Hon. Members, Standing Order No.7(1) provides as follows:-
"Whenever during a Session the House stands adjourned, whether or not a day has been appointed for the next meeting, Mr. Speaker shall, at the request of the Government, appoint a day or, as the case may be, a day other than the day already appointed for the meeting of the House, and, such day, having been notified to the Members, the House shall meet thereon at such time as shall be appointed by Mr. Speaker."
Pursuant to the provisions of this Standing Order, and in consultation with the Government, I appointed this day, 20th January, 2009, for the meeting of the House.
I wish to bring it to the notice of hon. Members that this is a continuation of the Second Session of the 10th Parliament as the House has not been prorogued by the President as provided for in Sections 58 and 59 of the Constitution of Kenya. The House shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to this appointed day. A Session commences when the House first meets after its prorogation or dissolution and terminates when the National Assembly is prorogued or dissolved without having been prorogued.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:-
THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Section 5(2) of the Loans (Guarantee) Act, (Cap. 461, Laws of Kenya); this House approves Sessional Paper No.1 of 2009 on the Kenya Government Guarantee of a loan of US$100 million equivalent to Kshs7.9 billion through the United States of America Department of Agriculture to the National Cereals and Produce Board.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) Under what circumstances did Mr. Jonathan Muema Ngolo, a Kenyan businessman, disappear while on a business trip to the Republic of Guinea between 1st and 10th October, 2008?
(b) What urgent steps is the Minister taking to trace his whereabouts and ensure his return to Kenya?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) According to family sources, Mr. Ngolo left Kenya for Conakry Guinea on 30th September, 2008. The purpose of his visit was to assist his son who is based in the United States of America (USA) to verify the authenticity of an alleged mining company that had contracted him through the internet offering to sell him gold dust. Representatives of the alleged company met him at the airport in Conakry on 1st October, 2008. They, however, turned out to be kidnappers who had used the promise of a good business deal as bait.
We cannot hear the Assistant Minister!
Order! Order, hon. Members! It is now on!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. After being kidnapped, Mr. Ngolo was taken to an unknown place in Conakry, Guinea. He was availed with a mobile phone to contact his family and inform them of the kidnappers' demand for US$500,000 as ransom. His abductors threatened to kill him if the money was not paid within the first three days of his kidnap. These threats have been sustained for over three months now. His family has been sending money through Western Union Money Transfer to enable the kidnappers feed him but the ransom remains unpaid. Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for a detailed explanation he has given regarding the disappearance of Mr. Ngolo and the efforts the Government is making to trace him. However, you will realise that from October last year up to now is a long time. The family of Mr. Ngolo has been frequenting the Ministry and they have not been given adequate information regarding the efforts the Government is making to trace this person. Although he has said that the High Commissioner in Abuja has been instructed, could the Assistant Minister tell us the actual action the Ministry is taking to trace this person?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Kenyan High Commissioner to Nigeria has been given specific instructions to go to Guinea. The delay occurred because there was a military coup in Guinea as you are aware. The instructions the Kenyan High Commissioner has been given include: One, he must facilitate the Kenyan police officers to travel to Guinea to start investigations.
Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, once we have received all the necessary Government clearance, we should receive a report which then will necessitate and facilitate our seeking further help from other international agencies, including the United Nations (UN). However, the Kenyan Government is, right now involved directly. We expect that sooner than later, we should have results which would be positive.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is nothing to thank the Government for on this matter. In fact, it is very sad that this family has lost its bread winner, Mr. Ngolo, who is a prominent Kenyan yet the Government could not even involve the Interpol since October, 2008.
Now they are telling us that they want the Kenya police to be allowed to go to Guinea. Could the Assistant Minister explain whether they were able to trace the phone number the kidnappers were calling with and why the Government has not involved the Interpol?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the hon. Member that, without information, we cannot make reasonable judgement and decisions. That is why we have decided that we are going to ask somebody, that is the Kenya Police, to do investigations so that we have the relevant and concrete information which then---
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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Are you satisfied with the way Mr. Mbugua is dressed? Look at the way he is dressed! The coat is upside down, the shoes are---
Order, hon. Members!
Order, Mr. Mbugua! Hon. Members, when Mr. Speaker is on his feet, there ought to be no movement in the House! You must freeze wherever you are!
Hon. Members, going by one of my senses, which is the sense of sight, I see that Mr. Mbugua is not dressed appropriately in accordance with the Speaker's Rules. As I see it, Mr. Mbugua, you appear to be dressed in clothes that are patched up! I will, therefore, order that you withdraw from the Chamber for the rest of today!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. K. Kilonzo. We are back to where we were on the Order Paper.
The Assistant Minister has not answered my question!
Mr. Assistant Minister, could you, please, answer the hon. Member's question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was saying that the reason why the matter delayed was because the Government had not got enough information which then would have necessitated us to move quickly because this was a very private deal.
As you are all aware, there has been a problem in Guinea and it looked like there was nobody answerable for this matter. The Government decided that, in order for us to involve the relevant parties to try and sort out this problem, we had to involve the Kenya Police to investigate the matter.
Finally, the point I want to make to the hon. Member is that we believe that Mr. Ngolo is still alive and the Government will make sure that we get him as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, given that Guinea is a French-speaking country and further that the Kenyan police officers are trained in English and Kiswahili, could the Assistant Minister tell us which police officer is this who is being sent to Guinea who can speak French and can undertake investigations in the French Language?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to tell the hon. Member that Kenyans are very highly educated and the police service has got bi-lingual officers who will do the job.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the Assistant Minister whether they were able to trace the mobile number that was being used to communicate between the two countries and appeal to this House for further intervention.
That question appears to be a repetition! Mr. Assistant Minister, did you respond to the question when earlier asked? Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, he did not ask me about the mobile number. Since the matter is being investigated and we would not want the captors to know that we already have their contacts and we are trying to follow up the matter, I would rather we rest it there.
asked the Minister for Lands:-
(a) whether he could state how much the Ndung'u Commission on land cost the Exchequer; and,
(b) what the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the Commission is.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) A total of Kshs75,399,768 was incurred by the Government on the Ndung'u Land Commission.
(b) Following the release of the report by His Excellency the President on 2nd July, 2004, the Ministry took a number of measures to stop dealings in all title deeds adversely mentioned in the Ndung'u Report. The Ministry issued Ministerial circulars directing all public institutions affected by illegal or irregular allocations, including all public parcels of lands not listed in the Report, to take possession of any such land as they have been illegally dispossessed from them.
One of the key recommendations by the Commission was the revocation of illegally-allocated public land and restoration of the same to the original purposes. A total of 17 title deeds illegally issued to private developers have so far been surrendered or revoked.
Letters of allotment in respect of 102 plots have been cancelled and the land has been repossessed. A total of 17,350 plots have been caveated.
The Ministry is working on a list of other title deeds that will be revoked and the land repossessed. The process has, however, been delayed by the need to establish the state of development, or otherwise, on the ground before initiating the revocation of the titles and repossession of the land. My Ministry, in consultation with the State Law Office, published the Law (Amendment) Bill, 2005 in the Kenya Gazette on 24th November, 2005. The Bill was intended to set a legal framework for implementation of the findings of the Ndung'u Report. Among the recommendations is the establishment of the Land Titles Tribunal as the first step towards revocation or rectification of invalid title deeds.
The Attorney-General has been requested to re-publish the Bill for introduction in Parliament for discussion. My Ministry is also working with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission in providing information on matters which were referred to court by the Commission arising out of the Ndung'u Report.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to commend the Minister for the measures he has put in place to ensure that matters in the Ministry of Lands are streamlined. I would like to get an assurance from him that he has put in place enough safeguards to ensure that these kinds of incidents do not occur. Some of them occurred through the members of staff while others were from the top. What measures has the Minister put in place to ensure that this does not occur again?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a different Question but we have taken steps to ensure that allocation of land is streamlined and title deeds are streamlined and that no single officer in the
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Ministry makes a decision to allocate land. There must be justification for every allocation of land.
However, what is worrying is the issue of land transactions, be they transfers that have been executed, double registrations or allocations of land. We can control that in a firm manner once we modernise and computerise our land information systems and land transactions so that we do not depend on manual records. That has been the source of most of the fraudulent transactions that have taken place in the Ministry of Lands.
We have also been carrying out audit in many of the registries. We have identified the registries where there have been a lot of problems including Eldoret and Mombasa. Where necessary, we have brought in new staff to manage those land registries.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we appreciate the efforts the Minister is making. Knowing very well the number of commissions that were established and issues that lie ahead for this Parliament and the Government, could the Minister give us the timeframe within which he seeks to take action on the Ndung'u Commission Report?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is difficult to talk about timeframes because some of these matters are in court and it is very difficult for me to interfere. Some of these land cases have been in court for the last five years. I hope that, by the time we discuss the land policy, if it goes through Cabinet, we will have the political basis and will for trying to recover a lot of this public land and put in place a modern land information system that will ensure that these malpractices are stopped.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there were parcels of land that were requested by churches. In the process, the plots were taken by individuals and the title deeds went to individuals in the churches or organisations. What is the Ministry doing about such cases because the intention of acquiring that land was for public use by the churches and yet it ended up going to individuals within the churches?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, looking at the Ndung'u Report, some of the legal entities which actually participated in land grabbing, and I have no fear in saying this, are the churches. The hon. Member is quite right because, after getting the land, some of these churches would allocate it to individuals within the church. Even in circumstances where churches are involved, if the land was not available for alienation, I am revoking those title deeds. If that can stop me from going to Heaven, I am prepared to take that risk!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Minister tell us what was achieved within what time and particularly in the last one year when he has been in office?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, a lot has been achieved during the time that I have been in office, particularly the revocation and surrender of title deeds. Some of the persons who thought that we would repossess their land elected to surrender some of those title deeds well in advance.
I think 80 per cent of the title deeds that I have talked about have been recovered during my tenure, including the land in Changamwe where the water works were located and had been grabbed. I had to cancel the title deed and issue a new one. I have also recovered land belonging to KARI in Limuru and elsewhere. There is land in Eldoret belonging to the courts and Judiciary, the Lands Office, the Railways and we have cancelled all those title deeds in the last one year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the fact that the Ndung'u Land Commission was initially set up to curb impunity and the culture of corruption, and in view of the fact that this Commission has taken about four years since this Report was laid on the Table of the House and now that the Minister is making a very good effort--- We can see that the Minister has recovered some title deeds. Could he lay on the Table the names of these people whose title deeds have been revoked and others so that we can know as a country that those who committed this crime will one day be unmasked and be known for who and what they are?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am quite happy to do that and I will lay this document on the Table. You will notice that a lot of land grabbers do not use their names. They use companies which Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Minister for being prepared. Ask the last question, Mr. Chanzu!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Minister confirm or deny that some sections of the Report were expunged before it was released?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have no way of knowing, but my determination is that even if the land was not in the Report and it was irregularly allocated, we will follow it up.
Next Question, Mr. Letimalo!
asked the Minister of State for Defence:-
(a) whether he could state the particulars of land gazetted for use by the Department of Defence (DOD) for military training exercises in Uaso Division in Samburu East District,
(b) whether he is aware that the military training exercises are being carried out beyond the gazetted area, hence interfering with the community grazing areas; and,
(c) what action he is taking to ensure that the community is not deprived of their grazing land.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply
(a) Archers Post Military Training area, which is in Ewaso Nyiro Division of Samburu East District, was gazetted on 31st October, 1977, as a military training area by the Commissioner of Lands. That is vide Gazette Notice No.3210 dated 31st October, 1977. The area involved is about 83,327 acres.
(b) I am not aware that the military training exercises carried out beyond the gazetted area are interfering with the community grazing area. However, military training is restricted to the gazetted areas, where live ammunition is used during the exercise, for the safety of the community and wildlife.
But where live ammunition is not used, the military undertakes normal training in any part of the country in liaison with the Provincial Administration. That ensures that the community is informed of the presence of the military and hence, there is no interference with the flora and fauna.
(c) Since the military operates within the laid down training regulations, and the training exercise takes a very short duration, there is no deprivation of the grazing land belonging to the community. In those circumstances, no action needs to be taken by the Ministry.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank the Minister for that answer. I would like to state, from the outset, that the community is not opposed to the use of that land by the military for training purposes. Our concern is the additional acquired land without the consent of the community. I have personally been there. I have been able to meet community leaders who were able to identify the initial
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marked boundaries. My question to the Minister is: Under what circumstances was that additional land taken without the consent of the local community?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with a lot of humility and great respect for my colleague, who has been an administrator like myself, the procedure used by the Government to acquire public land is that, if it is trust land, the request goes through the county council, which then approves. If it is individual land, the Commissioner of Lands would normally issue an acquisition notice and, therefore, go ahead to acquire. I believe that, in 1977, when that land was set aside, that procedure must have been followed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we very well know that it is imperative for communities to accommodate the training of army personnel. But looking at such areas that are disadvantaged one realises that, the roads are dilapidated and there are no boreholes. What is the military doing for those communities in return, apart from training and shooting around? What are they doing for those people?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the docket of roads falls under the Ministry of Roads. I think the military should be commended for assisting the community. We are sinking boreholes and constructing dams all over the country. Where need arises, like in Mount Elgon where there were no roads, we have opened up roads. In Maralal, we have also opened up roads, although it is not in our docket. We have not been given resources to do that. We do that out of our allocation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am one of the beneficiaries of the army. But, that notwithstanding, the issue that Mr. Letimalo is talking about is real. There are gross human right abuses in those regions. Foreign forces train there. If you go to Samburu District today, you will find many children who are half-black and half-white. What is the Government doing to make sure that our women are not raped in those exercises?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think even outside the military training areas, all over the country, you will find many white and black people. That could happen between two persons who agree to do whatever they do. But if there is any proof that any women were raped, we are prepared to investigate. That notwithstanding, even the British Government has already compensated some people who were born white. So, I think those women should not go about with white people thinking that they will get compensation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has said that the army is there to assist the community in terms of development. Could he consider supporting the Samburu community by sinking boreholes and constructing dams?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, having been the Provincial Commissioner in the Rift Valley Province, I know the problems of water in Samburu. We will do everything to help.
Next Question! Mr. Bett!
asked the Minister for Education:-
(a) what the current shortfall of teachers in both primary and secondary schools is in Bureti District;
(b) how many trained primary school teachers remain unabsorbed into employment in the Republic to date; and,
(c) when the Ministry will employ those teachers to meet the shortfall. Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) The current shortfall of teachers in Bureti District is 440 in primary schools and 150 in secondary schools.
(b) The number of trained primary school teachers who have not been absorbed into employment in the Republic since 1998 is 48,000.
(c) The Ministry will employ those teachers when the Government allocates sufficient funds for that purpose. Currently, the Ministry employs a small number to replace those teachers who leave the service through natural attrition. However, I wish to appreciate the efforts made by the Government. It provided the funds which enabled the Ministry to employ 4,000 teachers in 2007 and 6,000 teachers in 2008.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for that answer. It is candid. He has disclosed that 440 teachers in primary schools and 150 in secondary schools are lacking in Bureti. That is a shortage of three teachers per primary school and three teachers per secondary school. That explains the poor results in that district.
The Assistant Minister has said that 48,000 teachers are simply staying in the villages. The villages are staffed with too many teachers. The Assistant Minister has said that teachers will be employed when funds are available. I would like him to be very sincere and candid to this House. When shall funds be available so that we can save on the quality of education in our schools?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, number one, let me tell the hon. Member that he was in the Government sometime back, when the employment of teachers in this country was frozen.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, however, this year, we are going to employ 16,000 interns to improve the situation. We are going to spend Kshs1.6 billion to improve the situation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a sad thing going on around the country about the teachers' strike. We realise that it is the right of the unions to call for strikes. It is similarly important to note that it is wrong for the Government to use security
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, you need not respond to that. That question is not within the scope of Question No.450. It may be an important matter, but certainly outside the scope of that Question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is a shame that most schools, especially where I come from are operating at less than 50 per cent of the required number of teachers. The Assistant Minister has said that we have 48,000 teachers out there. Could he give us a plan, when the Ministry is going to employ these teachers to teach our children, because we cannot improve performance if we do not have enough teachers? We must invest in our children.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Education is fully in charge of the education sector. We have trained enough teachers to take care of our schools, but we do not have enough money to employ all teachers. If the Government gave us the money today, all of them would be in schools giving services.
Last question, Mr. Bett!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish you had given more Members time to ask questions. But you heard the Assistant Minister say that they are employing interns. What does he mean by "interns?"
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Are they not teachers? Are they going to be learning how to teach?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, these are trained teachers and individuals who are actually currently employed by Boards of Governors (BOGs) and committees managing schools. But the Government is going to assist in helping the BOGs and those committees meet part of the costs of hiring them. They are trained and qualified teachers, but we do not have enough money in the Ministry to give them full salaries. That is what we mean by interns.
on behalf of
asked the Minister for Roads:-
(a) whether he is aware that the stretch between Kiboswa and the Junction along Kisumu-Kakamega Road is so dilapidated that it has become risky and dangerous to motorists driving downhill;
(b) whether he could provide statistics of the number of accidents on that road since 1st January, 2003, including the number of fatalities, serious injuries, slight injuries and non-injury accidents; and,
(c) what plans he has to create diversions, a by-pass or alternative routes to make the stretch passable and to ease traffic in the event of accidents on the road.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) I am aware that the section between Kiboswa and Kondele along Kisumu-Kakamega Road is in a bad condition.
(b) Between January 2003 and now, we have experienced a total of 145 accidents. Out of this number, 31 of them were accidents in which people died; 50 of them were those in which people sustained injuries; 30 of them major injuries and the rest were not injured at all.
The condition of the road is not the only factor contributing to the many accidents in the area. We accept that the section has been a black spot since 1984, partly owing to old and poor geometrical standards of road safety. Other causes of accidents include weather conditions, human error, vehicles which are unroadworthy and, of course, speeding.
(c) To address this situation, the Ministry of Roads has commissioned a consultant to re-design the whole road, from Kisumu through Webuye to Kitale. The consultant is expected to re-engineer the section between Kisumu and Kiboswa to make it safer. The cost of reconstruction of the road between Kisumu and Kitale is Kshs5.5 billion. This money is not immediately available. As a stop-gap measure, my Ministry has procured two contractors to work on the road pending major works at a later stage.
There are two contractors on site right now. One has started from Kisumu and will proceed to Chavakali. The other has started from Chavakali and is right now at Mukumu Mission, proceeding to Webuye. We hope that, after the contractors have completed the assignments that they are working on now, the condition of the road will improve to make it motorable for travellers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that the Minister has agreed that the road is in a bad condition. Actually, it is in a terrible condition. We do agree that there may be other factors behind the accidents that he has mentioned. But I do not think that he has travelled on that road recently. There is no tarmac between the Cathedral of Father Pesa up to Riat. It is just a series of potholes.
I am not also satisfied with the Minister's answer in respect of the by-pass and the two contracts. I travel on that road everyday---
Order, Mr. Shakeel! Do you have any supplementary question? Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir!
Could you ask one?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry about that. The Minister has informed us that the Kisumu-Chavakali section has been awarded to M/s Wallukat Enterprises at a cost of Kshs80 million. He has also informed us that this is for site clearing, gravelling, cleaning of culverts, drains and patching of potholes. In fact, that is not good enough Mr. Minister!
Order, Mr. Shakeel! Could you quickly come to the question?
I am sorry Mr. Speaker, Sir. Since this is a road that I use often, sometimes I get carried away.
Mr. Minister, are you satisfied that, that contract you have given for Kshs80 million is good enough to make that road motorable, because I do not think that it is?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes, I am satisfied. I wanted to emphasize that, that is only a stop-gap measure. We intend to provide funds for this road in the next Budget, so that this road can be constructed to international standards.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while the Question is limited to the section between Kiboswa and the junction, what is said about this section applies to the entire road from Kisumu all the way to Webuye. When this matter was raised in the House by hon. Chanzu, the Minister was quick to visit the site and confirm that, indeed, there was no road. Now, he is saying that two contracts have been awarded and that the contractors are on site. I happen to come from there and I know that they are not on site. Could he undertake to travel tomorrow quickly the way he did last time, to confirm that these contractors are not there?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know when Dr. Khalwale travelled on that road, but I have personally spoken with the two contractors this afternoon. I know that one contractor is working between Kisumu and Kondele right now, while the other one is right at Mukumu Mission, working.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we appreciate the efforts the Assistant Minister is making in answering this Question; we also appreciate that the roads are in very bad shape. However, before we went for recess, he promised that the road between Kenol and Murang'a would be patched up and re-sealed. As soon as he answered the Question, the work was stopped. To date, nobody is patching up or re-sealing the road. Is it the same thing? Could the Assistant Minister confirm that when he tells this House that something is being done, that remains the case?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am aware of the road the hon. Member is talking about. My officers were there yesterday and they are due to submit to me the report on the condition of the road and the performance of the contractor on it. I want to assure this House that what I say here is, indeed, true and is nothing but the truth.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has indicated that the two contractors are on site. Could he tell us the duration that they will take to complete the work?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have the correct answer to that particular question, but I will check on it and bring the answer to the hon. Member.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the HANSARD will confirm that the Minister said, while trying to dodge Dr. Khalwale's request, that he visited the site, spoke to the contractor, and he takes it as the official position that the contractors are on site. How many contractors are within Nairobi and when you call them they tell you that they are on site? Could the Minister tell us who he confirmed from within his Ministry, so that he can give the official position as that the contractors are really on site, and that his officers spoke to them?
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, I confirm that I spoke to the Resident Engineer, who is an employee of my Ministry. He confirmed that both contractors were on site. I have no doubt about the information I was given. It is true that the contractors are on site.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Minister confirm whether the contract for Kshs80 million given to M/s Walgat is for the re-patching of the road or is just for re-gravelling and clearing of the shoulders? What is happening right now---
Order, Mr. Shakeel! You have asked the question; allow the Minister to respond.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the contract that has been awarded for the total of Kshs80 million was in respect of bush clearing, re-gravelling of the shoulders, clearing of culverts and the drainage systems, and patching up of the potholes along that section.
asked the Minister for Roads what steps he was taking to repair and reseal the surface of Kutus-Kerugoya-Karatina Road (C74), which is in a serious state of disrepair.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
To improve the condition of Kutus- Kerugoya-Karatina Road, the Ministry of Roads plans to patch up potholes, improve drainage systems, clear the bushes and re-gravel the shoulders pending major resurfacing later. To carry out these works, we have allocated a total of Kshs10 million. The contractor is expected to be on site in the middle of February. He is expected to undertake the works and complete them within a period of six months.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for the answer, but in view of the fact that this is a very important road, which joins two provincial headquarters, Nyeri and Embu, rather than the Ministry spending money on minor resurfacing, when is the Ministry going to start the major resurfacing of this road?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we appreciate that this road traverses a very productive agricultural area, and is, therefore, a very important road from an economic perspective. We are currently making provision to do the 24-kilometre road within the next financial year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister to tell us why the Ministry has to wait for many years, because these roads start becoming bad and then the problems become bigger, until they are in such a state that they cannot be repaired.
Could he tell us whether they are going to stop this kind of thing? Let him tell us whether they are going to do things in a different way; that is, repairing roads as they break down?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the House appreciates the problem at the Ministry of Roads; that, we have a huge backlog of roads which need repairs. That backlog arises from the days when we were not able to maintain the roads. Right now, we are coming up with a programme of periodic and regular maintenance of roads. We hope that we will clear the backlog and ensure that we become proactive in the days ahead.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the fact that at one time we were promised by the Ministry that, that road was going to be done two years ago, could the Minister give us that assurance that it will really be done in the next financial year?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes, I can say with certainty that, that is among the roads that Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
asked the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife:-
(a) whether he is aware that five-year old Mercy Wanjiru was attacked by stray elephants in Bibirioni Village on 22nd August, 2004, and sustained serious injuries but no compensation has been paid;
(b) whether he could explain the failure to pay compensation and state when the same will be paid; and,
(c) what measures the Ministry has put in place to generally ensure timely compensation to victims of human/wildlife conflicts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) Yes, I am aware that five-year old Mercy Wanjiru was attacked by stray elephants in Bibirioni Village on 22nd August, 2004 and sustained serious injuries and compensation has not been paid.
(b) The claim could not be processed in time due to some administrative problems, but now it has been processed and the payment is ready at the DC's office, Kiambu. (c) My Ministry continues to sensitize Chairmen of the District Compensation Committees, who are District Commissioners, to meet regularly, deliberate on and approve compensation claims on a regular basis to avoid a pile up of pending cases.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has just read the same answer that he gave me on 18th December, 2008, which was unsigned then. He says that the money was sent to the DC's Office, Kiambu. Up to now, unless it was done this morning, the money has not been received by the said family. Secondly, there are two districts, namely, Kiambu East and Kiambu West.
I would like him to, therefore, confirm whether, indeed, this money has been paid. If I prove otherwise, the House should reprimand him severely.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, regarding the answer that was unsigned, I cannot claim to have given an answer if I did not sign it. Secondly, according to my officers on the ground, the money is with the DC, Kiambu.
I would feel very concerned if my officers have not given me the true story. In fact, this afternoon, I checked with the particular officer, who confirmed that the money is there.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding damages arising from human-wildlife conflict, could the Minister tell us what they compensate and what they do not compensate?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not get the question. Could he repeat, please?
Order, Mr. Minister! I heard the question. According to the law, what does the Ministry compensate and what does it not compensate?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not pay for crops that have been damaged by wild animals. However, we pay for injuries. The amount for injuries was fixed many years ago at Kshs50,000. For death, the compensation is Kshs200,000. However, we have a Draft Bill which seeks to address these issues. When it comes to the House, I will be seeking support from Members of Parliament to update the current law.
Last question, Mr. Mwathi!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer to part "c" of the Question says that the Minister
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is training the committees that meet regularly to deliberate on these issues as the compensation aspect delays. In order that I bring some information to this House, I would like the Minister to confirm whether the claim payment is with the DC, Kiambu East or DC, Kiambu West.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to check on the same, because these districts are new. In fact, some of the administrative problems were caused by the creation of new districts. This particular claim was sent to Kajiado District, where it was deliberated, because we did not have a committee in either of the two districts in Kiambu.
Mr. Minister, how long do you require to make that verification?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can avail the information tomorrow.
Very well! I will defer that part of the Question to Thursday this week. Only that part of the Question as to which DC the cheque was sent is deferred.
Next Question, Mr. Mwadeghu!
asked the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology when he will elevate Mariwenyi Campus to a constituent college of a public university, or to a fully fledged university.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) Mariwenyi Campus is the name used in Taita Taveta to refer to the recently established Taita-Taveta Campus of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before the establishment of the new campus, it had been proposed that this place be a teacher training college, but its development stalled for about 10 years until last year, following the recommendation of the Public Universities Inspection Board, when it was upgraded to a university campus under JKUAT. The handing over of the campus to JKUAT took place in September, 2008 and its inauguration took place two weeks ago. My Ministry was involved in this exercise.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, lastly, since the establishment of this campus has just taken place, there are no plans to immediately upgrade it to either a constituent college of a university or a fully fledged university. However, subject to appropriate development of staff, physical facilities and other learning facilities, the upgrading of the campus to initially a constituent college should take place within a period of two years.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for that answer. Due to the distance from Juja and where the campus is, could he give a specific date as to when it will start functioning independently?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will start from tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, middle-level colleges are very important in our country. As much as we appreciate the fact that we are building campuses and converting other institutions into universities, could the Assistant Minister tell us the criteria they use for such conversions? Middle-level colleges are slow dying, and we do not want that to happen, because they play a big role in the Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree with the hon. Member that middle-level colleges play a crucial role in the development of education in this country. However, I want to confirm to the House that the Ministry normally does a lot of consultations with local leaders before such an action is taken. We do not just do it arbitrarily, but we consult and get the consensus of local leaders.
Last question, Mr. Mwadeghu!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, now that the Assistant Minister says that the campus will start functioning independently from tomorrow, what measures have been put in place, from yesterday to today, to enable it function independently?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to point out that the Ministry has done quite a lot in this particular campus for the last one year. The first lot of students who were supposed to go to that campus took their courses at JKIA, Juja.
From tomorrow, they will move to the Taita Taveta Campus. I also want to confirm that arrangements have been put in place to make sure that the programme goes on without any problem.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
The Chair is informed that Prof. Kamar is away on parliamentary business in Tanzania. So, that Question is deferred until Tuesday next week!
Hon. Members, given the nature of Business that is before the House this afternoon, I am afraid that we have to come to the end of Question Time at this point. The few Questions that are still left will be deferred to tomorrow. They will take priority over Questions that may, otherwise, be scheduled to appear on the Order Paper tomorrow.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, the hon. Member for Naivasha?
I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Agriculture on matters touching on maize and the current food situation in the country. In his Statement, the Minister should cover the following areas:-
(i) The total volume of maize harvested in the year 2007/2008, the proportion destroyed by post election violence, the proportion withheld by farmers and the proportion sold to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), the balance awaiting sale by NCPB or willing buyers and the total sales to NCPB.
(ii) The current recommended sale prices of maize by farmers and factors underlying the recommended price.
(iii) The importation status of maize, country of origin and whether any Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize is being imported and the price it landed in Nairobi.
(iv) The irregular purchase of maize by politicians or their companies, the countries of origin and from NCPB that led to the escalation of prices in maize and maize products.
(v) List of registered millers and why they were not allowed to buy directly from NCPB prior to the current mega scam involving maize.
(vi) The action taken by the Government to correct that mega corruption.
The Minister for Agriculture, when will that Ministerial Statement be available? The nature of it is such that it is urgent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we will bring it. But I want to ask something.
When will the Ministerial Statement be available because it is an urgent matter? Will you bring it on Thursday?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We will bring it on Thursday.
It is so ordered. You will bring it on Thursday this week.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the food issue is not only being handled by the Ministry of Agriculture. There is the Ministry of Special Programmes which deals with strategic grain reserve---
Order, Mr. Ndambuki! The key Ministry here is the Ministry of Agriculture!
If you require information from other Government departments, please, secure that information. In case of difficulties, ask the Leader of Government Business to assist you to secure that information!
Proceed, Mr. David Ngugi!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Energy on the fuel prices that are being experienced in the country between December, 2008 and January, 2009.
In particular, the Minister should state and clarify the following:-
(a) The amount of fuel that was available in the country between October, 2008 and January, 2009.
(b) The reasons that caused the shortage in the months of December, 2008 and January, 2009.
(c) The status of Triton Company in relation to the fuel prices and the alleged fraud of Kshs7.6 billion to both local and international financiers.
(d) The involvement, if any, of the Ministry officials, the overseeing body or the agency of the oil industry.
(e) Finally, the involvement of the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) both at board and management level.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Very well! The Minister for Energy, when will that Statement be available?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We will table the Statement on Thursday this week.
Very well. That is good! One just wonders! The Minister for Roads said this afternoon that he is unable to find Kshs5 billion to rehabilitate the Kakamega-Webuye Road and we are hearing that Kshs7.6 billion was stolen!
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Proceed, Mr. Linturi!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Transport in regard to the lease of Land by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to Afro-Asia Investment Corporation of Qatar for the construction of a hotel cum a trade exhibition centre. The Minister should clarify among other things:-
(a) Whether an environmental impact assessment wad carried out in accordance with the provisions of the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) Act.
(b) Whether a feasibility study and due diligence was carried out in identifying the latter.
(c) The value of the investment by the corporation, the period of lease and the Government stake in the investment.
(d) Who authorised the transaction and who were the signatories to the contract?
(e) Finally, whether the necessary procurement procedures were followed in the execution of the deal with regard to the relevant Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Very well. I am not sure I know which Minister will deal with this issue. Is it the Minister for Transport?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Statement will be tabled on Thursday this week.
Order, hon. Members! That is quite in order. We will reduce the number of Questions and take all those Statements.
What is it, Prof. Ongeri?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I seek your indulgence, in view of the current strike by teachers, which touches on various families, communities and the nation at large, to make a Ministerial Statement at this point.
Yes, you may proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon. Members are aware that in early 2008 - to be exact, in February, 2008 - I appointed the Teachers Service Remuneration Committee (TSRC) under the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act Cap.212 of the Laws of Kenya. The Committee was gazetted on 15th February, 2008, and inaugurated on 22nd of April, 2008. The Committee is made up of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Service, TSC and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT). Between May and December, 2008, the Committee held 13 meetings to discuss issues of basic salaries for all the teachers under the employment of TSC. During the first meeting of the Committee, KNUT submitted a memorandum which demanded adjustments amounting to an extra cost of Kshs88.5 billion over and above the current expenditure. The salary scales proposed in the memorandum were way above all other groups in the public service. Thus, the Government side requested for time to analyse the financial Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
I will allow a few clarifications. As a matter of fact, I will allow five clarifications. Let us begin with Mr. Linturi.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think teachers have been taken for granted for a very long time and it is sad. The role played by teachers in modelling the future of this country cannot be underestimated. The Minister for Finance can come to this House with a Sessional Paper for getting guarantee of a loan to feed Kenyans, and the money they sought may end up disappearing into the pockets of very a few people!
Order, Mr. Linturi! I have allowed you to seek clarification and not to debate, or argue against, the Ministerial Statement issued by the Minister. From the Statement that the Minister has made, what is not clear to you?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, why is it not possible for the Minister to take urgent measures, even if it means borrowing money so that teachers can be paid and our children get back to school?
Mr. Speaker, when the Minister talks about percentages like 35 per cent or so on, people might think that he is giving teachers everything. What he means is that he is raising the salary from Kshs10,000 to Kshs13,000. If you want to spread the increment of Kshs3,000 over a period of three years, it means you want to pay the teachers only Kshs1,000.
I have had a session with these teachers. They are saying that they are dropping all the contentious issues, and asking for only one thing; that the Kshs3,000 that you want to pay, be given in July and not in January. We want the Minister to come to this House and ask for money and we will vote it in the next financial year, so that you can pay the teacher Kshs3,000 in July. What is difficult about that? Could he clarify whether he is now going to change that position or not?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I want to thank the Minister for having gone through those negotiations. We need to be reasonable about these things. I want the Minister to clarify to us--- Since parents and students are now being affected, could he assure Kenyans that he will not close the window for dialogue, so that this issue can be sorted out in an amicable manner, so that the teachers, students, and parents, who have just paid a lot of money to take children back to school, do
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Lastly, I would like to ask the Minister whether he could be kind enough as to stop the policemen from tear-gasing innocent teachers, because it looks barbaric? It is out of place and I do not think that the modern Kenya, or the modern world, can take it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you have heard the Minister concede to the fact that those teachers in Job Groups "K" to "R" have no problem with harmonization of their salaries. But the bulk of teachers who fall on Job Group J and below are members of KNUT. There seems to have been more attention to the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) members than to KNUT members. I think this is what has whipped up the emotions of the KNUT leadership. We do not need to have two rival unions, one bending towards the Government and one opposing it. Could the Minister consider listening to the KNUT leadership? As parents and also leaders, we do not support this strike. However, the Government is to blame partly for what has happened.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, it is a sad moment because we are experiencing a teachers' strike at this moment. I would like to seek clarification from the Minister on an issue regarding KUPPET. Teachers do not seem to subscribe to KUPPET. In fact, from the information we have, teachers who are supposed to be members of KUPPET are seeking membership in KNUT. Why is the Government not giving a listening ear to the teachers, especially at this moment when they are on strike? The Government should not talk about the economy at this moment. Kenyans know that the Government has money. At least, for once, the Government should listen to teachers and not take them for granted as if they do not deserve a pay increase. Indeed, I feel that teachers should be given a pay rise.
Hon. Members, we will make one exception because the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology is up on his feet. Could you, please, Mr. Koech, seek your clarification in 30 seconds?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this last opportunity. As the rest of the hon. Members have mentioned, this is a very sad day for this country.
We have agreed before as a Committee and even requested that the Government ensures that we do not see anybody on the streets this year because that will remind Kenyans and even our students of the happenings of last year. It is even worse to see the Minister at the point of almost giving up. I think that will make this day a dark one.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, certain things could have contributed to the strike that is taking place today. First, it is the offer that was made of six years. It was then reduced to five years, four years and eventually three years. Natural justice informs everybody that it is still possible to come down to one year. Why did the Government, in the first place, give an offer of six years?
Secondly, while the negotiations were going on, salaries for the civil servants were increased in July, 2008. That must have informed the strike that we have today. So, it may not be practical for the Minister for Education to convince teachers that we do not have enough money. It is important that we swallow this pill. I support my colleagues who have said that the Minister needs to institute some changes. The Government should look for money so that those in the lower cadres---
Order, Mr. Koech! You cannot be supporting your colleagues. If you are supporting your colleagues, then you must come to an end now. This is because our rules do not allow us to be repetitive!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I do not want to mention the other things that have been mentioned because of the time you have given me - I thought I was going to mention all of them.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not wish to see students in school alone minus the teachers. Could the Minister consider increasing the salary, especially of those teachers in the low cadres this July 2009? That way, we will not have further interruption of learning. Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Minister, can you deal with all that in seven minutes?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will do so. First, why six years? Yes, it is true that the civil service pay package of about Kshs4 billion which was paid in July, 2008, was done over a period of six years in order to effect the harmonisation process. That is why the period of six years was suggested for the KNUT when the negotiations were going on. Therefore, you should be congratulating the Government that despite that set period of six years of harmonisation, we have been able to reduce it to three years. This was arrived at after having had two stalemates. In order to break the impasse, the Government painstakingly reduced the period from six years to three years. That is now the position.
What about the civil service salaries? I will combine that question with that of Dr. Khalwale regarding a 35 per cent increase in the teachers' pay. When the harmonisation process was to take effect, the net salary for Job Groups F to J--- Job Group F comprises of P1, P2, AT3 and AT4. If the harmonisation was to take place in accordance with the existing policy, then teachers in this category would have walked away with a 2 per cent increase. The Government realised that it would not be convincing enough. So, we allowed a little distortion to occur in the harmonisation process so that we could give teachers an increase of 35 per cent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if, today, I am told by Treasury that I pay this money within a year, I will do so. However, I do not hold the purse. I may wish to do so, but if the will to bring that money on the table is lacking - and the money is not there - my wish will simply be a wish!
With regard to Mr. Abdirahman's question on the KUPPET issue, there is total misunderstanding about that union and I want to put it to rest. KUPPET is a registered union representing post-primary school teachers, basically graduate teachers. They have been in existence for ten years. They have an agreement with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and, therefore, the members' dues are subtracted from their salaries by the TSC and remitted to KUPPET.
However, they were not members of the Teachers Salary Review Commission (TSRC) because the law tells me that they must have a statutory simple majority of 51 per cent membership for them to be part of the TSRC. They made a petition to me as the Minister in September or October last year. I looked at it. That time, their membership was 11,000 teachers. I called the TSC because they made an allegation that there were 20,000 applications in the TSC which had not been processed. When I looked at the whole process and since it involved the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the employer, I determined that they need to go to the Ministry of Labour and harmonise.
Indeed, both KUPPET and the TSC went before the Ministry of Labour in October and November 2008. They were advised that the TSC, who is the employer, can only receive individual membership and not corporate membership. One of the things that KUPPET did is that during the whole of November, 2008, they went on recruiting individuals and today, they have the required 51 per cent. As if that was not enough because they were going to derail the TSRC negotiations, the TSC went to court to bar them from being members of TSC and, therefore, bar them from any strike action.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the court ruling, which I am prepared to lay on the Table, states that KUPPET is a bona fide union member. They have existed for ten years and, therefore, the employer, the TSC, must comply with the normal labour laws. Therefore, the signing of the CBA by the TSC is a product of the court ruling. The only remedy to a product of a court ruling is an appeal.
What is it, Dr. Khalwale?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You have noticed that there were so many Members of Parliament who wanted to seek clarifications but time could not allow. Given that the Minister has not told us a single action that would lead the children of poor parents to go back to school, could I beg that we have a Motion of Adjournment so that tomorrow, we can deliberate on this issue until we force the Minister and the Government to take children of poor people to school? All these people's children are in academies!
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Order! Order, Dr. Khalwale! Indeed, you have been in this House for some time now. I am aware that you are doing your second term so that the provisions of Standing Order No.20 ought to be a matter familiar to you. You must know what it says! You must comply with those provisions. I do not want to read through it because I expect that with your professional standing, you ought to know the provisions of that Standing Order.
What is it Mr. Imanyara?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a happier note and with your permission; pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.20, I rise to give notice of Motion for adjournment of the House in order to congratulate the citizens of the United States of America (USA) and the President-elect, Mr. Barack Husein Obama, on his impending inauguration as the 44th President of the USA. As I speak, the ceremony is underway.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have indicated this to the Leader of Government Business and he is in agreement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the impending inauguration of President Obama is a historic event which will be celebrated worldwide. It is indeed being celebrated worldwide. I have no doubt, being an American of Kenyan decent is a matter of our own national importance as stipulated in Standing Order No.20.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I, therefore, humbly request you to allocate time this afternoon for us to congratulate the President-elect of the USA.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sure those who support me will stand up.
Order, hon. Members! I am satisfied that Mr. Gitobu Imanyara's Motion has the necessary support as laid out under Standing Order No.20. Indeed, Mr. Gitobu Imanyara has complied with the provisions of paragraph 2 of that Standing Order in the sense that he has given to the Chair, prior, to the commencement of this sitting, two hours notice in writing.
Given the level of interest that this matter has attracted in Kenya by way of public interest and comments, I am satisfied, therefore, that this is a matter of national importance and that it is definite and urgent. This is because, indeed, Kenyans must be associated with this moment of glory particulary in respect to the claimed linkage of the American President-elect to Kenya. Therefore, I will allocate this matter time to begin at 5.30 p.m. today. It will last one hour.
Hon. Members, I have heard a comment on that claimed linkage. I think during the debate, you will be able to assert positively that indeed, there is lineage between the American President-elect Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir---
Order, hon. Members! The Minister will be heard!
Please, those who are withdrawing from the Chamber, do so quietly!
Mr. Minister, please, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while I stand here to move that the Merchant Shipping Bill be read for the second time, I wish at the same time to highlight a few salient points relating to the Bill and the importance it has to the Republic of Kenya.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Kenya is a maritime nation. It is one of the few maritime nations. It is a maritime nation that serves a broad interland over and above its own country. Kenya as a maritime nation, serves the maritime interests of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan and some parts of northern Tanzania.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a maritime nation, we have the Kenya Maritime Authority which manages matters related to our maritime world. However, it is important that the Kenya Maritime Authority becomes more functional in its role and relates not only to Kenya's maritime regulations but also with regulations that have been approved by world bodies and to which Kenya is a party.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a maritime nation, we have to register our ships. We have to do that systematically and in line with what prevails globally. We have to ensure that certain standards are set and met; that is, standards that contribute to the safety of ships, cargo and passengers as the case may be.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, although we are a maritime nation, we are one of the maritime nations that make very little use of the exclusive economic zone that is in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Kenya. We can make use of our exclusive maritime zone if we have regulations and laws that encourage the utilisation of our zone for the benefit of Kenya and those countries that depend on Kenya for their maritime activities.
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Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of registration of ships is extremely important. We may not have ships of our own but we can, through the Merchant Shipping Bill, be in a position to register and recognise ships that are hired from elsewhere. They could be the flag of convenience ships or ships that are hired on bare-boat process. It is important that we activate merchant shipping in our country. We have regulations that have to be applied. It is for Kenya to spearhead the application of a lot of issues that relate to maritime activities like the hijacking of ships on the high seas by pirates. We found that at one stage, some pirates were brought to Kenya to be tried and possibly be sentenced here. However, the process hit a snag because our Merchant Shipping Bill is yet to be enacted into law.
It is important that we move with speed because of that international interdependence on maritime nations. We have some problems that, sometimes, occur, but we are unable to address them effectively. Take the question of salvage and wreckage of ships. There are international regulations.
Yes, the International Maritime Organization has got protocols and conventions to which Kenya is a party. But the systematic application of the same require that our maritime authority is empowered through the Merchant Shipping Bill to discharge its duties in accordance with international set standards. At the moment, our seafarers are not trained in Kenya. Most of them are trained in Tanzania, or even in Europe. The reason is that we have not adequately addressed the modalities and regulations that relate to the training of seafarers; modalities that would be acceptable internationally.
The enactment of the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2008 will, indeed, empower the Kenya Maritime Authority, together with sister institutions that have activities relating to maritime activities like the Kenya Ports Authority, to organize training for our seafarers at all cadres, so that they may get appropriate certification as approved by the International Maritime Organization.
Once we do that, and as a maritime nation, we will have more and more seafarers who will get employment not only in our ships, but even in liner ships or merchant ships that call at the Port of Mombasa and elsewhere in the world.
It is recognized that there are some countries which earn substantial foreign currency because of their maritime activities. The Philippines is such an immediate example. The money that is remitted by seafarers to their country contributes to more than 20 per cent of that country's GDP. That can be done in Kenya even at a higher level if we apply what I hope would be passed as the Merchant Shipping Bill, and the role that the Kenya Maritime Authority is already playing to actualize the same.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important to note here that the Kenya Maritime Authority, together with the Kenya Institute of Education and other institutions that do training, have come up with a curriculum for training our seafarers in all areas of knowledge that are necessary for managing a ship. The curriculum was passed and is ready for application. In fact, it is a curricula because they cover all aspects of maritime jobs and chores . Once this Bill is passed, we shall be in a position to train our seafarers here. We have institutions like the Bandari College. Even other institutions have shown willingliness, including some of our universities, to give higher courses to our seafarers and people who will be working in the merchant marine sector.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said earlier that it is important to register our own ships. So far, our register of ships mainly covers small vessels that ply the coastal zones, not too far away from the Coast. We do not have vessels that sail to foreign countries. We do not have numbers that would significantly contribute to our economy. The main problem here is that our regulations have got to be in place because the work of seafarers has got to conform to many international conventions and protocols. Once you register ships in Kenya in whatever mode, you will be in a position to follow their voyages in a systematic manner. Whatever needs to be addressed here by our courts of law will have the guidance of the Merchant Shipping Act once it is passed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of safety at sea is extremely important. Seafaring can be pretty dangerous. But with a systematic mode of regulation, our seafarers should be Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to second the Bill. By the size of this Bill, one can attest that Kenya does not have any existing law on maritime activities.
The Committee on Energy, Communications and Public Works has taken a lot of time to look at the Bill. We have travelled to Mombasa and taken a lot of time to examine what exists at the Kenya Maritime Authority. We have examined the ships as they dock in Mombasa and inspected ship-building areas. As a matter of fact, probably the only section that is missing in this Bill is the one on building of ships both in Mombasa and other Kenyan waters. That does not seem to have been covered in this Bill. We have many problems in our waters and the Kenya/Somalia border waters. Therefore, it would be prudent that we pass this Bill as soon as possible.
The Minister has said almost everything that I wanted to say about this Bill. But I would like to just emphasize the fact that this Bill should have been brought to this House many years ago. But it is better late than never. I think we should pass it as soon as possible. From what we saw in Mombasa, many Kenyans that are now working on the ships, including engineers and even seafarers are not covered under any Act at all. But if we pass this Bill, Kenyans will get jobs in the maritime industry.
I beg to second this Bill.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill knowing that it was brought to this House very late.
The registration of ships has been delayed, even though Kenya achieved her Independence in the year 1963. Since then, nobody, be it the Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, Harbours Corporation or the Government, has come up with an idea of the registration of ships. Some Kenyans have enough money to buy ships, but when they do so, they would want their ships to get registration. Kenyans have never been able to buy ships not because they cannot do it, but it is because there was no law to protect this business. Time has come now to support this Bill so that the Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I take this opportunity to thank the Minister and congratulate him for taking a very historical step in the development of the maritime laws in this country. By bringing to this House this Bill for consideration, he lays the foundation of all maritime law practice in this country.
For a very long time, practitioners in the business of the sea, namely, sailors and other employees in the maritime sector, and those who are trained in that sector; passengers and everybody else who has something to do with shipping, have complained that there is no law or any regulation in this country that supports the practice and the business of maritime activities in this country.
So, I want to congratulate the Minister. It has taken a long time. We waited for this Bill in the last Parliament. I am happy that it has finally come. This Bill must be supported by this House because, every lawyer who is a practitioner of maritime law at the Coast Province and other places in this country knows for a fact that every time we need to arrest a ship which has committed an offence in the high seas, or a ship which has caused an accident, or a ship which is not paying wages to the crew, the applications and the format in which we will have to present this case to the court is always based on the practice of the English law.
We also go there quoting things that have something to do with England. In Kenya, there has never been a clear-cut law. Therefore, this Bill is a big improvement on that situation. I am sure that every person who is a practitioner of maritime law today, upon the passage of this Bill, will leave a big sigh of relief. This is because a lot of things that were dependent on the goodwill of the courts have now been clearly addressed rather than being left to the discretion of the courts, and not the law as it were.
One of the things that the Minister has stated here has something to do with the safety of the people aboard ships that come to Kenya. Although the previous speaker has talked about the Office of the Director General of the Kenya Maritime Authority not being of much relevance, in fact, this law seeks to make it mandatory, under Clauses 366 and 367, that the captain of a vessel destined for our Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to thank you, once Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Order, hon. Midiwo! You will have ten minutes to contribute on this Bill next time. However, hon. Members under Standing Order No.20, it is now time to move the Motion for Adjournment of the House. So, I call upon the Minister to move it and then we can proceed.
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Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in a little more than two hours and a half, one Barack Hussein Obama will be taking the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America (USA). This event is of great significance to the entire world but even more so to us in Kenya because the President-elect of the USA has his ancestry in living memory of Kenya. His father was born, bred and died in this country and what was unimaginable in the many years you lived in America as a professor in an American university has happened and today an African-American stands poised to become the 44th President of the USA.
In the early 1990s, on a fellowship tour of Harvard University as the editor of the Nairobi Law
, I had the privilege of meeting a young American by the name of Obama who had then just been elected the first President of the Harvard Law Review. At that utime, little did I know that within my own lifetime, I would be celebrating an event such as would be happening in two and a half hour's time.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, those of us who have the privilege of representing this House in the Pan African Parliament (PAP) will recall that on the day Barack Obama was elected the President of the USA on 4th November, we were in session of the PAP and I had the privilege of moving a similar motion which was carried by acclamation by all African representatives of the entire African continent assembled at the PAP in Johannesburg.
So, what we are doing today is recognising an event that is of truly historic significance. It is momentous in many ways for us, not simply because Barack Obama's father was Kenyan but because he is the President of the USA with which we share a rich history on form of Government, constitution, the concept of the rule of law which we cherish and our court system. In fact, the Constitution of Kenya that we are about to embark on the process of reforming, was crafted under the guidance of another great American of African descent, the late Thurgood Marshall. So, as we celebrate today the inauguration of President Barack Obama, we in Kenya have every reason to celebrate more than just having a president who has a history with which we can share.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some are saying that for the duration of Barack Obama's administration of presidency, we should consider ourselves a State of the USA because one of our own sits in the White House, but that is not the case. What is important for us is the lessons that we as a country can learn from the USA where they have had a dark history of racial discrimination.
In this country, where we have just gone through a period of post-election violence, where election results led to violence, death and destruction of property, we can learn a lesson from the USA that the results of an election there does not lead to death and violence. We can learn many lessons from John McCain who so gloriously accepted defeat when the will of the American people was declared through the ballot box. These are the lessons that we as Kenyans must be proud of, in that, one with our own ancestry today is going to lift the Bible and swear to protect and defend a constitution upon which our own Constitution is modelled.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, as we celebrate this occasion, let us also pay tribute to those who made it possible like our own Tom Mboya, who together with the Kennedy administration arranged the Great Air Lift that saw so many Kenyans go to the USA. That, in many ways, led to this great Kenyan who landed in Hawaii and married an American woman who has today given us the President of the USA. Tom Mboya and John F. Kennedy are people who saw so much hope for this country.
As we embark on the process of rewriting our Constitution based on the American experience, Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningependa kuchukua nafasi hii kujiunga na Wakenya wenzangu, na Bw. Imanyara kumpongeza Rais ambaye ataapishwa baada ya masaa mawili na nusu hivi kama Rais wa Jamhuri ya Marekani.
Mimi ningependa kusema machache. Sisi kama Wakenya tunajivuna kwa sababu huyu ni mmoja wetu. Babake ni kutoka sehemu hii, na sisi, kama Wakenya, tunafurahia siku hii ambayo imepatia nchi yetu sifa kubwa katika ulimwengu mzima. Hata huko Marekani tunaambiwa kwamba wanaume wetu wana soko nzuri zaidi. Kwa hivyo, sisi tunafurahi sana.
Jambo ambalo ningependa kusema la muhimu ni kwamba kuna mambo ambayo ni lazima tujifunze. Tunaweza kuchagua rais ambaye hana mambo ya ukabila katika roho yake na akawa kiongozi wa Kenya. Kama vile Obama amechaguliwa na Wamarekani bila kuwa na kabila kubwa. Ukabila si kitu ambacho kilimpeleka juu bali ni mambo ambayo aliamini.
Jambo la pili ni kwamba si lazima kuchagua wazee kuwa viongozi wa nchi ya Kenya. Kila wakati tukienda kwa kura ni kwamba lazima uwe na nywele nyeupe. Hapa Kenya imekuwa ni kama desturi kwamba watu ni lazima wawe na nywele nyeupe. Ndiyo maana viongozi wetu wanajipaka vichwa vyao rangi. Jambo ambalo tunajifunza ni kwamba si lazima tuchague wazee kuwa viongozi wa nchi ya Kenya. Bw. Obama ameingia akiwa na nywele nyeusi na zinazong'ara kama za Bw. Mungatana.
Jambo la tatu ambalo tunaweza kujifunza ni kwamba tunaweza kuchagua kiongozi wa nchi, ambaye hajahusika na mambo ya ufisadi. Barack Obama amechaguliwa kuwa kiongozi wa Marekani na hajatajwa katika kashfa za ufisadi. Kwa sasa ni lazima tujifunze kwamba kuna watu ambao tunatarajia kwamba watataka urais, na sasa wanaingizwa katika maneno ambayo hayafai. Katika Kenya hii tumesikia kwamba kuna watu wanaokula mahindi ya maskini. Ni aibu kwamba wakati huu ambapo dunia nzima inaangalia Wakenya, kuna vichwa vya magazeti vinavyosema kwamba kuna ufisadi nchini Kenya. Kuna wengine ambao wanataka ukubwa ilhali wanahusika na kashfa ya mafuta. Tumesikia kashfa ya mahindi hapa Kenya ni zaidi ya billioni moja.
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On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Do you want to inform me? Let him inform me on the issue of corruption.
Is that a point of order?
No; it is a point of information.
Order, Mr. Minister! Continue, Mr. Mungatana.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kitu ambacho tungependa kusema ni kwamba---
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ni lazima tuseme vilivyo. Wanasema kwamba wengine wamekula mahindi, lakini wanateremsha na mafuta.
Tena kuongezea, wanataka kuwa marais. Ni aibu kwamba sisi hapa Kenya tunaona vichwa vya magazeti. Kuna kashfa ya Triton, ambayo ni ya Kshs7 billion. Tuna na kashfa ya mahindi ya karibu Kshs1 billion. Tuna kashfa katika utalii ya Kshs35 million.
Jambo lingine ambalo tumejifunza leo ni kwamba unaweza kuwa kiongozi hapa Kenya bila kuingia katika kuhusishwa na kashfa za ufisadi. Tunaomba kwamba wakati wa kura ya mwaka 2012, tuangalie swala la tatu ambalo tumejifunza kutokana na ushindi wa Rais Barack Obama. Si lazima uwe mfisadi, ama uwe na kabila ama pesa. Tunaweza kuchagua mtu ambaye atasaidia nchi hii na atupeleka mbele, na si wafisadi wanaotaka ofisi kubwa.
Kwa hayo machache ninashukuru kwa kunipa nafasi.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this important Motion. I want to thank the Mover of this Motion for conceiving the idea that today should be a day of celebrations in this country, because it is being celebrated globally. This country has a particular reason why it should celebrate.
I would like to congratulate the people of the United States of America (USA) for making the bold decision to give this opportunity to a Kenyan-American. The blood that flows in him is Kenyan. The fact that today he has been given an opportunity, as an American citizen, to lead that country is an achievement for us and also an opportunity to learn many lessons.
As we celebrate this day, I want to express my disappointment with the Kenyan Government, because it has decided to send a delegation that was not officially invited to the USA. That is a matter for the American people. They are celebrating and the President-elect, Mr. Obama, is saying thank you to the American voters. We have official representation in Washington. It is a shame that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Tourism and others are going to attend an African diplomats' bash in Washington. You reduce yourselves to a level where you think it is glory to go and speak before African diplomats. This is a time when the image of this country is extremely high. This delegation is spending Kshs14 million. That is a scandal itself.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not think it is order for Mr. Affey to castigate the Minister involved, when this House has found it fit to celebrate and put aside the very serious business about maize and hunger to discuss somebody's inauguration while mere congratulations would have done. I think we are guilty of the same crime and if any of us was a Minister would probably do the same.
Mr. Affey, please, stick to the Motion Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am absolutely within my mandate. The Motion for Adjournment is about the celebrations. I am only trying to say that it is not necessary to spend money to travel to Washington DC just to attend a ceremony organised by a collection of African diplomats! The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, the Minister for Tourism and any other Minister have no reason to attend that bash. There is no justification, whatsoever. I think it is one of the scandals that we are discussing now in this country. There is the maize and oil scandal too!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this afternoon, I was privileged to watch a recap of President Obama giving a wonderful speech at the University of Nairobi in 2006. He said that corruption in Kenya is a crisis. That is true. Indeed, it is a real crisis. How else can you explain a scenario where this afternoon the Acting Minister for Finance asked Parliament to guarantee a loan of over Kshs100 million when we know that there is every possibility that people have been lined up to steal that money? I say that because the story of Obama is very critical to---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Did you hear the hon. Member say that there are people who are ready to steal the money that we are voting as Parliament? Could he, please, justify and substantiate his claim?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is well known that there is a maize crisis in this country. It can only be done by people and not animals.
Mr. Affey, who is ready to steal the money? Could you, please, mention the names?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that the country is undergoing a crisis. This is a very serious matter. It is not something for Members of Parliament to laugh about.
Order, Mr. Affey! You said that there are people lining up to steal the money. Do you know them?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the interest of time, I withdraw that statement.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a lesson to learn from Mr. Obama's election as President of the USA.
As my colleague has said, you do not have to be corrupt to be President. You do not have to steal. You do not have to be old and use Kiwi polish every morning on your hair--- When you see these people, you will imagine that they are young.
We need to elect a young person to be the President of this country. This is because 80 per cent of Kenyans are below the age of 50 years. We need to find a way of doing that. In this House, we have good Kenyans who can do the job. In this country, we have so many people who can be elected as President of this country. Let us not glorify corruption. In fact, that is what the election of Mr. Obama as President of the USA has taught us. You can be President of this country even if you come from North Eastern Province. Because of this, we are motivated to contest for the presidency of this country.
I beg to support.
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Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this very important Motion which I support. The simple question is: What lesson do we draw from Barrack Obama's inauguration today? It is that we should not just sit and mourn about the situation in our country. We should rise up and act.
While we may lament about the top leadership, what are we, as Members of Parliament and national leaders, doing? We are supposed to be the watchdog on behalf of the people. Is Parliament playing its role today as a watchdog? And if it is, why is it taking us so long to discover when things are going wrong? We have a situation like no other, that is, a Grand Coalition Government that has effectively robbed Parliament of an official opposition.
However, we can still work as we are to make sure that things come to light. We can only do so if parliamentarians, and especially the Back Bench are themselves like Ceaser's wife, that is, above reproach. If Members of Parliament and those in Government collude to do things that are wrong, for example, a scam, then, obviously, there is nobody left as a watchdog. The test of this Tenth Parliament, whether we perform or not, is not to have a Motion for Adjournment to laud the inauguration of Obama. The test is to rise up and do what we must, that is, what we are paid to do for this country. We must ensure that we complete the constitutional review process and set up laws that will help us ensure that we have transparent systems in place.
The reason Mr. Barack Obama is President of the USA today is because they have a system that works. Our system does not work or it is choking - we know that. That is why we have a Grand Coalition Government to fix it. Are we fixing it? That is the question each one of us must ask. Mr. Obama could have lamented about slavery in America and racial discrimination which is still there. He could have listened to those who were saying that a one time Senator and a black American cannot win the presidency, but he chose not to listen to his detractors and went for it. Now he has a chance to help fix what is wrong with his country. We are called upon to do the same.
Let us not just throw the challenge. Parliament has the key to doing many things. I want to invite us, I included, to first fix it by ensuring that the constitutional review, which can bring in the new order that we want, is in place. We need to have good electoral systems which will show patriotism in our leadership. Why would you want to get several millions of shillings from maize when you have a comfortable salary which translates to hunger for millions of people?
Why would we allow somebody to run billions of shillings in credit in the oil industry and yet we know that before the goods leave the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) bonded warehouses, one's bank must confirm that it will pay. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) must collect the revenue before the goods leave. In what circumstances are we being told that the Kshs2 billion is uncollected? What are we doing as Parliament? The challenge is to us in the Government and Parliament as well. I do not think that Government and Parliament have acquitted themselves before the eyes of Kenyans in the performance of our duties.
We laud Mr. Obama and there are lessons to learn. The first lesson is believing in ourselves. We do not have to bend rules to get there. We can walk the whole and torturous journey. Yes, it is difficult, but short-cuts cannot get us anywhere.
I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Motion on the inauguration of the President of the world.
With regard to the Constitution, yes, we should have one that emulates that of the USA. The question is: Are we going to stick by it? The raiding of the offices of The Standard Newspaper is one example. Did we follow the rule? What caused those offices to be raided? We have to look at both Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I knew Hussein Obama in his grey jacket when I was 16 years old. Unlike mheshimiwa who knew the President of the world, I knew his father.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President of the world is the son of Mr. Hussein Obama who was the son of Obama Opiyo. Mr. Obama Opiyo was the son of Jotham Ndalo Obama who was buried in Karachuonyo. Actually, the entire family lived in Karachuonyo which is my constituency. That is the very reason that today we are celebrating the inauguration of the President of the world, Obama. What we have in place are prayers, songs, dances and jubilations. People are so happy in Karachuonyo. I am therefore, very happy that Parliament has allocated these few minutes to discuss this issue and send greetings to the people of United States of America (USA) and congratulate the President of the world.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to say so much. I am so happy and thank you for giving me the opportunity.
I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate my learned friend and Member for Imenti Central, Mr. Gitobu Imanyara, for bringing this Motion. Indeed, it is, as the Speaker ruled, a matter of definite and urgent national importance. This is because in just under two hours, President-elect Barack Obama, will be swearing to take office as the 44th President of the USA. I think it is in order for us, as the National Assembly, to congratulate the people of USA even as we personally congratulate President Barack Obama for this monumental achievement.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, history is in the making. I know that we can all try to relate to President Obama in various ways. This morning I was listening to the BBC and I heard the Southern Sudanese claim that President Obama is Sudanese. Just sitting here next to my learned friend, Mr. James Orengo, he is saying that even the Irish are claiming parentage of President-elect Barack Obama. Everybody is claiming a piece of Barack Obama. Be that as it may, what does it actually mean for the world today?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hold the view that after the collapse of the Cold War, when the Berlin Wall finally came tumbling down, the world had expected to reap the peace. However, we all know that the world has been engulfed in one conflict after another. I think it is really achievable within the presidency of Barack Obama to work positively towards world peace. I think that this is achievable. In fact, the very mood in the world today is pregnant with expectation that for once, we will avoid mistakes like the war in Iraq because that was an obvious mistake.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember I was called upon as the Minister for Foreign Affairs to indicate whether Kenya was supporting the war in Iraq or not. I say that because then, President Bush was saying: "You are either for us or against us." I said that we were a complainant nation because due to the United States of America, we were bombed in 1998. We have never recovered from those scars. But now, with the presidency of Barack Obama, we hope that they will embrace multi-laterism as opposed to American unilateralism which is really what has brought about big problems in the world peace.
Therefore, personally, I want to congratulate him. I have already written a personal letter to him because when I was appointed the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, he called me at midnight - our time - and said: "Mr. Vice-President, can you fix the problem that has now engulfed Kenya?" I wrote to say: "Mr. President-elect, we have fixed it because we do have a Grand Coalition Government". I think he will be very proud of us today. Therefore, let us work together with
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President-elect Barack Obama. Let us work towards world peace, reconciliation and understanding. I think this is a great moment.
Last Sunday, we commemorated the fourth edition of Martin Luther King African Foundation. The delegation was led by a young exciting Kenyan by the name Mwangi Mukami, whom we had to dispatch to attend the inauguration. There are very many people who are thinking positively. The point we were trying to relay was to reflect on the story of Birmingham Albama in 1961, when Martin Luther King had to write a letter from prison to the church. He wrote from the prison because he was complaining. What are you trying to do? Why do you not give this administration a chance? Martin Luther King was fighting against segregation. Now, had Martin Luther King lived or was alive today, I think he would have shouted as loud as he could: "Freedom at last!" That is what he fought for.
Really, the world has reason and cause to celebrate! That the first African-American is able to be sworn in as the President of the United States of America. But, of course, we should remind ourselves that the Americans elected an American President. Let us not kid ourselves that there will be goodies expected of President Obama. We have to set our country right. We have to say no to corruption in real terms. We have to expose it in all its forms and manifestations.
With those few remarks, I beg to support and thank Mr. Imanyara for bringing this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand to speak, first and foremost, as a Member of the Pan-African Parliament and congratulate our Leader of Delegation to the Pan-African Parliament, Mr. Imanyara, for bringing this Motion successfully as he did at the Pan African Parliament, the day that President-elect Obama was elected. We were then having our Session at the Pan-African Parliament and our leader moved a similar Motion and we congratulated the President-elect as African Members of Parliament. I am, therefore, honoured and humbled that the Kenyan Parliament has also given us this opportunity.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important for us to realize that Kenya holds a unique position not because of the lineage of the President-elect Barack Obama, but because of what we did at the end of the political crisis we had after our elections. It is important for me to point out here that, as much as we castigate ourselves as Kenyans, in the face of Africa and at the Pan-African Parliament, Kenyans are considered as people who are selfless and who can hold back on their own ambitions for the sake of peace. It is not easy to find that kind of leadership in Africa.
I, therefore, wish to say, without a shadow of doubt, the President and our Prime Minister are regarded very highly in Africa. It would be a shame for us to allow that kind of high esteem that this country is held and its leadership, to go down the drain because we are too selfish and too wrapped up in our own egos to realize that it is about time we thought about Kenyans first, before positions and power.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is it that Obama represents? For me, he does not represent hope in the way that he does for Americans. That is because, as the previous speaker has rightly said, he is not the President of Kenya. For me, if the President of Kenya does not inspire hope in me, then I am doomed.
If the Prime Minister does not inspire hope in me, I am doomed. If the leadership in this Parliament does not inspire hope in me, then I am doomed as a young person and woman. For me, Barack Obama is a leader who shows community - he shows a Government for the people by the people and with the people. The Kenyan Government now is showing a Government for a selected few men.
No women! Men! This is because if we are in a Grand Coalition Government that wants to inspire hope, really, we have 52 per cent women and 75 per cent young people, yet we have sat and cobbled together a 12-man team to say that it is going to give hope to this country. Which hope? Who are they reflecting? Are they reflecting the Kenyan society? I do not think so! Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Since the time is short, would I be in order to ask the Chair to allocate the remaining time and let Members speak for two minutes?
That is fair enough! Hon. Muthama, could you take two minutes because of the interest on the Motion?
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningependa kumshukuru sana Rais wa Marekani ambaye amechaguliwa, na ambaye ni mwenye asili ya hapa kwetu Kenya. Mtu aliyemsaidia babake kupata scholarship, marehemu Thomas Joseph Mboya, alizaliwa katika eneo langu la Ubunge. Babake alikuwa akifanya kazi ya kukata mkonge kwetu. Tuna historia kubwa sana!
Ile sehemu alipozaliwa ndipo alimoishi Rais wa Marekani, Bw. Roosevelt. Kwa hivyo, ninajivuna sana na kujisikia kwamba nina uhusiano mkubwa na kaka yetu ambaye ameshinda urais katika nchi ya Marekani.
Nataka kusema kwa kifupi kwamba kuchaguliwa kwake Bw. Obama kulitokana na matamshi yake ya kweli, kusikia sauti ya Wamerikani na kuwaambia pahali wanapoelekea na kule anakotaka kuwapeleka. Nataka kuwaomba viongozi wote, hasa wanaotaka uongozi wa nchi hii, tafadhali wajifunze; katika kampeni zitakazokuja, Mungu akitujaalia, tuwe na viongozi ambao wanaweza kutuahidi mambo watakayoweza kuitendea nchi hii. Hatutaki kuombwa kura na watu kwa sababu wamejaribu mara nyingi, wamekuwa pale, ni wazee au wanataka kulipwa kwa kazi waliofanya. Naomba tuwe na viongozi watakao omba kura kwa sababu watakuwa na maono kama kutuambia kuwa kwamba wakiwa rais watatupa elimu, na waahidi kwamba wasipofanya hivyo katika miaka miwili watajiondoa uongozini. Si mambo ya kusumbuka! Tumesumbuka kwa zaidi ya miaka 45 na maji yako kule kule. Hii ni kwa sababu tunapiga kura bila kujua mambo tunayoweza kumwambia kiongozi tunayemtaka. Bw. Obama aliwaambia Wamerikani kuwa atawapatia mabadiliko na ndio sababu walimpigia kura.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Obama on his swearing in. I want to say that we, as Africans, not as Kenyans only, expect certain things from Mr. Obama. First, we do not expect handouts from America. We do not want handouts! We want Mr. Obama to help us reign in on African dictators and impunity. Mr. Obama can do it! We expect him to be a partner and help us us wipe out impunity, because in Africa elections can be conducted and won and a loser refuse to leave office. One case is Mr. Mugabe. I would expect Mr. Obama to, next week, even militarily oust him, because our people there are dying. That is my expectation from Mr. Barack Obama!
Secondly, we can learn from Mr. Obama to drop our tribalistic ways as a people. Politics is not only good when it is negatively tribal. As a Kenyan people we can learn from that. I take that this is a Parliament which can lead the way and stop following pretentious ways. In fact, now we are talking about corruption. This is a good time for us, I want to agree with Ms. Karua, to end impunity. We need to vet our leaders, not only the ones who are going to run for the presidency, but also the ones who come to Parliament. You should not be here if you are, for example, a cowboy contractor. You should not be here if you are a Goldenberg or Anglo Leasing player. You should not! Our leaders should be vetted and weighed against standards which are internationally accepted.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a country where we feel that we can destroy each other using our mouths. Even the most filthy think that they have better opinions than the holiest. I want to plead with my colleagues that this is the opportunity; we are now talking about even politicians being involved in maize scandals but nobody dares to say who they are. But I bet that it is Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity although the time is only two minutes.
I also wish to join my colleagues in congratulating the American people and President-elect Barack Obama, who is due to be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America (USA). President Obama's journey has been a long one. Sometimes we forget that when a good thing comes at the end, like now we are celebrating his victory, it does so, after a long struggle. His victory has come from a long struggle of the black people in the USA. It has not come out of nothing. Some of us who may have watched Andy Young in an interview last night, must have seen that he was in tears, remembering those moments of struggle when they were incarcerated.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a time when Members of Parliament of this House were being arrested and detained, while some Members of Parliament in this country were laughing, thinking that those people were stupid. We must remember that long journey and learn to do what is right. If we celebrate his victory then we must not fail to realise that the victory in this country came out of long struggle by people like Dedan Kimathi, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and J.M. Kariuki. However, we forget these names many times. These are the unsung heroes of our struggle.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say the following, without fear of any contradiction, because I believe it is my responsibility, even as a Member of the Cabinet of the Grand Coalition: Kenya is suffering from a crisis of confidence in leadership. The country out there does not believe that sincere people are leading this country. In fact, if a vote were to be taken today amongst Kenyans, we will all be wiped out.
In the next one or two weeks, if we do not come to Kenyans with a full disclosure of corrupt elements within Government, Parliament and the Civil Service, this country will be calling upon us all to go home. If we do not undertake to name names within a week, then some of us will be prepared to do so. I cannot be called a thief, because a responsible Member of the Grand Coalition Government is not true to the oath of office that he took to obey and respect the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya.
If we do not watch out, in another one week, people will step down in this House. Truly, there are too many problems in this country, and the leadership is sitting as if there is nothing happening. This time Obama is being sworn in as the President of the USA. We, as Kenyans, cannot afford to sleep any more. We must take the people who are destroying this nation to jail; where they belong. We must make sure that those who are in this House are accountable for their actions.
I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to also congratulate President Barack Hussein Obama, who is being inaugurated today as the 44th President of the USA.
Everybody wants to relate to President Obama. Eng. Rege was trying very hard to convince this House that Obama comes from Kendu Bay. President Obama's father comes from Alego Nyangoma Kogelo. That is where the father is buried. Incidentally, I am the Member of Parliament for that area. Do I say!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for me, President Obama's inauguration today is a cause for joy as well as sadness. As Kenyans, what this means is that we are expected to take up standards
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which are too high for us. I do not even know how we are going to achieve these standards. Obama visited this country when he was a senator. He talked about corruption and tribalism in Kenya. He talked about all the ills that are killing this country. Kenya is a great nation. Without these ills - tribalism and corruption - this country has a lot going on for it. I congratulate Obama and I wish we could go back to the drawing board and ask ourselves: What is it that we want for this country?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kogelo, I want to say, is miles from Alego Usonga!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to also add my voice to congratulate the Americans and the President-elect, Barack Hussein Obama, on his inauguration today.
I just want to mention something very small about his visit to Kenya in 2006. I think very important issues were raised. I gather that Kenyans did not learn anything from that visit because, I think, those in leadership at that time looked down on Obama. We did not learn in 2006 and that is why we had trouble in the elections of 2007. But I am only hoping that this time round, we will be able to learn something. We are a small nation; we are like one State in the USA. We behave as if we are bigger than America as a whole! I think there is a lot that we have to learn as Kenyans.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was imagining when the earlier contributors were talking about where the leadership is; whether it is in America or it is here. I was just imagining those who are now talking like the Member of Parliament for Alego Usonga--- If they had allocated the land that Obama was supposed to have been allocated by his father traditionally in Alego Usonga and Obama decided to settle there, definitely, he would be running America from this country! So, it is a great achievement.
So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to support that view and to congratulate, once more, the election of Obama as the President of America.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also like to join my colleagues in congratulating Obama and the American people. A win for democracy is a win for the weak and the downtrodden. It is also a win for a small village in Vietnam or Brazil, because it gives those people hope.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to finish up, I just want to make one comment that is really key. Obama has his ancestral blood in this country. It is really embarrassing and shameful that for the last 40 years, we have had very few American Presidents visiting Kenyans. It would be a shame if we give Obama a chance not to visit us because of our corruption and mistakes. It is actually embarrassing to the whole world and to us!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of large groups; the issue of tribalism, is killing us! Obama was not chosen as a tribalist. He was chosen by democracy. For us, we continue to hide behind our tribal cocoons. Somebody steals maize and they get protected by their group. Who is going to protect the weak? Who is going to protect the small tribes in this country?
What happens to those who do not have numbers? Where do we run to? Obama is lucky enough to have a nation that cares for him; a nation that knew that democracy is important. Ja nuary 20, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the Business of the House. The House stands adjourned until tomorrow Wednesday, 21st January, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.