Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, being aware of the plight of retired teachers in the country, and their pathetic retirement benefits, noting that the state of the country has achieved remarkable economic growth---
Just a minute! Mr. G.G. Kariuki, you are giving notice of a Motion?
Yes, I am giving notice!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, being aware of the plight of retired teachers in the country, and their pathetic retirement benefits, noting that the state of the country has achieved remarkable economic growth in the last couple of years enabling it to improve not only the salaries of serving teachers, but also the retirement benefits of those retiring presently; this House urges the Government to consider upgrading the retirement package for all the teachers who retired prior to the introduction of the improved benefits.
asked the Attorney-General:- (a) how many compensation cases were filed against the Government by former military servicemen and officers between 1st January, 2004 and 31st March, 2007; and, 3556 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 (b) whether he could state the names of the litigants and the amount of money being sought as compensation by each.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to reply. (a) Twenty cases have been filed against the Government by former military servicemen and officers between 1st January, 2004 and 31st March, 2007. (b) The names of the litigants are as follows:- In the Nairobi High Court Case No.611 of 2004; Capt. M. Musukuya; Nairobi High Court Case No.541 of 2004, Col. Ronald Muge Cherogony; Nairobi High Court Case No.1622 of 2004, Lt. Col. Benjamin Muema; Nairobi High Court No.235 of 2005, Martin Joel Mugambi; Nairobi High Court Case No.768 of 2005, William K. Maiyo; in Nairobi Chief Magistrate's Court, Case No.130/2005, Peter Magaju Kwaria; in Nairobi High Court Case No.365/2005 Lt. Col. Robert T.M. Kibisu, in Nairobi High Court Case No.506/2006, Lt. Col.Robert T. Kibisu; Nairobi High Court Case No.49 of 2006 Lt. Col. John Kirimania Gatobu; Nairobi High Court Miscellaneous Case No.128/2006, Lt. Col. Peter Kagume and seven others; Nairobi High Court Case No.403 of 2006, Peter M. Kariuki, Nairobi High Court Case No.566 of 2006, Emanuel Kimutai Wendot; Nairobi High Court Case No.586/2006 Ex-Maj. Manzi Luu Musyoka; Nairobi High Court Case No.548 of 2006, Martin Werunga Wekesa; Nairobi High Court Case No.715 of 2006 Capt.J.N. Wafubwa; Nairobi High Court Case No.802 of 2006, Col. James Ndambuki Mutune; Nairobi High Court Case No.171 of 2007 David Ilmayo Aromba and another; Nairobi High Court petition Case No.137 of 2007, Capt. Charles W. Masinde and lastly, Nairobi High Court Case No.123 of 2007, Capt. Gideon Mutoro Musukuya.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to thank the Attorney- General for giving that answer. Military cases are very sensitive. More often than not, once these cases are concluded by the courts, the ex-military officers are supposed to seek compensation from the Government. However, most of the time, you will find that they have a problem of enforcing the court orders. Could the Attorney-General tell this House what the Government machinery is for paying out those cases which have been concluded?
Order, Messrs. Cheboi and Oparanya?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me rephrase my question. Could the Attorney-General tell us the measures he will take to ensure that where those cases have been concluded, are not in dispute and specific amounts have been declared by the courts, the servicemen who were seeking the orders will be paid?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, none of the cases I have read out have been concluded. They are all actively before the High Court.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as the Questioner said, these cases are very sensitive. The Attorney-General says none of those cases have been concluded. How long will it take the courts to conclude those cases and pay those people their money? Some of these cases have been dragging for a long time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the cases I have read out are from 2004 up to now. So, they are in process. However, they cannot be fast-tracked over and above other cases being filed by Kenyans in court. So, they will take their normal course. It very much depends on the plaintiff and the advocate to ensure that he or she diligently prosecutes the claim.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the list that the Attorney-General has read to the House, this is a case of ex-Kenya Air Force staff who were either dismissed unlawfully 15 August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3557 years ago---
Capt. Nakitare, you are out of order! I did not get that impression from the Attorney-General. There is nowhere, and I have the answer here, where he talks about which service these people served. So, why are you making that assumption?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not an assumption. These are my former colleagues. Mr. Gideon Mulu was my classmate. He served in the Kenya Air Force up to 1982 when he was dismissed. He was not discharged, but he was dismissed from service with the consequences that followed. These servicemen have languished for the last 15 years without a penny. They have families to take care of. What step is the Attorney-General taking considering that he is also a human being?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if it is true that in one of the cases the person was dismissed in 1982 and it has taken him at the very least 23 years to file a case, then who is to be blamed?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Attorney-General tell this House what mechanism the Government has initiated in view of the sensitivity of these cases and the manpower they are training to settle some of these cases, which are straightforward, outside courts? I believe that is also an option for the Government to undertake.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these are civil cases. In civil cases, there is always that option to try and explore possibilities of an amicable settlement. In other words, to enter into negotiations, without prejudice, to try to see whether an amicable settlement can be reached which is also fair to the Government. The Government is always open in that regard to explore those possibilities if approached by the applicants.
asked the Minister of State for Administration and National Security:- (a) whether he is aware that several Kenyans have been killed and are continuing to be killed by the police in the name of crime prevention; (b) how many suspected criminals have been shot dead by the police from January this year; and, (c) what the Government's position is on shooting suspected criminals.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that several Kenyans have been killed and are continuing to be killed by the police in the name of crime prevention. (b) During the period January to July, 2007, a total of 434 suspected criminals have been shot dead by the police. In the same period, a total of 193 civilians and 35 police officers have been shot dead by criminal gangs who were armed with firearms to bring the total of innocent Kenyans killed by criminals to 662. (c) The Government is committed to the rule of law and can only apply reasonable force that is necessary and appropriate to the prevailing situation in order to ensure the maintenance of law and order, peace and tranquillity.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you have heard the Assistant Minister say that 3558 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 about 193 innocent Kenyans were killed by gangsters. The Assistant Minister did not tell us how many innocent Kenyans out of the 434 were killed by the police. Could he tell this House how many innocent Kenyans have been killed by the police?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the hon. Member was, probably, not listening to what I was saying. I have said that 434 suspected criminals have been shot by police either when they were exchanging fire with the police or when they were carrying out carjackings and the police ambushed them. The law empowers the police to use reasonable force when necessary either to arrest, apprehend a criminal or to stop a criminal who is intent on killing innocent citizens. The police are empowered by Section 71(2) of the Constitution.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. the Assistant Minister is deliberately misleading this House. There are several cases of police brutality. Three days ago, a young boy was shot dead in Kisumu. About three months ago, a woman was shot dead by police in Kisumu. Is he in order to mislead this House by saying that there are no innocent Kenyans who have been shot dead by the police?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not aware of those particular incidents he is talking about. If he can give me information, we will do investigations. If we find any police officer culpable we will take action.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister confirm or deny that it has become a trend for senior police officers to tell junior officers who have arrested armed gangsters not to take them to the police station, but to instead take them to their houses, if they cannot shoot them?
Could you repeat your Question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it has become a trend for senior police officers to tell junior officers who have arrested criminals to shoot them. When they take them to the police station, they are told: "Do not take them to the police station. If you want to take them somewhere, take them to your houses." Could the Assistant Minister confirm or deny?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is an outrageous claim by my friend Charles.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the families of people that police shoot and and kill are normally bereaved. What does the Government do to compensate their families when they find that it is their fault that those innocent Kenyans have been killed? Does the Government have any policy to compensate the families of those bereaved?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have already made it very clear that there are certain circumstances when the police are allowed to use force. They are not allowed to use force any time they confront criminals. However, there are certain circumstances provided in the Kenyan Constitution when the police can use force. For instance, some of these circumstances are for the defence of any person from violence, defence of property, to effect lawful arrest or prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained, the purpose of suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny or to prevent the commission by any person of a criminal offence. Those circumstances are outlined in the Constitution. The police are supposed to use reasonable force that does not exceed the force that the Police Act is against. If there are any particular circumstances that hon. Members think the police have contravened particular provisions in the Constitution, we are ready to look at them, investigate and take action.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister says that police officers are allowed to use force when necessary. In 2005, during the referendum, very innocent young Kenyans were killed in Kisumu. What did the Ministry come up with regarding this situation and what happened to those policemen who killed those innocent young Kenyans?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the circumstances when police officers can use force is when suppressing a riot, insurrection or mutiny. So, if there is a riot that is unruly and August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3559 is likely to cause loss of more lives, the police officers come in to disperse the rioters. In those circumstances, some innocent people may be hurt or stray bullets may injure them. Police are allowed in those circumstances to use reasonable force. If everybody in town is rioting and they could even burn houses and kill innocent people, what are the police supposed to do? That is why the drafters of our Constitution put that as one of the circumstances when the police can use force.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Allow me to read the Question for the Assistant Minister's comprehension. It states as follows:- "Is the Minister aware that several Kenyans have been killed and are continuing to be killed by the police in the name of crime prevention?" He says that he is not aware of this and yet in part "b" of his reply, he says that over 434 were killed. Is he in order to mislead us that nobody has been killed and yet he admits again that, in the prevention of crime, over 400 people have been killed? Is he in order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am quite in order because in part "a" of the reply, I said that I am not aware of any innocent Kenyans who have been killed. However, in part "b" of the reply, I admitted that there are 434 suspected criminals who have been killed. Those are two different answers and my good friend should be able to know how to differentiate the answers by picking up the nuances.
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika.
Order, Mr. Mwandawiro! If you have failed to catch the Chair's eye, you do not translate your question into a point of order!
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika.
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika.
Order! Do you know the meaning of "overrule"?
He understands Swahili!
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika.
Mr. Mwandawiro, you are being disorderly and I do not want to declare you disorderly. So, will you sit down? Rev. Nyagudi!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is actually very confused because he says that he is not aware that innocent Kenyans have lost their lives but yet he also admits that there are some stray bullets that can kill somebody. On part (b) of the Question, the 434 people who have been killed are just suspected criminals. Are they going to tell us how they confirmed that these were actually criminals?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether "confused" is parliamentary language, but I will allow the Reverend to judge his conscience to prick him.
The hon. Member said that the Assistant Minister is "confused." I must order him to withdraw.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a practising preacher, I withdraw and apologise.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk of "a suspected criminal", it is only when a person has been taken to court and convicted--- That is when we can say that he is a criminal. But "suspected" criminals are suspected in the circumstances in which they are found. If you have a firearm with you and you exchange fire with the police, obviously you are a criminal even though you have not been convicted in a court of law. Within the same period that we are talking about, when these suspects are killed, the police were able to recover over 100 AK47 assault rifles from these criminals. They were not recovered in the bush. They were recovered from 3560 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 those criminals who were shot dead by the police. Police also recovered 156 pistols and 3,316 assorted ammunition. So, they were not innocent people found in the streets taking their leisure time who were shot by the police. It is people who were found committing or attempting to commit a crime and then fought the police and then the police killed them in the process.
Next Question by hon. Member for Alego-Usonga!
asked the Minister for Energy when electricity will be supplied to Rabar Market, Uradi Catholic Church and Rabar Health Centre.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I am sorry Mr. Oparanya, you were skipped but I will come back to you. Minister for Energy!
He has forgotten!
I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had not forgotten. My colleague was engaging me in some consultations. I beg to reply. The construction work for supply of electricity to Radar Market and Health Centre has already started and the expected date of completion is October this year. Uradi Catholic Church is not within the scope of Rural Electrification Policy which is only restricted to public utilities like secondary schools, health centres, markets, polytechnics and boreholes. But the church can be considered under the new Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) Customer Creation Initiative upon application and payment of the requisite fees directly to the company.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the normal procedure under rural electrification is that, Members of Parliament through their District Development Committees (DDCs) pass recommendations to the Ministry on where power is to be supplied. Let me also correct the Minister that it is "Rabar" Market and not "Radar" Market as he said. It was supposed to go the market centre nearby. Uradi Catholic Church was being included because it has a missionary hospital within its premises. Could the Minister tell us why, after the design, everything was included and the Minister had supplied Kshs9 million, it was altered without coming and consulting the DDC, that Uradi Market near the Uradi Catholic Church was not to be supplied with electricity?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are now aware that the design of this project was changed. Under no circumstances could we connect a Catholic church or any other church for that matter because it is not a public institution as defined by the Ministry. The Catholic church is still free to apply to the KPLC to be connected upon payment of the necessary charges.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must appreciate and congratulate the Minister for trying his best to make Kenyans have light. But many institutions are unable to get connected to power because of the cost involved. The cost is too high. Even individuals who may want to have power in their homes are unable to do so because of the high cost. Could he consider reducing the cost so that the purpose of rural electrification is felt countrywide?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, the Ministry is aware that many Kenyans are not able to afford the connection cost which now stands at about Kshs30,000; to be connected August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3561 for domestic purposes. But we have introduced a system of payment by instalments. So, you pay half of the connection fees and the balance can be paid later.
Last question, Mr. Weya!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am surprised that the Government does not recognise mission hospitals as part of their plan for supply of electricity. There is a market near the church which is called Uradi Market. Why did somebody alter the design whereas the DDC had recommended, and the Ministry had already allocated funds to supply electricity to the market place? This would have covered the Catholic church.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, it is our policy to connect electricity to all the rural market centres in Kenya within the next three years. If the hon. Member is saying that Uradi Market is not connected, he should come to my office and we shall include it in the programme for connection.
I will still come back to you, Mr. Oparanya. Hon. Member for Bahari, Mr. Khamisi!
asked the Minister for Health whether she could consider upgrading Mtwapa Dispensary to a Subdistrict Hospital.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. My Ministry has no immediate plans to upgrade Mtwapa Dispensary to a subdistrict hospital due to the following reasons:- (a) The acreage of land available is not sufficient because the land available is only 0.344 hectares. (b) The physical infrastructure is inadequate. The dispensary is housed in a four-roomed building which was put up by DANIDA. (c) Staffing level is that of a dispensary. (d) As it is well-known, we normally upgrade facilities from a dispensary to a health centre and then to a hospital. However, at the moment, the facility offers basic curative and preventive services, a comprehensive care clinic and basic clinical laboratory services.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when this health facility was built, the population of Mtwapa was below 10,000 people. The population of this town is now well above 50,000 people and, definitely, there is need for a more advanced facility to offer services to the increased population of this area. Is the Assistant Minister willing to consider building a more comprehensive and bigger facility in Mtwapa Town, so that it can serve the people in this area?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are aware that the population has increased. In fact, according to our figures, the population now stands at slightly less than 37,000 people. During this financial year, the Ministry is going to allocate Ksh1 million to this dispensary to put up a maternity unit.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. With due respect, the Assistant Minister is contradicting the Minister's statement. The Minister said that she was going to upgrade all health centres in all constituencies to subdistrict hospitals. 3562 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Is the Assistant Minister in order to contradict his boss's directive?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think sometimes we do not follow answers to Questions in this House and then end up talking at cross purposes. The facility that we are talking about is a dispensary and not a health centre.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that he is going to put up a maternity wing at the dispensary. Could he also consider upgrading that dispensary to a health centre?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is the direction we are going. This is one of the facilities that we are soon going to upgrade to a health centre. Then after that, we shall consider whether it can be upgraded to the level of a subdistrict hospital.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am satisfied with that answer.
asked the Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he is aware that Butere and Sabatia towns have no street lights; and, (b) what measures he is taking to install street lights in these towns.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Yes, I am aware. (b) The County Council of Butere/Mumias will make a Budget provision for street lighting in the above towns in their next year's Budget estimates if that is approved by the residents in their Local Authority Service Delivery Action Plan (LASDAP) meetings. Meanwhile, as a Ministry, we want to encourage all building owners whose plots front urban streets in this country to have lighting points at the rear and the front elevations of their plots.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the two towns have a population of about 40,000 people. The residents have always recommended that they require electricity during their LASDAP meetings. Nothing has happened because the argument of the county council has been that the capital outlay is a lot. It is beyond Kshs50 million. That is why I was asking the Assistant Minister to make a specific provision in the Budget for the provision of electricity in the two townships. I am requesting the Assistant Minister to assure me that he will make a direct provision, not through the LASDAP, so that the two townships can have street lights.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to inform the hon. Member that we do not make direct Budget items. However, I would like to confirm that the council will receive Kshs73,276,540 through the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) from the Ministry. All the projects that are undertaken by any local authority in this country must be prioritised at the ward level by the residents. The residents of Butere/Mumias County Council have prioritised 41 projects and I have given the list to the hon. Member. In those 41 projects, they have not prioritised street lighting. That could be the priority of the hon. Member and perhaps, he could use the CDF to do the project.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! You must allow others to ask questions. If you are not satisfied, I am still coming back to you and then you can ask a further supplementary question. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3563 Can Mr. Sambu help?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have problems of conflict when residents are asked to make decisions as to what projects should be implemented using the LATF. At least, I have seen this in my constituency. They make a decision in one year to do a certain project and they do not vote enough funds for it. Then in the next year, they make a decision and do not include funds for that project. Then you will find uncompleted projects which, of course they will say, the CDF should complete. Will the Assistant Minister direct that the projects which have been prioritised should be done to completion before new projects are prioritised?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is good project management practice to complete projects that have already been started. I think it will not be in order for any county council to start new projects if the old ones have not been completed. I agree with Mr. Sambu that local authorities in this country must first complete the projects they have started before they undertake to do new ones.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is good the Assistant Minister has told this House that all the projects in town councils must be approved by the residents in their LASDAP meetings. Here in Nairobi, some places have not had street lights for the last two years and yet others have street lights. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the City Council of Nairobi fixes street lights in all the areas and treats all the residents equally?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the City Council of Nairobi, I would appreciate if the hon. Member could tell us which streets he has in mind, so that we can advise the council to prioritise those particular streets.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in areas like Makadara, Kasarani and Embakasi, we do not have street lights, but if you go to Kamukunji or Starehe, you will find that they have street lights. What is the City Council of Nairobi doing to ensure that all the areas get an equal share of the street lights?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Makadara spans all the way from South "B" to the other side near Buruburu. Could we have a recommendation from the ward level, so that the City Council can take the issue up? Otherwise, which street is the hon. Member talking about?
Let us go back to Mr. Oparanya's Question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I mentioned that the capital outlay required is Kshs50 million. The Assistant Minister has asked me to use my CDF to do this project. The total CDF money is not even Kshs50 million. The money that is provided for LASDAP projects is Kshs29 million. It means that if this trend will continue, then the two townships will never have street lights. Since the Assistant Minister has directed that all buildings fronting urban streets in the country should now have lighting points, could he also direct that traders in those two townships should not pay rates? They should now organise themselves, put together the rates and fix the street lights themselves, instead of the county council collecting the rates and it does not provide the street lights.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, rates are payable in accordance with the valuation for Rating Act, Caps.266 and 267. The Ministry cannot change the law on he floor of the House. That should not happen!
3564 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 REPAIR OF ROADS IN MUHORONI CONSTITUENCY
asked the Minister for Roads and Public Works:- (a) whether he is aware that roads in Muhoroni Constituency are in a deplorable state; (b) whether he could indicate how the funds meant for maintenance and repairs of roads in the constituency during the Financial Year 2006/2007 have been spent; and, (c) what immediate measures he is taking to ensure that the said roads are repaired immediately.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that the roads in Muhoroni Constituency have in the recent past been in a poor condition. (b) I beg to table a list indicating how funds allocated for maintenance and repair of the roads in Muhoroni Constituency during the Financial Year 2006/2007 were utilised.
(c) Most of the roads in Muhoroni Constituency have since been repaired as per the list that I have tabled, while other works are still in progress, although occasional rains continue to impede the progress of repairs.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has given a good answer, particularly to part "b", where he has given a wonderful breakdown of how the money was spent. All the roads have been indicated there. However, in part "a", he says that he is aware that the roads have been in a poor state in the recent past. I would like to tell him that the "recent past" includes today. In part "c", he has said that rains continue to impede the progress of repairs. That is the truth. That can be ascertained if he could get hold of some of our District Development Committee's meetings minutes. I wish the Minister could avail himself to visit Muhoroni and see the roads for himself instead of relying on what his officers on the ground are telling him.
What is your question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has been told that rains have been impeding the maintenance of roads in Muhoroni Constituency, and that is what is happening even today and very little work is being done. Are the officers on the ground allowed to use the same road manuals to construct drainage channels along the roads to make the roads' condition a little better instead of letting water stand on the road for a long period of time? That is what is making them not to do the roads because there is water on the roads.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, three-quarters of what the professor has said is just lecturing me and also inviting me to Muhoroni. The good professor should appreciate the fact that Muhoroni has a peculiar situation in terms of road management. The land is flat with top clay soil and because of the black clay soil, the rain goes in and damages the roads. The issue of roads maintenance in Muhoroni is a very complicated one. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other point is that Muhoroni is an area that is susceptible to floods during the rainy season. Even if I double the number of workers there now, the roads will August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3565 still get spoilt during the next rainy season. So, let us agree that we will continue maintaining these roads until such time that sufficient funds are available for us to tarmack road pavements.
Bw. Naibu Spika, wakati mwingine tunashindwa kuelewa ni nani hasa ambaye ana jukumu la kukarabati barabara hapa nchini. Kwa mfano, kuna barabara ya kutoka Wundanyi hadi Werugha. Barabara hii ilijengwa na kampuni ya Victory lakini imeharibika. Tunaambiwa kwamba itakarabatiwa, lakini hakuna jambo linaloendelea. Wakati huu watu wa Werugha wameulizwa na Mkuu wa Wilaya na chifu wakusanye mawe ili wairekebishe barabara hiyo. Je, ni nani hasa ambaye anahusika na ukarabati wa barabara ya Wundanyi kwenda Werugha?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Mwandawiro is raising an issue which should be, first of all, raised at the District Roads Committee (DRC) level. He is a member of the DRC. If there is any problem, either by the contractor or the road is getting spoilt, it is upon the DRCs to inform the Provincial Engineer to come and inspect it and tell us what has gone wrong. The number of roads we are doing right now are in thousands. It is impossible to expect the Ministry to be inspecting every road. The DRCs are there to help us by informing us. I have no information from him, except what he is telling you here.
Jambo la nidhamu, Bw. Naibu Spika.
Order, Mr. Mwandawiro! In the first place, that supplementary question which you are asking is not related to the Question at hand. If you look at your Standing Orders, you must ask a supplementary question that is related to the original Question. Now, we have moved from Muhoroni all the way to Taveta.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I hail from Muhoroni and I visit there---
But you are on a point of order! You are not standing there to tell us where you hail from! You are standing there to raise your point of order!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my point of order is that the Minister says Road C34 was done at a cost of Kshs1,336,031. Just the other day, I was there and nothing has been done on this road, so far. So, I want to invite the Minister to come to Muhoroni and inspect this road. He will find that nothing has been done there.
That is not a point of order!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Minister to mislead this House by saying that areas which have black cotton soil are not manageable whereas he is aware that it is the engineers who do not follow the specifications meant for those particular roads?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not think it is fair for people who are not qualified engineers to come and criticise them here. My engineers have been maintaining roads in this country. We have to trust our professionals. We cannot come here and complain against every professional.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has indicated here that quite a good number of culverts were done. That is true. However, they have been done in a very bad way and also buffing is not done properly. Quite a good number of them have actually broken down. Could the Minister inform the House what the Ministry is doing with regard to that so that these culverts are well done, so that they do not break within six months?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we work very closely with consultants to know exactly what type of material has to be used on any given road. For the information of Prof. Olweny, the Chief Engineer Roads together with the Chief Engineer Operations were in his area last Monday. Is that not a demonstration of concern that we want to do roads for you?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. 3566 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007
Order, Prof. Olweny! You have just asked your last question and the Minister has responded. Hon. Members, that is the end of Question Time! As a matter of record, the Chair wants to record its satisfaction with the manner in which Questions have been handled this afternoon. Hon. Members have asked all the Questions and the Ministers have equally answered all of them. Well done, hon. Members and Ministers! Next Order!
The hon. Member who was the Floor has indicated that she had finished her contribution. Now, proceed, Mr. Weya!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to talk on this Motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the ambassadors of this country have not lived up to their expectations. If you go to respective countries, you will find that many of them are not aware of their duties. We send some of our people to work as ambassadors and yet, some of them are military officers, bishops and even politicians, without both critically looking at their credentials and training them properly. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the duty of ambassadors is to market their countries in those countries where they have been posted. You find ambassadors who have no idea of where the left and right hands are because they have no clue of what they are doing in marketing their countries. They think their responsibility is to wine and dine which I do not think is what they should be doing. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I recently travelled to Helsinki as a representative of the Kenyan Parliament on issues of Information Communication Technology (ICT). I do not think our ambassador to that country even knew that the three of us were there! Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is critical for us, as a country, to know that our embassies out there represent the Kenyan people, and that they are responsible for running matters regarding the country. They should be our agents for selling Kenya's products as well as selling Kenya as a tourist destination. You find that some embassies do not even have pamphlets to issue to people who have called on them to get information about our country. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3567 I was able to talk to some ambassadors out there on several occasions. One of their cries was that they did not have enough resources to run the ambassadorial offices. It is critical for us, as a country, to account for the embassies that we have right now. We should establish whether they are profitable to run or they are not. Let us fund and run properly those embassies which need to be funded and close down those which are not doing anything for this country. There is no reason for running an embassy which is not doing any good for us, as a country. For example, when we had the problem of the Anglo Leasing scandal, it should have been the job of the embassy to verify, on behalf our country, whether that company existed or did not exist.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Attorney-General should have taken the opportunity to call the Kenya High Commission in the United Kingdom and find out whether the company called Anglo Leasing Finance Limited actually existed or it only existed on paper. Before giving out a tender, we should always verify the existence, or otherwise, of the physical address of the company to which the tender is being awarded. All that an ambassador has to do is drive his vehicle to the premises where the company is said to be housed and find out whether the Government is, indeed, getting into a contract with a company. I have heard many students overseas complain that they, really, get disservice from the ambassadors running our foreign offices. The students said that they call the ambassadors to their student functions, but the ambassadors only send their representatives. They have some concerns, as students, in those countries, which they want addressed, because they are foreigners there. They believe that only their Government could talk to the governments of the countries where they are resident. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in various occasions, you find that students in those countries say that the ambassadors do not represent them, and that whenever they go to the embassies to ask for assistance, they get let down. They say that some of the ambassadors have no clue of what is going around them in that country or elsewhere. There were times when dramatic events unfolded in certain countries, and students went to the embassies to ask for assistance, but they were not given any assistance. Recently, while in Australia, I came across a case where a student had died within a shopping mall. The students in that country went to the ambassador and asked the embassy to represent them. They went to find out what the Government was going to do to get a lawyer. The students had found out that their colleague was pushed by one of the bouncers in those premises, and that he was injured but they reached a deadlock, because they did not know how to proceed. At the end of the day, the problem was not solved. Within the embassies, there is supposed to be the position of the First Secretary, or some legal people within those offices, who can address the legal issues relating to what may happen in a particular country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs started serving at low levels, on the assumption that they would rise through the ranks, as persons who were working within that Ministry, and that at one time they would be ambassadors. For many years, for various reasons, you find that you continue operating within the Ministry until you reach the age of 55 and then you are retired without travelling abroad to represent your country as an ambassador, the reason being that most of the ambassadors are hand-picked by the country's 3568 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Chief Executive of the day, who will want to pick somebody who is politically-correct, or who supported him during the campaigns for his election. So, he will pick somebody who has no clue as to what being an ambassador is all about. At one time, he will pick a bishop. At another time, he will pick a military officer. He might even pick a police officer to go and represent the Kenyan people in an embassy overseas. So, you can imagine if you are a Kenyan citizen living overseas and you go to our embassy out there and find a military officer called "His Excellency Brig. So-and-so." He will treat you like a soldier! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, such a person will not treat you like a civilian, because he has dealt with soldiers throughout his life. For example the President may appoint a bishop who was busy, praying for him during the election campaign. If you go to such an embassy for assistance, he will try to console you with prayers. He will tell you: "Let me pray for you, young man, because you have a problem". So, your concerns may not be addressed. You might be told: "Drink wine", because since he is a Bishop, he is used to drinking wine. So, he ends up frustrating his host, because he cannot drink wine. As I said, part of the job of the embassies is to look after the investment interests of the country, not only within the specific country to which one is posted, but also the investment exchange between the various countries. You find that in some cases, Kenya imports more from certain countries, and that very few of our products go to those countries. That is because, the representation in such countries is not up to the mark. We should ensure that persons going to represent Kenya in industrial countries have some idea about industry, and that those going to represent Kenya in countries which import tea and coffee are people who have an idea about what export of tea and coffee is all about. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, sometime back, a Question was brought to the House, asking how a company in Kenya had exported tea to an overseas country. The problem was that tea had been sent overseas but there was no payment forthcoming. That is why we need our embassies abroad to have a desk officer, who will relate to and correspond with Kenyans, instead of someone flying many miles to go and solve a problem, which will only take our ambassador in that country to find out what the problem is, thereby helping his fellow countrymen. As Kenya's ambassador to that country, he will be doing something that is more useful than just sitting behind a desk twice a week, and going for luncheons and dinners in various embassies most of the time, and eventually becoming an alcoholic. When you just spend time wining and dining, you become an alcoholic. Most of our ambassadors abroad can even become alcoholics, because that is what they do. Let us make them more useful. I know of an ambassador who has been sent to a certain industrial country. Every time Kenyans go there, they find that he is conversant with the business that is concerned. He is able to receive delegations, organise meetings with businessmen of that country, so that even when a delegation goes there from Kenya, you find that he has collected all the industrial people and put them in a hall and he says: "This is a Kenyan delegation. We are selling our country". So, the ambassador there is useful to the country. I have been to a country where the ambassador is useful. He even tells us to talk to the businessmen to attract investment to our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as Members of Parliament, part of our job is to attract in investment, on behalf of the Kenyan Government. When we go out there, we, individually, serve as ambassadors of this country. We do not have to go out there and spend most of the time in hotels and going shopping. We can become more useful to this country. I once went for a meeting where Members of Parliament from other African countries carried huge booklets, CDs and magazines featuring certain aspects of their countries. They attended meetings and presented them to all the other people there. With those remarks, I beg to support. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3569
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote, which I support and wish its allocation could be increased. Before I proceed, I would like to declare my interest in the Motion, which is that I am a Member of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, and that I have visited quite a number of Kenyan Missions abroad. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the observations I want to make are: One, some of our ambassadors and high commissioners abroad are not competent in their work. I know that the people in the Ministry might not be responsible for this appointment, but we should expect them to make recommendations. This is because some of our ambassadors are out of depth wherever they are. They really have no idea why they are there. They should settle down and sell Kenya, and, especially, promote trade between Kenya and the countries where we have missions. We should, therefore, get benefits. If they prove to be incompetent, we should get people who are capable of promoting trade in countries where we have missions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other problem, which I think is a Kenyan problem, is lack of interest in our own people. Some ambassadors and High Commissioners find it very difficult to meet Kenyans. I will forever remember the time when the former Head of State, Mr. Moi came to South Africa. I was there as a Member of the Pan African Parliament. The former President came with other many Heads of States. Every country with a mission in South Africa had people who went to meet their respective former Heads of States. However, for Kenyans, we had no idea that the former President was there. Having been the former President of Kenya, his visit to South Africa, where I was at that time, ought to have meant something to me, if really I am a Kenyan. If, as Kenyans and Members of Parliament, we have no time and respect for our former Head of State when he is outside this country, then, perhaps, we are not worth the title, "Members of Parliament". Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to make a recommendation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should standardise decorations, especially the interior decorations of our missions. Everybody who is appointed to head our missions abroad normally thinks of throwing away the existing furniture in order to buy new furniture. They do this, yet they are not qualified in that field. In other countries, they make use of professional interior designers and decorators to look after the mission. We should maintain a certain standard, because when new ambassadors and High Commissioners are appointed and they go to the countries they have been posted to, the first thing they do is to go shopping. The things they buy do not really augur well for our missions. I, will, therefore, recommend, very highly, that we have officers who are qualified in this field to look after our missions abroad, so that they can reflect the real face of Kenya. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been to some missions where tea was served to us in paper cups simply because they are fashionable in those countries. When we asked the officers in the mission what the problem was, they told us that it was because of lack of money. They told us that they did not have funds. I do not think that was so. The only reason was that paper cups are in fashion in that country and, therefore, the mission thought that it was good enough to use that kind of thing. I do not think that is good for my country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to make another recommendation. We happen to be very lucky in Kenya, because we have got hon. Prof. Wangari Maathai, who is a Noble Peace Prize Winner. I do not know why we do not use this lady, who is so knowledgeable, and whose fame has risen to international heights. She can sell our country! I do not see why we cannot use Prof. Maathai as a special envoy for our country!
3570 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 I do not know if it is because we like to ignore the best that God has given our country. If we used a lady like Prof. Maathai, the door will be opened by any President, or anybody, in the world because she has earned respect. Despite that, we do not use her. She travels everywhere on her individual capacity, yet Kenya, as country, does not use her. Why not? She will be of a lot of use to us, if only we use her as a special envoy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to talk about our sports people. I think it is timely. They have done us proud, and I am sure every Kenyan is proud to be a Kenyan. You could say that they fall under another Ministry, that is, the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services, but they are our ambassadors. I would be very happy, for example, if when our sports people come back home, after winning so many medals, Kenyans stopped all activities to go and receive them at the airport. But can we really do that? We ignore them totally as if what they have achieved means nothing. Sometimes I wonder what is really important to us, as Kenyans. Is it that we lack patriotism? Is it that we do not want to congratulate fellow Kenyans, even if it means just patting them when they have done very well? I think that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could make use of our sports people because they are renowned worldwide. They should be used because they have proved to be what they are. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, as a country, we have a lot going for us, but we ignore ourselves. I do not know if it is because we do not love ourselves. Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be supported, because we are doing very well. We made a mark in the world today. I do not think there is anybody who does not know where Kenya is. These are not the days when others used to think that Kenya is in South Africa or Nigeria. Everybody knows where Kenya is now. We should, as a people, use the good name we have earned and live up to it. Our missions abroad should be given more money than they have, so that we can live up to the name and status that we have acquired in the world, leave alone Africa. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, naomba kuunga mkono Hoja hii. Ningependa kusema kwamba---
Nimehama kwa sababu nimepigiwa kelele hapo mbele! Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nilikuwa nasema kwamba kuna mabalozi ng'ambo ambao ningetaka kuwatolea pongezi zangu kwa sababu ya mapokezi na utumishi ambao wanatolea Wakenya wote ambao wanakutana nao. Hata hivyo, kuna mabalozi wengine ambao hawastahili pongezi kabisa. Inatakikana watie bidii katika kuboresha utumishi wanaotolea Wakenya. Mimi mwenyewe, kuna wakati nilikutana na jinamizi wakati mmoja nilipotembelea nchi ya Afrika Kusini. Nilifika huko saa sita za usiku, na hapakuwa na mtu yeyote kutoka kwa ubalozi wetu aliyekuja kunilaki. Ilikuwa niingie katika gari la wakora ili wanipeleke kule nilokokuwa nakwenda. Nilikuwa nimeenda huko kuhudhuria mkutano rasmi. Hata hivyo, niliokolewa na kijana mmoja Mkenya ambaye alinibeba katika gari lake. Tulizunguka kwa masaa matatu, kutoka saa sita hadi saa tisa usiku. Nilishangaa sana kwamba Waziri Msaidizi, kama mimi, anaweza kutembelea nchi fulani na balozi wetu asiwe na habari hiyo. Ninafikiri tuna aina mbili ya mabalozi. Kuna mabalozi wanasiasa na wale ambao wamepata kazi hiyo kwa sababu ya taaluma yao. Ni uzoefu wangu kwamba kila ninapotembelea nchi ambayo balozi wetu huko alikuwa mwanasiasa hapo awali, mimi hupata shida. Ukienda katika nchi ambayo balozi wetu huko ni mwanataaluma na amekuwa katika kazi hiyo kwa muda mrefu, utapata mapokezi tofauti. Wanasiasa wanapofeli katika uchaguzi na kuteuliwa kuwa mabalozi, wao August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3571 huenda kule kujenga himaya zao! Katika hizo himaya, kuna wale wa kuhudumiwa na wale wasiostahili kuhudumiwa. Wakati nilipokuwa ninataabika kule, kulikuweko na balozi ambaye alikuwa amejaribu kuingia hapa Bungeni lakini akashindwa. Aliposhindwa alitupwa kule. Sijui ni kutupwa ama kuzawadiwa, sina habari. Lakini alipofika kule alijua kwamba amefika pahali ambapo anaweza kukalia hata wale ambao walifaulu pale ambapo alianguka. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, hili ni jambo linalostahili kutazamwa upya. Kama tunataka kuwa na mabalozi watakaofanya kazi yao inavyotakikana basi wasiwe wanasiasa. Wanasiasa wafanye siasa na wanadiplomasia waachiwe kazi ya ubalozi. Haya mambo yasichanganywe! Kuchagua mtu kuwa balozi kwa sababu ni rafiki yako na amefeli ni makosa.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sijali kama huyo mtu aliyechaguliwa alikuwa Rais au nini. Hawastahili! Wakae nyumbani ili wanadiplomasia wafanye kazi ya ubalozi. Tukifanya hivyo, utapata kwamba nidhamu na huduma zitaboreka sana. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nitahitimisha kwa kusema kwamba ni makosa kuwachagua mabolozi kwa misingi ya vyama, ukabila na urafiki. Mtu wa aina hiyo, huwezi kujua uaminifu wake uko wapi. Ni vigumu kwake kuwa mwaminifu kwa Wakenya wote. Ndiyo sababu ninasema kwamba ni muhimu tutenganishe siasa na kazi ya ubalozi. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, jambo lingine ambalo ningetaka kuuliza, na labda Waziri atanieleozea: Ni kwa nini kuna maeneo mengine katika nchi hii ambayo hayajatoa balozi hata mmoja tangu Uhuru? Katika sehemu nyingine za nchi hii, utagundua kwamba panateuliwa mabalozi wawili, watatu hata watano! Kwa nini kuna ubaguzi huu? Ukienda kule kwetu Nakuru leo na uwaulize wananchi wakuambie ni watu wangapi kutoka Nakuru wameteuliwa kuwa mabalozi, watakuambia hakuna hata mmoja. Hata mmoja huwezi ukapata! Kama yupo, ningetaka niambiwe ni balozi fulani aliyeteuliwa kutoka Wilaya ya Nakuru. Hata hivyo, mimi sina habari. Kama vile hatuna wazaliwa wa Nakuru ambao wemekuwa wakuu wa wilaya. Kuna wakati tulikuwa na mkuu wa mkoa. Lakini hiyo ilikuwa ni bahati tu. Hatujapata katibu mkuu au
. Hatujakuwa na Waziri isipokuwa Waziri Msaidizi ambaye ni mtu wa mkono. Lazima tuanze kusawazisha vile tunavyopeana kazi na rasilimali ya nchi. Huwezi kuwa na wilaya kubwa kama Nakuru na iwe kwamba haijatoa balozi hata mmoja.
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sitaki.
It is a point of information.
Sitaki, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda! Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, jambo lingine ambalo ningetaka kugusia ni kwamba tuna tatizo---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is Mr. Koigi wa Wamwere in order to say that Nakuru has never produced a Minister or a PS when the late Ramogi Achieng'- Oneko was a Member of Parliament for Nakuru Constituency? Currently, we also have Mr. Stanley Murage who is a PS from Nakuru District.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ni kweli Bw. Achieng'-Oneko alikuwa Waziri na alitoka Wilaya ya Nakuru. Lakini, alichaguliwa kwa misingi ya urafiki wake na hayati Rais Kenyatta. Bw. Murage, anatoka 3572 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Wilaya ya Kirinyaga. Yeye hatoki Nakuru. Kama angekuwa anatoka Nakuru, hangepewa hiyo kazi.
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuna tatizo lingine ambalo ningependa tusaidiwe na Wizara ya Nchi za Kigeni. Hili jambo ni sifa mbaya ambayo Wakenya wamekuwa wakiipatia nchi hii. Ukisoma magazeti, utapata kwamba visa vya Wakenya wanaoshiriki katika kuharibu jina la nchi yetu huko ng'ambo vimeongezeka. Hivi majuzi tumesoma juu ya Wakenya waliofanya wizi huko Sudan. Aidha, juzi niliona katika ukurasa wa mbele wa gazeti la Tanzania zaidi ya picha ishirini za Wakenya ambao wamehamia kule na wanafanya wizi. Isitoshe, tumekuwa tukisoma katika magazeti juu ya Wakenya wanaoshiriki katika wizi kule Marekani. Ninadhani kuna haja ya Wizara hii kutembelea Wakenya hawa na kuwafundisha kwamba hawakuenda ng'ambo kushiriki wizi. Wafanye kazi ambayo itakuwa faida kwao na kuiletea nchi yao sifa nzuri. Ikiwa Wakenya watapatikana tu katika shughuli za wizi, itakuwa ni bahati mbaya sana. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nimewasahihisha mabalozi lakini ningetaka kusema kwamba kuna mabalozi ambao wanastahili kupewa sifa. Ningependa kuwataja baadhi yao: Balozi Amina; ambaye nilikutana naye Geneva, Balozi Kahindi, Balozi Kaikai na Balozi wetu kule New York. Mifano ambayo imetolewa na mabalozi hawa ni ya kuigwa na Wizara nzima. Kwa hayo, ninaomba kuunga mkono.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Vote of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I want to join my colleagues in supporting this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the risk of repeating myself, I would like to join my colleagues and re-visit the issue of appointments. It is very critical that this Ministry is left alone by politicians, so that it appoints professionals. Of late, it has been very common that whenever there is pressure on the Government, they reward politicians with appointments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This exposes us very badly because employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs interact with the rest of the world. We should take this very seriously because they are the face of Kenya out there. They represent Kenya, therefore, once they see the ambassador that is the image of this country that they have. Some of these people have never heard about Kenya. Perhaps, they know about the Maasai Mara National Park more than Kenya. When they meet our ambassadors and find them not competent, they will form an image of this country. Therefore, for better image of this country, this issue needs to be taken seriously. The Minister needs to take it up and ensure that professionals are appointed. If that is not done, then the professionals in the Ministry will be wondering why they are there, yet, they cannot rise through the ranks to become ambassadors and some fellows from nowhere are parachuted to those appointments. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to revisit the issue of trade in the missions. Since this Government took over, there have been many visits from businessmen from other countries to this place. If one was to make a follow up and try and tell us what we have achieved from those visits it would very little, because in many of the missions, there are no trade officers. With the kind of political appointments of ambassadors that we have had, then you realise that those fellows come here, make proposals but nobody makes a follow up. At the end of the day, it is just an empty shell. There is literally nothing. There are also a lot of business opportunities for Kenya out in those countries where we have missions. We are yet to see any ambassador who has taken it very seriously and ensured that Kenya benefited from those opportunities. So, if you want to do good business, it starts with the appointment of individuals who are competent to handle their assignments. In particular, in foreign missions you need individuals who are multi-skilled in terms of professionalism; fellows who can interact at that high level and at the same time be multi-disciplinary in their approach; at least, they need basic skills in common disciplines. So, I think the Ministry, in their performance contracting, August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3573 should give a lot of weight to this, because unless they do that, I do not think these issues will be taken seriously. The issue of tourism is very key. They need to promote tourism and come up with tangible results. The problem in this country is that people just want to hold conferences, they are in meetings throughout and you cannot see them. When you ask at the end of the year, what the tangible things are that have come out of those meetings and conferences, there is very little. So, there should be some quantifiable benefits from some of these meetings and trips that we make to and out of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have looked at the Printed Development Estimates of this Ministry. It is very important that the issue of ownership of offices and residences abroad be taken seriously, because we are not there in those countries temporarily. We must go out of our way and ensure that we own the offices and residences wherever we are. In the past, we have behaved as if we are temporary, as if we are just there only for a short time. We keep on paying rent throughout, and this is extremely costly. Even from what has been approved here, it is like they have such a big shortfall that they just decided to give the missions peanuts. It is like Kshs10 million across the board. Normally when that kind of a thing happens, it is a clear indication that they did not get sufficient funds, and what has happened is basically just to satisfy some basic needs. So, the issue is very critical in our missions, and it is high time the Treasury looked into it with the seriousness it deserves. I want to touch on the issue of Kenyans abroad. It has become evident that we do not have proper records of Kenyans who are outside in other countries; they are not known by our missions outside there. We must find a formula of ensuring that Kenyans register with our missions abroad. I know we cannot force them to do that. I know this issue has come up here before, but we must motivate them to come and register with us. What is it that they find--- When human beings find that there is something beneficial to them, they will go for it. Many of these Kenyans have a lot of potential. They are lecturers in universities, they are doing businesses abroad; they are engaging in serious economic activities in their lives. They end up remitting a lot of money, to the tune of Kshs50 billion, to this country every year. That is what it stands at as of today. So, they make a very significant contribution, and we must be able to give them service in return. We should not take this for granted, and say that because they are Kenyans, they will definitely remit some funds here, and we ignore the fact that they are very crucial. So, the Ministry must put together, at least, something that is going to motivate Kenyans who are out there by way of giving them services. For example, all the information they want should be easily available from the missions. The missions should go out to bring them together, so that they feel as part and parcel of this country when they are out there. Because they have been ignored, you will hardly see many of them at the missions, unless there is a serious problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to support this Motion. I agree with my colleagues, and I do not want to sound repetitive, that this Ministry ought to get more money, because it is the face of Kenya. This is the Ministry that has put Kenya on the map. Our image out there is very good, and it is because of such things like good democracy in Kenya. Since we got Independence, every five years, we have had elections and in Africa, that is something that we should be proud of. We have good sportsmen, and I agree with the hon. Member from Matinyani that we do not use our sportsmen enough. Recently, I was invited to go to London to do a Harambee for Mukuru. The British Airways was in charge of that project. As you know, very good things are happening at Mukuru. The British Airways said that they wanted Prof. Maathai, and a few sportsmen to attend. I indicated that Prof. Maathai was unavailable, but they agreed that one sportsman from Kenya could attend. This was because people in Great Britain know of these sportsmen, and we can use them to popularise our country. 3574 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 We have good wildlife like the "Big Five" in Maasai Mara. This is a natural resource that we have that can attract a lot of tourism, of course with economic benefits accruing from it. As much as we know that we have some natural gifts like good climate, we need to do something about our roads. We need to do something about electricity, and that is being done because with good infrastructure we can get more tourists. We also need security. Lack of security is one thing that keep our friends away from visiting Kenya. I have suggested in many fora that there is no point of sending our young people to Sierra Leone, Liberia and many other places to keep peace when, indeed, Kenyans are dying in their own country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have done a lot of commendable work on corruption. We should be more assertive. We should deal with corrupt people more than we have done. We hope that, when we are back in Government in January, we will deal with the issue of corruption more strictly than we have done before. I want to also comment on some of the deficiencies in our embassies. Members have expressed views that some of our staff are not up to it. Indeed, that is true. I think you have also had a chance to visit some of those places. You wonder: "How did this guy ever get appointed to this post?" I think the officers are here. They are listening. They ought to assist the Minister so that we move away from rewarding politicians. I announce here today that, if I am not elected, I will go and look after my cows. I will not want a post out there. So, let politicians stick to politics. We want career politicians. We want career politicians who can do a good job. We have quite a number of those officers. We have a very good officer in Egypt. That person is up to it and very modern. He is up and about. We want Kenyans with extra languages. We can start that from the school level. French, Chinese and Arabic are the languages of today. When we are appointing our ambassadors and considering their special capabilities, they should be able to speak the language of the country they are posted to. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have no ambassador in South Africa now. There is a lady there who is very good. I do not want to say her name. The Minister and this officers know her. That lady is good. She is a career diplomat. If Government recognises the importance of affirmative action, why not appoint that lady to the post that is now vacant? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had an opportunity to visit Ireland last year, when I was the Acting Minister for Education. I was invited by the Ministry of Overseas Development. I was amazed at what a ministry official said to me. He said: "Do you know Irish people have always had many connections in Kenya? All the missionaries--- Many schools have been established in Kenya by Irish missionaries. He told me: "We have so much money that we want to give to Kenya. But Kenya does not have a protocol with us!" I was surprised because Ireland is a country that we have known for a long time. We know its association with Britain. He went ahead and told me that small countries in Africa were getting so much assistance from Ireland and yet, Kenya which is a friendly country to Ireland, has no embassy there. I am happy to know that the Government has now taken action. We are going to have an embassy in Ireland. We hope that they will too establish a mission here, so that we could have a good relationship. About 20 years ago, Ireland decided to embrace technology. Of course, its economy has boomed. When we are appointing our officers, we should be looking at those opportunities. That is a country where technology has improved the economy. We should send officers there who are also experts in that field, so that we can borrow from them. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on international appointments, I think we have lost opportunities. I remember the issue of Mr. Mukolwe, who would have gotten a job internationally. I do not think we, as a Government, supported Mr. Mukolwe to get that job. He is not the only one. We have had other instances. As recently as last year, there was a talk about an international job that Kenyans would have taken. So, I am appealing to the Minister to protect and support our professionals out there. He should also support professionals within Kenya, who are looking for international jobs. That way, the Government will support them to get those jobs. Of course, Kenyans must recognise that to get international jobs, they must be qualified. You must have August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3575 several languages. With those few remarks, I beg to support. Thank you.
Ahsante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa fursa hii nami nichangie kidogo kuhusu Hoja hii ya kuongezea pesa Wizara ya Mashauri ya Nchi za Kigeni. Mwanzo, naomba kuunga mkono kwa sababu Wizara ya Mashauri ya Nchi za Kigeni inachangia sana kiuchumi. Biashara nyingi ambazo zinapatikana katika sehemu ya Uganda na Kanda ya Maziwa Makuu na sehemu zote ambazo ziko karibu na ng'ambo, nyuma yake kuna sera za Wizara ya Mashauri ya Nchi za Kigeni. Hilo linadhiirika wazi wakati unapotembea nje na kukutana na mabalozi ambao wanakusanya habari na kutupatia. Kwa hivyo, pamoja na hayo, naunga mkono sera ya kuhakisha kwamba ile mali tuko nayo nyumbani, tuendelee kuzihifadhi vizuri, ili ziwe zetu. Hapo, tutakuwa tumezihifadhi pesa katika nchi yetu badala ya kuendelea kuzilipa huko nje. Nasema hapa kwamba kuna haja ya kujenga ubalozi huko Abuja. Pia, ukiangalia huko Lagos, ile mission yetu ina ardhi kubwa na nzuri sana. Hata ikigawanywa mara mbili, inaweza kulipia ujenzi wa ubalozi mwingine huko Abuja na kuwacha consulate huko Lagos. Lakini baada ya kusema hivyo, tunajua kwamba maswala ya kidiplomasia yanahusu--- Sasa, kuna mambo yamezungumzwa hapa. Eti sasa, wakati wa "vita baridi" umeisha. Diplomasia sasa imekuwa ni maswala ya kiuchumi na kibiashara. Ingawa nakubaliana na hayo, tukumbuke ya kwamba diplomasia haihusu leo peke yake. Nchi hii ya Kenya itakuwa hapa hata miaka 1,000 ijayo. Kwa hivyo, lazima tuangalie maswala ya kidiplomasia kwa muda mrefu zaidi, kuliko maslahi ya sasa. Tukizingatia zaidi maswala ya leo, wakati fulani tutajikuta tunaibishwa aibishwa na kuharibu hata heshima ya nchi yetu, ili kupata maslahi ya leo tu. Tukumbuke kwamba tunapozungumza hapa--- Tukizungumzia swala la ugaidi, tunasikitika sana. Hasa sisi ambao tunatoka Mkoa wa Pwani, vijana wetu--- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) na watu wa Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wanaingia kwetu na kuwakamata watu wetu na kuwapeleka nje ya nchi yetu, na tunanyamaza! Eti ni diplomasia! Tuna maslahi kutoka Marekani! Watu wanakamatwa na kupelekwa hadi Ethiopia na Somalia, eti ni diplomasia. Jeshi la Uganda linaingia mpaka ndani ya mpaka wetu na kuchukua ng'ombe na kutatiza watu. Tunanyamaza eti ni diplomasia tunafuata. Tunafanya diplomasia mpaka tunakuwa na upungufu wa mambo ya ndani. Huko Somalia, Marekani inakuja na kuingia katika dakika ya mwisho na sisi tunanyamaza tu. Yale mambo ambayo tumeyapigania kwa muda mrefu na tumeyafanya maslahi yetu kwa muda mrefu--- Tumetoa hela nyingi. Tumesaidia watu wa Sudan kwa muda mrefu zaidi. Tumewasaidia watu wa Somalia kwa muda mrefu zaidi. Lakini dakika ya mwisho, Marekani inakuja na kuchukua kila kitu na kwenda. Tukiangalia, tunajiuliza: "Sasa, maslahi yetu huko Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) yako wapi?" Biashara iko huko. Kila mtu anaenda huko! Nasikia hata Afrika Kusini inaenda huko. Sisi tunaheshimiwa zaidi kwa sababu wanatutambua. Tumetembea huko na wanaona sisi ni Waafrika. Tunazungumza lugha moja na tuna utamaduni unaowakaribia sana kuliko huko. Lakini sisi tunafanya nini kwa maslahi ya Burundi? Nasema tusiangalie maslahi ya hapa. Sisi tuna swala la Jumuia ya Afrika Mashariki. Nashukuru sana kwamba sasa, Jumuia ya Afrika Mashariki inahusu pia Rwanda na Burundi. Lakini tujue kwamba sisi Wakenya ndio tuna maslahi makubwa zaidi katika Jumuia ya Afrika Mashariki. Kwa hivyo, tuendelee zaidi kusukuma na kutumia kila njia kujaribu kuhakikisha kwamba Jumuia ya Afrika Mashariki inafaulu. Wale wengine watasitasita kwa sababu hawaoni maslahi yetu. Sisi Wakenya tunajua tuko wapi. Kwa hivyo, ni lazima tuhakikishe kwamba sisi ndio tunafanye kila kitu ili jumuia hiyo ifaulu. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, mojawapo ya mambo huwa nasema ni kwamba, ili tuweze kuheshimika; na watu wanatuheshimu zaidi katika Afrika Mashariki, tujitayarishe kutoa
na tuwe na vyuo vingi zaidi. Tunaweza kuzipatia nchi zingine kama Burundi, Rwanda, Djibouti, Somalia na hata Sudan scholarships . Hata kama tuna matatizo yetu, tufanye kama Cuba. Wakati tunaendelea kujenga, tunaendelea kutoa. 3576 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, baada ya kusema hivyo, nashukuru kwamba watu wamesema tukichagua ubalozi, tusizingatie tu maslahi ya wanasiasa peke yake. Mimi nasikitika kusema kwamba mtu ambaye amestaafu kama Rais, na anapata pension kubwa mno - pesa nyingi kabisa - na ambaye hana matatizo, eti sasa amekuwa mwanadiplomasia wa amani huko Sudan. Tukiangalia rekodi yake ya kuunga mkono udikteta--- Na watu wengi wameteseka katika nchi hii! Rekodi hiyo ni mbaya sana katika nchi. Sasa hivi, watu wengi sana wameteseka. Watu wengi wamekufa. Vita vingi vimepiganwa ndani ya nchi hii. Halafu sasa, mtu huyo anaenda kuhubiri amani huko Sudan! Hiyo si diplomasia ya ukweli kabisa! Kama tunaweza kufanya hivyo, tunakosea kwa sababu lazima tupeleke mtu ambaye kwa kweli, akienda huko, atatoa picha ya amani. Labda tungempeleka Mt. Elgon! Anaweza kuzungumza lugha moja na kuwasaidia watu hapo karibu. Maanake ni mzee ambaye amestaafu na nyumbani kwake ni karibu na Mt. Elgon. Tuko na shida huko. Haidhuru, tungempeleka mzee kama huyo hapo. Lakini tukimpeleka huko Sudan, nafikiri tunakosea heshima ya nchi hii na udiplomasia. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, tusifikirie ni wanasiasa peke yao. Kuna waandishi kama akina Ngugi wa Thiong'o ambao wanaheshimiwa kote duniani! Kuna Profesa Micere Mugo ambaye ni msomi na mwaandishi anayeheshimiwa. Kuna Prof. Ali Mazrui. Nashukuru kwamba yeye ni
wa Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Lakini hao ni mabalozi. Kuna akina Shadrack Guto. Hadi sasa, anatumiwa kama Balozi katika Afrika Kusini. Anaheshimiwa sana kwa mambo mengi ya kidiplomasia. Anatumwa hata na Rais Mbeki. Ukienda Namibia na kusini mwa Afrika, Wakenya wengi ndio wanafanya hivyo. Kuna Wakenya wengi ambao ni lazima tuwatambue na kuwapa nafasi kama hizo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, mimi nafurahi sana na kuipongeza Wizara hii ya Mashauri ya Nchi za Kigeni kwa kufanya uhusiano, hasa na Cuba, kuwa mzuri. Hilo ni jambo nzuri sana kwa sababu nchi ya Cuba ina heshima sana kwa wale watu ambao wanapigania ubinadamu duniani. Na ile hofu ya kuumbishwa kidiplomasia na Marekani, ambayo imewazuia kwa muda mrefu--- Nashukuru kwamba Serikali imetumia huo msimamo. Naomba uzidishwe. Waende hata Venezuela na baadaye, hata tufungue ubalozi sehemu hizo. Kuna manufaa mengi sana ambayo tunaweza kuyapata kutoka Cuba na Venezuela. Nashukuru kwamba nchi kama hizo zinasaidia hata wanafunzi wetu ambao wanasoma huko. Nchi hizo ziko tayari kwa kutusaidia kwa mambo mbali mbali. Tunachoomba ni kwamba mikataba yote mizuri ambayo inatiwa sahihi na Wizara ya Mashauri ya Nchi za Kigeni na serikali zingine itekelezwe. Iwe inatekelezwa mara moja. Hapo, namaanisha ile ambayo ina manufaa kwa nchi yetu. Tusiwe tunatia sahihi mikataba halafu tunachelewa. Najua kuna mikataba mingi ambayo imetiwa sahihi kati ya Cuba na nchi yetu. Inangojea kutekelezwa. Tunataka mikataba hiyo itekelezwe, ili watu wetu wafaidi! Ile mikataba inayoletwa na Venezuela, tuifuate ili tupate maslahi ya haraka kwa ajili ya nchi yetu. Kwa maneno hayo machache, naomba kuunga mkono.
Ahsante, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa fursa hii na mimi, vile vile, niseme machache kuhusu Wizara hii. Wizara hii ni ya maana sana. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, wale walionena mbele yangu walikuwa wakiuliza: Ni sera gani iliyoko kuhusu balozi za Kenya? Kwa kweli, labda hakuna mjadala ambao umeandikwa chini ambao unaonyesha sera za balozi zetu. Lakini sera iko. Mimi nawasihi mabalozi na maafisa wengine wasikilize machache ambayo nitayaeleza. Yanaweza kuwa kama sera ya balozi zetu. La kwanza kabisa, tunataka kujivunia kuwa Wakenya. Nafikiria hilo ndilo jambo la kwanza kabisa katika sera ya balozi zetu. Wanakenya wajivunie kuwa Wakenya. Ni mambo mengi sana mema ambayo yamefanyika hapa ambayo yanataka Mkenya akiwa nje aweze kuwaelezea wale walioko ng'ambo. Tumekuwa wa kwanza katika Afrika kuleta elimu ya msingi bila malipo. Nakumbuka kwamba Rais mstaafu wa nchi ya Amerika, Bw. Bill Clinton, aliposikia jambo hilo, alisema kwamba mtu wa kwanza angependa kukutana naye ni Rais wa nchi ambayo imeleta elimu ya msingi bila malipo. Elimu ya msingi imekuwa shida sana katika nchi nyingi. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3577 Isitoshe, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sisi tumefufua uchumi ambao ulikuwa umezorota kwa miaka mingi. Tuko na makampuni kama Kenya Airways (KQ), KenGen, benki kama Equity na kadhalika, ambazo zimeonyesha kwamba Wakenya wanaweza, kwa kweli, kufaulu kwa mambo ikiwa wanajitahidi. Tunajua kwamba wakati huu, uchumi wetu sasa unapanda kwa kiwango cha asimilia 6. Hilo ni jambo ambalo sisi ni lazima tujivunie. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sote tumezungumzia juu ya ufisadi ambao ulikuwa katika nchi hii. La ajabu ni kuona kwamba kunao Wakenya ambao wanahamia kule ng'ambo. Wanakwenda kuongeza chumvi na kusema kwamba ufisadi umezidi katika nchi hii. Lakini ukweli ni kwamba, Serikali hii imepigana sana na ufisadi. Inaendelea kufaulu kuurudisha chini. Tunataka sisi tujivunie kuwa Wakenya. Hiyo ni sera ya mambo yetu ya kigeni. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa mara ya kwanza, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) imepita
. Ni nani angefikiria Kenya inaweza kufika kiwango hicho? Tuna wanariadha ambao wameleta sifa kubwa katika nchi hii. Nachukua fursa hii kuwapongeza watoto wetu walioko huko Osaka, Japan. Wametuletea medali tele. Kwa sababu ya wanariadha wetu, tukienda ng'ambo, lazima tujivunie kuwa Wakenya. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, la pili katika sera hii ni kutafuta biashara. Tunataka kazi ya balozi zetu iwe ya kutafuta biashara. La kwanza ni kutafuta wawekezaji. Kuna sehemu nyingi sana ambazo zinataka wawekezaji, ili tuweze kuimarisha maisha. Kwa mfano, kawi. Viwanda vingi sana haviwezi kuendelea mbele bila kawi. Tungependa wawekezaji waweke rasilimali zao katika kawi ili iweze kuenea katika nchi hii. Hatua hiyo itapunguza gharama ya kufanya biashara hapa nchini. Tungependa pia wawekezaji waweke rasilimali zao katika sekta ya barabara ili wasimamie barabara kadhaa humu nchini. Hii ni njia moja ambayo itatusaidia sisi kwa usafirishaji wa watu na pia kuimarisha biashara yetu. Tungependa pia wawekezaji waje kutusaidia kuanzisha kampuni nyingi za usafiri wa reli kwa sababu kwa muda mrefu tumekuwa na shirika moja pekee. Tungependa pia waje kuweka rasilimali zao katika biashara ya kutengeneza mbolea, kwa sababu nchi hii inategemea ukulima kwa wingi. Tungependa pia wapanue bandari yetu ya Mombasa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nakumbuka wakati Wajapan waliposhindwa vita vya 1945. Walijitahidi na kuhakikisha kwamba sera yao ya ubalozi itakuwa ni biashara na kuimarisha uchumi. Walituma watu wao katika nchi mbalimbali hasa Marekani, ili kuangalia na kuiga mienendo ya kuimarisha uchumi. Wakati huu, miaka 60 baadaye, Japan ni moja ya nchi duniani ambayo imeendelea sana katika biashara. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sera ya tatu ni sisi kusahihishana katika Afrika. Zamani tulikuwa na Shirika la Organisation of African Union (OAU). Shirika hilo lilikuwa linasema: "Angalia tu jirani yako lakini usimwingilie hata akiwa anaharibu, kuua na kufanya mambo kadhaa mabaya." Ni furaha kwamba tumeondoka OAU na kuingia katika Muungano wa Afrika yaani Africa Union (AU) ambapo tunaweza kusahihishana tukifanya makosa. Hii ndio itatuwezesha sisi kuanza kuungana katika majimbo na nchi ili tuweze kuwa wengi. Wakati huu, mtindo unaofaa ni kuungana na watu wengi jinsi tulivyo katika Afrika Mashariki. Hii inawezekana ikiwa sisi tunaweza kukosoana. Ukimwona jirani yako akifanya mambo ambayo hayaambatani na heshima na kadhalika, inafaa umshawishi ili mkubaliane naye. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, biashara inataka eneo kubwa. Tuna furaha kwamba katika Afrika Mashariki sasa tuko na idadi ya watu karibi 120 millioni. Hii itatuwezesha kupunguza gharama ya kutengeneza bidhaa na vifaa ili tufanye biashara katika soko la dunia. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sera ya nne ni sisi sasa kujitegemea. Tunataka kujitegemea kwa kulipa kodi na kutumia pesa zetu vyema. Tuwache kuomba kutoka nchi za nje kwa vile mwombaji ni mtumwa. Hii ndiyo inatufanya tudharauliwe. Ikiwa kila mmoja wetu ataweza kulipa kodi tunaweza kujimudu. Asilimia 93 ya Makadirio, mapato na matumizi ya pesa za Serikali ni pesa ambazo zimetoka hapa nchini. Tungependa hii iwe ni sera yetu ya ubalozi. Sisi wenyewe tunafaa kujitegemea. 3578 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, sera ya sera ya tano ni kutambua wale Wakenya wanaoishi katika nchi mbalimbali duniani. Hawa ni watoto wetu. Wakati huu tunaelezwa kwamba Wakenya karibu 100,000 wanaishi Marekani, Uropa na nchi zingine za Afrika. Inasemekana pia kwamba Wakenya hawa wanaleta Kshs67 bilioni nchini. Ikiwa wanaleta kiwango hiki cha pesa nchini wanastahili kuheshimiwa na kutambuliwa. Balozi za Kenya zilizoko katika kila nchi sasa zina jukumu la kuwatafuta Wakenya kokote waliko na kuwasajili. Hatua hiyo itahakikisha kwamba Wakenya wale wataweza kuisaidia nchi. Sera ya saba ni kumiliki mali yetu ilioko katika balozi zetu zilizoko nchi mbalimbali. Tungependa kumiliki mali yetu ilioko katika nchi hizo, kwa mfano, ofisi na nyumba za wafanyakazi wetu walioko huko. Ni rahisi sana kufanya hivyo kwa sababu riba katika nchi hizo iko chini sana. Kwa hivyo tunaweza kukopa pesa. Kwa haya machache, naunga mkono Hoja hii.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to contribute in support of the Vote of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The primary function of any mission or diplomat abroad is firstly to represent the Head of State or sovereign state of the country that he or she represents and there is little misunderstanding on this. The second most important role of these missions is the ensuring of the welfare and safety of Kenyans abroad. On this, I would like to join my colleagues in saying that, whereas a few of our ambassadors and High Commissioners are doing a good job in terms of their mind-set and readiness to perform their duties in this particular area, a lot more ought to be done. Presently, just as His Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs was emphasizing in this contribution, there are over 100,000 Kenyans abroad. The figure that I have is actually more than that. I am told that about 54 per cent of all students who are studying abroad from Sub-saharan Africa come from Kenya. There is a significant number of the student community abroad. I want to challenge the Minister for Foreign Affairs who is absent at the moment; but I can see his officers are in the Chamber; there is minimal interaction and engagement between our embassies, students and other Kenyans abroad. If there is anything that has been an embarrassment to Kenyans abroad, it is that lacklustre attitude. The High Commissioners, Ambassadors and their officers, in majority of cases, are laid-back. Even now, if I ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to confirm if any of our embassies abroad has a complete inventory of Kenyan students in their countries of jurisdiction, he will say that they do not have it. As a result, many times Kenyans are bullied and beaten up, yet, we have embassies in these countries. Only recently, we saw a sad case of Kenyans being killed in the USA. I know that it is not possible to prevent crime just because one is an ambassador, but the attitude and particularly, the lacklustre attitude that some of our officers have is a major worry. Mr. Temporary Deputy Sepaker, Sir, one of my colleagues did point out here an example of who used to be in South Africa. That was probably one of the most embarrassing posting that this country has ever had for a long time. As a Member of the Pan-African Parliament, I travel many times to Johannesburg and for other missions. Even our retired President gave a speech which many Kenyans in South Africa just saw on television. Nobody knew that he was visiting South Africa. Even as we continue to perform our duties in the Pan African Parliament, other ambassadors and High Commissioners engage their visiting Members of Parliament. However, nothing of that sort happens between the Kenyan Members of Parliament and the mission which is in South Africa. I do not blame the officers, but the leadership in that Embassy was most wanting. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, I want to pay tribute gratitude to Ambassador Kathurima. As the then Assistant Minister in charge of trade and investments, I engaged with that officer in India. I know that even in Germany, where I believe he is now, he is doing a good job. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you consider the performance of our officers abroad, you can see that there is lack of standards. People perform differently because there has not August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3579 been any consistent training of our officers. I support the idea of making our diplomats career diplomats through training. As a student at the University of Nairobi (UoN), I knew that there was a school of diplomacy just next to the university. What happened to that school? To the best of my knowledge, it was becoming a focal point for training diplomats for the entire Africa, if not the Third World. What happened to that institute? Should we not resuscitate it? Should we not upgrade it to a post graduate school in diplomacy, so that we can train our ambassadors and mission officers working in our embassies abroad? We should also train our officers in the area of negotiation on trade and investments. The whole area of arbitration at international fora is so important that we should give those skills to as many of our officers as we can. Negotiation is a science. We need to train our officers and develop a proper curriculum. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also need to train our officers on etiquette. Many times, when we go out there and interact with our officers, we get embarrassed. The conduct of some of our officers is despicable. They have no table manners and some are badly dressed! Their dress codes are completely out of tune with the occasion. I want to challenge the Minister for Foreign Affairs to clean them up! Piga brush kabisa, so that we can have a standard image for our country. When our officers go outside there, they should know the colour of a tie must go with a certain suit and shirt. These things may look small, but they are very important. When those officers are out there, they are the image of this country. It is important that they portray the right image for this great lion of Africa. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the question of performance contracts, there has to be some criteria of assessing our embassies in terms of performance. There should also be a criteria for saying: "We should have an embassy in this country, and not in this other country." The most important thing for us to appreciate is that, whereas political diplomacy is very important and those diplomats represent the Head of State when they are out there; but trade, investment and the generation of investment in those countries where they are serving, so that this flows backwards into our country, is a critical criteria. At one stage, when I served briefly as the Assistant Minister in charge of Trade and Investments we, in fact, engaged the Minister for Foreign Affairs, so that we could set standards. We have statistics on trade and investment movements. Let us have this as a standard procedure, so that we give every ambassador or High Commissioner targets. We should tell them: "These are your targets. We want you to sell so many tonnes of coffee." That is, of course, dependant on the market needs or the unique characteristics of the countries to where they are posted. If we do that, at end of the day, we can justify their expenses. This Ministry is one of the few that can actually maintain itself. If we gave them a percentage of the amount of trade or exports to otheir countries--- We can tell them to keep a certain percentage. For example, if we gave them a percentage based on the number of tourists visiting our country from the countries where they are serving, we would be able to fund the operations of our foreign missions without necessarily digging too deeply into our Exchequer. That money would be released for other development activities. I, therefore, would like to encourage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to really consider that as business. I liked the contribution by the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs because that is really the way we should be moving. My fear is that these things are said and not always done. We need to codify them into some kind of document, which is then used to train and ensure that we capture and store memories for the generations of officers to come. That is really critical. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to finalise by emphasising one particular thing. We have very many Kenyan students abroad. In many cases, those students are like orphans abroad. If you look at Tanzania - I interact a lot with Tanzanians by virtue of where I come from - the High Commissioners and Ambassadors from Tanzania are very keen to know the whereabouts and the welfare of Tanzanian students in their countries. This is not happening in our country. 3580 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Without parents being nearby, some of those students suffer from small things which, only need communication and a little helping hand from the embassies and missions to make a big difference in the welfare of those students, including the renewal of their visas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, I will call upon the Minister to reply at 5.00 p.m. There are two hon. Members wishing to contribute to the Motion. I would, therefore, like Messrs. Konchella and Billow to take the Floor for five minutes each.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish I had my full time. But because of your ruling, let me make my contribution very quickly. First, I would like to inform Mr. Syongo that the Kenya Institute of Diplomacy (KID) is at Kabete, and it is running. I also want to congratulate this Ministry as I support this Motion. This is one Ministry that is very important to our country. I congratulate the Ministry because of looking at issues affecting Kenyans in the diaspora. They have taken new blood into the Ministry. We now have many new Kenyan employees working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We, as a Ministry, are working with them. As our economy grows, tourism is taking over as the leading foreign exchange earner in this country. As that happens, the security of this country is paramount. That way, visitors would stay in a peaceful environment and conduct their businesses. In doing so, it is important that in every embassy, we have Immigration Officers. We need to ensure that whoever comes here is not somebody who will cause problems or is a security threat to this country. Indeed, during the course of this year, many people have been deported because of being linked to various terrorist organisations and other factors such as human trafficking. That is now becoming a big problem. I would like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be keen and ensure that Kenyans overseas are accounted for. We, as a Ministry, are soon deploying a digital issuance system of all our passports, so that they are all machine readable. Nobody is going to forge them. Many Kenyans, particulary students, are losing their passports because they can easily be forged by criminals globally. But by October this year, we will be issuing digitalized passports. Indeed, once we know how many Kenyans are in the diaspora such as in the United Kingdom (UK), Europe and United States of America (USA), we intend to have a system to issue passports directly there. Those who have children there do not have to come to Kenya. The world is becoming a global village. We will be able to communicate through the fibre optic cable come the year 2010. So, we can issue passports in USA and UK. It is important to conduct a census and know the number of Kenyans living in all those countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another concern I have regards athletes who leave this country to run for certain institutions. There are young ladies who are leaving this country to work in Europe and other parts of the world. They should leave the country with the consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that we can trace them. Some of them end up being victims of human-trafficking and find themselves in other dehumanising situations in Europe. That is what is happening now, globally. There is also an emerging interesting phenomenon where many Europeans are coming here to adopt children. Indeed, my Ministry is being flooded by people who are seeking documentation for those children to travel to those countries. We do not need just a law regarding the issue of adoption but also come up with a law to ensure that we can monitor the adopted children up to the age of 18 years, when they are old enough to take care of themselves. Otherwise, they may end up being human slaves in those countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also important for us, as a Parliament, to have a law to control the issue of remittance of tourism earnings. I know that there are many tourist facilities in the Kenyan tourist hotels that are run by foreigners. Most of these foreigners do not remit all the money that is owed to this country gained from the business of hotels and other August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3581 tourism activities in this country. Parliament should pass a law to ensure that if a tourist wants to come to Kenya, he sends his money here before he arrives in the country. That way, we can triple our foreign exchange earnings and, indeed, our Shilling will be much stronger. We could hit the trillion mark within a year or two if we bring that law. I challenge hon. Members to address this issue because we are not earning any money from the tourist attractions. People come and enjoy in Kenya, but only a third of that money ends up in this country. I wish I had more time. However, thank you, for the opportunity.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will spend my time more on foreign relations as opposed to the emphasis on foreign affairs. I want to specifically spend more time discussing the USA, Israel relations and our policy on Somalia. Before I do so, I would like to say that the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs talked about the way our positive image locally helps our foreign relations abroad. In the same breath, it also goes that the negative image or perceptions in the country affect our relations with countries outside. In this regard, I think it is important, in addition to the positive issues he has mentioned, that some of the negative issues regarding bad governance have really affected our foreign policies. We always read in the foreign Press about corruption and so forth. It is important that we work as a nation, towards improving governance so that our image can be improved out there. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of the Ministry, I think generally, it is under good management. We are happy with the way they are managing it both at the policy level and at the technical level. I am also happy that being a Member of the Public Accounts Committee, I have seen some of the changes which are being made in terms of the operations of the Ministry. Quite often, the concerns have been the huge expenditures that are spend on the foreign missions in terms of allowances, housing and so on. If you go out there, you will see that as a poor country, Kenya, we are probably living beyond our means. I have seen some of the changes that are being made to try and perhaps, rationalise expenditure and the way operations are being done so that these foreign missions can be more efficient and accountable. Our vision should inform our foreign policy. I think if it is our vision today, that we must enhance our relationships with the countries in the East for the purpose of developing our economy, then our foreign policy should be informed by that decision. We have seen, in the last three years, that the Government seems to have focused more towards the Eastern counties in terms of the economic relationships. I think because of that, it is important that we shift our foreign focus towards those countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a lot has been said about commerce. Today, the emphasis should not only be about foreign affairs. We should not only be concerned about the issues of Kenyans and so forth. Our concerns should be about commerce and export. We should also look at education. Education is equally important. In my view, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should enhance the education and commercial attaches or departments because those are the ones which are of great significance. We all agree in this regard. It should be our interest that should determine where we put up foreign missions and not the interest of other countries. The same way, we should encourage countries where we have huge businesses or economic opportunities to have missions in this country. If you look at a country like Dubai or the United Arab Emirates with which Kenyans are doing a lot of business, they do not have a mission or an embassy here. It is important to encourage countries with whom we trade, so that we can break away from the traditional relationships that have been there from the colonial period. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me come to my main concern about our foreign policy. As much as we know that it is important that we maintain relationships with the US, I think the way the Kenya Government, in the last few months, has related, with the US leaves a lot to be desired. We, literally, have given up our sovereignty to the US because we get into a situation 3582 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 where---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Do you know that I only have five minutes?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not know if you heard that outrageous statement. Is it in order for the hon. Member to allege that a sovereign State like Kenya has surrendered its sovereignty to the United States? This is total outrage!
I think he is quite in order. Proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is not up to him to determine whether I am out of order or not. Our foreign policy has been good. But what has happened in the last few months, particularly with regard to Somalia where we literally handed over our foreign policy to the US Ambassador giving instructions day in, day out in this country, with regard to what our relationship with Somalia should be, was not acceptable. The number of people being deported, and this Minister was happy---
Your time is up!
You still have two minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Our Minister who spoke earlier on, talked about the good work they have done with regard to security and also talked about deportation. Deportation is not a good thing for us as a nation. We have our own judiciary. Our Judiciary is not under the control of any other country. It should not be under the control of any other country! We have, as we speak, not less than 18 Kenyans, of all tribes, who today are languishing in jails in Ethiopia, America and other countries because of our failure to prosecute people whom we suspect are terrorists and our failure to charge them in court. We keep on deporting them out because Americans have said that we must deport them. That is the fact that has made me say that we have given up our sovereignty. We have a Judiciary and it should not be subordinate to the interests of other countries. So, in that regard, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has failed. However, in all other respects, I am happy with their performance but they should not allow that kind of thing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to Somalia, it is unfortunate that after doing so much and spending billions to bring Somalia together, the last minute, we succumbed to the pressure from the US, and we threw out the baby with the bath water. Today, we have a country that is in ruins. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not think it deserves the attention of our foreign Minister to travel there to go and close or attend the closing ceremony of that reconciliation meeting because in our view, that meeting did not invite all the parties who include the 35 Members of Parliament who were thrown out in Djibouti. The Islamic Court Union and other interested parties were not invited and today, we want to go and grace that occasion when as far as I am concerned it is a waste of time. Tomorrow, you will see that the situation there will continue to move from bad to worse. The work we did there has gone to waste because we succumbed to pressure from the United States Embassy. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg your indulgence so that you may allow me to donate five minutes to Mr. Wetangula.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting my Ministry's Vote, I just want to touch on what point that I feel needs attention. I can see the Minister for Immigration and Registration of Persons. One of the problems in our Ministry has to do with the management of visas. The Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons in my humble view needs to revolutionise and change with times. Look at West Africa, the entire region from Cameroon to August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3583 Dakar, there is only one visa issuance centre in Lagos. So, a person who wants to come to Kenya from Dakar or Cameroon has to go to Lagos to look for a visa. They are advised to come back after 14 days before the visas are issued. We have had cases where investors who come into the country from the Middle East, say Saudi Arabia; an Arab investor with a list of ten to 15 support staff, and the moment the immigration attaches in the missions see a nationality of a Palestinian or a Syrian, they automatically say, that this one cannot go and yet, those are the brains behind the investor. We need better and innovative ways of issuing our visas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what Dubai has done with Emirates Airline and Qatar with Qatar Airline is that, anywhere where their airline goes and they have no mission, the airline manages their visa regime. We are talking of opening our doors and gates to investors. Every other person who comes here and spends US$10 is value added to our economy. Anybody who comes here and spends 2 Euros is value added to our economy. We should have, and I think we have internal mechanisms to know if a person from Cameroon, Mali, Benin, Lagos or wherever is, is a bad person or not. Let us open our doors if we want to develop and achieve our Vision 2030. You cannot develop by closing yourself in. I want to urge the Minister and the Government, now that the Vice-President is here, to find a way of relaxing the issuance of visas to people who want to come to this country, because this is a competitive world. If a Middle Eastern tourist wants to come here and see a lion, the lion is also in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. If we do not issue the visa, they will go to another country. That is revenue lost. This is a problem we encounter day in, day out. My Minister and I, have spoken to Kenya Airways. They are more than willing to partner with the Ministry of Immigration and Registration of Persons in the issuance of visas. I want to urge and humbly do so that we are denying ourselves a lot of advantages by closing our doors to visitors. The rest of the issues that I will not touch on, my Minister will deal with in his reply. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Before the Minister replies, as you realise, just before we closed debate, I deliberately did not take up the point of order of Mr. Konchellah because I wanted to give Mr. Billow a chance to say what he wanted to say. He raised very weighty issues regarding Kenya's relations with the United States of America (USA) and Somalia. I am very disappointed that immediately he finished to speak, he left the Chamber when the Minister was about to address those issues. It is important, whether he is here or not, that those issues are addressed by the Minister. It is unfair for an a hon. Member to raise very weighty issues and then walk out of the Chamber. It means that he is not interested in knowing the truth. That seems to be the case. So, Mr. Minister, reply but it is important for Kenyans to know what is happening.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to take this opportunity to thank hon. Members for the very constructive comments that they have made on this debate. I want, especially, to thank most of the hon. Members who appealed to the Minister for Finance, that the Ministry deserves to be better funded than it has been so far. I hope that the Ministry for Finance is represented and that they took note. I want to start by responding to hon. Members' concerns about the gender balance in the Ministry with respect to ambassadors. I do not blame the hon. Members who felt that there is low representation of ladies with respect to appointments in the Ministry. I just want to list some of them just to bring the level of comfort of hon. Members that, indeed, we have addressed the issue of gender equity in the appointment of ambassadors. For example, the ambassadors who are ladies include the Ambassador to Namibia in Windhoek, Beijing in China, Islamabad in Pakistan, Geneva, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Ottawa, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and the recent Ambassador to Netherlands who just resigned is a lady. I can assure you that any other appointments that may be coming in the near future will put into consideration the issue of gender. We do have certain High Commissions where also the 3584 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 ambassadors are ladies. These include, the Ambassador in Pretoria South Africa. Our Charge de Affaires at the moment in New Delhi, who effectively heads the mission is a lady. So, if there is any species who are endangered in the diplomatic service, then I think men's number is going down really fast and we need to probably put into place measures to protect the male species. I would also like to mention missions where the deputy heads are ladies. These include the Deputy Head at the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), UN- Habitat, Kuala Lumpar, Windhoek, Harare, Kigali, Tokyo and Abuja. At the headquarters, the head of Europe, Commonwealth and International jobs office in diaspora is a lady, the national co- ordinator of the Great Lakes Region is a lady. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the headquarters, there are also several ladies who are heads or deputy heads of divisions. This applies to the Inter Oil Corporation (IOC) in America, Asia, Austro-Asia and the Horn of Africa. So, really whichever way you look at it, we do have a very good ratio of females to males. The overall ratio of females to males in the Ministry is 43 to 57 which is way above the 30 per cent Government policy on gender balance. So, we are 13 percentage points above what is recommended as the minimum balance as far as the ratios are concerned. So, I would like to assure the hon. Members that I have at least stated the facts in that particular score and hope they will appreciate what has been done. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also the other issue of the United Nations (UN) office in Nairobi. It is important for us, as a country, to appreciate that it has a major impact on Kenya's economy. Its clients at Gigiri contribute in excess of US$350 million to the economy, second only to the tea industry as a source of foreign exchange. Due to the UN office in Nairobi, 300,000 conference visitors come to Kenya each year which boosts the aggregate spending in the economy. The UN office in Nairobi has also helped the country in various ways, including technical assistance and research, training of interns, donations to schools and so forth. The UN office in Nairobi's position in Kenya is really a reflection of the fact that this country has enjoyed a lot of stability and peace in this part of Africa. This has enabled the UN to perform its mandate in our region. Indeed, the UN office in Nairobi is among the four top offices of the UN in the whole world and the only one in a developing country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, several hon. Members contributed and I do accept the fact that, probably, we do not have many Kenyans at the level of Deputy Secretary and Assistant Secretary. I would like to be able to mention to you that this is something which I have personally taken up with the UN Secretary-General during his recent visit to Kenya. I have even written to him personally to try to secure certain positions for Kenyans given the fact that we are a major host. However, I think it will be important for Kenyans to appreciate that in the whole world, the country which has got the biggest number of staff working for the UN system is the United States of America (USA) with 2,000. Number two is Kenya with about 700 and number three is Ethiopia with about 400 to 500. So, in the whole world, Kenya has the second highest number of people working in the UN system. So, while we agitate for higher positions in the UN, we should appreciate that in the whole world, this country to have the second highest number of people working in the UN, the fourth or third biggest headquarters of the UN and for it to host the only UN headquarters in a developing country, I think we should also appreciate what we have got from the UN system rather than all the time accusing it for not giving us certain positions. So, while we should agitate for higher positions, we should appreciate what we already have. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members also made comments on the issue of our relations with our immediate next door neighbours. We take very seriously our relations with our next door neighbours, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and the countries in the East African Community (EAC) region and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. The COMESA bloc is the single biggest trading bloc that Kenya trades with. We account for close to or around 40 per cent of the trade in the COMESA region. In terms of the most important August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3585 country with respect to our trade in the world, Uganda is the most important country with which we trade. However, it is important for us to appreciate that if you take a country like Ethiopia, for example, we have negligible trade relations with it. They have a population of over 70 million people. Compare that with the population of Uganda which is in the 28 million to 30 million bracket. Indeed, a lot of northern Uganda does not do too much trade with us. So, we realise just how important Ethiopia as a country can be. It is a good and important trading partner which may even overtake Uganda in a very short time if we open the road which goes up north to our Kenya- Ethiopia border. So, I would like to assure hon. Members that we take very seriously our relationship with the countries next door to us. Part of the paradigm shift is that we give more importance to those countries which are around us because we do enjoy certain comparative advantages in our trade with these countries because we have more to export to them than we have to export to European countries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to finally go into the area of answering the question which was raised by an hon. Member with respect to our relationship with Somalia, USA and other countries. First, let us appreciate that the problem of terrorism is not confined to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In fact, the problem of terrorism is an international problem. As we relate with countries in our region, we take particular care when we deal with the issue of terrorism. We are very sensitive to the issue of terrorism. This country has been a victim of terrorism twice in 1998 and 2002. Each time this happened, it affected our economy and tourism sector and Kenyans died. So, it is not something that we can talk about to score debating points. However, what is important to appreciate is the fact that when it comes to the issue of dealing with terrorism in this country, it is this Government that had the spine to stand up and say no to the Anti-Terrorism Bill where we felt that it was going to amount to negative profiling of certain sections of our society. Indeed, I can say that again knowing very well that some of those people who were seated across this House even tried to use the issue of the Anti-Terrorism Bill to endear themselves to some of the Americans that they are trying to bash here. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to relate with the United States of America (USA) within the context of honesty, and not within the context of trying to score cheap debating points. We were able to tell our American colleagues that with respect to the Anti-Terrorism Bill, we have problems with it. Therefore, we were not even going to table it in the House, as long as it created the impression that we were going to profile some of our citizens in the wrong way. So, we had the spine to do that; they do not have the spine, and they should be the last people to be lecturing us on that particular issue. I want to wind up, so that we can proceed into the Committee of the Whole House. I really appreciate the comments from hon. Members. I have taken note of the constructive criticism. I am not going into defence, and to try and explain everything that was raised. We take the criticism in good spirit. We know that, as a country, we have to work for the good of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that the problem of Somalia is complex. We have been accused, in this House, for not having been at the centre of what is happening in Somalia at the moment, but I can repeat on the Floor of this House that Kenya will not be sending troops to Somalia. If that is what somebody feels amounts to more engagement, I can be able to tell him or her that we are not going to be engaging with Somalia to the extent of sending Kenyan troops there. Our approach in diplomacy is negotiation, negotiation and negotiation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, an hon. Member said that we should even boycott the current peace talks that are taking place in Somalia. If we boycott them, then what? We must encourage negotiation, even if only a few people go to the negotiating table, we will start with those ones. Others may decide to come one or two years down the line, but the negotiation must be an on-going process. It is not a happening. It is not an incident. It is a process. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank hon. Members most sincerely for their 3586 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 very constructive comments. I beg to move.
Hon. Members, we are now in the Committee of the Whole House to consider the Vote of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, a sum not exceeding Kshs3,594,379,710 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2008 in respect of:- Vote 04 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Members, that completes the Recurrent Expenditure. We will now move on to the Development Expenditure. VOTE D04 - DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE SUB-VOTE 040 - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, these Heads, as read out, relate to various Missions and, perhaps, the explanation for each may not be the same. I hope that you will permit that we deal with them one by one.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, under this Sub-Vote, on page 35, the first one is Head 044 - New York. I just want the Minister to explain this matter to the House. With regard to Item 3110100, Purchase of Buildings, in the last financial year, there was no allocation. In this financial year and the next one, there is no allocation, but there is a proposal to allocate Kshs500 million for the purchase of buildings in New York. I just want to understand the rationale of making this provision today and yet it is not even for next year, but for two years to come. What is the rationale?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I just want to thank the hon. Member for that question. Ideally, we should purchase all the properties that are used by our Missions abroad. Take for example the case of Washington, which I am very familiar with. You will realise that the houses that we rent for staff today, say at an average of US$4,000 a month, if we had bought those houses, say about five years ago, we would be paying a mortgage now of about US$800 to US$1,000. So, the best time to have planted the tree should have been ten years ago. We should have bought those properties ten years ago, but because of the financial situation which we found ourselves in, we did not make any provisions for that. Now, we have started the process of trying to purchase some of the properties. We have been renting some of them for many years. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I could give the example of China. What is happening in China is that, we have been paying rent since 1964 for the same building. Had we bought this building in 1964, we would have saved that money several times over. If we could get all the money now, we could buy all the properties that we want now. But we have prioritised some of the countries, and so where you see various provisions relating to 2010, it is part of forward planning. So, that anybody looking at these Printed Estimates should know that we should have bought that property ten years ago when, in fact, it could have cost us much less. Even if we continue to pay rent, let us not do so beyond 2009 or 2010 before we start purchasing it. 3588 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the point I am trying to put across to the Minister is this: Is it not possible, if, indeed, you are intent on purchasing the buildings in New York, and you know that they will cost you Kshs500 million, that you could have begun setting aside some money this financial year and next financial year, so that the ownership begins to change into your hands, as a country, and then, due to that prudence, you would not be paying any rent? That is, if you began the acquisition process.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I am so delighted that he is actually fighting this case so hard for me, that the Treasury should allocate us more money. If, for example, we were able to raise some of this money now, we would, probably, use it as a substantial deposit and even take a mortgage, so that instead of paying rent, we pay a mortgage. If there is any way in which I could get more money, or if this House could direct right now that the Ministry of Finance gives us that money, I would be most delighted.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I believe that the Minister's explanation will obviously apply if that is what he has. It will apply to the provision for London, which is Head 046. Under this particular Head, they propose to purchase buildings for Kshs215 million. I really wonder what kind of buildings are these ones that they are buying for this--- We already have a Chancery in London! Is the Minister saying that it does not belong to Kenya, and that it is now, or next year, that they actually want to purchase it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the kind of buildings that we purchase are different. There are cases where we buy a Chancery, and there are places where we know we will always have an ambassador and, at least, a minimum of a deputy ambassador, first Consular and so on. We have had those people in those stations for all those years. If we can house them, instead of paying rent for them, it will work out to be much cheaper for us. So, I am not able to say exactly whether this house is for the First Consular or the deputy ambassador, but we are making provisions gradually. One of the things that is informing some of these provisions, especially where we are requesting the money now, is that there are certain opportunities sometimes when, say, a house which we have been renting for many years, somebody says: "I give you the option to buy it" or "I am stopping this lease". So, you realise that if we were to get a similar house elsewhere, it would cost us a lot more. Because of that, we offer to buy it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I will move on to page 36. I will take that explanation by the Minister regarding London, Washington, New York, Stockholm and others. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, at the very bottom, there is Head 063, Rome. There is something very interesting here. The first Item, 3110100, under this Head is Purchase of Buildings. During the last financial year, the approved Estimates indicated nil provision, and so is this financial year. However, in the next financial year, the Ministry proposes, as provided under the title "Purchase of Buildings," to purchase buildings worth Kshs200,000. I doubt whether the Minister is right in providing Kshs200,000 to purchase buildings in Rome. That must be a big joke. Could the Minister explain that? I mean, even if you are just negotiating, Kshs200,000 is really peanuts!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I have just been told that it is a typographical error. It is actually Kshs200 million and not Kshs200,000. If that kind of deal was available, I would go for it myself. So, it is a typographical error. That is the provision for 2008/2009. Thank you for observing that.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, if that is the case, and I am willing to accept it, then, obviously, the total net expenditure, as shown on page 38, would accordingly change to reflect that typographical error. I, therefore, think that the Minister should make that August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3589 correction. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, as we wind up - there is not really much in this Ministry with regard to the Development Vote - I would like to note that everything here is about purchase and refurbishment of buildings. Even in Canberra, they propose to purchase some buildings. However, I have always raised this issue. We want to be told--- All Ministries have always had this Item titled "Purchase of Buildings, or "Construction of Buildings." Even when they refer to one building, they always say that it is a typographical error. Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I hope that this Ministry, which will be doing this outside Kenya, is not falling into that same problem. So, when the Ministry provides for Kshs100 million to purchase buildings in Canberra does it means that it is money to purchase more than one building? Is that correct?
On a point of clarification, Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir.
You want clarification?
Yes, on the way forward, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Kenneth!
It is not on this, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What do you want to raise as a clarification on?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, all the points that Mr. Muturi has raised arise from the strategic plan of the Ministry and not the actual Vote for this financial year. It is from the expected votes for the years to come. For now, I think we should confine ourselves to what is in the financial budget of the Ministry for this year.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, the reason I have to raise what is here is that it has been provided to us. Unless the Treasury is telling us that we should only read one portion and ignore the rest. It is important for us to question what is here, so that we get the explanation by the Minister.
Yes, I think you are right! Mr. Minister, please, proceed! Perhaps, you also better clarify the other question that the figures in the net expenditures will now change.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, if you look at that particular line-item where the error is, it is about projected estimates for 2008/2009. So that is where the typographical error of Kshs200,000 instead of Kshs200 million. However, it does not affect us materially because it is a projection for the budget next year. I would like to beg the indulgence of the House that since it will not affect us materially in the current Budget, please, accept my apologies for it.
And the last one? I think you have not addressed his last concern.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, does it say "buildings" or "building"?
Mr. Minister, for the sake of clarity could Mr. Muturi go back to the microphone?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it applies to very many other cases, but just to give an example on Canberra. It is on page 37. It is proposed that next year, there will be purchasing buildings and they expect to spend Kshs100 million. Is this like the other Ministries where they say "buildings" to mean one building? When we travel to Canberra, next year, as you will appreciate many of us will be here, we would want to see whether you were purchasing buildings or one building. 3590 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, it is buildings in this case because we own some property there. This is for the residences and Kshs100 million cannot provide more than one residence. In Canberra, the price of property is not too high, therefore, we should be able to get some residence with that amount of money.
Hiyo imetosha wewe!
Order, Mr. Obwocha, let Mr. Muturi continue!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I want to address the Minister on page 46, the last Item on Juba, Sudan. As I said yesterday, we should give Juba a higher attention than we appear to have done in this Budget. They have provided to construct a building in Juba. If we intend to reap the peace dividends that we have been talking about because of our efforts in its process in Southern Sudan, why is it that we cannot get this Kshs40 million this financial year as opposed to next financial year if you are serious about our relationship with Sudan?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I agree with the observations of the hon. Member of Parliament. The only situation that faces us in Juba which I personally went to look at, is that the Government of Southern Sudan and, indeed, Juba, is still in a state of transition. If you have been to the City of Juba, it is not yet properly planned. They are in the process of zoning the town. In fact, you call it a city. It has many people. The streets is such that the current property that we occupy, within about 20 meters, there is a traditional hut next to it. So, we have made that provision for next year once the profile of the city becomes a little bit clear as to where we should buy property and where not to.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I wish to refer to Head 073 - Dar es Salaam on page 37; in the last financial year, the Ministry provided for Kshs190 million. This financial year, they have provided for Kshs85 million. A committee of this House had the opportunity to visit the new site where work is going on. Unfortunately, most of the expenditure proposed this year is because the High Commissioner wants major alterations done within the residence that is being constructed just next to the Commission. This house is not meant for one person, why has the Ministry agreed to that and forced us to incur unnecessary expenses? We had an opportunity to discuss even with other embassy officials and the contractor on site. We thought that is unnecessary because this house is not for an individual.
Mr. Minister, what are you going to say?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I have just been informed that the cost of the alterations that are being made is Kshs4.7 million. These alterations are not occasioned in any way by the desires of the current ambassador. He is a very senior ambassador having acted as a Permanent Secretary (PS); the Chief Accounting Finance Officer, he has been an excellent supervisor of the project. We are very delighted with his personal supervision of this project. Those changes have been well-thought out that in the long run it will serve the interest of the Republic of Kenya. Indeed, we cannot make any changes in any of the buildings without the concurrence of the our own Ministry of Roads and Public Works. We are custodians of those houses, but in terms of plans and what goes where, it is the Ministry of Roads and Public Works that approves. They are like any other Government building and no changes can take place just because of the whims of individual officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3591 Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I just want to kindly give this information to the House and the hon. Member. If you received any information to (the contrary, it may not have been very accurate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am directed to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Resolution that a sum not exceeding Kshs3,594,379,710 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet expenditure during the year ending 30th June, 2008, in respect of Vote 04 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has approved the same without amendment.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution.
(Mr. Kenneth) seconded.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was not able to contribute during the debate on this particular Vote, and I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister for a job well done. I think he has a good team in the Ministry and we really want to encourage them, and advise them that some of the foreign missions we have visited, still lack competence which, I think, they should check and correct. However, by and large, I think we have very good staff in our foreign missions. I believe we should encourage them to continue doing what they are doing to keep our name flying. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to join in congratulating the Minister for a job well done in the Ministry, and say that this is a very important Ministry in terms of our image, as Kenya, to the outside world. I also did not have a chance to contribute to this Vote - the Ministry may need to scale down its staff. I would also wish that all Kenyans living abroad must be registered in a register kept 3592 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 in the embassy office. I think that is important, so that when you are looking for Kenyans who have strayed, you know where to go. Thank you, and I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to make this contribution and strongly commend the Minister and his team for the work that they are doing, especially in the efforts that they are making to rationalise the Ministry and make it more efficient, effective and productive. I have two comments. I would like to, indeed, suggest that one way in which we can cut the budget abroad is by not exporting Kenyans to do jobs that can be done by locals in the countries where we have embassies. For example, there is no need for us to take drivers, cooks and other junior staff from Kenya to abroad, because that becomes a very unnecessary expense. We can very well use the locals and get very efficient services. Then we would be able to send staff who are competent enough to deal with issues that are much more important to us such as trade. The other point that I want to raise is that, at the expense of appearing like I am speaking for myself, I think the Ministry needs to be given capacity to deal with individual Kenyans, who can be useful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even though they are not members of the foreign office. I am particularly thinking even of people like me, who have been recognised as a Nobel Peace Laureate and I find myself quite often being used more by foreign Governments to do work for them, rather than by my own Government, and I know that it is mostly because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have an office to support such people. I think that it is a very important office and I hope that the Ministry will be given that capacity. With that I support and congratulate the Minister.
That is a very valid point, indeed. Hon. Members, I want to give you an opportunity, but then I will ask you to be very brief. Mr. ole Ntimama!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much, indeed. I also want to make a very brief comment on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to say that I want to congratulate the Minister for presenting his Vote very well. I think he has a very good team. Both of them, he, the Minister and my hon. friend, Mr. Wetangula, whom I consider in many deliberations in this House to have been a star performer. I have one small comment to make. Foreign missions must project the face of Kenya, the nation of Kenya. We must avoid situations where we send out people who are lean towards a few individuals, either in the Government or in the Opposition, and who, if properly scrutinised, will, probably, end up being political activists. I really want the officers who are sent out there to project the image of Kenya as a nation, and not to project the image of individuals. It is also very important to make sure the Minister does appointments which cut across the board in this country. I am saying they should cover most of Kenya's regions or even ethnic groups. I am told that - I am not very sure of this - a mission like the one in London is degenerating into organising themselves as a tribal enclave. I do not know how true this is, because I have not gone there for the last two years. But these are situations that we must avoid.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am coming to the end. This will give us a bad name. We must present Kenya as a country, a nation. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to add my voice to the overwhelming support that the Minister has been given. I thank the Minister and his team for developing a foreign policy for this country. That will help them in planning the future. I am only here to say: Let us put a lot of emphasis on the region - the East Africa region, the Great Lakes region and the regions around us. That is where we can maximise. I also want to say that I thank the Minister because, when we had a problem on the border August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3593 recently, our own High Commissioner in Uganda really came out to help us. I want to say thank you.
Mr. C. Kilonzo and then I finish with that side.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have two issues. First, I want to thank the Minister and his staff for a job well done. I also want to thank him for having found it necessary to either construct new embassies or high commissions, or buy residential premises outside there. When you live in a house for more than 15 years, the amount of money you pay is more than the value of that property. So, we are going to save a lot of money in Recurrent Expenditure. That, I think, is the right way to go. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our High Commission in Canada--- We had an opportunity, as a Committee of this House, to visit the High Commission. The situation there was unfortunate. We are talking about a High Commission with people from only two communities. Two communities! In Ottawa, the population of Somalis alone is over 10,000. That is in one City - Ottawa. When we visited that embassy, there was not a single Somali in that embassy. So, I think we need to look into that. Yes, you have done a good job, but you need to look into that. It is wrong to have only two communities working in an embassy, while you have an entire population living there in Ottawa. You need to look into that. If the Minister does that, I think he would be moving in the right direction. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to clarify the issue raised by Mr. Wetangula. I think it is important that it is properly understood. Shortly, within the next month or two, we will be issuing visa stickers to all visitors to Kenya. That means what used to be a problem would be a thing of the past. Therefore, the issue of referred visas, which used to be the problem--- Referred visa regime affects more than 10 countries around the world, particularly West African countries--- We have to do that for our national security. There are issues of human trafficking, drug trafficking and even money laundering. All those are crimes. So, we are trying to address that issue by restricting people from coming here, and ensuring that we know who they are before they arrive in this country. But as the Minister said, it is important that we allow people to come to Kenya. Tourism is the biggest foreign exchange earner in this country. We want to have tourists who come to enjoy Kenya and not those who come to destroy our children. So, while the interest of security is so important, it is also necessary for us to see---- I will introduce a Cabinet Memo so that we can address that matter because it is very important. Thank you.
Finally, Mr. Peter Kenneth!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for recognising me finally. First of all, I would like to congratulate the Ministry for a job well done. Although the sentiments that have been expressed are after the congratulations, I would like to encourage the Minister to continue de-politicising the Ministry. I think he has done a very good job of de-politicising that Ministry. Secondly, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to encourage the Ministry to see how it can share synergies with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, so that we can take advantage. The Ministry should not just concentrate on diplomacy. We are now going into the issues of trade. They are very important. The embassies should play a very key role in trade. More importantly, the Ministry should embark on having people within the Ministry who can market Kenya as a tourist destination. With those few remarks, I thank you.
3594 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007
Order now! Mr. Syongo, you have come late. I was very generous. I was generous because this is the first time, in many years, that the Vote of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been debated in this House. I just said that Mr. Peter Kenneth would be the last one. So, try next time.
Hon. Members, we still have 24 minutes left but, having no other business, we will adjourn the House. The House is therefore, adjourned until tomorrow Thursday, 30th August, 2007, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 6.06 p.m.