Order, Hon. Senators! Could we confirm if we have a quorum?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have 15 Senators in the House; we have a quorum.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- “THAT, aware that the Government of Kenya recognizes the threat of alcohol and drug abuse; appreciating that the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has cautioned on the national trend; noting with concern that alcohol and drug abuse is significantly on the increase; recognizing that information available points to the disastrous outcome of alcohol and substance abuse to health and the economy of our country; the Senate urges the Government to declare alcohol and drug abuse a national disaster.”
Order, Senator! This is just a notice. Next Order! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on Standing Order No. 33(2) to raise a matter of definite and urgent national importance to discuss the national crisis in the country in the education sector following the nationwide industrial action that was declared by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on Monday, 24th June, 2013. The strike has led to a complete shutdown of all public primary and secondary schools in the country, culminating into an unprecedented crisis. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to request hon. Members to rise in their position if they are in support of this Adjournment Motion on this matter.
You only needed five but you got the whole House.
Order, hon. Senators! According to Standing Order No.33(3), the Motion for Adjournment will proceed not later than 5.00 p.m., but if we finish other business of the roll call voting even earlier, then you can commence. Next Order!
Order, hon. Senators! You remember we dedicated Wednesday afternoon to dispose of all these Motions that we had concluded debate, and they are by division.
Order, hon. Senators! On the first Motion to be disposed of under Order No.8, Sen.(Dr.) Zani’s Motion, we have two amendments to dispose. Once again, this is a reminder; this is a Motion affecting the counties, so we will take a division. ENACTMENT OF LAW TO REQUIRE PAYMENT OF ROYALTIES BY INVESTORS TO COUNTIES THAT, aware that various counties in Kenya are endowed with natural resources such as oil deposits, wildlife, minerals among The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Just to refresh your memory, the first amendment we need to dispose of was a further amendment to the amendment proposed by Sen. Wamatangi; and the further amendment was proposed by Sen. (Dr.) Machage. The further amendment reads as follows:- “The amendment be further amended by inserting the following names immediately after the name of Sen. Stephen Sang:- 1. Sen. David Musila 2. Sen. Chris Obure 3. Sen. (Dr.) Wilfred Machage 4. Sen. Kipchumba Murkomen 5. Sen. Henry ole Ndiema 6. Sen. Amos Wako 7. Sen. Omar Hassan.” Which are additional names to the ones that had been proposed in the amendment by Sen. Wamatangi. Just for clarity before I put the vote on the amendment to the amendment, Sen. Wamatangi’s amendment reads as follows:- “THAT, the Motion be amended by deleting all the words appearing after the words “Senate” in the 11th line and replacing therewith with the following words “resolves to establish a Select Committee to initiate legislation to require investors to pay a percentage of their turnover as royalties to the counties where they operate and to determine the following” The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Murkomen?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, considering that the voting on all these amendments will be on the same Motion, is there anything that bars us from just voting on this one, vote on the next one without going for division in each one of them?
For the Motions or for the amendments to this particular Motion?
The two amendments, concurrently.
There is everything that bars us.
And I am sure you know better; it is called the Standing Orders. We are supposed to dispose of one amendment before the other.
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Order, hon. Senators! If you have been delegated to represent a particular county, we would like to know. I order that all doors be closed, so that we proceed with Roll Call Voting. The Tellers are as follows: Ayes, Sen. Kisasa and Noes, Sen. Kanainza.
The Roll Call Voting is on the further amendment to Sen. Wamatangi’s amendment by Sen. (Dr.) Machage.
Let us proceed.
Hon. Senators, I wish to announce the results as follows.
Let us proceed to the next amendment. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
We are now taking a Roll Call Vote on Sen. Wamatangi’s amendment. ROLL CALL VOTING
Order, hon. Senators! I wish to announce the results of the Roll Call Vote as follows:-
I order that the doors be opened. Let us have the Mover to reply---
But there are more Motions!
There are more Motions to be voted on, but we must conclude with this one by Sen. (Dr.) Zani. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Zani!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. I would like to thank all the hon. Senators for the way they contributed to this Motion in a very articulate, focused, profound and insightful manner that really helped to make this Motion a better one through amendments and amendments to amendments. As the Motion stated, this is about counties and ensuring that we are able to exploit natural The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It must be made clear and I think my colleague did not do that, there has been representation to the public, the Standing Orders do not have the amendment so it must go to the public that we are not dealing with 20 per cent royalties anymore. There is an amendment to that and I think it should have been attached to the Order Paper.
We note what Sen. Murkomen has said but I felt that by the Chair repeating the two amendments, it must have gone to the public and also on record. I take this point that it could have been easier if the proposed amendments were attached to the Order Paper so that Senators could know the amendments they are voting on. Before I put the Question, I will read the entire Motion as now amended so that we can know which one is being voted on. Therefore, I wish to put the question which is:- THAT, aware that various counties in Kenya are endowed with natural resources such as oil deposits, wildlife, minerals among others; appreciating that their capability to exploit and utilize the resources varies according to economic and technical potential; cognizant of the fact that under the devolved system of government, the county’s role in the creation of national revenue is critical; concerned that there may be no direct and proportional share on the basis of the revenue that a county is able to generate since equitable sharing of revenue raised will be done by the national government; affirming the need for direct benefit from the proceeds of the said natural resources to the local communities, especially in marginalized counties; aware that imposition of tax by national or county government can only be by way of legislation; and that only the national government can impose tax; the Senate resolves to establish a Select Committee to initiate legislation to require investors to pay a percentage of their turnover as royalties to the counties where they operate and to determine:- (a) The criteria to be used in payment of percentage of royalties by investors in the counties where the exploitation of natural resources occurs; (b) How the revenue the revenue accrued will be utilized by the country and counties; (c) And any other relevant issue that may arise in regard to other existing legislation and that the Committee shall comprise the following Senators:- 1. Sen. Peter Mositet 2. Sen. Paul Kimani Wamatangi 3. Sen. Danson Mwakulegwa 4. Sen. Boy Juma Boy 5. Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o 6. Sen. (Prof.) John Lonyangapuo 7. Sen. Catherine Nobwola The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order Senators! All the doors should be locked.
Hon. Senators, I wish to announce the results as follows.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. May I raise a procedural matter under Standing Order No.68 (2) which you have repeatedly read to us? It designates the voting authority to the Head of Delegation and in his or her absence, a designated Member of the delegation. This means that when the Clerk is calling out the Roll Call for voting, constantly he must call the Head of Delegation then the designated Member of that delegation, if there is a situation like that, he or she may stand up and inform the House that he or she is voting on behalf of the Head of Delegation. But we have heard the Clerk reading out the names of delegated Members which is not correct under Standing Order No.68 (2). We have no difficulty with designated Members voting, but the rules must be followed. That is my procedural point.
Just to respond to the point of order raised by the Senate Minority Leader who also happens to be the Senator for the great County of Bungoma and the delegation leader on his own admission. You should look at both Standing Order No.68 (1) and No.68 (2). Standing Order No.68 (1) states:- “On election, all Senators who are registered as voters in a particular county shall collectively constitute a single delegation for purposes of paragraph 2 and the Senator elected under Article 98 (1) (a) of the Constitution shall be the head of the delegation”. So, you have a delegation with various Members and there is one head. The rest of the Members of the delegation are also part of the delegation. That is why it is talking of “shall collectively”. Now you go to Standing Order No. 68 (2). It states:- “Except as otherwise provided in the Constitution in any matter in the Senate affecting counties, each county delegation shall have one vote”. So, no matter how many you are, you are one vote. Who will cast that vote? It will be cast on behalf of the county by the head of the county delegation. That head is defined in Article 1 (a) and also 68 (1). So my argument is, if the head is defined by name, then you go to the alternative, which gives any other Member of the delegation. So, why can you not also call out the name of that Member? In the absence of the head of the delegation, it will be done by another Member of the delegation designated by the head of the delegation. The designation is the authority for you to vote. The designation does not say like in the old days if you were an Assistant Minister and you went and read a Statement on behalf of the Minister, then they announced that it was the Minister who spoke when he did not. I think over time, we will also change that. So, I see no reason, but I accept your challenge and we will need to read it further. But from my reading – which I think also is your reading – the right way is that if there is a head of delegation, we shall call out the head of the delegation. If the head of the delegation has designated another Member, that Member also deserves recognition. In any case, according to Standing Order No. 68 (1), they shall collectively constitute a single delegation. So, the issue is whether it is the head or another Member delegated. How do they know whether it has been delegated or not? Proceed! I think the Clerk is on the right track.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to agree with you just for purposes of the record. What shall the HANSARD bear out once a Division is taken? The The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I stand to applaud the direction you have given as a way of clarification. We are setting precedence on these things. First of all, as I have said, I am happy with the position that has been communicated by the Chair. Secondly, just for clarification, my own thinking, the issue of designation is an administration whereby the person designating the voting right communicates to the Speaker. Once the Speaker is satisfied that the designation has been done, then the Clerk has no business calling the head of delegation and ascertaining whether whoever is voting has actually been designated. This is an administrative issue which is strictly between the person designating that right and the Chair who is the Speaker in this case. I just needed that clarification because if we do not set good precedence, we will not have clarity on this matter.
I think the matter is clear. However, I will give the last chance to the Senator from Murang’a.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree, fully with Sen. James Orengo, that the HANSARD will finally read the name of the person who voted. However, for the sake of record - we need to understand that this is a legal position – I agree with Sen. James Orengo that the HANSARD should read the person who voted. The position here is that once Siaya County is called, for instance, and the Senator, under Article 98(1) is not present, then if he has designated somebody to vote on their behalf, that person should rise in their position and indicate that they have been designated. The Speaker will then verify from his records whether, indeed, that person is designated. That person shall vote in their name on behalf of the delegation. I think that is how I understand the Standing Order. It is important that we get this clear right from the beginning because nobody has been stopped from voting. No delegation has been stopped from voting. All we are saying is that the due process should be followed and there should be a designation, in writing, by the elected Senator or head of delegation under Article 98(1) of the Constitution. That person shall vote in their name. I think that is what Sen. Wetangula was putting to the House.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I just wanted to say that the delegation process is clear. There is a process for the clerks to check that the designation has been formally done so that when a Senator stands, she or he can proceed to vote directly rather than stand and say that they are representing somebody. That process should be entered into before or prior to the actual voting.
Order Senators! I think Sen. (Dr.) Zani wanted to make a difference between our colleagues who are exercising their minds and another input from another profession. My reading – I am very clear on this one - Article 98(1) says: The Senate consists of— The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
The Division Bell will be rung for another eight minutes for us to take the roll call vote. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Can we now have the doors locked?
The tellers are Sen. Boy Juma Boy for the Ayes and Sen. Joy Gwendo for the Noes. Senators, this is a Motion that affects counties and we are going to vote by delegation.
Sen. Boy Juma
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Do you not think that the Senate Minority Leader, who is my leader, is misleading the public by using the word “entire”, causing it to believe that in Bungoma County there is a delegation? Can the record be put straight?
Senator for Bungoma, do you consider yourself an entire delegation or are you misleading? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, if you are well read in the scriptures like I am, there are moments when Jesus referred to himself as “we.” I am taking that position.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. I want to come to the rescue of the Senate Minority Leader. If you read Standing Order No.68, it talks of “shall collectively constitute a single delegation.” This is like the Holy Trinity in the Bible. So, three people become one. So, it can also be vice versa.
Sen. Janet, in this case, who are the three people who have become one, in the person of the Senate Minority Leader? Anyway, let us rest that case and move forward. Hon. Senators, the results of the vote that we have just taken on the Motion, as listed in Order No.9, are as follows.
Let us move to the next Order.
Open and doors and ring the Division Bell.
Close the doors! Tellers are:- Sen. Boy Juma Boy for Noes. Sen. Joy Gwendo for Ayes. Order hon. Senators! Please, take your seats. We shall now proceed to take a vote on the Motion as listed in Order No.10 and I shall now put the question.
Order, Senators! This was a Motion affecting counties and voting was by delegation and the results are as follows. You are aware that any Motion affecting counties we must have at least 24 Members. So, I will announce the results:-
Sen. Boy Juma Boy
Hon. Senators, the Teller for the Noes is Sen. Boy Juma Boy and Sen. Gwendo for the Ayes. Before we proceed to take a vote on the Motion as listed on Order No.11, I want to draw your attention to the fact that there was a question as to whether this Motion affects counties. Yesterday the Speaker ruled this Motion affects counties. Therefore, voting shall be by delegations.
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Sen. Boy Juma Boy
Hon. Senators, I wish to announce the results as follows.
Hon. Senators, we will now have the Division Bell rung.
Hon. Senators, take up your seats and let us have the doors closed. We are supposed to take a vote on the amendment as brought by Sen. Wako.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. I know that the Division Bell has already been rung and that we have closed the doors. However, we have a very critical Motion of Adjournment coming up in the next ten minutes. This is on the Teachers Strike. It is important that this Senate ventilates fully on this very important national catastrophe. Children are not in school while the teachers are busy with the strike. We support their desire to be paid and we need to have a voice on this. I wonder whether going on to vote will not undermine and The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
We only have five minutes.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I am requesting the Chair to exercise its discretion and to defer this voting and any further debate on this Motion, so that we deliberate on the matter that is of urgent national importance as required by the Standing Orders. We have already brought this to the attention of the Chair. The Chair acceded and allocated time for debate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. I notice that we are just about 20 people. We can vote very fast in less than five minutes. I think the Senate Leader of Minority is being dishonest. He is using the wrong excuse. He is being creative in looking for a reason to avoid defeat of the Motion. We should be honest. If he says we do not want to vote today until we have numbers, then he should say so. However, we cannot talk about issues related to time because we have enough time.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. The rules of the House dictate that we respect the ruling of the Chair. The Chair had already ruled that this Motion that was tabled by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale be discussed not later than 5.00 pm. We only have five minutes to five or even less. It is just logical that no other business can be carried out in those few minutes. So, it is our humble request that you accept the Senate Minority Leader’s request.
Madam Temporary Speaker, these are valid arguments. You have discretion within the Standing Orders to extend time, for us to deal with all the business before the House this afternoon. So, you can give them five or ten minutes towards the end, so that we can do the voting first and then deal with the other important business, which the Senate Minority Leader has brought before us.
Madam Temporary Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I would very much have liked that we vote now, but the reasons given by the Senate Minority Leader and others are very good. I want to add another reason. If you look at the Order Paper, on the Motion in Order No.8, we went straight into a Division to finalize a matter, once and for all. In the next Motion that we voted on by Sen. Machage, again, we went straight to a Division without debate. In other words, we were going to finalize the whole thing, once and for all. On Order No.10, the Motion by Sen. Catherine Mukiite, again, we were going straight to the Division; finalizing it, once and for all. If you go to Order No.11, the Motion by Sen. G.G. Kariuki, again, we were going straight into a Division to finalize it, once and for all. Once we come to Sen. Orengo’s Motion, if we were in that position like the other Motions, where by voting we would be disposing of the Motion, once and for all, there should go ahead and finalize it, once and for all. All the Motions that we have voted on today we were finalizing them, once and for all. Therefore, let us go ahead and vote for Sen. Orengo’s Motion, once and for all. It is a question of another 15 minutes. We can extend the time. Madam Temporary Speaker, I am reading this Motion. It says that the balance of time which it is entitled to is one hour and 35 minutes. Is it reasonable that we proceed on an amendment of a Motion and then proceed, again, to debate until we come to voting? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. Wako, you have been heard loud and clear. However, do not pre-empt the Chair’s ruling. Hon. Senators, all arguments cannot be sustained. This is because once we have a Division time freezes. So, it would have been in order if we proceeded to dispose of the matter, once and for all, as Sen. Wako aptly put it. However, the Speaker earlier made a ruling and the Chair cannot contradict itself. The ruling was that we dispose of the matter that was brought on the Floor by Sen. Khalwale, not later than 5.00 p.m. Now, in my understanding to attempt to dispose of this Motion in a record of one-and-a-half minutes, is not possible. So, I want to rule that we dispose of this Motion next Tuesday at 2.30 p.m. I want us now to proceed with Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s Motion. I believe the matter is actually affecting the nation. We, as the Senate, should have something to say on the current stalemate. That is my ruling.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. I know that you have ruled, but I do not know if it is once and for all. What happens when already the Division Bell has been rung, the doors are closed, we are about to do a vote and we open the doors? What has necessitated that kind of opening when the procedure has not been followed?
Sen. Murkomen, do not attempt to question the Chair’s ruling. We need to proceed to expend the business as earlier directed. Sen. Khalwale!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity. I would like to move:- THAT, this Senate do now adjourn to discuss the crisis that has now brought the educational system in the country to a total shutdown. Madam Temporary Speaker, before I proceed, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all distinguished Senators here who have risen to the call of national duty to address the plight of our children, fellow parents who have given birth to these children and our teachers. Madam Temporary Speaker, the top leadership of this country has demonstrated, right from the day of inauguration of the new Government, that they are committed to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Okay; your request has been granted. Proceed, Sen. Orengo. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Speaker. I am indebted to my friend, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale for coming up with this Motion of Adjournment. Madam Temporary Speaker, whenever teachers are gathered, every political party and every political leader wants to go to where the teachers are gathered. Every politician has a desire to go before the teachers when these meetings are held in Mombasa annually by teachers, either by the leadership of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) or secondary school heads. If you listen to what the politicians say every time they attend these meetings with teachers, it is promises and more promises. Those promises always end up quoting this Legal Notice of 1997. Hypocrites! Hypocrites! Hypocrites! Like the Bible talks about hypocrites; hypocrites are the swines of – shall I say civilization – like I said at one time? Because, you know, if you remember what teachers do to our families and communities in every village, it is not just teaching children in the classroom, but they take care of students even after the classrooms. It is high time that this matter is dealt with, once and for all. The negotiations going on have always been predicated on this Legal Notice of 1997. The issue of revocation only arises when the teachers are fighting for their rights and saying they are not going to negotiate. They are not ready for dialogue because the Legal Notice is clear. The Government of Kenya was party to that Legal Notice of 1997. In fact, if you look at the negotiations over the years, what they have been doing is that they have been saying that despite that Legal Notice of 2003 which they say was revoked by the Legal Notice of 1997. So, in effect, every successive Government has tried to give an impression to the teachers that they are trying to fulfill the obligation that the Government made to the teachers in accordance to the Legal Notice of 1997. Now, if they cannot deliver on a promise of 1997, how are they going to deliver on promises of this year, which are worth more than the promises of 1997? They should deliver on these issues that affect historical injustices. Entitlements that are of yesteryears are part of the problems of historical injustices that we need to deal with. So, Madam Temporary Speaker, I rise here knowing very much that even those who are now in power and in authority should realize the role that the trade union movements played in bringing about Independence. The role of teachers and KNUT before Independence was in mainstreaming the struggle. Even during the fight for multiparty democracy, we really relied on the teachers to bring about these changes. They were bringing these changes so that we could have a Government in place which was mindful of other people’s welfare. So, I think we are going to judge the Jubilee Government on this single issue of teachers. They cannot run away from it because they cannot give laptops to pupils if the people who are supposed to give instructions are not happy to be in the classroom. The beginning of resolving the problem is making sure that the instructor who is going to sit with the pupils in the classrooms is happy being and performing his duties in the classrooms. It is saddening that from Jomo Kenyatta to the professor of politics, Daniel arap Moi, Mzee Kibaki and the rest, in one way or another, they were teachers. The teachers have played a very critical role. Even Sen. Amos Wako, the Attorney- General emeritus taught me at one time when he was a junior teacher. Could you imagine The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, for the avoidance of doubt, I draw your attention to Standing Order No.33, which states:- “(1) A Senator may at any time rise in his or her place and seek leave to move the adjournment of the Senate for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent national importance.”
Yes, Sen. Murungi?
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Speaker. We do agree with Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale that this is a matter of critical national importance. We want our children back in schools. We want our teachers to be paid so that those children can go back to school. Madam Temporary Speaker, I recently attended an international meeting where education was one of the topics being addressed by experts from across the world. They said that in a school system, there are very many pillars. The most critical pillar is the teachers because even if you have everything else right; the buildings, the students and even parents escorting children to and back from school, and then you do not have teachers, there will be no school. So, teachers are the most critical pillar in the education system and we cannot hope to develop educational excellence in this country with overworked, underpaid and frustrated teachers. Madam Temporary Speaker, it is critical that the issue of teachers be addressed urgently and in a very comprehensive manner. We are tired of seeing teachers coming out in the streets year in, year out. I think time has come for us to engage them on a very comprehensive basis. Madam Temporary Speaker, as I was telling my learned friend, Sen. Orengo, when we got Independence in 1963, almost every worker was out in the streets The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
The Senate Minority Leader.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I want to start where my learned senior left off; populism. The height of populism is promising laptops to Standard One children when you have a problem of teachers on your hands. That is what the Jubilee Government is doing. I want to remind the Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services for free, first, that governments have perpetual succession. So, he cannot go to the public and say that the agreement was The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order! Please, consult quietly.
Madam Temporary Speaker, the teachers of this country work under very difficult circumstances yet we have given discretion to people at Jogoo House who just sit and decide which area is a hardship and teachers can get hardship allowance. They decide that Kajiado is now a hardship area or remove Garissa from hardship areas. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this chance to contribute to this pertinent Motion on the struggle the teachers have undertaken and continue to undertake without anybody sympathizing with them. I concur with all those who have talked here. I can say that I am a victim of the same. In 1997, I was a headmaster/principal of a school. I remember very well that we were the people who were consulted as to how the teachers’ plight was to be resolved. The good government of the day led by President Moi promised teachers that teachers will be given salary increment. So, from that time to date, teachers have been forgotten. It is with a lot of bitterness that teachers cannot get anything without going for a strike. To me that is not the best way to move, particularly so with the teachers. You have heard what other Senators have presented here. It is true that teachers work in very difficult conditions. When I was the chairman of the Education Committee in 2003 to 2007, we visited some parts of Kilifi, Nyanza Province and North Eastern. In our visits, we could tell teachers were struggling to make ends meets. Some of them go to class with their newly born babies because they cannot get housemaids who speak the same language and they cannot afford them. Teachers provide a vital service. Many people mistake the service as voluntary. It is service and it has to be paid for. Even if they are very many, you cannot say that it is their wish. It is not their wish. They are taking care of children. Some children are of very rich people. Those children would have been vulnerable if it were not for the sacrifice of teachers who have been there to take care of them. When a child joins class one he does not know how to write or draw a face. But he is guided through standard one to standard eight, then throughout secondary school up to the university level by a teacher. What does the teacher get? A meagre Kshs2,000 or Kshs3,000 per month to the dismay of the students who have been taught. I can give you examples. I am sitting here with people who were my students and they became Ministers when I was still struggling. Now we are with them here as Senators still struggling and I am sure they are ahead of me. What we need to do here is to make sure that the teachers are paid as much as professional doctors and lawyers. We have seen teachers languishing in poverty. Some of them cannot even afford rent. They cannot even afford to dress well like most of the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, bado mapambano, because the teachers are telling us that. Teachers have brought our education system to a halt. It is a national crisis. When I listened to the Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services saying that their agreement has been abrogated because it has stayed for 16 years, I thought he was making a very serious mistake. I thought so, because he has been a politician. I thought he could have been better than Kaimenyi. Listening to teachers talking, he was worse than him. When I saw the tears of Atieno, I thought it was a contradiction. You know what I said first: Usually when pupils are told to go home, they are happy because they have a lot of time to go and play. But Atieno is crying that she went to class and she was told to go home because the teachers are not there. It seems that our children have matured. They know that they are losing something fundamental by going back home. Nobody can say that when a Government promises something, that Government can change. That one is a banana republic. That is why we carry money in our pockets, because it is a promise. It is also a promise by the Government that what you are carrying in your hand is Kshs100. If the Government says that we will pay you so much, the Government cannot change. If it changes, then it destabilizes everything. We start doubting the money in our hands and all the promises that the Government has ever given. Madam Temporary Speaker, in the Bible, there was a king called Nebuchadnezzar. One of his advisors cheated him that he could bring more taxes into his treasury if he made a law that all the Jews should be killed. He made that law because he wanted his treasury to be full. Later on he realized that his queen was actually a Jew. He realized that the queen had also to die because he had made the law. Then he asked his advisors: What do we do when we have made a bad law in this empire? He was told that after a king had made a law under his own seal, the law could be changed. He said: In The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Is it in order for the Sen. Kajwang to forget that the Minister who actually issued that Legal Notice of 1997 was none other than the CORD running mate, Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, who was then the Minister for Education?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I have not forgotten anything. Even Hon. Kalonzo was in KANU. He committed the Government and he is saying that they should pay the teachers. So, there is nothing much about it. What is important is harmonization. When you are in college and one of you is doing a degree in education, another one law and another one engineering, then when you come out one person is paid more than the other, and you were in the university at the same time, only that one took longer than the other, but became a teacher, it is very frustrating. You feel like; what did I read? In fact, that is the reason we created the SRC. We did not create it to chop our salaries; we created it to bring harmony. I support.
Asante sana, Bi Spika was Muda. Nchi yetu ni kama baba anayewala watoto wake halafu anaenda kwa jirani na kuchukua watoto wake na kudai ni watoto wake halali. Bi. Spika wa Muda, je, ni haki kwa Waziri wa Leba kusema Serikali ilidanganya walimu wakati fulani na sasa haiwezi kutekeleza yale yote iliyowaahidi? Ikiwa Serikali inawandanganya wananchi wake, basi Kenya imekwisha, hakuna pakwenda. Mimi ninaudhika sana ikiwa walimu hawatalipwa pesa zao. Ikiwa hakuna pesa, kwa nini Serikali inapendekeza kutenga Kshs700 miolini za kujenga ofisi na nyumba ya Rais aliyestaafu mwaka huu? Ninakumbuka Bunge la Kumi lilitenga kiasi fulani za pesa za kuwasaidia wakimbizi wa ndani wa kisiasa. Lakini pesa hizo hazikuwasaidia wakimbizi hao kwa sababu ya ufisadi Serikalini. Wengi wao wanaendelea kuishi katika mazingira duni na ya aibu. Bi. Spika wa Muda, Serikali inasema haina pesa za kuwalipa walimu na ilhali imetenga Kshs53 bilioni za kuwanunuliwa watoto wa darasa la kwanza tarakilishi kutoka China. Mwaka huu wakati wa uchaguzi, tuliletewa mitambo ya Biometric VoterRegistration (BVR) iliyogharimu Serikali pesa nyingi sana. Mitambo hiyo haikufanya kazi. Ilikuwa ni mitambo ya uongo. Serikali ilipoteza pesa nyingi sana ambazo zingetosha kuwalipa walimu. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Is the Senator in order to use words like “ wahuni” or “ wadanganyifu” ? Could he substantiate and apologise?
Bi. Spika wa Muda, nitadhihirisha kwa sababu makubaliano haya yaliafikiano baina ya Serikali na walimu. Mwaka wa 1997, Serikali iliwaahidi walimu kuwa wangelipwa marupurupu yao yote. Kwa hivyo, aliyewaahidi mshahara huu hakuwa mchimba mashimo lakini mwaakilishi wa Serikali na alikuwa na mamlaka ya kufanya hivo kuambatana na kiapo cha ofisi yake.
Hoja ya nidhamu, Bi. Spika wa Muda. Sen. Beth Mugo amemuuliza Sen. Muthama afafanue utumizi wa maneno “wahuni” na “wadanganyifu” kwa viongozi walio Serikalini. Matumizi ya maneno hayo si ya nidhamu. Anafaa kuyaondolea mbali ili aendelee na kuchangia Hoja hii.
Bi. Spika wa Muda, ikiwa neno “wahuni” halieleweki vizuri, basi sijua ni tumie neno lipi. Mtu ambaye anasema hayaelewi maneno haya hafai kuaminiwa. Mkataba kati ya Serikali ya Kenya na Urusi uliyotiwa sahihi na Rais Uhuru Kenyatta ni halali kati ya mataifa haya mawili. Ikiwa ninaweza kuwa Waziri na niseme mkataba huu hauwezi kutekelezwa na Serikali hii, basi nitakuwa nikiwandanganya Wakenya. Hatuwezi kuendelea kuketi hapa ikiwa viongozi wanasema maneno ya uongo na tuwaamini. Kwa hivyo, walimu walipwe pesa walizoahidiwa bila kundanganywa na kuhangaishwa. Tusipofanya hivo, hatuwezi kuendelea kama kama taifa.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Motion. There is no single person sitting in this Chamber today, who can adequately enumerate or even evaluate the true value of a teacher in this country. Teachers are invaluable. Their services are extremely important. I can attest to that fact considering my background. There are many Kenyans who have only benefited by the input and services rendered to them by teachers. Today, I can stand with other Kenyans and eke out a living because of what teachers did for me. So, the value that these noble Kenyans render to this country cannot be gainsaid. So, in every respect, the demands and queries of teachers are genuine. It is very important for this country to come up with a solution to address this problem. We must acknowledge that we have a problem on our hands. The question we must address is this; whose problem is this? Is this a Jubilee Government problem? Is this a Senators’ problem or a particular community’s problem? This is a national problem. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. The rules of debate require that a Senator be responsible for the accuracy of his utterances. Could the Senator make it abundantly clear whether he would rather that the teachers of Kiambu County are not given a salary, but instead laptops go to children of class one who the same teachers have refused to teach?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I have a very simple confession. I am fully aware that as the Senator for Kiambu County, many teachers in my own county voted for me in good faith. I honour them. I will stand up to everything that they ask for that would make their lives and work easier and better. If laptops had not been promised to our class one children, teachers would have still demanded for what they are demanding. So, let us face this problem, compromise, sit together and find a solution. Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank Sen. Khalwale for seeing the urgency and desire that our teachers are taken care of. But one thing that I would wish to bring to the attention of hon. Senators is to remember who a teacher is. Try to define or imagine what role a teacher plays. I was a teacher between 1984 and 1985. By then, I was earning Kshs740 which was a lot of money. Madam Temporary Speaker, a teacher is a person who changes darkness to light. The Indian Community calls them gurus . A guru is a person who removes one from darkness, which is “ gu ” to “ ru ” which is light. This is a person, in the spiritual realms, that we equate to our prophets and teachers of the holy scripts; Jesus in particular. In the world, there are two teachers. One is a mother being that person that brings you to the world. We thank mothers for that. But there is this other person who brings the world to the person and that is the teacher. It is that person who is very important, who influences people to be leaders. What about the Kenyan teacher? Madam Temporary Speaker, it is so sad when a Cabinet Secretary, in a new dispensation and world, still believes that they can give some decrees and shut people down. A teacher is a person that knows what the world needs. It needs people with compassion, love, care and warmth. But that person must be empowered, facilitated and live better than the students. It is so sad, with the present system of education, especially The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I would like to commend Sen. Khalwale, the Leader of the Delegation from Kakamega County. Madam Temporary Speaker, it cannot be said many times that teachers are an integral part of this society. They form one of the most essential services, yet they are not recognized and appreciated. This Government has no business saying that they cannot pay teachers. Teachers are not asking for a salary increment, but for payment of the reasonable allowances that they had been promised. When we talk about hardship allowances, these are reasonable allowances. Madam Temporary Speaker, this Government has its priorities upside down. How on earth can this Government talk about laptops when our children are walking to school without shoes? Our teachers who are supposed to teach these children do not even have the knowledge or a shilling in their purses or pockets. It behooves this Government to look for the money, including what they have put in the Budget. You will find that some Ministries have been given three times their budgets. I have the case of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Why would they get a budget three times more than other Ministries? They have a lot of money which is not properly accounted for and it behooves them to pay teachers’ salaries. Madam Temporary Speaker, if you look at many of our teachers today, we have reduced them to paupers which should not be the case. You have heard each and every Member in this distinguished House say that, indeed, the teachers are the ones who taught us. Look at Prof. Anyang’-Nyong’o. He was my teacher at one point. There are many other teachers who taught many.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I need protection from Prof. Anyang’-Nyong’o.
The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, hon. Senator!
But, Madam Temporary Speaker, as a result of these teachers teaching our children and grandchildren--- I heard the Leader of Delegation from Homa Bay say that there was somebody who was crying in the papers. It just shows the depth of the emotions of this matter. Madam Temporary Speaker, with these few remarks, I beg to support.
Order, Senators! Order!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion and to support the welfare of teachers. I started as a trained teacher and I taught for two years; so, I know all about teachers. My father was a teacher and, so, I have grown up in the household of a teacher. I do not think any one of us needs to be told about the value of teachers; we all know. The importance of paying teachers properly cannot be overemphasized. But having said that, Madam Temporary Speaker, let me start by saying that this is not a new problem; that is why I am surprised when some of my colleague former Ministers who have spoken here now are talking as if it is a new thing. We discussed this issue in the Cabinet during the last Cabinet and it was a major problem even then. There was a strike. Those former Ministers who spoke here know exactly the problems which we encountered, how we were able to pay or to increase teachers’ salaries and give a little money at a time; and they were part of those decisions. We cannot now, all of a sudden, imagine that there is a lot of money that is going to come from somewhere. That is why I want to support Sen. Murungi when he called for dialogue. It is true that teachers have suffered for too long; it should not be left for that long. But you cannot sort out such a problem overnight because we have to look at the wage bill totally, and not just one sector.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Granted; granted! Order, Sen. Mugo! Take your seat! Stick to the point of order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale.
Madam Temporary Speaker, the distinguished Senator is asking for some more time. She was a Minister of the Kibaki Government for 10 years when they were having this particular Legal Notice No. 534, and she did nothing. How much more time does she want before they pay teachers?
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, what is not in order? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Is she in order, when she lacks high moral ground, to state as she stated and to mislead the country that if she is given time – and this time she is powerless; she is not a Minister---
What power do you have? What power does she have?
Stick to the point of order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale!
Yes; what power does she have if given more time to find more money when she is just a Senator; nominated in fact!
Sen. Mugo, just a minute; take your seat! Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, can you withdraw that demeaning statement and stick to the point of order?
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order?
What is out of order is that it is unfair and it is not right according to the Standing Orders for the distinguished Senator to mislead the country and this House that all that is required is some more time.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, can you withdraw the last part of your earlier statements?
Which one, Madam Temporary Speaker?
The one which stated: “what power does she have if given more time to find more money when she is just a Senator; nominated in fact.” Can you withdraw that part?
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I said that without prejudice; I wish to withdraw. Thank you.
Okay. Proceed, Senator.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, I have been elected three times as a Member of Parliament for Dagoretti, and I could have gone and vied for that seat again. So, please, do not talk about “nominated;” I am a Senator in this House!
Madam Temporary Speaker, we need protection.
Madam Temporary Speaker, what I was about to say until I was rudely interrupted is that no problem is solved overnight. Whether I believe, and whether The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order, Sen. Ong’era?
Madam Temporary Speaker, is the honorable elected Senator, Beth Mugo, in order to say that the Senate is part of the Government, when we know that there exists the principle of separation of powers; that this is the Legislature, there is the Executive and the Judiciary?
Sen. Mugo, what exactly did you mean by stating that we are part of the Government?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I meant to say that the Government has three arms; one is the Judiciary, the other one is the Legislature and the third one is the Executive. I did not say that I am a Member of the Executive. I said I am a Member of the ‘Government,’ which includes all of us, even as Senators.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I hope they will now, at least, let me finish what I am saying.
Yes, I will---
Sen. Anyang’-Nyong’o, allow Sen. Mugo to finish her contribution.
Madam Temporary Speaker, what I am suggesting is that we do not rob the children or try to connect the issue of the laptops to pay teachers. We know there are people who opposed the laptop initiative even before teachers went on strike. So, let us not politicize the laptops initiative; let us give children their rights. We need to be innovative and to give our children equal opportunities as other children of the whole world.
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Her time is up. Sen. Mugo, do you wish to be informed by Sen. Mbuvi? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Yes, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Your time is also over.
Let him still inform us.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I wish to inform Sen. Mugo on the issue of laptops. Madam Temporary Speaker, this is a digital Government and we are in a digital era. Those who are opposing the laptop initiative by the Government, I think they are lost---
Is that informing or updating her?
I am informing her, Madam Temporary Speaker; I am not updating.
Are you debating?
I am not debating, Madam Temporary Speaker. I wish to inform her that all those honorable Senators who are opposing the laptop initiative before this House are wrong. The reason I am informing the honorable Senator is because they had all the time for preparing---
Senator, you are now debating.
Am I debating?
Then can I take my time to debate---
No, no, no, no; it was not your time! You have made your point of information. Kindly take your seat and you will be given time.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. Madam Temporary Speaker, the issue of teacher’s salaries or payment is very crucial and we need to pay them. But the issue of beating about the bush and saying that the laptop initiative is this or that, that is not the thing. Let us stick to the issue, Senators, because we have been talking about the laptops and other issues. Let us call a “spide” a “spide” and not a big spoon.
Senator, are you referring to a spider? What is a spide?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I said; let us call a “spide” a “spide”; a spade a spade, not a spoon, but a spide. Okay? It was a slip of the tongue.
I am saying that always when we come to this--- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. Karaba, what is so out of order?
Madam Temporary Speaker, anytime we talk of issues, let us not use a point which is not there. I have been hearing some learned Senators talking of something which is not there, because we are talking about teachers’ salaries, and teachers need to be paid. If a Senator is mindful enough, let him contribute in the problem solving process, but not just talking something which is irrelevant, like talking about laptops, which we had discussed some weeks back. Today, we are here to support the teacher’s demand for payment of their salaries and we actually plead--- I beg our Executive to take this issue seriously because we are parents; we have our people there. Like me, I even employ ten teachers from my pocket.
I have given two teachers appointment letters to go and teach the people down there; I want everyone to take this example. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale should not only take issues and oppose them. Let us take the important part of the Motion that you are discussing. It is not only the Executive to blame, but every one of us has contributed to this problem. In fact, the previous Government is the problem, caused by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the agent of all these problems that we are encountering today. We wanted to solve this problem today. We fail to plan, and we do not plan to fail. You are the one to plan for our future; you are the ones who have to plan for our children. Let us negotiate; let us discuss the problem seriously and say this is the route; this is how we will deal with this problem” because the Senate is composed of mature leaders. The Senate is the Upper House; the Senate is the House where things are resolved. The Senate is actually not like the House of MPs, where you heard the MPs being called ‘pigs.’ We do not want to be called pigs like our friends there. So, please, we want our teachers to be paid; I want our principals to take note of this seriously, because if I am employing ten teachers from the little salary that they have given me, what about our Executive, who are able to employ hundreds of teachers from their pockets? Why can they not take this issue seriously and pay teachers enough salary so that we can take forward our lives so that we can, at least, get learned Kenyans? Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I agree with the Senator who has just spoken that we need to solve the problems, and I think I am going to try to be part of the solution. But, first, let me try and correct Sen. Murungi. I think populism just came to an end in Latin America with the passing on of Hugo Chavez. Latin American Governments are now very reformist, very neo-liberal and I think populism has moved more to Africa than anywhere else. After having said that, Madam Temporary Speaker, I agree with our colleague Senators that we need to invest in our children---
Just a minute, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’- Nyong’o. What is out of order, Sen. Mbuvi?
Madam Temporary Speaker, can the Senator repeat himself? I have heard him saying “Rachel Shebesh;” I do not know---
Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o, did you, by any means, mention the name of hon. Shebesh to the annoyance of Sen. Mbuvi?
No, no, no, Madam Temporary Speaker. I said ‘Hugo Chavez,’ not “Rachel Shebesh”!
Having said that, Madam Temporary Speaker, let me try and make the following proposal. I agree that we need to look at the conditions of work and service for teachers. That is the most important issue. Indeed, we need to do this in a bipartisan way because this is a national problem. The solution will come from a bipartisan process. Madam Temporary Speaker, in a bipartisan solution, you will realize that there are two areas in which we have had a lot of Commissions since Independence; it is the area of education and land. I remember soon after Independence, we had the Ominde Commission and other Commissions have followed, like the James Mwangi Kamunge Commission, and so on. You can count a lot of Commissions on education, which means that education is a major problem, just as land is. Having said that, Madam Temporary Speaker, if you look at the recommendations of most of these Commissions, they have always been bipartisan or national. One of the things we must realize at the moment is that if you are the Minister for Finance and you are faced with teachers demanding salaries, and you have a finite budget, you have to look at your budget and decide; where am I going to get the cuts from to pay the teachers, because the budget is finite. Sen. Mugo knows that this is what we did in the Cabinet; we looked at the budget and asked: “Where can we make the cuts to pay the teachers and the medical professionals?” Those who are making the proposal that the cuts should come from the laptop initiative are not against the laptop initiative. They are only saying that given that the budget is finite--- The amount allocated for purchase of laptops can be spent now to solve the problem while in future we look at how we can have this laptop agenda progressively. In any case, we should not just look at it as laptops. We should The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Your time is up, Senator. Sen. Sonko, Mike Mbuvi! Before you proceed, you rose on a point of order and you thought that Mhe. Shebesh was mentioned. Are you by implication gagging all Senators never to mention that name? Or is it a preserve only for yourself or what did you mean?
Not a preserve, Madam Temporary Speaker. I did not get the hon. Senator. I just want him to repeat.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Senator, you were interrupted and we had reduced the talking time to allow at least two more Senators to contribute to this before we close. Kindly, Senator, please take your seat. Proceed, Sen. Sonko and you have exactly two minutes.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. First and foremost, I support the teachers’ strike as provided for in Article 37 of the Constitution. They are entitled to peaceful demonstration. I know the pain the teachers are facing. My own children went to public schools, the first born went to Buruburu Girls High School which is a public school. My second born went to Our Lady of Mercy which is in my former constituency. The issue of payment of teachers’ salaries and the issue of laptops are two different issues. Allow me to defend our Government. You have heard the remarks of other colleagues who have spoken here. My friend or my shogga, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, he is my shogga just like his former boss. The former Prime Minister was my shogga .
is a friend and not abusive language.
Order, Sen. Sonko! You started debating in English and you have to continue in English. Can you clarify the word that you have used?
With all due respect, if I put the word shogga in English, it will be abusive word.
But you have to go by the Standing Orders. Do not deviate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. My friends who are here to criticize the Government and the laptop issue, I would like to challenge them and I repeat that this is a digital Government.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. Is the hon. Senator correct to say that those who have talked about the laptop issue are criticizing the Government when I have made it very clear that we are making a proposal as to where the amount of money that is to be paid to teachers can come from? All that the Senator can say is to propose where other funds can come from.
Sen. Sonko, apart from clarifying that, I ruled that you must withdraw that part of your statement. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I am withdrawing but what I mean is that we should not politicize the laptop initiative by the Government. The reason why I am saying this is because this is a digital Government. We had all the time to prepare our people, our students, our parents and our schools for this digital moment. All colleagues who have criticized the laptop initiative were Members of Parliament or Cabinet Ministers in the former Government and they had enough time to do---
Your time is up.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. Because of time, I will be very brief. The issue of digitization and laptops cannot fail to arise when we are talking about teachers who need to be paid and looking for solutions and finding ways where we think there are resources that can be diverted to teachers who are very important in this society. There is no other society apart from the Kenyan society where there is such inconsistency in education. In no part of the world would you hear that students or children have not gone to school either at primary, secondary or university. This is something you only hear about in Kenya. It has stayed for too long without being addressed and it is a terrible culture. We see and hear teachers being discussed in open and derogative ways and yet these are responsible members of this society who are also socializing with our children. We are also bringing in the culture of strikes. What is going to happen to the future generation of Kenyan children who are used to knowing that unless you strike, you are not able to do anything and that an agreement that was made as far back as 1997 has not been honoured and yet not enough concerted effort is going into honouring it? We do not want to see the Atienos crying in this country. We also have to remember that the issue of social class indicates that there are certain children in private schools who continue to go to schools. Thank you.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I rise to support this Motion calling upon the Government to take the matter at hand very seriously. This is a very important time in the calendar of education in Kenya where we are now preparing children for mocks both in primary schools and secondary schools. At the end of this year, examinations are going to start. They are just barely three months ahead of us. Any nation that does not take teaching very seriously is a nation planning to fail badly. For example, in education, the teacher is the pillar. Just like the Bible says: The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone for the house. If we must get things right in Kenya, our teaching force needs to be remunerated properly and at the same time, we must also employ new ones to fill the gap that exists. I support this Motion and say that as early as tomorrow, if possible, the Government should sit down with the teaching force and the Kshs350 million I heard Cabinet Kazungu Kambi saying that they will build a polytechnic per constituency which translates to Kshs101.5 billion, is quickly transferred to the Teachers Service Commission before we do any building if he has that money. Thank you.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I will try to be very brief since I only have a minute. I am surprised that from The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, it is now time for interruption of business. The Senate stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 27th June, 2013 at 2.30 p.m. The Senate rose at 6.30 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.