Hon. Members, there is no quorum. Can we have the Quorum Bell rung?
Settle down Hon. Members. We can now begin our business.
Order, Hon. Members! Who is standing with Hon. Chidzuga? Is it Hon. Amina Abdalla? This Bill had been sufficiently debated and what was left was putting the Question. I now proceed to put the Question.
Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi, proceed to move.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, recognizing that universal equal suffrage is a fundamental right recognizable under international law and enshrined under Article 38 of the Constitution of Kenya; recalling that voter registration is a crucial exercise in the electioneering process and that, to register as a voter one requires a national identification card; noting that thousands of Kenyans are yet to be issued with identification cards due to the long and tedious process involved in the processing The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of those cards and are still holding serialised waiting cards with serial numbers that also appear on the identity cards once issued; concerned that those Kenyans in possession of serialised waiting cards may miss out on the ongoing voter registration; cognizant that Section 5 sub-sections 3(A) and 3(B) of the Elections Act, 2011 requires the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to register all Kenyans who have attained the age of eighteen (18) years, have applied for issuance of identity cards and are in possession of serialised waiting cards pending the issuance of identity cards, now therefore, this House calls upon the Independent Electoral Boundaries and Commission to immediately allow all persons who were successfully vetted and issued with serialized waiting cards to register as voters in the ongoing and future voter registration exercises in accordance with Section 5 of the Elections Act, 2011. Hon. Deputy Speaker, for avoidance of doubt, Section 5(3)(A) and (b) states:- “Any citizen of Kenya who has attained the age of eighteen years as evidenced by either a national identity card or a Kenyan passport and whose name is not in the register of voters shall be registered as a voter upon application in the prescribed manner to the Commission. Despite sub-section (3), a citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years and has registered for an identification card and is in the possession of an acknowledgement of registration certificate shall, upon application, be registered as a voter using the acknowledgement of registration certificate, but may only vote using an identification card
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I stand to support and second this Motion. I beg to correct my colleague, Hon. Wanyonyi. I come from Igembe Central and not Imenti Central. Let me thank hon. Wanyonyi for bringing up this Motion. It is a precursor to many others that have come to this House with regard to the issuance of ID cards, voter registration cards and registration of persons in this country. We have passed other related Motions which are intended to streamline that big problem of the issuance of ID cards. I second this Motion first and foremost because an ID card is a right for every Kenyan. Every Kenyan who has reached the age of 18 years must have an ID card. It is the obligation of the Government to put structures in place that will enable young people to get ID cards at the right time. The ID card has many other uses other than getting a voters card. One needs an ID card to show that he or she is registered as a Kenyan and has reached the maturity age so as access services which are offered in various places in this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We have a big problem with people who lose their ID cards, especially the aged. From getting a police abstract to re-applying for the ID card, the process becomes so cumbersome to the extent that they despair on the way and say they can do without it. I support by calling the Government to decentralize the issuance of ID cards and make sure we have enough personnel to do the same. If you go to the ID card issuing offices in our counties, sub-counties or Government offices, you will find that most of the operations are manual. Everything is manually done and the staff is very lean to the extent that if one has to serve 20 people, it will require two to three days. Every day, people are reaching maturity age and would like to have ID cards. This being a right for every Kenyan, it is important for the Government to invest seriously on the issuance of ID cards and, especially, putting up automated systems which will fast-track that exercise. That is why we are requesting the IEBC not to put stringent measures or use fake reasons not to allow somebody who has a waiting card to register as a voter. From the time one applies for an ID card up to the time one gets it, it takes two to three months. Sometimes, some people despair and do not even bother to go back and look for them. If you go to the registration offices, you will find piles and piles of ID cards. They do not have any mechanism, method, order or way of reaching those who have applied for them. Once they are received, they pile them in boxes without any order. When somebody comes for their ID card, it will require an officer to search a big box with thousands of cards trying to trace a single card. It might take a whole day before it is traced and that person might despair and leave it there. With regard to the waiting cards, when one loses an ID card, for example, one goes to the police station to report and is given a police abstract. Once you get that police abstract, which indicates your ID card number, you can access your bank account with it. That abstract indicates that you have reported the loss of your ID card and you are waiting to be issued with another one. Therefore, you should access services within that spell of time while you wait for that ID card. Equally, while you wait for your ID card to be processed at Nyayo House, you need to access all the services as appertains to a Kenyan, until you get your new ID. In the current scenario, when you go to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), you are told to wait for your ID card. You may want to open an account, but you are told to wait until you get your ID card. That waiting card has a serial number which, at the end of the day, will become your ID card number. If you want to buy a shamba or register with Mpesa, you have to wait until you get your ID card. Therefore, it should not just be IEBC’s call; it should also be the call of every other institution which provides services to Kenyans and where an ID card is required. More so, the waiting period for an ID card should also be limited to, maybe, a week or two. This will only be done if we decentralise the issuance of ID cards, maybe, to the Huduma Centres or in our counties. At the same time, we should do away with the manual system of issuing ID cards and automate the process so that we can go digital and fast-track it. The number of people who become of age every day and require ID cards is more than the number of ID cards being processed at the same rate. I firmly support this Motion. I beg that the Members and my colleagues in this House pass it. The IEBC and all those who provide services to Kenyans should implement it. Another problem is the lame excuses given for denying someone an ID card. Someone is denied an ID card because his or her finger is rough. There are people who work as masons, farmers, in quarries cutting stones and in other places. At the end of the day, their hands become 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.
rough in one way or the other. I fail to understand why one is told to clean his or her finger with a rock so that he or she can get an ID card. It is ridiculous. One is told to bring his or her next of kin so that they can obtain an ID card. If your chief or the local church elder can identify you, why is it very cumbersome to get an ID card in Kenya when it is mandatory? That is why the process has become a cash cow for many officers, including chiefs and those ID card giving officers. If you go to Nyayo House to follow up on your ID card, you must be armed with some money so that you can get it. It has become a cash cow. They do not want to automate the process so that they do not lose that extra money. They come up with frivolous reasons to deny someone an ID card. Someone is given a form to fill. Unfortunately, while filling it at home, if some water, milk or tea pours on it, you are told that you dirtied the form and so, there is no ID card for you. It no longer becomes a right to have an ID card. Instead, you have to kneel to the officers who issue the ID cards. This trend must change. With those few remarks, I beg to second the Motion.
What is your point of order, Hon. Onesmus Njuki?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, looking at the turn out this Wednesday morning, it is very unusual to have this number of people. This means that there is interest in this Motion since it is about issuance of IDs and voter registration. This is a very pertinent issue. Would I be in order to request that we reduce the debating time to five minutes so that more Members can contribute this morning?
You have done it at the right time.
We will begin with Hon. Francis Njenga. He is the first one on my list. You have five minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Five minutes are good for me. I rise to support this Motion, considering that most of the victims of this are the youth, who towards the beginning of an electoral process are not able to obtain their ID cards. The youth are the biggest stakeholders in this. If anyone was to live a full life, the youth would live longer than us. They would work to prevent some of the debts that we incur today. They should also be around to participate in such an important democratic process. The youth are also used at times when there are doubts about who won an election. Management by participation is a process that reduces any risk. In management, we allow people to participate. This reduces the risk of any process. By allowing the youth to participate, we make them part of the process. Through them, we can start early development of democracy. Under the circumstances in which we live, you will find people who are involved in accidents and end up losing their documents. There are people whose documents are stolen and those who misplace them. In this time and age, we can identify someone through their fingerprints via e-registration. The time has come where physical documents should not be the only permit that allows someone to vote. 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.
Recently, we debated a Motion that proposed having a one-off registration number. When you are born, you should obtain a number, which will later be on your school leaving certificates, at Standard Eight and Form Four levels. It goes on to be your degree certificate number and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). It can go on to be anything else. We can follow up on this. If this is done and implemented, it would allow our people to vote. With modern technology, that can be done. That number can be on your death certificate so that you have your own number from the beginning of your life all the way to your death, including the voting process. The other day, Hon. Chris Wamalwa tabled a Motion in which he sought to have the issuance of ID cards decentralised. This Motion is in the same spirit. Identity cards have become an issue. Some of the officials are making a lot of money out of our poor population. If you look at this and the spirit of the Motion we passed, then it is important that the issue of physical identification document should not deter anyone from voting. Sometimes when we vote, there are disputes brought about by small margins. If we increase the population of voters, then such margins might increase. I support this Motion. In fact, it should be our resolution which should be implemented because if such a spirit exists, then it means that it is a general problem. I urge my colleagues to support this Motion.
Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I wish to support this Motion brought by my good friend, Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi. Identity cards are important documents in this country. Every citizen has a right to be registered. This document gives you access to many services. Without it, you cannot open a bank account or register as a voter. There are so many young Kenyans who have been denied access to this important document simply because the personnel and the Government functionaries have put a lot of hurdles in their way. For instance, communities from the border communities are so disadvantaged because they are asked for a lot of information before they are issued with IDs. The President, the Deputy President and the Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Coordination of National Government have directed that every Kenyan must get an ID in a place where he or she stays. Recently during the voter registration, there were so many Kenyans who are holders of these acknowledgement slips but were not allowed to register as voters because they did not have IDs yet the serial numbers on the acknowledgment slips are the same serial numbers that will appear on the IDs. I do not know why we cannot use these acknowledgement slips to register and access services that will enable Kenyans earn a living. When we look at this, we do not know why successive Governments have not been able to break the barrier that is on the way of these young Kenyans. We have had cases of Kenyans being denied IDs. As the first speaker said, they are using this as a cash cow because people are asked to pay some money to get IDs. When IDs are ready, nobody is informed. It should be published in newspapers so that those who applied for IDs go to collect them. I do not know why we do not make ID acquisition instant instead of being given an acknowledgement slip. It will be better and will save time because sometimes people travel long distances to apply for IDs and it takes long to get them. If we do the necessary and agree that IDs should be issued on the spot, then we will save many things. As Kenyans, we should not treat fellow citizens as second hand citizens. This is what is happening and chiefs are now behaving as though they are the law unto themselves. They are harassing Kenyans and sometimes demand---
Hon. (Ms.) Esther Gathogo. 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. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. Initially, I had interrupted debate because I wanted clarification from Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi because we are only talking of the IDs in terms of voting but I thought it was better if he said that waiting cards should also be used in other offices. We may only think of voting but people are suffering out there because of lack of IDs. We should declare that waiting cards should be used in all offices. We have been having problems with IDs especially in my constituency which is cosmopolitan. Many people are being sent to their homes to get them. For example, my son who is 20 years and was born on the same day with Abdi, is given an ID while Abdi is sent to his home to get it. I am just giving an example. People should be given IDs where they stay. Sometimes it is not possible to go and look for your uncle, grandmother or any other relative. We blame chiefs but even those who are applying for IDs are corrupt. You go to a chief’s office expecting him to ask for something, and you give out money. We should not only use waiting cards to register as voters but also in other offices. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. (Ms.) Gathogo, if you are serious about your suggestion, you can have an amendment. You will have to give it to somebody else because you have now exhausted your opportunity to speak. If you feel this Motion should be amended to include that, then please follow the necessary procedure. Hon. John Mbadi.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. First, I would like to take the House to Article 38(2)(a)of the Constitution which states that “Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and the free expression of the will of electors for any elective public body or office established under this Constitution”. Article 38(3) of the Constitution says: “Every adult citizen has the right without unreasonable restrictions to be registered as a voter.” Article 260 of the Constitution defines an adult as an individual who has attained the age of 18 years. I do not see anywhere in the Constitution that says that person should possess an ID or any other form of identification. Once a Kenyan has attained the age of 18, he is an adult. What I am saying is that the Constitution has provided every Kenyan, who has attained the age of 18 years, to a right to register as a voter. No one, without provision of the law, has a right to deny that constitutionally provided right to the people of Kenya. You can only limit a right through a clear statute that defines why you are denying that right. That statute must give the reasons for denying the right plus how far you are going to deny that right to the citizens. The Constitution and the statute laws are there. In 2012 we passed the Elections Act 2011. Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo brought an amendment to this House which the House passed. Section 5(3) of the Elections Act reads as follows: “Any citizen of Kenya who has attained the age of eighteen years as evidenced by either a national identity card or a Kenyan passport and whose name is not in the register of voters, shall be registered as a voter upon application in the prescribed manner to the Commission.” Before you are registered, once you are an adult at the age of 18, you need to show that you are a Kenyan by producing an identity card. However, Section 5 (3)(a) reads: “Despite sub-section (3), a citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years and has registered for an identification card and is in the possession of an acknowledgement of registration certificate shall, upon application, be registered as a voter using the acknowledgement of registration certificate, but may only vote using an identification card.” 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 is what we call the waiting card. The law is there. The problem we are facing in this country is we are dealing with an electoral body that is rogue, incompetent, partisan and which participates in the electoral process as a player. It is not impartial. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has decided to behave like it owns the electoral process of this country. We need to remind IEBC that the electoral process belongs to the people of Kenya. The IEBC is just a referee. They cannot rely on regulations. I remember when they refused to use this law and we asked them why they were not applying the law, they answered that they relied on regulations generated by IEBC. Regulations cannot override statutes. Neither can they override the Constitution. The Constitution is superior to any other law. Statutes are superior to regulations. So, we are dealing with a rogue institution. In fact, it is high time that we challenge the IEBC’s decision not to register Kenyans with waiting cards in court. We cannot have a body that is conducting elections that listens to itself only and cannot listen to anyone. Almost 90 per cent of the times they are wrong. As good as this Motion is, I remind this House that there is nothing new. The law is there. It is IEBC that has refused to follow it. This House is just adding its voice to a rogue IEBC.
Hon. Members, we agreed on the five minutes. Hon. Onesmus Njuki.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I have not agreed with Hon. Mbadi on most issues. Even in this particular case, I want to only agree to the extent that we do not need the law to compel IEBC to allow us to use the waiting cards to vote. On the issue of the IEBC being rogue, I totally disagree with him. It is out of order because it is not the point of discussion in this particular case. I rise to support this Motion. The fact that we use serialised waiting cards means that, that serial must have a meaning. In today’s era of information technology, there must be a link between that serial number that is going to be on the identification card and the register. There is no reason whatsoever why these waiting cards cannot be used. I want to give a very simple comparison that is used here in Kenya. When you do a driving test, you are normally issued with an interim driving licence. The interim driving licence identifies that you have taken a test and you are capable of maneuvering that car or whatever vehicle you have on the road. It is not really the car that drives. If you can be allowed to use an interim driving licence on the Kenyan roads to drive a car that affects the life of other people, why is it so difficult for you to be allowed to use a waiting card that shows that you have applied for an identification card and you are waiting to register as a voter? I believe that the period or stem time between application of the ID and the time you get your ID---
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Order! Is Hon. Lomenen on a point of order? What is your point of order?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for a waiting card to be called an ID?
Who has called it? Is it the owner of the Motion?
Yes. I can see it in the Motion. How can you call a waiting card an ID? I need clarification.
You can use that as your point of opposing the Motion when your time comes. Proceed, Hon. Njuki. 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 is my friend from Turkana. You know sometimes English is a bit difficult. It came with a ship. The waiting card is an identification document because you can identify yourself with it. I was on the issue of comparing the interim driving licence with the waiting card. I can see my time is over. I support the Motion that we need to allow this card to be used because a waiting card is acceptable in so many other places. A waiting card is acceptable in the bank, police stations, when issuing the Uwezo Fund and receiving title deeds. There should be no reason why it should not be used for registering voters because when it comes to the day of voting, the identification card will have arrived. I support.
Hon. Chris Wamalwa.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion and thank Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi for coming up with such a Motion which is going to bring a solution to our young people. Section 5 subsection 3 (a) and 3(b) of the Elections Act is very clear. It stipulates that if anybody has applied for an identification card and has the waiting card, the IEBC must accept that waiting card and allow that person to register as a voter. Article 38 of the Constitution is very clear. It says that every citizen has political rights. Article 38 (3) says that no voter should be denied an opportunity to be registered as a voter. People should register without any restrictions. There are many youth who have these waiting cards. We call upon the IEBC that when these young people go there, they should be allowed to be registered as voters. We have been told that we are the leaders of tomorrow. You cannot seek any political seat without being a voter. When you have been registered as a voter, you can also exercise your democratic right by offering yourself to be elected as a Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Member of Parliament, Senator, governor or County Women Representative for that matter.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, we still have so many old leaders. Some have retired. Politics does not require that you must retire from another profession to enter it. If you want to be in politics, do that at your prime age. There is something called “growth cycle”. As you grow up, whether you are a lawyer, an engineer or a teacher, your level of productivity goes down. We have so many people who retire at 70 or 75 years then come to seek for elective posts in politics. Where are the young people? We need them. For you to vie for any political seat, you must be a registered voter. That is why we are calling upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to do this as a priority.
The right to vote can only be exercised if you have a voter’s card. We have so many leaders who act with impunity and are corrupt. So, it is indeed important for the voters to be part and parcel of choosing our leaders and for them to do that they must be registered voters.
I have heard sentiments from my colleagues saying that we should amend this Motion so that it can allow other things. It is difficult to amend because the Motion is based on the Elections Act. It is in the Elections Act in Section 5 (3)(a) and (b). It is already in the law. So, we are just calling upon--- If we amend this and allow things like passports it becomes difficult implementing it.
Having said that, we are telling the Committee on Implementation of this House that they are sleeping on the job. We have passed many resolutions here but they have not been implemented. We call upon the Committee on Implementation that if a resolution has been passed in this House, it is indeed important that it must be implemented. Last time, we passed a Motion that we must have structured ranking when it comes to the Kenya Certificate of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Secondary Examination (KCSE) and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE). With impunity, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) went ahead and announced the results without structured ranking. Are we legislating in vain? Why should we pass these Motions yet they are not being implemented? It becomes very shameful. That is why we call upon the Committee on Implementation to follow up the House resolutions so that they can be implemented to the letter. That is why part of the Executive does not take Parliament seriously. The IEBC must implement this one immediately because it is already in the law. We are just calling upon them to implement the resolutions passed by this House. For the young people out there, arm yourselves with waiting cards and go to those registration centres and IEBC must--- That is my position. Thank you. I support.
Hon. Ali Rasso.
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I draw the attention of the House to Chapter Three of the Constitution; Article 12 (1)(b), Entitlements of citizen which says: “A Kenyan passport and any document of registration or identification issued by the State to citizens.” What we must ask ourselves as a House is whether an identity card is a sign that an individual is a Kenyan citizen. If that is not the case, why is it so easy at times to get a passport yet it is becoming so difficult for our young people to get identity cards?
Many speakers who talked before me stressed on the importance or value of having identity cards. One thing that we are lacking as a country is that we do not issue IDs or interim documents on time. If we want all those who are above 18 years to get jobs and pay taxes, they must have some form of identification.
Today, for those who want to join higher education institutions or universities or to get a driving licence, an identity card is crucial. If we want to nab criminals in Kenya, first of all, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation must get their fingerprints. How do you get the fingerprints if we have deliberately failed to put individuals in the national registration bureau where you can quickly access them?
On the idea of voting or making the waiting card important for voting, as a House, we will be very narrow by just looking at voting as the only process. If we say that any youngsters with waiting cards will get jobs or open bank accounts, then we will be saying that the waiting card becomes a national identification document. As a House, we are abdicating our responsibility to the IEBC and other organisations. The laws of the land are made in this House. It is this House that must enforce what has been passed to be implemented by institutions. If that does not happen, then we should not blame institutions out there for not implementing the laws it has passed in this House. In countries like Australia, it is compulsory to vote if you are above the age of 18. Are we doing that in this country?
Finally, as somebody who comes from northern Kenya, we are the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised people in Kenya. We are still considered to be second class citizens. A young Kenyan from northern Kenya trying to get an identity card is like planning on how to go to the moon. The laws of this country are very clear. I support this Motion. The IEBC and other institutions must implement it.
I beg to support.
Hon. James Nyikal. 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. Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity. I rise to support this Motion. As I do so, it is sad for this country that we have to debate in Parliament a Motion that is already in the law. Perhaps, the best thing is to actually find a way of forcing IEBC to implement the law. Currently, without an ID many people, particularly young people, cannot buy a phone, borrow a phone, use M-Pesa, use the bank and they cannot use debit and credit cards. They cannot buy a shamba and even access devolved funds. You cannot register as a voter without an ID.
We need to realise that voter registration is the earliest process of an election. The biggest concept of any election is that it is free and fair. If the beginning process is not free and fair, then, we cannot expect that we will have free and fair elections. Again, it is important to notice that the concept of free and fair has two aspects; the reality that the election is free and fair and the perception people have whether it is free and fair.
The current process of voter registration which is denying people with waiting cards registration is evidently unfair. People already feel that this process will never be fair. So, whatever we do in future, people will not see this process as free and fair. Hon. Deputy Speaker, apart from the law, I do not see any reason why we cannot use waiting cards. Even with the current process of registration of persons, most of the vetting is done at the local level and not at the headquarters. In reality, a waiting card is as good as an ID. Therefore, it beats logic that people should be denied voter registration using waiting cards. With that, I support this Motion and call upon the Committee on Implementation--- It is the Committee that is failing us. It should take this Motion and literally force the IEBC to make sure that we use waiting cards for voter registration. Thank you.
Hon. Moses Injendi, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support this Motion. We are supporting this Motion because of the challenges that we experience in our constituencies. For example, as a person living in Malava, I have about 5,000 applicants who applied for IDs in 2014 and they have not received them up to now. I urge that apart from these persons registering only as voters, they can also use the same to access other services, for example, opening bank accounts and accessing Uwezo Fund money. These delays inconvenience most of our voters and especially our constituents who fall in the youth bracket. To control this, I urge the Mover of this Motion to also add that when it comes to these waiting cards, we can have a timespan that will condition the Registrar of Persons to ensure that the IDs are received within a particular period. For example, we can say that a waiting card can be valid for four months, after which, this person must have received an ID failure to which action is taken against the Registrar’s Office. Otherwise, without wasting much time, I support the Motion strongly. You will realise that most of the persons who are suffering are from particular regions where most of our people have applied for these cards but they have not received them after a whole year. I rise to support the Motion.
I want to give a chance to Hon. Lomenen who is opposing the Motion so that we hear a contrary view.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to strongly oppose this Motion. First and foremost, a waiting card is just like a form. It is like an acknowledgment receipt. It cannot be an ID. A waiting card is just like a form you fill when you are applying for anything. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Even when you are applying for a passport, you are given a form to show the start of the verification process. This is to determine whether you qualify for the passport or not. When the Ministry or those concerned are verifying whether you deserve to get an ID, it cannot be an ID. It is a process that is in law. That is not enough. If Al Shabaab can make fake IDs, how about a waiting card? How many waiting cards will be there? It is not true. The Constitution of Kenya says someone who is above 18 must have an ID. So, we were only supposed to seek for a statement to---
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Lomenen, there is point of order by Hon. Washiali.
But Hon. Deputy Speaker---
No one is stopping him. He has a right to raise a point of order.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Is the Hon. Member in order to mislead this House? For one to qualify to get a waiting card he must have gone through all the requirements needed to get an ID. That is why they call it a waiting card. It is because they cannot issue an ID at the station where they are issuing a waiting card. Is the Member in order to mislead this House?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am very much in order. I have a laminated ID and I know the process I underwent to get it. When you fill that form, the photo is taken. The process is that, one, you need to be vetted. Two, your finger prints have to be taken and analysed to confirm whether you have a criminal issue or you are Al Shabaab. That is why you are given that waiting card. It confirms that you have applied for an ID but it is not automatic that you will get it. So, to say a waiting card is an ID is misleading. It is against the laws of Kenya to use a waiting card to vote. You need to be identified, disciplined and a bona fide Kenyan. We are people who have been undermining our security. Here in Kenya---
Hon. Members, can we allow Hon. Lomenen to finish his argument? If you are supporting, bring your arguments. Let us not have altercation with him. Let him prosecute his arguments until he finishes and somebody else can come with opposing ideas.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Let us not close our eyes. We have people in Kenya who are not Kenyans. These people have been undermining the sovereignty and security of Kenya. They have been faking the uniforms of the Kenyan Army. These people are there. So, if they can fake that and we have this evidence, what about a waiting card? We need to respect Kenya and its laws. We cannot rush for the sake of trying to mobilise voters to an extent of harbouring insecurity in our own State. Let us just say that we have to decentralise these services right to our constituencies. But we cannot call a paper or a receipt an ID. That is undermining even the ID of this nation. I have never seen anywhere in this world where a waiting card is called an ID. I strongly oppose this Motion.
Yes, Hon. Joe Mutambu.
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. While I do so, I understand where my good friend, Hon. Lomenen comes from. Maybe he is not aware that once you are given a waiting card it never comes back; you always get an ID. Before you get it, you undergo all the process of vetting like my good friend has mentioned. 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 is a very noble Motion which needs to be supported. Most Kenyans today who are voting are the youth. The most affected Kenyans today are the youth who are finishing school but do not have IDs. These youth got through a long and tedious process of obtaining the requirements like birth certificates of their grandfathers and grandmothers. Once somebody has produced a birth certificate of his or her father and mother which state clearly that they are Kenyans, I want to believe that should be strong grounds for any officer to believe that this is a true Kenyan who wants to get an ID. For that reason, any eligible Kenyan should be allowed to use his or her waiting card. It is called a waiting card because you are waiting for an ID. If you do not get a waiting card, you do not get an ID. So, once you have a waiting card it is automatic that you will get an ID. I have never heard anybody saying that he or she had his or her waiting card rejected. Since it has never been rejected and we do not have any record of a rejected waiting card, people should be allowed to use it. So, I support this Motion.
There is a point of order by Hon. Muluvi before you finish.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I wanted to raise a point of order on what my friend has said.
That has already passed. You can only say what you want to say when it is your turn to speak.
Let me say this.
Not now because Hon. Mutambu is on the Floor.
As I strongly support this Motion, I do so with a lot of respect to this Parliament. Some institutions have not been respecting decisions or resolutions made by this House. It is just in the last Parliament when this House passed a resolution that all secondary schools certificates should be released to their owners, but up to now that has not been adhered to. That Motion was moved by none other than my good party Chairman, Hon. Musila. It has not been effected. I am afraid we may also pass this Motion today and the institutions responsible fail to oblige to what we have said. I urge this Parliament, especially the Committee on Implementation to be more vigilant. As it has been mentioned by Hon. Nyikal, whatever is passed in this Parliament must be adhered to. I strongly support that any Kenyan with a waiting card must be allowed not only to register as a voter and vote but also use the same waiting card to do other transactions which require an ID card. I wanted to amend this Motion, but I was advised not to do so. We have moved to a digital era, and it will be good if Kenyans could be issued with their IDs on the spot. The current process opens an avenue for corruption and many Kenyans use a lot of money to travel long distances to look for IDs. Once somebody goes to a collection centre he or she is told that the IDs have not come. I urge that Kenyans be issued with IDs on the spot. For these reasons, I support the Motion.
Hon. Alice Chae.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity. I rise to support the Motion by Hon. Wanyonyi. Honestly speaking, voting is a right to any one of us. If you are curtailed or if there are restrictions that do not enable one to do what he or she is expected to do then that means we are doing a disservice to our people. One does not become a Kenyan by owning an ID. If you have undergone the process to enable you acquire an ID card, it should be taken as a guarantee that you can access all Government services. If you are above 18 years old, you have finished school and you have been given a waiting card, that is proof that you are going to be issued with an ID card. We passed 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.
Motion by Hon. Chris Wamalwa which was urging that issuing of IDs be decentralised. If that Motion is implemented, it is going to ease the system and enable all eligible Kenyans acquire IDs. Remember you cannot register a company, even if you have finished school, if you do not have an ID. You can also not access a loan from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) if you do not have an ID. You can also not open a bank account without an ID. Those are restrictions which even our Constitution tells us should be removed so that Kenyans can enjoy all their rights, not only by voting but also in accessing all the services they need. They may want to acquire property, do business or move from one place to another. You cannot go to an embassy if you cannot identify yourself as a Kenyan. Those are the restrictions that this Motion seeks to address. This Motion also wants the IEBC to ensure that all Kenyans are registered as voters. In the concluded mass voter registration exercise, there was low turnout. Most of the people who did not register are those people with waiting cards. Some of them go to check for their IDs almost on a daily basis but they cannot get them. That is why we are calling for decentralisation of registration for IDs. As we wait for this, the better and quicker option is for the IEBC to acknowledge serialised waiting cards. That can enable many people to vote. Remember that every day as we approach the election, people are turning 18. You know how tedious it is for one to acquire an ID. So, once you have been issued with a waiting card, it then should be automatic that you are eligible for an ID and the serialised waiting card should enable you access all your rights like voting. So, people with waiting cards should be allowed to register as voters as soon as tomorrow. The Committee on Implementation should do the necessary so that whatever is in law should start working. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Let us hear Hon. Kathuri Murungi.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I support this Motion. Almost 70 per cent of our population is composed of the youth. Currently, there are many youth leaving secondary school and joining us out there. For them to be recognised by the Government as citizens of this country they must get national IDs. The possession of a national ID is very critical because there is absolutely no transaction that you can carry out in this country without a valid national ID. This includes Mpesa transactions which have become revolutionary and have international recognition. Young people cannot join that revolutionary business.
Besides focusing only on voting, because we look very selfish as politicians when we want the youth to be given this document so that they can vote, we can amend the relevant Acts to enable waiting cards to be used for other transactions as well. It should not look like we are only protecting votes. People say Members of Parliament are always self-centred. An amendment can be made such that other transactions can be allowed using serialised waiting cards. That can be the best move. As I support, I know Kenya has many challenges now including security challenges. Opening registration as a citizen to everybody will be fatal to this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We are in a catch-22 situation because of our security concerns. Even if these people will use these documents to register as voters, there should be a timeframe within which they should be issued with real identity cards, which they can use to vote. I can see that Hon. Members are passionate about this law. It is like the Members of this House know exactly how many papers are out there. The passion that Hon. Members have on this issue is raising eye brows. Once we are done with the passage of this “Bill”, the person who is supposed to sign it into law may be scared as to why we are agitating for serial numbers.
The other challenge we have is that the identity cards of the same people we are saying should be given serialized waiting cards to vote could be lying at their sub-county registration offices. I fail to understand. Whereas we are crying for identity cards, there are thousands of uncollected identity cards at the sub-county registration offices. I do not understand what is happening. The issue of voter registration has nothing to do with issuance of identity cards. There are other underlying factors which should be looked at keenly.
With those remarks, I support.
Let us have Hon. Protus Akujah, the Member for Loima.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Motion. The issue of identity cards is very important in this country. An identity card is an important document in this country. Hon. Lomenen has just left but I wanted to remind him that a waiting card is as good as an identity card. It is just a matter of time before one gets an identity card. The process of vetting and verification starts at the application stage. That is why we have a panel of elders headed by the area chief. That is why applicants are required to produce their parents’ copies of identity cards.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, every Kenyan has a constitutional and democratic right to have an identity card. Therefore, nobody in this country who has attained the age of 18 should be denied an identity card. As most Members said, there should be timelines within which people should receive their identity cards once they apply. I know a number of students who have cleared fourth form and are supposed to proceed to university but they cannot access loans from the HELB because they do not have identity cards. An identity card is a very important document. Without an identity card, one cannot engage in any transaction in this country, be it Mpesa, opening a bank account, accessing Uwezo Fund or any other financial transaction. Issuance of voter’s card with serialized waiting cards is also an issue which needs to be looked at. This is because not all details in the waiting card will be in the identity card. We need to improve the details that need to be in the waiting card so that one can use it to vote, otherwise some people could use it as a loophole to scandalize the whole voting exercise. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, since this is a centralized exercise, applicants in counties that are far from Nairobi take a long time to receive their identity cards. In fact, for the forms to get to Nairobi from counties in the North Rift, it takes three weeks since they are delivered through the Postal Corporation. Upon reaching Nairobi, there will be a queue from the neighbouring counties. In the process, it will take about four months for applicants to get their identity cards. This is a tedious process which discourages people. In my area, there are people who have about five waiting cards because once they get tired of waiting, they seek fresh registration. They keep doing that until the system rejects them because they appear to have more than one card. 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.
In some counties there are people who are about 60 years old but they do not have identity cards. This is because they have to walk for about 200 kilometres to the registration centres. That is why the Motion by Hon. Wamalwa essentially called for decentralization of the process of registration of persons and establishment of mobile registration centres so that people can be accessed. Some areas do not have sufficient transport facilities that people can use to get to the registration centres. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, I have a special request. I am giving the Floor to Hon. Chidzuga, on medical ground. She has swollen feet. I do not want her to stay here for too long.
Shukran, Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ninaiunga mkono Hoja hii inayogusia maisha ya wananchi wetu kule nyanjani. Wakati umefika wa kutambua haki za binadamu. Ni makosa sana kuwa vijana wetu wanapotaka kujisajili kule nyanjani wanaambiwa hawawezi kujisajili kuwa wapigaji kura kwa sababu hawana vitambulisho, bali wana stakabadhi za kungojea vitambulisho. Kuwa na kitambulisho ni haki yetu. Pia, kujiandikisha kama mpiga kura ni haki yetu. Ingekuwa bora kama Tume Huru ya Uchaguzi na Mipaka na wizara inayohusika na mambo ya vitambulisho wangeweza kukaa pamoja na kuwa na uwiano kwamba wakati vijana wanapopewa vitambulisho ama stakabadhi za kungojea vitambulisho, waweze kujiandikisha kama wapigaji kura. Wakati Serikali ilipoanza kutoa vitambulisho humu nchini, hakukuwa na mpangilio mrefu. Mtu alihitajika kujaza fomu zake zote, na akimaliza anapigwa picha na kupatiwa kitambulisho chake. Sijui ni makosa gani yalitokea, ama ni ufisadi tunaozungumzia ndio maana hakuna mtu anayeweza kuenda katika kituo cha usajili ili apate kitambulisho mara moja. Inachukua hata mwaka mzima kwa mtu kupata kitambulisho chake. Bunge hili lilipitisha sheria kwamba hata hiyo stakabadhi ya kungojea itambuliwe kuwa ni stakabadhi ambayo inaweza kumpa mtu ruhusa ama nafasi ya kuweza kujisajili katika upigaji wa kura. Zaidi ya hayo, utakuta kuwa zile herufi zilizoandikwa katika stakabadhi za kungojea vitambulisho ni nyingi na zinachanganya. Mtu anasahau stakabadhi hiyo na inakua vigumu kuikumbuka. Pia, wanaoziandikisha, waweze kuangalia mbinu mpya za kupunguza herufi zile ndio mtu awe na urahisi wa kukumbuka nambari yake hata kama hajabeba stakabadhi yake na apate huduma mahali popote anapohitaji. Ningependa tume huru ya uchaguzi na mipaka ianze kuwatembelea wanafunzi shuleni kwa sababu wanafunzi hawawezi kuacha masomo na kwenda kwenye afisi ili wasajiliwe. Ninaiunga mkono Hoja hii nikiamini kwamba sheria itaweza kutekelezwa ya kuwawezesha watoto wetu kujisajili kama wapigaji kura. Shukrani, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda.
Hon. Members, I am giving the Floor to the Member for Matuga.
Ahsante sana, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Pia ninataka kumshukuru Mhe. Wanyonyi kwa kuileta Hoja hii Bungeni. Kupiga kura ni haki ya kila Mkenya. Kila mtu anastahili kupata nafasi ya kutosha ya kupiga kura vile anavyotaka. Kulingana na sheria ni sawasawa kabisa kwamba kila anayetaka kupiga kura apate stakabadhi maalum. Kama stakabadhi ile ambayo mtu hupewa kwa mara ya kwanza ina nambari zote ambazo zitaonekana katika kitambulisho, sioni sababu yoyote ya mtu kukatazwa kupiga kura wala kutumia stakabadhi hiyo katika benki. Hali hii huleta dhuluma. Juzi 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.
tulipokuwa kule Malindi ambako tulilibeba kombe, nilifuatwa na vijana zaidi ya 2,000 ambao walikuwa wanajua kwamba mimi ni rafiki wa Mwenyekiti wa KADU Asili. Walijua kwamba nilikuwa nikimfanyia kampeini mwenyekiti huyo. Vijana hao walikuja mbio na kadi ambazo hazikuwa za vitambulisho vya kawaida. Wakanilalamikia kwamba wao wanataka wapige kura. Ukweli ni kwamba kama nilikuwa Jilore peke yake na nilipata vijana 2,000 wa KADU Asili---
What is it Hon. T. Ali? Who do you want to inform? Is the person you want to inform ready to be informed? Who is that you want to inform? Is it the Member for Matuga?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am on a point of order.
What is it?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is a misunderstanding on the issue of issuance of identification cards. As a former Commissioner with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission, I can confirm that national identification cards are issued by the Department of Civil Registration---
What is your point of order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if we want to use waiting cards as voters’ cards, we need to change the Election Act and not---
Order, Hon. (Ms.) T.G. Ali! That is a point of argument. Proceed, Hon. Mwanyoha.
Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningependa Mhe. T.G. Ali ajue kwamba hiyo ndiyo sababu ya kuibadilisha sheria hiyo. Nilipokuwa kule Malindi nilifuatwa na vijana wanaofika 2,000, wakiwa na maua yao wakipiga kelele; wakifikiria kwamba mimi ni mfuasi wa KADU Asili, rafiki yangu, Mhe. Gunga. Inaonekana kwamba kama vijana wale wangelipata ruhusa ya kupiga kura – wale wakiwa vijana kutoka Jilore peke yake, hatujui Malindi nzima kulikuwa na vijana wangapi waliokuwa na kadi za aina ile – nina hakika kwamba badala ya Jubilee nambari kuwa ya pilli ingekuwa KADU Asili. Lakini kwa sababu haki haikuzingatiwa, wale vijana hawakupiga kura.
What is your point of order, Hon. Nakara?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I suggest that you balance the number of Members supporting the Motion with those who are opposing it, so that we can have a lively debate.
First, I would not know who is opposing and who is supporting the Motion. So what we will do is when---
Order, Hon. Members! I will give the Floor to Members on the basis of the queue on my request list. Whoever wants to oppose the Motion will oppose it and whoever wants to support will support it. Proceed, Hon. Mwanyoha.
Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, inaonekana kuna njama ya kuukatakata muda wangu. Ninasema hivyo kwa sababu hoja zote za nidhamu zilizotolewa hazina maana. 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.
Kwa hivyo, ninawaomba Wabunge wenzangu waache kutoa hoja za nidhamu ambazo haziwezi zikatusaidia. Kwa hivyo---
Hazina maana kivipi?
Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, muda wangu unamalizwa bure na watu ambao wana njama fulani. Nakuomba uniongezee dakika kadha kwa sababu muda wangu umepotezwa na watu ambao wameleta hoja zisizo na msingi. Ninaunga mkono kikamilifu kwamba stakabadhi ambazo zinatolewa zitumike kikamilifu kwa kila jambo ambalo mtu anahitaji---
I am adding Hon. Mwanyoha one minute. Proceed.
Ahsante sana, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda---
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order? Allow Hon. Mwanyoha to finish his one minute.
Ninakushukuru sana kwa kuelewa yale maneno ambayo nilikuwa ninayazungumza. Ninaomba kila Mkenya aweze kupata nafasi nzuri anapofikisha umri wa miaka 18, ili apewe nafasi ya kuchukua ile stakabadhi ya kwanza na hiyo iwe inatumika. Sioni haja ya watu kuomba stakabadhi na kusubiri kwa miezi mitatu au minne. Maombi yote ya stakabadhi hiyo yanafaa kushughulikiwa mara moja ili mtu aweze kupata kitambulisho siku ya pili. Ahsante, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda.
The Member for Narok West, what is your point of order? I can see that there are quite a number of Members who want to contribute to this debate. Hon. ole Ntutu, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support the Motion. This is a straightforward Motion which seeks to ensure that those who have been issued with waiting cards are given an opportunity to register as voters. The issue of identity card in this country has become a problem. The process is very tedious. Hon. Members will remember that the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government was the other day ranked number one in corruption; the reason being issuance of identity cards. Any youth who wants an identity card is made to part with something. The Government must be very serious because the time those identity cards take in Nairobi and in the sub-county offices is too much. We must give the Ministry money so that identity cards can be issued in our sub-counties. That is how we can solve this problem, but not the other way round. It is the right of every Kenyan to be issued with an identity card. The Ministry should not give us the excuse of taking applications to Nairobi for the delays. With new technology, we can issue identity cards in our sub-counties. That is the only way we can solve this problem. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, identity cards are very important. At the age of 18, one would like to open a bank account, register a company, and acquire a title deed for his or her land, among other things. However, because of lack of an identity card, one cannot do any of those things.
What is your point of order, the Member for Changamwe? 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 very much. Since there is a statute under law regarding whatever we are debating, instead of wasting time, it is better that the Committee on Implementation undertakes to make sure that the IEBC implements what this House has passed.
The law envisages that---
I do not have the Constitution here with me.
Well, you see the Member for Changamwe, if you do not have sufficient information, then we will proceed.
You are out of order! I am extremely surprised that the Mover of the Motion is the one who is taking that particular law to the Member who is contributing and yet he is the one who has moved the Motion. If you really had information that there is a statute to that effect then you should not have even moved it in the first place. Hon. Members we are halfway through. There are other ways of approaching this. Hon. Member, which particular law are we talking about?
The Elections Act.
What does it say?
It says:- “Any citizen of Kenya who has attained the age of eighteen years as evidenced by either a national identity card or a Kenyan passport and whose name is not in the register of voters shall be registered as a voter upon application, in the prescribed manner, to the Commission. Despite subsection (3), a citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years and has registered for an identification card and is in the possession of an acknowledgement of registration certificate shall, upon application, be registered as a voter using the acknowledgement of registration certificate, but may only vote using an identification card. For purposes of this section, an acknowledgment of registration certificate means a certificate issued by a registration officer under the Registration of Persons Act to a person who has applied for an identification card, pending the issuance of that card.” With this in mind, I feel we are wasting time debating this Motion. The Committee on Implementation should make sure that the IEBC follows what this House passes. That is the business of this House.
As I consult on what law you are referring to, that is an ambush as far as I am concerned. First, as I said before, I was actually surprised that it is the owner of the Motion who seems to be canvassing that particular position after he himself had moved the Motion. That in itself is in bad faith in my opinion because if there is any waste of the time of this House, it would be by the person who is moving the Motion when he knows that there is any other law that touches on it. We will proceed as I consult because this is a law that you have just read. I also want to look at it myself and then we will proceed. I will give more time to the Member for Narok West. I will give him three minutes as I look at the particular legislation that the Member is talking about. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker
On a point of order.
Order, Members! This is how we will approach this. Kindly give Hon. ole Ntutu time to finish his three minutes and then we will come back to this particular issue. Proceed.
I do not know what is wrong with our Members today. It seems like everybody wants to speak and the only way they can do that is by raising points of order. Allow me to debate this and then you will be allowed to say whatever you want to. Some of us who come from constituencies that are far, particularly those that are bordering other countries such as my constituency which borders Tanzania, it takes a year for someone to get an ID. If this Motion is passed today and the Committee on Implementation does its work, then the IEBC can allow our young people to register as voters. Many people in this country are marginalised and do not get time to register simply because they come from constituencies that are far. We should support this Motion .We have passed very many Motions particularly Private Members Motions and they never see the light of the day. The Committee on Implementation should do its work because it is sleeping. Otherwise, we can remove them and put other people.
Hon. Members, we will proceed as we consult further. Let us have Hon. Gunga Mwinga. I can see 47 of you are making requests to speak. Proceed as we consult.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to add my voice to this Motion. I will begin by thanking Hon. Wanyonyi for bringing it to the Floor of this House. This Motion is informed by two issues: First, there is need for Kenyans to register as voters. In most occasions, the young men who have attained the age of 18 have not been able to do so. If this Motion sails through and has already been stated that the law is in place then we will have a good number of young people who have attained the age of 18 years and above who have received their waiting cards registering as voters. The second issue is the issuance of IDs. If today we speak about serialised waiting cards, that means there is serious delay in the process of issuance of IDs. It is common knowledge that people have to travel long distances so that they can access and secure IDs. It has been argued before this House that there is need for decentralization of these services such that, people do not have to spend a lot of time and money to obtain an ID. Even without decentralisation, the people in Nairobi who are in charge of issuance of these IDs must equally pull up their socks because there are people who stay with the waiting cards for quite a long time. When the registration is on, they are not registered as voters. This is a very important issue that all institutions, specifically the institution in charge of registration of IDs must pull up its socks so that people can get them easily. 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 gist of this Motion, as it has been stated under Articles 38 and 260 of the Constitution is the definition of an adult as a person who has attained the age of 18 years and above. In my reading of the Constitution and in particular Article 83, for the registration of a voter, the only requirement is that one must be an adult. If that is the position, then I do not see any reason why a person who has attained the age of 18 years should not be registered as a voter. Most of the stakeholders in this country and the people who really yearn for change in this country are actually the youth. If these people do not get an opportunity to register as voters, then their rights as envisaged under Article 38 are infringed upon. These are people who will not get an opportunity to make a political choice and participate in any form of election. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if the law is in place and it is clear, I do not see any reason for the IEBC to dilly dally and fail to register people as required. I join my colleagues who have insisted on our own Committee on Implementation taking this matter seriously. The Committee should ensure that the IEBC complies with the law that is passed by this House and that people get registered so that they can have the opportunity to participate in elections. I rest my case at that level. I support this Motion.
Yes, Hon. Yusuf Chanzu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to support this Motion. We have to say as many times as possible for people to understand that those who are between the ages of 18 and 35 years constitute the larger proportion of our country.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
What is it, Hon. Serut?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Elections Act recognises only two documents for purposes of registration and voting. It is the national identity card and a passport. I want it to be clear that a serialised waiting card is not a card in its own. This is a document in process. We should be discussing issues of speeding up the process and not using this document for voter registration. We are doing disservice to this country.
Hon. Serut, you have made your point. The reason why there would be any Motion before this House is because it is expected to eventually graduate to a Bill. There is probability that a law will be changed or another one will be introduced if there is no such law in place at that moment. Much as you say that those are the only two recognised ways to be a voter, there is probability that Members of Parliament can, in their wisdom, make a decision to get another way.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker---
I am not giving you another option, Hon. Serut. You have just given me your position and I restated what I think is the correct position. If the position is what you are saying---
Hon. Serut, you cannot explain a point of order. We have been here for long time. Sit down! The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Are you saying that the Members are perfectly in order to bring a Motion? If you are opposing, you will do that. Hon. Chanzu, let us proceed. Do not be unnecessarily excited about the presence of Hon. Serut in the House.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Hon. Serut is an old Member of this House. He knows what to do if he wants to make an amendment or oppose the Motion. He should not disrupt me. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this Motion is very clear. It seeks to allow persons who were successfully vetted for purposes of issuing them with identity cards. It is the completion process that delays. Everybody knows. The larger part of our population is young people who we want to involve in what goes on. They are very impatient. That is the only problem. They are not like us who have gone through many things. We must improve on whatever laws there are. In any case, we must be able to legislate on what is in the Constitution in order to make it effective. There is a lot of corruption when there is a lot of delay. That is why this Motion is very important. We should try to beat the red tape in the process to enable those who have applied for identity cards to get them. Every aspect of work and office in Kenya has become corrupt. Even when we came up with the issue of the National Youth Service (NYS), it became a den of corruption. The issue of registration of persons is the same thing. Since we still have the national Government offices in the counties, it is important that we put the roles they are supposed to play together in ensuring that all the information is computerised from the time of birth. It will be much easier. We also have birth certificates which are issued. They can be very useful in obtaining identity cards and voters’ cards.
Hon. Chanzu, your time is over. I gave you a further three minutes. Hon. Serut, you made a statement. Which law were we referring to? Which specific law? The Member for Changamwe Constituency quoted a specific part of the law. Yours was just general. What is the specific part of the law, Hon. Serut?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the three minutes.
I have not given you the opportunity. I am not giving you the opportunity.
Can I explain myself?
I want the specific part of the law. That is all I am asking of you. In the meantime, Hon. Kanini Kega should be prepared to contribute.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am talking about the Elections Act, which specifies the documents to be used for registration. I am opposed to the waiting card because this is a document---
Can I finish?
Hon. Kanini Kega, proceed. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. I rise to support the Motion. I thank my colleague, Hon. Wanyonyi, for bringing it to the House. Allow me to quote Abraham Lincoln, the former President of the United States (US), when he talked about elections. He said:- “Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behind, then they will just have to sit on their blisters. Get out and register and be ready to vote because bad leaders are elected by good people who do not vote.” For one to vote in this country, one must have a voter’s card. For you to have one, you must have an identity card and for you to have an identity card, the National Registration Bureau (NRB) and the chiefs have to decide. It is not a favour for a person who has reached the age of 18 years to be given an identity card. It is an inherent thing that you have. It is the business of the Government to make sure that those who have hit the age of 18 years get identity cards. It is shocking that whenever a person hits the retirement age, it is not you who says; “I have hit the retirement age.” Your employer will tell you: “My friend, your time is up. Go!” It should be the same case when you hit 18 years of age. It is the Government which should issue you with an identity card. It should not be you to seek one. Just like the PIN, which should be issued to every individual, identity cards should be issued to every person who has attained the age of 18 years. It should be the same for an identity card, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) membership, driving licence and all that. Why do I support this Motion? I am trying to think why Hon. Wanyonyi brought up this issue. When you are issued with a temporary waiting card, it is that – purely temporary. It should last for two weeks. After that, you are supposed to be issued with the final document. The National Registration Bureau has been failing in its duty. We need to tell them that we have heard cases of people waiting for their identity cards for six months, a year or two years. In fact, it is shocking that whenever married women want to change their names to their husbands’ it takes ages. We need to state clearly that it is a right. It is inherent and should be so. Next week we will be recruiting 10,000 young people to the police force. It is a requirement that for you to be recruited to the police force, you must have an ID. If you do not have an ID, you will definitely not be recruited. We should amend this because the moment you are given that temporary card, it does not mean that you are going to undergo more vetting. You have already been vetted. So, we need to tell the NRB that they are letting down this country. They need to do their part and hasten the issuance of IDs. It is also very shocking that we have very many IDs lying in chiefs’ and the NRB offices. We even had cases of IDs being taken to different locations from the ones they were registered. So, the ball is in the court of the NRB. They need to do their work. They need to up their game. I support this Motion. Thank you.
Let us have Hon. Kering.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for the opportunity that you have given me. I thank the Hon. Member who has brought this Motion. It is timely and I support the idea of allowing people with waiting cards to use them to register as voters. As much as I support this Motion, we are aware of challenges that happen in between. Some women asked me yesterday to support them to have their IDs released. 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.
Registration of voters is a very crucial exercise and we wonder why the people dealing with IDs have delayed issuing them. As much as the registration of IDs is decentralised, we should add equipment at the national level so that their issuance is fast tracked. I support the idea of waiting cards to be used for registration of voters. There are other transactions that Kenyans need to use their IDs for. For example, the mama mboga who want to apply for small loans cannot access them without IDs. I wonder whether the waiting cards can also be used to access these loans. I congratulate the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Dr. Aruasa who released IDs that had been lying there for a number of years due to pending bills. The owners of the IDs were made to pay some money and the hospital paid the balance. A good number of IDs were released and our people were able to register as voters. We have old people who want to register as voters but cannot travel from their homes to registration centres. I suggest that we take the registration exercise to the doorsteps of the aged because they cannot travel to get their IDs. The delay in the issuance of IDs is because of personnel who are not working as per their schedule. We need to put in place the amount of time one should wait for an ID after application. It is because of that loophole that the time stipulated is not clear. I propose that the chiefs should be involved in the issuance of IDs. They should be given a critical role to identify the ID applicants in their locations. If we do this, people will get their IDs on time. Women are affected by this exercise because of their responsibilities. When they go to register for IDs they are told to go back and they may not have that opportunity. I am proposing that the issuance of IDs should be done in such a way that during women meetings the people issuing IDs---
Okay. Hon. Members, before I make my decision. I would like to recognise in the Public Gallery Ndonyo Wasin Primary School from Samburu County. Feel welcome. Hon. Members, I want to quickly respond to what the Member for Changamwe raised. Having looked at the law, it is very express that the waiting card can be used to get a voters card. What you cannot do is to vote using it. So, this is express and our debate will be simply confirming the position as it is in law which should not be a situation which we need to take too much time on. I will give the Mover of the Motion a chance to make it tidy.
That is the position, Hon. Members. I am ruling. Order, Members!
On a point of order.
The Member for Teso, there will be no point of order for this one. This is the position in law. I have read it and I am satisfied that it is so. The Motion will simply be confirming the position in law. As far as we are concerned, the law is more weighty than the Motion that we are going to pass but since we are already half way through, I will not even ask of any Member to call the Mover to respond. I will do it myself. When he does that, it will be in futility for any Member to oppose it because that is the position already in law. So, even if you decided to vote against this Motion it will be an act in futility. I am just advising you so that you do not take an act which is going to be futile. When I ask the Member 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.
move, I will not expect a lot of words from him. I will only ask him to move the Motion without any unnecessary literature into it and then we will pass this and proceed to the next Order. That will be the simple position Hon. Members because we are already in it. Under normal circumstances, if it was at the beginning, we would not have given an opportunity to the Member to even move it in the first place, but since we are a House of rules and order, that is the position we are going to take. So, I ask the Mover to quickly move it. I will give you 30 seconds to do that. Proceed.
On a point of order.
What is out of order, Hon. Shinali? You know you are a senior Member of this House. Sometimes, you use points of order to advance causes which are not related.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Before a Motion is put on the Order Paper, it goes through many steps. Some of the step is an application through the Office of the Clerk at the Table Office where we have officers who look at the relevancy of the Motion. It is then approved by the Speaker. Now that we are raising these issues, would I be in order to ask the Office of the Clerk to take necessary action against officers who may have overlooked these steps? In future, we would not want this to be repeated because it is not fair to take the time of the House debating an issue that has already been enacted.
I hear you. Let me also hear Hon. Lati Lelelit.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First of all, I want to salute you for having seen that this Motion is already provided for in the Act. This has saved the country and Parliament’s time. For things to get to the Floor of this House, there is a long process that involves experts of all kinds, including lawyers like you. We have wasted time today in this House debating something that is already provided for. Is it in order for this House to sit for several hours wasting valuable time debating nothing at all?
Hon. Lati, you know the reason why I gave you an opportunity. I have just recognised a school from you constituency. However, we have not wasted any time. In any case, Hon. Members, if you looked at the Motion, it was on the House calling upon the IEBC. We have not wasted too much time. The only thing is that through the debate, some particular issues have been confirmed on the Motion. It is not an act in futility. Hon. Members, let us give the Mover 30 seconds. Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not want to complain about the time you are giving me. All in all, I want to thank this House for having debated this Motion. Right from the beginning, it has drawn a lot of interest from both sides of the House. We are talking about the reality on the ground. The Motion, as Hon. Lelelit and Hon. Shinali have said, went through the Speaker himself and he signed it. Therefore, it was not debating in futility. I want to thank the House because we have not wasted time, but taken time to explain. I am sure the IEBC has listened to what we have said. The next thing is for the Committee on Implementation to fast-track the provisions, so that it can be implemented to the letter. For those who have not read the Act clearly, the fact is that one cannot use the waiting card to vote. I am asking for a shortened time in getting an ID card. It takes a year or two to get one. Instead of waiting for a whole year to get an ID card to register as a voter, one can now use the waiting card to register.
On a point of order. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
What is your point of order, Hon. Barchilei?
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is very clear that the law is operational, but this institution seems not to be following the law.
What is your point of order because you are now opening up debate?
I am not debating. I just wanted to pass information that the law is clear.
You cannot do it in that manner. Proceed and finalise, Hon. Ferdinand. Before you finalise, probably, since we have the Vice- Chair of the Committee on Implementation, let us hear him. He has something to say. Proceed, Hon. Gikaria.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First of all, I am the Vice- Chair of the Committee on Implementation and my Committee has been mentioned several times.
Correct, that is why I have given you an opportunity. I think you will add value.
The only problem I have is on your ruling regarding this Motion. As it is now, the Motion is already property of the House. There is a process on how a Motion should end, namely by putting a Question, withdrawing or amending. I am not disputing your ruling. This Motion ought to be withdrawn by the Mover because already there is a law to this effect. That is the process. Secondly, in my Committee, we have made a proposal on the process a Motion should follow to be brought to this House. We had suggested that the Liaison Committee must be in check.
Absolutely not the Liaison Committee. It has nothing to do with this.
We had suggested amending the Standing Orders, so that the Liaison Committee can be checking on this. At the same time, the only problem I have is the way we are withdrawing the Motion on the Floor of the House.
You should have absolutely no problem with that. In matters that are not specifically provided for, you are aware that the Speaker has an opportunity under Standing Order No.1 to make a decision one way or the other. I do not think in previous times we have debated Motions on whose provisions there is a law in existence. I have made that decision. I do not think you will challenge it, Hon. Gikaria. Let us leave it at that. Let us have Hon. Ferdinard to finalise because we have to tidy up. I am not giving any other Member a chance to raise a point of order.
On a point of order.
No points of order, Hon. Members. Finalise, Hon. Wanyonyi. Order, Hon. Harrison Kombe!
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not know what is generating all this excitement. All I am saying is that we will be using the waiting card to register. The Motion does not seek to use the waiting card to vote. That is already provided for.
You are obviously going to elicit more excitement because your Motion is in no way stating that we should allow citizens to vote using the waiting card. Yours is on registration using the waiting card.
Exactly, Yes. 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 are simply confirming a position that exists. I wanted you to simply move, so that we can dispose it and end it there.
I have done that with all intelligence. I have moved. My good friend, Hon. Namwamba is asking for additional information.
That is not going to be the position. I will put the Question for Hon. Members to make a decision.
On a point of information.
Hon. Namwamba, you have just walked in. There will be no information. I do not know whom you would want to inform.
Is Hon. Yusuf Hassan in the House? I do not think so. His Motion will be rescheduled to next Wednesday. Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that Article 42 of our Constitution accords every person the right to a clean and healthy environment and that Article 69(1)(d) mandates the State to encourage public participation in the management, protection and conservation of the environment; deeply concerned that our homes, roads, public and private premises, work places, recreational areas and general environment are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
littered with plastics, solid and liquid wastes as well as lacking good general environmental aesthetics, this House resolves that the Government declares one Saturday of each month be dedicated by every Kenyan household, organized groups, public and private institutions and corporate organizations to cleaning and beautifying their immediate environment and public places and also initiates a proactive programme in all our schools to inculcate the culture of keeping our environment clean and healthy.
This Motion is very important. I wish to bring to the attention of Members that this Motion is anchored in the Constitution. I want to briefly inform the House that the Constitution articulates the issue of a clean and healthy environment. Article 42, which is under the bill of rights in our Constitution states the following: “Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment which includes the right- (a) to have the environment protected for the benefit of the present and future generations through legislative and other measures, particularly those contemplated in Article 69; and (b) to have obligations relating to the environment fulfilled under Article 70.” This is one of the measures I am taking through the Motion. Article 70(1) of our Constitution states that:- “If a person alleges that a right to a clean and healthy environment recognised and protected under Article 42 has been, is being or is likely to be denied, violated, infringed or threatened, the person may apply to a court for redress in addition to any other legal remedies that are available in respect to the same matter.”
Which Article are you reading?
I am reading from Article 70 of our Constitution.
I just wanted to mention that I am with you. Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, our Constitution has given a right to every Kenyan to petition anybody who pollutes the environment or makes the environment unhealthy. This person has a right to go to court. What is required of that person is spelled out in that Article. Further, in respect to the environment, Article 69 (1)(a) of the Constitution states as follows:- “The State shall─ (a) ensure sustainable exploitation, utilisation, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources, and ensure the equitable sharing of the accruing benefits;” It is the responsibility of the State and the people to ensure that the environment is clean and healthy. Article 69 (1)(d) states that:- “The State shall─ 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.
(d) encourage public participation in the management, protection and conservation of the environment.” This is the crux of my Motion. The State is given a mandate to ensure that the public participates in keeping our environment clean and healthy. Article 69 (1)(g) states that:- “The State shall─ (g) eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment.” Lastly, Article 69(2) states:- “Every person has a duty to cooperate with State organs and other persons to protect and conserve the environment and ensure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources.” This is where my Motion is anchored. That is why I propose that the State has to declare one day in a month, which every Kenyan should dedicate, to cleaning his or her environment. Why is this important? As I have stated in the Motion, most of our homes, roads, public and private premises, work places, recreation areas and the general environment are littered with plastics, solid and liquid waste. I do not need to belabour the point. If you go anywhere, you will encounter litter and solid waste. It is just a mess. This cannot be allowed to go on. Secondly, currently in this country, we lack a proper plan or mechanism for disposal of solid and liquid waste, particularly in urban areas and local markets. In Nairobi especially Kariobangi and Dandora and markets in any constituency in this country, dumping sites are littered with solid and liquid waste. There is no mechanism on how to clear it. People do not care about solid waste and what it is causing our environment to be inhabitable. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in this country, the habit of throwing away litter is so rampant and you even find people who have gone to school drinking sodas and throwing away bottles carelessly. If they have any paper in the car, they throw it outside. Our people should learn that our environment is crucial and we cannot continue to make it unhealthy for our survival. The litter and solid thrown is causing so much harm to the environment and most often, the ailments and diseases that people are suffering from today are due to dirty environment. Our environment is littered with solid, liquid waste and filth. That is why we have problems.
Our environment seems to be suffering from the tragedy of common goods and nobody seems to care about what is happening when it comes to littering. People have this notion that wherever you throw your paper and waste is not important. This is done in our parks where people buy foodstuffs and leave their litter there. People who are travelling in buses and matatus buy maize and milk and throw the litter on our roadsides. All our roads are littered with waste and this has a major impact on our environment. Our rivers are littered. Our factories are disposing wastes be it chemicals, liquid or solid wastes into our rivers. Rivers in Nairobi are littered and you cannot even drink water from them. This is causing a lot of harm to our environment. There is increased pollution in our rivers and air because of emissions of gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. During peak hours in Nairobi, people are not breathing oxygen, but carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. This is causing a lot of problems to the health of our people. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We have increased cases of waterborne and respiratory diseases because we are not giving enough consideration to our environment. When we do not clean our water, it gets stagnant and mosquitoes breed there. That is why we have several cases of malaria. Cholera is striking many places because we are not prioritising our environment and we are going to spend a lot of money on our health which could have been avoided. Our education system has not built a culture where our children know how to keep their environment clean. In developed places like Europe and Singapore, kids know that you must keep your litter or put it in a disposable place. Our schools have not inculcated any culture of keeping our environment clean and healthy. This Motion is urging the Government to put in place a curriculum in our schools from kindergarten to university that people give priority to their environment, so that wherever they live is clean. People should be responsible for any litter they carry. Some of us have had chances to go to Rwanda and if you have a plastic or litter, you cannot leave the airport. If you litter, you will be penalised immediately. Recently, when Tanzanians were supposed to celebrate their Independence, their President decided to go out to the streets of Dar-es-Salaam and started cleaning. Instead of people celebrating and eating, he asked all Tanzanians to go and clean the streets. This Motion proposes that we emulate what countries like Tanzania, Rwanda and other developed countries are doing. We cannot continue living in filth hoping that somebody somewhere will rescue us. It is important that Kenyans appreciate environmental aesthetics; an environment where you feel nice, the air is clean and where you are comfortable staying. Kenyans seem not to appreciate that. They are just throwing everything making everything filthy and dirty, but we cannot condone that type of culture anymore. It must stop and that is why I brought this Motion. Most fundamentally, the litter all over the country is having a major impact on climate change. Everybody all over the country is feeling the heat. Where is it coming from? The materials we are throwing on our roads emit gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide which evaporate into the atmosphere forming a layer which makes sure that the rays of the sun do not escape back to the atmosphere when they hit the ground. That is why everybody is complaining that it is too hot. If we go on with what we are doing, it is going to be much hotter and it will be impossible for us to live. By cleaning our environment, we will be dealing with the challenges of climate change. Climate change is a reality and nobody should cheat himself or herself that it is about to go away. It is going to be around for more than 100 years to come. We must be prepared for it. The best we must do is to clean our environment. Everybody must be responsible. When you take a piece of paper from this House, please, do not litter it outside. You must put it in a disposable place. This is the essence of this Motion. This Motion is seeking that the Government declares one Saturday of the month for everybody to stop what they are doing and clean our environment. If this Motion goes through and is implemented, within two or three years, Kenyans would have learnt a good culture of keeping their environment clean and healthy. I do not want to belabour this Motion because it is straightforward and well covered in our Bill of Rights and Articles 69 and 70 of the Constitution. We must implement it. We are notorious for making good laws, but we do not implement them. Why are we always legislating, but not implementing? I wish Members of this House can support this Motion, so that we can pass it and request the Executive and every Kenyan to do what I am proposing in it. 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 beg to move and ask my good brother, Hon. Richard Makenga, to second.
I can see Member for Muhoroni really following the proceedings. I am appreciating the Member for Muhoroni for being very absorbent in the way he was following the proceedings.
That does not give you an opportunity to speak. I will give you an opportunity later on.
Nominated Member, Hon. Birdi, this must be a mistake, is it not?
Yes, Member for Kaiti.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I rise to second this very important Motion by my very good friend, Hon. Wilber Ottichilo. From the outset, this Motion is very important and timely. As the Mover of the Motion has alluded, the environment is very important to every living person or things in the world. As you are aware, our country has been littered with plastic items all over. Littering is done with a lot of impunity by people who know and understand that is it is wrong to litter or throw plastic bags all over. It is high time we sensitised our people and told them that it is important for them to take care of their environment. Littering which is witnessed all over, particularly in major cities, is alarming. The effect of littering is of very high magnitude. Rivers in Nairobi and other major cities are chocked with plastics. The effects of the littering do not affect human beings only, but also animals. In urban areas and other areas where there is littering, animals feed on these plastic bags and they end up dying because plastic bags are made of chemicals which are dangerous to their health. Therefore, it is important for us to avert this effect which can harm human beings and animals. I support the idea that the House resolves that the Government declares one Saturday of each month to be dedicated by every Kenyan household, organised groups, public and private institutions to cleaning and beautifying the immediate environment. This is coming at the right time. Once it is resolved that Kenyans dedicate one day, we are going to see a big change within our environment. We are also going to change the behaviour and thinking of our people. Tree planting has been emphasised a lot thus forgetting the immediate environment. Improvement of the environment will impact positively to climate change in this country. The threat of climate change is a global phenomenon. The dangers caused by greenhouse gases are due to rampant and uncontrollable littering of garbage and other non-biodegradable materials. There is migration of our people from the rural areas to the cities. This has made cities to grow to the extent that they are not managing the environment. We have not come up with proper planning to ensure that as the population grows in cities, we also take care of the environment. With good planning, e-waste can be converted into energy and that energy can be of great use to the country to reduce the high cost of power generation and to ensure that there is reduction of greenhouse gases. As the Mover has said, waterborne and respiratory diseases 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.
caused by unhealthy environment has increased. He has pointed out diseases like typhoid, malaria and cholera. These are all caused by bad management of the environment. I appreciate that every Kenyan will take the initiative of setting aside one day to do cleaning within their surroundings and change this country to a better one. Rwanda has started practising this. Even the Head of State joins the public to clean the city. They get together on Saturday and there is no movement at all. Vehicles are left at home. They come together and do national cleaning. This will become a very interactive way of people coming together to do cleaning. As Members of Parliament, we should retreat to our constituencies and ensure that the small and upcoming towns are cleaned, so that the environment is kept clean. We should also not forget tree planting. It is very important because it will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The famous environmentalist Professor Wangari Maathai said that if you do not take care of nature, nature will take care of you. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to support this Motion because it is very important and good for the country and the whole world.
Order, Member for Taita Taveta!
One of the issues that I am sure Members will be picking as they go along, Doctor, is why you choose a Saturday. Why not a Monday, Tuesday or Friday? Why not on a Sunday? I am sure you will make these issues known to us. I am in love with Articles 69 and 70 because they have expanded the rights of Kenyans. I am particularly interested in it because the people I represent are not favoured when it comes to environmental issues. So, the Temporary Deputy Speaker is interested to hear how the debate goes in respect to the people who have suffered environmental degradation for a long time.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Before I do that, Member for Mavoko, you are on and off on the intervention screen. What do you have to say? What is the problem?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was proposing we do five minutes contributions.
Well, it is your right to move a Motion under the Standing Orders. Really, you are rising at the right time. Can you do it in such a way that we are able to execute your Motion?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, given the time remaining, I am requesting Members whether we can just do five minutes each.
No. Veteran Members here who include Member for Kisumu East, Member for Budalangi and several other ranking Members will tell you that when you want to propose yourself in the Motion, you will lay the foundation. Tell us which Standing Order you are rising on and then give us the facts and explain yourself, so that we are able to follow you.
I stand guided, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
No. Nobody is scaring or pulling away your Motion from your mouth. We are only making you stronger. We are very patient in this Chamber. This is a learning ground. You do not get any other learning ground other than this.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move ---
Can I allow you to consult the Member for Kisumu East? As we proceed, I will exercise some discretion in your favour. Let me allow you to move and get some mentorship from the Member for Kisumu East. I am sure by the time I come to you, you will be well guided. All right. Member for Machakos, you are first on my request list.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion with a lot of passion. I thank Dr. Ottichilo for bringing this Motion. It is a very important Motion. It is important that we should all support it. Somebody said that cleanliness is next to godliness. In the Bible, somewhere in Leviticus, God instructed Moses that there had to be cleanliness in the tent or in the area where the Israelites were staying and God would not come to them unless there was cleanliness. He instructed them to dig a hole and cover the human waste and if it was not, He would not come to them. So, cleanliness is so important.
There is so much litter in our environment in Kenya and so much garbage in our towns. It is important that we create a culture of cleanliness. It is important that we all become concerned. Article 42 under the Bill of Rights of our Constitution states that every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment which includes the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations.
I believe we all have a role to ensure that our environment is very clean. We all have an obligation to make sure that we participate in cleaning it. The littering and waste disposal that we so carelessly do is not just out of ignorance, but it is also impunity. There are people who dispose garbage because they are ignorant of the dangers it poses and there are those who do it out of impunity. We need to know, understand and take responsibility of our environment and make sure that it remains clean.
Several years ago, I went to Singapore and found that you could not chew gum in the streets because you would litter. We see in other countries people walking around with their pets carrying bags to collect the waste the pets may drop on the roadside. If they can do that for pets, what about us and our own human waste? We should be responsible and clean our environment. It is important that we have a day which will be of conscious awakening to remind us and to actively involve everybody in cleaning our environment.
When grass and plants were planted in Nairobi along the roadside, it created a sense of beauty and breathing of fresh air. It also prevents one from littering. We need to sustain that and take it to all levels in our areas. When we look at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), water and sanitation, poverty eradication, clean energy and clean environment come in. We need to take responsibility and go with the rest of the world as they implement the SDGs. As leaders, we need to be at the forefront. We need to take a stand and lead the rest of the country in having a clean environment. In today’s newspapers, it is indicated that 13,000 people have been hit by cholera and 126 people are already dead. This is a disease of dirt. This is a situation where people have eaten their own faeces. This is not acceptable at this time. We need to have a clean environment and maintain it, so that we are healthy. 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.
Member for Machakos, just allow me to appreciate the Member for Kisumu East for starting the environment clean up, so that the Chamber is not littered with unnecessary bottles. So, Member for Kisumu East, congratulations.
Proceed, Member for Machakos.
Thank you. I was talking about disease outbreaks. These disease outbreaks, especially cholera, happen year in, year out. This is a disease that we should have eradicated long time ago. In countries where they have taken care of the environment, you do not see typhoid fever and cholera outbreaks. They are dealing with a “more honourable” disease, if there is such a word. They are dealing with better illnesses than those outbreaks. So, we should eradicate such illnesses by keeping our environment clean, being conscious and taking the responsibility by going out of our way to ensure that we maintain cleanliness everywhere we go. We also need to make sure that the water we drink is clean. Not just ourselves, but we need to take care of the people that we lead. If you do not take care of the cook who is cooking your food, they will contaminate your food and you will end up having a disease that is not “honourable.” When we talk about waste disposal, I was expecting that with devolution, we should be having recycling plants in the counties where we take our waste products and recycle them for production of manure, energy and even baskets and mats. This would create employment for our youth, women and other people in the community. I strongly support this Motion. I hope we will do more with our waste products and make sure that we do not just clean the environment, but at the same time, we use garbage to produce energy and make use of it in other ways. The heat that we are enduring this time is avoidable if we had taken care of our environment. Climate change is a responsibility of every citizen. No one should be left behind when it comes to matters of cleaning our environment and making sure that we sustain an environment that is conducive to a better life for all of us. I would like to end my remarks there by supporting this important Motion. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Member for Mwatate.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The contents of this Motion are serious as they touch on cleanliness, protection, management and conservation of the environment. In my own opinion, if at all there will be the 11th commandment apart from the 10, it will be on the environment. If we are not going to be serious with environmental issues, then our future generation will have difficult times. As it was experienced on 21st of this month when the sun was passing over Equator and my second born was also born on the same date, the temperatures shot up especially in Mombasa. It was abnormal. Therefore, I take this Motion with seriousness. After we deliberate on it, it should be implemented. It is very important to set a day when all Kenyans can participate on environmental matters, so that they can realise the seriousness of the Government on this issue. It should not only be on cleaning, but it should be put in a way that everybody plants a tree and makes sure that tree survives. All this will be done when our plans are right. Kenyans 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.
normally do things, but somewhere on the street, we always forget what we planned and how the activities are supposed to follow sequentially. As I have said, planning is what commands our daily activities. They go hand in hand. That is why we have messed up all over. As I speak, most of our animals are becoming extinct simply because of our settlement programmes which are very poor. We do not want to manage the environment. I am 100 per cent sure that in the next few years, we will have a lot of problems in terms of issues which are brought up by mismanagement of the environment. Cleanliness is important. It reduces the cost of medication. At the moment, there are so many outbreaks, as my predecessor has said. Cholera is all over. This is because of lack of cleanliness. If we had a clean environment, some of these diseases would not be in existence.
We have a Government policy on irrigation. If we could have managed our environment well, I am sure we could still be having rains naturally as it used to be, but because we have mismanaged our environment, we are in a mess. We have to come up with a policy, so that we can have sustainable food production for our people. After the deliberation of this Motion, the implementation team should be serious. We normally legislate here, but at the end of the day, nothing happens outside there. I support the Motion.
Member for Elgeyo Marakwet
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this golden opportunity. I have been waiting the whole morning and I am happy you have recognised me. I support this Motion. A clean environment is very important for each one of us, the whole country and our neighbourhoods, especially in slum areas. Such neighbourhoods need this Motion, so that they can maintain their environment. A clean environment is very critical for such places because of the number of people who reside in those areas and the litter that is thrown around by the residents and passers-by. If we do not maintain a clean environment, then we should be ready to face the problems associated with a dirty environment such as air pollution which causes respiratory problems or sicknesses. Smoke from kitchens in our households where we use fuel or wood and water pollution caused by discharge of chemicals from factories cause a lot of problems and make people not to access clean water. Clean water is a big problem in Kenya now. Most people in cities prefer to use bottled water. But how many people in our communities can access bottled water? This means a big population in our country cannot access clean water. Therefore, we endanger their lives. We also need to look at the methods of maintaining clean environments. One of them is what is recommended in this Bill that we dedicate one day per week to clean our environment. That should start from our own homes as we go to our neighbourhoods and the larger communities. I visited Rwanda and one of the days I witnessed the whole city come out in segments to clean their environment. It was like a national day. We need to do the same as Kenyans, so that we reduce diseases that are caused by a dirty environment. Diseases such as cholera, which is a common phenomenon in Kenya, are as a result of taking unclean water. There are waterborne and airborne diseases and environmental distraction diseases. If we do not maintain a clean environment, we are going to use a lot of time and resources seeking medication to treat problems caused by a dirty environment. I support this Motion and call on all Kenyans to observe and maintain clean environments. I want to congratulate the Governor of Nairobi, Hon. Kidero, for his beautification programme in Nairobi City. Five years ago, we did not have a clean environment in Nairobi like The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
we have today. There was litter everywhere. The governor has tried his best. If all the 47 county governments can do the same, we would reduce problems associated with a dirty environment. I also want to touch on water pollution especially in Kerio Valley. Rivers around the Fluorspar Company are affected because the company has not maintained the environment around it. Most of the chemicals from the factory are discharged to the rivers around. The communities living around there draw water for drinking and other domestic uses from the rivers. Animals also drink from the rivers. As a result, a lot of chemicals are consumed by people and animals through the water from these rivers. I, therefore, wish to encourage that we be considerate and have our communities preserve the environment, especially when it comes to sources of clean drinking water. Not everybody can afford piped water or bottled water. If we preserve our natural environment, we can still have clean water. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Member for Mbita, I understand you have an amendment to the Motion. Let me hear from you. As you can see, we only have four minutes to the hour. I do not know whether this will do justice to your amendment.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. My amendment is very simple. I can move it within that time.
Can you proceed then?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and move an amendment.
No, just move the amendment.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move an amendment to the Motion to delete the word “Saturday” appearing between the words “this House resolves that the Government declares one” and “each month be dedicated by every Kenyan” and replace therewith the word “Friday”.
I am fully agreeable to the substantive Motion for obvious reasons. We know that most of our children, women and older persons are the ones who are severely affected by environmental concerns. That is why we have an increase in cancer and respiratory diseases. It is a very good gesture that we put a specific day when Kenyans focus specifically on environmental conservation and cleanliness. However, Saturday that we are picking is a day that many of my constituents, I included, worship. As members of Seventh Day Adventist Church, we do not touch even a broom or lift a finger on Saturdays. We shall be excluding a huge number of Kenyans from this process yet Friday is a working day nationally. Let us put it as a working day and mainstream Friday as a special environmental working day. I am an environmental lawyer and an expert in mainstreaming issues of gender and environment. If we push it to a weekend, we will not be mainstreaming. I am proposing this amendment, so that we move it from Saturday to Friday to take the concerns of the Seventh Day Adventists and mainstream environment properly in Government. With those remarks, I beg to move and ask Hon. Ababu Namwamba to second.
Member for Budalangi, I am very pressed on time. So, be brief.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, of course, I will be done in a couple of minutes. This is a fantastic Motion. We need to make our care for the environment go beyond the casual. I respect the religious reasons given by my learned sister, Hon. Millie. Besides the very good religious reasons that we need to honour the day that is set aside as Sabbath for 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.
considerable portion of the populous, we also need to mainstream this to become part of our serious business as a nation. Weekends are normally rest days. So, we do casual stuff. By setting aside a working day, it will send the very clear message that this is part of the serious business we take on as citizens of this country. It is, therefore, good to allow this amendment, so that the Government and all of us will know that on a Friday, a working day, we would set aside a couple of hours to do this work.
I second this amendment.
Hon. Members, we will debate whether to amend the Motion or not when the debate resumes at the earliest opportunity that the House Business Committee (HBC) will find suitable. Those of you who want to discuss not the Motion itself, but whether or not to amend the Motion should appear here in good time to be part of that debate. There are so many pending requests on this Motion. There are requests from Hon. Sunjeev Birdi, the Member for Turkana Central, the Member for Wajir, the Member for Luanda, the Member for Siaya, the Member for Gatanga, the Member for Kajiado, the Member for Kisii, the Member for Kisauni and all of you who would wish to participate in this debate. I think you would want to make your debate on the main Motion. So, you will allow this amendment to be dispensed with first before you can debate the main Motion. There is still a balance of two hours and two minutes for the Motion, so you should not be worried.
Order, Hon. Members! The time being 1.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until today afternoon at 2.30 p.m. It is so ordered.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.
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