Order, Hon. Senators! Could we confirm if we have a quorum?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have a quorum.
Proceed with orders for the day.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to present this Petition, pursuant to Standing Order No.222(2)(a). Before I do so, would I be in order to inform my colleague Senators that the incoming Senator for Makueni, Kethi Kilonzo, has just been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)?
Order! Order, Senator Musila! You are completely out of order! As a senior citizen and a senior Member of this House, you know how one becomes available to the House. So, hold your horses until then.
I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir. But I was just excited because of the problem that TNA was trying to cause to us. Mr. Speaker, Sir, pursuant to Standing Order No.222(2)(a), I wish to present a Petition on behalf of Mr. Joseph Kalinga of Post Office Box 8, Migwani, Kitui. Mr. Kalinga is a Kenyan citizen and a resident of Kitui County. As hon. Senators are aware, under Article 119 of the Constitution, and I quote:- “(1) Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including to enact, amend or repeal any legislation.” 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. Which vision is Vision 2013?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg your pardon. I want to make a correction; it is Vision 2030. If I said 2013, I meant 2030. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the objective is to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized middle income country, providing a high quality life to all citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the road is also part of a critical international highway which is expected to unlock the economic potential of the southern region of the country as a whole, and also of other African countries by creating a linked network within the continent. For this reason, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has, on a number of occasions urged the Government of Kenya to prioritize the tarmacking of the road. The petitioner further states that over the years, numerous appeals and requests have been made to the national Government by the residents of Kitui County, through different persons and bodies to have the road repaired. Some of these are outlined below. (a) Pleas by the residents of the county to the appointed and elected leaders, drawing their attention to the dilapidated condition of the road. (b) Undertakings made on at least three occasions by the immediate former President, hon. Mwai Kibaki, while on official visits to the county to the effect that the road will be tarmacked. 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 stand on Standing Order No.223 to make a brief comment on this Petition. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate Mr. Kalinga. I am in total agreement with all the prayers that he has raised. But there is something else which must not be lost to this Senate; the time former President Kibaki was making those pronouncements, the Constitution of Kenya was in force. Under Article 135 of the new Constitution, the decision of a President is supposed to be in writing, signed and with the public seal. I want the Committee to go further and find out who reversed that decision of the President. I believe hon. Kibaki was a stickler for the law; he must have signed this. We hold the Treasury responsible for bypassing the decision of the President. At the same time, it has also come to the public domain that the current President seems to want to play politics with development. He was quoted live at a funeral of our Senator making a roadside declaration. We would like the Committee also to confirm that the declaration by his Excellency the President that the road will be tarmacked is also in writing. If it is not in writing, this Senate must insist that the President must put it in writing, so that the rule of law must be seen to be the order of doing business in the Republic of Kenya. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to support this Petition.
Since there are no more Senators interested in contributing to the Petition, the Petition will be committed to the relevant Committee. The Committee must realize that it must deal with this Petition, according to the Standing Orders, within 60 days and table the report, indeed, as requested by the petitioner through Sen. Musila. 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Statement from the Ministry or Committee concerned with education, science and technology as regards the current state of strike engaging our teachers union in the Republic, and it is as follows. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 1997, there was an agreement signed between the Government and teachers. I would like to seek the clarification for the agreement which was signed in 1997 pertaining to the teachers and the then Government. It should be clarified whether that agreement was valid or not. If it was valid, therefore, the strike of the teachers presently should be addressed forthwith. The agreement was signed, but the successive governments have taken no action since 1997 to date. There was the then President Daniel arap Moi; there was also the PNU President, Mwai Kibaki and currently, we have President Uhuru. We need to be told whether the agreement that was arrived at by the then President Moi was not passed over to the next President to forestall the current state of unrest among the teaching fraternity in the Republic. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also important to note that a lot of money might go into the purchase of laptops. According to the budget, they have set aside a sum o f Kshs53 billion to buy laptops for pupils joining class one next year. Recruitment of teachers is yet to be done. We need to know who will teach these standard one pupils how to use those computers. So, we need the recruitment of teachers in this area. We need the Government to clear the air, because the air is thick. We need to know exactly what is happening. What steps is the current Government taking to forestall the present state of the teachers strike? As I was passing through the National Assembly, I found quite a number of teachers trying to get into the National Assembly. I am sure that if they knew where we were, they would also come here. It is just that, maybe, they do not know the direction or the location. I am sure teachers are smart people. One of these days, they will find us here. We need to be careful because this can lead to national strife. We need the Government to issue the statement as regards to this situation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Chairman of the Committee?
Sen. Karaba, you have already discharged your responsibility; you may now resume your seat. Where is the Chairman, Vice Chairman or any Member of the relevant Committee? Yes, Sen. Halima? 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, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I apologize for being late. Since my Chairman is not around, we will meet, discuss the issue and we hope to bring the report to this Senate next week on Thursday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Halima, you may also wish to collaborate with the Labour and Housing Committee since it involves the strike as well.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Karaba?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very serious matter. We need not wait for it to go up to next Thursday. This is an issue which has been pending for the last 16 years, going by the date 1997. The Government should be able to give us a statement as soon as yesterday. We need it on Tuesday because with the current state of affairs, I am sure, teachers can do anything now. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think---
Order, Sen. Halima! You are not on record, you need to put the microphone on.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have done so. Sen. Karaba is also a member of the Committee. He should make an effort and collaborate with other members of the committee so that we bring a comprehensive report to this House. We, as a Committee, are trying our best. In fact, we have booked an appointment with the Cabinet Secretary. We are willing to table the report before this House as soon as possible. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it Sen. Abdirahman?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we need a response from an authoritative Government source. We need a report from the Chairperson of the Committee. As the tradition is, he will be speaking, having got information from the actual source. This is a matter of national concern. I do not know if my Sister from Wajir County and Sen. Karaba will be able to handle the matter at committee level. Mr. Speaker, Sir, could you give us some directions on this issue?
Sen. Abdirahman, are you trying to imply that the Chair, the Vice-Chair and the rest of the Committee members cannot do their job to the best of their abilities, including inviting the Cabinet Secretaries? Those are details that every committee is fully aware of. On a matter of this magnitude, I would expect them to call in the officers responsible and give a proper response to the House.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I meant is that I am sure they will deliberate on this matter as a Committee. However, we need a serious undertaking from either the Chair or the Vice Chair or from a member of the Committee who will be held responsible.
There is an undertaking!
Good! 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. I have two points of order that I wish to raise. The first one is in respect to a statement I sought last week and the Chair directed that the response should be given today. This is on the issue of transfer of National Government functions to devolved governments. I notice the Chair of the Committee on Devolved Government is around. I do not know what he has to say about this before I move on to the second point of order.
What is your response, Chairman Committee on Devolved Government?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have received the request for the Statement. This is a very important question that has been raised by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale considering the situation we are in, in terms transfer of functions and resources. I have consulted informally with my colleague, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. Owing to the seriousness of this issue, I beg that we allow the Cabinet Minister in charge of this docket time to give us a comprehensive answer. I will get back to the House on this matter on Thursday, next week.
Chairman of the Committee on Devolved Government, it is worth noting that transfer of functions is supposed to be from 1st July, 2013. Thursday next week will be 4th, July, 2013. In light of those conflicting deadlines, do you have anything more useful to add?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, even if the functions are transferred next week, this House will still have the teeth to ensure that the resources are transferred. Whereas His Excellency the President talked about 1st July, 2013, nothing in law provides that particular timelines should be provided for. Even if we discover midway that a function has been transferred and there are no resources, it will be unconstitutional as stipulated under Article 187 of the Constitution. Therefore, the House will still have the powers. Even if the Cabinet Secretary by that time give us an answer that says: “Yes, we have transferred the functions and these are the resources” then we can assess the adequacy of the resources transferred, based on the answers they will give us. We will not act in futility.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand guided by whatever you have decided. But I would like to encourage the Chairman to look at Article 185 of the Constitution. In addition, he should read Section 15 of the Sixth Schedule. This matter is not just a question of resources; it is a question of the requirements of the law. If he reads these two provisions, he will become familiar with what I am talking about and he will be able to respond appropriately. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether I should go on with my second point of order or I wait for your directions.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, you can move on to the second point of order. I am satisfied. The Chairman of the Committee on Devolved Government 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am rising under Standing Order No.158(5) to seek direction from the Chair on a matter which is fairly urgent. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will recall that the Division of Revenue Bill, which was assented to by His Excellency the President came into force on 25th June, 2013. This is in accordance with Article 116 of the Constitution of Kenya which provides that such an Act, once assented to, can only come into force after 14 days. According to Standing Order No.158(5), this House is, therefore, required to generate a County Allocation of Revenue Bill within a period of seven days. As I speak, there are five more days to go. The House will recall that the Division of Revenue Act is a vexing matter to the nation, this House, the Governors and all the County Governments, having, as a House, contested the constitutionality of that process. In fact, as the Senate well knows, this matter is currently very active at the Supreme Court. This, therefore, raises the critical question of whether this Senate can proceed within the remaining five days with the process of initiating, considering and debating the County Allocation of Revenue Bill. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am requesting the Chair to give a clear direction on whether we can proceed. If it is in the opinion of the Chair that we proceed, let us do so when, again, the Chair has made it abundantly clear on the meaning of that proceeding. In my judgment, if we proceed, the challenge is: Do we proceed with the National Assembly version of Kshs210 billion of the revenue which is being shared or do we proceed with the version the Senate which recommended an allocation of Kshs258 billion? Mr. Speaker, Sir, needless to remind you, this House, up to now, has not vacated its resolution. The resolution of the Senate is still as it was, that of an allocation of Kshs258 billion. This is the resolution that the National Assembly contradicted. Is it possible for the Senate to proceed against itself? Will we go on with the provision of Kshs210 billion and yet our resolution was Kshs258 billion? We shall effectively be proceeding against ourselves. If we choose to proceed with the version of the National Assembly of Kshs210 billion, where does that leave the Senate before the Supreme Court? Shall we not become complicit in it? Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is even a greater issue of sub judice . When we shall be debating the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, we will, obviously, walk into the area of
If we shall be doing so using the version of the National Assembly then, as they say in law, we cannot, therefore, be able to approach the Supreme Court with clean hands. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the other aspect of it is, if we do not proceed at all--- If we do not do so, the immediate consequence is that county governments will be starved of cash. Immediately, politics will come into play. Kenyans will ask: “Who do we blame?” They might say: “As a result of the refusal by the Senate to work on the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, the county governments have been starved of cash.” It is for this reason 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, let me take one or two other views. Sen. Murkomen!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. First, I would like to congratulate and appreciate Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale for that elaborate request. I want to inform him that all Kenyans can read the Constitution. What we need to debate on is whether they understand the document. There has been a lot of debate since we went to court as a House. The public has engaged in varied discussions as to the implications of our action. I would urge that as the Chair gives directions, it must be very clear--- There have been sentiments directed at dividing this House either in between tribes or party lines. This House is strongly united. We took our position based on good decorum and manners. We should ensure that we follow institutional support and be respectful in this debate. We must demonstrate that 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, hon. Senators. I will make the ruling on Tuesday, next week. In the meantime, I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to Standing Order No.158(5). It says:- “Not later than seven days following the enactment of the Annual Division of Revenue Bill, the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs shall introduce a County Allocation of Revenue Bill, which shall divide among the counties the revenue allocated to the county level of government on the basis determined in accordance with the resolution in force under Article 217 of the Constitution.” In addition, Standing Order No.158(6) says:- “The County Allocation of Revenue Bill shall be accompanied by a memorandum setting out- (a) an explanation of revenue allocation as proposed by the Bill; (b) an evaluation of the Bill in relation to the criteria mentioned in Article 203 (1) of the Constitution; 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Senate Majority Leader and pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.43(2), I beg to present the Senate business for the coming week:- (i) Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013 - The Rules and Business Committee will meet on Tuesday 2nd July, 2013 at 12.00 noon to schedule business of the Senate for the week commencing Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013. The Senate will continue with business that will not be concluded in today’s Order Paper. In addition, the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2013 will be introduced in the Senate by way of First Reading. The Senate will also commence debate on a Motion by Sen. (Dr.) Wilfred Machage on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. (ii) On Wednesday 3rd July, 2013; (a) Morning sitting – The Senate will continue with business not concluded on Tuesday 2nd July, 2013 and consider any other business scheduled by the Rules and Business Committee. The Senate will also consider its calendar for the year 2013. (b) Afternoon sitting – The Senate will continue with the business not concluded on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and consider any other business scheduled by the Rules and Business Committee. 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.
Who was on the Floor? Any other Senator wishing to contribute? The Motion has 50 minutes to conclude. Sen. Wako.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. First of all, I want to thank the Mover of the Motion who is also the Chairman of the Sessional Committee on Devolution for having brought this Motion. I thank him because, as you know, we are now undertaking internal processes of identifying the type of amendments to the Constitution which will be subjected to a referendum. We have begun getting views on this. Some have proposed a 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, Senator for Kiambu?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am just wondering whether the hon. Senator is in order to state and suggest to this House that as the Senator for Kiambu County where Alliance High School is situated, that I do not support what he is saying about the pressures in the national schools and what needs to be done to correct the situation. I want to state categorically that I understand and appreciate all that he is saying. It is important that all corrective measures should be taken to make sure that schools are adequately facilitated. It is not in order for the hon. Senator to suggest that I am aloof to that reality.
Order, Senator! That was not the issue. I thought the issue is whether you are going to reduce Alliance High School from a national to a county school.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, actually I do not know whether that is guilty conscience because I did not even state that the Senator is of that view. In fact, I respect the Senator. What I stated is a historical fact. I know that in the 1990s, there was some pressure, but we resisted. There was some pressure that we should create an extra classroom at Alliance High School to cater for local people from around that school. I am glad that he is not party to that pressure. So, we shall work together on that one. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Motion is 100 per cent okay as it goes. However, Article 187 says when the Motion is carried, the national Government will have to enter into an agreement with the county governments on how it should be done. I am now respectively suggesting that in that agreement that will be entered into, care must be taken and special positions must be done over the issue of national schools to be preserved. As it is now, the Motion, without any amendments, is okay. I believe that the respective people and institutions, particularly the national Government cannot take the initiative in this regard and enter into agreement with all the county governments as far as this Motion is concerned. With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for the opportunity to make my remarks on this particular Motion. Let me, at the very beginning, state that I fully support this Motion. I want to thank my colleague, Sen. Murkomen for coming up with it. I also want to state that about two or three weeks ago, I filed a similar Motion and I was hoping that it will see the light of day. The only difference is that my Motion was directed to the department of education wanting the department to let development 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.
Thank you Madam Temporary Speaker. Let me say from the onset that I oppose this Motion. I do not want to thank the Mover because we should ventilate on these issues. As a country, we need to be very careful as to what we devolve. Education is a national function. Why do I say so? I say that because education must be standardised. You cannot set examinations for the whole country unless education is standardised and the facilities are the same. I happen to have served in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as an Assistant Minister in charge of basic education and there are certain areas I visited where the capacity to handle such functions did not exist. I know there are also some areas where even some national institutions lower the marks for entry. I am talking about schools like Alliance and such other schools like Mang’u and Maseno. They lower because of marginalization. Why do they lower the cut off marks? This is because unless they do that, there will be no children from those areas entering national schools. I believe by devolving education, we will have a more serious problem than we have today. What we should do is to try to bring education at par in all areas. There are some areas where we transfer teachers and before they complete a year, they want to move. You have to work very hard to keep them there. If this becomes a county function, 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. While I appreciate the concerns of my colleague, Sen. Mugo, is it in order for her to debate on issues that are outside the Motion? The Motion only talks about infrastructure and equipment. It does not talk about hiring of teachers, quality assurance and the role of the TSC among other issues. It is constricted to buildings and equipment.
Thank you Senator. Madam Temporary Speaker, I believe it will be very difficult to divide those functions; functions of infrastructure, the need for schools to give quality education and the functions of hiring. All those go together. It is the planning that matters. Unless the planning is done centrally, I do not see how you will deliver the functions. Personally, I hesitate to support the Motion. In the Tenth Parliament I had an opportunity to be invited to the Harvard School of Business of Government among other people who had been invited from all over the world for a course of two weeks in governance. The Professor who was teaching us told us that devolving education had been tried in Brazil but they were now going back to where they were because it did not work. Madam Temporary Speaker, when I attended a meeting on health matters during the World Health Organization (WHO) Assembly in Geneva, the same thing was cautioned by the Global Fund. I believe it was by one of our donors. They cautioned us about devolving education and they quoted Brazil because somehow, there is a very strong connection between education and health. I urge you Senators, my colleagues, especially those who are representing certain counties to rethink whether this is the time to devolve education in whichever form. Education matters should not have any interruptions. Devolving issues of education also came up at the Bomas of Kenya and a majority of the delegates decided that we would rather devolve health but leave education intact. We have a Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) meeting which I will be attending, coming up in five minutes but I am glad that I got an opportunity to air my feelings on this. I would have liked to go further than this. However, I would like to urge you, hon. Senators to consider all areas before you devolve any part of education.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I stand to support the Motion by Sen. Kipchumba. Madam Temporary Speaker, first, education is key. Primary and secondary education is very basic for the growth of a child. Devolving this function will enable us improve education and as a result there will be good performance in our schools. I say this because every school in every county wishes to be at the top. That means that we are encouraging competition within the various counties. Also, every county will want to be the best in the country, because we are just devolving the functions but not the main things like examination, policies and curriculum. Madam Temporary Speaker, the other reason I support this Motion is that; it is at this level that education will be managed closely by the county governments. As a result, we shall have good results and encourage competition. Job creation will also be a priority because we have many unemployed graduates outside there. When this function is 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, for giving me this chance again to contribute to the Motion on education and devolution to the counties. Madam Temporary Speaker, much as I would appreciate supporting the Motion, there are some grey areas that we need to look into. Some of these areas - I hope the Mover will agree with me - include the way we will handle the devolved secondary and primary education. This is because some counties cannot even manage to run primary and nursery schools. If we were to devolve education to the county level, we would risk putting particularly the employment of teachers into jeopardy. I say this because before the teachers were employed by the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) in 1960, it was up to the then local councils to recruit and develop some of the educational institutions. This process was a mess in very many counties. So, we are likely to regret when it comes to who will be responsible, particularly for the recruitment of teachers. How will these functions be devolved to the counties and yet some of the developments so far, are not at par in all counties? Some counties like Nairobi are at very advanced stages. So, if we were to compare them with other counties which are yet to devolve, the moment they start with education, there will be a lot of inequalities in the education facilities which will be provided in those counties. Therefore, I would advocate that before we discuss issues on education, we should have a stakeholders’ meeting where we can psyche the counties which will be involved, instead of it coming from us because it will appear like we are the people imposing the devolution on them and yet we are going to provide the oversight role in the counties. Madam Temporary Speaker, I am a bit hesitant to debate this Motion because I know what it means, particularly for some areas which have not even taken off academically. There are places where there are no schools. There are nomadic communities where students keep moving from one place to another because there are no permanent classrooms. I wonder what will happen when it comes to the implementation of the laptops project. This is because the laptops will be carried by the same students from one place to another as they look after livestock. Since enough classrooms are not available in some of these areas, we are going to create more hardship because some of the students, who otherwise would have moved out to go and learn in other schools in well endowed counties, would be disadvantaged. They will remain in those counties and not further their education. This has happened and that is the reason the quota system was introduced. This was an experiment after a very long debate where the Government found it fit to have students in some disadvantaged areas move to those areas which are advantaged. As a result of that, there was a lot of student integration all over the country. This is what created what we can call patriotism. People would move from, say, Mandera in North Eastern to Machakos. Others would move to Shimo La Tewa. That was during the time 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. First and foremost, I want to state very clearly here that I fully support this Motion. Madam Temporary Speaker, first, I support the Motion because of the way it was drafted. I want to thank Sen. Murkomen for the way he drafted this Motion, because he was very careful to make sure that he did not include the TSC, examinations and quality assurance. This is because these are institutions that we should try as much as possible not to devolve in this system of education. Madam Temporary Speaker, as far as the other aspects which have been stated are concerned, I would want to say that Article 187 which allows for transfer of functions and also the Transition to Devolved Government Act, state the provisions under which this can be done; how we can transfer functions. I think that these two Acts and a constitutional requirement, anticipates that it might actually be desirable in the future to transfer some functions from the central Government to the county governments, and this is anticipated. It has actually stated that agreements could be reached between the national Government and individual county governments. So, those county governments 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 for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. Let me say from the outset that in view of some of the contributions made by my colleagues and especially comments and contributions made by Sen. Karaba, him being an educationist, certainly his views are important and should be taken seriously. I also want to set clarity on some of the issues as I understand them. The main motive behind this Motion is not essentially to transfer some of the functions as has been misunderstood. I support this Motion because it is clear in my mind from practical experience, that indeed, what the Mover of this Motion is seeking is to transfer infrastructure and equipment. I cannot remember how many times in my political life, I have attended 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 for giving me the chance to contribute to this Motion. I wish to fully support the Motion on the basis that it is timous. This is the time devolution is taking shape in our country and it is part of the implementation of the new Constitution which we fought so hard to pass. I disagree with my colleagues who do not support the Motion. I do not see it as a threat to the standards of education as alleged. In my humble view, it will help the locals within the county to eradicate poverty because they will be able to participate and provide the necessary equipment or whatever may be needed locally instead of waiting for resources to come from the national Government. Madam Temporary Speaker, I also know that the Senate is there to oversee the smooth running of the education system within the county. We will be able to vet and ensure that nothing goes wrong or nothing is abused. By the end of the day, it will be a win-win situation for everybody. Perhaps Senators need to take a tour of the country. There are actually some counties where schools look so pathetic and if everything is devolved especially the infrastructure or the buying of equipment, then the county governments will ensure that all those schools within their regions are well equipped as those where perhaps, devolution occurred a long time ago, may be, due to the nearness or accessibility to the central Government or the headquarters of the country. Without saying much, I just wish to fully support the Motion.
Since we do not have any more contributors, can we ask the Mover to reply? 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 would like to thank you for giving me this chance to reply and to also thank my colleagues who have eloquently contributed to the Motion. I think if there is something very dear and very heavy in my heart, it is the question of education. This is because I know education is an equalizer and it gives us equal chances. Some of us would not have been here had it not been for the opportunity we got to go to school. It is through education that we were able to know many people, travel everywhere and even get an opportunity to become Members of this House. It is important that we clarify certain things from the outset. First, this Motion is seeking to only transfer the function of infrastructure and equipping of primary and secondary schools to the county level. If you look at Schedule Four, there are more other functions that are going on at the national level, for example, the functions of quality assurance and hiring of teachers which cannot be transferred because it is under a constitutional commission; the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). These include, curriculum review, policy making and issues related to admissions, among others. These are functions that will remain at the national level but if you go back today, you will realize that my primary school which I went to was only built through two things: harambees and Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Sen. Karaba will appreciate and has confirmed to me that the largest percentage of CDF when he was a Member of the National Assembly was basically going to building schools or medical institutions. What we are now saying is that because the local people have the capacity to decide which school they want to put money into and how they want to build it, it is better that the resources be given to them for purposes of building infrastructure. When we talk about infrastructure, we mean classrooms, laboratories, houses for teachers, dining halls, toilets, among others. We are not saying that we devolve any other function but infrastructure. Equipment means that if you build a dormitory, then you should buy the beds. The national Government cannot come to buy beds at the local level. If you build a laboratory, you buy the laboratory equipment. If you build a hall then you must buy the desks. If you build a classroom then you must buy desks for the students. If you build a library then you must also buy textbooks. How many of us go for school open days where the teachers ask parents to go with text books. This happens because schools do not have books. If we take this function to the local level, we would have the opportunity to equip those schools. I was not there but Sen. Obure and Sen. Kittony must have been there in the 1960s when education was a function of county councils. This went on until 1967 when devolution collapsed. At that time, the schools were well equipped and the teachers who were hired did not necessarily come from the locality because the community cared about results more than getting a person from their tribe to come and teach in the school. At that time, everything was at a local level except policy making. We are saying that we need to transfer building of infrastructure and equipping of infrastructure at the local level. Madam Temporary Speaker, currently there are few schools which are being run by the City Council of Nairobi. There is even a department of education in the council. When you transfer functions to the council of Nairobi, you cannot tell them that Schedule Four says that the function is a function of the national Government and so schools should be surrendered to the national Government. It would not add any value that the city primary schools can now be transferred to the national Government. So, you cannot 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 Sen. Murkomen to use two languages while making his presentation?
Senator, you are out of order. If you started debating in English, you must continue fully in English. Correct that.
Madam Temporary Speaker, for the illustration to be understood very well and for Kenyans to see what I am trying to say; since they are used to the “ Mtukufu Rais ” argument---
In spite of that, we have to respect our Standing Orders.
I appreciate that, Madam Temporary Speaker. I will rephrase it in English. We are used to a delegation system where the President would pass by your village. If you had a problem, for example, if a roof of a school had been destroyed by wind, you only had to present your problems to the national Government. I do not think that this attitude of waiting for the national Government to solve small problems at the local level is something that the Senate would like to retain. We, therefore, would like to encourage transfer of functions. I like what Sen. Karaba raised, that some counties have no capacity. If you read Part III Sections 24 to 28 of the Transition to County Government Act, you will see this very clearly. Article 24 says if you transfer the functions, then you must also transfer the powers and assist the competence of the institution that will receive those functions. 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 information, Madam Temporary Speaker.
It is okay, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to inform my friend, Sen. Murkomen, that there is CDF which provides emergency funds in case a roof is blown off by wind. We also have the Equalisation Fund which is from the national kitty. This Fund can be given to the counties which cannot raise funds to improve their schools infrastructure.
Madam Temporary Speaker, in other words, Sen. Karaba is admitting that contrary to his initial views, Kirinyaga County is capable of taking over this function, if transferred to them. He is saying that already the CDF is being used to build those institutions and that the Equalisation Fund was targeted for that reason. We know very well that the Equalisation Fund will not go to all counties but to some. Clear resources for building classrooms and laboratories and for equipping them should be given to counties so that they prioritise what to build and we stop situations like what we used to have in our days. During our days, while we were in class, we could see animals like donkeys grazing and this would cause distraction. In fact, we need to have the capacity. Madam Temporary Speaker, counties like Turkana and other areas where there are pastoralist communities should make a decision on what kind of infrastructure they want to build. If they know that they will be moving from one area to another, probably they may want to build makeshift classrooms and retain some of their money. Those priorities are not known by the national Government. They are known by the entities at the local level and that is important. 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. Senator, your request is in order. I make specific reference, for the avoidance of doubt, to Standing Order No.51 (2) which states:- “(1) “At the conclusion of debate, the Speaker shall put the Question. 3. Despite paragraph (2), the Speaker may, on the request of a Senator defer the putting of the question to the following day in which case the Speaker shall thereupon nominate a time at which the question shall be put.” Since you have done that procedurally, I direct that we put the Question on Wednesday next week at 3.00 pm. Hon. Senators, is that okay with you?
Hon. Senators, there being no other business, the Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013 at 2.30 pm. The Senate rose at 4.35 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.