Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister of State for Administration and National Security the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Why was Mr. Abdulmalik Mohammed handed over to the USA security forces by Kenyan forces? (b) How many other people have been handed over to the USA by the Kenyan security forces for interrogation outside the country? (c) What is the health and security status of those Kenyans under the custody of USA Government?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am surprised by this answer from the Assistant Minister. It shows how ashamed this Government is for betraying the Kenyan people. It is the duty of every government to protect its citizens, their freedom and the rule of law. It is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that this man, Abdulmalik Mohammed, is a Kenyan. His mother is in Mombasa and his relatives are here in Kenya and they have said as such. The Government has denied its own citizen whom it has betrayed.
Ask your question!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, how did this man end up in the hands of the USA authorities and was delivered to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured and interrogated? 286
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have clearly indicated that there is no evidence to show that this man is a Kenyan. He personally informed the Kenyan police that he was a Ugandan and that information turned out to be false. Mr. Abdulmalik is an international terrorist who actively participated in the Kikambala terrorist bombing and the attempted shooting of the
Israeli aeroplane on 28th November, 2002. He also clearly stated that his role was to film the event when the Israeli plane was hit by the missile.
Which missile hit the plane?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the missile that was fired by his colleague, Swaleh Nabhan, but it missed the plane. He gave a very detailed account of how they planned and executed the terrorist act together with others, among them Said Omar Hassan who is in Naivasha Prison after being convicted of terrorism.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to read to us information from the CIA files?
Order! How do you substantiate that he is reading from CIA files? Hon. Members, you must learn to listen to the other side! You may have your story, but they also have theirs. Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was narrating incidents to show that this---
Yes, call him a gentleman, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Why should I call him a gentleman? He is an international terrorist who participated in the terrorist act that cost 200 Kenyan lives, foreign nationals and a lot of property was damaged. He was not a Kenyan. Kenya deported him to Somalia from where he originated. He was part of the Islamic Courts Union that were fighting the Transitional Government. When they were fought there, he was among the group that sneaked into Kenya. Since we could not establish his nationality, we had no choice, but to deport him back to Somalia. Where the Americans got him from, is their business.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, nobody supports terrorism and we do not support whatever that gentleman did. If the crime was committed in Kenya, why was he not charged in Kenyan courts? The Assistant Minister says that he fought for the Islamic Courts in Somalia; does he know where he fought? Was he there? Can he substantiate that this man fought and killed some people? If he has killed people here, why can he not be taken to court here in Kenya? Are we not abdicating our sovereignty to other countries?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have said that when he was interrogated, he admitted that he had participated in the planning and execution of the bombings. He sneaked into Kenya from Somalia. What was he doing in Somalia if he was a Kenyan? He did not have any travel documents to show that he had legally travelled to Somalia. There is no indication whatsoever to show that he is Kenyan. He does not have any kin or relatives in Kenya who can prove that he is Kenyan.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has been asked why this man was not charged here in Kenya and whether he is a Kenyan or a foreigner.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when a foreigner commits a crime in Kenya and other crimes elsewhere, it is the responsibility of the Kenyan Government to decide whether to charge him here or to deport him to the country he came from.
Order, hon. Members! We must understand this is Question Time. April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 287
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Kajembe! I am guiding the House. We had better get hon. Members to ask questions. So, please, unless there is a breach of order, just interrogate the Assistant Minister. That way we will get more facts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister's answer is contradictory. He said that this person was not arrested in Kenya, yet earlier on he had said that this person was arrested in Kiunga on 13th February, 2007. The same answer is also contradictory to what the USA ambassador said in Nairobi; that this man was arrested elsewhere in East Africa. The Kenya Government is a signatory to the UN Convention which states that persons who are fleeing from conflict zones must not be deported or returned back to those areas. Kenya is in contravention of that agreement. Could the Assistant Minister explain whether the Government was considering political expediency in handing over this person to the Americans or do they believe that our courts are totally incompetent when it comes to convicting or prosecuting a person who murdered people at Kikambala? Could the Assistant Minister explain that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not given any contradictory statements. I have said that this person sneaked into Kenya and was arrested in Kenya. He sneaked into Kenya from Somalia. We realised that he was an international terrorist; one of the hard core ones that have hurt this country. This Government made a decision to deport him to Somalia. The Americans may have got him from Somalia. If you want to have more information about where the Americans got him you can contact the American Embassy. As far as we are concerned, we felt it was a good decision to send him back to the country where he came from. This was not an innocent person running away from conflict. This was a participant in the conflict in Somalia and an international terrorist. Anyone having sympathy for him may not be thinking right!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, given that the Assistant Minister has a lot of facts on this criminal, what is his nationality?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a fellow of dubious nationality.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister said that this man is a terrorist and an enemy of Kenya. He has said that this man came, planned and killed Kenyans in 2002. When this man was arrested in Kenya, why was he repatriated to another country? Why did Kenya not charge him because the lives that were lost were Kenyan lives? Why was he handed over to Somalia? Why was he not dealt with here if he was an enemy of Kenya? You should have dealt with him here!
We sent him to Somalia and the Americans managed to get him. Since the criminal activities of this man affected the Americans too, he will be answerable to them for all the crimes and because terrorism is an international crime, he can answer for them wherever he is. We made the right decision and there is no need to sympathise with criminals. If people come here to attack Kenyans, we will deal with them.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this House has repeatedly refused to pass the Anti- Terrorism Bill which was manufactured in Washington. However, the Government is already implementing it even before it has been passed. In view of the fact that Kenyans believe in the rule of law, and whether this person was a terrorist or not, how was a verdict reached under the Kenyan law that he is actually a terrorist?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stated from the beginning that this criminal was interrogated by our security forces and he admitted to having participated in the bombings. This man did not come to Kenya legally through travel documents. He sneaked into this country illegally and the Kenyan Government has the right to depot him and declare him persona non-grata because he did not come here legally. If he had come here legally, we would have followed the normal procedures in dealing with him. He came here illegally and we have the power to depot 288 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 him.
Order, hon. Members! We must finish!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we are looking for a bad person such as the one we are discussing, we are promised that if we find him, we will be awarded a certain amount of money. Now that we found him for the Americans, how much money did we get? Somebody has been paid!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we did not get any money because we did not hand over that man to the Americans. He was arrested by the Americans from wherever we sent him to in Somalia and, therefore, there is no one who benefited from the prize that had been proposed since no individual handed him over. CONTAMINATION OF TAP WATER IN ZIMMERMAN ESTATE
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Local Government the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Is the Minister aware that the tap water serving approximately 100 flats and bungalows in Zimmerman Estate, Kasarani, has been contaminated with sewerage effluent from septic tanks causing serious health hazards to the residents, students and teachers of Rainbow and Totos Academies and St. Mark's Catholic Church? (b) How will the affected residents be compensated for the money spent in form of hospitalisation fees in both private and public hospitals? (c) When is the problem likely to be settled once and for all?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have not received some important information regarding this Question. I seek the indulgence of the House so that I can answer this Question either tomorrow afternoon or on Thursday.
What is your reaction, Mr. Omondi?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oblige. But I hope that the Assistant Minister realises that this Question is very important because it touches on the lives of human beings. So, I expect an answer tomorrow or latest, Thursday afternoon.
Which day do you prefer, Mr. Assistant Minister? Tomorrow afternoon or Thursday afternoon?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I prefer to answer it on Thursday afternoon.
Very well! The Question has been deferred to Thursday afternoon. I hope this habit will not be a routine. I hope you will answer Questions as and when they fall due.
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works:- (a) whether he is aware that erection of bumps on classified roads contravenes the International Highway Code; (b) whether he could order the immediate removal of bumps on all class A, B, and C roads as they are a danger to the motorists and cause damage to motor vehicles; and, (c) if he could ensure that proper signs and signals are the only acceptable mode of controlling vehicular traffic in the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg the indulgence of the House and request that the Question be deferred to Tuesday next week. There is some more information I would like to get from the Ministry of Transport and also from the Automobile Association (AA) that is necessary to answer this Question. I noticed that this Question had been asked during the previous Session and it has now come up again. We need to get more information this time.
What is your reaction?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, given the answer that I received, I totally agree with the Assistant Minister that he needs to get more information.
Very well. When do you want it to be deferred to?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you could defer it to Wednesday next week.
As you can see, we are creating a precedent. The Question is deferred.
This Question is deferred because Mr. Oparanya is out of the country. Is the Minister there?
I am sorry about it! You should have been informed!
IMPROVEMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS' WELFARE 290 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007
The next Question by Mr. Ojode is also deferred to tomorrow afternoon. Is the Minister here?
I am very sorry about that. The hon. Members should have got in touch with you. It is good for hon. Members who want their Questions deferred to also get in touch with the Ministers. I think it creates a good working relationship. Question No.003 is deferred to tomorrow afternoon.
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he could inform the House when Kibarani School for the Deaf in Bahari Constituency will be furnished with special teaching and learning equipment; and, (b) if he could state what plans he has to fully rehabilitate the school which has a serious shortage of classrooms and boarding facilities.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry provided Kibarani School for the Deaf with a grant of Kshs150,000 vide cheque No.141058 on 30th, September, 2006. The money was to be used for the purchase of specialised teaching and learning materials. (b) Secondly, the Ministry also allocated a grant of Kshs890,000 to the school on 30th June, 2006, for purposes of rehabilitating the school's infrastructure. The school has used the money for the construction of two classrooms, which are now complete and ready for use. We will continue giving the necessary support to Kibarani School for the Deaf and other needy special institutions in the country depending on the resources that are available at the Ministry. In addition, we would like to call upon our partners, including the hon. Member, the communities and parents, to also do their best to supplement the effort by the Ministry.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes, we are aware of both allocations and we wish to thank the Government for that. However, the amount of Kshs150,000 for the purchase of specialised learning material is grossly inadequate. Could the Assistant Minister assure us that this financial year, he will provide additional funds to the school, which covers the entire North Coast?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, there will be additional support to this school and other institutions of this nature in the country, when the next Budget is read.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the constituents of Bahari have taken up the challenge of this school. Our plans are to build a secondary school which will serve the entire Coast Province. Could the Assistant Minister assure us that when the school is established, the Government will support us in terms of teaching staff as well as teaching material for the school?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the policy with regard to supporting new secondary schools is that we send out teachers once they are registered. As soon as the institution is registered, we will be more than happy to send teaching staff and other support that we give to all secondary schools.
INVASION OF WETLANDS BY WATER HYACINTH April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 291
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) whether he is aware that water hyacinth has invaded wetlands, streams and other small water bodies, thus threatening their survival; (b) whether he is further aware that the weed has also invaded some irrigated lands in western Kenya, making it expensive to till the fields; and, (c) what efforts he is making to eliminate the weed from the affected areas.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware that the water hyacinth has invaded wetlands, streams and other small water bodies, which are being threatened. (b) I am also aware that some irrigated lands in western Kenya have the weed, thus making them expensive to till. (c) My Ministry through the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) conducted an extensive survey of selected areas on 13th October, 2006, and found out that the water hyacinth has decreased in acreage in Lake Victoria to insignificant levels. I need to mention here that my Ministry has put in place both short-term and long-term measures such as the encouragement of manual removal of the weed through the Water Resources Users Associations and desilting of pans. The desilting of pans has already been done by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC). During this current financial year, a monitoring program to determine the variability of nutrient concentration in those waters is going on. That will provide further insights into the dynamics of water hyacinth occurrence and the development of an agro-chemical nutrients pollution control plan.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the moment, Lake Victoria is heavily infested with hyacinth. It seems the Assistant Minister does not have adequate information about the current infestation of Lake Victoria by that weed. All the small water bodies and wetlands around the lake are also heavily infested by that weed. Sometime back, beetles were introduced to control that weed. The Assistant Minister has suggested the manual control of that weed. But that method failed! What happened to the beetles?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are several factors that have contributed to the increase of the water hyacinth. The first one is natural - the availability of light, nitrogen and phosphorus. That condition is currently very prevalent. The light conditions in the lake area are conducive to the spread of that particular weed. I agree with Prof. Olweny that the reduction of the hyacinth that was observed during 1997/1998 was attributed to the introduction of the weevil. There is a reduction in the number of weevils. That is an issue that we are currently investigating with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). We are controlling and determining levels of nutrients in the waters so that, that atmosphere that has been created within the water is not conducive to the spread or growth of the water hyacinth. There is nothing that can be done on lighting. But a study is being done to determine what happened to the weevils, so that we can increase their numbers. We also want to contain the nutrients in the water.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we do flood irrigation in Mwea. Has the Assistant Minister come up with a plan to detect or identify whether there will be any hyacinth-related problems in all the streams? That is because the water is being used as the main resource by farmers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the study that is currently being conducted will help control the spread of the hyacinth wherever it occurs, whether in the rice-growing areas or the lake region.
Rev. Nyagudi, do you have a question to ask?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not a question. I have an observation to make. I had 292 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 filed a similar Question. The Ministry is not the best placed to deal with that problem. I would like to request that this Question be referred to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. A lot of money was spent through the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme (LVEMP), which is dealing with the water hyacinth.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and KARI on that matter. I do not know whether they have extra information because we cross-checked the answer with them.
Hon. Members, I am tempted to refer this Question to that Ministry. That is an environmental problem. Maj. Sugow, it is not that I doubt your ability to handle it. It is only that I think that is the best suited Ministry. What do you think?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is the discretion of the Chair.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This is also an economic issue. We can use water hyacinth to make furniture and cattle feed. So, could the Assistant Minister continue?
What do you suggest?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am interested in cattle feed---
Mr. Lesrima, I cannot hear you!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am saying that water hyacinth can be used to manufacture cattle feed and furniture. Could the Assistant Minister explain what action the Ministry is taking to support those groups that can put to economic use that particular weed?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry was more concerned with the control of the weed than other benefits. Probably, when we refer this Question to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, they may come up with an answer to that.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Yes, Mr. Assistant Minister! What do you want?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while not challenging your wise decision, I want to point out that Ministries do not operate in isolation. There is a relationship between the Ministries of Water and Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources and Agriculture. I know this Question can be adequately answered by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation since it shares a lot of---
Which Ministry do you represent?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I represent a different Ministry, but I am trying to---
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Now that Ministries do not work in isolation, could you help us to answer this Question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question was being adequately addressed by the Assistant Minister on the Floor. If, for any reason, the hon. Member who rose to request that this Question be referred to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources---
Order, Mr. Abdirahman! You have no right to defend your colleague and think that he is being unreasonably dealt with by the Chair, whether you share the same Ministry April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 293 and district or not! So, you had better keep your peace! I can assure you that he is a very able Assistant Minister. I have a lot of respect for Maj. Sugow, like I have for many other hon. Members, Ministers and Assistant Ministers. It was just a question of routinely going through this issue. What the House is seeking, in my mind, is a practical solution to a real problem affecting the Kenyan people. That is what it is all about. That is why I am leaning backwards so that, any Ministry that will be able to help to sort out that problem, is at liberty to give assistance to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. I think it is a much more complex issue than that. Mr. Abdirahman, are you happy now?
I am all right, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Very good! I am happy with you too. Very well! The Question is referred to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. I will give them two weeks, so that they can come up with a good answer. I know this issue is complicated. We need to get a way of helping those Kenyans out there, who are being affected by that very dangerous weed.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Is your point of order related to what I am saying?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Whereas hyacinth affects aquatic life, "Mathenge" plant which is scientifically known as Prosopis, also affects livestock in the hinterlands---
Order, Capt. Nakitare! I suppose you are listening to what is going on!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am listening very much!
Then relax! You are at liberty to put forth the Question on that plant you call
or whatever other name, and it will be addressed appropriately by the right Ministry. The Question is, therefore, deferred for two weeks from the time of receipt.
asked the Minister for Lands what steps he is taking to adjudicate the Kabogor-Kipchobet Section.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. I am currently preparing to declare Kabogor-Kipchobet an adjudication section. So far, I have instructed the Director of Land Adjudication and Settlement, the Commissioner of Lands and the Director of Survey, to proceed with the exercise.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for having taken the initiative to start adjudication process of this section. However, could he tell us how much money he has allocated for the exercise?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are two adjudication programmes that are going on in Mogotio. These are Maji Moto and Tiam adjudication sections. Some money has been allocated to these programmes. Therefore, I expect them to be ready by the end of this year. On the issue of funding the current Kabogor-Kipchobet Section, we have not allocated substantial amount of money. However, we have only commissioned our officers to do the normal office work.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is not serious. He cannot say that he has directed the officers to do the job when he has not given them adequate resources to do so. Secondly, could he give us a time frame within which he thinks the job will start?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are very serious about this issue and that is why we have two adjudication programmes going on. These programmes are fully-funded by the Ministry. 294 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 However, we need to get some substantial amounts of money before we can actually send a big team to do the actual work. As of now, I have instructed our officers to do the normal office work using the funds approved by this House. There are no specific funds that have been allocated for this section. However, we hope by the end of next financial year, we will get some money for this adjudication section.
Very well! That is the end of Question Time. Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order under Standing Order No.20 to seek leave of the House to discuss a matter of national importance. It is none other than the insecurity situation in Mount Elgon District.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, 27 primary schools have been closed in the district. Therefore, children are not going to school. There is unrest in the whole district. Residents are not accessing food and other stuff because shops have been closed. The situation has moved from bad to worse. So, I request the Chair to allow this House to discuss this issue of insecurity in Mount Elgon District.
Order, hon. Members! I did, in fact, today at 2.10 p.m., receive the notification of this Motion from the hon. Member on this issue. However, there are two things I want to say about it. First, the notification was not in compliance with Standing Order No.20. I should have received the notification at least two hours before the sitting of the House. That notwithstanding, I believe this is a very grave matter, affecting, as it does, the lives of the Kenyan people. I will, therefore, ask the hon. Member to raise this matter tomorrow morning immediately after Question Time. If he does raise that issue tomorrow morning after Question Time, and he raises the requisite number of hon. Members in support, I will allocate two-and-a-half hours for discussion of this issue which I find to be urgent, definite and of national importance. So, tomorrow morning, if Mr. Kajembe can raise at least 15 hon. Members, I will give him the time to discuss it. Secondly, hon. Members must understand the rationale behind the notice given to Mr. Speaker on a Motion such as this. The rationale is very simple; the House debates such matters trying to seek a solution to the problem. For that reason, when a notice like this is given to Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker must inform the Minister responsible, so that he or she will come to the House to listen to hon. Members and, in addition, give a Government response. To be able to do so, the Minister needs to consult. So, the rationale of two hours is to enable the Government side to get the information required and come to the House and also for the hon. Member who seeks to move the Motion to know that Mr. Speaker will consent to it and seek to get the 15 hon. Members. So, Mr. Kajembe, the ball is back to your court. Be here tomorrow morning, get 15 hon. Members April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 295 to support your Motion and you will get the hearing.
In fact, to be fair, because I always want to be even-handed or fair; as a matter of fact, the hon. Member of Parliament for Eldoret North Constituency, Mr. Samoei, had talked to me about this issue a little earlier than the hon. Kajembe. So, I want to be on record about this. Next Order!
Who was on the Floor? Mr. Omondi had concluded his contribution. Dr. Kituyi, would you like to contribute?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Very well. Proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In making my contribution to this Motion, there are two things that I want to mention and discuss. Over the recent past, a very important exercise has been going on around East Africa. A very public debate has been going on about the future of East Africa and political sense in the key members of East African Community; about where we are taking our country. In the past, Kenyans have expected and looked to this National Assembly for a sense of political leadership and guidance on critical steps towards the regional integration.
Order, hon. Members! I think we had agreed from the very beginning, when we resumed, that we will give each other audience. You will listen to what Dr. Kituyi has to say, so that when you get your chance, you can either agree or disagree with him, and also keep out of the rule of tedious repetition. Proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the lives of the past two Parliaments, this House has been a very important catalyst of Kenyan public approval and support for the process of East African integration. Without the singular united leadership and encouragement of this House, I do not think the momentum, again, in moving from the East African Co-operation to East African Community, to the step of a Customs Union Protocol 296 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 Agreement, would have been done in the record period it has taken. Today, we are at a stage when, perhaps, the most critical decision since the Customs Union, is to be made; a decision of a road map towards greater political integration of East Africa. One would have expected that we, as hon. Members of Parliament, would offer political leadership to this country. If you listen to the level of debate that is going on right now in the so- called consultation forum, there is a dire absence of political leadership from the political class. We are letting wananchi walk in the wilderness about whether greater East African integration is good for us or not. This is unfortunate in two important regards. The premier institution for giving a sense of the nation in political matters, is the National Assembly. When we are talking about eventual and gradual ceding of our political sovereignty, Members of the National Assembly should be the catalysts of public awareness and say the sense of what the national interest is in this. Mr. Speaker, Sir, secondly, by a wide margin, Kenya is the most important beneficiary of East African integration. Over the past few years, we have seen a massive expansion of Kenyan exports in goods and services to the member countries of the East African Community (EAC). Today, Uganda is the most important trading partner of Kenya in the whole world. Today, because of coming into force of the first stages of the East African Customs Union, Tanzania has overtaken Egypt as the second largest trading partner of Kenya in Africa, at least, as the destination of Kenyan produce. Today, more than 40 per cent of the top auditors and accountants and 80 per cent of top managers of the tourist industry in Uganda and Tanzania are Kenyans. Uganda and Tanzania are important destination markets for Kenyan service trade. At such a time, it would be critically important that the political intelligentsia of Kenya discusses what is in our national interest, as we look to deepening our role in two important destinations of Kenyan produce and services exports. Instead of that, we are playing a pedantic role. We are sitting back while wananchi go to halls to listen to people who give them their warped understanding of what is the East African Customs Union and East African Federation, and we let the Press prey on this, as if it represents Kenya. I want to urge colleagues, regardless of our partisan views, that this is the time that we should start gaining and offering leadership to the citizens of this nation, about where we are going as East Africa. Kenya will be the principal beneficiary of any form of greater opening up, internally, of East Africa. We have gone through the most difficult teething problems; the first two years of asymmetrical customs relationship, where all imports from the two countries were uncustomed and many of our exports were customed. We have paid the price. We are now in the final phase of the elimination of the varied asymmetrical instruments, internally, to East Africa. At a time when we are now preparing to maximise our benefits economically, we should be also preparing to maximise our benefits politically. But instead of pointing to this as a critical era in East Africa, Kenyan politicians are letting fear determine the mode of debate on East African integration. I urge my colleagues to rise up to our responsibility, at a critical time; redefine our understanding of the East African integration - what is genuinely at risk or in stock for Kenya - and speak with one voice about what is the best way to time the political integration of East Africa, but not to let it appear as if we are hostile to it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, turning on slightly different matters, I have a sense that the politics of this country is growing in a cyclic motion. We embrace traditional topics and divisions and build them with such a vigour, that we lose the opportunity to define new things that this country can do. A few years ago, when we were fighting for democratic opening up - many may not remember or conveniently try not to remember - the conditions were very hostile. We were almost Mugabe and Zimbabwe. But things have moved on. The economy has picked up momentously. The people have seen the light and the State has shrunk in its capacity to reverse the gains of democracy. Where is the vision thing about the next level this country has to go? We continue trading accusations about April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 297 who is responsible or not accountable for what has happened or not. We are stuck in the history that does not help this country to start defining a new vision. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I saw a gust of fresh air the weekend when we hosted the World Cross- Country Championships and Harambee performed the miracle of defeating a modest Swaziland in soccer. The fact that we could celebrate a victory against Swaziland, was a statement about how lowly we had gone; that even this little one can be celebrated like a major harvest. But beyond a certain level, a responsibility of political leadership is to nurture the collective shared good sense in our society. Instead of the grumpiness that we bring to the political arena by divisive competition and backward-looking trading of accusations and responsibilities, we can create a sense of shared goodness, as Kenyans. We can share a sense of being proud of where we are and build on that as a platform to encourage others to look at what Kenyans can do. If we can remember, in the run-up to the World Cross-Country Championships in Mombasa, there was a very unpatriotic phenomenon happening; that every time a few people would say that they would disrupt the Cross Country Championships, the media would build up large stories. More threats increased about the Cross- Country Championships, playing into the hands of Americans with their issuance of ridiculous travel advisories about this country. In most societies, patriotism will express itself through a media that will kill petty stories that try to paint the motherland as a terrible place. Patriotism will wrap everybody into Kenyanness, the way the audience did it in Mombasa. We are not raising a finger because as a political class, we have taken our eyes off the ball of Kenyan patriotism.
Order, hon. Members! Order! We are talking about patriotism. Would you like to hear about it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if I was saying nice things about NARC(K) and bad things about ODM, I would be having ear-perfect audience, because they are traditional issues, they are easier to comprehend and you do not have to think. It is like floating downstream. But we have a responsibility to do a bit more than floating downstream. Even corpses can do that! We have a responsibility to think outside the box some of the time, not just as a cliche, but what responsibilities does the National Assembly have; to raise public awareness, that there is more to this country than settling political scores? What responsibilities do we have in defining that as we look to the next stage of this Millennium, Kenyans are aspiring to higher goals than being better than Zimbabwe and Somalia. We, as a people, have some things that we can aspire to do, not as parties in the Government or in the Opposition; not as individuals with egos bigger than our heads, but as a leadership collected in their determination to take the country to the next level. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my very final remark is that I want to urge my colleagues; I come next door to Mt. Elgon. I have a constituency which is hosting people who have been displaced from Mt. Elgon. So, approach that matter with caution and not trying to settle political scores. The victims are Ndorobos who have no voice in Parliament or in the Media. Let us think of them before we try to score points politically. With those few remarks, I beg to support. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 298 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for affording me this opportunity to also contribute to the---
Order, hon. Members! Order! Order! Order! Could those hon. Members who are interested in contributing to this Motion after the current speaker rise up so that the Clerk can note them down? We will follow the list so that the hon. Members who will sit here with us will have the opportunity to speak. Very well. Proceed, Mr. M'Mukindia!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I also wish to congratulate the President for his Speech during the State opening of Parliament. Unlike what one hon. Member said earlier, I believe that the President outlined very clearly his Government's policies regarding many areas. On education, the President emphasized new fees for schools. That, to me, is a very important Government policy because it will enable the parents or our people to educate their children in secondary schools. I hope that the Government---
Order, hon. Members! Order! Order! Order, hon. Members! You are overcrowded in that corner near where hon. Gumo is and this area is very empty! Could you, please---
Order, Mr. Gumo! Order! Please, those hon. Members in that corner, could you listen to debate? Proceed, Mr. M'Mukindia!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The other area of importance that was outlined by the President was the setting up of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policy. Kenya cannot afford to remain behind as far as ICT is concerned. Indeed, I was asking the Minister, a few minutes ago, what exactly he is doing to ensure that ICT is actually on the ground in the rural areas. I would like to see more money being spent in ensuring that the ICT Policy is rolled out to the rural areas. There are other issues which the President talked about in his Speech, like the security of the country, introduction of capital punishment, improvement of the Judiciary and, more importantly, improvement of infrastructure. The fact that the aim now is to have the best infrastructure in East Africa, this will not be possible unless funding is found for this purpose. There are instruments, if we are all aware, that can be used to ensure that we can improve our infrastructure. My hope is that this will be done very quickly. I think we need to think about this matter so that we and the country can benefit from improved infrastructure. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Government for creating new districts. I support that policy very strongly. I am a beneficiary of that policy and, indeed, I can see the results immediately. The fact that district commissioners are nearer to the people means they are more sensitive to the problems the people are faced with. Indeed, they are helping to solve a lot of these problems. There are other issues that the President talked about in his Speech, for example, the Political Parties Bill, governance and Vision 2030. As we all know, Vision 2030 is long overdue. April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 299 Without a vision or an objective, we will never be able to achieve anything. It is like somebody walking in the dark. For many years now, it is more than 15 years, hon. Members have been asking the Government and many Governments in succession, to set out a vision for this country; a vision devoid of political interference and interests. The only interest should be to ensure that no Kenyan dies of hunger, that no Kenyan suffers from poverty and that every Kenyan is educated and is proud to be a Kenyan. I would like to urge my colleagues, whoever comes in either tomorrow or the day after, to ensure that we secure this vision for the people of Kenya. If we need to improve on it, so be it, because nothing is really perfect. However, let us ensure that we isolate or insulate it from political interference by various interested parties who have a very short-term vision or no vision at all. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree with the Minister for Trade and Industry, that Kenya is the main beneficiary of the East African integration. I belong to the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, and the Committee is dismayed by the fact that we do not believe that our Government puts sufficient efforts in ensuring that neighbouring countries, such as Uganda and Tanzania are closer to us. Most often, Kenyans are complaining. We are just bickering. The recent events that occurred in Arusha are pointing in that direction; that we are becoming extremely selfish. If the Tanzanian and Ugandan markets were cut off, this country will starve and grind to a halt. Just look at our side of the equation; Uganda has discovered a huge amount of oil and gas while Tanzania has discovered huge amounts of gas. They are endowed with minerals, good land and they have everything. As of today, in Kenya we have nothing!
Order, hon. Members! Order, Mr. L. Maitha! Please, give your colleagues an opportunity to listen. Proceed, Mr. M'Mukindia!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Today, Kenya prides herself as a shining star in East Africa. If we are not careful, in ten years, we shall be the beggar of East Africa. Unless we change, work harder and engage other East African member countries more closely, we shall be the beggar of East Africa, and that is for sure! That is because the other countries in East Africa are better endowed with resources than we are up to this point in time as far as we know. They have more rainfall, better soils, you name it, they have it: Minerals, oil et cetera. What does Kenya have? Yet Kenyans are not taking this as a major opportunity to extend relationships to go beyond just East Africa to, may be, Sudan. As we speak today, the Minister has not posted a Trade Office in Juba. And why not? What does it cost the Government to have a Trade Officer in Juba? We have not sent a Trade Officer to eastern Congo. How much does it cost to have a Trade Officer in eastern Congo? We are joking! We can talk and talk, but we are joking! Therefore, we are not, really, doing what we want to do. Mr. Speaker, Sir, just to come to issues that relate to the areas we represent, we have issues of squatter settlement. I am aware that Mr. G.G. Kariuki is likely to bring to this House a Bill on Squatter Settlement. I want to urge the Government to support the Bill once it is brought here, because we have pockets of people who were working in forests under the so-called "Shamba System". When they were "kicked" out of the forests, they started living on the roadside and in mushy areas. They are the poorest of the poor. So, as a caring leadership, we ought to be ashamed of the fact that we "kicked" these people out of the forests ostensibly to protect the forest, but what are we doing about them? I have in mind a village called Mashaka in Meru Central Constituency. It is a serious issue. It is almost becoming an insecurity issue. We do not want another Mungiki sect to start in Meru or somewhere else. Once 300 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 people are desperate, they can do virtually anything. These people are coming to that level. There must be a programme by the Government as a whole---
Order! Order, hon. Members! There is a limit as to how long we shall tolerate those hon. Members disrupting the business of the House. What are you talking about that is so important that you cannot listen to hon. Members speaking in the House? Please, go and have your meeting elsewhere! Kindly, leave the House to conduct its business. Proceed, Mr. M'Mukindia!
That you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I will leave that issue at that. Mashaka is not the only village affected. If you go to Timau, there is Karuri Village. If you go to Mathira, there is another village. If you to Molo, there is another village. So, it is not just the Coast Province that is suffering from this issue. There are many such villages, and they need to be looked into urgently. I want to congratulate the Government and the Minister of State for National Heritage, Mr. Shakombo, for, finally, recognising, at least, one hero of this country. I had a meeting with veteran Mau Mau freedom fighters in my constituency last weekend. They gave me a message to give to Kenyan leaders. With your permission, let me give that message, which is very clear: Kenyans do not say "thank you". Whatever you do for them, they never say "thank you". Those people fought for this country's Independence, but nobody ever said "thank you". It is no wonder that even if the Government does anything, nobody will say "thank you", because we have become a thankless society. They also told me that we have to choose, as leaders, whether we want a blessing or a curse. We have to make sure that we choose wisely for, as they say, whatever you do unto others will be done unto you as well. That is a serious issue. Let us ensure that we look after these people. They are poor. They sacrificed their lives and families. I am not saying that it is only the Mau Mau freedom fighters who did so. There are many more Kenyans who sacrificed for this country, even before the 1950s. They need to be looked after. In the Coast Province, there are many such people. I want to congratulate Mr. Shakombo, and the Government, for starting the process. A task force is in place. Let us recognise our heroes and heroines, otherwise we will either have a curse or a blessing. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we passed the Bill on cotton development here, but nothing is happening on the ground, irrespective of what the Ministry of Agriculture says. You can have wonderful policies, which do not benefit the wananchi .
Order! Order, Mr. M'Mukindia! Your time is up! Mr. Kajembe!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. I want to talk about structures in our local authorities. Our local authorities countrywide are in a mess. You will find shanties in our cities. They are allowed by our city fathers. If you move around big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa today, you will find that the city centres are surrounded by unauthorised structures, and that nobody is doing anything to rectify the situation. That is because some of the mayors of our cities are not competent enough to run them. Therefore, I fully support His Excellency the President's proposal to have mayors and their deputies elected directly by the people. Doing so will reduce corruption in our local authorities. What happens currently is that when a councillor wants to become the mayor of a city, he is required to buy councillors to his side. He is supposed to take councillors to a certain place with full security. It is very expensive for one to become a mayor of any local authority in this country. April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 301 So, I fully support the President's proposal to have mayors and their deputies elected by wananchi themselves. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also very important to raise the education standard requirement in order for one to be allowed to contest a seat in a local authority. In the past, anybody could become a councillor irrespective of whether he is literate in Kiswahili and English or not. We should have good structures in our local authorities. Under the Local Authorities Act, Cap.265, it is a requirement that local authorities tell their citizens how much revenue they have collected and how that revenue has been utilised. Today, we do not get such information from our local authorities. We are not told anything about their budgets. They are supposed to publish their budgets, so that wananchi can know what their respective local authorities do with the money they generate.
Again, you will see that local authorities are unable to collect revenue. Consequently, some of them are collapsing. I would request the Minister for Local Government to go back to the drawing board and find out which local authorities are viable. I remember that during the last regime areas where local leaders entertained the authorities were declared local authorities, even though they did not even have the basic facilities to enable them operate as such. I can even remember a local authority which had to buy a chain for the mayor of another local authority, because the latter local authority did not have finances. Such a local authority cannot collect any revenue, because there is none. Mr. Temporary Deputy, Sir, land rates in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu Cities, among other local authorities, are so high that land owners cannot pay them. When one fails to pay, the local authorities prosecute them. Finally, properties are auctioned. Something should be done to streamline collection of land rates by local authorities. If you look at the flow of traffic in our major cities, you will find that there is always a traffic jam. For instance, if you do not leave the centre of the City of Nairobi about four hours before the time of departure of your flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will miss your flight, because of traffic jams. So, what are local authorities doing to correct this situation? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, our roads are classified and we are told that some of them are maintained by the Ministry of Roads and Public Works. We are also told that town planning roads are maintained by the local authorities. If you go to Mombasa City, you will find that there are roads in Nyali Estate which are maintained by the management of that estate. There must be an authority which is responsible for the maintenance of roads and another one which is responsible for the flow of traffic in our cities. We have the same roads and people are still buying vehicles. On which roads will we drive these vehicles in the next one or two years? We are always told that by-passes are being constructed. Ministers in the Ministry of Roads and Public Works have been telling us that by-passes will be constructed. We have not seen any by-pass being constructed. We should construct fly-overs to be used by small vehicles in order to ease the flow of traffic on our roads. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about the Women Enterprise Development Fund, which is yet to be introduced. When you talk about giving Kshs1 million to all the women groups in each constituency, each group will get Kshs50,000. We will end up giving Kshs1 million to 20 groups. That is what is happening with the Youth Enterprise Development Fund today. 302 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my constituency, I have 326 youth groups. Out of those, only 20 groups will benefit. This again will create a problem for the youths and the programme will not succeed. The programme will not succeed unless the Government considers setting aside more funds for the Fund. If the Government is going to introduce the Women Enterprise Development Fund, it should consider setting aside a lot of money, so that all the women groups can benefit. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to talk about the CDF. This is our own idea, because it is hon. Members who pushed the Government to allow the introduction of the CDF. We are happy that it is successful. The President consented to the introduction of the CDF, which is very good. Looking at what the CDF has done today in the constituencies, it is very clear that the Minister for Finance should set aside more funds for the CDF. He should raise the percentage from 2.5 per cent to almost 10 per cent. Our constituencies have benefited. Health centres and schools have been built and bursaries have been given to needy students in secondary schools, tertiary colleges and universities. It is time the Government raised the CDF allocation. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity, also to support the Presidential Speech, which was presented in this House. I have been in this House for long, but I have not seen a Speech that really covered as many parts of our economy like the one that was delivered by the President during the Official State Opening of Parliament. I congratulate the President and I thank him for being able to touch on most of the areas that we thought of. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, anybody who would want to raise an argument about the growth of our economy would just do it for the sake of it. It is now very clear that even those who do not like the Government or the President, agree with us that the development pace in this country has never been like it is today. This includes hon. Members in the Opposition. The Bible says: "You have eyes, but you do not see". it is right for us to tell those who want to oppose the Government that they have eyes, they see, but they pretend that they do not see. The truth is that development has been felt in this country. It has literally been felt in every constituency. If anybody says that there is no development, then he or she should tell us what he or she has been doing with his or her CDF money, which is also part of the development. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, our economy has improved in many areas and I am now very proud to say that I am a Kenyan. Even in Nairobi City, where I am an elected hon. Member, you have seen the difference. Trees have been planted and the City is beautiful. We should allow this Government to stay in office for another five years and there will be a remarkable difference. If within three or four years a lot of difference has been felt and seen by every Kenyan, then how much more will happen in the next five years? I congratulate the President, the Government and all those who have been involved in the development of this country. The growth rate of our economy has improved from 5.8 per cent to about 7 per cent, which I believe very soon, as the President once said, should be heading to 10 per cent. In all the years that we have been here, we have been looking for money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Nowadays we tell them: "We need the money, but we will not die if you do not give it to us; we will still move on". We have been operating with 95 per cent of our own revenue in this country. That is very great achievement within a very short time. I believe very soon, Kenya will be a donor country rather than a country that is looking for donors. We will be donating money to other countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, later this year, we will be holding the general elections. However, I am surprised that some people are doing pre-election campaigns even before April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 303 seats are declared vacant. As I was driving towards Westlands, I saw a very big billboard belonging to a Presidential candidate on whatever ticket and yet seats have not yet been declared vacant. The campaign period has not been declared. Why are people being allowed to do pre-election campaigns? I want to urge the Nairobi City Council to remove that billboard because it is not yet time for people to erect billboards to advertise that they are contesting the various seats. We all know that there will be contestants for the Presidency and for parliamentary seats, but why should somebody erect a billboard advertising that he is contesting for the Presidency when campaigns have not been officially declared? Elections have not been announced and there are no vacant seats. So, the people who have erected billboards should remove them immediately. I want to ask the Nairobi City Council to remove those billboards before they are removed by members of the public. Seats for Members of Parliament, the one for the President and wards for councillors are not vacant. So, let us follow the rules and procedures. Let other people not take advantage of others.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Mr. Omondi?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Assistant Minister on the Floor is misleading this House. He is saying that people should not campaign now when he, himself, came to my constituency and campaigned against me very vigorously!
That is not a point of order.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, by now, every hon. Member knows what a point of order is! Those hon. Members who do not know what a point of order is should be taken for training. It appears that, even after four years, some people do not know what a point of order is. I was saying that the rules should be observed.
I think the hon. Member just wants to waste my time! I have very little time! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a very persistent problem in my constituency. I have talked about it for many years. The garbage of this City is dumped at Dandora. My people in Dandora Phase II are dying because of that garbage. I have appealed to the Minister for Local Government and the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, but nothing has been done. What remains now is for me to tell my people to stop that dumping by force. Although I am in the Government, I will be forced to stop any further dumping of garbage in Dandora. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let people be warned that, from now henceforth, I am prepared to stop any more dumping of garbage in Dandora. Garbage is collected from all over the City and dumped in Dandora. My people are dying from diseases caused by garbage. They dump all sorts of garbage such as syringes, dead dogs--- Name it! There are about 5,000 scavenger birds. There are also about 5,000 boys. That has got to stop. I will now use force to stop that, if the Ministers concerned and Nairobi City Council do not come to my aid. I also want to appeal to the President to intervene in that matter. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a problem of squatters in the City. We have many squatters living in the slums. They live in very pathetic conditions. They do not even know who are the owners of the land they reside on. They are frequently evicted from those parcels of land. It is time for the Minister for Lands to intervene in that matter. We should issue letters of allotment to those squatters. The law stipulates that, once you have lived on a piece of land for 12 304 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 years, that land belongs to you. We must look after the squatters of this country, particularly in Nairobi. We have very many squatters. We have built schools for them and provided them with water using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money. We have also provided them with big street lights to light up the slums. Squatters deserve development because they are also taxpayers like everybody else. We are also constructing for them roads using the District Roads Committees (DRCs) and CDF money. The only thing remaining is to issue them with letters of allotment to show that, that land belong to them. That way, we shall deal with the colonial masters, Asians and those who grabbed that land, irrespective of whether there were people living on it or not. The Commissioner of Lands should not declare that those parcels of land are vacant because those shanty houses are never shown on the maps. It is high time for shanties to be indicated on our maps. That way, the squatters can be given letters of allotment. They are the majority in this City. About 70 per cent of the population of Nairobi resides in the slums. We should issue them with letters of allotment to confirm that they own those parcels of land. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy that security is improving. But I also want to say that we should not arrest our people haphazardly on the pretence of looking for members of the Mungiki sect. While I do not agree with the Mungiki at all, I am against haphazard arrests. There are incidents where people who are looking for jobs are arrested. I urge the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of State for Adminstration and National Security to stop haphazard arrests on the pretence of arresting those who belong to banned groups. I am happy that security has improved. But it is also important to equip all the police stations, including those which have been built using the CDF money. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. First of all, I would like to commend the President for the Speech that he gave on 20th March, 2007. I would like to touch on a few points that he spoke about. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to free primary education, I would like to say that, while the move is commendable, there are many problems facing it. For example, facilities in our schools are over-stretched. There are very few classrooms to cope with the large enrolment in our schools. Although many hon. Members have built more classrooms using the CDF, the problem still persists. On that note, I wish to request the Government to double or triple the CDF in the next Budget. It has played a big role in alleviating the problem of lack of facilities. We have a shortage of teachers. We have very few teachers compared to the high numbers of pupils that have enroled in our primary schools. That has become a burden to teachers. Teachers are unable to mark their books. So, many pupils are learning without any supervision from the teachers. If you check pupils books, you will find they are not marked because it is very difficult for one teacher to teach a class of 80 students and mark their books. I urge the Government to employ more teachers to alleviate that problem. There is a drop in the performance of exams in our public primary schools. In the last three years, private schools have done well because they have restricted the number of pupils to be admitted in their schools. Our public schools have performed poorly because of those problems. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, our secondary schools have not been performing well because of admitting pupils who are not taught properly. Those who join Form I are not prepared. In my constituency, most secondary schools use teachers who are employed by the board of governors. Most of those teachers are "O" level school leavers. How do you expect Form IV leavers to teach secondary schools? That compromises the standards of education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to thank the Government for rural April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 305 electrification. It has done well and most areas now, either have electricity or the equipment is being taken there. By so doing, I am sure that in the course of time, many areas will have electricity and small scale industries will spring up. On the communication sector, you will realise that there has been a big growth. In 2003, the number of mobile telephone subscribers stood at about 2.5 million. As we speak now, it has gone up to about 8.5 million subscribers. Internet users have increased from about 1.5 million at the beginning of 2003 to about three million. This is a good improvement and it shows that there has been growth in the telecommunication sector. On the building side, there is the fibre optic system which is being undertaken right now. The process of construction may begin very soon, maybe, in the next month. On the terrestrial side there is a fibre optic cable which is being laid all over the country. What will be the effect of this? This means that we will be doing connectivity all over the country up to the rural area and there will be access to all wananchi all over the country. If this happens, it will be possible to create jobs in the rural areas by setting up information communication technology (ICT) villages, which are in the process of being set up now. Last week, we had a function in Nakuru of setting up the ICT villages. If this is done, back office operations will start and information dissemination to the rural community will improve. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of insecurity, I really do not want to add much because it is so clear that insecurity in the country has risen. As we have noticed even in the headlines today, there is a problem which is immense in Mt. Elgon which will be coming for debate later. However, I realise that the police have either failed in their duties or there is something that has gone wrong. If you look at most places, you will find police concentrating on petty crimes. If you go to the rural areas, police are busy chasing people up and down because of drinking. You will find that in most cases, they arrest people who they find on the way who are not drunk, yet you find that the real thugs or bandits are not pursued. I would like to urge the police to look at this matter and ensure that security is improved. My main issue is the sugar industry. I represent a population which entirely relies on sugar and there is a danger. When we took over the Government in 2003, a tonne of sugar-cane cost Kshs2,015. Mid that year, the amount paid per tonne reduced to Kshs1,750. As we speak now, payment to the farmers has slightly gone up to Kshs2,100. If you look at it over the four years, you will realise that the farmer has lost. He has lost a great deal compared to other cash crops where you find that the growth in earnings has gone up twice or thrice. The sugar-cane farmer has lost too much during this period. We have a big problem! We have had safeguards on Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Sugar from the COMESA has been imported into the country for all these years but we have had a limit which we accept every year. Come March, 2008, this safeguard agreement will be terminated. When that happens, it means that sugar coming from outside will do so freely and in any quantity. You will realise that sugar coming from outside is very cheap. It is less than half the cost of what we are buying it at, in this country. When that happens, I see danger written ahead. It is a very big problem! Six million Kenyans depend on sugar farming. If this is allowed to happen, six million farmers are going to lose income. If it happens, even if we gave them free primary school education or rural electrification, it will be difficult for those people to survive. We saw it in the cotton industry when mitumbas were allowed to come into this country. Even those who were working in the textile industries stopped buying clothes made in the industries and ended up buying mitumbas . I have asked my farmers: "If sugar came in at Kshs25 a kilo, would you buy that sugar or Mumias sugar?" All have said that they would buy the sugar that costs Kshs25 per kilo. So, there is a major problem here. It is going to cause problems in terms of jobs and income. The Government 306 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 must look into this issue. I wonder what the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are doing about this. It is something that must be addressed so that instead of the safeguard expiring in March, 2008, we extend the period for, maybe, another two years, as the Government looks into this matter. We have realised that most of the sugar industries in this country are owned by the Government, apart from Mumias Sugar Company. We do not see any initiative that the Government has taken to revamp these industries or revitalise them so that they can be able to offer products like electricity, manure or gas. Nothing has been done and there is great fear that if we do not watch out, maybe, by the end of next year, the whole of Western and Nyanza Provinces will be down economically. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to urge the Government not to ignore this because it is going to be a very serious campaign issue. If the sugar industry is not looked into, six million farmers who may comprise five million or so voters will be affected. I urge the Government to look into this matter seriously. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make my remarks on the Presidential Speech. Allow me to join those who have spoken earlier in congratulating the President for the very well prepared and elaborate Speech that he delivered to this House during the Official Opening. Good as the Speech was, in my opinion, I think it was misplaced. The President himself has in the past accused the Opposition of behaving as if elections are coming tomorrow. I think he has fallen into the same trap. He behaved as if elections are coming tomorrow; trying to give an account of himself instead of concentrating on issues affecting this country. That is a Speech that the President should have given when he is launching his campaign later this year. In fact, I would like to advise him to keep that same Speech and read it again when he launches his campaigns towards the end of the year. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was part of the team that went out there to campaign for this Government and I did it so vigorously. I know that Kenyans elected this Government on the basis of the promises that we made to them. The President, realising that his time is lapsing and most of those promises have not been fulfilled, the Government has now resorted to diversionary tactics. We promised the youth of this country that we will give them jobs. To be very specific, we said we will give them 500,000 jobs every year. When the President was delivering his Speech here, other than just mentioning the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), he said nothing in regard to giving our youth jobs. He said nothing! I have gone through the Speech; I listened to him. He avoided that completely. I expected that this being his last year in Office, he would come here and tell us: "This is the number of youth we have employed, although it may not be the targeted figure of 500,000 job a year---". He should also give us reasons why he could not achieve that figure. However, you will agree with me that instead of the youth being employed, there has been a lot of retrenchment going on in the Government. The youth out there have not forgotten this particular promise. I would like to tell His Excellency that a promise is a promise! If this particular promise is not fulfilled, then he is going to face the wrath of the youth come election time in December, 2007. We are waiting for him at the ballot box so that we can ask him about the jobs he promised us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, unemployment is one of the biggest problems in this country, and yet this Government does not seem to have a clear-cut policy on reducing it. If we do not address the issue of unemployment amongst the youth, then we are going to continue experiencing the insecurity that we are experiencing now. All the crimes we are now seeing are April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 307 executed by the youth who have to find alternative ways of putting food on their table. Therefore, for us to solve the problem of insecurity, we have to address the issue of unemployment amongst our youth. The other issue I would like to comment on is corruption. I know that many hon. Members have talked about it. We all remember very fondly when the President proclaimed that he was going to run an administration that will have zero-tolerance to corruption. I want to state here that this Government is only giving lip service to the fight against corruption. My opinion, and I think that I share this opinion with very many Kenyans out there, is that corruption has increased. It is much more than it used to be during the Nyayo Era. That is a fact. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, appointment of more judges will not help to solve the corruption menace in this country. They told us that they are appointing more judges so that they can reduce corruption. How many corruption-related cases have they prosecuted since this Government came to power? We all remember vividly that in the Anglo Leasing Scandal, a few Ministers and top civil servants were fired. When they thought that it had got out of people's minds, some of them were reinstated. For those who were not reinstated, their positions are still vacant. How do you explain to the country why the Ministry of Lands has not had a substantive Minister for all these months? It only has an acting Minister. I am sure they are just waiting for a time to reinstate those Ministers that they fired. They should just go ahead and do it because we know that is their game plan. Corruption is very rampant in this country. There is a businessman I used to know during the KANU days and I remember when we were campaigning for hon. Kibaki, I met him somewhere in the streets - he is a dubious businessman - and he told me: Nyinyi piganeni huko, which means "you fight there". He went on to tell me: "When you win that thing, you will find me in State House before you get there." Indeed, I met him a few weeks ago and asked him how his business was doing. He told me it was doing very well. He then asked me, "Do you know why? It is because the Ministers during Nyayo time were satisfied with Kshs50 million, Kshs10 million or Kshs5 million. Hawa ni wazuri sana. They want to pull deals of Kshs1 billion, Kshs500 million and so on." That is just an indication that corruption is rampant in this country---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member, who used to be an Assistant Minister, in order to impute improper motive on the part of the Ministers of this Government by alleging that his friend, who used to deal with them, is using Government Ministers? Could he, please, substantiate his remarks?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is nothing to substantiate here. I am telling you what we hear on the streets. I am just quoting to you, verbatim, what I heard on the streets. I know he is just trying to derail me. The issue of tribalism was raised in this House, and I am happy that the Standard
covered it very well---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member in order to make a presentation that is based on hearsay by telling this House that Ministers are taking billions of shillings? This is a matter that will go down on record here as having been said by him and yet we know that we do not come here to project hearsay. We come here with facts and figures. Honestly, is he in order to project hearsay in this House?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Order, Mr. Khaniri! Do you have your facts? 308 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007
Mr. Khaniri, you are saved by lack of time, but I rule you out of order.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President for the Speech which put on record the achievements of this Government not only over the last one year, but over the last four years. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important to know that jobs are quantified. Some people's notion of a job is when one gets a salary at the end of the month. Their notion of a job is to be employed by company X in Nairobi, Mombasa, Mumias or wherever. One should ask oneself what the objective of a job is. For our youth, it is to get a livelihood. It is to earn revenue so that they can sustain their livelihoods and those of their young families and make their lives better in the process. In that context, whatever effort has been made to ensure that young people generate income through their own initiatives and not necessarily to wait for a letter of appointment is, indeed, a move that can be quantified as creation of jobs. That is exactly what it is. In fact, that is how it is even in countries that have developed beyond ourselves. For as long as an environment that can enable young people generate income has been created, you can go ahead and quantify that as creation of jobs. In that context, yes, this Government has generated more than 500,000 jobs, in any given year, as it promised before coming to power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kenyans have to wake up to the challenge of generating more and more income. This income has to grow. So far, our income has grown beyond 6 per cent as was projected in the President's Speech. However, we can do better than that. The only unfortunate thing here is that we tend to be extremely traditional. Every Kenya will struggle to get a piece of land. Yes, it is important to have land, but it is not elastic. We tend to think that we can only generate wealth in the traditional ways. You will find people applying for tenders, but only one company will win. You will then see them go for alternative means of generating income and sometimes they end up committing crimes, for example, robbing the people who have worked honestly to generate income for themselves and hence, improve the economy of this country. There is one area where Kenya is lagging behind tremendously. We only think of Kenya as a land mass. However, we have, along the ocean, more than 300 miles. From Lamu to Vanga, we have 200 nautical miles that go into the Indian Ocean. People from neighbouring countries sail into our waters, harvest fish, process it and, probably, sell it back to Kenya, without our knowledge. We, as a country, have noted that we make the least use of our territorial waters. That is a challenge to Kenyans. The Somalis; with all their problems, are making use of their territorial waters. They own marine vehicles. They do a lot of fishing. They export goods from one part of their country to another. They are making a fortune. They are improving their economy. Our other neighbour, Tanzania, is also making use of her portion of the Indian Ocean. They have boats that sail from one port to another, transporting people and goods. There are more fishermen owning boats. The story is the same all around the African Continent. If you go to South Africa, it is even doing more than us. They are, probably generating as much wealth for their country from the ocean as they do from land. Kenyans have got to wake up to the reality that wealth can be generated from their waters. The interesting thing here is that we do not need a title deed to own a piece of the ocean. It is open to every Kenyan. You will not cross into somebody's land or water area, neither will you be charged for trespassing or squatting. All we need to do is to be greater entrepreneurs and make use of the ocean. It is not only fish that is in the ocean, but there are also minerals. Many countries make use of their waters for leisure. Leisure boats sailing from Lamu to Vanga or Mombasa to Wasini, and April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 309 other activities will definitely attract tourists. Some tourists will, probably travel from their countries just to come for a boat ride and the lake activities. There are boat rides in the oceans of countries like Seychelles and Mauritius. We need to wake up to that challenge. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also need to wake up even to the challenge that wealth can be generated from the skies. We seem to be looking down at the hard land. We seem only to see what we are stepping on. However, there is also wealth in the skies. This country is taken as one of the best developed in the Continent of Africa. But when we look at the gap between ourselves and South Africa, and a few other countries, we observe that we have per capita, fewer light aircrafts than South Africa. Kenyans have less than 300 registered small aircraft. That is a very small number. We may say that they are very expensive, but we have not talked to our bankers. Let us go and talk to them, so that we may fly, not only in Kenya for tourist activities, but even ourselves as Members of Parliament. We are too busy to wait for scheduled aircraft. It is possible for us to do so. We tend to think that certain activities are beyond our capabilities. However, we shy away from our bankers and just wait for our meagre salaries thinking that it will assist us in getting into economic activities to improve our lifestyle. Neighbouring countries like Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania recognise that Kenya is the hub of flights in the sub-region. If we owned our own small aircraft, or people took the challenge, we would, probably lease fewer from South Africa. We are currently leasing as many as we own from South Africa. We are paying dearly and losing a lot of foreign currency. We, as Kenyans, need to take the challenge ourselves and, in the process, improve our economy tremendously. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is one point I want to comment on; the problem of dishonesty in the way we live as Kenyans, generally. There is a tendency to misinform at all levels. Tomorrow, I will give a Ministerial Statement on the causes of accidents, but I could touch on a small element of it. There is a tendency in Kenya to point fingers at the wrong person, may be to amuse oneself or to achieve another objective. For example, newspapers would like to sell more copies by misinforming the public. I hope they will not write something bad on me for no good reason because this is the truth. When we have accidents on the roads and people die, the first question they ask is: Where is Mr. Mwakwere? Then they say, the Minister is sleeping on the job. Actually, the people writing are the ones who are sleeping on the job. They do not know their own law. They do not know the Traffic Act. They do not know what is around them. They do not read, but go by hearsay. In the process, they misinform the public. When we ask them what are the causes of accidents, they will tell us, it is human error, nature of the road and unserviceable vehicles. The Ministry of Transport only regulates. It does not fall into any of those realms which contribute to causes of accidents. I will make a Ministerial Statement and I hope they will understand. I believe they will all be here tomorrow afternoon. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the President's Speech. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of our colleagues on the other side have criticised the Speech given by the President as a campaign gimmick. It is understandable because generally, it has clearly stated the facts with regards to the achievements of his Government over the last four years; achievements which they are not very happy about. The Speech also provided the direction this country is to take economically within the remaining period of his term, now and in the future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this economy is growing. Many of us are complaining that it is not translating directly into the pockets of the ordinary Kenyan. But there are many things which this Government is doing which an economy that is not growing would not be able to 310 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 achieve. Today, many Kenyans are not doing fund-raising for the sake of development of schools and other institutions. Today, Kenyans are not paying school fees for primary education. Today, many Kenyans are benefiting from various devolved funds that are going to the grassroots. All these, somehow, indirectly, are translating to the enrichment of this country and the citizenry. Therefore, the question of saying this economy is not growing and that it is a political gimmick, does not arise. The macro-economic indicators in this country and the management of the economy has attracted donor support substantially. In the last few weeks, many donors have given this country a shot in the arm by providing substantial donor support to this economy. That is an indicator of confidence in the management of economic affairs of this country. The people's lives have tremendously improved. The agricultural sector has also improved. Livestock, though not to the levels of our expectations, is also growing. Corruption exists, but is slowly coming down. The last big scam being the Anglo Leasing scandal. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding education, the free primary education in this country has achieved a lot and many children are now going to school, especially in marginalised areas. Improved infrastructure in marginalised areas through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) has tremendously contributed to improved quality education in many areas, especially North Eastern Province where there was no comparison between that area and the rest of the country in terms of performance. In the exams that were done both in primary and secondary schools last year, North Eastern Province came to the national league to compete with the rest of the country in terms of performance. That was brought about because of the improved infrastructure in the area. However, the free primary education and secondary education to some degree, is being hampered by lack of staff. Many people are today proposing that we should probably extend the free education to secondary level. I believe in the improvement of what we have first, before we can move forward. While we consider the extension of free education to secondary level, it would be prudent in the short-term to recruit more teachers for the free primary education to improve quality. I do not think that without properly concretising the provision of free primary education, it is wise to move forward to secondary education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the Constitution review, while it is important to lay the necessary constitutional framework for the review of the Constitution, minimum reforms have been suggested by many of us. They should just be that; minimum. We should try to avoid the temptation to rob Kenyans of their right to write their own Constitution. This House has an obligation to Kenyans to ensure that, that process remains with Kenyans. It should not be hijacked by hon. Members of Parliament and the civil society. The involvement of the civil society at this stage is important but it is also important to first dialogue as Members of Parliament before we invite the civil society. Therefore, we should put in place the necessary framework for future comprehensive reforms and keep the minimum reforms to a minimum as stated. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I commend the President for initiating the Women Enterprise Development Fund. I think it will even be more effective in improving the economy of this country than the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. Everyone knows that money that is in the purse of the mother will more likely end up on the table of the family than the one in the pocket of the father. Therefore, that money is going to support many small businesses that are run by our mothers in the rural areas. I highly commend that and the earlier we start it, the better. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I support the efforts being made by Kenya through our President in mobilizing international and regional support for the resolution in the Somalia conflict, I think the military intervention by Ethiopia was probably the worst action that April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 311 was taken in finding a lasting solution to the Somalia conflict. I believe that a solution to the problem in Somalia lies in the hands of the people of Somalia. Today, Somalia is worse than it was before Ethiopia's military intervention. The intervention was a threat not just to Somalia but to the whole region. The earlier we find an exit solution for Ethiopia, the better. Kenya cannot ignore what is happening in Somalia. We are an interested party and it affects us more than Ethiopia. Therefore, we should continue playing that lead and moderate role. We were making serious and positive steps in finding a solution. The question of the military intervention and the support we gave was a mistake. I believe the earlier Ethiopia gets out of Somalia, the better for Somalia and the region. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the livestock sector is key to the livelihood of the people in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). We have not given sufficient attention to that sector. Although we have revived the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), the subsequent droughts and other disasters, like the outbreak of the Rift Valley Fever in some parts of North Eastern Province have seriously affected livestock levels. I think it is important for us to consider providing some funds for re-stocking so that we can raise enough livestock levels to be able to supply the KMC depot that is being opened in that region. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I would like to comment on the East African Political Federation. The road to political federation is filled up with a lot of mines. We have to be very careful when taking Kenyans along that road. Economic and socio-cultural co-operation is very much possible in this region but we have a lot of differences as countries and we need to be careful before we take Kenyans down that road. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, asante sana kwa kunipa nafasi hii kuchangia Hotuba ya Rais. Hotuba hii ilikuwa na mpango mzuri sana na ikiwa yale aliyoyasema yatatekelezwa, nchi hii itaendelea mbele. Katika Hotuba ya kwanza ya Rais mwaka wa 2003, mimi sikukubaliana nayo kwa sababu mara nyingi tunasomewa Hotuba nzuri ya Rais na baadaye hakuna vitendo. Lakini leo ninaunga Hotuba ya Rais mkono kwa sababu baada ya Hotuba ya 2003 mimi nimeridhika na vitendo vyake na mipango yake katika nchi hii. Kwa muda wa miaka michache; minne sasa, tumeona maendeleo. Nchii hii imekuwa na maendeleo mengi. Maendeleo yamefanyika kila mahali; kila eneo la uwakilishi bungeni na katika kila kijiji. Ni lazima tuseme ukweli ukifanyika. Hakuna haja tukatae vitendo ambavyo vinafanyika mbele yetu. Mtanisamehe kwa sababu nina homa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, tangu tuliponyakua Uhuru, sisi bado hatujaona maendeleo ambayo yamefanyika Turkana kwa wakati huu. Kwa muda mfupi wa miaka mitatu, katika kila eneo la Ubunge kuna miradi mingi ambayo inafanyika kupitia kwa LATF, CDF na idara za Serikali. Miradi kama hiyo haikufanyika hapo mbeleni, lakini inafanyika sasa wakati wa Serikali ya Rais Kibaki. Ni lazima tutambue kwamba Rais Kibaki ni mtu aliye na ujuzi wa kazi. Yeye si mtu ambaye anaweza kufundishwa jinsi ya kuongoza nchi hii, kwa sababu yeye alishiriki katika vita vya Uhuru, amekuwa Mbunge, Waziri na hata Makamu wa Rais kwa miaka kumi. Ni lazima tutambue kwamba yeye ataendelea kuongoza nchi hii na kuleta maendeleo zaidi. Sioni ni kwa nini tunakataa kutambua ukweli au kukubali vitendo vinavyodhihirisha ukweli. Yale mengine ambayo yanaendelea hapa si ukweli na si demokrasia. Kitu kinachoendelea hapa ni kujitakia makuu. Ni ukabila mtupu. Wakati huu tunachosikia katika kila kituo cha habari ni kila mtu kujitakia makuu na kueneza ukabila. Wakati huu, kila kabila linataka kuchagua Rais wake. Hiyo itawezekana kweli? Tukiendelea hivyo, Kenya itakuwa ya makabila au ya watu wote? Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningewaomba Wabunge wenzangu, na Wakenya wote kwa jumla, watambue ukweli; wawe wazalendo na tutambue ile kazi ambayo Serikali inafanya kwa wakati huu. Hakuna maana sisi tukatize maendeleo ambayo yamepangwa kuijenga nchi hii. 312 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 Ninaamini kwamba tukimpatia Rais Kibaki kipindi kingine cha miaka mitano huo hautakuwa muda mrefu. Kwa nini tumnyime miaka mitano? Tumpatie yeye nafasi aongoze kwa miaka mingine mitano, kwa sababu tunaona ishara ya maendeleo ambayo amepanga kutekeleza, ambayo yataifaidi nchi hii. Tukimkatiza wakati huu, tutarudi nyuma na kuanza kutafuta tena jinsi ya kwenda mbele. Kwa hivyo, hakuna maana ya Rais kustaafu baada ya miaka mitano peke yake na hali anafanya kazi nzuri. Jambo la maana ni kutambua kwamba sisi ni Wakenya na tumheshimu kiongozi wetu ambaye tuko naye wakati huu. Hii ni kwa sababu sisi sote, makabila 42, ni kitu kimoja. Yule mmoja atakayechaguliwa kuwa kiongozi, awe Turkana au Msomali, inafaa tumuunge mkono. Tukifanya hivyo, tutapata baraka na kufanya maendeleo ya kweli. Kutambua na kumheshimu kiongozi ambaye yuko wakati huu, ambaye alipata uongozi kimiujiza--- Watu wengine hawakumtarajia apate uongozi, lakini kwa miujiza ambayo ilifanywa na Mungu kupitia kwa wananchi, alishinda urais. Kwa hivyo, yeye yuko na baraka. Tukiheshimu uongozi wake na kumuunga mkono, tutapata baraka, amani na maendeleo. Jambo tunalopaswa kutambua ni hili; Serikali imepiga hatua kubwa kimaendeleo. Ni lazima tukubali hilo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, jambo ambalo ningeomba Serikali irekebishe ni usalama. Hii ni kwa sababu usalama ni jambo kubwa. Tunatka kila kijiji kipate usalama wa kutosha. Hawa askari wa kibinafsi wanatakikana kufunzwa vizuri na kupewa bunduki, kwa sababu majambazi wanatatiza wananchi katika kila kijiji. Wanaenda kwa vijiji na kufanya vile wanavyotaka bila hatua yoyote kuchukuliwa ya kuokoa wale wanaoishi huko. Kwa hivyo, ni vizuri sisi tuige ile mpango iliyoko katika nchi nyingine kama vile Uganda. Kule wameweka vigilantes kila mahali na wanawapatia bunduki. Serikali ikifanya mpango bora wa kuwafunza askari wa kibinafsi na pia kuwapa silaha, tutaimarisha usalama. Hata wale askari wa kuchunga benki ni lazima wapewe bunduki. Usalama ni muhimu sana ndani na nje ya mabenki. Jambo la pili ambalo ningeomba Serikali iangalie kwa makini ni hali ya barabara. Ninajua kwamba Serikali ina mipango ya kurekebisha barabara, lakini inafanya hivyo pole pole. Ni vizuri kama Serikali ingelitilia jambo hili maanani zaidi. Kwa mfano, kama kampuni fulani imepewa kandarasi ya kutengeneza barabara, isiwe tu ni kampuni moja. Ni vizuri kandarasi zitolewe kwa kampuni tofauti tofauti. Kwa mfano, kampuni moja ipewe kandarasi ya kurekebisha barabara kutoka Nairobi hadi Naivasha, na nyingine iendelee na kazi hiyo kutoka hapo hadi Nakuru. Ikipangwa hivyo, barabara nyingi zitarekebishwa. Kwa hayo machache, ninaunga mkono.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Presidential Address, which was delivered here on the 20th of last month. I stand to support the Address since it covered numerous issues that affect Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Address was not founded on false hopes. It had very clear targets. It also enumerated a number of achievements that have been witnessed at every corner of this country. It also had very good strategies, if they are employed very well. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, all cannot be achieved by the Government alone if it does not get the necessary support and goodwill from a number of players. Time and again, I remember very well the direction from the Chair and the top leadership in this country on how best, particularly the National Assembly, can act as a catalyst for development, and also provide visionary leadership if it remains focused. Unfortunately, over the last few years, something very bad has crept into this country, particularly after the referendum. That has mainly come from the leadership of this country, particularly hon. Members and those who aspire for certain positions in the Government. This country has a population of over 33 million Kenyans. It has several tribes. That was not very April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 313 prominent under the leadership of former President Moi. I am surprised that tribalism is being propelled by people who are seeking leadership positions in this country. It is very unfortunate. Even the El Molo people will, one day, want to hold leadership positions in this country. But if what we now see being propelled by individuals becomes the order of the day, it will be very unfortunate. This country will be in tatters. What we are doing now is not issue-based politics, but personalised and divisive politics that will not help Kenyans move forward. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to comment on a number of issues which this Government has achieved. I want to see how best I can articulate them, so that we can improve on them. The Government made a bold step and started the Free Primary Education Programme (FPEP). That programme has been viewed differently in various quarters. But any new initiative has teething problems. The shortage of teachers, classrooms and physical facilities in general are teething problems. I am sure those issues can be addressed. There are funds available beyond this Government - even from the donors. I am sure that, if we can marshal those resources, we can address even issues affecting secondary education so that this country can prosper. If we invest in education, we can address all the gaps we have in terms of development. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a number of hon. Members who spoke before me talked about the minimal amounts that are sent to constituencies for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF). Funding is never a problem. A sum of Kshs1 million is a good amount of money. But the question is: How best can we have those programmes sustained over time by communities? My focus is on how best we can sustain that Fund. Channelling funds directly to the youth will enable the Government create informal jobs. I am sure that is a good step towards the development of the youth, who form the bulk of our population. The Women Enterprise Development Fund (WEDF) is also a good initiative. Women form majority of the Kenyan population. They also form the backbone of our economy. Most of them are in the rural areas where they engage in farming and other household chores. I am sure the WEDF will improve the lives of ordinary Kenyans right from the household level, where a number of women are single mothers fending for their children with very little support or even none in some cases. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the Speech by His Excellency the President because there were clear figures on the progress of the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). It is worth noting that between 1963 and 2002, the total allocation for the REP was only Kshs6 billion. In four years, since the NARC Government took over the running of this country, Kshs7 billion has been utilised for the REP. That has opened doors for a number of people in this country. I would like to thank His Excellency the President for steering us to the road towards development. On the issue of Vision 2030 which envisages a 10 per cent growth over a period of 25 years, I would like to say that, that shows a leadership that is accountable and one that is geared towards development. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constitution-making process is not a Government or Opposition affair alone. We lost a new Constitution because of divisive leadership, which was bent on self interests. We closed ourselves in black boxes in November, 2005. It is unfortunate that we rejected that draft Constitution because we did not want to help Kenyans achieve a new Constitution. It is was not the Government that had contributed to that alone. My advice is this: For now, let us concentrate on the structures and processes that are expected to move forward the Constitution-making process. The content can follow later. It is like we are in agreement on both sides of the House that we all want minimum reforms. How best can we achieve that? We can achieve that by having goodwill from both sides of the House. We can reach an agreement on the way the process will be done. Let us not lose the Constitution-making process again because of political mileage, which a few people may seek. Elective positions are open for everybody. We 314 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 should guide Kenyans, so that they can have sustained growth, live in harmony and remain as one. I come from the North. A few hon. Members come from the lake. Others come from the Coast. But we are expected to build a visionary leadership which will help this country. Finally, my last comment is on corruption. Corruption is a much talked about issue, whether it is present or past. When we talk about corruption, people think it is the current corruption. But it also has to do with the past corruption. That has been a culture that has developed over time in this country. Quite a number of people who are rich, whether in political or business circles were, at one time or another, engaged in some corrupt practices, although that has not yet been proved. If we want to stem corruption, the leadership and the people of Kenyan should collectively attempt to deal with it. We should not tackle it as a Government project. The Government is the first stakeholder. But those who engaged in corruption should, as a sign of goodwill and good demonstration towards able leadership, return what they obtained from this country. We can add that to the billions that we are currently using from the taxpayers' money to develop this country. It is a collective responsibility and all us should take credit for dealing with it. It is easier to criticise than support any system. Let us root out corruption. We need to learn from past mistakes and help this country develop. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to make my contribution to the Speech by His Excellency the President which, I believe, was very innovative and actionable. I say it is innovative because it has incorporated new things that will help us, provided it is implemented in a manner that will achieve the objectives which are intended. The Speech was concise and clear. It leaves more room for those who will implement the stated policies. We know that the taste of the pudding is in the eating. The success of the new policies that His Excellency the President gave will be achieved in the implementation stage. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the idea of funding women is welcome. Sadly, it is intended for the women hawkers. We all know that majority of our women live in the rural areas. Therefore, I urge those who will be implementing this funding, to ensure that women throughout the country benefit without discrimination. Women in this country should organise themselves into small, but manageable units such as groups and co-operative societies, so that they undertake viable businesses that will generate income for them and create employment opportunities for our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the expansion of the Judiciary, it is very urgent and it is long overdue. It was really good that the President thought about it and gave it priority. However, in appointing the judges, I would urge the Government to appoint judges from every corner of this country in order to reflect the composition of our society. They should not concentrate these appointments on certain tribes or regions. This is because justice is the very basis of stability of the country. We should make sure that justice is fairly dispensed to avoid suspicion among our people. Injustice practices can ruin our country. I strongly believe the expansion of the Judiciary will hasten the administration of justice in this country. It is very punitive for us to arrest people and keep them for many years without them getting justice. We all know that if a person is arrested and detained for ten years before justice is administered, he will not be a normal person at the time he gets justice. He would have been traumatised. He would not even really relate the crime he committed to the judgement. So, expansion of the Judiciary is really welcome and necessary. On the quality of infrastructure, which the President talked about, it is also welcome. He also talked about promotion of social justice and equity as far as infrastructure is concerned. I know that in the current financial year which is ending in June this year, roads in 25 districts have not been well funded. They are now under the Road Maintenance Levy. They also belong to this country and they must be funded adequately. Such inequity must be discouraged because all April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 315 Kenyans pay taxes and they are entitled to good services. We should not discriminate any part of this country. As a matter of urgency, the Government should address the issue of roads classification in this country. Some roads do not benefit because they are downgraded. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, the Speech by His Excellency the President was general. However, on the question of security, I felt he should have been specific because of the clashes in Mount Elgon District. Innocent people are losing their lives. This is unacceptable in a civilised country. I believe the relevant authorities must address the land issue in the district. This is the issue which sparked off clashes. First of all, we must establish the root cause of these clashes. We also know that in the course of time, there are other ominous activities which keep on recurring to flare up clashes in that district. I urge those who are responsible for security to put more efforts and ensure that people in this country live in peace. Our people should not suffer unnecessarily. Mount Elgon District is a small district. I believe we have enough security officers who can quell these clashes. Therefore, we should not allow the situation to deteriorate further. If we allow the situation to prevail as it is now, there will be social disintegration as was witnessed during the MauMau days.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the question of corruption, we have talked about it for a long time. We cannot say our people engage in corruption because of poverty. This is because we have seen rich people receiving and giving bribes. Therefore, it is not a question of poverty, but greed for money. This is a social evil and we must fight it. It calls for an in-depth analysis to get to its roots. This is because laws alone will not help us curb it. If a law is not obeyed then it will not serve the purpose for which it was intended. We cannot deny the fact that our economy has improved. However, we must make sure that its benefits trickle down to those in the lowest echelon of our society. We know majority of Kenyans are poor. It is really shameful that we have a slum such as Kibera in this city. As I fly every weekend going to my constituency, I feel bad to see many Kenyans suffering in slums and other areas. They should not be suffering if our economy is improving and trickling down to them. With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. May I also take this opportunity to say one or two words about the President's Speech. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will start off by saying that for the very first time the President's Speech was very concise. It did not take very long. In the process, I think he left out the health sector that I would like to talk about. Throughout his Speech, he never mentioned anything about the health sector. However, we know that when the successes of the NARC Government will be written down, the health sector will get the highest marks. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we assumed power in 2003, the health sector was in shambles. That was the time when it was not easy to get even the basic medication in some of our biggest hospitals in this country. However, over a period of time, with very clear reforms that were set up in the health sector, right now you will find even the smallest and remotest health facility in the country, having essential drugs for the treatment of the most prevalent diseases like malaria et cetera. There are other reforms that we have undertaken in the health sector. I want to inform every 316 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 hon. Member of Parliament that we have given a go-ahead to all the district medical officers, that if they can get workers and post them to all the health facilities that have been built through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), the Ministry of Health, through its arm that distributes drugs, is going to give drugs and equipment to those health facilities. So, that is another area that we have had a lot of success. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, after the Structural Adjustment Programmes that really brought this country very many steps backwards in terms of manpower, for the very fast time after very many years, in the Ministry of Health, we have started employing health workers. The other area that we are proud of is that of transportation. We are now able to transport people from the peripheral health units to the centres using ambulances. I think, as I speak, every district and provincial hospital has a very reliable ambulance for the transportation of patients. There are so many other reforms that we have done in the Ministry of Health. However, I was a little disappointed because His Excellency the President did not mention that. Let me talk about what His Excellency the President mentioned. One of the areas that he talked about is education. I think there is nobody in this country who does not appreciate the great benefits that free primary education has brought in this country. What we are calling for right now - and His Excellency the President touched on it - is the twin issue of free secondary education and employment of more teachers. The President talked about affordable secondary education. My proposition would be that if the Government can allocate Kshs13,000 per student per year towards secondary education--- Why am I proposing Kshs13,000 per student? It is because that is the kind of money that students pay in day secondary schools. So, the bottom line is that, essentially, day secondary school education is going to be free. That is where the majority of our young boys and girls are learning. If that amount of money is allocated, and going by the figure of 1,000,000 secondary school students we have currently in our record, then we are talking about an additional allocation to the Ministry of Education of Kshs13 billion. In my view, that is a modest amount that we can put to the education of our youth. I was glad to hear the President mention that the economic growth rate this year is going to hit the 6 per cent mark. That is good news. The only challenge is that I think the time has come in this country, collectively and individually, for us to work out ways and means of how this vibrant growth that we talk about, can move and benefit the people in the lowest strata of our economy. I would like to see programmes put in place, where we can say that we are sharing in the improved economy with all the Kenyans of this country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we hear many of our leaders and those who aspire to be President talk about the majimbo system of governance, sometimes I wonder whether that is the cure of our problems in this country. Is that the cure of inequality or are we just going to transfer and devolve poverty to all through this majimbo system of governance? Are we, in effect, trying to find job opportunities for some leaders in this country, through the majimbo system? I would like somebody to convince me that the cure of the Kenyan problems including poverty, inequality and unfairness that we keep taking about, is the majimbo system of governance. I have not heard that, but I hope I will do so today, because my friend who keeps talking about the majimbo system, is in the House. How do we make sure that the poor and marginalised people living in slums and rural areas can also partake of this impressive economic growth rate? I think the place for us to start is agriculture. I am glad that a few reforms have been made in the agricultural sector, but we need to do more. The time has come when we should start thinking seriously whether this whole concept of liberalisation has been beneficial or more harmful to our farmers in this country, especially the small-scale peasant farmers. We have to start reviving some of the programmes that were good for this country in terms of agriculture. April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 317 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue that we must start addressing, as a way of tackling poverty, is how to attract investment in the rural areas. What do we need to do, so that anybody who wants to set up a factory does not need to run to Nairobi, but instead we encourage him or her to go to the rural areas? Can we do so by offering them free land and tax incentives or holidays? What is the answer? How do we get people to move away from towns to invest in rural areas? As a consequence, we will unclog our towns that are clogging with humanity. Not everybody who wants a job or livelihood has to move to urban areas. I think those are the important issues. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I would like to mention the issue of minimum constitutional reforms. I am on record as one of those who support and embrace the spirit of minimum constitutional reforms. I would like to add that I agree with the concept of dual citizenship. But I would like us to go a little further and have independent candidates. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for affording me this opportunity to join many of my colleagues who have spoken before me on the very important matter of His Excellency the President's Address to this august House, it being the last such function under the current Parliament. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is clear that a lot of what the President had to say was geared towards winning him a second term. It is so perfectly understood, including, perhaps, winning some votes as well for whichever party His Excellency the President would eventually choose as the vehicle that will enable him to seek the second term. I want to appreciate the fact that Dr. Kibunguchy, who I suspect was talking about me or, indeed, some other friends, because I looked around and I do not think there are many on this side who have been talking about a devolved Government. I want to convince him, because he is a very understanding hon. Member. First of all, the issue of devolution was exhaustively discussed at the Bomas of Kenya during the Constitutional Review Conference. If, indeed, he followed that process, the only issue was: How many regions are we going to end up with? We had a rough estimate of about 10 to 17 regions, and I am sure Dr. Kibunguchy will certainly belong to one such region. But, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, more importantly, it is clear to me that time has, indeed, come when Kenyans with one accord, will stand up to say: "There should be equitable distribution of national resources". There should also be equitable distribution of what I call mamlaka . I remember that we had to spend at least six months in Naivasha discussing between the Sudanese Government on the one hand and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on the other, where they had to really haggle, for days on end, until they were able to come to a conclusion on the matter of wealth sharing. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, even as we applaud the current trend in economic development which, by the way, unless it actually hits a minimum of 7 to 8 per cent, we cannot as a country, begin to realize growth in terms of job opportunities. But, of course, if we take over on this side, which is what we intend to do, the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be at a minimum of 10 per cent. It is happening next door in Tanzania, and we cannot really understand why we would be applauding 6 per cent GDP Growth. As I have said elsewhere, the whole world is moving in that direction. The only country in the world experiencing negative economic growth at the moment is Zimbabwe, for reasons which are clearly elaborated in the media on a daily basis and other countries that are coming from war situations, like Somalia. But beyond that, even as this Government chest-thumps itself for a 6 per cent GDP growth, it is important to realize that when we took over; some of us have a stake in this growth because I am still the NARC Member of Parliament for Mwingi North. His Excellency the President is the NARC Member of Parliament for Othaya. So, we had this shared vision of what it is that we 318 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 wanted to do to jump-start this economy. Clearly, this having happened, we intend to continue with this trend and be able to triple the effects and, indeed, the achievements that we are beginning to see now. Of course, at that time, we did not anticipate that, whereas in 2002 a kilo of sugar cost Kshs40, today it would cost Kshs100 or Kshs120. This tends to erode the benefit that would otherwise be associated with free primary education. Talking about free primary education, I also want to point out one fact, because Dr. Kibunguchy comes from Western Province. When I recently visited his part of the country, I realised that the pupil-teacher ratio was 1:120. Clearly, we did not envision that kind of a situation. The allowable ratio is 1:40 and a maximum ratio of 1:45. I am happy that the President did refer or, indeed, his Minister said that they are going to recruit 40,000 teachers. I still think that this Government should be bold enough to employ all the trained teachers that have gone through our teacher-training colleges in order to mitigate the effects of over-population in our schools. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you and I share some boundaries in Mwingi, and I am sure you appreciate that in Mwingi, for instance, we are understaffed by approximately 1,000 teachers. So, talking of 40,000 teachers and I am seeing my friend, hon. H.M. Mohamed, who is my senior in this House, I think he agrees that even in Garissa, they are facing serious under-staffing problems. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me address the problem of devolution. Looking at the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) allocation of 2.5 per cent today, can we imagine what would happen if every district--- In my view, it does not make any sense any more to create extra districts, because the districts as we knew them, have lost a lot of their significance. Because of the CDF arrangement, my proposal would be as follows: The Government should be bold enough and say that every constituency shall become a district. That will make sense from the point of view of planning so that we all know that every hon. Member has his own district. This will be an acceptable measure of devolution. Then, we should up the CDF contribution to a minimum of at least 15 per cent. That way, we will be able to get an equitable distribution of national wealth being felt at the grassroots level. Otherwise, what is happening is that, the so-called "economic growth" is just at the top. Those with the capacity to buy as much as they can at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) are laughing all the way to their banks. But the majority of our people who live in the rural areas are still very poor. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, 30th March, 2007, was the final day for the registration of voters for what is clearly a very historic year. My plea would be that, at least, the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) should extend the voter registration exercise to, perhaps, June. Even as we speak, many Kenyans stand disenfranchised on account of the fact that they were not able to access the necessary registration forms. Indeed, the forms were brought to Nairobi when the applicants were waiting in their villages to receive their identity cards. So, there is clearly a lot of dissatisfaction with the way this Government has acted in this matter of registration of its own citizens. I would rather prefer that the Kshs1 billion that the President talked about was, in the first instance, used to ensure that all the eligible Kenyan youth get their identity cards, which will enable them to register as voters. That would have been proper empowerment. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I cannot understand the logic behind the President's calculation that, out of Kshs1 billion, Kshs790 million will have to be accessed through banking institutions. How many of our youth are able to give the necessary collateral or security in order to be able to secure this funding? The Kshs210 million which is shared all over the country ends up being absolutely peanuts, and I will not be surprised if the youth in this country simply get Kshs4,000 or Kshs3,000 that the respective groups would have applied for and treat themselves to a party and think that this is some good fortune! I recall that in the early 1990s, a similar effort was actually made by the former President, only that, that time it was through a Harambee effort. What people ended up doing was getting this money and not really making any serious investment decisions. April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 319 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to applaud the management of Mumias Sugar Company. I wonder whether the Minister for Agriculture or, indeed, the Minister for Trade and Industry are aware that, come March, 2008, the safeguard measures that are a form of protection to the cane farmers, mainly in Western and Nyanza Provinces will be coming to an end. The effect of this is that there is going to be a disaster in the sugar growing areas of our country. I would like to see the Government taking this matter seriously, and begin to open discussion with COMESA, so that there will be an extension of the safeguard measures, otherwise we are going to see a massive collapse of an industry that is actually the source of the livelihood of so many of our people in Western Province and, as I said, in parts of Nyanza Province as well as Rift Valley Province. This is a matter which should be taken as seriously as is possible. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have just come from Isiolo, which neighbours my good friend's, hon. H.M. Mohammed, constituency. Since Rift Valley fever situation has improved, the Government should lift the ban on livestock trade. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Ahsante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika. Nami ningependa kusema kwamba ninaunga mkono Hoja juu ya Hotuba ya Rais kwa sababu, kufikia sasa, kuna mambo mengi ambayo tumeona yakiendelea. Sasa tuko huru kuzungumza tunavyotaka, na magazeti kuchapisha habari wanazotaka bila wasiwasi. Hali hiyo ya uhuru iko katika hali inayotakikana. Uhuru wa kuabudu uko katika hali ambayo ni ya maana sana katika taifa letu la Kenya. Ni kwa sababu hiyo nchi nyingine zimeweza kujua kwamba demokrasia inadumishwa katika nchi hii. Ningetaka tu kuongeza kwamba, tupoufurahia uhuru huo, ni lazima kuweko na utaratibu utakaotuwezesha sisi, kama wanasiasa pamoja na vyombo vya habari, kusawazisha hali katika shughuli zetu za kila siku. Tumeona mambo mengi yakibadilika, kwa mfano kuhusiana na uchumi. Ingawaje mwenzangu aliyetangulia kuzungumza alisema kwamba uchumi umekua kwa kiwango kidogo tu, ningependa kusema kwamba, kama isemwavyo, haba na haba hujaza kibaba, na kwamba hakuna safari ndefu isiyokua na hatua. Kwa kweli, tumepiga hatua. Sisi, kama viongozi na wakaaji katika nchi hii ya Kenya, tunastahili kuishukuru Serikali kwa yale machache yanayotendeka, tukiamini kwamba makubwa pia tutayapata. Tunapoona kwamba kuna maendeleo lakini hatuyatambui, na badala yake tunatamani makubwa tusiyonayo, tutakuwa tunakosa. Inafaa tushukuru kwa kile tulichonacho, tukiamini kwamba tutapata maendeleo zaidi. Uchumi umekua, na hiyo si siri. Kila mmoja ameliona jambo, na anaweza kulifurahia. Bw. Naibu Spika, ningependa kupendekeza kwamba kadri uchumi unavyokua - ni matarajio yangu kwamba utaendelea kukua zaidi - liwe jukumu la kila mwekezeji anayetaka kuanzisha viwanda afanye hivyo katika sehemu nyingine nchini badala katika miji mikuu. Sasa, umeme unapatikana katika kila sehemu humu nchini. Sehemu nyingi humu nchini zinasambaziwa umeme. Maji pia yanasambazwa kila mahali. Kwa hivyo, ningependa kupendekeza, kama walivyofanya baadhi ya Wabunge wenzangu, kwamba wale wanaotaka kuanzisha viwanda humu nchini wasifanye hivyo tu katika miji mikubwa bali pia katika miji midogo. Kufanya hivyo kutatusaidia. Viwanda vikianzishwa katika miji midogo, vijana wetu waliohitimu katika nyanja mbali mbali, wanapotafuta kazi, badala ya kwenda katika miji mikubwa, ambako itawabidi wakodishe nyumba ambazo watalipia kodi mbali na kununua chakula, wataweza kupata kazi katika vijiji na kulala nyumbani kwao huku pia wakifanya shughuli za kilimo. Kwa hivyo, hali ya maisha itaboreshwa zaidi kwa njia hiyo. Kama inavyosemwa, utalii umeendelea. Lakini, ningependa kuwafahamisha Wakenya kwamba katika dunia nzima, utalii ni sekta ambayo inaweza kupanua uchumi, si wa Serikali ama nchi tu bali pia ule wa watu binafsi. Ndio maana tumeamua kwenda katika kila sehemu nchini kuona yaliyopo ili tusambaze shughuli za utalii kote nchini. Hatutaki shughuli za kitalii ziwe tu 320 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 katika sehemu fulani. Tunataka kila mahali humu nchini pawe mahali ambapo watalii wanaweza kutembelea. Hivyo ni kusema kwamba wakaaji wa Kenya wanapofikiria kujenga hoteli, wafikirie kufanya hivyo katika miji tofauti tofauti. Watalii wako tayari kuitembelea miji hiyo, haswa wakati huu ambapo tumesema kwamba tutaenda katika sehemu kadha wa kadha kutengeneza ratiba ya vivuta watalii. Tungependa watu wajitokeze na waingilie biashara ya utalii kwa upande wa mahoteli na mambo ya kitamaduni. Ninaamini kwamba kwa njia hiyo, watu watajifundisha mengi na uchumi miongoni mwa watu binafsi utaimarika. Bw. Naibu Spika, tunahitaji kutilia mkazo mambo ya kilimo, haswa wakati huu uchumi unapoimarika. Ni lazima wakulima wapewe kipaumbele. Njia zote zitumiwe ili ukulima bora uweze kufanyika katika sehemu za mashinani, na wale wakulima waliojitolea wapewe vifaa na mbinu ambazo zitawawezesha kujitengenezea si vyakula tu bali pia vitu watakavyouza na kupata hela. Tukifanya hivyo, tutadumisha uchumi. Uchumi unapoimarika, inatakikana hali hiyo ionekane hata kule mashinani. Ni muhimu kumtambua mwananchi wa kule mashinani, na kufahamu kwamba naye anastahili kuuchangia uchumi wetu na aweze kupata faida kutokana na mchango wake. Watu wengi wanaotakiwa kufahamu jinsi uchumi wetu unavyoimarika wako kule mashambani. Wengi wa Wakenya hawaishi mijini, bali huishi mashambani. Kwa hivyo, tunapofikiria kuhusu mwelekeo unaofaa kuchukuliwa na nchi hii, ni lazima watu hao wapewe kipaumbele, na haswa zile kazi wanazofanya. Kazi muhimu zaidi ya watu wa mashambani ni kilimo. Kama nilivyosema, inafaa wawekezaji waanzishe viwanda katika sehemu za mashambani, na maswala ya kilimo yapewe kipaumbele. Pia ni vizuri tuweze kuzitumia raslimali tulizonazo kunyunyizia maji mimea yetu, haswa mboga, ili ukulima usiwe wa kuzalisha chakula tu bali pia uwe kama biashara ambayo italeta hela zitakazowasaidia wakulima wetu katika maisha yao na maisha ya jamii zao. Bw. Naibu Spika, nimefurahi kwamba tumepata elimu ya msingi bila malipo, ambayo imesaidia sana watoto ambao hawangeweza kupata karo. Kwa kweli, kuna uhaba wa walimu, lakini ni jambo la kufurahisha kusikia kwamba walimu zaidi wataajiriwa. Ni lazima jambo hili litiliwe mkazo ili elimu hii iwe ya faida, na watoto wengi waweze kuelimika. Zaidi ya yote, tunafaa kufikiria vile tutaweza kupata elimu bila malipo kwa shule za upili, kwa sababu kuna watoto wengi ambao wamekosa karo na hawawezi kuendelea na masomo yao. Unakumbuka kwamba kuna Hoja ambayo tulipitisha hapa ili kuwawezesha wanafunzi ambao wamefanya mtihani wa Kidato cha Nne na hawajamaliza kulipa karo, kupata hati zao bila wasiwasi.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to also comment on the Presidential Speech, which was delivered to this House. In a Speech of this nature, especially on an election year, we expect His Excellency to enumerate what he perceives as his successes during his tenure. In his Speech, the President mentioned a few areas that he perceives to be his successes. For example, the education sector which has been talked about by the hon. Members. There is no doubt that everybody celebrates the free primary education with all its teething problems. However, the Government still needs to invest more in the education sector. For example, on the issue of Early Childhood Education (ECD), there is a big problem. Who manages nursery schools in this country? We know that local authorities manage nursery schools to some extent, but a lot of ECD is still in private hands. For example, unqualified Standard Eight drop-outs just erect bandas, put up a few makutis and start teaching children. The Government should take over the management of the early childhood education because foundation matters in the whole run. If the Government has succeeded in offering free primary education, it should start from the ECD part, so that the foundation is proper as the child develops April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 321 towards secondary school. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, today, we have thousands and thousands of Kenyans who have graduated from our universities. Kenya is one of the most expensive countries as far as university education is concerned. The Parallel Degree Programmes are very expensive. We have thousands of teachers who are aspiring to advance themselves in the universities, but the charges are prohibitive. There are so many other workers who have saved a fortune and want to further their education in universities and colleges. Why are we locking out our Kenyans in the institutions of higher learning? This has caused a capital flight. People are now moving to India because university education has become cheaper there than it is in our country. We are losing millions and millions of dollars because people are looking for cheap education elsewhere. What is the problem? Why can the Government not subsidise university education and allow those who want to advance their education to do so? This is one area that we want the Government to look into. We would appreciate if something is done, so that our workers can study and continue to work because many of them are bread-winners and have a lot of obligations to fulfil. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in his Speech, the President said that since his Government came to power, it has invested Kshs8 billion in Coast Province. This is a lot of money and I want to equate it to the Kshs7.2 billion which was allocated to the CDF in the 2003 Financial Year. If you look at what that amount of money did nationally, you will find out that it is a lot. I wonder where this Kshs8 billion was invested in the Coast Province because I have not seen what it has done. Unless the President was talking about part of the northern corridor investment in Maji ya Chumvi. In that case, we appreciate. The northern corridor is a national project, which, although it is going to affect the lives our people, we cannot immediately relate it to the changes in the lives of the local people. We would have appreciated if this money would have been used to rehabilitate the Kenya Cashewnuts Factory, which could have directly benefited the farmers. We would have also appreciated if this money could have been used to rehabilitate the Mariakani Milk Scheme, because this could have directly benefited the farmers. We would have further appreciated if this money could have been used to rehabilitate the Bixa Factory, because this could have benefited the bixa farmers directly. We are telling the Government to re-focus its priorities in areas which are going to impact immediately on the lives of the people. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is where the controversy comes in. If somebody stands up and says that the economy of our country has grown, people will never accept this as long as the areas that directly affect their lives have never changed. I would like to urge the Government to re-focus its priorities and target priority areas that affect the poor people, the farmers and those people who sweat every day, so that their lives can improve. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to commend the Government because there has been a lot of infrastructural development going on, especially on the area of roads. The Government came up with a list of black-listed contractors; the so-called, "cowboy contractors". Today, we still see the same people being given jobs. I want to give an example of the Malindi-Mombasa Road in the Kilifi-Malindi Section, where the contract was awarded in November last year. The contractor was seen for only one week. He put some little bit of dust on the road and he has never been on site any more. We are told that Kshs1.8 billion has been given out for this road. When I went to the Minister, he was bold enough to tell me that he was sorry because that contractor is a crook. Why do you award contracts to crooks? I would like to urge the Government to stand by its word. If it has black-listed some contractors, they should not be awarded contracts. These contractors do not have the capacity to perform and if you force them to perform, they will do shoddy jobs and this is not what Kenyans 322 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 want. I urge the Government to do something on that issue. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want the Government to look into the land issue. Even if the economy grows at the rate of 20 per cent or anything else grows at any rate, land issues are key to our development. Today, the clashes in Mt. Elgon are based on land issues. Tempers are now cooling in Molo, but the issue has been land. Today, in Coast Province, temperatures are high due to land issues. I had the privilege of visiting Tanzania recently with regard to the on-going debate on the East African Federation, our brothers and cousins are saying that Kenyans have too many land issues and they will "export" them to them. The Government needs to do something about the land issues. There are no two ways about it. You can postpone it, but you cannot avoid it. The Government should formulate a land policy to reduce social tensions. If it does that, all the other things will follow suit. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to touch on an issue which has earned this Government some credit. Recently, we saw the rewriting of Kenya's history. We have seen the history of people who were almost forgotten such as the late Dedan Kimathi and many other heroes being revived. That way, Kenyans can celebrate their heroes and heroines who brought freedom to this country. The Government spent a good fortune to erect a statue of our hero. But on that issue, we must get a clarification from the Government. Even after erecting statues, many dependants of those former heroes are living in abject poverty. If you saw the television footage of the house where the wife of the late Dedan Kimathi lives, it is a pity. If you visit the family of the late Ronald Ngala today, it is a great pity. So, as much we want to rewrite our history, the Government should show some appreciation to those families whose kith and kin paid heavily for the freedom that we are enjoying today. It should not end by erecting statues all over our towns. We should look into the welfare of those families by rehabilitating them. That is because they will always live with the concept that, if their men were alive, they could have lived a better life. So, we want to remind the Government to continue on that line and do something about those families. Otherwise, we will be a laughing stock by erecting statues of our heroes, but when the cameras zoom on their homes, we will see dilapidated buildings and families living in abject poverty. That erodes what we are trying to do for our heroes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to touch on agriculture. I believe the Government has done a lot to improve food security in this country. But there is something about the Water Act, which I want the Government to look into.
Order! Your time is up.
Hon. Members, the Leader of Government Business will respond to this debate in another ten minutes. I want to ask Messrs. H.M. Mohamed and Ethuro to share the ten minutes. Let us start with Mr. H.M. Mohamed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the President's Speech. I support the President's Speech partially because of the agenda that he has set before us, and the achievements of this Government in the last four years. I think this House needs to appreciate that it takes a bit of time for the economy to grow and the impact to be felt. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, insecurity is one of the key issues. The President, on page 21 of his Address, has addressed this particular issue. I am happy because as I speak, the Minister in charge of internal security is here. The arid and semi-arid (ASAL) areas that have been given about Kshs12 billion require Kshs300 billion according to Government's own estimates. We demand affirmative action! The security along the borders, both international and national--- As we speak now, last week, the situation in the border between Pokot and Turkana in the southern part of the district was boiling. We demand action from Government officers. The Government policy and intention of securing our property and lives must be circulated to the officers who are on the ground; the district officers and chiefs. We are happy that the Minister has made sure that we have district officers in all our divisions. However, lives should not be lost. What is happening in Mt. Elgon should be happening in this country. We want action! Not a single Kenyan should die. We need to inspire people and they need to be confident.
Order, Mr. Ethuro! Could I request hon. Members in front of me to 324 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 consult in lower tones?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just the other day, the few Turkanas who have gone to school were murdered in cold blood by policemen in Eldoret. It is because of such things that we criticised the shoot-to- kill-on-sight order. One was a clinical officer while the other was a policeman.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Member to allege that there is anything like an order to shoot to kill? I have never, in any capacity, even as the Minister in charge of security, ever told anybody or any institution to shoot to kill. If he wants to believe newspaper propaganda, by all means, he should believe it!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is good for the Minister to clarify that issue. However, the truth of the matter is that those two people were murdered by policemen. Up to now, the Turkana people are demanding action.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to seek your guidance on how some of these matters are to be handled. Here is a Minister and an Assistant Minister in the same Government disagreeing. Could they sort out these things away from the Floor of the House?
Since you are seeking my guidance, under normal circumstances, this should not be happening. However, Mr. Ethuro, you heard the clarification by the Minister and you are in the same Government. So, there you are!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is absolutely no contradiction because page 14 of the Presidential Speech says that we have made information available to the public and there are statistics. As a result, we now have a better informed public and close scrutiny by the media and the civil society, indeed, including discussions within the Government. So, there is no harm. This is just an appreciation of democracy. However, that is a side issue. The most important issue is that a policeman commits murder in cold blood and up to now there is no statement forthcoming from the responsible arm of Government. My people whom I represent in this House, first and foremost, demand an explanation. That is just the bare thing that the Minister ought to respond to. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, between Kenya and Sudan is an important road known as Kapenguria-Lokichoggio-Sudan Road. We have a lot, as a country, to bring peace in both Sudan and Somalia. However, we cannot take advantage of the peace in Sudan because of this bad road. It is our wish, both as a district, and I believe it is one of the most strategic interventions for the country, that this road should be tarmacked as a matter of priority. It only needs about Kshs2 billion and we will have all the trading taking place between Kenya and Sudan. With those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
It is now time for the Leader of Government Business to reply. Mr. Vice-President!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed towards the exposition of public policy contained in His Excellency's Presidential Address from the Chair during the State Opening of Parliament. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, conspicuous in hon. Members' contributions was the matter of education. It has, obviously, been stated that because of the Free Primary Education Programme, the standards of education are, in some cases, being lowered. The reasons for this have also been stated. For example, classrooms are now filled up with between 80 and 100 children and it is difficult for teachers to give personal attention to the children; more so, they are not able to look at April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 325 the exercise books and correct them. It is because of this that education standards are being lowered. I do recollect that at the time of introduction of the 8-4-4 System of Education, there was need to increase the number of classrooms right across the country. Kenyans rose to the occasion by raising funds so that in every school an extra classroom was built. This helped to launch the 8-4- 4 System of Education without any interruption. At that time, we did not even have the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Really, at this time, when we have the CDF, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that every school constructs extra classrooms. In his Speech, the President intimated that he will increase the number of teachers. He said that there will be a recruitment of teachers. This is a pledge that the Government has made and it intends to fulfil it. With us constructing extra classrooms and the Government recruiting more teachers, we will be able to reduce the number of children in the classrooms from 100 to 50 children. We should, therefore, be able to sustain the high standards of education that we were used to. Only recently, the President promised teachers that their terms of service would be improved. He told them that the promises that were made to them seven or eight years ago will now be fulfilled. This is an incentive to the teachers. So, if we can now give them the tools, they will be able to raise, once again, the standards of education to the level they were always. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members also called for free secondary education. Right now, both the Minister for Education and the Minister for Finance are looking at the modalities and various aspects to see how this can be introduced. Obviously, the Government is aware of the fact that there are very many parents who are not able to pay school fees. Because of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, many widows are now the ones heading their families. These widows are finding it very difficult to pay school fees for their children who are in secondary school because of not having any income. The introduction of bursaries has helped a little, but we want to do a little more. Therefore, the need to have free secondary education is a valid one. The Government is, definitely, looking at this matter and we hope that when it is voted back to power next year, it will be able to solve the question of free secondary education. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of tertiary education was spoken about by hon. Members here. I agree that the custom of turning polytechnics into universities should not continue. I am conscious of the fact that Egerton University was one of the best tertiary institutions that used to produce agriculturalists who helped to stamp quality on our agriculture. We would like to ensure that all our polytechnics are revived. We will also construct universities where they are required. At this stage, I want to emphasise that when the President said that he intends to increase the number of universities, he has followed it up, so quickly by travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He came back with sufficient funds to build a university at the Coast Province. I want to thank the President, because for a long time, Kenyans who come from Coast Province have always wanted a university. It is their right to have a university. When we consider that a big portion of our economy is generated from tourism at the Coast Province, it is only right that we build a university. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President stated that the economy has improved by 5 per cent. However, the contributions by some of our colleagues doubted it. They asked whether the improved economy has cascaded down to the grassroots? The answer is "yes". It is only some of us who have refused to see reality on the ground. Money is now in the pockets of people in the rural areas. We keep on equating employment with people being employed in factories and other industrial organisations. We keep on forgetting that with the improvement of technology, those big factories that used to employ many people like British American Tobacco (BAT), Unilever, East African Breweries and so on, are now reducing the number of their employees. Because of international competition, they have to bring the cost of production down. Therefore, they have to use improved technology. Where this Government has succeeded is in looking into the informal 326 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 3, 2007 sector. This sector has improved considerably. There are many people who have increased the number of their employees in
sector. They have done so, because of the good environment that the Government has put in place. We are aware that this Government has already put in place a machinery to construct a very large market at Muthurwa, where hawkers will be able to carry out their trade. It is these hawkers who will continue to employ many people. The fifth largest economy in the world is Italy and it has depended considerably on informal sector. Even the second highest economy in the world, Japan, also depends a great deal on the informal sector, where a husband and a wife, do produce parts that will go into a whole vehicle and so forth. This is the trend that Mwai Kibaki's Government is following to ensure that the informal sector is strengthened. Indeed, measures have been put in place to make sure that members of the informal sector access credit.It has been stated that the Common Market for Eastern and South African (COMESA) agreement will come to an end in March, 2008. This Government is going to look into this issue so that guidelines can be made to ensure that we do not get sugar-cane farmers out of business. It is our right and responsibility to do so. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding the strengthening of the economy in the horticultural sector, many times we have read in the newspapers that there are many farmers who are thinking of re-locating to other countries. We are going to ensure that various reasons why they think of doing so are dealt with. For instance, the high cost of energy. The Ministry of Energy is working hard to ensure that we do find other sources of energy, like wind power from Marsabit and other places so that the cost can come down. We know what the Government is doing to support the various strategic crops like coffee and tea, whereby the quality has been improved so that it is very much sought after. Of course, we are encouraging adding value so that we may get more for our products than we have hitherto been getting. For a long time, we have been selling raw coffee. We have really been donors to the rich countries because we sell to them at about Kshs50 per kilo and they sell it back to us at about Kshs200 per kilo. That is something that the Government is looking into and encouraging the producers. I am happy to note that the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) and Sasini Tea are already adding value and, therefore, getting more money from over-seas on our primary products. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Government has helped to popularise this country overseas, whereby tourism, over the period that this Government has been in place, has risen from as low as 700,000 tourists to as much as 1.8 million tourists. I am sure the Minister for Tourism and Wildlife who is here, in his contribution, must have reminded people how much money this Government has received from tourism. An hon. Member brought up the issue of the East African Co-operation. It is very imperative that all of us must be united in ensuring that the Co-operation does not fail. It is Kenya that is the biggest beneficiary in the East African Co-operation and, therefore, we have to give a lead so that we keep it intact in order to attain a political union in the way of the East African Federation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President put a lot of emphasis on development programmes for the youth of this country. We know that mechanisms to translate the Kshs1 billion Youth Enterprise Development Fund are on course. Last week, I assisted to launch a project to get the youths themselves to find an idea of how they can create entrepreneurship, so that they, in turn, will be able to employ people and stop being dependent. They will, in turn, not be tempted to get into crime. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President did mention about ASAL areas. We have a document that will soon be presented to the Cabinet to ensure that we turn ASAL areas, particularly the North Eastern Province, into a productive area. We have plans of putting April 3, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 327 infrastructure in place. We would like to make water available. We intend to supply electricity and make the area attractive, so that our people can benefit. We do not want a situation where there are some people in Mandera who, when they meet you coming back to Nairobi, tell you to greet the people of Kenya. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, insecurity is an issue that has been discussed here extensively. Where there is insecurity, strong measures must be taken. It is important that our security officers actually work as hard as possible. Yesterday, the President, when presiding over the graduation of Administration Police, said that the Government will continue to increase the number of police officers. I want to commend the police officers throughout the country, some of whom have lost their lives. They are working hard to ensure that our country is secure. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that even when the headlines are about the violence in Mount Elgon District, mechanisms have been put in place to discuss the issues. Some of these issues are cultural, while others are due to scarce resources. But I think, with all of us united to ensure that we have a secure country, we shall be able to bring back security to that area. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the President brought up the question of gender. He issued directives that henceforth 30 per cent of all employment into the public sector must be women. We are already translating that into action. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of patriotism is extremely important. I was very happy, indeed, to see true patriotism on the 24th of last month when this country staged, probably, the most successful sports meet anywhere in the world. During that event, Kenyans united to cheer their representatives. If we can do that on one day, why can we not do it in two days or in a month or even all the time? This is something that we can do if we subordinated our personal interests to the interests of the country. With those remarks, I beg to move.
Hon. Members, that concludes the debate on this Motion.