asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he is aware that lists of schools submitted from Teso District for the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP) for the year 2005/2006 were not allocated funds for infrastructure development; and, (b) how much money had been earmarked for each school and when it will be availed to the various school management committees.
Where is the Minister for Education?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I ask for your indulgence? The Assistant Minister has just gone out to call her colleague who is assigned the Question. I have the answer with me here, but I request that we wait for her to come back.
We will move on and come back to it later!
asked the Minister for Agriculture:- (a) what the findings and recommendations of the inter-Ministerial committee established to look into the status of Miwani and Muhoroni Sugar Companies are; (b) whether he could table the committee's report; and, (c) whether there are individuals/organisations which have shown interest to revive Miwani Sugar Company. 1738 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have discussed this issue with Prof. Olweny. The answer is not very explicit even to me. We have both agreed that the Question be answered on Thursday, next week.
Prof. Olweny, is that okay with you?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we discussed and agreed. I hope he will answer it next week. However, it should be noted that this Question has been on the Order Paper for a very long time.
All right, the Question is, therefore, deferred!
Next Question by the hon. Member for Mogotio Constituency!
Mr. Korir not here? The Question is dropped!
asked the Minister for Information and Communications what steps he is taking to introduce sign language on local television broadcasts in view of the increasing number of deaf and dumb people.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The Ministry of Information and Communications wrote to all media houses in the year 2005 directing them to include sign language inset of subtitles in all their news casts and educational programmes, and in all programmes covering events of national significance as provided for under Section 39 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003. To date, only one television station has introduced sign language inset in one of its programmes. The Ministry has made a follow-up by writing to the Chairman, Media Owners Association (MOA), to impress upon members of the association to implement provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003. It is expected that other television stations will soon include sign language in some of their programmes.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Persons with Disabilities Act was passed way back in 2003. Among the provisions of the Act is one that compels television stations to include sign language in their programmes. However, four years down the line, the Assistant Minister says that only one television station has done this. In this country, we have over one million people who are deaf and dumb. It is in this concern that I brought this Question here. When will the Assistant Minister compel television stations to comply with the Act? The key word here is June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1739 "compel" because the Act is compelling them.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government encourages self- regulation of the media industry. Therefore, it will not be in the interest of the Government to force media houses to include sign language in their programmes. It is up to them to change their editorial policies to include sign language in their broadcasts. Kenya Television Network (KTN) introduced sign language inset in their programme Newsline on 5th, April, 2007. Memories of the High Court ruling (Miscellaneous Civil Application) No.821 of 2002 are still fresh in our minds. In the matter, one of the media houses challenged the gazettement of an order under Gazette Notice No.4014 of 6th, June, 2002. The order required all broadcasting networks, cinema theatres, production houses, advertising agents and all other such persons to obtain a certificate of approval for all films including television commercials, drama, comic, documentary and features from the Film Licensing Officer and the Kenya Film Censorship Board before being exhibited, screened or broadcast to the public. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in their ruling, the judges noted that Section 12 of the Film and Stage Plays Act did not cover licensing of media houses---
Mr. Assistant Minister, where is this leading us to?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am leading to say that according to this ruling, the Ministry is unable to force media houses to implement the People with Disabilities Act. Therefore, we have allowed them to self regulate in the direction of implementing that.
So, the Assistant Minister is saying that he cannot compel the media houses to conform to this rule as the hon. Member is asking him to.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is correct, according to a court ruling that forbids the Ministry to force the media houses to do anything.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is dumbfounding! If the Government can deny human rights activities; hearing, seeing and feeling are human rights that a person---
This is Question Time, Capt. Nakitare!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is the Assistant Minister telling us? That the Government has no way of forcing the media to give way to sign language in the systems they use? All these people are human beings. Are you not violating the rights of a person to hear or follow up the programmes and events that are going on in the world?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Member is wrong to imply that the Government is not interested in having persons with disabilities catered for with sign language. In fact, according to my earlier answer, the Government has not only just written to all the media houses, but also to the Chairman of the Media Owners Association (MOA), trying to get them to comply with the law. But, apparently, the law as it stands needs strengthening, and this is why the Ministry has already tabled the Media Bill that will empower us to do some of these things. So, if the House wants us to guarantee that every Kenyan enjoys his or her human rights, then they have to give the Ministry more legal powers to enforce the law. Thank you.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think this is another glaring example of the Government's ineptitude and inability to enforce the law. The Constitution of the Republic of Kenya states that, no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of gender, colour, race and, indeed, disability. Is the Assistant Minister saying that they cannot enforce the Constitution of Kenya to compel media houses not to discriminate against the deaf and dumb of this Republic? 1740 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what the hon. Member is implying is, that the Government does not wish to ensure that every Kenyan enjoys his or her constitutional rights, is not correct. The fact is that, the hands of the Government are tied by the High Court ruling, but if the House is so keen on empowering us then, soon, there will be the Media Bill (2007). Give us the power and we are going to enforce the Constitution and make sure that every Kenyan then can enjoy his or her constitutional rights. So, the ball is in their court!
Last question, Mr. Osundwa!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In my constituency, there is a leading institution called Mumias School for the Deaf and Dumb. It admits students from all over East and even Central Africa. Each time I am there--- Indeed, none other than the Vice- President and Minister for Home Affairs of this Republic has been to that school and I am sure that he can also assist in forcing this Government to implement the Persons with Disabilities Act. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Ministry make it a policy before licensing a media house, to include sign language in its broadcasts?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Ministry would love to do exactly what the hon. Member has asked and even more. That is why we, again, shall be asking the House to pass the Media Bill (2007)---
Of course, it has!
It has, it has! Oh, we will include it if you so desire!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are in total agreement with the hon. Member; absolutely! We shall not only make it a policy, but we shall ask for more power to enforce the policy.
Next Question, Mr. Ndambuki!
asked the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development:- (a) how much money the Government spent to fight Rift Valley Fever in those districts that experienced outbreaks; and, (b) how many animals were treated.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government spent a total of Kshs98,944,421 to fight Rift Valley Fever outbreak in 34 districts. (b) From the time the exercise started in January 2007, a total of 1,704,978 animals have been vaccinated against Rift Valley Fever and 745,728 treated with Pour-On insecticides.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank the Assistant June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1741 Minister for that answer. But I would like to find out from him whether he is sure that we do not have Rift Valley Fever affecting some regions at the moment. If so, why have we stopped continuing with the exercise of vaccinating the animals?
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We have some districts in which we have active programmes for the control of this vector, especially in Meru Central, Nakuru, Narok and Murang'a. There are several of them; about 18. So, we are still treating for the vector.
Thank you Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could the Assistant Minister, perhaps, explain what the cause of this fever or disease is? What preventive measures is the Ministry taking to ensure that this fever is eradicated once and for all, as he knows very well that this is very costly to the pastoralists?
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. As a Ministry, we have already put some measures in place. We have purchased several litres of Pour-On insecticide, which kills the insects which carry the virus. So, at least, we have purchased about 8,526 litres of Pour-On insecticide, which we have already despatched to districts which we suspect have the risk of facing that problem.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have said a number of times that this is one Ministry that is really not performing and has let down the livestock farmers, particularly in the pastoralist areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, seven months before the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever last year, this Ministry was alerted and it did nothing until thousands of animals and people died. Today, animals, particularly camels, are dying in their thousands in Mandera, Wajir and Moyale. We have raised this issue on the Floor of this House several times and no action is being taken. In Mandera alone, 500 camels died in May, and this is minuted in the District Security Group (DSG) minutes of last month. Could the Assistant Minister tell this House what action his Ministry is taking to ensure that they have an early warning system such that when they detect such cases, they respond immediately instead of waiting until both livestock and human lives have been lost before they respond?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think our Ministry is performing very well. The Meteorological Department predicted the heavy rains. We then made arrangements to get some money from the Treasury. We decided that, first of all, we should give our staff more training on how to handle the Rift Valley Fever. We managed to move very fast after the release of the funds and we performed very well.
What about the issue of the early warning system?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the issue raised by hon. Billow, he knows very well that investigations are still going on. We have sent samples abroad for more tests to be done. I can only request the hon. Member to be patient for the results.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to ask the people of Mandera and Wajir to wait until all the animals perish before they get the results? This is because the same samples were sent abroad in March and today, we are in June and yet we continue to wait as our animals die. Is he in order to say that we should wait until all our animals perish and before we get the results of the samples?
But he is not out of order to say that! Proceed! Ask the last question, Mr. Ndambuki!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, every Kenyan in this country has a cow or goat in their homesteads. It is really unfortunate that we wait until people lose most of their animals before we take any action. Could the Assistant Minister really consider availing the 1742 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 vaccine to every divisional headquarters so that if such a thing happens, it is arrested very fast so that we do not continue losing our animals?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we talk now, we have already dispatched several vaccines to district headquarters countrywide.
Mr. Assistant Minister, I think the hon. Member is asking you to
send them down to divisions and not to the district headquarters. That was his question.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a Ministry, we have already sent vaccines to all district headquarters, especially the 34 affected districts. We have spent over Kshs18 million on that issue of distributing vaccines to district headquarters. In case of any outbreak, the people will not have to travel all the way to Nairobi. The matter can be arrested at the district level.
All right! Next Question by the Member for Isiolo South!
asked the Attorney-General:- (a) whether he is aware that the late Guyo Abdi Buke and Somo Kinto Torotora were shot and killed by Kenya Army personnel in Garba-Tulla on 24th July,1999; (b) if he is further aware that Inquest No.21 of 2001 at CMC, Meru, concluded that the Officer Commanding Station (OCS), Garba-Tulla, and several army officers be investigated further; and, (c) what action he has taken to ensure that investigations are carried out and culprits dealt with in accordance with the law.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to seek your indulgence that the Attorney-General brings the answer on Tuesday, next week. He has been away and he mentioned it to me. I also think he called your office too this morning to indicate that the answer was not ready, but he would be happy to give it on Tuesday, next week.
That is correct. Mr. Bahari, what do you say?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have no objection. If he is out of the country, there is no way I can bring him in here.
The Question is deferred to Tuesday, next week.
The next Question is by the Member for Kilome!
MONEY COLLECTED/DISTRIBUTED BY TOTO LOTTERIES IN NAIROBI June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1743
I have information that the Member for Kilome will not be available today. He asked that the Question be deferred to next week. Is the Minister for Home Affairs here?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Tuesday, next week will be all right.
The Question is, therefore, deferred.
asked the Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services:- (a) to what extent the Persons with Disabilities Act has been operationalised; and, (b) when the Government will establish and operationalise the National Disability Development Fund so that people with disabilities benefit like the youth and women through the Youth Enterprise Development Fund and the Women Enterprise Development Fund, respectively.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) The Persons with Disabilities Bill received assent on 1st December, 2003. The Act came into force on 25th June, 2004, through Legal Notice No.64 of 2004 except for Sections 22, 23, 24, 35(1), 35(2), 39 and 40. The Ministry is liaising with the relevant arms of the Government to identify sections of the Act which are in conflict with other laws prior to gazettement of particular sections. In addition, there are sections of the Act that are already in force, but cannot be implemented due to lack of rules and regulations. The National Council of Persons with Disabilities has engaged a consultant to facilitate the drafting of rules and regulations which will enforce the implementation of the entire Act.
Order, Members! Order! I think that the Assistant Minister is giving very valuable information that we need to listen to. Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to Part (b), Section 32 (1) of the Persons with Disabilities Act, it provides for the establishment of the National Development Fund for persons with disabilities. The Government has been involved in establishing a legal framework for the operationalisation of the National Development Fund for Persons with Disabilities. Once the legal framework is implemented, the Fund will come into operation.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether the Assistant Minister is aware that about three million Kenyans are disabled persons. He has clearly stated here that the Bill was passed in 2003 and, in 2004, the Act was put into effect. Could he tell this House how much money the Government has set aside in the budgetary allocations for 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 to allow this organisation to be funded by the Government? 1744 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have clearly said that there are various Sections of the Act which are in conflict with the existing laws. So, implementation of the Act, including setting aside funds, is a process and we have to start with having a legal framework first before we can talk about funding.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, several funds have been established in this nation. The Bursary Fund took about three months to establish. Even a big fund like the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) took, maybe, four months and the Youth Enterprise Development Fund took exactly two months to establish. Could the Assistant Minister give convincing reasons why the Fund for persons with disabilities has taken that long, that is, from 2004 to 2007 to establish?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry, presently has, through the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, engaged a consultant to facilitate the drafting of these rules and regulations. So, as you can see, we are in the process of finalising this matter.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Could the Assistant Minister kindly respond to the question I asked him? If you are requiring a consultant where persons with disabilities are involved, is it in order for the Assistant Minister to give the impression that he requires four years to get a consultant whereas we did not require a consultant for these other funds?
Order! Hon. Members, I think consultations are getting louder and louder. It is a very important Question that has been asked, and I think the Assistant Minister is in the process of giving the answer. Secondly, in this particular Question, why is it taking four years to get these funds?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, only this morning somebody asked about the issue of operationalising this Disability Act; somebody has gone to court, because some of the sections that have to be put into operation, and which have not been gazetted, involve funding; it involves changing the law, which is done here. So, it is in our interest to change the law here so that we can fit it into this whole process.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not think this Government is serious that they want to deal with people with disabilities. Since this Government came to power, it has not even appointed people with disabilities to any positions. In the rural areas, people with disabilities are really suffering because they are being looked at as outcasts in society. Could this Assistant Minister, because we also require buildings and other facilities to allow people with disabilities to access a place like Parliament here where such people cannot even access the galleries, tell this House, because money is required to be utilised to allow this operationalisation to happen, what kind of money has he has provided, not the legal framework and the laws because that is not important--- The bursary fund and even the Youth Enterprise Fund and Women Enterprise Fund were authorised very quickly. What is he doing to make sure that the Government is going to put this Fund in place?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I still insist that we are working on a legal instrument which will provide for some of the issues the Member has raised. For example, that legal instrument should be able to provide for criteria for selection of a board, composition of that board and a trust deed for fundraising strategies and, of course, running a Ministry is not like addressing a political rally! You have to have systems put in place; a memorandum has to be done to the Cabinet to approve and allocate funding.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am talking about 3 million Kenyans, people with disabilities. Some of them are even paying taxes. Why can the Government not consider the taxes which these people are paying to be able to plough back that June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1745 money to assist the people with disabilities?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is working towards that end.
Hon. Members, I think Question Time is supposed to help us get information. I think, Mr. Assistant Minister, when Members have asked Questions, they would like their answers to be satisfactory. The Member is asking, for example, why it is taking four years to establish a fund for the disabled, while it is easy to establish a fund elsewhere! Those are the kinds of things that people are interested in. Why is it taking four years? I think it is a valid question, but I have not seen the answer come through. Why is it taking four years to establish this particular fund? I think the Chair is also sympathetic to the people with disabilities, if that is their fund. Why is it taking four years? That is the question that has been asked and I do not think I have heard an answer to it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have responded to that question more than once here, and I have said that the Government is keen. The Bill received assent on 31st December, 2003. The Act came into force on the 25th June, 2004, but certain sections of that Act have not received gazettement. This is because some of these sections are in conflict with the existing law, and law is changed in the House here and we are in the process of changing that law to facilitate implementation of some of these sections.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to request that this Question be deferred so that even those sections of the law which the hon. Assistant Minister is saying are in conflict with some other laws may be tabled, so that the hon. Members are duly informed?
We cannot defer the Question to wait for all that process; I do not think so. There are other ways to get the same information. You have the provisions in your Standing Orders for that. Let us move on to the next Question by the Member for Molo.
Is Mr. Mukiri not here? Question dropped.
I will revisit the Question by the Member for Amagoro.
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he is aware that lists of schools submitted from Teso District for the Kenya Education Sector Support Programmes (KESSP) for the year 2005/2006 were not allocated funds for infrastructure development; and, (b) how much money had been earmarked for each school and when it will be availed to the various school management committees. 1746 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
Order, Madam Assistant Minister! This is the second time!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise but the Leader of Government Business had informed me that he had spoken to the Chair. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. I am aware that the lists of schools submitted from Teso District for KESSP for the year 2005/2006 were not allocated funds for infrastructure development purposes. The Ministry has, however, allocated funds to four primary schools and one secondary school in Teso District under the GOK/OPEC Project. The Kshs2.1 million earmarked for each of the five schools under the GOK/OPEC has already been released to the schools and construction works are between 90 per cent and 100 per cent complete. Under the infrastructure Investment Programme, Teso District was ranked 6th position in Western Province, according to priority of infrastructure needs. The district will, therefore, be covered in Phase III of the programme that will be implemented in the next financial year, 2007/2008, starting August, 2007. During that time, the lists of schools submitted by the District Education Board will be considered according to priority of needs.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that the Assistant Minister is referring to the Kshs2.1 million, which was approved during the KANU Government. I am asking about the 2005/2006 projects, which were submitted. I think they were 40 projects, ten from every division but, to date, none has been funded. Could the Assistant Minister be very specific? Forget about the KANU projects and the Kshs2.1 million, and talk about the ones the NARC Government have actually implemented!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Madam Assistant Minister! Please, just relax and listen to the end!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is not in order to mislead this House that there are any KANU funds or projects in the Ministry right now. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Programme is being implemented by the NARC Government. The Government of Kenya initially pays the schools which are funded under the Government of Kenya/OPEC Programme and, then, it is refunded later by the OPEC. However, under the Infrastructure Investment Programme, that district was ranked number six. But it does not mean that there are no programmes which are going on under that programme. It is only that we are first working on Mt. Elgon, Busia, Butere/Mumias and Bungoma districts. The hon. Member's district will be considered during the next financial year, which is only a month away. But it does not mean that nothing is happening. We are funding several schools countrywide.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister says that they are building some schools, but we do not see them. This Government promised that it would build two schools per district and call them centres of excellence. When will the Government start to build those schools?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Member may be ignorant of what is going on right now. Maybe, he is referring to his area. But Kenya is a big country and there are schools which are being built all over.
Is Bumula not part of Kenya?
Order! Mr. Bifwoli, you do not stand up and shout in the House! Now, the Assistant Minister used some language that she is conscious about.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I meant lack of information. I am sorry. I apologise! June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1747
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead this House that the Ministry is building schools under that special programme that the hon. Member has asked about, when in West Pokot District the Ministry has not even started the programme? Could she tell us which specific schools are being built in which particular districts?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the hon. Members are interested, I can bring the list here. As I said, there are programmes which are going on all over the country. They are being implemented in phases. Maybe, the hon. Member's area is not covered under the current phase, but it does not mean that it is not happening. The infrastructure programme will go up to 2010. I will bring the list of the projects.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Why can you not just ask a question? What is your point of order? Do you have a question?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister says that she will table the list. However, she should differentiate between the infrastructural facilities that they give and what we call centres of excellence.
Order! What is your question? Your question should be in line with the Question on the Order Paper!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister table a list of the schools that are being built in the country?
She has said that she will table that list. Yes, Member of Parliament of Parliament for Samburu West!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Ministry usually delivers what it promises. But I would like to ask a question with regard to a project on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for centres of excellence. I do not know who is funding that project, but two schools in my constituency were promised Kshs1.5 million for computers. However, since June, 2006 up to now, that project has not taken off. Is the Assistant Minister aware of that? What is the difficulty in implementing this ICT project?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am aware of the programme. If the hon. Member wishes to have more information on each particular institution or school, then that is a separate Question. If he asks for it, I can bring more information.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you go to many constituencies, you will find that there are condemned schools because of the infrastructure that is in place. The Government has declared that some of those classrooms cannot be utilised. What is the Ministry doing, before it starts building more schools, to revamp those schools which have been condemned, so that those facilities can be used properly by students?
Order! Mr. Weya, what is condemned?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Ministry of Health officials visit schools, they condemn some buildings because they are not constructed to meet required standards. So, the Ministry should tell us how it is going to revamp those schools first, before it builds more schools.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the funds from the African Development Bank (ADB) which are being used on infrastructure also allow for either re-construction of existing schools or construction of new ones. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the District Education Boards (DEBs) - of which the hon. Member should be a member - to propose to the Ministry exactly where they want this money to be used; whether for re-constructing existing schools or building new ones. But, we also have the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money, which I would ask hon. Members to utilize.
Last question, Mr. Ojaamong!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very unfortunate that five years 1748 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 down the line, this Government has put up only about 20 classrooms in Teso District out of the required 2,800. However, I am happy that the Assistant Minister says that the district will be considered in the next phase. But what happened to the ADB projects, because we also brought a proposal for five schools to be funded, but none of them has been funded so far?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have answered this question several times. If you would like to have a list to show which schools will be funded under which phase, we have it, and I can table it. If you look at it, you will know when the schools in your constituency will be considered. But to say that it is unfortunate that only 20 classrooms have been constructed in your district--- I have just said that your district will be considered in the next phase which will start in the next financial year. Therefore, we have done enough all over the country.
Madam Assistant Minister, I think something, probably, needs to be done, so that hon. Members of Parliament are informed and given enough information in a forum, so that they can know what OPEC and ADB are. I think that is the problem. Many hon. Members of Parliament are not necessarily informed as to which fund deals with which area.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I suggest that maybe, a Kamukunji can be organized and we will give all this information.
I had earlier on dropped the Question by the Member of Parliament for Mogotio Constituency, but it was early in the day. Is he here now?
Well, the Question is truly dropped! Now, that is the end of Question Time! Next Order!
Who was on the Floor? Anybody who wants to speak on this Motion?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me join my other colleagues to congratulate hon. Dr. Naomi Shaban for introducing this very important Motion. June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1749 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we all know, university facilities in this country are not evenly distributed. One of the major problems in marginalised areas is the lack of opportunities for children to pursue secondary education. They perform poorly in the national examinations. This poor performance usually arises as a result of lack of adequate facilities in schools. There is lack of proper infrastructure, especially the science facilities in most schools in these areas. There is an acute shortage of teachers of English, Science and Mathematics subjects. The result of lack of adequate teachers for those subjects has led to lower grades. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the number of children who go to universities from these areas, it is extremely low. If I may give an example of my own district. We hardly get more than five students going to pursue university education because of lack of adequate teaching facilities in those areas. For a student to join university, he is supposed to have attained B+plus and above in those critical subjects. Therefore, I support this Motion which requests for putting up more schools with the requisite facilities to enable our children to access university education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the moment, we do not have a university at the Coast, Eastern and North Eastern provinces. We all know that there are universities in other provinces of this country. However, those universities are not able to access the remotest parts of the north rift such as Samburu, Turkana and Pokot districts. Even before we have a fully-fledged universities established in those areas, there is need to establish branches of those universities to specialise in resources that are very common in those arid areas. I have in mind the northern part of Rift Valley Province where we have Lake Turkana. Marine studies can be carried out there. We also have adequate mineral resources, forestry and wildlife in those areas. These are resources which universities like Moi University could easily capitalise on. So, initially we should start off by opening up branches of those universities there. However, with regard to Coast Province, I think it is about time that a university is set up there that will specialise in marine studies. We have a lot of space at the Coast Province for marine studies and utilisation of her resources. We own 200 miles of the coast line referred to as an exclusive economic zone. We are aware that the resources available in the deep sea are utilised by other countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to Eastern and North Eastern provinces also, there are opportunities to set up universities that will not only provide research opportunities for us to link up with economic activities, but for the further development of those areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is for this reason that I wish to support the setting up of universities in those areas that have been neglected for a very long time. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to be able to contribute to this very important Motion. I want to thank hon. Dr. Naomi Shaban for bringing this Motion. Some of us who come from marginalised areas, feel so privileged when a Motion like this is before this House. We are really pleading with the Ministry to, at least, consider these marginalised districts. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the teaching facilities in those marginalised districts are in a very sorry state. However, when students from those areas get opportunities to study in the national schools, they perform much better than those students who come from schools with better facilities. That is why this Motion is very important because we are really pleading with the Ministry to take deliberate action and provide better facilities to these marginalised areas. We would like to develop at the same pace with the rest of Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fighting that takes place in those districts does not occur just because people like fighting. It is because the facilities that they have are not adequate enough. Most of those who have engaged themselves in this cattle theft are students who are dropouts from primary schools. Some dropout in Standard Eight. Some of them are secondary 1750 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 school dropouts. This is because they could not afford secondary school fees. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as much as the Ministry will say they have availed bursary funds, in my own constituency, I have more than 600 children who are in secondary school. What can I do with a bursary of Kshs800,000 per year? What is that compared to that number of children? Most of those children come from very poor families. What should we do? The Government must have a deliberate policy to be able to add additional funds in terms of the bursary funds we get, so that those 27 Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) districts benefit. The Ministry should give a special allocation for this cause. I know the Ministry has really struggled. We give them credit for what they have done. There was additional money that came to ASAL secondary schools in those districts. However, as much as they are trying, they should be able to increase that amount of money. We want those children from disadvantaged background be able to get opportunities to attain the required grades. For example, for a student to be admitted to a teachers training college, he must attain a minimum grade of C plain. To get an Assistant Chief with a C plus--- If you want to advertise for such a position, there are areas that you will not get someone who has even gone to Standard Eight. It is not because they are willing to remain that way, but there are no extra facilities. In some areas, there are no primary or secondary schools. We are forced to use the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money to build boarding schools in those areas so that we are able to retain the children in those particular schools. We, therefore, request the Ministry to consider building boarding primary schools and equipping them in those areas. As much as they are saying that there are centres of excellency in secondary schools, let us also have centres of excellency in primary schools. This will ensure that we have boarding schools where we can take all our children whose parents are nomads. This will enable us to retain them in one place. The CDF money will not be enough because we have vast areas and we have to build these facilities. So, in supporting this Motion, I want to plead with the Ministry to consider seriously, at least, availing facilities to those areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me touch on the issue of the universities. I do not want to talk so much about the universities. We are concentrating universities in some particular areas instead of opening up constituent colleges in areas like North Eastern Province, to offer relevant courses, like, rangelands management. If we open up constituent colleges in those areas, this will bring the facilities closer to students or schools and make the students to go for higher education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of our students are going to Uganda for studies. We should ask ourselves why. One is because facilities there are accessible; they are near the people. For the marginalised communities, the Government of Uganda has addressed their plight and tried to bring them up to the standards of the other areas. Let us try and look at the country on an equal level. There are no better Kenyans or second-class Kenyans. All Kenyans are equal! The Government should give them equal treatment like any other Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, if we have to fight insecurity in this country, one of the things that we have to give the marginalised areas is education. One way of doing it is by providing special funds, like bursaries, to educate them. A special fund should be created in the Ministry to give them bursaries for secondary schools. This will discourage them from engaging in other illegal activities. If we leave them like that--- Let us forget about employment for the moment. We should give them the necessary tools to be like other Kenyans. I, therefore, wish to support this Motion and ask the Ministry to implement it. They should not just shelve it and accept it like it is any other Motion. We want to see the Minister doing this in the Budget. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very timely Motion. This Motion, as crafted, seeks to re-affirm the concept of affirmative action. If you read through the Motion, you will see that it is seeking that what has been done in this country since the June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1751 advent of colonialism be reversed. The only way it can be done is through affirmative action. If you look through our history, the first missionaries came around the Coast Province, Shimo la Tewa and then went up-country to areas in Nairobi like Alliance, Lenana and the others. They, then, moved towards the Rift Valley Province. All the places where the missionaries settled, even in Nyanza and Western Province, those are the places where you find education has been taken seriously. Indeed, even in independent Kenya, allocation has gone to only those areas. In fact, the trend is like where the railway line followed. We have been told by some scholars that the trend was to divide the country into what the Europeans considered as "useful Kenya" as opposed to "useless Kenya". Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what this Motion is urging the Government to do is to consider all parts of Kenya as useful, especially, when it comes to the allocation of monies or improvement of education facilities. Today, it is not uncommon to find one school in the so-called "useful Kenya" taking 100 students to the universities while a whole district in what has been described in some circles as "useless Kenya" taking only one or two students to the university. It is only through practising affirmative action by the Government that we will be able to see equity. We are saying and the Government has said that they are willing to set up centres of excellence. I think they need to begin in those marginalised areas. It is those areas where we need to see those centres of excellence being set up, first and foremost. Even in the areas where you find many Kenyans having gone to universities, again, the trend follows what the missionaries did. The places where the missionaries went first, those are the areas where education is most appreciated. However, you cannot condemn more than two thirds of the country to be useless. This Motion is asking the Government to put up more schools with more facilities in those marginalised areas. To show seriousness, they should go to Turkana, West Pokot, and, indeed, even come to Mbeere and put up schools with sufficient facilities as to be able to attract more children to education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Motion is also urging the Government to consider ASAL districts in its budgetary allocation. I know that there is a small component in the bursary that addresses the issue of orphans. What this Motion is asking is that the Government now considers those Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL). It should put a component, within the bursary scheme, which addresses ASAL areas as distinct from the other considerations of "bright and needy". That is all that this Motion is asking. Finally, the Motion is urging that in order that - because we have seen the criteria and qualification for admission to universities has been rising - if you find a child in those marginalised areas with a B plus and you see the schools that they have been going to, I think there is need for them to be considered as special cases. If this is not happening, we are urging that the Government considers putting up public universities in those areas. This will ensure that children in those areas are able to benefit. Indeed, even wananchi ; the residents, will benefit from the existence of those public institutions. Where they exist, the benefits go beyond just education. They inspire other forms of economic growth. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, we are asking that since the Ministry has been telling us that it leads by example, and, indeed, even Budalang'i constituency is marginalised, granted the frequent floods, it needs this kind of affirmative action. We want the Ministry to consider some of these areas as marginalised. Let us not condemn, like our missionaries did, those areas which do not appear to be productive by way of producing cash crops. I want to end by saying that even though this Motion, merely, urges the Government--- we would want the Ministry to feel compelled by the import of the Motion to take whatever the Government is being asked to do and consider it not just as political posturing but, indeed, as very serious concerns. I know that the Minister himself comes from areas which in the past have been marginalised but may now be enjoying the lion's share of the cake. With those few remarks, I beg to support. 1752 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also wish to congratulate Dr. Shaban. I thank her for bringing this important Motion to this House.
Order! Who is complaining?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, nobody is complaining. Those are just echoes from the back. I think this is an ideal time that this House is reminding whoever is responsible on the need to actualise what we call affirmative action. The affirmative action finds eloquence in gender issues, but it hardly finds any with Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) issues. When we talk about ASALs, we will be talking more than just gender issues and more than the girl child. We will be talking about the people of Kenya. It is not a coincidence that more than 40 years after Independence, we are still talking about marginalised areas. There has been a systematic and deliberate effort to keep marginalised areas marginal and to make the prosperous ones prosper more. That is an economic epithet of capitalism which we inherited and perfected. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Sir Elliot, in the forward to the book of the Maasai in 1905, wrote that there is no need of developing the Maasai areas. He believed very strongly that after 100 years, all Maasais would become Kikuyus! Those are not my words. They are written. In 2005, those 100 years elapsed and the Maasais are still living in those areas and in our place. In 1965, under the independent Kenya, the Sessional Paper No.10 on Application of Planning with African Socialism in Mind, the policy framework was to develop those areas which had high rates of return. The areas with high rate returns were considered to be the most useful, as hon. Muturi has put it. However, simple analysis of our agricultural potential will tell you that in the mid 1980s our agricultural productivity in the so-called highland areas actually picked. The only strategy to bring in more food into production was to carry out extensive farming. That meant that by necessity, that the marginal and semi-arid areas had to be put into production. This Motion seeks to reverse this policy and ensure that the Kenyan policy recognises the fact that the ASALs are our growing point. The Vision 2030 should bring on board the contribution and role of the ASALs. That is what this hon. Member is asking this House to approve. I want to believe that the Ministry will have no problem at all in supporting this Motion. Let me give you a few statistics. When Kenya became independent, Turkana District had one African Government school; Lodwar Mixed School, which was started in 1932. As we speak now, the same school has a population of about 3,000 students. The school has a shortfall of literally everything, yet this is our best school in the district. Are those students, with inadequate facilities, the same ones you expect to compete favourably with the rest in the country? This Motion is asking us to address inequality.
Order! order, hon. Members! There are consultations coming from the back and they are getting louder. Order! Proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion seeks to address the issue of inequality. The definition of ASALs should remain as it is. As you may remember, those forces that were acting against the ASALs are still in place. If you remember when we extended the World Bank Programme on ASAL, it was surprising to note that even parts of Nyeri District were also considered as ASALs. Those of us who occupy those places had to find ways of bringing in our own people. That is the June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1753 problem of this country. Even if we were to be given a Ministry to deal with issues concerning ASALs, I would not be surprised that the definition of ASALs would change to include areas which are not considered as ASALs. When the Ministry started the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASSE) Programme, we were only given one centre in West Pokot. The distance from Lodwar to West Pokot is 300 kilometres. If you add another 300 kilometres from Lokichoggio and add another 500 kilometres to Lokitaung, we are talking about 800 kilometres to access the SMASSE Centre. When we talk about ASALs, we need to appreciate and put into concept insecurity that has led to some of our schools to be closed for the better part of the year. We have to factor in infrastructure because our bridges collapse every now and then. We are looking at the broader sense of affirmative action. We are talking about areas which are worst hit by famine and drought. The only way to keep students in schools is to ensure that the Ministry approves boarding facilities in all those schools. The Ministry is very slow in approving the provision of those facilities. We urge the Minister to ensure that all the applications made by the District Education Boards (DEBs) in all the districts are dealt with immediately. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the Ministry already has in place a bursary programme and it has considered the number of enrolments, it should factor in ASAL areas. This Government has already given all civil servants in ASAL areas hardship allowance. We should translate the same into an ASAL factor. When you use that formulation, you will see that in this financial year, Turkana District got Kshs1,800,000 against a requirement of Kshs15 million because of the drought affecting the area. That is just a drop in the ocean. We appreciate the efforts taken by the Government but we need to factor the fact that the environmental conditions do not sustain an adequate income support in that area. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not understand why this country has found it extremely difficult to have a university at the Coast Province. Besides Nairobi, which other area do we really know in this country? Why do we have mushrooming universities in Nairobi when the course is such a natural one? I know there are plans to have a university at the Coast Province, but that should have been done yesterday. We are now supposed to be talking about having a university in the Eastern Province, which is big. In fact, Eastern Province should be divided. We should have a university in the upper Eastern Province which includes Marsabit and Isiolo. This is what contributes to these cattle rustling and insecurity. A year ago, we lost Members of Parliament who were trying to foster peace among those communities. This is because of lack of opportunities to train, so that we can have professionals who will be able to earn a living. Once this happens, nobody will be talking about cattle rustling. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also need a university in the North Rift. We want that part of the world to also have a university. University education should be the minimum level of education that we should all attain, particularly in this particular age when we are talking about information communication technology (ICT) and installation of cable to serve the East African region. Another issue which the Ministry needs to consider is lack of teachers. We opened one secondary school in my constituency using Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money. The school now has a Form III class, but it has only two Government teachers. How do we expect the students to continue performing well when the school is under-staffed? That school has more than 100 students. I hope that the Assistant Minister for Education is listening, and that he will ensure that there will be a sufficient number of teachers who will be deployed to teach our children. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, any discussion about ASAL areas, and education in those areas, cannot be complete without raising the issue of the School Feeding Programme. In nomadic pastoralism, where parents have to move in search of pasture and water, it is extremely important that where you have boarding schools, they are provided with sufficient food. The World 1754 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 Food Programme, which has been very kind and considerate, in partnership with the Government of Kenya, is threatening to withdraw from the School Feeding Programme. I hope that the Ministry is taking cognizance of the fact that in order to retain children in school, and improve the transition rate from primary school to secondary school as well as from secondary school to university, it is important that these particular programmes are put in place. We are celebrating our successful marathoner, Mr. Paul Tergat, who also admits that the only way he could have been in school was through the support of the School Feeding Programme. You and Iwill agree that without the School Feeding Programme we would not be standing on the Floor of this House, articulating the issues that affect our people and Kenyans in general. With those remarks, I beg to support.
I now call upon the Official Government Responder to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to respond to this Motion, which, as Government, we support. It is in keeping with other measures the Government has taken to address problems of regional imbalance in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true, as many hon. Members have said, that the situation in north eastern Kenya and other marginalised parts of this country is pathetic. Much of this has been as a result of historical developments in education, especially, like Mr. Muturi was saying, depending on where missionaries landed first, and historical advantages which have been intensified by economic advantage. So, areas which were the first ones to benefit from missionary education also happened to be the ones that have---
Order! Order, hon. Members! Mr. Wamwere, why are you on your feet when another hon. Member is speaking? The Assistant Minister is responding to debate. It is very important that we listen. So, can you consult in low tones?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am sure that Mr. Wamwere, being a great advocate of marginalised communities and squatters, has vested interest in this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was just saying that to be able to address the problem, we have to be able to appreciate the historical root of that problem - historical roots which have also been compounded by economic advantage in areas which were the first to benefit from missionary education also reinforced this advantage because of other benefits, including economic and political ones. It is true that affirmative action is necessary. As a Government, we have done exactly that, in terms of both how resources are being allocated and in terms of specific programmes like bursary and so on. However, as we have said before, affirmative action on its own is not enough. We do not want to be talking about affirmative action forever. Affirmative action must be done simultaneously with other initiatives, so that 20 years from now we no longer have to address those kinds of issues. Therefore, even as we say we need to have more schools in those areas, we need more bursary programmes, we need to have a quota system in admitting students from those areas to universities, we must invest very seriously in other levels of education, all the way from pre-school to primary and secondary levels to ensure that we have enough institutions of quality that will be able to produce students from those communities, who can compete with students from any other part of this country ten years from now. If we do not do that, then we will be singing this song forever. June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1755 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another issue which we also have to address, which some hon. Members have already alluded to, is the reason as to why north eastern Kenya and other areas like parts of Coast Province and Rift Valley Province are so disadvantaged in the area of education. It is because those areas are also under-developed. Therefore, we need to go to the very bottom of the problem. If the problem is overall under-development, then we must develop those areas, so that they can also be able to support the education system. As I said, even areas of central Kenya, Nairobi and others, the reason as to why they have a strong education system, and why they have very good schools, is because they are already economically advantaged. So, we need to think about provision of water for irrigation, supporting all programmes of economic development, other infrastructure that is relevant, electricity, roads, telephone systems, et cetera . More importantly, we also need to think about systems of governance to get the people themselves to ask more questions of their leaders, and ensure that they elect the right national leaders as well. If we have the wrong leadership in any part of this country, it is also going to reflect on the kind of development that we are going to experience in those areas. Therefore, this is another area we have to invest in, in terms of getting people to vote for a leadership that will make a difference, be it at the presidential level, the parliamentary level or the local authority level. If that does not happen, again very little will happen in those particular communities to support the long-term development that we think is necessary to support education, among other sectors. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, talking beyond education, about factors which have something to do with education but which are not necessarily educational, we also need to ask questions about traditional and other cultural values that impede educational development in those areas. It is not enough to just say: Those areas are under-developed. The Government is not doing enough, et cetera . It is also important to ask: What is it about, we, as communities, that we believe in that does not support educational development? So, until we are honest enough to also address those kinds of obstacles to education, we will not get anywhere, because it is not just an issue of providing infrastructure. You might provide the infrastructure and find that there is no commitment on the part of a community, because people have other values, and that there are other obstacles that arise from the way people think as well as from certain religious and traditional beliefs, etcetera . Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Motion is also asking us to support infrastructural development. As we all know, that is already happening. There are a number of programmes that the Government has specifically designed for the marginalised communities. There are programmes we are undertaking in partnership with donors, namely, OPEC, UNICEF, USAID, which are specifically targetted at those communities. Beyond the partners, the Government has provided additional resources to those communities through the grants for ASAL areas and provision of more money for science laboratories. We are providing money, targeting those communities. So, if you look at the overall education budget, in terms of allocation to regions, the so- called marginalised communities are getting a disproportionate share of the resources that are available because of the Government's commitment to address those imbalances. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the situation is much better than before. Even those who advocate for this improvement can appreciate that this particular Government has paid much more attention to disadvantaged communities than was the case previously. That needs to be appreciated. The important thing, however, is to see how we can benefit from that kind of support to ensure that those resources that are specifically targeted to those communities, bear results. Even as we put resources into those communities as Government, donors and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), there is a point at which we must be careful with regard to the co-ordination of all those groups that are going to those areas. One of the biggest problems which make us not to see much difference in terms of impact, is because there is a lot of 1756 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 duplication of roles. Donors and NGOs are giving computers to the same schools. They are starting pre-school programmes in the same areas. They are building classrooms and dormitories in the same schools that have already benefited. There is need for co-ordinating those efforts, so that whatever the Government, the donors and the NGOs are giving, and whatever is coming from the CDF and the local authorities is co-ordinated to ensure that whatever is available has the greatest impact. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, right now, that is the biggest problem. Everybody goes to North Eastern Province or parts of Coast or the Rift Valley provinces because these areas are disadvantaged. But there is no co-ordination. Lack of co-ordination has led to less impact than could have been the case if we did better co-ordination. It is not enough to just pour resources in communities and areas that are disadvantaged. It is high time we insisted on accountability. If we put more money in north eastern Kenya, parts of the north rift and Coast Province, we have the responsibility as the Government, the CDF officials and the donors, to ask questions about whether or not results are better since we started putting money in there. If results are not getting any better, then we should ask questions about whether or not it is necessary to continue pouring resources in what, in some cases, appears to be a bottomless pit, where you see no results. So, as we put resources in those communities, it is important to also ask for accountability, so that people are forced to provide results because resources are better put elsewhere if we do not see any difference. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to infrastructural development and affirmative action, I again would like to reiterate that it must never be forever. We must do these things with targets in mind and say that if we do not see improvement by a certain time, then we have to also look at other areas that have even bigger problems than the so-called marginalised communities in the country. The challenge is huge, of course, and this will require us to figure out more ways of partnering with other supporters. The partnerships should go beyond donors and NGOs. They should go beyond what money is available through LATF, the CDF, from the business community and many of the religious groups that are strong in those areas, especially because now with this policy of schools saying that they are the sponsors and, therefore, they must control certain things, we also want to get those religious groups to invest much more in education, so that they can justify their claim to sponsoring institutions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the point I am making here is that, this is not a problem that the Government can resolve. It is too huge. We must find ways of mobilising additional resources from these other sectors and to ensure that those resources, including bursary money, are put to better use and it is allocated in a more transparent mechanism. This requires even us, as hon. Members, to ask questions about whether or not the resources that are available are allocated and used in the most efficient and transparent manner. There are many complaints also about how we allocate bursary money and the CDF money. If we are more transparent and beyond reproach, we are likely to get the money that is available to get further than is currently the case. Many of the small problems that we are talking about would already be resolved by just ensuring that even the resources that we have as hon. Members are used transparently and efficiently. It is true that the centres of excellence can help. We should have good schools in those communities. I have been an advocate of the fact that any new national schools should be built in areas that do not have national schools. We must have a policy whereby a child from Nairobi, central Kenya or Nyanza Province can go to any national school, so that you do not force the system to admit you to Alliance High School or Mangu High School. That is the only way of popularising schools in those communities. You may have good schools with all the facilities like Garbatulla High School in northern Kenya, which was a national school, but there were no students from other parts of the country wanting to go there and people found a way of going around that. If Kenyans are made to realise that if you are admitted to a national school you can join any June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1757 national school in this country, this will be one way of strengthening national schools outside Kiambu, Nakuru and other places where we have national schools. If it is not compulsory, then they will not be credible and they will not be as strong as we would like them to be. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on universities, I agree that we need to have universities not just in Eastern, Coast and North Eastern provinces, but everywhere in this country. This is the only way of solving the problem of transition that is so limited from secondary school to university. The only way of getting more Kenyans to benefit from university education is not just to have one university in every province. It is ideally, in the long-run, to have a university in every district. This is because the closer universities are to the people, the easier it is for more people to enrol in those universities even as day scholars. Right now, all those Kenyans who would like to join university have to go to the big towns of this country, for example, Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa, and where there are constituent colleges. We need to go beyond that to make it clear that universities are not just about towns and they can be rural institutions. They would be rural institutions because the target would be to reach as many Kenyans as possible. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, I would like to make the point we made before that already, there is a major effort by the Government. This year, we announced that we are opening several constituent colleges in this country. We are opening Kilifi in Coast Province, Kisii in Nyanza Province, Chuka and Kitui in Eastern Province, as well as campuses in other parts of this country as a way of beginning to address the problem, while we know that we have to do much more in the long-run. The idea of having a university in Coast Province is very attractive and already, this is under-way. There was an announcement recently about an organisation from the Middle East that is going to put up an institution in Coast Province. Beyond that, we are also strengthening Mombasa Polytechnic. I have also spoken about Kilifi as a constituent college of one of our universities. It is attractive in that, it will be easy for us to even attract professors who would come to teach on voluntary basis because of the attractive climate of Mombasa. It is also attractive in that, we can start programmes that are unique, that have not been started in other universities including marine science and so on. We can start programmes that revolve around tourism. So, there are many benefits in having a university at the Coast Province apart from the fact that we need to redistribute these institutions across the country. There is also a major advantage in having a university in North Eastern Province, especially aware of the fact that university institutions in the neighbouring countries of the north, namely, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia are very under-developed. We would have a situation whereby, we would not only have students from North Eastern Province joining this university, but we would also have students from Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other countries of the north finding it easier to benefit from good Kenyan education without having to travel to Nairobi and other parts of the country that are much further away. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, eventually, we will be attracting other resources. We have been complaining about Kenyan students going to Uganda. We also have an opportunity to build institutions in this country to attract Somalis, Ethiopians, Sudanese, Congolese, Rwandese and even Ugandans to come to this country. So, investment in university education is a benefit in terms of earning foreign currency and creating a business environment for our people. We can be the best centre of university education in this region. Just like India has become attractive for many countries of Asia, Kenya can be a major attraction to North, East and Central Africa. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to conclude by saying that affirmative action is necessary. We must do it even more radically than is the case currently. But as I said, it must be simultaneous with other initiatives. We should not just talk about affirmative action with regard to lowering the entry points for general admission to universities. We can make that specific to certain areas. If you come from Kapenguria and you have attained "B", you can qualify to go and study medicine just like a student with an "A" from Mangu High School. That is because a score of 1758 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 "B" from a small school in Kapenguria is equivalent to "A" from Mangu High School. Unless we make those grades specific to professional degree programmes, we will be doing nothing. You can lower the cut-off points to a university, but most of those students will have grades that cannot get them professional degree courses. So, we must be specific as to what kind of grade you will need for every degree programme, depending on what type of school you went and which part of the country you come from. That is the only way we could make a difference. Finally, the disadvantage position of North Eastern Province, parts of Coast Province and Rift Valley have a great deal to do with bad leadership. There is no doubt that those areas historically supported Government systems that never invested anything in those communities.
Order, Members! There are loud consultations in that corner. Proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about those things, the bottom-line is leadership and governance. Even leaders of North Eastern Province, parts of Rift Valley and Coast Province should not just complain to Government for ignoring them for all those years. I think part of the problem has been of their own making. They were supporting the Government that did not bother about them. They supported leadership that did not have an interest in those communities for more than 40 years. So, it is up to them now and their respective communities to promote the type of leadership that thinks about those communities and that contributes to make a difference in the overall economy of this country. Unless we can experience that development both at the level of the country and the regions, it is going to be very difficult to eventually have institutions that will make the difference that we would like to see. So, really, leadership may be more key than we assume. It is up to all of us to ensure that whenever we have an opportunity, we preach that and ensure that we have better institutions. We have systems that respect disadvantaged communities. We have people who believe in merits and affirmative action that will make a difference. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
I will now call upon the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to donate five minutes to Mr. Shaban. I will then take up the remaining five minutes.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to support this Motion. The problem facing education in northern Kenya is not as the hon. Assistant Minister for education has said; that the leaders are to blame. It has been caused by historical injustice in the education sector by various successive Governments, and even the colonial government. If you look at the set up of national schools, you will see that they are concentrated only in a few areas. There is none in North Eastern Province and northern Kenya. If that is not an injustice, what is it? The entire pastoral region does not have a single national school. That is a historical injustice perfected by the successive regimes that came into power after Kenya attained its Independence. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for example, if you look at the enrolment rate in primary schools in North Eastern Province, it is less than 22 per cent of the number of children. For secondary education, it is less than 7 per cent. One of the reasons is that primary and secondary schools are far apart. There is a divisional headquarters which did not have a primary school, until recently. How will those children go to school? They cannot go to school if the institutions are not there. That is why we are saying that the Government should set aside special funds to enable marginal areas to catch up with the rest of the country. We have said that many times. I want the June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1759 Minister to hear that. The setting aside of Kshs200,000 for bursary education in each district is not a lot of money. We need a marshall plan and sufficient funds to establish primary schools in every area. In fact, some primary schools are more than 50 kilometres or even 100 kilometres apart. We want schools to be established so that we can have enough infrastructure in terms of equipment and classrooms. That way, we can catch up with the rest of the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at most of our secondary schools, they have no equipment. That is why we told the Ministry of Education to upgrade two schools in each district or constituency. That way, we can have the right facilities and compete with the rest of the country nationally. With regard to universities, we should now have a full-fledged university in northern Kenya that is biased to matters pertaining to veterinary medicine. That is where the bulk of livestock is in this country. We should have universities that specialise in livestock production in those areas. That way, students could do practicals and research in those areas, and not in Nairobi. That is why Kenya Meat Commission is based in Nairobi, when it is supposed to be in North Eastern Province or Turkana District. That is where the raw materials are. We need to prioritise the needs for each region. We need to have universities in Eastern, Coast and North Eastern provinces. That should have been done yesterday and not today. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to reply. I wish to thank all my colleagues who have contributed very actively and they have raised important issues concerning education in Kenya. It is pretty obvious that we are talking about the capacity of universities. What is important to note is that the capacity of the existing universities is only 11,000 students and the people who are qualified are well over 60,000. We can see that if the Government was to give any funds to the University of Nairobi today, certainly, you would not even know where to develop the university because there is no land available for that. So, it is very important for other universities to be established and I believe that this Motion states where the universities should be developed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is also important for people to know that we cannot eradicate poverty if our children are not able to access education properly. If anybody wants to kill the marginalised areas completely, you have to deny them education. We need those national schools in Coast Province and North Eastern Province because that is the only way we can stimulate those children to want to go to school properly. The few national schools which are available in the country do not have enough capacity for all the children who are qualified to go to those schools. So, it is very important for the Government to move very fast and make sure that the national schools are re-established. Shimo La Tewa used to be a national school. I do not know what happened along the way but something must be done about it so that it can go back to its rightful position. At the time when it was a national school, we had children accessing it from all over the country, especially from Coast Province where the children felt they needed to make it to that particular school. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that some years back, there were some conditionalities from the World Bank and the IMF. In those conditionalities, it was stated that universities should not be given so much budgetary support by the Government. What is quite surprising is that they never really said that new universities should not be developed. Even now when our budget is not supported by the World Bank any more, it is possible for the Government to commit funds to develop these universities. I know the Government is on its way to establishing a university at the Coast, but just having constituent colleges is not enough. I believe that there are big chunks of farmlands in Coast Province. The Government can acquire that land compulsorily to be able to put up a proper 1760 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 university so that those children who are very poor can be accommodated in those universities. I want to re-affirm that it is very important for these national schools to be developed very fast. It is pretty obvious that we need those universities in those areas. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, in view of the fast changing information and communication technology environment and the ever-increasing need to foster e-commerce and e-government to ensure penetration of ICTs into rural and remote areas in this country; aware that there exists a complex cumbersome licensing system of broadcasting and multi- media services; this House grants leave for the introduction of a Bill for an Act of Parliament entitled the Information and Communication Bill to set up a universal access fund, to create a one-stop shop for making decisions affecting the use of radio frequency spectrum and access networks and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must understand where we are coming from when we try and bring these kinds of Motions to this House because over the years, Information and Communication Technology is something that has been adopted in various forms world over. In the modern world, you will find that the youth and children of the modern society study from nursery school up to secondary school using ICT to foster their educational environment. In fact, today you will not find things like the encyclopedia in form of books because they are given out in form of CDs and diskettes where you can do your research and homework. We want to create a Universal Access Fund because the multinationals are making huge sums of money in our environment in various forms of mobile telephony, internet access and fibre optic cables. They can roll out infrastructure into the rural areas from some of the money they are making. Some of these multinationals are doing this already but we want it done at a more advanced level because we know multinationals are more interested in tapping the market where they are making huge profits like in the big cities in this country where they are able to reap from the society. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government is embarking on various projects, for example in fibre optic cabling that will go all the way to the district level. We would like to tap that system and go further into more rural areas, schools and hospitals so that our people in the rural areas can have more access to information technology. In the First World, you will find that even when a doctor is doing a medical analysis of a patient, he does not rely on himself as an individual. He does an analysis and sends it to experts in other parts of the world so that they can give him a feedback on what they believe is the diagnosis so that they can treat that particular patient. In the modern world, surgery is done through the internet. There are very few neurosurgeons in this country and we do not want a patient, for example, in Siaya, having to travel all the way in critical health to Nairobi which is the only place where you can find these neurosurgeons. We need to have a situation whereby a neurosurgeon in Nairobi can give instructions to a doctor in the deep rural area to perform an operation because of the lack of expertise in those areas. That operation can be carried out successfully without having to get helicopters or ambulances to bring the patient all the way to Nairobi. In today's world, when it comes to information technology, we need rural areas to create June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1761 employment for our people. We need our people to be able to have connectivity in the deep rural areas such that somebody can conduct business from there. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that in a place like India, they are able to create a lot of work opportunities in the rural areas. It is a developing society in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and it is now creating employment for many people. We would like Kenya, also, to have that kind of business framework.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have travelled to many parts of the world. In some countries, when you walk into a cyber cafe, you do not just start using a computer before you have identified yourself in a register. You put your identified name on the register before you proceed to use the machine. There has to be a legal framework which will protect society from things like pornography which can be dangerous. As we all know, somebody can spread seditious information that can be harmful to the society. This is still open in the internet. We need a framework whereby even in the internet, we are able to block such ills from reaching the society. We are also aware that criminal activities are done from places such as cyber cafes. Once you register, they are able to monitor and put penalties on those who are found, for example, looking at pornography. There is a fine that is levied, on the spot, on those found indulging in such activities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in this Motion, we are asking for a framework in which the Government does not just sit back and tell the investor not to invest in ICT because there is no framework. You need to jump from one Ministry to the other to get registration and relevant licences. We need a one-stop shop where an investor just has a checklist from which to tick off the requirements. Once he has the documents in place, there is absolutely no reason why the Government will deny him an opportunity to invest in that business. All over the world, there are things that are happening that we must also be very open about. We have the issue of hacking and people creating viruses to shut down others businesses. We need a legal framework in which anybody found doing such activities, the law would take its course. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that this Government and other successive governments had not put legal frameworks for many of these things that we are now seeing in the ICT environment. For an investor to get licence, for example, for broadcasting or publishing a newspaper, he had to be politically-correct. We need to get away from this mentality and license even those with opposing ideas. We have Government facilities involved in broadcasting. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are in an election year and campaigns will take place. Therefore, we do not want particular arm of the Government to control the amount of information that is going to come out of the system. The issue of cross-media ownership is one that we also need to address. There are some people who hold more than one licence. For example, we have somebody holding a licence for radio broadcasting and publishing newspapers. In this way, we are creating an entity where somebody is allowed to do all businesses under one umbrella. Even if he needs to do the business, we need to separate these businesses to operate independently. This is because the person is likely to sell information in one direction. This can be very detrimental to the society. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that ICT, at large, needs connectivity at the grassroots level. Right now, the easiest way to do this is through satellite linkages. Licence fees and 1762 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 the cost of these satellites are pretty high. I think the figure is up to US$3,000 or US$5,000 to have a disk connected. However, until today, there is no legal framework that has been put in place to control some of these things. I remember, one time I was in Dubai and tried to access a site of a Kenyan newspaper. I found it was blocked. Countries have even put facilities in their internet that control what they want their society to access. When they think certain information would be detrimental to their society, they do not allow it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been hearing what has been happening in some of our radio stations. Some have programmes that are unethical. If you listen to some of these stations and you are sitting with your child in the car, you feel like turning off the radio. This is because the debate is out of this world. It is something that you cannot even discuss in public because it is detrimental to the society. To borrow a culture that is not yours is critical. We need to get some of our radio stations to air 70 per cent local cultural programmes. In this way, we can build our culture as a society and have an identity as Kenyans. We often find Kenyans watching M- Net on their televisions. Sometimes they are glued to Nigerian programmes because that is what they find close to them as a society. However, we, as Kenyans, need to have an acting industry where we have our people becoming stars and other Africans can look at us as a country that creates their own movies and plays. In this way, if we really get these radio stations to hold a certain percentage of local issues, we will go a long way in stopping the young generation aping the Europeans or Americans and avoid becoming that typical hip-hop society. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will also like to bring up the issue of the reason why we want this Act in place. I remember there was a time in this country when the Government decided that even a fax machine was a problem. They did not want people to receive faxes. There was a big problem when fax machines came in the initial stages. When we had our first mobile phones, there were people who were listening to the conversations people were having. They felt threatened that it was a matter of national security. Even now, I think the Government might start thinking of how they can reduce digital links and start interfering with individuals. We need to get the Government to stop eavesdropping on people. Kenyans should have the opportunity to talk freely and feel safe when discussing on phone with others. The Government can use the information against an individual or put insecurity issues on you. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in many countries, people are not allowed to use mobile phones in banking halls. We need to have a legal framework. In areas where we feel there could be insecurity, mobile phones should not be used. What happens is; somebody walks out of a bank, he watches somebody in a bank and uses the information for criminal activities. These are the kind of things we need to have a legal framework for. Right now, it is just a societal thing that you cannot use a mobile phone in the banking hall. We need to make this a criminal offence. You will find that even in banks where there are signs that forbid telephone use, people still use them. They do this because they believe somebody cannot do anything to them. That is the truth! You cannot do anything to anybody using a mobile phone in a banking facility. There is no legal framework to stop him from doing so. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have basically gone through what I wanted to talk about in the introduction of this Bill and I would like hon. Ochilo-Ayacko to second it.
Order, Mr. Weya, you have not moved the Motion!
I have moved the Motion!
Order, Mr. Weya! You have not moved!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the Motion and ask Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko to second it. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to second this very important Motion. June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1763 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Mover of this Motion. We know very well that this Motion is seeking to do two very fundamental things to this country. The first fundamental thing that this Motion seeks to do and the manner in which it seeks to do that fundamental thing is the enactment of the Information and Communication Bill. The two things that it seeks to do are, first, the establishment of the Universal Access Fund. You know very well that without funding, then this becomes hot air. So, this Motion seeks to fund Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in this country. The other very important issue that this Motion seeks to do, is to create a regulatory framework or regime upon which order in terms of information and technology will be achieved in this country. Those are very, very important objectives and if they are not realized, then the debate that will ensue from now and thereafter, will have taken place in vain. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to, first, say that if you read the Bible in the Book of Genesis, you will find that the first commandment that His Excellency God issued to humanity was "Go ye into the world, multiply, fill it and conquer it". The conquest of the world is not possible without information and technology. So, what basically this House seeks to do is to give a basis or to set up a foundation upon which the first commandment that is separate and away from the ones that were given to Moses, is achieved. So, we are embarking on what is called "divine calling". Since the Bible and the Qur'an, in terms of the Old Testament are essentially equal or similar, I believe that this Motion is very good. It is extremely good because it will enable humanity to achieve the commandment that His Excellency God issued to humanity. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to tell you that most of the mismanagement that the universe has had is because we do not have information and technology. We do not have sufficient information on how to manage our environment and resources that are bestowed or bequeathed upon us by those who preceded us. So, with the availability of information to every being that traverses or walks upon the earth, I believe that this earth will be a better place to dwell on. I also believe that human relations will be better enjoyed with the availability of information. A lot of the problems and challenges that we encounter in terms of security are because we do not all have sufficient information to surmount them. So, when a Bill of this kind or leave is granted to a Member to introduce a Bill of this kind which establishes funds to provide universal access to information; when that Bill comes to light and becomes law in this country and the fund becomes available, it will go a long way in ensuring that the lives of human beings who dwell in this geographical region called Kenya, become better people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know very well that in an orderly society, there must be a regulatory regime put in place by qualified people with knowledge, information and with interest in the sector that they seek to regulate. So, a Bill that will regulate the use; a Bill that will facilitate the access; a Bill that will promote the use of information technology, is timely. It is something that this country should have put in place a long time ago. If we had put in place this Bill a long time ago, today we would be up-to-date with most of the issues that we have. I want to tell you how most of the things that we do in this country occasion misery to business people. Every person who intends to produce some wares for himself or herself is an entrepreneur in a very humble way. You will find that because of the restricted nature of information in this country and because of the want of access to information, such people are impeded and such ambitious projects initiated by such people are still-born in the village, where such ideas are generated. But with universal access, such ideas can see the light of day and can grow, just like the proverbial mustard seed that Jesus talked about in the Bible. So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very good Motion, and it will be very well for this country if the Government that we have, which is a modern Government, supports it and allows the hon. Member to introduce a Bill that will address most of these problems. I know very well that most of the challenges that we have, like the security challenge in this country, is because 1764 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 our officers, who are supposed to tackle security issues, have not been exposed to information technology. For instance, the fact that something as basic and as mundane as a mobile phone can cause a security challenge to a police officer who, in his training and provision, is not given a mobile phone, is worrying. You may find that some criminals have more access to technology than our security personnel. You may find that a lot of crime is committed because people in the private world, who have access to private resources, have more technology than our Government institutions which are expected to equally respond to such challenges. So, this Bill which is seeking to give universal access to ICT will equip both the private and public sector so that our strides in terms of development match and so that both the private and public sectors are able to adhere to what is going on in the international scenario. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to conclude by saying that the society is becoming a global village. What is happening in Kenya must be done in such a manner that it competes with what is being done in other areas like Europe and other continents like America. In fact, the poverty that is conquering or is fraught in Kenya can only be addressed if Kenya can match other regions in terms of ICT. Kenya cannot sit back and complain that citizens of this country do not have access to information technology and yet such citizens are supposed to compete on equal footing with citizens of the world from China, USA and Europe. When you go to such places, the excuse only attracts sympathy. It attracts what I would call tears. It does not attract or mitigate on your situation when you are conducting business. So, to equip the current Kenyans and the future Kenyans to compete as global citizens, it is imperative upon the current House and the current generation to give leave to these distinguished Members so that in the event that the Government becomes reluctant to introduce a Bill of this kind, then this House will play its role by bringing a Bill of this nature so that society can enjoy debate and services arising from information and communication technology. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those very few remarks, I beg to second this Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank hon. Weya for bringing this Bill to this House. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is now a necessity. It is not a luxury. In the recent past, people who owned television sets or computers were known to be people from a privileged class. That means that they had access to international information all to themselves. However, as years have gone by, Kenya is now moving from the past into the future and with various inventions, engineering has now come up with a science that has taken media performance into the future context. ICT, which is actually an underline, and when you look at the Media Bill, this is pretty much close to what the media is craving for. They are craving for an enabling position in which case they would also like to be performers or better doers in accordance with the universal requirements. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, e-commerce is all about electronics. There is nothing else, but electronic communication as opposed to what we had in the recent past where, for example, one would buy stamps over the counter and stick them on an envelope, seal in a letter and mail it. The letter would go at a snail speed to a counterpart in the next world, probably, after three weeks. Today, ICT has enabled communication to take only seconds. Within a few seconds, you can pass information all over the continent. So, this Motion calls for funding. It creates a sense of accessibility and it is not something that one would stop at the doorstep. We have to go out of our country to develop and communicate with other countries. We have information from remote areas, say, as far as Timboroa or Saboti Constituency. June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1765 There are people in those areas who have never set foot in town. They do not even know what a radio is. This ICT is now penetrating areas like Lodwar and down to Vanga at the Coast Province. So, it is not something that we are going to hide because our children have now been born in the invention age. They are also looking at the complexities of the systems that they are using, for example, the calculators that have been allowed to be used in our national exams. That is ICT. The gameboy that is used to babysit children is electronic. It is a game that makes the child want to know what the next thing is or what the game is all about. So, this is a creation that this House must look at and approve because it is going to benefit those people tomorrow and in the future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to a one-stop shop for making decisions, when you look at the licensing of businesses--- I came to Kenya with a computer in 1979 and I was subjected to go through various stages at the post office when it used to be called External Telecommunications. I could not get a frequency. Now, we have gone the satellite way and we use satellite communication. The Government has also acquired information and technology which is helping them to communicate faster. They are trying to create a cobweb which will enable communication in the offices. We are now talking of computerisation of all files in the Government registries. In the Judiciary, they want to go e-tec. In the Government registries, they also want to go e-tec. Now, if you want to clear your materials at the airport, you do not have to go there. Even at the port of entry in Mombasa, you can use a computer to clear your materials. This is internet communications. So, this is a viable Motion that hon. Weya has brought here. It is a wake up call for us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion is about the future of Kenya, which is still in the past. Kenya has now got to move from the past into the future to catch up with the international world. A lot has been talked about in comparison to countries that have gone a yard ahead. Why can we not have Kenya as an example to other countries instead of saying, "Malayasia," as though Malayasia was born a long time ago? Malayasia's economy just turned the other day. Dubai is another area. The Government relaxed its muscles and let the people have a free flow of information and licences. It is a nuisance to have so many licences. If I want to have satellite communication, I have to go for an approval, or clearance, from more than five offices. I have to go to another company for a letter of "no objection", because there is no open market for this. But if I do not have the ability, if the Government cannot empower ICT firms, then a common man will not be able to get into the future, or will go into the future with a blind eye. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I take this opportunity to thank hon. Weya for coming up with this Motion on information and communication. This is a major industry. It is an industry that is growing day by day. Indeed, I recognise the importance of beginning to realise some of the pillars we, as a country, need to develop for purposes of ensuring that we help the Kenyan people to tap the opportunities available in this industry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, information and communication have become today the biggest machinery for development and also for employment. Therefore, there is need to develop appropriate framework for streamlining public policy and development of this particular sector. We know, as a country, that we, as a Government, have heard the Ministry of Information and Communications every day talk about the introduction of things like fibre cable for transfer of data. We also hear of the need to develop appropriate systems to allow for the utilisation of the strength of information technology. We also hear of the need for the Government to introduce e- governance for purposes of efficiency, effectiveness and productivity in service delivery. That goes hand in hand with e-commerce, because, today, we realise that, taking the motor industry as an example, those who are procuring from Japan or Dubai are really benefitting from e-commerce. Therefore, if we develop, as a Government, proper legal framework to support the development of this industry to hasten and facilitate the utilisation of opportunities available by the people, we will 1766 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 have helped the Kenyan people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we debate this Motion, I hope when this Bill comes, it will seek to include how we shall also ensure that there is responsible use of information and its transfer. This is because the people who use information technology today are the younger generation. They are attracted to nothing else but the attractive data that is transferred through computers. I hope we shall find a way of helping our country, so that we do not lose our culture; we should not lose our youth through use of this particular data. There is also need to set standards, and I hope when that Bill comes, we are not just going to have anybody accessing or transferring just any data. I think we need standards, so that we ensure that we comply with the standards of development in the same sector in other parts of the world. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thought I should support this Motion because I know how much it will do for our people in creating jobs. If you went to countries like the USA, you would realise the amount of business that is in data transfer and even in games. You find that the best way to occupy young people is through the use of technology and computers. Therefore, I hope that when this Motion is passed, the hon. Member will take the shortest time possible to bring up the Bill, so that we can help the Kenyan people. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Yes, the Official Government Responder, Mr. Assistant Minister.
Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, naomba kujibu Hoja hii. Ninaomba kufanya hivyo kwanza kwa kumpongeza Mbunge kwa kuleta Hoja hii Bungeni, ambayo inaomba ruhusa ya kutayarisha Mswada wa sheria juu ya habari na mawasiliano. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, pamoja na kumpongeza Mbunge, ningetaka kumtahadharisha kwamba ni kama juhudi zake kidogo zimechelewa kwa sababu hata yeye ana habari kwamba tayari Wizara imetayarisha Mswada wa sheria juu ya habari na mawasiliano, Mswada ambao tutauwasilisha Bungeni leo alasiri au kesho alasiri. Kwa hivyo, sidhani tungekuwa na sababu yoyote ya kuchukuwa msimamo kinyume na matakwa ya Hoja hii. Tunaiunga mkono, lakini tutasaidia kufanya lile ambalo Hoja inaomba. Nina hakika kwamba Mbunge atashukuru kuona kwamba tumechukuwa mzigo aliokuwa tayari kuubeba kwa niaba yake na nchi nzima. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni wazi kwamba teknolojia, habari na mawasiliano ndizo zimekuwa kiini cha maendeleo yote ya nchi yetu, na maendeleo yote ya dunia. Kesho itakuwa siku ya kusomewa Bajeti, na maombi yangu ni kwamba Bajeti hiyo ya kesho itaipatia Wizara ya Habari na Mawasiliano kiasi cha pesa tutakazokuwa tumeomba, kwa sababu hii ndio Wizara ambayo inategemewa na nchi nzima kwa maendeleo.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! You may not pre-empt debate on the Budget; it is not before the House yet!
Ni kweli, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Labda, ninaishangilia Bajeti, lakini nachukua tahadhari yako. Hata hivyo, ningependa kusema kwamba Wizara hii hapo nyuma, haikudhaminiwa ya kutosha. Kusema kweli, ilikuwa imeorodheshwa kama ya pili kutoka mwisho. Lakini sasa naiona kama Wizara ambayo itakuwa ya kwanza miongoni mwa Wizara zote tulizo nazo nchini. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nilimsikia mhe. Ochilo-Ayacko akisema ya kwamba ni muhimu kwa Wizara ya Habari na Mawasiliano iunde hazina ambayo itagharamia usambazaji wa tekinolojia katika maeneo yote ya nchi. Mswada ambao umetayarishwa na Wizara unashughulikia jambo hilo kikamilifu. Kuna hazina ambayo itagharamia usambazaji wa tekinolojia katika maeneo yote ya nchi. Ni matarajio ya Mswada huu kwamba pesa zilizotengwa katika hazina hii zitatumiwa na Serikali kuhakikisha ya kwamba kila eneo la uakilishi Bungeni litakuwa na kijiji cha tekinolojia ya kitalakimu ambacho kwa lugha ya Kiingereza kinaitwa digital village. Natumai ya kwamba hili ni jambo ambalo litasaidia sana kuwepo kwa tekinolojia katika kila eneo. June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1767 Mbali na hivyo vijiji, kutakuwepo na vijiji vingine pia vya tekinolojia kwa sababu ni imani ya Serikali ya kwamba bila tekinojia hii na ujuzi wake kusambazwa, Wakenya haiweza kuwa washiriki katika maendeleo ya kisasa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, labda mheshimiwa Mbunge aliyeleta Hoja hii ameona mitaro ambayo imechimbwa kutoka Mombasa hadi Kisumu. Mitaro hiyo itakwenda hadi kwenye mpaka wetu na nchi ya Sudan. Lengo la uchimbaji huu ni kusambaza nyaya za optic. Sijui neno " optic" linajulikanaaje kwa lugha ya Kiswahili. Lakini la muhimu ni kwamba waheshimiwa Wabunge wanaelewa kile ninachoongea juu yake. Baada ya kusambazia nchi nzima nyaya za optic, patakuwa na uwezekano mkubwa wa tekinolojia kila pahali nchini. Pamoja na nyaya hizo za optic, pia ni wazi ya kwamba simu za mkono zimefika katika pembe nyingi nchini. Hiyo ni sehemu mojawapo ya tekinolojia ya habari na mawasiliano. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, Serikali inaelewa vizuri ya kwamba bila tekinolojia ya mawasiliano na habari, Kenya itabaki nyuma kimaendeleo kama vile Bara la Afrika lilivyobaki nyuma likilinganishwa na bara zingine. Maendeleo duniani yameorodheshwa katika enzi nne. Kuna enzi ya kwanza ambayo ilikuwa ni enzi ya mapinduzi ya kimawazo, yaani renaisance. Baada ya hiyo, dunia iliingia katika enzi ya nguvu za bunduki, baada ya Marcopolo kutembelea Uchina na kupata gun powder na kurudi nayo Uropa. Wazungu walitumia nguvu za poda hiyo kutengenezea bunduki na wakatumia bunduki hizo kuenda katika pembe nyingi duniani na kunyaka mali ambayo waliitumia kuongezea maendeleo yao. Baada ya nguvu za bunduki, dunia iliingia katika enzi ya mtambo wa kutumia nguvu za mvuke. Wazungu walitumia mtambo huu kuunda meli ambazo ziliwasaidia kuzunguka dunia zikiteka koloni na malighafi ambayo yalipopelekwa kwao yalitumika kuundia viwanda na kutawalia dunia. Sasa, dunia imeingia katika enzi ya nne ya maendeleo ambayo ni enzi ya tekinolojia ya habari na mawasiliano. Huu ndio msingi wa kile kinachoitwa utandawazi. Katika enzi hii ya utandawazi, ni wazi ya kwamba hatuwezi kushiriki katika biashara ya kimataifa kama hatuna ujuzi wa tekinolojia ya habari na mawasiliano. Tekinolojia hii ni muhimu kama vile hewa. Hivi karibuni, bila tekinolojia, hutaweza kuenda popote. Utakuwa umo katika enzi ya nyuma ambayo imepitwa na wakati. Hutaweza hata kujilinda kutokana na dunia ikiamua kukushambulia. Mhe. Weya ameongea kuhusu umuhimu wa kutoa leseni ya kufanya biashara inayohusu tekinolojia ya habari na mawasiliano, bila ya kufanyiwa ubaguzi wowote wa kisiasa. Ningependa kumhakikishia ya kwamba leseni zinatolewa kwa msingi wa usawa na uwezo wa wanaoomba leseni ili kufanya kazi hii. Sidhani ya kwamba mhe. Weya ana ushahidi ya kwamba kumekuweko na ubaguzi wa aina hiyo. Kama umekuwepo, nadhani utashughulikiwa vilivyo. La muhimu ni kwamba muongozo wa Serikali hautambui ubaguzi huo na utataka kuhakikisha ya kwamba watakaopewa leseni ni wale wote ambao wanauwezo wa kifedha wa kuweza kufanya biashara hii. Hii ni kwa sababu biashara haijui siasa. Yeyote ambaye anaweza kuiletea nchi hii maendeleo atakuwa mzalendo halisi. Kwa hivyo, ni lazima apewe kila aina ya msaada ili kumuwezesha kufanya kazi yake. Mhe. Weya pia aliongea juu ya ukiritiba wa biashara wa vyombo vya habari. Alitoa hofu ya kwamba kukiwa na wachache ambao wataruhusiwa kumiliki vyombo vya habari tofauti, watu hao watakuwa na nguvu zaidi za kisiasa. Huo ni ukweli mtupu, lakini ningependa kumuambia ya kwamba kuna sheria ambayo inashughulikia swala la ukiritiba au monopoly . Ikiwa sheria hiyo haifanyi kazi kikamilifu kwa maoni yake, anaweza kuleta mapendekezo ya kurekebisha Mswada huu tutakapoingia katika Kamati ya Bunge Nzima. Nadhani marekebisho yake yanaweza yakawekwa kwenye Mswada wenyewe ili sheria ya habari na mawasiliano iweze kushughulikia vilivyo swala hilo la ukiritiba. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, mhe. Weya aliongea pia kuhusu hofu au haja ya kushughulikia tatizo la usambazaji au ukosefu wa maadili miongoni mwa vyombo vya habari, hasa katika kuwaonyesha watu wetu filamu za ngono katika saa ambazo hata watoto wetu hawajalala. Hili ni 1768 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES June 13, 2007 swala nyeti kwa sababu lishatolewa uamuzi na mahakama wakati gazeti moja liliishitaki Serikali ili kupata maelekezo kuhusu filamu gani zinaweza kuonyeshwa kwa wakati gani. Lakini hofu ya mhe. Weya inaeleweka. Ni hofu ambayo ina umuhimu mkubwa kwa sababu kwa kweli, si sawa kwa vyombo vyetu vya habari, hasa runinga zetu, kuonyesha filamu za ngono, kwa mfano, saa mbili za usiku, wakati bado tuko mezani na watoto wetu. Hata unashindwa kutazama filamu ya aina hiyo. Sijui kama jamii nyingine hufanya ngono masaa hayo. Lakini kiafrika nadhani ngono huja baada ya watu kula, kusikiliza habari na kulala. Isitoshe, mimi hata sijaelewa ni kwa nini mtu atazame filamu ya ngono ili aweze kufanya kazi hiyo. Mambo haya yanaweza kufanyika bila kutazama filamu hizi. Sioni umuhimu wa wazo hilo. Kuna nyimbo nyingine ambazo zinajulikana kwa jina maarufu la "rap." Nyimbo hizi zimejaa ushawishi wa kingono. Ukiangalia runinga zetu saa kumi jioni utakuta nyimbo hizo zinaonyeshwa. Ajabu ni kwamba hakuna mtu ambaye haelewi lugha za nyimbo hizo. Ni lugha ya kutatanisha kwa sababu ni mapema sana. Saa kumi jioni watoto huwa bado wako shuleni na wengine huwa nyumbani wakitazama namna zinavyochezwa. Ni vibaya sana kuona nyimbo hizo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuna video za ngono ambazo hutengenezewa hapa nchini. Ni kweli kuna studio za kutengenezea video. Baadaye video huuzwa katika nchi za nje kama bidhaa za kutoka nchini mwetu. Ni video mbaya. Zinatuharibia jina na maadili yetu kimataifa. Ninaamini ya kwamba ulevi wa kiponographia umekuwa mbaya hata kuliko ulevi wa mihadarati. Ukikutana na mlevi wa kiponographia, hasa ukiwa wewe ni mama, ni afadhali ukimbilie usalama wako kwa sababu panakuwa na hatari kubwa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuna waheshimiwa Wabunge ambao walizungumza juu ya uhusiano kati ya teknolojia ya habari na mawasiliano na swala la usalama. Huu ni uhusiano halali kabisa kwa sababu vita vya kisasa havitegemei sana uwezo wa bunduki. Vinategemea umilikiaji wa teknolojia ya habari na mawasiliano. Hata vitu vingi ambavyo vinahusu vita vya kisasa, karibu vyote vinategemea teknolojia hii ya habari. Si ajabu ya kwamba mtambo wa internet uligunduliwa na jeshi la Marekani. Kwa hivyo, watu wasidhani ya kwamba wanaweza kuutumia mtambo huu wafikirie wamekuwa na ujuzi sana. Ukweli ni kwamba ni lazima tujue zaidi ya kutumia komputa kwa sababu dakika ya mwisho yule ambaye anamiliki teknolojia hiyo ndiye mwenye nguvu zote. Hii ni kwa sababu mtu akitaka kukufungia internet hiyo atakufungia. Wale ambao wataweza kujihami katika teknolojia hii ni wale ambao wataweza kutumia komputa na kujua inavyofanya kazi, ilivyoundwa na ufundi wake. Kuna watu wana ujuzi wa kuweza kuitumia bila ya kutegemea wengine. Kwa sasa, bado tuko mbali sana. Tunaweza hata tukasema sisi ni kama shule ya chekechea tukilinganishwa na wengine kwa sababu wao wamefika chuo kikuu kiteknolojia. Tuna safari ndefu sana ya kusafiri ili tuweze kufikia ndugu zetu kiteknolojia. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuna maswala mengine ambayo yamegusiwa na waheshimiwa Wabunge. La muhimu hapa ni kusema ya kwamba tutauleta Mswada leo au kesho alasiri kama nilivyosema hapo awali. Mswada huu utazambaziwa waheshimiwa Wabunge wote ili wapate nafasi ya kuusoma. Iwapo wataona haja ya kuufanyia marekebisho, basi watapendekeza kabla ya sisi kuujadili katika Kamati ya Bunge Nzima. Mapendekezo yao yatajadiliwa na Kamati hiyo ya Bunge Nzima. Hii itakuwa ni sheria mpya ya habari na mawasiliano. Ninachosema ni kwamba sisi hatuipingi Hoja hii. Ni furaha yetu ya kwamba tayari tuna Mswada huu ambayo unapendekezwa na Hoja hii. Tunaweza kusema ya kwamba sasa mpira wa Mswada huu umo upande wa Bunge hili. Ikiwa Bunge hili litapitisha Mswada huu, basi nchi hii itakuwa na sheria juu ya habari na mawasiliano. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa hayo mengi au machache, ninaiunga mkono Hoja hii.
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Kulingana na kanuni ya Bunge hili, idadi ya waheshimiwa Wabunge wanaotakiwa kuendeleza shughuli zake ni 30. Kwa June 13, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1769 hivyo, hatuna idadi kamili.
Kweli kuna uhaba wa waheshimiwa Wabunge hapa Bungeni. Idadi ambayo inatakikana ni 30. Ninaona kuna waheshimiwa wachache sana hapa. Kwa hivyo, hatuna idadi inayoweza kutekeleza shughuli za Bunge hili. Ningependa basi kusema kengele ipigwe kwa muda wa dakika tano.
Order, hon. Members! Due to lack of quorum, the House, is now adjourned until this afternoon, Wednesday, 13th June, 2007, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.03 p.m.