Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Local Authorities on the nominations of chairperson and members of the Transition Authority laid on the table of the House on Wednesday, 13th June, 2012.
to ask the Minister for Education:- (a) Is the Minister aware that pupils from Leeta and Kiolo primary schools in Igembe North District were released by their respective head teachers to participate in a demonstration on 7th March, 2012, and that one of them was seriously injured and commercial wares looted at several market centres?
The Member for Igembe North! We shall give him a little time in case he is stuck in traffic.
Next Question is by Dr. Otichilo. INCREASE OF FUEL PRICES BY ERC
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Minister for Energy the following Question by Private Notice. (a) What factors did the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) consider when it increased the retail prices for super petrol and kerosene during the month of May, 2012? (b) Is the Minister aware that during the month of April, the price of crude oil declined from US$126 in March to US$121 a barrel and local currency had stabilized against the world’s major currencies and if so, why did the Commission fail to factor in the decline of the cost of crude oil and stability of the shilling when setting retail prices for May, 2012? (c) Could the Minister consider disbanding the Commission since it is not serving the purpose for its establishment?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) In determining the pump prices, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) considered the following factors:- The actual landed cost of each imported cargo received, which is made up of cost of product at the time the product was procured and cost of shipping to Mombasa, taxes and levies, cost of financing, overheads and margin and distribution costs. (b) I am aware that the price of murban crude in the month of April 2012 was posted at US$121 per barrel as compared to US$126 in March 2012. It is important to note that it takes approximately 60 days to process crude imported and get the products into the market. There is, therefore, a lag between the products being sold in the market and their corresponding crude. During the May 2012 pricing period, the quantity of super petrol and kerosene processed at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited amounted for only 17.38 per cent and 16.83 per cent respectively, of the total product availed in the country. The average landed cost of imported super petrol increased by 2.93 per cent from US$1,200.41 per tonne in March, 2012 to US$1,235.56 per tonne in April 2012. Over the same period, the average landed cost of imported diesel decreased by 2.34 per cent from US$1,085.10 per tonne in March, 2012 to US$1,059.66 per tonne in April, 2012, while the average landed cost of imported kerosene increased by 0.75 per cent from US$1,108.98 per tonne in March, 2012 to US$1117.26 per tonne in April, 2012. Over the same period, the mean monthly exchange rate weakened marginally to Kshs83.24 per US Dollar in April, 2012 compared to Kshs82.82 per US Dollar in March, 2012. (c) I do not consider disbanding the Commission since ERC was established with a wide range of mandate, with price regulation just being one among them.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, first, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for that elaborate answer. However, I wish to know from him: What factors have caused fuel prices to be increased to the current level, given that the current levels are equivalent or almost the same levels that were being charged in 2011, when the prices of crude oil were very high and the Kenya Shilling was very weak? It was more than Kshs100 to a dollar. So, what other factors, apart from price of crude oil and a weak shilling, have made those prices more or less to be the same as they were in 2011?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have mentioned the factors that we consider in pricing. Actually, they are the cost of the product itself, the transport cost to Mombasa and taxes and levies that are levied on the products received in Kenya. There is an allowance for financing overheads and margin and distribution costs. In fact, I have mentioned those costs in my answer.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to say the same factors influenced increase of crude oil prices in 2011? Given that the factors remained the same in 2012, the prices should not have been all that different.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I did not get the question of the hon. Member clearly. Maybe he could repeat it clearly, so that I can answer him.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, is the Assistant Minister in order to say other factors made the price of fuel to be increased and yet he told us that the same factors were in play in 2011? There should not have been all that difference in prices.
Assistant Minister, you are being asked if the factors have remained the same.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I said the factors have remained the same. These factors included the price of crude, transport costs, fuel levies and other costs which are incurred locally. So, all those are factors which are incurred and they never change.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, this Ministry is quite notorious in dealings that are not in the public interest. It is one Ministry that has the largest number of parastatals. You notice that this is known as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). When the Assistant Minister was answering part “c” of the Question, he said that they have no intention of disbanding it. Could he tell us how this ERC was established? Could he also tell us if there was any public participation, or if the law relating to the creation of commissions was followed? How was it staffed?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, yes, in the process of establishing the ERC, which is normal like in any other country, we had the regulation board before. So, after going through the process of developing Sessional Paper No. 4 of 2006, the Commission was formed. The Act was done in the right way. So, the process was followed. There was public participation and the proper procedure was followed to make the law establishing this Commission.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the answer by the Assistant Minister is shocking to the people of Kenya. This ERC was established to remove the cartels and ensure that Kenyans pay for the actual price of fuel. The Assistant Minister has confirmed to this House that, actually, the price came down from US$126 to US$121.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do confirm that after this capping mechanism was put in place, indeed, the price actually did decrease on two occasions. On the issue of the cartels, what we have done as a Ministry to avoid them is that we actually go through a tender process. Oil is brought into this country through an open tender system, which people only compete on the price of the product at the source, the transportation and a small premium. So, we have actually removed the cartel issue. But because we do not produce our own oil, its price keeps on increasing. Frankly, I think that the system we have put in place is trying to cap---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House that the price of fuel keeps increasing when, in his own answer, he has confirmed that, actually, the crude oil price declined from US$126 to US$121? Is he in order to mislead the House?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, yes, I agree that the crude oil price decreased by US$5 between March and April, but I did also say that the crude which we imported during those periods only constituted 17.38 per cent of the actual product that we have in the country and 16.83 in the other month. So, what we do is that the price is normally weighted pricing. So, the price which arrives here is more like the price of the refined product which landed in Mombasa. So, the crude is insignificant. So, the reduction in the crude price did not have a great effect because it was actually diluted by the price of the refined oil which was imported, because of the inefficiencies in our refineries.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to avoid answering my question? What are the other roles that the ERC was established for because he has made it clear that it is not only price regulation?
Order! I think your point is made. That was part of his question, which you have not answered. What other role does the ERC have, apart from regulating prices of fuel? Do they have any other role?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The ERC regulates:- (a) Importation, exportation, generation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electrical energy. That is one function. (b) Importation, exportation, transportation, refining, storage and sale of petroleum and petroleum products; that is the one that relates to petroleum. (c) Production, distribution, supply and use of renewal and other forms of energy. So, all the licensing which is done in this country in terms of energy is done by the ERC. So, price capping is not the only function they do.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I think when fuel prices are going down in the world, in Kenya, it is the reverse. I believe that when the ERC was formed, it was also to stabilize the fuel prices, so that we remove the uncertainty of doing business in this country. What action is the
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, to the extent that we do not have our own oil, it will be very difficult for us to ascertain the actual price of fuel. So, the uncertainty and the volatility of price will continue. So, the only solution will be if we have our own oil so that we can overcome that. But I assure the hon. Members that, in fact, in the next review, because of the current downward trend in the prices which started in April and May, we expect the pump prices to be reduced.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. How come when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) sneezes, the East African countries get flu, if not pneumonia? In most cases, we have heard that when there is just a slight increment of crude oil price our Government and the Ministry normally hike the price of our fuel locally. Does it not mean that in the energy sector, they do not have a reservoir which, at least, can absorb those shocks before they sit down and regulate or control the prices? Does the Ministry of Energy have enough reservoir so that it can contain these haphazard increments?
Thank you. I think you have explained your question, let the Assistant Minister now answer it.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have not been able to make strategic reserves. In fact, the intention is to develop a strategic reserve and we have to develop the infrastructure to store and also get the finances. We have the plan; the Ministry has, at least, to have the 90-day strategic reserve. I think that is a good idea, but we have not been able to manage it because of other issues.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, to Kenyans, the meaning of ERC is price regulation. Now that they have failed miserably, we, as parliamentarians, on behalf of the people, we are demanding that the Commission be disbanded immediately.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if the Assistant Minister does not want to heed to what we are saying, could he demonstrate here what areas in its wide mandate this Commission is performing? You are merely telling us what those areas are; could you demonstrate that they are performing, so that it mitigates against this mal- performance by way of failure to regulate the prices?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, one of the areas that we are dealing with is regulating the importation and distribution of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). In fact, you realize that it is a very dangerous product in terms of storage and distribution. On the pricing of electricity, the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) cannot increase prices without the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) coming in. When we are negotiating---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister is failing to appreciate the import of my question. My question was for you to demonstrate the success they have had in the other areas of their mandate, and you have quickly gone to the price of electricity. Are you aware that electricity is one of the items where, again, they have failed miserably, because the price of electricity keeps on going up? Are you in order to mislead the House?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is a very good question. May I request that a substantive Question be brought to that effect, so that I can come with the full dossier of what they have done since they were established.
Last question, Dr. Otichilo!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to know from the Assistant Minister if all what he has said is correct. What reasons can he give for some oil companies, like the National Oil Corporation, reducing the price of petrol and kerosene, while the ERC increased?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, when we put a price cap, we allow the companies to compete within that range. This is the maximum and so, people can sell below that. So, what the National Oil Corporation has done is actually to go below our maximum price, but nobody goes above the maximum price which has been set. OUTBREAK OF MEASLES IN KENYA
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that there is an outbreak of measles which has so far left six children dead in the country? (b) Why has the Government not issued an alert on the same? (c) Has the Ministry launched immunization programmes in the country?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the principle of collective responsibility, I beg to answer this Question on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.
(a) Yes, I am aware. (b) My Ministry issued an alert to all levels of the health system on 16th February, 2011 when the outbreak was first detected and reported. The provincial and district health management teams and health workers were directed to:- (i) intensify surveillance activities up to the village level; (ii) enhance involvement of other stakeholders such as Provincial Administration, communities and other partners in measles surveillance and advocacy activities; (iii) identify children who had missed their measles vaccination to be vaccinated; (iv) institute appropriate immunization response plan to prevent spread of the outbreak; and, (v) ensure prompt and proper management of all measles cases identified. (c) The Ministry has been given money by the World Health Organization (WHO) to address this issue of immunization.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I appreciate the Assistant Minister for Medical Services for attempting to answer this Question. Just allow me to inform him, as I ask my supplementary question, that the reason for the current outbreak is the insecurity that is in our border countries of Somalia and Ethiopia. Therefore, the crossing over has increased the measles outbreak in our towns of Garissa, Turkana and
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation has mobilized resources and coordinated with the border officials, including the immigration and public health officers to check these people. However, there are those who had possibly entered the country and we have also mobilized people and resources to check them, particularly in Nairobi. But we have tried to arrest the situation before it becomes an emergency.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, considering that recently there was a shortage of BCG vaccines and we have been without measles for quite a while, what assurance can the Assistant Minister give this House that he has got enough vaccines which will be distributed around the country, because right now we cannot see the immunization programme going on in our areas?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am the one who led a team to the WHO in Geneva. The Government was given about Kshs50 billion for the Neumococo Vaccine and Kenya was the first country to launch the vaccine. Therefore, measles has also been arrested because we were given this money to conduct Neumococo vaccination and vaccination against measles.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister says that they have issued a health alert to all the systems. What type of alert or advertisement was it? Was it a paper advert or communication through radio? Could he table such a document? But more importantly, I want to ask whether the Ministry has instituted mandatory vaccinations for all the refugees who are coming to the country at the border points. How is that being enforced?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Ministry issued the alert through our systems and heads of various departments. I also want to thank the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security for helping us address this issue, particularly at the border level. I do not have the details to table, but I can avail the same to this House.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister has talked about a mass measles vaccination campaign in May 2011. Could he tell us, what was the target population and percentage of success for that particular initiative?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, all children under five years were our target. The programme went on well and we have addressed these issues.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister has just said that he has already sent out teams to the whole country. Can he be specific and tell us exactly which particular areas those teams were sent and confirm what the success rate was in Central Province?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, all district hospitals have public health officers. Therefore, all facilities countrywide have been equipped and the issue has
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, could the Assistant Minister tell us whether they have instituted the mandatory immunization programme especially at the border points and areas where, for religious reasons like it is happening in Mwingi, some parents or sects are refusing to immunize their children? Has he instituted mandatory immunization and how much money has the Government allocated for that?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said there are those cases where some parents have refused to have their children immunized. However, we have made it mandatory. We have instructed our officers and with the help of officers from the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, we have been able to overcome this.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. There is a question that Rachel had asked about how much the Treasury had allocated to this project apart from the World Bank funds.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is a different Question but I can still bring the figures.
Next Question by Mr. Gitari!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, although I have not received a copy of the written answer, I beg to ask Question No.4 by Private Notice. GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION/HONOUR TO KENYAN SOLDIERS IN SOMALIA
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Defence the following Question by Private Notice. (a) What arrangements, if any, has the Government made to recognize and honour the Kenyan soldiers deployed in Somalia under the auspices of AMISOM following the successful capture of Afmadow Town? (b) What assistance will the government extend to those soldiers who have been injured while on duty in this peace-keeping mission?
Where is the Minister of State for Defence? It appears not only have you not got a copy of the written answer to your Question but the Minister is also not here. I will give him a little time as we did with the hon. Member. We will now move on to the next Question by hon. Amina Abadalla. MEASURES TO FACILITATE SOUND MANAGEMENT AT CRICKET KENYA
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that the leadership wrangles facing the management of Cricket Kenya are affecting the quality and standard of services rendered by the entity? (b) Is the Minister further aware that the coach and the Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Kenya earn twice as much as the total allowances paid to the 20 the players of the Kenya cricket team?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that wrangles in cricket management are affecting the quality and standard services rendered by the cricket body. Investigations have revealed that this has been caused by the nomination of delegates from Nairobi Province to represent Nairobi Province Cricket Association (NPCA) in the national elections when actually there were no elections held. The Cricket Kenya Annual General Meeting (AGM) was scheduled for 27th May, this year and to prepare for this, the NPCA nominated eight delegates who were to agree among themselves on three people who would be presented as candidates in the Cricket Kenya elections as chairperson, treasurer and Development Officer but this ended up in a stalemate. As Cricket Kenya prepared for the AGM on this date, Mr. Tom Tikolo obtained a court injunction stopping the Nairobi delegates from participating in the AGM. The matter is currently in court. To help resolve the stalemate, I have instructed the clubs in Nairobi and the Executive Committee to initiate dialogue amongst themselves and try to come up with an amicable solution to the stalemate. (b) Yes, I am aware that the coach and the Chief Executive Officer earn salaries commensurate with their qualifications and experience. The coach was hired based on his qualification and as per the International Kenya Cricket Council requirements which is a minimum of level three coupled with experience in coaching senior teams in the test playing countries. The CEO’s emoluments have a basic salary component and earnings of 20 per cent commission for every sponsorship deal that he brings to the association. The current CEO was hired in a World Cup year where big sponsorship was obtained for the team and this may explain the high payments he receives from the organization. If both the coach and the CEO, therefore, earn more than the players, which I am not aware, it will be due to this reason. (c) As I have stated above, I have taken action to ensure that free and fair elections are conducted to enable efficient and effective management of cricket in the country and avoid unnecessary squabbles. I will also institute an independent audit to establish if there is any improper use of funds. I have given directions to my technical team to pursue this to that effect.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Kenya was on the verge of becoming a test nation in 2003. Kenya is now ranked among the lowest and we could not even beat Nepal because of the wrangles in Cricket Kenya. The Assistant Minister has told this House that the problem emanates from the NPCA. Instead of asking, as per our Constitution for a free and fair election, the Assistant Minister has told us that he has asked the NPCA to go and have dialogue; a dialogue among eight persons. If the Assistant Minister is aware that the commission earned by this CEO, who is by the way an expatriate, is because his basic qualification is being able to negotiate sponsorship deals, how many Kenyans are qualified to raise funds for this association?
One question at a time.
My question to the Assistant Minister is---
I thought you have already asked it?
No, I have not, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. If the Assistant Minister is aware that this person earns 20 per cent, how can he not be aware that he earns Kshs14 million per year while the players are earning Kshs30,000 per year; a mere USD400?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, those are two questions in one. Therefore, I do answer as follows:- Currently, we do not have qualified Kenyans to coach the national team and this is the reason. As per the International Cricket Council (ICC) requirements, a coach must---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. My question is with regard to the CEO. I am aware that we do not have a qualified Kenyan to be a coach but a CEO is a mere person with Masters who can negotiate deals.
Address yourself to the question.
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am doing that. If I get a little patience from the Questioner, I will do that. A coach, as per the ICC requirements is supposed to be on level three and has an experience for coaching senior counties or national teams from the test status nation. I also want to inform this House that last year, two Kenyans were sponsored for level three coaching course in South Africa but they were unable to pass the exams. It is true that the players get Kshs30,000 per month as a retainer. However, they also get other allowances including match fees and medical allowances when they participate in international matches. But I want to accept because I do not want to be in denial that much more, this crisis has given us the opportunity to audit and interrogate Cricket Kenya. We need to level the ground for the players and put more focus in this docket for the cricket management in Kenya. There have been issues in 2010, if this House can remember when we dealt with the crisis of the management and we managed to mainstream it. Last year, there was the crisis about the elections and the legitimacy of the officials. There are also other underlying issues that I would like to tell this House. I know that there have been questions of prejudices within cricket management in this country. My Ministry is not in denial. We accept this and that is why we are doing this audit. Dialogue is important because it enables the Ministry and the officials of the federations to get solutions because we do not want to micromanage the federations. We want to hold them to account as per the sports policy in this country. I am giving the firmest assurance in this House that this crisis may be the template necessary to actually turn round the management of cricket and make it expansive and inclusive, so that it is not a club for the minority – it should be a club for the whole country. We know that there is a problem and that is why we have summoned those officials, be they interim or contesting the elections.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is serious segregation along racial lines that takes place in cricket. The best players who have been in the team
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have given the assurance that we are aware that there are underlying serious issues in cricket management in the Republic of Kenya. These issues need to be addressed comprehensively. We take solace in the fact that even our own Constitution forbids exclusion on the basis of race, age or colour. At the end of it, this House will be satisfied that we will have overhauled cricket management. We will ensure that those who have used skin colour or economic disability of young people who have got the talent to play cricket, or those who have disabled expansion of cricket to the rest of the regions of this country--- These are issues that the Ministry is addressing. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is not just financial audit or tournament audit, it is about the totality of cricket in this country as a major sport. Therefore, this House should be assured that I am taking steps to redress the way players have been treated. I will also redress the narrowness of cricket in order to give an opportunity to many.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, now that the Assistant Minister has accepted that the CEO is running down the organization, and he is not giving incentives to the players, what immediate action will he take before they overhaul the whole team, so that at least we embark on the way forward to having cricket team take its rightful place as was the case before?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have not admitted that the CEO is running down the organization. I will not be hasty in making such a statement on the Floor. The CEO, as I have said already, earns 20 per cent commission on sponsorships that he is able to negotiate. I think that is the way to go in public/private partnerships, including in sports, where the heads of institutions, for example the CEOs and the directors, are given motivation and incentives, so that the more they bring in from the corporate world, the more they earn. This is part of the performance contracting that the sports federations should be encouraged to undertake. Therefore, we are doing an institutional audit. It is not to focus on any particular individual, but rather it is to ensure that we overhaul organisations. I think this House should be happy that from the Floor of the House I am admitting that there is a problem in the management of cricket in this country and that the audit will change it.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is sad that after nearly 49 years of Independence we are still talking about making cricket a game that is played by everybody in Kenya. I think that is a failure, perhaps, on the part of our Government to invest in facilities, training and to produce a more balanced cricket team than the one we have at the moment. From my own experience of other countries where cricket is played, I know that it is played by working class people. This is true of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka where there is a lot of interest in cricket. However, in our case, cricket is played by, probably, the middle class and above and you cannot simply introduce racial connotations. The Asians excel in this game because they have invested in it and they love the game. We should select our teams in accordance with merit rather than colour. It
What is your question?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, how much is the Government investing in cricket to make sure that it becomes a national game that is enjoyed and played in other parts of Kenya and not only in small and exclusive pockets like Nairobi?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government is investing all it has, including providing facilitation when the national team qualifies for international tournaments. We should appreciate that of all the sports, cricket, even though played on a small scale, has some of the best facilities, including the ultra-modern Nairobi Gymkhana, which hosts international tournament. The challenge is to ensure that we improve on its management; we should also ensure that the other stadia across the county that we are building are used.
Your last question, hon. Amina Abdalla. Hon. Members we cannot go on with that one Question for too long.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, sports tourism is one of the ways in which Kenya is trying to diversify our tourism. The outgoing coach of the Kenya cricket team posted on the website that the reason for his resigning as the coach of the Kenya team was that Kenya is unsafe. Subsequently, other nations have refused to play international games in Kenya. Many sports are recruiting international coaches. I would like to know from the Assistant Minister what measures he is taking to ensure that the contracts signed by these coaches protect our country in terms of them being capable of destroying our tourism.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, all the contracts signed between federations and expatriates are about management, remuneration and duration. As to whether those contracts can protect them better than they can protect Kenyans--- If there is any information that any official contracted to work for any Kenya federation in the sports sector has given that depicts Kenya as an unsafe country, that information is not yet with the Ministry. However, I will seek information---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to ask for information when hon. Amina Abdalla has just stated here clearly that on the website of the Kenya Cricket Association, the coach, as he was resigning, said that he was doing so because Kenya is not safe? Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to ask for more information when the Questioner has given him information?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not asking for information. I am just saying that as the Government and as the Ministry charged with sports in this country, we will validate the information. We cannot just make a reckless statement of admission that an official is declined security and, therefore, goes away. In any case, any reference to a website could mean even a social media website where a lot of gossip could be going on, but I do not want to dismiss on the Floor of this House what hon. Abdalla has given. Therefore, I would seek to validate that information from her and from my office and should that be the case, the necessary action will be taken and any person working for any sports federation in Kenya who goes out to give wrong information because that
Thank you. Hon. Members, a Minister has requested and I am inclined to agree that we start with Ordinary Question No.1391 of hon. C. Kilonzo. If he is here, then he can go ahead.
asked the Minister for Medical Services:- (a) whether he is aware that two water tanks at Matuu District Hospital, complete with towers and borehole accessories, were sold without following the procurement process and, if so, how much money was realized from the sale; (b) whether he is also aware that the community has objected to the illegal sale; and, (c) what action the Government will take against the officer(s) who were involved.
Thank you. Let us then go back to Question No. 1 by Private Notice.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
The hon. C. Kilonzo had no further questions. Do you have a question?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. From your previous ruling, Questions are the property of the House. Out of curiosity, even looking at the total mass of the metal involved, can it be Kshs5,000, surely? I think I seek your indulgence to
The hon. Member who asked the Question is satisfied with the answer and he is the one who asked it. We should really move on.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. We are not satisfied.
Order, hon. Affey! We move to the first Question by Private Notice. Mr. M’Mithiaru!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Minister for Education the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that pupils from Leeta and Kiolo primary schools in Igembe North District were released by the respective head teachers to participate in a demonstration on 7th March, 2012, and that one of them was seriously injured and commercial wares looted at several market centres? (b) Why were the pupils released to participate in the demonstration and, what disciplinary action has the Minister taken against the head teachers?
Minister for Education!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the face of it, this Question seems to be an issue of my Ministry. I am alive to the fact that this is a Question by Private Notice and the initial investigations have revealed to us that this Question cuts across issues of internal security. So, I have instructed my Permanent Secretary to write to his colleague in the Ministry of Provincial Administration and Internal Security who will get information so that we can properly execute this Question. I have consulted with the hon. Member and he is in agreement.
Is that the position, hon. M’Mithiaru?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, yes, I have consulted with the Assistant Minister but actually the issue on this Question was how children’s lives were endangered by being dragged to walk on the highway. Since the Assistant Minister says that he is consulting with the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, I have no objection but he can only give a time frame when he can actually be ready.
So, how much time do you require for consultations with the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think one week should be enough.
Very good! So, this Question will appear on the Order Paper next Wednesday.
So, let us move to Ordinary Questions. Hon. Kiuna, I apologise. We had hon. Gitari’s Question by Private Notice. GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION\HONOUR TO KENYAN SOLDIERS IN SOMALIA
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Defence the following Question by Private Notice. (a) What arrangements, if any, has the Government made to recognize and honour the Kenyan soldiers deployed in Somalia under the auspices of AMISOM following the successful capture of Afmadow Town? (b) What assistance will the Government extend to those soldiers who have been injured while on duty in this peace-keeping mission?
Do we have the Minister of State for Defence in the House now? Can any other Minister also take this magnanimously and support their fellow Minister?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, can I plead for a little more time so that I get into contact?
You can contact your fellow Minister.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Minister in charge of Defence is just outside having a cup of tea. So, can we send somebody? One of the clerks can call him to come and answer the Question. I have just seen him outside.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me do that.
All right. Let us move to the Ordinary Questions. Hon. Kiuna!
asked the Minister for Roads:- (a) how much money was allocated for the tarmacking of Olenguruone-Kibunja Road in Molo Constituency and how much has been spent so far;
Is the Minister for Roads not here? It seems we might soon have to really seriously institute some measures because Ministers are not coming to answer Questions. This is a bad show.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. We were here yesterday morning talking about the failure of the Government on the implementation of the Constitution and the tradition is that when a Member of the Back Bench is not there, his Question is dropped. All of us are here to ask our Questions but you can see there is no single Member of the Government.
Yes, but these are not the Ministers whose Questions are on the Order Paper! Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we want action to be taken. Very severe action must be taken even if it means the Speaker writing to the Head of State because you cannot drive from your house and earn Government money and you are not here to answer Questions on behalf of our people. It is very serious.
I totally agree with you, hon. Duale.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. A few minutes ago, you heard that a Minister is having a cup of tea. It has gone into the record of the proceedings of this House that a Minister was having a cup of tea and therefore a Question that has been brought to this House has remained unanswered. The Minister is going to appear here, after having taken a cup of tea and satisfied himself. We need to take this matter very seriously. Under Standing Order No.88, the Minister should be considered to be grossly out of order for refusing to come here to answer a Question and going for a cup of tea instead.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Just last week, we discussed the issue of Ministers not coming here to answer Questions. It was a very substantial discussion. The Speaker gave us time to ventilate the matter. Unfortunately, our ventilation seems to have fallen on deaf ears. This House has powers it can exercise. Without wasting any more time and in honour of the late hon. Ojode, whom we said was the most hardworking Minister, we are asking you to take necessary action against the Ministers who do not come here to answer Questions.
Hon. Members, we need to finish this matter.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am glad that the Assistant Ministers who are here are not willing to defend the lazy Ministers. For once, can the Chair take some action on these lazy Ministers who do not take this House seriously, so that they can know that there is somebody known as the Speaker of this House? That should include barring them from transacting business in this House for---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Honourable Assistant Minister, wait for the hon. Member on the Floor to finish what he is saying.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not lazy! I am active!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the fact that the Assistant Minister is active does not mean that his colleagues are also active. They are lazy. I was saying that action should be taken against these lazy Ministers, so that they can appreciate that the Speaker of this House has the power to make sure that the Executive respects the National Assembly.
What is your point of order, hon. Kazungu?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we do not have lazy Ministers in the Government. Yesterday, we were all here and---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Ethuro, the Assistant Minister is on a point of order.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, he is misleading the House.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not misleading the House. Yesterday, all the Questions were dropped. As Government, we are never notified when Questions will be coming to the House.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. This House has formal structures, including constitutional offices and constitutional office holders. The one responsible to the House, on behalf of the Government, is known as the Leader of Government Business. Secondly, the one responsible for supervision and co-ordination of Government activities – a function which is entrenched in the Constitution – is not my good friend, the Assistant Minister for Medical Services. This is not an issue of Prof. Anyang’-Nyong’o. It is a function for the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya. In the absence of those two, the Assistant Minister has no capacity to comment on the performance of Ministers. That is the point I wanted to make.
Yes, hon. Gitobu Imanyara.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you are the one who pointed out that Question Time will never be the same again without our late colleague, hon. Orwa Ojode. You can now see that within hours, we are back to square one. Is it in order for this Assistant Minister to mislead the House that the Questions were dropped yesterday when we know clearly that the Speaker’s instructions were that the Questions will come today, except the Questions that relate to the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security? Is it in order for him to stand up and look us straight in the face and mislead the House that the Questions were ordered removed from the Order Paper?
Assistant Minister, the information from hon. Imanyara is exactly that; no Question was dropped, except those
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are always notified about Questions that are coming up for answering on a daily basis. In this case, the House Business Committee never notified us that the Questions are coming today, at this time.
Order! Order, hon. Members! We cannot go on arguing on this matter any further. We have ventilated it enough. We shall inform the Leader of Government Business, in no uncertain terms, about the displeasure from Members of Parliament and disappointment suffered. We will decide on the punitive measures needed to make sure that the Government begins to behave well and takes this House seriously. So, can we move on, hon. Members?
Next Question, hon. Sheikh Dor!
asked the Minister for Transport:- (a) what caused the boat accident in Lamu on 1st January, 2012, and whether he could indicate how many people died or were injured in the accident; (b) how the Government will assist the victims and families of the deceased; and, (c) what measures the Ministry will take to ensure that such accidents do not recur.
Where is the Minister for Transport, hon. Esther Murugi?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, a lot of the Ministers were in the meeting for the burial preparations for our departed heroes. So, I think that is where they are right now.
Honourable Minister, it has been mentioned in this House over and over again that, for purpose of answering Parliamentary Questions, Ministers, Assistant Minister, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers are all Ministers of Government. So, if the Ministers are engaged, as we know they will be engaged, where are the other Ministers who are supposed to be here?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. This Government is bloated with 42 Ministers and 50 Assistant Ministers. Is the Minister
Hon. Members, let us not go back. I have ruled on this matter. Let us move on. We cannot ventilate on this matter any further. Next Question, Member for Wajir South.
asked the Minister of State for Defence:- (a) how many cadets were recruited by the Kenya Armed Forces during the last exercise in 2011, and whether he could provide a per- constituency list of recruits and state how many were recruited from northern Kenya; (b) how many such cadets have been recruited from Wajir South Constituency in the last five years; and, (c) whether he could consider lowering the minimum grade from B to B- or C+ for the marginalized areas.
Is the Minister for Defence still not here?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I filed this Question six months ago. The Question has come to the Floor of this House twice. This is the third time. The Minister has two able Assistant Ministers. So, they are three of them. Where are they? He is outside. It is unfair for the Chair to defer this Question.
Hon. Mwatela, where is the Minister?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think it is proper that where there is failure, there is acceptance of that fact. I took it upon myself to physically go and check in the lounge to see whether the Minister of State for Defence or his Assistant Ministers were there. Unfortunately, none of them is there. I am most apologetic for this situation.
Order, hon. Members! Let him finish.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I started by saying that I think where there is failure, it should be accepted. We should be here to address the issues of this House. Therefore, I would like to, again, make an undertaking that I will make this a priority. I apologise to hon. Members of the Back Benche because they do not ask Questions on their own behalf.
What is it, hon. Duale? Are you on a point of order?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Members, let us allow hon. Duale to raise his point of order.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you need to make a ruling. The hon. Member who wants to apologise to the nation, the Back Bench and to Parliamenet has no capacity to do so. There is a Leader of Government Business who is recognized under the Standing Orders. He has two deputies. There is the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya who is the co-ordinator and the supervisor of Government business. We also have two Whips in this House. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the business of this House today has been circumvented by the Government. This is a very serious issue. We came here, it is a Parliament day and we want to address issues concerning our people. We have seen an Assistant Minister come to apologise to the nation, Parliament and to the Back Bench. It is not procedural. We want the Leader of Government Business, his two deputies and the Prime Minister to apologise to the nation and not even to the Back Bench.
Order, hon. Members! Just for clarity and so that we all understand, I had already said it earlier. Under Standing Order No.2, the definition of “Minister” means the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or other Minister including the Attorney-General and Assistant Minister and any person who is temporarily in that office. Therefore, he has that capacity as an Assistant Minister to answer on behalf of the Government. So, please let us not go back on that. I have already made a ruling that this matter will be brought up between the Speaker’s office and the Leader of Government Business.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. According to Standing Order No.2 which you have quoted and I want to thank you for it, it is for purposes of answering. I did not hear you say; “for purposes of giving an excuse that he can serve the same purpose.” But more importantly, even when you were on your feet, the hon. Assistant Minister also rose on his feet.
That is not in order, hon. Assistant Minister!
Order, hon. Members! Can we give Mr. Nanok an opportunity to speak because he has been up standing? Mr. Assistant Minister, are you rising on a point of order?
Yes, Madam Temporay Deputy Speaker. I believe the section of the Standing Order you have just read says it right that whether we are Assistant Ministers or Ministers in this House, we have the collective responsibilty to represent the Government. Yesterday, I was within the precincts of Parliament until 8.00 p.m. I asked for the Order Paper for today but it was not ready. I believe probably this confusion is the reason
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to make an appeal since you have said you will communicate with the Government through the Leader of Government Business. That has been done before and it has never worked. So, I have a suggestion to the Chair; if you can convene the Speaker’s Committee which deals with the Standing Orders or the rules which guide this House and we borrow from the German Parliament where if an hon. Member does not appear in the House, their allowance is deducted. Since these Ministers will come here to make technical appearances just to earn that sitting allowance, we should make sure immediately that committee is convened, we amend that particular area such that if a Minister does not appear to answer a Question, even if he comes to Parliament that day, that will not be considered as a sitting and he will not get that allowance.
That is correct!
Order, hon. Members! So that we can rest this matter, I am informed that already the Speaker, after the complaints from the hon. Members, was already making a ruling on this matter. Therefore, what we are doing today will again enrich further what the Speaker was going to rule on. Therefore, let us rest this case. Let us go through the remaining Questions and see whether we do have any Minister in the House who can answer any of the Questions. I hope that is in order, hon. Members, and we can continue.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I just want to seek a clarification. The hon. Assistant Minister for Education alluded to the fact that the Assistant Minister of State for Defence was not outside. I saw hon. David Musila, the Assistant Minister of State for Defence seated outside. My colleagues, hon. Mwaita and hon. Chepchumba, were with him. So, it is good for clarity or for the records of this House to know that hon. Musila was just out there.
That one will go on record. Therefore, we now move on to the next Question by the Member for Central Imenti, hon. Imanyara.
asked the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife why the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has refused to hand over the management of Mt. Kenya Forest to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) as provided under Section 18(1) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act and the Mt. Kenya National Reserve Order 2000.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is true a copy of the written answer has been given to me. It says:- “Copies of the Act, sections and legal notices are appendixed hereto.” They are not---
You should allow the Minister to answer!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am stating that the answer is not complete because it says they have been annexed but they are not annexed to the answer. That is what I am pointing out.
Could the Minister then come and give us his answer?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. The Kenya Forest Service has not refused to hand over the management of Mt. Kenya Forest to the Kenya Wildlife Service as provided---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I think it would only be fair if the Assistant Minister first explains why the answer supplied to hon. Imanyara is incomplete before he continues to answer the Question.
Thank you. I think that is a valid point of order.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would not know what happened between my Ministry and Parliament because this information is normally supplied through the Office of the Clerk. But in case the hon. Member does not have the annexture, I think I will give copies of the same to him because I had already gotten copies.
Is the hon. Member satisfied that the Assistant Minister can continue giving the answer?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. The Kenya Forest Service has not refused to hand over the management of Mt. Kenya Forest to Kenya Wildlife Service as provided under Section 18(1) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, Cap.376 and the Mt. Kenya National Reserve Order 2000. Mt. Kenya, lower and upper Imenti and Thunguru Hills Forest were confered national reserve status through Legal Notice No.93 of 24th July, 2000. However, it should be noted that the Government decision in declaring this forest reserve as a national reserve recognizes the need to reserve the functions of the plantation management and utilization of the forest by the local communities under the jurisdiction of the Kenya Forest Service. This was done under a letter Reference No.OP1/17A dated 14th June, 2000, from the Office of the President which stated that the plantations and plantation areas were to be excluded from the national reserves, a copy of which has been provided. Further, according to Section 18(2) of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act Cap.376, for any area to be declared a national reserve, there has to be an agreement between all the parties concerned. At such time, it was to be between the then Minister for Environment and Natural Resources and the Minister in charge of Kenya Wildlife at the Office of the President detailing the conditions and restrictions of reserve. These conditions, restrictions and the provisions of the letter from the Office of the President were not incorporated in Legal Notice No.93 of 24th July, 2000. The then Minister for Environment and Natural Resources did not gazzette the forest as a forest
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I appreciate the answer given by this Assistant Minister. He is one of the very hardworking Assistant Ministers. When he answers his Questions, he addresses the issues. This is an issue that has been pending since the year 2000, that is for 12 years. In the meantime, the forest is undergoing tremendous destruction because it is not clear which Government department is responsible for the protection of the species of animals and the forest, yet the Assistant Minister is saying the Government is reviewing regulations. I am aware that as far back as 14th July 2000, the then Minister actually handed over forest area by a letter. The letters says:- “Following the decision of the Government that the whole of Mt. Kenya gazetted forest area which is currently managed by the Forest Department be placed under the KWS” As a result of the two Government arms fighting over the control of this forest, we are now facing a real situation of the complete destruction of the forest. When will this review take place? How soon can you assure us that this legal notice will be amended, so that we are clear as to who is managing this forest in order to save the destruction of the forest that is currently going on? Can you give specific timelines when we can expect this to be done?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will note that the laws that were made in this House were the ones that brought the conflict of the dual mandate; in particular the 2005 Act established the KFS. It gave them the prime responsibility for all Kenyan forests, yet there had been other laws that had established the management of national parks and national reserves. We have noted this particular anomaly. It may not only be Mt. Kenya; we had a similar problem when we were putting up the 400-kilometer fence around the Aberdares. You will realize that you have forest products, particularly from plantation forests; there are trees that are grown for commercial use. It is the responsibility of the KFS to harvest when they are mature. They are for use by local communities and other people who want to use them for building. As I said before, my Ministry has initiated this process and we hope that in the next four to five months, we will be clear on this particular subject after reviewing the legal notice.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is obviously competition between these two--- Could the Assistant Minister listen to me and not his colleague who has just come in and does not even know what is going on? Could the Assistant Minister tell us why there is competition? What we know is that Mt. Kenya Forest at this point is under destruction under your watch as a Ministry. If the people want to go to the KWS because they trust that it will not destroy the forest, why should their voices not be listened to? Who is the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife compared to the people of Mt. Kenya Forest?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I note that big concern and indeed we are taking action. One of the things we are doing is similar to what we did at Aberdares Forest. We have began the process of fencing off the forest with electric wire. One thing you have realized is that the anomalies that were there before was due to the dual-gazzetment. We have plantations which have trees for commercial purposes. As soon as we sort out this, I think we will fence off the indigenous forest side where the animals are. Together with the local community and stakeholders, we will point out corridors which the wild animals will be migrating through.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think the intension of the KFS was to collaborate with the communities in the conservation of forest and wildlife. Could the Assistant Minister tell us if there is any progress and achievements made in this venture?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think we have done a lot since the year 2008 when we began. The forest cover was 1.8 per cent and so far we are close to 6 per cent forest cover. Secondly, in all the areas where we have public forests, we have established Community Forest Associations (CFA) and those associations have the bulk of their representatives from the local communities within those areas.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House that the community forest services are supported by the KFS while they are the ones who frustrate the efforts of community service associations, especially in Lower Imenti Forest?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I did not hear that but I believe if there are problems, I will urge the hon. Member, who is a friend of mine, to tell me the specific areas where there are problems, and where our staff from the KFS have a problem with the CFAs. We will then be able to sort that out.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like the Assistant Minister to tell this House whether they have produced any management plan for Mt. Kenya Forest, and any other forest in the country? The CFA was supposed to work hand in hand with the KFS and come up with a management plan on where there is plantation forest and where there is natural forests to be conserved. Do you have any management plans?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, yes, we have an Integrated Management Plan 2010–2020. It was developed by Mt. Kenya major stakeholders, and it clearly spells out the responsibilities of KFS and the KWS, among other stakeholders, in the management of the ecosystem. In addition to this, the KFS has a forest management plan for the Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve for the period 2009 to 2025.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is well known that forest officers are some of the most wealthy and corrupt individuals in this country. If we know
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you have to realize there are indigenous trees or forests, which are banned commodity; nobody is allowed to log it. What we have been doing, in a sustainable manner, is only in relation to the plantation forest. I want to quote the ciders and camphors. If anything is happening, it may be happening in an illegal way. You have to realize that ever since I got appointed to this Ministry in 2008, we have sought---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am not talking about indigenous trees and others. I am asking the Ministry why it cannot have a blanket ban of logging in Mt. Kenya before it becomes a desert. Why can we not have a ban on logging of whatever you want to call them?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you have to realize that exotic trees that are grown for commercial use have a purpose. We have said in his House that trees that are ready for harvesting are worth about Kshs35 billion. Those trees need to be harvested, because that was the whole purpose for planting them. We are faced with certain problems because those who were managing these forests before did not have the management plan in a proper way and mixed up the plantations and the indigenous forests. Secondly, we have said in this House a couple of times, particularly when we have been defending our budget, that we have always got less than 40 per cent of what we need to police the forests. Right now, I can tell you that one forest guard takes care of 700 hectares of forest. This is completely inadequate. You will also have to realize that forest is the source of all water, electricity and many other things. If we cannot give appropriate budgetary provisions to this sector---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I insist that the Assistant Minister is not answering my question. He is going round and round. He has already said that it is worth Kshs35 billion. That is understating the fact that there is commercial interest; that certain forest officers want to make money out of it. Why can we not have a blanket ban? We do not want to hear the issue of commercial trees or anything. We said that not even a creeper should be cut in that place. Why can we not just gazette for a blanket ban?
You have made your point.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, he has not answered the question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I said clearly that there is still a blanket ban on indigenous forests which constitute 80 per cent of all our public forests. But for the 20 per of the forest which is plantation forest, the intention before was for harvesting for commercial use in a sustainable way. I would urge this House to help us. Indeed, there are problems and we have got reports of indigenous forest trees being logged, which is illegal. I would urge this House to give us the appropriate resources. For instance, of the---
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Do you want to be informed?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for instance, you will realize that---
You do not want to be informed!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not want to be informed. She is a Backbencher; she is not a Minister. I only want to be informed by my colleagues here. For instance, you will realize that probably---
Order, hon. Members! He does not want to be informed. Allow him to continue.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will realize that in the coming financial year, we have sought to be equipped with the necessary resources to better the policing of these forests. When very good legislation was put in place in 2005, we did not put sufficient resources to translate that piece of legislation into reality to a point where more than 80 per cent of the staff, particularly rangers, have not been integrated fully into the Kenya Forest Service (KFS). Now that we are learning the importance of tree cover, we hope that we can put sufficient resources and make sure that any legislation or through the Budget, we allocate sufficient resources so that the KFS can have the right tools and people to police our forests.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to ask the Assistant Minister what they are doing about natural calamities. For example, Mt. Kenya was devastated by fire recently which destroyed thousands of acres. What funding or provisions are they putting in place because we saw that there was inadequate equipment and response or lack of technology in attacking the fire that destroyed much of the natural indigenous trees in that area? The second element of my question is---
You are only allowed one supplementary question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will agree with me that that is a different Question. However, you will realize that in the current financial year which is coming to an end, we had very insufficient resources despite the fact that we had asked the Treasury and this House to give us those resources to equip ourselves. We needed almost close to Kshs2 billion of the Kshs6 billion that the KFS is required to buy tools to tackle outbreaks of fire when they happen during the dry season.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister is aware that we are now operating under a new constitutional dispensation. Why can he not suspend all logging or activities dealing with logging until the county governments are in place so that the people in those counties can take full charge of those forests? Could he make a commitment that they are going to suspend this?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is a logging plan that is probably more than 2,000 hectares of the total plantation forest to be harvested. By the time we will be through with elections, I think a bigger portion of the mature plantations will still be in place when the county governments will be in place.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to associate myself with the sentiments raised by Mr. Imanyara that this is one of those industrious Assistant Ministers and so he is exempt from the earlier condemnation. Having recognized that, I
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to assure this House that all public national parks and forest reserves are still under the management of the Government. What we did with Aberdares was that through the Public Private Partnership, the private sector through the Rhino Ark assisted the Government to put up the 400 kilometer electric fence. Recently, while we were in the Aberdares around Kieni, we launched a trust to maintain it because the electric fence requires constant maintenance throughout the year. In addition to that, a week ago, we were in Turkana and in my constituency at Kainuk, where Turkana County Council that has the mandate for managing the former trustland of Turkana County told us that there are three forest areas where they want the Government to gazette. We have received those letters and we are still reviewing them. We will relook into them so that the gazettement of Loima and Kailongol and a few other identified areas will be put into law.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister says he requires four months within which to regularize this---
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Do you want to be informed, Mr. Imanyara?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to inform my good friend, Mr. Imanyara, that the issue of Mt. Kenya Forest was here about six months ago. In fact, it was brought here by the same hon. Member who was asking the same Question. He tabled a report which included photos showing indigenous trees being destroyed. The Assistant Minister promised Mr. Imanyara, Mr. Ruteere and I, that he was going to hire a chopper to go and inspect Mt. Kenya which I came to learn later that when he went there, he was so shocked that he has been dodging us on this matter of us going to inspect the forest. That is what I want to inform my good friend, Mr. Imanyara.
Thank you very much, hon. Member for Yatta. In fact, the Minister did not come. He gave us an appointment and we waited for him from morning to evening, but he did not show up. Perhaps, this Assistant Minister should take it up from where the former Minister left. My question is, because there is a binding Legal Notice No.93 of 20th July, 2000 that places the management of this forest to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). I have tabled a copy which was preceded by a letter signed by Hon. Francis Nyenze, EGH, MP, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, placing the management of the forest to KWS. The only reason they have not been managing it is because Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has resisted all such attempts. The Assistant Minister has said that he requires four months to regularize this position. Could
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Yes, give me the information.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank my colleague for recognizing that I can have some information to give. I want to inform my colleague that the reason behind the fight between the KFS and KWS is the money on the red projects. These projects, which we do not know about because it is a secret in the Ministry, is the money being given through the programme of climate change for protecting our forests. It is a lot of money in terms of billions of shillings. That money can be spent, not only to protect our forests, but even integrate the communities around the forest. That is the information I wanted to give to the hon. Member. That is the reason for the tag of war between KFS and KWS.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order? We cannot dwell on one Question for half-an-hour.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I appreciate that we have taken a bit of time, but when a matter is of national importance, we cannot wish it away. I want you to appreciate the spirit in which some Government operated in 2000 and the spirit in which this Government is operating. If you look at the letter by Mr. Francis Nyenze, the then Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, dated 14th July, 2000 to Mr. Madoka, Minister of State, Office of the President, asking him to gazette it, he brought the notice on 24th July, 2000 which is exactly 10 days after the request was made. It is now taking 12 years for this Government to implement this. Are we dealing with a Government that believes in the rule of law or some Government that works on its own whims and conveniences? That is the point. Go by the law!
Allow Mr. Imanyara to finish and then the Assistant Minister can respond.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister has said that he requires four months. I notice that Dr. Wekesa who had assured me that he would come to visit Mt. Kenya Forest, but who has not as yet managed to make that visit, if he could take this opportunity, through his Assistant Minister and confirm that during this coming four months when we are putting this policy in place, he will, indeed, visit and ensure that the KWS does take possession of this forest in accordance with the legal notice and the Government policy as announced by the same Government 12 years ago. Could he give that assurance?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I said it when I was responding to this Question the first time. Mt. Kenya Forest has been under dual gazettement. Despite that gazette order by the Minister issued in July, 2000, this House enacted a law or a piece of legislation; the Forest Act, 2005 that clearly spelt out the mandate of the KFS. That is why we said that when we reviewed and looked at the gazette notice that was done by the then Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, we realized that plantation forests had not been accommodated and rules of how to access the plantation forest had not also been accommodated in that gazette notice.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House when he says that the plantations had
On a point of order, Madam Speaker.
Order! Please, Mr. Nanok, can you complete?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not want to disagree with what is in the letter that Mr. C. Kilonzo has read. I just want to categorically say that those rules that were supposed to define which area of the forest is going to be under the mandate for KFS and KWS were not regularized. You will realize that the former Forest Department was in a different Ministry. It kept moving from one Ministry to the other. The KWS was the same. Now, luckily enough, the two services are under the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I know my colleague had made an undertaking in this House to visit the Mt. Kenya Forest. I believe that undertaking still stands and we are going to revisit this matter.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to say that it is not delineated when the gazette notice has four pages describing in great detail the exact area that is covered commencing at the intersection of the south-western boundary of LR.No.7208 and the south-eastern boundary of Nanyuki Township? It is described in great detail in three full pages and yet he says that it has not been done. Is it in order for him to mislead the House when he has this information?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I think it is a little bit irritating because you must have heard from the time the Minister started responding, he has been blaming a law that was enacted by this House in 2005, but whose onus is it to align the legal notices in Government departments with legislation passed in this House. From 2005 to date is seven years. If they have been unable to align the legal notice in 2000 with the legislation passed by this House in 2005, must we stop legislating as a House because there is a legal notice somewhere?
Okay. You have made your point. Address the two points of orders.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not completely disagree with what has been said, but I want to state very clearly here that the law supersedes. If you look at the law that published the KWS, they have no responsibility over plantation forests. That is very clear. I want to make it very clear that we have looked at all those laws, reviewed them and seen the anomalies. Right now, my Ministry which is responsible for the two services is reviewing the laws. I want to assure this House that we
Hon. Members, you know the route you take if you need more information. You are even free to bring a Motion. The next is the Question by the hon. Member for Bura. This Question was already answered quite conclusively. You were only left with a road map, if I remember correctly, Dr. Nuh.
asked the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs:- (a) whether he could explain the respective status of the constitutional Bills scheduled to be enacted by 27th August, 2012 in line with the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution; and, (b) when each of the said Bills will be published.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to just inform the Chair that preliminary objections were raised at the initial stage even before the Question was answered. So, no part of this Question has been addressed.
That is okay. Then I stand guided.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, lists nine key legislative areas that require legislation to be enacted by 27th August, 2012. (b) Out of these nine legislative areas, five have already been enacted or published and four are pending at various stages as per the attached matrix. The matrix sets out the estimated timelines within which the remaining Bills are published. Because the Members may not be having the matrix, let me just very quickly go through it for the sake of my colleagues. First, Legislation on Leadership under Article 80 of the Constitution is already developed and is currently being reviewed by the Attorney-General and the CIC. We have undertaken to ensure that this will be published on or before 29th June this year. Secondly, the right to recall has already been done. Thirdly, the determination of question of Membership of Parliament has already been done. The fourth one is on the right to petition Parliament.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. We need a clarification because yesterday, we spent substantive time on this issue in the form of a discussion in this House where the Leader of Government Business gave certain
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me confirm to the House and to my learned senior that, indeed, what I am telling the House now is in line with what the Leader of Government Business mentioned to the House yesterday. In fact, yesterday the Minister also mentioned this issue. So, it is in line with what was said yesterday to this House. On the right to petition Parliament under Article 119, my Ministry is in consultation with the stakeholders with a view to developing a policy which will guide the petition process. This is equally a very important procedure which we need to complete by 29th June, 2012. The fifth one is the assumption of Office of President under Article 141. We will be having the Assumption of Office of President Bill, 2012. This was approved by the Cabinet last week and will be published on or before 22nd June, 2012. Sixthly, The Judiciary Fund Bill has been enacted. The seventh one is The Financial Control Bill under Article 225 which is before the House. Yesterday, we got a time extension, so that we can deal with this particular Bill. The eighth one is on the national security organs under Article 239. The Bill has been developed and will be published on or before 29th June, 2012.
Dr. Nuh, really, we should not spend too much time on this Question. We exhaustively discussed the matters.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the discussions of yesterday were informal and this Government cannot be trusted on informal discussions. This is the more reason why we should put things on record, so that, at least, Kenyans can know that this Government has committed itself to some specific dates. Later on, we will not trust them to come and say that these were rumours. So, let us have these things on record. I want to thank the Assistant Minister for at last, after three agonizing months, taking the trouble to put some specific dates on which this House will have to expect some of these Bills. Having read through the matrix that we have been given by the Assistant Minister, I can see that some of the Bills are with the Attorney-General and the CIC at the same time. I thought that as a process, this would lead to some bit of confusion. If the same Bill is being reviewed by the Attorney-General and on the other side being reviewed by the CIC, how are they going to coordinate the efforts? I thought that it has to be with one arm, leave the office and then go to the next office for any further recommendations. So, when he says that a Bill is developed and currently being reviewed by the Attorney-General and the CIC, is the review going on at the same time?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is a good question because unless we explain exactly what happens, it cannot be clear. The Bill is forwarded to the Attorney-General and at the same time also to the CIC. After that, we have a round
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to thank Dr. Nuh for bringing this Question. This has stirred the entire nation. It is a matter that we discussed at the Peace Conference in Mombasa, we have discussed as the CIOC and in a Kamkunji. But as Dr. Nuh has said, you cannot trust this Government with Kamkunjis. You know what I mean. Having said so, if you look at the publication dates, for example, the legislation on leadership, it is indicated that it will be published on or before 29th June, 2012. On the right to petition Parliament, it is indicated that the Bill will be published on or before 29th June, 2012. On the Assumption of Office of President, the Bill will be published on or before 22nd June, 2012. Today is 13th June. The publication period even for ordinary Bills is 14 days. Those are two weeks. Thirteen plus 14 days will be 27th. The Bills are not yet published. The Assistant Minister is a lawyer and cannot even count basic things like one, two, three to fourteen. Specifically, when will the Bills be published? They must be published tomorrow if he is serious with these timelines.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the answer, I have talked about on or before. This means that we may even publish the Bills before 29th June. That is the essence of this. When I answered this Question last week, I was requested to give specific dates. I also said that because of the process through which we do these Bills, specific dates as to when they will be published could not be confirmed. After that day, we liaised with the CIC.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand on a point of order to bring to your attention that the Government is actually flouting the Constitution. Even the Assistant Minister purporting to answer this Question is unconstitutional. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the first instance, Article 261 of the Constitution says--- I want to remind him just like I reminded the Government yesterday. I do not know why they are having difficulties. I would like to remind them of Article 261(1). It says:- “Parliament shall enact any legislation required by this Constitution to be enacted to govern a particular matter within the period specified in the Fifth Schedule, commencing on the effective date.” Then it says on 261(4):- “ For the purposes of Clause (1), the Attorney-General, (I am not sure whether you are the Attorney-General), in consultation with the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, shall prepare the relevant Bills for tabling before Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable, (Is what you are telling reasonably reasonable practicable for Parliament?) to enable Parliament to enact the legislation within the period specified.” If you are not preparing the legislation within a reasonable time to allow Parliament to enact legislation, you are actually flouting the Constitution. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in fact, I request your ruling because the Government does not seem to be obeying the law. In this particular instance, this answer
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, my Ministry is in charge of constitutional matters. We also answer Questions. This Question was raised by Dr. Nuh, a Member of this House. This is a matter that, as the Ministry responsible for constitutional matters, has the right to address the House. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the fact that it is the Attorney-General--- That is why I said that part of the process is being undertaken by the Attorney-General in terms of approving the Bills, taking them to the CIC and having the round table. I do not see how unconstitutional it is for my Ministry to answer this Question and yet, it is directed to us and we are in charge of constitutional affairs in this country.
Are you on a point of order.
I want to ask a question.
Then allow him to answer.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think I have answered that. It is within the responsibility of our Ministry to answer this Question.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, he is giving us an opinion but we are talking about what the Constitution says. Where should the Bills originate from? That is the Attorney-General’s Office. So, perhaps, you can help us - you being a lawyer and me not being one – by telling us which clause gives you those powers. Which Article gives you those powers under this Constitution? You remember you are a lawyer and I am not. But here, I see very clearly that it is the Attorney-General’s role. Could you hep us with that?
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Do you want to be informed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Not at all, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
It is me to be informed and I am more than willing.
Mr. Assistant Minister, the information is not for you. It is for hon. C. Kilonzo.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is for hon. C. Kilonzo and he has granted me the opportunity. I want the Assistant Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs to remember that the Constitution--- I want to inform hon. C. Kilonzo that in addition to Article 261, the entire constitutionality that is specified in the specific schedules has named only two institutions - the Attorney-General and CIC. Even the entire Cabinet is not known by the Constitution.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think you should give directions. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, what I fail to understand now is the following: If a Question has been raised by a Member of Parliament to the Ministry, we
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I have listened to the hon. Assistant Minister very well. From his statement, he seems to be suggesting that if a Question on forestry is referred to the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, he will answer it because it is a Question that has been sent to him. We really know that procedures and rules in this House require that if a wrong Question is directed to you, you re-direct it. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, perhaps, that is why we are having hitches in constitutional implementation. That is because the core offices that should know that mandate and deal with it have no clue as to what their roles are; that is, the Office of the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional affairs. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead this House that when a wrong Question is sent to his Ministry, he has an obligation to answer it?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Question that is before us is asking us to give this House the timelines. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, honestly, that is the Question that my Ministry can answer. If there are issues on the interpretation of the law and so on, that can go to the Attorney-General. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we should, as a Government, be able to help this House. Why should we delay this House for a day, week or month and yet, we can answer the Question? On the basis of that, I think it is not really a problem.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I appreciate the predicament that the Assistant Minister faces. But none of us on this side has taken the oath that this Assistant Minister took to defend the Constitution, when he was sworn in as an Assistant Minister. Now, where the Constitution is very specific as to who is to do what, I think a valid point was raised. The wording of the Constitution is the Attorney-General. Consultations may take place between different departments of Government, but the responsibility for standing in this House and presenting those Bills under the language of the Constitution rests with the Attorney-General. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is an issue that need to be determined. This is my learned friend and he knows very well. Secondly, he, himself, has acknowledged that what he was required to do today is to give specific dates. Today, he has said it is not possible because he is still talking about on or before. Therefore, he has not complied with the requirement given by the Chair to come to this House and give the Government’s specific timelines and specific dates when those Bills will be published by the Attorney-General.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I see two issues here that we should not answer this Question as a Ministry. That is what you are saying. When we want to answer, they say: Now, it should be done by the Attorney-General. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will like to seek your directions here, because----
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister should, in fact, relax and listen to what we are saying because we are very clear on what we are saying. Most of us sit in the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC). This is an issue which we have tackled for over a year now. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are not saying he cannot answer this Question. This Question is about timelines. We expect as the Ministry that oversees this process to go and get timelines from the Attorney-General, or from wherever else they will get it. He has answered this Question very inadequately. He has told us “timelines on or before”; then on the current status of the Bills, he has said “enacted”. Enacted to what? For example, I think it is just good to say “enacted into the election law”. And then, he says “publication date not applicable.” How can there be a publication date of something that has been published which is not applicable? Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are saying to him, as the Ministry, his role is oversight. They do not generate the Bills. It is the Attorney-General who generates the Bills. But what he is supposed to do, he is not doing it adequately. Therefore, if they could not answer the Question themselves, they should have referred it to the Attorney- General.
Mr. Assistant Minister, is that clear?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it should have been enacted by 27th of August in line with the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. The second part of the Question was “When will each of the said Bills be published?” That was the Question, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. We are talking of the Bills which have not been published so far. So, I applied my mind to the Bills which have not been enacted by this House. The ones which have been enacted have already been published, debated in this House and passed as law. I am dealing with the ones which have not been published. That is the essence of the Schedule. Secondly, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker---
Order! Hon. Members, we cannot continue on this same Question for ever. Yesterday, we had enough time to discuss this issue. So, we need to defer the Question. Could you agree between yourselves and the Attorney-General’s Office?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me make this statement. I have a responsibility of being candid and honest with this House. I cannot give a date. The process of passing Bills is a long process and there are stakeholders involved. When
Order! Order, hon .Members! We cannot continue with this Question any further. The Assistant Minister has explained his role. Some of you are Members of CIOC and as such, you should let the CIOC to decide whether they need the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs or whether they will just need the Attorney-General to come and answer the Questions related to the Constitution. I think we do not need to continue harassing him any further.
Order! Order, hon .Members! Could we move on to the next Question?
Can I ask the last question!
Order! Let us have the last question by Dr. Nuh.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are not harassing the Assistant Minister. The contestation from the Floor, at least, you can know why we cannot now trust the Kamukunjis and a Government that has not honoured its previous Kamukunji promises---
Then we have no reason to believe them now. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to quote from a draft Report by the CIOC. When they were giving the schedule of the date the Bills that were due on the 27th of August last year were enacted, two Bills were published 15 days to the deadline. One Bill---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Order, Dr. Nuh! Accept the point of order by hon. Kimunya. What is your point of order, hon. Kimunya?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, is the hon. Member in order to quote a document that is still strange to the House? It may have been introduced in the Kamukunji, but it has not been tabled in the House. A report of a Committee cannot be quoted or used in the House until it has actually been formally tabled in the House. So, is the hon. Member in order to purport to quote a work-in-progress of a Committee before it has formally been introduced into the House?
Okay, hon. Member. It is clearly---
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, whether I quoted from a draft or from my head, these are facts!
And for a second point, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker---
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of information, Mrs. Odhiambo-Mabona? Dr. Nuh, are you willing to be informed?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will gladly take it.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would wish to inform Dr. Nuh that, actually as the Vice-Chair of the CIOC, we sat, deliberated and agreed that we should have a Kamukunji - which we proceeded and had – where the Executive gave promises which they are reneging on. We, as a Committee, have agreed and we have given ourselves timelines. If they do not bring those Bills within the specific timelines that we have set, we will bring them. Indeed, I am in charge of the Bill on Leadership, which we will bring within the effective dates!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is a report which we were not bringing, because we took the word of the Executive, but because they are now reneging, we will bring that report.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think the information, to me, has also been duly accepted by the Government or the Executive Side. But, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the reason as to why I was quoting from the draft Report – which I had permission to quote---
Order! Ask what you rose to ask, Dr. Nuh! Ask your question!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me build my question. I am trying to give the chronology of the events of the Bills which were due for enactment by 27th of August, 2011. I was just saying that two Bills were published 15 days to the deadline. One Bill was published barely nine days to the deadline---
What is your question?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, three Bills were published eight days to the deadline; five Bills were published five days to the deadline, while two Bills were published three days– that is 72 hours – to the deadline that was set in the Constitution. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, having realized the delay this House has suffered because of the man hours lost and because of the quality of legislation, because we were forced to rush through all the Bills, and the fact that the Committee is recommending that the latest date that the Bills have to be published – and which will strain this House – has to be 2nd of July; and the fact that this Executive Bench is giving a
Give the undertaking, Assistant Minister.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me undertake to this House – and that is why we are saying “on or before.” When you say “before,” it is actually even before 29th; it can be done. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we undertake to do that and we are serious about this to ensure that we do not have a similar situation like last time when we were passing the other Bills. I want to assure this House that it will be done and that, this time round, we are not going to have the very short moment to debate our Bills.
Thank you, Assistant Minister. I think he has given the undertaking. Next Question.
Order! Order, hon. Members! We are no longer on this Question! Next Question.
The hon. Member for Juja and the Minister have both agreed, and they have both come to say that they would want this Question to be deferred to a later date. So, can this Question appear on the Order Paper next week?
Last Question by the Nominated Member, hon. Affey?
asked the Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons:-
Is the Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons not here? Leader of Government Business, we have had a rough morning with Ministers not being in the House to answer Questions. You will be hearing from the Speaker on the same matter, but can you be responsible for ensuring that we get an answer to this Question?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am aware that there has been confusion this morning. Part of it arises from the re-ordering of Questions from yesterday. The Order Paper was not available until past 9.00 p.m. last night and hence, some Ministers just learnt this morning that they were supposed to appear.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Order! You cannot both stand! Hon. Shebesh is on the Floor on a point of order!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, yesterday, when the Speaker made his ruling and all the Questions were deferred to today, those of us who know what to do, went to the internet and knew that our Questions were to appear this morning. Is he admitting that the Government is not technologically savvy and does not know that the Order Paper is always on the parliamentary website the night before? The Ministers have no excuse not to be here and you are the Leader of Government Business.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Order Paper was only available after 9.00 p.m., but some of the Ministers who were supposed to be here, were also involved in the funeral arrangements for our departed colleagues.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is a fact. There is a committee that has been going on---
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, honestly, the Minister can certainly not be in order to attempt to use a national tragedy, when all of us are in the same situation. All of us are mourning and this, indeed, is the third day of national mourning. But it was agreed during the meeting between the House and the two Principals that the business of the House would proceed, especially because there are so many urgent matters that remain pending. But it is coming only a couple of parliamentary days since this House took its time to discuss in detail the indolence and inertia of the Front Bench. We spent like a whole morning discussing this matter. Therefore, for the
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am only giving this House the facts. Personally, I was involved in a meeting this morning and could not be here. My Assistant Minister travelled last night and Dr. Machage was in a funeral meeting because one of the---
He was around!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, he only came after the meeting. By the time I arrived here the Question had been called and we did not want to go back on the Speaker’s ruling. When Dr. Machage came here, the Question had already been called. But he came late because he was in a meeting.
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Minister, do you want to be informed?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not sure what I am being informed on and so, I would rather--- Thanks for the information, but, indeed,---
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if I could finish what I am saying, it would help.
Order! Allow the Minister to finish.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we take the work of this House seriously. I want to, at this point, give an early apology to the House for the absence of the Members of the Front Bench who were not here to respond. In the spirit that we are moving on, we want to provide as much information to the public, by responding to Questions raised by the hon. Members, as practicably and fast as possible. But at times, in this kind of confusion, it is not possible to have the Ministers here, and I would like to ask for the indulgence of the House. It is something that we are working on and hope to sort out, so that Ministers are here when they are required to respond. The absence of a Minister does not indicate that the Government is not serious.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I hear comments and suggestions about a reshuffle, but as you are aware, one of the limitations that I have, under Section 17 of the Constitution, is that I cannot give advice to the President in terms of a reshuffle, or who and who not to appoint. So, much as the advice is coming from the House, I cannot communicate it to the appointing authority. But we, as a government, take the work of
Order, hon. Members! What is your point of order, hon. Isaac?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Did you hear the Minister quote Article 17 of the Constitution, which actually talks about the revocation of citizenship?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, this Minister could be referring to the old Constitution and that is where we have a problem. These Ministers are still in the past and that is why we have total confusion.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as the hon. Members are aware, we have a current Constitution. We also have sections of the former Constitution that were saved. So, when I quote on all matters to do with the Executive, I expect that the hon. Members are fully aware that the section relating to the Executive is the saved section relating to the former Constitution, which is Section 17 of the former Constitution, which was saved by the current Constitution. When I quote that, I expect that hon. Ruto would know that I am quoting the saved section and not the current section, because it does not relate to the Executive.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is very rare that I agree with this Minister, but today I acknowledge that I agree with him on one point; that the Cabinet is confused.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, having said that, I want to ask whether the Minister is in order to mislead this House. He has misled us on so many issues until he is almost rubbing his confusion on me. First, he was out of order when he said that the Ministers were out in meetings and that is why they could not be in the House, yet the Speaker has ruled that we must prioritize House business. Secondly, he has misled the House by indicating that the Ministers are out working on the burial arrangements. He mentioned hon. Machage whom I met out there as I was coming in. He greeted me in KiKuria which is similar to Ki Suba and I responded in Ki Suba . Thirdly, he is out of order by quoting for us the old constitution and saying that he cannot advise the Executive, when I know that he is member number one of the kitchen Cabinet. Is he in order?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand by my words on my absence and the absence of hon. Dr. Machage because as much as we are here, we came in late after we were delayed in the other meeting. That is a fact. In terms of the former section or my ability to advise, I appreciate the confidence that hon. Millie has in me and the position she has taken in terms of my pecking order in the “kitchen cabinet”. I am very happy with that and I will take it into account. In terms of the confusion, I believe that we do not have any confusion. However, there was a general confusion today in the Order Paper in terms of which question was coming up and all that. I took responsibility for that and I apologize to the House for the confusion that we had. Going forward, I undertake that we move forward in the spirit of serving our people.
Hon. Minister, your apology is accepted but you are aware that this matter is not over, and the same will be ruled by the Speaker later on. Hon. Members’ sentiments will still enrich the ruling by the Speaker concerning the absence of Ministers. Mr. Affey’s Question will be deferred. It will appear next week in the Order Paper. Hon. Members, let us now move on to Order No.7.
Do we have any Statements which were due to be given today by the Government? I am not asking about requests for Ministerial Statements. First of all, we want to have the Statements. Yes, Dr. Wekesa.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have a Ministerial Statement that was requested by the hon. Member for Gichugu but I can see she is not here. Therefore, we will preserve it until she is here.
I think that is in order so that she is able to prosecute it properly.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Three weeks ago, I requested for a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Roads but it has not been brought. I had been promised that it would be brought one week after that date.
The Deputy Leader of Government Business, could you undertake when that Statement will be given?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Minister and the Assistant Minister have just been here and we were discussing the same matter. They have just walked out but I will get them to give this Statement by Tuesday afternoon because tomorrow is not available for Statements.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I believe that three weeks ago, I requested for a Ministerial Statement and the Deputy Leader of Government Business committed it to 23rd May. The Statement was from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and it was on the issues surrounding the Mathare Youth Sports Association. This is an issue which has become very dicey. It is also spoiling our image in Norway, a country that we have very good relations with and continues to affect the young people because it involved sexual exploitation. I want that Statement as soon as possible. The Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs told me that the request has not reached his office. Can the Deputy Leader of Government Business tell us whether he passed the message because he even committed to a date which was 23rd May?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me say that when we make an undertaking, this is captured in the HANSARD and every Ministry has an obligation to look at the proceedings of the House. In addition to that, we communicate. So, that should not be an excuse and I would like to hear what the hon. Member has said from the Minister. I do not doubt the conversation the Member had with the Minister but be that as it may, I would like that Statement to be delivered to this House on Wednesday morning. DELAYED STATEMENT ON CRASH-LANDING OF EGYPT AIR FLIGHT AT JKIA
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, two weeks ago, I requested for an urgent Statement from the Minister for Transport in respect to the incident that took place at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where Egypt Air Flight skidded. The Speaker ruled that the Minister gives the Statement the following day but we have not had it to date. In light of the other accidents that we have had, could the Minister tell us when we can have a report on the facilities at the JKIA? What postmortem has been done in respect to that particular accident?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, indeed, I will be happy to provide that Statement on the Egypt Air next week. However, we also need to know that there is an investigation on the same. The investigations have commenced and are ongoing. However, I will give a Statement from that perspective by Thursday, next week. I think that will give me adequate time to compile what is left. That is what is practical at this point, bearing in mind that there is an ongoing investigation which we do not want to prejudice. However, we will work out what is possible for the House and what is ongoing by Thursday, next week. STALEMATE OVER ELECTION OF AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the stalemate over the election of the next Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC). In the Statement, he
Mrs. Shebesh, do you want to enrich the point of order?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I just want to enrich on the Statement that has been requested by my colleague, who of course is the head of our Parliamentary Group at the Pan African Parliament (PAP). As the Minister makes the statement, could he also tell us, in relation to these elections, how the Government decides on who to support considering that we are in a Coalition Government, meaning that we have two principals. The two principals, of course, we know should be consulting on issues. Whether the decision to support Jean Ping was made collectively by the Cabinet for the interest of our country, or it was made by one side of the Government, they should tell us why they decided to support him and not the lady who is from South Africa.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I believe that the comprehensive Statement will cover the rationale for Kenya’s support of one of candidate or the other. That will comprehensively cover the level of consultation and all those things. Just for correction, South Africa is not our largest trading partner. The Republic of Uganda is our No.1trading partner. However, in terms of interests, we will communicate and the Ministry will cover the rationale for the support, one way or the other within a comprehensive Statement to be available to this House by Thursday, next week.
Hon. Shakeel Shabir.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am the one who was actually on the Floor discussing this Bill when the House adjourned.
Hon. Magwanga, I apologize. Yes, indeed, you were on the Floor. You still had a balance of 19 minutes.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity again to contribute on this Bill.
This is a very important Bill for this country. Allow me to congratulate hon. Jakoyo Midiwo for bringing these amendments. In Kenya, people do not respect the rule of law. This is very critical for this country. We have lost quite a number of our people on the roads. We do not respect these laws. Much as we are actually bringing new policies, people do not respect and internalize them, so that they become part of our culture and guide us to do better things on our roads. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, identification and registration of motor vehicles for number plates and owners is very critical. In a number of occasions we have had hit-and-run vehicles; hardly are the owners of the vehicles or the drivers traced. So, surrendering a registration number plate to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) when the ownership is being transferred to another person is very important. That way, any vehicle will be easily traced in the records available in the offices. I recommend and support the identification of the ownership of vehicles by the registration number plate. We have quite a number of people who drive defective motor vehicles on our roads. They cause accidents to other road users. These are vehicles which do not have brakes. They are vehicles which cannot be controlled and so they cause accidents on our roads. So, driving defective vehicles on our roads must come to an end. I tend to think that this Bill is likely to do that. Driving under the influence of alcohol has really caused a number of deaths on our roads. This must be the major contributor of accidents on our roads. If we bring in stiffer laws which will bar those under the influence of alcohol from driving on our roads, the number of accidents will come down. Another important thing which this Bill is prohibiting is driving on the pavements. This is where drivers cross pavements and drive on pedestrian lanes. This causes accidents on our roads. If this Bill goes through, it will bar reckless drivers from driving on the pedestrian walkways. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Bill is actually trying to instill some discipline in the issuance of driving licences. We have quite a number of people who own driving licences, yet they do not know how to drive. This is a fact. You will find somebody with a driving licence, yet he does not even know how to start or move a vehicle. This means that there are irregularities in the issuance of the driving licences. This must be streamlined to ensure that only those who have been trained properly and certified are issued with driving licences. This way, we will avoid road carnage. We have seen cases where drivers have killed school children. This can only be curtailed by having experienced drivers and those who care about the lives of those in their vehicles as drivers. In the developed countries, for one to drive, one must be experienced in driving. They respect the road signs. They respect pedestrians. Whenever
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to support this very worthy amendment Bill. I do not want to repeat many of the things that have been said, but there are certain issues that I want to raise in the Bill. First is the issue of road blocks. In Kisumu, at the Mamboleo area, road blocks are the cause of accidents and they have actually caused the death of over 100 people in the last six months. They are not a hindrance, but a hazard. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of defective vehicles is not covered very clearly in this amendment Bill. It is a known fact that vehicles are inspected without getting inspection certificates and even without the vehicles being seen. Some of the well-off officers in the Government are previous inspectors. I know of one who became very senior in the Moi Government and he was a motor vehicle inspector. They make a lot of money out of corrupt deals and I see nothing here that deals with defective vehicles. I hope that Mr. Midiwo heard me on that one. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the third issue that I would like to bring up is overlapping, which has been covered very clearly here. There are also a lot of illegal turns that are made. I want to specifically bring to the attention of this House the fact that I have written to the Commissioner of Police, informing him that government vehicles drive in the opposite direction on Posta Road to get to Kenyatta Avenue, but nothing has been done so far. The ones that are more urgent are those on Ralph Bunche Road and Fifth Ngong Avenue Road, which turn into Valley Road. Vehicles on that road move at very high speed and, If something is not done, we will have a major accident. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, speaking on vehicles that cause accidents in which people die, it appears that the drivers of such vehicles are charged and released on bail, and that the vehicles are released immediately. I want to bring out one point. There was a bus on the road, whose driver was driving while speaking on a mobile phone. That driver was very rough on the road, and he killed a couple of pedestrians. The bus belonged to one of those new bus companies, whose name I cannot remember. The vehicle was released on the second day after the accident. This Bill does not cover the issue of seizing a vehicle that is involved in a fatal accident. Drivers are very mobile. When their vehicles are involved in accidents, they
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. In contributing, I want to thank Mr. Midiwo for bringing the amendments to the Traffic Act. I would like to indicate that many Kenyans have lost their lives. I think traffic accidents could be one of the leading causes of deaths in this country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have had occasion to live out of the country and whenever there was a traffic accident in most of the countries even if it is just one accident the town comes to a standstill because it is a very rare occurrence. Sometimes I wonder why we even call them accidents because accidents should be absolutely remote. It should be arising from something unforeseen or something unpreventable. But many of our accidents stem from human error. Many of them are caused by people drinking and driving. Many of them are also caused by people over- driving especially public vehicles. You will find one driver wants to drive for 48 hours and yet they are not gods; they are mere human beings. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is because people try to make super profits. Therefore, the law must guide against unnecesary deaths. I really do not even want to call them accidents because many of the deaths that are occasioned are not by accident as such. I would even like to give as an example. I was called by a lady who I used to go to church with in Nairobi Pentecostal Church when we were bringing this and I remember she used to serve as an usher. One time I saw her walking and she was very normal. Then she disappeared for a while and the next time I saw her, she was in a wheelchair. She is now permanently in a wheelchair as a consequence of a road accident. When she saw these amendments proposed she got in touch with me because she said there are certain issues that she felt very passionately about, which she wanted to put forward and I have advised her how she can make her presentation before the relevant committees. That was a very able-bodied person who has been condemned to a life of disability through carelesseness. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, last year I lost my mother, and one of our young nephews who was coming to condole with us did not show up. When we were wondering where he was, we were told that he was involved in a road accident and that he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was a young man in his early twenties and he was called Brighton Owuya. He was in ICU for over one month and he subsequently lost his life as a consequence of a useless and unecessary road accident. I can give examples of accidents which have occurred forever. My young niece, Natalie Bellow, who is a student at a medical school, asked me the other day to say in Parliament that she has a classmate, I do not remember his name, with whom she was at Aga Khan Primary, who died at Kenyatta University as a consequence of careless driving. He was buried in Molo last month. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am saying this to show that accidents have affected each one of us in a very personal way. There are many young people who did not need to die and who have died as a consequence of carelessness. It is within that context that I want to make certain comments in relation to this Bill.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I make my contribution, let me first of all declare my interest. From when I was a toddler to the time I became a Member of Parliament, I have survived on the income of public service vehicles. This is from my parents to me, and now my children. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me start by saying that while I applaud Mr. Midiwo for bringing this Bill on the Floor, I have a lot of misgivings that make me unable to support it. It is not a bad idea, but I think it requires a lot of amendments which will amount to a complete overhaul again. In that case, I oppose this Bill. When I look at the amendments that are included, you are transferring rules that were raised by the late hon. Michuki to an Act of Parliament. This will make it very difficult to make any amendments in future because it has to go through the rigorous process of making any small adjustment. With regard to uniforms, in Mt. Kenya region, for example, somebody can put on a coat and he is comfortable, but when you go to Garissa, a coat is completely irrelevant. In fact, I do not know whether they wear them. If you go to Mombasa, you will only be comfortable in a very light shirt. If all these are embraced in the Act, it will become very difficult to make any changes should there be need. When I also look at the way the Bill is crafted, it vests too much power on PSV vehicles. It is true they cause a significant percentage of the accidents on our roads just because of their numbers, but there are those other vehicles that cause accidents,
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise on a point order to ask the hon. Member opposing the Bill to declare his interest. This is an opportunity for him to make concrete proposals, so that we can stop the trend of mayhem and deaths on our roads. His contributions need to be a bit more constructive and suggestive on the way forward.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the comments by my colleague. I am only creating a basis on how we can handle the matter better. I started by declaring my interest and said that I applaud him. However, the way the Bill has been drafted, it will require a complete overhaul. So, I was trying to create a basis. It is important for me to continue and tell him and others that when you look at the number of accidents involving the Passenger Service Vehicle (PSVs), it is significant, but Government vehicles, including police vehicles, are also involved. If we pass this Bill against PSVs, it will mean that private vehicles will get away with it. When we are on the road, we are equal and punishment should be meted on all without discrimination. It should be drafted in such a manner that it cuts across the board without discrimination. I think it is very important for us to note to that. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk of an identification plate, is it referring to registration plate? Will a PSV carry two plates? If so, is this going to only be on vehicles or also on motor cycles? It is very important for us to come out clearly and say what we mean by “identification plates”. When you look at this Bill, the motor cycles do not appear to have PSV insurance and yet, they will carry passengers. It is important for us to come out clearly because, at the end of the day, all of us are doing PSV business. It is important for everybody to be accommodated without necessarily being biased. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very important for us to know that when the law becomes harsh and excessive, it brings in corruption. Can you subject a driver who has caused an accident to a death penalty just because he has hit a pedestrian? Yes, it is bad morally to cause death, but equally when you subject a driver to a death penalty---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member has said that the Bill does not prescribe for motor cycles to carry insurance. Vehicles do not carry two insurances. They just carry insurance; whether it is PSV or not, it is still insurance. It includes all motor cycles that carry passengers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I declared my interest by saying that from the time I was a toddler, I have been in this sector. There are four categories of insurances; there is motor vehicles insurance, commercial vehicle insurance, private car insurance and PSV insurance. When you do not state whether it will be PSV insurance, somebody can just walk to the shop or to an insurance office, buy insurance and it will only be for private use. When it is for private use, it is not for PSV. PSV is specifically stated on the sticker as “This is PSV insurance.” If we are concerned about those who have maimed or lost their limbs, it is important for us to appreciate the fact that if we want to be seen to be concerned and acting in a manner to solve that problem, it is important for us to also ensure that it is PSV insurance and it should cut across the board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when a law becomes harsh and excessive, it becomes a good ground to breed corruption. When you impose penalties in the range of
Hon. Members, the House now stands adjourned until today, 13th June, 2012 at 2.30 p.m.
Member of Parliament for Manyatta, hon. Kathuri, will have 18 more minutes when the debate resumes. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.