Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:-
THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade on grains discharged at the Port of Mombasa as laid on the table of the House, Wednesday, 17th August, 2011.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Energy the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Why did the Ministry decline to award a scholarship to one Ms. Mugure Thande - who has been admitted to pursue a PhD in Oil and Gas Law at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland - from the Trust Fund established under the provisions of Section 11 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, Cap 308? (b) What measures will the Minister take to ensure that the applicant is considered to enable her pursue the studies which commence in October, 2011?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply for the second time. (a) The Ministry has declined to award one Ms. Mugure Thande a scholarship to pursue a PhD in Oil and Gas Law at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland from
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I seek your guidance because the Assistant Minister has answered the same way he answered last time. The reason why he was told to go back was to acquaint himself with the relevant Act, Cap.308, which clearly states that: “There shall be established a fund for the purpose of training Kenyan nationals”. Last time, he was insisting that this fund is for people working in the Civil Service. He has not clarified whether the Act, which I have quoted and which he was asked to acquaint himself with, because at that time he did not seem to have the knowledge of what the Act was talking about.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to disregard the directive of the Chair which last time referred him to the specific Act to look at that provision that provides that this fund is available to all Kenyans without distinction? Right now, he comes to the House to say that this person is being denied only because she is not a public servant.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have read the provisions of the Act, Section 11 and if I can read it loudly, provides that: “There shall be established a training fund for the purpose of training Kenyan nationals in the petroleum industry.” This training fund is levied to prospective oil companies in Kenya and the funds are meant for capacity building of Kenyan nationals in the petroleum industry. Our understanding is the sector in which we are in charge.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister needs not be taught anything in law but that reading of Section 11 is so clear. It does not provide for any specific person apart from being a Kenyan national. Under those circumstances, is it in order for this Assistant Minister to insist on disobeying the law which is very clear?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not disobeying the law. It says Kenya nationals in the petroleum industry. We avail this money to Kenya nationals in that industry.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is obvious that the Assistant Minister is interpreting it in his own understanding of the English Language. It says: “Kenyan nationals in the petroleum industry!” In short, it is saying anybody who wants to go into the petroleum industry and meets that qualification; this fund is for that Kenyan national.
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, can you table the Act itself? If the Act says “Kenyan nationals in the petroleum industry---
Order, Mrs. Shebesh! It does not mean any Kenyan who wants to go into the petroleum industry or has the desire to go into petroleum industry. It says: “There shall be established a training fund for the purposes of training Kenyan nationals in the petroleum industry.” It means the ones who are, as of that moment, employed or engaged in one way or the other in the petroleum industry.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to request the Assistant Minister concerned in the spirit of collective responsibility between Government Ministries to refer this request either to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology or the Ministry of Education which conducts interviews for national Kenyans for scholarships that offered by donors, friendly countries and the Commonwealth countries for consideration of Kenyans? Am I in order to request that?
Order! You are out of order! The Act itself is specific to the Ministry of Energy and acquaint yourself with the provisions of the Act and then you will understand what is at stake here. At stake here is not the Government or the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology scholarships. This is a fund that has been specifically put aside.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Maybe I stand corrected. This Kenyan deserves a scholarship like any other Kenyan and there are Ministries that are responsible to consider Kenyans irrespective of the sector they are serving. Those are the two Ministries! Am I in order to seek for clarification on this matter?
The clarification which indeed you should acquaint yourself with because if you did not acquaint yourself with the substance of the Question itself and the contestation on the answer itself, this is a matter that has to do with the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act. It is a specific matter. So you are out of order in this sense. Unless you have any other question, Mrs. Shebesh, this matter will be put to rest!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, much as I appreciate your ruling on this issue, I feel that because this lady has shown interest in the PhD in the petroleum industry exploration of which we are giving a lot of money here and there are no Kenyans qualified, if the Ministry, as my colleague has asked, would consider this lady who is interested in doing exploration in the petroleum industry either with this fund or a matching fund that I am sure can be found within the other Government Ministries.
Order! Order! The training which is stated in this Act says: “There shall be established a training fund for the purpose of training Kenyan nationals in the petroleum industry. All monies raised by the contractors as a training contribution shall be paid into the training fund and the contractors are the contractors in the energy sector. All monies in the training fund shall be used only for the purpose for which the fund is created.” This is very straightforward!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I came a little bit late but I have had occasion to look at this myself since last week and it is quite clear too that it refers to any Kenyan national wishing or who has an interest in the petroleum industry. So, he should not be working---
Order! You are out of order, Mr. Imanyara! It says: “In the petroleum industry!”
That is your interpretation, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, and I do not share it!
Order! The interpretation of the Chair now is the ruling interpretation! Indeed, if you have an issue, you might as well go and get a professor of English but the Act is categorical on that! It says “in the petroleum industry.” I understand you can play politics in everything but you cannot play politics in the substance and provisions of an Act! Next Question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that the price of sugar in the country has risen astronomically in the past few weeks due to countrywide shortage? (b) What is the cause of the current shortage of the commodity? (c) What measures has the Ministry put in place to cushion consumers from the escalating prices of the commodity?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that the price of sugar in the country has risen significantly in the past few weeks due to the countrywide shortage of the commodity. (b) The countrywide shortage of sugar is occasioned by the following factors:- An acute sugar cane shortage especially in Nyando and western sugar belt caused by severe drought in 2009 and lack of development of sugar cane and below par development of sugar cane by the new sugar millers in the zone. (c) The global sugar shortage has forced the private sector to import duty free sugar using the provisions of the COMESA quota to supplement the deficit of the whole production. We have high international prices making it impossible to supplement local production with importation from anywhere in the world. We also have high inflation rate as well as the closure of some of the factories in the country.
(d) The Ministry and the Government as a whole has put the following measures in place to cushion the sugar consumers from the escalating prices:- (i) We want to reduce the cost of production by supporting the farmers with credit to enhance cane development. (ii) Support the farmers through low cost fertilizers. (iii) Support the farmers through rural roads infrastructure. (iv)We are also allowing the importation of duty free sugar from within the COMESA region.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has given so many reasons why the price of sugar has gone up; one being the closure of some sugar factories for maintenance, including Mumias Sugar Company. I am aware that in the next two months, more sugar factories will be closing down for maintenance for another two months. Does it mean that the price of sugar will still go up?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that all the sugar factories normally undergo annual maintenance. The country is a net sugar importer because our annual production is 520 metric tonnes whereas our local demand is 720 metric tonnes. We normally allow importers to bring in the deficit. The importers are unable to get sugar anywhere in the world because even if they bring it here, it becomes extremely very competitive. So, we have a problem which seems to be escalating every day.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, cane in Western and Nyanza provinces takes 18 to 24 months to mature. The same cane grown at the Coast Province will take nine months to mature. This is the reason why our sugar is expensive because the industry is inefficient. What is the Assistant Minister doing to revive the sugar industry at the Coast Province?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry, through the Kenya Sugar Board, is trying to encourage the private sector to come and invest in sugarcane development in Coast Province. Mumias is trying to venture in Tana River and we have the revival of Ramisi in Coast Province. So, at the end of the day, we can have adequate production of sugar cane to boost sugar production in the country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the shortage of sugar has been on and off for years. The Assistant Minister is talking about what the Ministry intends to do yet this shortage has been known. Is the Ministry doing a self-defeating exercise by the fact that it is allowing the importation of sugar which frustrates the local market in the Republic? Secondly, the Ministry is not doing enough to boost the farmer. Therefore, the farmer is frustrated and this is causing the shortage of cane because the farmer cannot produce cane and even the industries are not buying cane at a price that will boost the planting of the cane.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is on its feet. We have some policies and a roadmap to ensure that we have adequate cane production. Our biggest challenge has been cane production where we experienced drought in 2009 and we could not get adequate cane. The Government is putting in place measures and we have come up with a very comprehensive report which we are implementing on the competitiveness of the sugar sector in the country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has just confirmed that the prices will continue to go up. What contingency plan is the Ministry putting in place to control the price and ensure that there will be no further shortage of sugar?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, we have a very big challenge. As I indicated earlier, we do not have a major short-term measure because at the end of the day, until when we can control the cost of production and produce adequate cane for the local consumption, the prices will still go up. The Government is in support of even the Bill that is before this House, namely, The Price Control Bill, to ensure that the consumers are protected in one way or the other and ensure that our citizens do not suffer a lot.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister give us the consumption rate in terms of tonnage per year? How much of it do we produce and what is the shortfall?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I had already stated that the local production is 520 metric tonnes whereas the local demand is 720 metric tonnes, leaving a deficit of about 200 metric tonnes per annum.
asked the Minister for Agriculture:-
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek the indulgence of this House. This Question involves a lot of statistics which we have not yet compiled from the field. I would like to seek, at least, one week so that we can collect the full data and I can come back and deal with the Question comprehensively. I have partial data and I have agreed with the Member to give me, at least, one week, so that I can give a comprehensive answer to the satisfaction of the House.
In the interest of the content of the answer, Dr. Kones, would you be willing to accommodate the Assistant Minister?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have listened to the explanation by the Assistant Minister and we have agreed that he can come back next week with a comprehensive answer.
Fair enough! The Chair directs that the Question be listed on the Order Paper on Wednesday next week in the afternoon.
Hon. M.H. Ali not here? Next Question by hon. Ethuro!
Hon. Ethuro also not here? We will come back to that Question later. Next Question, hon. Kaino!
Hon. Kaino not here? We will come back to that Question later. Next Question, hon. Sammy Mwaita!
asked the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources whether he could table a list of sites ratified in the country under the Ramsar Convention.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek your indulgence for about ten minutes. The answer is held up in traffic, but it is coming. In ten minutes, I will be ready to reply.
Fair enough! We will move on to the next Question.
asked the Minister for Public Works:- (a) why it has taken so long to complete and handover the buildings at Central and Kondele police stations as well as the staff houses in Kisumu, which are over 90 percent complete, considering that sufficient funds were allocated for the projects; (b) whether he is aware that, due to inefficiency and lack of proper supervision, the police staff houses in Kondele have been built without kitchens and, if so, what steps he will take to rectify the anomaly; and, (c) when the buildings will be completed, in view of the negative effect of the delay on the morale of the officers who are currently living in deplorable housing conditions.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that some of the factors that led to the delay in the completion of Central Police Station included inadequate funding from the line Ministry, post- election violence which temporarily displaced persons working at the project, sites and extra works which included a car park. However, the project was completed and officially handed over to the police service on 13th July, 2011. In regard to Kondele Police Station, completion was delayed because of failure on the part of the user to obtain electric power connection. The project was subsequently completed and officially handed over on 19th July, 2011, and the buildings are occupied. (b) I would like to confirm that there was adequate supervision by the District Works Officer, Kisumu, and the Resident Clerk of Works, both of whom are attached to the projects and effectively supported by a team of architects, quantity surveyors and engineers. These houses are categorized as standard house of Type E which means they are build with all the necessary facilities including kitchens. (c) The two projects have been completed and were handed over to the clients as earlier mentioned on 13th July, 2011 and 19th July, 2011 respectively.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question has been pending for a very long time. It was originally directed to the Office of the President. So, I am pleased to say that I have seen those buildings, which are now complete. However, our officers are still stuck in the old buildings. Therefore, I request the Ministry of
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I confirm that the buildings are complete. A large number of the buildings, especially in Kondele, are fully occupied. I am aware that the Kenya Police Service is in the process of arranging to move in furniture and other things, so that they can effectively occupy the premises.
Last supplementary question, hon. Shakeel. Or, are you satisfied?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am satisfied. I thank the Minister for his intervention in this matter.
Thank you very much.
Question No.1112, hon. Dan Mwazo Mwakulegwa.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation when the Ministry will undertake the construction of a mega dam in Voi Constituency to harvest the rain water that flows from Taita Hills towards the Indian Ocean.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
My Ministry is currently undertaking a national water masterplan that is developing a plan to address, among other issues, development of mega dams all over the country.
Further, the Coast Water Services Board is at the moment developing a Coast Water Masterplan, which will identify the most suitable sites for dams in different parts of the Coast Region, including Voi Constituency. The masterplan is expected to be ready by September, 2012. Once dam sites have been identified, the Ministry will embark on implementation under its strategic plan to triple water storage in the country by 2015.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister said that the masterplan will be completed in September, 2012, when we know that there are actually mega dams being constructed. My question, therefore, is how many mega dams were constructed in the last financial year since we know some which have been completed? How many have been planned for take-off in the current financial year and where?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although that is not part of the main Question, I will answer it. We have five large dams which are under construction. We have Kiserian Dam. We also have Maruba Dam in Machakos and Dabaso Dam in Marsabit and Chemsusu Dam in the Rift Valley. Our Ministry is also planning for other big dams, although funds are not yet with us.
In this financial year, we are going to start construction of the Yatta Dam, for which all the arrangements are complete.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell the House how many small dams and water pans have been constructed in the former Coast Province?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am sorry I do not have the answer to that question right now.
You cannot possibly have an answer to that question now because they are many and you have to be specific.
Mr. Gunda, what is “former Coast Province”, for the benefit of the Chair?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have now gone counties.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his answer, the Assistant Minister has said that they are in the process of preparing a masterplan, which will be completed in September, 2012, which is only one year and two months from now. What is so complex in preparing a masterplan for the Coast Province? Are they lacking information? We have the information, which we can provide in two weeks’ time. Or, is it in the funding where they have a gap? Is that why they want to buy some more time?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that funding is a problem. At the moment, we have some priority areas on which we are embarking. So, as a Ministry, we have to prioritise because we have limited funds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I heard the Assistant Minster mention the number of mega dams that the Government is undertaking, but I did not hear him mention one that is being undertaken around Tongaren in Naitiri area, between Kimilili and Lugari constituencies, whose floods have caused an uproar in this area. It is likely to displace over 40,000 people. Is this area part of the masterplan, and were the area residents consulted?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our Ministry has identified 22 large dams that we are supposed to undertake, but so far, we have started only five. During this financial year, we are supposed to start work on three more, namely, Yatta Dam, Nzoia Dam, and one dam in Nandi, although there is a problem of land acquisition.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to evade my question? Is the mega dam around Kimilili, Lugari and Naitiri in Tongaren in your masterplan? I would like to know because the area residents are very concerned about that dam.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that we have planned for 22 dams. I do not specifically know whether that particular dam is amongst the 22 dams, but I can provide the information later.
Mr. Wamalwa, you can put a specific question on the same because the Question before the House now is strictly on Taita Taveta.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question is, indeed, very important even for us. As you know, Voi County is an ASAL area, just like Turkana County. This week, we lost people because of flash floods, which are taking away rivers, and also because of lack of bridges. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that they undertake construction that will stabilise the flow of the water on seasonal rivers, like the ones in Turkana County, so that water can be easily available for consumption and ensure it does not cause the disaster that we are now witnessing?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that Turkana County needs a big dam instead of the water pans and the small dams we have been constructing there. Our Ministry is trying to re-allocate some money meant for construction of a dam in Nandi, where we have not been able to get land immediately. So, we want to relocate the project to Turkana County.
Last supplementary question, Mr. Mwakulegwa.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you heard the Assistant Minister say that Coast Province is not a priority and yet every year during drought, water in unavailable in Voi, Taita-Taveta County, Tana River and even some parts of Kwale.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to promise the Member that I will check whether it is among the 22 dams. I can give the information to the Member---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is answering a Question from the Member for Voi. He should, therefore, have come with information. Is it in order for him to continue evading the Question while he knew he was going to answer the same Question from the Member? What does he need to go and check in the office so that he can come back with a proper answer?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as Members are aware, these dams require a lot of money. We might have the masterplan and not the money. The most important thing is to look for money first, and then deal with the priority areas.
Next Question by Dr. Nuh!
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) whether he is aware that motor vehicle registration number GK A276S attached to Bangale Police Station broke down on 27th June, 2010 and police officers at the station are now unable to execute their mandate due to lack of transport; and, (b) when the Ministry will repair the vehicle.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a)Yes, I am aware that a motor vehicle registration GK A276S broke down sometime in October 2010. (b)We have since repaired this vehicle. The vehicle was taken back to Bangale on 16th of August 2011.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister. However, you will note that the date he alleges the vehicle was taken must have been 16th which was yesterday. I, however, even called my Officer Commanding Station (OCS) a few minutes ago and the vehicle has not gotten there. I hope it is still on the way. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, more importantly knowing that Bura Constituency and Bangale Division is an operation area, why has it taken the Government close to ten months to repair a GK vehicle when we have allocated enough resources and funds to this Ministry?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that it delayed because they could not ascertain the problem within the engine. They could not diagnose the problem, so they hired somebody from Europe where the Land Rovers are manufactured to come and tell us the problem. That is why it was repaired in the last
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Ethuro?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what does the Assistant Minister want us to be grateful for when the vehicle broke down in October 2010 and he only released it yesterday 16th August 2011? For ten months, the vehicle has been lying waiting for repairs when it should be doing the policing work. Is that what we are supposed to be proud of?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you realize that we do not have some spare parts available locally because we do not manufacture them. The vehicles are being manufactured in Britain and then shipped to Kenya. The reason I was saying that the questioner should be thankful is because we have a number of vehicles which are still waiting to receive their spare parts. This particular one was fortunate to get the spares readily available.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is only in Coast Province where it takes almost a whole year to repair a Land Rover which is a common vehicle within the Government. It is also in the Coast Province where they do masterplans for water for two years. It is also obvious that Coast Province is only important to this particular Government when they are looking for votes. What is the Government going to do to ensure that when police vehicles break down they are repaired immediately?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to share with my colleague something which he might not be aware of. The new Land Rover series, which we have now, do not have a Land Rover engine. They have Ford engines. I am not talking about FORD-(K).
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these are new engines fixed in the Land Rovers. It will, therefore, take a while for us to get the spare part stocks as was the case previously.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think the Assistant Minister is taking his work very casually. Before you purchase a vehicle you must understand whether it has spares readily available or not. Furthermore, these are vehicles to be used for security reasons. I think the Assistant Minister is becoming very casual. I thought the Prime Minister was around. We should report this matter to the supervisor of this Assistant Minister. Is he in order to be casual with answers to this House?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. If you did notice when the Assistant Minister was attempting to answer the Question, he pointed at me and told me that I do not know. Is he in order to tell this House that we do not know that it will take ten months to repair a Land Rover?
To the extent of pointing at you, you have also been pointing at him.
Exactly! That is true. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is in this House where I have been bashed for not supplying vehicles to various stations. It is in this House where I have been bashed for not repairing vehicles on time for use within the rural areas. I have tried my level best
Last supplementary question, Dr. Nuh!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hope the Assistant Minister understands that the life of Bangale people is more important than Kshs300, 000. Therefore, to magnify Kshs300, 000, I think is out of tune. The Assistant Minister is also aware that it takes only 21 days to ship goods from Britain to Kenya. It does not take ten months. I just want to thank him for belatedly repairing the Bangale vehicle and request that in future, he will not have to wait for Members to ask Questions in this House for them to repair vehicles meant for security purposes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree entirely. For the vehicles which are still waiting for spare parts, I will try to fast track the issuance of spares for them to be repaired so that they can be released immediately. I want to also say that there are some vehicles which we are purchasing and I believe that there are certain stations that do not have vehicles at all. I will start by giving those stations which do not have vehicles at all.
Next Question by Mr. Mohammed Hussein Ali!
Is Mr. Mohammed Hussein Ali, out of the country on parliamentary business?
Fair enough! Mr. M.H. Ali is a Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and is assumed to be out on parliamentary business. The Question is deferred to the day he will be in a position to ask it.
Let us move on to Question No.922 by Mr. Ethuro!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to apologise for coming late. I was committed on another parliamentary matter.
asked the Minister of State for Public Service:- (a) whether he could provide a list of names, title, positions, job groups, salary, academic qualifications and number of years worked of all persons employed in Ministries and other state
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question has been listed for the fourth time now to afford an opportunity for the Member to ask supplementary questions. We had agreed that he will give me notice of any detailed supplementary questions and I have not got them. However, I suppose he has some comments.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, indeed, I want to really appreciate the hon. Minister. He has been very forthcoming and forthright and we have discussed what needs to be done. I just want him to confirm that he will ensure that there are deliberate and concrete affirmative action to ensure that the minorities and marginalized groups of this country are also fast-tracked to acquire certain nice job groups like P and Q. In the list he has given me, there is only one Turkana who is in Job Group P. What specific actions will he take to ensure that the people who were neglected at the time of Independence are promoted? As we approach Vision 2030, we are still talking about the vision at Independence.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, affirmative policies are in place, but for anybody to be fast-tracked, there has to be evidence of performance. However, you realise that, overall with devolution, marginalization is not acceptable under the Constitution. We will do our best from the centre to make sure that equity is seen to be done to all the citizens.
Fair enough! Let us move on to Question No.889 by Mr. Kaino!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise for coming late.
asked the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation:- (a) whether she is aware that Kaptalamwa Health Centre, which serves residents of Marakwet, does not have an ambulance; and, (b) when an ambulance will be provided to the facility.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that Kaptalamwa Health Centre does not have an ambulance to cater for emergency cases. (b) My Ministry has plans to procure ambulances for distribution to the constituencies in the current Financial Year; that is, 2011/2012. Kaptalamwa Health Centre will be considered amongst other health facilities for an ambulance.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Assistant Minister and state that I am comfortable with the answer that he has given to the House. I asked the same Question about two years ago and I am really happy today that I have got a satisfactory answer. I hope the Assistant Minister will take his words very seriously.
Are you satisfied?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Fair enough! Let us move on to the next Question by Mr. Mwaita!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to ask Question No.997 for the second time.
asked the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources whether he could table a list of sites ratified in the country under the Ramsar Convention.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I appreciate you had given me time in order for the answer to be brought here. I beg to reply. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an Inter-Governmental Treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Just for information, the Convention was adopted on 2nd February, 1971 in the Iranian City of Ramsar. However, Kenya ratified the Ramsar Convention in 1990 and since then, five sites have been designated as Ramsar Sites or wetlands of international importance. These sites are as follows:- 1. Lake Nakuru which was designated on 5th June, 1990 with an area of 18,800 hectares; 2. Lake Naivasha which was designated on 10th April, 1995 and it covers an area of 30,000 hectares; 3. Lake Bogoria which was designated on 27th August, 2001 and it covers 10,700 hectares; 4. Lake Baringo which was designated on 10th January, 2002 and it covers an area of 31,469 hectares; and, 5. Lake Elementaita which was designated on 5th September, 2005 and it covers an area of 10,880 hectares.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for her detailed answer. She has talked about a framework for national and international action. Could she give the principles which guide this framework in the wise use and conservation of these wetlands, especially in this country?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, wetlands, as we all know are areas of marsh or pitland. In some places, we have fresh water while in other places, we have blackish or salty water. So, the framework is general guidance on how to manage them because wetlands are some of the most productive, naturally endowed ecosystems on earth and are very much endangered. So, the framework is for the protection of the wetlands so that they are not misused or overused. As hon. Members
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as much as I appreciate what the Assistant Minister has said about the Ramsar Convention, I would like to know from her why we ratified this Convention way back in 1972 and to date, we do not have a wetland policy. To add on that, we still have these Ramsar sites that we have ratified namely Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Lake Baringo. Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha are highly polluted while Lake Baringo is highly silted. What have we done as a country? Did we ratify it for the sake of ratifying or what was it for?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we did not ratify just for the sake of ratifying. It is true that a specific policy called the Wetland Policy does not exist as of now. Those are some of the policies that we are working on alongside many other policies that the Ministry is currently working on. However, there are other policies that guide the protection of a wetland from siltation. Under our Agricultural Act, the protection of river beds and wetlands is already articulated. When we talk about cultivation around wetlands, the same law that applies to cultivation around rivers and all other water bodies applies. River lines are already protected. We are all aware of the law that we use in the National Environmental Management Agency (NEMA) to protect the riparian area. We have other pieces of legislation that do the same. The protection of land from soil erosion and agricultural management policies are also there. So, while we are trying to harmonize our policies in line with the new Constitution. We know that we may have to merge some policies and come up with others. However, there are other policies that take care of most of the issues that the hon. Member has talked about. The problem has been the implementation of even the existing ones. Soil erosion, siltation of dams and rivers is under agricultural management. They should have protected our wetlands and the riparian areas. However, the management part has been a challenge. As I mentioned earlier, we have a challenge whereby people cultivate right into the wetland, especially for vegetable production. That is not legal and those are the things we are peddling with between NEMA and the other Ministries that we are working with.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will be noted that Tana River is the longest river in this country and, probably, the oldest. Why have the wetlands of Tana Delta not been included in the Ramsar Convention?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the identification of wetlands that should be protected is normally done by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). I am sure that the Tana Delta, as the Member has said, is very important. I remember there was a time when there was a conflict over the management and protection of the same delta. I would like to tell the Member that, that process that takes time and I am sure we will reach there. Most of our wetlands will be protected. I am sure that it will be protected. The procedure is international. Normally, when we fill wetlands for identification for Ramsar, the procedure is such that they first pick those which are more sensitive and those which have activities that may endanger the wetlands. However, I would like to say that, that is an area that will be included eventually.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, earlier on, an hon. Member had requested the Assistant Minister to state whether they have a policy. When she gave her answer, she only highlighted five areas. We have a lake in Nyandarua County. Have you considered that lake under that convention?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I answered the question with regard to the sites that have been ratified. The on-going processes in the Ministry are such that we will designate as many areas as possible for protection. So, yes, the one in Nyandarua is not included in the list because the Questioner was asking about the ones which have already been designated. So far, five of them have gone through the process. It is a process that is lengthy and one that should capture as many of our important wetlands as possible. I think it is to our advantage that we designate as many sites as possible. So, I would like to inform the Member and the House that the process is ongoing. We will continue to identify and designate them because it is useful to us and to the protection of our water sources.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell us how much money has been allocated to rehabilitate and clean up the wetlands? If not, what is she doing to ensure that there will be a future budget to ensure that, that programme is sustainable?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, unfortunately, I cannot give an answer to that of the cuff. Once a site has been identified and designated as a Ramsar Site, it immediately becomes a site of interest both to the nation and to the international community. In those sites, which are all fully managed by KWS, proposals have been written regarding the management of the sites. Depending on which donor has an interest in which area--- Just like we mentioned, Lake Naivasha has received a lot of attention. We have received support directly as a Ministry. We have also received some support that has come through the Office of the Prime Minister for that particular wetland. So, different wetland sites have received different attention, and I cannot give you the figure right now. However, our officers on the ground have been able to successfully come up with proposals that have got international support. That is because a Ramsar site does not belong to Kenya only. It is an international asset and we are only the custodians. We have our own small money that we give for management through KWS, and that is on-going.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I note that, out of the five sites, Lake Bogoria and Lake Baringo fall within Baringo County. I would like the Assistant Minister to state what direct benefit the local communities will derive from that ratification.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to state that when a site has been designated as a Ramsar Site, as I said earlier, it serves the interests of the country and that of the international community. The local community will definitely benefit because the standards of conservation of such sites are raised. There will be protection against siltation. That means that, as a water source, the wetlands will have a longer life. We will be protecting the wetland from extinction which is caused by siltation and pollution. So, yes, whatever resources they will be getting, they will get them for a longer time. So, it is mainly for the sustainable productivity of the wetland itself. It will benefit the local community more than anybody else. But, of course, we know that those wetlands also conserve water for the nation. They become sources of water and tourism. We have the example of Lake Nakuru. We are protecting Lake Nakuru because of the flamingoes. The same applies to Lake Bogoria. So, it increases the tourism activities just because the resources within the wetlands are conserved for
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to stand on a point of order in relation to what is now circulating that the House Business Committee (HBC) may have met last evening to dissolve one of the Select Committees of Parliament. Standing Order No.158 stipulates the functions of the HBC, and nowhere in that Standing Order does it stipulate that it has got the powers to dissolve standing select committees of Parliament. Standing Order No.160 also gives the criteria. There are several Standing Orders, including Standing Order 175, that manage the committees. We are aware that there has been concerted efforts by several quarters to sabotage the functions of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee. Would I be in order to request that we get clarification on this because now it is in air everywhere; we would like to know whether, indeed, the HBC has met and purported to dissolve the committee. We are aware that last week the same HBC gave instructions that the Legal Affairs Committee meets and carries out elections; the Liaison Committee subsequently met and did the same. Could we get some clarification from your office?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. In relation to the matter raised by hon. Isaac Ruto, I have been a Member of the Committee he is referring to until my party withdrew all of us from that Committee.
Are you a Member of the HBC?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I want to say has a direct bearing on what hon. Isaac Ruto has just said while on a point of order. This week on Tuesday, I received a notice inviting me to attend a meeting of that Committee, and I wrote to the Clerk drawing his attention to the fact that as far as I am concerned, I am not a member of that Committee and that unless matters that were raised are addressed, and addressed satisfactorily, the meeting should not take place. As far as I am concerned, that meeting did not take place. There has been no further official communication. Under those circumstances, is hon. Ruto in order to raise an issue that right now is only a rumour?
Order! Hon. Isaac Ruto, are you a member of the HBC?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not a member and that is precisely why I asked for clarification from the HBC, and yourself.
Order! Hon. Isaac Ruto, there are certain matters that are best not brought to the Floor of the House, unless you have categorical proof or a proper substantiation. In the event that you want to question what has happened in the HBC, there is a procedure. There is a Chairman of the HBC and there are other members of the HBC. A matter that has taken place in the confines of the HBC cannot be brought to the attention of the Chair by none other than somebody who is a member of the HBC. It can be brought to the attention by somebody who is a member of the HBC. Under the circumstances, what you are saying amounts to a rumour. The
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. What hon. Isaac Ruto is talking about was on the One o’clock news. It is very interesting for us to hear that, because it would amount to a suspension of the Standing Orders. We would like to know if there is a constitutional crisis and the Standing Orders have been suspended.
The Chair has absolutely no information to the effect that a parliamentary committee---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. You have just heard hon. A. Abdallah say that this was in the news. Do the Standing Orders of this House allow us to quote the media as an authentic source of information?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The basis of my question is Standing Order No.158(3), (4) which clearly indicates that: “The Speaker shall be an ex-officio member of the House Business Committee. In the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker or a member of the Speaker’s Panel shall represent the Speaker in a meeting of the House Business Committee”.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was directing this to the Chair, which is actually a member of the HBC. This is a matter that is of great importance to the sustenance of democracy. It is important that you clarify this particular matter. You are also the Chairman of the Liaison Committee and you are properly briefed. It is important for the House to be given first hand information. We have got no forum in which we can ask members of the HBC to give us any information other than in the House. Therefore, I am validly raising this issue of serious concern.
The Chair is not privy to the information that you are talking about right now. The Chair cannot clearly be expected to make a ruling. The best Chair can remember is that you are supposed to have met as a Committee yesterday, and you did not have a quorum; you know that yourself. If you are so passionate about meeting and functioning as a committee, why did you not have a quorum yesterday?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you should clarify.
Order! The Chair does not need to any clarification. The fact that there was no quorum is a matter that rests there. We are on a different matter all together. Definitely, this matter will not die so simply; we all know that it will be addressed at the appropriate time.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am on a different issue, which I consulted you on.
Order! You will raise that matter at another time. The Chair is conscious of your point of order and appreciates that it will be raised.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it on? It should not be on a matter that I have given a direction on.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for that direction, but I wanted to add---
Order! Dr. Nuh, you are out of order! Proceed, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to deliver a Statement regarding the delivery of national identity cards and voter registration.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Article 38(3) of our Constitution provides that every adult citizen of Kenya has the right, without unreasonable restrictions, to be registered as a voter and vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum. A person qualifies for registration as a voter for elections or referendum if that person is an adult citizen of sound mind, and has not been convicted of an election offence in the last preceding five years. The standard evidence of Kenyan citizen and adulthood is a national identity card. The other instruments of identification, citizenship and adulthood such as the Kenyan passport or a driving licence are issued upon evidence of an identity card. This explains the significance of a national identity card.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the National Household Census Survey of 2009 projects that there will be 22 million people above the age of 18 years and eligible to vote by the year 2012. This will be an increment of 10 million people from the current 12 million registered voters. In order not to disenfranchise the 10 million people, the Government needs to issue at least 10 million new national identity cards in addition to clearing the backlog of applications and lost cards. The production of identity cards stalled due to lack of consumables namely materials for publication of the cards. This occasioned a huge backlog across the country. The National Registration Bureau has accumulated 650,000 applications since March. The accumulated backlog of processed applications, however, stands in excess of 800,000 cases. Since the beginning of this week, issuance of cards has resumed after the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons received production materials. Materials used in the production of the ID cards, we all know today have been out of the market for some time now. However, the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons obtained these materials from factory abroad. The material will be enough to produce 400,000 types of IDs. At the exhaustion of the regular materials, we will issue plastic ID cards. Materials for such cards and machines for printing them have already been ordered and will be installed by the end of August when the production will start. The old machines that we had for producing the current cards have been retired, except one which will be producing 400,000 cards. The new machines being brought in will be able to produce 50,000 identity cards.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I speak, the Government has intensified data capturing at the grassroots in preparation for this massive exercise. This week, the Government sent out Kshs183 million for distribution to all registers nationwide. A minimum of Kshs1 million is earmarked for each district to help the movement of officers across all locations and secondary schools. The money will also cater for night out allowances for the officers and help to pay elders whose services may be required in vetting and clearing the applicants.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Prime Minister for that detailed statement. I want to ask him whether the Government may consider making it mandatory for registration at secondary schools and colleges. Will it be necessary to have a national registration day or week, so that we register as many youths as possible?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Prime Minister indicated that the projections that were used to predict the population of the country were based on
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issuance of IDs previously had been bogged down by the fact that some registration clerks had been accused of demanding kickbacks and that some boarder districts had problems issuing ID cards. In the process, many people have not held these ID cards. The Prime Minister has just told us that newly married women will not be subjected to the rigors that they have been subjected to before. What about those ones who have been previously married and still do not have IDs? In the western part of Kenya, when you look at population demographics, the number holding IDs is far less than the existing population.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Prime Minister alluded to the introduction of the new generation IDs cards which will enable the holders to vote during the general elections. When will he implement the usage of these new generation cards?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his Statement, the Prime Minister has indicated that they target to clear the backlog of 650,000 to 800,000 pending applications. We have been told there will be about four million young Kenyans who will be eligible to have ID cards and to vote in the next general elections. However, they fear they might be locked out for lack of these important documents. So, if the Government is only, probably, covering 800,000, what will they do to ensure four million young Kenyans who wish to participate in the next general elections are not disenfranchised and locked out of the process?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to appreciate the Statement by the Prime Minister, especially on the need to ensure that 22 million Kenyans who qualify to have ID cards get them. However, I would like him to clarify the following: That the Kshs1 million he is proposing to allocate per district cannot be adequate for those districts in northern Kenya. This is because he cannot compare a district like Lokitaung with about 5,000 square kilometers, to maybe Kibera with 500 square kilometres. This House also passed a Motion in 2008, which I sponsored. We realized the need for the Government to combine both the voter’s card and the ID card into one document, for obvious reasons of ensuring that even the cost of producing these documents is not a challenge to the Government, as it has been the case now. Why has the Government failed to implement that particular resolution of this House?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the extra 80 constituencies will necessitate fresh registration of all the voters of Kenya. Could the Prime Minister indicate when he thinks this new registration of voters will start? Finally, is the issue of corruption at the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons. It is easier for a Ugandan to pay money and get an ID card in Mumias Town than a local. Similarly, it is easier for a Somali from Somalia to get an ID than a Kenyan Somali because of the corruption at the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons. What is he doing to curb that, especially in view of the fact that the Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons is his own direct appointee under the arrangement of the coalition Government?
Dr. Khalwale, you chose to say Mumias Town when it comes to western Kenya. Why did you not say Luhya. But when it comes to the Somali, instead of saying “North Eastern Province”, you said “Somali”. That is unparliamentary.
Proceed, Right hon. Prime Minister.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Dr. Munyaka wanted to know whether schools and colleges will be used as registration centres. That was part of my Statement. I did say that schools and colleges will be centres of registration. He also suggested a very innovative idea that the Government considers dedicating a particular day or week for registration. As I said, we are trying to beat the deadline to ensure that the 12 million people who are eligible for registration to participate in the elections are registered. We will cross that bridge when we reach it. If we see that there is a backlog and that there is need to beat it, all efforts will be put in place to ensure that everybody is registered. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Imanyara asked about the controversy of census. I do not think that it was really a controversy. I think that was like a storm in tea cup. There is no controversy. There was just a suggestion by the Minister of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 under whose docket the census fell, that there was need for verification of results in certain areas where they had some doubts and so on. This matter has been discussed and it is still being discussed. Therefore, I do not buy the idea that there is a controversy over this matter. Mr. Imanyara also wanted to know how that repeat will affect the issuance of IDs. It will not affect the issuance of IDs because anybody who wants to obtain an ID has to provide proof that he or she is a Kenyan citizen. He will, therefore, be issued with an ID without delay. So, that also will, probably, be another way of doing verification. Dr. Eseli talked about corruption of clerks and other hon. Members also have since asked about the same question of corruption. In order not to repeat the same answer, I would like hon. Members to treat what I will say as the answer to their questions. Corruption is a vice that we are fighting in this country. Corruption has been endemic in this society because it has never been fought for a very long time. Right from Independence, it has followed us through all the various governments up to today. We are now putting, probably, the best machinery in place to help in fighting this corruption which includes reforms in the criminal justice system in the country. This will help us to have the proper tools to fight corruption in this country. Therefore, I think it is unfair for Dr. Khalwale to try to single out a Minister by saying that he is from ODM. We do not look at the Government from that perspective. All Ministers are Ministers of the Government. This is a coalition Government so it is unfair to try to blame corruption in the Ministry of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons on the Minister. As I have said, it is endemic and it must be fought. However, it cannot be fought by an individual in a Ministry. About the issue of married women before and after, I would like to assure Dr Eseli that there will be no discrimination. The time when the woman was married is not a factor here. If she had been denied the right of registration in the past, this time round she will not be denied. We know that this is a very serious issue in the country because in some areas where men, probably, took women without paying dowry, there is always that fear that if a woman goes back to her parents to seek for verification or certification she might be held there, so that the parents demand for payment of unpaid dowry. It is not the fault of a woman that her husband did not pay dowry. The woman, therefore, should not be punished by denying her the right to obtain a Kenyan identity card. That is why we have said that as long as the chief or the sub-chief can vouch
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I had asked the Prime Minister to tell us when the registration of voters will kick off. He has not answered that. I just wanted to point out to him that with the current voter’s card, a voter can only vote for a President or a local authority candidate. He cannot vote for a Senator, a Governor or a county representative. That is the voter’s card and I have a copy of my voter’s card. If the Government does not invest and move quickly, then we are going to run out of time to register the voters. Under Article 37(3) of the Constitution, political right is a right of each voter. So we run a risk whereby any Kenyan who has been denied a voter’s card can run to court and stop the general election of 2012.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are very much alive to what Dr. Khalwale is talking about. That is why the Government is moving with speed. As I speak, the Member is aware that we do not have the Independent
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, obtaining an ID card has been a major challenge and a nightmare for many Kenyans. Could the Prime Minister tell us why the minority communities are being profiled by extra vetting despite his Memorandum of Understanding with the Muslim community that he would reduce the profile? As you are aware, there are many people along our other borders, but they are not subjected to any vetting except the people of North Eastern and Coast provinces. Could the Prime Minister tell us why this is so?
You do not need an MoU to get your constitutional right, hon. S. Abdalla.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some few months ago, there was a serious shortage of Government funded condoms and many youths were exposed to HIV/AIDS due to the negligence by the Government under the supervision of the Prime Minister.
Order! Order! Hon. Mbuvi, please take time, relax and try and learn the rules of the House. We are on Statements and the Statement today is on ID cards. The Prime Minister’s Statement today is on ID cards, if you look at the end of the green paper. It is on the situation concerning the delivery of national identity cards and voter registration. You need to seek clarification from the Prime Minister’s Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Right. hon. Prime Minister for the good news, that almost 22 million Kenyans who are 18 years old and above will get their ID cards. We are all aware that people from tribes living along the borders have been facing a lot of problems, especially the Kenyan Somalis, but a new development has come up. When Kenyan Nubians staying out of Nairobi apply for ID cards or passports they are forced to come to Nairobi for approval of their applications. A good example is those Kenyan Nubians living in the Coast region. Could the Prime Minister clarify and inform this House whether this issue relating to Kenyan Nubians is part of the Constitution?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the challenges in issuing IDs, or in the use of IDs, is the level of computerisation and the level of connectivity within the Government; even though IDs have fingerprints of their holders, it becomes very difficult for the police to use them. This is because connectivity is very poor. When crime is committed, police officers go to the scene and take fingerprints. However, it takes a very long time for them to retrieve that information. One clarification I would like to get from the Prime Minister is, as they issue IDs, what the Government is doing to ensure that it undertakes computerisation and ensures connectivity in the various arms of the Government.
Secondly, there is the issue of aliens and refugees. Could the Government also consider issuing every alien in this country with an alien identity card, so that one does not try, at any time, to acquire a national identity card since the Government will
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while commending the Prime Minister for the enlightening Statement, I would urge him to inform the House on the issuance of fake ID cards by fraudsters. This is not a new thing in this country. I would like the Prime Minister to inform the House the measures the Government is taking to stamp out that menace in the country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a clarification from the Prime Minister. There are thousands, if not millions, of uncollected ID cards in all registration offices in the districts, right up to the headquarters in Nairobi. Can he, as a matter of policy, ensure that all uncollected ID cards are taken to the district headquarters and destroyed, so that we can have peaceful elections in this country in the future?
Another issue I wanted to seek clarification on is that of alien registration, which has been articulated by hon. Charles Kilonzo. What I wanted to say is that we should register aliens as much as we register our people. If we do not register them, since they must find a way of surviving, they will get national ID cards corruptly in order for them to get employed. So, we should register them as we register Kenyans. There are up to one million aliens who can access the national ID card.
As a matter of policy also, now that we are moving to issuance of new generation ID cards, which we can use as a driving licence, insurance card and even as a voter’s card, let us register everybody from the age of one day to six months using the birth certificates. So, anybody who does not have a birth certificate should be vetted. Anybody with birth certificate should be given an ID card. That way, we will sort out what hon. S. Abdalla has just said about people who are being discriminated against, because we do not have a proper policy to ensure that Kenyans are registered.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me thank the Prime Minister for his Statement. Getting an ID card is actually a challenge in Kenya, just as my colleague has said. Given that the Government has allocated some funds to the Ministry, and given the economic hardships in Kenya, could the Prime Minister undertake to waive the fees payable for the issuance or replacement of ID cards which are lost because many people are unable to pay?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the reasons that cause delays in issuance of ID cards, or which totally makes it impossible for one to acquire this vital document, is lack of means of transport within counties. How is the Government going to address this situation and ensure that there is mobility in times of registration, so that issuance of ID cards is made easy? Can other registration centres also be established so that issuance of ID cards can be undertaken even at the divisional level? In some districts, there are no means of transport for people to travel to the district headquarters, where the registration centre is only the district headquarters.
Hon. Members, I will take the last two clarifications on this issue, starting with hon. Kabogo.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have finally caught your eye.
Order, hon. Kabogo! Foreigners were not catching the Chair’s eye. Strangers were also not catching the Chair’s eye. It is dignified Members of Parliament who were elected in the same way you were elected, who were catching the Chair’s eye.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This Member of Parliament has caught your eye.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the Government that he heads as the Prime Minister is in breach of the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, more so Article 12(b), which says:- “12(1)(b) Every citizen is entitled to a Kenyan passport and any document of registration or identification issued by the State to the citizens”.
A while ago, the Prime Minister mentioned that ID cards are issued to persons who are above the age of 18 years, but the Constitution mentions categorically that every citizen is entitled to a Kenyan Passport and any document of registration. So, the eligibility here is being a citizen. Irrespective of whether one is one year old or one month old or 12 days old or 20 years old, one is entitled to the identification document. Is the Government not in breach of the Constitution? Secondly, in his Statement the Prime Minister said that there are many people who do not have ID cards. I am sure that it is in his knowledge that many Kenyans from the central region, particularly Kiambu County, Murang’a County and other counties were denied ID cards by the former regime. Those people are now 25 years of age and above. What is the Government going to do to make sure that those Kenyans are given ID cards?
I will have Dr. Nuh and one more hon. Member.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I equally want to thank the Prime Minister for at least giving hope to young Kenyans that they will obtain this document, which has eluded them for a very long time. With the reluctance of the Prime Minister to assure the House that they will give extra funding to the ASAL areas, which are more expansive---
Order! There was no reluctance by the Prime Minister to give ASAL areas more funding. The Prime Minister was categorical that if the allocated funds are not sufficient, more funds will be made available. Proceed and seek your clarification.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will qualify that. The people in ASAL areas---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Indeed, the Right hon. Prime Minister was responding to my clarification. He did not give a definite commitment the way he has done for the Kshs1 million allocation per district. In fact, he negated; that the vastness is negated by the smaller population, which is not true.
The HANSARD will clearly bear the report. Nonetheless, continue!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank hon. Ethuro for that clarification. What we were asking for is that the allocations to the districts be varied to take the effect of the expansive nature of ASAL districts so that they are issued with more funds even on the onset. On that note that they might be given equal funds across the board, I am a bit worried that people in ASAL areas would maximally benefit from this exercise. In that regard, would I request the Prime Minister to put a direct order to the Minister for the formation of District Registration Committees for us to be in a position to monitor the exercise so that Kenyans in ASAL areas are not disadvantaged and get their ID cards as the rest of Kenyans?
Last, the hon. Member for Chepalungu!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my question has been partly touched by the last speaker. I only want to add one or two things. The same committee should be chaired by the District Commissioner (DC) and should have Members of Parliament, council chairmen, other stakeholders, including youth representatives, women representatives and religious organizations. This would ensure that even the Kshs1 million that has been sent to the district will be used in a proper manner. The risk is that they will spend all this money and the youths will not have been registered. Finally, the Prime Minister mentioned the lack of consumables for the last one year. This is similar to the answer by Mr. Ojode about the lack of spare parts for Land Rovers. How can we explain the lack of consumables? Is it paper, spare parts for these machines or films for photography? How can he explain such a thing? Consumables are items you can tender and ensure that they are procured continuously. What is the assurance he will give us that these consumables will not, again, ground the exercise? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to bring it to your attention that the youth are actually fed up. They are almost walking over to come and find out what Mr. Kajwang’ is doing. I suggest that they take it more seriously. We do not want to be given excuses about lack of consumables.
You have made your point! Right hon. Prime Minister, can you proceed and make the clarifications!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Ms. S. Abdalla asked about profiling of certain communities of minorities. She talked particularly of North Eastern and the Coast provinces. I want the hon. Member to know that the Government has no intention of discriminating against its own citizens. In certain special circumstances, it becomes necessary to carry out some verification. Our citizens who live along the borders, as I mentioned, are sometimes subjected to a longer procedure.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Can you allow the Right hon. Prime Minister to conclude? Order, Ms. S. Abdalla, listen first and then you can rise on your point of order! Proceed, Right hon. Prime Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want her to know that this is not just in regard to the North Eastern and Coast provinces. Even citizens living along the border with Uganda, and Mr. Ababu can confirm this; those along the border with Tanzania and Mr. Ojode can confirm, have also been subjected sometimes to a much more rigorous screening and vetting than other Kenyans. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very unfortunate about the situation that is obtaining along our border to the East; that is the Republic of Somalia, where law and order has completely broken down. There is no effective civilian authority and as a result of this, you have a very heavy migration of people coming from that side as refugees into our country. That is what can be used to account for extra vetting of our citizens along that border. This is to ensure that we are registering or issuing Kenyan ID card to Kenyans. These refugees who come into the country are profiled and issued with alien cards. They are not issued with Kenyan identification cards. That I can confirm to hon. Members here. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Dor repeated the same question regarding borders but also went on to ask a specific question about Kenyans of Nubian origin. These Nubians are Kenyans. I want him to know that I represent the highest number
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. There was a very important issue which I wanted the Prime Minister to capture. That was the use of birth certificates serial numbers that are issued between the ages of one and six months. That can be a permanent solution for anybody trying to register as a citizen of Kenya. If we implement that in the new generation identity cards, we will never have a problem of people complaining about failure to get identity cards. This is because birth certificate serial numbers should be permanent identity card numbers for everybody in future.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish the hon. Member was patient. That was the second point I was coming to.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had finished the first point and I was going to agree. However, the hon. Member also needs to know that our society is not yet that advanced. There are still children who are born to
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think the Prime Minister might not have gotten the point Mr. Ruto and I were putting across. Currently, as things stand, districts do not have committees which are mandated with issues of registration. The same question that I asked on whether he can direct the Minister in charge to see to it that districts form district registration committees was the same one that Mr. Ruto was following on and tried to suggest what type of
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Prime Minister did not understand my point on the issue of the Constitution. My point was not that they were in breach of the Constitution because of not issuing identity cards to children. My point was that the Constitution is clear that these documents, namely passport, identity cards et cetera should be issued to all Kenyan citizens. So, my point was that the Government is in breach of the Constitution because there are Kenyans who have not been issued with identity cards, ranging from one year to whatever age. Are they not in breach of the Constitution? That was my point and not about age.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a point of order which I have not dealt with.
The Chair is of the opinion that all these points of order should be raised and the Right hon. Prime Minister will deal with them at once. This is because we are getting late for more substantive business.
Proceed, Mr. Ruto!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also do not believe that he clearly understood what I had suggested, further to what Dr. Nuh had indicated. We are requesting for an additional committee similar to the District Water Committee where there is a clear directive. I am sure he can originate such a directive, especially with the help of the Minister in charge of the registration, so that we can monitor in a clear format, just like it is in the DEB.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Right hon. Prime Minister in order to evade my clarification? The Prime Minister has pronounced himself in very clear terms that he will allocate Kshs1 million per district. My submission to the Prime Minister was that, that Kshs1 million cannot be sufficient in ASAL areas, considering that even when the census exercise was conducted, we had to do it in more days than the rest of the country. The proposals of adding money- -- The budgeting process cannot be a good enough reason to assure those areas of the resources they need. I would like the Prime Minister to pronounce himself clearly. I wish he would say that Kshs2 million will be provided to districts in the ASAL areas.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Right hon. Prime Minister in order to mislead the House by saying that there is no discrimination in issuing of ID cards and yet, he, himself, signed an MOU to reduce the profiling of Muslims? Why did he sign that MOU if it was not discrimination?
Order! The Chair is not in possession of an official document called an MOU. Under the circumstances---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Allow the Prime Minister to reply to issues. He will respond to the pertinent issues at hand. Right hon. Prime Minister, proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, both hon. Dr. Nuh and Isaac Ruto are talking about the same thing. They are both talking about the mechanisms of issuance of ID cards. I first want them to appreciate the principle that the Government is committed to ensuring that every Kenyan eligible to be issued with an ID card, will be issued with one before elections take place next year, irrespective of who is involved. The exercise will be done in a non-discriminatory manner. That is why I said that the DC is a servant of the Government. Hon. Ruto does not need to tell the Government to use the DC. As long as people get ID cards, I do not see the concern of hon. Ruto. The main concern is to ensure that every person eligible gets an
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika.
Order, Mr. Mbuvi! Proceed, Mr. Prime Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Kabogo asked why we are not issuing children who are being born with ID cards. A child cannot apply for an ID card when he is born. There is a law. The Government works out ways and means of issuing. That is found in the particular law that is written in that Constitution. That is what is being used by the Government. We are not in breach of the immigration laws. We are not in breach of laws dealing with births and registration of persons. We are fully compliant. Hon. Ethuro was concerned about more resources. My concern here is to ensure that the people in Turkana get their ID cards. That is the undertaking that I have given. Whether it will cost Kshs1 million or less--- If we can save and do it at Kshs1 million, why should he insist that we must do it with Kshs2 million or Kshs10 million? I do not think that is fair to the taxpayer of this country. We will ensure that every Kenyan who is eligible to get an ID card, will get one. Hon. S. Abdalla referred to an MOU, but Mr. Deputy Speaker has already talked about it. We were talking about discrimination at that time. I have since said that we are committed to ensure that no Kenyan is discriminated against, when it comes to the issuance of ID cards. I only talked about the aliens who come into our country; who must be vetted to ensure that they are not issued with Kenyan ID cards or any other identification document like passports. That is an exercise that is being carried out. Issuance of ID cards to people who live in border areas; whether it is along our border with Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda or Tanzania are not necessarily disadvantaged viz-a-viz other fellow Kenyans. In conclusion, I would like to say that we have a race against time. That is because we are now counting days to the next elections. We have also Kenyans in the diaspora who have now been allowed by the Constitution to participate in the elections. Those Kenyans also need to have ID cards so that they can participate in elections next year. I said that the registration is going to start this month in London. It will be extended to other Kenyans who live in other parts of the world to ensure that they are all registered. So, I want hon. Members to know that everything will be done regarding this matter, so that we deal with it speedily to ensure that we do not get a road block when the elections come. Thank you.
We have come to the end of the Prime Minister’s Statement. Hon. Members, because of the constitutional matters that have been raised in Order No.8 (i), that business is deferred to another date. With regard to (ii), the hon. Chair of the relevant Committee needs more time. Equally, the Chair does not see hon. Eng. Ephraim Maina in the House. Is Eng. Maina in the House and the Minister? That is because there is a Memorandum in (iv) which must be moved by the relevant Minister?
Under the circumstances, we will only deal with part (iii) in Order No.8, which is the National Gender and Equality Commission Bill, Bill No.23 of the year 2011.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise in relation with the guidance that you have given that we defer Order No.8 on the Political Parties Bill. We just wanted
Order! If you study your Standing Orders, you will see that issues of constitutionality can be drawn to the attention of the Chair at any given time by any Member of Parliament, either in the plenary or in the Speaker’s Office. Under the circumstances, the Chair believes that, that matter must be looked into very well by the Chair.
Nonetheless, on the matters that have been raised and for the benefit of the House, the Chair is going to call upon the hon. Member, who raised that matter, to raise it on the Floor of the House also. Proceed, hon. Olago!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am much obliged.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. While we were on the Statement by the Prime Minister, I had requested that you give me a chance---
Order! You will be given a chance tomorrow.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but the Order was not called by the Clerk. The Clerk has not called the next Order.
Hon. Members, this takes me back to exactly what the Chair had intended to do from the beginning. If Order No.8 is called, you all understand the procedure in the House. A ruling has got to be given. Given the fact that we have a lot of business to transact over this period of time, and the fact that we should waste as little time as possible and dispose of some of these Bills to operationalise our own Constitution, the Chair will draw authority from Standing Order No.36(2) which says: “Business shall be disposed of in the sequence in which it appears in the Order Paper or in such other sequence as the Speaker may, for the convenience of the House, direct”.
The Chair is convinced that for the convenience of the House, this other matter will be disposed of, and the Chair will give a ruling tomorrow. In the meantime, so as not to waste any more time, we have one Bill to dispose of; we will proceed and dispose of that Bill.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. While we respect your ruling, we would plead that you allow Members to ventilate on the constitutionality, so that as the ruling is given, our thoughts are included. Hear those who think there is a constitutional problem and those who may think there is none. It is only fair that we fertilise the Speaker’s mind as he gives a ruling.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am on a point of order which I had informed the Chair about. It is about the welfare of 400 Kenyans who, up to now, are camping at the place of one of the owners of the African Safari Club. It was the Chair which ruled that today, Wednesday, the Minister for Labour would give a statement on the issue of 400 staff members who are camping at the place of one of the owners of the African Safari Club up to now. They are not leaving that place until they get the information from the Minister for Labour. I think this is more important than what we are supposed to do now.
Order, hon. Members! Under the circumstances, the Chair is going to call for the next Order. Next Order!
Order, hon. Members! Whereas the Chair, in his own wisdom, wanted to start with the only business that we are going to do, based on interest, the Chair is going to call part (i) and call on hon. Olago to voice his objections.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairman. It is with a heavy heart that I rise to raise issues about the proceedings before the House yesterday that touched on serious constitutional matters, and that I think, due to an oversight, were not brought to the attention of the Chair. The issues are so grave that I plead---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Hon. Olago is on a point of order. Proceed!
Mr. Chairman, the issues that I want to raise touch on Standing Order No.47(3)(b) and Standing Order No.125(2) that relate to the ability of the Chair to deal with issues that touch on constitutionalism and that are brought before the House. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I wish to table before you the HANSARD of yesterday’s proceedings starting from page 36 and ending on page 74.
Mr. Chairman, there were serious issues that were dealt with in these proceedings before the House, but I wish to highlight only two of them. One, is an amendment that appears on page 54 of the HANSARD – an amendment that deleted Clause 10 of the Bill that was presented by the Minister and---
On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, Sir. I am on procedure.
What is your point of order on procedure? This business has been called out and the hon. Member is making his contribution.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am on a point of order and this is irregular and unprocedural. If hon. Ruto could be patient and let me finish--- This would amount to heckling and we should not allow it here. I should be given a chance to finish what I have to say.
Proceed, hon. Olago!
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Sir. I ask for patience.
I hope you are contributing to part (i), which is the Political Parties Bill, Bill No.20 of 2011. That is what you are raising objections on, on constitutional grounds?
That is correct, Mr. Chairman,, Sir.
Proceed and give your submission.
Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, I want to be very precise.
Hon. Ruto, you are out of order! The hon. Olago Alouch is on a point of order.
Proceed, hon. Olago.
Mr. Chairman, Sir amending the original Bill to give effect to 14 days notice is in direct conflict with Article 85 of the Constitution that says three months period must be given. This is clearly not right. These are the only two that I want to bring to your attention. There could be others.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, in this point of order, I want to urge you to kindly look very carefully at these issues---
Which Articles of the Constitution does it contradict?
Mr. Chairman, Sir, it contradicts Article 85(a) of the Constitution.
Order, hon. Khalwale, hon. Namwamba, and hon. Mbadi! If you are so passionate about contributing on this, you should not interrupt any more with any more points of order. The hon. Olago is on a point of order. Any more Members who interrupt this submission, will have to face the consequences.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am urging you to have a very careful look at the issues that I have raised. I am sure hon. Members maybe have other issues to raise, so that finally the Chair uses its discretion under Standing Order No.47(3) to look at these issues. I wish to refer to Standing Order No.125(2) that specifically states:-
“At any time before the certification and submission of a Bill to the President, the Speaker may correct formal errors or oversights therein without changing the substance of the Bill.”
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I kindly urge you to do so.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, you are properly Chairman and not Speaker, right now. I want to bring that out to be clear.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am referring to the fact that we are in the Committee of the whole House. Standing Order No.136 says:- “A Committee shall not consider any matter other than a matter which has been referred to it or which it is required by these Standing Orders to consider.”
Mr. Chairman, Sir, Mr. Ruto has referred to Standing Order No.136. It says:- “A Committee shall not consider any matter other than a matter which has been referred to it or which it is required by these Standing Orders to consider.”
Hon. Olago has raised a matter on this Standing Order. So, therefore, hon. Ruto is only quoting the first section of it. But the second section, which says, “or which it is required by these Standing Orders to consider”, this Committee of the whole House is required to consider Standing Order No.125, which hon. Olago quoted. So, this is perfectly in order.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I think we need to be sincere and genuine.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, the whole purpose of that reference of unconstitutional issue shows evidence of sour loser. We debated this issue. The issue was, do we approve pre-election coalitions or not? This issue was dealt with, debated, discussed and a decision was made by the Committee. Some Members even stood up to ask for division, but they did not have the numbers. We are not being sincere. It should not be opened through another route. This is exactly what is happening. This Committee made a decision that allowed both pre-election coalition and after election coalition. That is the decision that is there on the HANSARD. We cannot attempt to reverse it. It is too late in the day.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the party hopping---
You are debating.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I have not finished. On the second point of party hopping, the decision that the Committee made is that you do not require to give--- There were some amendments of three months, six months, but we said no, we do not want any of those. That is the right of this House to make that decision. We should allow people to change their parties. That is basically the effect of what we did. So, what I am submitting is this: This reference to a so-called unconstitutional matter is not sincere and genuine. We are aware that Members have been whipped to come so that this edition is reversed and we should not allow it.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want to plead with the House that we be patient with each other. It is a debating chamber, and then, Mr. Chairman will give a ruling.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, Standing Order No.1 clearly states:-
Do not engage in discussion other than when you catch the Chair’s eye.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, yes, there is no express provision on how to handle a constitutional issue. If a Member has risen, constitutional issues do arise. I believe they do because I was going to stand here and raise a point of order on issue of constitutionality of the proceedings relating to this Bill. Under Standing Order No.1, we should defer this matter as the Chair had said awaiting the ruling of Mr. Speaker. But we did request that we ventilate so that Mr. Speaker rules with the benefit of the thoughts of those for and against.
I stand here to affirm that there is a constitutional issue and we will be breaching the express provisions of the Constitution. Mr. Chairman, Sir, my worry is not about pre-election mergers. That is something that we can live with even if I personally was opposed to that. My problem is with legitimization of party-hoping; the reason which one can call political promiscuity. What is actually happening is that the Constitution has come to improve the platform upon which we have been operating. But if you look at the current Political Parties Act, it is stronger on discipline than the Bill we are trying to pass here. The Bill we are trying to pass here, not only removed the period of notice for one leaving the party, which again is a Clause one can live with, but it legitimized party-hoping. Mr. Chairman, Sir, it cannot be permissible that a person goes to the voters to say you are being elected on party “x” and then as a free agent you keep on hoping from one party to another in Parliament. That is a fraud on the voters. If you look at Chapter 6 on Integrity, it is a matter of integrity as well. I believe that the Bill as it is now is unconstitutional. This is the House that has sworn to defend the Constitution. This is a matter that Mr. Speaker is obliged to look at and give a ruling to this House.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not want to interrupt this discourse. However, in his opening remarks, Mr. Githae, while making his submissions, my learned junior and brother, he referred to me as a “sour loser”. I am neither sour nor a loser. The language is unparliamentary. I want him to withdraw those remarks.
It was debated yesterday!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will be very brief. I want to beg you to heed the call of Mr. Olago so that you can give proper direction on this matter. It is the duty of this House to pass laws which are in conformity with the Constitution. It is our absolute duty. When there are issues raised, you must guide us. Mr. Chairman, Sir, I want you in your ruling to guide this House and the country whether in a purely presidential system coalition governments are allowed because that seems to be the sticking point. It is my contention - and Mr. M. Kilonzo seems to agree with me when he says the coalition alluded to in Article 108 is in the
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am conscious of the fact that in this House, we do not have a shortage of legal minds that can debate and articulate this constitutionality. My concern is the question of procedure. As far as procedure is concerned, this train that we are driving now did not start this afternoon. It started yesterday and decisions were made after passionate contributions. The contribution made by hon. Olago is actually a contribution that could have been made when he was trying to persuade us, especially those of us who are not lawyers, to vote with him yesterday when we were taking the decision. That yesterday, the decision was taken; my belief on procedure is that we cannot reverse a decision which was made through a point of order. The procedure would be that you would reverse it with a Motion. Where is the Motion before you trying to reverse what we decided yesterday? Because we want to demonstrate that we are in a hurry, willing to make sure that we pass the Political Parties Bill, the door is not closed for amendments and all the Members know that. When the matter will go to the President for assent, he will address everything and any little mess that we might have committed in this House and refer it back to us. Let us allow the train to move and then if there are any considerations, they will be considered at the time of assent.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am conscious of the fact that it is almost one hour to the rise of the House. On Thursday last week, this House was up in arms that the Government is not serious in passing constitutional Bills. To demonstrate our commitment, we have only one hour and I am keen that the business that is appearing today needs to be completed, so that these sideshows that we are introducing can become very clear to the people of Kenya as to who is serious and who is not.
It is okay! Let them see!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, accordingly, I beg to move that this House reports progress and seeks permission to sit again until the conclusion of the business appearing on this Order.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, allow me first of all to pronounce myself on procedure and then on substance. Let me draw your attention to the Standing Order No.141 and allow me to put it on record. It states that:- “Except as otherwise provided in these Standing Orders, the same rules of order and of debate for the conduct of business shall be observed in Committee as in the House”.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I realize that the Deputy Leader of Government Business had your attention.
Proceed! Mr. Namwamba: Mr. Chairman, Sir, I am saying that I want to raise a point of procedure first and then a point of substance. On a point of procedure, I was drawing
Yes, hon. Wetangula.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, before I speak on the procedure, let me tell you, hon. Members. For those who are pursuing legislation with vested interests, there was a Prime Minister in Pakistan called Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. When he was the Prime Minister, he engineered a law which outlawed the participation of any foreign lawyers, particularly Queen’s Counsels (QCs) from the the UK, in Pakistani jurisdiction. After a while in office, a military general overthrew him and took him to court. He sought to bring 10 QCs from the UK to defend him, and he was shown the law that he had passed with a vested interest. He was told: “QCs cannot practise law here.” He was tried without QCs defending him, convicted, sentenced and hanged in public.
So, whatever we do, my colleagues, let us not do it for our personal interests, or for vested interests of today. Let us do it for posterity. I want, in future, my children, my grandchildren and your grandchildren to inherit a law which puts everybody in a position of comfort. Let us not pass laws because they will help cross the Rubicon today. Even in Roman days, when you crossed the Rubicon, you never came back. We should be more careful than that.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, on the matter of procedure, looking at Standing Order No.119, it allows you to take this process through. Then when you finish and you are reporting to the House---
Hon. Members, allow me to read this Standing Order, which says:- “119(1) When a Bill has been reported from a Committee of the whole House on committal, the House shall consider the Bill as so reported upon a Motion “That the House do agree with the Committee in the said report” (2) The question on any Motion moved under paragraph (1) of this Standing Order shall be put forthwith, no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed, unless any Member desires to delete or amend any provision contained in a Bill, or to introduce any new provision therein, in which case he or she may propose any amendment to add, at the end of the Motion, the
Yes, Mr. Mbadi.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, first of all, I would like to say that personally, I am persuaded by the reasoning of hon. Ababu Namwamba on Standing Order No.141 – that a Committee of the House is an extension of the House. Having said so, there was an amendment which was accepted yesterday. That amendment was moved by hon. Githae. I want to read the amendment from the HANSARD. Section 14(5) was stopping the idea of a person belonging to a political party, yet propagating and championing the interests of other political parties. Section 14(4) says as follows:- “14(5) A person who while being a member of a political party- (a) forms another political party; (b) joins in the formation of another political party; (c) joins another political party; (d) in any way or manner, publicly, advocates for the formation of another political party, that person commits an offence. Mr. Chairman, Sir, the amendment that was moved in respect of this Clause and adopted yesterday says that Clause 14(d) and (e) shall not apply to a member of a political party in relation to the common objective of a coalition. I want to give an example to this House. Today, we have the Grand Coalition Government of ODM and PNU. If we allow this amendment, hon. Mbadi, who was elected on an ODM ticket, can go out there and publicly advocate for the formation of another political party, so long as I can convince you that it is in relation to the “common objective of a coalition”, which is not defined. Therefore, this is a mischievous amendment, which was meant to legitimise the idea of party-hopping. It was meant to legitimise the idea of those who are currently facing court action. They want to use this amendment to escape the intention of their parties wanting to discipline them. I do not think we were making this law for G7 or, as hon. Karua called it, “G-nothing” or “G-anything”. We are making a political parties law to govern this country for posterity. Since we all swore to defend and protect the Constitution, we have a duty to stop legislation contravening the Constitution at any stage, because the Constitution is superior to any other law, including the Standing Orders of this House.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, there is a saying which goes; “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. I think there is a general failure by Members of Parliament in not participating in Parliamentary proceedings.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, a few of us were here yesterday.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, there was, obviously, good contribution out there and, maybe, good reasoning, but that reasoning was not available when it was required in debate. What we were going through was good arguments. We are hearing good arguments. We are not saying that they are bad arguments but, as a matter of procedure, if we allow re-opening of debate on this amendment, every time we are not satisfied with a certain resolution, we will be coming back to the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House to re-open debate on that resolution. I am not saying that what we have passed is good or bad. It could be good. It could be bad.
Hon. Ojode, order! Order! Mr. Chairman, Sir, the other shortcoming that we have is that, despite the fact that yesterday, those who were here were willing to contribute, there was also this mood of the House which was insisting on questions being put without adequate debate. I have heard my good friend Mr. Mbadi put an argument which could be valid from one side. However, if you look at Clause 8 which allows for party mergers, if you are going to allow for party mergers there has to be a forum for the Members of Parliament to preach about that party merger out there. What we lacked yesterday was adequate time for Members to debate this matter. To conclude, on the issue of procedure, I plead with the Chair; if we allow that every time somebody is not comfortable with a resolution, we reopen debate on the clause, then that will become a permanent precedent in the House. There are many avenues. The parties concerned can go, lobby and shoot the entire Bill out in totality. That is an option! The other option is perhaps to write to the President or the Attorney-General to object and quote what they are not comfortable with, if it is unconstitutional. However, re-opening this debate will totally be unfair.
The Chair would want to give a direction on this.
Mr. Kimunya, you had your moment!
Mr. Chairman, Sir, during the moment, I never made my personal contribution. Can I make my personal contribution now?
Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is important for the correction of some facts that have been brought here.
Order, hon. Members!
Order, Hon. Members! You are now streaming out of the House and then later on, you will come and want to re-open debate on something! Can you stay in the House, deliberate and debate on this very important business? Please, proceed!
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, clause 2 of the Bill be amended by inserting the following definitions in proper alphabetical sequence- “marginalized group” means a group of people who, because of laws or practices before, on, or after the effective date, were or are disadvantaged by discrimination on one or more of the grounds in Article 27(4) of the Constitution; “person with disability” means any person with any physical, sensory, mental, psychological or other impairment, condition or illness that has, or is perceived by significant sectors of the community to have, a substantial or long-term effect on an individual’s ability to carry out ordinary day-to-day activities.
The Committee needs to withdraw their amendment to this clause.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I withdraw the amendments by the Committee on Clause 2.
Order, Minister! We are consulting a bit! Minister, I am advised that if you look at your amendment and look at the amendment by the Committee, yours becomes a sub-set of the Committee’s. Therefore, you may wish to withdraw yours so that you can allow the Committee to give the one which is a bit more comprehensive and has already factored yours. You need to put it on record that you have withdrawn the amendment to allow the Committee to move its amendment to the clause.
Mr. Chairman, Sir, I will allow the Committee to move their amendment. I wish to withdraw my amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:-
THAT, clause 7 be amended- (a) by deleting paragraph (b) and substituting therefor the following new paragraph- ‘(b) Impartiality, gender equality, and gender equity“ (b) by inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (b)- “(ba) inclusiveness, non-discrimination and protection of marginalized”
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, indeed, I support the amendment. It brings inclusivity by making it wider. It brings in issues of impartiality, gender equality and equity and also non-discrimination and protection of the marginalized.
I beg to support the amendment.
Madam Minister, we have a similar case again. You can perform the same procedure of withdrawing your amendment so that the Committee can proceed with its amendment. Let that be on record, Madam Minister.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I would like to withdraw my amendment, so that the Committee can proceed with its amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT Clause 8 of the Bill be amended- (a) In Paragraph (a) by inserting the word “gender” immediately after the word “promote” (b) By inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (c)- “(ca) coordinate and facilitate mainstreaming of issues of gender, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups in national development and to advise the government on all aspects thereof”. (c) In paragraph (k) by inserting the words “to Parliament” immediately after the word “annual reports”. (d) By inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (k)- “(ka) conduct audits on the status of special interest groups including minorities, marginalized groups, persons with disabilities, women, youth and children”.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I support this amendment. It is, again, bringing more inclusivity; that is persons with disability and other
Madam Minister, you have an amendment. It is the same amendment as that of the Committee, but let us give you the chance because the one by the Committee does not add value.
You can proceed and the Committee will withdraw its amendment!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 9 of the Bill be amended by deleting the word “four” and substituting therefor the word “eight”.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, if I understand this amendment, the word “four” is being deleted and the word “eight” is being substituted. We need to be very careful. We reduced the Government to 24 Ministries and we then cannot have a burden on the Ex-chequer by not only increasing the number of Commissions, but also putting the heavy burden of many Commissioners. This Commission having been split from the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, we ought to really limit the Commissioners to four instead of eight. I want to really persuade the Minister so that we later can accommodate an Ombudsman and we are able to have three Commissions. Let us have very lean Commissions, so that we do not overburden the Ex-chequer.
I oppose the amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I also really want to convince my good friend, Ms. Karua and the Minister that the reasoning behind the agreement of amalgamating these Bills to get one for the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the other for the Gender and Equality Commission was with the realization that the Ombudsman would come under the Kenya National Human Rights Commission. Because that decision has not been made, the logic of putting a Gender and Equality Commission that is effective was also to allow for regional
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, we looked at this very carefully at the Committee level. The demand and the cries that come from all over gave us the feeling that it was only important for us to have the eight Commissioners because of inclusivity, given the diversity of this country, so that we could have a broader outreach. We thought that we will not have a Ministry specifically for gender in the next Government. That is what people were looking at and I plead with my colleagues that we should give this Commission that number of Commissioners.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I strongly support that we retain the four Commissioners because it is management and not politics. We must keep this in perspective. I strongly propose that four is the right figure. This is not an emotional issue but a management issue. I support the four Commissioners.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 11 of the Bill be amended- (a) in sub clause (2) by deleting paragraph (d) and substituting therefor the following new paragraph- (d) Ministry responsible for matters relating to gender and social development; (b) in sub clause (13)-
(i) by deleting the words “gender equity”.
(ii) by deleting the words “equal opportunities” and substituting therefor the words “fair representation”.
For the sake of clarity, I would like the Chair of the Committee to realize that the Committee had an amendment and, since it was negatived in Clause 9, it does not, therefore, arise.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 21 of the Bill be amended in Sub-clause (2) by inserting the following paragraph immediately after paragraph (c)-
(ca) has extensive experience in public administration.
Madam Minister, why do you propose so?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, when you look at the list of the qualifications for the Secretary, it is important to have extensive experience in public administration to add value to the Commission. I thought that it was an omission and we needed to put it back in the Bill.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the amendment. It is fairly straightforward and I think for a Secretary, what we need more is public administration. I support.
Hon. Chair, you had an amendment but after factoring in the one by the Minister, yours is overtaken. So, you may wish to withdraw your amendment to Clause 21 formally.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I withdraw the amendment on Clause 21 in support of the Minister.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 26 of the Bill be amended by deleting Paragraph (e). I wish to amend this Clause by deleting Paragraph “e”. We have a concern that commissions would be doing the work of the police. Therefore, we thought that, that particular bit should be deleted.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I would like to convince the good Minister that, that is such a vital role. I had an experience where, with certain women organizations and some women Parliamentarians, we had to raid the home of a woman who had been kept in the house for three months without medication for her children. The police, themselves, were part of the syndicate. So, this is very necessary and I would like to ask the Minister to allow that Clause to remain.
Hon. Rachel Shebesh, we are at the Committee Stage. It is good to be careful. The Chair will assist you. This is an amendment to the Clause.
I would like that amendment to the Clause to be withdrawn.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman Sir, I would like to plead with the hon. Minister to drop this amendment. I want to associate myself with the remarks of hon. Shebesh. It may worry the Minister that a human rights organization or a gender commission cannot, on its own, enter the premises. However, those are people who know their limits. You would expect that they would be in a partnership with law enforcement agencies. The Clause is a reserve power for situations that are really critical, and one such situation has been demonstrated. I would urge the amendment to be withdrawn. I oppose it and we need to maintain the Clause as it is.
I thought the argument by the Minister was whether the police could not assist in that order. So, you need to allay the fears of your colleague - especially coming from the Government side - on how commissions and the police work.
Mr. Minister, you have made your point. That is the clarification we needed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, although the Minister has taken the thunder out of my argument, the fact of the matter is that I oppose the amendment. Today, I received a call from a lady who has been enslaved and nobody can go to see her. That is because her husband does not allow anybody to the house. So, I vehemently oppose that amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, in view of what my colleagues have highlighted, I wish to withdraw the amendment.
Committee, you also had an amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I am also persuaded by what my colleagues have said and, particularly, what Rachel has said. That is because I witnessed that. I was with her at midnight going to that particular house. I also withdraw the amendment on Clause 26.
Order! Did you say it was past midnight?
Yes. It was after midnight. We went to rescue that woman past midnight.
Okay. Hon. Members, because the amendment has been mutually withdrawn by both parties – the committee and the hon. Minister - then we will go back to the clause without amendment. So, I will propose and put the question on the original clause.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, the Bill be amended by deleting Clause 31. The reason for this amendment is the concern that somebody may go against a provision in a written law to be able to investigate. Even if a court has made a ruling, then the Commission will be busy trying to go and undo what has already been done and decided by court.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I want to once again persuade the Minister to withdraw this amendment. I actually oppose it on the ground that even in a matter that has been dealt with in court, if human rights of a person are at issue, the Commission can go in and investigate and check what is going on. You will recall that this Commission was together with the Human Rights Commission. Let us not forget that this is human rights work. It is not talking of restoring that old case; it is talking of a situation where even though the court has determined the matter, say, between husband and wife, a matter of a child in danger, a matter of a person with disability, or any other person regarding issues of equality, this Commission can go in and investigate. I would urge that we leave it open, remembering that the matter you are thinking of, of endangering anybody else--- These are justifiable issues in a court of law; this is Bill that passed through very capable legal hands; this is a provision found in many other jurisdictions. I beg to oppose.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, in view of my colleague’s view, her arguments and what she has said - she has pointed out very important issues - I wish to withdraw the amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I equally want to withdraw the amendment to Clause 31.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I support the amendment in the sense that if you look through our Constitution it promotes participation of the people. Because of that, I would like to support the Minister’s amendment.
Hon. Minister, I would guide you, I agree with you; if you look at the Bill itself, as published by you, it is indicated 25. However, according to our numbering, it is 23. We will go with our own numbering.
Hon Members, we have disposed of that particular Bill. According to Order No.8 we should be moving to the Price Control (Essential Goods) Bill 2009, but I do not see the Minister responsible to move it. Although the hon. Member, Eng. Ephraim Maina is here---
You cannot move it. You will bear with the Chair that this matter and also given the time consideration, we will do it next---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I can see here five Ministers of Government. I am just wondering because this matter has been on the Order Paper for long, is it possible under the rules for the House to be extended, so that we dispose of this Bill also? The Government is fully represented by very able Ministers.
While the Chair agrees with the sentiments of the hon. Member, if you look at the Order Paper, on that particular Bill and the proposed amendments, there is a qualification that the amendments be moved by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. You see, that qualification does not happen in those other Bills. The House is a house of order. I would urge you to persuade the Minister in other fora. But for purposes of the Committee of the Whole House, this Bill is deferred.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir.
What is it, Mr. Shakeel? We must report progress.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I would like to advise the Chair to reprimand the Minister for not being here.
Order, hon. Shakeel!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to report that a Committee of the Whole House has considered the National Gender and Equality Commission Bill, Bill No.23 of 2011 and approved the same with amendments.
(Dr. Shaban) seconded.
(Dr. Shaban) seconded.
Hon. Members, it is not time for us to adjourn the business of this House. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow Thursday, 18th August, 2011, at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.