Hon. Members, I wish to introduce to you, and welcome this afternoon, a delegation from the Parliament of Zimbabwe who are seated at the Speaker's Row. They are:-
Hon. Lovemore M.N. Moyo, Speaker of the Zimbabwe National Assembly; hon. Naiso Ndlovu, the Deputy President of the Senate and hon. Innocent Gonese, the Chief Whip of the Movement for Democratic Change. They are accompanied by Ms. Helen Dingani, Deputy Clerk of Parliament; Mr. John Makamure, the Executive Director of the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust and Mr. Xolani Zitha, Manager in the Speaker's office.
They have been in the country since yesterday on a study visit on how our Parliament works, with special emphasis on the management of Parliamentary business of the Coalition Government.
During their stay, they will interact with some of our Committees, meet with hon. Members, party Whips and other officers of the National Assembly. The delegation leaves the country on Thursday 26th February, 2009. On behalf of the House and on my own behalf, I wish the delegation a happy stay in Kenya.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give Notice of the following Motion:-
THAT, pursuant to Section 27(4)(b) of the Constituency Development Fund (Amendment) Act, 2007, this House adopts the report of the Constituencies Development Fund Committee on the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Constituencies Development Fund laid on the Table of the House today, 24th February, 2009.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) Could the Minister explain the cause of deaths of the four expectant mothers in Turbi Location, Marsabit North District in early January, 2009?
(b) What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure such kind of incidents do not recur in future.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) My Ministry is currently in the process of recruiting additional medical staff, including clinical officers, through the Public Service Commission.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as soon as the recruitment process is complete, my Ministry will post the clinical officers to Sericho Health Centre.
(b) Owing to financial constraints, my Ministry has been unable to secure the necessary resources for the purchase of ambulances to be used in health centres during this financial year.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is not answering my Question!
The Assistant Minister has hardly spoken for 30 seconds! Allow him to do, at least, two minutes!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order! Mr. Assistant Minister, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I apologise to the hon. Member. I have two Questions and I had confused the answers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) My Ministry has not established the cause of death of the four expectant mothers in Turbi Location of Marsabit North District since post-mortem examination was not done. The mothers died in the manyattas and were buried the same day in accordance to the Islamic religious practices. However, laboratory results of samples taken from 24 expectant mothers attending ante-natal clinics by a team of health officers who visited the area revealed that six of them tested positive for malaria parasites and none tested positive for brucellosis and typhoid as was suspected.
(b) My Ministry has put in place the following measures to avoid future recurrence of such incidences:-
(i) Provision of long-lasting insecticides treated nets.
(ii) Intensive public health campaigns to expectant mothers to encourage and improve attendance of ante-natal clinics.
(iii) Public health education awareness programmes on preventive measures against malaria Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for that response. He has mentioned the various measures that his Ministry will undertake to ensure that the problem does not recur in future. However, there is no single vehicle in the district hospital. We also have only two members of staff. How will he undertake all those measures with these logistical problems?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me assure the hon. Member that we are in the process of recruiting staff through the Public Service Commission (PSC). As soon as we recruit them, we will post a clinical officer to that health centre. Secondly, due to financial constraints, we are unable to get an ambulance for the health centre this year, but we will provide an ambulance to the health centre in the next financial year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, out of the expectant mothers in that particular month, what percentage was the four who died? I have a feeling this figure constituted over 30 per cent of the expectant mothers. At this point in time, we should not be hearing of those sad cases of expectant mothers dying, particularly with the modern health services.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, it is very difficult to give a percentage. I have already indicated that there were 26 expectant mothers attending ante-natal clinic. These are the ones who were attending the ante-natal clinic. The four died before we could ascertain the cause of the deaths. If you really would like to have a percentage, it will be 4 out of 26.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, considering hardships and lack of transport in that area, is the Assistant Minister encouraging traditional birth attendants who are very close and available any time to assist the expectant mothers?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we, as a Ministry, do not encourage traditional birth attendants. We know for sure that in the past, we have allowed them to attend to expectant mothers, but we have discouraged the practice because they were doing more harm to them than good.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This might have escaped your ears. I do not know whether you heard what the Assistant Minister has said. He is apparently a medical doctor.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is he in order to mislead the House that they could not know the cause of death of those four expectant mothers? He has said that he could not ascertain the cause of the deaths. Even the grammar and the English is wrong.
Order, you have made your point! Dr. Gesami, did you say that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have indicated that we could not ascertain the cause of the deaths of these expectant mothers because a post-mortem was not done. Actually, they were buried immediately after they died according to the Islamic religious practices.
That sounds satisfactory!
Last question, Mr. Chachu!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in addition to the four expectant mothers, eleven mothers have had miscarriages since then. The Ministry has posted a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) to the district recently. However, could the Assistant Minister assure this House that he will provide the MOH with a vehicle, so that he can conduct a mobile outreach and prevent further deaths?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to assure the hon. Member that I will post a clinical officer to that health centre and not a medical officer. In the next financial year, we shall try to provide a vehicle for that health centre.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Roads the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) Could the Minister explain why the construction works on Thogoto-Mutarakwa Road have stopped?
(b) Could the Minister also state the identity of the contractor and state the amount they have been paid as well as the amount owed to them?
(c) Considering the health hazard posed by dust on the abandoned site, what short-term measures is he taking to contain the situation?
(d) Could the Minister also clarify whether the tender is still valid and if not, state when the works will be re-tendered?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) The construction work on Thogoto-Gikambura-Mutarakwa Road has not stopped. The contract sum, however, has been exhausted by the increased earthworks which had been under-estimated at the time of tender. The provision in the tender sum was 50,000 metres cubed while earthworks resulting from cutting the embankments and opening the drains now exceed 600,000 metres cubed.
The project was awarded at a contract sum of Kshs1,042,660. However, there was increased earthworks that became necessary in the course of implementing the project.
(b) The contractor in this project is Kundan Singh, having been awarded the contract sum on 28th April, 2006 and entered an agreement with the Government of Kenya on 30th May, 2006. The contractor has been paid up to certificate No.15 of Kshs944, 092,674. The contractor is owed Kshs355,907,325.
(c) The contractor has covered the earthworks with sub-based quality graded crushed stone material from kilometre 15+000 to the end of the project at Mutarakwa which is kilometre 30+000 to reduce the dust that may be worse from sub-grade soils. However, this is a temporary measure as the project is expected to continue to completion.
(d) The current tender is still in force. The Government will procure the outstanding works within the provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in his answer to this Question, the Assistant Minister says the contractor is owed Kshs335 million. Since work on this road has stalled, could he clarify whether it has stalled because the contractor is owned Kshs335 million, or is it because the contractor has no capacity to do the work?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to confirm at this moment that the contractor has the capacity to complete the works. Indeed, he has done other works before. The problem arising is that the cost of the project was based on estimates which were given by engineers who designed the road. However, they did not include the actual earthwork that had been discovered since the contractor started the work on this road. I want to assure this House that the contractor has the capacity because he was actually evaluated at the time of awarding the contract.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, one painful aspect of procurement in road contracts is when the process is clogged down and slowed to the extent that, at the end of the financial year, the projects are not completed. This is caused by procurement officers at the district level. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the process of procurement is streamlined and made to hasten the project, so that it is completed before the end of the financial year?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to remind the hon. Member that he is, indeed, a Member of the District Roads Committee. We have been trying to impose on the Committees to try as much as possible to ensure that as soon as the Government releases the funds, the procurement is done immediately before the end of the financial year.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The gist of my question is not to do with Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Assistant Minister, be relevant to the Question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the procurement is done at two levels. We have procurement for projects that is done at the Ministry level. We also have procurement for contracts done at district level. At the district level, the procurement is done through the District Procurement Officer, together with the District Roads Engineer. It is at that point that I have said that hon. Members have a right to ensure that projects that are relevant are completed within the particular period given. However, I must appreciate that there has been laxity sometimes when projects delay more than actually necessary. I want to assure hon. Members that we will take action accordingly.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in any given contract, the issue of contract period is very important. It helps in planing the work. Any defaulting party; whether it is the employer or the employee, faces the consequences for that contract. In this regard, I would like the Assistant Minister to tell us what the contract period for this road was. Has it been exceeded or not?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to clarify that the time originally given for this contract was in line with the Bill of Quantities (BQ) as given by the consultant when he did the design work. However, when we got on the ground, we discovered that there is a lot of earthwork that had not been originally envisaged. Therefore, going by the earlier BQs, the project would be through by now.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Assistant Minister is digressing. What was the contract period that was signed between the Government and the contractor?
Mr. Assistant Minister, that is a straightforward question that deserves a clear answer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer is not provided here, but I will endeavour to give him the exact date.
Very well! In those circumstances, the Question is deferred.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Lands the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) Could the Minister state the whereabouts of the file for land parcel number Nairobi LR.1870/V/6?
(b) Could the Minister urgently avail the file to enable transactions on the land to be carried out?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with all due respect to the Questioner, I would like to request for more time because the answer supplied to me by my officers is not satisfactory. I want to ensure that the hon. Member gets the best answer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while the Question has not been answered, I have also looked at the answer that was given to me and I am in agreement with the Assistant Minister. Therefore, I will not mind the Question being deferred to another date.
Very well! The Question is deferred to the next day of sitting.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Agriculture the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) Could the Minister explain why sugar cane farmers have not been paid by Chemelil Sugar Company limited for cane delivered from June 2008 to date?
(b) What is the Minister doing to make the company meet its financial obligations to farmers promptly, considering that the livelihoods of the farmers is threatened?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) Chemelil Sugar Company has been unable to pay farmers due to the following reasons.
(i) Due to the effects of post-election violence where 75,836.80 tonnes valued at Kshs189,592,000 was received as burnt and dry cane, making it difficult for the factory to recover the cost.
(b) The company is experiencing cash flow constraints due to supplier's debts; statutory obligation arrears for example, Value Added Tax (VAT), Sugar Development Levy (SDL) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
(iii) Due to frequent factory breakdown, the company is operating below capacity, limiting operational funds and money paid to farmers.
(b) My Ministry has undertaken the following measures to make the company meet its financial obligations to farmers promptly.
(i) Restructuring of the management was undertaken in September, 2008, turning the factory around to profitability.
(ii) My Ministry through the Kenya Sugar Board has offered the factory a loan of Kshs260 million for rehabilitation to enhance production and cut operational costs.
(iii) Cost-cutting measures have been introduced enabling the factory to cut production costs to enable payment of farmers.
(iv) To boost its revenue base, the company has now signed a memorandum within KenGen to generate electricity.
(v) The Ministry through the Kenya Sugar Board is considering an application of a loan of Kshs240 million by Chemelil to pay farmers the arrears which are outstanding.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I find the answer to the second part of this Question very unsatisfactory. If the company is experiencing difficulties because of suppliers' debts and failure to remit obligations such as VAT, SDL and PAYE, what is intriguing is: Why is the company able to pay suppliers and not farmers? Is it because farmers cannot give kitu kidogo ?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the part of kitu kidogo, I am not aware of that. What I know is that the company is organizing itself. All the farmers will be paid their arrears just as they pay suppliers what they owe them.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, burning of sugar cane was occasioned by the post-election violence. This was not just in Chemelil, but also in Mumias. We know that the Government, when dealing with maize farmers, gave them seeds and fertilizers. How come the Government has chosen not to apply any affirmative action with regard to sugar cane farmers?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a very good question. However, it has not been brought to the attention of the Ministry although we do not have money to pay farmers whose sugar cane was destroyed during the post-election violence.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is interesting to hear the Assistant Minister say that the Government does not have enough money to pay when it comes to sugar cane. I would like Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, by next week, this loan will be released to Chemelil to pay farmers. The first priority will be to farmers.
Mr. Speaker Sir, most of the farmers in the Chemelil Zone come from areas in Nyanza. Failure of the company to pay farmers is affecting livelihoods all over the province. In the circumstances, how can the Ministry assure the House that the funds which will be released by the Sugar Board will be used for the intended purpose?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have order of priority. Our first one is to pay the farmers. That is what will be done. UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF SECONDARY
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Education the following Question by Private Notice.
(a) In view of the fact that several new districts have been created resulting in some districts being left without well developed schools, what transitional arrangements does the Ministry intend to put in place to alleviate this sensitive problem?
(b) Could the Minister consider creating a separate class to accommodate students from Migori District in Rapogi Boys', Ulanda Girls', and Kanga Boys' High schools, respectively?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) The Ministry has not put in place transitional arrangements to address problems occasioned by the creation of several new districts, leaving some of them without developed schools. However, those new districts benefit in various ways. Those ways are as follows:-
(i) The candidates from the newly created districts will benefit by joining national and provincial schools in other districts within and outside the province.
(ii) When districts are left with schools that are not performing, stakeholders are urged to mobilize resources with a view to raising standards in such schools.
(iii) The Ministry has a policy of disbursing laboratory equipment grants to public schools in each district, so as to ensure that schools' standards are improved.
(b) Rapogi Boys', Ulanda Girls' and Kanga high schools are provincial secondary schools. Thus, they must reflect the interests of Nyanza Province, besides other provinces in the country.
With the current allocation formula to provincial schools, 60 per cent should be interests from within the district where that school is, 35 per cent from the province and 5 per cent nationally. Those schools are allocated the largest portion of 60 per cent from within the district.
Admission of an extra class to cater for the interests of Migori District will imply overstretching the facilities that the school already has. So, that makes it difficult.
District schools are the only ones that are allowed to admit the entire lot from within the district. Otherwise, for the above schools to be allowed to admit within the district, it would mean downgrading them from provincial to district schools, which is not very good.
Lastly, guidelines on Form I admission are clear. They show how the admission should be carried out for the three categories of public secondary schools; that is, national, provincial and district. It is a Government policy not to allow national and provincial schools to admit a class that will only accommodate the needs of the district where it is located.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for attempting to respond to my Question. But it is very sad that the Assistant Minister, who comes from the same area, Nyanza, does not consider the fact that Migori has, more or less, been left an orphan and, therefore, he needs to
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consider, in the meantime, what our primary school pupils will do in order to have access to quality education, if we cannot get access to the schools that have been admitting our students in Form I. So, what is he planning to do to alleviate that problem in Migori?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think I have given him an answer. The Ministry will chip in, in the form of infrastructure funds, for building labs. The Ministry will chip in, in form of teachers. That is if you have registered the schools. Otherwise, we have devolved funds in form of Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and Local Authorities Transfer Fund which can help in upgrading the standard of education in your constituency. Use those funds. We shall also come in if you put up a new school.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, new districts, in addition to that problem, have a problem of space and physical facilities for district headquarters. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the new districts are properly facilitated in terms of physical infrastructure?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to district headquarters, the Ministry, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will help in putting up the district headquarters.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, since Independence, and for the last 46 years, Coast Province has never had one single national school. What criteria does the Ministry of Education use to give a national school to a region?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for Mr. Yakub to mislead the House? Shimo la Tewa Secondary School is a national school!
Order! Order, Mr. Olago! That is not a point of order. You attempted to usurp the role of the Assistant Minister! You better proceed carefully next time.
Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member needs a national school in his province. You come to my office. We shall discuss and look into that issue, if the province lacks one.
Last question, Mr. Pesa!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Could the Assistant Minister make a commitment in this House---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I asked: "What is the criteria for getting a national school?" He has not given us the criteria for getting a national school!
Mr. Assistant Minister, could you quickly respond to that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not bring the criteria. I think that is another different Question!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is another different Question. If you want, I will go, prepare and bring the full answer for that Question.
Order, hon. Members! The Assistant Minister's answer is reasonable. A question which is supplementary must echo with the original Question! I, therefore, concur that, that is a different Question.
Last question, Mr. Pesa!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to ask the Assistant Minister to give me the following assurance before this House: That, recognising the fact that the good schools have "gone out" of Migori to Rongo, he will commit to, at least, give us more funds to put up quality schools in Migori?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I sympathise with your new district. But you wanted a new district. But this is the commitment to the hon. Member. The hon. Member sits in the District Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Next Question, Mr. Mwakulegwa!
asked the Minister for Education when his Ministry will post teachers to Maungu Secondary School as the same is now registered, but does not have TSC teachers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
The school in our records is Marungu Secondary School, and not Maungu, Registration Certificate No.GPA/A/5327/08 which was received by TSC on 11th June, 2008. The school has a population of 72 students and has been provided with one TSC teacher, who is the school principal. The Ministry will consider posting more teachers to the school through the normal balancing of teachers and during the next recruitment of teachers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to say that one teacher is inadequate for 72 students. So, I will personally take up the issue and try to correct the anomaly.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for saying that he is going to consider posting more teachers. Now that he has sent one teacher, could he indicate when the school will start receiving Government tuition subsidy?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not aware that the school has not received it's allocation. However, if it has not, it will receive it immediately.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have a school in my constituency by the name, Ngombolo Secondary School with about 150 students. It receives free secondary school funds for tuition.
Last year, it received Kshs100,000 for construction of one classroom from the Ministry and yet it does not have a single TSC teacher. Could the Assistant Minister inform the House when he will post teachers to this school?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am assuming that if the school receives Government subsidy, then it is a registered school. As such, it qualifies for teachers from the TSC. I believe we should consider posting teachers to the school immediately.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, being a new secondary school, could the Ministry consider allocating funds towards improvement of the teaching aids and other infrastructure in the school?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Next Question by Mr. Mbau!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has given me a partial response which is 50 per cent of the answer.
asked the Minister for Education:-
(a) whether he could state how much money was allocated to Murang'a South District to cater for school extra-curricular activities during the 2007/2008 Financial Year;
(b) whether he is aware that the district did not participate in the provincial sports, ostensibly for lack of funds; and,
(c) whether he could explain how money earmarked for taking school teams to the games was spent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply and hope that this answer will be complete because he has said that he has 50 per cent of the answer.
(a) Murang'a South District was allocated Kshs2 million to cater for both primary and secondary schools co-curricula activities for the Financial Year 2007/2008.
(b) I am aware that the district participated in all primary and provincial activities except in provincial athletics held in Nyahururu where the primary schools team did not participate. The primary schools sent football, volleyball, netball and handball teams for boys and girls to the provincial championships held in Thika.
(c) The district did not send the primary team for athletics because there was delay in disbursement of funds due to delayed Exchequer release from the Treasury.
(d) The Kshs2 million allocated to the district for both primary and secondary school co-curricula activities was spent as per the attached schedule. I think that is what you do not have. I will give it to you since I have it here. I am sorry that it was not attached to your answer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for owning up to the fact that the district was not represented in the provincial athletic championships held in Nyahururu. He says that there was some delay in the disbursement of money from the Exchequer. Could he therefore tell me when the money was eventually disbursed?
Secondly, since the championships had already taken place, could he inform the House where that money is and what it was used for?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the money to primary schools for co-curricular activities was disbursed on 3rd March, 2008. The money for secondary schools was disbursed on 4th June, 2008. Each disbursement was Kshs1 million but unfortunately you do not have the copy of the details of how the money was spent by schools which I have.
I am sorry about that, but I will give you a photocopy of it after this answer. It may help you to explain to your constituents what happened.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister explain to this House why his Ministry gave so little money to Murang'a South District because these are so many students? Why were they allocated only Kshs2 million? What was the criteria in disbursing this amount of money?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what we give is based on the needs from the districts and also on what we get from the Treasury.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, sport is a very crucial part of our children's growth. Considering that youth form 60 per cent of the population, could the Ministry consider transferring the Extra-curriculum Activity Fund to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports so that they can quickly administer how these projects are done and give it prominence in that Ministry?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, all along, this money has been administered by the Ministry of Education for schools. This Ministry you are talking about was created the other day. It has not been handling this money and we have never had any problem. I think we have come up with very good sportsmen and sportswomen for this country through the Ministry of Education. We shall retain Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you can see, the Assistant Minister is now saying at some point in June, some Kshs1 million was received---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I cannot hear the question because the consultations are too loud.
Order, hon. Members! Can we all try and lower the level of our consultations so that we can hear both the Questioner and the Assistant Minister?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has stated that some Kshs1 million did indeed eventually come to Murang'a South District after some time. Now, that makes some Kshs2 million. Could he confirm to this House how much money goes to each district for co-curricular activities and whether therefore, the Kshs2 million that was due for Murang'a South District was in parity with what went to other districts? Secondly, how are we supposed to know whether it was rationally put into good use or not?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to say that I did not bring the money allocated to various other districts in the country because that was not part of the Question. However, if the Member of Parliament wants it, I am ready to bring it next time if given the opportunity to do so.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister has avoided answering the question of how Members of Parliament are supposed to know how much money goes to their districts for extra-curricula activities. Must I come to this House to raise a question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think hon. Members of Parliament need to come to the House to know how much money has been allocated to their districts. You simply go and sit in the District Education Board (DEB) which has got all the information on the allocations to your district for the education sector. Ask those questions there and you will get the answer right away. You do not need to wait for a week or so to ask on the Floor of the House.
Order, hon. Members! Given the nature of business before the House this afternoon and the magnitude thereof, I am afraid we will have to bring Question Time to an end now. I will allow the Minister for Agriculture two minutes to issue a Ministerial Statement requested by hon. Okemo.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministerial Statement is long but I will only take three points which were raised by the hon. Member.
He first talked about farm gate weighing. The other one was burnt cane and the third one was the way forward.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, currently the Sugar Act, Paragraphs 5 and 6 (A and B) contradict one another and we are going to subject these two paragraphs to the stakeholders to determine who is going to be responsible for spillage of cane from the tractors. The Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) is encouraging farmers or transporters to use high hold trailers so that the cane does not fall down on the way.
With regard to weighing, the law at the moment states that it should be weighed at the farm. Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Hon. Okemo! Restrict your clarifications to two issues only.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Assistant Minister to clarify whether the law as passed by Parliament should be observed or whether excuses be given because of practical difficulties. The law, as it stands today, Section 29 is very clear. He talked about agreements in the sugar industry and the guidelines which guide them. It is explicitly stated that the cane will be harvested by the miller, weighed at the farm gate and transported. That is the law! Whether there are difficulties about it or not is not the issue. Should the Ministry leave the millers to continue to act illegally to the detriment of farmers? Who is going to pay for this difficulty? The cane is spilling on the way! Who is picking up that cost? Obviously, it is the farmer!
Those are two clarifications!
No. It is one, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was just one long one. With regard to the question of payment of farmers, again, in the same law and in the guidelines, it is stated very clearly that the miller will pay the sugar cane farmer within 30 days of accepting delivery, failure to which they will pay interest at the market rate plus a penalty of 3 per cent per month. There are so many issues arising from this. Mr. Olago has just raised an issue in this House where there are a lot of outstanding payments. How is the farmer going to be compensated for this lack of payment by the millers because we know it is not their fault?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the first issue which was sought by the hon. Member, as I said, the Sugar Act in Section 5(b) states that it is the miller who is supposed to pick the cane from the farm and then take it to the factory. Section 6(a) of the same Act also talks about the grower. That is why I am saying we need to subject these two sections of the law to stakeholders. This will be introduced in the Sugar (Amendment) Bill, 2009, which will be brought before this House once we come back from recess. That will be sorted out. One person will be responsible for the spillage. At the moment, there is a very big contradiction.
On payment, the hon. Member has suggested that the millers should be penalised. The way it is now, it is even difficult for the millers to pay the farmers. If we add anything on top of that, these factories will close down. That issue will be addressed by the Sugar (Amendment) Bill, 2009.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order to remind the Chair that we raised some issues on the Floor of the House regarding some rulings to be made by the Speaker. We would want to know when those rulings will be forthcoming.
Secondly, I had sought a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Energy. What was, however, remaining of the answer was the ruling of the Court to be laid on the Table so that we can come up with a decision.
Very well. With respect to the rulings by the Chair, that was ordered to be delivered on a particular day. The day came and the Chair indicated that it would be delivered tomorrow. "Tomorrow" in parliamentary terms means the earliest opportunity when the Statement is ready. That is parliamentary jargon. We will, indeed, deliver that ruling when it is ready - at the earliest opportunity.
The Ministerial Statement sought by the Member for Tetu, Mr. F.T. Nyammo is deferred until the next sitting of the House. We will now take requests for Ministerial Statements. We will restrict that to two minutes each.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In view of the report that there is heavy presence of Ugandan Military in the locale of the Kenya/Uganda Border, especially the islands of Migingo, Sigulu and Lolwe, and further considering the long-running uncertainty on the actual delineation of the said Kenya/Uganda Border in Lake Victoria that has led to constant stand-off between the two nations and frequent harassment of Kenyan fishermen and traders in the waters of Lake Victoria, I request the Minister to clarify the following:-
One, disclose to this House the reasons for the recent militarisation by Uganda of Migingo and Sigulu islands in Lake Victoria and further indicate the loss suffered by Kenya by reason of the destruction of normal activities occasioned by the said militarisation, especially loss of earnings by fishermen and traders.
Secondly, lay on the Table maps showing the exact international border in Lake Victoria between Kenya and Uganda and explain whether these maps are the ones drawn by the defunct East African Railways and Harbours Authority according to which the islands of Migingo, Sigulu and Lolwe, among others are part of Kenyan territory.
Thirdly, explain the measures taken by the Government to return the affected areas to normalcy, including ensuring the security and safety of Kenyans living and working in the affected areas that extend across several constituencies that include Budalang'i, Bondo and Nyatike.
Finally, the Minister should explain the steps the Government has taken to resolve the long standing simmering border dispute between Kenya and Uganda, especially efforts to adopt a definite map duly acknowledged and accepted by the respective Governments of Kenya and Uganda.
Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Medical Services in connection with the procurement of an enterprise resource planning system at a cost of Kshs135 million by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) through tender No.KICT/KEMSA/2008-2009, which was procured through the Kenya ICT Board.
The main reason for asking for this Ministerial Statement is that there is a concern that in this exercise, funds might not have been utilised well. In the Ministerial Statement, I would request the Minister to address himself to the under-listed issues. First, why was the procurement done through the Kenya ICT Board and not through KEMSA or through the Ministry of Medical Services established procurement framework?
Secondly, could the Minister give details of the members of the Tender Evaluation Committee, including their names, employer and their relevant competence as far as this job was concerned? Finally, could the Minister table a copy of the signed evaluation report and the tender opening notes?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security. On the night of 21st and 22nd February, 2009, over 300 head of cattle were stolen from Archers Post area of Samburu East, and driven to Sinyero towards Isiolo North District. During the raid, two children were abducted, namely Didkra Learpora aged between 12 years and 13 years, and Naktuk Lekoloi of the same age. On the night of 22nd and 23rd February, 2009, raiders stole 50 head of cattle belonging to the Imer Community in Isiolo District, and, allegedly, drove them towards Samburu East District. I would like to seek the following clarifications.
First, what efforts has the Government made to recover the stolen livestock from both sides? Secondly, what is the state of the abducted children? Thirdly, on what basis has the Government dispatched a contingent of the General Service Unit (GSU), regular police and Administration Police numbering about 150 to pursue the raiders and the stolen animals on the Samburu East side while nothing was done on the Isiolo side? What is the Government's commitment to end the cattle rustling menace?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. On 11th February, 2009 I asked for a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Agriculture regarding the serious food situation in the country, and a Ministerial Statement was to be tabled in this House. Sometime back, the Assistant Minister for Agriculture promised this House that maizemeal would be sold at Kshs52 for a two-kilogramme packet. He also laid on the Table two packets of two kilogrammes of maize flour, which was to sell at Kshs52 and Kshs72.
Today, the price of maize flour has gone up, and to make matters worse, it is not even available. Therefore, I ask the Ministry to issue that Ministerial Statement, which they were supposed to issue last week, but, because of the nature of business then, it was never issued.
Will the Assistant Minister, Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security indicate when the Ministerial Statement sought by Mr. Namwamba on Migingo
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Island will be available, and also respond to the request by Mr. Letimalo with respect to raiders.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the issue raised by Mr. Namwamba is for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has nothing to do with the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security. The one by Mr. Letimalo, I will be able to issue a Ministerial Statement on Tuesday next week, if it will be possible.
Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs here? The Leader of Government Business can respond to the issue.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government views this matter with the seriousness that it obviously deserves. I do not want to anticipate debate, but I am sure that the hon. Member for Budalang'i would be pleased to know that on 12th and 13th, March, 2009 a high powered Kenyan Delegation--- I would like to imagine that he will be in that delegation. The Minister for Foreign Affairs will lead that delegation to Uganda in order to resolve this matter once and for all. I think that there is a lot of goodwill across the board, and a decision has been taken that all the members bordering Uganda, will be part of that delegation.
Minister for Medical Services, please respond to the request by Mr. Nyamai with respect to KEMSA. When will the statement be ready?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministerial Statement will be ready by Tuesday next week.
Very well. When will the Ministerial Statement concerning the price of maize and related matters be ready? Minister for Agriculture! He is not here; then let us hear from the Leader of Government Business. This is a serious matter, because there was an undertaking that the maize flour would be sold at a certain price.
Yes, indeed, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to similarly assure the hon. Member for Mathira that the Government is taking this matter very seriously, and that shortly he is going to see some serious measures of generalised subsidy, so that Kenyans can have affordable food. Be that as it may, I am sure that the Minister for Agriculture--- In fact, I saw Mr. Ndambuki here when he was issuing a Ministerial; but, on his behalf and on behalf of Mr. Ruto, I want to assure the hon. Member for Mathira that this information will be communicated expeditiously to the Minister for Agriculture.
Order, hon. Members! Given the schedule of business before the House this afternoon, and the nature of Order No.1 on the Supplementary Order Paper, this House will have to continue sitting until 6.37 p.m. Order Nos.7,8 and 9 on the original Order Paper are deferred. We shall now be guided by the Supplementary Order Paper; therefore, we will proceed according to the Supplementary Order Paper.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to second this Motion.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me begin by thanking you and congratulating you, as a Speaker, who has enabled this House to introduce some reforms which have eluded the House for the past 20 years. Under your charge, the House has been able to introduce live coverage of debate which we were never able to do in the past few years.
Secondly, we have also revised the Standing Orders. We have now come up with new Standing Orders which have also created time for the Prime Minister to be able to give an account to this House.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank hon. Members for allowing the Prime Minister to be able to engage the House in the coming session. I intend to use that time very productively so that hon. Members can get first hand information on what is happening in the Government.
Sometimes, the Executive and the Legislature can work much more productively when we adopt much more modern ways of communication. I hope that in the future it is not going to be necessary most of the time for Committees of the House to summon Ministers for questioning. Some of that information can easily be given to the committees by way of correspondence.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are going through very bad times in the country because of famine. However, I want to say that this is a learning experience. We are going to take measures to ensure that this country, in future, does not become a net importer of food but an exporter of food.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the House has set a record, as the Leader of Government Business has said, by passing the highest number of Bills in comparison to other sessions in the past. We are not going to hide. We are going to ensure that action is taken against those who have been responsible for killing innocent citizens of our country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Leader of Government Business has already informed the House about the steps that are being taken with regard to the island on Lake Victoria, which is called Migingo Island. Migingo Island is a Kenyan island. It has been so since time immemorial. We have made that much very clear to the Ugandan Government.
There are also five other Kenyan islands that were annexed by the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada. We would like to see those islands revert to Kenyan ownership. Uganda is a friendly Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Motion for Adjournment.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we go on recess, we are going home to a country that is hungry and angry. I am asking the Government, since I come from the bread basket of Kenya - Trans Nzoia produces about 10 million bags of maize--- All we are asking the Government is to give farmers the necessary ammunition, so that we can fight hunger. Those are our foot soldiers. They are ready and preparing their farms. All they are waiting for is fertiliser that is affordable.
The Government has already indicated that the fertiliser will be readily available this week at Kshs2,500 per bag. If that fertiliser can be availed--- We are asking the Government to avail that fertiliser to the farmers through the National Cereals and Produce Board and, hopefully, through the collection centres which are empty. Those collection centres have no maize. That way, fertiliser can be stocked close to the farms and farmers.
We are also asking the Government--- It introduced a system of ploughing where tractors, through a partnership with the Government of Italy, can plough at an affordable price of Kshs1,800. We are asking the Government to re-look at that proposal. Since it is a grant, they will not be paying for the tractors. The tractors will be using only about Kshs500 to plough an acre and, probably, offer other services. We are asking the Government to make that ploughing per acre at Kshs1,500 to enable the farmers produce more. If that is done, hunger will be a thing of the past.
We are also going on recess while the budget-making process has started. Last year, this Government did not regard those people who are called the squatters or IDPs. We are asking the Government that, as we go on recess and, as it prepares the Budget, it should make a provision this year for the squatters, landless and IDPs, so that they can be resettled.
We are also asking that, as we go on recess, since we have been telling Kenyans that we will give them a new Constitution, we must reflect and listen to Kenyans and know really what they want so that, as we come back, we should close ranks and take a bipartisan approach, so that we can give Kenyans a new Constitution.
As we speak, we have already started well. But we have gotten off to a false start. We know what happened in this House last week, when we were unable to agree on the members of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission. As we come back, we want to unite as a country so that we can move forward.
We are also confronted by the issue of corruption. I urge Members that, on issue of corruption, there is no PNU and ODM corruption. Corruption is corruption. It is bleeding this country white. We must unite and face corruption squarely without any blinkers, be they tribal, be they partisan, religious or regional. We must face corruption squarely, if we are to save this country. That, we must do.
As we go on recess, let us think, do some soul searching and when we come back, let us not be a divided House. I am urging this Government, since the biggest problem of the Kenyan farmer has
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been a fertiliser factory--- They have talked about it for many years. The time has come when that needs to be done. We are ready in Trans Nzoia to give land for that factory so that, if fertiliser is available locally and affordable, hunger, I can assure you, will be a thing of the past.
We have heard in the course of the Session of a second grain bulk handling machine at the Coast. It has been proposed that will, probably, cost billions. We are saying that, rather than looking at the importation of maize year in, year out, let us look at the possibility of putting up a fertiliser factory, so that we can produce more and export, instead of importing maize every year.
As we go home, let us soul-search about that and may God bless you all.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this time to support the Motion of Adjournment. It has been a great time because we were recalled to deal with various businesses. This Parliament has proved that it has the capacity and capability to perform.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you, like all my other colleagues, for the way you have navigated this Parliament by introducing live coverage and, at the same time, introducing very many changes in Parliament to make our lives easier. This Parliament has become a new Parliament. We are just about to reach there. I want to congratulate you very much for those far reaching reforms.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am requesting you that in future, this Chamber should be re-done so that those people who would like to take their notes on their computers can have a place to place them. That is because right now, we have only a bar where we can place our feet. But we need places where we can place our laptops in Parliament and deal with the matters of the world. I am requesting that, as you continue with your very resourceful and indigenous ideas of revitalising this Parliament, that the Chamber should be done in such a way that we shall be able to use even our laptops when we are here.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to take this opportunity to say that it is an opportune time for us to follow up on some of the projects that we have given money, through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). We need to find out how far those projects have reached. We have had a very busy schedule and we have not had time to go and assess how the projects are being implemented. So, we would like to take the opportunity to go and issue more cheques to constituencies and, at the same time, see what is happening with the projects that we have been supporting.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we also have funds through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). It is high time regulations were also relaxed, so that where there is so much hunger, we can use a bit of CDF money to buy food, so that people do not die when we have money. It is very important that our Members of Parliament look at those people who have no food to eat, yet we have money that we can allocate in order to buy that food.
With regard to agriculture, instead of importing so much food and transferring the labour force from our country to other countries, we should find out how best we can deal with our farmers here. We should have farm-contracting so that by the time the farmers harvest their crops, they know in advance how much money they are going to earn from a 90-kilogramme bag. That is done in the Western world. Those people who produce maize, particularly in Western Kenya, should not be compared with others and pay so much money when their maize is languishing in the granaries. They should know how much they are going to earn. Once they know that, they will grow maize and we shall have no hunger in this country.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to speak my bit.
First of all, I want to join my colleagues in supporting the adjournment. At the same time, I want to thank you very much for the way you have conducted the business of this House, with dignity and decorum. I also want to thank you for the way you have led our Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) as the Chair. I would want the House to know that the PSC is determined to do what it must do to make work easy for our Members of Parliament and staff. This is in line with our Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to support the Motion for the Adjournment.
To begin with, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to the House, led by you, and the nation led by the President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, for having brought this nation together when we had the recent disasters in Molo and Nakumatt supermarket. It provided a nation at a moment of agony to mind the affairs of our brothers and sisters, and not only join Kenyans in grief, but also in solidarity to show that as a nation, we can rise like the oil of Minerva from our ashes and support ourselves at the time of need.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would also like to thank our medical fraternity; our doctors, nurses and health workers, led by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Medical Services and the DMS, for what they did at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Nakuru Provincial Hospital, Molo District Hospital and all other private health facilities that, indeed, did look after our people at this very trying time. We hope that the 56 survivors who are still in hospitals will, indeed, survive and live a prosperous life.
I would also like to thank all those doctors who came from abroad, particularly from the State of Gujarat and the City of Delhi, who have been here and are coming back to perform corrective surgery on our people who survived the disaster. In the same vein, I would like to thank all our partners from abroad; all those Governments and people who came to our aid, including the Government of Germany, United States of America, Great Britain, France, Italy and, of course, India, for standing in solidarity with the people of Kenya at our hour of need.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, behind every dark cloud, there is always a silver lining. The silver lining is that it has taught us to make sure that we can respond effectively at such moments of need. Indeed, the plans we have had on paper and discussed, to have rapid response facilities and units; to expand our burns facilities, not just at KNH but other provincial hospitals, should be implemented because such a disaster can befall us at any time.
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Establishing trauma centres along our highways is something that we have discussed and I have proposed to the Government that, indeed, this year, it will be a reality, so that at any time that we have such disasters on our highways, we can respond effectively to the needs of our people.
That also reminds me that for a long time, we have neglected looking at our Lake Victoria and Indian Ocean as, indeed, part of this Republic where we should establish ambulance services, because next time we have such disasters, it may be on land, sea or air. The Ministry of Medical Services is now proposing to the Government that we have ambulances that can respond to such disasters both in Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean. Indeed, we need specially equipped ambulances so that when we have disasters, transporting victims from the scenes of disasters to medical facilities, we should have necessary facilities that can maintain and revive life.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to assure this House that very soon, when Parliament comes back to start a new Session, I will appeal to you that we have a session with hon. Members in a kamukunji to put before them some of the proposals that we have to this effect, and to seek their input. I have already approached, informally, the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Health, Housing, Labour and Social Welfare and made this proposal to him. I hope that my officials and I will have a meeting with his Committee before we request you for the Kamukunji, because I think in some of these major initiatives, we need to move in tandem.
We are initiating, in the Ministry of Medical Services, a major modernisation process for our hospitals. As you well know in this House, many Questions have been asked about facilities and services in our hospitals, and noting too that for about 25 years, there has been no major investment in our hospitals; we have fallen behind in equipment and technology. Given the fact that this equipment technology is now available globally cost effectively, we should not fail to provide effective services to our people, just because we are behind in the achievement of modernisation.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity to make a few comments. I would have loved to support this Motion, but given the circumstances that the country faces, I am unable to do so. You will recall that we were recalled for a specific purpose. We have an agenda that this country faces: We have a constitutional reform process that is being held to ransom.
The reasons for which we were recalled for a short session have not been met. As the Grand Coalition goes to celebrate one year of its existence, all one can see is grand failure, grand confusion and total inability to provide the leadership that this country needs.
If we are serious, the least we should have done was to form an independent electoral commission, because we face a constitutional vacuum. That is what we are trying to fill, but we have a situation where a House Committee prepares a report, brings it to the House and then its members take contradictory positions in respect of their own report. What message are we sending out to Kenyans?
I think that we need to stay here and complete the process of forming the Independent Interim Electoral Commission of Kenya (IIECK). Let us not test fate! God has been good to us; why are we challenging him? Why are we not taking the opportunity to create an IIECK and a boundaries commission, so that we can advance the work of constitution making. What is it that we are going to do at home when we were recalled for a specific purpose?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, one would have expected that the leadership of this Government, given the very serious crisis that we face to lead by example, would be present in the House when we are debating this issue. But the House is taken for granted. The House is held in contempt by the leadership of this nation. The least we can do is to refuse to go on Recess until we finish the process for which we were recalled, and ensure that an IIECK is in place.
There are many issues that we ought to be discussing. We were asked, in an emergency Session of this House, to guarantee a loan of close to US$1 million to buy maize. We were being told Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the Motion for Adjournment. I think the Tenth Parliament has been working continuously and has had only a very short break, and it is time for us to go back to the grassroots. I am asking my colleagues to use this opportunity to preach peace and reconciliation amongst Kenyans. We have undergone a lot of problems.
Ten million Kenyans are on the verge of starvation, and I am hoping that at this particular time, we will all go and look at our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) budgets, and see how best we can start changing our areas, so that we can have food security in our areas. I believe that one way is by hon. Members working through their Constituency Development Committees (CDCs) to make sure that a certain percentage of money is allocated towards irrigation and construction of dams. This is something which is doable, and it is possible for us to do that as elected hon. Members.
It is not good for us to just engage in blaming and not to come up with solutions. I believe that the Tenth Parliament should be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Yes, it is good that we are pointing out the problems that we have. I also agree that there are quite a number of policy loopholes that we have, but I believe that we can come up with solutions in our areas of operation.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who turned up when we had the two fire tragedies in our country, where we lost 179 people. First of all, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation workers were there on time. The provincial administrators, the National Disaster Operation Centre and the medical services personnel have done a tremendous job. I would like to take this opportunity to ask that we continue, hopefully not with disasters, but with many other things; we should be able to work together, as a team, with all the Ministries and hon. Members.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the people who turned up for the fund raising we had for the fire victims. I also thank you, Mr. Speaker, for taking the lead in guiding hon. Members in contributing towards the same. We contributed money some time back, and up to now, I am still waiting for hon. Members to come over and tell us what they would want us to use the Kshs10.6 million on; it is still lying in my Ministry and we should make a decision together. I believe this is the
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time when we should make a decision that will serve Kenyans well.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have seen Members of Parliament coming up with very good ideas. This is the time we need to sit down and implement some of those ideas. I am sure Committees will continue meeting, so that decisions can be taken. We need to work together. It is not good enough for us to be blaming each other only. We should also be part of the solution. I believe that, together, we can. It is possible, because it has been shown in the past. We can still continue doing it. We are only doing one thing, which is to keep the Executive on its toes. We should also ensure that we work together towards getting a permanent solution to various problems facing us.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Let me take this opportunity to, first of all, support this Motion because hon. Members are a bit tired. They have been doing a good job. I specifically want to talk about those who are playing the role of Opposition in this House. We have played our role well. We have kept the Government on its toes. I want to believe that we will be much more organised when we come back to this House next time, and that we will continue to keep the Government on its toes.
The purpose of the Opposition is basically to get the Government doing what they promised Kenyans. We will be coming in firmly to ensure the manifestos the Government explained to us, as PNU, ODM, and ODM(K), as they sought votes of Kenyans, are implemented.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of the biggest challenges we have in this country is the young people. Most of young people are jobless. We have a lot of good programmes, which the Government has been talking about to alleviate their problems.
All of us know that the economy of this country runs on the Port of Mombasa, and on the highway from Mombasa all the way to Busia. This Government as well as the manifestos of PNU, ODM and ODM(K) have been talking about opening up the Lamu Port. This matter has been talked about for such a long time. We want serious steps taken, so that the Lamu Port is actually constructed. With the Lamu Port in place, I am sure, we can open up Ethiopia, Southern Sudan and northern part of Uganda. I believe that with that corridor opened up, we can create enough employment for young people in this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, apart from just opening up that corridor, we should be thinking of a second major capital city in this country. Possibly, we should be thinking of literally moving the capital city from Nairobi to the centre of this country. Nairobi can remain our commercial capital as we create another capital city in this country, just as we have New York and Washington DC.
I want to believe that if there is any marshal plan that will work for the young people in this country, it is opening up the Lamu Port, a highway and railway line to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia. Ethiopia's exports alone are worth US$7 billion. All these exports will go through the Port of Lamu. We have not looked at the raw materials in Southern Sudan.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a pipeline from Southern Sudan to Lamu will create more employment in this country than even what we have today. I believe that if the two principals, or the three partners, who form the main core of this Government, sat down and seriously looked at the means to change this country, then this country and the Government, in particular, will be attending to more productive issues than getting involved in cheap things and cheap corruption like maize and Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I asked for the Floor to support the Motion of Adjournment.
When our recess was cut short, it was for a purpose. We came back with various things to do. The agenda was not long, but it was intense. Several weeks later, we have made some progress, but not as much as we would have desired. That, in itself, does not mean that all is lost. I can assure my friends, who know some of the things we were involved in, that we did them to our level best. We feel that, perhaps, it is time to take a break, reflect on past things, and come back with ideas on how to proceed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I, for one, would welcome a break at this time, because in my constituency, we are getting ready to plant again. While we talk about famine in the country, which is very serious, we can, in fact, try to do something about it by making sure that we plant our next crop early. Our biggest problem is, of course, the fact that we have not yet seen the fertilizers that will help us plant the right crop. We want to plant and produce more food than we did last year.
I want to be there to hold as many barazas as possible to encourage my people to plant more. It is no secret at all that maize farmers this year feel that we have not taken care of their interests. Personally, I want to encourage my own constituents, as I go round the constituency, to plant more, so that we mitigate the next confusion as far as food is concerned.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as a Government Minister, I want to support this Motion of adjournment because, indeed, most of us have been tied up in Nairobi in various Committees. My Ministry also does not operate at the headquarters only. Indeed, last week, we did sign an agreement with the Africa Development Bank on how to revamp our technical institutes around the country, and how to get some new ones started. We do not want to do things in a haphazard manner.
It is my intention to spend part of the time I will get for recess to visit various areas where we have technical institutes to satisfy myself that they are, indeed, working in the manner they are supposed to work in. If some of them require more support, I need to see for myself, and satisfy myself that, indeed, the support that will go there is important. This is the time when Government works on the next Budget. As a Minister, I do not want to support the officers to submit a Budget I am not sure of what it is going to do. So, personally, and on behalf of my Ministry, I really need the recess to be able to visit as many parts of the country as possible.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, most of us rely on foreign assistance. I need to be away from the Committees fighting till evening, to look for more resources from some of our development partners. I need this recess to be able to do so.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion.
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I support this Motion for various reasons. One of them is that I believe that we need the break, so that we can go back not because we are tired, but rather, because we need to consult with those who voted us to Parliament. We want to know what they think about many of the issues that we may be discussing in the coming times. We would like also to know what they feel about many of the issues we have had on the Floor of this House.
I also want to add my voice to the fact that, as a Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee dealing with the review of the Constitution, it is important that we have this break, not because there is anything that is falling apart, but because we need the break to agree on issues without a lot of pressure. In so doing, we will be able to ensure that we move together.
I think, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that it is important that we continue using the time we have as hon. Members to make sure that any suspicion that is there between us, as leaders, is reduced. That is because once we are able to lower the suspicion levels amongst ourselves, then we will be able to give better leadership to this nation.
Certainly, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important to mention that we have time to reflect also. That is because even when you look at what was reported today in the media, we got a few things wrong. One of it is that we did not get quite some good marks in terms of fighting corruption from the Floor of this House. It is important that we also have a break so that we can go and think about it because, certainly, Kenyans expected us to do a little bit more, other than what we did. We have seen what they have said; that the corruption levels have not been fought by us and it is important that we look at it and come back with a better resolve to fight corruption.
Certainly, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have drought and famine in this country. Those are issues that require our presence in the constituencies, so that we can be able to help others who are engaged, perhaps, in famine relief and all those kind of things, so that we can be able to sit with our people. It is also important, as the speaker before me has said, that we are now in the planting season. It is important for us to encourage our people in the constituencies to put a lot of land under cultivation and, indeed, ensure that they plant as much as they can. That is one of the things that contributed to having difficulties this year in terms of food sufficiency.
But having said that, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that one of the challenges that we need to take up is the issue of irrigation. I think we need to look at that issue during our break and, more so, in terms of water harvesting. That is because we have a lot of water that is going to waste. If we are able to harvest water in our constituencies, and it is not hard, certainly, we will be able to increase our food production. That will reduce our problems come next year.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of youth cannot go without being mentioned. It is also a time that we must engage our young people. We must sit with them, get to listen to them and hear what it is that they have in mind. We have the sports programmes from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. But I think it is important that we do not just sit back and think that we have done all that needed to be done by making sure that they participate in football tournaments.
It is important that we think of more innovative ways by engaging them, so that we can help them get into some productive work, generate some income and make sure that they are busy with the issues that would help them later in life. This is because, as it is, certainly, with a growth rate of 2.5 per cent in this country, that is not very healthy for our very young population.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that one of the other things that I would appeal to hon. Members is that, as we go on this recess, we need to desist from playing one region against the other. That has not been useful in our many public utterances. But it is important that we do not play one region against the other because, in so doing, we do not allow this country to move on together as a unit. If we are able to preach more of oneness, think and sit together, that will help this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is still with us. We may not have talked about it in the last three, four or five days. But it is important that, Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Your time is up!
Proceed, Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I stand to support the Motion of Adjournment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the reasons why I am supporting this Motion is that we want, first and foremost, the Ministers of this Government to visit the countryside and see the problems that Kenyans are facing. For the last one year, we have not seen majority of those Ministers visiting the countryside to see the suffering of the people. Each Minister, especially Ministers who are holding the portfolios of water, health, roads and education, should visit the people in each district to find out the problems affecting them.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other reason why I think it is important that this House should go on recess is because we want the Government to resolve the issues of IDPs and Mau Forest, once and for all. It is very, very important because those are the issues which have been "following" this Government ever since it was formed! It is important that those two critical issues are resolved during this recess.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we would also like to see Government Ministers visiting Government institutions. Some of the Government institutions are an eyesore! If you visited the reception area of Kenyatta National Hospital today, you will not be very happy. It is important that we reign in the people who are in charge of those institutions.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of drought has really got into the nerve centre of this country - Ukambani, Kajiado and North Eastern. In Kajiado alone, the people who deserve to receive relief food are in the region of 70 per cent. It is important for the Minister of State for Special Programmes to get out of Nairobi and visit the ground in order to see the suffering of the people! You only see these Ministers talking in the Headquarters in the City of Nairobi! We want these Ministers to go to the countryside and really see how the people are suffering. It is very, very critical!
On the issue of the Nairobi Metropolis, the Maa Community have refused the boundaries of the Nairobi Metropolis to go beyond Kiserian and Kitengela. The Minister in charge of Nairobi Metropolis should, first and foremost, issue instructions to clean Nairobi! The garbage collection--- Instead of expanding the metropolis, we need to, first of all, clean this Nairobi City!
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That is because, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, even the greater London Metropolis does not go beyond 200 kilometres! So, he should concentrate on the small, already developed urban centres like Ngong, Kiserian, Limuru and Thika, which are already within that distance.
First and foremost, he should rein in on the Nairobi City Council (NCC) to clean the city instead of expanding it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the fourth point is the issue of the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC). Livestock farmers have taken AFC loans and because of the loss of their livestock, they are not able to repay them. It is high time the Government of the Republic of Kenya looked into ways of writing off these loans because the farmers are not able to repay them.
The other issue is with regard to the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC). We revived the KMC about two to three years ago. That institution requires to be investigated. The Government has given it a lot of money but we do not see how it is being spent. Farmers take their livestock to sell at the KMC and it takes weeks for them to be paid and yet the Government has injected money into KMC. So, it is very important that investigations are carried out on KMC.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the issue of hay which the Ministry has allocated money so that livestock farmers can be given, we want this money to be disbursed at the district level. It is very important.
With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we sit to draw curtains on this extended session, I just want to urge hon. Members as we debate this Motion, to reflect on the challenges that face our country today.
The issue of food insecurity must rank topmost among the issues that we must reflect on and see how we can quickly find a solution. I want to fault this Government, that even as we run around and speak about all sorts of issues like importation of maize and so on, there is information that our farmers, especially wheat and rice farmers are holding huge stocks of food that has no market. There is information that wheat farmers are holding up to one million bags of wheat that has not been collected and which the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has no capacity to purchase.
Rice farmers, including those from my own constituency of Budalang'i are holding huge stocks of rice; food that could go a very long way to ameliorate our food insecurity today. So, even as we seek to go on recess, it is important that this Government gets it's priorities right and really find a way to utilise the resources within our own borders before we even start talking about importation.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also the question of the Constitution review process. We have experienced hiccups and these are issues that one would have wished that this House would have sorted out before we proceed on this recess. However, looking around this House, the mood seems to be so heavily in favour of a recess, whereas wisdom would have demanded that we take time to sort out the outstanding issues.
However, be it as it may, I think this is one session we can take pride in. We have achieved some measure of success. We have enacted some important pieces of legislation. We are on the verge of introducing new Standing Orders. Talking of new Standing Orders, let me take this opportunity to applaud some of the very innovative measures that have been imparted in these Standing Orders, including the provision to allow a Back bench caucus to play the role of the Opposition.
Let me take this opportunity to urge party leaders, that these new Standing Orders in Section 2, require party leaders to give consent to Members of the Back Bench who want to serve in the Opposition Caucus and it would be a great disservice to this country for any party leader in his or her right senses to unreasonably withhold consent to any Member of the Back Bench that might want to serve in the Opposition Caucus, in accordance with the new Standing Orders.
I want to urge the Government that as we seek to go on this recess, let us take time to reflect on these issues. Let us take time, particularly to start working on a budget that will reflect the face of Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity to support the Motion on the Floor, mainly because I think this House has worked very well. We have seen all the Bills which have been passed which are more than we can remember in recent times.
Having said that, I think it is time for us to go back and take new instructions from our employers; our constituents, because there are many things we are hearing which they are not happy with. Since we represent them, it is only fair that we should be ready to represent them seriously. They include, hunger which is gripping the country. We must encourage our people to plant but we must also avail them fertilisers. I want to appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture to make sure that fertilisers and seeds are in plenty. Even in areas where people are not able to plough for themselves, especially those Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), that we see every piece of land is cultivated.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also time for us to visit one another and preach peace in different areas. I am especially concerned about the areas where we still have IDPs who have not returned back to their homes. I want to urge the leaders in those areas to really put special interest to see that there are no more camps in their areas and that people are living in harmony and even for us to visit them.
I would like to assure Mr. Nkaisserry that some of us visited the countryside. There is a purpose for community public health initiative which we have already launched in five provinces. I only have three provinces to go. I will be visiting, in fact, two other provinces because we will be in Nairobi this week. We will be launching this initiative. May I urge Members of Parliament to participate in those health committees in their constituencies so that they can guide the people to ensure that the money we are going to spend will go direct to the community level just as we do with education.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, those communities will be working together with health extension officers and the health centres and dispensaries to decide on what the citizens want in terms of their health. They will seek to find out what is important for their health - is it maternity care or is it something else? They will also find out if it is medicine they require and so on.
So, I want to urge hon. Members to find out from the health centres and dispensaries in their respective constituencies how they can support the health committees so that each household can get messages of help. They need to know, for example, how they can deal with simple cases of diarrhoea affecting children, information on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and sanitation.
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Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, research has shown that if we can deal with those simple things, we can reduce diseases by 50 or 60 per cent. That is why I also want to urge this House that as we prepare for Budget, we seek to allocate more money for preventive health care. This is because it is cheaper, more practical and maintains a healthy nation. A lot of money has been going to curative medicine. When a patient is in hospital, money has to be used to cater for that patient. If we put more money in preventive health care, we will be able to cut down on diseases.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this House passed a Motion to establish a cancer centre. We are looking for funds to establish that centre so that we can do more research. It will enable our people get more information about cancer and we shall be in a position to reduce deaths caused by cancer. At the moment, deaths caused by cancer and heart-related diseases have escalated.
I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity to support this Motion. We have had reforms taking place in this country over a number of years. One of the areas I think the reforms have succeeded in the recent past is in this legislative arm of Government.
The introduction of the new Standing Orders is a milestone in the history of this country. We have also introduced in the Standing Orders, through the Speaker's Office with those around him, including Temporary Deputy Speakers, the administration and so on, the Implementation Committee.
We know that Committees play a very important role in our activities as a National Assembly. However, for quite sometime, the recommendations of all these Committees, say, the Public Investments Committee (PIC) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), have not been implemented. Nothing has happened. I am very grateful that we now have the Implementation Committee. We were once told that we had an Implementation Committee, but it was killed by the Executive. I hope that will not recur this time round.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Members of Parliament under the Speaker's Officer are working hard to ensure that Parliament plays its role in nation building. We also urge the Speaker's Office to ensure that the Implementation Committee plays its role. When it comes to appointing members to this Committee--- This now goes to the Whips. A time is coming when the Whips will be required to recommend people who will be manning these Committees. From my own experience, I would like to urge those Whips to ensure that we get people who can actually work in the Implementation Committee.
We have talked about Members of Parliament. It is in the public domain that the image of Parliament has been eroded. However, as much as things are said about Members of Parliament out there, we do not have internal measures to counter what is being said. So, the other aspect that I would want to add even as we implement the new Standing Orders meant to reform Parliament is that the Clerk's Office, through the Speaker - now that we did not incorporate the issue of public relations in the Standing Orders - should strengthen the aspect of public relations. We should be in a position to counter or correct whatever is said about Parliament. One day I read in a newspaper about the salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament. What the Speaker's Office did was to respond by buying space in a newspaper. I was wondering how many Kenyans were able to read all that. I was expecting that would come from a Statement made by either by the Clerk's Chambers or the Speaker's Office. So, that is what I would like to recommend.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have had two censure Motions. Some of us did not have an opportunity to contribute.
I was wondering whether we are getting to a stage where we are going to use censure Motions to discipline those among us we think we want to discipline. At one stage, during the latest censure Motion, I was wondering why the Executive is vested in the Presidency. The appointing authority of the Ministers is the Head of State. If the President is able to appoint a Minister, why is he not able to discipline that Minister? Why should Parliament be used to discipline a Minister? Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Order, hon. Members!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. We expect hon. Members to respect their party whips.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. I want to assure my colleagues that I will take very little time.
Hon. Members need a rest. We came here over one month ago to tackle crucial issues. We went through a tough time where people disagreed here and there. We can better use this time to go back to our constituencies to catch up on our work which we traditionally do at this time of the year.
It would have been good if the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) was constituted because Kenyans are expecting it. It is a pity that Kenyans are so divided that we cannot even agree over names of Kenyans.
I suggest that we accept, as a principle, that where we cannot agree, we just hand over to foreigners, because some issues are so simple that we should just agree. In fact, I say that considering what happened to Mr. Kivuitu, I do not think anybody can dare make that mistake. I think most Kenyans, who are being talked about, would have qualified.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to say that we recognise, as hon. Members, that there is drought around the country. There are some parts of Kenya where we have never heard of droughts, but which do not have food now. I want to urge the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Government in general, that it comes up with emergency money, even if it means suspending the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money; the CDF Act should be suspended, so that we can use its money to feed our people at this point. We were promised maize flour for Kshs52 a packet, but I have never heard of it where I come from. We do not have it. We must recognise that we have challenges and we should take emergency measures that will enable our people to get some food.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to say one last thing. The new Standing Orders, that we are about to midwife, are the best thing which this Parliament has come up with; we hope, as Mr. Chanzu has said, that we will use them, especially in the Committees. I want to take responsibility for having put some hon. Members in the Committees, but I want to promise that next time, we will put people in committees, who can do the job for Members.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Motion. From last year up to now, hon. Members have been working very hard, especially in Parliament. There are some decisions that have been made in this Parliament that have affected the public. I think its time we all went back home to reflect on what has been happening in this Parliament. There are a lot of cries outside there. Kenyans are not happy with us. It is time we all went back and found out what it is that we have done wrong that the people of this Republic do not want.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some of us are new Members of Parliament and, for sure, if some of the debates that are supposed to be going on in this Parliament--- I do not agree with some of the debates that have been going on in this Parliament. We have learnt a lot. People take sides
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and all that. Kenyans do not want us to take sides. We see people taking sides on tribal grounds. The people outside there do not want that. We all must work together as Kenyans, and should not bring up tribal divisions. As a new Member of Parliament, that has really upset me. I really believe that I am the face of Kenya. I am in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which represents all young Kenyans in this country. It is time we all started thinking of what we are doing and what people outside there are thinking about us.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing is that I come from Ukambani, which is a dry area. We now have drought not only in Ukambani but in the whole of Kenya. It is time we went back to our areas and constructed dams before the rains come, so that we are able to tap water from our rivers. We have a lot of work to do.
I support the Motion; I ask hon. Members that when they go home, they should look at what has happened, so that when we come back here, we will serve Kenyans betters than we have done.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. It is true that Members of Parliament have had a Session that has been continuous but had short breaks. We now need a break. Truly, what has transpired in the last few weeks indicates that Members of Parliament are fatigued, and we, therefore, require rest. Most importantly, this country requires reconciliation and healing. Some of us leaders, when we are in funerals, we actually continuously push our people into hate. I want to plead with my colleagues, because we represent the people who must live in peace and harmony, that is an issue that we all must address, as serious leaders upon whom the serious role of showing direction has been bestowed. We need to take stock of what has happened in this Session.
We have had debates in this House where you saw a Minister of Government supposedly bound by collective responsibility, attacking another Minister on the Floor of the House shamelessly, and addressing issues which should be addressed in the Cabinet. I think we also mislead our population and we send them wrong signals. They do not know who is in the Government and who is in the Opposition. Therefore, in the spirit of collective responsibility, let us show Kenyans the right way to go, depending on where we stand. Some of us have actually castigated the Government which they are serving. It is unfortunate that some of us do that; I think it is critical that if you are not happy with the people you are serving, then you should take a walk, so that others, who are waiting in the periphery, can serve.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the quality of debate in this House has actually degenerated. Some hon. Members have brought this august House into disrepute. I say that with authority; some of us throw some dirty words at our colleagues. Even if you withdraw, the damage has already been done. That is what I am saying. I am suggesting that we maintain issue-oriented debate. Mr. C. Kilonzo, we want to have issue-oriented debate.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister suggesting that Mr. C. Kilonzo is not issue-oriented, when we know that he is the most issue-oriented Member of this House?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is obvious that this hon. Member does not have respect for other hon. Members. You heard him refer to Mrs. Mugo. He said that some Ministers should not come to the Floor of the House, and, shamelessly, give orders to other Ministers. Is the hon. Member not out of order for not respecting other hon. Members, including me?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not mention Mrs. Mugo. I am talking about some previous debates. I did not even listen to Mrs. Mugo speaking. This brother of mine---
Mr. Omingo, will you continue with your debate? Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
With due respect to Mr. C. Kilonzo, I did not mean to speak ill of him.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to bring back sanity, and give Kenyans hope, so that we are able to steer this country to great heights of prosperity. I do know that there are some issues which are unresolved, including that about the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the camps. I want to plead with all hon. Members to help in terms of alleviating the suffering of the people we lead. It is important that we all address national issues collectively, and that we do not use the Floor of the House, in presence of cameras - that includes myself - to discredit other hon. Members.
With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Motion. I want to support the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in supporting the Motion, I want to say that our country is very rich. Our country is blessed. Our country has the potential for food production. As we are going home, our country is faced with a lot of challenges, starting from food, water, pasture, teachers problems, corruption and failure to resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), just to mention a few.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am a disturbed woman as I contribute to this Motion. This is because of the development agenda that we have. Our development agenda are misplaced. It is sad and shameful for a country like ours, with all those riches I talked about, to accept food donation from Egypt. It is wrong!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is wrong because the water Egypt is using is from our country. It is sad that the water Egypt is using is from our country. If we compare the land productivity in Egypt and Kenya; only 3 per cent of land in Egypt has potential for production while in Kenya it is 40 per cent.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the rate at which we are asking for food aid and donation, very soon, I fear that we will accept food donation from Somalia and Southern Sudan. I am sad and I am also not joking. If we are not looking at our development agenda seriously and strategise well, we are going to end up asking for food donation from Somalia and Southern Sudan.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the teachers problem is real. It is a problem that we need to address. If we politicise teachers problems, we are going to have a lot challenges in development. Teachers lay the foundation for all our human resources. When we lay the foundation and get the best, that is when we can address our critical development agenda. If we look at the politics that was surrounding teachers' issues recently--- The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) was registered way back in 1960s. For a long time, it has been negotiating with the Government. You saw how they were shortchanged. People who were not in the limelight and were out there and had just been registered are the ones the Government entered an agreement with. That will cause a conflict and our teachers will suffer.
You saw recently when they were demonstrating and how they were beaten. There is hue and cry by teachers. We must solve teachers' problems. I am pleading with the Government and Ministry concerned to critically look at teachers' issues. Let them not politicise these issues. It is critical because we need them and they are the ones who handle all the human resource development of our country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to conclude by asking that we resettle the IDPs. That was Agenda Four. If we do not look after the IDPs, we are sitting on a time bomb. That is where
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we are missing the point. The Government must take a serious initiative in addressing and resettling the IDPs.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to conclude by saying that there are Ministries that are critical in development. When funds are going to be allocated in the Budget, these Ministries must be given resources that will make them bring meaningful development and have an impact in our society.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance that when he prepares the next Budget, he must look at the Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands. This Ministry was created as a result of the problems, historical marginalization and discrimination in terms of resource allocation. We are requesting the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance to allocate a lot of resources to that Ministry.
I beg to support.
Thank you very much Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this adjournment Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Chair and the House, in general, for the successes we have achieved, although it may not be to the expectation of Kenyans---
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! Please, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that one constituency will still have to wait longer to get a replacement of their Member of Parliament. This is because of our bungled process of putting in place the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC).
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one problem this House has been having since we started capacity building and more powers to make decisions for this nation, Kenyans who have to be approved by this House in order to assume public offices are subjected to a lot of scrutiny. This scrutiny sometimes damages the reputation of members of the public. If we go in that direction, reputable individuals in this country will not apply for important offices that we want them to occupy. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to tone down when contributing to debates that touch on vetting of individual Kenyans by this House.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no need to mention individuals who are not in this House and malign them. They cannot take us to court because of the immunity that we have. Even if they have problems, I think there are better ways to put them across to ensure that there is a bit of respect for those individuals who cannot defend themselves on the Floor of this House.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think we need to strengthen our institutions instead of debating who assumes those offices. We need to put in place a framework to ensure that there are checks and balances in our institutions instead of denying Kenyans who are, otherwise, qualified, to assume offices.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not right to put somebody in a public office because I feel that, that is the right person for me. Tomorrow, if I go, whoever succeeds me would want to have his or her person there as well! It is a vicious cycle. We must put in place measures to ensure that there are checks and balances and any qualified Kenyans, regardless of political affiliation, can occupy an office and be accountable to all Kenyans. This should be done instead of juggling Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. First of all, I want to thank all the hon. Members for participating in this Session. I must say that this has been the most successful Session in the history of this Parliament. Many Bills have been passed and there was very healthy debate. But the Kenyans out there, I must admit, are not very happy with us. That is because we have not seriously addressed the problems affecting them. One of the major problems affecting most Kenyans is food shortage. I urge the Minister for Agriculture to look into ways and means of harvesting rain water. He can also get water from India Ocean and Lake Victoria and pump it to most areas which are dry such as Ukambani and others areas in this country. As my colleague said, it is very unfortunate for us, as Members of this Parliament, to actually receive donations from a country like Egypt, while Egypt gets water from this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is, indeed, a great shame for this country to receive food from Egypt, which is a desert, while we have 40 per cent of arable land in this country. So, the
issue, which is touching on the ordinary mwananchi down there, should be addressed seriously. There is a problem with the price of unga . I think one of my colleagues mentioned it over the weekend. The issue of giving two prices of unga is very unfortunate. We should not have different prices of unga for the ordinary mwananchi and for the rich people.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to address the issue of extra judicial killings which are going on this country. It is a very sensitive issue and when you talk about it, we do not talk about a particular community. We are talking about police killing innocent Kenyans in this country. So, it is an issue of great public interest. It is an issue which should be greatly looked into and acted upon by the authorities that be.
The youth of this country have been neglected because they have not been given opportunities. Even in this Government, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports is not a youth. That is also an issue that should be looked into. At the same time, the Women Enterprise Development Fund should give money directly to women, as opposed to receiving the money from the banks which are charging an interest rate of 20 per cent. The Government is giving it at 1 per cent. So, that is an issue that
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should also be looked into.
With regard to the Committees of this House, it is in the interest of hon. Members to see that we are also recruited as Committee members. That is because we are new in this Parliament and we need to familiarise ourselves with the roles of the Committees.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute in support of this Motion, although I agree with hon. Members who have said that we should not have adjourned because of the business that we were recalled for.
One of those relates to issues on crimes against humanity. We were not able to set up a tribunal. We were also not able to make decisions that would have led to making the relevant constitutional changes towards getting a new Constitution. In terms of the democratic process, again, we are going to delay the process of petitions. That is because we cannot put up the Interim Independent Electoral Commission because of different interests that do not always take into account those Kenyans and constituents that are not likely to have Members of Parliament who have petitions against them. Action cannot be taken in that regard because we were not able to take those decisions.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would disagree with the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs when he says that he is very proud of the quality and reform-mindedness of this Parliament. There are many reasons for us to worry about the quality of debate in terms of Members of Parliament coming up with very strong accusations and information that they cannot substantiate---
In terms of lack of tolerance, Members of Parliament are making points that you do not agree with. In terms of unnecessary interruptions, there are frivolous points of orders, hon. Members are taking part in and tribal positions as opposed to addressing issues. In some cases, even some hon. Members have been threatened that if you vote in a certain way, you are going to see the consequences. Those threats sometimes find their way to constituencies and the people that certain hon. Members represent.
I think we need to reflect about that and really ask questions why we have not done any reforms and the quality and content of the debate that we have seen in the last few months is wanting.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like, also, to speak on the crisis of confidence, not just with Members of Parliament, but with Kenyans generally. That is reflected in our newspapers. There are major catastrophes in this country, problems of corruption and tribalism. I just want to say that we entrusted the two Principals with the business of making key decisions. I think it is important for them to take leadership and make decisions that are necessary. Sometimes, we lack the courage because they are there representing various parties in the Coalition.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are also issues of lack of checks and balances. The more we debate and pass Bills in this Parliament, the more difficult for us to address certain issues, the more we agree with those who say we need a Grand Opposition. Unless, there are people who are able to oppose certain decisions to ensure that none of the participants in the Coalition, especially the key players are touched, it is going to be very difficult for us to initiate the reforms that we would like to see.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate those who have taken the bull by the horn such as hon. Khalwale and company, to sometimes come up with Motions that are not so popular. That is because they have a belief and a commitment to ensure that certain reforms or actions are taken against the wrongs that we see in this society. It is very unfortunate, sometimes, that people who have come up that way have been accused of being sponsored. It is never a question of being sponsored when you see a majority of the people vote in a certain way. We must have those questions on both sides and support those of us who have the courage to be different from the tide and urge them to continue to make comments that many of us do not want to listen to. Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion. In this country, we have learnt one thing; to hate our country. This has become a disease. We do not see anything good coming from the Government, your Member of Parliament or whatever parastatal. At this rate, we will have no country. We must remember that east or west, home is best.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the biggest culprits are actually the Government Ministers. There is something called collective responsibility. If the Government Ministers stood together to defend the Government and not to do the work of the Back Bench; criticising it--- You will remember that a while ago, a Member who had just been appointed for the first time to Parliament and got very lucky to be a Minister, was not very happy with the appointment of diplomats. She called a Press conference to criticise her own boss. We have also seen other Ministers criticising fellow Ministers. You wonder why there are Cabinet meetings. If it were the days of the founding father of this nation, those Ministers would have been caned. If it were the days of the second President, those Ministers would not be holding office. I agree that times have changed, but there should be collective responsibility. The Government must stand together. If you bash yourselves, then do not blame anybody if you are kicked out of Government. We are very ready to take over.
In 2002, the current President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Minister for Water and Irrigation, passed by my constituency. I was running a very small party called SDP and was just about to win the General Elections. They came during the last three days and these were the words they told people in my constituency: "You elect us. We will ensure that there will be no relief food, but water for irrigation." It was amazing because the President himself was speaking in Kikamba, when it came to that issue of relief food. Likewise, the Prime Minister himself had learnt those words; "elect us and it will be kiw'u and not mwolyo ." Whatever went on after the elections was understandable.
I am told there were issues of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and so on. But this time round we have the same President, Vice-President and Prime Minister who passed through my constituency. What happened? I was given Kshs2.2 million for irrigation in the whole district. I was lucky this Sunday to host the President in my constituency and reminded him. So, I am glad that we are going on recess, hoping that since it is Budget time, we will be given more money for irrigation. If we can approve Kshs7 billion for importation of relief food, why not approve Kshs7 billion for irrigation?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to talk about Nairobi Metropolis. The idea was very good. It kicked off very well, but now it has become a joke. If you are from Wajir and you request the Minister that you want to be part of Nairobi Metropolis, he will put you under it. How far is Wajir? The same applies if you are from the far end of Laikipia and want to join Nairobi Metropolis. The idea is good, but it must be something that will be seen to be serious and not a joke. I understand that people from Isinya do not want it because it looks like a joke. What we expected of Nairobi
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Metropolis is to extend the boundaries, maybe by 50 kilometres or up to Machakos, but not converting Yatta and Mbooni into Nairobi Metropolis. We are not serious!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to talk about Mombasa Road. I hope the Ministry of Roads will have the opportunity to visit Mombasa Road. I was there this Saturday and it took me three hours from Mlolongo to Machakos Junction. The diversion is not maintained and the traffic congestion is too much. It is unforgivable! The Minister must move to the site. That issue has come to this House before. We are actually punishing those people. That is the lifeline of this country and also the neighbouring countries.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) Board has turned into another animal, if you want money from it. The Board has converted itself into the Executive. If I want money now, I am told the Board will sit next month. If there is an emergency in my constituency, I am told that I have to wait until the Board meets.
I beg to support this Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. I do know that all Members of Parliament are really worn out because we have had a long spell in Parliament. We just went on Christmas recess and came back.
As we go on recess, we know that there are serious issues that are facing the country to the extent that we, as leadership, both Parliament and Executive, are being seen by our citizenry as people who are not working.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that due to the problems that we have gone through, we all need to hold together and ensure that as we go out, as leaders, we can continue to give hope to our people. Things may be very bad at the moment, but it is up to us, as leaders, to go out there and preach not only peace but hope and, indeed, tell people what we are doing and not just what the Government is not doing. This is because each Member of Parliament is controlling a certain amount of money from the Exchequer through CDF, Local Authorities Transfer Fund (LATF), roads and others. Therefore, with that amount of money that is going to every constituency we, as Members of Parliament, need to see that these funds are properly co-ordinated and ensure that we can show results for what these money is doing.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, indeed, I think one of the things that we have lacked in every constituency, is ensuring that this money is properly monitored, and even put in place some evaluation teams to show what this money is doing at the end of the day. Quite honestly, it defeats me to know that we have got much more money going to the constituencies and, yet, we can hardly feel - especially Members from the Opposition side. They need to start learning and stand up and say, "thank you," to the Government that has put so much resources in place. They must not complain all the time. Their time will come to be in Government, if they are lucky, although I do not think that it is going to be soon.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that we, the Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitutional Review have been almost condemned. But I would like to ask hon. Members not to judge us so harshly. I know that we should have brought a list that would have been accepted, but it is also very healthy that we brought a list that Members of Parliament were able to look through and, indeed, criticize and take us back to look through it and see what else can be done. We all know what we went through.
So, I think it is healthy that we, hon. Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), can go back and think through that list again. For the hon. Member who wants to get us disbanded, I want to assure him that he cannot get a better team than us. All of us in the team do not have to agree; we have our individual opinions, and once those opinions have been crystallised, we will give you a team that will lead this country through the next general election. Let us not be in a hurry! Had we known that what we saw in January last year was going to happen, we would never have done what Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to support the Motion. I am one of the legislators who feel that they should go back to their constituents, but many questions keep striking my mind. I still have Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who need to be settled. But the question they ask is why they are in the camps. You will realise that this is a planting season; they are farmers and they also need to contribute something through farming. They want to have income to educate their children. I feel that the Government should seriously look at the issue of IDPs and resettle them. I still have IDPs at the Eldoret Showground. You will realise that the ASK organises occasions where farmers can be educated. But how can farmers be educated if they cannot attend an ASK show for the second time in Eldoret? We need to have resettlement of the IDPs, so as to create room for the ASK show, where farmers can be educated. You will realise that this is one of the reasons why we have a food crisis. This is a very serious issue. People require food on their tables. When I go back to my constituency--- I know that it is a very high potential area, but why has the Government not prioritised funding of this sector? The question I always ponder over is why the Government cannot put money in productive areas like Uasin Gishu? Where I come from is a very productive area. We can feed the whole of this country if we put in more money, and support farmers in the North Rift and other productive areas. Why can the Government not put in more resources to support farmers? Farmers have been taking to the streets demanding better prices for their produce. They sometimes do not even have money to buy fertilizers or other inputs. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a serious issue, and the Government should look at the issue of farmers, because they feed the nation. I do not see why we should import food, yet we have farmers who can still produce the same food we are importing. The Government should look at prioritising. It should direct more funding to this sector. It should look at the areas that are productive and produce food for the hungry Kenyans. I feel hurt when I know there are Kenyans without food and they ask themselves why they do not have food. We also have farmers asking the same Government why they cannot be supported with subsidies to make inputs affordable. If the Government is serious, why can it not, at least, provide even free fertilisers to those farmers? Why should they buy inputs at high prices? Is the Government serious? As a legislator from that area, I feel that if we prioritise the issues in this country, we will have a better country. I think we have people who can make this country better.
There are issues about teachers. They contribute by teaching children, and they also require
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food and better services. But if we politicise the issue of teachers, where are we heading? Teachers are very important! They contribute a lot in bringing up better citizens in this country. I feel that we should listen to them. This is a part of our society that should be listened to and given more resources.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, I find that this is high time we came together, forgot our differences and made this country one that Kenyans out there can be proud of. If we forget our ethnic or political differences, this country will rely on us to provide better leadership. It is important for all of us to go back and preach peace, and nothing but peace.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir; I beg to support the Motion.
As I support this Motion, I wish to take note of a Question that was on the Floor of this House today on the issue of farmers' arrears in Chemilil Sugar Company (CSC). An excuse was given by the Minister for Agriculture that because of burnt cane during the crisis that we had after the elections, that company cannot pay farmers. Other sugar milling companies also had similar problems, but they are still paying farmers. That company must tell the Government the truth about why it is not paying farmers. It is paying contractors, harvesters and those who weed the sugar-cane, suppliers, transporters and employees. Why are farmers the only people who have been left out? If there were those problems, then they should affect everybody. Why is it that only farmers are affected?
I wish to request the Minister for Agriculture, and the Kenya Sugar Board (KSB), to look into that issue. That is in my constituency and farmers there are affected. In fact, even Muhoroni Sugar Company (MSC) has some arrears for farmers, but Chemelil is worse, because it has been keeping money for farmers for the last eight months, yet it is milling, selling sugar and paying employees and other people.
The Minister for Agriculture should tell us the truth. The sugar industry should not be politicised in the way it was done during the Moi time. During that time, farmers and other stakeholders were not paid. I think what they are trying to do is the same thing that Moi did. We shall not accept it.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country must not be forgiven for importing food. Why should we subsidise imported food? Why can we not subsidise production of food in this country? Good governments subsidise production of their own food. When we subsidise importation of food, we are actually subsidising the production of food in those other countries. Why should we do that?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have got the brains. This country has some of the best agriculture schools. We have a very good agriculture school in the University of Nairobi.
The graduates who come out of Egerton University, Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology are the best in the area of agriculture. Some of them are now working in other countries. We are not using them to help this country simply because we do not want to do things right.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, irrigation is the way to go today. All the major irrigation projects that we have in this country, namely, Ahero Irrigation Scheme, West Kano Irrigation Scheme, Bunyala Irrigation Scheme and Mwea Irrigation Scheme, were implemented by Jomo Kenyatta. What did Moi do? He did not leave behind any major irrigation project. We had the NARC Government. We now have the Grand Coalition Government. The Grand Coalition Government should make a difference by doing similar things as Jomo Kenyatta. Jomo Kenyatta left behind major irrigation projects for this country.
We have a lot of rice which will be harvested from my constituency. Irrigation is a very simple technology. It was started by the Egyptians and people in the Arab world a long time ago. Irrigation is not a modern technology. It is a technology that has been with us for several centuries. All we need to Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for recognising my presence. I stand to support this Motion on account of the good work that Members of Parliament have done. I know we are exhausted. However, I want to associate myself with the very good output from the Tenth Parliament in terms of legislation. Just like human beings have their ups and downs, this Parliament has also had its good and bad times. We should proceed to recess, sit down and reflect to see what we have done in terms of legislation.
I would like to speak on the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). My constituency was home to over 16,000 IDPs. Up to now, these IDPs have not fully been re-settled. Even where there has been good efforts to try and re-settle them, there are emerging problems, which are connected with their displacement from their original places. They lack proper schools for their children. They also lack shelter, food and even direction and assistance from Government.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of IDPs has been with us for a long time. It is a pity that one year down the line, we are still far from satisfying them. These people were displaced because of exercising their democratic rights. I would suggest that we put aside the programmes that are not of urgent nature, so that we re-settle and uplift the lives of the IDPs in various camps throughout the country. We must consider the plight of children in these camps because they are not able to go to school.
The other day, I received an e-mail with the examination results of Standard Eight children from IDPs, who scored between 380 to 480 marks. They are now unable to join secondary school because they have no money. Reflecting on why they are in that situation, I think it is only fair that the Government chips in to try and alleviate those kinds of problems.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to touch on the issue of the food crisis that we have. It is of no doubt that we know that Kenyans have relied very much on maize as a source of starch. It is high time that the Ministry of Agriculture came up with programmes that will make our people depend on other foodstuffs. They can grow cassava, potatoes, among other crops.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Government should also enhance its strategic food reserves from these kinds of crops. We should no longer discuss maize so passionately as if it is the only foodstuff we have to take in order to remain alive. I want to believe that if the Government looks into this aspect, we will be doing very well.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me touch on the issue of extra-judicial killings, which has been the pet subject of the country as of now. I really appreciate the fact that the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur is in Kenya. I am among the people who are hoping against hope that the recommendations that will come from this person will be embraced by the Government with a view to implementing them. It is very sad that one day after I introduced the Motion, I received threats. It was not good. I hope this country will not go through that kind of thing.
With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also stand to support this Motion for Adjournment.
First of all, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Government for good work it
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has done over the last one year and few months. I have lived in Nairobi for more than 20 years. I know that when President Kibaki took over, Nairobi looked like a small village you could not trace. There were street lights. The roads had been completely worn out. There were no trees. However, now there is a great change in those areas.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in my constituency, I have a district hospital and, for the first time, I want to say that the patients in my constituency and in the casualty waiting area can sit down and watch television. Things have improved, just but to touch a few.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, roads are being constructed and that is the effort of the President that we have today. If this Grand Coalition would have followed suit, and looked at the issues that concern the people of this country and work like the Government of the last five years, this country would be completely different.
Once again, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country is captive of three major issues. One of them is corruption, the other one is tribalism and the other one is lack of food. We are in a very serious situation because this country cannot feed its citizens! A lot has been said here. Every time we have shortage of food, the Government is very fast to raise funds to buy food. Those funds are in billions of shillings!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the acreage that we have in Eastern Province alone, being a very fertile area, is enough to feed this country. If the water that flows through Tana River and Athi River can be contained and given to the farmers in this country and, more so, in Eastern Province, it would be good. First of all, to start with, that province alone is capable of feeding this country!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also Central Province which has very hard working Kenyans! The only thing they lack is water. I would suggest to the Government that, instead of waiting to spend Kshs10 billion or Kshs15 billion or Kshs20 billion to give Kenyans relief food in the coming years, it is time now the Government should use those resources to get water to the people to do irrigation in this country. Rwanda and Burundi are smaller than Eastern Province by size and yet, we do not hear what we are facing in this country happening there. The population is growing and there is no way that this Government, or whichever Government will be in power, will be able to feed the citizens of this country by importing food.
On the issue of corruption, we are going on recess now. I want to ask the Government, through the concerned Ministry, to facilitate quickly and complete the investigations on the maize scandal in this country. We are going back to the public, who are going without food. They want to know exactly what has happened with the food in this country. What has happened with the maize that was bought with their money! They are the people who pay taxes outside there and yet, they cannot be given enough food.
I want to ask the person involved and, more so, Justice Ringera, to complete those investigations so that by the time we come back to this House, we want to know the people who are involved, so that they can be shown the door! President Kibaki should be given the names of those people in total and full commitment, so that he can show them the door.
The other day, he was asked to stop the bus and kick out the pick-pockets who were pretending to be conductors and yet, actually, they were pick-pocketing the passengers they are supposed to protect! So, we want the issue of corruption to be dealt with immediately and with all the seriousness!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, tribalism in this country is a disease that will bring this country down. It will stop the development of this country! The reason I am saying that is because the other day, we were recalled to this House to come and set up a Parliamentary Select Committee that will be tasked with the issue of forming the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC). We had nine names here but, because of tribalism, everybody was trying to look at "who is going there to represent me? Who comes from my community? Who is his mother? Who, actually, is the mother of Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Proceed, hon. Lucas Chepkitony!
Thank you very much for recognising me. I wish to say that I support the Motion because I think we have overstayed in Parliament and it is time we went back to our constituencies to contribute to their development.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, from the outset, I want to talk about agriculture. Many hon. Members have talked about agriculture and they have given very good ideas. I think this country does not lack ideas. We are full of good ideas on what should be done to have sufficient food and have our economy performing. We should also grow other crops in the country to support the local economy.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think one thing which has happened in this country is that there has been neglect of the agricultural sector by the Government over the last ten years. There has been no proper attention given to agricultural policies in order for agriculture to perform the way it should. A lot of people have talked about lack of food. We have a shortage of food because of the failure to adhere to the right policies to support agricultural production. So, there is lack of agricultural production because of various issues. One of them being the high cost of inputs like fertilisers, fuel and agricultural chemicals and to some extent the seed prices.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, because of these high costs, farmers are not able to get enough money to buy these inputs. So, the main constraint is lack of agricultural credit to the farmer. If the Government can facilitate enough credit through the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) so that the farmers can access credit easily in order to enable them buy the necessary inputs, I do not see any problem in food production. The production areas last year were able to get enough rain but because the farmers did not buy sufficient inputs, they were not able to cultivate enough land and apply the right amount of fertilisers to yield the required good production.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another problem we have in the country is the high cost of fuel. Petroleum products are so expensive. The world price of crude oil is about US$36 per barrel and yet the price of diesel is over Kshs70 and petrol price is still very high. It is as if the price of crude oil is about US$70 per barrel. So, something must be done to bring down the cost of fuel. I think the cost of fuel is not coming down because of cartels in the oil companies. The Government promised to control the prices but they were unable to do it because of the advice from the National Social and Economic Council which I think was miscalculated because the behaviour of the oil companies is not the proper one to support the economy.
So, the Government should still pursue that policy of regulating the prices. We should move out of liberalisation because the oil companies are unable to respond to the low crude oil prices in the world market. This high prices of petroleum is affecting not only agriculture but all other industries. Our industries are not performing well. There is high cost of electricity which is affecting the industries. The tariffs for electricity are very high when compared with other countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (COMESA) and East African regions. Our industrial products are unable to compete effectively with other products from the other countries in the COMESA region. There is danger that our industries are going to close or relocate elsewhere.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about the CDF which is a very important fund to Members of Parliament. The disbursement of money from the CDF has been very slow and behind schedule. At the moment, they are disbursing about one quarter of the amount and
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yet we are almost three quarter way in the financial year. We requested the money a few months ago, that is, last year, but we have only been given one quarter of the amount. I would like to urge the Government to disburse the money.
I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to congratulate the Chair. Also, I would like to thank the Government for the efforts it has put in assisting the IDPs in Rift Valley Province and particularly in my constituency; that is, Molo. I know what we went through. I take this opportunity to thank the Government.
However, there is still a lot that needs to be done. People in Molo Constituency are still in IDP camps and transitional camps. They are waiting to be resettled in their farms. They are still waiting for the Government to honour its promise. Now it is almost one year since these people were uprooted from their original homes. I am so much worried and concerned that these people are suffering. They are waiting for assistance from the Government. I would like to request hon. Members that as we break to go to our respective constituencies, let us ask ourselves what kind of leadership we are portraying to the nation. This is because Kenyans believe that the Government has not performed as per their expectations. No wonder wherever you go, you will hear people complaining about hunger, corruption and many other problems.
My major concern is that we, leaders, are the ones who have caused this mess and I am not ashamed to say this. Wananchi elected us to be their representatives here and yet we have failed them. My appeal to my colleagues is that as we go out, first of all, let us preach peace because we are the ones who created this mess and we are the only ones who can bring back peace. If we are not very careful, this nation, although God loves us a lot, perhaps, we shall come to regret why we were even elected to be Members of Parliament.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to appeal to the church leaders. They have also failed in their responsibilities as church leaders. We do not have enough courageous leaders who can speak out the truth to the nation and the two principals and tell them what is destroying this nation.
I appeal to church leaders to also wake up and speak their mind. They have a message to deliver about peace in this mission.
When it comes to food production, I am very much worried. I come from a very productive area but, as we speak now, there are some people whose harvest is in the stores, yet they do not have anywhere to sell it, while people in other places are dying of hunger. We have food, especially maize and wheat, which is rotting in stores, because people do not have access to markets. All the Nakuru National Cereals and Produce Board buying centres were closed. As I conclude, my appeal is that we go out and preach peace.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Motion. First, I would like to commend the Chair for the way it has been running the affairs of Parliament.
I would also like to register some disappointment with the way some of the Ministers have been contradicting themselves in public. Just last weekend, some Ministers, who had participated in that big ceremony that was held at the Kenya International Conference Centre (KICC) to launch the Nairobi Metropolitan Development plan, went to Kitengela to disown the same function they had attended at the KICC. I expected Ministers to discuss such issues in the Cabinet, but not in public. Such behaviour leaves our population in a very confused state. Right now, if you go around Nairobi, you will learn so many people are wondering what will happen to the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development. Some of its policies were initially supported by the Ministers, who were denouncing it last weekend. In future, I expect that Ministers will own up to their statements and stick by them, and if they change their mind, then they should talk about it in the Cabinet.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have had some serious problems of water supply in the whole of Nairobi. In Embakasi, particularly, we have had some serious water rationing. The Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Hon. Members, if each of you can take two to three minutes, I think there will be enough time for everybody.
Mr. Njuguna, please, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will take two minutes only.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the President of this nation for creating the new districts. With the creation of the new districts, I would imagine that the necessary funds will be released to spur development in these areas. This can also be done by sending adequate personnel and even vehicles for these people.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Leader of Government Business and his deputy for conducting the business of this House in a very noble manner.
Finally, I wish to urge the Government to take special precaution on the security of our nation. They should improve the security on our border points, our waters and in Lake Victoria. Nobody should think of taking an inch of our land without being faced courageously by our security forces.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Very good! Hon. Members, if each of you take two to three minutes, I think there will be enough time for everybody.
Dr. Eseli, please, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to reluctantly support this Motion for Adjournment. I do this reluctantly because I realise that Members need a break. I hope that we will use this break to reflect ourselves deeply, check our conscience, see whether we have served this country well, whether whatever actions we have taken have been for the betterment of this country; not influenced by tribal considerations, partisan considerations or in any other way including monetary. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is important that we reflect as we go home for recess because as I talk, hunger is ravaging this country. We are a nation that has failed to feed our people. Parliament is part of the Government and I think we should reflect and see where we have failed.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the first thing we did when Mr. Obama became President was to ask him for a loan to buy maize. We celebrated when a desert country like Egypt brought us food. What a shame! We should reflect and learn. Now that we have been running with the wolves, hunting with the wolves, are we going home to run with the hare? I fear that probably our conduct
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here, and especially the manner in which we voted in this House, probably we voted and won in this House but lost the country in the process.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Motion.
As other speakers have said, as we go on recess, I want us to reflect because we are faced by major challenges as a country. Not only do we have major unemployment, poverty and a huge drought that covers most of the country, but we have also weakened our institutions. Tribalism is raising its ugly head very high. I want us to reflect on a concept in which whatever interest we have, we must pass it through a test called: "Kenya First". I am saying that because the way we are going, we need to put a break to the usual politics, take the time out and really think--- Every individual first before you even talk about anybody else. We must ask ourselves what is it that we are dealing with about putting Kenya first, and begin to respect our institutions. We had a major tragedy--- That is an example of how, in my view, we have weakened our institutions. We had a lorry that overturned and killed many people. A week later, another lorry overturned. We needed a contingent of police to stop people from stealing while, 15 years ago, a single unarmed policeman would have told people not go there, and they would have obeyed. So, we have pushed all our institutions to a level where we do not trust them any more. Therefore, I think Parliament is in the best place to take that responsibility and lead Kenyans to where they will reflect and say: "We were in a bad place early last year and we need to take this country forward."
Thank you and I beg to support the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the Motion before the House.
The most important thing is that, as we go home, we should not forget the issue of IDPs, fire victims, famine and drought, and the just concluded "The Kenya we Want Conference". It is for us, the political leaders, to try our best to give our citizens the Kenya they want. The most important issue is the assurance of food security and zero tolerance to corruption. We should try to improve our economy. We should create more jobs for our graduates. We should also not forget giving our pensioners their dues in time. We should not wait until they die.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another important issue is about price controls. I think we have heard from some of the Members that Parliament needs to adjust and proceed to issue price controls to some important items such as fuel, food and medicine. We should have price controls for those three items. The recess should be a wake up call for all of us.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. I hope that, as we go home, we will use this time to remember where we came from in January, 2008, and the many challenges that are facing us, as leaders.
We really need to be more positive about the issues affecting our people more than we have been. We have to work very hard to win back the confidence of Kenyans. Kenyans need to have confidence in our Parliament and in our leadership. The only way we can do that is to begin to react more positively to the issues that are bedeviling this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, of great concern is the issue of food security. I hope that, after what we have gone through for the last four or five months, we will be able to realise that we cannot be always fire-fighting calamities that come, whether natural or otherwise. We need to consciously plan for things that will help this country beyond the famine. In particular, I hope that Members of Parliament will push for more money to be allocated to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, to cater for irrigation, because that surely is the way to go, when we look at the issue of climate change and the fact that we may not have adequate rain in the future. We must put much more Fe bruary 24, 2009 PARLIAMENTAR Y DEBATES
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Motion.
I would like to say that God is watching this country because we have the IDPs and these are the people who would have been victims under the Tribunal that we refused to set up. These are the victims who would be witnesses if we were going to try the violators of our peace last year.
Again, God is watching those Kenyans who stole our maize and those ones who are bragging that they made Kshs85 million. Those Kenyans who have put this money in the bank must remember that God is watching and he is going to punish them, possibly in our lifetime because people are suffering.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to say that God is watching those of us who have taken advantage of being elected to Parliament and becoming Ministers, and thereby become corrupt, and seek to violate the standards of good governance.
I also want to say that I feel embarrassed that we are adjourning without having set up an Interim Independent Electoral Commission. We are yet again, playing roulette with our Kenyan people.
I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am very reluctant to support this Motion. As a matter of fact, I was debating whether I was going to oppose it. We were called four weeks ago to attend to matters of national importance. But what we have ended up with is a disaster. We have gone from one disaster to another. We have come across the maize and fuel scandals. I do not know what other scandals are coming. The situation is that politics has taken over. What should have been a committee--- We had elected this committee to come up with some names, but we find the same committee breaking up. There is a lot of dirty politics. This is politics of political survival and not development.
I think many of us are going to answer to our God about what we have done today and these four weeks. I go a very sad person. I have spent four weeks here. I was to go somewhere for a medical check up but I refused to do so. I missed that medical check up because I felt it was important to be here.
I sadly and reluctantly support this Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first I want to thank your office for the good work you have done, especially for the new Members of Parliament that joined the Tenth Parliament. You have given us enough time to learn and actually know what is going on. I also do not envy your work, because sometimes it is very difficult to know all these Members by name.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a problem about teachers which I want to raise here. Teachers are doing this country a big service, but you will sometimes find that we are not really appreciating what they are doing.
We have heard some reports that the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is about to be disbanded, because when you talk of head teachers, deputies and senior teachers not joining that Union, what is the Government up to? Since the inception of the KNUT, we have never had this problem. That is an issue that I want to raise.
Food has been talked about, and I do not want to repeat it; we have to do irrigation in Kenya.
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Rain-fed food production will not help this country.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, and thank you to colleagues, who have been very considerate in terms of time.
I want to support the Motion. We need time to go and reflect on the happenings in this Parliament after we came back earlier than we have been doing in the past, so that we could look after the interests of Kenyans; what has happened has left a lot to be desired. I hope that during the recess, we, as the people's representatives, will take stock of our actions and see whether we truly represent the people, or our own interests. Even on the aborted constitution of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya (IIECK), we need to reflect, because what has really fouled the process is not the process through which we nominated the names we brought to Parliament, but was partisan political interests. Let us reflect, and I plead that we act in the interests of the nation.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand to support the nation. I would urge the Government that we have very nice policies; I would urge it to implement sound policies since we talk of hunger and so many things, but there are policies that are not followed by the Government. So, if the Government implements policies such on the Nairobi Metropolitan development, agriculture and water. I know we would have a bright future in Kenya.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, it is now time for the adjournment of the House. The House is, therefore, adjourned sine die .
The House rose at 6.37 p.m.