Kikuyu, JP): Hon. 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 Government, the Judiciary and Parliament for the Financial Year 2020/2021, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 4th June 2020, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 221 of the Constitution of Kenya, section 39 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 and Standing Orders 235 and 239, approves the issuance of a sum of Kshs1,883,022,058,155 from the Consolidated Fund to meet the expenditure during the year ending 30th June 2021 in respect of the Votes as contained in the Schedule to the Order Paper.
On a point of order.
Yes, Hon. Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Speaker, I need your guidance. After doing some soul-searching and having seen the Chair of Budget and Appropriations Committee table the Report with the Schedule attached... This is a very important Report that has just been tabled. We need to read it, scrutinise it, look at the Schedule and get the confidence so that when we contribute, we know what we are talking about. So, I ask the Chair, through you, that we continue with the other business, but this Motion be deferred to Tuesday. Under your leadership – and you are the Chair of the House Business Committee (HBC) - I request that the whole of Tuesday morning and afternoon we deal with the Budget and Appropriations Committee Report, which has been tabled this afternoon. Let every Member get a copy by tomorrow, scrutinize and prepare because the Budget is a fundamental function of the National Assembly and we do not want to rush it. So, I plead with you Hon. Speaker that you give direction.
What is the feeling of the House? Let us have the Hon. Member for Othaya.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. As you are aware, we have done this Budget under very abnormal circumstances. For the first time, we have had this pandemic which has caused healthcare and economic crisis. Hon. Speaker, this is a budget of its own kind. Therefore, there has been a requirement to do a lot of balancing in so many sectors. It is a very strong point when the Leader of the Majority Party says that Members ought to look at the Budget and internalise it before they contribute. There are many things we have learnt during this moment that have informed the making of the Budget strongly. However, time will come when we will not fly out. We will have to use our own healthcare facilities and rely on our own products. We have had countries ban exports of crucial products that other countries could have used during this pandemic. They refused to do exports and yet we normally rely on imports for our pharmaceuticals and several other products. Hon. Speaker, we are in a crisis. Children are at home! Tourism is down! I just wanted to highlight the abnormality…
No. Tourism is not part of what was raised.
Hon. Speaker, I support what the Leader of the Majority Party has alluded to and appeal to our Members to take copies of our Budget and spend time reading them so that we can make informed debates next week. I support.
Let us the Hon. Member for Emuhaya.
Emuhaya ANC): Thank you, Hon. Speaker for giving me this chance. I support the statement put by the Hon. Leader of the Majority Party that we deal with this matter next week. This morning, I was at the Table Office looking for this Report. Later on, I retreated to my office and told my Personal Assistant (PA) to also call the Table Office and ask for this Report so that we could download it. However, it was not online. That is why we are struggling to put together how we are going to deal with it. We may be having some small notes. I extracted some notes only on the Budget of the education sector, but I had no Report. So, for us to give it the seriousness it deserves, let us have the Report today, work on it over the weekend and then deal with it on Tuesday. I thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Let us have the Majority Whip.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I support what the Hon. Leader of the Majority Party has said, considering that we are undergoing a very unique scenario today with the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to internalise it the way the Budget and Appropriations Committee has done. How have they responded to the current situation? How are they looking into a post-COVID scenario? Therefore, it is important that we look at the numbers for the adage goes that “numbers do not lie”. We do not just want to hurry with the numbers. We should analyse them so that we get the true position on our country and people. So, I support that we consider it on Tuesday. I thank you Hon. Speaker
Let us have the Hon. Member for Kibwezi West.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I just want to echo the words of the Leader of the Majority Party that, indeed, the budget-making process is one of those key tenets that have been given to this House. This is important and I know there has been a lot of consultations since morning - back and forth. We appreciate the efforts of the Budget and Appropriations Committee in this regard. I think it is only fair that all Members have ample time to scrutinise the same and do justice to this Budget in terms of safeguarding lives and livelihoods of Kenyans.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
I can see there are a few more who want to weigh in. Hon. Oluoch.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I support the sentiments by the Leader of the Majority Party. If you look at the Constitution, the budget-making process alongside legislation and oversight are the key pillars or reasons why this House is established.
Even in very unique circumstances of the COVID-19, we must not lose sight of the oversight role that we must play. If you look at the circumstances under which we passed the tax measures, Finance Bill and other interventions made in order to deal with the issue of the COVID- 19, we passed them in record time under circumstances where Members were unable to properly apply themselves or even contribute.
I remember sitting in my house and preparing very elaborate notes and before we could go far, Standing Order No.95 was raised and the Question was put. Kenyans are looking at this House to pass a Budget that stands scrutiny in terms of our oversight role. For that reason, I support the Leader of the Majority Party. If possible, we should have more than one day to interrogate this. Thank you.
Yes, Chair Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I was inclined to object when the Leader of Majority Party rose to speak and was supported by the Whip who has just de-whipped me. After having listened to Members and appreciating the substance of what we are about to debate, let me support that, indeed, we need to allow Members to scrutinise this Budget. As Members of Parliament, we are here as the people’s representatives with a cardinal constitutional responsibility to allocate and appropriate resources back to our people in areas that matter to them. It is only fair that we allow Members the long weekend up to Tuesday to scrutinise what we have done through our various departmental Committees and agreed with the National Treasury. I beg Members to agree that we can have this debate on Tuesday. I think I will still be in time within the seven days’ timeline that the Majority Whip has given me to respond. I will still have an opportunity to move this Budget which I appreciate is the last one I will be doing for the last three years.
This is a role I have appreciated and I am very grateful to my party Jubilee, the party leader, deputy party leader and the entire Jubilee membership for the opportunity they accorded me over the last three years. I have learnt and gained invaluable experience which I am certain in the very near future I will be utilising. As the Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, I had oversight over many operations in Government and a bird’s eye view of how Government operates. I truly appreciate and look forward to us discussing this on Tuesday. I agree with the Leader of the Majority Party and all the leaders who have spoken that we can, indeed, allow Members to go through the Report and see the good work this Committee has done. I am very grateful to Members of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. You will be shocked that over the weekend, these Members and our very hardworking staff in the Parliamentary Budget Office were here at County Hall on Sunday going through this Budget. I appreciate that I can see the Member for Othaya and Mhe. Mwalimu Samuel Moroto are still here and, indeed, they have been key pillars in supporting us through this process. It is only fair that we allow other Members to also go through the Report and give meaningful contribution that will also improve the process. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Under the circumstances, I think we do not need to debate this. It looks like it is the view of the majority of the House that we stand down the debate on the Report of the Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2020/2021, which was to be general debate today being the first allotted day. In which case Hon. Members, I will request that as many of you as possible familiarise themselves over the weekend so that we may not have to do more than two allotted days which will be Tuesday Morning and Afternoon Sittings. We aim to conclude in order to allow the Cabinet Secretary to incorporate the resolutions of the House in his Budget highlights for Thursday 11th June at 3.00 p.m. Hon. Members, I think, I do not need to put the Question on this. The Chair agrees and so Hon. Members, we stand down the business appearing as Order No.8 on the Order Paper until Tuesday, 9th June at 10.00 a.m. Let us go to the next Order.
The Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation Hon. Kisang.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I beg to move that the County Outdoor Advertising Control Bill (Senate Bill No.19 of 2018) be now read a Second Time.
The County Outdoor Advertising Control Bill, 2018 was passed by the Senate on 19th June 2019. The Bill was transmitted to the National Assembly on 3rd July 2019. It was read a First Time in this House on 30th July 2019 and committed before the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation for consideration.
Hon. Speaker, the Committee placed an advertisement in the local dairies on Friday, 21st February 2020 inviting the public to submit their views on the Bill on or before 27th February 2020. This is the first Bill we have put an advertisement in the newspapers and only one organisation gave us a memorandum. That is the Outdoor Advertising Association of Kenya. After receipt of the same, the Committee held a total of four meetings to consider the Bill and submissions from Outdoor Advertising Association of Kenya which we have incorporated in this Report.
We expected more people to give us submissions like the Council of Governors (CoG) and other agencies like Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) or Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA). But they did not submit and we only received a submission from the Outdoor Advertising Association of Kenya.
Hon. Speaker, this Bill is an Act of Parliament that seeks to provide a legal framework for the regulation of outdoor advertisement in the counties and for connected purposes. The Bill further proposes to provide for the procedure for the application for issuance of an outdoor advertising licence. The Bill is made up of three parts and 23 clauses. Advertising is a rapidly growing industry and now forms part of everyday culture often adding colour to our streets. If you drive around Nairobi and on roads across the country, you will see very many beautiful advertisements in the streets and this is as a result of outdoor advertising.
Outdoor advertising is a key element of the industry and contributes to the creation of vibrant and competitive economy in our country. However, there is need to balance the requirements of the industry with the protection and, where possible, enhancement of the character and appearance of our counties. As you drive, you do not want to see advertisements that are blocking beautiful views of our country along the roads. Outdoor advertising is a function that is assigned to county governments in accordance with the provisions of Article 186 of the Constitution and paragraph (3) Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule. This is basically a county function. It is important to note that this is purely a county function. So, the other entities like KeNHA, KeRRA and KURA are basically interested parties. But they are not the ones to approve issuance of licences when it comes to outdoor advertisements. Clauses 1, 2 and 3 of the Bill provides for preliminary provisions and set out the exceptions from the application of this Act. Clause 4 of the Bill provides for the procedure for application of a licence. It provides that the applicant interested in outdoor advertising shall submit an application to the respective County Executive Committee (CEC) member responsible for matters relating to advertising. Basically, the CEC member for ICT or Communication is the one that a particular applicant will apply to. Clause 5 of the Bill provides for the factors to be put into consideration when processing the application for a licence. This is basically to ensure it is very clear so that from county to county, we do not have different procedures on how to process a licence. We are trying to standardise. We know some counties already have their own Bills. This is just an overall framework but each county assembly can have their own domiciled Bill. This is basically giving them a framework. Clause 6 provides for the issuance of the licence which may be issued within a period of 14 days from the date of application, and approval shall lapse if the advertisement is not erected within six months of grant of the licence. We are saying that if within six months you have been issued with a licence and you have not put up the adverts in that particular space you applied, it will lapse because we do not want those who speculate and would want to sell space when they get those who pay more. Clause 7 of the Bill provides for consultation by the CEC member to relevant public bodies that have an interest in the safe display of advertisements in considering an application where
applicable. We are saying here that the CEC member in charge of advertisement in the counties can consult other relevant bodies, but this should not stop them from issuing the licence. This is a formality. This is purely a county function. Clause 4 of the Bill says that the CEC member will need to get consent from KeNHA. So, if we say they will need to get consent, it means basically that the CEC member will have to get permission to issue licence from KeNHA. We are saying they only consult but not seek for consent. That is an amendment that we will bring during the Committee of the whole House. Clause 9 of the Bill provides that the licencee shall not alter, remove, erect or upgrade an advertisement for which a licence has been issued unless with the approval of the CEC. The moment you apply for a licence that you want to put an advert of a particular size on a particular corner of the street or road, you cannot change it unless you get permission from the CEC member because this might also change your licence. You might need to pay additional fees. Clause 10 of the Bill provides that a licence may be renewed, at least, one month before the expiry and sets out the renewal procedures. The licences that will be issued will last for a period of 12 months and we are saying before the expiry, the applicant or licensee may apply for renewal because it is not automatic that you want the licence to be renewed. Maybe, you want to change or move to a different location.
Clause 11 of the Bill provides for the revocation of a licence by the CEC while Clause 12 provides for review of the decision by the CEC in court within 14 days. We are saying if you have been given space to advertise and maybe you have made changes or you do not follow the procedure as it is put, the CEC member can revoke. But you also have an opportunity to appeal and go to court within 14 days.
Clause 13 proposes that the advertisement should be removed within seven days of revocation or expiry of an advertisement. Hon. Speaker, give me an additional two minutes so that I can wind up. Clause 21 of the Bill provides for legislation. In essence, this clause allows county assemblies to enact their own laws. We are saying this is an overall Bill but each county assembly may enact their own Bills following the framework that we have set herein. Clause 23 of the Bill provides consequential amendments to Section 3 of the Physical Planning Act. This is one of the Acts that will be affected when this Bill is signed into law.
So, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as a Committee, we are saying that, during the Committee of the whole House, we will come with some amendments that we have agreed with Members on Clauses 2, 4, 10, 15 and 21. I beg to move and ask Hon. Gathoni Wamuchomba, who is a member of the Committee, to second the Bill.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Let us have Hon. Wamuchomba Gathoni to second.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Also thank you my Chair, Hon. William Kisang, for the wonderful presentation. I am very excited about this Bill and I look forward to the deliberations from this honourable House. This is because this Bill is going to bring a lot of soberness in the advertisement industry. Currently, we have a lot of confusion along the highways. We have many billboards blocking road
signs, hospitals, police stations, railway lines, waterways and even blocking surveillance services that are normally used by our security bodies. Therefore, if we harmonise the way we place our billboards, road signs and advertisements, we will be able to make sure that such necessity signs are clear to the users of this country. I would be very keen to convince this House to adopt this Bill because we have had a lot of confusion with the stakeholders who are in the business of outdoor advertising. In the past, most people who have wanted licences to place their billboards along the main highways have had to move from one office to the other looking for licences. You start off with the design. After you design, you have to go to National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to get a licence for your billboard to be up and after that, you have to go to the county which has to send you again to KeNHA and other government agencies. So, as a businessman and stakeholder, you realise that the process becomes very expensive. Therefore, outdoor advertising in Kenya has become very expensive because of the very many levies that we have been putting in this process. By harmonising this process and making sure that we have a central place where one can get a licence and get facilitated to get all other auxiliary licences that are required, the billboards and outdoor advertising business will become a little bit more affordable to Kenyans and a little bit comfortable even to the users. I would like to appeal to the House to adopt this Bill because of the issues we have had in the past. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we are politicians in this House, and we have county governments that are manned by politicians. We have had some governors who wanted to monopolise billboards during the campaign period. Such governors would make sure that their opponents did not advertise using billboards or any other form of outdoor advertising in the counties in order to stifle competition. Therefore, we have had scenarios where billboards were mounted during the day and removed at night by political rivals. I believe we have given a lot of procedures on how one can pull down or protect a billboard. With those very many remarks, I second the County Outdoor Advertising Control Bill, 2018 and urge the House to find it worth accommodating.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): The first to get the Floor is the Member for Ainabkoi, Hon. William Chepkut.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is true that I support this Bill. It is also true, as stated by Hon. (Ms.) Gathoni Wamuchomba, that during campaigns, some governors tend to monopolise outdoor advertising. Therefore, this Bill has come at the right time. During the Committee of the whole House, I will introduce amendments. Nevertheless, the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation has done a great job. He is, indeed, very competent. I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to agree with my amendments. I look forward to the Committee of the whole House, so that we can deliberate on the amendments. With those remarks, I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Thank you, the Member for Ainabkoi. Next on my request list is the Member for Makueni, Hon. Daniel Maanzo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Bill.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, advertising happens all over the world and it is good to have a structured method under law, to monitor this. In fact, Hon. (Ms.) Esther Passaris is an expert in outdoor advertising. I believe when debate on this Bill resumes during the next sitting, she will be very useful as a person who has personal touch and experience with outdoor advertising. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, other than outdoor advertising, advertising has shifted to social media. Advertising is now more electronic than outdoor. Electronic advertising receives more accolades and support from many people who can now access things online. In fact, online advertising is overtaking outdoor advertising even though the latter will also remain solid for many years to come, just like books - books are now online, but we also have physical books. Libraries are online, but we also have physical libraries with solid books. Probably, the next area to legislate on should be electronic or online advertising. Hon. Temporary Speaker, while supporting the Bill, outdoor advertising has had a lot of challenges and contradictions. Many are the people who have done this business and have ended up in losses when county governments refuse to pay them or when they have an argument as to the manner of handling and how disputes are sorted out in this particular matter. A lot of them have ended up in court. In many cases, judges have proposed legislation. Clearly, legislation is missing in one way or another. We are now happy to have this Bill, which is going to control this industry, which is big. Advertising is also one area where business people make a lot of money. Counties come into play very easily. Many times, if you do not follow the laid down procedure or law, which does not exist, you find that after you have invested millions of shillings putting up outdoor advertisements, the next day they have been removed or crashed in a very rude manner by county government officials. Simply, for not paying a very small fee, instead of county government officials getting in touch with you, they demolish your outdoor advertisements, discourage businesses and make you end up in losses. It is heart breaking, especially at a time when employment is very scarce in this country. This is one area which can employ a lot of young and jobless people, because most of the work is manual. It also needs structural engineers. It is an area which employs many people and the country can collect taxes out of it. So, it is very good to regulate outdoor advertisement. With those remarks, I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. Hon. Members, for your noting, each Member speaking to the Bill under Order 9 will have five minutes. So, please, plan your time. Member for Lari, Hon. Jonah Mwangi, you have the Floor. I can see he is still consulting. Member for Kaiti, Hon. Joshua Kivinda.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important Bill. I am a Member of the Committee. I am happy with this Bill because we have been having a lot of challenges in the advertising industry, especially on the issue of licensing. In fact, the challenge we are facing is that some organisations take you round in circles when you apply for a licence for adverts. With this Bill, we deliberated and discussed more about it and agreed to come to the central point whereby if you want to advertise and you have paid licensing fee in Nairobi and you move to Kiambu or other counties, there is some kind of harmonisation to ensure that you do not pay for a similar licence wherever you go because it can be hectic and expensive to business people. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, during campaigns, we face a lot of challenges. You may have your billboards put in place, and you may have paid for them, but come the following day,
you find that they have been pulled down and someone has put another billboard there. So, this Bill will solve the challenges that we face with regard to outdoor advertising. We want to put in place a good legal framework to ensure that there will be laws to be followed and make sure that all organisations respect the laws. We have another challenge where one is required to get a licence from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), county government, the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA), and the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) when doing business. That is one thing which made us as a Committee to think of having a harmonised law where if I want a licence, I just go to one body, get the licence and do my business without being chased by county officials. The other challenge that organisations and business people face is that there are no good structures to be followed. That is why we need this Bill to put some structures in place which will be followed to avoid repetition of business licensing. If you are a business person and you go to a county government to get a licence for an advert of a certain product, it could take you a week or 21 days before you get it. There are a lot of delays in processing of licences. We want to put things clearly such that you apply for a licence, get it and start your business. This Bill is very important to Kenyans. I support it. I thank my Chair who has done a good job and presentation and also Hon. Wamuchomba, who seconded very well, as well as other Members. I urge the whole House to support the Bill for the sake of our business people. I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Thank you, Hon. Kimilu. It is true that I really appreciate this Bill. I can also see the Member for Kibwezi West. This Bill is about regulations. Makueni County borders Taita Taveta and Mtito Andei. Hon. Musimba, I know you also come from Makueni. Allow me to give an opportunity to the Member for Ruaraka. I can see all of you want to fight for the outdoor advertising revenue for Makueni County. Let us have the Member for Ruaraka. You are not being heard well. I hope you are on the
. Please, check your microphone, Hon. Member for Ruaraka, Hon. Kajwang’, so that we can be sure you are on the Hansard .
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I just want to quickly say that there is need to infuse some constitutionalism in this Bill. The Constitution states that national roads are owned by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA). That is missing here. There must be a reflection of that constitutionality in this Bill, so that we see how KeNHA will play with county governments where national roads will pass. Some of the ideas would be some sharing ratio. Regulations can be developed that ensure some sharing of revenue in terms of percentages - perhaps less to the national Government and more to the county governments - which then keeps that constitutionality proportionality going. The Roads Maintenance Levy is an important component of R and A in KeNHA. Advertisements make a lot of money. They can be a very good source of raising funds for some of those issues we have in road maintenance. Having said that, county governments must account for the money they receive. They have all the licences. They license liquor and dancing places. They literally license everything. The fact that they will license outdoor advertising will not necessarily be the answer to their questions. We need to develop a fund in which this money must go to in every county as direct money specific to that project. In that way, we will have some accountability from the counties, otherwise, we will just be increasing allocation to the county chiefs and giving them more liquidity. At the end of the day, we will still be where we are. If we will oversee this money, then some thought must go into how to create a fund in which county
officials must use that money for development of the roads and nothing more. The funds should not leave that kitty to be used for employment or recurrent expenses. I support the Bill. However, a lot of thought needs to be put into it by the Committee to redesign how the funds will be used and how the constitutionality of ownership of those roads will be maintained in terms of revenue sharing.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. Let us have the Member for Kibwezi West, Hon. Musimba Patrick.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. You echo it so well when you talk about our concerns regarding boundaries like what we are currently experiencing in Makueni with Taita Taveta. The bone of contention is issues to do with revenue. You will find that outdoor advertising - and I am sure the Committee has captured that - is a business running into hundreds of billions a year in the Republic of Kenya. It could develop into a very sore issue. This Bill is timely. The issue which I would invite the Committee to venture into is where you want to allow individual counties to come up with their own parallel Bills. That needs to be corrected to simply state that they need to forward harmonised regulations that would take care of unique scenarios. This refers to standardisation in the way we are putting up the infrastructure. You must appreciate that along the highways and within even the localities and county headquarters, those billboards are huge infrastructure that bring into question the issue of safety standards which come under the confines of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). You do not want a billboard to be so distracting that someone forgets to look at the road and is still staring at the billboard when the lights have gone green and it causes an accident. Some electronic billboards whose lights are so glaring would blind people. Those are the issues which come along in terms of safety. We already have harmonisation committees by the NTSA in conjunction with the county governments that can ably address this and come up with a standardisation mode. Further to that, you find issues to do with the development which are captured well by Hon. T.J. Kajwang’ when he speaks about the constitutionality of who owns what property. We know a lot of budgets of county governments are involved. They are informed by own source revenue. These become contentious issues especially in development of roads when you know highways occupy an eight-metre radius from the middle of the road in each direction. Arguably, you would say that the land where the billboard infrastructure has been put is outside of that confine. Those preambles need to come to forth. We should also look at the issues of the content, recognition and obligation by companies which are doing outdoor advertising in terms of national concerns. Currently, we have the Coronavirus pandemic. I would have expected a scenario where all billboards come down irrespective of who has put them up and we address that national concern purely as a corporate social responsibility (CSR). It should be what people see so that they are educated and sensitised on something which is very important to the public. On national days, we have had a practice since Independence that all shops display the national flag on them, but you do not see the same being done by outdoor advertising agencies. There is a lacuna there. These are important days to do with patriotism. The preamble of the Constitution calls upon everyone to live a life that leaves Kenya as a going concern. Indeed, foster is for the next future generation. Advertising will always be at the core of this.
I want to applaud the Committee because I have already seen some existing proposals of amendments in the Committee of the whole House stage. I want to see a lot more being done in terms of engagement to align Kenya’s best practice with what is occurring internationally.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well, Member for Kibwezi West. We have a Member whose chip is not working well. I prefer that you use a different one. Hon. Ibrahim, Nominated Member, you have the microphone now.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Bill. Firstly, it is imperative to appreciate the fact that outdoor advertising is important both to businesses and the Government as a source of revenue. Types of outdoor advertising includes billboards, benches, interior and exterior of buses, taxis and businesses, and signage posted on the exterior of your brick and mortar location.
The outdoor advertising not only captures mass audience, but also targets specific communities, ethnic groups, income levels and age. Cognisant of this fact, there is need to ensure that outdoor advertisement respects amenity, general environment and does not prejudice public safety, including road safety. The proposed County Outdoor Advertising Bill provides a legal framework to the county outdoor advertising in order to achieve a standardised balance between the need to advertise and the protection of the amenity and public safety by regulating the mood and type of advertisement.
Further, the Bill proposes the establishment of the County Outdoor Advertising Committee which will be responsible for the issuance of the advertising licence and application procedure with particular balances between the need to safeguard the environment, amenity and revenue allocation.
I support the Bill. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): The Member for Lamu County.
Asante, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda. Nimesimama kuunga mkono Mswada huu na kuipongeza Kamati. Ni vizuri kuwa na sheria za utangazaji au matangazo ya barabarani. Wakati mwingine Kamati ikikaa, ningeomba wafikirie kama haya mazuri waliyopanga saa hii ili wapange katika hizi mabodi za barabarani za kutangaza kusiwe na wale akinamama wanaotumika saa zingine kuonyesha uchi. Saa zingine yale matangazo yanafanya wanawake wanaonekana wakiwa wamevaa nguo fupi sana. Kamati ifuatilie suala hili.
Pia, katika upande wa Lamu Mashariki, hatuna sehemu nyingi za kutangaza kwa sababu barabara ya kutoka ni moja ambayo ni ya Kisiwa cha Pate. Kuna pahali pazuri sana kwa kipandio. Pengine wengine hawataelewa kipandio ni nini. Kipandio ni bridge ambayo saa hii inatumiwa na binadamu kwa kutembea. Ikiongezwa kidogo na Serikali, itapita magari. Basi pale kunaweza kutumika kuwekwa mabodi mengi ya kutangazia.
Asante, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hicho ni Kiswahili sanifu. Umetaja mabodi. Very well. That is the Member for Lamu. I have the Member for Kabondo Kasipul, Hon. Obara Akinyi.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I too stand to support the Bill. I once worked in an environment where we faced so much frustration with different agencies while working on our billboards and signages. I know many of us, as politicians, have also faced a lot of frustration from our competitors with our posters during campaign times with no clear direction on where we are supposed to take our complaints to.
I am happy because this Bill will now regulate the industry. It has come at the right time. For once, we will work and operate in a structured manner with the roles clearly spelt out. I want to again appreciate the Committee for a job well done and support the Bill.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. Hon. Members, there being no other Member on my request list who wish to speak to the Bill, I, therefore, call upon the Mover to reply.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is one Member who is here who has requested to speak, but he does not have a card. I can donate one minute to him and then I will have four minutes.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): You can donate your minute. The beneficiary of the one-minute donation from the Chair can get the microphone.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker and the Chair for donating that minute. Let me utilise it well. I support the Bill. It excites me when it gives timelines upon which outdoor advertisement ought to be in place. We have seen some people obstructing or denying others opportunities to advertise by fixing or putting up billboards for over a year. This happens during elections when some people put up billboards for a whole year.
I also support the issue of safety. Billboards ought to take care of the safety of road users, including motorists. If there are many advertisements, it will be imperative and good to be compounded into one major billboard, especially outdoor advertising, instead of every person placing a small board which obstructs others depending on the strength of the advertiser.
It is high time county governments invested this money, because there is a lot of it from the licences, in effective uses that can help the community.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. We will have the Mover to reply. Your one minute has been consumed by the Member.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Members of the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation for the tireless time that they put into this Bill. I also want to thank all the Members who have contributed today on this Bill.
It is good to note what Hon. T. J. Kajwang’ said on KeNHA. Clauses 4 and 10 of the Bill say that the member of the County Executive Committee (CEC) who is in charge of advertising will consult and get consent from KeNHA. However, it is important to report to this House that in the past, there has been three court cases on this clause, especially on the issue between county governments and KeNHA. The Association of Practitioners in Advertising say that this is purely a county function. At the same time, we also know that the roads are owned by KeNHA. So, there is a conflict. But the courts have already spoken on this. The Advertisers Association of Kenya (AAK) went up-to the Supreme Court, where they won the cases. Therefore, in the Committee of the whole House, we will have to ventilate on how KeNHA is coming in. But we can recommend that regulations are made, so that KeNHA and the counties can work together and agree on a ratio of the revenue. We do not have any issue or objection on that.
Secondly, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, is on harmonised regulations. It important that we will take note of what Members have said, that it is not good to have laws across the counties but each county can come up with their own regulations. In fact, we have put in the Bill what we call “rate-cut”. We are saying that each county will have to come up with rates for advertisements for each of the areas within the county, so that the rates are harmonised. Sometimes you are maybe
charged Kshs20,000 per square metre, while other counties will charge Ksh100,000 while others will charge Kshs5,000.
It will be important if they come up with harmonised rates so that it is uniform and the business community will know the rates when they are doing their planning, instead of a haphazard way of charging for licences.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply and thank this House for supporting. If any Member has any amendments, we can discuss them during the Committee of the whole House and see how we can support them.
Very well. Hon. Members, I am not in a position to put the question to the County Outdoor Advertising Control Bill, Senate Bill No. 019 0f 2018. So, I order the Question to the same will be put in the next sitting.
Let us move on to the next Order.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Where is the Leader of the Majority Party?
Hon. Members, the Leader of the Majority is in the concentration room and I order that Order No.10 is stood down.