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On a point of order, hon. Speaker, Sir. In line with the presentation by the Leader of the Majority Party, the Public Finance Management Act, Section 37(6) puts it very clearly that the Cabinet Secretary should submit to the National Assembly not later than 15th May, any comments of the National Treasury on the budget proposals by the Parliamentary Service Commission and the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary. Hon. Speaker, Sir, 15th May was last week on Wednesday. Could we get clarification from the Leader of the Majority Party why this has not been brought to Parliament and if it has been, where it is.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, hon. Mbadi is right. Now that we have the Budget Committee and all the other Departmental Committees, those sentiments will come. We had the timelines concerning the budget-making process. So, tomorrow afternoon, those sentiments will come. That is both for the Judiciary and the Parliamentary Service Commission.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I wish to seek a Ministerial Statement with regard to industrial disharmony in the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). In the recent past, top managers of KWS have been put on notice and are likely to be sent home. It appears that there is discrimination and unfair practice that has caused jitters and may likely run down the entire organization. Furthermore, top managers are intimidated and have been demoralized. I, therefore, request for a Ministerial Statement in regard to the above.
Well. The Statement should be given by the Chairperson of the relevant Departmental Committee. It should be forwarded to the Chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
Hon. Ochieng, you had requested for a Ministerial Statement.
HIRING OF JET FOR DEPUTY PRESIDENTâS VISIT TO WEST AFRICA
Hon. Speaker, Sir, we are just from a busy weekend and so many things have happened. My request for a Statement relates to what happened last week and throughout the weekend. We appreciate that the Government must work and that, in the process of working, a number of things are necessary. One, that the President will from time to time have to travel out of the country and so will the Deputy President. This afternoon I seek a Statement from the Leader of the Majority Party to know a couple of things related to the tour of duty by the Deputy President to a number of African states last week. I would wish to know the following:-
(1) Whether the Leader of Majority Party could clarify to this House the purpose of the Deputy Presidentâs visit to West African countries of Gabon, Ghana, Brazzaville and Nigeria alongside other countries that he went to.
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Hon. Speaker, Sir, I have said that this is a Government that follows the rule of law. I will bring a very comprehensive Statement tomorrow afternoon showing a comparison where previous leaders in the last Government used the same jet.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, in addition to what the hon. Member has asked in the Statement to the Leader of the Majority Party, I would like him, as he is replying, to also state categorically the role of the Deputy President vis-a-viz the role of the last Vice-President in terms of travel and the work that he has done outside this country in terms of foreign policy so that it can be clear, once and for all for this House, that there is a fundamental difference between a Vice-President and a Deputy President according to what is clearly spelt out. As I conclude, let me also ask him to furnish us with the comparisons of the same travels undertaken in the same Government by the Vice-President and the Prime Minister to the various countries that he has mentioned so that, once and for all, we can give this House the accurate position on the travelling by
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On a point of order, hon. Speaker, Sir.
I hope hon. Members were taken through the use of the cards. Right now, the hon. Member who has been recognized is hon. Onyonka. Please, just relax!
Hon. Speaker, Sir, there is an issue that I would like to raise with you. For the last two or three days, we have been having elections for committees in the House. This is a matter that I raised briefly with the Clerk of the National Assembly. Yesterday, I was communicating with the Office of the Clerk as to the modalities of holding the elections. On my phone, I received correspondence from the Office of the Clerk which was asking me to be here on Tuesday morning so that we could hold elections for the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. I got that message on Friday. That made me to plan my visit to my constituency, Kitutu Chache South. I visited my constituency and, as a result, when I came this morning, I found that the elections were held yesterday and nobody had called to inform me that the elections were going to take place. The only information I was given was that there was enough quorum for the elections to proceed. I feel that my rights were violated by me not being given due respect and due accordance like all the other Members of the House who are my colleagues, so that I could have fought for a fair chance of getting the Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. Hon. Speaker, Sir, I would like you, with due respect, to make a ruling on that matter. You can authorize us to have a re-election. You can cancel that election and give us another date to conduct the exercise.
There is a hon. Member who has put in a request and I can see he is busy turning his back. The hon. Ken Obura, you know once you press this gadget, it shows that you are making a request.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I want to confirm that, indeed, even by just looking at me, you can easily tell that I am properly briefed concerning the details and the usage of this microphone. However, I also wanted to say something about the elections that were held yesterday by the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. On Saturday, while I was visiting my constituents, the great people of Kisumu City, I received a communication from the Office of the Clerk alerting me and, of course, mobilizing me to appear in Parliament Buildings, Committee Room Number 9 at 1.00 p.m. on Tuesday - which is today - for the election of the Chairman and the Vice- Chairman.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I indicated to you yesterday that I was going to raise a matter that I feel is of great concern not only to this House, but to the people of Kenya. You will recall that you referred the Division of Revenue Bill, 2013 to the Senate in line with Standing Order No.233(4). That particular Standing Order is actually derived from the Public Finance Management Act, Section 8 (1)(b). However, I would like to seek your ruling because I have since realized - through reading the Constitution, the Act and the Standing Orders - that we probably did that unconstitutionally. But this House probably is not to blame because the Standing Orders were derived from the Public Finance Management Act, which Act has a very glaring anomaly as I will shortly explain.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, very quickly if you go to Article 95(4) of the Constitution, it is where the role of the National Assembly is clearly spelt out. Article 95(4)(a) says:- âThe National Assembly â
(a) Determines the allocation of national revenue between the levels of government, as provided in Part 4 of Chapter 12;â So, hon. Speaker, Sir, it is very clear from the Constitution that determining the allocation of national revenue between the two levels of Government - that is the National Government and the County Government - is a preserve or function of the National Assembly and not the Senate. It goes ahead to say in (b) that-: âAppropriates funds for expenditure by the national government and other national State organs;â
Hon. Speaker, Sir, but when you go to the role of the Senate, which is Article 96 of the Constitution, it is very clear. Article 96(1) states: âThe Senate represents the counties, and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments.â Article 96(2) states:- âThe Senate participates in the law-making function of Parliament by considering, debating and approving Bills concerning counties, as provided in Articles 109 to 113.â These are special Bills and ordinary Bills.
Article 96(3) of the Constitution states - and this is where I want this House to engage its mind to: âThe Senate determines the allocation of national revenue among counties, as provided in Article 217, and exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments.â That is what we called the County Allocation of Revenue Bill. So, the role of the Senate only comes in to determine allocation among the counties and not between the two levels of Government.
Hon. Mbadi, take your time. You are bringing a very, very serious matter.
Yes, hon. Speaker, Sir. So, looking at Article 110 of the Constitution which talks about Bills concerning county governments and how they should be referred from National Assembly and the Senate, if you go to Sub-Section 2 it states: âA Bill concerning county governments is-
(a) a special Bill, which shall be considered under Article 111, if it-
(i) relates to the election of members of a county assembly or a county executive; or
(ii) Is the annual County Allocation of Revenue Bill referred to in Article 218; or
(b) An ordinary Bill, which shall be considered under Article 112, in any other case.â
So, it is either a special Bill or an ordinary Bill. So, there are just two Bills.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, what is a special Bill? There are two types of Special Bills. One, is any Bill which relates to the election of members of a county assembly or a county executive or is the annual County Allocation of Revenue Bill referred to in Article 218. There is no mention of Division of Revenue Bill. If you go to the ordinary Bill, it says: âAn ordinary Bill which shall be considered under Article 112.â
Hon. Speaker, Sir, as I conclude, I realize that the Division of Revenue Bill in the Constitution does not have to go to the Senate and I want to demonstrate further that we are likely to face a constitutional crisis if you refer the Division of Revenue Bill to the Senate. It is very clear that if the Senate makes amendments, those amendments will have to be referred back to us and if they reject the Bill, it has to be referred back to the National Assembly. If we do not accept the amendment from the Senate, then the two Houses are supposed to constitute a Mediation Committee. In the event that that Mediation Committee fails to agree, that Bill is lost. Now, take an hypothetical situation and it may be realistic that the Bill that we have just passed, the Division of Revenue Bill, if it goes to the Senate and the Senate makes amendments which this House is not happy with and then the matter is taken to the Mediation Committee and we fail to agree, then we are telling this country that the Division of Revenue Bill will be lost. Do you think this country can lose a Division of
I am willing to hear some more ventilation on this particular issue because if you keenly listened to what hon. Ngâongo has taken us through, this is a serious matter. Therefore, it is a matter that I will need to do a Considered Ruling. Therefore, I am open to hearing more representations from the Floor.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I totally agree with hon. Ngâongo. This is an issue that I picked this morning with the Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury and the Leader of the Majority Party in the Senate. When this august House disposed of the Division of Revenue Bill that was mandated to give the allocation between the national Government and county governments, that Bill was supposed to go for assent by the President. That was the procedure and they are consulting. But I want you to rule further because there is a lot of talk in the media of a struggle between the Senate and the National Assembly. I request you to give a fundamental ruling based on the Constitution. If you look at Article 93 of the Constitution, the establishment of a Parliament, it does not talk about a lower or upper house. That is Chapter 18 of the Constitution on the Legislature. It says:- â(1) There is established a Parliament of Kenya, which shall consist of the National Assembly and the Senate. (2) The National Assembly and the Senate shall perform their respective functions in accordance with this Constitutionâ. Our colleagues in the Senate must know that our functions and their functions are anchored in the Constitution. So, you cannot create an upper and lower house from the
Hon. Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this chance. Ordinary people always ascribe power in constitutions. The Kenyan people ascribed power in the Constitution, giving a distinction between the House of Parliament, which is the National Assembly and the Senate. The role of the Senate and the National Assembly, in my opinion, is not one that should be solved in this House because the Constitution settles it; it is very clear. Article 95 of the Constitution isolates what we really need to be doing as the National Assembly and Article 96 is clear in terms of what the Senate is supposed to do. It is proper for every human being to want to be in a position of power and higher authority. But as it is stated in this particular Constitution, it goes without any reasonable doubt that the National Assembly is the one that is superior to the Senate. I am not just saying that because I am a Member of this particular House. Hon. Speaker, Sir, the Constitution states very clearly which House is above the other. I would like to quote Article 112 of the Constitution which states that:- âEven though the Senate does have the role of allocating money to various counties, but you will see that the National Assembly has veto over those decisions of the Senate. So, if we can veto the decision of the Senate on issues of the county, then where else will they get the power to stamp their authority in Parliament?â Hon. Speaker, Sir, the other thing that I would like to speak on is the Article that creates for us the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Act, which is one of the things that Members of the Senate have spoken to in the past couple of days. Hon. Speaker, Article 202 in its sub-articles states that:- âThe counties can be given additional grants.â It is the particular CDF Act, which enacts CDF, which says that there should be additional money to the counties. But it is only managed through Members of Parliament. So, whereas the Senate would like to engage this particular House in all manner of wars of superiority, I do not think any amount of tricking in the Standing Orders would amount to amending this particular Constitution. The Constitution has spoken and I think our colleagues in the Senate need to understand their roles which are limited to issues of legislation in the counties and, perhaps, in the most unfortunate circumstances, the impeachment of a President, if at all, it will ever arise. But then again that has to originate from this particular House. It is the National Assembly that needs to originate that particular Bill of impeaching the President for the Senate to then rubber stamp. Otherwise, in everything else, I think it is the National Assembly that is superior. Thank you very much. I really think the Senate should sit pretty and know that the National Assembly is supreme and we do not have to fight over it. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Speaker, allow me to add my voice to this matter, even though I had addressed myself to this matter earlier. I am really happy that we have this
Yes, Leader of the Minority Party.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, what my colleagues have said is very correct. Since this debate started, it has been disturbing me. Many times, I have disagreed with the Leader of the Majority Party but today, I agree with him. This House is superior to
Yes, hon. Cheptumo.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, as you consider hon. Membersâ views to assist in your ruling on this very important issue, I would like you to address yourself to the provisions of Article 1 of our Constitution. The Constitution says, in Article 1, that this countryâs sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya, and that, that sovereign power can only be exercised in accordance with the Constitution. Hon. Speaker, Sir, the Constitution was adopted by Kenyans following a long constitutional review process. There were exhaustive consultations and, finally, we adopted the Constitution. It was the desire of Kenyans that there shall be two Houses of Parliament namely, the National Assembly and the Senate. Article 93 is very clear. I would like to urge you to be guided by the provisions of Article 93 as you make your ruling. You should not be guided by the wishes of the Senators, Members of the National Assembly, Press or any other individual. We should not give certain roles which are not provided for by the Constitution to any institution. We have the Constitution as it is and
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I want to first of all thank my colleagues who have contributed to this debate. Indeed, I realize that what we are doing here this afternoon is per Article 94(4) of our Constitution. It states thus: âParliament shall protect this Constitution and promote the democratic governance of the Republic.â The same Constitution under Article 93(2) states thus: âThe National Assembly and the Senate shall perform their respective functions in accordance with this Constitution.â Remember, it does not say in accordance with the Standing Orders. The Senate is an important House. It is, indeed, mentioned in Article 96. The role of the Senate is clearly defined there. It is stated that the Senate represents the counties and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments. The wishes of the people of Kenya are very well represented in this Constitution. If there was anything wrong in this Constitution at the time when Kenyans were given an opportunity to assent or say no to it, they should have, if they so wished, make the Senate the upper House. They would have said no to the draft then and made the necessary amendments to make the Senate the upper House above the National Assembly. Hon. Speaker, Sir, I think it is of utmost importance that our good friends in the Senate realize that they have a very important role to play in this country, which is the effective implementation of devolution. That is where the focus should be. I do not want to repeat many things that have been made very clear by the learned friends in this
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I also want to add my voice unto this debate. I wish that when you make your ruling, it will be one that will put this matter between us and our sister House, the Senate, to rest. It is indicated in Article 95(5)(a) and (b) of the Constitution that the National Assembly is supposed to review the conduct in Office of the President, the Deputy President and other state officers (including Sarah Serem when we decide to remove her). It goes further to state that the National Assembly can appropriate funds, expenditure by the national Government and other national State organs. It does not tell us to go and negotiate with the counties. If the Constitution wanted to say that, there is no reason why that was not stated. Under Article 4(c), our role is defined as exercising oversight over national revenue and its expenditure. This is, therefore, the upper House or the senior House. We did not find it necessary to go out there and thump-chest and say that we are the senior House. However, since we have been provoked by our sister Senators, we need to put this debate to rest.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to seek a Statement but, at the same time, I feel persuaded to contribute to this debate. Allow me to say that the culture of impunity in this country - it appears - has not come to end. I really do not expect a House that is composed of very senior citizens in this country; people that we respect; people that we expect to read, understand and interpret the Constitution of this country in the right way--- Hon. Speaker, Sir, I want to sympathize with them for not having properly read and understood the Constitution which, some of them really participated in passing in 2010. If they actually did, then they should have made the right decisions. They should have been able to understand the role of the National Assembly. For purposes of bringing up to speed the Kenyan nation to understand that we are not in any way in contest with the Senate, I would like them to look properly at their roles as provided for under Article 96. When you look at the four roles as provided for by the Constitution, they all revolve around issues to do with counties. The only role that is extending outside matters that are touching on counties is the issue of participating in the process of the removal of a President. Hon. Speaker, Sir, they are only supposed to participate. They cannot initiate the process of removal of a President because that is the work of the National Assembly.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, you know it is very interesting. I would like to remind the Senators that I did not participate in the writing of this Constitution, but I would die defending this Constitution. That is because I was part of the people who went round the country telling people that we need to understand it. In my view, the Senate, with all due respect and humility, the House called the Senate was meant to be a âhouse for the retireesâ. It was supposed to be, if you allow me,
Unfortunately, hon. Speaker, Sir, we also have very young men in that House who have a lot of vigor and who feel misplaced. I really want to plead with them that next time there is an opportunity provided for by the law, they should represent the people in a more vibrant House like the National Assembly, where real work is required. That way, they could utilize their expertise and energy in serving this country. Otherwise, I want to really plead with them that many of us are concentrating on how to sort out the problems of this country and not on the issues about supremacy, who is big and who is small. Many hon. Members have said that whether you are big or not that will be determined by your responsibilities as provided by this Constitution. If we continue, because it is only this Parliament that has power to make and amend laws, we will also end up suggesting that these people sit three times a year, because we will want them to remain there, but let them give us an opportunity to serve this country. We can always ask them to engage with us when they feel that there are some things which they want us to give them, or some work for the Senate. They can only consult us because we are the only people who can give more work to them through the amendment of the law.
I do not know whether I should make my other Statement.
You will do it after this one.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, without repeating what my colleagues have said, there is a history to this debate. When we were in the Tenth Parliament, many of us, as colleagues, were asking each other: âAre you going to be a governor? Will you be running for Senate? Will you be running for Member of Parliament or the County assembly member or as a women representative?â Many of the conversations ended up--- Those who chose to go to the Senate did so because, as has already been said here, of their age and how many years they had been in Parliament. Therefore, I suspect that the agitation for excessive power in the Senate is probably coming from those who are there for the first time, the new Senators who are young. I would say that in your ruling it will be prudent to help the country, and the young Senators who vied for that position not aware that they would not be doing what we are doing here in the National Assembly, to see what the Constitution writers intended for the Senate. We have come in with a new system of devolution, and it is very true that devolution is a key pillar in this new Constitution. For it to be successful, the Senate was mandated to work very closely with
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I am glad that I have finally caught your eye. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to make comments on this very important issue. I think we swore our allegiance to this Constitution. If you look at Article 3, it states that every person has an obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution. I am glad that my first statement in this House is in defence of the Constitution. We must do this with energy, because everything we do in this country must be grounded in this supreme law of the land. We are seeing a situation where different bodies--- The Senate was stating that they want to become an upper House, or a superior House or whatever they want to become, without going through the Constitution. That same Article 3 of the Constitution says that anybody who wants, or wishes, to form a government outside out of the Constitution is doing so unlawfully. This is the law and I do not know where my brothers in the Senate are deriving their ideas from. I have heard, and I have had occasion to read in the newspapers, that they are saying that some of the things they want to do were mutilated in this House. But you will note that the legislative role in this country, as my brothers have clearly stated, is a role of this House. So when they say that we sat here, or the previous House sat here, and mutilated the Constitution and, therefore, removed the powers they wanted to exercise, what are they telling us? They are telling us to go back to the drawing board, look into the drainage and find out what was thrown into it, so that we can tell the people what was thrown away, which is the power my brothers at the Senate should be exercising. You have a heavy burden on your shoulders and you must carry it. I have confidence and I am sure that you will deliver a ruling that will be
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Wakhungu, your name does not appear on the screen. So, you may keep rising there but you will not get a chance. That is analogue.
Continue, hon. Odhiambo-Mabona.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I apologise in case I repeat what somebody else may have said since I have just come in.
I just want to say that as I was walking in I heard somebody saying, âmaziwa
It was not me but I want to say that I was privileged to be one of the framers and drafters of the Constitution. I even know its history; as a lawyer, I am sure you know that even when the court interprets the law, it looks at the plain meaning, and where the plain meaning is does not assist it, it goes to the legislative history. If you go to the legislative history, I can state for a fact that I was in the Select Committee of 27 hon. Members. I know for a fact that the history was that originally we had intended to follow the American system, where the Senate is the superior House. However that was not very popular and hon. Members very categorically stated so; in fact, in jest somebody said that, that would be a House for retirees. So, people are not just saying things that were not spoken of here; they were actually said.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, therefore, I would want to say that even when you look at the way it is structured, a lot of the same Senators who were there at that time actually were complaining then that the Senate would become very--- I am looking for a polite word
Hon. Odhiambo-Mabona, I know it is because you came late that you may not have known the reason why a ruling is being sought by hon. John Ngâongo. It is in relation to the procedure adopted in referring to the Division of Revenue Bill to the Senate, which would appear to be proper in terms of our Standing Orders and the
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. Article 108(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, it reads: (1) âThere shall be a leader of the majority party and a leader of the minority party.â (2) The leader of the majority party shall be the person who is the leader in the National Assembly of the largest party or coalition of parties. (3) The leader of the minority party shall be the person who is the leader in the National Assembly of the second largest party or coalition of parties.â
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I wish to get clarification because the Senate has got the majority leader and the minority leader. Where do they get the powers to appoint the same? I also want to know something about the expenditure of these Houses. Where are we going to get the power to give them funds, or to appropriate money to these offices?
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir.
Very well. I think, hon. Members, we have ventilated on that matter sufficiently. Those who may not have gotten a chance, I am sure will get a chance to contribute to another issue; but I want to thank the hon. John Ngâongo for raising this issue. I think it is fundamental in the way we do business here, especially with regard to the constitutional requirements relating to the Division of Revenue Bill and the Allocation to County Bill, which is supposed to come from the Senate. I think it is particularly that issue that we need to get clarity on, and make sure that whatever we do, we do it in keeping with the provisions of our Constitution. I think I should be able to deliver that ruling tomorrow at 2.30 p.m. Thank you. Next Order!
On a point of order, hon. Speaker, Sir.
Just a minute. You had indicated that you wanted to seek a statement and not necessarily a Ministerial Statement?
Yes, hon. Speaker, Sir. Thank you for indulging me.
I beg to give the following statement:-
Noting that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission issued a Kenya Gazette Notice No.3143 dated 8th March, 2013 which purported to repeal the National Assemblies Remuneration Act, Cap.5, the Parliamentary Pensions Act, Cap.196 and which contravenes Section 59(a) of the Finance Act, 2012 that amends the SRC Act, 2012 to require parliamentary approval for all subsidiary legislation emanating from SRC; aware that Article 94(5) of the Constitution provides that: âNo person or body, other than Parliament, has the power to make provision having the force of law in Kenya except under authority conferred by this Constitution or by legislationâ I wish to request
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, notwithstanding the resolution of the House of 16th May, 2013, regarding appointment of Members to respective Committees, this House further approves the following changes to the membership of the following Select Committees:- 1. Hon. Peter Kaluma, MP, to be appointed to the Committee on Delegated Legislation 2. Hon. Asman Abongotum, MP, to move from the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. 3. Hon. Abass Mohamed, MP, to move from the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security to the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. 4. Hon. Priscilla Gathecha, MP, to move from the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. 5. Hon. Peter Weru Kinyua, MP, to move from the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. This is the beginning of another set of adjustments that we are going to bring on Thursday where we want to balance the membership of the House from the two Coalitions. We want to go by the provisions of the Standing Orders, that every Member should be in two Committees, one departmental and one either standing or select. We have agreed, as the leadership, and the two Whips are working on the final list in which we will make sure that every Member is in two committees; it will be tabled in the House on Thursday afternoon. The two committees, namely the Committee on Administration and National Security and the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs are the only ones that will elect their chairs this afternoon. I will ask the House to approve the list and ask the Minority Whip to second this Motion.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I would like to second the Motion. I also want to assure the Members that, as the Leader of the Majority has said, we are working on the list. We have had many issues with the membership of the minority. By Thursday afternoon, we will try our best to rectify all the issues that we have, so that we can table the whole list. Some Members have been asking a lot of questions, but that is what we are working on, and we will make sure that everybody is a member of a departmental committee and a select committee. I second the Motion.
Hon. (Prof.) Nyikal was contributing and he had a balance of five minutes. You may, therefore, resume the Floor.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir, for the opportunity to address myself to this Motion that seeks to have agro-based parastatals transferred to county governments. I also wish to take this opportunity to just look at the debate that has just ended. When I decided to get into politics and I chose to vie for a seat in the National Assembly, even with my known limited legal mind, I read the Constitution as a lay man; it was so clear to me that the National Assembly is actually the senior House It, therefore, beats logic that those experienced lawyers in the Senate have an issue that on this matter.
Let me now address myself to this Motion. Kenyaâs economy is to a large extent agro-based. Our industrialization, to a large extent, is going to be based on agro-industry. The huge unemployment that our youths face is to a large extent as a result of how we use land, particularly how we grow our agro-industry. We have decided, as a nation, that we are going to have a devolved system and counties. There is no doubt that the counties will need a lot of resources. Already, many governors are lamenting that they may not have enough resources. I, therefore, support any move that will help the counties to get resources and raise their own funds. However, we also know that a lot of these parastatals are not very productive now, or commercially viable, and the Motion indicates that they have a lot of liabilities. It is therefore, my view that before we transfer these parastatals, it would be wise to have all of them evaluated as to commercial viability before we transfer them to the counties. Only those that are found to be commercially viable can then be transferred after all the liabilities have been settled by the Government.
We know that if we merely settle the liabilities and do not do anything on the productivity of the parastatals, many of the counties will find themselves with huge a
Thank you hon. Speaker for using technology to see me. I want to stand and oppose this Motion because it will set a precedent where county-based parastatals will start agitating for the same thing. We dealt with the Division of Revenue Bill last month, and we allocated revenue to counties. So, if we go ahead and transfer parastatals, it will be like a backdoor allocation of resources. Another issue is that most of these agro-based parastatals are not performing. Last year the Government was in situation where it was to try to resuscitate these parastatals so as to privatize them. It is an on-going situation. I think that is the correct approach; the Government should try to resuscitate the parastatals and then after that it can privatize them. This is a good option. The other point is that these parastatals are not well distributed in the whole country. So, if we say that the parastatals are taken by different counties, we might end up with counties that do not have any of these parastatals. There is another issue that we need to take care of when we are devolving. We have to remain united as a country. Some of the things that make us united are these common assets. So, devolving the parastatals to counties will be a way of setting us apart. So, I think I will oppose this Motion and wait for a time when we will try to audit them, and see how they are distributed in the country because many of them might be within Nairobi. If we transfer all the parastatals to Nairobi, it will mean that we will defeat the logic of devolution. Remember we are allocating resources to counties. We have said that we will give, say, 32 per cent of revenue to the counties, yet we do not have any means of getting revenue from the same counties. So, I oppose this Motion, and say we should shelf it for the time being.
I will follow the order in which you pressed your gadgets.
Thank you hon. Speaker. We are still learning how to use these new devices. My name is Gikaria from Nakuru Town East Constituency. First, of all, let me say that I rise to support this Motion brought by hon. Koyi on how to assist parastatals. If you look at Nakuru, we have one parastatal by the name Pyrethrum Board of Kenya (PBK); it has been brought down to an extent that reviving it is a big problem. We think that the only way we can support the revival of that parastatals is by the Government coming in to assist. Of course the Government has given a lot of money to the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya to try and bail it out of the debts it has. Hon. Speaker, I want to support the Motion by saying that if, indeed, the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya is, indeed, bailed out by the Government, it is going to address the issue of unemployment, especially among the farmers, the flower pickers and the transport industry. There will be a lot of people benefitting out of the pyrethrum parastatal if it is revived. I want to say that it is a noble idea brought by hon. Koyi, and we should be able to support parastatals.
Thank you hon. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute. My name is Opiyo Wandayi, Member for Ugunja Constituency. Hon. Speaker, I stand to oppose this Motion in principle. First, it is because of the way in which it has been drafted. The importance of agro-based industries cannot be overemphasized. But the problem we have with these parastatals, or the Government- owned companies, so to speak, is real inefficiency and corruption; simply transferring these bodies to the county governments without looking at the root cause of the inefficiencies and corruption will be simply to transfer problems which the county governments, as currently constituted, will not be able to solve, or cope with. What I think should be prioritized is the privatization of these parastatals and similar organizations in a transparent manner. We need a process that should end up giving ownership of these parastatals to the farmers and the local communities in a way that they will feel adequately represented in these organizations. You are talking of writing off liabilities, but the Government cannot do that. To attempt to do so would basically open a pandoraâs box. These parastatals currently have got a lot of debts; most of their creditors are basically the Kenya Power and Lighting Company and other private suppliers. I do not understand to what extent the Government will go towards writing off these liabilities. I wonder if it is really in the interests of the communities where these bodies exist for it to do so.
In carrying out privatisation within the law, attempts must be made to give priorities to the local communities. For instance, in the case of sugar factories, the farmers who produce sugar-cane must be allowed, through their sugar grower associations, to take part in this process and own shares commensurate to the stake they hold in these organisations. The role of any government, be it the National Government or the county governments, is not to engage in business. The primary role of the Government, at both the national and county level, is to provide an enabling environment for business to thrive. That is what I would encourage the emerging county governments to spend their energies on. Hon. Members will realise that where the private sector is involved in the agro- based industry, there is a lot of efficiency, profitability and benefits to the local
Yes, hon. Adan Mohamed Nooru.
Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I stand to oppose the Motion. In the first place, the Motion is talking of the farmers who produce raw materials for agro-based industries, or parastatals, that benefit from these activities. It then urges the Government to transfer these parastatals to the local county governments. If we have to transfer these parastatals, why do we not transfer them to the members of the public themselves, if they are to benefit? There is no logic in moving them from the National Government to the county governments for these bodies to generate revenue for the county governments.
Yes, hon. Odhiambo-Mabona.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity.
I want to say at the outset that the intention of this Motion is very noble. The intention of the Mover of the Motion is to provide a mechanism through which we can revive our agro-based industries. The challenge that I see, which many hon. Members also see, is that we are saying that these agro-based industries are already facing challenges. They have incurred a lot of liabilities and a good number of them have been going through many problems. Even if the Government were to off-set those debts and transfer these bodies to the devolved units, what guarantees are there that these bodies will pick up? The devolved governments are just starting. In fact, the county governments are in transition. Hon. Members realise this from the debate that we have had here on the roles of the Senate and the National Assembly. This is also playing out at lower levels. We have chosen Executives at that level, who do not even know their roles. I can tell this from the kind of work that some of them are doing. They still do not know their roles. You find somebody who has been appointed an executive in charge of water walking around and talking about energy or something else. So, this is a very good Motion, but it has come a little too early in the day. We need to heavily invest in our agro-based industries. Just yesterday I saw on the internet that one Kenyan product is causing a lot of excitement in the USA, that is the green coffee berry. This is because a lot of people there are suffering from obesity. There are women who are trying to be size eight, and so they invest a lot of money in exercises, gymnasiums and all manner of products that enable them to cut wait. Finally they have discovered that with the green coffee berry you do not even need to exercise. You can sit
Hon. Members, standing up has ended. We are now on technology.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion before us. When you look at the Motion it is very encouraging and we should support it. However, when you go deeper into the matter, you realize it is not a very simple one. First of all, the Mover of the Motion should have given us examples of the agro-based organizations, where they are located and how they were formed. I come from Kericho County. If I were to accept this Motion, I would be saying that Muhoroni Sugar Factory, which is located in Kisumu County--- The farmers in Kericho County have been supporting it 50 per cent. Therefore, this Motion should be looked at very critically. In fact, we need a law to create procedures for transferring these organizations to different counties. How do you transfer, for example, Nyayo Tea Zones? It has farms in Kericho, Meru, and in many other parts of the country. If we accept this Motion then it must be followed by a law providing for how to handle cross-cutting parastatals. In fact, it would have been very easy to say that we sell the organizations to those who support them, namely the farmers. They can be given shares and then own the organizations. I have no problem with the KTDA because the factory is in Kericho and the tea farms there are owned by the farmers in that region. The factory in Nyeri is owned by the farmers in that region. So, if we were to go that direction then we would accept--- However, issuing a blanket order that all organizations in one county belong to that county is not practical. This Motion can only be supported when there is a procedure on the process of transferring the organizations. The process has the potential of causing chaos amongst counties in Kenya. This is because people have invested in these organizations and they may not wish to surrender them to other bodies. Subject to that I would support the
hon. Deputy Speaker, we need to ask ourselves why the likes of the Nyayo Tea Zones were formed. The zones are in the middle of forests. It was purely for purposes of conservation of the forests. I oppose the Motion because this body is a non- profit making. To the Mover, who is also the architect of the Motion, I am sorry to say that we cannot imagine that new employment will be created for our people - there are already people working in the tea zones. That gives us a reason not to support the Motion. The primary reason for the formation of the Nyayo Tea Zones is conservation of our forests. I beg to oppose the Motion.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, from the outset, this is one of the most confusing Motions we have handled so far. This country suffers a lot of problems and farmers have been suffering. Many parastatals in this country are not performing very well. This is because of mismanagement. You will realize that taking these parastatals to the counties might not necessarily help. We will just be devolving corruption. When a parastatal is run badly, even if you take it to a county that will not really help. In China, for instance, corporations run by the government are doing very well. Here in Kenya that is not the case. Big corporations in China are able to assist citizens to start businesses in other parts of the country and they are run professionally. We need to ask ourselves certain questions. Are these parastatals operating--- Take the example of Mumias Sugar Company, Nzoia Sugar Company and Muhoroni Sugar Company. Are these sugar factories really viable? Even if you say that you are going to remove all the liabilities like debts, and you start all over again, will they really perform? These sugar factories are not viable. I say this because you need big acreages of farmland to be more efficient. This is because those sugar factories are not viable. It is only in Kenya where you have so many parastatals, all of them milking the economy and not adding value both for the farmers and the national Government, yet every year we allocate them money.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, we have entities like the Bura Irrigation Scheme that are white elephants. The Bura project has not performed very well because from inception the idea was just to create jobs for some people based on political patronage; it does not have professional management. The problem with our big agro-based companies is that we have corruption and mismanagement; these have become the order of the day; corruption that has guzzled a lot of taxpayersâ money.
Another example is Nzoia Sugar Factory. We have worked very hard on it. Many people have put money into it, but up to now the Government cannot say that it is something viable.
The reason why I am opposing this Motion is because if we cancel the corporationsâ debts and transfer them to the counties, they will not perform because counties do not have capacity, or good managers, since they are just beginning.
With those few remarks, I beg to oppose.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to contribute to this Motion. I think it is a noble idea that we should look for ways and means that can improve the economic base of our counties; many of these parastatals can be domesticated by being taken to the
Hon. Okoth, switch on your microphone so that I can give the chance to you?
First of all, let me congratulate the leadership of the House and thank everyone in the technical team for making sure that we finally can move away from the analogue system of rising up of around 50 people at a time to a more sophisticated and respectable system. So, to hon. Deputy Speaker and your whole team, thank you and kudos for a good job for making this happen quickly. I rise to oppose this Motion because again the era and the context in which we had Government corporations as the only sole owners of capital to run important sectors of
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion and really congratulate the Mover for bringing it to this House. I support the Motion because agriculture under which the Motion is brought is now fully a county function. If you look at Schedule Four of the new Constitution, all of the functions around agriculture including processing need to be transferred to the counties. So, I support that the agro-based parastatals should now start to function in the counties.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, in the counties we elected Members of the County Assembly and the governors are now forming the county executives. So, the questions of capacity will start to be answered with the settling down of the Government at the county
Asante sana Mheshimiwa Naibu Spika kwa fursa hii. Ninasimama kupinga Hoja hii kwa sababu kubwa ukiangalia Hoja hii haitoi mwongozo thabiti. Hoja hii inasema mashirika ya kiserikali yanapata mali kwa watu wanaoishi katika kaunti. Kitungo chochote, kikiwa ni cha kawi au uchukuzi, hata kile kiwanda kinachotengeneza risasi huko Eldoret kinatoka katika kaunti. Ni kitengo kipi cha uzalishi hakitoki kaunti? Hili ni swali la kwanza.
Swali la pili, ukisoma Hoja inasema hawa wanatoa mali gafi lakini hawapati faida kabisa. Kama kweli hawapati faida, anavyodai aliyoileta Hoja, ni kwa nini uhamishe upeleka mashinani shida hizi? Mhe. Naibu Spika, jambo la tatu ambalo linanipa matatizo kuelewa ni kuwa, anasema Serikali ya ugatuzi haina uwezo wa kiuchumi kisha anataka tuchukue mashirika ya kiserikali na tuyapeleka kule. Hapa anatuchanganya. Hoja hii haitoi mwongozo na nitaipinga. Miaka ya themanini, Benki ya Dunia ilitoa sera ya Structural Adjustment Programme ambayo imetunyangâanya na kudhalilisha mashirika yote katika nchi hii. Leo, mashirika haya yameanza kufufuka na tunataka kuyapeleka mashinani. Katika Serikali ya ugatuzi, malalamiko ni mengi kama vile maswala ya fedha na sera. Ni vipi tutapeleka mashirika haya? Je, tutakapokosa suluhisho kwa matatizo yanayotukumba, njia rahisi ni kuyasukuma mashinani? Iwapo kuna matatizo ya kiuchumi, tunastahili kutafuta suluhisho kama Serikali kuu. Utajiuliza mada ya Serikali kukuja na mashiriki ya Serikali ni nini. Kila shirika ambalo liko hapa lina lengo, mada na maudhui.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to oppose the Motion. The concept, the spirit and the idea of coming up with this Motion is very good. My opposing it is aimed at helping the Mover to reconstruct the Motion, which is very important. The subject is very important. Agro-based parastatals cut across the country. For example, the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), which is based in Eldoret is owned by more than six counties. We have the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya in Nakuru, but even people in West Pokot have ownership in that parastatal. The KVDA Building is a property of another county in Eldoret. So, if we passed this Motion today, it means that all the other five counties, including West Pokot, would lose in that investment yet the resources which built the KVDA Building and which support the KVDA come from those counties which are likely to lose. That is why I am saying that the idea is very good, but where is the data to tell us how much KVDA is worth? Should we decide that it goes to the counties, how much will go to the six counties? Where will the KVDA Headquarters go? This is a recipe for chaos should we do that. I want to urge the Mover to see the need to withdraw this Motion, so that in the next six months, we will support him. Something needs to be done so that we do not pass a Motion that will cause chaos in our country. Look at the idea that they are already liabilities, which means they are indebted. If you take an indebted company, which is not making any resource, how can it become a resource to the counties where we are transferring it? It is our responsibility as the leaders of this nation to withhold this Motion and work on the facts. We need to come up with a properly constructed Motion. For example, the best pyrethrum content comes from Pokot South. This means that we are actually the owners, but the parastatal is in Nakuru. When you transfer the parastatal to the county, it will go to the Nakuru County. What about the people who produce the best pyrethrum? What is going to happen to them? Those are the ideas which are missing in this Motion. I am appealing to the Mover to re-look into this matter in a wide point of view, so that when we come up with it, it has enough facts that will enable us as leaders to make informed decisions. In conclusion, I want to say something about the Senatorsâ debate. Articles 95 and 96 of our Constitution is very clear about the roles of the National Assembly and those of the Senate, but I wonder where they are getting the idea that one House is superior than the other. I tend to think that there are some hung-overs from the last elections. When we
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me a chance to contribute to this Motion. First and foremost, I am opposing the Motion for the following basic reasons: The county governments have been formed to provide public utility services to the counties.
On a point of order, hon. Deputy Speaker. Do we have quorum? It seems to me that there may not be quorum.
Clerks, can you ring the quorum bell!
Okay we now have Quorum. The Quorum Bell can now be stopped. What is your point of order hon. Shimbwa? Can you give him the microphone? Have you switched off or put your request to the button?
On point of order hon. Deputy Speaker. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that some of the hon. Members are forgetting their cards and they have already left the House. So, perhaps, it is important to remind hon. Members that we have gone digital and, therefore, if you are leaving the House, remove your card so that you do not misplace it.
I already have two cards here which had been left unattended.
Thank you hon. Shimbwa, but the practice is usually that at the end of the day, they are collected and taken to the reception area. Whoever does not have his or her card, can pick it from there when you next come to the House. The important thing is to remember your password. Also remember to press when you want to contribute. This is because I can see most of you looking very expectant, but I do not see your names on the screen. So, just learn the tricks. Some hon. Members know how to come in and switch on their microphones immediately.
They are there but I am saying some of you may be wondering why there are many Members on one side. It will depend on how they have
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. The role of the county is to provide utilities for us; provide roads, water, schools and not to come and manage factories. I come from the Kisii County. We have South Nyanza Sugar Factory, which is a parastatal and Trans-Mara which is a private company. I have Kahawa Sukari at Ndhiwa which is private company. When you look at all these companies and see how they operate---
With the parastatal in Trans-Mara, within two weeks the farmer is paid. When you go to the other factories, it will take three or one month before the farmer is paid. What we need at this time at the county level, the farmer needs better roads where he can take his produce. The farmer needs a market for his produce.
On a point of order, hon. Deputy Speaker. Once the issue of quorum is raised and the Quorum Bell is rung, my understanding of the Standing Orders is that no further proceedings are taken until the Chair is satisfied that the quorum has been attained.
That is exactly what happened hon. Alouch. The clerks confirmed that we had Quorum before we continued.
I apologize hon. Deputy Speaker.
The hon. Member wanted to interrupt me. He was not listening when the Deputy Speaker said that we had quorum when we proceeded. What I was saying is that, the role of the county is to give us utilities. I come from the Kisii County and I am giving you an example of how we are surviving in South Mugirango. All the factories are actually paying the farmers very well and the farmers are getting their money in time because there is a new private enterprise which has come in. The farmer needs water, electricity and the county government should give those services. The drafter of the Motion says that counties are not going to have funds. If they are not going to have funds, how then do you give them parastatals and how can the parastatal give them money? Are you going to punish the farmer? Who is going to pay and who do you want deprived the benefit? The role of the counties is given and that is why national parastatals are being privatized and we are all going private. So, the time of doing anything for the State, be it at the county level or the national level has passed. What we need at the moment is, how efficient can we support the farmer? Somebody who is starting a small factory can be supported. The person can be supported, in my own estimation, by providing power supply; water and whatever else that can enable somebody move his produce to the market. They cannot look for the market for what they make or what they can grow. The other day I saw at Machakos County where they are giving investors free land. That is the way to go. But it is not right to say that there is a parastatal somewhere which has been mismanaged, let us pay off the debt and give it to the county. The county has no capacity to run a factory because there are people who can run a factory. You know, we have been bashed around as Members of Parliament. There is one thing I know, nowhere in the world is salary based on productivity. The salary that we are getting was done some years back. One thing I can say is that the person who gave us
Order, hon. Nyamweya! You are now diverting. I gave you a few minutes, but you seem to have been too passionate. Please wind up.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. Let me wind up.
What I wanted to say is that I cannot support this Motion for one simple reason. We cannot turn the county governments into manufacturers by making them own what should belong to private enterprises. The county governments should give us infrastructure, so that even the ordinary person at the village level can benefit from economic development.
For those reasons, I oppose the Motion.
Yes, hon. Samuel Gichigi.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion.
I want to be very categorical that that the National Government has no business at all operating businesses in the agricultural sector. Under Schedule Four of the Constitution, where the functions of the National Government and those of the county governments are listed, it is clear that the only roles that the National Government has in the agricultural sector is policy formulation. Anything like growing crops is left to the county governments. Therefore, it will be very difficult for anybody to justify opposition to this Motion. Those opposing the Motion should probably propose some amendments so that we can do away with the agro-based parastatals, instead of suggesting that the status quo remains. The National Government should be able to remove itself from this kind of business within a period of about five years. The sooner this is done, the better.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I recognise the fact that the county governments may not have the capacity to run these entities. In fact, it would be illegal for these entities to be passed on to the county governments as they are because a number of them were established under a national law. They have to be disbanded and their activities handed over to the counties. So, my simple reading of the law is that it is just a matter of time before the functions of these parastatals can be given to the county governments. We have no business saying that they should continue being with the National Government. I come from Nyandarua County where we have really suffered because of the National Governmentâs pretence to run commercial business. The pyrethrum sector has seen farmers lose a lot of money. We had Ministers staying in Nairobi appointing people to sit in the boards of these parastatals. Let them see what the farmers will be doing. Let them
Yes, hon. Pukose.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. I stand here to oppose the Motion because, for me, the role of the Nyayo Tea Zones is a national function, which is part of soil conservation efforts. If we have to privatise it---
Just a minute, hon. Pukose. Are you on a point of order, hon. Sunjeev?
Yes, hon. Deputy Speaker. Could I request that we find out whether the House has quorum for it to continue with this debate?
Hon. Sunjeev, this House, indeed, has quorum. It has 51 Members. Therefore, we can continue. Proceed, hon. Pukose.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. What I was saying is that I oppose the Motion in the format in which it is. My opposition is based on the fact that devolving the agro-based parastatals to the counties at this period of transition would be devolving problems to the counties. One of the things found even within the agro-based parastatals is that the source of the raw materials is not just limited within those counties. They get raw materials from other counties as well. So, that means even justification for the setting up of the factory itself in a particular county is based on availability of raw materials in the surrounding counties. So, how do we determine that a factory should just belong to the county in which it is located? Secondly, we have Kenyans from different parts of the country who are working in those factories. Devolving factories to the counties would mean that Kenyans who do not hail from a particular county will lose their jobs. They will be told to go back to their counties. In my constituency, namely, Endebes, one of the major agro-based activities is Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), which runs several farms. The workers in Sabwani Farm, for instance, have not been paid for the last five months. Those in Olkadongo Farm have not been paid salaries for the last four months. In Nai Farm, workers have not been paid salaries for the last four months. In Japata Farm, the workers have not been paid for the last three months. Those in Cholim Farm have not earned salaries for the last five months.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to oppose this Motion, but from the word go I would like to be on record that I am aware that various parastatals require support in terms of writing off liabilities and also rehabilitation. My reasons for opposing this Motion are: One, funds to write off the liabilities will be coming from the central Government which will have already given funds to the counties so that they can be ready to cover their functions. To give additional support in the form of writing off liabilities is like giving double support. They will be lucky if the parastatals will do well. They could then reap the benefits that come out of that. However, most likely they will not do well. This will mean that county governments carry the burden of doing the work of running parastatals which are inefficient. That will be an extra responsibility for the county governments. We know that the county governments are there to assist the communities in rehabilitating roads, running hospitals, schools and so on. The attention of the county government will have to be refocused towards running the parastatals instead of doing the core responsibility of running the counties in a manner spelt out in the Constitution. In addition to that, they will have to go back to the Government to seek support so that the parastatals get back on their feet. That will actually burden the county governments. We would rather wait until they take off properly. At the moment, however, it is necessary that the Government writes off the debts and rehabilitates the parastatals but they be run according to the Act governing the parastatals. We know that inefficiency exists. The Government should write off the debts and instill new management skills and styles so that the parastatals operate in a manner that is efficient and beneficial to the entire county rather than to single county governments. Hon. Deputy Speaker, with those remarks, I beg to oppose the Motion.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker for noticing me. I rise to oppose this Motion based on several reasons. The first reason is that I really do not see how the transferring of the present parastatals to county governments will make them any efficient. The present problem that we have is that the parastatals are very inefficient. In fact, they operate below their installed capacity. They actually survive because of
Hon. Anthony Kimaru! Now, I have 20 minutes before I call the Mover to respond. However, I have a long list before me of hon. Members who want to contribute. Could we agree to reduce the time from the allowed ten minutes to, say, three minutes per speaker?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, probably, after this.
Hon. Members, we have agreed that it is three minutes per speaker.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I hope that I will get the benefit of speaking for ten minutes because the new rule has just come in after I had already stood. I seek the Chairâs indulgence though.
A Motion should take exactly three hours which ends in 20 minutes time.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I totally support the spirit of this Motion but unfortunately in the form that it in, I reluctantly oppose it. The idea of decentralizing most of these parastatals is noble and I am surprised when many of us say that these parastatals at the local level cannot function. If you were to ask me, these are going concerns; they are businesses that can be conducted profitably and we have seen it all over. We have coffee co-operatives at the local level functioning properly and succeeding. I do not see why a sugar factory, where the local people are producing cane and there is infrastructure in place, should not succeed. I support the spirit that it is possible to decentralize them and still make them functional. My idea is that these
Unfortunately, your time is up!
Hon. Deputy Speaker, this, by the way, is my maiden speech but I will just take less than three minutes. I stand to support this Motion. I believe that if we take the agro-based parastatals to the counties, they will stand a better chance of being managed properly. Previously, they floundered because they were managed centrally here in Nairobi but if they were managed back at the county level, I believe there will be better and more efficient management. Secondly, I believe that if we take the route of privatization, I do not think anyone at the county level would have a chance to buy these parastatals. I think all the moneyed people would take these parastatals without a chance of the people at the county level to acquire these assets. Take the example of the Kenya Commercial Bank and the National Bank of Kenya, where are the small people? They are not there. It is major moneyed people who are there and so it would be better to first--- I support the Motion but it needs further fine tuning. Of course, it will generate revenue. A colleague was saying that there is mismanagement but they also failed because of corruption. If they are closer home, I think the people will monitor the assets and there would be better management. So, I support it. Initially when I spoke I forgot to thank the people of Rongai since this is my first time to speak. I want to thank the people of Rongai for electing me as their Member of Parliament and also God for enabling me to be here in Parliament. Thank you; I support the Motion.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am just getting worried that we are losing confidence in these county governments and yet they are just starting. I rise to support this Motion that we should give opportunity to the county governments to run these parastatals. They are parastatals; they are not
Hon. Deputy Speaker, on the outset, I rise to oppose this Motion. I have read through this Motion and it says that the counties are going to face financial problems unless their financial base is boosted by transfer of these parastatals.
On a point of order, hon. Deputy Speaker. Is there a quorum in the House? I am afraid we do not have any quorum in the House.
Clerks, can you please confirm whether we have quorum? No, we do not have a quorum. Ring the Division Bell.
Hon. Members. We have a quorum now and hon. Serut can continue.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. Before the Division Bell was rung, I was saying that at the outset I oppose this Motion. Reading through this Motion, it envisages a situation where if these parastatals we are talking of are transferred to the respective counties, it would boost the revenue. The Mover of this Motion did not convince us and neither did he tell the House how this was going to happen. Take for instance the Nyayo Tea Zones which were established for purposes of protection and conserving water catchments under gazetted forests in this country; they occupy a width of about 100 metres. There are 17 zones in this country. These Nyayo Tea Zones have no titles. I have been sitting here listening very carefully and I have asked myself: How are they going to be transferred and yet they have no titles in the first place? These are actually zones within the forest. The forest conservation together with management of water catchment areas is done in conjunction with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS). The two cannot be delinked. How then can Nyayo Tea Zones be transferred to the counties?
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Go ahead, hon. Member.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to oppose this Motion although I would really appreciate the spirit with which it has been brought to this House. I think, as a legislative House, what we must avoid is the sort of pedestrian legislation that in the end does not help our people. This is because 85 per cent of the national budget remains at the national level and only 15 per cent goes to the counties. If we want to bail out a parastatal or any of our organizations that are operating at the grassroots, then the counties will not have the ability to bail them out.
Secondly, we must learn from other countries like the US where 20 per cent feeds 80 per cent. In our country, almost 80 per cent are reliant on agriculture and yet we are not even self sufficient in food.
Therefore, the drafter of this Motion should look back and see what it is that we want to do by introducing it to the House. Is it to benefit the farmers or to give some work to the counties? There is a missing link. We are trying to pass the burden from the national Government to the counties. The Motion says that the counties do not have the financial muscle to undertake this task. Secondly, by allowing such Motions to be passed in this House, we will open a pandoraâs box for the livestock, coffee and tea farmers to come to this House and present such Motions and Bills stating that everything has been taken to the counties. How will the national Government generate revenue? Therefore, the role of the Government, both at the national and the county levels, is to create an enabling environment for business enterprises.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Order, Member! Your time is up. I want to call upon the Mover to respond.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for having given me this chance. I really wanted to proceed, but looking around the House, there is no quorum.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Member, you rose to respond as the Mover. So, you cannot raise the issue of quorum yourself. So, you will just continue responding.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, before I respond, let me give five of my minutes to hon. Mbadi.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me take this opportunity to thank hon. Waluke, who has seen it fit to donate to me a few of his minutes. He has donated five, but I may just spend three or four. I want to support this Motion for two reasons. First, it is clear that agricultural function is by Constitution given to county governments. Therefore, whether we like it or not, this is something that we need to give to county governments and have the county governments think of the best ways to restructure these corporations. If you look at the County Governments Act and the Constitution, they talk about the county State corporations. So, there is a provision in law governing State corporations that are going to be at the county level. Therefore, we are not going to do anything illegal in that aspect. I would want to plead with the Members who are opposing this Motion.
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I do not know whether we have quorum to continue transacting the business of the House.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Members, there is no quorum. I order that the Division Bell be rung.
( The Division Bell was rung)
Hon. Members, we are unable to raise the necessary quorum. It is, therefore, time to adjourn the business of the House. Hon. Ngâongo you will have a balance of four minutes when this House debates that Motion next.
This House stands adjourned until tomorrow Wednesday, 22nd May, 2013 at 9.00 a.m.
The House rose at 6.15 p.m.