Hon. Members, take your seats! Take your seat or you freeze where you are! Hon. Members, the Speakers of the Houses of Parliament have received a request from the Office of the President to allow Her Excellency, Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to address a Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, 5th May 2021.
Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan is in the country for a two-day state visit. Hon. Members, pursuant to the provisions of the National Assembly Standing Order No. 25, I wish to inform the House that following consultations between myself and the Speaker of the Senate, I have acceded to the request for a Joint Sitting. In this respect, I wish to invite all Hon. Members of the National Assembly to that Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament which will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, 5th May 2021, in the National Assembly Chamber, Main Parliament Buildings, at 2.30 pm, for purposes of an Address by Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan. In line with the Ministry of Health guidelines on COVID-19, the total available seats for occupancy in the Chamber will be 112, whereby 24 have been allocated to Members of the Senate while 88 will be occupied by Members of the National Assembly on a first-come basis save for the seats reserved for the House Leadership. In this regard, Hon. Members shall be duly informed of the sitting arrangements. Further, all Members are hereby advised to remove all their motor vehicles from the parking at the courtyard commonly referred to as the Minister’s Parking by the end of the day today. Hon. Members, as you are aware, as per the Calendar of the House, the House is not scheduled to sit for the ordinary sittings on Wednesday, 5th May 2021. Therefore, the National The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Assembly will adjourn immediately after the Address by Her Excellency, President Samia Suluhu Hassan. I thank you, Hon. Members. Hon. Rozaah Buyu, what is it you want to say? Say what you have to say. You can say it from here.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 43, I wish to convey a message of congratulations to Her Excellency, Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Hon. Speaker, on behalf of Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KEWOPA), of which I am the Vice-Chairperson, and on behalf of the women of Kenya at large, I wish to congratulate Her Excellency Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan on her swearing-in as the first female President and as the sixth President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Indeed, she is a great source of inspiration and is flying the flag high on behalf of female leaders all over Africa and the world, where women make up only about 5.9 per cent of Heads of State. President Samia is currently the only woman Head of State in the East African Community (EAC). We also commend and appreciate the respect and honour Her Excellency Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan has accorded our country Kenya by making it the venue of her second official visit, in her capacity as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Hon. Speaker, KEWOPA would also like to applaud Tanzania for ensuring a smooth and peaceful transition of power that has enabled Her Excellency Hon. Samia Hassan take over the reins of power, following the demise of His Excellency, the late President John Joseph Pombe Magufuli. We note with pride that prior to this, President Samia Hassan had served as the Vice- President of the United Republic of Tanzania for a five-year term under the late President Magufuli, and would have served in the same capacity for another five-year term following the former President’s re-election in October 2020. Having started her political career in the early 2000s, Her Excellency President Samia had also served in the Zanzibar House of Representatives in various ministerial positions. She is therefore very capable and well prepared for the task ahead as she serves for the remainder of the late President Magufuli’s term. We wish her well. Hon. Speaker, Kenya remains greatly challenged with regard to women’s ascendancy into public and political leadership positions. Over the past decade, countries in the East African region have overtaken Kenya on all measures of gender equality indices. Currently, our Parliament has only about 21 per cent women representation, trailing far behind most of the countries in the region. Some African countries have already attained the critical mass threshold of 33 per cent of women representation in their legislatures. Tanzania’s Parliament, which is at 36.7 per cent female representation, is now being led by a woman President. However, we note that since the coming into effect of the Constitution in Kenya 2010, there have been some gains, with women having managed to secure a number of high-level positions in public offices and in the various arms of Government. Some good examples include The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
the Cabinet, where we have seven out of 22 Cabinet Secretaries being female, and in the Judiciary, where we have a woman serving as the Deputy Chief Justice, and another in the Supreme Court and about 50 per cent of Judges of the High Court being women. Just recently, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) nominated Hon. Lady Justice Martha Koome as Kenya’s next Chief Justice which, if approved, will see one arm of Government led by a woman. It is our hope that the women in these positions will make a transformative difference in engendering the reforms in their respective institutions. It is also our hope that having women in leadership positions will indeed be of benefit to the women of Kenya and the general populace. As I conclude, Hon. Speaker, in the words of Hillary Clinton, I quote: "To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." Hon. Speaker, it is my hope that young girls in Tanzania and the larger East African region will draw inspiration from the leadership of Her Excellency President Samia and aspire to be great leaders of our countries in the near future. I thank you, Hon. Speaker.
The indication is that she was going to speak for one minute so that a few other Members could speak. That opportunity is now over. We will now deal with more serious stuff.
Order Members! You know she was supposed to speak for one minute so that about three other Members could speak. We all welcome Her Excellency the President Samia Suluhu Hassan to Kenya and specifically to Parliament tomorrow. Hon. Members, we are still at Order No.2. Now, there is this other communication.
Hon. Members, you will recall that during the Afternoon Sitting of the Special Sitting of the House on Wednesday, 28th April, 2021, the Member for Garissa Township, Hon . Aden Duale, rose on a point of order during debate on the Second Reading of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which seeks to amend the Constitution of Kenya by popular initiative. The Hon. Member sought the direction of the Speaker on a number of issues in relation to the Bill which he termed as “grey areas”, including the value of the public participation exercise conducted on the Bill by the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and jointly with the Senate Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and the weight to be placed on the submissions received by the Committee, amongst other issues. Hon. Members, the Member for Ugenya, Hon. David Ochieng’, also sought direction on the role of the House in dealing with a Bill to amend the Constitution by popular initiative and whether, and the extent to which, the House may amend the Bill. Additionally, he sought guidance on whether the Bill before the House fell within the four corners of Article 257 of the Constitution The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
or is what he referred to as an “Executive initiative” on account of the promoters seemingly being in Government and the moving of the Bill having been deputed to the Leader of the Majority Party by its promoters. Hon. Ochieng further queried whether proceeding with consideration of the Bill whilst cases challenging its constitutionality are pending judgment before the courts would amount to imprudent use of parliamentary time and public resources in the event the court invalidated the entire process and the constitutionality of the Schedule to the Bill which contains the proposed additional seventy (70) constituencies and their delimitation. Hon. Members, during the said Sitting, several other Members speaking on points of order, raised other constitutional and procedural concerns generally revolving around the form and nature of the Bill; the processing of the Bill in the county assemblies and Parliament; the effect of the pending court cases on the consideration of the Bill in Parliament; the attendant voting thresholds and the measures put in place to facilitate Members to participate in the consideration and voting of the Bill given the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Members who spoke on these matters include Hon. Dr. Robert Pukose, Hon. Johana Ng’eno, Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, Hon. Jared Okello, Hon. (Ms.) Millie Odhiambo, Hon. David Sankok, Hon. Caleb Kositany and Hon. Peter Kaluma. Also contributing to the issues were Hon. Ronald Tonui, Hon. Vincent Kemosi, Hon. Alois Lentoimaga, Hon. (Dr.) Otiende Amollo and Hon. T.J. Kajwang’, among others. Hon. Members, I must note that the concerns raised by Members are weighty and indicative of the importance of the Bill currently before the House, being the first of its kind to get to this stage and seeking extensive and radical changes to the existing constitutional order. Having keenly reviewed the concerns, I have distilled the following five issues as requiring my guidance—
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. First of all, let me thank you for your ruling, which is long but very clear. I cannot remember in my entire life in this Parliament any Communication from the Chair which is of this length. The length of this Communication cannot be compared to any other that I have come across. There is one clarity that I would want you to consider and, maybe, make it clearer. You mentioned that according to the provisions of Article 257 (8), all the stages of this Bill will require a simple majority. You went ahead to mention the number at 176. It may be a small matter but may be very important in future. I want to ask Hon. Cate Waruguru to allow the Speaker to hear this issue.
Hon. Speaker, what I was raising is the number 176. It may look like a small matter but when it comes to actual voting, the issue may arise. The membership of this House is 350, including the Speaker – who does not take a vote. Therefore, the membership is basically 349. If you divide 349 by two, you will get 174.5. If you talk about majority out of that number, the majority is 175 Members. Therefore, Hon. Speaker, majority of the House would be 175 and not 176. Therefore, that is the clarity that I actually wanted. The number is actually 175; the highest that the minority can The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
garner is 174. However, you mentioned 176. In the event that we manage to get 175, it may be ruled that the Bill has not been passed and yet, that is the required threshold. So, that is what I wanted to raise for your consideration. Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Your ruling was well executed. Thank you.
Hon. Members, let us not raise unnecessary points of order. You know we are actually just at the second Order. Maybe, we can deal with these other issues when we get to the business. That is because this business is there anyway. I will deal with that issue Hon. Mbadi. I know you have raised a valid point. We will deal with it... Please, let us not... You know unless maybe we have forgotten the rules, you know it cannot be subject of debate. You know it cannot be. Therefore, it is just to refresh your memory about the rules. Let me deal with that one administratively. Can we go to the next Order? Next Order!
Hon. Members, please, let me just... You know we still have a lot of other procedural issues to deal with just now. Allow me finish this. Hon. Members, just remain where you are. We are on Order number 3 which is messages. Hon. Members, Standing order 41(4) requires the Speaker to report to the House any message received from the Senate at the first convenient opportunity and, in this regard, on 19th April 2021, I did notify you of a Message from the Senate regarding the passage of the Mung Beans Bill, Senate Bill No. 9 of 2020. Hon. Members, the Mung Beans Bill which was published vide Kenya Gazette Supplement No.130 of July 24th 2020 seeks, among others, to provide for the development, regulation and promotion of the Mung Beans sector in Kenya. The Message conveys in part that the Senate considered and passed the Bill with amendments on Tuesday 13th April 2021, and now seeks the concurrence of the National Assembly. Hon. Members, Standing Order 143(1) paragraph (a) requires the Speaker to cause a Bill received from the Senate to be read a First Time upon conveyance of a message from the Senate referring the Bill to the National Assembly. In this regard, I direct that the First Reading of the Bill be referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committee to offer the Speaker advice contemplated under Article 143(2). Thereafter, I shall guide the House and the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock on how to proceed with consideration of the Bill. I thank you.
Is there a Petition, Hon. Manje? Hon. Members, we were merely dealing with the first Order, which was Communication from the Chair. Now we go into the rest. Now we are in Petitions.
Thank you Hon. Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I, the undersigned, on behalf of leather and leather products investors and interested stakeholders in the country, draw the attention of the House to the following: THAT, the Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC) is a State corporation established under the Kenya Leather Development Council Order 2011 vide Legal Notice No. 114 of 2011 under the State Corporations Act. The Council is a specialised agency that provides advisory services on matters relating to processing and trading of hides, skins, leather and leather goods, oversees licensing in the leather subsector, enhances leather marketing strategies, and regulates, harmonises, coordinates and facilitates the growth of the leather industry in the country; THAT, KLDC was formed on a private-public partnership to represent the interests of the leather sector with representation drawn from the Kenya Livestock Marketing Council, Slaughter Houses Association, hides and skins traders, tanners, footwear manufacturers, informal leather manufacturers and the academia; THAT, the Council was initially placed under the Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprises Development where the leather sector was categorised as a flagship industry, before being transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock where its core mandate of leather promotion is largely ignored or under-funded; THAT, recent appointments of board members and the Council’s senior management have been unfairly skewed towards a particular region of the country, which has shifted the Council’s focus from promotion of leather and leather products manufacturing to hides and skins improvement, which is essentially a devolved function; THAT, the Council’s senior management has been undertaking unauthorised recruitment of staff, and has presided over the closure of three tanneries, the massive decline in industry exports earnings, the increase of imported footwear deliberately mislabeled as second-hand footwear, the shrinking of the market for semi-processed leather and the general marketing and growth crisis currently facing the leather industry in the country THAT, the Council has failed to adhere to prescribed Government regulations by commencing construction of four warehouses in Kinanie, Machakos County under the Kenya Leather Industrial Park Programme at a cost of Kshs1.2 billion on a site that is yet to be surveyed and which belongs to the Export Processing Zones Authority; THAT, efforts to have the matter resolved by the Kenya Leather Development Council and other authorities have not borne any fruits. THAT, the matters raised in this petition are not pending in any court of law in Kenya. Now therefore, your humble petitioners pray that the National Assembly, through the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Co-operatives: (i) investigates the matter with a view to recommending urgent transfer of oversight of the Kenya Leather Development Council from the State Department for Livestock to the State Department for Industrialisation; (ii) ascertains the qualifications of board members and the Council’s senior management as well as their commitment towards improvement of the leather industry; (iii) investigates the controversial construction of warehouses on over 100 acres of land belonging to the Export Processing Zones Authority, the possible irregular reallocation of funds meant for Common Effluent Treatment Plant towards the construction of the warehouses, and the procurement and general planning of the project; and, (iv) makes any other recommendation that it deems fit in the circumstances of the petition.
And your petitioners will ever pray.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Very well, the Petition is referred to the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
Let us have the Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House today, Tuesday, 4th May 2021, Afternoon Sitting: The 2021/2022 Annex of Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for State Corporations of the Government of Kenya for the Financial Year ending 30th June, 2022 from the National Treasury. Estimates of Revenue Grants and Loans of the Government of Kenya for the year ending 30th June, 2022 from the National Treasury. Hon. Speaker, I hope Members were paying more attention because we are talking about issues to do with loans and this is a debate that is currently out there. People will say there is no information and yet the information is just in this House. The Financial Statement of the National Government for the Fiscal Year 2021/2022 for the period 1st July to 30th June from the National Treasury. Report to Parliament on all new loans contracted by Government from 1st September 2020 to 31st March 2021 from the National Treasury. Report of the Auditor-General for the National Government for the Financial Year 2018/2019. Report of the Auditor-General for the National Government Affirmative Action Fund for the year ended 30th June 2019 and the certificate therein. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Fourth Quarterly Report for the year 2020 covering the period 1st October 2020 to 31st December 2020. Status of the Economy Report from the National Treasury. The 15th Annual Report for Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Cases for the period 1st January to 31st December 2018 from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The 16th Annual Report for Anti-Corruption and Economic Crime Cases for the period 1st January to 31st December 2019 from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for the year ended 30th June, 2019. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Competition Authority of Kenya for the Financial Year 2019/2020 and lastly which should be of concern to Members, The National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) Board’s Report on Project Proposal Approvals, Disbursement Status and Restrictions imposed on Constituency Account for the Third Quarter of the Financial Year 2020/2021 (1st January, 2021 to 31st March, 2021). I thank, you Hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, many of you who belong to the category of the 290 constituencies, this is an important Report. It talks about the NG-CDF Board Report on Project Proposals Approvals, Disbursement Status and Restrictions imposed on Constituency Accounts for the Third Quarter for the Financial Year 2020/2021 (January to 31st March). I have seen many The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of you trying to ask questions in our popular page, but none of you today is even bothered about this Report. You, however, will be posting some things asking about the same things. Next is the Chairperson Departmental Committee on Lands, Hon. Rachael Nyamai.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House today 4th May, 2021. Reports of the Departmental Committee on Lands on its consideration of: A Petition by residents of Kinyona Ward regarding safeguarding public interests in the use of Gituamba land in Kinyona Ward of Murang’a county; and, A Petition by members of Kagaa farmers cooperative society regarding liquidation of the society
Chairperson Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning, Hon. Wanga, you have the Floor.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House today, Tuesday, 4th May, 2021. Reports of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Hon. Speaker, now that we have gone to the bottom, I do not know how we are going to manage again to speak on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), because when your light comes, you go down and yet we came a bit early.
How did you get to the bottom?
Hon. Speaker, I was to raise the same concern because I am very keen to speak on the BBI.
I notice where you are on the list.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, I wish to give Notice of the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 28(4), this House further alters its Calendar for the Fifth Session (Regular Sessions) and resolves as follows- (i) That, the Sittings of the House for First Part of the Session terminate on Thursday, 13th May, 2021 (instead of 6th May, 2021). (ii) That, the Sittings of the House for the second week of May, 2021 accord with the resolution of the House of 10th February, 2021 with respect to the sitting days and times and prioritisation of business. (iii) That, the business to be transacted during the Morning Sittings of Thursday, 6th May, 2021 and Thursday, 13th May 2021 be exempted from the resolution of the House of February 10, 2021 (Approval of the Calendar of the National Assembly (Regular Sessions) for the Fifth Session (2021) being days allocated for Business not sponsored by the Majority Party or Minority Party or Business sponsored by a Committee; and, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(iv) That, the House proceeds for its recess from Friday, 14th May, 2021 (instead of 7th May, 2021) to accord committees time to consider Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the National Government, Judiciary and Parliament for the Financial Year 2021/2022 and resumes on Tuesday, 8th June, 2021 to commence the second part of the Session. I thank you, Hon. Speaker. That is the first Notice.
Hon. Speaker, I wish to give Notice of the following Special Motion on behalf of the Hon. Adan Keynan who is doing it on behalf of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). I wish Members could pay more attention.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Articles 127(6)(b) and 128(1) of the Constitution and in furtherance of the resolution of the Parliamentary Service Commission of 7th April 2021, this House- (a) Approves the appointment of Mr. Michael Rotich Sialai, CBS, as Clerk of the National Assembly on contractual terms with effect from 26th May 2021 and ending on 31st July 2022; and, (b) calls upon the Commission to commence the process of recruiting a new clerk of the National Assembly not later than February 2022 so as to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Hon. Members, that was notice of Motion. Next Order!
Hon. Members, I think you are not paying attention. The first Question is by the Member for Lamu County, Hon. Capt. (Rtd) Ruweida Obo.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I am not retired and I am still a captain because this is my profession. Hii nyingine ni temporary.
I was almost saying tired.
I am not tired.
Very well. Then you are active.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to ask Question No.111/2021 to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide details on the process followed by the Government with respect to the tender and award of the contract for the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
construction of the Lamu Port - South Sudan - Ethiopia - Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project in Lamu County, including the international and national procurement procedures followed in the entire process? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a list of all firms and individuals who were prequalified or who tendered for LAPSSET Project? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary also provide the names of firms and individuals who have been direct beneficiaries of employment opportunities at the project, and in particular, a list of any tenders awarded to residents of Lamu County and employment benefits, if any, to local residents of the County. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
The Question will be responded to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. I am told the functions you may be referring to would be under the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. Anyway, the two Chairs will find out what to do. You are the one who has chosen this Committee. You might go there and find there is no answer and then you will walk back to Hon. Wanga. The next Question is by the Member for Homa Bay Town, Hon. Peter Kaluma.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I rise to ask Question No.117/2021 directed to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Planning and Public Works. (i) What is the status of compulsory acquisition of land meant for construction of Kabunde Airstrip in Homa Bay County? (ii) What steps is the Cabinet Secretary taking to ensure that construction of Kabunde Airstrip is completed and when will it be operational? Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Again, it will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. The next Question is by the Member for Sirisia, Hon. John Waluke.
I rise to ask Question No.120/2021 to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy. (i) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware that Total Kenya recalled a batch of liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) hosepipes, namely Batch No.SCG/BS 3212:1991/1, LOW PRESSURE LPG/8MN/MFD: 03/2020/EXP: 03-2025 that were sold in its outlets throughout the country from 12th June 2020 over safety concerns? (ii) What steps did the Ministry and Total Kenya PLC take to ensure that all users of the petroleum gas were notified in all parts of the country, in particular persons and households who bought the said hosepipes, and what compensation will they give to affected consumers? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(iii) What assurances is the Cabinet Secretary giving to the public with respect to safety of all LPG hosepipes in the market and what measures have been taken to ensure that all the defective hosepipes that were sold to consumers have been recovered? Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy. The next Question is by nominated Member, Gideon Keter. The Member is absent. The next Question is by the Member for Mathira, Hon. Rigathi Gachagua.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I rise to ask Question 136/2021 to the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain what action the Ministry is taking against an organised, vicious and well-coordinated criminal gang operating in Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County, mainly targeting bodaboda riders by killing and stealing motorbikes? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain what measures are being taken by the Ministry to ensure that the police in Mathira Constituency do not appear to be unable, unwilling or reluctant to apprehend the gang members that cause fear among bodaboda riders and the public? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide an update on the status of investigations into the abduction and subsequent murder of the following bodaboda riders- Anthony Miano Wanjiru of ID No. 33025624, Eliud Wambu Waruguru of ID No.27140710, Timothy Wanjohi of ID No.37831050, William Kirii Gathu of ID No.23045966, Elija Wahogo Gathogo of ID No.34200516 and Alex Wambugu Gichuki of ID No.32971905, which happened on diverse dates in 2020 and 2021 within Mathira Constituency and the actions taken to apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous act? (iv) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain what measures the Ministry has put in place to guarantee the safety of the bodaboda riders and the general public so as to address their fears arising from the insecurity incidences in the area?
It will be responded to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. Next segment is responses to requests for Statements. Let us have the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Transport. Are you ready? How long are you likely to take?
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Speaker, two minutes.
I thank you, Hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to make a response to the Statement raised by my friend, Hon. Kathuri Murungi. I have already shared the Statement with him. He raised two questions. Number one is: Could the Government consider giving university and college students more time to organise their travel and by extension give them clear messages as they travel home? Remember this Statement was raised during the time when parts of the country were closed due to COVID-19, namely, on 30th March 2021. I raised this on the same day and I said that the Ministry will quickly take action. Therefore, the answer to the Statement is that all our children were allowed free travel from the closed counties to their homes hence none of our children were not allowed to go home. All of them were allowed to go home peacefully. This was in consultation between the Ministry of Transport and the police. Therefore, everybody went home safely. Number two, Hon. Murungi asked: Could the ministry intervene and direct the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to act with speed and reign in on rogue matatu Saccos which are hiking fares across the country and consider their operating licences? At that particular time, there was a rush for people leaving the closed counties. The response to the Statement in this question is as follows: The public service vehicles (PSV) subsector is governed by the Traffic Act Cap 403 and the National Transport and Safety Authority Act No. 3 of 2012 and also regulations. What does that mean? It means that under these laws, there is no express provision in the two Acts that enables NTSA to regulate fares as requested by Hon. Kathuri. There is no legal framework for NTSA to regulate fares. However, we might advise Hon. Kathuri that, in addition, the Ministry is in consultations with the PSV transport stakeholders on the need to streamline fares across the country noting the economic hardships that our country and our people are experiencing during this period of COVID-19. Hon. Speaker, with those few remarks and responses, I thank you. I have given this statement to Hon. Kathuri. He called me back to say he is satisfied with the response from the Ministry. Therefore, I thank you.
So, Hon. Kathuri Murungi is not present.
Hon. Speaker, I have not seen him, but I talked to him. He called me earlier. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, further to the resolution of the House of Tuesday, 5th December 2017, appointing Members into various committees and pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.173, this House further approves the appointment of the following Members to the respective committees as specified hereunder: (i) The Hon. Peter Mwathi, MP, to be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security to replace the Hon. Josphat Kabinga Wachira, MP. (ii) The Hon. Josphat Kabinga Wachira, MP, to be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare to replace Hon. Peter Mwathi, MP. (iii)The Hon. Benjamin Dalu Stephen Tayari, MP, to be appointed to the Committee on Implementation to replace the Hon. Owen Yaa Baya, MP. (iv) The Hon. Joseph Kalasinga Majimbo, MP, to be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock. (v) The Hon. Janet Ongera, MP, to be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to replace Hon. Benjamin Dalu Stephen Tayari, MP. (vi) The Hon. Teddy Ngumbao Mwambire, MP, to be appointed to the Public Investments Committee to replace Hon. Anthony Tom Oluoch, MP. (vii) The Hon. Oscar Peter Nabulindo, MP, to be appointed to the Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity. (viii) The Hon. Francis Tom Joseph Kajwang’, MP, to be appointed to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to replace the Hon. Otiende Amollo, MP. Hon. Speaker, these names were approved by the Selection Committee in its sittings yesterday. The names have been proposed by the political parties and the political coalitions through the Whips and basically it is a reorganisation of the committees to fill some gaps. Partly within the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security, there is a gap of leadership occasioned by the demise of the Late Paul Koinange. The Jubilee Coalition is proposing to fill that vacancy by proposing Hon. Peter Mwathi to move in that Committee. We are hoping that Members will then give him the support, so that he can continue with the good work that the late Hon. Paul Koinange had started. He leaves a position in Labour which Hon. Kabinga would occupy, but that will happen after the elections have been declared. The elections will be declared in due cause. The two new Members have joined, namely, Hon. Joseph Kalasinga Majimbo and Hon. Oscar Peter Nabulindo and they have formerly been appointed to committees. There is also some reorganisation by the NASA Coalition for better delivery of services within their committees by their membership.
I do not want to belabour the point. We also note that some Members have asked to be removed and be reallocated their committee of choice. I see Hon. Baya wanting that attention to be highlighted. This is really a straightforward matter. It received unanimous support in the Committee on Selection. We, therefore, do not need to debate this. I beg to move and ask the Leader of the Minority Party to second.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I want to second this Motion. The Committee on Selection sat yesterday and did some reorganisation for the better functioning of the National Assembly. As the Leader of the Majority has rightly put it, after the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
passing on of the late Hon. Koinange, there were possibilities of reorganisation of committees. I believe, hope and pray that my friend, Hon. Peter Mwathi, will be given the opportunity by being voted in by Members of that committee, to become the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security, and continue with the task. That is a very busy committee in terms of requests and Statements that go to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. For the rest, it is just rearrangement. Hon. Tom Oluoch had requested to surrender one of the committees to our very strong Member, Hon. Teddy Mwambire who has only been serving in one committee. This will now accord Hon. Teddy Mwambire opportunity to serve substantively in the Public Investment Committee where he has been acting. There are other two new Members who have joined us after the passing on of our two colleagues. They also have an opportunity to substantively serve in the two committees. Finally, we have made some changes in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) to align it with the aspirations of the ODM and NASA Coalition. Hon. Tom Joseph Kajwang’ is joining. He may not be a professor of law, but he is the people’s chief justice, and so, he is well versed in legal matters and I wish him well in that Committee. Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I second
Member for Murang’a, if you could find some seat. You appear to be heavily laden.
Put the Question!
Is it the desire of the House that I put the Question?
Put the Question!
It is not putting of the Question. The Mover has to reply. Can I put the Question that the Mover be called upon to reply?
Hon. Members, it is your decision. I do not have a vote. Let me find out what the mood is like.
Mover, Hon. Florence Mutua.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I beg to remove my mask. Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Let me take this opportunity first and foremost, to thank you and the Leader of the Majority Party for saving this Report last week. That was great wisdom. I also want to thank the Members of the Departmental Committee on Education and Research and the Members who gave their views in support of Hon. Fatuma. I also want to thank those Members that gave their varying views.
I have to explain why we are supporting this lady. I want to thank Members for supporting Prof. Fatuma Chege, PhD, as nominee for appointment as Principal Secretary to the State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms. I had notes and explanations as to why the CBC rollout is important, but seeing the mood of the House, I beg to reply.
Order Members! If we can all pay attention, we will move very fast.
Leader of the Majority Party, you have the Floor.
Put the Question!
Hon. Members, we need to move the Motion first.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to move the following Special Motion: The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Articles 127(6)(b) and 128(1) of the Constitution and in furtherance of the resolution of the Parliamentary Service Commission of 7th April 2021, this House- (a) approves the appointment of Mr. Michael Rotich Sialai, CBS, as Clerk of the National Assembly on contractual terms with effect from 26th May 2021 and ending on 31st July 2022; and, (b) calls upon the Commission to commence the process of recruiting a new Clerk of the National Assembly not later than February, 2022, so as to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
At the outset, I wish to commend the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) for appointing our Clerk, Mr. Sialai, for a one-year contract upon retirement. Indeed, this move is geared to ensure that we have a smooth transition not only in that office, but also as we come to the tail end of this Parliament next year. In light of some of the issues we are discussing in this House, including the Constitution amendment that will occasion a whole re-organisation of this House and Standing Orders, you need a steady hand who has gone through similar things in the past and can take us through in the future.
For Members who do not know Mr. Sialai apart from seeing him here, he has a long and decorated career in the public service where he joined in 1989 when some of the Members were in early childhood. He started his job as a teacher of History and Kiswahili at Kimoloo Secondary School. He later became an assistant lecturer at Kericho Teachers College until 1995 when he joined this Parliament as a Clerk Assistant. He has risen through the ranks to be the Clerk of the National Assembly.
Like I said, we are at a very important phase in this Parliament. Potentially, with the passage of the BBI, this Parliament will change from the way we know it to the commonwealth or high breed system. It will require a number of legislations to be passed and re-organisation of our Standing Orders. We need Mr. Sialai’s expertise which can come in very handy to occasion this re-organisation. Most of the employment contracts in the public sector have some inbuilt terms that end with the possibility of an extension for a standard person. Usually, you have to subject this to a re-organisation. Hence, in taking this decision, the PSC is within its legal powers to exercise that discretion to extend the terms through a contract.
Members are aware of the several civil servants who are serving on contract currently. The most notable is Mr. Joseph Kinyua who was my Principal Secretary in the National Treasury who has done a splendid job. He is past the retirement age. Because of his experience and the way he handles State matters, His Excellency the President, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, has kept him up to this point. There is no indication as when he will be let go as much as he wanted to retire five years ago. He has the kind of expertise that you feel that you need safe hands and somebody who understands the mechanics of Government to help, especially in these difficult times.
Mr. Sialai assists this Commission to discharge efficient and effective services and promote the ideas of parliamentary democracy as contemplated in Article 127 of the Constitution. He is already putting in place a very important project occasioned by COVID-19 disease and the realities of the new normal, in terms of facilities in virtual sittings of the House, including all these online voting and participation which we do not want to be disrupted.
It is also important to note that the Parliamentary Service Act neither expressly nor by necessary implication bars the Commission from engaging any person on contractual basis in any position within the parliamentary service. Section 26(2) of the Parliamentary Service Act (No. 22 of 2019) only provides that if the person appointed as a Clerk of a House is an employee of the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Commission who is serving on a permanent and pensionable terms, he will continue on those terms for the duration of the term or retire upon attaining the age of 60 years. It provides for when you must retire, but does not bar the Commission from extending your service on a contractual basis. I have said that for avoidance of doubt, so that people do not start bringing issues that we know within the law.
Like I said, we congratulate the Commission on making the decision in accordance with the Constitution and Parliamentary Service Act. The consideration was made due to several factors; rare knowledge, the optimum performance of the duties of the Clerk, the need to have stability and continuity in that office, the provision of non-partisan and impartial advice, the maintenance of honesty, accountability and integrity. We have seen very good remarks being passed in the various pages. Most importantly, there is need to ensure that we have a smooth transition through an orderly transfer of these functions. Hence, the need to have the person in place, so that by the date the Commission is being given to appoint a new person in February 2022, then we will have enough time for the incoming Clerk of the National Assembly to understudy the outgoing one. Through the creation of that transition mechanism between February and July when the handing over process will take place, the 13th Parliament will be better.
I hear the mood of the House. I do not want to keep that decision any further. I beg to move the Motion and ask the Leader of the Minority Party to second.
Hon. Mbadi, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I do not think there is much to say. We all know Mr. Sialai. If we approve or disapprove his appointment, there is nothing to add. The Leader of the Majority Party has said it all and the reasons behind it.
I second the Motion.
Put the Question!
Are these Members coming to the Chamber? They are in various stages of the…Member for Suba North, you may not have read this because it is history. Some years back, when we used to have Provincial Commissioners (PCs), a former PC of Nairobi decided to mount a raid in various places where people used to go and enjoy themselves. In one place along Ronald Ngala Street, in a building known as Imani House, he claimed in his press conferences that he found people in various stages of “development.” So, I was wondering whether the Members walking in are in those various stages of “development.”
That is on a light note. Those of you who may have read that Press Statement would know the exact words he used.
Put the Question!
Is it the desire of the House that I put the Question? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much and congratulations to Mr. Sialai. Next Order.
Hon. Members, again, let me make this announcement because I already have 72 requests. Up to now, only 32 and-a-half Members have contributed to the Bill. Hon. Githiaka Kiai was on the Floor when the House rose. He has a balance of three minutes. Hon. Kiai, you have a balance of three minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I will start from where I left. I want to congratulate you for the ruling that you made today. It is very deep with a big impact which sets a precedent and, therefore, it will be used in future parliamentary engagements on similar issues. You have already quoted extensively from the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) Report, where I am a Member. I am proud to have participated in this momentous occasion of amending the Constitution. Hon. Speaker, there are two issues that came out during the deliberations. One of them is whether or not there is an error in that Report. The issue is with regard to Article 87(7) and Article 89(7). I want to say that the error on the face of the record does not in any way change the substance of the Report. The Report was discussing the issue of delimitation of the constituencies. If you look at the deliberations too, it was captured very well by the JLAC Members. The Article is not fatal. If you look at Article 103 of the Constitution, you will realise that it omitted sub-section (2). It only has sub-section (1) and then it continues to sub-section (3). Nobody has ever raised the issue of the legality or otherwise of the Constitution yet it has been in operation for the last 10 years without any issue. I want to submit that Articles 87(7) does not exist in the first place. Article 89(7) was talking of delimitation. The error on the face of the record is not fatal. The other issue is about delimitation of the additional 70 constituencies. I submit that the will of the people, the sovereign power, is captured in Article 1 and that power lies with the people of Kenya. They have the mandate to change any section of the Constitution. They are the ones who created the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). They are the same people who created that Article. Under Article 1 of the Constitution, they have the exclusive mandate to amend any section of the supreme law and make any law in this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Speaker, I support.
Let us now have the Member for Limuru.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for giving me a chance to contribute to this very important Bill. I start by also expressing my appreciation for your considered ruling that was quite informative, well-researched and one that will set a precedent for future rulings in Parliament. It has put to rest most of the things. In fact, most of the issues that we were going to converse, as I was discussing here with the Deputy Whip, were addressed in your ruling. Therefore, I want to associate myself with that ruling. Hon. Speaker, let me start by saying that I really appreciate the statesmanship that was shown by our President together with the magnanimity that was also exhibited by the former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, when they came together and did the handshake. The commencement of the BBI and the Bill before us is a result of that handshake which was also supported by many people. When they shook hands, the two great leaders said that the country and the people are greater and bigger than themselves. They relegated themselves to the will of the people to ensure that the electoral violence that had been witnessed after every general election since the early 1990s through to 2007, when it almost culminated in a civil war, came to an end. The two gentlemen put aside their desires and their ambitions and decided that, for the sake of the people of Kenya, they would address the issue of divisive elections. Every time there is an election, we lose close to two years. One year before a general election, people fear to invest in our country and we lose in terms of income. Also, immediately thereafter an election, we experience another year of uncertainty because of political instability. This Bill seeks to encompass most of the people from the region by way of having seats which are currently in Parliament, not that they are additional, being distributed within the republic. The Leader of the Majority Party will become the Prime Minister and his deputy becomes Deputy Prime Minister. More importantly, I remind Members that the last election was won by a small margin. There is almost the same number of people who lost who are literally in the opposition. The winner-takes-it-all ensures the leader of the other huge chunk of votes of the ones who lost, almost 50 per cent of Kenyans, is left outside Parliament. But this Bill now proposes to amend the Constitution to ensure that in this House, we have the Leader of the official opposition and probably his shadow cabinet checking on the Government while here. Previously, the President and the Deputy President would form Government and become a tool to fight the opposition. Now the opposition is recognised by its people in the manner provided for in the Bill.
Hon. Speaker, allow me to bring out an issue which in the region I come from has been used by some of us to peddle lies to the common mwanachi, that for us to pass this Bill, we must check whether it contains issues of milk, coffee and tea. This morning I engaged a colleague and reminded him that there was a time milk, tea and coffee were doing very well. I asked him which Constitution addressed the three income generating activities. They never saw anything of that sort in the Constitution that we changed. We never saw anything written about milk, coffee and tea in that Constitution. But in this one, there is a provision in Clause 11A on the economy and shared prosperity, which, among other issues, under 11A(2)(c) talks about sustainable sources of livelihood, including agriculture, pastoralism and the blue economy. At the tail end of the Article, it says that Parliament shall enact legislation to give full effect to this Article. I have brought this issue up because when we were discussing the Tea Bill, coffee and agriculture in general, the same people who had gone out there to say there is nothing that addresses the main income generating activities within our region were not in this House. I invite them to pass this Bill so that we can amend the Constitution. Further, if they will be lucky to get back to The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this House, if it would not have been passed, they can address it under the laws that are required to be done under Clause 11A.
Allow me to mention sharing, which is also very pertinent. I feel, and this is my submission, that in Kenya, we know there were historical injustices. The historical injustices are such that some areas were left behind when others were developing. But when we gave ourselves the Constitution in 2010, we found it fit to introduce the Equalisation Fund to try to help those areas that had been left behind. In the same vein, if we are going to amend the Constitution, we should do it in a manner or in a way that we do not marginalise or create marginalisation in areas that are probably perceived to have been developed. I say this because there is a time I did my mathematics, and looked at the money sent as devolved funds to each county and if you check the amount that has been given per head, take the money and divide it with the population, you will find that some areas get an equivalent of Kshs7,000 and others Kshs24,000. But in these changes, Article 203 of the Constitution shall be amended in Clause 50(a)(n) to ensure that the average amount of money allocated per person to a county with the highest allocation does not exceed three times the average amount per person allocated to a county with the lowest allocation. So, that speaks to the new marginalisation that is coming and the injustice that will be done to counties that have so many people, once we do the mathematics per head.
I also want to speak to the issue of National Government Constituencies Development Fund. It is not lost on us that this House spent a whole year trying to address the issue of the NG-CDF which had been ruled unconstitutional by the High Court. I dare say that the NG-CDF has been felt on the ground more than any other Fund, be it devolved or otherwise. It is very useful for Members of Parliament to have the NG-CDF, but what happened when we went to court? They ruled that it was an illegality and that it was unconstitutional and it was stopped. I am elated or delighted that this time round, the NG-CDF is going to be embedded in the Constitution and this House will enact legislation to operationalise how the NG-CDF will be distributed.
On top of that, we have devolved funds which are pegged at 15 per cent equitable share to every county being increased from 15 per cent to 35 per cent. Not only is it being increased from 15 per cent to 35 per cent, but further, the 35 per cent has another 5 per cent which is going to be allocated to the ward. What does that mean? It means that the devolved money to counties is further devolved and gets closer to the people. It is a requirement by the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act that when there is development to be done in every county, the governor and the leadership at the county level must involve the people. If people are going to be involved, it means the empowerment people are going to get has the new terminology which came up the other day, probably, two days ago, namely, the bottom-up approach. It is happening currently. We do not want to promise people what will happen. It should happen now. Once we pass the amendments to the Constitution, we are going to have the bottom-up approach. We are going to have the bottom-up approach and not wait up to or after 2022. So, the people who speak in terms of doing it after 2022, should be told that we said it a long time ago and we are doing it now under the Building Bridges Initiative.
Hon. Speaker, allow me to also speak to the issue of the Second Schedule, and I am happy you ruled that there is nothing unconstitutional about the Constitution making by the people because they give themselves that Constitution as long as they follow the provisions of the clauses on how they should change it. I heard here that some of us are trying to say that there needs to be amendments to a schedule within the Constitution.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The people of Kenya can decide how many constituencies are going to be in Kenya. I remember when I was in the 10th Parliament, we had 220 constituencies. However, when we, as Members of Parliament, gave ourselves the 220 constituencies, the people decided that it is not going to be 220 constituencies, but 290 constituencies. We were right. However, I am now asking: “What is wrong with us, the same people of Kenya, deciding that we want to have another 70 constituencies and make it 350?” So, if we increased the number of constituencies from 210 to 290, can we not take it to 350, and indeed, also ensure that we decide which manner they are going to be distributed? It is not that we are doing the delimitation. Delimitation is for the IEBC. We are doing allocation of 70 constituencies in a manner supported by the Second Schedule. With those many remarks, I urge all of us to support. Thank you.
The Member on top of the list is Hon. Luyai Amisi, Member for Saboti. Of course, we will be going by the system that the Speaker set of going as per the list, and not necessarily the sides of the House. So, proceed, Hon. Amisi.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Allow me to put my mask aside for a while. I have been waiting patiently throughout last week to no avail, but, at least, I learnt the trick of being an early bird and I have caught your eye. The 2010 Constitution was heavily borrowed from other advanced democracies jurisdiction. We do not, as a country, exist in vacuum. We are in a global setup where we learn from other nations, and a good example is Switzerland. Switzerland has a very interesting model of rotational presidency, and they aligned this to their distinct multilingual and multi-ethnic composition of the country. As a country, we also have a distinct composition of our nation and we must align our Constitution to that reality. I think the time is now. I am so much excited. There is so much that we can talk about on this particular proposal in this Bill, but I am excited on a number of legislative proposals that had been proposed in this particular Report. Most importantly, is the one touching on the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) that gives a four-year moratorium to loanees. I had a problem when I was vying as a Member of Parliament because one of the requirements was for you to produce a certificate that shows that you have been cleared by HELB. I had to take a loan to clear a loan. You can imagine how many young people go through this difficulty of trying to clear their HELB loans for them to access opportunities. This particular legislative proposal is going to help many graduates who are out there, and usually get into problems trying to access opportunities simply because one of the requirements is that they have to clear HELB loans. This happens yet, at that time, for example, in my case, I was still jobless. I was looking for a job to come to this Parliament to represent the people of Saboti. So, how do you expect a jobless graduate to clear his or her HELB loan? So, this proposal is some of the reasons that the young people of this country are going to support the BBI Report. The proposals on Micro and Small Enterprise Act gives a seven-year tax holiday for youth in business. I led a consortium of youth organisations and young leaders to present views to the BBI Taskforce. This was my proposal, and I am happy it was well captured that the young people need to be given incentives to uplift their businesses. This will go a long way if the Bill comes to pass. The business incubation centres should provide advisory services. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
There is also a proposal of creating a Youth Commission. Our earlier suggestion was to make it a full-fledged Ministry, but nevertheless, this was a step towards the right direction because the Youth Commission will be in charge of formulating policies that will enable the young people that make the 70 per cent of our population to participate in the art and craft of nation building. The legislative proposals on Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act is also an exciting proposal because we have lost so much as a nation through the graft musketeers. It is time to tighten our laws to provide enough punitive laws to enhance our economic fight against economic crimes. There is also a legislative proposal on the National Economic and Social Council to provide a comprehensive legal framework that our national planning is premised on. We have left our national economic and social planning to political promises, that whatever the presidential aspirants promise the country, is where our country will go. This has been risky to our nation because most of these promises are never fulfilled. So, we need an economic council that will guarantee this nation a clear plan. You have seen how the Americans have designed their federal reserves such that even at times like now, during the pandemic, they are less affected because they have enough federal reserves to cushion their citizens. So, this is also a very progressive national planning Bill that has been captured here. There are areas established under Clause 16 on Page 31 that provide the establishment of the Leader of Official Opposition. There will be a problem because the Leader of Official Opposition must be the person who got the second highest votes in the presidential election, and he must come from a party or coalition of parties with at least 25 per cent of the Members of the National Assembly. There will be a problem, probably, if that leader is the runner-up in the presidential election, but his or her membership in the National Assembly is less than 25 per cent. So, does it mean that Parliament will lack the Leader of Official Opposition? The promoters of the Bill need to look at that going forward. On Clause 28 on the appointment of the Prime Minister, we all agree that this is where we need to be as a nation to balance our different ethnic composition to allow, at least, various regions to be represented in the management of our country. The mixed Cabinet to allow Members of the National Assembly to be appointed Cabinet Ministers or Assistant Ministers is also good, only that the word “may” can be misused. A rogue President may in future use that word to just have two members of his cabinet coming from the National Assembly and the rest coming from outside. So, those are areas we need to look at. On the delimitation of boundaries, there is the argument that the BBI taskforce took away the mandate of the IEBC. I do not see anywhere in this document where they have taken away the mandate of the IEBC. The IEBC will still delaminate boundaries. So, on this argument, the only areas we need to look are “doing boundaries 12 months before a general election”. It may be catastrophic or cause chaos towards the electioneering period, especially in highly tribally emotive areas like where I come from. These are very minor things on the basis of which we cannot stop such a nice document from passing. These are areas that can be looked at. Hon. Deputy Speaker, we need to recognise where this nation has come from. Some of us have been in the centre of the National Super Alliance (NASA) demonstrations. We have gone to the streets. We have been teargassed. I am one of the persons who “consumed” a lot of teargas. A teargas canister was thrown right inside my car through the rear window. Were it not for journalists from an international media house who are trained to save life as they take footage, I could be dead. Hon. Oluoch walks as if he is leaning. You may think he is bouncing, but he is actually suffering from the effects of demonstrations during the fight for what we believed in. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Member for Hamisi, you know, the Members may have to applaud you. If you really can consume teargas and survive, consume it. You know the normal throwing of teargas and sniffing is not the problem, but if you are a consumer, proceed.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I hope you will give me those minutes back. I am using the word “consume” because it is actually what happened. I consumed. The teargas was thrown right inside my car. I am using that word carefully to capture the magnitude of the scenario and what we went through. I was a consumer of teargas.
You may laugh at it, but if it was not for a journalist from an international media house, I could have died. People could have gone for a by-election merely two weeks after being sworn- in. Up to now, I still visit the Nairobi Hospital for check-up on my health. I see Members of a certain formation who whenever they see a cigarette light at their rallies, they run helter-skelter thinking it is teargas.
What is it, Hon. Ochieng’? What is out of order?
I am sorry, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Hon. Amisi, you only consume alcohol. You inhale teargas. If you have an opportunity and the police have thrown teargas unto you, the right English word is “inhale”. “Consume” is wrong English in this context. Thank you.
Well, but sitting here, I am a lawyer. You know you can still consume teargas through the nose. Proceed, Hon. Amisi. That is exactly the issue I was raising but “consumption” is getting it into your system. So, you consumed it through the nose.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I was taught English by Dr. Griffin at the Starehe Boys Centre and School. “Consume” is an idiom. When you use “consume”, it is just an idiom in the English language. It does not necessarily need to speak to your local language. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I hope you will add me the minutes that have been consumed by the point of order. I was trying to explain the far that this country has come. Nations have gone to war to be where we are. The two principals, the President and Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga catapulted this country from war to peace. It was not easy because it has never been done and we must reflect on this moment. Countries are now borrowing a leaf from Kenya because the aftermath of any war is peace agreements and justice. A nation that was almost at the brink of war was saved by two statesmen and this is the conversation that we need to have as a country. Every generation in this country has fought for something. There was the fight against colonialism and one party system. Every generation has always risen up and has done what is expected of them at that time. As a generation, we are now called upon to rise up and do what needs to be done by passing this BBI Bill that binds us as a country. We must disturb the stubborn status quo. We must trespass on the taboos of nationalism. When President Obama came here, he told us we have not inherited this land from our forefathers, but we have borrowed it for our children and we must return it with interest. The interest we are going to give our children is this BBI Bill. I support the Report. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Members, we will follow the list as was ruled by the Speaker. Among the top four in the list, there are two Members who are going to break the fast and all of them will speak, anyway. I will give an opportunity to Hon. Jaldesa. I want to request that since I have tried to make it better for you, please, return the favour by speaking less. I will also give the other Member an opportunity before we come back to the list. Hon. Jaldesa, you were the second one in the list.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to add my voice on this historical moment on behalf of the people of Isiolo. Just to put the record straight, I placed my card at 1.00 p.m., and, therefore, you have not given me any favour because I was already at the top. From the outset, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs for this good Report. I followed their Report more than the BBI one and I want to congratulate Hon. Muturi and his team for simplifying the Report and making it easy for us to understand. It is said that politics are local and it is about interest. For the interest of the people of Isiolo, I stand to register a lot of reservations on this BBI proposal cognisant of the ruling made by the Speaker this afternoon. We have been told that the Bill before this House is by popular initiative. My understanding of a popular initiative is a people driven process. I have listened and interacted with people in my constituency and my host constituency, Nairobi, and I want to say that the ordinary people seem not to understand the BBI. That begs the question: If it is a people driven process, how come people have not had an opportunity to see copies of the BBI document? How come civic education has not been conducted? If I can remember, in 2010, we were part and parcel of the civic education process. We were given booklets. People used to knock our doors telling us about the 2010 Constitution. Therefore, I am wondering how it is a people driven process. In the county I come from, Isiolo County, people only know about the BBI from what politicians say. Some of us have said that they have reservations and even if they have reservations, they will pass the BBI Bill while others have said that there is no perfect document. So, there is a lot of confusion. I have listened to some of my colleagues and they have said that there is no perfect document and constitution making is a process. However, I am wondering if there is no perfect document. We have the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and we know its challenges. Why can we not improve it other than create more confusion? Having said that, I want to go to the specific issues that I have reservations on. One is on representation. Looking at the BBI Report, especially on the consideration of the Second Schedule, it looks at the one man one vote one shilling principle. While I agree that each citizen’s vote is of equal importance, I am equally concerned about how this principle will be applied. Kenya is defined by its people and its land. If I would have been given an opportunity, I would have proposed we consider the one man one vote together with one kilometre one vote, so that we have fair representation. As the Secretary-General of the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group, we submitted to the BBI Taskforce that to be fair to this country, we should also consider people with populous constituencies and huge tracts of land. We proposed each county to be given one constituency and then the remaining 23 be shared by the populous counties. If that is taken care of, this document will be passed without reservations. I am concerned that the 47 women representatives’ seats are being taken from this House to the Senate. That is clawing back on the gains we have made. It is like giving us something with the right hand and taking it away with the left hand. Why am I saying so? The 47 women representatives’ seats in this House addressed the gender gaps in a better way. The seats gave The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
women a political voice. Those of us who are elected, when we stand here, we have constituents behind us. The seats also took away the notion that women who are nominated are either flower girls, slay queens or girlfriends of party bosses. The BBI is proposing to take women back to the old days. That makes me sad. The BBI Bill says that the Senate will have one man and one woman. The current Senate is already past that. I can proudly tell this House my county of Isiolo elected a woman who competed with six men to the Senate. Likewise to Uasin Gishu, Nakuru and Machakos. Now when they say one man and one woman to the Senate, what will happen to the gains that we already made? Those are issues that make me have reservations on the BBI Bill. My second reservation is on shared prosperity. Much as a lot of counties are celebrating the proposal to devolve 35 per cent of national revenue to the county governments, which of course, I highly doubt will happen, because counties struggle to receive the current 15 per cent from the National Treasury... When you read the preamble of the Bill, it talks about very attractive things like equity, inclusivity, lack of discrimination and many other things. But the proposed Article 203N in the Bill proposes that the average amount of money allocated per person to the county with the highest allocation does not exceed three times the average amount per person allocated to the county with the lowest allocation. First of all, money allocated to counties is not for distribution to individuals. It is for service delivery and general development. The proposal of per capita allocation capping under Clause 50(a) in the Bill is against the spirit of common good for all Kenyans and negates the gains made in so far as the objects and purpose of devolution are concerned. Why am I saying this? The current revenue allocation formula is already discriminatory. Most of the parameters used are pegged on population. That is why most of our counties get very little allocations. With the current allocations, Isiolo County gets Kshs25,000 per person whereas Nairobi gets Kshs4,000. If you follow the proposed formula, my county will lose Kshs1.6 billion. If you tell me to pass this BBI Bill because I want to be in good books with the powers that be, all powers are local. Therefore, I have to fight for the interest of my people plus seven other counties that are going to lose money. The other thing that we are told by BBI promoters is the Ward Development Fund. If there is a county that does not have WDF, they need to send home all their MCAs. For the WDF to be established, we do not need a BBI. All we need is legislation in the counties. I can comfortably tell you most counties have WDF allocations that are more than what is proposed in the BBI Bill. The last issue, because I want to allow other Members to contribute, is about inclusivity. The BBI talks a lot about inclusivity, which is a good thing. However, you cannot build a united Kenya if a certain group within the society is not understood or accepted by their fellow citizens. Pastoralist communities and the minority, including my community, are discriminated against when it comes to issuance of Government documents like identity cards, passports and birth certificates. It is only in the pastoralist counties and amongst some minority groups in Kenya, including Muslims, where a child born in a Kenyan hospital, goes through the Kenyan education system, upon attaining the age of 18 years is subjected to a tiresome, dehumanising and ridiculous vetting process before obtaining identification documents. We are told that it is because some of these counties are neighbouring foreign countries. Isiolo County is said to be at the centre of this nation yet my people are subjected to vetting. We made a presentation to the BBI taskforce and I expected this matter to be addressed. Unfortunately, nothing has been said about it. I, therefore, have so many reservations against the BBI. During voting, I will vote “No.” Thank you. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
You did not leave even a single second for your colleagues. I thought you were going to be that fair with it. What I am going to do now is to strictly follow the list. The following are the Members who are going to speak: Hon. Ong’era, Hon. Shamalla, Hon. Mboko and Hon. Muthoni, in that order. I would have expected some savings, but it did not happen. Let us now proceed with Hon. Ong’era. Wherever we will reach, it will be fine. However, we still have an evening session.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to make my contribution to the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. I support the Bill. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for making a very wise and sagacious ruling that this is a popular decision and must go to the people. As one of the promoters of this Bill, I am very happy that you made such a ruling. There are many good things in this Bill. In this constitutional moment, Kenya is going through the greater good that exceeds the lesser evil. This constitutional amendment has not just come out of the blues or fans so that we say we are amending the Bill and the Constitution for the sake of amending it. We are amending the Constitution because many Kenyans have died because of lack of a level playing ground and equal opportunity, particularly in the political arena. This constitutional moment has arisen from what happened in 2017/2018. Many of us in the opposition felt that we had been cheated during the electoral process. We have come here because we want to create a level playing ground. This is why the greater good will always exceed the lesser evil. There are many good things in this Constitution which I do not want to belabour because many of my colleagues have spoken about them. I am particularly happy with the devolution of more resources to the counties. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am happy that there will be, for the first time, a larger amount of money, 35 per cent, going to the counties. This will spur more economic growth. There will be more hospitals, more labor wards for our mothers in terms of maternal healthcare, our children will get more access to education and many more things that we know that come from the good of devolution. Another benefit that this Bill brings is the fact that for the very first time we are going to devolve these resources right to the tiniest units and that includes the Ward Development Fund. I think it is a very good thing that we are able to give resources to the politicians who are at the grassroots. They are the ones who are with the people daily. Therefore, when our County Members of Assembly will be getting this money I think that there will even be a lesser number of people interested in coming to this August House. Many people will want to be there in the counties. However, there is an elephant in the room concerning this amendment. It will not be good that I speak only of the good without mentioning the grey areas. The biggest grey area is the fact that 19 constituencies that deserved to be given another constituency were omitted. Amongst this was Bobasi, one of the constituencies I was elected to represent as the Kisii County Member of Parliament. This constituency meets the criteria. If the basis is population, it meets that criteria. If it is the question of wards, this constituency has eight wards. Hon. Obiri, the Member of Parliament for Bobasi will tell you he has 200 schools to award bursaries in terms of CDF yet we know that there are some constituencies in this august House which have, say, 24 secondary schools only. It is a pity that Bobasi Constituency was left out. I understand from the grapevine that this constituency indeed was there in the schedule but unfortunately in the midst of midnight, I do not know which demon or devils sneaked in and deleted the constituency from the schedule. Hon. Deputy Speaker, the next thing I would like to speak to, which is a grey area, is Article 89 of the Constitution. I believe Article 89(2) and (3) need to be re-looked at. Moreover, when we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
speak about a constitutional moment we must be alive to the things that we need to look at. We should be able to leave a good legacy that people will remember us for as legislators. I agree that we needed, perhaps, to have consulted IEBC on developing this schedule for the constituencies. This is so that we do not seem like on the one hand, we are breaking the current Constitution that we want to amend and, on the other hand, we think we are making another right. About the doctrine of separation of powers, it is actually about separation between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. It was to create unfettered discretion and independence of these three arms of government. I do not think it would be right to create an executive ombudsman even if that ombudsman is going to be appointed by the Senate. This is because we would be interfering with the judiciary in the execution of their duties. It will be very sad, for example, if in this parliament, after we have made our decisions, we find that we now have another ombudsman who can overrule our decisions. The doctrine of separation of powers is a very powerful doctrine required to carry the issues of democracy to another higher level. I feel that this is a grey area that needs to be looked at. Let us not kill the independence of the judiciary. We never know: today we have a very good President, Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Tomorrow we may get a rogue president. We are tying our hands by not ensuring that the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of each of the three arms of the Government are protected.
I would like to point out the issue of the 47 County Woman Representatives. It is, indeed, sad that we are removing the elected CWR from this House, which deals with the national budget and appointment of cabinet secretaries and ambassadors, and we are instead taking them to the Senate. It would be good if the CWR were left in this House and an alternative way of dealing with the gender parity issue is found.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, may I get your protection from this side. I said I am supporting. I am pointing out the grey areas. As a legislator, it will be very sad if I do not point out the grey areas in this Bill. Finally, the two principals, Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta, decided to put aside their differences because they wanted to look at the greater good. The greater good will always override the less. So, in this amendment, we have 75 per cent that is good. That is the reason we must support the Bill. The 25 per cent constitute grey areas which I believe can be dealt with even before we pass the Bill in this House. I beg to support.
Next is Hon. Shamalla.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. In 2017, our country, and more so the Jubilee Party supporters, were stunned when the Supreme Court annulled the presidential election results. Kenya became the fourth country in the entire world to have presidential election results annulled after Austria, the Maldives and Ukraine. Kenya was the first country in Africa to have presidential election results annulled. The country had to go through a second election cycle. The upheaval eventually cost the economy of this country Kshs1.7 trillion. After the second presidential election, the Supreme Court upheld the victory of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 20th 2017. However, the opposition rejected the judgement stating that they did not recognise the new Government. Immediately thereafter, violence erupted in various parts of the country and there seemed to be no end in sight. Fast forward to March 2018, the country sighed with relief when His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Right Hon. Raila Odinga engaged in what would come to be known as the historic handshake The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
at the front entrance to Harambee House. This culminated to the BBI process and the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The Bill expresses the dreams and aspirations of the people of Kenya and where they want to go. They said they had witnessed violence since the advent of multiparty elections. Out of six elections, only two have had peaceful transitions since 1992. In this Bill, the people of Kenya have told us that they want regional integration and cohesion. The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 gives assurances that our nation will embrace the goals of African unity with eventual prosperity and stability for all. The people of Kenya told us that they want equitable opportunity for all Kenyans, which is provided under Clause 11(a) of the Bill. The BBI Bill comes with responsibilities on our part as citizens. Amongst these responsibilities are to promote and protect the wellbeing of the family including respect for parents and elders as envisaged under Clause 18(a) of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill.
Indeed, the iconic American evangelist, Billy Graham, said: “A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to parents will not have true respect for anyone.” I hasten to add for anything. The fourth commandment of the Holy Bible tells us to honour our fathers and mothers so that our days maybe long upon the land which the Lord Almighty has given to us. This is the only commandment that comes with a rider, condition and promise.
When I look at this country and see the abuse of elders, I think the respect for parents and the elderly is one of the best clauses in this amendment Bill. I hasten to add that, as a nation, if we abide by this decree, then we shall be blessed long upon our land beloved Kenya. According to Kenyans, in order to resolve the cyclical election violence, they said that they wanted a structure of governance that was consociational in nature. The winner takes it all political system should not and could not fit in the consciousness of Kenyans. Lest we forget, in March 2008, the National Assembly of Kenya passed the National and Reconciliation Accord Act that amended the Constitution introducing the position of Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers. Article 257 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 on the amendment of the Constitution by popular initiative recognises the sovereignty of the people of Kenya and the power to make amendments to the Constitution. The sovereignty of the people is not exercised on specific Articles of the Constitution, but the entire Constitution including the delimitation of the constituency boundaries. The Constitution is the supreme law of a country in contrast to ordinary legislation. A Constitution embodies the fundamental choices made by a country and its people that establish the basis for political and social life. However, while intended to be both foundational and enduring, constitutions are not intended to be immutable. If they are to endure, they must respond to changing needs and circumstances. The motivation for changing the written text of a Constitution differ. Some amendments are made for public interest, for example, the Bill before this House. They can also be made to adjust the Constitution to the environment in which the political systems operate including economies, technologies and international relations. Constitutions have to be responsive to social change and changes over time in social morals and values. It is true that we have inherited a very robust Constitution, but no Constitution can provide for all eventualities. No document can be searched that it needs no change. At the same time, a Constitution is not frozen and an unalterable document. It is a document made by human beings and may need revision, changes and re-examination. It is true that the Constitution reflects the dreams and aspirations of a society. It must also be kept in mind that the Constitution is the framework for the democratic governance of society. In this sense, it is an instrument that societies create for themselves and amend for themselves. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
With those remarks, I also want to thank the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and the Joint Committee with the Senate for the work they did in the Report that was prepared. I support.
Hon. Member for Kandara. I must thank the Member who has spoken because she was very precise and saved some minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Your time is over. So, take your seat, Hon. Alice Wahome. Take your seat. The implication of that, Hon. Wahome, is that, under any circumstances, you will be the first to speak when the next session starts. That is the essence of that. You should be very thankful. Take your seat. Hon. Members, just to also save the Members who have really sat through the afternoon, under normal circumstances, the system will be cleared, but if you, Members, leave your cards logged on, we will come and proceed from where we have reached. That will save you the agony of having to rush out of the door and coming back to, again, log-in and queue. The next start from where we are now. So, those Members who want to speak in the next session, please, leave your cards in the login gadget.
Hon. Members, the time being 6.30 p.m., the House stands adjourned until this evening at 7.00 p.m.
The House rose at 6.30 p.m.