Hon. Senators, I have a Communication to make on the processing of the Physical Planning Bill, National Assembly Bill No.46 of 2015. Hon. Senators, as you will recall, at the sitting of the Senate held on 16th February, 2016, I issued a Communication delivering a Message from the National Assembly regarding the passage of the Physical Planning Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 46 of 2015, by the National Assembly. In the Communication, I informed hon. Senators that the Speaker of the National Assembly did not seek the concurrence of the Senate as contemplated under Article 110(3) of the Constitution on whether the Physical Planning Bill concerns counties and if it does, whether it is a special or ordinary Bill. Hon. Senators, Article 110(3) of the Constitution provides as follows, and I quote:- “Before either House considers a Bill, the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate shall jointly resolve any question as to whether it is a Bill concerning counties and, if it is, whether it is a special or an ordinary Bill”. Upon delivering the Communication, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Moses Wetangula, rose on a point of order and sought the guidance of the Chair on the effect of Article 110(3) of the Constitution and, in particular, whether this provision could apply retrospectively where a Bill, for which concurrence was not sought, is processed in one House and submitted to the other House for processing. Sen.Wetangula argued that if this was allowed, and in particular, if the Physical Planning Bill was allowed to proceed despite the violation of Article 110(3) of the Constitution, the Senate would undermine its The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I have listened to the several scenarios. I, however, got lost on the last scenario. Despite the fact that there was no concurrence, you have directed that we proceed to debate the Bill. Could you give a clarification on the last bit?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to ask exactly what Sen. Okong’o has asked. After the very lengthy ruling or Communication that you made, you have ruled that the Senate will consider the Physical Planning Bill (2015) at an appropriate date. This Bill was processed through the National Assembly without observing the provisions of Article 110(3) of the Constitution. You have ruled that Article 110(3) of the Constitution cannot be applied retrospectively. We seek your clarification. In our opinion, the Senate should not consider this Bill at all.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I have heard you very well. You are the eyes and the head of this House. I request you to go and explore the best way forward with your counterpart in the National Assembly. We, as Senate, find it very difficult to agree that after Article 110(3) of the Constitution has been overlooked, side-stepped and violated, we then go ahead as if those three things have not happened. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also keenly listened to your ruling. I congratulate you for being consistent on the position and the manner in which this continuously recurring stalemate should be addressed by this House. However, I have one standing concern which we need to look at quite seriously. In a court of law or Parliaments world over, the law is used as reference so many times, even centuries backwards. When a matter is being prosecuted in court, it is almost common and recurring practice that lawyers are required to submit authorities based on previous arguments of law. Parliament is a House of norms, rules, precedence and traditions. My concern is, yes, some of these things, in our time now, we can afford to look at them and decide to bypass them or act in a certain way for current convenience. However, for posterity, how will we justify our existence, especially as the first Senate? This Senate is the pacesetter or a norm setter for all other Senate to come after this. There might have been previous misguided thoughts with some people that this Senate will not last. However, with the enthusiasm that Kenyans have embraced devolution, we can see it is here to stay. The Senate is definitely going to be here. How will the generations to come judge the Speaker of the Senate as he sits today? The records of this House will bear witness that this House thought that, albeit the provisions of the law, it is okay to overlook it, or allow a misapplication of the law. Against the Constitution of this country, this Bill was allowed to pass unchallenged.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with due respect, it will fall directly on your desk. At one point, you will have to draw the line. This House will also have to draw the line. As they say in law, even if heavens come crumbling down, then you will have to apply the law as it is. That must be a point at which we will arrive. We have to do so very soon if we have to justify our true value and worth as legislators in this House.
Finally, Sen. Haji!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is persistence by the other House in flouting all rules and regulations, including the Constitution which is supposed to be the most respected document. I will follow your ruling on condition that we will debate the whole process of the Bill so that, perhaps, it does not see the light of day. If it is against the Constitution and we know it requires assent by His Excellency the President, you should not put everything on your desk. It should be the responsibility of the whole Senate to petition the President if there is something like that, so that we are allowed to perform our responsibility as provided for by the Constitution without anybody looking down at the Senate.
Lastly, Sen. Ndiema.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also not clear on the ruling you have made. This is because you had indicated that the Constitution requires that consultations be done before any Bill is brought to either of the Houses. In view of your final ruling that The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Hon. Members, thank you for those interventions. I sympathise with those observations. Sen. Okong’o, Sen. Khaniri and Sen. Ndiema wanted to reconcile my final direction from the scenarios I gave. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale wanted a confirmation that when the appropriate time comes for the Bill to be considered for Second Reading, there must be a commitment that it will not be business as usual. Sen. Haji and Sen. Wamatangi took a diametrically opposed dimension to my proposal. Let me explain. I gave all the scenarios that are possible; that one could contemplate on how to proceed under Article 110(3). This Article requires that before a Bill is introduced to either House, the two Speakers shall jointly resolve any question as to whether it is a Bill concerning counties and, if it is, whether it is a special or an ordinary Bill. The words “shall” and “jointly” are powerful. Please note the words “before introduction.” Therefore, Article 110(3) cannot be applied retrospectively. We should take into account our other roles in representing counties under Article 96 and constitutional duties in terms of Bills with timelines. That is the position we have taken all along. Should we just sit and do nothing and allow the legislation which is perfectly in order to collapse? I think that is what Sen. Haji and Sen. Wamatangi would suggest. On the other hand, do we take the higher moral ground where there is need for the two Speakers and two Houses to agree on the basis that the legislation can actually be processed in both Houses? Now that it has come and we had made a demand, should we assume that because this is the first instance, it should not come at all? We will proceed without prejudice. We will proceed having put everything on record. We are not the only institution of governance in the Republic because there are multiple institutions of governance and we have left it open. It is up to them, including the ordinary citizens, to assume certain responsibility. We are put in a very awkward position. We have passed a resolution to revisit this matter in the Motion of the 46 Bills that never came here in the first place. We are having another scenario where Bills come after the event. Under those circumstances, I direct that we do our bit as the Senate although it may not be the best under the circumstances. However, we are not saying that we approve of the violation of the Constitution. What we are saying is that we are not party to that violation and so it is open. As Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale advised, we had made presentations. The fact that we have nothing to report means that they were inconclusive. I direct that we will proceed with the Bill because we had proceeded with other Bills before in that particular manner. Let us discharge our responsibility. Just because somebody does not do their part, that should not be a reason for us not to do ours. It is messy but that is the only thing before us. Thank you.
Point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order! Let us conclude and proceed. Let us have the last one from Sen. Wamatangi. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I really have a lot of respect for what you have said. Now that you have given that ruling, we will abide by it. You have also exonerated the House to an extent whereby you said we will do so to follow the procedure. Maybe, you would have gone a bit further and exonerated the House from my concerns of the future. It is a reality that one day somebody will move to a court of law and annul all the 46 laws plus others that may come. Somebody could challenge them in a court of law even if it is not in our lifetime. Therefore, those laws could very easily be null and void and, therefore, a waste of time. In my thinking, it is good that you should also exonerate us from the blame that may come one time because we have passed some serious laws, including some that affect county governments. It is not only the ones concerning physical planning which would have huge reverberations if they are annulled in future when actions that were inspired by those laws are already in force. If there would be any blame that could fall, it is good that it falls knowing and being clear in our records that, indeed, we had already sounded the alarm very clearly as you exonerate us now. Thank you.
Sen. Wamatangi, I think we are in total agreement. Not only are we sounding the alarm, we have pronounced ourselves through that resolution on the 46 Bills. We keep pronouncing ourselves through these communications. This is a House of records, they are binding and they may be used in the future to good effect. Next Order!
There is one notice of Motion by the Senate Majority Leader. Sen. Elachi, are you standing in for the Senate Majority Leader?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes. I beg to give Notice of the following Motion:- THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 28(4), the Senate resolves to alter its calendar in respect of the first part of the Fourth Session for the recess to commence on Friday, 1st April, 2016 and sittings to resume on Tuesday 12th April, 2016.
Where are the Chairpersons? I am not seeing any interest. Do we go by the order? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
If they are not here, we will come back to them later. Let us proceed. STATUS OF CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMME
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me draw the attention of the Chair that this matter came up yesterday and the Chair ruled ---
Sorry, Sen. Musila. Which matter?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the matter on labour and social welfare.
Is that Statement 3(b) regarding cash transfers to the elderly?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes. Yesterday the Chair ruled that this matter comes today. I was given a copy of what is purported to be the Statement. However, this is just a letter to inform the Clerk that the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Labour and Social Welfare is in Geneva, Switzerland, attending the 326th Session of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) from 19th to 25th March, 2016. This is the Statement that the Chair ruled yesterday that I be given today. Let me further draw your attention that this request for this Statement was made on 19th February, 2015.
What were you supposed to be given?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was to be given a Statement. Further, I draw your attention to the fact that this request was made on 19th February, 2015. That is over a year ago. I really need your guidance. Is this the way to go? It is over a year since I asked a genuine Statement and now the Cabinet Secretary (CS) is in Geneva. A year after I asked my Statement, I think it is better to be informed whether there is any need or point in asking these Statements when Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) are not paying attention to them. I think we need your guidance.
I fully appreciate the frustrations of Sen. Musila. Before Sen. Musila even thinks of the Cabinet Secretary (CS), let us get the indication The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had sought a Statement which is listed as 3(e) on the status of Murang’a County. I know that the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee---
Order, Senator! We are not there yet. COLLECTION OF LEVIES FROM BUSINESSES FOR PLAYING MUSIC Let us move to Statement “d”. Where is the Chairperson of the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare? CREDIBILITY OF WEATHER FORECASTS ISSUED BY KENYA METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are on Statement “c”.
Yes. Statement “c”. Where is the Chairperson of the Committee on Land and Natural Resources?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Committee on Land and Natural Resources, I wish to respond to the request for a Statement from the Senator for Nyamira. I hope he is in here.
He is not here.
I thought I saw him in the House. Maybe he has taken a break. Let us allow him, deal with the rest and then come back to it. Sen. Kembi-Gitura, it is your turn now. REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROPOSED REMOVAL FROM OFFICE BY IMPEACHMENT OF HON. MWANGI WA IRIA, GOVERNOR OF MURANG’A COUNTY
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am seeking the status of 3(e) from the Committee.
Where is the Chairperson of the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee? Is the Vice Chairperson here?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not get the Statement.
Why? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
I have a neighbour here who says she will not disturb me again.
Order, Senator! The responsibility is yours and not your neighbor’s, especially when you carry certain responsibilities. Look at Statement “e” on the last page of the Order Paper. Your Committee is supposed to respond to it.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I need clarification on this matter, having chaired the Special Committee on the Proposed Removal from Office of the Governor of Murang’a County. I say this with tremendous respect for the Deputy Speaker. The Statement is supposed to be from the Committee on County Public Accounts and Investments issuing a Statement on a report. I need clarification because this is a Committee of the House.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it in order for a Committee of the House to probe another Committee of the House? I need this clarification --
Order, Senator! I hear you loud and clear. So that you do not make things worse, this is a summary. What Sen. Kembi-Gitura sought was not a statement on the report of the Committee. It was on how to take forward the recommendations that the Committee made. Let us have Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale first and then Sen. Kembi-Gitura.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to help the House by confirming that since this matter was brought before you, nothing has been done. On the same day that the matter came up, Sen. Khaniri and I sought further clarification from the Chair, to confirm to us that the issues canvassed had been brought by a Committee of this House and the whole House had then made its decision. We sought whether there was still room for us to do further pursuit. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think that clarification has not come and that is why we did not move to take any action as of now. Probably, Sen. (Prof) Lonyangapuo was not in the House on that day.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. First of all, I would like to assuage Sen. Musila. The Statement that I sought has nothing to do with probing the report of the Committee. Maybe what has come out in the Order Paper is not clear, but the Committee - if Sen. Musila will recall - made certain recommendations going forward in that report. They said that they wanted certain other things investigated further, one of them being the purchase of 34 acres of land for Kshs10 million per acre, which would not have fetched more than Kshs2 million per acre. I, therefore, want to know what happened to the difference of Kshs8 million. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Committee having finished its work is fanctus officio. They have finished their work and there is nothing more they can do about the report. For the report to be effectuated, another body, be it the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) or the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) or any arm of the Government, needs to look at the recommendations and tell the people of Murang’a that when you The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Deputy Speaker has clarified. I, therefore, request that the wording in the Statement be corrected. I understood it the way he has explained. This is a case on the recommendations of the Committee and we have no issue. Thank you.
Hon. Ethuro): I thought I made the same clarification, Sen. Musila.
Order, Senators! Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, are you not the Vice Chairperson of the Committee?
I am, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Ethuro): Then respond to this one first.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. Sen. Kembi-Gitura is right. There were some
Hon. Ethuro): Order, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo! Do you have a response or not? We have a lot of business, including some from you.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am saying that he is right. We should have already handled it, but there was an issue in the Committee which was sorted out today. The first sitting will be next week. Therefore, we are requesting for two weeks from now in order to exhaustively deal with this. Thank you.
Hon. Ethuro): That is what I expected to hear from you. We should have a response in two weeks time. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had sought Statement (d) from the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare regarding the collection of levies by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) and KAMP-PRISK from business premises and public transport vehicles. The Statement was to be issued on 15th March, but it was not.
Hon. Ethuro): Sen. Kanainza, you will appreciate that the fate of Statement (d) is the same as that of Statement (b). We will look for the Chairman.
Next Statement! ACUTE FOOD SHORTAGE IN WEST POKOT COUNTY
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to issue a Statement that was sought by the Senator for West Pokot in respect to food situation in West Pokot. The Senator wanted to know whether the Government is aware that there is food shortage and looming hunger and starvation in West Pokot County. He also wanted to know whether the Government is aware that school going children are already adversely affected and many are unable to regularly attend classes. He also wanted to know when the Government will supply relief food to the affected people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, according to the Kenya Food Security Steering Group Assessment carried out in February, 2016, the county was largely classified as being in the “minimal” phase, but the pastoral livelihood zone in the county is in the “stressed” phase, with some areas expected to deteriorate further. The food security situation in the mixed farming and agro-pastoral livelihood zones is fairly stable and expected likely to remain in the minimal phase. The assessment is that certain people require food assistance in West Pokot as a result of a combination of several factors such as poverty, high malnutrition in children due to poor care practices and insecurity in some areas, among others. The team made the following general observations for the county to be classified under minimal phase:- (1) Currently, the total maize stocks held in the county are about 94.6 per cent of the normal. The current meal frequency for children under five years and adults is at an average of two to three meals a day across all livelihood zones, which is normal. The available stocks are estimated to last for six months in the mixed farming livelihood zone and two months in the agro-pastoral livelihood zone. Post-harvest losses emanating from The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. I also want to thank you for giving a directive yesterday afternoon that this Statement be issued today, having failed to be delivered in the last three weeks. I asked three questions. The first one was with regard to the food shortage in West Pokot County, but the Vice Chairman has gone into interesting details about the levels of food consumption and malnutrition. That is not what I asked. I asked whether the Chairman is aware that there is an acute shortage of food, noting that last year there was no rain in almost three-quarters of the county and as a result, no maize was harvested. There are 10 out of 20 wards that are in dire need. The Vice Chair has confirmed in his response that 20,000 people are in dire need, but he has gone further to talk about things that are not relevant. I wanted him to confirm that indeed, there is a shortage of food and people are hungry. He needs to come out clearly. Let him leave the issue of the levels of malnutrition. There are children that have not gone to school as a result of shortage of food. The Vice Chair has said that the Ministry is not aware of this, yet he has also told us that 20,000 people are affected. That means that some children are also included in the 20,000 people. Children are affected and not going to school. Does the Ministry not liaise with the Ministry of Education, so as to know the number of pupils missing in schools? Most schools in the boundary of West Pokot and Turkana are affected. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Order, Senator. I have allowed you a lot of time because you sought the Statement and it is important to you, your people and to all of us. However, you are now repeating yourself because you have already talked about that issue of the urgency. Is there anything different from what you have said that you want to talk about?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is interesting to know we have food in my county, which is not accessible to the people. I want him to tell us when the maize will be moved from the depots.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, you have already said that. You are now repeating yourself.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, West Pokot County and nearby counties like Turkana suffer from acute food shortage, which is mainly a factor of lack of production or access to food. It is shameful that Uganda is now feeding the Turkanas and Pokots. Uganda has efficient food distribution programmes. Livestock in Uganda get enough water but we do not have enough water in our counties. We cannot cope because of the small portions we get from relief agencies with poor logistics. Since the Government cannot even hire vehicles to distribute the food, it means there is a poor food distribution programme in our counties. My question is; what is the Government doing, considering that the county governments have failed, that is, Turkana and West Pokot, to enable the people cope with the current food crisis? How many people are on the verge of starvation in those areas? Meteorologists have informed us that Turkana is now 43 degrees Celsius and people are running to Uganda and other places. How much is the Government going to spend to ensure there is enough food in Turkana and West Pokot? Currently, for the case of West Pokot, how much food has so far reached the people?
Asante Bw. Naibu Spika. Hapa ninavyoona ni kwamba swali lililoulizwa ni linguine, mbali na lile linalojibiwa. Ameulizwa juu ya “acute food shortage” na anatuambia kwamba kuna chakula kimepatikana “kuna nini, lele mama, hehe, hoho wala hasemi ukweli. Je, kuna upungufu wa chakula au la? Jambo la pili ambalo ameulizwa kama wanafunzi hawaendi shuleni kwa sababu ya ukosefu wa chakula. Jibu ambalo amesema ni kwamba hana habari hiyo. Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo na Sen. Munyes wamesema hayo mambo. Je, nani muongo?
Sen. Boy Juma Boy, I take issue with your last part. The chairman hawezi kuwa mtu muongo . However poor my Kiswahili maybe, mwenyekiti hawezi kuwa muongo . The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Kama haifai basi, ningesema kwamba mwenyekiti hasemi ukweli lakini sijui tofauti.
Senator, as long as you understand that some words are unparliamentary. You cannot say that your colleague is telling lies. It is not allowed by the Standing Orders but since he has not raised the issue, I will leave it at that. Sen. Wamatangi, is it a point of order or a clarification?
Order! You cannot talk to me when you are sitting down. You either say something or tell me that you have nothing to say.
I apologize, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
You notice, I allowed Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo and Sen. Munyes ample time for a good reason but I will allow you two minutes maximum.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will be brief. I want to join my colleagues in saying out loudly that the question of Kenyans today being left to starve and to be left without food is a serious issue. This cannot be gainsaid more than it has been said. It is imperative for the chairperson of the relevant committee to ensure that he does not only seek that clarification but goes further to ensure that the statement is not only satisfactory but also goes to detail on the questions raised. While seeking that clarification, it is important for us to say that the Government not only needs to be encouraged but asked to go ahead and come up with long lasting solutions to alleviate and deal with the question of hunger in those areas. You remember recently, we had the Galana-Kulalu Irrigation Project. This project which was intended to be of great help to these areas was largely politicized. Some politicians went out to bash the Government that this is a misplaced project. This is evidence that if there are areas where such projects are useful, it is in such areas. Therefore, I want to join my colleagues in urging that we should have more of such investments in these areas that are hit by drought.
Sen. Ndiema, I have many requests but I want you to deal with the ones that have been raised in the first round.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the details that I have given were availed by the Ministry and it shows that there is food shortage in some areas but some areas received near normal rainfall and were not affected. An estimated 20,000 people are facing food shortage. The Ministry has also said that there is adequate food in stock. The first line of defence in terms of addressing food shortage is the county government. This applies to all counties including West Pokot and Turkana. Turkana County is the second largest recipient of resources from devolved funds. Therefore, it should give priority to food provision to the people. They should know that disaster management and relief is now a devolved function. They asked for these functions to be devolved and they should be providing food to the people. If there is any shortage, the county government should The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
It is you Senator. You are the Chairman of the Committee.
I am the Chairman of the Committee but this is a report that I have received and if indeed there is need for further investigation to find out more, I am ready to go back. You will recall that this was an interim report and we are ready to go back and find out more. This is not something that we cannot just brush aside. The Senator has said that there are children who have dropped out of school due to the shortage of food. We need to go back and find out more so that those children can go back to school. I have responded to the issues needed to be addressed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been told that citizens of this country, particularly in the northern counties of Turkana and West Pokot, are starving. We have been told that children are in distress and some of them are dropping out of school. We have been told that Kenyan citizens are crossing to Uganda in search of food. This is serious and humiliating. We are also told that there is plenty of food elsewhere and yet these people have no access to that food. I want the chairman to explain what measures will be put in place to respond quickly and ensure that the food is available to the citizens of those two counties. I do not know whether it is pleasing or good news to be told that this is a county function. Maybe that county does not have the capacity to undertake these works. Let us be told what concrete measures are being taken to ensure that food is accessible to the people in distress in those counties.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the House will recall that in the first financial year, we allocated West Pokot County Kshs3.5 billion. The following year, they received Kshs.47 billion. For purposes of the people of West Pokot in particular and Kenyans in general, who cannot accept a child dropping out of school because of hunger or dying due to lack of food, it would help if the Vice Chairman, in his statement, could tell us how much money this county government voted for food. How much of the emergency fund that is in that budget has been committed to this particular incident so that we do not have a situation where governors are flying around in choppers while their people are dying from hunger? It is for that reason that we would have to impeach that governor. We cannot have a governor running a fleet of four wheel-drive fuel guzzlers when children are dying from hunger.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Vice Chairman says food is available. However, the experience we have is that sometimes food is taken to a depot and the government officers complain of lack of transport to ferry it to the needy people. Sometimes it is diverted and it then ends up not reaching the beneficiaries. In the statement, I would like him to clarify in this case if the Government has ensured that the food will be transported to where it is required.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like the Vice Chairman to give us specific ways or modes which the Government will use to ensure that there will The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Senators who have sought further clarification as to what the county governments are doing to ensure that food is availed. We, as a Committee, will need more time to interrogate this matter further. We will even summon the Cabinet Secretary together with the governors whose counties are affected by hunger to tell us what is happening. Perhaps, each level of Government is passing the buck while Kenyans are suffering and dying. We know that there is adequate maize in our silos in Kitale. In fact, there is no space to store additional harvest yet people are suffering. That will give opportunity for all the Senators to interrogate this matter further.
How much time do you need?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know how our calendar will be, but I will need about two weeks.
Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,
Order, Sen. Obure! Do you have a point of order or you are calling me to order?
Sen. Ndiema, it is okay for us to give you two weeks to avail the information required by the hon. Senators because you have done the best under the circumstance. However, if what I heard from Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo and Sen. Munyes is correct; that children and women are suffering from lack of food yet you are telling us that there is more food than you can store in Kitale, then you must admit that something is very wrong and that is not acceptable. Therefore, you as the Vice Chairman must give us a solution because you cannot tell us on one hand that children are dying of hunger in West Pokot County and yet there is enough food in other places. You must tell us what the position of the Government is in that situation and how you are going to alleviate it because we cannot sit here for two weeks waiting for an answer when the same problem is persisting. If we come back here in two weeks’ time, we will be engaging in an exercise in futility because the situation might have worsened because there is no distribution of food although it is plenty in the country. Those are issues that I would like you to deal with urgently. Even as we await an answer or clarification from you, I would like to charge The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted to make precisely the same comments that you have addressed. A situation where people are dying is an emergency. We are told that we need another two weeks before the Cabinet Secretary can come before this House to explain the situation. This House could do better and seek for immediate intervention by seeking information from the national Government on how it can ensure that the food available in Kitale and other areas is transported very quickly so that the people there can receive relief rather than wait until the Cabinet Secretary comes here while people are dying.
Sen. Ndiema, we look upon you as the Vice Chairman of a Committee of the Senate. I understand where you are coming from, but I want to give you a higher responsibility which you must accept. Even as we go on recess and wait for two weeks, you take it upon yourself to sit with the Cabinet Secretary and pass on to him the feeling of the Senate. We find this situation unacceptable.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fact that I said two weeks does not mean that we will wait for two weeks. The two weeks is how to handle this matter as a long term issue. However, my Committee is already dealing with the urgent issue and has impressed upon the Ministry to ensure that these shortages are addressed. I just wanted to clarify that my Committee is already on this. So, we will not wait for two weeks.
Thank you very much, Senator.
Sen. Karaba, I cannot see your request but proceed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I pressed the button.
It is not showing on my screen.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have been pressing this thing for a long time. I thought you saw it on your screen. I am rising on a point of order.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
You have heard me calling other Senators and what their points of order are? Have you not? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for allowing me to say something. The problem with these machines is that sometimes you---
Let us forget about the machines. I told you that your name was not there but now I can see it. What is your point of order?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries should liaise with the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, that is me, so that we can see what can be done particularly to students who might leave school earlier because of food shortage. It is a very serious problem and we should not allow any county to close schools early because of shortage of food which should be given freely by the Government. That is what the Government should do. I, therefore, request him that to make sure that he impresses this on the Ministry of Education to provide emergency food supplies in West Pokot so that the students are not sent home early because they have to cover the syllabus just like other students in Kenya. He should heed that instruction.
Thank you, Sen. Karaba. In fact, in the intervening period, between now and when we come back, if we will go on recess – I am sure that Sen. Ndiema will be quite happy to work with Sen. Karaba, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, Sen. Munyes and any other Senator who would like to weigh in on this issue so that we come up with a solution because we are looking for solutions to these problems that we are facing. So, Sen. Ndiema, we shall leave that to you. I am sure you will find a solution. Which other Chairperson has a statement to issue? The next one is (g). Proceed, Sen. Khaniri. I cannot see the Chairperson of the relevant Committee.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I register my complaint to the Chairperson that Statements (g) and (i) which I sought from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget, have been on the Order Paper for the last four weeks. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember that last week you gave an order that the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget comes to respond to this Statement and before he responds he should apologise because he had been in the House but when we got to statements he deliberately walked away---
Can someone put off his phone please?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget deliberately walked away. He has done the same thing today. He was here a little while ago and when we got to the order of statements, he walked out. He is not treating this House seriously; some sanctions must be given to him. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Do you have a copy of the Statement?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
So, you are lacking somebody to issue the Statement. Is the Vice Chairperson of the Committee here?
He has just walked out.
Okay, I will look into it. That is very unfortunate if that is what has happened. I have a copy of the Statement. Therefore, I order that those two statements, at least (i) because I can see that it is ready, be issued on Tuesday whether by the Chairperson or any Member of the Committee who shall be present on Tuesday next week, 29th March, 2016. REGISTRATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES EXPENDITURE OF KSHS15 BILLION SET ASIDE FOR EL NINO
That then leaves us with Statement (h). Proceed, Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. SUPPLY OF FERTILIZER AND OTHER FARM INPUTS BY THE NCPB
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, the Senator for West Pokot, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, had sought an explanation why the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) had not supplied fertilizer and other farm inputs to farmers ahead of the planting season this year yet the long rains are about to start. Secondly, he sought to be informed when the fertilizer will be availed in all the NCPB deports across the country. Thirdly, he wanted to be informed of the measures the Government will put in place to avert such serious scenarios in future. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I start by declaring my interest on this subject; being the Senator for Trans-Nzoia, I know that the farmers have had a problem accessing fertilizer which has been delayed this year. However, the response which I have got from the Ministry regarding the matter, generally, is as follows:- In the Financial Year 2015/2016, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries was allocated Kshs2.5 billion for fertilizer procurement. This allocation together with the Kshs800 million from fertilizer sale proceeds and another Kshs1.2 billion reallocation from the Srategic Food Reserve (SFR) set the funds available for fertilizer procurement to be Ksh4.5 billion. However, from these funds, Kshs3.4 billion The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the way the Vice Chairman has responded shows a sorry state of affairs regarding how we handle agriculture in Kenya. His opening statements are interesting and so sad. He stated that a cumulative of Kshs4.5billion was set aside this year for purchase of fertilizers for all the farmers in Kenya. He went further to say out of this amount, Kshs3.4 billion was used to settle pending bills leaving a paltry of Kshs1.1billion. This is 24 per cent of the amount of money that is supposed to be used to purchase fertilizers for all farmers in Kenya. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Sen. Kembi-Gitura): Kindly seek your clarification.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, today is 24th March, 2016. It means this answer was written this morning because from the statement, it is confirmed that some fertilizers were received yesterday. May I know why NPK was procured yet we need DAP? We have not been informed when the DAP will be available. Since some fertilizer was received yesterday, what miraculous means will the Ministry use to transport it overnight to reach the stores? The Vice Chairman talked about a distribution table which I have read through. If you look on page 8, there is only one depot at Kapenguria in West Pokot County. However, it shows they have not received any fertilizer. On pages 13 and 14, I see a proposal of how the awaited fertilizers will be distributed. In Nakuru County, there are 12 depots which will be supplied. In Nandi, Narok, and Trans Nzoia counties, there are nine stores. Seven and four NCPD stores will be supplied, respectively. Over 10 areas with stores have been left yet there is nothing in stock. In Halale, Konyau, Keringet and Murkuchit stores we are not shown the quantity of fertilizer they will get. May I know when these stores will be supplied with fertilizer? Is there any discrimination in terms of distribution of fertilizer in this country?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the delivery of fertilizers after the planting season has severe consequences to the farming community. We also know that this has a serious implication on food security. We have heard that the delay was caused by individuals who took long to release Exchequer. In a way, this is self inflicted. May I know what disciplinary measures have been taken against officers who caused this kind of mess to our country? What disciplinary measures should be taken against such people?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries is taking this business for granted. It is sad that they are forgetting that agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy. When they talk about fertilizer distribution, they always talk about central and the north rift, forgetting Central and Eastern Kenya. In future, they should refer to the latter areas because in their stores, there is no stock of fertilizer. I am talking about the central Kenya and Sagana. The packaging should also be assessed to confirm if it is 50 or 45 kilogrammes. This is because in most cases, a bag weighs 45 kilogrammes. The lost five kilogrammes may be subtracted and supplied elsewhere. This is unacceptable. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Chair for the Statement. However, I would like a clarification on one or two things. The Chair stated that the last consignment should be delivered on 7th April. Since the planting season is on in most areas, of what value will it be to deliver this fertilizer on 7th April and thereafter there will be a long duration in offloading and distribution? Does it make sense or will this fertilizer be used for subsequent planting seasons? Secondly, sometime last year, the nation commissioned a fertilizer plant in the North Rift. I would like the Chair to update the House on the status of this fertilizer plant, because it was expected that besides reducing the cost of fertilizer, it would improve efficiency in the supply chain. We will not have to wait for fertilizer to be imported into the country.
Sen. Kajwang, you are supposed to seek clarification on issues that have been raised in the Statement. If you ambush the Chairman to tell you about the status of a proposed fertilizer plant, you know that he will not be able to give it to you today. However, since it is a very important issue, I would advise that you seek a specific statement on the status of the fertilizer plant.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am well guided. In the event that the Chair has got information, he could update the House.
He does not have it. You are seeking a clarification on what is in the Statement that he gave.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will then leave that and probably raise a substantive request for a statement. In as much as the Chair has also raised a lot of issues on what the Government is doing, agriculture is devolved. I would wish to encourage him to update this House on what is it that counties are doing as far as availability of fertilizer is concerned.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Chairman for the answer that he has given. However, I have a few clarifications to seek. First, could the Chairman tell this House why the Ministry allowed the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to spend Kshs3.4 billion to clear pending bills, knowing very well that this allocation was meant to acquire fertilizer for this planting season? The second clarification is with regard to the subsidized fertilizer across the country. In my county the NCPB officials are colluding with unscrupulous businessmen who have acquired subsidized fertilizer in huge quantities and are now selling it to farmers. What measures is the Government taking to ensure that subsidized fertilizer is only released to farmers and not unscrupulous businessmen and brokers, who end up exploiting farmers? The point that was raised by Sen. M. Kajwang is valid; that one of ways that will help us deal with this scenario is establishing our own factory. It will enable us to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the response that there was poor or delayed distribution of resources by the Treasury is very serious and we should not take it lightly. It should not just be one of the excuses that we will receive next year. What measures are being put in place by the Ministry in conjunction with the Treasury to ensure that fertilizer is received by the right people during the planting seasons in different parts of this country? Secondly, I have realized that in this schedule there are some counties that have two distribution points while others have six. This disparity is not acceptable. What measures are being put in place by the Ministry to ensure that distribution is achieved at the lowest unit possible, that is, the ward or constituency, where the right type of fertilizer is required?
Sen. Ndiema, you may respond.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Some of the requests do not relate to the Statement that was sought. Therefore, I may not be able to respond to them because I do not have the answers. Before I respond, I would like to clarify the position of my Committee on this matter. My Committee has discussed this matter and has gone to a conference in Naivasha, where we met all stakeholders and identified the timely distribution of fertilizer as being very important. The Ministry undertook to put a lot of effort to ensure that fertilizer is availed in time. Reading through this response from the Ministry, you can see some element of lamentation and frustration. They are lamenting that they are not getting adequate funds from the Exchequer. At times there is delay in Exchequer release, meaning that there is something that is not connecting well. Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo has asked why the money that was to be used in the provision of fertilizer was instead used to clear debts. The debts specified here also relate to fertilizer that was procured in the last financial year. This means that the Ministry had to use this year’s finances to clear those debts. It also means that the allocation for the procurement of fertilizer over the years has not been adequate. During the consultations that we had recently on the budget, my Committee recommended that the budget for the purchase of fertilizer be increased. We hope that the National Assembly will take this matter seriously. The exclusion of Senate by the National Assembly in allocating funds puts us in an awkward situation. We represent counties where farmers are and yet, we are not able to take action to rectify situations such as this. The National Assembly should ensure adequate funds to procure fertilizer. Therefore, the Kshs3.7 billion spent on pending bills was also in respect to fertilizer. On the issue of the allocation to Kapenguria, I believe that is with regard to the allocation for the short season. Perhaps, they were omitted in the short season. Kapenguria is catered for in the main season. As to whether or not the fertilizer is adequate, that is another matter that we can easily take. Some fertilizer has already arrived in the depots, although I must admit that it is late. There is a scramble for it and it is very uncomfortable. The Government should ensure procurement is done in good time. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Sen. Sang, what is your point of order?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Did you hear the committee Vice Chairman casually responding by saying that some things should not happen though there are situations you cannot avoid? I asked a specific question. What is the Ministry doing?
I heard you, Sen. Sang. Sen. Ndiema, you cannot say that some businessmen will take advantage and that it is alright. No! It should not be allowed. There, you are clearly talking about corruption. I heard you saying it is obvious that some businessmen will take advantage. You used those words. The HANSARD will bear me out. That fertilizer is not meant for some businessmen to take advantage. It is meant to help farmers subsidize their farming. You need to either rephrase or answer that question properly. I will not accept that,
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at no time have I said that it is all right for businessmen to take advantage of that situation. All that I said was where there are weaknesses which some unscrupulous fellows might be tempted to take advantage. Of course, that is wrong. I have qualified that. It is in the HANSARD. It is wrong for them to do so. Where that has happened, it is criminal and stern action should be taken against such people according to the law. That fertilizer is not meant for trade. That is the clear position. I would not want it to be seen like I favour any businessmen or crooks who would want to divert fertilizer meant for farmers.
Sen. Sang, what is your point of order now?
On a Point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. You appreciate that this is a major problem. We are discussing shortage of fertilizer and some unscrupulous businessmen are acquiring the same fertilizer meant for farmers. Initially the Ministry had implemented a procedure where all the farmers were being registered through chiefs and assistant chiefs. They have not implemented that programme. Right now, unscrupulous businessmen are just going to the depot and acquiring fertilizer. We expect the Ministry and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this was not in the initial request. I encourage that if there are such situations, we could call the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to explain to us the procedures in place. As I speak now, even to get fertilizer, one must go through the same systems; that is the locational and divisional agricultural officers. The County Director of Agriculture must authorize before one goes to NCPB. That is the system we are using. I have also gone through the same. Therefore, the system is still being followed. However, it is surprising that there are some businessmen who still get fertilizer and sell it. This is an area of serious concern. It must be handled effectively by those concerned.
Sen. Obure, what is your point of order?
On a Point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. What Sen. Sang has raised regarding middle men is a very serious phenomenon. It is happening not just in Nandi County, but in other counties. We do not need the CS to come here to deal with that particular situation. We request the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to take that up. They should express concerns with the Ministry so that appropriate action can be taken, particularly now when the distribution of fertilizer is ongoing.
Sen. Ndiema, you have heard that concern.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, any method will do. When I say he can come here, he can come to our committee or the House. Members are also invited to come and contribute on how we can curb this practice. This practice has been occurring. It is a concern to all Senators in the grain-growing areas. On the issue of whether fertilizers are going to counties like Mwea and so forth, this fertilizer is not just going to maize-growing areas, but also to other counties.
I am surprised that Sen. Karaba has not risen on a pointy of order. There is no county called Mwea. It is called Kirinyaga County.
Sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Kirinyaga is in Mwea.
No! Kirinyaga is not in Mwea; it is Mwea that is in Kirinyaga.
I know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have been to Mwea. My committee went with the Senator. My committee ensured that Mwea rice farmers got fertilizer for the first time. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the bags containing fertilizer should be 50 kilogrammes. However, in actual weighing, they are 45 kilogrammes. What happens to the difference of five kilogrammes? That is sabotage. It is corruption and stealing. Could the Committee Vice Chairman kindly address that issue so that he can be captured nationally?
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, I will give you one minute only so that Sen. Ndiema can respond.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you are right. In future, the Ministry needs to separate funds for pending bills and money strictly meant for fertilizer for a particular financial year. I just read a few minutes ago that the fertilizer plant launched by the Deputy President ten months ago was put on hold yesterday by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), a Government Department. What is wrong with this other arm of Government coming to disable projects---
Order, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo! You have been sitting here throughout this afternoon. You heard me. I do not want you to ambush the Vice Chairman. Be fair to him because he has done very well. We are all interested in the fertilizer plant. It will help the whole country. If you want to ask about the fertilizer plant, raise a specific issue. That way, the Committee Vice Chairman can give you a substantive answer. Do not ambush him. I will not allow it. The only issue you are dealing with is about the 45 kilogrammes instead of 50 kilogrammes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, fertilizer is supposed to be packed in 50 kilogramme bags. If that has not been done, the law should take its course because it is illegal and farmers should not accept that. In fact, whoever is aggrieved should take complaints to the relevant authorities; the Weights and Measures Department, the police or even file the matter in a court of law.
Thank you very much, Senator. That brings us to the end of statements except the weekly statement to be issued by the Senate Deputy Majority Leader. BUSINESS FOR THE WEEK COMMENCING TUESDAY, 29TH MARCH, 2016
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to present the statement on the business of the Senate for the week commencing Tuesday, 29th March, 2016, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.45. Hon. Senators, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.45, this is to present the Senate business for the coming week. On Tuesday, 29th March, 2016, the Rules and Business Committee (RBC) will meet at 12.30 p.m. to schedule business of the Senate for the week. Subject to further directions by the RBC, the Senate will continue with business that will not be concluded in today’s Order Paper, focusing on Bills of the Committee of the Whole. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Senator. What is your point of order, Sen. Obure?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, You heard the Deputy Senate Majority Leader issue a statement on business for next week. My understanding is that we will be on recess next week. I do not know whether he is in order to do that.
Sen. Obure, I think you are pre- empting the situation. Let him finish his statement because I am sure you were here when a Notice of Motion was given and I am sure you have looked at your Supplementary Order Paper. So, let us not pre-empt it but see how things work out.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have spoken for me. These Bills are as follows:- 1. The Universities (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No. 31 of 2014) 2. The County Assemblies Service Bill (Senate Bill No.27 of 2014). 3. The County Hall of Fame Bill (Senate Bill No.33 of 2014). 4. The County Governments Disaster Management Bill (Senate Bill No.40 of 2014); and, 5. The Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Bill (Senate Bill No.35 of 2015). The Senate will also consider any other business scheduled by the RBC. On Thursday, 31st March, 2016, as hon. Senators may be aware, His Excellency the President is scheduled to address a Special Sitting of Parliament, pursuant to the Constitution. This is the reason I have given a Notice of Motion to alter the calendar of the Senate, so that the Senate postpones its recess until next week, to accommodate the address of His Excellency the President. Resumption from recess will be adjusted accordingly. I, therefore, appeal to Senators to approve the Motion listed in the Supplementary Order Paper, so that we proceed on the recess immediately after the Special Sitting. I thank you and hereby, lay the Statement on the Table.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise, pursuant to Standing Order No.45(2)(b) to seek for a statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget regarding the failure by county governments to pay for goods supplied and services rendered to them by suppliers and contractors. In the statement, the Chairperson should explain whether he is aware that:- (a) Since 2013, many Kenyans who tendered and won tenders to supply goods and services to county governments took loans from commercial banks at high interest rates in order to deliver the goods and services while hoping to repay the loans within the agreed time. (b) Most of them have not been paid to date hence they are not able to repay the loans. (c) Arising from non-payment of the said loans, respective commercial banks have started selling the suppliers’ assets, thereby subjecting the suppliers to untold suffering with some suffering severe depression and others have died. (d) Explain what action is being taken by the respective county governments to remedy the situation in order to protect Kenyans from further suffering.
Is the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget around? Any Member of the Committee? Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, you are a Member of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I am talking as a Member of the Committee. However, my boss has come and he should be the one to answer.
The Deputy Senate Majority Leader.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the answer will be given in the first week after recess. I will pass the message to the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget in relation to the statement sought by Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, so that we have the answer the first week after recess if the calendar will be approved by the House.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. It might have escaped you that there is a group of students behind you and it is good to recognise that they are here.
You will be of help to the Chair if you could tell me which school that is.
I am sure the orderlies can inform us which school that is.
Okay, I will recognise them.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, while coming to the House, I met a group of students at the gate and they told me they are from Mogotio Girls High School. You should recognise them accordingly. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
We will recognise them officially once we confirm that, indeed, they come from Mogotio Girls High School. Sen. Ndiema. PARTICIPATION OF CID OFFICERS IN VETTING COMMITTEE SITTINGS FOR ID CARD APPLICATIONS IN TRANS NZOIA COUNTY
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.45(2)(b), I beg to seek a statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations. In the statement, the chairperson should answer the following:- (1) Whether he is aware that Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers participate in vetting committee sittings for identity card applications in Trans Nzoia County. (2) Why do the officers interrogate and intimidate innocent applicants as if they have committed crime? (3) Since issuance of ID cards is a civil and not a criminal matter, what action will the Ministry take to withdraw the CID officers from the vetting committees?
Is the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations around? If not, is there any Member of the Committee? Deputy Senate Majority Leader.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the same applies to what I had said earlier. The answer will be brought the first week after recess. I will pass the message to the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations.
Sen. Ndiema, is that okay?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, obliged.
It is so directed. That marks the end of statements. Next Order!
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.28(4), the Senate resolves to alter its Calendar in respect of the First Part of the Fourth Session for the recess to commence on Friday, 1st April and sittings to resume on Tuesday, 12th April, 2016. The Constitution provides that the President should address the nation once in a year. The President, in consultation with the Speakers of both Houses, has already scheduled Thursday next week for the Presidential Address. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this Motion. I do so in very good faith because of procedure. Whereas the Standing Orders give us the power to alter our calendar, we want to do so with good reason. I am glad that the Senate Deputy Majority Leader has given us a very good reason; that, what is the point of wasting money, confusion of going and gazetting the sitting for that day and what not and then you come back to receive the Presidential Address. It is a valid reason so, I support. However, as I support---
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, could you protect me from young Cheruiyot?
There is no “young Cheruiyot” in this House.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, sorry. The newly elected distinguished Senator for Kericho.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I hope that the good reason that the Senate Deputy Majority Leader has given will give us an opportunity to listen to the President who will realise that the role that he will be discharging on Thursday is in Article 132 of the Constitution. It is expected that once every year the President addresses these Houses. However, it is wrong for the President to respect one part of the Constitution – addressing us once every year – and forget that the very reason why he is addressing us is because he wants to report to the nation how his Government is upholding the provisions of Article 10 on National Principles and Values. All the institutions of Government have been killed. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is doing nothing; we do not know what is going on with the rulings of the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Criminal Investigations is being accused left, right and centre of being involved in corrupt deals. What is the President doing about --- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. This was a procedural Motion. Is the Hon. Senator, the bull fighter, in order to even anticipate what the President is coming to address us about on Thursday next week? Is he also in order to use this occasion to propagate Opposition politics when we have just a simple procedural Motion?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I hope that you will protect me from being gagged by Sen.Murungi, who knows that I respect him most abundantly. In fact, in our other lives, we share very many things. Let him not intimidate me. I must be allowed to enjoy freedom of expression especially while on the Floor of the Senate. However, let me persuade my senior to bear with me. I was simply addressing the very reason why we are changing the calendar of Parliament. He said that the reason is that we want to come and listen to the President. By the way, for the purposes of Sen. Cheruiyot, the people who fought very hard so that Parliament could have its own calendar in the history of this Parliament are only two Members of Parliament (MPs), the Hon. Peter Oloo Aringo and the Hon. Charles Keter, his predecessor. So, when we are changing it, let it not look like it is a very simple thing. I was just simply saying that I also hope that as we listen to the President, the things that he will utter in his Address will be converted from promises to performance. We were told about some funny list of shame where they said that governors were supposed to step aside. We only saw Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) stepping aside. How can the President allow a country whereby people who are supposed to step aside in the name of governors just to remain in office? Where was Government? We want to fight corruption both in word and deed; with practice. I support most abundantly.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. Hon. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale forgot some historical facts. The person who fought really hard for Parliament to have a calendar was the late Mr. Martin Shikuku and yours truly, Sen. Murungi.
Yes, in 1992. In those days, it was the President who had power to call Parliament, dissolve and prorogue it. Parliament was worse than a nursery school because we did not know when Parliament would open, close or go on recess. All these were matters in the hands of the Executive. It took a long struggle for this Parliament to capture this initiative and empower itself to the extent that now, it is Parliament itself which determines its calendar. Indeed, under the new Constitution, Parliament cannot be dissolved by any person. It has to run the entire five-year term because of the efforts of MPs. This is not a simple matter. Indeed, the exercise we are involved in as a House through this Motion is in assertion of that right; that it is this House which determines its own calendar. If the Members vote that this House goes on recess even before the Presidential Address, indeed, this House can go on recess. However, because we have The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Before I invite a few more requests, I have a brief communication to make.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I want to join in welcoming the school for coming here. I am sure they will learn how Bills are discussed in the Senate. They will also know how the Senate contributes in the running of this great country. Mogotio Girls High School is in Baringo County. Their Senator is Sen. Gideon Moi who is the Chairman of Kenya African National Union (KANU). The Member of Parliament is Hon. (Prof.) Sambili who is also from my party KANU which is in the Jubilee Coalition. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I want to wish the girls well. They performed well last year. I urge them to do much better this year than their colleagues in schools like Kabarak, Sacho and Emining. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I am glad that Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo has done what I wanted to do. However, I want to add by saying that Sen. Moi is not here, but is ably represented by me, as his friend, colleague and neighbor. I, therefore, want to welcome the students from Mogotio and tell them they will learn a lot of things. One of which is the debate on whether KANU is part of Jubilee Coalition or not, like Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo has raised here and what that means to students like you and others. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I want to tell them that we were in schools like them just a few years ago. In fact, Sen. Cheruiyot might have been there less than 10 years ago. In less than 10 years, they should imagine themselves sitting where we are seated now and driving the leadership of this country. So, whatever they do in school, they must remain focused, disciplined and open minded. They should not only concentrate on books alone, but they must engage in debates, symposia and sports so that it can open the ability of leadership. As our students from Mogotio, you have a bright future, one day you will meet me or Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale and tell them I am the Senator who visited last time as a student when you were in the House.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I am glad that you have given us the opportunity to appreciate the visit by the young people from Mogotio Girls High School. I was going to be disappointed if we would not have been given the same latitude we were given when Alliance High School was here. I congratulate them. As I welcome them, I want to remind colleagues that these children have come here to learn. Is it too late for us, as leaders of this country, to learn from other practices elsewhere? Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, we have been having cases of terrorism in this country. When Belgium was struck for the first time, two Ministers; the Minister for Interior Security and the Minister for Justice, resigned. In Kenya, we have refused to learn from it. The thieves, however much we shout, do not want to resign. I hope that we shall learn from other people so that we resign when we fall short of the glory. Welcome my dear children.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for this chance. Before making my contribution to the Motion, let me---
No, you are just appreciating the students. We will get back to that discussion.
Sorry, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. Let me take this chance to appreciate the students from Mogotio for visiting the Senate. It is a good House. I hope as the youngest Senator in the House, my presence serves as a motivation to you as you pursue your studies to know that your dreams are valid, no matter where you come from. Kenya is a great country. Be inspired, work hard, and one day, I hope to meet some of you here if we will be here that time.
Thank you, Chairman. I drew your attention---
I am the Temporary Speaker and not the Chairman. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I am the one who drew your attention to the presence of students in the gallery, and I am happy that you got it right. When students come here and leave without being recognized, it is not good for them. This is because they will go and tell the others that they were in Parliament and they never saw anything. So, I appreciate their coming. I also appreciate the recognition given by various Senators towards Mogotio Girls High School. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, Mogotio Girls High School is known all over the country. It is known for its sterling performance. I hope that they will continue doing well. We are appreciating the good results registered by the candidates last year. This year, continue doing the same. When you do so, this will be felt not only in Baringo County, but you will be the pride of Kenya. I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I want to join my colleagues in welcoming students from Mogotio Girls High School. I have listened to Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale saying leaders in this country do not resign. It is a question of morality, ethics and values. So, we need to build value in the minds of our young men and women. I believe, in the future, they will become people who will respect laws and institutions. When called upon to stand aside, they will be able to do so without feeling embarrassed. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I want to tell the young team here they are welcome to the Senate and they should learn from what happens in this August House. Thank you.
We do not seem to have any requests to appreciate students of Mogotio Girls High School. Let us go back to the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir for giving me the chance to contribute. I rise to support this Motion for two main reasons. While I may not have the benefits of parliamentary history that my senior colleagues have, and it was evident in the contribution. As I speak and address some sense to this Motion, I want to support in full cognizant of the fact that a President elected to lead a nation such as Kenya serves a great responsibility. When such a request comes to the House that he wants to address Parliamentarians, I want to believe that he looked keenly into all then laws and knows that for sure, there is no better time than the day that he has proposed. I appreciate the fact that the President has a busy schedule, and therefore, we should give him a chance. More importantly, many things have happened as a result of the President’s previous addresses to Parliament. Last year his address was on the fight against corruption and for the first time in the history of this nation, senior public officials were forced out of office, to answer to several charges. I, therefore, support this Motion because I know that good things will happen to this country. I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion to alter the Calendar of the Senate. This is the beauty of Parliament managing its calendar. We are The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Hon. Members, since this is a Procedural Motion, let us spend less time. Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as you have put it, this is a Procedural Motion. The Senate Calendar for the Fourth Session was passed at the beginning of this Session. According to the Calendar, we were supposed to break for a week or so, starting today. We are proposing to postpone the recess by a week so that the Head of State can do his constitutional duty of addressing the nation. It will be important for all of us to attend because there are many issues that we hope the President will address. All of us have to stand with him. We have had several challenges including scandals of corruption since the Head of State last spoke to us. We have had the NYS scandal, Eurobond and many things that people are talking about. It is important that these vices that are affecting us in Kenya are dealt with henceforth. A few minutes ago, we were told about the shortage of fertilizer in the country. Farmers are staring at a gloomy year ahead and we face a food shortage. We hope that the Head of State will address the same. We have challenges of insecurity and attacks from terrorists groups, just like it happened the other day in Belgium. As Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale said, Ministers in Belgium resigned although they had nothing to do with what happened. Last year, 148 students were killed in Garissa, but the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government and the Inspector-General of Police did not resign; nobody took responsibility. Belgium mourned with us after the Garissa attack, but we have not done the same for them. As a nation we need to stand with our brethren in Belgium because they have lost a significant number of people. We need to be united as a nation and stand with the Head of State when it comes to such issues. Also, whenever such incidents happen, we should take responsibility. I support.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the Motion to extend our sittings, so that we can attend the Joint Sitting of Parliament when the President makes his State of the Nation Address next week. While appreciating the importance of the State of the Nation Address in our Constitution, the speech, without presuming that I am in any way in a position to advise the President, should be the State of the Nation Address and not the state of the Government or the Government policies address. There is a distinct difference between the State of the Nation and the state of the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Order, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang'- Nyong'o! You know that the Standing Orders stipulate that one should use the same language all through your contribution. Are you sure that what you have just said in the last one minute was in English language or the same language in which you started making your contribution?
I apologise, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I was carried away. I do not know how to translate the movement of up and down. I cannot translate the other word I used, but I hope that it will be translated in Google one of these days as appropriate parliamentary language. The State of the Nation Address must focus itself on real estate industry because it has always been an indicator of the good health of the nation. When houses or offices are built and the investors get tenants and there is competition to get into those facilities, then you know that the economy is healthy. Today, offices and houses are being built all over the place, but finding tenants is becoming a major problem. Even if you build, to find tenants to pay the kind of rent that will help you pay the mortgage with the money you borrowed from the bank is hell on earth. I am speaking from concrete experience. If the real estate industry is itself suffering, then you know that the economy is suffering. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the other industry that is suffering is the major corporations. It is not just Kenya Airways which is suffering. The other day, we saw Uchumi Supermarket shutting down some of its stores. When I was in London the other day, I was told that Barclays Bank is planning to pull out of Africa. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Barclays Bank here denied it yet London, which is the headquarters of Barclays Bank, says that will happen. For a long time, Barclays Bank has always said that they make their best profits in Africa. However, if Barclays Bank is contemplating pulling out of Africa and not just out of Kenya, then we are in a lot of problems. Those kinds of statements should not be taken lightly. The banking industry itself, in terms of managing credit, is also suffering because of the high interest rates that do not invite investors or people to take up loans from banks. When you go into a bank as a politician, the managers will always ask you how we are doing and what to expect next. Kenya should not just hold elections routinely. Elections that are held routinely without thinking of their consequences will always put this nation in a lot of problems and will continue to put this nation in a lot of problems. I have always said that to determine how democratic an election is, when the results are out, the victors should celebrate their victory and the losers should accept the results as legitimate. In a situation where the victors are celebrating their victory and the losers are not accepting their results as legitimate, it cannot be expected to be a democratic election. However, that can only come with a long tradition of managing elections properly. We have only had two democratic elections in this country since Independence; the one that took place in 1963 which was the so called “the Kenyatta Elections” and which ushered in Independence and introduced the first Independent African Government in this country. The second democratic election was held in 2002, the NARC revolution. In 2002, Kenyans were voted the happiest people on earth because an election was conducted in this country where the victors celebrated victory and the losers accepted the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion which seeks to adjust our calendar. We have just had a meeting with the Intergovernmental Committee and what we discussed there was sad. If this Senate does not live up to Kenyans’ expectations, it will be judged harshly by the future generations. The Council of Governors (CoG) wants to weaken the Committee which replaced the Transition Authority (TA). We are in a dilemma trying to decide whether they should take over the functions of the TA or not. The Senate must make sure that county governments operate within the ambit of the Constitution. We, as a Senate, must address ourselves to the plight of officers who were serving in the TA. What will happen to them? Some of our colleagues who are eying gubernatorial positions in the coming general election might find hell on earth because most our counties have been mismanaged. As much as we are anticipating the President’s speech to address many issues bedeviling Kenyans, some Kenyans would wish to see him fire some people involved in the graft. Some bodies tasked with fighting corruption are not doing much. The office of the Director of Public Prosecution is not very effective in its mandate. Kenyans have lost faith in some institutions that are taking us round in circles. As Kenyans, we must reject these institutions which are taking us round in circles. If the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) cannot realise that the Chairman of the Youth Fund should be jailed, then, who else will do it? They have not taken note of glaring offences. Apart from the Youth Fund, we do not know what will become of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) or Huduma Centres. All of these will come out as a surprise. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as a country, we need to ascertain if we created institutions that are barriers to progress. This is important for us to get justice. I do not want to talk about the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Order, Senator. Are we still on the Procedural Motion or we are completely digressing?
Yes, we are, Mr. Temporary Speaker. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
As much as possible, let us constrain ourselves to this.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, let me finalise. As we point fingers; let us remember that the four fingers are pointing at us. For example, you have a lawyer who is in court and is supposed to ensure that monies to the tune of billions of a county are taken to the county, but the same lawyer is active as a commissioner of the JSC. How will that judgement be? First of all, when he goes to court, he is the employee of the JSC. So, the judge looks at him as a lawyer and wonders what he or she will do. So, he or she will rule in his favour because he knows you are his or her employer. Another case is that you have a tribunal looking at another judge in the same set up; an active lawyer who is the lawyer of the other one who is supposed to give evidence – there are some glaring loopholes. The lawyers have taken advantage of the many loopholes in the Constitution. They take us for granted. They say that is the way they have interpreted the law. As Parliament, we need to ascertain how to audit some of these commissions and ensure that they are streamlined. As we wait for the President’s Address, some of these issues will be raised. We shall see some clarifications. Also Parliament can try and bring in some sanity. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support. I hope that when we come back, we will finalise some of the crucial Bills that are on our Order Paper.
Thank you, Sen. Elachi. Proceed, Sen. Karaba.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to support the Motion. It is important that we continue with the business of the Senate next week as we wait to change the calendar of events. We should, as Senators, Members of the National Assembly and Kenyans recognise the Presidential Address. It is a rare occasion. It comes once in a year. Therefore, we enjoy the 364 days; it is only one and a quarter day that we commit to the Presidential Address. We will be selfish not to give him even more than one day. So, when there is a day that he wishes to speak to us, let him come. He is at liberty to do so. He can even come here and sit at the Speaker’s Gallery and follow our proceedings. He should even come at a time like now and see how many Senators are here so that as he discusses about the role of the Senate, he should be aware of what happens in this House. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as we welcome the Presidential Address, it is also important to send our condolences as a Senate to Belgium. What happened there has happened to us. Since most of the European countries have sent their condolences and sympathies to us, it would be prudent to send our condolences to Belgium and its embassy. They were caught unawares. Belgium has been a neutral county all through; they have never had any attack. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion. It is timely that the President has chosen that day to address the nation on various issues. Kenyans look forward and are eager to the pronouncements that the President will make because it will hopefully address their fears, expectations and plans, amongst other issues. The Address is coming at the right time in view of the many challenges that the country continues to face in terms of security, economy and general well-being of our people. I believe as he comes to address the nation, he will also address the undertakings that the government has previously given in the various sectors. This afternoon we talked about agriculture and the shortcomings which have continued to bedevil the sector year after another. The issues of delayed fertilizers and inadequate funding of the agricultural sector are issues which Kenyans have always been promised that they will be addressed. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, last year during the international Agricultural Show of Kenya, the President indicated that the government would comply with the requirements of the Maputo Declaration and that agriculture would henceforth be allocated 10 per cent of the budget. When we looked at the budget proposals from the National Treasury, there were indications that agriculture would get less than two per cent. Pronouncements should be followed by actions by those who have been put by the President in positions of responsibility; that whatever the President has said, as the Chief Executive of this country, should be implemented as a given. I have mentioned that there is only Kshs. 1.1billion set aside this year for purchase of fertilizers yet agriculture is the backbone of our economy. We need to reemphasise that and relook at it to see whether the public officers the President has put in trust, are doing what is supposed to be done in areas of agriculture. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the issue of cereals is also important. Farmers are not earning anything from growing wheat. They are not earning any profit from cultivating maize even when the rains are good. The House recalls that during the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
There being no other requests, I now wish to put the question. This is not a matter concerning counties. Therefore, it will be a voice vote.
Next Order! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
This Bill requires Division. Therefore, it is deferred.
I also defer this Bill.
The Senate Majority Leader is not in the House. Therefore, we will also defer that.
ADOPTION OF REPORT ON THE SECURITY SITUATION IN MANDERA, LAIKIPIA AND KAPEDO THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations on the assessment of the security situation in Mandera County, Laikipia county and Kapedo (Border town of Turkana and Baringo counties) conducted between 19th January and 5th February, 2015 and laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 29th July, 2015.
This Motion is deferred.
NOTING OF REPORTS OF THE ACP-EU JOINT PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY MEETINGS THAT, the Senate notes the Report of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 29th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, Fiji from 10th to 17th June, 2015, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 25th November, 2015.
This Motion is also deferred. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
This Motion is deferred.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. Have you noticed or rather has it occurred to you that we have postponed Motion No.11 that was supposed to be moved by the Leadership of this House, Motion No.12 that was supposed to be moved by the Chairperson from the Jubilee Government and Motion No.13 which was supposed to be moved by the Deputy Speaker, Sen. Kembi-Gitura? If it is the Leadership of the House that frustrates---
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! The Chair has sufficient reasons from the Movers of those Motions that we have deferred. Let us proceed. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes
This Motion is also deferred.
CREATION OF AN OFFICE TO AUDIT THE BASIC EDUCATION INSTITUTION FUNDS THAT, whereas Article 53 (1)(b) of the Constitution provides that every child in Kenya has the right to free and compulsory basic education; Recognizing the importance of education in the alleviation of the main challenges facing Kenya’s sovereignty identified at independence, namely; poverty, illiteracy and disease; Appreciating the gains made following the implementation of the free primary education program in 2003 and cognizant of the principles set out in the Basic Education Act of 2013 whose objectives include promotion and regulation of free and compulsory basic education besides providing for accreditation, registration and management of basic education institutions; Also noting the substantial resources invested by the national and county governments, parents, sponsors and development partners in the provision of basic education; Further noting that pursuant to the Basic Education Act, the County Director of Education is vested with numerous responsibilities including facilitation of auditing of all basic educational institutions in the respective county thereby leaving fundamental gaps of governance especially in the management of the available resources; NOW therefore, the House recommends to the Cabinet Secretary for Education to facilitate the creation of the office of an auditor to specifically audit the basic education institutions’ funds to enhance transparency and accountability and improve governance in the management of these institutions.
This Motion is deferred.
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This Motion is also deferred.
Hon. Senators, there being no other business, the Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday, 29th March, 2016, at 2.30 p.m. The Senate rose at 5.55 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes