asked the Minister of State for Public Service:- (a) how many Kenyans have been employed by the Public Service Commission since January, 2003 to May, 2007; (b) whether he could table a list indicating how they are distributed in terms of constituencies, where they come from and the percentages per constituencies; and, (c) what measures he is going to take to ensure that recruitment by the Public Service Commission is done in a fair and transparent manner and distribution is based on constituencies and not districts to ensure that all constituencies benefit.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) A total of 26,301 Kenyans have been employed by the Public Service Commission since January, 2003 to May, 2007. (b) The Public Service Commission does not employ Kenyans based on the constituencies they come from, but it picks the best applicants from districts in the country depending on the positions that are advertised. However, my Ministry has set up an Inter-Ministerial Technical Team on Human Resource Distribution in the Public Service which is undertaking a situational analysis to determine the distribution of officers in the Public Service and once the report is finalised, a Bill will be brought to this House for debate. (c) As earlier mentioned in "b" above, I trust that when the Bill comes to this House, hon. Members will have an opportunity to debate on it and decide on how the Public Service Commission should employ because it is a constitutional office.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that Kenyans are always complaining about unfair play, inequities and so on especially in the allocation of resources and distribution of jobs. That is the reason why I asked this Question. The Minister has not answered part "b" of this Question apart from saying that there is a committee working on this. Could he tell us when the report will be ready so that we can have a look at it? 2916 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you will remember, Mr. Ojode asked me almost the same Question on the distribution of human resources in the Public Service. That prompted me to come up with this task force. They have already given the initial report. By the middle of this month, the report will be out.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister is avoiding giving a direct answer to the Question. There is discrimination in the Public Service, particularly in the armed forces where its officers are retired as early as 45 years of age. In the early stages the Directorate of Personnel Management was allowed to assimilate these servicemen into the Civil Service. What action is this Minister taking to ensure that servicemen with a lot of experience in public service are not isolated from this recruitment of personnel?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not get his question well.
What did you not get, Mr. Minister? Is it because he was inaudible or is it that you did not understand the question? I did not understand the second part of his question, but I think he was audible. What is the position? Would you like him to repeat the question?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Capt. Nakitare, could you repeat your question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my question is that in the previous Government, soldiers who had been retired as early as at 45 years of age were deployed back in the civil society and they were good and experienced personnel. What steps is this Minister taking---
For special skills, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The Chair wants to understand the question so that he can assist. You are saying that in the previous Government when soldiers retired early they were assimilated in civil society? I think you mean---
I meant the Civil Service, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir!
Maybe the Minister can confirm. Has that been the practice?
As it were the practice before, is the Minister aware that these servicemen are also part of Kenyan society and that they are entitled to serve in the Public Service of which he is Minister? What consideration does he give, apart from recruiting people from the civil society? Servicemen also need to be considered. Is he taking measures to assimilate these people into the Public Service Commission?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member says that the Civil Service recruits people from the civil society. I do not understand what he wanted to bring up. He spoke of officers who have retired from the armed forces. If somebody has retired he is entitled to payment of pension. Therefore, if jobs are advertised, these officers could apply for the same jobs just like any other Kenyans. So, I do not see the reasons why they should be given special consideration.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member retired from the armed forces many years ago. He cannot remember how things are done. There have been a lot of complaints with regard to employment in Public Service. There is a lot of nepotism and favouritism and this has been practised even by Cabinet Members who are recruiting people in their Ministries. Lack of transparency in recruitment of senior public officers is largely responsible for the inequalities we have seen in this country. In his answer the Minister said that over 26,000 people have been recruited but that he cannot give the figure per constituency because they recruit on district basis. Could he then help the House by tabling the list, by district, of the people who have been recruited for those five years because it is important that this Government demonstrates that it is fair and transparent in terms of this recruitment. August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2917
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said that we already have a task force in place which is undertaking a situational analysis to determine the discipline of officers in the Public Service which will include those ones who were employed between 2003 and 2007. That list will be tabled in this House when the exercise is over. To add on to that, in April this year, I tabled a list of public servants working in sample Ministries on the Department of State Corporations tabled in this House. On that day I asked the hon. Members to scrutinise those lists critically and submit the findings, observations and recommendations to my office to add value to the work which this task force is doing. So, when the task force finishes their work I will definitely table in this House for scrutiny, the list showing the number of employees employed in various districts.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not think that the Minister has answered the Question correctly. Part "c" of the Question is very clear and definite. We are not dealing with the history of what is happening. We are dealing with the future. What will the Ministry do to ensure that employment by the Public Service Commission is done in a fair and transparent manner and distribution based on constituency? That is the Question! I do not think he has answered that Question. Is he in order to end this Session without answering part "c" of the Question?
Mr. Minister, could you clarify part "c" of your answer?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, perhaps I will repeat part "c" of the answer for the benefit of the hon. Member. Let me start with part "b" of the answer so that he can understand part "c". I said that as mentioned in "b" above, I trust that when the Bill comes to this House, hon. Members will have an opportunity to debate on it and decide on how the Public Service Commission should employ wananchi since it is a constitutional office.
Which Bill is to be brought to this House?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is why I said let me start with part "b".
But the Chair also wants to understand, Mr. Minister! You said that a Bill is going to be brought before the House on this matter. That answers part "c" of the Question. I am asking you what the Bill is going to be about?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will bring before this House the Results and Performance Management Bill which will include the way the Public Service Commission (PSC) is going to employ people, how they will deploy the same people, how they are going to be placed on performance contracts and how the results will be measured.
Is that Bill going to determine the manner in which they are going to be recruited to cater for the issue of fair and transparent distribution based on constituencies and not districts? That is the question. Is the Bill going to address that issue?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Bill will address some of those issues. But there will be many other things which will be included in that Bill.
No! No! No!
Order, hon. Members! My good reverend is not even answering the Chair's question! Is the Bill going to cover the issues raised in part "b"? If not, then, we move on!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that it will. Do you want me to read out some of the items, because I even have them here and that is part of it? Hon. Members will get an opportunity to amend the Bill in this House. It is there!
Order! Order! This Question has already taken 15 minutes and I still have six Questions remaining. 2918 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 Proceed, Prof. Oniang'o!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you can see that the Minister did not really know what he was answering. We are addressing complaints in the Public Service; that there is inequity, unfair play where people are moved around and even retired unfairly. The Minister is talking about a Bill which will not see the light of day during the Ninth Parliament! Could he tell us what measures he is prepared to put in place, right now, to ensure that we are moving towards transparency, as we are asking in part "c" of the Question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the PSC is a constitutional office. If you go through the Constitution of this country, indeed, the PSC is not supposed to be answerable or to be interfered with when performing their duties. Until we bring a Bill to this House and if it will be in the wisdom of the hon. Members to amend it, I will be happy to support it.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Just a minute, Mr. Billow! Mr. Minister, you are not convincing the House and even the Chair. You keep on referring to the work of the PSC as constitutional. That is not in doubt and I do no think it is in dispute. The issue that hon. Members are raising is on equitable distribution and transparent manner of appointments. It does not mean that since the PSC is a constitutional office, it cannot be transparent and it cannot distribute recruitments fairly! I do not think the hon. Members are questioning the issue of the PSC. We know that it is a constitutional office, but they are questioning the manner of appointments; whether they are transparent and are fairly distributed throughout the country. I think that is the issue, Prof. Oniang'o, is it not?
It is, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Will I be in order to request the Minister that we defer the Question until he comes back with a list of names of the 26,000 employees?
No, I do not think that, that is a cure. I think the Minister is still able to address the issue because the Chair has tried to assist. The issue is still on transparency and fair distribution of appointments.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the moment, the PSC distributes the jobs on district basis. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the Minister in charge of Public Service, I am going to talk to the PSC to direct them that, as a short-term measure, let them consider employing at the constituency level.
Very well, Mr. Minister. Next Question by the hon. Member for Amagoro Constituency!
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) how many water projects the Government has undertaken in Teso District since the year 2003; (b) who the contractors for the projects were; and, (c) how much money has been earmarked for the projects and how much was spent. August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2919
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to reply. (a) The Government has undertaken 11 water projects in Teso District since the year 2003. (b) Private contractors who were contracted for the projects are the following: Boa Agencies, Joima Enterprises, Yoga General Contractors, Alakare Building Contractors, Angura Investments and Machiri Ltd. The rest of the projects were undertaken by my Ministry in-house and the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC). (c) The total amount earmarked for water projects in Teso District was Kshs64,750,000 since 2003. However, only Kshs55,603,000 was allocated and spent on those projects. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. That is a lot of money!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is good that this Question has been answered by hon. Wanjala because he will be leading the campaign for his President there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kshs56 million is alleged to have been taken to Teso and 11 projects are alleged to have been done. Could he confirm whether any of these 11 projects is functional?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, I want to tell the hon. Member that I said: "The total amount earmarked for water projects in Teso District was Kshs64,750,000 since 2003. However, only Kshs55,603,000 was allocated and spent on those projects". Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the projects are there and, I believe, they are operational according to the information I have. There are 11 projects and if you want to know which projects they are, they are as follows: Project number one is Malaba---
Order! Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! I think you have answered the hon. Member's Question. The hon. Member wanted to know whether any of the 11 projects are functional, and I think you have said that they are functional as far as you know. So, let us move from there. Who else wants to ask a question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not satisfied with that answer because the hon. Member is not categorical. He has been asked to state whether they are functional or not, and he says he "believes". According to the Standing Orders, a Minister is responsible for the accuracy of the answers given to this House. So, can he confirm to this House---
Yes, but Mr. Sungu, do you have information to the contrary? Why do you not let the hon. Member who knows--- You are trying to challenge the Assistant Minister and you do not seem to have information to the contrary with what you are---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the honourable Questioner, Mr. Ojaamong, is my personal friend and we were recently in a campaign trail and I know that some of these projects the Assistant Minister is mentioning are not functional!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask the hon. Member to tell us specifically which projects he believes are not functional. Hon. Ojaamong asked that question and after I told him that the projects are functional, he has not asked any other question. If Mr. Sungu knows the projects which are not operational, he should tell us.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, fortunately, Mr. Wanjala, Mr. Katuku and the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs were in Teso launching a water scheme. That is, the Malaba/Kocholia Water Project. I can confirm to you that all the areas within Kolanya, Sulumeti and Angurai do not have water from that time. The Government spent over Kshs24 million. Amukura Complex had been earmarked for drilling of a borehole. A very shallow well was sunk and no electricity was installed. 2920 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 This has happened to all the other projects. None of the projects is functional. You keep on cheating people outside there that the Government has dug so many boreholes and dams! How will you campaign in Teso if you have not dug even one borehole? Do you expect votes from the people of Teso?
Please, let me help the hon. Member. The Assistant Minister has said that 11 projects are functional. You have just alluded that only two of them are functional. What about the other nine projects?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me read out the projects that are not functional. Let me start with Bishop Sulumeti Borehole. About Kshs2 million was earmarked for this project---
Is that functional?
Mr. Assistant Minister, you are out of order! You are in Parliament and there is a Chair here! You should not exchange words with the hon. Member across the Table. Hon. Ojaamong, you now want to read for us the cost of the projects? We are not interested! You asked a specific Question, which is whether they are functional or not. The Assistant Minister has said that they are functional. If they are not, can you tell us which ones are not functional?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Bishop Sulumeti Borehole is non-functional. Amukura Complex Borehole, which is located next to the District Officer's office, is non- functional. Ang'orom Borehole which is just next to Busia Airstrip is non-functional. Changara Dam is non-functional. Malaba Solid Waste Management has never existed in Teso, but Kshs2 million has been spent on the project. Angurai, a non-existent project, is non-functional, but millions of shillings have been spent on it. With regard to Malaba-Kocholia Project, we learnt, in the presence of the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, that it is non-functional. You can even call back where we were.
That is corruption!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Amukura Complex is not applicable according to the people. It is non-functional, but money has been earmarked for it. Amagoro, according to the officers, is non-applicable but non-functional. Amukura Hills is non-existent and non-functional, but it has been done in-house. Apegei exists as a community project. Money has been earmarked for it, but it is non-functional. All the projects are non-functional, but over Kshs50 million has been sent there and spent!
Now, Mr. Assistant Minister, you heard the hon. Member. What do you say?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are projects that were allocated money and the money was spent. Some were done in-house and others were done by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation. The hon. Member has enumerated them. I believe the hon. Member has not been engaged in other affairs outside, that he has not been in his constituency. I will undertake to visit that constituency, which is also my home district. I do not want to go there alone. When the hon. Member invokes the name of the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, who is a very senior Member of the Government, then the matter must be taken seriously. I will ask the Efficiency Monitoring Team from the Office of the President and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) to accompany me. A lot of money is involved here. We also know very well that the people who are messing us up in the Government are the same people who were in "their" Government. So, we must get rid of some of them.
We must finish! Mr. Assistant Minister, you told the hon. Member that the projects were functional. You challenged him and he told you that they were not functional. August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2921 I think it would have been fair for you even to express surprise and perhaps tell us what action you are going to take to ascertain whether or not the hon. Member is telling us the truth. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very serious when you say that the projects are functional and the hon. Member is saying that they are not functional. What are you going to do?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have been very categorical and very specific. The hon. Member has mentioned various projects and I have noted them. I undertake to visit the area to see for myself these projects. I will not only go there alone as it has been with other Ministries. I will undertake to ask the Efficiency Monitoring Team from the Office of the President and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission officers to accompany me, so that we can see for ourselves what is happening on the ground. We allocated money to these projects and it is claimed to have been spent, but the projects are not operational. We need to know the reason why they are not operational.
When is this going to happen?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will sit down with the hon. Member after looking at my diary, so that we can decide when we can visit the projects.
The Chair takes this matter seriously! Either the Assistant Minister or the hon. Member is not telling us the truth. Therefore, I am obliged to defer this Question Tuesday the other week. So, I have given you all that time to ascertain and give us the report. Is that okay, Mr. Wanjala?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also have other programmes. I would like to request the Chair to allow us time, so that we can look at our diaries and see when we can visit the projects.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on Thursday, I can go with him.
The Question is deferred to Tuesday the other week. It is up to you to look at your diaries. The Chair has ruled!
Mr. Kimeto is not in the House. The Question is dropped!
asked the Minister for Energy:- (a) whether he is aware that a third of Butula Constituency is not connected to electricity supply; and, (b) when rural electrification will reach Benga, Bumala "B" Health Centre, Tingolo, Ogalo Market and Buhuyi Complex.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. 2922 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 (a) I am not aware that one-third of Butula Constituency is not connected to electricity supply as no survey has been done to determine the actual proportion of the constituency that is not connected to electricity supply. However, I am aware that some parts of this constituency are not connected to electricity supply. We do not know whether that constitutes one-third of the constituency. (b) The Benga Market, Bumala "B" Health Centre, Tingolo, Ogalo Market and Buhuyi Complex will be considered along with the other projects for funding during this financial year and also during the next financial year.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for his answer. Rural electrification has been ongoing for quite sometime. It does not seem to be seeping down to Butula. As a result, many markets and secondary schools are in darkness. Could the Minister assure this House that during the Financial Year 2007/2008, all the markets that are not connected to electricity in Butula Constituency will be connected?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the hon. Member is aware, the Government has a three-year programme to connect all markets, secondary schools and public institutions in all the constituencies in this country to electricity by the year 2010. This programme is going on well and we have connected the following institutions to electricity in Bumula Constituency: Maranga Secondary School and Health Centre, Lugulu Secondary School, Bulemia, Sikalila, Bwaliro and Kanjara Markets. We would like to connect to electricity other markets and secondary schools in this constituency, but we do not have sufficient funds to connect all of them during this financial year. However, we shall do our best.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Minister has talked about Bumula, but it is Butula Constituency.
Mr. Minister, are you referring to Butula or Bumula?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am sorry. I meant Butula Constituency.
One more question and then we go to the last question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Rural Electrification Programme, from the observations that I have made in my constituency and in other constituencies, is not benefiting the rural areas. It is only benefiting existing town centres and not exactly the rural areas, which need this programme. Could the Minister assure this House that the Rural Electrification Programme will benefit the rural areas during this financial year?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know on what basis the hon. Member has arrived at the conclusion that the Rural Electrification Programme is not benefiting rural areas. By the very name, rural electrification means that we intend to benefit the rural areas. With all the projects that we are doing in the 210 constituencies of this country, the rural areas are benefiting from this programme.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! You should try to catch my eye! You did not now, but now you are trying to catch my eye with a point of order! I do not believe that you have a point of order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is important!
Yes, but is it a point of order or a question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a question!
All right, you are honest. Go on!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to appreciate the work the Minister is doing. However, as I speak, half of all the projects in Western Province have come to a standstill because the contractors have not received the materials that they need to complete these projects. August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2923 What is the Minister doing to address this issue?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is right. We are facing some challenges regarding the procurement of materials for the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). Just this morning, I met the Board Chairman of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company to receive some progress report on the programme of acquisition of these critical accessories, which are missing. We believe that in the next three weeks, or so, this problem will be solved.
Last question, Prof. Mango!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are projects which have been on since 2004 and they are not getting completed. They are repeated year in, year out, without being completed. They are made to be seen as if they are new projects. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, can the Minister ensure that the tenderers complete the projects on time, so that dispensaries and health centres can be served with electricity?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, there are very many uncompleted projects around the country. During this financial year, we have asked for some budgetary support to monitor the implementation of these projects. We have a target to have all the projects, which were started in previous financial years, completed by December, 2007. All the projects which are ongoing must be completed by December, 2007.
Next Question, Mr. J. Nyagah!
asked the Minister for Finance:- (a) out of the Kshs17,562,015,641 outstanding external loan balance for security/defence items as at 30th June, 2006, how much has been paid since then; and, (b) what arrangements he has made to pay off the balance.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) No payments have been made against Kshs17,562,015,641 external loan balance for security/defence items that was outstanding as at 30th June, 2006. (b) Payment of the outstanding balance will be determined by the outcome of the ongoing investigations by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), and the valuation forensic report being prepared by M/s PricewaterHouseCoopers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for his answer. As we all know, we have problems with this category of external debts, which relate to M/s Anglo Leasing and others. As you know, it has been reported that our embassy premises in the Hague are about to be auctioned, and others may follow. In order to protect Kenyan assets abroad, and ensure that we are not left holding huge debts in future, while waiting for the KACC to conclude its investigations, knowing very well that they may never conclude those investigations, what is the Government doing to ensure that the issue of huge potential payments that will affect our grandchildren is resolved now?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is an issue which has been dealt with. The report of the auditors is complete. As we speak, there is a team in the United Kingdom to conclude the particular audit. We hope that in the next few weeks, we should be able to come hear and issue a statement on all of them. It is an issue which has been pending, and which should come to a 2924 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 conclusion once everything is in place. I expect that in the next two weeks, we will have a conclusive report that we can actually say contains the findings.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because this is an external loan, the merits or demerits notwithstanding, we know that if eventually we have to pay, there will be interest, penalties and interest on interest. The figure may jump from the Kshs17 billion to between Kshs30 billion and Kshs40 billion. Is it not in the interest of this country that we appoint an arbitrator, maybe in the Hague, to deal with this matter once and for all, so that all those investigations can be taken to the arbitrators, so that we do not over-burden our children with several billions of Kenya shillings or US Dollars when we have all retired from politics?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the major elements of the forensic report was valuation of the actual work that was done, or perhaps not done, within the contract. This can only form the basis of a proper arbitration. It will not be right to jump into an arbitration before you actually determine the value of the work already done, which so far appears to be less than what is in the contract signed.
Last question, Mr. J. Nyagah!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister confirm to this House that once we get the report by M/s Pricewaterhousecoopers, and it is conclusive, he will ignore any further attempts to get a decision from the KACC since we have no faith in KACC ever concluding this matter?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the most important thing is to get a basis for any discussion. That is what the report of the M/s Pricewaterhousecoopers is all about. As Mr. Kajwang said, at some point there will be an arbitration; but you can only have it when you have the valuation, which means we will be relying on the report of M/s Pricewaterhousecoopers to move forward.
Next Question, Mr. Kajwang!
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works: (a) when the Government will remove the Mbita Causeway that blocks the Mbita Channel between Rusinga Island and the mainland; and, (b) when the causeway will be replaced with a bridge to allow easy flow of the current.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government will remove Mbita Causeway that blocks Mbita Channel between Rusinga Island and the mainland during the upgrading to bitumen standard of Karungu Bay-Homa Bay-Mbita Road. (b) The Mbita Causeway will be replaced with a bridge during the design of Karungu Bay- Homa Bay-Mbita Road. Tenders for the design of the road are to be advertised in September, 2007.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Minister for a straightforward answer. What I want to remind him is that since the channel was blocked by the same Ministry some 20 years ago, the lake's ecology, especially the gulf, has changed. There is a restricted movement of fish and water, thereby making the gulf what has been referred to by environmentalists as "a cess pit". Can we be sure that this is not just another story that it will be August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2925 done for the benefit of the gulf's riparian community?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what was anticipated could be a solution in 1984 has ended up being a problem for the people of Rusinga Island. The solution now is to have a bridge constructed, because of the logistics of the cleaning of the causeway, which was built using boulders and culverts. Once the culverts are blocked, cleaning them is very hard. Thus there has been neglect and water has not been able to flow across the causeway. So, that is why we are combining the construction of Karungu Bay-Homa Bay-Mbita Road with the construction of that bridge. We expect that once we award the consultancy contract for design, by the end of this year, we will have the design for construction, so that we are able to advertise for the construction of the road.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. That is a very important issue not only in Rusinga Island, but to the entire Homa Bay and Karachuonyo districts. That is because the gulf has been silted very badly and the water is smelling. Many people are concerned because the health of the people is badly affected. Could the Assistant Minister, just like we said when we were approving the Budget here, say precisely when tenders will be called to have that bridge removed, so that water can flow and people could resume their normal living? An environmental assessment can also be carried out in that region.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first things first. We are not able to say when we are going to advertise for construction before we have the designs. But I have said that the design advertisement will be done next month. That will depend on engineer or the consultant who is going to do the design. If he can give us the design after six months, then we will be able to go to tendering. So, we anticipate that the consulting engineer who will get the tender to design will not take a long time. But, at the moment, we are not able to say how long it is going to take.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could I ask the Assistant Minister to explain to this House very briefly why the Ministry cannot adopt the method of design and build to cut down on the long waiting period? At the moment, we design, tender, evaluate and hire. By the time you go to evaluate the tenders, some of the original people who had applied drop off. Then the thing starts all over again. Could we get an assurance from the Assistant Minister that the archaic method of constructing roads and bridges will be abandoned? We should use much more rapid methods of design and build.
Well, Professor, you are due for an answer! You have put a good question. I think that has been the concern of Members. When is the Ministry going to adopt the design and construct method? I think it was alluded to during the debate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have accepted as a policy that we are going to do design and build. The only thing that has not happened is that we have not yet started. We are lacking the logistics and the capacity to do exactly that. That is because design and build would involve very competent construction companies which have the capacity to enter into consortiums with very competent design engineers, so that it can be done with the expertise that is required. As a policy, we have accepted that, but we have not commenced it. It is not as easy as it sounds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted to remind the Assistant Minister that one time, I talked to the American Ambassador and he told me that if the Government wrote them a letter, they would bomb the causeway and put up a temporary bridge. This can even be used by vehicles, as you design and look for money to construct a permanent bridge. That way, the water will start flowing immediately. He said they will bomb it the way they did it in Iraq!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is not possible for the Government to ask what it does not know can happen. It is for the American Government to tell us what they can do. Then, we will be able to examine and see whether it is acceptable for the people of Mbita and 2926 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 Rusinga to accept the causeway to be bombed like Iraq.
Next Question by the Member for Magarini, Mr. Kombe!
asked the Minister for Health what plans her Ministry has to construct a dispensary at Burangi in Merikebuni Sub-location of Magarini Location, Magarini Division in Magarini Constituency.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. My Ministry has no plans to construct a dispensary at Burangi. At the moment, there is one dispensary at Merikebuni Location, which has a population of 9,000 people. We think that is adequate to serve the population. However, due to the distance, the local Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) should consider constructing a dispensary. My Ministry will provide staff and medical supplies.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has given the population of the sub-location to be 9,000 people. The dispensary that he is talking about serves four sub- locations. The 9,000 people are on the average. At the moment, we can say that it is serving well over 36,000 people. It is a single dispensary, and not even a health centre. Could the Assistant Minister consider constructing a dispensary at Burangi in the next financial year?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what we all do in our constituencies, including myself as an Assistant Minister for Health, is use our CDF to construct dispensaries. I cannot remember when the Ministry of Health last constructed dispensaries. So, my advice to my friend, who also happens to be my brother-in-law, is that he should use his CDF to construct the dispensary.
Sorry! My clock does not allow me to go on. I am sorry Mr. Manoti. Mr. Kombe, you can now ask your last question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, already, we have constructed dispensaries at Jadini, Chamari, Shomela and Mtoroni. We are in the process of constructing dispensaries in Magarini, Karimboni and Forest Ngwaya. Those dispensaries have never received any personnel to date. Now, could the Assistant Minster assure this House that he is going to supply medical personnel to those dispensaries?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what we have said - and may I repeat for the sake of my brother-in-law - is that every dispensary that has personnel should forward its name to the Ministry. The Ministry will send supplies and equipment there. But if the other facilities that he is talking about are completed, and we have a report from the public health officer that they are completed to standards, we are willing to send personnel there, so that they can be operationalised. Thank you.
Thank you. That is the end of Question Time! Hon. Members, Maj- Gen. Nkaisserry has a matter to raise.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand to request a Ministerial Statement as the Shadow Minister for National Security---
Order! Order, hon. Members! I cannot hear Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry because of too loud consultations, particularly on the Front Bench on my right! Please, pay attention!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to request a Ministerial Statement as the Shadow Minister for National Security. Last night, a Cabinet Minister raided a police station to rescue a suspect in police custody. In the statement which I demand from the Minister, the intimidation of the police by Cabinet Ministers--- Even before, there was another Cabinet Minister who raided a private property. That has become a trend. We would like the Minister in charge of security to tell Kenyans whether Cabinet Ministers of this Government are above the law. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the law was compromised last night at the police station. The morale of the police has been completely compromised. I want the Minister to address that. In the meantime, I demand that the Minister concerned be arrested and locked up, so that we do not have people who happen to be lawmakers breaking the law. Thank you.
Is the Minister of State for Administration and National Security in? If he is not in, could the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs or the Leader of Government Business respond? Is it you, Mr. Akaranga?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will pass over this information to my colleague so that he could issue a Ministerial Statement, perhaps, on Tuesday, next week.
The hon. Member has asked for a Ministerial Statement and the Minister of State for Public Service has promised us the Statement on Tuesday, next week. I think that is the end of the matter. Next Order! PRINTING OF ORDER PAPER AT NIGHT
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek your guidance. There is a practice in the House, which to me, amounts to ambush in the sense that very often, we come to this House in the morning without knowing what kind of business we are going to discuss the following day. Order Papers are printed in the night and put in our pigeon holes. The consequence is that we come to this House ill-prepared and we, therefore, do not---
Order, Mr. Arungah! We are already past 3.30 p.m. If you look at the Order Paper, which I do not know whether you saw, it says that not later than 3.30 p.m., we will commence business. 2928 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but this is a concern---
I know. I will give you permission tomorrow to raise that matter, please, after Question Time. The hon. Member who just rose has sought my permission to raise the matter and you heard it. So, tomorrow, Thursday, I will give you a chance. In view of that fact that we have now wasted "one minute", the House will today rise at 6.32 p.m. and not 6.30 p.m. Next Order!
Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry was on the Floor and he concluded his speech. Mr. Katoo ole Metito!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute in support of Vote 11 - Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health is a very important service Ministry. It has been doing well in the last four or five years. Therefore, I want to support this Vote. I would like to start by saying that I support the increased budget allocation that the Government has given this Ministry in this financial year. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the last four or five years of this Government, the Ministry of Health has really shown a lot of improvement with regard to provision of services to wananchi . First, it is the availability or accessibility of medical care that we have witnessed in the last four or five years. What I mean is the availability of drugs in our dispensaries and hospitals. I think that there has been evidence of this in all our Government hospitals. Before, you could walk into a Government health facility and hardly get any medication. This was attributed to the fact that all our medical personnel used to operate their private businesses. You could not find drugs in Government facilities because they would find some space on the shelves of private facilities. However, for the last four years, this has been a very commendable move to this Ministry. At least, nowadays, drugs are available in our Government health facilities. Secondly, we have also witnessed affordable medical services. We are no longer experiencing what used to be called cost-sharing of medical services. So, other than the drugs being available, they are also affordable at this time. Thirdly, if you walk into our health facilities, that is, dispensaries, health centres or August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2929 hospitals, you will realise that they now, at least, have a clean face. Buildings in our health facilities have been refurbished and the compounds are clean, generally. In the past, we used to say that they look like a "health hazard."
May I ask those hon. Members who are standing to take their seats! Order, Dr. Oburu! You are out of order to stand when an hon. Member is making a contribution. You may wish to consult outside or when seated, but in lower tones. Hon. Members, I do not want the Chair to continue reminding Members this matter. So, let us keep some order.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was talking about the new face we are now seeing in our public health facilities in terms of cleanliness and refurbishment of the buildings. This is something we will urge the Ministry to continue doing. However, in spite of all the achievements this Ministry has got, there still remain some challenges that need to be addressed very urgently by this Ministry. One of them is the very persistent inadequacy of medical personnel in all our health facilities. This problem is even increasing given that we now have new health facilities being put up by the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money. We actually have a great shortage mostly with regard to nurses and clinical officers. I think this Ministry should come up with a policy on how to provide medical personnel to our health facilities. We are actually building many dispensaries, health centres or expanding the already existing ones by using the CDF. We stand a risk of having these facilities becoming white elephant projects or stalled projects if we are not going to provide medical personnel to these facilities. The process it takes to register, gazette---
Well, the Chair recognises that Mr. Ojode has come from the hospital and we say pole sana, but then the House must be in order.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would also wish to express my sympathy to hon. Ojode and wish him quick recovery. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was talking about the process of registering and operationalizing a health facility. It has to be registered, gazetted. That is when, and only when, the Government can operationalize that facility. However, after taking that long route and getting the facility registered or gazetted, there are still no medical personnel to man those facilities. With regard to the already existing rural dispensaries, there needs to be very strict supervision in terms of administration. There are places where health facilities, say, the sub-district hospitals or district hospitals, are as far as 100 kilometres or more away from people. The nurses who are posted to the rural areas tend to neglect their duties. Most of them cannot work properly without strict supervision. The Ministry needs to tighten its supervision all over the country from district hospitals to rural dispensaries. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I commend the Ministry for the waiver of maternity fees. That is a welcome move. However, I would like to urge them to waive other fees. For instance, sometimes patients are retained in Government hospitals for a long time before they can settle their bills. Unfortunately, some pass on leaving behind very huge hospital bills to be settled by the family and 2930 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 as such it takes the family time to raise that money and get the deceased buried. At times, the Government should consider waiving such bills. That is the same case with mortuary bills. We find a body lying in a mortuary for even over a month just because the family is not able to settle hospital bills. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, the Ministry needs to provide motor vehicles to medical facilities. They should not provide only the ambulances, which I know are very vital. Every district, sub-district hospitals and even health centres need ambulances. Besides that, the medical personnel like the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) in district hospitals need vehicles. Some of them lack vehicles to go round to supervise and monitor what is going on in the facilities under their jurisdiction. I have in mind the newly created districts. This Ministry should take into account the fact that there are new districts that ought to be autonomous or independent from their mother districts. The Ministry needs to equip those new district hospitals and health centres. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since yesterday I have been listening attentively and I noted that some hon. Members of Parliament are really commending the Ministry of Health for what they term as achievements. I personally doubt whether this is true in all parts of this country. It may be true in some parts like where the hon. Minister comes from and other privileged and favoured areas of this country. Although I do not want to debate very much on the matter, it is worth noting that areas like Ijara District which was created six years ago and its health centre gazetted and upgraded to a district hospital, to date, has not had any improvement in terms of infrastructure. I am saying this and anybody who wants to go check, can do so. The only improvement that has been done is the construction of a theatre by the UNICEF. It was not even done by the Government of Kenya! Up to this time, that theatre is not fully operational. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a health centre in Ijara which was also constructed through donations from Japan. I recall asking the same Minister, a Question in the year 2005 as to whether they were going to provide equipment and an ambulance to the health centre. Surprisingly, the Minister promised that this facility would be equipped and an ambulance given. This is in the HANSARD. It reflects very badly on the Government as well as the personalities who answer these Questions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to revisit this issue again; the people of Ijara, like the rest of Kenyans, need medical facilities.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Ijara is 200 kilometres away from Garissa. Last year, for three good months, the roads were impassable. The Government had to do air-dropping. Even fixed-wing aeroplanes could not land in any of the airstrips. We cannot expect a patient to be driven on such roads for 200 kilometres. The nearest place we have is Tana River District Hospital which is about 16 kilometres. We have to cross Tana River using a canoe. I remember one time the MOH's boat capsized and he was almost eaten by crocodiles. Can anybody really stand here and say that many things have been done for this country while we know very well that there are certain favoured areas of this country and some are always marginalised? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not enough for us to talk about achievements, if any. This is because achievements are things which have already been done and are there. We August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2931 should be discussing what has not been done and can be achieved in the future. For example, the malaria epidemic is very high in this country, particulary in my constituency which is close to Tana River. People tend to emphasize the HIV/AIDS scourge locally and internationally. We know very well that HIV/AIDS scourge is the creation of human beings. It is people who want to enjoy themselves who get infected. However, mosquitoes have been with us all this time. It is high time the Government took the issue of malaria seriously by introducing sprays. In Ijara, we do not have a single borehole. We have over 200 dams with stagnant water. This is where the mosquitoes breed. It is not surprising that last year we lost over 137 people in the North Eastern Province as a result of the Rift Valley Fever (RVF) which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, cholera is another disease that is ravaging the country in many parts. I remember in 1970s, there was a big campaign to introduce toilets in Nyanza Province in order to curtail this disease. Similarly, I think in many parts, particularly northern Kenya where people are not used to using toilets, the Government should give out money--- This question of passing the buck to the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) as if Kshs30 million can do wonders of the world, is unfair. The Government should consider introducing facilities, particularly toilets, in those marginalised areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another big problem is bilharzia. As I speak, I am informed that there are no drugs for bilharzia in this country. I am not just saying this for the sake of it, but I have done an investigation. Children swim in stagnant water in dams and, as a result, contract bilharzia. Likewise, many people suffer from bilharzia. There is need for the Ministry to do some damage control; by disinfecting the dams using chemicals, or providing the necessary medicine for treating bilharzia. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, under the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), just like my colleague said, several health centres have been constructed. Before this construction is done, normally, the projects are discussed in the District Development Committees (DDCs). We are told that once a project is approved in the DDCs, it is going to be the Government's responsibility to manage it. These facilities have been constructed using the CDF but, up to now, there are no medical staff to run those facilities. Government money has been used to construct these facilities, yet, they are now going to waste. They will be dilapidated as times goes on. In the future, it might not even be useful to have those facilities. So, there is need for the Government to come up with a policy of some kind; either to take over the health centres or stop any further development of health centres using the CDF money, so that we can save that money in order to undertake other projects. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have got a few comments to make on this Vote---
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Naomba kukujulisha kwamba yaonekana kuwa hakuna idadi inayohitajika ya waheshimiwa Wabunge ili kuendeleza kazi ya Bunge.
Very well! Ring the Division Bell.
Order, hon. Members! We have a 2932 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 quorum now. You may proceed, Mr. Miriti!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Vote for the Ministry of Health. First, let me congratulate the Minister and Assistant Minister for the work which has been done by the Ministry of Health for the last four years. It has been very good work. Before this Government took over, drugs were not available in hospitals. Likewise, the services which were being provided in hospitals were very inferior, compared to those rendered in private hospitals and hospitals in other countries. Since this Government took over power, medical services have improved to very high standards. The provision of drugs has been adequate. We know that before 2003, it was very difficult to get drugs in hospitals. Even items as small as bandages and elastoplast were not available. In some hospitals, patients were being asked to go and buy small items like injection needles, bandages, elastoplast and the like. In fact, the situation had worsened to the extent that we even had kiosks which were selling medical equipment near hospitals. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we now have free Anti-Retro Viral drugs and other drugs for treating malaria and other diseases, being availed in hospitals. Likewise, maternity services which were very expensive, are now being provided free of charge. That is to the credit of the Ministry of Health. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, however, there are a few areas which need attention. There are cases, as I have said here, of application for gazettement of dispensaries and health centres which take years. When we go to medical officers of health, there is no explanation for the causes of such delays. Applications for gazettement of such institutions have taken so long that even the communities which were involved in the construction of such facilities feel as if they are being let down by the Government. We would like the Minister to look into this, so that gazettement does not take more than one month. We do not know why the process takes so long. It is as if some of the personnel at the headquarters do not read their files. We have other cases of health centres and dispensaries which have stayed for a very long time without being upgraded. We also have health centres which have remained as dispensaries for over 20 or 30 years. We would like the Minister, or the Ministry, to be reviewing such facilities and considering them for upgrading, or construction of important facilities, on an annual basis. On the use, or misuse, of Government facilities, there are a few complaints that Government facilities like theatres continue to be used for private practice. There are also facilities where patients who undergo surgical operations are charged by some doctors. We also have complaints that Government equipment like mosquito nets and medicines are being used by some people to gain influence in certain parts of this country. In fact, some aspirants are campaigning using the Ministry of Health equipment. We would like the Minister to look into such issues, so that we can curtail such malpractices. The Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have quite a number, in fact very many, of dispensaries and health centres which have been constructed through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and they are not operational, because we do not have nurses, clinical officers and medicine. Maybe it is due to the same problem of their non-gazettement, and I would like the Minister to look into this matter. In the area of public health, I really do not know whether the Ministry looks into the cleanliness and hygiene in our urban centres. We have urban areas which are very filthy. If you go round, you will find the food that is given to people, the sort of accommodation and the environment itself are very filthy. We would like the Ministry's staff not to look at only the cities and municipalities. We would like the public health officers to go round the small urban centres and ensure that even before licencing premises, they are clean, because I think they are the major August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2933 cause of very many diseases around the country. We would like the Ministry to employ nurses. There are so many trained nurses, who are out there, seeking employment. Now that the Ministry has been given more money, we would like the Minister to speed up the matter of employment of nurses, so that we do not have so many unemployed nurses, and at the same time so many hospitals without the same people who, if employed, would be serving in such institutions. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me also give my contribution to this very important Vote of the Ministry of Health. Many hon. Members in this House will agree with me that, for the last few years, we have been voting funds for the purchase of ambulances. At times, you wonder what criteria is used to distribute those ambulances to the various jurisdictions in this country. We cannot ask Parliament to be voting year in, year out, for the purchase of that very important tool of transport--- We come to the same House and complain every year. The Minister has a responsibility to explain to us how those ambulances are distributed throughout the country. Is it on the basis of friendship, neighbourliness or tribe? It is important that, that is explained. I have been in this House and five years have almost gone by. I have never seen an ambulance being given. We do not want a situation where we have to go and beg, so that the Minister could give us an ambulance. There must be a criteria. We see ambulances being given to police stations every time. We do not beg. But in this Ministry of Health, we have to literary beg for an ambulance. It is a shame and unacceptable that we can vote in money, then go to beg to be given ambulances. We come here and complain every year. When the Minister is replying, she should table a document in this House showing how ambulances have been distributed in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a very important referral hospital in this country, after Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). It is called Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. If you look at the Budget for the preceding years, you will be shocked to find out that there is very little consideration being given to that very important institution. That hospital serves as a teaching and referral hospital. It also serves as a provincial and district hospital for Eldoret. There is no sense that the budget for that particular referral hospital continues to almost stagnate. We want to expand that hospital. It is serving very many people to the extent that, since that hospital was established, the provincial hospital in Nakuru, in our view, has been rendered impotent. Why can the Ministry not vote in some of the funds that could have been used in the August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2935 provincial hospital to that very important referral hospital? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was hoping that since the Minister has given us a Chairman from her own district, that hospital would improve. It is a shame for a district and referral hospital in North Rift to get somebody from Kitui District to become the Chairman. It is a shame that you have to get your own tribe, so that you can trust yourself! We complain of tribalism. We complain that the Government is abetting tribalism. But where is tribalism more practised than in this very important Ministry of Health? A Chairman has to fly all the way from Kitui District to attend a board meeting in Eldoret. That is spending a lot of money unnecessarily! What special qualifications can somebody from Kitui District have that somebody who lives in Eldoret does not have? If it is on the basis of qualifications, we have people who are qualified in that part of the world! I have never, in my life, seen a Ministry as tribal as this Ministry of Health! We, as a country, must stop from abetting those kinds of systems, just because somebody is from your village. That, you must say: "I am going to give you a job in Eldoret." Do we not have people there? We are not refusing that they are not Kenyans. But that is unacceptable! I thought that by bringing their own Chairman, that hospital was going to be given special consideration. There is none! The director, who happens to come from that tribe, has been on an acting capacity for a very long time. Why is that the case? This basis of giving jobs to our own tribesmen must come to a stop. I think it is time we told the Minister that we have had enough and it is no longer acceptable. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the facilities in our various hospitals--- As I said, we beg for almost everything. Four years ago, the same Minister asked us to give her a list of the various requirements for health facilities in our districts. Four years down the line, we have not received even a microscope. Thanks to the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), because it is the only institution that ensures that we get medicine. The rest of the things are given out on a basis that I do not understand. The Minister wants us to "preach" to Kenyans that we have done very well. Where have we done very well? We want to be told in which part of the country the Minister has done very well. In our case, we have received nothing. When we ask for a district hospital, we are told to go and look for land. Is that our business? We surrendered our district hospital for use by the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. That was the only district hospital we had. The Government then told us to look for land so that it can build another hospital for us. Is that our responsibility? It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that it gets land somewhere and builds a district hospital for us. Four-and-a- half years down the line, the Minister has been telling us that she will consider the building of a hospital in Uasin Gishu District. Her term is almost coming to an end. Mere rhetoric cannot help us in any way. This kind of situation is unacceptable. Where are the funds for the construction of a district hospital in Uasin Gishu District, just like any other district hospital? Why can we not be given the money so that we can give it to our dispensaries and health centres? We cannot, as a country, continue to neglect some parts of this country and pretend that we are doing very well in terms provision of health care services. Every year, we give this Ministry additional funds. What is this for? This is done so that the money can be distributed to certain areas to the detriment of our areas. I think this Ministry must rise to the occasion. I heard the Minister, yesterday, talking about a stalled project in the MTC. There is also a stalled project in Mathari Hospital which requires to be completed so that it can reduce the load from Kenyatta National Hospital. That project has stalled for a very long time. In the absence of a district hospital, we want the Ministry to consider upgrading Burnt Forest Health Centre to a sub- district hospital so that, for the time being, we can be served like any other Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have an X-Ray facility there and people have talked about it. However, an X-Ray facility without a proper room for it is of no use. This is because you are not allowed, by the Medical Board, to operate an X-Ray machine when you do not 2936 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 1, 2007 have a room built to the required standards. Therefore, I would like to request this Ministry, and we have requested it for a long time--- Some of us are wishing that the term of this Government ends. Not necessarily because of the entire Government but because of such Ministries which are insensitive to our requirements. Many poor Kenyans are unable to settle their hospital bills. Why can this Ministry not set up a kitty that can be used to pay the bills of the needy people? There is no point for hon. Members coming here to complain every year--- We have the bursary scheme. Why can the Ministry not set up something like that, which is accessible to everybody, and use it to settle hospital bills for very needy Kenyans?
Asante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa nafasi hii ili niunge mkono Hoja hii kuhusu Bajeti ya Wizara ya Afya. Tunavyojua, afya ni utajiri. Ikiwa afya ni utajiri, basi utajiri huu u namna gani? Katika mipangilio ya huduma za afya katika nchi--- Nafikiri baada ya kupigania Uhuru, swala la kwanza lilikuwa kuhakikisha kwamba Mwafrika amejikomboa kutoka kwa magonjwa ili watu wapate huduma za tiba bora. Imekuwa aje kwamba miaka 43 baada ya Uhuru, katika sehemu zingine na mikoa mingine katika nchi hii, bado wananchi wanalia kuhusu maswala ya tiba? Kwa mfano, katika hospitali za mikoa--- Kwa mfano, hivi majuzi, huduma ya maji ilikatwa katika Hospitali ya Mkoa wa Bonde la Ufa. Tunajua kwamba katika hospitali, bila huduma ya maji, basi mambo mengi hayawezi kufanyika. Katika Hospitali ya Mkoa wa Pwani, mambo ni vile vile na huduma ya maji ilikatwa. Mambo kama upigaji picha za eksirei hazipo. Wananchi wanalazimika kwenda katika huduma za afya za kibinafsi ambapo wanalipishwa mara tano ile fedha wangelipa katika hospitali za Serikali. Mambo mengine kama vile viwango vya wazazi wanaozaa na watoto wanaofariki, ambayo Waingereza wanaiita infant mortalityrate, imeongezeka hata katika hospitali za mikoa. Hivi majuzi, katika hospitali ya Mkoa wa Pwani, watoto sita walipoteza maisha yao kwa sababu ya kifaa fulani ambacho hakikuwepo na gharama yake ni Kshs1.5 million. Jambo kama hilo linawezekana aje?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We are discussing a very important Vote of the Ministry of Health. This Vote, indeed, involves billions of shillings. When I look at the Government side, I can only see four Ministers. This shows that the Government is not interested in this Vote. We cannot pass this Vote when we only have four Ministers here. I am blaming Ministers for not being in this House. Therefore, I want to alert the Chair that there is no quorum in this House.
Yes, indeed, there is no quorum. Ring the Division Bell.
Order! Order! Hon. Members, due to lack of quorum, we have to adjourn the business of the House. As you are aware, this day is lost. For that reason, we have to repeat it all over next time the matter is on the Order Paper. So, because we have not done a full sitting in discussing this matter, we have to repeat it. This is a ruling that we are all aware of by the Speaker himself and, therefore, it is unfortunate that we have lost a day. August 1, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 2937 It is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 2nd August, 2007, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 4.35 p.m.