Do we have quorum?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Senators, we have a quorum. So, we will proceed with the business on the Order Paper.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, recognizing that subsequent droughts in northern Kenya, in the 1970’s and 1980’s decimated livestock which is the main source of livelihood of the pastoral community in the area, leaving them destitute; aware that neither Government nor Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) effectively responded by extending assistance to these victims of adverse weather; aware that the collapse of the Government in Somalia in 1990 resulted in the displacement of thousands of refugees which fled to camps in Kenya located at Liboi and Dabaab in Garissa County; further aware that some Kenyan pastoralists due to their abject poverty disguised themselves as refugees and registered in the United Nations (UN) camps; noting that the Government recognized that by 2005 such Kenyans totalled over 4,000 from Ijara Constituency alone; cognizant that the number 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, Senator. Next Order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources. The Statement relates to the policy on irrigation in Kenya. In this Statement, I would like the Chairperson of the Committee to:- (i) Confirm whether the Government is committed to putting over one million acres of land under irrigation during the current financial year as promised by His Excellency the President. (ii) State whether the exercise has commenced. If not, when it will commence, especially in the interest of elapsing time. (iii) Specify areas ear-marked for the implementation of the programme indicating in which counties and quantify the work done, if any, during the first quarter of the current Financial Year 2013/2014. (iv) State the amount of money set aside for the programme indicating how much has been spent so far and for what purpose. (v) Indicate which level of Government, national or county, is managing the programme. RAID BY CATTLE RUSTLERS AT APUKE IN WEST POKOT COUNTY Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, secondly, I seek this Statement under Standing Order No. 43(2)(c) and it goes to the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations with regard to raid by a gang of cattle rustlers at Apuke in West Pokot County on the morning of Monday, 30th September, 2013, in which four 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.
Let us deal with the Order for this afternoon first. You can raise that issue once you have finished with request for Statements. Before we go to Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, could the Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources respond to the first Statement sought? When is the Statement going to be issued?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Chairperson is not here and I am the Vice-Chairman of the Committee. I want to give an undertaking that we will issue that Statement in two weeks’ time.
Is that okay, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The second Statement goes to the Chairperson for the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations. When are you going to issue the Statement sought by Sen. Lonyangapuo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am asking for one week to issue that Statement.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, is one week okay with you?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Khaniri, do you wish to seek for a Statement? GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO VICTIMS OF WESTGATE MALL TERROR ATTACK
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise under Standing Order No. 43(2) (c) to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations. The Statement relates to the recent terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Westlands Nairobi County. It has nothing to do with security, but it is more 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, Sen. Khaniri. Allow me not to direct that it be given now due to its seriousness so that it can be given due consideration, but as you say, there is urgency to the issue. The Chairperson of the Committee, what do you have to say about it, appreciating what Sen. Khaniri has stated and requested?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will require your guidance in this matter because it is possible to find out the amount of money raised from the Red Cross and how that money is being spent. However, I am wondering whether, as a Chairman, I can comment on the issue of compensation in view of the fact that His Excellency the President himself gave a Statement at State House saying that assistance will be extended 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. Haji, please, take your seat. An hon. Senator has raised an issue which is very important and I also know that the President has spoken on the matter. The President spoke about what his Government proposes to do and I think the hon. Senator has the right to know how far that would be taken. So, if you are seeking my guidance on the issue, you must respond to that issue to the best of your ability. Once it comes to the Floor of the House and it is the property of the House, then, at that moment, we will determine to what extent you can go, where you are not able to reach and what kind of answer you are giving. If there are areas of privilege, I am sure you will plead with them at that time when you will be issuing the Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in view of the magnitude of the matter, I will issue the Statement after ten days.
Can I ask you to request them to give you the information within a week because it is not just Sen. Khaniri who is interested, but all of us?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is fine. STATE OF SUGAR INDUSTRY AND CANE FARMING IN KENYA IN RELATION TO COMESA
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Two weeks ago, the Deputy Majority Leader indicated that they will respond to a Statement I had sought from the Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources in respect of the state of the sugar industry and sugar cane growing vis-à-vis the dynamics in the Common Market for Eastern and South African (COMESA) market. Now that the two weeks are ending today, is it possible for the Statement to be issued today?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, is it a Statement you want to seek? I want to deal with Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale on the issue he has raised because I know that there are several Statements that are still pending. The schedule I have shows that there are very many Statements still pending. There is one by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale asking about transfer of national Government functions to counties. There are several statements that have not been issued. I would like to emphasize to the Chairpersons of these Committees that when you have committed yourself to give a Statement - because some of them are pending from June or July - it is imperative that we should have those Statements. Indeed, I think I should go through this schedule and look at the Statements that are still pending. The Chairpersons are here and should indicate to the House why the Statements have not been issued or when they hope to issue them. There is a Statement that was sought by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale on 20th June, 2013, on the transfer of national Government functions to county governments. It was supposed 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.
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
You have not and you required this from the Chairperson of the Committee on Devolved Government, could he tell us why there has been this laxity.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if my memory serves me right, the Vice-Chair of this Committee---
Sen. Murkomen, unless the schedule I have from the Clerk’s Office is wrong, it shows that this Statement has not been issued.
On transfer of functions, I think we need to cross-check with the Clerk’s Office, because it was issued.
You need to because the schedule I have shows that it has not been issued.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if it was not issued, then by Tuesday, it will be issued.
There is a Statement sought by Sen. Murungi on the security of speakers of county assemblies. It was sought on 4th July, 2013. Sen. Murungi, has it been issued?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I got a copy.
The problem here, Sen. Murungi, is that once you have sought a Statement from the Floor of the House, it becomes the property of the House. So, again, that Statement has not been issued. There are several Statements that are pending. It is important that the Chairpersons of these Committees issue the Statements on the due date or state that they are seeking an extension of time within which to issue those Statements because Senators seek them not for their interest, but for national interest, to make sure that people know exactly what is happening.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Since you have the schedule, it would be important that the Clerk’s Office communicates with various Chairs so that some which are registered as not issued could be clarified.
Yes, indeed. I am here directing the Clerk’s Office to consult the Chairperson of Committees, so that all the pending Statements if not issued on the due date, we should know when they expect to issue them.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am sure quite a number of my colleagues and even yourself, are aware that we have a pending issue on the manner in which business relating to Statements from Government sources has to be determined as it is a new tradition. We are yet to get some determination from the Speaker’s Office, but I thank you very much for the prudence in which you are able to give directions this afternoon. When such a lapse occurs, for those who purport to represent the Government, particularly the Chairpersons of Committees, who told us the other day that the Opposition cannot represent the 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.
Sorry, Sen. Abdirahman, I am not going to allow you to make a statement on that issue.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not intend to make a statement and I apologise for that. But when there is a lapse, it impacts negatively in terms of our proceedings. It transcends the Clerk’s office. They must take their work seriously.
That is why I have made that direction and I expect that it will be taken very seriously.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is on the same issue. It is true there are very many pending Statements. We need to request that we get a status report on all the pending Statements. The Clerk should write a letter to all the Chairpersons so that they appear in the Chamber on Thursday, next week and those with Statements to issue them. If they are not ready, they should explain to us why they are not ready. So, I was just requesting you to give a time-indication so that we do not leave it open.
Let me take some other points of orders and see whether they are related.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was going to seek your guidance. There is an issue that the Chairpersons of Committees are facing. I am one of them and I have shared this with other Committee Chairpersons. What happens when the delay is not actually the Chairman’s making, but the Ministers’ or the Cabinet Secretaries’ who have not responded to issues? I know that the Committees can always summon these people. But I think there is an element of frustration coming from the Government circles.
Thank you, Sen. Kagwe.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank you for the ruling, but I did not hear anything about the petition that I had presented on behalf of Mwea rice farmers even before we went for recess. When we came back, I have not heard any response today. Could you go back and make a ruling on petitions? I think the problem we are having is that some of the Committees are combining very many sections. The Committees should be split as we had agreed earlier. I can see Sen. Murungi here; could he tell us what happened to the suggestion that the Committees should be split so that they are more effective?
Thank you, Senators. You have raised important issues and I would like to give a short direction on them. From what Sen. Murungi has said, it is important to note that the Clerk’s Office has done a good job because we have a schedule. I can take you through all the Statements, when they were due and whether or not they were given. Up to that point, the Clerk’s Office has done what it is supposed to have done. But you see; equity assists the vigilant. That is what we were taught in law. You, as a person who seeks a Statement, it is also upon you not just to wait for me to go through the schedule, but to raise these issues on Thursday afternoons and seek to know what has happened to your Statement and why it has not been issued. I would also like to request the Chairpersons 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.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to speak on behalf of the Chairperson of the various Committees and ask for your direction. There should be a better monitor process---
What do you mean Chairman of various Committees?
I am a Chair of a Committee, so let me speak as the Chairperson of the Committee on Devolved Government.
So, you are not speaking as the Chairman of the Liaison Committee?
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am speaking on my own behalf.
Okay, let us hear you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, sometimes a question is asked here and somebody is not in the House, but some other person undertakes to go and remind that person. There should be a neater way through the Clerk’s Office where Statements that have been sought from a particular Chair or Committee are formally processed and given to the various Chairs in their offices.
Thank you, Sen. Murkomen. I think the Secretariat has noted that. Sen. Wako.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as per your directive, I was supposed to make a Statement and the time for making that Statement expired about two weeks ago. But I did approach the Ministry concerned and told them that if I mention in the House---
What Statement were you supposed to make?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was supposed to make a Statement that was asked by Sen. Lonyangapuo. It was about the fact that the police reservists who participated in the last general elections, had not been paid. But I was promised, after a bit of tact, which I know how to, as the former Attorney General, that by today I will 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.
So, you are undertaking to give it on Thursday, next week?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you very much. Hon. Senators, if you look at the appendix we are supposed to get a Statement from the Senate Majority Leader on the business of the Senate for the coming week. Who is going to do that?
Sen. Murkomen, that can only be given by the Senate Majority Leader or a Member of the Rules and Business Committee (RBC). Sen. Lonyangapuo, are you not a Member of the RBC?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is what I was going to say. I was going to request that a Member of the RBC should come and read the Statement, but I have it.
Are you a Member of the RBC?
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Then you cannot read it. Sen. Murkomen, we must do things correctly. BUSINESS FOR THE WEEK COMMENCING 8TH OCTOBER, 2013
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.43 (2), I wish to present the Senate business for the coming week. On Tuesday 8th October, 2013, the Rules and Business Committee will meet at exactly 12.00 p.m. to schedule the business of the Senate for the week commencing 8th October, 2013. The Senate will continue with the business in today’s Order Paper that will not be concluded, including the Motion by Sen. Munyes, on controlling the spread of a tree species Prosopis juliflora and Prosopis chilensis. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on Wednesday 9th October, 2013, morning sitting, the Senate will continue with business not concluded on Tuesday 8th, October, 2013. The Senate will also commence debate on the Motion by Sen. Yusuf Haji, calling upon the national Government to conduct a census in the United Nations refugee camps, to establish Kenyans who have registered as refugees, with a view to deregistering and integrating them back into the community. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the 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.
Thank you very much, Senator. Next Order!
Hon. Senators, you note that the three Motions under Order Nos.8, 9 and 10 are for Division. In other words, we are going to vote. All those three Motions relate to matters county. So, we are going to have Divisions and that is why the Order Paper talks about them as “Divisions.” Hon. Senators, I have stated this in the past, and want to give a direction on how we will go about this voting. I would like you to, please, listen to this, so that if anybody has an issue on it, you can raise it now in the House. These Divisions, as you know, can tend to take a lot of time. So, in the interest of time and because justice or due process is not going to be affected in any way, I will propose that we proceed in the following manner. I will put the Question on each of the three Motions separately, that is, under Order Nos.8, 9 and 10. After I have put the Question, in the usual manner, we will then ring the Bell only once. The doors will be locked and we will carry out the Division separately; Motion by Motion. We will deal with Order No.8 and announce results of the vote separately. Then, we will go to Order Nos.9 and 10 and do the same, using the same number of tellers. The results for each of the votes shall be announced separately because of expediency and since we do not have all the time. If we do Division per Motion, we could be here until much later, and we have work to do. There are other Motions that are pending. Hon. Senators, I believe that it is both equitable and right that we should proceed in that manner, because in no way are we going to affect the vote. Each of you will be able to vote. That is my direction. I have done it before and that is how I propose to move on issues of Division, particularly, when we are in the Committee stage and have to vote on many amendments. We cannot go into a Division on each separate clause or article that we will be trying to deal with in the Committee stage. Hon. Senators, that is my direction.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We congratulate you for that wise direction. But since it is in the interest of time, and it also does not affect any just conclusion on any of the Motions and you will be putting the Questions one after the other, would it be in order for the Senators to also vote on the Motions one after the other, just as you will put the Question one after the other? The tellers could 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.
To me the end is the same, whichever way we do it. But I take your advice very seriously. I do not know whether the Clerk should read out the three Orders first, one by one. But let me start with the Motion under Order No.8. I will now put the Question, so that we can go to Division. CONNECTION OF ALL COUNTY HEADQUARTERS TO THE NATIONAL FIBRE OPTIC NETWORK THAT, considering the need for Implementation of an Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) as required by the law; noting that most counties are not linked to the National Optic Fibre Broadband Infrastructure (NOFBI); aware that the rolling out of e- government will be hindered by lack of such infrastructure; recognizing the principles of good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability set out in the Constitution and the need for public participation and access to information; further recognizing that investment in ICT creates opportunities for youth employment; the Senate calls on the National Government, to connect all county headquarters to the Fibre Optic National Network and to link all county headquarters to relevant national institutions such as the Senate and the Treasury through video conferencing capability to save unnecessary expenses, enhance efficiency and accountability and improve the performance of county governments.
Hon. Senators, all the three Motions concern counties. So, we will go into Division. The Division Bell will be rung, after which, we will then do the voting. The Division Bell may now be rung.
(Sen. Kembi-Gitura); Hon. Senators, as I had indicated earlier we shall now go Division on the Motion as contained on Order No.9. ADOPTION OF REPORT ON COUNTY GOVERNMENT CASH DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013/2014 THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Section 17 (7) of the Public Finance Management Act, the Senate adopts the report of the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs on the County Government Cash Disbursement Schedule for Fiscal Year 2013/2014.
Hon. Senators, I noted that Sen. Moi in his vote said “Yes, as amended”. There is no amendment to this Motion. I think Sen. Moi is confusing this Motion with the one at Order No.1. That is the one that was amended last night. This is a completely different Motion. This is just for the sake of good order, so, that your answer does not read “Yes as amended” because it is misleading. Hon. Senators, I wish to announce the results as follows:
Hon. Senators, the results are in for Order No.10 by Sen. Mositet as follows:
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. 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. Okong’o, let us have the doors open then you can stand on a point of order.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Okong’o, do you want to raise your point of order before the next Order is called out?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is some lacuna in the proceedings. I did not hear the County of Bungoma being called out when we were voting. I want to be guided on this.
Well, I did not hear it being called either. So, where is the point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it in order for us to continue with the process of voting without calling out the Bungoma Delegation or has the House taken judicial notice of the proceedings outside this House? As far as I am concerned, the writs have not been issued. I think Bungoma County is duly represented in these proceedings.
Yes! Very good Okong’o!
Does anybody else wish to speak on this matter? First, let me address that point of order. It is an important one. If it has been raised by Sen. Okong’o with a view to impeaching the proceedings that we have just concluded, my immediate ruling, although I could defer the ruling for a more considered ruling, is that as pertains to the voting that we have just done, that is finished. Your point of order has come after I have announced the results. So, the proceedings that we have had on Orders Nos.8, 9 and 10 are legal. We have done them in due process. The voting is finished, that is it. If your point of order is towards something else now, we can deal with it. But as far as I know, if it has to do with the voting that we have just done, that is finished, legal and in order.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On the same issue?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Let us hear Sen. Murkomen first.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, considering the business that is in this House – if the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet County, for example, is not in the House and his name is not called out, his presence would have enabled him to raise a point of order as to why his county has not been called out. So, it is obvious is that if the Senator for Bungoma County was in the House, he would have been able to stand and ask for his 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.
Let us hear Sen. Okong’o.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this House has to set precedents that are very clearly grounded on law and procedure. I have heard counties like Kilifi and Laikipia being called out. Was the name Bungoma County inadvertently----
Order, Sen. Okong’o! I have given you an answer on that point. If you are pursuing the same point, I will not allow you. If you have something else more substantial than what you had said first, I shall deal with it.
Much obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. There is the principle of separation of powers. The delegation from Bugoma County has not been called out to vote and an assumption has apparently been made. I respect your ruling, but it clearly now shows that this House, as part of Parliament, is not separate from the Judiciary. It is making itself part of the on-goings in the Judiciary without formally being informed? Just to revisit the issue raised by Sen. Okong’o, we would like to set proper precedents because this being the first Senate, we would like it, not only to set standards, but the highest standards. I request that you make a considered ruling on this matter.
Do hon. Senators have any other issue to raise on this matter? Yes, Sen. Orengo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think this is an important point for consideration, not in relation to the Order Nos.8, 9 and 10, but generally in relation to the question of when a seat becomes vacant, because I think it is the assumption by the Clerk that the seat for the Senator for Bungoma County---
Sen. Orengo, you are a very senior lawyer and you know I have a lot of respect for you. But I think you are pre-empting the situation because two issues have arisen; whether it was an oversight on the part of the Clerk, or whatever else. That is what I got Sen. Mong’are to say. I promise that if you demand it, I can give a considered ruling or opinion on the issue. But, now, if you talk about Sen. Wetangula, who again is a very senior lawyer, and then talk about a vacancy of a seat which has not arisen in the House as of now, I think it will be unfair to the House and it shall be pre-empting a situation, which we should not do at this time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think you have answered my question. The only problem is that it could not have been an oversight because---
I do not know, Sen. Orengo. As I sit here as your Deputy Speaker, I do not know, because I have no control over the Clerk calling the names. I have absolutely no idea.
Unfortunately, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was three times; I was looking at him right in the face, expecting that something else will emerge or, probably, a communication will be made from the Chair. But you have already answered my question by saying there is no seat that is vacant in the Senate, so far. 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.
I did not say that. What I said and the HANSARD can bear me witness is that as I sit on this Chair now, I have not heard anybody talk about a vacancy in any seat. All I know – and which is common knowledge now is that the name of Sen. Moses Wetangula was not read out. The reason it was not read out may be administrative or it could be anything else. It is an issue I am willing to deal with. But the thing I will find difficult to allow, Sen. Orengo, with all due respect to you because you are my senior in the profession, is for us to debate an issue that is not currently before this House. It will be unfair to the House and to hon. Members, and I do not think it will be a good thing for me to allow, or to use Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s words, I will be setting an extremely bad precedent if I allowed us to discuss an issue that is not currently before the House. I heard you say that the name of the Senator for Bungoma was not read out; it is only on that point that we can discuss this issue.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you are not giving me sufficient time to prosecute the point. The manner in which we vote is provided by the Constitution so that the public out there, when the name of the Senator is called, and it is not just the name of the Senator that is called, but the name of the county which is also being called. When there is no response, then the public assumes the Senator is not there, or there is no representation. Normally, what the Clerk does is that he reads out the name of the Senator and the county. As far as we are concerned, the problem is compounded by the fact that, not only is the name of the Senator not being called out, but the name of the county is also not being called yet there may be somebody in the room who is part of the delegation from Bungoma who would want to vote. So, I am not saying that you make the point now, but it should be noted that it happened three times. That could not have been an oversight. I plead with you, because I think our system of voting is a little bit different from the National Assembly. It is important that every county knows the status not only in respect to the county, but in respect of the fact that their vote was not called as a county. Probably, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you can pronounce yourself on that later.
Thank you, Sen. Orengo. Sen. Kiraitu Murungi.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, sometimes an occasion like this one arises when the House has to make a precedent which will be quoted in future when similar occasions do arise. We can deal with the question which Members are raising around this issue, head on. What is the position of a Senator whose election has been nullified by the High Court, but the writs have not been issued by the Speaker? What is his status during that intervening period? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is an important question of law and custom. We will request you to take some time, study what the position is within the Commonwealth and jurisprudence and enlighten the House because, in future, this question might arise again. So, it is our request that you consider the matter in your own time and pronounce yourself on the same. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Can I deal with Sen. Kiraitu’s point of order first, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’Nyong’o? Sen. Kiraitu Murungi, the issue you are raising is germane to the issue we are dealing with because, like I said earlier, I am not ruling on whether or not Sen. Moses Wetangula’s name or Bungoma County was not called out because of any other reason apart from the fact that it was not called. Now, you are pushing me to make a ruling based on a hypothesis that it was not called pursuant to the petition that we all know was in court. I will not make that ruling on that point because it has not arisen, but should it arise out of this Order we are dealing with now, I will not shy away from making a considered ruling on that specific issue. But right now, you cannot assume that as I sit here, the name was not called out because of the issues that you have referred to. Like I told Sen. Mong’are, with a lot of respect, you are making me to make a pre-emption to a situation that I am not aware of.
I am afraid, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that lawyers are making this thing more complicated than it is. I mean, it is common sense that the name was not read out three times. It is also known that what you are calling are not individuals, but counties. There are 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya. Any time there is a division, counties are called by their name, whether something has happened to the individual on the seat or not; you do not know where the individual would be, but you call counties. I think it is simple knowledge that the Clerk made a mistake and he should apologize to the House so that we proceed. He did not call out the name of the county three times.
Sen. Janet Ong’era.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, the Clerk is just doing what I wanted to propose. The Clerk should have approached the Chair and indicated whether it was a typographical error or a mistake that happened. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is, indeed, a very disturbing matter, especially for me standing here as a Deputy Whip, to see Bungoma County, being one of our counties in the Republic of Kenya, omitted. Particularly, we know that, that county belongs to our Senate Minority Leader who happens to be the Senator for Bungoma County. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, as a House, will be very happy if you could find out whether it is an administrative issue or not. Once you find out what was the reason, because we know all of us are human beings; you will make a ruling. Probably, the Clerk could have missed that name, but he called out Lamu and Kilifi counties. We need a ruling on what happened.
Thank you, Sen. Janet Ong’era. 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with all due respect, the Clerk’s Office and all those offices that fall under the Speaker’s Office are actually the Speaker’s Office. Therefore, if an omission has been done by the Clerk, we do not expect an apology from the Clerk, but from the Speaker.
The only problem is that I am not going to make an apology for a transgression I have not made. I think you should accept that. But you have observed correctly; that the Clerk cannot be called upon to apologize because he is not a Member of this House. He cannot possibly make a statement for that reason. But having said that, I listened to all of you; I have heard what Sen. Janet Ong’era has to say and, maybe, that is the line I would like to pursue so that, at the end of it all, we have an answer to this situation.
I am most obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you very much. Can we proceed to the next Order? ADOPTION OF REPORT ON IRREGULAR ALTERATION OF BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR TURKANA COUNTY FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013/14 THAT, the Senate adopts the report of the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs on the investigations carried out by the Controller of Budget on the irregular alteration to the Budget Estimates for Turkana County for Fiscal Year 2013/14.
Sen. James Orengo, you had five minutes. Do you want to utilize them?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think I addressed the Senate or the Chamber at length on this Motion, but also on the amendment. But I would urge the House to support the amendment and for those who, probably, were not here yesterday, it was the general view at least of all the Senators who were here and who expressed and pronounced themselves on this amendment that it was necessary for the issue to be recommitted back to the Committee so that it can come back with a more comprehensive report. 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. Orengo, we are still on the amendment. I want to make a request to hon. Members and I have done this before. Please, I can still hear that there are phones ringing in the House and I heard Sen. (Dr.) Machage – when he was chairing yesterday as I was watching – also making that point. I think it is important that, at least, we put our phones on silent mode if you want to Google or to go through it to check your messages; you can do it quietly. But when the phone rings in the House, it does not look good for the House. That is the only point I would like to make. Are we having any more contributions on the amendment? Yes, Sen. Munyes?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the amendment is not very clear to me, but I want to proceed by highlighting the anxiety in Turkana County that was received yesterday by the deliberations over this matter. This is a very sensitive matter that touches on illegality, impunity and other wrongs that should be taken as lessons. When something wrong happens, the whole country should take it as a lesson. We want to draw lessons from what is happening in Turkana. As you know, Senators may not be in possession of all the information on this matter. However, when it happened, I took some steps to bring together the Executive and the County Assembly. The letter reached the Controller of Budget and funds were withheld for one month. However, we went ahead to constitute a team. I want to thank the Speaker of Turkana County Assembly for what he did for Turkana and for Kenya. We went ahead and started investigations. The investigations came up with recommendations and I realised that they wanted to acknowledge ignorance on the matter. They suggested that in future, they should pick culprits who were engaged in the matter. Therefore, I want to propose that we should not try to blame the Governor or the individuals there because it is not clear who did what. The people of Turkana want a situation where this matter is referred back for private investigations. That is what I am gathering. The matter should be discussed further. Probably the Standing Committee of the Senate should go back to the Turkana County Executive and County Assembly so that we draw lessons from this matter. With those few remarks, I thank you.
Hon. Senators, I know that an amendment on this Motion was brought yesterday. I can see that that there are no people 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg your indulgence that the vote on this particular Motion and the amendment be postponed. That has been the trend. Today, we voted for Orders No.8, 9 and 10 and debates were finalised at an earlier date. It appears as if once we vote on the amendment, the Motion may suffer the same consequences. So, I plead with you.
First of all, before I put the question, it is mandatory that I rule on whether or not it affects counties. This one affects counties. If I put the question, then we must vote. We may dispense of the amendment and proceed with debate on the main Motion. I take it that Sen. Orengo is asking, under Standing Order No.51 (3), that we should postpone voting on this. If we do, we must also postpone debate on the Motion itself so that we vote on the amendment and proceed with the main Motion should the amendment succeed or fail as the case may be. Sen. Orengo has made a request. This Motion is very important and so is the amendment. I listened to the contributions yesterday, the whole day. I rule that the voting be deferred to the next sitting day which is Tuesday, 8th October, 2003 at 2.30 pm.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to move this Motion which resolves to curtail the effects of the prosopis species that is expanding widely in counties in the northern part of this country.
is a tree species that was introduced by the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) in 1982. I am told that this species is from South America. The tree species is called mathenge here in Kenya. It comes in different species but I want us to address the species that is affecting our country, the prosopis juliflora and prosopis chilensis .
Senator Munyes, I do not intend to interrupt you but you have not moved your Motion. You can do it at any point but since I do not want us to lose the point, it is important that you move the Motion and proceed with your argument to support it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted to give a short background first. CONTROL AND ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION OF “ MATHENGE ” TREE SPECIES
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- 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.
I had just talked about phones ringing in the House. Please, switch off your phone.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the public would want to get full advantage of the grazing lands and fishing grounds in order to increase productivity in all these areas. But at a time when Kenya is facing with food scarcity and the people of Turkana are relying on food relief--- We introduced food for work in Turkana in the early days to bring afforestation and increase food production through rain water harvesting. The concept was meant really to improve the amounts of rain and ensure afforestation in the whole of Turkana, Garissa and other areas, but instead we are losing grazing grounds and pasture lands. We cannot grow our crops because of these species. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion is actually pro and against in some way. We should find a way of minimizing prosopis chilensis and prosopis juliflora in areas where we intend to increase food production, like pasture lands and fishing grounds. We should keep them away from water installations. It is only in isolated areas where we can cultivate and use them for economic purposes. I am told of the case of Kakuma Refugee Camp which is only reliant now on firewood of these particular species. So, we could confine them in some areas where we can use and exploit them for economic purposes, like firewood and fodder. Some research could be done so that we actually make some products out of them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue that affects the public is the fact that the foreign scientists--- The challenge that should go to our own researchers in this country is that we cannot just copy ideas from other countries. One should have gone to Africa or some other parts of the world, tried this particular species in a small environment and controlled it there. But these were donors, and I do not want to underrate the work that the Norwegians did in this country. There was free money at that time in the 1980s. What the donors wanted to do was to try things without doing control analysis. That is why this idea came and in no time, it was spread all over without control. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my county, we are introducing different species of livestock. I was in the village yesterday and saw a small goat from Tharaka Nithi in the desert of Turkana. The donors, again, are giving them to us to try. One old man said: “By introducing a small goat like that one – and we know that it has more milk – how do we know if it might affect the immunity of the livestock in Turkana?” They should, first, be consulted and things tried in a small area. Money should not just be “poured” in the county. Somebody is trying out ideas because they want to run away with this money. 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this Motion that has been moved by my neighbour and brother, Sen. Munyes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before 1982 when this plant was introduced with the sole purpose of remedying the people, there were human beings who were living in Turkana, but it has now turned to be a nightmare, as was displayed almost four years ago. A living goat was brought all the way to Nairobi from Marigat, the belt of the area. This plant was also introduced in Baringo County, which neighbours Turkana County. What we saw was not very good. For those of us who love animals and goat meat, if you saw the way that the animal had been affected, it actually sent a signal that some of our animals are consuming poisonous plants. This plant christened “Mathenge” has, indeed, been a source of problems in the whole of northern Kenya and North Rift, in particular. For example, in West Pokot County, which neighbours Turkana County, this plant has encroached on the Great North Road, from Kitale, Kapenguria and all the way to Lodwar and Lokichoggio. This is one stubborn plant that can even grow through the tarmac. There is no tarmac road now between Marich Pass and Lokichoggio, courtesy of this plant that was introduced about 30 years ago. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is, therefore, a crisis and disaster for us, Kenyans, who live in those areas. Sen. Haji says that it is not only in North Rift, but has gone all the way and follows River Tana to the Indian Ocean. We have had problems on the border of Samburu and Turkana and occasionally, between West Pokot and Turkana, because of cattle rustling. These cattle rustlers hide in the bushes. Hence, this plant has become the safest place where these people hide. This is because it grows into very thick forests, regardless of whether or not there is water. As a result, all the grass that the pastoralists were depending on is gone, because the plant has covered huge areas. Therefore, something has to be done. 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I wish to support this Motion because it is quite clear that this wonder plant that was brought called Prosopis juliflora - the name is foreign – Mathenge is the easier name that we know. At first, when I saw exhibits in court, I thought this was one big joke. The goat looked so ugly. I thought the natives were up to some mischief and were just rebelling. This came up a while ago. It is sad that since then, life in this area has not improved and people are still suffering. This means the situation is more serious. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I agree that the intention of those who brought this plant was very good. The donors were trying to help a country which was in a grave situation because of extreme drought and harsh weather conditions. It is high time we tried something else. As the Mover of the Motion has said, something has to be done to address this issue. However, I urge that they tread carefully, systematically and thoroughly, so that the problem is solved once and for all. We should not remove all the vegetation and cause suffering. We know that there are more valuable things like oil and minerals that have been discovered in this country. But we also know that Kenyans generally have an agricultural background. We could exploit irrigation to facilitate farming of crops as has been tried in various arid areas, so that the livelihood of Kenyans living around the area improves. It is unfortunate that people from these areas have been suffering. Other than consuming water for the wrong reasons, this is not benefiting people. Malaria and other health hazards are coming up. This has certainly become a nightmare. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, this problem has been with us for too long. It is destroying the countryside. This reminds me of the once upon a time very beautiful Lake Victoria. When we would fly over the lake going to land in Kisumu City, one would see a very beautiful lake. It reached a point when we would proceed to land and I would say: “Where are we? We are about to land and we are not seeing the lake.” The lake had become green, dirty and a health hazard. Even the fish disappeared. No wonder all the fish have migrated to the Migingo area. There is now no fish in Lake Victoria. This generally shows that all the good things we would have got from this land are being destroyed. This plant is of no economic value yet we have Vision 2030 and 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.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I also rise to support this Motion. I wish to say a few things. First, I would not like us to speak as if we are blaming foreigners for introducing this plant. Indeed, we should all take responsibility, both the researchers and the Government of Kenya, which used its wise counsel, at that time, to think that this was the best way to solve a problem. It is on this point that we all need to take responsibility and use this occasion to learn lessons. These are very difficult lessons. We now need to learn the lesson that although the plant actually changed what was arid land to grazing land - right now we want to reclaim grazing land - I assume that because of this plant, there is some grass which has also grown. Therefore, there is some achievement that was gained by the introduction of this plant. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the reason I mention this is that we had a challenge and we had to make very hard decisions at that time. I really want to use this as an occasion to warn this country that we are yet, and indeed, are about to make very hard decisions. Today, the world is preparing to feed itself using modified plants, the GMO plants. The reasons for introducing and using the GMOs are so compelling that we would have no option but to introduce them. We already know that there are problems with this alien or foreign germs introduced by the variation of the genetic composition of plants. We need, as a country, to make a very serious decision because it directly affects the lives of human beings. We know that GMO products that have been introduced to fight hunger will be widely consumed throughout the world. I am sure there will be some medical consequences arising from this as a result of interfering with the natural environment as it is. We need to learn serious lessons emanating from the Mathenge plant, which is affecting livestock only. So far, from the records and the research that we have, it has not affected humans directly. But we need to use this as a very serious lesson. As a country, we must make very serious decisions, whether we should accept to introduce GMOs in this country or not. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the consequences of altering the environment are so unforgiving, irreversible and sometimes they appear like epidemics, which is mass murder of populations. We need to start putting money into research in order to reverse the process. For example, we know that the Mathenge plant is a biological plant and, therefore, we need to start fighting a biological war as well. We need to introduce the germs that will negate the growth of these things. In this case, we are looking at the bacterial and viral organisms and other things that researchers might have to introduce to be able to reverse this plant. This is a monumental exercise that requires technical knowhow and an enormous investment. There is, therefore, very good reason to make 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this wonderful Motion that seeks to eradicate Mathenge in the areas that it is growing. Every time that I have visited Lake Bogoria and the outlying areas, I always wonder where this green shrub that is growing alongside the road came from. I assume that it was brought in to apparently serve as fodder for livestock. But, unfortunately, by the fact that it covers even the surface of tarmac roads means that animals have never benefited from its introduction. I feel that if the introduction of
did not serve any purpose rather than destruction of the digestive system and teeth of animals and was not able to control the wind that is blowing in the arid areas, it means that maybe the kind of research that was done for its introduction had a mistake somewhere. In that regard, I would request that the Government takes the matter of the
plant very seriously because currently, I heard there are Chinese that are interested in buying meat from our country. It is from some of these areas where meat, especially goat meat, comes from. This meat is consumed in our towns and cities. It is important, therefore, that this matter is taken seriously in order to help communities living in these areas. Some areas have set aside money in their budgets focusing on 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.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, vegetation is very important in the arid areas, and the kind of vegetation which grows there is very hardy and that is what the communities from around there have adopted. Similarly, animals in those areas also rely on such vegetation. But in this case, we have a crop or a plant which was introduced and which, along the way, is now becoming a problem by causing some ecological imbalances by trying to conquer the plants, weeds and grass which grow in that area. So, I support this Motion because this is a serious issue, especially for people in arid areas, because the ecosystem is fragile. The ecosystem is so fragile such that, for instance, when they are doing oil exploration, the tracks or the cut lines which were done in the mid 1980s are still there. They have removed the trees which were there and none has grown on its own. So, it is a very fragile ecosystem. The locals have perfected a way of using that ecosystem without damaging it, and that is why they are mostly pastoralists. They use an area to a certain level and then they move to another area so that, that one regenerates. But, now, with the introduction of this tree, which we are told from existing literature that it is from Tropical America, and which first came to Kenya in the 1970s to rehabilitate a quarry in Bamburi, Mombasa---. I am told that it was taken to Baringo for re-afforestation and for a fuel program. But in most cases, right now we are told it covers seven out of the former eight provinces of this country. It moves on its own; it is kind of a self propelling tree in the sense that it has some very hardy seeds which are in the pods, and once they are consumed by the animals which move from area to area, they propagate the growth of that tree in those areas. Because of that, it has kind-of colonized most of the areas, and that is why most of the pastoralist communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALS) are complaining because it actually grows in those areas which are of potential to these communities. These are areas such as along the water courses, in flood plains and in the irrigation schemes. These are the areas which these communities rely on because when it rains, it is in the flood plains where you get grass; and it is along the water points where you get some good pasture. But now this weed has taken root in those areas and it grows in such a way that it forms green, thick bushes which kind of exclusively do away with other plants there. So, it affects the ecosystem as it takes over and colonizes the other plants. Grass does not grow because by nature of its cover, very little light or rain goes through. Basically where it grows, like those who have been to North Eastern around 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. Members, there being no other contributor, I will call on the Mover of the Motion to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. It is just unfortunate that we have some amendments and there is no Member to bring those amendments to increase the scope of this Motion. But I want to thank those who have contributed and take this opportunity to say that this is a disaster, it is a legal issue as well as water conservation issue. As I said earlier, the new Constitution has given us freedom and rights to seek redress. From the look of things and the public outcry that is out there, we are allowing Mathenge, water hyacinth and other species of weeds to destroy the ecosystem, to bring poverty and food insecurity to Kenyans. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to actually get ways of controlling alien species that actually bring disaster and affect the lives of our people. If you go to Turkana, you will find very many rivers that have dried up because of the mathenge tree. We have been proudly talking about Turkana having a lot of water potential, however, for as long as we have the mathenge tree standing, there will be nothing. It will destroy everything. I want to end there and hope that this Motion will control the expansive nature of
and other alien species that want to destroy pasture, fishing and other economic activities. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Now that the Motion has been exhaustively debated by the Senators who were around today, I will put the question. Under Standing Order No.69, I need to clarify whether the Motion affects counties or not. This is a Motion that does not necessarily affect one county or the other. The Motion affects the whole country’s environment for that matter. Therefore, we do not need to have 24 Senators here. It will be voted on by Senators who are present.
Hon. Senators, that concludes the business on the Order Paper. The House, therefore, stands adjourned until Tuesday, 8th October, 2013, at 2.30 p.m. The Senate rose at 5.20 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.