Hon. Members, you will recall that yesterday, during the afternoon Sitting, the Member for Gem, hon. Jakoyo Midiwo, on a point of order, sought the guidance of the Speaker on the issue of whether the Member for Kajiado Central, hon. Joseph Nkaissery, ought to have resigned prior to the conveyance of the Message from His Excellency the President, nominating him for appointment as the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. Having perused through the Verbatim Report for the afternoon Sitting, I must thank the hon. Member for raising this matter, which has implications on the interpretation of the Constitution. In summary, the hon. Member sought guidance on whether a person ceases to be a Member of the House upon being nominated for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary. To begin with, this is the first time this House is faced with a scenario where a sitting Member of Parliament has been nominated for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary, under the current Constitution. I note that the Constitution, in Article 103(1), provides as follows:- “103(1) The office of a member of Parliament becomes vacant- (a) if the member dies; (b) if, during any session of Parliament, the member is absent from eight sittings of the relevant house without permission, in writing, from the Speaker and is unable to offer a satisfactory explanation for the absence to the relevant committee; (c) if the member is otherwise removed from office under this Constitution or legislation enacted under Article 80; (d) if the member resigns from Parliament in writing to the speaker; (e) if, having been elected to parliament- The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(i) as a member of a political party, the member resigns from that party or is deemed to have resigned from the party as determined in accordance with the legislation contemplated in Clause 2; or, (ii) as an independent candidate, the member joins a political party; (f) at the end of the term of the relevant house; or, (g) if the member becomes disqualified for election to Parliament under Article 99(2), (d) to (h). (3) Parliament shall enact legislation providing for the circumstances under which a member of a political party shall be deemed, for the purposes of Clause 1 (e), to have resigned from the party.”
Hon. Members, a plain reading of the above provisions reveals that nomination for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary is not one of the matters contemplated under the Constitution as necessitating the vacation of the office of a Member of Parliament. As I noted yesterday, I am yet to receive a letter of resignation from the hon. Member for Kajiado Central. As per Article 152 of the Constitution, the position of the Member for Kajiado Central shall only become untenable if he elects to assume the office of a Cabinet Secretary in the event that this House approves his nomination. Article 152 (3) and (4) provide as follows:- “152(3) A cabinet secretary shall not be a member of parliament; (4) Each person appointed as a Cabinet Secretary- (a) assumes office by swearing or affirming faithfulness to the people and the Republic of Kenya and obedience to this Constitution, before the President and in accordance with the Third Schedule; and, (b) may resign by delivering a written statement of resignation to the president.”
Hon. Members, you note that even after the vetting of a nominee for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary and, indeed, the appointment of a successful nominee as a Cabinet Secretary, the person must further assume the office of a Cabinet Secretary by taking the oath or affirming to the office as set out in the Third Schedule to the Constitution. Presently, the Member for Kajiado Central has only been nominated for appointment. He has not been approved for appointment or even subsequently appointed as a Cabinet Secretary. It is, therefore, clear that any debate as to his continued membership of this House is pre-emptive and premature.
Hon. Members, as you are aware, I committed the Message containing the notification of the nomination to the Committee on Appointments, which is to report back to the House on the approval or rejection of the nomination of the Member for Kajiado Central, as per our Standing Orders. Once the Report is tabled, Article 122 (3), of the Constitution shall operate to preclude the Member from participating in any voting on the issue of his own nomination. That is the same Article that bars the Speaker from voting, even if there is a tie.
I, therefore, rule that the Office of the Member of Parliament for Kajiado Central, or any Member, does not fall vacant on account of his nomination for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary. Such a Member will only be required to vacate office by tendering his resignation prior to assuming the office of a Cabinet Secretary, should the House approve his nomination and the President appoints him. The Member for Kajiado Central did not, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
therefore, cease to be a Member of this House upon being nominated for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary. I urge hon. Members not to pre-empt the outcome of the vetting process but, instead, to await the Report to be submitted by the Committee on Appointments for debate by the House. Since this matter is already committed to the Committee, I will not allow any Member to comment or make reference to it until the Committee tables its Report in the House. Thank you, hon. Members.
Hon. Members, my other Communication relates to the issue of attendance of Members to House Sittings.
Hon. Members, you will recall that last Wednesday, 26th November, 2014, the Member for Bondo, hon. Gideon Ochanda, sought the Speaker’s guidance on whether the directions not to attend the Sittings of the House issued to a Member of Parliament by his sponsoring political party or by any other person or office would offend the provisions of Article 103(1), (b) of the Constitution.
Hon. Members, allow me, therefore, to bring to the attention of all and sundry several important provisions in our Constitution and laws regarding this important matter. Firstly, political parties have internal self-regulating mechanisms provided for in their respective constitutions and rules. It is expected that such rules be guided by the provisions of the Political Parties Act, which is subject to the Constitution by virtue of Article 2, which provides for the supremacy of the Constitution and that, any law that is inconsistent with the Constitution is void to the extent of the inconsistency. Secondly, the resignation of a Member from a political party is governed by Section 14 of the Political Parties Act. Resignation of a Member can either be expressed through a written notice to the political party or the Clerk of the relevant House as provided for under Sub-Section 1 or by implication as envisioned in Sub-Section 5, which provides as follows:- “(5) A person who, while being a member of a political party- (a) forms another political party; (b) joins in the formation of another political party; (c) joins another political party; (d) in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party; or (e) promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party; shall, notwithstanding the provisions of SubSection (1) or the provisions of any other written law, be deemed to have resigned from the previous political party.
Further, with regard to resignation, Section 14(7) of the Political Parties Act also provides that a member of a political party may only be expelled from that political party if the member has infringed the constitution of the political party and after the member has been afforded a fair opportunity to be heard in accordance with the internal party The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
disputes resolution mechanisms as prescribed in the constitution of the party. Invariably, the Speaker has no role in those processes.
Thirdly, Article 103(1)(b) of the Constitution provides that, “The office of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if, during any session of Parliament, the Member is absent from eight sittings of the relevant House without permission, in writing, from the Speaker, and is unable to offer satisfactory explanation for the absence to the relevant Committee.” In this respect, attendance to House sittings is mandatory and failure to comply with the provisions of the Constitution can lead to an office of a Member being declared vacant. The custody of this authority, including information as to whether a Member of the National Assembly has the consent of the Speaker to be absent, vests nowhere else but with the Speaker. Nobody within or outside this House should, therefore, purport to have such authority. The Speaker will continue to jealously protect this authority and cannot and will not, at any time delegate or transfer this authority to any other person. In this regard, any Member of the House who fails to attend Sittings of the House with written consent of the Speaker risks losing their seats in the manner contemplated in Article 103(1)(b) of the Constitution. All that a Member is required to do is to notify the Speaker that they will be absent and that information is kept by the Speaker, and no other person. Hon. Members, as I conclude, may I also extend counsel to all and sundry that, in view of the provisions of the Political Parties Act and the Constitution, it is not only unconstitutional but also unreasonable for a political party to direct Members not to attend House Sittings, which the Constitution make mandatory. Whereas there are methods of disciplining members of political parties, directives against a Member of Parliament not to attend House Sittings is not one of those available to political parties. In my view, a Member who goes against such a directive and attends House Sittings would not be, in any way, going against the ideology or policies of the political party that sponsored that Member as envisioned in Section 14 of the Political Parties Act, as to warrant discipline in the manner provided. Such Members would only be fulfilling their constitutional obligation as provided in Article 103 of the Constitution – which is superior to the Political Parties Act and indeed, the constitutions of political parties. Their mandate is also to represent and legislate as provided for in Article 94 of the Constitution and, therefore, a Member cannot possibly incur the wrath of their sponsoring political parties for merely fulfilling their obligations under the Constitution. Please, be guided accordingly. Thank you.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House:- The National Police Service Commission Recruitment and Appointment Regulations, 2014, pursuant to Section 28 of the National Police Service Commission Act 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 Constituencies Development Fund Board Report for the month of November, 2014 Thank you, hon. Speaker.
The National Police Service Commission Recruitment and Appointments Regulations, 2014, are referred to the Committee on Delegated Legislation to deal with.
Yes, hon. Keynan.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay on the Table of the House the Public Investments Committee Report on benchmarking visit to the Republic of India. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay on the Table of the House the Report of the Kenyan Delegation to the 131st, 130th and 129th Assemblies of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related meetings held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 12th to 16th October, 2014; 16th to 20th March, 2014 and 7th to 9th October, 2013, respectively.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Kenyan Delegation to the 131st, 130th and 129th Assemblies of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related meetings held in Geneva, Switzerland from 12th to 16th October 2014; 16th to 20th March 2014, and 7th to 9th October 2013, respectively, laid on the Table of the House today, Thursday, December 4th, 2014.
Hon. Speaker, with gratitude, I rise to bring my appreciation on my own behalf as the Member of Parliament for Ruaraka Constituency and on behalf of the immediate family of the Late Senator Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ and the entire family of Mzee Japuonj David Ajwang’ Nyakwamba for the act of love that the institution of Parliament as a whole demonstrated to us as a family during our trying moments of grief. Hon. Speaker, you distinguished yourself when you led Members of the National Assembly to pay tribute on the Floor of the House to the departed Senator. The words of condolences which flowed freely from the Floor of the Chamber, the words of affirmation which were carried in different media including print, social and various forms of digital appliances not only brought comfort to us as a family, but also strengthened us so that we recognised the loss of the Senator not as a personal one, but one which involved the whole nation. Hon. Speaker, you found time to lead a delegation of the National Assembly to our home and in it; you revealed your love to us as a member of our Parliament family. When you joined us in the public tribute gathering, we recognised your affection as a member of the political family. Members of the National Assembly as well as Members of the Senate sacrificed their time and resources to reflect upon the life that they shared with the late Senator. The late Senator lived a life of “Mapambano”. He was ever reminding the citizens of this nation that the struggle continues. Ever telling us that there is a clarion call that all of us must rally towards striving to make Kenya a better place than we found it upon birth. It is a cry of unity as a nation. It is a cry that we can execute our tasks with passion, diligence and commitment. It is a cry that we can be faithful with what is most important for this nation, so that we are faithful to issues like constitutionalism, issues of devolution, security and the good governance of our country. Hon. Speaker, he will be remembered for reminding his audience of the constitutional concept of: “We are the people.” This is a national conscience that power is truly vested on the people of this Kenya to be used wisely by institutions to which the same power is bestowed. I, therefore, plead that through the death of Senator Otieno Kajwang’, every citizen and, indeed, every leader to whom power has been bestowed on behalf of the citizenry, should locate him or herself within that precept of “BadoMapambano” or “ Aluta continua”. I urge us all to refocus our energies on what brings us together, which is nationhood and what brings us together to fight our common enemies especially insecurity and doubters of devolution. This is why, although I grieve the death of my brother, I choose to recognise it as a loss that we have incurred as a country because our common destiny is, perhaps, bigger than our personal losses as a nation. The Senator’s last speech was about insecurity. However, no sooner had he spoken than the vile enemy struck in Mandera killing more than 56 innocent lives. When I saw those pictures that came through the social media, I felt for myself that the death of Otieno Kajwang’ was insignificant compared to the lives that Kenyans have incurred over the years because of issues of insecurity that we are unable to tame. I think no Kenyan should lose their lives in circumstances that we can avoid. Therefore, I wish to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the members of those families that lost their lives in those circumstances. I hope that as leaders of this nation, we will find a The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
very serious approach into some of these issues, particularly issues that come upon us directly as Members of the National Assembly. It is because of that, that I hope that the appointment of my friend and client, hon. Maj-Gen. Nkaissery, will change the cogwheel which has forever fed instruments of insecurity. Hon. Speaker, you have shown us your love and sympathy. Count on us when you truly need a friend to be with you. I thank you.
Very well. Thank you very much. Next Order, Leader of Majority Party.
Hon. Speaker, first, I have a small statement to hon. Otichilo on the matter of San Marco Space Application Centre. It is a brief one. I want to read it and then table this document. The matter of San Marco Space Application Centre; renewal of its management agreement is under review and will be concluded very, very soon. Upon the completion of that process, Parliament will be dully notified. This is in accordance with the new Constitution and also with the Treaty Making and Ratification Act. We, therefore, call for patience and indulgence on this matter on the part of Parliament and once it is finished, we will present the documents for ratification to Parliament. Hon. Speaker, I now read the Statement from the House Business Committee (HBC).
Hon. Members, the Statement which was being delivered by the Leader of Majority Party, even though it was sought by hon. Ottichilo, I thought it was in the interest of every hon. Member to listen and hear what the Leader of Majority Party has said on San Marco Space Application Centre. Proceed, hon. Leader of Majority Party.
Hon. Speaker, hon. Nkaissery has already started solving security matters before he is approved by the House. He is talking like one who has already assumed the office.
He is contravening the Constitution. He cannot transact security matters before he is approved by the House.
Hon. Members, I hope all of you are in possession of the Supplementary Order Paper so that now when we talk of the next Order, then Order No. 8 is as per the Supplementary Order Paper. The reason why the Supplementary Order Paper was prepared is because we needed to put the Question for the indicated Bills. However, hon. Members, I will also be re-arranging that Supplementary Order Paper so that Motion No. 11 comes before Motion No. 10 because the former is a Procedural Motion.
Hon. Members, what remains on this Bill is to put the Question and I proceed to do so.
Hon. Members, again this is just to put the Question.
Hon. Speaker, how many Supplementary Order Papers do we have?
I have re-arranged the orders so that Order No. 11 comes before Order No.10.
Sorry, hon. Speaker. I need an assistant. It is like the work hon. Mbadi used to do when the former Prime Minister used to be--- I beg to move the following Procedural Motion:- THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 28(4), this House resolves to alter its Calendar for the 2nd Session (2014) as adopted on February 26, 2014 and resolves to hold sittings until Thursday, December 11, 2014. Hon. Speaker, this is a straightforward Motion. We have discussed it in the HBC. There are a number of matters concerning Members’ welfare which we want to sort out next week, including staff of Members of Parliament whose salaries have not been paid. We want to deal with that. Two, we have four names which were read yesterday by the Speaker for nomination to sit on the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) Board. We also need to dispose of that because as we stand now, CDF Board is not in place. So, we ask the Constituencies Development Committee to fast-track the vetting of the nominees. We also have the PAC Reports for the Financial Years 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 which, if we conclude next week, will alter the amount of money to be shared between the national Government and county governments. When we come back in February, the Budget and Appropriations Committee led by my good friend, hon. Mutava Musyimi, will use that to set and guide the nation on the Division of Revenue Bill. I am sure the Committee on Appointments that you lead will next Thursday vet hon. Nkaissery. So, there are a number of issues. I want to request the Members that let us solve both the internal welfare issues and also deal with the few Bills and Motions which are remaining and, more so, the PAC Reports. Finally, we are publishing the two remaining constitutional Bills. The one on public audit and the other on the Public Procurement and Disposal Act so that we can, at least, do the First Reading next week and then refer them to the respective committees. Their deadline is April. So, by the time we come back in February, we will just introduce them for Second and Third Readings and then we take them to the Senate. On that note, it means you need to write a letter to the Senate that the deadline for all those constitutional Bills is April next year and there is no extension. You know our friends. You need to tell them in another language.
I am only being cautious because out of the five Bills, we have already dealt with three. I want to thank the House. This morning, we have finished the one you have just put the Question to. So, we are remaining with two which we will finish by February. I do not know whether our colleagues will finish those five Bills in two months. They must be told in black and white that there will be no extension. If they will not have finished, 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.
then those who will go home will be the Senate and not the National Assembly.We also want to read the First Readings of those two Bills. It is straightforward and, hon. Speaker, I am sure you can give directions here. I believe hon. Kenyan, who is a Commissioner and also the Chairman of the Welfare Committee, before we leave next Thursday, will ensure that our staff in the constituencies are paid by Parliament.
We want our staff to go for Christmas when their wallets are heavy. It is very bad when you go for Christmas and you slaughter bulls and your staff cannot even slaughter a chicken, not even eating chicken.
With those very few remarks, I would like to ask hon. Jakoyo Midiwo, who was in the House Business Committee (HBC) because the leader was not there, to second.
The leader was there. A leader can never be absent. Power hates vacuum. I rise to second and tell the Leader of Majority Party that hon. Nyenze here has an able assistant. He does not need one. Even you, you need to tell yours to be available all the time. Hon. Speaker, I rise to second. I only want to say that I agree with everything as said by the Leader of Majority Party. I think Parliament needs to be here to deal with a few issues, especially this one on the nomination of our colleague Maj-Gen. Nkaissery. That is because as it were, there are vacant offices to deal with security. My interpretation of the situation is that our country is under some attack. We need to deal with that issue in a bipartisan manner and I think both sides should be in agreement. I want to take this opportunity to send my sympathies to hon. Kanini Kega and the people of Kieni and Nyeri in general who bore the brunt of the attacks. If you remember, Kieni just buried two ladies the other day over the first attack in Mandera and now they are going to bury 16 others. I think the House can only sympathise with them. Therefore, we need to do what we normally do as a House to show Kenyans that, at least, this House cares. I want to tell hon. Kanini Kega my colleague that we are truly sorry. We need to be here as a House to help the country deal with this problem. Even though we are faced with this, we can overcome it if we all work together. I believe that the solution is within this House. My belief is that despite the fact that ole Lenku and Kimaiyo are gone, I do not think they were the problem. I think we need to sort out the structural security problems. It is upon us. When you say all the time that we do not want constitutional reforms, if we do nothing else in terms of constitutional reforms, then we must do something about the security chapter. We must. We did an experiment which is not working. In my constituency of Gem, people were killed two nights ago; the same night people were killed in Mandera. We must sort out the differences between the Administration Police (AP) and the regular police. 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.
Instead of blaming the Executive, we need to help them sort it out. It is a serious problem. You have the AP in camps, but they have refused to respond or co-operate with the Inspector General (IG) of Police. The AP used to report to the District Commissioners (DCs). I am of the opinion that if the DCs who are still in office had powers over the AP, probably, Kapedo would never have happened. The same applies to Baragoi and even Mandera. That is because the training of the regular police is different from that of APs. We used to have APs train as paramilitary and the reason was to deal with scenarios like what happened in Kapedo. We put all those people under one management and it is causing all kinds of problems. As I end, you know every robbery you see in the cities, more often than not, there is an AP---
Stick to your Standing Orders. I appreciate that you may be trying to aid people and Members understand this Motion but I think if it goes beyond there, then it is no longer part of the Motion that we are debating.
Yes, hon. Speaker. But I was only elaborating one point, I apologise. Our people and this country need to understand the magnitude of the problem. People need to understand, both Members and non-Members, that blame-game will not sort us out the country. Our people are dying in a wanting nature. We need to sort it out. I know the rules of the House. I do not want to take too much of the time given to me but I am saddened as a leader in this country that thus far, this House is looking helpless. If we are helpless, who will not be helpless in our country? I just want to plead with this House that let us stay and hope that our friend Maj- Gen. Nkaissery will, at least, drum this point to the Executive if and when we confirm him. The problem is not personalities; the problem is structural and it is constitutional. I support.
Well, of course, I hope that all of you will recall earlier in the day that the Leader of Majority Party tabled before the House the National Police Service Commission (Recruitment and Appointments Regulations, 2014) which we have referred to the Committee on Delegated Legislation. I think, perhaps, as we discuss, one could look at those regulations. What is it that they are proposing in regard to the particular topic that they seek to address? Hon. Members, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 28(4), this House resolves to alter its Calendar for the 2nd Session (2014) as adopted on February 26, 2014 and resolves to hold Sittings until Thursday, December 11, 2014.
Put the Question!
Hon. Members, looking at the greater mood of the House---
So, the reading of the mood was correct. Next Order!
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The Chairperson of Committee on Selection, Leader of Majority Party, the Floor is yours.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, notwithstanding the Resolution of the House on 8th October, 2013, regarding appointment of Members to respective Committees, this House further approves that;- (i) The Hon. Charles Nyamai, MP, be appointed to the Public Investments Committee; (ii) The Hon. Daniel Maanzo, MP, be appointed to the Committee on Delegated Legislation; (iii) The Hon. Benjamin Andayi, MP, be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations;
(iv) The Hon. Richard Makenga, MP, be appointed to the Committee on Procedure and House Rules;
(v) The Hon. Gideon Mung’aro, MP, be appointed to the Committee on Regional Integration;
(vi) The Hon. Mishi Juma, MP, to be appointed to the Committee on Implementation;
(vii) The Hon. Timothy Bosire, MP, moves from the Committee on Regional Integration to the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee; (viii) The Hon. Robert Mbui, MP, moves from Procedure and House Rules Committee to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security; (ix) The Hon. Joyce Lay Wanjala, MP, to be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives to replace hon. Zuleikha Juma; (x) The Hon. Zuleikha Juma, MP, moves from Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives to Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; (xi) The Hon. Ken Okoth, MP, to be appointed to the House Business Committee to replace the Hon. (Dr.) Susan Musyoka, MP; and, (xii) The Hon. Andrew Mwadime, MP, be appointed to the Procedure and House Rules Committee to replace the Hon. Ken Obura Mirenga, MP, who has since been discharged from the Committee. Hon. Speaker, this is very straightforward matter. As the Chair of the Selection Committee, we have sat and agreed that as per the Standing Orders, if any side of the coalition wants to make re-organization of its membership in various committees, as allowed by the Standing Orders, that is fine. Therefore, this is a straightforward matter where we are just re-organizing different Members in different committees. I, therefore, ask the Minority Whip, hon. Mwadeghu, Member for Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County, to second.
Hon. Mwadeghu, the Minority Whip, the Floor is yours. You appear not to have placed your card so far. I thought you came early or you came and sat on your rights. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. In seconding the Motion, I just want to bring to the attention of hon. Members that this is a continuous programme. As and when the need arises for any party to make changes, it will come to the Floor of the House. It is our request as a party that it becomes necessary to make the changes. As the mood is on reconciliatory approach to issues, we believe we will be coming to the House if at all the need arises, to make further changes as required. Hon. Speaker, I second.
Hon. Mwadeghu, have you seconded?
I have seconded, hon. Speaker.
Let us allow the hon. Members entering the Chamber to take their seats. Hon. Cheptumo, you may take your seat. Hon. Kajuju, you are consulting loudly.
Put the Question!
I can see some interventions. Hon. Mati, what is your intervention
On a point of order. My intervention is very small. I have no problem with the list. I have a problem with the last sentence that said: “Hon. Ken Obura Mirenga has been discharged.” Hon. Members, I have personally been involved in very many struggles. The worst that we can ever do as a House is not to be able to solve our problems in such a way that we do not injure one another. We cannot---
Hon. Speaker, I do not know the circumstances because I am not a member of the leadership. However, I know the anguish that I went through early this year when I was equally discharged from committees. I know what hon. Obura is going through. I have not seen him here, but I do know that, definitely, all rules of natural justice have actually bSeen flouted in this matter.
Hon. Speaker, a person who is duly elected by the people of his constituency to represent them in this House and in any committee, cannot basically be made irrelevant by a committee of five people. Democratic processes and centralism must be seen to obtain in all political systems in this House and anywhere else. 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.
Today you may laugh and enjoy injuring your colleague but tomorrow, it will be your turn. We need systems that guarantee some level of democracy and some level of tolerance. Constructive criticism within our political systems should not be taken as defiance. I do not know what hon. Ken Obura did because I was not there. What I know is that the punishment meted out to him cannot be commensurate with any offence that one is likely to commit in this House. As a person, I do not have any problem with the list but I feel that this is vindictive. It is wrong and should not be tolerated by hon. Members. With those few remarks, I beg to oppose the de-whipping of hon. Ken Obura.
Hon. Kajuju, what is your point of order? Hon. Members, do I get the sense that rather than indicating that you are making an intervention by way of points of order, you want to debate the Motion?
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I rise to oppose what has been presented to the House today. Much as I respect the Leader of Majority Party, I know that he is only discharging his duty as the Chair of that Committee. I know his heart and spirit may not be in what he has moved. If I may proceed, I am only judging because he is my neighbour.
Hon. Kajuju, you should not talk about the heart and spirit. Earlier today, we had several other businesses and meetings and the issue of the spirit came up. It has been stated that when it comes to matters of the spirit, including that of the Constitution, you need to go to some religious leader or to some people in Kitui – I do not know where exactly in Kitui – to tell you about the spirit. Therefore, let us avoid the “spirits” so that we can deal with the Motion. Do not refer to the spirit of hon. Duale.
Hon. Speaker, I stand guided. What I am saying is that as the Leader of Majority Party seconded the Motion, he clearly indicated – if I heard him right – that this was just the beginning, but they were in the process of a reconciliatory mode. This means this House is being called upon to engage in an exercise in futility. If the reconciliation process succeeds, these names will be brought back for approval for purposes of mending fences. If the parties are charting the way forward, in terms of how Members should behave, why can they not take their time to sort out those problems before bringing this Motion to the House?
I am a Member of the House Business Committee. One hon. (Dr.) Susan Musyoka is a very committed Member of the House Business Committee. Why is she being removed from the House Business Committee yet there is no accusation that has been levelled against her? Is it just because she is a woman? We are asking that any process that is being undertaken by whichever side of this House, it should take into account the commitment of a party in any process. Therefore, I submit that I am opposed to this Motion.
Leader of Majority Party, what is your point of order?
Hon. Speaker, hon. Kajuju has purported to have read my heart and spirit. I do not want to have problems at home. The only person who can read my heart, and who knows my spirit, is my dear wife. I want to confirm that fact to the House.
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What is your point of order, hon. Midiwo?
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I believe that what is going on is with a light touch. We have extended our sitting time to deal with real issues. It is out of order for hon. Kajuju to be so passionate about a very unlawful thing. A couple of weeks ago, a list was brought here, which already denominated the said Members from Committees. That argument belonged to that day. As to how to run our political parties or coalition, it is our business. It cannot be hon. Kajuju’s business. The fact that somebody does not know---
Hon. Midiwo, Standing Order No.176, relating to discharge of Members from Committees does not oblige any debate. When they were discharged, I merely made a communication to the House because that is what I should have done.
Hon. Mwadeghu has proceeded correctly. He went to the Committee on Selection and gave these proposals, in keeping with our own Standing Orders, because those positions must be filled within 14 days. Therefore, hon. Mwadeghu is perfectly in order to give these names to the Committee on Selection for consideration by the House. There is nothing wrong about that. What hon. Mwadeghu has done is perfectly in order. Proceed, hon. Midiwo.
Hon. Speaker, I want my dear friend, hon. Kajuju, to relax. It is good to learn procedures because we are going through so many challenges. As to hon. Musyoka, if it may please the House, she requested the CORD Coalition to be replaced. It would be for her to protest. Her decision is none of any Member’s business. She is not obliged to clarify to anybody.
Hon. Speaker, I always say that what is bedevilling CORD will, in the very near future, arrive on the other side. It is just a matter of time. We want both CORD and the other side, particularly TNA - because I do not see so much “war” in the URP--- We must be tolerant, both in CORD and TNA, so that we can move together, as a House.
Hon. Mbarire, let me just inform you that your day for the shoe to pinch is just around the corner. Trust me, because I know it. I do not want to say it here because it is coming. Therefore, I am only urging for tolerance. Lastly, if the same list had emanated from the Jubilee Coalition, CORD would have very little to say because the law does not allow. I am saying this in light of what is about to happen here, in terms of nomination of our representatives in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). We have gone through this before; there is precedence. Members should be advised using precedence.
This Motion is merely procedural. We are not doing it in bad faith but I want to plead with my Whip and my party that staying together makes more sense than being divided.
Thank you, hon. Speaker.
What is your point of order, hon. Onyonka?
On a point of order, hon. Speaker. I am not quite sure I understand what hon. Jakoyo Midiwo is saying. The issues that are outstanding pertaining to whether a Member should be removed from a Committees or not, some of us feel that it is inherently critical for this House to begin to understand that some of us vent 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.
raise critical issues affecting our political parties and it is wrong for these political parties to punish us.
I will give you an example of myself. I have been removed from all my committees simply because I have been criticising my party and my party leader. I only sit on the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. I was a Member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, but I was removed. They keep telling me that I am in another Committee, which I have never received any correspondence on. As far as I am concerned, I am committee-less and it looks like I am also party-less! So, I object to this Motion. I completely refuse to be cowed. I will take positions which are critical because my voters are the ones who have told me to raise the issues that I have raised. Anybody trying to remove me from the Committee simply because I am taking a different position from my party is completely wrong.
Hon. Speaker, I really did not want to speak on this, but just to correct the impression that---
Hon. Members, I appreciate that when the Motion is on the Floor of the House, it is for the entire House. However, sometimes, we also get informed by traditions. I am sure one of the common customs that we know of is the saying that it is the wearer of the shoe who knows where it pinches most. Hon. Opiyo Wandayi!
Hon. Speaker, obviously, I support the list. However, it is important that Members be honest with themselves. Hon. Richard Onyonka has misled the House. In addition to being a Member of the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, he is a Member of the Committee on Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library. I am well informed. If he chooses not to attend the meetings of a Committee, it is not anybody’s fault. This list is perfectly in order. I support it as a matter of priority.
Let us hear the elderly man from Kitutu Chache North, hon. Jimmy Angwenyi Nuru.
Hon. Speaker, there must be a purpose and objective of bringing this list to this House. Otherwise, if there was no purpose for this House to take up this matter and deliberate upon it, there would be no point in bringing it to the House and wasting our time. We must promote and enhance democracy. Democracy involves differing opinions. I really pity these young men, who have joined that party, which penalizes them every time. Ukitupa mate, you are demoted; you are removed from a committee. You must be told what to say in public barazas. Like my nephew here, hon. Onyonka, a very 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.
good young man, I advised him not to go there, but he went anyway. Now, they are messing him up.
The other person I advised not to go there is hon. Arama. He has faced it now. He should remember what I told him.
The next person, I understand, is going to be hon. Arati.
Hon. Angwenyi, do not shout that much!
Hon. Speaker, what is wrong is that we are being told that we cannot discuss and make a resolution upon this matter and yet it has come to this House. It should have been decided by that party alone. The purpose for it to be brought here is for all of us to make a resolution, for instance, guarding our people against being messed up simply because they have differing opinions.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I rise to support this Motion as presented here. I am convinced and, like hon. Angwenyi, he is right that when a matter is brought to the House, the Members should be able to ventilate and vote with their conscience on what they think is best for the House. However, I agree with what hon. Midiwo has said. This is mostly an administrative matter for internal coalition organization, re-allocating our Members to Committees. We are confident that any outstanding issues will be resolved within the next two or three weeks, under the able leadership and guidance of our House leadership. I hope that Members of the CORD Coalition will understand that there is a space for us to negotiate and figure out what needs to be done as we move forward. I beseech the Members and friends from the Jubilee side to lower the pressure. The stakes are not very high on this issue. We will sort it out. I personally have been proposed to serve on the House Business Committee. I am ready to serve there because for the last one year, I have been under-utilized.
Hon. Speaker, I appealed to your Office six months ago and, finally, what I appealed to your Office has been corrected. There was mis-communication and mis- understanding and for one year, I have been on only one Committee. There have been 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 of CORD, if we will be honest, who have been in more than three Committees. This is what we are rectifying here. Please, allow us to fix these things and we move on. In the best interest of the nation, I end by supporting the Motion. I thank hon. Duale for moving this Motion. Let us move on.
Hon. Members, this Motion is before this House properly. I want to refresh your memory on Standing Order No.175 (3), which reads as follows:- “A Member shall not be a member of a Committee of the House, unless the nomination of such Member into the Committee is approved by the House”. So, the Motion is properly before the House. But it is also fair to appreciate that in nominating Members, regard must be given to the composition of the House and relative strength of political parties. The only area that I would be concerned in, as the Speaker, is if the independents are left out. The rest of you, you play the game as you know how best. But I must protect the independents and the Standing Orders require of me to do that. They chose and were elected by their electorates as independents. Therefore, they have a right to belong to a Committee. If they are not, I will ensure that they are in Committees. With the rest of you from political parties, you can deal with yourselves as you understand political party games.
I am only required to protect the four independent Members. The rest of you can sort yourselves out as provided for in the Standing Orders. Let us hear from hon. Manson Nyamweya. Let us just deal with this Motion please.
Thank you, hon. Speaker.That is what I want to talk about. The rules are very clear and the Leader of Majority Party has given the names. Personally, I am not happy with ODM and when I decide to move, I will move and no one should complain. If the party decides to discipline me, it is right to do so as a party. We must respect parties and their structures. If you do not want, be a man or a woman and quit. That is all I ask everybody here. You cannot say you want to remain in ODM and disobey the rules. I have made a decision personally that, with time, I will move elsewhere. If the ODM decides to punish me, they have a right to. We cannot have both sides. Let us respect the rules of the House. We are in the National Assembly. Let us follow the rules the way they are.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I think hon. Midiwo challenged me and told me that I may be the next one in line. We are not doing this because I may be the next one; we are doing this because we are beginning to see political intolerance and party dictatorship that is beginning to grow in this country.
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I feel bad because hon. Mati was with me in the streets when we were fighting for a new Constitution. If we allow this to go on, it is going to get to a point where an hon. Member of the Opposition cannot even get a project done by a Government because if you are seen with the President commissioning a particular project in your constituency, you are called a mole. You are told you are not loyal to the party and then you are thrown out of a committee. I would hate the same to happen on my side. I am happy our side does not do it. You know very well where hon. Alfred Keter has been for the last one year and a half. He has been in every political rally in this country challenging our Government. He even attempted to stop Government initiated projects but we never chased him away. We tolerated him and even brought him on board, sat with him, talked, understood his concerns, listened to him and we counseled him. What dictatorship is this that we are now seeing in the CORD Coalition, a party that has refused to be tolerant? What saddens my heart is that the party leader of CORD is one man we know has fought very hard for democracy in this country but, as he grows older, he is becoming very intolerant.
Somebody needs to tell him that he must stay true to the things he fought for even within his party. I feel saddened to see one lady, hon. (Dr.) Susan Musyoka, for heavens’ sake, a very humble lady; very committed to her party; a lady who is always there on matters that support women, now you are throwing her away from the House Business Committee (HBC). Is it right? We must say no to this dictatorship. Now I understand why hon. (Ms.) Shebesh ran to TNA. I am even surprised to hear hon. Manson Nyamwea, a man I respect so much, a man who told me he wants to be the next governor of Kisii---You cannot behave that way. You cannot stand by such values if you want to be a governor. You must be tolerant my brother. I want to tell the party that today; we may help you and kick out your colleagues. Tomorrow, you will go to fight for a project for your people in a Ministry and the following day, your whip will de-whip you. You were voted by your people to support them and to deliver. If that delivering means working with the Government, there is nothing wrong with that. That is the only thing that will make you get re-elected; not how loyal you were to a party that refuses to help you deliver to your people. It is only the Government that can deliver to you. So, hon. Members listen to us. Msijiweke kwa shimo tafadhali.
Order, hon. Mbarire, you cannot mix two languages. If you chose to speak in Swahili, then be it. Hon. Wamunyinyi.
The issue of the discharge in Standing Order No.176 is spelt out and the speaker is functus officio with regard to that matter. So, hon. Mwadeghu is complying with the Standing Orders. Those positions must be filled within 14 days but remember, I have just read to you your Standing Order No. 175(3) that says it is the House. The point I am drawing your attention to is, perhaps, there is need for you to re- look at your Standing Orders because once the matter is for consideration by the entire House, you cannot now say: “Do not do it! Please allow this”. Hon. Mwadeghu has complied with the Standing Orders in what he is doing but the House has to approve these nominations.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I rise to oppose this Motion. Why I am doing this is because I have had a practical experience. You remember hon. Speaker you chaired the Committee on Appointments when we were vetting the Cabinet Secretaries. You remember I was a member of that Committee. Now that the vetting of another Cabinet Secretary is coming, I have just learnt a few minutes ago through “kangaroo means” that I have been removed from the Committee on Appointments.
Therefore, I want to appeal to the other side of the House, our coalition has gone mad. Please, help us retain order in this House. I oppose this Motion, hon. Speaker.
Let us hear hon. (Prof.) Nyikal and then we must resolve this matter.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I rise to raise some points. I have realized that in this House and, perhaps, in politics as a whole, people tend to avoid principles and go for either individuals or instances. I just want to raise one issue, democracy is based on party politics. It assumes that parties will be independent. Let us take the situation where we are that party that brings their Members or appoints its members---
Order! Order, hon. Members!
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, take a situation where you leave out the names or where a party which is in minority appoints a person to any place and you have a party which is opposed to that party in majority in the House. When you bring the matter to the House, that party can definitely overrule what the other party has done. It, therefore, becomes that in a situation where a party is in minority, then the party in majority will always be picking people for them. I think that is the principle that we should consider in this discussion. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Put the Question!
Hon. Members, earlier in the day, I drew your attention to the provisions of Article 122(2)(a). If you look at your Constitution, you will see what it provides; that the Speaker has no vote. Even in the event of a tie, the Question will be lost, even if the Speaker was of whatever opinion. So, hon. Members, because we must transact other business, this Motion is a matter that you can make a decision on, one way or the other, quickly.
Hon. Abass, hon. Simba, hon. Mirenga, listen to the Question.
Hon. Members, those who desire to stand to claim for a division, please, stand up. Do not walk around!
Hon. Members, you have the numbers. I direct that the Division Bell be rung for ten minutes.
Order Members! Order, Members! Resume your seats.
Resume your seats! Draw the Bar.
Hon. Members, take your seats. Hon. Members, please, take your seats. Take your seats, hon. Members, including hon. Ekomwa! Take your seats, please.
Hon. Members, those of you who had logged in, please, unlog. Several of you still have your cards logged in. Hon. Maison Leshoomo, please, remove your card from the machine. Your card is showing No.329. Please, what is happening? She is not in the Chamber. Who was seated next to her? Can the technicians disable it?
If the card is not going to be removed, then I will ask the staff to walk to that place where it is; No. 339, go and physically remove it. Light it up, it must be somewhere at the back. Hon. Members, you now have 60 seconds to log in. Hon. Sumra, here it is never done like in Embakasi. You have 60 seconds to log in. Hon. Members, 60 seconds are over. You have another 60 seconds to vote now.
Hon. Members, you know the Question. If the card is not going to be removed, then I will ask the staff to come and walk to that place where it is; 339, to go and physically remove it. Light it up. It must be somewhere at the back. It is out. Hon. Members, you now have 60 seconds to log in. Hon. Sumra, here it is never done like in Embakasi. You have 60 seconds to log in. Hon. Members, 60 seconds are over. You have another 60 seconds to vote now.
Hon. Members, you know the question.
. Musimba and Musyimi.
Hon. Members, for clarity and as you know, our own Standing Orders are very clear. Once the House expresses itself in a manner like this, a similar Motion may not be re-introduced in the House for another six months.
However, hon. Members, it is only if the Motion is exactly as it was today. That does not mean that hon. Members who have been discharged from Committees are reinstated. They remain discharged from the Committees. So, hon. Members, it is absolutely important for you to understand that. Next Order.
Order, hon. Members! We are on the Motion shown as Business No. 12, being moved by the Leader of Majority Party.
Hon Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, this House Notes Session Paper No. 14 of 2014---
What is your point of order, hon. Musimba?
Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, please, for those who are walking out, business has just begun. Real business has just begun. Allow hon. Musimba to be heard. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order to state that the Motion No.12, as listed, is inconsistent with Sessional Paper No.14 where it reads “we are to approve” at the bottom. It notes the Sessional Paper No. 14 of 2014 on the increase of the Government of Kenya’s external borrowing ceiling laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 18th November, 2014. It reads “Pursuant to the provisions of Section 50(2) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, approves the increase of total indebtedness by the National Government, for the time being outstanding in respect of principal amount of money borrowed or credit obtained, fromUS$14 billion (Kenya shillings one trillion two hundred billion, that is, Kshs1.200 billion) to US$23 billion (Kenya shillings two trillion, Kshs.2,000 billion). This is grave and important to this nation. As such, there is a fundamental mistake in this Motion. When you read the body of the Report itself, the Sessional Paper on the Annexure requests the House to increase that- in paragraph 12. The National Assembly is requested to consider and approve the increase of total indebtedness for the time being, outstanding in respect of the principal amount of money borrowed from US$14 billion to US$28 billion. Therefore, the Motion as laid down on the Order Paper and that which exists on the Paper Laid as Sessional Paper No. 14 and the deliberations by the Committee are completely inconsistent. Thus, I am calling upon the Mover to invoke our Standing Order 51(1) and withdraw it so as to amend it and present it again on the Floor of the House, at an appropriate time.
Hon. Musimba, I know you are not a very regular contributor here. This is a Motion and you are at liberty to even propose an amendment to the figures to be in accordance with what you are saying; as provisions of a Sessional Paper. So, the Motion has not been moved. Allow it to be moved, seconded and then you can make your assertions.
Hon. Members, no debates. I rule that the Motion be moved first.
Hon. Speaker. If hon. Musimba could wait for a few minutes, I am moving this Motion in an amended form. And it reads:- THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Section 50(2) of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, 2012, this House approves the increase of total indebtedness by the National Government, for the time being outstanding in respect of principal amount of money borrowed or credit obtained, from US$14 billion (Kenya shillings one trillion two hundred billion, that is, Kshs1, 200 billion) to US$23 billion (Kenya shillings two trillion, that is, Kshs.2, 000 billion); noting Sessional Paper No. 14 of 2014 on the increase of the Government of Kenya’s external borrowing ceiling, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 18th November, 2014 and pursuant to Section 50(2) of the PFM Act.” Hon. Speaker, the background to this increment in the ceiling is as a result of the following:-
The Government or the National Treasury is proposing to review the external debt ceiling through a notice of Motion in the National Assembly which I have done in accordance with the PFM Act, Section 50(2). In accordance with the provision of that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Act, the following information was to be available to the National Assembly for consideration and approval. What are these?
On 11th January, 2013, this House raised the ceiling for external debts from US$10 billion equivalent of Kshs800,000 billion and set it at US$14 billion equivalent of Kshs.1,200 billion.
As of 30th September, 2014, the Government of Kenya’s total disbursed outstanding national external debt stock stood at Kshs1,045 billion against the set statutory ceiling of then, which was at Kshs1,200 billion as approved by this House on 11th January, 2013. If you look at those figures, that leaves only Kshs.155 billion. Hon. Speaker, that is the background of what we are doing today and it is very important information. What are the justifications? What justification does the National Treasury and the Executive give to the country and to Parliament for raising the debt ceiling? One, the current ceiling was set when the dollar exchange rate was US$1 to Kshs.86 but as of today, the exchange rate is at US$1 to Kshs.89.
No, Kshs. 90 is according to the streets. I am quoting the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) foreign exchange rate. It keeps on changing and I am sure before the end of the day, before this House rises, the exchange rate will change. It is not static. I am sure it was Kshs.89 when we did this document and I am sure it is at Kshs.90 but for record purposes, when this Parliament was setting the ceiling, the exchange rate was at Kshs.86 to US$1 and now it is between Kshs.89 to Kshs90. Two, in the second Medium Term Plan of this Government, 2013/2017, the Government is involved in massive financing to meet the cost of huge infrastructure projects for development. These include the implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which will externally - in a big percentage - be funded from external sources. It will also include the funding of the activities of the LAPSSET project, the pipeline, the railway, the port and the road. I am happy that for the first time in the history of Kenya, that project passes through our constituencies - Garissa Township and Mwingi Central. The 10,000 kilometer of road that is going to be done through the annuity programme which, if you allow me--- Since Independence, we have only done 14,000 kilometers of tarmac road, with three successive Governments. Under this programme, 10,000 kilometers of tarmac road will be done and distributed equitably, including the ones which were there before. The Vice-Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing--- Finally, it will include the over 5,000 megawatts in the energy sector and the one million irrigation projects among many other projects. This is to say that those projects will be financed through external borrowing. The National Treasury, on behalf of the Government, sets to tap or increase the recently issued Sovereign Bonds for an amount not exceeding US$750 million, equivalent to Kshs.67 billion to finance the ongoing development projects. Further, the disbursement of the SGR loans from the Exim Bank and other external financiers is expected to accelerate the economic conditions and distribution in our country. So once that project is at its implementation stage, the condition is that we would have saved the remaining balance from the ceiling we gave to Government last year 11th January; the headroom is only Kshs155 billion. So, for those external financial institutions to support The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this, the National Treasury felt that we must seek this approval to increase the debt ceiling. Hon. Speaker, the Government, through the National Treasury, is cognizant of Vision 2030 and it has committed itself to transforming Kenya into a middle income economy by 2030. To realize that vision or that goal, it means that, among others, the country must accelerate our economic growth rate to around 10 per cent annually and also sustain that for a long period. To achieve and sustain such growth rates requires massive investment in infrastructure, ports, roads and railways. For all that to happen, those massive investments in infrastructure and external assistance is needed in areas of energy, roads, ports, railways, water, among others.
Hon. Speaker, it is Parliament’s role, under Article 95 of the Constitution, to do oversight, even on debt ceiling. In giving approval; if Parliament agrees, issues regarding utilization, accountability and transparency of the proceeds from external loans and grants must receive serious attention by the Government. I am sure hon. Members of the Public Accounts and Investments Committees, Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade and other Parliamentary Committees must make sure that utilization, accountability and transparency of the proceeds from that external borrowing; in terms of loans and grants, must receive serious oversight attention.
Hon. Speaker, the PFM Act, 2012, that this House passed provides elaborate provisions in making sure that those elements of transparency and accountability and utilization in terms of management of our resources are undertaken. The House should know that the National Treasury is finalizing the PFM regulations, which propose, among others, to set the external debt ceiling – that is if the House agrees when the regulations are tabled for debate. At present, the value of 50 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also a convergence criteria used by all the East African Community member States.
The National Treasury has also carried out an analysis of the impact of the external loan disbursement on the public debt portfolio vis-a-vis an analysis that was done in terms of the external debt and what our public debt portfolio is by the end of December, 2014. A number of scenarios were formulated; which I do not want to go into because they were given to the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade. Therefore, I am sure the Chair and his Committee must have been taken through that. On scenario one and two, the rest of the documents have been tabled before Parliament. I am sure the Committee went through them and used them to table a report on the need to raise the debt ceiling, while awaiting the National Treasury to finalize the PFM regulations. Those are the trends in Kenya’s debt portfolio and its sustainability. That was also explained to the Committee; the regional comparable indexes on how Kenya is fairing within East Africa, Africa and the global market. Therefore, all this has been done and I do not want to dwell on that. Finally, I want to confirm that I have moved the Motion in an amended form to help my good friend, the independent Member of Parliament from Kibwezi. The Motion on the Order Paper is different from the one that I have moved because this is in an amended form. I am sure the Speaker will also put the Question in an amended form. Hon. Speaker, I ask my colleague, hon. Katoo ole Metito to second. 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.
Let us hear from hon. Katoo ole Metito.
Hon. Speaker, I stand to second this very important Motion. The Mover has ably given the justification for the raising of the ceiling. I want to second the Motion by also trying to put some points across on its justification. This is a noble idea and it is doable. From the outset, Kenya’s overall net public debt to the GDP ratio has declined over the last two years as a result of prudent financial policy and a stable macro- economic environment. This is based on the report by the IMF and the World Bank that says that, at the end of the year 2012, that ratio stood at 43 per cent down from the 48 per cent at the end of 2011. This is the comparison being given across the region in countries like Zambia, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, with the highest in that comparison being Ghana at 53.1 per cent. Therefore, in the overall, the public debt is almost evenly split between both the domestic and the external creditors. It is also good to know that the external debt sources remain to be the multi-lateral and bilateral partners. Some of those multilaterals are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association. Their concerns are on project lending. Others are the World Bank, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank. The IMF mostly deals with policy based lending to do with Budget support. These are areas that we are talking about in terms of where to get external borrowing. The leading bilateral lenders are mostly Japan, France and China. Therefore, it is also good to note that most of our external debt remains on concessional terms although the commercial component has also increased of late. From 2011/2012, the shares of both multilateral and bilateral creditors or the credit sources have been on the decline. I still want to believe that this is justified. It is a cost that we can afford as a country. It is also worth noting that Kenya has not benefitted from any debt relief initiative. This is to say that we have been able to service our debt. This is not because we have received any debt relief initiative, but it is because of the sound fiscal management of the economy which we encourage the National Treasury to continue doing. It is also worth noting that for the first time, Kenya has received a rating of a B+ (plus) with a stable outlook. This should enable the country to negotiate for a favourable rate on external borrowing. That good score is also another element that can encourage us to go forward or upward on external debt. If you look at the IMF and the World Bank report of the last debt sustainability analysis, which was published in December, 2011, it says that the Kenya debt outlook has strengthened. We have been having some weak projected economic growth. All the time, we project having a double digit economic growth rate and we have not achieved it. However, despite all that, all debt indicators have improved as a result of the lower fiscal and more favourable exchange rate development. Therefore, if that trend continuous, I believe that this Motion is tenable and doable.
Hon. Speaker, if you look at Kenya’s risk over external debt analysis, the distress remains low while the overall public sector debt dynamic continues to be sustainable. So, with the current policies that the National Treasury has put in place; and with the oversight role of this House in terms of accountability and transparency; there is no cause 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 alarm if this Motion goes through. If you look, again with the baseline scenario of the entire distress test, when you want to take a loan, you must do a risk analysis. But Kenya’s external debt burden indicators do not breach any of the relevant policy dependent thresholds. It is favourable. With the recent classification by the World Bank of Kenya as a medium transformer in terms of the quality of the policies and institutions, I believe that is another indicator that can give this country some good rating to borrow externally.
In conclusion, proper investment for the borrowed funds is highly recommended to ensure that the country’s debt rating and rate of return on investment remains on the positive as this promotes the foreign exchange flows that will mitigate any currency crisis should there be any. Therefore, both equitable use, across the country, of this money being borrowed and prudent management, accountability and proper oversight by this House is a must. It is also good to note that what this Motion calls for is the approval of the increment of the ceiling just for planning purposes. The nitty gritty of the loans that are going to be sourced externally will still remain in the scrutiny of this National Assembly. Therefore, it is just for planning purposes. Whatever will be borrowed will be approved by this House.
With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Hon. Members, those who are trooping out, I wish to propose the Question.
Hon. Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise my point of order at this stage.
You are raising a point of order and not a contribution?
It is a point of order.
Hon. Speaker, Article 3 of the Constitution speaks to the fact that every person has an obligation to respect, uphold and defend the Constitution. Article 259 speaks to the fact that this Constitution needs to be interpreted in a manner that promotes its purposes, values and principles. Therefore, where am I heading to?
Article 201 of the Constitution speaks to the principles of public finance and among the principles that need to be observed to guide all aspects of public finance in the Republic are:- “There shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters.”
Hon. Speaker, this is a serious decision affecting the finances of this country. Article 201 of the Constitution that I have just read obligates all State organs, Treasury and the National Assembly which are involved in making decisions as to whether we need to increase the debt ceiling via a sessional paper, to extensively consult the people of Kenya. There must be public participation because if you go through that Article, you The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
will realize that one of the requirements is that both the benefits and burden of taxation or debt should be shared equitably between the current generation and the future generation.
Hon. Speaker, I listened to the Leader of Majority Party moving this Motion and also the Chief Whip who is a very good friend of mine and is always very solid in his arguments. I expected to hear an element of public participation. That is because Article 6 divides this country into 47 counties and this is a major matter that we cannot just determine without even having a system of consulting with the counties. This is because any decision that we make as a country or as a Parliament to increase the debt ceiling and the level of debts in this country is going to directly affected the finances that will subsequently go to our counties and also in the running of the national Government.
Hon. Speaker, therefore, my point of order is that I feel in the absence of a clear explanation as to whether there was public participation in discussing the Sessional Paper No.14 of 2014, it would be unconstitutional for this Assembly to proceed with this Motion thus denying the Kenyan public an input that is now currently entrenched in our Constitution.
Hon. Speaker, I beg for your ruling.
This is a simple matter for me, at least. Now, I do not require to be assisted on this one. The Sessional Paper has not originated from the National Assembly. The Sessional Paper originates from the Executive. We are not discussing that Sessional Paper and, therefore, the requirement for public participation in Article 201 that the hon. John Mbadi has alluded to is not a requirement of the National Assembly. It does not address us. When debate on the Sessional Paper happens, the hon. John Mbadi will be at liberty to challenge it on the basis that there was no public participation in its development and, therefore, propose an objection to it.
I, therefore, rule that the point raised by the hon. John Mbadi is unnecessary and debate on this Motion proceeds.
Hon. Jimmy Angwenyi.
I rise to support this Motion on the following grounds: One, the Jubilee Government is committed to move this country to a middle income status if not a first level status income. You cannot achieve that level of development unless you ensure there is peace, food security, proper infrastructure, adequate and skillful human capital and land. I know that we do have plenty of land in this country. We must acquire the other four factors and we can only acquire them by investing funds in those factors. For example, for us to have peace, we need to beef up our security agencies. For us to have food security, we need to do some irrigation projects so that our country is food secure. For us to have proper infrastructure like the one which was approved by this House; that there should be 20 kilometres of tarmac road in each constituency in the term of this Parliament, we need to invest. We can only invest in that if we acquire and mobilise resources and we can mobilise resources partly by taxation or by indebtedness. By increasing the ceiling of our indebtedness, we are not saying that we are going to get the money tomorrow. No, we are saying let us allow our Government and our legislature some leeway so that when there is need they can go out there and mobilise resources to achieve these goals that I have just stated.
Every time the Government goes out there to mobilise resources, it comes to this House to seek approval to get that exact and specific amount of resources they want to 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.
raise. So, this House cannot shy away from its responsibility to participate in the development of this country. I respect my student, hon. Mbadi. He seems to have read more than I had done when I was teaching him. He is saying that there has not been public participation. Ministries have sought this information and they have developed this Sessional Paper over a period of one year. They have sought participation from everywhere. It is incumbent upon us to do our work of either approving or not approving. I am sure that if we really want our country to develop and raise that figure to go towards the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) - it is good we are not going on recess until we hear the verdict on CDF from the courts tomorrow. We want to know whether they are against us or for us. We can only raise the CDF, create infrastructure and acquire food security by raising our debt ceiling. The Government can come to us to approve or not approve that mobilisation of resources whenever there is need. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
The Member for Balambala.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker. The matter before us today is one that is of great importance to this nation of Kenya. It is one in which, as provided for under the law, this House is being asked to allow or not allow the debt ceiling of the Government to be increased. From the outset, I want to say that the concept of debt ceiling is a signal for foreign investors of a given country to show how dedicated or disciplined that country is in terms of managing its fiscal policy. There are quite a number of countries in this world that use debt ceiling. They are about seven; namely, the United States of America (USA), Denmark, Malaysia, Kenya, Poland and Namibia being some of them. There are good reasons for putting this debt ceiling.
Let us come home and analyse the Sessional Paper No.14 which has been given to us, hon. Speaker. I do respect your earlier ruling very much on the issue of constitutionality which was raised by hon. Mbadi. I agree that whilst it might not have been the work of the Treasury to seek public participation, I feel that under Article 201 of the Constitution, just like when Treasury presents to us the Budget Estimates, this House or the Committees of this House subjects the same to public scrutiny. For that reason, I am not sure whether the ruling you made earlier was that Treasury is not involved in the process of public participation. Under prudent financial management, as per the Constitution, the Committees in this House should have subjected the same to public scrutiny. This Sessional Paper asks us to raise the foreign debt ceiling from the current Kshs1.2 trillion which has already been utilised to the extent of Kshs1.045 trillion, in addition to a domestic debt of Kshs1.26 trillion which has also been incurred by this country. I want to make a fundamental correction to the conclusions by the Committee and on this Sessional Paper. It is misleading to say that, that is 46 per cent of our current Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is, indeed, 49 per cent of our GDP. So, on this Sessional Paper as it is, the Committee’s resolution is itself misleading Kenyans to say the debt ceiling is 46 per cent. I wonder whether that was deliberately done just to show that we are still in compliance with the regional requirement of being below 50 per cent. 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.
Lately in September, Kenya underwent what is called a rebasing of the economy. Our economy was in September raised overnight by 25 per cent from Kshss3.8 trillion GDP to Kshs4.75 GDP. For that reason, there is that feeling of saying that we are worth more and now we can therefore borrow more. The truth of the matter is that the rebasing is just a paper richness and not one that is, indeed, material richness.
Hon. Speaker, the other question I want to raise is that: Why are we being asked to raise this debt to Kshs2.5 trillion when both scenarios given to us indicate that all that Treasury needs is actually different? Scenario one shows that it is Kshs8 billion more that is needed while scenario two indicates it is Kshs30 billion more that is needed. Actually, Kshs1.23 trillion should be adequate to meet the requirements that are needed by Treasury right now. Why are they asking for Kshs2.5 trillion? The other thing is that the total requirement for the development plan which has been listed here, which includes the energy sector, the railway, the Lamu Port and South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) project and the generation of 5,000 megawatts of power, is Kshs5.72 trillion. We are being asked to raise the debt ceiling to Kshs2.5 trillion, yet the requirement is Kshs5.7 trillion. The obvious thing that is going to happen is that in a very short time, Treasury will come back to us and say they need an additional Kshs2.5 trillion debt ceiling. We have to be very careful. The Committee admits in its own Report under the Committee’s observation No.20 (7) that: “Indeed, in so raising the ceiling, there is a huge risk of inflation shooting off the roof.” The Committee itself is admitting that, indeed, this is a risk that is there and we have to be very careful. This Parliament has experts in its Parliamentary Budget Office. These experts are the alternative that gives a health- check on our economy. They have said to us even in the public media that, indeed, this is not the right thing to do.
I am talking of the experts in our own Parliamentary Budget Office who are the same experts who support the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade. They have warned about the increase of debts, which is about 49 per cent of our economy. The ceiling is supposed to show Kenya as a country that respects or has a dependable public fiscal policy management. With all these in mind and knowing that the public of Kenya has not had the opportunity to input in this very important matter which is going to mean that debt is going to be carried very many generations downwards, it will be very difficult for me to support this particular Report. I wish to urge my colleagues not to support it. We should leave the ceiling as it is now or in the very least, if anything is to be done, only amend to allow that Kshs.30 billion more which is what is required by Treasury right now for it to achieve what they want to do.
Hon. Speaker, we cannot pass more debts than we already have and burden the younger generations. For that reason, I stand to oppose this particular request. I thank you.
Hon. Langat, the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to shed some light on this Motion. My Committee has engaged the Treasury on this matter. What we are doing pursuant to Public Finance Management Act, Clause 52, is that this House is supposed to do two things; one is to approve the total limits of the national debt 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.
number two is to approve the individual loans which the Government will be seeking from time to time. This is where now the nitty-gritties will be checked by the House to confirm whether it is really in the best interest of Kenya.
We are in the first stage which is increasing the total level of indebtedness. The last time we did this was somewhere in 2013, I think it was in the wee hours of the last Parliament in which we increased from Kshs800billion to Kshs1.2 trillion. That is where we are now. It is very important for the House to note that for us to be able to develop faster than we would otherwise do, that borrowing is very critical and important because this House can choose two things; to allow that we borrow and develop the infrastructure that has been highlighted now or we adopt a risk averse situation which I see my good colleagues from the Minority want to adopt. This is where we do not borrow but wait for 30 years to save and, thereafter, develop the infrastructure.
These are the choices this House should make. Even companies borrow and invest. The critical question which I expect my good colleagues, and I am shocked that my good colleague from Balambala Constituency has actually run away from the promise that he gave me when I met him personally--- He promised that he would support this Motion in the House but I am shocked at the way he is still arguing even after convincing him several times.
Having said that, hon. Speaker, the Jubilee Government is destined to deliver Vision 2030. That is a vision which was developed more than ten years ago. Now more than ever before, there is a promise to deliver that vision. What rings in the minds of all of us is the promise to triple the quality of electricity that is generated in this country. I want to answer those who are asking why we are increasing it two times. There is a proposal to triple the production of electricity from the current 1,500 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts in the next three years. What does that tell you? It means that we need money to invest. What does that give to Kenya? It promises to reduce the cost of electricity in this country by almost three times. We have always been rated globally as the worst in terms of the cost of doing business. This House is not ready to prevent that tripling of electricity. The Member for Kitui Central had an amendment before, but I am happy now that he is convinced that he will want to see his people of Kitui Central enjoying electricity, which is one-third of the cost as it is today. This Government has promised to do almost double the work on our roads. Three Governments have so far managed to do 15,000 kilometers of roads. We are saying that this time round we want to do 10,000 kilometers, which is almost double. I am very sure the Member for Balambala does not want this to happen 30 years from today. On the argument that we want to burden future generations, I am sure future generations will want to live and find perfect infrastructure in this country. So, I think the arguments which are being put across---
On a point of order, hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, if somebody says something that you do not agree with, there is nothing out of order. So, just hold your horses and relax.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I gave him all the time while he was arguing about GDP which I had already explained to him earlier on. The best GDP is the updated one because it has taken care of the current economic activities which previously 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.
were not being taken care of. So, I had already explained to him and I do not know why he keeps making these mistakes. Having said that, it is important to mention other huge infrastructure like the aviation industry. We want to make Kenya first class in terms of our airports so that we attract tourists. We need huge resources to fund the energy and security sectors. Therefore, my colleagues, I want you to accept the fact that we need this infrastructure now as we continue paying for the next 30 years. What are envisaged concessional loans? In fact, we would encourage the Government and the Treasury to source for more external loans. Some concessional loans are charging 0.6 per cent as opposed to domestic loans which cost up to 12 or13per cent and they crowd the market.
Hon. Speaker, having said that, the ability to pay is measured by the relationship between the debts as they are now and the Gross Domestic Product. Whether my friend says it is 49 per cent or 46 per cent, I want to say that according to the World Bank parameters, all countries which fall not more than 74 per cent of the GDP are still within the sustainable debts level. This House may want to know the best economies in this world. I want to challenge them to read. Japan is one of the biggest economies in terms of the GDP. You will be surprised that the debt to GDP ratio is 226 per cent or 227 per cent. That is Japan; the economic giant.The United States of America (USA) which is the superpower has a debt GDP ratio of 101 per cent.
The question that we need to be asking is: Are we borrowing to invest in development projects? The answer as listed in the Report is in the Medium Term Two development projects. There are projects which are being planned and the figures allocated are general figures for planning. They are not the exact figures. What we need to be doing is to give this Government the opportunity to plan; to be able to go outside there and negotiate for loans. They should not go and negotiate, then tell the donors that they must consult Parliament for approval. It is very important that we give them that leeway. We should not micromanage. If we were to go by what one of our colleagues here was saying, that we need to approve and give them Kshs30 billion and then tomorrow they come, then that is micromanaging. However, we have another opportunity to approve the individual loans. At that stage you can refuse given the terms. Let us give them time to go to the market, look for the best and bring it to us. On the issue of the public participation which has been raised on a point of order, I think it is good to read the Constitution in totality. The Constitution says that sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and can be exercised directly through a referendum - which I think my colleague was implying - or through their democratically elected representatives. You have been elected to come and represent your people. You can oppose here or say yes, but if even in increasing the debt limit you must go back and ask the public again whether we should do so, I think we are bothering the public which has given us the vote. Let the public work. They have sent us here to represent them and I believe we mean very well. When we do budgets, we do public participation. That is where the details of the loans and how funding will be done are discussed. If the public approves a project, then we finance it. We must support our Government to deliver the Vision 2030. We must 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.
have a country with first class infrastructure. Our cost of doing business must come down through reduction of energy costs. I need not say more as I can see my colleagues are now fairly convinced that we need to allow this ceiling for the reasons that I have indicated. I strongly support. I urge Members to support it. For those of us who are in my Committee, the questions have been raised and are answered. I support.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me the chance to make my contributions to this Motion. You are aware that I had proposed an amendment to this Motion and it went to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. I want to report that when we went to the Budget and Appropriations Committee it, in a democratic way, declined the amendment and I stand by that position. However, that does not mean that I changed my position in terms of my opinion to this Paper. I am a student of economics and there are some basic facts I want to put forward. The first fact is that when you borrow and you use the money to do development projects, that borrowing is good. This is because you generate more income, you pay your loan and you remain with some which makes your economy to grow. At the same time we need to know that for you to borrow, it means that your own income is not enough to meet your needs. Therefore, you borrow to meet that deficit. That is why every year we talk about budget deficits because whatever we are generating as a country is not enough to undertake our development activities. That is why from that point of view, I would say that the intentions are very good in terms of why we want to borrow. However, looking at this Paper it is a bit worrying and that is why I was proposing an amendment. If you go to the Committee Report from page two, the Committee gives a brief of what was presented to the Committee by our own Parliamentary Budget Office. This is an office where the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), of which you are Chairman, has invested a lot of money to get experts to support Members of Parliament analyse financial matters and make conclusions and important observations. They should guide the Committee to make final decisions. Looking at this good office of ours which has been doing a very good job as said, they are not opposed to additional borrowing or increasing this ceiling. However, considering the request for additional borrowing or ceiling, and looking at what we are calling the low observation capacity of development expenditure, they are saying that it would be unfair. It would not be good for Kenyans to borrow more before we address how we use the funds that we borrow to undertake our development. What does that mean? My colleague, hon. Lang at, the Chairman of this Committee is saying that they want to borrow about Kshs5 trillion to undertake very important projects in this country which are going to be very beneficial to all areas, including Kitui where I come from. However, the question is: If you borrow and you do not use the money, we will still be where we are but we will have tied our necks and we will be supposed to pay that money. The other point which is coming out is that when we are being requested to raise this ceiling to Kshs2.5 trillion, it is like what we do with our credit cards when we go to a bank. The bank will always sweet talk you into having a credit card worth Kshs1 million. I know in your position they might even be talking to you to get a credit card worth Kshs3 million. Personally, I would be having one of Kshs100,000. What happens? 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.
more opportunity you have to borrow, given that free cheque, the more the appetite to borrow. Therefore when you give Treasury this kind of free hand to borrow up to Kshs2.5 trillion, you are telling Treasury that you can borrow as much as you want. Therefore, it becomes an easier option to generate income for this country. If you read this Report and I want to quote page 6 on what our own Budget Office is saying, Section (5) says: “Borrowing needs not to be a panacea in the long run. There is need to look into the---- to a balanced budget.” That means that at the end of the day, you might borrow but you must bear in mind that one day you will be expected to pay back this money. As a student of economics, there is something called intergenerational model in terms of public analysis when you must think about the future generations. The money we are borrowing today if it is payable in 30 years, most likely some of us in this House will have proceeded to the other world. Our children or our grandchildren will now be the people who will be living and they will be expected to pay this money. So as we borrow, we need to think seriously about how we are going to pay back this money. That is why our Budget Office is saying that there is need to carry out a new debt sustainability analysis. This is because, as we move forward, we ought to be sure of how we are going to pay this debt. That is why we are saying we know this is a request for the ceiling. However, we are sure after we improve this figure from Kshs1.2 trillion to Kshs2.5 trillion, the Government is going to borrow more money. The question I am asking myself is: They need Kshs5 trillion and we are only increasing this figure by Kshs1.2 trillion.
How are they going to raise the rest of the money because that is not mentioned anywhere here? It could have been prudent to raise this figure to Kshs.1.8 trillion. If they need the ceiling to be improved, they will come to us; we do the same. I have my own doubts. Early this year, this House authorized Treasury to do the Eurobond. One of the serious arguments which came to this House was that, by raising that Kshs.170 billion, interest rates in this country were to go down. Getting that money to this country was supposed to improve money supply which would have actually made our interest rates to be low. What has happened? As the Budget and Appropriations Committee, we have a document which says that when this money came to this country, it was used to pay debts which were incurred earlier. As a country, we are borrowing money to pay debts. Will this result to economic development which we are talking about? The answer is no. With that kind of experience from Treasury, I do not know how as a House, we can to trust Treasury 100 per cent. We need to have the benefit of the doubt. As we do this, we will not put our future generations into serious debt. I would hate a situation where, by the time my grandchild is being born, already that child is indebted to a tune of Kshs.10 million. That is why we are saying; we must oppose this thing and be serious with what we are saying. The other thing I want us to talk about is what is called signaling. If any investor comes to this country and sees that we are so much indebted as a country, the clear picture or the signal they get is that within a very short time, taxes will go up because debts must be paid. So, if I am investing in a country where taxes will go up, I am likely to be very cautious. If taxes go up, the demand for your product is likely to be affected 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.
and you are not likely to make profits. We also need to be careful because we might be saying ‘let us just increase’ without caring about those people who want to invest in Kenya and are foreigners. For them to do that we have to send the right signals. I am not opposed to getting more money, but I am not sure the money we want to borrow as a country will be put into the productive sector. If I am assured 100 per cent, I will support this but as I stand here to contribute, I have my doubts. In conclusion, there are other areas you can generate money from or go to public- private partnerships to generate resources. There are annuity programmes where you raise money locally. We also have Project Bonds where we can raise money locally through bonds and do the same projects. The last one which is very important is; corruption is an issue in this country. I am not very sure if the money we are going to borrow is not going to go into individual pockets instead of helping Kenyans. Based on those points, I want to say that I oppose and I would have been happier, if my amendment which proposed Kshs 1.8 trillion would have been accepted. Even though I lost, I now agree with hon. Abdikadir who says we should have only increased to Kshss1.23 trillion.
Let us hear from the Chairperson of Budget and Appropriations Committee, hon. Mutava Musyimi.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I stand to strongly support this Motion. I also wish to say for the record that an amendment proposed by hon. Member for Kitui Central, which was committed to my Committee by yourself, hon. Speaker was dealt with. We sat yesterday and spent sufficient time discussing that amendment. The amendment sought to bring down the proposed ceiling from Kshs 2.5 trillion to Kshs 1.8 trillion. Hon. Speaker, in that Committee, we are honoured to have the hon. Member for Balambala and the hon. Member for Suba who have spoken against this Motion or rather I can read their hearts. We were constrained to disagree with the proposed amendment. Earlier on, we had the privileged opportunity of meeting with Treasury on this matter. We asked questions that we wanted to ask as the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Where would this money go and how shall it be used? Shall we borrow to consume, waste and indulge ourselves as a people or shall we borrow to invest for the future generations to come? We were assured that the latter will be the case. In any case, in the new Constitution, our role as the National Assembly and especially the Committee I am honoured to Chair, we play a role to make sure that the programmes of Government; of all spending agencies; including this National Assembly, are approved by us. We are right at the heart of the budget-making process. There is no programme that is going to be approved by anybody else other than ourselves.
Hon. Speaker, as a Committee, we met the Treasury and discussed this matter. Knowing our mandate as the Budget and Appropriations Committee, with respect to the Budget-making process - there are other works done by other Committees of this House to monitor the programmes of Government - we were constrained to decline the proposed amendment. If I may perhaps say a little more; if you take the Standard Gauge Railway, the last time anybody met in a Parliament to discuss a railway line in Kenya was in the 19th Century in the House of Commons. That debate is chronicled rather well in a book titled “ Lunatic Express”, which I believe many of us have read. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Speaker, to be in a Parliament where we are finally in a position more than 100 years later to talk about the Standard Gauge Railway, that we know will change this country, is not a matter that we ought to take lightly. What is more? We have a youth bulge which we all know. It is important to remind ourselves that 50 per cent of our population today is below 18 years old. Unless we invest for these young people, build human capital by educating them; borrow cheaper money and retire expensive money for their sake, we shall be passing generational problems and challenges. I would rather we borrow cheaper money, invest it, retire expensive money and use it well for the sake of generations to come. We have a serious problem of unemployment and under- employment, especially among our youth which we know. I remember an event that has stood in my mind for some time now, when we were doing the elections of the CDF Committees. I attended one area in my own constituency where we needed one slot in Makima Ward. I looked where we met and I saw more than 1,000 young people jostling and fighting for one slot
I asked myself when and how we got into a situation where 1,000 able-bodied young people can stand a whole day hoping to get just one slot. We have a problem. Unless we think big and become bold enough in terms of looking for cheaper money and retiring expensive loans so that we do not consume but produce, we will be passing a very difficult country to future generations.
Hon. Speaker, it is crucial that, as we borrow to invest in serious projects, we watch corruption. It would be very sad to borrow money and then engage in corruption with it. I plead with my colleagues in the various Committees that we do our job of monitoring Government programmes. I would also like to plead to the agencies that have been created by the Constitution and the laws that we make here to ensure that monies voted for their programmes are expended properly. Let us do our job to ensure that we do not borrow out of mere temptation and hurt ourselves in the long run.
We must learn to be big and small at the same time. We must do the big projects but we must also do the small projects. That is why this House believes in the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). We know that there is a ruling to be done. As we implement mega projects of the highways, the Standard Gauge Railway and the airports, we should ensure that polytechnics and primary schools are developed and water wells are functioning. We must be big and small at the same time. Money should reach our people out there through the CDF and the county governments. Hon. Speaker, I stand very strongly, on behalf of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and on my own behalf, to support this Motion and plead with hon. Members to ensure that the ceilings that we set are not merely based on temptation by the Executive to borrow money. We have a role to play. Let us use our capacity in the Committees to monitor Government programmes to ensure that money is well spent. We were very pleased earlier this week when you ruled that the Report of the Controller of Budget should be reviewed by the various Departmental Committees of this House, whose views and recommendations should eventually be brought to the Budget and Appropriations Committee for tabling and debate by this House.
We are not only involved in budget-making but we are involved in a very institutionalised way through the Departmental Committees and the plenary of this House. We are involved in monitoring every project that is implemented using taxpayers’ 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.
money and money that we borrow. Let us think about 10 or 20 years from now. I have been privileged to run two institutions before I came to this House. The institutions that I ran – which were church institutions – used to borrow heavily. However, we borrowed to invest, and not to consume. I am proud to say that the last institution that I headed, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), borrowed and invested very well during my tenure at its helm. We completely changed the balance sheet of that institution for the good of future generations.
Therefore, we should not be afraid of borrowing, especially if the money is cheap. What should worry us is if we borrow to indulge ourselves or borrow to line our pockets – something which we should not allow to happen.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Yes, hon. Gikaria.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. As I support the Motion, the only question I would like to ask is whether we should look at the gains that the common mwananchi is going to get from an increased debt ceiling.
The Mover of the Motion, hon. A.B. Duale, made it very clear that the oversight role that Parliament plays is very important. One of the core functions of this House is to oversee Government programmes. The roles that the various Departmental Committees are going to play, together with the Budget and Appropriations Committee, will ensure that the common mwananchi gains a lot in terms of economic development, even at the very low levels.
The Mover alluded to the development projects that are going to be implemented. As a Member of the Jubilee Coalition, I know that there are three core issues that are contained in our manifesto. The first one is security, the second one is food security and the third one is infrastructure. These three are the most fundamental issues contained in the Jubilee manifesto. I totally agree that improvement of our transport infrastructure through implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and LAPSSET projects as well as tarmacking of 10,000 kilometres of road will go a long way in transforming this country’s economy.
Recently, I visited a certain upcountry area. I saw how farm produce in that area is wasted because of bad roads. Dairy farmers cannot take their milk to the buyers just because of bad roads. If we can actualise the 10,000 kilometre road programme within the next three financial years, the common mwananchi, who is a peasant milk farmer, will be able to take his produce to the market without necessarily having to go through a middleman, who exploits the farmer. Some of those areas, which are more of semi-arid, have the potential to produce. We are going to spend some of the money to generate more energy that will be used to facilitate irrigation and reduce the cost of production. How will the common mwananchi benefit? I believe that the common mwananchi at the local level will be able to increase his production output and eventually his income.
As hon. Duale put it, proper infrastructure will reduce the common man’s production in terms of maintenance of vehicles and motorbikes. How will that help? If we have a proper road infrastructure in place, the Government will not have to spend so much money on repairs. Will a good road infrastructure enhance devolution? I believe 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 it will. It has been said that a good road infrastructure will reduce the cost of devolution.
Increased borrowing will enable us to put in place a good road infrastructure, which in turn will aid development and bring more money to the country. This means more money will be available to us as a result of better roads that will be done by the national Government and the county governments.
Hon. Speaker, it has been alluded that a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt analysis gave Kenya a positive bill of health. The fact that we have never been given any debt relief shows that this country has grown significantly. We were recently moved to a middle income economy, which is a very good indication. Investors will always have a motive for coming to invest in this country, given that we have an improved road infrastructure and a good working environment. Hon. Speaker, the aspect of external borrowing will enhance local borrowing and thus reduce the interest rates. Most of the Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOs) in this country have improved so much. This only shows that the borrowing by the Government will come down and interest rates, at the local level, will reduce. This will enable the Government to actualise Vision 2030 through the economic growth rate, which will have increased. Basically, what we need to look at, and I am sure this is the issue with most of the Members who are opposing this, is whether we should borrow for purposes of wastage or for growth. If this House can do its rightful work of oversight, this can happen. This House, through its respective Committees, should do that effectively. As Members of the Implementation Committee, we had a meeting this morning and this is one of the issues that we are discussing. We want to ask the Government to make a commitment, as it has made to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, that it is not going to borrow for wastage, but it is going to borrow for development. Our Committee will be making a follow up just to make sure that the commitment that is given by the Executive is undertaken. We should not just sit back as a Committee. As we were discussing this issue this morning, our Committee will make sure that this House does its work . When the Executive gives a commitment, that commitment is actualized. With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I appreciate this opportunity. I rise to support this Motion, which is very important for our county. To start with, there is no country in the world that can grow without taking some borrowing and some external funding from some sources. External borrowing is not new in this world. In fact, the first Bonds were floated in 1693 to fund things as ridiculous as war. That was Britain funding the war with France. Even things like war, which are not productive in nature, have been funded through external borrowing. External borrowing has been used by countries that are committed to growth and for strategic reasons to finance their budgets. In1917 during the First World War, there were war Bonds in the United States of America. The same thing happened in 1945. However, if we look at what the Treasury is asking to do with this money, these are the kinds of things that we need to borrow for, namely, capital expenditure, the Standard Gauge Railway and LAPSSET. Unless you do not want us to grow or you want to stifle development in our 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.
country; you would not deny our country an opportunity to borrow for important areas as capital expenditure. The only borrowing that is bad is one that goes into consumption. What we are discussing here is basically a ceiling. Assume you walk into a bank and get a credit card, it is the limit of the expenditure on that credit card that we are discussing here. In fact, it is even better than that because for every extra expenditure, even with that limit, the Government still has to come here to ask for approval of any extra expenditure. So, this is so controlled. Having said that, it is very important to note that this is a very special and important time in the history of our country. For the first time, we have borrowed through a Sovereign Bond. There are things that come with that borrowing. For the first time, we are exposed to the whims of the free market world. This means that we have to be careful with the kind of borrowing. We have to manage our credit, otherwise it will be downgraded. Looking at where we are as a country, we are doing very well. We only need to make sure that this money goes into capital expenditure. With a debt to GDP ratio of 50 plus, it is very small. Since 1981, Japan has had a debt to GDP ratio of more than 180 per cent. Today, it is over 200 per cent and there are reasons why they are doing that. There is a strong saving culture in Japan and the Government has to borrow, so that the money does not move out of the country. This is a noble initiative for our country having in mind the Standard Gauge Railway and the LAPSSET. However, I want to caution the Government that as we go to these ceilings, which are needed and noble, we need to make sure that we obey the provisions of Article 201(c) of the Constitution of Kenya. When you take a debt, there are several ways in which you can finance that debt. One way is to raise taxes and the other one is to expand the economy. The other way that is not desirable is to default or monetize, meaning printing money. The best countries go for the first two ways. You either expand your economy, so that you can have a bigger tax base or do a budget surplus. I am hoping that after we take this debt of the SGR and the LAPSSET, our people in the Government will be reasonable enough to realize that we just do not need a balanced Budget, because it will not help. We need a surplus Budget, so that we can remain with some money to pay these debts. Surplus budgets are possible. If you look at Germany today, it has run surplus budgets for the last ten years consequently. If that is not possible, I am hoping that the money that we will pump into the LAPSSET and the other infrastructural projects will do something to expand our economy, so that we can expand our tax base. Looking at what we have at hand today, things are not very good for our country. If you look at the kind of expending that we have, about 50 per cent of our tax revenue goes into paying public workers. Looking at the Development to Recurrent Expenditure ratio, it is about 70 to 30 per cent. Those are the things that we need to take care of. As we head to a budget surplus, which we really need as we take this debt, there are also things that are not good. Moody’s, which is one of the best rating agencies in the world, is putting our Budget deficit in future at 9 per cent, which is not good. Considering things around home, there is a recommendation by the East African Monetary Union that we 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.
remain at 6 per cent of the Budget deficit. If this happens, we might break even. Unless we expand our economy, it is not looking very good. Our economy, as you can see, is subdued. We are growing at about 6 per cent. I am hoping that with this kind of intake of big infrastructural projects and dollars coming in, we can put it into the right capital expenditure, so that our economy can grow in reference to the Jubilee Manifesto of more than 10 per cent. I believe in that. For the people who know what the GDP is, it is actually expenditure. If we bring this money in, there will be a lot of expenditure, particularly investment expenditure, which is the right thing to increase the GDP. The other way out is to increase absorption. We can bring all this money into this country, but if you look at the absorption rate of our Ministries, particularly our counties, it is low. Money does not help if it remains in the bank. It does not help if it is used for consumption. It can only help if you look at the GDP framework and it is taken into investments or net exports. I am hoping the issue of getting lots of money with very small capacity, particularly in the counties, is going to go away. Otherwise, we are going to have a huge debt, a lot of money that is lying around with very little absorption capacity and we end up paying interest. We have to pay interest at the end of the day. We also have to make sure that we maintain a Budget surplus. The Central Bank of Kenya’s monetary policy plus the fiscal policy of our country must now be managed very prudently.We are not getting Kenya shillings in these notes; we are getting dollars and other monies. So, there is the exchange rate risk that is inherent with the kind of loans that we are taking. So, as I support this ceiling which is very important for expansion of our economy, I also want to ask those people who are concerned with our monetary policy to make sure that things like inflation are controlled. With the kind of expansion we are making, we might have uncontrolled inflation. A few days ago, I heard someone complaining that there is very little money in the country. But with the inflows of bond proceeds and other monies coming from China, the risk is, we will have inflation in the country, which is not good when you are trying to pay loans. With the inflationary pressure, you may also expect the exchange pressure when you will be paying these loans in dollars. Article 201 says you must share this burden of debt with our future generations. The only way we might share these burdens with our future generations, is to make sure that we do not accumulate debt interest that is bigger than the investment opportunities that we give the future generations. The future generation will benefit from the LAPSSET and the Standard Gauge Railway. For the first time, being a Member of the Northern Frontier District as it was called, we know what happened in Kenya before and after Independence. Most of Kenya’s economic activity runs along the railway that was built in the early 19th Century from Mombasa to Uganda. Some of us who live in the northern part of the railway---
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving the opportunity to talk on this Motion. From the outset, I would like to say that it is not bad to borrow. That is why we have financial institutions and capital markets. It is from borrowing that we can grow our businesses and economy. I will not support this particular Motion the way it is without further clarification and more information being provided. I do not know why there is this feel-good-mood with the Treasury; that they now want to borrow all over. I The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
do not know whether it is the rebasing of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the expected flow of revenue from the oil. These are just illusions and it will be important that Treasury provides more information. The Mover of the Motion went through the projects that need to be done which he called the justification; he went through the LAPSSET, the 10,000 Kilometer road and the irrigation to be done from external borrowing. What he failed to do is; we can do all these things but unless we address the issue of insecurity, which should be factored in, we will never experience growth because people will shy away from investing in our country. When I say that the Treasury should give us more information about the request, I mean that Treasury should provide us with the prevailing economic fundamentals that justify the request for this increase in our debt ceiling. As I said earlier, it is not bad to borrow, but I would like to say the amendments that were suggested by some of my colleagues in the Budget and Appropriations Committee should be looked into, so that we do what we are convinced is good for our country. Another danger that we have is that all these projects which have been put, we have been told that they will cost over Kshs. 5 trillion but we are told, we are only borrowing about Kshs.2.5 trillion. There is nothing as bad as doing business with less money. You go to a bank looking for Kshs.1 million and you are given Kshs.500,000. That is a recipe for failure. We will have most of these projects done half way and we will be stuck there. So, it is important that this Paper shows us what we are going to spend on each project and if we are borrowing, we borrow enough money to complete the projects. If we borrow Kshs. 2.5 trillion we will be hanging there and borrow even more. I heard of a justification from my good friend, the Chairman of Finance, Planning and Trade Committee on America’s debt ratio. America borrows in its own currency; it borrows in dollars and pays in dollars. So, there is no danger. There is no way we can compare ourselves with America. They can print the dollars to pay. The debt crisis of 1980s and 1990s that bedeviled the Latin American countries is still too fresh in us. Let us be careful. We do not want to borrow just because we can borrow. Borrowing is the easiest bit, but managing it, applying it and being prudent in managing it is the most important thing. These are the short falls in our country. I will say, let the amendment be brought. Let us borrow to be able to grow our economy, but let us not go wholeheartedly because as my colleague said, the future generation will judge us harshly, if we saddle them with debt that is not productive at all. With those few remarks I will not support the Motion as given.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. There are a lot of questions which have always been asked and are being asked by the same House; whether to allow the Government to lift the ceiling or not. One of the biggest issues in this country is that there are many investors who are moving out of the country. There are many jobless people who are looking for jobs and there is no hope for them getting jobs because the economy is not growing as fast as we expect. If you look at those pertinent issues which the country is facing, there are very clear issues which are causing all these problems. To sum it all, the cost of operation in this country and the cost of doing business in this country is very high. To address those issues, the Jubilee Government has come up with a strategy to expand the road network and generation of power to make it cheaper. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I was working in the tea industry. It is operating in its own world because most of the tea producing companies which are operating in this country, you will be surprised that they are generating their own power at a cost of Kshs.4 per kilowatt. The cost of power supplied by our own Kenya Power Company is above Kshs.18 per Kilowatt. If we can produce more power and make it cheaper to the extent that we can actually charge up to between Kshs.4 or Kshs.6 per Kilowatt, there is no way investors will move out of this country. Instead, they will be moving into this country.
Therefore, if the Government wants to plan, I believe they are not going to borrow, all what we are doing now is just to allow them a leeway to borrow up to Kshs2.5 trillion. It does not say that when you give somebody a cheque book which contains 50 leaves and you are the same person who is going to approve the expenditure using that cheque leaf, there is no worry. I am really worried that our friends who are opposing fear that the Government will spend this money at ago and it will spend it carelessly. You realize that we allowed the Government to borrow from outside the other day. The request passed through this House and therefore, there is no need of worrying that the Government will spend all this money. Hon. Speaker, I respect my friend, though he is not here now, hon. Aden, when he was adding up what the Government needs to use for expansion of electricity and to build the Standard Gauge Railway. He was adding up and assuming that we are right now approving additional money for the Government to use. I want to say that you will only plan if you have some freedom from pressure of where you will get the money. The Government will want that assurance that as they are planning for all the projects which are going to take this country to a very high level within five years, they will have leeway of borrowing. It is not that they are going to borrow immediately. From the economics which I learnt some time back, I remember very well that there is always a multiplier effect of any dollar you spend on productive activities. I know in the short run, the expenditure which the Government is going to spend is going to help the economy grow. It is going to be bitter in the short run, but in the long run, the worries of how we are going to pay will be answered. When the economy grows, the impact will be more revenue collected through taxes by the Government because there will be economic activities which will be happening. There will be many industries growing not only in Industrial Area in Nairobi, but also in the rural areas. If you look at the 10,000 kilometers of road that the Government is going to build soon, 80 per cent of those roads will be in the rural areas. How will that help? It will help because most of the people who are jobless are in the rural areas. When investors will be coming to this country, because they will already have been told that the infrastructure is good and the cost of power is low, they will be looking for labour. So, if they will consider working in the rural areas, one of the biggest advantages is that the cost of living is lower there. You do not need to provide housing for the rural people; they will be operating from their own houses. So, the economy will grow. In fact, I was hoping that our friends will realize that if you distribute these roads the way we were suggesting, there will be tremendous development. If we say that every constituency must have 20 kilometres of tarmac road every year or if we imagine that you get around 50 kilometres of tarmac road in your constituency which join to highway, 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.
you look for investors to invest in your constituency, the youth will be employed, the economy of that area will grow and the Government will be able to collect the revenue and that revenue then will be used to repay the loan. If we fear borrowing, we will not grow the economy. We must grow the economy so that youths get employment. Once the infrastructure development starts, the youth will be employed by the contractors who are building. About 130,000 vacancies for employment will be available when the Standard Gauge Railway project fully starts. In the long run, the cost of transportation will be very low and most of the investors will start moving in. We want to look at a situation where investors from Ethiopia and Egypt will be coming the country. You realise that for a long time, our country has been rated a high cost area, but many companies have been hovering around. They move out and come back; a good example is Unilever. They have been shifting production to Egypt and then they bring it back. They have also shifted production from South Africa and brought it to Nairobi. Many companies have been trying to move, but they like Kenya. Unless we make radical changes to the way we operate, we will not grow. I thank the Jubilee Government for its good plan that in the next five years, the country will be different. I urge this House to support this. This will open up the minds of the Government to think broadly rather than being choked because there is no way of getting more funding. I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion and particularly to support it. From the outset, under our new rigorous constitutional dispensation, it is a requirement that for the Government to borrow, it must demonstrate prudence in the management of financial resources. It should do it openly and transparently and more particularly, balance the interests of the current and future generations. Going by the proposed borrowing, looking at the projects that are earmarked, as Members have stated, these are very strategic investments in addressing developmental challenges that this country has experienced for a long time. When we talk about development, everybody appreciates that you cannot have development without infrastructure. For instance, looking at the cost of doing business in this country and the cost of attracting business investment, the biggest constraint is transport. The Government has identified clearly within Vision 2030 that it is both road and railway transport. The fact that we do not have an efficient modern railway system, the cost of transporting the bulk of exports and imports through our roads is high. We invest in roads, which are damaged by the trucks transporting bulky goods. This problem will be solved at once, once we invest in the Standard Gauge Railway system.
If you look at the impact of a road like the Thika Highway, it is enormous. When the Government spent Kshs30 million to do that project, some people raised objections that it was an unworthy and unnecessary investment. If you look at the impact of that road in terms of the many motorists who use it and who used to spend more than three hours on the road, the cost has reduced. The cost that the country was incurring in terms of lost manpower and fuel was huge. These things have already been resolved by investing in a Kshs30 million project. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I come from Githunguri Constituency, which is close to Nairobi. When I speak with my constituents, now and again, they complain about roads. They want to have a road from Uplands to somewhere in Ruiru, which will possibly cost the Government about Kshs2 billion. If you deal with the other roads within that area, perhaps, they may cost the Government about Kshs5 billion. If you look at the dairy project in the constituency, where I happen to have been a chairman, its total turnover in about Kshs5 billion. The people of Githunguri cannot raise money to build roads. So, they expect the Government to build those roads and help them to become more productive and efficient. Therefore, when the Government says it is going to construct 10,000 kilometres of roads countrywide, we ought to evaluate what that is going to do in terms of helping this economy to drive productivity and efficiency in doing business. The savings we will realise will actually make the borrowed money look insignificant to the relative gain that the economy will realise from those investments. For instance, electricity keeps out many investments because of its cost. One of the factors driving the cost of electricity is that we are generating electricity from diesel. That is actually considered among the most expensive ways of generating electricity. We need to invest in viable ways of tapping electricity; ways which will bring down the cost of electricity for years to come so that businesses using energy can become viable and cost effective. Therefore, these are very strategic projects that will help bring down the cost of running this economy and make many businesses viable. They will also make the existing businesses expand and allow Kenyans to develop this economy. The concern of the hon. Members is that we may experience problems in implementing these projects. Perhaps, those concerns are brought about by past experiences which were not good. However, it is also important for hon. Members to evaluate our current situation. We have the new Constitution and a new system. In passing this Motion we will be giving the Government a ceiling up to where it can negotiate new loans. When it comes to implementation, Parliament will have an opportunity to scrutinise the implementation of projects though the Budget. This is basically to allow the Government to plan for big infrastructure projects. The Policy Paper has clearly explained that this will be the case. If we were to deny a government this kind of leeway to which it has been voted into office, we will, in effect, be stifling it from implementing its mandate, which it has already been given by being elected into office. I believe it behoves those who would wish that the Government does not perform; they should actually give the Government the opportunity to perform so that they can possibly comment after the process of implementation has been undertaken. However, looking at the framework of implementation currently under the new law, including the Public Finance Management Act, there are rigorous conditions that the government must comply with. There are other oversight agencies that are already in existence within the current framework; from the Public Procurement Oversight Authority, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Auditor General and so on. All these instruments will be available to help Parliament play oversight role as the Government implements these projects. Therefore, it has been demonstrated that the Government has the capacity to implement these huge investment projects. It would be a wasted opportunity if we denied The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this Government and the country at large, the opportunity to implement these projects. It is good to bear in mind that other countries in the region are also doing their own projects. Implementation of these projects will place this country in a position it can effectively compete for opportunities with our neighbouring countries and also accommodate investment from within the region. Therefore, Vision 2030 is a collective responsibility for us hon. Members. We should ensure that the key identified projects are properly implemented so that they can deliver the productive capacity to the country. When it comes to borrowing, as has been said, it would be a big mistake to this country if we fail to implement these critical infrastructural projects merely because we fear to borrow. No plausible serious investor hesitates to borrow. If the country was to rely on its own financial resources generated from within, we would be telling Kenyans to forget development for several decades to come. That would also be a crime on our side, as leaders, if we were to do that. If you look at the effect of investing in these projects within the proposed period, the overall productivity will render those fears completely superfluous. Ten years ago, if you had told Kenyans that they can sustain the kind of borrowing that we already have, most of them would have run away and possibly thought that you are completely irrational. The fact that we borrowed and expanded the economy, Kenyans can see that this is viable from a business point of view. With those comments, I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I rise to support this Motion.
Hon. Members, place your cards because I have to follow the queue. For instance, I can see that the tenth Member here is Hon. Junet. Number nine is John Mbadi; number eight is hon. Daniel Nanok; hon. F.K Wanyonyi; James Nyikal; hon. Stephen Mule; hon. (Ms.) Nyamai; Patrick Musimba; hon. Michael Onyura and hon. Shaaban Isaack.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Given the amount of time remaining and all that is coming out of my allocation, I rise to support this Motion. I thought very hard about it right from the time it came before our Committee and it is a good proposal. The Government needs the headroom to be able to plan optimally the combination of debt and equity and the combination of domestic versus external debt that they need to have to generate the fastest growth in our economy. It is clear that once the index ceiling has been raised and the Government is in this optimal mode of planning, they will be thinking about the project combinations to bring forth to generate the fastest growth. We are talking about the Standard Gauge Railway, but the energy sector and the education sector are areas that have a high propensity for growth and will truly balance this generation and the next generation. The railway construction and education are some of those areas. However, the energy sector is always a must. If we are to achieve Vision 2030, it is very important that the Government accelerates critical investments. It is my prayer that this House will, at some stage, seek restatement of the Vision 2030 portfolio of activities to satisfy itself that in this intention of trying to achieve a double digit growth, we are picking up projects that will be there. These are projects that have got good distribution effect across the country and not necessarily staying high growth, but geographically limited projects.
Hon. Bunyasi, you have a balance of eight minutes. For the Questions from Cabinet Secretaries at 10.00 a.m. the first Cabinet Secretary will appear before the Committee in this Plenary Hall; the second one will appear in the County Hall Chamber and the third one will appear back in the Plenary Hall on Tuesday at 10.00 a.m. Remember I announced that those are Sittings for every Member. They are not restricted to the membership of the Committee. Otherwise, the House will meet at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 9th December, 2014.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.