Hon. Members, I have the following Communication to make:-
The launch of the Women Enterprise Fund that was scheduled to take place tomorrow, 22nd May, 2009, has been rescheduled, and will now be held on Tuesday 26th May, 2009 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) Grounds beginning from 10.00 a.m. The ceremony will be presided over by His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya, hon. Mwai Kibaki.
The hon. Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development has kindly extended an invitation to all hon. Members. I, therefore, appeal to Members to attend that important national occasion to launch the Women Enterprise Fund.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Energy the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Could the Minister explain the cause of the heavy power supply fluctuations at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), which has adversely affected services at the facility over the last 24 hours?
(b) What urgent action is he taking to ensure that there is adequate and smooth supply of electricity to such important facilities and the country at large?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have just received communication from hon. Mahamud, who is supposed to respond to this Question, that he is on the way coming. So, he has requested that we give him a bit of time.
Fair enough! Order hon. Members! We shall leave that Question in abeyance and revisit it later on if we have time.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation: (a) why the normal water supply to Machakos Town is no longer available, thereby causing the residents to experience a severe water shortage; and, (b) when the construction of Maruba Dam will be completed and what stopgap steps the Ministry has taken to restore the water supply to the residents as they await the completion of the dam.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) Machakos Town has two sources of water, namely, Nol Turesh Pipeline and the Maruba Dam. The normal water supply to the town was disrupted from 24th February to 10th April, 2009, due to a breakdown of a pumping unit at Kima Pumping Station on the Nol Turesh Pipeline. The pumping unit is a high duty specialized type that is not available locally and had to be imported from France. My Ministry spent Kshs8 million to replace the pumping unit and restore the normal water supply. During the disruption, we availed a water bowser to supply water to the residents as a stopgap measure. (b) Rehabilitation of Maruba Dam comprises of raising up of the dam embankment to increase storage, rehabilitation of spillway, expansion of the treatment works and rehabilitation of the trunk pipeline. Raising of the dam embankment and the rehabilitation of the spillway are scheduled to be completed within the next Financial Year, 2009/2010, at a cost of an extra Kshs100 million. The project is scheduled, therefore, to be commissioned by the end of October, 2010. The rehabilitation works are being undertaken with minimum disruptions to water supply to Machakos.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I really want to thank the Minister for that very good answer, and for minding about the welfare of the residents of Machakos Town. However, since we anticipate a constant supply of water immediately the Maruba Dam is completed, I would like the Minister to tell us whether there are any plans to improve the sewer treatment and the sewer line in Machakos Town.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am pleased that the hon. Member is happy with the work that we are doing in Machakos. I believe the residents of Machakos Town are also going to be happy very soon. We are going to look for resources to improve the sewerage. We are also going to look for funds to do more works. There is another dam that has to be done in Machakos called Miwongoni, and that requires extra money. We are going to look for resources to do that.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Minister what she is doing in other places like Nairobi, especially in Nairobi Dam Estate, where water has been missing. The Nairobi Water Company has said that it is rationing water. There has not been any water rationing in Nairobi for quite sometime.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am aware that there is water rationing. We will continue to ration water. That is because we have had very poor rains this year. In fact,
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to find out from the Minister whether, indeed, she is aware that the entire North Eastern Province is currently going through a serious crisis of water. What might have happened of the funds that were released by the Treasury to mitigate that particular crisis in the province?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am aware that North Eastern Province is going through a very difficult time due to the long drought that has affected the whole country. However, recently, I disbursed some water bowsers to North Eastern Province. I know that some areas in the province, for instance Mandera West, now have adequate water. We need to distribute the water that we have been able to drill to some of the places. I am aware and I am putting more resources in those areas.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, sometimes, does have a genuine shortage of funding. I want to ask the Minister whether she could consider, in small towns like Garsen, mapping out plans, so that those of us who are able to source for extra funding, can drill dams in those places and put up sewerage systems. Is she able to do that for us?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, over the years, we have never had a serious water masterplan in the country. It is the first time that we are putting up a national water strategic plan, including looking at the proposals that hon. Members are making. In fact, this time, we have factored in some money to do just that. We need to check on the areas where such proposals can work.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Minister to tell us whether she is aware that there exist some cartels in Machakos Town where people fetch water from the pipeline and vend it to the consumers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yes, I am aware. Indeed, I personally visited some of those people who have put up huge water storage tanks. Indeed, instead of water going to the residents, they divert it into their huge storage tanks. Then they sell it to the residents at very exorbitant prices. I stopped that and withdrew the licences that they had been given. I want to ask the hon. Member that if he knows somebody who is doing that, he should bring that person to our attention and we are going to deal with him or her.
asked the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources: - (a) whether he is aware of the airing of a damaging documentary on Kenya in international media on 14th April 2009 by CBS, a television network in USA, regarding death of lions in a Kenyan park;
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me first of all apologise for yesterday morning. This Question was on the Order Paper but, as I have subsequently explained to the Chair, this Question has three elements. It has the issue of animals. There is the allegation about animals having died. It also has an element of a chemical that is alleged to have killed lions. It also raises the question of the image of the country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, none of these issues is in my docket. I have written to the Chair this morning and he knows that I have had discussions with the Minister in charge of animals. I have also given a copy of the letter to the Member. The Minister has agreed to deal with the Question. However, I do not know how he will deal with the second and third elements. Chemicals fall under the Ministry of Agriculture. There is a Board in the Ministry of Agriculture that controls pest products. There we are. I am sure the Question will be answered accordingly.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, would I be in order to refer this Question to the Prime Minister so that he can answer it?
You will be out of order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, ---
Order, Mr. Mututho! What you are supposed to do is so simple! Just indicate if the Chair has your concurrence that this Question be referred to the relevant Ministry! Do you concur?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I concur that---
John! Order, Mr. Mututho! Do not make issues out of non-events! You want an answer and this Question has been referred to the relevant Ministry. So, wait for the answer! If for any reason the answer is not satisfactory and you think it should be referred to some other office, including that of the Prime Minister, then you will say so at the opportune time. Let us use our time optimally!
Much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you John! I want to urge Members of the Cabinet to emulate the good example set by the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources, Mr. John Michuki!
When he was not able to be present timeously to answer a question yesterday, the Minister took it upon himself to immediately communicate with the Speaker as to why he was not able. He then followed it up in writing. If we can all be as dutiful as that, we would be moving in the right direction. This Question is deferred to Thursday next week! We will expect the Minister in charge of wildlife to deal with it then.
asked the Minister for Education: - (a) what the requirements and procedure for a public day school to convert to a boarding school are; and, (b) what action he is taking against former day schools that have converted into boarding schools without following the correct procedures. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have, however, not received the written reply.
The Minister for Education! The Minister is not here? Is there anybody holding brief for him?
Mrs. Charity Ngilu, you will convey the information to the Minister that he was not here to answer this Question and that, in accordance with our Standing Orders, that conduct is disorderly. So, we will not allow the Minister to transact any business in this House until an explanation, to the satisfaction of this House, is offered.
asked the Minister of State for Special Programmes: - (a) what measures she has put in place to mitigate the crisis resulting in the poor long rains and inadequate short rains that have caused severe drought; and, (b) whether she could outline the plans she has to increase relief food allocation in the area. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have also not got the written reply.
The Minister of State for Special Programmes! Is it business as usual once again?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will let her know.
The same sentiments as I have conveyed on behalf of the House with respect to the Minister for Education shall apply to the Minister of State for Special Programmes. Please, let her know!
asked the Minister for Lands: - (a) why the Government has not issued Title Deeds to landowners in Chebyuk Settlement Scheme (Phase I and II) who have occupied the land for 24 years; and, (b) when he plans to issue the document.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg the indulgence of the House because the answer I have is not satisfactory. I have discussed with the Member and we have agreed that I go and bring the right answer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Thursday next week.
Mr. Kapondi, are you in agreement?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I totally concur with the Assistant Minister that he should come with a proper answer.
The Question is, therefore, deferred to Thursday next week!
Mr. Litole is not here? He did not give any explanation and, therefore, the Question is dropped!
asked the Minister for Roads what urgent affirmative action he plans for Tharaka District in terms of road network, considering that it is the only district in the larger Meru region without any tarmacked road.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I thank the Assistant Minister for the answer. However, Road C92, commonly called the Mate Road, serves quite a number of districts in that particular region. Only six kilometres of the road he has talked about as being to bitumen standard, serves the district called Tharaka. Could the Assistant Minister consider upgrading the whole road, which is an equivalent of 100 kilometres, from Ena where it starts, to the nerve centre of the region, which is Meru Town? This road can, at least, alleviate the problem of transport in that area.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have taken cognizance of the fact that Tharaka has a poor road network system. I may not be able to cover the 100 kilometres so desired by the Member, but I will do my best to make sure that he is well catered for in road maintenance and building.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will realize that all the miraa from Tharaka comes to Kamukunji, yet the road network in Kamukunji has been neglected for the last 15 years. What is the Assistant Minister doing to ensure that the road network in Kamukunji is fully developed?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, whereas that is a completely different Question, let me assure the hon. Member that I have not forgotten him.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Mombasa-Nairobi Road, at Mariakani, has become a black spot for Kenyans. Only last week two Kenyans were killed by lorries. Could the Assistant Minister arrange to erect permanent bumps or strips at the said site?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have always said that construction of bumps is not a policy in my Ministry, but I will look into the request and deal with it if it requires that. My only appeal is for Kenyans to be aware of accident spots. We are building good roads now, but not death traps. We intend to have safety on our roads, and that is why we are constructing them. Mariakani is one of the places where I have done a very good job, and I expect Kenyans to observe law and order while driving.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy with the attempt the Assistant Minister is making for this particular district. As you will realize, Tharaka is completely cut off from the rest of the larger Meru. I would like to hear from him whether he could consider the 19 kilometres from Ciakariga to Tharaka Headquarters at Marimanti. It is only 19 kilometres!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, whereas that is not in my current plan, I want the hon. Member to know that I have allocated, this financial year, Kshs51 million to routinely maintain the roads in his constituency. I am happy that he has very good roads and although not bitumenized, they are good roads for access to the area he is talking about.
asked the Minister for Industrialization:- (a) whether he could explain what became of the Kenya Industrial Estates and table the audited accounts since its inception; (b) whether he could provide an update on all the projects undertaken by the corporation to date; and (c) whether he could state what steps he is taking to return the corporation to optimal operation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was approached by the Assistant Minister who requested that we give him more time because he does not have a substantive answer. I have no problem with that for as long as he keeps his promise, and brings the answer next week on Wednesday.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You have realized that the Chair reprimands Ministers who do not come on time to answer Questions. I thought that you would also extend the same to hon. Members who do not report here in time to ask their Questions.
Yes, we are extending the same treatment to both sides. I do not envisage a greater punishment than dropping a Question. That is punishment more than, perhaps, the punishment that is meted out to the Cabinet.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is realized that when hon. Members go on official engagements, particularly when the Speaker himself clears hon. Members to attend matters that concern Parliamentary work, Mr. Speaker would be well informed. In the case of Mr. Bahari, he has gone to attend the Pan African Parliament Session.
Order, Mr. Affey! If you have an explanation as to why Mr. Bahari was not here to ask his Question, then you are guilty of a concept known as laches. You have come up too late to draw the attention of the Chair to the fact that Mr. Bahari has been assigned to attend to some duty which you ought to have done a lot earlier.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I imagined that the Chair is always aware!
Order, Mr. Affey! The Chair does not hear; the Chair does not see until its attention is drawn to the fact. At any rate, Mr. Affey, you should not even persist! You should not go beyond where you are because you are gravely out of order. We are
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to persist. I only stood up after the Assistant Minister complained about the absence of hon. Members who to ask Questions.
Order! Even if you did that, the explanation you are offering relates to whose absence?
That is why I cautioned you! Do not persist! We will accommodate and forgive you for the moment but, please, in future, bear in mind what the Chair may be saying. Question No.163 is deferred to Tuesday next week, and so is Question No.127.
We will now go back to the Question by Private Notice!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Energy the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Could the Minister could explain the cause of the heavy power supply fluctuations at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), which have adversely affected services at the facility over the last 24 hours? (b) What urgent action is he taking to ensure that there is adequate and smooth supply of electricity to such important facilities and the country at large?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware of any power supply fluctuations at the KNH. This is because the hospital is supplied with power primarily through Ngong Road feeder from Nairobi West Sub-Station and Hill II feeder from Cathedral Sub-Station. In the event of power failure from one sub-station, there is instantaneous auto changeover to the other feeder through a switch based at the hospital, and this is not noticeable at the user end.
In the rare event that the two feeders mentioned above are not available, power to the hospital is also provided through a second feeder from Nairobi West Sub-Station.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to state that I received the information about the problem at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) from the Director. The issue of power surges and outages is a very common phenomenon. I am happy to hear from the Assistant Minister that he has now instructed the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) engineers to look at the problem. However, I would like him to make a follow up, because it appears as if no action has been taken. Could the Assistant Minister give this House that assurance?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in fact, we were in touch with the hospital this morning. We were informed that the only disturbances at the hospital occurred on 3rd April, 2009, which lasted between 6.30 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. During the two incidents, the interruptions were caused by the supply of power through the Single- Phase instead of the normal Three-Phase connection. Since the KNH is a very important institution, I would like to assure the Member that we will follow up the issue with both the KPLC engineers and those at the KNH, to ensure that power supply is not interrupted.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, fluctuations of power at the KNH, just like all other hospitals in the country, is very risky because most of the machines in those hospitals are life-saving. Could the Assistant Minister tell this House the plans he has to end the monopoly enjoyed by the KPLC in the supply of electricity in the country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are no plans to have another power utility company in Kenya.
Last question, Mr. Chanzu!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, these power outages and disruptions more often than not damage equipment before the standby generators automatically switch on. Could the Assistant Minister assure this House that they will take responsibility for any damage caused to any equipment like computers?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will not take responsibility for any damage caused to equipment, but I assure the hon. Member that we will work with the KPLC and the KNH staff to ensure that the interruptions are minimised.
Question No.129 pertaining to the Minister of State for Special Programmes is deferred to Wednesday, next week! The Chair is aware that the Minister eventually came in before we came to the end of Question Time. However, the directions given still stand. Madam Minister, we will be expecting an explanation next week or earlier, before you transact any other business in the House.
There may be hon. Members who want to seek clarifications on this Statement on the census. Mr. Minister, please take notes. We will allow three hon. Members to seek clarifications. Yes, Dr. Kwalwale!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my experience in this House has been that, for example, in the crucial area of the CDF, the Minister has been using the statistics of the population census of 1999. Therefore, in the process, he has not been able to capture the different trends of population growth. We have certain parts of this country where the population growth is faster. Therefore, when we use the old figures of 1999 in factoring CDF, we end up shortchanging those areas. Could he clarify whether, upon completion of this exercise, there will be a special team that will do a continuos exercise that will inform us, so that, in future, the CDF does not use the figures of this year, but will also capture the changing trends? The last clarification has to do with special groups in this country. I have in mind the disabled and the squatters. Has he designed the census exercise such that it will be very clear on the squatters and the disabled? We want to know specifically how many squatters we have in this country. This is important because some people have become
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has just acknowledged that there exists boundary problems, both administrative and electoral in a number of areas in this country. While in the planning stage, could he consider alerting both enumerators and supervisors, who will be recruited, on the actual problems that exit on the ground, so that people can be allowed to register where they come from?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Planning stage in development issues is very key and important. What methodology or criteria has the Minister put in place to reach out to the pastoral communities of this country?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, recently, there has been a creation of several districts in this country. I want to know whether he will consider carrying out the census exercise according to those units.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know that we have a problem with our boundaries, both administrative and electoral. However, I asked the Minister whether he could allow people to counted wherever they are, instead of them going to their home districts?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Minister in order to mislead this House by telling us that the cartographic maps are taken by people while we know that they are taken by a satellite and in Kenya we do not have a satellite to be able to take those maps?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, considering that some areas are not accessible due to poor road network, could the Minister consider giving provision of using camels and donkeys as a mode of transport in those areas?
Order, Mr. Letimalo! That is not a point of order! All the same, I will allow the Minister to respond.
Mr. Minister, please proceed to the next Ministerial Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I had sought a clarification from the Minister on the earlier Ministerial Statement that he had made on whether he could consider doing census in line with the new districts that have been created.
Mr. Mwiru, you have raised that point of order too late because I have already asked the Minister to issue the next Ministerial Statement. Ensure that when you have a point of order, you raise it on time. You are already overtaken.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Mr. Linturi! We must make progress!
MEMBERSâ SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wanted to make a Ministerial Statement on the sensitization workshop on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that will start tomorrow in Mombasa. As you are aware, Kenya is a member of the United Nations (UN) and, therefore, being a member it is a signatory to the UN Millennium Declaration of 2000. Kenya pays
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This regards the ruling that you made last week on what constitutes proper dressing in this House. My friend, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Onyonka, in my view, is not dressed in conformity with the ruling that you made to this House last week. So, I seek your guidance on that matter.
He is dressed like a clown!
Order! Mr. Onyonka, do you have any reaction to that?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I interpreted your ruling to mean that this is reasonably accepted in the House. I am not sure whether I have broken the rules.
Mr. Onyonka, my ruling was clear on what constitutes decent dressing for both hon. Members who are male and those who are female. Among other things, we even cited the example of Mr. Shikuku who wore a top that had short sleeves and yours is similar. So, you are not properly dressed. I am afraid you will have to withdraw from the Chamber for the rest of this sitting. You can only return if you dress properly.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
If it is relating to the matter of dressing, no! If it is relating to the Ministerial Statement by Mr. Oparanya, yes but which one?
Regarding the other matter!
We have dealt with that and I have given my direction.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I just wanted to say that I had sought a Ministerial Statement---
Order, Mr. Chanzu! We have given the Minister time to issue a Ministerial Statement. So, wait for your time.
Proceed, Mr. Minister!
Do hon. Members want to seek any clarifications on that matter?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the issue raised by the Minister is very grave because it touches on the integrity of this House. I want to ask the Chair to make a ruling or institute some sanctions because there was an insinuation that Parliament was going to spend money in Mombasa to do nothing without the simple knowledge--- The notice where hon. Members were signing stated: âWorkshop Sponsored by UNDPâ
So, for an hon. Member to play âholier-than-thouâ--- We need to put this matter to rest! The hon. Member who is notorious for disparaging the Chair and this Parliament while he himself has a lot of things in his closet! So, we need your ruling and guidance because he is dishonest and he is not doing the right thing regarding the reputation of this House. He is Mr. Muthama!
Order, hon. Members! Indeed, the comments that were made by the hon. Member for Kangâundo are in the public domain. It is the view of the Chair that those comments were most unfortunate because all Kenyans and, indeed, all right thinking Members of Parliament are aware that Kenya belongs to the family of the United Nations (UN). We subscribe and contribute to the UN. If the UN offers to sponsor a program that will entail improving the capacity of Parliament, I thought we will receive that with joy and pleasure because we are only getting part of our share that is with the UN!
It is, therefore, surprising that the hon. Member should find reasons to disparage that very noble gesture on the part of the UN. The hon. Member should, therefore, note that if he had any concerns with respect to the workshop, then the best place to raise those concerns would have been in this House immediately after the communication was made. But that, notwithstanding, I am sure that the hon. Member will take note of those very strong sentiments that have been expressed by the Chair on behalf of the House and refrain from issuing statements that are not warranted; that have no justification; that have no anchoring in law, fact or otherwise.
As for hon. Midiwo, you have an office, as a joint Chief Whip. If you wish, you may want to refer this matter to the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Committee.
I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Proceed, Mr. Mbugua!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to---
Is that going to be a request for a Ministerial Statement?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Then we will have to wait and take a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security.
Yes, Mr. Letimalo? Just seek two clarifications, please. We have run out of time!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, from what I am getting from the Ministerâs Statement, he is actually confirming the presence of OLF rebels in Kenya. So, I would like to get a clarification from the Minister. How did those rebels enter Kenya without the knowledge of the Government?
Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, considering that those OLF rebels are actually approaching the borders of Samburu East, Isiolo North and Laisamis, and that where all the livestock from the three districts has converged to get water and pasture, what assurance is the Minister giving that the livestock, wildlife and the people who are taking their animals there are secure?
The Assistant Minister for Information and Communications!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to lay on the Table a comprehensive Report on the management and status of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). However, before I lay the Report on the Table, I would like to seek your indulgence to give the genesis on why I have come up with this Report.
Towards the end of the last Session of Parliament, while I was answering a Question by Mr. Mbadi, the Member for Gwasi Constituency, hon. Members raised very weighty issues on the management of the KBC; issues, I was not privy to as an Assistant Minister. I was taken aback and sought your indulgence to do a forensic audit of the KBC and lay a Report in this House. You ordered me to do this in the first quarter of this year. However, I would like to register my apology that it was not possible for me to do that
Order, Mr. Khaniri! Could you, now move to the end of your Statement?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is now my pleasure to table this particular Report. I was unable to make enough copies for all hon. Members, but I will deposit some copies at Room No.8
I will only allow two clarifications. Let us have Mr. Mbadi first because he is the one who led to this Statement being made.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, given the fact that I have not seen this Report and it is voluminous, I seek for your indulgence that I find time to go through it and, may be, use the correct channel to interrogate the Assistant Minister.
Fair enough. You will be furnished with a copy of the Report immediately this House rises. The Assistant Minister should ensure that this happens!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very saddening that the KBC is in dire financial status. The Assistant Minister has not told us that in a country such as Britain, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is heavily supported by the Government because of the important role it plays. What has the Assistant Minister done to ensure that the national broadcaster does not collapse?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to assure Mr. Mbadi that as the Questioner, I have a copy for him in his pigeonhole.
As to hon. Mungatanaâs question on funding of the KBC, I think that can be better raised with the Ministry of Finance. We submit our proposals to the Ministry, but year in, year out, we do not get adequate resources as we do submit. However, I want to assure the House and the nation that the Corporation will not wind up. Despite the difficulties, we will ensure that we soldier on and provide the services that we are supposed to provide to the country.
Hon. Members, we now move on to requests for Ministerial Statements! Yes, Mr. Mbugua. Please, be brief.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government. In that Statement, the Minister should clarify the following issues. First, why the City Council of Nairobi (NCC) allocated fire stations in Gigiri, Ruaraka and Imara Daima areas and yet those pieces of land had been set aside for public utility. Secondly, he should clarify who the allotees are. He should give us the names of the individuals, companies and the directors of the said companies that were allocated the fire stations.
Thirdly, the Minister should tell us the action he will take against the officers who are being investigated over corruption practices in the City Planning Department of the NCC. This is because these cases have been prevalent and yet no action has been taken against the officers. They are still in office!
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government, when will that Ministerial Statement be available? Is there anybody holding brief for him?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I undertake to transmit this information. Since the matter raised requires
It is so ordered!
IMPLICATIONS OF RENAMING NYAYO NATIONAL STADIUM âCOCA COLA STADIUMâ
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs about the controversy over the naming of former Nyayo Stadium as âCoca Cola Stadiumâ. I want the Minister to tell the country whether she is aware of the financial and image implications of that development to this country. Since the Minister said that the buying of the rights by Coca Cola was improper, I would wish her to tell us what was improper about it. We want to know if her officers are represented on the Board that gave that contract. I would like her to tell us which one would be in the best interests of the country, naming the facility Nyayo Stadium or making money from Coca Cola as a corporate sponsor? Which one would the Minister rather do? The financial and image implications for our country are severe on this issue. I want the Minister to tell us, for example, what is the legal status of that agreement that she is trying to abrogate. I want the Minister to tell us what would be the implications for Kenyan teams like Harambee Stars, which is trying to go to the World Cup? The youth team is sponsored by Coca Cola. I want the Minister to tell us what this country stands to gain and what we stand to lose.
Lastly, I want the Minister to tell us why it is not possible for her Ministry to negotiate with Coca Cola Company, which is a multinational company? Everybody is talking about this issue. Go to the internet and everywhere. What will it do to the international and multinational investors in our country?
What is it, Mr. Thuo?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to add to the request by Mr. Midiwo. As the Minister responds to the question as to how much it will cost to repudiate the contract with Coca Cola Company, let her tell us how much the Government has spent, not only on Nyayo Stadium but also on the Kenya Stadia Board in the last three years. I would also like to know what plans the Ministry is putting in place to ensure that they position Kenya as a sporting and training destination in the run up to the 2010 World Cup?
On the issue of Kenya Stadia Board, I would also like to know whether the State Corporations Act was adhered to in the recruitment of the new CEO of that Board.
Is the Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs here?
Is there anybody holding her brief? The matters raised are weighty and urgent.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, they are weighty matters. I know, as a matter of fact, that the Minister was in a seminar, but I can see her coming in.
We will give her a little time, just to settle down and indicate when she will avail that Ministerial Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to demand a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There have been reports in the public domain attributed to the Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) stationed in Kenya to the effect that the USA President will be visiting Africa in July, and that in his visit he will not visit our country, Kenya. I would like the Minister for Foreign Affairs to clarify the following: (a) the reasons as to why the USA President, whose late father was of Kenyan origin, and who, indeed, has been celebrated as one of their own by Kenyans despite his American citizenship â is not coming to Kenya; (b) whether the corruption allegations bedeviling this Government and the lack of reform could be the reason for the rebuff that we have suffered; (c) whether he is aware that this snub has further battered the international image that Kenya is already suffering in terms of its reputation, and what the Foreign Affairs Minister is doing to correct that image.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Minister for Foreign Affairs? I thought he was here a little while ago! Is anybody holding his brief?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister was ordered to withdraw from the House. I know that the Minister has come from Somalia, but I will transmit the information to him.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I beg the indulgence of this House. I wonder whether I would be in order if I question this. I listened to the Ministerial Statement sought. It is requesting the Kenya Foreign Affairs Minister to explain why the President of the USA will not come to Kenya. Is that possible? Would it be within the knowledge of our Minister for Foreign Affairs as to why President Obama would chose not to come to Kenya, and as to whether or not it is due to corruption? Are we not being frivolous? I am seeking guidance.
The guidance I will give is that Mr. Thuo, who is also the Government Joint Chief Whip, does not have capacity to know whether or not the Minister has that knowledge.
Mr. Githae, please, indicate when the Ministerial Statement will be issued.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we will issue the Ministerial Statement on Tuesday, next week.
It is so ordered!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation regarding the fact that there is concern that the risk of cancer in the country is on the rise. While there are many other causative reasons for cancer, it is also known that the causes could partly be attributed to substances such as lead and cadmium. These substances have been used in preparation of plastic containers, which eventually end up containing edible oils and magarines that are consumed by Kenyans. Eventually, these containers end up in the rural areas, where everybody uses them to store water for their personal household use. This lead and cadmium can leak into the food and into the water and, therefore, result in the cause of cancer.
I would like the Minister to tell this House the manufacturers who are using lead and cadmium in the manufacture of plastics. Once these plastics are put through treatment with lead and cadmium, can turn yellow and, therefore opaque, and be used as containers for carrying edible oils. I would like the Minister to clarify who these manufactures are and who use lead and cadmium in producing plastic containers and also those using them to package their food products in Kenya. What is the Ministry doing to end this dangerous practice that is being carried on by businessmen to the determent of the health of Kenyans?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, this is a matter of grave concern and we shall give this Statement on Wednesday, next week.
Wednesday, next week! It is so ordered!
Mr. Issac Ruto!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to bring your attention to the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet again failed to issue a Ministerial Statement which I have requested continuously since last week; in spite of you believing that he has capacity to do so, he failed.
Was that scheduled to be delivered today?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you ordered that he brings the Statement today. In fact, the Government side undertook to ensure that it is done. Yesterday, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs was here. The Chair did order he delivers it today.
As a matter of fact the Chair did see the substantive Minister for Foreign Affairs in the House this afternoon; but maybe, as he realized that we are getting close to this business, left. In those circumstances, hon. Members, I order that the Minister proffers an explanation to this House, not later than Tuesday, next week. Otherwise, he will not transact any business in this House until that is complied with.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on Thursday, 14th May, I sought a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of State for Internal Security and Provincial Administration on circumstances surrounding the aircraft crash in Kapsabet on Monday, 11th May, 2009.
Could you kindly give an indication as to when that Statement would be available?
By Thursday, next week!
Thursday, next week. It is so ordered!
Order, Mr. Ruto! We have already run short of time. I think the Minister has taken cognizance of the concerns of the House.
Member for Nyatike, Mr. Anyanga!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, last week, I requested for a Ministerial Statement from the Minister for East Community. He promised to bring it here today, but I cannot see him. I need you guidance on that.
What is the position, Mr. Githae?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Minister was here when he said that he will be back on 30th He said that he would issue the Statement when he comes back.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. If I can recollect very well, the Ministerial Statement that the hon. Member for Nyatike sought was on Migingo Island. We also had a similar Motion on Migingo, which was interrupted because the House was adjourned. I expected it to resume yesterday. To me, it appears this issue of Migingo Island is disappearing from the Order Paper. I would seek for your indulgence on what is really happening with this debate on Migingo Island.
As far as I know, the debate on Migingo Island is likely to come next week. At the earliest opportunity next week. That is the indication we have. It has been allotted time by the House Business Committee. So, it is not about to disappear from the Order Paper.
With respect to the Ministerial Statement, I will have to acquaint myself with what is on the HANSARD before I can give directions. So, I will give those directions on Tuesday, next week.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, again, on a similar note, last week I had sought a Ministerial Statement from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance on the questions of Kenyans who are making advance payments and then companies disappearing and folding off, leaving Kenyans exposed. I gave a specific example of the GTV Company. The Chair ordered that we should have a response today. However, the Minister is not here. There is no indication as to what is happening.
Hon. Attorney General, you are the Advisor to the Government. What is happening to your Ministers!
You are the Principal Legal Advisor to the Government. Your Ministers are not complying with the undertakings that they make to the House.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree that this is a serious issue that Ministers ought to make their Statements as and when they undertake to make them in the House. I am quite sure that the issue will be addressed. Hopefully, facilitated by having the Leader of Government Business.
I order that the Statement sought by hon. Mungatana be availed on Wednesday, next week!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, while you order that the Statement be delivered on Tuesday, next week, I also stood up here last week and sought a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of State for Internal Security and Provincial Administration. I actually talked to the Minister himself who assured me that he would give this Statement this week. So, maybe, he can tell us something about that.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am aware that the hon. Member had requested for a Ministerial Statement. However, at the same time, he had filed a Question by Private Notice on the same matter. I elaborately answered that Question and he accepted it under you Chairmanship.
Order, Mr. Pesa! If that was the position, the Chair would want to acquaint itself with the records on the HANSARD. Obviously, Mr. Pesa, if that were so, which we will establish, we will give direction on Tuesday, next week. But you cannot eat your cake and have it.
Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, could you give us an indication as to when you will make that Statement available. It is on an urgent matter!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I was going to a conference, which we opened today for the youth, but I was alerted about this matter. I will give the Ministerial Statement on Thursday, next week. But I would like to say right here that---
Order, Minister. Do not be anticipatory, neither should you pre- empt your Statement.
So, Thursday, next week!
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
It is so ordered, Thursday, next week at 2.30 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am just getting a little bit concerned and I would wish to seek your guidance and direction on the number of Ministerial Statements being sought by Members of Parliament rather than asking Questions. I do not know what should be the right mix of Ministerial Statement and Questions. At every sitting, we are having more than seven or six Ministerial Statements being sought. This is one of the reasons we find Ministers are not being able to meet the undertakings. I was seeking your direction on whether we can have the right mix of Questions and Ministerial Statements to give Ministers time to prepare, so that they can meet their undertakings.
Order, Mr. Githae! As I see it, there is nothing wrong with the mix so far. You will notice that the mix is fairly homogenous. This is in the sense that no one Minister has stood up and responded to more than one request at any given time. You will see that there has been quite a variety. Today, we have requests which have not been complied with, to the Minister in charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security, the Minister for Youth and Sports, the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the list is endless! I do not see anything wrong with the trend as at where we are. The Chair has properly exercised its discretion in deciding what matters should be addressed by way of a Ministerial Statement, what matters should be addressed by way of Questions by Private Notice, what matters should be addressed by way of Ordinary Questions and what matters should be addressed by Motions. I think up to where we are, we are quite in order. Maybe, that is to say that the Cabinet should pull up its socks!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am seeking clarification on an earlier ruling that you made on a Question by Mr. Mungatana on the issue of GTV. I was just wondering because this issue cuts across various Ministries. It is not just an issue for the Ministry of Finance. It also involves the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Information and Communications. Could that Statement be directed to the Office of the Prime Minister because he is the person who should answer if an issue cuts across Ministries?
Is that the best way for you, being a Member of the Cabinet to deal with that matter? I thought through collective responsibility you would deal with that internally, in the Executive! And I direct so accordingly!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to comment on what you have said about the good mix of Questions. I remember that in the last Parliament, Ministers did not necessarily have to keep us waiting for a week. One could rise here, demand for a Ministerial Statement and the Ministers had the responses at the tip of their fingers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I remember Dr. Kituyi used to do this. A simple thing like the one on why a decision was made on the stadium, surely the Minister is the one who made
Time is up! I am sure those sentiments are taken by the Cabinet and that they will rise to the challenge so that we reduce these number of Ministerial Statements that are pending. We want to move away from backlog in any more institutions than they already are. So, hon. Members of the Front Bench, let us move away from it. Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.48, I wish to move the Procedural Motion in an amended form by deleting the words, "and the Competition Bill (Bill No.3)â. I beg to move: - THAT, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No.111 (2), this House orders that the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill (Bill No.2) be read a second time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the reason for the amendment is that Members would be aware that historically, at about this point in time, we would be on recess. This recess would allow the Ministry for Finance and its technocrats some time to prepare for the Budget. Mr. Speaker, Sir, because of the new Standing Orders, this year, this will not be possible. We shall continue sitting up to the Budget Day. For this reason, the amendment is to put off the Competition Bill to allow time for the Minister for Finance and his team to prepare adequately for the Budget.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this Procedural Motion. It is to enable us to discuss the two Bills which have not matured. The Joint Chief Whip has adequately stated the reasons. He has said that at such a time, the Minister for Finance normally writes the Budget. I am sure he is hiding somewhere so that he can finalise the Budget. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Arbitration Bill is very urgent. It should have come yesterday. We have a big backlog of court cases. The intention of the Government is that before cases are taken to the courts, litigants should make use of arbitrators so as to reduce the backlog. With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the particular Standing Order under which this Motion has been moved by Mr. Thuo, is the one that requires that every Bill must go to a Departmental Committee so that we, as Members of Parliament, can scrutinize it. The reasons they have advanced are very noble; they have said because of the greater problem of backlog of cases, we need to fast track this process. For that treason, I will support the Motion. However, we would not want this to be a habit. Sincerely, we would want the Government to do the First Reading and commit the Bill to the Departmental Committee so that we can scrutinize it and make amendments. This is because maybe, one clause might cause us to repeat the whole process. We are hoping that by doing this, the Government is also undertaking that they have really looked at all those clauses so that we do not have to re-do this work. I pray that the Attorney-General will give us that assurance, because we do not want to come back and redo the work
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill, 2009, Bill No.2, be read a Second Time. I want, first of all, to thank hon. Members, in particular for the support to do away with the Standing Order which requires automatic reference to the Departmental Committee. I have been asked to give an undertaking and I want from the very outset to give the undertaking, that in this Bill everything has been properly scrutinized, and that which is technical in nature--- All the clauses that we are proposing for amendment are valid. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I may just explain, this Bill is about amending the 1995 Arbitration Act. The 1995 Arbitration Act it self that I brought to this House was to make this country compliant to the international standards regarding arbitration as at that time. The law that was there at that time was a law which existed, or which was enacted during the colonial times. It is now 14 years and the international standards, on which that Bill was based, have now been considerably improved, hence the need to also improve by proposing amendments to this Arbitration Act, which are consistent with those international standards.
I want to pay particular tribute to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Kenya (CIAK), the Kenya Branch, which is part of the International Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ICIA), for having observed the international trends and the standards required, particularly by the United Nations Conference on International Trade Law, and the amendments that had been brought to what is commonly known as the Unistral? Model Legislation on Arbitration and coming up with these proposals. So, these proposals are not just proposals which have come from the head or brain, of the Attorney- General. They are proposals which have emanated from a professional institute, which has the responsibility in arbitration. I am glad today that whereas before we had very few properly trained and qualified arbitrators, ever since the CIAK was instituted, we now have 343 professionally trained arbitrators, a number of whom are fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. I count myself as one of the first fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the international branch; although I had a Masters of Law Degree, I was forced to study and sit examinations in order to become a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London.
Since that time, and we were very few, we now have 343 arbitrators, most of whom, of course, are ordinary members; they are not necessarily fellows. Of these 343, we have 171 advocates, 57 quantity surveyors, including the hon. Member here, who is also an arbitrator. We have nine architects, 48 engineers, 47 people from the insurance industry, 14 accountants and eight administrators. So, in the membership of this Chartered institute, we have the people properly qualified to do arbitration. It is this institute, and credit is due to it, which has brought the amendments, which I also went through. The Kenya Law Reform Commission and the Law Society of Kenya also went through them with a tooth comb, and they are now before you for enactment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, arbitration is a very important process of settling disputes. As you can see from the nature of qualified arbitrators, they can
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to second this very important Bill. This Bill should have come like yesterday because of the tremendous increase of cases still pending in our judicial system. In the last count, the Chief Justice said that we have more than 853,000 cases pending in the courts. This is the highest in the East African Community (EAC). The lowest is Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania. I strongly recommend to this House that we pass this Bill. It has been discussed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Law Reform Commission of Kenya and they have all agreed on it. We have more than 7,000 licensed lawyers in this country. As you know, if you take this bottle of water and ask four advocates what colour it is, you will get different reactions. One will say it is blue, another one will say it is colourless and another one will say it is yellow depending on what emphasis they are giving it. In this particular instance, all the lawyers have agreed that this is an important Bill and have agreed on all the amendments without a single exception. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the reasons why we have so many pending cases is because of the obsolete and outdated system of recording in the courts. Can you imagine in this Parliament if, as the presiding officer of this august House, you are required to be writing what we are saying. Try to attempt that one day and you will see what the judges and magistrates go through everyday. They have been reduced to mechanical robots. Instead of listening to the evidence, assessing and looking at the credibility of the witnesses, they are busy recording what the advocates say. For those of us who have appeared in the court, you have to speak at the speed of his pen. There was one Judge, but he is now retired; if you appeared before him and you spoke at a speed faster than what he was writing, he would simply remove his glasses fold his arms and lie back on his chair. It was particularly difficult for advocates to know that the message he was conveying is that you are speaking faster than what he was recording. Our courts have not kept pace with technology. If you go to the martial courts, you will get the proceedings of what transpired yesterday and the first item on the agenda is to go through the proceedings and then make any amendments or corrections which are
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. This is a very important Bill and there is no quorum.
Order, Mr. Chepkitony! Order!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, that situation is forcing business people not to go to court. So, if somebody owes you Kshs100,000, you are better off accepting Kshs20,000 as final and full settlement rather than going to court.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the last time this Act was amended was in 1995 and within that period, somebody would have been born and he would now be a father or mother. So, it has been overtaken by events.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators has approved this Bill. It has also approved and agreed on the wording of these amendments. They are clarifying---
Order, Mr. Githae! Mr. Chepkitony, what was your point of order?
, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wanted to point out that there was no quorum and yet, this is a very important Bill.
Clerks, could you determine whether we have a quorum?
All right. Sergeant-at-Arms, could you ring the Division Bell!
We now have quorum. You may proceed, Mr. Githae!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conclusion, as the Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development, we have identified three priorities. They are traffic, security and convenience of the residents of Nairobi. On the issue of convenience, we would like to see the Chief Justice to find out whether we can have a 24-hour court or a mobile court that will go round to sort out these cases.
With those remarks, I beg to second.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. In supporting this Bill, I would like to reflect on the sentiments raised by Mr. Mungatana that whenever we are discussing issues that are important, hon. Members need time to interrogate and seek views from members of the public and especially those with expertise in this area. We are denied this opportunity when such a matter is rushed this way
In that relation, and I encourage the Attorney-General to listen, I urge that whenever we have to shorten time, then the Government should provide copies of the parent law so that we can compare and know why we are making certain amendments where they are due. This should not happen only when we are in a hurry but also when we are handling other Bills in the ordinary manner. This is because the cost reverts to hon. Members who have to purchase the parent Bill. It is worse for those of us who do not have access to the CDF money. Although we may want to volunteer, we may be limited.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, these amendments are timely, because of the need to clear the backlog in our courts. Recently, there was a report which indicated that in terms of backlog, we are doing very poorly in the region compared to countries that may be distracted with other matters. These countries seem to be doing much better than us.
One of the things I would like to laud the hon. Attorney-General for doing is his keeping with the trend of development in law. This should be maintained. I have seen this in relation to the Sexual Offences Act and other laws. It is not enough just to pass the laws. We must be vigilant that when there is need for amendments we bring them before this House.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important legislative process. There were admissions by the Attorney-General that we have 53,000 civil cases pending in our courts. We all know, and he knows better than all of us, that justice delayed is justice denied. It is taking eight to 20 years for somebody to get justice. So, the amendment to introduce arbitration in our legal system is something extremely important.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Attorney-General for bringing this Bill at this time. There is need for us to, really, look at options other than our law courts, for purposes of dealing with the backlog of cases that exists in our courts of law today. Before I go to my substantive contribution, I just want to make a quick mention that even though we have a huge backlog of cases, it is not good for the Chief Justice to complain about this backlog. It is important for him to do his part. We want creative means through which those cases can be finalized at the required speed. As a Parliament, we are trying to find a way--- This is why we are supporting this Bill on arbitration with all our hearts. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you have heard, other hon. Members have also proposed diversion. Ms. Odhiambo has talked about childrenâs cases being handled differently. Mr. Konchella as talked about traditional courts. All this is because of this backlog of cases. I also want to talk about the small claims courts. I do not know what has happened to them. We have been waiting in this Parliament to see proposals, so that we
Hon. Mwathi! Sorry, Mr. Ngugi.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was about to say that anybody who calls me Mwathi is liable for a fine because, Mwathi is my younger brother and represents Limuru. I am David Ngugi and represent Kinangop.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill. Coming from the insurance industry, I know the number of cases that are pending before the courts. If we were to encourage people to go through the arbitration way, then a lot of cases would be finalized; many people would get their awards and courts would be left to deal with other matters. The other point is when we did the arbitration exams in the 1980s; the people who conducted them came from the United Kingdom. But with the amendments that are being proposed here and with the intention of making Kenya a real arbitration centre, then we can only strengthen our institutes of arbitration here, so that other countries, even our neighbors, can learn from us
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one concern is the cost of arbitration. Arbitration is supposed to be cheaper than the courts. However, this is not necessarily so, because there are no schedule of fees an arbitrator can charge. This is one thing I want to appeal to the Attorney General. There must be some guidelines as to how much arbitrators can charge. Although in effect, it is supposed to be a cheaper process than the court process, sometimes, it is not always so. Given that we want to pass this Bill as soon as possible, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support this Bill which is actually long overdue. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is an alternative way of solving disputes. I would want to tell the Attorney-General and the courts that there is lack of awareness among our people. After passing this Bill, there should be information dissemination and sensitization of our people, so that they can know this law. The Attorney-General said we have various categories of professionals in this country. A number of them have their
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order to request that the Mover be called to reply.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I really wish to thank the Members for the great support they have given to this Bill. I also want to thank them for accelerating this Bill. All hon. Members have made very positive contributions. Hon. Odhiambo mentioned that we should have copies of the present law together with these amendments. But if you read the Standing Orders, what is required is that the existing sections of the law being amended should be attached to the Bill. You will find from page 74 onwards of this Bill, the old sections that are being amended. It is presumed that hon. Members can access the entire Bill if they want for clarifications. This Bill is what we call a generic Bill. But there will be a lot of legislation, which will also provide for arbitrations. We are talking about land tribunals, land matters and so on. They can be taken before arbitration. In fact, I was talking to a judge today who told me that he had referred one such arbitration to the elders of the community to be dealt with in accordance with customary law of that particular community. So, if you are talking about divorce cases, again, you will find provision in the divorce law, which talk about mediation, reconciliation and arbitration. Why? Because people have now moved away from saying that you can only divorce on the grounds of adultery, cruelty or desertion. It will just be one ground that you are irreconcilable. Whatever has caused that irreconciliation is up to you. However, there will be need, before you now go and undertake divorce, to go through mediation, reconciliation and arbitration process. You have to show the courts that that process has failed and we just want a divorce. In a number of other legislation also you will find the need for arbitration. In fact, even I am sure that the High Court and the Chief Justice will bring up the rule saying that for any civil case, you must undertake some reconciliation or arbitration. There would be rules, which will guide you on how you will do it. This would be the substantive law. But there would be the procedural aspect of it.
Hon. Members that concludes the business on the Order Paper. This House is, therefore, adjourned until Tuesday, 26th May 2009 at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 5.55 p.m.