Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, noting with big concern the sharp rise in inflation and the cost of living that is devastating the livelihoods of millions of Kenyans and posing a threat to national stability; realizing that this challenge indeed is broad and cuts across a multiplicity of sectors and, therefore, requires multiple remedial measures; appreciating the stated willingness of the Government to consider proposals for lasting solutions to this challenge; cognizance of the urgency to have a solution to these economic challenges; this House resolves to establish a select committee to be known as the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Cost of Living to inquire into the factors fuelling the sharp rise in inflation and the cost of living in the country and table in Parliament within 30 days a comprehensive report with substantive recommendations on both immediate and long term remedial measures. The said Committee will comprise the following:-
Hon. A. Namwamba, MP Hon. M. Karua, MP
Hon. E. Mbau, MP
Hon. R. Shebesh, MP
Hon. S. Abdallah, MP
Hon. C. Kilonzo, MP
Hon. J. Mbadi, MP
Hon. Dr. S. Eseli, MP
Hon. Dr. Laboso, MP
Hon. ole Lankas, MP
Hon. M. Gabbow, MP
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a party Motion.
asked the Minister for Immigration and Registration of Persons:- (a) whether he could inform the House how many foreigners (and of what nationalities) have been issued with work permits to work in Kenya in the last four years; (b) whether he could also state who their employers are and what work they are permitted to do in the country; and, (c) what the professions and/or qualifications of the foreigners issued with the work permits are and whether there are Kenyans with similar qualifications.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
There are a total of 26,077 work permits that have been issued to foreign applicants in the last four years. As at 31st December, 2010 only 14,826 work permits were active, 11,251 of them had either expired or had been cancelled for various reasons. The nationalities are as follows:-
In 2007, for Indians there were 2,074, in 2008 it was 2,008, in 2009 it was 3,235, in 2010 it was 3,264 giving a total of 10,581. Those from China, in 2005 there were 450, in 2008 there were 1,103, in 2009 there were 783 and in 2010 there were 1,158 giving a total 3,494. For Americans, in 2007 there were 222, in 2008 there were 275, in 2009 there were 345 and in 2010 there were 751 giving a total of 1,593. For British, in 2007 there were 551, in 2008 there were 662, in 2009 there were 736 and in 2010 there were 751 giving a total of 2,700.
Then there are some minor applicants like South Africans who were 108 in 2007, 137 in 2008, 132 in 2009 and 10 in 2010 giving a total of 387. For Pakistanis, there were 42 in 2007, 39 in 2008, 64 in 2009 and 85 in 2010 giving a total of 230. For Ugandans, there were 97 in 2007, 94 in 2008, 134 in 2009 and 108 in 2010 giving a total of 434 in that period. For Tanzanians, in 2007 there were 61, in 2008 there were 67, in 2009 there were 71 and in 2010 we had 64, making a total of 263. The others are 1,712 in 2007, 1,404 in 2008, 1,842 in 2009 and 1,438 in 2010, making a total of 6,396. The total of all these applicants comes to 26,074. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the list is annexed as an appendix. I want to table volumes I to III as appendices for the scrutiny of Members of Parliament.
The next question is about their professions. The professions are also summarized in the document. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to further clarify that the Ministry issues work permits as guided by the Immigrations Act, Cap.172, the Investment Promotion Act and
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Minister for the information he has given. I apologize for not being here the last time he was here; I was late. Now that I am here today, I would like to ask him questions. As far as I am concerned the issuance of work permits in this country is guided by the fact the he is not supposed to give them when local skills are available. The reason I asked this question is, when you drive along Thika Road you see Chinese operating earthmovers. At times you wonder what is happening because we have the National Youth Service Training Schools in this country and they churn out young men and women. Why can we not have young people who have been trained using taxpayersâ money doing the kind of job the Chinese are doing on Thika Road?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me give various classes of investors. When recently we were building a new hotel in Parklands area, there was an application from the investor to be allowed to bring in some expatriates to help with some specialized jobs. I asked myself, what could be these specialized jobs that a foreigner would be required to do on a hotel building? When I enquired, I found out that sometimes when you are buying equipment, whether cooling equipment in the kitchen, or air conditioning or many other little things that are bought, you agree with the supplier that he will fix them and commission them. If they do not work, you do not pay him.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Minister in order to say that an earthmover is special equipment?
I am coming to that. I was just giving an example. In most cases they ask for a period of between 30 and 90 days, or sometimes fewer days, to bring in the people who come, install the equipment and go back. They may also ask for one or two people to train the Kenyan people to do the job. On the earthmovers that the hon. Member has referred to, each contractor, before they even sign the contract agreement, agree with the client Ministry, which in this case is the Ministry of Roads, on what kind of technical people they will require to be able to do the job. Before the agreement is signed there is an appendix to that agreement saying they might need one engineer and one earthmover operator. They ask for them and it is up to the client Ministry to ask these questions. In fact, if you ask me because now I receive most of these applications, there are very few Kenyans who can move those
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard the story of the Minister. He is the one who issues permits, and he has said that it is Government policy not to issue permits for jobs that Kenyans can do. If you go around all the big supermarkets in this Republic of Kenya, you will find Asian young men commonly referred to as ârocketsâ working there. They are doing normal jobs like attending to a till, yet this Minister has issued them with permits.
Order! You have to dignify the House! You say, âThe Ministerâ not âThis Ministerâ.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Minister.
No! No! No!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is âthe Ministerâ. Is it in order for the Minister to tell the House that it is Government policy, yet the Ministry is issuing permits for small jobs? Secondly, is there a situation where foreigners are working in this Republic without work permits? Are there jobs that do not require work permits for foreigners?
Of course if there are any ârocketsâ anywhere then we will need some information from my friend, and we will deal with the matter. I think the ârocketsâ should fly out of the country. I do not know of a situation, other than where we have entered into agreement with our neighbouring countries under the East African Community (EAC), that anybody would be allowed to do any work here if he or she is a foreigner without a work permit. If there is any, he or she is doing so illegally. In fact, I think we have only entered into one bilateral agreement with Rwanda that any Rwandese who comes into this country and gets any job they can do it. The Rwandese have also said that any Kenyan who goes to Rwanda and gets any job, they can do it. That is really broad. With the other members of EAC, we have kind of agreed on the category of job skills that can be allowed to do work here. We still, of course, issue work permits. The only variation is that we now do not charge the applicants a fee. We, of course, need to know who they are and what they are doing.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have heard about ârocketsâ working in our supermarkets. Are there rackets going on in his Ministry with regard to the issuance of permits to foreigners through dubious means? Secondly, the Ministry has issued 26,000 work permits to foreigners. Is the Minister aware that there are more than 26,000 Kenyan degree holders who can speak English, Swahili and even vernacular languages but have no jobs? Why did the Ministry issue 26,000 work permits to foreigners when there are thousands of Kenyans who need those jobs? Specifically, if I go through the Ministerâs answer, he has issued 10,581 work permits to Indians. Why is the number so
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, and with a light touch, I thought I had a case against the hon. Member of Parliament---
Order! Order, hon. Kajwang!
But he said that with a light touch!
Order! Mr. Minister, you will apologise and withdraw that remark!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said âwith a light touchâ but I withdraw.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, of course, I am not aware of any racket and if there is any, I should know. There is a committee that deals with these issues and the membership comprises of immigration officers, members from the Investment Promotion Centre, officers from the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), people from Kenyanization and people from the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU). So, it is a very inclusive committee that looks into these applications and it decides on merit. We really do not interfere because that is their job which they should know. However, why more Indians? You will probably realise that, historically, Indians have been some of the largest small-scale investors in this country. They invest in various things, including the steel industry and supermarkets. The Indians are followed by the Chinese, who have in recent--- We are happy that they are able to come and invest in this country. We are also happy that they have confidence in this country and can employ thousands of our youths. Although we may allow them three or four to look after their interests, as I said earlier on, they employ thousands more. It is in our interest that they come and invest in this country. So, look at it both ways. Look at it that this person is bringing employment to our youth, maybe a thousand of them and they are asking for three or four positions to protect their technical, financial and managerial interests. So, if you sit where I sit and you want to help Kenya grow, you would like to make the investor comfortable so that they bring in more money and more investments for our youths who are unemployed. If you insist, as I think the politician would insist that âif you are coming to invest in Kenya, we will give you the accountant, the technical person and all thatâ, then they say: âWell, in that case I am not investing; I am going to Uganda or Tanzania,â you will lose out. I think we need to balance these things and that is the job of that committee; to balance the national interest against, of course, the interest of our citizens in order to make sure that they are not thrown out of jobs which they, themselves, should occupy. You will also see---
Order, Mr. Minister! It is not an opportunity for you to make a very long speech. This is Question Time! Yes, Mr. Imanyara!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, 26,000 is a very large number, indeed, of foreigners working in this country. I am aware that the Immigration Act which falls under the Ministerâs docket allows him to attach conditions to the work permits. Could the Minister tell this House whether, indeed, he requires any of these entities that have brought in 26,000 people also to accept Kenyans to train in those countries so that we have an equal number of Kenyans training in India, China, America, Britain, South Africa so as to equalize so that in the long-term, we are able to get value in terms of skill transfer to this country? He can attach these conditions under the Immigration Act.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, 26,000 is a large number but I started by saying that those are in four years. I also started by saying that by December, 2010, there were only 14 that were working because others had already expired. However, there are many areas that our people are getting skills elsewhere, like in hotel chains. There was a time I was very upset with certain international hotels in this country and I wanted them to show us why Kenyans cannot run those hotels. They said: âNo, there are also Kenyans in South Africa and Malaysia we have taken there to train. So, we rotate them so that they get the skills that are necessary. There is an exchange programme and this happens in many industriesâ. I think this committee looks at all those parameters. Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am not happy with the answer given by the Minister specifically on the issue of the over 10,000 Indians who cannot speak English and Kiswahili. I, therefore, request through the Chair that this Question be referred to the relevant Departmental Committee for further investigation.
That is for your ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but I do not think that, that is the way to send issues to the Departmental Committees. These Committees are free to summon me any time and ask me the necessary questions. You do not need to know English to run a business!
Otherwise there will be no industry or business in the whole world except in areas where people speak English. So, that is neither here nor there! Thank you very much.
Last question on the same, Mr. James Maina Kamau! Indeed, as the hon. Minister has said, the Chair does not have to give direction to a Committee. The relevant Departmental Committees can undertake this kind of scrutiny without necessarily having to be directed to do so.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the hon. Member who thinks that this issue should be referred to the relevant Departmental Committee because it is very sensitive and the Minister seems to be taking it very lightly. I do not want to be quoted but I know that in his Ministry there are officials who have been surviving on selling these permits. If you go to a place called âDiamond Plazaâ in Westlands, you will find that there are very many shops---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Minister! Let the hon. Member finish---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Minister?
My point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is very simple. There is a very serious allegation that has been made in this House that some people are surviving on selling work permits and, of course, this is going out to the whole world as we speak. You cannot just come here and claim such a thing unless you can substantiate it!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very difficult to substantiate the obvious. Everybody knows what goes on in that Ministry. I would like the Minister to give an undertaking that Diamond Plaza in Westlands---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Minister! Allow the hon. Member to make his point! Proceed, the hon. Member!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister to give an undertaking to go to Diamond Plaza in Westlands where he will find very many shops that are run by Indians and there is not even a single African running those businesses. Why can he not do that?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member has made a very serious allegation â and the proceedings of this House are being followed, not just locally but internationally â that there are officials in hon. Kajwangâs Ministry who make a living by selling these work permits illegally. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is only fair that the hon. Member substantiates these allegations or he withdraws and apologises.
Mr. James Maina Kamau, you have made a very categorical and sweeping statement or claims in this case. Are you in a position to substantiate that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I withdraw but I know what goes on in the Ministry. I would also like the Assistant Minister to give an undertaking on this. That is because he knows what I am talking about. He should go to Diamond Plaza in Westlands. He will find that there are over 26,000 shops that are being run by Indians. How do you bring Indians here when we have local people; even your own brothers and sisters have no jobs?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think we should take this House seriously. We must account for everything that we say. The fact that there are Indians in Diamond Plaza, Westlands, does not mean that those who are occupying the offices of the Department of Immigration are selling work permits. Would I be in order to ask the hon. Member to substantiate the allegation?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have withdrawn!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The Assistant Minister is on a point of order!
Wait a second! Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, would I be in order to ask him to name the people who are selling the work permits?
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! In line with our Standing Orders, when an hon. Member makes a statement, it is upon that hon. Member--- In some cases, the Chair requires that you instantaneously substantiate or withdraw. I thought that the hon. Member withdrew. In any case, hon. Member, you are talking about matters that are criminal in nature. If you, indeed, know that there are people in Diamond Plaza who are doing the business that you are talking about, the only natural thing to do is to report to the right authorities for action to be taken.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to keep on defending foreigners, when we know that a Kenyan cannot work in Bombay? Is he in order to keep on defending fellows from India?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think we should not be emotional when we see foreigners working or investing in this country. There are many Kenyans who have invested in America, Britain, China and South Africa. They are doing very well. We have high storey buildings in South Africa made by Kenyans. We have Kenyans working in Botswana and earning very good money. They are very good professionals. So, you should not just talk carelessly. I am not protecting anybody. But I am saying that if somebody has invested in this country and the investment has been passed as substantial and within out limit--- Even shops are investments. If you have a shop in Britain or Dubai, they will let you run it.
Let us move on to Question No.783. Mr. Kiuna, I thought you had been delegated by Mr. Waibara to ask this Question on his behalf. Is that right? That is my understanding.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
, on behalf of
, asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) to state the annual revenue collection of the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company and how much, out of this, the Corporation budgeted to spend as corporate social responsibility towards the development of infrastructure in Gatundu North, particularly the maintenance of the GatukuyuâNgâethu Road, considering that the water used in Nairobi is treated at Ngâethu Water Works; (b) why the excess water from Ngâethu Water Treatment Works was diverted back to Chania River while neighbouring households lack water and what plans are in place to ensure that the situation is reversed; and,
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also learnt that he had been delegated to ask the Question because Mr. Waibara is in court this morning. That is what I have been told. However, I beg to reply. (a) The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company annual revenue from water and sewerage services for the year 2009/2010 was Kshs3.5 billion. Under the Water Act of 2002, the company is required to ring-fence the revenue for use in rehabilitating, upgrading and extension of water and sewerage infrastructure. The investment required to ensure good water and sewerage coverage in Nairobi is quite huge and stands at almost nearly Kshs40 billion. This, therefore, means that in order to continually improve on services delivery, my Ministry has to ensure that available revenue is ring-fenced and channeled towards development of water and sewerage infrastructure. (b) The water that is discharged back to Chania River from Ngâethu Water Treatment Works is not excess water. It is water used for backwashing the filters. This is done periodically to maintain the filter media. My Ministry is keen to improve water services in all parts of the country. Gatundu North Constituency and Ngâethu areas are under Karemenu Water Company. In order to ensure improved water supply in Gatundu North, my Ministry has completed rehabilitating Karemenu and Ndarugu Water Supply Project at a cost of Kshs265 million. This has increased water supply to Karemenu Water Project from 6 million litres to 11 million litres per day. (c) My Ministry is striving to ensure that sufficient water is conserved and stored during rainy season for use during the dry season throughout the country. For Gatundu North Constituency, my Ministry has indentified sites for construction of water storage dams along Karemenu River, Ragia River and Ndarugu River. The assessment and suitability of those dam sites is being considered under the ongoing preparation of a water master-plan for Nairobi and satellite areas for development of water sources to serve the area up to the year 2030.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. While I appreciate the answer given by the Minister, I would like to inform her that the water has not benefited the local residents at all. Could the Minister ensure that the local residents benefit from the water just like the Nairobi residents?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, it is true that the water that comes to Nairobi from Ngâethu and, indeed, Sasumua dams, does not benefit the communities in the local area so much. Yesterday, I commissioned another big project in Sasumua. I realized that the people in those areas do not get water. I have made a decision, and, indeed, a policy that in every area that we get water, we must ensure that the communities living around the area get water before it goes to other places. That also applies to Masinga Dam. People in Masinga do not get water even though the people of Kitui and other parts of Machakos drink water from Masinga. In our designs in the past, we have not considered the communities that live around such areas. We have now taken that into account and we will make sure that people living around dams also get water.
Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. There have been many issues concerning water boards and water and sewerage companies due to
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Kshs265 million that we put in Karemenu was to ensure that people get clean water. The works included treatment works and distribution. That was done so that water coming from Ngâethu could benefit the people of Nairobi more. We did the same in Gatundu South where we had to get water from Ndarugu River to supply that area. We made sure that the water is treated before it is given to the people. Therefore, we look at other water sources in an area. That is the same thing we will do for the people of Kinangop where Sasumua Dam is located.
On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Does the Minister need the information?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to take that information.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just wanted to inform the Minister on what she has just said about the communities around the sources of water benefiting. When I was an Assistant Minister for Water in 1998/1999, there was a big problem with the Nol Turesh Water Project because it was designed in a way that the water went up to Machakos and the Maasais and their cattle along the line were not benefiting from it. It was then decided that we should put troughs around these places, so that the people along the line could benefit. I am happy the Minister is saying this and I hope that she will follow it up. This was done many years back, but was not implemented.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank hon. Chanzu for that information. I have also said that this is now part of the policy. It is not right, at all, to have a project designed like the Nol Turesh, where water flows from Kilimanjaro through Masailand up to Machakos. It is the same thing with the Masinga Water Project. The water comes from Masinga, leaves all the people of Masinga and Kitui West up to Kitui Town. What sense is there that people along the way do not get water? Within the designs, there should be a way of ensuring that people along the line get water. This will be done. We have also had challenges in the Ministry in implementing the Water Act of 2002 and putting these companies in place. We have had challenges in training people and building capacity. People need to understand what they need to do.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Minister for the bold steps she has taken in distributing water in Kitui and so many other places. Does she have any plans for the rest of the country, especially with regard to water distribution? It is so sad that districts or constituencies that are close to big rivers and fresh water lakes cannot reach that water. I would like to ask the Minister if she has any plans for us to access and understand when our turn will be to get water within reach for our people.
Did you ask about any specific place? The Minister herself has said that, that is the policy.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am asking the Minister if she has any national plans for the rest of the country.
Madam Minister, do you want to answer that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know which one I am answering because there are also others being asked here!
Order! Hon. Members on the Front Bench, starting with hon. Kimunya and ending with hon. Kajwang, can you allow the Minister to respond? You are asking questions at the back! Why can you not do it in the Cabinet or in your own offices? Proceed, hon. Minister and answer the question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, we already have a master-plan and I really understand the needs of water in this country, not just in Ndhiwa, Karachuonyo, Nyatike or Mbita, but wherever it is. I really understand the needs of water. What the hon. Member has stated is true because you will find that people around Lake Victoria still cannot get water. Therefore, we have this master-plan to ensure that we will give people clean water. Another thing which I wish to share with the House is that we are also putting in place a design where we should not use treated clean water for watering our gardens, washing cars and flushing toilets. This is within the master-plan and once it is completed, I am sure many Kenyans will be happy with what we are doing. Of course, we need resources to do this.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I appreciate the answer given by the Minister, I would like to remind her that there is another water project from Loitokitok to Nairobi and the residents of Loitokitok have never benefited from it. How many people will benefit from the project from Gatukunyu to Ngâethu and when will they start receiving this water?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, once the project is complete people will benefit.
Which is when?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I need to go back to see how far they have gone with the designs and follow it up. So, I will not be able to answer that one question right now.
Fair enough! Hon. Questioner, in her own time, my assumption is that the Minister will be in a position to give that specific or tentative date.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Hon. Shakeel is not in the House, but the Question concerns the people of Chiga and Kolwa who cut across Kisumu Town East and Kisumu Town West. May I, kindly ask for the Chairâs leave to ask this Question on his behalf?
The practice in this House, hon. Olago, is that you can be delegated by the hon. Questioner if that arrangement can be there between the two of you. But if you have not been delegated by the hon. Questioner and he is not out of Parliament today on any official or parliamentary business, then you cannot ask the
Lankas asked the Minister of State for Special Programmes:- (a) whether she could indicate the number and particulars of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are still in camps and also state their current locations; (b) whether she could also provide details of the IDPs that the Government is planning to resettle in Mau-Narok area of Nakuru District and also provide an inventory and details of the parcels of land the IDPs were occupying prior to the Post Election Violence (PEV); and, (c) what measures she is taking to ensure that resettlement of the IDPs in the said area is fully consultative.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to respond. (a) The number of IDPs who are still in camps is 16,179 households, out of which 8,652 are post-election violence victims and 7,527 are forest evictees. Their particulars and current locations are indicated in the schedule that has been given to the Member. (b) I cannot provide the details of the IDPs that will be resettled in Mau-Narok since the Government has decided that the parcel of land in this area will be used for research purposes. (c) Since there are no IDPs being resettled in that area, the issue of consultation does not arise.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at this Question, you will find that I had asked for the number and particulars of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are still in camps. However, the Minister has given me a table with the names of the locations and not the particulars. So, this answer is not complete. The Minister has not answered my Question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that was an oversight. I have the self- help groups which are 20. They are in the schedule. I wish to table the list so that the hon. Member can have a look at it. However, I would like to have the copy back.
Order! Order! Once you have tabled a document, it is the property of the House.
It is okay, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. There is no problem. I wish to table the schedules which are quite bulky, so that the hon. Member can have a look at them.
This is an Ordinary Question and for the hon. Member to be able to interrogate, at least, a document that size, it is only fair that you give the copies to him in advance.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will table them and then give him copies. They are all here.
Fair enough! Do you wish to interrogate this Question further now or you want to have sufficient time to go through the documents?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is just fair that I get the registers that she has tabled so that I will be able to interrogate further.
Fair enough! Under the circumstances, the Chair will defer this Question to another date. Madam Minister, when would you like the Question to be deferred to? When are you comfortable for this Question to be deferred to?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, next week.
Fair enough! The Question is deferred to Wednesday, next week at the same time. Let us move on to Question No.820 by Mr. Linturi!
Hon. Linturi not here? Is he out of the Chamber this morning on any official parliamentary business? That Question is dropped!
MINISTRYâS SUPPORT TO DR. ROBERT OUKO MEMORIAL COMMUNITY LIBRARY
asked the Minister of State for National Heritage and Culture:- (a) whether he is aware that the family of the late Dr. Robert Ouko has set aside a part of his Koru Farm and issued a title deed in favour of âDr. Robert Ouko Memorial Community Libraryâ; and, (b) what plans the Ministry has to supplement the efforts of the family so as to create a National Heritage Site on the farm to demonstrate appreciation for the services rendered by the late Minister.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the late Dr. Robert Ouko was not just any other Kenyan. He was a Kenyan of international repute and died in the service of this country. There are Kenyans who would wish that the memory of Dr. Robert Ouko vanishes forever. I am worried about the last part of the answer by the Assistant Minister where he states: âHowever, in future, the National Museums of Kenya, a parastatal in my Ministry, if requested, will jointly with the late Dr. Oukoâs family undertake detailed research to identify and locate a suitable heritage site to honour the late Dr. Robert Ouko.â Why is the Ministry not being proactive and leaving the matter in the hands of the family and the community to take the initiative? Why can the Ministry itself not take the initiative to have the site in memory of the late Dr. Robert Ouko?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Member should also appreciate that we have very many Kenyans who have died under the same circumstances. We have not developed a policy that we can try at any given time to ensure that we set a site for any Kenyan who has died under specific circumstances after giving his service to the country. That is why we are requesting the family to request the Ministry so that it can to identify the place. At the same, we have made it very clear that the National Museums of Kenya can carry out the research after the family has put in a request. I do not see much demand on this site from the Ministry. The family should write and request for the same, so that research can be carried out in order to come out with a clear way of doing it, if at all it will be possible to do it, because it will also depend on the financial resources.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are many Kenyans like the late Dr. Robert Ouko who have made significant contribution to the service of this nation in many parts of this great nation of ours. I have in mind the late Dr. Bonaya Godana, the former Member for North Horr. There are many other Kenyan heroes in many parts of our land. Does this Ministry have any plan to have heritage sites for these great Kenyans wherever they come from so that we can honour them for the services that they have rendered to this nation?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry has a national policy in trying to identify specific places. In this regard, because of the financial resources, we have not been able to bring to record--- We have the names of the great Kenyans who died while serving the country, but because of the resources---
Hon. Assistant Minister, the question is: Do you have any plans? The answer should be âyes, we have plans or we do not have plans.â
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a national policy on the same. It is only that we have not had financial resources for the same.
Mr. Olago, ask the last supplementary question on the same.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if and when the family seeks the assistance of the Ministry to have a site in honour of late Dr. Robert Ouko, what would the Ministryâs reaction be? That is if the family was to ask the Ministry to do that now.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think my answer is very clear. The National Museums of Kenya will carry out research. After the research, we will come up with a very concrete answer that we can provide to the family.
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) whether he could provide a status report on the Maungu-Buguta Settlement Scheme; and, (b) what the cause of the delay is and when the Ministry will issue letters/title deeds for the land.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) Planning, demarcation, survey and squatter verification exercise was started in 2009, following a Ministerial directive that the work be repeated and plots allocated to the squatters according to the ground development. This was finalized in June, 2010 and a total of 3,130 plots were realized. The District Settlement Plot Allocation Committee reached a consensus that the plots be allocated to the squatters identified on the ground. The list of the beneficiaries has since been forwarded to the Ministry and the necessary mechanisms have been put in place to facilitate the issuance of the letters of offer. (b) The delay was occasioned by verification of the maps against the plot numbers and provision of the necessary basic infrastructure within the scheme. The exercise has since been completed and letters of allotment will be issued by the end of April, 2011.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for this answer. However, the verification of maps was completed in August last year. The real reason why there has been a delay is that the settlement manager or officer has been absent for the last four months and is not visible in the settlement office. Could he now confirm that the letters will be issued in the next three days because the end of month is only three days to come?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the hon. Member heard me well, I said that we are releasing letters at the end of April which is just three days to come.
The Chair will assume that you are satisfied with the answer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am satisfied as long as I get the letters in three daysâ time.
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, you have a very short period of time to implement your undertakings on the Floor of the House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let him come to my office right now so that we can study the process.
Fair enough. Good answer. Next Question, Mr. Chachu.
asked the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development:-
(a) why the larger Marsabit which now consists of five districts, has not been included in the implementation of the Cash Transfer to Older Persons Programme; and,
(b) when the Ministry will include the region in the programme.
Is the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development here? Deputy Leader of Government Business, Mr. Kimunya!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has just been here. Perhaps, you could give us some time.
Here she appears!
Hon. Minister, could you apologize to the House? You do not transact the business of the House by just standing outside the Chambers. Proceed, Madam Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am sorry that I had to go out to answer a very important phone call.
Proceed, Madam Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The larger Marsabit has not been included in the implementation of the Cash Transfer to Older Persons Programme because of the following reasons:-
1. The Cash Transfer Programme to Older Persons was started as a pilot programme and thus not every area could immediately be included.
2. The Governmentâs allocation provided to the Ministry for implementation of the cash transfer programme to Older Persons in the Financial Year 2010/2011 is Kshs530 million. This money is not sufficient to cover all areas in the country. To improve the situation, the Ministry is in the process of preparing documentation for justification of additional funding. We have already put up our proposal that the Treasury should give us more money. (b) Once additional funds are available, Marsabit will be considered along with other regions. We are also progressively increasing staff capacities as well as embracing more efficient delivery mechanisms in order to cover more parts of the country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I thank the Minister for the response, I am at a loss. As you have clearly heard from her that the five districts of the larger Marsabit have not been included in this programme. However, the larger Marsabit is one of the poorest counties in Kenya. The three constituencies in the larger Marsabit are among the top 10 poorest constituencies in Kenya. North Horr is ranked number three, Laisamis number nine and Saku number five and yet, we have not been included in this programme. I want her to tell this House the criteria used to identify the targeted areas.
Madam Minister, the Chair recollects that the criteria was mentioned one time before when you were answering a similar question.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. But I also want to mention that in the larger Marsabit, Moyale has been covered. The rest of Marsabit has been left out.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Moyale is part of Marsabit County. However, my question is very specific and it is about the larger Marsabit County.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are covering only 44 districts in the whole country because of the amount of money that we have been given from the Treasury. The programme districts were selected depending on their vulnerability. I do agree that North Horr is one of the places which should have been considered first. The indicators used to determine district vulnerability, included poverty index, HIV/AIDS prevalence and regional balancing, among others. The district statistics offices provide data for selection of qualification of the locations for implementation. The eligibility criteria is on household with an older person of 65 years and above; extremely poor households and households not enrolled in any other regular cash transfer programme. The identified older person must not be receiving any kind of pension. I just want to point out that as much as we know that this programme should cover the whole country, it is dependent on the amount of money we are given. In the last two financial years, we have just been given the same amount of money. We hope we will scale up this financial year and certainly, North Horr or the larger Marsabit will be included.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister mentioned that this is a pilot project. Pilot projects have a definite timeframe. Could she tell the House when the piloting will end and the programme now rolled out to the whole country?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when it started, we covered three districts only. That was the initial pilot programme. But as the money was being increased, we kept on scaling up. As we are scaling up, we hope that it will be universal. I just want to give an example of the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Programme which started with 300 households and, finally, now we are covering over 115,000 in the whole country. So, slowly, it grew from Kshs4 million up to now we are at Kshs2.7 billion. As it is, we are at Kshs530 million and for two consecutive years, we have been given the same amount of money. It is difficult for us to say that we will scale up if we will not be given more money. So, the idea for social protection is to cover the whole country, but slowly we can scale it up. We hope that this coming financial year, we will be given a bit more money so that we can add some more districts. Please, bear with us.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, considering that, that was a pilot project and that sections of this country may have benefitted, what is the Minister going to do to
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have mentioned that we wanted it to be regional. So, we covered Coast, Western, Nyanza, Eastern, North Eastern, Rift Valley, Central and Nairobi provinces. In fact, Nairobi is the only one that has a bit more than the others because it has got a larger population and more districts. But we have covered Langâata and Starehe to the tune of 1,300 old persons. All the rest of the districts are only getting 750 older persons being covered. Please, bear with us. So we are hoping that as money is being increased, we should be able to cover more people. But in the next financial year, from the draft, what we saw is Kshs530 million. We asked for more money hoping that we will be given some more. We have asked for Kshs790 million more. If they give us more, then we should be able to cover more. Even if they give us Kshs200 million more---- However, again, looking at the criteria of what has been used, North Horr will be prioritized this time round. That is because when the funds come in, even if they are little amounts of money, we should be able to add North Horr.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry is actually charged with the release of various funds that impact directly on the lives of people. That is why it deals with social development. What we want to hear from the Minister is the following: We do recognize that the cash transfer programmes are helping the people at the grassroots. What can Members of Parliament do to help your Ministry not to continue hoping for money, but to ensure that, that money is allocated to your Ministry to stop the pilot programme and to make it a fully integrated programme, so that the people in this country can fully benefit from it?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, we are already getting assistance from the Members of Parliament. We have met the Departmental Committee on Social Welfare and they have prioritized our case. They are busy helping us to lobby for more funds. After we put in the request that the Kshs530 million is not enough and they need to add the money, we are also asking to be given a little money to open a national council for the older persons, so that they can be able to deal with their affairs. So, we are already at it and I am hoping that we will all join together to be able to get more money for the older persons in our country. It is true, and I agree with hon. Shebesh, that the money has made a difference to the people who really need it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I really want to commend the Ministry for that very special and unique programme. This is the only programme targeting our senior citizens or older persons. We all know how vulnerable they are. For this effort, I want to thank the Ministry and the Minister. From the Ministerâs response, I do not get enough comfort that the people of North Horr will be supported. That is because she is saying that if there will be additional funding, we will be supported. That is very conditional and it edges on the availability of resources. For the sake of the elderly people in North Horr who are listening to you, could you give us a guarantee that next time round, the elderly people in North Horr will be considered?
Hon Minister, can you give an undertaking? It beats logic how this can be based on poverty and the third, fifth and the ninth poorest districts in the country are not involved. You need to give some firm undertaking on this one.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as much as I do feel that the people of North Horr should have been prioritized, unfortunately, if the money is not increased, I
Next Question by hon. Kabogo!
asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he is aware that Karuri Town Council un-procedurally dismissed 38 council employees on 7th June, 2007; (b) why the council has not complied with the courtâs order in case No.80 of 2006 to reinstate all the 38 employees and pay retirement benefits to employees who have attained the mandatory retirement age; and, (c) when the council will comply with the court order and why most local authorities are habitually defying court orders.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that the Town Council of Karuri summarily dismissed 38 employees for failure to report to their appointed workplaces between 4th and 7th June, 2007. (b) This matter is subject of an appeal made by the Town Council of Karuri to the Court of Appeal in Nairobi Civil Application No.115 of 2010, UR86/2010, The Town Council of Karuri versus the Kenya Local Government Workers Union and the same is set for hearing on 2nd June, 2011. (c) The council cannot comply with the order because an appeal has been lodged on the same. I am not aware of any council authority habitually defying court orders.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard the Assistant Minister say that they are not going to comply with the court order because there is a case pending before the Court of Appeal. The signal he is sending is that if you have an appeal pending in court, you do not comply. My simple understanding of the law is that unless they have a stay of execution under Rule 5 of the Court of Appeal, they ought to have complied. So, why are they not complying and yet, they do not have a stay of execution? In other words, why is the council giving itself a stay of execution of a High Court order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know what part is sub judice and what part is not. But what I know is that the hearing is coming up very soon on 2nd June, 2011 and the council has a dispute. I will look into the issue of whether the stay of execution is in force or not.
Hon. Kabogo, in the event that there is an appeal, ordinarily, the status quo ante has to be maintained; which means there cannot be compliance until the appeal, itself, is determined.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with a lot of humility and respect, I do not agree with that position. The only way a stay of execution will be issued is under Rule
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think 38 employees for a council is a large number. I just want to find out from the Assistant Minister, as I appreciate the problems that the councils face like managerial and so on, whether initially, they tried to find out the underlying problems that could have led to 38 employees being absent from work at the same time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 7th May, the council and the Local Government Workers Union discussed a salary conversion. On 16th May, the council confirmed that there was a wrong conversion and recommended the recovery of over- payment after consultations with the Ministry of Local Government. The result is that when that was effected, those people made a surprise strike and failed to report to work between 4th and 7th June and hence, through minutes that were then resolved by the Council, they were summarily dismissed and hence they went to court.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is one of the Ministries that enjoys executive authority. I believe that executive authority is so that they can be able to deal with issues that councils are unable to deal with. If there is a gross injustice that is being perpetuated against council workers, I would expect this Ministry to exercise its executive authority. Could the Assistant Minister inform the House why the Ministry, having that kind of power, cannot take it into their hands to reinstate those workers until the council is able to execute whatever appeal they are executing? You have the executive authority to ensure that those people are not victimized any more by the council.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, obviously, the executive authority cuts both ways. It cuts in the interest of the staff as much as it cuts in the interest of the council in the sense that we would not want the council to be unnecessarily punished while it still has a case in the Court of Appeal. As such, we are waiting for the outcome of that case in order to then see the way forward. If we find that the ruling of the Court of Appeal is not in favour of the employees, we will comply and use executive powers to ensure that there is compliance.
Mr. Kabogo, in a civil matter, ordinarily the Chair would not want to be drawn into this debate, but I will allow you to ask the last question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a fairly straightforward matter and the Assistant Minister has undertaken to go and check if there is a stay in the execution of this order. In the event that there is no stay given by the Court of Appeal, then he should also equally undertake to reinstate these 38 workers. The signal that he is sending to the Republic is that non-compliance with the rule of law is acceptable yet the court is where we go to arbitrate between warring parties. These people went to court and got an order. They have also gone and appealed. So, let him confirm to the House that in the event that there is no order, he will undertake to reinstate these 38 workers, whatever the cost the appeal takes, even if it is years. This is employment of Kenyans where they earn a living and we must protect their lives.
Mr. Nguyai, ordinarily, the Government has a legal advisor. Those are the areas where you do not have absolute competence but the Chair would be comfortable if you say that you are going to consult the Attorney-General.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is the point that I was going to make. I am going to consult the Attorney-General and then we will find what the legal position is and move on from there.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We would like to get a timeframe. The Attorney-General sits in this House.
When do you intend to have the advice of the Attorney- General available?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will seek the advice of the Attorney- General immediately and I believe that since he sits in this House, he should be able to give us a position in the next three weeks.
Ordinarily, he could give advice in the form of a Statement or in the form of a Question but the presumption is that the Attorney-General can do it in the form of a Statement. Is that an undertaking?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it would be better if the Attorney- General gives a formal position through a Statement.
I think the Question has been covered. Mr. Kabogo, are you comfortable with that?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Next Question by Ms. Chepchumba!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Agriculture on the importation of approximately 25,000 metric tonnes of sugar worth Kshs1.6 billion which arrived at the Port of Mombasa between the months of March and April this year. In the Statement, first, I would like the Minister to clarify the names and/or companies of the importers. Secondly, the Minister should also clarify the country of origin. Thirdly, she should also clarify to the House the duty paid for the consignment.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Before the Minister responds, I have an additional issue that could also be tackled alongside the Ministerial Statement that is supposed to be issued by the Minister.
What is it that you wish to raise?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just to support my colleague, Mr. Washiali, could the Minister also give us the details of sugar that has been imported in that manner since 2008 to date, that is in addition to the information that Mr. Washiali is seeking?
That is a different thing. It is a radical departure from the text itself. You should either seek your own Ministerial Statement or you put in a Question by Private Notice. Hon. Members, quite often you ask Questions while seeking Ministerial Statements when essentially they are Questions. When you put it as a Question by Private Notice, you get a much faster response than when you seek a Ministerial Statement because the Government is obliged to have an answer to a Question by Private Notice within 48 hours but a Ministerial Statement takes as much as a month or even more.
Proceed, Mr. Minister and give an undertaking on the same!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will communicate the same to the Minister. I know she has been away, so expect the answer by Wednesday afternoon next week.
It is so directed.
This Motion was moved earlier on. Who was on the Floor of the House? Yes, Mr. ole Metito!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this chance. I want to support this Motion. First of all, I want to thank Mr. Chanzu for bringing the Motion to the Floor of the House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, free primary education and affordable secondary education as started by the NARC Government in 2003 and also the Grand Coalition Government in 2008 for secondary schools have had a lot of advantages to school going children. One of the most highlighted is the increase in enrolment in both primary and secondary schools. The first beneficiaries of free primary education sat for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) last year and there has been an increase, almost threefold in terms of enrolment. This has also gone up with the high cost of education in terms of several issues. The cost of learning material has gone up in respect to things like uniforms and books. The increase in cost has always been transferred to parents. As was ably stated by the Mover of the Motion, Kshs10,265 goes to secondary schools per student. Yesterday, there was a Question in this House where a hon. Member wanted the Minister to show how that amount is distributed.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I heard the Minister saying that out of that, only Kshs3,000 goes to tuition. Therefore, a lot is being left for parents to pay. For secondary schools, we have Kshs18,627 per year left for parents to pay. I think that is what the Ministry knows but in real sense, secondary schools are paying more than Kshs18,627 per year. This has actually been facilitated through District Education Boards (DEBs) where secondary schools are seeking to increase fees through development projects. That still becomes a burden to parents and every time, whenever there is an increment for development fee in schools, they usually take the bigger parcel of that vote and then the parent is left to pay for tuition fees that is meant for students. I think because of the positive measures we have seen or positive economic growth, it really makes sense that what was been given to primary schools pupils, that is Kshs1,060 per pupil, in 2003; eight years down the line, ought to have been increased in line with the high cost of education that we have been experiencing due to the high cost of fuel. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the increment in enrolment calls for a high number of school teachers. With the big shortage of teachers, parents employ more teachers and that is an increased cost. It is also very evident that the need for physical facilities in schools has increased. That demand has always gone to the CDF and parents. I think this also increases the cost of education. There has also been a fee increment, for example, in the early childhood development (ECD) institutions like nursery schools, for which the Government does not employ teachers. I think free primary education should actually start from here. With all the employment of ECD and primary school teachers
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, first of all I want to thank Mr. Yusuf Chanzu for bringing this Motion before this House. Secondly, I want to say that this is the kind of Motion that looks at the realities that affect our economy today. The figures are already in place. You can see that what Mr. Chanzu has done is to reflect the actual reality of the way the economy has improved over the period of time from the time free primary education started. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in supporting this Motion, I want to start by paying tribute to the immediate former President as far as education is concerned. During the time of former President Moi, many secondary schools were built. Very many universities were also opened during that time. All the time we talk about negative things, but we do not remember that there are some people who have also done some good things in the field of education. I want to pay great tribute to the time that the current President took over. During his time; from 2003, we started this free primary education programme. It has greately impacted not only on the lives of many children but also the economy as a whole. Speaking as an hon. Member who represents an area which cannot be said to be within town â it is a rural area in the northern coast, Garsen Constituency - very many children went to school. I also speak on behalf of many hon. Members who are from marginalized areas. Many children went to school because of this promise of free primary education that the President and the the NARC Coalition Government gave in 2003. The figures are there for us to see. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we must agree that things have changed from the time this policy was initiated. Indeed, it was very commendable and a very good thing. At that time, Kshs1,060 was a big step towards giving people free education,
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to support this very important---
Mr. Ngugi, you only have four minutes, unless the Minister is willing to donate some of his time.
I will speak for only two-and-a-half minutes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I wish to support this Motion, which is really timely and congratulate Mr. Chanzu for bringing it before this House. In 2003, if the allocation per student was Kshs10,265 and it is still the same today, and yet the inflation rate per year has gone up by 10 per cent, it means that the value of Kshs10,265 has gone down to almost Kshs2,500. This Kshs2,500 in real money terms is very little and cannot sustain these students. That is why it is very necessary and important to double this amount to Kshs20,000. I would like the Government to look at it in that form because education is very important. If students spend a lot of time at home because they cannot afford school fees, then we are losing on the quality of education that we ought to give our students.
With those few remarks, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support this Motion.
Yes, Mr. Njuguna!
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I very quickly rise to support this very important Motion. First, let me thank the Mover and, secondly, thank the NARC Government that established the free primary school and free day secondary school education in this country.
In addition, let me also support the clarion call by the President to request all parents in this country to make sure that their children are taken to school, and where children are not taken to school, arrests should be done. The enrolment rates in our primary schools have gone up as a result of the new incentives. To guarantee quality education and effective learning in our schools, we need to increase the allocation. As a result, the learning environment in our schools and the provision of materials will also be improved.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is also important that we look into the issue of bursary allocations, which is also very important. As we look into the issue of increased funding for the cost and other materials, it is important that the Government addresses the shortage of teachers in our schools numbering 60,000.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I fully support the Motion.
Hon. Members, we just have a minute before the Minister responds, unless he is willing to donate a little of his time. Mr. Minister, you have 20 minutes!
Yes, he can donate!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, may I donate two minutes each to Mr. Kioni and Mr. Mututho?
You have two minutes, Mr. Kioni!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to thank the Assistant Minister for that kind gesture. I have said it before that this is a Ministry with very committed Minister and Assistant Ministers. Every other time we have Motions of this nature, they are in the House.
Your two minutes are over. Mr. Mututho, contribute for two minutes.
Thank you Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I thank the Mover of this Motion for one thing. Unlike what people know, to get professors and consultants, one needs to go through early childhood education, primary and secondary education. There was a lapse over the years when we could not produce very credible and internationally sound professors. However, if you trace back, you will see that, that was the period that we did not have the Free Primary Education Programme (FPE). If you look at the Prof. âOdhiambosâ of this world and the Prof. âMemesâ and other big professors, they went to school when there was FPE. One could also go to Form V and Form VI and even get some allowances and so forth. That way, you are able to tap the gene power of the Kenyan people. To tap the gene power of the Kenyan people, you need basic infrastructure. Since you cannot identify which child is gifted in a particular area, the only way to do it is to provide free primary and secondary education. With regard to the cost, the Ministry should move in and take care of expenses like transport. Schools are buying very expensive buses which are not utilized all the time. We should have a system where buses are held by the Ministry and released when schools have activities, instead of having big fleets holding Kshs2 billion and so forth. I thank the Mover of this Motion and think that the Ministry is doing very well. I fully support the improvement of the budget.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to respond to this Motion. I begin by thanking the Mover of the Motion, hon. Chanzu, for a well thought out idea. The importance of education in any society cannot be underrated. A number of hon. Members have alluded to that. Hon. Lesrima, hon. Otichillo, hon. Affey, hon. Langat and hon. Odhiambo have impressed upon the Ministry of Education to support
Mover of the Motion, it is now your time to respond.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to donate two minutes to Mrs. Odhiambo-Mabona.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to thank the Mover for donating two minutes to me. I want to thank him for bringing this Motion which is very important in realizing the rights under the Constitution to free basic primary education for all our children and also for progressive realization of higher education. I would want to urge the Government that whenever we pass such Motions, it must take them seriously. Parliament dedicates a whole morning to discuss these issues because we consider them serious. When we pass these Motions, we are expecting the Government to take us seriously. We will be requesting the Committee
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want with great humility to appreciate and thank the hon. Members for not only the immense support but 100 per cent support they have given to this Motion. This is particularly from those who contributed to this Motion from last week. I also want to thank the Ministry because when I was moving the Motion the substantive Minister and the two Assistant Ministers were here and they took note of what we have been discussing. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am happy that the Assistant Minister has come here with a heap of documents, trying to make reference to what has happened in the past. This Government has spent a lot of money on many commissions that we have had in the Ministry of Education, the roads sector and all the sectors. If you go to all the Ministries, you will find that the shelves are full of these reports. However, I am happy that with the Ministers we have and the time they have taken--- What we want from the Assistant Minister is the implementation of this Motion. The Assistant Minister has touched on a very important area which we keep on ignoring. This is on Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers. This is the starting point. I appreciate that the Ministry has taken that into account and it will make sure that it is factored in the Budget for the coming Financial Year. I think the task force must also have a time limit. The Koech Report was very comprehensive but there was a lot of politics. We should delineate politics from important issues like this. There are many other things that would have come but maybe we will raise them later on. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other point I would like the Assistant Minister to note, now that he has said that they need to be pro-active rather than waiting for Motions to be brought before this House, is with regard to staffing. Allocating money per child will enable us to know how much we are spending on Kenyans and how many of them are benefiting. This is because you can very easily count the population of children in primary and secondary schools and be able to know that you have assisted this much. Some of the schools are not performing well because of staffing. I have also been carrying out research on my own. I found out that the schools which are performing very well are properly staffed. Among the schools which do not perform well, among a staff of about 30 teachers in such a secondary school, about half of them are employed by the
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, noting that according to the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KHBS) of 2005/2006, it was estimated that 17.5 million people, or 46 per cent of the Kenyan population, live in absolute poverty and live on less than one dollar a day; aware that the Government has been unable to provide them with free medical facilities to ease their burden;
Order, hon. Member! We can see that we do not have a Member on the Government side from the Ministry of Medical Services. Under collective responsibility, hon. Wekesa, are you going to stand in for your colleague and put down some notes? Otherwise, the Member is contributing and nobody is taking any notes.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, because I have not been in Parliament - I have just come - I want to stay and listen to the contribution of Members and take notes. Thank you.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister for Education has been here throughout. I presume he must have been taking some notes under the same collective responsibility.
We will let the Government organise itself. But we do note with concern that this Government is actually not serious. It has been said severally here that when we have very serious motions like the one before the Floor right now, we do not have the relevant Ministries taking it seriously. So, we would like that message to be passed from Parliament. Proceed!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for that intervention and emphasis. It is, indeed, true but even as I continue to make my contribution, I am driven by my conscience knowing that history will note that I did my contribution to this very important subject â one that touches on the majority of Kenyans who are unable and who are easily consigned to levels of feeling under-privileged in a country where they continue to see those that they elected continue to conduct their business in a manner that suits them. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was concluding and, as I do so, I simply want to appeal to the Government to note that services at public institutions should take into account affordability and quality. Morgue facilities in the country have not expanded in tandem with the population and subsequent cost of offering such services. Evidently, the financial demands have come to bear heavily on most Kenyans and this exposes bereaved families to further torment and grief as they seek for an extra coin to clear the
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Member seems to be reading from a written speech. I do not know whether that is the right way to contribute. But I would like to use his notes since they are all written.
Hon. Member, you should not be reading. You should be referring to your notes and then carry on with the debate!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, whereas I agree with what the Minister has said, what I have referred to is what is specific to the Motion. That should be the case. The Motion is specific in terms of what I am urging the Government to do. Otherwise, I agree that the rest of the contribution is as per the Standing Orders and procedures. So, I am urging the Government to consider the development of morgue facilities in each district and sub-district hospital, in addition to ensuring that a requisite budgetary allocation is put in place. That budget will ensure that in future, bodies that are not collected within mortuaries after 21 days are the only ones that can be subjected to public disposal. However, within 21 days, mortuary fees should to be waived to ensure that the low end of our population is not inconvenienced. In the meantime, we have a moral duty to ease the suffering of wananchi by supporting this Motion. I urge all honourable Members to kindly support this Motion for the benefit of the people. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank you and urge my colleague, hon. Erastus Mureithi, the Member of Parliament for Ol Kalou Constituency, to rise up and second this Motion.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to second the Motion brought by Mr. Mbau, the hon. Member for Maragwa. I support it with a heavy heart because at the advent of our Independence, the founding father was asked a question which went like this: âWho is our enemy as a country?â Everybody expected the founding father to say that our enemy was our colonial suppressors who suppressed this country for many decades but in his reply, he told them that ignorance, disease and poverty were our major enemies. As we look at our country today, with 46 per cent of the people living under abject poverty, one looks at the situation whereby issues that concern family social fabric continue to follow them after nearly 50 years of Independence. We have seen that most mortuaries in hospitals have remained the way they were. If you come to my constituency and look at Ol Kalou Hospital which was build in the 1970s, the mortuary has remained the same, such that when you have an accident, there is
Order, Mr. Cheptumo! Proceed!
Thank you Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Last week, we talked about the cost of living which has gone very high. We have allowed a few people to manage and manipulate the way commodities are handled in this country. With that kind of management, prices of essential foodstuff s have gone way beyond the reach of the common person. When it comes to the departed ones, the opportunity cost is the food and not the money to pay mortuary fees. We have had a complication due the issues of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Those people are not close to hospitals. So, there are people dying within the camps. Therefore, transporting the bodies from the camps to the nearest hospitals has become a major problem. We are putting up a modern maternity hospital in Mawingu Camp which is the largest. I would propose that the Government teams up with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and well-wishers and put up a morgue, so that people do not transport the dead bodies for 40 kilometres. This becomes an extremely expensive issue and the people are not in a position to meet these expenses.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, therefore, when the Mover is requesting the Government to waive all the mortuary fees, there is merit in it. We have not been able to give free medical facilities to our people and we have found that bodies are kept because there was no money to pay for medical expenses and there is no money to pay for mortuary services. What is happening and which is very dangerous is that families are actually selling their land---
Order! Mr. Cheptumo, please remember that as you leave the Chamber, pay respect to this House. You just left without doing that but you have just done that as you came in!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I apologize for that and I will not repeat it again.
Proceed, Mr. Mureithi!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will give me two minutes because they have been taken away. I request that kindly.
As I was saying before that little interruption, we have had people who are squatters who have also increased in number since Independence; they are in the category of poor people who cannot afford both medical and mortuary fees. As a result, I would like to say and support the Mover that as far as we are concerned, the Government should also address itself to the issue of the mortuary. We should have a holistic approach to the growth of this country. Instead of looking at this fees and waiving it, we should look at the general development of this nation so that poverty does not reduce us to a position where people cannot give their own a very nice send off. This is why I am saying that the Government should look at those three items that our founding father talked about; ignorance, disease and poverty.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Motion by Mr. Chanzu comes in handy to solve the issue of ignorance and we are now dealing with the issue of disease and poverty. That is why I am supporting the Mover by saying that people have no choice and we do not want to go back to the time when communities used to throw away the dead into the bush with anticipation that maybe, a passing hyena would eat the body. So, as Kenyans, we should put our energies together and put our political differences aside and seek what we want. We want a Kenya where everybody can afford, not only to bury their dead but to also be able to afford medical facilities for their people. Nobody is happy when people die. For that matter, we should not put pain on top of pain. So, I agree that we would wish to accord our departed ones very decent departure, as is done in other foreign countries where they have addressed the issue of general poverty of the common person. Therefore, as we look at this, let us see how best we can reduce the cost of living.
With those remarks, I beg to second the Motion.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, whereas this Motion touches on the state of affairs after death, it is very much similar to the other Motions that have come here before. This is because it is about the cost of living. Our people are at a point where they can no longer meet very necessary costs. The burial is a very psychologically sensitive thing. The fact that somebody has passed away, you cannot just throw the body away. We need to arrange, plan and give a decent burial to our departed ones. That is how we are. Therefore, on that score, whereas our Constitution does not address the dead, if you look at Article 29, it talks of freedom and security of the person. It says:- âEvery person has the right to freedom and security of the person which includes the right not to be-
Thank you Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. At the outset, I would like to congratulate my friend Mr. Mbau, for thinking about this matter. Very rarely do we think about the dead. In most cases, we think about the living. However, the dead have an impact on the living. This is because it is the parents, relatives and friends of the deceased who feel the pressure and the pinch not only of the loss of a very close person, but also of the expenses and demands that come with providing the dead with a decent burial. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have on several occasions had an opportunity to intervene in a matter like this at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). We unfortunately lost people from home; they travelled all the way from North Eastern Province. They were young people coming here to seek jobs and possibilities of earning a living. There were also elderly people who come to seek medical treatment, because Nairobi is where medical facilities are. Unfortunately, they lose their lives, or die at Nairobi hospitals, where they went with the hope of recovering. Unfortunately, you are confronted with huge medical bills. This is why I would like to thank the KNH; it has in most cases been very sensitive to the dead. I had one occasion when they assisted a family who had lost their loved one. That family was expected to pay a huge amount in form of a medical bill; unfortunately, the family could not raise the required amount. The hospital authorities had to detain the body. After I intervened and told them the reality about the family, they were quite sensitive and released the body.
Thank you Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. I would like to thank hon. Mbau for bringing this Motion. If you noticed, earlier today, we talked about issues of education. Now, we are talking about lifting the burden from people who want to bury their deceased. This speaks to the fact that the country is strained. People are not able to meet basic needs. This calls for a much broader action. This Motion is timely and relevant. But it means that the Government must have a comprehensive policy and law on social protection. That is why I want to acknowledge Dr. Laboso because she will bring a Private Memberâs Bill on social protection that will help us alleviate some of the challenges we are facing in terms of basic needs. I know that the issue of burying our loved ones may not be considered as a basic need. However, we do that because of our culture and traditions. It is not really our culture. I have gone all over the world. Everybody and every community treat their loved ones with respect. At one point, when I was working at the CRADLE, we had an occasion of working with street children. I was shocked that, as a country, we do not think about what happens to a street child when he or she dies. We had information from the street children themselves that we do not take care of them when they are alive. When one of them is dead, they do not have the luxury of buying coffins, mourning or burying because they cannot raise enough money. I have listened to hon. Affey talk about how they bury Muslims, which is very good. However, can you imagine that street children carry their dead ones and throw them into the rivers? These are some of the things that we do not
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to support the Motion. I want to thank hon. Mbau for bringing this Motion to the House. We are in a country where it is unfortunate that the leadership of this country has to spend time discussing this kind of matter. Truly, nearly 50 years after Independence, Kenyans should live a decent live. Just yesterday, I was involved in a pathetic case in my constituency, where a child had stayed in Kenyatta National Hospital for three weeks because of lack of medical fees. Fortunately, we gathered together and managed to raise the fees. When all these hon. Members go back to their constituencies, they hear these kinds of stories. They are told that there is a patient who needs an urgent operation but now it is two weeks, he has not had it. They will also be told that there is a body in the mortuary which has been waiting for people to gather and raise money. This is because of the poverty that we have subjected Kenyans to. As leaders, we must bear the responsibility.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I welcome this Motion with a sad heart because we truly fought for Independence--- When we are talking about Vision 2030, there are other things which we should have sorted out. Vision 2030 with all the super highways we are imagining in our minds has nothing to do with a body being detained in a mortuary by the same Government. For example, if it is Kenyatta National Hospital, it is the same Government. This is the case and yet, they know that people cannot afford to pay for the disposal of the body. This is a pathetic case. There are people who go to hospital and when they see, for example, their father ailing, they request the doctor to release the patient because they want to go and try traditional medicine. This is so because they want to cut down on the cost of transporting the body in case he dies at the hospital. You can imagine how much it costs to transport a body from Mombasa to Western Province. It is terrible. I welcome the Motion, but we must develop the country to a level where Kenyans will afford to lead a decent life. A decent life has to do with one being able to meet basic things; like you have food on the table, educate your children and access health facilities when you are sick. A decent life has nothing to do with the super highways we see in California and Malaysia. Kenya can afford that. Could this House for once, start thinking about taking Kenya along the course of creating policies which will make ordinary Kenyans live the lives that God meant them to live?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is said that Members of Parliament are paid a lot of money. Let every constituency calculate how much money the Member of Parliament uses to pay for the needs of his or her constituents. Sometimes, we do not
Order. Eng. Maina. This House passed a Motion to that effect for your information.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. The intention of the Motion is good, but we have a number of problems and death is emotional. It is not economical.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it does not have economical value. However, as a matter of fact, we must balance our emotions with economics. I speak as the Chairman of a hospital for over 11 years â New Nyanza General Hospital. One of the biggest problems we have had to tackle is the issue of the mortuary. I know the same happens in the mortuary here. Our mortuaries in public hospitals are small, over- populated, under-funded, and it is the poor people who suffer. The service providers go through a lot of emotional stress to the effect that, sometimes, you feel that they are even behaving mechanically and un-emotionally.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to ask for a decent place of burial is a constitutional right. However, in this country, be it in Nairobi, Mombasa or anywhere else, there are no cemeteries. As you know, we had a cemetery situation which caused us a problem. The cemetery in Nairobi is over-populated. People are burying bodies on top of others. As my friend, hon. Affey said, the Muslims have a way of burying very fast. But that, in itself, has a problem. It is known that people in un-populated areas like North Eastern Province find themselves in graves before they are really dead. That is when they fall into a coma. However, coming back to the issue of bodies, most of the dead bodies in hospitals are of patients who were actually admitted there. So, there is no need for a post-mortem. As such, those bodies can be disposed of, if need be, within seven days. There are other bodies that are picked up and brought by the police, and for which post-mortems are necessary. Those can take up to six months. Those are the major problems that we have. The city authorities are the ones who are mandated to dispose of bodies. But I can tell you from personal experience--- I have been a Mayor and also a Chairman of a hospital at the same time. It is impossible for the city authorities to pick up those bodies. They do not have the funds nor do they have service capability. However, likewise, the hospitals have a major problem. They are there to look after the living and not the dead. The dead are meant to be disposed of quickly and buried. But, unfortunately as I said, post- mortems are causing a major problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in public hospitals, all bodies are embalmed. That is because of lack of cold storage. Those are especially the ones which no post- mortem is required. Those embalmment costs help to keep the body out of cold storage and those costs amount to about Kshs4,000 or Kshs5,000. Those costs are actually borne by the hospital. Most of the people who die within the hospitals and are stored in the
Order. Hon. Shakeel! You have a balance of five minutes to proceed when the Motion will be on the Order Paper.
Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the business of House. The House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 12.30 p.m.