Order, hon. Members! It is apparent that we do not have a quorum. Therefore, I order that the Division Bell be rung for ten minutes.
Order, hon. Members! We now have the required numbers. I must commend hon. Members for making it on a Thursday morning. It is a good thing.
Hon. Wafula, what is it?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. About four months ago, I did request for a statement from the Chairperson of Lands Committee in regard to issuance of title deeds in the country, particularly in Trans Nzoia County. The Statement appeared on the Order Paper about twice but the Chairman was not in the House to respond to it. I would like to know the position of this Statement from the Chairperson of Lands Committee.
Hon. Wafula, I want to get some confirmation from you. First, is it a statement you sought four months ago; you say it appeared on the Order Paper, or did it mutate to a question? Or it is a statement that you requested?
It was converted into a question. That was about four months ago. I would like to know the position of the same from the Chairperson of Lands Committee.
Do we have the Chair of Lands Committee here? I cannot see hon. Muiru, and the deputy hon. Sakuda. I can see some Members of the Committee. Surely hon. Serut is a Member of that Committee. Hon. 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.
Serut, you could tell us where you think the statement by your neighbour has reached. Put it at the intervention slot. First of all let me hear from hon. Serut.
Thank you, Temporary Deputy Speaker. I used to work in the Ministry of Lands but I am not a Member of that Departmental Committee.
Do we have any other Member of the Committee here? I can see hon.Member for Bomet East. You have just come in. Hon. Wafula is complaining that for the last four months a statement has been lying with your Committee, what is the status, if you have any information? If you do not have, we can let hon. Wafula ask it later when the Chair is there. Are you a member of that Committee hon. Wandayi? So, yours is on a different thing? Since I can see that no Member is prepared to commit themselves, that is something we can pursue but for the Members who are here, let it be known and let your Chair and the Committee be informed that there is an issue by hon. Wafula which has not been transacted and it is something that needs to be done urgently. Hon. Wandayi, what is it?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is on a related matter. We are having a serious problem. We are aware that the Chairmen of the Committees have stopped giving responses to statement requests but then we did agree also that the Cabinet Secretaries will be appearing in the House on Tuesdays to give responses to specific questions. Firstly, for the last two weeks we have not seen them. More importantly is the manner these questions are being priotised. There are questions which have stayed in the Table Office for so long. I have in mind three questions which I asked the Attoney General, the Minister for Internal Security and the Minister for Agriculture close to four months ago. There is no clarity or transparency as to who priotises these questions. What criterion is used to place which question on the agenda for discussion on a specific day? So, we are left in abeyance. In fact, at times we have a feeling that may be some questions are being killed. We need a clear direction as to how we are going to get these answers to these pertinent questions.
I get your point hon. Wandanyi. Unfortunately, this is an administration issue. We understand because this is a new phenomenon now but it is something which needs to be looked at, especially considering that the times that Cabinet Secretaries are appearing before Parliament are not sufficient. It is something that needs to be revisited and I am sure the relevant people are listening to what you are saying. It is something that is a source of concern. You can see even the issue by hon. Wafula itself, as much as it is not question, it is almost in the same direction. So, it is something that needs to be revisited and made tidier. What is it hon. Member for Chuka/Igambang’ombe. Is it on the same thing?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I wanted to add my voice on that but it is not only on the statements. We do have a system in this House which we normally have to follow; the tracker for petitions. If you look at the petition tracker today, even all those petitions that we had filed earlier in the month and last month, there is no information. Some of them are very simple petitions that can be implemented without having to involve the Committee on Budget and the Ministries. Two months ago I asked The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
for a statement in connection with erection of bumps at Kathwana Market. Since that time, which is two months ago, a few more people have died and it is a very simple thing. It just needs a contractor on site to be given instructions by the Ministry to erect bumps. There should be a way, at least; even the Committee should update Members of Parliament on the position of the petition so that they can know what to tell the petioners even as we wait for the results.
Hon. Member, your voice has been heard. I am sure it will be handled better. Order Members, next Order!
Hon. Members, we now have the numbers and, therefore, the Question will be put. I, therefore, proceed to put the Question.
Order, hon. Members! We are now on Order No. 11; Committee of the Whole House. The Bill we are going to transact is the Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (National Assembly Bill No. 31 of 2014). I can see the Chair of the relevant Committee is present. Therefore, we will proceed. Before we start transacting that particular Bill, there are several amendments by hon. (Ms.) R.K. Nyamai. Actually, I cannot see her here. I also do not see the Vice-Chair of the Committee, hon. Mule. He is also not in. However, just for record, those particular amendments have been found to violate our Standing Order No. 133(5). Therefore, they will not be sustained; we will not proceed with them. That is a brief communication because I do not see the persons who wanted to move them. We are going to proceed with the rest that are in the Order Paper.
Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, the Bill be amended by deleting clause 6 and substituting therefore the following new clause ─ 6. Section 5 of the principal Act is amended by─ (a) deleting the word “Council” and substituting therefor the words “Cabinet Secretary” (b) inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (c) ─ (ca) provide evidence of public participation in the formulation of the policy and the environmental action plan. 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 Chairman, with the repealing of the Environment Council, stakeholders were of the view that they would not be sure that the Cabinet Secretary would consult while making policies or legislations. So, we are putting a mandatory provision that the Cabinet Secretary must show evidence to either the House or any stakeholder that they have indulged in public participation during the formulation of policies and laws. Thank you.
I see hon. Ottichilo.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I support this amendment by the Chairlady of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Committee. This is because it is extremely important. Many times the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) or anybody would say that they have consulted the people, but there is no evidence. We want to anchor in this law that there must be evidence that, indeed, people were consulted
Hon. Limo, you have the floor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, consultation is very important. I wish we could even have an extension of that clause to make it actually more serious. We have had several cases where NEMA has actually purported to have consulted the public, especially when they are licensing, when that has not happened. Therefore, it is very important that they involve the public.
Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, clause 9 of the Bill be amended by─ (a) inserting the following new paragraph immediately before paragraph (a) ─ “(aa) by inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (b) ─ (ba) audit and determine the net worth or value of the natural resources in Kenya;” 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 Chairman, we are adding a function to NEMA to perform auditing and determine the net worth of the natural resources in our Republic. We believe natural resources provide so much to our economy, yet the returns that the Government gets from the sector are low. There is no quantification of that value.
Let us hear from the hon. Member for Balambala Constituency.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I wish to support this amendment. This is actually an innovation. In many developed countries like the European countries, they audit the value of their natural resources. Unfortunately, in Kenya we have not done this before. I believe this law will quantify the worthiness of our country. It is a good one. I support.
Very well. Let us have the hon. Member for Gilgil Constituency.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I also want to support this amendment by the Chair. Since land use and environmental matters are inseparable, it is important that NEMA gets advice from those agencies that are dealing with land matters. I support.
Very well. Lastly, let us have the hon. Member for Turkana Constituency.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I support this amendment. We are not good stewards of what God has given us because the public does not really know the value and worthiness of our natural resources. If we all knew the value and worthiness of our animals, forests, minerals, land and all the resources we have, we would appreciate them. Therefore, protecting them would be a necessity. So, I really support this amendment.
Hon. M'uthari, do you have something to say on this amendment?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I am also rising to support this particular amendment. Determining the net worth of our natural resources is of utmost importance. This is because at times we end up being exploited by foreign bodies or companies when we are not very clear about the net worth of what we have as natural resource. I support this amendment.
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Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, clause 14 of the Bill be amended by inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (b) ─ (c) in sub-section 4 by inserting the words “issuance of certification, incentives,” immediately after the words “capacity building”.
That was extremely very short.
Let us hear hon. Serut.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I want to plead with the Chairlady to explain the import of that amendment because I do not have the original Bill here with me. Just saying that clause 14 be amended as per the Order Paper will not inform hon. Members what is happening on this particular Bill.
Well, but hon. Members should also read it. Hon. (Ms.) Abdalla, hon. Serut is lost somewhere in the forest.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, the import of this amendment was with regard to the function of the National Environmental Trust (NET) Fund. One of the functions we want to introduce is for them to issue certificates and incentives to businesses that, out of their own volition, are able to do energy saving or other activities. It is sort of energy ISO so that you are able to improve your institutions’ competitiveness.
However, I am a bit worried and I would like to withdraw this amendment because when I refer back to the original Bill, the terms mentioned are not there. I would like to withdraw this amendment.
That to me seems a little clearer now. I actually agree with hon. Serut; you were not clear earlier and that is unlike you, hon. (Ms.) Abdalla. I can see an intervention from hon. Ndiritu.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, the earlier argument was to make it a statutory organization; that is a State corporation so that it can have some autonomy. Now that my Chairlady has given some reasons as to why she wants to withdraw, I am only saying we thought that---
Hon. Ndiritu, what did you say; that there is some intention to withdraw the amendment?
Yes, she said she intends to withdraw this amendment.
Let me get it clearer from hon. (Ms.) Abdalla because that must have escaped me. What did you say hon. (Ms.) Abdalla?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. While discussing this amendment, our idea was to add a function to the National Environmental Trust Fund to give incentives to businesses, but when I look at the amendment, it is referring 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.
to putting the words that we wanted after the words “capacity building”. There are no such words in the document.
Hon. (Ms.) Abdalla, are you withdrawing the amendment?
But you see, you had proposed. Let us hear from hon. Serut. If it is a withdrawal, we should not take too much time on it.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. You remember initially the Chair of this Committee proposed that the Bill be amended as per the Order Paper. When I rose to inquire as to what the import was, she now changes her mind and says she is dropping the amendment. This is creating a lot of confusion. What was actually the intention of coming up with this? She is not explaining what informed the introduction of this amendment and why she has changed her mind. Is she changing her mind because I rose to seek the import of the same?
Procedurally, the Mover of the Bill has a right to withdraw any amendment at any particular time. But I also agree with you to an extent, hon. Serut that we were actually thinking she was going to justify why she was moving that particular amendment. Instead, she decided to withdraw it, which is perfectly within her powers. Unless you think that should have been retained, I think we should move with hon. (Ms.) Abdalla. Therefore, that amendment is dropped.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 18 of the Bill be amended - (a) in the new section 29 (2) by inserting the words “shall be the secretary to the County Environmental Committee” immediately after the words “within the county” appearing in paragraph (b); and (b) by deleting paragraph (c). The import of this is that in---
Order, hon. (Ms.) Abdalla! Hon. Bowen, there seems to be some Kamukunji where you are. For the last two days you have sat there, there is a generation of some higher decibels and I have not understood why. 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.
Proceed hon. (Ms.) Abdalla.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I want to tell hon. Bowen that good things are confined to CORD rebels and since he is not one of them, there is no hope. We are forming county environmental committees. In the Bill, it was stated that the secretary to those county environmental committees would be appointed by the governor but because of the need to link it to the national Government, we are proposing that the secretary be the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) officer in that county.
I see an intervention from hon. (Dr.) Kibunguchy.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I stand to support this amendment because we want the whole environmental system in this country to be seamless. I support.
Very well, let us have hon. Gikaria.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I also support that amendment. My only issue is in relation to Clause 29(2)(b) which says an officer of the authority whose area of jurisdiction falls wholly or partly---Assuming they are at the border of counties, who should come? Is it the officer from the other side which has a bigger portion? I wish it was more specific so that we do not have people from both sides claiming to be secretaries at the same time.
Let us have hon. Njogu Barua first.
I will start with hon. Gikaria’s comment which is well informed. I think it is mixing two issues because what he is referring to is on the composition of the County Executive Committee, but not what is on the Order Paper. What we are saying on the Order Paper is that, in order to link the functions of the national Government to those of the county governments, the Committee has seen it wise to make the National Environment Management Authority officer on the ground the secretary of that Committee. This is very important in some matters like writing reports and co-ordinating other national activities. What hon. Gikaria is talking about is that there are some environmental issues that cut across borders and there are some environmental officers in certain regional authorities who cut across counties. The Bill includes that person so that the issues of cross-border activities can be taken into account.
I see quite a lot of interest in this particular one. Let me give a chance to two more, actually three hon. Members. Hon. Kangongo, let us adjust your decibels.
Yes, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I want to support this amendment and say that it is very important we understand that we are in a new constitutional dispensation. With the coming of devolution, I want to support the county 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.
environmental committees because this is where we have seen so many environmental matters which are supposed to be implemented but they are confined to the national level. We want to give the county governments a share to manage forests because if you look at the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), they are managing it from Nairobi and they have only one or two offices within the county governments. If we can have this in place, I think it will be good. I support.
Okay, let us be brief because we will not be debating at this point. Let us have the hon. Member for Samburu North, that is hon. Lentoimaga.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I wanted to say that this secretary will play a crucial role, especially because he is also a technical officer. My worry is that sometimes these officers have no support in terms of personnel who can assist them to play that key role of being a secretary and an advisor to the Committee.
Hon. Abdalla, briefly cure the fears of the hon. Members.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. As I said, the secretary is supposed to represent the national Government in that board. The presence of an officer from a regional authority is to deal with cross-cutting issues around there. For example, the Environmental Committee of Isiolo County must have a person from Ewaso Nyiro North Development Authority (ENNDA) so that if ENNDA is handling an issue of environment that is cutting across the seven counties that they are responsible for, they would be able to bring it up. So, hon. Member if you are from Marakwet, then an officer from Kerio Valley Development Authority must be present in that Committee.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I rise to support this amendment by the Chairlady of the Committee because this will assist to plan every five years. It will help counties monitor our forests. If this Bill was here before we would have dealt with those unscrupulous people who deplete our forests. So, this plan will assist and help us evaluate the status of our forest cover every five years.
Let us have the hon. Member for Mbeere South.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I stand to support the amendment. I have also noticed something very interesting and positive, that mheshimiwa Amina and her Committee are trying to create a connection between the functions in the county governments and the national Government, which is very commendable. I just wonder whether we are using the same thinking as we come out with other functions and structures in the relationship between the national and the county governments. I wish that other committees and designs can follow the same strategy. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman.
I think we can move on.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I beg to move:- THAT, the Bill be amended by deleting Clause 20 and substituting therefor the following new Clause ─ 20. The principal Act is amended in section 31 by deleting the words “Public Complaints Committees” wherever it appears and substituting therefor the words “National Environmental Complaints Committee”. Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, this is a significant amendment. The proposal from the Ministry was to repeal the Public Complaints Committee (PCC) which we have reinstated in the Bill and renamed as “National Environmental Complaints Committee.” So, that is the import of this amendment.
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We will start with hon. M'eruaki.
I think this particular amendment is very important. This will enable the people of Kenya to complain in the event that they realise the environment is being interfered with. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I rise to support this amendment. I think the difficulties that we are in, in the current dispensation are: “Where do citizens send their complaints to?” By putting this under the national authority we are likely to standardise issues of complaints that may arise from different counties across the country. I beg to support.
Lastly, let us have the hon. Member for Balambala.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I really want to commend the Chairlady of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee for this particular one because it was one of the main issues that many of us had problems with in this very good Bill. It would not have been good at all to leave out what has been renamed “National Environmental Complaints Committee” which was then known as Public Complaints Committee. I think this is an opportunity that will give Kenyans the right to raise any complaint. I am very happy that this particular Committee has been retained and the renaming is actually more meaningful because PCC would have looked like something that could apply anywhere. “The National Environmental Complaints Committee” is well in order. I support.
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman.
Hon. Kangongo, you have not even placed your card in the intervention slot and you are shouting from where you are. I will, therefore, overrule that and proceed.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I beg to move:- THAT, clause 21 of the Bill be amended by deleting Clause 21 and substituting therefore the following new clause─ Section 32 is amended by─ 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) deleting the word “complaints Committee ” wherever it appears and substituting therefor the words “National Environmental Complaints Committee”. (b) inserting the following paragraph immediately after paragraph (b)─ “(ba) undertake public interest litigation on behalf of the citizens in environmental matters” Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, the first one is a consequential amendment in terms of the renaming the “Public Complaints Committee” to the “National Environmental Complaints Committee” The second amendment is very substantive in that we are adding National Environmental Complaints Committee a function to undertake public interest litigation in environmental matters on behalf of the citizens. You can complain and National Environmental Complaints Committee says that you are right but then the person you complained about continues with whatever they were doing. However, because you do not have resources to take them to court, that matter ends there. So, we are giving this function to the National Environmental Complaints Committee to take it further and litigate on behalf of persons who cannot afford court fees.
I see there is a lot of interest. Let us hear from the Member for Gichugu. I do not know whether all these requests are for this specific amendment or they are general requests.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I rise to support the amendment as proposed by the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. I particularly want to make my contribution in respect to public interest litigation. The Public Complaints Committee has been collecting views from the public but they did not have any avenue of prosecuting the matter beyond the reports status. So, what is going to happen is that once the National Environmental Complaints Committee identifies issues and the victims cannot afford the court system, it will be empowered by the law to appear on behalf of the complainants. This is a good amendment and I support it.
Okay. Let us be brief, hon. Barua. Hon. Members, if we are all supporting this amendment, we can save that to the “Ayes” session. However, let us have hon. Ganya.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I strongly support this amendment. Sometimes we complain and we have no avenues. Now we have a national institution which, if need be, can go to court for redress to ensure the environment is protected. This is a very innovative and timely amendment. I strongly support it.
Let us deal with that one.
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Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 22 of the Bill be amended by deleting the word “department” wherever it appears and substituting therefor the words “ National Environmental Complaints Committee”. This is a consequential amendment, in that when they repealed the Public Complaints Committees they provided that the reporting should be to the Cabinet Secretary through the department. So, we have replaced the Cabinet Secertary with the National Environmental Complaints Committee.
I give the opportunity to hon. Gikaria. Let us have the Member for Turkana.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I stand to support the amendment although my comment was on the previous one. All the same, it is connected to this. We changed this to make it more specific as opposed to the previous broader Public Complaints Committee which would have made this ambiguous. The other good thing is that common citizens will be able to access this Committee.
Very well. Member for Likuyani.
I support. However, I just wanted the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to clarify one thing. Will this National Environmental Complaints Committee replicated at a lower level in the counties? Will there be a small committee at the county levels?
In one word, hon. Abdalla; yes or no?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, we did not devolve the National Environmental Complaints Committee.
Okay. Members can then make their decision based on that knowledge.
We have to concentrate because sometimes it goes to a draw.
Do not make it difficult for the Chair to make a ruling.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 23 of the Bill be deleted. This is a consequential amendment of reinstating the National Environmental Complaints Committee.
Let us be clear on that one. Are you deleting or making an amendment?
Yes, we are deleting Clause 23.
I see no requests.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 24 of the Bill be deleted.
Even as we propose deletion, hon. Abdalla, it is important to tell us why you really want to delete it. Of course, that has been done, so we are not reopening it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- 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.
THAT, Clause 25 of the Bill be deleted. I want to take you back and say that Clauses 23, 24 and 25 are all in reference to the repealing of the Public Complaints Committees. So, in reinstating the National Environmental Complaints Committee, we have to delete all those clauses which were deleting the functions and how it runs. That is the gist of why we are deleting these clause.
That is very clear. I see the Member for Kipkelion East. Are you saying it should not be deleted or you are supporting the deletion?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 46 of the Bill be amended in paragraph (c) by inserting the following new sub-sections immediately after sub-section (6A) ─ “(6A) The Cabinet Secretary shall make Regulations for the accreditation of experts on environmental impact assessments. This is a very significant amendment. As a Committee we have noted that there is no regulation of persons purporting to be environmental experts or Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) experts. Therefore, for purposes of regulating the sector, we are giving that responsibility to the Minister to make regulations on who is an accredited specialist to conduct EIAs. Thank you.
I see some interests starting from hon. Limo.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I support this amendment because environmental assessment is very important. However, considering what has been happening, we wonder whether these people doing the assessments are really up to speed in terms of knowing the objective of the assessment. You will find that an expert comes and does the assessment but the report does not help the local community. There are very many quarries. There is one in my constituency where road construction was done and the people are suffering because the whole quarry was left 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.
open. We wonder whether the experts had actually recommended that a certain protection be done so that it does not harm the people. So, the people are really suffering.
Let us be to the point, hon. Limo so that we do not get into debate. Thank you, you have put your point through. We will have hon.Ganya
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. This is a very substantive amendment. In this country, the EIA is normally done by people who purport to be experts. Some have even formed their own companies. This is a very important assessment because it is what tells you the kind of impact, be it adverse or positive, that development will have on the society or on the environment in general for even 30 or 50 years to come. So, that has to be done by experts who are well updated by the necessary institutions in this country. If you look at what happens in the United States of America (USA), Canada or other parts of the world, it is a very advanced field. It is done by real experts and that is why this amendment is very important. I strongly support it.
I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 53 of the Bill be amended by inserting the following new sub-clause in the new section 71─ (2) The Authority shall consult and take into consideration the views of lead agencies before making the recommendations under subsection (1).
This is requiring the Authority to consult with lead agencies in the water sector before making determinations that are stipulated under that Clause for purposes of appreciating that those lead institutions may have better expertise than the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
I will give the first shot to the hon. Member for Gilgil.
Thank you. The upshot of this is that NEMA sometimes has been approving some developments that are encroaching on water shades or water ways. For that reason, it was felt important that they consult with other agencies like Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) that directly deals with water resources. 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.
Very well. Let us have the hon. Member for Balambala.
Thank you. I support this very important amendment. I think one of the key reasons why we care for our environment is because our environment is naturally the catchment area for water which is life. In many cases, the environmental issues that are being undertaken are likely to have an impact on the water systems. Therefore, it is very much in order that we have these lead agencies because they have experts in them who have done a lot of research on most of these issues and they are able to offer better guidance. I support.
I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 56 of the Bill be amended by inserting the following new sub-clause in the new section 78─ (2) The Authority shall consult and take into consideration the views of lead agencies before making the recommendations under subsection (1).
When making regulation on air, the Ministry should consult lead agencies. However, I just want to note that as of now there is no lead agency on air pollution. So, it is an anticipatory amendment.
I will give hon. Gikaria the first opportunity.
Thank you. I support that. In my constituency when they were making the new road, so many families suffered out of air pollution. This is because of the dust and other things and there was nobody who was concerned in terms of compensation. I think it is up to that Committee to fasten lead agencies in terms of air pollution. If you do not have a lead agency for air pollution and then we put this in place, there is no use. So, I think the best thing that we should do is maybe the Committee fastens the process of having a lead agency in terms of air pollution. Thank you.
Very well, let us have hon. Kangongo. He removed his card?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 2 of the Bill be amended by inserting the following new definition in proper alphabetical sequence ─ “person” means a legal person; This is just adding the definition of “person” to mean a legal person.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I beg to move that the Committee doth report to the House it considerations of the Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 31 of 2014, and its approval thereof with amendments.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered the Environmental Management and Co- ordination (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 31 of 2014 and has approved the same with amendments.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Report.
I beg to move that the Environmental Management and Co- ordination (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 31 of 2014, be now read the Third Time.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Before the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources comes over, we need some comments. The Chair can sum up. Hon. Gikaria, Member for Nakuru East, the Floor is yours.
I want to comment on this Bill. When we started, hon. (Eng.) Gumbo had raised a very fundamental issue, that instead of having so many amendments in a Bill, it would be better to repeal it. Hon. Speaker did also advise that we needed to check our Bills to avoid having so many amendments that sometimes cause confusion. The amendments in this Bill bring out a lot of issues. First, there is the issue of public participation which has been missing in the past. Secondly, is the issue of litigation where members of the public would forward complaints and no action would be taken. Now, they have been given some authority to go to court. This is something very good. There is a place where they can take their complaints and I believe this will create confidence. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Thank you. I just want to allow a few comments, hon. Members. This is because we are in Third Reading. Hon. Bowen, Member for Marakwet East, the Floor is yours.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand to support this Bill. This Bill has come with a lot of amendments and regulations. This is especially in the area of environmental impact analysis which was incorporated in this Bill. I do not know how this part will be approached. 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, NEMA was formed so that it can help in the area of environment, but you find that people bribe their way so as to be allowed to build in water catchment areas, rivers and along sewer lines. It is our hope that this Bill will address these issues. The other issue is the involvement of counties in environmental conservation. In a way of appreciating devolution, it is good that this Bill has brought the county government to work together with the national Government on issues to do with the environment.
One of the mandates of the committee is to act on behalf of the communities or the people who are affected by the environment. They replace the Public Complaints Committee (PCC) that was there before. They also go ahead to litigate for them. It will go a long way to assist the communities, which have had a lot of issues with the environment. Therefore, I would like to support and congratulate the Chair for bringing this very good Bill. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Let me now give the Floor to the Committee Chairlady, hon. Amina Abdalla.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am pleased that we have come up with these amendments. There are very significant issues that this Bill has brought forth. As leaders, we need to highlight them because it is important that we protect our voters.
Firstly, the issue of being asked for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report when you want to build a maisonette in Nairobi’s South C area when the rest of that area is designated for that density of housing, will not happen because it is clear in Schedule Two that you only need an EIA report if you are building more than 30 houses. Therefore, some of the provisions contained in Schedule Two will eliminate quacks from the business of EIA, in that one will no longer need an EIA report for certain development.
During the Second Reading, an hon. Member said that he was asked for an EIA report for repairing an existing house. There is no such provision in the Schedule. As leaders, we must communicate to our constituents that they should not be hoodwinked by persons requiring EIA reports where they are not necessary.
The next significant issue is that our legislation on EIA was not strong in the extractive sector. It is now clear that in petroleum mining, all the different stages that require EIA reports have been mentioned.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the significance of us providing regulations for EIA experts is mainly because of businesses; especially large businesses. Mining is a large extractive business. If you hire the services of a quack and pay him handsomely, he will definitely come up with a positive report on a project proposal that may have significant negative impact on the environment.
We also urge the House to help us in giving the National Environment Management Authority more funds. We need an Authority that can object to an EIA report prepared by a quack on a big project. I am sure if we had given my sister seated 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.
here the opportunity to talk, she would have talked about the EIA report that was done by Tullow. Our confidence is not very high on NEMA’s reports.
Therefore, the issue of quality of EIA reports and quality of practitioners that purport to be EIA experts, which are being dealt with in this Bill, is very important. I am happy that the extractive sector has been taken into account. I am also happy that devolution has been dealt with, and that we are now dealing with the quality of EIA reports.
Finally, I am happy that the PCC, as an institution, is being reinstated and given the extra mandate of public interest litigation, so that we do not have institutions that just talk and do report on anything. I am also happy that these amendments have turned the National Environmental Trust Fund into an independent statutory body of NEMA. The Public Investments Committee (PIC) can now judge them as an independent institution, and not as an institution under NEMA.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Let me give the Floor to one more hon. Member before calling upon the Mover to reply. Proceed, Member for Balambala.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to join my colleagues, including the Chair, in saying that this Bill will, indeed, transform the way we manage our environment. For the first time, we are hearing of things like assessment of the net worth of our natural resources in the country. This is something which has not been there before. I am sure that it is not yet in many countries in Africa. I want to commend them. There is the United Nations (UN) standard guideline or formula for assessment. The fact that we are moving in that direction is very commendable. The idea of retaining the NCC is very good. This Bill has thrown a challenge on our table. Indeed, the Chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and her team have done a great job. This is, admittedly, a complex Bill. The research on it has been tedious but they have managed to dissect the issues involved and made them very easy to understand. They have come up with very good recommendations, with futuristic issues coming out of this Bill.
The Chair understands that she has, on her desk, the challenge of finding ways of managing air pollution. That is going to come in the shortest time possible. This is a good Bill and I am very happy with it. It is one of the key steps that we have made.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Lastly, let me give the Floor to the Mover.
Thank you, Temporary Deputy Speaker. First, I want to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the Departmental Committee, led by hon. (Ms.) Amina Abdalla. It is for the same reason that my good friend, the Member for Balambala, has said that they have done a very good job. Hon. Members will remember that when debate on this Bill was, first, being moved, there were lots of technical issues that were not clear but hon. Amina Abdalla and her Committee have managed to simplify everything through these amendments. That is why we have 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.
moved very fast in a consistent and coherent manner. Thank you, hon. Amina Abdalla. Congratulations to the Committee!
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have three comments on this Bill. First, it has aligned the Environmental Management Act with the Constitution. By doing so, it has brought our counties to the same level with the national Government in environmental conservation and management issues.
Secondly, if it becomes law, this Bill will go a long way in protecting our environment against pollution and exploitation. As a country, we will move forward in trying to get the 10 per cent forest cover because forests include the environment. We will also be moving into a future of green environment.
Finally, I am happy with the way the Bill has given stakeholders, especially the local communities, a chance to be involved in the management and conservation of our environment. This will reduce the number of petitions being brought to this House because of gazettement of some grazing areas as forests reserves. This Bill has provided for a mitigation mechanism through the PCC.
With those remarks, I beg to move.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Members, we are not in a position to put the Question right now. Therefore, I order that the Question shall be put during the next sitting, at the most appropriate moment.
Hon. Members, before we proceed to the next Order, I must make a clarification for the sake of the HANSARD. This morning, we disposed of the Second Reading of the Central Bank of Kenya (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 32 of 2014). The Bill was not read the Third Time. Thank you, hon. Members.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): We are starting, hon. Members. We are calling upon the Mover to move.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to move that the Military Veterans Bill, National Assembly Bill No.34 of 2013 be now read a Second Time. This Bill of 2013 proposes an Act of Parliament to make provision for the benefits and welfare of military veterans and to provide for the establishment of an institutional mechanism that will assist in the registration and provision of welfare services to all officers who have exited from the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). This Bill is coming at a time when our country, our beloved nation, is going through serious security challenges. I think this Bill is coming at an opportune time. It will give us an opportunity to address three fundamental issues. 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.
Firstly, what happens to all military officers who have exited from active service of the Kenya Defence Forces? Where are they? What are they doing? What are they using to eke out a living? Does somebody know and monitor their day to day activities? Secondly, this Bill was informed by practices in other jurisdictions and civilised democracies including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Australia and many others. They have pieces of legislation in the name of Military Veterans Act. All this, first, is to appreciate the unique services offered by members of any defence forces. Secondly, this is a security measure today because we are engaged in both external and internal; internal way with the radicalisation and external war with the terrorists. If today we were to recall the veterans because of an emergency or what is going on, how would we do it? If we were to say that we require the services of all the officers who exited from the military and are still strong, do we have a data bank that one can easily click on, other than referring back to the archives, and say: The following officers are there, this is what they are doing and this is where they live? This Bill attempts to professionalise the exit of a former military officer from active service. Today, we have the highest concentration of former Chiefs of Defence Forces. When the idea of coming up with this Bill was suggested, the late Gen. Mulinge was still alive. He was a former Chief of General Staff (CGS). Then we have Gen. Mahmoud Mohammed. We know his history and what he did for the Republic of Kenya in 1982. We still have other former CGSs in the names of General Tonje, General Kibwana, General Kianga and a number of former Service Commanders like Gen. (Rtd) Sawe, General Cheruiyot, General Mwaniki, General Njoroge, General Leisan and General Musumba. These senior citizens who have served the Republic of Kenya in that very specialized institution, are still around. We also have some former senior Kenya Defence Forces officials like Brigadier Malik, Capt. Mungai Kungu, Brigadier Kirugi, Amb. Col. (Rtd) Mutibo, Col. (Rtd) Nduto and Col. (Rtd) Mwololo.
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Order, hon. Keynan! Hon. Gethenji, Member for Tetu, you cannot raise a point of order. Please, let us follow our rules. The Bill is not yet an asset of the House. Let the Bill be moved, seconded and then from there, you can raise your point of order in agreement or if you want to make amendments, you will raise them after the Bill has been moved. Let the Bill be moved. It is not yet an asset of the House. So, you cannot debate it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thought being an experienced legislator, I am guided by my good friend and Chairman of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee on the procedure. Without being seen to be preemptive, I do agree with some of the issues that he said, but he should wait for the right time. We also have Col. (Rtd) Rosso. Today, the Government of Kenya, in its own wisdom, has decided to pick a Retired Major-General Joseph Nkaissery as a nominee for the next Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. That shows you the specialised role that the former members of the KDF have played in the past, and continue to play, in nation building. To this extent, it is good that we appreciate the services and the performance of some of these former officials of the KDF or the Kenya Military as it used to be called. 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.
What has informed this Bill is one of the issues that I raised. Being conscious of our state of security; taking into account that right now, Kenya is engaged in a serious war on radicalisation and terrorism, it is high time we documented and created a data bank through an institutional mechanism that will help the former members of the KDF, the current service members and the citizenry of Kenya. This will give an opportunity to the Kenyan citizen to know who in their midst has served in the KDF. This Bill was tabled in December 2013. It seeks to establish a Military Veterans Department. One of the reasons is that there has to be some sort of coordination. Are they being attended to as ordinary citizens? Is there an institutional mechanism within the larger framework of the KDF that deals with issues pertaining to the welfare of former members? Therefore, this Bill should not be seen in any way to be interfering with the services of those still active and serving members of the KDF. If anything, it should be seen as complementary to what they do. Historically, the KDF have done a great job, whether serving under the auspices of the United Nations, the African Union or any other international organisation. There are so many celebrated former members of the KDF who have been awarded and commended internationally. However, when it comes to the Kenyan context, the only time we celebrate them is when they have passed on. How many Kenyans still remembered that there was one great man called Gen. Mulinge until the day he passed on? Today, we still have, not former officers, but heads of this key institution in the name of Chief of General Staff. Quite a number of them are still active, still very young and can immensely contribute in nation building. This Bill is meant to cure the lacuna that exists. What happens? You have served, you have been employed to serve in the KDF may be at the age of 20 or 23 years, but because of the institutional mechanism, you are retired at a certain grade if you do not qualify for promotion to the next grade. Assume, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, you have been recruited as a first cadet at the age of 20 to 23 years. Immediately you leave Form Four and as long as one has the threshold, one is expected to qualify to join as a military cadet. If within five to six years, you do not qualify to the next grade, their rules require that you are retired. Here you are you, you have been well trained, well prepared but simply because of the organizational mechanism, you fail to qualify to be promoted to the next grade and you are retired at the age of 29. Where do you go? Who appreciates your services? What happens to you? The other day something happened. I met a great Kenyan lady in Azerbaijan, Baku. She is from Muranga and she provides key security services in Iraq. She used to be a Member of the defunct Women’s Service Corps. It is defunct because it no longer exists. We met at the airport and she said she is in Iraq as a head of about 18 retired former Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers. She says she is there as a citizen and no one knows her whereabouts. What this Bill intends to do is to know the whereabouts of such highly qualified Kenyans. We will know their performance. We will know where they are engaged in for security reason and also for developmental purposes. It is because of this that I really want to plead with hon. Members. Let me say I am a ranking Member of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee and having been the Chairman and a long serving Member of Parliament; I know what this is all about. This is why I am coming up with the issue of Parliamentary Society of Kenya because it 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.
with the unique aspect of the Kenyan society. The Military Veterans Bill will deal with the unique aspect of the Kenyan society. We have the judges retirement benefits because there is the fear of the unknown. When you are in a position of authority, like today here, very few of us will assume that we will all be in the next Parliament but it is also a reality that 80 per cent of us who are seated here today may not make it to the next House. So, it is good to appreciate that transition and say how positively you can contribute to the wellbeing of the Kenyan citizen. It is because of this that I see this as a very progressive Bill. I know there are certain concerns on whether there are issues of it being a money Bill. That is a reality. I can confirm for the record that I have a letter from the Permanent Secretary, National Treasury. They said there will be a money Bill aspect. The aspect will be, maybe somebody or a department that is likely to deal with the veterans department. There will be some monetary aspect. Other than that, I do not see any other worthy course than this to actually to spend taxpayers’ money in dealing with security issues and the welfare of the gallant sons and daughters of the Republic of Kenya who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the people of Kenya. I also have another report from the Budget and Appropriations Committee of Parliament basically agreeing with what has come from the Treasury, that there will be some cost element. That does not take away the very spirit of us, as the true representatives of the people of Kenya, in legislating for Bills that will progressively deal with the past, current and other emerging issues. I want to therefore plead with my able Chairman, hon. Gethenji, who is my chair now, to see that this Bill has taken off. Eventually the procedure is that once we are through with the Second Reading, it will go to the Committee Stage and the Committee will make informed amendments on anything pertaining to this Bill. To that extent, I have had some preliminary discussion with my able Chairman and his concerns will be addressed by himself as the leader of the very Committee that is expected to look at the Bill and make informed amendment. The Kenyan society is a very complex society. It is so complex to the extent that there is a lot of individualism; individualism that blinds us in addressing some of the social wellbeing and the wellbeing of other people. I am sorry to say this; today you are a Member of the Speaker’s Panel. We have had somebody else who is a Member of the Speaker’s Panel in the last Parliament languishing. It will be foolhardy for the current Member of the Speaker’s Panel to assume that he will be there permanently in that panel. We will have that transition and therefore whatever we do must be for posterity. Whatever we do must be futuristic. Whatever we do must be meant at any given time to address the concerns of the citizens of the Republic of Kenya. It is because of this that where we are today I have had an opportunity to interact with security officials in a number of countries such in Israel, United States of America, France, Belgium, Australia, Azerbaijan, Uganda and others; over 40 countries. In all these countries, the military institution is one of the most revered and respected institution in all those jurisdictions. For us, as a country, we have we appreciated the services of these unique Kenyans? Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, these officers are either retired or sacked and nobody remembers them until the day we hear of a funeral announcement that so and so has passed on. That is the time that we start providing red carpets. That is the time when we start providing some of the best facilities. Why then do you not give them those best 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.
facilities when they are still alive? Why do you not give them those facilities when they are still active members of the Kenyan society? Why do you not make use of their strength, as experienced former service officers, as a standby force, in dealing with some of the security challenges? It is for this reason that I ask all colleagues to see this as a progressive legislation and accept and make an informed decision that will remove any perceptional conflict between what we are proposing and what we already have. To that extent, I am alive to the great role being played by the serving members of the KDF. Having been the Chair of that Committee and being a ranking Member of that Committee, I say and qualify to say that I will be the first one to defend the interest of the serving members of the KDF and equally defend the interest of those who have exited from that key institution. I am willing, as the Mover of this Bill, to sit with all the individuals with progressive ideas to harmonise and ensure that there is no conflict between what we are proposing and what we already have in the KDF Act. Luckily, I was privileged to have participated in the enactment of the KDF Act of 2012. Therefore, I am alive to the provisions of that Act. When I came up with this particular Bill, I looked at that Act like the Quran. I looked at the Constitution and ensured that there is no conflict between this particular Bill and the provision of the KDF Act of 2012 and the Constitution of 2010. Sometimes experience is very important. To that extent, I can proudly say that I have taken into account due diligence that will ensure that we have the finest Bill in the name of the Military Veterans Bill without conflicting or creating an iota of conflict with existing legislations, whether the Constitution or the KDF Act, or any other law that governs that particular entity.
It is just the other day that we celebrated our 50 years of Independence. The challenges we are going through are all manmade and because God has given us great minds, it is high time we use our great minds creatively and objectively in order to solve some of the current challenges that we are going through. Let us get out of the box; think progressively; expand our horizon of thinking and see things from very far. The other day when I said something, people did not understand. I am not a prophet but in our public life, we must always be prepared to stand for the truth because whatever you do today, somebody else will hold you to account on the same in the future. We are the true representative of the people of Kenya as clearly enshrined in Article 1 of the Constitution because sovereignty is equated to the people’s representative. Today we had a meeting as the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) with the leadership of the Senate. In that meeting, some of our former colleagues who were Members of the National Assembly today serve as Senators. History repeats itself. Some of them never thought they would have the opportunity to serve in the Senate. It is today they are realising that they are serving Kenyans under a different jurisdiction as Senators.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the last Parliament - there are Members of Parliament here who served then – we had viewpoints in some of the key issues that existed at that time. Some of the issues exist today and some issues that we envisage will exist in the future are issues that somebody felt maybe were out of their province or out of that particular day’s stock. It is because of this that I always say let us not be shy when we are legislating. We are legislating for posterity; not for hon. Keynan today. This is why I always say we should not be shy in coming up with ideas even if very few people 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.
will agree with you because that very idea might be the saviour of the taxpayers today and in future.
There are critical issues in this Bill which I want to bring to the attention of hon. Members. This Bill will be appreciating the sacrifices made by our military veterans in their service to their country in the protection of national boundaries and the security integrity of the Republic of Kenya. This Bill will also attempt to provide some mechanisms for compensation. What happens? Even us, as hon. Members, have been labouring with what to do with former Members of Parliament. This is why, in our own wisdom, we have the National Assembly Pensions Act. I am sure it will be addressed later on so that it becomes a Parliamentary Pensions Act because right now we have a Parliament that is bicameral. We have the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). What this Bill considers to do is to give special consideration for the benefits and relief for those who have served. Some might have been maimed in the process of serving the taxpayers. Some might have been killed. Some might even have been raped. Some might have been traumatized in the service to this great nation. Do we know how their children are living? Do we know how those who have survived continue to live? Do we appreciate it? In countries like Israel or the UK, these citizens are regarded as specialized citizens because of the role they play. Therefore, providing a data bank; providing a network; providing a legally driven mechanism that will enable them congregate and discuss their welfare issues is something that everybody in our time should appreciate. The other thing that the Bill intends to do is to look at the disparities; the inequalities or the unfair discrimination with regard to benefits. I know that the late Gen. Mulinge was a serving former Chief of General Staff (CGS). We also have Gen. Mahamud who is still active. If you compare the benefits Gen. Mulinge and Gen. Mahamud are getting vis-a-vis the benefits today of those who took over from them, you cannot compare. I am told the late Gen. Mulinge used to get about Kshs17,000 as pension. I do not want to mention the figure but what the last CGS under the old Constitution is getting, if you compare, it may be over 20, 30 or 50 times higher. We need to address these disparities because both carried the title of retired CGS.
So, that disparity again will be addressed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, all organs of the State and Government will also be tasked to appreciate the unique services offered by this special group. Therefore what the Bill proposes, and just like we will be doing for all other institutions, is that it attempts to create a liaison department or an entity within the bigger Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). This is so that issues pertaining to the retired officers are given unique attention and are addressed in a unique way and, therefore, making them feel appreciated, wanted and part and parcel of the institution that they have served once and the role they continue playing as retired officers.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, therefore on the role of the military officers, I will look at the role of compensation for those who have been disabled, injured, gone through psychological trauma and those who might have even got terminal diseases as a result of their service to the taxpayers. The Bill will also dedicate counseling mechanisms. You see what happens: Right now we have so many of our officers fighting
in Somalia and I believe quite a number of them might have lost their lives. What happens to their families, children and next of kin that they have been taking care The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of? Some might also have been injured and in the process living a very difficult life. Therefore this Bill attempts to bring up an automatic counseling mechanism that has some sort of legal mechanism that will always be available to attend to some of those former officers.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the third other aspect is to honour the fallen heroes. That is appreciating them. In some countries, they have the Heroes Day as a national day. Of course, we do not have it but this is an attempt by this Bill to look at it. We might not have a Heroes Day or Military Veterans Day. I think that is the best group that we should appreciate as a sovereign Republic and that is another aspect of this Bill.
The other bit is to look at the education, training and skills development of soldiers. Just like I alluded to, I will give a scenario. You completed Form Four at the age of 18 when one qualifies to be registered and to get an identity card. At the age of 18, you have got an A- (minus) or A (plain). You say you want to serve in the KDF and you are taken as a cadet. You are trained for about a year and after that you become an active member. Within two or five years, you are expected to move to the next rank. If you do not make it as far as their procedures are concerned, you are retired. Here you are. First of all, you have sacrificed your profession. After Form Four, you opted to serve and protect the people of Kenya by joining the KDF but because of institutional mechanisms, you are not able to progress professionally within that entity. You are then retired. Nobody has your records. What do you do?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, so what this Bill intends to do is to give them an opportunity to enhance their education and to offer them some sort of training, retraining and development. This is so that even if you have not made progress in a career that you thought you would excel in, you can do other things. That is why today in countries like the United States of America (USA) former military officers remain some of the best motivational speakers and revered corporate heads. Can we do the same for the sake of the development of our nation? Can we not expand our horizon of thinking and demystify the role of this special group of the Kenyan society and help them positively contribute to the development of our nation? This is not possible unless we think of the past, reflect on what we are doing and match that with our inspiration and our inspiration is to see a highly industrialised, peaceful and sophisticated Kenya. That is the only way we can recoup because we have had missed opportunities. We had an opportunity in 1963 up to 2007 to take off industrially. It did not happen. It is our time Members here to ensure that we oversee the industrial take off of the Republic of Kenya and this is not possible until our nation is properly secured in every aspect. Today even for Members here, I do not think all of us feel secure. How do you feel secure when lives of innocent Kenyans are lost? Innocent Kenyans are being killed every day by being butchered by terrorists. Over the last two weeks we have lost over 100 plus Kenyans. It is a national crisis. How do we address this problem? The only way to address it is to appreciate how positively I can contribute to the well being of each and every Kenyan and how positively these uniquely trained Kenyans who have served as members of our defence forces can be mobilised and be prepared to positively defend the sovereignty of the Republic of Kenya. 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 other thing that this Bill intends to do is to offer facilitation for employment. It will again afford them an opportunity. These are not politicians but individuals who have served in the disciplined forces and, therefore, they are trained. I am sure we have hon. Col. (Rtd) Dido Rasso here who will also be seconding our newly nominated Cabinet Secretary; the hon. Maj-Gen. Nkaissery and many others. I have not seen hon. J.M. Nyaga here. We have quite a number of them who have positively made contribution to this country. When you are called a member of the disciplined forces, the modus operandi is different. The way I operate as a politician and the way they are trained are completely different. These are people who are normally reserved, highly skilled and precise. Therefore, we need to utilize them and ensure that we give them an opportunity to serve us. We should provide them the modus operandi ; an institutionally driven mechanism that will ensure that these individuals get opportunities to get other employment opportunities; instead of them rotting in their rural villages with all the skills. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in law there is something in the Criminal Procedure Code called gathering; this facility will give them a legal mechanism to gather as members of military veterans to discuss their welfare with proper supervision of those active and still serving members of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). The other bit is the facilitation of advice and business opportunities. One other objective of this Bill is to ensure that the moment you exit, you have a mechanism that will give you an opportunity that will guide you on business opportunities and other investment opportunities, and ensure that whatever the likely benefit that you get from your services, is invested in a prudent and commercially viable project that will give you, at least, some earning at the end of the month. The other thing is to provide pension advice, and this is critical. This is because service delivery for those of us here, whether you are on contract or you are on permanent and pensionable terms, at the end of your term you expect something. Let us be realistic; sovereignty is equated to representation. But if that sovereignty and representation is not matched with some benefit at the end of the month, I do not think all of us here will be willing to volunteer; however magnanimous or big it may sound. This is why it is critical that having served diligently – having been a member of one of the most elite institutions in the Republic of Kenya; what happens to you after that service and you are still alive? That is why the issue of pension and pension advice will be critical and is being proposed in this Bill. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other bit is access to health care. Health care does not mean that the State must pay. In the Kenyan context, there is an attempt to equate everything with the provision of State services. The State can also play a facilitative role and, therefore, what this Bill intends to do is to provide a legal mechanism where the State will be obligated to provide a facilitative role to these unique Kenyans in the health services. The other bit is the issue of housing. How do you assist them? When this Bill is enacted, even those who are serving will know that, when you are approaching retirement day or you are about to retire, as you exit, you also become a member of another entity. Therefore, you prepare yourself socially, financially and you know that there is an entity that is going to provide you with the services that you require in your retirement. That is The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
another aspect of this Bill. I want to urge my colleagues, as they interrogate this critical Bill, to look at the interest of former military officers. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is need to properly reinvent--- Sometime back when I was with hon. Olago, hon. Speaker and other hon. Members, during the last Parliament, we went to the State of California. We saw a lady who heard us speaking Kiswahili and she came and said: “How are you guys? How is Kenya?” She is a member of Serjeant-At-Arms department in the Californian Legislature. When I talked to her, she told me that she is a former member of Kenya Defence Forces. She said that she went there on the Green Card Programme. How many people know that we have such a specialized Kenyan doing a unique role of offering unique services to the people of California and then carry the flag of the Republic of Kenya? These are the bits that we must recommend and we must be prepared to think outside the box.
I want that special lady, who is still an active Member of the California Legislature to feel appreciated. She should be among the first people who will subscribe to this entity once this Bill is legislated. Therefore, when I say that we need to re-insert and re-integrate this into the society, I mean that they should be appreciated. How are they doing? What are they engaged in? Have they acquired more specialised skills that can even be used by those who are still in active service?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as a result of what is going on right now, the military institutions that we had during the colonial time, during our struggle for Independence, during our post-Independence and during our Independence are completely different. Therefore, we need to see this institution in perspective. We should not be saying that our Armed Forces should operate the way they were operating in 1960. There are technological, perceptional and societal changes. Therefore, their activities and aspirations should also be in line with the modern day thinking. To that extent, how do we rejuvenate both in thinking and in preparedness those who have exited and those who may not have had the privilege of getting some of the new things that we see? I can bet that your child will be more informed than you. This is because of the circumstances of the day. It is also because of IT revolution, international awareness, globalisation and other phenomenon taking place in the global village. If today you talk to your child who is in Standard Seven, Eight or Form One, the kind of knowledge that they have, you will be obligated even as a parent to sit down with them and reason. You will not give instructions. You will reason and say: can we appreciate this as a parent? Ten years ago, your work was to instruct. That is long gone. It is no more, even with our society. This is simply because of the dynamic changes within our society. It is in this light that I want my colleagues to see this Bill as a progressive Bill that will not take away the rights of those serving officers. It will also ensure that there is an umbilical cord between those who are serving and those who have exited, while uniquely retaining the unique and specialised nature of those who are still in active service. Therefore, we will be looking forward to seeing how we can have harmony in both, so that it becomes a complementary function of the serving officers. As I conclude, legislation is a very difficult mechanism because, first of all, out of your wild thoughts, you have to reflect, think and contextualize, synthesize 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.
eventually, concretise. Finally, you must draft. It is a very difficult exercise. This is why those who came up with the current Constitution, in their own wisdom, decided to create a unique role, which was not in the old Constitutionl; of public participation. This is why, even as an institution, every Bill must be subjected to public participation. The stratum and the modus operandi is clearly spelt out in the Standing Order. Therefore, it is my prayer that as a result of the stages this Bill has gone through, I am more informed than when I published this Bill. Therefore, I will be proposing an amendment in the Third Reading to remove one issue that somebody must construe as a financial issue. That is the issue of an existence of a permanent office and allow that to be an office that will be within the purview of the membership. Therefore, once that is done, I will have addressed the fears of the Treasury mandarins. I want to qualify this. The Treasury mandarins are some of the best financial brains that we have here. They have never been comfortable and there is no time when we will have enough money for everybody, but we must make sacrifices. I do not think there is any other better institution to sacrifice for than the former military officers. To this extent, even the minimum cost implication is something that, even me as a taxpayer and leader, I am willing, for the sake of those former officers and our security, to sacrifice. Therefore, I would like to plead with my colleagues not to just look at the legal mechanism that is in place and the populist nature of some of the things that we do, but rather consider the reality on the ground. During the year 2009/2010, there was some sort of “recruitment” in the name of the United Nations. The Kenyans who turned up for that recruitment were former Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers. If we could have an opportunity, that phenomenon, which tarnished the name of this progressive nation, would have been avoided. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as the leadership of this House, we must be prepared to always stand firm to promote, project and protect the image of the Republic of Kenya as a sovereign state. The interests and the wellbeing of every Kenyan are enshrined in our legislative mechanism. We have three arms of the Government. In other jurisdictions, sometimes there are disputes as to which is the first arm of the government – whether it is the legislature or the executive. In some jurisdictions, the legislature is the first arm of the Government. In the Kenyan context, the executive is the first arm of the Government. However, we all agree that we have three arms of the government. There are other emerging arms of government. The civil society is a critical component. Today, there is nobody who can assume their role. Members of the Fourth Estate are another emerging arm of government. Ten years ago, it was unthinkable to say that the members of the Fourth Estate would be another arm of government. Somebody would even say that such a suggestion bordered on treason. A few years ago, it was least expected that one would say that the civil society was part and parcel of our governance structure. This is because we have a very progressive Constitution. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I agree with 90 per cent of the Constitution. Ten per cent of it is bad, and that is exactly what I said in 2010. The Constitution should be amended right away to address those issues, because we have an emergency. I appeal to His Excellency the President to bring amendments that will bring functional harmony among the security agencies of this country. We want security, peace and continuity. We want progress and prosperity for the people of Kenya. Even in Parliament, there is a bit of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
connectivity to the centres of power. Therefore, by now, we should have been asked to look at certain Bills aimed at creating harmony. Right now, we are dealing with the symptoms. We are not dealing with the causes. The main cause is a serious jurisdictional conflict among the various arms of our security agencies; a problem which must be addressed immediately. The change is good; it is symbolic but it must be matched with a functional security system. I expected that by this evening, my Chairman would be whipping us to say that he has a raft of amendments to the National Police Service Act, the Kenya Defence Forces Act, the National Intelligence Service Act, the Provincial Administration Act and the County Governments Act, so that we can have harmony in the functioning of our security agencies. As a senior official of the CORD coalition, I can tell this House that we are prepared to support any progressive amendment aimed at creating harmony in the way our security institutions function because without those institutions, we do not have a Republic. Without those institutions, we do not have peace. Without those institutions, Kenya will be a candidate for a failed state. With those many remarks, I would like to ask hon. (Col.) Rasso, the Member for Saku; an experienced Member of the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, to second this Bill.
Proceed, hon. Ali Rasso.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Very well spoken hon. Dido, Member for Saku.
Hon. Ndungu Gethenji, you were on intervention from the inception. Now, we have the Bill as an asset of the House. We can debate it and make our comments. Now you can make your intervention, hon. Gethenji, Member for Tetu. 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. As much as I admire the intention and the spirit of the proposed Bill and of course, I admire my colleague, hon. Adan Keynan, my senior and former Chair---
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Keynan, you are being addressed and it is important for you to listen to what hon. Gethenji is saying.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, he is my senior and former Chair of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. As a legislator who has sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution of this country, and far from wishing to be seen to be standing in the welfare of retired military officers - in fact, I am on record as being one of the greatest defenders of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) as an institution. It is an institution I hold in very high esteem for the dedication and service they give to the people of this nation. As the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, I am doubly bound over and above being a Member of Parliament, to ensure that the procedure of this House and the Constitution are upheld. In the description of this Bill, it says that the enactment of this Bill shall not occasion additional expenditure of public funds. I draw your attention to the Standing Order No.47(3), which says that:- “If the Speaker is of the opinion that any proposed Motion is- (b) contrary to the Constitution or an Act of Parliament, without expressly proposing appropriate amendment to the Constitution or the Act of Parliament- the Speaker may direct either that, the Motion is inadmissible, or that notice of it cannot be given without such alteration as the Speaker may approve or that the Motion be referred to the relevant Committee of the Assembly, pursuant to Article 114(2) of the Constitution”. Moving to Article 114(2) of the Constitution, which is on money Bills, it says:- “If, in the opinion of the Speaker of the National Assembly, a motion makes provision for a matter mentioned in the definition of “a money Bill”, the Assembly may proceed only in accordance with the recommendation of the relevant Committee of the Assembly after taking into account the views of the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Finance”. In the Committee, we deliberated over this Bill and we observed that, indeed, it falls into the category of a money Bill. We even sought the advice and intervention of the Speaker. We wrote to the Speaker on 11th March, 2014, but to date, we have not had a response. If I may paraphrase from the letter, we said that noting everything that is provided in the Bill however, in the preliminary findings of the Committee, the Bill is a money Bill in terms of Article 114 of the Constitution, as its enactment shall occasion additional expenditure of public funds. There is no evidence of the views of the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Finance having been taken into consideration by the proposer. We then went on to say that:- “The Committee, therefore, requests your advice on the matter. The Committee requests that the House Business Committee defers scheduling of the Bill pending your advice”. I was surprised then to find this Bill listed on the Order Paper this morning in light of all the above. It is not the intention of the Committee to stand in the way of 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.
welfare of deserving Kenyans, but we have a duty and a responsibility to uphold the Constitution. Far be it, for our Committee and me as the Chair to want to be seen to be flouting the Constitution under our watch. So, I am requesting your intervention and guidance from the Chair to defer this debate until the issues relating to the constitutionality of the Bill and the issue of the money Bill can be addressed, so that we may move forward in a proper and procedural manner.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Thank you, for your intervention, hon. Gethenji, Chair of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. You had 20 minutes to defend your position. Hon. Members, I am aware that this Bill has been presented to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. That is the advice that we got from the Chair. Again, I just saw the letter from the Cabinet Secretary. So, I think we may not stop the debate for now because it will still come up at the Committee. You can confirm with Clerk’s and the Speaker’s Offices. Of course, you wrote a letter, which is procedural, to confirm the issues of a money Bill. The Speaker must have written to you. You can confirm that it has gone to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for discussion. For now, Members, the issue of constitutionality is solved. We have to allow discussion on the Bill. Your worries will be settled. Of course, you have been informed. I am surprised that you had not checked before you presented the position of your letter to the Speaker. As a Chairman, I agree with your sentiments. So, hon. Members, we will not stop the discussion on the Bill, but you are at liberty to confirm the issue. I know being the Chair of the Committee you are there to protect the Constitution. Then again, with the Mover, hon. Keynan, you can concur and then the issue of non-constitutionality can be brought forth and we move on. We are in the Second Reading. We do not make amendments at this stage, but we will still go to the Third Reading. I am sure at the end, when we will get a good Bill, you will be satisfied. The Members of the National Assembly and Kenya will be satisfied. Hon. Members, because of that observation and the ruling, we have to debate the Bill. The Chairperson has a request. Do you want to contribute?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I wish to contribute a little further. Like I said before, it is not the intention of the Committee to stand in the way of improving the welfare of retired officers. Their service to this nation is above and beyond the call of duty as they are called to give the ultimate price in defence of our freedom. Just to sensitize the House, as we debate this Bill and seek to improve the welfare of our servicemen and women, we also must be alive to the limitations of the Exchequer of this Republic. We are presently embarking on fast-tracking the economic agenda which, ultimately, will end up improving the lives of all Kenyans in service of this country. If we are not careful in following the constitutionality of the procedures provided for Money Bills, then we run the risk of opening the doors to even former Members of Parliament to request for similar services, institutions and financial support, over and above what is already provided in our Standing Orders and in our terms of service. So, we need to be alive to the possibilities of draining the Exchequer to the point that it cannot even support those institutions which we want to improve the livelihoods of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
members. It will not support even the current operations and governance requirements of the government of the day and in the future. The point I wish to bring to the Floor of the House is that we are not against the improvement of the welfare of men and women of the services, who I am sure are watching; we support them in totality. We wish to do whatever we can to improve their welfare but, we also need to be alive to the realities of the limitations of the Exchequer. If the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Cabinet Secretary of Finance can give confirmation to this House and to our Committee that the funds anticipated to be provided for this Bill are available, I do not see any reason why any member of our Committee or even any hon. Member of this House would wish to stand in the way of the Bill. With those few remarks, I thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): So, do you support or not? That is for record purposes.
I withhold it until we get guidance from the Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): You do not support. Hon. Chanzu, member for Vihiga Constituency, you have the Floor. There is a point of order. What is out of order? Hon. Members, whatever is out of order, I want you to check in your Standing Orders so that you get informed of what is being referred to. Hon. Korir, you are on intervention. That is why I am allowing you to say what is out of order. The Mover has moved and we have just started debating the Bill.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, what the Chair has said is a very big concern. This is because a Committee has written their concerns and has written to the Speaker of the National Assembly about how this Bill needs to follow the Constitution. However, I feel like we are ignoring it; the Speaker is ignoring the Committee’s recommendations. It is true that this is a Money Bill, but it seems as if we are ignoring what the Constitution calls us to do. It is not that nobody does not want the veterans and does not want to contribute to this Bill, the Constitution and the laws should be followed to the letter.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu):Hon. Korir, I have made a decision and, of course, this is not the first one we are talking about. We have said the letter was written to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairman has expressed the interest of the Committee. The advice and position is that the Speaker - he can clarify even now as he sits in his office – allows the Bill to go to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. We are here to implement the Constitution to the letter. That is why we are Members of Parliament. This is the ruling we have made. We discussed it previously and decided that it has to go to the Budget and Appropriations Committee so that the finances can be dealt with. We are in the Second Reading; the Chair gave direction on the issue and let us not debate the same. The Chair has to confirm with your office but the debate has to move on. I understand and I know that it has to go to the Budget and Appropriations Committee to be discussed because it is a Money Bill. There have been good sentiments that have been raised from the Committee. 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. Member, you raised the issue as a Committee and that is the rule. Hon. Members, let us debate the matter in the Second Reading; we are not stopping the debate but thank you so much for your observation. Hon. Chanzu, proceed.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. As we open up our institutions, now that we have a number of things we have achieved or we need to achieve after the promulgation of the new Constitution in August 2010, the welfare of every Kenyan is very important. There is no way we can take care of the welfare of our people without having records or information on where they are or what they are doing. It is on that basis that I believe that those who have served like the military and former Members of Parliament--- The other day we were debating about the welfare of Members of Parliament and there are many others. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other day the court made a ruling on a matter that has been here with us for a long time, about those teachers who retired. There has been a tug of war between Government and the institution that takes care of the welfare of the teachers. The court made a ruling that they have to be paid their dues. We have a problem of forgetting or our memory as a country is very poor. We have some of our military men who did a lot of work during the 1998 bomb blast. Some people from the armed forces did a lot of work there. However, immediately after that, because of the success they had made, they were retired instead of being rewarded or kept on service so that they can be promoted. Therefore, from the welfare point of view and having data on what we have as a country, it is important that we support this Bill. It is for this purpose that we must know the skills we have. The former military officers have various skills; we have engineers, doctors, architects, quantity surveyors and so on. We even have those who were recruited as veterinary officers. It is proper that we have some way of documenting where these people are. They must be somewhere, if they are in Kenya. We must know where they are. Like the matter we are facing at the moment; security problem, we may not have enough personnel to be deployed to some of these places, but some of them can be recruited to do this on voluntary basis, maybe with some little pay.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): I have an intervention, hon. Member for Vihiga Constituency. I have an intervention from hon. (Eng.) Gumbo, Member for Rarieda Constituency. What is out of order? What is the point of information or what do you want to address?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with utmost respect to my good friend and senior, hon. Chanzu, judging by the mood of the House, will I be in order to request the Chair to ask the Mover to reply?
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): You are saying that you have judged the mood of the House?
Yes. Will I be in order to request the Chair to ask the Mover to reply?
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Members, the work of the Speaker is to moderate debates and answer your questions. Hon. (Eng.) Gumbo, is proposing that we call the Mover to reply and I cannot object to this. It is the House to decide but one thing I need to say is that this is not going to be the end. The issue of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
constitutionality will be addressed. The issues of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, because we are here to uphold the Constitution, will be addressed.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Before I make my concluding remarks, I want to donate one minute to hon. Abdikadir; one minute to hon. Sakwa, one minute to hon. Tonui and another minute to hon. (Dr.) Kibunguchy. That will be about four minutes.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Keynan, it is unfortunate because the debate was prematurely put to an end by hon. (Eng.) Gumbo calling for the Mover to reply. You cannot donate as much; you are too philanthropic.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. With a lot of humility because we still have the Third Reading which is going to be critical, I want to take all the goodwill and the support by hon. Members and therefore stand to move this Bill. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu: Hon. Members, we do not have numbers and because of the obvious reason, I am not in a position to put the Question. I order it to be put in the next sitting.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. On this particular Motion, we have had consultations and therefore it is---
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): What is your point of order hon. (Dr.) Kibunguchy?
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Today, I am very disappointed because we are not very many in this House. We had hardly started debating the Motion and you cut it short. It is very disappointing. I do not know what is the rationale about that? We do not understand. We have been sitting here since morning and it is very disappointing. You must be having a very good reason why you cut the debate short yet we still have enough time. We would have carried on the debate up to 1.00 p.m. 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. (Ms.) Mbalu): Thank you for your disappointment. Hon. Members, this is a House of rules and procedures and how I wish we took a vote in this House. The Question to reply was put, but now it is a question of numbers again. It is a vote that we took in the House after it was moved by hon. (Eng.) Gumbo. We have to respect the rules and procedures.
What is your point of order hon. Gikaria?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I totally agree with my colleague. We have been sitting here to contribute to that and if you look at the House, we do not have the requisite quorum and we avoid asking for the quorum so that we can be able to--- If now it is issues of procedures and following the rules of the House, we would have asked for the quorum, but we do not want to do that. We patiently waited so that we could contribute to this very important Bill which has been brought by hon. Keynan. But when somebody rises up especially when the other hon. Member was right at the middle of his contribution--- Most of these people and I would want to indulge my friend hon. (Eng.) Gumbo, normally he gets a lot of opportunity to speak in other debates and other issues. However, when he mentions the mood of the House and calls the Mover to respond, we need your protection.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Gikaria, you are protected. Your rules and procedures protect you in the House. We need numbers in the House. We have many hon. Members in this House. If we had 100 hon. Members, we are many and we can take a vote. When a Question is put even to a Bill, you either negate it or agree to it. When it is Ayes, the Question is carried but when it is Noes, it is negatived. So, let us not discuss this. Of course, this is an observation because hon. Members would want to contribute. Those who said “No” would have wanted to contribute but the vote was carried. Hon. Keynan was moving Motion No. 13 on the Order Paper.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am not moving this one. This Report was tabled a day ago after consultations. I do not know how it was put on the Order Paper. I want to withdraw this so that hon. Members have time to go through the Report. It is not fair to table a report yesterday and to move it in the morning without any consultations and when hon. Members have not read anything.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): I see hon. Members are now clapping. They are happy the Motion has been withdrawn.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Members, there is information and communication that the Chairperson, Public Accounts Committee is not in to Move Order No. 14. This was in anticipation that Order No. 13 was to be carried out today if it were not for the withdrawal.
(Hon. (Ms.) Mbalu): Hon. Members, there being no other business in our Order Paper and the time being 12.25 p.m. the House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 12.25 p.m. 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.