Order, hon. Senators! I am told that we have a quorum. We may, therefore, commence with today’s business.
Hon. Senators, I have a Communication to make. I am pleased to invite you to a consultative forum between the Senate and the Transition Authority (TA) which is scheduled to take place on 25th and 26th October, 2013 at Leisure Lodge, Kwale County. This event has been organised by the TA in conjunction with the leadership of the House with the main objective of discussing the progress made, the challenges experienced and in order to develop a common understanding on devolution, in particular the role of the TA n the devolved system of governance. Senators are expected to depart from Nairobi to Mombasa on Thursday, 24th October, 2013 after the rise of the House and travel back to Nairobi on 27th October, 2013. Hon. Senators, you are advised to liaise with the Office of the Clerk of the Senate for logistical arrangements and for any other information that you may require on this meeting. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motions:- 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 1st August, 2013, I requested a Statement on the management of oil, coal and niobium discovered in Turkana, Kitui and Kwale counties. However, this Statement has not been brought to this House. This is a reminder 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.
Does that fall under the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Is the Chairman here? I see a distinguished member of the Committee known as Sen. Khaniri. He is also the Vice-Chair. Sen. Khaniri, what is your response?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we had requested for time for this Statement to come on Thursday, next week. This morning, the Committee had a meeting. We should be having a meeting with the concerned Cabinet Secretary on Tuesday, next week. I believe that by Thursday, next week, we should come here with a substantive Statement.
Indeed, I recall the request for that extension by the Chair. The Vice-Chair is affirming the same position. Sen. (Dr.) Zani, the response to this will be given on Thursday, next week.
That is fine, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Thank you. GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO ENHANCE SECURITY FOLLOWING THE 2012 BARAGOI MASSACRE
Asante sana, Bw. Spika. Naomba nizumngumze kwa lugha ya Kiswahili ili nione kama ujumbe utafika nyumbani ama Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ya Usalama na Masuala ya Kigeni ataweza kutoa jibu kwa swali ambalo niliuliza kuhusu eneo la Baragoi na Samburu Kaskazini. Niliuliza maswali kadhaa kuhusu swala hili wiki tatu zilizopita. Mwenyekti wa Kamati hii alikuwa ajibu maswali haya Alhamisi wiki iliyopita lakini hakuwepo. Spika aliyekuwa kitini alisema swali hili lijibiwe leo. Bado sioni kama kuna mwanakamati yeyote wa Kamati hiyo. Bw. Spika, hili ni jambo la kuhuzunisha kwa sababu niliuliza swali hili kabla vita havijatokea Baragoi. Kwenye runinga na magazeti, tumekuwa tukiona vita vimeanza tena katika eneo hili. Sijui kama tunachukulia mambo haya kama ya mzaha. Watu kutoka eneo hilo wafaa waambiwe masuala yao hayatiliwi manani.
Yuko wapi Mwenyekiti wa Kamati husika? Sen. Lesuuda anauliza swali ambalo alikuwa anatarajia majibu leo.
Sen. Leshore, hiyo ni historia. Sen. Lesuuda alikuwa anataka kupata uhakikisho kwamba taarifa hiyo itatolewa leo. Mwenyekiti hayupo. Je, naibu wake yuko? Kuna mwanakamati yeyote?
Ongea kwa Kiswahili!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, just because the enquirer spoke in Kiswahili, I do not think I am obliged to speak in Kiswahili. I belong to that Committee. The Chairman and the vice-chair are out of the country. I do not know anything about what they plan to do. But if you allow, we could respond to this issue next Thursday, so 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. Lesuuda, is that okay with you?
Bw. Spika, tukiendelea kuomba muda, tujue ya kwamba watoto, akina mama na watu wa Baragaoi tunapozungumza sasa, hawana usalama. Seneti, kama Bunge inayoheshimiwa, yafaa tuaihirishe kazi zingine zote ili tuzungumzie mambo ya usalama, hasa eneo la Baragoi.
Let me respond to that issue before I allow others. Sen. Kembi-Gitura, your committee needs to explain to the House on the failure to respond to the issue as expected. What confidence will we have that you will respond to the issue next week as you have promised? Secondly, as the Senator is saying, the security situation is getting worse. Women and children are being killed, of course, not to mention men; I suppose those ones are expected to be killed.
Sen. Kembi-Gitura, what is your response?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the position that the people of Baragoi are in and the seriousness with which this matter must be taken. But I am just an agent of necessity right now because I stood up to report as a member of the committee that the Chairman and the Vice-Chair are not here. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with your permission, I can make one undertaking because there is no communication. I will check with the clerk of the committee to see whether an answer has come. If it has, I undertake it to give it, on behalf of the Committee, tomorrow or Thursday this week. If it is not there, I regret there is nothing much I can do because what I have said from the Floor of this House is the only knowledge I have at the moment. I only stood up because you asked whether a member of the committee is present in the House this afternoon.
Sen. Kembi-Gitura, you can do better. As an agent of necessity, you can help us get the chairman and the rest of the committee so that we can get a response, at least by Thursday, noting that this is an issue of insecurity.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will do whatever I can and give---
On a point of information, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Kembi-Gitura, do you want to be informed?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, he can inform me, although I am not on a point of order.
Your chair will not be here until after two weeks. He has gone to his constituency.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank Sen. Leshore for the information. I know that. I also know that the vice-chair is also not here. She will be here in the course of this week. That is why I can only undertake to follow up that issue---
Order, Sen. Kembi-Gitura! 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 have given my undertaking that I will follow up this issue. If it is possible to give an answer by Thursday, it shall be given. If it is not possible, I shall communicate that information to the House. That is the best I can do.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir!
On the same matter?
Let us first hear Sen. Wamatangi.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, for quite a while we have had issues whereby some committees are not able to fully discharge the mandate that is bestowed upon them by this Senate. You are also aware that there have been efforts by some Senators in this House to have some of those committees split so that some Senators can take up the roles and share duties so that we do not have a repeat scenario like the one we are having with the issue that has been raised by Sen. Lesuuda. Up to now, we have not had a firm answer as to why some of these cannot be shared. It is not in order---
Order, Sen. Wamatangi! Are you implying that until you become the chair of a committee, that is the only time you can discharge responsibility in the committee?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with due respect, I have not mentioned about myself. But I am also capable. I am not disputing the fact that I am capable. On behalf of the other Senators, I am saying that it is important that these duties should be split and shared so that efficiency can be attained in this House. This is one way of improving efficiency in this House.
I am sure Sen. Wamatangi is fully aware that the Rules and Business Committee formed a sub-committee which has concluded its report. Only last week, the sub-committee presented this report to the Rules and Business Committee. We are working on it and we will definitely bring some proposals. I am not sure whether they will meet your expectations, but there is progress towards that direction. Just relax. Hon. Senators, I would also imagine that if you have more membership in the committee, then it means absence of one or two members should not stall the process. It means there are more members to continue prosecuting the matter. In fact, it might be that because may be the numbers are not adequate enough, absence of one or two members, curtails the work. These are the many issues to look at. But I take your views and I have advised you on the process for the benefit of the House. Yes; Acting Senate Minority Leader.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, splitting the committees is not sufficient. We can imagine the sensitivity of the matter in Baragoi. We have witnessed the failure by committee chairs to respond on time to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
There is nothing to guide there. You have made a good recommendation, which the committee will be looking into. LACK OF CCTV CAMERAS IN MAJOR CITIES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before we proceeded on recess, I cannot tell the exact date, I sought a Statement from the same committee regarding CCTV connectivity in the city. Up to now, I have not received an answer. I want to know why the Statement has not been delivered.
Sen. Kembi-Gitura, what is your response to this?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, from where I am standing, I understand what my fellow colleagues are asking. I have had occasion to talk about it when I was privileged to sit where you are sitting. I can only reiterate what I said earlier. I know what Sen. Mohamud and Sen. Lesuuda have said. I understand the urgency of issues like that of Baragoi; that such statements should be given immediately so that they do not lose relevance. I will reiterate what I said, that I will do a follow up and give an answer hopefully on Thursday, whether in the positive or the negative. I will give an answer to see whether we have been able to get an answer from the relevant departments of the Government or not. I know it is very difficult for a Member. I hope that this is not something that will be repeated in this House.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Machage?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as a House, we are concerned about matters of security. You are privy to the information and the truth of what happened in Baragoi a few months ago where our officers were killed and the Government went into negotiations with the criminals. A report is being demanded on matters of security and the relevant committee is dilly dallying. I have two matters seeking your direction. One, is it not in order for the Senate Majority Leader to give us a statement on such matters by Thursday? We do not want to take what the member of the committee is saying: “That “maybe”, he “maybe” able to give a statement, “maybe”, if it is available-- ” May be there are negotiations going on again with criminals. Secondly, as a member of this House, would I not be in order to demand that this committee be dissolved?
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. (Dr.) Machage, on the second point, you are completely out of order! Committees of this House do not get dissolved that way. You can dissolve the membership but not the Committee. The Committee is an important organ of this House. On the other point, I think that is a fair request. Let us see how far the acting chairman of the committee will progress. Failure to do so, it will be necessary for the Majority Leader to make a statement, especially on the matter of insecurity in Baragoi.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, given how the Government failed to adequately respond to the problem at Westgate, given how a committee of Parliament went and absolved members of the military who were shown on television footage actually looting at Westgate, given that this Committee has again clearly shown us that they are not keen on addressing the issue of insecurity, could the Chair direct that the Senate Leader of the Majority, besides responding to the issues that I have raised, he should come here with a confirmation from the Jubilee Government, that the Government is still committed to giving security to Kenyans? Is this Senate also behaving like the Lower House which was used to clear those military people even before the Joint Committee of that House had concluded investigations?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Kembi-Gitura?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I honestly do not think this is a laughing matter, the way Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale seems to be taking it.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the hon. Deputy Speaker in order to imagine, suggest and mention that I was laughing when I was addressing a grave issue of how the Government failed to protect the lives and properties of Kenyans at Westgate? I was addressing how the Joint Committee of the National Assembly cleared members of the military who clearly looted from Westgate? Could I possibly have been laughing? Probably you should allow us to also remind him the meaning of the word “laughing” in English.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know the meaning of the word “laughing”. The sad thing is that the HANSARD will not show you laughing; that is the only difference. But the point I am making is that I do not think it is proper to impute improper motives on committees because we do not know as yet why the statement has not been given. If the chair or the vice-chair were here, maybe, they would have given a proper answer on this issue. But, like I indicated at the beginning, I am an agent of necessity. It is not like what my friend Sen. (Dr.) Machage mentioned; that this is just an issue of “maybe” or “maybe not”. On Thursday, all things being equal, if the chairman or the vice-chair shall not be here, I undertake that I shall stand here and indicate whether or not I shall be having an answer to the issues raised by Sen. Lesuuda. If there will be no answer, I will say so because I am not going to give an answer that is not there; it is not possible. 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.
Indeed, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, you started very well; I do not know where the rain started beating you. What Sen. Kembi-Gitura is saying is that since the Chair and the Vice-Chair are not there, he is just holding brief. Your kind of statement should have come when you get the Statement from the Chair when it is issued, then you can impute some other motives to the whole thing. For now, all we want to is ensure that we have the Statement. I would encourage you to wait because Thursday is not too far. When that time comes, I will give you all the time you need to prosecute the matter.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Abdirahman?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while we appreciate the responses from the Deputy Speaker, who is now the agent of necessity, the last bit of his Statement shows some little bit of uncertainty especially when he says that there may be no answer. That is the indication we are getting. This House deserves responses. If you are already giving us indications of uncertainty, then why are we here as a House? We must be given timely responses that will help Kenyans. Can he be clear and tell us why he is uncertain about what he is going to do on Thursday? Is he in order to tell us that he is not even sure whether he can bring something on Thursday?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not accept that I am out of order for the simple reason that I do not think that it is humanly possible for me to make a Statement better than the one I have made from the Floor of this House. I am not going to tell Senators that I am going to give a Statement on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Thursday or any other day soon thereafter. That, I am not going to do because I have not had sight of that Statement and I cannot therefore say that I will issue it. So, if that is what the hon. Senator is calling uncertainty, then there is uncertainty because I could very well come here on Thursday and say that I still do not have an answer. That is why I had asked to be given until Thursday next week but the Speaker ruled that we should have an indication about the Statement on Thursday. That is how I understood the Speaker on this issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I was listening very keenly to your ruling on this issue and at no time did I hear you say that the representative of the Chairman will give an indication to the availability of the answer on Thursday. Is he in order? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Over one month ago, I stood on the Floor of this House---
Is yours separate from this one?
Yes, but related. RAID BY CATTLE RUSTLERS AT APUKE IN WEST POKOT COUNTY Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had sought a very urgent Statement regarding a tragedy that took place in my county at a place called Apuke where bandits came and killed people and took away many livestock. The Statement was so urgent and the Committee requested for one week to respond. To date, no response has come and between that time and now, three more raids have taken place at Nauyopong, Apuke and Ndombolion. I do not know what will make this Committee treat this thing urgently. How many people are they waiting to be killed for them to wake up and treat it as urgent? How much property must be destroyed for the Committee to treat the matter as urgent? I do not know what to tell my people because even the hospital bills have been brought to my home and yet it should be dealt with by the Government. I seek to hear what the Committee is up to and how they can handle this situation.
Same Committee? Sen. Kembi-Gitura, are you still willing to be an agent of necessity?
Yes, I am indeed and I will continue to do that. I remember the Statement that was sought by Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo and I will say the same thing that I have said. Again, I could give an indication this Thursday. It is now clear to the House that neither the chairman nor the vice-chairman is at the precincts of the Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Is it related or different? I will allow you if it has a distant relationship but Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s intervention might reduce the distance. I am bringing it even closer. So, why can you not allow Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale to conclude this one, then you can come in?
Now that I am here, let me go on.
You are not going to be a permanent feature of that position. So, you can just resume your seat and you will come back.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what is playing out now and over the last few months that we have been in this House is that it is now clear that no Member of the Committee including the Chair and the Vice-Chair are responsible for whatever we ask them to respond to. It is quite clear that this Committee is not responsible for giving security to Kenyans or ensuring that there is security. I am standing on a point of order to request the Chair that since the House is now having a relook at our Standing Orders, we provide that Cabinet Secretaries come to the National Assembly and the Senate to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, while I appreciate your frustrations, I think taking that drastic measure of inviting Ministers directly to respond has certain challenges in terms of our constitutional arrangement. I think it is also too early to start thinking which way is the right way. Let me direct this way: First, I want to thank Sen. Kembi-Gitura for stepping in due to the absence of the leadership of the Committee. We do not know how the Committee has progressed with the issues raised starting with Sen. Lesuuda’s issue on Baragoi insecurity, Sen. Halima’s on CCTV in Nairobi and thirdly Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo’s query on raid by cattle rustlers in Apuke. Since we are all recognizing that they have taken a bit of time, I wish to direct as follows: That, the Committee submits responses to all those issues by, latest, Thursday this week. Failure to do so, the Senate Majority Leader must make a Statement, as originally requested by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale on Tuesday. If both parties fail to do the needful, I will be more than willing to allow the House to take the necessary sanctions. In matters of security, just to borrow the CCTV example and the link on Westgate attack, you can really appreciate the importance of such a matter. I know the leadership of the Committee is responsible and even the Committee in its entirety whether they are few or many, according to Sen. Wamatangi. We will call upon them to work between now and Thursday afternoon to ensure that the House gets responses to all those Statements.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Have you forgotten me?
I have not forgotten, I am still trying to bridge the distance.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am further seeking your direction without going back to your ruling. Unfortunately or fortunately, I belong to this Committee. So, I stand accused. If you look at Standing Order No.43---
Sen. Orengo, please just clarify. Do you belong to the Committee?
Yes, I belong to the Committee. I just wanted, for efficient operations of this Committee, when matters of Statements arise, if you look at Standing Order No.43, the request is made to the Chairman of the Committee which is mandated with those particular responsibilities, but under those Standing Orders, there is no requirement that the matter is placed before the Committee. I am saying this as a member of that Committee because the issues have not arisen in the Committee although I have tremendous confidence in the leadership of that Committee. For better operation of this Committee, there should be an understanding that once a request is made to the Chairperson of that particular Committee, then the Committee should be seized of the matter because there is no such thing under the Standing Orders. This matter also arose at some time when a member of the Opposition was required to give a Statement on behalf of the Government because these statements are made on behalf of the Government. I know that Jubilee would not want me to speak for it on a matter as sensitive as this or I would not even want to speak for it on a matter as 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, I think that we have spent a lot of time on this matter and I have actually ruled that we can only use the Standing Order raised by Sen. Orengo, just to really fortify my ruling. If you look at Standing Order No.43 (2) (b) it reads:- “(2) During the Statements Hour- (b) The Senate Majority Leader or the Senate Minority Leader as the case may be, or their designees may make a statement relating to their responsibilities in the Senate or the activities of a Committee.” So, when I said “failure by the Committee to respond, then the Senate Majority Leader should,” I had that in mind. Standing Order No.43 (2) (c) reads:- “(2) During the Statements Hour- (c) A Senator may request for a statement from a Committee chairperson relating to matters under the mandate of the Committee and the Speaker may either appoint a day for the statement to be made or direct that the statement be issued on the same day.” So, the Standing Orders actually allow me to ask the Chairperson to make the Statement immediately, assuming that the Chair, of course, is fully conversant with the issues, being the Chair of the Committee. Secondly, the practice has been that we have allowed the Senator requesting the Statement and the responding Committee to agree on the most convenient and suitable time, just appreciating our own small democracy within the House. That has been the practice. By the time the Senator comes back for a reminder, it is actually on the basis that the responding Committee had already committed itself to a particular time. I think that, that should be the way to go, except when they fail to observe the time that they had agreed. But when you look at the mandate of the Committee--- I know that this matter has been canvassed in the House for a long time and we agree that since this is a new thing, we are all trying to see how best to do it, including the point that Sen. Orengo raised; whether a Member of the opposition can do so. This is a matter that the Senate The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is almost as if you have made a ruling on what I wanted to raise. But given the situation that we find ourselves in now, I have been made to fear to even demand for a Statement from the Chairman of the same Committee regarding Kirinyaga which is facing a lot of insecurity. Several kidnappings have taken place and my fear is that if I request for the Statement, it will take another two weeks to get it. Now that you have given the Committee up to Thursday, I will demand for a Statement and make sure that it is given by Thursday.
Order, Sen. Karaba! Have you demanded for the Statement or are you going to do it on Thursday?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to demand for it today, but I feared that your ruling would rule me out of that. I will write it tomorrow, so that it can be included.
As you wish! POLLUTION OF ATHI, GALANA AND SABAKI RIVERS
Mr. Speaker, Sir, last week but one, I sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare. This was as a result of a notice which was issued by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) after a Committee, which I serve in, that is, the Ad hoc Committee on Royalties, paid a visit to Athi River, as it passes through the Fourteen Falls in Thika. It was noticed that the entire sewage of Nairobi is being diverted into three rivers, that is, Rivers Galana, Athi and Sabaki. After that, NEMA issued an alert warning all people in the Republic not to use any water from those rivers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, millions of people depend on those rivers and that is why I sought a Statement from the Standing Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare. Last week expired and even as I speak, innocent people downstream, across several counties, still consume that water. We do not know how many of them have probably 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.
Chairman of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I really sympathize with the situation and what the hon. Senator has said is true. He sought a Statement and we had said that we would be able to deliver it. One of the promises that we made to the Senator was that we were going to visit the place ourselves.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would have imagined that anything to do with the environment should be under the Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I seek your direction.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I share the same rivers with Sen. Wamatangi. A statement on contamination of the two rivers was issued by the NEMA, giving warning to residents who live close to the rivers not to use that water. We discussed this statement with Sen. Wamatangi and an undertaking was given that a Statement would be issued in two weeks. As we are talking, young men are diving into those rivers and the cows and other livestock are drinking water from those rivers, when actually a warning was issued by the Government. Therefore, this issue should be addressed quickly. Are we here to safeguard the lives of our people or just play games and talk? This is a very serious issue. What would be my business in this Senate if I cannot protect my people? Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Chair should give an undertaking and firm commitment on when we are going to discuss this issue.
Let us hear from the Chair of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare, because he had already committed himself.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand here to apologize that this Statement was not given as directed earlier. A visit to the place could not be arranged as we had intended. I will give this Statement on Thursday.
This coming Thursday, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Kuti, I also do not think that you need to visit to get an answer. If a report was made by a Government agency, then the first thing that you need to do is get them to come and brief you. From there, you will know who else you want to talk to, so that even if you visit, it will just be to confirm some of the issues that you will have already flagged out.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will not mind if my colleague, the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources, could join too.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for your indulgence. Indeed, as you have correctly ruled and I thank you for that, the issue of a public body issuing a statement that people of this country should not consume water from rivers, because they will fall sick or suffer health hazards, is also a matter of health, as much as it is a matter of environment. I am happy with your ruling, but I would like to add that this is a matter that is causing serious concern, especially in my County of Kiambu. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Sen. Wamatangi! We have already made those arguments, and I really allowed you to ventilate when you were just doing a reminder. There is no amount of ventilation that will make the response come. Wait until Thursday when they will bring the response and then you can react to it.
Most obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I will wait until Thursday for that Statement to come. I still hold the view because it is my democratic right, as an elected leader, to air my view as I see it; that---
Order, Sen. Wamatangi! I will allow you to exercise that democratic right on Thursday to air your views. For now, we are just talking about when the Statement can be ready, just like it is the democratic right of people to elect you, but they do not elect you every year. They elect you every five years.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what I only seek from you is a ruling, like you gave in the other matter, such that we are sure that come that Thursday, we will have a Statement and not an excuse.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order if I reminded you that there is Standing Order No.107 that addresses irrelevancies and repetitions?
Indeed, Standing Order No.107 is entitled “irrelevance or repetition.” It reads:- “The Speaker or the Chairperson of Committees, after having called attention to the conduct of a Senator who persists in irrelevance or tedious repetition either of the Senator’s own arguments or the arguments used by other Senators in debate, may, after having first warned him or her direct that the Senator discontinue his or her speech.” So, whoever suspects that he may be a culprit to this one, you are highly recommended--- The Chair would not want to go that way; do your own self censorship. Let us conclude this matter; I do not think it is a big issue. I want to agree with the observation by Sen. Kivuti that this matter, having actually been raised by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) which falls under environment, should have gone to his Committee. However, given the sensitivity of this matter and because of the related component in terms of public health and the affected population downstream of the rivers - the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare took up the matter. I urge that the two Chairs come together, then look at this matter, and bring us the report as promised on Thursday. What is it, Sen. Kivuti? I thought it was obvious; and it is what you requested.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you are right in directing, but may I request that today being Tuesday, we have only one day in which to consult the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to give us an answer to table on Thursday, which I think is a bit too short. I would request your indulgence so that we look into this matter collectively so that we get my Committee – and I can assure you that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has been very, very proactive; if I put it 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 have heard you.
It will be supplemental to the health concern.
I have heard you, Chairman.
I have heard you; but when Statements are sought, they are very specific in nature. So, I would not entertain a Committee trying to do more than its brief. Secondly, you can always work in a way that you give us some tentative report of your findings. If the report was actually by a Government agency known as NEMA, then it has information. since another Committee had already embarked on this particular process, you add whatever value you can add, come here on Thursday with a report; in the same report you can tell us other areas that you may wish to consider afterwards. But, really, in terms of urgency, issues of public health, just like those of security, require immediate attention.
I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you. What is it, Sen. Kiraitu? MANAGEMENT OF 99 YEAR-OLD LEASES BY THE GOVERNMENT
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am rising on a point of order to seek your guidance in a case where a Committee persistently ignores the directions of the Chair. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources – which is chaired by Sen. Kivuti, who is here today – has refused or neglected or otherwise failed to respond to my request for a Statement regarding expired 99-year leases, which was requested for before the Senate went for recess. This is the fourth time I am reminding the Committee through the Chair. Last time, the Chairman slipped out of the House before he could give the Statement, and now he is asking for more work. So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, can you say something about it, because I do not want to call for the Committee to be disbanded.
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. Muthama?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. With your previous ruling on the issue that was raised by Sen. Wamatangi, may I kindly ask the Chair to give – I do not know whether I want to say “orders” or “undertaking” – from the two Chairpersons, since the report is coming on Thursday for Sen. Wamatangi and myself to visit the areas, because it will take us only 30 minutes on Thursday morning before the report is brought here at 2.30 p.m. in the afternoon?
That should be arranged; the two Chairpersons, get in touch with the two Senators and make a visit to the place.
We are very much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Lenny Kivuti on the issue by Sen. Kiraitu. Remember also that there is an outstanding issue by Sen. (Dr.) Zani.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. If you give me a chance, I can answer all of them.
Do you want to respond now?
It is possible, because today in the morning, we already had a meeting and we discussed about all these issues, except the one by Sen. Muthama, which I may also wish to comment about, with your permission.
I appreciate your brain capacity, but for purposes of record, it would have been nice to see some documentation with you. So, you are ready on Sen. (Dr.) Zani’s Statement?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to make some comments which have been raised and which are already in my head, unless you direct that I go and write them up.
It is better that way. Give us something written and then, tomorrow afternoon, I will allow you to respond to all of them.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg for your indulgence---
For your information, Chairperson, even the Chair needs a copy of what you are going to inform the House.
The reason is because Sen. Kiraitu was not here last Thursday, when you directed that the answer be brought here in two weeks; which is Thursday next week. That is already in the HANSARD. Mr. Speaker, Sir, by today, we had not received a response from the Cabinet Secretary (CS) and we decided to issue a summons for her to appear before the Committee on Tuesday next week. That will be before the date which we have been given by you, to bring all the answers. That will be the same with Sen. (Dr.) Zani’s Question, which also we discussed today. Some of the Cabinet Secretaries are not difficult; they have been co-operative, but we have not had any response from the Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing and Urban Development and, for that reason, the Committee decided to summon her to appear before us on Tuesday next week. There are three issues which we will discuss; the 99-year leases, the issue of Masongaleni land allocation, and there is also a third issue. There are actually three issues which are still pending in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. 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 agreeable to your proposal of giving the Chairman of that Committee one more chance to give us the Statement on the 99-year leases on Thursday next week. But if he does not do so, then dire consequences should be visited on that Committee. I thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Indeed, on the issue of Sen. (Dr.) Zani and Sen. Kiraitu Murungi, the Chair had actually sought for that extension last week, and we allowed it; which was repeated in the case of Sen. (Dr.) Zani this afternoon by the Vice- Chair. So, we should proceed that way. And then also that one of Sen. Wamatangi and Sen. Muthama, why do you not wait for Thursday?
Yes, Sen. Muthama; you should be very brief.
I will be very brief, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
I want to thank Sen. (Dr.) Machage for reminding us of Standing Order No.107.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you heard the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources say that they should wait for the report from NEMA so that they can see what value it will add on the report that will be brought by the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to tell the Chair, through you, that already a stern warning has been given by NEMA, which means that the people should not touch – forget about looking at – that water. It is dangerous and it is a health hazard; so what other report would we be expecting instead of saying “yes, we go on Thursday;” if he wants to take a bath, I will get him a swimming costume to taste that water and see how Kenyans are suffering. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no report that we are waiting for to add value--- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order! Order, Sen. Muthama!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Wamatangi, you have only one minute.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I assure you that I will not be repetitive. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in pursuit of what the Chair has said and in the pursuit of getting facts, that water has already been taken to the Government laboratories for testing; the results are out; that the water is highly contaminated. That report is available for the Committee to take up and act expeditiously and fast to bring this matter to rest. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, hon. Senators! This is all useful information and should be forwarded to the Committee. We cannot transact business here that would better be transacted at the committee stage. I plead with you and it is important that we agree. By the time the Chairperson starts pursuing the matter, you should be the first people to give all the information that you have regarding it. The Chairpersons will then come on Thursday afternoon to inform the rest of the House. I also want you to volunteer the information you have to the committees so that they come here with a considered report. Let us leave this matter at that level. We cannot keep on discussing it the whole afternoon.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Mine is an issue of addressing the Constitution on the failure of the system. Since March, when this Senate was elected, we have seen deficiencies that exist in terms of transacting business in this House by the Government. Indeed, the Government has demonstrated total failure; one, with regard to orders from this House to the Government; and, two, with regard to orders seeking information from the Government. Would I be in order to make this statement and say that the Constitution has failed with regard to this issue? An amendment of the relationship between Parliament and the Government should be looked into amongst other amendments so that they are put through a referendum.
Sen. Machage, you are completely out of order to declare that the Constitution has failed. You need to withdraw those words. Until the Committee Chairpersons come back to us, as a House, since you have given them that responsibility, you have to wait. You need to come and say that you sought certain information from a certain source but it has not been forthcoming. That is when the House can take a considered decision. You should not just give opinions. I am not aware if you are one of the Chairpersons of this House. You are making those statements on the Floor of the House just because we have moved on in terms of our democratic gains. I wish to remind you that in the 1970s, such statements would land people elsewhere including the Chair.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it would not be the first time for me to land there. As a matter of principle, I will not withdraw. 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.(Dr.) Machage, I will give you the last chance to withdraw.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, our Constitution has failed to address a lot of matters that need to be seen critically. I will not withdraw.
In that case, Sen. (Dr.) Machage, you may withdraw from the Chamber for the remainder of the day.
Just before I invite Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki, Senators, you have an opportunity to interrogate the Government or the people that represent the Government like the Senate Majority Leader every Thursday. Your Standing Orders have accorded you that opportunity. However, you do not do that. You want to do it when it is completely unnecessary. When the Senate Majority Leader comes to give you the programme for the week, that is a good opportunity for you to interrogate those issues. I will invite you to be keen so that the next time that the Senate Majority Leader comes up with a weekly programme, you ask him about the performance, deficiencies and all other questions. This is a House of rules. You cannot just be speaking out of turn without any supportive evidence and give an opinion on a grave matter like the Constitution.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Mr. Speaker, Sir thank you for that direction. On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Given what has just transpired in this Chamber, which is quite unfortunate, there is a difference between an attack on the Government which is a political entity and an attack on the Constitution of our country. I think we need a bit of guidance in future. I am saying this because I have seen the way we interact here; both sides of the House, and in our submissions. We need to have some code of conduct because attacking the Constitution is like attacking the entire nationhood and that is extremely serious. However, I want to seek your guidance but not particularly now. Some of the challenges we are facing with regard to the relationship between the Office of the Senate Leader of the Majority and the Chairpersons of Committees are extremely systemic problems. There is no linkage, whatsoever; given the practice we have had for the last six months. I have no relationship with Chairpersons of the committees and this should be created because I am the default mechanism. For instance, as I walked in, Mr. Speaker, you gave orders that you require certain answers with regard to about five Statements related to national security by Thursday. My inquiry tells me that those requests for Statements have been there for many months. Secondly, my inquiry tells me that both the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson are out of the country. So, unless there is a way in which the Senate Majority Leader, being the person who bears the default responsibility, can receive information from the Committee Chairpersons--- I require support so that I carry out the responsibility. It is a bit unfair to require the Senate Majority Leader to have the default responsibilities while there is no obligation for the Chairpersons to tell me that they are 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 stood here, this afternoon, to suggest something that seemed to be a possible solution to this problem. The assertion of the Senate Majority Leader will be like abdicating responsibility. It is incumbent upon the Senate Majority Leader and Chairpersons who purport to represent the Government to prepare and liaise with the Speaker’s Office and the Office of the Clerk. All they need to do is to liaise with the Office of the Clerk and ensure that those things are done on a routine basis. That is why the Office of the Senate Majority Leader is there. If only they could build some mechanisms along with the respective offices of the Senate, we would not have problems. There is a clear indication that the Executive is failing. It is not the Constitution that is failing. It is the implementers who are failing. What do we need to do, therefore? We simply need to put up standards and, as you told us, this can only be done through the House Rules and Business Committee, if I got you right this afternoon. So, they must be held accountable.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to agree with you and with the Senate Majority Leader that we cannot challenge the Constitution when repeatedly, in this House, we refer to the same Constitution. We have even gone to the Supreme Court on matters that were vexing between the two Houses. However, should we allow the Senate Leader of Majority to get away with what he is saying; that he does not see any nexus between him and the Chairs of the Committees? The Senate Majority Leader has been given a deputy so that anything that this House expects from the Government, he is aware about. When he is away either on a call of nature or whatever it is, his deputy is there. It might be lost to some that on many occasions, we do not have the Senate Leader of Majority in this House. We do not have his Deputy here and neither do we have the Chief Whip or the Deputy Chief Whip. It is only the Senate Leader of Minority, Wetangula, who was sitting in this House. How I miss Wetangula!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is my Senator in order to say that he has not been seeing me in the House and yet I am always here? I am even the one who closes most of the sessions after he has left.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The last statement by the Senator for Kakamega has reveled that, perhaps, he wanted to make a point that he is missing the Senate Leader of Minority. We wish him all the best. Having said so, the Senator for Kakamega is out of order, in my view, because the Senate Majority Leader is always in the Chamber and when he is not there, he arranges with his Deputy, the Chief Whip or one of the Committee Chairs to stand in for him. There is always someone on duty on the Majority side. However, In relation to the issue raised by Sen.(Dr.) Khalwale on whether I should get away with what I have said here, I will insist that I have stood on this podium, severally, trying to impress upon the Chair to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, this is a fairly straight matter which I want to dispose of.
I hope you will be very brief. I also hope that you heard the Senate Majority Leader trying to challenge the Chairpersons of Committees.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will be very brief. I will support you that the fault is not in the Constitution at all. The fault is in us. Apart from what has been stated before, we have the power that was bestowed upon us under the Constitution. If a Minister does not respond to our requests, which are made with utmost courtesy and respect, we have the powers to summon that Minister. If those summons are not honoured, we can ask, through the Attorney-General that he or she be arrested and be charged for refusing to honour summons. Either House of Parliament under Section 125 of the Constitution has the same powers as the High Court of this country: Powers to enforce the attendance of witnesses and examine them on oath of affirmation or otherwise; powers to compel the production of documents and powers to issue, commission or request to examine witnesses abroad. We all know that if the High Court has summoned you to attend and you do not attend, it is an offence and there are consequences for that. So, we have the powers but we have not exercised the powers which are bestowed upon Parliament and upon the Committees of Parliament. Even under our own Standing Orders, we have the powers. The powers are there under Standing Order No.193. It states:- “The Committees shall enjoy and exercise all the powers and privileges bestowed upon Parliament by the Constitution and Statute, including the power to summon witnesses; receive evidence and request for and receive papers and documents from the Government and the public”. So, we have the powers and I think it is now up to us to use them. They are powers we have rarely exercised because I think we have believed in an amicable 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. While I agree with the remarks and directions on this matter and also with Sen. Wako, I am concerned, because in any government which takes governance seriously, what arises from the National Assembly or the Senate is of critical importance. In fact, if I was occupying the Office of the Senate Majority Leader, who I baptize “the leader” without any further adjectives, now I am beginning to regret, that having called him the leader, it will be incumbent upon him at the end of every day, to take an audit of what transpired and what is required of Government at the end of the day. Because he is not doing that, you can see that all these issues that are arising are bordering on Government responsibility and accountability. Mr. Speaker, Sir, for example, when I heard Sen. Lesuuda pleading – you know she is nominated by the Jubilee Coalition – as a Senator, what about the Senators who are not in the Jubilee Coalition and they may not be able to whisper to those in positions of responsibility? So, if Sen. Lesuuda cannot be heard, what about the ordinary Kenyans? Whereas I like the pontification by Sen. Wako, but again I would like to give free advice to the Jubilee Government: They should either have a whole department in charge of parliamentary affairs as is done in other jurisdictions or initially when we had Independence you remember Assistant Ministers were called Parliamentary Secretaries because then they would take the business of the House seriously. It is not upon you to tell the Government of the day what to do when issues arise of the magnitude we are talking about Baragoi. It is not a matter you can go out of the way to assist the Government of the day. If the Government of the day is taking proceedings in this House seriously as the National Intelligence Service (NIS) takes seriously where Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is eating lunch or where he slept, instead of using those resources following Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, they should employ somebody, attached to the office of the Senate Majority Leader to know what is required of Government from this Senate and for that matter, any other institution so that these issues will not take as long as they have taken. I know in the old days and the former Attorney-General knows, his office would assign somebody at the law courts to find out what has been filed against Government so that they can react. If you want it to appear exparte, you suddenly find a State Counsel there as you file and therefore you will not be able to find the benefit of prosecuting something exparte. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not about the little speeches the Senate Leader of Majority makes here. There is something in Government that counts for more than that. So, please, take an audit everyday and advise the Chairpersons accordingly, that if they do not answer those questions or react to them, it is the image of the Government that suffers. I beg to support your position. 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, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to inform Sen. Orengo that his attempt to invite the Senate Leader of Majority to be taking stock of business here is not anything out of this world. You remember very well, and you were there when Martha Karua was Deputy Leader of Government Business in the House - she would sit there every day of the whole week until she developed a back problem and a special chair was created for her. You should stop thinking that you are the newly appointed Prime Minister; you are the newly appointed Leader of Government in the House. This means that even when the Committee Chairpersons are not there, they are comfortable knowing that the highly paid Senate Majority Leader is there and is listening for us; and will tell us what it is that we have to respond to. You better be informed!
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! We must bring this debate to a close. While I appreciate the debate and it is healthy, this is a debating Chamber for sure; I want to clarify a few things. I think we disposed of the issue of the Constitution, so that is rested and the originator has exited with it. The issue is the role of the Senate Majority Leader in terms of assisting Committees. This matter has been canvassed severally here and we said we will undertake a lot of research. But that is just in terms of a bicameral Parliament vis-à-vis a presidential system; how the Senate Majority Leader and the Chairpersons of Committees can interact with the Executive to ensure that the issues sought by the Senators can be addressed. But in terms of how the Senate Majority Leader goes about it, I want to agree with Sen. Orengo and Sen. Wako that the Senate Majority Leader cannot come here and pretend to be so unsupported. This is because, first, this House has given the Senate Majority Leader a big office and infrastructure to support him. Secondly, the expectation is that the Senate Majority Leader is the Leader of the Majority and, indeed, Sen. Orengo has educated him to just dispose with the rest of the adjectives and just remain “the leader”. Coming from Sen. Orengo, I am sure that was a highly considered matter coming from the other side of the coalition. Now, the Chair has the responsibility to manage the affairs of the Senate Majority Leader and his committees. You will all remember that committees of this House were constituted by the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader through their Whips, approved by the RBC and the rest of the House. The persons who nominate Senators to Committees or denominate like they did to Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale – thank you Sen. Orengo for reminding me - in fact, I thought by the time Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale was making the assertion that the Senate Majority Leader was not in the House - he would have reminded him of how he made his exit by the sheer principle of his position. So, the rule is that as the author and the originator of the membership to committees, you determine how long they remain there and how you wish them to make an exit. It was supposed to be based on some performance. So, you must be having your own monitoring mechanism. That is why we post things on the website and that is why we have a record of the proceedings of this House known as the HANSARD. It is up to the Senate Majority Leader at the end of the day or, at the very minimum, the following day, to look at the HANSARD and find out which Statements have been sought and by who. I cannot help you there, I am afraid. 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 beg to support the Motion before this House on matters regarding health. As I went through---
Order, Senator! I saw you raising your hand and you had intimated to me that you wanted to contribute. That was another order, but I can see you are already in the next Order. You may wish to wait until that Order is called out.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Next Order! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On this Motion, the last contributor was Sen. Elachi who has a balance of 20 minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to continue with my contribution on the report that was tabled last week on health. When you look at the recommendations of the report, some issues were raised in the counties visited. There is need for the Cabinet Secretary for Health to assist in terms of ensuring that some district hospitals are supported. When you look at the findings, the capacity of Iten District Hospital, for example, is about 167. However, it usually admits more than 200 patients. Therefore, you will find that even in the maternity unit, the capacity is 38 beds for mothers. Currently, the facility is being renovated. Even after the Jubilee Government has ensured that we have free maternity, women in Iten might have challenges in terms of getting to the nearest maternity hospital for services. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we look at the report and noting that the challenges in different health facilities are similar, how do we come up with better policies and a framework to ensure that counties forge ahead in development? We should come up with the framework which will help improve services in Iten District Hospital. We need to know whether this county has a blue print that is anchored on Vision 2030. Does it have its own plans to help this country realise its dream as envisaged in Vision 2030? At the end of it all, some counties will be doing so well and others will lag behind in terms of development. As we discuss these recommendations, we need to think about employing more doctors and nurses to work in our hospitals and health centres. We, as leaders, need to find solutions to various challenges facing this country, especially in the health sector. I believe the current Cabinet Secretary for Health has great plans to surmount the various challenges bedeviling this sector. The other challenges facing many of these hospitals are the issues of electricity and water bills. Many hospitals have been grappling with these huge bills for many years. I call upon the national Government to address this issue so that we move forward in development. How do we ensure that county governments work in harmony with the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. Joy Adhiambo Gwendo.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to use the few minutes left to also support the report by the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare.
Sen. Gwendo, you actually have 30 minutes.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. According to the Report, I noticed that they gave statistics on diseases like Malaria and diarrhea which we can deal with at home. We have organizations that actually concentrate on these diseases. They go from home to home, teaching women on how to take care of their children, how to take care of their water and so on. It is the lack of not taking care of water that causes diarrhea. So, I was asking the Committee to also work with organizations like Population Services International (PSI) which run educational programmes on malaria prevention. For example, they teach people how to use mosquito nets and how to take care of water. This will also help reduce these diseases. This Committee could also extent its visits to other counties because they visited only four counties and level 5 and 4 hospitals. Each county is supposed to have these hospitals. If you look at the situations of hospitals which are supposed to be at this level, the situation is a bit wanting. If they go to other counties, we will know what is not there and how we can help and what we need to do more. When we take care of the health 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.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to contribute and as well give my Maiden Speech on the same matter which is before the House. Madam Temporary Speaker, our policies have significantly evolved from the 1960s, when reduction or eradication of our social and health problems was the main approach. Today, we are focused on participatory approach in our current devolved health development. As we celebrate 50 years of Independence, the issue of health to persons with disabilities is still a challenge. There are reasons to be optimistic about the future, especially based on our very inclusive Constitution, which is capable of spurring national unity, county and individual development. We still find situations where persons with disabilities are marginalized when it comes to health services. Madam Temporary Speaker, according to Kenya’s National Survey for Persons with Disabilities, 2008, about 4.6 per cent of Kenyans experience some form of disability. Many of them are still not well taken care of by our health system. Firstly, it is important to strengthen the existing county hospitals and health centres in all the 47 counties, so as to be able to provide better health services towards the persons with disabilities. I went through the report of the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare. I would also like to seek the intervention of this House to urgently review the nature of participation of the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in the public and private health centres and hospitals. I wish to propose the establishment of a Government rehabilitation centre for persons with disabilities, at least, in one public hospital in every county. This should have sufficient services, including a laboratory, physiotherapy units and necessary devices to cater for the holistic needs of persons with disabilities. Madam Temporary Speaker, I wish to request the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare to visit and review the situation at Mbagathi Hospital, as they move round the counties, considering the Level 4 and 5 hospitals. I recently visited the hospital for my assessment and found the services accorded to persons with disabilities wanting. I noted that the unit where persons with disabilities obtain services is identified with a banner of the HIV/AIDS scourge. This tends to imply that the PwDs who visit that hospital are also HIV/AIDS patients or that the HIV/AIDS patients are also PwDs; 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.
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Committee’s findings. Madam Temporary Speaker, it is very challenging that as we discuss this report, there are counties that still lack Level 4 and Level 5 hospitals. To be able to limit the number of deaths that occur in areas where these hospitals are lacking, we need to prioritize the construction of hospitals in the said counties. Madam Temporary Speaker, there is also the issue of the rising cases of cancer in our country. This is a very big challenge that is affecting our people. People with cancer in some areas are being shunned. Some people even think that they have been bewitched. So, it is important that the facilities that we have are able to cater very well for victims of this particular disease. When we were young we used to hear about cancer. It was not common. However, today, it has almost reached epidemic levels. It is important that we think seriously about this particular problem that is affecting our people. Madam Temporary Speaker, there are efforts that have been put in place to ensure that patients who are suffering from cancer are given proper attention in Naivasha District Hospital. But it is unfortunate because the facilities that are required to treat these patients are not even in Nakuru where we have a Level 5 Hospital. Patients have to be brought all the way to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) from Naivasha. So, it is important that this is looked into, so that the suffering of a section of our population from cancer is limited. This can be done by ensuring that the facilities for treating them are close to them. Madam Temporary Speaker, even the issue of transportation of patients using ambulances is a problem. This issue should be looked into so that we have enough ambulances to carry patients safely. We also have an increase in the number of accidents as evidenced in the reports that we get from the Traffic Department. Therefore, the number of ambulances has to be increased to ensure that the people who get injured in accidents are taken to health facilities that will give them first aid and proper treatment in time to avoid more deaths. Madam Temporary Speaker, there is also the issue touching on the attitude of staff in some of the hospitals. I had a chance of attending a seminar that was discussing issues concerning pregnant mothers and the way that they give birth. It was very 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, for giving me this opportunity to contribute and to support this Motion. In the past, it is very clear that the successive governments have not allocated adequate budgets or funding to the health departments. Looking at this good report, I am sure that they have gone and interrogated the issues in this report. Once approved and implemented, this report will give ease or give access to high quality health care. Once the facilities are upgraded, then Kenyans will get quality medical care. It has not been fair to make Kenyans travel far and wide, locally, regionally and internationally, to get specialized treatment when we have qualified medical personnel. They only require facilities and equipment within the hospitals for them to deliver services to our people. At times, the health personnel work without simple things like gloves, microscopes, syringes, beds within the maternity wards, ambulances to transport the needy or sick Kenyans. Once all these are provided, these diseases that spread like cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS pandemic, will be drastically reduced. At the end of the day, Kenya will have very strong manpower. When we have healthy people, they can contribute immensely towards the improvement of our economy. These are people who contribute to the development of their communities. By devolving these facilities, it means making the people more accountable and more involved. They are definitely going to take care and stop mishandling these facilities within their counties. Madam Temporary Speaker, let me give an example of Pumwani Maternity Hospital. At times, you may find that the facilities are so dirty, there is no water and the few toilets there are dirty. It is a pity women give birth in such a pathetic situation. As the previous speaker said, hygiene is so poor that, at the end of it all, they may end up contracting more diseases. Even with children, if facilities at the pediatric wards are not well equipped at the counties, then how do we expect them to survive? This is a whole generation which we expect to take over the leadership of the country in future. Madam Temporary Speaker, once the budget is increased, it will be very useful to the people since it will be easier to expand these health facilities, learn issues to be 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.
There being no other Senators wanting to contribute, I now call upon the Chairman of the Committee to reply. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Mohamed Kuti.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I would like to start by thanking all the Members who were able to get an opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion about the findings of our health facilities, especially Levels 3, 4 and 5 hospitals in Rift Valley, especially in the north Rift. I would also like to thank the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare, which I chair, for being able to visit this area as a sample and bring out this report; for being able to take time off their busy schedules to be present there and for coming up with this report. I am also grateful to the secretariat who accompanied us and to the Senate administration for facilitating us. Madam Temporary Speaker, this tour is an indicator of the scenario of our health institutions across the country. A lot of the Members who contributed felt very strongly that the Committee should have had more samples. In fact, if possible, do a country wide tour. That is actually our programme. I would like to announce that immediately after the Kenya Women Parliamentarians (KEWOPA) Seminar in Kwale, my Committee will be in the Coast to tour counties so that we also can compare these facilities in other regions. After that, we intend to go to the counties in the former North Eastern Province and counties in Central, Upper Eastern and come up with a more comprehensive report, so that we can actually come up with a Bill that will then inform how we wish our health facilities to be run, what kind of improvements need to be added, the areas that we need to strengthen and all this. This is our plan. I would like to thank all those who felt that this should have had a wider catchment in order to bring out more broad results. Madam Temporary Speaker, many Senators spoke about women’s health in various ways, one of which is the distance that mothers have to cover to reach the health centres. In fact, I would like to congratulate the Kenya Government right from the beginning although there are a lot of challenges. One very important thing that we have to recognize is that we have the infrastructure in almost every sub-location. There is a dispensary and a health centre in most locations. There are district hospitals in most districts, other than the new districts that were created in the last days of the Grand Coalition Government. We also have the provincial hospitals or referral hospitals in well established counties. Even in the most remote areas like north eastern, health centres and dispensaries still play a very key role. As I said, there is infrastructure in place. The main problem is the staffing because we have lost a number of our doctors who have gone to work outside this country. We must recognize the fact that it is only 40 per cent of doctors trained in The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Your request is in order. It is granted. We will put that Question tomorrow at 3.00 pm.
Let us move on to the next order. AUDIT OF EMPLOYEES OF DEFUNCT LOCAL AUTHORITIES BY TRANSITION AUTHORITY
Madam Temporary Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, aware that Section 7(2) of the Transition to Devolved Government Act requires the Transition Authority to carry out an audit of the existing human resource of the Government and local authorities and advise on deployment to either level of Government; further aware that Section 57 of the Urban Areas and Cities Act provides that every person who, immediately before the commencement of the Act was an officer, agent or member of staff appointed, seconded or otherwise employed by a local authority shall, on the commencement of the Act be seconded or otherwise deployed as may be provided by law; concerned that failure to absorb bona fide employees of the defunct local authorities will deprive them of their rightful means of livelihood contrary to the spirit of the Bill of Rights as contained in Chapter Four of the Constitution of Kenya and the principles of devolution; the Senate urges the Transition Authority to urgently finalize the audit of employees of the defunct local authorities and put in place the necessary framework for their absorption as employees of the respective counties. 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.
Asante sana, Bi. Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa nafasi hii ili niunge mkono Hoja hii iliyoletwa na Sen. Elachi. Jambo la kwanza ambalo ningependelea kuunga mkono ni kwa sababu ni haki ya mfanyikazi kuona ya kwamba wakati wa ugatuzi 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 contribute to this very important Motion that has been moved by our Chief Whip. It has been very challenging to the employees that were inherited by the various county governments. This is basically because there is a feeling in our country that the moment there is change of guard anywhere, staff has to be moved whether they are working well or qualified to other places. In most cases, they are replaced by people who are not able to perform properly. So, it is very disheartening to see that most counties now, like the Mover of this Motion has said, have failed to raise the revenue that used to be raised by the defunct local authorities. This is mainly because, like Nakuru County, there was mass transfer of good workers who were in various municipalities and county councils. This brought a very bad beginning for the county government of Nakuru. The revenue that was lost because of that is astronomical. It is regrettable that in some instances people who wanted to pay land rates and other payments that were to be paid, were finding employees who do not understand what they were supposed to be doing. This has had a serious impact on even the popularity of the various county governments. Madam Temporary Speaker, it is worth noting that the employees that were working in those defunct county councils were employed by a government that was balancing ethnicity and many other issues that were affecting our nationhood. Today, Kenya is a country whose level of patriotism has gone down, because many people are looking for their tribesmen to employ. I believe that this is wrong. What Sen. Madzayo has said here concerning Kwale is something that is now being duplicated all over the country. In some of the instances, like in my county, mass transfers were being carried out and families separated. I had to intervene in cases where mothers were being 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 opportunity to contribute in support of this Motion. This Motion is quite timely and I believe that it will highlight the plight of the former employees of the defunct local authorities. Madam Temporary Speaker, it is very important for the TA to come up with a clear framework, adhere to the Constitution and protect the interests and rights of these Kenyans, who probably, happened to be at the right place at the wrong time. They are amongst the first casualties of devolution. It should be a smooth transition, as the name of the authority concerned in ensuring that devolution works, suggests. Right now, there seems to be confusion. We can call them teething problems or anything. This is because everyone has the powers to do what they deem fit. The governors and their governments have been authorized by the Constitution to come up with ways of governing their counties without any interference from the national Government. We have seen in the media that the county governments have advertised various jobs and people have applied for them. They have come up with some new positions, which probably never existed according to the framework or strategic plan. We do not know what they desire to achieve or what changes they wish to bring within their counties. 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.
Move it now! 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 will bring the amendment at the appropriate time. Madam Temporary Speaker, I had the privilege to listen to the TA, when they appeared before us in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights this morning. They were grappling with some of those challenges. They were saying they were working very hard, burning the midnight oil, to sort out some of these things. It may not be possible to tell you what exactly the situation is, but they are lobbying people. They are lobbying some counties who are over-staffed to transfer some of the workers to other counties. There may be some counties which need more personnel and so on. That is why this framework that the Senate will pass is going to cater to all these different scenarios. We want to ensure that, at the end of the day, the rights of the Kenyans who were employed by either the defunct local authority or the national Government are catered for. All employees must know their fate before we disband the TA. With those few remarks, Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to support the Motion.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I stand to propose an amendment to this Motion as follows. THAT, the Motion be amended by inserting the following words immediately after the word “counties” at the end thereof: “and the national Government to either absorb the former employees or pay retirement benefits in the unlikely event that they are not absorbed by the counties.” So that, Madam Temporary Speaker, the Motion as amended now reads:- “THAT, aware that Section 7(2) of the Transition to Devolved Government Act requires the Transition Authority to carry out an audit of the existing human resource of the Government and local authorities and advise on deployment to either level of Government; further aware that Section 57 of the Urban Areas and Cities Act provides that every person who, immediately before the commencement of the Act was an officer, agent or member of staff appointed, seconded or otherwise employed by a local authority shall, on the commencement of the Act be seconded or otherwise deployed as may be provided by law; concerned that failure to absorb bona fide employees of the defunct local authorities will deprive them of their rightful means of livelihood contrary to the spirit of the Bill of Rights as contained in Chapter Four of the Constitution of Kenya and the principles of devolution; the Senate urges the Transition Authority to urgently finalize the audit of employees of the defunct local authorities and put in place the necessary framework for their absorption as employees of the respective counties and the national Government to either absorb the former employees or pay retirement benefits in the unlikely event that they are not absorbed by the counties.” Madam Temporary Speaker, I join my colleagues who previously stood here to thank Sen. Beatrice Elachi for bringing this Motion at this time when there are a lot of employment sprees taking place in our counties. No day passes by without us seeing an advertisement from some county looking for people to go and work in those counties. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I take this opportunity to second the amendment on the Motion. For sure, this is a very serious Motion that needs a lot of attention. As a colleague rightfully said, employment is like life. Joking with somebody’s employment is like killing somebody. We need to think on humanitarian grounds. As a leader, a legislator and as a parent, these are our brothers, sisters and, indeed, we need to support their well being. We should not allow the county governments to do away with them. Within the personnel working for the county governments and within the national Government, those who are supposed to be on transition are being swayed around. I want to say that amongst them we have those with disabilities. I normally sit down and ask myself what will happen to such employees. For a person with disability to get employment, it is not an easy job. Even just being accepted in the job market, it is not easy. Once somebody has got that employment and it is taken away, it is quite inhuman. In some cases these jobs are being advertised when somebody is sitting in that office, you ask yourself the moment a new employee will come and take that sit, what will happen to the person who is already occupying that office? We need to appreciate the work these people have been doing and they are still doing. In fact, after the general 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, for giving me the opportunity. I do not know when we will stop saying that we are still learning, but every day is a learning day and knowledge is power. In supporting the amendment, I wish to bring to the attention of the House that currently the national Government is paying the salaries of the former employees of the local authorities wherever they have been deployed or attached. I would also like to urge the national Government to continue doing so. They should not leave those employees half stuck in the mud. This is an exercise that the national Government should continue performing. They should put aside a clear budget allocation which shall ensure that salaries are available before they are settled in their new jobs. They should also ensure that at the time they are being retrenched and paid their benefits, there should be no excuse from the national Government that there is no money. They knew that we had a new Constitution and they envisaged such a scenario. So, they should cater for the needs of those Kenyans. We do not want a situation where we are going to lose young and very able employees who can still perform and develop the nation. We do not want to see them dying in shock or going back to their villages and within one year, we find the obituary pages in our daily newspapers are full as a result of this. Madam Temporary Speaker, as much as it looks like everything is being rushed, I keep on asking myself where all these people who were supposed to cater for these things were. This should have been done in a better way. All stakeholders should have been involved. Before the county governments advertised these jobs, they should have come together with the stakeholders to find ways of absorbing them in whatever positions that had been created. They needed to put in place proper systems to deal with corruption and any other shortfalls that could occur. It is not necessarily true that the new designations that are going to be created will benefit the society. Probably, even the present working system will work better for the society to improve not only their welfare, but also the economy of the country. By the end of the day, a very satisfied employee is productive to the economy. We should all get out of the poverty level. 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 also want to support the amendments on this Motion and say that it is time the Committee on Health, Labour and Social Welfare takes over and looks at the welfare of every employee who is at the county level. As we move on, we, as the Senate, need to start embracing the spirit of unity in purpose. The other day we celebrated Mashujaa Day and it was like we are starting and rejuvenating our country. We believe in this new Constitutional dispensation and must see a new Kenya coming up. This can only start if, indeed, we can really remember those who worked in the 174 local authorities. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Senator! This Motion still has a balance of one hour and thirty five minutes. Sen. Elachi, you will have your five minutes balance.
Hon. Senators, it is now time to adjourn. The Senate is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013, at 9.00 a.m. The Senate rose at 6.30 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.