Hon. Members, I wish to introduce to you a delegation of the Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology from the Parliament of Namibia, who are seated at the Speaker’s Row. The delegation comprises of the following hon. Members:- 1. Hon. Moses Amweelo, MP
- Leader of Delegation 2. Hon. Stephanus M. Bezuidnhout, MP - Member 3. Hon. Sophia Swartz, MP
- Member The delegation, which is accompanied by Ms. Namasiku Lisazi, a Committee Clerk, is in the country to benchmark, learn and share experiences with Members of this House and, in particular, Members of the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communication and Information as well as other stakeholders in Kenya’s ICT sector. The Members will be with us until Wednesday, 2nd July, 2014. On my own behalf and that of hon. Members, I wish to welcome them to the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya and wish them fruitful engagements. Thank you.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House:- The Special Audit on the Procurement of the Electronic Voter Devices for the 2013 General Election by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The Value Added Tax Regulations, 2014. The National Social Security Fund Act (Regulations), 2014 and the Explanatory Memoranda and Supporting Evidence therein 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 Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of the National Hospital Insurance Fund for the year ended 30th June, 2013 and the Certificate of the Auditor-General therein The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of RIVATEX East Africa Limited for the year ended 30th June, 2013 and the Certificate of the Auditor- General therein The Kenya Airports Authority Annual Report and Financial Statements of the year ended 30th June, 2013.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House:- Report of the Committee on Implementation on a Study Visit to the US Congress
Hon. Members, the Special Audit Report on Procurement of Electronic Voter Devices for the 2013 General Election by the IEBC is to be referred to the Public Accounts Committee, while that on the Value Added Tax Regulations, 2014 is referred to the Committee on Delegated Legislation. The National Social Security Fund Act (Regulations), 2014 and the Explanatory Memoranda and Supporting Evidence therein are also to be referred to the Committee on Delegated Legislation. There is a Report to be tabled by the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Where is the Chairperson? Hon. Members, we will skip it but due to its importance, it will be tabled during the Statements request time Next Order!
Yes, Deputy Speaker!
Hon. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order No.44(2)(c), I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources regarding the country’s position on global environment agreements and, in particular, the Post-2015 Climate Change Agreement. Hon. Speaker, there is no country which has single-handedly been able to deal with climate change issues, and this has necessitated the formation of, and engagement in, regional as well as international agreements. Article 26 of the Constitution requires that any treaty ratified shall form part of the Laws of Kenya. Countries have, over the years, made agreements on the adaptation, management and mitigation of climate change effects. The 21st Conference of Parties to be held in Paris in 2015 has already seen regional governments, including the European Union (EU) and the United States, come up with working positions to be used as frameworks at the conference. However, the same cannot be said in Kenya and within our regional governments, be it under the East African Community or African Union (AU). Hon. Speaker, the Chairperson should inquire into and report on the following:- 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) the position that the country has taken or is taking in view of the 21st Conference of Parties; (ii) engagements, if any, within the East African Community or the African Union to come up with a single regional position; (iii) plans, if any, to engage the National Assembly in accordance with Article 26; and (iv) the timelines that the Government is working on.
Yes, Committee Chairperson!
Hon. Speaker, I appreciate the excitement of the Deputy Speaker on the Climate Change Bill, having just come back from Mexico. The progress on these matters is well articulated in a Bill proposed by hon. Otichilo, which is about to be debated by the House. However, if a Statement is still required, I will ask the Ministry to provide one.
What did you say? I have not heard anything that you have said.
Do I repeat hon. Speaker?
When are you going to provide the Statement?
Hon. Speaker, I will be able to provide it in three weeks time.
I can see that the Deputy Speaker is agreeable. Yes, Member for Nyeri Town, hon. Esther Murugi!
Hon. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order No.44(2)(c), I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Health regarding transfer of an X-Ray machine from Nyeri General Hospital to Mathari Mission Hospital. Hon. Speaker, public health facilities are meant to serve members of the public. However, patients who visit Nyeri General Hospital are not accessing sufficient X-Ray services following the transfer of the said machine to Mathari Mission Hospital, which is a private facility. In the Statement, the Chairperson should inquire into and report on the following:- (i) the terms under which the machine was given to Mathari Mission Hospital; (ii) measures that the Government has put in place to ensure that patients from Nyeri General Hospital continue accessing X-Ray services, and explain how patients to Mathari Mission Hospital benefit from it; and (iii) the policy guiding Government donation of equipment to private hospitals, considering the fact that, numerous public health facilities are in dire need of such equipment.
Yes, Committee Chairperson or the Deputy Committee Chairperson.
Hon. Speaker, I will be able to give the answer in two weeks.
Hon. Murugi, is two weeks okay with you?
Hon. Speaker, I do not think so because if you remember, I had requested for this Statement--- 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. Murugi, I certainly do not remember. I have no way of remembering something which I do not know anything about.
Hon. Speaker, I had requested for this Statement on 6th November, 2013 and the Committee indicated that it will give the Statement in two days then. So, they should do better than two weeks. One week should be adequate, if not two days.
Yes, hon. Pukose.
Hon. Speaker, I remember that the Statement was sought last year, and there was a problem from the Ministry in terms of sending people there and giving us an answer. Therefore, we want to have adequate time, so that we can provide the hon. Member with a good reply. It is not us, as a Committee, who will go Nyeri to verify the facts. It is the Ministry which is supposed to give us the response. As I speak, they have not given us a response to the Statement request. Therefore, we would like to be given adequate time so that we can give the hon. Member a comprehensive answer. Kindly, give us two weeks.
Hon. Murugi, hon. Pukose says that since they are not the ones going to Nyeri, and they have to forward the request to the Ministry, naturally, you would expect that a notice of at least seven days be given. I think the two weeks requested by the Committee is not too much. I am assuming that your gesture is a sign of agreement. Next request by hon. Clement Muchiri!
Hon. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order No.44(2)(c), I wish to request for a Statement from the Departmental Committee on Implementation regarding the outstanding payments to coffee farmers owed by the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) Limited. KPCU is currently under receivership. This matter was previously dealt with by the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co- operatives during the Tenth Parliament. Coffee farmers were owed approximately Kshs145.9 million, excluding an interest of about Kshs21.2 million that was paid in 2010 by Kenya Commercial Bank. A further Kshs4.1 million was paid by receivers from sales captured by guarantee. Hon. Speaker, it is important to note that KPCU Limited understated the guarantee. The outstanding payment has created a lot of suffering amongst coffee farmers. Some of them are out of business while others have outstanding bank loans, which they are paying without any gainful businesses. In the Statement, the Chairperson should inquire into and report on the following:- (i) the implementation of recommendations of a Report by this House by the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives, which recommended payment of coffee farmers before receivership; and (ii) the amount of money collected by the Receiver Manager since he took over. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Yes, Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Implementation. 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. Speaker, we may have to do this together with the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives, but I wish to work on it in the next two weeks.
Hon. Muchiri, is two weeks okay?
Hon. Speaker, two weeks is okay given that farmers have waited for more than four years. So, two weeks is like two hours. Thank you.
Yes, hon. Halima Ware!
Hon. Speaker, I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security regarding the brutal killing of Mr. Omar Kabiro in Madogo Division, Tana River County. On 15th February, 2014, Mr. Kabiro – a 63 year old man – was brutally killed while on duty guarding a hardware shop in the mentioned division. I would like the Chairman to inquire into and report on the following:- (i) the identities of the perpetrators of that heinous act; (ii) the motive of the killing; (iii) the investigations that the police have so far undertaken with a view to bringing the culprits to book; (iv) the number of culprits arrested and arraigned in court in connection with the killing; and (v) the measures that the Government will put in place to ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Yes, hon. Kamama!
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. This matter is serious because it concerns the life of a citizen. Therefore, we will give an answer in two weeks.
I accept that, hon. Speaker.
Very well. Hon. Arthur Odera Papa, the hon. Member for Teso North. Is hon. Odera not here! Let us hear from hon. (Dr.) James Murgor!
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public works and Housing regarding the status of tarmacked roads in the country. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure approved the tarmacking of several roads across the country in the last three financial years; 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. To date, most of the said roads have not been completed and yet, funds were set aside for those projects. Hon. Speaker, in the statement, the Chairperson should inquire into and report 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.
(i) the number and list of national roads which were approved to be tarmacked in the last financial years; (ii) the amount of funds allocated to each road in those three financial years and the roads which have been completed to date; (iii) the status of Iten-Bugar Road in Keiyo North Constituency; including the reason for the delay in its completion and what plans have been put in place to complete the road.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I think this is a question that I can answer on the spot. That is because the problem of the Minister has been the budget.
You want to answer it on the spot?
I can give answer, hon. Speaker. If you allow me to answer, I can give the answer to the hon. Member.
Okay. Go ahead and respond.
Yes, I can respond. If you look at the Motion in Order No. 9, it is going to give us money so that most of the works that has not been completed--- The Kshs15 billion we are going to get from the Supplementary Budget--- I want to assure the hon. Member that once we get that money, which is going to be authorized in the course of this week, some of that work - and particularly the mentioned road - will be done. That is because most of the contractors have not been paid due to financial constraints and the money is coming through this Supplementary Budget.
Hon. Speaker, apparently, I think the Chairperson has not understood the question. I think he is answering the wrong question. I am asking why those roads have taken long to be completed. I know the Iten-Bugar Road that I have mentioned was supposed to have been completed about three years ago. I want the Chairperson to give the reasons for that and state whether there will be funds to complete it within this financial year? I am sure that there is likelihood that he may not be having an answer to that question.
But if you are interested to know whether funds are going to be there this financial year, then hon. Maina Kamanda has addressed the issue. He has told you that once you pass the Supplementary Estimates, which is the Budget, Order No.9, then you will get the funds. If it is not, then, perhaps, the other issue you may want; you can canvas it elsewhere.
Okay. Maybe, he has answered only part “C”. What about parts “A” and “B”?
Hon. Maina Kamanda, what are you going to do with parts “A” and “B”?
Hon. Speaker, I have not seen parts “A” and “B” and for that reason, let me give one week to bring the answer.
Hon. (Dr.) Murgor, you will receive an answer on parts “A” and “B” in one week’s time.
Pardon, hon. Speaker. Please, repeat.
In one week’s time, you will get an answer to parts “A” and “B”.
That is okay, hon. Speaker. It is acceptable.
Hon. Samuel Moroto Chumel, yours does not have parts “A” and “B”. 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. Speaker, kindly, let me use hon. (Dr.) Pukose’s card. He is my neighbour.
No! You are encouraged to always remember that when you are coming to the House, you are expected to carry your gadget. What has happened? Hon. Moroto, you are a very experienced Member of the House.
I hope it will not happen again next time.
Next time, you may not get somebody donating a gadget. Hon. Pukose, have you donated?
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Hon. Pukose is my neighbour and brother and so, we always take care of each other. Hon. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 44(2)(C), I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security regarding the assault of one, Mr. William Moris from Kis Village, Kwanza Sub-county, Trans-Nzoia County by police officers. Hon. Speaker, the above mentioned person was assaulted and detained in Kitale Police Station by police officers on 1st June, 2014. The Officer Commanding Station (OCS), Kitale, instructed that he be taken to hospital to receive medical attention because he was seriously injured. The District Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO) promised to undertake further investigations into the matter. He went back on 13th May, 2014 and he was denied the P3 Form. On 3rd June, the victim was arraigned in court and no single charge was proved against him and he was, subsequently, released. In the Statement, the Chair person should inquire into and report on:- 1. the identity of the police officers who assaulted him; 2. the person or the authority that instructed the police officers to arrest him; 3. measures taken by the Government to ensure that police officers involved are brought to book; and 4. the possibility of the Government to meet the medical costs incurred by the said victim and compensation for unfair arrest. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. That particular area has become notorious for crime. I think the Committee should take, at least, ten days to report on that incident. Therefore, I think ten days will be okay.
Hon. Speaker, I think this question is very simple. That group is known. It is known where they came from and what they did. I can agree to the the ten days, but he has to come up with a comprehensive report about the matter. Thank you.
Very well. Ten days is enough to bring a Statement. The hon. Arthur Odera for a second time! Statement is dropped.
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. Daniel Maanzo, you can take one minute.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Today, I have been visited by students of a school from my constituency; Kawala Secondary School. I would like to recognize them and welcome them to Parliament. I would like to urge them to watch parliamentary proceedings and wish that they can be role-modeled to be Members of Parliament one day. Thank you.
They are seated at the far end of the Speaker’s Gallery, in white shirts.
Very well. They are acknowledged. The hon. (Ms.) Beatrice Nyaga, you have the Floor.
Hon. Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I would like to recognize Chuka Girls High School and their teachers who are in the Chamber.
Very well. We do not admit strangers into the Chamber.
Hon. Speaker, I hope you will give me an opportunity to contribute to the Motion.
We are not yet there.
I had cued to speak on the Motion but now that Hon. (Ms.) Nyaga has mentioned that there are Chuka Girls in the House, I would like to confirm that, that is my constituency. That is one of the greatest schools from my constituency and if they are in the Chamber, I would like to sincerely recognize their presence.
They are not!
Are there strangers in the House?
They are in the galleries; not in the Chamber. I know we do not admit strangers in the Chamber. If they are in the gallery, I would like to recognize their presence and welcome them to Nairobi and to Parliament.
Hon. Speaker, thank you for indulging me. I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House, today, Tuesday, 24th June, 2014:- The Budget and Appropriations Committee Report on the Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/2014.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, in accordance with the Provisions of Article 223 of the Constitution of Kenya, this House approves the withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund of a sum of Kshs13,426,943,763 representing the total net estimates of the Recurrent and Development Expenditure made up of the following:- (a) A sum not exceeding Kshs17,406,873,257 to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2014 in respect of Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/2014 financial year (Recurrent) having regard to the proposed reduction of Kshs5,440,402,092 therein appearing; and, (b) A sum not exceeding Kshs24,185,684,315 to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2014 in respect of Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/2014 financial year (Development) having regard to a proposed reduction of Kshs22,272,5211,717 therein appearing. Under the Vote for Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the Kshs300 million be retained under Recurrent Vote and Kshs270 million be allocated to Development Vote to cater for the shortfall in payment of crucial services under the Recurrent Vote.
Was there anybody on the Floor? Hon. Otuoma had a balance of two minutes. If he is not present, we will then give hon. Njuki, who wanted to contribute to this Motion.
Hon. Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity and very fast, because the time for contributing had been reduced, I want to thank the Public Investments Committee (PIC) - and especially the Chairman - for compiling this Report in good time. I want to start by saying that the SGR is one of the pillars that is supposed to give this country the framework to achieve Vision 2030, where we are supposed to have an effective transport system which is going to contribute to the growth of the country. There are several issues that were brought up when this issue came up. This issue came up because an hon. Member thought he saw something sinister in the whole tendering system and the Committee went ahead to investigate. I want to pinpoint two things that 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 very important. The current railway system that we have is very old. It was constructed about 100 years ago. I am told that it was a motivating factor for Asians to migrate to this country. I am happy they found this country good and settled there. The railway line that we have is what we call the meter gauge railway. It is only a meter wide and because of that, it is very inefficient in terms of technology. It does not allow the locomotives to achieve the speed. Secondly, it has no capacity to transport as much as an SGR would transport. So, in terms of whether it is what we need, we need it. If we need it, what is the hullabaloo about? Whenever we have a tender of such a magnitude in Kenya - and because Kenyans are usually very innovative people - there are some businessmen who try to find whether they can take advantage of the situation and do business on the side. I want to note that a company that had a similar name with the Chinese company that was supposed to construct the railway – the China Roads and Bridges Construction Company (CRBC) - was registered locally by two Kenyans with the aim of causing confusion and doing some business on the side. Hon. Speaker, I will go by what the Committee has recommended.
Hon. Members, you resolved that debate will be limited to three minutes and so, if you do not utilize your three minutes well---
Hon. Speaker, first, I want to say that I support this Motion and I sat in PIC that did this. I would like the House to understand that Vision 2030 of our Republic imagines a network of roads, railway lines, ports and airports and marine transport connecting the whole country and the region for an efficient transport system that is economical, and that can contribute not just to the economy of our nation, but also the region. This is under-scored by the fact that transport is a key driver of development and within the last five years, Kenya has made great strides because of the steps that were taken, deliberately, in improving infrastructure in the country. It should be noted that the railway system in Kenya is not just old - over 100 years - but it has also under-performed consistently for a very long time to the extent that, we had this guest in Kenya called the Rift Valley Railways taking over the system with the hope that we are going to improve it. Instead, it failed to do so and what Kenyans realized was just another attempt to reap off an old and ailing railway system. There was, therefore, need to revamp the system so that it can play a role in national and regional development; a system that is technologically up to date with speed and capacity.
Statistics will show that in the year 2012/2013, the Port of Mombasa handled 22 million tonnes of cargo into the country. Out of the 22 million tonnes of cargo, only 0.9 was transported by the railway system. What that means is that, about 21 million tonnes were transported on our roads, thereby enhancing and increasing incidences of accidents and causing damage to our roads. It is, therefore, important to note that, while the Cabinet approved the Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi and in the second phase, to Malaba, with a branch to Kisumu, I want to say that, coming from the Lake Basin region, it is very important that phase two of this project undertakes---.
Hon. (Eng.) Kiragu.
Thank you hon. Speaker. I would like to support this Report. I had the opportunity of sitting in the Joint Committee that addressed the need for a Standard Gauge Railway. Standard Gauge Railway has been referred to several times, 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.
but I would like to say that the Standard Gauge Railway which has a width of 1,435 milimetres is much wider than the current railway of 1,000 milimetres that is currently being operated in Kenya. The advantage to that railway system is that it opens this country to acquiring standard equipment like locomotives, wagons and coaches which are much cheaper than the ones that we are able to source for the one meter gauge. We have issues that are of concern to that railway. One is the connectivity to Mombasa Island, Kilindini and to Nairobi. I believe that once the independent consultant is appointed, and this is urgent since the contractor has already been dispatched to site, that they must address these issues: They must review the designs. They must put in place procedures for quality to make sure that Kenyans get value for their money. It is important to note though, that over the years, Kenyans have been able to operate a railway system and even as the Standard Gauge Railway comes, we hope that the people who have been trained in railway engineering and maintenance – who must be Kenyans and who had to be laid off when the other railway was given away to foreigners - can be called back to help train younger people to support that new project. That project is going to create employment to our people. It is going to open up opportunities for industrialization and it is my believe that, that project will change the face of Kenya in terms of transportation and industrial development. It is going to open this country to neighbours. I would like to pay tribute to many of our people who are of Indian origin and Kenyans who, for hundred years, have enabled this country to run a railway system. I support the Report.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak to this very important Motion. First of all, I want to set out and say that I support this Motion. I support this Motion because in my opinion, I think this is one of the greatest things that we shall be doing in this country. For a hundred years, we have relied on a railway line that was set up by the British in this country. We have, otherwise, transported our goods on the roads in this country and destroyed the road network. I think we need to be resolute in executing this. On this, the Government scores a hundred per cent and I want to support it without saying many things, which my brothers have said in this House. I support.
Thank you hon. Speaker for giving me this chance to speak to this Motion. History tends to repeat itself. When the original railway line was being constructed, we had the man-eaters of Tsavo. I want to equate the forces that were opposing this railway line to the man-eaters of Tsavo. As my colleagues have said, this is going to spur growth in the country. It is going to reduce the wear and tear that we expose our roads to when goods, cargo and containers are transported through the main road. The issues that were bedeviling this process as it commenced related to procurement. I would wish to urge the Government officers, especially those that are involved on a day to day procurement issues, that they must meet the standards that are set out by the Public Procurement Act. In as much as I know, the Act has issues, which we as Members of Parliament are trying to unravel. So, I stand to support this Motion and believe is going to meet one of our pillars for Vision 2030. I support.
Thank you hon. Speaker, I rise to support this Report. From the outset, I would like to commend the Committee that has done a very good job. We have been eagerly waiting to hear the end results of the Report, now that it is here with us. I 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.
would like to say that the Standard Gauge Railway, once it is started in Kenya, is going to cut a lot of freight costs. Currently, the cost of moving cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi is very high. We are being told that once the Standard Gauge Railway is put in place, it will cut the cost by half. That will probably bring the cost of doing business in the country down. I highly support this Report and I once again commend the Committee. Thank you.
Thank you hon. Speaker, I also rise to support this particular Motion. Having had a look at the balance of payment and problems that we have in this country, one of the major contributors is petroleum, especially the diesel that our trucks are using to ferry goods from the Port of Mombasa, upcountry, and to the neighboring countries. Others have spoken on the wear and tear on our roads that we have to keep on repairing. The other thing is the accidents that keep on happening because of the presence of many trucks on the roads. Indeed, if we implement that project and do it expeditiously, there is no doubt that we are going to save this country a lot from our foreign exchange. We are also going to save the country a lot of costs on repairs and from the accidents. There has been a bit of controversy at the initiation of that particular project. We will be asking the implementers to make sure that we get value for money. There is always the risk that, if the contractor is sourcing for materials in China, we might have challenges auditing the implementation and use of our money. So, it is important that, that be dealt with. Perhaps, it is also a high time that the Finance Committee expedited the review of the procurement law that we have in the country. The challenges that we are facing under the current regime of the procurement law can be a thing of the past. As we speak, there are very many lines of the old railway that are in disuse. There is one that has passed through Nyandarua County - which is my county - to Laikipia and Nyahururu. To be honest, there is a railway line there. But it is not being used. I would like to suggest that, as we implement the new railway line, let us also revive the old railway lines so that crops produced in the area that I represent can also be ferried to the market using them. That is because it is always cheaper to transport crops to the market using that mode of transport. Hon. Speaker, it is also important that the implementers of that project try to assess early enough how we can create more jobs using the project---
Yes, hon. Eseli.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for this brief time to contribute to this Motion. The issue was not whether we required the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) or not. We require the SGR for very many reasons that have been enumerated by my colleagues. The question is: Did we require it at any cost or at all cost? I believe that the cost we are dealing with here is inflated. They are saying that because of the topography, the cost had to go up. That is a red-herring. That is not the truth. One, this railway is one track and it is not electric. That cost for single track non-electric rail is very interesting. As I end, because mine is on the cost issue, my people - the Bukusu - have a saying. There is a very interesting antelope that when it runs to hide, it goes on the rocks and you cannot trace it. That is because you cannot find its foot prints on the rocks. But the famous Bukusu warriors traced that antelope even where there are no tracks 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.
caught it. I believe that posterity will trace those costs in future and Parliament will remain with an egg on its face. Hon. Speaker, I oppose this Report.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to air my views. This project is very viable both economically and socially. If it is implemented, it will relieve the road network which has been suffering due to heavy axle loads. This network is part of the East African Railway network and it is very clear that the second part will serve Uganda, which is a major trading partner of Kenya. In general, we shall benefit very much from the development of that particular project. Hon. Speaker, when the Report was submitted here, the financing agreement had not been signed. But it was signed in May this year. So, it is imperative that the Kenya Railways Corporation moves with speed and procures the consultant so that he can do the design review and eventually supervise the works. There are very serious issues in the Report which were addressed. That is people not attending sessions when called upon. This is against the law and the Standing Orders of the House. It is very important that the recommendations are implemented fully. The Railway Development Fund is a very big amount of money. It equals the Road Development Fund which currently stands at Kshs20 billion. It is very important that we put in place some measures so that, that project is administered in a very transparent manner. So, they should borrow a leaf from how the Road Development Fund is being run. Hon. Speaker, I support the Motion. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this chance so that I can also contribute to this Motion. First, I thank the Chairman and the members of this Committee for the Report that they have produced and is before us. Construction of a railway is an important project for this country. We, as Members, support the Government. It is worth to support that project. I have an experience and I do not know whether I can cite it a little. The Government decided to construct the oil pipeline one time and some people, including, me opposed it. However, after about 10 years, we found that the pipeline was very productive to the economy of this country. I want to plead with those who have a different opinion on this project to accept that it is a worthy project for this country. The Eleventh Parliament should support this project because it will add value to the economy of this country. Hon. Speaker, I want to support this project again. This is a worthy project and I appeal to my fellow Members of Parliament to support it.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to this very important Motion. I agree with the speakers who have spoken before me that it is a very important Motion. If you look at the kind of money that we are spending in terms of foreign payments--- The balance of payment which is affecting our economy is massive. If we had the SGR in place, we would have addressed this. This railway will impact on our economy massively. The cost of maintaining the roads in our country is very high because we are transporting very heavy goods from Mombasa using the roads. If you look at 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.
developed economies all over the world, you will find that they have used the railway to transport heavy goods. That way, they are able to spare the roads and that makes the difference. However, my only concern is this – and I want the Committee to take it into account – is on the youth. In the process of procuring the materials which will be used, I encourage that the contractor uses the youth to procure them. That is because we have people who have experience and can do the job. This is as opposed to the idea of getting foreigners to come to this country and do what can be done by the local people. We need to use the local professionals to do the work because there will be no value addition if we will get their loan and they finally take the money to their economy in the name of using professionals. That is because the work that they are doing can be done by anybody in the country. As a Government, I think we have a duty to ensure that the money we get, we get value for it. That money must go into our economy. The 30 per cent procurement provision that is given by the Government to the youth must be adhered to so that our people can get that money in order to improve their living standards, improve the economy and create new professionals who will drive this economy and maintain the railway gauge when the foreigners have left this country after the construction is over. We need to implement this project as a priority because it is important for this economy, which is young. We should also ensure that people get value for money. Before I conclude my remarks, I want to take this opportunity to thank Kenyans who stood with us when we voted in Bonchari Constituency. We were able to increase the number of the Jubilee Members in Parliament. Now, we have got one FORD People Member of Parliament from Bonchari. We thank the people of Bonchari for their support and showing trust in the Government.
Hon. Speaker, last week, I was not in. The people in my constituency told me that you were calling out my name in the House. I was away on parliamentary business. I was not just walking around the country. On this Motion, I do not know whether to cry or support it. That is because when you watch news and see Kenyans dying from simple ailments because they do not have medicine in hospitals, or you see them die as a result of hunger, and then you see a country that is trying to spend over Kshs300 billion to build a railway to connect Mombasa and Nairobi - which is already connected - it looks to me like a family which is going hungry and is unable to pay fees borrowing money to buy a plane. I know many of my colleagues are supporting SGR. But the priorities of this Jubilee Government are beginning to--- I am beginning to wonder whether they love Kenya or the contractors. We have seen them trying to buy laptops instead of building classrooms. We are now seeing them building a railway instead of investing the money to build roads that are more labour-intensive to spur the economy. This thing will cost Kshs3 billion which will go into the hands of the Chinese. They will come here and construct the railway and walk away; no Kenyans will be involved in this process. If I were in the Jubilee Government today, I would ask them to first of all build hospitals, schools and roads in all counties before they go for superfluous projects like SGR. Hon. Speaker, the process of procuring with regard to SGR started before we amended the law on external loans. I wonder how the Government was able to sign deals 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.
before the law was amended in this House. I totally oppose the SGR project. Kenya does not need it. Our economy needs labour-intensive projects now to spur the growth of the economy.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to this very important Motion. First and foremost, I want to thank my constituents of Endebess for turning up in large numbers over the weekend to welcome the visitors who came to our constituency, led by the Leader of the Majority Party. He was in the company of my friends, that is, hon. Kabando wa Kabando, hon. Mpuri Aburi, the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Health and others. When we travelled to Ethiopia a few weeks ago, one of the things we learnt there is that the Chinese will come and build the railway, but there are other works that should be done by the local community. This is something that Kenyans must borrow. The jobs that can be done by Kenyans in terms of building that railway from Mombasa to Nairobi should be done by Kenyans. That way, the Chinese will do their part and Kenyans will benefit from employment and supply of commodities and other things. That is a very important railway. Once we build that railway, it is going to take off the axle load from our roads and they will be long-lasting. I want to tell my colleague who has just opposed this Motion that when you have a good road that is less congested, even ambulances can reach hospitals quicker and save lives. More often, we see a lot of traffic jam on our roads. It is because of the so many lorries that carry commodities and so, for us to reach our places of work, it is a big issue. By allowing some of these commodities to be transported by rail, we will be saving a lot of time. Also, goods will be transported from Mombasa without interruptions. Many truck drivers take so long to arrive at their destinations. This is key in terms of spurring development. The construction of SGR will pump a lot of money and contribute to our GDP. Our economic growth is going to be realized through this. I support the construction of the SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi. I thank PIC for doing good work. I also thank the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. I think they put this country before themselves.
Hon. Speaker, I rise to support this Motion, despite all that has been said about SGR. That SGR, when it is completed, is going to transform this country. Those who are saying that SGR is expensive should ask themselves what happened to the Rift Valley Railways. We have lost more money and got nothing. So, I would rather have this railway constructed and we get something rather than lose everything. When the SGR is constructed, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. First, the transport costs are going to come down. Second, the destruction of our roads using trailers is going to come down. We are now spending a lot of money to reconstruct our roads after we have constructed them. The railway is going to change that. Hon. Speaker, as an environmentalist, I believe that with the SGR in place, carbon dioxide emissions are going to be limited. That is because there will be less vehicles on our roads transporting goods. I believe that the railway is going to spur industrialization in this country. The cost of transporting goods is very high in this country and the railway is going to reduce it. The congestion at the Port of Mombasa is currently a major problem. The SGR is going to reduce it. Again, it is going to create jobs unlike what others are saying; that it is not going to create jobs. I do not believe that all the Chinese 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 going to come down here to construct that railway. Kenyans are going to construct that railway. Finally, the Government should move with speed and get some money so that we can extend the railway to Kisumu, Luanda, and Butere and also from Nairobi to Malaba. When the railway was functioning, my town, Luanda, was booming with business. However, when the railway broke down, my town became a shadow of itself. So, I want that railway to be constructed as early as yesterday. I support the Report.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me this chance to support the PIC Report on Phase One of the Standard Gauge Railway. This is one of the projects that this country has picked and it will spur development in this country. We have been having one access avenue from Nairobi to Mombasa. I am sure that when that railway is constructed, then it will ease traffic on our roads and thus reduce the destruction of Mombasa Road. Again, accidents on the same road will reduce. The SGR will improve the economy of the towns along the railway line hence creating more businesses and employment. I also want to say that, by the completion of this railway, the growth of the economy will improve by 2.5 percent. Before I sit down, I want to thank the Government of China for bringing real development to this country. We have been relying on the West to help us to develop in democracy but now China has turned to develop the real economy and infrastructure. Thank you.
Hon. Wesley Korir!
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me a chance to contribute towards this Report. I stand to support the fact that, as a country, we need a railway line to lessen the traffic and stop the waste of resources through road repairs. I also wonder what the Report really answers. We know what the hon. Member raised was not on the fact that this country needs a railway line. He asked whether the law was followed in procuring and doing the funding. I am very concerned because of what we see on this Report. When the Chinese were invited by the Committee they, did not turn up because they said they are a Government-owned contractors. In their recommendation, PIC Committee says that the Chinese Company should have shown up. In their general recommendations, they did not mention that. However, they just focused mostly on the issues of whether we really need a railway line? Yes, we all need a railway line. We just need to ensure the rules and regulations of this country are followed. I would also like to thank the hon. Member who raised this issue. That shows that, as hon. Members, we are doing our job of Government oversight. If he did not raise this issue, we could not be discussing it. I urge all of you to be watchful. Let us not sleep in our jobs. It is the duty of this House to oversight the Government. It is not for the Opposition only. So, I support the Report that we need the railway line. We should also oversight the Government in what it is doing.
Hon. Dan Kazungu!
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I stand to support this Report. A lot has been said about the Standard Gauge Railway. I want to stand with the side of hope that this country, as many hon. Members have said, require a 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.
new modern railway network. If you are a trader today and you import goods from China, the time it takes for the goods to arrive in Mombasa is less than the time it will take to arrive in Kampala, which is our biggest trading partner. It is about time we have this new railway line. I have a very hopeless memory of the railway that we have right now. One day, I was traveling to somewhere around Taita-Taveta. The train just collapsed in the National Park. We had to walk in the park trying to duck elephants and hyenas. If we are serious about Vision 2030, which talks about transforming this country into a middle level income, then we do need a modern railway line. I would like to see a railway line from Mombasa, passing through Malindi up to Lamu. If we are serious about regional integration and linking up Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, then we do need a first class railway line. With all what have been said, we have answers from the Executive trying to distinguish the myth from all what have been said. I think this is the right way to go. We need a transport facility that supports our country’s economic turn-around. I urge this august House to rise to the occasion and ensure that we do have a line that transforms this nation going forward. I stand to support. Thank you.
Hon. Member for Kitutu Chache North.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Let me talk shortly on this Motion. First, I want to thank the Public Investments Committee (PIC) under the leadership of the indomitable hon. Keynan. This country will never develop unless and until we establish a good infrastructural network. What will make Kenya a transportation hub? We should increase and fix our infrastructure like roads, airstrips, ports and railways. One advantage of having that contract is that we are going to get cheap money. We are going to borrow money, which is going to be used in establishing the railway line. It is going to cost us a fraction of what it would have cost us if we borrowed locally or from western countries. Two, the railway line will bring development in our rural areas. I, therefore, urge this Parliament to offer oversight through the Transport, Public Works and Housing Committee, and make sure that, once we have constructed that line from Londiani- Kericho-Kisii to Isebania, you must avoid that gentleman’s constituency a little bit so that the people of Kisii, Kericho and Migori, who are very hard working, can get their goods to the markets very easily and cheaply. We should also think about reviving an extension line from Nairobi-Nanyuki and, maybe, to Meru. We should have another from Kisumu-Butere and, maybe, up to Busia so that Mheshimiwa here can get the benefits of a railway line. I get shocked when an hon. Member of Parliament, who is elected by the people, stands and says: “We do not want to have a railway line which is going to serve our people.” I cannot really believe. But, be that as it may, PIC Committee has done its oversight role and found the project viable. We should support them. If you have any other facts that are not in the Report, then go to court.
The hon. Rachel Nyamae.
Hon. Speaker, I rise on a point of order based on Standing Order No. 95. I request you to call upon the Mover of the Motion to reply. I realize that we have been repeating ourselves as we contribute. Thank you.
Well, hon. Members, it is not a must that we all have to speak.
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.
( Question, that the Mover be now called upon to
Thank you, hon. Speaker. In replying, I just want to take this opportunity to profoundly thank all the Members. As you have heard, since last week, when this debate started on this Report, 99.5 percent of all the Members who have contributed to this Motion have been in support of the Public Investments Committee Report. I, therefore, take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the Members for the support they have given it. The very strong points during the debate in support of this very important project for our nation and as many Members have said, that project will not only be important for this country and the economy, but the economies of the entire East African Region. Therefore, without spending so much time because a lot has been said on that project, I really want to ask the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Kenya Railways and China Roads and Bridges Corporation, who are implementing that project, to now move with haste. They have got clearance, if this House adopts this Report. I am sure because of the support that Members have given to this Report, we will adopt it and implement the project. That is because it will be of immense benefit to the people of this region, and not just the people of this great Republic. More so, our young people will access numerous opportunities and acquire technical skills in the construction industry. They will also get job opportunities as that project is implemented. With that, I thank Members and pray that we all support the Motion. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, who are standing up, can you take your seats?
( Question put and agreed to )
Chairperson, Budget and Appropriations Committee. Hon. Members, as debate on this Motion commences, it is important that we bear in mind that we still have some other similar Motions which, as a House, you are required to have dealt with before 26th June, 2013. This is just to appreciate that the House may be under tremendous pressure to deal with some of these matters. While we await the other House to give us names of the people to deal with the other issue, which you know we have already dealt with, hon. Mutava Musyimi, proceed.
I thank you again, hon. Speaker. I beg to move the following Motion in its amended form:- THAT, in accordance with the provisions of Article 223 of the Constitution of Kenya, this House approves the withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund of a sum of Kshs13,426,943,763 representing the total net estimates of Recurrent and Development Expenditure made up of the following:- 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) A sum not exceeding Kshs17,406,873,257 to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2014, in respect of Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/14 Financial Year (Recurrent) having regard to the proposed reduction of Kshs5,440,402,092 therein appearing, and; (ii) A sum not exceeding Kshs24,185,684,315 to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2014, in respect of Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/14 Financial Year (Development) having regard to the proposed reduction of Kshs22,725,211,717 therein appearing. (iii) Under the vote for the Parliamentary Service Commission, Kshs300,000,000 be retained under Recurrent Vote and Kshs270,000,000 be allocated to the Development Vote to cater for shortfall in payment of crucial services under the Recurrent Vote. On 17th June, 2014, we submitted the Second Supplementary Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2013/2014 to this honourable House for consideration, review and approval in line with Article 223 of the Constitution. Pursuant to Standing Order No.207(3)(b) and Article 221(4) of the Constitution, my Committee has discussed and examined the Supplementary Estimates and has made recommendations to the National Assembly, which are contained in the Report, that has been tabled on the Supplementary Budget. If I may just highlight some of that information; the overall Budget is proposed to go down by Kshs19.6 billion. We also notice notable reductions mainly under the State Department of Education of Kshs9 billion, the National Treasury Kshs19.5 billion, State Department of Environment and Natural Resources Kshs11.3 billion and Ministry of Energy and Petroleum Kshs4 billion. On the other hand, major increases in the budget are observed in the State Department for Coordination of National Government Kshs3.1 billion, Ministry of Defence Kshs3.5 billion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kshs1.2 billion, State Department of Infrastructure Kshs9.4 billion, State Department of Agriculture Kshs4.6 billion and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Kshs1.10 billion among others. The main reason for these reductions - and I want to say again of course we have had a session, not one, with the Cabinet Secretary, the National Treasury - are low absorption capacity, delay in implementation especially because of procurement challenges and also decrease in Appropriations-in-Aid. The Committee notes with concern the emerging trend by the National Treasury of introducing two Supplementary Budgets within the same Financial Year, which drastically adjust expenditures as was approved by this House in the Planned Budget, which is passed every June. Excessive use of Supplementary Appropriation not only undermines the credibility of the Budget, but is also an indication of poor expenditure planning and a hindrance to the country’s development agenda. To this extent, my Committee recommends that the Supplementary Budget be limited to one year, in order to allow for the country’s development plan to unfold as envisaged in the Planned Budget and actually function as a tool for growth. It is noted with concern also that despite the Printed Estimates having been presented and approved on programme basis - a point I have made enough times - the format of the Supplementary Budget Estimates too, does not conform to that of the Printed Estimates. 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 Supplementary Budget appears in itemized format as well as programmes with no indicative output. The same observation was made in the first Supplementary Budget Estimates, but it appears that this concern has not been taken into account by our National Treasury, a matter of no small concern. This makes it difficult for Parliament to understand the effects of budget changes on output. Section 44 of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, provides that the Supplementary Budget should include a Statement showing how additional expenditure relates to the Fiscal Responsibility Principles and Financial Objectives. However, this has not been provided, making it difficult to understand the basis of the various budget reductions and additions. Yet, again, this issue was raised during the review of the first Supplementary Budget Estimates, but I fear to add again that our concerns have not been taken on board. The overall Budget has been reduced, as I said again, by Kshs9.6 billion. However, the Committee notes that the Recurrent Expenditure has increased relative to Development Expenditure, which has decreased significantly. My Committee feels that this may lead to a violation of the provision in law as per Section 15(2)(a) of the PFM Act to maintain Development Expenditure at a minimum of 30 percent of the budget over the medium term. The increase in Recurrent Expenditure has been attributed to shortfalls in various expenditure items. Whereas, the decrease in the Development Budget is attributed to poor absorption capacities, as I mentioned earlier, it delays the implementation of certain projects. Hon. Speaker, my Committee acknowledges that there are various challenges encountered by the ministries, departments and agencies which have adversely affected the absorption capacity and may be contributing to the re-adjustment of Development Expenditures. These include procurement challenges, as I said, which have routinely been cited as an impediment to the absorption capacity of the various MDAs. Unfortunately, little effort has been made to improve the situation. Hon. Speaker, to this extent, my Committee reiterates the resolution of this House as contained in the Budget and Appropriations Committee’s Report on Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 2014/2015 that the reviewed procurement laws should be submitted to this honourable House within the stipulated time frame of 90 days from the adoption of the Report to address procurement challenges. Hon. Speaker, on the issue of growing Recurrent Expenditure, my Committee notes that this could also be due to an over-established Civil Service which necessitates budgeting of a recurrent nature at the expense of development. In this regard, my Committee called for an audit of the staffing levels of both the national and county governments noting that counties have continued to hire despite the National Government maintaining staff for the same jobs. Hon. Speaker, under the vote for the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), Kshs570 million has been reallocated from the recurrent budget to the development budget as agreed during the Supplementary I. However, it has come to the attention of my Committee that there are shortfalls in payment of crucial services under the Recurrent Vote. Furthermore, under the Development Vote, there is likelihood of delays in some projects due to procurement challenges and, therefore, Kshs570 million may not be fully absorbed. To this extent, my Committee recommends an amendment to 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.
Supplementary Appropriation that Kshs300 million be retained under Recurrent Vote and Kshs200 million be reallocated to the Development Vote in order to address those challenges. Hon. Speaker, my Committee is concerned by the continued disregard by the National Treasury of the Resolutions of this House pertaining to policy issues as pointed out in various sections of this Report. In this regard, my Committee directs that the National Treasury implements the resolutions of this House as contained in the Budget and Appropriations Committee Report on the first Supplementary Budget Estimates 2013/2014. Hon. Speaker, in addition, my Committee proposes the following policy measures:- (i) That before any supplementary budget estimate is approved by this House, the statement on how additional expenditure relates to fiscal responsibility principles and financial objectives as required by the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act should be provided. (ii) That since this House approved the budget on programme basis, the supplementary budget should be presented in the same format. (iii) That, as was resolved by this House in the Budget and Appropriations Committee Report on Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure of 2014/2015, the reviewed procurement law should be submitted to the National Assembly within the stipulated time-frame to address procurement challenges and finally, (iv) That, measures should be put in place to address issues surrounding collection and accounting of Appropriations-in-Aid (A-in-A) to address A-in-A under-performance. Hon. Speaker, some of these things are not being said for the first time and, as I have said before, and you too have said it, as I close, let me just say that we are having enormous problems getting the National Treasury to respect the timelines set out in the laws that we pass. It is becoming an absolute nightmare in processing these budgets. We work throughout, sometimes, on weekends and the National Treasury does not seem to see the need to keep its own commitments which makes work not that easy. Hon. Speaker, with that, I would like to ask John “Suba”--- I call him those names. You will have to allow me because you were not here when I said I am an Anglican as you probably know. If the constituency of Suba was an Anglican diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) and the hon. John Mbadi were its bishop, in the true Anglican tradition worldwide, he could be John Suba. Just like I had a bishop when I was a young man, who was the Bishop of the Diocese of Mount Kenya, the late Bishop Obadiah Kariuki. He was Obadiah Mount Kenya. So, with your kind permission may I request the hon. John to second the Motion?
Are you moving?
I beg to move.
I will then request John Mbadi to second? Is that what you were trying to say?
Yes, hon. Speaker. 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. John Mbadi, the Member for Suba.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I rise to second the Motion to adopt the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee with regards to Supplementary Budget II. Hon. Speaker, first of all, let me say that this Government is making history today. The history is that, for the first time in the history of this country, we are having a second Supplementary Budget. Whether it is a good history or a bad one, it is left for us and Kenyans to judge. Hon. Speaker, however, I think one would also appreciate that this Government came into power in the middle of the year and, therefore, the preparation of the Budget for 2013/2014 was largely affected by the settling down of the Government. So, one would appreciate that. But we hope that in future, we may not end up seeing what we see today, of having more than one supplementary budget within a period of less than three months. Hon. Speaker, Article 223 of the Constitution talks about the Supplementary Budget. It states as follows:- “Subject to clauses (2) to (4), the national Government may spend money that has not been appropriated if – (a) The amount appropriated for any purposes under the Appropriate Act is insufficient or a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by that Act.” Hon. Speaker, Article 223(2) goes on to say: “The approval of Parliament for any spending under this Article shall be sought within two months after the first withdrawal of the money, subject to Clause (3).” Hon. Speaker, therefore, looking or reading the Constitution to the letter or looking at the Constitution, it, therefore, means that this House could be transacting supplementary budgets even after every two months. I think this is one of those provisions in the Constitution that we need to look into again because it distorts and destabilizes the Budget implementation process and causes a lot of confusion and, maybe, may result even into economic instability and fiscal distortions. Therefore, I think, as a country, we need to look at that provision and see how best we can use those provisions. Hon. Speaker, having said that, there are things that we observed when we were looking at the supplementary budget estimates and I just want to mention a couple of issues in terms of details. What may be of interest has been spoken by the Chair. First, the overall Budget is reducing by Kshs19.6 billion. That, therefore, means that we over- estimated what we could be able to do in the course of the year and, more worrying, is that a lot of reduction is going to touch on Development Budget. I think, as a country and as a Parliament, we need to take interest in this and look for ways of ensuring that the absorption rate in this country with regards to Development Expenditure is enhanced and increased. Hon. Speaker, I am currently working on a Bill and on an amendment to the PFM Act so that we force the Executive to be reporting periodically on the budget implementation to Parliament and having a process of processing the same reports. 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. Speaker, the Chair talked about the changes in the Vote of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) but for avoidance of doubt and for clarity, I want to say that there is no additional money we are giving the PSC. What is happening is that initially, we had reallocated Kshs570 million from the Recurrent Vote to the Development Vote of Parliament but based on the developing scenario, we realized that we over-transferred funds from the Recurrent Expenditure to Development Expenditure and, therefore, we feel that, out of that Kshs570 million, Kshs300 million should be retained under the Recurrent Vote to meet the urgent needs of Parliament before the end of the financial year. The Chairman has talked about the format of the Budget which I do not want to repeat, because that is contrary to our Standing Orders.
Hon. Speaker, I want to touch on areas that the Chairman did not mention; specifically, I want to refer to loans. This House needs to be very clear because I do not want to see a situation where hon. Members walk out of this House not knowing what exactly we have approved. This House must realize that among the amounts we are approving, in terms of new loans, in this Supplementary Budget, is Kshs1.4 billion that was paid to the so-called Anglo Leasing projects. It is in this Supplementary Budget Estimates. Therefore, we need to know that the Government paid the money on the basis that they would apply Article 223 of the Constitution. Already, this money is spent. Therefore, as a Committee, we noted that the Government has paid and is now asking Parliament to approve the payment. This House now needs to make decisions objectively; let us decide whether we will go ahead and approve this, or still insist, as we did before we went on recess, that we are not going to pay the money. The money has already been paid, and we are being asked under Article 223 of the Constitution to approve that particular payment. I thought that was important for hon. Members to know. Of concern to me is the issue of debt management strategy of the National Treasury. I think there is a problem with debt management strategy of the Treasury. There is a loan we call “syndicated loan” of US$600 million, which was supposed to be repaid by the Government of Kenya in the month of May. This amount could not be paid; it translates to about Kshs52 billion. The reason we were given for not paying this amount in May was that we did not have resources. The programme of the Government was to raise money through sovereign bonds to be able to pay this loan. Because of requesting to defer the payment of this loan from May to August, Kenyan taxpayers are going to pay Kshs2 billion more in terms of interest and also penalties; this is because of asking those who gave us the money to defer the payment. Hon. Speaker, on top of this Kshs2 billion, there is also Kshs1.2 billion which has already been paid. There was Kshs570 million and then Kshs700 million paid for penalties. There is interest that we are going to pay. Article 203 of our Constitution is very clear that loan repayment is a fast charge on the Consolidated Fund. When we do budgeting, we budget for Development Expenditure, Recurrent Expenditure and Consolidated Fund Services (CFS).Those are the three categories of expenditure. We know that always there is under absorption of the development allocation. The only 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.
allocation that we absorb almost 100 per cent is that of Recurrent Expenditure; at times we even spend more than the allocation.
If we did not pay the loans, it means we have not used development budget; so, where is the cash that we are collecting from our taxes every month? It begs the question whether this Government has over-borrowed from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Have we reached our limits in terms of overdrafts at the CBK? I think the National Treasury needs to be very clear and tell Parliament that we need to be very clear on how we manage our debts. The office that is responsible for managing debts at the Treasury should now be in place, if it is not yet in place. The last time I checked, the audit office was not in place. This House must also take its oversight role seriously, and ensure that we do not waste money – this is what I call “wastage”. If you look at the definition of “wastage” in Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, it means not applying money where it will result in high productivity. Hon. Speaker, as this House considers these Supplementary Estimates I want us to take note of the following:- Do we need more than one Supplementary Budget in a financial year? You can even take it further and ask, do we even need a Supplementary Budget, in the first place? If you have proper planning and budgeting, you will not require a Supplementary Budget. In the first year, we can give the Jubilee Administration the benefit of the doubt, but now going forward, we expect proper planning. That is why the Budget cycle starts in August. The Budget cycle starts with the Budget Review Outlook Paper; it goes to Budget Policy Statement and then the Budget Estimates. Let us respect the Budget cycle; let us have some kind of co-ordination. Thank you, hon. Speaker. I beg to second.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support the Motion by our very able Chairman. Hon. Speaker, the Supplementary Budget should be brought forth to address unforeseen emergencies and circumstances. But the situation we have been confronted with, more often than not, is poor absorption. As we approach the closure of the financial year, you will realize that most of the departments are still holding money appropriated to them that has not yet been utilized. This, therefore, calls for rationalization, or rather re- allocation. That is why this Supplementary Budget actually is reflecting the budgetary changes that have taken place since 2013/2014. It sets out a number of allocations from our reserves and also transfers item allocations between various departments. Hon. Speaker we are, indeed, concerned about inconsistencies in the format in which this Supplementary Budget has been presented. In the long-run, this will interfere with our oversight role. The Supplementary Budget is presented in an itemized form, yet the original Estimates were in programme form; this complicates the entire process. I think that is an area that needs to be addressed seriously. 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. Speaker, I am also concerned that going forward, we will really need to prioritize our expenditure. The focus should be on unlocking our potential, especially on sectors that will help us spur our economic growth. This should be in such areas as infrastructure, energy and tourism. This takes me back to the Motion that we have just concluded; we were talking about the railway line which we need to support; the construction of the railway line from Mombasa to Malaba will reduce unemployment. We have so many youths out there who have no employment and people are not poor because they want to be poor; it is because of the circumstances they find themselves in. Let us not be part of the legacy that is going to fail; that will not provide opportunities that our youth require. This Budget process is very critical because it is through this process that we should create opportunities by making sure that we direct resources to the right sectors.
I want to support the position taken by hon. Ng’ongo; we are saying that we do not need supplementary budgets. If we are organized enough, and we have planned our expenditure properly, we will not even need to have Supplementary Estimates in the first place. Those are areas of concern and I think going forward we will need to seriously relook into them.
Hon. Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Hon. Speaker, thank you. I stand to support this Motion. As the Bishop has said – he calls me “His Worship” and I call him the “Rev. Bishop” – this is a Supplementary Budget; but he has raised a concern which is very important; it is that as much as we have gone through the process of devolution, decentralization and re- organizing ourselves to fit into the new vision and the Constitution, there are some people and departments which are just not willing to change with the times. He has mentioned the National Treasury and I will bring it up again. There are times when I wonder whether the National Treasury is genuinely trying to adapt to change or to sabotage it. This is because anybody who has had such power as the Treasury had before finds it very difficult to relinquish that power. I stand today with the approval---
As a matter of fact, I asked the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade whether he was going to stand and he said: “Will you please inform the House that as the Chairman of the Departmental Committee I support wholeheartedly this Motion and so are members of the Committee.” We, at the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade and the Budget and Appropriations Committee, at one time made suggestions to the National Treasury and other budget-making bodies to understand each other, so that we are not seen as intruders who are taking away their power. We are legislating and I think the Legislature must be given some assistance. The Treasury must fall in line; if it does not, it will cause major problems. The new Constitution has brought certain requirements. What is our job? It is to strengthen controls and operationalize legislative requirements. To operationalize them, we need those on the ground, who have been there before. They must come with us and be part and parcel of us.
Debt management strategy has been brought up as an issue and I do not want to repeat it; it is very important that we deal with it. This Supplementary Budget contains Anglo Leasing. For whatever it is, good or bad, it has been done and now we are 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.
approving it. That is good! Let us do that and put it behind us. At the same time, there are so many other scandals that are still going on.
I heard the other day that the British Government had arrested and imprisoned one Ketan Somaia yet we, in this Government, were giving him VIP treatment. There are others like Kamlesh Pattni who have taken this country for granted. The issue of cemetery is smaller but it is an anti-corruption issue. We must be assisted in organizing and bringing out our values; our Budget Estimates will assist in this.
I do not know whether vehicles and recurrent expenses take over 80 per cent of our Budget. When the current President was the Minister for Finance, he insisted that all Government vehicles must have a small engine capacity; we got the Volkswagens and others but the system does not listen. As I speak, there are many people just running around in fuel guzzlers. I wonder whether there is anything happening with regard to this. Even in travel, the Government put restrictions and said all local travel for less than two hours will be in the economy class of an aircraft. But if you travel by air, you will see all commissioners and other officials in parastatals travelling business class and spending a lot of money.
Finally, I come to the railway issue. My grandfather came here as bonded labourer to build the railway; it is the best thing that is going to happen to us; I am talking about the new (SGR). There are questions as to whether the Chinese are bringing here criminals or prisoners. We do not really care. All we want to see is that the railway is built as quickly and as cheaply as possible. I support the railway. I am the grandchild of a railway labourer and Kisumu came to be due to the railway, and so we support it.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Speaker, thank you for affording me this opportunity to support the Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/2014. As my colleagues have said, I am a Member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. I support this Supplementary Budget but also feel that there should be some discipline at the National Treasury and the entire Executive to ensure that the budgets are done realistically, so that we avoid having, in between, to deal with Supplementary Estimates. I would say that it is necessary for the National Treasury mandarins to ensure that we have fiscal discipline, and that programmes of the Government are done properly. The absorption capacity should be enhanced, so that we do not have to be rearranging development funds in between.
I also have to talk a little about the Appropriations-in-Aid (AIA), which in this country are substantial, but are not netted properly by the National Treasury and go to waste. This money should be brought to the system of budgeting, so as to avoid pilferages of sources. I would also wish that judgment debts like the Kshs1.4 billion given for the Anglo Leasing payments should be envisaged and provided for in the budgeting process, so that we avoid the possibility of the country almost coming to a standstill, or losing in the process. You can see that as a result of paying the Kshs1.4 billion, we have been able to float bonds abroad and we expect cheap money in the country. As for the railway, I support it fully and wish the Government will do the right thing. I come from Nandi, where the legendary Samoei and his group, resisted building of railway; we have since noted that a railway is the way to go. I support these Supplementary Estimates. Thank you. 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. I also rise to support the adoption of this Report by the Budget and Appropriations Committee; even as I do that, I think there are a number of things we need to note. The first thing relates to the issue of a Supplementary Budget. The Constitution is quite clear that the Government is expected to spend money in situations where we have emergencies or unexpected events. If that happens, there is a provision that expenditure can be regularized within two months after the expenditure through Parliament. That means, Parliament has to approve a number of Supplementary Budgets for the Government. They can even be as many as six in a year. The question is, is the whole issue of supplementary budgets the best practice? The answer is “no”; internationally, this is not the best practice, basically because it erodes the credibility of the budgeting process. At the same time, it is a very clear pointer to the fact that we are not getting it right in terms of planning and budgeting. What that says is, even though the legal framework actually supports the issue of supplementary budgets, international best practice demands that we minimize them. The other thing we need to note is that, if you read this Supplementary Budget, there is the whole issue of reducing development budget and actually increasing recurrent budget; at the same time, there is the issue of reallocating resources from development budget to recurrent budget. That is quite worrying and I think if this House has to do good to Kenyans, then that is a trend that must stop. When we go to the first budget, we have what we call projections in terms of economic growth of this country. I remember that last year’s projection was 5.8 per cent. For us to achieve that growth rate--- It will be very tricky if we get to the situation where we have money for development being reduced, or reallocated from development to recurrent. That is a trend which must stop. I think the Executive must make sure that it stops. The other worrying bit is that when you read this Supplementary Budget, you realize that the State Department for Infrastructure and the State Department for Agriculture have had their budgets reduced. That is another area that is worrying; you know, as part of economic growth, there are some key sectors which contribute to the projected economic growth. Some of that growth is actually in agriculture and infrastructure sectors. In a situation where you see allocations to these departments being reduced--- That is a clear signal that we are not going to achieve our economic growth. In future, this is an area which will need to be looked at, and, if possible, be protected, so that the budget set for infrastructure and agricultural is actually a 100 percent spent. The other issue which needs to be noted is that of the programme budget versus where we need to get clear output and targets in terms of what the budget should achieve. I think we are just repeating this. We have said this many times. I want to support what the Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee has said. The Executive or the National Treasury, needs to take the recommendations of this House seriously, so that we do not keep on talking and this becomes a talk show other than a House which has been given the mandate by the Constitution to engage seriously in budget making process. I want just to say something small about the public debt. When you look at the public debt indicators currently for Kenya, we are actually not badly off and they are within a manageable range. As some Members might be aware, we have been trying to do what we call rebasing of the GDP; that means coming up with a different base year. 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 expectation was, if we do that, then our GDP is likely to grow higher, and because that is the denominator for calculating most of these indicators, then our public debt management indicators will actually look better. But the initial indicators are that the figures we have been working with as the GDP for Kenya are actually becoming small. We have lower figures than we have been having. This means our public debt indicators are now likely to become worse. That means, we need a very clear public debt management strategy, so that we do not over borrow and at the end of the day, actually overburden future generations. It is clearly stated that for best practice, there should be a very good balance between the current generation and the future generations in terms of debt management, so that we do not overburden our future generation in terms of repayment of debts. That can only be done if we have a very clear public debt management strategy, which looks at all these issues I am raising. The last point I want to raise is with regard to the issue of repayment of this Kshs1.4billion. We know the money has been paid; I did raise my objection to that payment when we started, and it is part of this preliminary budget. I want to state that I still do not support it at individual level; even the Committee has stated its position. I agree with the Committee’s position though. I am just saying that in future we will need to be careful with this kind of payment, because we have generated more money through the foreign bond, but that does not justify making payments which might not help Kenyans much. For the future, I think we need to learn and make sure that all the payments made from our future budgets are clearly understood, and will add value to the lives of Kenyans. With those remarks, I want to support the adoption of this Motion; thank you very much for giving me the opportunity.
Thank you hon. Speaker for this opportunity. I also serve in the Budget and Appropriations Committee and do wish to support the Report of the Committee on the Supplementary Budget. I think all of us in the Committee agreed that we need to have very good planning for the programmes that we want at a time like now when we have the Jubilee Government with a manifesto. We should plan very well and put as much as we can in the financial year as we have done in the 2014/2015 Budget. But as it is, there are changes that are required within the year; that is why the Supplementary Budget is necessary at this time. We want to reiterate that some of the changes that are happening in the Supplementary Budget are actually moving some money that was meant for development to recurrent budget. I think we already have the Public Financial Management Act that limits recurrent budget to 70 per cent, so that 30 per cent is left for development. Even as we seek to do a Supplementary Budget, it would be very important that the balance is maintained; the country must resist the temptation to take development funds and put them into Recurrent Expenditure. So, even as we support the Report, I think we should make every effort to curtail our Recurrent Expenditure and put more funds into development. A time must come when a large part of tax proceeds of this country will be applied to development and not just to Recurrent Expenditure. The conversation on the wage Bill is one that the Committee and this Assembly support. I think the other issues to note, which have come up many times are absorption, especially of development funds, and the procurement law. I think time has come when 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 House must look at this law and pass a facilitative law on procurement. Although it is true that there is corruption in the country and we needed a procurement law that helps us stop corruption, I think we went too far in terms of what that law provides. The Kenya Qualifications Framework Bill, the Private Security Regulation Bill, the Scrap Metal Bill--- What we now see is an Executive that is unable to move, courtesy of the procurement law and procurement deadlines. I think reforms to the procurement law are required very urgently, so that the law does ensure that we do not have corruption; more importantly it should ensure that projects that are supposed to be implemented are implemented. Some of the changes in the Supplementary Budget have been caused by delays in procurement. Hon. Speaker, the other thing that we have been saying in the Committee is the end of year review. We have a Budget of Kshs1.8 trillion in this country but you do not see where this money is going. As somebody from Nyeri County, I have seen a few ambulances and police vehicles. That is as much as I can speak about. I ought to see more from the Kshs1.8 trillion Budget. Of course, some bursaries have been given to students, but we need to link our Budget to changes for our citizens. We are at a time when the country is on a low tide, and people feel that the country is not responsive to their needs. When we speak on this Floor, we need to reassure the people of this country that Members of Parliament or the leaders they elected, are seized of the issues that concern them; we should do nothing else everyday when we sit here except take care of the issues that affect Kenyans. When we come to a Budget like this one, it is important that Kenyans continue to see money for their water and education, including tertiary institutions; they should see us continue making efforts to deal with insecurity. There is still a challenge of linking our budgets to the lives of the citizens; we need changes that affect their lives. There is work in progress. We are three years into the new Constitution. We are moving very well and so I am very happy to support the efforts by the National Treasury and the Cabinet Secretary-- - I am asking that every year we keep on improving. As per the Public Finance Management Act, there will be an end of year review, in which we look at the money we have given; a Supplementary Budget is guided by a review on implementation of funds. We have also addressed the question of having a mid-term review. As early as December, the House, in its oversight role, can look at the implementation by Ministries and see where they are in terms of spending. This will ensure that every Supplementary Budget is based on recommendations of this House and on priorities that these Members have set. Hon. Speaker, I support the Supplementary Budget. I also support the efforts that the Committee is making. I support very much the work of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. I urge that we continue to serve our people with determination. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this chance to contribute to this very important Motion. I want to support it and say that the Committee did a good job. This is straightforward Motion and I hope that it will be passed urgently. However, as speakers before me have said, it is not a good practice to have a Supplementary 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.
Budget; but under Article 223 of the Constitution Parliament is allowed to approve spending by the national Government. I am happy that the Supplementary Budget has not exceeded 10 per cent of the 2013/2014 Budget. Having said that and supported this Motion, I just want to say that we are not very fortunate as we have exceeded our borrowing limit in the Budget. This is because we have borrowed over 52 per cent of our GDP. We have borrowed Kshs2.2 trillion, which is a lot of money. This debt will be paid by our children and grandchildren. Even when people were celebrating the Euro Bond, I was worried that it will put this country in a very precarious position, because this is borrowing and borrowing. This will make us be in as difficult a situation as some countries in South America find themselves in. Hon. Speaker, I would like to say that this Committee is one of the largest Committees; it comprises of very many Members under the leadership of hon. Mutava Musyimi, who nearly became the President of this country and could so become sometime in future. I want to say that next time he sits down to plan and do a budget he should make sure that he includes the Kitui-Kibwezi Road in it.
This is because people in Eastern Province engaged Moi’s Government, Kenyatta’s Government, Mwai Kibaki’s Government and Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government about this road. This is because there are substantial deposits of the best coal in the world in the region where this road passes. There is also the largest deposit of limestone and even copper for making--- Lower eastern region where the road passes is still untarmacked. It is shorter when you want to go to Meru, Ethiopia and so forth. As legislators, we have been talking about it. I appeal to my good friend, whom I respect very much, hon. Mutava Musyimi, who chairs this Committee on which an able Member like Makali sits to factor that road next time. It is bad that it has been left out. I also want to say that we should consider a railway line passing through that region to transport coal, iron ore and limestone. The other matter that I would like this good Committee to do next time - it is my prayer that they will do it - is about retired teachers. These teachers have not been paid to date. They went to court and their wish was granted. However, I do not know what happened at the Treasury; their money is never budgeted for. These teachers, some of whom are aging and others have died, are in big problems. I request the Budget and Appropriations Committee to make sure that these teachers are paid in the next Budget. This is because they are old and it is their right. They are not asking for any favour; they just want to be paid their money. Last but not least, as a coalition, we thought that it was not fair to pay Anglo Leasing money. I am happy that the Jubilee Government has taken the matter up now and the big fish will be caught. This is if this is not just a public relations exercise to silence criticism. However, payment to such shadowy figures should never happen in this country. We should fight corruption to the very end. People found to be corrupt, or to have robbed this country of its resources should be prosecuted because we have a good judicial 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.
Hon. Speaker, I want to support this Motion and say that this Committee has done a wonderful job under the watch of hon. Mutava Musyimi. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support the Supplementary Estimates of 2013/2014. The issue of planning for the unforeseen or the unexpected is important. This is because it is sometimes very difficult to plan for the whole year given that our economy has a lot of things happening in it. This is a good idea. Traditionally, we have these Supplementary Estimates in March. However, given the fact that our cycle of elections changed, and given the complex nature of the current Government system, we have the Supplementary Estimates presented now. That should not be an issue. I would like to commend hon. Mutava Musyimi and his Committee because of tackling the issue of low absorption capacity. I believe that they did not have time to look at all the sectors that they were supposed to deal with. I read in the newspapers about the county governments having Kshs66 billion which had not been spent, yet they say that they want more money to run the counties. This is an issue to be addressed at all levels. This is because all the money comes from the same coffers. It is only the national fund that is used to finance national and county functions. We have talked about procurement law, but I wonder why some sectors are able to spend while others are not able to do so. I do not think it is a uniform thing across board even when it comes to Ministries. There are those who know what they are doing while others do not know; so, they spend a lot of time trying to look around for how to start doing it. Nairobi County was allocated about Kshs10 billion and it has a balance of Kshs100 million. You will find that small counties, for example Vihiga, it was entitled to about Kshs2.4 billion and has an uncommitted balance of Kshs1.15 billion, yet no services are being rendered. There is no medicine in hospitals, children are being chased away from school and so on. I do not know what kind of procurement law will help the counties. I think it is just inefficiency in some of the offices. The Chairman has talked about the issues at the National Treasury. When we were trying to come up with new laws as a result of the new Constitution, I think there was a lot of resistance from the National Treasury; they wanted the status quo to be maintained. I am sure the Committee and Parliament will address these issues. Hon. Speaker, last minute spending by some of these entities encourages corruption. When they want to spend, they say that procurement laws are in place and you find them spending at the last minute. This needs to be checked by the Committee. Hon. Speaker, there is the issue of employment in the public service. You know, we have duplicated employment here. There is employment in the central Government for people working in the former Provincial Administration, county employees and so on. This is what is causing problems. This also needs to be addressed. We need to do a proper audit of what is happening in the national Government and the county governments, so that we cut down on expenditure. 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 Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is one of the projects that we need in this country in order to spur growth. Our economy has grown. If you look at the Budget of this country of ten years ago and compare it with the current Budget, you will realize that our economy has grown by about six times. I remember that in 2003 we were talking about Kshs283 billion; today we are talking about Kshs1.8 trillion. The economy has grown, but we have not grown our sectors proportionally. We have not opened the country proportionately. Anybody trying to block the construction of the SGR is talking about what may have happened 20 years ago. We do not want to go that way. To say that Chinese are coming to this country to mess up this economy--- Who built the railway from Mombasa? It was built by Indians! It is not Kenyans who built it! We must have measures in place that will control this whole thing. We have cities in China which, 30 years ago, had a population of, say, 200,000 people. They were like Kakamega. Today, they have a population of 50 million people. It is not because of births alone, but also because of the Government creating a conducive environment, and so people moved there to invest. Today I saw the President inaugurate the new Communications Authority of Kenya – a change from the Communications Commission of Kenya. I think this is a milestone. Look at the amount of money that was contributed today as a result of savings from that organization, it was about Kshs4 billion. Safaricom paid about Kshs2.2 billion to the economy just for renewal of their licence. That is what we want in this country. So, we must open up the economy. We must open up all the sectors in this country. We cannot say that we must build roads--- If we build a railway, we will save our roads. The cost of repairs and maintenance of our roads constitute a huge budget. I beg to support.
Hon. Speaker, thank you for giving me this chance to support this Motion. When you look at what is happening, the National Treasury is taking this House for a ride. We cannot sit here to do a Supplementary Budget and then after two months they bring another one. I have gone through the information on Recurrent Expenditure. I realize that the IEBC has been given Kshs1billion extra. I do not understand why. The money that was given to them for a registration exercise in the branches has not been used. What is it that we are doing? We have four or five by- elections. Why give the IEBC Kshs1 billion? I support the money allocated to the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government. What concerns me more is the Development Expenditure. The main reason we increase the Budget is to improve the welfare of our people. If we increase the Budget and we do not increase resources to our people, they will get poorer and poorer, then there is something wrong in the process of preparing the Budget.
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I want to be very specific and refer to the money allocated for roads. I was a Member of Parliament in the last Parliament and I got around Kshs.29 million for the roads in my constituency. That money has assisted me to do some work on the roads. This Financial Year, I have been given Kshs.15 million as all other Members of Parliament. I believe there are some constituencies which are bigger than mine. Hon. Members, I want us to think properly, if we increase the budget of National Assembly; on the ground where you come from, you have less money for roads allocated. Then what is the purpose of this Budget, because when we pass it, it is meant to help us improve infrastructure. Another issue is that, it becomes very difficult for me to explain to people that the National Assembly, where I sit, has increased the National Budget, leaving us with less money for the roads. This does not make sense. So, Members, I want us to be very serious and look at the issue of doing this Budget and how it helps the common person. Another issue I want to address is on contractors and suppliers. You find that people are trying to do roads, but when you go to other places contractors are sleeping on the job. People have talked here on---
Order, hon. Mbadi, what is it?
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Hon. Nyamweya is a good friend of mine and I do not want to be interrupting him every time he speaks because it has become a tradition. There is an allegation that he has made, which should not go on record without being challenged. As much as I appreciate his concerns about the roads and others, he is not right to say that Parliament has increased its budget. What we have done is simply to reallocate from one vote of Parliament to another. It is not that Parliament is putting more money for our welfare. That is not correct. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Yes, hon. Nyamweya.
What I have said here is that the National Assembly has increased the overall Budget for the country. When we increase---
My understanding of what hon. Mbadi is saying is that, it is not Parliament which increased. What Parliament is simply doing is appropriating from one vote to another. It is not the job of Parliament---
As we do so, the National Budget is increasing every year. That is the point I am putting across and if it increases every year, we should expect more money going to do roads, building dispensaries, providing water and building schools. That is the purpose of having the budget increase every year. We should expect the cost of living of the ordinary person to improve. If that does not happen then there is something wrong with the Budget. The first issue is overestimation on revenue collection. You find that at the end of the year, Ministries do not get funds. This has been happening since Independence. Why can we not be realistic? If we are doing the Budget, let us plan for what is attainable. I was talking about contractors; there are suppliers who have not been paid and had taken loans from banks. They were given work which they have completed. As we sit here, some properties are going to be attached, not because of their mistakes or mismanagement but because they have not been paid. The person who is not paying them is the Government of Kenya. These are serious issues and as the National Treasury does 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.
its work, we realize that there is a big challenge that is affecting the ordinary person at home. It is our responsibility as Members of this National Assembly to work for the welfare of our people. Another issue that I wanted to raise is, when you look around this Budget, we are increasing the amount; collection is increasing but the direct benefit coming to the ordinary person is not there. So, there is a problem here that needs to be addressed. Another issue that Members have said is about procurement. There is nothing wrong with the procurement laws. The officers who sit in Government do nothing else; they sit waiting for this money. What is happening with the planning? They know when the National Treasury is going to give them money. The biggest challenge we have here, as we move to the next Financial Year you will find that Ministries will stay without funds up to October or November. That is when they get money for development. As we sit here, some of the constituencies have not got their CDF money. What is the reason? Funds are not available. So, there is a problem here. The people from Treasury need to come up with a realistic and achievable budget, which is friendly to help the ordinary person, the farmer, the dairy keeper and the Tea farmer. I come from a place where we grow tea and as we speak today, the price of tea has gone down and the price of milk is not stable. These are issues that are affecting the ordinary person. So, when we are doing a budget here, it should be able to help the farmer sell his milk, help the farmer who is growing tea have a good price and a trader who is carrying his cabbage, onions, sukuma wiki to the market to find a road to pass, so that we are able to improve the welfare of our people. The problem with Treasury is that when we close this Financial Year, they release money for development in July or August. The issue of poor absorption rate has gone up. If they give money in December or January, how do they plan for it? They need to come up with a clear policy so that the people who work in Government are able to work and contribute meaningfully to the welfare of our people. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion, but I am supporting it because the Chair and the Committee have been very forthright, that they should not take Parliament for granted. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Very Well let us have hon. Bett.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to speak to this---
Order, hon. Bett. What is out of order, hon. Okoth?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Noticing the mood of the House, would I be in order to call upon the Mover to reply?
Well, I am sure you notice the mood at the moment. Let us give a few Members. I can see some interest. That will be sorted out at the right time. So, proceed hon. Bett. 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. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity to speak to the Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/2014. I want to say something concerning this National Treasury. It is a Government agency or department which should at all times keep the timelines. We require services in real time. We do not only require services from them but we require services on time. I want to also say that they should assist this country in terms of managing the national debts. This is because the debts which we are noticing at the moment are not healthy for the current generation and neither are they healthy for the future generation. Even for the stability of the economy, these debts must be managed properly.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also want to say that these procurement challenges we are hearing about are also contributing to the low absorption problems we have because of the delays. As we debate this, we are currently at a Budget of Kshs1.8 trillion and it must be felt across the country so that no parts of the country are doing poorly in terms of development and yet other regions are doing well.
For the case of the railway line that we were debating some moments ago, we support its implementation. In fact, we not only support the railway project but generally the rest of the infrastructure, including tarmac roads which will assist us in development.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to support the sentiments by the Leader of the Minority Party that the concerns of the retired teachers must be addressed so that in future our teachers can see that they really served this nation well. I want to thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee for this Report.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support.
Very well. Let us have hon. Eng. Gumbo of Rarieda.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion. As I support this Motion, I notice that the Budget and Appropriations Committee has highlighted areas of significant deviation from the revised Budget of 2013/2014 and they are talking of the Budget going down by Kshs19.6 billion. However, that notwithstanding the Recurrent Expenditure has increased relative to Development Expenditure.
Hon. Speaker, I think this is really a concern. I think as a country we really must find creative ways of dealing with Recurrent Expenditure. I am convinced that there are a lot of wastages in Government which really ought to be dealt with. I have said it here before that in my view we tend to have a lot of duplication of roles in Government. This is something that as we go forward, especially in the manner in which we make laws, we have to deal with institutions in Government which basically duplicate one another.
Hon. Speaker, I see no reason at all why going forward in the future we cannot even push Development Expenditure to 40 per cent of the total of our appropriation. Even as we emphasise on development, I think we must pursue development with a human face. Why do I say this? Over the years, we have emphasised on building roads, providing electricity to our people, giving water, building hospitals et cetera. However, when you look around we must ask ourselves: Why has this emphasis not translated into happiness for our people?
Hon. Speaker, I am convinced that even as we pursue development we must equally, probably, even with greater emphasis pursue social justice for our people. I think 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.
from where we stand the biggest question our economic gurus must ask and answer is: Why has sustained economic growth in Kenya not translated into more employment opportunities for our people, food security for our people, improved security for our people, improved health care and access to clean drinking water? I think these are important questions that we must ask because we know only a small percentage of our people in formal employment are employed in the public sector. In fact, of the millions of Kenyans who are in formal employment, I think if you remove the teachers, just about 300,000 Kenyans are in public employment. The majority of the people in Kenya are employed in the private sector.
Hon. Speaker, this calls for measures to remove barriers for setting up enterprises in Kenya and I am talking about this because soon we will be looking at the Finance Bill. I think the taxation measures that we undertake should be such that they encourage the development of small to medium enterprises as opposed to multinationals. This is because I looked at, for instance, the taxation measures that the Cabinet Secretary spoke about the other day. When you look at them, they maybe good in terms of promoting the development of multinationals but what about the small scale industries and enterprises?
Hon. Speaker, as I conclude I want to say that if you look at maybe the last couple of years our allocation to security has been quite substantial. Some people have said that insecurity in Kenya has gone up because our allocation to security has been below par. This is not true. In the last financial year, the allocation to security in Kenya, where security here means allocation to defence, internal security and collection of intelligence, was as big as the allocation for the rest of East Africa, that is Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi put together. Then the question must be asked: Why then with this kind of allocation is insecurity still a problem in Kenya?
Hon. Speaker, I want to say it from the Floor of this House that last week you remember we adjourned the House to debate the insecurity situation at the Coast. Personally, I think that security will improve significantly in our country the day those of us who are privileged to hold leadership positions will learn to preach peace. Here I am saying without fear of contradiction that I think security in our country will improve a great deal the day those of us privileged to hold leadership positions will learn to put a fine filter between their brains and their mouths every time they stand to speak. There is no question about it. A lot of insecurity problems in our country come from the pronouncement of leaders. We now need to move to the next level. My view is that if Kenya needs warriors at this point in time, let it be warriors for peace but not warriors who make the sort of pronouncements that we hear day in, day out. I want to appeal even to the mainstream media. It is also time they gave the warlords in our country a total blackout. They are known from the way they speak. It is time the mainstream media gave the warlords in our country a total blackout.
With those remarks, I beg to support.
Let us hear hon. Bunyasi.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the recommendations of the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. They have done a great job. The observations that he has made need to be listened to, particularly the distortion in relative allocations within and across sectors. When significant sums of money are appropriated through a supplementary budget, even though 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.
they may fall within Article 223(5), which requires that they do not exceed 10 per cent, such multiple billions have an impact.
The issue of absorption capacity has been mentioned. Part of the problem of absorption capacity is just poor management. It is a fact that the spending agencies do not plan well in advance or they are reluctant because the procurement rules constrain them in terms of what they would like to do. So, they come in at the last minute. Of course, Exchequer resources do not become available late in the year. So, before we rush to amend the law, we should look carefully at the administration of the current law and establish where exactly the hindrances are coming from. If we are going to succeed in spending Kshs1.8 trillion in an orderly and systematic way, we have to follow the procurement process. We have to allow managers to be on the toes. The spending agencies have to be able to plan ahead to meet the social objectives like the affirmative action for youth and women in procurement and so on. All this can only come with carefully crafted procurement plans. They cannot come at the last minute of the financial year that tends to happen many times. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we should consider the period for Budget implementation. I know that we have the Medium Term Expenditure Framework but probably, given the reality that Exchequer Issues do not become available until September or October; we should look again at our projections of expenditure. The expectation that Budgetary resources can be spent within the following nine months, including meeting the full procurement cycle, cannot be met if such a procurement cycle does not start until resources have been made available. There is a lot of discussion on the issue of shifting resources from Development Expenditure to Recurrent Expenditure. I want to state very categorically that this distinction, at some level, is actually slow but it is a useful distinction. I would like that money to go to Recurrent Expenditure and pay more teachers and the nurses. I would be much happier. Hold the expenditure on pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Increase the staffing side and make sure that they are working and are available. It is not in every instance that such a shift is unjustified. Most people think of development as capital. People think that every time there is a shift from Development Expenditure to Recurrent Expenditure, there is a net wastage. We should look at it a bit more carefully. There are times when you will want to buttress the Recurrent Expenditure in order to achieve the development goals that you seek. You do not achieve such goals only because you have categorised expenditure as development. We should think about that aspect very carefully. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, while on the issue of expenditure, I must go back to the issue of the standard gauge railway project. It is a worthwhile project. It is a very important project but there are other aspects of the railway line that we must look at. First, it was mentioned during the presentation of the Committee that if the standard gauge railway line goes only up to Nairobi, it will be only marginally profitable. That means we have to look into why that is the case. They said that if we continue with the project up to Malaba border, it will help to pull over the marginal return curve and make it an economical project. One can understand why it has only introduced congestion in Mombasa and created Nairobi. Most of the justification for the railway line is transit trade to 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.
neighbouring countries. So, I would really urge the Government to ensure that the railway line is constructed all the way through to the border with Uganda, so that we can move goods rapidly through our territory. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as we talk about this project, let me point out the fact that my people in Nambale are concerned about social issues, especially with regard to where the railway lines have passed without any provision for rail line crossings on people’s small farms which are rendered unusable. We are going to get a second line running parallel to the old line. Therefore, these issues are going to be exacerbated. I would urge that, in looking at the environmental and social assessments, the process be compassionate and be done in the modern way. It must recognise the lifestyles of the people. They are not the same as when that railway line was first built a century ago, when whole tracts of land were empty and when the colonialists did what they liked. Given our current laws, I expect to get a lot of resistance in law courts, if that aspect is not looked at carefully enough. Lastly, we should not saddle the Kenya Railways Corporation further until they get the standard gauge railway with an above cost railway; because it will never become profitable and the Government will continue sinking money into it. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I conclude, I would urge the Budget and Appropriations Committee – which is indeed a very competent team – that they must do something about the fact that the Supplementary Estimates come at the last minute of the financial year. So far, we have got more than one such Supplementary Estimates. We should ensure that the distortions that the Chairman ably articulated are corrected. Otherwise, we will remain a House of lamentation without any changes to the situation. Thank you.
Let us hear the Member for North Horr.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. On the outset, I want to support the Supplementary Estimates II of 2013/2014. I also want to commend the Committee for overseeing a good Budget. It is well thought through and well balanced, appreciating the circumstances under which we operate. There is never enough money for everything that we need. Strategically, the Committee is focused on the key sectors that have the potential of turning around this country’s economy. I also observed the bi-partisan approach that this Committee uses in its operations. The Chairman of the Committee moved the Motion and asked a high ranking Member from the Opposition, hon. Mbadi, to second it. That is how a mature parliament anywhere in the world should work. As leaders, there are so many issues on which we agree for the sake of this country. It is not always that we have to confront each, and not to listen to each other and move this country forward. I really appreciate the fact that we understand that aspect and request other Committees to emulate that good example. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Budget and Appropriations has not rewarded the non-performing Ministries. The budgets of those Ministries with low absorption capacities have been reduced. My own Committee has a list of Ministries which have not managed to absorb their Development Expenditure allocations. We have reduced the Budget allocations for those Ministries. 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.
Therefore, I am glad that this aspect has been taken into account by the Budget and Appropriations Committee by ensuring that the Budget allocations of those Ministries which are not performing have been reduced. That is the only way we can send a very strong message to them – that they should use monies allocated to them. When funds are not utilised, it means that Kenyans have been denied critical resources. For that reason, we need to take a firm position as the National Assembly. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the excuse that has been given here about rigidity of the procurement law, it is true that there could be valid arguments but we should appreciate the fact that performing and non-performing Ministries operate under the same procurement law. How come some Ministries are able to function effectively and utilise their funds? There is more to it than the procurement law, which is said to be difficult and cumbersome. It is also about poor planning and poor managerial practices by some Ministries. Therefore, Parliament, and especially the Budget and Appropriations Committee, should take a strong stand on this particular issue, so that Kenyans can get the service that this nation is able to render. I also appreciate the focus that the Committee has given to some strategic investment in our country, including making huge investments in the standard gauge railway project, and in security. There is no way we can fight Al Shabaab,Al Qaida and other terror groups if we do not resource our security machinery. I wish our security agencies got more money. As we go forward, in order for us to fight all the existing local terror networks, we must resource our security organs in order for them to be effective in their work. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, also resource allocation to devolution has been enhanced. As a nation, we agreed to devolved services such as health, water, agriculture, livestock and youth polytechnics for some good reasons. We felt that this would be a strategic way of investing in the 47 counties and serve them better than we did before from a centralised planning. We can only achieve that objective if the counties are well resourced. I am glad to note that every year, the allocation to the counties increase. If there is need for us to amend the procurement law, the relevant Committee of the House should make an appropriate proposal to this House, so that those issues can be taken into consideration. If we are deliver services, the enabling laws need to be facilitative. As I conclude, I would like to appreciate the overall Budget, which has considered all the constituencies in terms of allocation to the centre of academic excellences, which were built through the Economic Stimulus Programme, as well as allocation to our village youth polytechnics. This is a move in the right direction. I hope that in future, constituencies will be considered as centres of planning and service delivery, just as counties are currently considered. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Let us have the Member for Turkana West.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. From the outset, I rise to support this Motion, with all the observations that the Budget and Appropriations Committee put forward about the Supplementary Estimates of 2013/2014. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as the Committee has proposed, we should discourage Supplementary Budgets. The trend it is taking looks like Ministries, 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.
departments and agencies are defeating the budgetary process by this Supplementary Budget. This is because money is being shifted after it has been planned for and we have had public participation involved in this. After Parliament has approved the Budget, then you suddenly have two Supplementary Budgets in one year. This is actually defeating the budgetary process. On the other hand, when you look at the reductions that are being done and the additions--- We heard that the reduction is heavy on development budget and low on expenditure budget; thereby increasing the expenditure vote. This undermines the development of the country as a whole. With that trend, how do we expect the economy to grow when we are just spending and not investing in job creation? The other thing is the old approach to the budgetary process. The older approach was that the budgetary process was a technocrat’s field. The new Constitution has given us a new dimension to the budgetary process and Parliament is no longer a budget approving, but a budget-making institution. Yet the Ministries are not buying this idea. That is why we are faced with Supplementary Budgets. Parliament, having approved the budgets and made them, is getting re-introductions of expenditures that were not envisioned. It means either our Ministries are not effectively budgeting or they are overambitious in their budgets and therefore, occasioning the supplementary budgets being introduced here. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we run the risk of overambitious budgeting thereby encouraging miss-allocation of funds. That would, therefore, require that the budget be spent within the budgetary allocations. That is going to lead us into a situation where we start the budgetary process and then along the way it is derailed in its implementation and that will cost this country. Budgets are meant to develop this economy and when the economy develops, the living standards of Kenyans are supposed to grow. I would like to see us improve in our education and health sectors. Year in, year out, with the budget supplementary estimates that we have we are not seeing these improvements. Instead we are seeing downward trends in the quality of life that Kenyans are having. Therefore, the supplementary budgets, as the Committee proposed should be discouraged. Given the legal provision, we should allow just one supplementary budget so that our Ministries and implementing agencies are able to do effective budgeting. Budgets do not get revised along the way and that defeats the main purpose of having the budgets made. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support the Motion and observe that I am a member of this Committee. A lot has been said in support of what has been presented. But I want to pursue one line of argument and say that the frequent supplementary estimates we get here--- We could be creative enough as a House and insist that next time before these supplementary budgets are brought to us, there should be an explanation given to the House in terms of a paper. It should show reasons why there is need for supplementary budget and the areas which are being affected for the House to approve before the supplementary budget is brought to the House. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it has been observed that there are problems which bring about these supplementary estimates; one of them is indiscipline in 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.
budget-making process. The Treasury assumes that this House does not check or go through whatever they present to the House. But if such a paper is brought, or if such a thing is done to try to justify why the estimate is taking place, then Treasury will be more careful. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it would appear that the indiscipline that is evident in the Treasury could cause us a lot of problems. Currently, we are happy that the sovereign bond was successful and this may lead us to not over-borrow. Hon. Ng’ongo had mentioned that we seem not to have proper debt management mechanisms. I want to say that there would be a problem if we over-borrow because that must have been brought in with this sovereign bond, which is a double edged sword. Given indications of what is going on at the Treasury, maybe, they may not know how to manage this debt very well. The debt may bring money into the market which may then create inflation. That would then force the Treasury to go into the market to mop up excess funds which would again raise the interest rates, which the Government is trying to lower. Alternatively, because of this indiscipline and maybe lack of proper debt management mechanisms in the Treasury---
Order, Hon. Omondi.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for giving me a chance to air my views. Looking at the contributions in the House, it appears like we are just repeating what most hon. Members have said. Will I be in order, therefore, to request that the Mover be allowed to reply so that we can end the debate?
Hon. Momanyi, that makes perfect sense only to me. It looks like there are only three requests. With the three requests, I am sure we can finish within 15 minutes because I see most hon. Members are contributing in 15 minutes. Rather than putting the Question, the best thing is for me to mention that hon. (Prof.) Nyikal, hon. Wanyonyi and hon. (Prof.) Shaban are on the list in that order. They will contribute as I can see five minutes on average because many of the things have been stated and then we will call the Mover to respond. Your point is valid but you can indulge the House because we can still deal with it in a different way. So, let us have quick contributions and finalize this.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, alternatively, the influx of the foreign currency which has come in by way of the debt may strengthen our foreign exchange which may make our exports very expensive. What I am saying is that a proper debt management strategy which the Treasury has should be shown to this House periodically so that we are sure that we are not cutting ourselves with the same knife that we have sharpened.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for enabling me to get an opportunity. I stand to support the Motion. As a Member of the Committee, I am aware of the amount of work that has gone into this and I stand by the recommendations that the Chairman of the Committee made. However, I want to add a little to the issue of low absorption. All the time we have looked at the issue of procurement but there is an element that we have not looked at. It is the element of prompt release of the Exchequer. There are many times that the money from the Treasury goes late to the spending agencies. When this happens, then they are not able to spend. To some extent, the procurement is an issue particularly in major projects. But the law as 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 today, you cannot award or go into procurement process until the money is available yet as we all know, the Exchequer released the first time happens in August or September and there is very little for major projects. Whereas it is important that we make laws for procurement, we should look at areas where we should relax them so that work can go on without waiting. It is also important to note that most of the reductions we have are in development and so if we are in a process where we are always reducing development, then we as a country are not growing in areas of service delivery. I want to add my voice to the issue of Supplementary Budgets. This is the first time we are having two Budgets. I think the budget process in one year is a very tight schedule and to encourage more than one Supplementary Budget, I do not think the Budget and Appropriations Committee will be able to do it. We have managed this time but we have had to work sometimes overnight and sometimes over weekends. We must plan properly. We must implement properly so that we do not have the time consuming Supplementary Budget. We definitely cannot do two. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to comment about the increase that we have seen in this Budget to the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). I have heard a few people say that we are looking after ourselves. In fact, the PSC is under a lot of stress; a huge Parliament has come on in a short time. We need offices and the entire infrastructure. So, I think that is as it should be and in my view, there is a lot that the PSC has to look at in terms of the welfare of its members. One area that I do not think we have looked at is that of the support staff we have, both for the constituency that we are funding and the security. There is cry here at the gate every afternoon saying “ askariwalipwe !” This is an issue we have not addressed because the security with us is seconded. I know they get a little money added to what they get but when we travel with them, they lose the per diem that their colleagues in other areas get. Even when they are in parastatals where they have money added, they still are entitled to their per diem. This is an area we should look at and the PSC may actually need more money because we have a huge Parliament. Let me just take this opportunity to comment about the railway. This is something we should support. The issue was not whether we need the railway but the cost. I will have to get more information. At Kshs447 billion for about a 500-kilometer railway line, we are talking of a billion per kilometer. I am not an engineer but that looks expensive. However, we still need the railway line. The shame that since Independence we have not even put up one inch of a railway, we cannot go on like that. I know that when the current railway line was being built, it was called the lunatic line because people did not realize how useful it would be until it was put in place. I also know that when the road to Mombasa was being put in place, people wondered why people wanted a road from Mombasa to Nairobi. We know how useful it is. So, however expensive it is and we should look at that expense, we should go on with this line. May I also add that we will not get the benefit if the line ends up in Nairobi and phase II must come on very quickly so that we can get the full benefits when it reaches Malaba, Uganda and Kisumu. Again, when we reach Kisumu, there were very extensive lake services that were connected to the railway. We should bring that in place from Kisumu, Entebbe, Bukoba and Mwanza, around the lake. It was an extremely useful link 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.
with the railway line. So, that is something that we should have in place. But the cost of Kshs1 billion per kilometer, maybe we need to look at that but we should go on. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am in between but at the end of the day, I think this has been forced on us. First of all, in my life history, it is the first time I am seeing two Supplementary Budgets within a short time. The last time we had a Supplementary Budget here which I happily appended my signature to is about four months ago. Now the second Supplementary Budget is here and it is about week to go to the end of the month. That means there is somebody somewhere in the Treasury coming up with new ways of doing things which this House should not accept. It is a new trend and the Chairman made it very clear and I want to agree with him and with the recommendation he has made. This is not the way to do things because we are getting into a wrong habit. I quite agree that we have very able people in the Treasury; people with PhDs and a supporting staff that is learned. We have economists of this country. Why are we having the second Supplementary Budget within four months? Somebody somewhere sat on the job. I do not agree with this; that we sit here, do a Budget and somebody does not know what is going to happen four months down the line. Secondly, I like the Budget that we had because it was a programme-based Budget. For the so-called Supplementary Budget, tell me, what are the outputs? I have to be told as a taxpayer; people out here want to know, what are we paying for? The other thing that amuses me is that this House, which I belong, questioned the payment of Anglo Leasing. We asked ourselves here, who are we paying? Nobody has told me who we are paying. I now see this so-called Supplementary Budget and I am told it is already paid. From the outset, the Chairman has presented here that he has paid Kshs.1.5 billion. Where did the money come from? That is the question Kenyans are asking. I have just come from my constituency and those are the questions we are being asked. I am short of answers for some of these questions. My particular concern is the fact that the Supplementary Budget we are passing today, if it is going to be passed and I know it is going to be passed, there is that element of Anglo Leasing. Personally, my conscience is clear. Let it be passed but I want to be on record that I did not approve it, because we had not given anybody the permission to pay the Anglo Leasing. There is an issue here. Having worked in the public sector, we have parastatals out there that are making money. I think the Chairman has asked the question of generation of revenue. I think in Kenya’s context, those are cash cows. The Treasury should be able to look at that and find out what is happening with parastatals in this country that are making money. That should have helped some of these programmes. I would have liked to see that captured in this Budget. Again, hon. Speaker I am at a loss. Please do not take it personally because I am not sure what I am passing here. I am an economist and I am not sure. Nothing is clear to me, more specifically when Treasury can come and tell us, now tumepitisha hii . They find it very easy; we are rubber stamping issues that we have been questioning. I want when the next Supplementary Budget comes up to be told that this is specifically for this particular payment and then I will go with it. I should also be told why they underestimated that particular cost. We are now with Euro Bonds. I can assure you that we are going to have more problems with the same characters at Treasury. We will have more problems because 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.
there will be some interest. I want to be very clear that our boys and girls at the Treasury should be able to up their game, so that we can know what we are doing. The so-called Euro Bonds are coming. Again, we have borrowed money from China and my grandchildren are going to pay for it. With this kind of work at the Treasury, our burden is going to increase day and night. I am not sure whether I should say yes or no to this particular Budget. Last but not least, I want to say that it is no wonder we have issues with infrastructure and agriculture. I am supposed to build some dams in my constituency. They were approved by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resource through some regional development authority. I am told there is no money. That was a very important project in my area. I am also told the cost of farming has gone down. The same Government wants to do one million acres of land as there is food insecurity in this country. With these few remarks, I decline to support this Supplementary Budget.
Thank you hon. Speaker Sir. From the outset, I would want to start by congratulating the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee for putting together this Report concerning the Supplementary Budget. I know there is a lot of work which has gone into it, but I am a bit disappointed that Treasury has decided to do things in a reverse way. As far as I am concerned, this should have come before the Budget for the next financial year would have been presented to us. I would like to take this opportunity to ask Treasury to put its act together so that they can start doing things the right way. I know with the new Constitutionalism, they can present several Supplementary Budgets, but the timing is what is worrying me, considering it is coming just a week before the end of the Financial Year. Having said that, I know I have heard some of my colleagues speak with a lot of pain when it comes to Anglo Leasing. I have also heard His Excellency the President talk about Anglo Leasing with a lot of pain. A court order and a judgment done abroad has forced our Government to get into that situation. For the Kenya Government, it was a matter of choosing between two evils; the worst evil and the better evil. Trust me, it is an evil thing to have paid this money, but our President and his Government had no choice but to get into that arrangement which to them was the most difficult decision to make. I believe this money which has been put in this Supplementary Budget was to regularize that, because the Government would have continued incurring interest which was running to over Kshs.264,000 per day. That was a lot of money that we could not afford to lose. I just want to point out that the standard gauge railway which attracted a lot of controversy is basically because people are not used to change, people are used to business as usual. In Kenya, we like holding on to what we have always done in the past and we do not want to see new things coming into place, more so projects of that magnitude. It is very scary because it is a new thing. For most of us who are Members of Parliament and people who have worked in the public sector, we have travelled all over the world and we know we have been left behind by so many years. This is the right time for the standard gauge railway to be implemented, not only up to Nairobi. I have heard my colleagues asking for the Nairobi-Malaba line. I would also like to see that put in place and also one that will run to Tanzania though my Taveta Constituency. I know after 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 Malaba phase, that will be the next phase, which is very important and it will open up the East African Community through my constituency. When I was in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development with my colleague, the Member for Seme, Prof. Nyikal, we went out of our way to go and lobby the Treasury to avail funds for the universal health insurance, and more so, this was to start with vulnerable groups. These are the disabled people, old persons and orphaned children. I am glad to hear that in this Supplementary Budget they have looked into that issue. They have started working on persons with disabilities. To me, that is a plus because this is something that is long overdue. It should have been done sometimes back. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, having said that, I think we are on the right path despite the fact that the Supplementary Budget has been brought a bit late. I believe that this should have been brought here about two months or latest a month ago so that we can move on with the next Budget without having to look back. We should not ask why we are moving ahead and then backwards. I would like to tell my colleagues who have doubts that although this is the wrong time, we have a duty to make sure that most of these programmes are implemented. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I conclude by congratulating the Chair, hon. Mutava Musyimi and his team for a job well done. However, I ask the Treasury to pull up their socks so that they can do things at the right time when they are required to do them and stop giving hon. Mutava Musyimi sleepless nights worrying about how he will present this to the National Assembly. I beg to support.
Very well. Let us have the Chair, Budget and Appropriations Committee who is the Mover of this Motion to reply.
I thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. May I donate one minute to the hon. Member for Kabete?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to utilize the time donated to me as a Member of this Committee to support this Motion. It should not be assumed that the Cabinet Secretary simply appeared before a Committee of Parliament and made proposals that were readily accepted. I recall that during the Committee meeting, and this was one of the well-attended Committee meetings, a lot of discussion took place. Finally, there was a clear justification as to why these Supplementary Estimates should be allowed. I also want to say that in drawing any Budget, the expectation is that during the implementation there will be no need for any Supplementary Estimates to be brought. We may have PhD holders at the Treasury but that does not mean that we should expect perfection from them. I have just come from the great Republic of Ethiopia. I want to say that what we observed in that country in terms of their standard gauge railway line puts us in a very awkward position as a country. That country is 80 per cent complete in terms of the development of their standard gauge railway line. Whereas in the past we were comparing ourselves with the developed countries, we are having a big challenge and soon or later, we will be comparing ourselves with some neighbouring countries which were lagging behind us in terms of economic development. These countries will overtake us. 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.
On the issue of Anglo---
Hon. Muchai, you were given one minute and you are actually finalizing---
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to confine myself to the one minute donated to me. However, let me say that on the Anglo Leasing issue, there was a clear directive from His Excellency the President on the Anglo Leasing payment. He said that further investigations will be conducted. I am encouraged by what I am seeing with regard to these investigation; the freeze of the accounts in Switzerland. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those remarks, I want to say that I fully support this Motion.
I thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to reply. Let me begin by thanking you, your office and that of the Clerk and the Parliamentary Budget Office for all the work they do to make it possible for us to deliver as we have sought to do this afternoon. I also thank the hon. Members for their insightful, professional and patriotic interventions. We have made note of what they have said. May I just say that many of these issues, we had occasion to raise them face to face with the National Treasury. I get the sense that we are going through a transition and I do not think that, that is a secret. As much as I do not want to speak in defense of the need for a Supplementary Budget because I have too spoken against it, we might want to accept that the transition is not easy. Until the plane gets into a cruise mode, we will require interventions that help us into a period where the services of the Government are a bit predictable. Let me say that the amount of money that we are talking about is not small change. If you get together the budget for the national Government and that of the county governments, you will find that we are actually talking about Kshs2.6 trillion. This is because it is Kshs1.78 billion for the national Government and Kshs226.6 billion for county governments. The Budget of this Republic; national and county is actually Kshs2.6 trillion. That is not little money as I have said. We need to make sure that we can account for this money. We also need to make sure that we can show why we support this Budget. One of the major concerns that I have and I am not too worried about the national Government because watching the work of the Committees and certainly the one that I am honoured to chair, I know that we shall do oversight work. I know we will deliver as an oversight institution because the men and women that sit in the Chamber are up to that task. My worry is actually the county governments. At some point when you do the socio-economic impact we will need to ask ourselves what we will do about the county governments. When you give Kshs226 billion to a county and six months down the road you cannot see any results, where has that money gone other than trips and so on and so forth? So, we have a problem in the oversight capacity of the county governments. I think that is something that we really need to discuss. One of the things I am thinking about is the possibility of creating a forum for the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly to meet the budget committees of the county assemblies so that we can see how we can assist. I think issues of capacity may also be a factor and that is something that we need to look at in future. 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 remember listening to the Minister for Finance for Nigeria when I was in that country during the meeting that was going there. She made a very powerful point. She said that one of her concerns about African governments is their delivery capacity; there is a delivery gap. What is the capacity of our governments to deliver on the programmes to which we commit? That is a programmatic and professional question and not a political question. I think to again look at the institution of Government, we have designed it in line with the new Constitution. We have set up the different systems and structure. It is too near to begin to be too critical. However, in terms of staffing, are we over-established? Is there duplication? Why the lethargy? Are our staff underpaid? Do they have the capacity? How will we re-engineer the Public Service so that its delivery capacity is predictable? These are questions that we need to keep asking. This is because when you get to the point where the Recurrent Expenditure is tilted in favour of the Development Expenditure, anybody who has worked in a similar situation will tell you that you have a problem. So, we may need to come back and ask human resource questions about the delivery capacity of our Government. May I also say that we have accepted as a Budget and Appropriations Committee that we are doing some things too late, like the public hearings. We have agreed that for the 2015/2016 Financial Year, we want to do public hearings in September, October and November. We will make sure that we do them using the county platform and not the constituency platform because this is the National Assembly. We can also make a contribution early enough before we begin talking about the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) in January, February and so on. I look forward to making sure that we go to all the counties early enough, certainly before December so that we can make tangible inputs in the BPS. As I close, the issue of Anglo Leasing has come up. I want to thank Members of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade and the Budget and Appropriations Committee. They met and felt that we should support payment. In fact, payment has been made. I am constrained to remind us here that we did not support payment because we did not believe that Anglo Leasing was not fraudulent, indeed, it is! However, we also knew that this was not a choice between good and bad; this was a choice between bad and worse and so we opted to support payment. I am not in any doubt that in the course of time we will know that, that was the way to go in the interest of supporting a nation we love. I once again thank hon. Members for their contribution. We will continue to reflect, and I mean just that, as professionals to see how best we can help our country as the Budget and Appropriations Committee as we work with the other agencies. I beg to reply.
Very well. I must also congratulate the Committee which is one of the more hardworking committees of this House. With regard to the issue of putting the Question, I defer it until tomorrow for reasons which are fairly straightforward. What is it hon. Wanyonyi? I hope it is in terms of something--- I have already deferred the putting of the Question until tomorrow. Let us hear you though. 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, the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee says here that in the interest of the Committee, he supports the payment of the money to Anglo Leasing. I do not know whether that is the position of the Committee or this House?
Hon. Wanyonyi, I would not want us to reopen debate. In any case, to the best of my knowledge and I am sure yours too, the Budget and Appropriations Committee actually supported the payment. As to whether or not the House supported it, remember it was withdrawn from the Order Paper. I think what the Chair was simply stating was the position of the Committee which may not necessarily be the position of the entire House. By the way, the Committee is part of the House. Of course, it was not finalized because it was withdrawn from the Order Paper and it was not discussed. I do not, however, want to open debate on this matter. I think the point is now clear to you. I have said that the issue of putting the Question will be tomorrow. Therefore, we will now go to the next Order.
Is the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Health present? I am told she is not in. Dr. Pukose is equally not in. I, therefore, defer that one. Let us go to the next Order.
This is resumption of debate that was interrupted on Tuesday. I am informed that hon. Ng’eno had a balance of four minutes. It seems that he is not present. Any Member willing could contribute.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was on the Motion that has been deferred. I will talk later. I am not prepared to talk this time.
Hon. Christine Ombaka.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute on this Bill. I support it because it will help the education sector 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.
a lot. It intends to standardize qualifications and certifications. People come with certificates from all over the world and some of them are not accredited. This has given room to a lot of cheating. People graduate from unrecognized colleges and universities and then when they come back home they are unable to get recognition, let alone get jobs. This is actually a waste of human resource. This supports the fact that there is need to harmonize all the certificates that people come with from whatever universities or colleges and so that nobody suffers because the colleges have not been recognized by the Kenya Government. It is important that when you spend so many years in school and you come with a certificate that is not recognized, it is like you have done nothing in your life. It is a waste of human resource. This Bill intends to ensure that whatever colleges people go to they are accredited and that the certificates that they give are honoured and respected by the Kenya Government. That will give a chance for those who have those certificates to be employed. It is well intended and therefore we will not accuse anybody for not qualifying from a recognized university. It is good to regulate colleges that keep springing up day and night. In Kenya there are many colleges that are in the streets. They do not look like colleges, but they are operating and people are graduating from those colleges behind the streets. They keep mushrooming all over the place. There is need to have that control. Once we control that then every college that has been initiated in this country will know what kind of standards are expected of them. Anybody who wants to start a college or offer whatever certificates must go through the system that is recognized so that the students from that college will also be recognized and easily employed. I support this Bill for the same reason that anybody who goes to school or college and wants to be employed and recognized as having done well in life needs his or her certificates recognized. Through this Bill, we will standardize the certificates that we need. We will also accredit colleges and ensure that no colleges offer fake degrees. This is a well intended Bill and I support it highly.
Very well, let us have hon. (Eng.) Kiragu. Just for confirmation, hon. Muchai, Member for Kabete, had you not spoken on this particular one?
You see, it is good for you to know that once you have contributed to the same Motion, you cannot contribute again. Proceed, hon. (Eng.) Kiragu.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Bill. I am particularly happy that this country has started looking at this framework, mostly to address the issue of diversity and specialization. It is high time that we realized that this country belongs to the global world, where skills are either obtained in the country or across our borders. One of the biggest challenges in this part of the world is that we have a lot of people who go out for training, but when they come back they are disadvantaged because the certificates they obtained from other countries are not readily approved. I would like to bring up an issue regarding a certain area that has faced a lot of challenges over the years and this is training in the field of testing. This field of testing 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.
has various qualifications and certification schemes around the world and it has been difficult for people trained in the country to be recognized by other countries. We have found it unfair that those countries refuse to acknowledge the certification obtained in this country. The certification scheme under the ISO9712 has been approved all over the world. I am particularly saying this to European and American qualification certification schemes of the non-destructive testing experts. This has made it not possible for even our people to engage in testing for integrity for our aircraft which we buy from the USA because they claim that the certification scheme that has been used in this country is not recognizable. But, with a framework, like we have here which we can extend to other specialized skills, I believe that this country will put itself with the rest of the world so that we have now a procedure under which we can harmonize certain qualifications which are obtained from outside the country. In that way, we will open job market for Kenyans who are qualified, so that they can not only get jobs in the country but also around the world. It is important to note that Kenya has quite a big pool of trainable people but any means of discrimination through the qualification certification schemes that are not recognizable elsewhere, is a problem in this country. So, I support this scheme. I hope that particularly in the field of engineering and related fields we can formalize a framework under which we are able to access the competence of various personnel that are training in various colleges so that at least we are able to access their suitability in various job markets that are there. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support the Bill.
Very well, let us have hon. Member for Othaya.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to support this Bill. I support it because we know so many parents are suffering. They educate their children outside this country in universities or colleges which are not proper. We need students who are going to college, especially those going to train as pilots to go to proper colleges. This is so that they get proper jobs. You find people who have qualified as pilots being given jobs as hostesses. We want our people to be recognised by other countries. We also want those people who are educated outside this country to come back and get jobs because parents are paying a lot of money. We also want to educate our people out there. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this Bill. I also thank all the Members of this National Assembly because of their support when I had a court case. I also thank the Members who came to Othaya to support me. I am doing everything possible to be with you. May God bless you and give you what you do not have. Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Very well. Hon. F.T. Wanyonyi, I believe you have contributed on this one.
Let me close debate on it.
You cannot close. You are out of order. I will give hon. Nyikal.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Kenyans seek training and qualifications from all over the world. 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.
They go there in the hope that when they come back, they will be useful to themselves, their families and to the people of Kenya. Many times when they come back, there are queries as to whether their qualifications meet the standards of this country. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, equally, this country is growing fast and many universities are coming up and all of them are allowed by law to start courses and train people who believe they will be useful to themselves, their families and the country. Many times, people have had to undergo some training or remedial training so that they meet our own standards. As much as people suffer that way, it is also important to protect the public because again we have very many quacks who want to get into all sorts of practices. Therefore, I think it is extremely important that we have a regulatory authority that will look into all the qualifications that come into the country. I believe that this authority must have power to look at the requirements of entry and training before a qualification is recognised. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this Bill seeks to protect the public so that whoever claims to own certain qualifications or skills does actually own them and also it protects the people who have acquired education in a very expensive way so that they benefit from their efforts. With that, I support this Bill.
We have some 30 seconds. I will give hon. Shaban to start and then you can have your remaining minutes tomorrow.
Asante sana, Mheshimiwa Naibu Spika wa Muda kwa kuniruhusu kuzungumzia swala hili la shahada. Ni jambo ambalo limetatiza kila mtu.
Now, your 30 seconds are gone. You will have your nine minutes later.
Asante sana Mheshimwa Naibu Spika wa Muda.
Order, hon. Members. The time being 6.30 p.m., this House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 25th June 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
The House rose at 6:30 p.m.