to wait until we bring a Motion here? 3990 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in Europe, when crops are destroyed by storms and thunderstorms, farmers are catered for. This has not happened in this country. There is need for policy change in this country. The Government should not wait until we bring Motions to this House to protect our farmers. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am in support of this Motion. It is so crucial, taking into account the fact that food is a basic requirement for survival. In fact, it has a great importance in terms of the fact that nobody can do anything before he eats. If this country is to move forward, the basic issue such as food, must be secured. The situation in which our people are in at the moment, in terms of the prices of food, is deplorable. The Government must address it comprehensively, so that we are not faced with a similar situation every year. We are putting short-term solutions to the present situation. Right now, we are asking the Government to subsidize the food prices. However, as has been said by other speakers, it is important for us to know that the Government cannot forever subsidize food prices. We should have a long-term approach towards solving this problem, once and for all. We should start by encouraging farmers to look at farming as a commercial venture that should give them profits. At the moment, we are almost relying on food that is imported from other countries as opposed to getting our food locally. Farmers in this country have been ignored for a long time. That is why we are in this situation. The foodstuffs that we are talking about and asking the Government to subsidize their prices is imported from other countries and not from our local market. If there is any foodstuffs from our local market, it is a very small fraction. The Government should be working out long-term solutions to encourage farmers to look at farming as a profitable venture. Today, if you visited farmers in maize, wheat, millet and sorghum producing areas, you will find that they are very poor, yet they have land with a lot of potential. This is because the production cost of food is very high. The price of diesel is very high. Diesel is a prime mover in ploughing, planting, harvesting and transportation of the produce. The Government should not just be rushing in with short term solutions to solve crisis. It should address the root causes of these crises, for example, why we do not have enough food and why we have to import foodstuffs every other time. We have enough land and resources to produce sufficient food for our people. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government should remove taxation on diesel, particularly diesel that is used by farmers, so that the farmers can plough at a cheaper cost. They should produce food at a cheaper cost. Other farm inputs like herbicides and fertilisers are so expensive in the market, yet they are so cheap when they arrive at the Port of Mombasa. Why can the Government not consider staring a fertiliser factory? What a pity that after 45 years of Independence, we are importing fertiliser from outside? We can set up fertiliser factories and manufacture cheap fertilisers for our farmers. This will reduce the cost of food production. If the Government could make this a priority and allocate enough resources to address these concerns, food security will be addressed greatly. The Government should look into ways and means of reducing the cost of producing food in this country. We have qualified extension workers. The Ministry of Agriculture should encourage our people not to rely on maize only. We should promote crops like sorghum, sweet potatoes and millet, so that we are not looking at ugali and nothing more. It is important that we train our people to diversify and expand their menu, so that they do not just rely on githeri and ugali . We should get a short-term solution by subsidizing the food prices at the moment. We should reduce the price of maize because our people are suffering. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you, Madam Temporary December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3991 Deputy Speaker, for granting me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion, that seeks to address some of the issues affecting our people during this very difficult period. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the hon. Member for Mathira for having brought this Motion to the House, to give us the opportunity to address the issues that appertain to food production and food security in our country. We, as a country, have failed to maximize our capacity to produce sufficient food from our land. Out of the Kenya's about 600,000 square kilometres, only about 20 per cent is used for agriculture. We know that in a country like Israel, for example, which has a very harsh terrain and weather, and whose total area is equivalent to the size of the Tsavo National Park which is just a small fraction of our country, it is self-sufficient and able to export her agricultural produce. We have had many Sessional Papers. We have had many deliberations about how we can improve our agriculture, but a lot still needs to be done. In this year's Budget, we had allocated a total of Kshs400 million that was supposed to be used to set up a fertiliser factory, that would have reduced the cost of fertiliser locally. This is yet to happen. This is just an example of the many proposals that we have made about increasing production and lowering the cost of production, that has not been brought to the logical conclusion. Our farmers are also poorly motivated. As it has been seen in sections of the North Rift, a farmer prepares his land and he has no idea how much he will sell his commodity. At a time like now when the cost of fertiliser and other farm inputs is high, the farmer ends up putting more than he actually gets at the end of the period. As we consider fixing the prices of foods, it would also do much more good if we could guarantee our farmers the prices at which they can sell their produce. Using this technique, they will be able to plan well and borrow, knowing that when they plough whatever acreage, they are able to re-service their loans. Currently, the farmers invest all their money and they have no idea, whatsoever, how much they will sell their produce. This has been a great impediment towards increasing production. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the area of research, we have not been very fast in trying to come up with varieties that can withstand the harsh terrains in most of the sections in this country, for example, Eastern and North Eastern provinces. As a result, we rely on a small section, namely, the North Rift, to produce maize which is the stable food for the whole country. For example, in the unlikely event we had an outbreak of some diseases that affected only that crop, then we would be in serious trouble. This means that we need to explore ways and means to address these problems. We have introduced a Bill on Biosafety that will help us come up with better varieties that will be grown in other areas. This will boost production. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to add my voice to the very important subject about the serious climatic change that has resulted in unpredictable weather. This has led to crop failure in many places in the North Rift and other parts of the country. In Nakuru District where I come from, we used to plant wheat and barley all the way from Njoro to Rongai. However, with the degradation of the Mau Forest, most of those areas have now been rendered unsuitable for cultivation. Therefore, I would like to support this Motion by saying that we should come up with clear and tangible ways of supporting our farmers, for example, by giving them proper incentives so that they can produce more.
3992 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to say that as a nation, we need to have a strategic plan on agriculture. I realise that a lot of the vegetables currently being consumed in many parts of Europe and the United States of America (USA) come from Kenya. We are doing very well in floriculture, although we have seen of late, some investors moving from Kenya to Ethiopia and other countries because we lack proper incentives to motivate them. If the money we allocated this year for the importation of maize and other foodstuffs was used proactively to motivate the farmers by giving them free or subsidized planting seeds and fertilizer, we would have tripled the production we expected and, therefore, be able to export the surplus. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, lastly, I would like to add my voice to the fact that we have had many Sessional Papers, for example, the one of 1965 and other Sessional Papers which sought to increase food production in this country. Despite the beautiful and sometimes admirable papers and theories on how we can improve agriculture in this country, there is very little on the ground. This year is a testimony to that fact. I wish we could transform all the good theories and research papers we have had over the years into something that we can show for our country. With those few comments, I would like to support this Motion.
Hon. Members, it is now 11.05 a.m. Therefore, I call upon the Government Responder, Mr. Mungatana, to respond.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to respond on behalf of the Government on this Motion that seeks to reintroduce price controls to essential food commodities such as maize flour, sugar, rice, cooking fat and milk. I would like to state that there is a reason for intervention as far as the Government is concerned. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, there has been intervention by the Government on one essential commodity, which is maize flour. This is not to state that there is a complete shift of the Government policy to control prices of sugar, rice, cooking fat, milk and other essential commodities. Even as we debate this Motion, the Government knows that the people we need to take care of, apart from the consumers, are the producers. I would like to persuade the House to consider this. If we set the price of sugar today and the farmer in Western and Coast provinces and Kitale expects to make a certain profit, what are we doing to him or her? If we control the prices of rice, cooking fat and milk, what are we telling the farmer, who is the producer? I would like to inform the House that there is, indeed, a case for intervention and subsidy, and the Government has shown direction under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Agriculture. However, the general thinking is that we should work hard to increase production so that we can have enough food to drive the prices to manageable levels. We do not want farmers, for example, livestock farmers to feel strangled by the prices the Government fixes to their end products. Let us think together as Kenyans. There are those of us who are engaged in tertiary activities and have to buy unga from the market. There are also those who rear cattle and need the milk to be purchased at a good price in order for them to survive. There are also those farmers who need rice to be purchased at a good price in order for them to survive. Let us think together and agree that when there is an emergency, as has been the case for a while now, the Government needs to come up with intervention measures. However, as a rule---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could the Assistant Minister tell us whether importing five million bags of maize to flood the market is part of the Government intervention to save farmers? Is he in order to mislead this House by saying that the Government intervened after the post-election violence to save the farmers when they now want to kill the same farmers? December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3993
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have to take emergency measures when we are in an emergency situation. When we have a situation where the Minister for Agriculture, the Prime Minister and other Ministers are asked to act on an issue every place we go, then extra ordinary measures must be taken. I am saying---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is a very serious Motion. Is it in order for the good Assistant Minister to ask this House to surrender its legislative role of enacting laws to one office called "The Office of the Prime Minister"? Why does he want to handle policy matters on an ad hoc basis?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I have not understood what the hon. Member has said because he was shouting. It could have been better if he just talked!
Mr. Mungatana, you have been asked a question! Could you respond?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying that at no point was there a request from the Government that this House should surrender its legislative role to the Office of the Prime Minister. That is completely wrong. That is not what we are saying as a Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying that this Motion is asking the Government not to think of the producers as well. On the question of maize flour, there was a case and we made an intervention. However, as a whole, the Government would want to increase production. This is where we should go as leaders so that we have enough food in the country and then the prices will naturally be settled in the market. Where there will be over-pricing then the Government can come in. But as a principle, we have to encourage our producers as well as taking care of our consumers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in a nutshell, it is the view of the Government that, yes, in situations where we have emergencies like that one of the maize flour, it will step in. Indeed, we have done that. However, in situations where the market is still stable, we must never "kill" our producers. So, in its current form, I partly agree and disagree with the Motion because we cannot be tied to a situation where we control prices as a Government. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a couple of minutes to air my support for this noble Motion. On the issue of price control, right now in the whole world, governments are subsidising prices on food commodities. In Kenya, we are waiting for the people to make noise. This is a situation that the Executive must take seriously because people cannot eat air. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, three years ago, the cost of a gallon of diesel was Kshs38 and now it is Kshs100. Every time a Question comes before Parliament, the reasoning is flimsy and yet our people are really suffering. The cost of paraffin has risen. It is now cheaper to cook using firewood than using paraffin. The situation is untenable because we have three to four multinationals making a kill out of importation of fuel. Something must be done to force the multinational looters because even in their own countries of origin, they have been forced to reduce their prices. Last month, I was in the United States of America (USA) and they said that the cost of gas per gallon went up to US$4.50 but because the Government cares, it is now US$1.80. That was two months later. Ours tripled and nobody cared. If you talk to the Minister and the players, they also do not care. We in the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade have called the players and asked them to be sensitive to the plight of our people but we are not getting the support of the Executive. That to me, is something the Minister for Energy must be held 3994 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 accountable for. This is because nothing stops the Government today, from going to the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) and telling it to sell gas at Kshs50 per gallon or a litre. However, because we have turned ourselves into a man-eat-man society, do not care about the plight of our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government must do something. The planting season is coming soon and there is drought all over the country. We must do something about the cost of fertiliser which we are importing. The other day I heard the Minister for Agriculture say in a Press conference that fertiliser will retail at around Kshs3,500 per bag when it was retailing under Kshs2,000 per bag the other day. How can we expect cheaper food prices if we are not vigilantly controlling the price of farm inputs? In this year's Budget, there is a mischief about a company called KenRen. It is a non- existent fertiliser factory in this country. In the Budget, it was forced and put in there for Kshs400 million. Kenya does not have a fertiliser factory. I wonder what the Ministry of Finance was trying to do with that Kshs400 million because I know we will be watching to see where they are seeking to invest this money. They could use that money to build a fertiliser factory in a transparent way but not in a white elephant project. With those very many remarks, I wish to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also want to join my fellow Members of Parliament in supporting this Motion. It is quite pathetic after Independence for us to suffer these high commodity prices. The reason for fighting for Independence was that we wanted to be free from diseases and hunger. We also wanted to have good education. It is quite pathetic that at this time we are starving and yet after 43 years of Independence we have not moved forward in terms of development. This country largely depends on agriculture. Almost 80 per cent of this economy is agriculture-based. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is quite pathetic for the Government to import maize at Kshs3,400 per bag and then sell it at Kshs2,000 per bag. We should have used the same price to pay our farmers here and they would be producing more maize. The Executive should be told that this is not the time to joke with the public. We made pledges that we were going to lower the high cost of living in this country but that is not happening today. As leaders we are comfortable since we can afford a loaf of bread but some families cannot even put food on their tables. We should reduce the prices of---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think hon. Kazungu's allegations are really grave. He needs to substantiate his allegations. If the Government is, indeed, importing maize at the price of Kshs3,400 per bag and selling the same product at Kshs2,000 per bag, I think it is something we cannot condone. Could the hon. Member substantiate his claims?
Dr. Nuh, what is your point of order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it in order for the hon. Member to claim that the Government is importing maize at Kshs3,400 per bag when we know that this Government cannot joke or lie to Kenyans?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I cannot substantiate the obvious. If the hon. Member wants to know the truth about my allegations, I can table the documents here in this House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the last time the Government imported 3,000 tonnes of maize, the prices of the quotations were very good but people in this Government decided to make a kill. I want this maize saga to be investigated fully so that the common mwananchi can be relieved from this burden. With those few remarks, I support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3995 opportunity to support this Motion, which I think is very timely. The number of families that are going without food in this country now are uncountable. Even families that used to be respectable and could afford three meals a day now afford only one meal a day. The only way that problem can be sorted out is by price controls or Government subsidies. We cannot pretend that we do not need price controls on basic foodstuffs. The price of half a kilogramme of salt is the same for me and the man on the streets. At the moment, we are talking about the reduction of the price of unga . But even the reduction of Kshs52 per a two- kilogramme packet is not sufficient enough. Many people cannot afford even that Kshs52. I feel it is ridiculous to differentiate or categorise Kenyans into the rich who can afford to buy unga at Kshs72 per two-kilogramme bag, and the other group that can afford the Kshs52 for the same. That is dangerous because many Kenyans are viewing others very badly because they cannot afford the foodstuffs that others can. The number of people who cannot afford to buy food is increasing by the day. We have so many people who cannot afford a packet of milk, cooking oil and rice, which are basic food commodities. I want to join my fellow colleagues who have said that the price of fuel also contributes to the high cost of foodstuffs. So, I really request the Government to put in place measures to control the price of fuel. The price of diesel, which is mainly used by farming communities to fuel their tractors, should be controlled so that we can reduce the cost of production of food. I do not agree with the notion that we should limit the price reduction to maize meal only. That is because it is not only the price of maize flour which needs to be reduced. Some Members said Kenyans should eat other foods. But eating beans now is a luxury because the price of a bag of beans is un-affordable to most Kenyans. Eating potatoes is a luxury because, at the moment, even the price of potatoes is un-affordable to most Kenyans. So, the basic food commodities are unga, rice, cooking oil and sugar. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, I will now call upon the Mover of this Motion, Eng. Maina, to reply!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to donate two minutes to Mr. K. Kilonzo.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very serious Motion. When a Minister of Government, who is the Official Responder, stands up and says that he does not know whether to oppose or support this Motion, it shows the casualness in which the Government is taking this Motion, which is on the food crisis in this country. I want to remind this Government that in 1789, the French Revolution was sparked off by the people on similar circumstances. Wananchi in this country are not going to take the skyrocketing prices of food commodities casually, when Parliamentarians and other well-to-do people enjoy their lives. I want to tell the Government that, if it does not respond and address the prices of food in this country, which Eng. Maina has brought to the Floor of this House, we are playing with a time bomb. I support this Motion. I want to see the Government being committed to supporting issues which touch on common mwananchi. We do not want to deal with a Government which is insensitive. We do want to deal with a Cabinet which is blind when prices of food commodities are rising. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. From the first instance, I want to say that I expect the Government to be watching over this country. I expect the Government to be listening to Kenyans. I drafted this Motion four months ago. At that time, the price of maize flour was about Kshs70. I want to say the outcry was there. This Government sat back and watched as the price 3996 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 rose to over Kshs100. I want to thank hon. Members for supporting this Motion. I want to say that a Government that does not have an ear for its citizens will not survive. A Government must have an ear even for the silent majority. I want to say that hon. Members who have spoken have heard the voice of ordinary Kenyans who are going hungry. Let me say that food scarcity is a security threat to a country. It is actually more than a military invasion. If a Government wants to see its own people rise against it, let it make its people go hungry. That is why America and Europe are concerned with feeding their people before they talk about nuclear research. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in Africa, we have a very basic example. Malawi. Today, Kenya is importing maize from Malawi. Because the Government of Malawi took a courageous decision and said: "Irrespective of who is talking from Washington, we are going to support our farmers." I am surprised that--- I would not say the Government--- But a few individuals can sit back and watch multi-nationals skyrocketing the price of fuel in this country. I am surprised that a few individuals in the Government can sit back and watch cartels messing up the basic food commodity in this country. I want to say that I have no words to explain the situation. I thank all the hon. Members who have spoken, once again, for really not siding with the Motion, but for speaking on behalf of Kenyans who brought them here. It has been clear from all the contributions that this country does not have a policy to address production, manage and control the flow and pricing of food. We are not asking about price fixing. We are not asking this Government to pick a price from the air and call it the price of maize flour and sugar. We are asking the Government to sit and look at the mess that this country is in. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, these things have happened in this country. I have quoted the first President of this country. In 1963, after Independence, this country imported yellow maize and he courageously stood and said the people of Kenya will never go hungry again. True to that, he brought a policy here called "Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR)". The following year,
Newspaper carried a headline saying, "Kenya Has a Bumper Harvest". I call upon this Government not to go to slumber and ignore the real livelihood of this country. That is the real security of this country. They should step in by coming up with the necessary legislation. The United States of America (USA) will never do that for us. What democracy are we being told about? What are those policies about a free market economy that we are being told about? The other day, the USA gave US$700 billion to its banks. It did not sit back and say that the people messed up the banks and let them collapse. The Federal Reserve Bank stepped in and saved the banks. So, I am asking this Government to wake up and do the same. That is why they are in office. That is why they have the power and are flying flags and have cooks while ordinary Members of Parliament do not have them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me say that I am fairly clear that I brought this Motion four months ago, and unless something is done by this Government, let them know that Kenyans are used to violence. In January, they tested violence. For heaven's sake, let us not play with the destiny of this country by subjecting Kenyans to suffering. It is the divine duty that a man should be accorded a chance to feed himself. Kenyans wake up to go to work, yet they cannot feed themselves. Who are those cartels that we allow to continue operating? Who is responsible for our food chain? Let us have policies that have the interest of this country at heart in terms of managing our food and our energy resources. Let us have policies that can make this country be productive. There is no area in Kenya which you can call a desert. Rivers are flowing even in Ukambani; examples are the Tana River and Mbagathi River, but we are doing nothing. Can this Government wake up! Let them start with creating legislation, and make food affordable to this country. Let them stop the cartels that are fleecing Kenyans, so that we can have a Kenya that we are all proud of. December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3997 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hear of Vision 2030. the beginning of Vision 2030 is the feeding of ordinary Kenyans. Let us not imagine or dream of highways or airports. Vision 2030 has to start with the basic provision of commodities to Kenyans. Why is our savings in this country in banks? At one time, we had a policy in this country that 17 per cent of all deposits in banks was allocated to agriculture. These are the policies that we need today so that Kenya goes back to the route of success. Once again, let me thank hon. Members for supporting this Motion and I urge the Government and hope that it will see the intention of the Motion and actually put in place measures for regulating food prices. We should not let this country to be subjected to the whims of market forces, which are nothing but greed by cartels that line their pockets while Kenyans suffer. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I call upon the Government to rethink its policies before this House adopts a different strategy. We are responsible for legislation and nobody should hide under the guise that there is an Act. There has to be a way of going around it and actually saving this nation. When somebody says that the Government has woken up, it has not. It has woken up and told Kenyans that in Kenya there are the rich and the poor. The poor will be eating some flour worth Kshs52 while the rich will be eating flour worth Kshs72. For me, I will be buying the flour for Kshs52 and I hope it is hygienic, though I doubt it. So, let us not just react to crisises but start planning, controlling and managing. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Next Motion by Mr. Washiali. INTRODUCTION OF THE NATIONAL CANCER CONTROL AND PREVENTION BILL THAT, aware that cancer has become a significant killer disease in Kenya; further aware that it is a very painful disease with no known cure; recognizing that it has not been given priority by successive governments in Kenya; cognizant that some forms of cancer can be prevented and other types cured if diagnosed early, this House grants leave to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament entitled "The National Cancer Control and Prevention Bill" to tackle prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care to cancer patients with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence and prevalence of all preventable forms of cancer and ensuring that all patients diagnosed with any form of cancer have access to medical care and for related matters.
Is Mr. Washiali not here? Then we defer the Motion to a later date.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for allowing me to move this Motion. I am moving this Motion in an amendment form under Standing Order No.41. Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that cattle rustling has become a persistent security problem in the Northern Rift Valley and other parts of the country; further aware that the 3998 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 practice has its roots in traditional practices of the communities involved; cognizant that in order to eradicate it there is need to understand its causes, this House resolves to constitute a Select Committee to investigate the root cause of cattle rustling and those behind the vice, and that the Select Committee reports its findings to the House within eight months, and further that the following be Members of the Committee:- The Hon. Boaz Kiano, MP, The Hon. Raphael Letimalo, MP, The Hon. Wilson Litole, MP. The Hon. Ntoitha M'Mithiaru, MP, The Hon. Ms. Milly Odhiambo, MP, The Hon. Joshua Kutuny, MP, The Hon. Kiema Kilonzo, MP, The Hon. Maison Leshomo. MP, The Hon. Eng. Nicholas Gumbo, MP, The Hon. Lucas Chepkitony, M.P. The Hon. Ekwee Ethuro, M.P. The Hon. Nelson Gaichuhie, MP, The Hon. Edwin Yinda, M.P. The Hon. Elias Mbau. M.P.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want your guidance as to whether the Member is following the Standing Orders in moving amendments to the Motion.
Mr. Kaino, we would like you, first of all, to provide the changes to the Clerks-at-the-Table because this Motion is already in the Order Paper. If you are making some amendments, the Clerk and the Speaker should have those particular changes. Therefore, that point of order is in order. Make sure that you provide the changes you want made to the Clerks-at-the-Table!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have consulted with the Clerk of the National Assembly and the list, as amended, is with him. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir I---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have to save me from these interruptions which are unnecessary.
Mr. Kaino, we need those changes communicated to the Clerk of the National Assembly. You need to bring the changes, we look at them and then you can go ahead to make them. The Motion is already out and you need to move an amendment.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. While I agree with Mr. Peter Munya on the need to bring an amendment in a particular way, however, Standing Order No.41 allows a Member--- Let me just read:- "Mr. Speaker may permit a Member to move in amended form a Motion of which notice has been given if in the opinion of Mr. Speaker the amendment does not materially alter principle embodied in the Motion of which notice has been given." Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the amendment the Member is making does not alter the Motion materially. It is just substitution of Members names by virtue of some of them being December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3999 appointed but they are all Members of this House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is now up to you to allow us to proceed!
Mr. Ethuro, he is altering some facts of the Motion. That is why we need to have those names. He is changing the actual names on the Motion as it is! We want to have the new names. Do you have them?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have the names.
Okay, proceed, Mr. Kaino!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can now read the Motion as amended. I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that cattle rustling has become a persistent security problem in the Northern Rift Valley and other parts of the country, further aware that the practice has its roots in traditional practices of the communities involved; cognizant that in order to eradicate it there is need to understand its root causes; this House resolves to constitute a Select Committee to investigate the root cause. of the cattle rustling and those behind the vice and that the Select Committee reports its findings to the House within eight months and further that the following be Members of the Committee:- The hon. Boaz Kaino, MP The hon. Raphael Letimalo, MP The hon. Wilson Litole, MP The hon. Ntoitha M'Mithiaru, MP The hon. Millie Odhiambo, MP The hon. John Mututho, MP The hon. Kiema Kilonzo, MP The hon. Maison Lashomo, MP The hon. Eng. Nicholas Gumbo, MP The hon. Lucas Chepkitony, MP The hon. Ekwee Ethuro, MP The hon. Nelson Gaichuhie, MP The hon. Edwin Yinda, MP The hon. Joshua Kutuny, MP The hon. Elias Mbau, MP Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to move this amended Motion. The history of cattle rustling in Kenya is disturbing. This is because over 40 years after Independence, Kenyans are still killing one another in order to steal animals. It is a shame. We have been trying to eradicate this problem for some time. The Government has tried very much and even had a department of the police known as the Anti-Stock Theft Unit. This Unit has been in place for more than 30 years but they have done very little. Many communities have suffered in this country. People work so hard but within a very short time, others come and take away their livestock. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in Marakwet cattle rustling has been very bad. We also had the Chesongo massacre where over 40 people died just because they were trying to steal animals. Just about a month ago, people died in Turkana just because of cattle rustling. There are many other places where Kenyans have suffered. In Trans Nzoia and all the districts in the North Eastern Province, people suffer as a result of cattle rustling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, cattle rustling has been complicated by modern weaponry. These weapons have come into this country through countries which do not have a government like Somalia. Weapons get into this 4000 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 country through various ways. Once they land in the hands of these people, they use them to kill and take livestock from these communities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I drafted this Motion with an intention that this thing must be stopped. When a person is sick and needs to be treated properly, he or she must know the cause of the disease. If you have headache, you go the hospital, a sample of blood is taken to the laboratory and investigated for the cause of disease. We want to look into this issue scientifically. We want to investigate why this thing has been happening over 40 years after Independence. We need to investigate and stop it so that communities can live together. If you work hard, you have your things done correctly. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want the Government to assist these communities to come up with proper security measures. We should know who are behind these things. About three weeks ago, we learnt that very important persons are actually behind this issue. They may be even in this House! Nobody knows. We understand that so many powerful people are behind cattle rustling. Today, they are very sophisticated. Some have even graduated into---
Order! Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry, are you trying to say something? Do you have a point of order?
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was just trying to attract the attention of the hon. Member to tone down, instead of making a lot of noise. This is a very important Motion and we want to capture bandits.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to say that my brother is making noise?
What is your point of order?
My point of order is: Why should he not say that we are consulting loudly?
Proceed, hon. Kaino!
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was saying that cattle rustling is evolving from stage to stage. It used to be normal and traditional weaponry was used. People used to take animals, probably, for the purpose of paying dowry. Some young men used to go and take some few animals in order to pay dowry. But today, with AK-47 rifles, our communities are suffering and the Government must be serious! I am even shocked that today, there is no Minister here to listen to this important Motion! Even the previous Motion on food, which was very important, there was no Minister here! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, yesterday, I could only see three Assistant Ministers here---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Order, Mrs. Kilimo! Mr. Kaino, could you consider concluding your remarks?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was saying that cattle rustling has developed slowly into a very dangerous affair. As I speak now, castle rustlers who use December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 4001 sophisticated weapons have now moved to the streets. You cannot go to Lodwar today unless you have security on the road! You cannot even go to Samburu, unless you get armed escort because they have graduated! They have now left cattle rustling and are now on the streets waiting for people, hijacking cars and other things like that! That is another development of cattle rustling, which is very dangerous. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am urging the Government to support the people. I urge the Government to come up and support that Committee. I am also urging my colleagues to support this Motion, so that we get to the root of cattle rustling. Who are the people behind cattle rustling? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if my colleagues support this Motion, I am sure there will be a solution to cattle rustling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to move and request the hon. Member for Saboti, hon. Wamalwa, to second this Motion.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to second this very important Motion. I want to congratulate hon. Kaino for bringing this very important Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this morning, we had several hon. Members actually touching on the issue of cattle rustling. We had a Question from hon. Pesa from Migori. We also had one from hon. Letimalo from Samburu East. Hon. Kutuny and several hon. Members of this House raised issues touching on cattle rustling. That means that this is an issue of a national nature. It is not restricted to a region. It is prevalent in Trans Nzoia, Migori, Samburu and Turkana. Cattle rustling is a real menace to the security of this nation! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will remember that, not long ago, hon. Ethuro moved a Motion for Adjournment here to discuss the situation that occurred in Turkana, where almost 40 people lost their lives. There was a serious attack on that part of Kenya and almost 700 animals were stolen. It was a matter that touched this nation. It has happened severally in Baringo and Kwanza - where Dr. Wekesa is the Member of Parliament. I think that lately, it has not been as bad as in the past, but we have suffered in Trans Nzoia and in other parts of Kenya. This is a matter that we must look into, so that we can find real solutions! It is a matter that is perennial in nature. It is as perennial as the floods in Budalangi and other parts of Kenya. What we need is to really look at the root causes of cattle rustling. To do so, we need to understand the history. It is a problem which is as old as this nation. We need a team that will actually study, diagnose and make a prognosis of the problem of cattle rustling. It is, therefore, very important to set up a Select Committee of this House. We request the Government to give it the necessary facilitation and support, so that it can address the root cause of that very perennial problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will appreciate that Kenya is faced with many problems, and cattle rustling is one of them. We have a problem of high food prices. We were discussing it today. We are looking at how to respond or deal with situations as they arise. But we are not really going to the root cause. Why are Kenyans going hungry today? Why have Kenyans resorted to cattle rustling? It is because of the high cost of food! People are actually willing to steal animals and sell them. It is big business! It is no longer a traditional thing! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a kilogramme of meat in Nairobi is about Kshs300! I believe some hon. Members who partake of nyama choma will agree that, indeed, the price of beef is very high. For people to actually engage in cattle rustling, they are not doing it as a hobby or as a tradition! It is actually big business because they are selling the cattle straight to the butcheries and are given ready cash. It is something that we need to study very carefully. But, also, we need to get to the root cause of the problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I was saying, we have had that problem in this 4002 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 nation because we do not address the root causes. Right now, because of the high food prices, we have introduced a temporary measure where we have maize meal being sold to the poor at Kshs52 and to the rich at Kshs72. What we are creating, and we have already been told that Kenya is one of the nations with the biggest gap between the rich and the poor, is a bigger gap. We need to do something to address that problem by actually setting up a team that will go around the country, visit the archives of history and come up with a way forward. We want to support hon. Kaino for coming up with this list. We have looked at the list and the hon. Members in it are representative of the face of Kenya. We believe that it is a team that will be up to task. It will come up with a solution that will deal with that problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, because of time, with those few remarks, I beg to second this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mover of this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is long overdue to suppress, remove or completely wipe out cattle rustling in our country. In the 21st Century, we are still having communities moving around causing insecurity, stealing property and destroying the livelihoods of other people. Cattle rustling is a disease. It is actually a cancer for this nation. It marginalises the pastoralist communities, especially the communities of Pokot, Marakwet, Samburu, Turkana and the ones in North Eastern Province. The Government should take serious measures to contain this menace. The root cause of cattle rustling is quite known. When you look at the membership of the Committee - the hon. Member did good research - the majority of the proposed Members come from cattle rustling prone areas. They will be able to contribute and give a lot of insight into how to tackle this problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are several measures we can undertake to deal with insecurity or cattle rustling. First, is the use of the security organs of the Republic of Kenya. We have the Provincial Administration in every district affected by cattle rustling. In those districts, we have a District Security Committee and intelligence. The security organs of every district go all the way down to the Assistant Chiefs. We want to know how come that if cattle are stolen from a particular location by one particular community, we cannot trace those animals? The Government needs to put in place a policy. Once the stolen animals move from one location to another, it will be the responsibility of the people of that location to ensure that those animals are recovered. It will also be the responsibility of the Assistant Chief, the Chief, the DO and the DC of that district to ensure that those animals are recovered. That is the only way in which we can curb cattle rustling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of insecurity encourages cattle rustling. We have a lot of arms. The proliferation of small arms from Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia has encouraged communities--- The Boran steal from the Samburu. The Samburu steal from the Pokot. The Pokot steal from Turkana. The Turkana steal from the Meru. And the Kuria steal from the Maasai, while the Maasai steal from the Kuria. The Kisii steal from the Maasai. This is a vicious cycle which we must stop. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to suggest that Hon. Members coming from constituencies where cattle rustling is prevalent should be held responsible whenever cattle rustlers---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that the Kisiis who did not have cattle before have the opportunity of stealing cattle from the Maasai. So, we should stop this. Instead of the Maasai going to recover their animals, they attack the Kurias. The Kurias then go and attack the Mutende who are part of the Kuria on the Tanzania side. We also have a problem with the Karamojong on the Ugandan side. On the other side of Southern Sudan, we have the Toposas who are harassing the Turkanas. So, the Government needs to put in place security measures to curb cattle rustling along our international borders. Within our own constituencies, I think the Members of Parliament coming from cattle rustling prone areas should be held responsible any time there are people going to raid other constituencies. Once the stolen animals cross the boundary of a particular district, those people should be held responsible for the theft of those animals.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you can see, some of these Members of Parliament are from cattle rustling prone areas. They are just giving me---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to suggest that Members of Parliament from the cattle rustling prone areas should be held responsible if animals are stolen, as though it is the Members of Parliament who steal animals? Is he in order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for example, if Samburus continue to steal from the Boranas, once the stolen cattle cross into Samburu East Constituency, you should be calling a meeting of your own people and be held responsible because you are the elected leader of those people. That is the only way that we can stop this cattle rustling.
Order, hon. Assistant Minister! You have to address the Chair. You cannot address another Member of Parliament. You should actually address the Chair. That is the Parliamentary practice that we have been using for many years. Please, proceed!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to take responsibility away from the Government and bring it to the House by saying that it is the responsibility of Members of this House to call for meetings, when it is known that the responsibility of the Government is to protect life and property? Is he in order to continue misleading the House in such a manner, when he was a former military officer, butchering the Pokots in "Operation Nyundo"?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us not personalise this important Motion. What I am saying is that an hon. Member of Parliament should be part of the security team in his own constituency. I am trying to make a suggestion; that if stolen animals cross into a certain boundary, those people should be held responsible. That is the only way that we can stop cattle rustling. It is making these hon. Members jittery because their people are the ones who are actually doing cattle rustling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make another very important 4004 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 suggestion to do with the issue of commercialising cattle rustling. We need to brand our livestock in particular areas, so that stolen animals can be traced. For example, we can brand them "T" for animals from Turkana, "P" for those from Pokot and "S" for those from Samburu. When you find these animals in the market places, you will be able to actually know whether they were stolen and sold or they were sold by the owners. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that if we rein in on the political leaders, who include Members of Parliament and Councillors, as well as assistant chiefs, chiefs, District Officers (DOs) and District Commissioners (DCs), cattle rustling will be a thing of the past. That is the only way we can stop this problem. If we keep on moving in circles, trying to defend our own people, it will not help. You remember that only the other day, members of the Turkana community were massacred. The Government has not taken appropriate action because, perhaps, there was no proper intelligence on the ground. When people cross over to another constituency or district and butcher people, when they cross back to their own constituency or district, they disappear. That is why I am saying we should hold some people responsible, especially the security people in such districts. That is the only way we can handle cattle rustling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another very important point is giving proper security to these communities. We should, especially increase the number of police officers in those areas. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Speaking immediately after the contribution by the Assistant Minister, Ministry of State for Defence, I must make it absolutely clear why cattle rustling has continued in Kenya. It is not because our people love guns, or because they like butchering each other. The reason is basic absence of Government and Government security forces. Period! There is no amount of blame that can be put on the political leadership which can absolve the Government from blame, when we know the responsibility of governance. Protection of people's lives and property is solely the responsibility of the Government. All of us can only assist to a small extent. We do not have the monopoly of violence that the Government has. So, this point must be made very clear. The kind of thinking that is being displayed by the Government side is the same old thinking. There is a phenomena known as the "cattle complex". There is something you call the "tragedy of the common" - that, it is in the nature of these "primitive savages" to kill, just the way the Kikuyus were described by the colonialists in the 1950s. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is the source of small arms and light weapons? Who is in charge of Customs and Immigration? It is not us. It is the Government. Our borders are not manned. So, they allow infiltration of small arms and light weapons into our country. Our people are tired of the gun. They would like to give it up. But if you give away your gun, who is there to protect you? That is the basic question that the Assistant Minister should be asking himself. As I speak, there is a delegation from Uganda, organised by Oxfam and Amani, visiting Garissa, because the North Eastern Province has somehow managed to maintain some peaceful co- existence between communities. That is a different ball game. The Government of Uganda has come up with a specific development known as the "Karamoja Development and Disarmament Programme", which is integrated in a manner that you have to look at the security concerns and tie human security in totality, as well as the development agenda. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is what we will be calling upon the Government to implement in Kenya as the proposed Select Committee gets to work. I am glad that the proposed December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 4005 membership of the Committee comprise of people who really understand this issue. We are going to prosecute this matter to the best of our abilities and demonstrate to this nation, once and for all, that we are not cattle rustlers by design or by default or by definition. There are limited economic activities, where our youth can expend their energy. We cannot talk about developing a place when security roads are not being repaired. We cannot even talk about repairing roads, because they are actually absent. We cannot talk about education of nomadic communities when there is no pasture development programme in place. I hope the Minister is listening. What we need is not just beefing up security, as we recommended before. We also need to make sure that an entire development programme - a marshal plan - is actually put in place to address the problem. We have had commissions of inquiry being set up to investigate small things like the Artur brothers as if we needed to know who they were. We know it is Government officers who allowed them in the country. They even became police officers. This Government knew all that and they spent money on the Commission of Inquiry to investigate that saga. When did this Government, since Independence, spend money in trying to get at the root cause of cattle rustling? They think it must be a military solution. They also think that it is a cultural activity. We are not cannibals! You should not think that we just love to butcher our own people or raid communities in our neighbouring countries, for example, Uganda and Sudan; who speak the same language . Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the City of Nairobi had no police, you can imagine the kind of problems you will get. Even now with the surveillance of the police, people still rob shops in the Central Business District. This is happening in the heart of the city. What about in the wilderness where there is no policing? The Government only tries to bring prescriptive military options that do not value life. That cannot be accepted in this House. Those days are long gone! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, only last week, I raised the issue of three raids in three places in my constituency in one week; Monday to Friday. Nanan in Lokichoggio; Lorengito and Lokorio were raided. Last July, we suspended the business of the House in order to discuss the issue of insecurity and, particularly cattle rustling as a matter of national importance. This is the only place where the Government feels its officers should not work. The Government asks us to call for elders. That is why we are told to convene meetings. Elders are not paid to control insecurity. That is a job for the police, the Administration Police and intelligence officers. We have recommended that in Turkana, just as Uganda has an army along its boundaries, we should also have our army along our international boundaries. What does the Kenya Army do? Even the ones who were stationed at Lorogon were removed. What do you expect? You can only expect escalation of such clashes. We need army barracks in Lokiriama and Lorengito. Between Lodwar and Lorengito, a stretch of 180 kilometres, there is not a single police station. Is it not a wonder that this is a perennial problem? There is no single police station; not even a mobile one! Mr. Peter Munya used to be in the Office of the President. He knows these things. We are calling upon the Government to establish police stations in Lorugum, Rengiti, Kalemnyam and Kang'irisa. That is the only way we can control this problem. It is a normal problem which needs to be tamed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since there are other hon. Members who want to contribute, I want to pay tribute to NGOs like Oxfam, Practical Action and the Diocesan priests who have tried to alleviate the situation. I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. Before I make my contribution, I have a complaint to make about the replacement of a lady Member of this Committee with a male one. Ms. Peris Chepchumba has been replaced by Eng. Gumbo. We have 4006 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 Ms. Rachel Shabesh, Ms. Shakila Abdalla and others who can be included in the Committee. If we go by the one-third rule, we need five women in this Committee. We only have three lady Members of Parliament in the Committee. I want Mrs. Shabesh, Ms. Shakila Abdalla, Ms. Leshomo, and Ms. Odhiambo to be included in the Committee. In support of this Motion, I want to say that cattle rustling or any form of insecurity affects women and girls. Our people from this region have suffered. This Committee should not take the proposed eight months. How can they take eight months when we know the causes of cattle rustling? I urge them to take two months to come up with recommendations on what the Government should do in this area. For example, we talk about DCs, DOs, chiefs or police stations in this area, yet there is no single vehicle for these officers. How do we expect our security officers to follow cattle rustlers? How is that practical? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no road in this region where cattle rustling is practised. We have thorny trees that bend towards the road, thus inhibiting people's movement. Why can the Government not construct roads in this region? I come from a constituency where we have suffered in the hands of our neighbours for many years. One night, 57 people were killed. However, no Government official came to assess the situation. The weapons that were used there were more sophisticated than the ones used by the Government officers. One wonders where our Government was when more sophisticated weapons were brought into the country. The National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), I wonder what work they do. What would be the use of informing the Government of impending attack if no action will be taken? The Government knows the causes of cattle rustling. They have even written research books on it. If you went to the Office of the President, you will find shelves full of material on the causes of cattle rustling, yet they have done nothing. In 2003---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think it is in the opinion of many hon. Members that we have heard what has been said. Could you call upon the Mover to respond?
I think the mood of the House is that they need more time for debate. Unless we get a different mood in the House, we will not ask the Mover to reply. Mrs. Kilimo, please, continue!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, sometime ago, during the Ninth Parliament, the Government said that it would provide water by way of drilling dams, water pans and boreholes in that region. The Government did not complete any project. They only wanted people to surrender guns and give development a chance. They also wanted to build schools. What happened to all that? I believe that the Government has no intention or does not consider people from the cattle rustling prone areas as Kenyans. Why are they considered as second class citizens, if at all they are considered to be citizens? If you look at today's Daily Nation newspaper, you will see a picture of a Turkana woman who prefers to be naked as long as she can afford to purchase two guns. Why is this? This is all because of insecurity. The Government has failed. These are some of the recommendations which I hope that this Committee will put in place. Hopefully, I hope the Government will be serious and address this problem, once and for all. How much would it take a Government to provide water? Some causes of cattle rustling is because of lack of water and grazing pastures. How much would it take the Government to irrigate a small area for us to get hay for our animals? I hope that the recommendations that this Committee will bring will put to an end the suffering of our people. In this region, there are more widows and orphans than any other part of December 10, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 4007 this country. These problems are man-made. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In the interest of time, and considering the consensus that has originated from hon. Members, I seek your indulgence to allow the Mover of this Motion to respond.
Order! The mood of the House is that the hon. Members require more time to debate. We cannot call the Mover to reply when there are hon. Members in the House who are willing to contribute to the Motion. Hon. Poghisio, proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will be one of the few people to oppose this Motion. I do not understand how you want to solve the problem of cattle rustling by simply resolving to establish a Select Committee to investigate the root causes of it and those behind the vice, and then report to the House. The Select Committee must be held responsible to do something. The Committee should not just go around investigating the root causes of cattle rustling and those behind it and report to this House without telling us how we will end cattle rustling. Knowing the root causes of cattle rustling and those behind it and reporting to this House will not help it. I am of the opinion that this Motion should be amended to provide that the Select Committee will, not only make recommendations on how to solve the problem of cattle rustling, but also on how to lift the people in the cattle rustling areas out of that. Otherwise, if it is for the purposes of knowledge, there is so much in the secondary school literature that anybody can find. A lot has been written about understanding the root causes of cattle rustling. So, I do not understand how 20 Members will go around for eight months to try to understand the root causes of cattle rustling. We can make use of that money elsewhere. You can interview hon. Ethuro, myself and a few others and we will give you the root causes of cattle rustling. We will also tell you some of the things that you want to know. For that reason, I believe that we can make better use of the money. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a Committee of this House that is charged with the responsibility of such things, namely, the Departmental Committee on Administration, National Security and Local Authorities. The Members of this Committee should go around the country. They have been hearing these matters all along. We have been raising these issues through Questions. We have come out a time when we were just establishing more and more Select Committees to do things for eight months. What is there to do for eight months? I would definitely want to end cattle rustling. I would like to see somebody come up with a solution to the problem of the proliferation of small arms. I would like to hear somebody telling us that the solution to this problem is for us to take all the children in the area to school. A committee does not need to take eight months to go around the country. By that time, more people will have died. Without this Motion being charged to something that I can believe in, I would like to be one of those who oppose it, for the reason that we are not adding anything into the system that will assist us. I am a victim of cattle rustling. Many times, the people that I represent get misrepresented. I believe that with the review of this Motion and something good is included, something better is going to come out of it, I beg to oppose it.
We have only one minute to the closure of business. Do you want to begin, hon. Kabando wa Kabando, and then you can continue next time?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Minister has taken a position that I thought 4008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES December 10, 2008 would be unpopular, that I was intending to take and I am taking now. I stand to oppose this Motion. Not with any malice, but just recently, we passed a Motion in this House to constitute a Select Committee chaired by hon. Kioni, to investigate the activities of militia gangs. These are organisations that are threatening security in this country. They include groups that are doing cattle rustling and those that are attacking businessmen in cities and other urban areas. In this regard, three issues are important. First, we need to agree that we need to have a concrete recommendation. The causes of cattle rustling are known. We do not need the Members of Parliament to expend eight months or one year to investigate that which is within the realms of existing committees. Secondly, we need to accept that the more Select Committees that we continue to form in this House for every issue, including to investigate the contents of Alvaro and the activities of militia groups, we are duplicating the role of State organisations and agencies that are funded by the Kenyan people to do exactly that which we want these committees to do. Because my time is up, I recommend that we amend this Motion, so that it can be relevant. With those few remarks, I beg to oppose.
Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until this afternoon, Wednesday, 10th December, 2008, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.