Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:-
THAT, this House adopts Sessional Paper No.8 of 2012 on the National Policy for Sustainable Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands laid on the Table of the House, today, Wednesday, 5th December, 2012.
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Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, this House approves the National Industrialization Policy, Sessional Paper No.9 laid on the Table of the House today, 5th December, 2012.
Is Mr. Mututho not in the House? Is he out of the House today on any parliamentary business? The Question is dropped.
asked the Minister of State for the Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands:-
(a) how much money was slashed from each Ministry and/or department for drought mitigation in the 2011/2012 Supplementary Budget;
(b) how the money was spent and whether he could provide itemized expenditure; and,
(c) how much money was spent on drought mitigation in Wajir South Constituency.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have been travelling and I came straight to Parliament. I beg the indulgence of the hon. Member that I answer this Question on Thursday.
That is tomorrow?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
It is the indulgence of the Chair and the House and not the hon. Member alone. Mr. Sirat, are you comfortable with the Question being answered tomorrow in the afternoon?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to state that this Question is not meant for the Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands. If
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I think among the roles of the Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands is to co-ordinate the expenditures in all the other Ministries, including the votes that have been set aside. In my opinion, this Question is properly placed. In any case, the Government has that collective responsibility and it decides on who answers the Questions. For your information, even if the Minister for Labour was to decide to answer a Question directed to the Minister for Finance, that is acceptable in the rules and Standing Orders.
It is my presumption that this Question will best be answered by this Ministry because it is the one which has the capacity to engage all those other Ministries. The Ministry of Finance or the Treasury is a disbursement Ministry.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now that I am aware of this Question, I need more time to get that information. This is because it will involve multiple Ministries. Maybe, Thursday, next week will be appropriate. That information does not lie within my Ministry and I have to write to all the Ministries to get it.
Precisely! The letter we have from the Treasury was addressed to your Ministry and I would like to read it verbatim. It is addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Lenaiyapa. It states:- “The above-mentioned parliamentary Question by the Member for Wajir South, hon. Sirat, regarding allocation of funds towards the drought mitigation refers. Further to our previous correspondence, the latest being this office Letter Reference No.--- We have viewed the matter and our considered opinion is that your office is better placed to respond to the issues raised being the Accounting Officer responsible for the budgetary Vote under which the allocation was made.
Accordingly, I hereby re-direct the Question for your instructions. I attach copies of both Printed Estimates and/or unrevised estimates of the relevant vote for the period in question for ease of reference.”
If the Government itself is in a position to have that internal integrated mitigation on how to deal with this matter, the Chair has no option but to accept accordingly.
On a point of Order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think there is a more fundamental issue and I am not in any way challenging your ruling. The Member has said that he asked the Question. It is his responsibility and he directed the Question to a particular Ministry. Even though I agree that any Minister can answer that Question, who changed the position that the Question that was addressed to Treasury be answered by the Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands? I think that is a fundamental issue he has raised. The Treasury cannot determine for any Member as to where to direct a Question, but, of course, the Government may determine which Minister can answer.
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Precisely. The Treasury is part of the Government. It is in this process that there is internal correspondence between the relevant Ministries and the decision was made at the Government level. Parliament has accordingly been notified. All that Parliament can do is to allow that in the sense that it says:- “---being the Accounting Officer responsible for the budgetary Vote under which allocation was made.”
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with due respect, that is a correspondence between the Treasury and a Ministry. The Member of Parliament asked a Question. Surely, he is entitled to know the circumstances under which it was changed and directed to another Ministry which he himself has not sought and I have no problem-- -
Order, Mr. Imanyara! You know this very well. As a matter of fact, you are a Member of the Speaker’s Panel---
That is why---
Order! The redirection of one Question from one Ministry to another is purely the prerogative of the Government and it is not a matter to be determined by the Chair. That happens always. A Ministry would feel that a Question would best be handled by another Ministry and in the process send it to that Ministry. The Chair is not there to supervise and organize the Government functions. It is understandable the hon. Member directed the Question to the Treasury and the Government within its own jurisdictions and prerogative decided that it has to be handled differently. There is no way the Chair can direct anything different from that. Under the circumstances, how much time do you need? In any case, knowing very well what the hon. Member is looking for, it is important that we do not waste time on the semantics, but get to the real issues and have the Question answered.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, now that I have the Question, I have to get an answer not only from Treasury, but also from all the other Ministries. I seek the indulgence of the House that I will write to all the Ministries today. I hope I will get the answers by Thursday, next week.
It is precisely within your mandate as the Minister of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands. The Development Vote does not come to your Ministry but it goes to other Ministries. All you have to do is to co- ordinate and make sure that it is well spent. So, that is within your mandate. So, the Chair directs that this Question--- Hon. Sirat, are you comfortable with that?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Okay. I direct that this Question be put on the Order Paper on Thursday, next week and the stated Ministry to avail the answers.
asked the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Development:- (a) how long it takes, upon application by a women’s group, to access loans from the Women Enterprise Development Fund (WEDF); and, (b) what she is doing to remove bottlenecks to ensure quick access of these loans by women groups.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) It takes a minimum of one month and a maximum of two months upon application by a women group to access loans from the WEDF.
(b) To remove bottlenecks to ensure quick access of these loans, the Ministry is taking the following initiatives:-
(i) decentralization of the operations;
(ii) increased frequency of loan committee meetings;
(iii) intensified financial literacy training using volunteers found in each constituency;
(iv) use of public barazas, the Provincial Administration and the media to sensitize women on the need to pay their loans promptly to improve on the turn-around effect;
(v) use of M-Pesa for loan repayment encourages timely payments and use of SMS to remind women when to repay their loans;
(vi) continuous engagement of the financial intermediary partners to encourage them to simplify and relax their lending terms and conditions so that women can be able to access these loans;
(vii) women are also being sensitized on the importance of forming their own co- operative societies which are expected to be more friendlier than financial institutions; and,
(viii) giving the Fund legal autonomy through an Act of Parliament. We have already done the Draft Bill.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has said that it takes a maximum of two months for women groups to access these loans. Is she aware that there are many women groups totaling to about 15 which have been waiting for the past more than three months to access these very loans?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes, I am aware but once this vigorous exercise has been undertaken by the committee, then it is transmitted to the board and the board sits twice in the headquarters to be able to give the final go ahead but I am aware that there is Kshs1 million which is supposed to be released next week and we would want to even invite the hon. Member of Parliament to be there to give the 16 women groups these cheques.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, of course, the Minister does not do very beautiful arm-twisting by inviting me to preside over the cheque presenting ceremony which I am happy to participate in just that it does not fall within the two months that she said. However, on a totally different question: What steps has the
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have just mentioned that there is a draft Bill which is still to be approved by the Cabinet so that it can be published for debate in this Tenth Parliament and until it has gone through the Cabinet, then I cannot really say but it is amongst the Bills we are trying to push through to be approved by the Cabinet.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question is very important because these are some of the schemes or the reforms that the Government has put in place in order to get these resources to the grassroots but I think the biggest problem I see is information flow for the women to be sensitized to be able to take the loans in some parts of the country. So, what is the Minister or the Ministry doing to increase capacity at the grassroots so that we have many more people who go around to give information to those who would like to apply for the loans?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I have realized is that people really listen to their elected leaders and it is important for the involvement of Members of Parliament so that our people can really hear our voice concerning the Women Enterprise Development Fund (WEDF) and how it works and how it helps our people. For example, not so many people are aware that the loans which go to the constituency level specifically to the groups; that is the special scheme that is there for the women groups at the constituency level do not attract any interest rates. People do not know that and we like involving the sitting Members of Parliament so that these women can be able to come up in big numbers and take these loans. I just want to give an example. With regard to Homa Bay County, you will find that there is one constituency which has accessed over Kshs9 million and yet there is one which has accessed only Kshs2 million and yet they are in the same county. So, it really depends on how the people’s representatives are involved in this.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has mentioned that there is intensified finance literacy training using volunteers in the various constituencies. I am not aware if there any such volunteers in Ndhiwa and that will be the reason why there will be a disparity in terms of the loans. So, would she tell the House how many women volunteers exist in Ndhiwa and how much training has so far been done?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are 210 women and a few men who are actually volunteers in terms of educating people concerning this WEDF. In fact, prior to that, there was a pilot programme which was done and it involved only 65 constituencies and we saw there was a big improvement in terms of what the volunteers were doing and in terms of women accessing these funds. So, in Ndhiwa, you have one volunteer who is paid by the WEDF. That is more than enough.
Next Question by Mr. Chanzu.
asked the Minister of State for Public Service:-
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) Yes, I am aware that there are many pharmaceutical technologists in the labour market who have not been employed to date. Both public and private medical training institutions which train health workers do so for the labour market and not necessarily for absorption into the public service. Recruitment of staff into the public service depends on various factors including the existence of vacancies in the authorized establishments for the various Ministries or departments, existing workload and more importantly availability of funds in the voted provisions among others. Currently, the Ministry of Medical Services has 414 vacant posts in the various grades of pharmaceutical technologists. However, due to financial constraints, the Ministry has only been able to fill 85 vacancies in various grades of the cadre in the last three years.
(b) In view of the foregoing, the Government will continue to recruit pharmaceutical technologists and other health professionals in the labour market depending on availability of funds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Assistant Minister for the answer but actually it is the responsibility of the Government to create an enabling environment both in the public and private sector for trainees like these ones to be able to get into the labour market. Could the Assistant Minister inform the House whether the Ministry finds it necessary to fund the cost of employing these trainees and what he is going to do to create the enabling environment so that these trainees can get recruited into the labour market?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I very much agree with the hon. Member that there are quite a number of these officers who are in the market and are not employed but also there are so many other professionals in the country who are not employed. Employment of these professionals together with others in various sectors also depends on the prevailing economic circumstances generally in the country. So, it is improvement of that that will actually determine the absorption rate of these various professionals. It is not only pharmaceutical technologists who have a backlog of these numbers in the labour market but there are so many others. It does not necessarily mean that we have to stop training of these professionals because we are still working hard as Kenyans to improve our economy to ensure that we provide employment for our professionals across all sectors. Therefore, I would not probably advise that we actually stop training. After all, we could still be able to provide these professionals to the outside world and not necessarily for our local market. So, that is what I agree with. I cannot advise that we stop training.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has admitted that the Ministry of Health has so many vacancies that they have not filled in this field of pharmaceutical technologists and other holders of diploma programmes that have been undertaken in medical training colleges. This country is one of the signatories of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and one of the goals addressed is health. How
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the absorption, as I had earlier indicated, is very much dependent on the prevailing economic circumstances. As earlier indicated, the health sector is one of the key sectors in our Millennium Development Goals for purposes of development, but we need to look at the matter holistically, namely, the greater picture of economic situation in the country. Therefore, we will continue to employ most of our professionals depending on the economic circumstances, availability of funds and also on the basis of priority depending on the line Ministries and how they prioritize the professionals to be employed. There are so many requirements for employment and due to economic constraints, the respective Ministries prioritize which professionals they will employ and how many at any one time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is the Ministry doing in terms of incentives to the private sector, so that it can absorb these professionals? Secondly, now that he has said that only 85 have been employed out of the 414, could he come up with a programme, so that those who are waiting to be recruited can know roughly when they can get into employment in the Public Service?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have answered that part of the question asked by Mr. Chanzu. However, the Ministry can consider prioritizing on the basis of the time of graduation and seniority in the market for these particular officers when they are being employed. For the private sector, these are private businesses and the overall economy is what encourages growth in that particular sector and, therefore, employment. Therefore, we need to address the problems of the economy and improve our economy, so that the private sector can also thrive and employ some of these professionals.
asked to ask the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he could provide a list of all special schools and technical training institutions which are caring for the mentally challenged, physically challenged and the deaf/blind in Mombasa County; (b) whether he could consider funding these institutions adequately, in view of the current high school fees, which most parents/guardians cannot afford; and, (c) whether he could also consider posting qualified teachers to the institutions.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The list of special schools and technical training institutions which are caring for the mentally challenged, physically challenged and the deaf/blind in Mombasa County is attached as Appendix I which has been given to the Member. It consists of 35 institutions.
(b) All the special needs institutions are supported by the Government through the free primary education and the free day secondary education funds for primary and secondary schools, respectively. However, owing to the additional costs of instructional materials for special needs education, the Ministry gives an additional capitation for the special needs children in public schools. Those additional funds are used for purchase of specialized instructional materials and assistive devices. Capitation is pegged on the overall Free Primary Education Budget as approved by the Treasury. I wish to acknowledge that the funds provided are inadequate and, therefore, there is need to increase the funding for these institutions. As a matter of fact, borders are also given support. (c) The institutions already have qualified teachers posted by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for listing almost all the schools which I had asked for, but I would like to ask him a question. He has acknowledged that the funding is inadequate. Could he tell the House how he is going to increase this funding as it is really needed in the coming year?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we make requests to the Treasury through this House. This House approves and the Treasury always has the final say. We shall do the same and if the Treasury allows, then we shall get the funding. Then the schools will get additional funding to what they already get from us. Let me be a little bit clear that the top up funds in special needs primary schools is Kshs2,000 per child. The borders, whether in primary or secondary, get an additional Kshs8,000 per child on top of the normal free day secondary school education funds and the free primary education funds.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has done very well to my Question. However, there is the issue of qualified teachers. I have gone around to some of the schools which he has mentioned and there is a shortage of professional teachers. What measures will he put in place for the coming financial year on the particular item of increasing the number of qualified teachers to these needy students?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the recruitment of teachers, which is now to be done by the TSC, the TSC will recruit teachers as funds become available to it. I hope that the Government will give additional funds to the TSC to recruit more teachers. The special needs schools will be given the right teachers they need to take care of special needs education.
Mr. C. Kilonzo is not feeling well. He is sick and I direct that this Question be listed on the Order at the time when he is healthy and we wish him a very quick recovery.
asked the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation:- (a) whether she is aware that employees who were employed in 2008 under UNICEF supported program were not paid their dues from July 2009 to 2010; and, (b) why they were not paid and when their dues will be settled.
Where is the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation? Prof. Kamar, where is your colleague from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was assuming that she will be here today, but I would like to request that, this not being the last Question, you give her a few minutes. She may be on the way.
We have so many Bills to transact. The rule now is that we ask Questions only once. There is no second round.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in that case, I undertake to inform her so that the Question could appear on the Order Paper on Tuesday, next week.
Mr. Kiuna, are you comfortable with Tuesday, next week?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Therefore, the Chair directs that this Question be listed on the Order Paper on Tuesday, next week.
asked the Minister Agriculture:- (a) what the formula of determining sugar cane transportation charges for all sugar factories is;
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
(a) There is no determined formula to establish sugar cane transportation charges in the sugar industry.
(b) Variation in the cost of transportation could be due to differences in zonings, state of road infrastructure, availability and means of transport, differences in pay lot, weather conditions, type of terrain, human factors such as bribery and fuel theft. However, since that is private sector matter, I am not in a position to give this answer with a better certainty than anybody else.
(c) The Ministry, through Kenya Sugar Board, has provided grants to both sugar factories and cane outgrower organization to improve on quality of roads. The Ministry has also provided loans to factories and outgrowers’ organizations to purchase tractors for cane transportation with a view to reduce the cost to farmers.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Assistant Minister for the answer. However, I am shocked that he can come up with this kind of an answer because when I was putting up this Question, I knew that under the Ministry of Agriculture, there is a cane pricing committee. This is a committee that looks at the ultimate benefit of a farmer. If the committee only does the preparation of the formula of the price of cane, then I do not think it is doing enough. It is after they have set the price of the cane that the deductions come and transport is a key deduction. I am sure he is aware that different companies have different rates. Would it be fair for the Ministry to come up and say that there is no transport pricing formula when there is a committee that is supposed to be looking at the cane prices, which determines what a farmer gets at the end of the day?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the committee we have is for determining cane prices, but not transport. If I could be allowed to read what the Ministry has given, especially for roads in those areas, it shows that if the money given is used properly and the roads are done, I can assure you that the cost of transportation would go down. Again, we have also given factories money to buy tractors so that they can transport cane cheaply and reduce the cost to the farmers. Finally, we have also given money for rehabilitation of the transport system. With your permission, I can give an example.
Is there somebody who has his phone near the microphone? It must be you, Mr. Ndambuki. Please switch off your phone.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just want to pick one example. We have given South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony) Kshs64 million to buy transport fleet.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Question touches mainly on Kakamega County that produces 80 per cent of the sugar consumed in this country. There are three major factories; Mumias Sugar Company, Butali Sugar Company and West Kenya Sugar Company. The shocking thing in the Assistant Minister’s response is that the terrain for all those companies is the same and Mumias Sugar Company has zoned. As you correctly said, the cane planting areas where the more you move away from the factory, the more you are charged for transport. Is he aware that whereas Mumias in zone one charges up to Kshs800 per tonne to transport sugar cane, Butali and West Kenya Sugar Company charge only Kshs390 for cane delivered from as far away as 60 kilometres, that is from Butali to Ikolomani? Could he harmonize this or justify? I wonder whether he is aware the terrain and roads are the same. Could he also undertake to familiarize himself with these facts on the ground, so that we save the farmers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I totally agree, but about Mumias Sugar Company charging Kshs800 per tonne, I was not aware. But I can check and come back to the House so that it can be rectified to be in the range of Butali Sugar Company who are charging Kshs190 or West Kenya who are charging Kshs150 while others are charging up to Kshs300. I am going to investigate whether that allegation is true. If so, action will be taken so that the company does not continue ripping off farmers.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I can see you have asked for a point of order, just relax.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, farmers lose a lot of money through deductions on transport charges. The Assistant Minister has said that he gave Kshs64 million to South Nyanza Sugar Factory to purchase tractors, which is good, though he needs to tell us how many have been bought. When will he ensure that we have mobile weighbridges, so that this transport cost does not go to the farmers in order for them to reap maximum from their fields?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Kenya Sugar Board is working on that and even some of the factories have already installed them very close to the farms. Now that we passed the Sugar (Amendment) Bill, the Kenya Sugar Board is working to ensure that these weighbridges are at the point of purchase of cane during harvesting.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I just want to thank you and request that since the Assistant Minister has been so kind to say that he wants to go on the ground and establish the facts--- It is important because under our Standing Orders, Questions are supposed to press for action, could you kindly push him to tell the House when he will report back, so that we have an opportunity to help farmers to get the price go down?
Mr. Ndambuki, the variations in transport costs are a bit shocking. Why would you have charges by sugar companies going to about Kshs800 per tonne when others are charging Kshs150, Kshs180 or Kshs190, respectively? How soon would you want to report back to the House whether you have actually done something to protect farmers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I could come back with a Ministerial Statement on this issue of transport of cane. I could do so next week.
Thursday, next week will be fine for you?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The Chair directs that you avail that Ministerial Statement on Thursday, next week. In the circumstances, Mr. Washiali, would you still want to ask a final Question or are you satisfied?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am satisfied, but I could just add that he also needs to ask the Kenya Sugar Board which regulates the sugar sector to be a bit more proactive because this is something that they should have regulated.
I am sure the Assistant Minister has taken that.
Next Question, Mr. Kabogo.
asked the Minister for Roads:- (a) why the contractor, Ms Shengli Construction Ltd. constructing the Thika super highway erected a foot bridge at Castle area near Thika town, which is an unsettled area instead of constructing the same at Witeithie Centre, which is densely populated, thereby causing several deaths as pedestrians attempt to cross the road; and, (b) whether he could consider asking the contractor to shift the foot bridge to Witeithie Centre in order to avert more deaths.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The footbridge erected at Castle area was placed at that location due to the large population of pedestrians crossing from one side to the other side. The area has been provided with an underpass pedestrian crossing. (b) My Ministry has noted that majority of pedestrians are not utilizing the safe pedestrian crossing provided including the underpass in Witeithie. The footbridge at the Castle Brewery cannot be relocated since this will deny a large population at this location a safe crossing given the nearest pedestrian crossing will be at the Thika overpass. However, my Ministry, through the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), is considering erecting an extra footbridge at Witeithie to ensure that we cater for this population that cannot utilize the underpass.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, sometimes it is very difficult to understand how Ministries answer questions because in my mind, I imagine that they think we are inhumane or devoid of intelligence. I say so because the answer here reads: “The footbridge erected at the Castle area was placed at that location due to the large population,” and yet there is no population there at all. I have photographs that I invite the Chair to look at.
Table the photographs.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will lay them on the Table.
Order, hon. Wetangula, hon. Okemo and hon. Washiali! I can understand you are excited for very good reasons. However, could you allow hon. Kabogo to have a bit of silence?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is the excitement of coalitions. Could the Assistant Minister tell the House what the Ministry has done to educate Kenyans not to cross highways at any place? We have bridges all over but they are not being utilized. What will the Ministry do and when will it put up a bridge at Witeithie Centre?
Mr. Assistant Minister, we are losing Kenyan lives. Can you answer the Question taking into consideration the gravity of the matter because lives are irreplaceable? Proceed!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member has shared the photos with me and, indeed, immediately, next to the road, there is a population that is visible. However, we are not talking about the people who live right next to the road. We are talking about populations across the road on the other side. Therefore, to say that the plot immediately after the bridge is empty and, therefore, it is an indication that there is no population is inaccurate.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! The issue is not the situation we have on the ground where the bridge is but the issue is the loss of lives where there is massive population or where it is densely populated. You could still have that bridge in that area to save lives and not necessarily dismantle it because it serves a purpose as population increases. We have not had populations decreasing in Kenya for a very long time. So, could you answer the Question given the gravity of the matter?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reason I said that is because of section “b” of the Question where the Member had asked us to shift that bridge to Witeithie area. That is not what we want to do because as we construct roads, we do not just construct them for now. We appreciate the future developments within that area. There was an oversight because where we have an underpass, where people currently cross - the bus stop for the public service vehicles is about 200 meters away--- Therefore, when people alight, they find it difficult to walk 200 meters, across and then cover 200 meters back. We have ensured that we get another footbridge near the Witeithie Centre. However, our great concern is that even in areas where we have built footbridges right next to populations like in Githurai and other places, the public does not use the
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will start by thanking the Assistant Minister for being considerate on the plight of the community at Witeithie. Aware that he has given that commitment, how much money will he allocate for this very urgent project?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are already doing the estimates. However, it is good to remember that this road was recently completed and it is currently under what we call the “defect liability period”. So, we do not need to set any money aside because the vote for this project is still on. All we need to do is to utilize it within the existing vote. I do not think that this is a project by itself as it were. It is within the larger Thika Road Project and, therefore, it will be done.
Are you happy, hon. Kabogo? Mr. Kabogo, you want to go into animated discussion with hon. Linturi and at the same time prosecute the question. You cannot do both at the same time!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir I was waiting for the microphone. You have heard a long story from the Assistant Minister. It was a good story but my question was simple. When will the bridge be put up at Witeithie Centre? He has talked about the financial year and yet people are dying.
Hon. Assistant Minister, this is important. It is the lives of Kenyans that we are talking about. You must give a provisional timeframe on this.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not able to give the exact time, day or hour. But I want to undertake that within this financial year, we will ensure we are able to do that because as I said, the contract is already ongoing. But even more critically, as we wait for that to be done, we want to urge the residents of Witeithie Centre and all
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate the Ministry for a good job on the superhighway and the footbridges; also there are other areas such as the Uhuru Highway, just opposite Parliament and Uhuru Park, where there have been several accidents---
Order, hon. Balala! I think you have been in the Cabinet long enough as to have a problem in prosecuting Questions. We a Question on a specific road and a specific footbridge and two locations; do not take this debate to other areas; talk about this particular issue.
Yes, hon. Khalwale, what is your point of order?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to tell us that he is waiting for the next financial year before he acts, when at the same time he has told us that the road is still under the defects liability period, which means the 10 per cent of the money that is set aside to correct any areas that were not very well worked on? If there is a missing flyover bridge, it is a defect in the construction of the road. Why can he not use part of the 10 per cent money to do the bridge at Witeithie? Is he in order?
In any case, Assistant Minister, you admitted that there was a design issue; there was a miss out in the design. So, then, how do you say that we still have the resources, when in the original design the money allocated did not take into consideration the possibility of putting up a footbridge at Witeithie? When you say you will construct the footbridge in this financial year, the financial year ends next year in June. Next year June, you will either be a Governor in Nakuru or you will be an ordinary citizen out there doing your own business. So, it is too long a period for you to give an undertaking!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not say that we will do it in the next financial year; I said we will do it within this financial year.
This financial year ends in June next year.
Secondly, this is not a defect. A defect means that something has been constructed and is inappropriate. So, this is not within the 10 per cent that the hon. Member is talking about.
I think this must be taken very seriously. If it takes me to walk a 100 metres to be able to be safe and to be there tomorrow and not to be at the Spinal Injury Hospital, I would rather walk the 100 metres. We are saying this because even in areas, where we have already constructed structures, the number of accidents is extremely high. So, I think it would be---
Whose responsibility is it to sensitize Kenyans on the need to use foot bridges? This has not been a common thing in the past. It is very new to Kenyans. Whose responsibility? It is your Ministry’s.
The responsibility is ours and we have put a signage of all over, and hope that will not be taken away any time soon. Even more importantly, we have
The final point of by hon. Kabogo, and then we proceed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is not being very helpful to the Kenyan public. You have seen those photographs. There is no one on both sides of the road where that bridge is. So, really, if he has budgetary constraints, these bridges are movable. He only needs to ask the contractor to move the bridge, if they have a financial problem. If there is no financial issue, as he intimated before, then he should say that within the next 90 days, they should be able to start working on that bridge. He wants to take us to next year when he will not be in the Ministry, and we do not even know what is going to happen. If we have lost 27 people in the last four months, we are going to lose another 27 people in the next four months. So, really, this is an important matter. Could he tell the House whether they will move the bridge or he will erect a new bridge and within what span of time? It is as simple as that.
That is the question the Assistant Minister is avoiding---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think I have already said it all. I want to emphasize here that it is not just a question of moving a bridge from point “A” to point “B”. You first need to design because specifications are very different. If there is any land to be acquired on either side to ensure there is footage that can be done. But if the hon. Member is concerned about road accidents, I want to assure him that we are even more concerned about road accidents than he is. All I have said is that within this financial year, which includes the 90 days he has mentioned, we will have started the work. But in the meantime, we have said that we want to sensitize the people of Witeithie and all other areas, so that even as we wait for the bridge, we do not continue to lose Kenyans every other day. Also, as I have said, in my opinion, this is due to the population that is constantly shifting from place to place. I think the footbridge that is already at the Castle Brewery area, should remain there.
For this other one, we have an underpass of 200 metres; all we want to do is to build another one, right where the bus-stop is; we can do that. I have assured the hon. Member that we will do that within reasonable time, but more importantly, within this financial year.
Fair enough; it is slightly less than six months to the end of this financial year. So you better start moving if you have to do something within this financial year.
Nobody is seeking a Statement and nobody is issuing a Statement.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on Tuesday, 27th, I rose on a point of order asking the Chair’s intervention on the misreporting by newspapers, and a number of Members gave their input to that point of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Temporary Deputy Speaker then, Prof. Kaloki, intimated that the Chair would issue a Statement on the matter sometime this week.
Could you again repeat what you said? You said that you did seek a Ministerial Statement. When did you seek it from the Chair?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rose on a point of order on misreporting by newspapers in a matter that was in the House; and a number of Members also did give their input to that point of order. The Chair then promised to give a statement sometime this week. I was just seeking the guidance of the Chair as to when we should expect that communication.
I am clearly not in the know on that one. I have to consult the Clerks-at–the Table.
Hon. Kabogo, I may not be able to help you at this moment. The Clerk-at-the-Table is equally not able to help but I promise you that you will get the rightful response in line with the undertaking that was made. We will refer to the HANSARD.
Hon. Members, it is the presumption of the Chair that hon. Nyammo will be proceeding with his Bill on micro and small enterprises in the Committee of the whole House. Hon. Wilbur Otichilo is not with us today. So, he will not be able to move the business under Order No.8(ii). Therefore, after we are done with Order No.8(i), we will proceed to Order No.8(iii), which is the Bill by Dr. Eseli.
Yes, hon. F.T. Nyammo!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the Committee doth report to the House its consideration of The Micro and Small Enterprises Bill (Bill No.54 of 2012) and its approval thereof without amendments.
Hon. Members, we will move straight to The Human Resource Management Professionals Bill (Bill No.51 of 2012).
Dr. Simiyu Eseli, can you move?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Sir, I beg to move that the Committee doth report to the House its consideration of The Human Resource Management Professionals Bill and its approval thereof without amendments.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered The Micro and Small Enterprises Bill and approved the same without amendment.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee on the said Report.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that The Micro and Small Enterprises Bill be now read the Third Time.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered The Human Resource Management Professionals Bill and approved the same without amendments.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee on the said Report.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that The Micro and Small Enterprises Bill be now read the Third Time.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that The Pyrethrum Bill (Bill No.57 of 2011) be read a Second Time.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Bill relates to the pyrethrum industry. May I start by saying that the importance of pyrethrum dates back to 1850s. It was
Order! It is Clause 4 in the Bill not Section 4.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in Clause 4 it was proposed that the headquarters be in Nairobi. We have since had discussions with the stakeholders and we have agreed that that clause will be deleted during the Third Reading so that the headquarters be retained in Nakuru. There was no intention of moving the factory to Nakuru; it was just the office. But even the office can still remain in Nakuru and I think we have come to that agreement. There is also the issue of royalties. The rights belong to the PBK; we do not want to take that from them. But we want the farmers to be able to grow and sell this product just like it is happening in other industries so that they can benefit maximally from their sweat. That needs to be done so that farmers are also paid by those who are coming to invest in the industry because we do not want the farmers exploited any further. Those are things that will come during the Third Reading because we have had those discussions. I also want to thank the hon. Members who have also been very keen in what is provided in this Bill. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I conclude, let me say that during the Third Reading - and hon. Members are certainly aware of this - I want to repeat for the benefit of the Stakeholders, the concerns that they have had that perhaps called for a bit of resistance at the beginning will be addressed and amendments will be made to ensure that, that is done. With those remarks, I move and ask Mr. Njuguna to second.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this brief moment to support this very crucial Bill in the life of our country. Let me start by thanking the Mover of this Motion, Mr. Kioni who found time to compile and compose this Bill. This Bill is very important because I recall that when I was a headmaster way back in the 1970s, I used to grow pyrethrum in my school. My pupils would learn farming skills and even the impact of this product. We would realize a lot of cash from this crop and inject the money to developing my school. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, pyrethrum is a crop that has benefitted largely people from my constituency, Lari. I recall the semi-arid area of the escarpment, Gitithia and even Mbao-ini; these areas heavily benefitted from this crop. Therefore, this Bill is very important and more cash should be injected into this sector. If this is done, more employment will be created for our youth and security will be enhanced in this country. You realize that recently there have been a lot of kidnappings in this country and you do not see old people kidnapping fellow Kenyans. These kidnappings are done by young people who are hopeless and have no jobs. Therefore, revitilizing this sector will
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this very important Bill. I would like to congratulate hon. Kioni for bringing this very important Bill at a time when farmers have seen so many false starts on the issue of pyrethrum in Kenya.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, pyrethrum has been very useful in combating poverty, particularly among small-scale farmers in Nakuru and parts of Kericho and Bomet counties. For sometime now we have seen increasing levels of poverty in these areas, owing to the mismanagement of this particular crop. I am, with a bit of pessimism, supporting what the hon. Member is bringing. This is because we are concerned that the Government has continued to come in with its regulatory role to assist farmers, but ended up interfering. They have always advanced loans to this sector, which end up being misused by the same civil servants that they have sent to help farmers. Their regulation has become pernicious to the welfare of farmers.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to commend my colleague, hon. Kioni, for coming up with this very important Bill concerning pyrethrum.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was educated with money from pyrethrum. As I speak today, in Nyandarua where we are supposed to have some form of cash crop, the crop has gone. As a result, people are really depending on potatoes and many young people are not being gainfully engaged. At one time, Kenya was contributing 60 per cent of the total world production of pyrethrum. Today, we are producing less than 5 per cent in the world, yet our soils produce the best crop with the highest pyrethrin content. That is why people even had to come from China to get some of our crop here to do research on increasing their pyrethrin content. This resulted into us losing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is high time we relooked at the way we appoint boards. If you turn to Clause 7 and look at the way the board is being appointed, it is skewed towards the Government. We have the Permanent Secretary and five persons appointed by the Minister. Since this is a people’s body, we should give opportunity to the pyrethrum growers in those 19 counties to actually elect their own representatives, so that they have a say. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the transition period, because we have a lot of investment that has been done by the farmers, we should not allow what happened to the Kenya Co-operative Creameries (KCC) 2000, where all the assets were taken by a few individuals and the farmers never benefitted at all. Even when it was later on made the New KCC, the same farmers lost. Therefore, we should look at those areas so that we give back to the farmers the responsibility to run their institutions, rather than making it completely the responsibility of the Government. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad to hear that we should not always be centralizing institutions in Nairobi. When you go and see the investments that the farmers have done in Nakuru, it would be a tragedy to move even the regulatory body from Nakuru to Nairobi, yet the investment has been contributed by the farmers.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to start by thanking hon. Kioni for introducing this very important Bill. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there was a time when all the agricultural products, including coffee, tea and pyrethrum were doing so well in Kenya. But a time came when all the institutions which were running these very important agricultural products were run down. Among the institutions which were run down was the one in charge of pyrethrum. This is because almost all the property belonging to the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya was actually vandalized and taken. Farmers delivered their products and for years were never paid, yet the people who were in charge were walking on the streets with a lot of money in their pockets. This Bill will bring sanity in the production of pyrethrum and the way things are run. It will also bring confidence to the farmers. The Authority will assure the farmers of payment for their products. This kind of guarantee to the farmers is what is lacking. If we have this guarantee, then we can be sure that our agricultural economic activities will be enhanced and people will go back to where there is land available. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Bill should have been there yesterday. This House should pass it with immediate effect, so that pyrethrum can be grown, harvested and sold. We know that we can be a world exporter of pyrethrum, because the pyrethrum products from Kenya are of the best quality, just like we have the best quality coffee and tea. We are endowed with very good soils for the production of the best quality agricultural products. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to join my colleagues in supporting this Bill.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill. I want to start by thanking hon. Kioni for introducing this Bill at this time. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this particular crop was one of the most important crops, particularly in the early days of our independent Kenya. This crop was ranked together with coffee in terms of the foreign currency that it brought into the country and also as a major employer of the farmers. I remember the days when we used to be taught in school and told that the backbone of our economy was agriculture. This was informed by contributions made by crops such as coffee and pyrethrum. As you have been told, this crop was introduced in this country in 1928. It was tested and found to do very well in the highlands of our country. From that time, this crop continued to flourish and tonnage went up so that between 1960 and 1970 the crop registered an average of about 15,000 metric tonnes. This was about 75 per cent of the world’s requirement. The crop had become an important foreign exchange earner for the country. Production of the pyrethrum flowers and sales to overseas customers brought in up to Kshs2 billion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, soon after that the Executive made major mistakes. It is during that time that businesses were being Africanized. In the quest to Africanize the pyrethrum production in this country, the Executive started pumping in
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Bill and congratulate my brother, hon. Kioni. I want to be very brief and to the point.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to also add my voice in supporting this very crucial and important Bill and I congratulate my brother, hon. Kioni for bringing it. This Bill is meant to increase the growth of this country. When we increase the growth of this country, we open opportunities for our young Kenyans to get jobs and increasing growth means increasing livelihoods for the families in this country.
With those few remarks, I support this Bill. Thank you so much.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the very outset, I want to take the opportunity to thank my brother, hon. Jeremiah Kioni and the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives for spearheading this particular Bill. I want to state that the pyrethrum sector has gone through very many challenges from the 1990s to date when this very vibrant crop went downhill. As a Ministry, we have tried the best we can to revitalize the crop by really pumping in a lot of money to ensure we are able to support the farmers. The PBK was run down during the previous regime and when the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) Government took over, its first step was to try to revitalize the PBK. It pumped in a lot of money to the tune of Kshs1.2 billion but unfortunately the farmer abandoned the crop. Through the Bills which the Minister for Agriculture has brought in this House, the ALFFA Bill and the Crops Bill, their intention is basically to try to cure some of the issues which the hon. Member has brought to the House. Since the purpose of the ALFFA Bill which is in this House is to repeal majority of all the laws which are under the Ministry of Agriculture, then it goes to say that even what we are trying to do today through the Private Members’ Bill is also being repealed at the same time.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, so, as the Ministry of Agriculture, we beg to oppose this Bill despite its good intentions. Thank you.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to announce here and mislead this House that he is opposing this Bill having known that we have borrowed all the good principles and everything in the previous Bills that have been consolidated in the Crops Bill? Is he trying to negate all the good things that are being proposed by this hon. House and confirm, which is factually not true, that these principles have been held by the Crops Bill (2012)?
I understood him to be saying that these principles are being incorporated in one comprehensive legislation that addresses all the issues. Mr. Assistant Minister, maybe you can explain.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I was saying was that all the issues which are being addressed by this Bill by hon. Kioni are all being taken care of by the Crops Bill. That is why we are saying that we do not want to have quite a number of Bills which are regulating the same sector at the same time. That is why as a Ministry we are supporting the Crops Bill which will be coming on the Floor of this House, unlike all these other fragmental Bills which we are trying to amalgamate and bring together.
Mr. Kioni, you may continue. It is the responsibility of the House to debate and pass or to refuse to pass the Bill. So, you can oppose if you have the numbers.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for that opportunity and I also want to thank hon. Members who have contributed to this Bill. I want to thank hon. Njuguna of Lari, hon. Cheruiyot of Kuresoi, hon. Mureithi of Ol Kalou, hon. Ruteere, hon. Kigen who had a lot of interest in this Bill, hon. Mututho, the chairman of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives who has been very instrumental, useful and resourceful in the whole of this process and Mrs. Noor for the support that they have given. I also want to thank hon. Millie for having sat through and as I say this, let me say that---
Mr. Kioni, are you suggesting that hon. Millie was the hon. Member of Parliament who sat through during this debate?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that she was among the others who were sitting through this and I want to appreciate everybody who was with us in this House.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for other hon. Members to feel jealous when I have been especially recognized because I was giving moral authority when they were not offering moral authority? Like Mr. Balala has nothing to offer as moral support and authority.
As far as the Chair is concerned, he did not utter a word during the entire debate. So Mr. Kioni, you are certainly not being fair to hon. Members who have sat through and supported you even though they did not contribute.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank all of those who have sat through, including Mr. Lesrima who has just walked in a little bit late. But as I do this, I also want to say that we have been in consultation with the Ministry. I have talked to the Minister who is the boss of Mr. Mbiuki. I also talked with his colleague, the Assistant Minister, Mr. Ndambuki.
Mr. Kioni, you know there is only one definition of “Ministers” in our Standing Orders and the Minister in the House right now is Mr. Mbiuki speaking on behalf of the Ministry.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that while in that engagement there was full support for the Bill. I understand and appreciate that there is the Crops Bill; I have gone through it. We were here and when the Minister was not here, we went through it, supported it and we agree that the principles are very useful to the whole of the industry. But it is also comforting for pyrethrum farmers to know that their
Mr. Lesrima, you are late because he was replying, but you can still speak during the Third Reading. You will get an opportunity to speak to the Bill at that moment.
Hon. Members, before the next Order is read, a request has been made by Dr. Kones that we restore the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill. Dr. Kones, if you will make sure that the hon. Members who may have walked out when the Bill was deferred are, indeed, around and would like to speak, the Chair will be prepared to restore this after the next Order.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this time to move that The Public Benefit Organizations Bill be read a Second Time. This Bill seeks to provide a legislative framework to govern the establishment and operation of public benefit organizations (PBOs). It is borne out of realization that the law as it currently stands is inadequate for that purpose. This Bill, therefore, seeks to fill in the gap that is in the current legal framework. The Bill takes into account the important role that civil society organizations and PBOs play in serving the public good. The PBOs support development. They do social cohesion and tolerance within the society. They promote democracy and the respect for rule of law and providing accountability mechanisms that contribute to improved governance. From the outset, I want to declare my interest in this because I have been in the civil society organizations for over 20 years. I have worked in the sector and I know there are many hon. Members in this House who have worked in the sector for many years. This is a sector that has contributed in a big way in supplementing Government
Order, Mrs. Noor! Are you comfortable to continue with this debate without a single Member from the Government in view of the very serious issues you are addressing, particularly the Attorney-General’s Office or the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, being here is their responsibility because the Bill is on the Order Paper. They are supposed to come here. The Minister concerned came before the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare and he was in support. I do not know why they are not here today; but they appeared before the Committee and gave their contribution. So, they were involved from the beginning. I think I am comfortable going on with the debate.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. It is not possible to determine the number of public benefit organizations in the country due to---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to thank you for raising that issue. I just want to thank you for raising that issue. I want to raise the concerns I have after looking through this Bill. It raises very fundamental issues in the Non-governmental organizations (NGO) sector. I am also aware that many organizations have been complaining about this Bill; it would have been really fair for the Ministry to be here to give us the opportunity--- I would encourage that we continue because it is their responsibility and if they are not here they cannot hold us to ransom. I would wish that the Leader of Government Business, who, unfortunately, is also not here would be here. He could have requested a responsible Minister to come by the time we complete these very fundamental issues.
It is for the same reasons that I raised that; having gone quickly through it, and having also looked at the Constitution extensively, there are a number of serious issues that the Government ought to respond to; I am raising them so as to be captured in the HANSARD; when they come to respond, they should address the issues. We may continue.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for raising those issues because they are crucial. I think we have worked together with the Minister and the Permanent Secretary in many forums. The Minister also gave us some of the amendments that he thought are important for us to move and we are ready with them.
As I was saying earlier, we have approximately 350,000 civil society organizations operating in this country. It is important for us to look at a way of getting a framework that will provide them an enabling environment in which to operate. We know that there are many challenges facing the sector, particularly in the current legal and regulatory framework for public benefit organizations. These challenges include:
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Let me second the Mover of this Bill. I will start by congratulating her for this Bill which is very timely. I congratulate her for the time she has put in this Bill and her passion for it. This is reflected in her words as she moved it. The importance of this sector which is being covered by this Bill is very familiar to all of us. It is a sector which in terms of value controls about Kshs300 billion every year. This is a sector, if the provisions of this Bill are put in place, its contribution will easily rise to a trillion which is about the budget of this country. When we talk about the PBOs in this country, many of us remember the areas they operate in. These are areas that have been neglected for many years since Independence. You will remember the good work that the Red Cross and such organizations have done in areas like Turkana and the eastern part of this country. The importance of this Bill, among others, will be the sanity it will bring into the operations of these organizations. All of us know how many times we have seen drama on our televisions when these organizations fight for offices. We believe that the regulation framework that will be put in place through this Bill will bring sanity to the industry. It will bring sanity by doing away with the so-called briefcase NGOs which have been a nightmare in this country. It will also do away with the cartels which have given this industry a bad name. There are many issues in this Bill which have been touched by the Mover. However, I will touch on a few.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is the Member in order to say that the Government is not represented here? I am here and hon Kabando is also here. We are from the Government side.
Order! The two of you were not here when the Chair raised the issue. It is a valid issue given the important messages. The very intention of this Bill is to repeal a very substantive law on NGOs and it is being debated in the complete absence of two key Ministries. This is the issue that has been raised. The belated attempt by you, Madam Assistant Minister, does not address the issue which is that the substantive Ministries that are supposed to respond to the issues here are not in the House. You may continue hon. Nyamai.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for that intervention.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would wish to conclude by thanking the PBOs which are operating in this country. I request many more to come in and assist our people. I would like to thank, in particular, the World Vision which has done a lot in Lower Yatta District. I also take this opportunity to request other PBOs to come and support Government efforts in development of Kitui rural areas, in particular, Kisasi and Mbitini areas.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to congratulate Madam Noor for the wonderful job she has done. I know she comes from the NGO world. She has the experience and now she is a legislator. The calibre of Mrs. Noor and Mrs. Odhiambo-Mabona is heroism for the country. So, the good work these two hon. Members have done is wonderful. I want to congratulate her for the good work.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we definitely appreciate the good work the NGO world is doing in complementing Government work. Also we know there are a lot of problems within the NGO world, because of a legal framework that does not address their issues. I am glad that this Bill will address their issues in terms of regulation and registrations. This Bill also facilitates registration and a transparent way of undertaking it. Before it was at the discretion of the Director-General of the NGO Co-ordination Board, but today, there is clear timeline. It says that within specific time, registration has to be done. So, an application is processed in good time.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have always had a problem of too many NGOs. Some of them we refer to them as “briefcase NGOs”. We want to regulate the good NGOs, support them and encourage them. Yes, we have bad elements within society. Through this Bill, we want to control those “briefcase NGOs”. We all know some NGOs have done a good job in this country.
As an African nation and a young democracy, we appreciate the advocacy role that NGOs play. Also, we want NGOs to truly give support in the infrastructure sector, education and health, so that we are able to get goods results in these sectors; these sectors are key to humanity.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the way the appointment of the Commission will be done will be transparent and I appreciate it. I know that the Cabinet Secretary will have the power to appoint at least three members to the Commission. We should make sure that those three members are not also members of other registered NGOs, so that they do not come in and advocate their own partisan interests. They should be people of integrity and who will stand firm. They should be able to serve the bigger interest of the country rather than the interest of specific NGOs.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to appreciate that we need to complementarily between Government regulation as well as the wishes of private stakeholders who are out there.
Self-regulation is very important. We know there is the NGO Council. Of late, we have found it to be very problematic. It has been fighting with the NGO Co-ordination Board as well as within itself. We need to see discipline and order with the Independent Regulatory Council that is proposed in this Bill.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is very important to raise the issues of transparency, integrity and accountability. I think within this law, we should have a new
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, first of all, I want to congratulate Mrs. Noor for bringing this Bill. I want to say that from the outset that I support it with a bit of reservation. I would support with a reservation because of two reasons; one, this is an extremely important Bill that is raising fundamental issues. It seeks to abolish a Government institution and set up another in its place. Indeed, that was why the Chair was saying that we did not have the relevant Ministry to tell us whether they are comfortable with that and the reasons for the abolition of the existing entity. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have not had the opportunity to engage myself with the civil society sector. But I have seen a lot of resistance to this Bill. I want to take hon. Noor’s words that they engaged the persons who were protesting and they have heard their views. But the Bill raises fundamental issues, and completes alters the way the NGO sector works in this country. Some of which I support and some of which I do not support. I will seek Mrs. Noor to convince me otherwise. Therefore, I would want to say that it is really regrettable and embarrassing for the relevant Government Ministry not to be here. One day I may just wake up and decide to abolish the Ministry of Agriculture. I will just come here and abolish it in the absence of the Government. I might as well just abolish the whole Government one day, as Ministers sleep.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, first of all, I would like to support this Bill as brought to the House by Mrs. Noor. This Bill is good because of what we have witnessed in the NGO world. The NGO world has done a commendable job and most of us who are based in the rural areas have seen what both international and local NGOs have done. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as Mrs. Millie Odhiambo-Mabona has said, this Bill requires a lot of cleaning up, so that we are able to bring some sense in the NGO world without creating conflict. We have had situations where local Kenyans start NGOs,
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Motion. The Civil Society all over the world has done a lot of work, particularly in ensuring that there is an alternative view and that there is also checking and balancing of governance, including of public affairs where Governments have been intransigent or not very democratic. At this juncture, I would like to laud the role that the Civil Society has played in ensuring provision of services in areas where they have been inaccessible, particularly basic need
What is your point of order, Mr. Midiwo?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Would I be in order to request that the Mover be called upon to reply?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am a Government Minister and I do not think the backbencher can speak for me.
It is not for you, hon. Kabando. I am sure you are aware that Wednesday morning is the time for Private Members’ business. With regard to the comment that you have made about being a Cabinet Minister, unfortunately, the Members would have wished us to complete this debate. It is
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to conclude with the point that the issue of the Government’s presence has been raised from the Chair this morning. We are here two very important Ministers and also a graduate of the civil society is speaking now.
Financial disclosures, the source, utilization and allocation of money obtained internationally or locally are very important. At a time when we are very serious about national security given the complexities of roles that organizations play in our national leadership and in the political context, I support the clause that calls for financial disclosures on sources of funding. We know that nations have collapsed and can collapse where there is manipulation and perpetration by financial muscle which is not legitimate. Thirdly is the question of accountability. The disclosures should hedge on national reports, whether money is obtained from overseas or from donors who have not been disclosed. It is important that civil society organizations print like the publicly quoted companies where shareholders, no matter the worth of their shares in those companies, the financial disclosures, including the remuneration of the managers and directors of these public trusts is very important. Finally, it is the question of legitimacy, that in a certain area, the co-ordination of the civil society needs to be such that there is no duplication and even the mandate of the politically leaning NGOs is not to the extent that they can actually---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to ask you to use your discretion for the convenience of the House to extend the sitting this morning for an extra 15 minutes, so that we can complete the Business on the Order Paper.
Hon. Members, yes, I have used my discretion and we shall extend by 15 minutes. But now that you have concluded, hon. Kabando, the 15 minutes is not being extended for you. It is for the other Members.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me finish since the Motion has not been put to the time limit.
I was talking about correspondence. We have institutions that are now very strong under the Political Parties Act. We have a Judiciary that is very strong. We have the Executive with Motions being passed here daily and laws that now have been approved to implement the Constitution. We need to demarcate---
Order, hon. Kabando!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am very concerned about this impatience to my contribution and I think as a legislator, I have an entitlement to give my views. That is why I came all the way from Mukurwe-ini this morning to speak powerfully about this Bill.
Hon. Kilimo, could you take a few minutes, so that we can call the Mover to reply?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I welcome my niece. Welcome!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Bill. I support and appreciate the work of hon. Noor. Both of us come from the civil society background. Indeed, some of us would not have gained the courage we have in politics were it not for the training from the civil society. I congratulate all the civil society organizations who look out for women and train them in areas of decision- making, politics and many other areas. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also want to thank and appreciate the work done by the civil society. More so, for the efforts they have made to assist the girl child, especially those girls who have run away from that monster which we disclosed last year called Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Most of those girls would not have accessed education or had shelter were it not for the civil society who go out into those remote parts of the country to tell people what is harmful to them and inform other members of society about the effects of harmful cultural practices. We, in this House, having been informed, can pass laws to deter that. So, they do a lot of work. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I come from an area where initially there was a lot of unrest. Thanks to the civil society and the NGOs who go out to talk to members to embrace one another and find other mechanisms of conflict resolution. The civil society and the NGOs have done a lot to complement the Government’s work. So, the establishment of a regulatory body is welcome to check the conduct of NGOs. We know not all of them are angels. There are those who do not do the right thing like those ones who do a lot of child trafficking and engage in other things in order to get money. The issue of integrity comes in. So, this Bill will go a long way in checking that. So, I support the establishment of the regulatory board. I have an issue with Article 10, Part III on resumption of registration where it says that upon the expiry of 60 days from the date, a public benefit organisation made an application for registration under Section 8(1) and no decision has been made by the Commission. The public benefit organisation shall be deemed to have been automatically registered under this Act and may apply to the tribunal for an order requiring the Commission to issue to it a certificate of registration. I oppose this part because knowing the bureaucracy involved. Since we would not know the effectiveness of the desk officer at that particular time, it might take longer than 60 days. So, what happens? Somebody can collude with a person who has bad intentions and wants an NGO to be registered, then in that manner they will use delaying tactics. With those few remarks, I support this Bill and congratulate Mrs. Noor.
I am calling upon the Mover to respond. But, at the same time, I am informing her that Mr. Namwamba and Mr. I.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will give Mr. Namwamba a minute because I know he has contributed in a big way in civil society organisations. So, I will also give a minute to Mr. I. Muoki.
Bi Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwanza nataka kumshukuru Mhe. Sophia Noor kwa kuleta Mswada huu hapa Bungeni. Pia ninamshukuru kwa kunipa dakika moja ili nitoa machango wangu juu ya Mswada huu. Kwanza ningependa kutoa hongera zangu kwa mashirika yote yasiyo ya kiserikali (NGOs) kwa mchango wao was maendeleo katika sekta mbalimbali hapa nchini. Hii ni dhihirisho kuwa Wakenya wakipewa nafasi katika viwango mbalimbali watachangia maendeleo ya nchi hii vilivyo. Ningependa kusisitiza swala la uajibikaji katika mashirika haya. Kila mara Wakenya na mashirika haya yanataka kuona Serikali ikiajibika katika matumizi yake ya pesa za umma. Hili ni wazo nzuri kwa sababu tukizitumia pesa zetu vizuri tutakuwa na maendeleo mengi hapa nchini. Vile vile tungependa kuona mashirika haya yakiajibika katika matumizi ya pesa wanazopata kutoka nje ya nchi kuambatana na mwamko mpya wa nchi hii. Kwa hivyo, tunengependa wote tuajibike kama Serikali na kama mashirika haya yasiyo ya kiserikali. Kwa hayo machache, ninaunga mkono.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to start by thanking hon. Noor for this very important Bill.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the NGOs have done a commendable job in this country. I would like to particularly appreciate those NGOs which have partnered with us in Kitui County, especially in Kitui South. The NGOs like the World Vision International, among others, have done a lot in terms of provision of water. It is very good that we have a body that can really co-ordinate and kind of regulate these bodies, so that we have good work in this country. I would also like to urge these organizations to spread everywhere in the country, so that their support can be felt in every corner. This will ensure that as they supplement the Government’s efforts, we will be moving together.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to take this chance to honestly appreciate and thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to this Bill all those who wanted to contribute, but because of time, they did not get that chance.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, this House passed Sessional Paper No.1 of 2006 on NGOs, seeking to repeal or review the NGO Co-ordination Act of 1999. So, this is what the Act is doing. All the contributions that the hon. Members have made are very enriching. Some of those issues that hon. Members have raised will be carried in our amendments.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Members for their contributions. This is a good way of taking this country to the next level.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move.
Hon. Members, we will now go back to Order No.9; The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill (Bill No.15 of 2011.)
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill be now read a Second Time.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Bill is fairly straightforward and simple. It is just seeking to make one amendment to The Customs and Excise Act. Section 91(A) of the Act talks about the capacity and containers for packaging of alcoholic beverages, but it does not specifically say what type of packaging is used. So, this Bill is trying to say that we can package alcoholic beverages either in a glass or a plastic. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, maybe to allay any fears that some few people had, we have already even talked to hon. Mututho and agreed that, in the Committee stage, we will specify the qualities and specifications for this BET, so that they meet the international standards that are required. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Bill is fairly straightforward and has been agreed upon by the industry and players. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move and ask hon. Midiwo to second.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. This Bill has been lying here for almost one year and looking at it, it is self explanatory. That is why we request you to extend time a bit. We want to do as much business as possible, so that as we go home we leave nothing that organizes our business and social structures undone. I second.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this chance. I want to congratulate hon. Kones for bringing this amendment Bill and I support.
Bi Naibu Spika wa Muda ningependa kumshukuru Mbunge wa Konoin, Gavana mtarajiwa wa Bomet County, mhe. Julius Kones kwa kuleta Mswada huu hapa Bungeni. Kitendo hiki kinadhihirisha kuwa yeye kweli anajali siyo tu maslahi ya Wakenya lakini vile vile maendeleo katika sekta yetu ya viwanda. Imani yangu ni kuwa Mswada huu ukipitishwa na kuwa sheria na kuutekeleza, basi tutaweza kuimarisha hali ya utenda kazi katika viwanda hivi ambavyo hutumia aina hii ya bidhaa. Bi Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa hayo machache, ninaunga mkono.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Kones for bringing this Bill. I stand to support it.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support, but I will be bringing an amendment at the Committee Stage to improve on the quality of the plastic
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also rise to congratulate Dr. Kones for this Bill. I support this Bill and wish him well in his pursuits to serve his county as a Governor.
Hon. Members, could we ask the Mover to reply?
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to thank all hon. Members who have contributed and supported this Bill. As hon. Mututho said, we will beef it up in the Committee Stage. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move.
Is Dr. Monda not here? He is not here.
Hon. Members, it is now time to adjourn the business of the House. Therefore, this House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 12.45 p.m.