On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My point of order is in respect of Standing Order No.210(2), which requires that whenever a petition is committed to the Government, the Minister responsible gives a statement to the Petitioner through this House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, seven months ago, I petitioned on behalf of the victims of pyramid schemes. This matter was committed to the Ministry of Co-operatives Development. I am standing on a point of order to request that the Chair may direct the Minister to offer his response on Thursday.
Hon. Members, the request by Dr. Khalwale under Standing Order No. 210(3) is genuine. However, you will note that Dr. Khalwale seeks to rely on Standing Order No.210 (2) for authority to compel the Minister to respond to the Petition as was tabled in the House seven months ago. The operative position is that the Standing Orders, as they now are inclusive of the elaborate procedure that is laid out under Standing Order No.210, took effect from the beginning of the Third Session of Parliament. So, the Minister is not bound by the provisions of Standing Order No.210. However, out of national duty, the Minister may, exercising his discretion, respond to that Petition. This is not by compulsion because this provision was not in effect seven months ago. The Minister concerned is the Minister for what?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister for Co-operative Development.
Will the Minister for Co-operative Development indicate whether or not he is prepared to exercise his discretion in favour of responding to that Petition or does he want to go by the law as it was?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will undertake to inform the Minister who will reply accordingly.
Yes, and let him know that he has a choice. He is not under compulsion to respond!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: - THAT, this House adopts Economic Survey, 2009, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 26th May 2009.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Industrialization the following Question by Private Notice. (a) What criteria and procedure did the Government use to procure the services of M/s Intertek International Ltd. to conduct fitness test on the maize that was imported from the Republic of South Africa? (b) How much money did the Government pay for the services rendered?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry of Industrialization was not involved in the hiring of M/s Intertek International Limited to conduct fitness tests on the maize imported from the Republic of South Africa in Mombasa. Intertek International is a company that is contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards, a parastatal under my Ministry, to offer conformity assessment services under the pre-verification of conformity to standards programmes by testing products destined for Kenya, at the country of supply. Intertek International Limited does not, therefore, certify products locally and the Ministry is not privy to the engagement of the firm to undertake the aforementioned services. (b) In view of the answer to part âaâ of the Question, I am not, therefore, aware or in a position to give the amount that was involved in engaging that company.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Question arose out of a Statement that was made here by the Prime Minister when he stated that, that firm had been engaged to
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have said that Intertek International Limited is a company that is contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards to do pre-shipment inspection of goods originating from countries outside the East African region. Intertek International Limited has a small laboratory in Mombasa. So, they can carry out tests if they are instructed to do so.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am answering a Question! The hon. Member who is saying ânoâ will have an opportunity to answer the Question if he catches your eye. If the Office of the Prime Minister, or the Ministry of Agriculture, requested the company to carry out tests and gave the results to whoever had commissioned it, there is nothing wrong with that. That has nothing to do with me or the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will notice that the Minister is using the word âifâ. Parliament deserves an unequivocal answer. Since the matter has been dealt with previously by the Prime Minister and, in any event, he is the overall co-ordinator and supervisor of the functions of the Government Departments, including Ministries, is it in order that we seek your indulgence and request you to direct the Question to the Prime Ministerâs Office, so that we can get to the bottom of the matter? The Minister is not able to answer the Question and he is not saying so. He is just saying âifâ!
Order, hon. Minister! This Question, as framed--- You earlier on stood up to reply and that means that you had an answer. So, I want you to answer the Question clearly and un equivocally. First, did the Government procure the services of Intertek International Limited to conduct tests on the maize imported from South Africa?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was stated here by the Prime Minister that Intertek International conducted tests on the maize. The Question was: Who did it? I have just replied that---
Order, Mr. Minister! The Question is not who did it! The Question is straight forward and it says: âDid the Government procure the services of Intertek International Limited to conduct tests?â Did it or not procure those services?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, from the Statement issued by the Prime Minister here, it is obvious that the Government, through the Office of the Prime Minister, procured the services of Intertek International Limited.
Order, Mr. Minister! Yes, you have answered that part well. But there is a second part. What criteria and procedure did the Government use?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are a number of laboratories in Kenya. Beside the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Government Chemist or the Ministry of Public
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The main substance of this Question is actually the criteria used to identify Intertek International Limited. I doubt whether the Minister is answering this Question appropriately. He admitted that Intertek International Limited was used, but he went on to talk about other laboratories. Is he in order not to address the main substance or the gist of this matter?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have said that there are a number of laboratories in Kenya, and one of them is at the Kenya Bureau of Standards. That body had already conducted tests on that maize. Therefore, a second or a third opinion could only be sourced from elsewhere. Since Intertek International Limited deals with verification for conformity, it is quite natural and obvious that if you are looking for a third opinion---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not even finished the sentence!
What is it, Mr. J.M. Kamau?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister is not prepared to tell us the whole story! He can start by telling us who is Intertek International Limited in the first place. What does he know about Intertek International Limited? The Question is: What criteria was used? Why can he not just tell us the truth rather than beating about the bush?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have stated that Intertek International Limited is a company that is actually contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards to conduct tests on goods destined for Kenya from various countries. It then issues certificates of conformity or otherwise. The company has an office in Kenya. I have also said that the company has a laboratory in Mombasa.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Minister has now admitted that, yes, indeed, that company rendered that service. It, therefore, arises that he is, therefore, supposed to answer part âbâ. He had stated that he could not answer part âbâ in view of his answer to part âaâ. Now that he has admitted, it requires, therefore, that he answers part âbâ. Given the history of the maize problem, it has become such a big ghost that, maybe, this is the time for us to sort it out completely. Members of this House know that the Prime Minister was a senior employee at the Kenya Bureau of Standards. Therefore, he was in the best position to have confidence in the standards of the Kenya Bureau of Standards. I, therefore, request that we should not take this matter lightly. The Minister should withdraw and allow the Prime Minister to---
Order! It is Question Time! Mr. Minister, are you now able to answer part âbâ in the light of your answer?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am afraid I do not have an answer to that. As I said, the Prime Ministerâs Office may have contracted the services of Intertek International Limited as it was stated here.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
The Minister is responding to a point of order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have an answer as to how much the company was paid.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Standing Order No.97 provides that if a Minister persistently refuses to answer a Question, he is behaving in a disorderly manner. Am I in order to ask that this Minister be deemed to have been disorderly because he has persistently refused to answer that Question?
Order, hon. Members! Hon. Kioni could not be in order to assert that the Minister has acted in a manner that is disorderly because, as we have all witnessed, the Minister has given the answers that he has to the best of his ability.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. There are two questions which the Minister has failed to answer. One, is on the criteria that was used and the second one is the amount of money that was paid to that company. From the Ministerâs admission, it is not his Ministry that procured the service. In view of that, would I be in order to ask that this Question be deferred and redirected to the Prime Minister who procured the service?
That is a valid point of order. Mr. Minister, that point of order asserts that you have not provided an answer to the Question in two parts:- (a) The criteria and procedure used. (b) How much money was paid. That is a valid point of order! Can you answer those questions now?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with respect to part âaâ on the criteria, I said that Intertek International Limited is a company that is already contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards. I also said that the maize was tested by the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, the Government Chemist and KEPHIS. Therefore, it follows naturally that if you wanted to seek a second or a third opinion on the maize, you would contract or choose a company like Intertek International Limited, which has laboratories in Mombasa, to give you that opinion. Therefore, it is---
The Minister is responding to a point of order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am responding to the point of order. Let me finish!
I have actually explained the first part of the Question. On part âbâ of the Question, I have said that I do not have an answer with regard to how much the Government paid to Intertek for the services rendered. I undertake to bring the answer later on. I had not received the amount that was paid to Intertek International Limited by this afternoon.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. On the criteria, the Minister seems to be alluding to the fact that the company was contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), probably through their tender. Could we have a clarification as to whether the company was, indeed, contracted by the KEBS? If that is the case, then the public procurement procedures were used and that responsibility rests with the KEBS. Was it a fresh contract given by the Office of the Prime Minister and, therefore, he ought to have used the procurement procedures laid down by the Public Procurement and Disposal Act?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have said, and I repeat, that Intertek International Limited is a company that has been contracted through competitive bidding by the KEBS to offer conformity assessment services under the pre-verification of conformity to standards programme. Intertek International Limited, therefore, is a company that is known by the KEBS. It is charged with the responsibility of testing goods that are destined for Kenya.
Order, hon. Members! We will take the last question on this from Mr. Ngugi. I will revisit this matter at the end of Question Time. I will give direction on what needs to be done further.
Yes, Mr. Ngugi!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know what the Minister has been answering. This is because in this answer he said: âIntertek International Limited does not, therefore, certify products locally and the Ministry is not privy to engagement of the firm to undertake the above mentioned tests.â On that basis he has admitted that he is not aware and now, he is saying that he is aware.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when a Minister changes positions; one time he says he is aware and another time he says he is not aware--- The criteria, surely, as a Government Minister, is very shoddy. He should tell us that the criteria is âa,b,c and dâ or these are the procedures or rules which were followed or not followed. I think I will need the Chairâs guidance on this matter. Either you direct this Question to the right Ministry or you give the Minister time to go and get the facts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have answered the Question from two points of view. One is from what the Ministry does and the other one is from what I know happened. So, when I said that the Ministry was not aware, I did not say that, personally, I was not aware. When I said, âwe, as the Ministry of Industrialization,â I meant that we did not, as a Ministry, commission Intertek International Limited. However, I know that the Office of the Prime Minister did so and I said that I am aware of that.
Hon. Members, I shall revisit this Question at the end of Question Time and give appropriate direction. Yes, Mr. K. Kilonzo!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security the following Question by Private Notice. Could the Minister explain the Government position on the exposure of the fraudulent activities of Track-It Ltd as exposed by the local media? What is the Government doing to ensure the security of the journalists who exposed the fraud? What is the role of security forces in the matter including possible corrupt involvement and cover-up?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) After the exposure of the fraudulent activities of Track-It Limited, the Government moved swiftly and instituted investigations into the alleged activities of this company. Officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) are currently investigating the scam, with a view to unearthing the truth and arrest any possible suspect involved in the illegal and dangerous activities. An inquiry file No.35/09 was opened following the allegations and investigations are on-going. (b) The Government is not aware of any threat directed towards the journalists who exposed the alleged fraud as no report has so far been made to any police station. However, I wish to assure all journalists that the Government will always guarantee their security. (c) The role of the police officers that were temporarily attached to Track-It Company Limited since the year 2005 were to track and recover all stolen motor vehicles fitted with tracking gadgets and arrest all suspected robbers or car thieves found with such stolen motor vehicles. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is, therefore, no police involvement in any cover-up or corrupt dealings. The company has since closed its doors and the attached police officers withdrawn from the firm.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I appreciate the Assistant Ministerâs answer. However, could the Questioner declare his interest in this matter? Could he also tell us if one of the managers in the media company that has been dealing with this case is not a parallel competitor to the company that they are trying to destroy?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have no interest whatsoever in this case other than to ask for the safety of the journalists who have done a good job in exposing scams in this country. Their lives are in danger and that is why we need the Government to tell us whether the journalists who unearthed this scam did not report this matter to the police. What action has the Assistant Minister taken?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, an inquiry file has been opened. From the reports which we have received, there is another company known as Car-Track, which is competing with Track-It Limited. On the issue of security, I have elaborately stated that we have already withdrawn our security officers who helped the company to recover stolen vehicles. As far as security is concerned, that is what we have. Otherwise, an inquiry file has been opened. If there is anything which the hon. Member would like the Government to do, we are ready to do it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not normal for the Government to attach police, as workers, to assist a private company. In what circumstances were the police attached to that company? Were they on hire as allowed by the Police Act, or in what circumstances were they attached?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is common knowledge that anybody in this country can hire the services of the police on payment. There is a fee that we normally charge and we gazette those figures. Anybody is allowed to get the services of the police officers upon payment. They were on hire!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Assistant Minister to assure Kenyans that other companies that are offering similar services are not going to do the same thing.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me say that it was very unfortunate that 7,000 vehicles, which were randomly tested, were found to have been fitted with the Track-It gadget. One of the vehicles belonged to my colleague, Mr. Mbugua, and they found those gadgets in his car. So, if there is anything which we think is not correct, I would urge hon. Members to come out openly in order for us to investigate straightaway, so that we can arrest the culprits.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to appear to be exonerating Track-It? I can confirm that I was one of the victims! My car did not have that gadget and I had paid for it! The Assistant Minister is now telling us that they sampled the cars and that Track-It fitted them with those gadgets. Is he exonerating Track-It on the Floor of the House?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said clearly that we are talking about Track-It and not Car-Track. The issue here is Track It! When we were investigating this matter, Track- It randomly checked some of the cars which they had already fitted with the gadget; I said that the car of my colleague here was fitted with the gadget. It was Track-It!
The Assistant Minister is responding to a point of order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is quite unfortunate that I do not deal with both companies, and neither am I their customer. However, I want to assure Kenyans that, if anything is found to be wrong, we will definitely investigate and arrest the culprits.
Order, Mr. Ruto! You are out of order! You can only stand on a point of order, but you cannot stand and shout âclarification!â That is not permitted under our Standing Orders! What is it?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I did not mention Car-Track, and for the Assistant Minister to start dragging in another company--- Is it in order for him to start dragging in another company? We are dealing with what is before the House, and that is Track-It. They neither fitted any gadget in my car nor in Dr. Eseliâs, and we are both here!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in order for the hon. Member to assist this Government, I would like him to give us details, so that we can arrest those who are getting money through fraudulent means. I will do it and he knows that!
asked the Minister for Co-operative Development and Marketing:-
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I did not ask my last question!
Order, Mr. K. Kilonzo! You did not catch the Speakerâs eye earlier. I do not have to state âlast questionâ for you to ask the last question. I actually gave you that opportunity and the record in the HANSARD will bear me out.
Mr. Speaker, Sir,---
Order, Mr. K. Kilonzo! You cannot! We have moved on to Question No.115.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I confirm that KCC Ltd, prior to its liquidation, was indebted to the tune of Kshs4.371 billion to farmers, co-operative societies and other creditors. (b) The amounts owed to various creditors may be broken down as follows:-
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has indicated that he has no plans to compensate our farmers, while he has paid those guys who plundered the resources of KCC and, therefore, the farmers. You will appreciate that under the Ministry Co- operative Development, there is a Commissioner of Co-operatives, who deals directly with and supervises co-operative societies. I wonder, therefore, what rationale the Minister is using to refuse to compensate the farmers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, for clarification sake, the Government did not buy the New KCC from the original KCC Ltd. The Government bought all the assets and some liabilities from KCC 2000 and KCC Holdings Limited. Therefore, the company that owed farmers and societies was the original KCC, which has nothing to do with the current New KCC.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister to tell this House how much the Government paid to KCC 2000, and what the value of the assets was when it bought it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the original KCC was sold to KCC 2000 for a price of Kshs400 million. The Government bought the business assets and took liabilities from KCC 2000 and KCC Holdings at a price of Kshs547 million.
Last Question, Mr. Lessonet!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Ruto! It had better be a point of order! You have had too many opportunities to raise points of order, but some have not been quite points of order.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, considering that KCC issues are very critical, would I be in order to request that we debate them a little more because there are so many farmers who are still owed---
Order, Mr. Ruto! The Chair cannot allow you to debate those issues âa little moreâ because it is Question Time!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could I ask one more Question, considering that---
You are out of order, Mr. Ruto! I have already called for the last question!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Minister the advice he would like to give to farmers considering that there is now a new KCC which is receiving almost half the milk in this country. What advice does he want to give to farmers, especially those who lost over Kshs593 million in the past? What advice would he give them, so that they may trust him and his Commissioner in future?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to apologize on behalf of the Government for mismanaging the co-operative movements in this country. Many institutions such as Kenya Farmers Association (KFA), KCC, among others, collapsed.
The new KCC is making good progress. We hope that it would be privatized soon. I hope the Government will allow farmers who lost money in the past to buy the new KCC. It should not be sold to rich individuals. It should be sold to co-operatives who suffered the loss. I hope this will happen. This is the advice I would like to give to farmers. They should lobby to buy it.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Minister in order to apologize to dairy farmers who were wronged by the previous Government in which he was a Member? Is he in order to suggest that Kenyans should forgive him?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was in that Government! That is why I apologized on behalf of the Government then. I said it was mismanagement during those days which led to the collapse of KCC. I am among the few who can apologize when the Government makes mistake.
Next Question, Ms. Karua!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, although I have not been given a copy of the answer as is the tradition. I will proceed to ask the Question.
asked the Minister of State for Special Programmes:-
Mr. Speaker, Sir, copies of the written reply were sent to Parliament last week. So, it is unfortunate that the Member has not received a copy. However, if she does not mind, I beg to reply. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply: - (a)The Government is not considering buying land to settle the 15,000 IDPS camping at the 50 acre plot at Mawingo in Nyahururu since the plot on which they are currently camping on is their plot. (b) The landless IDPs, through their own initiative and with the support of the Government, has been forming themselves into groups to purchase land for settlement after receiving the Government of Kenya support of Kshs10,000 each per family. Those groups are then assisted by the Government through provision of free building materials or payment of Kshs25,000 for house construction per household. The Government will, therefore, support such initiatives by IDPs.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to inform the Minister that Mawingo is not in Nyahururu. Nyahururu in Laikipia West. It is in Ol Kalou Constituency. So, when the Question is being answered, for the sake of the HANSARD, Nyahururu should be dropped because it is in Laikipia West.
Thank you, I oblige!
Madam Minister, have you completed your answer?
Yes, I have.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very dismayed that the Minister says that there are no plans to buy land for these IDPs. It is true that the plot on which they are is owned by them, but 50 acres for 15,000 people; 3,389 families cannot eke out a livelihood! Could she confirm to the House that the only way those IDPs have been surviving is because her Ministry has been supplying them with food? Could she tell us how much money she has spent on food for those IDPs since they settled there which I believe will be enough for buying another piece of land?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very difficult for me to say how much I specifically spent on that particular group. The Government has spent lot of money on all the IDPs in the country. But, giving them money instead of food is wrong because I will be sending them to the grave very fast. My Ministry has the mandate of feeding Kenyans, not only the IDPs, but also others who are in dire need of food.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has just said that the Government has given compensation to all the IDPs in this country. Is she in order to mislead this House when I know very well that, in my own constituency, IDPs are yet to get this money?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I never said that the Government has already given compensation to all the IDPs in the country. I know when the hon. Member hears anything to do with money he gets jittery because his name denotes money. He thinks it
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I happen to represent this area. When these people came, they were given Kshs10,000 each in order to buy the 50 acres. Is it in order for the Minister to say that these people are comfortably at Mawingo while they have not received the Kshs25,000 they were promised to build their own houses? At the moment, they are living in the cold.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, originally the Kshs25,000 was only going to the people who had lost their houses. The Mawingo people did not have any houses which were lost. They were just displaced from where they used to rent their houses or wherever they were squatting. As it is, we had to make special arrangements for them, so that we could give them the Kshs25,000. They were not factored in at the beginning.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is important that the Minister tells this House the amount of money spent on feeding IDPs so far. It would not make sense to spend so much money to support livelihoods when these IDPs could be bought land and in turn be able to look after themselves. Could she tell this House why the Government would not buy land to settle landless IDPs, while it is buying land to settle those in the Mau Complex? Could the Government be consistent with its policies, so that all landless Kenyans know that they have a chance of settling in their own country?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I do believe that the landless in Kenya have been settled by the Government in all the cases, through the Ministry of Lands. My Ministry just deals with emergency issues where the landless are concerned.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) what are the requirements and procedure for a public day school to convert to a boarding school are; and, (b) what action he is taking against former day schools that have converted into boarding schools without following the correct procedures.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I answer this Question, I want to beg your indulgence. Last week, we were touring the whole of Coast Province with, unfortunately, my two Assistant Ministers in order to find out the status of schools there. Therefore, I seek your indulgence for my absence and, therefore, look forward to answering this Question.
Yes, Mr. Minister, you may proceed! As a matter of fact, you had notified the Speakerâs Office that you would be away in Mombasa. It is just that, that information was not immediately available to the Chair when this Question came up. So, you may proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to thank the Minister for Education for the detailed explanation on what is required to convert a public day school into a public boarding school. In his answer to part âaâ of the Question, the Minister has said that, at least, five acres of land are required for a boarding school. I wish to inform the Minister that according to the said explanation, there are schools in Mombasa that have been converted into boarding schools and yet, they do have the five acres of land.
Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, even the parents have not agreed. What action will the Minister take against those schools which have not fulfilled the requirement of five acres of land and have not involved the parents in converting those day schools into boarding schools?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to state that, normally, we encourage day schools because they are cost-effective. It is only at a time when parents and the stakeholders choose to have a boarding school that they must procedurally follow what I have already outlined in this answer. If they fall short of that, then they cannot qualify to be registered as boarding schools. One of the reasons why we insist that a school must have adequate land for boarding facilities is because we realize that those students need adequate facilities, particularly in the dormitories and in the places where they stay. They must be safe enough to be boarders. Otherwise, it would just turn up to be one of those
or ordinary bar and restaurants situation. We will not encourage our students to be exposed to those kinds of things.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You have heard the Minister enumerate very well the procedures and the requirements to be followed in order to convert a day
Mr. Speaker, Sir, since we are now dealing with an hypothetical situation, because no such school has been brought to my attention, I have already indicated in my answer that if there is such a school, I would be too happy to conduct thorough investigations and further action will be taken.
Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, in reference to hon. Koechâs question, he has asked me what action I will take in order to ensure that the facilities are adequately provided in our schools. He is the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology.
Order, Mr. Koech! You must hear the Minister!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Koech is the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology and he is fully aware--- If he could only care to listen to me, I would be able to give him an answer that he requires. He is fully aware that the Government, through the infrastructure development programme, has selected a number of schools every financial year to benefit from the infrastructure development programme. We are fully aware that not all the schools are up to the mark and it is possible that we may not be able to complete them within any given financial calendar year. Therefore, every financial year, including the one that is ending on 30th of June, has infrastructure money. We have sent that money to various schools for the improvement of various infrastructural facilities.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Considering that acreage must be an old requirement for a day school to convert into a boarding school, and in view of the fact that there is massive urbanization with people moving to towns to look for services and so on, could the Minister consider relaxing that rule so that we can be able to put in place either two-storied or multi-storied buildings for schools in urban centres?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my intention, as the Minister for Education, to come to this august House once a Sessional Paper has been prepared; on a number of areas that would require radical changes in policy and legal frameworks. So far, I am processing the Kamunge Report, which is on my desk, to a Sessional Paper. It recommends that more than 167 pieces of Acts be amended. The request that Mr. Chanzu has made will be part of the comprehensive review. I am, therefore, in line with that request.
Last question, Mr. Dor!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, aware that the Ministry has set guidelines on fees structure, could the Minister tell us how many schools they have penalized for flouting the guidelines?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my answer was very specific. I am not aware. If I am made aware, then it is logical. The next thing to do would be to carry out investigations and, if anybody is found guilty, action would be taken against him.
Order, hon. Members! The remaining Questions are deferred to tomorrow. They will take priority over the other Questions that should have appeared on the Order Paper.
With respect to the Question by Private Notice by the hon. Member for Kinangop, my determination is that this Question has not been adequately responded to particularly with respect to the criteria and procedure used to procure the services of the company. Secondly, there was no adequate response with respect to the
to ask the Minister for Industrialization:-
(a) What is the criteria and procedure that the Government has used to procure the services of M/s Intertek International Ltd to conduct fitness tests on the maize imported from the Republic of South Africa?
(b) What is the amount of money paid by the Government for the services rendered?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I had a Question on the Order Paper, but we have squared it out with the Minister and so it is irrelevant. My second point of order is on the Question that was earlier on raised by Mr. K. Kilonzo. I want to beseech you to refer this Question to the relevant Departmental Committee to look at the issue. This is because this is a trade war where one company seeks to destroy another one and the media House involved owns the other company.
Order, Mr. Midiwo! Order! The practice of this House, which you are well aware of, is that if you have issues pertaining to a matter that is transacted by or before the House, then you ought to rise on a point of order before that matter is concluded or before we move on to the next Question if it is a Question. We shall have to uphold that practice. You, however, have provisions under the Standing Orders which you can invoke if you wish to revisit that matter.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Very well! We have a number of Ministerial Statements that I feel we cannot take all of them today. We will only have those that are of great urgency. The Chair will determine which of these are. So, we will take the first Ministerial Statement that was requested by Mr. Affey.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I seek your indulgence on this matter. When our officers were responding to the request for the Ministerial Statement, they realised that there are many details that are required. I, therefore, request that I be given more time so that I can make this Statement next week.
Mr. Affey! Hon. Members, I order that, that Ministerial Statement be availed on Wednesday, next week.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have been approached by Mr. C. Kilonzo to give the Ministerial Statement tomorrow morning. I concur with him.
Fair enough. It is so ordered! The Ministerial Statement will be made tomorrow morning. Next is the request by Mr. Mungatana. Where is the Minister for Foreign Affairs? He will subsequently deal with the request by Mr. Ruto.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first I would like to apologise to the Chair and the House. Last week when you ordered my Assistant Minister to leave the Chamber for being inappropriately dressed, I subsequently followed him without knowing that there were requests for Ministerial Statements from my Ministry.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on 21st May, 2009, Mr. Mungatana requested a Statement on the impending visit by the President of the USA to Africa and why he is not coming to Kenya. The President of the USA, Barack Obama is a President of a sovereign State. News reports indicate that he will be visiting Egypt and Ghana. There is no indication that he will visit our country. Kenya has not invited him and, therefore, he has not declined to visit her. I have no doubt that an invitation will subsequently be forthcoming. Therefore, as to where the President of the USA visits and where he does not, is a matter that this Government has no control over.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for that brief Statement. It is very important for this country to be concerned about its international reputation. As things stand today, we have suffered a battered reputation. If I remember correctly, one of the questions I asked is whether the Minister could consider the refusal by the USA President to even pass by Kenya as a snub to this country. I also asked whether that could affect our international reputation. What is the Minister doing to correct that image?
Order, Mr. Mungatana! The Minister has made the Ministerial Statement. Arising from that Statement, what clarification do you seek? Please, seek that clarification succinctly, precisely and briefly! You have no business taking five minutes to seek a clarification!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am saying that the Minister has not answered the questions that I raised within that request for a Ministerial Statement. Again, is the Minister aware that our international reputation has suffered?
That is clear! You have done well on that one. It is clear and precise. Do you have one more?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. What is the Minister doing to correct the situation? Has the snub got something to do with the fact that our countryâs international image has been battered by allegations of corruption within this Government?
You have done well now. Please, stick to that in future!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, that the President of the United States of America (USA) has snubbed Kenya. Mr. Mungatana is asking why he will not even pass by Kenya. Heads of State do not just pass by other countries. If the President of the USA visits a country, it has to be properly programmed. From the information available, this time round - because we are not privy to the diary of the President of the USA â he is visiting Egypt to address an Islamic Press conference and then he will visit Ghana. He has not said, to the best of my knowledge, that he has no wish to visit Kenya. I do understand that given his parentage, certainly, Kenya is a place we would expect him to come to. I have no doubt whatsoever, that in the course of his presidency, he will find time and visit Kenya. I want to urge that, as leaders, we do not read too much into known events. The issue of corruption in this country is something we all know, and which we have all talked about. We know the damage it has done to the country. We know the commitment the Government has in fighting corruption, and the impediments we have along the way. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not believe that the President of any countryâs visit to Kenya is going to be based on the issues the hon. Member is raising. I want it to lie where it is, because if we invited President Obama and he declined to come, that would be an issue. We have not. If he said he would not come to Kenya, that would be an issue. He has not. So, I do not see where the issue is and I want it to lie there.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am not disputing what the Minister is telling us but I know from Press reports that the country has been warned.
Order! Order, Mr. J.M. Kamau! You cannot rely on Press reports as your source of authority.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Could the Minister clarify that, indeed, the reason as to why the President of the USA does not want to come to Kenya is that he is not happy with the slow pace of reform in the country, and that he prefers a younger leadership in this country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, those fallacious allegations by Dr. Khalwale have no basis whatsoever. President Obama has not said he does not want to come to Kenya. Neither has he made any mention of the age of the leadership of this country. In any event, President Obama is visiting Egypt, whose President is much older than our President.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, can you now issue the second Ministerial Statement, by Mr. Isaac Ruto?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Member of Parliament for Chepalungu, Mr. Isaac Ruto, on 14th May, 2009, demanded a Ministerial Statement from my Ministry on the issue of a statement allegedly made by the President of Uganda.
I will take three clarifications, beginning with Mr. Isaac Rutoâs.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not request that we discuss the conduct of the Head of State of Uganda. I sought a Ministerial Statement for the Minister to tell us about the utterances that were aired by the international print media. We heard it live on television, and he actually made slurs. I was asking whether the Minister was aware that he had instruments that he could use. Did he summon the Ugandan High Commissioner and quietly tell him that he was not amused? What is the point of exchanging High Commissioners if they cannot be asked to pass the message that Kenyans were not amused by that slur? We are actually friendly to Uganda. The Kenyan people and the Ugandan people are happy to be together, but what is this statement that the Ugandan Head of State made at the Dar es Salaam University, where there are also Kenyan students? He did make those statements. Did you call him to your office and tell him that we are not happy?
Order! Order, Mr. Ruto! Avoid being repetitive. You have said those things already. Why do you want to say them again?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if, indeed, I got the request by Mr. Ruto, it was for the Minister to come and explain to this House the remarks â and not the conduct â of the President of Uganda. We want the Minister to say how the President of Uganda could know that âWajaluo are madâ - especially the âWajaluoâ in Kenya â and what steps his Ministry has taken to complain officially, because the âWajaluoâ the President of Uganda was referring to are residents of this country. As the Minister for Foreign Affairs, he has the duty and the obligation to protect them at whatever cost.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, subsequent to the statement and subsequent to Motion Parliament passed here, a very serious statement emanated from the Head of State of Kenya, which said that Kenya is ready to protect itself by whatever means. The clarification I am seeking from the Minister is whether he is confirming that statement, that, in fact, diplomacy between the two countries has actually failed, and that something else is brewing? Could he confirm or deny it?
Finally, Ms. Millie Odhiambo!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Minister, kindly, confirm whether he is aware that following those utterances, the residents of Rhemba and Ringiti islands are
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to delve into the statements attributed to the President of Uganda, amounts to discussing his conduct. I want to seek your direction on the issue that I raised under Standing Order No.79 (1). I humbly submit that it is a Standing Order that protects friends of this country, including ambassadors and high commissioners accredited to Kenya and Presidents of friendly countries. Other issues mentioned by Mr. Mungatana, I would like to assure him that the Presidentâs speech must be taken within the context of the pass-out parade of the cadets in Lanet. He was simply directing them that their duty is to protect the integrity of this country, particularly, our borders. Indeed, that is the duty of every Government. It has no relevance to the success or otherwise of our diplomacy. It is through diplomatic engagements that we now have a joint commission to survey our boundary with Uganda from Lake Victoria to the Sudan junction. Regarding Remba and Ringiti islands and the occupants, I have no information about the alleged harassment. I will check in the records available in the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security and also in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and furnish the hon. Member with appropriate information once I get it.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Ochieng! The Minister is responding to a point of order and I would urge the House to hear him.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding the issue raised by Mr. Mbadi, again it falls squarely within my request to the Chair that what President Museveni is alleged to have said amounts to his conduct. In any event, those statements were said to have been quoted out of context.
Order, hon. Members! The Minister will have the protection of the Chair not to discuss the utterances of the President of Uganda because that is part and parcel of his conduct. The utterances may have been abusive, unfriendly and therefore, inconsistent with the friendship that exists between Uganda and Kenya but they are part of the conduct of the President of Uganda. So, the Minister will have that protection and if hon. Members wish to discuss the conduct of His Excellency President Museveni, they are at liberty to bring a Substantive Motion to do so. There is no better placed person than the Minister for Foreign Affairs to determine which country is friendly and which is not. As long as the Minister retains Uganda in his classification of friendly countries, that will be the position.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order! I have given adequate direction on this matter. Hon. Members, we would like to avoid a situation where we are repetitive or laborious on matters that we deal with because we have a lot of business to attend to.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On what matter? I have given you indulgence.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I seek your direction. I was also told that there was a request for a Ministerial Statement regarding the American Ambassador to Kenya. I want to plead the protection of Standing Order No.79 (1). He is an ambassador of a friendly country and we cannot, therefore, discuss his conduct in this House without a Substantive Motion.
That is well founded and that protection is granted. That rests that matter. We now want to take a Ministerial Statement requested by Mr. Mungatana in a bid to clear a backlog of pending Ministerial Statements. The Ministerial Statement is from the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I issue the Ministerial Statement, I would like to apologize to the House and to my learned friend, Mr. Mungatana, for the delay in making the Ministerial Statement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to issue a Ministerial Statement that was requested by Mr. Mungatana on the issue of state protocol occasioned by the creation of new offices within the Executive through the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment)Act No.3 of 2008 and the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, No4, 2008. The protocol of Kenyaâs Executive in relation to the offices of the President, the Vice-President and the Right Hon. Prime Minister is laid down in the Constitution of Kenya, 1963 as amended from time to time and especially by the recent Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Act, No.3 of 2008 and constitutionally entrenched National Accord and Reconciliation Act. Specifically, part 2 of the Constitutional of Kenya describes the key national executive offices. Section 4 of that part creates the Office of the President as the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic. The next executive is that of the Vice-President and is established sequentially by Section 15. This Section provides that the Vice-President shall be the principal assistant to the President. The new office of the Right Hon. Prime Minister is established by Section 15(a) and so are the offices of the Deputy Prime Ministers. The National Accord inspired constitutional amendment altered Section 17 of the Constitution by inserting the expression, and I quote;
âThe Prime Minister, two Deputy Prime Ministersâ immediately after the expression, âthe Vice-Presidentâ. If the coalition partner negotiators and Parliament so chose, they would have deliberately amended Section 17 to insert the expression, and I quote;
âPrime Ministerâ immediately after the expression, âthe Presidentâ. During the negotiations, it was agreed that the Cabinet would consist of and Government would be led by the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, two Deputy Prime Ministers and other Ministers in that order as expressed by Section 17(1).
Are there any clarifications to be sought?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the hon. Minister for attempting to explain some of the things. However, he has absolutely missed the point. I requested specifically, where is the document of protocol that directs the way the pecking order of the Cabinet is? Mr. Speaker, Sir, where and how do they sit to avoid embarrassing situations? What should the Prime Minister or Vice-President expect? It is not a theory of Constitution. It is practical! Where is that document? If that document is not here, all these explanations are not going to help us. The people who effect protocol do not have the time to go through all these. When is the Cabinet office going to reform and put forth documents so that we do not have embarrassing situations that can cause small tensions which can become big tensions between the Vice-President, Prime Minister and the rest of the country? Where is the document?
Mr. Minister, you will take two more before you respond! Dr. Khalwale, please, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are now very clear that the Prime Minister is above the Vice-President. Hon. Members, let us all accept it. We are all men and women of this world; therefore, we are mortal. Could the Minister tell us, in the unlikely event of a sudden vacancy in the Office of the President, who then would act for 90 days? Is it the Prime Minister or the Vice-President?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to seek one clarification from the Minister. About two or three months ago, the Prime Minister and the President agreed at the height of very great controversy to form something called Coalition Management Team. Cabinet Ministers are members of this team. What is the role of that team? How many times has it met? What is the intended goal? What do you want it to achieve if it ever meets?
Mr. Minister, we may have to accommodate one more because of the importance of this matter. Mr. Ethuro, please, proceed!
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity. I would like the Minister to clarify, given that the National Accord provides for the process by which one becomes a Prime Minister, that he commands the largest number of Members in the House. We know, we have two coalition partners; ODM and PNU. However, we also know that those major parties have their own coalitions. What instruments are provided to demonstrate the exact number of Members, considering the inter-party coalitions?
Mr. Minister, you may now proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I want to acknowledge my learned friend, Mr. Mungatana and assure him that the Government has a very experienced protocol office that knows what to do. I share the concerns he has. All of us have seen media reports, once in a while, of what appears to be confusion. If anybody now wants a document, that document is here. I have actually signed it and it should show them what to do. Mr. Speaker, Sir, above all, this is a Grand Coalition Government and we are seeking---
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your kind permission, I will table it when I finish. The fact of the matter is that this is a Grand Coalition Government. The overriding principle is working together for Kenya. Therefore, it is my expectation that these very senior people will understand through the protocol office, that Kenyans do not want to see shenanigans; small disputes over small things that I would not go into. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the position of the Constitution is very clear. Unfortunately, the document that Mr. Mungatana is asking for would never supercede the Constitution. I want to plead and beg that he recognizes the Constitution as the primary document---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You have just heard the Minister saying that the document he is going to table is a protocol document for the running of the Government. Is he in order? In what role is he presenting that document? Is he purporting to be the leader of Government and State?
I did not hear him say so, but he can respond for himself.
(Mr. M. Kilonzo) Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is only if you direct that I table this document. It is a Ministerial Statement but is available and is signed.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Chanzu! You have made your point. You do not have to repeat it! Please, proceed, Mr. Minister!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not use the word âsuperiorityâ that Dr. Khalwale has used. Those are his words. My words were very clear; that, if we are dealing with State functions, there is a clear protocol. If we are dealing with Government matters and management of Government, the protocol is also very clear.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The hon. Minister forgets that I am not a lawyer and indeed, many Kenyans are not lawyers, just like me. If you take it that it is obvious to you, it is not obvious to me. It is not obvious to all Kenyans. Can you tell us clearly what it is that would obtain?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the risk of repetition, the Cabinet is described by Section 17 of the Constitution and I read it. It comprises the President, Vice-President, the Prime Minister and other Ministers. As far as I am concerned, for purposes of maintaining order in this country, that is sufficient definition of the structure of the State. On the issue of Government---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Midiwo?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think the country is watching. There is no way the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs can refer to the Kenyan Constitution as it were, without referring to the National Accord. In fact, it is clear that what is in that Accord overrides the sections he is trying to improperly impute. I think the Minister should come up with a better answer to this House. The Chair recently made a ruling here that was clear to the country. We cannot sit back and watch the Minister lie to this country.
Order, Mr. Midiwo! The word âlieâ is unparliamentary.
I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, Sir. He was misleading the country.
Could you withdraw the word âlieâ and apologise?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw and apologise to Mr. M. Kilonzo. However, let him not mislead the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I humbly beg to put my roots in the Constitution. It is not my fault if it is not understood. I have only been in this Ministry for three weeks. However, the fact of the matter is that I have attempted and succeeded in showing even the sequencing of this particular position. Much as I appreciate that there is worry in the mind of my good friend, Mr. Midiwo, what I have said is that the Prime Minister, due to the aforesaid explanation, therefore, naturally takes precedence over the Vice-President and other Ministers in relation to matters of administration of the Government. I can repeat that sentence between now and Christmas. If it does not make sense to him now, it will not make sense to him over Christmas. I have gone on to say that with regard to the protocol of power, the sequence today is: the President, Prime Minister, Vice-President, Deputy Prime Ministers and others. That is protocol of power. On State matters â and it is important that everybody listens to me â I have stated very clearly that with regard to the protocol of honour, the sequencing in Part II of the Constitution is: The President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and other Ministers. I think I am very clear. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Constitution of Kenya covers several sections. Part I deals with the State and how it is structured. It deals with Section 4 where the President is
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Linturi! We have had too many points of order today. I will want to be a bit strict on this one. First, cite which Standing Order the Minister is in breach of and then proceed to indicate what is out of order! We will have to go that way. That is what our Standing Orders provide for. Proceed, Mr. Minister!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The question that Mr. Midiwo has asked about the Coalition Management Committee is very important. Unfortunately, it did not appear in the request that Mr. Mungatana had made for the Ministerial Statement. However, I can afford to say that the Principals, in their own thinking, decided that we set up this Committee which meets regularly. It has two liaison officers and all of us know them. Their work is to co-ordinate the management of the Coalition. I believe that, that is a matter that ought to be left to that Committee. We are satisfied with the work that they are doing at this time.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order under Standing Order No.46 on failure to ask or answer a Question by a Minister. The other one is Standing Order No.82 on the responsibility for statement of fact.
Order! Can you then proceed to the next link? How is the Minister in breach of the Standing Orders? Which Question has he failed to answer?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon. Dr. Khalwale raised a very fundamental question, which was very simple, but the Minister has taken us a long journey by trying to explain things that may not be understood by any ordinary Kenyan. Dr. Khalwale asked: âJust in the unfortunate event that there was a vacancy in the Office of the President, who would take over for 90 days?â
What are you saying, Mr. Linturi? That is very treacherous ground. Be careful! I want you to move away from that area. Have you acquainted yourself with the provisions of the Penal Code of this country?
I have, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Linturi! You are out of order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have the immunity of the House. There is nobody who is immortal. That is why I am asking this Question.
Mr. Minister, maybe, you could quickly respond to that, but the Member must stand cautioned. That is a treacherous ground!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I avoided that issue deliberately and really, I do not want to revisit it. For the time being, I have not failed to answer any question. I made a Ministerial Statement which is well considered. I have worked on it for the three weeks that I have been the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs and I think it is a very good Statement. I have responded to all the clarifications. I have even gone further to answer questions, which were not raised in the Ministerial Statement, like the question on the Coalition Management Committee.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my capacity as the Leader of Government Business, I beg to move:-
THAT, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No.111(2), this House orders that the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill be Read a Second Time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have also consulted with the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs who has assured us that even though the Report is not ready, it shall be here by Tuesday, next week.
(Mr. Wako) seconded.
Order, Mr. Attorney-General! We have proceeded to Order No.10 but we have to put the Question first.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move
THAT, the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, Bill No.4, be read a Second Time.
I crave leave to refer extensively to my notes because, as you are aware, the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, covers very many different statutes, amendments of which cannot stand on their own, and have to be put together. I will try to be as brief as possible, in view of the time that has gone into each of the proposed amendments.
The first amendment that is being sought is an amendment to the Interpretation and General Provisions Act. This amendment was necessitated by the provisions on the Grand Coalition which, because it has 40 Ministers, a number of Ministries, which traditionally have been single Ministries, were split. Creating those Ministries touched on legislation that was being implemented by certain Ministries. Just to give an example, the Ministry of Health was split into the Ministry of Medical Services and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. It is the Ministry of Health which was administering the Public Health Act. If you look at the definition of who was supposed to implement that Act, you will find that it was the Director of Medical Services. This is reflected in 23 different legislations, which came under the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. Therefore, if we do not have these amendments, we will have to bring amendments here to delete the Director of Medical Services and substitute thereto, a new post that has been created of Director of Public Health, and which now is referred to by 23 different legislations. It may very well be that by the time we have carried out amendments to these legislations, again, the Ministries will have been merged into one, as this House has been asking. So, this is an amendment to allow that office to work without necessarily having to amend the different legislations.
The other example is the Export Processing Zones Act, which was to be administered by the Ministry of Industry, but under the organization of Government, the EPZs are under the Ministry of Trade, and there is no Ministry of Industry as such. We have a Ministry of Industrialization, hence the confusion as to who is responsible for the EPZs. So, this amendment deals with those situations, so that in future, you can create and recreate Ministries without necessarily having to amend each and every legislation.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the next set of amendments are amendments which touch on the Civil Procedure Act and the Appellate Jurisdiction Act. The amendments to these two legislations are going to revolutionize the way we run our courts. They are not amendments which have just come out of the blues. They are amendments which have been carefully thought by the Rules Committee that was appointed by the Chief Justice to look into the issue of the management of court cases. Only last week, we passed the Arbitration Bill, which addressed part of the problem of the backlog of cases. Now we are going to address the way issues will be dealt with inside the court itself. This Committee went round a number of countries. They visited Uganda, India, Australia, United Kingdom and the USA to find out the modern methods of conducting cases in court; which modern methods are required used before a trial starts. As a result of all that,
On a Point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Attorney- General is completely out of order. I am basing my point of order on Standing Order No.81 which states as follows: âA Member who wishes to speak on any matter which the Member has a personal interest must first declare that interest.â Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the first beneficiary on the schedule of those whose salaries will be increased is the Attorney-General of the Republic of Kenya. He has not
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you cannot substantiate the obvious. When it comes to the banks, we shall come to that shortly. There is A1, A2 and A3 that I will speak on. As far as constitutional office holders are concerned, no tribunal has been appointed.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Attorney- General is really misleading the House. Is he saying that tribunals are not appointed for constitutional office holders? Is he saying that Members of Parliament are not constitutional office holders?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying that this Bill refers to constitutional office holders who have been specifically mentioned as constitutional office holders under our Constitution. It is there. Give me your Constitution and I will show you---
Order, Mr. Attorney-General! The point of order raised by the hon. Member is very explicit and straightforward. You are moving the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2008. Part of that is the Constitutional Offices Remuneration. In the schedule therein, the Attorney-General is listed as one of the people who will benefit from the amendments. So, all the hon. Member is saying is that in conformity with Standing Order No.81, you have to be explicit in the first place because you are the one who is moving the Bill. In your absence, somebody else could have moved it. If you chose to move it yourself, you have to indicate that this also includes you. All you need to do is to declare your interest.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was coming to that. The constitutional office holders are specifically mentioned in the Constitution. This Act has, all the time, related to them. Not everybody who is mentioned in the Constitution is a constitution office holder. I will get the correct Section here. I think it is Section 119. On harmonising the salary structure, the constitution office holders were harmonised with those of Permanent Secretaries. In fact, there is Band A1. Who enjoys this? It is the Attorney-General and the Chief Justice who are constitutional office holders. However, in the harmonisation, we have the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service in Band A1. Since Independence, the Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service, the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General have always been in the same band. That was, however, harmonised. In Band A2, we have the Judge of Appeal, the Controller and Auditor-General, the Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya. We also have Permanent Secretaries in this band.
On a Point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Attorney-General has not declared his interest. He has merely told us that he is the Attorney-General of Kenya which we all know. Could he declare his interest on this matter? How much will he receive?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, I am just about to come to that. I will state how much those in Band A1 will get. Just be patient.
Order, Mr. Attorney-General! You are the Principal Legal Advisor to the Government. It is my presumption that you are fairly acquainted to the Standing Orders of this House. Standing Order No.81 reads: âA Member who wishes to speak on any matter in which the Member has a personal interest shall first declare that interest.â Are you telling me that you are not supposed to declare your interest in this matter?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could I be in order to say that the Standing Order in question cannot apply to this particular Bill? This is because under our system, the Bill that proposes miscellaneous amendments can only be moved by the Office of the Attorney-General himself. Would I be in order to propose that the declaration of interest envisaged by Standing Order No.81 refers to speaking on debates that are not related to an issue where a Minister and for that matter the Attorney-General, who is moving a matter in which he may be involved, can only do so when he reaches a particular band. I am sure my learned friend, the Attorney-General will say this. This is not a debate about boundaries or cows for example. He is moving a Bill that affects more than himself. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I propose that the Attorney- General be permitted to continue moving the Bill. He will declare his interest at the right time. Otherwise, we will confuse his personal interest such as it is. I do not think it is because Attorney-Generals come and go. However, he will be in a position to tell us what it is that affects him.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not know why the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs wants to take us around on this one. It is very clear that the Attorney-General is going to personally benefit. The Standing Orders are there so that they can, among other things, guide the interest of the House. If hon. Members knew, for example, that there is a report that has been tabled, and that people are going to get an increase of salary, including the person who is initiating this debate, hon. Members in this House would have been more interested. They would have scrutinized more, what is going through this House. So, we should not go round it. Can he say what he is going to get and move on? That is what we want to know.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at page 217, you will see that the first items â items (a)(1) and (b) â are about the Attorney-General. Even though the Office of the Attorney-General is not personal to himself, we know that he has been there for more than 20 years. So, there is nothing that can be more personal than being in
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think it is very clear that Standing Order No.81 refers to personal interest. We must make a distinction between personal interest and an office. Today, the Attorney-General is Mr. Amos Wako. Tomorrow, it might be Ms. Milly Odhiambo. So, we must make a distinction between personal interest and the official interest. Here, it is not Mr. Amos Wako as a person that the Bill is referring to, but rather, to the Attorney-General of the Sovereign Republic of Kenya. It could be him today and another person tomorrow. Mr. Amos Wako is moving debate on this Bill because he is the one in law who can do it. Secondly, he is not doing this only for himself but also for the other constitutional office holders. So, I think there is a distinction between personal interest that Standing Order No.81 refers and where you are doing a job as a public officer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, mine is simple. I just want to plead with hon. Members. Since some of the hon. Members raising objections are in the Departmental Committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs, I plead that they go and look at the Bill and do a report for us. For the time being, let the Attorney- General move the Bill, so that we can debate it. I think there are many issues we would want added to the Bill as amendments.
The Attorney-General is, indeed, moving the Bill. He does not have to have somebodyâs permission to move it. The point is, Standing Order No.81 states as follows:- âA Member who wishes to speak on any matter in which the Member has a personal interest shall first declare that interest.â The Standing Order does not make a distinction between talking on a Bill or moving a Bill or contributing to a Bill or speaking on a Private Membersâ Motion. It gives an impression of a blanket provision on any business that is on the Floor of the House, in which the Member has a personal interest. Now, whether remuneration for constitutional office holders is, indeed, a personal interest, or is outside the so-called âpersonal interestâ, is an issue we are basically looking at now. Mr. Attorney-General, in your own wisdom and judgement, and being literally the leading legal personality we have in here, you are in a position to understand this.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we are just going round in circles. Mr. Amos Wako has no personal interest in this matter. He may get a benefit, but whether I get it or not, does not matter. I want to make that point very clear. Therefore, this particular Standing Order, I think, is geared to what Mr. Mutula Kilonzo said; it is also, really, geared to those types of situations that are not obvious on the face of it. In other words, a Motion comes up, an hon. Member speaks on, and you may not know whether an hon. Member has an interest in it or not.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think part of the reason as to why we see the personalization of this discussion is a problem created by Government, especially when it brings issues like this one. The Judiciary brings its recommendations, the Executive brings its recommendations, Parliament deals with its matters in its own way and Parastatals have their own ways of paying their people. In this House, we have had a Government for long enough, which ought to have brought to the Floor of the House, a consolidated approach on how public servants should be paid. Since that has not happened â I am glad that the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitution Affairs is here â it is my hope that when we come to make the new constitution, there will be one body that will look at all the salaries of public servants. I suspect that is why we are witnessing the temptation by hon. Members to see personalization in this debate. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Attorney-General, in declaring your interest here, you do not have to go into the figures. You just have to say: âThis is a Bill through which I will also benefit as the Attorney-General.â That is all you have to say in terms of declaration of interest.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am going to say that, but just want to agree totally with what Mr. Mutava Musyimi has stated. That is why, from the very beginning, I began by outlining the history of this Bill. I do not think Mr. Musyimi was here when I started speaking, but I did mention that in the Bomas Draft Constitution and the Wako Draft Constitution, we have a Salaries Review Commission, which is supposed to harmonise all these salaries within the public sector. I did refer to the nature that he has very ably, and more eloquently than myself, referred to. That is the disparity within the salaries amongst the various Government and public institutions. I did say that, as a result of that, the President set up a Permanent Salary Review Board to harmonise the salaries. That is why my entire presentation has been that this is part of the harmonization process. I do not want to repeat it, but I went on to state the fact that this Board was set up in 2001, and that there has been salary reviews for the disciplined forces, civil servants and teachers between then and now. In these salary reviews, the Permanent Salary Review Commission has also been involved. Therefore, ours, coming eight years later, is part of that exercise. I had actually gone into quite some length. I am glad that your contribution has now completely put into context, what has been said. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constitutional Office holders covered by this Act are those mentioned in Section 104(5) of the Constitution of Kenya. In other words, not any public official mentioned is a Constitutional office holder. It is only those mentioned in Section 104(5). Subsection 1 of that section says: âThere shall be paid to the holders of offices to which this section applies such salaries and such allowances as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.â
Then Subsection (5) says who those officials are - High Court Judges, Judges of the Court of Appeal, Members of the Public Service Commission, Members of the Electoral Commission, the Attorney-General and the Controller and Auditor-General.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Looking at the offices that the Attorney-General is referring to, we have the offices of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK). I do not know if that office still exists. Could the Attorney-General give guidance under the new Act?
Is it under the new Act or the new Constitution?
It is under the new Act that forms the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIE C).
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the way that is placed under Sub-section five, whether you are the chairman or a vice chairman, you are primarily a member of that commission. Then you subsequently become a chairman or a vice-chairman. So, Sub-section five, just states âmember of the Public Service Commissionâ and âmember of the Electoral Commissionâ. It is obvious that as the chairman, you are a member and therefore, you are covered under this section.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could the Attorney-General be a bit specific? Do we still have the office of the vice-chairman of the ECK? How are you remunerating an office that does not exist? Could you confirm under the Act No.9 of 2008 whether the office still exists?
Mr. Attorney-General, there are issues that essentially you need to give details under IIEC.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under the IIEC, I do not think that they have an office of the vice chairman.
The Bill said that âthe Constitutional Office Remunerationâ. Then how do you talk of an office that does not exist?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Bill was drafted before IIEC came into being. Also it is effective from 1st July, 2008 when that office existed.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Attorney-General to mislead the House that the new law does not exist and that he can purport to bring things before the Floor of the House without taking into account the laws that we have already passed and implemented? Is he in order?
Mr. Attorney-General, there is no vacuum in our constitutional dispensation. We do have provisions in the Constitution. Any Statutes that are brought in here must be in conformity with the Constitution of the country. Was there a Constitutional Bill that was passed by the House that defined something called IIEC?
Yes, I agree, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Mungatana!
Proceed, Mr. Attorney-General.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the effective date, it is from 1st of July, 2008 when that Commission existed. Consequently,
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Government invoked the Standing Order No.111 (2) to hurry up this Bill so that it does not go through the Committee Stage. We passed that Motion with the understanding that things are okay but now we are seeing, particularly, this provision that has to do with remuneration of the Constitutional office holders.
There is a problem because it is providing even for non-existent offices. As a Parliament, looking at the economic situation right now, may I propose to the Attorney- General - so that we do not defeat the other important provisions - that no one is going to die if their salaries are not increased between now and the time that we are going to put in the Salaries Commission. Can you withdraw that particular provisions and bring a proper report before the House? Then, at the time that we shall set up the Salaries Commission, we shall proceed with that understanding. I urge the Attorney-General to withdraw that section to avoid complicating the rest of the Bill. The Attorney-General, the Chief Justice and others will not die of hunger, if their salaries are not increased between now and the time we will set up the Salaries Commission.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have difficulties with the timings of this particular matter. This issue is being put on the Floor of the House at a time when we are being told that our economy is shrinking. The global economy is also shrinking. There are times we play out as very callous leaders. When we are dealing with such figures in front of the people who brought us here and who live on nothing, is the timing appropriate to discuss this matter? I know that life must go on but there should be sensitivity to the electorate.
The issue of timing is another matter. I had answered successfully on the issue of the vice-chairman of the Electoral Commission because the Act is effective from 1st July. When the Constitutional amendment was made---
Order, Mr. Attorney-General! We had a Constitutional Bill that we passed and it has something called IIEC. In the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, you have the ECK. Are you sure we are talking about the same thing? You have already owned up and said that this was done before the ECK was superseded. I am trying to see a way out here.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, let me talk about the law and state that whatever can be done during the Committee of the whole House can be done. In other words, during that stage, we can amend the correct name but in law, the IIEC is a successor to the ECK, I see no problem. To satisfy hon. Members, during the Committee of the whole House, I will be prepared to bring the appropriate amendment as far as this particular office is concerned.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Members, can you give the Attorney-General some time so that he can explain himself?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to answer---
Mr. Attorney-General, please, proceed!
Thank you. Actually, I prayed and that is why the lights have come back.
Mr. Attorney-General, you have only two minutes to complete moving this Motion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was at pains to explain that since 2001, everybody else has had a salary review, three times or twice, apart from Constitutional office holders. That is why I believe strongly that in the interest of justice and harmonisation of these salaries, we should go ahead with this. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are looking at a situation where persons who are not even Constitutional office holders, are earning more. This is because they have implemented their bit, which does require the consent of Parliament. For example, the Permanent Secretaries and Provincial Commissioners are now earning more than constitutional office holders are. This is because they have had their schemes reviewed twice or thrice. The Constitutional office holders, whose offices the Constitution thought were important to be included in the Constitution, are earning less. This is because of our patience. We have been taking things slowly for eight years now. I argue very strongly that this should go on as planned. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if it is the question of vice-chairman or whatever, these are matters that can be cured during the Committee stage. I admit that the Committee has not had the time to look into this issue. However, they are going to have an opportunity and I will be willing to listen to any amendments that you may bring here. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the interest of harmonisation and considering that the salaries of everybody else have been reviewed three times and now some are earning more than Constitutional office holders, that will be an injustice to Constitutional office holders. I can see my time is up. What remains comes under the portfolio of the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs. I am sure the Ministry will tackle it. I beg to move.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to second. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to approach my support of this Bill from three perspectives. First of all, I would like to address the issue of the amendment to the Appellant Jurisdiction Act and the Civil Procedure Act. I would urge this House to note that these are laws that were created a long time ago. I do not want to use the expression "colonial laws". At the time these laws were passed, the actual objective of the Act was not stated. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in an effort to reform, the Government would like everybody; judges, magistrates, lawyers and everybody using these laws to know that the
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Minister to indicate that there are no provisions for the new officers in the IIEC when he has earlier confirmed that this is a successor of the former Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), who would succeed both the assets, liabilities and everything? Could he clarify that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to be corrected. I do not own the law which is there to be read. My learned friend knows it as much as I do. My impression is that we need to spell out those salaries expressly, indeed. This is because when we deleted Section 41 of the outgoing constitutional provisions regarding the ECK, we did not make any transitional provision on anything, including assets and salaries. Please, hear me out and listen to me carefully. Look at it and you might be surprised. I think I am right. Therefore, it is essential for this country to provide for the benefits of these people, because only Parliament through this particular Bill, can say how much we will pay them. In fact, the Cabinet ended up deciding how much benefits they will get. It was a heated debate. For the time being, the facts of the matter is that, as the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs â and I stand to be corrected â my impression is that we have no provision for salaries of those people. I would like that expressly passed by this House, so that I can start paying them, to make sure that they give us the new Constitution that we want. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the amendments being proposed for the Appellate Jurisdictions Act, Advocates Act, Civil Procedure Act, Films Act, Test Control Act--- The Constitutional Office Holders Remuneration Act, Cap.423, perhaps has a greater challenge, which is relative to what the Government ought to pay these people. I am not quite certain that looking at the Act, we actually left their benefits within the existing Act, which is still in force. However, if I am wrong, I will be happy, indeed. I would prefer, in fact, to be wrong on that particular concept. It is better if we enact this Bill. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will also see that we have brought amendments to the Sexual Offences Act, which the Attorney-General has described, so that we can stop children from being exposed to obscene images or language, with the intention of enabling the children to engage in sexual acts. This is also a very important law that is bringing reforms in the way we manage the affairs pertaining to our children. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have also brought amendments on page 240. You will see the Kenya Information and Communications Act. You will remember some of the disputes that the country has had on the Media law. For the first time, we will assign functions to the Broadcasting Content Advisory Council and also enable the Media Council to appoint the members of the Appeals Tribunal.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Media Act No.3 of 2007 is also there. Again, these are things that have been negotiated and mediated. They are things that I would very sincerely recommend to this House that they be adopted.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other one is the Supplies Practitioners Management Act. This is, again, reform, because we have not had anything like this in this country. It
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to start by expressing my great disappointment with the Government for bringing a Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill in a hurried manner. We want the Government to get it from us that this should be the last time that we are going to allow the fast-tracking under Standing Order No.111(2) to avoid a Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill going through the Departmental Committee. I say so because a Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill like this one always covers---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think we ought to be honest. This is not the Bill that is being fast-tracked by the Government, but the fact is that it has been listed. There is another Bill which I would want to fast-track and that is why I am rising on a point of order. This one, I think, was basically listed because there was no business and Parliament had to move on.
Is that the reason why the Departmental Committee report was dispensed with under Standing Order No.111(2)?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not the one who moved butâ
There was a Procedural Motion which was moved here---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reason why I am raising this is that there is another Bill, which I really want fast-tracked and I do not want it to colour that other Bill which I want fast-tracked.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the House Business Committee (HBC) is essentially a Government body. It is the one that controls business; so, I am in order to say that there has been fast-tracking. Let me not be distracted! We want to send a clear message that if it is a single Bill, and it is negotiated with the Opposition Caucus, we will want to understand that. But where we have a bunch of statutes such as these being fast-tracked, it is dangerous and Parliament should never accept this to happen again. Having said that, there are, in fact, some very good provisions within here. There are also some which are very dangerous and some which were clearly hurried. For example, we have raised various points of order that the provision that the salaries for Constitutional Office holders are being adjusted upwards. There is a clear provision for a Vice-Chairman, for example, of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and this Office does not exist. In fact, I sit on the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that has been asked by the IIEC to meet with them, so that some of these things could have been included in this Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill if it was not rushed by the Government in the House. We would have brought in even the ones of the
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity.
I partially support the provisions of this Bill. There are very good amendments that have been proposed. Unfortunately, they have been laden with other things that are making it difficult to give this Bill a 100 per cent support. There are very good provisions, especially as relates to the justice system. Specifically the amendments that have to do with civil procedure and other Acts are very good because they seek to make the justice system expeditious and just. I want to laud the hon. Attorney-General for that. One of the challenges that we have been having with the judiciary is the backlog of cases. It has been said that justice delayed is actually justice denied.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the principles that need to be added when the Attorney-General brings the amendments is that we should not turn a blind eye to the issue of the protection of the dignity of court users. Sometimes that is sacrificed at the altar of expediency and what is said to be justice. I would, therefore, urge him to add as one of the principles, the protection of the dignity, especially of vulnerable court users such as indigent users, women, children and persons with disabilities.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I laud the hon. Attorney-General for including the issue of affordability as a principle. There are very many indigent Kenyans who are not able to access the justice system. I would want us, to not just stop with the amendments of the law, but to go ahead and actually ensure that, in tandem with that principle, there is
It is the business of the Government to generate business for the House, and Government business for that matter. So, hon. Attorney-General, you cannot be dispensed with collective responsibility!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is the objective here? I think it is an issue of the transition between all the new rules, the calendar and, for the first time, Parliament sat in January for quite some time. So, it is this whole issue that has caused the fact that we do not have much legislative work for Parliament. Therefore, the few that I have drafted, just debate them. But the most important thing, really, as far as I know, especially on this one, is that there should be enough time for the Departmental Committee to look into it and come up with appropriate amendments during the Committee Stage, particularly on this Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, which I know has so many legislations. My view, really, was that we should have time to read and so on. But we should also be usefully engaged and I am glad that we are usefully engaged. The comments that are coming out of this debate will be possessed by the Departmental Committee. We shall discuss them and during the Committee Stage, we shall be able to deal with it.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance. I will be brief because I notice that there are many people interested.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he is on the Opposition Side!
Order! Whichever side hon. Midiwo is, he is on the Government side! Proceed!
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am the Leader of Government Business.
He is actually the acting Leader of Government Business, along with hon. Thuo! Proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although I am on the Government side, there are few things that I disagree with about the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill. The first one is Section 3(a) which reads, just in case you have forgotten:-
âA reference in a written law in relation to any matter to a Minister or an official described by designation, which by reason or any change in the organization of any Ministry or department, whether or not by transfer of functions from one Ministry or department to another or others is no longer appropriate, shall be construed in relation to that matter as a reference to the Minister or other official for that time being charged with the responsibility of that matterâ. It is ambiguous, but the intentions are clear. I do not want to say, like my colleague, Ms. Odhiambo has said, she is not sure. I can read what it means and it must be deleted! It does not belong here. We are trying to amend our laws miscellaneously where there are ambiguities; where there are redundancies. So, we cannot introduce ambiguous things in law again! I think the country must move forward. This was intended to do exactly what Ms. Odhiambo was suggesting! Personally, I will spearhead and be on the side of hon. Members who will make them to understand it. If you mean something else, kindly, hon. Attorney-General, make it clear, but not what I think that means. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support the section that says we should repeal Section 88 of the Media Law. We all agreed that, that section should be repealed. So, I
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Attorney-General on this very important Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill. I am saying this because it contains some very good provisions.
Order, Mr. Githae! You are not supporting the Attorney- General, but the Bill which is appropriately before the House.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to commend the Attorney-General for bringing this very important Bill. If you assume one or two typos, which I have noticed, for example, on page 236, there is no church known as the âSeventy Day Adventistâ. I think it is called Seventh Day Adventist. If you exclude those few typos, it is a wonderful Bill.
The Bill gives the Chief Justice certain powers which he can use to dispose of cases in courts quickly. For example, he is now being compelled to embrace new technology. That is where we have failed. The main reason we have such a big backlog of cases is because of the technology that we use. Judges and magistrates have to write in long hand what the counsels and witnesses are saying.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, can you imagine if today we are to require you to write what we are saying? You will not even be able to handle the debate because you will be busy writing what hon. Members are saying. It does not require a lot of money to change. Even in other places where they have not developed adequate technology, they have shorthand typists and stenographers. These are people who can transcribe, for example, 140 words per minute. We can use such people to begin with as we embrace technology. It is not expensive. We have stenographers and shorthand typists in this country who are
Order, Mr. Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs; you should be listening!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was saying that for lawyers who are hon. Members of this House, the only place where they can practise law is when speaking in this House. That service should be recognized.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Konchella? Are you a learned friend?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not one, but is it in order for the hon. Member to use the Floor of the House to advance his own interests?
That is not a point of order! Proceed, Mr. Githae!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have just distinguished personal interest from statutory interest.
Order, Mr. Minister! You had already declared your interest by saying that you are a lawyer. So, proceed.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. What I am saying is, as Mr. Danson Mungatana was speaking here, he was practicing law. As Ms. Odhiambo was talking here, she was practicing law. As I speak here, I am practicing law. This service needs to be recognized by the Attorney-General by awarding all lawyer hon. Members, who have managed to come to this august House, the rank of Senior Counsel, because we shall not have an opportunity to practise law in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
This is done in most Commonwealth countries and since we have adopted the practices of those countries, I think we need to do this. There is no personal interest but it is only fair.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other provision concerns the salaries of the constitutional office holders. It is true that the timing may be wrong but we must take cognizance of the fact that their salaries have not been reviewed since 2001 to the extent that they are not in harmony with the other Government officials. The Permanent Secretaries and the Provincial Commissioners (PCs) are earning more than judges. I think it is not fair. For us not be seen to be unfair to the constitutional office holders, I urge this House to accept those clauses that deal with salaries of constitutional office holders. The solution is what Mr. Musyimi talked about in this House. We need total reform of the remuneration in the public sector. I am one of those who have been saying that we need to do reforms in that section. Those officers in the Public Service who have leverage are able to negotiate better salaries. For example Members or Parliament are privileged and are able to negotiate better salaries for themselves. Teachers are also able to negotiate best salaries for themselves. That applies to judges but what about the magistrate? What about the executive officers and other junior officers in the Government? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Public Service, the most senior officer is the President. So, no person should earn more than the President. Then we need to copy what the United States of America (USA) did for the federal employees. You are given a grade and not a position. There are grades one to 24. So, even if you move from one sector to another one, you go with your grade. For example if you are a Member of Parliament, you are given your own grade. So, you enjoy the allowances that go with that position and if you move to another Government position, you go with your grade and your basic salary. That works well. It means that a public servant can move from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development. You can move from the Armed Forces to the Civil Service because you move with your grade. It is time to make reforms in the public pay system so that all the sectors move together. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I have mentioned, the only sectors that are adequately remunerated are the ones who are able to negotiate their salaries. What about those who are not in a position to negotiate their salaries? What are they going to do? That is why you find that there is a big disparity between the top earning official and the lowest earning person. We should also put a provision that no person will earn more than ten times the lowest paid person. If you do that, there will be some basis of fairness. Otherwise at the moment, there is no fairness and that is why there are some people earning more than the President and yet, the President is the overall head of the Public Service. It is time we reformed the Public Service.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will have all the opportunities to make the necessary amendments at the Committee of the whole House. In fact, I am aware that already, a few
Order, Mr. Githae! If you have concluded your contribution that is up to you but should you wish to continue, you still have seven more minutes next time the debate resumes.
Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the business of the House. The House, is therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, 27th May, 2009 at 9.00 a.m.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.