Hon. Members, we do not have the required quorum in the Chamber. Therefore, I ask the Serjeant-at-Arms to confirm if there are Members seated elsewhere. In the meantime, I order that the bell be rang for 10 minutes as we confirm if there are Members in other holding areas.
Order, Hon. Members. I can confirm that we are just still short of the quorum but very close to the required quorum. So, I will order an additional five minutes just to make sure that we have the right numbers. We are just short of the require quorum.
Let us wait for that Member who is walking in and that will be it. Let us not allow any Member to go out now. You know the rules of procedure. Once the Quorum Bell is rung, no Member leaves the Chamber until it is determined one way or the other. So, we can now proceed.
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.
Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 29 relating to the procedure for convening of Special Sittings of the House during recess, I wish to report to the House that on 13th May 2021, I received a letter from the Leader of the Majority Party requesting that I convene Special Sittings of the National Assembly to consider certain urgent business.
Hon. Members, having taken cognisance of the urgency of the business so specified in the letter by the Leader of the Majority Party, I acceded to the request to convene Special Sittings today, Wednesday, 19th May 2021 commencing at 10.00am for the Morning Sitting and at 2.30 p.m. in the case of the Afternoon Sitting, for purposes of - a) Tabling of the Report of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on the Vetting of the Nominee for Appointment to the Position of Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya; b) Tabling of any other Papers with statutory timelines; and, c) Transaction of the following business- (i) Notice of Motion and Consideration of Special Motion for the Approval of Appointment of a Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. (ii) Consideration of the Reports of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on the following- a) The Exemption from Income Tax for Japanese Companies, Japanese Consultants and Japanese Employees (Legal Notice No.15 of 2021 of 26th February, 2021); b) The Public Finance Management (National Drought Emergency Fund) Regulations, 2021, (Legal Notice No.27 of 2021 of 5th March, 2021); and, c) Exemption from Income Tax for Airlines with Government of Kenya Shareholding of at least 45% and its subsidiaries; (Legal Notice No.27 of 2021 of 17thMarch, 2021). (iii) First Reading of the following Bills, subject to Article 110(3) of the Constitution- a) The Livestock Bill, (National Assembly Bill No.16 of 2021); b) The Irrigation (Amendment) Bill, (National Assembly Bill No. 12 of 2021); c) The Community Groups Registration Bill, (National Assembly Bill No.20 of 2021); and, d) The National Hospital Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill, (National Assembly Bill No. 21 of 2021); (iv) Second Reading of the Public Private Partnerships Bill, (National Assembly Bill No. 6 of 2021). (v) Committee of the whole House on– a) The Kenya National Library Service Bill, (National Assembly Bill No. 5 of 2020); and, b) The Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill, (National Assembly Bill No. 27 of 2020). 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.
Under that particular Order, we have the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: The Report of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on its Consideration of a Nominee for Appointment as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.
Very well. We move to the next Order.
That is actually to be done by the Chairperson of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee. You have the Floor. It is a busy day for you.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, taking into consideration the findings of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, in its Report on Consideration of a Nominee for Appointment as Chief Justice 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.
Very well. We move to the next Order.
That one will be moved by the Committee on Delegated Legislation. Hon. Kamket, Member for Tiaty. Proceed.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation on its consideration of Legal Notice No.15 of 2021 on the Exemption from Income Tax for Japanese Companies, Japanese Consultants and Japanese Employees, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 13th May 2021, and pursuant to the provisions of Section 13(2) of the Income Tax Act approves Legal Notice No.15 of 2021 on exemption from Income Tax for Japanese companies, Japanese consultants and Japanese employees. I believe Hon. Members have the Report of the Committee from the Table Office so that they can follow this Motion.
The legal basis for granting an exemption as contained in Legal Notice No.15 of 2021 is stipulated in Section 13(2) of the Income Tax Act, Cap 470 which empowers the Cabinet Secretary to exempt certain Income Tax. Section 13(2) of the Income Tax Act, Cap 470 empowers the Cabinet Secretary responsible for the National Treasury by notice in the KenyaGazette to provide that any income or class of income which is accrued in or was derived from Kenya be exempted from tax to the extent specified in such a notice and that any exemption shall cease to have effect generally or to the extent specified in the notice. Furthermore, where the Cabinet Secretary issues such a notice, it has to be laid before the National Assembly without unreasonable delay. The Act further provides that if a resolution is passed by the National Assembly within 21 days on which it next sits after the notice is so laid, the notice be annulled. It shall, thenceforth, be void but without prejudice the validity of anything previously done thereunder or the issuing of a new notice. The House, therefore, has pronounced itself within the statutory timelines. If the notice is expressly approved, then it shall be deemed to have been implied approved. Hon. Deputy Speaker, the exemption from Income Tax for Japanese companies, consultants and employees was published on 26th January 2021, submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly, laid before the House and given to the Committee on 21st March 2021 in accordance with the Statutory Instruments Act. The main purpose of this exemption of Income Tax before us today, is in respect of income accruing or derived from Kenya by Japanese 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. Kassait Kamket, I know you are moving very well. You are meticulously doing your work. Since the Members have the Report, just summarise.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I am summarising. I am actually ending.
Okay. That will be okay.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Therefore, the recommendation is that pursuant to Standing Order No.210 (4) and having examined Legal Notice No.15 of 2021 in line with the Constitution, the Interpretation and General Provisions Act, the Income Tax Act and the Statutory Instruments Act, the Committee recommends that the House approves the exemption from Income Tax for Japanese companies, consultants and employees in accordance with Section 62 of the Income Tax Act (Cap 470). I beg to move and ask my Vice-Chairman, Hon. Charles Njagagua, to second. I thank you.
Hon. Charles Njagagua, in the same spirit of summary… I cannot seem to trace your card here. What seat are you seated on? There you have it now.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, Number 19.
Actually, it is No. 161 from my end.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, I know you are in a hurry because of the next Motion.
No. I am not in a hurry at all. We have specific times until 1.00 p.m. So, I am just saying that we should summarise. This goes to even the Mover of the next Motion. We do not need a lot of details. I believe once the Members have the Report, they can get it easily. So, we do not really need to take a lot of time. I am not saying specifically to touch you, Hon. Njagagua, it is generally.
Generally, now that I stand guided by you…
In support of what my Chairman has said, this is purely an agreement between the Government of Kenya and the Japanese Government. The Japanese Government is seeking an exemption for its employees, companies and consultants in respect of the work they do in Kenya. This is basically for the money they give to Kenya as grants or loans. They are saying: “We are bringing you this kind of money, so exempt our The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Chairman. I will now propose the Question.
Order Members! For those who are coming in, you can take your seats or freeze wherever you are.
Hon. Members, those of you who would want to speak on this debate and the next one, please, make up your minds because I will be picking speakers from the requests list. It might, therefore, disadvantage you by dropping you a bit lower. Let us start with the Leader of Majority Party.
I believe those who will be pressing the intervention button will be requesting to speak to this particular Motion. So, they may lose on the other one, but this is also an equally important issue.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Report of the Committee on the exemption. Just to put it on record, in the first instance, as a country, we have already signed up to give these exemptions. So, Parliament is only ratifying what was already agreed as a condition for the grants. The logic is very clear. If the Japanese Government is giving to Kenya a certain amount of money as a grant or concessional loan, you cannot then seek to profit from the same grant by taxing the services that are being provided as part of the operationalisation of that grant by Japanese companies. The grants or loans agreement have provisions for certain services and goods to be sourced in Japan, and the companies or consultants involved pay their taxes in Japan. Therefore, we are trying to operationalise the agreement. For all donor-funded projects, including those 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.
Okay. Member for Gilgil. This is a matter that we should be able to dispense with quickly. I can see only one more Member interested.
Yes. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. This is just to support my Committee on this Report. I will not repeat what the Mover and the Seconder said. Our mandate was really simple. It was to confirm and check whether these agreements and exemptions are in accordance with the Constitution. Are they going against any Act of Parliament? We were to find out if they infringe on any fundamental right of the public. I can confirm that we had several long meetings on it. Even if we are rubber-stamping or just forwarding it, as the Leader of Majority said, we still represented the people. We had a right to ask the questions that we asked as a Committee. We put the Cabinet Secretary to task to confirm and give us a list of these projects. We confirmed that majority of them were grants and not loans. So, the issue of double taxation was easy to understand because they were giving us grants to take care of several projects in the country. We were convinced that the statutory requirements are in line with the Statutory Instruments Act. We were also convinced on the issue of public participation. We had raised this issue for us to gauge the fundamental rights and possible infringement of the public’s right. That was the only way to do it. We are in agreement that we support. I support the Committee and the exemption as it has been moved by our Chairman. Thank you. Hon. 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.
Okay. Seeing that there is no major issue here, nobody else is interested, we give the Mover to reply.
Order Members! Order! Order Member for Tharaka.
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
I had asked Members to place their requests, but they did not. So, proceed and reply.
I want to thank my Vice-Chairman for ably stating it as it is. I also thank the Leader of Majority for clarifying that if we want the matter of reciprocity to apply to us, we must pull up our socks, improve our economy, so that we also give grants to Japan for us to ask for reciprocity. I thank Hon. (Ms.) Martha for supporting the Motion. I beg to reply.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
I am surprised, Hon. Kamket, after your Motion has passed, you are requesting for a point of order. What is out of order with your Motion passing?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I need your guidance on a matter that I think is of national importance.
I am concerned about the whereabouts of our Hon. Speaker. We have been reading in the media that our Speaker is under some spell somewhere. He has been put in quarantine for about eight to ten days in someplace. How safe is our Hon. Speaker? We want to be assured as Members of this august House that the Hon. Speaker is safe and is in good health wherever he is being held by people we do not know.
Hon. Kamket, and you have been a speaker yourself of an entity which is much smaller than this one and you know for sure that the person who sits on the Chair is actually the Speaker. Now, if you are asking about the health of the Speaker, well, normally there is confidentiality on that, but I assure you because the Speaker and his deputy interact on many issues, that the Hon. Speaker is completely safe. If there is a quarantine which I do not know the type you refer to, it is definitely not a medical one, especially now because there are issues to do with COVID-19. It should be clear that the Hon. Speaker is not under any quarantine whatsoever. The Speaker, like every other occasion, has many things he does and attends to and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, taking into consideration the findings of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs in its Report on Consideration of a Nominee for Appointment as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 19th May 2021, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 166(1)(a) of the Constitution and Sections 3 and 8 of the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, 2011, this House approves the appointment of Hon. Lady Justice Martha Karambu Koome as Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the Report of my Committee is fairly exhaustive. It is fairly self- explanatory and it is online. I would like to mention, at the outset, that my Committee was able to beat the deadline that was given by the Speaker of 24th May 2021 by 10 days.
Without delving into the major Report, I would like to highlight, with your permission some of the special attributes that make the Hon. Martha Koome stand out uniquely as a first above equals and with unmatched qualities for the Office of the Chief Justice. Hon. Deputy Speaker, allow me to remove my mask.
I am very uncomfortable with that.
I have kept social distance, as you can see.
We have been very consistent in asking Members to wear their masks. It is only that you were in an N95 that is interfering with your voice. I see you have a problem of projecting that voice. You need to wear the mask. You will be brief. Put it on. By the way, the Member seated next to you does not have a mask. I might actually take very serious steps against her because the two of you not being in a mask is not good at all.
We take your advice.
Let me highlight some of the attributes that the …
We can hear you very well. Proceed Please.
The judge is a wife, mother and has a solid family background. She has very sound educational and professional background and wide experience in family law, children rights and human rights. She has vision to revolutionise the Judiciary and eliminate corruption in all forms and shades. I testify that she demonstrated that she believes in active constitutionalism and has distinguished herself in upholding the Constitution without influence, political, ethnical or parochial considerations. She is an able communicator who undertakes to improve the relationship between Parliament and the Executive 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. Babu Owino, I know you are a first termer. Something called a phone is not allowed within the Chamber. You are actually out of order. You need to apologise. In fact, without even hiding it, you are standing up to do that. Hon. Babu Ongili, what do you have to say before I take any punitive steps against you?
I am sorry for that, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
It is okay, if you have apologised. It is not easy to get a “sorry” from you. So, once that happens, let us proceed.
It is out of respect, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. If I may continue, the lady is able to soberly dialogue to solve the stalemate in the appointment of the 41 judges. She is able to ensure that there is ratio in the Wambora Case. If you recall, it was said that the courts should, with a lot of circumspection and sparingly, issue orders that may inhibit parliamentary processes and procedures. She confirms that she will avoid also to unnecessarily create bad blood with the other arms of Government. She has a vision to ensure a wide access to justice. She demonstrated this at her previous station in Kitale when she extended judicial services and justice to far flung areas like Lokitaung, Lodwar and Lokichar. She provided mobile facilities for justice. She created that facility. She is ready to avoid and curtail any activism and experimental, new and untried areas of jurisprudence. Particularly, she is ready, able and willing to breathe life to Article 259 of our Constitution. Its relevant passage is that this Constitution shall be construed and interpreted in a manner that promotes good governance. There are four considerations but the last one is crucial— that this Constitution shall be construed and interpreted in a manner that contributes to good governance. On the same Article, she says she is able to ensure that the law will always be speaking. We found that she is able to think outside the box and that she will not be living in a judicial island, utopia or ivory tower. She aspires to do substantial justice other than delving in technical formalities. She will critically think beyond the Maraga Advisory by invoking the principle that the law serves man and humanity and not the reverse; that the law is not static and must be actualised in a manner that contributes to good order. She will be seeking to retain, claim and reclaim lost glory for the Judiciary in line with the principles enunciated by those professional colleagues and others that we know—the principles that were for a long time enunciated by the late Justice Chunilal Madan, the greatest Chief Justice Kenya has had so far. Then, there was another judge—the principles laid by a judge in Uganda in 1966, Sir Udo Udoma. He in 1966, after Obote overthrew Kabaka, said there appeared to be a vacuum in Government. That judge said that there can never be a vacuum in institutions of Government and that because the Obote Government appeared to be in control de facto, he needed to be in control, de jure, of the Government of Uganda. Last, there is Lord Denning who is famous for 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.
Just a request to Members, especially the fairly new ones. There is a lot of merit in allowing other Members to speak even if you are the Chair because that makes it easy for you to canvass and have people support you. So, if you take all the time between yourselves, it becomes a bit difficult for you to get support. So, as a Member who has been here for a long time, it is better to be brief to give other Members an opportunity to contribute to the matter so that you may have something to say when replying. Let us have Hon. T.J. to second.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, it looks like the Member for Kangema has very good words for me; he is praying for me. One of these days, I think he will vet me for the position that he seems to think that I merit. Allow me, first of all, to express my appreciation to the House for nominating me to this Committee. I have not had an opportunity since I was nominated to thank the House. I also want to thank the Committee for expressing confidence that I can join them in the leadership of the Committee. I promise nothing, but lowliness of heart; humility and that I will act according to The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Now, Mr. Seconder, get back to the Motion.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, those issues are very relevant to this matter because they dovetail around issues concerning the Committee. I am a seasoned member of this Committee. I rise to second this Motion on approval of the nominee for the position of Chief Justice. If I could have the attention of the Speaker, please. The Leader of the Majority Party should also listen to me. You should watch the video of how this Committee conducted the vetting. It is how it should be done. As the Deputy Speaker and the Chair of the Liaison Committee, this video should be clipped and sent to the Committee so that we have a proper way with decorum for approval hearings in the Assembly.
Now, who was the judge in the matter? Maybe what you should be suggesting, Hon. T.J.—you have actually excited the House to want to look at the video but do not say anything more on it. Definitely, we will be getting back to the Committee on whether we think they did a good job and, therefore, spread the gospel to the rest of the Committees. So, I can assure you we will want that video to see what happened in the Committee.
I am sure you will return that. This is how things should be done. The approval is governed by Section 7 of the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act. The three issues that we look at are the procedure adopted by the interviewing panels, constitutional and statutory suitability and suitability in terms of experience and competence. The report is replete with specific findings on the procedure that was adopted, the constitutional and statutory competences that the Lady Chief Justice nominee exhibited and issues on suitability. In those parameters, we have made specific recommendations approving the competence of Lady Justice Martha Koome. But I do not want to spend time on that because it is in the report. I just want to speak to Lady Justice Koome. I am sure wherever she is she would be delighted to hear the National Assembly speak to her. This is the last time she is in our hands as we conduct her vetting and approval. I would want the CJ nominee, once she assumes office, to quickly look at Article 254 of the Constitution on reporting by commissions and independent offices. In this Article, every end of financial year, commissions, including the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), submit a report to the President and to Parliament. Previous CJs had a rather condescending attitude towards the National Assembly, arguing that they could not submit to the jurisdiction of the National Assembly and make reports. They would rather send the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary (CRJ). We want to see a CJ who respects institutions. One day, she should write to you as the Speaker to allow her to come and commend herself to the National Assembly and to report on the state of the Judiciary every financial year. That is what we want. We do not want a CJ who thinks that leadership of institutions is a question of bravado. These issues were put to her, and she understands the views that have been expressed by the National Assembly. I am sure that she would closely look at Article 254 of the Constitution. We would want to have mature relationship between the Judiciary and the Legislature that is beneficial to everyone. 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. T.J, whether you are going to talk about gender or anything else, this is the same argument I had with your Chair. You and the Committee went through this issue. Probably, you need less time. I now need you to second. You have a minute.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, you remember there were a few engagements we had with the Speaker? There is the other gender that is watching and we would want to be convertible. For the first time, power is in the hands of two people. We want to see how they are going to exercise this power where both genders are concerned. We are very interested. Let me conclude by also talking about ethnicity. I know my senior, who is the Member for Kisumu East, is going to talk about this. However, I must speak about it. Everybody knows.
I am seconding. I have been in this House long enough to know how to second. If you are a first timer, you should know that I have an opportunity to say everything and anything about the Report.
Well, it should be within the time allocated. So, kindly do second.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much. Let us now proceed and do what we are supposed to do.
Put the Question!
No, no. There is no putting of the Question. Hon. Members will be allowed to speak. Hon. Member for Mbeere North, what is the issue?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, with your kind permission, I would like to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.97 (1), and notwithstanding the resolutions of the House on 10th February 2021 on Limitation of Debate on Motions including a Special Motion, this House orders that the speaking time for each Member be reduced from 10 minutes to five minutes. My justification for the request of this Motion is very simple. This is a momentous occasion. It is historical. You will appreciate that the Mover and the Seconder have taken close to one hour or 45 minutes. This is a Special Sitting. Time is not on our side. If we take the same amount of time, many of us will not be able to speak. Many of us want to speak in support of this Motion. This Motion is about a lady who is assuming the Office of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. I have no doubt, going by the Report that has been tabled by the Mover; that, if all of us were to take the entire 10 minutes, we will not give justice to this Motion. It is on that basis that I beg you and urge this House to find favour in my request so that we limit ourselves to five minutes each.
We do not need to spend more time, Hon. Members. Just to give you an overview, about 30 Members want to contribute. That should, therefore, give you an overview on how to make your decision one way or the other. It is for you Members to make that decision. The Member for Mbeere North has made a request. I know that particular Member very well. I went to school with him. Actually, he went to school with me. I think it is the other way round. He wants us to limit the debate to five minutes.
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.
North Imenti, JP): Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. First of all, I want to thank the Judicial Service Commission for nominating Hon. Justice Lady Martha Koome. I want to sincerely thank the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. I attended their meetings as a friend of the Committee because Justice Lady Martha Koome comes from my constituency. She comes from Kithio Village in Mwitheria Location, which is in North Imenti. I agree with the Vice-Chair when he says that people should watch the video. I was in the sitting that made the approval. Initially, I was scared by the kind of questions that Members were asking her. I said to myself, if this is the way we are going to be vetting people, then nobody will go through. I have been to many vetting sessions when I was in the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. It used to be like rubber-stamping. I was glad about the kind of questions that that the Committee asked her. I took special note of the questions by Hon. Olago Oluoch from Kisumu, who is a Senior Counsel. He asked Justice Martha Koome whether it would prick her conscience to come from the same area with the head of the other arm of the Government – the Executive, which is headed by somebody from the same mountain area. Justice Koome replied very well. She said that she did not choose to be born where she comes from. That should be the case in this country. I also come from North Imenti, and nobody would expect me to be the Member of North Imenti. That is the way we need to change our mindset. Hon. Deputy Speaker, when Justice Martha Koome talked about all the things she would do in the Judiciary in her first 100 days, I believe she is a woman of integrity, a lady who can do what she says. This is because I have dealt with her when she was assisting us in one of the schools she has been through - Mbeu Primary School - and she is a very good mentor. She gives her time and energy because she mentored the children of Mbeu Primary School. Additionally, when we as a country are grappling with the two-thirds gender principle and now we are getting the two-thirds gender principle in the third arm of government, I think that should be the best thing that can happen to this country because it shows we are serious with the gender principle. The President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Mr. Nelson Havi, I think is a perennial litigant. He said that he put a stop to Justice Martha Koome... He said that she ruled in different ways and then he said he was representing the LSK. I think he was not representing the LSK. He was just representing himself. The Supreme Court has given its verdict on why the elections should have gone on, on 26th. He held the Erad Supplies case against the National Cereals and Produce Board and I think it was all proven through the Supreme Court that there was a mistake in Nelson Havi's case. Therefore, Hon. Deputy Speaker, when we are talking about Justice Koome she has said that she is willing to work with the other arms of government not to work in exclusion. The Judiciary is one part of the Government and she is ready to talk to the other arms of government so that we can have the judges who have not been sworn in and who have no integrity issues. This is so that 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.
Very well. Thank you. I will be putting the microphone on for the members I have mentioned so that we do not waste time. Therefore, proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to also contribute in support of the nomination and approval by our Committee of Justice Martha Koome to be the next Chief Justice. Hon. Speaker, this lady has what it takes. First, she has good experience- 33 years of experience- and this experience is both in the bar and also on the bench. Before she became a judge, she had practised law for 15 years and on the bench she has been a judge for cumulative 18 years. This is a person who has gone through the rank. From the High Court to Court of Appeal and eventually we hope to the apex of this court. Hon. Speaker, during the interview with the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Justice Koome exhibited integrity and she also came out as a person who supports a lot of family values. Additionally, in the Judiciary and on the bench we need someone who supports the family because we all know that the family is the institution, which bounds the country together. Apart from her experience, she came out as someone who understands what a Chief Justice should do and should be all about; someone who leads one arm of government but at the same time as maintains the independence of the Judiciary. She was very clear that given the chance she would ensure that the Judiciary is independent. That is what we want. All Kenyans of goodwill want a very independent judiciary. However, she also acknowledged that judges do not live in a vacuum. In terms of giving services, they are inter-dependent and that the three arms of government must work together when giving services to the Kenyans. Additionally, she assured us that because she has good association and diplomatic skills once we approve her nomination and she is appointed by the President she is going to ensure that the Judiciary is fully served by first negotiating on how to have the 41 judges appointed. This is so that the Judiciary is not clogged by the numerous cases which are pending before the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the entire Judiciary. However, she also acknowledged that judges and even magistrates when making a decision they make errors. They are not infallible, they 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.
Time is over, so you have supported anyway. We will give an opportunity to Hon. Murugara. However, Murugara you will be next and this is because I have heard some complaints that the ladies have not spoken. Therefore, I will interchange. We will have the Hon. Member for Gilgil coming before you as you prepare. That is how it can work.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for the indulgence and from the outset I want to say that I support this nomination of Justice Martha Koome. It is, indeed, a historic moment to have one arm of the government in this country led by a woman. We are proud. Moreover, not only being led by a woman but also deputised by one as it is. I want to assure Hon. T.J. Kajwang' that we have been watching you in the other arms of government. Therefore, this time we say sit down and take notes because I have no doubts that Martha Koome will do us proud and I say that in cognizant and knowing very well that if a woman fails in whatever position, it is seen as though the whole gender fails. It does not apply for men. If a man fails it is seen as one. However, when a woman does... Therefore, she also knows the weight on her shoulder. Additionally, the issue of her professionalism has been demonstrated in the report. I want to thank the Committee because they did a thorough job in terms of digging into her intellectual capacity, her legal judgment and even her background. Coming from a human rights defender background we expect that she will be progressive as has been said in the Report. She joins other countries in Africa including Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, and others that have had a woman Chief Justice. Therefore, for all the girls and the women in this country we are proud of Justice Martha Koome and I pray that one thing that we will be looking forward for her to do is what she said, she has to jealously guard the independence of the Judiciary as has been set before. That is not to say that they exist in a vacuum. It must be interdependent even with the other arms of government, but at the same time ensuring that the independence is guarded. I also hope that she will be at the forefront because she has done it before in her career to bring justice closer to the people in terms of the mobile clinics. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I hope this time she will do an overhaul and ensure that the backlog in the courts of this country are reduced. We have seen people who have had court cases that drag for over 25 years. People die before knowing their verdict. So, I hope that she will be at the forefront to ensure that she has improved that. 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.
Let us have Hon. Murugara
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Allow me to add my voice to support the Report of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs. At the outset, Lady Justice Martha Koome has experience that is unmatched. It all begins with her own career as a young advocate during the clamour for multi-party reforms in the country in the late 1980s and 1990s when we were under the Kenya African National Union (KANU) dictatorship. She stood out and spoke for Kenyans. She has also worked well on Human Rights and the rights of the underprivileged especially in family law. That makes her stand out as a person who is amiable to the Kenyan citizens. She has worked as a Judge of the High Court at the Court of Appeal and has rendered exemplary service. This is a plus for her. However, it appears we are going to approve her and she will be appointed. It is important I point out to the incoming Chief Justice that first and foremost, Lady Justice Martha Koome must guard zealously, jealously and religiously the following without any reservations: (i) The independence of the Judiciary, no doubt whatsoever. We know for sure in Kenya that it is under attack and it must be protected. (ii) She must also guard the supremacy of the Constitution because we have seen several persons trying to throw back on the gains we have made under the 2010 Constitution. She is going to be ranked because Kenyans have ranked former Chief Justice Mutunga, and former Chief Justice Maraga. She is now on the ranking list. We will be looking upon her to ensure that this Constitution is not mutilated, violated or raped. It is a Constitution that must be safeguarded. She will also guard and protect the rule of law in the country; the dignity of the courts. We have seen court orders being disobeyed left, right and center. A democracy that purports to be under the rule of law would ever work with disobedience of court orders. Lady Justice Martha Koome, Kenyans are watching you. They are saying we must be protected. Finally, she must enforce the law to the letter. No question of it in any other way. Just like that little boy outside the court carrying a fish who is naked, justice is nothing but the naked truth. We are looking upon the new Chief Justice to deliver. I support.
Let us have Prof. Oduol. 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. At the outset, I would like to thank the Committee and acknowledge that not only listening to what they indicated and what is in the Report; I take this opportunity to indicate my support. We stand at a historic moment in our country. We are aware that Hon. Lady Justice would be the third Chief Justice in our country. As I support, I would like to indicate that what is coming out clearly is that leadership whether at the Judiciary or any other area is gender neutral. It seeks to look at competence and a foundation that would take our country to the level that we would like. So, as I support the Committee and indeed confirm that the Hon. Lady Chief Justice Martha Koome is suitable, I do it by looking at the question that what we are looking at is a historic moment from the point of view that we do have a lady that would be coming in for the first time. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I use it to celebrate the demonstration that leadership is about competence. That is what we need to help us sustain the forward-looking significant progress that we have seen in the Judiciary. As I conclude, it has also been said that women and men do lead differently. I know the Hon. Member and my senior T.J Kajwang’ did indicate that the other gender will be watching. I conclude by indicating that there is a difference in the way women and men lead. It has been proven that women tend to listen more. They tend to engage and are much more ready to negotiate and ensure that everybody is taken on board. So, I am glad that as we look at the fear that sometimes we have of excesses, we shall find in the Hon. Lady Justice Martha Koome opportunity for interdependence and opportunity for negotiation. I thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker and support.
You actually did it in exactly one-and-a-half minutes. Let us have Hon. Maore. Maybe that is to tell us how you will be leading.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to also support the nominee, the Hon. Lady Justice Martha Koome to be the next Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. As the country is celebrating the breaking of the glass ceiling by a woman, the Meru community as well is being taught a lesson that since independence, there is no time the Merus have gone to a ballot box in a general election and elected woman. This would be an eye opener in the sense that when the Lady Justice Koome showed up for nomination at the Judicial Service Commission, nobody saw a woman. What people saw was a serious judge. When you looked at her you could not discern her temperament or anything you would describe as feminine or belittle her because she is a woman, but you saw firm answers from her. Those of us who are familiar with the conduct of Judges, you are not supposed to read the mood of a judge. You are not supposed to predict the decision a judge will make because that one is only left to those people we call the Judicial activists. In Judicial activism, they legislate from the bench, from where they are seated; they would pass laws which have not been taken to them for interpretation. So, our Judiciary is under its own attack. It needs to cleanse itself. It needs to have an administrator. Even though we are asking for their independence, the Judiciary needs to have a soul searching. The independence of the judges we are supporting to lead a separate arm of 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. I stand here as a duly elected women’s leader. I am proud of the fact that one of the arms of Government, the Judiciary will soon be headed by a woman. It is no mean feat and at the end of the day we have strived as women to get our space in society, politics and private practice. When you look at us you cannot deny the fact that we are women and want to have our space because we are 50 per cent of the population.
Lady Justice Martha Koome is a woman; let us not shy away from embracing her as a woman because today we are proud to have her as a nominee for the position of Chief Justice. I say this because I have seen many men when speaking they have been saying she is just a good leader. Yes, she is an amazing leader. We cannot stop underlining the fact that she is a woman and we have to celebrate this, not just for her but for the many women in this country, the girl- child and women who aspire to be leaders.
What I like about Martha Koome because I have been to a few of the forums she held when she was heading the taskforce for children is the fact that she is very humble. She has integrity, is grounded and compassionate. I recall an interview where she said: “Children have no voices, so I choose to speak for them. They are our bridge to the future and unless we nurture them, our future will be precarious’’. We will have a Chief Justice who understands that if we want to steer this country in the right direction, then we have to start from the formative stages and this is the children. She understood more what needed to be done for our children to get justice in our courts. She understands that if we nurture our children well, then everything else we want to do in this country going forward will be easily met and done. Today, looking at our youth we see how easily they are used, misused and abused by leaders. If we want to stop this then we nurture the child from a young age. I know with Lady Justice Koome at the helm of the Judiciary, our children will be nurtured in a manner that will actually ground them to be future leaders and embrace this country’s prosperity and growth. To me, Lady Justice Koome is a woman who understands that this country has had a lot of issues in terms of corruption. She understands that corruption exists in the system and the Judiciary. This is one area I know if she tackles, she will do well. She will be heading the Judiciary at a time when it is being looked at and lots of questions are rising. Whether the judgement that was done was right or wrong at the end of the day, I know she will sit there and do the right thing. She will not be owned by this or that group. She is an independent thinker, has an independent mind, is educated and strong woman who will do what is right for this country. She is a women’s rights defender and has always been. Her 33 years of experience will ensure that whatever she does in that seat will be for the betterment of this country. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I support. 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.
Okay. In order to save time for Members, I will read five names and then you will simply get the microphone as soon as your other colleague finish. So, Hon. Duale, Hon. Shamalla, Hon. Mutai, Hon. Wangwe and Hon. Mwamkale Kamoti, these are five so let us start in that manner.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Report of the Committee on the Vetting of the Nominee for the position of Chief Justice. The nominee in question is one who is known for her vast experience in the legal profession, brilliance and acumen in her career as a judicial officer. She now goes to the books of history of this country as having been the first female Chief Justice. When it comes to professionalism, capacity, ability and experience as required by the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act 2011, there is no one who can object that the nominee ticks and fits in the box very well. However, allow me to say that the job of a Chief Justice does not just require one to fit or tick the box. It calls for one to abide by the dictates of Article 159 of the Constitution on judicial authority which is derived from the people. This is in the sense that we expect Hon. Lady Justice Koome to derive that authority from the people of Kenya. The citizens of this country are the real employers of the Chief Justice Martha Koome if she gets the job. I had the privilege to sit in this Chamber when men I have a lot of respect for like Dr. Willy Mutunga and David Maraga were brought to this House. Now, under the new Constitution Lady Justice Koome has been brought. In executing her duties, she must at all times have fidelity to the law and the people of Kenya. This is what should guide her; it is not the Executive, this House or any other public body that should move her. It is her duty to the people of Kenya to uphold the Constitution in accordance to Article 159. The reason I raise this matter is because concerns against this nominee were raised by the Law Society of Kenya on what was termed as misapprehension or skirting around her acting in the direction of the Executive, a fact that was evident. This is a very serious matter and I hope that the nominee shall not be on the beck and call of the Executive and always ready to do what she is told to do. Can judicial authority be exercised under the guidance of any other arm of Government? The principles are set out in Article 159(3) which includes that justice shall be done to all irrespective of their status. Finally, I want her to read and maybe listen to what Thomas Jefferson, the founding father of the United States of America (USA) who served as the third President said, “In matters of style, swim with the current, in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” This is like Justice Odunga, Justice Joel, Justice Matheka, Justice Chacha Mwita and Justice Ngaa. This House must respect the Judiciary. As a minority when the rubber hits the road, the people who will save this country and follow the Constitution both in spirit and letter is the arm of the Judiciary and its independence. She is not from Meru or Mt. Kenya East but is the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. I hope she will follow what Hon. Willy Mutunga and Hon. Justice David Maraga stood for because we are watching her as the people of Kenya.
Thank you. Nowadays you quote too much of these very serious philosophers. Proceed, Hon. Shamalla. 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. Speaker. I rise today to support the recommendations and the Report of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that the Lady Justice Martha Koome be approved by this august House. Hon. Deputy Speaker, there are three things that stood out for me when it came to this particular nominee. First and foremost, she demonstrated her experience and passion for children and family. On that, I agree with Hon. Esther Passaris that, indeed, family and children are the bedrock of every society. If we get it right at that level, we will get it right at all levels. The second issue that stood out for me was the unpackaging of the role of the Chief Justice if she was to be approved by this House. Lady Justice Martha Koome believes that the Constitution of Kenya, amongst other things, must be people-centred in terms of delivery. On this note, I want to talk about the issue of delivery in the context of corruption. Corruption is discussed within the Legislature. It is discussed and recognised in the Executive, but not in the Judiciary. I pray that should Lady Justice Martha Koome be approved by this House she addresses the issue of corruption in the Judiciary. We must call it as it is and we recognise that even the Judiciary has its cartels. It is not just in the Executive or in the Legislature. The other amazing thing about this Lady Justice Martha Koome – which I cannot let go – is this: There were concerns about Article 25 of the Constitution of Kenya which states that the general rules of international law shall form part and parcel of our national laws. A member of the Committee asked a question on the issues of norms that may not be in accordance with the family values that we espouse as Kenyans. Lady Justice Martha Koome was categorical and she stated that she will uphold the value systems of this country where we recognise a marriage between a woman and a man and that she would incorporate indigenous knowledge systems while developing our jurisdiction. With those few remarks, I do support.
Let us have the Member for Bureti.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise in support of the Report on the approval of Martha Koome as the Chief Justice. First and foremost, I want to state that this is a lady and a Kenyan who fits the bill. Secondly, she complies with all the requirements of the law. Article 166(2) and (3) of the Constitution sets out the qualifications of a Chief Justice and in that regard, she qualifies. She has over 33 years of experience in the legal profession and 15 years in the bench. She has intellectual capacity and sound legal judgement. This is a lady who has done a lot of work in creating legal jurisprudence. Hon. Deputy Speaker, one in mind – which was in the Committee you served – was in one civil appeal case of 309 of 2015 where, with Justice Nambuye and Sichale, she rendered a decision that created the current vicarious liability on Teachers Service Commission – that TSC cannot run away from their responsibility to create a safe learning environment for our children against defilement or violence. This is a lady who is committed to ensuring that Kenya moves forward and goes on the right direction. I was also touched on her conduct and demeanor when she was faced with the memoranda that were against her. She did not shy away from facing that and setting the record straight. Lastly, I must commend and laud her on one issue that stands out. Currently, there is the issue of the Building Bridges Initiative decision by the High Court and there is an appeal. When she appeared before the Committee, she was clear in her thought and mind that criticism against 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 according me time to contribute to this. I am a member of this Committee and I had an opportunity of hearing Lady Justice Koome presenting herself to this Committee. I do rise for and support the approval of this Report. When she appeared before our Committee, Lady Justice Koome confirmed to the Committee that she was going to be guided by the Constitution of Kenya and she will not take instructions from any other place other than the Constitution of Kenya. It also came out in her vision that she would protect the rights of citizens as enshrined in Chapter Four of the Constitution 2010. She did inform us that she was part and parcel of this chapter. She played a big role when she was at FIDA and that she will defend the Constitution at all costs. However, as it has been mentioned, when questions were put to her, she confirmed to us and to the Republic that she believes that judges are not saints. She said it clearly that judges are not saints and they sometimes misinterpret the law and that when the law is misinterpreted, it is normally addressed in the appeals. She said she believes that any wrong-doing of a judge can be rectified in an appeal. So, this is a lady who has her vision well cut out. By approving the appointment of Lady Justice Koome, as a country, we will be taking the gender principle to the higher level because it will not only be effected in the National Assembly or wherever else, but at the three arms of the Government. For once, we will have one arm of the Government being led by a lady and I think as a Republic, we will have put our face in the global map in as far as the gender principle is concerned. I do urge the House to approve this lady because even the way she committed herself to relate well, she is even going to unlock the impasse of the 41 judges who have been in the waiting list.
Hon. Rehema. By the way, you seem to be having a problem with your microphone. You might have to come in front. You are now okay.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice. At the outset, I rise with a lot of pride and honour, to support the nomination of a very accomplished lady judge, a mother and a woman that we are all so proud of. During the time she was being vetted by Judicial Service Commission and Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, I took a lot of time to follow the interview. One of the reasons why I am supporting her, besides being a woman, is because of how she performed in the interview. Therefore, I want to thank JLAC and JSC for doing an excellent job. All through, she was composed, focused and she understood the subject matter. She is, indeed, a breath of fresh air in the leadership of the Judiciary. 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.
Let us have Hon. Olago Aluoch, and then come to the Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, there is a matter that I want the House to take notice of - how committees of this House can draw the line between vetting and interviewing. It is important. I am a proud Member of this Committee. The way we did it is what Hon. T.J. Kajwang’ has told you. Other committees of this House need to know how we did it and draw the line.
Secondly, Martha Koome’s professional and career exposure could have made her a better person to be a Chief Justice. A Member of this House has just mentioned it. In those days, in the 1990s, and not the 1980s as she has said, I had a chance to work with Hon. Martha Koome in the Council of the Law Society of Kenya at a time when we were fighting for multi-party democracy in Kenya. At that time, a lawyer who risked doing that would be risking his or her practice or even personal safety and security. In the LSK Council then, we had distinguished lawyers like Justice G.B.M Kariuki, Kinoti, Mirugi Kariuki, Racheal Omamo, Martha Karua, Nzamba Kitonga and Kamau Kuria. We were able to get through our agenda and we became the darling of the Kenyans. In my view, that puts Justice Koome in a better state to understand the needs of Kenyans. After the collapse of the East African Community, Kenyans in the LSK Council then - myself included - travelled in Uganda, Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form what is now called the East African Law Society. We were able to do that with Justice Koome and others and finally, a treaty was signed by our presidents that created what we now call the East African Community. Hon. Deputy Speaker, there is a matter that we cannot afford to sweep under the carpet and Kenyans are concerned. We are going to approve Justice Martha Koome as the next Chief Justice of this country. However, the fact is, we are going to end up with the situation where the Head of the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Head of the Executive will all be coming from one region known as the “mountain”. That is the matter that I raised in the Committee. However, I am satisfied that Justice Koome was able to convince us that the fact that she comes from the mountain, should not be a worry for Kenyans. I am personally satisfied that Justice Martha Koome will be our next Chief Justice. 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. Leader of the Majority Party. I can see we are almost done. I will give a few members.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion and thank the Committee for doing a splendid job as the last speaker has just said. It is probably one of the best practices in terms of how-to vet officers as opposed to grilling and attempting to redo interviews that were done elsewhere. I think this is just highlighting and clarifying issues for purposes of public participation. The Swahili have a saying, if you allow me to quote, that: Chema chajiuza, kibaya
. From what we have heard, the gracious lady has 33 years of experience spanning in all disciplines, from family law, private practice, pro bono works, environment, High Court, and all the way to the Court of Appeal. It is the cross-cutting that she has managed to sell herself to the Kenyan people and to the Committee. So, what we are doing here is repeating ourselves in increasing the accolades. We believe that she will do a good job as she has promised.
I just want to take on two commitments that she made to the Committee and Kenyans through this House. That this is about living true to her calling as a jurist in terms of independence, non-partisanship, non-political stunts and also in the war against graft. The war against graft is not limited to the Executive. It goes across all institutions. If you allow graft at the Judiciary, it does not matter who the head is. Nobody will ever get justice. If the war on graft starts there, and then cuts across all the institutions, then people will know it is very expensive to get involved in corruption.
The other thing I am happy about is her commitment for non-interference with the other arms of the Government. You are aware that we have been gagged before. We have been told we cannot process Bills. Last year, we spent a lot of time because we had been told we cannot do Bills. We were told that some of the Bills we had passed like the ones on appropriation and supplementary were illegal. Obviously, this is something that cannot be enforced because, how do you tell people to return the money that was spent on an Appropriation Bill? Some excesses were made. I hope that she will bring some order to the Judiciary from that perspective, and even remove those things of telling Parliament: “You cannot pass something or you must pass something in a certain way”, which is what I saw in the ruling that was done last week. The Judiciary was trying to even define how we should do the referendum law. We are not supposed to be receiving that kind of instruction.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the founders of this doctrine of checks and balances, particularly James Madison, were very clear. It is not about having checks and balances, it is ensuring that of all the arms of Government, there will be adequate checks to ensure that none of those arms is so strong to stifle the others from making decisions or from operating. It is not just about creating checks and all those other things. But there should be checks within the law and within the institutions so that the Executive does not muzzle the Judiciary; or Parliament does not muzzle the Judiciary and the Executive, which we could do by refusing to give them money. Similarly, they cannot muzzle us by telling us that there are things we can do or by rendering every law that is coming from Parliament to be unconstitutional even on very flimsy grounds. Those are the kinds of things that we need to get some sober-minded person. 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.
Okay. Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah and then followed by Hon. (Ms.) Odhiambo-Mabona. What is it Hon, Alfred Keter? What is your point of order?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise under Standing Order No. 95 (1)…
Just proceed, Hon. Keter. Order, Hon. Members! Hon. Alfred Keter has the Floor.
May the Mover be now called upon to reply.
Okay. I have heard you. Hon. Members, this is how we will proceed. I had mentioned that I am giving a chance to Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah. You will speak and then Hon. (Ms.) Odhiambo-Mabona will speak after you. Then I will put the Question on that particular bit. If it is acceptable, that is fine. If it is not, it is you to make the decision. By the way, Hon. Members, sometimes, Hon. Members just walk in and they want to be heard. So, let us wait. Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, without digressing, just speak to this matter.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. A lot of accolades have been spoken of the Chief Justice nominee, Lady Justice Martha Koome. I join other Members and Kenyans in congratulating her on her nomination and her selection by the Judicial Service Commission to serve as the first Lady Chief Justice in the Republic of Kenya. With all the accolades also, we saw a Petition from the President of the Law Society of Kenya, a petition that touches on a matter that relates to one of us here. The matter touched on M/s Erad Supplies and General Contract Ltd – a matter that was presided over by Lady Justice Martha Koome. There is also the sticky matter of the night ruling of the Court of Appeal in 2017. Those are issues that may put questions on her standing as a judicial officer, but I want to believe 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.) Millie Odhiambo.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I support the nomination of Lady Justice Martha Koome, especially given that she is the first woman to be given that position. It is a tragedy that, at this age and time, we are still talking of a “first woman this and that”. That is something that we should have left almost 30 years ago. I hope that this development will not hound the Deputy Chief Justice out of office because she is a woman. In this country, there are very many men holding multiple positions. Nobody has hounded them out of office because they are men. Let us have the Lady Chief Justice and the Lady Deputy Chief Justice. Let us not hound the other woman out of office. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I know many people are speaking about Lady Justice Martha Koome from what they have heard or seen in the media. I know her personally. I first met her on 8th March 1997, on International Womens’ Day, when she interviewed me for the position of Legal Counsel for FIDA. They gave me a flower thereafter and I got the job. When the time came for me to leave that office, she actually persuaded me to stay. She even increased my salary so that I do not leave. Unfortunately, my time had come and I had to leave. 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. Savula. Finish! Hon. Savula and then I will dispense with Hon. ….
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity. I also rise to support the Special Motion with the following facts. Justice Martha Karua is a focused lady.
I hope we are speaking to the same Motion.
That is better.
You know, Hon. Karua is a politician like me.
Martha Koome is a focused lady, independent-minded and solution-based. The Judiciary is a centre stage of resolving disputes in this country. So, we need a lady with the qualities that she has. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Members, let me dispense with Hon. Keter’s Motion.
Let us have the Mover to close the debate.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I am humbled. I have nothing useful that I can add to the support that has been given to the Motion. The only thing I would like to add is that I am assured - and we were assured by Justice Koome….
Sorry, the Mover. In the meantime, I ask that I be given the full number of Members present because I have to be extremely sure. I can see you are more than 50 in the House, but let me also know the number of the ones who are in other holding areas.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the only thing I was adding is that Justice Koome assured the Committee that she will judge the judges. I want to allay the fears expressed by Hon. Ichung’wah, but I will not answer anything because all the matters that he raised are extraneous. Tuju is not a member of the Committee and we are not considering Tuju or anybody else. If you allow me, I could donate a minute.
Just to be clear so that you do not feel that I have denied you, whenever there is a Motion to cut debate, there will be no reason to donate minutes.
Very well. Then there is nothing that I can usefully add more than the accolades and the sentiments that have been expressed by the Members. I thank them. I thank my Committee again. It is for the support and the efficiency with which they handled the approval of Justice Koome. I reply.
Hon. Members, having confirmed that we have more than 50 Members within the Chamber and even more outside there in other holding areas, I will proceed. Order, Members!
That is by the Leader of the Majority Party. You have the Floor. Sorry, this is a continuation; this is resumption of debate. Let me get the list of the Members who have spoken to it. Hon. Members, this is actually resumption of debate. Hon. Amos Kimunya had moved. Hon. Gladys Wanga had seconded. We had Hon. David ole Sankok, Hon. Abel Ogutu and Hon. James Nyikal. We had on the Floor of the House Hon. Emmanuel Wangwe who had four minutes remaining. Hon. Wangwe, you have the Floor - four minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Indeed, I had a balance of four minutes. What I wanted to insist in addition to what I had put forward is that the proposed Bill, if this House passes it, is a good document. It is because it is relaxing the cost of doing business. For instance, the Bill is proposing that the Cabinet bureaucracy be reduced or removed in totality. Should this Bill be passed, the hours taken to move the approval from the proposal, to Cabinet and back so that the person desiring to have the proposal of a Bill approved will have a reduction in time. There is also a solution to the appetite of Government borrowing. If this Bill is approved the way it is, the current appetite for borrowing by the Government, which is very high will be dealt with. Therefore, let us not go into the issues of costly borrowing, especially commercial borrowing. Instead, let us look at the proposed PPP. For instance, the current construction of the Expressway is under a PPP. Instead of tying the funds, the investor comes in, puts funds, and recoups the funds in the long run. But my proposal is this: Let us cushion ourselves. Let us not give a blanket cheque to investors such that they take a long time recouping their investment. For example, recouping their investment in 15 years and making super profit in another 15 years. Let us look at the duration of 15 to 25 years, so that we also encourage others to come in The last bit which I want to emphasise is the recognition of local content. A good example is the Expressway. It does not have 30 per cent local content. It is not clear how local content is being provided for. But this Bill lays bare how local content will be achieved. If you will be undertaking a project under PPP, you will ensure a 70/30 per cent ratio so that local 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 Yusuf Halima. That Member has taken leave. Hon. Kaluma Opondo. He has also taken leave. I guess many Members had actually logged in on the previous business. Order, Hon. Ichung’wah. Your time will come. Hon. Obo Mohamed.
Ahsante sana Mhe. Spika wa Muda, lakini mimi nilikuwa nimeweka ombi kwa Hoja iliyopita. Ahsante.
Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, clearly your time has come faster than I had planned.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. It is only that I heard you say Hon. Mugathe and I was wondering who that is in this House. I think it was a mis-pronunciation of the name of the Member for Lamu County. I rise to support this Bill by the Leader of the Majority Party. Indeed, it comes at a very good time in trying to enhance what was enacted in 2013. It enhances efficiencies in the regulatory process of how we engage private entities to undertake public infrastructure projects in this country. This is one of the ways in which we are able to reduce our debt burden as a country. That is why I support this Bill. We must be cognizant of the fact that we live in a country where state capture is not imagined. State capture in this country is so real. If we enact such laws without the requisite safeguards, we will only be cementing the state capture that is already real in this country. If you look at it from the agriculture sector, our farmers today are crying in poverty. Their goods get to the markets but, the entire value chain, right from production to goods on supermarket shelves, is a value chain that has been taken hostage by monopolistic cartels. We must, therefore, be careful so that we do not enact such laws to further entrench the state capture of all the sectors of our economy. The only sector that is yet to be taken over by the state capture mandarins is infrastructure. This sector is capital intensive and, therefore, it makes sense to do it through PPPs. That is what happens all over the world. That is what governments the world over are using to reduce the debt burden. You will get a private entity to bring in their finances and expertise. They deliver projects in a timely manner. Therefore, it is good that the Government is 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.
Order, Hon. Ichung'wah. Order, Hon. Ichung'wah. Where are you coming from, Hon. Mutua? I am sure the two Members can talk. They are neighbours. In the meantime, let us be listening to Hon. Mutua.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to support the Bill. This is a very important Bill even though I have identified a number of gaps, which I will be intending to bridge by bringing in amendments during the third reading. I say so because it is very important. Public private partnerships have always been used to siphon money. I am aware we must disclose the amount of money that both parties are putting in. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am aware that there is a project somewhere that was done by some foundations from Holland. I saw the County Government of Bungoma owning it by saying that they are the ones who put up that building.
So, we must craft this law in a clear manner that will assist the Auditor-General to pick up if we have elements of misappropriation of funds. This will help us avoid a situation where a government handpicks a contractor and money is siphoned from the Government simply because it is a project that is being undertaken by a private entity. So, we need to extend this law to cover any project that will be funded from public coffers, including county governments. 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.
Order! Hon. Didmus Barasa. It is 1.00 p.m., but you have a right to your four minutes. When this debate resumes, you will have your four minutes so that you finish that line of contribution. Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah and Hon. Gathoni Wamuchomba, you are busy and so are Hon. Sabina Chege and Hon. (Dr.) Lilian Gogo. Please, be upstanding. Everyone is busy doing something.
Hon. Members, the time being 1.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until Wednesday, 19th May 2021, at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.