Hon. Members, we do not seem to have the requisite quorum and therefore I order the Division Bell to be rung for 10 minutes.
Very well, we have quorum now. Therefore we will start our business.
Order, hon. Members! Those Members who are coming in should quickly resume their seats.
Hon. Members, what was remaining was the Question to be put and, therefore, I will proceed to put it.
Order, hon. Members! Order, hon. (Ms.) Khamisi! Hon. Members who are standing can quickly take their seats.
THAT, aware that there are incessant traffic jams on Jogoo and Landhies Roads due to congestion; deeply concerned that the jams are an inconvenience to road users and a source of atmospheric pollution from hazardous motor vehicle carbon emissions; further aware that there are 50 acres of land on which the former Muthurwa Railway Estate stands and that this land is adequate for purposes of modernization and expansion of the existing roads and infrastructure to ease the congestion and traffic jams; this House urges the Government to urgently acquire the land from the Railway Pensioners Scheme for the expansion and modernization of the Jogoo and Landhies roads and creation of a central business district parking, a bus terminus, modernization of Wakulima Market, expansion of the railway terminus and building of an overpass.
Order, hon. Members! We will now be handling the Committee of the whole House on the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No.14 of 2014 by hon. Ichung’wah. I believe he is in and so we will quickly proceed to transact this particular business. 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 will start with Clause 2 and I think it is hon. (Ms.) Khamisi who has an amendment on it. You have not been having your card from yesterday. I think you need to apply for a temporary one because the unfortunate bit with that particular one is that we are not able to time when hon. Members are contributing.
So, proceed. Now, we seem to be having a challenge and I do not know how we are going to sort out your specific problem. Probably, we will give you that point.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I stand here to withdraw my amendments to the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill. I am withdrawing because I have done a lot of consultations with the experts from this National Assembly and even with National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA). I have even looked at the Bill and I have seen that it has just talked about alcoholism and it has not mentioned anything about hard drug abuse. That is why I think my amendment will not be relevant. I am still doing some consultations and I am going to come up with a comprehensive Bill on abuse of hard drugs. I will also maybe come up with amendments on the available Bills on abuse of hard drugs. I, therefore, withdraw my amendments to the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman.
Very well. That particular amendment therefore stands withdrawn.
Again, we have hon. Mishi Juma on that second one. Hon. Juma, you actually withdrew the first one and so we are on the next one. Even if you are going to withdraw hon. Juma, it is good that it goes on record as having been withdrawn.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I also withdraw the second amendment because it is just the same. It does not have anything to do with the abuse of hard drugs. I am coming with a comprehensive Bill which will have all those amendments.
Order, hon. Mishi! Let us first of all deal with the first one. We did not take it to a logical conclusion. Just hold on, take your seat, hon. Mishi. I will now proceed first to conclude Clause 2 so that it is properly on record.
Hon. Mishi Juma, now go ahead. 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 Chairman. I withdraw.
That one stands withdrawn.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, the amendment that I have proposed reads “Clause 5” on the Order Paper, but since the Bill does not have Clause 5 that was a typo error. It is on Clause 4.
Now, just for clarity and for the sake of hon. Members, hon. Ichung’wah are you moving an amendment on Clause 5? We do not have a Clause 5 in the Bill, do we?
Yes. That is what I am correcting, that on the Order Paper it reads “Clause 5” but that should have been Clause 4. So, I am moving an amendment on Clause 4.
So, you are moving an amendment on Clause 4? You will be moving whatever amendment we have here in an amended form to read Clause 4? Proceed.
Exactly, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. I beg to move the amendment:- THAT, Clause 4 of the Bill be amended by renumbering the proposed provision as subsection (1) and inserting a new subsection (2) as follows- (2) Notwithstanding the provision of any other law, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for the National Treasury shall grant remission of excise duty at ninety per centum with respect to beer made from sorghum, millet or cassava grown in Kenya, if that licensed manufacturer- (a) manufactures beer that has at least seventy five per centum content of sorghum, millet, or cassava, excluding sugar; and, (b) packs the beer in a pasteurized container of at least thirty litres or such other container and quantity as the Cabinet Secretary may approve. The reasoning behind this is part of the objectives of this Bill. This is because the Bill largely wants to look at alcoholism as a disease. In the region I come from, we have had a serious problem with alcohol abuse and more so, we have deaths and people losing eyesight. There are other forms of diseases emanating from abuse of alcohol and more so illicit alcohol. I have also had occasion to travel to sections of Kericho and Ukambani where sorghum and millet were crops that were grown by farmers and many of them had been contracted as outgrowers by brewers in this country. They were growers of millet and sorghum basically producing these crops with a market only from the brewers. 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.
With the loss sometime last year of the production of beer from these food crops like millet, sorghum and cassava, many of our farmers in areas like Kericho and Bomet in the Rift Valley and sections of Ukambani and Central Kenya where these crops were grown have been suffering. Secondly, and as I mentioned earlier, many of our people especially in the areas that we come from have suffered out of the consumption of illicit brews. What we intend to do is basically just to take back the remission to where it was initially before a legal notice was done in October last year. We intend to give remission to brews that are brewed with these traditional crops, brews that will be hygienic and those that will not harm our people. I want to appeal to the Members of the House---
I think you are taking too long on that one even if you are trying to achieve better clarity.
Yes, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. Actually, I was done and was only appealing to the Members of this House to support this Bill because it is in the best interest not only of farmers but also of our people who are dying of this illicit alcohol.
At this point hon. Ichung’wah, you are actually appealing to the Members to support your amendment and not the Bill. So, have you concluded?
Yes, the amendment. Yes, I have concluded.
I have a point of order.
Allow me to propose first.
Now, you have a point of order, hon. Gichigi. What is your point of order?
I wish to draw the attention of the hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman and this House to the provisions of Article 114 of the Constitution that is very clear and the implication is that if you want to bring any law that affects taxation or expenditure in this country, that particular proposal must appear before the Budget and Appropriations Committee, which must in turn consult the Treasury before that issue can be dealt with. Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, Clause 4 has proposed the inclusion of Section 68 (a). It did come before the Budget and Appropriations Committee. If you read it, it is very clear that---
Just for clarity, are you now admitting that it came before the Budget and Appropriations Committee? Are you a member of that Committee?
Did it come before your Committee?
Yes. I am saying, Clause 4 as it is came before the Budget and Appropriations Committee but you can now see what my brother hon. Ichung’wah who has very good intentions has done, he has brought an amendment to this House that has 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.
not appeared before the Budget and Appropriations Committee and which is now imposing a mandatory requirement on the Cabinet Secretary to give a tax waiver. That was not in the original Bill. It is a completely new thing and obviously it cannot be moved on the Floor. The substantive hon. Speaker has actually ruled that you cannot come to the Committee of the whole House and move an amendment that has implication on taxation and budget in this country.
Very well, we will hear from hon. Ichung’wah because the issue we are interested in is a confirmation that this particular amendment went to the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, indeed, it is true that this Bill and the amendments went to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. The same Bill and the amendments were submitted to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and were approved. As much as hon. Gichigi may not have been in the Budget and Appropriations Committee at the time they were submitted, I do not know why he would aver that.
Hon. Gichigi, you have made your case.
On a point of information, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman.
You know the rules that guide information requests. First, you have said that it did not come. Your colleague is saying that, indeed, it went through the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
On a point of information, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman.
Hold on, hon. Gichigi! I am sure there are other Members of the Committee. Let me hear hon. Mulu. Are you a Member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee? Do you want to speak on the same issue?
Yes, hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman. With all due respect to the Member, he has very good intentions and we support him. But I want to agree with my colleague, hon. Gichigi, with whom we are Members of the same Committee, that what is in the original Bill, the additional Clause 6(a), came to the Budget and Appropriations Committee and we agreed with it. But what is being proposed is the additional 2, which we are seeing here now. This was never discussed by the Budget and Appropriations Committee. That one I can confirm. But the 6(a) was discussed and approved. Despite the fact that what he is proposing is very important, unless you want to go against Article 114 of the Constitution---
There is no way I will allow any Member to go against Article 114. That is why I am trying to establish whether this particular amendment went to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. I do not see any other Member of the Committee who would want to speak to it. I can see hon. Kathuri Murungi and the Member for Marakwet West. I do not know if they are Members of the Committee. Yes, both of you are saying you are not. This is an issue that we must clarify. If it did not go through the Budget and Appropriations Committee, definitely we are not going to admit the amendment. The unfortunate bit here is that it is hon. Ichung’wah’s word against the word of the two Members who have just spoken. We have to be very clear on that one. This is a matter that has already been ruled before. We 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.
do not want to re-open it. The issue is for us to establish that it, indeed, went through the Committee.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, my appeal is that we report progress on this Bill as we consult with the Committee concerned.
I would be more inclined to proceed without admitting your amendment. The situation here as it is, hon. Ichung’wah, is that you have personally said that you, indeed, had this amendment go through the Budget and Appropriations Committee. If it did not, and we proceed with the bits that have gone through the Committee, you are actually saying that you are not sure whether it went through the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I am saying that I forwarded the Bill and the amendments that I intended to make. There was another amendment which another Member had forwarded and I was confident that they had been forwarded to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. That is why I would seek your indulgence that we report progress as I consult.
Hon. Ichung’wah, well, I might be sympathetic to your case, but you see this is not a very big Bill. If it went to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, it would have been transacted in some few minutes.
I kindly beg your indulgence to consult.
You are asking me to stop it midstream when the issue is that you did not pursue it to the logical end. Let us assume that you sent it to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, you did not pursue the matter to confirm that it was transacted there.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, when it came back and amendments were put on the Order Paper, I assumed, and rightly so, that the Budget and Appropriations Committee had transacted that business. The amendments had also been approved by the Legal Department. That is why I beg your indulgence that we report progress as we consult with the Members of the Committee and the Chair.
In the meantime, let me hear hon. Makali Mulu.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I would want to agree with what hon. Ichung’wah is saying, if you can allow us to adjourn this debate. It is important that this issue goes through the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Otherwise, the whole intention is very good. I come from a region where sorghum and millet are grown, just to support this, and our farmers will benefit. If it goes through the process the way it should go, I am sure we will support this amendment.
I am inclined to accept the request by hon. Ichung’wah, but this is a very untidy way of pursuing Bills in this House because we will not make quick headway. This is a very small Bill. The amendment we are discussing is just one. I will do that very reluctantly. Let me hear the Member for Balambala. What is it?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I was just wondering whether it will be appropriate, considering the progress we have so far made with this Bill over this long period of time, for hon. Ichung’wah to allow us to complete this Bill as it is now, 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.
and we consider amendments in the future. That is another option to this Bill. We do not have to interrupt it now only to bring it back again. Why can we not amend it in the future?
Hon. Gichigi, although I really did not want to open debate, but I am interested in this.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, on what hon. Aden has said, my colleague might consider the timeframe that it takes to bring an amendment and the timeframe it is going to take to get this back to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Treasury, and back. This is issue at the Treasury. He has the existing clauses as they are; second, third and fourth, they are needed in this country. It will be very important for us to proceed with the proposals he has made and benefit this country as we deal with the controversial issue of whether to remit tax on beer or not. I plead with him to let us complete this as it is.
Hon. Ichung’wah, consider what your colleagues are saying.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, indeed, I hear them. I hear hon. Gichigi and hon. Aden. But as much as hon. Gichigi says that this is a big matter at the Treasury, for me and for hon. Gichigi, who comes from the same region, the bigger matter is the hundreds of our youth, old men and at times women, who are being maimed by these illicit brews. People are dying and losing sight every day in our localities. I beg that since you had allowed us to consult, we proceed that way.
As I have told you, I would reluctantly accept that, but I am convinced by the arguments by the Member for Balambala and hon. Gichigi, that you could still have this and make an amendment in future to incorporate what you are looking for. They are saying you would be achieving, at least, something for the time being. Of course, if you insist, this is your Bill.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I insist. I beg your indulgence, even with your reluctance that you allow us to report progress and allow us time to consult.
That I will grant but it is not something that we would want to entertain in future. In my mind, I think you did not take a lot of interest in this particular amendment otherwise; we would not be having this specific issue that we have now. Hon. Murungi, what is the issue, I had already given you an opportunity and we are not going to reopen that one?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, it is not on this issue. I just wanted to seek some clarification on the same. I am wondering whether I should ask now or when the Bill comes back. His intention was wonderful because he wanted Muratina to be included in this Bill. However, when he was doing this amendment, he forgot and only talked of sorghum, millet or cassava and yet Muratina is purely made from sugarcane and honey. Where I come from, these are what we use to make local brew. I am requesting hon. Ichung’wah to consult again on whether to include sugarcane, sorghum millet and honey.
I am not going to allow you to discuss this again. As to whether you are going to include the ones which are done 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.
using honey, salt or whatever else, you will quietly talk to hon. Ichung’wah so that as the amendments go to Treasury and back, you can enrich them. We will therefore proceed and report progress. I, therefore, call upon the Mover. Hon. Ichung’wah, kindly make a request.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Chairman, I beg to move that the Committee doth report progress and seek leave to sit again another day.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Chairperson, the Floor is yours.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to report that the Committee of the whole House has considered the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2014 and seeks leave to sit again.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Mover, the Floor is yours
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Committee in the said Report.
I beg to move that the Parliamentary Society of Kenya (National Assembly Bill No.35 of 2013) be now read a Second Time. I came up with this Bill after reflection on the state of politics in Kenya; on what happens to politicians, how politicians are perceived; how they progress in their political 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.
career while as human beings, family persons, relevant to the society and the international community. Having seen what happens to former hon. Members of Parliament and the trend in our national politics, there are obvious statements I want to make. For the last 25 years that I have served as a politician, the trend in our national politics has not been very good to hon. Members of Parliament, and I do not want to condemn the electorate. In the last Parliament, which you and I had the privilege to serve, 76 per cent of the hon. Members in the 10th Parliament were voted out, courtesy of the wisdom of our electorate. The question which arose in the previous Parliament, which is the 9th Parliament was: Why was 79 per cent voted out? In This 11th Parliament, I can certainly predict that about 80 per cent of us will be former hon. Members of Parliament in the coming Parliament. The question which arises is: What happens to these critical members of the Kenyan society? Has anyone ever reflected on the state of former hon. Members of Parliament? I appreciate, when you are elected; because of the power, money and the prestige that comes with your office, none of us assumes that we will be voted out. All of us assume that we will be among the 20 per cent who will be re-elected. I urge you to think otherwise and apply the balance of probability and assume you will be among the 80 per cent who will be voted out. If you work on that premise and luckily your voters see sense in your re-election, you will not go through serious psychological trauma. I also want to make an obvious statement that, the hon. Members voted out are not voted out because they are unpopular in their constituencies, rather it is by the leadership of the parties. They will want to cause some generational change after every election. As for the parties you subscribe to here, I want to tell you that they have already identified their candidates and they will take over from you because some of them do not want continuity of your experience and expertise. These are the realities of the Kenyan politics. One time somebody said that, if you look at the Kenyan politics critically, it is politics of man-eat-man society. If you just walk out right now and go to the Members’ Lounge, you will see so many former hon. Members of Parliament. Some of them are as young as 40 years or even younger. When I reflected on this, I looked at some of the best practices in the world, like what happens and how current and former hon. Members are treated in the United States of America (USA), Canada, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and a number of countries where civilized democracies are properly applied. For you to become an hon. Member of Parliament in the USA, it is business. The minute you lose your seat, you are picked by some of the big corporations as a motivational speaker, an experienced expert or advisor and in the process, as a result of the lectures you give; you make a lot of money that maybe you did not make when you were in active politics.
Is it the same in here Kenya? The moment you lose your seat, you are the odd one out. How do we cure this? In the United Kingdom (UK) where we have borrowed so many of our democratic trends and functions of our own institutions, what they do is immediately after the conclusion of the general election, there are state funded institutions of counsellors, financial experts and psychiatrists whose services are applied and the Members are debriefed so that they come back to normalcy and they can continue 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.
with their professions, either as still prospective politicians or now go back to their professions. If you were in business, you go back to your business. If you were in a certain profession, you get back there. However, in the Kenyan scenario that does not apply. If you were a lawyer, you will not get a client I can assure you, if you are a former Member of Parliament. If you are a doctor you will not get clients. If you are a financial person, you will not get clients simply because there is suspicion. There is that hanging suspicion on the former Member of Parliament. What I have tried to do in this Bill is to demystify and create an acceptable niche for the former Member of Parliament. Therefore, what the Bill intends to do as an Act of Parliament is to make provision for the establishment of a Parliamentary Society of Kenya to provide for the participation of former Members of Parliament in the promotion of ideals of parliamentary democracy and to promote networking among former Members of Parliament to facilitate their integration into the professional life and for connected purposes. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you know we were together in the last Parliament and we were the persons who stood firm on the issue of members’ welfare. You know we were called all sorts of names. The other time when we were here, one of the reasons that informed the formation of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) in 1999, and I want to repeat this just for the sake of it, was to make sure that the serving Members of Parliament remained independent from any other consideration and remained alive to their work as the elected representatives of the people of Kenya and as national leaders. This is why at times I ask myself: Do people really understand the unique nature of the Parliamentary Service Commission as the only politically centered, politically oriented and politically placed constitutional commission under the 2010 Constitution? This is why in every aspect when we look at it, the PSC must be seen in that unique perspective and its role is a welfare commission. Therefore, the Memorandum and Objects of this Bill is to provide a legal framework through which former Members of Parliament can be integrated into the society so that they can play a critical role in advancing the interests of their constituents. You were there yesterday. Somebody else took over from you and there is every probability that you will also be there tomorrow and, therefore, in that line that Member is still connected to that particular area of representation. Again, they are connected to their parties and as such exercise oversight on other State organs. There exists no legal framework which can be used to rescue Members who find themselves in a prospect of having to be out of Parliament when they are still young, when maybe professionally they are not prepared or maybe financially they did not have adequate mechanism to fend for themselves. This reality has affected their lives. As groups, we have the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). We have a society that deals with issues affecting accountants. We have a society that deals with issues that affect medical practitioners. How comes politicians have been left out without any proper mechanism to take care of their welfare? It is because of this that most Members of Parliament abandon their careers. I want to remind Members of one famous Professor Omondi Muga. He has been one of the best environmentalists in the Republic of Kenya and one time he was one of the most adored professors in the University of Nairobi (UoN). He joined politics. He was elected 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.
and later on he exited. Do you know where he lives today? The university could not accept him back and neither was he re-elected. Therefore, I want to urge you and to give you that assignment to find out where he lives and what he is doing. That is the state of all other former Members of Parliament. Just imagine he was a professor. What about others who are not as educated, young, financially and professionally unprepared and yet they have families? That is the question really that I want us to reflect on. Therefore, most of them having been State officers, it becomes difficult to properly reintegrate and assume that normal life and remain relevant to their society. It is becoming difficult for such Members to feel part and parcel of the ordinary civilian population and their employment prospects are greatly reduced. It has become psychologically difficult for such Members to adjust to life outside Parliament. This affects such Members psychologically. As a result, there are stories of former Members of Parliament, including their partners, who are suffering from psychological break down, many divorce rates, heart attacks, alcoholism, debts and even bankruptcy. These are the realities of the lives of former Members of Parliament. Therefore, I am not guaranteeing that this Bill will 100 per cent cure the problem, but it will provide legally acceptable mechanisms on how both ourselves as current Members of Parliament and the other State mechanisms will deal with issues affecting the former Members of Parliament. Therefore, the Bill seeks to come to the rescue of former Members of Parliament, some of whom have offered selfless service to the country. The Bill is aimed at ensuring that former Members of Parliament receive necessary counselling which is important in ensuring that they are able to get back to ordinary life. The Bill also aims at ensuring that employment prospects of such Members are not badly diminished and in respect, aims at offering consultancy services to Members. So many former Members of Parliament are talented. We have so many State institutions. Why do we not professionalise and allow the State to utilise that experience, the expertise of former Members of Parliament in managing some of these key State institutions? We have over 300 quasi-state institutions. If somebody was to be magnanimous through a legal framework and employ the services of at least two former Members of Parliament in some of these institutions, then 300 times two, it means that over 600 Members will be relevant in our national institutions. This at times happens but it happens in the wrong way and so this Bill provides that platform and network that will allow the former Members of Parliament to engage or continue engaging and remain relevant to everyday activities of the Republic of Kenya. This Bill establishes the Parliamentary Society of Kenya whose functions among others is to facilitate professional counselling services, provide advice on retirement, advice on reemployment, retraining and also financial planning for former Members of Parliament. I realise that for five, ten or 15 years you have been an active politician. If you were a doctor I can assure you that you will have lost most of your medical talents because politics is a very difficult profession. You require somebody to debrief and retrain you so that even if you have to resume your former profession, you are prepared and can handle your patients properly. If you are a financial expert you need to do the same. If you are engaged in other professions you need also to do the same. If you are a lecturer, for 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.
example, so that you do not get preoccupied with political issues and really remain alive to the area of specialisation, you also need to do a bit of debriefing. Most of us retire from politics. We are retired by force without you being psychologically prepared for retirement. You need somebody somewhere to prepare you to go through some of the retirement challenges.
You need somebody somewhere to prepare you to go through some of the retirement challenges. Therefore, this society is going to provide a professional network for assisting former Members of Parliament.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the board that is proposed in the Bill will empower Members to provide outreach programmes where former Members of Parliament can visit and speak at universities, schools and among groups to give their experience, particularly skills and clear idea of how Parliament works. Therefore, the Bill aims at assisting former Members of Parliament who cannot find anything to do. There is a great deal of them who have retired. I will not call them retired because when you retire, it is voluntary. However, when you are forced to retire - I do not know how to describe it - you are over with development and building of the nation.
The first function of the society-I know some of the issues have been raised- is to facilitate maintenance and promotion of the status and wellbeing of former Members of Parliament as national leaders.
The second function of this society is to provide professional advice for the retirement of former Members of Parliament. This is one of the issues I have also alluded to. The third function is to facilitate public participation and lobbying of interest groups on matters of general and public concern. This is critical because you might be out of Parliament today and be back tomorrow. The person who was there might be out and the roles reversed. Therefore, it is critical that we always remain alive to the dynamics and the changing needs of that particular leader.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, fourth is to create data bank of former Members of Parliament for purposes of appointments to various statutory institutions. Fifth, is to provide outreach programmes where former Members of Parliament can visit and speak at universities and other academic institutions. Seven, to develop and manage any project or enterprise that has an objective of making former Members of Parliament capable of giving themselves support. Eighth, to coordinate with other Government and private institutions to ensure that former Members of Parliament who are in need of assistance get access to resources and services appropriate to their needs. Ninth, engage competent professional advisers to counsel former Members of Parliament in need of professional counselling. Tenth, is to provide assistance to all Members of Parliament in need of assistance. Eleventh is to conduct research in matters relating to assistance of former Members of Parliament. Twelfth is to facilitate professional counselling services to the former Members of Parliament. Thirteenth is to facilitate re-employment or re- training to former Members of Parliament.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I propose that the patron of the society shall be the immediate former president. In the current case, if we pass this Bill I want to believe that Former President Kibaki will be the patron of this society. The chairperson will be elected from among the former Members of Parliament; that is the constitution of the board. The Principal Secretary of the Ministry concerned will also be a Member. There 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.
will be three persons elected by former Members of Parliament from amongst themselves. One psychiatrist and psychologist will be appointed to this particular group or other professionals like financial experts. There will be one serving Member of the National Assembly, one serving Member of the Senate, the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Senate, and the Chief Executive Officer who is to be appointed by the board.
Having been in politics for quite some time, I am greatly perturbed by the treatment accorded to our former colleagues. I know and appreciate that politics is a very difficult and risky profession. Therefore, for those of us who are still in active politics, I want us to reflect on how our former colleagues are doing, what is happening to them, the state of their wellbeing and ensure that as part of the larger political grouping, they remain relevant, they are also assisted and be prepared to participate in nation building.
In the Unites States of America, it is voluntary. In the United Kingdom, the Government is obligated by law to utilise the experience of these former Members of Parliament in all state funded institutions, regardless of the politics of the day. Is the same applicable today or if your party is in power, are you assisted? If your party is not in power, you languish in abject poverty. These are the issues that we must address and we must cure them through this legislative mechanism.
Having seen what happens in our politics, unfortunately because of the balkanization and tribal nature of our politics, our political issues have been trivialised, regionalised and given political parties perspective to the extent that political professionalism has been relegated to the back door. As colleagues who are today Members of the Eleventh Parliament, stand firm and be part of history just like our former colleagues in the Eighth Parliament did. They stood firm regardless. I remember one night when we fought hard to delink ourselves from the strong ambit of the Executive. By then, Parliament was listed as a small department in the Office of the President.
It is not that the Executive wanted---
(Hon.(Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Members, your consultations are too high.
It is because at that time, it dawned on us and we went ahead and allowed hon. Oloo Aringo, who was de-whipped by his own party simply because he disagreed with them, to bring a Bill to that effect. We believed in the interests of colleagues, that there will be no Parliamentary Service Commission without hon. Aringo. We sat here up to midnight and we said that the following day there would be no Budget. Under the old Constitution, if the Budget was rejected, the Government would collapse. Therefore, people would have to go back for fresh elections. We were prepared to face fresh elections instead of having Parliament governed as a department in the Office of the President. We sat here up to 2.30 a.m. and the Minister for Finance was in his office. We called hon. Aringo and I was one of the bouncers. I was very young. Hon. Charity Ngilu was also one of the bouncers. We just said that every Member, apart from the ones who were in hospital, had to be present. 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.
That led to the birth of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). It is not the Government of the day that wanted the formation of the PSC. That changed everything. My pay slip then read Kshs.56,000. I could pick it and call hon. Kajwang’, who was also a very young legislator. I was in active business and I would ask myself what I would do with Kshs56,000. We did not have offices and cars. What would you do with Ksh56,000? Life was really frustrating but that changed everything. Not for the individual Members of Parliament but for the constituencies and the management of the entire Republic. I urge you as colleagues, as Members of the Eleventh Parliament, to stand firm for issues that affect the welfare of constituents, and current and former Members. Therefore, this Bill with minimal cost and professionalise the lives of our former colleagues. There are some who are very young and when I see them, I am touched. They come to this place for their breakfast and hang around for 10.00 a.m. tea. They also hang around for well wishers to buy them lunch and in the evening for their early dinner which is at about 5.00 p.m.
At the end of the month, they come around in order to seek something to pay their rent. At that time, they did not have the privilege we have right now, of medical scheme, housing facility, car loan and constituency office. These things are new. These are the issues that are clearly enshrined in the ideals of the PSC. How about those who did not have that privilege and their cumulative salary was Kshs.56,000? They left here as paupers and frustrated lot. This is the group that I want us to rescue. For those of you, and I am sure there are quite a number of Members here who were former Members of Parliament, know what I am saying. These are the real life experiences. Hon. Members can explain what it means to be former Members of Parliament and to be serving Members of Parliament. Therefore, this Bill will assist this group and professionalise politics and remove the aspect of criminalisation of the politics of the day. It will ensure that every Member of Parliament or former Member of Parliament is given respect and benefits that come with that particular office. Finally, Clause 1 of the Bill contains preliminaries. Clause 2 sets out the administrative framework of the Bill. Clause 3 provides for the objects and purposes of the Bill. Clause 4 establishes Former Members of Parliament Society of Kenya. Clause 5 provides for the functions of the society. Clause 6 provides for the board of the society. Clause 7 provides for the tenure of the board. Clause 8 provides for the conduct of business and how the board is supposed to work. Clause 9 provides for the powers of the board. Clause 10 provides for remuneration of the members of the board. Clause 11 provides for the establishment of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer. Clause 12 empowers the board to engage in the functions of the board. Clause 13 provides for the common seal of the board. Clause 13 provides for the protection of the board against personal liability. Clause 14 sets the Bill out for financial provision. Clause 15 provides for registration of former Members of Parliament. Clause 16 provides for the Annual General Meeting of the members of the society. Clause 17 provides for the sources of the society. Clause 18 provides for the financial year of the society. Clause 19 provides for preparation of the annual estimates. Clause 20 provides for the keeping of accounts and audits of the society. Clause 21 sets out the manner in which the funds of the society should be used. Clause 13 provides for the making of the regulation. 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.
In conclusion, there are three arms of Government. In some jurisdictions and democracies, Parliament is considered as the first arm of Government. In other jurisdictions, Parliament is considered as the second arm of Government, but we all agree that there are three arms of Government, whether the first one is the Executive, the Legislature or the Judiciary. Of course, there are other emerging arms of Government. It is a reality in modern democracies. We have the Fourth Estate, the civil society and other emerging arms of Government. I want us to reflect on how the affairs of the Judiciary through the Law Society of Kenya and the Judicial Service Commission have been managed. Even an octogenarian lawyer or a former judge still remains alive and participates in the activities of the Law Society of Kenya. The Law Society of Kenya is one of the most robust and professionally run institutions. Why do we not make the same for Parliament as one of the three arms of Government? Even in the Law Society of Kenya, there are individuals who sacrificed. It is not that the Law Society of Kenya was born yesterday. There are individuals who truly believe and jealously protect the interests of the members of the judicial community. Why can we not do the same for the political society? Therefore, I want to plead with you, as I move this Bill, to support it. This is the Second Reading and you will have an opportunity to propose informed amendments. I plead with you to support this Bill. I beg to move and I ask my brother, hon. Wamunyinyi, to second it.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Wamunyinyi, could you raise your voice slightly, so that everybody can hear you.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to give my views on this very important Bill. May I, from the outset, thank hon. Keynan for coming up with this wonderful proposal. It is a thought that proves that human beings can have ideas that will better their lives in a situation of this nature, where you make some legislation and other hon. Members offer oversight. That improves the development of this country. The problem arises when he leaves this House. I have issues of hon. Members in my constituency who were very decent but, right now, they are living very pathetic lives to the extent that being in charge of a board in school is a big problem. Going back to their old profession is unmanageable. I think this Bill has come at the right time. It is going to assist hon. Members in various ways to boost their respect within the society, to assist them to train and retrain them in the professions they had. Some of them may be teachers for a long time but having reached about 55 to 60 years, they cannot be teachers again. So, they are left to fend for themselves. Once we are out of this House, we are on our own. We have to save ourselves. We have to look at our welfare. Issues which this Bill will bring are so many. When we look at other advanced countries like the USA, former hon. Members are respected. They are given positions in Government or statutory bodies. They give lectures depending on their professions. That would be more welcome. At this stage of development in our country, we are at the right time to ensure that every hon. Member who leaves this House, whether he stays for one term, two terms or whatever number of terms, will go out there and find his dignity upheld and sustained for many years. Without going very far, I stand to support this Bill and urge hon. Members to support it because it is our Bill.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Bill and I want to congratulate the Mover because he is a long time serving Member of Parliament. He would have chosen to say that he is comfortable because he has been re- elected many times. But you can see the intent of this Bill. It is aimed at taking care of Members of Parliament who have served this country in a very distinguished way. All of us are aware that every time we step out of this House and go to a common area, we find 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.
former Members of Parliament who would gladly greet us. It is not because of our contribution on the Floor of the House, it is because they want us to give them some money. It is very disheartening because if you look at some of them, they are the people you used to read about in the newspapers. Those are the people who may have motivated you to join politics. The kind of picture you are confronted with is very disheartening. I am sure most Members of Parliament will agree with me that the moment we came to Parliament, we found it was very different from what we thought it was. We got the shock of our lives. I remember asking what I had gotten myself into. It is like when you are on top of a hill. You can see very clearly because of the vantage position you find yourself in. If you look at the way politics is structured in this country, it favours old retired persons. But more young people like us have got into politics. Right now, both the National Assembly and the Senate have 46 hon. Members who are below the age of 35 years. Going by the statistics that have been presented, if, for example, you are 30 or 35years for that matter, and you get out of Parliament at 40 years, what are you going to do with your life? It is like getting a curriculum vitae and then burning it. That is the reality because the way we execute oversight; the way we execute representation requires some form of activism. So, therefore, you cannot be trusted by the society. You are seen as a trouble-maker. You are seen as a rubble rouser. You are seen as somebody who cannot stand your ground. That is not what is required in terms of professional conduct. That is not what is required in terms of following the hierarchy within an established structure. It is, therefore, true that the employability of those of us who get in Parliament is really compromised. It is almost zero. I remember one day long ago when I was in a bus and one of the former Members of Parliament from Juja whose name I withhold had his car stalling on the road because of lack of fuel. All of us in the bus engaged in a very ridiculous discussion saying: “See that former Member of Parliament. The way he used to fight for the people and now he cannot even afford fuel.” The touts were taunting him. At least, he had a car and he could move. However, what about many others? Even boarding a matatu is stressful because people will start asking: “How comes?” I remember one day I was having a conversation with the Leader of Minority Party and he told me of his experiences. I wish he was in the House to talk about that because he was also a former Member of Parliament before he was re-elected. So, those are Members who would even want to imagine that they can get political appointments from those who may have won power. However, it does not happen because when they are seen in people’s offices, they are looked at as bothers. They look like they are just coming for hand-outs. They have no respect or dignity. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is that concern that when you get into Parliament, you are not a professional or educated. However, all of us know that this is a House that is full of talent and knowledge that require to be harnessed so that being in politics is not criminalised. That has been the case because of the repercussions that you have to face when you get into politics. I remember very well when I was starting to engage in politics at the university. I was warned and told: “This thing will finish you.” You can, indeed, say it is true because even if you succeed, the resources that are required are so much. Even if you are a Member of Parliament, people will say: “You are doing well, but unatuwacha namna 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.
” So, everywhere and every instance you engage with them, you are not spending money that is for development. You are spending money from your own pocket. How will you invest and yet, those are the same people who, 80 per cent do not make it back to Parliament? If you look at the way this Bill is drafted, it is very timely. It creates a body that would be responsible for Members of Parliament who have served this country. However, I would want to suggest that we enhance this Bill by ensuring that the first priority for those who are going to be recruited as staffers of that board should be former Members of Parliament. We should not even shy away. Sometimes, we are accused of favouring ourselves. However, let us be honest with one another. What is it that you get from the salary here? The most you can get is a mortgage which you pay with the whole of your salary, a car and, maybe, one or two loans. After that, the pay slips of most Members of Parliament read zero. So, how would you survive? Every other instance, you have to spend resources. The resources you are supposed to spend are what are construed as development. So, I would want to suggest that we, as a House, should propose a monthly stipend. That is because the dignity of former Members of Parliament can only be reinstated not just by counselling them, but also by giving them some money every month so that they do not come here to beg. They should not be seen to be dependent on other people. They should also hold their own meetings. After we leave this House, the community will still call you a Mheshimiwa. The community will still want you to go and participate in Harambees, funerals and all those kind of things. So, it is an unfortunate fall from grace to grass. It is also very unfortunate to live a life where you had been catapulted and all of a sudden, you have nothing. So, I, therefore, want to propose that when we are making the amendments to this Bill, we say boldly that a minimum of about US$1000 as a stipend be paid to former Members of Parliament. I have made a quick calculation. Since Independence, according to the Members with whom we have interacted with here, there are about 1,000 former Members of Parliament. The argument would be that we are burdening the taxpayer. However, it is only coming to about Kshs.90,000,000 per month. This country can afford that so that those people can be engaged to continue contributing to the society. If we were not to do that, then we are saying that whatever knowledge, information and growth that you have gotten from being in this august House cannot contribute further. I also agree with the Mover because the nature of our political parties is to ensure that in each and every election, there are new novices who can easily be manipulated - people who are ‘yes’ men and women. That is the nature of our political leaders. So, if you “grow horns”, appear to know one, two or three things or if you are seen to be developing some ambition, you must be clipped at the bud. The easiest way to clip the ambition is to ensure that you do not get nomination even if you have won on the ground. I may be a first-time nominated Member of Parliament, but I have been in a political party for over eight years and so, I can say this authoritatively. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this is the time I would want to urge fellow Members of Parliament that we must rise to the occasion to ensure that we protect our dignity. We must rise to ensure that we show the country that there is something we 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.
contribute and to ensure that we protect our interests and the interests of those who have come before us without fear, favour or intimidation. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. Abdikadir Omar.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Bill. This is a very important Bill. The Parliamentary Society of Kenya Bill, 2013 is indeed one that proposes and brings on board ideas that need to be supported. Caring for those who have served this country is of paramount importance. There are individuals who in their times have taken Kenya through very difficult times, have stood with the country and have legislated and advocated for this country. Many of them suffered so much to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of democracy and the rule of law that we have today. This Bill proposes that we utilise and tap into the experience and knowledge of our former Members of Parliament. That is a very important thing to do. Indeed, other jurisdictions in the world have specific legislations and laws that ensure that even upon retirement or leaving elected positions, former Members of Parliament are of value to their country and they continue to be utilised. Former Members of Parliament can be used in peace building and ensuring that they advocate for peace both within and without our country. I want to take the example of the former Speaker, ole Kaparo, whom I really congratulate very much for the position he now has as the chairman of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC). Such a senior politician will lead the way to ensure that Kenyans understand each other better, associate and build peace amongst themselves and enhance civil liberties with due respect to other members of the society. Other than peace building, former Members of Parliament can also be used as goodwill ambassadors for the environment and in championing gender equity. If you look at the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM), it is a former Member of Parliament, Linah Jebii Kilimo, who is championing it. Those are the kind of goodwill ambassadors that we can get from Members of Parliament that have been here. This is because they understand the society very well.
They have interacted with each and every level of the society very well and they have a very good understanding of the real issues that touch the society or touch important issues such the environment, as I mentioned earlier. So they act as goodwill ambassadors for our country and therefore, those kinds of opportunities, whenever they come up, the former Members of Parliament should be given priority. This is what this Bill is proposing; that the Government makes use of former hon. Members to ensure that they continue to be engaged meaningfully so that they can continue to add value to the wellbeing of our society. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other thing that this Bill proposes is that former hon. Members are utilized as mentors to young leaders because we need future leaders. We need politicians, both men and women, to stand where we stand today and continue to ensure that our country remains the democracy that we so wish to have. For that reason, there are many of them in the universities and colleges out there who wish to have the opportunity to interact with people who understand the process of getting into politics and the process of getting into that participatory leadership to take 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.
forward. This formation of this society will give the members of the public a door through which they can walk in and interact with former hon. Members so that they can get ideas on how to organize themselves in their mindset so that they can go into careers as politicians and leaders. This society will also give, at any one time, published reports even on a monthly basis to give us the status of our democracy and the status of our economy. Those are people who are sitting out there but they are analysts because they understand the process of politics and the dynamics within the economics of the country and they are able to give expertise views. The country right now is going through very difficult times in terms of security. I can assure you that some of them seated out there will be able to give views that can help and guide the policies of this country for us to tame that insecurity. For that reason, this society can be a means within which Kenyans can get knowledge and test how democracy and devolution are doing. Some of us seated here today are very busy in day to day running. Yes, we defend devolution. We defend our democracy but it is sometimes important and I wish that we could get a report on a monthly basis that says how well or how not well we are doing as a country and what we need to improve. I think that kind of a report can be published by experts who have been involved in the process of policy making and guiding the economy. Using former hon. Members can help members of public to interact with the National Assembly and the Senate. There are members of the public out there who wish to draft petitions, for example, or those who wish to propose Motions or do certain things and they want to bring issues to the Floor of this House. Sometimes, they do not have the opportunity to speak to an hon. Member or a person who is currently sitting in the Senate or the National Assembly. But now they can walk into that society and interact because this Bill also proposes that amongst the members of that society will be appointees of this House. This House will appoint people to sit in that particular membership. For that reason, the public will also have the opportunity to interact and bring the things that they want to propose to Parliament and therefore, get an opportunity to participate in the process of guiding this country as envisaged in our Constitution. Finally, corporations or large corporates can also use this particular body to get people to lobby. We need to lobby in a positive way, not necessarily in a negative way. What can they do? Those large corporations also have the ability to guide the Government on some very important issues, particularly issues to do with tax, how we can better propose tax measures that can move this country forward without hurting our industries. This particular body can be used by those corporates as well to bring in those ideas on board and to bring it to Parliament so that we can make better tax regimes that favour both our private sector as well as ensuring that we get the revenues that we want. The NGOs also wish to have civil rights society and their policies lobbied for and to ensure that Parliament brings those issues for deliberation and discussion. This body will be the best avenue for that particular forum. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this Bill, it is a very important Bill. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to this very important Bill. I thank hon. Keynan for moving this Bill because it is very important. Before I make my contribution, I want to make a comment 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.
on something which is very disturbing, if I am allowed. I know we discussed about stripping of ladies. I know we have discussed it but I am quite disturbed because it is going on up to today. It is being done now with a lot of impunity. The latest victim was really humiliated. She was stripped, exposed, filmed and the footage was distributed in the social media. It was very disturbing to see men poking her and making her feel degraded. I am suggesting that all those people who are doing that because that lady was not indecently dressed, she just refused to accept passes, be dealt with. Several women in Nairobi have been threatened. I wish they would report those threats, something should be done. Police should take action to teach others a lesson. I am really disturbed by what is going on that at this time and age we cannot walk around our streets in peace. Women are not indecently dressed but they are being threatened and they are being stripped up to today. I am feeling really bad about that. Coming to this very important Bill, as politicians, we are like endangered species. When we come out of here, I have seen many politicians living disgraceful lives and nobody really cares about them. It is important to have a Bill such as this, that recognises former Members. It is important to have a body which we can always fall back to. Former hon. Members are mocked. They are not recognised so much in society unless they are extremely wealthy and are contributing money and maintaining certain people. We have seen since we came to Parliament that this is not a place to make money. It is a place to work and we give our best here. We make contributions and to get the job, we spend a lot of money. Once you are on the job, you sustain it with money. When you leave this place, obviously because of the stressful nature of the work, you end up with hypertension, diabetes or any of those lifestyle diseases. Those diseases need people to be stable and to have something to fall back to. I want to support hon. Mwaura in saying that there should be a stipend to those hon. Members so that at least, if not anything, they can afford to buy medicine. We have had situations where we have had to contribute money to treat former Members. We have seen situations where former hon. Members are mocked as they walk around the streets and people do not regard them as having had contributed much to the society. The former hon. Members need to be recognised. They have rights like everybody else. They have contributed in nation building and in infrastructural development. They have played a very unique role which should not just be rubbished. In fact, when we leave Parliament, we should leave as champions on certain topical issues such as what hon. Chebii and others are doing in terms of female genital mutilation. We have issues of gender based violence. Empowerment is a continuous process. Once we start empowering women and youth, once we get out of here, we will continue with those processes. We will continue being role models and doing mentorship programmes. All this needs some support. This Bill will come in handy to support hon. Members and make sure that they remain relevant once they leave this House. The former hon. Members should not be subjected to ridicule and undue psychological suffering just because they do not come back to Parliament. This fall back mechanism will take care of that. It is true that Members of Parliament do their work sacrificially. Their service is sacrificial to the electorate. This goes unrecognised once they get out of this House. The Parliamentary Society of Kenya Bill will address those issues. It is coming in handy. 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 fully support the Bill.
(Hon. (Ms.) Shebesh): Hon. John Nakara, Turkana Central.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is good that this Bill has come at this time when some of us are coming to Parliament for the first time. I want to thank the Mover of the Bill. The object or the purpose of the Bill is to promote networking among the former Members. I have seen former Members of Parliament back in the village. They are lonely, exhausted and living terrible lives without anybody to encourage them. When we have such a society, the former Members can come together to encourage one another. Even after you have lost your seat, you get encouraged when you meet other Members who have gone through the same process. You get encouraged when you sit with other Members who lost in the election. It also makes them to remain relevant to the community. You will be recognised in the community that you can still offer some pieces of advice to the people. Losing an election does not mean that, that is the end of life. One still has life to live. If you are a doctor or psychologist, you can still offer those services to the community. With such kind of a society, former Members of Parliament can come together and form a group to do something or to give back to the community. They can even contribute money to help poor students who lack school fees. This society is a very good thing. Clause 5 speaks about the functions of the society. One of the functions is to maintain the status and wellbeing of the former Members of Parliament. I have seen former Members of Parliament degrading their lives. After losing elections, somebody becomes useless in the village. He goes into drinking and becomes an alcoholic or he just becomes irrelevant in the village. With such kind of society, you can still maintain your status and wellbeing. The society can give you a loan to do business or some pension to continue with life. After leaving Parliament, some former Members become bankrupt. They may have taken loans here and there without the knowledge of the family. At the end of the day, the banks come and take away everything that belongs to the family. With such kind of society, hon. Members can be taught how to continue with their lives or how to do business. As I conclude, I am very happy that the chairperson of this board will be a former Member who is not active in politics. That means that he will not bring politics into the society. We, also, as Members of Parliament, must watch our lifestyles. We must also think about the future. We have seen people coming and going. So, we too, should not wait until we are out of this House to start thinking and planning our lives. We need to try to live a life that we can sustain even after we have left this House. The position that we are holding sometimes dictates where you are going to live and the places you can visit. We need to make sure that we are not dictated by the position we are holding. We must organize our lives. We must make sure that we are living a life that we can even live after we have left politics. With those few remarks, I support. 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. With your permission, I would first wish to send my condolences to the families of the people who have lost their lives in the attacks that have occurred in the country over the last few weeks, several of them being from my constituency. The General Service Unit officer in Kapedo and two ladies killed in Mandera last week were from my constituency. I send my condolences to the families of all the Kenyans who have died in the attacks over the last few weeks. I rise to support this Bill knowing that as the saying goes, when an old man or woman suffers, it is like burning a library down. I want to look at this Bill, especially the article on the functions of the proposed Parliamentary Society of Kenya. One of the functions under Article 5(c) is to provide outreach programmes where former Members of Parliament can visit and speak to universities, academies, schools and voluntary groups and give a clear view of how Parliament works. I wish to note and observe that Kenyans should not look at this country as if it only serves Members of Parliament. It is worth noting that much of where Kenya is today is out of the active leadership of the Members of Parliament who have gone before us. For instance, in the teaching profession, the most powerful group is the Kenya National Union of Teachers, which came into being out of an Act of Parliament that was moved by the former President, hon. Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. It is also worth noting that the most successful system of devolution Kenya has ever had is definitely the Constituencies Development Fund, commonly known as the CDF, which was moved by a former Member of Parliament, hon. Muriuki Karue.
There is lack of a structure through which we can tap from a strong pool of knowledge from Members of Parliament who have gone before us. We remain a country that only lives as of today. There is no way or structure of bringing together former Members of Parliament from which we can tap that knowledge; from which we can build future leaders who can be even better than us in what we are doing today. So, I want to thank most sincerely my honourable colleague, hon. Keynan, for bringing to the forth this Bill, which I believe, through the Parliamentary Society of Kenya, we will have an organized structure that is recognized by the country, and that is engraved in law. It will allow us to tap into the vast knowledge that former Members of Parliament had. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is worth noting that what we are proposing through this Bill is not something new. It is something that is in practice all over the world. If you go to America, for instance, almost every former President has a library that is used as a resource centre for aspiring leaders and even wananchi to borrow knowledge from and be the future leaders that we can rely on. Even in my own very constituency of Buuri, which happens to be the largest constituency in Meru County and needs a lot of development, much of what we are doing is dependent on the leaders that went ahead of us. I wish to recognize, in a very special way, the former Member of Parliament of the area, hon. David Mwiraria, the former Minister for Finance. Him and so many other leaders, through their contribution, though in an informal way, we are able to be better leaders of today. Therefore, through this structured way, we are sure that, going forward, we will have a way of ensuring that the leaders who have served this country – not just the President but also Members of Parliament – are being catered for and, much 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.
importantly, are giving back the much knowledge that they have accumulated in their years of service to build the much needed base or launch-pad for the future leaders. As we say in parliamentary language, no resolution of this Parliament goes to waste, be it a Motion, resolution or debate. Everything is captured in the HANSARD and its implementation is followed. It will be good progress to see none of the leaders who go through this House go to waste. If we can pass this Bill, then we can formally say that none of the leaders who has built Kenya goes to waste. He is utilized in the country for years to come and remains a resource that will forever be of benefit to this country. I beg to support this Bill. Thank you very much and God bless.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. On the outset, I want to thank hon. Keynan for bringing this very, very important Bill. This is an opportune Bill which aims at improving the welfare of former Members of Parliament. Some of them are living in squalor and in harsh conditions. My friend, hon. Keynan, has seen it fit that we should have a Parliamentary Society of Kenya to look at the welfare of former parliamentarians. If this Bill is passed and approved, we will address the issue of the data bank of former Members of Parliament. When you want to look for experience in getting people to lead certain national institutions, then we have that data bank where you can have former leaders and people of credibility who can lead those institutions. So, this Bill is for that purpose. When you look at what we have today in our Parliament, we have an insurance scheme. We have a medical scheme. This Bill should come up with an article on continuation of the services that we now enjoy. If you had been a Member of Parliament, you need to continue with that insurance. If you had been a Member of Parliament, you need to continue with the medical scheme. It is contributory and so, you cannot just belong to a society and you are not contributing to it. That way, we will know that when you leave here, your health and life is taken care of. I want also to suggest that, in the Committee of the whole House, that we propose an amendment to say that, instead of having a patron, we need to have a board of trustees composed of hon. Members, former Members and people of credibility and integrity. You cannot just say: “We want a former president!” Suppose that former president is rogue? How can you have him as your patron? So, you cannot just say: “A former president.” We can say: “Former Members of Parliament and people of credibility and integrity.” They can be people who can lead that society. I do not want to belabor on the squalid conditions that some of our former Members live in. But it is also important that when you come to this House, you come to show leadership. That is because when you leave this House, we want the members of the society to be leaders and people who will be in charge of other members. For example, an institution like NHIF, NSSF and other organizations which are of benefit to all Kenyans should be led by people who have been peoples’ representatives. If we approve the Parliamentary Society of Kenya, I think members of that society can occupy such positions. Whoever will be in authority will be in a position to look at the data bank and say: “We will get people from the Parliamentary Society of Kenya.” That is because at the moment, we have leaders in this country picking people at random. You just pick people because they come from your community or they are your friends. 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.
So, we want a society where the trustees can make recommendations to the powers that be; that we have people of credibility and integrity who can lead those organizations. So, this Bill has come at the opportune time. I want my colleagues to support it. As I said, in the Committee of the whole House, we will suggest that we need to have trustees instead of a patron. That will enable the organization to move forward. What is important is continuity - the continuation of the services that we now enjoy like insurance and medical services. We need to continue those services so that if you are kicked out by the citizens--- That is because you are here on contract. If your five-year contract is not renewed, your employers will kick you out. But the little services we are enjoying should be continued. So, I urge the Mover to look into that; on whether we can incorporate the continuity of the services for former Members of Parliament. With those very many remarks, I support.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving this opportunity to join my colleagues in supporting this important Bill. At the outset, I want to thank the Mover, hon. Keynan for, at least, bringing this Bill. That is because it is very important and very timely. Before I start my contribution, I want to say that in the social media, I saw the stripping of a lady. It was so perturbing and disturbing. Assume that is being done to your daughter, your wife, a relative or your mother, what would you say? It was so disturbing. We should condemn this as a nation.
Now go back to the debate.
Of course, I know I am not digressing.
I feel you but you see the Standing Orders do not allow us to stray too much. However, I have given you a leeway for some few seconds because I realise you are very passionate about it.
I am very much obliged. We need to condemn this. It is demonic, satanic and all of us as people---
Now let us leave that Satan again. Let us go back to the debate
Okay, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support this very important Bill. This is because some of us have been in and out of this House and we know how painful and how difficult it is if you are out of this Parliament. The medical scheme for hon. Members is very important. When we come to this House, we put ourselves in big status. There is a status we are given. When we fall, we must have a good landing ground because one time we shall be former Members. I support this Bill very strongly because we need to form a club of former Members of Parliament that you can call Kijiji ya Wazee where wazee can go and sit, talk and share ideas. I was with the former Member of Parliament for Butere Constituency, 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.
the late Shikuku. He died a very miserable death. He even died at the Kenyatta National Hospital. When he was at Kenyatta National Hospital, he was in a very pathetic state while he had done much for this country. We support this Bill and all hon. Members must support it. When you go to our villages people look at you and they see you as a person who has a lot of wealth as a Member of Parliament. They think that when you come to this House, you come to make money. We do not make money in this House. Those who make money in this House maybe do some dubious things to make money. This is a House that is completely strained. You must come here with your resources, but when you leave after five years, you end up with nothing. You end up even poorer than you came to Parliament. So, we should have facilities to take care of ourselves. We must assume that we shall not come here again and therefore prepare a way so as to be comfortable when we are out of this House. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Bill.
Hon. Member for Likuyani, you have the Floor.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this chance to also add my voice in support of the Bill. However, with your indulgence, let me also take this opportunity to condole the families of the people who were massacred in Mandera. In my county, Kakamega, we lost 10 young men and women, who were just starting their lives. On behalf of my family, my constituency of Likuyani and myself, I pass our sincere condolences to the families of those people. May I just touch on two or three areas about this Bill. One, what the Bill is trying to do, which I agree with, is to form an organised or structured group, association that will look after the welfare of the former Members of Parliament. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you, hon. Rotino, I and others were in Parliament before. We went out and we are now back. Although the Constitution is very clear on the functions of the Members of Parliament, and that is oversight, legislation and representation; out there in the real world where we operate, Members of Parliament are looked at in deeper ways than what is prescribed in the Constitution. One of the things that Members of Parliament must do, if they have to survive and come back here, is to look after the welfare of their people in more ways. For example, whenever there is a funeral, like what we are going to do in Kakamega on Thursday next week, we must contribute money. We must contribute towards school fees and medical care for our people in the constituency. Therefore, all those things drain the resources yet some people out there think Members of Parliament earn a lot of money. If, after you have done all that, and unfortunately, you are not voted back for one reason or another, many Members of Parliament go back to an even worse state than where they had started off. So, I see this society as looking at the welfare of the former Members of Parliament and being like a lobby group that will push for any openings for former Members of Parliament. That is why I support it wholly. May I also just touch one or two other areas. Former Members of Parliament are a pool of knowledge. I am especially looking at it in terms of the counties, being young 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.
institutions; they can help mature our county and county systems. Once we have a lobby group like this, a society that should be able to push for the welfare of the former Members of Parliament, it will be very easy for them to be placed in certain positions where they can assist, especially our country and our county systems. Secondly, we can mentor. I know very well, and all of us know that everybody aspires to go a little bit higher than where they are now. I am very sure, and many Members of Parliament will attest to this, out there many Members of County Assemblies are aspiring to come to this House. Hon. Members of this House are aspiring to go to the other House or a little higher than that. I know some of the hon. Members in this House are aspiring to become governors or presidents. This is acceptable because without ambition - like the late Masinde Muliro said - you have no business being in politics. Former Members of Parliament can act as mentors to some of those young politicians and assist them to come up. Finally, I want the country to look at politics as a form of profession. This is because unless we do it that way, it will not have any meaning at all. With this society which will become organised, truly politics will be profession and we can follow it up even after retirement or losing a seat. With those few remarks, I thank hon. Keynan for bringing this Bill and I wholly support it.
Hon. Member for Mbooni, you have the Floor.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. On behalf of the people of Mbooni, I want to send a message of condolence to the families of those who lost their lives in Mandera. This is quite regrettable and we hope the situation will calm down and something tangible will be done. I want to join the other hon. Members in supporting this Bill because it is quite timely and it touches on Parliament as an institution. This House is composed of hon. Members with diverse professional backgrounds and experiences in various fields. This august House can be able to debate and pass very crucial and significant Bills because of this experience. If we ensure that immediately after those hon. Members leave this House such experience and expertise is maximized, this nation will be gaining quite a lot. Therefore this would be very significant because we will be treating politics as a profession because anyone in this House is regarded as a politician. We will now be looking at politics as a profession that is worth respect. Currently, immediately you leave this august House, just like the other hon. Members concurred, we completely lose the dignity of our professional backgrounds which we had before we came into this House. This will ensure that such talents can further be used for the benefit of this country, for the contribution of this nation even after the hon. Members of this august House leave this House. We used to hear of very nasty experiences where hon. Members used to go and line up at State House and get some stipend and allowances when they were going home over the weekend. But the clamour for better welfare in terms of salaries and other allowances for Members of Parliament has restored the dignity of this House. Now hon. Members are completely and totally independent. They do not wish to rely on anyone so that they can execute their duties. That is also quite commendable and it is because 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.
issues like the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). Some of those hon. Members who are here have become big social contributors to funerals, weddings and Harambees in churches. Maybe it is high time we looked at also creating a social welfare fund after the CDF so that hon. Members can contribute to those kinds of social challenges that are affecting our citizens. Therefore, this Bill will ensure that this august House taps the best brains. So, professionals who aspire to become politicians and come to this august House, know that their experience and knowledge will put into useful use. This House is renowned for receiving people from different backgrounds such as health, medical, finance and all fields, but once they leave this House, their dignity gets eroded. I am joining other hon. Members to say that this is a very timely Bill. It will restore the dignity of this House. When politicians leave this House, they will still be regarded as positive members who can contribute to nation building. I rise to support this Motion.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Like all hon. Members, I shall start by sending my condolences to those people who lost their loved ones and members of their families in the Mandera Massacre. It was very painful and we would wish that the President stops being nice and becomes very good in his job so that he can sort out some of those things. Having said that, I rise to support this Bill that proposes a Parliamentary Society. It is true that even as I stand here, it does not occur to me that I might be part of the 80 per cent. I am convinced that I am going to be the next hon. Member for Gilgil Constituency but every time we go for an exam, even when I went for my exams, I always told my colleagues that there is passing and failing. Of course, no one ever plans for failure. I am also not going to start planning not to get the Gilgil seat. Having said that, it does not change the circumstances and it is quite in order to think of what happens. Even if I was elected another five years, I would still be young; I would still be productive and I would need a fallback position once that time expires. I, therefore, agree that this is the best time to have this Bill and to have this board. We have new experiences now. You find that some of the things you used to do, you cannot do them now. Once you become a Member of Parliament, as it has been said, you are put in a certain stature and some customers think now you are too high that they cannot have business transactions with you. So, you start losing even as early as that. Once you are elected, you become a pariah. Once you are elected, you cannot even access army barracks. I used to walk into Gilgil Barracks without anybody stopping me or just after a few questions and on production of identity card, but not anymore. Today, I am told I have to be cleared from the headquarters. Even after you have stopped being a Member of Parliament, there are those who still treat you as a pariah. Even some employers cannot take you because they will think you will start agitating for rights and so on. I have worked in many organizations, but once you become a politician the trust they had in you ends. Maybe, it is because of the way we dish out whatever little we have. Sometimes people think it is a lot but sometimes you are straining to go to those social functions. They can never trust you with the positions that you used to hold before because they believe that you have been transformed into a worst person. By the end of the five years, and some hon. Members have alluded to the fact that the pay slip is near 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.
zero, you will find that you were just servicing your debts. Sometimes, banks will come knocking because of loans that hon. Members have taken in the hope that they will get a second term. They will take away everything that you had and you will find yourself in a lot of psychological turmoil. For some Members, it will be very difficult to recover and continue with life. They need a place, even if it is not a place you are going to gain a lot financially. When I looked at the Bill, it is almost creating a talk show. It is not creating a landing position for Members. Yes, they will have a place where they can share ideas, but I think I will back a position where there will be a fallback, like a medical cover. That is very basic. Having enjoyed the services that we are entitled to now, it will be very difficult to now depend on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). As I have said, some very old Members of Parliament whom we used to hear of when we were in school, we find them hanging around on roads. It is very difficult for them to make it in life. We need to propose some amendments so that this Bill can incorporate a co-operative society scheme. I know we have a pension fund that only caters for those who get a second term. Maybe this Bill should have something that the Members of Parliament who serve for only one term can also benefit from. Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support the Bill.
Hon. Gichigi is on top of the list, but I am going to give the chance to the second one on the list first, who is the hon. Member for Kaloleni.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. You will also allow me to, for a minute, on behalf of my family and the people of Kaloleni condole with the people of Mandera, Kakamega and Kisii counties for the misfortune that happened. I wish to support the Parliamentary Society of Kenya Bill, 2013. Last Sunday when I was in church, I realised that the pastor was seriously teaching about issues of life after death. When I looked at this Bill, I realised that there is serious need for preparation as we consider life after Parliament. It is true that our responsibility extends outside Parliament. The constituents and the communities we represent will still have their own expectations even after you exit the august House. Indeed, as it has been said here, they still expect you to contribute to
funerals, weddings and name it. So, this Bill is timely. This is a Bill that once it goes through will end up taking of some of these issues. As regards this Bill, I want to speak to two very important issues. The first issue is the question of networking. It is important to have a forum where former Members of Parliament will be able to sit down and share experiences on a few issues that will, probably, have come on their way. As Members of Parliament, we go through so many things. We experience a lot and it is not good that some of these things go to waste immediately we walk out of Parliament. As it has been said here, people do not lose their seats because they did not deliver. There are so many factors. Of course, when the time comes and people say they want change, that change will affect you and you will go. So, this Bill is meant to inspire hope into the lives of politicians. I really support the case that has been argued here, that the issue of our insurance cover has to be looked into seriously. 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. Mwinga, you are treading on very dangerous grounds. Did you mention a constituency by the name “Kuresoi”?
No. I mentioned “Kaloleni”, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, my constituency is Kaloleni. Sorry for that. The other issue I was talking about is that of inspiring hope into the lives of politicians. I was addressing the issue of insurance that hon. Members have passionately spoken about. It is important that some of these facilities and services that we enjoy when we are sitting Members of Parliament are revewed, so that when we move out of this House we are able to enjoy them. The issue of counselling has been spoken to. It is important to note that we recently debated a Bill about counselling. It is important that once we are out of this place, we receive the requisite counselling, so that we do not go the wrong way. When we look at this Bill, we realise that in most of its provisions the issues discussed are recurrent. So, we should also look at the development aspect of this particular society upon its formation. That is why I will propose that its money is put into proper use and used in the development of this society. I propose that this particular Bill comes out strongly on the Parliamentary Society of Kenya Development Fund, so that all these issues of money and investments are taken care of in a particular sector. With these very brief remarks, I wish to support and thank the Mover for this very important Bill.
Members can now speak to issues which have not been spoken to; we might save time for Members to contribute as much as possible and probably finalise this Bill today. This is because I see people like hon. Gichigi and hon. Jimmy Angwenyi who are yet to contribute. They should be prepared to go to the point and finalise this matter. Proceed, hon. Gichigi.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also wish to thank my colleague, hon. Keynan, for bringing this Bill. I will take your advice and go straight to new issues. I rise to support.
Order! Maybe hon. Members did not hear their names. I see quite a number of Members. I was just mentioning those names in order to say that we can move quickly. Hon. Dawood, wa Kabando, Nyaga and Abbas are there. We have many Members who will be speaking. We have 19 requests; I am seeing how we can move fast and without repeating ourselves.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Depuity Speaker. I have also seen and met former Members of Parliament of my constituency. I think this is one Bill which, if enacted, will benefit them. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will suggest that we make a few amendments. One, is we open the membership to current Members. Now that the name of 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.
association is “Parliamentary Society of Kenya”, let it not only be for former Members but also for sitting Members. I am happy that I have mentioned this to the sponsor of the Bill and he is agreeable that, that is an amendment we can suggest. Number two, is that we also need to think of how we prepare the current Members for life outside Parliament. I have seen former Members like Njoki Ndung’u, Elias Mbau and Mututho. You know, if you actually have a certain skill, talent, strength or even academic qualification, it is good for us to exploit it when we are in this House, and when you go out there, you will become an expert of sorts. We do not let the strengths that we have as Members rust and disappear when we are in this House. This, probably, needs to come out in this Bill; we need to recognise skills of sitting Members, and use them here and when we go out there. These include the professional skills that we have. I am aware that the greatest benefit that a person who works in Government gets sometimes is, probably, not the salary alone but the training that officers of Government go through. We have a bit of a problem in this House, in that we are taken to know our business; once induction is given to us, we go on retreats to do Committee work. I think it is important that we start looking at our budget and see how we can strengthen the capacity of current Members in this House. This is so that when we go out there, we will not only become better representatives of the people in this House, but will also become recognised for the certificates we will have acquired when in Parliament. It is very sad that some of us will come to this House and the only certificate that one has is the one from the Returning Officer. By the time you go out of this House, you do not have any new certificate. It is important that our capacity be improved when we are in this House. Since we have a say in the Budget, we need to ensure that we use it to improve the skills of the Members of Parliament, not only in debates, but also in other aspects. We also need to think, perhaps, as we create the Parliamentary Square, of a club of some sort; it can be factored in the Budget, so that we do not just think of going out there, suffering or going back into our pockets. Finally, I would want to have a situation where current Members also contribute something to make this society a success. Most of the people who have been targeted in these provisions in the Bill are those who could be suffering out there. Now that we have a salary here and a good number of us are strong economically, let us think of what we can do in the society to generate income and benefit when we join it. My strongest proposal is that we feature current Members in it prominently. I support.
The Member for Luanda.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to speak to this important proposal about coming up with a Parliamentary Society of Kenya. Looking at this Bill, we shall be making some amendments to it to expressly provide the criterion for becoming a member of this society. We will establish it, but we have not set out the criterion for becoming a member. Although it is captured in the preamble, it should provide for participation of former Members of Parliament in the promotion of the ideals of parliamentary democracy. It would be important to set that out in the body of 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.
On the whole, I support the idea of forming this society. However, I want to challenge my brothers and sisters in this House, and those who have the honour of carrying the aspirations of Kenyans in legislation--- Our people have honoured us by bestowing upon us the title of “honourable Members” the moment we are elected and come to this House. It is my belief that dignity and respect can never be legislated on. Dignity and respect must emanate from us from the way we carry out our duties and the mandate that our people have given us in this House. We must carry out this duty in a way that will give honour to the titles that we carry. This brings me straight to the question that has arisen from all the submissions that have been made in this House; all the Members who have submitted before me have said that the society seems to disregard and hold in disrepute all the Members and the former Members of this House. We must ask ourselves: Where did the rain start beating us? In other countries, people who have served in positions such as the ones that we serve in are held in very high esteem. Why is it opposite in our country? We must ask ourselves this question. This question can only be answered by us. Probably, it is because of the way we carry out the duties that we have been asked to carry out by our people. We seem to have a lot of self-importance in carrying out these duties and not humbling ourselves sufficiently, so that the society looks at us as people who have come to this House and carried out a duty in the humblest and the best way in which it could have been carried out. We must understand that we are constantly in the eyes of the public when we are in these positions. Our people are always looking at the way we conduct ourselves. After we come out of this House, our people will have an institutional memory of the way we conducted ourselves. That is why they seem not to be willing to re-employ us, or consider us for other positions in the society. This must come back to us; the way we conduct ourselves must come back to us. In supporting the establishment of this society, today, probably, we have the solution to all this. First, we must humble ourselves. However, the Parliamentary Service Commission has a role to play in this starting today, probably by setting up a parliamentary institute for training of Members, so that we can be trained in the best way to carry out our duties.
That one is already there. Let us hear what hon. Keynan has to say.
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. We already have a Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training. I wish to report that among our former colleagues, over 20 of them are currently earning a living as a result of the training, which has been accorded to them by the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training. Any more new ideas and constructive suggestions to improve on what we are already doing as the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training are welcome.
Let us stop there, hon. Keynan. You rose on a point of order and it has become more of an informative speech.
I said I wanted to give information.
Really? I did not ask him. So, probably there was an issue there, but I am sure he is sufficiently informed now. 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.
Yes, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Thank you, for that information from the hon. senior Member and the Mover of this Bill. I was saying that, probably, what we need to do is to robustly set out the institute, so that training can become more pronounced and Members can learn more from this institute. Probably, that is the direction we should take. I have heard Members submit that we need to set up stipends for former Members to live decently. The question then that comes to mind is: If we, Members of Parliament, being the cream of society and knowledgeable in matters of the State and personal management, cannot manage ourselves, what will happen to the people whom we serve? We are saying that after we come to Parliament, knowing very well that we shall serve for a definite period of time, which is basically a contract, we now need to provide a nanny for ourselves after we leave Parliament. What will happen to those people whom we lead, who do not have an opportunity to set terms for themselves? We will bypass our master, if we are going to set up this stipend. Will we pass the constitutional requirement on discrimination? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves. As much as I support the formation of the society for both current and former Members, we need to address these questions. I support.
What is it hon. Bowen? Are you rising on a point of order?
On a point of order, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. In as much as many hon. Members have a passion to contribute to this Motion, will I be in order to call upon the Mover to reply?
The Temporary Deputy Speaker (Hon. Cheboi): Considering the mood of the House, I will put that Question slightly later. I would like to give a chance to a few more hon. Members. I can see that we have 18 hon. Members who want to contribute. I can hear a big “yes” from the hon. Member for Igembe North, yet I can see that he is the last on the list, thus making it extremely difficult for me to pick him. Let me give a chance to two more hon. Members from this side and one from the other side. I am trying to look at the numbers, and then we can put the Question and make a decision. Hon. Angwenyi, you are on top of the list; the Floor is yours.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me a chance to contribute to this Motion.
Hon. Members, each one of us will have an opportunity. What is the problem, hon. Omagwa? Can I tell you the position you are in? We better proceed in that manner.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am contributing as a former and current hon. Member of Parliament. I have gone through the two stages and I have 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.
experienced life when outside Parliament. For five years before the last elections, I was not an hon. Member of Parliament. I really want to thank hon. Keynan and I wish he had brought this Bill some 10 years ago when he first came to Parliament. This is because, if you go to the lounge and to the streets, you will meet some former hon. Members who made great contributions to this country’s welfare and they are in a terrible situation. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, when you come here as an hon. Member of Parliament, you are held in very high esteem. But if you lose elections – I am talking from experience having lost one – people think that you are from the gutters and you belong there. They do not believe that you belong to the society. I am warning all hon. Members of Parliament who have just joined this Parliament; if you have not taken a loan to buy a property by now, you are lost. Take a loan and buy a property because that is the only investment you will come out of this place with. If you do not, then you are gone. Formally, Parliament used to be held in very high esteem, but for the last two to three Parliaments, somehow the society does not hold Parliament in such high esteem. Sometimes they equate an hon. Member of Parliament to a criminal. When you get out of this Parliament, you cannot access even a consultancy job. I used to be a university lecturer and when I was kicked out for five years, I wanted to become a consultant, but it was very difficult. Let us have this society established by providing funds for it. For example, we can have facilities like medical cover for former hon. Members of Parliament to continue and also a network of human resource bank for those former hon. Members of Parliament who performed very well in Parliament, for the welfare of this country. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we should have that proposed amendment so that the society comprises of former and sitting hon. Members of Parliament so that they can interact, exchange ideas, improve our performance and prepare ourselves before we are kicked out. We do not choose to be kicked out, but a few choose to. We all believe that we will return and continue to do a lot of work. Last time when I was kicked out, I had done a lot of work in my constituency. I had helped to build 322 churches and delivered public address systems to 265 churches. I had also done a tarmac road of 40 kilometers long, but still I was kicked out. Of course, the one who took over did some more work. However, when you go out there nobody regards you as a human being; I am telling you, except maybe your immediate family members. I, therefore, want to support this Bill. Let us make amendments. I am happy to serve with hon. Keynan in the Commission. He looks at our welfare with a passion. He mobilises some of us who are old timers and we pursue your welfare through his leadership. I want to encourage you, hon. Keynan, to continue bringing these types of Bills. That is what we did when we brought Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) and the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) to Kenya. With those few remarks, I support.
Now Members, I can see sometimes you become a little bit jittery. I want to read the top ten contributors who will have the opportunity but somewhere in between we will see whether to go the hon. Kangongo’s route. Top on the list is Member for Molo, Banissa, Mukurweini, 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.
Imenti, Maragwa, Bomet Central, Manyatta, Wajir East, Marakwet East and Member for Vihiga. That is the top ten. The reason why I read that list is because you will realise that it is skewed towards one direction. I did not want a situation where you would consider that probably I am overlooking the other side. You can see the gender consideration is not balanced. I can see hon. Nyiva, but she is down in the list; that I can tell you for sure. We will therefore go in that direction. I hope you will be fast enough in your contribution so that we save time but somewhere along the line, we will see what decision to make about the suggestion given by hon. Kangongo. Let us have the hon. Member for Molo. I see hon. Njoroge Baiya. What is it?
Thank you, hon. Temporary Speaker. Perhaps, you have noticed my interruption belatedly. It was directed towards hon. Angwenyi. I was interrupting to ask him whether it is in order for him to say that constituents do not regard an ex-Member of Parliament as a human being when, indeed, his own constituents returned him to Parliament once again after having---
That is not a valid point of order. I am sure hon. Jimmy would have retorted and said you have never tasted it. Let us have the hon. Member for Molo.
Thank you very much. I rise to support this Motion by hon. Keynan. I rise to speak also as one of the youngest Members in this House. Indeed, it is very good and very exciting to serve when you are very young. However, exciting as it is, it is also terrifying when you start thinking of what would happen if tomorrow you are not in this House. This is because I still have many more years to serve energetically in this country. It is very unfortunate that we have to come to Parliament through a political process and politicians in Kenya are regarded as cunning, go- getters and as people who can do anything to get to power. They are therefore not trusted. As the case seems to be, it is very difficult for anyone who has ever been a politician or who is a politician to be able to be absorbed professionally unless this person ventures into business. I have had this experience before because when I started vying I lost a job and it was very difficult to get back to employment when people know that you are a politician. I think it is very important that this Bill comes so that the welfare of people who have served in this House diligently, who have served Kenyans and who have served constituents with a lot of commitment is also looked into. This is because as hon. Angwenyi said, sometimes it is not about how much you have done or how much you have not done. Sometimes other factors come in and you find yourself out of this House.
Therefore, I support because all of us are aware. I have also assisted people who have been former Members of Parliament. We have also heard sentiments peddled out there when you are a former Member of Parliament, and sometimes you drive your car having worn out tyres and people start looking at you. Sometimes, they say you do not have shoes; you are walking in slippers. Therefore, I support this Motion by hon. Keynan. Thank you.
Member for Banissa. 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 this opportunity to contribute. I join my friends in thanking hon. Keynan for bringing this very important Bill.
I am sure if some of us knew what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to join politics, we would not have come here. That is a fact.This is a very hazardous job. From the statistics that I was given, that is the rate of turnover, nearly 80 per cent or more will not come back. This shows that this is a very difficult job. The difficulty is not because somebody is not able to perform but other factors like the party and party patrons. I was once a serving Member of Parliament. I served in the Ninth Parliament; I lost in the Tenth Parliament, but I have come back. So, I have got the experience. This is a very stressful job. This means that after serving for five years here, the likelihood of somebody developing all the stress-related diseases like hypertension, diabetes and gout is very high. The irony is that after developing all those diseases when you are here serving Kenyans diligently, during your retirement that is after five years if you will be sent home, you will not be having a penny to maintain and take care of those diseases. That is a reality.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you are not employable after you leave here because of so many factors. Whatever you say and do, is taken with a pinch of salt. The other reality is that if you are a medical doctor and you serve here for five years, by the time you go back after being kicked out, so many things will have happened. For example, technological advancements will have taken place. There will be so many drugs in the market and many technologies and techniques of doing operations and, therefore, you will not fit in your profession. What is left is to hang around Parliament waiting to come back here. So, it is very important to have this Bill which seeks to take care of the dignity and the welfare of the former Members of Parliament. It also seeks to professionalise politics. Therefore, it is supported by everybody.
I summarise by saying that this is a very important Bill and we must support it. For those who have served in this Parliament, there is provision that after you serve for five years and you are sent home, the pension that you contribute will be given back to you. The most stressing thing is that when you come back, there is a provision for you to buy back your term. That means you are supposed to refund the money you had taken but with interest. This means that you will be given Kshs. 4 million or Kshs. 5 million and after five years, with interest, it will be double that money. If that provision is removed, and we make it easy for people to buy back that term, then some of the problems that we face, will be taken care of.
With those few remarks, I support the Bill.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to contribute. This is a timely Bill by my old friend, hon. Keynan. It seeks to give a human face and to sanitise national leadership through its representatives in the National Assembly and by extension, those who are in the other Chambers. What is lacking mostly is the appreciation of the contribution that Members make within and outside Parliament. Currently, I am reading the Kenya Yearbook publication on the Kenyatta Cabinets. Reading the contributions of the Members of Parliament of the founding Independent Parliament; the Otiendes, the Onyonkas, the Saginis, the Njoroge Mungais 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.
and the Waiyakis, you see something unique that would be very useful to the current leadership of the National Assembly and the Senate of this country. This is gathering the data necessary to inform and giving us opportunity to reference on the contributions of those who have preceded us. Last night, I was reading about the Kenyatta Cabinets and their own unique scenarios. For instance, you see how the late Lawrence Sagini played a role on peacemaking, Zachary Onyonka’s enduring intellectual capacity or the role of Njoroge Mungai in bringing the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters to Kenya. Reading the autobiography of Dr. Gikonyo Kiano; the first Kenyan to teach at the Royal College, now the University of Nairobi, and the first man to get a PhD in this country, you appreciate that as Members of Parliament, they played a role. For instance, Dr. Gikonyo Kiano as Minister for Commerce and Industry and his role in indigenisation of the economy. The role of Tom Mboya in Sessional Paper No.10 and also in seeking to get this country respected internationally and enabling policies that put Kenya on the global stage. You also see the role of Dr. Munyua Waiyaki in becoming a very respected global diplomat at the Foreign Affairs and also bringing Bills to the House to enable Parliament to discuss them. When Martin Shikuku is mentioned here, people may deride because they do not know that torch-bearing was necessary in the times of tyranny and the one- party State. You read about the seven bearded sisters at that particular time and the role they played. These are the Sifunas and the Onyango Midikas. They made very important contributions which we need to refer to. Therefore, this Bill, apart from the recognition, the so-called livelihood issues of medical, remuneration and the opportunity to train, the data base, archives and library that would enable us and the future generations that are going to occupy this House and other positions of responsibility in this country will be enriched. It will enable the country to gather what is past in order to enable what is present and precipitate a very enabling future. I rise to support. This will bring about certification of leadership, sanitisation and humanisation of those who have played a role, attracting dignity for leadership and enabling referencing of issues that are important, so that even as we move this Bill on various sectors, we have the referencing that is based on those who have preceded and have played a very important role in this country. In conclusion, I dedicate my contribution to those who have played a key role in making the national Parliament recognised by their contributions and sacrifices. Reading the Kenyatta Cabinets, you will find a Member of the Cabinet who regrets that he ever came to politics. This is because if you are very dedicated, read a lot, give a lot of contribution in Motions and you are in caucuses, you may not have time for private profiteering. Sometimes, you may disconnect even with your friendships. Even the family members may say that you are unavailable. That means that this is a career that has a position and should be honoured. Therefore, its placement through this Bill is timely and noble, whose time has come. I strongly laud it and I support.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I would like to support this Bill by hon. Keynan and congratulate him for the same. At the same time, I 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 like to add my voice to what hon. (Ms.) Musyoka mentioned earlier regarding the stripping of women. I think it is a very retrogressive act and the vice should be stopped in its tracks. Going back to the Bill, I think what hon. Keynan has proposed is very good. We would want former Members of Parliament like those from where I come from, North Imenti - we got hon. Mwiraria who was my political godfather. It was just by luck that he was given a post by President Kibaki as the Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). But my predecessor did not have much luck. He was just given a post by the governor to be under the Members of County Assemblies whereas he was above them before. This will assist in doing what is necessary. The other thing hon. Keynan could have looked at was what Maj-Gen. Nkaissery suggested, that medical scheme and insurance scheme for Parliamentarians should continue into the future and should not be a stipend to be given to the Parliamentarians. All Members of Parliament who have served, either one or two terms, should be given pension, whether they come back to Parliament or not. We do not want to see a scenario like that of the late hon. Paul Ngei, a freedom fighter. We saw his state after he left Parliament. He lived a life which was very miserable with no support from the Government or any other place. If hon. Keynan could make those few amendments to his Bill, it will go a long way in supporting Parliamentarians in the future. Hon. Keynan said, I pity the people who come in very young because 80 per cent of them do not come back. If you are among those 80 per cent and you are very young and you want to go back to work for an institution, they will just think you are a rebellious person and they will never employ you. You become unemployable. The other thing is that maybe we should see how we can be contributing to our future because once we are out of Parliament, we do not know whether we will be here; we may be amongst the 20 per cent or 80 per cent. But if we are amongst the 80 per cent, we should see how we can cater for ourselves after we leave Parliament. Hon. Keynan is looking at me. I would like to end there. I wish to support it and condole with the families of people who lost lives in Mandera. Muslims are not terrorists. It is criminals who did this and not Muslims. Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support
Very well, hon. Member for Maragwa. If we go with that speed, I am sure we will reach somewhere.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute. From the outset, I convey my condolences to the people who lost their lives in Mandera and also the people of Maragwa who lost their lives yesterday after taking a poisoned brew. With that, I wish to thank hon. Keynan for having come up with this Bill. I was here with hon. Keynan in the Eighth Parliament. When we came here, the first person I met here along the corridors of Parliament was none other than the late hon. Paul Ngei. I came to think of how that old man had fought for the Independence of this country and how he had served this House. He was on the corridors of this House asking for fare. I asked myself: Is this the kind of job I have come to? Let us agree from the outset that this House is not a House of riches. We only sacrifice ourselves. We sacrifice our lives 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.
and our families. We have changed our responsibilities to become like NGOs. We have become like social managers. We have to attend every Harambee in this country. I wish that this board would be created immediately. I urge hon. Members to support this Bill and pass it. Today we are in this House, but tomorrow we shall be out. I experienced that life for ten good years when I lost the seat of Maragwa in 2002.
I had to hustle for ten good years until I came back to this House by the will of God and the people of Maragwa. We know former Members of Parliament have gone to court and they have been awarded payments by the courts, but to date they have not received anything. It is better for them now to be recognised. They have suffered because of the country. Let them be given what is right. When you decide to come to the House, you come as a soldier to fight for this country and to protect the rights of the people of this country. Why should you be left to suffer? Everybody has a right to dignity of life and not to be left alone to stroll around while nobody recognises you. If you go outside this House, you still meet others who have served this country asking for something small like lunch or Kshs1,000. This is somebody who has been here. Why do we criminalise politicians? Every person is a politician by birth. If a child is given birth to and does not cry, I understand from my own community that the child is given a slap until he cries. This is because he should talk or speak.
So, Member for Maragwa, what is the relationship between a politician and a cry?
I am saying that if a child does not cry, it means that there is something wrong with him. So, every human being is a politician. You should fight for your rights.
Very well. Thank you.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, on the table outside, just close to the portrait of Senator Kajwang’, we have another portrait of an old politician who was 90 years old. Today is when we are remembering him. Nobody had ever thought of him until he died. Why should you remember me when I am dead? Remember me when I am alive. If you want to give me flowers, do it when I am alive. Why should you give me flowers once I am dead? I will not appreciate them. With those few remarks, I support the Bill. Thank you very much.
Member for Bomet Central.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to also support this Bill and to thank hon. Keynan for coming up with it. This is because we need to take care of the interests of those former Members of Parliament. In this House we are taking care of others and we forget those former Members of Parliament. I believe this is the right Bill which is going to address those issues. Politics is really engaging. We may not be able to concentrate on anything else like investment on our behalf. It is a big challenge. In fact, if we were to do any business, we would end up dishing out all the finances from those businesses and they would collapse. If you borrow a loan to invest on anything, you are very sure that business will collapse owing to the kind of occupation we are engaged in. We will therefore move out of this House when we have nothing and no one to resort to. So, the idea of coming up with this Bill, which is going to be dealing majorly with psychological counselling, is a good thing. That is what we require so that if you exit 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.
House, you do not become depressed. We should not hear of former Members of Parliament becoming mad. I do not know why you decided to include a psychiatrist in the Board of Parliamentary Society of Kenya. I thought the right person to be there is a counselling psychologist and not a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist comes in at that point when you have already gone mad. We need to be assisted first at the counselling stage rather than at that stage where you might have gone overboard. So, I would urge that during the amendments stage, we bring in a counselling psychologist rather than a psychiatrist. Members of Parliament who serve two terms will be pensionable. However, the first-timers who may not survive the second time may not get any pension. I would wish that this Bill could also capture something like a monthly allowance which could be paid through this Society for those Members of Parliament who will have served for only one term. An amount of US$1000 can be adequate to at least ensure that the former Members of Parliament do not get frustrated. You know the way they are challenged. When you meet some of them who are in Nairobi they tell you: “Kindly assist me with bus fare to go home over the weekend?” So, I believe that one also needs to be captured. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the idea that once you land in this House you will become unemployable--- I come from the world of teaching and I send my message of condolences to those teachers and the families of those who lost their lives in Mandera. You will become unemployable once you have landed in this House. I can no longer go to the world of teaching. What else can I do? So, it can become a big challenge and that is why we need to take care of the interests of those former Members of Parliament. The idea of medical cover needs to be revisited. Even if it cannot be done the way it is currently being done for us here, we need to take care of, at least, the former hon. Members so that they do not languish in that poor state. Somebody has mentioned about a former hon. Member who could not afford medical care and had to be in a general ward in a public hospital. I also recall the situation of a former Member of Parliament who could not even afford a place to live in and would stay in a construction site. That is so embarrassing for the people who have really put in a lot for this country. This Bill, I believe, is going to address those issues. For those ones which it has not been able to capture, I believe in the Third Reading, we need to bring them in. Otherwise, thank you so much, for this opportunity.
Hon. Member for Bomachoge Borabu, then we will see whether you will make a decision on hon. Kangongo’s issue.
Thank you, hon, Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to make contributions to this very important Bill. Firstly, let me begin by saying I am supporting it and thanking the Mover. Hon. Keynan has been in and out of Parliament. He knows exactly what it means to be a sitting Member of Parliament and a former Member of Parliament. I know for sure that people do not decide to get out of this House; it happens. We have seen Members who have performed very well. I remember an hon. Member who was a General in the Army, and you know him hon. Keynan, who did a wonderful job. When it came to elections and things were changing, he was told to uproot his hospitals, remove roads and disconnect the water that he had supplied to people and he lost that election just like that. So, this is not a story. When the hon. Member for Luanda stood up, I remember he was supporting this Bill, but from 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.
way he made his contribution I thought he was too careful to say that this is the right move that we are making. If he was sitting here, I would tell him, I am sort of a contradictory example of an hon. Member who has been in the Ninth Parliament; I have been in the Tenth Parliament and I am now in the Eleventh Parliament but I am not sure whether I am serving a third term or even a fourth term. I served a complete term in the Ninth Parliament. In the Tenth Parliament, I had a by-election and I lost. I came in, in the Eleventh Parliament and I lost. I went back and I came back. So, I am not sure whether I am serving the fourth or third term. So, what we are discussing here is that when you lose an election, even your own colleagues here, the same people that you were so friendly with here, will not even take your call; leave alone other people out there. It is important that we have a society of former hon. Members. I wish to say that the Mover should have taken the challenge to simply say: Let us have serving hon. Members join this society so that we can make it stronger. I do not know what you were trying to avoid. Maybe you did this in 2013. This is 2014 and we should move ahead and confidently say hon. Members should make contribution so that once we are out of Parliament, we can have a society that, indeed, looks after us.
Many former Members are suffering. They are sick out there and you know them. You have seen how bad they look. We do not want to go that route. We want to make life better both for ourselves and for those who have left this House before and are outside there. I do not want to take a long time, but this Bill is coming at the right time and we should all support it in good faith, so that we are also not looked down upon when we go out there as former Members of Parliament. We should not be looked down upon as if we are not useful members of the society.
Order, Members! It is now your time to make a decision one way or the other, that the Mover be called upon to reply.
Therefore, hon. Keynan, you have your ten minutes.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to donate one minute to some Members to contribute. If they exceed, then you will stop them. Hon. Nyiva Mwendwa.
Give the entire list, so that I can manage it from here.
The hon. Nyiva; hon. Mwashetani; hon. Abass; hon. Bishop Mutua; hon. Nyeris; hon. Sang and hon. Nyaga.
All those Members will be given a minute each and you will have a minute yourself. So, proceed hon. Nyiva.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. In one minute, I do not know what I am going to say. I want to support this Bill. I have been a former Member of Parliament. I have won four elections and lost three. So, I have been in and out and I can tell you that it is very rough. So, this Bill is very timely. 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 want to tell, especially the first timers, the moment you lose elections a lot of people will be anti you. Some want to bring you down. Some even offer you soda because you cannot afford a bottle of soda. So, we had better prepare ourselves. We have to prepare ourselves because a lot of people are envious of the position that we hold. The other thing that I want to point out is the issue of insurance and medical cover. It should be put in the Bill that we should contribute towards this. We will not be allowed to extend it by the Members of Parliament who will come in. So, we should contribute and continue contributing.
Your minute is over. Just to be very clear, hon. Keynan, you have 45 minutes, but we only have ten minutes to the end of this morning session. You have chosen to proceed and just utilize the ten minutes. So, I will proceed to give everybody else and if you feel that you want to finalise, that will be fine. So, the next one is hon. Mwashetani, one minute.
Asante sana Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ningependa kwanza kumshabikia Mhe. Keynan kwa kuuleta Mswada huu. Ningependa kusema kuwa kule nje ni kubaya. Kwa wakati ule mdogo ambao nilipelekwa kwa uchaguzi mdogo, niliona kama ndoto. Ukiwapigia simu, wenzako hawashiki. Kwa hivyo, huu Mswada utawasaidia wengi. Kwa upande wa bima, wengi wa wabunge ambao wamekuwa katika viti, ningependa kutoa mifano lakini sio kwa majina, wale wa kutoka Pwani, ukiangalia hali zao sasa hivi za kiafya, zimekwenda chini kwa sababu ya kukosa matibabu. Kwa hivyo, ninaunga mkono Mswada huu ambao umeletwa Bungeni wakati ufaao.
Hon. Bishop Mutua.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I would like to thank hon. Keynan for this great Bill. I want to give two points only. One, this Bill gives us an opportunity to look at the miserable past, present promising times and focus on a future that is optimistic for the Members of Parliament. Two, this particular Bill gives us an opportunity to create a society that is organized and that is a living library for current Members of Parliament to consult those who have been there and learn a few points that we are now being told here. I wish the society was there. It would have told us some of these things that we are hearing today.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also want to thank hon. Keynan for coming up with this very important Bill. I know it is long overdue. We have seen former Members of Parliament, especially the ones we know--- Unfortunately, one of them passed on last year. He was here. He had served for long but, unfortunately, he did not serve when the society was there. I know he could have gotten some treatment and, probably, he could be there. So, to hon. Keynan, thank you very much. You have come with a very good Bill. I know this will assist us and former Members of Parliament. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also want to thank the Mover. I think the experiences we are hearing here are very scaring for those who lost their elections. I hope the society will hear the bitterness of former Members of Parliament who have lost their seats. I would like to thank hon. Keynan. I think the society should be thinking about mainstreaming back former Members of Parliament. We must come up with a system on how best we can mainstream hon. 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.
Members who lose their seats, take care of their welfare issues and send-off packages. I think send-off packages are given after somebody has lost the elections.
With those few remarks, I want to say thank you.
Thank you very much, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First of all, I want to thank hon. Keynan. This Bill is timely. I only have two points to make. Members of Parliament are honourable and having chosen to be politicians is not choosing to be cursed. So, I want to say that having a first-timer hon. Member, I have not been out of this House and I have not experienced the experiences that the others are facing. But I have been seeing those that have been in Parliament and how they have been suffering. So, I want to say that this is not a curse. Being a politician is not a curse. Politicians---
Sorry! Your time is over! Let us have the hon. Member for Manyatta.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I thank my Chairman of Public Investments Committee (PIC) because this Bill is timely. For the interest of time, I just want to go to an experience I shared last week with the Indian Parliament. All Members of Parliament – that is the lower and the upper House – have a pension; they have a salary and they have houses. I would like to request the Parliamentary Service Commission, at least, to visit India, among other countries, to see how Members of Parliament – both current and former – are remunerated. With those few remarks, I wish to support this Bill. Thank you very much.
Lastly, hon. (Ms.) Mary Emaase.
Thank you, hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Hon. Keynan, I congratulate you for bringing this Bill. This Bill is good and timely. It gives us a platform and a most structured manner in which we can deal with the welfare of Members. Given the enormous responsibilities that Members of Parliament are confronted with, it is almost impossible to save. The situation is even aggravated when you lose an election. The little you have; you have used it in the campaigns. We know of Members who are living in miserable conditions. Many of us have them in our constituencies. So, I think that society should be established immediately to address issues of the welfare of Members of Parliament. As I conclude, today, I am a very sad woman. The continuous, persistent and unfolding incidences of women being stripped has gone to another level.
Now we will have the Mover. You have a choice so you can proceed. For now, you have three minutes. If you want to donate some time, it is up to you. Proceed, hon. Keynan.
There are issues that I must respond. I can see my good sister hon. Beatrice and my brother. Please you will forgive me because I think the time is up.
Actually, you have been very generous hon. Keynan.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there are critical issues hon. Members have raised. The issue of the continuous medical cover for the hon. Members is worth considering. Of course, we will have to look at the terms and the cost and see 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.
whether it is going to be a negotiated package. We will look at that. The issue of trustees is a critical suggestion from hon. Maj-Gen. Nkaissery. The issue of criteria of membership and opening up to new members is a good idea. I was alive to that. Just like the Law Society of Kenya, this becomes a society that will bring in former and current hon. Members. It is a critical suggestion. The terms of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is an issue that one hon. Member raised. Hon. Kabando wa Kabando was in the last Parliament. One day, the former President, Mwai Kibaki, honoured a number of his children and that motivated me. Within a very short time, I came with the National Honours Bill, which was actually approved by the House. This year, for the first time, this Parliament will honour 20 hon. Members as a result of that Bill and you will see that in the newspapers. It means that we have to be independent from the Executive so that we can function as a Parliament. When Muriuki Karue came up with the Constituencies Development Fund Bill, many people did not know what it entailed. Now it has revolutionalised development and everything in our respective constituencies. It is the same with the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). Therefore, this is the first step. Please contextualise your critical suggestions so that we can put them as amendments in the Bill because this is a Bill that is going to serve everybody. I thank all of you; those who have expressed interest, those who have made wonderful suggestions and those who have had the time to be patient throughout this morning session. I can assure you, I will be alive to all the constructive suggestions that you made. It is your Bill and let me say this; you are here today and tomorrow it will be somebody else. I had an opportunity to say and ask myself why our independence heroes and heroines did not benefit from all the good things we have seen. I witnessed Paul Ngei languishing in abject poverty inside this House and I was touched. I did not want the same to happen to anyone of you here or any living former Member of Parliament. Therefore, this Bill in every aspect is justified by the situation we have seen. That is why I do not shy away in bringing something, as long as I am persuaded. Therefore, please remain alive and stand up for your rights. You are also human beings and members of the society and critically, you are national leaders. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with this I want to say thank you. I beg to move.