to ask the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) Under what circumstances were the two herdsmen killed and 302 goats stolen in the Ndumuru area of Igembe North District on 24th April, 2009? (b) When will the police perform post mortem on the bodies of the two victims that have been lying at the Meru District Hospital to enable burial take place? (c) What action has so far been taken to apprehend the killers and recover the stolen goats?
Is Mr. MâMithiaru not here? Then we shall come back to the Question at the end.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Under what circumstances was Mr. Samson Mincha Nyanumba shot dead on 22nd May, 2009, the time of the shooting, how many bullets were used and which part of the body was shot? (b) What is the identity of the person(s) who removed the body to the mortuary, the time of removal, the identity of the person who booked the matter at the Occurrence Book as well as the time of the booking? (c) What is the status of the investigations into the killing and has any culprit has been arrested for the crime?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I seek the indulgence of the Chair to allow me to answer this Question on Tuesday. I would have responded to it in the afternoon but since the Order Paper is already out, I request that I answer the Question on Tuesday afternoon since tomorrow is the Budget Day. The reason is that we received the Question just yesterday
Are you saying that you received the Question yesterday?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir
It is a Question by Private Notice and the next seven days will be on Tuesday next week, so you are in order and it is so directed!
Most obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) whether he could explain to the House the criteria that he uses to allocate land; and, (b) whether the Government has extended the lease of land to the Matt International Company in Lamu District, and if so, give the justification for the extension.
The Minister for Lands not here? We shall come back to this Question later.
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) whether he could confirm that terms of Land Boards and Land Tribunals in North Imenti Constituency expired a year ago and that a Selection Panel appointed new Land Boards and new Tribunals in July last year; (b) when the newly appointed members will be gazetted and when the current civic councillors will replace in the Boards those who lost elections; and, (c) when he will issue title deeds for the Kiirua Nkando adjudication unit North Imenti.
The Minister for Lands is not here. So, we shall come back to that Question later.
asked the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources:- (a) whether he could confirm that luxury tourist hotels at the coast still discharge raw sewage into the Indian Ocean; (b) when he will ensure that NEMA carries out all the recommendations made regarding disposal of raw sewage into the Indian Ocean and all inland water; and, (c) how many people NEMA has taken to court over this offence to date.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that luxury hotels at the coast still discharge raw sewage into the Indian Ocean. However, I confirm that the luxury hotels at the coast discharge their raw sewage into septic tanks and effluent treatment plants from which it is discharged into the nearest water body in accordance with Environment Management and Co-ordination Water Quality Regulations of 2006. (b) My Ministry, through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), has already initiated implementation of various regulations in order to safeguard Indian Ocean and all inland waters. These include:- (i) The Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit Regulations of 2003. (ii) The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Waste (iii) Management Regulations of 2006. (iv) The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Water Quality Regulations of 2006. All the hotels are obliged to obtain an effluent discharge license accompanied by effluent analytical report for their wastewater discharge into the environment. (c) NEMA has prosecuted 56 cases countrywide. Out of these, two prosecutions are on hotels. All cases are still pending before courts.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very basic Question: Is there raw sewage finding its way into the Indian Ocean or not? If so, has anybody been taken to court?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, in some areas along the ocean there are sewerage systems but there is no hotel which discharges raw waste into the ocean.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is common knowledge that there is a lot of dust in the beach hotels. This dust is brought about by the activities of the beach boys and other people who come to the beach. Is there a policy in place to ensure that these hotels are kept clean, so that our beaches are not affected?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Ministry has taken measures to ensure that our beaches are kept clean. In fact, our beaches are now very clean and attractive. Many tourists are now visiting our beaches because they are very attractive.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to be very specific. The Assistant Minister comes from Mombasa. Therefore, he knows the clubs I am referring to. These are Chimi Club which is known as Mombasa Club and Sailorsâ Club. Could he confirm or deny that
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I totally deny that there is any discharge of waste into the Indian Ocean.
We, as a country, are very much concerned about these things. Coast Province receives a good number of foreign and local tourists who swim in the Indian Ocean. We cannot allow our people and tourists to swim in dirty waters.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to deny the truth? I can prove to him that Peponi Hotel in Lamu discharges waste into the Indian Ocean!
Hon. Assistant Minister, you must be very particular about the facts you bring to this House!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has taken action against hotels, or any other premises, that discharge waste into the Indian Ocean. Let me assure this House that if there is any hotel in the Coast Province, which discharges waste into the Indian Ocean, and a report is made to us, the necessary action will be taken. Hon. Members---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I heard the Assistant Minister right from the beginning, when he answered the Question, accept that these hotels do not emit any waste into the ocean. However, he has continued to say âmaybeâ some are doing it. The hon. Member from Lamu has told him that she knows of a specific hotel that does so. Why is he avoiding answering a specific question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no way I could have admitted in my answer that some hotels are discharging waste into the ocean. What the hon. Member is trying to do is to marry my answer with the supplementary questions which I have already answered. But where an hon. Member has established that there is waste being discharged into the ocean, let him report to the District Environmental Officer and the necessary action will be taken. The Hon. Members should also approach me and I promise to take action immediately.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, did you hear the Assistant Minister say that the hon. Member should report? I thought it was the responsibility of the Ministry to move with speed and diligence to ensure that no raw waste is discharged into the ocean! He wants hon. Members to do the job!
Hon. Assistant Minister, you are the one who has the institutional machinery to know what is being discharged and not being discharged into the ocean. It is not for you to tell the hon. Members of Parliament to find out who is discharging what and then come and report back to you!
You have to be certain about the veracity of your own statement. Indeed, you are not! The hon. Members maintain that raw wastes is being discharged into the ocean. Are you saying that, that is not true? You know the consequences if the Chair orders the relevant Departmental Committee to carry out investigation? If that becomes true, then the House will censure you!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to repeat what I said. The NEMA is trying its best to identify these areas and where there is discharge of waste into the ocean, those concerned will be taken to court. It may be true. Maybe, some hotels are discharging their waste into the Indian Ocean, but NEMA has not identified those areas. That is why I said that, if there are such cases which have not come to the attention of NEMA, those concerned should report the
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Assistant Minister is burying his head in the sand. He must know, as a fact, that tourist hotels at the coast do not discharge raw waste during the day. They wait for the night when the tide is high and they discharge hot raw waste. Could he confirm that Serena and White Sands do not do so?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member says that discharging of waste into Indian the Ocean is done at night. However, we have not seen it happening.
I will send my officers at night to Serena and White Sands to confirm whether, indeed, they discharge waste into the Indian Ocean.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to inform the Assistant Minister that Shimo La Tewa Prison in Coast Province discharges waste into the Indian Ocean. Their action is affecting the residents of Kisauni and Mtwapa. Could NEMA taken action?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very pleased to hear these statements. I can assure the hon. Member for Bahari that I will also send my officers there and take the necessary action.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, would I be in order to ask this House to order an immediate inspection of all those hotels along the inland waterways and Indian Ocean in view of the Assistant Ministerâs own admission that there is a problem?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is putting words in my mouth! I have not âadmittedâ, but I am saying that where there are such nasty cases, my officers will take action.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. In his answer, the Assistant Minister says that there have been 56 prosecutions. What were you prosecuting, Mr. Assistant Minister, if, indeed, there was no problem?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member for Naivasha, in his Question, is talking about sewage discharges into the Indian Ocean. What we have prosecuted â and let me be very specific on this one--- My officers have found two hotels that, after collecting garbage, deposited it in undesignated areas. It is not that the prosecutions were not based on the discharges of sewage into the Indian Ocean, but also the collection of garbage that was deposited in undesignated areas.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. You must have noticed that the Assistant Minister is contradicting himself many, many times in the way he has answered this Question. Matters of environment and pollution are serious and have a direct bearing on the tourism industry in Kenya. Under these circumstances, I humbly request that this issue be referred to the relevant Departmental Committee of Parliament for investigation.
Order, hon. Members! As much as I appreciate the need for us to take this particular issue very seriously, because of its implications on the health of Kenyans as well as the tourists who come to Kenya and who, indeed, help our economy, Departmental Committees do not have to be directed by the Chair to undertake those kinds of activities or tasks. I think it is incumbent upon them to see the seriousness and deal with these things without getting directions from the Chair!
But, nonetheless, Mr. Assistant Minister, I must also indicate that you have not given an answer adequate enough to rest the fears of Kenyans. Under the circumstances, I think, it is only fair if you undertake, now, to go and carry out a comprehensive investigation through your Ministryâs officials and come back and report to the House! Can you give that undertaking now?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the supplementary questions that I have heard from hon. Members, I undertake to go back to the Ministry with my officers from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and go through every hotel and housing unit along the Indian Ocean and we will come back and table the report.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about two weeks as some people have suggested, you know the Coastal Strip---
How much time do you need, Mr. Assistant Minister?
Give us three months, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
It is a very long process, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and I do not want to cheat this House.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order, as the Chair of that Committee, to request the House that I bring the report here within two weeks? I will do the inspection, with my Committee, and bring the report here within two weeks!
Do you give that undertaking to the House?
I can take---
Not âI canâ! Have you given that undertaking on behalf of your Committee to the House to go and carry out an investigation and report back to the House in two weeksâ time?
Yes! I want to give an undertaking that in two weeksâ time, I will report back to the House on the status of the sewage disposal along the coast.
Hon. Chair of the Committee, it is also imperative that you carry the Ministry along with you on that!
I am much obliged. I will carry the Ministry with me and since they seem to be a bit slow, we can work within three weeks.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We cannot be carried by a Parliamentary Departmental Committee! It is for the Ministry to carry that Committee!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. He does not seem to understand the Standing Orders! The Departmental Committee cannot go to the Ministry! The Departmental Committee summons the Minister!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Chair has given a ruling that the Ministry should take action on this matter and report back to the House. I do not think the Departmental Committee has any business giving an undertaking after the Chair has given the direction that the Ministry undertakes that action.
Order, hon. Members! Hon. Mututho, as much as I can see your concern on this, the Question is to the Minister. It is not to the Departmental Committee. Under the circumstances, I think the Chair has indicated what it feels is the way forward on this particular Question. The only thing, hon. Assistant Minister, is that three months is too long a period for people, in the event that it is true that, actually, raw sewage is being pumped into the sea for Kenyans to live with that! Can you give an undertaking of less than that period?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now, this will make it necessary for Ministry and NEMA to work day and night!
In this case, I give and undertaking that we will do the report and come back to the House within three weeks.
Indeed! The Chair directs that the Question appears again on the Order Paper three weeks from today, the same day and in the same morning sitting!
asked the Minister for Regional Development Authorities:- (a) why it has taken more than two years to appoint the Chair of the Coast Development Authority and state when the appointment will be made; (b) why the Authority is only allocated Kshs45million annually for development while TARDA is allocated more than Kshs100 million; and, (c) what steps he is taking to provide more funding to the Authority.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) His Excellency the President has appointed Mr. Martin Tsuma as the Chair of the Coast Development Authority (CDA). (b) It is true that the CDA receives Kshs.45million vis-Ă -vis the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA), which is allocated over Kshs100 million. The disparity is caused by TARDA having more established and ongoing projects, which have also been attracting more funding, through public-private partnership, than the CDA. (c) In order to ensure that Regional Development Authorities (RDAs) are adequately funded, my Ministry has rationalized the allocations in respect of the RDAsâ strategic plans and the ensuing Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budgets. The Ministry has also initiated public-private partnerships between RDAs and prospective donors to attract more funding.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that the Chair has been appointed. Unless he was appointed last week or yesterday--- But as of last week, on Monday, there was no Chairman at CDA. Nonetheless, the other question is: What projects are being undertaken by CDA in Voi Constituency and, if there are any, where are they located?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, the hon. Member is right that, for over one and half years, the position of the Chair of CDA has been vacant. But the substantive Chair was appointed on Friday last week. His name is Mr. Tsuma Martin. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the projects that the CDA has done, or is doing in Voi Constituency, they are as follows:- (1) The CDA has done a water project called Rukunga Rock Harvesting and Piping Water Project in collaboration with the Canadian Government at a cost of Kshs2.9 million. (2) We are undertaking the Kasgeu Integrated Project that is taking the component of water, health and agriculture in collaboration with Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) at a cost of Kshs10 million. That has to do with rock water harvesting, rehabilitation of Kasgeu Health Centre and training of farmers on modern farming methods. Thirdly, the Coast Development Authority (CDA) has also rehabilitated a borehole that is on the border between Voi and Wundanyi constituencies. It is called Mulilo Borehole and it benefits people from the two constituencies.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it appears as if the Assistant Minister only moved in and appointed the Chair of CDA after this Question was raised to the Ministry. That is very wrong because the Government should act on its own. However, I would like to state the facts as they are. In 2008, the CDA lost 19 of its employees because of poor remuneration. Those employees left for greener pastures. As we speak today, the ideal staffing level at the CDA is supposed to be 154 employees. Right now they have only 106 employees creating a deficit of at least 48 employees.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the last 12 years, since that Authority was incorporated, there has been no single salary review upwards for the employees. Even the post of the Chairman has been vacant for the last two years. The Ministry only appointed somebody to fill that post after a Question was raised here. When will the Assistant Minister take the CDA seriously? When will he review the salaries of the employees upwards? This is the only Authority that does something within the greater region of Coast Province. Can you imagine that it is now 12 years since the salaries of employees were reviewed? When will the Assistant Minister review the salaries of those employees?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to set the record straight. The Chairman of the CDA was not appointed because of this Question. Indeed, the process of appointing the Chairman has to be thorough. The Minister had to forward three names to the President so that he could pick one. In that regard, Mr. Martin Tsuma, who comes from Mr. Mungatanaâs constituency, was picked.
It is also true as the hon. Member has put it, that the salaries of the employees of the CDA have not been reviewed for quite some time. However, it is not just the CDA, but all the six regional development authorities. Although the mandate to review staff salaries belongs to the Board, I would like to attribute this to the little funding that the Treasury allocates the regional development authorities and because of that, some authorities have been forced to retrench staff or scale down their salaries. That has made some of those employees seek green pastures elsewhere.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We raised this issue yesterday. We want to discourage this trend whereby Ministers come here to tell us that we should allocate more money to their Ministries! They are the ones who prepare the Budget and we only come here to examine it. With regard to the CDA, and I would like the Assistant Minister to pay attention to this matter, Kshs44.7 million was allocated to the development budget in the 2007/2008 Financial Year. Out of that amount, only Kshs30 million was released for that purpose. Where did the balance of Kshs14.7 million go? We would also like to know what has happened to---
Order, Mr. Mungatana! How can that be a point of order? You indicated your point of order very well. The Assistant Minister cannot throw the ball back to the House by telling it to allocate his Ministry more money. That is the work of the Executive. Indeed, that is it. The rest of it is a question!
Mr. ole Metito, it is not the responsibility of the House to allocate your Ministry funds. That is the responsibility of the Executive. The House can only examine your allocations. There is a limit as to the extent it can deal with that matter.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I anticipate that, in the near future, this House will be given some teeth, through the Budget Office, to enable it streamline Budget allocations to Ministries.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the 2007/2008 Financial Year, the Development Budget for the CDA was Kshs44.7 million. Out of this amount, only Kshs30 million was released to the CDA. Could the Assistant Minister tell us what happened to the balance of Kshs14.7 million? Was it a plan to kill the CDA?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that, that is a very different Question from the substantive Question we are handling now. I will bring all that information to the House if the hon. Member raises a Question with my Ministry in connection with that amount of money.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House that the question raised by Mr. Mungatana is different? If you look at part âbâ of the Question, you will realise that the hon. Member wants to know why the CDA has less funds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am ready to answer the Question the way it was put. Why---
Mr. ole Metito, you are asking for more funding and yet you have not even used the funds that you were allocated in the first place! Why do you ask for more money and yet you cannot even use the money that is already there?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no proof that we have not spent the Kshs45 million allocated to the CDA annually. That is why I have told the hon. Member that, given more time, I can prove that we have spent the Kshs45 million which is not even enough.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now that the Assistant Minister has indicated that they do not have adequate funds to support regional development authorities, could he introduce a regional development fund in order to raise more money to fund these authorities?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a good idea because we are open to all manner of ways of out-sourcing money. One of the ways is through the public-private partnership initiative. The other one is through strategic plans that regional development authorities have prepared. A key component in this is coming up with many proposals for donor funding. Many proposals are now being prepared. With regard to the CDA, the JICA has funded programmes in Voi. The Italian Government has funded projects in Malindi worth Kshs240 million. That wide berth of outsourcing is most welcome. We will consider that and, should it be viable, we will request the support of this House to make it realistic.
asked the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology:-
(a) if she could confirm whether self-sponsored (parallel degree) students benefit from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funds like the regular programme students; and,
(b) what plans the Minister has put in place to ensure that all students who attain the minimum entry grade to universities are enrolled without classifying them as âparallelâ or âregularâ.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) I confirm that self-sponsored students are eligible to apply for HELB loans like their regular programme counterparts.
(b) The categorization of students in public universities as parallel and regular is not tenable and the Ministry is, therefore, working closely with the universities to ensure that this comes to an end. We are not yet there, however, because of various constraints. One of them is the physical infrastructure. The other one is, of course, the facilities that in order we need to integrate the students.
It is not acceptable that some of the students should be taught separately from the others. This is something that is being addressed very quickly. As far as possible, we hope to resolve it in a short time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Minister for that answer. Now that she has admitted that there is no need of categorising students as âregularâ and âparallelâ because they are all students who have qualified to join university, could she undertake to ensure that when students apply for Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans, they only fill one form?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is, indeed, the right way to go. They will be given one form.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, right now, in our country, there is a very worrying trend, where new colleges and campuses of universities that are coming up are actually being headed by people from the regions in which those institutions are located. I happened to be in a senior common room of one of the universities that have been recently created, and the lingua there was, really, worrying. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that our colleges and universities that are coming up are not converted into tribal enclaves?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that, that is completely a different Question. However, I would like assure the hon. Member that the policy of the Ministry is diversity. We have constantly received requests from hon. Members that we appoint regional persons to regional universities. This is something we found in progress. If you look at what has happened over the last year, you will see that we are working very hard to kill that trend. We advertise positions and after university senates and councils agree, names are submitted to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. That is the procedure, but there is no policy to have people who speak one language run universities, because that will ruin the universities.
By the way, what the hon. Member has said is not completely far-fetched. It is something that has come to the public light, and we are working hard to kill it. However, we need Members of Parliament to co-operate with us, and not to constantly come and say: âBring somebody from our region. This is our university.â
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister had indicated in the past that the HELB would also consider students from outside public universities, particularly those in Dar es Salaam and Kampala. How far has she gone in helping our students outside the country?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I made that statement, we were in this financial year, which has not come to an end. I made that statement because I expected to look for more funding from the Treasury. We have, indeed, submitted our requirements and wishes, which should enable us to cover students from the region.
Last question, Dr. Kones!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, over the last few years, fees in the universities have gone up, but the maximum loan given to students has remained constant. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that they adjust upwards the maximum allowable loan to students?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a financial question. I have just said that we are applying for more money. The cost of living has gone up. My electricity and water bills have gone up. It is the same for universities. Therefore, if they are asking for more money, it is simply for the purposes of meeting their costs. We, in the Ministry, have submitted a request to the Treasury to give us four times the amount of money that has been given in the past. However, what you ask for and what you get is usually dependent on what the Treasury can afford, and also how much more we want to tax ourselves. If we get more, we will give more. We do not wish to give just a few students all the money and reduce the number of people who get it. So, basically, maybe, we will spread it out a bit, so that everybody feels the pinch rather than take care of just a few students and leave out the other students who are either parallel or outside Kenyan public universities. As you know, in this year, we have already spread it out. We have included students in private universities within our country, who until this year, had been excluded.
Next Question, Mr. Olago Aluoch!
asked the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs:-
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Ministry is headed by a Senior Counsel, and the Assistant Minister is my very good learned friend. I would expect a better answer. If, since 1986, the Government has actively said that it does not support capital punishment, then why wait for the Constitution to be amended? To remove the death sentence does not need an amendment to the Constitution. You only need to introduce a miscellaneous amendments Bill to amend the Penal Code to remove the death sentence. That is all! Why has this not been done?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not just the Ministry that is, perhaps, guilty. All of us are guilty, because the people who are supposed to amend the law are also Members of Parliament. That is why, today, we appreciate the fact that---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to blame the House when the initiative should come from the Ministry, and not from Members of Parliament?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Assistant Minister, could you sit down? Another hon. Member is on the Floor!
What is it, Mr. Mungatana?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is completely in breach of Standing Order No.75. When a point of order has been allowed, you sit down! You do not stand there!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted to say that it is true that the existence of capital punishment in our law books is, really, not justified. It is for us now to rise to the occasion. My Ministry will take up the challenge. We hope that during the constitutional review process that is coming, we will ensure that the death penalty will be prohibited expressly.
If, indeed, you, as the Government, do not believe in the death penalty and you do not have to have a constitutional amendment to change it, what is it that you want from the House when it is your responsibility initiate the Bill? Ideally, you should be giving an undertaking to the House that you will be initiating the Bill!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is the essence of the answer. I am giving an undertaking that we will initiate the Bill.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, given that the Government does not support the death sentence, and there are over 3,000 prisoners now on death row who cannot, for example, engage in normal prison work because they are facing death sentence, why has the Government not considered commuting these sentences to lesser sentences? These prisoners can undertake useful work while we wait to amend the law and abolish death penalty. We cannot have a situation of over 3,000 prisoners on death row when the power to commute the sentences lies with the Executive!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the power to exercise the application of the death sentence rests with the President. That is why I am saying that it is long overdue to have this law in our books. It is for us now not to look back, but to rise to the occasion and expedite the process of constitutional review and change this law. I undertake to do this.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if it is agreed that inflicting capital punishment is, indeed, degrading and inhuman in accordance with international criminal law, then to keep 3,215 prisoners on death row indefinitely is a crime against them. The State is committing a crime against these people. Up the circumstances, could the Ministry confirm whether these convicts will be released or they will be hanged?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to continue misleading this House that the Government does not support the death penalty when, in fact, the Government opposed a Motion in this House to abolish the death penalty?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. That point of order, is coming a little belatedly.
Order. It is not your prerogative, hon. Assistant Minister. That is the prerogative of the Chair. Read you Standing Orders very well, understand them and apply them. You are not even a first-timer in this House!
Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am unable to respond to that point of order because I am not aware that the Government opposed a Motion in this House to abolish the death penalty in this country.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. That is a matter that can be established from this Houseâs institutional memory. Could the Chair, with respect, defer this matter to this afternoon, so that the institutional memory of Parliament can provide you with the HANSARD report of the day when that Motion was brought to this House and how the Government pushed for it to be defeated? It was, indeed, defeated!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the decision to order really rests on the Chair. Even if we get to know that the Government opposed that Motion, it is incumbent upon my Ministry to look ahead. At this point in time, what is important are the laws we want to make for our country. Our undertaking as a Ministry is paramount because we want to have this law repealed completely from our statutes. I would just plead that we move forward in anticipating the laws that we want to have.
Fair enough. The Assistant Minister has given an undertaking on that. We want to appreciate that goodwill. Next question!
asked the Minister of State for Public Service what the Governmentâs policy is, on the payment of risk allowance to civil servants.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
Risk allowance is paid to civil servants who, due to the nature of their duties and occupation, are exposed to high occupational risks and threats to their lives. These threats and risks include exposure to infections, toxic gases, fumes of chemicals and threat to lives while dealing with crime and criminals. This allowance is currently paid to the following cadres in the civil service: Medical and public health personnel, disciplined services personnel such as police, a Administration Police and Prison Service. However, the Government has noted that the risk allowance currently paid to officers is not commensurate with the gravity of some of the risks which may result to permanent disability, terminal diseases or instant death. In this regard, plans are underway to: 1. Introduce a risk insurance cover for all the members of the disciplined services. 2. Undertake a survey of risk-prone Ministries/Departments with a view to determining risk factors that should be compensated. A committee has been set up to do this and also look into the feasibility of introducing a comprehensive insurance scheme to cover public servants performing jobs with high occupational risks and phase out the risk allowance.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the answer given by the Assistant Minister although it is not specific. I have a case in point where a senior chief of Muchongoi Location was killed last November while pursuing cattle rustlers in the company of Administration Police officers who were attached to his office. Could he explain why chiefs are not paid this allowance and yet, they work with Administration Police officers whom he has confirmed are paid this allowance?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the concern of the hon. Member. However, as I indicated in my answer in the last paragraph, there is a survey going on currently in Ministries and Departments to review other careers or cadres that are also risk- prone so as to bring them into the same scheme.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that they will introduce an insurance scheme to cover risks. He has confirmed that chiefs are in that cadre; where they should be considered to be paid for the risks they undertake. Could he consider paying the chiefs the risk allowance while they await for the implementation of the insurance scheme?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of chiefs is related to the Question asked by the Member earlier. Instead of implementing these changes piecemeal, we have formed the committee that is carrying out comprehensive review of all cadres in all Departments and Ministries. After this Report, we can then implement these changes instead of dealing with chiefs specifically. As for the insurance cover, it is the same committee that is carrying out the study. The moment the recommendations are ready, they will be implemented.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that there is a committee to identify those who qualify for risk insurance. We have had many committees set up by the Government that drag on forever. Could he give us a timeframe within which to expect this committee to end its work?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with the hon. Member with regard to the time factor. Before the next Session of Parliament, I assure him that the Report will be ready and it will be brought to this House to ensure that it is implemented.
Fair enough! Mr. Mwaita, last question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard what the Assistant Minister has said about the chiefs. He has said that they need to be looked after. As we wait for this Report, could the Assistant Minister consider issuing an Executive Order to pay the chiefs?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I had earlier indicated that there are many other careers that have the same kind of risks as well. We cannot be ordering or giving instructions on a case by case basis. We actually need to review terms of all the civil servants under the same kind of environment. It would, therefore, not be very fair to handle one particular career. I request that our chiefs be patient and, once the Report is ready, they will be considered.
Next Question by Mr. Erastus Mureithi!
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation: -
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The dams that were constructed by colonial-era farmers in Ol Kalou are 85. The location of the dams is tabulated in Table 1 of the supplementary information, which I made sure the hon. Member had the advantage of looking at. The dams are operational. However, the water storage capacity of the dams has greatly reduced over the years due to silting caused mainly by destruction of their catchment areas arising from human activities. (b) My Ministry has and will continue to undertake de-silting of dams throughout the country aimed at restoring their original storage capacity to ensure water availability for domestic, livestock and irrigation use. In the coming financial year, one dam will be rehabilitated in each district of Ol Kalou Constituency namely; Nyandarua Central, Nyandarua West and Milangine. An additional three dams will also be rehabilitated in the constituency by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation next financial year. My Ministry takes this opportunity to request the support of this House in educating the public to stop catchment destruction to ensure survival of our dams.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whereas I appreciate the answer by the Assistant Minister and the prior information given to me, I would like to know what happened to the report of the two engineers who were sent by the Minister to the constituency in order to assess the dams in that area. Could the Assistant Minister increase the number of dams to be rehabilitated? At the rate of six dams per year, it will take another 15 years to rehabilitate all the dams. How is the Assistant Minister going to make sure that all the 85 dams will be rehabilitated for the production of food and clean water?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the engineers recommended that we rehabilitate these dams at a cost of Kshs315 million. You will accept that the Ministry cannot, therefore, do this in one financial year. However, as we adjust our budget, we want to assure the hon. Member that we will de-silt more than six dams per year. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to plead with Members of Parliament that, instead of them buying graders for their constituencies, we need excavators more than graders. Could Members consider this, in their budgets, to buy bulldozers, which cost about Kshs10 million? These bulldozers can be used to de-silt the dams. The Ministry cannot permanently do that for them! Secondly, Members of Parliament should take the responsibility to educate their people. As long as they continue to interfere with the forest cover, this problem will be there permanently and it cannot just be solved by the Ministry but the will of the communities and other local leaders.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, shifting responsibility to Members of Parliament is not a solution to the water problems in this country. We have been experiencing problems with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation in terms of coordination between the parent Ministry, the National Water Corporation and the Service Boards. In terms of planning, we have a problem because information is not generated from the ground. It is more or less top-down.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not about shifting blame. It is about consensus and good working relationship with Members of Parliament. That is why we are even willing to call for a Kamukunji so that we can look at how we can complement each other. It is very important to do so. About the confusion, I want to assure this House that for the last one year, we have worked overnight. That is why you can see there is a lot of activity taking place. In the last ten years, there were no Questions being raised in this House because there were no activities in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Today, you can see Members are very ready to ask Questions related to water. Members are also ready to support the Ministry. Even the Government itself is committed to financing the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Therefore, we expect changes. These changes cannot be achieved by the Ministry alone but with the support of this House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would want to commend the Assistant Minister for the efforts he has made. However, in my own constituency, we have a dam that was built about five years ago but is now dry. It does not only require de-silting but also rehabilitation. What action will the Assistant Minister take to ensure that the dam is rehabilitated and put to proper use?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you cannot take a patient from the ICU Department and start giving him ugali the following day. This Ministry has not been funded for a long time and, therefore, most of these dams failed. We require to rehabilitate them.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister admitting that the dams are in an ICU situation?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we were in an ICU situation. I thought I said that. However, we have come out of that situation. I have indicated that a few years ago, the Ministry was under funded. We did not have donors willing to fund the Ministry. Today, things have changed because of the able leadership and donors are willing to fund us. The Government has put in money. We are working over-night to ensure that these things change. I only require that hon. Members be patient with us.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to thank the Assistant Minister for the answers he has given. Considering that the Ministry was given Kshs2 billion to construct new dams, what policies do they have in place, in terms of maintaining the old ones? If that is how the process is being run, the new dams will come and go like the old dams. What policies do they have in place to make sure that the new dams do not fall into the same fate that the old ones have fallen into?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will hold workshops and seminars and we will also be asking Members to team up with us so that we can educate our people, just the way the Kenya Power and Lighting Company did on customer awareness. We would like to sensitize our people on the importance of these dams and how to maintain them. For example, I challenge hon. Members to go back to their constituencies and report back to us on how many dams are provided with water troughs and how many of those dams have watering points. Those are the major reasons why these dams are being silted. If you look in your own constituencies, you will see that farmers are farming near the dams and at the same level that the water should be. What do you expect when the rains come? Even wind itself will blow the soil back to the dam. Therefore, let us take our own responsibility and the Ministry will also take its own responsibility. The issue here is working together and educating our people.
asked the Minister for Roads what steps he is taking to improve the ADB-funded road projects on Maili Saba-Nzoia Water Supply (E328) and Kiminini-Kinyoro (E281) roads that have been done shoddily due to lack of proper supervision.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Maili Saba-Nzoia Water Supply Road (E328) was improved under the Roads 2000 Programme, jointly funded by the Government of Kenya and the ADB. The project implementation under the programme makes use of labour-based method where applicable in order to create jobs for the youth. Since gravelling was done using manual labor, the resulting riding surface was not even. However, increased use of the road by vehicle traffic is expected to enhance compaction and improve the road surface. Nevertheless, our technical officers are monitoring the situation in order to make necessary intervention as the situation may demand. The Kiminini-Kinyoro Road (E281) underwent routine maintenance during the financial year 2007/2008 with funds from the Roads Maintenance Levy Fund. The works included bush clearing, grading and culvert cleaning and gravel patching. An additional sum of Kshs1.1 million has been availed through the District Roads Committee during this financial year for routine maintenance in order to ensure that the road remains motorable. The said works are expected to be executed within this month; June, 2009.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Although the Roads 2000 Programme has improved our road network, there is a problem with our supervision. Who between GoK and ADB is responsible for the supervision to ensure that the works are properly done? That was the problem with this road.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under the Roads 2000 Programme, we have different consultants. In this particular case, we had Deep Africa Consulting Engineers who were procured by the Government of Kenya to supervise the works.
Do you have more questions or you are satisfied?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is the Government doing to ensure that those contractors who do a shoddy job are blacklisted or appropriate action is taken against them? This is one such road where a shoddy job was done.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that the road was done to standards that do not meet the expectations of the Member and the general public. However, we are doing everything possible by using private consultants. Previously, when we were using some of the Government consultants, the reports they gave were particularly not impressive. So, we have resorted to using private consultants to ensure that we get supervision or monitoring that will make sure that the money is used well. Given that part of the money is from the ADB and some from other donors, then it is necessary that we do that. Nevertheless, any contractor found to have been in breach of the contract, appropriate action will be taken against them given that Roads 2000 Programme will use labour intensive techniques and we have a special certificate for that. Not all the contractors can do the Roads 2000 works.
asked the Minister for Roads:-
(a) What plans he has to repair the Nyeri-Nyahururu Road considering that its bad state is contributing to cases of highway robberies, carjacking and general insecurity; and,
(b) If he could as, a stop gap measure, provide emergency funds for filling of the pot holes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to answer.
(a) My Ministry has already contracted out works for repair and resurfacing of the Nyeri- Nyahururu Road (B5). The project will take 24 months and it is expected to be completed in April 2011.
(b)The contractor is on the ground and will carry out the potholes sealing as part of the emergency measures. The contract sum of Kshs1.3 billion has already been awarded to G. Isaiahâs (?) and Company (Kenya) Limited. The scope of the works include partial reconstruction of about 5 kilometers that is completely worn out, repair of bends and shoulders, drainage works, regulating patched areas AC/ Abstract Concrete, double seal surface dressing and maintenance of passage of traffic through the works.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The answer the Assistant Minister has given is quite satisfactory. However, I would like him to clarify when the contractor will be on the ground because I was there yesterday and I did not see any contractor.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have given the contractor the order to commence and there are preparatory works required, including making sure that the quarry is there and mobilizing the equipment. I think that is the stage we are in right now. I am confident, and I want to assure the hon. Member that in the next three or four weeks, the contractor will be on site and work will have commenced.
Are you satisfied, Mr. Warugongo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have got one more question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister consider engaging a contractor who will occasionally check our roads because it has been a practice that roads are repaired when they are already completely impassible? Could he do that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important that we keep monitoring our roads so that we do not incur so much expenses in reconstructing them as it is the case with the Nyeri-Nyahururu Road. However, due to financial constraints, we cannot always do that. However, my Ministry is in the process of ensuring that through the newly created Boards of the Kenya National Highways Authority and the Rural Roads Authority, these roads are clearly demarcated and responsibilities are allocated to those specific authorities for maintenance. However, with regard to this road, the massive deterioration has come about because of the heavy trucks on their way to Mombasa which use that particular road to avoid the way bridge in Gilgil. As a Ministry, we will ensure that we put the necessary measures including a mobile way bridge to make sure that the trucks do not use that road and, therefore, lead to the damage we have seen on the road.
Hon. Members, today being a Private Membersâ Day, Question No.223 by hon. Lessonet is deferred to Tuesday, next week. We will take one Question by Private Notice. Indeed, hon. Lessonet, before I defer your Question, let me see if the Question by Private Notice can be answered. We want to start the Private Membersâ Motions at exactly 10.30 a.m. Let us move on to Mr. MâMithiaruâs Question by Private Notice!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) Under which circumstances were two herdsmen killed and 302 goats stolen in the Ndumuru area of Igembe North District on 24th April, 2009?
(b) When will the police perform postmortem on the bodies of the two victims, which have been lying at the Meru District Hospital to enable burial take place?
(c)What action has so far been taken to apprehend the killers and recover the stolen goats?
Order! Mr. MâMithiaru, you came late and under the circumstances, you deserve to apologise to the House!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise that I did not ask this Question on time.
Order Mr. MâMithiaru! You apologise because you were not here when your Question was called out!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise for coming late.
Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) The two herdsmen met their death at the hands of bandits who attacked them while grazing their goats within Ndumuru area of Igembe North. The same cattle rustlers also stole 302 goats belonging to the slain men. The incident was reported to the police who pursued the bandits towards Kulamawe in Garbatula District where they disappeared. Investigations are on- going, vide Police Case File No.473/106/09 and Police Inquest No.3/09 has also been opened.
(b) The Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Meru District Hospital, is ready to perform the postmortem free of charge immediately the relatives of the deceased avail themselves.
(c) The police intercepted the bandits at Kulamawe area of Garbatula District and recovered 160 goats after an exchange of fire with them bandits. The goats were handed over to the owners, namely, Ibrahim Maore and Michubu Robert on 5th May, 2009. Local leaders of Kulamawe undertook to ensure that the remaining goats were recovered and distributed to the owners. On 20th May, the local leaders handed over a further 54 goats to the police who in turn handed them over to the owners. However, the police are following crucial leads with a view of arresting and prosecuting the bandits.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Assistant Minister for the honest answer that he has given. This is a weighty matter, where goats were stolen and herdsmen killed. When the herdsmen made a distress call, there was no immediate response. One of the reasons for the slow response was that the policemen in that police post were engaged in charcoal
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware of my officers engaging in commercial activities. However, the Police Standing Order is very clear. It is illegal to engage in any commercial activities while on duty. The law will catch up with those officers. On the issue of providing a vehicle to Lare Police Station, the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) has a vehicle which he uses to patrol the area. I urge the hon. Member to, at least, have a joint meeting with the security personnel in order for them to patrol the areas he thinks are insecure.
Ask the last question, Mr. MâMithiaru!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, I thank the Assistant Minister for the job well done. First, I thank him for assuring the House that the postmortem will be done free of charge. This was the agony of the family that had visited the hospital and police station on various occasions but was told to pay before the postmortem could be done. I think the family can go to the hospital so that the postmortem can be done now that it will be free. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in criminal cases like this one, where people have been killed and it becomes a police case, who is responsible for the payment of the postmortem fee? Secondly, some goats have been recovered and there are links to who actually stole them. Since the suspects are walking free, what will the Assistant Minister do to ensure that they are apprehended?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have ordered that the postmortem be done free of charge once the relatives avail themselves. On the goats which have been recovered, we are waiting for the owners to identify them. We have ordered the chief to give back the goats which the police have so far recovered to the owners. I do not think there should be any problem with that. The chief acknowledged that he will hand over this week, the goats that have already been recovered. I also urge my colleague to present himself when the goats will be handed over to the rightful owners.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! This is a Private Membersâ Day! There is need for us to observe time. Ms. S. Abdalla, could you ask your Question? It has been deferred a number of times before.
asked the Minister for Lands:-
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise for coming late. I also apologise to the hon. Member because this Question has been deferred a number of times.
I beg to reply. Whenever land in urban centres is required for allocation, the policy is to have it planned and advertised, so that Kenyans can apply through the respective district plots allocation committees. These committees are chaired by the District Commissioners and the Provincial Commissioners where applicable. Local authorities and the Ministry of Lands are also represented in these committees. In case of projects, the district development committees have to give approval before land for a particular project is allocated. This is meant to ensure ownership by the beneficiaries of the projects and to reduce conflicts that may arise during the projects implementation. The Ministry also makes land available to Kenyans through regularisation of informal settlements, where the beneficiaries are identified and the land planned, to facilitate documentation through issuance of letters of allotment and titles. The Ministry is also charged with the responsibility of the settlement of poor landless Kenyans through establishment, of settlement schemes. Whenever such schemes are established the district supplement plot allocation committee sits to allocate the land before the list is forwarded to the Ministry headquarters for issuance of letters of offer. What I have said is clearly covered under Section 12 of the Government Lands Act, that makes these provisions. However, I wish to add that not everything has been done in the past on the basis of the letter and spirit of the Government Lands Act.
(b) The issue of lease extension to Matt International does not arise because in the first place, no lease has been issued in the first place .
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, land issues, particularly in Lamu, are very crucial. The particular land that we are talking about is a water catchment area for livestock. There are small tribes living there of about 600 families. That allotment letter was issued in December when offices were closed for public holidays. Could the Minister tell us whether he intends to revoke that allotment letter or issuing a title deed to Matt International? That is because Matt International are not farmers. They are known as brokers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to Lamu and sections of Tana River, I am doing better than that. I have stopped all land transactions, particularly in Lamu. As you know, the whole of Lamu is Government land. But there are people who have taken advantage of Government land in Lamu and they have been giving out that land in the past to individuals who use it for speculation. I have a big exercise going on in Lamu to identify villages and set aside areas that will go to the local communities. I am interrogating all the land allocations that have been made in Lamu District because it is my view that most of those allocations are unjustified. Finally, there is this unique factor in Lamu that, whereas in every part of the Republic, land which is not Government land is either trust land or has been adjudicated to ensure that members of the local communities get title
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Garsen happens to border with Lamu on one side. The issues that hon. S. Abdalla has raised affect my constituents directly. First, I am happy that the Minister has stopped all land allocations in Lamu. But I would like him to give us an undertaking about Matt International, that he will consult with the area leadership including hon. S. Abdalla, hon. A. C. Mohamed, hon. Twaha and myself, who border that land, before any allocation is done. Secondly, when the Minister last toured the area, he promised that he would go to the lower Tana Delta in Garsen Constituency. In Kipini Settlement, there has been a lot ofâ
Hon. Mungatana, ask a question, please!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in Kipini Settlement Scheme, there are many squatters because the title deeds for the land on which they are living in have been given to the wrong people. When will the Minister correct that matter? People are being declared squatters on their land, which has been given, particularly, to land officers who are no longer working in the Ministry.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I responded to that question, although not so directly. It is a shame that in some areas in the Coast and other parts of the Republic, including Lamu and sections of Tana River, the local people are basically squatters. People from other parts of Kenya and, in fact, even foreigners have got title deeds in some of those parts of the country. You can rest assured that I am not going to allow titles to be issued to Matt International until there are sufficient consultations with the local leadership. That is one of the reasons why I went to Lamu to confirm whether or not, there were sufficient consultations with the local leadership. Also, this is not a matter which is merely in the province of my Ministry. There are other stakeholders, particularly in the Government, which involve the Ministry of Agriculture, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the local authorities. We are also concerned about land use. We do not give land anyhowly. We give land only where those allocations are justified. Finally, I wish to tell hon. Mungatana that I intend to tour that region at the end of this month. Most of that tour will be in Tana River.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a lot of interest in this Question and I beg you to give it more time. It is a very crucial issue.
Order, hon. S. Abdalla! It is understandable that there is a lot of interest, but the Minister has actually got more interest than everybody else. He has given a very firm undertaking that he is going to protect the peoplesâ interests. So, can you ask one last question, so that we can go to the next Order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I first want to thank the Minister for the action he has taken to stop the allotment. When will the Minister advertise the application and will the due process be followed from the District Development Committee (DDC) and the county council? At the moment, there is a lot of corruption. I believe the Minister will be the first person to keep corruption out of land matters in Lamu.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, according to my records, the DDC, the local leadership and the county council had given approval for the allocation of that land. When I was in Lamu, most of the councilors were demanding that I should give out that land to Matt International. So, I would beg this House that, at an appropriate time, I want to bring firm
Order, hon. Members! Question No.079 is deferred to next week. Minister for Lands, please make sure that either you or your Assistant Minister is available to answer it.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Next week I will be away on Parliamentary business.
Okay, let it come on Tuesday the week after. Question No.223 by Mr. Lessonet is also deferred to Wednesday next week.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I did seek a Ministerial Statement with regard to fire stations land which has been grabbed in Nairobi. The Ministerial Statement has not been issued by the Minister as directed by the Speaker last Wednesday.
Mr. Mbugua, I understand that you talked about this matter with the Minister and the he promised to issue it next week. Is that a fact?
So, it is directed that the Minister is going to issue the Ministerial Statement next week on Wednesday.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security. What are the circumstances that led to the confrontation between Administration Police and a youth group at Njiru area of Embakasi Constituency yesterday as was covered in the news yesterday evening? Also a month ago, there was the same confrontation. Is the Minister aware that the youth group is one of the illegal organized gangs operating in Embakasi and Nairobi as a whole? Is the Minister also aware that the same illegal organized gang, in January, at the same land which is privately owned by Mr. Wamugure, killed a Maasai watchman in broad daylight and no one has ever been arrested for the offence? Is the Minister further aware that the same organized group was arrested during the post- election violence with petrol bombs in Nairobi City and the case ended mysteriously in court? What are the names of powerful police officers and high ranking politicians in this Government who are protecting this illegal organized gang considering that the Minister has promised to eliminate all organized gangs? When will police officers clear the organized gang from the illegal quarries which are operated on privately owned land and which have been invaded by force by this same organized gang?
Are you seeking a Ministerial Statement or are you seeking clarifications? You have to be very careful between asking a Question, which you can raise by Private Notice if it is of urgency, or when you are seeking a Ministerial Statement and within it, you seek parts a, b, c and d in terms of clarifications. I want to believe that you are seeking clarification on those issues.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Assistant Minister, could you give an undertaking on that; when can you issue the Ministerial Statement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will be able to issue the Ministerial Statement on Thursday next week.
It is so ordered!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:-
THAT, aware that Section 58(1) of the Constitution of Kenya provides that each session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Kenya and shall
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to second this very important Motion and congratulate my friend, hon. Affey, for coming up with an idea that would look very novel and, perhaps, an idea whose time has come. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think it was the Irish writer, John Bernard Shaw who once said:- âSome people see things happen and ask âhow comeâ, but I dream of things that never were and ask âwhy notâ?â Indeed, what hon. Affey is asking for is that, in view of the fact that our Constitution, under Section 58, provides for the powers of the President to actually decide or choose the place or time where Parliament can sit, it is perfectly lawful that if the President chose today that
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. With due respect to my brother and colleague who has moved this Motion, I stand to oppose it. I oppose this Motion because moving Parliament from one location to another does not add any value to the development of this country. Parliament is not a matatu or a bus to move from one location to another. It is a static institution and laws are made in this august House which affects the development of this country. Even the developed countries like the USA and the UK do not move their Parliaments from one location to another.
The Speaker of this Parliament has made tremendous improvement on how Kenyans can benefit from the contributions in this House. This Parliament is now covered live. Individuals in Mandera or Lokichoggio with a television set can watch and follow the deliberations of this House. So, you do not need to move this House from one location to the other. Can you imagine the financial implication if Parliament was moved from one location to the other? Just imagine taking the sittings of Parliament, for example, to Moyale. Imagine moving 222 Members of Parliament and the staff to a new location. What about the security? So, my colleagues here â people who want to move Parliament so that they can be seen in their own locations â have not looked at the financial implication.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are in the process of crafting a new Constitution. We are talking about devolution of power in the new Constitution. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are going to have regional assemblies, where regional development will be discussed. I expected that the Mover would have waited for that opportunity for Members of Parliament to go and address the issue in those regional assemblies. This House could make some provision in its budgetary commitments, so that hon. Members can be made to move around and know this country. I agree with my brother, Mr. Wamalwa, that peopled need to know this country. I would even recommend that in future, as a pre-university course, our children should undergo a military training course of two years, as is the case in other countries, so that they can know the country; they should know exactly where Kulamawe is. You do not have to come there as a Member of Parliament and want to be told where Kulamawe is. You can go there. You do not have to go there and sit, because Parliament is not a council of elders for it to go to Kajiado, sit under a tree and deliberate livestock issues. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, can you imagine taking Members of Parliament to Kajiado to sit under a tree, like a council of elders? I am talking about the financial implications of this proposal. We shall need to put into a bus 222 Members of Parliament and the officers who would support them. We have to reason. Reasoning is the most important thing. If you want to do proper planning, you must reason and have facts. You cannot just go and sit in Garsen just because somebody wants to eat crocodile meat, or because you want to see how one can slaughter a crocodile, or because somebody else wants to can go to Kisumuâs most beautiful place called Sio Port, or see how Migingo Island is. You can go there and see those places. You do not have to move Parliament to that place. With those remarks, I beg to oppose the Motion.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand here to support the Motion with all my heart. I wish to say that in implementing this Motion, Parliament will not be asked to amend any law at all. The law is there as it is. I wish to support the Mover of the Motion, Mr. Affey, totally, together with the Seconder, Mr. Wamalwa. Section 58 of the Constitution sets out what Parliament and the National Assembly are. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I think it is the hon. Member who is not fully informed. The European Union Parliament sits in European countries, but national Parliaments do not move from one location to another. Is he in order to mislead the House?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not see the point of order in what the hon. Member has said, but all the same, I was saying that the European Union Parliament sits outside Brussels regularly. As summer is setting in, in Europe now, Members of the European Parliament are packing their trunks and getting their staff ready to move out of Brussels. What is the policy behind that move? It is to enable the Members of Parliament to understand Europe properly. If I leave Europe alone, let us go across the border to Arusha. The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has weekly sittings in Nairobi, Kampala, Burundi and Rwanda. Why do they do that? It is for the Members of Parliament of the EALA to fully understand East Africa. If you look at the galleries now, you will see school children. Indeed, I believe very strongly that as Parliament, we should encourage school children to visit Parliament and observe proceedings. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, how much would it cost to get 50 school children from Kisumu to come to Nairobi to witness Parliamentary proceedings? They should be able to witness our proceedings where they are. We do not have to start with countrywide sittings. We can simply start with eight sittings, at every provincial headquarters, for a start. We have historical disparities and inequities in this country. We cannot understand those issues fully merely by driving to those places. We need to sit there as Members of Parliament, and understand firsthand what goes on there, so that when we talk about sugar, we do not assume that it is a Nyanza and Western Provinces issue; and when we talk about pastoralists, you do not assume that it is a northern Kenya issue; we need to understand Kenya as a whole. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will remember that when this Parliament started, the Speaker undertook to reform it. So far, within a very short time, indeed, a lot has been done in reforming how we conduct business but, again, you heard Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry say
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion. When we talk about Parliament we are not referring to the building; we are referring to hon. Members who represent Kenyans. Sometimes, in Parliament, we stay in our own cocoons. We always carry old skins which we should be able to shed now. We must embrace change. Change has already started. A year ago the parliamentary proceedings were not live. Now they are. The reason for this is for Parliament to open up, so that Kenyans can know exactly what business is discussed in Parliament because many did not know. Part of that opening up can be demonstrated if Parliament could have sittings within our regions. If we do so, we will be telling Kenyans that these are their MPs and this is what Parliament stands for. People will then come to appreciate more what Parliament really does. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have had a chance of touring quite a bit of Kenya because of the job I used to do. I discovered how beautiful our country is. I can even take my family to the Rift Valley, Western Kenya, Coast provinces, among other places, because I already know those parts of the country have got these beautiful sites for people to see. Many of us may not have had that opportunity. We even graduated from schools which were located in our communities, came to Nairobi to attend university, did some jobs and then came to Parliament. We have to open up so that we know our country. This will ensure that when issues are brought before the House, we know exactly what kind of inequalities we have in the country. I heard Mr. Wamalwa say how he has visited Moyale; I have not been there! We have heard of some beautiful hills in Marsabit. We have heard that there have been plane crashes there. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is time that parliamentarians knew their country so that even when they are making their contributions, they will know exactly what they are talking about. When they are told about the skewed development in certain areas, they will understand exactly what we are talking about. We know our country has got limited resources which must be properly harnessed. It is only we, Members of Parliament, who can articulate this more. There are areas where there is abject poverty. This must be eradicated. When we support budgetary allocations for a certain area and we know the poverty levels there, then we support them. Members of Parliament should know what kind of development is taking place in our country. We will also be able to take on the Government, so that they will be able to achieve
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to support this Motion for three reasons. One, is because the Constitution allows us to have mobile Parliaments. Coming from a mobile society, I support this Motion. Secondly, I want to support the Motion because this is one way of us reaching out and understanding our nation. Thirdly, already our country is in reform mood. Due to that, we must transform the way we deal with our society. We must reach out and go out there in order to make sensible and meaningful changes in our country. For anybody to understand our country and to positively contribute to the development of our country, he must, first of all, understand the diversity, challenges and problems that are facing that particular region. For us to understand, we must go out, sit and eat with our people. I want to strongly disagree with my friend, Maj.Gen. Nkaisserry, when he tells us that when we go and sit under trees, we become a council of elders sitting under trees. How superior are we from the council of elders? The council of elders are the people we respect. They are our elders. They are people who have elected us and brought us to this House. We must appreciate their capacity because they are the ones who have taught us what we are doing. Being Members of this House, we must respect our councils of elders. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for us to positively and passionately contribute, we must understand that there are many challenges facing our country. When MPs bring Questions to this House, there are some who do not even understand them. They ask the technocrats, PCs and everybody at the grassroots level to inform them. I want to share with you that six years ago I was disseminating Millennium Development Goals (MDG). I went to a DC and told him that I was inviting him to open for us a workshop. He told me: âMadam, I do not even understand MDGsâ. So, those are the people who are informing our leaders here. We need to get first hand information. We understand our regions. That is why I am supporting this Motion, so that we can go and understand those challenges. When we come back here, we will be able to contribute very effectively to any issue that comes on board. We should not look at ourselves as Kenyans coming from different regions, but as Kenyans. When Americans are contributing to their development, they consider themselves, first, as Americans. When a person in America stands up he says: âWe Americansâ. When I stand up, people look at me and say: âTell me, are you a Somali.â I am not a Somali. I am a Kenyan. Everybody must appreciate that. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, a few days ago we, as MPs, were taking tea. I was shocked and surprised when one MP from this House asked me: âMadam Sophia, when you go to Moyale, do you pass through Ijara?â That is the geographical knowledge of MPs in this House. If we do not know where Ijara and Moyale are, it is the right time for all of us to go and learn the geography of our country.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I wish to support this Motion. In supporting this Motion, I would want to add my voice to those Members who have said that, as Members, we must familiarize and acquaint ourselves with the realities of this country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is a lot of inequality in this country. Fortunately, my background in the civil society enabled me to see quite a bit of this country. I am therefore, able to know that certain myths that we have--- For instance, for most people when you talk of Central or Eastern provinces, they believe all the areas are fertile and everybody does well. I had the privilege of travelling to a place like Tharaka and if you blind-folded me and took me there, then opened my eyes, I would think I am in my own village. This is because these two places face the same challenges and problems. They have bad roads, bad terrain, poor rainfall and all that. One other reason that we need to familiarize ourselves with the country is many of us do not know most parts of this country. Despite the fact that I have travelled well in this country, when I came to this Parliament, I still had the opportunity to travel to areas that I had not been able to. The Liaison Committee had a sitting in one of the Northern Kenya towns. That was my first time to go there. I am, therefore, able to appreciate the challenges. There is lack of water and the level of drought and poverty in those areas is high. When somebody brings an issue from that area, I am able not just to speak from book knowledge but with empathy because I have first- hand knowledge. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, even recently when we visited Mbooni, we were told that it was only two hours drive away. Yes, it was two hours of pure torture because of poor roads. If we did not have the opportunity to go there, we would never have known what challenges that area faces. Even within Nyanza Province where I come from, I recently had the opportunity to travel to one of the homecoming parties in Nyatike Constituency. I was informed that there is a place called Wuoth Ogik . This means the journey is over. It is called so because it is so far and the roads are so far, such that when you reach there, the journey must truly be over. We must be able to go from where the journey begins, if at all it begins anywhere, to where it ends. I would also want to support this Motion because it will help demystify leadership. One of the reasons that I am saying it---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Did you see Mr. Olago crossing the Floor to this side without bowing?
Mr. Olago, can you do the necessary?
Madam Temporary Deputy, Sir, I did not cross the Floor. I was whispering to Mr. Nyamweya from this side.
Do you want to use me as an excuse?
Mr. Olago, you did it! I saw you. Can you go back, bow and cross the Floor?
Ms. Odhiambo, please, continue!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am glad to note that Gen. Nkaisserry is back in the House. One of the reasons I am supporting this Motion is we need to demystify leadership. Gen. Nkaisserry said that Parliament is not a matatu that moves from place to place. This is a misunderstanding of the concept of leadership. Leadership must be a matatu . It cannot be anything other than a matatu . It has to be a matatu because it must be accessible to all; both the poor and the rich. It must reach every corner of this country and that is why leadership is a
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to support this Motion because, for instance, in Mr. Ojode's constituency when you say sirikal, they think that is Mr. Ojode. That is his common nickname in his constituency. When we demystify leadership, people in his constituency would be able to be alive to issues such as what Parliament does. The other reason I support this Motion is that it leads to empowerment of women. Today, I can see very many young girls who have had the opportunity to sit at the Speaker's Gallery. The girls from my village in Suba would not be able to have the opportunity to be here. This also includes those from Migingo Island. However, if we take Parliament down there, the women will be able to see that there are women who can sit in the Speaker's Chair and handle that role very ably. They can also see there are women who can speak to the public like Ms. Millie Odhiambo Mabona. I also want to support this Motion because it will lead to de-ethnicization of politics. This country has been so ethnicised. We must see this country with different lenses. I should be able to go to a place where people do not know what a Suba or a Luo looks like and be able to appreciate what our challenges and problems are. Finally, even as we talk of this rotation, it is affordable if we limit the number of times and areas to, maybe, provinces. On a lighter note, at least we would have a different point of
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand to support this Motion. I have several reasons for supporting this Motion. This is the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya. Section 58(1) of the Constitution gives leeway and powers to the President of this country--- Once the Constitution gives us that provision, I think we must do justice to Kenyans. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to take Members back to the so-called constitutional dispensation order that we are talking about. We are talking about devolved resources and equity. Why can we not devolve politics? Why can we not devolve the sittings of Parliament to the regions? Why do we want to give it a white collar tag? Why can we not have the people of Garsen who elected Mr. Mungatana get the opportunity to see 222 Members of Parliament and yourself?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to say, very clearly, that the Speaker of the National Assembly and even the previous Speakers have never gone to my Constituency, Dujis, which is only four hours drive from here. I want to put it in the HANSARD that even our Temporary Deputy Speaker today, Prof. Kamar, has never been to Garissa or any other part of northern Kenya. We want to give her that opportunity so that hon. Letimalo, who is the Member for Samburu East---
We forgive him for his ignorance.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, when I stand in this House, I always check my facts and I am speaking with authority. Coming back to what I was saying, hon. Letimalo comes from Samburu East. Hon. Dr. Kuti, who is my Minister comes, from Isiolo North. In the last one month, the people of Samburu East have undergone agony due to insecurity. Hon. Members were seeing this on television. However, I can assure you that 80 per cent of Members of this House do not know where Wamba, Archers Post and Merile River is, among other places. I want to say, very clearly, that seeing is better than hearing. We want hon. Members of this august House, who are national leaders, to know every part of this country. I want to give an example. If a Member of this House was appointed the Minister for Health, it would be very difficult for him to know where a health centre in Ijara, Bomet or a school in Garsen is. On that basis, if what hon. Wamalwa said, if the Executive have their people on the ground, like the DCs and Ministry of Livestock officers--- I remember yesterday I was answering a Question on behalf of the Ministry of Livestock Development. This was about Narok South, a place called Mararianta, Aitong Division in Narok South. I want to say that I have never been to Mararianta or Mara Division as an Assistant Minister. It is high time that we took the leadership of this country throughout the nation. Secondly, we are talking about reconciliation and national healing. We are talking about building one nation. Just like my good friend, hon. Mungatanaâs party has been talking about one nation, one people, this should not be rhetoric. This cannot be one nation if you do not know
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. With all due respect to the Mover of the Motion, who is a very good friend of mine, I was almost tempted to support this Motion, but because of my conscience, I cannot support it. I have to oppose it.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, many good points have been advanced in support of this Motion, including the fact that we want to take Parliament to the people. Many of us have talked about getting Members of Parliament to know the geography of this country and appreciate the cultural diversity. However, I would like us to be a bit realistic. If you look at the current Parliament, you will realise that we have problems when all the 222 hon. Members attend. We are always squeezed and Parliament needs to be expanded. To say the least, if we have eight regions, for example, how will we have eight Parliaments built and funded by taxpayersâ money in order to realise the intention of this Motion? The Motion could be good, but the timing is wrong. Our country faces many problems at the moment. We cannot even finance the Budget.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the hon. Member in order to mislead the House that Parliament is a physical building when it is actually the people and a National Assembly that can sit under a tree?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thought the National Assembly is not physical but Parliament is. However, my point is that you do not expect Parliament to sit under a tree. You may easily say so, but parliamentary records are needed. We need the HANSARD and an organised system. I have heard hon. Members talk about councils of elders. If you want to be in a council of elders, you can go home and become one. However, we are elected by people to represent them as Members of the National Assembly. I believe that if we have---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the hon. Member to mislead this House that we require the HANSARD? If the HANSARD is not there, we can do handwriting.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if the hon. Member was patient enough to critically think about the usefulness of the HANSARD, she will realise that there are issues that can become contentious in future. We are legislating and we want to have authority. So, the HANSARD is very necessary. Handwritten reports can be challenged, but the HANSARD is verbatim and you cannot challenge it. That was the reason why I was talking about the HANSARD being critical in carrying out our duties.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me proceed a little further. Our system is a representative system of legislation. Members of this House come from different constituencies. The reason we are elected is to come and represent our regions and articulate the issues that affect them. I do not expect to carry a whole Parliament to Gwasi, to appreciate the needs of the people of Gwasi. If Members want to be domestic tourists, they are paid salary and, therefore, let them move around the country and see its physical features. I strongly oppose the idea of asking Kenyans to finance hon. Members to go and tour Migingo Island. I think we have a salary and we can visit Migingo Island. The boat ride is very cheap. If you do not know where to get a boat, you can contact me. I can get you a boat at a very cheap rate and I know you can afford it. However, I will not support a situation where we will posture as going to Parliament, only to tour regions in this country.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have various Parliamentary Committees because we appreciate the fact that Parliament cannot transact all the business. These Committees are at liberty to visit the various regions of this country and investigate issues that affect them. Even our going to Mombasa is always a problem. The public is not comfortable with a few Members
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance. I strongly support this Motion.
I want to thank my colleague for giving us interesting points which are basically about finances. However, the bottom line is that we are here to represent Kenya. As parliamentarians, we want to be seen in this august House to be representing the needs of the entire country. It is a fact that most of us do not know this country. When Members from certain regions make contributions in this House, we cannot appreciate exactly what it is that they are saying because we do not know the challenges, problems or opportunities there might be in those regions. In terms of financial implications, I am sure we can start at a low level, as has already been agreed up on. When we hold regional sessions, they are purely to address the issues of that particular region. I think it will not cost a lot, given the fact that we have all agreed that we can even hold those sessions under trees. The bottom line is that we want to understand our country and have tangible information when we pass legislation.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is cultural diversity in this country. It is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. Many of us who are here do not know what this exactly means. We are hidden in our little cocoons and only understand what is about us. We have stereotypes about other people. We do not really know who they are or understand how they live. We do not understand what informs their actions and the things that they do. We will not achieve national unity and cohesion unless we appreciate what each of us goes through in his or her area. If we understand our cultures, language and what informs our actions, I believe we will achieve a lot.
It is now time for the Government Responder to respond.
Yes, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank the Government responder for giving me five minutes of his time to contribute to this Motion.
I want to begin by saying that this is a great idea, but its time has not come. For sure, very good points have been made as to why we need to go around the country. Issues related to national unity have been mentioned. We need to see the rest of the country so that we can appreciate who we are. There are also issues about our poverty and understanding what happens elsewhere; for example, people not knowing where Kulamawe or Migingo Island are located. I also agree that the Kenyan public and hon. Members of Parliament need to go around the country. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also empathize with those who have spoken about the logistics involved and the issues about time; one time you are behaving like a nomadic Parliamentarian. Today you are headed this way and then the next week, you are going somewhere else. We must not think about just the money, but also the time and the logistics involved in organizing all that. Let us also not forget that even when we go to a Session of Parliament in Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa and other places, the point has already been made and the public is complaining a great deal. How will we go to spend money out there? Just imagine, if we have to have so many trips across the country with all the support that you need to make that possible as a Parliament, including the HANSARD and so on, I think we are only opening ourselves to more criticisms from the public at a time when the country is really bleeding. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, yes, it is important for us to tour, but do we want Parliament to finance our touring? I think it is very unfortunate that Members of Parliament have the courage to say that they have only known 80 per cent of the country since they became MPs. I think it is shameful! What was preventing us from touring the country? Then, what kind of example are we to the rest of the public, if we do not encourage domestic tourism, even to those who do not become Members of Parliament? I think this is a statement on Kenya, in general, and it is an appreciation of how much more we need to do to appreciate this great country. It does not require only 210 Members of Parliament, whom Kenyans perceive to be privileged, to be the ones who have the opportunity to benefit from that. We can involve this idea, and that is why I am saying it is a great idea, and, maybe, begin to think about issues related to whether we have a few alternative centres to begin with, like a few provincial capitals. But we also need to remember that even that does not necessarily take care of the majority of the people, who will still be out there in remote outposts in the country. Meanwhile, what are some of the possibilities? If the problem of Members of Parliament is that they do not know the rest of the country, what would prevent us from having an orientation session when we come to Parliament? Why can we not have one week, not just talking about the Standing Orders, but just being told about this country; the geography, history, politics, people and the different problems that people are facing as a way of getting us to begin to appreciate the
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. If this is the response from the Government, the hon. Member has got the import of the Motion wrong. The issue was not to have---
You are out of order, hon. MâMithiaru! He is not responding. He has been given a few minutes to contribute.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, still, it is a point of order. The import of the Motion was not to encourage tourism for Members of Parliament. It is an occasional sitting outside Parliament Buildings.
It is true. That is now a point of order.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, well, he made the point. It is not a point of order, but he made it. It is too late to challenge it. The point I was making is that we have spoken a great deal. The reason why I was talking about tourism is that we make it look like we have to go across the country and have time for Parliament to see the country. Even talking about tourism, remember, when we go to Coast Province and other places, we are accused of being tourists. So, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend that there are no people who will see it.
Meanwhile, what about having our Committees also going around the country? They should have their sittings in parts of this country and bring ideas that are different from what we just get from Nairobi. In other words, there are many possibilities. But we can also be more radical in our approach. We can insist that to be a Member of Parliament, you must have certain basic qualifications and some of those basic qualifications require you to know a lot about the geography of this country. You can be tested. You must know about the geography of this country. Why become a Member of Parliament if you do not know the country? You must know the history of this country. You must appreciate the politics of this country from the historical and ideological perspectives. If necessary, instead of having meaningless tests on Kiswahili and English, why do we not test people on serious content, so that when you become a Member of Parliament, it is already clear that you understand the country in terms of its traditions, customs, geography and history? That is critically important. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, to conclude in the limited time that I was given by my colleague, national unity has little to do with people not knowing about this country. The most divisive elements in this country are politicians who have been around for 30 to 40 years and they have been to every corner of this country. They know. It is not that they do not know. It
Mr. Assistant Minister, please wind up!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all those hon. Members who have supported this Motion and understood the spirit behind it. I also thank those who have opposed the Motion. The spirit of this Motion is not to relocate Parliament. It has never occurred to me that we need to move the entire Parliament from where it is currently domiciled to a place outside Nairobi. The spirit is, given that the Constitution allows- -- and there must have been a reason why Section 58(1) was put in the Constitution. The Constitution allows the President to designate a region outside Nairobi to discuss the affairs of this country.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move:- THAT, aware that children attending private academies in the country have continuously taken up most of the opportunities in prestigious national learning institutions and secured the most marketable courses in the universities as a result of high quality education facilities; concerned that public schools lack requisite facilities and manpower to guarantee quality education; appreciating the need to improve education for children from poor backgrounds in order to achieve equity; this House urges the government to increase budgetary allocation to public primary and secondary schools for enhanced quality of education.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in my preamble, I wish to state that during the struggle for Independence, when this country shook off the dust of colonialization and we were born to freedom, the three areas that this country was concerned with was to fight poverty, ignorance and eradicate diseases. However, 46 years after Independence, we are seeing a serious line drawn, dividing the country into two. There are many academies mushrooming in every town or village in this country. The founders of these academies are patriotic Kenyans. The children who are schooling in those academies are the children of the rich. These schools have very good teachers, earning very good salaries. They are well equipped schools. Most of their pupils find places in our national schools, leaving the children of the poor to remain in poor schools. When the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results are announced, pupils from academies take most places in prestigious secondary schools such as Nairobi School, Starehe Boys and others. There are very few pupils, if any, who join national secondary schools from public schools.
Hon. Kaino, you will have 15 minutes when we resume the Motion next week.