Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security on its Fact-finding Visit to Samburu East and Isiolo North Districts on 21st-23rd September, 2009, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 11th August, 2010.
asked the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development:â (a) which women groups have benefited from the Women Enterprises Fund in Mumias Constituency; and, (b) how the Fund has reduced poverty in the constituency.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Since the establishment of the Fund in 2007, Mumias Constituency has been given a sum of Kshs2 million. Out of this amount, Kshs1.2 million has been disbursed, while Kshs800,000 is still being held by our offices because the applications received have not yet been approved. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have given the hon. Member a list of the women who have benefited from the Fund. I am sure that he does not want me to read out the names. They are 24 beneficiaries. The total allocation of the Kshs2 million shows a balance of Kshs800,000. The repayment expected to date is Kshs592,290, and the total repayment to date is Kshs344,321, which indicates a repayment percentage of 57.8 per cent. The arrears are Kshs250,869. (b) What we anticipate the lending of the money to women groups to do include the following- (i) provide better nutrition to their families; (ii) reduce the number of children dropping out of schools; and, (iii) improve the community income at large.
The net result of this is poverty eradication.
During the 2010/2011 Financial Year, the Ministry will carry out a survey to establish the exact impact of the Fund, and the findings of that survey will be made public. I would also want to say that we are still looking for volunteers in areas where constituencies have not either borrowed, or where the repayments have been low, so that we can reach as many women as possible.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister for what she has done so far, especially by extending this Fund to 24 women groups in my constituency. What I would want to ask is: Why have you operated this Fund mysteriously? As a Member of Parliament---
Order, Member of Parliament for Mumias! Just ask your question! Do not explain why you are asking the question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the reason as to why I wanted to ask---
Ask the question!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry has operated this account mysteriously because, as the sitting Member of Parliament for Mumias---
Member of Parliament for Mumias, what is your question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to find out from the Minister: This Fund was established in 2007, and we are now in 2010. Three years down the line, we are still talking of Kshs800,000 which has not been disbursed. Why has she not involved the sitting Members of Parliament in the running of this Fund?
Very well! Yes, Minister!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am actually surprised by the question he has asked because many hon. Members have raised this issue, and we have discussed it. I have repeatedly asked Members of Parliament to participate in popularizing this Fund. I expect hon. Members to enlighten women in their constituencies. The Ministry does not have enough personnel. What we have done lately is recruitment of other micro- financiers, who are now going to try and reach out to the women who have not participated in the Fund. Also, some women are scared of borrowing. Most likely, women from Mumias are scared of borrowing.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to thank the Minister. I was just saying that the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development, and the Minister for Youth affairs and Sports, are the ones who are able to table some information on what they are doing. The program must have been implemented in a hurry. It was not assessed how viable it was going to be. She has talked about improving the nutrition of families as one of the objectives of the Fund.
I just wanted to find out whether you have found out that the little money that you gave out, that is, Kshs50,000 was enough to feed the families and the school drop outs. Is that money enough to reduce nutritional problems and the rate of school drop outs?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when you empower women, it means that the households do better economically. That means that there is food on the table. That money is not actually for buying food but for economic ventures which result in the provision of better food. This is because we give them money to invest in other things and use the proceeds to buy food.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. What the Minister is saying is right but is that money enough? You can only feed your family from profit. Is the money enough to enable one to continue with the business and feed the family?
Order! The hon. Member for Vihiga, ensure that in future you are precise when you ask your questions. Your question was circumlocuted. You went round and round and eventually asked a question that was not clear.
Madam Minister, could you now answer?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, initially, we give women Kshs50,000 so that they can learn how to manage it but when they repay the first loan, they graduate to Kshs100,000. After that, they can go to the micro-financiers and get even Kshs2 million for their projects if they qualify. However, if they are not even taking Kshs800,000 then Kshs50,000 cannot be little.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heard the Minister say that the women in Mumias are scared of borrowing. I would like her to table the statistics and tell us how she did the study that made her to arrive at that conclusion.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said, âperhaps they are scared like other womenâ. Women are normally scared of borrowing. The Kshs800,000 still lying in our accounts is an indicator that they are actually scared of borrowing for one reason or another.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, women in many constituencies are not necessarily afraid of borrowing but I think it is the conditions that the banks give that they are afraid of. What has the Minister done to ensure that the conditions are relaxed in a way that women can be comfortable in borrowing?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, the interest rate is at 8 per cent and it cannot be better than that. I have requested Members of Parliament to open SACCOs which have a better outreach to women so that they can feel more comfortable. The Kshs2 million from the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) does not earn any interest. So, we cannot do better than that.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is her field staff who do not give women the knowledge required to encourage them to borrow. If they are taught the advantages of borrowing, they will be willing to borrow. So, what steps has the Minister taken to ensure that her field staff reach as many groups of women as possible to enlighten them and tell them the benefit of borrowing the money?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will be able to do it if and when I get enough funds to employ more members of staff. However, as I have also said, we are looking for volunteers in areas where women have either not borrowed or where they have borrowed but do not repay so that we can reach them.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this money, if well channeled, could help women in the rural areas to uplift their standards. The banks have always put in place very hard conditions for people to access this money because they also wish to lend out the same money to other commercial people. What measures has the Minister put in place to ensure that when a bank receives this money it is able to channel it directly to the women and not use it for other businesses?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are in the process of branding our money and at the same time we are moving from banks to SACCOs. There is a time limit in which they can hold it before they give us statements of what they have done with the money. So, we know those using our money for investment or other things.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in view of the increasing number of women groups in all the constituencies and particularly, the doubling population in the country, what plans does the Ministry have to enhance the allocation of Kshs2 million?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the constituencies which have performed well, we are increasing the Constituency Women Enterprise Fund by a further Kshs1 billion so that each constituency will have Kshs3 million. Again, we are encouraging women to go and borrow through the SACCOs where there is no limit. I said you can borrow up to Kshs2 million.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to prove to the Minister that women in Mumias are not scared of taking loans, we want to make sure that by the end of September, we will make loan applications that will exhaust the Kshs800,000 that is remaining. Has the Minister set aside some funds to train the women groups on how to manage the funds?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do have funds for training the women. In most cases, I am willing to go and talk to the women if that will make the situation better for them.
asked the Minister for the Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands:- (a) whether he could provide details of the allocations and disbursements to all the constituencies/districts under the mandate of the Arid Lands Resource Management Programme (ARLMP) since inception to date, giving percentages vis-a-vis total allocations; (b) what criteria the Government uses to define land as Arid Land and what constitutes Northern Kenya; and, (c) whether he could state the specific projects undertaken in the larger Turkana Region, indicating amount per project, project location and completion dates per financial year of project existence and also state the criteria for the allocations.
Order! Mr. Minister! How many names are you going to read?
You really do not have to read all of them if you have supplied the answer to the Member.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Minister for giving a very comprehensive answer to my question, save for part (b) where I was asking the specific criteria that the Government uses to define land as arid. He said it is done by KARI while I had the fortune of working for this organization and I know land in Kenya is under agricultural eco zones. The sixth and seventh criteria should be the one that is applied in terms of aridity. Then if he uses that kind of knowledge that I have first, then the question I am asking is: How does Nyeri which is consuming 2 percent of the arid land resources appear in this formulation?
Very well! The hon. Member for Turkana Central, you said you had the fortune of working for the organization. How much money did you make? Minister, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said on the outset, the Ministry did not make the decision about which areas fall under the ALRMP. This, to the best of my knowledge, was done by the departments that are involved. In terms of what percent which district got, I want to inform the hon. Member that was as a result of the staggering of how different districts came into the programme. In the first phase, the number of districts which came on it; the ones which are at 4 percent at the moment and then others came in a few years later. So this is a cumulative thing rather than---if you look at more recent years, you will find that the average is almost equal.
Is the Minister aware that a part of my constituency, Nyakach, is semi-arid? If he is aware, when does he intend to include it in the development programmes under his Ministry?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am now aware.
Will the Ministry consider developing a comprehensive policy on the development of arid lands in this country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes, we are and we have a Sessional Paper which I hope will soon come to Parliament for Members to debate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what criteria was used by the Minister to identify some of the constituencies as arid and semi arid areas?
Could you repeat the question, please?
Could the Minister tell us the criteria that was used to identify some constituencies as arid and semi-arid areas?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I had answered to hon. Ethuroâs question, my Ministry does not decide which area is arid and semi-arid. It is decided by other institutions.
Member for Samburu East! Order, Order Mr. Mbai! That had in fact previously been answered. We just extended latitude to you which was not really absolutely necessary.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In the last financial year, some districts which fall under this particular Ministry never got any funding. One of the reasons, in my view, is because the Ministry lumps some districts together like now what they have done with Samburu which has three districts but they have lumped them into one. What arrangements do they have to ensure that these other independent districts also get funding because they all fall under one office of Arid Lands Resource Management?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not aware of any particular district within the larger district having not got funds last year. The hon. Member can check that with me and I can verify whether that is true. This is a project which is funded and has a timeframe. When the project was being designed, it was designed under existing districts at that time. Subsequently, the districts were divided and rightly it was decided that trying to increase overhead costs all over the place was not prudent until the project agreement was over and we were planning the next phase. So, all parts within the greater districts are covered by the project office. No particular district will be particularly disadvantaged because of having the headquarters at the original location. Now that we are going to have counties, probably that problem will be solved.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before I ask my last question, I would like to respond to the fortune I was referring to. The fortune I derive from them is capacity that you as the chair is utilizing very well and everything does not need to be translated into money.
Order, Member for Turkana Central! You do not say you had the âfortuneâ of working with any given organization. You either have the opportunity or the privilege. That really is a matter of English but it is not important. Ask your question!
That is correct, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand---
Please, ask your question!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand guided, including demonstrating that fortune. My last question is, if you look at the allocation to the headquarters whose components the Minister was at pains to explain, it consumes 36 per cent of the Kshs10 billion that this programme has utilized. Could the Minister justify if 36 per cent is the amount to be left at the headquarters when this money is supposed to help to develop arid areas that need every penny that can come from the State coffers?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was not at pain to justify; I was just alerting him knowing that he would ask that question. The 36 per cent allocated involves all vehicles bought. Those vehicles are in his constituency and I am sure he has seen them. When there is drought, finances are released according to need and early warning system that the project has created. That money eventually finds its way into the districts. This is what is shown from the books but is it not money utilized at the national level.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Next Question by the Member for Nyakach! Order, Member for Kandara! You have been overtaken.
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a)whether the Kenya Ports Authority has a scanning machine at the Port to enable the Government control entry of illegal goods particularly firearms, into the country; and, (b) when he plans to put in place stiffer penalties for those found with illegal firearms in the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister informed me that he was going to Mombasa for an official function. He requested that we defer this Question to next week on Thursday.
Order, Member for Nyakach! That will not be a valid reason for deferring a Question. It will in fact, not be tenable. It will not be acceptable to the House! However, the position is this; I received information in my capacity as the Speaker from the Office of the President that there was an urgent matter which the President has to attend to in Mombasa and he required the presence of the Assistant Minister who is charged to answer this Question. Given those circumstances, that there was an emergency situation where the President required the Assistant Minister to be, I will defer this Question to Tuesday next week. That emergency is in the interest of all of us. It is a matter of national importance.
Next Question by Member for Emuhaya!
asked the Minister for Housing:- (a) to explain the basic requirement (building codes) and policy for building residential houses; (b) whether he is aware that the management of Maseno University has built residential houses as a âBerlin wallâ along the perceived boundary between Emuhaya and Kisumu Rural Constituency without basic housing requirements; and, (c) if he could confirm whether the management of the university was granted permission by the Ministry or Kisumu Municipal Council and what action the Ministry will take to ensure that the constructed houses comply with the law.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Basic requirements and policy for building residential houses are: All plans for erection of buildings must be submitted for approval, dimensions of spaces on the front sides, access passage, service areas must be provided, standards quality and types of building materials provided must be certified, drainage of sub-soil, preparation of site prevention and identification of plot boundaries. (b)The management of Maseno University has constructed over 100 units of self catering residential units for occupation by students along the border of Maseno Block1/18 and Kakamega Trust Land. The houses meet all housing requirements and are of permanent nature. They are self contained, well constructed, well planned with electricity, running water and a sewage system. Landscaping is done and drying land provided. The area is fenced off with chain link on precast concrete posts and gates provided for security. (c)The Ministry of Housing is not the approving authority for plans of construction of residential houses or any buildings. This authority is vested in the Ministry of Local Government through the local authorities. The properties in question are under the jurisdiction of Kisumu County Council.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I appreciate the answer given by the Minister, I wish to know from him whether his Ministry has an oversight role to ensure that the buildings that are approved by the local authorities adhere to the standards he has just read to us. This is because I find it not correct for an organization to build houses in a straight line over two kilometers. The Minister says that this is in accordance with the building code. I would like the Minister to confirm whether they have an oversight role to ensure that what is approved is correct and in this case, what has been constructed is right.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, the building plans are normally approved by the local authorities. Engineers from my Ministry have visited this project, assessed the houses that are being built and they are in compliance with the building standards.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question came up yesterday and it was addressed to the Ministry of Lands. Today it has come back addressed to the Ministry of Housing. The Minister is saying it should be addressed to the Ministry of Local Government----
Order! I am not so sure if this Question is the same.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is different but relating to the same subject matter. It is cross cutting---
Order, Member for Saboti! If it is different but addressing the same subject then obviously it is a different Question!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my point of order was that since it is cross- cutting in nature it cuts across three Ministries - would I be in order to suggest that it should be addressed by the Prime Minister? It is a matter of great sensitivity.
Order! You will be out of order because the Minister so far has competently addressed himself to the matter. Minister, please, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, engineers from my Ministry have visited that project and certified that the houses were built in accordance with the building code. What appears to rattle the hon. Member is that the houses are built in a straight line. I do not understand why that would rattle the hon. Member when the houses have been built on the university land. The land belongs to the university and it is free to use it as it wishes.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while the Minister might be quite in order to say that the university can use its land the way it wants, but those are, indeed, very strange goings-on because Dr. Otichilo has implied that those houses have been built on a straight line demarcating the perceived boundary between the two administrative areas. Could I be in order to suggest to the Minister to liaise with the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security so that he can come up with something to show us in this House whether it is right to create any solid boundaries between administrative areas in this country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think my role in this project is to ensure compliance with the building code. We have checked those houses and they have been put up in accordance with the building code. If there are issues of boundaries, then that Question can be answered by somebody else.
Order, Mr. Shitanda! What the hon. Member is implying in that Question is a bit dangerous, if I heard you correctly. Mr. Minister, did you say that those houses mark the border between Emuhaya and any other area? I did not hear you to say so! If you have said so, then, please, say so and be categorical!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, those houses have been constructed on the border of Maseno Block 1/18 and Kakamega Trustland, which is actually the boundary of Nyanza and Western Province.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in his response, the Minister has said that his engineers have visited the buildings and confirmed that they comply with the requirements. I just wanted to find out from him whether that was an afterthought or whether they complied with the building code from the very beginning. It is necessary that, at the planning stage, every interested party be involved. But the Minister seems to be indicating that he has done that as an afterthought. Is the Minister confirming that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the role of approval of plans and supervision of the projects is normally done by the councils through their engineers. I sent my engineers on site when this Question came up. I just wanted to be sure that what the county council engineers had filed is actually what is on the ground.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister to really clarify the following. In the Question, there is an implication of some kind of a Berlin Wall formation and there is also a reference to a boundary. Those are the issues that are now confusing us! Can you explain? Bwana Shitanda, what is that Berlin Wall and what is this boundary business?
Order, Mr. Ruto! Refer to the Minister appropriately!
The hon. Minister for Housing, Mr. Shitanda.
Order, Mr. Ruto! You know the Standing Orders. They do not allow you to use languages that are strange to this House. You must stick to one language or the other. If you opt to speak in Swahili, then you do so. If you opt for English, then you proceed in English. You cannot have that mix up!
The hon. Minister for Housing!
Please withdraw the word âBwanaâ and proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I withdraw the word âBwanaâ and use âhonourableâ.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, those houses have been built on university land. The land is along the Emuhaya/Kisumu Rural Constituency boundary. Whether the university was attempting to create a wall, I am not aware. But what I know is that the houses have been built on the boundary of Emuhaya and Kisumu Rural constituencies.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to thank the Minister for the answer. I would like to ask Dr. Otichilo whether he has any personal interest in this matter and to declare it.
You know that I declared that I am a Council Member for Maseno. There was another issue on the environment which was brought up. The university assured me that they had done everything in order and yet it came here. We went to check it and everything was in order.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Did you hear the hon. Member asking a question to another hon. Member? I thought questions are asked to Ministers! Is he in order?
He is definitely out of order and, at any rate, Mr. Shakeel, Dr. Otichilo naturally has interest in this matter by reason of his being the Member of Parliament for that area. There is nothing strange about that! Is anybody else interested?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for saving me. I am still not happy with the answer, but what I would like the Minister to do is to provide me with the comprehensive report by his officials on the ground so that I can interrogate it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think my engineers were only concerned with the compliance of the houses to the building code. They were not concerned by whether the houses were built on the boundary or whether there was a report about issues of the boundary or whether a wall was being put up. They went there to check compliance with the building code. That is the role they played and I can bring the report to the hon. Member if he so wishes.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am reading in English and I can see that the Question really refers to whether those residential houses are having a Berlin Wall effect. The Minister is running away from answering the Question. The Question is: Are those houses having a Berlin Wall effect? Is there some barrier that has been created by those type of residential houses? Are those houses interfering with the social mix between Emuhaya and Kisumu? There is a Berlin Wall problem here!
Order! You have made your point!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true that when those houses will be completed and used, they will create a barrier-like wall of about â there are 100 units â one kilometre. So, there will be a Berlin Wall-like situation!
asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) if he could confirm whether there are conflicting roles between the Kenya Power and Generation Company and the Geothermal Development Company; (b) what plans the Government has put in place to ensure geothermal is attractive to investors, and, (c) if he could confirm whether there are geothermal potential sites in Western Kenya and if so, when the sites will be exploited.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
The Question refers to two companies namely Kenya Power and Generation Company and the Geothermal Development Company. I beg to inform the House that there is no company known as Kenya Power and Generation Company. We have the Kenya Electricity Generation Company and the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) which is referred to in the Question.
There is no conflict of roles between the GDC and KENGEN. The GDCâs role is principally to undertake geothermal resource assessment, entailing surface exploration and exploratory drilling while KENGENâs role is generation of electricity from various sources and resources, including, but not limited to hydro, geothermal, wind and petroleum fuel. (a) The Government has established the GDC to undertake geothermal resources assessment in order to reduce investor risks given the high front end costs of sinking geothermal wells. The current average cost of sinking a geothermal well is in the range of US$6.3 million, hence the need to reduce the risk of sinking dry wells through comprehensive resource assessments by the GDC. (b) I wish to confirm that there are geothermal potential sites in western Kenya. For example, recently we found some indication within Homa Hills in Karachuonyo, where there are hot springs which are a clear indication that there exists geothermal resources in the western part of Kenya. This has further been confirmed through a reconnaissance survey undertaken by my Ministry.
Mr. Speaker Sir, geothermal sites in western Kenya and elsewhere in the country will be exploited once full resource assessments are done and funds are availed for that purpose through either the private sector, the KENGEN or a combination of the two sources.
Thank you very much for that elaborate answer. I wish to say that Kenya has very high geothermal potential sites. In fact, it has one of the best in the world. There are about 14 of them; to name, but just a few, we have Longonot, Suswa and---
Order, Mr. Odhiambo. Please come to your question.
I was just giving my background. What is your Ministry doing to increase the exploration of geothermal sites, so that KENGEN can increase the supply of electricity to make it affordable?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the very reason why the Government put in place the Geothermal Development Company was to increase the pace of exploration and development of geothermal resources in this country. Currently, we have about 200 megawatts from geothermal resources, but we have a capacity of about 7,000 megawatts. Plans are underway to explore that to the maximum. In the medium-term, that is up to 2013, we intend to develop up to 500 megawatts of electricity from that source.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry has concentrated on exploration for quite a while now. Could the Assistant Minister tell us when this exploration will lead to commercialization of geothermal power?
There are already seals for exploitation of geothermal resources in the country. We have about 190 megawatts of electricity from geothermal sources in the grid today. We have drilled over 26 wells within the Ol Karia region. We are about to equip them now. We have contracted for another 10 wells in the same region. We are about to move into Menengai. We are actually exploring in many other regions. So, I think it is not fair to say that we have been exploring all along.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister explain to us how much the Government has spent so far on drilling of those geothermal sites?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a different Question and I will be happy to come with the answers when it is asked.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, now that the Assistant Minister has confirmed that there is geothermal potential in western Kenya, what is the Ministry doing to ensure that at least one of those sites in western Kenya is exploited?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we speak we have also our staff at Homa Hills in Karachuonyo, that is in the western part of Kenya. They are assessing the potential of that resource. When that potential is established, drilling will start.
Hon. Members, that brings us to the end of Question Time. Our next Order is Statements.
Mr. Assistant Minister, how long will you take? We do not have much time! We can afford at most 10 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will be a fairly long Statement, because Mr. Ethuro wanted quite a bit of information. Maybe I can give it tomorrow.
In that case, you can give it tomorrow. The Statement will be deferred to tomorrow afternoon about 2.40 p.m.
Hon. Members, before we get to the next Order, I would want to urge you to be guided as follows: You will note that under Order No 8, we have two Votes pertaining to two Ministries, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of East African Community. It is necessary that we complete the business under this Order not later than 6.30 p.m. today. In those circumstances, I want to encourage you to utilize the time in the following manner: We as much as possible restrict debate on Vote No.04 to one and a half hours, and the next Vote will be done in 45 minutes, so that we will be able to move into Committee Stage by 5.30 p.m. for the two Votes. Please, be guided accordingly. Try and be brief in your contributions.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is my pleasant pleasure, duty and honour to present to this House the Recurrent and Development Expenditure and Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the year 2010/11. I present this budget against the backdrop of the new constitutional dispensation, which opens vast opportunities for Kenyaâs regional and international reach.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that under the Fourth Schedule of the new Constitution, the portfolios of foreign affairs, foreign policy and international trade now falls under the Ministryâs mandate. This is a clear recognition of these driving plans in the conduct of foreign relations and will allow for more effective strategies for promoting our commerce and trade and international affairs. We are also now better placed to act as the interface between Kenya and the expanded diasporas that will be brought about by the introduction of dual citizenship in the new Constitution.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the international respectability and confidence which this country had regained requires a strong foreign Ministry, which is well funded and well resourced to manage the conduct of our relations. In that context, I request the support of the House to secure increased funding for my Ministry to be able to project the countryâs image and undertake promotional activities with renewed vigour, so that Kenya can be seen to be playing its rightful role in international affairs. For the Recurrent Estimates, my Ministry is requesting for this House to approve Kshs7,13,869,860 and for Development Expenditure, my Ministry is asking for Kshs516,400,000 only.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am deeply appreciative of the fact that over the years, hon. Members have been supportive of the Ministryâs efforts to broaden and deepen Kenyaâs relations with the international community for the benefit of its citizens. I am confident that I can count on your continued support as we strive to accelerate and consolidate our economic diplomacy and bilateral and regional levels for the desired and rapid economic growth and transformation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this yearâs Budget, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Financeâs theme was towards inclusive and sustainable rapid economic growth. My Ministry will, therefore, strive to play its role to complement the measures that have been put in place to meet the overall national objectives of sustained economic growth. The Ministry will also continue to spearhead Kenyaâs engagement with the rest of the world in the implementation of this theme.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, our foreign policy outlook is guided by our countryâs national interest which aims at securing our political stability, territorial integrity, social cohesion and economic prosperity of our country. Our mission, therefore, is to advance the interest of Kenyans through effective diplomatic engagement. The principle focus of our diplomacy continues to be our immediate sub-region and Africa. Kenyaâs future is inextricably tied to the continent of Africa. We, therefore, have no choice, but to work in partnership to address the enormous social economic challenges and opportunities that none of us can escape in the globalised world. By virtue of our location, peace and stability in Kenya is crucial for the prosperity and development of the countries in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes Region. Kenya continues to be a firm believer in regional integration and shared prosperity in order to position itself strategically in a changing world.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, our engagement in the East African Community, COMESA and IGAD is an all embracing relationship aimed at strengthening the foundations for economic integration through Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa. Hon. Members are aware that the Common Market for the East African Community came into force on 1st July, 2010. This is a very important milestone for all of us in the Community as it will create a single trading and investment environment in the region. My Ministry will, in conjunction with the Ministry of East African Co- operation, play a critical role in ensuring compliance in the implementation of the Common Market Protocol. It is also noteworthy that with the passage of the new Constitution, Kenyaâs competitive position as far as political risk index is concerned has been enhanced. Consequently, a higher quantum of foreign direct investment is likely to flow towards Kenya within the East African Common Market, the bulk of the investments are expected to flow to Kenya as it is the dominant economy in this region. Our role in attracting and promoting investments to the region is, therefore, absolutely critical. At the continental level, Kenya will continue to actively participate in the operationalisation of the institutions of the African Union and ensuring the organization is Africaâs hub for collective bargaining with other regions and organizations. We are, therefore, committed to efforts towards the ultimate objective of the total integration of Africa. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in pursuit of our new foreign policy orientation which encompasses and emphasises on economic and trade diplomacy, we have endeavoured to forge closer co-operation with emerging markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Latin America and the Great Lakes region. It is for this reason that we have opened new missions in BrasĂlia, Bangkok, Seoul, Kuwait, Dublin, Madrid, Bujumbura and Juba in Southern Sudan while arrangements are underway to open other missions in Doha and Muscat this year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry is further planning in the next few years to establish diplomatic missions in other key locations, where we either have a large Kenyan diasporas or there is significant potential for advancement of economic opportunities. In this regard, we will also adhere as much possible to the doctrine of reciprocity by opening missions in countryâs which have also established a diplomatic presence in Kenya. The strategic interest in the above mentioned regions not withstanding, the Government still recognises the need to maintain links with our traditional, bilateral and multilateral partners. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, in his address to the House when presenting this yearâs Budget, emphasized the need to deepen public, financial management reforms. This is aimed at reducing wastage and ensuring efficiency and economy in the use of public resources in order to address the numerous challenges facing the country. My Ministry has in the last couple of years embraced those sentiments and we have rationalised our operations which have seen us do away with excessive and wasteful use of resources. The resultant savings realised have been applied in other priority areas such as the establishment of now a very vibrant Foreign Service Institute under my Ministry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mandate of my Ministry has been expanded to include the International Jobs and Diaspora Office in line with emphasis and focus on economic diplomacy as well as enhancement of partnerships with the diasporas. Through intense lobbying at various international fora, we have succeeded in securing jobs for Kenyans abroad in various international organizations; such include the accession of Justice Joyce Alouch to the ICC in the Hague, the appointment and election of Erastus Mwencha as the Vice-Chairman of AU Commission. Recently, for the first time, a Kenyan has been appointed as the United Nations Ambassador to the AU in Addis Ababa. He is taking up his job within the next two weeks. We will continue doing this for Kenyans in the diasporas as much as we possibly can. We have also been working with the representatives of large Kenyans Diasporas to tap their influence in their respective countries and residences and also develop incentives to encourage the diasporas to increase their remittances back home where they can contribute to national development. As you are aware, the diasporas have continued to grow with large numbers of Kenyans now gainfully employed in regions such as the Gulf, Europe and the USA. Indeed, Kenya has become a major exporter of professional skills in the entire Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, hence increasing our reach and influence in Eastern and Southern Africa. In enhancing our partnership with the diasporas, we aim to facilitate improvement in the delivery of consular services as well as develop diaspora specific products that will strengthen their links to their mother land. The Ministry thus requires resources to tap into the diaspora which will eventually create more wealth for this nation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for matters relating to all international relations and co-ordination of multilateral issues. It deals with a multitude of national interest concerns and priorities articulated at international fora. This is particularly so in the United Nations (UN) systems and its organs such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Security Council. It is the responsibility of the Ministry to ensure that Kenya maximizes on opportunities offered by different international organizations in economic and social fields. It, therefore, acts as the main liaison between the specialized agencies of the UN as well as international organizations and functional ministries and departments such as the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Ministry of Health; Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) for the Ministry of Agriculture; and other organizations. Kenya has diplomatic missions accredited to these and other UN organizations; that is, we have a permanent mission at the UN in New York, Geneva and Vienna. We also have a mission in Rome that covers the FAO. We have two offices in Nairobi covering Habitat and UNEP. Our role as a Ministry is to strengthen Kenyaâs collaboration with these UN and other organizations and to consolidate our countryâs bargaining position. This is achieved by working closely with other developing countries especially within the African group, the Non-aligned Movement and the Group of 77 plus China, to forge common positions and strategies that will influence the policies and programmes of these organizations to provide greater benefits for developing countries. Our role also involves lobbying these and other groups to support candidature of Kenyans to secure positions in various international organizations who can in turn influence decision-making with positive benefits to this country. My Ministryâs mandate calls for liaison with Non-Governmental Organizations, mostly international ones like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which undertakes many projects in the country and the region. The location of UNEP and the UN Habitat in Nairobi is one of the single--- Is my time running out?
Yes, you have three minutes to go. You are allowed 20 minutes to move and ten minutes to reply.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will go to the meat of this. It was important to outline the policies of the Ministry. On Recurrent Expenditure, we are asking for Kshs7,013,869,860. This will go towards salaries, allowances and rents for our missions abroad. On Development Expenditure, we are asking for a small figure of Kshs516,400,000 which will go towards the development of our chancery and residence in Abuja and the maintenance of our missions in various capitals including New York, Washington, London, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Paris, Brussels, Ottawa, Beijing, Rome, Dar es salaam, Islamabad, the Hague, Pretoria and Windhoek. May I point out that this allocation is not enough. As a Ministry, we have to deal with much more than what we have been given. For instance, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance did not take into account foreign exchange fluctuations that always affect the remittances of funds to our missions. We also have the controversial visa fees which the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism unilaterally slashed by half from US$50 to US$25 under the pretext that more tourists will come to Kenya. I have said and I will say again that if there is any tourist who will be attracted to this country by US$25, then that is a budget tourist and yet this country should not be looking for such tourists. We must be looking for quality tourists. I urge this House to assist in formulating a policy on how to peg our visas. Our missions have been starved of money because of the issue of visas. As required by the Standing Orders, we have presented our budget to the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. We critically interrogated the budget and the Committee concurred with our request and the issue that we have certainly not been given what we have asked for. Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I mention that in actualizing and achieving our economic diplomacy, we will now realise the dreams in the new Constitution. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will play a very critical role alongside other Ministries such as the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of East African Community. It is important that the new Constitution will give a lot of authority and powers to this House to allocate budget resources. This House, therefore, needs to think and focus on giving more money to the Ministry so that we can pursue greater diplomacy in trying to achieve what this country desires. As we lament about the shortage of adequate funds in the Budget, may I mention that Kenya will continue to play a critical role in the peace, security and stability of this region. In this regard, I want to inform this House of our continued commitment as the Chair of the Evaluation and Implementation of the CPA for Sudan. We are fully committed to see Sudan go to the referendum on 9th January, 2011 that will realise the dreams of the people of Sudan. Finally, this House needs to focus on the issue of Somalia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of State for Defence and the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security require more resources to focus on the security issues with regard to Somalia. I take this opportunity to thank the House for the solidarity it showed when terrorists attacked Uganda, causing the death of several nationals of that country including our own national. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks I beg to move. Mr. I.E. Mohammed will second this Motion.
Order, hon. Members! Those who are interested obviously have to rise and catch the Speakerâs eye. The first man is Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Keynan! You do not catch the Speakerâs eye by remaining on your seat. It is not automatic!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support this Vote. It is very important that this Ministry is given serious support in terms of financing. This Ministry is the image of this country. When you travel all over the world and you get our diplomats, they portray this nation in a very positive and important way. But when you look at the amount of money the Ministry has been given and the professionalism that it is undertaking at the international and regional levels--- When you come closer home - in the Horn of Africa â where we have a myriad of problems including Al Qaeda and AlShabaab, the Ministry officials are hopping across the globe pushing the agenda of peace in this region and this requires money. So, it is important that this House approves the little amount that this Ministry is requesting for. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Ministry is involved in two major activities in our region. One, we are involved with the CPA of Southern Sudan. Southern Sudan will hold a referendum in January and being the father of the agreement, Kenya with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be a key player. This Ministry, therefore, requires to be supported. Secondly, we have the issue of Somalia. Our country is in the forefront diplomatically and politically, pushing for peace in Somalia and this requires money. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are so many positive things we can talk about this Ministry. So, we need to support this Vote. Before I end my contribution, I would like to commend our diplomats wherever they may be, for doing a commendable job for this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. As a result of Standing Order No.152, after the Minister moves his Vote, it is almost automatic that the Chair of that particular Committee also responds. But all the same, let me proceed.
Order! Order! You cannot argue with the Chair or contradict my directions. I am not certain that, that Standing Order says what you are purporting that it does.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that aside, let me take this opportunity, first of all, on behalf of the Members of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, to present this Report on the Annual Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Financial Year 2010/2011. I feel honoured to present to the House the Committeeâs findings on the scrutiny of the Estimates. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mandate of the Committee as per Standing Order No.198(1), (2) and (3) provides that upon being laid before the National Assembly, the national estimates shall stand committed to the respective Departmental Committees according to their mandate. Each Committee is then expected to consider, discuss and review the estimates and come up with a report to Parliament. In executing this, under our mandate is the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of East African Community and the National Security Intelligence Service. Among the issues that we look at is the issue of defence, foreign policy, treaties, international and regional organizations, bilateral and multilateral relations, regional co-operation policy, East African Community and national security intelligence. Mr. Speaker, Sir, pursuant to Standing Order No.152, the Committee commenced the scrutiny of the Printed Estimates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 28th June, 2010. Among the issues that we actually scrutinized is whether really, the Budget Estimates adhere to or had some relevance to Vision 2030, Mid-Term Plans, Printed Estimates of the Financial Year 2010/2011, the Budget Speech of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, the Budget Outlook Paper for the Financial Year 2010/2011, the Budget Strategy Paper for 2010/2011 and the Budget Policy Statement. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a result of the new Standing Orders, Parliament is part and parcel of the Mid-Term Expenditure Review Framework. I want to take this opportunity to thank your office for having operationalized the most pragmatic Standing Orders south of Sahara. Parliament is no longer a passenger in the making and execution of the budget process. There used to be a time when Members of Parliament were considered by the Executive as an unnecessary irritant. That era is gone. This is high time that the Executive must also familiarize itself with the contents of the Standing Orders. Until and unless the Standing Orders are again amended, I am afraid that we will have to comply with them. Once in a while, you will see some sort of frictions between Departmental Committees and Ministries. This is because we are trying to create a niche for ourselves but not outside our legal mandate. We are creating a niche for Committees in areas that were hitherto considered within the province of the Executive. But eventually, I am sure there will be an equilibrium. Mr. Speaker, Sir, among the observations that we made as a Committee in scrutinizing this is that, there is a very serious jurisdictional and administrative conflict between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other Ministries. Unless this is sorted out, the main function of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of projecting, protecting and promoting the image of Kenya, both in terms of perception and reality because foreign policy has two components; there is perception and reality--- This conflict in terms of policy between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of East African Community, Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade for the sake of our country, must be sorted out administratively either at the Cabinet, Ministerial or technical levels. If you look at the kind of constraints we have had, for example, the role of an immigration attachĂŠ--- An immigration attachĂŠ is a quasi security officer. It is a role where one has to undergo some fundamental training. It is not something that any particular person can just be posted to do. This issue has been in the public domain and I pray that the Ministries concerned will get together and sort out that particular issue. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other thing that we noted is that in the year 2000, the Government ordered a rationalization committee to review the Foreign Service allowances, but to date, shockingly, our Mission employees have not been considered. We know that there is a serious global economic crunch, but the Mission employees - the Kenyans out there â are protecting and promoting the image of this country. Therefore, they must not live under standards below which they are expected to. To that end, I want to appeal to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance to consider the plight of those Kenyans who are in our missions. Kenya as a very important country in the East African Community must provide leadership. If you look at our economic role in this country, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is almost 60 per cent or even above 55 per cent of the combined GDP of the entire East African countries. Kenya needs to establish a technical fund as part of our diplomatic enhancement to support struggling countries that have not had the benefit or advantage in terms of education, economy and infrastructure that we have had over the years. This will promote trade between Kenya and other countries. Because of high literacy levels among Kenyans, we need to export education. How do we export education? There has to be some form of cultural, educational and economic correlation between Kenya and the countries that we need to do business with. The other thing that has not been addressed, and which I found wanting is the issue of the volatility of the exchange rate which has not been factored in. I am glad that the Minister has mentioned that. This issue needs to be addressed because, once in a while, we need to have some funds to cushion the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because it has more than 52 missions abroad. It relies on foreign exchange rates which fluctuate now and then. It is high time that we put something in place. There is another challenge which is facing this Coalition Government. The other day, there was a roadside pronouncement by the Ministry of Tourism that it has reduced visa fees by more than 50 per cent. That has not had any resultant benefit to the Republic of Kenya. The other day, I was in Russia. There is a company there called Kilimanjaro Travel Agency. You know where Kilimanjaro is situated. It is on one side while Serengeti is on the other side. We also have Amboseli. The visa fees being charged by our neighbours as opposed to what we charge as a country--- We are a very important tourist destination and yet, we have been reduced to be the laughing stock. That issue needs to be addressed. It should not be left to the Ministry of Tourism alone. The decision should be reached collectively by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism. However, when the announcement was made by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, it affected Appropriations- in-Aid in all our missions very badly. That decision needs to be revisited as a matter of urgency. The other thing that I would like to talk about is disbursements. We have employees in different parts of the world. They rely on the Exchequer. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have its own kitty other than what they get from the managers of our national resource envelop, and that is the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance. Sometimes, our missions get disbursements that are not enough to the extent that many of them live lives which we cannot even imagine. That needs to be enhanced. This is a special Ministry in the sense that it is our number one PR Department. To that extent, it is the face of Kenya. You can call it the interface of Kenya. That needs to be taken care of properly by the policy makers in the Ministry and those of us who manage our national resource envelop. Another issue which we have noted as a Committee is that the Ministry needs to develop a comprehensive policy on acquisition and disposal of properties belonging to missions. This is a critical component. The idea per se is very excellent and that is what we ought to have done. If you look at the history of some of the individuals who have been condemned as dictators--- If you look at their legacies---- If you go to New York, you will see a huge building which is now a legacy. It is owned by Uganda. If you go to town, you will see Uganda House. This is something that ought to have been done a long time ago. What we will continue to question is how the policy will be executed. That must be done above board and it must have the interests of the Kenyan people from every level. That is the only way we can have value for money, appreciation and save taxpayersâ money. I know that time is not on my side. I would like to sincerely thank your office and the Office of the Clerk for the necessary support extended to my Committee to execute its mandate, as we struggle to establish for ourselves and on behalf of Parliament, a niche that is not only going to serve the Tenth Parliament, but one that will be there forever for any other subsequent Parliament. The Committee further wishes to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs and his team for responding to all the issues that we raised on the budget estimates for the Financial Year 2010/2011. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Members of the Committee for having found time - a Member of Parliament is a very busy person--- I want to thank them for their patience, endurance, sacrifice and hard work during the long sitting hours under the tight schedules which enabled us to complete our task. In line with the Standing Orders, and because the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations is Committee No.1, we were the first to prepare and live up to our mandate. That would not have happened without the support of your staff. Finally, I want to say that it is my duty as the Chair of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, on my own behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, to present and recommend that pursuant to Standing Order No.152, we support the budget of the Ministry.
You did well! Hon. Wekesa!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to take this opportunity to commend the very able Minister, Moses Wetangula, for doing his job with a lot of enthusiasm, and being assisted by a very able Assistant Minister, the son of my late friend, Zachary Onyonka with whom we were together in the Seventh Parliament.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to join my colleagues in saying that this Ministry reflects the culture and dignity of the Kenyan people. Therefore, the Minister and his colleagues in the Ministry must bear that in mind. Even as we appoint people to be Ambassadors, we should be careful to appoint the best. I have travelled quite a bit and I want to commend the Minister for having very good officers in our foreign missions. They are very zealous, very welcoming and they do their job properly. I, however, find that Kenyans are short on languages. That is something that we should all wake up to. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should emulate people in the western part of Africa where you find people speaking fluent French, Spanish and English; not just one foreign language. That is very useful to our staff as they serve various missions. Currently, as we speak, Arabic, Chinese and French are international languages. The Minister should work hand in hand with the Ministry of Education to make sure that those foreign languages are not just learnt for the sake of speaking a bit of this and that. Our children should grow up learning languages seriously so that, as Kenyans move around the globe, they can communicate effectively.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue is about the very people we appoint, namely, the political appointees and career diplomats. Career diplomats should be people who have learnt a lot of things about the trade and should not be subject to abrupt transfers. They should always serve for four years and then come back home. These are people who have taken foreign service as a profession. They should be given an opportunity even to stay in one station for more than one term, so that they establish networking which can be beneficial to this country. I have found that some of them are not very happy about coming back home after four years. I would like the Minister to look at these issues. As to protocols, I want to join my colleague, hon. Nkaisserry, who mentioned that as we prepare protocols, we, as a Government, must try to put our issues together and work right across Ministries.
With those remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution on Vote 04. There is no question about the role the Ministry plays in shaping Kenyaâs international image. As a matter of fact, I think the Minister for Foreign Affairs should by all accounts, be our top most diplomat. As a country, the image and the respect that we get from other countries and as the Minister rightly put it, starting mainly with our immediate neighbourhood in the East African region and in Africa, that has to be in our forefront in our diplomatic thrust. Having said that, there are issues in the Ministry which need to be dealt with. I concur completely with the Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on the matter of discord with the other Ministries. This is a matter that has gone on for too long and the Minister for Foreign Affairs should take it upon himself to try to liaise with those other Ministries to address these issues. The Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations has spoken about professionalism of our diplomatic service. He referred to the issue of remuneration which might be the heart of the matter, but I also get very concerned when I look at the conduct of the people we designate as our ambassadors in foreign countries. Last year, I had a chance to talk to a very high flying ambassador in a foreign country. I was shocked because for almost two hours, he spoke like an enemy of Kenya, just criticizing the country. He absolutely had no patriotism and love for his country. I asked myself how such people qualify to be ambassadors. Every year, I see an annual ritual when ambassadors come here, but I wonder what sort of training they go through. I have not been an ambassador, but I want to believe that if I am appointed an ambassador, whether I like it or not, my first qualification has to be open and unbashed love for my country. Some of our ambassadors are enemies of this country and I think the Minister has to take it upon himself to root out such people.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, hon. Member! Hon. Gumbo, until the Chair allows a point of order, you should proceed!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member has made a very serious allegation against our distinguished envoys by terming some of them as enemies of this country. Could he substantiate who these are? I do not think that the Kenya Government in its right sense, has appointed any envoy who is an enemy of this country?
That is a valid point of order. Hon. Gumbo, did you say so?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said the way they speak, they appear like enemies of this country. When an ambassador spends two hours criticizing his country and he is in a station to defend the country, surely, how can he be called a friend of Kenya?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Following hon. Affeyâs point of order, if an ambassador who is supposed to represent the image of Kenya spends two hours criticizing this nation in the eyes of a law-maker, could the hon. Member name that ambassador?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Given the role of ambassadors representing this country, I do not think it would be in order for any ambassador to be named here without a substantive Motion.
Order, hon. Members! We need to establish the statement itself. The hon. Member has said âif an ambassador speaks like an enemyâ. He did not say that envoys are enemies. Proceed, hon. Gumbo!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for protecting me. I believe that part of the training of our ambassadors should include patriotism. You cannot appoint somebody to go and represent you in a foreign country when they do not appear to love the country.
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not wish to be informed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also the question of Kenyaâs position in this region. Kenya, in the geographical construct of Africa, is a giant. However, in the international circles, we have to ask ourselves what is happening. If you look at Tanzania our neighbour here, you will realize that her representation in the international community is much higher. Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro is the Deputy Secretary- General of the United Nations, and until we criticized here, Dr. Anna Kajimulu Tibaijuka was the Executive Director of the UN office in Nairobi. What is happening? There is a feeling that the Ministry is not doing enough to support Kenyans who are seeking high profile international positions.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is my good friend in order to say what he has said when I just said here a few minutes ago that through very serious efforts and lobbying, we have had the first Kenyan ever to be appointed the UN Ambassador to the African Union (AU), a job that is as important as the ones he is mentioning? He is taking up his post immediately.
Order, hon. Members! If I heard the Member properly, he said that we are not doing enough. That is just one contribution.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I still insist that our Ministry must do more. The position of Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro is much higher than the position the Minister has mentioned. That is a fact. We need to do more. We are the giant in East Africa and we must do more. Finally, when I was young, my parents used to tell me that when you always behave like a lap dog, you earn no respect. The issue of visa fees makes Kenya look very cheap. In some ways, it makes us behave like a lap dog. We cannot accept it and the Ministry must liaise with other Ministries, so that we look like a respectable destination. With those remarks, I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to support the Vote of this Ministry. This Ministry is the number one public relations company for this country. Our envoys all over the world do a good job for this country. Kenyans must be educated to understand that role. Quite a number of times, we think that people are there to enjoy themselves without understanding the role they play. I want to tell you that those women and men who are all over the world are doing a good job for this country. I want to appeal to the Ministry to increase representation all over the world. Many countries are doing their best in their foreign policies. Sometimes, we think that we have a lot of missions, but they are not many. I am happy that recently, we opened a few more missions and I encourage the Minister to pursue that line, so that we can have more missions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, funding of missions under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very important. Members of staff in our missions sometimes suffer when funds are delayed or they do not have enough funding. Imagine when you are not able to pay rent for the chancery and the residences of the ambassador and the staff. It is important that we really take this matter seriously and give this Ministry proper funding. People should not consider the allowances of the staff as luxury. Members of our diplomatic missions who live abroad must live within the standards of the people who live there as mentioned by the Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, housing and office accommodation for officers serving in our Missions abroad is very important. Many countries at Independence in Africa bought their own chanceries and houses for their ambassadors. Today, we spend a lot of money on paying rent for such facilities. It is important that we have a deliberate policy to acquire our own properties, so that in future, we avoid such payments.
This country has a big role to play in Africa. We are doing our best but it is important that we take our role seriously. It is sometimes said that the foreign policy of a country is a reflection of its domestic policy. We have a lot of squabbles internally. We should not reflect that scenario overseas. In appointing our ambassadors, we should maintain the standards that are required. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, not anybody can be an ambassador. One must have the right educational qualifications and the right exposure to be an ambassador. That is why my colleague has talked about somebody who seems to be an enemy of this country, but who is an ambassador. Our ambassadors need to be trained properly and supported. I support the sentiment that visa issues are very important to our Missions. Our Missions use money from visas as appropriations-in-aid, and the Ministry should not think that people can avoid coming to Kenya because of US$50. Countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom charge a lot of money for their visas. We should be able to put a premium on visits to our country. Nobody who wishes to come to Kenya will refuse to come because of visa fee. So, the idea of abolishing visa fee should not be entertained. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember that in the 1990s, visa fee was abolished and all our Missions abroad were grounded. So, these misguided policies should be stopped and visa issues must be left to the foreign policy. Foreign Ministers, as the number one public relations persons in Government, must be left to lead. The Ministry also must live to that expectation. We should be careful how we appoint our ambassadors. We must be transparent in appointing our ambassadors. Recently, there were lots of stories, and we need to be very careful about the way we appoint our ambassadors, so that we do not quarrel in the Press. It can actually reflect badly on our image. We also need to reciprocate where we have missions of other countries in our capital city. For heavenâs sake, we must have that position. A country like Morocco has been complaining for many years that it has only a Mission here in the region, but we have no Mission in Rabat. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Vote raises a few questions. So, I want to ask that I just be allowed to ask two questions on the Development Expenditure Estimates. The Minister said very clearly that the foreign policy in Kenya will be an economic foreign policy. What I would like the Minister to clarify to me is this: Why is it that the entire Development Vote, Vote D04, is on issues regarding refurbishment of buildings, purchase of buildings or construction of buildings? How do we bring in money in real terms that way? This means we are investing money in the foreign policy. This Development Vote is where we are saying we are putting money into something from which we expect to give back. The question I want to ask very quickly is: If we are spending all the development on just refurbishment of buildings, purchase of buildings and construction of buildings, what is the foreign policy of Kenya, and where is it reflected in this kind of spending? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to, quickly, jog the memory of the Minister. We debated the CPA Agreement here. There was the IGAD issue and issues about Somalia. Where did that money come from? Did Kenya not have to spend extra money from somewhere? Is that not where we are supposed to put our money, as a country, so as for us to take our position? I thought the Ministry would put money in things like peace building. Where is the budget for that? Kenya should take its rightful position as a Republic. We have been told that Uganda and Tanzania are our biggest trading bloc. I want to seek a clarification from the Minister again, because we are talking about money here; it is not about general debate. What is the justification for us spending Kshs290 million under Sub-Vote 056 for construction in Abuja? I had seen the approved estimate of Kshs300 million, but it was subsequently reduced to Kshs280 million. That is for Abuja. I am looking at Kampala, under Sub-Vote 064, and I am seeing nil allocation for Kampala. What is the justification? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I, again ask the question that is pertinent to this one. Dar-es-Salaam is given only Kshs27,500,000. I want to know why our biggest trading bloc partners are relegated to the back seat in favour of places like Abuja, with which we do very little trade. I also looked at the projections. There is Kshs400 million that is projected for construction or purchase of buildings in Geneva in another four years to come. I do not see that kind of projection for Kampala. How is the Minister prioritising the appropriation of the monies that we are voting for him, in terms of where it should be spent to get maximum returns? I had many questions to ask on the Development Vote. I now want to seek clarifications on the Ministryâs Recurrent Expenditure. Looking at the Recurrent Expenditure Vote, I see allocations to all these diplomatic positions â the headquarters in Addis Ababa, Berlin and Kinshasa. You see a repeated Item called âPurchase of Household Furnitureâ. The Item is in this yearâs Estimates, next yearâs Estimates, and it is in projections for four years to come. I want to caution the Minister. Maybe, he can even give us an explanation.
Time up, Mr. Mungatana! Hon. George Nyamweya!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the outset, let me say that I sympathise with the Minister.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it, hon. Shakeel?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, in this country, have committed ourselves to giving opportunities to at least 30 per cent of women. I have been sitting here patiently and watching our male colleagues constantly standing, and you have not given women a chance to contribute to this Bill. Is that in order?
Order! Order! I wondered for a moment whether you are the relevant quota!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would not understand how I would be out of order in relation to the point that has been raised.
Order, hon. Nyamweya! Mr. Shakeel was addressing the Chair, and not you, and I have ruled him out of order.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is clear that the Ministry has been awfully under-funded. Part of the reason for this, as we have been told, is that during categorisation of the Government, the Ministry was not put in the category where it should be. This is a security related Ministry. We are talking about its face to the rest of the world as being important, but if we do not fund or equip it, how do we expect it to carry out the functions we would want it to carry out? I have had the privilege of going round two of our Missions abroad. I will not really go into what other hon. Members have said; but I can say that there is lack of motivation amongst the ambassadors and members of staff we have posted to those stations, because we are asking people to live outside this country and serve our country, but the benefits they used to receive before as diplomats have been removed. You will find that a person is serving there but members of his family are left behind in this country. So, you have a divided family. Part of the new Constitution that you are talking about is enhancing family values but the effect of our appointment is actually to divide families. I believe that if you want to motivate anybody to do work for you, you must give them the environment in which they are able to discharge those duties. That is one thing. The other one which clearly and urgently must be sorted out is the harmonization between all the Ministries that are affected in projecting our views to the rest of the world. It is clear from our reports that this is a very urgent matter which requires not just the Ministerâs role but in fact the President and the Prime Minister. In the missions that we have visited, we have found that there is disquiet. It is important that we tell the Minister that there is disquiet among the immigration officials, educationists and other members who serve in those missions. You will not project a clear cut picture if within your own embassies and Ministries you appear to be pulling in separate ways. This is a matter which cannot be left for next year or this year. It must be done immediately.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we do say that, indeed, we have moved to economic diplomacy, and that is the way we must, what is it that we are actually projecting out there? If you visit the missions, you will find us only dealing with tourism, coffee and tea and yet we are beyond that now. We provide services in this region. We are an economy which gives you anything that you require in the world but we do not see that being reflected out there. If you control the whole of Africa in terms of the air transport, for example, if you want to travel across Africa, Kenya Airways will do it for you very well. If you want any form of banking, it will be done here. If you want any form of insurance, it is done here. The same applies to research. We should sell our education but I do not see much of this. I still believe that we are a bit stuck with the original political diplomacy.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other aspect which we are not utilizing properly is that everybody talks about our strategic interests and how strategically we are placed in the coast of East Africa but do we get reciprocation from our partners? I say this because sometimes, they get carried away when they lecture us. What is it in return that they are prepared to contribute towards Kenyaâs responsibility in the Indian Ocean and East and Central Africa region? I do recall, and I think the Minister for Immigration and Registration of Persons was telling us the other day about the person who had to be deported from Kenya and yet we have relationships with other countries---
Your time is up!
With those remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion in support of this Vote. I will speak a little bit on the appointment of ambassadors and diplomatic staff. I want to begin by saying that although many appointments for diplomats in many countries of the world including the more established democracies are politicized, I must say that in this country, we tend to be much more politicized in the way we decide who becomes a diplomat in this country. There are also other considerations. Sometimes, it is not about merit. Sometimes, it is about who you know and who you are related to. Sometimes, it is about people who are already in power, including their relatives and friends. So, you are doubly advantaging certain people depending on what kind of place they occupy in this society. When you by-pass more qualified carrier diplomats because you have others who have closer attachment to the appointer, it may also have an effect on demoralizing those that are by- passed if they happen to be more qualified. If your main qualification to be a diplomatic is because you are close to a politician, sometimes you can be arrogant and become more indebted to the appointer rather than the country. Due to politicization, we have seen costly expansion of diplomatic missions. We keep on adding more people because we have to get So and So represented. Some of the people that have been appointed to these diplomatic missions given the nature of our politics, also tend to exercise and demonstrate the political division even as they serve us out of this country. For example, the debate between ODM and PNU and who will get a bigger share of the diplomatic missions.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, I would like to propose, and I hope that this will come with the new Constitution, that appointment of diplomats must be more consultative and more competitive. It should not be left to a few people to decide who becomes an ambassador or deputy ambassador of this country. In this regard, a bigger body like the Public Service Commission (PSC) which does major appointment should be involved. The first criteria must be the quality of the person, for example, in terms of the language. I have been to the foreign diplomatic missions of this country where you find many senior officers who cannot speak the language of the country in which they are representing us. These days, there is international exposure. How qualified are the people who are appointed in terms of their capacity to interact with the rest of the world and to be able to take advantage of the many developments in science and technology? More importantly, we must pay attention to regional distribution. In this country, we always talk about how we must be equitable in terms of how we appoint senior officers in the Government, be they Permanent Secretaries or Ambassadors. It is important to ensure that we represent the face of Kenya in the people we appoint as diplomats in this country. This also relates to other marginalized groups, including women. Although we have hundreds of diplomats, I think of the top diplomats we have in this country, we have less than ten women and yet we are talking about a country that should have representation of our women. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, I propose that it is important for us, as we are auditing--- As the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, we are now auditing universities to check the percentage of people who come from certain ethnic groups. We want to make sure that they are not more than 30 per cent. We should do the same with diplomatic missions. We should have an audit and ask where do the diplomats come from in Kenya. On the basis of that, we should begin to recruit newer people from areas that are under-represented in the missions. Equity is not just about jobs. It is also about the other opportunities that go with your being a diplomat, for example, education advantages, the exposure, the allowances, the housing and more importantly, the kind of contacts that you can come with for people that are close to you in terms of education, trade and so on. If we do an audit and agree that we need to reflect the face of Kenya, that representation must also be proportionate to numbers. It is not enough to ask how many Luos are diplomats. It is important to ask how many Luos are diplomats as a proportion of the population of this country so that that representation also reflects the populations of the various communities. We also need to be more aggressive in terms of using Kenyans that are already out there. Now that we are talking about dual citizenship, there is nothing to prevent us from identifying qualified Kenyans out there who have the benefit in terms of the culture and language of that country and who have the connections that we need in terms of encouraging more Kenyans to benefit from the opportunities that are available in those countries. Those people are a better resource than going to fish a Mmeru from a certain high school and making him an ambassador when we have people who have more experience and can be more useful.
Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for reluctantly giving me the opportunity to speak.
Order! Order, hon. Shabesh! There is no reluctance. It is just now that you have got the eye of the Speaker.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, then I must be almost invisible because I have been standing from the very beginning. But that be as it may, I really wanted to contribute to this Vote simply because I am a member of the Pan African Parliament and I have a lot of interest because we interact a lot as Members of PAP, with other members of Parliaments from other countries. It is important for me to state a few facts here. First, in terms of representation, Kenya as a country, in its role within East Africa and African Union, is recognized. I want to congratulate the Minister and his Assistant Minister and his team because irrespective of what is said in Kenya, I know it is a different story when we are seated out there in meetings of the African Union. We are normally very proud as Kenyan citizens for the work that you are doing as a Ministry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to speak on the issue of missions. There are three missions that I would like the Ministry to put in a lot more importance to and maybe, more resources. The first mission is the one in Addis Ababa where the ambassador is also sitting for Kenya as one of the permanent representatives of the Committee of AU. That is not any other ambassador like any other country ambassador. This is an ambassador who must put in the input of Kenya on issues of the AU, including the protocols and treaties. So I believe that, that mission should be given a bit more importance. Another mission that I believe the Minister should elevate in his resource allocation is that of Geneva. Again, within Geneva, there are very many agencies; the UN agencies and the world trade organizations that have a lot to do with the economic growth that we are looking for in this country. Sometimes, one or two ambassadors can be overwhelmed by the kind of work that is there. The last mission I would like to speak about is that in South Africa. I want just to congratulate the ambassador that is there who I believe is really a patriotic Kenyan. He does a good job in receiving Kenyans and also deals very well with the Kenyans who live in South Africa. So I think sometimes, it is good to congratulate him. But even as I give the Minister so many good remarks, I cannot come out of here without being totally disappointed by his front bench. It has no woman really! They do very poorly on the issues of women as a Ministry. In fact, I think you take the award on having very poor representation in your Ministry but also in terms of ambassadors and the appointments. I know that there are women ambassadors and I congratulate the Minister for that. Because the Minister is the one who signs the treaties and brings them to Kenya for us to ratify, I am asking him to be the first to implement the one-third rule. We have women who are capable and who can do true justice to this country. I would really like him to look into the issue. I know that the Minister has also helped very many women get good appointments like the judge in the International Criminal Court, Justice Joyce Aluoch. Again, we congratulate him. But as I finish, I want to speak about protocol. I know protocol is within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the way we receive our visitors, the way our missions receive complaints in their missions. I think the Minister needs to work on the issue of protocol. I think these are not the days when Kenyans were treated with rudeness in their own missions. I think we are in a Coalition Government. If I am an ODM or PNU, and I go to Geneva, I expect the same treatment as an MP. I do not think that kind of protocol has really been emphasized to the missions abroad. So, I really wanted to look at the issue of protocol because we are in a coalition Government but I congratulate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I support.
Order Members! It is now time for the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
And you have seven minutes to go!
I want to donate two minutes to my very able assistant, then I can reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am actually going to stand here and make very few remarks. First of all, I believe that all of the contributions that have been made here are going to ensure that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs becomes a better place for the ambassadors to work and everybody else, the stakeholders. As has been said, this is a Ministry which is supposed to represent the softer face and the kind face of our country. I believe to a large extent, most credit should go to his Excellency the President for having appointed a very able Minister in hon. Moses Wetangula. I believe that many of the Members of this House who have visited our missions have received reasonable treatment, if not excellent treatment. The reality on the ground sometimes is disappointing but I can assure you that the people who work for this country as ambassadors and senior officers out there toil on a daily basis and I would like to commend them for the excellent work that they have done. I wanted to mention that it has been a great responsibility and honour to have participated in this Ministry. Since after the passage of the new constitution, there is a likelihood that we may not come in as Ministers again but in case we do, it has been a wonderful experience working with the teams out there. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has got some of the most highly educated individuals and it has delivered. If you are to talk to the Managing Director of Kenya Airways, he will tell you that all the past treaties and agreements which have been signed have always been brought out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs even before the Ministry of Transport comes in. If you were to speak to all the Kenyan students who are in the diaspora and the Kenyans working in the diaspora, they will tell you that we are trying very hard now to change our attitude and make sure that we become more active and sensitive to the issues in the diaspora. I believe that our policies are on the right path. The reason why maybe, Kenya was not receiving much attention as to getting many more jobs was simply because our domestic politics was in a way, behind. With the passage of the new constitution, Kenya is now rated as one of the very successful countries in the world. We are now sincerely a democratic state whereby the rule of law, respect of international treaties and all that appertains to making a good country are adhered to. Right now, Kenya is a country that we should all be proud of and I can assure you that the Minister, hon. Wetangula, and the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Thuita Mwangi, have been wonderful Kenyans under very difficult circumstances who have tried to make sure that our country moves ahead. The Chairman of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations has done an excellent job; he has talked to all our Kenyans in the diaspora and everywhere where we have our missions. I believe that we are going to make sure that our country moves forward. I beg to support.
Order, Minister! It is as well you donated that time because the seven were the balance of the previous time. So you have up to five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. May I, first, thank all Members who have contributed to this Motion because all have supported it without exception. All have indicated in different terms and terminologies and words that my Ministry is actually underfunded. I thank the House for appreciating this. I agree that we need to be better funded to be able to discharge the mandate of the Ministry in assisting the country to move forward. Let me take this opportunity to thank the two principals, His Excellency the President and the Prime Minister in helping us to focus and steer the policy of the country in dealing with issues that bring Kenya to the fore and bringing Kenya to a position that it deserves within the context of East Africa, Africa and the global state. There is no doubt whatsoever, that there is an absolute need for a technical fund as the Chairman of the Committee said. In fact, we put it in our budget proposals and unfortunately, it did not need the favour of the Ministry of Finance. A Technical Fund will go a long way in assisting the Ministry and the Government and the country in portraying our capacity, ability and capability as a leader in the region to dispense certain support services like limited scholarships and what hon. Mungatana talked about; the Peace Fund that will be able to help the country to take issues of the region forward. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, ambassadors who are appointed are normally very carefully chosen and vetted. I must point out that previously ambassadors used to be appointed and sent out to stations. Under my watch, we now have a very vibrant Foreign Service Institute where any persons nominated to be ambassadors or high commissioners undergo very rigorous across-board training on protocol, economy and many issues that touch on the matters that we expect them to do before they are posted to their stations. This has yielded tremendous results to the extent that when nominees graduate to go to their stations you will see consummate diplomats moulded out of persons who did not have diplomatic backgrounds as they are appointed. The issue of appointing non-career and career diplomats to be our ambassadors is nothing new. All countries do this mix and whether you go to the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Russia or wherever, you will find there is always a component of career diplomats, persons who have sacrificed and dedicated their time to serve their country through the rank and file and growth and also situations where you require diplomats with a political touch. That is why when you go to the USA, you will find President Obama appointing former President Clinton as a roving ambassador to go and solve problems here and there. There are many others. Here in Kenya we have seen President Kibaki appoint retired President Moi as our ambassador and special envoy to Sudan which job he is still doing. There are many others. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have seen how the African Union (AU) is using retired Presidents; President Mkapa, President Kuofor and all these are part of the political formula that strays into diplomacy and do a lot of good work. I agree with Dr. Wekesa that there is need to teach more languages. Indeed, the Foreign Service Institute is now preparing a curriculum for language orientation. I am happy to inform the House that we also have the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi teaching Chinese for those who want to learn Chinese. Recently on the visit of the Brazilian President we agreed as two countries that Brazil is going to open a Portuguese language institute in one of our public universities to be able to augment our desire to learn other languages. Arabic language is very vibrantly taught at the University of Nairobi. Spanish should be encouraged. For French we have the Alliance Francaise institute in Nairobi that has been quite helpful. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you come to my Ministry I have officers who speak several of these languages. I am very proud of one officer Amb. Ayugi who speaks Portuguese fluently, Spanish fluently, French fluently, Arabic, English and of course Dholuo which is his mother tongue. We encourage our diplomats to be in that mold. Mr. Mungatana talked about the issues of prioritization. In Dar-es-Salaam we have a fantastic chancery and residence which has been built. So there is no need to allocate more money to Dar-es-Salaam. In Uganda we proposed to the Ministry of Finance to allocate Kshs150 million to start the construction of a chancery and a residence. No shilling was allocated. We were recently allocated one of the most prime properties in Rwanda and we are hoping that in the next Budget the Ministry of Finance will be able to find favour in getting allocation for the construction of that building. In the long term, I think we have a leaf to borrow from our neighbours; Tanzania. In Tanzania, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and any developments of properties for the Government and the Ministry is undertaken by the NSSF as an investment. The Ministry then continues paying rent to the NSSF and it is a good return on workersâ pension funds. They are soon starting to build a 23-storey building in Upper Hill on a property donated to them by the Government of Kenya. I think the Committee would be very helpful to this Ministry if it did, in liaison with other Committees that oversee the Ministry of Labour, bring together some guidelines that can help us to move in that direction so that the pension funds that were in the past used to sink into public land can go towards that very positive venture. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with Mr. Nyamweya that we need to harmonize issues that are cross-cutting between my Ministry and other Ministries. I did mention the issue of visa fees which Eng. Gumbo and the chairman also referred to. There are many others that we need to mention. One of the things that I am quite happy about is that through the guidance of the two Principals and support from my very able assistant, Mr. Onyonka and my team that is sitting here, we have been able to do a lot of tangible things that we can talk about. In the two and a half years that I have been in charge of this Ministry, I have convinced countries to come to open missions here. Congo Brazzaville has opened an embassy here. Swaziland that had closed its embassy here is re-opening. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is opening an embassy next month. Cameroon is opening an embassy before the end of the year. Many other countries are coming back to the country to enhance Kenyaâs image as a diplomatic hub. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, through our efforts Kenya Airways is making its inaugural flight to Rwanda and Angola making it one of the key destinations for the airline. In fact, I have invited the Committee to nominate two Members of Parliament to come along with me to go and inaugurate the first flight of Kenya Airways to Rwanda and Angola on the 17th of this month. We will continue doing this. It has taken us more than the last five to ten years to break into the Angolan market for Kenya Airways. This is very crucial because it enhances the image of Kenya and Nairobi in particular as a hub. There is no doubt, as Mrs. Shabesh said that Addis Ababa is a very critical station for this country. This is because it is the headquarters of the AU and we also represent ourselves in the second most populous country in Africa. This is a country that is destined to be one of our key trading partners in the very near future when we finish the construction of the Port of Lamu and rail link between Lamu and Addis Ababa. We are strengthening the mission. In fact, the two other missions Mrs. Shabesh mentioned; in Geneva we have two ambassadors. We have Amb. Tom Mboya Okeyo as the ambassador in charge and we have posted Amb. Andanje as a full ambassador but deputy head of mission to augment the weight and volume of work that is available there. I agree that South Africa is also doing well. We saw this when we had the xenophobic attacks on Kenyans and the mission did a wonderful job. In Addis Ababa, I have recommended and waiting for Cabinet approval that the mission requires a second ambassador to augment the work of the ambassador that we posted there. We are, therefore, thinking in tandem on what we need to do. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on issues of protocol we sometimes blame our officers out there simply because of lack of adequate resources to assist them. Sometimes Kenyans go out there and expect embassies to give them cars, help them on this and that. The budget is what we require. Other missions like South Africa, when you go to every mission they have a standby utility car for assisting nationals of their country when they come by. If you go to some of our missions, we do not have those cars. If we can enhance the budget allocation to my Ministry certainly we will be able to address the needs of Kenyans. Indeed, if any Member of Parliament or any Kenyan went to any station and you were treated by any of our diplomats with blinkers of party affiliation; whether ODM, PNU, FORD(K) or ODM(K), such a person is not fit to represent this country. Kenyans must be looked at as Kenyans, pure and simple! This is what we encourage all our diplomats to do.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I once again thank the House for the support of the Motion and I beg to move.
As previously guided by the Chair, I will ask the Minister for East African Community to move his Vote.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Speaker do now leave the Chair.
Indeed, it is an honour for me to present to this House the 2010/2011 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of East African Community under Vote 24. As envisaged in Vision 2030, regional integration is one of the key areas of economic development of our country. During the first medium-term plan 2008-2012 of Vision 2030, my Ministry is expected to play a key role in deepening and widening East African integration for the improved livelihoods and sustainable development of our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministryâs mission is to facilitate, co- ordinate and oversee the development, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of EAC policies, projects and programmes for effective integration and promote partnership, liaison and maintain linkages with all the stakeholders on the EAC matters for maximized benefits. In the Financial Year 2009/2010, my Ministry was allocated a total of Kshs1,013,711,570. Of this amount, the total allocation of Kshs922,811,570 was allocated for Recurrent Vote. In the same year, the Ministry was allocated Kshs90,900,000 for Development Vote. Of this Vote, development partners contributed Kshs65,400,000 while the Government of Kenya (GoK) contributed Kshs25,500,000. My Ministry received only Kshs14,125,230 over and above the last financial yearâs Budget, indicating only a minimal growth in the Budget. Some of the major achievements of the Ministry in the last financial year include the following:- (i) Review of the organization structure, functional and staff establishment that led to the recruitment of 35 new integration offices at various levels. (ii) Successively co-ordination of the negotiations, signing and ratification of the Common Market Protocol (CMP) which came into effect on 1st July, 2010. (iii)We undertook national sensitization campaign on the EAC integration process and the common market through development and launching of the Ministryâ communication strategy and policy handout. (iv) Sensitizing over 30 multiple stakeholders across the country. (v) Rolling out CMP awareness campaign. (vi) Raising the profile and the knowledge of EAC matters in the country. (vii) We also undertook a detailed audit of the national laws and their compliance to the common market and made recommendations for amendments of national laws to align them to the CMP. (viii) We conducted the second customer satisfaction survey, ISO certification process is also in progress. (ix) We also undertook activities geared towards elimination of non-tariff barriers through consultative meetings between MTBs steering committee and the Office of the Prime Minister and the roadblocks were reduced by 75 per cent along the northern corridor. (x) We also initiated baseline survey for regional integration centres and monitored and evaluated visits carried out along the border posts.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the total allocation for the Ministry requested from the Exchequer for both Recurrent and Development votes during the Financial Year 2010/2011 is Kshs977,679,595 and Kshs204,000,400, respectively, making a total of Kshs1,182,597,595. Of the Development Vote, Kshs140 million was to come from the GoK while Kshs64,400,000 was to come from donors. However, the total Exchequer allocation for the Financial Year 2010/2011 for the Recurrent Vote is Kshs898,436,800 and Kshs129,400,000 for Development Vote, making a total of Kshs1,027,836,800. Of the Development Vote, Kshs64,500,000 will come from our development partners while Kshs65,400,000 will come from the Exchequer. From these figures, the Ministryâs allocation falls short of our request by close to Kshs154,242,795.
Resources requested and allocated to the Ministry from the Exchequer and from donors from the year 2010/2011 will enable the Ministry to meet her Recurrent Expenditure requirements such as salary of staff, statutory obligations, maintenance and operations. Specific recurrent activities entail:- (i) Strengthening the expanded mandate of the central planning project, monitoring and evaluation unit, to undertake research, monitoring and evaluation activities. (ii) Strengthening of the directorate of information, education and communications. (iii)Participation in the negotiations of the EAC monetary union and the political federation. (iv) Participation in the EAC negotiations and cross-cutting issues such as the EAC-EU EPA, ESA-EU WTO bilateral issues and COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite negotiations. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the Development Vote, the Ministry will undertake the following activities:- (i) Establish and operationalize regional integration centres at Namanga and Busia. (ii) Strengthening national publicity and advocacy for EAC integration. (iii)Establishment of monitoring and evaluation services. (iv) Strengthening of the research, reference and documentation centre at the Ministry. (v) Undertake research on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice, commonly known as KAP on the common market. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conclusion, the EAC brings enormous benefits to the people of this country through the various community programmes and projects. My Ministry has the central role in the co-ordination of various Government departments to bring about those benefits. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to highlight some examples of programmes and projects. Firstly, since the introduction of Customs Union which was established in 2005, Kenyaâs exports to the EAC increased from Kshs64 billion in 2004 to Kshs90 billion in 2009, accounting for 26 per cent of the total Kenyaâs export. The common market which became effective on 1st July, 2010 will deepen the benefits related to free movement of people, capital labour on services and will protect the right of residents and establishment. Professionals, business people and workers will access opportunities across borders without any form of discrimination. Secondly, Kenya is a major beneficiary of regional road projects such as the Kenya Component of the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River Road, whose construction is on-going at a cost of US$156 million. The road is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) and is expected to be completed this year. The Arusha-Holili-Voi Road, whose feasibility study and design work are ongoing, will cost US$5.5 million, and is also funded by the African Development Bank. Other road projects include the Malindi-Lunga Lunga Road, the Tanga-Bagamoyo Road and the one stop border post along the border points at Malaba, Busia, Isebania, Namanga, Taveta and Lunga Lunga, with the construction work at Namanga expected to begin by the end of this year at a cost of US$11.5 million. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thirdly, Kenya is a beneficiary of the Lake Victoria Basin Project, which cover the management of shared water resources and fisheries, population prevention and control, watershed management and project co- ordination, all at a total cost of US$115 million. Fourthly, the cost of energy is a major impediment to the business community. In this regard, through the EAC, the Mombasa-Songo Songo gas pipeline is undergoing engineering design to enable Kenya tap on the cheap natural gas available in Tanzania. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are equally working together with the Ministries of Education and Health in the areas of harmonization of education curriculum in order to ensure mutual recognition of education standards and certificates as well as co-operation on health matters. These projects have been made possible mainly because of the EAC integration process. The net beneficiaries of these projects are actually our own people, the Kenyans. The Ministryâs budget for the Financial Year 2010/11will enable the Ministry to achieve planned activities outlined above. It will enable the Ministries remit Kenyaâs contribution to the EAC secretariat. It will help strengthen and build the hitherto weak institutional and technical capacity, as well as having an effective sensitization programme and monitoring and evaluation required for better implementation of the integration process agenda. In doing all this, Kenya will spread the scope of the EAC benefits to our people. With those few short statements, I beg to move and ask Mr. Kajwangâ to second the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to second the Motion. First and foremost, I want to thank the Minister for East African Community for allowing me to second this Motion; there are few cross-cutting issues that we deal with in the East African Community, especially movement of persons and general movement. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some two very momentous events have happened in this country in a space of one month. On 1st July, this year there was the commencement of the common market protocol that has brought back what we remember as the Eas African Community. I can confess that when I was in Form Six in 1977 the General Paper examination asked us to predict whether the East African Community would survive or die. I predicted that it would die and I passed with flying colours. We are happy to now celebrate the re-birth of that common market. We hope that it will build on the treaty for establishment of the East African Community, which we started in 2000. On top of that, we have built a new foundation with the new Constitution that was ratified at the referendum by an overwhelming majority of the Kenyan people. With these two momentous events I think our country can now just look forward to reaching the goals that we have set for ourselves in 2030. On the restrictions on movements of persons that were there immediately after 1st of July, we published a regulation that would allow East Africans to cross into our sister countries, obtain work and practise their skills without a requirement for payment for work permits. I think I may use this podium to invite our brothers and sisters in the East African Community countries to come to Kenya, do business and also practise their professions without any restrictions. Our officers can now ask them to apply for work permits, but will not charge them any fee. Of course, that is merely technical because we want to know who is where. Let me just say that, because time is running out, you cannot talk of East Africa without talking of Lake Victoria. If you use Lake Victoria effectively in matters of transport you will cut down your transport costs tremendously and reach many countries cheaply. I know that countries that have developed their transport services have sometimes gained more money from them than from manufacturing. Kenya is strategically placed to develop its ports, both inland and those of Mombasa and Lamu. We have a tremendous opportunity to benefit from a proper railway system, use our waterways, increase our power generation capacities, build hotels in Kisumu City and develop the inland port. I am grateful that the airport is now being improved. We are happy that in consultation with the Ministry of East African Community, we are establishing one-stop border posts where we will clear people quickly; people will not have to go to the Kenyan side and then move to the Tanzanian side to be asked the same questions they were asked on this side. We will be sharing data, and consequently the movement across borders will be faster. We hope that our police will co-operate, so that they will not have to stop people too many times between Mombasa and Malaba. I know that in Uganda there is only one police stop post at Busia. After that, you move to Kampala without any other stop. But in Kenya you stop after every other 50 kilometres. It is not security, it is rent seeking posts. I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister and his team. I would like to say that this Ministry of East African Community is not a product of the coalition arrangement, which is in place right now. It is a Ministry that has been there for quite some time. It is a Ministry that is even envisaged under the new constitutional dispensation. Having seen the rebirth, re-energisation and invigoration of the East African Community, we are duty bound, as a nation, to benefit from the enormous economic opportunities within the East African Community. The work of the Ministry of East African Community is not only economic diplomacy and regional integration--- In this era economic diplomacy remains an integral and the most important aspect of any region, or any economy for that matter. We have security diplomacy, parliamentary diplomacy, peace diplomacy and cultural diplomacy. What made the former East African Community to disintegrate was not lack of economic interest. It was because of political squabbles. The existing political ideologies at that particular time, and specifically since those things do not exist now--- We do not have the Berlin Wall in existence; we do not have the old two conflicting ideological problems--- Kenya, because of being a very important regional, humanitarian and infrastructural hub, if we do not optimize this opportunity for economic gains we will not only have failed this generation, but will also have permanently let down the people of the Republic of Kenya.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the formative stage of the Coalition arrangement, the Ministry was floating. But I am glad to report that the young Minister, his Assistant Minister and their able Permanent Secretary have put their foot down. They have created a need for themselves, so that they are not considered as a floating department. That image is long gone. We want you to put your foot down and address the emerging issues. One of the things that I would like to say is that our East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members are not getting the treatment that befits Members of Parliament.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was in the Eighth Parliament. One of the first things that we did under the able hand of hon. Oloo Aringo was to delink ourselves from being one of the departments of the Office of the President. Under the current Constitution, there is a clear separation of institutions roles. We have the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. But at that time, it dawned on some of the key political players that Parliament had to be a department within the Office of the President. We cannot afford to go back to that era where we lump the Members of the East African Community as part of a department within the East African Community. I appreciate that this is not the making of the Minister. It was an arrangement that was put in place just to facilitate the Members at that particular time. But right now, we are encouraging enhancement of the rule of law. It is the high time that even the Minister himself wrote to Parliament and insisted that he can no longer handle that docket of the EALA Members of Parliament because there is conflict. I think they are there, as part of the Executive. These Members are supposed to represent the interest of Kenyans. To that extent, there is conflict. That issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the remuneration package for our Members is not adequate. We brag that we are an economic giant. I would not use the word âsleeping economic giantâ. Within the East African context we are an economic giant. How come our EALA Members are not treated the way other Members from the East African Region States are treated? What are we telling the other regional members? If anything, we are supposed to lead by example. This is because we have something to gain economically, educationally, culturally and in every aspect. This country is home to a number of international organizations. We have the United Nations and HABITAT here. This country must lead by example. The leadership of the Ministry of East African Community must lead by example. I want to ask: How many of our Parliamentarians here are familiar with the tenets of the East African Accord? I am glad that we have a very able lawyer, who is at the helm of the Ministry. You need to cultivate the goodwill of the legislative arm of the Republic of Kenya, so that they can also be their own ambassador.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Parliament can no longer be taken for granted. This Parliament has to play the pivotal role it is required to play. The issues of regional integration do not supersede the national issues. There are very serious security issues. I want to revisit the issues of Migingo, Nandapal and Mandera. Under the auspices of the East African Community we must secure the national interest of the people of Kenya. When we are secured, economic integration would be part and parcel of that security. There are a number of things the Ministry has done over the years. These include the operationalistion of the Ministryâs mandate, vision and mission, the strengthening of the publicity of the integration process, establishment of monitoring and evaluation services and strengthening of research capacity. But there are challenges that the Ministry needs to address as a matter of urgency.
As I speak right now, on 1st July, in paper, there is supposed to be some sort of flow of economic activities and other services. But there is still serious tariff barrier which needs to be addressed. We need to establish a number of integration centres, as the Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons has rightly pointed, at particular entry points, so that the East Africans can move freely. What we are looking for is economic integration and maybe eventually political integration. This needs to be cultivated at this formative stage.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is the challenge of the Ministryâs communication strategy. How many of us other than the public announcement by His Excellency the President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, knew that 1st July was an important day in the calendar of the East African Community? We should have used both electronic and print media to inform about that particular aspect, so that it becomes a national event. It was only the elites who knew about this issue. This can be avoided in future.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is the issue of co-ordination of activities at the border post. There is the issue of lack of central depository information centre to link all the communication process. On the face of it, we have the East African Community. The issue of work permits has also been done away with, but burearatic regime has still remained in place. This issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency so that an East African such as Tanzanian, Rwandese, Burundian and Ugandans can have easy access to information and get necessary services. This is something that we can lead by example because countries are also competing for economic opportunity. There is also the issue of research on knowledge and attitudes of integration. When hon. Kajwang was doing his General Paper in 1976, he predicted that the East African Community was going to fail basing his prediction on prevailing political situation. Today, we want to predict that the East African Community is here to stay for now and in future. To that end, if somebody was to do a General Paper in KCSE, the prediction would be we need economic integration more than what we needed at that particular. The dynamics at the diplomatic, political, economic and global level have changed. Therefore, we cannot remain aloof and say the world will do this and that. We must show the world how some of these things are done and benefit from the great economic opportunity that is available in the region.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also need for the Ministry to conduct an intensive advocacy programme of integration. I want to be appreciated as an East African if I visit Tanzania. I want to be appreciated as an East African if I visit Rwanda. This cannot come on a silver platter. We must invest in the advocacy programme. The only way the East African at every corner of the region can appreciate is through information. This information must come from the Ministry of East African Community. I want to say again that this Ministry is not about to disappear. It will be there even under the new constitutional dispensation. Therefore, hon. Kingi and his colleagues have no reason to worry because I am sure they will be there. At least, the Ministry will be there even if he will not be there as a Minister because that might change. This issue must be cemented.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, we, as a country, opted to have EALA representatives. The EALA representatives are not just idle talkers in the East African Community. They are legislative arm, first of all, of the East African Community and also legislative representative of the people of Kenya. I want to plead at this juncture that this issue be seriously addressed. They met His Excellency the President, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Ministers, my Committee, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet. The issue they addressed was just one and it has been addressed by other countries. Is it fair that we subject a group of great women and men to something that is totally different to their colleagues in the East African Community? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency. I appeal to His Excellency the President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, from the Floor of this House, to implement the commitments they made to our East African Parliamentarians. That is the only way we will remain honourable. What they are asking for is not something that we can avoid. There is need for the Ministry to harmonise its travel expenses. We appreciate that there are a lot of activities within the East African Community, but that does not mean that the Ministry should devote a huge chunk of its budgetary allocation to travel expenses. That should be addressed. In conclusion, there are emerging East African organizations like Lake Victoria Basin Commission. That will provide many jobs and investment opportunities to Kenyans. We have the East African Assembly in Arusha and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission in this region. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of East African Community should come up with some funds so that we promote education. I am glad that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already put something in place. There are countries that get 70 per cent of their foreign exchange from their labour force both within and outside. The countries that have been in conflict and disadvantaged over the years need to benefit from the educational development of Kenya. In the process that will enhance the integration of East African countries. On my own behalf and that of the Members of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, I support this Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek your guidance. Aware that the business of this House is decided by the House Business Committee (HBC); and aware that when it comes to prioritization of the Votes the Liaison Committee makes recommendations to the HBC; and going by the fact that today we are just about to conclude the Votes that fall under the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, what we have in the Order Paper are two Votes, that is, Vote 04 and Vote 24. These two Votes, out of the Votes that fall under this Departmental Committee form about---
Hon. Ogindo, you are on a point of order and you need to be brief enough. What is it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Votes we are considering amount to about 0.92 per cent of the total Budget. Under this Committee, we have a total of 6.7 per cent of the Budget. The guidance I want from the Chair is this---
What is not in order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rose on a point of order to seek your guidance. The guidance I want from the Chair is this: When debating these Votes, we have taken the least votes leaving out the major Votes. Aware that it is the responsibility of this House to exercise oversight role over the Budget, what is your guidance in view of the fact that the trend emerging now is that we will leave out the bigger votes and deal with the smaller votes? In the eyes of the public we shall not be seen to have really scrutinized the Budget as we should. I seek your guidance in this matter. Is there a way by which we can seek the indulgence of the House so that a few of the big votes can be scrutinized without being taken through Guillotine?
Mr. Ogindo, you know that there is the HBC and all the Motions and other House business originate from there. Today, we have two Motions to deal with. I do not see anything out of order. We will proceed. There will be other business tomorrow. Actually, these matters are addressed by the HBC. What we have here is in order and we will proceed.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Ogindo! I have already ruled on that. Proceed Mr. Minister!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion of this Ministry that is closely related to the Ministry that I head and we work very closely together. In the pursuit of bringing wider, deeper and beneficial co-operation in the region, the Ministry of East African Community is very important and critical having taken a conscious decision as a Government and the people of East Africa to fast-track this integration. Like my Ministry, I believe that the allocated funds are inadequate. Of course we appreciate that the envelope from which it is drawn is limited. However, this Ministry should be empowered to join hands with other East African Ministries to spearhead the issue of popularizing and sensitizing East Africans about the benefits of integration. The Heads of State of East Africa took a conscious decision for each and every member country of the five countries as a mandatory policy to have a Ministry of East Africa Community. This mandatory decision should be translated into beneficial effect to the people of East Africa. There is nothing that is exciting in this region than the process of integration that we are seeing unfolding; that is the signing and the coming into effect of the Common Market Protocol. I know that Kenyans in certain quarters have been uncomfortable with certain issues, but integration has a cost and benefits. I urge Kenyans to understand that some will benefit while others will lose. However, the overall picture is that the cost and benefit analysis on integration is a win-win situation. With the large market of East Africa bringing together 126 million people, this Ministry will be one of the anchor Ministries in driving the process of prosperity in this region. We want to see a situation where all sectoral councils and committees of the East African Community, for example, foreign affairs; defence; struggles against crime and infrastructure to bring harmony in the process of integrating East Africa. I urge hon. Kingi and his colleagues to start talking to our Minister for Education. If we are truly integrating, why are we on 8-4-4 System and yet the other countries are on the Form VI System? We need this harmony! We either convince them to take the 8-4-4 route or we find harmony so that children who go to school in Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya go through the same process. This is because if we are going to eventually have a political integration as we are trying to have a federated East Africa, then we need those uniformity shared values and interests so that the countries can move forward. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to urge my colleague to spend and pay a lot of attention to the Nile issues because the domicile of the Nile issues for the region is in East Africa. We have the Lake Victoria Basin Commission where the Nile waters are drawn from in very large quantities through the White Nile. We have had problems with our very close friends like Egypt and Sudan, complaining about the Nile Treaty that we have seen. I want to urge the Ministry of East African Community to take the lead in helping the East Africans understand what this is about the Nile Treaty, the old treaty that we have been talking about. It is a treaty that was so onerous and obscene in content that it said in so many words that the Nile waters would be shared as follows: 85 per cent to Egypt, 10 per cent to Sudan and 5 per cent to evaporation without caring that there is Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and other countries that pour water into the Nile. I would want to see the Ministry of East African Community taking the lead to tell the people of East Africa that this is what is all about the new Nile Treaty that we are talking about, so that people can understand and appreciate. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also want to see in Arusha shared opportunity and resources. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since my time is up, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will start by congratulating the Minister. As the House is aware, this is our youngest Minister in this Cabinet and he has been able to succeed where many had failed, by the realization of this East African Common Market ratification. Therefore, I want to congratulate him, his Assistant Minister and his officers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of the integration of the East African Community, I would like the Minister to be aware that the success of the integration of the East African Community is being looked upon in the whole of African region as a model. The success of this will be eventually what would lead to the African region as a union integrating. Therefore, the onus is on this Ministry together with our partners in the East African Community not to let down this region. If anything, I believe we can be a lead in this region. There has been a lot of negativity spoken about the partnership in this country. I believe that there is a bit of work that needs to be done is creating awareness on the positive aspects that we can gain as Kenyans as well as Ugandans and Tanzanians, so that there is no fear or mistrust amongst ourselves. But I just want to congratulate this Minister and say that this Ministry is really a key Ministry because of the integration and the new Constitution that has just been passed by Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
It is now time for the Minister to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. May I take this opportunity to thank those hon. Members who have supported this Vote. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are very pertinent issues which have been raised concerning the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Kenyan Chapter Members and how their salaries and allowances are totally in variance with the rest in region. This is an issue which I did inherit when I moved into that Ministry. I moved with a lot of speed hoping that I was going to have a solution to it in a very short period, but I was proved wrong. It has taken this far and we are yet to find a good solution to this problem. We made sure that we have taken it to the highest level. We, indeed, did seek an audience with the President and were advised to move by way of a Cabinet memorandum which we did. That memorandum was supposed to be co-sponsored by my Ministry and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance and on our part, we moved very swiftly. When we forwarded it to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance, it took quite some while there and it was returned unsigned. Therefore, we had to take it to the Cabinet Office with only my signature. So, at the moment, the matter is before the Cabinet and whatever it will pronounce of this issue of EALA Members, then that is what this Ministry will communicate to the Kenyan Chapter. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that many Kenyans are not very much aware of the opportunities and benefits of the integration process. This has been a major challenge. With the budgetary constraints, we have not been able to cover much ground as we had actually wanted. But in the first part of this year, we tried to roll out a campaign programme and move across the country. We have done about 30 workshops and selected stakeholders, but certainly, that is a drop in the ocean. I believe that with the budget for this year we should be able to actually go big on the awareness campaign, pursuant to our Ministryâs communication strategy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, on how Members of this House have limited knowledge of the East African Community (EAC) issues and, therefore, are unable to lend support to the Ministry, we have proposed this financial year to hold a workshop for the entire House, so that we can take them through the entire process of integration. This way they can know where they can partner with us to make sure that as many Kenyans as possible get to know what EAC is all about and the benefits that accrue from the process and how they can position themselves to reap the most out of this journey. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of harmonizing education standards, this is already being worked on through the Sectoral Council of Ministers in charge of education. Likewise, on the issue of health standards, as you are aware, most decisions are made from sector to sector basis. For example, issues of education within the region will be handled by the Sectoral Council of Ministers in charge of education. Likewise, issues of agriculture will be handled by the sectoral Council of Ministers in charge of agriculture. So, we have mandated those sectoral councils to actually sit down together and make sure that they harmonize the respective sectors to come up with a regional policy on all these areas of integration. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Shabesh raised an issue that there is a lot of suspicion still on the process and that many people think that there are not really ready to embrace the integration process. To address this, we have constituted a team of experts with the mandate to roam the region, listen to the fears and concerns of the East Africans and prepare a report on what these fears and concerns are and give us recommendations on how best we can address them, such that before we hit the final stage, that is, the final pillar of political integration, at least, by that period, we will have addressed most of these fears and concerns. We believe that at that particular level, East Africans will be able to embrace a political federation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank all the hon. Members who have risen to support this Motion. Thank you.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, a sum not exceeding Kshs3,765,134,930 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011 in respect of:-
Vote 04 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
VOTE R04 â RECURRENT EXPENDITURE
SUB-VOTE 040 â GENERAL ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING
Hon. Members, we will now move to Development Expenditure, Vote D04.
SUB-VOTE 040 â GENERAL ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING
SUB-VOTE 041 â DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION
Vote 24 â Ministry of East African Community
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, a sum not exceeding Kshs513,493,400 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011 in respect of:-
Vote 24 â Ministry of East African Community
VOTE R24 â RECURRENT EXPENDITURE
SUB-VOTE 240 â GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
SUB-VOTE 241 â REGIONAL CO-OPERATION
VOTE D24 â DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE
SUB-VOTE 240 â GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am directed to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs3,765,134,930 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011 in respect of Vote 04 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and approved the same without amendments.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you came in we were laughing because your Clerks-at-the-Table were behaving like two characters in a book called âThe Government Inspector,â all trying to do the same thing at the same time and doing it badly. However, I wish to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Mr. Kingi) seconded.
VOTE 24 â MINISTRY OF EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am directed to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs513,493,400 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2011 in respect of Vote 24 - Ministry of East African Community and approved the same without amendments.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to move that the House doth agreed with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Mr. Wetangula) seconded.
Hon. Members, since we have exhausted the business on the Order Paper for today, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 12th August, 2010, at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 6.10 p.m.