Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.41(4), I wish to report to the House that I have received four Messages from the Senate regarding its decision on the following Bills: (1) The County Early Childhood Education Bill (Senate Bill No.26 of 2018); (2) The Public Participation (Senate Bill No.4 of 2018); (3) The Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Bill (Senate Bill No.22 of 2018); and (4) The Treaty Making and Ratification (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.23 of 2018). Hon. Members, the first Message is in respect of the County Early Childhood Education Bill. The Bill seeks “to provide a framework for the establishment of systems for the administration of early childhood education within a county.” The second Message is in respect to the Public Participation Bill which seeks “to provide a general framework for effective public participation, and to give effect to the constitutional principles of democracy and participation of the people”. The third Message is in respect to the Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Bill which seeks “to give effect to Article 37 of the Constitution on the right to petition a county assembly, and to provide procedure for the exercise of that right.” Further, the fourth Message is in respect to the Treaty Making and Ratification (Amendment) Bill which seeks “to amend the Treaty Making Ratification Act (No.45 of 2012) to set out the role of the Senate of the Republic of Kenya in the treaty making and ratification process.” The Messages read: “That the Senate considered and passed the Bills with amendments on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019 and now seeks the concurrence of the National Assembly.”
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. Speaker, you have guided the House as stipulated in the exercise of the legislative powers of the two Houses in Article 109. It is very clear in Article 109(4) where it says that a Bill concerning county governments may originate in the National Assembly or the Senate and passed in accordance with Articles 110 to 113; Articles 122 and 123 of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House. The Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee is here. There were a number of Bills from the Senate that we dealt with which were of money nature. Going forward, we must do things with fidelity to the Constitution in the sense that, if a Bill is of a money nature, the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Parliamentary Budget Office must advise the House on the constitutionality of that Bill. The Senate has threatened to audit all the Bills that have passed through this House. We are asking you to do things as per the Constitution. The jurisdiction of each House is well- documented in Article 109 of the 2010 Constitution. The Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee needs to expedite all those Bills and come back to the House and give us his views. I thank you for that guidance.
We appreciate that the Committee has been quite busy with both the Second Supplementary Estimates as well the Annual Estimates for the 2019/2020 Financial Year. I am sure that going forward, we will have opportunity to look at those money aspects, if there are any, so that we can proceed as required under Article 109 (5) of our Constitution. Next Order.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House: Legal Notice No. 33 of 2019 relating to the Judiciary Fund Regulations. Report by the Treasury Task Force on Old Balances Outstanding in Financial Statements for the 2012/2013 Financial Year on National Government Public Accounts; and
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.
Let us have the Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Second Supplementary Estimates for the Financial Year 2018/2019.
The Report by the Treasury Task Force on Old Balances Outstanding in Financial Statements for the 2012/2013 Financial Year on National Government Public Accounts is referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, while the Report of the Auditor-General will go to the Public Accounts Committee. Let us have the Vice-Chair of the Departmental Committee on Energy.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: Report of the Departmental Committee on Energy on its Consideration of the Nuclear Regulatory Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 27 of 2018).
Let us have the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: Reports of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing on its consideration of: 1. The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2019; 2. Ratification of Bilateral Air Service Agreements between Kenya and the Hellenic Republic; Kenya and Burkina Faso; Kenya and Cambodia; Kenya and Seychelles; and Kenya and Finland; 3. Ratification of the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montreal, 2014).
Very well. Next Order.
Let us have the Chairperson of Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Second Supplementary Estimates for the 2018/2019 Financial Year,
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.
Let us have the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notices of the following Motions: THAT, this House adopts the Report of Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing on its consideration of the Protocol to Amend the Convention of Offences and Certain Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montreal, 2014) for Ratification, laid on the Table of House on Thursday, 6th June 2019, and pursuant to Section 8 of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012 approves the Ratification of the Protocol to Amend the Convention of Offences and Certain Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montreal, 2014).
Hon. Members, I know we should be going to Questions, but it is only fair that before we do that, the Deputy Speaker gives notice of a Motion that he has indicated.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to provisions of Standing Order No.256 on exemption of business from Standing Orders, this House resolves to exempt petitions submitted under Section 34 of the Forest Conservation and Management Act, No.34 of 2016, which are petitions for variations of boundaries or revocation of public forest, from provisions of Standing Order Nos.223 and 227(2) in order to accommodate public participation and provide for obligatory resolution of the House approving or rejecting petitions for variation of boundaries or revocation of registration of public forests or a portion of public forests as contemplated under Section 34 of the Forest Conservation and Management Act, No.34 of 2016.
Very well. Hon. Members, allow me to recognise members of staff from the National Assembly of Zambia seated in the Speaker’s Gallery. The officers are on attachment in the National Assembly to share experiences with their counterparts on the process of budget- making and approval by Parliament. They are, therefore, welcome to observe the proceedings in the National Assembly this afternoon.
Further, Members, allow me to recognise students from the following institutions: Kiamuya Secondary School, Othaya Constituency, Nyeri County; Ongata Royal Academy, Kajiado North Constituency, Kajiado County; Kitale National Polytechnic, Saboti Constituency Trans-Nzoia County; Kanzau Mixed Secondary School, Kitui Rural Constituency, Kitui County; AIC Tulwomoi Secondary School, Rongai constituency, Nakuru County; and those from Mweru Secondary School, Mukurweini Constituency, Nyeri County. They too are welcome to observe the proceedings in the National Assembly this afternoon.
Bura, JP): Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Before, I ask my Question, I seek your guidance. I appreciate the critical role played by the Table Office in as far as editing Questions that we give to them is concerned, but at times that editing goes overboard leaving out very crucial parts of our questions. I ask your indulgence so that you order the Table Office to submit my original Question to the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock or to the Cabinet
Well, this is not the Question you submitted.
Bura, JP): They left out a crucial part.
I think the best thing to do because as you say an aspect of it is not included, it should be included and the Question is brought here on Tuesday. That would be better so that at least you have the entire Question. So, we deem it has not been asked. The Table Office should take note.
Let us have the Hon. Member for Tetu, Hon. James Gichuhi Mwangi.
Sorry Hon. Members, I have received communication requesting for deferment of Questions by Hon. James Gichuhi Mwangi and Hon. John Olago Aluoch. So, Question Nos.240 and 241 are deferred until such time as the Members asking them are present or desiring to be asked.
Hon. Speaker, I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government the following Question:
(i) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware that one Mr. Fredrick Kituku Muli of ID No.13098258, an Assistant Chief of Kamutiu Sub-Location, Mwingi Central Sub-County, and Kitui County has never been paid his salary for three years since his employment?
(ii) When will the said Assistant Chief be paid his salary and other dues?
This one will be answered before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
Next Question by the Member for Rongo. Hon. Paul Abuor.
Hon. Speaker, I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development the following Question:
(i) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware that the construction of low volume seal road, Junction C20, Nyaburu – Oboke - Rangwe, in Rongo Constituency has not commenced despite funds being allocated for road in the Financial Years 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19?
(ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the reasons for the delay in procuring and awarding of the contract for the said road and when the Ministry expects the construction of the said road to be completed?
Question to be answered before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
Next Question by the Member for Sabatia; Hon. Agoi.
Hon. Speaker, I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government the following Question:
(i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain why there has been delay in issuance of birth certificates and identity cards in Vihiga County, in particular Sabatia Sub-County, which process has been taking between six to12 months?
Question to be answered before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
Next Question is by the Member for Embakasi Central, Hon. Benjamin G. Mwangi. Hon. Members, we have said on numerous occasions that if a Member is unable to attend to ask their Questions, they should just communicate either to the Clerk or to me the inability to be present and just like the other two Members have done and seek for deferment. But, when a Member does not communicate or decides to remain mute, I have no option but do the necessary which is to drop the Question, which I hereby do. Question is dropped because the Member is deemed to be absent.
Hon. Speaker, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.44 (2) (a), I rise to give a Statement on the behalf of the House Business Committee (HBC), which last met on Tuesday, 4th June 2019, at the rise of the House. As I welcome Members back from the long recess, this second part of the Session is normally a busy one as we will be considering the Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2019/2020. This afternoon we will debate a Motion on seven nominees for appointment to the offices of Ambassadors and High Commissioners, which is required to be concluded by the end of today. I urge Members to be present so that we have the requisite quorum for putting the Question since it is the last day as per the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act of 2011. We also hope to start the general debate on the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee for the Budget Estimates for the National Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament for the Financial Year 2019/2020. Debate on these Estimates will be undertaken for a maximum of three sittings, which is today, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. As per the HBC, I urge that
Hon. Members, debate on this Motion was concluded and what remained was the Question to be put, which I hereby do.
Order, Hon. Members! Hon. Members, before debate on this particular Report commences, I wish to inform the House that I have received numerous entreaties, including attempts to lobby me, about one of the names that is in this list. Hon. Members, I have looked very carefully at the provisions of Articles 78, 80(c) and 260 of the Constitution. Pursuant to the provisions of Article 80(c), Parliament enacted the law contemplated within the provisions of Article 260, and in this particular regard enacted in the 10th Parliament the Leadership and Integrity Act, which is to implement the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution. Both Articles 78 and 80 are within Chapter Six of the Constitution. You will look at the constitutional provisions. In enacting the Leadership and Integrity Act, the House did consider that Article 260 of the Constitution did not provide for a definition of ‘Ambassadors’, ‘High Commissioners’ and ‘consular’. However, as you will appreciate, in Article 260 of the Constitution, Parliament is required, under Article 80 (c), to do exactly what it did. Therefore, Parliament acted within the provisions of the Constitution. The subheading of Section 52 of the Leadership and Integrity Act is “Application of Chapter Six of the Constitution and this Act to Public Officers Generally”. Section 52 provides, inter alia, that any public officer will, for the purposes of Chapter Six of the Constitution, except Section 18 of the Leadership and Integrity Act which deals with public collections, which you normally engage in during weekends – Harambee –for the purposes of Chapter Six, be deemed to be State officers. Section 31 of the Leadership and Integrity Act went on to provide that if you hold dual citizenship and you are appointed or elected into a State office, you must, before taking office, renounce your second citizenship or that other citizenship which is not Kenyan. More particularly, I want to thank the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, Hon. Katoo ole Metito, for having provided us with what is now a decision in the case of one Bishop Donald Kisaka Mwawasi versus the Attorney-General and two others reported in the Kenya Law Reports of 2014. This should put this matter to rest. The appellant, a citizen by birth, became an American citizen in 2011. He described himself as a dual citizen. The appellant was registered as a member of Agano Political Party and applied to be nominated to contest for the Senate seat for Taita Taveta County.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) published a public notice prescribing the minimum qualifications, one of them being that one must not hold dual citizenship. The appellant filed a petition in the High Court seeking a declaration to quash the notice. The learned judge of the High Court felt that by virtue of Article 78(2) of the Constitution, a person who holds dual citizenship cannot run for an elective office as a Member of Parliament. Having been dissatisfied with that decision of the High Court, the appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal which held as follows:
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for making that clear.
Hon. Millie Odhiambo, how can you talk to another Member from where you are?
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. An Ambassador is referred to as “Your Excellency”. The title “Your Excellency” means that an Ambassador represents the State and the Head of State. Therefore, we cannot gamble with an Ambassador who has divided loyalty. So, when an Ambassador with dual citizenship is sent to a diplomatic mission abroad… Dual citizenship is not bad, but we must be prepared because it comes with a cost. There will be positions of leadership that one cannot occupy if one has dual citizenship. One of them is to represent the State or the Head of State. Even as parliamentarians and this is very interesting, I am aware that there is a Member of this House facing a court case because of dual citizenship. This has happened because of lack of disclosure. If one does not disclose information, it is a criminal offence. When one is nominated for appointment and vetted by Parliament, according to the Constitution, one is provided with a declaration form where one is supposed to declare one’s citizenship. I thank Mwende Mwinzi for being very honest. She declared in the form that she holds a dual citizenship. It has been said that there are others serving as Ambassadors, Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and even Members of Parliament and yet they hold dual citizenship. Some governors also have dual citizenship. I call upon the investigative agencies of the country, the NIS, DPP and the DCI to find out whether that is true. If, indeed, it is true, then that is a criminal offence. If there are diplomats representing our country abroad and they have dual citizenship, they should be recalled and be charged for not disclosing the correct information.
I also want to bring some issues to the attention of this House. My Committee did not just research about the ruling of the High Court and the Court of Appeal; rather it researched about many other things which are interesting to hear. It has been said that it is difficult to renounce one’s citizenship if it is by birth. I remember when the nominee with the dual citizenship appeared before the Committee, she told the Committee that the problem is that she cannot opt out of her citizenship which is by birth.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I rise to second this Motion and support this Report from our Committee. In so doing, I want from the onset to thank you for giving us direction and clarity on the matter of dual citizenship which we were agonising with over the weekend, and for which we did all those researchers. The seven clear cases of those who have renounced have been ably captured in the Report.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, what my Chairman was reading are examples of those who have renounced their citizenship is in our report. It is important to note that in support of this Motion, we have seven nominees. Among them, we have four women and three men. That means the appointments are properly balanced. In any case, if there were any issues arising out of the case that is in question – of Ms. Mwende Mwinzi – we shall still have three men and three women appointed. Ms. Mwende Mwinzi will have a very easy option to renounce her citizenship and then she can take up the position. We are not saying that she cannot take it up but we are saying she can renounce her citizenship.
I have noted as well as the Chairman has, that five of these nominees are career diplomats. They have been in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for as long as they started working and they have risen through the ranks to be in the positions that they hold. Specifically, Mr. Kariuki Mugwe has been in that Ministry for 37 years and is now acting as Consul General in Abu Dhabi in the Republic of United Arab Emirates. He is fit for that position.
Secondly, Mr. Peter Katana has worked for 27 years. So, you can see the service for most of these career diplomats has been long. Currently, Mr. Katana is a senior person at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Michael Mubea has not served in the Ministry, but he holds a Master of Arts in International Relations. It places him in line with the duty that he is going to undertake in the mission that he is being sent to.
Ms. Flora Karugu holds a Masters and has worked for 35 years in that Ministry and has been the Director of UN Multilateral Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ms. Diana Kiambuthi who holds Masters in International Relations also has 15 years’ experience. Therefore, in accordance with what the Committee established, she is fit to hold the position of an envoy. Together with Ms. Njambi Kinyungu who holds a Masters in Rural and Urban Planning, she is taking her position at the UN Habitat. That position will be quite crucial
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): The Murang’a County Women Representative, you have the Floor.
It should be me; I am the leader.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): The Leader of the Majority Party, I have not seen your request. Kindly, let us allow the Member and then you will come next. Place your request now. Go on, Hon. Sabina.
(Murang’a (CWR), JP): Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I thank the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations on this Report. I also thank the Speaker of this House for the Communication he made about the position of Mwende Mwinzi. As the Committee did their Report and deliberated, I had an intention to move an amendment this afternoon not to give conditionality for Mwende Mwinzi to denounce her dual citizenship. We all know, in the Bible, what happened to one Esau who denounced his birthright and lost blessings. That is the Bible.
I do not know why I am being intimidated. Everybody who went to Sunday School knows the story of Esau, who lost his birthright. It is in Genesis 25:29-34. He went to look for stew because he was hungry. He lost his birthright. So, I do not know what we are telling Mwende Mwinzi, who is a US citizen by birth. He is not like some Members we know in this House and even out of this House. There are some public servants who have gone out to seek citizenship. So, it is easier to ask a person who was born Kenyan and went outside the country to look for citizenship. How can anyone opt to lose his birthright? I declare my interest that I have a son who was born in the US. I brought him up in this country. Does it mean he can never serve in any public office because he was born in the US? As a woman, if I travel and the time of giving birth comes, whether I will be in Kenya, Tanzania, the US or the UK, I will have to give birth. Does that mean that my son has to opt out of that birthright so that he can serve Kenyans? I think we need to look beyond. I will also urge
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Hon. Sabina. What is out of order, Hon. Rasso?
(Murang’a (CWR), JP): I think he can allow me to finish.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The good Hon. Sabina Chege is misleading the House. We are referring to state officers or public officers and not all officers serving across Government. Please, let her confine herself to the Constitution. The constitutional provision is very clear.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Members, you know the Speaker has already made a ruling on this issue. Clearly, we are guided by the confines of the Constitution and the law. So, let us confine ourselves to that. That is not to gag Members from expressing whatever opinion they have on the issue. So, you can balance the two, Hon. Sabina.
(Murang’a (CWR), JP): Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The only question I would like to ask is: How was the law when Mwende Mwinzi was given a go ahead to vie for a parliamentary seat? Is the law applying double standards? She was cleared to vie for a parliamentary seat.
(Murang’a (CWR), JP): I hear the Deputy Leader of the Majority Party saying that it is upon election one needs to denounce the citizenship. How many MPs who have dual citizenships have denied their citizenship on record? We even have Senators and ambassadors. How many Principal Secretaries with dual citizenship do we have in this country? I think we need to apply the law equally. We need to stop being biased. If the law is to be followed, let us do so to the letter and not selectively. I respect the Speaker’s ruling; I respect the Committee’s decision, but my voice must be heard.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): The Leader of the Majority Party, what is out of order?
This is a House of records. Am I in order to ask Hon. Sabina Chege to table the list of MPs, Senators, PSs and CSs who have dual citizenship? Name and table them. This is a House of records, you cannot insinuate. People will think it is Hon. Duale or Hon. Junet or Hon. Wamalwa who have dual citizenship. If she cannot substantiate, can you please order her to withdraw and apologise to the House?
(Murang’a (CWR), JP): I do not know what I will be apologising for and why Members would suspect it is Hon. Duale, unless he is guilty.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order Members! Order Hon. Sabina! The Speaker has just made a ruling and it is very clear. This is a constitutional issue. The election or appointment is not the issue here. Upon confirmation it will be an issue. It is the law. The person concerned has to denounce this citizenship or the other. Hon. Sabina, if you know Members in this House or outside who are in violation of the law… Being a representative of the people and a leader, you must come out clearly. So, Hon. Members, remember that this is a House of records; be ready to substantiate if you make a very substantive and weighty statement. Hon. Sabina, do you want to be informed by Hon. Millie?
(Murang’a (CWR), JP): Yes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I do not have dual citizenship even though I am married in Zimbabwe. Having said that, I wish to inform Hon. Sabina Chege that the House, with your permission, can take judicial notice of the fact that there is a matter in court. So, Hon. Sabina does not have to name names when the Speaker can take judicial notice of the fact that there is a matter already in court. It is concerning one MP. Men like giving us very difficult stands: That, she has to name names when it is Sabina, and he does not name names when it is Hon. Duale.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order Members! Whether or not the Speaker takes judicial notice of matters outside of this House, we have to be serious. Be ready to substantiate when you make a very substantive and weighty matter. We need to agree on that. Hon. Sabina, proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I know I am not allowed to refer to matters that are already in court, but I would like that case to be used as an example.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Therefore, kindly stay clear of that.
I stand guided, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. All the same, I want to say that we might need to look at the law. The law is made by men and it is for men. We might need to ask ourselves that hard question.
Men, this is not a cow market is Narok that you keep shouting in. Can these men allow me to speak, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker?
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order Members! Hon. Sabina, I was going to give you two minutes, but you are not allowing me to talk to you.
Order Members! Everyone has a right to make their contributions. Hon. Sabina, you have backtracked on saying that certain… Please put it on record. I will give you two minutes to take back the statement that some Members have dual citizenship because if you continue with that argument you will have to say who they are.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with your guidance, I have withdrawn. We already know that there is a matter in court from this House that I do not wish to discuss.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): You have two minutes to finish your contribution.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this is a House that makes laws. My request is that we might need to relook at the laws. We might need to look at the people who might be affected, who might serve this country very well, but because they did not choose to be born where they were born… If their parents gave birth to them when they were in a different country… We know there are students who go out of this country, they give birth and come back to this country. We also have Members who have children born out of this nation. Therefore, we might need to relook at the law.
( Off record)
Yes, Hon. Duale. I do not know why you think that statement will intimidate me.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): You know that you are supposed to be addressing the Speaker. Address the Speaker.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, let us not apply the law selectively. If somebody is truthful and very sincere, let us not judge her. I rest my case.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Let us now hear the Leader of the Majority Party.
On a point of information, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not want Hon. Rachael Nyamai to inform me. She is my very good Chair.
This is a very important matter and we need to discuss it in a sober way. When the 2010 Constitution gave power to the National Assembly in terms of vetting of State and public officers, there must have been a reason.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): What is out of order, Hon. Mbarire?
We are talking about an individual, a Kenyan citizen, a woman of high standing and we sit here and listen to Members calling her Mwende Mwinzi. Seriously. It is wrong and we must say no to this kind of behaviour. We must say no to this kind of behaviour when it comes to women.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the gracious lady is called, Mrs. Mwende Mwinzi. I agree with Hon. Cecily Mbarire, let us not trivialize this matter. Let us respect nominees and let us respect the law. All of them have qualified. They have qualified under statutory requirements of the Parliamentary Approval Act. They were cleared by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). They are also tax compliant and have the relevant managerial and educational qualifications. The House should listen to me. Section 52 of the Leadership and Integrity Act No.19 of 2012, which I had the privilege to serve in the 10th Parliament and participated in the enactment of that law, says pursuant to Article 80(c) of the Constitution and Part 2 of this Act, except Section 18 shall apply to all public officers as if they were State officers. That tells you who a public officer is and who a State officer is. They are the same except in Section 18 of that Act. So, you cannot say we draw a line between a public officer and a State officer. That is the Constitution.
Section 31 is an existing law. You have the powers to amend the Leadership and Integrity Act. A person who holds a dual citizenship shall upon election or appointment of a State officer not take office before officially renouncing their citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the Kenya Citizens and Immigration Act No. 12 of 2011, which this House passed. So, if there is a Member of Parliament in this House who has violated this Section it is not our business to defend them. If there is a public or a State officer serving in the Judiciary or in the Executive or the counties, the law is very clear. The Committee has presented a Kenyan by the name Bishop Donald Kisaka Mwawasi versus the Attorney-General. He went to court and asked about his citizen of birth. The High Court and the Court of Appeal said, Section 35 of the Leadership and Integrity Act must be complied with. The law is not one that serves you when you want it. I will give you an example. If you are a High Commissioner or an ambassador, you represent a government and you represent a Head of State. In Particular, assuming Mwende has been posted in Seoul, Donald Trump the President of the American Government which she is a citizen, can one day say, all American citizens must
Yes, the Member for Suna East.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I want to first, thank the Committee for the good job they have done and for the Report they have brought. There are highly qualified Kenyans who have been cleared to serve this country in the capacities of High Commissioner and ambassador. But I wish to differ on the matter of citizenship of Madam Mwende Mwinzi; that she should renounce her US citizenship as the Report says.
On a point of information, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Junet, do you want to be informed?
I do not want to be informed, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Rachael Nyamai, unfortunately, the Member does not want to be informed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, to the best of my knowledge, ambassadors and commissioners are not State officers. Secondly, you cannot punish somebody for the crimes committed by, for example, their parents. Today, as a lady, you can leave Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) when you are about to deliver and then end up delivering your child, say in the USA. When you travel back to the country, that child will be an American citizen. That child will be an American citizen when you come back to the country. A good example is this: Parliament can send a female Member of Parliament for a trip when she is, say, nine months pregnant.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): What is out of order, Hon. Pukose?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I do not want to interrupt the Minority Whip. However, he has made a serious statement and, as a doctor seated in this House, I cannot allow him to get away with it. He has said that somebody who is expectant and in labour at the JKIA can go and deliver in the USA. That is not possible. That is a statement that he can only make in a baraza, but not in a respectable House like this one.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order Members! Let us get serious when we intervene using points of order. I will give the Floor to the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. I am ignoring Hon. Pukose’s point of order. Let us hear Hon. Katoo. What is your intervention?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to inform my good friend that the Speaker has just made a ruling. In his ruling, he referred to Section 52 of the Leadership and Integrity Act. It says that for purposes of Chapter Six, all public officers will be treated as though they were State officers. So, public officers, on matters to do with Chapter Six, are State officers.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Proceed, Hon. Junet.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I am discussing Article 260 of the Constitution. It supersedes any Act. Once there is an express provision in the Constitution on a matter, we should stick to it. To conclude my submission, this lady is going to be punished for things that were done by her parents. There are many Kenyans - she is not the only one - with such cases and they may come before this House for approval. This House has passed the nomination of people, including persons with integrity issues. When they were eventually posted to their respective offices, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission caught up with them and arrested them. So, this is a lady who wants to serve her country and the Constitution does not bar her from doing that. When she wanted to contest as a Member of Parliament in Kitui County, she was cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to run for the seat. Was the IEBC blind to her dual citizenship? Let us not victimize this lady today because it may just catch up with other people in the end. This is an issue that has been addressed properly under the progressive Constitution of Kenya, 2010, which we gave ourselves. There are people like Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong'o who have stayed outside this country for donkey years. Can we now say that if he comes back, he will not be a Kenyan? There are certain offices that you cannot serve when you have dual citizenship and there are others that you can serve. For example, you cannot serve as a Member of Parliament when you have dual citizenship, but you can serve as an ambassador when you have dual citizenship. In fact, you will be of more value. On the issue of President Donald Trump saying that he will lock them in, that is neither here nor there. It is a fact that Madam Mwende Mwinzi is a Kenyan. That is a fact that you cannot take away from her. It is also a fact that she was born in the USA and her mother is an American.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Deputy Leader of the Majority Party. Proceed Hon. Junet.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to plead with the Members of this House not to victimise Madam Mwende Mwinzi. The Constitution allows dual citizenship. Let her not denounce her citizenship because she has been given a job as an ambassador. This House should uphold the Constitution. It must look at the rights of every Kenyan. Even though they appeared before the Committee, the nominees cannot appear before us to defend themselves. As I conclude, I can allow Hon. Rachael to inform me. She has a burning issue. She comes from Kitui County like Madam Mwinzi. Go ahead, I am giving you one minute then I conclude.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order Hon. Junet! Who has given you the authority to hand over the Floor to another Member? Hon. Rachael Nyamai, do you still want to inform Hon. Junet?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. He has accepted to be informed. I want to appreciate how he has elaborated this matter. I want to inform him as part of this discourse that Article 260 of the Constitution states what State offices are. It is from (a) President to (q) an office established and designated as a State office by national legislation. Article 234(3) states that: “Clauses (1) and (2) shall not apply to any of the following offices in the public service–– (a) State offices; (b) an office of high commissioner, ambassador or other diplomatic or consular representative of the Republic”. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, if there is a matter that needs to be addressed in the Constitution, then we can talk about amending it so that it takes care of the issue of State Officers. However, as it is today, under Article 234(3)(b), an office of high commissioner, ambassador or other diplomatic or consular representative of the republic is not subject to parts (1) and (2) of the same Article.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order Members! Sorry I have to cut you short, Hon. Nyamai. You cannot challenge the Speaker’s ruling. The Speaker has already made a ruling on that matter. We have constitutional provisions and Hon. Junet, I know, you know them. They are provisions of the Constitution and the Ethics and Integrity Act. We are the ones who make laws. So, if you have an issue with the Ethics and Integrity Act, you know what to do. We cannot challenge a ruling that has been made by the Speaker in accordance with the Constitution and Section 52 of the Ethics and Integrity Act. Proceed with your contribution.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have utmost respect for the Speaker. I am saying this from the bottom of my heart. However, I was informing Hon. Junet. It is important that these matters are brought to the Floor. This can open a Pandora’s box and many people who have dual citizenships serving in high ranking offices in
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): The Leader of Minority Party, you have the Floor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, first of all, the Report before us is to approve these nominees with only a rider on one name, that that lady should renounce her US citizenship immediately Parliament approves, before taking up the position of being High Commissioner to South Korea. That is the only variation. Otherwise, the Committee is recommending the approval of all the nominees. So, it is not correct to say that we are disapproving the appointment of this lady.
However, allow me to say the following. First, this lady is a Kenyan and that is a fact. Nobody is disputing that she is Kenyan. She is a Kenyan with dual citizenship and that is the difference. She is a Kenyan and also an American. The fundamental question we want to ask ourselves as a House is whether it is in the interest of this country to have an ambassador who has dual citizenship; one who is both Kenyan and American. As a House, we have a responsibility to pronounce ourselves unequivocally to ensure that we tell the whole world that we know what we are doing.
I say so because we have been condemned for making approvals in this House which do not stand the test of time. That takes me to this argument that there are others we have approved who are of questionable citizenship. That we have approved other Kenyans in this House who have questionable character. That is and may be true. However, two wrongs do not make a right. When we discover that something is not right, we need to say it. This is the House to say it. I do not want to be accused later of having closed my eyes on something that I was aware of. I would rather deal with criticism on a matter that I was not aware of or did not have all the facts. In this case, the facts are in black and white in the Committee’s Report. How then do we close our eyes on this?
Assuming that the interest of the American Government and the interest of the Kenyan Government conflicts in South Korea, we want to be clear whose interest this lady is going to push through. The American Immigration Act is clear that if you are an American citizen, you must always put, as a matter of priority, and it is permanent, your loyalty to the American State. That is why the people of Kenya were very clear that you can take up that responsibility, but first renounce your citizenship. It is not asking for too much from this lady.
On a point of order.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): What is out of Order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, is my leader in order to mislead the House that the nominee will side with America if the interest of America is in contravention with that of Kenya when the ambassador knows that she is a Kenyan and representing the interest of Kenya in South Korea? Is he right to bring the hypothetical question to the House on something that has not yet happened? We are not going to discuss hypotheses in the House. That is a hypothesis because it is dealing with possible scenarios; what happens when this happens or what if that does not happen?
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, I think the Leader of the Minority Party is just arguing out his point.
Today I am finding myself in a very awkward position where the Leader of the Minority Party and the Whip is on the opposite end, but that is democracy. It is allowed. It is an expression. Democratic tenets allow that. However, what I meant, and I think my Minority Whip did not listen to me properly, is that the American law is clear that if you are American citizen, so long as you have not renounced the American citizenship, you remain American.
If my whip challenged me on that Act, it would have been a different story, but he has not challenged me to cite that Act. However, I know for sure that the Immigration Act is clear that if the interest of America conflicts with the interest of any other country, an American citizen is under obligation to promote the American interest.
That is why I was asking if this lady does not renounce her American citizenship and becomes our ambassador in whichever country, whether South Korea or Uganda, what happens if Kenya takes a contrary position to that of the American or Trump Administration? I was asking and this is not hypothetical. It is a real question. That is why we have ambassadors to represent our interest. As a matter of fact, Kenyan Ambassador to South Korea is like the President of Kenya residing in South Korea.
That is why the Kenyan Embassy in South Korea is treated as a Kenyan State. When you are in that Embassy, you are as good as in Kenya and whoever is heading that Embassy is an equivalent and a representative of our President in that place. I would be more confident if the ambassador that represents this nation has 100 per cent allegiance to the people of Kenya and the Kenyan State. That is why I am saying…
I know this Report has come out very clearly. My proposal is very simple. If you asked for my personal opinion, I would have rejected this lady’s appointment. However, the Committee, in its wisdom, has come with a recommendation.
First of all, anyone asking me about the law is contradicting and reprimanding the Speaker. The Speaker has already pronounced himself that the Leadership and Integrity Act is clear on public officers.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Leader of the Minority Party, the Speaker did not say that it was illegal for the Committee to bring the name of Mwende Mwinzi here.
I have not said that as well. I am saying that the Hon. Speaker interpreted very clearly, in my view, and said that in as far as such appointments
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Hon. Members! You know you are taking the wrong cue from the Minority Whip. You cannot give the Floor to a Member.
I am not giving him the Floor. I am just saying that I allow the information because I have to allow it. You also cannot give him a chance if I do not allow. He has shouted.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): He did not even catch the Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker’s eye. Please, you have to stop that trend of passing the microphone to another Member. That is the place of the Speaker.
What I am saying is simple. In my view, let us support this Report as it is. Let her be appointed, but on condition that she is going to renounce her American citizenship. Thank you very much.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Let us have the Majority Whip.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also add my voice to this very serious debate that is before the House this evening.
I am happy that for the first time and in a long time, we are passing a list of appointees where the majority are women. So, we do not have to fight about the one-third gender rule. That is a good move and I hope this becomes the case going forward. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me first declare my interest by saying that I went to school with the said appointee, Ms. Mwende Mwinzi. She was my senior in school and a very able leader. I have known her for a very long time. She is a woman of integrity. She worked in the Economic Council during the regime of the former President, Mwai Kibaki. The Council came up with Vision 2030 on which the Big Four Agenda is anchored. The women here will tell you that when time to give birth comes, it does not matter whether you are in a forest or in a toilet. Wherever you are, the baby must come out. It happened she was born when the mother was in America for a visit and so she is an American citizen by birth. We are making her feel
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker!
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Kaluma, what is out of order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, a ruling founded on law has been delivered by the Speaker and the contributions keep indicating that the Constitution does not contemplate that an ambassador is a State officer. This is the provision of Article 260 of the Constitution, Paragraph (q). It states that a State officer shall include an office established and designated as a State office by national legislation. Article 260 defines State officers as including officers occupying such offices as are defined by national legislation. That is why the Speaker in his rightful ruling said that the Leadership and Integrity Act defines ambassadors, high commissioners and consular office holders as State officers. I think we need to be clear on that. We want to save the lady, but we cannot run from the law.
On a point of information, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker!
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am willing to be informed.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Okay, Hon. Millie.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to inform Hon. Cecily Mbarire that when the Speaker gives a ruling on a matter, you cannot depart or purport to depart from that ruling, but you can respectfully disagree with the position of the Speaker. Just pretty much the same way as a lawyer, you can respectfully disagree with the decisions of a court, including a decision of the Supreme Court. May I also inform Hon. Cecily Mbarire that Article 78(3)(b), which has not been cited here, says that “any person who has been made a citizen of another country by operation of that country’s law, without ability to opt out”.
I am hearing an honourable Member saying there is ability. That is a matter of law that must be espoused up to the Supreme Court. Because of that, we can respectfully disagree with the Speaker and advise Mwende Mwinzi to go up to the Supreme Court to seek interpretation of the section that I have just talked about. So, let Hon. Kaluma not intimidate us with law. Women here are learned. Do not joke with us.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think this House is very well guided.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, the Leader of the Minority Party.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, please, ask Hon. Kaluma to allow me to continue. We are very well guided by Hon. Millie, who is a learned colleague, and who is a lawyer of high standing. She is a barrister. I want to challenge the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, Hon. Katoo ole Metito. His Committee has in the past passed certain people into offices of commissioners and ambassadors when they have dual citizenship. Go and do your homework. Go back to the Committee and do your homework and do not challenge me to say here who they are. Go and do your homework. It is those double standards that we are up against today. I saw Hon. Sabina Chege being intimidated here and she refused. We will not…
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Hon. Mbarire! Hon. Katoo.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are all very clear about our Standing Orders. You will be responsible for the accuracy of the statements you make here. I would like Hon. Mbarire to tell the House who are the persons that we passed in this House with dual citizenship and then we will start from there.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Mbarire, you have three minutes.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have said and I repeat that this is an oversight Committee. Go and check what you did wrong in the past. The reason we are challenging this decision of the Committee is because there are certain things that were done wrongly in the past. We want them to go and rectify. However, do not start asking me to name names. It is the Committee’s business to go and look at their work and bring it back here because it is true. We do not want to be intimidated. Let it go on record. We know the reason this is happening is because we are talking about a woman.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): The Member for Kiminini, Hon. Wakhungu, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. Parliament is a House of records. This is not the first time we are vetting ambassadors and high commissioners. I acknowledge the good work that has been done by the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations under the leadership of Hon. ole Metito. I served in that Committee in the last Parliament. An ambassador is a representative of the President. He is there to protect the interests of the country. One thing I want to note is that the Committee is in order. Looking at these Kenyans, they have what it takes to do their work. The Committee is in order for putting that rider on nominee No.7, Mwende Mwinzi, that she denounces her American citizenship. The Committee went further to look at the qualities of Madam Mwende Mwinzi. She is qualified for that position, but I did not see anything unique that other Kenyans do not have. When you look at
(Suna East, ODM
I did not say the Luhyas. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Hon. Junet is putting words in my mouth. The nominations should represent the face of Kenya and should have the youth. Currently, many ambassadors left their careers and were appointed to respective regions, but they have now been left on the way without knowing where to go. We know that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is the one which gives the recommendations. We want to see whether there is the face of Kenya in that particular Ministry.
This is also a message to the Principal Secretary and Cabinet Secretary in charge of this ministry. A lot has been said about Ms. Mwende. When you look at the qualifications, provisions of Article 260 of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act, particularly when it comes to Sections 31 and 52, she is competent. She can do the job. Before she gets it, she must renounce the citizenship of the United States of America. We have been told that her citizenship is not by registration, but by birth. She did not have control over this. Maybe the mum had gone to visit there. We have also been told that her mother is a USA citizen. We expected the Committee to have gone further to give us information or disclosure. Having said that, we will approve Ms. Mwende Mwinzi. However, before she takes up the position, she must renounce her USA citizenship. The reason is that when you advance foreign affairs matters, there is an issue of foreign policy. When any ambassador or high commissioner goes to a country, he must advance the foreign policy of his country. My colleague, Hon. Mbadi, said it. If you are in Korea and there is a conflict of foreign policy between the USA and Kenya, which one will she advance?
For instance, there is the issue of pro-life in this country. Kenyans are pro-life. We do not advance same sex marriages. Some issues are allowed in the USA. We have conflicts. It is, indeed, important that she renounces her USA citizenship so that we are assured that if we have any conflict of interest when it comes to matters of policy, obviously, she will be on our side. That is very important. I have no doubt because we were told that Ms. Mwende Mwinzi vied for an elective position in Mwingi West and Hon. Charles Nguna Ngusya (CNN) floored her. She was number five because Kenyans did not know who she is. The issue here is that the Constitution allows her to be nominated.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Nyamai, what is out of order?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, is it in order for the Member for “Kimilili” to bring issues of election into this important debate? This is a matter that concerns our Constitution and an individual who was nominated. I am sure she was properly checked before. Is he in order to trivialise this debate by bringing an issue of election here? We know the reasons. We know what happened for her to be in that position. Is it in order for the Member, who was not even part of the Jubilee Party, to bring a matter of election into this important debate?
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Wakhungu Wamalwa, you cannot decide why the people of Mwingi West did not elect a person. In defending your position, you must desist from making any disparaging remarks on an individual because you cannot say that a person who becomes No.15 in an election is less Kenyan than the one who becomes No.1. That is not right. Go on and complete your contribution.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. In the first place, I am not a Member of Parliament for Kimilili. I am a Member of Parliament for Kiminini. The point of order does not refer to me. The Member for Kimilili is Hon. Didmus. So, I have no business in that context because I am the Member for Kiminini, but not Kimilili. She referred to the Member for Kimilili who is the wrong person. So, I am not obligated to answer that.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): You are out of order! I said that you are the Member for Kiminini. You are the one on the Floor. I will quash the remaining time that you have, Hon. Wamalwa. Please, you are the one on the Floor and you made some remarks. Hon. Didmus is not in the House. Can you finish your statement?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, before I move on, I need the point of information from Hon. Junet. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): You are out of order, Hon. Junet and take your seat. Hon. Wamalwa, I am only giving you one more minute. The Speaker is the only one who has a right to give the Floor to a Member. Hon. Junet, you are the one who picked the trend, the Leader of the Minority Party picked it and now you are really stretching it. You have no right to give the Floor to anybody. You have one minute. Finish your contribution.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. After we approve Ms. Mwende Mwinzi, she must renounce her USA citizenship before she takes up that position for the reasons I had already given. The nominating authority should know that the list does not represent the face of Kenya. The youth and people from other regions must be looked into next time so that the face of Kenya can be represented, particularly at this time of the Handshake.
I thank you and I support the Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): On this side, we have Hon. David Sankok.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this particular opportunity to voice my concerns on this very important matter. I want to pick from where Hon. Wamalwa has left. He has said that the nominees list does not represent the face of Kenya and the youths. I am a Member of the Jubilee Party which is the appointing authority and I am getting tired of reminding them that we should have representation of persons with disabilities. At the moment, we do not have a single ambassador, Cabinet Secretary or Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) living with disability. It is tiring to be reminding the appointing authority every now, and this goes to deaf ears, that we need representation of persons living with disabilities, which is in our Constitution. It is not Hon. Sankok who talks about representation of persons living with disabilities, but Article 54 of our Constitution provides that. When we get names in this House, we always pass them thinking that the appointing authority will hear our voice and appoint persons living with disabilities in the next appointment. Let us have persons living with disabilities.
Let me come to the matter of nominee No.7. Hon. Sabina Chege kept on referring to Esau in the Bible. If you went to Sunday school, Esau sold his birth right. He did not renounce it, but sold it. For this case, the law, Hon. Speaker’s ruling and the Report of the Committee are very clear. We will approve her, but let her renounce her USA citizenship. If she cannot do that, I have heard that she is a very good and intelligent lady. However, it does not mean that we only have one good intelligent lady from Mwingi. We have many other ladies, especially the youth, who are jobless and can be given this job. So, I support and thank the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations for doing their homework very well. The Committee dug into each nominee’s past. It has given us examples of people who renounced their dual citizenship yet they were very good leaders in their countries. So, we want to tell her that we are just following the law. The issue of some Members saying that there are cabinet secretaries and some of us here with dual citizenship, is simply hearsay. We cannot rely on hearsay in this House. If such persons exist, the EACC, the DCI and the DPP should do their work and, if possible, report those who hold dual citizenships and are serving in this House or elsewhere. Simply because somebody has broken the law, it does not mean that we have to break the law ourselves. The law is very clear that one must renounce one’s other citizenship to serve this country, especially in a capacity where one is given the title, “Your Excellency”. You know that means that you
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Akoth, I am giving you a chance not because you are declaring interest, but because you are next in line. So, you can combine everything, including your contribution.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me start by declaring my interest. I have a very serious interest in this matter. I do not know Mwinzi Mwende personally, but she is a woman and I am one. That is my first interest.
Secondly, I am sad that the Member is leaving before he hears what he asked me to do. He asked me to declare my interest. My husband is Zimbabwean. I do not have dual citizenship. The reason I do not have dual citizenship is because I am still negotiating with my husband to allow me to marry a second and a third husband like men have done. When he allows me, I will come and change the law. If I change the law, I will declare my dual or triple citizenship. These men can sit here and judge us women and tell us to declare citizenship. Some of them are married to women in Uganda, Eritrea, Somalia, Tanzania and the USA, but we are not telling them to declare their interests. Do not joke with us!
When dealing with this matter, I want to look at it as the law is, whether we should change the law or not. On the law as-is, Article 78(1) of the Constitution says that a State officer or a member of the defence forces shall not hold dual citizenship, but Article 78(3) says that clauses (1) and (2) do not apply to: “(b) any person who has been made a citizen of another country by operation of that country’s law without ability to opt out.” The reason I am saying that this is something that is up for the courts to interpret is that the ability to opt out is very wide. The fact that I may not have requisite time may be an ability not to opt out because America also has its process for renouncing. I can also argue that if I have a running stomach, I do not have time to opt out. The law can be interpreted widely. Give that woman a chance so that the courts can interpret that matter. I am sure it has not been espoused in that appeal decision. Parliament has done an enabling legislation and if one
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): What is out of order, Hon. Junet?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. We must respect the House and debate with decorum. Is it in order for the Member to say that male
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Millie, did you say that male Members are “oversighting”?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I told him and he should listen carefully. I said that this morning I warned the male Members from “oversighting” women’s private parts. That is a matter of fact. I said it. So, you cannot tell me to withdraw what I said. It is a matter of fact that I said it in another forum. The reason I said it is in relation to double standards. The other time when Hon. Sonko attacked Rachel Shebesh, we were not able to speak on the Floor. Now, he is on Hon. Esther Passaris and you want us to keep quiet. Nobody is talking. Some of these men have 10 or 20 women. Nobody is talking about them, but when you hear that Esther Passaris has said “I love you”, how are you interpreting the “I love you”? There is agape love and other forms of love. I want to tell you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker that I love you, but I am not a lesbian. So, let them not interpret for us “I love you” in their own words. Do not joke with us. You are the reasons that women cannot come up and seek leadership because you know there are no women brave enough to say the things they are saying here. When you say it, you are ranked insane. They call Hon. Millie Odhiambo insane. When I am protecting women, I will be insane. Leave Hon. Esther Passaris alone. In the same manner, leave this woman alone.
If you look at what we are discussing, there is more than one nominee, but who are we talking about? You would think it is only one person that we are talking about in the appointment. Who are the names of the others? I do not know because we are all talking about this one woman like there are no other people. Let us leave women alone! Somebody here is telling me there are four women. You will always pick one, the same way you picked me on the Floor of the House. We will deal with you perpendicularly. We are not going to joke with you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): You have made your point, Hon. Millie. Let us have Hon. Kioni.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I know we use the House for purposes of entertainment. It is not good to group everybody under the same category. If you choose to join social groups that are discussing things that are not useful, that is your own choice. If those discussions were going on somewhere, how is it that some of us did not get to know? It is because we chose not to sit in those discussions. If you choose to sit in those discussions, do not come and make it an issue on the Floor. When we do that, we are demeaning the status of this House.
Allow me to say that I thought we were discussing something else. It becomes difficult to deal with issues of gender because when you pick on an issue of this nature, it is personalised to the point where you do not even want to make any contribution. You just vote and refuse. The important thing is that when it comes to issues of representing the interests of Kenyans, we have the law and it has been cited by those who quoted various sections accurately and correctly. We have different views and interpretations of different sections, but there is also the question of
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Kioni, you stood up to make a contribution, but now you want to sneak in closure of debate. I am going to the Member for Mwingi West, Hon. Nguna.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Before I contribute to this Motion, I would like to declare three interests in the matter: One, Ms. Mwende Mwinzi is my aunt. Two, she is my political opponent. I floored her during the last elections. Three and most importantly, Ms. Mwende Mwinzi comes from my constituency and is a Kenyan. She worked with the Kibaki administration for many years and she was cleared to run for a parliamentary seat. I am confused, but let me confess that the President was right. If you look at the list, there is the issue of gender and regional balance. Why are we vilifying my aunt just because of dual citizenship?
I urge this House to pass this list now. We are wasting time. I am suggesting that we put the Question as it is the mood of the House. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not exporting my problems to South Korea. The issue of ambassadors and high commissions should only be based on integrity, which Ms. Mwende Mwinzi has.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Kaluma, what is it?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we never want to interfere with colleagues particularly when they declare interest, but there is a tendency developing that Members contribute and at the end of their contribution, they ask that the Question be put. Where are Members getting this authority to take over the seat of the Speaker? We may not disagree with Ms. Mwende Mwinzi being an aunt, having run or having
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): You made a good point.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Members! Hon. Members, when you stand up to make a contribution, you have no further authority to call for closure of debate. If you want to talk about closure of debate, you stand substantively on that. Hon. Nguna, are you done?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to invoke Article 78 of the Constitution, which provides that clearly that a person is not eligible for election or appointment to a State office unless the person is a citizen of Kenya. However, there is a provision below which says that this provision will not apply to appointment of high commissioner, ambassador, as they are not State officers. Why are we applying the law selectively and discriminatively?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, he is reading the Uganda Constitution.
No! The Constitution is very clear.
Hon. Nguna, you only address the Speaker. Leave Hon. Kaluma alone. Hon. Kaluma, you are intimidating the Member.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, he is reading to the House the Constitution of Uganda!
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya)
With those few remarks, I would like to request you to go with the mood of the House.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Katoo.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this is a House of records. Hon. Kaluma, please, this is a House of records. I do not know which Constitution the Member for Mwingi West was reading. Article 78 of our Constitution does not mention anything to do with an ambassador or high commissioner. Maybe, he was not reading the Constitution of Kenya. Maybe, he was reading the constitution of the Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM-K).
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Members! It is a serious issue, Members. I will just use my discretion to recall Hon. Nguna to tell us which constitution he was reading. You can only read the Kenyan Constitution in the House.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was referring to Article 260.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Members, he is making a correction.
Yes, it is clear. Why are we educating Members on how to read the Constitution?
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Nguna, which provision of the Constitution were you reading?
It is Article 260. It is very clear.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): That is good enough. That is clear. Let us have Hon. Amos Kimunya.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise under Standing Order No.95 to move that the Mover be now called upon to reply. As you can see, we are basically repeating ourselves. We are contradicting the earlier ruling of the Speaker. We are almost turning this debate into some entertainment theatre rather than discussing a serious matter. So, would I be in order to ask that that the Mover be now called upon to reply?
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Order, Members! There is nothing out of order. I am the one talking. There is a Motion which has been moved by Hon. Kimunya. We have to prosecute it.
Hon. Mover, you have the Floor.
Can I, with your permission, donate two minutes? I will not take two minutes. If you allow me, I will donate two minutes to each of the following Members: The Member for Tharaka, the Chair of the Committee on Education, and Hon. Kaluma. I will be left with one minute.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Come again, Hon. Katoo. To whom are you donating part of your time?
I am requesting that I donate two minutes to the Member for Tharaka, the Member for Tinderet, the Member for Mandera North and Hon. Kaluma. Then I will be left with two minutes.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Kaluma spoke. No? Okay. Hon. Murugara.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me start by thanking the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Let us now hear the Member for Tinderet.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Report. I thank the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations led by Hon. Katoo ole Metito for the good work. We swore to protect the Constitution when we took the Oath of office as Members of Parliament. The Constitution is very clear, especially on appointment of ambassadors and high commissioners. It says that officers who would like to take this office must remain citizens of this republic. I think the Committee went ahead to do a very good job. It has given us the precedents of other nations. When high commissioners and ambassadors are appointed, they are supposed to renounce their dual citizenship. The case of Madam Mwinzi is very clear. She has very good credentials and qualifications. The President will only need to appoint her if she renounces her US citizenship. One becomes a representative of this country when in foreign land. If she is having dual citizenship, her allegiance is to two Governments. So, I do not want to belabour this matter. We need to rest this discussion by making sure that she is appointed only if she renounces her American citizenship. If she does not, she should lose that position. The Constitution is very clear. I ask the Members that we do not canvass to break the law. We need to maintain the law and ensure that we approve the appointments that are within the law.
(Hon. (Ms.) Soipan Tuya): Hon. Kaluma.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the provisions of Article 78 of the Constitution are clear. It is to the effect that no person enjoying dual citizenship can be appointed as a State officer. In fact, it uses the words “shall be appointed a State officer…” The provisions of Article 260 of the Constitution enlist all officers. Sub- Article (q) provides for Parliament, by legislation, to introduce a category of persons who are also State officers. The Leadership and Integrity Act is very clear that ambassadors, high commissioners and consular officers are categorised as State officers. We are dealing with a person who is a citizen of the US by birth. She is a citizen of Kenya because her father is Kenyan. She is also a Nigerian because she is married to a Nigerian. For purposes of State office,
What is out of order, Hon. Junet? In fact, it is not you, the card I am seeing is for Hon. Seroney. Okay, let us hear you.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, you were listening to your colleague, when Hon. Kaluma was contributing. Is it in order for Hon. Kaluma to say that the lady is a US citizen by birth, a Kenyan citizen by naturalisation and Nigerian by marriage? How do you become a Nigerian because your husband is a Nigerian? I know Hon. Kaluma is married to two Ugandans and has never become Ugandan.
I actually never understood you. You are saying that Hon. Kaluma said that this lady is a US citizen by birth, a Kenyan citizen by naturalisation and a Nigerian by marriage. What is it Hon. Duale? We want to close this debate.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, now that you are the second in command after the substantive Speaker, I was watching from my office and what Hon. Millie Odhiambo said this afternoon must be expunged. She said that there are male Members of Parliament who have other functions like overseeing the private parts of some other Members. We are people who believe in God. You cannot say these kind of things in the august House with the Mace. Can you order that those statements by Hon. Millie Odhiambo be expunged? I wish you heard that verbatim. It is live everywhere.
Hon. Duale, you realise it is a bit difficult for me. First, the HANSARD is gone. She has spoken. It is too late. She is on record. It is difficult for us to expunge what she has said. Other than the HANSARD, whatever she has said - I did not hear - is already in the public domain because we are live on television. It is something that I need to consult, but it is rather late. I wish somebody raised it at that particular point in time and it would have made sense to discuss it. You just raised a point of order. Let us get somebody else.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I was called upon to reply and I had donated a few minutes. I am just left with two, but there is one Member I had donated a minute to and has not spoken. That is Hon. Bashir.
I want to confirm from the clerks whether the debate was cut or it was time for you to… Just wait a minute I consult.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, thank you very much. I want to thank Members who have contributed. I request the House to agree with the Committee in the Report and I am sure if this goes through, it is going to set precedence for the grey areas. Of course, they are not grey areas because the courts have pronounced themselves on that matter. Therefore, I beg to reply.
I am just about to put the Question, but what I am concerned with is the statements that were made by Hon. Millie Odhiambo. I am trying to satisfy myself if they were parliamentary or otherwise. So, it does not matter really if it was raised at that point. I am about to put the Question. This is what we will do. It cannot be late. There is nothing late for the Speaker to rule on. I will make that decision after a brief consultation, so that we are able to capture the numbers. Allow me to put the Question and then look at what is in the Standing Orders and decide whether or not we are going to expunge. Even at that point in time, there is nothing that can be late because the issue is probably not affecting what the Members will vote one way or the other. We are trying to make sure that we have good language in the HANSARD. We should use parliamentary language. It is true that what was said by Hon. Millie Odhiambo is probably not right. So, I will put the Question because we have the numbers. I will put the Question and then we will rule on that other matter.
Hon. Kaluma, relax. That one has passed, but we will look at what is on the record.
Order Members! That is the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Let us have the Chair.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates for the national Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament for the Financial Year 2019/2020, laid on the Table of this House on Tuesday, 4th June 2019, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 221 of the Constitution, Section 39 of the PFM Act, 2012 and Standing Orders 235 and 239, approves the issuance of a sum of Kshs1,928,865,282,319 from the Consolidate Fund to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June 2020 in respect of the votes contained in the First Schedule and further makes the policy resolutions contained in the Second Schedule in the Order Paper. It is good to point out to Members that both Schedules that have been attached have been amended to reflect changes that were not in the Schedules that were in the Report that we earlier tabled. Therefore, I want to ask the Members to be guided by the Schedules that are attached to the Supplementary Order Paper. The changes emanated from a slight oversight by the technical people. When they were putting together the Schedules, they missed one column in the summations. That is why there is a difference of almost Kshs8 billion between the Schedule that was in the Report and the Schedule that is now attached to the Supplementary Order Paper. The Departmental Committee on Trade and Cooperatives also had issues that were not reflected in the earlier Schedules in the Report. The 2019/2020 Budget was presented against a backdrop of what was seen to be an impressive economic growth performance for the year 2018. In the recently released Economic Survey for 2018, it is reported that the economy grew by 6.3 per cent. Agriculture value added grew by 6.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent in 2017. About 840,600 jobs were created, of which 83.6 per cent were in the informal sector. Inflation averaged 4.7 per cent and the current account deficit narrowed to 5.0 per cent in 2018 from 6.3 per cent in 2017. In the 2019/2020 Budget Estimates, it is expected that policies and programmes that will be implemented therein as contained in the Medium-Term Plan III will be operationalised mainly through the Big Four Agenda projects to accelerate economic growth, create opportunities for productive jobs, reduce poverty and income inequality and provide a better future for all Kenyans. The Committee, in review of these Budget Estimates, sought to establish the extent to which the BPS, the Vision 2030, the MTP III, the Big Four Agenda and other policy documents
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order! Hon. Chairman. As you move the Report, please take note that there was a change of Chair. You have addressed me as Mr. Speaker. You will make Hon. Millie Odhiambo to raise a point of order.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. The last time I looked up towards your direction, Hon. Moses Cheboi was on the Chair. I am now well guided.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Lessonet, please, just second the Motion on the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2019/2020.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to second the Motion on this wonderful Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2019/2020. At the outset, allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate all the Members of this House for they did a good job within a very short time under pressure to deliver this Report. You will note that the role of the Budget and Appropriations Committee is to listen to departmental committees, which would have interrogated line Ministries and independent commissions in terms of arriving at these figures. The Budget for this financial year is basically not very different from that of the current financial year. The expenditures at the national and county levels of government total Kshs3 trillion. We are talking of a Kshs3 trillion Budget with various
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order! You know you are just seconding. I will give you a minute to just pronounce yourself as seconding but in future just plan your time.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was talking about the most important fund called the NG-CDF…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Use your one minute well.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I just wanted to inform Members that there is adequate resourcing of the NG-CDF. So, be ready to do what the Chair of the Committee on NG-CDF will tell you. You need to work on your project proposals so that they can be in this House by July so that you start to spend that money as soon as possible. With those remarks, I beg to second the Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Members, before we make any contributions to the same, allow me to remind you the resolutions of this House on Wednesday, 13th February 2019, which were as follows: “THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 97 (4), each speech in a debate on the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Budget Estimates contemplated under Standing Orders 239 and 240 be limited as follows: (a) General Supply Debate - A maximum of three sitting days with 30 minutes for the Mover in moving and 15 minutes in replying…” You have the same in the Order Paper in your computers. Each Member is supposed to speak for only 10 minutes. Please, prepare yourself. You can read the rest of your own resolutions as of 13th February 2019 in terms of the General Supply Debate and the Committee of Supply. In the same resolutions, we will give an opportunity to the Departmental Committees listed in the Second Schedule of our Standing Orders. I would like to start with the first committee, namely, the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Let us have the Chairperson. That is the procedure. Let us have Hon. Metito. What is the point of order, Hon. Makali?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wanted to find out whether we are in a Committee of Supply. I hope this is just a general debate. We can just debate and then later come to the Committee of Supply. I need to be guided, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Makali, we must follow the procedures of the House. Hon. Members, allow me to remind you. For the purpose of procedures, we cannot change any procedure for anybody. The General Supply Debate and Committee of Supply follow the whole procedure. Members, allow me to inform you that each Member only has five minutes to debate this. We will start with Hon. Metito. Member for Bomet, you know if you are the Chair of a Committee. Let us have the Member for Bomet, the representative of the people of Bomet.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. I am rising on a point of order to seek your guidance because I proposed some amendments on 10th May and forwarded the same to the Clerk of the National Assembly. Similarly, I also forwarded a copy to the Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury. I even have certified copies of the same. I am surprised I do not see them featuring anywhere. I am seeking your guidance on the stage when we will introduce these amendments. Is it that issues of the Budget are never changed in any way or are never tampered with? Are we only here to rubberstamp but cannot introduce amendments? I seek your guidance because I thought that my proposed amendments which I gave in very good time should have been captured. Now that I cannot see them in the Order Paper today, I wish that you would guide us on how Members introduce amendments to these Budget Estimates. Are they cast in stone? Are they rigid? Are we only here to rubberstamp?
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. Thank you, Hon. Tonui. Order Chairman! You already did your work. You moved it, it was seconded and I have already proposed the Question. You cannot be the one to bake the cake and eat it for yourself along with the other Members. If I require a point of information, I will order that we get information from others. Thank you, Hon. Tonui for raising such a point of order. Hon. Tonui, let me inform you that we are only on the General Supply Debate. For your other proposed amendments and any other Members’ amendments, the procedures provide that they will come during the Committee of Supply. That is where they fall. Your proposed amendments are not in vain. They are still part of the procedure. Hon. Members, we are on the General Supply Debate. Chairpersons, please note that you have 10 minutes to debate this and then Members have five minutes to debate this.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion. From the outset, I thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee for the tireless work which they have done to review the submissions from the 15 departmental committees which have greatly informed this Report. I thank them for complying with Article 221(5) of the Constitution that requires public consultation. They have done that in 12 counties which is great work. I congratulate the Budget and Appropriations Committee. I am speaking on behalf of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. This Committee oversees four agencies, namely, Defence, Foreign Affairs, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the East African Community (EAC) and Regional Development Ministry. In the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) sector classification, there is the Defence and NIS classified under the national security sector. Foreign Affairs is classified under the public administration and international relations whereas the Ministry of EAC and Regional Development is classified under the general economic and commercial affairs. These are very key sectors in delivering goals and objectives of the pillars of Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Big Four Agenda. Additionally, the sectors are critical enablers to the Big Four Agenda plan. Before I speak on budgeting, let me say a few things on these two agencies, namely, defence and national intelligence. These are about our security forces and our intelligence, particularly the Kenya Defence Forces which have managed to keep the Al Shaabab threats at bay. The attacks on our soil have reduced significantly in this second term of Jubilee administration compared to what we experienced or witnessed in the first term. We are alive to the threats that the militants still pose to our people and nation at large. Therefore, this calls for more resources. Our forces remain alive to these threats and are determined to neutralise the militants completely. On the diplomatic front, that is where we have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EAC because it is also a regional ministry. Kenya is on the offensive, especially with the opening of more missions including in Accra, Ghana which will be the second in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region. In the whole of West Africa, we only
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Through my discretion, Chairman, I have given you one minute.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was saying that each of the six RDAs was established by its own Act. They are as old as 1974. Therefore, there is need to amalgamate all of them and have a Regional Authority Bill enacted by this House. That will streamline what is for national Government and the county government.
I also want to say that we looked into the Supplementary Budget of these agencies and we approved it. We request the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the House to approve it the way it is.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. The Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Health.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to inform Hon. Kimunya…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order. Do not address Hon. Kimunya. Address me.
I want to thank the Leader of the Minority Party for giving me an opportunity to speak before him. He is supposed to get the first priority. I want to first and foremost thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee for giving us a chance to go and do the presentation before them. There have been a lot of talks on health
health in this Republic of Kenya is ringfenced and go
straight to the health facilities. Part of the Big Four Agenda of this nation is the UHC. As a Committee, we noticed that a lot of money up to about Kshs29billion has been allocated to cater for UHC. I would also like to urge and request both the national Government and the county government where UHC will be implemented to be keen to make sure that the money allocated goes for the right purpose. As a Committee, one of the questions we ask ourselves is: what is UHC? It is meant to ensure that our healthcare is affordable, accessible and of good quality.
When we looked at the Budget and the way the Ministry had allocated this UHC money, we noticed that this House passed a Motion on our referral facilities namely Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), National Spinal Injury Referral Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Mathari National Teaching and Referrral Hospital where the Committee took time to visit and determine the status of those facilities. We agreed with a
eport that was passed by this House that we need to improve the status of these facilities. When I presented the budget and the recommendations of the Committee, there were two major recommendations. One was the amount of money, about Kshs4.2billion that is allocated to 11 Level 5 hospitals in this Republic of Kenya as conditional grants. Some of these counties receive more than half a billion shillings. There is no proper criterion on how this money is allocated. They only gave statistics on bed capacity dated back to 2012. The Ministry did not have even a report on an evaluation on how the conditional grants have been utilised in the four years we have allocated them to the Level 5 facilities. Are we giving money meant for health to be deposited in county accounts and governors choose what the money should be used for like building roads or things that may make them more popular other than health? So, it is my prayer that the House and the Senate will reconsider it. The Ministry should give us a report on how the money is utilised and how we can reach the Level 5 hospitals.
Out of over Kshs29 billion, the Committee found it prudent to reallocate Kshs4.6 billion to UHC support. If you go to Kenyatta National Hospital and find no bed or no space in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), then why are we talking about UHC?
His Excellency the President spoke about mental health. I would like Members of the House to take time and visit Mathare Mental Hospital where remandees do not live like human beings. They have no shelter even in this rainy season they sleep on concrete. The Ministry does not take responsibility for them because they are sent there by the Judiciary. The Prisons Department does not own them because they say they receive a letter from the Judiciary to release them to go to Mathare Mental Hospital. They do not have food. So, with such conditions, we asked ourselves if the UHC works if we are not able to facilitate Mathare Mental Hospital for patients and secondly to fight the stigma on mental illness. Mathare can mentor Level 5 hospitals
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Member for Suba South, the Leader of the Minority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee of which I am a Member.
There is no Member of Parliament who has served in the Budget and Appropriations Committee longer than I have. I have been in the Committee since Kenya formed the Budget and Appropriations Committee in 2008 with only seven months’ break when I was an assistant minister between August 2012 and March 2013.
My experience in the Committee is that this year the Budget and Appropriations Committee took its work more seriously than previous years. There is a lot of engagement with departmental committees, thorough scrutiny of budget lines, much of scrutiny on deficit financing and many other issues that are fundamental or things that Kenyans have been complaining about over the years were considered.
I fault the Government on public participation. In fact, on public participation, we need to hold the Government more accountable because many issues including what the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Health has spoken about have a lot to do with public participation. I do not even know when we intend to roll out UHC in all the 47 counties. I do not know whether we have done enough public participation for people to understand what UHC is all about. Have we even done public participation to make them aware of how the national Government is funding Level 5 hospitals through conditional grant? Something needs to be done on the public participation.
In February during the discussion of the Budget Policy Statement Report in this House, I actually raised concerns on the level of public debt in the country. Though there are modest efforts towards fiscal consolidation, the deficit is still high and estimated to be 5.6 per cent of the GDP in the Financial Year 2019/2020. This is a stark reality that achieving the 3 per cent budget deficit to the GDP in the medium term as envisaged in the East African convergence shall remain a mirage if bold interventions are not instituted. Therefore, although there has been some progress in the implementation of the Big Four Agenda, and Kenyans have hope that its full implementation shall herald good tidings to our economy and the citizens, the allocation of resources to areas that shall contribute to the achievement of the Big Four Agenda seem to lack the budgetary commitment and conviction. The money allocated to the Big Four Agenda sectors is not adequate when linked to the medium- term plan as envisaged. Looking at the quantum resources allocated to the Big Four Agenda, you find that it is still not sufficient to carry forward the Big Four Agenda to some reasonable realisation. Going back to public participation, we have not understood exactly what the Government wants to do with the Big Four Agenda. Whether the Government wants to involve the private sector in implementing most of these programmes is still not clear. The Government needs to be very clear on the Big Four Agenda. Which ones is the Government going to try to implement as Government in terms of budgetary provisions and which is the national Government going to provide enablers and allow the private sector to come in?
I want to speak to the issue of pending bills. Pending bills and financial commitments by Government agencies is an issue that is adversely affecting the economy at both the national and
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): I give the Floor to Hon. (Dr.) Makali Mulu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me also add my voice to this important debate. I join my colleagues in appreciating the hard work which the departmental committees have gone through to make sure that we have this Budget. This year, we were able to have serious debate on the budgets of the various Ministries and Departments. I want to focus on areas where my colleagues have not mentioned. Hon. Mbadi has talked about pending bills. I want to briefly talk about stalled projects and programmes. In this country, we have a lot of projects which have stalled. Some have stalled for over 10 years, others 15 years and others five years. As the Budget and Appropriations Committee, it is important that we provide resources so that those projects can be completed. Unless they are completed, we will not realise value for money. I really want to appreciate the Budget and Appropriations Committee for making provisions to complete projects like Umaa dam, Badassa dam and other projects which have stalled for many years.
The other point I want to talk about just briefly is on the public debt. We all know now as Kenyans that every Kshs100 collected, you find Kshs66 is being used to pay public debt. What that says is that we have only about Kshs36 remaining for other important national activities. I am sure this position cannot hold for long if as a country we want to develop. I really urge that even as we move forward, we know the international indicators are showing that we are still safe but we need to start being careful about how we are managing our debt.
I got very concerned when I heard the contribution of the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Health on the Level 5 hospitals. We started listing them as Level 5 hospitals in 2014. We have done this for about five years. Just to come and say at this point that we do not have clear framework on how to monitor use of these resources is a bit worrying. We need to take this seriously as a House with the money which is released to Level 5 hospitals. The question I ask myself is we have been releasing this money every year. Have we improved the quality of services which Kenyans are accessing and if not so, then we need to seriously raise
(Hon (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well, Hon. Makali. You have rich information on your area of study. Hon. Members, I cannot see the Chairpersons of Committees. The Second Schedule is on the Education and Research. The Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Education and Research, Hon. Kimunya.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the good work done by BAC and the report they have done and all the committees that worked on this Budget. I want to highlight, because I am sure as we look at these recommendations which have been shared with the Treasury and which will form the basis of the revised Estimates that will come, that it is very clear that there is some discrepancy between the policy pronouncements and the financing. Unless this gap between the pronouncements and intentions and the financing is resolved, we are going to end up with the pronouncements that
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order, Hon. Kimunya. Hon. Millie Odhiambo, I can see you on intervention or was it before?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I had been told that I do not appear on the main intervention slot, so I had been told to put the…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): I am the only Speaker here. I do not know who told you.
I had been told earlier. That is why I put that one.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): That is out of order. Yes, I can see you both on regular and intervention requests.
There is nothing out of order.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Thank so much. Hon. Kimunya, carry on.
Thank you. I was just giving the example of the TVETS. We have 183,000 students who have enrolled, partly because we have hyped it and shown people the need. We promised to pay capitation of Kshs30,000 per student, which works out to about Kshs6 billion. But in the Budget, it is about half of that. We were even forced as the education committee to reallocate some money from elsewhere to try to fill that gap. But we will still require an extra Kshs2 billion. We have not even provided for the internships, which we have promised them upon finishing training for between six and 12 months and they will be paid a certain amount of money. Basically, I am just giving that as an example. If we do not provide for those resources now or plan to provide for them in the course of the year, we are going to have students without funding. The other thing I want to mention, I know some Members have been asking about it, is that the 100 per cent transition to secondary schools is very good and has now resulted in children getting to leave school at a mature age of 18 years instead of 14. But it has also put a strain on the infrastructure. We do not have enough classes, laboratories and teachers. Unless we provide money for that to even at least cover the gap of teachers that we have of about 25,000 that should have been recruited in the last two years, we are going to compromise on education standards, which basically puts our future in jeopardy.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Kimunya you are right. It is not a break as such but a break because of the procedures of the House. Guided by the procedures of the House and the time being 7.00 p.m., on behalf of the Departmental Committee on Education and Research, you will have a balance of five minutes in the next sitting to make your contribution.
Hon. Members, the time being 7.01 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Tuesday 11th June 2019 at 2.30 p.m. I thank you all.
The House rose at 7.01 p.m.