Order Members! On the face of it, we do not have the required quorum. Therefore, I order that the Quorum Bell be rung for 10 minutes.
Can we confirm if we have the numbers now?
After confirming that we already have over 40 Members in the Chamber, and I am sure the others are in the holding areas, we can now start our business.
Under this Order, we have the Leader of the Majority Party. I believe he is represented by the Majority Whip. You have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. On behalf of the Leader of the Majority Party, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House today Thursday, 5th November 2020: The 2nd Quarterly Report from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for the period covering 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020. Submission of the statutory six months Preference and Reservation Report from the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (KIPPRA) for the second half of the Financial Year 2019/2020 (reporting period covering January to June 2020). Special Audit Report of the Auditor-General on Muhoroni Sugar Company Limited (MUSCO) which is under receivership. 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.
Performance Audit Report on Civil Registration and Dissemination of Vital Statistics by the Civil Registration Services from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee for the Financial Year 2019/2020 from the Office of the Attorney-General. The Consolidated National Government Investment Report for the Financial Year 2019/2020 from the National Treasury. Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of the following institutions for the Financial Year ended 30th June 2019: (a) State Department for Interior. (b) State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy. (c) National Intelligence Service. (d) Salaries and Remuneration Commission. (e) National Cohesion and Integration Commission. (f) Independent Policing Oversight Authority. (g) New Kenya Co-operative Creameries Limited. (h) Witness Protection Agency. (i) State Department for Immigration, Citizenship and Border Control. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Very well. Let us move on to the next Order.
Under this Order, we have the Member for Likoni, Hon. Mishi Mboko.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, aware that the National Hygiene Programme (NHP), dubbed Kazi Mtaani, is a national initiative that was designed to cushion the most vulnerable but able-bodied citizens living in informal settlements from the effects and response strategies of the Covid- 19 pandemic; acknowledging that the first phase of the programme started in April 2020 covering eight counties employing over 26,000 workers while the second phase, which began in July 2020 was expanded to cover 34 counties employing over 200,000 workers and is expected to run for six-and-half months; appreciating that the programme continues to gradually achieve most of its objectives which include, amongst others, provision of economic empowerment to the youth, prioritization of labour-intensive approaches to Extended Public Works Projects (EPWPs) and utilization of local suppliers while giving preference to locally manufactured goods and services; cognizant of the fact that the programme has greatly assisted in the reduction of social vices that arise as a result of poverty and idleness such as drug abuse and emergence of criminal gangs; concerned that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still prevalent and the country will take a long time for the economy to re-stabilize; this House therefore resolves that the National Government rolls out subsequent phases of the Kazi Mtaani Programme to cover all the 47 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.
counties to address youth unemployment and further cushion the vulnerable members of society, and reviews the current remuneration of the workers in accordance with the Wage Order of 2018.
Very well. Let us go to the next Order. We will start with Questions. We have Ordinary Questions only. To start us off is the Member for Kimilili, Hon. Didmus Barasa. I have received notification that the Question will be asked on his behalf by Hon. Benjamin Jomo Washiali. Proceed, Hon. Washiali.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 42 (a) (5), I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Energy the following Question, on behalf of the Member for Kimilili, Hon. Didmus Barasa: (i) What is the status of electricity connectivity in Kimilili Constituency from 2017 to date for public institutions, particularly public schools, health centres, trading centres and households? (ii) (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide specific timelines within which all the said public institutions, households and trading centres will be connected to electricity?
The Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy. Let us go to the Member for Maragwa, Hon. Mary Wamaua.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical Planning the following Question: (i) How many public primary and secondary schools in Maragwa Constituency have been issued with title deeds following the Presidential Directive of 2015? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the delays in fast-tracking surveying and the issuance of title deeds to majority of public learning institutions in Maragwa Constituency? (iii) What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that all public learning institutions in the country are expeditiously issued with title deeds to safeguard against irregular allocation of their land?
That Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Lands. We will move on to the Member for Tigania East, Hon. Josphat Kabeabea. Is your microphone not functioning or it is the card you do not have?
It is my card which is not responding. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for granting me this opportunity to ask the Question on behalf of the great people of Tigania East, who are my bosses. The Question, which is directed to the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, is as follows: (i) When will the administrative units in Tigania East Constituency, which were gazetted, vide Legal Notice No.5853 of 21st June 2017, which include new locations and sub-locations, be operationalized? (ii) What steps is the Ministry taking to ensure that the said administrative units are properly staffed?
Next time, we will not allow Members to ask Questions or transact business without wearing face masks when they are next to the microphone. That is because of the upsurge of the Covid-19 cases. It is now important that we protect each other. So, as you ask Questions, or as you participate in debate, let your mask be on. It is getting serious. It is quite serious now. That Question will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security. We will move on to the Member for Subukia, Hon. Samuel Gachobe.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to ask Question No.307/2020, which is directed to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the delay in completion of the construction of Solai-Subukia Road (D366) in Subukia Constituency? (ii) What measures has the Ministry put in place to prevent accidents occurring on the said road noting that majority of them are due to loose chippings, sharp corners, lack of traffic and road sign posts and speed bumps especially at Maseno, Kwa Maziwa, Bata Moja and Munyu Mweru? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide timelines when the contractor is expected to remove the loose chippings, erect speed bumps and other important traffic and road signs on the said road and install culverts for access to various public utilities and institutions such as Kagumo Primary School?
Thank you very much. That one will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. We now move on to the Member for Kisumu Town West, Hon. Olago Aluoch.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. It is Kisumu West, not Kisumu Town West.
It is Kisumu West actually.
I rise to ask Question No.308/2020, which is directed to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the circumstances under which the contractor for the Migosi-Mamboleo Junction stretch of the Kisumu-Kakamega-Webuye Highway Project abandoned the section leaving the stretch in un-motorable state, and which has led to increased wear and tear of vehicles? (ii) When will the construction of the said road resume? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary undertake to ensure that once the works resume, the project will be completed on time considering the assurances given by the President when he visited the site in October 2020?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, two weeks ago, the President was in Kisumu and the night before his visit, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) engineers tried to make some repairs so that the President could use that stretch. It is a shame!
You have asked the Question. I would not have encouraged you to do any other side question because the Question that will be responded to will be the one on the Order Paper. The other one might not work, but that is good information. This will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
We will move on to the next Question by the Member for Kabete, Hon. Wamacukuru.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I would like to ask Question No.313/2020 to the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary outline the Government’s preparedness and response mechanisms to the drought expected in 2021 as reported by the weather forecasts which indicate that the next rainy season in East Africa will fail, thus jeopardising food security for millions of people? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide the quantities and variety of all the food reserves within the country, where they are kept; and, confirm that the said food is adequate for the country for the predicted drought period? (iii) What plans, if any, has the Ministry undertaken to ensure that there is a food distribution schedule for the vulnerable households who may be affected by drought or such other calamities in the country?
Thank you very much. That one will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock. 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.
Next is the Member for Tigania East again. Hon. Kabeabea. Is it the same one? Sorry. We will move on to the Question by the Member for Kitutu Masaba, Hon. Shadrack Mose.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I would like to ask Question No.314/2020 to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain why the upgrading to bitumen standards of Kemera-Kiendege-Eberege-Gachuba-Keumbu Road in Kitutu Masaba Constituency has stalled and why the contractor abandoned the site in August 2020? (ii) What measures are in place to ensure that the construction of the said road resumes, and that the project is completed to the set standards without further delays?
Very well. This is to be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
Next is the Member for Kibwezi East, Hon. Jessica Mbalu.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to ask Question No.315/2020 to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy. (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide the electrification plan for all public primary and secondary schools in Kibwezi East Constituency, and the status of electricity connectivity of the said institutions? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain why the Solar PV Systems installed to provide power to most of the public primary schools in Kibwezi East Constituency are either dysfunctional or obsolete, thus compromising among other programmes, the digital learning programme? (iii) What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that maintenance for the Solar PV Systems is carried out regularly? (iv) What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that lower Mukaange area of Kibwezi East Constituency is connected to the National Grid?
Very well. This is to be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy. Lastly, we have the Member for Samburu North, Hon. Alois Lentoimaga.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to ask Question No.316/2020 to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy. (i) What steps has the Ministry taken to ensure the following market centres: Morijo, Opiroi, Barsaloi, Marti, Nachola, Lesirikan, Tuum and South Horr in Samburu North Constituency are connected to electricity power from the National Grid? (ii) When will South Horr Town in Samburu North Constituency be connected to power from Sarima Wind Power Electricity Station as directed by the President during the commissioning of Lake Turkana Wind Electricity Project in February 2020? (iii) What measures has the Ministry put in place to ensure that Baragoi Town is connected to reliable power considering that the power generator installed in 2009 to serve Baragoi Hospital, and other public institutions in the surrounding areas, is dysfunctional?
Very well. This too will be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Energy. That marks the end of Questions.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is it, Hon. Sankok?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I do not see any Statements on the Order Paper today. Our statements have been going unanswered. I want to implore your office because on 15th July 2020 at 2.54 p.m., on the Floor of the House, I “seeked” a Statement…
I sought for a statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works on the issue of SGR Phase 2B that was terminated at a remote locality called Emurutoto Shopping Centre, which has one shop and butchery, instead of completing the remaining 12-kilometre stretch to Narok Town. Narok Town would have served as an economic catchment area for the Great Lakes Region.
The issue you are raising is that you sought a statement that has not been responded to. I do not want you to go into the details, but you can utilize them when the statement is responded to.
It is intentional that they have not responded.
That is imputing a motive against the Committee.
Just take your seat. Do we have the relevant Committee Chair, Vic-Chair or even a Member with information? I do not see any of them. Hon. Sankok, was it a Statement or a Petition? You need to be very clear about what you sought. Was it a statement?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, it was a petition. I have information that all those funds were diverted to Standard Gauge Railway in either Laikipia or Nanyuki and the Dry Port in Naivasha.
Unless you want the statement to end here now, the best thing is for us to know the issue. Did you say it was a petition or a statement?
It was a statement, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
I do not think you are confident enough.
I am confident, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Let me give you the correct position. It is easy because I still have everything here. I am digital. 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. Sankok, the reason why I am insisting is because of the circumstances of a response to a statement.
It was actually a Petition that was presented on 15th July, 2020.
Now you are taking us round and round. It means that the Petition lapsed within 60 days if the Chair did not seek an extension. So, in the absence of the Leader of the Majority Party, the Majority Party Whip will take that up. Let us get to know what really happened and why the Petition has not been responded to. Hon. Sankok, you will wait until we get information from the Committee Chair. As you know, petitions lapse after 60 days if they are not responded to. We want to know the issue then we will communicate to you.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. May God bless you!
Let us proceed to Statements. We have the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security, who will be issuing two statements requested by Hon. Washiali and Hon. Passaris Rosanna. Hon. Koinange, you will start with which one?
I will start with Hon. Passaris.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, before I read the Statement, I want to give a bit of background. I want to thank Hon. Passaris for her indulgence. Her Statement was supposed to have been responded to in the month of June, 2020. However, when we got her Statement, we were subjected to a game of ping pong between the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. The Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government claimed that the issue of food belonged to the Ministry of Devolution whereas the Ministry of Devolution was saying the issue of pandemic food belonged to the Ministry of Interior. Finally, I have the answer for Hon Passaris. Thank you for your indulgence, Hon. Passaris. The Government, through the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund and the Regional County and Sub-County Emergency Response Teams is committed to ensure that no citizen loses life due to hunger during the Covid-19 pandemic period. In particular, the Government has: (i) Identified 292,000 vulnerable persons in Nairobi City County who benefited from cash stipends during the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of Kshs620 million has so far been disbursed through M-PESA weekly cash transfers to the vulnerable in the County of Nairobi. (ii) Built and rehabilitated 100 bore holes in the County to ensure constant safe water supply during the period. (iii) Recruited 63,872 youth in the Nairobi Hygiene Programme – the Kazi Mtaani Programme - to alleviate their vulnerability to the effects of the pandemic. (iv) Distributed relief food as follows: 30,900 kgs of maize; 15,220 kgs of rice; 29,714 kgs of sugar; 12,986 kgs of beans; 13,074 kgs of green grams; 27,000 kgs of wheat; 3,593 kgs of salt; 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.
4,885 litres of cooking oil and 9,995 packets of cooking fat; 10,000 pieces of bar soap; 7,406 packets of milk; 14,324 100 grams tin of Milo; 2,781 pieces of shopping baskets; 4,948 gumboots; 354 pieces of reflector jackets and 66,394 pieces of face masks distributed to vulnerable groups in the County of Nairobi. They also distributed free sanitizers. In order to ensure that the distribution of relief food in Nairobi County is effective and efficient, a number of criteria were observed such as: (i) The approval for emergency relief supply by both public and private agencies was centralised and coordinated through respective sub-counties. (ii) Cash transfers through M-PESA and issuance of vouchers were made to the identified vulnerable groups. There was a weekly ration of the repackaged relief food donated by corporate organisations, civil society and well-wishers. It was distributed to cater for all the affected families. The Government has already distributed all the available relief food and has since been emphasising on cash transfer programme. In addition to that, I have been assured that our country is food secure. As such, we should not panic. The Government is keen in ensuring that our economy is up and running almost normally, despite the challenge brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to ensure that every Kenyan is able to engage in some form of economic activity so that they can earn a decent living. We are also encouraging Kenyans to diversify their economic activities and be more innovative during this difficult time. Thank you
Very well. I will give the first shot to Hon. Passaris to seek any further clarifications.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. It was disappointing the way I was taken round in circles with this question by the Ministries of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and the Interior and Coordination of National Government. However, at least, I got an answer. I am disturbed by this response. One of the things that I expected was that the Government has a programme to supply food to orphanages and old peoples’ homes at the least. We are talking about cash transfer that is only going to the identified individuals. It is not going to the institutions that are run privately or publicly. There is no other way we will see that the Government has done something to cushion the vulnerable and the poor in our society. We have always left that to the private sector. Right now, the private sector and people of goodwill are also struggling. So, in the orphanages that we have, if you pass by them, you will hear that they have only bananas for the children there. The old people’s homes are the same. I feel that the Government should do a lot more during this pandemic period to provide money for its citizens. Nairobi has over 4 million people. Vulnerability is, at least, 50 per cent of Nairobi. For those who live in informal settlements, a majority of them are vulnerable. So, when you tell me that you have distributed 30,000 bags of maize, surely, what are 30, 000 bags of maize?
Hon. Member for Nairobi County, what is the specific thing you want the Chair to respond to, because I think the direction you are taking is likely to be a situation of a debate rather than trying to…
This is a very emotive issue. I want the Chair to take ownership of this issue and actually, engage through his Committee, to get to the details and the nitty-gritty on how we are going, as the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, to take over Covid-19 pandemic in terms of helping out the vulnerable. Is he satisfied as the Chair of the Committee that this has been done? They are saying the relief food 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.
is over and that they have spent Kshs630 million. I feel that we have totally let down many vulnerable citizens in this country. I hope the Chair, through his Committee, will look at how they can also find more resources to cushion the poor.
Hon. Pukose, kindly have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to thank the Chair for actually moving from one Ministry to the other – Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and trying to establish who are responsible. Up to now, I think it needs to come out clearly from the Chair on who is responsible. When we talk about issues of relief food, we do not just have issues of vulnerable Kenyans but also of disasters. As we speak today, we have about 2,000 people in my neighbouring constituency of Saboti at a place called Pango Primary School who have been displaced because of mudslides. Attempts to find who is responsible… That is because you want to establish who takes responsibility to make sure that those people at Pango Primary School are fed. That becomes a challenge. I want the Chair to actually look at the appeal of this. Even in the distribution of food, we saw the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution moving from one area to another. As Members of Parliament, we even got letters that food was going to be distributed in our constituencies. Up to date, it has not been distributed. I want the Chair to follow this matter to its conclusion so that the food that was meant for other areas… Where did it go? For example, I got a letter for food supply in Endebess. Up to date, it has not been delivered. Who ended up with the food? Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Wanyonyi, kindly have the Floor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am getting very concerned. It is good she asked this question. Hon. Pukose has just explained to me. I do not know which Ministry deals with disaster. Is it the Ministry of Devolution and Planning or the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government? Let us make it clear. We have cases out there and there is confusion. Since she asked that question, it has taken more than a month because we do not know which ministry is doing what. But my concern, therefore, is that the Government should do more. We all stay in Nairobi. We have seen that there are many vulnerable groups in the streets. I am wondering what is happening to our country honestly at this stage – at this development era. What has happened? There are too many people on the streets. Therefore, whoever is responsible, please, clear the streets.
So, what is it that you are seeking to clarify?
My main concern is that the Ministry concerned should do more than what we are hearing from the Chairman of the Committee.
Hon. (Dr.) Makali Mulu, with that, we will get the Chair to respond now. Kindly have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I think the challenge is that we have multiple sources of information – Ministry of Devolution and Planning and the Ministry of Internal Security. How I wish we could get one source so that, just as they have centralized distribution, they also do so on the source of information. I want to comment on the issue of cash transfers. I am sure most Members of Parliament must be having problems with their electorate. 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.
Why I have a problem with the line you want to take is that this issue was one of food distribution. So, when you go to cash transfer, you bring in a completely different…
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I actually sit in that Committee and at times, we would call the Minister for Devolution and Planning who could provide piecemeal information because the other part of information would be coming from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. I think the issue is centralization. The way the Government’s functions are shared – that is an Executive function - is the challenge we have. I wish this kind of function would be under one Ministry. With that, it would help this country.
Let us hear from the Chair.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. The issue of relief food is usually a continuous programme under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The issue that was raised by my sister Hon. Passaris was about the Covid-19 pandemic. That food was actually supplied by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government through a programme which was run from Interior. With regard to relief food, individuals have been involved in helping. The church should also help in giving food. There are many programmes within the City of Nairobi and within many other areas where organized groups like the church and other groups are giving food to the needy. I think I would take over the issue, but according to me, it is actually the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government that should always prepare for disasters like this one, which came because of the Covid-19 pandemic so that they are always ready. But the issue of relief food is usually…
Okay. Go to the next response.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. The other Statement was sought by Hon. Washiali. Matungu and Mumias Sub-County Intelligence Committee had received credible intelligence reports that some goons were planning to disrupt a fundraising which was to be held at St. Leo Catholic Church and Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church. It further indicated that groups of local youth had planned to cause chaos which could have resulted in unnecessary destruction of property and likely injuries to innocent people. All security committees consequently resolved to cancel the respective meeting to avoid chaos. The two catholic priests were informed accordingly and they concurred with the decision. Hon. Deputy Speaker, however, on Saturday, 10th October 2020, the Member of Parliament for Mumias East Constituency, Hon. Benjamin Washiali, accompanied by his Matungu counterpart Hon. Justus Murunga and former Senator for Kakamega, Hon. Bonny Khalwale amongst others, visited the proposed venue for the Harambee, St. Luis Catholic Church grounds, and incited their supporters against the cancelation. During that incident, the police advised them to disperse peacefully but they defied the orders; thus prompting the police to use three teargas canisters against the defying crowd. The gathering amounted to unlawful assembly. There was no teargas used on Sunday 11th October 2020 by the police against Christians. The mass commenced at 6.00 a.m. and ended at 9.00 a.m. at St. Luis Catholic Church in Mumias East, and was presided over by Bishop Joseph Obanyi of Kakamega Diocese where Hon. Washiali attended and the mass ended peacefully. After the mass, Hon. Washiali left on foot, met in town with Hon. Khalwale and addressed a gathering of about 300 people after which they left peacefully. 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 Our Lady of Assumption Church in Matungu, the mass commenced at 7.30 a.m. and ended at 8.30 a.m. It was led by Reverend Father Humphrey Makokha. The service was peaceful. The congregants dispersed peacefully, and no teargas was used. The Public Order Act, Section 5, Chapter 56, Laws of Kenya, is still relevant and practicable in the current constitutional dispensation. It states that any person who elects to attend or participate in public gathering or meeting or public procession shall, pursuant to the law and in particular Section 5: (i) Exercise a sense of civic duty and responsibility and not be in possession of any weapon; (2) At all times find themselves to be peaceful and non-violent and shall keep to designated places of the public meeting; (3) Report incitement to hate speech, incitement to violence, contempt or any other offence to relevant authorities; (4) Respect the freedom of expression of other people; (5) Not abuse, exclude, demean, stereotype or profile other people; (6) Not propagate insurgencies and socio-economic hostilities among and between Kenyans; (7) Maintain strict observance to law for safety and well-being of everyone; (8) Not propagate insurgencies and socio-economic hostilities among and between Kenyans; and, (9) Maintain strict observance to law for safety and well-being of everyone present. Moreover, I would like to say that all of us Members in this House are seasoned politicians and we all know the difference between political gathering and religious gathering. Let us stop distinguishing political gathering as religious gathering. In addition, you know in Britain they lost congregations because of taking politics into the church and, today, most of the churches in Europe do not have congregants because of taking politics in a place for spiritual feeding. Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Members, as I give a chance to a few of you to seek clarification, please, let them be clarifications. Let them not be statements and opportunity for debate. Stick to the specific clarification you want to get. Let us start with Hon. Washiali.
Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker. Let me, as a matter of procedure, thank my brother, the Chair of this Committee, Hon. Paul; and quickly add that even his own conscience will not allow him to accept this as a reasonable answer to the Statement request. This is because the response raises the question of whether seeking statements here would actually help us provide the oversight that we really need as a House. You have heard the Statement he made. In part of it, he said that the intelligence reports further indicated that groups of local youths had planned to cause chaos which would have resulted in unnecessary destruction of property and injuries to innocent people. Who told the police that there would be youths? You know, those are the questions that we are asking. The Supreme law of this country, under Bill of Rights, Chapter 4 (35) (ii) reads: “Every person has the right to the correction, deletion, or untrue or misleading information that affects the person.” Moreover, if indeed the police went ahead to cancel the function, which was a prayer function...
I am trying to get the nexus between what has just been read and the specific Article that has been referred to. Which part of the Constitution did you read? 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.
Chapter 4 (35) (ii).
So, you have said the clarification you are seeking from the Chair is where they got the information from?
Yes, where they got the information from because we have a right, as the organizers. While complementing the Statement, the Chair talked about politics because of the people who were there. How would you know that there would be politics before even the function took place? Moreover, Hon. Chair, just before you finish, there is another inquiry I wanted to make. The teargassing took place on 10th, a day before the function. The function was meant to be on 11th. I have a letter from the Officer Commanding Station (OCS). In addition, the Cabinet Secretary, who prepared this response, was very careful not to include the issue of Covid-19 because I would have challenged him since there are very many functions that are going on in the country. Even the would-be chief guest, the Deputy President, has a function in Machakos. One of the reasons they cited for cancelling the function was COVID-19.
So, you sought two clarifications. I will allow the Committee Chair to respond. I will take one more clarification request and then the Chair will respond to all of them. Has Hon. ole Sankok spoken this morning?
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Oh, you sought a Statement. Anyway, just proceed.
No, I am talking about this specific petition from my good friend, Hon. Paul Koinange.
That is a Statement.
I want you to distinguish between the two.
Yes, Hon. Deputy Speaker. English is a bit difficult. Hon. Deputy Speaker, what Hon. Washiali was asking was the issue of predetermined kind of information that there would be chaos the following day. We pay our security agencies to make sure that there is peace. So, theirs was to go there and maintain law and order rather than teargassing people and the congregation in churches to disperse them. Politicians and non- politicians are all believers. When I go to church in my capacity as a common citizen with the Christian faith, I should not be told that I am a politician. Otherwise, our campaigners should not go to church. They should stay away from church. Only those who do not participate in politics in one way or the other should go to church. Where is the line between politicians and non-politicians in this country?
Okay. Hon. Wanyonyi, you just spoke on the other one. Yes, I see another Member.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am a Kenyan by right. The habit of dispersing the congregation should stop forthwith because I have a right to go anywhere as a Kenyan. There have been many such cases where some people actually hold meetings while others are stopped from holding meetings by teargassing the neighbourhoods. Hon. Deputy Speaker, we were stopped from holding meetings when teargas was fired at us from the neighbourhood. Please, Chair, advise whoever is telling you to do that to stop because it is not democratic.
Okay. Let us have Hon. King’ola Makau.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I thank the Chair for answering that 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.
I agree with Members that sometimes we do not get satisfactory answers in this House. This is an opportune time for us to address it through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). Cabinet Secretaries will be appointed from this House and we will be asking them Questions directly. So, I urge Members who are asking for amendments to first read the document so that such questions will be answered here directly and we will have faith. When I look at Hon. Paul Koinange, sometimes he has to pass through many hands for him to come with such an answer. In the process, he belabours too much because at times the answers are not from him. How I wish Hon. Koinange could be a Cabinet Secretary.
Hon. King’ola, are you seeking any clarification or you are already assisting the Chair to respond?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, listening to Hon. Washiali, he is already aggrieved. It is not good for congregants to be tear-gassed. However, we must look at the process and why that is happening. I am reminding Members that we can only cure that through what is at hand now. So, please, allow me to air that because it is also affecting me and others. The President yesterday talked of congregations and political gatherings. He did not even speak of burials. It is upon us as leaders of this House to educate the masses and make them understand. When we go for funerals, we can turn them into political arenas. We can also do the same to churches. How do you cure that?
Okay. Let us have the Chair responding to those ones. I can see there are many Members who are interested, but the problem is that Members are giving statements instead of seeking clarifications. So, maybe, Chair, you can sum it up, I will give two more Members.
I will not give you a chance, Hon. Pukose. Let me give other Members who have not spoken this morning. Let me give Hon. Kanyuithia, Member for Tigania West.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to make a comment on this issue. When we request for Statements in this House, we would like the truth to come out and facts laid out as it were. This Statement addresses the day after the occurrence. It is not addressing the day of the event itself. It means the answer is as misplaced as it is immaterial. It is very important for us to realise that we have a Constitution which prioritises the power of the people. Article 35 that he has quoted gives people the right to get the correct version of information wherever it is. So, you are giving us the wrong information and you are misleading us.
Okay. Let us have Hon. Martin Owino, Member for Ndhiwa.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I read the Question and the answer. What strikes me is how specifically they are answered. I also observed one important thing. As a community of Members, we should be standing firm when things go wrong, whether it is against you or for you. It is interesting that when we were being tear-gassed, there was no help from my friends. Now you are being tear-gassed and you make noise. That should stop. Let us be sincere.
Now, if it is going to be straight, Hon. (Dr.) Pukose, proceed and be quick.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker and the Chair. Chapter Four of our Constitution, which is the Bill of Rights in Article 35 guarantees the freedom of association, movement and freedom to gather. I wanted to seek clarification from the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Chair who referred to the Public Order Act. Is the Act superior to the Constitution? They have used the Act to abuse the rights of individuals to assemble by anticipating chaos while the Constitution provides that you must provide security for the people.
Okay. Let us have the very last one by Hon. Mbui.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I think the clarification I was seeking has already been asked by the other Members.
Okay. So we proceed to the Chair, please.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. The Statement was very clear that the first meeting which was held without permission, there were no police officers and that is why there was chaos. However, if Hon. Washiali notes, the other meetings they had were orderly and with no problem at all. So, we should always be ready to report the meetings we are having so that we just do not have disorderly meetings and then we have chaos. Also, everybody has a right to make sure that the citizens who come even in churches are safe. There are people who are putting two opposing groups in churches and then we have a problem and that is typical of what happened to Hon. Washiali. That is the information we had. Much as I respect Hon. Washiali, we must always have order whether it is outside or inside churches for the sake of maintaining law and order.
That marks the end of our Statement time. Next Order.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, aware that the Constitution and the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provide that every citizen is entitled to any document of registration or identification issued by the State to citizens including a birth certificate; further aware that Article 53(2) of the Constitution of Kenya provides that a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child; cognizant of the fact that issuance of birth certificates during civil registration associated with children is a challenge across the country due to among other issues, missing information for the parents and children as a result of missing and improper documentations, damaged manual documents, and lack of registration of children born outside hospital environments; deeply concerned over the delays and long queues at civil registration centres and the challenges affecting registration of children by the Ministry of Education using the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) in the country; this House urges the Government to establish database centres in all civil registration centres for purposes of storing all the necessary 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.
information required for issuance of birth certificates to all children and puts in place administrative mechanisms to ensure that every child is automatically issued with a birth certificate before he attains the age of three years. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thought of this Motion because of the many problems parents go through while trying to access birth certificates. It is the ministry’s policy that all children in schools, both secondary and primary, should be registered using birth certificates.
Civil registration is an act of registering births and deaths in a country to capture data of population trends. This assists the Government in planning to render services to its people. Therefore, the registration centres are where people go to register for birth certificates. So, birth registration is registering a child’s birth. This is the first right that any child gets after birth.
Birth registration not only guarantees a child’s right to a name and nationality, but it also fulfils a wide range of other rights and requirements like access to other identification documents such as the National Identity (ID) Card. The Ministry of Education has made it mandatory for children to be registered in schools using birth certificates so that, that information is captured. That is why we have the NEMIS system in use.
Registration entitles a child to a birth certificate which is issued from the returns compiled by the Registrar of Births. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognises birth registration as a fundamental human right. There are so many other laws that we have passed in this country which give legal framework for birth registration in Kenya. We have Article 12(b) of the Constitution which states that: “(1) Every citizen is entitled to – (b) a Kenyan passport and any document of registration or identification issued by the State to citizens.” We also have another legal framework which is Article 53(2) of the Constitution of Kenya which provides that a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child. Therefore, when parents seek birth certificates and cannot access them due to the challenges they face in getting the records that are asked for, we deny the children this right. We also have the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 which states the importance of acquiring this document. We also have the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Cap. 149) which governs registration of births in Kenya. There are many challenges one faces as a result of lacking a birth certificate. But before I go to the challenges, the reason I came up with this Motion is because the moment a child acquires a birth certificate, it gives proof of his or her age. It also ensures that a child can be enrolled in a school at the appropriate age. This document proves that child’s age. The moment parents do not get it as a requirement for primary and secondary school, then we are denying a right which is supposed to be given. A child’s social and economic rights are protected like right to education, protection from physical abuse, forced labour and marriage. This is the same document that we use to tell the age of a child. That is how we prove one is a minor who has been sexually abused. That is how we are able to tell if a child is being subjected to labour whereas he or she has not acquired the required age. The birth certificate also gives proof of age, so that one can apply for an ID card. It proves you have attained 18 years and you are supposed to provide a birth certificate to show you have acquired that age. Therefore, it is rightfully your time to apply and acquire an ID card. This will enable you to get into other areas like the constitutional right to vote. Therefore, 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.
need to urge the Government to use the technological strides this country has made and establish database centres for purposes of storing and harmonising all the necessary information required for the issuance of birth certificates. There are several challenges faced by our parents when acquiring birth certificates for their children, more now than before because a birth certificate is a must for our children to enroll in school. One challenge parents face is missing information of the parents and child as a result of improper documentation. When our parents go to the civil registration centres, there are documents they are told to provide when filling forms in order to be issued with birth certificates, but because such information is not stored, sometimes the mother is asked for information and documents from the father. This can be very stressful if the mother remembers that by the time she gave birth to the child she was married and later on, the marriage broke. Therefore, being asked for a copy of the ID card from the person who had married her is difficult. Sometimes, marriages end up in a way that women are almost killed by the men. This is very stressful and we cannot allow it to continue. We know this country has advanced technology which can store this information in a way that if a marriage breaks, the child will not be denied the right to get a birth certificate just because…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, you know you have 10 minutes to move a Motion as we resolved in this House. Let me give you half a minute to finish moving as a matter of procedure.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an extra two minutes.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, I did not give you two minutes, I said half a minute.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I stand corrected. I move the Motion because of the challenges our constituents are facing while acquiring birth certificates. I request Hon. Thuku, Member for Kinangop, to second.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Please, do it the right way, say you beg to move.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Correct, that is good Hon. Maua. The seconder.
I request Hon. Kwenya Thuku, Member for Kinangop Constituency, to second.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Kwenya Thuku to second the Motion.
There is something wrong with the system, all the microphones are on.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Kwenya for seconding. I also order, from where I sit, that the officers managing the system to look into it.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, they might have disrupted the order…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order! Order, Hon. Member! The fact that all the microphones are on does not give you authority to speak. You are 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.
actually out of order. You must catch the Speaker’s eye for you to speak. You cannot speak anyhow. Hon. Kwenya, please, use the Dispatch Box as I order for the systems to be put in place. Of course, the public should know that Parliament is digital. Hon. Kwenya, it is important for us to go into record that you are seconding. As a matter of procedure, please, say that you beg to second.
( off record)
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): You have seconded. That is the procedure of the House because a Motion is always moved and seconded. Now allow me to propose the Question to Motion No.8.
Hon. Members, the first to have the Floor is the Member for Saboti, Hon. Luyai Amisi. You have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion. A birth certificate is an essential certificate in the life of a child in this country. Just like somebody said, we have not inherited this land from our forefathers, but we have borrowed it from our children and we must return it with interest. It is important that our laws are geared towards protecting the rights of our children, our future generation. That is a very progressive Motion in that we are going to ensure that all our children are guaranteed their certificate, which is very important. This is the certificate that will lead to the acquisition of national ID. It is the certificate that will recognise one as a citizen by birth. We have had various arguments on how people prove their citizenship. A birth certificate is such an essential document in this country that must be acquired without any challenges. Having a database in every small centre enables even those citizens who come from the interior, where acquisition of this document has proved difficult either because of the long trek to the centres or even lack of proper centres or lack of proper Government equipment, to get them. Some of these certificates are so essential that they have even given people jobs. There are people who have been appointed to the Cabinet just because of a birth certificate. It is that important. If a birth certificate only can give you a Government job, then it is paramount that as legislators, we make sure that every Kenyan acquires this document without much difficulty. This is not alien. We do not operate in a vacuum as a country. Nations are progressing. The world is going techno savvy and we cannot afford to remain behind as a nation when the rest of the world progresses in globalisation context. We are putting everything including the databases. In fact, we do not need to carry all documents including the national ID and the voter’s card in our wallets. You find that we have big wallets which do not have money, but are full of documents. So, every necessary document that is required and which is essential in acquisition of services in this country is put in a proper national database where we can all access them. You can tap a person’s personal identification number and you access all details about him like where he was born and who are his parents. It is not very difficult to track somebody in terms of his family lineage and heritage. It is easy for a whole nation to access every person from his family background, where he comes from and the county. So, it is very important and I rise to support. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): I like your statement that Kenyans have huge wallets without money, but full of documents. Hon. Members, before I give the Floor to the next Member, I request you to log in your cards again. As you are aware, after 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.
ordered that the system be put in place again, some Members were affected by the hitch. So far, I have 13 requests. So, be careful, you may need to confirm with the clerks at the Table. Next on my request list is the Member for Igembe South, Hon. Paul Mwirigi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. If you need services in any institution, the first thing you are asked is to produce a birth certificate. It is unfortunate to note that there are people today who are over 20 years and have no birth certificates. So, it is good to establish a database in every civil registration centre, so that information concerning a person within specific regions can be contained in one document and can be accessed when required.
Such a move will ensure issuance of birth certificates to the young ones because it is a requirement in schools now. For any child to register for examinations, you are supposed to produce a birth certificate. If you do not have that certificate, you are sent away and this will lead to failure in the education sector. Also, when somebody wants to acquire a passport, they are required to produce their birth certificate. If we come up with a database in every civil registry, everybody will be registered and will have a birth certificate. So, it is a good idea and many of our kins will benefit from such a move.
Doing this will also reduce congestion that is normally experienced in civil registries. Most of these registries experience very long queues because of people who are applying for birth certificates. Some people spend months before they receive birth certificates of their kins. In addition, this will enable many sub-counties to benefit from this move because currently, we have very few civil registries within our regions. For example, in my constituency, I serve more than five districts and people come from all the districts to Maua to seek birth certificates. They are normally met with congestion as many people come to apply for the same. The end result is that people do not get the certificate at the required time. So, if this Motion is passed, it will help many Kenyans to acquire birth certificates for their kins. I beg to support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. Member for Bondo, Hon. Ochanda.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. At the outset, let me disabuse one fact that has been mentioned by a Member. Birth certificate is not an indicator of citizenship. If one bothers to check, there is a very nice statement below a birth certificate that indicates clearly that: “This is not an indicator of citizenship”. It is not supposed to be used for that purpose.
The second thing that I wanted to raise is that I agree with the Motion in terms of the principle and the way we realise some of these issues as a country. There are challenges that we go through when dealing with issues to do with registration of births. I may also disagree with some things, which I want to convince the Mover to amend, that there is no need for the centres. We need to make this exercise much simpler. Coming up with centres brings in more bureaucracies for nothing. We have one law that deals with births and deaths. Do you know that it is so easy to register a death? It is done by assistant chiefs and chiefs. You are given your burial certificate and the next day you use it to get a death certificate, but it is so difficult to get a birth certificate. Is that how the Government wants us to…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Gedi, Are you on a point of order.
No, Hon. Temporary Deputy 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.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Members who are not on intervention, please, remove your card.
She has taken my minute. What I was trying to get to is that this process needs to be simpler than it is. Registration of births is being done by a department that is completely different from the one that requires birth certificates. I think there needs to be an order and some communication. When the Ministry of Education insists on using birth certificates for purposes of exams and everything else, yet it is not the one that issues birth certificates, they do not know the difficulties people go through to get them. There must be communication between the department that requests for birth certificates and the one that issues birth certificates. At the moment, there is disconnect. The Ministry of Education insists on acquisition of birth certificate for purposes of exams and registering students, but it is not their mandate to issue birth certificates. So, certificates are issued by a completely different department from the one that requires them and there is no communication between the two. I do not understand why the Government wants to let citizens suffer for things like these. I am trying to say that now that they have failed in digitising these processes, let them remain manual, and as they do so, let them handle them the way they are handling deaths. Birth certificates are a confirmation that you were born on a certain date. Why should there be a big problem? As we move forward, I want to believe that there are some things that are going to be sorted out by the Huduma Namba, but it is also getting complex. We are being warned that there is another process that is meant to start second generation of Huduma Namba. I do not understand why the Government insists on making the citizens of this country suffer for no apparent reason.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Ogolla Ochanda, are you in support of the Motion or not?
I am in support in terms of the spirit and the principles, but I have indicated I will be talking to the Mover for purposes of some amendments.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Correct, it is procedural to move an amendment to a Motion. Let me have the Member for Trans-Nzoia County, Hon. Nangabo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion.
A birth certificate is very important to our children, the way Hon. (Ms.) Mary Njoroge has put it. I want to differ with the Member who has just spoken, that this is a small thing that you can just wake up and get even tomorrow. It is not easy. It is just a small thing, but it is not easy to get it because we have some regulations. When you go to ask for a birth certificate, you can see someone asking you where you gave birth to the child and where the father or the guardian of the kid is. So, I support the establishment of the database centres. If we can have them in our constituencies, it will be very easy for our people to access birth certificates.
It is not true that it is very easy to get a death certificate. Recently, when my father passed on, they asked me whether he passed on at home or in hospital. So, it was a matter of procedure that I went to the chief, so that he or she could give me the letter, so that I could take it to get the death certificate. They are also talking about the Huduma Centres. Yes, the Huduma Centres came in 2019, but they are not effective. When people lose their ID cards, they go there for replacement. It is not about birth certificates. So, we need database centres in various areas so that our people can access birth certificates for their children. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, when you take a child to pre-school, you need to give out their birth certificate. If you do not have one, they cannot admit that child to school. I agree 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 Hon. (Ms.) Mary Njoroge that we can have the database centres. When it comes to the challenges that we are facing in our areas, everything is being directed to the chiefs or assistant chiefs. When it comes to the chief or the assistant chief, you will see that it can take even six months before somebody gets a birth certificate. Suppose that a person is a candidate, he or she will miss out on the examination. I support this Motion and urge Members to support it. I thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. The Floor goes to the Member for Wajir County, Hon. (Ms.) Fatuma Gedi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity. From the outset, I support this Motion. This is a very important Motion for us. Every child has the right to acquire a birth certificate and to go to school. You know very well that without the birth certificate, children cannot access services in schools or even in hospitals. In our Constitution, it is very clear that everybody has the right to acquire citizenship of this country. The challenge is, in many parts of this country, the dynamics are different. For example, where I come from, we have a border with Somalia and many of our children and even citizens fail to acquire birth certificates from childhood and even IDs. So, they are forced to go to countries like Somalia where they can acquire citizenship. It is a big shame on us. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to say with confidence that this is a very touching Motion. From the pastoralists’ area - we saw the day before yesterday, I think on Tuesday, if I am not wrong - they were giving us ultimatums and irreducible minimums for the BBI and yet they are not here to support this Motion. It is really shameful. Very shameful because the issues that we were asking for 50 years after Independence, issues of IDs, death certificates, birth certificates… They were at a Press conference giving us irreducible minimums on those issues that they can legislate here; some are issues of policy that do not require ultimatums in the BBI. In the constituency that I come from, we get services, you can imagine 120 kilometres away and one has to go and get a birth certificate. You can also imagine our roads are very bad. So, I want to congratulate and thank the Member for this wonderful Motion, but as she is talking about data, where I come from, we are not yet there. We do not have offices. We do not have enough staff and the reason is the network. We are not connected by the 4G network yet. It is a wonderful Motion and as I said, for us to tighten this, we will bring amendments to this Motion. With that, I thank the Member for this. Please, I want to say to the pastoralists Members of Parliament that let us not incite the pastoralist communities against other communities because there is nothing called pastoralists. We are all Kenyans. This is the time we all need to unite, so that we can have one Kenya that we all want. Once we have one Kenya, all these issues will be sorted out. I thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well, Hon. (Ms) Fatuma Gedi. The Mover of the Motion is Hon. (Ms.) Mary Njoroge. Let me have Hon. David ole Sankok.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to speak on this very important Motion especially for us, the pastoralists, although Hon. Fatuma Gedi has said that there is nothing like pastoralists. Pastoralists occupy 80 per cent of the land mass of Kenya. Assuming and ignoring them is detrimental. 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 congratulate Hon. Mary Njoroge for such an important Motion that she has brought to this House. I have known her, she is my friend, and she is an oasis of knowledge. That is why she was able to come up with such a progressive Motion. I will speak on behalf of the pastoralists because I was in the Press conference and since Kenya is on a constitutional moment, we have to bring our issues inside and even outside this House. The BBI is not yet in this House. We will deal with it outside this House and we will deal with the legislative framework that is within this House. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was born in a manyatta with the assistance of traditional birth attendant. My daughter was also born in a manyatta with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant, who was my grandmother aged around 100 years old. To get a birth certificate in our region is a nightmare. For those who are born in hospitals, at least, they have a leeway of having registration in a hospital and a receipt. The rest of my children were born in hospital, so it became a bit easier, but for my first born or even myself, I got my birth certificate when I was 38 years old. That is how difficult it is to get that very important document. Other people may think that it is not a guarantee of citizenship, but in every service that we seek in this nation, they require the birth certificate. If you want to go to school, they need the birth certificate. If you want to apply for a passport, they need the birth certificate. So, it is a very important document in our lives as Kenyans. This Motion tends to cure, in part, this particular problem that we go through as Kenyans. I am sure even in Kibra in Nairobi, most people give birth in their houses because of poverty. They go through the difficulties that we go through as pastoralists to acquire this very important document. Sometimes we use harsh words and say that Kenya is a sadist country. It is easy to get a death certificate for somebody who does not require any services anymore yet it is very difficult to acquire a birth certificate for a citizen who requires that document progressively for 30, 50 or 80 years depending on what God will give them. We need to make the acquisition of this document very easy. I will talk to Hon. Wamaua so that we can make some amendments. We keep on urging the Government. The Motion states that this House urges the Government. We do not urge, we pass legislation. If we pass the Motion, it means we have resolved, as an arm of Government, that the Executive should implement this particular Motion speedily and in a timely manner. I do not know why we are moving towards the Huduma Namba yet we are not even sure of the basic registration. We like the Huduma Namba and will support it, but let us make it easier for Kenyans to acquire basic documents like birth certificates. I support the Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well, Member No.001. Let us have Hon. Sossion Wilson.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member for Ndhiwa, you are not very far on my list, but you look… Are you anxious? You are not very far. It is always like that. He really wants to represent his people. Yes, Hon. Sossion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this very critical Motion. I thank Hon. Wamaua for bringing this Motion to Parliament. It urges the Government yet it is a very serious and important matter about keeping a database of citizens. As I support, I wish to bring to the attention of the House and the nation that the global economy is going digital. Our Kenyan administrative system is going digital. Therefore, in a digital 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.
economy, it is still unfortunate that we have to discuss the very fundamental rights that our children should enjoy right from birth in terms of registration. She has touched on the requirements of the NEMIS and the fact that in our education system, no child is allowed to sit for examinations without a birth certificate. I support NEMIS in the Ministry of Education because of a number of facts that have emerged in the education sector. First, the country is unable to plan in advance for capitation and funding for the education of our children. It is essential that even in 2020, the children who are born in this country are registered and known. It will then enable the Government to plan knowing that in 2020, five million children have been born, their profiles and locations are known and even mapping of schooling can be done so that planning is done in advance. We cannot run an education system that operates in crisis such that we wait for a new academic year to start and look at the number of children who enroll. It should be known in advance. We should know every child who is born in this country at whatever time and plan for their welfare throughout the year. This is part of the implementation of free education. It cannot be free if there is no planning. Physical planning is key. I would rather that this Motion talks about registration being mandatory at the time of birth for all children born within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Kenya. Secondly, there has been a lot of fraud in the education system. With regard to recruitment to various training institutions, there are school leavers who use certificates that do not belong to them to join training institutions and take up careers using certificates that are not theirs. This is a fact. If we were to audit Government employees, we would find that quite a number of them are using certificates that are not theirs. They have taken advantage of the non-registration of citizens at birth. We cannot fight corruption without developing an honest and clear database that can be accessed at any time. That is why when you are sitting for an exam, you do so with a birth certificate. There has also been falsification of ages even in the public service. Somebody will acquire a birth certificate at 55 years of age and change their age. This Motion is important in many aspects to weed out and ensure that we run an honest education system that reflects the truth about our citizens. The NEMIS is essential. Planning is important. Digitisation is the way to go. It should be legislatively mandatory for any child born in the Republic of Kenya to be registered at the time of birth. It is possible. Why is it so easy to register deaths and very difficult to register births? We are…
Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Let us have the Hon. Member for Kathiani who is also the Deputy Leader of the Minority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. I also rise to support this Motion on the establishment of database centres. First and foremost, the issue of registration of births is a big elephant in the room. It has been a problem for a very long time. This was brought to the fore several years ago when the Ministry of Education decided that every school-going child must be registered under NEMIS. They started by saying that candidates should be registered and later on - about three or four years ago - they said that all school-going children should be registered. Almost immediately, queues sprung up in every registration centre in the country. It was at that point that we realised that it was a mess. A lot of our children were going to school yet they did not have birth certificates. As a result, very serious cases of corruption came up. I remember at one time that even the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government tried to handle those cases. Because of the large influx, there were those that were even going very early in the morning and selling space in the queues because if you went there, you would not be served within a day. 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 were also those who decided that because there was a shortage of printing material, they would sell it. If you went there, queued all day and gave all the documents required, you would be told to wait for two to three weeks. Those that had about Kshs1000 or Kshs2000 would go home with their certificates. That problem is still there to date. It is still rampant. Up to now, a lot of our children do not have registration certificates. When the Government came up with the plan to ensure that all children of school-going age have those certificates, they did not put in place the requirements. They did not put in place enough materials. They did not put in place enough personnel and that is why that problem still persists to date. In order for us to handle this issue, we need to ensure that the Government is well-empowered and has enough funds to increase the personnel and materials required for that purpose. This Motion by Hon. Wamaua is an excellent one because it proposes that when children are born, the information is immediately recorded in a database. This Government came into power on the promise of being a digital Government. I remember we in the National Super Alliance (NASA) were told that we are analogue. It is now many years later. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is important for this Government to walk the talk. It is important to ensure that our children are registered after birth because they are known. I know that there is a situation that the Government is afraid of. When you make it very easy to register people’s births, then it means that foreigners who have found their way into the country will probably get birth certificates. This proposal to register children very quickly after birth will deal with that problem. Some of the children whom we are registering in primary schools are in class eight. Those are already 13 or 14 years old children. That means that 13 or 14 years since they were born, they have never got birth certificates. If we do it during the first one, two or three years like it is being proposed, then that issue of infiltration by foreigners to get birth certificates from this country will also be cured.
I support this Motion. This is a brilliant idea. This is something that we need to cascade forward. After we debate it, we need to go into the implementation mode. We have the Committee on Implementation. We can even turn it into a Bill or make amendments, so that this becomes the new norm for this country.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. I now give the Floor to the Member for Ndhiwa, Hon. Martin Owino.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was really yearning to contribute because of the distance that my people travel when they seek a birth certificate. First of all, I support this Motion. I really congratulate Hon. Mary Wamaua for bringing this Motion.
Access to documentation is one of the things that frustrate Kenyans. You know how stressed the communities are now, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Later on, I will talk to the originator of the Motion. We do not need to wait for three years for this birth certificate to be issued. As I heard from Hon. Mbui, registration should be immediate. We are in the digital age. Remember that over 2000 years ago, Jesus travelled to Bethlehem to be registered. That was a long distance but that was then. Right now, God has given us the capacity to digitalise our things. Even our chiefs are now very young men and women. When we talk about database centres, we are talking about a computer or decentralised system. One Member also said that the database centres should be in the constituencies and then to locations and sub locations. I 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.
imagine an assistant chief who has a computer. When a birth process is in that location, he fills it in the database. So, what they wait for is only the birth certificate.
I was discussing something here with Hon. Nyikal. You cannot have a tree or leaves without the roots. You cannot get an identification card and a passport without a birth certificate. This is a very important document. I want to allude to the fact that the originator of the Motion might consider….
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Sankok.
You are in order now. You were out of order. You must bow when you are getting into the House. Carry on, Hon. Member.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for correcting that. We need order here.
Let this baby grow into a Bill so that we can budget. One thing is to pass a Motion and implementing it is another thing. If the originator of the Motion agrees with me, after we pass this Motion which I encourage our fellow Members to do so, we can have a money Bill that can give the State Department a lot of resources. Birthing is very stressful for mothers. When you have gone through that, you are not supposed to be subjected to another stress of getting documentation. There is a syndrome in this country where you are told that your file is missing. However, somebody is just sitting on it waiting for some bribes to give the information. This is what we are trying to cure by a digital system. If you say that my file is missing, I can easily log in and show you. However, we do not need to go that far. In short, I am trying to allude to the fact that a database centre is not a building where people will queue. Let us make a system that recognises those who are born and be serviced immediately.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me the time to contribute. I support the Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): The Member for Loima, Hon. Ekamais. You have a very long name.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. First and foremost, I want to thank my colleague, Hon. Wamaua, for bringing this very important Motion which is timely.
This Motion should have emanated from a pastoralist. I come from Turkana County. I border many districts of our neighbouring country, Uganda. As a result of lack of this very important document, our people are prompted to register across the other side, especially our pastoralists who cross from Kenya to Uganda in districts such as Moroto. If our nation or country makes this an exercise that is very important for all Kenyans, it will be very prudent.
My village that borders Uganda is about 150 kilometres to the headquarters of Loima Constituency. Our children who school at Orom School that appears in the media most frequently, walk for long distances. Remember that they are pastoralists. The transport means is completely poor. It will be very important to decentralise this kind of service, even to the division level, so that those from poor backgrounds can access this document. It will be very important to establish 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.
database centres in not only all civil registration centres at the constituencies headquarters, but also go deep into the division or location level, especially for the pastoralist communities. That will help a lot.
The NEMIS compels every child to produce a birth certificate in order to register for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Our pastoralists who walk for long distances to our headquarters or Lodwar, make long queues for the document. Children who get birth certificates sit for the exam before others get them. I feel that this is a very important Motion. As my colleague has just mentioned, it should be made into a Bill, so that something is entrenched in our laws that will make every Kenyan access this very important document.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): The Member for Mogotio, Hon. Tuitoek Kamuren, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this particular Motion. Civil registration is very important. Currently, we all know that all the students and pupils in class eight and form four have to acquire birth certificates, so that they can enroll for the exams and future registration or application of identification cards.
This particular Motion is very important. Parents who travel for long distances to visit the civil registration centres experience a lot of problems. I am trying to intervene to get a civil registration centre in my constituency. One of the challenges has been lack of finances to establish these centres. This Motion has come at the right time. We know that the Government has come up with various types of systems, including the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS); and the National Integrated Information Management System (NIIMS), known as the Huduma Namba. All these require an identity card and an identity card requires a birth certificate. It is time the Government took it serious. I thank Hon. Mary Wamaua for this Motion. She should upgrade it to a money Bill so that the Government can take it as a serious document from Parliament.
The extortion that happens when parents go to apply for birth certificates is very serious. Many parents have to spend several days in some centres looking for birth certificates. Hopefully, if we establish registration centres, at least, in every sub-county or constituency, it will go a long way in cushioning parents from being extorted by middlemen. Parents will acquire the documents as quickly as possible. If it is streamlined so that we have registration centres, it will become a straightforward business that all babies are automatically registered at the centres and their birth certificates will be issued.
This is a timely Motion that I support. I urge that we escalate it to a Bill to help us commit the Government to set up the centres. As a Motion, the Government can take its sweet time by saying that it does not have funds as we urge it to establish these centres. If we make it an Act of Parliament, it will be a law that will have to be implemented as part of parliamentary decision. We have a Committee that deals with implementation of Motions, Bills and all resolutions passed in this House. The Committee on Implementation can take up this matter so that we expedite the enactment of this Motion so that the Government can implement it.
With those remarks, I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Thank you, the Member for Mogotio. Let me now have the Member for Ol Jorok, Hon. Muchira Mwangi.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to support this important Motion by my friend, Hon. Wamaua. 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 importance of birth certificates cannot be over-emphasized. We know that the Government needs real time information for planning and efficient delivery of its services. It is therefore, in the best interest of the Government to have real time information on the births that have happened in this country, as well as on the number of deaths. This will make it real time information on its population at each particular time for efficient delivery of services. We also know that the document is crucial in obtaining certain documents like identity cards, passports and sometimes for inheritance purposes.
It is unfortunate that getting this document is still a challenge in this country. We still have some sub-counties which do not have registrar of persons. The residents have to go outside their sub-county to obtain this document. It is important that the process of obtaining this document is streamlined and made easier for the parents of this country. Sometimes people have to walk for a very long distance and use a lot of money for transport, but when they get to the registrar of persons, they are told that the documents are not available. Sometimes, they are taken back and forth. Matters are even worse where a child is born out of hospital so that a parent has to go to a community health officer, from where he proceeds to the area chief and then to the Deputy County Commissioner before going to the registrar of persons. One is taken back and forth.
The matter is even worse especially, as the Mover said, where a child is born out of wedlock. With various court rulings that have been made, where it is said that children born out of wedlock have a right to have their father’s name, it becomes difficult where the mother is asked for the identity card of the father. When they are not in good terms, it is very difficult to obtain such document.
We need to decentralise issuance of birth certificates and make it easier and smooth to get the document. We also need to leverage on technology. We now have mobile phone technology and most people in this country have phones. If we leverage on technology, it will be easier and smooth to get this document.
With those remarks, I support the Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Thank you, Member for Ol Jorok. Let us have the Member for Tigania West, Hon. Mutunga Kanyuithia.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I rise to support it.
I remember sometime back in this House, we discussed a Motion on establishment of civil registries in all the sub-counties in Kenya. That would have made it easier for our people to access registration. Right now, it is very difficult for parents to have their children registered or get birth certificates. Some of them have to travel long distances and congest civil registries. For example, my people of Tigania West have to go to Maua, which is about 35 kilometres away. They also meet many other people from four or five sub-counties seeking registration. This becomes a major issue because they spend a lot of time and there is rampant corruption because of the delays that occur in the process. Also, they go through anxiety and other problems. So, it will be good if this Motion borrows from the other Motion as well to go for the establishment of civil registries in all sub-counties. I dispute the fact that we do not need civil registries. We can have registrars of societies devolved to the sub-county level. It is high time we devolved the services offered by the Office of the Civil Registrar.
It is easy to consolidate information from the birth place to civil registries as intimated in this Motion. It is possible to get this data because most births these days occur in hospitals and those that do not, are registered at the nearest hospital because the mother and the infant will require some medical attention. So, it is possible to have this data captured and relayed almost 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.
immediately. Therefore, it is possible to update the data. Establishment of data centres is very key because it will not only help people to avoid wasting time travelling long distances, but will also help them to source for such information.
I would like to allude to another point where we have people who probably may not be willing to give information, or their identity cards, as intimated by the Mover. Where people are not together at the point of birth of a child - where the father is not with the mother - it becomes very difficult, depending on the circumstances under which they separated, and therefore mothers suffer a lot. Therefore, if we have data captured from the hospital or from the place of birth, it will be easy to issue a birth certificate in such cases. People also suffer before they get a death certificate. It will be good if this data is captured in one place.
It is important to note that very few children go without birth certificates. All national examinations at primary and secondary school levels require that a pupil or student is entered in NEMIS. The bio data of candidates cannot be entered in NEMIS without a birth certificate. Therefore, there is need to have the information centralized in such a manner that it can easily be storable and retrievable for those who may need it. That is why this Motion comes at the right time, and I believe that all of us should support it.
I would also like to indicate that, if we moved from a Motion to a Bill which will be passed in this House and assented by His Excellency the President, then we can make this issue very easy. By doing that, we would include the issue of establishing civil registries in all sub-counties, and therefore, having this information.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): He supports. Let me have Hon. (Prof.) Oduol Odhiambo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. From the outset, I support it. Yesterday, in the House, we looked at the review of the Sessional Paper on the National Policy on Gender and Development, after the first framework in 2000. A key concern was how we would want to ensure that we do not have any context in which there would be a disadvantage to any of the Kenyans whether they are boys, girls, women or men because of some perceptions or limitations that accrue from culture. As I support this Motion, I am reminded that, a number of times, children do not have their rights protected, and this has been presented by Hon. Wamaua clearly, that they do not get registration. This is because, in some cases, parents have problems and the requirement is that the father of the child must be presented. In a number of cases, we will find the children tend to be with their mothers. I find this Motion extremely useful because it will not only be an opportunity to address the best interests of the children, but it will also bring to light what we need to continue looking at. This includes the context where, in a way, we burden women especially mothers, which is a shame. By extension, we stigmatize children who need protection and clear documentation that would enable them to not only participate effectively, but also to competently determine where they would feel at home. The creation of database centres will be a very important tool or mechanism for protecting the interests of children. Right now, when we think in the context of teenage pregnancies and children who by and large do not seem to have any sense of proper protection, then it would be very useful to have clear database centres where we would do those registrations. I would also like to appreciate what Hon. Wamaua has indicated that we give ourselves a span of three years, so, it will be backdated to three years. From the challenges that accrue, I would 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.
like to urge that we ensure that this is implemented. If we can get it to be done digitally, it should not be that difficult to do it at the time of birth. This will ensure that we have a mechanism of protecting the interests of the children by ensuring that they are registered at the time of their birth regardless of the status of their mothers at that particular time. As I conclude, from the contributions we had yesterday on the National Policy on Gender and Development, I still come to the issue where we would want to see that this kind of mechanism helps us to review our attitudes. This is because we have a society with values that internalize behaviour that do not provide equity and balance which, in a number of cases, seem to be putting women in a challenge. As I support this, I do it because I am sure that it will be a key way of ensuring that we no longer burden women with guilt and shame. We no longer withhold information and we no longer make it a situation or a requirement that a woman cannot get to register her child without the approval of a man.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. The Member of Likoni. Hon. Members, I can assure you that this Motion has interest across the country. Therefore, no constituency is special to this. So, let me have the Member of Likoni, Hon. Mboko Khamisi.
Asante sana, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipatia nafasi kuunga mkono Hoja hii ambayo imeletwa na dadangu Mhe. Wamaua. Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa hakika stakabadhi hii tunaita birth certificate, ni muhimu sana na ni cheti cha kwanza mtoto hupata akizaliwa. Stakabadhi hii ndiyo itaonyesha umri wa mtoto huyu ambaye amezaliwa katika Taifa letu la Kenya. Tumeona changamoto nyingi sana ambazo Wakenya wengi wamepata kupata stakabadhi kama hizi, haswa tukiangalia wenzetu kutoka kule sehemu za North Eastern. Wamekuwa na changamoto nyingi sana. Hata kule kwetu Mombasa imekuwa ni changamoto kupata stakabadhi kama hii. Stakabadhi kama hii hivi sasa imepata umuhimu kiasi kwamba wanafunzi hawawezi kufanya mitihani katika shule zao kama hawana stakabadhi hiyo.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order, the Member who is coming in. Allow me not to even mention your name. Please can you go back, bow to the Chair and come in. Hon. Members, let us be informed. As a matter of procedure, I think we are now doing our fourth year. It is important for us to note the procedures of the House. Today I am in a good mood. I do not want to mention the name.
Thank you. Carry on.
Asante sana. Nasema kwamba ni lazima wanafunzi wawe na stakabadhi hii ndio waweze kuendelea na mitihani yao katika zile shule zetu hapa nchini. Vilevile, wakati unataka stakabadhi ya kusafiri, ni lazima upate stakabadhi hii kwanza hata kabla hujapeana hiki kitambulisho ambacho pia ni stakabadhi muhimu katika Taifa letu la Kenya. 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.
Ukifika katika ofisi zile, kwanza utaulizwa utoe stakabadhi hii ya birth certificate. Nataka niseme imekuwa ni changamoto kwa sababu si wazazi wote ambao wanajifungua ama wanazalia katika hospitali zetu ambapo watapata kile cheti kiitwacho birth notification. Wazazi wengi ama akina mama wengi wanaweza kujifungua kupitia wakunga kule manyumbani ama kule nyanjani. Hivyo, inakuwa changamoto kuweka zile takwimu ama mawasiliano katika zile asasi zetu muhimu ili zinukuliwe na kupata takwimu za mtoto yule ili aweze kupata stakabadhi kama hii. Nasema kwamba huu ni wakati mwafaka ambapo teknolojia imebobea. Wakati teknolojia imebobea, lazima pia twende na muondoko huo huo wa kwamba hata sisi pia tumebobea katika teknolojia. Hivyo basi kuwa na ile centre ambayo tunasema ni database centre, mahali ambapo mawasiliano yote ama zile takwimu zote zinazohusu stakabadhi nyeti na muhimu kama hizi zitakuwa pahali pamoja na kugatuliwa kule chini mashinani. Juzi tulifungua ile tunaita Huduma Centre, mahali ambapo tunaweza kupata huduma tofauti tofauti ikiwemo stakabadhi hii tunayoizungumzia sasa. Lakini tunaona kwamba hizi Huduma Centre zimewekwa katika sehemu za mijini ama ile miji mikubwa. Pia inakuwa changamoto kwa wazazi ama Wakenya wengi kuweza kufika pale ili kupata stakabadhi kama hizi. Iwapo tutaweza kupata hizi database ambazo zitakuwa kule nyanjani katika yale maeneo ya uwakilizi katika bunge letu ama kwa Kingereza our sub-counties, itakuwa ni sehemu ambayo hakuna Mkenya atakuwa na matatizo kupata stakabadhi kama hizi. Pia tumekuwa na changamoto kwa sababu utapata watu ambao sio wakenya wanataka kupata stakabadhi za Kenya kupitia njia za ufisadi. Tukiwa na hifadhi ya data kama hii, mambo hayo yatachujwa ili kuhakikisha kwamba watu ambao wanapata stakabadhi hii ni walengwa, wahusika na watu ambao wamezaliwa katika taifa letu la Kenya. Tukitimiza Hoja kama hii…
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Member for Seme, Hon. Nyikal Wambura.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion and congratulate the Member for coming up with it. The basic purpose of this Motion is to provide data at the civil registration centers that will make it possible to get birth certificates at these centres. That is a basic thing and I support it. It must be possible and easy to get this document. It is a document that signifies your arrival in this world, presence and then enters you into the national statistics. Without it, you might be in the statistics, but you do not exist because it indicates your region of origin and will have implication for the rest of your life. All the civil rights we enjoy are based on this document. It is required for your enrolment into educational institutes starting from the early childhood education centres, primary school and secondary school all the way to the university. It is also important for identification of your age for all purposes namely; legal, recognition, medical, before we even go to other technical ways of getting the person’s age. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the biggest function of this document is its link with the identification card. Without a birth certificate, you cannot get an ID and without an ID, you are not entitled to anything. You actually do not exist. Without an ID, you cannot get any employment, a passport, open a bank account, get into the taxation system through the Kenya Revenue Authority Personal Identification Number, or get a driving licence. You are not entitled to social protection services and the funds that people get. You cannot even sit for any exam at the secondary school or university without an ID. There is need for ease of getting this document at the nearest centre at your time of need. It becomes very difficult and different to get this certificate if you were born at home and not in a medical facility. 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. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we must get the data into these centres. These centres, whether physical or digital, must be available at the nearest places possible, at least at the sub- county levels. People go through a lot of challenges while looking for birth certificate; first, because of distance and secondly, the kind of information that is required. There is no way round about it, every person must get an identification certificate that comes through a birth certificate.
Remember, for one to have a death certificate, you must have a birth certificate and an identification card. Like other Members have said, this Motion is urgent. The sponsor must go ahead and prepare a Bill and bring it here. Otherwise, this urgency will end here. The Government will just say: “If it is urgent, it is just fine.” The Implementation Committee will not access it if it remains at the urgency level.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. I can see Hon. Wamaua, the sponsor of the Motion, nodding. The Member for Kajiado Central, Hon. Kanchory Memusi, is next.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this important Motion.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Members, given the directive of the President yesterday on the second wave of COVID-19, we have to behave differently as the National Assembly. The Members who are not wearing face masks must have missed the President’s directive – No mask no service.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for that guidance. Looking around, all Members have won their masks well. We stand guided. I thank you for this opportunity. Just like my colleagues have done, let me also congratulate the Hon. Member for this Motion. This is real representation. We are here to represent the people who gave us an opportunity to come to this House. We are here to speak on behalf of our people and address the challenges they deal with. A birth certificate is one of the challenges that face our people. It is a highly sought document to an extent that a lot of people are forced to give bribes for it, which is unfair. This is an important Motion. Just like other Members have said, the Mover should follow it through as an amendment to the existing law as a Bill. Birth certificates help the Government on planning. That is one importance of the certificate. It tells the Government the number of children who have been born at a particular time. Planning is important for every service that the Government provides. For health care services to be provided to citizens, it is important that the Government knows the number of children that have been born. For Government to put in place proper infrastructure for education, it is important that it knows the number of children that have been born. This kind of planning is important because children grow into teenagers and into youths. It is also important because we have realised a situation in our country of a big unemployed population amongst the youths, and we are coming up with firefighting solutions that are not going to help people. Therefore, this kind of planning from the outset is important. I come from a pastoral county where our people go through hell. You can imagine an illiterate parent trying to go to offices to get this certificate for his child and yet he cannot speak the language of the officers. Schools push parents for birth certificates and parents are forced to sell their livestock so that they can bribe Government officers to get this important document. The importance of this document cannot be overemphasised. For one to be identified as a national of a country, it starts with a birth certificate. 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.
Recently, in the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, we vetted a lady who was born in Canada, but she is Kenyan. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we should emulate such countries. Just because this lady was born in Canada, it automatically gave her citizenship of that country. We ought to have records of anyone born in this country for proper planning and identification. With those few remarks, I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member for Nyando, kindly have the Floor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to delve into this matter that seeks to establish database centers in all civil registration centers in the country. It is a good coincidence that it is coming at a time when we are shopping for a data commissioner. This afternoon, this House will be debating the suitability of the President’s nominee for this position. This is a matter that we all ought to support because it seeks to address the gaps that exist in registration of our young people and, particularly, across this nation. Identification documents ought to be a matter of right. This idea of stratifying the nation that there are places where accessibility is easier than the rest, should be confined to the history books so that we can treat this country as one and the people have access to these most vital documents as and when they need them. Even as we do this, we must employ absolute caution because these documents are susceptible to abuse and manipulation. We have seen in this country foreigners taking full advantage of any gap that exists in registration. We have seen an influx of foreigners into this country who use backdoors to be registered and get our passports even when Kenyans do not have such latitude. The data commissioner who will be assuming her office in due course, if this House will be in agreement with the President, must make sure that there are very strong firewalls that will prevent any misuse or abuse of these documents that are very critical to the welfare of our country. We must amalgamate the documents that we have. That is what Huduma Namba sought to cure. I have seen in many instances where, if you lose your ID and you present yourself before the registration officer, the first question they will ask you is a copy of the same ID that you are seeking to replace. If we shall have these registration centers with an amalgamated system where all documents belonging to every individual Kenyan shall be kept, then this taking people round in circles would be a thing of the past. There are certain instances when people lose their certificates, for example, the Kenya National Examination Certificates, and you apply for a photocopy or a duplicate copy or to access any other copy, the question that is common is, “show us another copy that you already have so that we can process,” yet these are documents that are right there with them. In this digital era, we must ensure that everything is kept in one basket and at the same time have all these centers closer to the people because every Kenyan pays taxes in order for services to be availed to them. I support this Motion. Taking a tangent from my colleagues, this is something that we needed to midwife as a Bill and have it passed to become an Act of this House. Therefore, it becomes a duty of the Government to ensure that all these centers are availed at the doorsteps of every Kenyan. 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.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well. Hon. Dennitah Ghati, are you on intervention?
Thank you very much. I am not on any intervention, but I am keenly here because of the next Motion if time will allow.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): So your intention is to speak to the next Motion. Very well. Member for Nyamira County, Hon. Momanyi Mongina.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity so that I also contribute to this Motion. I want to thank and congratulate my friend, Hon. Wamaua, for bringing forth this Motion. The document we are talking about is very small, but very important in the lives of all Kenyans. This is because there are no services a person can be given if they do not have a birth certificate. If one wants to get an identity card, one is asked to produce a birth certificate. If one wants to enroll in the pre-primary school, the document which is needed first is the birth certificate. For one to get a passport in Kenya, one must have a birth certificate. Therefore, without a birth certificate all those documents which are very essential cannot be obtained. This Motion, as most of my colleagues have said, should translate into a Bill so that as a Parliament we are able to give it life. It might as well be a Money Bill because of resources being required for its effect. For this database to be created, we know the Government has got very good structures down there. We have people even up to Nyumba Kumi who can help get information to the chiefs and sub chiefs. Those are the areas we can get the database without problems. You know most of Kenyans are very poor. They cannot even afford transport. So they cannot make it to the Huduma centers. As a Parliament, the Committee on Implementation can only come in when we have made it a Bill that will assist our people so that this document can be made available immediately. When a child is born, this document should be made available the same day so that when we are looking for other services the documents are in place. So, Hon. Wamaua, please make amendments so that the Motion moves to be a Bill, it will help Kenyan children and other people who do not have birth certificates. Thank you and I support.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well, let us have the Hon. Member for Wajir East. Hon. Kassim.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to speak to this matter. I congratulate Hon. Mary Wamaua for bringing this Motion which resonates well with the people of Kenya. If you look at civil registration, there is a problem in Murang’a, there is equally a problem in North Eastern and northern Kenya. People in northern Kenya have not adequately accessed any registration centre. Offices, dispensaries or health facilities which can provide birth notifications are not there. Offices are not decentralized and so people cannot get birth certificates and IDs. This has been a big challenge. When you cannot get an ID you are not considered as a citizen of Kenya. Many a times, the people of northern Kenya lack ID cards and registration certificates because they cannot access civil registration at birth. This has been a challenge to us such that it makes people doubt whether we are true citizens of this country. We lack very important documents that are issued through civil registration. So, I am very glad that you have brought this. I will further suggest that civil registration should be decentralized to sub-counties such that even 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.
during immunization or other activities information concerning birth and any other data is captured. We need to harmonise all Government interventions such that we can get the required data. We have a challenge such that in the eight sub-counties of Wajir, you will only find two that have a civil registration center. You can imagine the number of people who come from various parts of other sub-counties to get civil registration for their children. The offices they have – not forgetting that we have COVID-19 pandemic - are so narrow and there are only a few staff. In fact, you realise that this is a service that should be offered by an independent body. Therefore, I am glad that Hon. Mary brought this matter before this House so that we can address it once and for all. We had brought an amendment earlier on but it was not taken. When we anchor this thing in law, then we will consider ourselves as the true citizens of this country and the plight of the people in such regions will have been considered. People will not need to pay bribes for such services. We need to get a solution to this issue, either through an Act of Parliament or by bringing a Bill where financial support will be provided to undertake certain initiatives. Further to that, this is a digital Government. When Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to have a digital government, we hoped to have a system that captures each and everybody’s details so that we can get adequate services like other citizens of the world. Thank you.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Very well spoken, let us have the Member for Kilifi North.
I am grateful and thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. I congratulate Hon. Mary Wamaua for this initiative. I urge that she moves it from a Motion to a Bill and bring an amendment in the Civil Registration Act. It will sail through very fast when you bring it in this House. If you bring it as a party Bill, it will go very fast and probably before the end of this Session we will have it. It is actually a nightmare for families especially in North Eastern and the Coast region to acquire a birth certificate. This is because in these regions we have citizens of this country who sometimes are regarded to have come from Somalia or other places. Therefore, for these people to acquire civil registration rights, this is hindered by certain circumstances. By putting all this information in the database, it will make things very easy. We will kill this thing called vetting.
You know before a child is given a birth certificate the parents are called and told they must be vetted. You have a mzee wa kijiji, mzee wa Nyumba Kumi, a chief and very many people discussing the birth of a child yet, this is a fundamental right of that child. This vetting has also come in with something called corruption. This is because when these people sit down to determine if a child needs to be given a birth certificate, sometimes parents have to go a long way to ensure they grease their hands.
I am very certain that if we have a database, they do not need to look at anything. They just need to go to the database and know that a child belongs to so and so. Since the parents’ names are saved as Kenyans there will be no need to determine their ‘Kenyanness” using a panel to vet their child born in this country.
So, we will kill vetting and it will be much easier for people who have always been looked at with suspicion. In my constituency there are people who were born and we know their parents and brothers. But when it comes to them getting a birth certificate or ID, they need to constitute a panel to determine the citizenship of a child. I think this is something that can be stopped by this 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.
It is a fundamental right to have a birth certificate and ID. Your ‘Kenyanness’ should not be determined by other people, but by the fact that you were born here. Kenyans become stateless until they are registered. Statelessness is something that is very bad. You can imagine a child is born, goes to school and in class four the parents realise they need to register for an examination. Then they realise they have to prove the child is Kenyan so as to be entered into the NEMIS system. This means the child’s journey from class one to eight is a stateless journey. The child does not have a state because of lack of documentation. But if there is a database that shows that this child from birth is Kenyan, then the headmaster or principal does not need to send the child to call his or her parents or the chief in order to get a birth certificate. This will be at his fingertips from the database and the child will be registered because he or she has been provided with a number. The other point I need to emphasis is that in my constituency we have the Pemba people who are Kenyans, and I am not scared to say so. In this country, they have been treated as stateless people until such a time when politics is at its highest level. That is when there is a pronouncement from the State that they can be given birth certificates and IDs. Therefore, they become Kenyans for the purpose of voting in a government. But if we have a database, this child as long as he or she was born in this country and in a certain village, he or she is a Kenyan and is entitled to a birth certificate and a national identity card. You can imagine a child born in this country by a Giriama mother and his father comes from Pemba. Such a child will never get a birth certificate. However, any child born in the United States of America, irrespective of which country its parents come from, is entitled to a birth certificate. That is why we had an opportunity to have a Kenyan become President of the United States of America. The world has become a small village, but still we want to treat other kids as if they are not Kenyans and yet they were born in this country. If we have a database, it will be easy...
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, you are just shouting. Are you on a point of order or point of information?
I am on a point of information.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): As a matter of procedure, Hon. Baya, do you want to be informed by Hon. Shamalla?
I gladly decline the information because of time. I would like to finish what I am saying.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for the purpose of the Hansard, it was not a Kenyan who became a president. Barrack Obama is a United States of America citizen. He has never held Kenyan citizenship.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, it is important for us to follow procedures. Is he out of order? You can state how he is out of order.
Yes, he is out of order because he is misinforming the House. Barrack Obama was born of a Kenyan father, but he is a United States of America citizen. No Kenyan has ever become the President of the United States of America.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): He is out of order out of misinformation. He has to clarify that bit but, Hon. Shamalla, in future, if you wish to give information, as a matter of procedure, the Member on the Floor must accept your information.
I stand guided.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, you can pronounce yourself on that bit. You have one minute. 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 just want to say that Kenyans suffer walking long distances to register as Kenyans. In my county, we have large tracts of land. People have to travel long distances, especially when children are born at home.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): I expected you to pronounce yourself on the point of being out of order.
I will do that, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, but I want to finish what I have to say first.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, you have only 30 seconds. I just wanted you to make a clarification on the point of order raised by Hon. Jennifer.
Thank you for the information and I withdraw that statement and say that Barrack Obama is an American who became an American President. I was saying we travel long distances so that we can become Kenyans. Therefore, children who are not born in hospitals have that problem.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Member, you will have...
( off record).
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Order! Order! I will not even mention you because I know that is what you are looking for. Order, Hon. Members! Hon. Baya, you will have your balance of one minute when this debate resumes. Hon. Members, the debate on this Motion – that is the Motion listed as Order No. 8 by Hon. Wamaua – has a balance of 37 minutes. I appreciate the Members who wanted to contribute to this debate.
(Hon. (Ms.) Jessica Mbalu): Hon. Members, the time being 1.00 p.m., the House stands adjourned until this afternoon, at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.
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.