Mr. Speaker, Sir, the usual practice is that if there are Members seeking for statements, then they would request electronically to catch your eye. But there are those Statements that are listed in the Order Paper, so I expected that if there were no new Statements being requested, then we go to the ones listed in the Order Paper. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was going to make a similar plea because I am expecting a Statement from one of the chairmen.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I have the answer on the question raised by Sen. Paul Njoroge on behalf of my chairman. May I proceed?
Proceed FREEZING/HANGING OF SAMSUNG ANDROID MOBILE PHONES IN KENYA
The response is as follows; I will not repeat the Questions. 1) The Government is aware that Samsung Android mobile phones, which are among the popular mobile brands that are imported into the country, malfunctioned. 2) The malfunctioning of these phones could be caused by two main reasons; a) Software incompatibility and virus attack. Users at times install incompatible applications or simultaneously run several applications beyond the memory capacity of the device. b) Counterfeits: These are normally cheap and some members of the public get duped into buying the same based on brand names. Counterfeits often do not work properly. 3) The following measures are being taken to address the problem; The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I beg as well to go through that report even after this, but I think I am satisfied. ( Loud Consultations )
Order! Sen. Njoroge will be protected! If the Member is satisfied, he is satisfied. It is not for the rest of you to measure his level of satisfaction.
I am satisfied with the answer given by the Vice Chair of the Committee, but I believe the problem still continues as far as the Samsung mobile phones are concerned and 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.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in the Statement given by the Chair, the onus of weeding out counterfeit telephones seems to have been left to customers and the company or the Government seems to take no responsibility to make sure that the counterfeit telephones are weeded out. Could he tell us if there ares any efforts being made towards the same?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. (Dr.) Machage has just “stolen from my mouth” what I wanted to say but additionally, I would like the Senator for Makueni or the Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Information and Technology, to tell us how many mobile phone companies have been taken to court for dealing with counterfeit goods. I believe there are a lot of counterfeit mobile phones in Kenya. When you buy a Samsung Phone in Nairobi, it is cheaper than a similar one in Dubai or Japan. Why is it so?
Yes, Acting Chair of the Standing Committee on Information and Technology.
Mr. Speaker, Sir
Order Senator. By sending---
Let me read it; “You send an SMS of the mobile phone device to mobile code 1555. The number is supposed to match your IMEI so that then, you will tell whether your device is genuine or not.” That is the answer to the question but in terms of what the agency is doing, they are running a programme against purchase of counterfeit goods. There is also an attempt to strengthen the seizure of counterfeit goods. Thank you.
Actually, I was seeing you. However, I thought that what you have is not related to this matter.
It is very much related.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. Njoroge is satisfied with the answer. However, from the answer that was given by the Chairman, it appears as if problems emanating from Samsung phones have something to do with counterfeits. I bought my phone from a Safaricom Shop who purported to be, by then, the only agents of Samsung S5 phones. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the issues originally raised by Sen. Njoroge are such as a Samsung phone occasionally going off or when you write a message, some letters appear in capital. Assuming that Safaricom is not likely, I hope, to be dealing with counterfeits, could 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.
In fact, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that question was answered. There are two issues. First, there is software incompatibilities and virus attack, which is one of the answers that I gave. Sometimes, that is possible because there was no specification as to any virus attack. Safaricom officers said that it could be possible that you could be having an application with a virus attack. They also said that you could have run applications beyond the capacity of the device. They gave us solutions. One of them was that you can reload your software at Samsung Electronics Offices and Regional Training Centres in Kenya. If you have a problem with your Samsung phone, you should visit their offices where technicians will be waiting for you to explain to them the problem with your software, Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Let us now look at Statement (d). CRITERIA FOR APPOINTMENT/REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF APPOINTMENTS TO PARASTATALS
Is the Vice Chairperson of the Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity around? Let us move to Statement (e) which was directed to the Committee on Energy.
Order, Sen. Moi! FREQUENT POWER BLACKOUTS IN WEST POKOT COUNTY
Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Could you repeat the question because I was being briefed by Sen. Murkomen?
Order, Sen. Moi. I thought you are coming here for business of the House but not for some bilateral talks with the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet who is notoriously known for misleading Members.
Sen. Moi, I suppose you have the Order Paper. We are now on the Order of “Statements.” There is a whole appendix on page 654. We are dealing with your matter which is Statement (e). 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 sincerely apologise.
Could we now move to Statement (f) which was directed to the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries? Statement (g) was directed to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. Where is the Chair, Sen. Wako, Vice Chair, Sen. Sang or any other Member of the Committee? STATUS OF PREPARATION OF IEBC FOR THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gave us very many answers regarding questions raised by Members. However, we requested the IEBC to split the answers so that questions by Sen. Khaniri, Sen. Obure and another one on another issue which I cannot remember now come separately. Otherwise, the Committee has received the answer from the IEBC on preparation for the next General Election together with a programme on how it will undertake the work. If you allow me, I will present it on Tuesday.
What will you present?
The answer, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We were given all the answers in one letter. However, we requested them to redo it so that we have separate answers for Members’ consumption.
What do all the affected Senators have to say? I realise that two are together. Therefore, Sen. Obure, you can speak for both.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am glad to hear that the answer is available. For that matter, why would the Vice Chairperson not give out the answer tomorrow?
He is not the Vice Chair.
I am still holding brief. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not received the answer. Could you allow me to find out from the secretariat whether they have split it as directed by the Committee?
What was the indication? Did you have any timelines?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, last week, we gave them a week to give us the answers separately, particularly concerning Sen. Obure’s question which was a little more detailed than the rest.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the light of the fact that the particular Member of that Committee makes a lot of effort, I will accept the proposed date of Tuesday.
Fair enough. Members, there are Statements that have not been responded to. I will do another round and apply the necessary consequences. We have a Statement that was directed to the Standing Committee on Health. Is the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or any Member 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I request my colleague, a Member of the same Committee, Sen. (Dr.) Machage, to respond to that.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am the questioner and, therefore, I cannot take that call.
Yes, I am a Member of the Committee. However, I am also the Senator for Migori County.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Senator for Migori County, who is the Vice Chairman of the Committee, has invariably been the one answering questions relating to the Committee on Health in this House. I need your guidance on this. How do you then, as the Vice Chairman, ask your own Committee a question?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Members. Could we listen to the Senator?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, how then do you ask your own Committee a question? I thought that as a Member, you can deliberate on issues and then seek for answers?
Sen. (Prof.) Lesan.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am a Member of the Committee on Health, as well as my colleague, the Senator for Migori. I am aware that this question came to the Committee, and I think there is an answer but it is with the Chairperson of the Committee who is apparently not here and I do not have the answer with me. We are asking that you indulge us, so that we issue the Statement tomorrow.
Order! Sen. Khaniri, may be after I have made my remarks, you may decide whether you wish to continue or I will have satisfied you. I am disappointed by the Members of the Committee on Health because; how can Sen. Omondi put to task her own colleague in the Committee whom she knows very well is the one who sought the Statement? Either Sen. Omondi, you should have done it yourself or just keep your peace. Similarly, to Sen. (Prof.) Lesan, you purported to rise hoping that you were going to make a contribution only to inform us that you are aware. Already, the House is aware. That is why it is on the Order Paper. Sen. Billow, you rose on a point of order purporting that you knew Sen. (Dr.) Machage is the Vice Chairman. You even went ahead to make some serious assertions that he has been making the responses which is not correct. The Vice Chair of the Committee is Sen. Zipporah Kittony and she has been very elaborate in answering the questions. You ought to know. How can you fail to know? Fundamentally, Sen. Billow, you are all Members of one or two or another Committee. That does not take away your right as a Member of the House representing a particular county to raise the issues of that county. What will be inappropriate is like when Sen. Omondi asks Sen. (Dr.) Machage to answer his own Statement. That is unacceptable but for the Statement to be sought by the Member of the Committee, that is perfectly in order because we canvass issues 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.
With all due respect to the Chair, I refer to the reprimanding of the Committee by the Chair---
The Speaker of today’s sitting; yourself. I am being polite because of your powers. The membership of the Committee on Health is very active and even Sen. Billow does accept that. I have answered many questions in this House. Sen. (Prof.) Lesan has answered many questions just showing how active the membership is. May be the blame should be directed to the right people. We have had a Chair who has been indisposed and has not been fairly well for the last few months. We have to appreciate that and bring that information to you so that---
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage! Just because you have clarified your contribution to the Committee, which I said even the Vice Chair has been active, I have not said you are not but I am just saying, today, obviously there was no coordination amongst the Committee Members. That is why you are throwing the ball all over the place and you want the House to entertain that and applaud you? We cannot and I stand by my assertions that the Committee could have done better. I thought you should be the one to agree with me because how does a fellow Member ask you to answer your own Statement?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are the majority Members of the Committee on Health as you can see. Do not blame us; we are going to be organized.
But your majority status is of no use to us for now. In fact, that is the more reason why you should be having a Statement because you have more people to answer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to support the position on the sentiments you have expressed to Members of the Committee on Health. As a matter of fact, this Order Paper has been available to us since morning and any one of the Members of that Committee should have seen that an answer would be required here. If there had been some coordination and consultations among the Members, we would not be in the state we are now.
Well put, Sen. Obure, and I even wish to add that this is the second round of going through the Statements. In the light of all these, Sen. (Dr.) Machage, do you really want to challenge me or you are better off apologising to the Chair?
This is a question of national importance and I did ask it for the purpose of educating the nation on this issue. I am equally disturbed that my question could not be answered by the relevant authorities of the Committee whereas I am privy to the information that the answer is available to the Committee. I may be not too naive to repeat what you have said. I am more equally concerned and let us accept what Sen. (Prof.) Lesan said that the answer should be available tomorrow if he is able to get it from the Chair and the Vice Chair. I will accept.
Order, Members! I really want you to consider that we were right on what we told you. I was actually very lenient in the first call of the Statements and so we have gone back and you can still see the confusion. We were expecting at the time when we are going through the other statements, given your majority status and your sense of responsibility 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have not received the answer to that request. The reason is that we wrote to the Council of Governors and we also wrote to the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretary said the matters of security of counties and formation of security teams are not within their confines. On the other side, the Council of Governors said that it has to be county specific; that each county must take care of itself. As a Committee, today, we decided to now call the Council of Governors to appear before us. Ordinarily, we would have procured a statement but we want them to appear before us to discuss that matter and we will invite the Senator to the meeting. If he can indulge us for another two weeks, we will make sure we invite them and the Senator to be present. I want to request my colleagues that in future we hope to get specific questions for specific counties on that matter so that we can deal with it. Thank you.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Machage?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You heard the ping-pong response from the Chairperson on the real custodians of security matters at the county level. Is it in order for the Chairperson to give us that kind of answer when we know very well that security is a matter of the national Government being handled by the Jubilee Government?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think Sen. (Dr.) Machage understood the question. I invite him to read the question that was asked by Sen. Khaniri.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is this old saying that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. You should have been here yesterday to listen to Sen. Murkomen accuse me and my Committee on Land and Natural Resources for being inefficient and incompetent just for requesting for three weeks to come up with a response to this House. I raised this matter in February. If you can check on the HANSARD, I think it is February this year when we had just begun this Session. Six or seven months down the road, the Chairperson is coming here with stories; ooh, we wrote to the governors – ooh, we did what; the same Chairperson who accused my Committee of incompetence. You will bear me witness; one of the most active Committees in this House which responds to questions promptly is my Committee.
We take the business of this House very seriously. Since this matter---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, ---
Sen. Njoroge, Sen. Khaniri is on a point of order. Sen. Njoroge, I will allow you to speak afterwards. 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, since the matter has been in abeyance for the last seven months; and you can hear the Chairperson is asking for an additional two weeks, would I be in order to ask you to order him to come with a response next week to demonstrate competence?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I had not noted that Sen. Khaniri was on a point of order. I was just curious to know who lives in a grass-thatched house. I had not heard “ ooh ooh ” before; for the sake of the HANSARD, it is important for him to put those words together so that we can understand.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we can excuse Sen. Njoroge because, he was not hear yesterday.
What did you refer to?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I referred to the fact that people who live in grass houses should not throw stones.
I thought I heard Sen. Njoroge talk about grass-thatched houses.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is not my quote, let him clarify that one.
Order! There is another one on the other part.
Sen. Khaniri, you have not been listening.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I heard Sen. Khaniri repeat twice, “ ooh! Ooh!” I did not understand where that came from because---
And the one of grass-thatched houses?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was just connecting that type of a house he was referring to mine which---
Proceed, Sen. Khaniri.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not about to start teaching Sen. Njoroge English exclamations. That is just a simple English exclamation.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, for those who were here yesterday, a question was posed to Sen. Khaniri and instead of taking responsibility, he blamed the Jubilee Government. My Committee will not blame the Jubilee Government. We take complete responsibility for the delay. I agree that there has been back and forth between us and the two institutions. I take positive responsibility for that delay. In a week’s time, we can come here with an answer. If Thursday next week is okay with him, we will issue the Statement. I have also felt cheated by the kind of process that is going on. As a Committee, we take this House seriously. I request up to Thursday because I think the Senator will be available. Sen. Khaniri, I will not blame the Jubilee Government; I have only myself and my Committee to take it seriously.
Sen. Murkomen, maybe you may wish to blame the alternative but it is not possible.
Order, Members! As the Chair, I am satisfied that the Chairperson of the Committee on Devolved Government has shown extreme sense of responsibility and remorsefulness except for the matter that I was not very sure he knew which Statement he was responding to and his lack 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 take the responsibility to liaise with the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson. If allowed, we will issue the Statement next week.
I direct that Sen. Omondi responds to this question on Tuesday next week.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Committee Members, please, take responsibility. We do not have to point you out. We should not be on a rescue and search mission. You should be the ones ready to inform the House on the status of a Statement. We will appreciate.
Let us move to Statement (e). Proceed, Chairperson of the Committee on Energy. FREQUENT POWER BLACKOUTS IN WEST POKOT COUNTY
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the person who sought the Statement is not here today. Kindly indulge me and I will reply next week.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on Tuesday next week.
It is so ordered.
The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Is Sen. Murungi, Sen. Ndiema or any Member of the Committee present? I will now be carrying my list of Members. Sen. Wangari, there is a suspicion that you may be a Member.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the suspicion is wrong. I am not a Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
Order Members. It is directed that this Statement be issued tomorrow afternoon. Deputy Majority Leader, you are ordered to convey and get the Chair or any other person, failure to which you will have the responsibility. You should do it tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. Murungi was around. I will take responsibility so that he may come and answer this Statement tomorrow. If not, I will answer it because it is a straightforward Statement.
That is the end of that particular Order. Before we proceed, and this is why the Chair of the Committee on Devolved Government should do better to help us because we are bending backwards for him; the other Orders have been passed, but for good reasons, the report was being photocopied, we have a requirement that before the document is tabled, there should be sufficient copies for Members to access immediately the document is tabled. We will have to go back to Order No.5 on Papers laid.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Select Committee on Constitutional and Legal Review - I can hear one of my Members saying that it is called the Murkomen Commission but it is actually a Senate Commission - the Vice Chairman, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., my colleague, Sen. Billow, are here. The others are not here; they are in a small baraza at Uhuru Park. On behalf of my team, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Okong’o?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, did you hear Sen. Murkomen mentioning a small baraza which some of us are not aware of? Is he in order to mention barazas which some of us are not aware of? He mentioned a small baraza which is not part of what he was supposed to table. I am seeking your guidance whether he is in order.
Sen. Okong’o, let me understand you. What is your point of 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while Sen. Murkomen was in the process of tabling some papers, he mentioned a small baraza where some Members who are supposed to be in this House are. I am wondering which baraza he is talking about because I am not aware.
Sen. Okong’o, are you the custodian of all information especially pertaining to barazas that your failure to know means that such an event does not exist? From where I seat, I do not think so.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not procedural in this House for a Senator to impute improper motives on other Senators. Sen. Murkomen has mentioned some Senators who are in a
He has not mentioned the names of those Senators and the small baraza . That is why I am asking whether he is in order.
Sen. Okong’o, I am afraid that you are completely out of order. You are the one trying to push Sen. Murkomen to do what you know is not the right thing, which is imputing improper motives. That is why he is not mentioning names. That was not your point. Your point was that you are not aware. So you are completely out of order. Proceed, Sen. Murkomen.
Order, Senators! Let Sen. Murkomen finish.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Omondi?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is Sen. Murkomen in order to talk about barazas without substantiating them? For recording purposes, may he tell us what kind of barazas he is talking about? What we know is that we are supposed to be in a Senate Sitting. Is he in order to tell us something about we cannot understand?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, today, the main principal of Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) is holding a major rally at Uhuru Park---
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am executing my point. Let me do it in another way.
Order Sen. (Dr.) Machage. You are a Member of my panel, you can do better than that.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me re-execute my point of order. Is the Senator in order to refer to a meeting that is being held in solidarity with the teachers of this country over the situation of their salary? Anyway, the point is recorded.
Order, Sen. Murkomen. Sen. Omondi, it is not the business of the one who is making the assertions to substantiate. It is you to challenge him or her to substantiate. So the onus is not on the Senator speaking, who is Sen. Murkomen. That was your challenge. Instead of giving that challenge, you went ahead to try to justify. 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.
Sen. Murkomen, do you wish to be informed?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, no, at least not by Sen. (Dr.) Machage. In response to all what has been said, there was a similar man like Sen. Okong’o called Cleophas who asked a similar question in Luke Chapter 24:18. He asked an Okong’o of that time whether he is the only man who is new in Jerusalem. I would like to---
Order, Sen. Murkomen. That was on the road to Emmaus?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you are right. Cleophas was on his way to Emmaus. I want to give you ten out of ten. The question was about what was happening in Jerusalem at that time. The question was if you were in Jerusalem, you must understand what is happening in Jerusalem.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table;- Report of the Select Committee of the Senate on Constitutional and Legal Review.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very important document that has been laid by Sen. Murkomen, the Chair of the Select Committee of the Senate on Constitution and Legal Review. I think it is so important that I seek the Speaker’s guidance on how we propose to move with this particular document. I would wish that when we come to discuss the Report in this House, which is a record in the HANSARD and will be in a sense a very historical event to find out what the opinions of various Senators are on this matter and on the various proposals. It is important that the Senators speak from an informed point of view. I suggest that it may very well be that not a Kamukunji which I know was called this morning but not very many people attended, that a retreat, even if it means a one day retreat in Nairobi, in Samburu, Busia or somewhere, be called so that we go through this in depths and properly, and the reasons as to why it is the way it has gone. This will ensure that when it comes to the House, when we speak, we will speak as people having the authority on the proposals that have been suggested. I am merely standing up to ask for your guidance.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think this House is run by rules. I am wondering how comes Senator Wako, whom I really respect, the Papers have just been tabled now and I thought it was the time to have the Motion, and then give the Notice of Motion. I am surprised he is even 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. Keter. If we you are sufficiently informed, through your own sources, including your rich neighbourhood, both left and right, you must appreciate where Sen. Wako sits. He is very far from you. I think Sen. Wako made a very good request on how we should proceed on such an important matter. He is just excited. He is just looking forward to it, and there is no harm, in my view, for him to ask how we should proceed. So, let us give him that chance and I will answer him accordingly.
Sen. (Prof.) Lesan, is it on the same issues?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I also want to support the suggestion made by Sen. Amos Wako. This document has come as a result of a retreat somewhere. I remember we went to a retreat in a hotel and came up with this fantastic document. I also think we need a further quiet place where we can look at this document and then bring it to the House and follow processes that this House provides for.
Mr. Speaker, sir, mine is to thank the Chairman of this special Committee, the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet, Sen. Murkomen, Who I think worked very hard to deliver this very important report on the proposals to strengthen this House for posterity and also strengthen devolution. I think it is a remarkable achievement and we have to congratulate him and his team for the good work done. I think the Senate owes it to this House to set the agenda for this country, and we must collectively, in a bi-partisan way, carry this matter forward to its logical conclusion. I want to appeal to every Member even those of you who have other desires, if you want to become President, governors, or other things, it is upon you to feather the nest for others who want to continue in this august House.
Order, Senator. Does it matter where you were looking at when you mentioned some ambitions?
My apologies, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I should look straight ahead, just in case my observation can be misconstrued to suggest that there are people whom I support. I think it is important that we really build the future of this country and also set the foundation for this House by bringing these amendments to the final conclusion. I think we must do more and roll up our sleeves in the next three months, or six months to do our job seriously in this regard.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. On behalf of the Members of the Committee, I want to thank them for their cooperation. We have suggested very drastic changes to our Constitution. The approach we took, which we want to plead with this Senate, is a bi-partisan position because the strengthening of Senate is not an issue either for Jubilee or CORD. This is for posterity. This document will go out to the public and it is important that while you present your position, it will be the position of the Senate and not the position of Sen. Murkomen or any other Senator who participated in these deliberations. Most importantly, from our own observations 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.
Bw.Spika, ripoti ambayo imewekwa wakfu siku ya leo na Sen. Murkomen ina manufaa hasa tukijua kwamba kumekuwa na shida kwa mawazo ya wananchi wa Kenya juu ya Katiba na vipengele vyake vinavyohusu hela. Tumekuwa na mawazo ya “Pesa Mashinani”, “Okoa Kenya” na mengine ambayo yanaweza kuibuka wakati wowote. Wakati umefika ambapo Seneti hii imepata nafasi ya kuokoa wote hawa na mawazo yao kwa kutoa sheria ambayo itakubalika kwa nchi nzima. Naunga mkono kabisa pendekezo la kuwa na kikao ambacho kimewekwa wakfu kwa minajili ya kujadili Ripoti hii. Najua kwamba leo asubuhi tuliwasiliana na kufikiria kwamba labda kesho tungekuwa na kikao ama kamkunji kuzungumzia jambo hili. Lakini nafikiri hili wazo ambalo limependekezwa ni wazo nzuri zaidi la kutilia maanani.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I thank Sen. Murkomen and his Committee for laying the Report on the Table of the House. I believe that the Report contains important and very fundamental recommendations. It is important that we understand the rationale for these recommendations. It is also important that when we eventually begin to debate the review, it should be done from an informed position. I, therefore, support the proposal made by Sen. Wako that we go for a retreat, to avail ourselves the opportunity to understand the basics of this Report.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also join my colleagues in congratulating the Murkomen Committee for a job well done. Let me remind us of where we began as the Senate when we were sworn into office. This is one issue that we really coalesced around and were ready to go. We only had a problem when we had cracks emanating from political standings and parties. That is how that collapse came about. Now that we have revived it, we must cement the foundation on which we began and that cannot be achieved if we think of ourselves and move as Members of our political parties. We must realize that as the first Senators under this Constitution, it will be in history if we do not cement the foundation of the Senators’ office. Most probably 20 years down the line, most of us will not be Senators. We want those who will come after us to see the job that we will have done. I also attended the meeting that was held by this Committee at the Sarova Stanley Hotel and I think we still had pending issues. So, it is definitely a good idea that has been suggested by Sen. Wako, that this Committee also takes Senators along with them. That way, all of us can own the process, even those who were not in the Committee. We will then thrash out what we need to so that when we get out with it, there will be no stopping or looking back.
The last one, Sen. Sang, because at this rate, we are in danger of being repetitive. 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 join my colleagues in congratulating Sen. Murkomen, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., and the entire team for a job well done. I think the success of this Committee was achieved because they also decided to take time in not addressing the media. We did not see anything in the media from the time we formed this Committee. The document that they have tabled today is a quality one. I now know that we stayed out of the media for the short time to work on the document. We now need to engage with the media and the public in ensuring that we move this document forward. Therefore, I urge all Senators that despite the ambitions that we have – presidential, gubernatorial, Members of the National Assembly and others who want to come back to this House – it is important that we leave this institution stronger than we found it. That is the principle so that irrespective of the ambitions that we want to pursue in future, let us leave the Senate stronger than we found it.
The Senate Deputy Majority Leader can now understand why Sen. Wako was on the right path. Let me just make two observations. One is that I subject myself to the will and the mood of the House.
I think, so far, you have all concurred on the way forward and that shall be granted by the Speaker. Secondly, I also lend my voice to congratulate Sen. Murkomen and his Vice Chair, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., for the wonderful work that they have done and tabled a report which should now be in our possession. It is now our individual and collective responsibility to make sure that that communication is very effective and not distorted. Again, that is why the suggestion by Sen. Wako which we have all endorsed becomes very handy in terms of creating a better understanding on that particular document. Let us now proceed to the next Order.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Before I give this Notice of Motion, we are extremely encouraged by the words of appreciation by our colleagues. This was teamwork. As I said earlier---
Order, Sen. Murkomen! Kindly do what you went to do there first, and then you can have additions. ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL REVIEW
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Select Committee of the Senate and Constitutional and Legal Review laid on the Table of the House today, Wednesday, 23rd September, 2015. 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. We are setting a very bad precedence. The Order Paper is laid out very clearly. When it is Notice of Motion, give Notice of Motion. Let us obey our rules and when it comes time to debate after you have moved the Motion, then you can say all those good things that we also want to listen to. We really appreciate but you are saying them at the wrong Order. It is a Notice of Motion.
Order, Members! I cannot agree more with Sen. Khaniri. I appreciate that Sen. Murkomen was having what is popularly known in this country as “the glory is here” moment, given his tendency for Bible quoting.
I am sure he appreciates, but we also have rules. All is not lost. You will have another opportunity when moving the Motion to appreciate your fellow senators. There is plenty of time to do so. That is the end of that particular Order.
Hon Members, I am also pleased to acknowledge and welcome to the Senate this afternoon a visiting delegation from staff of Bungoma County Assembly who are seated at the Speaker’s Gallery. I request the officers that when your name is called out, you stand so that we may acknowledge you in our usual great Senate tradition. Mr. Wamukota Situma - Serjeant-At-Arms Mr. Robert Mumbwani - Commissionaire Mr. Bennedict Kimwei - Commissionaire Mr. Cornelius Nyongesa - Secretary Ms. Winny Simuli - Secretary I take this opportunity on behalf of the Senate and on my behalf to wish the delegation a happy and fruitful visit to the Senate. Thank you.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to join you in welcoming the visiting delegation of staff from Bungoma County, being a neighboring county to Kakamega County, which is my county. As I join you to welcome them in this Senate, I want to say that I am so happy that I have seen the leadership of women amongst the delegation. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me also join the House in thanking the team that has come all the way from Bungoma, Sen. Wetangula’s county. The county was in the news the whole of last week because of the interesting scenarios of purchasing goods and The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, just to join my colleagues to congratulate and welcome staff members from Bungoma County and to indicate to them that their Senator is one of the most vibrant Senators in this House and that today he is not around because he is attending a very important baraza elsewhere in this town and, therefore, they should also take the message home that their Senator is a very vibrant Member of this House, but also has time to attend to other small functions out there.
Order Sen. Sang! I would have allowed the first assertion to pass until you repeated it. You have a responsibility to give facts to the House. He is out of the country on official parliamentary business. It is, therefore, a contradiction that you can put him in favourable light and subtract the same.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to appreciate and apologize for that misinformation but I want to confirm that the function happening in Nairobi today, he was part and parcel of the organizers---
Order! You are being irrelevant.
Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Order Nos. 220 (1) (a), and 225(2) (b), I hereby report to the Senate that a petition has been submitted, through the office of the Clerk, by one Maj. (Rtd) Joel Kiprono Rop, a resident of Bomet County, concerning the need to reduce the number of devolved units in Kenya. As you are aware, under Article 119 (1) of the Constitution states, and I quote:- “Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation.” In his petition, the petitioner wishes to bring to the attention of the Senate- (1) That the current number of devolved units in Kenya, being the forty seven (47) counties, is too high and that this has resulted to, among others, a rising and unsustainable public wage bill, thus affecting the national economy, as well as poor service delivery at the county level; and, (2) That most of the devolved units are not economically viable and will always be dependent on allocations from the National Government, thus compromising on their independence. (3) The petitioner, therefore, prays that the Senate introduces legislation to reduce the number of devolved units from the current 47 counties to three 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, as you have put it very clearly, every Kenyan has a right to petition Parliament, those Kenyans with rights must also go through constitutional provisions. As I support that petition, maybe the petitioner should also have enlightened himself on constitutional requirements on that kind of petition. I support that petition reluctantly.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to thank Mr. Rop who is my constituent for exercising his constitutional right by bringing a petition to the Senate. As my colleague has just mentioned, certainly what the petitioner has petitioned is provided for in our Constitution, and I am sure when this petition goes to the relevant committee of this House, they will probably be informed of the requirements of the law and they should be addressed. I believe that the petitioner has the goodwill and the interest of the country more specifically, because the wage bill is a topical issue in this country and I am sure in addressing issues like the number of units in the country, one may take interest in looking at the wage bill as well and consider it along those lines. I think this is a matter for discourse and discussion by not only this House but the rest of the country as this is an issue that can be debated at great lengths for the benefit of the country. I thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Mr. Rop has actually petitioned this House on an interesting subject. We recently did pass a Motion by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., on the creation of a Commission to look at the boundaries of the existing counties. For some of us, it would have been the opposite request that we want more counties. My people would want more counties. At least increase the counties to 54 so that all communities are equally and relevantly served by devolution. However, he has done the opposite. It will be interesting really to hear his presentation on this issue. I support.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Senate Standing Order No. 226 says:- “The Speaker may allow comments, observations or clarifications in relation to a petition presented or reported and such total time shall not exceed 30 minutes.” I do not have comments on this but I need your clarification. In my understanding, changing the number of devolved units will amount to a constitutional amendment. We all know that the Constitution is very clear on how we can amend it and on such a matter; we may require to go through a referendum. Therefore, is this Petition in order? Can we do this through a Petition to the Senate or do we require a referendum to change the number of devolved units?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also join my colleagues in acknowledging the Petition as raised by a citizen of this country. Just as Sen. Khaniri mentioned, although the rights are there, there are some things that cannot easily be done by this House. In a nutshell, we have 47 counties. However, in his Petition, he wants the counties to be reduced to three. First of all, that is very strange. Three is close to one. If he really wants that kind 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.
You are the only one who has laughed and laughter does not make it any easier. Please, proceed Sen. Sang.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join my colleagues in thanking Joel Kiprono Rop for the Petition. This gentleman is personally known to me. He is one of the informed, passionate and brilliant Kenyans. This is his second Petition to the Senate. Whereas I agree with my colleagues- --
Order Sen. Sang. I think today you have issues with counting. This is definitely not a second Petition. He has brought many more.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, whereas I agree with my colleagues that the subject matter of this Petition is one that cannot be achieved through a Petition, it now lies with the relevant Committee of this House where the Petition will be committed to advise. I know that in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, we have on several occasions received such kind of petitions where we sit down and realize that what the petitioner is asking is impossible and we returned our verdict in a week or so and the same is communicated to him. Therefore, we should not discourage members of the public who want to petition us as long it meets the threshold provided by our Standing Orders. The relevant committee will look at it and advise appropriately. I, therefore, thank the public and urge them to continue using avenues provided to them by the Senate. Yesterday, this House concluded the Second Reading of a Bill that provides for a procedure and legal framework for petitioning to the county assemblies. I am sure that once the Bill is enacted into law, it will reduce the number of petitions that we are receiving in the Senate because a number of those issues will be addressed by members of the public directly to their county assemblies. I beg to support.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while acknowledging the rights of the petitioner to petition this House, I would like to advise him and perhaps the Committee that is going to look into this matter that the matter of how many devolved units we are going to get was a matter of serious debate all over the country when the Constitution was being formulated. I recall that we had eight regions which some people wanted to be the devolved units. However, owing to political and cultural diversity of this nation, it became apparent that the districts which were set in 1992 would be the devolved units. I also want to underline the fact that even without the 47 units, there were attempts to create more units because it was felt that certain interests and communities were not catered for adequately. Therefore, while thanking the petitioner, I would like to say that attempting to suggest that the devolved units be reduced to three and not even eight of the original regions, I think that it is far-fetched and I can only wish him luck. 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, the right to petition is under the Constitution. However, I believe that it should only be exercised if there is no other way which that person can use under the Constitution. In the case where the petitioner wants to amend the Constitution, he has a right to do so but he should be asked to undertake that exercise independently and not necessarily take the time of the Senate to help him to do so. What the petitioner has requested for obviously involves an amendment to the Constitution and in as much as it requires changing the structure of devolution by reducing the number of counties, the Constitution is very clear and I will not go into many sections on that. Such an amendment of the Constitution falls under Article 255. Therefore, it has to be by referendum at the end of the day. An amendment by referendum regarding how it is initiated and done by the National Assembly and the Senate is in the Constitution. The Constitution has gone further to say that the initiative to amend the Constitution cannot just be vested in the Legislature alone. It has gone further and provided for the popular initiative. Any citizen of this country who wants to amend the Constitution can do so by marshalling the necessary numbers and using the procedure set out under Article 257 - amendment by popular initiative. He can use that method and go ahead to ensure that he gets the requisite number of signatures for that initiative and the necessary approvals by the county assemblies and the Senate. That is when he now comes to us. He comes to us after he has carried out those steps which are clearly set out under Article 257 of the Constitution. That is when now the Senate can become legitimately engaged in that amendment. I do not know whether we should automatically refer this matter to some committee to deal with it and advise us or this matter is so clear-cut. Can you exercise your own discretion, in which you have a right under the Constitution to do, to order that we follow that procedure and in due course, at the preliminary stages the Senate will now become engaged? I also know that you are very democratic and want every person to be heard. Maybe it is a matter that should automatically go to the committee, to come up with what we know. We will then deal with it that way. I stand to be guided.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my clarification was that, in essence, what the petitioner wants us to do is to change the number of devolved units, which amounts to a constitutional amendment. Is that within our mandate? I have gotten part of the answer from the submission by the Attorney-General Emeritus. The Speaker (Hon. Ethuro): …….. (Inaudible)
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand guided. I knew that, that is how you would answer. It shall stand committed automatically. But I want to merely assure this House that in spite of the opinion that I have expressed in this House this afternoon, my Committee will look at this issue very objectively. It will look at the Constitution and advise this Senate the very correct The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
THE IMPLEMENTATION BY COUNTIES OF THE URBAN AREAS AND CITIES ACT (NO.13 OF 2011) Pursuant to Standing Order Nos. 220 (1) (a) and 225 (2) (b), I hereby report to the Senate that a Petition has been submitted, through the office of the Clerk, by Hon. Dan Kazungu, a Member of the National Assembly representing Malindi Constituency in Kilifi County, concerning the implementation by counties of the Urban Areas and Cities Act (No.13 of 2011). As you are aware, under Article 119 (1) of the Constitution, and I quote:- “Every person has a right to petition Parliament, to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation.” In his Petition, the hon. Member wishes to bring to the attention of the Senate- (a) That the Urban Areas and Cities Act was enacted by parliament, in 2011, to provide for the classification, governance and management of urban areas and cities, to provide for the criteria of establishing urban areas and to provide for the principles of governance and participation by residents at the local level; (b) That the Act sets out, among others, the qualifications and procedure for appointment of a town administrator for every town established under the Act, as well as the powers, roles and functions of such an administrator, to be exercised under the authority of a committee appointed by the county governor with the approval of the county assembly; (c) That the said requirement is stated in mandatory terms, hence the need for strict adherence by counties; and, (d) That most county governments have deliberately ignored, omitted or otherwise failed to utilize the machinery provided by the said Act to appoint boards to manage municipalities or committees to manage towns within their respective jurisdictions as required by the Act. The Petitioner, therefore, prays that the Senate- (i) undertakes measures to ensure compliance by county governments with the requirements of the said Act, for appointment of boards and managers in respect of cities and municipalities and committees and administrators in respect of towns; and, (ii) reviews the legality, regularity and propriety of any such appointments already undertaken after commencement of the said Act. Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Order 226, I shall now allow comments, observations or clarifications in relation to the Petition, for not more than 30 minutes. Since I do not see any interest, pursuant to Standing Order 227 (1) the Petition stands committed to the relevant Standing Committee, in this case again, the Standing Committee on 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. There is a stranger in the House; a young student. Could she be thinking that this is a classroom? Since I am told that schools are closed, I do not know whether the student knows that she has strayed to the wrong place.
Order! Who is the stranger? But are you implying that when schools are closed, no uniform should be worn?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is this the dress code for Senators? This is a student who should be in the Gallery.
Order, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo! Who are you referring to? You have to identify the stranger.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a stranger in the House. She is seated next to Sen. (Dr.) Machage, whom I know. It looks like there is a student seated next to him.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo is out of order. This is my dress code. I am not a primary or high school student. This is my attire and I believe that I am properly dressed to be in the Senate this afternoon.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo is not right to pick on Sen. Kanainza’s dress code because if you look at the Standing Orders and the Speaker’s Rules, they are very elaborate on what one can put on. They do not forbid you from putting on uniform so long as you have a tie and in good attire. Let me just inform him that CORD had a rally and it was encouraged that people dress in this attire. Even if you came it would have been right to have your former school’s uniform to demonstrate that you are in solidarity with teachers.
Sen. Hassan, it is only fair to advocate for an issue that you also practice. Where is yours, knowing that you are a chartered member?
Mr. Speaker, Sir there are those who came in as students, for example, Sen. Kanainza and there were those of us who went as headmasters.
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, Members! I am consulting on the dress and I will issue my ruling either tomorrow or Tuesday once I have assembled all my facts. For now, the preliminary investigations seem to allow Sen. Kanainza to dress that way because she has a neck tie. I am not sure whether ladies are allowed to wear neck ties. Neck ties go with jackets and she has one. So, on the face of it, it meets the requirements. I also wish to confirm the length of the skirt. Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. owes it to his late father. What is it, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.? Sen. Wangari, you are also on a point of order; you will speak after Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. An issue arose yesterday and we had requested for your direction. You allowed Sen. Murungi to move a notice of Motion under the Constitution requiring the Office of the President to set up a taskforce to mark county boundaries. A heated debate ensued yesterday as to whether the position you have approved on that Motion contradicts the Bill that we have presented through the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on county boundaries. So, we seek your direction. Secondly, is about the report on the dissolution of Makueni County.
My sincere apologies, Senator. The last time you raised the matter, I feigned ignorance. Even if I wished, I have run out of excuses; of course, I do not deal with excuses. It is under preparation; it is not yet complete. I promise to issue a statement on it either tomorrow or latest Tuesday. Concerning Mr. Nyaoga’s Commission report, I will issue a statement tomorrow. Proceed, Sen. Wangari.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had put my request earlier regarding Sen. Kanainza’s attire. I think you did not see it in time. It appeared to me like Scottish attire; it did not look like school uniform but you have already ruled on it.
No, it is still useful because you have given me more information to consider. Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo may not be right in describing it as a school uniform but as a real stranger from Scotland. Order, Senators! That is the end of that order. We now move to the rest of the orders. I want to give the following directions. If you have a copy of the Order Paper, Order Nos.8, 9, 10, and 11 will be pushed forward to tomorrow.
So, who had the Floor? Sen. Sang, you had the Floor?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Proceed, Senator. You had hardly begun. You have a balance of 50 minutes.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to continue moving this Bill. The Office of the County Printer Bill (Sen. Bill No.42 of 2014) seeks to establish the office of the county printer as indicated so that we may have a county printer in each of the 47 counties. The establishment of the office is precipitated by the provisions of Section 23 of the County Governments Act. The County Governments Act and the Constitution clearly indicates that for legislation in our county assemblies to be effective: (1) it must be published under (a) in the County Gazette and (b) in the Kenya Gazette. The interpretation section of the Constitution, Article 260, defines the Gazette as one published under the authority of the national Government as the Kenya Gazette. However, all through the Constitution – if you look at the County Governments Act, it provides that county legislations shall be printed in the county gazette and the Kenya Gazette. As we speak, we have the Kenya Gazette. That is what is provided for and domiciled under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. However, we do not have a county gazette as yet. Therefore, the Bill seeks to give effect to the provisions of the County Governments Act in so far as providing and establishing a county gazette. Whereas the Constitution provides that The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I thank Sen. Sang for proposing this very important Bill. It is against the backdrop of the Constitution that, in fact, its drafters 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): Be careful not to anticipate a debate on a document that is tabled. It is against the Standing Orders.
No, I am not. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, you know I can give out some information that is already in the public domain, but that is the position I am now making, to inform the mischief behind this Bill and the reason that it is important that we allow this Bill to be published for various reasons. You have noticed and subsequent legislation arising out of this Constitution in the county in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, the County Governments Act and the Acts in terms of the provisions of how the counties are going to do procurement, it was contemplated that the advertisements would be in the county gazette. 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): What is it, Sen. Hassan?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. Bear with me for taking this opportunity to inform the Chair that we will be leaving shortly. Also, for reasons that I wanted the Chair to communicate tomorrow; this Senate’s best wishes to the Muslims who will be celebrating Idd. Usually, this Idd is not a public holiday. It marks the completion of the holy pilgrimage. So, I wish the Muslims a happy Idd and wish that this Senate will communicate to the Muslims countrywide a happy Idd ul Hajj tomorrow.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Sen. Hassan, indeed, we do not have to wait for tomorrow to wish our fellow Muslims and more so, Members of this House a good Idd ul Hajj. We all wish you well in this very important celebration. Proceed, Sen. Wangari.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I also join you and Sen. Hassan in wishing our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy Idd ul Hajj. That said, I rise to support the Bill that has been brought by Sen. Sang. It is very progressive. We should have enacted it one or two years ago. The role of the Senate and especially our mandate that is explicit in Article 96 is to make sure that we help institutionalize and operationalize the counties. Being the first Senate and the first county governments under this Constitution, it is very important that we lay a good foundation on how these county governments are run. This is one office that not much is known about it yet it plays a very crucial role. In fact, I would say that they have a very funny office on Haile Selassie Avenue. I have been there and the role that office plays is not commensurate with how it looks. It looks like a forgotten office. It cannot handle what we are doing now even as Parliament because every time we have to push to have this legislation out in the Kenya Gazette. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, doing that for other 47 units is not a small fete. So, I congratulate Sen. Sang. In the era we are in, first of all, we have an enlightened community. People want to know what is happening. That has been backed by the Constitution that we are operating under. If you go to the counties today, and we see even in the media, citizens 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.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, on the onset, I want to congratulate the proponent of this important Bill. As you are aware, counties cry for revenue. An institution like the county government printer can be a source of revenue. Lawyers, engineers, doctors and surveyors traverse from all the counties to come to the Government Press and they do not even get the documents they require. If this Bill is passed and is well institutionalized at the counties, it will be a huge source of revenue. The officers who will be charged to clear what is supposed to be printed once in five years during the election period, if they will be equipped with modern facilities, they could even print brochures and documents for politicians. It will be a huge source of revenue for counties. More often than not, we have seen the transmission of information from national Government to counties when the President wants to give a speech. In some cases, speeches would delay during national functions. Citizens of Kenya would wait for three to four hours waiting for a presidential speech. If we have such kind of Printer in this era of technology it is easier to trigger such messages. As we fight for devolution, we need our citizens in the county to access channels and information of Government. Issues from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and Ministry of Planning and Devolution must be availed for development. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it is important that we support this Bill. That is why even if people were saying this Senate ni nyumba ya wazee, we have young brilliant minds coupled with sages like you to guide us on the way forward to entrench devolution. That is why I commend my colleague and learned friend, Sen. Sang and his other friends at the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for coming up with these instrumental pieces of legislation to empower devolution. Three or four months ago, the President of the Republic of Kenya made an impromptu visit to the Government Press. He did not find the watchman at the gate or the receptionist. He just stumbled on some people idling. I do not know whether action was taken but the Government Printer as is constituted now, has been run down and become a way of corruption and a way of minting money in terms of who knows who. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it is important that as we entrench devolution, other institutions in the county assemblies, for instance, the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC) at the county assemblies can have facilities to use in their work. In the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee where I seat, governors come to Nairobi carrying documents which are not labeled and some photocopied poorly because they lack facilities like this. This Bill is timely and we need to work on it so that we decentralize some of these functions which came with the new Constitution, so that we can realize and entrench the foundations of the new Constitution. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, first of all, I want to congratulate my friend, the young politician, Sen. Sang, who is coming up very fast and very well. I am very impressed by the way he is doing his things. He has discovered some of the problems this The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage)
Thank you. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity so that I may also support and contribute to this Bill. Like my other colleagues let me also congaratulate the distinguished Senator from Nandi Hills, Senator Sang and the “duke” of Makueni, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. for moving and seconding, respectively, this Bill. This is a very important and timely Bill in the history of this nation because it supports the principle of devolution. As you know this House is the guardian angel of devolution. This Bill is in line with our mandate under Article 96(1) and (2), and as read with Article 110. Therefore, in devolving and centralizing services from the national Government, we as a Senate are going to do a very commendable thing by taking the services closer to the people. When I look at this bill it contains the necessary provisions. I can see that under Clause 4, Sen. Sang has proposed that there is need to establish the office off the county printer. Going further, I have seen that there is also a provision for what kind of criteria, education or experience that is necessary for this county printer. This has been illustrated and set out under Clause 9 of the Bill. The functions and day to day responsibilities of the office of the county printer have been set out. One of the functions, if I could read, is the implementation of policies and programmes of the office and reporting on to the County Executive Committee (CEC). Under Clause 10 there are clear linkages between the office of the county printer and the county executive government. Under this section we note that the county public service board shall, in consultation with the County Secretary, appoint such members of staff as necessary for the running of that office. Under miscellaneous provisions, the distinguished Senator has gone on to highlight that when the office of the county printer is actually set up it will not be a function that will be used for the raising of taxes, and imposition of charges of public funds. I think Clause 11 is very important, so that we do not misinterpret the role of the county printer; that the county printer will be printing private documents, or documentation, such as printing of T-shirts and other things .This will be purely matters that are related to the proper functioning of government in terms of documentation and bills for the county assembly. Devolving services to the counties, and bringing particularly documentation and publications of these documentations, closer to the people becomes very important. As you have heard, my colleagues have actually highlighted incidents where people have had to travel from very far, for example from Kisii just to come here to Nairobi to get a deed plan. There are Widows, for example, who are seeking to get letters of administration. To get those letters 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): Very well. I see no other interest to contribute to this Bill. I call upon the Mover to reply.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to thank my fellow colleagues who have supported this Bill. I thank Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., whom we have worked together with in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, throughout the process of developing this Bill. The important point that he raised is that one of the challenges that we have with the national Government Printer right now, is that they do publications and print them in hard copies. However, if you went to the internet, you will have challenges trying to find information relating to happenings within the national Government Printer. Therefore, in this Bill, the Office of the County Printer should also publish electronic versions of their publications. That way, if you talk about attracting investments into our counties, an investor who lands at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and takes time in Nairobi should be able to know the business environment, legislations and the requirements within Nandi County, electronically and not having to visit the county all the way. As we speak, we do not know what kind of legislations have been passed in Nandi County unless you go to the county assembly and ask for those publications in hard copy. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it is very hard to know what Mandera, Kisii, Laikipia and Nyamira counties have published or the kind of legislation that they have enacted, because we do not have electronic versions of some of these publications. This will even provide an opportunity to market our counties and provide information not only to the residents of a county, but also to any other global citizen out there who wants to know what is going on within our counties. We hope that once we establish the County Printers’ Offices, they will not devolve the bad manners that we have seen in the national Government Printer in Nairobi. This is a message 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): Are you implying that Sen. Ong’era’s responsibilities include dressing up as a student?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it includes participating in processes that are constitutional, dressed in a manner that the occasion dictates. Therefore, we will continue to make these sacrifices, but we also need a little more sacrifices from our counties to ensure that things work in the manner that we expect. I thank everybody who supported this Bill and hope that we will be able to fast-track the process and ensure that this Bill becomes law within the shortest time so that our counties are able to enjoy the services of the Office of the County Printer. I beg to move. I wish to request that you defer the putting of the Question to tomorrow or a day that you shall direct as per the Standing Order No.54 (3) as there is no adequate number of Senators in the House now to vote.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): It is so ordered. Next Order!
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage: This Order is deferred. 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): This Order is deferred.
Machage: Since the mover of the Bill is also the current presiding Speaker, it cannot be done in both ways, so, the Bill is also deferred.
Hon. Members of the Senate, there being no other business to transact in the House, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 24th September, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. The Senate rose at 5:45p.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.