On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Mbadi?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise on a point of order on a matter that I think needs to be addressed. This matter should have, probably, been raised earlier. However, when it comes to matters of constitutionality, it does not matter when it is flagged off. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will just ask for the Speaker’s ruling. Article 107 of the Constitution provides on how the proceedings of the House can be presided over. It says:- “Presiding in Parliament 107. (1) At any sitting of a House of Parliament— (a) the Speaker presides; (b) in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker presides; and (c) in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, another member of the House elected by the House presides.” Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, based on that, it is very clear that if the two Speakers who we voted for are not present, or are not for any reason able to preside, then a Member elected by the House should preside. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to refer you to Standing Order No.10(1) on the appointment of a Speaker’s Panel which the Temporary Deputy Speaker sitting on the Chair today derives his authority from. It says:- “At the commencement of every Session, or from time to time as necessity may arise, the Speaker shall, with the approval of the House, nominate four Members (not being Ministers) who shall be known respectively as the First, Second, Third and Fourth Chairperson of Committees, and who shall be entitled to exercise all the powers vested in the Chairperson of Committees including the powers as Deputy Speaker.”
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue that has been raised by hon. Mbadi is as amusing as it is serious. In law, that interpretation is 100 per cent correct. But what does it mean for the House? Let me confess that this is a matter that I raised with the Speaker about two weeks ago and I asked him to address his mind to it very carefully because it was going to come to a head. As it is now, it has come to a head. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what hon. Mbadi is asking you to do is to get out of that Chair, so that we get either hon. Farah Maalim or hon. Speaker himself to come and preside. This matter is so serious because without repeating what hon. Mbadi has said, he is right in law. I kindly urge you to look at Standing Order No.10 and Article 107 of the Constitution, which hon. Mbadi has read. If you do that, you are going to find that, indeed, sitting on that Chair as you do now is clearly illegal and unconstitutional. Under those circumstances, I urge you to think very carefully with all the wisdom that you can acquire and guide the House accordingly. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Even the seconder of the issue which has been canvassed by hon. Mbadi says that it is amusing. I would say that it is entertaining and that it can only be given by humorous individuals like hon. Olago Oluoch and hon. Mbadi. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if they wanted an honest opinion or a ruling delivered on the matter they are canvassing, it is improper for them to canvass on the person who is directly involved and interested.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to disagree with my learned senior, hon. Olago, that the interpretation by hon. Mbadi is 100 per cent legally because we would not have the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, which are put there because there are as many and varied legal opinions as there are lawyers in this country. If you look at that interpretation on the face of it, you may draw that conclusion. But I want to say that we have said in this House that even by way of practice of this House and, indeed, by way of Standing Order No.1, I would want to indicate that also for purposes of stability and transition, if indeed we thought this was very important, that we needed to effect this, then we should have brought it at the very point that this Constitution was passed, but not midway. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, personally, I would urge that you do not wait for the substantive Speaker, but that you make a ruling now and here, and say that, indeed, you are properly seated, saved that, as a lawyer, I know that then, you would be seating as a judge over your own cause, but then I would urge you to maybe ask the substantive Speaker. But I would urge hon. Mbadi and hon. Olago; for purposes of stability and continuity in the House, that, indeed, we move on. They should not rock the boat unnecessarily because as a country, we are dealing with many serious issues. We do not want to start rocking the boat from within. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Let us be brief, hon. Members!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a day when this House was seized of the very grave matter of the very fatal insecurity in the Tana Delta, perhaps, some hilarious moment or some comic relief was necessary this afternoon. This certainly falls in the province of the comic and the hilarious. But that notwithstanding, may I say that, first of all, this matter, in my humble view, is not about the person of hon. Ethuro, the hon. Member for Turkana Central; eminent, senior ranking Member of the Tenth House and, I do believe, supremely qualified to sit on that Chair. I do believe that this question has been put to the Chair. It is
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Rarely do you see the hon. Member for Gwassi and the hon. Member for Budalang’i disagreeing but is it in order for the hon. Member for Budalang’i who is a lawyer of repute and I cannot claim to be having even a half of the knowledge in law as he does, and he also cannot claim the same in finance--- Is it in order for the hon. Member to fail to appreciate the transitional clause which has suspended the provisions of Cap.8 but has extended Section 48 to Section 58 of the former Constitution? The provision that I have referred to is found under Section 50. This therefore, means that Section 50 of the old Constitution applies which is verbatim the same way I read it. So, based on that, if Mr. Namwamba was saying that it is not clear, I would rather put it to him that it is very clear that Section 50 of the old Constitution is retained and with the same provisions that I have read. It is only that I did not carry the old Constitution because I did not see the need of carrying it. I could quote it from my head. So, if that is the reasoning of Mr. Namwamba, is it in order for the lawyer to mislead non-lawyers like John Mbadi by insisting that this is not clear? Again in terms of elections, the Constitution has not talked about elections.
Order, Mr. Mbadi! You stood on a point of order. Proceed, Mr. Namwamba.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I dare say for good measure that you can engage in a philosophical argument; you can want to engage in a purely pedantic and academic argument. What is important is that I do not believe that this matter really carries any importance or significance to this House. But significantly, I also want Mr. Mbadi to address himself to the wording of Article 107 which I do insist is part of the chapter that I do not wish to---
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The hon. Member for Chepalungu who purports to be a governor of some jimbo in Bomet might want to inform me. I welcome the information.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to inform my good friend here, Mr. Namwamba, that the same Constitution under Schedule 31 on the Miscellaneous matters on existing offices states as follows:- “Unless this Schedule provides otherwise, a person who immediately before the effective date, held or was acting in an office established by the former Constitution shall on the effective date continue to hold or act in that office under this Constitution for the unexpired period, if any, of the term of the person.” Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to inform the hon. Member that it is appropriate and proper for those who are continuing acting in those offices to continue. This particular matter will then be effective after the next elections. But as of now, the Members of the Speaker’s Panel are appropriately in office.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I still do insist and it is important for Mr. Mbadi to also appreciate that this Speaker’s Panel came into existence before the enactment of this Constitution. Therefore, even as we enacted this Constitution, as we put these provisions in place and suspended this particular chapter, we were alive to the existence of this Speaker’s Panel. Purely for purposes of argument, if indeed it were to be found that Article 107 is operating, then I would still insist that unless you bring a statute to this House that explains in minute detail the manner, fashion and style of electing the Speaker’s Panel, there is absolutely nothing anywhere recorded in the annals of the history of this House to purport to indicate that the manner in which this Speaker’s Panel came into being is unconstitutional.
I will take just two more so that we conclude this.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if it is possible, I would like this House to go back to the HANSARD once in a while. I would want Mr. Mbadi who is an expert of raising temperatures on such issues--- I want to remind this House that Mr. Mbadi did not only whip up the emotions of this House to replace the Parliamentary Service Commission, he even went to the media and anticipated that issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir!
I am on a point of order. If you look at the Constitution---
Order, hon. Members! Mrs. Shebesh is giving an opinion on a matter. Whether it is pleasant or not, just listen to her.
I am discussing it because he has brought the Motion. So, I am just responding and saying that during that debate, when there were opportunities to fill up places in some Committees, who raised the issue on the Floor of this House, as women parliamentarians? Hon. Members can remember. We asked for guidance on the filling up of the positions of the Committees of the House and the Parliamentary Service Commission, following the promulgation of the new Constitution, which clearly regulates representation of women in this House. If you refer to the HANSARD, you will see that the substantive Speaker answered that question and put it to rest in the same manner hon. Namwamba has spoken. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, if we are, today, discussing an issue similar to one on which the Speaker has already ruled in terms of constitutional office holders in this House, it means that we are questioning the Speaker’s ruling. I would like you to refer to the HANSARD, so that it can be clear that the Speaker has spoken on this issue. Since I would also like to go further to open up people’s eyes to the truth when things come to the Floor of this House, I am ready to show you the political motive behind this issue.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I have said many times in this House before, political issues will not be solved by trying to manipulate the Constitution and other things. If you have a problem with somebody in your political party, deal with it in the caucuses in your political parties. Since political parties have ways of dealing with their issues, please, let us not embarrass this House. Many times before, when we had sensitive issues in this House, I had asked whether we could have the substantive Speaker to preside over the House. The Speaker had come here three times, and told me: “Consider anybody who sits on this Chair the Speaker of the National Assembly.” I am wondering what it is that today wakes up hon. Mbadi. If there is no political motive, let him tell us that he has not heard the Speaker say what I have stated here, or that there has not been a ruling on the same. Maybe, we will then believe that he just stumbled upon Article 107 of the Constitution yesterday and came up with this good intention.
Yes, hon. Musikari Kombo.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I find the matter being canvassed, when you are unfortunately on the Chair, strange. Hon. Members know that this House also depends on traditions, practices, et cetera . For a long time, Members of the Speaker’s Panel have been chosen in the manner you have been chosen. The current Constitution came into effect two years ago. Where was hon. Mbadi to raise the matter until after two years, unless there is some malice in what he is doing? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, I would urge you to find the matter frivolous, so that we can move on. There are many more important issues we should be dealing with on the Order Paper.
What is your point of order, Dr. Nuh?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when I rose to contribute on this matter raised by hon. Mbadi, I requested you to restrain any further ventilation on it but
Hon. Members, I am sure that hon. Mbadi and hon. Olago had clearly come here with the mission of raising this issue. You got all the time you needed to raise the important issues that you wanted to raise. First, I want to say that I cannot make a ruling on this matter because I am affected. I allowed ventilation of the matter, so that the substantive Speaker can make a ruling after hearing contributions from hon. Members. So, we will leave it that way. The second issue is that hon. Olago Aluoch captured the mood of the debate. I feel the same say. I wondered whether hon. Mbadi felt that there should be no business in the House today. This is because, firstly, the Speaker is away on CPA business in Sri
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
No more. I have already concluded that. Remember we have done about 40 minutes since we begun on this particular issue. Next Order!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the report of the Joint Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, Finance, Planning and Trade and the Budget Committee on the cancellation of the new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Volumes I and II laid on the Table of the House today, Wednesday, 12th September, 2012.
Hon. Members, this being a Wednesday, I am inclined to give the first shot to the Prime Minister. You need to read our Standing Orders. Prime Minister, are you ready? The Rt. hon. Prime Minister, you have two Questions. Maybe, you could deal with the first one first; the one by the Member for Ikolomani. He is not here. Then there is the Member for Yatta. The Rt. hon. Prime Minister, maybe, let us start with the one by the Member for Yatta who is present.
asked the Prime Minister:- (a) Why has the Board of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) sent the Managing Director (Eng.) Stephen Gichuki on compulsory leave after he appeared before three Joint Committees of Parliament investigating the Airport Greenfield Project? (b) What action is the Prime Minister taking to ensure that the Board of KAA does not intimidate potential witnesses appearing before Joint Committees of Parliament?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I have given direction that the Managing Director of KAA should not be harassed by the Board or anybody else. I would like to inform the House that this matter is still being dealt with by the Cabinet and that the Cabinet has not taken a decision on the issue of the Greenfield Project. The matter was referred to a Committee of the Cabinet which has looked into the matter and is going to report back to the Cabinet tomorrow. I also want to inform the
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know why the Rt. hon. Prime Minister has totally avoided dealing with my question. My question is, why in the first place? The other question is, what action the Prime Minister is taking to ensure that the Board of Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) does not intimidate potential witnesses appearing before Committees of Parliament. This has happened before.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. With due respect to the Rt. hon. Prime Minister, I do not know whether I heard him right saying that Parliament acted prematurely on a matter which the Executive was handling. Is it in order for the Prime Minister to assume that this Parliament is in any way subservient to the Executive, and that Parliament must wait for the Executive to do certain things and not act on its own? Is it in order for the Executive to appear to belittle the role of this Parliament and the independence thereof?
Mr. Ruto, you should have raised that at the time when the Rt. hon. Prime Minister concluded his statement.
I pressed my button and wanted to make it clear. We have just heard him, and it is in the HANSARD. That is a matter that he has to withdraw, otherwise we take it that he belittles Parliament.
You had not finished, Mr. C. Kilonzo? Conclude your question.
I was just interrupted, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not know why my good brother is wasting too much energy on that. We all know, in the words of Dr. Nuh, that we are dealing with a wheelbarrow Government. That said, my question is why the Managing Director was sent on compulsory leave. There is a tendency of the Executive, when somebody appears before a Committee of Parliament, he is sent on compulsory leave. That is like intimidating any potential witnesses appearing before Committees of Parliament, thereby sabotaging the role of Parliament. The issue is not on the Managing Director of the KAA; it is this thing of Government trying to intimidate and threaten witnesses before Committees of Parliament by taking actions like sending them compulsory leave. That is what I want the Prime Minister to address.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Question is, why has the Board of KAA sent the Managing Director on compulsory leave after he appeared before three Joint Committees of Parliament investigating the Airport Greenfield Project. That was the question. I have said that if that is the reason, I have given the directive that Mr. Gichuki should not be victimized by the Board. Having said that, I did not in any way intend to slight the role of this Parliament or its powers. What I am saying is that the Constitution provides for a clear separation of powers between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The Executive has its functions clearly spelt out in the Constitution. Matters which the Executive is still dealing with are purely functions of the Executive. Parliament oversees the Executive. If the Executive makes wrong decisions, then Parliament is within its powers to censure it. But Parliament should not act on a matter which has not been resolved by the Executive. I would say that the issue of the Airport Greenfield Project is still being dealt with by the Cabinet. The Cabinet has not made a decision. So
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. With due respect to the Rt. hon. Prime Minister; when he says that Parliament can only act when the Executive has done its bit, that is totally misguided. Only this morning we were dealing with the case of Tana Delta where Parliament is urging the Government to take action. That is purely because the Government has failed. The reason why Parliament is coming up every now and then to urge the Government is because the Government is not able to move. That is why Dr. Nuh said that we are dealing with a wheelbarrow. The mechanism of a wheelbarrow is very simple; you push it, you leave it here and you must push it again the following day. Therefore, the Rt. hon. Prime Minister cannot come and try to look down upon the role of Parliament in overseeing, which includes urging the Government in many occasions to act; it has failed to act in many occasions.
Hon. Members, I think these are differences on opinion. The Chair is actually satisfied that the Rt. hon. Prime Minister is saying that the matter has not been concluded by the Government, and Parliament is saying that they cannot wait for it to conclude the matter. I do not think we should go to the debate of whose mandate it is. Let us address the specific issues in this particular matter, and then we will make progress.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Prime Minister to confuse the House? We know that the Greenfield was a project under Vision 2030; so, it is a Government project. The tender that is being questioned is on the Greenfield project which has already gone through a process which the Executive has taken action on. So, there is no way we can say that the Government has not addressed this issue. The issue is in the public domain and needs to be addressed. If the Government is taking too long, then it is the duty of the House to act, so that there is no victimization of staff. For example, Mr. Gichuki has been victimized and the Board is now being victimized. Then there is power struggle between the Minister, the Prime Minister’s Office and Office of the President. Who is in control of this country?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member who has just spoken was until very recently a member of the Executive, and is privy to a number of other secret Cabinet deliberations. I want to inform the other hon. Members that there are certain ways in which the Cabinet deals with issues emanating from various line Ministries. They come to the Cabinet through memoranda which are dealt with by the Cabinet. In this particular case, the matter was referred back to a Committee of the Cabinet, which is called “the Infrastructure Committee”. The Committee has investigated this matter and is going to report back to the Cabinet tomorrow. What I am trying to say is that it was premature for this matter to be investigated when no decision had actually been taken by the Cabinet. In other words, the Cabinet has not nullified the tender. The Attorney-General, who appeared before the Committee, was able to share some information with the Committee. What I am trying to say is that it was wrong for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KAA to be victimized over an issue which has not been decided by the Cabinet. That is why I have given
Let us take more questions.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Prime Minister why he thinks that Parliament has actually acted prematurely when the matter has already come into the public domain, particular when the Kenya Airports Authority has taken a decision and a Minister has taken a clearly contrary decision. The Executive itself, in trying to reconcile those two decisions, has taken unduly wrong decision before they can really arrive at a solution. What other mandate would Parliament really have other than to intervene and ensure that a decision is made by the Executive either way, to have this project proceed? If Parliament cannot really intercede, at what level does he imagine that Parliament ought to exercise its oversight responsibility over the Executive?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to repeat for the hon. Member to understand; that there are ways in which the Cabinet operates. I have said that this matter was referred to the Infrastructure Committee of the Cabinet. That Committee carried out its own investigations. It set up a taskforce consisting of experts, both technical and legal; to investigate the way this tender was handled and dealt with. It was seeking, for example, the opinion of the Attorney-General. After evaluation of all that information, that taskforce then gave a recommendation to the Committee of the Cabinet. So, that report will be presented to the Cabinet tomorrow. That is the reason I was saying that we need to define how we relate to each other. If the information had been sought from the Office of the Prime Minister, we would have been able to communicate to the House that the matter is still being dealt with by the Cabinet and, therefore, there was no need for a parallel investigation to be carried out by the House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the House is very much justified in questioning certain decisions of the Executive, but over this particular issue, the House has acted prematurely because no decision has been taken by the Executive.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Prime Minister has said that Parliament took over the issue of the Greenfield project before the Executive concluded it, yet the Executive was given enough time to explain to the House. The Minister responsible should have explained to the House and satisfied the Speaker, because the Speaker made a ruling based on what was explained by the Government. The Government did not explain the way the Prime Minister has done today and so, the blame is not on this House but on the Executive. Why was that information not given to the Speaker at that time, so that this House could not have formed a Committee to investigate the issue?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, after the matter had been discussed here, I did have an opportunity to actually draw the Speaker’s attention to the fact that this matter was still not concluded. If it was a matter before the Judiciary, we would have said that it was sub judice. I do not know how you will deal
Maybe for the information of the Rt. hon. Prime Minister and hon. Members, the Report which was laid by hon. Were is on this matter. So, the Committees of the House have actually concluded and tabled the Report. It is available to all of you. Let me just take one more, so that we move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, maybe it is just good for us to get it clearly, because I think hon. Chepkitony has asked a question, but the answer has not come out clearly from the Prime Minister. The reason the three Joint Committees took over this issue is because there was a purported cancellation of a contract, which became public knowledge and an issue of national concern. Therefore, I think whether or not the Committees took it over is not the issue. The issue is that it was taken over, the Speaker ruled, a Joint Committee was formed and there is a Report which we have not yet debated. Could the Prime Minister tell us whether there was a purported cancellation of this contract of the Greenfield Project, because it is the reason the Committees of the House were asked to investigate the matter and subsequently, that has led to the victimization of the Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA)?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a purported cancellation of this contract that drew the attention of some hon. Members. But following the purported cancellation of the contract, a communication was made to the KAA Board that this matter was being dealt with by the Cabinet and, therefore, the Board had no powers or authority to act on it until the matter was resolved by the Cabinet. Yes, I agree that, that is what probably drew the attention of the House and that is the reason questions were being asked here. But, basically, the Board was informed accordingly and the Minister, of course, was also aware, because he is a Member of the Sub-committee of the Cabinet which was dealing with this particular issue. I want to repeat again that this matter will go to the Cabinet tomorrow and the conclusion will be known after it has had opportunity to receive and discuss the recommendations of the Committee.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Prime Minister to avoid answering the Question as clearly put in the Order Paper? Allow me to read it aloud, so that probably he can be refreshed. The Question is:- “Why has the Board of Kenya Airports Authority sent the Managing Director”---
(Mr. Ethuro: Order! Order! Hon. Ruto, make your point. That was the issue raised by hon. C. Kilonzo.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are prosecuting an irrelevant issue. The Prime Minister is telling us the substance of something else. The Question is: What are the reasons that led to suspension of this Chief Executive Officer (CEO)? Is it because he appeared before the Parliamentary Committees? He has simply told us that he has ordered the reinstatement. We want to hear what the reasons were and not these other matters that are before the Cabinet. Is he in order to take a whole 30 minutes without answering the Question?
Hon. Ruto, you have made your point but it is my understanding that the Prime Minister has answered you directly by saying that he has given directions to the Board to reinstate the Managing Director. Why flog a dead horse? I think that is what the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister is telling the House. Whatever concerns he had, he had already taken them into account by reinstating the CEO. Rt. hon. Prime Minister, maybe you want to shed more light.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you could not be more right than saying that the hon. Member is flogging a dead horse. You usually bury the dead horse and not flog it. I have already stated that---
Order! Order, hon. Members! The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister must be heard.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I need to be heard and not heckled. Hon. Isaac Ruto, Member for Chepalungu, could you, please, be patient and listen to what I am telling you?
Order, Prime Minister! You should ignore those issues that have not been entertained by the Chair.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that the Board of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) was supposedly disciplining the Chief Executive Officer by ignoring their recommendations to purportedly cancel this contract contrary to the laid down procedures. I have also said that the Board acted without authority because the matter had still not yet been concluded by the Cabinet. Therefore, I have ordered the reinstatement of the Chief executive and I have also given directions that he should not be molested until this matter is concluded by the Government.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate that the Office of the Prime Minister, like other senior Government Offices, the three top ones, are very busy offices and perhaps because of the responsibilities in those offices, he might not have been privy to what transpired in Parliament. The Cabinet Sub-Committee he is referring to; the Sub-Committee on Infrastructure, was in disagreement with the Minister for Transport and the Permanent Secretary. At the same time, the Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. Kimemia, complained and there are letters which were tabled in Parliament that the action which was being taken by the PS instructing the KAA to take action was disrespectful to the entire Cabinet. So we want to know what action he is taken against the PS and the Minister because he was totally disrespectful.
On a point of information!
I will accept that information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I information is power.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to inform my colleague, Mr. C. Kilonzo, that even if there were no disagreements between the PS and the other PS, Mr. Kimemia, the Minister and the Board, the Committees of the House are mandated, according to Standing Order No.198, to investigate, inquire into and report on all matters relating to the mandate, management, activities, administration, operations and estimates of the assigned Ministries and departments. So I want to inform him that
Order, hon. Members! I had already determined that matter, Dr. Nuh, and you did not have to remind us. I am sure we are all literate and we can read the Standing Orders you are referring to. So the issue here is not really the mandate of the said versus the Legislature. Let us ask specific questions on this issue. I also want to remind you that the Report has been tabled and according to our Standing Orders, the areas we are now engaged in could be considered like anticipating debate. So I will only entertain the issues in terms of why the Managing Director (MD) and why certain actions happened. Be specific, Mr. C. Kilonzo.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as he says, he has given instructions to the Board not to molest the MD. I am also curious whether he can give the same instructions to the PS and the Minister not to keep on molesting the MD because what they are doing is threatening the Board because if the Board does not act, it is kicked out and a new one brought in. The problem is within the Cabinet, the Minister and the PS. That is why there was a complaint by Mr. Kimemia on the PS being disrespectful of the Cabinet itself.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us all agree that there is separation of powers: That the Executive cannot do the functions of this House and neither should this House try to manage the Executive; to show the Executive how to do its functions.
Order, hon. Members!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, oversight is a very different matter from being the Executive. So what we are trying to say is that the Executive has a role and powers conferred on it by the Constitution just like the House has powers conferred on it. The House should not be seen to be intruding---
Order, Mr. Prime Minister! When I communicate to the House, I am communicating to both sides of the House including the Rt. hon. Prime Minister. Let us not revisit that matter because the Standing Orders are very clear. Indeed, the Executive can proceed and the Legislature can proceed on the same matter because the Standing Orders allow. So I thought you were only pleading that we should be giving the Executive a bit of time to do the initial work. Just respond to the specifics of the question.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Legislature should not tell the Executive how to discipline its officers, how it should deal with its PSs or how it should deal with other officers within the Executive just like we do not tell Parliament how to deal with Members of Parliament on how to handle issues which are purely legislative. I was just saying that there was clear separation of powers in this particular matter but Parliament can make recommendations. That is why a number
Except, Mr. Prime Minister, when Parliament passes the law which becomes an Act, is that not a direction from Parliament on the Executive to implement? But that is not for the Chair; it is just food for thought. We will now go to the next Question.
to ask the Prime Minister:- Could the Prime Minister address the House on the matter of the recent visit by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton?
Dr. Khalwale is not here, so the Question is dropped.
Hon. Members, if you look at your Standing Order No.40 which is Prime Minister’s Time, you will appreciate that it says: “Notwithstanding Standing Order No.36 (Order of Proceedings), there shall be time, to be designated the Prime Minister’s Time, commencing at 3.00 p.m. every Wednesday.” I wanted to be faithful to that particular Standing Order because I have had occasion to refer to the same severally. That is why, Mr. Prime Minister, by the time you came, we were already within your time and so we allowed you have the first bite on Questions. So we will go back on the Questions on the Order Paper.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture, the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that there is a looming shortage of maize and wheat due to the expected poor harvests during the 2012 long-rains season? (b) What are the main causes of the expected maize and wheat poor harvests? (c) What short, medium and long-term measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that adequate or surplus maize and wheat is realized in the country in future?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
Order, hon. Members. Before I allow more questions, I have a Communication to make. There will be a Speaker’s Kamkunji tomorrow Thursday 13th September, 2012at 11.00 a.m. to deliberate on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2011. All Members are expected to be in attendance.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I want to thank the Assistant Minister for the answer he has given, I want him to elaborate further. He said that there will be a slight drop in the production of maize in this country by less than a million bags. He also clearly said in his answer that 64,000 hectares of maize that was planted was destroyed by the disease. How can that be possible?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the areas where the crop was affected--- It is not that some people did not harvest. Rift Valley Province was the most affected area with 43,000 hectares and the crop lost was between 60 per cent and 90 per cent. In Nyanza Province, 9,000 hectares were affected and the crop lost was between 80 per cent and 90 per cent. In Eastern Province 10,000 hectares were affected and the crop lost was between 10 per cent and 80 per cent. In Central Province, there was 1,435 hectares and the loss was about 10 per cent to 60 per cent. If you take the average, the expected crop harvest in some of these areas was supposed to be 15 bags per hectares. If you take 64,115 multiply by 15, the product is 991,000 hectares. If you subtract that from what we expected to harvest, the difference is below one million bags.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead this House by using acres and hectares? He is now using acres. For your information, one hectare is equal to 2.5 acres.
Are you confusing acres and hectares?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I was talking about is in hectares and not acres.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am surprised that the Ministry does not even understand simple arithmetic. With 64,000 hectares each producing 15 bags, you quickly get 2.4 million bags. A loss of 2.4 million bags is peanuts to a Ministry that normally likes importing maize. In the whole of South Rift, there is no food. The hon. Minister, my good elder sister, visited the area although she made some remarks that were not very popular. She was telling parents that if you are affected by malaria, you do not expect the Government to compensate you. I do not know whether if we lose maize and there is total hunger in the area, this Government will care. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister tell us what measures they have put in place to supply food to the whole region where people are now hungry and yet it is raining. There is a total maize failure and yet it is staple food. Are you supplying the other balance of maize to the farmers? There is complete maize failure in Narok, Bomet, Kericho, Trans Mara and South Nyanza. I understand now that in her area of Nandi, there is the same problem.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to impute improper motive on matters that he purports were said by myself when he was not there and I did not say those things.
What did he say? The Chair must have been busy consulting with somebody here.
He made a statement to the effect that I said, while visiting the Southern Rift that if somebody catches Malaria are you going to ask Government--- First of all, that is not my language. Secondly, I did not say that. I protest in the strongest terms possible. If he wants to bring a particular Question on those issues, I suggest that he does so and I will respond to him appropriately.
Hon. Ruto, could you, please, confine yourself to the matters on the Order Paper which is Question No.1 by Private Notice and not anything extraneous? What do you wish to do? I have not asked you to apologize. Why do you want to apologize if you have not been told to apologize?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my question is: What measures is the Government taking to ensure that the people who are now hungry in the South Rift are given food?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that question should be directed to the Ministry of State for Special Programmes because they are the ones who should be taking care of those who require food at the moment.
Indeed, the Ministry of Agriculture is involved in production, but in distribution and making sure that every Kenyan has food that is the function of the Ministry of Special Programmes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in all the actions that the Assistant Minister has mentioned that he will take to ensure that this country is food sufficient, he has not indicated that the use of biotechnology is very important in the production of food. Countries like China and India have been able to produce their own food because of using biotechnology. How come this Government and this Ministry are not ready to
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to tell the hon. Member that we are not using the old method. The Ministry has already taken the initiative to make sure that this country has enough food. For example, the Ministry or the Government will start supplying subsidized fertilizer which is already in this country. Because we want to break the cycle of the disease, we are giving famers planting seed in the areas which were affected. The Ministry will spend almost Kshs0.5 billion to provide subsidized seeds to the farmers---
The hon. Questioner is asking why you are not able to adopt bio-technology. Do not answer a question that you have not been asked. Proceed on the basis of that. Why can you not enhance agricultural products in the country by using bio-technology? If you have a problem with that, say that you will answer the question another day or give it to the Minister seated next to you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are using the new technology.
Bio-technology? Be careful because somebody who is an expert in that will ask a question! Yes, Dr. Otichilo.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead this House by saying that by supplying certified seeds and fertilizer that is bio-technology?
On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Do you wish to inform your colleague, Dr. Sally Kosgei? He has an issue, so you better support him.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. You will recall that in another capacity, I was the one who brought the Bio-Safety Bill to this House. There was a lot of resistance but fortunately, the House passed it. So, we cannot introduce it overnight. Last Friday, we were busy using the universities to introduce farmers to bio-technology. So, it is not as if we are not trying it but it has to be done very carefully using the research institutions that we have. You will also be aware that in view of the drought, we have used the research institutions to get seeds that are able to resist drought. These are better yielding seeds. You will find this in every sector of agriculture now. If you want us to bring details of this, we are ready to do so but it is not true to say that we are totally unaware of what bio-technology is all about. We are trying to promote it but like everything else, you cannot ram it down the throat of farmers without education.
You have made your point very eloquently. I am sure that the hon. Questioner is satisfied. Let us move on to Question No.2 by Private Notice.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Could the Minister clarify whether or not a women group namely, Samburu East Women Empowerment Forum (SEWEF), has ever held elections for office bearers? (b) Why did the Provincial Administration in Samburu East District stop the forum from holding its elections on 25th August, 2012 at Wamba District Headquarters? (c) Why did the District Officer, (Mr. Okoth) forcefully demand a cheque from the forum’s Secretary and what measures will the Minister take to ensure that the group conducts the election without interference from the Provincial Administration?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I request for the indulgence of the Chair to answer this Question later because it was received late yesterday and it involves two Ministries. Although I undertake to answer it, I would like to have time to go and enquire something from the other Ministry.
How much more time do you want?
One week, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
One week for a Question by Private Notice? Ideally, it should be answered within 48 hours. You can only ask for, at the very most, one day until the next time that the House sits. The Chair directs that you bring this answer on Tuesday, next week. Are you okay with that hon. Letimalo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have no objection to that. However, I only want to request the Assistant Minister to tell the Provincial Administration and the police to stop harassing women because these are innocent rural women who are only interested in elections. So, the Provincial Administration should not be taking sides.
Can you give that undertaking in the meantime in line with collective responsibility? I know that you are not the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security but you have a common responsibility as a Government.
I will do that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Fair enough. It is so directed!
Hon. Members, indeed, this is a Wednesday and ordinarily, on Wednesdays, we do not have many Questions. There are a few substantive businesses of the House by the Government that have to be disposed of. The Chair directs that Questions Nos.1661, 1229, 1605, 1780, 1356, 1719, 1653, 1709 and 1736 be deferred to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, next week on equal measure.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. With regard to Question 1709, I had requested the Minister to table the list. Can we get the list prior to him answering the Question so that we can scrutinize it?
This is a Question that had been asked in House before!
Yes, but it was deferred until today, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
When it was deferred, was it answered unsatisfactorily?
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Then why do you assume that the--- Has he furnished you with a copy of the written answer?
No, he has not furnished me with a copy of the written answer.
The Chair directs that hon. Questioners must have copies of the written answers to all Ordinary Questions or Questions by Private Notice within five days.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a copy of the written answer but I do not have the list and the map of the area. So, I have a partial answer and I think it will be important to table the list. We can scrutinize the list and then interrogate the Minister.
Where is the Minister for Lands, the Leader of Government Business or his deputy? Hon. Wakoli Bifwoli, why did the Minister not give the hon. Questioner the list because the Question, indeed, asks for a list?
. Bifwoli): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have agreed with the Questioner that I will give him the list tomorrow.
Fair enough. It is so directed! Hon. Balala, you can proceed and get this list so that by the time this Question appears on the Order Paper, next week you have sufficient information to prosecute it adequately.
We will just take one very brief Statement by hon. Kazungu, the Assistant Minister for Medical Services. Do not read a very long Statement! You have to be precise. Proceed. You know the rules of the House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Medical Services wishes to make it clear that the intended Doctors’ Strike which the Kenya Medical Practioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union intends to call tomorrow, Thursday, 13th September, 2012, is ill advised and cannot be justified. Should it take place, it will be in violation of a return-to-work formula signed between the Minister and the Union under which the Ministry was to fulfill a number of recommendations which it has faithfully done. From the outset, I wish to say that the union’s current demand that the Government needs to pay some allowance to self-sponsored Masters Programme students at Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital cannot be met. It is important to know that on admission, all self-sponsored post-graduate students make a commitment to pay school fees, find suitable accommodation and meet all financial commitments to the university and for themselves and abide to all universities regulations. This was not one of the issues agreed upon in the return to work formula. What is more, the Government is under no obligation to pay self-sponsored students as they are not on the payroll. All the Government-sponsored students at the two hospitals have been getting their allowances due to them regularly. In the return-to-work formula which both parties signed in December, 2011, a number of recommendations were made which the Ministry undertook to honour. I am glad to inform you that we have fulfilled all the recommendations which include: doctors, dentists and pharmacists have been getting their call allowance amounting to Kshs30,000 with effect from 1st December, 2011. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, secondly, they have also been paid extraneous allowance ranging from Kshs30,000 to Kshs40,000 depending on their rank and duty station. The first instalment was paid in December, 2011, and the second one was paid in July, 2012. Each doctor has received extra allowance amounting to between Kshs30,000 to Kshs70,000 with effect from 1st December, 2011. The Government released a total of Kshs113 million to cater for their promotions. All eligible officers have since been promoted as per Government regulations. The Government made available a total of Kshs181 million for training and settling of training debts. University fees for first, second and third year students should be paid in the academic year 2012/2013. The Ministry has so far employed 57 doctors and after advertising posts for 200 doctors, the rest will be recruited soon. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, lastly the Government is in the process of purchasing modern equipment and rehabilitating old facilities in a bid to improve the work environment in hospitals. In light of the foregoing, it is obvious the union is not acting in good faith in calling for the strike. The Ministry is appealing to all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists as well as all the other health workers not to be misled into taking part in an illegal strike. All the health workers need to put the interest of patients first and not to participate in an industrial action that could lead to loss of lives. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I will take a few clarifications then the Assistant Minister will respond.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since I was in school and to date when I am a Member of Parliament, I have never heard of any legal strike from the Government. Every other strike for the last 20 to 30 years has been illegal. So, referring to a strike as illegal when we know all strikes according to the Government are illegal is irrelevant. Just talk about the strike. But more importantly, the question I want to put across is that since the strike by the interns or the registrars has resulted in a shortage that has now started biting so much and the ones suffering are the patients, what mechanisms has the Ministry put in place to ensure that the resultant shortage of doctors on strike is filled with immediate effect so that the patients do not lose at the end of the day?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to get clarification from the Assistant Minister on the Kenyatta National Hospital, on the registrars---
Order, Mr. Mureithi. You bow to the bar. You do not just cross the Floor.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to get one clarification from the Assistant Minister especially on registrars from Kenyatta National Hospital. Could the Assistant Minister clarify to this House whether these registrars when they are on duty, do they charge the patients especially on consultations and operations like ceaserian cases or not? Could the Assistant Minister clarify?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the looming strike is really going to affect the lives of patients in these hospitals. What new efforts is the Ministry taking to avert this very imminent strike?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister just said that the doctors who are about to strike will be acting in bad faith. Could the Assistant Minister confirm whether the Government has also been acting in good faith because we know that the teachers are striking because the Government has never acted in good faith? Could the Assistant Minister confirm whether the Government has been faithful to what was agreed upon between the Government and the doctors?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am a worried person especially when it comes to this strike. Could the Assistant Minister tell us if the doctors actually execute their threat, what measures has the Ministry put in place to make sure that patients do not suffer in this process?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to start with Dr. Nuh’s question. The reason why this strike is illegal is that we did have an understanding last year at the time when the doctors were on strike and ironed out all those issues. Indeed, the Government did its
Assistant Minister, you have not responded to the clarification sought by hon. Ochieng, have you? What was it, hon. Ochieng, just to refresh his mind?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted to know, if the doctors execute their strike, how the Ministry will take care of patients in hospitals.
Assistant Minister, what are your contingency plans, if the doctors maintain their strike in the way it is?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, the bone of contention is that most of the Government registrars want to join the private registrars. We have told them that since the Government has been paying for those doctors who are doing their Masters Degrees courses, there is no need for them to go to the streets. If they do so, it will be unfortunate. We have recalled all the doctors who are on leave. We also have the private hospitals and the Government registrars. So, there is no cause for alarm. Everything is under control.
Fair enough. Yes, hon. Abdul Bahari.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Office of the Prime Minister regarding the possible consequences of enhanced
I can see that the Prime Minister is not in. Deputy Leader of Government, you should be listening to these issues. When will we get the Ministerial Statement on the matter raised by hon. Abdul Bahari, which is directed to the Prime Minister? Hon. Bahari has basically asked what measures have been put in place, given that the expected short rains are likely to be much heavier than usual.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we can have it issued within the framework of the Prime Minister’s Time next Wednesday.
Fair enough. It is so directed. Hon. Sofia, what is your point of order? RETRENCHMENT OF STAFF BY KENYA AIRWAYS
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I sought a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Transport on the Kenya Airways retrenchment programme. I am seeking your direction as to when I can get the answers to my questions.
When did the Speaker direct the Minister to make the Ministerial Statement available?
It was on Tuesday, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
When was the Minister for Transport supposed to make the Ministerial Statement available? Hon. Kimunya, what happened to the Ministerial Statement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have, indeed, prepared the Ministerial Statement. I even brought it yesterday. It is with my Assistant Minister, who is ready to issue it. He can issue it tomorrow since it has already been overtaken by events.
Given the urgency of the matter, the Chair directs that it be issued tomorrow. Hon. Mututho, what is your point of order? SUSPENSION OF THE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, during the beginning of the business of the House yesterday, hon. Kapondi rose and objected that the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill should not be read the First time. During that time, you ruled that if the Bill was exactly the same, in content or otherwise, it should not be read the First time. First and foremost, the Bill is not exactly the same.
Hon. Mututho, it is for the Chair to determine whether those two Bills are similar, in the manner that the Chair defined yesterday. The matter is already before the House Business Committee. There is some work going on. The Chair is going to give Communication on the same tomorrow. The Chair should have given the Communication today, but there is some unfinished business. What is your point of order, hon. Shabesh? LOBBYING OF MPS ON MUTUTHO BILL THROUGH TEXT MESSAGES
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is on the same issue. I am not sure whether I am the only one who has gotten these messages, but I suspect that I am not. There are text messages of lobbying by a senior civil servant on the particular Bill, explaining why it should not be supported. I just want clear guidance as to why we get text messages, telling us to support issues one way or another when we do not sit in Government. We have never met some of these people on a one-on-one basis. They do not understand our ideologies or our thinking on issues. I got a text message from a senior civil servant, asking me not to support the particular Bill brought here by hon. Mututho, which, of course, I cannot comply with because I am totally in support of Mututho laws. So, can you give us guidance as to why we get these text messages? We do not sit in Cabinet. Neither do we intend to sit there.
Order, hon. Shabesh! Ordinarily, you would go and share such things with the Chair, in his or her Chambers. In any case, this is not a matter which you raise in this manner and ambush the Chair on it. On any matter that concerns welfare, freedom and breaking of the rules outside this House, you can approach me in my Chambers, and we will deal with it. In any case, there are serious regulations on when you can even do lobbying outside this House. On a matter that is before the House, there are certain restrictions. Once a matter is before the House, it is left entirely to Members of Parliament to determine. So, you will have to share those issues with me at an appropriate time. You can approach me in my office and then I will make an appropriate Communication on the same. What is your point of order, hon. Ogindo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 4th September, 2012, hon. James Rege sought a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, and the Deputy Leader of Government Business undertook to ensure that the Statement is delivered today. It was in connection with the water hyacinth that is chocking Lake Victoria. It is an issue which is really threatening the lives of the people living around Lake Victoria.
Where is hon. Rege?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, he is on official parliamentary business abroad.
We have a tradition in this House. We deal with Ministerial Statements sought by hon. Members when those hon. Members are in the House. So, as soon as he comes back to the country, you can draw the attention of the Chair to that fact. I am sure that the Minister will be in a position to issue the Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, due to the urgency of the matter, he asked me to hold brief for him.
Order! Order! Even then, you share that position with the Chair before coming to the Floor of the House. You show a written proof, in the form of a letter, indicating that he has asked you to ask a Question on his behalf or prosecute and interrogate a Ministerial Statement on his behalf. Nonetheless, this is not a matter you determine on the Floor of the House in the manner you want to do now. We can deal with it at an appropriate moment, once you have followed the procedure. Next Order!
Who was contributing? Yes, hon. M’Mithiaru.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to continue with my contribution to the Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill. The House is already aware that the amendment to the Central Bank of Kenya Act was actually initiated by Parliament through the Finance Act of 2012. But there were no sufficient consultations and the affected entities were not involved. As a result, it has even affected the functionality of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the House is already aware that a number of amendments were made to the Finance Bill. They were making a sweeping change towards the operation of the bank itself – an area that really requires proper consultations with all the stakeholders; the CBK, the Treasury, the public and the banking sector. So, as a result, there has been a lacuna in the operations of the CBK itself. That is because the Governor now is no longer the Chairman of the Board. The Board has not been able to meet to deliberate on the operations of the banking sector. That has really impacted negatively on the operational independence and efficiency of the CBK. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are also aware that, currently, the Governor is the Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee – the Committee that gives policy direction on the interest rates and other monetary issues. Now, the proposal to have a non- executive chairman is going to cause some kind of friction between those two officers. So, as a result, it will now be the Chair of the Monetary Policy Committee and also the Chair of the Board of CBK. I am not against the Chair even being non-executive. But I am only against the process that we have used because we cannot do this in piecemeal. Let us do a proper review of the Central Bank of Kenya Act so that it can be able to address all the areas in totality. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are also aware that when it comes to the operations of the banking sector, there are certain areas that require to be acted upon expeditiously.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity also to give my views on the proposed amendments to the CBK Act. I am wondering why the Minister chose to bring these kinds of amendments and what the purpose for these amendment is. If you look at the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons for these proposed amendments, the Minister wants to provide for a procedure for the appointment of the chairperson of the board and set out the working relationship with the Governor and Deputy Governors. Then down there he says:-
On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Who do you want to inform?
The hon. Member for Garsen.
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
He should because it will help him.
He does not need your information. You can use it at the right moment.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I am saying, and I am saying it here, loud and clear, is let us not waste public funds. If this amendment is creating more stringent measures for the Governor, let us appoint the correct person. Let him go through the process in Parliament, but let us not create unnecessary positions. I have always argued against creating two centres of power. I think this is a clear case of two centres of power. Let us deal with a Governor. Let us say that if Parliament made a mistake in choosing or approving the Governor, then Parliament will take responsibility and take corrective measures. But let us not have two people approved at the same time. I really do not understand this; if we are going to amend the CBK Act, I expect that it will be a substantive amendment of the Act, and it will come through the Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade, there will be a lot of work, there will be serious consultations and we will have met the Governor and other stakeholders within the monetary sector to make presentations to Parliament. The whole country will be aware that we are going through a certain process, so that we can make this Act as effective as possible. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are dealing with the biggest economy in the entire East African region. So, why are we doing it this way? Why are we doing it piecemeal? How can we be amending the CBK Act, yet Members of Parliament are really clearly not aware of it; otherwise they would be here if that process had been followed properly by involving all the stakeholders. On the creation of this office, we strongly oppose this proposed amendment. We shall be bringing an amendment at the Committee Stage, so that we keep the good thing that is in here but we remove what is not necessary.
On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Who do you want to inform?
The hon. Member.
He has already finished his contribution. Why do you not ask for your time, so that you can inform the House?
I did mine yesterday.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for this chance to contribute to this very important amendment Bill. The adage is: “If it ain’t broken, don’t mend it”. Here we are trying to mend something that is not broken. Instead we are trying to introduce problems. We have examples in this country. Some of us are stuck in this attitude that every organization must have a chairman, a CEO and things like that. We have eyes and we do not see. We have corporations and organizations with chairmen and CEOs who quarrel and things become very bad. You can imagine if that were to happen at the CBK. That would send very bad signals to the financial world. We have good examples. Right now we are dealing with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) where the CEO and the chairman are in two centres of power. We have just heard the Prime Minister answering questions on the issues of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). Recently, we saw it happening at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), where the CEO and the chairman were not seeing eye to eye and were pulling left, right and centre, yet we want to create this at a premier organization of this country, the CBK? I think there, we will be blind. We should never attempt that sort of thing. If we are to enact any legislation, it should not be enacted just because some people, perhaps, do not like the holder of the office; if we do not like the current holder of that office, there are mechanisms of removing that holder, but you do not throw out the baby with the bath water. This should not be allowed to happen. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I believe that while the Bill might contain certain good things, we need to amend it carefully, because we cannot have two people both of them with good financial management experience, but totally with different views. Just as with lawyers there are as many opinions as there are lawyers. Similarly, in financial transactions, some people believe doing things in different ways. If you have a chairman whose views are different from those of the Governor, then that will be a recipe for disaster. While this amendment Bill might have some good intentions, some of them look like they might set up the country for a very rough time in future and create jobs for people, who are known to certain people only. While I support the rest of the Bill, that particular part will have to be amended to make it more useful to us in this country since the CBK has not been grossly out of step with the country’s ambitions in development. If those ambitions on development have so far been fulfilled to a certain extent, and there are any amendments, they should be able to improve it and not take us a step backwards. With those few remarks, I support but wish to amend that particular section.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am being disturbed by some discussions which are happening in front of me.
Order, Hon. Duale and hon. Shebesh!
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Central Bank is a very important institution in this country, which is charged with the management of our monetary policy. I agree with my colleagues that the Central Bank of Kenya, by and large, has performed its duties over time, but things are changing. When I hear the arguments from my colleagues, it is like
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Bill that is in discussion in Parliament is the Amendment Bill and the hon. Member is talking about whether it is within the corporate governance--- Hon. Mungatana, hon. M’Mithiaru and Dr. Eseli talked about the corporate governance and the tradition in all countries. We are talking about the creation of a very powerful chair approved by this House. We are not talking about centres of power. Is the hon. Member in order to mislead the House with a different thing which is not in this Bill?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that the hon. Member is coming out too soon. I know exactly what I am discussing and by extension, I am a bit of a professional in this field more than the hon. Member. So, he should listen to me until I build my case. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that by and large, the Central Bank has done its job. But in this country also, we are aware that we are coming from a system where the President’s word was law and the final authority. But we know where that has taken this country. If we continue in the same way with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), I think we might take the CBK where this country was at some point in the 1990s up to 2000 or thereabouts. So, it is good for this House to be very strategic and realize that although the former Governors have done a very good job, it is not always true that all the Governors who will come will do a very good job. Too much power is dangerous and, therefore, there has to be some form of counterchecking. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have created institutions before this House. For example, the Director of Intelligence used to be the final authority, but we said: Let us have some board over him, as long as we specify the functions that will be done by the board and those what will be done by the Chief Executive, who in this case, is the Governor of CBK. Even in this House, we have separation of powers. We have the Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission and we still have the Clerk of the National Assembly. The powers of the Clerk of the National Assembly have not been interfered with by the creation of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission. So, I want the hon. Members to realize that there is no problem in creating the position of the Chairman of the Board because there have to be some checks and balances. The powers of the Governor have actually been given by the Constitution. The powers of the Board which are fairly policy matters, will be spelt out. Therefore, it is not really right that we are creating those centres of power. We are only saying: Let us have checks and balances. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that this was a matter which we recommended as a Committee, when we did the Report on the depreciation of the Kenya Shilling. This House approved that Report. I do not know why hon. Members are now turning away from the Report which they approved without amendments. Hon. Duale was in the House and never brought amendments which recommended the creation of the position of Chairman and Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are having issues, for example, with what we were discussing the other day on De La Rue procurement. If you look at those issues, they are actually giving the CBK Governor a very bad name. We should have a board which deals
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand here to contribute to this Bill. I operated in this capacity for 14 years. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, although I was a Member of the Committee that investigated the slide of the Shilling, it would be very dangerous in this country if we were to remove the powers of the Governor. We may have a bad Governor today but tomorrow, we will have a Governor that will work within the elements or directives of the monetary systems of a country. I have travelled to various places and met various Governors. I was in Bolivia where I met the Governor of the Central Bank. You will find that Governors are mandated by their States to look after the monetary systems of that country. In fact, if you read quite a lot about the American system, when the Governor is going to speak about the interest rates, everybody listens, including the stock markets. When he brings down the interest rate, you will find that the stock market reacts in a certain direction. If you look at most of the countries, the Governors are mandated. For that matter, they are actually guided by the fiscal policy department, which is the Treasury. Within the Central Bank of Kenya itself, where my friend, M’Mithiaru worked, they have several directors who sit with the Governor. As a result, what we would like to do is to look at whether the Governor is following the Banking Act, as is stipulated in this country. But in this country we are known for creating and dismantling great things. I have a case in mind. Officials from Botswana came here to learn about livestock and their first Managing Director in their Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) – equivalent, in Gaborone, was the late Mr. Maina. He developed such a wonderful meat commission in that country. What has happened in Kenya? We have killed our own KMC and the pastoralists are suffering, such that our quota, which was supposed to go to Europe, was taken over by Botswana. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us not destroy a system that has been working. If one person is not working, we cannot assume that the whole system is not working. Let us look at the whole banking system and banking association, where I was the Chairman for two years, and see how we can integrate. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose this amendment which is creating the position of an Executive Chairman, where if things go wrong, they will be accusing each other and the country will go backwards.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand here to support this Amendment Bill.
Order, Mr. Duale! Go to the Bar.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let us not fear reforms. Let us not fear reforms in our institutions. Let us not assume the old thinking and continue remaining there. I think the problems that we face in our corporate world or organizations or parastatals should not be reason for us to refuse to strengthen governance in the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). In any situation, the society has its own ways of handling its problems. We have a Constitution that is very different from the rest of the world. We do not need to compare ourselves to other central banks, particularly Europe and elsewhere. They have problems even today simply because probably power is centralized in their central banks.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is just a point of clarification to guide the debate. It is important to tell hon. Members that the amendment that we are seeking to do is not to create the position of a chair. The position had already been created last year through the Finance Bill. The only problem is that the amendment by Mr. Ogindo did not give a process by which the President will appoint the chair. So what we are seeking to do is only to allow the existing board to be picking one of them to guide them in meetings because now the functions of the CBK are halted and we took away that power from the Governor. The argument seems to suggest that we are taking away that power. We took away that power last year.
Indeed, yes, basically the Act is to provide the procedure for the appointment of the chairperson and the delineation of the functions between the chairperson and the Governor and his deputies. So can you maintain your arguments to the relevance of the amendment before us?
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. All I was saying is that these rules or the procedure that we need to put in place will strengthen the CBK. It will not in any way weaken this institution and the squabbles taking place in many of our organizations of institutions should not be reason for us to start worrying about centres of power at the CBK. If there is a pecking order where power and responsibility is distributed with regard to policy setting and management, then we will be strengthening that institution rather than having someone who is the chief executive chairing a board. Where there is a problem if the board has issues with that personality, it becomes very difficult for that board to question because she or he will be chairing that board. We would also like to urge hon. Members not to look at this issue from a narrow perspective of personalities; either those probably planned to take these positions of chair or those who are currently holding it particularly the current holder of the CBK governorship. Let us divorce those issues from this. It is for posterity’s sake that we are putting this in place and the problem that we face with our institutions has got nothing to do with the rules or mandate that they have, but rather our politics. We are still in the old habit of interfering in the governance structures and management of our institutions but in time this will die. Subsequent governments, I am sure, will obey the rule of law and the Constitution in an upright manner. Therefore, I expect in the future that our corporate organizations will run their affairs, the boards will do their job right and the management will be able to run its affairs within the regulations that are set up. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this amendment and thank Mr. Midiwo for having clarified the position. Listening to the contributions by hon. Members, it appears that there is, indeed, some confusion as to what this amendment is seeking to do. Hon. Members will recall that arising from the report of the Committee that was looking at the depreciation of the Shilling, one of the amendments that were proposed was that there should be proper governance structures within the CBK. There was a very clear recommendation that a position of the chair should be created to delink the administrative functions from other technical functions of the CEO of the bank who is the Governor. Mr. Ogindo took a cue from this and within the framework of the Finance Bill brought an amendment which was unanimously passed by this House creating the position of a chair and defining the functions of the chair of the CBK. What was left and I believe this is now the lacuna that is being cured through this amendment---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was a member of that Committee on the Shilling depreciation and it is true we talked about a non- executive chair but we provided for a procedure where the appointment and the amendment of the CBK Act was to follow a due process but not to sneak it through a Finance Bill without discussion.
Order, Mr. M’Mithiaru! You realize this is business before the House in the Second reading stage and you are a Member of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade. As a Member of that Committee you should have done your business or you are probably in the process of finishing your business so that you can bring in the amendments; the relevant amendments to this Act because the Amendment Act itself is still going to come to the Committee Stage and so whatever you had carried in your own recommendations, you should proceed, concretize that and move the right amendments and bring them to the Clerk’s department so that we can dispose them off at the appropriate time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, like I said, the House unanimously adopt the amendment that was proposed within the Finance Bill by Mr. Ogindo and we passed it as a House and created the position of chair plus two deputy governors. We also said that the chair will be in charge of board matters, et cetera, and the Governor will be in charge of the other day to day operations of the bank. However, what was left missing was: How will this chairman be appointed? The President could well appoint the chairman even tomorrow by just picking one person and saying: “You are the chairman of the CBK.” This is because it says the chair shall be appointed by the President but the mood of the House was that all appointments shall be made through a competitive process. This is the essence of the amendment that is coming in Section 2(a) to say that the chairperson should be appointed by the President through a transparent and competitive process and with the approval of Parliament. That is basically describing who will be involved in the appointment of the chairman that Parliament said should be created within the CBK Act through the amendment that was already passed by this House. I think the other thing that was left out and which has created some problems within the CBK as of now is that having agreed that there shall be a chairperson who will be chairing the board, it was then not stated until that person is appointed or in the absence of that chairperson who else can chair the board. The second amendment at
Very well, Mr. Minister. Please, conclude.
So, we can give them the opportunity to meet even as we are talking now because they cannot meet until we have passed these amendments. This is because they do not have a Chairman. Until that Chairman is appointed or we give a leeway to the directors to appoint one of them, then we are paralyzing the operations of CBK. So, I think the long and short of it is that I urge this House that we pass this amendment and if there is any other amendment we want to bring on board, we can always discuss that within the framework of the Committee Stage. As of now I urge that we have it done.
You have put it very eloquently.
Order, hon. Members! By the powers granted to the Chair under Standing Order No.36 (2), the Chair wishes to rearrange the business of the day. Instead of going to Order No.9, the Chair will dispose of Order No. 11 which is the Bill on Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulation and Control), Bill No.38 of 2012. We will then revisit the other Bills in Order Nos. 9 and 10.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Breast Milk Substitutes (Regulation and Control) Bill, 2012 be read a Second Time. In moving the Bill, hon. Members are aware that child survival is one of the indicators of a nation’s progress in development and Kenya is committed to achieving the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on reduction of the under five mortality rate by two-thirds of that of 1990 by 2015. This will contribute to the Vision 2030 target to develop Kenya into a medium income country with high quality life for every Kenyan which includes all children. Proper feeding of infants and young children provides the foundation for their survival, growth, and development. Poor infant feeding practices and their consequences
Do you want to be seconded by hon. Kimunya?
My presumption was that you would look for a lady who has breastfed like you. But nonetheless proceed, hon. Kimunya
The fathers also have their own experience.
Yes, the fathers also have their own experience! Proceed, hon. Kimunya.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this very important Bill on breast milk substitutes. I would like to confirm that I am one of the very many Kenyans who were suckled and breast-fed for perhaps rather long because traditionally, as you know, I am named after my mother’s brother. Hence, being a favourite, I believe I enjoyed privileges that were not enjoyed by many others. So, I am a firm believer of that and I would like to see every child going through the same experience. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the most important thing, even as we promote commerce and substitutes because they have their own place within the development of the child especially given the issues of the working mothers and what is happening, there must be a way of regulating the access and the choices that people make so that they are not unduly influenced through adverts, social media, peer pressure and people then abandoning what they should be doing naturally and what they should be doing for the best interest of the child and taking what is seen as the flavour of the month. I believe this Bill covers exactly, within the various sections, how we can achieve a balance between good commerce, providing substitutes, but at the same time ensuring that the mothers and the users are given all the information that they need and the manufacturers are held to account for purposes of ensuring that there is a responsible relationship between the manufacturers and the consumers and that in whatever we do, the health of the child is put to be of paramount concern. This is well-captured within our Constitution that whatever we do, the interest of the child must be paramount. I believe this is something that has been re-emphasized even in our courts and with the recent declarations in terms of the intended strike by the teachers where the courts were very clear that the rights of the child cannot be compromised even with what is already allowed the Constitution. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very happy that this has come and I was very happy to support the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation. I know she has been very passionate on this matter. It is a matter that has taken long. It should have come earlier but at last we have managed to do it. As I support this Bill, I would like to avoid creating the picture of what some people have said that this Bill is coming to fight the industry. There is no fighting of the industry. Every industry has a regulator. If you are talking of the transport industry, we are already bringing a Bill here to bring regulations in that industry. If you are talking of the alcohol industry, there is already a regulator for best practices so that people know what to expect. Within the food industry we said very clearly that food must be labelled. Even this water we are taking here, there is a very clear label attached to it. It says this is what it contains. It can be harmful or not harmful. I am happy at least that the consumers, who are the toddlers who do not even know how to read or write; who do not even know what they are taking, at least their mothers and parents and those who provide them with these substitutes will have been given the opportunity to know what they are giving their children.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am also not one of those people who have breastfed, but I have had experience, like Mr. Kimunya and that is why I want to support this Bill. As the Minister said, this Bill has not come to put the manufacturers out of their business. But I think it is one Bill that will create awareness to our daughters and children on the issue of breastfeeding. Those of us who have done human development in our careers know that the development of a child takes place between birth and three years. Within that time, the child develops all the faculties that he needs. Therefore, the relationship between the mother and child is very important. That is why I support this Bill. That bond that a child creates with the mother enables him relate to other people. It builds inter-personal and inter-human relationships. That is why I say that as a country that has committed itself to the Fourth Millenium Development Goals, this is one of the very major objectives that will help us achieve the Vision 2030 and be able to give value to our children. One of the areas that have been mentioned is that of health. We are not able to meet our health needs in the rural areas because we lack a lot of things. So, when children are breastfed, they are able to grow up healthy. Of late, scientists are studying why kangaroos carry their young ones in a pouch when they are young. Young kangaroos only come out to breastfeed and then go back to the pouch. They are called Marsupials. This behaviour helps create a relationship.
Yes, hon. Robinson Githae.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support this very important Bill. The Bill should have been in this House yesterday, and not today, but it is never too late. The Bill proposes regulations and control measures to be instituted, so that
are not cheated. In my view, there is no substitute for breast milk. Hon. Members will remember that when we were young, there was no substitute for breast milk. Afterwards, Farex came---
Order! Hon. Kutuny, can you go to the Bar? You cannot break the rules of the House so blatantly. You do not cross from one side of the House to the other without going to the Bar. So, proceed to the Bar and do what you are supposed to do. This is not a market place. This is the august House. It is a dignified institution. Why do you like short-cuts?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is, indeed, the august House, discussing a very important Bill. I was saying that at the time some of us were born, there were no substitutes for breast milk. Your mother had to breastfeed you. If for some reasons she was unable to do so, it was possible to get a substitute mother to breastfeed you. You would not be fed on any other milk. That was our traditional way of doing things. Thereafter, formula for babies came. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know who came up with the idea that if you are modern girl, you do not breast feed but instead you go for breast milk substitutes; that, if you breastfeed, your breasts will sag. I do not know who came up with this idea. Breasts cannot sag. That is the way God made them. After breastfeeding, the breasts assume their normal elasticity. Therefore, I would like the Minister to also include provisions for civic education in this Bill, so that we can educate our young mothers on the importance of breastfeeding their children. As the Minister said, it is scientifically proven that if a child is breastfed, it acquires immunity and, therefore, does not suffer from common diseases. So, we need to encourage young mothers to breastfeed their babies. However, since we know that some young mothers may not have adequate milk for their babies, we should continue having breast milk substitutes. I am glad that, for the first time, we are going to have rules and regulations which will determine what constitutes breast milk substitutes and how they should be manufactured. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, lastly, it is important to say that we need to educate young mothers, so that they can know the importance of breastfeeding. Nowadays we do not have substitute mothers who can give breast milk to babies. I would actually have gone for a total ban of milk substitutes and say that every mother must breastfeed her child for at least one year. When we were young, we were breastfed up to the age of three years, after which we went to school. These days babies are being breastfed for only three months. So, there should also be a regulation to say that if a mother has adequate milk, her child must be breastfed for at least a year, and not for the three months maternity leave period. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Yes, hon. Cecil Mbarire.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this very important Bill. I stand to speak as a mother who has breastfed
You will be surprised!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when a mother holds a baby for an average of 30 minutes for about four or five times a day or more, there is such strong bonding between the mother and that child. That bond never ever dies and that is why you find that in times of war, men run away to fight. But a woman first takes the babies. She would rather even burn in her house with the babies. But she can never run and leave behind the children. It is that bonding that has developed since the baby was small. I think that is a very important thing. Then, there is the whole issue of costs. Formula milk is not cheap, by the way. The average cost of a tin of Nun in Kenya today is about Kshs600 to Kshs700. Now, a baby who is using formula milk will probably use a tin every two days. What happens is that if you look at that cost, including the cost of buying the bottle, nipples and sterilizers and having to store them in a hygienic way, it ends up being way more than the cost of breast milk which is actually free. All a mother needs to do is eat and drink well and there is enough milk for the baby. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also a hygienic way of feeding the baby. Breast milk is always clean. It is ready to use. A mother in the shamba can have the baby under a tree as she works on her shamba . She can run back under the tree, breastfeed the baby and go back to her farm. It is so easy to use. In fact, at this point, now that we are having more women coming here - and I believe many will be in their reproductive age - we actually need a nursery where we will be bringing our babies. I am sure Rachel and I have not yet crossed the reproductive age. We may want to bring more babies into this world. So, if my baby is just next here, I will just leave here, go breastfeed and come
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I want to congratulate my sister, hon. Beth Mugo, who is also the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation for bringing this Bill at a time such as this. That is because we are becoming a developed country very fast. When we hear that we have now discovered oil and there is gas, we are going to be an industrialized nation very soon. What we must not leave behind is our African culture of breastfeeding our children until a time when you are able to send them to bring you something. After that, you can wean that child and get another baby. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, breast milk is the best food for babies. The people who come up with those infant milk formulas are out to make money. The same people still also want to make more money by treating the diseases that come about because of using infant formula milk instead of breast milk. So, somebody somewhere is out to do business out of the health of our children. I am calling upon young women to breastfeed their children for as long as six months. The shortest period should be six months before they introduce them to something else. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, using my experience, I grew up in the village. In the village, you come across many things like snakes, for example. One day, I was in Class Three and we were sent to collect firewood. When we were collecting firewood, a snake on a tree spat on me. I almost became blind were it not for the breast milk. Everybody was asking: “Which woman has got a baby?” I was taken there and for the next one week, every day, breast milk was put in my eyes so that I could see. Look at what breast milk can do. If it can do that on the outside, what about in the inside of the baby? So, that is why we are advocating for breastfeeding of children. The bonding goes on until death parts a child with the mother. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is why when married old men are faced with disaster or when something happens suddenly here, you will hear everybody say: “Mama”! That is because that is the first bonding word they have; a bond word of security and nurturing by their mother. So, for us to have a healthy nation so that we can even spend less on medication, it is important that this House passes this law that says: “All mothers must breastfeed their children.” Where possible, we should give more time to mothers to stay at home to breastfeed their children. It should not be for three months. It should be for six months. They should just be working half day, so that they have enough time. In the long run, it is economical because we shall be saving on medication.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to first congratulate this Ministry because many issues that have to do with reproductive health of women have, for many years, been left without any Government policy or direction. Of course, you know the reason why this is happening; it is because we have a woman as a Minister and that is why we need more women Ministers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, issues to do with family planning and breastfeeding are normally considered by the Government as “those issues of women” yet, they really concern the health and development of this country. It goes without saying that the reason breastfeeding lost its importance is because the Government did not take it seriously; just the same way family planning has stopped being serious because the Government also just decided it was none of its business. That is why I must congratulate the Ministry. The first thing that the Ministry should do is to roll out a massive awareness campaign. It is true that most young girls, the moment they give birth, the first thing they think about is to buy formula milk. Actually, baby showers which we attend a lot these days--- We have started to attend them as grandmothers. We used to attend them with our age mates. Baby showers are full of gifts which are normally formula milk. That problem is mostly manifested in urban areas and areas where there is a lot of inter-mingling with the Western world. Let me say this to the young girls who, I hope, will listen or I hope somebody will go and tell them: Number one, breastfeeding is the easiest way to lose weight after giving birth. All those other theories we try to do--- The easiest way to lose weight after giving birth is breastfeeding. The other thing that, of course, hon. Githae spoke about - and which is about the shape of your breast - I can tell you that these days, you can breastfeed for two years and still keep the shape of your breasts. You can decide not to breastfeed and your breasts will still sag. Sagging is a phenomenon nobody can stop, whether you breastfeed or not. We thank God for the new technology; that it is no longer a problem as my colleague has already talked about. But the biggest issue is that of opportunistic infections that children get. I have also breastfed boys and boys really breastfeed; it is like a competition. When they are breastfeeding, there is a feeling of calmness that a mother gets. This calmness comes when you are breastfeeding because there is a hormone that is released. It helps the mother to calm down and have that loving feeling that helps the bonding. So, most of the time when people do not breastfeed, they are irritable and the cry of the child irritates them. All they need to do is to breastfeed and they will be automatically calm. They do not need to go and buy medicine for becoming calm. It is already in our bodies because there is a hormone that is produced by our bodies called oxytocin. I just know that there is a calm feeling when you are breastfeeding. There is the first milk of a mother called cholesterol. When the baby gets that milk, it is guaranteed to have stress free first few months or even years of their lives; they
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to also strongly support this very timely Bill. I want to start by saying that I am very proud of the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation. I am very proud that she is able to bring forth the subjects that would otherwise be a taboo, or are not thought about by our dear male colleagues. I want to reiterate what has already been said, that the reason we keep saying we need more women in Parliament is because there are certain topics that only women can talk about, that only women can support, that only women feel anything about, or have strong feelings about. Many times when we speak about sexual harassment, when we talk about female genital mutilation, or all the reproductive health issues you will see--- We can even see evidence now that many of our male colleagues are, probably, long gone from the House; this is because to them these are non-issues. But for us, we know that this is the foundation of the society. They are issues that affect the very chore of our existence; they include the topic that we are talking about now, breastfeeding.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill wholesomely. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting this Bill, I want to draw the attention of the House to the fact that the research carried out by various bodies concludes that women contribute 52 per cent of labour in agriculture. At 52 per cent, it tells you that most of the time these good ladies will be occupied doing what would easily have been done by machines. Because of that also, that process of providing for farm labour affects the quality and quantity of milk. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not need to go through what the other speakers have talked about. It is also important to look at it, again, from the agricultural angle. When we
Order, Minister for Transport and Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the year 2009/2010, I believe hon. Kimunya at that time was the Minister for Finance. I do not keep a good track, but whatever it was, although the women produced constantly 52 per cent of the labour, if you look at projects that were domiciled towards women, either improving on their vegetables or otherwise, it was only 0.07 per cent. That means that they were still under 0.1 per cent, although they were contributing 52 per cent of the labour. Unless we also address those broader measures, then we will still hurt the infant. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support the feeling by most of the hon. Members that, truly, breasts are not sex objects. They have a purpose by creation. They were not meant to be a nice piece of football to be enjoyed around, but to bring forward nice kids. Good ladies should be given enough time to nurse their babies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support this important Bill, which is a foundation for the children and this country’s growth and development. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country is a member of the World Health Assembly. As such, it is encouraging that our country will control the marketing of milk substitutes. Statistics globally show that in 2008, 32 per cent of the mothers were able to feed their infants. That was a little increment from 2003. At the moment, 32 per cent globally, Kenya being part of this particular statistics, is too low. The problem is compounded because of the marketing and promotion. This is because the marketing and promotion gives the mothers an avenue; that it is possible to find a substitute and not breastfeed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to encourage our mothers so that they can breastfeed. This will ensure that we have a generation and population that will be healthy, so that we can develop our country through the promotion of breastfeeding. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this time. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the outset, I support this Bill. Mothers’ milk is very nutritious and important for the children of this nation. All women, by law, must breastfeed their children. It is very economic and very important to the nation. It is economical because it has been proved through science that mothers’ milk has a lot of nutrients and a child who does not get this milk, in the first months, will not grow very healthy. That child will grow up very weak. This will cost this country a lot of money. The money will be stressed, just because she is trying to be beautiful and avoiding appearing old. Whether or not you breastfeed a child, you will grow old. We want the children of this country to be given breast milk, so that they can grow healthy and the mothers will be very happy. I am a pastoralist and when you see even a goat
Hon. Chebii, unless you are on a point of order, you have already had your moment to contribute.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Will I be in order to request that the Mover be now called upon to reply?
Order! Order! You are not the only one who has an interest. You have already contributed and according to the Standing Orders, you cannot rise for closure of debate on the Bill itself. In any case, everybody seems to be happy with the Bill. So, I will now call upon the Mover to reply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank all the hon. Members for very strongly and overwhelmingly supporting this Bill. It shows how much we care for our children and that we put their interest first before any other consideration. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am proud of being a Member of this House because today we have sent a very strong message to Kenyans out there, that we want a health nation and that we want our children to feed on mothers’ milk more than anything else. I know that you will be strong even in supporting the implementation of this Bill when it comes to the Committee of the whole House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have listened to all the issues raised by the hon. Members and taken notes. We will be, of course, including them. There is the civic education; educating the mothers and rolling out a campaign. We have taken all those into account. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we thank you for your support and I also thank my members of staff who are there for a job well done. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that The Capital Markets (Amendment) Bill be now read a Second Time. The Government has continued to support the development of capital markets, particularly by enhancing the policy and regulatory framework. These reforms have been instrumental in widening the scope of issues and investors in the market. As a result, we
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this important amendment to give more powers and to open the doors for further integration of expertise within the frameworks of the Capital Markets Authority in terms of the investigation capacity and in terms of the collaboration that they
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill. I support the Minister and thank him because one of the things that have come to the new CMA is warehouse receipting which will require intensive discipline. Unless we have the capability to investigate, it will not work. I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank hon. Members for their support. These are really simple amendments. What we want to do is to empower the capital markets to be able to request for information on condition that that country also approves or accepts our request. I would like to assure the entire country that under my watch there is no public company that will go under liquidation. I want to assure this House that under my watch no broker will defraud Kenyans. We want to encourage Kenyans to start investing in the capital market. Let us not just think of plots or shambas all the time. That is why people are fighting over these shambas. Come and invest in the capital markets. There is no fighting there. Come and invest in the capital market. Come and buy shares. Go to the other equities which are available. With those words, I thank hon. Members and I beg to move.
Hon. Minister, before I put the Question, make sure that you consult with all the stakeholders and the relevant Departmental Committee so that during the Third Reading any amendment that will be coming up speeds up the process.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that The National Transport and Safety Bill, Bill No.37 of 2012 be now read a Second Time. This Bill is brought to this House against the backdrop of this country suffering the incidence of many accidents and disorder within our road sector, and a public outcry that something needs to be done to ensure that we bring order to our public transport system, our road safety and ensure that we can stop the over 2,000 Kenyans who die every year from road accidents and very many others who are being maimed through the accidents that could be prevented. The principal object of the Bill is to harmonize the operations of various bodies that operate within the road transport sector by bringing them together under one umbrella to be called “The National Transport and Safety Authority” which will then have the overall responsibility to regulate the road transport sector. This will start from the inspection of our vehicles, registration of vehicles and licensing of those vehicles. Then we will go all the way to the drivers in terms of their training, testing, licensing and monitoring their driving to ensure that they actually drive in accordance with the codes that have been set up. The National Transport and Safety Authority will also ensure that we have harmony because right now you go to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), you pay your taxes and get registered. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles who is an employee of the Ministry of Transport resides at the KRA. After that you then go to the Chief Inspector who is hired by the police to inspect your vehicle. You then go to the driving examiner who is a police inspector and by the time you go through the mechanics of all these things, you find yourself lost between who you are dealing with. Basically, this is a very straightforward Bill to create that Authority. This House is also seized with another Bill that will be prescribing the penalties and all that. We can discuss all the details of all those things within the framework of that Bill. However, this one is straightforward. We can create this Authority and then give it the power to do what needs to be done in terms of co-ordinating our affairs. With those remarks, I beg to move and request hon. Githae to second the Bill.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is a very important Bill. I second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill. In supporting it, I hope that the Minister will have time to look at Victorious State Regulations on similar matter. If he adopted that, I can be assured that no Kenyan will ever die because of misgivings within our regulatory mechanism and our laws. I support the Bill.
Since there are no other contributors, I will ask the Mover of the Bill to reply. Yes, hon. Kimunya.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to thank the House. I believe that this is a straightforward matter like I said. I beg to move.
Hon. Members, it is now 6.30 p.m. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 13th September, 2012, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.