Can the Quorum Bell be rung?
Hon. Members, settle down. We can begin business.
Hon. Members, this being a Wednesday morning, we get reports on petitions from Departmental Committees. This morning, we will get five brief reports from the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. Let us have the Chairman.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to table the Report on the five petitions.
You should go faster, Hon. Kamanda. You should give a brief of the recommendations by the Committee.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the third petition was presented in the House by Hon. Mwashetani on Thursday 26th May 2016, on behalf of the residents of Lunga Lunga Constituency, regarding the intended demolition of buildings due to expansion of the Likoni- Lunga Lunga Road. The Member and the CS appeared before the Committee and the CS gave an undertaking that no demolition will be done without compensation. The Member agreed that so far nobody has been evicted. The CS said that nobody will be evicted until people are compensated.
I can see Hon. Wandayi and Hon. Patrick. Just make very brief comments on these petitions. You can always seek for more information from the Committee. Hon. Wandayi, is this in relation to this? State which petition you are commenting on.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I will talk generally about the four petitions. I have listened to the able Chair talk and appreciate the work he and his Committee are doing. There is a problem generally with the management of road infrastructure in this country. I want to ask whether it has to take a petition to this Parliament for the Ministry or agencies to do what they are supposed to. We are being told that the Ministry is releasing some money from the Emergency Fund to go towards re-carpeting the Maua-Meru Road in Igembe Central, which is fine. Does the Ministry not have an idea of the total road map in the country to understand which works are ongoing and which ones have delayed? A case in point is a bridge which is connecting Rangara Trading Centre in my constituency and Siaya Town in Alego Usonga. That bridge has been under construction for the last 10 years or more. It has stalled and is a key bridge linking two major towns and yet nobody is acting. There is another bridge connecting my constituency and Butere. I have raised this matter for the last four years and nothing is happening. Can we be told what it takes for the Government agencies to do their work? There is clear disparity in the allocation of funding for road maintenance and construction in this country. I do not understand what economists in this Government are thinking. Do they think they can develop a country by developing infrastructure in some sections whilst ignoring others? Is this feasible? This matter needs to be addressed even further than the petitions made.
Your point has been made, Hon. Wandayi. Hon. Patrick Makau.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Sorry, Hon. Member, I was talking about Hon. Makali Mulu. You can come in after him.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. You know our names are almost similar. I want to start by thanking Hon. Kamanda and his Committee for their good work. I presented a petition to the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology in February and up to now, there is no response. I have three important issues in terms of what Hon. Kamanda has said. First, based on the assessment of the petition, is there merit in implementation? As a House, we need to move to the next level and tie recommendations with the budgeting process.
That way, when there are no resources in the Budget, we allocate resources to deal with the petitions in the next Budget. Secondly, it is important to have clear timelines even as we ask the Ministry to fast-track the process. The term “fast-track” might mean one or two years. We need to have very clear timelines in terms of when this should be done. Thirdly, the issue of equity, in terms of roads implementation in this country, is skewed.
Hon. Members, can you lower the levels of consultations.
The Committee needs to look at the way funds are distributed for roads maintenance in this country. Some petitioners are requesting for dual carriageways while other counties like mine have no roads. We have been complaining about a Class “B” Road, which has never been tarmacked. When we see people asking for a second road or a dual carriageway and we have none, it is an issue of concern. These are the issues that the Committee should take up and discuss to make sure that, as a country, all regions are treated fairly.
Hon. Patrick, it is now your turn.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to commend the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. I know they have received so many petitions. There seems to be a disconnect between the implementing agencies and the recommendations of the House. For example, looking at the bridge which connects Kathiani and Kangundo constituencies, a petition was brought by Hon. Mbui in February and up to date, nothing has been done. The Chair seems to have information that the works are ongoing while on the ground, nothing is happening. Sometimes the Committee makes recommendations and then some county governments pretend to do the roads, but in actual sense, they do not do them. A case in point is the Athi River-Kinanie Road, which opens the Leather City in Athi River. The Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development agreed to do that road, but the Governor of Machakos said he was going to do it. When it rains, the residents of Kinanie cannot access their homes and businesses just because there is confusion between the national Government and the county government. The Chair needs to look into how the recommendations of the Committee are going to be implemented. There must be clear guidelines on who is going to do them and when the works will commence instead of coming here to tell us that it is ongoing yet there is nothing on the ground. Otherwise, I appreciate the efforts by the Chair of the Committee.
Hon. Onesmus Njuki.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for an opportunity to comment on the petition.
Hon. Members, I am only considering those who have pressed the intervention button for these comments. But if it is going to run the trend of adding examples of other roads, there is no point of continuing. The Chair is clear that there is an outcry about roads distribution. Let us not give him more examples of the same.
I stand guided, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to add my voice to what has transpired and insinuated by Hon. Wandayi and Hon. Makali Mulu in connection with the petition brought by Hon. Kubai Iringo, the Member for Igembe Central.
They should have found out what Murera Gate is. It is not an entry to someone’s House. It is a gate to Meru National Park, which is a national heritage that is under the Government of Kenya. It is a national resource that does not only benefit the people of Meru, but this country in totality. Therefore, there is justification by the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing chaired by Hon. Maina Kamanda to give priority to Murera Gate Road because it affects the whole country and not just a village. Therefore, I find it ridiculous when the Member insinuates that there was an attempt of bias in allocation of funds to some parts of this country.
Hon. Moses Injendi.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I have a similar problem, but I would urge the Chairperson to follow up on these petitions on different roads in the country brought to this House. He could request the CS for Transport and Infrastructure to give us a comprehensive report on the status of construction of roads in the country. He must be aware that I have appeared before his Committee three times. The last time was in June and he told me that works on the Kakamega-Webuye Road would begin in July. We are in August. I would urge, through the Deputy Speaker, that we get a comprehensive report. We are going on recess in September. When we come back on 4th October, 2016, the CS will have given a comprehensive report on the status of road works in the country, which would solve our queries.
Hon. Joseph Manje and then Hon. Iringo, because they were both petitioners. Please, summarise your contributions before we go to other business.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to this important petition that I brought before this National Assembly. My question would be when it would be implemented because I have been talking about this issue in so many offices. I visited the offices of the CS, the Principal Secretary (PS), the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) so many times until I decided to bring a petition. The people of Ongata Rongai and Kiserian are really suffering. Every evening and morning, you will find traffic jam extending about three kilometres. The residents feel abandoned. We need to tell the Committee on Implementation to make sure that this Petition is implemented. After some time, I will bring it again because these people are suffering. They have reached a dead end. They cannot move. Many Members of Parliament and very senior people in this country live in Ongata Rongai and they are suffering. We should alleviate their suffering. I support.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity. I appreciate the efforts of the Chairman and his Committee on the issue of the Murera Gate-Meru National Park Road. This road, as my brother, Hon. Muthomi Njuki, has said, connects the main road to Maua with the Meru National Park, which is a very important facility in this country. The road was tarmacked over 15 years ago and it has never been repaired in any way. In that connection, tourists have stopped going to Meru National Park. The park is almost closing down. Nobody visits it because of the pathetic state of the road. I made a request to the Ministry. When the Bill of Quantities was done, it was said to be Kshs74 million. I was surprised to see the Ministry allocating only Kshs5 million. When we met with the officers, they also appreciated that the road needs repair. The Chairman also appreciated
the same. They have said they are going to look for money. Let it not be lip service. Let them bring the money, so that we can work on that road before the next rains.
Hon. Members, I think the rest should feel sufficiently represented by those comments. If you need any further clarification, please, you have a Committee that you can share your concerns with. Before we move to the next Order, I want to recognise the presence of students from the following schools seated in the Speaker’s Gallery:- Testimony School in Uasin Gishu County and Bishop Okulu Magare Girls’ in Homa Bay County. The following students are seated in the Public Gallery:- Garissa Academy in Garissa County and Mukothima Primary School in Tharaka Nithi County. You are all welcome in the National Assembly. Next Order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House:- Reports of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing on its consideration of Petitions regarding - (i) the delayed reconstruction of Kathiani-Kangundo Bridge along Thakwe River; (ii) The deplorable state of a 28-kilometre section of Meru-Maua Road from Farm to Murera Gate, Meru National Park; (iii) the deplorable state of a section of Karatina-Jambo Road through Ihwage- Gaikaibei-Kagochi-Karatina University and Gitunduti-Gaikuyu-Karatina Hospital; (iv) the intended demolition of buildings due to the expansion of Likoni-Lunga Lunga Road; and, (v) the decongestion of Bomas-Ongata Rongai-Kiserian Road.
Next is the Vice-Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House. Report of the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade on its consideration of the Finance Bill, 2016. I urge Members to get a copy of the Finance Bill, which is a very important Bill, so that they can look at it before we go to the Second Reading.
The third one is the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am surprised that when you sit on that seat, Members call you “Madam Speaker”. What I know is that you are a Honourable Speaker. I think Members should change how they refer to you. I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House:- Reports of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on its consideration of-
(i) The Senate Amendments to the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions Bill (National Assembly Bill No.48 of 2015). (ii) The Public Fundraising Appeals Bill (Senate Bill No.28 of 2014). I urge Members to pay close attention to the last Bill because it is important as it affects their way of doing things in the constituencies.
Hon. Members, pay special attention to the last Bill. That takes us to the next Order.
Debate on this Bill was ongoing and we have a balance of one hour and 22 minutes. Hon. Anami had a balance of four minutes. If he is not here, then I will follow the list, which starts with Hon. Daniel Maanzo.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this important Bill moved by Hon. Stephen Mutinda Mule. I support it.
Hon. Members, the level of consultations is too high. Those retreating to Committees, please, do so quietly.
I would like to support this Bill for the reason that Biomedical Engineering is a very important section of medical engineering in the country, but has been ignored for a long time. In fact, it is one of the specialties of Hon. Mule, which he is highly trained in. When you visit many of our hospitals, you will find very advanced electronic equipment. The hospital beds are specifically engineered for specific purposes for a sick person. The equipment being used nowadays is improved to fit into modern technology.
Applied Science is composed of Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Electronics and it is used in analyzing the state of a patient. There is also Chemical Engineering and Computer Engineering. Nowadays, computers are used to find out how a patient can be treated and even prescribe medicine. Cancer patients undergo chemotherapy and there is a lot of Chemical Engineering being used. Disciplines like Physical Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics are being put to use. However, these engineers are not properly regulated in the country like other disciplines like the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). We have also regulated engineering under the Engineering Act. Biomedical Engineering is very specific and is extremely useful in treatment of patients in this country. In fact, medical technology is changing every day and this discipline has not been taken care of. This Bill provides an opportunity to educate many Kenyans about the opportunities which many doctors and many engineers have not embraced. Many young scholars need to be
educated, so that they can help this country especially in the health sector. Biomedical Engineering is also applied in other jurisdictions of the world such as India, UK and America. Therefore, it is high time we took interest in this profession and ensured that it is properly regulated. Despite the fact that a board has been proposed to be created, the mood of the country is to avoid creation of more boards. Indeed, this is a specific board. It is able to generate finances so that it takes care of its own functioning. It is very useful. I believe this is an opportunity for Members to understand this discipline, which provides about 75 per cent of treatment today. If, for instance, you look at the way a patient is being treated and even the bed the patient is lying on, you will realise that there is need for specific engineers in our hospitals. Installation of such equipment, which in most cases is imported, require the service of specialised people. The people are working amorphously in the country and you do not know whether they are governed by the Engineering Act or the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board. So, they are hanging out somewhere and yet they are doing a very useful job for the country. For that reason, I want to support this Bill and urge Members to do the same. It is a very important piece of legislation that will ensure that this discipline is regulated and there is specialised training. Already, the discipline is being offered for training in our universities and at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) at degree and diploma level respectively. We are losing most of the experts in this field because once they are trained, they are not properly accommodated. They end up moving to other countries where they become more useful. The field of medicine is very crucial. Health comes before education. You cannot be educated if you are unhealthy. Health comes before roads and many other things. You need to be in good health in order to enjoy travelling on good roads. The health sector is, therefore, very important. The moment we take care of those who take care of our health, we are sure of having a healthy nation, which has a higher chance of success than when we ignore them. This is a very important discipline and it is even clear in the Memorandum of Objects and Reasons as to why this Bill should become law. It is said that it does not concern county governments directly because county governments are coordinated through a different system despite the fact that health is a devolved function. It is going to be coordinated at the national level so that all these professionals and their concerns are taken care of. That way, we will not have situations like the one we have in some counties like Machakos where doctors and engineers have gone on strike. People are suffering a lot and lives are lost because there is no proper mechanism of handling these professionals. This law is important because you can reach these biomedicine professionals, coordinate them and work with them. This concept, which is already a reality in the world, is also part of our jurisdiction. We should be in a position to know the numbers of these professionals that KMTC produces and how many of them are required in the market.
I support and urge other Members to do the same.
The Leader of the Majority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Biomedical Engineers Bill 2015, a Bill that is going to create an Act of Parliament to make provisions for the training, registration and licensing of Biomedical Engineering professionals and also to provide regulations on the standards and practice of this cadre of professionals. This Bill is also meant to provide for the establishment of the powers and functions of the Biomedical Engineering Board and for all the connected purposes.
From the outset, let me state that I have talked to the Mover of this Bill, Hon. Stephen Mule, and we have agreed in principle, that the aspect of the creation of a board will be dealt with at the Committee of the whole House, so that we can regulate the other aspects like training, conduct, registration and licensing of this specialised group of health professionals. Under the Jubilee administration, we have invested heavily in all the 47 counties. Every county has two hospitals where high quality equipment is being installed. These are equipment like MRI machines and other screening machines that will cost the taxpayers about Kshs38 billion. Having these machines in our rural hospitals and to be more specific, in every county, the Jubilee administration has the objective of decongesting the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. There is need to avail these facilities to Kenyans at the county level. No one will come to KNH all the way from Garissa, Kisumu, Nandi, Kilifi to seek specialised treatment anymore. This Bill has been brought forth at the right time. After making such huge investments to the tune of Kshs38 billion, we must have a law that regulates, licenses, and takes care of the training of these specialised people. It is only those who do not see and those who do not hear that fail to see what the Jubilee administration, under Uhuru Kenyatta, is doing. If you go to any county hospital today, you will see those facilities. As we discuss this Bill, I want to appeal to the Governor of Machakos, Hon. Mutua to, please, stop chest-thumping. He is my best friend, but he should come to the table and listen to the plea of the medical doctors. The Government and the people have invested a lot in training doctors. Today, you will meet doctors who are also pilots. I saw a lady doctor who decided to become a journalist because of the frustrations she went through at the county level. This House has appropriated over Kshs300 million for every Level 5 hospital. For instance, Kisumu Level 5 Hospital has been allocated Kshs350million and Garissa PGH has been allocated Kshs350 million. So many other hospitals in the former provinces have been allocated money. Before the advent of devolution, because I was in the 10th Parliament, the Garissa PGH was operating smoothly. The Permanent Secretary for Health then and the man who served as the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Nyikal, who is sitting in this House, will attest to it. There were theatres and laboratory equipment during his time. Things were working in all hospitals. If you go to those hospitals today, all equipment are obsolete and redundant. We do not want to invest Kshs38 billion to go and take specialised equipment closer to the people and not regulate training, licensing and use of those machines by the people who are concerned. That is why the Biomedical Engineers Bill is in this House at the right time. I urge my friend, Hon. Mutua, to find a solution by bringing people to the table. Being magnanimous is a sign of good leadership. Leaders should not solve their differences through corridors of justice. You cannot solve doctors’ crisis by going to court. You cannot solve teachers’ crisis by going to court. The poor people in Machakos County are the ones who will ultimately suffer. When Hon. Mutua’s family is sick, they access medical attention at the Nairobi Hospital yet the people of Matungulu Constituency and Machakos County cannot. They would like to access doctors’ services at the Machakos Level 5 Hospital. I also want to remind our doctors that the hypocritical oath that they took must be respected. The doctor’s strike should be the last resort. The Minister for Health, Hon. Mailu, his Principal Secretary (PS) and the Governor, Dr. Mutua, should sit with the doctors at the Machakos Level 5 Hospital. We do not want to see Kenyans dying or being returned home because of lack of medical attention. We shall deal with the matter of the board in the Committee of the whole House. This is a very important Bill.
Hon. Mule is a man who has carried the flag in the fight against Tuberculosis (TB) for the last four years. I always say that in your term as a Member of Parliament, you must leave something. Hon. Jude Njomo has now left a legacy. He will be known as the man who took over from where Joe Donde left on the matter of interest rates. I hope the President will sign that Bill. It was between banks, 50 or 60 and the 40 million Kenyans. I am sure the President will go down in history as a man who did what his father, the former President Moi, Kibaki and the former Prime Minister, Hon. Raila, combined could not do. Hon. Raila is telling the President to sign the Bill. When he had an opportunity as a Co-Principal, that Bill was here and he is the one who said it should not be signed. This is the kind of hypocrisy we do not want. The President now has an opportunity to sign it and Hon. Raila should not tell the President to sign the Bill. He has no moral ground because he had opportunity and he did not do anything. He should join the likes of the former Presidents Moi and Kibaki who never touched the issue of interest rates. I am sure this Bill will help the Jubilee administration in making sure that Kenyans access the equipment that we have invested in, in the health sector. Hon. Deputy Speaker, this country must do one thing, which is that every Kenyan must access free medical service. The manifesto of the Jubilee administration has one thing that before it completes its 20 year administration, Insha Allah, because 2015 has already been completed and we are not seeing any serious contender, we are only talking of 2022, 2027 and 2032, President Kenyatta and his deputy must leave one legacy of universal healthcare. It should be that if a Kenyan on the street falls sick, he or she can walk to the nearest dispensary, get treated and walk free without paying. That is the essence of social security for the people of Kenya. With those many remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Rose Nyamunga.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to what my colleagues have said about this Bill. It is very important to note that this is a national Government function and it belongs to this House. As we debate it, we should know that whatever the Bill is seeking to do is a national matter which should be taken care of by this House. Secondly, all professions should be regulated. There is no profession that cannot be regulated. If you look at the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, there are rules and regulations that regulate the practice. If you look at engineers, they also have an association. Lawyers, accountants and all other professions have rules, regulations and associations where they take their issues. They are regulated on training and licensing. So, it is very important that Biomedical Engineers also have an association which can regulate and articulate their issues. Thirdly, we all know, and the Leader of the Majority Party has mentioned, that the Government took a very ambitious function of leasing out a lot of equipment to our Level 5 hospitals. Without the Biomedical Engineers Bill, it will be very difficult to operate the equipment that has been leased. For us to effectively and sufficiently gain from the money that is going to be invested in the medical sector, it is important to have engineers to maintain the equipment. It is not only Government hospitals that from time to time experience breakdowns of the equipment, but this happens across the board. Sometime back, I was supposed to take some test at the Aga Khan Hospital and it took me so long. I had to wait for three months because the equipment broke down. They had to bring somebody from outside to come and repair the equipment.
With the level of efficiency that we want to introduce in our hospitals, it is very important that we have personnel that will take care of medical equipment. There are a lot of delays in Government hospitals all over the nation due to breakdown of equipment. Sometimes, they are very simple things, but because we do not have the right people or they are few, they become a problem. From the Bill, only 200 people are qualified. We should increase the number through certificate and diploma levels, so that we can have all levels of equipment maintenance and have people who are under their own regulations and who are catered for in a proper manner. No profession should be left without regulation. Without regulations, we will hear issues of rules and regulations of the biomedical doctors. I support the Bill, which is very important. As we move towards 2030 Vision, it is important for us to put our house in order in all aspects and spheres. It is very important that we have all the personnel that is needed in every sector of this country, not only in education, but also in medicine. Unhealthy nation cannot perform its duties, be it in education, agriculture or other disciplines effectively. So, it is important for us to pass this Bill, so that our Biomedical Engineers are properly taken care of. Some money will be required and there is need for a board to regulate it. There will be some financial provision, but it is worth it. I want to urge colleagues to support this Bill. With that, I support.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to support this Bill. The objects of the Bill are to make a law or a framework of training, registration and licensing of Biomedical Engineering professionals. The Bill further seeks to regulate the practice of Biomedical Engineering and provide for the establishment of powers and functions of the Biomedical Engineering Board. Currently, hospitals in Kenya have been highly equipped. The Jubilee Government has bought many sophisticated machines that are in our respective counties. We require people of higher caliber in terms of training to maintain and run the machines in these facilities. We have so many machines in terms of X-rays, cancer, dialysis and scanners and officers manning these machines must be highly trained. These are medical officers who fall within the Ministry, but are not recognised anywhere. As such, most of the time we have issues of failure of machines because the officers are not well taken care of. I believe the enactment of this Bill will go a long way in ensuring that there is smooth operation of these officers in their respective medical facilities, so that they provide quality service to Kenyans. Part II establishes the Biomedical Engineers Board that requires one to be an expert in this area so that as he is sitting there as the chair of the board, he will be conversant with engineering knowledge that appertains to this Bill. The Bill also provides for a registrar of the board who will be the CEO of the institution. The CEO must also be a registered Biomedical Engineering professional and at least have a Higher Diploma in Biomedical Engineering from any recognised institution. That will go a long way in ensuring the board operates efficiently and effectively. Part III of the Bill talks about training and registration of Biomedical Engineers, which is an essential part without which we cannot have a board. This training will go a long way in producing engineers to run our facilities. I have also seen the area of private practice in Part IV of the Bill. Persons who want to engage in private practice must be of that profession. They must have had training in Engineering and be registered. It also provides that persons who want to engage in private
practice will not be employees of the Government or State corporations. They should be private practitioners. It also talks about financial provisions. The board shall raise its funds through such money as it may accrue or through gifts, loans, grants and donations, licence and registration fees to enable it to operate. I want to support the Bill. It will go a long way in improving the operations of our facilities.
Before I call the next speaker, I want to recognise the presence of Kiamunyi Secondary School from Nakuru County. You are welcome. I now call upon Hon. Gideon Ochanda, Member for Bondo Constituency.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. If you look at what is happening in the world now, technology is moving mountains. It is so critical that as a country we look at areas that are involved in technology very seriously. If you look at faculties and disciplines like Anthropology and Archeology, sections that were initially just units of History, they have grown until we are now talking about Medical Anthropology and very highly technical levels of Archeology. Issues to do with human life and equipment related to human life are critical. We are in a stage where the world over, dynamics in technology call for a lot of investment in that area. As a country now, if we are not keen and invest much more in such Bills, we will end up with equipment and instruments that we are unable to use. It has been mentioned that many medical equipment has been moved to county hospitals, but there are many reports that they are lying idle because there are no personnel to operate them. It is a shame. If we are not careful, this is going to go on for a long period of time. There is also wastage of human resources. If we have one equipment in a hospital and we have two officers manning it, that is wasted energy in my view. If we had many of these equipment in a facility, we would capitalise on the investments we have on personnel who are trained in this area.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, one other important thing in this Bill is the element of self- regulation at an early stage. If you look at the colleges or institutions that have been doing trainings in this area, you will find that for some time, they were only two. They have grown and we are now talking about degree level. In my view, when we talk about self-regulation at this early stage, it is important that that is looked at very keenly.
If you look at other aspects and what is happening, you will find that this is engineering in medicine but there is a clinical bit. However, when we deal with equipment, we are dealing with designer stuff. Innovation and creativity is the in-thing now. If we do not do much around that, there is a caveat, as a country, that we are going to be completely dependent on equipment and instruments from outside when our people have no idea what these things are.
My view is that there is much more that is needed in these areas. We really need to invest and regulate more given the creativity and the innovation that has to go to these areas. It is important that as we look at this Bill at this stage, we are open to the dynamics around the trainings, use and sourcing of some of these equipment.
There is only one fear and Hon. Mule should hear this. It is the fear that every other discipline is coming up with its own board. It is important but what are we trying to show at the end? Are we showing that we cannot have one single unit that can regulate all our operations? What is happening? Immediately we get the biomedical engineers out of this and we treat them, as engineers, we will have the pharmacists and dentists out of the general area of medical practioners. Many more will also be tempted to get out of it, for example, the opticians and
gynaecologists. This is an area we may need to check if at all we do not want to generate too many boards that will regulate certain areas in the medical field.
With those remarks, I beg to support.
Let us have Hon. James Kimaru. Is he in the House? If he is not there, let us have Hon. Abdul Dawood.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I support this Bill by Hon. Mule. I believe it is timely. We need a framework from where we can control the system in which we have all the medical fields represented. The Biomedical Engineers Bill will go a long way in establishing structures and the way things will work. I like the clause that talks about the courses that will be accredited by the Biomedical Engineers’ Board. I hope that when we will have this board in place, we will not have a situation where colleges and universities that offer these courses are not taken back and denied accreditation. There has been a case where the Engineers Board of Kenya has refused to accredit some courses done at some universities. We want to see how that will go and how the accreditation by the board will be.
The other thing I like about the Bill regards private practice. There is a fallacy in the Government at the moment that all doctors or medical personnel work for Government institutions but if you go to Government hospitals, you will never find them there; you only find them in their private practices. I believe this will go a long way in putting in place structures where private practice is separate from Government practice. If somebody defaults or goes against the rules, he or she should be deregistered by the board.
The other thing I want Hon. Mule to look at is the validity of the certificate when issued to someone. Clause 25 says that it will be valid up to the end of the year which is in December. However, there is a catch here because if somebody gets a certificate in September or October, it does not make sense for him to re-apply again in January. That would be a short time for a certificate. He could change that to say that it should be a minimum of a calendar year or the following December if somebody gets it in less than six months to the end of the year.
This is a timely Bill in the sense that we have a lot of money and resources which the national Government has allocated hospitals to equip them. A case in point is what happened about 10 years back. We got dentist equipment from Spain for Meru General Hospital. That was the time Dr. Nyikal was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health. The equipment has been lying there for more than 10 or 15 years without being used because we have never had people who can handle the dentist chair and the other equipment. The equipment has been lying idle because of some small issues.
If we have the Biomedical Engineers Board in place, it will look at all the equipment in hospitals so that they can be used well. The equipment the national Government has given to county governments, unfortunately, some of it is still in the stores. I do not know if we can get the Departmental Committee on Health to look into the possibility of moving the major health functions back to the national Government. A healthy nation is a wealth nation. Apparently, we moved too fast in devolving the health function. We need to see how we can get Level 5 and Level 4 hospitals back to the national Government and make good use of them.
On training of biomedical engineers, we need to see how we can train more. We thank the President and the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology for paying fees for 10,000 students this year in private universities. We will go far if private universities can be given money for training and we have more biomedical courses.
With those few remarks, I thank Hon. Mule and urge him to bring a few amendments during the Committee of the whole House.
Hon. Michael Onyura, you have the Floor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. I rise to support this Bill. As a Member of the Departmental Committee on Health, I supported it when it came before the Committee. I have no hesitation at this point in the House to support it again.
We are noticing sophistication and many changes in some of these processes including medical. The use of technology is increasing in various fields. We have noted there is emphasis and encouragement of specialisation. It is a good idea, particularly at this point in time, for biomedical engineers to come together and form an organised association or group. They should have a legislative framework to regulate themselves. Looking through the Bill, I noted that it is taking care of training, registration and general regulations of this profession including licensing. The Bill provides for a board that will run the day-to-day affairs of this profession. It is also good to note that for those who may choose to go into private practice, there is a section that will regulate how that will be done, how they will be registered and regulate the ethics needed in private practice. There is a section that addresses issues of discipline so that members of this profession will know what is expected of them and the consequences in the event of any breach of practice, ethics or this. There should also be well-laid out financial requirements and delegated powers. The intention of the Bill is good. I hope that at the end of the training of the biomedical engineers, they will be employed locally and work for this nation. I have noted that in a field like medicine, as a nation, we train very many people but those professionals such as doctors and nurses end up working in other countries. We need to address the reasons why this is happening. How come we have shortages and deficiencies and yet all the time we train these professionals in sufficient numbers? It must be because we are not offering an environment that is conducive for them to work in this country. In fact, if you visit a number of African countries, particularly those in the south, you will find very many Kenyan medical professionals working there. I hope with this provision, regulation and systematic way of handling this profession of biomedical engineers, we shall come up with ways of motivating them and retain their services within the country. While on the issue of medical services, I am perturbed to see the poor services that our people have been getting since medical services were devolved. This is a matter that needs very serious examination. It needs to be addressed so that we know what the problems are. Why do we have poor services in our medical facilities? There are no medicines; the medical facilities are completely understaffed and the staff are demoralised. We also have some facilities that were put up using public funds and yet they are unutilised and are not even open. We have serious problems within the health sector that need very serious focus. The Government has spent billions of shillings to bring in leased equipment. We need to conduct an audit and a cost-benefit analysis to know whether that was the right way to go, or perhaps, we are not getting value for our money. With this kind of association or formation of professionals, there will be an opportunity for them to engage and advise the trainers so that if there are any gaps in training and in the professional work, they will be in a position to engage and advise employers. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I heard you recognising our good students who have come to visit the National Assembly and see what goes on here. I would also like to encourage them to pursue
areas of study that can lead them to become biomedical engineers so as to increase their number, as proposed by our good friend, Hon. Mule, who has sponsored this Bill. With those remarks, I thank Hon. Mule for tabling this Bill. I support the Bill.
Let us have Hon. James Nyikal.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill. I rise to support this Bill. As I do so, there are issues that I would like to raise upfront. First, we are dealing with engineers who practise in the health fields. There will be need to have some kind of link with the Engineering Act because at the degree level, these people will be engineers. That is something we need to look at. Secondly, issues have been raised that we have created many of these bodies in the health sector. That is true. As the Departmental Committee on Health, we have noted this and in the Health Bill that will be tabled, we have proposed a council that should amalgamate all these bodies so that we have a single regulatory mechanism to avoid duplication. Having said that, it is important that we have this cadre regulated because healthcare is heavily dependent on technology. Looking at the area of diagnostics and finding out what the problems are, if you go to any laboratory, you will find that all those machines that test blood and urine are equipment that need to be maintained from time to time. If you go to the radiology department where you find X-ray machines, Computed Tomography (CT) scan machines and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, you will find that they are very sophisticated machines that need very qualified people to operate them. Even in treatment, if you go to theatre you will find anaesthetic machines, monitors and machines that support surgery. Some surgery is done by use of machines. This is equipment that needs to be maintained. If you go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) you will find ventilators and monitors and all these need to be maintained. All the equipment used in cancer treatment for radiation therapy and radiotherapy in medicine are machines. It is important that we have a cadre of staff that will help us use those machines. Whenever there is a machine in a health institution, there are two kinds of cadres that are needed. We have the medical people that use the machine on a daily basis, the nurses, doctors and radiologists, and the technical people that maintain and repair those machines. If the machines are not maintained and repaired and they are faulty, the outcome is catastrophic. The machines can let the medical staff down. It is important to have biomedical engineering practitioners both at the certificate, diploma and degree levels regulated. This should start with their training, the requirement for admission into their training, the curriculum for their training, the internship they undergo after the training and their registration so that we do not have people walking around purporting to be biomedical engineers or technicians. That needs to be done.
Once people are trained and registered, we will have some going into private practice. We should have a regulation so that when people go into private practice, we know that they are properly trained and registered.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this brings me to the issue of health human resource. We should take care of our well trained human resource. We have been having strikes in the country. Health has been devolved and it can work as a devolved function. We should put structures in place to ensure that health personnel get their entitlements wherever they are, whether it is employment, retirement, promotion or training. That is basically the problem. I do not understand why we have not sat down, as a country, through the intergovernmental relations mechanism to produce a system that will take care of all these people. The arrogance portrayed by some governors while discussing the issue of strikes by doctors is extremely catastrophic. I can assure those governors that when the strikes are over, they will not have the same number of doctors they had at the beginning. Those doctors will be much less. After a strike, some doctors and nurses leave the country. We should look at that issue. I heard the Leader of the Majority Party talking about universal healthcare. I know he is not here but when we are discussing matters of health, I do not know why he brings in politics, becomes derogatory and talks ill of party leaders. Those are not important at a time like this. We should stick to the issues that we are discussing. In any case, the concept of universal healthcare came from this country and was passed in Geneva. That was during the Grand Coalition Government. You cannot say that a party leader failed to perform knowing very well that is a past era. Those things make us deviate from an important issue. I support this Bill because we need to have biomedical engineers trained, registered and regulated. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now give the Floor to Hon. Kimaru.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Biomedical Engineers Bill that intends to give a legislative framework regarding training, registration and licensing of biomedical professionals. This Bill is timely. There has been more emphasis on personnel that look at the human part of the medical spectra, for example, nurses, doctors, dentists and opticians. As we move in this digital era where machines diagnose diseases, this Bill is important because the human and the machinery parts will now complete the diagnostic process in the medical field. I want to thank the Jubilee Administration for the many machines they have given to the county governments; both to Levels 4 and 5 hospitals. These machines are not only complex but new to our technicians. The radiography machines for X-rays, dialysis machines and machines used during chemotherapy need people who are specialised so that before doctors perform a surgery, they understand the interpretations by the machines. Going forward, we want to have more professionals training not only in nursing and pharmacy but also in handling medical machines. Going forward, doctors will now prescribe depending on the machines. I want to request Hon. Mule to give room for amendments so that these machines are not only imported but are also assembled in Kenya so that students in medical training colleges and universities can have a better understanding of them. We should have more exchange programmes with a developed country such as India. This country is more advanced in medical equipment. Other than importing a complete machine, let us have an assembly plant in Kenya so
that we can have our students undertaking practicals on the same in order to move this country forward.
This Bill provides that once the Medical Board is set up, it becomes a fictitious body with the capacity of owning assets and can sue on its behalf. This will give a lot of transparency because they will be required to publish financial statements at the end of every financial year by way of balance sheets, income and expenditure accounts.
I want to request members to support this Bill because it will transform the medical sector and move this country forward. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now give the Floor to Hon. Maanzo.
I have already contributed to this Bill, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now give this chance to the Member for Vihiga County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to support this Bill because it is going to put in place regulations. If you look at the way they are going to publish the names of the registered and licensed persons, you will find that it is good. This is because sometimes, you will find people without licenses being employed in a place. Today, I was in one of the media houses and somebody came in and said that he is part of this. When he was asked whether he is trained and registered, he said that he is not but he has taken that part. Sometimes, we appoint people who are not trained and licensed in positions they do not deserve. Because this Bill is going to take care of that, I support it.
If you look at qualified persons and the set qualifications, you will find that some practitioners are lacking. I remember there is a lady in my county who went to see a dentist who removed nine teeth at once. This is the case and yet it was just a tooth that had a problem. I think this happened because this doctor was not qualified. The Bill talks about qualified and registered persons. It also talks about the board working in consultation with approved institutions. Sometimes, people wake up in the morning and just put up institutions saying they are training doctors, nurses and teachers and yet they are not approved. Since the Bill says that the board will work in conjunction with the approved institutions, it is good we know it will work with people who have passed examinations and have registered. There will be a body that will see if they are doing the right things. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, they can also be sued or sue persons who will be holding those positions if they will not be qualified or if they will not do the right things. If they mess up with people or the machines that will be there, they will be sued. That is good. Sometimes, you may find people messing up with lives of others and nobody talks about them or sues them; you cannot take them anywhere. If a person is found in possession of a fake certificate or registration, the person will pay a fine of Kshs30,000. The clause that addresses this is also in order. To wind up, a person shall not engage in private practice while being employed in public hospitals. Sometimes people operate their own clinics and yet they are employed in public hospitals. You might find machines disappearing from public hospitals to private hospitals the same way you find medicine and drugs being stolen from public institutions and being taken to private hospitals. I know they will be fired if they are found doing that. With those few remarks, I support the Bill. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Thank you, Hon. Member. I now give the Floor to the Member for Chuka/Igambang’ombe, Hon. Njuki.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. A lot has been said on this Bill. I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice on the Biomedical Engineers Bill, 2015. There is a famous saying “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout”. The Jubilee Government has done a fantastic job after realising that some diseases that kill our people are not because they cannot be treated but because they did not have the correct diagnosis and medical equipment to treat them. In reference to the quote I have made earlier on, there is nothing as bad as having a wrong diagnosis and yet the technology is there. We are living in an era of technology. There is nothing as bad as having malfunctioning technology being used on treatment of patients. There is nothing as bad as having wrong calibration machines because we do not have personnel to handle them. As much as the Jubilee Government has put in place leasing of the equipment, that is an effort in futility if we do not have personnel with equipped technology to handle those machines. This Bill will address the gap between those who think they know and those who are actually trained to use the new technology to handle the machines. Counties are supposed to provide personnel to handle the machines that were given by the Jubilee Government. However, they have a very big handicap in that even when they advertise for these jobs, the experts are hardly available. You will find that we have scarcity most of the time. This is because we have very few people who are qualified in this area and the few who are available are overworked. You may find a whole referral hospital having one technician for the anaesthetic machine. If that person goes on leave, it means that that machine cannot be serviced and if it has a problem, it cannot be used. There is a serious problem in what Hon. Duale tried to explain is happening in the counties. In particular, there are few counties, including mine, which have not taken heed in making sure they use these machines. Five months down the line after the equipment was delivered by the Jubilee Government, the machines are still in the stores. This is because these machines need adequate power. We are talking about the Three Phase power connection to run some of these machines. For Chuka Referral Hospital which is the County Referral Hospital for Tharaka Nithi, you will find the machines are still in the cartons. This is because the hospital does not have a generator. You need a Three Phase power generator to run that equipment. What justice are we doing to our people when the Jubilee Government has already delivered the machines but they are not in use? Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, just in case you are thinking this is hearsay, there was news of anaesthetic machines being stolen from Chuka Hospital a few months ago. It was stolen because it was not being used. It was still well-packed in a carton in the store in a maternity room. Maybe, it was waiting to be used one day and it was very easy for the thief to just pick it. Incidentally, because the suspect was caught, it happened that it was the technician who is employed to handle those machines. He is the one who took it to his private clinic. So, you can see what we are putting the Government through and there is need to have a framework on this.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Member, there is a point of order from the Member for North Imenti. What is your point of order, Hon. Dawood?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, is the Member in order to get out of the Bill which we are talking about? I think he should stick to relevance.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Member, I have not heard any irrelevance from the speaker. Go ahead and complete your contribution, Hon. Njuki.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for protecting me from my good friend who may be protecting other interests. I am purely on the welfare of the people of Kenya. I have no reason, whatsoever to insinuate anything that is talking about individuals. I am talking about governments that are not taking heed to take care of what has been bought using taxpayers’ money. This Bill will address the issue of personnel to take care of this equipment. I will not stop to support the Bill without mentioning that there is need to get more support from county governments in order to put the equipment into use. That is so, so that our people can benefit from the equipment. The technology that is there today is not the technology of yesteryears. If we are having new equipment with people who have ancient technology, then we are having a mismatch in the management of the equipment. That is why this Bill will ensure that we not only have training but also regulation on how this sector can be run so that we do not have quacks infiltrating the sector and rendering the whole process an effort in futility. With those few remarks, I support the Bill.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now call upon the Mover of the Bill, Hon. Mule, to reply. You have 10 minutes to reply. If you are generous enough, you can donate some time to one or two members.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. You can see the interest in this Bill. I wish we had more time. I would like to inform members that we will have enough time during the Committee of the whole House when we will be moving some amendments. However, at this juncture, I thank all the members who have supported this Bill. I donate two minutes each to Hon. Ng’eno, Hon. Shabbir, Hon. Sang and Hon. Mpuru.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Mule, you did not donate any time to a female Member of Parliament.
I also donate two minutes to Hon. Birdi.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Let us start with Hon. Ngeno.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I thank Hon. Mule for donating two minutes to me to contribute to this Bill. This Bill is very important because for a long time, the biomedical engineers have never been regulated just like engineers, lawyers and other practitioners. We need to regulate this sector because we do not want terrorists to tamper with machines like baby incubators, X-ray machines and theatres. These are very important machines, which if anybody was to tamper with them, they would cause a lot of harm to the people who are supposed to be properly treated. This specifically applies to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where we have equipment like oxygen machines, ventilators and dialysis machines. If these machines are not properly calibrated and maintained, they will cause a lot of havoc to the people who are benefiting from those areas. With those remarks, I support the Bill.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Yes, Hon. Shabbir.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I thank my brother, Hon. Mule, for donating two minutes to me. I requested for some time because I have come through cases concerning some specialized equipment in this country.
One case we took up with the Departmental Committee on Health is in respect of eye surgery. That equipment is in this country. It is specialised but there are no specialists. The specialists were brought in from another country. Despite the fact that the Committee requested that the specialist who was overseeing this facility takes specialist training, that specialist has not done that. As I speak now, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDU) approved that facility with people who are not specialised and approved by this country. Those people have made many mistakes. The KMPDU has been involved in corrupt deals. If this Bill is passed, we will have another board which will look after the biomedical engineers and not KMPDU which is more interested in just giving people certificates of speciality without looking at their area of specialization. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now give the Floor to the Member for Tigania East, Hon Mpuru.
Asante sana, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ninaunga mkono Mswada huu na ninasema asante kwa ndugu yangu mpendwa kwa kunipatia muda wa dakika moja nichangie kidogo. Serikali ya Rais Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta imepeleka mashini katika hospitali nyingi katika kaunti. Imetoka katika Serikali ya Kitaifa na kwenda katika serikali za kaunti. Imekuwa vigumu kwa magavana kuwasaidia madaktari kupandishwa vyeo. Kwa mfano, katika Kaunti ya Meru, mashini za mabilioni ya pesa zilipelekwa huko lakini sasa hivi zimefungiwa katika stoo. Hazitumiki kwa sababu gavana alikuwa anataka kuweka saini makubaliano kwamba yeye ndiye anayeshughulika na mashini hizo. Kama si hivyo anataka Serikali ya Kitaifa ipeleke mashini hiyo. Hii Ndio maana tunasema kama inawezekana sekta ya afya inafaa irudi kwa Serikali ya kitaifa na itoke kwa serikali za kaunti kwa sababu wagonjwa hawana vitanda katika hospitali nyingi wakati huu. Wagonjwa watatu wanalala kwa kitanda kimoja. Mwananchi wa kawaida ana shida. Wanaofurahia ni wale ambao wana pesa za kwenda katika hospitali za kibinafsi. Baadhi ya madaktari wana hospitali huko nje. Kama unafanya kazi ya Serikali, fanya hiyo kazi ya Serikali. Hufai kuwa na hospitali mbili.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Member, your time up. Those are your two minutes. Let us have Hon. Birdi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to thank Hon. Mule for choosing me to be part of his favourite to contribute to this Bill. I would like to say that this is a very important Bill. It is like having a beautiful car and you do not have a mechanic who can fix it when it breaks down. That is the severity within which we are looking at this sector. As we know, a large population of youth want to have jobs. At this point in time, our country is experiencing an acute shortage of such people in this sector. I surely believe that our citizens are looking forward to employment in this sector. The average salary of people in this sector is between Kshs100,000 to Kshs450,000 per month. It is useful for our people to know that they should go out and study in this field so that they will be employable. This work touches the lives of people. This is important because we understand that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is looking at putting the countries in the map at international standards, which we need to be part of.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Mover, you can now complete.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker---
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Have you already spoken on this Bill, Hon. Sang? Have you not?
But Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker---
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Member, are you sure you have not spoken on this Bill? Hon. Leonard Sang, you spoke on this Bill on 10th August, 2016. So, let us have the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First and foremost, I thank the Members who have turned up this morning to support this important Bill. The Departmental Committee on Health, which I sit in, has already dealt with the most contentious issues, as Hon. Duale had alluded to earlier on. This is especially the issue of the boards, which are linking to the council within the Health Bill. I just want to bring members to speed on why we need this Bill to go to the Third Reading as quickly as possible. This country has seen some projects on medical equipment which cost a huge amount of money. Twenty years down the line, they are still in boxes. We had the Spanish Project where all the equipment is still in boxes 15 years down the line because of lack of personnel. We had the automated laser system sometimes back in the 1990s. Up to today, that equipment has never benefited Kenyans because of lack of personnel. Right now, we have the EMS Project which cost the Jubilee Government Kshs38 billion. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if we are not careful, I can assure you that this project will follow the same trend that we have seen before. This Bill seeks to address issues of training, quality and members of staff. At this time of terror threats, it will be difficult to have biomedical engineers who are not regulated in this country when they are the same people who calibrate, maintain and give us certificates of good theatres. I want to urge all Hon. Members to be available as we move the amendments during the Committee of the whole House, to make sure that we give this country a better scenario of maintaining medical equipment to ensure that we have quality health care. We will also understand that the equipment which will be purchased in future will go to public use without losing money.
I want to thank you and the entire House for supporting this Bill. Whoever has any amendments can forward them to me or the Departmental Committee on Health, so that we can be in tandem during the Committee of the whole House.
With those remarks, I beg to reply.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Thank you, Hon. Mule. You have seen the massive interest that Hon. Members have in your Bill. You now know that you have not worked in vain in developing this Bill. Hon. Members, for obvious reasons, I will not put the Question at this point in time. Let us move to the next Order.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the Kenyatta Mausoleum Bill, 2016 be now read a Second Time. We have been waiting for this Bill for some time.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Ngeno, you cannot be speaking behind the Member who has the Floor. It is not a good picture for outsiders.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this Bill is about the Kenyatta Mausoleum, which is where the body of the founder of this nation is preserved. That is the building adjacent to the Main Parliament Buildings, on Plot No.209/544. It measures approximately 4.48 acres along Parliament Road. It is within the Central Business District in the precincts of Parliament. This Bill is about opening up that mausoleum to the public, so that people can learn the history of the founding father of this nation. Secondly, there are very many local and international tourists who have interest in pre- independence and post-independence Kenyan history, especially during the times of the founding father of this nation. Once this Bill becomes law, we will generate revenue from that particular venture even thought that is not the main purpose of this Bill. The late President Kenyatta Mausoleum will be self-sustaining. Unlike other sites which are managed by the National Museums of Kenya, and in respect of which we use taxpayers’ money to sustain their operations and maintain them, this mausoleum is capable of meeting its bills and having a surplus.
Allow me to thank the people, who along the journey of making this Bill, have been very instrumental. I want to start by thanking the Speaker of the National Assembly because the ideation and the actualisation of this Bill has been simply because of a trip we made to China with the Speaker of this House. What we saw there motivated me to say we can do the same and generate revenue and teach our people about our culture, just like in China. I also want to thank the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare because it was very instrumental. Initially, the members of the Committee wanted to amend the Heroes Act to include President Kenyatta’s Mausoleum but because of the gravity of the matter and the person in question, they decided to give him an independent Bill, so that the history of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta is not easily forgotten. We want it to be available on its own. I also want to thank the National Museums of Kenya, under the leadership of my brother, Mr. Mzalendo Kibunja, for their input in turning the idea into actualisation of this Bill by enriching it. Today, we have a Bill that is almost three pages long while initially we had only one page. I sincerely want to thank them. The late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the founding father of this nation, was the President of Kenya. He was the Prime Minister in 1963. He became the first President of Kenya in 1964. He ruled for 15 years and died in 1978, which is 39 years ago. I can bet that some Hon. Members sitting in this House today were not there 39 years ago. The Kenyan population is now about 45 million people and according to the statistics, about 35 million people are below the age of 39. It means they have no idea who this man was apart from what they read in history books. From psychology, we know that we remember what we see but we remember much more of what we normally interact with. These are the psychomotor skills.
The history of this nation is normally taught in schools. We have school children visiting Nairobi, especially Parliament every week. This will serve as a motivation to the teaching of history in this country because people will be walking to the mausoleum and interacting with the artefacts of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta by observing and touching them where possible. It is a lifetime experience to be as close as possible to this history. They will remember more. Therefore, it will serve the purpose of making sure that we impart the correct knowledge to our people in the right manner.
Opening up mausoleums of great leaders to serve as museums and public sites that can be accessed by tourists has earned some countries a lot of revenue. I want to cite what motivated me to come up with this Bill. When we visited the Republic of China, we found that in the City of Beijing, there was a city called the “Forbidden City of China.” That place houses the palace of
previous emperors of China. That is where you find all the five emperors before post- independent China and their history. I want to note a very famous man known as Mao Tse-tung. Some Chinese call him Mao Zedong while others call him Chairman Mao. He was a famous leader who revolutionised China and made the Chinese people have the spirit of becoming a super power today. His mausoleum is in a place near the Forbidden City, in an area that has been set aside as a tourist attraction called the “Chairman’s Square.” That place attracts about 1.61 billion local tourists per year, generating revenue amounting to 7,700 Yuan. The foreign tourism figures stand at about 55.98 per cent per year, generating an annual income of about US$45.8 billion. Knowing the size of China, local tourists are more than foreigners. They simply go to learn their history and in the process generate revenue to their country. There is continuity because even a small child in China who was born the other day knows Mao Tse-tung. That is the kind of situation we want to bring in Kenya by passing this Bill, so that our children can be aware of our history and understand this great man who founded this nation by fighting for our Independence.
Back in Africa, we have the Nelson Mandela House. That is where Mandela lived in Orlando West, Soweto between 1946 and 1962. It is a simple House but today it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in South Africa. Many tourists visit it and an average of between Kshs500 and Kshs1,000 per tourist normally earn the South African Government a lot of money. History of Mandela is learnt even when he is gone.
I know a few of us have visited there and the artifacts and history is in place. It is hard for one to visit South Africa, especially Johannesburg and fail to visit that site. There are other sites in Russia. There is the War Museum where all the artifacts of war are stored. It attracts a lot of interest from tourists and a lot of revenue is raised. Even our former colonizers and masters back in England; the Buckingham Palace had earned £55 million revenue from tourism both local and international in 2010. Why would we continue locking up a mausoleum of the founding father of the nation whom everybody loves? We want to access it not for free but for a little revenue which we can use to boost tourism in our country. That is what this Bill is all about.
Having talked about the background, this Bill is very short. In the first part, it is going to open up the mausoleum to become a national repository for depositing the artifacts of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. These artifacts are of cultural and human interest. We know his artifacts are found all over this country; some could be in Kapenguria, Kiambu, Mombasa and other places. This Bill will ensure that all these artifacts are brought together so that we can learn more about this great man.
This Bill will also open up the mausoleum to become an area where we can do research and knowledge dissemination in the pre and post-independence era. That is the fight for freedom, what our forefathers went through for us to enjoy an independent and sovereign state today. There is also the aspect of conservation so that these artifacts are brought to a place which is prescribed by law. There is a possibility of people touring Kiambu, Mombasa or Kapenguria taking maybe a whisk or other things as souvenirs. Eventually, after many years we will find that we have nothing which belonged to the founding father.
With this Bill, we will preserve and conserve those artifacts so that future generations can learn and understand where we are coming from. Today, we only have two Administration Police (AP) officers guarding the gate and probably nobody else inside. If we open up that place to the public we will definitely see many activities which will be both economical and social. We will be creating employment at the same time and generating income through tourism. It is
because of this that we are urging Members to pass this Bill so that when our children come from up-country and around Nairobi to visit Parliament by extension they will also visit and learn the history of our nation at the Mausoleum of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
The issue of fee is pertinent and it is good to note that this Bill does not, at this particular time, prescribe any fees. It leaves space and prescribes that the Cabinet Secretary will, through regulation, come up with a reasonable fee that can be charged to adults, children, foreigners and locals so that it does not become inhibitory for people to visit. On the management of the mausoleum, we expect the National Museums of Kenya to use funds that are obtained from the same mausoleum to maintain it. At the same time, we expect the money they are given by the National Treasury to be used for the same. This is a sight of national importance just like many others.
This Bill gives room to receive funding from bilateral and multilateral donors for the purpose of the mausoleum maintenance. We will also accept gifts, grants, donations and endowment so that we can also benefit from well wishers who feel that they have learnt a lot about the history of this country and would like to continue supporting us.
There is a lot we can say about this Bill. I want to leave it at that and ask Hon. Members to support the opening of the mausoleum to the public. They should also suggest how it will be run and the benefits to the country both culturally and economically. With those few remarks, I ask Hon. Dan Maanzo, the Member for Makueni to second the Bill. I beg to move.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Maanzo, you are seconding.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to second this Bill for a simple reason. First and foremost, a country which does not know its past may not know its future. World over we have founders of nations like Hon. Muthomi Njuki has quoted, the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. I had an opportunity to visit there when I went for the 2008 Olympics. For every tourist who goes to China this is one of the tourist attractions the locals will show you. It contains serious history of the Republic of China and one is able to know something about their past heroes.
The founding father of this nation is serious history of this country. If you look at the current status of the mausoleum, you will find that it is visited for commemoration once a year by the First Family and a few others. As a matter of fact, I have never been there and yet it is in the precincts of Parliament. It is not only that we have got artifacts of the founding father within Parliament but we also have others at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) and all over the nation. For one to become a lawyer, one has to be a serious historian and know the past before the present and future. It is very important to do what is done world over in many other jurisdictions and have the mausoleum fall under the National Museums of Kenya. Whilst people learn history, the country also makes some money from the people who visit the mausoleum. I want to give a good example of the historical Titanic. It was built in Belfast in Northern Ireland. According to local politics, it was built by an Irish man and crushed by an English man. There is a big museum which was built recently, with books about the history of the Titanic. It earns Belfast a lot of money. I visited it recently and it was amazing to see the number of people who just want to learn about the Titanic. They have now reconstructed it. In fact, that museum is built on the structure which was used to build the Titanic. You get serious history on the Titanic.
That is where you learn that the person who built the Titanic said that even God could not destroy it; wrong to his word, it was destroyed. I do not want to digress further. They were two ships: the Olympic and the Titanic. The Olympic lasted for 24 years while the Titanic never lasted long. But the story of the Titanic is all over the world. Historical facts and events are captured in a museum such as the mausoleum of the founding father of the nation. However, it cannot be established without some law. First of all, founding fathers of most nations are public property. That is why he was not buried in his private property but in the precincts of Parliament. He is buried on a public property whose land registration number is the same as that of this Parliament. This House, in which we are debating, was opened by him in 1965. The construction started in 1963. There are so many associated things. When children come here, like I had pupils of one of my primary schools from Kathonzweni visiting yesterday, they would also learn some history if they visited the mausoleum. But as things are now, without a proper legal structure, nobody can just walk there. Because this Bill will be signed into law by the current President of the Republic, who is a Member of that family, by that signature he will have allowed the public to see the remains of his father. He will have given permission. I would like to also suggest that it can be modified a little further. There can be some construction around it to accommodate a large crowd that is visiting. It can be housed differently. Hon. Muthomi, I really want to thank you for this good thinking. At least when you went to that trip, you did not use public funds wastefully. You have come home with a great idea. I have been there but I never thought like you did. I really thank you for this. That is why I support this Bill. The history of a country is important. Artefacts conservation is very important. For example, there is a famous belt the founding father used to wear. There was a certain type of hat he and the founding Vice-President, Odinga, used to wear, which the current children do not know. Kenya will exist for a long time. The history of Kenya will be for another 5,000 years if Jesus Christ does not come quickly. Therefore, in 5,000 years from today, children will want to learn the history of their country. One day they will know that we debated this Bill and it came into force. Probably, this Bill will be one of the artefacts put in that Museum. You also remember the fly whisk that Mzee Jomo Kenyatta used to carry around. In a country like Botswana, which has a similar history like ours, you will find such a family – the Khama family. There is a serious museum in Botswana where the moment you walk in, you are under their curators and you learn the history of Botswana within an hour. It is very enriching and you begin to appreciate the country. This will promote local and international tourism. Botswana has done it so well that the curator takes you through everything in the museum and you get to learn about the history of that country and how they discovered diamond and changed their fortunes. It is a country whose citizens do not pay taxes at all because it has made use of its minerals. I wish Kenya could do the same because we have a lot of minerals. All that I have mentioned goes into the history of a country; it is very important. Another good example is Spain. You learn the history of Spain when you visit their museums and mausoleums. The history of the development of their monarchy is also documented. Even smaller countries like Lesotho have similar museums. You will learn the history of Lesotho and its founding fathers in their museums. It is such an amazing thing. You get to understand how these people are, their war heroes, how it was never colonised and how it remained a country within South Africa. This is a very important thing to do. It will change the way tourism is managed in this country.
There are regulations which will be made by the Cabinet Secretary (CS) in charge of heritage and tourism. I would like this House, led by Hon. Muthomi Njuki and seconded by myself, to go in history as having passed this important Bill. I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I second.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Before I give any Member opportunity to speak, let me recognise students from Karenge Primary School in Mukurweini Constituency of Hon. Kabando wa Kabando in Nyeri County. You are welcome to the National Assembly. I will give this opportunity to the Leader of the Minority Party because of his status in this House, after which I will come to Hon. Injendi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me a chance to contribute to this very important Bill. I want to support it. I thank Hon. Muthomi Njuki for coming up with a very creative way of raising revenue for this country through tourism, not only from international tourists, but also from local tourists who will be visiting the mausoleum. This is a very important Bill because it seeks to give the people of Kenya a chance to visit the mausoleum. Jomo Kenyatta, the founding father of this nation, is one of the greatest statesmen recognised all over the world for his intellect. He was an intellectual. He was very persuasive. I remember from history that he is amongst the people who organised the Manchester Conference in 1945 that gave rise to the liberation of many sub-Sahara African countries. Opening that mausoleum to the public will not only generate income to this country, but it will also give knowledge to Kenyans of all ages who will walk in to see the artefacts and the place where the founding father was laid to rest. It will give them an opportunity to learn more about the history of this country. That is why I thank Hon. Muthomi for thinking positively and creatively on how to generate income through tourism. This proposed law also covers the funding for that mausoleum. It has to be expanded to accommodate more people who will be visiting. There must be facilities like toilets; places where people can rest; and shops that will be selling different artifacts that promote the image of Kenya. Any country that does not respect the history of its founding fathers has no history at all. When we open the mausoleum that this Bill is proposing, it will create harmony and cohesion because Kenyans will know their history. It is a good way to make Kenyans learn about their country. If you go to Russia, there is the Lenin Tomb. Lenin is one of the founders of modern Russia. He is among those who brought communism to Russia and within a short time, say, a span of less than 100 years, the Soviet Union was created and it rivaled the NATO and the Western world. Whenever Russians and other nationals visit Moscow, they see the Lenin Tomb. This helps them generate income. If you go to China, as has been said before, you will see the Mao Zedong tomb or mausoleum where he was laid to rest in Beijing in the old city of China. It attracts so many visitors both local and international thus generating a lot of money for China. All over the world, mausoleums and tombs of founding fathers have been economic and knowledge centers for those countries. So, this is a great thing.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to say this: Jomo Kenyatta was the first Prime Minister of this country and had political experience spanning 40 years. Even by today’s standards, he was a widely-travelled man. He was involved in so many conferences and meetings that culminated into the liberation of this part of Africa; we cannot forget that. There are other
Pan Africanists like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Tom Mboya, Paul Ngei, Bildad Kagia and others who did not participate directly in the struggle for independence of this country. The tombs where these people are buried need to be rehabilitated so that Kenyans can visit them. That way, Kenyans will get an opportunity to learn about the history of this country. I am appealing to the Mover of this Bill, Hon. Muthomi Njuki from Chuka/Igambangómbe Constituency to also provide in the Bill names of those other founding fathers of this nation so that Kenyans can visit their tombs even if it is not for generating income through tourism, but for recognition of the good work that they did.
This mausoleum should not only be opened but expanded. That will require some allocation of money from the National Assembly. We will need to teach foreigners who come to this country how Kenya was born through the Mau Mau struggle. About two days ago, I was watching TV and I learnt that in Mount Kenya Forest there were caves that were used as hospitals for the Mau Mau warriors who got sick. I could see that those caves were neglected. Those caves were big enough to be hospitals and they were bombed by the colonial government. It is unfortunate that they have been neglected. I would want this Bill to also cover such areas so that Kenyans can see where our ancestors passed through.
This Bill is very good and I am urging Members of the National Assembly to support it. If we do so, within a short time, we will see a lot of money being generated. Knowledge will be spread; people will know when Jomo Kenyatta was born, where he went to school, how he negotiated in 1945 for our independence, how the Mau Mau fought, and how the Kapenguria Six suffered in detention in Kapenguria. When you go to the developed countries, you will realize that their history has been conserved; a lot of money has been put to conserve those sites. I have been to the place where the Kapenguria Six were detained in Kapenguria. I clearly saw that the doors were falling off and the roof was leaking. The staff there who are meant to explain to visitors all about the struggle for independence look demotivated. I want all these things to be taken up in totality in this Bill so that as we open this mausoleum for public viewing we are able to see where Kenyatta and his colleagues were held. We should rehabilitate those areas. This is so that Kenyans learn about their forefathers and also love and respect them. If it were not for Jomo Kenyatta and those other freedom fighters we would not be enjoying today in this House. That should be a uniting point. We are the sons and daughters of the people who liberated us. Indeed, they had a lot of love for this country. They sacrificed their own lives for us. Let us not destroy that peace. Let us respect the sacrifice that they made on our behalf. Let us also show that we are worthy heirs and inheritors and that we can do better. Let us match what they did by showing good governance that is free of corruption. Let us have in place governance that reflects equal opportunity for all Kenyans wherever they are born whether it is Turkana, the Coast of Kenya, western Kenya or Rift Valley. Let us show love, because they preached love. Let us show togetherness and equitable distribution of jobs and resources to show that we love each other. Let us not engage in the balkanization of this country whereby I see myself first as a Kamba before I see myself as a Kenyan. We have to live above those tribal cocoons. We should see ourselves as Kenyans first. This Bill will bring us to that level.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Thank you, Hon. Member. I now give the Floor to the Member for Malaba, Hon. Injendi, who had brought a Motion on the same issues before.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to thank my colleague for this Bill. I had a Motion on the same in 2014 but unfortunately it was overtaken by this Bill. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I second this Bill strongly because we know who President Kenyatta was to us and what he did for this country. We realise that majority of us do not know what is in that place where our founding father is sleeping. When you look at the current population in the country, over 70 per cent is below 40 years. The late President Kenyatta is an important person in our history but these people have no connection. When most of us are in town we hear he is just around here. I would support strongly that we open up this place for public viewing. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, time has come for us to be counted. For many years there has been clamour for us to open up this mausoleum to the public. These young people here would also have time to go and see who this particular person was. When I was in America, I got inspired. I was able to feel the founding President, George Washington. There is a mausoleum there and those of us who had time, walked there and felt Washington’s mausoleum. They have managed to also have his speeches there so that when you are at a particular point and want to listen to them, you just switch on a button. He was a legend to his country. You just switch the power on and you will see him come up to make his speech and you will really feel him. However, I am here and our late President is just there yet I cannot feel him. It is now time for us to open up this mausoleum so that we can feel him. I am a teacher by profession and as you teach theory, it is also important to teach practical aspects of it. The only way to teach our nation who this person is, is to open up the mausoleum and let our people see and feel the late former President. As it has been explained by the Mover and the seconder, most of us would be in a position to emulate the virtues, character and vision of our founding father, President Jomo Kenyatta. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is interesting that the first family are the only ones who visit that place year in, year out. The sitting President has access to this particular place yet I, who is a Kenyan, cannot. It defeats logic. It is now time for us to open this place to the public. When I came to Parliament in 2013, I thought I now had the privilege to access that place so easily, but when I went there I was denied entry. I was asked to talk to the Clerk of the National Assembly who also had to seek authority from elsewhere. If at my age I desired to visit that place, what about these young people and majority of Kenyans who are here in town? Finally we want to open the mausoleum so as to remove the myths that surround it currently. Some people keep on asking if we really have this person in this particular tomb. So, if we open it up to the public, then these kinds of myths would not be there anymore.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Member, let me interrupt you. I am sorry I forgot to recognise one school. I want to recognise Kipajit Primary School from Sotik Constituency, Bomet County. You are welcome to the National Assembly. Go on Hon. Member.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. You can imagine what some of us think of that place. We imagine that when you go there, there is a switch where people press then the late President’s body comes up, it is viewed and lowered back to his tomb. All these are myths. They are a distortion in the minds of our young generation. We actually need to open this place so that we have proper history in our minds. It is not also good for us as a country to have his tomb manned by security personnel for 24 hours. We keep asking ourselves what they are manning. Why should we see security people man a place that is not open for us?
We should know what is there so that we can value the kind of work that those security personnel are doing. The accolades the Member of Parliament for Chuka/Igambang’ombe Constituency is receiving would have been mine had I developed this Bill earlier. Otherwise, I second. Majority of Kenyans really desire this place to be opened to them. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now give the Floor to the nominated Member, Hon. Oburu Odinga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity to contribute to this noble Bill. I knew Mzee Jomo Kenyatta personally. He was a very humble and kind man. He was a very great friend of my father. I am very sure that this mausoleum needs to be opened to the members of the public. This is because a lot of things need to be included in that mausoleum so that it epitomises the history of struggle for independence of this country. Jomo Kenyatta actually represented the optimization of the struggle for independence for this country. He was a pioneer. He struggled for the land rights of our people. While abroad studying he continued to agitate for our land rights and also for the independence of our country. When I went to Russia in 1962, I thought we were the pioneer Africans visiting Russia. Little did I know that Jomo Kenyatta had been there before us. He was in Moscow University in 1947. Therefore he was the second black man to have stepped on Russian land. They did not know how black people looked like. Up to the time we went there, they were quite curious to see how a black man looked like. Why are the hands a bit whitish and so on? Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was one of the black pioneers in Russia. He studied Anthropology. He was an anthropologist. When he went back to England he continued to convene meetings at the Trafalgar Square. Those meetings became very popular and a lot of people attended them. I know some of the people who did that became very great people in their countries like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. The mausoleum we have here is small. It needs to be expanded to be much bigger so that the history of Kenya can be seen. I have visited Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Ghana. It actually gives you the whole history of the struggle of the Ghanaian people and even the books he wrote, the speeches he made and even some videos are shown in the mausoleum. Therefore, we need to make this mausoleum magnificent and show us all the history of our country on how we struggled. Jomo Kenyatta never spoke on a daily basis. He used to speak once or twice a year but his speeches were very significant because he spoke to the point and he was an orator by nature. He was a very big orator. Some of those speeches need to be shown live so that people can see Jomo Kenyatta not as a dead man but in his mausoleum speaking to the people of Kenya. This will ensure that people recall and remember the history of what used to happen those days, the type of vision he had for our country and the type of development he wanted for our people. This is very important and we need to reflect it. When my father died in 1994, there was a big debate as to whether he should be placed next to Kenyatta because he was the first Vice-President of the country. He was a very emotional person when it came to Kenyatta. He was a big supporter of Kenyatta at Independence. What happened later on is history which we do not want to go into now. I can mention that the differences between him and Kenyatta were not tribal, the way people have interpreted them to be a Kikuyu-Luo affair, it was ideological and it had nothing to do with tribalism. People have misinterpreted it to be tribalism - that Luo and kikuyu will never see eye to eye. The debate about place of burial was so heated that some of us who were members of the family did not know where to start; whether to take Mzee home or to put him next to Kenyatta.
Finally, the people who were saying that he should be buried at home prevailed and my father was buried at home. Initially, we also established a mausoleum. The mausoleum which was established was run by the family. It was our own initiative to make it a mausoleum and it took a very big resource from us. It drained us a lot. Now, the mausoleum has been taken over by the Government and we hope it will expand it. We have established a museum besides it which reflects more or less the Luo culture and the traditional things Luos used to use in war, cooking, preserving crops and also the heroes of the Luos. Somebody going into the museum, which is connected to the mausoleum, can read the whole history of the Luo culture and their struggle. That is another one which can also be a tourist attraction, but it is now in the hands of the Government. We hope that just as we want Mzee Jomo Kenyatta Mausoleum to be turned into some tourist attraction, this should be extended to Tom Mboya Mausoleum which is very beautiful, but was neglected for many years. We hope what we are doing to Mzee Kenyatta will be extended to some of his colleagues who they struggled together and whom they formed the Government at Independence like Tom Mboya, whose mausoleum has been taken over by the Government. We hope the Government will improve to make it more attractive for tourists in that area. The family of J.J. Nyagah has also built a mausoleum for him. I do not know whether the Government has taken over its management and the one for Paul Ngei. Those are people who struggled for Independence alongside Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. We hope that their mausoleums will also be taken over by the Government and also opened for public viewing so that they can become tourist attractions and earn money for our country. I do not want to contribute more to this but I feel that this is a very good initiative. We should have criteria for identifying our national heroes so that, instead of putting the burden of recognition of those heroes on their families by putting up museums which will relate them to the history of our country, the Government takes that initiative and does it on behalf of the families. With those remarks, I wish to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Thank you, hon. Member. I now give the Floor to the Member for Nakuru Town East, Hon. Gikaria.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to air my few comments regarding this Bill. First, I want to thank my brother, Hon. Muthomi, for thinking about this very important Bill that would, maybe, give us a turn-around regarding the history of this country since Mzee started fighting for the country. It is important that this Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. This is because this country has a history. This history is vital and very important to us, our children and grandchildren. It is important for us to recognise where Mzee Jomo Kenyatta started his life and how he was introduced to fighting for the rights of Kenyans and, particularly, during those colonial days and to give hope to that young boy and girl out there in some village that anything is possible; that you can be from a humble beginning and end up being the President of this country. I have been asking myself why this is important. While on a mission to China, we visited the mausoleum for the queen. You could see the number of British visitors. We were there and they were a little bit scared. They said they did not want the British to visit that place so much. The argument is that they have the gold-coated statue and the British, whenever they go there, would come at night and scrap the gold and leave the shell. It was a good experience.
We have been reading in books. The founder father died in 1978, but most of the young Kenyans, a bigger percentage, 60 to 70 per cent, of the young people who were born after 1978 might not be having the knowledge of the person that we are talking about. It is true as Injendi was saying, I have been in this Parliament for the last four years and I have not had an opportunity to go inside the mausoleum. Most of the time when I am passing there with my children, they ask why the place is guarded and whether it is a kaburi or something else. I told them that the founding father was buried there. It was hard for me to explain what it is. With this kind of a Bill, those children will have an opportunity to walk into that place and learn about the history. Of course, those who were jailed with him would also be a history for somebody. As a member of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security, we visited Kapenguria where the six were locked up. It is a historical place. You could see the urge of even parliamentarians to take a photo in those cubicles. They were asking so many questions about what happened, how they were locked in and where they were going for their food. It is important, particularly, just to learn about who this founding father was. It is said he was a Christian and had the name Johnstone. Of course, the Luo community like naming their children after very prominent people. Once it is done, they can know that Johnstone was a Christian name given to him. Nobody knows Mzee Jomo Kenyatta by the name Johnstone Kamau Ngengi. Those are important things. He was a statesman and a nationalist. From history, we have always been fighting about this Prime Minister position. He was the first Prime Minister of this country for only one year from 1963 to 1964, and became the President in 1964. He never started as the President. He started as a Prime Minister and after one year, he moved and was elected the President of the Republic.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I searched in Google the history of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his first contact with a Mzungu missionary who was in his area of Ichaweri. After a surgery that was done at the age of 10 years, he started asking himself some questions as to why a mzungu was doing that.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Gikaria, find a better term other than mzungu.
I withdraw. Let me use European or the colonialist. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. From that history, it is out of his own initiative as a houseboy where he was paid a few shillings which he used to pay for his school fees. That is what our children need to learn; that Mzee Jomo Kenyatta had to work to pay for his fees to attend school.
Sometimes, I challenge our university students. A student sent to America sends some money back home within a year of being in college. We also ask our university students to take up work. Why is it that when you go to the US, you start working to pay your fees and even send some money back home? We encourage our university students, as they are in the university, to engage themselves in meaningful employment particularly the technical bit. Those are some of the things we can learn from the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
He, of course, worked for the Ministry of Public Works and later became a court interpreter. Most people might not have all this information. A court interpreter in a law court here in Nairobi might think that it is just a job, but that is where Mzee Jomo Kenyatta started his journey and became the first President of the Republic.
In 1928, he published a newsletter known as Muigwithania; a person who brings people together or who reconciles people. That newsletter has five main aspects I would want to highlight. One of the issues he wrote was the security of land tenure for the Africans. The colonialists had taken over our land and a Kenyan could not own anything. They would even be
asked to pay taxes to move from one area to another. That is one main aspect he wrote about in the newsletter; that you can own land.
Secondly, he requested for increased education facilities. I plead with all the legislators now in Parliament that it is the only way we can facilitate and give our young people an opportunity by pushing for more educational facilities.
Thirdly, and this is very important, we thought that women’s rights started with the famous Beijing Conference. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta fought for the rights of women. By then, they were paying hut tax. Fourthly, he was the African representative in Parliament. Lastly, he advocated for non-interference of our traditions.
Those are very crucial things.
(Hon. (Ms) Shebesh): Thank you, Hon. Member. I now give the Floor to the Member for Siaya County, Hon. Christine Ombaka.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I support this Bill because it is very important. Any country must remember its people; any country must remember its heroes.
Kenyatta was a hero. He was the founding father of the nation. He was not only a politician, but he was also a writer. He wrote Facing Mount Kenya ; a book we have read and enjoyed very much; a book that has given us enough to talk about Kenyan history.
The role he played politically will always be remembered. I know when he died, it was a huge funeral. All this is part of history. His grave lies over here. We have never been there before and we do not know what is there. We just hear rumours of the things that happen there. But we really want to know how he is laid to rest. We only get to know about him again and again every year on his anniversary when flowers are taken there. It would be nice if the whole country can have access to the mausoleum so that we can pay our respects.
More than that, we need to know more about him. More books have been written, but there is so much that has not been written as well. Not only do we want to know about his political life, but we also want to know about his family life. It is really admirable, particularly his relationship with Mama Ngina. Some of the pictures that we have come across look very attractive and one feels like you want to know more about them. That needs to be part of that history. Therefore, we need a lot more in the mausoleum so that we can remember him.
The whole world has its history. If you travel all over the world, people have statues. Kenyatta’s statue is there, but where is Mama Ngina’s. That is necessary because the role she played and the other wives he had is part of our history. We need to know more about our founding father. I want to add that it is not only Jomo Kenyatta’s mausoleum that we may have. We can have more. The names have been mentioned here, particularly the heroes of this country. We also have women who are heroes. That is why I mentioned the wives of the late President Kenyatta. We need to know more about them. But we have other women. We have Prof. Wangari Mathai. Even that is history of this country. We need a mausoleum for her and a statue. She is a significant person. We have many other women in this country who have passed on and played a great role in the history of this country. Those are part of memories. This is the history of our people and cultural heritage and it is preservation of a people’s culture. They are also part and parcel of our lives. We get a lot of inspiration from the people who have passed on. A lot of their work becomes part of the knowledge of the nation.
That is why I support this Bill. It is critical that we appreciate what the late founding father did for us. It is not only a mausoleum. A museum is even bigger and can do much more. We can have more information about him in a museum.
If you have been to Israel, it has so many statues. It has so much history and biblical in nature. People remember from time immemorial. That is why people need to remember its people through different ways. We can have a mausoleum for the late founding father. We can have a statue for another hero somewhere, for example, Tom Mboya. We can have them not only in Nairobi, but also in other counties where our heroes come from. We can have Ronald Ngala in Mombasa, somebody in Nakuru, somebody in Kisumu and other places. So, we do not have to have Nairobi being the centre where we can have museums and mausoleums. We can have statues that are appreciated; statues of politicians, musicians and athletes. This is the part of our history that we must remember.
I want to extend the fact that it is not just Jomo Kenyatta’s mausoleum we need to rebuild and put in more information. There are many other people we may consider alongside that. Mheshimiwa Oburu talked about a museum that is dedicated to his father in his home. I have been there. It is extremely informative so much so that you do not want to leave the place. They have done a great job for Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. You trace his life from long ago. You can trace his political life, family life, leisure activities, what he liked, his clothes and shoes. It is a masterpiece. We should go that way. We should remember our historical figures through putting up statues, constructing mausoleums or putting up a museum where we have all this. We also need a museum to remember those who have suffered, people who died in a bad manner like we had in 2007 or those who were burnt in a church. If you remember the six million people that were burnt in Germany by Hitler, there is memorial for them in Israel. I was there once. It is a huge museum with their names inscribed. You do not have to have their pictures but their names are inscribed. Some of this is part of our memory. The 2007 post- election violence victims who died need to be remembered by having their names inscribed in a museum. That is my contribution. I support the Bill.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Thank you, Hon. Member. Let me recognise students from Triza Junior School from Mvita Constituency of Hon. Nassir, Mombasa County. You are welcome to the National Assembly. I now give the Floor to the Member for Bomet Central. Members, please, be kind to each other. So many people want to contribute. If you feel you can shorten your contribution to allow time for other Members, kindly do so. Let us have Hon. Tonui.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I will be very brief because I am not a historian, and I do not have a lot of history to go into. If it was mathematics, I would have delved into it. I support this Bill and commend Hon. Muthomi for coming up with it. Jomo Kenyatta is not just an ordinary Kenyan, but a great Kenyan. He was the founder of this nation. Without him, we would not have a country to celebrate as we do. He laid a strong foundation of nationalism in this country and brought up a society which is cohesive. Previously, we existed as different ethnic groups but under the leadership of the first government of Jomo Kenyatta, we were able to come together as a nation. Such history should never be forgotten. Even in terms of the economy, we need to remember Jomo Kenyatta. In the East African region and Africa as a whole, Kenya is strong economically because of the strong foundation that was laid by the founding President of this country, Jomo Kenyatta. That is why it is important to build this mausoleum and have a Bill to guide in its management.
Kenya relies on tourism as a means of generating income. It is important to vary it so that we do not simply rely on wildlife, the coastline, beaches and forests. We also need to venture into other sites like museums. This mausoleum will certainly be a tourist attraction site. I am a teacher by profession. My other colleagues in the teaching profession who teach history would love to have this mausoleum open to the public so that they can bring kids to visit and learn more about this country and the founding fathers of this nation. This Bill needs to be supported by us all. It is also great that the issue of finance is well-captured. This mausoleum will generate its own finances. It will be very important for this House to provide financial support to this mausoleum because it is not just an income generating site. Learning will also go on in that place. Other countries also recognise their founding presidents. Last year, I was in Angola. I got an opportunity to visit the mausoleum which was built in honour of the founding President of Angola, Aghostinho Neto. It is so beautiful. It is on a 10-acre piece of land and well-taken care of. As you arrive in Angola, you are told that the one place which you should not fail to visit is the Aghostinho Mausoleum. Most people visit the site when they go to Angola. My only suggestion could have been to possibly amend this title so that it can capture the full names of the founder of this nation, Jomo Kenyatta, so that it is very specific. Very soon, we will have so many prominent Kenyattas. It needs to be specified that we are referring to the founding President of this nation. The other freedom fighters also need to be taken care of. Artefacts from other freedom fighters will be accommodated in that mausoleum so that Kenyans can learn the complete history of this country. History as that of the Kapenguria Six needs to be accommodated there. The history of the Mau Mau or the freedom fighters also needs to be accommodated there. There are so many others who might not be accommodated in that intended mausoleum, and we may need to come up with a Bill on museums so that all those others can be taken care of and appreciated. One freedom fighter should not be seen to be more prominent. All others also need to be taken care of. With those few remarks, thank you for giving me this opportunity.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I will now give the Floor to the Member for Isiolo North, Hon. Joseph Lomwa.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this Bill. Opening up of the mausoleum to the public will enhance the revenue base, as Hon. Ali has said. A visit to the premise will excite most visitors, local and foreign and even children who have learnt the history of our nation since its inception to date. The children of our former colonial masters may also want to come and see the history of how Kenya attained its Independence and progress to date. This will enrich our identity externally by allowing many to give a different interpretation of our history. Our past is attractive. The struggle for Independence, the history of our founding fathers and what the future holds for Kenya in terms of looking at the past and the present is attractive. Our culture, just like the other nations, is very rich and needs to be nurtured. This needs to be nurtured for future generations. Most Kenyans have history that they are identified or associated with. This Bill is very good because it enhances revenue mechanism. A lot of income will be generated. This Bill requires a lot of seed funding to ensure that necessary things are done in order to facilitate the process of opening it up to the public. I support this Bill because as Hon. Injendi has put it, it gives us hope. Accessing the premise itself and building certain values enhances much of our livelihood.
What our founding father said and did, and what he believed in was written in his book,
, just like Mheshimiwa had earlier alluded to. The political and social lives and all that he believed in are very important. It will enrich the local understanding of what Kenya was, and what it is today. I was born on 22nd August 1978, the day our founding father passed on. As I celebrate my birthday, we also celebrate his death as our hero. I support this Bill. I hope it will be accommodated by all Members to give it the value it requires.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): I now give the Floor to the Member of Parliament for Shinyalu, Hon. Anami.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. This is an important Bill and I would like to support it. It is long overdue. This Bill will open a getaway to other interventions that will give Kenya its identity and a place in the international space. We are talking about the founder of this nation. He was a cultural practitioner and it is upon his philosophy that a lot of our instruments are based. His personal experiences have brought Kenyans together. Many Kenyans across the board are named after Kenyatta. We cannot take for granted the fact that he abandoned his name to take one that is more embracive and inclusive. That should be the basis of our identity, aspirations and continuity. Every country, just like every community, has two important attributes - identity and aspirations. Those will be best captured in the Kenyan case if we relive Kenyatta’s life. While serving as a Director of Culture in this country, I can say with authority that it is on the basis of his philosophy that Kenya ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The contribution of Jomo Kenyatta in his cultural book, Facing Mount Kenya brought African delegates together in the negotiation of this convention that we have since ratified as a country. Ratifying a convention like that is not enough until we have domesticated it. I am excited by the provisions of this Bill because it provides for an avenue for implementation of a lot of prospects in this convention. If you look at the history of this country, you cannot finish reading it even by two paragraphs without mentioning Jomo Kenyatta. The best way to capture this is by going through his life. The mausoleum is not enough. We need an improved infrastructure that is properly designed so that a person going through it can understand what Kenya is and what her people are. We should seize this opportunity and provide the mausoleum for Kenyans. We have lost opportunities to inculcate integration amongst Kenyans and to inculcate good behaviour, brotherhood and Pan-Africanism amongst Kenyans. That is because we do not make reference to those Pan-Africanists. You will find that, in other countries, they make more reference on Kenyatta than us, the Kenyans. We need to seize the opportunity of this Kenyatta Mausoleum Bill to come up with a comprehensive platform and infrastructure that will make Kenyans be proud of their heritage, forefathers and especially the founding father. We have lost opportunities of tourism because many visitors are not able to go to our roots and see the big story that is Jomo Kenyatta. We need to seize this quickly so that we can benefit from the opportunities within the tourism sector. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the whole aspect of transition, we have been in it for a fairly long time as Kenyans. We talk of this, that and the other liberation. We never take it to a conclusive end which gives us a philosophy that makes us Kenyans. We have never felt like Kenyans. We only continue feeling that we are small compartments of Luhya, Luos, Kikuyus and so forth. It is because we have not tried to inculcate into our education system values that have been enhanced in the speeches, writings and actions of our fore-leaders.
On inclusiveness, this will give us an opportunity to even embrace other heroes like Oginga Odinga, Tom Mboya, Jeremiah Nyaga and many more others. I would like to mention Jeremiah Segero of Shinyalu and Moses Amalemba from Ikolomani. Those people have made a contribution that will never be known about. If we can include them, it will be fair. You cannot finish the story of Kenyatta without mentioning Jeremiah Segero who was a Paramount Chief in Kakamega. Up to today, Jeremiah Segero has a bunker that is constructed in his home. That bunker, which he had prepared for Kenyatta to stay in after Kapenguria, remains there. Kenyatta never found an opportunity to live in that bunker. That is a monument, as far as I am concerned, that Kenyans need to discover. Kenyans need to embrace it. Imagine that another Kenyan was thinking about Kenyatta and here we are losing those memories! It is very important we embrace this Bill and build on it so that even the Kenyatta Day of 22nd August is reconciled with the other Kenyatta day we have always talked about. This day, 22nd August is very important. Imagine how many Kenyans do not recognise or even note it. It is important we bring it on board so that Kenyans can celebrate not just the life of Kenyatta, but also the attributes we have been able to draw from his contribution as the founding father of this nation. Then, we will also have started a tradition of appreciating ourselves. As Kenyans, we never have time to celebrate our Kenyan-hood. This Bill should give us the opportunity to appreciate our culture, formation, identity and diversity and celebrate it. With those few remarks, I support. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Members, the time being 1.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until today afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.