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Pursuant to Standing Order 44(2)(a), on behalf of the House Business Committee, I rise to give the following Statement regarding the business appearing before the House next week. On Tuesday, 9th July, 2013, the House will consider for debate the following three Motions:- 1. A Motion by the hon---
Leader of Majority Party, is it a Statement that you are giving under Standing Order 44?
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I am so guided, I am sorry.
Thank you hon. Speaker, Sir. I beg to give notice of the following Motion:-
THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on Statements sought pursuant to Standing Order 44(2)(c) on the Management Wrangles at Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) laid on the Table of the House today, Thursday, 4th July, 2013.
Hon. Members, the Order Paper I have indicates that one hon. Charles M. Nyamai, MP. is supposed to give notice of some motion. The Member called Charles M. Nyamai, MP. He is not here. The Motion is dropped! Next Order!
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir, pursuant to Standing Order 44 (2)(a), on behalf of the House Business Committee, I rise to give the following Statement regarding the business appearing before the House next week. On Tuesday, 9th July, 2013, the House will consider for debate the following three new Motions, among others:-
(i) A Motion by hon. Sunjeev Kour Birdi urging the Government to build multi- dams and ensure that they are allocated equitably around the country, while complementing the existing dams and establish other measures for water harvesting, especially during the rainy or flood seasons for sustainability.
(ii) A Motion by hon. Nyamai urging the Government to spearhead the establishment of a national unified identification system that harmonizes all personal bio- data.
(iii). A Motion by hon. Kajuju urging the House to establish an ad hoc Committee to comprehensively investigate and inquire into all matters relating to Khat (Miraa ), consider and review all research findings and make recommendations to the House within 90 days.
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Hon. Speaker, pursuant to the Standing Order No.44(2)(c), I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security regarding the increase in brewing and consumption of illicit brews around the country.
That appears to be happening despite the enactment of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010, which has brought a degree of sanity and order in the regulation of the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in licensed bars and outlets. I wish to request the Committee to urgently investigate this matter.
Chair of the Committee on Administration and National Security, do you want to give an indication of when that could happen?
That is okay, hon. Speaker.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to request for a Statement. Pursuant to Standing Order No.44(2)(c), I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Lands regarding the rampant cases of squatters eviction especially in Kisauni Constituency and in the larger coastal area and the country in general. In April, 2013, the National Land Commission directed that no eviction of squatters or the landless occupying public or any other parcel of land shall take place until the Commission develops guidelines and the necessary laws for eviction. I, therefore, wish to request the Committee to urgently inquire into the many cases of ongoing squatters’ eviction throughout the country with a view to make a Statement to the House of its findings as soon as possible.
You want this to cover the entire country?
Yes, hon. Speaker.
Is there anybody from the Committee on Lands?
Hon. Speaker, I am a Member of the Committee on Lands and I undertake to communicate this to the Committee through the Chair.
Hon. Speaker, I need to have a timeframe within which I will get the answer. This is very serious because the evictions are going on and we need the
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I want to correct you. You are not going to get an answer. In fact, so many of you have spoken to this issue. You are expecting an answer from the Chairman of that Committee on evictions being done in the country. What capacity does the Chairman have to give an answer? He can only give a report. Indeed, we are just about to begin discussing something and we want to point out some of the difficulties that we are putting ourselves in by continuing to make requests for those Statements. But you are at liberty, hon. Bedzimba, to also appear before that Committee with this request, so that as a Committee, you can sit and agree on the period within which the report on this issue can be tabled before the House for the House to debate. If you are seeking the Chairman of the Committee to help you to stop the evictions, then this obviously is the wrong venue because that is a matter for the Judiciary. It is the only one that can deal with issues of issuing orders against evictions. So, we really need to make up our minds about this matter and how we are going to deal with them. Obviously, the Committee is not going to help you not to have the people evicted. Even if it is being done against the law, that is not the mandate of the Committee. But I would encourage you to have a sitting with the Committee to see how best the Committee can come up with a report, with your input, about how best these matters could be addressed, so that, Parliament then, addresses itself on a policy direction as opposed to issuing a report that says “do this or do not do this”. Very soon, we are going to put the House in a situation whereby some things we have resolved to be done in a particular manner are not being done. We do not want to act in futility. So, hon. Bedzimba, I would request that you take the earliest opportunity, even if it is tomorrow – that is if the Committee is sitting tomorrow - to appear before them, so that you can agree on modalities of how the report can be made.
Agreed, hon. Speaker.
There is a Statement to be delivered by hon. Abongotum.
Hon. Members, with regard to the Motion by hon. Tiya Galgalo, debate on it had been concluded but the Question could not be put because there was no quorum in the House.
THAT, aware that dozens of families in the country especially in Isiolo County have been marooned by floods; concerned that the flooding menace has led to immense negative impact on the economy which interalia include widespread destruction of property, crops and infrastructure such as bridges and roads hence curtailing the movement of people and goods from one place to another; deeply concerned that flooding has led to the outbreak of waterborne diseases in some parts of the country; this House urges the Government to speedily establish a Disaster Management Authority to handle, prepare and create awareness of disasters, including the rehabilitation of all facilities and infrastructure destroyed by floods.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I was saying that the issue of Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is very paramount now. It is important that we have the body in place so that we are able to deal with the issues that are happening now and affecting the teaching fraternity. It is important that the three commissioners are appointed as soon as possible so that TSC is fully constituted in terms of quorum and is able to transact its business, including looking into the welfare of teachers and their recruitment. I support that aspect of the Report. There was also the issue of payment in the Report, concerning the former detainee and Member of Parliament, Otieno Mak’Onyango. The decision by the court that he be paid is long overdue. We have had many detainees. We need to get rid of the historical injustices that happened in this country. Whatever was committed by the Government that time should be taken care of by the Government today. That is because we are still the Government of Kenya. I support the idea that the Attorney-General’s office should have budgetary provisions of the amount of money that the court ruled he should be paid. The amount was the Kshs20 million-plus. Other rulings have been made with regard to the former detainees, for example, hon. Imanyara. That goes to prove that those cases should be handled. Perhaps, what the Committee ought to have recommended is that the cases be looked into now that we have the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission in place. They need to look into those cases so that the Government does not incur additional expenses like court charges. That way, we will open a new chapter. Hon. Speaker, I support the Report.
Hon. James Opiyo Wandayi
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I wish to make some comments regarding this particular Report, the main reason being that, I am one of the Members who had sought certain clarifications from this Committee. Pertaining to the issues that I had raised, I have not been satisfied by the Report as it is before the House. I say that because when I raised my issues sometimes back, I was doing so in very good faith and with the believe that the Committee would go and carry out interviews, do some research and come back to the House with a detailed and comprehensive report, particularly, on the matter of International Criminal Court (ICC). I find in the Report a memo from the Office of the Attorney General concerning comments that had been attributed to Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN). The comments were calling for the termination, not even referral of the ICC cases back to Kenya. The Ambassador to the United Nations was quoted having called for the ICC cases to be terminated. There has been no answer that is satisfactory on that particular matter. The Report simply agrees with the Attorney General that, that particular issue can be adequately addressed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which, of course, as we know, is dealing
Yes, hon. Chepkonga.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I stand on a point of Order. I like the way hon. Wandayi is seeking to prosecute his position with respect to this issue. Unfortunately, for him, we gave him an opportunity to come and interrogate the Attorney-General. He was back to Kisumu when he was supposed to have been here. But, is hon. Wandayi in order to allege that the Attorney-General did not say anything, when he has provided a very comprehensive Statement on his request, contained in this letter dated 14th June, 2013, as summarized in the Report which we have tabled in this House? Would he not be misleading this House to claim that the Kenya Government has no position when clearly, it has stated that it has signed the Rome Statute, it continues to pay its dues as required by the Statute and it has shown all commitments? In fact, when the Attorney-General came, we saw that he was at pains to show that he has always co- operated with ICC, and there has never been a time when he has compromised his position with regard to the assistance that he has given to ICC. So, I think hon. Wandayi
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. Really, what I am saying is that, even though the Attorney General has attempted to address the issues that are raised, I am not convinced by the position he has given the Committee, which the Committee has happily adopted.
When the Chairman of the Committee asked me to come and attend the session, really, I was away and that is not a crime. But, then, the Committee did go ahead and interviewed the Attorney General and, for sure, the Committee is composed of Members of Parliament from both sides of the House. I am sure the interrogation was adequate. Really, without belabouring the point, what I am saying is that, even though we know that the AU Resolution - the Resolution of the 21st Ordinary Session in Addis - was collective, what I would have expected the Attorney-General to say, through the Committee, is that, the resolution is collective but the Kenya Government’s position is that it supports it. It supports the referral of the ICC cases back to Kenya. Again, we find a contradiction because, in the end, the Attorney General is saying: When he was concluding that the ICC as envisaged by the Rome Statute is a court of last resort - which again is obvious and everybody knows that - the Kenyan cases were not referred to the ICC by chance. They were taken to the ICC by Kenya itself. So, really, to state the obvious is to say nothing for sure. What I am saying is that the matter of hiding behind some collective responsibility of the African Union is really harming us as a country. Why do I say so?
Thank you, hon Speaker, Sir. I stand on a point of order. Is the hon. Member in order to allege that this country is hiding behind the Resolution of the African Union Summit, which I attended in Addis Ababa and the resolutions there were upheld by all the Heads of State in the African Continent? So, is the hon. Memberin order to allege that the Republic of Kenya is hiding behind that Resolution when, in actual fact, he has not challenged the Resolution by the African Union Summit?
Let hon. Wandayi Opiyo contribute.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I thought I was communicating in very plain language that my issue from the outset was to understand the Kenya Government’s position on that Resolution. Therefore, I expected the Government to say that the Government of Kenya stands by that Resolution or is a party to that Resolution. It should not say that, that Resolution was collective.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I advise hon. Wandayi to take some time and read the Report that I have just tabled not more than 30 minutes ago. This is because he is referring to it a lot and I am sure he has not taken time to photocopy the document and read it. In that Resolution in the Report from our Committee which, incidentally, no statement has been sought from our Committee, it is clear that all the African Heads of State - as my colleague, hon. Kajuju has stated - adopted the Resolution of the African Union (AU), including our Head of State. I urge that rather than taking this House on a wild goose chase and rumours, he actually takes time to read the Report and the Resolutions of AU that are contained in the document I have just tabled so that, he can be informed and advise the House accordingly.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. For sure, you know that the Motion at hand has got no relationship with the Report he has tabled in this House. To conclude, and without dwelling on semantics, the fact still remains that this Report is not satisfactory, in my view.
Have you read it?
Of course, I have read it, hon. Speaker, Sir. That is why I am talking about it. Finally, the Attorney-General talks about the Kenya Government having formed a Cabinet Committee to co-ordinate the International Criminal Court (ICC) cases. I would have expected the Committee to come clear on this matter and tell us who the members of that Committee are. That is because the first time we had a Cabinet Committee on the ICC was during the Grand Coalition Government. Since the Jubilee Government came to power, there has been no reference to that Committee. Therefore, can the Chairman of the Committee go back and bring us the names of the Cabinet Secretaries who formed that Committee which is being referred to by the Attorney-General? The cases at the ICC are denting our image as a country. It is fine when we talk about the AU having made some resolutions. However, when we face the consequences, we face them as a country or as Kenya. Recently, you saw for sure that we were snubbed by the President of the United States of America (USA). When we are snubbed by the President of the USA, we are snubbed as Kenya and not as the AU. Therefore, we suffer the consequence of our own actions.
On a point of information, hon. Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member is my friend and I seek to give him some information, if he can kindly allow me.
Do you want the information? Give him the information.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, in July, 2008, the US Secretary of State rendered a public apology to the people of Africa and, particularly, South Africa because in July – that was exactly 18 years and five months - the great icon of anti-apartheid crusade, Nelson Mandela Madiba, was still on the terror list of Americans and so, was the Foreign Minister, who was another icon of anti-apartheid crusade. The issue of the ICC that is engulfing us all the time, despite the denials that the Grand Coalition Government or the previous regime had actually not endorsed in collectivity--- It is good to inform my colleague that a Motion was brought to the House in the Tenth Parliament and was overwhelmingly passed by the Tenth Parliament. The Motion stated that Kenya should withdraw from the Rome Statute because Jendayi Frazer said that the ICC is an institution that has increasingly become a punishment beacon for Africans but, selectively, not applied to those who even proclaim not to visit Kenya because of the ICC cases and they are not signatories. I want to inform the hon. Member so that, as he moves forward, he should know that the sovereign will of AU and the Republic of Kenya – as particularly applied on 4th of March, 2013 - supersedes any other consideration; and that we can continue with the procedural process just for the respect of the international conventions. It is the same Americans who were denying Nelson Mandela, 18 years and five months, the global respect. That, in itself, is a statement that they are on the wrong and we are on the right.
So, you are accordingly informed.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank hon. wa Kabando for saying what is in the public domain. When the Kenya Parliament passed a resolution that the Government should withdraw from the Rome Statute, if the Government agreed with Parliament, it should have gone ahead and applied for the withdrawal from the Rome Statute. There are procedures to follow when you want to withdraw. You cannot withdraw from the Rome Statute en mass as Africa. You can only withdraw as Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe or Tanzania. Therefore, the position of the Kenya Government in so far as the ICC issue is concerned is quite ambivalent. It is not clear to say the least. On one hand, you hear that we are committed to the ICC process or the Rome Statute because we are signatories and, on the other hand, you hear people going through the backdoor and castigating the ICC. Through the backdoor, they call for the Kenyan cases at the ICC to be terminated or be referred back to the country. So, what is the true position? Does the Government want the cases to come back to Kenya or does it want the AU to lead it in that campaign? Hon. Speaker, Sir, if you watched the debate that ensued in Addis Ababa, you should appreciate that most of the countries that spearheaded the call for the Kenyan cases to be referred back to this country had vested interests in the matter. Therefore, as a country, we must be very careful. So, I call upon the Chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to go back and interrogate this matter a little bit further and come back to the House with a more coherent position of the Government of Kenya pertaining to the ICC matter.
With those remarks, I beg to oppose the Report in totality.
Yes, hon. Ibrahim Abdi Sane.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. When the Industrial Court ruled against what the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), the first people to cry “contempt of court”---
Hon. Sane, can you clarify whether you are on a point of order?
Not at all, hon. Speaker. I want to contribute to the Motion.
Did you not contribute yesterday?
Hon. Speaker, with your guidance, it is a matter which is so serious.
I am sure that you have studied your Standing Orders, hon. Sane. If that were to be allowed, this House will become another funny place. Since you have already contributed to the Motion, be contented with what you said so that I can give a chance to another hon. Member to also contribute.
I stand guided, hon. Speaker.
The hon. Member whose name appears next is Isaac Mwaura, but I do not seem to see his image in the Chamber. That is what some hon. Members have complained about. There are some hon. Members whom we always recognise, who come here, place their requests and go to visit some other places. Surely, that is not fair. You are denying your colleagues a chance to contribute to the debate. Hon. Members, even as we review this Report, I want us to consider a few things. The recommendations of this Report are three. One is on the TSC matter, to which this
On a point of order, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Chepkonga, let hon. Kimani Ichung’wa begin to say what he has to say and then you can rise and say what is not in order. As you know, nothing can be out of order on a direction given by the Speaker. I am sure that you have read the Standing Orders.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Unless, according to the hon. Member, my rising is out of order. I rise to support the Motion by the Committee. Your direction on possible amendments is quite in order but I would also beg your indulgence because many of the Reports that have come to the House---
Hon. Ichung’wa, there is a point of order by hon. Chepkonga.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I have taken into account what you have just said. I find it extremely awkward. Of course, noting that this is the first Report we have brought to the House, pursuant to the new order, I would like to confirm that
Yes, hon. Kajwang.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Just to ventilate more on the point of order raised by the Chairman of the Committee, it is a good point to learn. As we receive Statements by way of Committee Reports, I want to ask that Committees be guided on how to report on Statement requests by hon. Members, particularly where a Departmental Committee gets more than one Statement request at the same time, to ensure that hon. Members enjoy their entitlement of having responses to their Statement requests directly. For example, if three or four Statements are combined in one Report, individual hon. Members will not have the chance to interrogate their specific issues, or there is the chance that the debate may be “swallowed”. In this particular Report, for example, the ICC matter may be more exciting than the Mak’Onyango case. The Member who sought the Statement on the Mak’Onyango case would be entitled to ventilate on it, and that kind of thing. So, I am asking if it would be in order for the Speaker to direct the Chair of the Committee in what manner and in what template they will report on three or more Statements that are asked from one department. Two, they can separate those Statements in different reports so that each report is discussed on its own merit and decided on its own merit.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, the second thing, as you have rightly said, is that this is a House of action. It must result into some enactment or some positive action that makes the object of its recommendations effective. Like a court of law, there would be a prayer or an order which is directing some action to be done. So, in that direction, perhaps, you will also indicate to the Chair of the Committees that a recommendation should bear a very positive direction targeting an object or a subject of the nation of Kenya to do something or to abstain from doing so that the Motion could become effective and can be implemented.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir.
Well, hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, do you still want to contribute? I am still seized of the application by hon. Chepkonga.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I stand guided but I would truly be in support of what hon. Chepkonga has said; to drop the Motion and maybe debate it later. However, in relation to what hon. Kajwang has said, it is quite in order because when we mix-up issues like the one of hon. Mak’Onyango and the International Criminal Court (ICC), I think also Members get lost as to which one to support. I would really be in support of hon. Mak’Onyango being paid but the question of the ICC, as you know in this country, has been used to further political interests in this country and those who claim
On a point of order, hon. Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to mislead the House that there are strangers who have come to this Parliament and have been talking about the media centre and other places when he, himself, went to meet his partly leader at State House using State resources? So, is it in order for the Member to mislead the House and inform Members here that nobody has authority to talk about the media centre as though it belongs to him?
What is the issue? The issue is about--- Sorry, we are still trying to do the technical work on the---
Hon. Speaker, Sir, it is true we are the House that has teeth to bite. It is also true for Mheshimiwa that we are also the party in power and, therefore, we have no business meeting in the small dining room. When we want to meet our party leader, we go to his house. He resides in the “House on the Hill” and we have got no apologies to make to anybody for that.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, lastly, I would also want to say that many of these reports are not getting to Members in good time and, since the Jubilee Government is a very digital Government, I would recommend that Chairs of Committees circulate the reports through e-mails to Members.
On a point of order, hon. Speaker, Sir. Is the Member in order really to imply that a partisan party meeting can go on in a property which is owned by all Kenyan taxpayers? He is not aware that---
Hon. Junet, kindly allow hon. Eng. Nicholas Gumbo, an experienced Member than you, to state his case. He does not require your support from where he is sitting. Hon. Gumbo.
Hon. Speaker, is the Member in order really to imply that on a property which is owned by every Kenyan taxpayer, you can hold a partisan political meeting in it? What does that got to do with the independence of this House? Is he in order really?
Well, but hon. Gumbo, everybody is allowed here but not other places. It would be wrong for me to begin conducting business for other people. Hon. John Mbadi.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I think the allegation made by hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, who is new but really learning fast in this House, needs to be challenged.
The hon. John Ng’ongo, I think you may be mixing a few things. You talked about the President calling something or the Member calling that somebody else’s---
No! No! Hon. Speaker, Sir, it is the hon. Member who has referred to that House. I am not debating and discussing the President. It is the hon. Member who is referring to State House as the “house” of hon. Uhuru Kenyatta. Hon. Speaker, Sir, the house of hon. Uhuru is close to State House, but it is not State House. He moved out of that place to occupy State House because he is now the President of the Republic of Kenya. I think we need to be very clear. State resources are State resources and conducting bi-partisan parliamentary group meeting, whether you call it what, is actually illegal and misuse of resources. That is a fact and you cannot take it away. You can do it with impunity but it will remain an abuse of office.
Hon. Members, remember you are learning this new governance structure. I would like to invite you to look at the practice in White House where the President can invite whatever side of the political divide, depending on the issue he wants to debate. That happens regularly and you cannot quarrel or argue with me because on this one, I am above board.
He invited --- (inaudible)
It is! You know the President can invite any leader or any group of politicians to the place which is his official working place. So, tomorrow, if he decides to invite one side of the divide and the next day, the other side of the divide, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
Let us do what we must do here. I think the rest of what happens out there, let us not take much of our time on it. I am sure - I do not want to give you the history of how many people have recently visited President there because you know them. So, why should it exercise you minds really at this point?
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I think we have a very serious agenda. On the issue of the House that the current President occupies on the Hill on behalf of the Kenyan people, the former Prime Minister was also in order to come to Parliament and meet his parliamentary group. He is also in order because he is the leader of that coalition. I want to inform my good friend, hon. Ng’ongo that barely one month ago, the leadership of this House- from both sides - was in the House at the Hill, on behalf of hon. Members here.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, the Head of State occupies and uses State resources as funded by this House and hon. Ng’ongo can wait for the Auditor-General when he presents his report to this House. That is because State House has a State Comptroller who is the Accounting Officer. I wish him well as he prays a lot so that his leader becomes the next
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I am rising to make my comment on the discussion that is going on over the meeting at State House. The discussion lacks merit because we have no material before this House to actually discuss any meeting whatsoever. That is because we need to even substantiate what we are alluding to, that there was a party meeting and its illegality at State House. I think hon. Members must learn fast. I think we are bordering on discussing the conduct of the Head of State and that really cannot be allowed on the Floor of the House, particularly, when my good friend, hon. Ng’ongo, has no material on the subject. He is an experienced hon. Member, as he has stated here. He has been re-elected. How does he entertain a discussion on State House and Head of State that is bordering on discussing the conduct of the Head of State without substantiating his claim? It lacks merit. In the first instance, I agree with your direction and I think we should rest the discussion there.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Motion.
The Report, hon. Speaker, Sir.
The Motion which is there is---
The withdrawal of the Motion.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, this demonstrates that we have got Chairmen who are able to determine when to fight and when not to fight; Chairmen who are able to know whether they have got the weapons or they do not. This Report was faulty in the sense that it had mixed a number of issues into one report and, therefore, it could not allow proper discussions. Hon. Speaker, for example, there is Report on ICC. I heard one colleague saying: “Oh! We were snubbed by somebody who would have come to Kenya to turn us into gay people, when we have been happy.” That somebody who does not subscribe to ICC can come and tell us about ICC. That, we should listen! We are far beyond that! That is what our forefathers fought for. I know where you come from. That is what Achieng’-Oneko fought for. So, let us support the withdrawal of the Motion. It can be brought here in a proper manner and we can discuss it. With those few remarks, I support.
Hon. Members, as you all know, under Standing Order No.58, the question on this Motion had already been proposed after secondment. Therefore, the request by hon. Chepkonga, the Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, can only happen with the leave of the House. That leave can only be granted through a vote.
Who was contributing? The Motion that is before the House is on Order No.10 on the Cotonou Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreements. Hon.
Hon. Speaker, I hope my number is guiding me correctly, that it is the Motion by hon. Laboso.
Hon. Speaker, I rise to support this Motion. I will be very brief. I will not go to the content of the Motion which hon. Laboso has very ably put. Indeed, there are some issues that I support in the EPAs and there are some that I do not support. The more fundamental issue that I want to raise is that this House passed the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, that I moved in the last Parliament, and that Act is very clear about the process of treaty making and ratification. Under Articles 7 and 8, it provides that in the making of a treaty, it has to come through Parliament. Parliament must approve before the country ratifies. If, indeed, any Ministry purports to make any treaty without reference to Parliament and without coming before Parliament, then it is a nullity ab initio. I know hon. Members have raised a lot of substantive issues both for or against delay in the signing and ratification of these agreements, but those substantive issues can be canvassed more once the law that purports to ratify that treaty is brought before this House. I, therefore, thank hon. Laboso for bringing to our attention this. I urge the Ministry concerned to bring that law before this House, so that we can choose whether we want to ratify the agreements or not. Even as we ratify, whether we ratify with reservations on some clauses is important. Otherwise, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Speaker, first I would like to congratulate hon. Laboso who was recently hoisted as the co-President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Joint Assembly with the European Union. I want to laud the way she presided over the Joint Assembly meeting in Brussels, Belgium, recently and to state to the Members of this House, and indeed, the constituents that produced her, that she is a star at the global level being a co-President in charge of an assembly that brings those very many nations from ACP-EU. It is a major achievement that captures an important record. So, Dr. Laboso strides very proudly for Kenya, East Africa and indeed for this continent in a way that makes us very proud. The question of EPAs which I had the advantage of discussing in the initial meeting of 2008 - a lot of thanks for the opportunity to be with hon. Laboso and hon. Abdikadir Aden and also hon. Kembi Gitura - is a very detailed issue. I am very sure that very few Members have interrogated this. In fact, the report of the recent deliberations has not been tabled before this House. We need to engage with the Ministry in charge of Trade and Agriculture. We also need the relevant departmental committees, particularly the one in charge of Agriculture that produces the bulk of the segments of our exports, so that the Members of this House will have the opportunity to understand the global effects of the market, the dynamics of the trade and why the ACP countries are very concerned generally with the skewed arrangement. This is particularly because we are focusing towards using agriculture and other productive sectors in these developing nations to benchmark properly and ensure that the economies of these nations grow, create jobs and
Hon. Speaker, I support this Motion. I do not have the details of the issues that were raised by the East African countries, but I talk as a Kenyan. First of all, the EU, for example, is panicking because of the current situation in the sub- saharan region of Africa, which is attracting a lot of investments from the East. The Europeans are punishing us. When Obama came to Africa, I was following his speech in South Africa. It is like he is trying to make up for the time he lost. I see a problem in Europe and I cannot blame the African States, particularly Kenya. Here in Kenya we are exporting jobs. You and I know that we export cotton. The market price of export cotton is Kshs180 a kilo. When you import fabric from Europe the price is almost 580 per cent yet the cotton used is the one we exported. There is a tendency by the West to panic. It is good because this could enable us--- Hon. Speaker, days are gone when a Permanent Secretary and a Minister would sit in a hotel in town to sign a treaty with somebody and then come to announce to us what they have done. I do not understand the issues the East African countries are raising. Let us address the issues the EAC is raising in connection with this issue before we allow a country to sign. I was looking at figures and realized that the Chinese infrastructure investment in Africa is over US$20 billion. What was Obama bringing in South Africa? I think something close to US$10 billion for energy production. However, that is what South Africa is producing. It is so little yet they are asking to quickly sign the treaty. We have nothing as a country to lose if we refuse to sign. I urge this House to support this Motion.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. First, I want to thank Dr. Laboso for coming up with this Motion. It is one that this House needs in order to address issues of development and trade. Europeans have been on us since 1885. For those who have read some history, you will remember Bismarck. He was sitting somewhere in Germany dishing out parts of Africa. Since that time they have sat on us. They determine what we can export and import. They also determine the prices. Kenya is a rising star in this part of the world. The way to do it is to work with our neighbours. England does not produce one leaf of tea, but it is a daily exporter of tea in the world. They managed to create a factory overseas to package our tea, the Kenyan tea, in fact, Kisii tea! They built a factory in Abu Dhabi and yet Abu Dhabi does not produce even a leaf of any of our vegetation. So, we export our jobs to England and when they cannot handle it they export it to Saudi Arabia. These are some of the issues that we must address. This Motion gives us a chance to ask the parliamentary committees to look at various treaties that touch on our trade, especially imports and exports. Like my colleague said, we export our cotton at a very low price and yet we import finished textile from Europe at a very high price. We import their used clothes, mitumba, and the value of imported mitumba is more than Kshs5 billion. Imagine if we were to invest that money Kenya how many jobs we would create. We need to relook at some of the partnerships like AGOA. It has been there for more than ten years, but I bet very few hon. Members here know what it contains. I do not know whether we meet the AGOA thresholds or not. We have the World Trade Organization (WTO) which sets parameters of trade in the world. However, very few people in Kenya, including Members of Parliament know what it does. Let us take cue from Dr. Laboso and raise these matters. Let us be alert to our economic rights when being oppressed by people who have been doing so since 1885. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to join my colleague hon. Kabando to congratulate hon. Dr. Joyce Laboso for the very good manner in which she represented our nation as co-president in the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. Having been privileged to be part of that delegation, I can tell you that our country was given a deadline within which to sign the agreement. I thank hon. (Dr.) Laboso for
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I also rise to support this Motion. I was in the House when hon. (Dr.) Laboso was moving this Motion. We gained a lot as she moved the Motion. She pointed out how we will lose about Kshs10 billion if we sign the EPAs.
This made me reflect on where I was working before and that was in the coffee industry. I have been a group manager in the coffee industry for many years. I saw Kiambu go into real estate because of the low prices that coffee fetched and as a result farmers could not make ends meet. This is because fertilizer and the chemicals we used to spray in our coffee farms were imported. We could not afford to pay the workers even when we produced coffee and took it to the Coffee Board of Kenya for sale. This is because the European Union (EU) gave us very many requirements that had to be met in our coffee farms before they could buy it. There was also the issue of value addition.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, they wanted to come to the farms to see how clean the workers were when they were picking coffee. This made us to hold many meetings in Kiambu County trying to meet them. When the EU officials came and met us in Nairobi, they told us that if we wanted to sell them our coffee then they should give us conditions which we
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion and also thank the Mover, hon. (Dr.) Laboso. The EPAs is the last tactic for the survival of the West. As a country, we should be very careful when signing these agreements.
Kenya claims to be industrialized, and we wish to be fully industrialized as soon as possible. If you look at the definition of “industrialization”, you will find that “it is extensive organization of an economy for the purpose of manufacturing”. In other words, when we say that we want to be industrialized, we say we want to manufacture.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, if we allow these agreements that are not favourable to us, then what are we doing to our local manufacturers? In addition to that, we also need to look at this agreement holistically. Killing our manufactures and our goods is killing our jobs.
I think they have time and time again been unfair. The unbalanced trade practices with the West have to a large extent been contributing to the payment difficulties being experienced by most African countries. There have been restrictive quotas and prohibitive tariffs against African products which have led to endemic poverty.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, it is because of some of these agreements and unfair trade agreements that you will find a European doctor coming and practising in Kenya while a doctor from Kenya has to go back to class in Europe in order to practise in that continent. Hon. Speaker, therefore, it is my opinion, with your guidance, that once passed, some of these Motions should stand committed to the relevant Committees, so that they do not become matters of Members of Parliament just appearing on television transacting business just for the same of it. I also want comprehensive follow ups and reports on Motions that we pass, so that we can know what has become of them. I am particularly encouraged by this Motion, as amended, because it seeks a resolution of this House. However, when the House resolves to do something through a Motion, it should lead to a Bill for the particular action to be taken. With those remarks, I fully support the Motion.
Yes, hon. Manson Onyongo Nyamweya.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker. I rise to support this timely Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This Motion is very important. It is important in the sense that it makes us to look back and reflect on the future of Kenya. Developed countries have developed because of good leadership, being industrious and thinking way and far ahead. We have Lee Kuan Yew, the maxim leader at one time of Singapore. We have Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. We have very prominent leaders who have changed their countries. If you look at where Malaysia and Singapore
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise in support of this Motion. Although it looks fairly technical, since you are raising issues of trade, when you talk about globalization, the central focus on globalization is trade. When you control the world in terms of trade, you control economic power, hence political power. So, I urge the House to go beyond this Motion because the issues that are raised in this Motion impact very heavily on the economic growth and development of Kenya and East Africa. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you interrogate issues of World Trade Organization (WTO), as originally formed in 1946, and look at its growth, the aim of WTO was to liberalize trade across nations. The assumption is that, trade among nations takes the nations as equal while on the contrary, nations are not equal and, therefore, trade cannot be based on equal partners. Looking at Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the European Union is trying to engage other trading blocs on issues of trade. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue before this House is that, if we enter into these agreements with the EPAs as currently constituted, the result is that trade will be very unfavourable to our nation. The bar set on EPAs is so high on agricultural products, manufactured products, health products and all other products going out of Kenya. Therefore, meaning that the trade imbalance between Kenya and Europe will be such that we will be disadvantaged. I am saying this because I have in mind products like horticulture, where we will be saying, for example, flowers should have minimum moisture content. So, the bar is so high that our flower products will not be able to enter the European market. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am aware there is already a case in court in Kenya on the issue of EPAs. If we pass the EPAs as currently constituted, then it means Kenya will not be able to access most of our health products like medicines, because most of the medicines cannot meet the standards. They will have a lot of negative impact on the agricultural, horticultural, manufactured goods and health sectors. Our textile industries as well as our industries in Thika have gone under. If we pass the EPAs as currently constituted, even whatever else is remaining will go under. Hon. Members, if a Kenyan doctor wants to practise medicine in the USA, however qualified he may be, he must go back to class. If a Kenyan lawyer goes to United Kingdom, he cannot practise law, but when professionals from those countries come here, they want us to receive them and they practise, even in other sectors.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Kajwang): Just a minute! Hon. Joseph M’uthari, can you request again, so that I have you here. You have requested several times.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while contributing to this Motion, perhaps, we need to emphasize the need for us to do thorough housekeeping. I would like to support this Motion while emphasizing the need for us to revisit our processes of negotiating and entering agreements. We have very many agreements that we have entered as a country. But what process do we take and whom do we involve and what skills do we have? Do we have the right negotiators? This is because the challenge we have here is that we even have some agreements that we do not know about. We do not take stock of the agreements we have and the benefits that we can accrue from the same. So, there is the issue of performance. It is one thing signing an agreement and it is another thing implementing and evaluating the levels of implementation. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while supporting this Motion, I would like to propose that we should endeavor to get away from negotiation that is informed by little tokens of lunch, dinner and air lifts. This is because these are the little things that convince Kenyan negotiators. As long as you are in someone else’s country then you get taken away, you take everything that he offers. We should get away from this trait. Of course, we have behind the scenes activities and negotiations.
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Obura, can you approach the Chair? Just approach the Chair. Would you approach the Chair?
No, hon. Chair!
That is an order from the Speaker’s Chair. You will be out of order not to oblige.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am---
Okay. I rule you out of order. Please, proceed, hon. Anami.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to underline the need for us to take stock of the contents of all the negotiations that we enter
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. With regard to the Member’s contribution, in particular his reference to our technical people at the Ministries’ level and their capacity and ability to engage on behalf of Kenya, let me say that I have had the opportunity to interact with representatives of the EU and our representatives. I can assure the Member that we have very able, competent and highly skilled representatives when it comes to negotiations over EPAs with the EU. Is he in order to refer to our negotiators as unskilled and incompetent?
Hon. Anami, finish your discussion in the next one or two minutes to be kind to the other Members who must contribute.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I would like to respond to the Member.
You do not have to respond. Please, finish your contribution within one minute.
Hon. Speaker, I would like to conclude by saying that I have been a very important player in these negotiations, especially the ACP. So, I am not talking from a point of ignorance. I know that very few Government departments are aware of the contents of the Cotonou Agreement, especially Article 27 which makes reference to our heritage and the need for us to link all our development to our cultural disposition which will guarantee sustainable development for our country.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker I rise to support this Motion. I would also like to congratulate hon. Dr. Laboso for this well thoughtout Motion. This part of the world is always pushed around by other people. This idea of having a moment to say that enough is enough is good. If we sign this agreement which will lead to the disadvantage of the nation--- Many times we export things, but the conditions that are given to us are very high. In the process we end up losing opportunities. It is high time we took advantage of things. We need to stand firm and say enough is enough. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker we need to direct our energy where we need to direct it. We have to look at our neighbours, for example, Uganda which is our main trading partner.
Hon. Merwaki, I do not want to interrupt you, but, please, let us use the next ten or so minutes wisely. Take four minutes so that other speakers express themselves.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is high time we became proactive. We need to take what we deserve and not what other countries think is good for us. It is neither a token nor a favor to engage in trade with other countries. It has to be negotiated so that we get what is good for our country. What we have been doing in the past is that we have allowed ourselves to be given a carrot which is bitter service. We end up signing agreements thinking they have advantages only for them to turn out to have many disadvantages. My submission is that we need to ask ourselves what is there for us in the bill. In many cases you find that even countries that have not signed certain protocols end up forcing other countries to comply when they themselves have not complied. What is not good for them they think is good for others. In terms of trade, we have to break away from the past. We need to spend our energies on negotiations which will benefit us more, for example, with our neighbours here. Enough is enough. If our past partners do not agree with us, we can always go to the other parts of the world. We have the East and other emerging economies of Africa. It is here where we are likely to benefit and be respected. We have what it takes to take up that space. With those remarks, I support.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and congratulate my namesake, hon. Dr. Joyce Laboso for bringing this Motion. We cannot go ahead and sign the EPAs given the condition they are in. We have to look at how they are going to affect our economy. Most times we sign these agreements only for them to hurt our economy. The Government has promised and is putting effort to grow our economy in the next five years. So, signing these agreements will hurt our economy. We also need to focus on how to manufacture. We need to focus on industrialization. It is the only way we will provide employment for our people. With regard to agriculture, we need to put more efforts there. That way, we will avoid imposing tax on small things like unga . In Africa, we have the potential. There is a lot we can do with our raw material instead of exporting them. It is high time we focused on manufacturing and industrialization in order to create employment. I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion and also congratulate the Mover, Dr. Joyce Laboso.
Thank you. Hon. Members, the time allotted for this Motion has long expired. Now, I want to call upon the Mover to reply. Mover, if you so wish you may donate time to hon. Moi. Hon. Moi, where are you?
I am here, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Yes, you have made a request and it depends on what the Mover will decide.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I feel magnanimous because I have not heard hon. Moi speak a lot in the House. I will donate, at least, three minutes to him to contribute.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also thank hon. (Dr.) Laboso. Mine will be very brief. If we do not sign these agreements, the consequences could be very devastating. On the other hand, we cannot just blindly sign these agreements because they are lopsided.
For example, the margin on the flower industry is 8 to 10 per cent. If we do not sign these agreements, what will happen is that the duty imposed by the European Union (EU) will be between 10 and 15 per cent. This will wipe out all the margins for the flower
Thank you for being brief.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank the hon. Members for the very good contributions that they have made to this Motion. Right from yesterday, it was very gratifying to know that hon. Members actually have a lot of information on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
As I mentioned yesterday, part of the reasons for bringing this Motion was in a way to inform hon. Members about what we do in the ACP, which is a parliament that this Parliament belongs to. I am sure that many a time, even in your Committees, you wonder what is the ACP that you are told people go to. To inform hon. Members, these are some of the things that we discuss.
My other colleagues, hon. Aden and hon. wa Kabando will be bringing other matters just for your attention and information, because we, as a Legislature, do not know the agreements that the Executive commits the country to in most cases. In most cases, those commitments actually impact on the very people we represent in this House.
Hon. Members, this is a Motion. What hon. Moi has said is true. We are in a catch 22 situation. We are saying that there are manufacturers and industries which will be affected; we have rightly mentioned the flower, the coffee, the tea and the horticultural industries. This is because we are probably on the brink of becoming an industrialized nation. Are these agreements helping us towards achieving that goal, or are they making it difficult for us to become industrialized? I am sure that the Government has been asking these questions. This is because, as you have rightfully observed, these negotiations started in 2000 and we are now in 2013.
I am glad hon. Muchai has said that we have very skilled negotiators, who are trying to get the best for the country. This is just some emphasis. We are not saying: “Do not sign the agreements”. I hope that you have clearly seen what my Motion is saying. We are resolving that the Government does not sign the EPAs in their current form. The point is not “do not sign”, it is “do not sign them in their current form”. The most favoured nation, the export taxes and development clauses were all explained elaborately by the Member who seconded the Motion yesterday.
I know that we are in a catch 22 situation. We are doomed if we sign the agreements in their present form. I tend to believe as many hon. Members have said in this House that we should increase trade amongst our blocs; that is the East African Community (EAC) and COMESA. We are already saying that the volume of trade that we have with those regions is much higher than the volume of trade that we have with the EU. Let us continue to look for agreements that are really beneficial to the Kenyan small- scale farmer. We are saying that what we are selling to the EAC and the COMESA are
Thank you. Hon. Members. I have considered a procedural issue. Under Standing Order No.1, I defer the putting of the Question on this Motion to Tuesday, next week.
Let us move on to the next Order please. Yes, hon. Florence Kajuju.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that khat ( miraa) is the economic mainstay of many people in Kenya and has led to economic growth and development in the country; noting that the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has continued to campaign against consumption of the commodity and classified khat ( miraa ) as a drug; concerned that most countries have banned chewing of khat ( miraa ) and others are in the process of banning entry of the product into their markets, including recommendation of severe penalties against consumers while others have granted the Government of Kenya a window period to consider the suitability of the product for export; further noting that recent research has established that khat (miraa) is not a drug and, therefore, appropriate legislation should be put in place to regulate the industry, this House resolves to establish an ad-hoc committee to comprehensively investigate, inquire into all matters relating to khat (miraa), consider and review all research findings and make recommendations to the House within 90 days, and that the Committee comprises the following Members:-
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Mwaura, this is a very interesting debate. Why would you want to interrupt it? What is out of order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise as a matter of concern; if already the hon. Member, my friend, hon. Kajuju, has expectation of the findings of this Committee, then is it in order then to constitute it? This is because she says that she expects that this Committee will find that miraa can cure some diseases.
Hon. Mwaura, just resume your seat. I will guide you. That will form part of the issues for debate when the Question has been proposed. Allow the Mover of the Motion to move it, it be seconded and then we will have all the time to debate everything we want to debate here. Florence, please proceed.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for protecting me. I think the sooner we learn the Standing Orders the better for everyone.
As I was saying, if you have chest problems you can partake of miraa and be cured. I say this because I have partaken of miraa; I speak as a person who has chewed
with my grandmother since I was a young girl in the village; I speak from experience.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, miraa has a nutritional value. Miraa contains vitamin C. It contains niacin. It contains vitamins, amino acids and other minerals; that is why Meru women are very beautiful.
We have very strong men.
Order, obviously that goes without doubt; continue, Florence.
Thank you hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. However, what is shocking is that there have been allegations that miraa causes insanity and other problems that the world alleges, but which they do not know. Miraa provides employment to very many people within the Meru community. It employs farmers, harvesters, packers, loaders, wholesale and retail traders and transporters. Even the manufacturers of Toyota Kenya get money from miraa produce through the sale of their pick-ups. That is why miraa is important to the economy of this Republic. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will find that 80 per cent of the Nyambene people in particular, who are within Meru County, depend directly or indirectly on miraa trade, which is the source of their livelihood. It has been alleged, as I
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I just want to correct my colleague that, that particular reference she is making is not from the Koran. I can say with great certainty that the Koran does not speak about miraa . She needs to cite the authority of the particular statement that she has just made. We will not allow the House to be misled. So, that particular statement is not from the Koran. The Koran is not in support of miraa, as far as I know. Thank you.
Hon. Kajwang): Thank you. Hon. Kajuju, you were on the right track until you entered into dangerous grounds. But we will be fair with
I am about to conclude, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think at the point you have directed, I will sit down with my friend and I will show him that I have done a lot of research on this; but I stand guided. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have the celebrated elders of Meru called the “ Njuri Ncheke” . If, indeed, miraa was affecting our young men, the first people who would have banned miraa would have been the Njuri Ncheke elders in Meru. They are very celebrated wise old men. They will do anything to protect the culture of the Meru people. The first people who have always said that miraa should be partaken of by the people of Meru are the Njuri Ncheke elders. We trust and believe in them. So, due to this, combined with the scientific research that we have, we will expect the proposed Committee to tell us, after tabling all the research, that miraa is not a drug. That is why I thought it was important that the 11th Parliament will go down in history as the first House to deliberate on the issue of miraa, and come up with a solution. I believe we will be helping the Government when we table the report; God willing it will be adopted in this House, and we will give direction, not just to the people of Meru, but also to people the world over, who are illegally banning miraa without proper knowledge. With those remarks, I beg to move the Motion and sincerely pray that it be passed in this 11th Parliament. I, therefore, seek the hand of my brother, not in marriage, but in seconding this Motion.
Hon. Kajwang): Who is the lucky suitor who will second this Motion?
I seek the hand of my brother, hon. Joseph M’uthari.
Hon. Kajwang): Okay, I see. Thank you. All right; hon. M’uthari, you may proceed.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Let me take this opportunity to second this Motion. Miraa is very important in our community. It is very important in the economy of Meru, especially in the counties of Meru, Tharaka/Nithi and Embu. There is a lot of miraa growing in those counties. I would like us to confirm one thing; people with different thoughts about miraa can look at me. I have been chewing miraa for more than 30 years. You can see I am okay. At least, if one is in doubt, he can try--- I have chewed miraa for more than 30 years, and I am a miraa farmer; even my great grandfather was a farmer; we have a farm. These are not stories; even after this, I have a gitundu in my vehicle; I am going to chew it. For people who are in doubt, miraa is a good crop; it is just because this crop has been neglected and people do not know about it; because of that, they condemn it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are other crops whose effects are known scientifically, but they are sold all over the world; an example is tobacco and the other products. Miraa is not like beer; it is not something that can even lead to addiction. But, as with any other products, if you take too much of it, you may have a problem. But
, as a crop, is just a stimulant; it stimulates you. If you want concentration--- Even the Chair can try it. If you want a bit of stimulation--- Maybe you want to concentrate on a serious assignment, you take a bit of miraa .
Hon. Kajwang): I do not think you are serious about that, but you may proceed.
Thank you, Sir. So, I am saying that miraa is a crop and there are so many people who are employed in the miraa industry. There are so many people whose livelihood depends on miraa . We need a serious committee so that it can remove the myth, then we work on the facts and put miraa in the right place. For many years,
has been condemned, yet the Government benefits from it. Exports of miraa bring in foreign exchange of more than Kshs4 billion. The money that comes to this Republic from the sale of miraa --- Even airlines also get money from miraa . As I said, the problem with miraa is that it has been condemned, because nobody ever took interest in it. This is why we are asking this House to pass this Motion. We want to have the proposed committee and then the Government can be advised appropriately. We can carry out research; in the past it has been carried out. It is scientifically proven that the issues that are associated--- There are claims which are not substantiated. So, let us have this committee; it will go round and get materials from the studies carried out. We are aware that in some of the countries where this crop was taken seriously--- A country like Yemen has more than seven products that are obtained from
and exported to various parts of the world. In that country the products are scientifically and hygienically packaged and marketed. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we never put money into this crop in this country. Even people from NACADA who condemn miraa are yet to get studies carried out by other people to know what was found in miraa. Even if they found out information to support their claim, we need to know who funded the research. Sometimes, you can use research to justify even what is not correct; at times we say that whoever pays the piper calls the tune. So, you may have people who are funded so that they condemn the good crop in the interests of people who do not know it. I support that we establish a select committee that will be able to distil the correct information about miraa and which can be shared out. We need to have a body that will deal with miraa, just as we have a body dealing with coffee, tea and dairy farming. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, miraa is a big industry; if we take care of it, then it can provide more employment; it should be given the right space and then people can also learn about it. We also need to expand our economy. When you depend on other people, you are subjected to shameful actions, or you live a life that has no dignity. In this country, for so many years we have known that miraa is not bad, but because the World Health Organization (WHO), or whoever does not like miraa condemns it out of ignorance, then we accept that and do not treat it like other crops. If you go to the Ministry, you will have nothing written about miraa ; there are no extension services for miraa farmers. If you go to the greater Meru, most of the farms, or almost all the arable areas are under miraa .
is the mainstay of people, especially in the greater region of Meru north; it is cultivated by a big segment of the Meru population. So, condemning miraa is like condemning a population of more than two million people, who depend on this crop for their livelihood. This is the reason why we are asking hon. Members of this House to
Members, this Motion is very interesting and you may not know that you have taken so long canvassing it.
Hon. Aburi, I understand you do not have your card. I hope it is not associated with miraa chewing. Could you approach the Dispatch Box and make your contribution?
Asante, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Historia ya miraa ni ndefu sana. Katika mwaka wa 1814, kulingana na historia ya jamii ya Wameru, miraa iliponya mzee mmoja, Bw. Laibuta, aliyekuwa na ugongjwa wa kifua kikuu wakati kulikuwa hakuna hospitali Meru. Watu waliona kuwa huyo mzee angekufa lakini wazee walichemshia
na wakaitengeneza ikawa maji maji. Walimpatia huyo mzee hayo maji ya miraa kwa wiki moja na akapona na kuishi maisha mema tangu wakati huo. Ninaunga mkono Hoja hii kwa sababu katika jamii ya Wameru, ukitaka kumleta bibi nyumbani ni lazima uwe na miraa . Bila miraa, huwezi kumleta bibi nyumbani.
ni kitu cha maana sana kwa Wameru. Tukizozana au ukosane na mzee wa rika yako ama mama, unaletewa miraa na wazee ambayo imetemewa mate ndio uile na kusema kwamba wewe hukutenda mambo ambayo unawekelewa. Zamani hakukuwa na koti; koti ilikuwa ni ya wazee wa Njuri Ncheke. Wazee wa Njuri Ncheke wakisema kuwa
Na simiti pamoja. Bwana Naibu Spika wa Muda kama alivyosema mhe Kajuju, Wameru wanategemea miraa kwa kiwango kikubwa. Wameru wanapokea zaidi ya Ksh20 million kila siku pale Muringene. Miraa nyingine ipo pale Tigania East, mahali panaitwa Mlango. Hizo ni pesa nyingi na ndizo zinatumika kusomesha watoto. Hatuna mahali pengine pa kupata pesa. Sisi Wameru hatuna kitu kingine cha kutegemea ila kilimo cha
Tunataka kilimo cha miraa kiwe sawa na kilimo cha mahindi, majani chai, kahawa ama ndizi. Hii ni kwa sababu miraa ni chakula kama vyakula vingine. Watu waliompigia mhe Wanjohi kura kule Mathare ni wafanyi biashara wa
; walikuwa watu zaidi ya asilimia 80.
Pesa zinazoingia katika jimbo la Meru kutoka kwa mhe Wanjohi ni nyingi mno. Mimi naunga mkono kwamba biashara ya miraa iendelee. Wakati wa vita kule Turbo, Eldoret, na Molo mwaka wa 2007 mlisoma kwenye magazeti kwamba watu waliobebwa na mabasi ya Eldoret Express walimwagwa pale Gakoromone sokoni. Waliingia katika benki ya Equity na wakapewa kila mtu Ksh50,000. Vijana wetu Wameru waliokuwa wakifanya hawking walipewa pesa wakanunua nguo na bidhaa nyingine ili wafanye biashara. Je, mkipiga miraa marufuku na hali kazi ya hawking miraa ilifungwa,
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand to oppose this Motion. This is with the full understanding and appreciation of the cross-cultural ties. I respect the cultural issues surrounding miraa in terms of marriage and all that. However, miraa has been the cause--- I am speaking because my community is largely in the consumption end of miraa . So, I am also a very important stakeholder speaking on this.
has been the root cause of devastation in north eastern Kenya and in the coastal region of this country. These parts are the largest consumers of miraa . I must say that the interests, health and well-being of Kenyans far supersede any economic gain that there might be in miraa . As has been stated here, the crop is a cash earner for many hon. Members seated here. I am surprised that my good friend here says that he has chewed miraa for the last 30 years. If you go to Garissa, somebody who has chewed miraa for 30 years will not be able to smile at you. This is because he has no teeth to show. Even eating food is a problem.
has also broken families because when people get some little money they run to buy one kilogramme or nusu kilogramme of miraa, yet his children are hungry. I cannot stand here and support miraa . Indeed, I have full faith in the good work NACADA is doing. We cannot afford to insult NACADA. It works day in, day out in the interests of Kenyans. They are out to look for what is harmful to Kenyans and then inform us about it. In my view, NACADA should be supported in ensuring that miraa is, indeed, included amongst the drugs that need to be controlled. Unless we want to close our eyes and say that miraa is good, one does not need to walk for long hours to realize that our youngsters in school run away from their classes to go and chew miraa . That becomes a habit and it is the root cause of poor performance in schools.
is a drug that has economically impoverished the people of the former North Eastern and Coast provinces. I am sure it is the same thing here in Nairobi and other areas. If countries like the UK, which have a high level of sophistication in testing the amount of harmful content in a product, have declared that this crop is harmful, who are we to stand here and urge Kenyans to continue consuming this product?
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the hon. Member in order to mislead this House that Great Britain has banned miraa because of the analysis they have done on it? He needs to read the facts! They are associating miraa with other factors not related to the--- This Motion is proper. So, he should get his facts right.
But he is not out of order. He is debating. Is that not so?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in Netherlands consumption of cocaine is allowed. However, that country has banned miraa . How harmful is miraa then? This is nothing against the farmer. The agricultural farmlands in Meru could be used in the production of cash crops that we could export to international communities. That is the direction we need to take. We should think of how we can replace miraa with crops which are good money earners. The other correction I want to make is that miraa has no importance in Islam. It has no room in the Quran. It should not even be associated with the Quran. As a Muslim, I can say that with authority. There could be many Muslims, who consume miraa, but there is no quotation in the Quran, or anywhere in other books on Islam, that supports the consumption of miraa. Miraa is a harmful product and NACADA is doing the right thing to protect the Kenyan public from harm. Indeed, I support that particular effort by NACADA. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose this Motion because it proposes promotion of this crop. We do not need to form a committee. What for? NACADA has experts whom we can call. We just need to instruct our Departmental Committee on Health to summon NACADA officials, so that they can tell us the basis on which they have reached their decision. Sending the 23 hon. Members on a mission whose result is available with NACADA right now is a waste of time for these Members. Miraa is no doubt harmful and I oppose its cultivation. I want to tell our farmers in Meru that the world is closing in on miraa, and we must be very realistic. In my community, we say that when the sun is rising, you cannot cover it with your hand. This is because it will be seen all over. We need to start guiding our Meru farmers and ask them: “My dear brothers and sisters, how can we prepare you for the reality of tomorrow? How can we move to other sustainable agricultural income-generating activities that can replace the income that you currently get from miraa ?” My very good friend, Mr. Aburi, if you have a shamba start dividing it into two. W acha miraa yako ikae on one piece, if you love it dearly as you have explained here, and start growing other cash crops on the other piece. Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I oppose this Motion.
Thank you very much. We have heard it from hon. Aburi, the producer of miraa and hon. Aden, the consumer of
. Let us hear also from hon. Priscilla, the lawyer. What are the legal effects of
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. May I start by declaring that I am not a consumer of miraa and I have never chewed miraa. However, I congratulate my friend, hon. Kajuju, for this Motion. This is, indeed, what it means to represent our people. When we come to the Floor of this House, we have to bring issues that matter to the people whom we represent. So, she should receive my congratulations.
Hon. Njuki, do you have an intervention?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is just an intervention and not a point of order. I want to make a humble request. When I look at my watch, we have only 15 minutes remaining---
Just hold on! I want to hear from hon. Priscilla. I wanted her to finish her submission.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was going to propose that you reduce the debating time to a few minutes, so that those who are here can also contribute.
I am not inclined to do that because this is a lively debate, and I think hon. Members are entitled to debate it properly. We may not debate it fully today. We should subject this Motion to more debate on Tuesday, so that we can hear what the majority of hon. Members want to say about this subject. So, thank you very much for caring about us, but allow hon. Kanyua to finish her submission.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am guided. Rarely do I take all the ten minutes, anyway.
I also want to turn on to the question of law, as you guided earlier on. If you look at the law, you will find that sometimes societies get ahead of the law; I think that is what is happening in this particular case. A society has been consuming miraa for many years and the law has to look at that matter now, and see whether it is possible to have both legislation and policy on the matter. In any society, at no point in time has the law ever been fast enough for the society. I urge that our laws should also protect this product if it is, indeed, found by the proposed committee to be useful. I think the economic benefits have been explained by the earlier speakers. I am also in support of the formation of the proposed committee to look at social issues.
I travel on the Nyeri Road through Embu and the drivers of the miraa vehicles are reckless; you do not want to be on the road when they are driving. This committee should look at this issue. I have been unable to understand why they drive recklessly. Must they hurry so much? Is it because there is no policy on how this product should be transported, or because the airport and the roads will close, and so they really have to dash? I hope that this committee will look at the other social issues that this particular product has brought up.
In the areas I have visited, again it is only the jobless young people who seem to use this particular product. The proposed committee should find out whether there is a connection between unemployment and consumption of miraa . This is because many of
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I must also start by issuing a clear statement that I am neither a producer nor a consumer of miraa . However, I happen to be a good spectator of people who use this product. As hon. Kanyua has said, they are not of the calibre of my friend, hon. Aburi.
I rise to oppose this Motion because of the examples that have been given here. Even the drivers whom we see drive crazily will not convince us that they do so without the influence of miraa . This is the case, yet they endanger the lives of many people. Many have also been reported to have died because of rushing to the airport. I wonder why this country has not even established an authority to regulate this product; we have to export it to Yemen, which we have been told produces seven products.
While there has been a cultural attachment to this product, my take is that it is the same thing with coffee in central Kenya, particularly in Kiambu County, where hon. Waititu, who is my friend, and I come from. There has been cultural attachment to coffee, but this crop is slowly giving way to real estate and other forms of development. I do not think that lack of support for this crop will mean a dead end for our dear brothers and sisters in Meru County. If this is the case, I think it should be made very clear.
Tobacco was a very popular product for a very long time. However, today, every advertisement warns of its dangers. We even have special smoking zones for tobacco users on the streets. We know that there are some multinationals, like the British American Tobacco (BAT), that benefit from the vending of this product, but it is, indeed, harmful to our society. Therefore, it will not be in order to accept the use of this product. In fact, one hon. Member told us that miraa has effects if you consume a lot of it. That is why it affects the poor people; this is because they have nothing else to do other than consume it in large quantities. I do not know whether they also consume it to
Order! Order! Hon. Mwaura, did you talk about boys or cows? What did you say? Did I hear something like “cowboy”?
Can you rise and confirm whether I heard you say something like “cowboy”?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if I said “cowboy” by mistake, I withdraw.
No, can you withdraw unequivocally?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I withdraw.
Okay; you may proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if you look at the list, as I was reading it out, it becomes clear that this issue---
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to refer to hon. Muriuki Njagagua as a Meru when, in fact, I came to this House courtesy of the good people of Mbeere North? I believe that the hon. Member is out of order. Just as everybody else has submitted, miraa has its cultural value amongst the people of Mbeere.
Hon. Mwaura, you now get to know that some people may not be coming from where you thought they come. Please, proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was only reading the names proposed in the Motion. They are also producers and consumers. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, while I really support the bit of socio-economic development and preservation of culture of our people, anything that is harmful should be
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to cite FGM and compare it with the illegality of miraa ? There has been no major research that has given the consequences of FGM. So, the hon. Member is quite out of order.
Hon. Korere, as far as I am able to re-collect, “FGM” is a very decent terminology in our jurisprudence. You will have time to contribute and oppose. To that extent, hon. Mwaura is okay. You may proceed, hon. Mwaura.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Maybe, I should replace that with---
You are really eating into your time, hon. Mwaura!
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Maybe, I should replace that tern with “female circumcision”. I am saying that cultural addition happens over time. Culture is a people’s way of life. Therefore, it has to be in tune with the realities of the day. There has been the tendency of thinking that culture is something which is put somewhere for admiration. Culture must serve the purposes of its people. Therefore, if there is research evidence from various institutions, including some in countries like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, in addition to the research findings of NACADA, we need to interrogate it but through the Departmental Committee on Health. With those remarks, I beg to oppose.
Thank you. Let us now hear from the pastoralist community. Yes, hon. ole Ntutu.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Motion. The reason as to why I support the Motion---
Hon. ole Ntutu, please, take only two minutes, because our hour is not very good. You will remember that miraa is not just grown in Meru. It is also grown in the Gwassi Hills. So, can you take two minutes, so that others can also be heard?
I am most obliged, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to take this opportunity to, first of all, congratulate my good friend, hon. Kajuju, for bringing this Motion to the House. In my understanding, the proposed ad hoc committee will be looking into the matter because miraa has not been understood by many people. I remember that when we were interviewing one of our Principal Secretaries nominee, who is a doctor, he was asked whether miraa was one of the harmful drugs, to which he answered that it was a leaf which needed to be studied. This means that even doctors in our country do not understand what miraa is. Therefore, I support the Motion, so that the proposed ad hoc committee can look into the details of this matter and do good work, so that we can understand, as a country, what miraa really is.
Thank you, hon. ole Ntutu. Hon. Ng’ongo, I need to explain that you have the sympathy of the Chair, because I learnt somewhere that miraa is also grown in Gwassi Constituency. So, let us have your say.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to confirm that Gwassi Hills has miraa, and that it has the potential of growing a lot of miraa . When I went to a place called “Got Kombuta”, I was shocked. There is a lot of miraa in that area. Having said so, I want to say that those who are opposed to the Motion---
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Some of us have been seated in this House for quite a long time, because we are also very keen to contribute; but, all of a sudden, you gave the Floor to the hon. Member who has just walked in. It is not in the interests of fairness that you did so.
Hon. Ghati, I thank you for your observation but that is why I explained that he had the sympathy of the Speaker. You may proceed, hon. Ng’ongo.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Hon. Members also need to realise that there are many factors for consideration in catching the Chair’s eye; they include regional balance. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, those who are opposing the Motion---
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Member, I cannot even see your name on my intervention list. So, could you, please, resume your seat? Hon. Ng’ongo, could you proceed?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate because time is running out. Let me just put it in very few words in the two minutes that are remaining.
Those who are opposing hon. Kajuju’s Motion have, probably, not understood its import. Its import is to establish a select committee to investigate and carry out research with a view to establishing what miraa really is. We cannot wish away the fact that there are certain regions in this country, especially the Meru region, which grow a lot of miraa . This is not something to hide. This has the potential of bringing the economy of that region to a very high standing. This crop should be treated differently from the way it is treated currently. So, I support that we set up the proposed committee of eminent and prominent hon. Members of this House to carry out research and bring a report to the
Hon. Members, I sympathise with those of you who have not had time to ventilate on this debate. We will ventilate on it next time we come back to the House.
Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt our business. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until Tuesday, 9th July, 2013 at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.