Hon. Members, this is certainly an improvement from the past. We have a quorum and, therefore, we can begin the business of today.
Hon. Members, we will follow the order of Statements as they appear on the Order Paper. It is responses to requests made. The first one is a response to be given by the Leader of the Majority Party on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that was sought by hon. David Wafula Wekesa. MEASURES TO CURB FGM PRACTICE IN THE COUNTRY
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I do not know whether hon. David Wafula Wekesa is in the House.
Is hon. David Wafula in the House? Yes, he is present.
Hon. Speaker, I have two responses. One is from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and the other one is from the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. I will read the one from the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and give a small brief on the one from the Office of the DPP. Hon. Deputy Speaker, the Government recognizes that FGM is a gross violation of the rights of women and girls and goes against the spirit of the Constitution, that neither religion nor culture should be used to perpetuate the practice. The campaign against FGM is a flagship project in the national development agenda of our country, articulated in the Second Medium-Term Plan of Vision 2030. The Ministry of Devolution and Planning, which is in charge of gender affairs, acknowledges and is alarmed by the increased incidents of FGM in certain parts of our country. The Member sought to know the number and details of cases of FGM that have been reported since the enactment of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2011 and the progress in implementing that law, particularly the provisions on the offences. He also wanted a list of cases showing persons who have been charged or prosecuted for violating the said law. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, since the enactment of the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act in 2011 several cases have been reported to the law enforcement agencies as indicated below. In December, 2011 in Long’isa Township, Bomet County, six mothers and one circumciser were arrested for circumcising their daughters. The mothers were charged at the Bomet Law Court and jailed for four days. The circumciser was jailed for six months and released under a presidential pardon. In December, 2011, again in Bomet County, two young mothers and seven girls were forcefully circumcised. The mothers of these girls were arrested and young men demonstrated leading to the burning of the Chief’s office. The ring leaders were arrested and charged and later released on bond. In 2012 in Meru County, six girls were circumcised and hidden resulting in the case stalling. In 2012, in Kyuso Sub-County, Kitui County, five girls between the ages of 13 and 18 were rescued from being circumcised. The cases are many and so I will table the document. The third question was whether or not the Government has been complying with the law, particularly requirements of Section 27 of the law, which requires the Government to protect women and girls from FGM and provide support service to victims of FGM. The Government has taken the following measures. (I) In March, 2014 the DPP appointed 20 officers to handle cases of FGM and sensitize the public on FGM legislation. The following counties are targeted by the office of the DPP: Narok, Kajiado, Nairobi, Baringo, Kisii, Garissa, Meru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kilgoris, Taita Taveta, Maralal, Kuria, Tana River, Marsabit, Mandera and Wajir. Secondly, the law enforcement officers have been taking action to prevent and respond to FGM cases. The cases that the Government has dealt with are tabulated. (2) The rescuing of girls escaping from FGM and early marriage and placement in child protection centres mainly in Migori, Baringo, and Kajiado counties has started. (3) There has been established of the mechanism and strong networks such as area advisory councils under the Children’s Department to deal with FGM and early marriage. (4) The establishment of sexual and gender-based violence networks across the country was what contributed to the rescue of girls, arrest of the perpetrators and follow- up of the cases. Certain reports have been found in Kuria, Baringo, Mount Elgon, Naivasha, Migori, West Pokot and Nairobi. Complications arising from FGM include excessive bleeding infections. This has led to the establishment at the Kenyatta National Hospital of the Gender-based Violence Unit; this unit is also found in Nyeri, Eldoret and Migori. All these hospitals have Gender-based Violence Units. There has also been sensitization during various events such as the International Day on Zero Tolerance to FGM. This is a day we observe. We also have 16 days of activism against violence against women, the International Women’s Day, which is observed annually to highlight on FGM and early girl marriage, sensitization of communities, including men, women, girls and boys in high prevalence counties. The statistics for some of the counties on FGM prevalence are as follows: In North Eastern region 97.6 per cent; Kisii 96 per cent; Maasai 73 per cent; Meru 45 per cent; Embu 51 per cent; Kuria and Pokot over 90 per cent. This is as per the Kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2009. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
There have also been efforts to promote alternative rites of passage in many parts of our country, mainly in Meru, Kisii, Narok and Kajiado. There has been engagement with regional leaders to seek support to the end of the practice. Since the year 2009, through the Government efforts, council of elders from Meru, Islamic religious leaders and elders in Kuria and Kisii have shown public commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practice. The last question was the action being taken by the Government. One is the formation of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who has formed a team to handle FGM related cases. We have sensitization on the law enforcement agencies on the provision of FGM based on the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2011.There has been prosecution of law enforcement officers abetting or failing to report FGM cases. For example, in Kajiado a chief was arrested in the year 2014. From DPP is a long list of cases he has dealt with. I do not want to take a lot of time on this. I will request to table both documents at the end of my presentation for hon. Members to study. Thank you.
Okay; thank you Leader of Majority Party. I will give the first opportunity to the owner of the Statement. Hon. Wafula.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. From the reported cases, it appears as if the Government is not serious about this issue. Most of these cases involve murder, forced circumcision, heavy bleeding and many others. Why should someone be jailed for four days or even six months? Why should it take so long to conclude these cases, and why should there be a presidential pardon? That is why you recently saw women in Kajiado had the courage to demonstrate against the Government and demand the lifting a ban; the Government is not serious about this matter. The other thing is---
Hon. Jimmy Angwenyi! Can you wait for your turn? The chance has now been given to hon. David Wafula.
Where is the political will? I know most of us avoid asking these questions for fear of losing votes. We should understand that this is a primitive and outdated culture. Culture and tradition are created by a human being and still can be undone. Once upon a time, I used to be a strong believer in Dini ya Msambwa but---
Hon. David Wafula, Order! Order! I did not give you the chance to give us a lecture on FGM. Can you seek clarification? What do you want from the Leader of Majority Party?
Why is it taking so long to conclude these cases? Why are those involved jailed for a few days or short periods? Thank you.
Okay. I think that point has been made now. Hon. Jimmy Angwenyi, it is now your turn to seek clarification.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I wonder why this Parliament wants to criminalize people’s culture. Last night, I saw on television a lady who had been imprisoned for Seven years---
Order! Order! Order, hon. Angwenyi! Remember there is a law which has been passed in this House.
Okay. I want to seek clarification as to why we have a law criminalizing the culture of our people when, in fact, we have not made a law to criminalize gayism whose practisers are now all over the world. We have adopted The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Western culture. We are protecting and promoting it when we are not promoting our own cultures. Kisii culture requires that we must have a small cut on our girls. We would like to protect and promote it
Okay. Hon. Maanzo, is yours a clarification? Order! Order hon. Members! We shall have some order. We have heard Jimmy’s clarification. Can I take three first before--- Order! Order! Hon. Munuve, what is your point of order. Where are you?
On a point of order, hon. Deputy Speaker. I am just wondering whether hon. Angwenyi has been practicing these small cuts. He seems to be well versed with surgery. I have never known him to have gone to any medical school that is known in the Republic of Kenya. He is talking as if he has participated in cutting, or in observing or assisting--- Is he in order to treat this House to that kind of analogy in cruelty that poor kids have suffered in this country? Has he or his children suffered that kind of cruelty by undergoing the small cut. We have fathers and mothers in this House. How do you treat this House to that kind of funny and purely cruel description of the mutilation of Kenyan children’s bodies?
Order! Order hon. Angwenyi. This Motion is not about contrasting or comparing. We are talking about a law which is in existence in this country. Hon. Members, please let us stick to the subject. Right now, you are seeking clarifications. The Majority Leader has given you the overview of what Government is doing, or the cases that have come up and have been prosecuted. So, stick to getting clarification, hon. Members. Order! Order, hon. Members! Hon. Shill. We are not able to get you on the screen.
Hon. Deputy Speaker is it really in order for hon. Angwenyi to use unparliamentarily language by calling his colleague “are you a gay?” You know in Africa it is a taboo to be gay! Is it proper?
Order! Order hon. Angwenyi! Order hon. Members! Can we please address each other with dignity? I have already given a clarification that there is no comparison being made here. Hon. Angwenyi, your line of argument is completely out of order. Stick to the question of FGM. Well, the hon. Member asked a question; he did not call him gay. Can we just leave that matter, or let it rest?
Now, hon. Member, I have a long list here. Hon. Simba Arati, are you seeking clarification on the same? I hope the Leader of the Majority Party is taking notes; I will give him three more questions and then he will answer them first.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I would want to know from the Leader of the Majority Party--- Indeed, he has indicated clearly that even in Garissa, where he comes from, the numbers are high. In Kisii, he indicated it is around 96 percent; that is where hon. Jimmy Angwenyi comes from.
And you? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Of course, I come from Nairobi.
( Laughter )
In Nairobi, we do not practise these things; they are practised down there. The clarification I want to seek from the Leader of the Majority Party is, how well prepared is the Government in terms of saving the girl child from the cut? This is because, indeed, we know very well that it is a culture in many communities. I want to know if there is allocation of money for educating communities to know what they are doing is wrong. I would really request the Leader of the Majority Party to tell us even in terms of budget, if the government has set aside money for educating communities?
Okay, hon. Mohamed Huka.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. The clarification, I want to seek from the Leader of the Majority Party is in terms of prevalence in different counties which he has given us. It has been very informative; knowing that this is about people’s culture--- It evolved over time and communities practise it. Other than having the laws that we have made in this August House, what has the Government done over and above what he has shared with us in terms of practicability? This is because, what he has given us is not enough to stop or discourage people from practising this culture.
Okay; I go to hon. Mary Seneta and then hon. Cyprian Iringo.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I really want to appreciate the Leader of the Majority Party’s response to this Statement, and my hon. colleague who sought it. I do not think anyone’s culture is being fought in anyway. I come from a community that has a very rich and beautiful culture. If there is a type of culture that is taking people backwards, or that interferes with the lives of the beautiful women of Kenya today, I want to really tell the Government that the law needs to be enforced, or implemented, by everyone. I feel very sad if a colleague in this national House can support such a retrogressive practice that has really interfered with our girls’ education. This practice is not only interfering with our health, but also with our girls’ education, our mothers’ health and even our development. Today people are taking masters degrees and diplomas to the market---
Hon. Mary, I know you are passionate but can you just seek your clarification.
Are our girls going to take FGM certificates to the market? I want to be answered possibly by my colleague, hon. Angwenyi.
Order, hon. Jimmy Angwenyi! Hon. Jimmy Angwenyi, can you please leave the House for the rest of the day.
Out! Out! Out!
( Hon. Angwenyi withdrew from the Chamber )
Order Members! Order Members! We must have Order in the House; I have given the chance to hon. Iringo. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. As much as I am perturbed by my colleague who has just gone out---
Order! What is the Serjeant-At-Arms doing at the back? I have already asked hon. Jimmy Angwenyi to leave the House for the rest of the day!
Here, we are talking about culture and the law which exists. In as much as the Leader of the Majority Party has already given a clear Statement on what the government is doing to mitigate this--- I want it to be known that if the law is there; it has to be enforced to the letter; if it is culture, then we should know which should supersede the other one. Recently, we saw women in Narok defending their culture; tomorrow; we will see them in Garissa; the next day we will see them in Meru. What is the Government going to do to mitigate this and ensure that the law is enforced? We as law makers, fathers and mothers in this country, we do not want it. If this is part of a culture, it is outdated and barbaric. We should live in modern times. So, the Government should even provide funds, so that whoever is doing this is punished, and also civic education is also enforced in our communities; we have to “kill” this retrogressive culture.
Please Members, stick to getting clarifications from the Leader of the Majority Party.
Yes hon. Gumbo.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. Both my culture and religious beliefs do not support FGM---
Order Members! We are not communicating with the hon. Member.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I said both my culture and religious beliefs do not support FGM. Why this problem is becoming difficult and people like hon. Angwenyi talk the way they do is, probably, because of the provisions of Article 11 of our Constitution. It says that the Constitution recognizes culture as the foundation of the nation and as the cumulative civilization of the Kenyan people and nation. This, in itself, can be a bit confusing and people may interpret it differently.
What I wanted to tell the Leader of the Majority Party is that we now have a Board which has been charged with ensuring that we do not have high prevalence of FGM in Kenya. We deal with a problem once we know its gravity. If the Leader of the Majority Party is in the know, let him tell us what the Board has done so far in assessing how prevalent the practice is in Kenya in terms of the number of the Kenyan people who are affected. May be he is not the right person to do it, but could he tell us what successes the Board has had in rolling back the practice, which is clearly retrogressive?
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Justice Kemei.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. I wanted to seek a clarification from the Leader of the Majority Party. We have a body that has been mandated by law; it is headed by hon. Jebii Kilimo; it is supposed to sensitise the public and campaign against this culture. What has it done so far? We must realize this is the 21st century and not the 19th or 18th Century, when we used to do primitive things to show our manhood or womanhood. I seek that clarification.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Fathia, I want to hear from another community that has a high prevalence.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I want to seek clarification as to why an Act was passed in this august House in 2011, but it is not applied. I must say that we have to address this problem in another way, or through other strategies. I know it is mostly practised in the northern part of Kenya, Maasai land and also in Kisii. It is very disadvantageous. The Leader of the Majority Party must come up with other ways of dealing with this issue, because it is really primitive and has a lot of disadvantages; it is an uncouth way of dealing with our daughters.
Hon. Nkaissery, and then hon. Alice Chae. I think we are now beginning to repeat ourselves. We can now have the Leader of the Majority Party, because there is a long list. I am trying hard to hear from communities, among which the practice is prevalent. I can still see that the list is still too long.
I will have hon. Nkaissery, hon. Alice Chae, and then we can allow the Leader of the Majority to respond to what has already been raised.
Thank you, very much, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Order, hon. Timothy Bosire!
Thank you very much, hon. Deputy Speaker. Let me thank the Leader of the Majority Party for bringing this. We are talking about the law and it must be applied. I want the Leader of the Majority Party to clarify something. It is very unfortunate for an hon. Member to use the Floor of the House to incite Kenyans. It is very primitive for him to incite the Kenyan people on the Floor of the House about a law this House passed. He should have apologised before he was thrown out; I hope he will do that later.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I want the Leader of the Majority Party to look at the non- Governmental organisations (NGOs) because I think some of them are inciting communities, so that they can get money to go and do civic education to women. I think this is what is happening in Kajiado and in other areas.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Majority Party he should make the law now “bite” those fellows who are propagating this primitive practice. It is very important that this law be now applied fully.
Okay. Alice Chae.
Thank you hon. Deputy Speaker for the chance to also comment on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); I also need some clarifications from the Leader of the Majority Party. I come from a community that is practising FGM; actually I am a victim. I wish my brother was around. It was wrong for him to say that it is a culture that we should embrace at this time in Kisii. I wish he was a woman like me who has undergone FGM and who survived. It is wrong. It is pathetic. It is primitive. It is something that we should not be talking about in this august House. I do not want my daughters and grandchildren to undergo what I have undergone. I want my brother to confirm that they ran away from us to go and get women from communities that do not practise FGM. For how long are we going to be victims of circumstances? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I know that the rite of circumcision has been a bargaining tool for politicians to keep people voting for them, but it has to end. Let no be no. We are women. We are the people who are suffering, and we are telling you from experience that it is wrong to circumcise women.
The Leader of the Majority Party talked about Kisii. Remember there is Nyamira County. FGM is also practised there by 96 per cent of the people. What is happening is that it has gone above board. It is happening under the table. It is modernised. Actually it is even educated women like nurses who are doing it. What are we going to do? We have come up with alternative rites. Are we going to standardise these alternative rites in our communities, so that people can like them? You know there are the incentives and donations that initiates used to get when they were circumcised. How are we going to standardise the alternatives so that people can accept them? We need let our girls grow the way they were created by God, get married and enjoy what they are supposed to enjoy.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Okay. Yes, hon. Lelelit.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. Somebody was reading about 95 per cent and 76 per cent, but FGM in Samburu is about 100 per cent. However, I am one person who stands by science. There is scientific evidence that FGM is harmful and I want to support that. There is also evidence that male circumcision is helpful, particularly against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). I want us also to ask the Leader of the Majority Party whether there is a way of promoting male circumcision in this country, so that we can circumcise all men. I mean we should go by science. Science says it is bad to circumcise women. Science also says it is good to circumcise men. Please, Leader of the Majority Party, how can we circumcise all men in Kenya?
Lastly, and before we give the Leader of the Majority Party the chance, we will have hon. Soipan of Narok County.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me a chance to contribute to this very important discussion; I specifically wish to point out that we have had laws in this country for a long time, which actually outlaw some of these harmful cultural practices; an example is the Children Act of 2001. I wish to inform the Leader of the Majority Party that, that law is 13 years old, yet as late as early last week we were still seeing misguided members of communities coming out against Government policies and laws by supporting FGM.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, these days you hear even some people sugarcoating the Act, and talking of “Female Genital Cutting” as if that makes it a better evil. It is clear to every one of us in this country that the strategies that have been applied in the fight against FGM have failed miserably, particularly from the side of NGOs that have been at the forefront of fighting FGM. They have commercialised the championship against FGM. They are interested in donor funding and whatever it is that donors feel is the right way to go; that is the way they are going and that is why we are seeing the practice being still very prevalent among our communities despite having laws and regulations against it. It is a criminal act. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Soipan, remember it is a clarification you are seeking.
Yes, I am just asking the Leader of the Majority Party to take note that our laws are not being implemented as they ought to be, and we want to know which direction the Government is taking to make sure that other measures that have been employed, like the alternative rites of passage, work. I do not think we need an alternative to FGM. It is criminal and we should not try to sugarcoat it, and make it look like we need to substitute something else for it. It should be outlawed and outlawed completely; we should rein in NGOs that are cashing in on the fight against FGM in ways that are not working for the communities. It is a socialisation process. It is a social problem and we should invest heavily in sensitising our communities and discourage them from engaging in the practice.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, thank you; I think it is uncouth and wrong for a Member of this House to mislead Kenyans against a law that has been passed by this honourable House by saying that we support FGM. I think he ought not to be sitting in this House.
Order. I want to hear whether there is a different perspective from a different person from another community.
Yes, Timothy Bosire.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker for the opportunity. I will speak like a shy man from a very important community on this very important matter. I am making reference to a very senior Member of this House and apologising on behalf of the community because we are not that primitive. Because of the influence of such leaders we continue practising some things that we should not practise. We are in a dynamic society and Kisiis have not been left behind. We appreciate the deliberate effort women are making to remain as natural and as complete as God created them. Because of that, I will support hon. Lati that every man be circumcised for women to appreciate him.
You are now going into debate.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am seeking a clarification from the Leader of Majority Party. What deliberate policy steps has the Government taken to stamp out this practice once and for all? We are a civilized society! Thank you.
Okay. I think that is a good point. The Leader of Majority Party should respond to your concerns and requests for clarification.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. At least, I am happy you have sent out hon. Jimmy Angwenyi to go and join hon. Millie Odhiambo-Mabona, so that they can have tea together because both of them are out of the House. Hon. Deputy Speaker, our students are at the Galleries; all of them are girls and are listening to what we are talking about today. I want to thank hon. Kapondi, former Member for Mt. Elgon, who brought the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) law during last Parliament. What we are talking about today is the protection of girls in country. This is a matter as serious as HIV/AIDS. We should fight FGM the way we are fighting the insecurity menace in our country. We must fight FGM in the same way we are fighting poverty in our country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, hon. David Wekesa asked me why four days. If you read the report which I am going to lay on the Table of the House, it will answer that question. It is incumbent upon this House to bring back the FGM Act, 2011 and increase the penalty. That is why you are a law maker. I will ask hon. Soipan, hon. Fathia, many Senators and other great ladies who are here--- Please bring back the FGM law and increase the penalty.
These are the poachers of today!
Yes; you can even say that anybody found practising FGM should be jailed for 10 years. They are as bad as the poachers! Women who are cutting our girls are as bad as the poachers. If we can fight “poachers”, we must fight them. In fact, they are worse because they destroy human life and the motherhood of our daughters. As hon. Lati said, it has been scientifically and clinically shown that it affects the womanhood of our girls, particularly during their pregnancy and delivery. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I do not want to go into the issue of presidential pardon. The President has a right to pardon anybody under the law. I will stress on culture. I want to speak about the community that I come from; it is not based on religion, Islam abhors FGM. I am sure the Bible and the Koran abhor FGM. Which is more important between your religion and culture? It is your religion. If you are a good Christian and a Muslim, then you must fight FGM; you have no choice. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I do not want to answer the question from my good friend, hon. Jimmy Angwenyi. It was very unfortunate. I am sure today that those forces and the law enforcers who are fighting FGM--- The first culprit is hon. Jimmy Angwenyi. They must look for him; these are women out there, NGOs and the Government. Hon. Simba Arati was on how well prepared we are. I want to confirm that Nairobi is a serious FGM centre, according to our statistics in the slum areas. I am sure hon. Simba Arati leads a serious constituency, where this can be practised. This practice is everywhere, if you read the report. I want to thank the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) because he comes from a pastoral community and represents all of us, besides being the DPP. Under Section 19 of the Act, he has set up what is called “an FGM Prosecution Unit”. That is a serious department among the many departments he has. I think that answers hon. Simba Arati’s question. Hon. Huka has asked about culture. I think if it is about preserving our culture, then we should come in here wearing skins. Why are we wearing suits? You look at culture and pick the best of your culture. I am sure all of you were part and parcel of your cultural practices that you dropped. Therefore, what makes you stick to FGM if it is very bad? Why are you very unfair to the women of this country? Hon. Iringo talked about law enforcement and I am sure the document I am going to lay on the Table deals with sensitization and the law on chiefs. A chief was sacked in Kajiado this year. That was a very good step that was taken. I want also to thank the Citizen Television Station, because for the last three days they carried stories sensitizing people on the FGM issues in our country. Hon. (Eng.) Gumbo asked what the FGM Board has done. The board is very young; it is hardly six months old. It is led by an anti-FGM crusader; a former Member of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this Parliament, hon. Lina Jebii Kilimo. But she needs the support of every leader of this country. Hon. Deputy Speaker, FGM is an issue which should be dealt with by the President, this House, the Senate, governors and our religious leaders. It requires a collective religious responsibility. Hon. Fathia said that the law must be enforced. The Act is there; please, let us bring the Act back to the House. Hon. Justice Kemei talked on Lina Jebii Kilimo. Hon. Nkaissery raised a serious matter. There are a number of NGOs which do not want FGM to disappear because it has become their cash cow. Because there is a law that is coming, please bring an amendment to the House; it should not only be on FGM. NGOs are given Kshs10 billion in our constituencies. All that we see are big cars, workshops and reports. We do not see a borehole, a health centre, a school or a road done by NGOs. I am sure the donor community organizations like USAID, which I worked for before I joined this House, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Development (DFID--- If they are watching me, they must account for the money to busy bodies running around in the name of fighting FGM. In fact, they are not fighting FGM; they are using FGM as an excuse to make money. I agree with hon. (Maj-Gen.) Nkaisserry and hon. Lati. Please bring a law here just as hon. Kapondi did to provide that all men in our country be circumcised. For now, the law is not there and you cannot us the Floor of the House. Bring a law like the FGM Act. I can confirm to you that I have five sons and all of them are circumcised; they include one who is four years old. I think we have the opportunity now in the Eleventh Parliament; your Bill might go through or it might be defeated depending on the numbers on your side. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I think the report I am going to lay on the Table is very critical. I salute hon. Alice Chea, although she is not here. A Member has asked for a clarification from me and she is not in the House. This also happens in the committees! How do you seek clarification from the Leader of Majority Party and then disappear? Hon. Bosire has also disappeared. This shows the kind of seriousness with which they treat this House. Where is hon. Bosire? May be, they have gone to look for Jimmy Angwenyi. As we talk about hon. Linturi, we have hon. Members who ask for clarifications-- - I hope their constituents are watching me; they sought clarifications from me but did not wait for my response. I can give the response to the House and the HANSARD. To hon. (Ms.) Alice, yes Nyamira and Kisii are serious areas and we will visit them. To hon. (Ms.) Tuya, yes you are a renowned lawyer; you are from the pastoralist community; join hands with the Senator from Meru and Hon. (Ms.) T.G. Ali. We will stand with you as men from the pastoralist community. We have a responsibility. Our Chairman, Hon. (Maj-Gen.) Nkaisserry is here. Let us, the pastoralists, walk the talk. Let us go to every constituency. Let us make sure that FGM is history in the pastoralist communities. I think we can do sensitization.
Finally, Hon. Deputy Speaker, it is incumbent upon the Government and the leadership of our country to fight it. We have no choice. We must fight FGM. Those ladies who were demonstrating in Kajiado, if that is true--- I want to tell them from the Floor of the House that they have no power. The law has been passed. Chiefs must arrest The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
them. The nurses who are doing this must be arrested. We must protect the dignity of the women of this country. We must protect our daughters, mothers and wives from the FGM. Let us look for those who are running around with knives. The Minister concerned, Madam Waiguru, now that Hon. Linturi is nowhere to be found, please make sure that FGM becomes your agenda. The media must play a role. The media must help us to make sure that FGM is history in our country.
With those few remarks, I beg to tabled this very important and conclusive report for hon. Members to read; it should become part of the record of the House.
Hon. Members, you can see that this topic requires more than just a Statement. It may require a Motion and the amendments that are being suggested. It really looks like more hon. Members need to engage on this topic, because the number is still big; I would urge one of you from where there is high prevalence of FGM to come up with a Motion for hon. Members to debate. I can see Hon. (Ms.) Mathenge, who was a Minister, and former PS, Hon. (Prof.) Nyikal. I do not know if hon. Mathenge can just say one word before we move to the next Statement.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I really want to commend the Leader of the Majority Party because. When I was in the former Ministry in charge of gender I was with my able PS, Hon. (Prof.) Nyikal, and this was our agenda. One of the issues that we found out, and which needs to be looked at very carefully was that we would collect girls and take them away in December when this heinous act was being undertaken; unfortunately in January the girls had to go home for school fees and the parents would be waiting for them. If the parents did not catch up with them, they were taken to hospitals. So, we need to be very serious about this practice. I think we need to talk to Hon. Angwenyi and show him one video that men were shown and they wept. They said that if that was what their girls were going through, they did not want it done. Every man who saw it shed a tear. It is not normal for men to cry but they did when they saw what a girl had gone through. In Pokot, every first-born of a woman in most cases dies because of FGM. This is because the way they do it is so horrendous that even the passage of the child is interfered with. So, please, men, take heed; take care of your girls. I do not want to go into the details of what it does to woman because I did so; there are young people here who may not want to hear what I want to say. But the value of that thing that is cut--- I mean, there is no joy in what a woman is supposed to enjoy in her life.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I know that many times in this House we take some issues with a bit of jest and laughter. I think I nearly cried on the Floor of this House yesterday; we must sometimes be serious about the lives of Kenyans. FGM is harmful to girls. I will also not go into the details but the damage that is done to the reproductive system.
Cutting is of three types. One just cuts the clitoris; another cuts the labia and the last one done in such a way that only urine can pass. At the time of marriage, there is serious pain on the coitus; sometimes the union fails and divorces have occurred. It is too painful! Women cannot stand it. At the time of delivery, children die because they take too long in the birth canal because it is narrowed. Sometimes it is so much that the woman actually dies; if they survive, there is so much damage that they leak urine and faeces for the rest of their lives, unless something is done. You will find women going The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
around with napkins like babies and smelling so much that they cannot go to public places; eventually they are divorced. That is what we are talking about.
I am surprised that somebody can stand in this House and say anything positive about mutilation. It must never happen. I was shocked to see that there were demonstrations in favour of it. Before the Leader of the Majority Party leaves---
I am not leaving!
You were showing me your back, and I thought you were going.
There are programmes that are going on. I know with the reorganization of Government, some departments have kind of lost out. Gender is one them. I know we have the Gender and Equality Commission now but there was a department that was dealing with this and there were programmes. One programme was to talk to elders.
With Hon. (Ms.) Mathenge, who was my Minister, we went to the Njuri Ncheeke and as community elders they agreed with us. We went to the Kuria people and they agreed with us. We went to the Pokot people and they agreed with us. We had elderly female circumcisers surrender their knives. We had moved ahead. The figures for between 2010 and about 2013 showed that we were making progress. We cannot, at this time, afford to go backwards and take our girls back to suffering.
The other programme was to attack it from the side of the youth, particularly males. One of the reasons given is that if a girl is not circumcised, they cannot be married. It is important to advise the youth that you must marry a whole girl, and not a half girl. If that goes through, we will save our girls. This is something that, even if it is funny, please do not let us down. I agree that we need more time.
We have to move to the next request. As I said, can we have a substantive Motion and then we can allocate it enough time. I know Hon. Njagagua wants to say something but allow us to leave this topic for now. Allow us to leave it because of time. You can be the one to bring that Motion. It will help us prosecute this matter. I can also see that hon. (Ms.) Mbarire wants to say something, but, please, let us move on. Let us move to the next one. We can even make it a KEWOPA Motion and bring it to the House.
The next two are not as emotive as this first one; you can see I have taken time on it because I know what it means to many people. For the next two, can the chairpersons very quickly respond to the requests? Is the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Energy here?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I feel privileged to speak after Stone Age Zinjathropus Angwenyi has left the House. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am standing to respond to a question by the Lagdera Member of Parliament in relation to Van oil Ltd. The hon. Member had asked whether the Government was aware that Van Oil Ltd, a Canadian firm that had invested US$32million in exploring of oil and gas in Block 3A and 3B in Lagdera Basin in Garissa County, had been using the latest, and the first of its kind, technology of 3D seismic in exploring activities in Kenya. In addition, the company had employed and empowered many Kenyans. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
What is your point of order hon. Ngo’ngo? What is not in order?
On a point of order, hon. Deputy Speaker. This is really interesting about the presidential system. I really want to get direction. The hon. Member responding to the question which was directed to the Executive, through this House, is actually from the opposition, yet the Member who sought the Statement is from the Jubilee administration. This puts this House in a very difficult position. I really do not understand how we can proceed in this manner, and raise supplementary questions to a Member who basically should be criticizing and seeing faults in Government; he is now the one who is going to speak on behalf of Government. This is really interesting. Could we get direction as to whether it is in order for hon. Munuve--- I do not doubt his ability, but I doubt his competence in terms of representing the Government. Thank you.
As you know this matter has been with us and recently we made amendment to Standing Orders for Ministers to be coming to the House. Until that happens, we will continue to use the resources available. I still understand that the hon. Member is from the Minority Party; I do not know how the decision was made at the committee. If the chair and the vice--- It should be one of them. How was the decision made that hon. Munuve should be the one to respond on behalf of the Government? Hon. Njagagua, you are in that Committee? Are you giving a response to the question?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, with your kind permission--- As you know we are under a presidential system and any Member of the committee can, through delegation. It should be the Chair, and in the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair. In their absence, then they can delegate to anybody else. I am certain that hon. Munuve is equal to the task. These are signs of things to come. I believe it is an indication that hon. Munuve is willing to serve in the ruling coalition.
We are not making a decision on whether we are changing parties. Hon. Munuve, if you were appointed by the Committee to act on its behalf, you can go ahead and respond.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, there is something we call “democratic centralism. Democratic centralism is sticking to what is collectively agreed. The committee on Energy---
On a Point of Order, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Yes, hon. Shidiye
Now that the Vice-Chair is around, will I be in order to ask him to answer the question? The Vice-Chairman is here and this Member is in the opposition. I think we have hon. Kiptanui---
Order Members! Is the Vice-Chair of the committee in the House? If the Vice-Chair is not prepared to answer the question, allow hon. Munuve to continue as delegation has already been done.
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Thank you Deputy Speaker for protecting me. Before I was rudely interrupted, I was saying that that democratic centralism demands that whatever is collectively agreed binds those concerned. I am a neighbour of a Member of the energy committee, and the committee decided that I was the best person to answer to this question; I will proceed and do the same. This is not a matter of opposition or ruling party. I am first and foremost a Kenyan and a legislator in the Kenya National Assembly before I becoming a CORD Member The company has been using the latest, and first of its kind, technology of the 3D seismic in exploring activities in Kenya. In addition, the company has employed and empowered many Kenyans through awarding contracts and Jobs. Despite the very good work, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has rejected a request for extension of their license to complete the work. In his Statement, the Chairperson was to inquire into and report on the circumstances under which the extension of this license for the said company was revoked, and state whether the company was consulted before the termination of the license. Two, indicate the number of Kenyans affected by the Government decision to revoke the license in terms of loss of employment and business opportunities, and state the steps the government is taking in mitigating the loss of jobs by Kenyans. Our response is as follows. Pursuant to Standing Order 44(2)(c ), the hon. Member for Lagdera Constituency, hon. Shidiye, MP, requested the Chairperson to inquire and report on the circumstances under which the extension of the licence for Van Oil Energy Limited was revoked, and whether the company was consulted on the termination of the licence. The committee on the 17th of February 2014, resolved to invite the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to appear before them on the 25th February, 2014 and report on the above request. Below is a brief of the report, findings of the Committee and the recommendations made. One, Van Oil Energy Limited, previously Van Gold Resources Limited, entered into a production sharing contract (PSC) for Block 3A and 3B with the Ministry of Energy on 16th October, (2007?). According to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, Chapter 308 of the laws of Kenya, a PSC contract for onshore is broken down into sequential periods defined as initial exploration period of two years, first additional exploration period of two years and second, additional exploration period of two years. By the end of the initial exploration period, Van Oil were contractually obligated and expected to have fulfilled the minimum work obligations for initial exploration period. Each PSC required them to have the following. one, reviewed, digitized, analyzed and interpreted all the existing data, seismic and well data; two, undertaken geological, geophysical and geochemical studies; three, acquired 1000 kilometres 3D seismic and 50 kilometers square 3D seismic data; four, drilled one well to a depth of 3,000 metres. The initial exploration period under the two PSCs was intended to run for three years as opposed to two years from 16th January 2008, which was the effective date of the PSCs; that was 90 days after entering into the contract. It was, therefore, expected that the initial exploration period would come to an end on the 16th January 2011. However, the duration of the exploration period of the PSCs had on four separate occasions been The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
extended by the Ministry to a total of 20 months on the application of Van Oil as indicated below. (I) It was extended from 16th January, 2011 to October 30th 2011, an extension of 9 months. (2) The other extension was from 30th October 2011 to 30th September 2012, an extension of 11 months. (3) 30thSeptember, 2012 to 30th April, 2013. That is another extension of seven months. (4) 1st May, 2013 to 31st July, 2013. That is three months extension. (5) 1st August, 2013 to 31st December, 2013. That is another five months extension.
Hon. Munuve, is that document very long? We will really appreciate if you can summarize it.
No, hon. Deputy Speaker. I am almost coming to the end. Given those extensions, we called the Member of Parliament and the Cabinet Secretary to respond to the questions. According to an auditor’s report that was submitted on Vanoil Energy Ltd., it was a bankrupt company that did not have enough money to execute what it had asked to do.
The financial statements that were submitted to the Committee through the Cabinet Secretary revealed that Vanoil Energy Ltd. had incurred a net loss of US$2,812,029. So, the company was unable to execute what it had asked to do. This is not to mention that the company had asked for extensions and had been given extensions of six years. It had not been able to drill even one well in the Republic of Kenya and yet, that is what it had agreed to do initially.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the last cash-flow report that was done on Vanoil Energy Ltd. revealed that the company had only US$474,912 in its accounts as opposed to the colossal amounts of money that are required to undertake that task.
Lastly, we feel that the decision of the Ministry to terminate Vanoil Energy Ltd. contract is valid because that company was not able to undertake the contract it had entered into with the Republic of Kenya.
The hon. Member for Lagdera, hon. Shidiye, who had raised the question on the Floor of the House, was present on the invitation of the Committee when we interrogated the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Energy. Therefore, one would hope that since he participated in the Committee deliberations and asked all the questions that he had wanted to ask, he will also be able to support the Report that I have ably tabled in this honorable House.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Shidiye, you can have the first chance as the owner of the Statement.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am totally dissatisfied with the answer given by the hon. Member. It is no wonder that an Opposition Member is answering me. This is really shocking.
The people of Garissa and Lagdera have that resource only. You will realize that when the PAC agreement was entered into, problems arose as a result of, first, there was insecurity and secondly, heavy rains. The Ministry said that it will have to change of its The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
technology. That is why they came up with the 3D technology, which is the latest of its kind.
As I speak here, the company has spent a whopping figure of Kshs3.2 billion on that block. That is not small money. In the process, the company has employed people, suppliers were getting paid, business was booming and the whole town of Modogashe was doing well. That company was really alleviating poverty.
As I speak, the people in Garissa are wondering what is happening because we are poor people and we rely on relief food. We hoped that very soon, the people of Garissa will be like the Emirs in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and other places and our status would have gone up.
However, it is very wrong when the Member who has answered my question purportedly tells us that, that company is bankrupt. What we are facing is bureaucracy, red tape and a lot of delays from the Government. Now that no extension has been granted, who will pay the suppliers? What are we going to do with those blocks? Could the Member confirm to us whether there are other companies which are involved? It looks like there is an under-hand deal. The other people who will be given those blocks namely 3A and 3B--- There is an under-current which he does not want to say. Could he confirm or deny that there are no other companies that are being awarded that contract? What will we do with the assets and liabilities of Vanoil Energy Ltd.? That is because there is a court case that is going on. What are we going to do about that? How will we pay the suppliers who are suffering because they have not been paid up to now? Could he clarify that to us? I do not think that he is the right person to answer this question. That is because I requested the Statement six months ago and he is responding now. Right now, he looks like he is not keen and nobody even cares! I think it is fair that the Chairman comes---
Order, hon. Shidiye! If I heard him right, you were invited and you were in the meeting. So, you should have sought the clarification when you were with the Cabinet Secretary. That is if I heard right what hon. Munuve has read out. I think you have sought your clarification. Let us give somebody else a chance. Hon. Kathuri, is it on the same issue?
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. My clarification is whether the Ministry of Energy is reviewing the Exploration Bill or law so that we can protect the investors. It is shocking that investors can come and invest heavily in this country and midway, they are thrown out. That is not good for the economy of this country. Could hon. Munuve clarify whether there is a review of the energy sector? However, he can be assisted by the able Member, hon. (Eng.) Gumbo. He should tell us whether they are doing something in the energy sector.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Samuel Ndiritu, is yours on the same?
No, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I would like this House to be very clear. There was a contract that was signed between the Government of Kenya and Vanoil Energy Ltd. That contract was supposed to run for six years and had some deliverables. There were things that, that company was supposed to do within those six years. Among the deliverables were that Vanoil Energy Ltd. Was to review the digitized The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
data and analyze and interpret all existing data. However, the most important one was that it was to drill one well. No well - not even a shallow or 5 feet river scope that we water our cows in Mwingi - was done by Vanoil Energy Ltd. After six years, Vanoil asked for an extension of three years, which they got. Basically, what seems to be happening is that, that company is speculating with the licence or the right to own that place. We want that released so that another competent company that has the technical and financial capacity to drill oil for the people of Modogashe is given that responsibility. The hon. Member is my very good friend and a neighbour. Whenever there is drought, his cows and camels come to my constituency.
We have not had any rain for the last six years. That is why the hon. Member’s camels and goats trespass on my peoples’ gardens as we speak now. I do not know about the heavy rain that made it impossible for Vanoil to drill oil in Modogashe.
On a point of order, hon. Deputy Speaker. Is it in order for hon. Munuve to mislead the House by telling us that there was no rain, when we know it rains torrentially? It can take, maybe, a year or so but it rains.
Secondly, he is misleading us because Vanoil Energy Ltd. is already on site. They have done the survey and the drilling rig is on site. This is the case and yet, the hon. Member is telling us that there is nothing on the ground and nothing has been done. Is he in order to mislead the House and purportedly claim to be answering my questions and yet, we know that he is not even competent?
Yes, hon. Munuve!
Hon. Speaker, hon. Shidiye seems to be oblivious to one fact that a contract is binding. There was a contract that was signed between Vanoil and the Republic of Kenya, through the Ministry of Energy. According the contract, Vanoil was to deliver certain results within a specified period of time. The period was six years. They were given additional four years but were not able to deliver. That is what is important. There was a breach of contract by Vanoil. No amount of pleading will change the fact that Vanoil is in breach of contract. As for the rain, the hon. Member live in Kenya. He knows that in the northern Kenya region, including in my own Mwingi North Constituency, there was no rain. At least, there was no rain that would make it impossible for an oil rig to be moved from wherever it was to Modogashe. I will continue to host their camels and goats as long as they recognize the fact that guests are supposed to behave accordingly. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I feel that I have adequately responded to the Statement request. The issue is breach of contract. The Ministry of Energy will seek to advertise those blocks so that a competent company can enter into partnership with the Republic of Kenya with a view to finding oil in Modogashe, if any exists. Thank you.
Hon. Shidiye, we should leave it there. If you have any further clarifications, you should write back to the Committee, so that they can call you back with the Cabinet Secretary. I want to defer the next Statement because of time. We need to move. We have not started the substantive business of the House. We can defer this one to tomorrow or today in the afternoon. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Before we move to the next Order, I want to recognize in the Speaker’s Gallery, the presence of students from Precious Blood High School, Riruta. In the Public Gallery, we have St. Stephen’s High School from Eldoret and Saint James Primary School ACK from Kiambu. You are all welcome.
Hon. Members, on Clause 3, we have an amendment by hon. Chris Wamalwa Wakhungu.
Hon. Chairlady, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 3 of the Bill be amended- (a) in the proposed section 2B – (i) by inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (b) − (ba) encourage and empower Kenyans to invest and establish local fertilizer production plants; (ii) by deleting the word “purchase” appearing in paragraph (c) immediately after the word “importation”; (iii) by deleting paragraph (d) and substituting therefor the following new paragraph- (d) ensure that there are adequate retail outlets in all counties where farmers can access fertilizers; (iv) by deleting the words “at a subsidized rate” appearing in paragraph (e) immediately after the word “farmers”; (v) by deleting paragraph (f) and substituting therefor the following new paragraph- (f) collaborate with agricultural research institutions, universities and other stakeholders in the development of suitable fertilizers for improvement of crop productivity in the country; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(vi) inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (g)- (h) advise the Cabinet Secretary on any matters relating to or incidental to fertilizers and animal foodstuffs. (b) in the proposed section 2C – (i) by deleting the words “by such associations in such manner as may be prescribed” appearing in paragraph (d) of subsection (1) and substituting therefor the words “and one person of either gender from the Fertilizers Association of Kenya”; and, (ii) by deleting paragraph (e) of subsection (1). (c) in the proposed section 2E by deleting the word “be” appearing in paragraph (d) of subsection (2) and substituting with the word “deem”.
Hon. Members, there is a second amendment to Clause 3 by hon. (Ms.) Joyce Wanjala.
Hon. Chairlady, I beg to move:- THAT, Clause 3 of the Bill be amended- (a) in the proposed section 2B by inserting a new paragraph immediately after (g) as follows- (h) to advice county governments on the purchase of fertilizers; (b) in the proposed Section 2C by inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (d)- (dd) two persons of either gender representing county governments competitively and transparently appointed by the Council of County Governors established under the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012.
Thank you, hon. Chairlady.
There is a point of order by hon. Mbadi.
Hon. Chairlady, I thought hon. Joyce would take a minute to make us aware of the import of her amendment.
Yes, I always try to ask people, if you are going to have an amendment, to just give a brief explanation of the import of the amendment.
Hon. Chairlady, I had taken instructions from the Clerks-at-the-Table. I was prepared to speak more on that amendment but I was told that, because of time, I should not say much. So, I had taken instructions from them but I can take a minute to add on what I have just said.
Hon. Joyce, I just need you to say that you are moving the amendment in an amended form. That is perfectly in order but what is the import of your amendment? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Chairlady, it is good for the county governments to be advised on the kind of fertilizers that are being bought in order to go with the kind of soil in each county. That is because, once in a while, we buy fertilizers in general, like in the case of Embu County.
That is on the first part of the amendment. What about the second part?
Hon. Chairlady, in the second part of the amendment, instead of having two being appointed by the Council or County Governors, we have one.
So, it is “one person of either gender”?
Yes, hon. Chairlady.
Yes, hon. Joel Onyancha!
Hon. Chairlady, mine is not much but if we are using English, we should use it as closely as possible to the native speakers of that language. The word “advice” is a noun, whereas “advise” is a verb. I expect that the hon. Joyce Wanjala wants us to use the word as a verb. So, that should exist, as it is there, as a mistake. I think what she wants to do is “advising county governments”. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Joel Onyancha. You seem to be from my background. I agree with you. It will be done during the polishing and cleaning up of the document. The editing will be carried out.
Hon. Members, this is just to bring it to your attention that there are two amendments. So, the numbering will also be done accordingly. The numbering will be arranged according to the amendments that have been brought.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following amendment:- THAT, the Bill be amended by deleting Clause 11 and substituting therefor the following new clause− Amendment of section 18 of Cap.345 11. The principal Act is amended in Section 18 by− The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(a) by renumbering the existing provision as subsection (1); (b) by deleting the word “Minister” and substituting therefor the words “Cabinet Secretary on recommendation of the Board”; (c) by inserting the following new subsection immediately after the new Subsection (1) − (2) The Cabinet Secretary for the time being in charge of the National Treasury shall implement tax policies and where appropriate, price policies on imported fertilizers so as to promote local industries. Hon. Chairlady, we are aware that we no longer use the word “Minister”. The essence of this is to replace “Minister” with “Cabinet Secretary”. It is true that the Cabinet Secretary in charge of National Treasury is the one to implement the aspects of taxation.
I believe that Members are quite acquainted with this process by now and that you now understand that this is really the law making part of our mandate. Clause 12
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following amendment:- Amendment of section 19 of Cap. 345. 12. The principal Act is amended in section 19– (a) by deleting the word “Minister” appearing in Subsection (1) and substituting therefor the words “Cabinet Secretary on the recommendation of the Board”; and (b) by deleting the words “three thousand shillings” appearing in subsection (2) and substituting with the words ‘one million shillings and further by deleting the word “three” and substituting with the word “six”
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Hon. Chairlady, I beg to move that the Committee do report to the House its consideration of the Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs (Amendment) Bill and its approval thereof with amendments.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to report that a Committee of the whole House has considered the Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No.36 of 2013 and approved the same with amendments.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Committee in the said Report.
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Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No.36 of 2013 be now read a Third Time.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think that the move by hon. Dr. Chris Wamalwa is laudable. You are aware that for the most part when we have been discussing in this House, issues have centered around food security in our country and, a lot of times, we have observed that it is very difficult to attain a middle income economy if we cannot be food secure. Food security has a direct link to accessibility and affordability of fertilizers. I think that, in the context that we are pursuing to make it available to our people, it is laudable. Like with the many laws that we have created, it will be prudent--- This House has made very many useful laws, but it becomes a problem when it comes to implementing them. I hope that when the time comes now for us to apply this law, we can apply it so that our people can benefit from it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this because Kenyans are aware of how much money we are spending in importing food. With this Bill, we will have economic savings. Also, Kenyans have not forgotten the kind of shame we went through when our people were dying because of lack of food. I also foresee a situation where we will turn to be food exporters, earn revenue and also create employment. Our people will have higher living economic standards. With this law, we can reduce poverty. Poverty reduction is a major challenge for all of us. But with adequate food for our people, we can say we have achieved one good option. We really do not have any other option, but to approve. We shall have enough food for our people. I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to thank hon. Chris Wamalwa for taking us through this very important Bill. As my colleague has just mentioned, food security has been a problem in this country and with the passing of this Fertilizers and Animal Foodstuff Bill, we will be able to get, at least, fertilizers on time and distribute it accordingly. Sometimes, we have cases where we get fertilizer very late than the farmers expect. This again will encourage Kenyan entrepreneurs to invest into the fertilizer business. What is now remaining is for the Government to look for a suitable area, maybe, in the North Rift, where we would have---
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, my machine is faulty and I want to contribute.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Okay, please, press the correct button. Go ahead, Member for Kwanza.
The next thing that we are now expecting with the passage of this Bill is for the Government to look for a proper location - preferably in the North The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Rift, either in West Pokot or Trans Nzoia - those are areas where we know there is land and can feed this country, and put up those fertilizer factories. Therefore, it is up to the Government to come up with a proper location, so that they can establish that factory as soon as we get an investor. I am hoping and encouraging my fellow Kenyans to come up and invest in this, so that we can save on foreign exchange. Of course, we will spend so much money on this very important item, of foreign reserves, while importing. So, we only have to import some ingredients to come up with fertilizers in our country. I support. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Members, we should end it there because this is not really the time for more debate. We are in the Third Reading and, therefore, we will defer the putting of the question because of reasons which are well known to us and are spelt out in the Standing Orders. So, let us go to the next Order.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Chris Wamalwa, you were on the Floor. You had three minutes remaining.
I still have about two or three minutes remaining. Retirement benefits are very critical and, as you can see, it is the Deputy President, the Prime Minister and the Vice-President. The Prime Minister has played a very critical role in this country from the former Government of, Party of National Unity (PNU). He played a critical role. This will be the right time so that he can get what belongs to him, in terms of having security, drivers and some other people who are supposed to help him as per the proposal in the Bill. We had also mentioned the Vice-President and indicated that, hon. Moody Awori played a critical role. We will also be bringing amendments, at least, to cater for hon. Wamalwa Kijana, who died in office, so that his family can also enjoy those benefits. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I second.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Members, I am hoping that what I am seeing is the in order in which you want to contribute to this particular Bill. If you do not intend to contribute, please, remove your card from the machine. The hon. Member for Marakwet East.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand to support this Bill. The people of the likes of the Deputy President or the Prime Minister of the country The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
have contributed a lot. Those are the people we want, when they retire, to live honourably and in a very sane way. We need to define again up to what extent we are going backward from this point or moving forward. When we talk of retirement, it is something which comes after service, so that we do not drag back again and say, someone else retired 10 years ago and needs to be factored in. Or when it comes to this issue of politics, when you are a retired Deputy President, you should be at home. You do not retire and then we see you tomorrow, wanting to run for the presidency or the Deputy President again. When you retire, you retire! The Deputy President is the principal assistant to the President. Those are people who hold high offices in the society and they require a lot of respect from all of us. Apart from those, I have been meeting former Members of Parliament who have been in this House for a while, some for one term and others even more than two terms. I have seen them living in abject poverty. We also want, at some point, even Members of Parliament who have served for even one term to enjoy those benefits. There are those Members of Parliament who served in the 9th and 8th Parliaments. If you see the kind of life they are living, they are very miserable. At that time, they really contributed towards development and the economy of this country. But by then, maybe, their salary was not good enough to attract good benefits. We need to review that so that we can have a kind of uniformity, between those Members of Parliament at that time and now. Coming back to the Deputy President and designated offices, those are people that, when they were in office, served Kenyans with due diligence and with a lot of selflessness. Those are people who have some employees, gardeners, cooks and drivers, who still need their assistance. We need to have this Bill go through so that they can be assisted and live a dignified life. That way, even tomorrow and the generations to come; they will live to be remembered. With those kinds of positions, apart from the benefits in terms of retirement and monetary terms they will receive, those people also need to be considered in some other ways. We should assign them with security, vehicles and other services. So, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate my friend hon. Mbadi for bringing this Bill and I support it. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh: Hon. Rose Nyamunga.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to stand in support of the Bill. I would like to support this Bill of Retirement Benefits because it is very important. If you look at our Kenyan politics, you will realize that the way we do our politics is such that if we were to do a good job and be selfless in the way we run our constituencies or our responsibilities as Members of Parliament, it is a very draining exercise. You will realize that most of the time when our people retire from politics, they are normally in a very bad state. It is only in politics that people retire and they, sort of, degenerate in terms of their social lives. So, I think it is a very important Bill and we support it. I am sorry if I am going to repeat some of the things that have been said because I was not there in the first Sittings. But I know there are many people who have fought very hard for the development of this country in our democracy and freedom from many ills that we have suffered in this The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
country. So, I believe that such people should be able to retire in a manner that makes a lot of sense. We do not want our leaders to retire and look like they never contributed any benefits to the people of Kenya. So, if you look at the former Prime Minister, we all know the role he has played in this country over the years. It is good that he should be a beneficiary of this Bill. There are many others that all of us know, like the former Vice-President and even the former Deputy Prime Ministers and many others. If you look at the former politicians – people who have been in politics for many years in the 1980s, 1990s and even right now – most of them are in very bad shapes. So, I would like to support this Bill because all of us are going to retire at some stage and right now, the service that we are offering to the nation is very important. It is very taxing. It is a very difficult thing that you leave anything else that you have been doing for yourself in life and put all your efforts and energy in politics and in serving the people of our constituents. So, by the time some of us retire, maybe, we will be very advanced in age that we cannot go back and do something else. It is important that we put the right Bills in place to take care of all Kenyans and all the leaders that have served this country in one way or another. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, so, with those few remarks, I wish to support this Bill. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh: Hon. Gikaria.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill. Of course, from the outset, I want to thank hon. John Mbadi for bringing it. If you look at Article 2 which talks about the benefits it reads: “It means pension and other retirement benefits conferred by this Act.”, then we must ask ourselves some questions. I support the Bill and when the time comes, I will be able to bring some amendments so that we can be able to change some things. That is because there are some issues which are a little bit ambiguous. Of course, the eligibility of a child on a person who is supposed to be benefiting is something that is welcome. A child who is below the age of 18 can still be able to benefit from the monies that will be given to an individual even if he is dead. At the same time, even at the age of 24, where the child is still within the prime place of going to a village---
(Hon.) (Ms.) Shebesh: Hon. Gikaria, I can hardly hear you. Hon. Mbadi, can you hear hon. Gikaria? I can hardly hear you. I do not know whether it is your microphone---
Sorry, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. So, what I am saying is that this Bill brings into effect the eligibility of children below the age of 18 and also for kids who are below the age of 24 and attending college. They can be able to benefit from the monies. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, but if you look at the same Article under Section 2 of this Bill about the retired Deputy Prime Minister it says:- “Means a person who, having held the position of the Deputy Prime Minister, has ceased to hold the office as such in the manner specified in this Constitution.” Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you will have people who might have held those positions like the current President. Now, does it mean that he also benefits from The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this having been in that position of the Deputy Prime Minister and, of course, a retired President? I also have an issue---
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh: Hon. Mbadi has a point of order. Hon. Gikaria, one minute, please.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I just wanted to clarify to my good friend hon. Gikaria that, first, there is a mistake in this Bill which I will seek to address at the point of the Committee Stage; that we no longer have in this Bill provided for the Deputy Prime Ministers. However, even on that, I also want to clarify that this Bill is very clear that if you are benefiting from another pension scheme like the President has a separate pension scheme, you will not benefit through this Act again. The Bill is very clear if it becomes an Act. Sorry hon. Gikaria for taking your time.
Thank you for the clarity. If that is the position then, I stand to support this Bill. Of course, it has been argued in the past as to what it is about retirement? Is retirement leaving politics completely and keeping off like the former Prime Minister? If he is still active in politics, does he qualify to benefit from these benefits or any other person for that matter who has been indicated as an entitled person? Assuming that they are still in active politics, I think this is something that we need to look at as we go through the Second and Third Readings, where we will bring some amendments to put a lot of clarity into this Bill. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, lastly, is about the Deputy President. Now we have a Deputy President. Before, we used to have a Vice-President. Those are the likes of hon. Kalonzo Musyoka and the late Michael Wamalwa. Is it possible when we indicate Retired Deputy Presidents as their title when they served as Vice-Presidents? Do they still benefit based on the new Constitution because we used to have the Vice-President and now we have the Deputy President? Are they still entitled and, if so, is it that we can say Deputy President and former Vice-President so that we can be able to bring more clarity where nobody will, in future, come on board and say: “This one was not a Deputy President. He was a Vice-President and does not deserve the benefits?” Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to say that this Bill is good because it is true that we need to remember the people who have really brought a lot of gains to this country and we need to remember them. At some point, as somebody has just said, even us will retire and I hope we will find our way into this Bill, including you hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I know you have really contributed a lot to this country. Thank you.
(Hon.) (Ms.) Shebesh: Hon. T.J. Kajwang’.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Bill. I want to thank my friend and local Member of Parliament, hon. Mbadi, for bringing this Bill and for thinking positively for the people who have served this country so gallantly. I want to go on record as supporting this Bill. This Bill recognises service to the nation from people who have put their time and sacrificed to serve this nation. We need to recognise them for the offices that they have held. We also need to reward service so that you and I, when we have put ourselves in public service, I think it is good that posterity will know that we did everything it took to make Kenya better than it is, particularly for the office holders that are listed in this Bill. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I will at some point in the Committee Stage propose amendments to increase some of the items that hon. Mbadi has listed in this Bill. But for the moment, I think there are good pointers and they will help us to see how we are able to recognise our leaders. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the only issue with this Bill is that, after the beautiful work that hon. Mbadi has done in this Bill, Clause 3 takes away everything that is positive about the Bill and subject to Clause 5(3), the persons entitled to benefit---
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Ng’ongo, I suggest you listen.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. He knows how to multi-task. The persons entitled to benefit shall be persons who, at any time after 15th January, 2008, retired as Prime Minister, Vice-President and so forth, and do not engage in elective politics. I want to suggest to the House that the words: “and do not engage in electives politics” negates the entire Bill. This is unconstitutional. I do not want to get into politics; I just want to look at the law. This is unconstitutional. Under Article 38 of the Constitution, everybody in this country, including you and I, are entitled to what has become political rights. There are unalienable rights which cannot be removed because we were born with them and God gave them to us. Article 38 talks about the rights to form, participate in political parties and participate in activities or recruit members of political parties, campaign for a political party’s course and so forth. When we promulgated the Constitution, this is where we have come and we have raised some rights to be constitutional. Therefore, whether we have a problem with these political rights or not, the Constitution has given this to us. When you serve and you retire, you still have those rights. You can still retire and then engage all those political rights that the Constitution gives you. We cannot pass a Bill or a law in this House which is inconsistent with the Constitution. That is because Article 2 (4) states that:- “Any law, including customary law that is inconsistent with this Constitution is void to the extent of the inconsistency, and act or omission in contravention of this Constitution is invalid.” Therefore, it is very difficult to argue away from this issue. It is a constitutional matter except, I suppose that, when a person is relieved from active holding of that office, he participates in politics and in any other of those things and joins another office. I think it is right to say that when he joins that office, then he should be able to realize the benefits under this Act. I think, perhaps, what we were do is to say that you can do what you want because this is the Constitution giving it to you. But if you get that office that you are looking for, then you must realize the benefits that are accrued.
On a point of information, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Ngong’o wants to give me information. I want to take that information from him because he is a good friend of mine.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to inform my good friend for a long time. This is a friend from school days. I just wanted to inform hon. T.J. Kajwang’ that, actually, that is already provided in the Bill at Clause 4. It states as follows:- The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
“Where an entitled person holds any appointive of elective post in or under the government which there is attached a rate of pay, the benefits which are entitled shall be reduced.” It is already catered for and I just wanted, as I conclude, to add that, Clause3 was actually inserted there by the Budget and Appropriations Committee. It was not my original intention.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with that information, I stand corrected and I think that the amendment will make the Bill better.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): But the time is also getting away.
Sorry, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): It is one minute to time.
Thank you. I think this is a Bill that we need to support from both sides of the political divide. It is a Bill that we should participate in without politicking and we just need to look at the law and pass it. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to contribute.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Okay. Hon. Grace Kiptui.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill.
I also rise to support and thank my colleague, hon. Mbadi, for having come up with this Bill. I have two or three points to make.
As a politician, I have come to understand the intricacies of the job to the point that when you are working under this job, you hardly get any opportunity to build or even invite or pay attention to your personal wellbeing or personal investments. In that regard then, it is only fair that after retirement, people who serve, be it in a political office or even in any other office, should be given some money or benefits to enable them live a dignified life.
As if that is not enough, those political offices, as I have come to know now, are very stressful. It is almost guaranteed that by the time one is done, his or her health will have deteriorated. It is probable that you will find them being diagnosed with hypertension and diabetes because of the stressful job. Therefore, it is only fair that have some money to cushion themselves from those bureaucracies of medical conditions.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I used to wonder when I saw politicians who had their time in office and had retired living in very difficult situations. I even saw one who was walking bare feet and he was a Member of Parliament for two terms. I used to wonder what happened to him. We know that most of the time, the money that we get is shared out and even at times, to the extent that you actually do not have time for yourself. Therefore, I support this Bill because of the specific reason that people need to live dignified life after leaving offices; such as political ones. Secondly, when you are a leader, you are supposed to be a role model to the society. It is so ironical when young people who are growing up and when they look at the politicians of yester years and find them living in abject poverty, it will discourage the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
would-be Presidents later in life to even attempt going into politics. Even now, our friends keep on asking us whether it is worth the job that we are doing; and we tell them that it may not be in monetary terms, but when you look at the vision and mission you have to serve humanity in that respect, it is. Therefore, to me, I think politics aside, this is a very good Bill and it should get the support of all of us so that people can live a dignified life in retirement. When it comes to the issue that hon. Kajwang’ has brought up; that even if you are still engaged in active politics, you should still benefit, it is only fair that when you have retired and you are at home, we will support you. That is because we imagine that you are not earning anything over and above. It is only fair that we give people a balanced kind of retirement benefits so that we may not having people getting money from other sources and, yet we give them money for retirement. Therefore, when you are retired and enjoying a quiet life, you are entitled to that kind of benefit.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Your time is over, hon. Member. Thank you. Let us hear from the hon. Member for Igembe North.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Bill. It is important that we recognize the citizens who have been active and who have supported this Republic. It is actually sad when you see those leaders who have been involved and participated in all sorts of developments of this nation, at the end of the day, when they leave those office, they face problems and challenges of life. That is because they cannot cope with life. At the same time, it is also important to recognize the offices. When people leave office, they retire either through lose of elections. It is also important for those people who have lost to recognize that they have lost and give space to the people who are entrusted with leadership. At the moment, we are in a situation where we have some of leaders who have retired. But instead of supporting in terms of creating peace, they are creating disobedience and moments of disobedience. In that case, it does not help and it is not healthy for the Republic. So, it is important to have leaders who also accept that they have lost and give them the respect that they deserve. Even if people are interested in leadership, when the time to go comes, people should accept that the time has gone and they should be supported to live a dignified life. They can take other roles as statesmen who can groom and support leadership. That way, they are given the space; they are given the resources so that somebody does not come from grace to grass as it happens many times in this Republic. Those who fought hard for this Republic end up languishing in poverty, and those who fought less are the ones who benefit from the struggles of those who worked hard for the greater good. That way, when people are giving services, the work of politicians is a noble course. It is the highest form of service because I am not sure if there is any other job that is as demanding or as disturbing as that of being a politician, where people think that even your energy and whatever you have belongs to them. At the end of the day, when you leave the office and they do not see you living a certain way, they will not remember that they are the same people who have contributed to make your life miserable since they never gave you any opportunity. Whatever you have, if you do not share with them, they do not recognize you; they do not appreciate and in the process, they leave you. If we do what is proposed The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
here not only for the people stipulated here but also those serving at this level like parliamentarians, we can make the situation better. I am sure even corruption is created by these scenarios where people feel they must have something to give. When you leave the office, you must also have something. So, at the end of the day, rather than concentrating in building the nation, we concentrate in self perpetuation.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this Bill and encourage our leaders who have retired to accept retirement and live in dignity. I appeal to some of our great leaders when they make utterances in retirement, they should look at the big picture of the country and respect other leaders. That is because if you do not respect others, when you have an opportunity, you will receive the same lack of respect. So, with those remarks, I support the Bill. We need to move ahead and include all the people who have participated in this.
Once you come to this House you become unemployable and so, at the end of the day, if there is no support mechanism, then in the attempt to provide services to people, your life is messed up. We need to consider this because it is important.
With those few remarks, I support this and let us move ahead.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I stand to support this Bill very strongly. Retirement benefits particularly for leaders who have been elected are very important. We know those who are working in the Civil Service and those who are in the private sector have professionals who look after them. But for elected leaders, I agree totally with this Bill and I support it. They should be paid retirement benefits.
I also want to say that from my experience, many of our MPs or leaders who have retired or thrown out, suffer a lot. Even those old men like me who are at home and who were Members of Parliament, you will not even differentiate. So, I want to bring to the attention of this House that while we are considering these benefits for the Deputy President and the former Prime Minister, we should look at Members of Parliament who are at home; the wazees . They are suffering. Parliament may look at it so that we can create an Act to assist them as they are still alive. I also think that any Member of Parliament who has been elected in this House, even if he has served for five years, he should be given retirement benefits because you do not retire in politics. You are defeated and you continue struggling, sometimes. Once you are defeated, you become desperate every time. For five years, you will not even be countable.
So, I support this Bill and thank the Mover, hon. Ng’ongo for bringing it to this House.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to join my colleagues in supporting this very important Bill. At the outset, I want to say that it is important for us as Members of Parliament to join our hands The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
together and support this important Bill. I have an experience; having been in Parliament and then being voted out. When you are out, it is very stressful. If you do not have any package that is going to keep you going, you will live a very miserable life. As many of my colleagues have said, when you join Parliament – I see young men here and life is still long – you come with many expectations and you get frustrated because of the demands that people give you. The demands that people give you make it hard to have time for yourself. Your whole time is given to people. So, your employer should take care of you when you retire. That is because most of the time, you do not have time for yourself. You spend time with the people and what you get you share with them. So, when you retire, you do not have anything. You do not have time and, maybe, when you retire, you are old and not able to do what you are supposed to do to keep yourself going. When there is no package for you, you end up living very poor.
I have seen Members of Parliament who have been elected to this House. They come here, maybe, with certain properties, but end up being poorer than they started. They end up leading very poor lives. They are so miserable. When you see some of the former Members of Parliament, you will sympathize with their situation. We need to include them in the package. When you are a Member of Parliament, there is a certain level of dignity that you are supposed to carry. There is certain respect that members of the society put on you. They put a certain tag on you and when you fall short of it, they get disappointed. They expect you to assume a certain standard, whether you are in Parliament or not. You must maintain that standard. They are a reflection of Parliament and they represent it out there. To maintain that standard, a former Member of Parliament requires money. Even USD 1000 per month can keep them going. I support this, especially now that we have had a Vice President and Prime Minister. They are not expected to drive a car with a capacity of 2000cc. It is upon us to give them that recognition. Let us not lower this House. We are Members of Parliament and one day we will retire. We should keep that mark. This Bill will go a long way in maintaining the status of this House, so that we are respected. Even when you are out of Parliament, you should keep that respect. You should not walk to functions. You also need to live in a decent house. You should afford to take your children to nice schools. I want to echo what my colleagues have said, that this Bill will go a long way--- At one point, all of us are going to retire. We do not want you to live a miserable life, the way former Members of Parliament have. We shall bring some amendments on the benefits, because some of them are actually a luxury. We have to do what is modest, not living as though you are still employed. With those few remarks, I want to support this Bill.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I rise to join my colleagues to support this Motion. It is actually overdue. We want to reward our senior citizens who have served this country for a long time. I know what the former Prime Minister has done for this country. In 2008 after the post election violence, he sat down with the President and agreed on certain issues after which we came back to a peaceful country. We also know that the former Vice Presidents; the late hon. Wamalwa and hon. Kalonzo Musyoka need to be recognized. These are senior people that need to be respected. I support this Bill because it will enable our senior leaders live a dignified life. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
As my colleagues have said, these are former Members of Parliament and we need to understand that we will one day join them. Most of the time politicians do not retire; it is people who retire us by force. What we need to do is to ensure that, after we leave this House, we live a decent life, a life like the one we live while in Parliament. I know most of us, before we came to this House lived decent lives. We lived comfortable lives; our families lived well. As soon as we were elected things changed. We no longer have time for ourselves, even for our families. We need to make these positions attractive. If we have no benefits for former Members of Parliament, former Prime Minister, Vice Presidents and Deputy Presidents, the positions will not attract quality leaders. People will ask themselves why they should strive to come to Parliament only to lead miserable lives after 10 years. We know most of our colleagues who left this House and had to sell their houses and farms so as to lead decent lives. This Motion is timely and I will propose at the Committee of the whole House stage that we also include National Assembly Members and Senators, so that if you served one term, at least you get 50 per cent of what the other colleagues are entitled. With those few remarks, I stand to support this Motion wholeheartedly.
Hon. Speaker, I stand to support the Motion. From the outset, I want to congratulate the Member for Suba, hon. Ng’ongo for the foresight in bringing this timely Bill to the House. You know, this Bill ought to have come to this House a long time ago but it had been delayed and that, in my view, is unfortunate. As a country, we must move forward and now start making laws for posterity, not for individuals. When this Bill was first proposed, there were some schools of thought which were of the view that it was targeting to benefit only certain individuals. In my view, that is a narrow minded way of making laws. We should not make laws for individuals, but for posterity. The other thing that I find important is the elective position or positions in public service. These are things we encounter in the course of our lives. There are things which come before that, and there are things that come after. That is why I have always maintained that being in Government or being in Opposition can never be a permanent condition. You have seen over time people who have been in Government in the years that have gone and who are now in Opposition and vice versa. We need to be realistic when addressing the realities of our country. As you have rightly said, when we are making laws such as this, the Constitution as we know it is the supreme law of the land, and clearly there are certain aspects of this Bill which are unconstitutional. When for instance, as you have rightly pointed out, Clause 3 says that subject to sections 5(3) and 14, the persons entitled to the benefits conferred by this Act shall be persons who at any time after the 15th January, 2008 retire as Prime Minister, Vice-President, Deputy President or Designated State Officers and who do not engage in elective politics, we are actually throwing this Bill to a constitutional view. If this Bill were to be presented for constitutional interpretation at a constitutional court, it would declare that aspect of the Bill unconstitutional. This is because Article 38 of our Constitution is very clear that every citizen is free to make political choices. Any law which is in collision with the Constitution is irrelevant to the extent of that coalition. Let us not try to limit things to make laws that presuppose superiority of the Constitution because that is a nullity. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Having said that because I do not want to repeat what most of my colleagues have said, I am a believer that a country will look as far as it can look. The manner in which we have treated people who have made contributions in this country has been, to say the least, shabby. This is just not limited to politicians. As a student of the university, I remember one of the happiest moments for me was in 1988, when our team of heroes had just come from Seoul South Korea, having won five Olympic Gold medals. Anybody who was in this town that day felt very proud to be Kenyan. Today, I do not know how many people would recognize Paul Ereng, if he walked into this House. The late Wangila, I do not know how many of us would recognize those five gallant Kenyans who made Kenya so proud. Finally, I think there is a defect in our system of governance which we must cure. We must respect people who have made contribution. Finally, I find myself at a lose---
Just finalise that point.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, sometimes I get lost on the standards that we use for recognizing achievements in public life. There are hon. Members sitting in this House who came here having won the support of hundreds or thousands of people. There are people they competed with. Some of these people, permit my language, become professional job hunters and end up in commissions. The next thing you know, on Jamhuri Day they get recognition as Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) while those who defeated them and came to this House and served for 15 years cannot even get the Head of State Commendation (HSC). This is lopsided. To get to this House is an achievement and if there is recognition to the extent of being given a national award, I will propose at some stage that anybody who comes to this House must be given national honour.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those remarks I support.
Before you sit down, is there not a legislation dealing with Presidential Award or Head of State Commendation?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is but honestly I do not understand. I have seen many people, for example, serving in constitutional commissions--- With due respect to them, most of these fellows are people who lost in elections. The people who defeated them sit here for ten years and they cannot even get HSC.
The Member for Rarieda, would you not also want to bring something to amend---
Yes, I will. However, I just wanted to point out that defect in our way of recognizing public achievement. You know what it takes to fight to come to this House. It is not easy. I find it very strange that you defeat somebody and tomorrow he is hanging a medal. Is this not qualification enough? That is getting hundreds of thousands of people to bring you here. This is what I am arguing about.
I support, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Thank you. That is well said.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Bill. First, I support it on moral grounds. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We are aware that the former Prime Minister, the Vice-President, the Speaker and the people whose names or whose positions are indicated in this Bill are people who have played a very commendable role in this society. We still remember them, whether they have left politics or not. They will form a big part of history of this country and we will never forget them. Books will be written about them and children will read about them. These are heroes of this country and they have played a key role in representing our country abroad as well. So, they are known worldwide apart from the fact that they are Kenyans. That in itself is a contribution to this country and we need to recognize them in every way possible. Retirement benefit is a necessity for people who have played a key role like they have done.
To me, this is not debate but a natural right that they should have. We do not need to bring politics into it. Whether you are in the Opposition or not, the fact remains that these people have a history that they will leave behind that young people will emulate in life. If we do not reward them, it will be tantamount to discrimination. This is because the other people have been awarded.
I am talking about the former President who also signed into law his own retirement benefits. This is the case and yet he worked hand in hand with the Prime Minister. I think that looks very selfish and unfair. It is part and parcel of abuse of other people’s rights. I think we cannot argue any further on this because for those whose names are here and we are recommending to receive retirement benefits--- If we do not give them anything or reward them then it appears as if politics is a punishment. Some of them did a lot of work even before they joined politics. When they did, they had to resign from positions that they occupied in order to serve the nation.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also want to add to the point that even if you have retired as a politician and you are active again, there is nothing wrong with that. You are active because you still want to contribute in your retirement. Those who retire are consultants. They can be consulted on issues and can provide advice. They are still active in politics.
I have seen retired people in this country being given new positions or being appointed as chairmen of certain parastatals. Many of them, their names come here for vetting and for appointment. So, to me there is nothing wrong with being active even after you have retired because your services are still required or needed by the nation. To me, that is a right and let it be that we want to consult even those who retire. We should not discriminate against them.
Finally, I want to say that it is in this country where you find senior citizens suffer the way they do. If you travel abroad you will find that retired people or senior citizens are treated very well. They have special rates for their transport system and are looked after. They also get some income from the government. Retired people are treated very well as compared to what we do to our leaders in this country.
I support what my colleague, the Member for Rarieda said that we need to look at these people as heroes of this country. We need to work towards rewarding other people other than the ones who are here. They have worked very hard and they need to be rewarded and recognized. They must be part and parcel of the heroes that our children will read about and find as role models.
With those remarks, I support the Bill. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Bill and I think it should have come much earlier as somebody said in this House. Secondly, this Bill is meant to reward those who have worked very hard for our nation, and who have sacrificed their lives. Therefore, I support because I know that they have contributed in one way or the other. For example, nobody in this country doubts the contribution made by the immediate former Prime Minister of this country. Nobody else who is Kenyan can dispute the work that has been done by the immediate former Vice- President of this country, hon. Kalonzo Musyoka. Nobody can dispute the work that has been done by the late hon. Wamalwa Kijana for this country. Therefore, I support the Bill because I believe that those who have retired should actually be given benefits. I would like hon. Members not to look at it on individualistic point view. Rather, I would want them to look at it collectively for posterity, as somebody said; because today it is this guy and tomorrow it is you.
Thirdly, I am comparing myself with others. I am lucky to have served this country as a chief executive in two big parastatals. I left that job to become a Member of Parliament. I do not say this because I regret but rather because it is a calling. I am now working for the people of Kwanza. They are very happy that I am working for them. I can tell you that I never sleep. I am sure that most of the hon. Members who have come to this House for the first time will agree with me that they have no time for themselves. At the end of it all, after five years, you go back to the same people for renewal of the contract. I can tell you that Kenyans forget things very fast. Much as you spend your time and your little resources serving them, they still ask for more. Come the elections in 2017, it will be like you are a stranger to them.
All I am saying is that once the Members of Parliament who are here leave this place, they cannot get a job. If you are lucky, you may be appointed somewhere but who knows? The Constitution says that you must be vetted. If you want to become a chairman of a Board of some parastatal, you will be vetted in this House and you may not get the job. So, all I am saying is that the first timers should also be considered because once you leave Parliament, you are not assured of getting a job out there tomorrow. Therefore, given that comparison that I have given, let us look into this matter. Tomorrow, you are here. In 2017, you may stay out and come back after the next election. All we are saying is that you should get your benefits when you are out there. However, once you re-enter this House or get another job, you cease enjoying that particular benefit, so that you can start earning whatever it is.
Therefore, we have to pass this Bill for posterity, and not for individualistic reasons as some people are viewing it in terms of the former Prime Minister. We are talking about the future of this country. These people need to be rewarded for the contribution they have made to this country. Therefore, I support the Bill, including the position that first-time Members of Parliament should also be included. If it means amending the Bill, we should do so, so that first time hon. Members can enjoy their benefits because when they leave this place, they cannot be assured of getting other jobs. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Yes, Member for Taita Taveta. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity. I rise to support the Bill. I am aware of the conversation that is going on in this nation, especially concerning the wage bill. I know that we are going to be criticised for passing this Bill. However, I will support it by giving it a constitutional context. Article 10(2) of the Constitution provides that the national values, principles of governance include, among others, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, bringing politics into this Bill is tantamount to discriminating against people who served this nation. Talking of “people”, I am not just referring to the former Prime Minister. I am also referring to the former Vice-Presidents, right from hon. Kalonzo and the rest. So, we need to look at this Bill by looking at the roles that each and every person played in the building of this nation. The former Office of the Prime Minister was an equal partner in the immediate former Government. The former Prime Minister would even come here on Wednesday afternoons to answer Questions on behalf of the Government. We all know how hard he has worked for this nation. Article 27(1) of the Constitution states that every person is equal before the law, and that he has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. Granting retirement package only to a former President, who I highly respect, but not his equal partner, is nothing but discrimination. My colleagues have also suggested that we amend this Bill to include first time Members of Parliament. If we want to include first time Members, we have to amend Clause 3 which says that subject to sections 5(3) and 14, the persons entitled to the benefits conferred by this Act shall be persons who at any time after the 15th January, 2008 retire as Prime Minister, Vice-President, Deputy President or Designated State Officers and who do not engage in elective politics. The positions that we hold right now are not guaranteed. Today we are here but tomorrow we may not be here. If you get defeated next time, it does not mean that it is the end of it. Once you become a leader, you have an ambition. Part of that ambition is for you to eventually lead this nation one day. So, we really need to amend that clause to accommodate first time Members of Parliament. Clause 4(2) says “Where an entitled person holds an appointive or elective post in or under the Government to which there is attached a rate of pay, other than nominal rate, the benefits to which he is entitled shall be reduced by the amount of such pay.” That means, even if we give this retirement package to the former Prime Minister and maybe, he still intends to run for public office and by God’s grace he wins the election, then this falls on him--- My friend there is laughing. You never know. That means whoever it is that is going to be entitled under the proposed law shall be reduced by the amount of such pay. Going forward, we already have a Deputy President. Some of us have ambition to lead this country. So, as we discuss this Bill, let us think about the future and future leaders. Hon. Members can think about me or themselves, who are going to hold that position in the future. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Yes, Member for Bura!
Ahsante, mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Ninachukua fursa hii kumpongeza mhe. Mbadi kwa kuuleta Mswada huu Bungeni. Kwanza kabisa, ningependa kusema kwamba ninauunga mkono Mswada huu. Mimi ni Mbunge anayeegemea upande wa Serikali. Sitoshawishika kuunga mkono kupitishwa kwa sheria yoyote ambayo ni kinyume na Katiba ya nchi hii. Ninasema hivi kwa sababu nimebahatika kusoma kumbukumbu ya aliyekuwa Rais wa Zambia, mhe. Kenneth Kaunda. Mhe. Kaunda ni miongoni mwa viongozi ambao hawajawahi kufungua akaunti ya benki nje ya nchi zao. Alihudumia taifa lake na kuhakikisha kwamba ameliboresha. Alistaafu akiwa maskini. Sitofurahia leo kuwaona wale ambao walijitolea mhanga kuhakikisha kwamba taifa la Kenya limepiga hatua kwenda mbele wamerudi katika umaskini kufikia kiwango cha kutoweza kujitibu wanapoathirika na maradhi. Hii ndiyo sababu ninaiunga mkono Hoja hii. Pili, kuna neno moja nililolisoma katika Biblia. Nino hilo linasema kwamba wale wakwanza watakuwa wamwisho na wamwisho watakuwa wakwanza. Pengine tunafanya hivi kwa sababu tuko kwenye mrengo wa Serikali. Tutaweka vishawishi. Tutafunga barabara ili fulani na fulani asifaidi. Naomba tuangalie taifa na taasisi; tusiangalie watu. Ikiwa tutaangalia watu basi tutatunga sheria ambazo zitawatatiza watoto wetu siku za usoni. Ningependa kulinganisha wabunge wa hapa Kenya na wabunge kutoka nchi za nje. Tuchukulie mfano wa Afrika Kusini na tuseme kwamba familia ya Mandela imesemekana haitalipwa hela kwa sababu Mandela alihusika na kampeni za ANC. Ama tuchukulie mfano mwingine wa nchi jirani Tanzania na tuseme kwamba familia ya Mwalimu Kabarage Nyerere isilipwe malipo ya uzeeni kwa sababu alihusika kwenye kampeni za CCM. Kwa kweli haya mambo hayataingia akilini. Kipengele cha tatu katika Mswada huu kinakwaruzana na Kipengele 38(1). Mimi nitakuwa wa kwanza kuleta marekebisho ili kuhakikisha Kipengele hicho cha tatu kimetolewa. Hii ni kwa sababu ni sheria ambayo inadhulumu na inakwaruzana na Katiba ya nchi hii. Kwa nini tutunge sheria kama hizi? Naunga mkono Mswada huu. Ahsante, Bwana Naibu Spika wa Muda.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to be the first beneficiary of your generosity. From the outset, I wish to declare that I support this Bill and it is for two very important reasons. This Bill addresses the issue of benefits and the roles of the entitled persons, which are advisory and consultative. So much has been said about benefits and I would, therefore, address myself to the issue of the consultative role. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Clause 8 of this Bill envisages a situation where the entitled person will provide a consultative and advisory role to the Government. Considering the fact that governance and issues of governance change – they bring along with them challenges and experiences – these retired entitled persons will equally have an opportunity to advise Government and other institutions on issues of governance and how affairs are supposed to be conducted at their respective levels. This is important considering the fact that we now have the county governments in place. With all these noble roles being taken by these people, it is important that they have benefits. Looking at the issue of benefits and considering that the issue of the wage bill has also been spoken about and it keeps on coming---
Alright, hon. Member. Could we also hear from the Member for Ugenya for two minutes?
Thank you so much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is very important to appreciate, hon. Mbadi’s effort. The title of this Bill is very telling, it is about retirement benefits and not about what someone will do in the future. It is a right that someone earns by having worked and having served the country. It is very important to divorce what we are talking about from what will happen in the future. It is important to note that pensions are earned; they are not rewards, like I have heard some people saying. These are rights that are gained because someone has served the country or served in public service and so any idea that someone is being rewarded is wrong. It is very important to also note that as we discuss this Bill, I have heard Members saying we need to include Members of Parliament in it. This is not about Members of Parliament, but about very specific persons; the Prime Minister, the Speakers and the former Vice- President. If we want to do a law to cater for our interest, I think we have an opportunity to do that later; we should just limit ourselves to this particular Bill.
I may need to move amendments later to provide for expenses for transition. When someone is planning to leave office, how do you handle it, so that he knows what to expect and not pension only? When you are leaving office, there are so many things that go with it that we may need to include in this Bill, even for the Prime Minister, the Deputy President and the Speakers. I am also not amused by the fact that this particular Bill excludes a number of former officers like former Speakers and Vice-Presidents. We need to include everybody else in this.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Member for Matayos, you are the last to speak on this for two minutes.
I want to support this Bill that security in old age is very important and it should apply in equal measure to all people who have served this country, because they need to lead a decent life even after retirement.
Through this House, even wazees who are at home are beneficiaries of the social assistance programme. When this House passed that, it was in view of the fact that all people need to live a decent life and have security in old age. Therefore, all people who have served in public service for instance, the elected leaders at all levels need to have benefits at the end of their good service for this country. Old age and retirement or joining politics for that matter is not an offence and it defeats logic that people who have served in elective positions end up languishing in the villages. Look at the teachers who The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
retired in 1997, they had an agreement with the Government. The Government, through the office of the Attorney General has been reluctant to ensure that these teachers are paid their pension. They look like people who never served this country at all. With those few remarks, I support the Bill and at an appropriate time, we should make amendments to this Bill, so that all people who have served in this nation retire in dignity.
Yes, Member for Ainamoi, are you on an intervention?
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is good to follow what the House has already set. If you look at the resolution of the House on Wednesday, 12th February 2014, it states that the Leader of Majority Party, the Leader of Minority Party and the Chair of the relevant committee are given priority.
I have been very patient here as the Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Planning and Trade. But having said that---
Sorry, I do not see the Chairman of the Committee on this resolution or am I reading a wrong one?
If you look at page 191 on the Order Paper, there are two resolutions. We had raised this issue earlier on---
May I draw your attention to the third one, I think this is where we are, or are we not together?
Not unless we are being told that the second one is no longer effective, and if that is the case then it should be removed from the Order Paper.
Let me dispose of this because you are on intervention and I hear you Chair. The issue you are raising is that the Chair of Committee, in the order of precedence, should be allowed to contribute to the Bill, but you may have not seen the third resolution. This is the resolution that the House has made in respect of this particular discussion that we are having; the House in its wisdom did not put the Chair of the relevant Committee. The House resolved that we will discuss this for only one hour and thirty minutes and that time has reached. In fact it is about 10 minutes past the hour. I am trying to agonize, for the comfort of Members, whether to say something as I am waiting for the Mover to reply, but it looks like I am not going to wait for him. So in terms of order, I think then you stand corrected.
The third one is about---
I think you stand corrected that where we are on this particular Bill is contained in the third resolution. You may want to pursue the second resolution, but what we are using is the third resolution. I want to call upon the Mover to reply. The Mover not being in the Chamber though desiring to speak, we step onto the next Order.
Where is the Mover? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am here. Thank you. I beg to move that the Persons with Disability (Amendment) Bill be now read a Second Time.
I wish to say that this Bill is a follow up of the Persons with Disability Act of 2003. I am seeking to correct the mischief that I read in that Act, specifically Section 39. Television stations are the only mode through which the deaf can receive information, but then the words “or sub-titles in all newscasts” were introduced in the amendment. So, television stations have opted for the easier option of just introducing sub-titles in all their newscasts. This has disadvantaged our deaf people. It is unfortunate that most deaf persons in our country have very low literacy levels. Most of them cannot read newspapers and if they cannot do so, it means they cannot get information on what is happening in the country. These people are not informed. Considering our Constitution of 2010, the Bill of Rights gives every person a right to information but we find persons who are deaf are denied this right. The primary objective of amending this Bill is to say that all people have the right to information. I am considering a blind person so that he or she can get news. I am considering a person with disabilities so that he or she can get information. Even if this person is illiterate he or she can also get news. If the deaf person does not have education, then he or she cannot get news.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I find the introduction of “or” to have been mischievous because it has changed the whole meaning of this Act. If we amend that section by inserting the word “and,” television stations will be compelled to anchor news through the sub-titles and sign language. I want to congratulate the Kenya Television Network (KTN) which has already set a precedent by introducing sign language.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I was going round to try and find out why the idea of using sign language is not well received, I gathered information to the effect that the television screen may not look very nice. I heard that this may obstruct news anchors. The reason is not convincing considering the human rights issue. Therefore, I am begging hon. Members to support this amendment. It is a very short amendment and if it is done people will get information.
I am also looking at our country and the world at large. I saw a research from the Kenya National Alliance of Deaf Persons which showed that we have more than 500,000 deaf persons in our country. We do not have secondary schools for these people in our country. Also, I want to congratulate hon. Dalmas Otieno for starting a school in Gucha called Rongo Special School for the Deaf. Most of these schools that cater for the deaf like Kaaga, Engineer School for the Deaf in Nyandarua and the one in Karen only have Class Eight level. So, once a deaf person completes Class Eight he or she attends tertiary colleges. They never attend high schools. So, we have a shortage of educational facilities for these people. Even if these people wanted to pursue further education, facilities are limited. I would like to tell the Ministry concerned that we need more schools for deaf persons. Possibly in every county, we could have these schools.
Illiteracy has made these people lag behind in terms of access to information and this sometimes poses risk to their lives. For instance, during the Westgate Attack, I met a deaf person who was heading to that area. He had no information whatsoever on what was happening. When he looked at the television, he just assumed the attack was The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
happening in Pakistan or other countries. So, it is really important if television stations could be compelled by the law to anchor their news through sign language so that our deaf people can equally be informed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, when we consider the national examinations that are done in our schools, for instance, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), there is no special attention given to deaf pupils. They sit for the same examinations and the only advantage to them is that they are given extra 30 minutes in the exam. They do the same examinations with people who can hear. The same cases apply to the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination. In the end, they score so poorly in examinations. The University of Nairobi (UoN) has been training many people in sign language. So, students who graduate every year as qualified interpreters can also get job opportunities in these television stations and other places.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, through the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, which was very supportive of this Bill, I will be bringing more amendments to compel the Government and even private institutions to employ interpreters in different public places. When deaf persons go to hospitals, they are unable to explain their illness to doctors and those who are able use sign language that doctors do not understand. So, in the process they end up getting wrong treatment. Therefore, it is a long journey and this House needs to review the Persons with Disability (Amendment) Act, because it has so many shortcomings. With the current Constitution, it is important to respect other people’s rights. It is good to amend all existing laws to be in harmony with the Constitution. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to request my good friend, hon. (Ms.) Florence Mutua from Busia County, to second this Bill. I do not know if I am allowed. The hon. Member is quarreling that I have not taken care of gender. Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi was to second this Bill, and he has waited for this Bill since last year, but he has just texted me that he is held up somewhere. So, I have just dashed to hon. (Ms.) Florence Mutua to explain to her what the Bill is all about.
The Chair is personally impressed by the bipartisan approach you are giving this Bill. Hon. (Ms.) Mutua, if it is seconding from my left, it looks like it is a bipartisan approach. Proceed.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am happy to stand and second the Persons with Disability (Amendment) Bill. I would like to state that television is the only channel that the deaf people can get information. It is unfortunate that if deaf persons do know how to read, they can only know what is happening through television as modes of transmission in the world. Our Constitution is very clear on the Bill of rights and it gives right to information to all people, regardless of gender, race or disability. Blind people can listen to news, people with other sorts of disabilities can read and some of them can even listen to news. But the deaf people are left out because they cannot hear what people say. I want to support this Bill because if we do not amend it, the deaf people in our society will continue to be denied the right to information. Therefore, I second the amendment. Thank you. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was the one who was harassing hon. Wanjiku because I thought that she was only looking for women hon. Members in this House to second the Motion on the Bill. We are ready to do it as men.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, having said that, I want to congratulate the hon. Member because these are some of the few things that we usually overlook in our society and for an hon. Member to dig in and look for such discrimination in our law, it is commendable. I hope today people with disabilities across our country can hear hon. (Ms.) Muia loud and clear because I think she has gone out of the way to find a way to help them.
We all come from communities in different parts of our country and one thing that is for sure is that there is somebody disabled; there is a role model somewhere that you admire with the kind of disability they have and their achievements in life. I am a proud person that in my high school I had two blind teachers and my performance in those subjects was so good. I think I did better in the two subjects that I was taught by the two blind teachers than any other subjects in my KCSE. I want to give credit to one of them, Kipaloi who taught me History and I ended up with a good grade. I still remember him to date. He was so good that I cannot compare him to anyone all my life even through university. I have never had anybody teaching me that well. But the Bill is about the deaf people getting a chance to hear something that goes on within our news channels. Today, we all appreciate the advancement, the technology and the kind of news the country is receiving every evening and morning. We are one of the countries that are so advanced in terms of news networks. Sometimes I consider Kenya to be a First World in terms of news offering if not for anything else. I rush to my house everyday in the evening so that I can catch the news. I cannot go to bed before 9.00 p.m. because I still need to catch up with news and see what is happening in our country. But it is so unfortunate that some of our friends who are deaf get nothing out of these news channels and it is commendable that the KTN – I think that is what the hon. Member said – has already taken a lead in that area. I am hoping that as we speak today in this House, the news channels that are out there can hear us loud and can do the best they can so that members of the deaf community can hear the news that they produce every evening or morning. It is necessary because news is learning and they also need to participate in the building of our country. The best way to do that is to get information; to get informed of what is going on around the country. They contribute a lot. They are members of this country and I think it is only a right for them to hear the news like everybody else through whichever means.
I would like to ask hon. (Ms.) Muia that maybe at some point she can bring a Bill that will create incentives for private businesses that create avenues for people with disabilities to access different services in the country. When I was in the USA for several years undertaking my studies, I found every single building in America had access for disabled people. It is unfortunate that if today you walk around Nairobi, there are very few, if any, buildings that offer good access for people with disabilities. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Even within our nomination rules this time, the Constitution provides for people with disability to sit in our Parliament and our county assemblies. But people who have businesses and who should be friendly---
Member for Lari.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to support this particular Bill. I will start by congratulating the Member for Nyandarua, hon. Wanjiku for her passion and even ability to pick out issues that affect Members of our society. I would like to say that we, the able bodied members of our society, sometimes take a lot of things for granted. There are issues that we just assume. People with disability have got a lot of disadvantages, as my colleague has just said. They are not able to access many facilities and buildings even within Nairobi. What we are addressing at this particular moment about access to information and news, you realize that even other persons with disabilities, for example the blind, would be able to hear what is happening. I can imagine trying to communicate with a deaf person. It is even worse for the deaf person who does not have formal education. It means you cannot even communicate through writing. Television stations need to be compelled to introduce sign language so that the deaf can access information. According to the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 we are told that a disabled person is entitled to information, rehabilitation, self development, self reliance and all those kinds of things. So, when this is lacking in our television stations then it means that this person is being deprived of something that is enshrined in the Constitution. I support this Bill and urge hon. Members to support it so that these people will be comfortable in the society that we live in. They should be able to access information.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this Bill on persons with disabilities. From the outset, I wish to congratulate hon. Wanjiku, for being passionate about people with disabilities and delving into the Act, to see how it affects all people with disabilities. I realize that information is power and television stations disseminate a lot of information. It benefits widely the citizenry and people with disabilities form part of our society. They deserve to be given an opportunity to know what is going on in the environment. I realized that people with disabilities, given an opportunity, can contribute a lot of positive information and actions to society. However, this is not possible because they do not have access to facilities. I urge the television stations and other media stations in this country to really take into account people with disabilities.
As has been said by my predecessors, it appears that a lot needs to be done in Kenya to ensure that people with disabilities are given facilities to be able to access information and what is necessary. This includes the transport sector. The other day we heard the issue of Bishop Kosgei and a certain company because he was not given facilities to enable him alight from a plane. With the media, we are in a position to provide and compel companies, be they private or public--- If possible there should be provision of resources in the country’s Budget to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded the comfort that other Kenyans enjoy.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I wish to support this Bill. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Ahsante sana, Naibu Spika wa Muda. Pia, ninamshukuru dada yangu kwa sababu ya mjadala huu ambao umeletwa wakati unaofaa. Kama viongozi, tumeona changamoto ambazo baadhi ya watu walemavu au vipofu wanapata.
Ningependa kumuunga mkono kwa sababu amesema kwamba inafaa Serikali iweke mikakati yakutosha katika vyuo na shule zetu ili walemavu au vipofu wapate haki zao katika nchi yetu ya Kenya.
Katika Kaunti ya Trans Nzoia, kuna baadhi ya watu ambao ni walemavu hasa katika eneo la uwakilishi Bunge la Kiminini na eneo la uwakilishi Bunge la Mhe. F.K. Wanyonyi. Tunayo hii shida. Mswada huu ukipitishwa utahakikisha kwamba walemavu au vipofu wanapata haki zao.
Pia, ningependa kuwaomba wenzangu ambao wana pesa za CDF wahakikishe kwamba wanatumia hizo pesa kujenga madarasa ambayo walemavu watasomea. Ninamshukuru dada yangu, Mhe. Muia, kwa kusema kwamba inafaa televisheni zetu zipeane nafasi au watafute wakaguzi ambao wanaweza kuonyesha vipofu au visiwi miradi ambayo inaendelea katika nchi yetu au yale tunayoongea. Itakua vizuri sana kama jambo hili litatekelezwa.
Inafaa magari ambayo walemavu wanatumia yawe maalum ili waweze kusafiri vizuri.
Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ninaunga mkono Mswada huu. Ahsante.
Yes, Member for Kakamega!
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to start by congratulating my colleague, hon. Wanjiku Muhia, for bringing this Bill to the House. I support it for our sisters and brothers who are unable to watch or listen to what is happening around the nation. It is important that our television or the media industry considers those who are unable to hear or watch, especially now, when everybody is enjoying the World Cup football contest. Our deaf and blind brothers and sisters are unable to follow what is happening. So, it is very important for them to be considered in the future, so that as we watch such games they can also be watching with us and, together, we will be celebrating. When it comes to their movement from one place to another, we have issues which are really disturbing. Just as my sister and colleague, hon. Janet said, even in Kakamega County, we have such issues, which are very disturbing; especially when it comes to movement when it rains. You find that most disabled men and women are unable to reach their businesses in the market to carry on with their business to ensure that they can put some food on the table. So, it is very important that we also look into how they can make their movement from place to another. When it comes to organisation, some of our disabled brothers and sisters are also learned but sometimes it is not easy for them to be employed. I believe that once we have all the proposed facilities all over, they can also bring some benefit to this country. So, we need to look into this issue because it is very important, considering the fact that not all of them will afford modern wheelchairs that can make them self-reliant.
Member for Kakamega, that is probably the right place for me to interrupt you. Of course, you have two more The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
minutes, which you can use on Wednesday. So, come to the Chamber early enough, so that you can take your two minutes on Wednesday.
Hon. Members, I order that Order No.9 appears on the Order Paper of Thursday afternoon, so that the Question on it may be put.
I also order that the business appearing as Order No.10 appears in the Order Paper on Wednesday as Private Members’ business.