Hon. Members, we do not have the requisite quorum to begin transacting any business. I, therefore, direct that the Division Bell be rung.
You may stop the Bell now. I thank hon. Chris Wamalwa for fishing out people who were either in their various stages of arriving.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, aware that there are many factors which contribute to student’s academic performance including genetics and environment of family, friends and neighbourhood; further aware that teachers are the most important factors amongst school’s related factors that impact student’s performance and the headteachers and District Education Officers (DEOs) are the second to teachers in terms of impact on students; deeply concerned that the longer the headteachers and DEOs stay in a work station, the less productive they become due to laxity in enforcing rules and procedures; this House resolves that the Government ensures that the headteachers and DEOs are transferred to other schools after five years of service and when the need arises to maintain and improve students’ performance especially in upcountry schools.
Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Speaker, much as we were struggling to raise quorum this morning and much as we struggled to attain gender balance, I note that even as my sisters The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
are walking in, we are struggling to raise ten hon. lady Members in the House. We seem to have a problem getting our quota of the opposite gender in the House. Kindly direct.
Perhaps, the hour of Sitting was not gender sensitive. Maybe, 9.00 a.m. is too early for a certain gender.
Hon. David Wafula.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I am seeking your guidance with regard to quorum. I have realized that every Wednesday, we are not able to raise quorum. I am seeking your guidance on this issue. We cannot continue living in this situation. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
It is true that we had to wait for nearly ten minutes. It had to to take the intervention of hon. Chris Wamalwa to go and fish out the many Members who were still in their various stages of appreciating that Parliament starts at 9.00 a.m. It is up to you as a House to decide whether you want to begin at 9.00 a.m. or 10.00 a.m. because the rules are very clear. On Wednesday morning, Parliament sits at 9.00 a.m. but also your own Standing Order No.34 says that no business shall commence after prayers unless the House collates and the quorum is as fixed in the Constitution. Article 121 of the Constitution requires the quorum to be 50 Members. So, I would encourage both genders to try and wake up a little earlier on Wednesdays. Even those who go to the gym should try and make time to be present, at least. It reflects very badly on the House that we cannot start transacting business because Members have not thought it wise to be in the Chamber at the appointed time. I cannot pick a whip. If we cannot raise a quorum after ten minutes, your own Standing Orders say that the Bell will ring for another five minutes. If we still do not collate, then we adjourn the Sitting of the House. That is in the Standing Orders. There is nothing I can do. It is you who may wish to decide whether you want to stick to that or make sure that, at least, you are available. Hon. Richard Onyonka, do you want to say something?
Hon. Speaker, I am using hon. Bosire’s microphone. I have been having a serious challenge on carrying my card, but I am working on that. Is there a possibility that there is a reasonable assumption that we do not have quorum because Members of the House have no offices? We have got no houses to stay in because our mortgages are not ready. There are many outstanding issues. I seem to think that there is likelihood that this could be a go-slow.
Hon. Speaker, I think through your leadership, this will be the last time hon. Onyonka is using another Member’s card. You made a serious ruling and the Deputy Speaker enforced it last week. However, on the issue of quorum, I want to urge my colleagues that the image of Parliament is at stake. Even this morning, the papers are running that the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill yesterday could not be put to Question because there was no quorum. There were no The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Members to debate it. The same happened to the Tax Appeals Tribunal Bill and Kenyans are watching.
Hon. Speaker, if you look at the country, there are Kenyans who wake up at 5.00 a.m. in the morning. Those who drive matatus wake up at 2.00 a.m. They come to work and make sure they participate in nation building. If we the leaders cannot come to the House, then that is shameful. The Division Bell has been ringing on all the Wednesday mornings since this House started because we have had issues with quorum. So, we need to be a role model and show the country that we are a working nation. The leadership should show that.
Hon. Speaker, I am sure people will not agree with me but hon. Uhuru Kenyatta is always in his office at 7.00 a.m. every day. If the President can be in his office at 7.00 a.m. and yet Members of Parliament cannot raise quorum at 9.00 a.m. then that is a poor show. Even the good retired General Nkaissery drives all the way from Kitengela. There are Members who come from Ngong and Thika. I am sure we can redeem our image. As you said, it is for us to be serious. We raised this issue in the House Business Committee (HBC). Let us make sure that we come here and raise the quorum. If we cannot raise 50 Members out of 349, then it is a shame. It is a serious matter. We cannot get 50 Members out of the 349 but, as you said, this is a matter for the membership and I am sure lack of offices should not be an excuse. We will get offices but that should not be an excuse. Those of us who are good Muslims and good Christians pray at 5 o’clock in the morning. After we pray, we do not go back to bed unless there are other reasons which I do not want to say.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I want to make this clear; Members are very busy and could be elsewhere transacting business for this country. It is not true that they are sleeping and that is why they are not here. Those who are absent are either in their constituencies or are on their way here. Anybody purporting to say that they are sleeping is wrong. I have never been absent since I was sworn in as a Member of Parliament. As for the rest, I have followed and found that most of them have offices far away from the Central Business District (CBD). So, let us accept that there is a problem, until offices are made available. The Leader of Majority Party has an office within the precincts of Parliament. I do not even have an office. My bedroom is my office. I have to go through the day’s agenda in my room from 6.00 a.m. and it usually takes me two hours.
Now, you may resume your seat. Hon. Members, let me make this clear. The rule that this House sits at 9.00 a.m. on Wednesday mornings is not new even to the first-timers. It has always been the tradition in Kenya. I appreciate that since the 9th Parliament, when we got offices, life became much easier for Members. But we also recognize that in the 11th Parliament, we have a total of 133 Members who still do not have offices, and all of them are from the National Assembly. That matter is being addressed and from the end of this month, if any Member will not have been allocated an office, they will be eligible to receive Kshs.75,000 to rent an office, until such a time The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
when the Parliamentary Service Commission will be able to provide that Member with an Office.
This decision was made by the Commission yesterday. This is in realization that we are suffering partly because of what hon. Serem has just said. We know some of you are working from your cars, corridors and, perhaps, on a lighter note, from your houses or bedrooms. But it is not right for hon. Serem to say that Members, on Wednesday Mornings, are in their constituencies and making this an excuse not to be in the House. It makes absolute nonsense to have the rules and the calendar, which places Wednesday morning as a Sitting day between the hours of 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Members are also encouraged to remember that, even though they have engagements in their constituencies, they are also able to participate in the key role of overseeing and legislating as well as representing their people here in this House. Hon. Members, let us not go the route of saying we are not here because we are at another place. I am sure those of us who may remember history, we have worked from the corridors and streets, but all that the Leader of Majority Party is saying is: Let us also have time for the House. Let us give leadership. We cannot say that we want others to perform and we want to oversee them and yet, we do not want to also show leadership. It is not a directive that Members be present, but is a request which is brought out in the Standing Orders and in the Constitution. So that we do not escalate this debate, let us put it in our diaries that on Wednesday morning at 9.00 a.m. we will be here. For the information of the House, this is going to be the order of business with regard to Statements and Requests for Statements by Members. Having noticed that there are many requests coming from Members, and all of them cannot be processed on the same day, the House Business Committee has resolved that, Wednesday mornings, the hour of 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. be devoted to receiving responses to requests, and another one hour be allocated on Thursday afternoons from 2.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m., or such other time that does not exceed one hour. The Chairs of Committees will be required henceforth, starting from next week, to make sure that when they are making responses, they have given them to the Clerk, to be put on the Order Paper, so that the Member making the request is aware that his or her request will be responded to on a given day, either on Wednesday morning between 9.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m., or on Thursday afternoon between 2.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. This will help us to move on. We all know this system is new, and this way we will be able to minimize the instances, like yesterday where Statements are ready but the Members who had requested them were not in the Chamber. It is not fair that a Member who made a request has it dropped. Henceforth, if the request is put on the Order Paper for either Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, as I have stated, and the Member who made the request is not present, then it will be dropped. That is the decision of the House Business Committee, moving forward. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir, for that ruling. I want to comment on the issue that has come up this morning because of lack of quorum. It is very sad when we give excuses about traffic jams and other things. For example, my group and I are normally in Parliament by 6.30 a.m. and a Member like Maj-Gen. Nkaiserry who comes from very far and is a Member of our group is normally in the prayer room by 6.45 a.m. We would urge all the Members to make it their responsibility to be here on time. That is because it does not set a good example when the Speaker comes to the House and does not find hon. Members so as to conduct business. Looking at the number of Members we have in the House, on one side, we have quite a good number but across on the other side, where my brothers normally sit, it is almost completely empty. We just have a few people. We are actually appealing to our brothers on the CORD side, even though they are in the campaign mode, to remember they still have some serious business to conduct in this House. It is not campaigning alone that will drive this country forward.
Sorry Members; I have made the ruling. I think it is not necessary for us to debate the matter any further. We have the quorum to transact business. Let us not dwell on the issue of quorum.
( Loud consultations )
On a point of order, hon. Speaker, Sir.
But not on the issue of quorum!
Yes, not on the issue of quorum, but a point of order.
Hon. Cheptumo, take the Floor.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I wish to thank you for directing that from next month, our colleagues who do not have offices will be paid Kshs.75,000. The question which is going to arise is that, if we give some from November, what happens between the time they were sworn in and now? An inevitable situation is going to arise.
Hon. Cheptumo, I know you are serving for the second term. I thought that by now and being a lawyer, you should know better than the rest of hon. Members, at least majority of them that, that is not the way to begin examining that matter. The issue you have raised has been considered alongside other considerations, those who got their offices in June and the ones who got theirs in August should also be considered. It touches on many other aspects of governance which we cannot begin debating at this point.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. While I appreciate your ruling on the issue of the responses to hon. Members; I as well request you to order that questions should be put on the Order Paper for the Chairpersons to respond on time. I think it should be both ways.
What did you say?
The requests from hon. Members should be put on the Order Paper so that, at least, we can have time to look at them.
That usually happens. It suffices that every hon. Member is at liberty to go to the Speaker. But again, the procedure should be clear. Go to the Clerk’s The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Office. Let them look at the request so as to advise the Speaker in approving those requests.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker. I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order 34 which is with regard to the quorum of the House and with regard to what my colleague, hon. Wambugu, has said. It is, indeed, true that perhaps, most hon. Members of the CORD side of the House are not present. But it is with regard to what hon. Members of CORD Parliamentary Group feel; it is like a selective notification by the people who sit on the Chair. Most hon. Members of the CORD side have raised frustrations in terms of not being able to catch the Speaker’s eye. So, they really find it a little bit difficult to always sit here and stay for too long without catching the eye of whoever is in the Chair. Of course, hon. Members have to protest, but I am not speaking just for myself. It is frustration that has been aired by several hon. Members. My appeal then would be that the people who sit on the Chair should give us equitable chances so that we are, at least, able to participate in matters of the House. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
On a point of order, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, this is not a matter that should really exercise you. The hon. Augustine Neto Oyugi sits to the left of hon. Speaker and he has just spoken. So, that just proves that what he is saying is really not in order. It is not feasible that only one side of the House will speak. It is not possible. We always allow both sides of the House to be heard. But I do not think it is really fair.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. While I appreciate your ruling on the matter of the offices, I note with appreciation that you mentioned that 133 hon. Members have not been allocated offices. I would like to bring to your attention that almost three quarters of hon. Members who were allocated offices at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) have not occupied their offices; especially the offices that are occupied by the former Ministry of the Nairobi Metropolitan; which I believe is under the County of Nairobi. If there is something that you can do about it; in your record, it shows we have offices, but virtually, we do not have any offices.
I am aware of that and the matter is being addressed. Before the end of this week, you will get an answer.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I want to appreciate very much your ruling on the issue of offices. I am one of the victims of lack of office and I think we have treated this issue of offices far too casually. I have worked in so many places and even if there are no offices---
I am struggling to hear what you are saying.
I am just saying that I appreciate your ruling on the issue of offices. I think it is coming too late. It became a fact that you will have 349 hon. Members in Parliament four years ago when the Constitution of Kenya was promulgated. But there is something that is very worrying about the Commission that is supposed to deal with hon. Members’ welfare. I have worked in so many places and I do not mind if there are no offices for this long. But there should be some sort of information to tell us what is going on. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Until today, nobody has ever told me why I do not have an office. I have lied far too many times to my constituents. Some of them think that I do not want to tell them where my office is. I think I am happy today. I hope your ruling works so that at the end of the month, we have an answer. If it does not, could we just be getting information on what is going on? I want to put this to the Commission because they seem to be very causal about what they have been assigned to do. Thank you.
Very well. Of course, I do not want to respond to the issue of why there were no plans for offices. I think the idea was to get offices from KICC alongside others. Maybe, we should take what they say: “Better late than never.” Therefore, the hon. Lati will finally have some office space.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. My concern is also about offices. As you know, even the people who are employed at the constituencies are paid by hon. Members in order to sustain them. That is because money that comes quarterly is very hard to get. Here in Nairobi, most hon. Members are going through very hard times at the moment because they have also rented offices. I am lucky to come from Juja Constituency. My friend, Simba Arati who is a close friend now--- Most of them do not have offices around the Central Business District (CBD). Renting an office in the CBD with the little money that we get here, you can only get an office outside the CBD and at a far distance. So, it is important that the offices that we are provided for by the Government be given to the people who come from far. Hon. Speaker, if I had an office, I would have given it to somebody whom I know is suffering. I have seen many with their constituents outside the gate because they are not allowed to come inside Parliament. They share the problems of their constituents outside this Parliament. So, it is important as our Speaker, to consider us because some of us are really suffering. About hon. Members being late on Wednesdays, I wake up at 5.00 a.m. and there is traffic jam on the super highway. When all the cars are going to the CBD, there is a lot of jam. So, we could ask: If an hon. Member is stuck in the jam and there is a police officer around, they allow us to move so that we are here in time. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, that point is noted. I can imagine there will be all manner of reasons why people will find themselves in traffic jams. So, the police will have a hectic time trying to find out who is held up in which jam and on which road. It is likely to be quite a tedious exercise for them to enforce. Let us now go for the business of the House.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Following your direction on the House Business Committee (HBC), I have a Statement to read. I will be reading Statements on Wednesday morning. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The hon. Member for Kitutu Masaba, the hon. Timothy Bosire, requested for a Statement on the status and progress of the implementation of the ICT Integration in primary education; that is the Laptop Project.
(i) The Cabinet approved the Ministry’s ICT Integration Strategy of a hybrid access model which implies the following:-
(a) The Provisions of laptops in Standard One as a curriculum reform agenda in curriculum delivery. In this case, each pupil---
That Member who is there, it is just the other day you had an induction workshop. Even the Lady hon. Member, these greetings! This is the National Assembly.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, hon. Nyiva Mwendwa is not even listening to you. She is still continuing with the greetings. I beg to proceed. (a) The provisions that each pupil joining Standard One in 2014 will get a laptop but owned and stored at the school. The laptop shall also be accessible to other learners. (b) The adoption of a phrased whole school access approach which is called the mobile up in the second and the subsequent years of implementation whereby every learner will access a laptop on one to one ratio and on the need basis. This will guarantee equity and quality for all classes. (ii) The approval for institutional framework for the implementation of the laptop programme. On 13th August, 2013, the Cabinet approved the institutional structure to oversee the implementation of the laptop programme as follows:- (a) These are the institutions that were formed to fast-track and make sure that the implementatin is up to date. First, the Cabinet Committee, selected by the Cabinet and its role is to provide overall leadership and policy direction on this programme. (b) There was a formation of the National Selling Committee. This is a team of Principal Secretaries drawn from the various Ministries that have a critical role in the implementation of the laptop project. The Committee is mandated to provide all oversight, co-ordinate, resource mobilization and co-ordinate inter-agency forums for successful implementation of ICT in education programme for primary schools. (c) The third institution which was formed is the ICT Technical Implementation Team. The membership of this team is drawn from technical officers from Ministries and agencies with the Government and the academia. The membership was selected based on their expertise in content development, capacity building, ICT skills, logistics, finance and procurement. (d) The final one is the project implementation team, namely, the Secretariat. This is the Secretariat of the ICT Technical Implementation Team and provides the operational logistics of implementation. The Ministry has been carrying out sensitization of the various stakeholders on the model, implementation strategy and the ICT Implementation programme which culminated in the National Stakeholders Conference at KICC on 12th August, 2013. The Technical Team met four times with the Parliamentary Committee on Education, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Research and Technology on ICT research between June and August, 2013. This team that is overseeing the implementation also met with the Senate Committee on Education, ICT and Research. They had one meeting with the Kenya Primary Head Teachers Association and KNUT on 3rd September, 2013. They had a meeting with all education field officers, namely, DEOs, Quality Assurance Officers and the Standards Officers on 23rd September, 2013. A meeting was held with the Civil Society Organisations, mostly with an organisation called Elimu Yetu Coalition on 25th September, 2013. Response from these stakeholders has been positive and has had very good proposals for the improvement in implementation. On the digitiation of the content, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has developed a digital content for Class IV to Class VIII in science and mathematics. Digitized content for Classes I to III in seven subjects has already been piloted, ready for pre-loading to the laptops. Finally, on the digitization, vetting of the digital content has been developed and submitted and has been given to publishers to publish it. On the procurement process, a very critical stage, international tender was issued on 2nd August, 2013, for the procurement of 1.3 million laptops for schools, 20,367 projectors and 20,367 printers for all schools in our country. A pre-bidders conference was held at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology headquarters on 16th August, 2013, which was essentially to clarify the issues raised by the bidders. Subsequently, the Ministry clarified critical issues and questions that the bidders raised and some sections of the bid documents through addendance were put in the major media houses on 22nd and 30th August, 2013, respectively. The tender opening date was extended from 3rd September, 2013 to 10th September, 2013. The tender was opened on 10th September, 2013 and during the opening session, it was noted that out of the 126 bids sold, only 20 bids respondend. Technical evaluation has been finalised and the process is now at the tail end waiting the decision of the Ministerial Tender Committee. On the teacher preparation that the Member has asked, the Ministry launched an ICT training curriculum for the teachers on 7th August, 2013. The document identifies key areas in ICT literacy and integration skills that shall facilitate the training of teachers for national roll out of the training process in early October, 2013. The ICT Integration Training Manual and the user guides for use by the trainers have been finalised. This was done in mid September, 2013 and now they are ready for use. The master trainers and the trainers of trainers have been identified to spearhead the national roll out of the training of teachers in every district. This exercise is scheduled to start from 10th October, 2013, at the Kenya Institute of Education. The training venues for teachers across the counties have been mapped out and will be in the TTCs, TTIs and schools with computer labs. Finally, on the infrastructre, the Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has carried out a need assessment in all primary schools to assess their E-readiness status with a view of facilitating the powering of schoools. About 11,065 are connected to the national grid. The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has advertised a tender on 9th October, 2013 in the media to supply solar power to schools which are totally outside the national grid. It is connecting other schools to electricity through the Rural Electrification Authority. It is planned that about 1,650 schools shall be The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
connected to the national grid while 130 more though the use of solar power by January, 2014. Lastly, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology intends to fund classrooms renovation for schools with poor infrastructure to empower and strengthen the Storage Rooms Programme.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I must appreciate and thank my friend for the good response on a question that had taken too long. I am happy that he undertook to respond and responded well on a number of issues that I raised. One or two important areas that he did not cover have got to do with classrooms and especially in areas like Turkana and North Eastern Province where children read under trees. How will those areas be served with the new network of electronic learning? This is an important area that he should have covered. However, I am happy with the way he approached the whole issue.
Furthermore, the security element of the new facilities which are interesting to students being introduced to them and the way they will be managed--- These are very expensive facilities. The Leader of Majority Party did not come out clearly on how the same will be managed for purposes of ensuring that they are not wasted and that they are used for a long time.
Powering schools will take a long time. I wonder whether the same could not have been addressed before the programme takes off. If the programme takes off now, many areas which do not have electricity will be discriminated and the programme will not take off uniformly across the country. This area is very important if the Leader of Majority Party can address it further.
Apparently, the way the Leader of Majority Party has addressed this important subject seems like the Government is conducting further studies into it. The issue was not programmed well at the beginning. It is important---
Hon. Bosire, the chance to seek a clarification is not an opportunity to debate. I will be very strict on this. You should take no more than two minutes so that your other colleagues can get a chance to assist or seek further clarifications. Do not debate, but if you want to debate, you can move a Motion.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate. Let me say that generally the Leader of Majority Party has responded well. If he can only cover a number of areas which he left out, the whole issue would come out clearly. This is an important area that requires proper clarification so that many Kenyans are aware of the benefits of the new programme. Other hon. Members can contribute to this very important subject.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir.
It is not to contribute but it is to seek clarification because if we go that route, we will begin a debate. You know Wednesday morning is a day for Private Members’ Motions and there are Members who are ready with their Motions and so they think we are eating into their time.
Yes, hon. Kinyua.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. Mine is to seek a further clarification from the Leader of Majority Party. If you look at his Statement, you will appreciate that different Ministries have teamed up to come up with the technical team that will push this agenda forward and see to its success. We can see the Ministry of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Information, Communication and Technology and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology teaming up. I think it is only rational to have the same replicated in this House. I remember last week we had the entire Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology, which is something that you will also give us guidance on, going on a trip to Rwanda. If any ICT project has to succeed, there is a multi-disciplinary kind of a programme where the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communications and Information needs to work with the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology so that we move this matter forward without necessarily leaving out one Departmental Committee on one side and eventually coming back with grey area which would have been addressed jointly. I do not know whether the discretion is on the Committee Chairmen to know that they need to work together or they need to be pushed by the Leader of Majority Party so that they can form this team that works alongside what has been termed as the multi-ministerial team from the Ministry.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. The one laptop a child aspiration is something that has been pursued by many countries and Kenya is not the first country. However, most times, it tends to be bogged down by the realities of rolling out the programme. The impression that is being given is that the President is the national champion but I do not think he is. Could the Leader of Majority Party clarify who the national champion for this project is?
Just to emphasize on the other bit about the Committees involved, in the last Parliament we had a programme which was trying to take ICT or mobile computer lab to schools. I remember that time the Departmental Committee on Information and Technology was the enabling Committee while the Departmental Committee on Education was the implementing Committee. I am just concerned that this programme is being rolled out and I do not see the involvement of the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communication and Information at all. I do not know whether it is deliberate or it is an omission and something is going to be done about it.
Finally, would it not have been a good idea for a programme of this magnitude to have a distinctive kind of face before we roll it out?
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. On Thursday, last week, I requested for a Statement on deregistration---
Hon. Members, please, try to observe some decorum. Hon. James Rege, the Chair has to balance many things namely, political parties, regions, counties, gender, youth, age, ability and disability. So, do not raise your hand all the time complaining. Hon. Mwamkale has put his request and his name is here. So, when he has been given a chance and you start gesturing, you are way below him.
Proceed, hon. Mwamkale. As I said, that is bad manners.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. I have said that I requested for a Statement from the Chairman, Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology on a process of deregistration that is going on---
Hon. Kamoti, are you seeking a clarification from the Leader of Majority Party? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I believe that has been exhausted.
When I follow the order in which the request has been made, you can say that yours is not on this so that we can allow others to seek a clarification.
Mine is not on that Statement, hon. Speaker, Sir. I believe that we are on requests for statements.
No, it is not done that way. We want people to seek clarification on the Statement that has been issued by the Leader of Majority Party. That was a very comprehensive Statement which is of national importance. I thought that every Member who represents people obviously would have something to seek clarification from what the Leader of Majority Party has just stated. You will get a chance to raise the issue you are raising because it is different from this. Hon. Kamoti because your issue is different, we will stand you down. You will raise your issue after we have cleared this one.
Obliged, hon. Speaker, Sir.
We will stand you down but maintain your request. Hon. Shabbir, is you clarification on this Statement?
Thank you, hon. Speaker, Sir. Mine is on the response given by the Majority Leader. First of all, I would like to thank the Government for making inroads in digitization. I was very skeptical but I am now happy that this is actually coming to pass.
In the Statement, the Majority Leader has talked about the tender. I would like him to clarify why we are trying to reinvent the wheel when we have seen our neighbours implement a similar programme? That programme is actually led by a Kenyan. I am not saying that it should be a single sourcing kind of tender but I hope that they are considering the One Laptop per Child programme. Secondly, he touched on the issue of the mobile computer labs. That idea came up during the Tenth Parliament, as my brother, Eng. Gumbo said, but it never took off. The money was ring-fenced. Is he talking about the same money that was ring-fenced? Are they now considering the mobile computer labs project?
Leader of majority Party, there is quite a mouthful clarification requests for you.
Hon. Speaker, I will be very brief. Hon. Bosire raised the issue of classroom. I had indicated in my Statement that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is on that one. Where classrooms are in bad shape, they will be renovated and refurbished. Where classrooms are not there, the Ministry will put up the infrastructure. On the issue of security, the laptops will be branded. So, they cannot just be stolen and sold in the market. This does not just apply for the laptops. It is the responsibility of the Government to make sure that each and every Kenyan is safe and that his property, including the schools, the laptops and our great children, are protected. On the issue of the far-flung areas, like Turkana, yes, we have solar. That is why we are saying that a number of schools, which are off the national grid, will be powered through solar. Hon. Kinyua’s clarification was more of a comment. It is true that we have an integrated technical team. Therefore, the ICT Committee of Parliament should work hand-in-hand with the Committee on Education, Research and Technology. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Even the trip to Rwanda should have been by a joint Committee, particularly as far as the issue of the laptops project is concerned. Hon. Gumbo asked who the champion of the project is. The champion is the Jubilee Government. The policy is in their manifesto. It is the Jubilee Government that is championing the programme, under the ably leadership of the President, for the children of Kenya. On the same issue raised by hon. Kinyua, as to whether piloting of the project has been done---
On a point of order, hon. Speaker.
Yes, what is your point of order?
Hon. Speaker, I wish the Leader of Majority Party could take this matter very seriously. If you look at areas where the One Laptop per Child project failed, you will appreciate that it was because of lack of a national champion. You cannot have a whole Government being a champion. Let us be serious. Who is the champion in this project? Is it the Cabinet Secretary? It should be one person, and not the whole Government. It cannot be.
Eng. Gumbo, that is a point of argument. You may hold a different view but that is a normal thing in this country. Proceed, Leader of Majority Party.
Hon. Speaker, I will rephrase my response for the sake of my good colleague. Who are the implementing agents? The champion of the pilot project is the Jubilee Government. So, the champion is the President and the leader of the Jubilee Coalition. That is why we have the laptop project under his leadership. As for implementation, I have given the Member a copy of the Statement that I am going to table, which shows the various stages of the project. Those who are involved include the Cabinet, the Principal Secretaries and the technical team. As for the champion, to be more specific, it is none other than the President of the Republic of Kenya. On the issue of the Kenyan ICT guy, as raised by hon. Shakeel, that one has to be done within the procurement process. The procurement law has been passed by this Parliament. Therefore, due process will be followed. What is important is for the Kenyan taxpayer to get value for money as the children get the laptops. On the issue of the mobile computer lab project that failed to take off in the last Parliament, this is a new Parliament. Parliament is its custodian. The money that was disbursed by the Government in the last Parliament was not used. I am sure that this House can look into that matter and see whether we can provide more funds for the mobile computer lab project in the next Budget. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, according to the record on this Motion by Mr. Nyamai, hon. Millie Odhiambo was on the Floor and she has a balance of six minutes. If she is not here, her right to proceed is forfeited. Therefore, any other Member is at liberty to contribute to the Motion. On top of the requests is hon. Munuve John Mati.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I would like to support the Motion, especially on the perspective of security.
The Jubilee Government has repeatedly said that it is a digital government and one would want to pray and hope that Jubilee will be true to its pronouncement. The world has changed, and the very many documents that we continue to hold, from driving licence to national identification card, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cards and so forth, make it very difficult for one to be identified quickly.
Given the problem of banditry that we went through two or three weeks ago, one only hopes that we could move with speed to digitize our identification processes and make it possible for Kenyans to carry a single identification instrument. I know of countries in Africa with such systems. For example, in Zimbabwe, nobody gets registered as a voter because their national identity card suffices to be a voting instrument for everybody. Anybody who has an identity card is entitled to vote anywhere. So, I strongly support hon. Nyamai’s Motion, which suggests that we should come up with one instrument that will enable the Government to identify a person. However, we must ensure that such an instrument cannot be forged. In doing so, I would urge that we also train our registration officers. I know the difficulties that my brothers and sisters in the North Eastern region go through. In many places, the clerical officers of the National Registration Bureau have made it very difficult for Kenyans to be registered. Wherever one goes, there are all sorts of questions and demands. In some places, orphans cannot be registered because their parents passed on. They are told to go back with their parents, who may also have passed away. That becomes very difficult. So, we have to come up with a system that makes it possible for us to identify Kenyans. Digitization can be very easy. If we can afford to give computers to primary school kids we surely can have a facility at the district level that makes it possible for a person to have all their data collected and made available at a central depository place at the national level. For example, if a matatu driver is stopped by the traffic police, all the information about that person say, from their place and date of birth, when they paid their The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
taxes, where they registered, which hospital they were born in and so forth should be available. That will make it possible for us to identify persons and enhance security in our country. I wish to support the Motion.
Hon. Speaker, I rise to support this Motion. The multiplicity of ID Cards leads to gross inefficiencies and gray areas and I think this needs to be simplified. I am in total agreement with that. The issues of identifications of all kinds need to be treated with tremendous care and rigor. We have many people who have entered this country from neighboring countries and from the Asian Sub-Continent. These people have been able to acquire these documents in the shortest of time even though they would not have followed due process. In the process of seeking this unification, it will give a chance to this country to relook at fake IDs that would have been issued and also look at whether or not the people who acquired them did so legally and may help in the process of combating illegal entry that one can logically and reasonably suspect may be linked to acts that are improper including our safeguarding issues around terrorism. If you cannot identify who is a national then you may get bad elements. Nationals too, of course, can be terrorists, but I am talking about gate keeping so that we are able to lock out the bad elements that enter our country. We should get to a point where all our life transactions are around a single code or number. When you are paying your taxes, claiming NSSF and NHIF you should be using a single number that should hopefully be granted at birth. We do not have to wait for a person to be 18 years old to begin seeking that number. The child should be identified in all the benefits that he or she might get and all the hospitals visits they make. As they join primary schools, they should stick with that number. Many countries do this. This should be an obvious service that is proactively provided by the State. It should not be a lengthy process that makes parents run from office to office in order to get this done. We need to empower administrators who otherwise would not have had a role in this simply because it is a tight gate. Wherever there is tight gatekeeping there are always incentive structures that get developed around queues. I support this Motion and look forward to the day when this registration process will be seamless, smooth and hustle-free. People should not wait until they are 18 years in order to get an ID. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for the opportunity to speak to this Motion. I rise to support it and to highlight the challenges that our people go through when they apply to get the national ID. As proposed by the Motion, it will actually solve so many of our problems including registration, if this becomes a one-stop-shop exercise. If the Government, the provider of this function, can identify its citizens through a simplified system--- As my predecessor has just said, we can be identified by a single digit or number. This will ensure that information about an individual can be accessed. We use national documents like IDs to access services. If you want to register for anything in this country you need this document. If you want to do an examination you will be required to produce birth certificates. So, the idea that we can actually gather all The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
these requirements into one document which is simple to deal with will go a long way to improve access to this service of registration. Where I come from in Turkana West, we have had the challenge of under- registration of voters because the people there do not have IDs. The challenge is that you get your ID very far away from where you live. Dealing with a nomadic community that may not consider this to be a core function is difficult. They do not take IDs and so they are not able to participate in civic functions in this country. This brings along with it a lot of disadvantages. When we have a national identification process that is simple and easy to deal with, we shall capture the data on all Kenyans in this country. We are all aware of the security challenges that this country faces. This revolves around identification of people who live and move around in this country. A simple digitized system of identification will improve our security situation. It is a Government function, yes. My constituents are asked to pay for this service. They pay a service charge or something like that which is prohibitive. There are people in this country who cannot afford to get Kshs50 in a day and yet you are asking them to pay, say, Kshs100 for an ID. This is prohibitive and, therefore, causes the service to be out of reach of the normal average Kenyan living in the rural setup. The other thing is the challenge of identification and devolution. This service should not be localized in Nairobi. It cannot be accessed by people living in the far flung areas of this country. With devolution setting in, I believe that this service should be devolved to the lowest unit of devolution in this country so that access to the service is improved. I believe that this country will give us correct figures in future. I remember that in the population census of 2009 there were disputed figures. If the identification process is effective in the country then the enumeration of people in this country will be more accurate and without a lot of controversies. Remember we use data for a lot of reasons including social service provision and access. This is an important Motion and it behoves this House to support the setting up of this system so that we can go to one point and we have all our information there now that we are becoming a digital nation. I support.
Very well. Let us have hon. Omulele. You actually disconnected yourself, Mheshimiwa . Put your card at the intervention slot.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to speak on this Motion. I think this is a Motion that is timely. We as Kenyans need to know each other. We need to be able to identify ourselves without too much ado at any point in this country.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have a situation in this country where people have to produce different and varied identification cards at different points, for example, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). We have our national identity card itself. Now, even in this Parliament we have also our identity cards here which are different. I think what we need to do in this country is to identify people from the time they are born in this country so that you have one identification document from the time you are born to the time you die. This will help us to sort out all these things that are happening in this country like people walking into this country and taking advantage of us. We have heard allegations in this country that some The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of the people who are sitting in positions of power and who are wielding a lot of power in this country really are not even Kenyans. This has been in the rumour mills and I do not want to name names but these are jobs that can be held by Kenyans. If we had a situation where we could identify people from the time they are born, then we would not have a situation where people come to this country to terrorise us and call themselves bandits and all manner of names. We do not need terrorists in this country and we can sort them out through this kind of identification system.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, so, I stand today to fully support this Motion. If we do this, we will have nipped in the bud this perennial problem of our children and youngsters forever chasing these documents. All of us in this House must have come across this problem at our constituency levels where our young people are forever at our doors asking us to help them get identification documents. We will have taken care of this if we go this way.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I know for a fact that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) at one time had put out a tender actually to come up with a system where we were going to amalgamate all these multiplicity of identification systems, where we were going to have one number through which we would identify ourselves as Kenyan citizens. That tender was put out and people responded. Different corporate bodies responded to that tender and it was evaluated but for some reason it has never been awarded almost two years down the road. I do not know where or what the problem might have been.
So, it is true that we can stand here and say that this is a system that our Government has contemplated about and is fully aware that it should be implemented and has attempted to implement it. So, we shall not be starting to reinvent the wheel really. We shall actually be just picking it up from where the KRA had reached and dusting and perfecting it so that our people can be identified through one system once and for all. So, for these reasons, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand today to support this Motion and to congratulate the hon. Charles Nyamai for bringing it. It is a timely one and we all know that it is for the good of this country. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to speak on this.
Very well. Let us have hon. Nakara Lodepe.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I just want to add a few things on top of what my fellow speaker’s have spoken. Having a unified identification system will be cost effective. Where I come from whenever you need these documents to be photocopied, you photocopy them separately. You photocopy your identity card; you photocopy your certificate of good conduct; you also photocopy your Personal Identification Number (PIN) card and all that. So, when we will have a unified system, you will only use Kshs5 and that will save you some money. So, I support this Motion by saying that we better have a unified identification system so that it can be cost effective. Number two is on the production of these documents by the Government. By the Government producing identity cards and certificates of good conduct separately, it is The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
also expensive for it. So, when we have one unified identification system, it will save money for the Government. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another issue is about personal bio data. When we have this unified identification system, it will be easy to know where this person is from, where he stays and in which county he comes from. In our place, when somebody dies you cannot have his or her records. You are forced to go around all the offices seeking for information about this person. That is why relatives of most of our people who were working as civil servants and have died have not received their benefits. This is because they do not have information of this particular person who has died. So, when we have a unified identification system, it will be easy for the relatives to get information and claim the benefits of the late person. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, identity cards are about security. Some Members have already said that but I just want to add one thing. When foreigners come to this country they get identification cards very easily by bribing immigration officers. When we have bio-data it will be very difficult for a foreigner to get these documents. Even if he or she will buy identification cards, getting other documents will be very difficult. So, having a unified identification system will help us to curb terrorism and insecurity in this country. Another thing is about robbers. It will be easy to get them because their finger prints are there in their personal bio data. With those few remarks, I support the Motion. Thank you.
Very well. Let us have hon. Iringo Kubai.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I rise to support the Motion and in particular the issue of identity cards which I believe has been a big problem to many citizens of this country. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as the Motion reads, people are taking a lot of time and energy criss crossing different offices and departments of this Government to get various documents which at the end of the day are all just to identify that particular individual. It becomes so cumbersome even to carry the same documents which are just for identification proposes but having been issued by different Government departments. In the current Information and Communication Technology (ICT) era we could be having a single document which could be used to identify an individual at various places of service where we go to get these services. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it beats all reasoning sometimes when you find that in Kenya today we have got two types of identity cards. There are the old generation identity cards which are held by our parents and people who are over 60 years old. When the new generation identity cards were introduced, it became very cumbersome to change the old identification to the new one and the old people gave up. When you go for services in banks or even in voting, you find one is told that he cannot use the old identity card because it is invalid. Since it was given by the same Kenya Government after Independence, I do not see why he should not be given new generation identification card without much ado.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was at my constituency over the weekend and I met a man of over 90 years old crying in the office of the chief. He said he had been trying to change his old generation identification card to get a new one until he has given The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
up. This is a citizen of that particular place, he is known, he has got his children and descendants in that place, but the chief has to write a letter and he has to bring a letter from somebody who is related to him. He told me that his brothers and sisters are dead and he was wondering whom he can present to identify him. These bureaucratic procedures should be removed forthwith.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the last general elections, statistically, we had almost 18 million Kenyans who were legible to vote. But because of these bottlenecks of getting identity cards and those replacements of old identification cards, very few or slightly above 10 million citizens registered as voters. Many Kenyans in terms of millions were denied their rights to vote because they did not have these documents. So, I strongly feel that it is high time these documents are harmonized so that it becomes one document which is put in a database. And, therefore that particular document will serve all purposes in identifying that particular individual for the services or any other national duty one will need to be called to undertake.
I fully support this Motion and I believe if that is done, we shall have gotten many people to participate in so many activities of this country. We shall save wastage of time and money and efforts to access these documents.
With those remarks, I support.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. This Motion which I support very strongly has come at the right time. Indeed, students are the most affected especially the Form Four leavers. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently in my constituency, I came across students who have been admitted to join various universities. The main challenge they had was that, without identity cards, they would not get any assistance in the name of loans that the Government gives them. Indeed, in this country we do not know why issues are taken very slowly. On the issue of birth certificates --- I happen to have been a teacher and also I was a neighbour to the office of registration of persons in Bomet. I used to see long queues of students which went into the night. Therefore this Motion should be acted upon very fast. We are now talking about the Uwezo Fund and many of our youth will not register their programmes because of lack of these documents. The Government wants to give them loans in order to, at least, engage in some business activities to earn a living. So, I support and thank the Chair. Let me tell this House that some of us have taken it that this august House belongs to a particular group or a clique of friends. I must thank the Chair. We do not want to have a habit of seeing common figures or hon. Members being given a chance to contribute all the time. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Bii, you are part of that clique of friends. Let us have hon. Ali Dido.
Thank you hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity. I rise to support this Motion.
Hon. King’ola, who is out of order? Proceed, hon. Dido!
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to thank hon. Charles Nyamai for brining this Motion. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Coming from Marsabit, that borders Ethiopia, the issue of acquiring identification cards and birth certificates is not easy. Unless something is done many young people are not able to access jobs, colleges and they cannot freely move around in their own country. In other countries, just having the national social security number and a driving licence, enables one to transact all the business which the can do. In Kenya, this is far from it. Having a birth certificate, national identification card and passport are constitutional documents. Where one should be able to access jobs, also security documents and documents that the taxman uses to tax citizens should be available. For people to get a sim-card registration, they must have documents which show who they are. The issue of IDs, birth certificates and their role is enshrined in the Constitution; under the Bill of Rights, Article 20. It clearly spells out that. Although we are going to say that let us have a single document that identifies Kenyan citizens, but the question before us is that, before we reach that point, will we have a system in place? Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when young persons in school reach the age of 17 years, they should be issued with ID cards because know abode, birth, profession and parentage. Therefore the issue of ID does not actually become cumbersome. Other areas that are of concern to me and my fellow legislators is once a person fills forms at the district level, it is not known how long it is going to take before the ID card is issued. Unless those involved in issuance of ID cards and other important documents put a timeframe, many of our citizens are really inconvenienced.
What is critical is that the process of replacing a lost identity is just like acquiring a new one. This is unacceptable because the data of the various individuals is already captured. One teething problem that I have as a Member for Saku is that young men and women who are admitted to middle level colleges, and even universities, use waiting forms for the identity cards. When it comes to Sitting for their examinations, they are told that unless they produce the identity cards, they cannot sit for the examinations. That is very inconveniencing and unacceptable. I wish to finish by saying that it is not acceptable for foreigners to acquire identity cards or passports easier than the bonafide citizens of this country.
I thank the Mover of this Motion for bringing it. It is not as simple as this Motion reads. It is an issue at the heart of this nation. I beg to support.
Let us have hon. Njenga. Hon. (Dr.) Otichilo is next. So, you be prepared.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion by my colleague, hon. Nyamai; because this is what I have thought will be the solution to the many problems that we have had in this country.
It has become so difficult to get documents in this country. It has become time wasting. It is even expensive for everyone to even be identified as a Kenyan. So, as I contribute to this Motion, I would like the Mover to put it into a Bill, so that in future the unification of documents should start at birth. The moment a Kenyan is born, he should be given an identification number, which is to be used as the identity card number, the birth certificate and even for the Higher Education Loans Board. We should only confirm that one is a Kenyan instead of carrying documents all our lives and when these documents are lost, it is difficult to get them. We can be digital enough and use numbers to identify our people. Departments will only be required to verify the numbers. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I am also disturbed by the red-tape. I personally had to go all the way to Kiambu to collect an identity card, a distance of about 70 kilometres. I recently lost an identity card and the pain I underwent was so much. I am also told that people are now counterfeiting the new generation identity cards; I am sure with the digital era, we do not have to go through all that. The red tape is disturbing. I am also disturbed by what has happened in this country over the last 10 or so years. We have had many immigrants who, although they have come to Kenya and have acquired identity cards, they cannot speak Kiswahili, English or any of the vernacular languages. They are doing business in Kenya. I am very sure that these are the people who are master-minding corruption in this country. I am even very sure that to a large extent, terrorists acquire Kenyan identity cards through our flawed system. The KRA has had a lot of problem trying to widen the tax net. As many Kenyans as possible should pay taxes, so that we can widen the net and increase the amount of revenue that we can get to develop Kenya and provide services to our people. The easiest way of doing this is by identifying every child born in Kenya and every person living in Kenya as a target for tax payment, so that we can raise revenue. This can be done if this Motion is converted into a Bill and then its provisions are implemented. I am always disturbed every time we get to a year with a nine, for example 2009 and 1999; I will be disturbed when we get to 2019 because of the census. Every time we have a census in this country, there are complaints that we spend a lot of money to conduct the census. If I remember well, some data was rejected last time. Some people produced more Kenyans in the statistics than the known population for their area. If we could adopt the system as stipulated in this Motion, we will be doing an automatic census, and all the money that we use for the census shall be used for other purposes. When a Kenyan is born, we should add to the population and a Kenyan who has left, we minus. So, the identification number will also act as the death certificate should one pass on. The most important thing is that if we adopt this digital system, we will come up with credit reference bureaus that are very important to banks, lending institutions and even business people like landlords. These institutions can use the reference to verify individual characters. I strongly feel that we should enforce the provisions of this Motion and become digital. This should also happen to the Department of Immigration, so that once you get out of Kenya, we can know where you are and at what time. It is high time that this was implemented. It is high time that we unified this and a Kenyan becomes a public asset. Kenyans should be public assets; every person born in Kenya must be identified as a Kenyan. It should be in public domain that one is a Kenyan. I support this Motion. It is not even enough to urge the Government, but to tell the Government to do this. Our role is to represent the people. Our role is oversight. We want to save the money the Government uses issuing identity cards by resolving that this Motion must be implemented by our Government, which is a digital Government. They must prove how digital they are by implementing this Motion. I support the Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion. The technology in integrated electronic identification system has been around for the last 30 years, and it is, indeed, sad that in this digital age, we are still The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
manual in our identification system. I want to thank my good friend, Charles Nyamai, for bringing this Motion, so that the Jubilee Government, which has declared that it is digital, can take up this matter and implement this project. This matter was discussed extensively in the 10th Parliament. So many Questions were raised on this issue and during that period, we were even assured that the process was on. We were even told that the tendering process had been initiated, and we were about to get this system in place. Unfortunately, that was an analogue Government system and they were unable to implement the system. I believe that this time, the Jubilee Government will implement this system, which is extremely important. This system should be implemented from the time a Kenyan is born, that is at birth. That is the time we should have a Kenyan being registered electronically. The system should be such that every other identification that is required is simply inserted on the electronic card. This is the normal practice in the developed world. Unfortunately, we have not embraced this system but I believe that we will do it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have passed quite a number of Motions in this House, but rarely are they implemented. So, as much as we strongly support this Motion, I am not very sure that it will be implemented eventually. As we pass this Motion, I want to request the Mover of it, who is my good friend, hon. Charles Nyamai, to go a step further and bring an amendment to the Registration of Persons Act, so that we can make this legal. This is because this Motion will just be passed and just put on shelves. I know that we are passing this Motion, but I request hon. Nyamai to go a step further and amend the Registration of Persons Act; we should put this matter in an Act and, therefore, force the Government to implement it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. That time I was trying to catch your eye. I rise to support this Motion, which should have come a long time ago.
Issuance of Identity Cards (IDs), NHIF cards, NSSF cards, driving licences and all other identification cards in this nation should be harmonized. It pains me, especially now that the exercise of getting the youth to join our military is on, that most of them missed out because they did not have IDs. In this digital era, I would like the harmonization to be effected immediately. We have to realize the gender mainstreaming in this nation. Most of our married women cannot access IDs because when they go for them, they are asked for their husbands’ and their parents’ ID cards. This is a very tedious exercise.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will also realize that our young men in the constituencies, especially the boda boda operators, cannot access the NHIF and the NSSF cards because the process is also very tedious.
I support this Motion bearing in mind that in some nations a national identification card is used as collateral because it contains all the identification information of a person. So, if you go to a bank, they will know your NHIF status, the NSSF number, your driving licence and there is no way you can escape. If Kenya attains this standard, it will be very easy to identify Kenyans and make them a state asset. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
For example, if you go to Dubai, you will find that its citizens only use one national identity card for banking, accessing loans and obtaining credit. It is not too late for this nation to adopt such a policy.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it pains me that there was an advertisement last week by Machakos County, which required all the applicants to give EACC certificates, KRA certificates, certificate of good conduct; most of the youth cannot apply for those jobs because they do not have these documents readily available. The exercise is very tedious. Because the deadline is tomorrow, half of the potential applicants will not be able to apply for the jobs.
I want to support this Motion by hon. Nyamai that all national identification systems for personal bio-data be harmonized. That will help most people access loans that we are talking about such as the Uwezo funds and Women funds.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance because I have been looking forward to contribute to this important Motion on ID cards. In my place, it is unique to talk about IDs and passports.
I thank the hon. Member for bringing this Motion before this House, so that we can pass it and all Kenyans can have these important documents.
Kenyans have been having many documents. We have been talking about passports, ID cards, NHIF cards and other cards. We are even tired of carrying these documents in our wallets. It will be a good thing the moment we have one document which has all the information as we move towards achieving Vision 2030.
In my place, an identification card is something that should be issued at the smallest unit of devolution like a division at the county level, so that Kenyans can get services. This is because in the constituency that I represent, people travel 260 kilometres to get ID cards and birth certificates. It is difficult to go there because there is lack of man power. In some counties, some officers who provide these services are not there and you will not be assisted if you go there. As we talk about having a harmonized system in place, we also need to look at ways of empowering the whole system, so that we can have enough officers, machines and means of transport. This is because as we speak here, the Department of Registration of Persons does not have even a coin to buy an old car. In Turkana East sub-County, which I represent, this is something we hear here in Nairobi or in some places.
I beg to support this Motion, so that all Kenyans can be treated equally. We can also have information; in a country like India, people can vote using any card, because it has all the information. However, here in Kenya, we carry very many documents for different purposes. So, it is a good idea to have this system in place, so that it can assist our people. This will make it easy for people to get the needed information.
On lost ID cards, you will find an old mama going to the Office of the Registrar of Persons to report that she has lost her ID. But because there is no system in place to search for her name easily and replace her lost ID card, somebody has to send the information to Nairobi, so that an ID card for that old mama can be issued. It will be good if we can have this system in place, so that one can get information easily. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other issue is about distance. At the moment, we rely on Nairobi as the central place from where we can get all the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
information. Once the information is taken out there, it will be easier for everybody to get it. As we speak, in places like Turkana County, and in the whole of northern Kenya region for that matter, you can find people who are 35 years old and have no identity cards. An identity card enables one to get all the other documents. When you do not have an identity card, it becomes impossible for you to get a PIN number, an NHIF card and other important cards. So, it will be good for us, and for the youth, to have such a system in place. We are now talking of the Youth Development Fund and the Women Enterprise Fund. The majority of the two groups are the youth, many of whom have no identity cards. How can they access loans? In order for one to access a loan, one needs to have an identity card, so that one’s personal bio-data can be captured for follow-up purposes. Our youth cannot do this due to lack of identity cards. Therefore, it is good for us to have an integrated system of identifying people, which will have all the information of an individual. It will be a good thing for us. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Ngikor.
Hon. Members, I am following the list of requests before me. I am giving the Floor to hon. Nderitu. Gender must also consider placing their requests in good time.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion. We all know the importance of identification documents in our day-to-day lives. An example is the birth certificate. On the Children Rights Day, I said that we needed to have the birth certificate issued as a child goes through postnatal care. We know that once a child is born in Kenya, he has to go through postnatal care. It should be a rule that by the time that process is completed the birth certificate should be out automatically. Each new born baby has a number. That is the number which should be used to produce a birth certificate for that baby. In my constituency, I have members of the Turkana, Maasai and Somali communities. Every time they apply for identity cards, they face a lot of problems. They are forced to go and look for their kin. Despite the fact that they are born there, in the local clinics, they are forced to go all the way to Turkana County and look for their kin in order for them to be issued with that important document called “birth certificate”. As Kenyans, we know that we start running up and down at the last hour. Every parent knows that a birth certificate is required for registration of their children for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, but they never look for the document until the time for registration comes, when they are told that it is compulsory to produce the document. They start looking for the document but they cannot get it. They have to meet the cost of late registration. Once you get the number that was issued to the baby at birth, there should be no need of being told that you are from our border with Somalia and, therefore, it is not clear whether you are Kenyan or an Ethiopian. Such excuses should become history. The birth certificate should be used for issuance of identity cards, driving licence and all other documents. We have a central bureau of registration of persons. Once you get all those documents, there is a central point where their data can be stored. My good friend, hon. Wilbur, said that we have to amend the Registration of Persons Act, so that we make the Government act. We are digital. We have talked so The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
much about being a digital Government. We are giving our children computers. I do not know what is difficult in the Government establishing a central bureau, from which one’s bio-data can be accessed upon logging-in one’s personal identification number. There should be no need of telling one to produce a certificate of good conduct from the CID, or an identity card or a birth certificate. This matter is very close to my heart because I have witnessed many people have difficulties when they apply for birth certificates and identity cards. We would want this to become a thing of the past. It is a violation of our children’s human rights that we have to subject them to such pain when they want to register for national examinations. This should not the case in a digital government. We should start by amending the Registration of Persons Act and provide for the proposals contained in this Motion. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much. Let us hear from hon. Moi.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the issue on harmonising issuance of identification documents. This is very important because it will lessen the cost of doing business and acquiring identity cards. In order for one to get an identity card today, one needs to go to various centres. In addition to paying the official fee, one needs to pay individuals in order for the process to take place. Once the proposed system is put in place, corruption fee plus the regular official fee will be lessened. We have to consider places like Turkana, Kitui and Baringo counties, where one has to cover very long distances. Given the fact that there are no roads in those areas, it becomes extremely expensive for an individual seeking these documents. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not want to belabour the point as most of what I am saying has been said, but it will be wonderful for us to have one identity card that contains all our bio-data. For example, if you go to a bank and they need your birth certificate or your national identity card, they will be able to access all the information from one document. It will be good for individuals and institutions because it will make things easier for everybody. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Let us hear from hon. Abas Mohamed Sheikh of Wajir East.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support the Motion. This country is going through many changes. There is ICT now in this digital Government. Getting identity cards in Kenya, especially for people in the area I come from, is a nightmare. You really need to have so many papers, including a birth certificate, an ID, NHIF card, et cetera. It is high time we harmonised all these documents. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, once a child is born in this country; it should acquire automatic Kenyan citizenship as in many other countries. When a baby is born in the United Kingdom (UK) or in the United States of America (USA), even if its parents are Kenyans, that baby becomes a bona fide citizen of that country. That is not so in Kenya. What happens in my place is that when people apply for identity cards, they are subjected to many conditions. They are told to produce their parents’ identity cards and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
birth certificates; their grandparents’ identity cards, et cetera. These are colonial requirements and a violation of the rights of such Kenyans. Another thing is that there is no need for an age bracket for one to be registered. What happens is that Kenyans nowadays go to school early. At the age of 16, they have already completed fourth form. They want to join university. They want to get registered and access bank loans but they cannot get identity cards due to the age limit. In pastoral areas, ladies are married very early; at the age of 15 or 16 years, they are already mothers. Unfortunately, when they go to seek identity cards later in life, they are told that they are over age. So, we get surprised. If you are a Kenyan citizen, you have a right to be registered and possess an identity card. What is the purpose of having age limits then? That is very wrong. Identity cards have become a useful tool, especially during political campaigns. All the contestants want to outdo one another. It has now become an item of oppression where a candidate for a political seat may not be able to get registered members. It has now become an offence not to carry an ID Card. People are scared! I think an ID should not be used to deny somebody his right. It should not be used to violate people’s rights. It should be something simple that every Kenyan can access. We need to decentralize the issuance of ID cards. The idea of processing IDs for Kenyans in Nairobi is not right. We need to decentralize this thing so that every county is able to issue its own IDs and then we have one data base for bio-data. As we approach elections there is always mass registration of voters who are then issues voters cards. All Kenyans should be coming out in masses to register for IDs. We have people who are, say, 80 years old who have been unable to get IDs. They argue that there are people who are younger, say, 40 years who have been unable to get the IDs. We need to have a well developed system. Some Kenyans are forced to go across the border to get IDs and Passports. This is what makes our youths engage in criminal acts. It has to be discouraged. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also stand to support the Motion by hon. Nyamai. I think it has come at a time when we must support it. Carrying so many documents in the name of identification is so cumbersome and inconveniencing. We really need to have just one document to identify a person. An identification card is very important in Kenya before any service is rendered. Our children and ourselves have a lot of problems because we miss out on getting services, simply because we do not have IDs. Very recently I learnt that our children are joining our universities before reaching the age of 18 years. I do not know what is so special about the age of 18 years. I have children in my constituency who are in their second year in the university. They applied for the HELB loan but they were denied because they did not have an ID. What is so special about the age 18? If we have that number at birth and then information is updated as one grows that will help our people to get all the services they require. We need to decentralize the processing of IDs. I am requesting hon. Nyamai to come up with an amendment to the Registration of Persons Act, so that we quickly make The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this lawful, and we have issuance of this document decentralized, unified and our people will not face many problems. I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also stand to support this Motion that a unified identification system that harmonizes all bio-data be established. This is an opportunity for the digital Jubilee Coalition; having been elected as a digital coalition, to effect that. That way, their slogan of “ Kusema na Kutenda” will be actualized. Hon. Members, this is not something that is unique because in the USA they have established a similar system and they give everybody in the USA a social security number. Through this number one can access one’s bio-data just by the click of the mouse. This is possible in Kenya because even our banks are all interlinked. You can withdraw money from anywhere in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere abroad. This is possible; it just will take the willingness of the Government of the day to actualize this. With this system in place it will be easier to have replacements. Many a times we lose IDs and we need to replace them. However, because of lack of this system it becomes difficult to get a new ID or a birth certificate. We need to have this unified system; it is mainly to keep data. We may not be able to have one identification document. They might be reduced to three or four of them. I am saying that because we may need identification for a minor and identification for an adult. In the USA, for example, when you get a Driver’s Licence (DL) before you attain the age of 21 years, your photo is put in a landscape position in the DL. When you attain the age of 21 years your photo is put in a portrait position. We will still have a number of identifications, for example a passport on its own, IDs for the adults and IDs for the minors. This Motion has come up because of, among many other things, the tedious exercise of getting this document. I will give an example of the birth certificate. Now that maternity fee has been waived, I am happy and hoping that all mothers who are expecting will actually use these facilities. So, my suggestion is that instead of the hospitals issuing a notification they should issue the certificate there and then. Maybe for those who will be born out of hospitals, because it happens, we have trained midwives who sometimes assist the mothers in the rural areas, the county and ward administrators can issue notifications, and then you can just take it to the nearest office and obtain a birth certificate.
Now, I am comparing this to, for example, when marriages are conducted by priests and pastors they give a marriage certificate that is a legal document. This is usually a booklet obtained from the Attorney-General’s office and you account for it. You send the returns and there cannot be any duplication. So, I think if we borrow a leaf from this then the idea of having to go and look for a birth certificate can actually be eased.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have seen in the past, for example two years ago when, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) introduced the idea that for you to register for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations you must have a birth certificate. Many of our rural students did not have this document, and because of a number of parents being illiterate, they sent their teenage children to get the document; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
we had cases of officers and other conmen and con-women taking advantage of the youths in the name of: “I will assist you get a birth certificate in a day in exchange of certain favours” and you all know what kind of favours these can be. So, I want to say that it is really disturbing; if this document issued early it will really be very good, and will then save the parents trouble and also the children from being victims of circumstances.
So, as I end, I want to say that this is possible; being a member of the Jubilee Government, and since we were elected on a digital platform, then this must be implemented as soon as possible.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Thank you, hon. Member. Hon. John Kobado.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Motion. We need to identify our citizens and the world has gone digital. Therefore, we need to take advantage of technology to be able to do this more efficiently and effectively. We are looking at individual identification that electronically stores personal bio-data. This is an all purpose electronic card, an e-card. It is an access card which can be used even in biometric voting. Indeed, this system will be able to minimise the fraud that we have experienced in elections before; it will be able to provide a system that can be used to cover many activities.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this system, indeed, will make it easier to detect, fight and prosecute criminals. Each citizen shall get one to be able to attend college, to take up a new job, to start a new business, to drive and even to walk around the country. The security agencies, if this system is implemented, will be able to access personal information about anybody using the identity cards. The system will be able to improve the service delivery in various sectors of our economy. You see long queues in banks and when people are paying for services like electricity and water. This will be a thing of the past.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, technically, we are talking about a system that will be able to use retina scan features. That is to say it will capture biometric identification using the iris scanners, which are the eyes. We are told that the eyes of human beings have better identification than the thumbs, meaning that this will be a more effective and credible system of identification.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, security in this country has been transformed into a political concern. Policies should be put in place to review these policies. We must use modern technologies as the backbone of our security and intelligence. Today’s security threats are quick, quiet and hidden and, therefore, security issues are becoming more challenging.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, fingerprints have been very useful in recognising and tracing criminals in the past. Currently, we are aware we have had the use of DNA. The only effective and efficient way to keep up with security threats is by developing more powerful and efficient technological tools. Modern tools for surveillance, coupled with intelligent work, are fundamental in ensuring that security of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
our citizens is guaranteed. We have to use technology as the main tool to counter terrorism policies in this country.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as far as transformation of the system is concerned, implementation would be a challenge to some extent; implementation of this system may violate certain constitutional provisions like Article 31(c) and (d) of the Constitution on privacy rights. Allow me to read out that Article. It states: “Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have – (c) Information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or, (d) The privacy of their communications infringed.” Therefore there is need for us to look at the relevant law as has been said before so as to amend it; if that is not done, the law can be used blackmail the citizens. If the Government is a rogue one, it may be able to use this law to be able to abuse the privacy of its citizens. It can be used by the Government to spy on citizens, particularly its critics and political opponents. Therefore, there is need for the relevant legislation to be looked at again, so that all data collected for the purpose of the identity card system is treated with strict confidentiality; it should not be shared or disclosed without the express written waiver or consent of the person who owns the data, unless it is required by law or by a court order. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support this timely and important Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support this Motion. You realize that because of use of bulky identification documents, many people have lost their lives as a result of mistaken identities. When they see a big wallet in the pocket, people think you are carrying money, yet you are carrying a lot of documents. By supporting this Motion we will curb insecurity. Even some hon. Members have actually become victims of rampant theft. You are seen carrying these documents and thieves think you are carrying money and then you are killed. By having a national unified identification documents system we will be smart. If I am in a suit and carry a big wallet, surely I will look peculiar. To be relevant to the digital world, we need to have lean identification documents that will ensure that you can be identified easily. That is not enough. You can see what is happening in Kenya now; people in rural areas have been denied their right to getting identification cards. This is because the survival in this Kenya is based on the numbers that one has. When you do not have numbers, it means you cannot access loans, security, services or anything else. This is because it is a rule that was put in place. So, we are saying that to ensure that there is equity in access by these rural areas, we need to have this national unified identification system right in rural areas. You can see that in rural areas, when people were supposed to vote, most of them did not access identification documents. As a result of that, they did not vote. All Kenyans have the right to vote and elect their leaders, but what happens when they are denied this opportunity to vote? It is actually a breach of their individual rights. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, even after we pass this Motion, this issue of national unified identification system should start from rural areas. It should start in remote areas like Nadapal, Nakale, where many elders who do not have the new generation ID cards, live. You can find an elder aged 95 years without an ID. He has been in this country for 95 years and cannot access an ID, yet he is a Kenyan. It is really sad to realize that people in most of the rural areas, because of lack of identification documents, have been denied this privilege. You can see that in this Kenya, lack of national unified identification system has actually promoted corruption; most of the things in Kenyan offices are manually done. You queue and you end up not getting the document. Therefore, there is actually duplication of these documents; when you go checking for your birth certificate or some other document; you are told that it is not available. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, when we will have this lean national unified identification system, we will assure Kenyans that corruption will actually be minimized. That is not even all; you realize it is not even about the issue of identification alone. The system can apply even to our certificates from institutions. When people, elites like us, re told to produce their certificates, they produce a simple document that shows all their documents, certificates and grades. You should not even have to write; once you touch somewhere, it should show all your documents. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we need to be relevant. This is a dynamic world and we need actually to be relevant. This is because we cannot be identified using rudimentary identification documents. We need to be digital and dynamic. Things change! Why do we remain rudimentary? Kenya will want now to meet the international standards. The only way we can meet international standards is actually by embracing the current technology. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this Motion. When we pass it, we must start right away from the rural areas, because people there need what we call “equalization privileges”. Thank you.
Thank you hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I arise to support this Motion by hon. Charles Nyamai. It is a very noble idea coming at a time when the world is getting digital. As a country, we do not have an option other than to follow the footsteps of the new technology and make sure that all our processes are digitalized for efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of service to every Kenyan. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, about this issue of documentation, I want to say has become the biggest nightmare for our youth. As you are aware, corruption is one of the major issues that has brought this country down. This is because for one to access documents there are always processes to be undertaken. The more the process becomes complicated and bureaucratic, the more they become avenues of corruption. If all these processes and all these documents are centralized, we would have gone a long way in ensuring that corruption is minimized. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we also note that this country is faced with a lot of insecurity, and it is very difficult for security systems to effectively identify Kenyans or non-Kenyans. This is one of the reasons why it has taken a lot of time even for those The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
who commit crimes to get identified. If the security system is completely harmonized with a central system where all the information on every citizen is available, then cases of insecurity will be minimized. This will really help our security agencies to identify any Kenyan at any level. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the most crucial point of registration is at the point of birth; that is where we need to be able to access all the vital information on every citizen. Through the same process of unifying the identification process, we will also note that this country is dependent so much on statistics and data. If we do not have proper data and statistics pertaining to our population, all the people who are supposed to contribute to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and pay for driving licenses, will not be able to have accurate data, and will not really help this country to plan forward. Therefore, the unification of this centralized system will ensure all the information is easily accessible or available, so that planning can be done without making very grievous mistakes or errors. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, getting identification documents, as I said, has been is a nightmare even to our young generation, especially in very marginalized rural areas; to complete the process of acquiring an identification card in the rural areas requires three months. This is one of the most unfortunate things. Getting a simple document like an ID card can take two months or even more time. Therefore, if this system is installed, then it will help all the people in marginalized. It will eliminate the pain of travelling to very far areas to seek the services of registration bureaus. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will also know that this country has serious challenges in terms of devolving services. There are two fronts which we can really look at. It is either decentralize completely and have it at the county level or have it at the national level. The national level will not help us very much because we need to take these services closer to our people. Therefore, this Motion has come at a time when this country has to realize that efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of service will also depend on the information which is easily accessible for decision making processes even at management levels. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I join my colleagues and urge hon. Nyamai to prepare an amendment to the Registration of Persons Act, so that this Motion can be made law immediately. So many Motions have been passed since the 9th Parliament, 10th Parliament and even the current 11th Parliament. The Government seems to be taking very little note in terms of taking action, and most of the Motions which come here are passed for the interest of Kenyans. As this is a matter of great national interest, we need to introduce an amendment to the Act. This way we will then ensure that the Motion’s objective is achieved within a given time, and also will the objectives envisaged in this Motion. With those remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support this very timely Motion by hon. C. Nyamai. First, in the last Government, we tried to implement the same unified identification system, but half way, it failed. I know that having a digital Government, the so-called Jubilee Government, we are hoping that they will take up this issue and implement this unified system. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The purpose of a unified system will reduce the number of transactions people have to undergo for identification, namely, an identity card, birth certificate and a death certificate. All those documents are given by the same Government. With a unified identification system, the minute somebody is born, when he attains the age of maybe acquiring a driving license, the same document can be used by keying in more information. In case of marriage, more information will be keyed on the same document. Whenever one identifies himself as Nelson, they will know that Nelson is a married person, works for so and do and he can drive without having to produce many documents. Some are even digital and can be recognized in banks. Banks do not have to give you a bank card. With the identification card, you can access all the services that you may require. So, with a unified identification card, you can even track anybody who decides to run away from one town to another. That is because any transaction that he undertakes will show where he is. So, when we are tracking down people - like the rampant matatu drivers - who cause accidents in certain towns and go to other towns to drive there. They are known to move to another town after causing various accidents. It will be very easy to track them. It will also be very easy to track somebody and know whether he or she was born in Kenya. You do not have to take them through the vetting process as in the case of the people of Somalia or Turkana origin, who have to be vetted before they are given identification cards. If all those things are computerized, it will be very easy to access any service that he wants in Kenya using the same card. This is a very timely Motion and the Jubilee Government should take up the matter and speed up the issues, so that we do not have to carry so many cards. With those few remarks, I support the Motion and ask hon. Nyamai to bring a Bill, which we will also support and come up with an Act of Parliament. We can then force the Government to take up the matter.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. First, I must thank you for giving me this chance to air my views on this Motion. This country has suffered and continues to suffer because of lack of proper identification. You will recall that it was only the other day when this country fell into the hands of terrorists. If we were in a position to identify the terrorists earlier, I am sure we could not have faced the problems that we faced. Having a system that will unify all the Kenyan identification documents right from birth will be the best thing that we can do. Identification documents are a big problem in this country. Kenyans, wherever they are, are asked to pay for the documents and that encourages corruption. The best way is to have a unified system of identification where individuals are known. For example, in the United States of American, if you have committed any offence and you pass through any station, you will be caught. You cannot go far. This Motion is very timely. As a country, we need to have a system that is going to unify all the identification documents, for example, passports and certificates. In this country, we have people who have two diploma certificates from different colleges because of lack of a proper identification system. I am of the view that this is the right time for us to address this issue. A unified system of identification will lessen crime. By next month, we are going to have Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and the Kenya Certificate of Primary The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Education registration and we will have a big problem in all the registration centres. We need to unify this system and make it more practical, so that we can lessen the problems that we cause to ourselves. With those few remarks, I support this Motion. I urge the Mover to bring a Bill, so that the provisions of the Motion can be implemented as soon as possible.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for giving me the chance to contribute. I also want to congratulate hon. Nyamai for introducing this Motion. This Motion has come at the right time when the country is embracing technology. By enhancing a unified identification system, the security of our citizens will be guaranteed. Terrorists and even drug dealers will find it difficult to access such important documents. The current form of registration is prone to corruption, which makes it easy for criminals to compromise the issuing officers. For example, in the recent recruitment of KDF, some individuals who purported to be from my constituency and had acquired identity cards unlawfully secured the slots that were meant for my energetic and able youths. It is high time that system is introduced to curb such corrupt practices and individuals and to ensure fairness to all the citizens of this country. With regard to the recent terrorist attack in our country, I believe that these terrorists got into this country using those kinds of documents. They must have acquired those documents through corrupt means and they ended up sneaking into this country in the pretext that they were citizens of this country. I, therefore, request all the Members of this House to support this Motion because this is going to promote the security of all our people in the country. It is true that some of our citizens who are elderly, for example, those who are 80 or 90 years old, have not been issued with those documents. Some have even died without getting those documents. The majority of people in our constituency who do not have IDs are the elderly. This shows that the current system is ineffective and should be abolished. It is high time that we embraced technology so that we can move with the rest of the world.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Motion. First, I want to congratulate the Member, hon. Charles Nyamai, for bringing this Motion to this House. This Motion is at the top of everything that we need to do as a country, if we have to move forward.
Registration or identity of persons or people is a basic requirement. That is because you cannot talk about people without knowing who you are talking about. So, this is a basic requirement which is very important. But successive Governments have not taken it seriously.
On registration, you identify some youth, give them some temporary jobs and once they finish the exercise, that is the end of the matter. So, there is no one who takes responsibility. That is what has been happening. I wish the Government could copy from what happens in the ICT sector because things change every day. Right now, you can sit in one place and pay your bills but the Government is not moving at the same speed. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
It is very unfortunate that Telkom stayed the way it did for a very long time, until Safaricom brought the innovation that we have seen in the market. That is why I think the Motion that has been brought by hon. Nyamai is very important.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government should know that anything that it brings up is a source of corruption. I want to congratulate the Immigration Department because there is a bit of improvement. You cannot operate in isolation. The only unfortunate thing is that you have to be known in order to get your passport within 30 minutes.
There is discrimination in the issuance of those documents. There is also the problem of religion. If we knew people from the very beginning, we would not have a problem of discriminating against them because of their religion. Those who are here and bear Islamic names like me, sometimes, go through a lot of humiliation because we are associated with characters that come from outside the country and bears the same religious or fictitious names.
I lost my diplomatic passport at the airport. We looked for it but we could not find it. I believe that somebody might have used it because my name is Yusuf. However, that could not have happened if there was only one identification document.
My colleague has talked about something very important on the on-going recruitment in the armed forces. There is a hell of corruption. You will hear from next week some people saying what they had been asked to give money in terms of bribes. It could be Kshs50,000, Kshs100,000 and so on. That is because those people cannot communicate with anybody else. For example, KDF is now conducting the recruitment exercise in my place and people are sending me messages. You will know what you are dealing with, when you have a proper registration and identification system. This is very important and I believe that we should pass this Motion.
The country has not been able to move at the same pace with the sophistication that goes on, even with regard to crime. I am told that it was corruption that led to the Westgate Mall attack. I believe that if we had a way to pin-point this from a central place, somebody would have known what the fictitious arrangements some policemen had engaged in to allow fugitives to get into the country.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion. We must embrace the digital era and be able to move at the same pace with the other countries which want to develop. If we do that, we will attain Vision 2030.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice on to this very noble Motion by my very good friend, hon. Charles Nyamai.
I rise to support this Motion and say that it is very timely. Truly, it is very difficult to get some documents due to the tedious and complex processes involved. It is outright denial of one’s right if he or she is unable to obtain a document timely. You even wonder why a very important document like a birth certificate can take such a long time to process, whereas such a document can be processed within a very short time.
I find it very interesting that some people have made the processing of birth certificates like milking a cow. If one wants a birth certificate, he has to pay something small. That is the case and yet, the person who might be applying for that birth certificate The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
might be in dire need of the document probably to acquire a passport. The delay in the issuance of that document makes the person delay in acquiring the traveling document. So, I really support this process of having a unified and harmonized system of all personal bio-data.
I also want to say that students are unable to register for their exams without producing birth certificates. In my constituency, the birth certificates are collected by the school heads. Documents are bond together and then taken to the registration office for the issuance of birth certificate. Sometimes, the birth certificates are not processed in time. I feel that this process should be simplified. Let the birth certificates be given at the place of birth and let the owners of the birth certificate go and collect them. Unless it is a late application, you do not need to wait until that birth certificate is lost or damaged in that office. So, it is high time that the system that is currently in use is simplified to avoid delays in provision of services. Issuance of identity cards is another problem in some areas, especially in my constituency. I have a situation where some of my constituents are 40 years old but they have never acquired identity cards, and I wonder why. The document is issued freely by the Government. Why can one not acquire an identity card without much difficulty? Some registration officials are corrupt. It is, therefore, high time that the Government re-organises that particular department with a view to getting rid of corrupt officials. It is every Kenyan’s right to have this very important document. It is unfortunate that despite being in a digital era, some people have not been able to acquire very important documents. Therefore, I urge hon. Members to pass this Motion, and urge the Government to spearhead efforts towards establishing a centralised identification system.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Katemi, the time for the Motion is up. So, you should be winding up.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those remarks, I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): I can see a lot of requests from very able hon. Members of this House. As per the rules of this House, however, we have three hours to debate Motions. We are now through with the three hours allocated for this Motion. Therefore, I call upon the Mover, hon. Charles Nyamai, to reply.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. With your indulgence, I wish to donate two minutes to hon. Roba Duba and two minutes to hon. Kabando wa Kabando.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Nyamai, you have ten minutes to reply and you have donated four minutes.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, hon. Members have a lot of interest in this Motion. This hon. Member has requested for a minute. That one has also requested for a minute. I will then take the remainder of the time.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): So, you have donated two minutes, two minutes, one minute and one minute. Those are six minutes. So, four minutes are for you. Please, observe your time, hon. Members. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank hon. Nyamai very much. He is a very principled colleague. I have had occasions to interact with him in my previous life. This Motion is a reflection of what I know of him.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will take the two minutes that have been donated to me to say a few things. Majority of issues have been raised by other hon. Members. In the areas some of us come from, the issue of identity card is a nightmare for the citizens. It is not something that people are happy to talk about because they are not being used for the purpose that we imagined they were originally meant for. What is a crime where I come from, for example, is not carrying an identity card; it is not having an identity card. That is a very big difference. Some hon. Members have said that it is very difficult for one to obtain an identity card. Let me add that it is only difficult for citizens of this country. For non-citizens who are not required to have Kenyan identity cards, there is nothing tedious about it. It is just a question of whether you are able to pay. You pay and get it within a specified period of time. It is very unfortunate that issuance of identity cards has been handled in the manner that it has been handled. We can now take solace in this Motion to improve the situation. I have mentioned to hon. Members of this House that it is not that people do not know the need for centralising our registration system. It is just that we do not do it. There is inertia. It is an interesting experience.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Your time is up, hon. Duba. Hon. Kabando, please, observe your two minutes.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support the Motion by my great friend, hon. Nyamai. Consolidation of a database is very important for this country, particularly in order to screen it. It will enable us to have a database that is reliable and predictable. I would urge my colleagues that when this process is initiated, we need to gather courage, as a nation, and particularly the leadership of this country. In some areas, there is a lot of mis-match. During the census, there were a lot of disagreements. But when it came to the registration of voters, we did not see the same reflected. That means that in those areas, there is infiltration by some “citizens” who would not want to be identified or appear on the national radar. It is very important, in terms of improving the security of this country, and in terms of efficiency. So, we should think in terms of having a database, from which we can easily collect personal information. Once the database is consolidated in this manner, and it includes documents like certificates, we can easily identify individuals much more comprehensively. I have in mind the sort of interviews that we carry out in Parliament. You find that there are very few vacancies, but nearly 10,000 people being shortlisted. A lot of man-hours and resources are dedicated to those interviews. We can very easily get eight or 10 people out of 1,000 shortlisted people. In the process, the individual loses so many man-hours and may not know where to go next. So, national identification, screening for security and reliability of the database would be the route to improve our development plans.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Yes, hon. Mohamed Dahir Duale, you have one minute that has been donated to you.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to, first of all, thank hon. Charles Nyamai for bringing forth this Motion. In my opinion, the passage of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this Motion will be convenient to the citizens of this country who are burdened with a lot of information already. Look at yourself – from your phone to the ATM and other bank cards. There is a lot of information that you carry with you. Harmonizing all the bio-data will be convenient to the citizens. Secondly, it will also improve our security. It will make it possible to monitor even terrorists. It will be convenient to our security officers in terms of monitoring. In future it will be possible for a policeman to have a laptop where he can get the information about any suspect they arrest without really going to the station.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this very important Motion. We are in the 21st Century and, therefore, we should be restructuring and reforming everything to cope with what is expected of us. I do not see why we should be processing those documents the same they were processed during the colonial times. It is a nightmare to get an ID in some places in this country. This is something that should be simplified. In fact, it is a right for every Kenyan citizen to have this. I want to suggest that those who are issuing IDs should visit each and every school. We have data of children in those schools. We have their information right from the time they joined Standard I. It is not good for citizens to be gathering at the homes and offices of MPs trying to get assistance to get IDs when it is their right and it can be done easier. I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Countries that have embraced technology and are using that technology to create competitive advantage have moved forward. We must remember that there was a time Kenya was listed as one of the most unfriendly places to start business. That is because of the documentation and procedures that were required. However, when we reduced that and even embraced the Simba System of clearing things at the Port of Mombasa and reduced the number of documents one needs, we started improving. By having a unified data system with one document--- Hon. Nyamai, having brought this Motion, I would urge that even the PIN for tax collection should also be included in this document. This will go a long way in bringing accountability to this country. Once the bio-data is captured, you will find that in the border communities like Busia, where it takes somebody a whole life time to get identification that time is going to be shortened. You will find that there is a woman who is married and her husband and children have IDs and yet, she does not have one because of a certain documentation that is required. In Scandinavian countries, for car registration, once you have the identification of your car and you are selling that car, you can keep your number plates. You do not need to acquire another one. That way, it becomes very easy to know whose number plate that is. We can help through that technology to even track terrorists. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker (Hon. Ms. Mbalu): Hon. Charles Nyamai, you now have your two minutes to reply.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I think everything has been said by all the speakers who have risen to support this Motion. I am really very pleased by the fact that we have not had even one single colleague opposing the Motion. To me, that is an indication of the seriousness with which we have taken this Motion. Let The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
me thank all of you who have contributed. You were quite a number and I cannot mention all of you, starting from hon. Gitari, the Member of Parliament for Kirinyaga Central, who seconded the Motion. However, for all you, on behalf of our fellow Kenyans, I am very grateful. I have taken all the comments you have raised, including areas where there might be conflict with the existing laws and the Constitution; areas that we need to work on. In particular, we need to amend the Registration of Persons Act. I want to assure all my colleagues and the House as a whole that we shall follow up this Motion with a relevant Bill. We will introduce amendments so that what we have discussed throughout the period can be given legal effect.
I really wish to thank you all and I want to assure Kenyans that, when we talk about a unified integrated database, we are not talking about centralized identification to Nairobi. No. It is only the database. Otherwise, everything else in terms of issuing those documents will be done right from the grassroots and I am happy that, in the current Government, a lot of infrastructure has been installed, starting with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). They have registration infrastructure, coupled with the laptops that are going to primary schools. If that entire infrastructure is utilized, actually, we can achieve what we intend to achieve with this Motion with a very minimal investment.
I thank you all and we shall be bringing the necessary Bill and amendments so that we can give it legal effect. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Thank you, hon. Members. We will postpone putting the Question to the next Sitting. Next Order.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:-
THAT, aware that every year floods and drought wreak havoc in various parts of the country; observing that flood seasons are often followed by times of drought, leading to loss of lives and lack of water for many; concerned that from 1995 to present, just over 500 small-scale sand dams have been constructed as water reservoirs, further concerned that as a result, there has been unplanned and rampant digging of multiple boreholes, leading to fast and widespread depletion of water tables; noting that such depletion leads to falling of trees and adversely affects the entire ecosystem that could be prevented by harvesting flood waters for later use; deeply concerned that the ecosystem has a big impact on the environment as a whole, this House urges the Government to build multi-dams and ensure they are located equitably around the country while complementing the existing dams, and establish other measures for water harvesting especially during rainy or flood seasons for sustainability. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was hoping that we would have a full House when I move this Motion because it affects each and every constituency, each and every hon. Member of Parliament and all the people of Kenya. This Motion addresses the following issues: Floods and drought. Floods and drought are directly as a result of climate change in our country and we have to ask ourselves:- Why do we always start blaming the environment when we have floods? Why do we start blaming the environment when we have drought? The fact is that we, as human beings, are not taking care of the environment.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as a natural way of taking control of the environment, we should plan for sand dams. Those dams will improve the lives of the poor people who do not have water at this point in time. I am aware that in every rural area, women give birth as they go to collect water.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the case of Ukambani, there are children who are called Mwanzia because the mother gave birth while going to collect water. When properly facilitated, women can actually produce 30 per cent more capacity in terms of their lives. That 30 per cent increase is something very important to our country today. Dams will also reduce the cost of electricity by 20 per cent. As we know, investors in businesses today are leaving our country because of the cost of electricity and, as a country, we cannot afford that.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in January this year, after a series of very serious floods - just in a matter of months - we were all looking at ways of getting more water. That was because we had not harvested that water. As rain, drought and climate depletion keeps on affecting our country, we will also have to remember the reason why we have trees falling. It is because the roots are not very perfectly positioned on the ground. That is because the water table is far down the ground; as a result of non- sustainability within the environment.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in my opinion – and I am sure many hon. Members will agree with me - dams are long-term solutions and it takes, at least, five to seven years for projects to be implemented. As we know today, as a long-term solution, we have rampant borehole drilling. If human beings do not get water, that situation will persist. But there is a problem when we have cow-boy borehole drillers going about their business, drilling as if they do not care and going against NEMA regulations. That makes the situation worse. I believe there is need to keep a very serious check on those cow-boy drillers.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as we put up about dams, we have to think about the negative impact. As we do that, we actually displace people who are living there. Therefore, those people need to be compensated and that is why I keep on going back to say that construction of dams is a long-term solution. That is because it is not easy to take care of the people.
In some areas, people have refused to leave because that is their ancestral home. Of course, that is something we need to look into. I also believe that while we are looking at dams, we need to look at rain harvesting. This is something which will work very well in the urban areas. In the rural areas, it is difficult to expect somebody who is very poor to think of, leave alone starting rain harvesting. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, flooding and drought leads to loss of lives. It leads to destruction of roads, infrastructure and un-hygienic conditions in some areas because toilets are actually submerged due to floods. That brings a lot of un-hygienic conditions. Bridges are washed away. Everything that we have is destroyed and we start from zero again. I would like to add that at this point in time, we have five dams in our country and some of them need proper rehabilitation. That is something that we need to look into. On top of that, I urge the Government that we need to have more dams. We have 47 counties. Let us look into this properly, so that we can have equitable distribution of water.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, water is responsible for 70 to 75 per cent of our agriculture. As you know, our Government is looking into increasing agricultural production, but what better way than looking at this pro-actively. Let us look at it pro- actively, instead of finding faults and asking ourselves later on what happened. I also want to bring another fact onto the table that in 2008 to 2011, according to the National Drought Management Authority, drought caused Kenya an amount of Kshs969 billion in damages and losses. Without urgent action, that impact will worsen.
With those remarks, I would like to look for support from hon. Members. I would like to tell them that water plans have already been made. You will probably be happier if you go to your constituency and find that many water plans have been made. What is remaining is to pass legislation to effect those things. I would like to ask my friend, hon. Peter Weru, to second this Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Peter Weru, you will use two minutes of your time and finish seconding the Motion at the next Sitting.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to take this moment to thank hon. Birdi for bringing this Motion. The Motion has come at the right time, just at the onset of the Jubilee Government. Water is life and it is recorded that it only takes about three to five days for any human being to live without water. We have gone ahead and upped it in the Millennium Development Goals which are supposed to be achieved by 2015 and also in our Vision 2030. Having water for all is a key priority. This Motion addresses two issues. One, it is about the environmental hazards, namely, flooding, landslides and many other environmental hazards that come after heavy downpour, which we always attribute to being acts of God. We, sometimes, imagine that as human beings, there is nothing we can do about them. This gives a clear direction as to what can be done to ensure that we address the impact of those environmental hazards on us. We could convert what we always take as unfortunate situations to become our fortunes in future. When we talk about water, we touch on several aspects of development. Floods have a big impact on our health. They also have a big impact on our infrastructure and on the way we carry out our daily activities. As such, it is only fair that we address the impacts that are caused by floods and provide solutions.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu: Hon. Kinyua, you will use your eight minutes in the next Sitting.