Hon. Members, we are just short of the required quorum. Therefore, I order that the bell be rung for 10 minutes.
Order, Hon. Members! Leader of the Majority Party, please resume your seat. Now we have the required quorum. Therefore, we will begin.
It is a bit interesting today the Leader of the Majority Party is not laying any Paper. We will go to the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. Hon. Cheptumo, you have the Floor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House: Reports of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on Petitions regarding: 1. The Enactment of the Admiralty Court Act. 2. The Amendment of Section 18 of the Law Society of Kenya Act to vacate the 15 years’ experience for eligibility for election as President or Vice President of the Law Society of Kenya Council. 3. The Amendment of Article 171(2) of the Constitution of Kenya to vacate the 15 years’ experience as a mandatory requirement for eligibility for election as a Member of the Judicial Service Commission representing the Law Society of Kenya. 4. The Enactment of the Fraud Act. 5. The introduction of a new national day “National Peace Day” on 9th March. 6. Compensation of parents/guardians of victims and survivors of the Kyanguli Secondary School fire tragedy. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Just to correct you, Hon. Cheptumo, it is not Changuli. It is Kyanguli. Now you may need to consult the Member for Makueni. He will give you the right pronunciation for that school.
Let us have the Member of the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives. Hon. Oundo Ojiambo, do you have something to lay?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: Report of the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives on the Kenya Accreditation Service Bill (National Assembly Bill No.17 of 2018).
Lastly, on that particular Order, let us have the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: Report of the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare on its consideration of the National Youth Service Bill, 2018.
Let us move to the next Order.
On this particular Order, we will start with the Questions. The first Member to ask a Question this morning is Hon. Samuel Atandi, Member for Alego-Usonga Constituency.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection the following Question. (a) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware that one, James Omingo Juma of Identification Card Number 0985881 was irregularly dismissed from employment by the Kenya Revenue Authority, contrary to Section 45 of the Employment Act? (b) When will he be paid his dues or reinstated as directed by the court?
That will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare. Next Question, Hon. Jaldesa Rehema Dida, Member for the whole of Isiolo.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Coordination of National Security the following Question: The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(a) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware that one Ibrahim Mohamed Huka, Identification Number 32754016 was killed on 20th May 2017 during a Jubilee campaign rally in Isiolo Town of Isiolo County? (b)When will the Cabinet Secretary make public the findings of the investigations/inquiry by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)? (c) What is the status and findings of Inquest No.2/2017 and Occurrence Book Report No.34/20/5/2017? This is a person whose killer is known. There is cover-up.
Hon. Jaldesa, that would be a very good supplementary question for the Committee. You are just supposed to give notice of that Question. We are not the ones who will answer on behalf of anybody. You will take all those details to the Committee. It will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Make sure you are present with all those details. The next Question is by the Leader of the Minority Party, in his capacity as the Member for Suba South Constituency; that is Hon. John Mbadi Ng’ong’o.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. The correct pronunciation is Ng’ongo. It is John Mbadi Ng’ongo.
Thank you very much, Mr. Ng’ongo. The next Question is by the Member for Kathiani but he is on official business in Burundi. Therefore, the Question is deferred.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Coordination of National Government the following Question: (a) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware of criminal gangs popularly referred to as the “17 brothers” and “10 Orphans” operating and undertaking criminal activities in Kimilili Constituency for a long period of time? (b) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a list of people affected by the activities of the gangs with regard to number of lives lost and robbery incidents reported? (c) What plans has the Ministry put in place to ensure security of the residents of Kimilili Constituency, and to apprehend and eradicate the criminal gangs in the area? Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Lastly, is a Questions by Hon. Jessica Mbalu, Member for Kibwezi East Constituency.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum the following Question: (a) What measures has the Ministry taken to mitigate the effects of the Thange Oil Spill in Kibwezi East Constituency that occurred in May 2015? (b) What is the status of compensation of residents who lost livestock, crops and properties as well as those affected by poisoning as a result of the said oil spill? Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Hon. Members, that marks the end of Question Time. I do not think we have any statements. Next Order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Procedural Motion: THAT, this House orders that the business appearing as Order Nos.9, 10 and 11 in the Order Paper be exempted from the provisions of Standing Order No.40(3) this being a Wednesday Morning, a day allocated for business not sponsored by the Majority or Minority Party or business sponsored by a Committee. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, Order No.9 is very important. It is the County Allocation of Revenue (Amendment) Bill, which came back from the Senate yesterday with no amendments. So, the House just needs to concur with the Senate in all the three stages before we go on recess. Order No.10 is a Motion for adoption of Report by the Committee on Regional Integration. Order No.11 is a Motion for adoption of Report on Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, which we started debating yesterday.
As was the case last week, the House Business Committee (HBC) felt that we can mix both the Private Members’ business and the other business of the House. Some businesses are important but are not supposed to be in the Order Paper this morning. We can discuss them because of the Procedural Motion which exempts them from the provisions of Standing Order No. 40(3). We want to make sure that we complete the important business that is before the House as we go for the long recess tomorrow and begin the New Year Session on 12th February 2019.
I beg to move. The Leader of the Minority Party is busy discussing something with another Member. Hon. Chris Wamalwa can second the Motion. When two men are seated close to each other, they might be discussing a serious matter.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to second this Procedural Motion. Ordinarily on Wednesday in the morning, we discuss business meant for Private Members. As the Leader of the Majority Party has clearly put it, there are important businesses in the Order Paper that will be given priority so that we can finalise on them before we break for the recess.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I second.
Hon. Members, as we go to this particular Motion, you are aware that you passed a Motion here restricting debate on this Motion for one hour and Members will be contributing for five minutes each. The Chairperson, Committee on Regional Integration. Proceed. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion:
THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Committee on Regional Integration on the East African Community Protocol on Information and Communication Technology Networks, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 27th November 2018, and pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012, approves the ratification of the East African Community Protocol on Information and Communication Technology Networks.
Order Hon. Kaluma! I have heard you from where you are seated saying something. She is taken now. Proceed.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, at the outset, let me take this opportunity to thank Members of the Committee for their input when we considered this Protocol. I also want to thank the offices of the Speaker, Clerk and the Cabinet Secretary for East African Community (EAC) and Northern Corridor Development for the support that they extended to the Committee as we considered the Protocol. As we are aware, EAC is a regional inter-governmental organisation which was established under Article 2 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC that came into force in July, 2000. Kenya is one of the member states. We have six other partner states. These are the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Uganda, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Burundi and Republic of South Sudan. Further, the Protocol which is the subject of the Report under consideration was founded based on a memorandum of understanding among the cabinet secretaries in charge of the partner states of the Northern Corridor Integration Project in March 2015. These are Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan. It is important to note that Kenya has previously ratified and domesticated the EAC Treaty through the EAC Community Act. It is therefore obligated to ratify all the treaties and implement the Protocol through the national Government organs and institutions as provided for under Article 15 of the Protocol. As I get to the gist of the Protocol and why it is important for us, as a country, to ratify it, it is important to observe the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). We cannot overemphasise how it is important for the member states to be interlinked since it will help our country’s economic interest. It is important to note how Kenya benefits from economic ties and businesses that we conduct with other member states. The EAC has provided opportunities for Kenya’s private sector businesses which include banks such as Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank which are in other member states. We also have supermarkets and the education sector. Therefore, it is important to have reliable and high speed ICT networks to link the headquarters in Nairobi to Kigali, Bujumbura, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Kampala. The private sector needs to be facilitated with reliable ICT interconnections to promote Kenya’s economic interest. It would definitely fasten the processes from the headquarters of each country when they communicate and to act as fast as possible. We know that we have our banks, supermarkets and education sector there. So, it will be important to us, as a country, and our economic interest. The EAC has developed a legal framework for cyber laws which provide guidelines on the enactment and enforcement of laws that promote the deployment of e-government and e- commerce services. There are various frameworks that have been put in place to ensure that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
cybercrime is taken care of within the member states. There are issues of electronic transactions, electronic signature authentication, cybercrime, consumer protection, data protection and privacy. There are also frameworks on intellectual property, competition, e-taxation, and information security. The third observation by the Committee is that ICT has opened up new windows of opportunity for East African countries as tools that can accelerate their economic growth and development. The fourth one is that infrastructure networks present at the moment presents a challenge in the development of the ICT sector. We noted that it is a challenge for all the member states. The infrastructure is quite expensive. This leads to high tariffs and poor rural communication. The digital divide between the rural and urban population still exists. I have looked at the Order Paper today and one of the Motions is to have ICT…
Since you have been busy lately, I hope you are aware that you only have 10 minutes to move the Motion.
I am concluding, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, even as we hope that the ICT network will be connected in all member states, it continues to be a challenge for us, as a country. We have a challenge in the infrastructure. We hope that once this Protocol has been ratified by other member states, it will be fast tracked to see that the infrastructure has been put in place.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, as I conclude, there is a direct cost anticipated in the course of implementation. However, there is potential of saving on costs arising from sharing of information and equipment as this will avoid duplication among partner states. So, instead of Kenya putting up its own infrastructure, it can easily share the existing one with member states. This will help avoid duplication. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Protocol be ratified as it will facilitate the successful operation and cross-border interconnection of broadband ICT networks in the East African Community.
I beg to move and ask Hon. Moses Injendi, MP Malava to second.
Member for Malava.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
At the outset, the objectives of the Community include developing policies and programmes aimed at widening and deepening comprehension among partner states in political, economic, social and cultural fields. Therefore, ratifying this Protocol goes along the same way.
This Protocol was drafted in line with Article 151 of the Treaty which empowers partner states to establish protocols as are necessary in areas of co-operation. Partner states, thus, subjected the Protocol through due process. The East African Community initiated a study on the EAC broadband ICT infrastructure network that resulted into this Protocol. It also developed this Protocol through a consultative process involving stakeholders in all the partner states.
The Protocol on ICT networks was signed by the Ministers during their 10th Sectorial Council on Transport and Communications and Meteorology in 2013. Before it is implemented, all the EAC partner states have to ratify it.
The Protocol does not propose amendments to the Constitution of Kenya. It is in line with the principles of the Constitution and specifically seeks to mandate the partner states to agree to co-operate, improve and maintain interconnectivity and modernising equipment to meet common standards required for efficient telecommunication traffic within the Community. Since Kenya The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
has already ratified and domesticated the EAC Treaty through the East African Community Act, 2000, it is also mandated to ratify such protocols to enhance co-operation.
I beg to second.
Starting us off is Hon. Maanzo Gitonga, Member for Makueni.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity to support this very important Report. Several other protocols in relation to the EAC have been ratified. South Sudan has now joined the EAC. The private sector in Kenya has expanded. In committee proceedings, it was observed that the private sector namely: the Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, Co-operative Bank and supermarkets have expanded and will be affected by this Protocol. We have also seen Uchumi Supermarket and Mount Kenya University also expand. There is need to have reliable highspeed ICT network to link the headquarters in Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and other towns in the region. For that matter, ICT is very important in private sector business. The EAC has grown in other areas like agriculture, trade and in terms of increased income tax. There is need to be compliant and make sure that the ratings are unified. This is a very important Protocol. I congratulate the Committee that prepared the Report because they have shown how ICT would benefit the EAC Secretariat and its activities. The EAC Broadband ICT Infrastructure network has already been established. If such a network is established, it follows that we must have a legal infrastructure also to support it such that in the event there are gaps, there will be a way of sorting them out legally by having the backing of law. We have seen the obligations placed on Kenya by the Protocol. Kenya needs to do a few things which include passing this Protocol so that we comply with the parent law which allows other protocols in the region to be complied with. Kenya is a leader in this area. It has been leading in East Africa in many other activities. It is, therefore, important that we be the first to ratify the Protocol and then the other nations will copy from us. There was a report on a visit to the Namanga one-stop boarder post. It is one area that needs the use of ICT when processing passports or names because presently an identity card of a nation can be used. There are many other areas we could co-operate with the other nations and Kenya will benefit in trade. There was also a presentation on EAC Protocol on ICT. It showed how the EAC roaming charges will be harmonised and interconnectivity generally. This is a very important Protocol. It is one of the protocols we must pass as a requirement of law. I encourage Members to support it so that we can quickly get into full business with the rest of the EAC countries. Thank you.
From this other side, on top of the request list is Hon. Pukose.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support the Protocol. Interconnectivity in as far as telecommunication is concerned is key. More often than not one of the biggest challenges we face is when we use our mobile phones under the expensive roaming charges. Therefore, if we share infrastructure in the EAC region, it will bring down the cost. As we are aware, there are many areas within our country where connectivity is a problem. I happen to come from a border constituency. In Endebess Constituency, there are areas where we get Vodafone and MTN from Uganda. On the Uganda side, they get Safaricom.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Therefore, this is a very important Protocol. Within the East African region, the six East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda can share this. Since Kenya is leading in money transfer technology services like Mpesa, we should be able to send money while we are in Rwanda, Burundi or South Sudan. Areas where we have Wi-Fi connectivity or internet connectivity are areas that will revolutionise communication. Therefore, this is a very important Protocol. The other day our President and President Magufuli of Tanzania were at the border post of Namanga and they were encouraging small-scale traders to make use of the one-stop border post. I hope this will extend to other areas. In this country we have other small-scale traders like in the oil and gas fields. One of the biggest challenges that this country needs to address is that when they are importing gas from Tanzania, you will find that the gadget for checking…
Order, there is some loud consultation there. I know Hon. Mbarire has a lot to share with the neighbour but please do so in low tones.
Sorry for that interruption. As you are aware, she is getting into House business and she has to get advice from Hon. Mbarire. I think that is acceptable. Hon. Deputy Speaker, the Oil and Gas Dealers Association faces challenges especially in terms of regulations of their gas cylinders and gas contents within the border especially when they are importing it from Tanzania. We are told that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has three gadgets for certification. The gadgets are in Nairobi, Mombasa and the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI). The biggest challenge that these small- scale traders face is having their gas cylinders checked and somebody has to travel from Nairobi to Namanga to certify them. We are hoping that with the one-stop border post at Namanga these issues will be addressed and our Departmental Committee on Energy will look at them and see how we can make business to be more efficient. With those few remarks, I want to support his Protocol.
Very well. Let us have Hon. Odege Mboya, Member for Nyatike.
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I was preparing for the next one on Health.
We will then have Hon. Godrey Osotsi.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion which is to ratify the East African Community Protocol on ICT. This Protocol is very important towards the realization of the East African Community goals because it is going to promote the availability, affordability and the quality of ICT services within the community. It is also going to help the member states in the community to cooperate on matters of establishment, management and sharing of infrastructure. The issue of sharing of infrastructure is key not only to the EAC but to this country. We want to see a scenario where we do not have multiple infrastructure which in the end will be very costly to the operators. We want a scenario where we have a system where we have infrastructure that is shared by multiple providers. I think the committee in charge of ICT where I sit, will soon be coming up with a report after an inquiry they conducted into the regulatory and legislative gaps The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
in the telecommunication industry, where we will be recommending the adoption of infrastructure sharing. If that is cascaded down to the community level, it will be key. For example, we have the undersea cables which include the East African Marine System (TEAMS) and the South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Europe (SEACOM) and others. As you may be aware, Kenya is one of the countries that have participated in that project and we need to have a framework in which this infrastructure will be shared with the other landlocked countries in EAC. This Protocol sits well within that scheme of things. This Protocol will also help us to harmonise the ICT policies, regulations, laws and programmes. Harmonisation is key. For example, we have loss on data protection, cyber-crimes and we need an effective programme to harmonise all these policies, laws and programmes so that they can serve a useful purpose. Most importantly, this Protocol is also going to provide a framework for coming up with quality education and training on matters of ICT. This is one of the challenges that the developing countries face. The issue of being able to produce quality personnel to manage the ICT infrastructure is important. Most importantly, this Protocol will also help us to deal with the problem of frequency and spectrum management so that it will provide frequency management and monitoring scheme. This is going to be very easy for regulatory organs such as the Communication Authority of Kenya to provide a proper framework for assignment of frequencies especially across border and radio communication where we have been having problems. It is also important that this Protocol helps in spearheading the growth of the private sector. You are aware that most of the Kenyan companies like banks have established presence in the East African countries. One of the challenges has been the issue of ICT. With a harmonized ICT framework, we are going to see a reduction in cost of operation on ICT, the reduction in tariffs and effectively helping us to bridge the digital divide. You are aware that the EAC…
Your time is over. I will give this opportunity to the next speaker who is Hon. Arbelle Malimu
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Information and Communication Technologies Network. The EAC has come together to build businesses between Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan. We have a lot of Kenyans who are trying to venture into the EAC and they would like technologies such as M-Pesa services to continue in other countries where they can access it. Therefore, these networks are very important. We also have a lot of our goods from Mombasa to EAC countries and at the border it may be necessary to use the internet to verify the contents of the trucks. It is therefore very necessary to have these networks in the EAC. With those few remarks I support.
Very well, let us have Hon. Babu Ongili, Member for Embakasi East.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, I just wanted to interrupt the Motion on the Ratification of the East African Community Protocol on Information and Communication Technology Networks. This Motion is for the best interest of EAC countries. Being a person who has been banned from going to Uganda, how can this benefit me? So, I am against this Motion until my ban is lifted from Uganda. Thank you.
What did you say? So, you are opposing the Motion? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, because it is not for the benefit of some of the Members of the EAC like me and my people. This is because I am the will of the people of Embakasi East and anything that is hurting…
So, does the ban extend to the members of Embakasi East?
Because I am the will of the people of Embakasi East, I represent their views and interest. So, what is hurting me is hurting them all.
So, you have opposed it. That is perfectly in order. It is within your right to oppose it for any reason.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, should it go through then for the best interest of all of us as Kenyans let us kindly talk to Uganda as a country at least so that the President can lift the ban so that we can all enjoy this.
Let us not delve into that because the only thing that I will not allow you to do is to discuss the head of state of a friendly country. Knowing you have taken keen interest in your political life, I know you are very quick to do handshakes everywhere and I do not think it is a tall order for you to even move to the next level. So, you have been heard. What is it Hon. Mbarire?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, is it in order to request the Hon. Member to be clear as to why he opposes this very important Protocol? Considering that he is a young man who should be embracing ICT as the in-thing and the way to go, it bothers me when an urban young man opposes such a critical Protocol that is definitely going to help this country in terms of doing business with the rest of East Africa.
Hon. Mbarire, my hands are tied on this particular one. When a Member opposes any Motion before the House, they are perfectly in order because they have a right to either support or oppose. What I think you need to do as a great grandmother of this House, and I am not saying it because of your age, I am saying it because of the number of times you have visited this House after every election, feel free to discuss with Hon. Ngili, who is a fairly new Member and probably tell him what you have just said. In terms of what he has done, he is perfectly in order and he has given reasons. He has his own rights. It is a House of debate and you debate one way or the other. Nobody will be gagged, if you oppose that is fine. Then we will be expecting him at the point of voting, he probably will express his voice better and so he has his right.
On a point of order.
Let us proceed. I see there are many people who want to speak. Hon. Nyamai what is your point of order.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. You have just pronounced yourself on this matter and I do not know whether you will allow me because I had also put a point of order which relates to what my senior Hon. Mbarire had said. Hon. Babu Owino is a very strong Member of the Lands Committee and he really believes in technology. It is technology that has taken him this far. Looking back to the days when he was in university and what he has been able to do, everyday he stands to speak… He has been put where he is today because of technology. So, I am also as disturbed as Hon. Senior Mbarire, but it was just a point of order. Hon. Deputy Speaker, you already pronounced yourself and so I thank you for giving me the opportunity. I take your guidance.
That is the second person who should be talking to Hon. Ngili because you are her Chair. Well, you are not going to be the one to reply. The person to reply will be the Hon. Member for Samburu because she is the one who owns the Motion. However, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Babu you should not have any worry, you have pronounced yourself in terms of opposing it and you have your reasons. As I have said, you will exercise your rights even in voting.
Okay, the next one will be Hon. Mutunga Kanyuthia, Member for Tigania West.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to speak in support of the adoption of this Report. I wish to thank the Committee for the good work they have done in isolating the key issues that need to be dealt with so that we can be a better region in terms of enabling information and communication to flow.
Information is power, it is an enabler and it is in this case important for us in the East African region to have a way of doing business which is adopted across the region. It shapes opinion and enables decision-making. In most cases, it increases opportunities for business. The Northern Corridor integration is one of the key areas that are going to be discussed across the region because the Northern Corridor basically serves the East African Region and therefore if we are limited in terms of information, we shall be incurring a lot of cost when it comes to communicating across the region. Therefore, this particular provision will be a key enabler in making sure that the Northern Corridor proposition works well.
Kenya is one of the countries that have been very much at the forefront in domesticating the East African Treaty and so we ae bound by the fact that we domesticated this particular treaty to support any subsidiary legislations that come by and this particular provision is one that you need to support. Kenya stands to benefit immensely because it is ahead of the others in the East African region when it comes to ICT. We have a lot of innovations in the ICT and it becomes difficult when a Kenyan goes to Uganda, Tanzania or South Sudan and they cannot load M-Pesa or buy airtime. This is one of the things that are going to benefit Kenyans immensely because they will start businesses across the region and it will be possible for us to do business much easier that we are doing right now.
In the East African region, Kenya is the only country that has banks across the region and they have an internal communication system. They need to link across the region. To make it easier for them, we need to have harmonised approach to the information and communication system that is going to be used. I am sure they incur a lot of costs across the region this time but harmonisation will help develop standard operating procedures that are cutting across the region and so the importance of this particular provision. The other issue is making the operation costs lower and curbing cybercrime which is rampant across the region. So, when we have common regulations and standard operating procedures, it is going to be easier for the East African regional initiatives to work and develop systems that will be cheaper, more efficient and effective so that institutions and business entities can communicate better. Opportunities for Kenya are many and I do not need to enumerate all of them.
However, the infrastructural networks across the region have been rather expensive when it comes to installation and communication. Also, there will be reduction in terms of digital divide across the region in countries and both urban and rural areas. This will help in making this region better in terms of communication.
It is important for us to look at the possibilities we have as a country because of the shared vision of information and communication technologies network. Kenya will benefit especially in technology transfer. Universities have advanced research on software and other innovations and this will be transferred across the region and benefit Kenyans.
I agree with the recommendations of the Report since it appears to have very important provisions. I support.
Next is Hon. Lomorukai Ekamais, Member for Loima. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to appreciate this very important Report. I rise to support this very important Motion based on the fact that I am representing a constituency that closely does a lot of trade with Ugandan communities especially, the districts that border Loima Constituency.
I think by ratifying this Protocol, we will open new opportunities in terms of trade and industry. My community directly deals with the people of Uganda in matters of trade. By allowing the ICT system between the partner states to operate, the people of Loima will know the types of viable businesses they can engage in with the Ugandan Government. Secondly, because sometimes we have issues with our neighbours it will enhance peaceful co-existence between communities and especially the pastoralist who move from place to place. Our pastoralists move from Kenya to Uganda. So, this will create smooth co-existence between them and Ugandans. Lastly, because of the linkages of the partner states to headquarters through ICT, Kenyans will engage in viable trading activities because they will access systems of various partner nations. So, this is a very important Motion and I beg to support it.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Next is Hon. Cornelly Serem, Member for Aldai.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Before, I do so let me thank the Chair and the Committee for working so hard to ensure they bring this document before this House.
I feel there are important aspects of this Motion that all of us should embrace. Looking at this country, we are becoming a global village. Therefore, it is very important for us to have internet connectivity that will allow everybody anywhere in this world to enjoy the services which all other countries are enjoying.
I visited South Sudan in 2015, and it was very embarrassing because I went to the bank and I was unable to withdraw money because they lacked internet networks that linked with our country which would have enabled me enjoy my own money. Having the same internet connection will allow everybody to enjoy services anywhere in this country and beyond. Implementation of this Protocol will create ease of doing business, so that one can start a business anywhere within East Africa. Looking at what is happening, we are encouraging Kenyans to participate in East African Community. However, this will be very difficult if you are in Uganda or Rwanda and are unable to communicate with your family back home using all the gadgets you have purchased. Again, looking at what is happening in this country over the last couple of years, we have been facing security challenges because of Al Shabaab threats. By having this system in place, the security apparatus will have information required to secure this country at the tip of their fingers. The security apparatus in Somalia will share the information with the security apparatus in Kenya within seconds. Therefore, all of us will be secure because we will be in a position to have information about security threats from Somalia. This will avoid bad situations like what happened in this country about four years ago. This internet network, will therefore secure this country if all of us support this Motion. Finally, the main beneficiaries of this Motion are the business community. We know we are the economic power house of East Africa. If we are the main beneficiaries then we should support. I urge Members to support this Motion. Even my colleague who has reservations, I want to tell him that this country is important and bigger than one individual. Even if you have a friend who does not support it because of personal interests, you should urge him to support it and forget about personal interests and put the interests of East Africa ahead of all of us. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I support this Motion.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order?
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker. The Hon. Member is being personal. I said this is for the interest of the people of Embakasi East, and it is not personal.
What did he say, I did not hear?
He said that I am opposing for personal reasons. Therefore, he should withdraw because it is for the interest for the people of Embakasi East.
I will protect you because you have a right to oppose any Motion in this House, just like any other Member has a right to oppose or support. Therefore, Hon. Serem if you are supporting try and convince him. You should not convince him by telling him that he is opposing because of personal reasons. This is because it will be imputing improper motive. You know this is wrong because you are a seasoned politician. Hon. Babu has made his point and please let it be allowed to rest. I am sure that makes you comfortable Hon. Babu. You have had your time, so I will not give you an opportunity to debate again because you had your five minutes. In terms of withdrawal, I do not know which bit you want him to withdraw?
Another Member walked close to my seat and said: “You know, Hon. Babu is not as young as everybody would want to believe.”
This is also destroying me because if I was aspiring to mingle with my fellow Members, it will undermine my manhood and the Hon. Member should withdraw.
I did not hear well. I have heard you saying they are undermining your manhood. Okay, Hon. Serem, I think that matter should rest. You must respect this Member and not impute improper motive.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the face tells that he is a young man but let me withdraw. In terms of Parliament, he is a young man. I am senior because I was here in the last Parliament.
You know, you must respect Hon. Babu because he was in the university for a long time, much longer than you were.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, he belongs to the team of young parliamentarians and is the Chairman of the same.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I confirm he is the Secretary-General of the Young Parliamentarians Association. Actually, he graduated last year. He has been the chairman of university students’ union. I understand he is still a member of the same. Young men are still in the university.
I do not want anybody to refer to him that way. There are only Hon. Members here.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I said I withdraw.
There is no issue about young or old or whatever. Those are issues that are known outside this House. In this House, every Member is the same. Whether old or young, they are all Hon. Members of this House. Period! So, Hon. Serem, you must withdraw The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
that bit. He is not happy with it and I think you will have to withdraw. He is Hon. Member for Embakasi East, elected by a lot of votes.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, so that he can be a very happy man, let me withdraw.
That is very kind of you, Hon. Serem. That is a matter put to rest. On this particular one, let us have Hon. Ogutu Abel. Is he on my left? No, you are to my right. So, I will look for somebody else to my left. Let us have Hon. Mutua Barasa. You are also on my right. Anyway, proceed.
Asante sana, Mhe. Naibu Spika, kwa kunipatia nafasi hii pia kuunga mkono Ripoti ya Kuratibisha Itifaki ya Afrika Mashariki kuhusu Mawasiliano na Tecnolojia ya Habari. Teknolojia ni muhimu sana kwa sababu itarahisisha mawasiliano miongoni mwa watu ambao wanaishi katika Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki ikikisiwa kuwa na pendekezo kwamba tunataka tuwe na Jumuiya ambayo haina mipaka. Nafikiria mawasiliano ni kitu cha muhimu sana kwa sababu yatarahirisha mawasiliano ya simu za rununu na vile vile kuhakikisha kwamba operasheni za polisi hasa kufuatilia majangili pia zinategemea huduma za mawasiliano. Tumekuwa na wakora ambao wamekuwa wakizunguka katika nchi za Afrika Mashariki. Kwa hivyo, itakuwa rahisi sana kwa polisi wa Kenya kuwafuatilia wakora ambao wamekuwa na mazoea ya kuiba magari wakienda kuyaficha katika sehemu ambazo hazina ubora wa mawasiliano. Vile vile, katika Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki, kuna usafirishaji wa bidhaa muhimu kutoka Mombasa kuelekea mataifa ya Rwanda, Uganda na Tanzania ambayo pia lazima wenye mizigo wafuatilizie kwa kimombo ikijulikana kama tracking . Hii itarahisisha huduma hiyo muhimu sana kwa sababu bidhaa za bei ghali lazima zifuatiliwe na teknolojia. Inasemekana kwamba kuna pendekezo moja la idara ya forodha ambalo linasema kwamba lazima uweze kufuatilia mizigo uhakikishe kwamba haupotei ama magari ambayo yamekisiwa kupelekwa Uganda yasije yakatumiwa hapa nchini, jambo ambalo litafanya Kenya kupoteza ushuru. Kwa hivyo naunga mkono kwa sababu mawasiliano ni nguzo ya uchumu na uendeshaji wa Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki utategemea ratiba hii ya itifaki ya Afrika Mashariki. Juzi nilipita katika Eneo Bunge la Mhe. Babu Owino na nikaona kwamba alikuwa na mpango wa kuweka sehemu fulani ya mawasiliano ili watu wa Embakasi Mashariki wawe na urahisi wa kutumia intaneti na mambo mengine. Kwa hivyo, kwa upande mmoja, nafikiria sio eti Mhe. Babu alikuwa hataki bali alikuwa anasema kwamba hii ni muhimu na labda itafuatiliziwa katika mambo muhimu ya Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki. Mhe. Naibu Spika, naunga mkono.
Asante. Let me give the Floor to Hon. Patrick Musimba.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. First of all, I congratulate the Chair and indeed the Committee for coming up with a pretty comprehensive Report as to the ratification of the ICT Protocol over the EAC. We cannot understate and I think every contributor has placed the key role of ICT. However, I will talk about nationhood and its role in picking the patriotic nature of our people and actually reducing the blaring lines that exist between us and our colleagues around the EAC. This is because trade has been with us. The Akamba Community has traded for a very long time with the Nyamwezi.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Order, Hon. Musimba. Who is this Member who is practising this particular motion before it is passed? It is somewhere here. At least it is quiet now. So, we can proceed. Let us allow the Motion to be passed first before we can start practising these particular ICT things. Proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I think it is excitement that this is a Report that has been long in coming. Even yesterday, we waited with a lot of anticipation in the afternoon, but I think they say better never than late as Jusper Wendo said in Betrayal in the City. I wanted to speak to the long heritage that the EAC has had within itself. The Nyamwezi have traded ably with the Akamba people. They were long distance traders albeit in pretty interesting commodities for the time. We look forward that now in this present age, especially with the age of social media, that the people of East Africa can come and integrate. In the 1960s and 1970s, we celebrated having cross-border education within our three countries, namely; Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, where the law school used to be in the University of Dar-es- Salaam. The University of Nairobi hosted the engineering faculty. Kampala was renowned for processing our Bachelor of Arts students and medical students. This was a very healthy tradition which went along and I think time has come that ICT will return us back to where we used to be. There has been a lot of heritage. Now that the Kenya human capital is actually second to none, not only in the region but, indeed, the world, there is no particular skill set that we lack. I think we have a lot to give to the region. An Hon. Member earlier alluded that the thirst for knowledge is the hallmark of this country. People in their 60s and 70s are still pursuing higher education and they are living the dream because we understand so ably that information is power and this is the power that will liberate us and take us from a Third World country. We have now risen to a middle level economy and we are now in the league to challenge countries like China, the United States of America, Germany and the European Union after we sort out ourselves in terms of just belief which is between our ears. So, to me, ICT is extremely fundamental for us to first believe in one identity and be able to harness the cross-border population of 120 million. This is what makes the powerhouses within the multitude of the world. Today, we sing ably and we have developed an EAC anthem. Few of us have it at heart. I think it is high time we shared all these things in terms of ringtones all around so that we can ably express ourselves that we are one community and one nation bonded by this thing called ICT in terms of its heritage and values to see us spur this great region to greater heights. I thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
We only have one minute for Hon. Lentoimaga Musa because the Mover must respond in the next hour.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support this Motion. Going by what we have been discussing, we know EAC has been there for a long time and there was a time it actually broke down. We do not want to go that route again. I got worried the other day when I saw the summit will not go on because of one member not attending. This is a very crucial Report and initiative from the Committee.
Wind up, Hon. Lentoimaga.
We trade more with overseas countries in Europe and America and forget the connectivity that should exist among the East African Community members. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I support this Motion and urge all Members to do the same. Let us pass it for the sake of our people and the generations to come.
I call upon the Mover to reply. You have five minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I would like to thank all the Members who have contributed to this Motion. They have all explained how important ICT is for us as a country and a region. I do not intend to repeat or belabour the point. I would just like to thank Hon. Maanzo, Hon. Pukose, Hon. Osotsi, Hon. Arbelle and Hon. Babu. I will get back to Hon. Babu and hope to convince him that it is important that we pass this Protocol for the benefit of our country. I am sure that the ban preventing him to go to Uganda will be lifted soon. One of the things that he can look at is the importance of this Protocol for us as a country, region and his own constituents as we consider how important it is for us to have ICT connectivity in the region. I would also like to thank Hon. Mutunga, Hon. Ekamais and Hon. Serem, who even shared his own personal experience when he was in South Sudan on how difficult it was for him to access banking services because there was no network. Once we have this shared infrastructure and there is connectivity across the region, he will not experience any such incidents in the near future. I also want to thank Hon. Didmus, Hon. Musimba and Hon. Lentoimaga for their contributions to this very important Motion and all the other Members who had wanted to contribute to this Motion. I beg to reply and request that pursuant to Standing Order No.53(3), you defer putting the Question, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
That is accepted. Therefore, I will defer putting the Question.
Let us go to the next Order.
Member for Suba North, you had a balance of seven minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity. I wanted to talk about technology in relation to the East African Protocol that we have just spoken about. You caught me a little off-guard. I wanted to refer to the Constitution bit. Be that as it may, yesterday, I had indicated that I support the Report because the international treaties and conventions that the country has ratified… The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Which Motion are you supporting, Hon. Millie?
Both, Hon. Deputy Speaker, but I am speaking to the current one.
The other one is just for you…
I am speaking to the current one even though I support both. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I am supporting the Motion on the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital. I had indicated yesterday that the reason that I support it is because the international treaties and conventions that the country has ratified emphasise the right to the highest attainable standard of healthcare. This includes the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 43 of our Constitution also speaks to that. It is a shame and an embarrassment to this country that the country can invest a lot of money in building a state-of-the-art hospital and then it is left to go to waste because we cannot prioritise. The comfort we have as a country is that we think that people cannot litigate social and cultural rights. If you look carefully at the wording of Article 20 of the Constitution, any member of the public can sue the Government if it does not fulfil the obligations under Article 43 of the Constitution. The Government would show that it does not have enough resources. This is a situation where we can prove that the Government has enough resources. Parts of our resources go to corruption, which the Government knows and is not doing sufficient work to deal with. If healthcare is part of the Big Four Agenda and a priority of the Government, are we putting as much emphasis and effort into it as we should? It is a fallacy for us as a country to say that we are committed to those obligations such as the Sustainable Development Goal No.3 at the international level and even at the national level. We cannot say that we are committed to providing healthcare for everybody yet we have a state-of-the-art hospital that is going to waste. Yesterday, I gave the example of people in my own constituency in Suba North that have no access to healthcare. This morning when I was coming here, somebody called me from Kipasi Market where a seven-year-old girl is seeking for support for her mother who is detained in Homa Bay Hospital. She cannot get Kshs6,000 to release her mother from hospital yet we are able to invest billions into a hospital then let it lie idle. There is something wrong with the way we prioritise and deal with our issues. I am very happy that the previous Motion was talking about ICT. This hospital deals with the state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure. I supported the treaty that we just passed. I know I am doing it at the wrong time but I support it. With those few remarks, I will stop at this point and support the Motion.
Very well. Let us have Hon. Abdullaih Sheikh, Member for Mandera North.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was prepared to contribute to Order No.12 and not this one. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Very well. Let us have Hon. Mbarire.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Let me start by first thanking the Committee for stepping in just in time to save this situation where we were able to get a loan from Exim Bank of China of up to Kshs8.7 billion to build a state-of-the-art hospital, namely, the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital. The hospital has not been operationalised and not because work was not done. Design, infrastructure development and equipping of this hospital is already done. The biggest challenge is the recruitment of staff and ensuring that their salaries are available. Let me add my voice to that of Hon. Millie Odhiambo who said that it is unfortunate that we can invest so much money which is a loan and then we are unable to do very simple things like recruiting personnel so that the hospital is fully operationalised. Since one of the Big Four Agenda is the universal healthcare (UHC), this hospital will play a critical role in ensuring that Kenyans have access to quality health services. As you know, UHC aims at ensuring that we provide quality health services to all Kenyans. It is an ambitious agenda that must be achieved. This hospital will provide that platform to achieve UHC. This same hospital provides training of health personnel. There is a challenge of training all our health personnel and it is important that we create more institutions to do so. Being a referral hospital, it will ease the pressure that we experience in Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and hospitals around Nairobi, especially public hospitals. This is an issue which is long overdue. I am happy because the Committee stepped in and worked expeditiously to make sure that they bring the Report before us, so that we can approve it.
One of the recommendations by this Committee is to provide money for recruitment of staff and make sure that the hospital gets into operationalisation as soon as possible. It is a good one. We are looking at how to make sure the hospital is opened as soon as possible. I hope that going forward, there will be proper planning by all Government institutions, especially the National Treasury, to ensure that as soon as we begin a project, we have a grand plan of how we will make sure that it comes into full operationalisation. We should not have time wastage in between. We are repaying the loan that was given to us every single day. There is also concern by Kenyans that we have borrowed too much money. Borrowing must be efficient. We must put that money to good use.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support this Report and recommendations of the Committee that we make sure there is immediate operationalisation of this important Hospital that will help this country. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. Oundo?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, in view of the comments and the contributions of Members, and the interest of time, I call upon the Mover to reply, pursuant to provisions of Standing Order No. 95.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Have you risen under Standing Order No. 95, so that we can put the Question to call the Mover to reply? Was that your intention?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. If possible, I will donate two minutes.
Hon. Nyikal, what are you are alluding to?
I have been called upon to reply. I was the Mover. If it is allowed, I can donate some minutes to Hon. (Prof.) Oduol.
The House has extinguished that right. It is your time to reply. Proceed to reply.
Okay. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to thank all the Members who have supported this Motion. I believe in the realisation that health is important for all of us and the need to fast track these services, more so, universal health cover so that we save people’s lives. We need to offer services and do away with the problems we have such as detaining dead people in hospitals. Those services are extremely important.
I appreciate this Report because this hospital is vacant right now. The equipment is there. The only part of it which is working well is the mortuary. It should not be that way. We cannot build a hospital and it is only the mortuary which is working. Members raised issues in relation with the emergency care. Article 43(2) and (3) of the Constitution indicates that the emergency care should be provided, so that people do not have to pay for them and nobody should be turned away. This has been brought into the Health Act. As a Committee, we will push that the Health Act be implemented so that emergency healthcare is provided.
Members brought the issue of international conventions that we have signed in relation to human rights and health is one of them. We have noted this. The Committee will work hard to make sure that this facility works and supports that. Members decried the fact that we have 24 Intensive Care Unit beds lying idle while people have been looking for ICU beds. I thank the Members and request that we support this Report. Pursuant to Standing Order No. 50 and 53, I request that the putting of the Question on this Motion be deferred. I beg to reply.
Very well done. I will direct that the putting of the Question be deferred to such a time as the Motion will be set down again in the Order Paper. We shall move on to the next business.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to move the Motion on the provision of free, secure, risk-free and high- quality Wi-Fi services in every constituency.
I have been working on this particular issue.
Hon. Osotsi, move the Motion the way it is in the Order Paper and then you explain.
Thank you for the guidance, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to move the following Motion: THAT aware that the universal access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is a critical international obligation provided for under the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among other international obligations; noting that technological innovations associated with the transition to the Next-Generation Networks are already transforming the way universal access is being extended to rural and remote areas in both developed and developing countries and to a large extent, this transformation is being fuelled by emerging networking technologies; cognisant that global statistics indicate that 49 per cent of the population does not have access to internet connection and that the digital divide requires tangible and consistent collective action to close the gap; further cognisant that internet is one of the most powerful and an invaluable tool in the world today for among other uses communication, information, and access to various services; appreciating that realisation of appropriate public private partnerships are essential in stimulating broadband investments, adoption and infrastructural roll-out to open up rural areas and disadvantaged parts of Kenya; this House resolves that the Government through incentive driven public private partnerships provides free, secure, risk-free and high quality Wi-Fi services in every Constituency.
This is a very important Motion. I ask my colleagues to support and adopt it. Kenya is rated as the fourth fastest growing digital economy after countries like China, Malaysia and Bolivia. This is a very interesting development which the country should maximise on. This rating is largely propelled by the progress we have made as a country in mobile money transfer service popularly known as M-Pesa which has span multiple homegrown digital innovations. Kenya is now rated as one of the most tech savvy populations in the continent because of the progress we have made with M-Pesa This innovation is now global. We were told the other day that M-Pesa has now become global. This is a development that if harnessed the country will do even better. But there are challenges with this innovation. There are challenges of digital inclusion. We still have a large percentage of our population with no access to internet services. It is becoming a norm that there are three essential utilities in the world: water, electricity and now ICT. It is a global requirement under the Universal Access Obligations, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and SDG goals: ICT should be available to everyone. Because of this, it is important to work out programmes to ensure that ICT, especially internet service, is available to as many people as possible. In our development goals, we have identified ICT as one of the key drivers. In the Big Four Agenda, ICT is central to it. In the Vision 2030, ICT is central. We can only realise the benefits that come with ICT if we invest adequately in broadband access and services across country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Kenya is among the countries in the world which have adopted e-governance concept as a way of offering Government services to its citizens through the internet but it has had challenges. We are aware that there is a platform called the e-Citizen where Kenyans can get basic services like applying for a driving licence, identity card and basic services like a police abstract. But this system, as much as it is useful to people in urban areas, is not accessible to people in rural areas. When people in rural areas go to police stations looking for abstracts, they are referred to the e- Citizen yet they have no access to it. So, you find an old person traveling for about five kilometres looking for a police abstract only to be told to go to e-Citizen which they cannot get. This digital exclusion is not working for our people because the internet in most rural areas is not accessible. According to global ranking, Kenya is among the countries which are not performing well in development of the e-government. Currently, we are at 0.4541 out of global ranking of one. That translates to position 122 out of 193 countries. This is below the world average. Most countries which are serious about governance have invested quite a lot in e-government. The e-participation index for Kenya is also quite low; below the world average of 0.56. We are at 0.53. With this proposal to provide WI-FI services, we will be in the position to enhance the e-government agenda for the country. The e-government is one of the key strategic items that have been captured in the ICT master plan and even in Vision 2030 of this country. We also have a number of international obligations and the country is a signatory to particularly the one on universal access. According to global statistics released by the International Telecommunication Union, Kenya ICT development index stands at 2.91. That is quite low. It puts Kenya in position 138. As we celebrate our impressive position of position four as a fast-rowing digital economy, we are also not doing well in the ICT development index. This is largely because we need to put a lot of emphasis in expanding our ICT infrastructure. We are also not doing well in people accessing the internet. About 26 per cent of the population has access to the internet. E-commerce is key and it is growing. It is an important platform for international trade but as a country, we are doing very minimal on e-commerce. Countries like Rwanda are doing quite well on e-commerce platform. It has come up with a programme to offer free internet services in all public places. That explains why international investors like Alibaba have decided to invest in e-commerce in Rwanda. Recently, Alibaba signed a memorandum with the President of Rwanda to make Rwanda the first African hub of electronic world trade platform. This is a very important development. Given that next week we will be having the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi on E-commerce for Africa, if this House passes this Motion, I am confident that investors who will be coming will have an interest in investing in this country on e-commerce. There are issues of funding. One may ask how we would fund this. Telecommunication operators in this country have been contributing towards the Universal Service Fund managed by the Communication Authority of Kenya. Some of these funds should be used for this programme. We have also opened channels for public private partnerships. It is important for the Government to look into the possibility of enhancing public private partnerships so that they can encourage investors to come and invest in broadband infrastructure and other ICT network. For example, Telkom Kenya has partnered with Google to come up with a loon project where they will offer internet services in rural areas through a specialised technology which uses balloons to send communication signals. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I think there are so many other technologies which can help in this. We also have long range Wi-Fi antennas that can be used to provide widespread internet services. We also need to encourage research and development in this area so that we can provide internet to the disadvantaged areas. I am aware that the Communication Authority of Kenya is also coming up with programmes on infrastructure sharing. This should be encouraged to reduce the cost of investment. There is no need of having many operators having independent infrastructure, they can have infrastructure shared. There are other initiatives that the Government has started and they look like we are putting the cart before the horse. One of the projects I consider is the project on Constituency Digital Innovation Hubs.
Hon. Osotsi, you have run your time down. As a Mover in this kind of a Motion you have 15 minutes, which you have exhausted. I will allow you a minute so that you can move.
The Constituency Digital Innovation Hub is a good concept but I wish we could invest in the infrastructure before we roll out this project. I am happy the Report released by the NG-CDF Committee alluded to this. This programme will spur massive broadband investment and will also support the other important initiative of the Government like the Digital Literacy Programme for Schools, the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030.
With those few remarks, I beg to move and request Hon. Musimba to second.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity to second this momentous Motion before us. Today we must mark it as an ICT morning because we have had quite a mouthful about ICT today and I think we are empowered for the next level.
We have come from an era of saying drums are beating and your ears needed to be open for you to know what has been communicated from another different locality. Today we are at a generation where we talk about technology in neutrality where we have cascaded from the days when we were at 2G which just meant that data was out of place and was limited to voice calls, to 3G. Now we have 4G and we are moving to the next generation networks as the Mover alluded to, which anticipate the sort of functionality and what you want to do. They integrate in your everyday living as we talk of having more connected villages.
Bringing this closer home, and that is why this is so important, we have counties which are a reality. There is no point to disenfranchise one county to another due to technology. With the counties in place, we want all of them to communicate seamlessly as funding is a critical element in terms of revenue allocations and how efficient they move it so that we do not have days where we used to process payrolls for a period of 10 days. We have a cyclical circle of paying, till today we are still in that catch 22 basis when it comes paying salaries of over 30 days and we are now on the verge… We earlier talked about innovations such as M-Pesa and Pesalink where you can pay instant amounts upto Kshs999,000 within five minutes bank to bank transfers. We are at the moment where we need to move our economies through ICT by being able to process payments schemes for over 15 days or even every week and this will accelerate the effect of money within our economy. The county reality beacons us to ensure that technology is neutral among all the 47 counties in Kenya to be able to have things like disruptors. If you look at WhatsApp, we are able to make video conferencing calls to each other. This particular feature is not available on our already existing providers. This will take a different dimension in terms of how we are communicating on our already existing providers, how we are cutting down costs of conferencing and how efficient we are in terms of running our Governments. Indeed, the world is at our fingertips as we speak, with ICT as our enabler. We look at job creation and most The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
recently His Excellency the President launched the Big Four Agenda. One of the salient things within the Big Four Agenda is the role of ICT. Without ICT we cannot start innovation into housing and to compare the sort of schemes that have been utilised across border and the relevant technology in place. So, for Timboroa which is a cold area, are they going to embrace timber? For hotter areas like Lodwar, we look at technologies in terms of how we utilise our clay soil as a mode of making bricks and improve on housing. On Universal Health Care, we have already adopted a Motion on Kenyatta University Hospital. We do not engage enough into the preventive side of universal health care. Prevention is better than cure any day. The true last mile connectivity is when we will bring about broadband connectivity such that it is a value addition. The KPLC already has broadband and that you would only go into the place where you shave and internet is ready. This will provide internet connectivity all over the country. The quality of service can be addressed through this in the same way.
Monitoring and evaluation are critical roles. We spend endless hours pounding through reports and everything. We need to interact with it in real time or see real time reporting in terms of how we do procurement so that it reduces inefficiency.
Hon. Musimba, the Seconder has only five minutes. I will allow you to second.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will just take another 30 seconds to say that we are measured with the ease of doing business and ICT is that particular nod that we require to get there. I urge the House to adopt this Motion. As I second it, I request Members to support it.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. Christopher Omulele)
Thank you. This is a very good Motion because we are in the frontier of ICT. Businesses are transacted nowadays through the internet. We are a global village and that means for us to take advantage of the essence of being a global village, we must have access to internet and Wi-Fi, e-commerce and e-governance are done through the internet. Job advertisements and procurement of essential Government services are done through the internet. So, all these facilities are currently available mostly in urban areas. If this is extended to all parts of the country, it means everyone will take advantage of these facilities.
The M-Pesa has revolutionised our country and has now gone international courtesy of Safaricom which has put in good business practices to ensure that it is global. It started with us here in the country and is now global. So, it is important to acknowledge some of the telecommunication companies such as Safaricom that are doing great job.
Once this infrastructure is put in place, access comes with discipline and so, having passed the Cyber Crime Bill we will ensure that there is much discipline and maturity in the use of internet. This same Bill presupposes that all parts of the country are covered by mobile network. So, I believe that the Government through the Communication Authority of Kenya will ensure that all parts of the country are covered by mobile networks. This can be done because the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Government has funds through the Universal Access Fund that is controlled by the Communication Authority of Kenya. We have seen in most of our Facebook pages and social networks persons tend to abuse the facilities that are accorded to them. There is a lot of abuse especially from the youth who go beyond their limit by virtue of having free internet and network facilities. Defamatory messages, abuse and uncouth materials are shared on platforms courtesy of having free Wi-Fi.
So, this should be curbed because the Cyber Crime Bill has been passed. It has penalties and means of getting to people who abuse and misuse these kinds of facilities. The issue of ICT will take us through the Big Four Agenda. Without ICT, things will not move. I call upon the Government and Members of this House to look into the issue of abuse of internet facilities by some of our youth.
I support the Motion. Thank you.
Member for Bamachoge Borabu. Hon. Ogutu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. When we talk about increasing the utility of Wi-Fi in the rural areas, it is about increasing connectivity of our populations to information. I am humbled to say that as a nation, we have big dreams but we need to focus on small improvements that can enable us achieve big dreams. We are talking about Wi-Fi, the system that uses radio waves which are accessible deeply in the villages. These are widely available waves that can be used to enable our population access ICT facilities. The suggestion that this expansion be done alongside the private sector efforts is quite in order because we know a number of private companies such as Faiba, Zuku Safaricom and others have already set the system at the constituency level. All they need is to open kiosks and provide the necessary gadgets which can enable the rural population access internet and be in touch with the global discourses and also development at the national level. We are talking about having a population which is highly informed, one that has access to the dynamics at the national level, a population which will be made to be more cost-effective because they have the information and they can use the information to bring changes.
Kenya having the largest youthful population, the idea of having Wi-Fi services in every corner of this country cannot be questioned. There are a number of challenges such as fake Wi- Fi. We have been in areas where there are hotspots and so we have issues that have to be thought alongside this kind of Motion. Despite all those challenges that may arise, the idea of having Wi- Fi services in the rural areas is ideal. We want a situation where my mother and other rural folks can subscribe even medication from the rural areas even without having to go to hospital.
So, this is big dream for this country but it is quite ambitions.
I support. Thank you.
Hon. Oduol Adhiambo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to speak on this Motion. I support the Motion and highlight that indeed the provision of free secure, risk-free and high-quality Wi-Fi services in every constituency is going to make significant and lasting positive changes in a number of areas as has been raised ranging from agriculture, health, education and even access to local and international trade.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I support the Motion, I am happy to note that the language the House is using brings some degree of certainty and highlight that it is important that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
with regard to technology, we look into ensuring sustainability and skill when we expand to every constituency and that we also ensure that there would be requisite funding. I also would like to emphasise that when we talk about ICT, we are talking about information, communication and technology and we tend to focus more on the technology and even as we look at the Wi-Fi, be more concerned with the manner in which it is going to bring outreach and accessibility in not only the digital divide but between poor and communities that are more affluent.
As I support, I would like to highlight a major concern. We need to think through the content and information. This is because a lot of our next generation is digital savvy young boys and girls and a few who are older. Sometimes, they are so dependent technology. In a way, this disconnects them from their immediate needs and concerns including emotional and mental health issues of their own families. Therefore, they tend to have real conflict arising because of accessing information some of which amount to abuse and comes at inappropriate time. As I support, I want to say that as we engage in looking at this ICT matter and recognising its useful outreach capacity, we should emphasis on the need to look at the information and the manner in which we input content and programmes, which will allow some degree of contextual relevance, so that we can protect our children, youth and those vulnerable because of technology. With those few remarks, I support.
Hon. Amin Kassim, Member for Wajir East. I will give this opportunity to Hon. Abdi Yusuf, Member for Kamukunji.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to speak to this Motion which I stand to support. I am particularly excited about its timeliness because recently, we had an opportunity of opening the first Ajira Digital Center in my constituency. I have already seen the impact of ICT in offering access to jobs, employment and trading opportunities. We live in an interconnected world where many people are transacting all their activities on health, education, agriculture and many other sectors of our economy on the internet. This particular programme when implemented will have a big impact on our economic growth. It will provide opportunities for our young people who are connected to ICT to fully benefit in terms of creating their own jobs, seeking employment opportunities and selling their services to a wider and bigger population. I am certainly sure that if this is done very well, it will add considerably to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), good manufacturing practice (GMP) and economic wellbeing as a whole. We live in a world where many countries, for example, Iceland and Estonia, entirely operate their services on the internet. You do not need to go to a physical office to carry out your activities. This is particularly useful for people in rural areas and deprived inner-city areas where the gap of inequality between the rich and the poor is very wide. This bridges this particular issue. Therefore, this is a timely Motion and will contribute considerably to our wellbeing and development. I think it should be part of the Agenda Four because technology and connectivity will bridge differences. You do not need to travel from Kisumu, Bungoma, Mandera or Lodwar to come to Nairobi to transact your activities if you have well established connectivity. You can transact all your businesses online and trade with China and the rest of the world while seated at your desk or cyber café or anywhere in the country. Therefore, this is a very important Motion and I fully support it. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. Today morning seems to have been bombarded with technology. However, we marvel at the impact technology has had on this economy. As you can remember some of us when were in university and were drafting our first projects, we wrote them by hand and we would give somebody to type and return to us to proofread. Technology has been marvelous and I sincerely want to thank those who discovered it because it has shaped and changed our lives tremendously. I wholly support the Motion by Hon. Osotsi with regard to secure and free Wi-Fi in the various constituencies in this country called Kenya. I know many of our youths in the villages and many of us who are starting to appreciate technology find it difficult to transact and undertake many of the services we take for granted when we are in Nairobi once we go to our constituencies. The internet connection in most rural parts of Kenya is unstable, difficult and occasionally is non-existent. You remember during the last election we had so many issues about transmitting results because it was alleged that with 2G internet connectivity it could not transmit. We needed 4G connectivity. I do not understand what this means but I appreciate it exists. We hope this Motion once implemented by the Government by the time we get to 2022 or after the population census of 2019 we will be in a position to transmit live information from all parts of the country. My constituency, Funyula, occasionally because of poor Safaricom and Airtel network gets interference from networks in Uganda. Consequently, we are treated as if we are roaming and it becomes extremely difficult to transact business or even send a WhatsApp message or check what is happening in other parts of the country. We believe with the passage of this Motion, we will solve some of these embarrassing challenges we get, especially those of us who come from border points. We have talked about youth empowerment, employment and innovation. It seems ICT is the driver and unless we are able to have secure, firm and safe internet access we will face challenges in achieving these dreams for our young people. I see quite a number of them cuddling together trying to sustain a network in order to do their business. I sympathise with them and hope this Motion will go a long way in ensuring that they are able to have secure internet to enable them make money, innovate, do e-marketing and all that they want to do. Currently, quite a number of materials for academic purposes are found online. Without a secure internet it means students will have to travel far to look for internet. Our people in the rural areas should also start enjoying the benefits of e-commerce. There is nothing as enjoyable as being inside your house or bedroom, and you can order for food and it is brought while you are seated lazily or otherwise so to speak. We hope it will spread these benefits. As I conclude, I want to speak to an issue raised by my colleague on misuse. We pray and hope that once it is implemented, youth will not misuse this free internet to leer and hurl unprintable insults to the leaders, opponents and friends alike. With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this very important Motion by Hon. Osotsi Godfrey. We have seen a lot of development in our ICT sector as a nation, especially over the last 15 years. It started in 2003. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I remember when we were being told about the undersea cable that was being connected between Dubai and us through Mombasa. At that time, it sounded really out of the world. It sounded like it was not going to happen. It finally did and we have seen the cable now connected in different key towns especially county headquarters across the country. That becomes very important because we know that ICT sector has become a key driver of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of major nations across the world and that is the way to go as a country. I am also excited to hear that Kenya ranks quite high in Africa in terms of ICT compliance. That should not make us stop what we are doing or not continue to even do more. I believe that is the way to go and I believe that is the future of this country. I am keen that we have now gone e-commerce. We are talking about e-citizen. We have gone electronic in many ways. We have a lot of things that now you have to operate using the internet. It makes sense that at this particular point, we make this availability and accessibility of internet cheaper or even free, especially for the millennials that we have in the country today. However, of concern to me is not just making it accessible but making it accessible and free to help in innovation. Currently, I think Kenya must be ranking highest in Africa in terms of our contributions in the social media. We are very active on Twitter and Facebook . We are exchanging information. I think we rank top in terms of political dialogue in our social media platforms. The amazing thing is that this has actually caught up even with the youth who are upcountry. They are not necessarily urbanites as one would expect. If only that energy that we see in our social media platforms could be channeled to innovation, for commerce and for marketing our produce, I believe we would see a lot more growth and create more jobs. We would see young people getting more involved in things that really make a big difference in their lives day to day. Therefore, I really hope that once we pass this Motion – and I know that we pass very many Motions in this House and many times Government takes them for granted – it will actually be implemented. I hope that the Committee on Implementation can take it up because this is a critical and important issue. Even as we start thinking about agribusiness, I see a lot of training and marketing of our agribusiness produce really being done through e-commerce and this is the time to encourage young people to take it up because they want to do things in a more savvy way and make it even cool. As a person who comes from an agricultural zone, I really look forward to this happening. We may provide Wi-Fi and we can encourage more young people to innovate and create platforms where they can market their produce. I believe…
Hon. Members, you only have five minutes. Next is Hon. Ekamais, Member for Loima.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. I come from a constituency that does not really enjoy these kinds of services. I think we are all aware that most of our areas in Turkana County are not connected even with telecentres or Safaricom boosters. So, with provision of free internet to all the 290 constituencies, I think my constituency, and even other constituencies in Turkana County and the northern parts, will enjoy this service directly. It has been the role of the Jubilee Government to provide this service to the entire country. If the Ministry in charge of ICT and even the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) will roll out its promise of providing free Wi-Fi, the entire country is going to enjoy digital services. It will also help us solve digital inequalities in our country. This Motion is trying not only to solve issues in urban centres but also in the rural areas where some of us come from. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
In my constituency, there is very serious insecurity. To me, trying to attend to that insecurity has been a very hard thing because I cannot talk to my people in Kotaruk. By having free internet and even having the telecentres within those particular areas, we will address the issues of insecurity across the country or those parts that are affected by insecurity. The advantage of this kind of service of free Wi-Fi is that it can be accessed via satellite through a very small aperture terminal. I support this very important Motion because the entire country of Kenya will be networked and connected and all of us will enjoy this particular service. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support.
Hon. Gideon Koskei, Member for Chepalungu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to also add my voice on the free Wi-Fi and all that includes the ICT introduction in our constituencies across Kenya. Kenya is so rich in terms of technology. Kenya was the first country across the world to do M-Pesa transactions. That was an innovation which put Kenya on the global map on ICT and innovation. Knowledge has always been a factor of production and a driver of the economy in social development. This ICT introduction across our constituencies… Some of us who come from rural areas like Chepalungu Constituency have a big problem when it comes to power connectivity, especially the Last Mile Connectivity Programme. Only around 20 per cent of the population has benefited from the Last Mile Connectivity Programme. Eighty per cent of the population will be left out of the Wi-Fi connectivity because power is a big ingredient for the provision of internet. We request the Government to balance the implementation of the Last Mile Connectivity Programme so that all us benefit from the national grid across the board. The ICT is one of the economic development pillars to gain national competitive advantage. We are able to have uniform information that can be guided across the board when it comes to e-business. All the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are able to transact business without carrying cash. They can transact with their banks and dealers using internet connection. Huduma Centres also benefit a lot from ICT. In every county, you are able to access Huduma services which used to be a problem for our youth and people seeking national Government services. They used to come to the central place in Nairobi. Now you enjoy a Huduma Centre in your area. I support this Motion 100 per cent. I request all Members of Parliament to pass this Motion when it comes to the final stage.
Let us have Hon. Mboni, Member for Kitui Rural.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this important Motion. From the outset, I support this Motion. The ICT is very important and is part of communication. There is no way a country can develop without investing in communication. Everybody is aware of how M-pesa has transformed money transactions in this country and e-procurement in Government. Communication eases transaction of business. Even students who have done exams get their results through the internet which is a bit easier than before when people used to go and check their results from school. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Free internet will ease business in rural areas. There is what we call business process outsourcing. This is a situation whereby somebody sends you an assignment to do, you do it, send it back to the person and you are paid. If we had free internet access in the rural areas, this business process outsourcing would help the youth who are unemployed to have something to do. India has succeeded. In fact, India is doing a lot of work for the United States of America (USA). India did data processing for the population of the USA. They earned a lot of money. Youth will be able to apply for jobs while they are in the rural areas. They do not need to come to Nairobi. The only challenge is funding. Parliament needs to avail funds for this noble activity so that the service can be implemented in the rural areas. We also need to emphasise the implementation of this Motion. We have passed a lot of legislation but my worry is when they will be implemented. We should not be a House which passes laws which will not be implemented. This is in our hearts because it will affect the people we represent in the rural areas. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Let us have Hon. Kisang, Chair of the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. This is a timely Motion that has been brought by my colleague, Hon. Osotsi. Kenya is way ahead. Statistically, we are fourth globally when it comes to innovation. In the last five to 10 years, we came up with e-Government services. You will realise that most of the services being offered at Huduma centres have really helped our youth when it comes to accessing services. The services that we access through Huduma centres and e- citizen are things like applying for passports, driving licences and work permits. It is because of technology that this has been achieved. The best thing to do, as Hon. Osotsi has stated in this Motion is to provide free and secure internet services across the two constituencies. Currently, we can only access those services at the county level. We need to move further to each of the constituencies and eventually to every ward so that our youth do not have to travel far seeking services. There is a challenge. My colleagues have talked about lack of funds. In the last Supplementary Budget that we received when passing the Finance Bill, about Kshs5.5 billion of the funds were reduced because of the reduction of VAT from 16 per cent to 8 per cent. This Kshs5.5 billion was supposed to help move fibre optics closer to wananchi . We were supposed to move fibre optics to every sub-county headquarters and every sub-county hospital so that our youth can access such. This will be a serious challenge going forward. When we come to Supplementary II, we need to increase funds so that we can actualise the resolution of the House to have Wi-Fi and free internet across our constituencies. Secondly, when it comes to the policies and regulations on free Wi-Fi, as the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation, we are looking at some critical infrastructure Bills which will help to ensure that Wi-Fi is easily accessed in every constituency and even sub-locations. We will have a conversation with the Council of Governors so that we can make construction of Wi-Fi cheaper. Currently, all the counties are charging different rates to dig across the roads and lay fibre optic lines. We will soon have that conversation. A Bill is coming to the House so that we see how we can make it cheaper to push through. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Members are saying that they hope our youth will use this Wi-Fi wisely to access jobs and other services instead of writing letters. There is the Data Protection Bill which is coming. We also passed the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act. That law will take care of any misuse of the free Wi-Fi that we will put across. Even before the Bill comes to the House, I saw in yesterday’s newspaper that people are already fighting it. This is something that will help us. Despite the fact that we lack funds, indeed, there are other sources of funds. We have universal service funds. Those funds are supposed to help us access technology where there is none. Luckily, Hon. Osotsi is the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Implementation. I hope that as soon as we resolve this Motion, he will ensure that this Bill is actualised. The resources are there.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the last point that I wanted to note is what the Member from Chepalungu said. If you look at most of the constituencies, the electricity coverage is less than 20 per cent. It is 4 per cent in Marakwet East and 30 per cent in Marakwet West. As we push to have Wi-Fi in the constituencies, we also need the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to move with speed to ensure…
Hon. Kisang, Members are contributing for five minutes only. Being the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation, this is a very crucial piece of resolution that the House will make. The Chair and Hon. Osotsi who is a Member of Committee should run with Motion and bring a Bill here, so that we can cure this attempt by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) to try and claw back from the NG-CDF, so that we can provide this as part of budgetary provision. I will give you one minute to contribute Hon. Kisang, as the Chair of the Committee.
The Select Committee on NG-CDF said that every constituency should have four innovation hubs. As a Committee, we have started a conversation with the Ministry of ICT, so that we can establish two innovation hubs in each constituency every year. We will use national Government resources instead of NG-CDF. There are constituencies with three wards and others have eight or nine. It will not be equitable to say four wards. In the next Budget in the Financial Year 2019/2018, we will sit down with the Ministry of ICT, so that we can fund two innovation hubs in each constituency going forward until we ensure every ward in all our constituencies has innovation hubs, so that it is easy for our youths to access employment. They can also do research.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I support the Motion.
Hon. Kiti Chonga, Member for Kilifi South.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
I also rise to support this Motion. I believe it is very timely considering what is going on around the world.
First, 80 per cent of the constituencies in Kenya are in the rural areas. Most of the Members of Parliament whether born in town or rural areas understand the importance of this Motion and the infrastructure in the rural areas. I support the Motion because the biggest population is in the rural areas and they want to keep pace with what is going on in the world. For instance, in education. We have quite a number of people who did not go to formal schools but they still wish to prosper in education. I believe ICT and Wi-Fi are aspects that can empower somebody to ascend to the level that he wishes to reach in education. That is the reason I feel this Motion is very timely. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
There is a programme that was run by the Government the other day where most schools were supplied with laptops. Connectivity of Wi-Fi hinders realisation of the objective of the Government. There are so many schools which have laptops out there but they are useless. Apart from looking at the features that are in the laptop, there is nothing meaningful that can be done because most of the areas are not connected with internet. That is one of the aspects why we strongly need to support this Motion. Agriculture is the main economic activity that is relied on in the rural areas. I believe with Wi-Fi connectivity, farmers can easily access fertilisers that will suit their products and access markets for their produce. By doing so, we shall empower those who are in the rural areas to earn a living and increase our GDP.
Finally, the most crucial thing here which I feel needs to be addressed is security. We have had very many insecurity incidents in the rural areas and towns. I believe Wi-Fi is one of the aspects that needs to be considered to communicate any incident of insecurity. I have an example of a chief in Nakuru. By virtue of him knowing how to use WhatsApp, he was able to combat quite a number of insecurity incidents. We know this is so rampant in the rural areas.
With those few remarks, I strongly support this Motion. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Every Member who is contributing is saying that we have discussed many issues but they have not been implemented. I want to assure Members in this House that the Mover of this Motion is the Vice Chair of the Committee on Implementation. I am sure this Motion will be implemented. We are working around the clock to make sure that the Motions and Bills that were not implemented are implemented. I am also a Member of the Committee on Implementation.
This Motion is very important to us, as a nation. When I was in the USA, England and many other countries some years back, I used to see business being transacted online. I admired that. I am happy to see that when you want to transact a business these days in Kenya, it is done online. It is important for our young people because they will get some jobs. They need to use Wi-Fi to check things online. Our country is growing very fast. We support things like these. In another 10 years, we will compete with other developed countries.
We discussed about the establishment of ICT hubs in every constituency the other day. I am happy to hear from the Chair that they are discussing to see how the Ministry of ICT will finance each constituency to have three ICT hubs. This shows that our country is moving forward.
With those few remarks, I support this Motion. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion on the provision of free, secure, risk-free and high-quality Wi-Fi services in every constituency. This will bring a big divide in our nation. We are doing well on ICT capacity, particularly on human resource. Only 20 per cent of the population of this country has access to ICT services. That creates a big exclusion of many people from important activities. For example, in e-commerce. People are now trading and advertising through IT. Identification cards, driving licences, passports and job adverts are now accessed through the IT platform in e-government. I have talked to the young people in my constituency about the job adverts which are accessed through the IT platform.
Some do not even know that jobs are advertised in IT platforms in websites of departments. So, they sit and hope the adverts will be in newspapers which they do not even get. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
They get one-week-old newspapers. So, they are excluded. So, if this becomes a reality, they will have access. Capacity is there. Most of our young people can do that. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, on job creation, our young people are capable of creating jobs for themselves on the IT platform but they have to have the access. It would be extremely important if it is free and secure. There are some jobs young people can do themselves. Even in Government there are jobs that are done online and people get paid. We are going to exclude a large number our population in the rural areas from this. Extension services, healthcare and agriculture can be done through IT platform. I therefore support this Motion because it will take us a long way. When IT came, it did not come through schools. It came from the top so, we must bring it down and the only way to do that is to make it free and available at every point.
I take a little caution that the Motion proposes we have incentive- driven public private partnerships. This is efficient and practical. But many times, it is abused particularly when the private sector is dealing with Government. They tend to see it as a cash cow. Something that could have been done cheaply is exaggerated. It is something whose time has come.
I support the Motion. We note that it says, “the House resolves” The House is not urging the Government, it is expected to resolve. The Committee on Implementation, and if the Mover is in the Committee, they must follow up its implementation. Even without a Bill, it can be implemented. I know that because when I was a Permanent Secretary, Hon. Mbadi moved a Motion that we should increase the stipend for elderly persons from Kshs1,500 per month to Kshs2,500, and we were forced to put it in the budget. The stipend was increased. This is achievable. I support the Motion.
Hon. Kihara Kimaru, Member for Mathioya.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to speak on this very important Motion. At the outset I support. Access to internet is extremely critical in any economy that hopes to grow. In my constituency, we have four I-Hubs which have been completed through ICT. After they were operationalized, we started training our youths. Now many of our youths are able to make an income through access to internet. I have been following and have realized that many of them are now able to make some money. I know one who makes between Kshs20,000 and 30,000 a month. I know it is workable. It is very critical that it is expanded across the country for our people. It is true that there are many jobs available on the internet on a daily basis. People who need certain services or products exchange information through the internet. This is a very important Motion. We must encourage it. It is timely and we must resolve to support it. Just as Hon. Nyikal has said, this is something the Government must take steps on. Let us see internet taken to every constituency because the Government can manage. We really do not need public private partnerships in provision of internet services. Perhaps, once the Wi-Fi is availed in constituencies then individuals can open up places for people to access internet. Constituencies should also be encouraged to have hubs where people can come and access internet to sell their products online or even buy online. I support the Motion and pray that it will be actualised in every constituency. Thank you very much. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Odanga Makokha, Member for Matayos. Hon. Chris Wamalwa, you have just walked in. You had left your card on the slot. It is here. Let the Hon. Member speak.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support the Motion for the provision of free secure, risk-free and high-quality services across the country. In today’s world, everything is ICT-based. Everything we do we require to embrace ICT. Without it, there is very little that can be done in today’s world. We are supposed to be global citizens; people who can communicate with everybody all over the world. Government services are online. Every Kenyan who has partnered or works for Government does almost everything online. We are required to fill forms and do everything online. Teachers, students and everybody have to go online because everything is there. We require internet services because many of our people stay in far-flung areas and they cannot access information and cannot pass information on time unless they travel long distances to towns. So, internet is a necessity. If I were to advise the Government, I would recommend internet access to be the fifth item in the Government agenda for the nation. All the things we need to do, we require to employ ICT. We cannot run Government without it. The Government went ahead and created the Ministry of ICT and I wonder what it does. The Government has research departments that can listen to people and implement what they need. Every time we need something, we do not need to come to Parliament or have Kenyans going to the streets to ask for it. This is an essential service that researchers should have advised the Government adequately to make an agenda for the country. Kenyans make online purchases and it is easier and cheaper for them. Let me not take a long time because Members have said much. I support the Motion.
Hon. Wachira Kabinga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. I support it. As I do so, I note that most times we assume because we have internet services wherever we are, that people out there also have them.
Access to internet is important to everyone and it will also save us a lot of revenue. We have people who are travelling long distances to just take a copy of their IDs which can be transmitted through such facilities. I also want to note that although the Motion talks about introduction of these services in constituencies, we have constituencies that are far too large and they have more than one sub-county. It is high time that even as we discuss some of these services, we should consider doing them at the sub-county level and not just at the constituency level. I also want to note that through the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), we have the universal fund. For a long time, this fund has been growing and I hope that one day we can have a report on what some of the services provided by this fund are. Among them is the service to support access to ICT and to support capacity building and innovation of ICT services in this country. That fund is well endowed and we need to go into it and know what it has been doing. We also know that our telecommunication service providers have a lot of money that is not utilised. We have visitors who come to this country, buy airtime of about Kshs 5000 and above, stay for two days, go back and the rest of the money is unutilized. I think there is a provision for that money to be transferred to the universal fund. This is something that we need to move into. Funding these ICT facilities is not something that we will need to go back to the Budget for. We just need to look at this fund, look at the amount of money being retained by the communication The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
services and put together all that money that can support these services. By having these services at the sub-county level we will also be saving our people a lot of travel to the Huduma centers that are located at the county level. People will be able to do some of the simple services that they require including putting in their applications and only go to Huduma centers to collect their documents or payments. This is therefore a very important service to our people. We know that the investment on telecommunication cables out there is huge. We know that our country is almost covered in as far as cabling is concerned and so, we need to take that advantage so that we can open up and have these centers in every sub-county not just at the constituency level. I want to emphasize that because I know I am one of those that are representing a very large constituency which is populated and when we do services only at constituency level, I am left in a dilemma of not knowing which sub-county I should take that service to. So, I highly support this Motion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to thank the Mover of this Motion, Hon. Osotsi. The world is now a global village. I want to try as much as possible not to mention what other colleagues have said. The provision of free Wi-Fi is a noble idea. Free internet and free Wi-Fi will make work easier particularly to our unemployed youth because they can do e-business. In the field of academia, internet is very critical. I want to quote what Hon. Nelson Mandela said; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. You can succeed in education when you have things like provision of free Wi-Fi. Many of the academic journals can be accessed through the internet especially when one is doing research. Many people at the higher level of learning no longer use text books. They use academic journals which you can only access through internet. It is a very expensive idea. If you have free Wi-Fi it is going to add value in research. There is an American professor by the name Neil Armstrong who was the first person to walk on the moon. He was the first aeronautical engineer and he said, research is about creating new knowledge that will add value to the welfare of the society. Today as we speak, about 80 per cent of the Kenyan population does not have access to the internet. I have seen the global figure which is at 49 per cent. We are doing poorly as a country. If you want to benchmark with many other advanced jurisdictions, you can only do that through the internet. For us to access the internet there should be free Wi-Fi. When you go to many international airports you will find that internet is free. In this country, when you go to a restaurant you are charged. Free Wi-Fi can only attract investors because communication will be very easy. Right now the Government is going electronic and that is why we talk of e-government, e- procurement, e-tendering even when it comes to our own constituency, if you want to access bursaries, we can go e-bursaries. You can imagine a student from the University of Nairobi applying for a bursary then they are forced to go to the village to fill bursary forms in which the chief has to sign. But with the availability of the internet, students will not need to travel to the village. They will just apply for bursary from here. Wi-Fi will make things such as communication easier. When there is free Wi-Fi, you can call for free. That means that it will not cost anything for you to communicate with your loved ones and clients in different countries. When it comes to doing business, it will be easier. Safaricom has been making super profits when it comes to data. I keep challenging Safaricom, when you look at the percentage of their corporate social responsibility, it is negligible but they are making super profits through internet. If you are going to have free Wi-Fi, it will add more value to the Kenyans because it will ease communication, processes of doing business and it will The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
create jobs. People are making super profits. That is why when it comes to public private partnership, there was a law that was passed on the Floor of this House but we have some unscrupulous business people who are just waiting for that time to come and scoop everything. So I wish that when that time comes, when we are looking at the public private partnerships, it will be done with the intention of benefitting our youth and Kenyans. We do not want people from outside to dupe us to get into a relationship where they will be reaping all the billions as we suffer. It is a good move. Parliament should not legislate in vain, we want the Committee on Implementation to move with speed as we pass this Motion so that it can be implemented.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker and I support.
Hon. Mbai Mbithuka, Member for Kitui East.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in support of this Bill. The internet has several components. One of the components is the gadget we are using and the other component is enabling the gadget to access internet. This will be provided through Wi-Fi. The cost of internet through some of these service providers is high. The Government should go ahead and provide free reliable Wi-Fi in the constituencies and especially those in the rural areas like Kitui East which I represent. It is very important. There is a huge disparity between the youth in the rural areas of this country and the youth in the urban areas. With internet you have access to the world. Young people in the rural areas cannot access internet because it is not enabled. The cost of internet is very expensive and Wi-Fi will cure that problem. The internet is a one stop shop because you can see each and every goods and services in the world.
The rural area is landlocked because communication has opened up the world and if you cannot access the world web, you are basically landlocked. The other component of internet is the opportunities such as jobs. Most of the employers in the world have provided employment portals which can only be accessed through the internet. We have to enable the youth especially in the rural areas to access internet and this can be done through Wi-Fi. The purpose of this Motion is to provide free and reliable Wi-Fi in all the constituencies across the country.
The President the other day said that procurement has to be done through the net. Thirty per cent of the procurement opportunities are set aside for the youth and the disabled and how will they access such opportunities when they cannot access internet? So, providing free and reliable Wi-Fi to our rural parts of this country will enable the youth access and compete for the 30 per cent procurement opportunities. Buying and selling is through the internet. We have one of our champions Mr. Yego who is the Youtube Javelin champion. He trained through the
which is enabled by internet through Wi-Fi. Most of the young people upcountry and slums ought to have access to the internet by free Wi-Fi. These can train themselves on some of these programmes and compete with the rest of the world.
There is a story that some children in the USA were told to draw chicken and 90 per cent drew chicken like the cooked ones we see at Kenchic. They have never seen a live chicken. We have so many of our children in the rural areas who have never seen the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) because they have not travelled to parts where the SGR passes through. However, if they had access to the internet, they would know how the SGR looks like.
With the few remarks, I support and request the Committee on Implementation to ensure that this is implemented in the first quarter of next year.
Hon. Ali Athman, Member for Lamu East. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Athman (Lamu East, JP): Asante Mheshimiwa Naibu Spika wa Muda. Ningependa kumpongeza ndugu yetu ambaye ameleta Hoja hii Bungeni. Vile vile, niwapongeze Wabunge ambao wameweza kuchangia Hoja hii. La muhimu kwanza ni lazima kufahamu kama viongozi malengo na umuhimu wa Hoja hii ni nini. Tunaweza kuzungumza na kujadili lakini mwishowe ikawa umuhimu wake usipatikane kwa jamii.
Kama tunavyofahamu, ulimwengu wa leo umebadilika kwa namna nyingi sana, ndiposa fikira hii imefika mahali pa kwamba ni muhimu sana kwa Serikali kuhakikisha kwamba wameweza kulitekeleza jambo hili punde tu tutakapolipitisha hapa Bungeni. Leo hii mambo mengi yanavyoendeshwa ulimwenguni kwa ujumla yanatumia mitandao katika kupata zile habari ama kutuma habari zozote zinazohusiana na mambo ya kileo. Lakini kwa masikitiko makubwa katika sehemu nyingi sana katika nchi hii, utapata kwamba mambo kama haya hayapatikani. Utapata sehemu nyingi sana wanatumia zile teknolojia za zamani katika kuwasiliana na mambo mengi sana ama kuweza kufanya zile shughuli zao za kileo. Ukweli ni kwamba sio kwamba vijana pekee watafaidi katika Hoja hii, wao tu ni miongoni mwa wale watakaofaidi sana. Lakini ni jambo litakaloinua uchumi wetu na kuendesha harakati za mambo yetu kama vile nchi nyingine zinafanya. Walimu wanahitaji kutumia huduma kama hizi katika sehemu za mashinani lakini hazipatikani. Inawabidi kusafiri kwenda sehemu nyingine ambazo kuna huduma hizi ama kugharamika pakubwa katika kuzipata huduma hizi.
Ningependa kuunga mkono na kuhimiza ya kuwa lifanyiwe haraka jambo hili na litekelezwe kikamilifu. Jambo ambalo singependa lipatikane ni kwamba watashirikishwa waezekaji wa kibinafsi. Kama tutafanya hivyo, basi, itakuwa bado hatujasonga mbele. Leo hii waekezaji wa kibinafsi wanaweza kufanya huduma hii katika sehemu ambazo hamna, lakini tunapolijadili hapa, huwa tunapendekeza Serikali ichukue majukumu haya kwa sababu matatizo yale ambayo tunayahofia sasa hivi, walioko mashinani hawapati huduma hizi. Hata kesho zikifika huduma hizi na ikiwa wameshirikishwa hawa waekezaji wa kibinafsi gharama zitakuwa vile vile. Kwa hivyo, ningependa Serikali iingilie kikamilifu na kuhakikisha wametekeleza huduma hii kwa Wakenya wengi. Asante.
On a point of order.
Hon. Wanyonyi there is nothing out of order. Let us have Hon. Sitienei, Member for Turbo.
Thank you. I also add my voice to what other Hon. Members have contributed. I thank Hon. Otosti for bringing this very important Motion and I support it.
In this 21st Century, our nation cannot afford to have 49 per cent of the people not connected to internet. So, I stand to support this Motion that at least every constituency should access internet services because it is going to be very important for our youth. It is fast, cheap and has much information that our people can access and our youth can use that opportunity to seek for jobs and so it is a very important Motion.
Our farmers in the rural areas who cannot access information can also access information on production and markets, where they can get markets, how much it costs to sell certain goods and also access information on how to protect their corps and animals. This can also be used even by doctors, education systems and tourism sector because the internet will allow people to be local tourists. They can access various destinations through internet. They can identify sites to visit. This internet should reach all constancies in our nation. This is because our nation cannot leave behind the 49 per cent who cannot access internet. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
In the 21st Century we need to grow and develop, therefore, the nation should not leave behind people who do not have access to internet. This is because we need to achieve the Big Four Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We can only achieve this if everybody is able to access cheap and affordable internet to be up to-date with information on the growth of the nation.
I also support this Motion because unfortunately we missed out on the innovation hubs. The Ministry of Information and Communication had a very good idea but it was not laid out well and faced many challenges. That is why it became optional for MPs to have the innovation hubs in their constituencies. Therefore, I ask the Government to assist every constituency in accessing internet because it is a very important tool for the nation.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity. I stand to support this Motion that every constituency should have access to internet so that our people can be informed and empowered.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. Access to internet is one of the ways of demonstrating that a country is advancing technologically. We represent constituencies that are clearly very remote and our constituents are unable to access basic information on social media regarding politics and other things. This is the fundamental reason why I support this Motion because it will have greater impact on all aspects of life.
There are a few examples, I want to highlight. One of them is the impact of internet on healthcare. Today, you will agree with me that medical personnel rely heavily on internet to access patient data and to help them diagnose various ailments. If you have access to internet, in all corners of this country there will be greater improvement on access to health care and our constituents will enjoy better medical services.
Another very important impact of access to internet by our people is reducing the cost of political campaigns. If all our constituents could access internet, we will not need to transverse everywhere selling our manifesto and even marketing our candidature. Access to internet for politicians like us is very important. If this Motion is implemented as proposed, you will agree with me for those of us who will come back, because I am sure we will come back that the cost of coming back will have reduced drastically.
I want to plead with the Committee on Implementation to ensure that this Motion is immediately implemented because of the impact it will have. Another issue concerns social media. You know even our grandmothers own phones which they only use to make calls but cannot access Facebook . For the information of the House, in the just released Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results in my constituency we had a 73 year old grandmother pass that exam. This is a person who can access Facebook and write on WhatsApp . What is lacking is internet. So, if this Motion passes, I can assure you it will be possible for you to pass your messages and communicate easily to your constituents. There will even be no rallies and political violence which is caused because people have to gather at a place to receive information from politicians. There will be no rallies and demonstrations and this will make our political lives very easy. I want to urge the Chair of the Committee on Implementation to move with speed and ensure this is implemented. If it is not implemented, we can as well bring it as a Bill so that it is part and parcel of our laws. Which means it must be implemented. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Atandi, you must be aware about the riots going on across France which have been marshaled through technology and have no known leader although I do not know whether it is true. But, anyway, I want to thank Members because there has been a lot of interest and very good contributions to this Motion. However, as you know this Motion only had two hours for deliberation. We started deliberating at exactly 11.00 a.m. this morning and it is now four minutes to 1.00 p.m. So, it is incumbent upon me to call upon the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. First, I want to thank Members for their overwhelming support of this Motion. The issue of misuse of this programme is well catered for in the Motion, where it emphasises the issue of risk- free and secure access to Wi-Fi. I am sure there will be policies, legislation and regulations around this. On the issue of access to electricity, I think this programme can run hand in hand with the provision of electricity. I am aware that the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KERACO) and Kenya Power have started a programme to lay broadband fiber on their network and this will help in enhancing this programme. Most importantly, we are now in the era of what we call Internet of Things (IoT), where the internet is going to be the driving force around human life. This is already being used in some countries where IoT has helped in reducing motor accidents. Vehicles are fitted with artificial intelligence to detect hotspots and the driver is able to take corrective action to avoid accidents. By having internet across the country, we will be preparing this country to enjoy the benefits that come with the era or IoT. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I beg to reply. Thank you.
Hon. Members, the time being 1.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until this afternoon, Wednesday, 5th December 2018 at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.