Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by Private Notice. (a) In view of the devastating effects that the post-2007 elections crisis had on farming in the country, what immediate measures is the Minister taking to reduce the high cost of farm inputs especially fertilizer during the current planting season? (b) Could the Minister supply free seeds and fertilizer to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in order to guarantee national food security, severely threatened by the crisis?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) My Ministry has authorised the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to get into the fertilizer market in order to stabilised the prices. (b) My Ministry, together with other stakeholders, has distributed a total of 365.6 metric tonnes of maize seed, 44.8 metric tonnes of beans and 290 metric tonnes of fertilizer to the internally displaced persons.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the Assistant Minister's attempt to answer the Question. But with respect, the answer is totally unsatisfactory. Is the Assistant Minister aware that on 25th March, 2008, the Leader of Government Business, on behalf of the Minister for Agriculture, indicated that the Government had set aside Kshs294 million, received from the 2KR Japanese Grant and that the Government had also given the NCPB a credit line of Kshs850 million to purchase fertilizer in order to stabilise the prices? The answer given is at variance with the undertaking of the Government as of 25th March, 2008. It was indicated that within a week of the said date, the NCPB would have received this money and the fertilizer prices would have been stabilised. To date, the fertilizer prices remain at Kshs4,000 per bag of 50 kilogramme and farmers are unable to plant. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister aware that the planting season is coming to an end? Indeed, the prices of fertilizer are still high and many farmers are still waiting for the pledge of this Government, that fertilizer prices will be brought down after the extension of the credit line to the NCPB. Is he also aware that during the State Opening of this House on 6th March, 2008, there was---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member is asking multiple questions. He has asked 664 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 three questions. May I seek the guidance of the Chair to have the hon. Member to be specific and ask a particular question, so that the Assistant Minister can answer?
That is not a point of order! It is in order to for him to ask a question or two at a time so that the Assistant Minister can respond. We still have time to ask more supplementary questions.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Member seems to be reading his questions from a written document. Is he aware that our Standing Orders do not allow Members to read statements?
Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry made an undertaking to supply fertilizer to Kenyan farmers. As you are aware, we have undergone serious crisis in Kenya and in the process, there has been a shortage of fertilizer. The prices of fertilizer have gone up because of several reasons. The first one has been the cost of transportation. The cost of transporting the fertilizer from Mombasa to Kitale has really shot up. Also, the demand for fertilizer has gone up in the world market. At the moment, the cost of fertilizer in the world market has more than doubled, especially DAP, which is used for planting maize and other crops. The biggest demand for fertilizer is in the United States (US) and this has made their prices to go up. They have tripled their demand. They have decided to use maize as bio-fuel, which has led to large acreage of maize in the US. There is also the cost of bringing in the fertilizer from abroad.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This same Government promised us that it is doing everything possible to reduce the prices of fertilizer. The Assistant Minister is justifying the price of Kshs4,000 per bag of 50 kilogramme. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member asked about the commitment of the Government to reduce the prices of fertilizer. Is the Assistant Minister now changing the policy which we had about three weeks ago? He is justifying the high price of fertilizer instead of answering the Question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not justifying the high cost of fertilizer. I was explaining the genesis of the problem, so that I can go ahead and explain why the cost of fertilizer has really shot up. The Government is in control. It has extended a credit line of Kshs850 million to the NCPB, so that the Board can be a market player in the fertilizer industry. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the moment, the NCPB has imported 12,500 metric tonnes of the CAN. I would like the hon. Members to appreciate the fact that this problem started during the planting season. As it is, we can only be able to caution farmers when it comes to top-dressing fertilizer. That is why the Government has taken the initiative of importing top-dressing fertilizer to the tune of 12,500 metric tonnes in addition to its current stock of 105,858 bags. Our immediate concern is the top-dressing fertilizer, and we are planning to reduce their prices. The current market price is Kshs2,250 per bag of 50 kilogramme, and we intend to sell it at Kshs1,650. This is the price that has been prevailing in the market. Our immediate concern is to caution the farmers when it comes to top-dressing. As a long- term measure, the Government has taken the initiative to fund the NCPB, so that before the next planting season in October, we will have brought in enough consignment of DAP and other types of fertilizer used in planting so that at the end of the day, the NCPB will be an equal competitor to the current players in the market. The biggest reason why we have been having a problem here is because of the current curtails in the market. At the moment, we only have two major suppliers of fertilizer, namely, Mea East Africa and Airfreight East Africa. That is why we are bringing on board the NCPB to be an equal competitor. April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 665
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of fertilizer was among the first Question which was discussed by this Tenth Parliament. The written answer, which the Assistant Minister has given, clearly shows that the Government is not serious in as far as the issue of fertilizer is concerned. It can also show that the Ministry itself is not in a position to deal with the issue of fertilizer. In his answer, the Assistant Minister says:- "My Ministry has authorised the NCPB to get into the fertilizer market, so as to stabilise the prices". Who does not know that the NCPB is not a stable organisation? The Government is authorising a Board that is not stable to get into the fertilizer market and stabilise prices. This Board collects maize from farmers and it does not pay them and then the Government is telling us that it is the solution to the farmers' problems. Why can the Government not give direct subsidies to the farmers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to disagree with the hon. Member. The NCPB is currently a very stable parastatal. As we speak, the NCPD does not owe any farmer even a single cent. The previous debt of Kshs295 million was paid last week. Therefore, the management of the NCPB is above board. So, I completely disagree with the my colleague about the stability of the NCPB. I also want to inform him that from now henceforth, the Government has put in place measures to ensure that the NCPB will be an equal competitor with the other players in the market. At the end of the day, we cannot afford to give subsidies. Even if we bring the fertilizer here, the Government will need to chip in. When private firms bring in the fertilizer, they double the prices. That is our biggest problem. The NCPB will sell the fertilizer at more or less the cost price or make a very small profit margin just to keep the Board moving.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is misleading the House. The NCPB purchases maize from farmers at Kshs1,300 per bag of 90 kilogramme. The NCPB is now selling the same bag of maize to hungry farmers at Kshs1,850. If this is happening here in the country, could the Assistant Minister convince us that when the NCPB purchases fertilizer, it will sell it to the farmers at more or less the same price? Why can the Ministry not sell maize to the hungry Kenyans at Kshs1,300 per bag of 90 kilogramme? Could the Assistant Minister use the same logic?
Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is a different Question.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! This is not a different Question! The question is the issue of the ability of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), which you have responded to. I think you have a good answer to it. Therefore, proceed and answer the question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to bring to the attention of all hon. Members the fact that right now the NCPB is in consultation with the farmers, and all stakeholders in order to buy maize at a competitive rate. We want the maize industry to go the way of the wheat industry. The prices of wheat are determined by the law of demand and supply. Likewise, we want the prices of maize to be controlled by the market and the farmer is a beneficiary. The cost of the inputs will determine the cost of the end product, which is the maize. We will cushion farmers by letting the NCPB buy maize at the prevailing price, for example Kshs1,800 a bag at a particular time, so that the farmers can make a margin.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Assistant Minister not misleading this House by saying that he thinks the NCBP is equipped to manage fertilisers? Has he forgotten that the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) was particularly designed to handle inputs for farmers? Should he not really be looking at how to revive the KFA?
666 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was at one time the Managing Director of the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC). I know that it is possible to bring fertilisers to this country at the region of Kshs500 or so. That is possible! The prices are escalated by middlemen and greedy traders. I know that even tractors and other implements can be brought in at half the price. The Assistant Minister should be telling us what he is going to do to revive the KFA---
What is your question, hon. Member?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am only saying that the NCPB is not equipped to handle inputs for farmers.
That is a statement! What is your question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question is: How is it going to help the farmers now, if the Assistant Minister is talking about top-dressing? We need the farmers to have inputs from the very beginning.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have noted that in this House the Assistant Minister has given some affirmative information concerning fertilisers. It is also in public domain that there has a very serious campaign to the effect that fertiliser should be available in the market as soon as possible. In other words, it is more like a story that is circulating in the whole nation. It would be the in the interests of this House to terminate this issue of fertilisers by acting effectively. What I am trying to drive at is---
What is your question, hon. Member?
Could the Assistant Minister give us the time frame within which the fertilisers will be available to the farmers and where they are likely to start distributing it? Again, could he show serious commitment in this House, so that the anxiety and tension that we have in the nation is contained?
Mr. Assistant Minister, when will the fertiliser be available to the farmers? That is the question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to assure hon. Members that currently the NCBP has enough of CAN fertiliser. However, we do not have the planting fertiliser, the DAP. We are about to place an order. Our personnel department is sourcing for fertilisers. By the next season, we will have enough stock of DAP fertiliser. On top of all this, the fertiliser market is liberalised. Whoever, wishes to import it can do so.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! The Leader of Government Business, who is none other than the Vice President, gave an undertaking that there was going to be fertiliser available to farmers in this planting season, and not in the next planting season! Should we consider this as the Government at a cross-purposes?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am talking about the DAP fertiliser, which is the planting fertiliser. The Government has gone out of its way by providing money to the tune of Kshs245 million to cushion farmers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conjunction with accredited local stockists, the Government has been giving vouchers for the 50-kilogramme bag of CAN fertiliser, 60-kilogramme bag of DAP fertiliser and the 10-kilogramme bag of seedlings, so as to help farmers. That way, the majority of farmers have benefited. Almost 34,000 farmers have benefited.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is very clear that this Question has not been adequately answered. All the House wanted to know was when and at what cost fertilisers will be available. Could I ask that the Chair rules that this Question be deferred and an appropriate answer be brought to the House?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government can afford to bring DAP at Kshs3,400 per bag up to Mombasa. The Government has given a commitment to bring the top-dressing fertiliser, CAN, at Kshs1,650 a bag. As I talk now, there is enough stock of CAN in the market. On DAP, the Government has given a commitment to procure the fertilisers--- April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 667
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead this House by saying that the fertiliser the Government committed itself to deliver was for planting, which is DAP and not the CAN for top-dressing? You can only top-dress what you have planted!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when the Coalition Government was formed more than a week ago the Minister for Agriculture made a commitment. We did not commit ourselves for the current planting season. This is because of the time lag. Right now, we are in April---
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! At no time is a Government Ministry vacant! At any time, there has to be a Minister! Even if there is no Minister for Agriculture, there must have been a Government Minister talking care of that portfolio, while waiting for the substantive appointment to be made. Mr. Assistant Minister, the Leader of Government Business gave a commitment to this House. Such a commitment is supposed to be taken very seriously by the Chair. He said that fertiliser would be available for this planting season at an affordable price to the farmers. My instruction is that you go back to your Ministry and come with an appropriate answer on Tuesday next week! The Question is, therefore, deferred!
Hon. Members, Ordinary Question No.014 has been deferred to Tuesday, next week! Mr. Linturi, the Minister does not have an answer ready. He has, therefore, requested that this Question be put on the Order Paper on Tuesday, next week. It is going to be so!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order, to ask for couple of Ministerial Statements from various Ministers. The first one is directed to the Minister for Livestock Development. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is a disease ravaging livestock in northern Kenya known as
in my vernacular. It has a French name known as "PPR". This disease is affecting the larger Turkana District, West Pokot, East Pokot, Southern Sudan, North West Uganda and Southern Ethiopia. In the special circumstance of the pastoralist districts, and particularly the three districts of 668 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 Turkana, we have about three million shoats being affected. For a society that relies purely on livestock, and livestock products, their survival is threatened by this particular disease. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would expect that the Minister, in his response, would address himself to the following issues: The number of the animals affected, the amount of vaccines required, their cost and their immediate availability and whether the country has enough capacity to produce the vaccines in sufficient quantities in a timely fashion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also demand from the Minister the kind of resources that have been allocated to this particular exercise by the Government and friendly-donors. I expect the Minister to tell this House what urgent steps are being taken to compensate pastoralists who have already lost their livestock through this disease. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am requesting my second Ministerial Statement from the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security---
Order, hon. Ethuro! Where is the Minister for Livestock Development? When can we have a Ministerial Statement on that issue? In the absence of the Minister, could a senior Minister stand up and give an undertaking?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we shall note the request for the Statement and communicate it to the appropriate Minister.
When are we going to have a Ministerial Statement in view of the fact that livestock are dying?
I think to be on the safe side, let us say Tuesday because today is Thursday.
Okay, we will have a Ministerial Statement on the livestock issue on Tuesday next week. Mr. Ethuro, proceed to the next Ministerial Statement! UPSURGE OF INSECURITY IN LODWAR TOWN
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also wish to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security on the state of insecurity in Lodwar town and its environ. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on 12th April, 2008, a manager working with the Kenya Commercial Bank was shot dead by some thugs. This follows a series of abductions and kidnapping that have taken place in that town for the last one month. Not a single suspect who has been arrested. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want the Minister, in his response, to address himself to the following pertinent issues: How many cases of murder have taken place in the last one month? How many culprits have been arrested, taken to court and convicted relating to these various murders including one of a mere taxi driver? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, also, the Minister should give the number and names of all the Kenya home guards in Lodwar Town. This is because they seem to have abandoned their volunteer duties and came to Lodwar Town. They are part of the problem. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Minister also deduce the roles played by these home guards in the maintenance of law and order and the extent of their implicity in the above murders and criminal activities? I also demand from the Minister, his own assessment of the capacity, the commitment and competence of security officers in Turkana Central, starting with the OCPD.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you are aware that today the President is visiting Rift Valley Province and the Minister in charge of that docket is there. We have noted the issues raised by the hon. Member and we will report here on Tuesday April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 669 afternoon. But I want to tell the hon. Member that there is no "mere taxi driver". He is a Kenyan!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I move the Motion before us, I want to seek permission from you under Standing Order No.41 to move this Motion with amendments. The amendment regards one of the members that we have nominated, member No. 2, under Section 5(3)(e), whom we need to confirm the authenticity of the certificates that were presented to us, before we can bring the name or a replacement of that member. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could I proceed?
Yes, hon. Member, under Standing Order No.41, the Speaker may permit a Member to move, in amended form, a Motion of which notice has been given, which you did, if in the opinion of Mr. Speaker, the amendment does not materially alter any principle embodied in the Motion of which notice has been given. I am satisfied and you can proceed.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Ruto! The Minister is moving a Motion. Let him complete moving the Motion and then you can rise on your point of order! The Motion will be debated.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to know whether he can---
That is not an issue for you to determine! It is for the Chair to determine and it has already been determined! Proceed, Mr. Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, pursuant to Section 5 of the Constituencies Development Fund (Amendment) Act, 2007, this House approves the following as Members of the Board of the Constituencies Development Fund; Under Section 5(3)(a), the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030; Under Section 5(3)(b), the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Under Section 5(3)(c), the Clerk of the National Assembly; Under Section 5(3)(d), the Attorney General; Under Section 5(3)(e):- (1) Eng. Joel Muthunga Wanyoike (Representing the Institute of Engineers of Kenya); (2) Ms. Jennipher N. Barasa (Representing the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry); (3) Mr. Lawrence Kahindi Majali (Representing the Kenya National Union of Teachers); (4) Rt. Rev. Bishop Martin Kivuva (Representing the Kenya Episcopal Conference); (5) Ms. Maryam Sheikh Abdikadir (Representing the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims); (6) Ms. Rebecca Metto Kosgei (Representing the National Council of Churches of Kenya); 670 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 (7) Mr. Benson Okundi (Representing the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya); Under Section 5(3)(f):- (i) Dr. John Wamakonjio; (ii) Mr. Simon Kiprono Chelugui; (iii) Mr. Omar Jibril Mohamed; (iv) Mr. James Oloo Ogundo; Under Section 5(5), Ms. Janet Mang'era (Kenya Episcopal Conference). The Board has been formed in accordance with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) (Amendment) 2007, which was passed by the Ninth Parliament. This Board shall be a body corporate and it replaces the National Management Committee which has been running the CDF since its inception. The Board, once formed, shall have the mandate to approve all funding of all project proposals from Constituencies Fund Committees. What I am saying is that members are expected to come up with project proposals. I am requesting that, that should be done very soon. As soon as that Board is in place, it shall approve all the proposals from the Members of Parliament before they get funding. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, however, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, last year, out of the last allocation of CDF worth Kshs10.1 billion, only Kshs2.5 billion was released to the constituencies. We still have a balance. It is awaiting the formation of the Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you are aware that CDF was established through the CDF Act, 2003. It was stipulated that a minimum of 2.5 per cent of all Government ordinary revenue collected in every financial year be disbursed to the constituencies. Each constituency receives a share comprising of three-quarters of the Government ordinary revenue divided equally, and the other quarter is divided based on the National Poverty Index, which is multiplied by the constituency poverty index. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since its inception in 2003/2004 up to 2006/2007 financial years, a total of Kshs24,204,000 has been disbursed to the constituencies as follows:- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in 2003/2004, we got Kshs1.26 billion. In 2004/2005, we got Kshs5.46 billion. In 2005/2006, we got Kshs7.446 billion. In 2006/2007, we got Kshs10.038 billion, thus making a total of Kshs24.204 billion. In 2007/2008, we got a total allocation of Kshs10.1 billion. But, as I stated earlier, Kshs2.5 billion was released to the National Management Committee. 37 constituencies received half of the allocation amounting to 0.86 billion, while 130 constituencies received a quarter of the allocation, amounting to Kshs1.5 billion. So, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a balance of Kshs7.6 billion which is awaiting to be released to the constituencies. So far, 190 elected Members of Parliament have constituted their CDF Committees, while 20 constituencies are yet to submit their list. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have noted that, at the moment, we have a around Kshs3 billion which is held within accounts of various constituencies. Since the formation of the CDF, there have been a lot of challenges. It is because of those challenges that we thought it was necessary to amend the CDF Act, 2003. I am aware that there have been various complaints. Even when you look at the amendments, which I think were done in a hurry when the House was nearly being dissolved. We will need to look at the amendment again. I would like to request hon. Members that, through the CDF Parliamentary Committee, to make their proposals to make the Act workable without problems. Hon. Members, you are aware that CDF resources have now emerged as a major form of devolved funds for the development of the entire country at the community level. Although faced April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 671 with teething problems, particularly related to the management and, in some few cases, duplication and wastage of resources, overall, the CDF has been widely lauded as being instrumental for development at the grassroots level. However, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have noted some of the challenges that are there. I want to bring them to the attention of hon. Members. One, we have noted that there is low utilization of completed facilities such as health centres and police posts. We put up those facilities and the Government is not able to provide staff to operationalize them. That is a challenge that we have to face as a Government and as a country. Then, there are poor linkages and co-ordination between the CDF accounting managers, CDF Committees at the constituencies and district departmental heads. There has been a lot of complaints that some CDF account managers behave as managers and not as accountants. There has also been a problem of identification and implementation of some of the projects. It has been found out that most of the Government departmental heads are, in most cases, reluctant to help in the identification and implementation of some of the projects. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, sometimes, it has been found out that the committees at the constituency level spread their resources very thinly so that the impact is usually not there. We have also noted that, in some cases, there is non-adherence to the laid down Government procedures and regulations mainly concerning procurement. We have also noted that there are difficulties in management, especially during transition between outgoing and incoming Members of Parliament. I have got quite a number of reports on that issue. We have noted that there is weak monitoring and evaluation which, if not well done, could have quite a number of irregularities not being noted during the implementation of the project. So, it is important, on that aspect, that Members do provide enough funds under your project proposals, so that you have enough money for monitoring and evaluation at the committee level. We have also noted that there is low utilisation of the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money. As I pointed out earlier, at the moment we have about Kshs3 billion "sitting" in bank accounts of various constituencies, which have not been used. It is important that you have a effective committees and controls in place to ensure that funds are utilised as soon as they are released to the constituencies. To address these emerging concerns and streamline the use of CDF resources, Parliament amended the Constituencies Development Fund Act, 2003 leading to a new Constituencies Development Fund (Amendment) Act, 2007. Under this Act, you will notice that some of the issues that I have raised have been addressed, but not all of them. That is why I said that we need to look at the Act once again and keep on improving it. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, to ensure that the CDF funds meet the intended objectives, we at the Ministry of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, need to carry out some reforms. One of the reforms is that we will liaise with the new board, which will be formed, to ensure that there are regular audits of all the projects money disbursed to the constituencies. We are thinking of having an audit unit at every district level, so that they are able to monitor the funds and advise on the implementation of the projects. We will encourage the hon. Members to computerise the CDF offices. I know that most of the hon. Members who were here last time, have built CDF offices. One of the reforms that we are going to undertake is to make sure that those offices are computerised. The board should also computerise its offices, so that there is linkage, and information flows very easily and as quickly as possible. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also intend to look at the role of Members of Parliament. You are aware that we have been criticised a lot over the management of the Fund. It is not true that we 672 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 manage this Fund the way want. So, we are going to look at the role of the Member of Parliament as regards the identification and implementation of some of the projects, and generally the set-up of the CDF Committee. We are also going to come up with clear duties of the Accounts Manager, so that there are no conflicts between the Member of Parliament, the CDF Committee and the Accounts Manager. We are also going to regularise, or come up with, the ways in which funds are going to be disbursed to the constituencies. As I mentioned, there is Kshs3 billion lying in accounts; it is doing nothing. May be, we may insist that before you get the next disbursement you must have spent all the funds released to the constituency previously and you must account for those funds before you get another disbursement.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are also going to look at the calibre of staff employed at the constituency level. We will try to rationalise the terms of service of those employees. It was found out that some hon. Members have employed so many staff members that they pay them as little as Kshs3,000 per month. We have to standardise the staffing level by agreeing on the number of staff members that should be employed and their terms, so that they are in line with Government procedures and regulations. The Constituencies Development Fund (Amendment) Act, 2007 vests in the Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 the following crucial duties, among other responsibilities:- (i) appointment eight persons; at least one from each of the listed professional organizations to the CDF Board, and one additional member in accordance with Section 5(3)e; (ii) appointment of four other persons to the CDF Board in accordance with Section 5(3)f, and (iii) appointment of the chairperson of the CDF Board in accordance with Section 5(4). It is pursuant to this that I have brought the names that I have mentioned for your approval. With those remarks, I beg to move and request my colleague Mr. Kiraitu to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to second this very important Motion. As the hon. Members and all Kenyans know, one of the greatest innovations that we have done in this Parliament is to introduce the CDF. Whenever we travel in this country, we are recognised and celebrated for having taken development to the grassroots. Very many villages now have dispensaries where there was none before. Very many villages now have secondary schools where there were none before. Many students are even going to school using the CDF bursary funds. This Fund has really assisted in the grassroots development of this country. You will recall that we started the idea of this Fund, which is unique in Africa and in the world, when we were in the Opposition. At that time the Government had a policy of not developing Opposition strongholds. Indeed, there was a Minister who stood where I am standing now and said: "So long as you are not in KANU forget development". So, we had to sit down and find how we could develop all the constituencies where we came from without discrimination. I was happy that this Act was unanimously passed by hon. Members. We travelled far and wide to pick ideas, and the closest we came to CDF was in Zambia, where the Member of Parliament was given some funds to develop the constituency, but Zambia had no rules to regulate April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 673 the expenditure those funds. So, at the end of the year hon. Members would report many projects which were non-existent, and it was found out that they just used to share the monies received with their campaign managers and other people. So, this was a great improvement, because there was an Act of Parliament with very clear rules of accountability and how this money should be spent. The reason why we brought this amendment was because the National Management Board, which was there, became a "super Member of Parliament" to the extent that it controlled the projects that we wanted to do in our own constituencies. It arrogated itself the power to reject proposals from Members of Parliament on how they wanted to spend money in their constituencies. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do remember my own case; we have been running a village bank in South Imenti for the last ten years. This village bank is supposed to meet the banking needs of the poorest of the poor within my constituency. But when we put in a proposal to fund that bank, so that it could continue supporting youth groups and women, the proposal was dismissed by that Board as a merry-go-round. They said that they did not fund merry-go-rounds, but that was not a merry-go-round; it was an established bank, with a manager and we have a track record of serving over 3000 customers. So, we felt a lot of pain that a Board, not even appointed my Members of Parliament, had the power to decide how I could spent my allocation of CDF within my own constituency. So, I hope the Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 will not fall into the same trap of coming to vet projects which come from Members of Parliament, on the ground that they have broken that rule or another. We want maximum flexibility given to Members of Parliament to develop their own constituencies.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no constituency which looks like the other. Every constituency is unique in its character and needs. I might need my Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) to buy donkeys to transport various items within the constituency. So, the Minister should not come and tell me that I cannot buy donkeys with my CDF money. I might come from Mandera and want to buy camels. Why not? You might be in Nairobi and you want to buy a bus. You go ahead and buy a bus! So, we should be left to decide, as people who know the heartbeat of our people, how the CDF will have the maximum and positive impact in their lives. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to support the Motion because we want the Board to be as non-partisan as possible. I think coming from the various organizations like the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the National Council of Churches of Kenya, the National Federation of Agricultural Producers, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Institute of Engineers of Kenya--- It has diversity. Even professional groups are represented. So, we hope that Board will not fall into the same trap of trying to load it over the Members of Parliament, like the Board that we have removed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to support the Minister of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 in his supervisory role over the way we spend the CDF money. We are not saying that we should not be audited. We are also not saying that we should be left free to spend the money as we like without accountability. Please, come and check whether we are spending the money well. But in the identification of the projects and how we want to spend the money, please, leave that to the Member of Parliament. I think we have been elected and we are the ones who best know the needs of the people. Some people sitting in Nairobi, whether engineers or professors, however qualified, will never know the basic needs of the people in Ijara or Turkana. It 674 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 is the Members of Parliament from that area who are the greatest authority as to the needs of his or her people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to second this important Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to support the Motion. May I say that the Minister has done a good job in not only satisfying the legal requirements in the appointment of the Board, but as I can see from the list, there is gender and regional balance. All the requirements of the law have been satisfied. It is, indeed, a great development in our country to have this opportunity for the House to not only scrutinize the appointments, but also to approve them. Indeed, it is something that we hope, with the completion of the constitutional review process and delivering of a new Constitution to this country, we will be able to do before the sun sets on the life of the Tenth Parliament. We will have a Constitution that will enable and empower this House to approve not only members appointed to the CDF Board, but also all other senior appointments in Government. I believe that, that day will come soon. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, regarding the issue of devolution, I think the CDF was one of the noblest and success stories of the Ninth Parliament. It is a good idea. But I believe this House - the Tenth Parliament, will make it even greater. I am happy that the Minister has noted the necessity of making further amendments. We do appreciate that already, the CDF Act had been amended. But it is necessary that further amendments be made. I am glad that there are reforms that will be brought to this House. We are very keen to see that we have the necessary amendments to strengthen legal structures and controls, to ensure that accountability and transparency is achieved. I come from a constituency that is very notorious. The CDF National Office is aware of that. In fact, we had the tragedy of losing the Accounts Manager of Saboti CDF. We are very glad to see that, indeed, reforms are on the way and soon, we will have the controls strengthened to ensure that the peoples' money is properly administered and projects that will benefit the people are achieved. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, we do have a problem of staffing. The calibre of staff will go also with the amount of money available. The Act allows only 3 per cent for office operations and staffing. We believe that amongst the reforms that the Minister will bring to this House - and we will be recommending - is that the 3 per cent, after enhancing structures, will also be enhanced to enable Members to get qualified staff that can run those offices. As part of the reforms that we are looking at, we will also be proposing that, indeed, after the strengthening of structures, the 2.5 per cent already set by the Act be enhanced, so that this money can continue developing, and reaching, every corner of Kenya. I agree with the Minister that we need to strengthen the aspect of monitoring and evaluation of CDF projects. This will be possible if there is enhancement of the funds available to the CDF at the constituency level to ensure that there is enough money to strengthen this function of monitoring and evaluation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad to note that the Minister has touched on the issue of auditing. This is an area that we need to strengthen considerably. From the experience of my constituency, I can say that it will be a great thing to have regular audits so as to discover any misuse of public funds. If we have an independent audit unit at the district level that will carry out regular audits, this will be one way of ensuring that money is properly utilised. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 675 important Motion. I would like to thank the Minister for bringing here the names of the Board for approval. This issue is overdue. Some of our constituencies are lacking behind in terms of providing services to our constituents. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support the former speaker, who said that the Board should not be an impediment, obstacle or a bottleneck in the implementation of very important development projects. The CDF was meant to improve the lives of our people. That is really the bottom line. It was developed, so that people in the marginalised areas could be able to get services through their elected representatives. Therefore, in the reforms that the Minister is going to put in place--- We had recommended that the budgetary allocation equivalent to 2.5 per cent of the Government annual revenue set the CDF law should be raised to, at least, five or seven per cent, so that the constituencies are able to develop without relying on the central Government to provide resources. When you look at what the 2.5 per cent has done for this country since the CDF was introduced, it is remarkable compared to the 97.5 per cent left with the central Government. We can see development of schools, hospitals and roads. We now have a real change of face of this country, because of this 2.5 per cent. In the constituencies we come from, you cannot identify the development projects implemented with the 97 per cent of the money left with the central Government. But you can see what the 2.5 per cent has done. So, we would like to recommend that in this financial year, 2008/2009, the 2.5 per cent be raised to five per cent. In the following financial year, 2009/2010 the rate should be raised further to 10 per cent. We can stop at that and do wonders for this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other reform I would like to recommend is the issue of bursary. There is really no point of putting up classrooms if we cannot take our children to school. We need to raise the amount of money set aside for bursaries in the poor districts to 20 per cent. This should not be pegged on a national policy of 10 per cent, because the needs of constituencies are not the same. There are some constituencies which produce coffee, others gold, oil while some of us are look after livestock. The livestock have died and our people are now poor. We want to raise the money set aside for bursaries to at least 20 per cent. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we should not be bogged down by the Board. The Board is an employee, or appointee, of this House. Therefore, that Board cannot be a bottleneck; it should not insist that we cannot move on because the policy has not been changed. We are the policy makers. I would recommend, especially for my constituency, that we raise bursary from 10 per cent to at least 15 per cent. It is within the law and the powers of this House to pass that, because we must take our children to school. We have many children enroling in schools and their parents cannot afford school fees. In the reforms that the Minister is going to put in place, he should raise the money meant for administration purposes. I support my colleague, who said that we should raise this amount to five per cent, so that we can get employees for the Constituency Development Committees (CDCs). We cannot get qualified people because we cannot pay them well. Some of the CDC members who attend meetings every month come from very far. I know some hon. Members do not know the size of some constituencies. Some of the CDC members are from every corner of the constituency. For those of you who do not know the geography of this country, and I want the Minister to listen to this very carefully, my constituency starts from Hunters Lodge on Mombasa Road up to Magadi. If a gentleman is supposed to come all the way from Hunters Lodge to attend a CDF meeting he needs transport, sitting allowance and lunch. He may not be able to go back home; so, he may require accommodation. We want to raise, at least, the allowances of CDC members from 676 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 Kshs2,500 to Kshs5,000 per sitting, so that if a person attends a meeting and is unable to go back to his or her home, he or she can, at least, take care of himself or herself. These are fundamental reforms that the proposed Board should look into. If we will be in a position to do that, I am sure no hon. Member will be visiting Ministries, because if every constituency gets about Kshs100 million, hon. Members will be at home developing their constituencies. Every Kenyan will be able to access education without any problem. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to agree with one of the hon. Members who suggested that the CDF Act was really a landmark legislation that has enabled devolution of resources in a small way. The 2.5 per cent allocation should be increased, almost as a matter of urgency. Despite implementation and capacity problems, the CDF has contributed immensely to poverty alleviation. It is the single most effective programme that the Ninth Parliament brought into being as a measure that directly deals with poverty eradication. I believe that the Minister should, as a matter of urgency, consider an amendment to increase the 2.5 per cent to, at least, 10 per cent in the very near future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to agree with the hon. Member who has just contributed, and said that if you have this kind of allocation coming from the CDF, you do not have to go queue behind the offices of Ministers to beg for favours, so that certain projects can be implemented in your constituency. If you have Kshs100 million or Kshs150 million allocated for various projects in your constituency, I can tell you that it is enough money to keep all of us busy developing our constituencies and we can let the Central Government use this trickle down effect of budgeting where money goes through Ministries and at the end of the process you only get 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the original amount. A lot of the other amount of money having stuck between the fingers of those who are responsible for implementation. I, therefore, wish to encourage the Minister to consider this amendments as a matter of urgency. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing that I would like to bring to the attention of the Minister is the question about auditing and accountability. The best auditor and the best person to account for all the CDF money is mwananchi himself. There is no better auditor. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, I would like to urge the Minister to encourage Members of Parliament to set up Locational Development Committees (LDCs) of the CDF, whose job is to generate projects, supervise them during implementation and see that before payment is made, those projects have actually been implemented as agreed. To me, that is the best auditor. Yes, you could bring Government auditors there. They will come, move around and write their reports, but the matter will end there. By the time these reports get to the PAC, it is three years later. However, mwananchi lives there. He knows whether there is a borehole or not. He knows whether a health centre has been constructed or not. That mwananchi will ensure that the money is being properly used. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would, therefore, like to suggest that we should even have some small allowances to enable this Locational Development Committees (LDCs) to sit, audit and inspect and ensure that all the projects at the locational level are actually being implemented. If we do so, first of all we will get quality local leaders whose main task will be to ensure that they are the eyes of the Member of Parliament. They will tell you, for example, that in this location, Kshs20 million was allocated and the projects that have been implemented are this and that and we are satisfied. Once you do that, the question of audit does not arise. In fact, audit should just be a routine Government procedure. However, the day to day operationalisation of the CDF money can be done at the locational level by the LDCs. April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 677
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in looking at this composition of the Board, I was very surprised to note that there was no regard or recognition of the disabled. Do we have a single disabled person in the list of the Board members? I think that is a marginalised group and they should really have been included on the Board. If you have any flexibility, Mr. Minister, you should ensure you replace one of these others with a disabled person because I think that they are an important component of our society. In conclusion, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the Minister has done a good job in terms of geographical balancing and gender. However, he should take account of what I have just said, that they should include, at least, one disabled person on the Board. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to support this Motion and, perhaps, agree with most of the Members who have spoken before me that, certainly, CDF was a revolution in terms of addressing community needs. This is a classic example, obviously, of how decentralisation can bring development within a very short time. Kenya, at Independence, was at the same level with some of the newly industrialised countries in South East Asia, but now we are far apart simply because of the development path that we took. We did all the wrong things while they did all the right things. Whether it is by design or it was accidental, now that CDF has now shown us the way, I expect those Members seated on the Front Bench to take the initiative to bring legislation to ensure that more funds are allocated to the CDF. In fact, time is gone when the Government was just watching what was happening and waiting for others to work for them. If that is what they are waiting for, then we are ready to bring in the necessary legislation. However, I think that it is in the best interest of the Government to ensure that necessary legislations are brought here. Hon. Members have raised the issues of allowances and administrative costs. I do not think we need to emphasise that, particularly those of us who come from the vast districts and remote areas of this country where sections of this legislation have been an impediment on the performance of the CDF Committee. It is urgent, on the part of the Minister, to move with speed. He should, perhaps, make this a clear agenda, since it is also about the Vision 2030. Since he is the Minister responsible for planning, he is supposed to be ahead of the rest to ensure that these changes are brought in without wasting a lot of time. That way, we will move forward and implement these projects. We must stop, as a nation, serving rules and regulations and move with speed to serve our people. It has become a habit and it is common to be told that this and that rule does not allow this and that. This is not acceptable! We are serving people who are needful. We must move with speed and amend those rules to ensure that our people are served well. That is the only way we can remain accountable. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember Mr. Kiraitu saying one time that he was going to take away the cheques and make sure that he issues them to his Committee personally so that projects can be implemented on timely basis. The District Development Officer (DDO), in accordance with the Act plays a fundamental role in payment and processing of cheques and other administrative matters on CDF. Sometimes these officers move from one workshop to another yet everybody waits for them to make approval for all expenditure. I do not think that is unacceptable. The Minister should move with speed to ensure that the office does not move to some hotel room in the name of a workshop and then the rest of the constituents are held at ransom. It is not fair to the taxpayers. 678 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 So, I would like to recommend that the DDOs must have assistants or there must be an alternate signatory to those accounts so that we all do not keep on waiting for them. Indeed, this is the same thing Mr. Okemo meant when he raised the issue of increasing the allocation to the CDF. I am surprised that most Ministers, when answering Questions in this House, will say that the CDF is there and Members of Parliament should utilise it. I think that is neither acceptable nor fair because the percentage allocated to the CDF is very small while what is allocated to Ministries is a lot. You cannot compare the two. Therefore, it looks like, though most of Government Ministers are also Members of Parliament, we are giving this money out grudgingly. That should not happen. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if more funds are allocated to CDF the Ministers would have more time to address policy issues and let people at the grassroots level supervise their own work, implement projects and ensure that they are served as required. Livestock is very key in pastoral areas. On many occasions, when we want to use the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), particularly after drought spell, to re-stock, we are told that the rules do not allow it. That is very unfair. This matter has been explained in detail. Hon. Members have repeated it. It is high time that we looked at it again and open it up, so that we serve the people and stop serving the rules. Finally, there has been a report on the application of the cost of living indices in relation to how the CDF is divided among constituencies. The Institute of Public Policy and Research (IPPR) has observed that the Ministry has used the wrong indices. The Minister himself being an expert, I would request that he looks into that matter. According to the IPPR report, the Ministry is using what is called "contribution to rural poverty indices" as opposed to poverty indices. Poverty indices is a different thing. In the process, constituencies have lost a lot. I request that the Minister digs into this matter and ensures that the anomaly is corrected. Justice must be done to those constituencies which have lost in that instance. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to join my colleagues in supporting this Motion. In the last Parliament, I had the opportunity to sit in the Parliamentary Committee on CDF. Going to the nitty-gritty of the appointees, I am in agreement that the Minister has done a good job. Looking at the provision of the law, under Section 5(5), the Minister has addressed the issue of regional balance very well. With regard to the issue of academic qualifications and experience, again, the Minister has done a very good job. Looking through the CVs of the proposed appointees, we are proud to approve these as members of the Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, among the proposed nominees, we have registered engineers, fellows with Masters degrees in Education; holders of Bachelor of Education degrees, Masters degrees in Finance and Masters degrees in Business Administration. That is very impressive. What has impressed me most, unlike what the Government has done, is the way manner in which the Minister has addressed the issue of the youth agenda in these proposed appointments. Leaving out the Government nominees, we have 13 nominees eight of whom are below the age of 40 years. That is very good. Even among those nominees who are above the age of 40 years, only one, is 60 years old. The others are below the age of 55 years. This is my kind of a Minister. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the law requires that the Minister appoints somebody to be the Chairman of the Board. I was hope by the time the Minister laid on the Table the list of the nominees, he had decided who will appoint the Chairman of the Board. The sooner he does it, the better. He does not need to come to the Floor of the House to do so. The issue of gender balance has also been adequately addressed. Out of the nine nominees, under Section 5(5), five of the nominees are women. Although under Section 5(3), where we get the Minister himself to decide who to pick out of the four, he did not pick a single lady. Maybe, next time, he will consider one of them. April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 679 Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in every organisation, institutional memory is crucial. In this particular case, we have been able to retain only two hon. Members from the National Management Committee (NMC). We did not want to spend a lot of time, as a Parliament Committee, arguing with the members of the Board, as was the case in the last Parliament. So, I would request that out of the other one person, if it is within your mandate, you retain somebody who was in the NMC. During the campaign period of the last general elections, the then Ministry of Planning and National Development advertised the position of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This was a serious irregularity. In the first place, it is not the Ministry which is supposed to advertise that position, but the Board. So, we expect the Board to ensure that it recruits somebody who is qualified, so that his or her name can be brought to the House for approval. The advertisement for this position is very shocking. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the conditions given by the Minister in the advertisement for the post of the CEO was very shocking: "That person must be a Kenyan citizen aged between 45 and 52 years." That was very unusual. It was as if the job was being tailored for a particular person. The CEOs of Barclays Bank, the Co-operative Bank, Stanbic Bank, as well as Government Permanent Secretaries (PSs), are qualified. There is nothing wrong with being 40 years old. You can be a CEO of the CDF at that age. The CEO of the institutions I have mentioned are managing much more funds. So, that is one of conditions we want removed in the recruitment of the CEO of the CDF. The youth were disappointed. So, we would expect the Minister, when addressing policy issues, to ensure that the biggest beneficiaries are the youth. More so, the policy of recycling retirees is not good. These are people who were in the Civil Service. They went home on attaining retirement age and they are earning pension. Why recall them to serve in the Civil Service? We have many qualified youths in all disciplines. When I went through these CVs, I was impressed. These particular ones are nothing compared to the others who do not have jobs. So, we would really laud the Minister. He has shown us the right way. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, going by what is happening in the new districts, we urgently need to have the Ministry and the Board to ensure that the District Commissioners (DCs), District Accounts and District Development Officers (DDOs) are trained. I had an interesting case where the DC summoned the CDF Manager and told him that procurement for the CDF would be the role of the District Tender Committee. These are the things which make it necessary for us to move very fast and put the Board in place, so that DCs and other senior civil servants at the district level can be trained on the CDF rules. We encourage project committees, whose membership is drawn from among the beneficiaries of CDF projects, to play the role of procurement, and not even by the Parliamentary Committee. So, it is also necessary for us to move very fast and constitute the Parliamentary Committee on the CDF. The CDF Board cannot work unless the Parliamentary Committee is in place. One amendment which was not brought on the CDF Act in the last Parliament relates to the fact that the last Parliamentary Committee on the CDF was actually doing executive work. We, Members of that Committee, felt that as Members of Parliament, we have no business doing executive work. So, it is crucial that this time round, that responsibility be removed from the Parliamentary Committee to where it belongs, which is the Board. Maybe, that is why most hon. Members lost in that Committee. Out of 11 of us, I think only two survived. So, it is only fair that amendments are made. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that there is no better law that we have made in this country, which can be compared to the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) Act. Despite the shortcomings, the CDF has been a success story. We had several delegations from countries like Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Ghana, Sudan, USA and other countries, specifically to study 680 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 CDF. I am happy to say that a country like Tanzania has introduced CDF. That means that this is a good law. But a good law can easily be tampered with. My personal experience is when we went to Zambia and they tried to do everything. They tried to give hon. Members leeway to do everything. The CDF was buying cows, donkeys and everything as if the central Government had stopped operating. So, the CDF collapsed. We went to India and they told us that if we tried to do everything, it would definitely collapse. So, as much as we might want to do everything, the CDF is still young. Let us give the CDF time to grow so that, by the time we bring the amendments, it is already established. On the issue of account managers, it is true that some of them have not understood their responsibility; what they are meant to do. When the last Parliament introduced account managers, what it had in mind was that they would act as bookkeepers, the same as bank managers. Not more than that! But some of them seemed to have given themselves powers which were never intended for them. I think if you want a CDF manager, your committee has the mandate. You can employ a manager to run your CDF and not that one. That is an account manager. He is the book keeper. He should keep your ledger and other books. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that those who had the opportunity to serve in earlier Parliaments before the CDF--- You remember the days of " siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya ". You will also remember the days when the Ministers would say: "We will implement that project when funds will be available!" With the CDF, I believe we have come a long way. Nevertheless, CDF needs to be increased from the current 3 per cent to a reasonable figure of about 5 per cent. Government spending is always concentrated in urban areas. The rural areas are always neglected! So, time has come for us to really address the issues at the bottom. I agree with my colleagues that we need to look at the issue of bursary. In the last Parliament, it was increased to 15 per cent only. That is still very low! A fair figure would be 25 per cent. What use is it to construct a school and not have kids going there because they cannot afford to. So, we need to address that as soon as possible. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to also thank the Minister for bringing this Motion. It was long overdue. As we all know, many projects that were pending in our various constituencies could not move because we were waiting for the establishment of the Board. However, I am worried about something here that the Minister needs to look at very quickly. First of all, according to Rule 3 of the new Act - the amended version of this Act - all the members of the Board must be present so that they can have their first meeting. The Minister has not appointed one Board member while he was moving this Motion. This exposes us to a further delay in the establishment of the Board. We will pass the other names, but we will still not get to the end result, which is to have it operationalised. Also, to correct the hon. Member who has just left the Floor, it is the Board which, according to Rule 4, shall appoint the Chairperson. It is not the Minister. That means that, any of the people who are in the Board may become a chairperson; in which effect, if the Board is not quickly and completely established, then we will have a delay. We want the Minister to come back very quickly to the House with the other name, so that we can finish up this matter. Otherwise, we are very happy with the names that have been proposed. We think that they should quickly come to this House for establishment. On the question of the finances of the Board, Section 48, which is very important, says that the Minister must approve the financial estimates of the Board, which must not be more than 3 per cent. We are setting up a Board today and we want it to start operations quickly, so that we can get our things moving at the constituency. We would like to request the Minister to move with haste--- That is because the end result that we want is to have the Board approve whatever it is that we want April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 681 to do in our constituencies. Being the Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, he can quickly give guidance to the members that have already been appointed, so that we can have a rough estimate that is approved quickly. There is no authority to use even a single cent according to the Act, before the Minister approves. What we are saying is that in approving the allowances and the budget that the Board is going to use during its lifetime for the year, we want the Minister to be careful. That is because we know the previous committee that was exercising the same function. We were not satisfied with the way they utilised those funds. They had many trips and meetings. Those meetings were not being converted into direct benefits of the constituencies that are represented in this country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the rules are also giving the same Board powers to establish boards. On Rule No.4.1, the Board is given powers to establish committees. There is no limit on the number of committees that are going to be set up by the Board. The Board may actually misuse those powers. It can set up various committees for the sole purpose of making sure that they are paid good allowances. The Board is supposed to establish committees from amongst its own members. They could have many committees for other purposes, other than the ones that are benefiting them. I am saying that the Minister must have a microscopic look at the Board. He should make sure that it is serving us. We will not be there when they are doing all the things that they need to do. The third thing that I want to say is that there is a point in Section 48 that says that members of the Board who are from Ministries like the Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 are supposed to be paid their emoluments by the Ministries. We know for a fact that, that has not been happening even at the lower level. When district engineers go and inspect projects, they come back and demand money from the same CDF account. We want the Minister to really effect that and quickly set up the levels. The Act empowers him to do so. We do not want the 3 per cent that will be allocated to the Board to be another cash cow that will be milked by the Board. In other words, I am saying that the Minister needs to have a microscopic look. He is a Member of Parliament and, at the same time, he is in the Executive. He will help and represent us well if he can check the details of what is happening. He should not just- -- We have faith in our Minister because he is a man trained in the school of money. He should not just depend on the reports of his Permanent Secretary because he is also a member of this Board. So, he should take a personal interest as a Member of Parliament representing us to check on the details about what happens in this Board. He will be our eyes there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have two other last points I want to make. There is a valid point that has been made that there is low usage of established or completed projects. Health centres were mentioned here. When the Minister was moving this Motion, he mentioned health centres and police stations. From the Ministry of Health, we would want to say it in this House again and again that, please, if you want to put up any medical facility be it a dispensary, health centre or whatever using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), as a policy, we would request hon. Members to, please, liaise with Ministry headquarters. If that is a bit difficult for you, then, at least, the district people must be aware. If we do not know your CDF facility exists or it is not within the planning, then even they cannot get the medical kit, nurses or clinical officers allocated to them. So, we would request hon. Members to do so. I am sure the same would be said for the facilities of police and other security agents that we should make it a habit to communicate that information to the line Ministries, especially the Ministry of Health, so that we can be useful and an end result is achieved. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I would want to urge the media to be friendly to hon. Members on the usage of this CDF. They have not been very friendly to Members of Parliament in respect of this CDF. We are not saying they should not report our ills, but we are saying that there 682 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 has been a very negative reaction towards the set up of CDF. I know that many Members of Parliament have suffered unfair criticism against themselves. We would sincerely request that the positive aspects be brought forward by the media. We now have a Board which is set up to include even members who are representatives of the religious organisations that we respect most in this country. We have the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the Supreme Council of Muslims (SUPKEM), teachers and many other respectable and good professionals represented there. We ask the media to look at the way they have viewed Members of Parliament again. Please, it is not all of us who have been involved in malpractices. Many hon. Members of Parliament have done very well in the management of CDF. It is just unfortunate the way it has been portrayed as if it is a fund that we use for our own purposes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I urge that the media will be positive this time round, especially with this Board of respectful organisations that have been put up. I would urge them to support this initiative. Even as they write their papers and present their programmes here in Nairobi, they have cousins, brothers and sisters in the villages who need those medical facilities, police stations and schools. So, it is good for the media to support this CDF and create the correct impression among the public. With those few remarks, I would beg to support this Motion. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to also thank the hon. Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 for coming up with this very well selected members of the Board. It has been an anxious time waiting for the Board to be constituted. Life has been at standstill in many parts of the country, especially Kimilili Constituency. So, it will be very good if the Minister would move to fill the vacancies in the Board when he constitutes it. Life has been at a standstill because I have been unable to disburse any bursary funds. There has been no money. I inherited about Kshs6,200 in the CDF kitty which was hit by bouncing cheques and left me with Kshs940. I have been totally unable to disburse funds to university students. Right now, they are supposed to be registering for exams. I have been unable to disburse any funds for them for exams. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the CDF is a very good innovation in the country. With the creation of new districts, we know that the District Development Officer (DDO) is the Authority- to-Incur Expenditure (AIE) holder. With the creation of new districts, many of them do not have DDOs. I am specifically mentioning Bungoma North District. We do not have a DDO. It means that we have to travel long distances to get in touch with a DDO who is far removed from the constituency and he might not be in touch very much with the Constituency Development Committee (CDC) that is constituted. So, I would like the Ministry of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 to also ensure that the new districts do get DDOs as soon as possible before funds are disbursed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, I would like to emphasise what a previous speaker said that the method of calculating how much money goes to every constituency by way of CDF needs to be looked at afresh. As matters stand now, large and poor constituencies like Kimilili Constituency are virtually losing out in the sense that the allocation we get cannot possibly do as much as it would in smaller and better endowed constituencies. So, I believe that the method used needs to be reviewed. Maybe we need to look at the idea of the poverty index and so on. We need to change it completely. There must be other yardsticks that can be used, so that people do not feel like they are being discriminated against on disbursement of these funds. I know various other people who are using the criteria of CDF calculation to calculate other funds like for rural electrification. I was at the Kenya Power and Lighting and Company (KPLC) April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 683 this morning. It appears like that same criteria is being used. Usually a constituency like Kimilili, end up losing out. We get a certain allocation which cannot possibly even cover one location in the constituency because of its vastness. I hope the Minister will look at this particular part very critically, so that we ensure that our people actually get served better. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other part is the issue of the limitation on how much allowances to give. Here, I beg to support what the hon. Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry said in this House earlier on that if we will limit the allowance to Kshs2,500, then it also plays a role in the quality of people we can attract to be on our committees. I do not see a busy farmer in Kimilili Constituency leaving his farm to come and actually work for the constituency at Kshs2,500. I think that is a bit too little and we need to review that amount completely. I feel that part of the problems many CDCs undergo, in the sense that a number of their members might not be particularly prudent in management of the funds is because they are getting very little allowances. As they say if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. We need to review that very urgently, so that the CDC members feel that they are not completely compensated, but recognised for the good work that they are doing within the constituencies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally on the amount, I know several speakers have mentioned that we should increase the percentage from the current 2.5 per cent. If we will empower our people, then they will be in control of their destiny and decide what development projects they want in their constituencies, the amount needs to be reviewed. Kimilili Constituency, for example, gets Kshs59 million despite its size. This Kshs59 million look like a lot of money, but it is a drop in the ocean. If the people of Kimilili Constituency were to be in charge of their destiny, then we definitely require more money than what we are getting. Otherwise, the Minister will need to move very fast and appoint the remaining committee members, so that this Board can start functioning and they can disburse the remaining allocation of funds. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to support this Motion that was moved by the Minister. The formation of this Board is long overdue. We were hoping that before we went for the previous recess, that this Motion would have been brought. Had that happened, we would not be talking about money lying in accounts. Right now, nearly all the previous committees have been replaced and they need to be approved or ratified by the Board that is pending. However, better later than never. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister, just as my colleagues have said, to replace the member whom he has proposed to remove through the amendments that he has just brought forward. We also need training of the Board members quickly because in turn, all the new committees have to be inducted again. So, we are still very far from rolling on. If you are a new Member and you believe that you can remove your committee without being approved by the Board, you are wrong. The Board has to approve these new committees and it is only then that disbursement from the constituency accounts can be allowed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, I urge the Minister, to ensure that the training of the Board members takes place as quickly as possible. He should move fast in appointing the remaining member then in turn, we can carry out the training. The NMC's role in the past was to train or workshop the constituency committees. With the NMC out of place, it is the role of the Board to carry out that. Therefore, every committee needs to be trained. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, you can now see the urgency of the matter considering that this financial year is coming to an end. The new Committees are supposed to submit new proposals for 2008/2009 Financial Year. Therefore, before they are trained and they understand exactly what they are doing, even to sit and put together those proposals is an uphill task. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many areas in this country that never used to experience any 684 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 development have started realising that there is something called development in Kenya after the CDF was introduced. In my constituency, before the CDF was introduced, the last physical projects had been carried out in the 1970s. In the early Independence days, the criteria for allocation for development funds was based on what was called "high potential areas" and the so-called "low potential areas." The arid and semi-arid lands of this country were given a raw deal. They remained so for a long time. The CDF became a saviour for these areas. Today, in reality, I see that the so-called "high potential areas" for development that would have contributed to the economy of this country had reached saturation point. Potential now lies in the so-called "marginalised" areas or areas that did not have potential in the past. Kenya is a free country where every citizen is allowed to settle and invest anywhere. Development skewed in favour of certain areas is denying many Kenyans, for instance, someone from Central, Western or from any other part, from investing in North Eastern simply because the infrastructure necessary for his or her investment is not there. The increase of the CDF will, in a small measure, contribute immensely to the development of our infrastructure in high potential areas. I consider our areas high potential areas. If today, you set proper infrastructure in rural northern Kenya, you will be encouraging local investment. You will even be encouraging investment from other parts of this country. You will be improving security and communication. Therefore, you will be improving the possibility of improving markets. In as much as I agree with the criteria that was first used to allocate the CDF, I feel it is time we revised the policy and brought in a development level index into the criteria. Those areas that have been marginalised in the past should be given a greater share of this kitty. That is very important. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is patriotic for all of us Kenyans, to look at this critically and see it as a national goal. No one stops any Kenyan from settling or investing in any part of the country. Therefore, any money that goes to whatever part of the country remains your money. If money goes into infrastructural development in northern Kenya, no one would stop you from investing there, no matter what part of this country you come from. I think it is important that we look at the bigger picture and ensure that monies that are available for development go into areas that will immensely contribute to the economy of this country. That is why I feel that we have a strong case for the revision and addition of a criteria for allocating more money to those areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also agree with hon. Members, that allowances for members of the CDC should be increased. I do not think that Kshs2,500 is enough for somebody operating in Fafi Constituency. It is not even enough to meet the transport cost to come to the headquarters where meetings are supposed to take place. What about accommodation and meals? This is supposed to be some sort of a volunteer job. However, the basic needs should be provided so that those people can feel proud that they are coming to do a job for their constituency. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Bahari raised an issue regarding a report that did not follow the terms of the Act as far as allocation of funds is concerned. In that particular Report, my Constituency, Fafi, lost Kshs117 million in the last five years' allocation. Your constituency, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, also lost almost the same amount of money. I urge the Minister to look at that Report and probably form an independent, strong and reliable committee to advise him on the allocations that took place in the last five years with regard to the CDF. He should address it well and ensure that those who lost are somehow compensated. I am not saying that those that gained should be forced to pay, but those that lost should be compensated. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am a beneficiary of the creation of the new districts. North Eastern Province got seven districts last year. Hon. Minister, I urge, that you appoint the DDOs as soon as possible because they take a pivotal role in the disbursement of the CDF. Otherwise, I congratulate the Minster and I support the Motion. April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 685
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. Before I proceed, I would like to congratulate Mr. Oparanya for his very deserved appointed as the Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030. I also realise that this is his first Motion in this House. It comes at the right time, and I believe his skills will produce success for the Ministry and, therefore, the country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I noted that the Board members are 17. This is good because it has invited diversity. We see that there are four members, who have been appointed on consideration of regional balance. However, I would like to comment on this. The county is talking about "lean and clean". This is good. It is the mood of the nation. There are issues currently arising as a result of the vision that is not documented, but has pervaded the psyche of the Kenyan people. I think we need to contemplate over it. As per international practice on good corporate governance, the maximum number for a board to function should be 11. However, I think because of historical disadvantages, we are struggling to please everyone. I am talking about meritocracy. Even if we had five Kenyans in a committee and it is delivering that would be okay. But at the same time, we are struggling with numbers in order to appease. This is not diversity. We are even risking multiplying skills so that statistics appear good. In future, perhaps, for this kind of appointment, it may be prudent to consider an ideal number, like 11, and focus on the quality. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the second issue is on due diligence in appointments. Yes, it may be that the four members here represent regions that were not represented in the institutional nominations. However, it may be as well that these are members who could happen to reside in the City of Nairobi. They may not necessarily be highly qualified professionals, who reside and work in regions that are far from Nairobi. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, perhaps, in future it will also be important to do due diligence beyond the discretion of the Minister, the appointing authority. The appointment should be compelled to generate professional bodies and organised groups that are dominant in the regions. Some areas of this country are very far away from the Nairobi. We, therefore, may not be tapping the talent that is there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thirdly, is the question of people appointed to public offices. I think these groups have a culture, just as Members of Parliament may have a culture. We may become a club. We know each other. We become friendly. We may have institutions that are very reputable, but they also have clubs. They have inside practices. You may find one member appointed to so many public authorities. A member comes from a respected institutions, but he\she is appointed to three or four other public bodies. Will he or she rarely have time to focus on an important Board like this? They, therefore, end up having administrative inertia. You even post a professional to this board, that other board and to another board, just because they have the right connections. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, fourthly, we applaud the Minister for putting quite a huge portion of young people into this Board. However, it may be advisable and strategic that it be, indeed, stipulated in the law that for any public appointment to a State corporation, or to any public-private partnership, a third of the appointees shall be below 35 years of age. We are talking about the youth; we are not talking about people 39 years of age. As per the definition in the National Youth Policy, youths are those aged under 35 years. That way, we are going to harvest from the very critical generation; the critical mind of very educated and wise young people. As I said yesterday, one of the Members of the Cabinet is 34 years old. We have hon. Members here who are in their early 20s. So, I think this is something that we need to focus on in order to ensure that there is an improvement. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, among the things that this Board may be expected to do is 686 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 to develop a good criteria for financing. The Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) is devolved based on the poverty index. However, within the constituencies themselves, areas are not the same. The last two days, I was reading some independent data done on the 210 constituencies. There is a constituency that never utilised the CDF. There are constituencies that, otherwise, were said in some fora to have having been very good in using the CDF money. However, in reality, only 10 per cent of the geographical occupation of that constituency received the financing. Something needs to be done, so that there is accurate mapping of the poverty levels in constituencies, and the economic situation in terms of the basic needs, which are basic human rights. If one area is disadvantaged in supply of water, the Member of Parliament and the CDC committee that he or she appoints should be compelled by a nationally accepted survey of the situation within that constituency to actually prioritise water supply projects. This will enable us achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and ensure that the CDF is not a captive of the discretion of the Member of Parliament. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is important for the Minister--- We know he is very fresh, and I congratulate him again. However, he should reflect, so that whatever he has put together is reviewed and certain amendments are brought on board. Intellectual skills should be better utilised by bringing some freshness to these appointments, and to other areas that require improvement, so that we work better for the nation. Thank you, Sir. I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me first of all congratulate hon. Oparanya on his appointment as a Minister. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting this Motion, I wish to express the following sentiments. I think we are establishing a very admirable tradition in this House. The tradition of vetting appointments to public institutions. However, I would like to urge this House that this process should not become superficial. This is a case where hon. Members only come to look at names on lists and rubber stamp the same. I only found out a short while ago that the names and curricula vitae of these appointees had been tabled with the Clerk. However, I believe that many Members of Parliament here have no knowledge of the same. Neither did they have access to the details of the persons appointed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while supporting this culture, I would want to propose that we institutionalise this tradition of vetting, which would require us to put in place certain frameworks, including a formal committee of this House that would be charged with the responsibility of scrutinising nominees to public office ahead of a debate of this nature. That will ensure that the kind of hiccup that we experienced this afternoon of one name having to be removed, while debate is imminent would be avoided. I would want to urge the Government to start thinking of the possibility of legislation that would anchor such a framework in this House. In the absence of, I think it would remain a challenge to the Members to ensure that we anchor that process. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue is the question of transitioning. Of course, we know that the 2007 Election was the first transition in the life of the CDF. The Act came into being in 2003. This is the first time we have new Members of Parliament taking over the process from their predecessors. We have experienced many hiccups because the process of transitioning from one Member to another seems not have been very clearly thought. I want to tie this to the question of audit and monitoring of CDF projects. I would urge the Minister, as he thinks of the various reforms that should be contemplated to streamline this process further, to have a process that can prepare some kind of composite monitoring and audit reports in the penultimate year of the life of every House in the fourth year of the life of every House in the contemplation that there would be a transition. That would assist in ensuring that new Members of Parliament would have an easy time inheriting the CDF projects and processes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the question of the audit, it is gratifying to listen to the Minister assure this House that the question of audit is going to be taken very seriously. He April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 687 mentioned the possibility of having district audit teams in the various districts. My only hope is that these audits is not focused on the future but it should also act retrospectively. I want to say, especially in light of the House CDF Committee, that there seems to have been a tendency of Members of Parliament being reluctant to come out strongly against their fellow Members whenever they noticed any irregularity. If we are going to ensure audits serve the purpose for which they are intended; that is, to secure the public good and ensure that expenditure through CDF is above board, we need to be serious and take action, whenever we notice irregularities. Some of us have inherited CDF projects in our constituencies and realised lots of irregularities and yet, we are told that audits were conducted every year. The question is: How did these irregularities sip through the audit process? I would want to urge the hon. Minister to take the question of audit very seriously. As we think about reforms and streamlining the CDF, the question of flexibility is also crucial. I think bureaucracy has sipped through the CDF process. Until we realise that one of the objective behind the CDF was to ease and relax the process of development. So, we must find ways to ensure that the same bureaucracy that has encumbered development through mainstream Government departments does not encumber CDF projects. Otherwise, I look forward to contributing to a process that would lead to the CDF achieving its optimum effect. Lastly, looking at the list of institutions that are mandated under the amended statute to appoint members to the Board, I realise that the Law Society of Kenya was not represented. I do not know whether that was by design or by default. I think it might be important to consider having a nominee of the Law Society of Kenya given the myriad legal implications and issues arising with regard to the CDF. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the chance to contribute on this very important Motion. The enactment of the CDF Act was heralded by skewed national distribution of resources. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, If I go back to where we come from, today or in the next two to three years, we would see the first or four, ten or 20 kilometres of tarmacked road. From Garissa to where I come from is about 700 kilometres. If every year the Government will tarmack 20 kilometres of road, it will take another 40 years before the people of Wajir West to see an inch of tarmac. To that extent, I want to join those who support the proposal to increase the allocation of the CDF from 2 per cent of our GDP to, at least, a minimum of 20 per cent. That way, every constituency will get Kshs200 million to Kshs300 million. If we get that money, we can plan to tarmac, at least, two to three kilometres of our roads every year. When students from those areas are asked to define tarmac, they would have the opportunity to have seen it not instead of just reading it about it. They would say: "This is a black substance in other parts of Kenya." Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you realise that the kind of development that we have had over the years was tailor-made for the white coloured amongst us. This was because what we inherited was a product of a white man's policy. When the planners came, they did not give any due regard to what the people on the ground wanted. The implementation of the CDF for the first time offers Kenyans a policy that is people-oriented and people-centred. This is encouraging. This is completely opposite of the kind of top-up planning that we used to have. Instead we have a bottom- up planning approach. This is very encouraging. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, our development plans right now are geared towards reduction of poverty. You will notice that the number of students joining universities from our region has increased tremendously. Previously, we used to have only one per cent of our student population qualifying and completing their studies at the national and private universities. Today, we have many students from that region joining universities. I attribute this success to the CDF. I want to go on record and thank the hon. Eng. Muriuki Karue, though he is not here, for having initiated this 688 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 noble idea. I want to concur with what hon. Murungi said that this idea is a product of a struggle. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I remember in the Eighth Parliament when those of us who there and were in the opposition were struggling to get our share of the national cake. We were denied our share of the national care. We sat down and said: "We can no longer be in this state. We can no longer be going to State House to beg for our rightful share of the national development." When the Back-benchers came together and thought of this noble idea, initially, we were laughed at. Some of our colleagues never thought that this thing was going to be realised. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank Eng. Muriuki Karue for different reasons and I wish he was here to see for ten to 15 years, how this noble idea that he initiated and struggled for will transform this country into one of the fastest developing economies in this region. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in 1967, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of South Korea and that of Kenya was at par. Today, the GDP of South Korea is thirty times that of Kenya. This is because we did not have policies that were tailor-made for our people. We inherited a chain of policies that were prepared by our colonisers. You remember that the British used different policies to govern this country. The policies that were used in northern Kenya were different from the ones that were used in the Rift Valley Province. The policies that were used in the Rift Valley Province were different from the ones that were used in Western Province for purposes of administration. Those are the same things that we have inherited! Those are the same things that our development planners use. Those are the same things that were used to deny regions, like where we come from, their share of the national cake! Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to go on record and say that this devolution at the constituency level should be used as a benchmark to develop areas that were, hitherto, neglected by the colonialists, the Kenyatta Government and the Moi Government. Those areas still continue to receive less of what they ought to get because of the harsh environmental conditions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to go on record again, because many Kenyans are not aware--- I want to challenge even the Chair--- It is not that--- I want to request the Chair to send the Members of Parliament for induction---
Order, Mr. Keynan! You do not challenge the Chair!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to request the Chair because, even as national leaders, it seems that we are not aware of what happens in different parts of the Republic of Kenya. One of the first things that this Tenth Parliament should do is to send Members of Parliament to all provinces for induction, so that they can familiarise themselves with what happens in every corner of the Republic of Kenya!
That is the only way we will appreciate our problems! When we get Kenyans, like hon. Oparanya here who is new--- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, going through this list, I can see the face of every Kenyan! This is the kind of approach we need! Kenyans are complaining about a bloated Government, but that is not the reality. I want to appeal to all other Ministers to emulate the good example of hon. Oparanya. When they appoint members to Boards, they should take into consideration factors like age, regional balance and, of course, education. That way, we will support them on the Floor of the House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Act has some teething problems. They are known! I want to plead with hon. Members--- I know there are a lot of challenges. Every hon. Member here has a destructor or a challenger at home. It will not be fair if the CDF is used--- If we use it wrongly, we will be challenged. If we use it properly, we will be commended. It is up to us to set a good example. If we do that, I am sure the CDF will be April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 689 celebrated and even the teething problems will be sorted out over the years. Devolution will come naturally, whether the Government likes it or not. We will have devolution even at the villages because of this Act. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are issues that are not well covered. I want to agree with what the honourable--- If you look at the poverty index in this country--- I am not convinced how a constituency like Wajir West, where 87 per cent of the residents rely on relief food, can get a paltry Kshs37 million, and a constituency where 99 per cent of the residents are agricultural crop growers, get Kshs80 million, Kshs70 million or Kshs67 million. I want to be convinced! That rationale lacks every reason. It is not convincing and I want, again, to appeal to hon. Oparanya: When you sit down and warm your seat, call those who have planned this and ask them about the rationale they have used. In my considered opinion, it is not fair! It is meant to reward the regions that are already developed. I want to see those who have denied us our rightful share. I think the planners not yet gone any attitudinal change. It is unfair to have the same people plan for our development policies at this time, when Kenya is experiencing a new dawn. Finally, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while commending the committee that has been in place over the last five years, I want, again, to request the honourable Minister: When that Board will be in place, let it visit every constituency! It is not enough just to send fund managers to the constituencies. We want the Board itself to visit every constituency, so that when it will be distributing the funds, it will have that particular constituency in mind. That way, we will get a fair share of what is meant for every constituency. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this very important Motion. First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister for his appointment as Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030. It is well deserved. I also want to congratulate the Minister for being proactive and acting fast to come up with the CDF Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also like to applaud the Ninth Parliament for coming up with the CDF Act. It has enabled the devolution of funds up to 2.5 per cent of the national cake although I think 2.5 per cent is very low. I know it has had a lot of impact all over the country and in most of the constituencies. But I am sure the results and effects would be better if that percentage was increased up to about 10 per cent. So, I would like to request the Minister to consider raising that percentage. That has been alluded to by the previous speakers. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Motion is long overdue. The schools opened in January for the first term. Now, they are about to open for the second term. There is a component of bursary funds and, as you know, most of our people are poor. They rely on help or assistance like the Bursary Fund. So, this Motion has come at a time when it is really needed. We must disburse money for that purpose. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other aspect I would like to address is the standardization of the rates of the amounts to be disbursed for various activities. By the time the CDF was introduced in this country, the country had generally attained some degree of development but the levels of development were not the same. So, when you standardize and say that for something like water, you fix the percentage across board, I think that is not being fair to some areas. I would, therefore, like to suggest that Members should have leeway to come up with the projects and amounts to be extended. That is because they are the ones who know the situation in their individual constituencies. They should be allowed to make suggestions on the way money should be spent. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the appointment of the Board, we have seen that the Minister has taken into account most of the factors that would reasonably be taken into account when 690 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 making such appointments. Now, the onus will be on the Minister to ensure that the Board performs to our expectations. I would like to reiterate that, from my little experience, auditing of CDF funds is a very vital aspect. The CDF was introduced in 2003, but the Motion came to Parliament when I was here. But it was effected in 2003. But for the short time I have been in Parliament this time round and this is my second time, I have noticed that we need to strengthen the aspect of auditing the funds. So, the Minister needs to come up with ways of assisting Members of Parliament to achieve that. I think it is better when auditing is done timely, rather than waiting until the end of the five years period. Of course, normally, people will say: "Let a Member of Parliament misbehave! We are going to remove him!" But if the five years are wasted, it is not only the Member who loses, but even the constituents!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that hon. Namwamba has raised the issue of lawyers being included on the Board. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, from my own professional experience, and looking at all the projects that we are going to fund with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), most of them are to do with buildings. We have allowed for engineers, but the larger component of building works is done by architects and quantity surveyors. I would like the Minister to consider how he could integrate the portion relating to professionals, who are registered with the Architectural Association of Kenya, so that it can assist in the performance of the Board. I have also been agonizing over the idea of the Local Authorities Transfer Fund (LATF). We have had devolved funds like the LATF and the Roads' Funds, but I know that the Acts that brought these funds into operation came at different times. I have been thinking of a situation whereby we can bring all these funds together, because there are times when we have a conflict. Sometimes you go and do a project with CDF money, but when people want to cheat they say they used some other money on it. This becomes a problem. I have been thinking of a situation whereby we could harmonise these funds bring them all under one umbrella. Even councillors who are supposed to be taking care of LATF are also represented on the CDF committees. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is an element of bursary money in the CDF money. In my constituency, we had a bursary committee which took care of that. It was sub-committee of the main committee. But if we are going to be remunerating the CDF committee members and the others are working and are not getting anything, I find it rather unfair. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am suggesting that when the Minister is considering what hon. Members have said here about increasing the amount of sitting allowances payable to the CDF committee members he should also look into allowing us to pay some money to the bursary sub- committee members. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing that needs to be clarified is that when we were at Safari Park Hotel, we were told that among the people whom we are supposed to employ are the Programme Co-ordinator, the Accounts Clerk and the Office Attendant. But the role of the Account Manager visa vis the Accounts Clerk needs to be clarified. I now find the role of the Accounts Clerk redundant. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I also want to associate myself with the sentiments by my colleagues in congratulating the Minister, Mr. Oparanya, for a well-deserved appointment. I would have been his natural competitor except that the position went to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and I do not belong to it. April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 691 I also wish to pay tribute to one Eng. Muriuki, a found member of the CDF, and a great son of this country who has made an impact, not only in his constituency but in the entire country. He gave the Ninth Parliament the greatest distinction of being the Parliament that created the CDF. Many times, we are so harsh to ourselves; people think the Ninth Parliament did nothing. Surely, what is more than such a contribution like the introduction of the CDF, which is impacting positively on the lives of poor Kenyans. Wherever he is, I wish him well. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, as a Parliament, should not just be a forum to which some political parties bring political entities to it in the name of Nominated Members of Parliament without even there being a provision for Parliament itself to be given an opportunity to nominate one or two persons, who have distinguished themselves in Parliament. If we had such an opportunity, I would have easily recommended a man like Eng. Muriuki for nomination back to this House. I would also have recommended a man like Mr. Oloo-Aringo, a parliamentary reformist per excellence, to be back to this House. People seem not to see what is good for this House. For example, if you do those participatory rural appraisal exercises, and you want to show the people that soil erosion is a critical issue, wananchi will not know if it important because they do not perceive it that way; but in the long run it will affect them, will destroy the environment and bring them a lot of poverty. So, these provision should be made, so that some people who have made very distinctive contribution to Parliamentary democracy can be accorded an opportunity to come back. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I hear the Minister talking of Kshs3 billion in bank accounts, and thinks that we are not putting that money to use. I want to let the Minister know that, first, it is bad practise to try to use money because you are going into an election. In my own constituency by time we went to the election, I deliberately decided that I was going to leave Kshs20 million in the account, so that whoever was going to take over from me would find the CDF account with money. Secondly, we were not utilising the money because of the transition after the general election. Banks had been advised not to allow cheques to be cashed. I think that is good practice. It is important that we allow the new Members of Parliament to reconstitute the committees, and then they can start normalising the operations of the account. So, I do not think it is bad if Kshs3 billion is lying somewhere in an account. Fortunately, we had made a provision that CDF money cannot be surrendered to the Treasury at the end of the financial year. This accords us a bit of liberty and a free hand in deciding on our projects and implementing them the way they are. If you did a bit of in development economics, or community development, you will realise that projects do not go as per the plan. Sometimes, there is a delay here and there. So, we need that flexibility. I hope that, as you have the opportunity to serve in this Ministry, you will ensure that we have that flexibility and that we continue to have it . Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister is calling upon us to vet the Board, which he has given to us according to Section 5. I cannot agree more with the sentiments by my colleagues. The best way to vet a Board is if it is vetted by a Committee of the House. We are now getting names, and we are just trusting the Minister. Apart from the Permanent Secretary, we really do not know the other people. I pray that in your future proposals for amendments, this should be one of them. Once the Minister nominates the Board, then it should be vetted by a committee. Fortunately, the CDF has a Committee of the House, which can look at the details of these people and their curriculum vitae (CVs) just to make sure we get the right people. I do not know the ratio; I do not know whether it is 50-50 or regional balance, but not without merit. I would have wished that, as part of handing over, as I was an Assistant Minister in your Ministry, you should have put one good Turkana here. But we will take it because that is the law. But I think, just as a recommendation for good practice in future, it will really be nice if we get the Board vetted by the relevant--- Not really vetting. Maybe, vetting is a stronger word. We just need 692 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 a committee that to find out whether those people are qualified and competent enough as per the institutions that have submitted them. That is because I know that, even you, you are at the mercy of the institutions that are submitting. We really do not have enough time to check just to be sure that things are all right. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the accounts fund managers are a problem. We need to be brutally honest in this House. I heard you, Mr. Minister, at the Safari Park Workshop. Why do we have to impose people? Why do we want to create more bureaucracies? You have an accounts manager, District Development Officer (DDO), Deputy District Accountant, District Accountant, regional or zonal officer sitting in Eldoret for our case, and you are back to Nairobi. In economics, we say those are opportunities for seeking rent. The more the merrier for them. It means you have to move one voucher from one officer to the next to be signed. Everybody will want some percentage. All we need is a criteria to appoint account fund managers. We should appoint interviewing panels in our constituencies and the Board makes sure that the requirements--- Even the constituency panel can shortlist them and then they are vetted by the Board itself, so that we make sure we get the right people. That is the problem. We have employed staff already and they are not paid much because of the limitation of the 3 per cent of the administration costs. Now, when you bring your fund manager with a Kshs50,000 salary, he wants an imprest from our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money; something we had not factored for. That is because when we draw budgets, we do so strictly on the basis of: "These are the staff that are there. These are the requirements of our office." Now, the same Board creates a facility and pays only a salary and it does not tell us how they will get their computers and kalamu and yet, these fellows are coming to ask us those things. We are in trouble with them. Some of us tell them: "Go back where you came from. Whoever sent you should have sent you with a complete package and not just to bring you here to create more problems." So, Mr. Minister, you need to look at that very seriously. We really want that to be an opportunity for the local people. We also want that to be an opportunity for us to do things in a way--- Trust our people for once! Why does the Government think there are super human beings coming from other regions of the country that cannot come from that particular area? It is a philosophical problem that needs to be challenged. Let us put in place a process. I think, generally, the work of the Government should be regulatory. Let us ensure that we identify a process that makes sure that we get the right candidates from our places. You will find that a lot of communication is coming from above. It is kept like a garden secret by the DDO and the accounts fund manager. It is unleashed to us when we are extremely at our weakest. There should be no secret weapons in this business. I propose that any communication from the Board should be copied to the Member of Parliament. We have a right to know because we are either chairmen or patrons. I am a patron and a member of my CDF Committee. It is very embarrassing when I live in Nairobi and, when I go to my constituency, people on the ground have more information than me. All it requires is just to copy every correspondence, increment of allowance and everything you want to do. At least, let us know. This is by right! This is improving transparency and accountability. So, we need a clarification, Mr. Minister, when you respond, on who pays the account fund manager and who facilitates their allowances. That must be made clear. I hope the Board will make a provision for that. The CDF committees do an excellent job, but we have a ceiling of Kshs2,500. That is the maximum. Some of our areas of ours are very vast. In my constituency, I have a radius of about 200 kilometres without public transport. For those of us who really want to remain faithful to the guidelines, we have a lot of problems. That is because we have to pay them Kshs2,500 for food, accommodation and everything. They sit and deliberate, sometimes, for days. I think we need to April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 693 review that. We want to be transparent and do what is right. We want to come and plead with you in the House, so that you can listen and make appropriate suggestions and recommendations. That way, together, we can do what is transparent and accountable. I am happy that you are talking about proposals in the future. We welcome them. One of them is to increase the administration cost from 3 per cent to 10 per cent. 3 per cent is not enough.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. It looks like the House does not have a quorum.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Mr. Muthama is the Deputy Whip. How can he come and tell us that there is no quorum, when he should be whipping Members here? Is he in order?
Hon. Muthama, that is your responsibility. But, nonetheless, if there is no quorum, then ring the Division Bell.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that it is my responsibility, but I was alerting the Chair that there is no quorum.
Order, hon. Muthama! You do not alert the Chair. You make sure the debate continues without interruptions by bringing in as many Members of Parliament as possible. Whip them into the House! What is the position?
We do not have a quorum. Ring the Division Bell. Bw. Muthama, enda sasa ulete watu!
Order, hon. Members! We now have a quorum! Proceed, Mr. Ethuro!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was in the process of concluding my contribution. I was making specific recommendations to the Minister. When he was moving this Motion he expressed the need to increase some of those items from 10 per cent to three per cent--- Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the bursary item should not be handled differently. For those of us who come from the ASAL areas, this is an important issue. We would rather allocate 100 per cent to the bursary fund. We should remove that ceiling, which was increased to 15 per cent. Let it be subject to the ordinary provisions of any project which cannot attract more than 50 per cent of the CDF money. Mr. Murungi said that we should not dictate the priorities of the constituency; let them come the way we know them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I think I want all my students in my constituency to pursue law and medicine degrees then this will be need I will have identified. For the last five years my constituency has not been able to support a single student to pursue a law degree, yet we want them to compete with students in the rest of the country. I would want to set aside some money and support ten of them, even if this means supporting them to pursue the degrees through the parallel programme. That cost about Kshs2 million. This is something I cannot do at the moment. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I would like to address the issue of auditing. There is a philosophical issue here. Auditing should not be the preserve of a particular department. We should know when auditors are visiting our offices, so that we are not ambushed. The auditors who visit 694 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 my constituencies, for example, go to bars and expect our staff to meet them there. I object to this kind of arrangement. When the auditing has been done, the report of the auditor should be made available to the Constituency Development Committee (CDC). I have not seen an audit report for my constituency for the last five years. I went to Mr. Gichohi when he was the Acting CEO of the CDF to request a copy of the report, because I wanted to understand various issues and be part of the solution. But when the audit process is done in a very secretive manner--- For the information of the Minister, the auditors we have, and you heard me when I contributed to the Accountants Bill, are not some of the most honest people in this great Republic. They are use auditing as a means to solicit money from our people. Some of us come from a different background. We have no interest in those things. We have often told them off. Therefore, let us make sure that auditing involves the community. If we can make proposals about the locational committees or the divisional committees--- In my case, the constituency has five divisions. They are very many. They should be part and parcel of the auditing, so that there is community participation in the process. This is the culture that I want the Minister to take note of. County councils are audited and every hon. Member knows they will audit and confirm projects that do not even exist. Just because one or two CDF projects have been messed up, that is no excuse for thinking all of us are messing up our CDF projects. About 99 per cent of CDF projects have made a difference in this country. They must continue. We want to learn and improve on the CDF. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I support the appointees.
Thank you, Deputy Speaker, Sir. I support the Minister in his wonderful selection of the Board. But there was a big omission on his part to avoid naming a disabled person as a member of the Board. I come from Naivasha and I have seen how on the great highway many people, including professors, have become disabled as a result of road accidents. Disability is not something that is inherent, but something we acquire very fast, especially through road accidents. I have seen footages on television; a particular case was in Central Province, where children were being chained to trees in the morning, because they were mentally disabled. I have also seen cases where mothers are train children for up to three months on how to use a spoon. All this presents special challenges. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the CDF is such an important component in today's life, the disabled in society should be considered to serve in it. This House is honoured to have some nominated hon. Members. They sit here and help us work. I would really urge that these hon. Members be allocated some CDF funds to deal with issues of the disabled. Each hon. Member could, for example, be allowed to work with the disabled in a province or a certain region. I have no doubt that whoever nominated these hon. Members selected good people. If given the responsibility of distributing money to the disabled, they would do a good job. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of auditing, I do not agree with Mr. Ethuro with respect to this issue. He made the whole matter look so trivial. But if you come from a constituency where about 80 per cent of the CDF funds cannot be accounted for, then you understand the seriousness of this matter. I propose that we have a very strong audit, to the extent that we have a representative from each ward in each constituency. These representatives could work closely with the district auditor to form a special committee. That should be an integral part of the CDF or the CDC. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a case in Naivasha Constituency where a grader was purchased for Kshs10,500,000, but it cannot be traced anywhere. We would like to be given its engine and chassis numbers, so that we can follow up this matter. In the absence of audit, these details are not available. April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 695 I would like to support the hon. Members who recommend that the allowances of the CDC members should be increased from Kshs2,500 to Kshs5,000. This is because most of these people have to sit in meetings for very long hours. As we have witnessed this afternoon, with due respect to hon. Members, sitting can be tiresome and that is why there was no quorum even when we are discussing such an important Motion on the CDF. That is why the members of the CDC should be paid for their time, and for doing a very important job. Finally, the recommended increment of five per cent for the CDF allocation is a good figure to work with. In simple language, we are saying that for every Kshs100 we pay in form of taxes, the Government should be willing and able to bring back to the people, at least Kshs5. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, I want to thank the Minister. But for him to expect us to say that these are men and women who are honourable and balanced, I suggest that in future he should avail to us their CVs early enough, so that we can have an advantage of perusing through them. Then we can congratulate him for a job well done; otherwise, we do not know, other than by name, what kind of professionals they are. We need to know whether they were the very best in their own organisations. We also need to know whether, indeed, they are not relatives of the CEOs in their own organisations. I beg to support.
Bw. Naibu Spika, nakushukuru kwa kunipa fursa hii ili nichangie Hoja hii. Kwanza ningependa kumpongeza Waziri, mhe. Oparanya kwa kuwasilisha Hoja hii Bungeni kwa wakati unaofaa ili wananchi walioko mashambani waanze kushughulikiwa kupitia Hazina ya Maendeleo katika Mawakilisho (CDF). Ningependa kumweleza Waziri kwamba tunahitaji marekebisho zaidi katika sheria inayosimamia Hazina hii. Kwa mfano, sheria inasema kuwa, kiwango kinachoweza kutumika katika shughuli za usimamizi ni asilimia tatu ya pesa zote zilizotengewa sehemu ya uwakilishi Bungeni. Kiasi cha pesa kinachoweza kutumika kuwalipa wanakamati katika vikao vyao pamoja na wafanyakazi na matumizi yote katika sehemu ya uwakilshi bungeni ambayo imepata Kshs40 milioni, ni Kshs1,200,000. Ukijiuliza ni pesa ngapi zitahitajika kuwalipa wanakamati ikiwa kila mwanakamati analipwa Kshs2,500; ambacho ndicho kiwango kilichowekwa, na kuna vikao viwili kwa kila mwezi, kila mwanakamati atachukua Kshs5,000 kila mwezi. Kwa vile tuna wanakamati 15, hii ni kuonyesha kuwa kila mwezi tutawalipa wanakamati Kshs75,000. Ukichukulia hizo Kshs75,000 mara 12, basi utapata Kshs900,000. Hii ni kuonyesha kwamba ukiwa na matumizi ya pesa kutoka kwa ile asilimia tatu, utabaki na Kshs300,000 tu ambazo utatumia kuwalipa wafanyakazi na kugharamia shughuli nyingine katika ofisi. Hiyo pesa kwa kweli haitoshi kwa sababu, kwa mfano, ukilipa kodi ya nyumba ya Kshs10,000 utalazimika kutumia Kshs120,000 katika mwaka. Halafu tuseme uwalipe wafanyakazi wako Kshs40,000, ambacho si kiwango kikubwa sana, hiyo ni kuonyesha kuwa katika mwaka, utatumia Kshs480,000. Tayari gharama hiyo inapita kile kiwango cha asilimia tatu kilichotajwa ambacho ni Kshs1,200,000. Kwa hivyo, ningependa kumuomba Waziri arekebishe hicho kipengele katika sheria inayotawala Hazina hii ili kiasi hicho cha pesa kiongezwe kutoka asilimia tatu hadi asilimia tano. Hilo likifanyika, tutaweza kugharamia vizuri usimamizi katika maofisi na kamati hizo. Pili, ningependa kumuomba Waziri, jinsi nimewasikia Wabunge wenzangu wakiomba, kuwa kiasi cha asilimia mbili na nusu ya mapato ya nchi ni kidogo mno. Ili kuharakisha maendeleo katika nchi hii, pengine tuanze, kwa haraka, kufikiria namna tutakavyoongeza kiasi hicho cha pesa angaa tufikie asilimia tano na, pengine, baada ya mwaka mwingine, asilimia saba na nusu na tuendelee hivyo kwa miaka mitano. Pengine baadaye tutafikia kiwango cha asilimia kumi na tano. 696 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 Mojawapo ya shida tunazozipata katika kutekeleza shughuli za ujenzi na ukarabati katika miradi inayosimamiwa na Hazina ya CDF ni ushirika ulioko kati ya wahandisi wa wilaya na wasimamizi wa maendeleo katika wilaya (DDOs) pamoja na wahandisi wa maji katika wilaya. Wao hutumia miradi hiyo kujitengenezea pesa kibinafsi. Utakuta kuwa mara nyingi miradi ambayo ingefaa kugharimu, kwa mfano, Kshs1 milioni, kwa ushirika wa watu hao, wanafanya miradi hiyo na kuhakikisha kuwa inagharimu pesa nyingi zaidi. Baadaye, wao hujigawia kiwango fulani cha pesa. Katika sehemu yangu ya Bunge, utakuta mradi mmoja ambao pengine umegharimu Kshs1 milioni na unafanana kamili na mradi mwingine ambao umechukua Kshs2 milioni. Hii ni kuonyesha kwamba kutokana na ule mradi uliochukua Kshs2 milioni, bila shaka hiyo Kshs1 milioni imeingia mifukoni mwa watu fulani. Ningeomba, kwa hayo machache, niunge mkono Hoja hii na mara moja tuweze kupata pesa hizi ziwafikie watu wilayani.
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Oparanya for the appointment he got. He is quite a humble man. He has got a good team there with Dr. Sambili. He can do a good job. It is rare that I give accolades to these Ministers, but I want to do this to Mr. Oparanya. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am quite certain that the CDF team that Mr. Oparanya presented will deliver, although he had a hiccup this afternoon telling us that one of them had questionable certificates. That is why now I really support the possibility of submitting these names in future to a committee so that they are appropriately vetted. Since they have been brought here, we will just, probably, have to accept them because we believe that Mr. Oparanya will do a good job in ensuring that if the names turn out to be unbecoming, he will take the necessary action. I want to associate with our colleagues who have said that the allocation to CDF should be raised to at least, 5 per cent. It is unfortunate that the Attorney-General has left. I do not know who will tell Mr. Kimunya that he has to make it a minimum of 5 per cent in this Budget. We cannot accept anything less than that. That way, even before we straighten the relevant laws, it will, at least, be able to pay the workers fairly. This is because the figure could easily slightly rise higher than Kshs40,000. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) has contributed a lot to development in this country. It is a good example of a devolved fund. As we move towards December, I hope we will have passed more comprehensive constitutional reforms to ensure that there are proper devolved structures and, probably, a much higher percentage of the national Budget allocated to the CDF. I want to ask the Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision Twenty Thirty to ensure, for the time being, that District Development Officers (DDOs) understand their role. Right now, they are a big problem. Most of the time, they hardly stay in their offices. As soon as they report to their offices, they create bottlenecks. I wonder why the Ministry chose to appoint DDOs as holders of Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE). Why should they be the AIE holders of CDF money? Is it a regulation of the Government? Why should the Government give us money for development of the constituencies and tell us that the person who has authority to incur expenditure is the DDO? We are now giving back responsibility to the same civil servants who have caused us problems throughout the century. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have found out that officers at the district level are taking the CDF as a cash-cow. There are regulations which require us to consult them on technical matters like drawings and bills of quantities. The District Tender Committee in my constituency had tendered for a bridge to be constructed. When I looked at Bill of Quantities and the drawings, I saw that the bridge was 60 metres wide. However, at no stage does that river's width exceed 20 metres. So, I asked a private engineer to measure the width of the river for me. His measurements indicated April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 697 that the width was only 19 metres. The District Tender Committee had tendered the project and they wanted us to pay Kshs5 million. Fortunately, the bridge had not been constructed. So, we cancelled the tender and contracted a private engineer. We were able to build two foot bridges and a motorable bridge using the same Kshs5 million. Had we accepted the deal cut out by the District Tender Committee, we would have constructed one foot bridge at Kshs5 million. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have also come across a situation where the District Water Officer certified that a dam had been constructed. His report indicated that he had extracted over 4,000 cubic metres of earth. When I asked him to give me the dimensions of the dam, he told me that it was 100 metres by 40 metres. When we visited the site, we discovered that the actual measurements were 20 metres by 30 metres. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, you can see that civil servants are giving us problems. We are, therefore, requesting the Minister concerned to, please, spare us the indulgences of these civil servants. We would rather use private consultants than use these fellows. Their involvement in project implementation leads to waste of funds. The Minister said that the CDF kitty has Kshs3 billion which has not been utilised. We wanted to utilise the funds. However, getting a cheque at the district level is next to impossible because of the bureaucracy involved. The officers involved scrutinise one payment voucher for the whole day. They go for lunch and never report back to the office. We have to do something about this bureaucracy. We want the Ministry to utilise the CDF Accounts managers. If they are any regulations we want them to observe, they can do so. They can advise us. We are ready to abide by such regulations. Most of us here have worked in the public service. Therefore, we are not aliens to regulations. When we served in the Public Service, we handled much more money than what we are being told to handle. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that other hon. Members want to contribute to this debate. I will, therefore, shorten my contribution in the spirit of being mindful of others. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. From the outset, I support of the Motion. The constitution of the Board is quite representative, especially in terms of gender balancing. I have observed that, at least, five of the 13 nominees are women. Maybe, in future, we should consider raising their number to, at least, seven, because it has been proven that women are better public fund managers than men. Secondly, I beg to disagree with my colleague, who was of the opinion that legislators should not be dictated upon on the usage of the CDF. I believe that the allocation of future CDF money should make provisions for promotion of gender specific projects in the manner bursary allocations are done. It is my opinion that women and children continue to bear the brunt of poverty related circumstances, especially when we talk of maternal and child healthcare. I believe that it does not make much sense for the CDF of any constituency to, for instance, construct a road when women are dying at child birth. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I believe that it is not incumbent upon legislators to unilaterally decide on the usage of the CDF money. We have listened here, as well as when we had our retreat, on some very good practices. I want to beseech hon. Members of this House to allow the Committee to compel us to allocate certain amount of money to specific usages, especially after we have consulted with our constituents before deciding on any other project to be implemented. In this regard, I would not support any window dressing because all of us are accountable to the people. We should be made to hold public meetings, so that the feelings of people on the grassroots on specific projects can be factored in before any decisions are made. Lastly, allocation of the CDF money to particular constituencies should be scrutinised. I do 698 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 not understand how a constituency with so many slum dwellers, who are living below the poverty line, can be allocated less funds than any other constituency that is well endowed in terms of income and environment friendly conditions. I would like to recommend to the Committee that, in future, such incidence should not be observed. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the opportunity you have given me to support the Motion. To me, it is a great one because it will help in facilitating the operations of the CDF. Without the Board of Management, a lot of things will get stuck. So many things will not be done, because everything starts from the top, moving downwards to the constituencies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as many hon. Members have said, the CDF is a great development for this country. For people in some parts of the country, the CDF is the only opportunity through which they managed to get a share of the national cake. Certain parts of the country where people were not singing the tunes of the regimes that we have had so far, really had it rough. That can be seen in the form of lack of good roads because the CDF cannot be used to make good roads. The Rural Electrification Programme (REP) was not carried out fairly in the country. Those parts of the country that were not good enough for the previous regimes did not have power and roads. They still do not have those facilities. Some of the facilities like schools and a few water projects here and there are being done using the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). So it has really helped. Now, a few people can afford to do siasa mbaya, but they will still get some money for their constituencies. You do not have to do what the President or the other people around him do, so that you get money for your constituency. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is one issue that needs to be addressed with regards to CDF. There have been a number of cases of misappropriation of the CDF. Some of those cases have been investigated, but no prosecution has taken place. A few of them have been taken to court. For example, in my constituency, I have one such case. Someone just decided--- I do not know how he colluded with some people who cashed the cheque in his favour. Such a case was taken to court. It was mentioned several months ago, but those people have not gone back to court. So, I do not know who is colluding with who. Cases where public funds have been misappropriated and people are taken to court, should be disposed of as fast as possible, so that they can discourage others who may wish to have a bite of the CDF. I wish the Attorney-General or the Minister responsible for constitutional affairs was here. Such cases should be handled very fast, disposed of and, if the people are found guilty, they should be locked in so that others do not make a similar attempt. Recently, we had a very unfortunate situation where an accounts manager in one of the constituencies was killed, probably because he was trying to reveal a few things or follow up on a few cases that involved misappropriation. In that regard, I also thank the Government for posting those account managers to the various constituencies. The management of that money is not that easy. There are people who think it is free money for them. So, the account managers are doing a good piece of work in the constituencies. I am very happy, particularly in my constituency. But there is only one thing that the Government did wrong. According to the Act, it was supposed to consult with the CDF committees in the constituencies. But that was not done. That is why some of the accounts managers who were posted had some problems. So, when the Government is doing anything - and I hope the Minister is listening--- I can see he is consulting quite a bit! So, when the Government is doing anything, it should consult. If it is an issue that involves consultations with a constituency, it should consult. We should not just find people being brought there and then, you have ask them: "What is your job and your terms of contract?" In the last Parliament, we had proposed that the CDF percentage be raised to 7 per cent. We had April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 699 problems with the Minister for Finance and we did not succeed. We are proposing to the present Minister who is in charge: "Please, bring us this amendment!" We want to amend that because it is the only thing that Kenyans are enjoying. That is the only cash they are "eating" and sharing with the Government.
Mr. Minister, you are talking too much! I want you to listen to some of these things! We want the Minister to bring the amendment here. We want to increase the percentage from 2.5 to, at least, 7 per cent.
Another thing is that, the percentage that is indicated in the Act does not mean that, that is the highest he can give. You can still go a little above that. So, in the next financial year, it is my request that instead of making it 2.5 per cent, he should go slightly above that. He can go to even 10 per cent! That is because 2.5 per is very low. So, he should consider that because, even in his constituency, that is the only Government fund that his constituents are happy about. That is why they elected him. I assume he had managed his CDF properly. We have locational committees that are helping us a lot. At least, in my constituency, I know they help me in identifying projects and supervising them. But they complain that they are doing free work. They do it for free while the CDF members have allowances. I think we should consider that members of the locational committees should be given a little incentive so that they can help us in supervising of some of those projects on the ground. Otherwise, it is unfair for them. Some of them are retired civil servants who can do a good job.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to ask whether it is in order to ask the Mover to reply because what we are getting now is repetition from hon. Members.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was not here when you people were contributing. Mr. Deputy Speaker had not seen me. He has just seen me now! So, let me finish my contribution! So, it is my suggestion that when the Minister brings other amendments here, let him include something, just little, for the members of the locational committees. That will be an incentive to them for helping in doing a good job. Otherwise, since I hear that a lot has been said, let me stop at this point. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Minister for his appointment. I believe him and my teacher at the university, Dr. Sambili, will give Kenya a lot of support in terms of ensuring that we actualise Vision 2030. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I begin by saying that by looking at the list, I can see that they are credible people. I may not know all of them, but I support a proposal by one hon. Member that it is important in future, to bring the names to a Committee of Parliament so that it can go through them. It can also have a serious analysis of the curriculum vitae brought to them and them recommend particular names to Parliament. Right now, we are passing just names and knowing somebody in the newspapers. But we really do not know much about the particular person. I think 700 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 that will be very important. We did the same with Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHCR) and others. I think that is very important and it should happen in future. I also want to say that by looking at the list, it is clear that the Minister did not have much say in the names that were brought to him from the various organisations. But under Section 5(3)(f), he had the leeway to propose names brought to him. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you look at the names that came through the representative organisations, you will realise that there was nobody from Eastern Province. Therefore, I was hoping that with the four names that the Minister had, he should have looked at the regions that were not represented among the eight names, and tried to balance them. Eastern Province is missing out in this list! It is very important that we get somebody from that province. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has been able to achieve the 30 per cent rule of the inclusion of women. I also understand that there is quite a number of young people in that committee. This should become the tradition in everything that we do in this country. This is the only way to develop this country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me just state a few of my concerns about CDF. I hope that the Minister can listen to this. In the last Parliament, there were very many development projects carried out with CDF money across the country.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This Motion has been supported by almost every hon. Member and we are just repeating ourselves. I kindly beg to move that the Mover be now called upon to reply.
Fair enough if that is your wish. Let me now put the Question.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! You cannot be on a point of order when the Chair is on its feet! Hon. Members, the Chair does not set the rules of the House. It is Members who set the rules of the House. If the mood of the House is for the Mover be called upon to reply, I will put the Question and then you decide what you want.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Before I reply, I want to donate part of my time. I think that is right. Is it not so?
Yes, it is.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to donate five minutes of my time to Mr. David Musila before I reply.
As long as he is a member of the Government then you can do so.
Yes, he is, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Fair enough! You are in order.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. First of all, I want to thank the Minister for generously donating part of his April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 701 time to me, so that I may contribute to this very important Motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of increasing the amount of money that is given to CDF has been raised by hon. Members. I want to ask the Minister for Finance who is present today to ensure that since it is the will of the House that the fund be increased to five per cent. He should bring a Bill into this House as soon as possible so that we can pass it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to challenge the line Ministries that support the fund like the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. These are very important Ministries when it comes to the implementation of projects under the CDF. However, the experience we have is that officers in the field tend to utilise the money that they set aside for projects in consultancy. This is a matter that has been pending. We have raised it many times that the Ministry of Water and Irrigation provide sufficient funds for the officers in the field to be able to carry out CDF projects without asking the same CDF to pay them. We do not want to see money given for the development of our constituencies utilised in paying night out allowances to civil servants. So, I believe the Ministries will provide sufficient funds to the officers in the field. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, in the past the various CDF committees have been bashed left and right by members of the public, sometimes with good or bad reasons. So, I want to challenge this new Board to ensure that there is proper supervision. They should put enough mechanisms to ensure that all CDFs perform properly. Where CDFs do not perform properly, we want them to be identified by name, so that we do not have wholesale condemnation of CDF committees in the various constituencies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am calling for stringent supervision by the Board and better use of public funds. At a times, there has been misappropriation of CDF money. It will be incumbent upon this Board to ensure that all funds operate within the law. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I finally now, on behalf of the hon. Members, appeal to the Minister for Finance that as soon as we pass this Motion, he should give the Board money immediately because all the CDF projects are now at a standstill. So, we want to urge the Minister for Finance who is here to immediately release all the funds to the Board, so that we can go and start working because these projects have been at a standstill for a long time. I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to take this opportunity to thank all hon. Members who have contributed to this Motion. Since we have all agreed that we need to review the Act, I hope that all your views will be taken care of, so that we improve the management and operations of the CDF at constituency level. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all the hon. Members who contributed on this Motion have clearly indicated that they need an increase of the percentage of the fund. It is good that the Minister for Finance is here and I wish he was present earlier to listen to all your contributions. Mr. Minister, I hope through the Chair, you will consider Member's requests that the percentage be increased. However, I know that usually there are budget constraints and we have to work within them. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, many hon. Members suggested that we need reforms and we actually need them. As I indicated when I was moving the Motion, the reforms must come now. I 702 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008 want to assure the House that I will take the responsibility of ensuring that reforms are undertaken as a matter of urgency. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of increasing administration expenses to five per cent from three per cent is an amendment that can be undertaken within the Act without necessarily affecting the percentage of the total contribution from the Exchequer. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issues of auditing and accountability, members have rightly pointed out that this is necessary. However, some Members mentioned that we should have locational audit committees. Locational committees are actually recognised in the Act. They are there. The only problem we have been having with these locational committees is the payment. This is something that should be addressed as soon as the CDF Parliamentary Committee is formed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of having disabled on the list, unfortunately, these people that are submitted by various organisations, the Minister has no chance of meeting them before appointment. So, I do not know if they are all disabled or they are all normal human beings. That is the limit that l have. We can get, at least, four nominations from each organisation and go through their CVs. Rarely will you get a disabled individual saying that he or she is disabled in their CVs. We need to make an amendment to the Act to accommodate disabled people by including the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) as one of the nominating organisations. I have noted that issue. On the issue of the youth, one hon. Member had time to go through the CVs of the proposed names of the Board members. I tabled the CVs here yesterday. It has been noted that about five members of the Board are below 40 years. On the issue of the DDOs being posted to the new districts, I am happy to report that my Ministry, through the Public Service Commission (PSC), has recruited a one hundred Economists. Currently, they are undergoing an induction course. Soon, they will be posted to the districts as DDOs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, hon. Members have mentioned the issue of the Constituency Development Committee (CDC) members being unable to move around to visit various projects. Through the 2007 amendment, we have allowed committees to purchase vehicles. It is important that when you are making proposals for the next financial year, which should be submitted as soon as possible, make a provision, so that you make sure you have a vehicle to assist your committee members to move around to visit various projects. Since we will have a CDF parliamentary committee, we can have a scheme where we purchase vehicles, so that we enjoy a fleet discount. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of improving the allowances of the committee members, this has to be looked into within the 3 per cent limit. It is important that we increase the administration allocation by at least 5 per cent, so that we can also at the same time increase allowances of the committee members. I also feel that Kshs2,500 per sitting is not adequate for people who are managing millions of shillings. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of account managers has been a major problem. In fact, in my constituency when one of the accounts manager was posted there, there were a number of days I visited the constituency and I could not get him. When I asked him where he had been, he told me: "You are not my boss, so I have no obligation to report to you." I asked him: "Where is your boss?" He said: "My boss is in Nairobi." It is now unfortunate that I am now the Minister. I do not know if he will still say that his boss is in Nairobi. Accounts managers behave as if they are the ones who are supposed to manage the CDF at the constituency level. This issue was raised last year and the Minister for Finance corrected the impression that these people are just book keepers at the constituency level. As soon as we have a new Board, we shall make sure that the accounts managers undergo intensive training to know what they are April 24, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 703 supposed to do. This will include the DDOs and the Accountants. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of the bursary ceiling, that is up to the hon. Members. We can bring an amendment to review that ceiling. Hon. Members feel that the limit of 15 per cent is not adequate. But hon. Members should also note that we also have constituency bursaries through the Ministry of Education. On the issue of audit reports, I agree that when the auditors come from Nairobi to carry out audits at the constituencies, they behave as if they are special people; as if they are kings. They do not even want to talk to the hon. Member of the area and the committee members yet these are the people who are being audited. We shall have to clearly clarify that when an audit is done, it is important that the committee members meet the auditors to discuss the audit report and make sure that the committee members give comments for each of the issues raised in the report. On the issue of appointing the chairperson of the Board, the Act provides that he or she shall be appointed by the Minister. Actually, there was no need for me to bring the name of the chairperson here for approval. The Act limits the Minister to appoint the chairperson within the first eight names, from the names submitted by the various organisations. I have not had a chance to meet those eight nominated members. We want to appoint a chairperson who is competent. It is important that we meet these people, so that we can know who to appoint as the chairperson. I want to assure hon. Members that I will appoint a very competent individual. The CDF has been very instrumental to the development of the rural areas. There are other devolved funds like the Local Authorities Transfer Fund (LATF). But we cannot compare the way the LATF is managed to the CDF. Sometimes, as hon. Members have noted here, journalists and other interested parties have been focusing on the CDF forgetting that we also have the LATF. We also have money for the construction of roads that goes to the constituencies via the Ministry of Roads. We had suggested that this money goes through the CDF. Unfortunately, there was an amendment, it could not go through. This is an issue that needs to be looked into. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some hon. Members raised the issue of bursary committee members being paid an allowance. I know that these people work very hard and for long hours, but they are not paid anything. May be hon. Members can borrow an example of what I do in my constituency. Instead of forming a separate bursary committee for the CDF, I use the Ministry of Education bursary committee. We forward a cheque to that committee, so that they are able to disburse the CDF bursary funds. That way you will be paid in accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines. I can see that there is little time left. Therefore, I beg to move.
Next Order! ADOPTION OF 2002/2003 AND 2003/2004 PAC REPORTS THAT, this House adopts the Reports of the Public Accounts Committee on the Government of Kenya Accounts for the years 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 laid on the table of the House on 22nd, April, 2008.
704 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES April 24, 2008
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think Mr. Kabando wa Kabando was contributing, but since he is not here---
Order! There is a lapse here! The last person who was on the Floor last time was Mr. Kabando wa Kabando. His contribution was interrupted by the adjournment of the House! He, however, is not in the House. Under these circumstances we are going to adjourn the the House! Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the business of the House. The House is, therefore, adjourned until Tuesday, 29th April, 2008, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.