Is the Member of Parliament for Marakwet West not here? The Question is dropped!
Next Question by the Member of Parliament for North Imenti!
asked the Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands:- (a) whether he could consider placing Buuri District under the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Development Programme; and, (b) whether the Government could also consider gazetting the district as a hardship area for civil servants and teachers working in the district and pay them hardship allowances.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) It is not possible to include Buuri District in the ASAL Development Programme since the second phase of the Arid Lands Resource Management Project is coming to an end in June, 2010. (b) The Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands does not undertake classification of areas as hardship and has, therefore, no mandate to gazette Buuri District as one. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am surprised by the Assistant Ministerâs answer that Buuri District cannot be classified as an ASAL area because the Arid Lands Resource Management Project is coming to an end in 2010. Buuri District borders Laikipia and Isiolo districts, which are ASAL areas. Buuri District is suffering from an exodus of teachers and civil servants, who go to work in Laikipia and Isiolo districts and reside in Buuri just because civil servants in those two districts are paid a hardship allowance. Could the Assistant Minister consider the very hardship areas, in Rwareira Division, and classify them as ASAL areas?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while I do not deny the statement by my colleague, but our Ministry is not concerned with classification in terms of employment. That is for the Ministry of State for Public Service.
Last question, Mr. Ruteere!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister aware that Ewaso Nyiro Development Authority, which covers the ASAL development programme, is also covering parts of Buuri District and, therefore, what he is saying is misleading?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not misled the House. If Ewaso Nyiro Development Authority has covered parts of that district, that is well and good. When the next phase of the ASAL Development Programme comes into effect, and if the experts who are to assess the impact of the ASAL projects come, we shall see what can be done for him.
Next Question by the Member of Parliament for Matungu!
asked the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development what measures she has put in place to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003, considering that persons with disabilities still face discrimination.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development has put in place several measures to ensure the compliance with the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act (2003). The most important step was the establishment of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in 2004. In turn, the Council has achieved the following:- (i) Registered 11,120 individual persons with disabilities and 48 organizations of and for persons with disabilities according to Section 7(C) of the Act. (ii) Promoted the employment of persons with disabilities and has continuously advocated their employment in all organizations in an effort towards the realization of the requirement that 5 per cent of the work force should be made of persons with disabilities (Section 13 of the Act). A baseline survey is due to be conducted in the 2009/2010 Financial Year to establish the status of employment of persons with disabilities in both the public and private sectors. (iii) Continuously secured tax relief and duty waivers on materials, articles and equipment modified for the use by persons with disabilities as well as
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said his Ministry has tried to promote employment of persons with disabilities and has continuously advocated employment in all organizations. He has also indicated that a baseline survey is being carried out. Could he give us the number of people with disabilities who have been employed since this Act was passed to date?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do not have the actual number. That is why we are having the baseline survey that we are conducting. As soon as it is ready, we will let you know. This Question was asked in July and my officers could have got the figures. If the hon. Member does not mind, he should come to the Ministryâs office and we would be able to give him the figures.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that the Ministry has obtained duty waiver for equipment used by various councils and schools. Is he aware that the schools that currently provide education to children with special needs are in dire need of equipment? The duty waiver has not been implemented and they have not felt its effects.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not aware that there are institutions which are facing these difficulties. But now that you have brought the issue to my attention, I shall follow up and find out if there are any and they will be dealt with.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, apparently it looks like the Assistant Minister is not very prepared to answer this Question. But we shall have an opportunity to summon you to our Committee on Equal Opportunity to explain this to us.
Order, Mr. Affey! That is not how Ministers are summoned to Committees!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Assistant Minister regarding the Kshs200 million that the Ministry has disbursed to this very important sector of our society. There are those who are physically challenged and others who are mentally challenged. Since there is no uniform suffering of disabilities in this country, how much of this money has been set aside to benefit the mentally handicapped in our society?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have the specific amount that we have really allocated to the mentally handicapped sector but, at least, this money will go to all persons with disabilities accordingly.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, persons with disabilities are not only limited to certain parts of Kenya. They are found all over this Republic. To enforce compliance with this Act, the Ministry must have some form of physical presence. I think that is imperative. Could the Assistant Minister confirm or deny that they have any physical presence in the northern part of Kenya?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do deny that we have physical facilities in northern Kenya. But with this Kshs200 million, we should be able to be there.
Last question, Mr. Were!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister said that his Ministry has continuously secured tax relief and duty waivers. Could he give us the amount with which he has assisted these organizations in terms of duty waivers and taxes during the past six years?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have a list of several people here but the actual amounts are not shown. I also have the names of organizations, type of exemptions and dates. Since they are about 25, maybe I will lay the document on the Table so that you can go through it.
Fair enough! Question by Ms. Odhiambo!
Is Ms. Odhiambo not here? The Question is dropped.
Member for Kisumu Town East!
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) if he is aware that, despite previous denials by the Government, there have been numerous cases of cattle rustling in Kisumu Town East Constituency and that 100 cows, 32 goats and three sheep have so far been reported stolen;
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) It is not true that there are numerous cases of cattle rustling in Kisumu Town East Constituency. According to police records, there have been only six cases of cattle theft in which a total of 22 head of cattle were stolen, out of which 17 have so far been recovered. Going by the reports given to the police, we recovered three head of cattle in 2009. We also have criminal case No.62A/164/09 which is also pending before court. We have one other case where one cow was stolen; criminal case No.62A/183/09. We also have another criminal case involving two cattle, under criminal case No.62A/192/09. We also have another case where seven head of cattle were stolen and the police recovered all of them. The case is pending under case No.62A/219/09. There is another one under No.62A/289/09 involving two head of cattle, where we recovered both of them. There is also criminal case No.62A/307/09 where seven head of cattle were stolen and we recovered four of them. So, going by the figures which I have just indicated, the situation is under control. (b) All cases reported are before the court. The issue of compensation and who is liable can only be decided upon by the court. (c) The establishment of an Anti-Stock Theft Unit is not based on the constituencies. It is dependent on the trait of stock theft and availability of funds and personnel. The situation is Kisumu Town East Constituency, therefore, does not warrant such development. Therefore, we do not have immediate plans to establish an Anti-Stock Theft Unit as for now.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, once again, the Assistant Minister has taken this issue very lightly. We sent the Question with a list of 50 cases. I would like to table a list of these cases. I do not know whether he has this list, but we sent it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I speak, I do not have a copy of the answer by the Assistant Minister. This is the third time he has taken this issue so lightly. Every time, he makes a joke of this. He has ignored every Question I have raised and I am totally disappointed. I would like him to take this issue seriously because I have a list. When you say that there are only six cases, surely, I think you are lost!
Order, Member for Kisumu Town East! Please, resume your seat!
First, this is Question Time. So, you should as much as possible endeavour to ask questions. The Assistant Minister has responded to Question No.389 and given the best answer that he has. If you are not satisfied with the answer as initially given by the Assistant Minister, then you are under duty to interrogate that answer, so that he can give you further information. I will urge you to do that. Can you now proceed and do that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for your guidance. Firstly, I do not have a written answer from the Assistant Minister, other than what he has spoken about. I do not want to waste the time of this House, because we have the Prime Ministerâs Time coming up. I have a list of 50 cases and do not want to go through---
Order, hon. Shakeel! You are now in your second year in this House. If you have information â and I want to challenge you â can you table it now?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already tabled that information. It is with the Clerks-at-the-Table.
Order! You are asking this Question now! So, when did you table the information before you raised these issues in the House in the afternoon?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I tabled that information about two minutes ago!
Then that is irregular because it would be irrelevant because you are now raising the issue!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was at the time I asked the Question. I said that I have a list here that I would like to table and the Clerks-at-the-Table requested me to give it to them. They have it with them! So, if you wish, I can retrieve that list and ask the Assistant Minister to give me a written answer in respect of each one of these 50 cases. I would like him to kindly give me a response in respect of those 50 cases.
Mr. Shakeel, before the Assistant Minister responds, the document you have laid on the Table is merely a list. It has no date, no signature, not even your own signature! And, by the directions I have previously given, this document is, therefore, unauthenticated. So, it is not admissible, I am afraid! It is not admissible. Mr. Assistant Minister, you may respond.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me try to assist the hon. Member. First of all, even if he looks at the Question itself, it does not relate to any date, when the cattle rustling, indeed, took place. I was thinking of going back to 1963, then I thought, in 1963, maybe the hon. Member had not been born. Then I said, let me try from 1983. I also thought that, by 1983, the hon. Member had not been a Member of Parliament. Then I was forced to rely on the figures of 2009, when the hon. Member had been elected to Parliament. Mr. Speaker, Sir, even if you go by the Local Government by-laws, no single cattle is allowed within the precincts of a municipality. I have been saying it, because I was born and bred in Kisumu. I know, within Kisumu Town East, we do not have cattle that will warrant a raider to come and rustle or steal. The hon. Member was saying that I am not serious on this matter. I wanted him to tell me specially, where this happened. Is it in Kibos, Nyarenda, Manyatta or Kajulu? Where? I am trying to assist him. I will assist him, if the Chair allows me! Thank you.
Fair, Assistant Minister, you have done your part. Anybody else interested?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not about Kisumu, but my constituency. Due to the drought, all the cattle have been moved from Narok, part of Kajiado and even part of northern Tanzania, to my constituency. The officers on the ground are really overwhelmed because of patrols to try and control stock theft at border with the Kuria.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not have any problem with that. If he requests us, as Ministry, to do exactly that, I am able and we will exactly do that.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question seems to be eliciting some confusion. I would want to know from the Assistant Minister what constitutes cattle rustling. This is because whereas the hon. Member asked about cattle rustling, we are talking about cattle theft. What is cattle rustling and what constitutes it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are those tribes, for example, Samburu, who believe that cattle belong to them. They can go to a particular homestead and take all the animals in that homestead. They literally steal! And maybe find their way to Nairobi and sell the stock. They rob the owners of this head of cattle. I do not know whether that is the situation in Kisumu Town East. That is why I wanted the hon. Member to be specific. In which area or part of his constituency has this cattle rustling business been taking place? That is why I was requesting him to come up with an elaborate statement. In which area is cattle rustling taking place in order for the Government to take immediate action?
What is it, the hon. Member for Matungu?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. If you are listening, the Assistant Minister is not actually answering the Question. This is because he is admitting that there was cattle theft and there were arrests. What happened in Kisumu East Constituency and the people who were arrested? How does he differentiate that these other ones just take cattle without using force and the others use force?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, stealing can be in two forms, one; you can steal by using force. The other option is that, you wait until the owner of the cattle sleeps and then you go and take away all the livestock in the homestead. So, I was thinking that the hon. Member is talking about stealing by force; taking the cattle by force from the owners. So, the hon. Member should tell us what actually happened on the ground. Was it the way the pastoralist do it or it was different? From the Government point of view, I believe that he is talking of forcibly taking away animals from the owners and that in itself is a criminal activity. It is rustling.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is addressing the Question very causally; probably he would have understood fish more than cattle. But, I would want to ask him a question: I would want to tell the Assistant Minister that it is not only about cattle rustling, there are deep issues which are prevalent in a number of regions in this country. Can the Assistant Minister tell us how they are addressing these bigger problems which affect the Samburu and Pokot areas and the country in general because establishing an Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ATSU) is not enough? Can he tell us how he is addressing the larger problem?
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, before you respond, Mr. Abdirahman, you have cast an aspersion that I think is a bit dangerous. Before the Assistant Minister responds, why are you saying that the Assistant Minister would have understood fish better and yet he is a Minister in the Government of the Republic of Kenya?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I apologize, if I have imputed improper motive.
Could you, please, withdraw that part?
I withdraw, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Fair enough! Mr. Assistant Minister, proceed and respond to the question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, although it is a different question, I want to state here that, we are putting an elaborate mechanism. We want to do what we call disarmament because those who own guns are the people who go for it. We are going to disarm not only the Pokot, Samburu or Boranas, but we are going to do an elaborate exercise to disarm those who have illegal guns. I think that once proper disarmament is done without fear or favour, the issue of cattle rustling will go down. That is what we are anticipating to perfect very well.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Indeed, the hon. Assistant Minister is just not serious on the Question that is before him. The hon. Member for Kisumu Town East actually provided him with a list that indicated the date when these animals were stolen, the names of the complaints and even the location. For example, is Mrs. Ochole of East Kolwa not entitled to keep animals? If these animals have been stolen, what action have you taken, as an Assistant Minister? He should be telling us what action they have taken instead of telling the hon. Member here that livestock should not be kept in Kisumu. His constituency traverses the municipality, and actually where Mrs. Ochole lives is East Kolwa. There is another one called Aketch from West Kajulu. Are people who live in West Kajulu entitled to keep animals? If their animals are stolen, are they entitled to protection from the Government? The hon. Member---
Order, Mr. Ruto! You have asked a question. Allow the Assistant Minister to respond.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will agree with me that this list is not admissible in this House.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! The list may not have been admissible for technical reasons but the information it contains, which the hon. Member is using to interrogate you, may be valid if it is factual.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you are aware that I am not preview to the list and I cannot come and give contradicting answers. I said that.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! Just resume your seat. I want to direct the Assistant Minister properly. Two names have been cited to you and their physical addresses have been given. So, it is not the substance of the list because the hon. Member is not tabling the list. The hon. Member has given you information and he is asking whether you are aware that those persons, as named, lost their cattle.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not aware of the two names which the hon. Member has given. However, I will investigate to find out whether it is true that those people lost their cattle. This is because if you look at the Question, you will find that it does not indicate the year the losses took place.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! You are complicating the matter unnecessarily. You now have specific information, the personsâ names and their locations.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I undertake to investigate and find out whether those people lost their cattle.
That then becomes a reasonable answer!
I will investigate that case, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Ask the last question, Mr. Shakeel.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the guidance. I want it to be on record that this list was actually attached to the question. I am not preview if the list was not forwarded to the Ministry. However, I did not sign this list because this was my copy which I will give to the Assistant Minister. However, I would like the Assistant Minister to apologise to the residents of Kisumu Town East which traverses the municipality. Kisumu Town East residents have taken a great objection to the Assistant Minister who constantly tells us that we do not have cattle in the area.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not understand why I should apologise because I have said that I am not aware of the theft of cattle in that area. However, now that he has some documents to that effect, I have undertaken that I will check if it is true that some people within Kisumu and Kolwa area lost their cattle. So, why should I stand and apologise?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is hardly ten minutes ago when the hon. Assistant Minister told us that the residents within the hon. Memberâs constituency are not supposed to keep any cattle. Could he apologise to those residents? Are the people of East Kajulu entitled to keep cattle?
Mr. Speaker, Sir that is why I undertook to check whether they fall within the municipality and yet they keep cattle. If they keep cattle within the municipality, it is obvious that the local authority by laws do not allow people to keep cattle within the municipality. So, let me check if Kolwa falls under the municipality boundary.
Fair enough, Mr. Assistant Minister. That is a logical place to conclude that you will investigate this matter further on the basis of the information that you have received. That brings us to the end of Question Time. Let us move on to the next Order which is a Statement from the Prime Minister.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to congratulate hon. Members for coming back after the recess. I know that most of them were very active in their constituencies and in the country generally. However, they have now reported back ready and rejuvenated to resume the final phase as we go towards the final end of this session. I rise to inform this august House that climate change is and will be in the decades to come the most profound challenge that the nation will have to overcome. I have decided, today, to talk about climate change and the forthcoming conference in Copenhagen. This challenge is not ours alone. It is a challenge that everyone in the global community must share. The Heads of States and Governments will meet in Copenhagen in exactly one month from today with the aim of reaching an agreement on ambitious targets to mitigate climate change and decisive measures to adopt to the inevitable global
Right Hon. Prime Minister, please take notes.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to commend the Prime Minister for stating very eloquently how they will deal with the climate change in this country.
I have three points which I want him to clarify to us. There have been quite a lot of runoffs when it is raining in this country. Whenever it rains in Nairobi, many of us do have problems in driving. Some parts of Nairobi are dry or can be classified as arid or semi arid. What is the Government intending to do, so that it harvests rain water and uses it during the dry season? We can harvest rain water in all our towns and cities as it is being done in a country like Israel.
The second issue is that for a long time we have been talking about water towers in this country. In a country like Israel, they have established reservoirs where they direct rain water. Those reservoirs do not leak. We have Lake Ol Bolossat which feeds eight tributaries. Those eight tributaries feed Lake Naivasha and Garissa. I want him to tell us whether the Government is in a position to establish reservoirs.
Finally, we have many functions like weddings and field days in this country. Recently, I had a field day in my constituency. To my disappointment, we only planted three trees although we wanted to plant more than 1,000. Probably, in the spirit of planting ten per cent of our farms with trees, whether he could come up with a policy that will compel people during those functions to plant trees.
The rest of you will have to do one clarification each. Hon. Mungatana!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, very briefly on the question of Jetropha that the Government is keen on development, we have a proposal in Garsen Constituency and I am sure in other constituencies, to invest in the Jetropha. We have been told that it will
Yes, Dr. Nuh.
Order! Dr. Nuh, if you catch the Speakerâs eye, you proceed to transact business and not to engage in sideshows.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I seek your indulgence.
There is so much pessimism as to whether there will be a consensus in Copenhagen on the 15th. Could the Prime Minister clarify how much lobbying this country or the larger African continent has done to ensure that a consensus is reached to benefit the African continent which suffers most?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Prime Minister to confirm whether he intends to put a strong case for Kenya in respect of the need for compensation from all those countries that benefit directly and indirectly from Lake Victoria and River Nile, for the cost of maintenance of the river catchment areas that feed the same lake since they are in Kenya?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask the Prime Minister about the issue of deforestation and destruction of river sources. As we talk about five towers in the country, we are still destroying forests and that affects our river sources. As we address the bigger issues, we will come back ten years later and find that all the rivers of Kenya have dried up. So, what is he doing to make sure that we do not destroy river sources and preserve our water?
The Right Hon. Prime Minister will now respond. Actually, that completes the number of clarifications that we would normally permit. But depending on how he handles his responses, maybe, we will have time to do another five.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Mureithi basically agrees that we should capture and harvest rain water. His concern is about reservoirs. He wants to know whether the Government will create reservoirs. Yes, I agree with him totally. The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has come up with a very comprehensive programme of harvesting water. We have water pans, ponds, dams, reservoirs and so on. He asked about the runoffs which we have in some of our urban areas like Nairobi. Yes, the drainage system in Nairobi is poorly designed. At the moment, there are measures to improve on the drainage. As you see, a very small out pour or shower will cause a lot of traffic jams in our towns. Yes, there are measures to try to improve on the drainage and to harvest this water for use by residents of the City. He also asked about the policy of planting ten per cent of the land with trees and whether the Government will also decree that during ceremonies also trees are planted. He chose what I consider to be a very sacrosanct ceremony, that is wedding. I do not
On a point of order of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Mr. ole Ntimama?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. First of all I want to thank the hon. Prime Minister for going out of his way to educate the Kenya people on global change which of course---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Probably, you could guide the House on whether a Minister of Government can seek clarification on a Statement of Government as issued by the Prime Minister.
I was being very patient with Mr. ole Ntimama because he stood on a point of order and all Members of Parliament, including Ministers, are allowed to raise points of order where something is out of order. So, I was extending that indulgence to the Minister to see what he will point out as being out of order and you have to respect
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for that ruling because I think, as a Member of Parliament, even if I am a Minister, when the Prime Minister gives a Statement like this, I think we should not be shut out of that kind of thing so that we get to know what is happening. Everybody knows that some of us represent constituencies and I think our people definitely know that.
Order, Mr. ole Ntimama! I have allowed you to raise a point of order on the presumption that you have noticed something that has gone out of order. If you want to seek clarification from the Right Honourable Prime Minister, then you cannot. This is because he speaks for the Government, including hon. ole Ntimama, the Minister of State for National Heritage and Culture. If you have any contribution to strengthen the Prime Minister, then you should have done so outside the House within Cabinet. You cannot do it here. I am afraid you will have to be shut out because our rules do not allow you to do so.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am not disputing your ruling, but I believe that the Minister, Mr. ole Ntimama, can rise on a point of information to give information to the Prime Minister!
Order, Mr. Ojode! He has not said so! The Minister has persisted to address a point of order. So, please, let us save valuable time.
Mr. ole Ntimama, you cannot proceed! You have been overtaken by my directions!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to get clarification from the Prime Minister. He has given us an example of the Cabinet of the Maldives and the work they did to demonstrate their commitment so that as they go to Copenhagen, that commitment is noted. I would like the Prime Minister to tell us what tangible commitment the Kenyan Government has put in place regarding the issue of afforestation, other than waiting for donor support. This is because the Government must lead from the front.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to get a clarification from the Prime Minister on the position the African, Caribbean, Asian and Arab countries are taking to ensure that they persuade the USA to sign the Kyoto Protocol or have they already done that? We are trying, as Africa and the rest of the Third World, to mitigate on climate change. The countries in the north have contributed immensely towards the greenhouse gas emissions and they continue to do so. At some stage, we were told that about 30 per cent of the emissions were coming from North America. I wonder if the Right Honorable Prime Minister can give us clarification on whether the Kenyan Government has taken a position on that matter. What are they working on? I do not think it is in order for us to believe that we will just go there to sit and agree that we be gentlemen and then reach a solution. Diplomacy is about serious lobbying. I would like that clarification from the Prime Minister, given that he is a friend of the Americans.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for making a very fitting and crucial statement on climate change. I would like to ask him to indicate to this House when the funds allocated for planting trees in the primary schools
Mr. Speaker, Sir, mine is a follow up to the question by hon. Dr. Khalwale. He asked about the payment by those nations enjoying the services provided by the waters of River Nile. This is in conformity with asset base conservation where the users of a conserved resource pay the person doing the conservation. Since the Prime Minister said that we should be compassionate to those countries that are benefitting from the Nile Basin, especially those in the north, what is he doing to ensure that those countries are compassionate in renegotiating the Nile Treaty?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to ask a question about the alien plants. In that category, there is kind of a tree called Blue Gum. In my local language, it is called âMunywa Maaiâ . The direct translation of that is âWater drinkerâ. I was wondering whether there is any scientific evidence that, indeed, this tree consumes a lot of water. If it is true, what is the Government doing to ensure that those trees are cut down and, perhaps, prohibit people from planting them?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what is the Prime Minister going to do about the sand harvesters in lower Eastern Province? They have destroyed our rivers over the years and they are still doing it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek clarification from the Minister on the issue of adaptation. What is going on currently and, probably, will continue in the next ten years is that some of the communities in Kenya, particularly the pastoralist communities, are getting urbanized. Is the Government prepared to develop a sessional paper to address this matter? This is because in the next ten years, every pastoralist will be living in town. There will be neither water nor grass. Is the Government going to set up a permanent commission to address this matter? These communities are at the verge of going extinct if the Government does not plan for them.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon. Shebesh wanted to know the commitment of the Government to plant trees. I said that we are committed to tree planting and that is why we gave a directive that a certain portion of farmland must be set aside for tree planting. We are rolling out a very ambitious programme to plant trees all over the country. We intend, over the next ten years, that is, between now and 2020, to increase our forest cover from what it is today; that is, 1.7 per cent to 10 per cent.
At Independence, the forest cover was 12 per cent, but through wanton destruction, it has been reduced to 1.7 per cent. This has been majorly because of irresponsible management of the environment. The Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Forestry have estimated that to increase the forest cover to 10 per cent, we need to plant 7.6 billion trees. We not only need to plant them, but ensure that they grow. Trees have been planted before, but they wither. We want to grow trees and we have even put a cost to it. There is money which the Government is putting in this exercise. Also, we are going to source money from outside the country - that is in the package that we are going with to Copenhagen.
Mr. Ruto asked what African and Arab countries are doing to persuade the USA to sign the Kyoto Protocol. That protocol is very critical because it has very stringent provisions which, if implemented, will help reduce the greenhouse gasses to acceptable levels. The previous Government of the USA was very negative in as far as the Kyoto Protocol is concerned. However, one must give credit where it is due. Since the change of
That marks the end of Prime Ministerâs Time! Next Order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to request a Ministerial Statement from the Minister in charge of Internal Security on the state of security in Nairobi and countrywide in view of the recent incidents. One of the incidents is the execution of Mr. Gitau Njuguna in a busy Nairobi street which I am informed has CCTV cameras. Mr. Njuguna was executed on the 5th November this year in broad daylight. There are very many executions of civilians within Nairobi since January this year. I would like the Minister to give details of any arrests or the status of investigations. There are not less than 30 cases reported in the media about executions within Nairobi this year. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like information about the many kidnappings in Nairobi. He should also spell out the measures, if any, the Government is taking to make Nairobi and the country secure for all Kenyans. He should also confirm whether the dreaded Kwekwe Squad, was in fact disbanded as the Minister had promised Parliament. We need to feel secure and we do not need to continue loosing lives in gangland style.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will give a Statement on Thursday next week.
It is so directed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to seek for a Ministerial Statement from the Prime Minister on the state of the talks that were held between him, the President of the Republic of Kenya and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Mr. Luis Moreno Ocampo during his visit to this country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like him to specifically address the following:- (i) What did our two principals tell Mr. Moreno Ocampo and what did he tell them?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I usually have the Prime Ministerâs Time and I have no problem addressing that issue during this time. However, I do not know if that is the way the Chair wants me to proceed. Is it that the Prime Minister would be asked for a Statement ordinarily just like Ministers are asked to make Statements? I only have time once a week but I do not mind addressing the issue next week.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so that the Prime Minister does not think I am being disrespectful, in fact, I first advanced this as a Question to your office. However, I was directed by the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly that the Speaker had instead chosen that I raise it as a Ministerial Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Further to the issues raised by the hon. Member for Ikolomani, could the Prime Minister indicate that as part of the said agreement they may have had with Mr. Moreno OâCampo, did the two principals indicate that they were willing to step aside for a short while, maybe six months, in case they also have to be investigated? If indeed, they have acquitted themselves, they could tell us what criteria they may have used to acquit themselves in the presence of Mr. Moreno Ocampo?
Order! Mr. Ruto, I fail to understand how that becomes a point of order! Dr. Laboso, please, proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports on the ongoing saga surrounding the management of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). Could the Minister clarify to this House who is the bona fide Chief Executive of the Fund? Why is there conflicting information from the Minister and the Board on this matter? What is the status of the YEDF in view of the foregoing?
Before the Minister gives an undertaking on when that Ministerial Statement will be available, I wish to dispose of the Ministerial Statement that was sought by Dr. Khalwale. Indeed, as the Prime Minister put it, he only has one day a week; Wednesday afternoons. I think the Chair will give a directive on how this is going be done in future. Clearly, the Chair takes note of the fact that if every Member of the House would have the liberty of standing up and seeking a Ministerial Statement from the Prime Minister with the limited time he has, then we would not be doing justice to the issues raised.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know this is a very critical situation and cultivating the interest of most Kenyans. We will, therefore, give the Statement next week on Wednesday.
Morning or afternoon? We have two sittings on Wednesdays!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Wednesday afternoon.
It is so directed! Next Order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the 11th Session of the Pan- African Parliament held from 18th to 29th May 2009 in Midrand, South Africa laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 4th June 2009. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to move this Motion on behalf of the Leader of the Delegation to the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Mr. Gitobu Imanyara. Members of the Pan-African Parliament from this House are; hon. Abdul Bahari, hon. Gideon Mungâaro, hon. Musa Sirma and myself; hon. Rachel Shebesh. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the PAP is established in the protocol of the treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC). The Article of the protocol provides member states to establish a PAP whose composition, functions, powers and organization shall be governed by the present protocol. The Report of the PAP deals mainly with two issues. It deals with the election of the Bureau of the PAP that was conducted during the session. It also seeks the transformation of the PAP to being a legislative body. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will begin with the election of the new Bureau of the PAP. A new Bureau was elected and the following are the members:- (i) President of PAP, Hon. Dr. Idris Ndelemusa of Chad. (ii) First Vice-President, Hon. Bethwel Amadi of Nigeria. (iii) Second Vice-President, Hon. Mary Mugenyi of Uganda. (iv) Third Vice-President, Hon. Larusi Hamy of Algeria. (v) Fourth Vice-President, Hon. Jorum McDonald of Zimbabwe. These elections are meant to demonstrate the harmony of the regions that constitute the African continent.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second the Motion on the Report of the 11th Session of the Pan African Parliament, laid on the Table of the House on 4th June, 2009. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as Members representing this country, we are proud that Kenya is able to send a delegation to the PAP in time and without fail. The transformation of the PAP into a legislative organ is an issue which should be given the
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the adoption of this Report and congratulate the delegation that represented our country in the 11th Session of the PAP from 18th to 29th May, 2009. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many organs, including the African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Union (ACP/EU) Joint Assembly and the PAP deliberate on very serious issues at international fora. We also have our own East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). They do focus on serious issues, given the connectivity of the serious Members nominated by Member states to these institutions, without any localized bias. The issues so discussed almost without fail, are adopted by this House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are issues of reforms that have been suggested; that, this Report seeks to get endorsement by this House. More importantly, there is the question of adherence. After adoption of these reports, the process of executing the proposals carried in them is the main challenge, not just for this House, but also the Government. I remember, last year, the ACP/EU Joint Assembly meeting in Vienna, Slovenia, addressed the issue of Kenya very specifically in details. It did also focus on issues that we have thereafter discussed in this House and passed as either legislation or policies that are being carried out by the Government, including the issue of mainstreaming the youth and creation and spread of wealth, so that it can cover the largest and most critical of the segment of our population. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of Kenya domesticating international conventions, and we have since done a number of issues in this House and in the Government by the executive to implement some of those issues. But the need for synergy, the need for Members of Parliament to actually be oriented and cultured on such important report as this 11th Session of the Pan-African Parliament that seeks to give a platform for the African focus that is necessary to bring the best potential in leadership
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I share the privilege of being the leader of the Kenya delegation to the Pan African Parliament. Therefore, let me also take this opportunity to support what my colleague has moved and urge this House to adopt this report. As I do so, I notice that this Report probably ought to have been discussed early, because we have just come from the final session of the sitting of this year where the business that is outlined in the Report that was introduced by hon. Shabesh was discussed. We continued with it in this last session and, in fact, the membership of the Kenyan team played a key role and it was so recognized by being allocated key positions in the continental bodyâs positions of leadership, with hon. Shabesh getting the position of the rapporteur of the gender community as well as being declared the champion for the climate change to represent the Pan African Parliament. In addition, after the Report was done and the elections were carried out, as indicated in Ms. Shabeshâs address to this House, we had the privilege of hosting the President of the Pan African Parliament in this Assembly when he paid a courtesy call on our Speaker. This was also reciprocated by an invitation of our Speaker to address the Pan African Parliament on the opening day, together with President Zuma of South Africa.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also take this opportunity to support the adoption of this Report that was presented by Ms. Shabesh. Kenya was fully represented and the face of the country was seen in that meeting that took place in South Africa. It is good to recognize that this country is in the world map. Kenya is in the map of Africa and at the same time in the world map. This country is expected to provide leadership and come up with a great example to show that Kenya can lead and it has what it takes to be in the front to lead. I know a lot was expected from the delegation that was in South Africa. However, there are issues that we need to raise, discuss and sort them out so that we can command worldwide respect. Leadership can be achieved in different ways. One is that for other countries to learn from us and respect us, we must come up with ideas that show that we are committed and that we can be followed. The Report that Ms. Shabesh presented made me think more about women leadership. Many debates are going on as we try to come up with a new Constitution. However, there is one thing that has never been raised. Let us recognize the fact that women are still underprivileged not only in Kenya but in the whole world. This is more so in Africa. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a woman with leadership skills who is married to a husband who does not recognise them would not have the freedom to contest for a parliamentary seat. She would be stopped from the word go if she tried. So, to eliminate that and make sure that we give women a chance to prove that they can lead, we need to create, at least, 30 seats for nomination of Members of Parliament. Out of that number, women should take 25 seats. That will enable them to be in this House, compete, represent other women and show that they have the ability to lead. By doing that, we will show the world and Africa in general, that Kenya is in the forefront of coming up with leadership guidelines.
The other issue is on our ability to deal with issues. When we talk about foreigners coming here to help us achieve peace because we are fighting one another and people are being displaced, we do not command any respect outside. So, we need to work on issues that will earn us respect. If you look back, you will see that there was violence in this country in 1992. Kenyans were killed and many others displaced. A commission of Inquiry was appointed, led by Mr. Kiliku. A report was written and recommendations made but no action was taken. Kenya cannot be seen to be under good leadership; if nobody was prosecuted, then we have nothing to show to the world.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support the adoption of this report. First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate all the hon. Members of the Pan-African Parliament from Kenya for providing leadership in that continental body. I wish to sincerely say that we are proud of them for all the leadership roles that they have been given in that body. I also urge our Government to give more support to that Parliament because we have heard that it has been having a lot of financial problems. I also urge all the African Governments to support this body, which I believe should be strengthened. I am very pleased to learn that it is thinking of becoming a fully-fledged Parliament with elective representation from all the countries and I believe that this is the direction to go. I also believe that if it is a fully-fledged Parliament, it will have more teeth because it will be a legislative body. That is what Africa needs. We need a body that is able to give direction and enact laws that can be followed by Africans. There is a lot of diversity in African countries. There are issues at times that, if there was another body within the continent that could give direction and legislation, we could move faster than we are able to do. I am thinking of an issue like gender and the under-representation of women in leadership positions. I am glad that my colleague has just talked about women leadership. As you are well aware, Kenya is one of the worst countries in terms of women being represented, particularly in the political arena. I believe that we will be able to borrow an example from other countries. A country such as Rwanda has over 56 per cent of its parliamentarians being women. I think that even the 30 per cent women representation we have been unable to achieve in Kenya would come automatically through the Pan African Parliament.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to this important Motion. At the outset, I stand to support the Report of the 11th Session of the Pan African Parliament. This is a very important organ of the African Union (AU). I am happy that the Kenyan Parliament has contributed some of the best brains that we have, not only in this Parliament but also in this country, to this very important organization in Africa.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I begin by congratulating the hon. Members who represent us in this institution beginning from the leader of the delegation, all the way to the only and very important lady in this membership. The membership that we have sent to Pan African Parliament (PAP) has brought pride to this country. We are very proud of their participation. We gave them an opportunity as Parliament to participate in this very important organ. They were able to be recognised, by not only Africa, but by the world. Here, I congratulate hon. Shabesh who moved this report for being elected as the UN Champion for Disaster and Risk Reduction for Africa. This is not a mean achievement. But you know in Kenya, we have refused to accept that we have got people who are appreciated by the world. All the time, we continue in this country, particularly the leadership, to fall ourselves when we see foreigners with this kind of titles. When you have one of your own, you simply do not know that they exist. The other day, I was dismayed to see the kind of attention our leadership gave to the 200 metres world champion, Mr. Bolt. Yes, he is a world champion, but what kind of attention do we give to our own marathon champion, Wanjiru. Can you imagine how important it is if we had received that young man the way we received this fellow from Jamaica? The President of the Republic of Kenya was enjoying his comedy at State House. Yet we have got our own who has achieved world status. He is number one in the world marathon. The Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports is here.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is Ambassador Affey in order to impute improper motives on His Excellency the President by saying that he was enjoying a comedy at State House when he received the 200 metres champion, Mr. Bolt, when he knows that he is a very serious economist and very executive?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, he just took me out of context.
Order, hon. Affey! You need to be very careful in your contribution.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had at no time wanted to demean the name of the President. I said the attention we, as a country, gave---
Hon. Affey, could you then withdraw.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have withdrawn those offensive statements and apologise. But I am saying this in good faith that we have heroes in this country. This is one lady who has now been recognised by the international
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Do not interrupt me. I do not want your information. Wait, give it to me later.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying this from the bottom of my heart and I want to proceed. I congratulate this team. I congratulate the wonderful lady who is a member of this team for what she has achieved, not only for herself, but for the country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to review the protocol that has established the Pan African Parliament. The African Union (AU) is a very important organization for us in Africa. Unfortunately, the AU has not been able to assert itself. One of the reasons why it has not been able to assert itself, particularly the legislative aspect is because the members are donated by member countries on short term engagements. They are Members of Parliament here. So, they go to South Africa and come back. If we had people who are dedicated to the cause of Africa and gave them full time engagement like we do in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), so that they represent the aspirations of Africa and discuss crisis of Africa there full time. I think we would have achieved globally. As we all know, the European Parliament is not composed of parliamentarians donated by Parliament of UK and others. It is a European Parliament that sits full time. I think that is the vision we have for Africa. The vision we have is to see our own parliamentarians from Africa debating African issues. Too many things are now happening around Africa. We have the leader of the AU, President of Libya who has grand plans for Africa to an extent where he has enlisted the support of traditional elders in Africa. I saw the other day in Uganda, Kenya was represented by one Kamlesh Pattni as a lead traditional elder. So, you see how situations are happening when this Parliament is not aware of what is happening outside. I am sure that our Parliamentarians in PAP will be well advised to seek this kind of engagement. If the leader of the AU wants to engage the traditional leaders, I particularly have some from my own constituency. There are very many others. The process must be very clear, so that we do not get pretenders to the throne; people who just assume they are leaders, but, perhaps, then at home, they are not. But here they are, they have a session with the head of AU and leaders in Africa and yet, we do not know how these nominations happen. They come from our country, but we have no idea how they were selected. These are things I would plead with my colleagues to see how best they can interrogate and see those who represent the face of Africa to really do so. So, there is need to review the protocol.
I do not know whether we do some contributions ourselves as a country in order to fund the processes and activities of our parliamentarians there. This parliament in South Africa is serviced by staff generated from member states in Africa. The member states in Africa are divided in regions. We belong to the East African region. Kenyans are
On a point of Information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It will be of use to you.
No! I have no much time. I just want to finish my few minutes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore they must fight. One country where impunity is happening is in Somalia. The African Union (AU) troops are in Somalia. In Somalia, they do not have the mandate. The mandate they have is so limited and I would be glad if the membership of Kenya takes this issue up because Somalia is affecting our economy and security. I do not think it is affecting South Africa or any other country. We should be the ones in the forefront to see to that because the Ugandan and Burundi troops who are in Mogadishu sacrificed substantial time and lives in order to make that country peaceful but their mandate is limited. The mandate of the AU troops must be changed and this can only be changed if our parliamentarians who sit in the AU and discuss these matters, particularly the Security Committee, see whether they not only have to review this but increase the membership to 8,000 because it was a promise to them. We thank Uganda and Burundi for being courageous to sacrifice their mandate and their size. They have got about 2,000 troops there. The requirement was for 8,000. We want to request them to push this agenda so that there can be peace and stability in Somalia because today, we were discussing the issue of pirates here. The Kenya Government is making a very careless mistake by trying Somali pirates here. For how long will they continue to try them because they have been trying them for the last two years? Some of them are beginning to become pirates in order to come to Kenya because they think that Kenyan jails are more comfortable. This is because they know there is nowhere else they will be taken to. The Europeans and Americans have conspired to bring them here. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, I am saying that as far as our contribution to AU participation of troops in Africa and particularly in Somalia is concerned, the Kenyan delegation must be seen to be very strong and knowledgeable so that they can be able to tell them that the situation there is not only affecting Somalia because they have been affected already but continues to diminish our stability and, therefore, we need more participation. With those few remarks, I once again congratulate hon. Shabesh for making all of us proud. Asante sana.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you very much for the opportunity to also join my colleagues by adding my voice on some of the issues that have been raised. First, I would like to thank the entire delegation for the effective manner in which they represented this Parliament. It was a delegation comprised of heroine and heroes of this nation. We can see the harvest of their labour at this Session. At the end of the Session, individually, all of them were given key positions to lead. This was really a big achievement for this House and country and pride for Africa. This is the spirit that we must exhibit wherever we are mandated to go and represent the interests of this House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Pan African spirit was laid down by the founding fathers of this continent. You would recall the key roles that were played by the founding father of this nation, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the founding father of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah and even Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and George Padmore of the Caribbean. This is the spirit that should be maintained to create greater unity for our continent and even to show the rest of the world that Africa is a serious continent. It can plan its own future well. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you look at certain issues in Africa, you stand baffled as to what we really should do. In Europe, for their own security, they have the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), which is an alliance for those countries. In Africa, we should create a body of that nature so that when there are emerging security threats, it will address the same issues and contain unnecessary bloodshed like what happened in Burundi and Rwanda and even partly, what we experienced in 2007. So, a âsmaller NATOâ for the African continent is really important. We have resources that can be used gainfully to create that avenue. When you look at the talents that our men and women have, you would wonder why we have continued to be mismanaged by the European countries. In athletics, we have produced great athletes like Kipchoge Keino and Robert Ouko. Why are our modern-day athletes like Samuel Wanjiru and others being managed by European managers? All that they earn is taken back to Europe. The African voice must be created through an African legislative body so that the ability and experience of our people are not being exploited by foreign bodies. We have great footballers like Samuel Etoâo and Abdou Diouf. What these great players earn is controlled in Europe by UEFA. Why canât we create an âAfrican UEFAâ? We can only have that if we give support to this African legislative body. We note that we have Kenyan Members of Parliament in the Pan African Parliament, but we do not have other nominated persons attending the same. We would like a provision made so that we have persons nominated outside Parliament because of their crucial experience and professionalism attending the Pan African Parliament. They should be allowed to attend these important meetings. We have qualified ladies in this country who can articulate critical issues and participate effectively in the Pan African Parliament. An example is Ms. Njoki Ndungâu. If that provision is made, the voice of Africa will continue to be strengthened.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the plundering of African resources by foreigners, if we had a law to stem that, Africa would grow from strength to strength. The image of Africa is getting tarnished by pirates from Africa and not Europe.
There is no other hon. Member would like to contribute. Please, respond, Mrs. Shabesh.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have wished us well. I would also like to thank Members of the Pan African Parliament. I would like to fully assure them that we will continue to take our role at the Pan African Parliament very seriously. We will strive to represent this country well.
Many hon. Members spoke about the award I received on climate change in Africa. The correct title of that award is: âThe UN Champion for Disaster-Risk Reduction in Africaâ. At this point, I would like to say that it is through this championship and the kind of work that we do at the Pan African Parliament that Kenya can benefit from the kind of negotiations that are going on globally. One of the pilot projects that I have been allowed to bring to Kenya as a direct result of my role as a UN champion is a water harvesting project. If we harvest rain water in this country, we would not have water shortage. The UN has agreed to pilot a project of water harvesting in the region around Kisii District â I can see hon. Members from that region now sit quietly after I have mentioned their region. It is important for us to recognize and appreciate the UN for not only honoring a Kenyan, but also allowing to pilot a project that would be an example to other Africans on how to harvest water in order to deal with the problems of climate change.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to recognize the remarks made about the staffing issue. The issue of one of our own staff, Mr. Werunga, who was the Clerk of the Pan African Parliament, is actually now before the African Court of Justice. We believe that the method of his removal from office was not legal because due process was not followed. We hope that the African Court of Justice will look at this issue because as the Kenyan delegation to the Pan African Parliament, we were not happy at all with the way Mr. Werunga was treated.
I would like to speak about the reluctant giant called Kenya. Whenever we go outside this country, we easily take the lead. This is because of the Kenyan culture that we have inherited from politics and our own upbringing. Kenya continues to be the reluctant giant. We should be at the forefront of African issues. At the Pan African Parliament, even countries that are not comparable to Kenya are now taking the lead. As hon. Members support the adoption of this Report, they need to go further and seek that the Pan African Parliament be turned into a legislative body just as we have asked in our Report. That is the only way Kenyaâs role will be seen. We will be able to raise critical issues such as the Somalia issue. Indeed, it is a Kenyan issue because Somalia is our neighbor.
I thank you for your support and I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts Sessional Paper No.2 of 2009 on the National Policy on Older persons an Aging laid on the Table of the House on Thursday 10th September, 2009.
According to the National Population and Housing Census Report, the population of persons aged 60 years and above was about 1.4 million, representing about four per cent of the total population. According to the demographic projections, it is expected to reach over 2 million by the year 2020. In terms of gender, the majority of older persons, in almost every country, are women, that is, 55 per cent globally and about 52 per cent in Kenya, with differences in gender ratios increasing with age, particularly, 65 years and above.
As population continues to expand, the number of dependants continues to rise. The demand created by a large dependant population, the younger and the older persons, particularly in terms of health, education and employment presents a major challenge.
In conformity with the AU and the UN definitions, older persons in Kenya would be defined as those of age 60 years and above. It was realized that there is need for a coherent and comprehensive overall framework to guide the different sectors and agencies involved in the development issues pertaining to older persons.
Existing policies and programmes for older persons are: The Sessional Paper No.7 of 1971. This provides some broad guidelines in the disbursement of limited budgetary provisions targeted at disadvantaged persons who include older persons. The NHIF encourages persons who have been contributors to continue their membership even in retirement at a minimum monthly premium of only Kshs160. This is, however, subject to their ability to pay their premiums. A flexible upper age limit of 65 years is maintained to guide the entry of new members. This has been revised to include continuation of contribution and benefits by old members beyond the age of 65 years, and their dependants.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Pensions Department of the Ministry of Finance is responsible for processing and paying pensions, gratuities, allowances and other retirement benefits, in accordance with the law, to retired civil servants, teachers, military personnel as well as their heirs and dependants.
The Social Welfare Programme in the Department of Gender and Social Services provides financial assistance, referral and counselling services to individuals, organisations and institutions involved in addressing the needs of disadvantaged persons, including older persons. Civil society organisations support and care for older persons. These include healthcare and related services, feeding programmes, day care centres and homes for older persons, and recreational facilities and adult functional literacy classes. They also provide support to older persons in refugee camps and disaster situations but the family remains the most important caring institution for older persons.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, poverty in all ages is as a result of many factors, some of the notable ones being the following:-
Mr. Assistant Minister, who is seconding your Motion?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Member of Parliament for Kuria will second the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there could not have been a more noble Motion for this House to support than the one before us today. The vision of this Motion is to create a national policy on older persons and the ageing, so as to have an environment in which older persons can be recognised, respected and empowered to actively and fully participate in societal development. This House will get blessings if this Motion is passed. Indeed, this should have been done yesterday, and not today. Many countries in the developed world have this policy in place, where the aged are actually taken care of. Our definition of the aged in this country is 60 years above. I would have made a different definition, maybe, by virtue of my training. There are people who show older qualities at an early age of even at 45 years. Some people remain young even at the age of 80 years. I think this aspect will be looked at later. For the purposes of todayâs Motion, the age provided is okay, only that that there are different capabilities that will be presented by these people at this age. So, care has to be taken on the qualifications as to who is to receive support and who is to be used to give support. This is a talent that remains untapped. I am glad that the policy of this country has now increased the retirement age from what it used to be to 60 years. Maybe, we are moving to a situation where we will be able to recognise that talents or education is a cumulative process where people accumulate knowledge over the years, and then we waste all that knowledge. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am more concerned with the capabilities of older people at this age viz-a-viz their medical status, where the old are usually neglected because of poor financing. The Ministry only requested for Kshs30 million, it may be put aside for the development of this Policy. I think that money is not too much for the older people. The Ministry has given us the rationale for their Policy. The Assistant Minister has tried to give us different solutions from different Ministries. He has given us issues that affect older persons and their probable solutions. He has given us a few organizations that have attempted to look after the older people including the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) which makes a mistake of demanding payment of Kshs160 per month. Most older people stop the payment of this insurance. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, he has reminded us of the requirements of the food and nutrition of older people especially the bone aging, easy fracturing and so on. He has reminded us of poor housing, ventilation problems which affects their general health. Although the Ministry of Medical Services has given some little space on
Thank you Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me another chance so that I speak on this very important Sessional Paper. I would think that Kenyans would be very happy if after 46 years of independence, the aging and older persons are to be remembered. It is therefore, a very important Sessional Paper that should be given the necessary support. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I note that a council will be formulated. It will be managing the funding for this facility. The money that is likely to be allocated to the same, will amount to about Kshs130 million. I would, therefore, think that the members of this council must be people with a heart of patriotism. They should be people who would sacrifice and consider the welfare of other people. That council will be constituted of people appointed from the all the regions of this nation. The aging people in this nation and old people have been neglected for so long. One segment that has been neglected are those who liberated this country. These are people who sacrificed their lives to make sure that this country is liberated. They have been forgotten. Some of them have no food, shelter or health care. Therefore, with the passage of this very important Sessional Paper, we will carter for the needs of these people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, clear criteria should be developed so that liars will not be considered for this very important innovation. There are people in this nation who are young but when you look at them they look very old and would be considered for this scheme. The lazy people who look aged will not be given recognition to enjoy this facility. I would therefore, think it is high time this Sessional Paper is given due attention and support. With those few remarks, I fully support.
Thank you Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for recognizing me standing because I am the only person who has given notice for the Senior Citizens Bill. It is there and has been in the process for the last three months to six months. Even young men like my brother the Chief Whip know that he will grow old one time. The fact that you are going to grow old tells you two things; you are not only near going to heaven but if in Kenya, you are also going to face hardships which are worse than what you would face if you decide to go to Luciferâs kingdom. This will include discrimination in the sense that you cannot board a bus because of the way they are designed, their speed and comfort. They are designed such that old persons are eliminated from using them. That is discrimination by itself. Old people cannot make the long queues in hospitals. This automatically eliminates them from getting that available medical care. It might not sound good, but
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. It is historic that the Ministry is bringing to the House a Sessional Paper to take care of the old people. Marcus Garvey, the civil rights leader in Jamaica, once said that a people without a culture are like a tree without roots. Even if we are flowering, creating wealth and have good harvests among the young generation, it will not be sufficient to give us political stability and even economic opportunities that we can enjoy. This is for the simple reason that we need more of social cohesion as a foundation for our political system, which gives us the governance necessary to improve on wealth and job creation. Therefore, I
Asante sana Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Nasimama kuunga mkono Hoja hii inayohusu wakongwe na wazee wa nchi hii. Nataka kumshukuru Waziri na Wizara yake kwa mambo muhimu sana walioweza kuyajadili na kuyaleta mbele ya Bunge hili ili yaweze kuungwa mkono, huku tukizingatia na kufahamu kwamba wazee wameteseka sana katika nchi yetu. Nchi zingine duniani haswa zile ambazo zimeendelea, zimeweka mikakati ya kuwasaidia wakongwe. Wahenga walisema kwamba palipo wazee hapaharibiki jambo. Kwa hivyo, tunastahili kuwalinda wazee wetu kwa kuwafanyia mambo yanayofaa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ninataka kumuuliza Waziri kwa unyenyekevu, aangalie zaidi pesa anazotoa; Kshs1,500. Ikiwa Serikali italipa watu milioni moja na nusu, pesa hizo zitakuwa nyingi sana kwa kila mwezi. Pesa zinatatiza sana na zina tamaa! Mpango ambao anatarajia kutumia kugawa pesa hizo unaweza kuleta madhara makubwa sana, na wale ambao wanatakiwa kufaidika kutoka kwa pesa hizo wanaweza kukosa. Hii ni kwa sababu tumeona kwamba, kupeana pesa tu kupitia Wakuu wa wilaya na tarafa, ni jambo limekuwa ngumu sana. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, unakubaliana nami na Bunge hili kwamba, hata kutoa chakula cha msaada imekuwa ni shida. Chakula kinatolewa, lakini hakiwafikii watu kule mashinani. Kinapotelea hapa katikati. Chakula hiki hakipotei kupitia kwa raia bali kwa wakuu wa Serikali. Kwa hivyo, ningemhimiza Waziri ajenge makao ya wazee. Pesa hizo ni nyingi mno; na ukichukua Kshs1,000 katika kila mwezi kutoka kwa pesa ambazo zinatolewa kila mwaka, zinatosha kujenga makao katika kila mkoa; iwe ni makao mbili au ni moja ambao inamudu watu kati ya 300 na 500. Makao hayo yatasaidia sana kwa sababu Serikali itaweza kuwapatia wazee chakula wakiwa pamoja; na pesa zile hazitapitia katika mifuko ya watu na kupotea. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, vile vile, katika makao hayo, kunawezwa kujengwa hospitali. Hospitali hazitakuwa za kusaidia wale wazee tu, bali zitawahudumia
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. First of all, I want to thank Mr. Keya for the eloquent manner in which he presented the Sessional Paper. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is an important day for Kenyans. The fact that a Motion of this nature has come here at this time is a major recognition of the fact that the Coalition Government recognizes the plight and the predicament of the vulnerable group; the aging group in our society. I think this is important. It is also a recognition of the fact that we are now becoming a caring society and that we can think of the vulnerable group in our midst.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are talking about 1.4 million people. That is a very sizeable segment of our society. These are people who are there and, who have become vulnerable because of no fault of theirs at all. Many of them are in that state because of the process of aging and many others are in that state because, even though they may have been employed before, they were not able to save money to enable them to look after themselves later in their lives. Some of them were taken care of by members of their extended families; especially those who have not had jobs in their lives. We also know that many of them are going through severe difficulties because they do not have enough food to eat, leave alone having a balanced diet. Many of these people have no shelter and cannot access medical services. Therefore, I welcome the initiative by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development to bring this Paper before this House for adoption. This is a very significant step being taken by the Government and it is very good news for people who fall under this category. Therefore, I support this initiative. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that we should have a big Social Affairs Department in the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Development that caters for people in the slums and those in the rural areas. That department should identify the individuals who fall under this category. We should know who they are, where they are, their status and what they need so that we can take care of them. We need to provide decent housing and I believe that this Government has the capacity to do this. It is very important that we provide housing for this category of people. It also important that they get access to medical services and are given preferential treatment in market places, townships, when they board buses and so on. We know that some of them provide important services to the society because they take care
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion which is timely. I congratulate the Ministry for coming up with this policy that takes care of older persons and the ageing. I really like reading the issues that are being addressed by this policy. This policy says that it will facilitate the enjoyment of quality life before and during old age. The other aspect that really attracted my attention was that it will ensure that older people will have access to safe, durable and affordable shelter. This is excellent. We have changed our way of living. The cultural set up that we lived in is behind us, where people used to take care of their elderly. Today, you will find that the poorest person in a village is an elderly person. These are people who cannot afford to buy anything. We have left our culture but we have not set up a new system that enables us to support these people.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the people who cannot access medical cover are the elderly. So, to get even Kshs20 to buy a card in a public health centre is a nightmare to these people. Our elderly have become victims of the changes in the society where we are not taking responsibility the way we used to do. Culturally, Africans were brought up to take care of their elderly. So, we do not have a system where the Government takes responsibility and neither do we take the responsibility. There have been changes in the development of our country. The economic development has shifted to gainful employment for purposes of developing ourselves. Coupled with that, unemployment is rampant. So, there are families whose sons have gone to towns to look for jobs and have not been able to go back because they have not got proper jobs. The kind of jobs that they have cannot even enable them to travel home. If they do, then the first people they have to deal with are their children. Even the free education has not helped the smaller families. We can categorise and know that the elderly are the poorest when we attend a
as Members of Parliament. They are malnourished because they do not have enough food to eat. They also do not have clothing and worse still, if they are hospitalized, they form the majority of those people we hear have been detained in hospital because they cannot afford healthcare. It is true that they have been detained because, as hon. Members of Parliament, we have been involved in fundraising for the elderly and their families say that they do not know who should take responsibility. So, this Sessional Paper is timely because the Government must take up that responsibility. We must make a decision that part of our tax must go back to these people. I would like to say that it is their right to get that because when they buy clothes, matchboxes or kerosene, they pay tax. There is no way in which this tax goes back to them. Those of us who drive use our taxes on the tarmacked roads but those people do not. Those people do not even enjoy clean water or free education. So, they contribute tax but do not enjoy
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also rise to add my voice in supporting this Sessional Paper. We are on the right course because we are all ageing. At some point, we will also need some assistance. In our employment or youthful days, we contributed to what the future generation enjoys. However, in most cases, when people get old even after having contributed so much for the welfare of future generations, they are forgotten. So, for this Ministry to come up with a Sessional Paper like this, I must congratulate it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the olden days, the elderly were taken care of by the family members. Today, the family fabric has changed so much; it is not the same as the time we all used to live together as a family. These days we get children, educate them and they go their own way. Some live in Kenya while others live abroad with their families. Unfortunately, if you do not have enough wealth, you are left to suffer. It is a pity that you are the one who educated them and contributed so much to the welfare of this country, but you end up suffering. So, this policy is looking forward to rewarding people who really contributed to the welfare of the country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you know, I have been involved in insurance. The aged are the ones who are vulnerable. In most cases, they get sick and yet, they do not have a lot of money to spend on health care. So, this policy has come at the right time. Medical insurance firms, particularly the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) which is a Government body should have a scheme whereby the aged people pay half rates or even Kshs50. Those who cannot pay should be exempted. The State should be able to recognise the contribution by those people.
With those few remarks, I beg to support this Sessional Paper.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development, hon. Mathenge and her staff for coming up with this Motion. Considering the hard time that many Kenyans are going through, it is so difficult for any working class person to save for themselves, family and ageing parents. This Motion will relieve the burden on the working class who have to support their ageing parents who always fall sick. Looking at the rate of unemployment in our country, most youth get Kazi Kwa
or casual labour jobs. How can they save when they hardly get enough to sustain them? It is embarrassing when those who have worked so hard to pay taxes in this country and contribute to the GDP, when they retire, they are given a jembe and spade. It is a shame. This will be the best gift for them after working for so many years.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. This Sessional Paper is very important for our country. I want to thank the Minister for thinking about this policy paper. I just want to highlight one or two issues which will go a long way in support of this Motion.
The first one is that the Sessional Paper has not taken into account the issue about the rich. There are many people who are over 65, but very rich. I think they should be excluded from this policy. I hope the Minister is noting this because there is no need to include them, however old they are. We should let the little resources be shared among the poor.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, secondly, I would have loved that this policy goes along with the implementation of a scheme that would involve the construction of homes for the aged across the country, hopefully in each constituency because we are coming to an age where some of these old people do not even have homes, dependants or support from their children. Some of them actually do not even have children.
Thirdly, I would like to propose that since some of these people who are over 65 years of age are still very able, they should be deployed wherever possible in support programmes in this context of supporting the aged.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. We must all rise and support this Sessional Paper because it is an idea whose time has come. For that reason, I would like to congratulate the Minister because it is just a matter of time before all of us find ourselves in a position whereby we are unable to earn a living.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am privileged to come from a family that lives for many years. So, as I support this Motion, I want to acknowledge that I will definitely be a beneficiary of this particular programme because my father died at the age of 89 and my mother at the age of 84. This is important and given that at that time when they were dying I was a doctor of medicine, I remember what my income contributed to make sure that they do not die earlier or that even as they lived in old age, they were not living miserably. There are a lot of good people. There are grandparents of our schoolmates and age mates who did not make it in life who would need that we support them from this kind of fund.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we actually pass this law, it means that many of the people who hang in politics will leave it for the younger people. We have a lot of old people in Cabinet, as Ministers. We also have Assistant Ministers and Members of Parliament who are so old that even when they walk through the doors, you wonder why they are struggling. If they know that the Government has started thinking in that direction, then they will throw in the towel and opt to leave room for younger people to work.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this very important policy statement. I would like to suggest to the Assistant Minister to see to it that he has a session with the Departmental Committee on Equal Opportunities â it is a fairly new Committee â so that we can inform this Sessional Paper before a Bill is brought to Parliament. It is important that they interact with the senior citizens of this country so that when the Bill eventually comes to this House it is one that reflects the needs of the beneficiaries of this scheme. They need to participate in the formulation of the Bill.
It is disappointing that after very many years, we are only able to think of this policy now. Kenya should have led the region. I have just returned from Rwanda where I
Order, hon. Affey! You will have 15 minutes when this Debate resumes.
Hon. Members, we have come to the end of todayâs sitting. This House, therefore, stands adjourned until tomorrow Thursday, 12th November, 2009 at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.