Hon. Members, I have a Petition before me. Article 119 of the Constitution accords any person the right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority. Further, Standing Order 225(2)(b) requires the Speaker to report to the House any petition other than those presented by a Member. In this regard, I wish to report to the House that my office has received a Petition from Mr Victor Okul of P.O. Box 2050 Kitale, calling for amendment of the Constitution to introduce the offices of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Official Leader of the Opposition.
The Petitioner is convinced that what he terms as winner-takes-all system is regressive, particularly in light of the fact that the establishment of the offices of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Official Opposition were initially part of the changes various Kenyans had proposed to the Bomas Draft Constitution.
Hon. Members, the Petitioner further claims that every presidential election, since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, has been divisive on account of the said winner-takes-all system. He also avers that various initiatives and public discourse to introduce the said offices through the mechanisms provided for under Article 257 of the Constitution have not borne fruit. The Petitioner thus prays that this House considers amending the Constitution to introduce the offices of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Official Leader of the Opposition in order to address the divisive nature of our national politics. Hon. Members, having established that the matter raised in this Petition is well within the authority of this House, I hereby commit it to the Public Petitions Committee for consideration pursuant to Standing Order 208A. The Committee is required to consider the Petition and report its findings to the House and the Petitioner in accordance with Standing Order 227(2). I thank you.
Can we give comments?
Yes. Comments are in order. Hon. Julius Rutto, Member for Kesses, proceed. Do you want to weigh in on this matter?
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I have found myself on the intervention. However, I can proceed to comment. Kenyans are yet to forget that recently on the eve of the elections, there was a heated discussion on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). Its proponents had indicated the subject of the winner-takes-all system which has come back through submission of a Petition. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Therefore, I want to say that this is a serious matter that requires a weighty discussion. I implore the Public Petitions Committee to take this issue back to Kenyans. Kenyans are the authors of the supreme law of this country, the Constitution. We are now 10 ten years since the implementation of the Constitution and, we, therefore, know the pros and cons of the same. Therefore, it is up to Kenyans to decide if they are willing to re-introduce the superior offices to accommodate the losers. The Committee needs to get the feelings of Kenyans because there are some people who feel that after every election, those who end up losing feel like they are not part and parcel of the Government. Personally, I feel that we are facing a challenge of the cost of funding these particular offices since they come with hefty cost, staffing and resources to manage them, thus it will be a debate and it has to go back to Kenyans who will then give us direction. On the just concluded elections, those of us who were on the side of the majority party, won on the promise we made to Kenyans that we did not intend to expand the wage bill. Thus, if you look at this Petition, we have to listen, internalise and try to understand what point the Petitioner wants to drive home. This will help us not to lock out the Petitioner before we get to know their point. We all know that today we could be on this side and tomorrow on the other side. Therefore, let us look at the advantage of this Petition, but not forget that we should not subject the country back to the previous times where we spent much on administration than service delivery. Kenyans are suffering. There is drought in the country, a disease that we need to look at and a lot of expectations from Kenyans. Kenyans expect that this Constitution should serve them and not just the top leadership. We, therefore, need to look at other ways of ensuring that on matters of development, all parts of the country feel that they are part and parcel of the Government of the day. When such questions come in, a section of the country feels that until and when they have their own representative in top leadership, they are not part of the Government. That should not be case. The winner at any given time, by virtue of a proper election like the one we did the other day, should ensure that he or she serves Kenyans equally. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for that opportunity.
Hon. Members, Standing Order 226 on comments on a Petition states that: “The Speaker may allow comments, observations or clarifications in relation to a Petition presented or reported and such total time shall not exceed thirty minutes.”
Under the circumstances, I think two minutes are in order for every Member. Do not take more than two minutes because interest is quite high. The Member for Nyando, proceed.
On a point of order, Hon. Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. (Dr) Pukose?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I do not want to interfere with the Member for Nyando. However, is the Member for Dagoretti South, Hon. John Kiarie, well dressed? You know he has just walked and waved at me and when I looked at his attire…
Where are you, Hon. John Kiarie? Order, Hon. John Kiarie! That is way out of the dress code. Can you remove what you have on your neck? I do not know what that is.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House that I am properly dressed in the right attire for Parliament. I belong to and head a caucus called the World Scout Parliamentary Union that has been approved by the Speaker in accordance with the Standing Orders of this House. What I am wearing here is a scarf of the World Scout Parliamentary union, a caucus… The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Order, Hon. Kiarie! Whereas scouts are recognised in this Parliament and in the country, and this is the mother and father of the scouts’ movement globally and Baden Powell was from here, you do not have a right again to dress like a scout in here. Can you remove it?
Now you are in order! Proceed, Member for Nyando.
What I would like to know Hon. Temporary Speaker is whether I should strip the tie of the World Scouts Parliamentary Union too.
No, you are okay with your tie. It does not matter whether you have the pictures. Parliament recognises it as a tie and there is no distinction from one tie to the other. You re well-dressed now. Proceed, Member for Nyando.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. That was a good commercial break. Through you, we have heard this Petition that has been brought by…
Order, Hon. Okello! Withdraw the statement that you made that this is a commercial break. We do not deal with commerce in this House. Apologise and withdraw.
I apologise and withdraw, Hon. Temporary Speaker. However, that was good comedy. Let me go back to the Petition that you have just read about creation of additional offices, that of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Official Opposition Leader. We are brought into a situation where we are coming up with piecemeal amendments of our Constitution. Just under a fortnight ago, we were debating about the entrenchment of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) into our Constitution and today we are talking about additional offices in our Government. All these were amicably addressed by the BBI that was fiercely fought by my colleagues across the aisle. This matter went all the way to the Supreme Court and was torpedoed at that point. I do not know where that Petition is coming from, but those in power today did indicate that the intent was to create offices for dynasties. Today, we are talking about the same things that ought to have been cured a long time ago. The offices were well intended. Today, we are talking about GMO, but there is nobody in this House to address our plight on the same. We are talking about drought in the country, we are ravaged by several disasters and people are hungry. We have nowhere, there is no recourse and we do not have a Prime Minister who ought to have answered all these questions at the right time.
Hon. Member for Mandera North.
On a point of information, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Yes, what is your point of information?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, along this sitting space, power suddenly went off and we are not able to get communication from where we are seated.
That is valid information and I am sure the staff who deal with that have taken note and will work towards restoring that power. Proceed, Hon. Member for Mandera North. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Mandera North, UDM): Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The Petition that has been presented to this House is certainly quite in order. I am sure, as directed, it will go through the relevant committee. However, the Petition talks about creating additional offices which in my understanding talks about curing the issue of winner-takes-all. When you go for elections, there is a winner and a loser. That has to be accepted. The point we are talking about here is creating offices. As it has been alluded to earlier by some of my colleagues, we have pressing issues at this point in time, and one of them is drought. I think trying to create more offices that were initially contained in the BBI which has now been rejected is not in order. In this new administration, we already have a position by the name Prime Cabinet Secretary. Introducing another position of Prime Minister, that in itself is just a burden to the taxpayers. We have issues to discuss and unfortunately, these are things that were contained in the BBI. It was itself costly to the taxpayers. Introducing it now and trying to address it is a matter that will be a burden to the taxpayer. We have issues that are very peculiar and prime to Kenyans. One of them is the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG- CDF) that touches the lives of the people on the ground. That is something that we need to take up and ensure it is entrenched in the Constitution.
A Petition like this, as much as it is going to be discussed its merits and demerits, I think it is not proper at this point and time.
Let us have Hon. Member for Kitui Central Dr Makali Mulu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Where are you?
I am on this side, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to start by thanking the Petitioner for exercising his constitutional mandate. The Constitution gives him power and authority to petition Parliament on any matter.
What this Petition is telling us as leaders in this country is that some Kenyans out there are still thinking of the expanded Executive. What we need to do is that the Select Committee on Public Petitions needs to invite as many stakeholders as possible so that Kenyans can come to this important session, discuss with the Committee and it will guide the House in terms of what they are saying.
I do not think it is fair, however, to start saying that he has not done the right thing. This is a constitutional requirement. I want to say that we allow the Petitioner to face the Committee and present his case and allow other stakeholders also to have their input. If they say that is the way to go, who are we to say no? We will support Kenyans. I really think he is exercising his constitutional right.
The Member for Marakwet. Bowen.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. As I give my contribution on this, I think it is not a necessary Petition at this time.
As some colleagues who spoke before me have said, the Petition is supposed to cure what they call the winner takes all. You will see that what we are calling the winner takes all was only addressing the top-class politicians. What about those who were running for the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) seats? The second runner up in MCAs, Members of Parliament, Woman Representatives and governor’s races? What are they going to benefit? What are they going to get if we are talking about only creating a position of a Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition at the national level? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
If that is the case, you will see tomorrow that even MCAs at the county level will want to have their leaders of opposition like that. We have serious national issues which need to be addressed. I want to oppose the Petition.
Hon. Member for Central Imenti.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I hereby stand to comment on the Petition before this honourable court.
This honourable Parliament.
I am so much used to the court that sometimes I mistake it. That is the position, that this is the honourable Parliament.
The Petition as it is cannot be said to be bad. We have been having a Constitution for 10 years. The Constitution is not cast in stone and is dynamic. It is not static. Whatever has been a Petition there, should be put to the right Committee for consideration. Let Kenyans debate on it. They will come up with a solution or what they think about it. It is not necessarily that when it is said that we are creating offices, we should create it up to the ground. I believe the Petitioner has a right because it is enshrined in the Constitution to petition Parliament. Parliament has authority to ventilate on the same.
I hereby support the Petition.
Let us have the Member for Jomvu, followed by Hon. Gogo. Jomvu, Bady Bady?
Ahsante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Kwanza nataka kuzungumzia juu ya hii Petition ambayo imeletwa ya kusema kuwa mshindi anachukua kila kitu katika mambo haya ya Serikali.
Kusema kweli, hivi sasa tumeangalia katika nchi hii na kuna mambo mengi sana ambayo yanatukumba. Kwa wakati kama huu, kuona kwamba tunaangalia mambo ya hivyo vyeo vya juu na kila kitu juu ya hiyo Petition ambayo imeletwa, tuna mambo muhimu sana juu ya hiyo Petition . Ijapokuwa tunashukuru ameweza kuleta mambo ambayo ni muhimu sana katika nchi hii yetu, lakini kwa wakati kama huu, tulivyo na njaa na vitu vingine, ni muhimu sana kuona kuwa wafanyibiashara wengi hivi sasa hawawezi kufanya biashara. Tukiangalia Mombasa Liner, mdosi wao ameng’ang’ana sana katika mambo kule barabarani na vitu vingine na wafanyibiashara wengine wengi.
Nataka kusema kuwa hii P etition ni nzuri lakini kwa wakati huu, ni muhimu tuangalie mambo mengine. Ahsante Mhe. Spika wa Muda na Mungu atubariki.
The Member for Emuhaya, Hon. Omboko. Did you wish to contribute to this one?
Hon. Temporary Speaker…
Order! Sorry. After Gogo. Proceed Gogo. It is my mistake.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I appreciate you. I rise to support this particular Petition.
Article 1 of our Constitution indicates that all sovereign power belongs to the people. This power, they can decide to exercise it directly or they can exercise it through their elected leaders. When a national indicates that they want certain changes made, it is only important that this goes through the due process. It goes to the relevant committee and the Petitioner is given a hearing. It should go through public participation and if it is important and necessary, then the necessary action should be taken.
Having said that, when the BBI was brought, it was shot down. These are some of the things that were addressed then. If they still come, then it means there is need for these things to be addressed. Right now, we have matters with the NG-CDF. It also needs to be The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
constitutionalised, so that it is not tossed up and down. We have issues to do with drought. We need to be a working nation. We need to come up and address issues of national security. We have insecurity in the nation. We also have drought and hunger and we need to address all these things together as we look at this Petition.
Hon. Omboko, Member for Emuhaya.
Very well. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
The Petitioner is correct and the thoughts outside are broad. There are those like himself who believe that by expanding the Government to have the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition and the Deputy Prime Minister, it would be good for this country. This is a debate that having been put before Parliament, the Committee should look into and bring their proposals to us so that we can debate.
Above all, at this particular time, we are facing very many challenges. The country is just from elections. Constitutional amendments come with a lot of gruelling periods that almost look like elections time. Therefore, it may not be the real priority that we want now although our Constitution certainly will require changes. There may be need for a period when we will come and do a comprehensive amendment to the Constitution, but for now, hunger is here with us and there is drought. There is lack of money to even pay the teachers of Kenya. Universities are falling like we saw in the morning. We need to fund them. The NG-CDF is not there. First things come first; that was Sterling of Russia. I think it is not the correct Petition for the time. T
The Member for Kamukunji, followed by Makilap.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for this opportunity. I would like to oppose the Petition on the grounds that changes to the Constitution are weighty matters and they need to be considered very carefully and must be important and have the support of the majority of our population. This kind of change which would only favour the politically elite is of no use to our country given the fact that we have had a history of abuse of the constitutional system. I remember when we had the one-party system, our Constitution could be changed by the day or by the hour. In the end, our Constitution and the rights of our citizens became insignificant in the process of governance to the point that the value of our Constitution was less than a toilet paper. In the end, we changed that to a multiparty constitutional system which has worked very well for us in the years it has been in service. It will be very dangerous to start tampering with it. One day, we may get to a point where we want to change our Constitution, but we have just come from an election as others have mentioned. Elections and referendums are very expensive. Therefore, it is not the right time and it is not necessary to change our Constitution that often. We should be careful of such petitions.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Initially, I had given the opportunity to Hon. Makilap, followed by the Leader of the Minority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. While addressing this matter of altering the Constitution at the moment, the Petition is well- thought out, but definitely the timing is not right. The position of a Prime Minister is adequately addressed by the position of a Prime Cabinet Secretary at the moment. The positions of the Leader of the Minority Party and the Deputy Leader of the Minority Party adequately address the issue of the Leader of Opposition. I call upon the country and Members of Parliament in the Kenya Kwanza side to remember that some other time, we shall not be in the Government. In the Government, there The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
is time to be in and time to be out. When we are out, let us remember the days when we were in and when we are in, let us remember the days we will be out. I believe this is a very good proposal for a constitutional amendment, but this is the wrong time. It should come around 2025 and not towards the end of the term because this altering of the Constitution requires a referendum. It is well thought-out, but the timing is wrong. Even in the last elections, the difference between the winner and the second candidate was 200,000 votes. That means that even the person who lost is equally a good leader for Kenya.
The Leader of the Minority Party, Hon. Opiyo Wandayi.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, let me make a few comments about this Petition. First, there cannot be a right or wrong time to amend the Constitution. Never. It all depends on the issues brought forth and the necessity for effecting them in the Constitution through amendments. Therefore, as a House, we need to continue protecting the right of members of the public to petition this House on anything including proposals to amend the Constitution or any other law for that matter. We must also take cognisance of the fact that our Constitution has now come of age. It is now 12 years since it was promulgated in 2010. It has indeed, come of age and, therefore, in essence, it is ripe for a review, not amendments, but a review. It is also important that Kenyans now start having such discussions. As to how or what approach will be used to eventually review or amend it, this will all depend on the consensus agreed upon. We need to seize the moment and the opportunity that has been given to us by the Almighty God in this 13th Parliament to initiate a debate as to whether we need to review this Constitution or not. As I speak, I see us amending it through the backdoor. I say this because there has been clamour in the recent past for cabinet secretaries to appear before us here and answer Questions from Members. Essentially, this is introducing the BBI through the backdoor, if you ask me. What the BBI intended to cure among other things was this anomaly of Members having to ask fellow Members Questions for which they have no answers to. If we want the cabinet secretaries to appear before us, the surest way is to eventually review the Constitution and have cabinet secretaries appointed from amongst Members of the National Assembly. That way, we will be empowered. Even those of us who are opposing this for the sake of opposing never know, maybe at one time, you will have a chance to become a cabinet secretary. Otherwise, these are very good proposals. Kenyans should be allowed to make and prosecute them before the Committee on Public Petitions. Finally, Hon. Temporary Speaker, whilst that total review of the Constitution can wait, there is a more urgent issue which I will be talking about later in the course of this Sitting; the issue of the NG-CDF. That one cannot and should not wait. I hope Members will agree with me on this. The issue of entrenching the NG-CDF in the Constitution should have been done yesterday so that Kenyans can… What I am raising is very important. We can consolidate all these other petitions seeking for review of the Constitution under the ambit of a constitutional assembly later. However, we should dispense with the issue of NG-CDF now.
This is so that we can allow Kenyans to continue receiving the services they are used to through the NG-CDF.
The Member for Sotik, Hon. Francis Sigei, followed by the Member for Kibwezi West. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also ventilate on this important Petition. From the outset, I respect the Petitioner. The merits of this Petition are right, but the timing is wrong. Our economy is struggling. We have just come from elections the other day and we want to fix the economy of this country. We have a public debt which is the big elephant in the room. As much as we would like to commend the Petitioner for bringing this Petition, it is the wrong time. I oppose the Petition.
Next is the Member for Kibwezi West. Kindly take a minute because other Members want to contribute too.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I join the Members who have spoken on the right of the Petitioner to petition Parliament. As the Committee on Public Petitions looks at the Petition, I urge them to look for other ways other than amending the Constitution to achieve the Petitioner’s objectives. For example, on the issue of inclusivity, under Article 130(2) of the Constitution, it is required that the forming of the national Executive should be done in a diverse manner in terms of ethnic representation, so that a majority of Kenyans feel part of the Government. This is happening now. That can be solved by giving life to Article 130 of the Constitution without necessarily amending the Constitution. Two, is the issue of the Prime Minister. One of the reasons advanced is that we require a Prime Minister, so that the national Executive can interact with Parliament. There has been a proposal to amend our Standing Orders so that cabinet secretaries can come before this House. Even without amending the Constitution, we can look at the proposal of amending the Standing Orders and have cabinet secretaries coming before the House. I think there is merit in empowering the Office of the Official Leader of Opposition to hold Government to account and keep it on its toes. Therefore, that is a proposal that may require further debate so that we can see how the Office of the Official Leader of Opposition can enhance our democratic existence.
Order, Hon. Members. We have run out of time. The Standing Orders are express. Please, take one minute each. Hon. Kirima and Hon. Tindi Mwale, take a minute each.
Member of Parliament for Imenti Central, Hon. Kirima, no.
Kiili Daniel is my name, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
r (Hon. Farah Maalim): Take exactly one minute. Proceed.
I support this Petition. We have had these offices given different names by different regimes, especially the Office of the Prime Minister. If it is entrenched in the Constitution, it will be there for any other leader that comes. The most important thing to discuss are the issues at hand. We have very many problems in Kenya right now. Two months ago, we were discussing lack of rainfall. When the rains came, we are talking about floods. This shows we lack preparedness in all these instances. We should be prepared to serve our people when there is no rain. When it comes, we should also have plans in place on how to collect the flood water for future use. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support this idea.
Tindi Mwale, take exactly one minute. The Member of Parliament for Dagoretti, is it Dagoretti North or Dagoretti South? Take one minute, and then we come to others. Hon. Pukose, can you take half a minute?
Yes. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Excellent. We can proceed after that.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the Petition. We do not need to live in denial. The 2007 Coalition Government had a Prime Minister and two deputies. The former President, Uhuru Kenyatta, formed an office called Head of Government Coordination that had the same functions as the Prime Minister. President Ruto has formed a position called Prime Cabinet Secretary that is like that of the Prime Minister. Therefore, I support the Petitioner. We do not need to live in denial. Let us amend the Constitution and have a Prime Minister.
Proceed, Hon. Kiarie.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to imagine the reason we get opportunity to comment on petitions is so that we can start giving directions to the committee that is going to be looking at the petitions. Some of the information this Committee needs to understand is that Kenya has had a new Constitution for only 12 years. A place like the United States of America has had their Constitution for over two centuries. However, the American Constitution is only 21 pages. Ours was 210 pages in 2010. We have no business piling up more layers on our Constitution, especially if it is on issues, matters and functions that can be addressed from other institutions or other tenets of the Constitution.
Other than creating an office for the high and mighty, functions of the Prime Minister are already being conducted very well in the system that we have, especially with the Executive Order that gave way to the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary. Secondly, we are in the process of amending our Standing Orders so that we have more cabinet secretaries coming into this House and not only the Prime Minister. I oppose this Petition and say that other institutions and other provisions of our Constitution have already remedied the malady that it seeks to remedy.
Hon. Pukose, and then, just for us to have gender balance, we will have Madam Nyenze as the last person. Proceed. Take just a minute.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I think this is one of those petitions over which I urge you to use your discretion and refer it to the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee. You remember the Committee of Mutava Musyimi did an audit of the Constitution during the 11th Parliament. I think it is the right time we audited our Constitution instead of doing piecemeal constitutional amendments. The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee should look at some of these petitions and see how best to consolidate them and let Kenyans decide.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. From the outset, I support the Petition. The Petitioner should be given an opportunity to say what they want about the Petition. We should not be in denial. We have had the Constitution for the last 12 years. Amending the Constitution is the right of Kenyans. There is nothing wrong with coming up with this office so that we can have better checks on our Government, so that better strategies and policies are put in place through having the Office of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. I support the Petition.
The presiding officer fully appreciates the fact that there is need for the House to be allowed to ventilate on such weighty matters. The time that we are allocated through the Standing Orders is very limited. Maybe you could demand for a little more than that when we are revising our Standing Orders. Then you can get a lot of the valuable information from Members of Parliament. That is the end of this bit. For The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
the benefit of Hon. Pukose, this has already been committed to the Public Petitions Committee for consideration pursuant to Standing Order 208A.
Hon. Members, there are three Communications. We have a problem with this microphone. I think the people who were here were shorter. Maybe we needed one that is a bit longer so that I can be closer to it without bending.
Hon. Members, I have something that is going to really interest you. It regards one of our own. It is the election of Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi Wetangula, MP, as the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disability Network Africa Region. The National Assembly continues to engage in parliamentary diplomacy in its usual inter-parliamentary affairs at regional and international levels. In this regard, a parliamentary delegation recently attended the 2nd Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disability Network Africa Region Conference which took place in Dar es Salam Tanzania from Tuesday, 15th November 2022, to Thursday, 17th November 2022. The theme of the Conference was: “Parliamentarians and PwDs as Champions of Inclusion and Accessibility to Public and Private Sectors”. Hon. Members, the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disability Network Africa Region is one of the networks within the wider Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). It facilitates activities and programmes to champion and increase the representation of persons with disabilities in Commonwealth parliaments. It also works towards the mainstreaming of disability considerations in all CPA activities and programmes. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Members, the network supports elected representatives with disabilities in 180 Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth and ensures that issues of persons with disabilities are brought to the fore in parliamentary debate and in legislative matters. Hon. Members, the delegation to the 2nd Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities Africa Region Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, constituted the following Members: (i) The Hon (Dr.) Makali Mulu, MP - Leader of the delegation and CPA Senior Regional Representative; (ii) The Hon. Janet Sitienei, MP; (iii) The Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi, MP; (iv) The Hon. Joseph Lomwa, MP; (v) The Hon. Andrew Okuome, MP; (vi) The Hon. Rose Mumo, MP; (vii) The Hon. Jackson Kosgei, MP; (viii) The Hon. Sen. Crystal Asige, MP; (ix) The Hon. Sen. George Mbugua, MP; (x) The Hon. Martin Wanyonyi, MP; (xi) The Hon. Florence Sergon, MP; and, (xii) The Hon. Charles Gimose, MP. Key among the agenda items during the conference was the election of the Chairperson of the Network for the Africa Region. I am glad to notify the House that Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi Wetang’ula was elected the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disability (CPwD) Network Africa Region
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Makali Mulu, what is your point of order?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wanted your indulgence. You know the statement you have just read on CPA Africa Region The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
was relating to a network of parliamentarians with disabilities. The Members might think I have an invisible disability
So, it is good I put the record straight that I happen to be a senior representative of the CPA Africa Region. This conference was hosted in my region and that is why I was in attendance. I was the only one who does not belong to that network of parliamentarians with disabilities. As a senior regional representative, I want to thank the Parliament of Kenya for facilitating our colleagues who have disabilities to participate in this important conference. This was the second conference. The first one was hosted here in Kenya. In addition, our Parliament was very good to the 12 Members from both the National Assembly and the Senate who attended this conference. It is on the basis of the number of attendees that when the elections were called, Tim Wanyonyi was elected. We had a big number of delegates. So, we thank the Parliament of Kenya for facilitating the Members. Allow me to congratulate Hon. Tim Wanyonyi for being elected as the Chairperson. I wish him well as he takes over this important network of parliamentarians with disabilities.
Under the circumstances, Hon. Tim Wanyonyi, do you want to say a word
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. First, I want to thank the Parliament of Kenya for facilitating us to attend this conference. It was the second one to be held since its inception. The first one was held here last year and Hon. Dennitah Ghati was the founding Chairperson. She was very instrumental in pushing for inclusion of disability in the CPA. The Kenya delegation was very active in this conference. We want to thank the host, Tanzania, and Dr Makali Mulu, our senior, who led the delegation. We promise to articulate issues affecting people with disabilities across the CPA establishment so that their voices are heard loud and clear. Regarding the membership to CPA, we found some countries do not have even a single parliamentarian with disability, but Kenya is leading from the front. I am glad I was elected the Chairperson of this region and I will take this role very seriously. Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. We are here to represent all Members with disabilities across the board.
Let us go on. Next Order! Hon. Osoro. Proceed
South Mugirango, UDA): Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am also very happy because Dr Makali has clarified. As I was seated here, Hon. Jematiah was raising queries about his position in that particular group. I do not want to speak out her speculations. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: 1. The First Annual Report on the State of Public Private Partnerships in Kenya for the Financial Year 2021/2022 by the Public Private Partnership Directorate - National Treasury. 2. Annual Report and Financial Statement of Laikipia University for the Financial Year 2020/2021. 3. Kenya’s County Budget Transparency Survey 2021 by the International Budget Partnership. 4. National Government Budget Implementation Review Report for the Financial Year 2021/2022 from the Office of the Controller of Budget. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
5. Annual Corporate Report from the Office of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year 2019/2020. 6. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the National Research Fund for the year ended 30th June 2020. 7. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority for the year ended 30th June 2019. 8. Staff Mortgage Scheme - Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th June 2017 from the Office of the Auditor-General. 9. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission for the year ending 30th June 2021. 10. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Commission on Administrative Justice for the 2021/2022 Financial Year. 11. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Higher Education Loans Board for the year ended 30th June 2017, 30th June 2018, 30th June 2019 and 30th June 2020. 12. The Twenty-Eighth Bi-Annual Report of the Monetary Policy Committee for the period April 2022 from the Central Bank of Kenya. 13. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Limited for the year ended 2021. 14. The 50th Monetary Policy Statement for the period June 2022 by the Central Bank of Kenya. 15. Bank Supervision Annual Report for the year 2020 from the Central Bank of Kenya. 16. Public Financial Management Reforms Programme for the period December 2020 from the National Treasury. 17. Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Kenya Law Reform Commission for the 2021/2022 Financial Year. 18. Public Financial Management Reforms Strategy for the period 2018 to 2023 from the National Treasury. 19. Performance Audit Report on provision of sanitary towels to girls in public and private schools by the Ministry of Education. 20. Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of the following institutions for the year ended 30th June 2021 and certificates therein: (a) Naivasha Technical and Vocational Training College; (b) Matili Technical Training Institute; (c) Maasai Mara University; (d) Bushiangala Technical Training Institute; (e) Kenya National Assurance Company (20021) Limited; (f) Small Enterprises Finance Company Limited; (g) Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology; (h) Geothermal Development Company Limited; (i) Agri and Co-operative Training and Consultancy Services Limited; (j) Kenyatta University; (k) Kenya Institute of Special Education; (l) Multimedia University of Kenya; (m) Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Industrial Park Limited; (n) Kenya Broadcasting Corporation; (o) Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited; (p) National Oil Corporation of Kenya; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(q) Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation; (r) Coast Institute of Technology; (s) Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority; (t) Kenya National Commission for UNESCO; (u) The Kenya Scouts Association; (v) Kenya National Examinations Council; (w) National Biosafety Authority; and, (x) Postal Corporation of Kenya. 21. Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of the following constituencies for the year ended 30th June 2021 and the certificates therein: (a) Chepalungu; (b) Mwingi North; (c) Embakasi West; (d) Tinderet; (e) Igembe South; (f) Igembe North; (g) Maara; (h) Kesses; (i) North Imenti; (j) Mbeere North; (k) Central Imenti; (l) Keiyo North; (m) Turkana North; (n) Turkana Central; (o) Khwisero; (p) North Horr; (q) Samburu West; (r) Laikipia East; (s) Mumias East; (t) Teso North; (u) Saboti; (v) Laikipia West; (w) Samburu East; (x) Lurambi; (y) Sirisia; (z) Mwala; and, (aa) Baringo South.
What is wrong with your microphone? Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport and Public Works the following Question: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide the current implementation status for all roads under construction in Yatta Constituency? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain delays in the upgrading to bitumen standards of Katangi-Matuu Road, Kithimani-Katangi Road, and Ndalani-Makuyu Road in Yatta Constituency considering their importance in enhancing the economic potential of the region?
My microphone is not working. The Question is to be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport and Infrastructure. Let us move to the next Question. Member for Kirinyaga Central, Hon. Joseph Gitari. He has requested for the Question to be deferred. It is so directed. The Question is deferred.
Is that microphone working? Use the next one. I know you as Moria. Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport and Public Works the following Question: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain why the construction of Captain- Wanjohi-Geta-Ndunyu Njeru Road in Kipipiri Constituency has stalled, despite the project having been funded? (ii) Could the Ministry state when the contractor will resume works on the said road and provide expected completion timelines for the project? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide the measures to maintain and make the road motorable considering the importance of the said road to the economic wellbeing of the area residents particularly, transportation of milk and other farm produce to markets? Hon. Temporary Speaker, I am unable to sleep because of this road. I ask this House, through the Departmental Committee on Transport and Infrastructure, to assist me because I have done everything humanly possible including sending photos and videos of this road to everyone. I have sent videos and photos to the Cabinet Secretary, Director-General Kandie and all the engineers in Nyandarua County. I am not getting help. I am only getting nightmares because even a sick person cannot be taken to hospital.
Those are some of the challenges of our own way of doing things because cabinet secretaries do not come to the House. When we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
were under the old Constitution, they were obligated to answer Questions because they were Members of Parliament. The Chairperson had a certain authority over them to make sure they respond adequately to the satisfaction of Kenyans and this House. Now we can only emphasise that they need to do something about that. The Question is to be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Transport and Infrastructure. The next Question is by the Member for Maragwa, Hon. Mary Wamaua.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development the following Question: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide details on the current organisational structure, directorship…
Order, Hon. Mary Njoroge. What is your issue, Hon. Muhia?
When will they respond to this question? It is very urgent.
Precisely so. Who is the Chairperson of this Committee?
I hear it is Hon. GK. Where is he today? Hon. GK, are you in the House?
Any Member of the Committee who is here? Could you please identify yourself for the benefit of the Chairperson? The Chair cannot emphasise it anymore that this Committee needs to do its work and come up with a satisfactory answer at the earliest opportunity. Proceed, Hon. Wamaua Mary.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to ask the following questions: (i) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide details on the current organisational structure, directorship, membership and shareholders of the New Kenya Planters Co-operative Union (NKPCU Ltd)? (ii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the Modus Operandi of the New KPCU Fund? (iii) Could the Cabinet Secretary explain the measures that the Government is putting in place to provide affordable, sustainable and accessible cherry advances to small-scale coffee growers? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(iv) Could the Cabinet Secretary provide a status report regarding the defunct Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (old KPCU), including its establishment, registration and the process of liquidation? Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
That Question is to be replied to before the Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Co-operatives. Hon. Gonzi Rai has demanded a Statement. Where is he?
I am here, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to request a statement regarding the chemical spillage at Meli Kubwa Village in Kinango Constituency. Hon. Temporary Speaker, pursuant to the provisions of the Standing Order 44(2)(c), I rise to request for a Statement from the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining regarding the spillage of substance at Meli Kubwa Village in Kinango Constituency, where a tank ferrying the said chemical overturned. Hon. Temporary Speaker, we are worried of an environmental pollution caused by a substance where a tank overturned and poured its contents at Meli Kubwa village in Kinango Constituency. The tragic incident had a lot of destruction to livestock and properties, including the 37 cows belonging to Mr. Mwajoto. The substance spilled near the only existing Musufu Water Pan for the residents of Meli Kubwa. The area has begun to receive rains and the substance is slowly being drained into the water pan hence causing health risks that are dangerous for human and animal consumption. It is against this background that I seek a statement from the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining on the following: 1. Could the Chairperson state the immediate steps taken to ascertain the level of toxicity of the substance that has caused loses and damage to the environment? 2. Could the Chairperson state the measures that the Government is putting in place to ensure safety and security at Meli Kubwa area. 3. Could the Chairperson explain the plan the Government has in place to compensate the victims who lost livestock occasioned by the substance spillage? Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Where is the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining. Who is the Chairperson?
Where is he? Where is Hon. Gikaria?
In Juba? Is any Member of the Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining here? Could you commit The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
yourself at the earliest time possible to get us an answer to this? This is a Statement. Ordinarily, you should have an answer within 48 hours unless the rules have changed. Have the rules changed? Proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am Hon. Beatrice Kemei. On behalf of the Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining, I request for 14 days.
14 days? Ordinarily, it is supposed to be 48 hours. It used to be called a Question by Private Notice in the older days. I do not know if I am right?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, the Chairperson is in Juba for sports.
He is in sports for the time being but the system is there. In any case, you are going to get those answers not from the Chairperson. It just comes in through the Chairperson as the conduit, but there is a Ministry involved. Can you go to the Cabinet Secretary and get this answer latest Tuesday, next week?
I will comply.
Next Order. Proceed Chairperson. Move the Motion.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Select Committee on the NG- CDF, laid on the table of the House on Thursday, 17th November 2022 and, pursuant to the provisions of Section 43(4) of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Act, 2015 and paragraph 5(2) and 10 of the NG-CDF Regulations 2016, approves the list of the nominees to the appointment to the following 68 Constituencies Committees of the NG-CDF.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Order! Order! Hon. Sirma, I know you have been out of Parliament for a while. You move the Motion first before you debate it.
I started with that.
You have to read it verbatim as it is.
I did that, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The names which we have received so far and approved are 124. Today, we are approving 68 of them. I urge the Members who have not submitted their names that time is not on their side. It is incumbent upon Members to push their fund managers where they are so that we can finish this matter. The last group we shall be having as a committee will be tomorrow and if you miss on that possibly, you will wait for next year. We want to agree with all the Members that this is something of utmost importance and we need also the legal minds of this House to help us to move forward in terms of the interpretation of the ruling of the Supreme Court so that we can get our funds as early as possible. We want the Committee on Justice Legal and Affairs (JLAC) and others so that everybody is comfortable in this House. Since we have come all the way to the position that we are in, Kenyans cannot afford to do harambees again, which is an old way of doing things to build classes, buy desks in schools and pay bursaries for our students and pupils. We need this money and, therefore, let us unite as a team in this House and work out on an interpretation of this so that we can access those funds. I beg to move and ask Hon. Chepkonga to second this Motion. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to second the Motion that has been moved by Hon. Sirma, the Chairperson of the Committee on National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF). As you know, this is a very important tool in terms of development. In fact, it has been recognised by the United Nations that development at the communal level is the engine that moves development in a country. In fact, it is encouraging countries to devolve national resources to the constituencies and counties. This is one of them from the national Government. There is a misnomer that these are funds that are meant for counties. They are not intended for counties. These are purely for national Government to develop infrastructural facilities in educational institutions. I get very surprised when I hear people thinking that it is money that Members of Parliament walk around in the constituencies dishing them out to whoever they like or their brokers. That is a complete misnomer. The money handed to our brokers is from our own salaries. We spend our salaries on our brokers. We do not spend NG- CDF on people that we may like. This is a community development process. It is driven by public participation. The members of public participate in identifying the projects and I am one of the stakeholders who are asked to identify what projects to be funded in my constituency. We hear people talking about NG-CDF of 2015 having been declared unconstitutional. We want to warn the mandarins in Treasury that they need to get their legal interpretation of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court just mentioned the NG-CDF 2015 orbiter. The 2015 NG-CDF was not part of the Act that was being contested upon at the Supreme Court. I do not see why anyone at the Treasury can imagine even for one minute that the 2015 NG-CDF has been declared unconstitutional. I would like to inform you that we, as lawyers in this House - and we number about 30 - will be appearing in the courts on the 1st and 2nd to defend the rights of Kenyans because Article 95 of the Constitution obligates every Member of Parliament to resolve any matter that is of concern to the people of Kenya. This is one matter that is of concern to the public. We will not allow this thing to go down. If the Judiciary are saying that we are implementing things that the Executive are supposed to be implementing, we should start with the Judiciary. They should abandon the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
construction of courts and we send all the money to the Ministry of Public works so that it can implement the construction of courts across this country. When I was the Chairperson of JLAC, we budgeted a lot of money to the Judicial Service Commission, just like Parliamentary Service Commission. They were building courts. For instance, a High Court in Turkana was constructed at a cost of Ksh999 million. They constructed one in Bomet for Ksh888 million. Is that not the money coming from taxpayers? If we are talking about implementation of Executive function, that is being done by the Judiciary. In fact, in the NG-CDF, we do not fall anywhere. I do not sit as member of the committee and I do not sign anywhere. We play our oversight role in accordance with Article 95 of the Constitution. We wait until the reports from the Auditor-General are brought here, which we then look at how the money has been spent at the constituency level. I do not know how they spend the money. I am also a stranger. When somebody issues a ruling that impeaches on the conduct and integrity of the Members of Parliament as if we are spenders of money…We do not spend any money. I second.
Order, Hon. Members. The Chair has to propose the Question first.
Order! Hon. Junet!
Put the Question!
Let us have the Hon. Leader of the Majority Party. Order, Hon. Osoro.
Hon. Osoro imagines that he can whip the Hon. Temporary Speaker, being the Chief Whip. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, acknowledging that Article 256 of the Constitution provides for the process of amending the Constitution by parliamentary initiative; further acknowledging that, Standing Order 114(7A) of the National Assembly Standing Orders provides for the process of introducing legislative proposals in respect of propositions amending the Constitution; noting the general debate in the House on the legislative proposal to amend the Constitution to entrench the National Government Constituencies Development Fund, the National Government Affirmative Action Fund, the Senate Oversight Fund and the Economic Stimulus and Empowerment Fund in the Constitution; cognizant of the comments and views of honourable members during general debate on the legislative proposal; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
recognizing the need for a bicameral approach on the proposal prior to publication of the relevant Bill; acknowledging that the subject matter of the legislative proposal cuts across the mandate of more than one committee of the House; NOW THEREFORE, in furtherance to the provisions of Article 256 of the Constitution (Amendment by parliamentary initiative), this House resolves the following: 1. to establish a Joint Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on a proposal to amend the Constitution to entrench certain specialized funds, comprising nine (9) Members from each of the Houses of Parliament to – (a) facilitate collation of the views from the comments by Members of Parliament during the general debate on the proposal; and inviting Members with similar or related proposals to make submissions before the Committee; (b) invite, engage with and consider submissions from stakeholders and relevant constitutional and statutory bodies with a law reform mandate, including the Attorney-General; and the commissions and independent offices established under Chapter Fifteen of the Constitution; (c) in consultation with the sponsors, attempt to develop and recommend a harmonized version of the proposal arising from the submissions received; and, (d) report to the Houses of Parliament within ninety (90) days to enable the Speakers to make a decision and give direction on whether or not the legislative proposal is to be published into a Bill or not to be proceeded with. 2. that the Offices of the Clerks of Houses of Parliament provide secretariat services to the Joint Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee in accordance with the Standing Orders; 3. that the following Members represent the National Assembly in the Joint Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee (my apologies Hon. Temporary Speaker, I seek your indulgence; I should have mentioned I am moving this Motion under Standing Order 48 in an Amended form. Maybe I will mention the area that I want to amend now in three) – (i) The Hon. Samuel Kiprono Chepkonga, MP – Co-chairperson; (ii) On the Order Paper, there was Hon. George Gitonga Murugara, MP. This where we are amending to replace him with Hon. Rebecca Tonkei, MP. (iii) The Hon. Eckomas Mwengi Mutuse, MP; (iv) The Hon. Wakili Edward Muriu, MP; (v) The Hon. Catherine Nanjala Wambilianga, MP; (vi) The Hon. John Mbadi, EGH, MP; (vii) The Hon. (Dr) Otiende Amollo, MP; (viii) The Hon. David Mwalika Mboni, MP; (ix) The Hon. Kakai Bisau, MP; (x) The Hon. Robert Gichimu Githinji, MP (Co-opted); and, (xi) The Hon. Stephen Mule, MP (Co-opted). 4. to request the Senate to also appoint a similar number of Members to represent the Senate in the Joint Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee. Hon. Temporary Speaker, as Members will recall, on Wednesday 2nd November this year, Hon. Gichimu Githinji (MP) and Hon. Stephen Mule (MP) made a Statement on the legislative proposal to amend the Constitution to entrench the National Government The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Constituency Development Fund, the National Government Affirmative Action Fund, the Senate Oversight Fund and the Economic Stimulus and Empowerment Fund in the Constitution. Following that Statement, over 120 Members made their general remarks on this legislative proposal and in this regard, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 114(7)(a), you committed to facilitate the collation of view from Members in an appropriate forum. Therefore, Hon. Temporary Speaker, the House Business Committee (HBC) in its sitting proposed the establishment to this Joint Ad Hoc Committee to collate the views raised by Members considering that the legislative proposal touches on the functions of county governments in terms of Article 110 of the Constitution and, therefore, necessitates this to be a consideration of the matter in a bicameral manner hence the request for the Senate to appoint a similar number of Members to represent the Senate in the Joint Ad Hoc Committee. Hon. Temporary Speaker the Committee, if approved, will carry out public participation in accordance with the provisions of Article 118(1)(b) of the Constitution. It should report back to the both Houses in 90 days to enable the Hon. Speaker decide and give direction on whether the legislative proposal then should be published into a Bill or not. Hon. Temporary Speaker, as you put the Question on the earlier Motion on the Constitution of Constituency Fund Committees, I did hear… (Hon. Temporary Speaker, if you can allow the leaders in the Minority side to consult and pass a note to me on the further amendment, with your indulgence, that they intend to make on the list, but also to encourage to be doing these consultations earlier and not on the Floor).
Order! The Chair actually notices the serious imbalance of gender in here.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, that is what I was actually going to say that from the nine Members, the Majority had five slots while the Minority had four slots. The Majority side has done very well because we have complied with the two-thirds gender rule. Out of the five Members, we have two Hon. Ladies. Hon. Rebecca Tonkei, (MP) and the Hon. Catherine Nanjala Wambilianga (MP). The Minority side has four slots. So, I would encourage them as they constitute in the other House to consider the issue of gender balance. Hon. Temporary Speaker, if you indulge the Minority side, they seek to replace Hon. Mwalika Mboni with Hon. Yusuf Hassan, Member of Parliament for Kamukunji. Therefore, I wish to then in that amended form that, out of the nine, we have the two ladies. Members, we also appreciate that there is a consideration to incorporate Members of Parliament living with disabilities. I am informed by the Whip and the Hon. Leader of the Minority Party that they intended to accommodate a PWD Member in the Ad Hoc Committee. Therefore, Hon. Temporary Speaker, if you may indulge me as Hon. Pukose requests, I may go through the list again that the following Members represent the National Assembly in the Joint Parliamentary
Committee. (i) Hon. Samuel Kiprono Chepkonga, MP-Co-Chairperson; (ii) Hon. George Gitonga Murugara, MP as indicated on the Order Paper. However, we are amending this to replace him with Hon. Rebecca Tonkei MP; (iii) Hon. Eckomas Mwengi Mutuse, MP; (iv) Hon. Wakili Edward Muriu, MP; (v) Hon. Catherine Nanjala Wambilianga, MP; (vi) Hon. John Mbadi, EGH, MP; (vii) Hon. (Dr.) Otiende Amollo, MP; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(viii) Hon. Yusuf Hassan (To replace Hon. David Mwalika Mboni); (ix) Hon. Kakai Bisau, MP; (x) Hon. Robert Gichimu Githinji, MP (Co-opted); and, (xi) Hon. Stephen Mule, MP (Co-opted). Hon. Temporary Speaker, as you rose to put the Question on the earlier Motion, the Whip of the Minority Party asked how long we shall lament about NG-CDF. The answer lies in this Ad Hoc Committee. As Hon. Chepkonga said when he seconded the Motion, indeed, the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) is under eminent threat of extinction. It is unfortunate that those who sponsor the court cases…. In the 11th and 12th Parliaments, we had run-in with our sister House in the Senate. To be honest, they cannot run away from being part of the co-sponsors of the court cases that pervade on issues to do with NG-CDF. I am glad because we have started off very well in this 13th Parliament. It is laudable that the House Business Committee (HBC) considered an Ad Hoc Committee, recognising that this matter also touches on counties. There is also the Senate Oversight Fund that is envisaged to be incorporated into our Constitution just like NG-CDF. We have a Parliamentary Joint AdHoc Committee now. I want to take this opportunity to speak to our brothers and sisters in the Senate and the other busybodies out there who fight NG-CDF imagining that they are fighting with Members of Parliament. As we all stated here during the general debate on NG-CDF, Members were very emphatic that it has absolutely no benefit to the Member of Parliament. This is a Fund that benefits millions of Kenyans. Millions of young children today do not know whether they will report to school in January because not a single constituency in this country has funds to award bursaries. All of us are afraid of going to the constituencies. I am afraid of stepping into my constituency office in Kikuyu. About 120 to 130 people patronise my constituency office every Monday. Out of those people, 105 of them have been patronising my constituency office looking for bursaries in the last one month. I do not have the funds.
Unless those who sponsor these court cases tell us that the Government of the Republic of Kenya has adequate funds to ensure that education is completely free, then we have no choice but to have NG-CDF in place to benefit the millions of our children who are suffering out there.
The Leader of the Minority Party is adding the question of classrooms. You have seen the challenge that the Government has lived with. The new Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration has dared criminals. The most effective way of dealing with criminals is ensuring that we have officers’ booths on the ground in our neighbourhoods, estates and villages. That cannot happen without NG-CDF rolling out the construction of security police posts and stations in our neighbourhoods. It is not enough to speak about police officers patrolling. You can make them patrol the streets of the Central Business District (CBD) in the next few days. Unless the Member for Kamukunji, Hon. Yusuf, constructs police posts in Gikomba and Majengo and have officers reside within the communities where they are working, then the question of dealing with insecurity will just be talk for Cabinet Secretaries in office. They will threaten the criminals who will hide in other places for a few days and then re-emerge the moment they do not see officers patrolling our streets.
Therefore, I want to tell them that the most effective way to ensure our people are secure is to facilitate Members of Parliament to identify the needs of the people in terms of security and where NG-CDF Committees together with the NG-CDF Board will construct police posts to ensure that all our neighbourhoods are secure. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I chaired the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the last Parliament. Hon. Julius Melly and I tried to implore the Ministry of Education when they started the talk of constructing Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms that this process and project was better rolled out under NG-CDF. There was a lot of resistance from the Ministry of Education. Hon. Temporary Speaker, these Members will tell you today that in all our backyards, we have miniature classrooms because they are not standard classrooms. Members can bear me witness.
The classrooms apparently built for Junior Secondary School by the Ministry of Education under Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Magoha, are miniature classrooms. They are not standard. The cost of building them is way above what members of the NG-CDF Committees utilise to construct standard classrooms.
The value of NG-CDF is not only in construction of infrastructure for security and classrooms, but also the economic value that the public derives from activities that come with the construction of that infrastructure at the constituency level. Most of the contractors who are procured by NG-CDF Committees are local contractors. Local labour is deployed. When the Ministry procures people to build classrooms under a national framework, they do it from Jogoo House in Nairobi. They bring in foreigners to construct those classrooms.
No wonder the Ministry of Education was very hesitant to roll out that project of Junior Secondary School miniature classrooms. Many of them dot our schools. Based on what I see in my constituency, I estimate 60 per cent of them are incomplete. However, they have exhausted the budget. There is not a single NG-CDF project you will find in my constituency that is incomplete and the budget is exhausted. I have given an example of my constituency because I know it better than any other person. In most cases, with NG-CDF Committees, it is the members of the public who implement those projects through their Project Management Committees. They complete projects and probably even have a saving that they then use to equip those classrooms. Therefore, I cannot underscore the value of NG-CDF. It does not help the Member of Parliament, but the public and the economy of the country. When you implement those projects at the local level, money is devolved. You buy cement and sand, and procure masonry and local labour. Money is left at the local level, unlike when you roll out Government projects at the national level. As we compose or constitute this Ad Hoc Committee, it is quite important to engage positively with all stakeholders. I encourage public participation in this Ad Hoc Committee to be not only restricted to Parliament, Senate and Government agencies, but also to go down to the people in the villages. Hear the value of NG-CDF from the people.
Finally, I am very hesitant to speak to our Judiciary from this Floor. But allow me to speak to our Judiciary. They need to be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the Kenyan people. We have witnessed the roll-out of our devolution structures in this country over the last ten years. Kenyans will tell you that they have seen the impact of CDF better than the impact of devolution in many of our counties and constituencies. I, therefore, want to plead with the Judiciary to listen to the people, even as they listen to the busy bodies and activists, many of whom are civil society activists who were doing this to get funding for their civil society organisations. Let me not go beyond that because of time. I can see that my time is gone. I beg to move and ask Members to support the constitution of this Ad hoc Committee. I request Hon. John Mbadi, who is a proposed member of this committee, to second.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I second this Motion by saying that Kenyans are very unique. They will always kill a very good thing that they started themselves. We have seen and I have seen it in Parliament, many countries, parliaments and treasuries across the continent coming to Kenya to learn how the CDF works. Many countries have now adopted the CDF concept and model and yet, Kenyans are very busy killing it. This is something which is so unique, so Kenyan, and the only thing that I would say The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
has succeeded in this country for years without much problems. Today we are discussing that we need to anchor NG-CDF in the Constitution. First, I want to apologise to Kenyans that I was in the 10th Parliament where we passed the 2010 Constitution. We were in that Parliament with you Hon. Temporary Speaker, but we did not see it fit to entrench CDF into our Constitution. How I wish that we saw this coming and did it then.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, there are individuals who went to court. I know it is their right to do so, but I think we need to pass some laws. That when one is going to court on a matter of public importance, one should not just file the case alone. They must accompany it with about a million signatures from across the country. How do you challenge a public fund that touches on the lives of Kenyans and you are just an individual, running a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO), receiving funding from unknown donors, people whom you want to please and show that you are doing something? This is putting us in a situation where the children of Kenya cannot go to school. Some of us are here because we went to school. Some of us come from backgrounds that, if it were not for education, we would not be where we are today. You are denying the children of Kenya a chance to go to school because of your own activism. The activism is not just with these people who went to court. It has also infiltrated our judicial system. That is something that needs to be dealt with. I am not condemning the Judiciary as such but, when you find a Judiciary which makes a ruling on an Act of Parliament of 2013, but without any prompting, mention something about the Act of 2015, then you know that, that is judicial activism.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I agree with Hon. Junet Mohamed that this House has lamented too much. I am just trying to imagine if the constituency I represented from 2007 to 2022, and which Caroli Omondi is now representing, did not get CDF funds from 2007 to date, what kind of infrastructure would we have in both our primary and secondary schools? These are my suggestions. The time limit of 90 days for this Committee is too much. If you ask me, this Committee must burn the midnight oil during this Christmas break and do this within 30 days. It is possible. That is because we will still need another 90 days for the Bill to be processed. If you add 90 days to another 90 days, to another number of days when the Bill is being debated, and another number of days before it is assented to, it will be almost one year. We do not have the luxury of time. If it is in the interest of the Members to approve this Committee as it is, I will be a Member and we must conclude the discussions and the processes leading to the Bill within 30 days.
Finally, there are other funds. I am happy that we are now going to work together with the Senate. I know many people thought that the National Assembly did not want the Senate Oversight Fund, but what we wanted was clarity on how it is going to be disbursed. That is what we are going to discuss with our counterparts in the Senate and come up with a system where we do not expose public funds to misuse and wastage. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I said finally, but allow me to say this. Members, when we talk like we disburse these NG-CDF funds, we are giving fodder to the people out there. I have been a Member of Parliament for Suba South for 15 years and, more particularly, for the last 10 years, I did not handle even the CDF cheque. The CDF disbursement is done by a Committee from the Board to another Committee called Project Management Committee to the project itself. The only role a Member of Parliament will play is to go and witness whether the proposals that were made have actually been implemented. That is the only role which you do under Article 95 of oversighting, which is perfectly resident in this House and no other House. So, if there is another person out there who is saying that we are conflicted in our role, that is somebody who does not understand the role of a Member of Parliament. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I second this Motion and support that this is a matter that must be dealt with urgently. Thank you very much.
I notice that there are many Members who would want to contribute to this Motion, but the rules are very clear. The Motion is proposed, seconded, then the question is proposed by the Speaker. Order, Hon. Members. You realise that the Temporary Speaker represents a constituency, primarily because he represents a constituency and he is also in the same predicament. He will bend the rules a little bit to allow the substance and attendant eloquence to come out, but let me now take you back. I might have to disappoint you a bit. Hon. Members, Standing Order No. 259(c) says; Ad hoc Committees. (1) A Member may, subject to the approval of the House Business Committee, move a Motion proposing the establishment of an Ad hoc Committee on a specific and exceptional subject not under active consideration by a Committee of the House. Fair enough. (2) A Motion under this Standing Order shall— (a) indicate the proposed name of the Committee; which we have already done, (b) outline the proposed mandate of the Committee and the exceptional nature of the subject to be considered; and, (c) indicate the proposed membership and leadership of the Committee. Which we have already done. (3) The Mover of a Motion under this Standing Order shall ensure that— (a) the proposed membership of the Committee reflects the relative majorities of the seats held by each of the parliamentary parties in the National Assembly and takes into account the interests of parties other than parliamentary parties and independents; and, (b) not more than two-thirds of the proposed membership of the Committee are of the same gender. (4) Unless the House otherwise resolves, another Committee shall consider and report on the subject matter of its mandate within ninety days. That is part of the rules. Hon. Members the two are the gender, independent parties that are not parliamentary parties. You might have unfortunately, against my very big wish, because I told you from the beginning that I am an interested party.
Order Hon. (Dr) Robert Pukose! You freeze. You might have to go back. Order Hon Pukose! Even if that is the case, you still do not have the gender in the issue right. This House transacts its business on the basis of its own Standing Orders. The House transacts its business on the basis of Standing Orders of the National Assembly. We do not say that this provision is going to be over and say we will overlook it because the Senate will do it.
The Chair is on his feet. Hon. Junet Mohamed, you can scratch your hand but wait until I sit down. Scratch your head. Hon. Members, against my very wish because of interested nature of all of us, I am one of those people who are going to suffer very hard. To give you just one small preview of that, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I am supposed to pay for 32 students who are doing medicine and you can understand that I do not have NG-CDF. Under these circumstances, Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, the Leader of the Majority Party will have to go back and do a very clean job and bring this business back. Somebody can move an amendment to the Motion.
We can amend the Motion.
You can amend the Motion. Somebody can move an amendment to the Motion.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, in spite of your ruling in accordance with the Standing Orders, there is something you need to look into as the Temporary Speaker,
Is the Committee complete before it becomes a joint committee? What we are forming here is a Joint Committee. What is on the order paper is a Joint Committee of both Houses.
This House ….
Before you conclude, Hon. Temporary Speaker, will you look at the gender issue in totality of the Committee from both Houses or from one House? What happens if the other House bring six Hon. Members from the other gender? It is the total number of Committee that will have two thirds gender.
Hon. Junet Mohamed you are a very senior Member of this House. You do understand.
Order, Hon. John Mbadi. I have a problem with the way you keep on talking very loudly across the aisle and yet, you are a senior ranking Member. You are an old friend and an old colleague in the House.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order Hon. Beatrice Elachi?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, my point of order is that you have read to us the Standing orders. I plead with our leadership. We also have women who can join that committee. In fact, the Leader of the Majority Party did well to propose an amendment because he realised that there was a problem. But our side wants to tell us that our women will be coming from the Senate. So, why were we elected here as women into this House? It is not fair. In fact, the Whip of the Minority Party should not be saying that.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. (Dr) Robert Pukose, what is your point of order?
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. Listening to your guidance based on the Standing Orders and also the list that had been read by the Leader of the Majority Party, I was keenly following and I realise that for the parties that are not parliamentary, we have Hon. Bisau Kakai who is from the DAP-K which is not a parliamentary party. We also have the Hon. Member…. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
What will you do about the gender issue?
That is what we need to sort out.
Regardless of the entirety, the Chair…
We can only consider...
Order, Hon. Pukose. I have heard you. The National Assembly cannot transact business and contravene its own Standing Orders in the hope that another House will rectify. If that has got to be done jointly, it must have come the way the Parliamentary Service Commission came. When we have the list of the Senators here with us the way they were brought and they can all be both cases approved by this House and the other House too. Now that, that has not happened... Where is the Leader of the Majority Party?
On a point of order, Hon Temporary Speaker.
Let me allow the point of order by the lady Member. There has to be gender balance.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. You have clearly pronounced yourself as the Temporary Speaker of this House that in line with our Standing Orders, the proposed committee, whether joint or standing committee, requires that we include both genders. Therefore, I am very excited that you have seen it wise to raise this issue because of a ruling in this House. We have had many processes going on in this House where women are ignored. To put it on record, the 13th Parliament has a fair share of women re-elected and representing single constituencies. In the 12th Parliament, we had 23 women. Currently, we have 29 women who also have a lot of interest in NG-CDF. Therefore, if there is any committee that is going to be constituted to address matters on NG-CDF, women must be 100 per cent included. We, therefore, support you Hon. Temporary Speaker. Let us abide by the Standing Orders and let us go the way the parliamentary procedures are supposed to be handled.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Order, Hon. Member for Nyando. The Hon. Gracious Lady next to Hon. Makilap, I do not know your name but I notice you. What is your point of order?
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. My name is Hon. Beatrice Kemei, County MP Kericho. I stand to appreciate your ruling. Is it in order for the Leader of the Majority Party to tell us that the two third gender rule here applies because he is trying to replace the place of women with persons with disabilities. I would imagine that even persons with disabilities would also replace the other gender. So, I really appreciate the fact that the Standing Order guides us through you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Thank you.
Hon. Members, you can rest assured that the Temporary Speaker will never put the Question unless the Motion itself, one way or the other, conforms to the Standing Orders. Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah proceed.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. Let me also thank you for jogging the House to the provision to the Standing Order 259 because we are a House of procedure and records, and it is only fair that we follow our own rules and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
procedures. Pursuant to Standing Order 48, I seek to make the following amendment, that on Item No. 3….
Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, my presumption is that you want to conform to the Standing Orders of the House?
Can I give you the best way to do it? I will propose the question, because the Motion has already been moved and seconded. Do you get my point? Then you will move because the Motion has already been moved and seconded. I will propose the Motion and then we can do the amendment. Is that okay?
That is okay.
Are we in agreement?
Okay, let me now do that. Order, Hon. Members. The Chair proposes the question.
The position of the Chairperson is that you have undertaken to move an amendment to this list to conform to Standing Order 259 (c). It is also to request the Senate to appoint similar Members to represent the Senate in the Joint Parliamentary ad hoc Committee. This House is only in charge. The Chair only chairs debates conducted in the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya and the obligation to observe the strict prints of Standing Orders. Proceed, Leader of the Majority Party. I have proposed the question. It us up to you or whoever you want to use to move those amendments. You are allowed, under the Standing Orders, to move an amendment now.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I beg to move that we amend the Motion on Clause 3 pursuant to Standing Order 48: That the following members represent the National Assembly in the Joint Parliamentary ad hoc Committee: (i) Hon. Samuel Kiprono Chepkonga, MP, as the Co-chairperson. (ii) Hon. Rebecca Tonkei, MP. (iii) Hon. Eckomas Mwengi Mutuse, MP, representing the non- parliamentary political parties. (iv) Hon. Wakili Edward Muriu, MP. (v) Hon. Catherine Nanjala Wambilianga, MP. (vi) Hon. John Mbadi, EGH, MP. (vii) Hon. (Dr.) OtiendeAmollo, MP. (viii) Hon. Yusuf Hassan, MP. (ix) Hon. Kakai Bisau, MP, also representing non-parliamentary political parties on the side of the Minority. (x) Hon. Beatrice Elachi, MP.
Order. Chair, in strict compliance to this, you must have, at least, one Independent.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, if you could also be a little bit patient, I was getting there.
Proceed, Hon. Ichung’wah. Proceed, Leader of the Majority Party. It is abundance of caution.
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Hon. Temporary Speaker, you may know that I am stickler to rules and procedures from my first term in his House. Therefore, I indicated, indeed, that besides the issue of gender and the non-parliamentary political parties, we are also obligated in line with our Standing Orders to have an independent Member. The eleventh member of this Committee shall be, if approved, Hon. Timothy Kipchumba Toroitich. He represents the Independents in this a d hoc Committee and the two co-opted members: (xi) Hon. Robert Gichimu Githinji, MP (Co-opted). (xii) Hon. Stephen Mule, MP (Co-opted). With that, I beg to move that amendment.
You have already moved. Now it is for general debate.
As amended, it duly complies with our Standing Orders. We have a very good gender representation. I really want to speak to my colleagues in the Minority to ensure that they always incorporate such Members to comply with the two-thirds gender rule and accommodate independents. I am glad they had accommodated the non-parliamentary political parties just as we had done on our side. We have also now accommodated the independents on our side. That caters for even the Minority side. With that, I beg to move, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
I want to request the Hon. Deputy Leader of the Minority Party, Hon. Robert Mbui, to second the amendment.
Proceed, Hon. Robert Mbui and second the amendment.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. As I second this Motion, I will take advantage to make my comments because I think what we have gone through is really to make sure that this works. I second the amendment. Thank you. Hon. Temporary Speaker, my opinion is that this Committee is extremely important. For those of us who have been elected, it is tough when you go back to the villages. I want to make my contribution as I propose the amendment. Is that okay, Hon. Temporary Speaker? I saw that there could be an issue.
I still have a problem. Yes, there is an issue. Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, you are supposed to have, at least, four women in that Committee. You have eleven members and a third of that should be of either gender. You cannot have more than two-thirds male. This does not include the two co-opted Members because they are not substantive Members, but movers of the legislative proposal. You have three women and you need one more.
It does not matter whether you choose an independent or non-parliamentary party Member who is a woman. The minimum is four women.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, with your indulgence, I know the Deputy Leader of the Minority Party has noted this problem. That is precisely why I asked him to second this Motion. This is because, looking at the numbers, there are 11 Members; six from the majority side and five from the minority side. When we had five Members, two were ladies. They have four Members with no lady. No, we have six Members and two are ladies. So, we have complied with the two-thirds gender rule. Therefore, it behoves the minority side to comply with the constitutional obligation of two-thirds. This means they should give us another lady. There are very nice, intelligent and beautiful ladies in the minority party. Deputy Leader of the Minority Party, I want to implore The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
you to consider any of the ladies in your side and add one. With two out of six we have complied with the two-thirds gender rule. You are the ones who have not complied.
Hon. Gogo, PhD.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Junet, what is your point of order? Hon. Gogo, please take your seat.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, what we have come across today is very unfortunate. Before this matter found itself on the Order Paper, the Clerk should have looked at it to see if it conforms with Standing Order 259C, in the way you have said. The Clerk should have…
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Junet is on point order, Hon. Makilap. We cannot have a point of order on another point of order.
You know this is a House of order…
Order! Order! Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, this matter should not have been on the Order Paper without conforming to Standing Order 259C in the first place. Having found ourselves in this situation, if you had not looked at it critically like you have done. It would have just passed. I think the assumption was that the whole Committee would be considered in terms of gender parity. We thought it would be looked at in totality together with Members of the Senate.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, you know that the Senate nominated 16 women who can be added here. I propose that the Leader of the Majority Party drops the last name and adds Hon. Ng’elechei, who is an independent lady Member. I know her; she is very competent.
Hon. Junet, this House…
Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Order, Hon. Junet!
Okay, mimenyamaza .
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Member for Emuhaya, what is your point of order?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Notwithstanding everything that Hon. Junet has said on the fact that we should not have found ourselves where we are, I want to besiege the leadership led by the Leader of the Majority Party, together with that of the Minority Party as the concerned party, to ensure the requisite amendments are achieved as per our Standing Orders. This is because the matter we are dealing with is of grave importance. We cannot afford to ping-pong with each other over who to be there except reach the required threshold of our own Standing Orders. So, I beseech the Leader of the Majority Party and the Leader of the Minority Party, who is laughing, to ensure that they make these amendments quickly so that we have the Committee in place.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Member for Nyando, what is your point of order? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to thank you most sincerely because for the first time we have somebody coming out in defence of our women, specifically in conformity with the Constitution. I wish you were the President. We would not be having the matter of Principal Secretaries before the court. I want to say that I have done my calculation and a third of 11 is 3.6.
It is four.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, since there is no decimal human being, with your guidance, we can overlook this and made do with the composition we have because we are still within the margin…
Order! Order, Member for Nyando! The rules are very clear. If it is decimal five and above of course, you round it off to a whole number. If it is below decimal five, you ignore the decimal bit. Can we allow the Leader of the Majority Party?
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, you have to indulge the Member for Nyando. I have heard him “massaging” you by saying that he wished you were the President despite the fact that he never considered you to be his coalition’s presidential candidate. Just forgive him because he is yet to settle down and accept how things are.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to propose a further amendment to the Motion to replace Hon. Kakai Bisau with Hon. Zamzam Mohammed - the County Woman Representative for Mombasa County. This effectively makes our minority party gender compliant. I want to encourage not just the leadership in the majority party but even the minority party. The Member for Nyando has spoken about things which have not been complied with elsewhere. First, look at the log in your own eye. A simple Committee of five Members and you cannot achieve gender parity.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. Junet.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg we support the amendment.
You have moved the amendment and you are asking who will second?
I want to ask Hon. Nyikal to second.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to make the debate and process today as constitutional as possible. I want to acknowledge that every time we make lists appointing people, we must be alive to the constitutional requirement. Therefore, I second and hope you will give me time to make further contribution on the Motion as amended. For now, I second the amendment.
Hon. Nyikal, once you second a Motion, I do not think you will have another opportunity to contribute. So, proceed with your contribution.
Thank you for the guidance, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Article 95 of the Constitution gives Members of Parliament the authority to deliberate on matters that affect the people of this country. The issue at hand is one such matter. Kenyans across the country appreciate and acknowledge that NG-CDF is the most cost-effective Fund. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
If you look at the classrooms we build and compare with those built using other funds, you will realise that the cost difference is huge, the quality is better and even the size is bigger.
The people acknowledge that the NG-CDF is the most accessible fund. A classroom burns or a toilet sinks and, within a week after approaching the NG-CDF Chairman, and if the Project Management Committee has funds, that classroom or toilet is fixed. Which other fund responds to the people like that? The people have realised that the NG-CDF is the most responsive fund. People walk to the Chairpersons of the Committees and the Fund Managers when there are problems of bursaries and security. As our colleague said, we cannot have security without police officers being housed or having offices. Most chiefs are using their houses as offices. We cannot stop something that is helping people because of the law. We must change the law to provide people with what they need. Man is not made for the law; the law is made for man. We must look at the NG-CDF model as the best one. People accept it and it is cost- effective. Why can we not use it as a model for all other funds, whether they are county government funds or national Government funds? Instead of trying to kill the NG-CDF, let us use its model to improve the performance of other funds. Hon. Temporary Speaker, as I conclude, I know this process will take at least one month but the House cannot go on recess without funds being disbursed. To that end, I propose that we have a kamukunji with the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning, together with the Attorney-General, as early as possible before we go on recess so that Members can express their concerns and the Cabinet Secretary and the Attorney-General can appreciate them. Sometimes our views determine what happens elsewhere. I, once again, propose that we must have a kamukunji to discuss this matter with those State officers. We support the process. It should go on but we must have a kamukunji. I implore you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, because convening a kamukunji is within the powers of the Speaker. Let that be done before we go on recess. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Members, I now wish to propose the Question of the amendment to the Motion.
Hon. Members, you can now contribute to the Motion. Hon. Wandayi, as the Leader of the Minority Party, you may proceed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, after the back and forth, I am now happy that we are back on track with this extremely important Motion. I foresee this Motion leading to the first amendment to the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Therefore, its place in history is so crucial and important that it is only comparable to the First Amendment of 1791 of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Order, Hon. Opiyo Wandayi. You speak to the amendment and the Motion.
I will speak to both, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am just trying to liken the situation we find ourselves in to the events that unfolded after the promulgation of the Constitution of the United States of America in Philadelphia in 1786. Four years later in 1791, there was the First Amendment that introduced civil liberties, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom of religion. The first amendment to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is likely to bring freedom of economic empowerment for the people of the Republic of Kenya.
Hon. Wandayi, this Motion will become “Motion as amended” once the amendment is carried. It has not been carried yet. I The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
have not put the Question for agreement with the amendment. Once the amendment is carried, you can contribute to the amended Motion, but the amendment has to be carried first.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, can I give you a chance to put the Question on the amendment?
Yes, that is the point.
We can then proceed.
I support that. Order Hon. Members, I will now put the Question.
You can now contribute to the Motion as amended.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I was saying that this is a historic moment for this country. We are passing a Motion to create an adhoc Committee that will midwife the first amendment to the Constitution of Kenya 2010. It is a situation that I am likening to what happened in the United States of America four years after the promulgation of their Constitution in 1786 in Philadelphia. When the Americans realised that they needed to introduce certain liberties like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of association and so forth, they introduced the First Amendment to their Constitution. This first amendment to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 will be about economic freedom. For the first time, we will have the NG-CDF, among other funds, entrenched in the Constitution so as to finally put a stop to the shenanigans that we have always witnessed from busybodies. I am very delighted that we have this chance in our lifetime to make history. A lot has been said about the NG-CDF which I do not wish to belabour, but I concur with Hon. John Mbadi that this ad hoc Committee does not need 90 days. We do not have the luxury of time. It can do this work and complete it in under 30 days so that we fast-track the process of entrenching the NG-CDF, among other funds, in the Constitution. Hon. Deputy Speaker, even as we work towards entrenching the NG-CDF and these other funds in the Constitution to ensure that we have a long-term solution to threats that this fund has been facing, we should not lose sight of the short-term solution to the disbursement problem that we have. The short-term problem, which requires a short-term solution, is that we currently do not have NG-CDF funds in the constituencies’ accounts. Unless something happens, we may not have those funds until next year, God knows which month. Let us deal with this Motion as a matter of addressing the long-term problem while at the same time we deal with the short-term problem. I wish the Chairperson of the NG-CDF Committee is here. I wonder why he is away when we are dealing with such an important Motion touching on his docket.
He is consulting.
Is he consulting? I hope the Vice-Chair and other Members of the Committee are here and are listening to me.
We are here. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Oh, you are there? You were supposed to have convened a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning, and the Attorney-General, this week. That meeting never took place for whatever reasons. You owe us, as Parliament. You should have come back and explained why the meeting never took place and when it would take place. In under two weeks, without necessarily pre-empting debate, this House will be going on long recess. We are facing a serious threat for the future of our children. I heard Hon. Ichung’wah say that he is not sure how the children will report to school on 23rd January 2023. The children will not only have problems reporting to school on 23rd January 2023 but just to let you know that some of them have spent the whole of Third Term at home. The children of poor Kenyans have spent the whole of Third Term at home on account of lack of school fees which was previously catered for by the NG-CDF. They are facing a situation where they will, again, not report to school for the First Term on 23rd January 2023. This is a serious matter. I suppose and hope that this House will come up with a solution to address the immediate problem we are facing even as we addressed the long-term problem by entrenching the NG-CDF and these other funds in the Constitution. With those remarks, I support.
Very well, Leader of the Minority Party. Let us now hear Hon. Junet.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I will be very brief. First, I want to thank the Leader of Majority Party for bringing this important Motion so that we can dispense with this issue of the NG-CDF. This matter has been occurring as a problem in all the previous Parliaments that I served. We had issues with the NG-CDF in both the 11th and 12th Parliaments. Parliament has made several attempts to align the former Constituencies Development Act with the Constitution of Kenya 2010, especially after its promulgation. The 11th and 12th Parliaments passed laws that they thought aligned the then CDF with the current Constitution. For strange reasons, the Judiciary found that the NG-CDF is unconstitutional. I do not want Parliament to engage itself in an exercise in futility. What happens when the ad hoc Committee we are constituting goes to all the villages in Kenya, collects views from the people and we enact an Act of Parliament that makes the NG-CDF Constitutional but thereafter, the same people go back to court and have the same Act declared unconstitutional? I foresee it happening. The way I foresee this war, I do not think it is legal. It looks extra-legal.
This is a Fund that has benefitted many Kenyans. Many parents have seen their children through secondary school to university using NG-CDF. Classrooms have been built in many parts of the country. Police stations have been constructed, and all those things are on the ground for everyone to see. What then makes a Kenyan, in his own normal sense, go to court to have the NG-CDF abolished? As part of the reason, you are told that we now have devolution and, therefore, we do not need the NG-CDF. We have been having devolution for the last ten years in this country. Has devolution changed lives? It has only devolved corruption. Kenyans are suffering. People are crying in all the counties. Even with devolution in place, there is no change in the lives of Kenyans. Members will agree with me that devolution has not changed the lives of Kenyans, but the NG-CDF goes directly to benefit the ordinary citizens on the ground. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, with all the failures of devolution, and with no NG-CDF, for you to get development from the national Government, the President must visit your locality. That is the only time you can get development in Kenya. That is how the country has been structured. You have to wait until he appears in your territory, the way we believe that Jesus will come back, so that you tell him how your schools are in problems and how you have bad roads. That explains why some Members from the Minority side are trooping to the Government side. The notion is that they are looking for development for their constituencies. Why should you look for development in the Executive when getting money for your constituency’s development is your constitutional right? You are paying taxes like any other Kenyan. You do not have to beg for development. It is your constitutional right for roads to be constructed in your constituency. It a constitutional obligation for roads to be constructed in my constituency. Any Government that is in place must construct roads in my constituency. I do not have to beg anyone for roads to be constructed in my constituency. Neither do I have to wait for the President to come to my constituency so that I get development. If that is what it will take me to wait, I will wait. We will wait until the cows come home. This country has moved on. Kenyans are empowered under the new Constitution. You do not have to go asking for any favour. Neither do you have to lick anybody’s boot so that you get development in your constituency. Getting development through NG-CDF is a constitutional right even though some people are saying it is not. It is just the Act that has just been nullified by the court. I strongly believe that the Act had aligned the NG-CDF with the Constitution. There was no role of Member of Parliament in managing NG-CDF affairs according to the Act. The NG-CDF was being operated by a Board. The same Board is the one that sits with the people in the constituencies to identify projects they want implemented. The Board then submits the proposals to the NG-CDF Board, which funds the identified projects. You remove NG-CDF when you can see the corruption and lethargy that is in the devolved governments in this country and expect me to wait for the President to come to my constituency for me to have development? Many Kenyans are going to suffer without NG- CDF. If we go that route, many children will not go to school, and we will not have police stations to take care of security in our areas. I do not know when the President will come to my constituency so that I ask for development. We cannot suffer when we have mechanisms through which to help our people, as the main law-making institution in this country. I urge the ad hoc Committee being formed through this Motion to expedite this matter. They should report back to this House within 90 days, as per the Standing Orders. Since they are also Members of this House, they know the urgency of this matter. Their mandate is just to collect views from Kenyans. The membership of the Committee can divide themselves into groups and collect views from different parts of the country simultaneously. I promise you that the information that the ad hoc Committee will gather from the people in the villages will be shocking. Every Kenyan in every village they will go will testify that one of their children, parent or other relative has benefited from NG- CDF in terms of school fees, roads and security. When the ad hoc Committee starts conducting public hearings, they will be shocked by the overwhelming response they will get from the people. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I wish this kind of public indictment could be done on other funds, including devolution funds. Today if you ask Kenyans what their thoughts on devolution are, you will be shocked with the kind of feedback you will get from them. I do not want to belabour the point. Personally, I believe the issue of the NG-CDF is not a constitutional issue or a legal issue but a conspiracy in the country to fight it. The Judiciary is being used to execute that conspiracy. As you know, the Executive will not support the NG-CDF. With the economic crunch that the country is facing, they will be happy not to be required to send Ksh40 billion or Ksh34 billion to the constituencies every year. That is money they can use on other things. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
You will never see those in the Executive supporting this idea politically. You may have seen them making political statements posturing the NG-CDF as an important fund that needs to be aligned with the Constitution but when the National Government Constituencies Development Fund Committee starts working, one of the impediments they will face will be from the Executive. You will see. Hon. Members will remember that it was very difficult funding NG-CDF in the last Parliament. We used to get our money like drops of water. The Cabinet Secretary for Treasury would appear before Parliament and promise that the Executive would send to the NG-CDF secretariat Ksh1 billion in a week’s time and another Ksh2 billion the next week. Do not be cheated. I know that the Executive is not interested in the NG-CDF. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to seize this opportunity to tell my colleagues in the Kenya Kwanza Coalition not to be cheated. Those in the Executive are not in support of the NG-CDF. They want Members of Parliament to be incapacitated so that they do not attend to issues that can help their constituents. The Executive wants Members of Parliament to go and kneel before them, begging by raising their hands like when you talk to Jesus. We know them. We have been there before. Hallo! You then wait for the President or the Deputy President to come to your constituency one Sunday for you to tell them that a school in your constituency is badly dilapidated, and that children are not going to school – so that they can give you Ksh200,000 or Ksh100,000 and tell you, “ Mukae hivyo na Mungu atawabariki siku nyingine.Asanteni sana.” With those few remarks, I contribute.
Very well. Let us hear Hon. Lilian Gogo, the Member for Rangwe.
Of course, I will balance but for the sake of gender, Hon William Gogo, you may proceed. Did I say William? Correction, she is Hon. Lilian Gogo, the Member for Rangwe. Please, proceed.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this Motion that seeks to establish a Joint Parliamentary ad hoc Committee on the legislative proposal to amend the Constitution to entrench special funds in it. I want to make specific mention of the NG-CDF. Before I proceed, I probably want to ask you, as my senior, “Who is slowly bewitching Kenyans?” I have a matter that I am asking. Who is bewitching Kenyans? Who is slowly bewitching Kenyans such that they want to relegate the children of the poor to an extent that they cannot go to decent schools or have bursaries to go to schools? Who is bewitching Kenyans, Hon. Temporary Speaker? What kind of nation will we have when children of the poor cannot go to school? Which NGO does not want children of poor Kenyans to go to school? May I ask that if any Member of this House knows the address of the presiding Magistrate or Judge on the NG-CDF case, to let me know so that I take 14 school buses full of poor students from Rangwe Constituency and drop them in their compound so that they may take these poor children to school? When they make certain rulings, do they have empathy? Must we belabour on the issue of NG-CDF? Do we have to beg on behalf of children of poor Kenyans who pay taxes? As far as this matter is concerned, I urge the Committee to move with speed, burn the midnight oil and bring their report to this House. This is a matter of national concern. My constituents keep calling me and saying, “ Mheshimiwa, tafadhali, do not remove the NG- The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
CDF.” This is a fund that is known to Kenyans. The poor of the poorest in Kenya are aware that the only thing they can lay their hands on in terms of the only development they see on the ground – what makes classrooms and pays bursaries for their children – is the NG-CDF, and this fund has nothing to do with Members of Parliament. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the process has started with the constitution of this Committee. We are urging the Office of the Speaker that we also need a kamukunji of Members of Parliament with the people who are opposed to the NG-CDF. We need a kamukunji because children of poor parents in this country must continue to access the equalizing factor that is education. As a poor daughter of a poor maid, I could not have stepped into this House if it were not for the grace of God that saw me access education. If it were not for education, I would not be speaking in clear English. Why do we want to deny the children of the next generation education? That notwithstanding, I just hear it is not confirmed and therefore I do not know how true it is – that, the Government intends to increase school fees in January. Between now and January, from where will parents get money to cater for an increase in school fees? From one quarter, you hear that the Government is no longer going to fund public universities; and from another quarter, you hear that the NG-CDF is unconstitutional. We, Members of the National Assembly, as the people with delegated sovereign authority of the great people of Kenya, are going to work on the NG-CDF until it is entrenched in the supreme law of our land so that we do not have vagabonds moving around the corridors of the Judiciary to deny children of poor Kenyans, including children of single mothers, and orphans the school fees bursaries they have been getting from this fund. It is only through the NG-CDF that an orphan can get full bursary amounting to about Kshs53,000 per year so that he can access education. This is a matter that touches on every legislator in this House. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the Motion also proposes to entrench other funds. These funds are not going to individuals’ pockets. These funds are going to the service of needy people at the lowest level of our society. We are building a beautiful police station at Ngegu Beach. We have constructed a beautiful police station at Ndiru in Kagan Ward. The NG-CDF in Rangwe Constituency is funding the construction of a sub-county headquarters that will have a Huduma Centre, which will take services very close to the people. Why do people who are against the NG-CDF want to take us back to the Harambee way of building school infrastructure? Is it so that we can go down on our knees begging those in the Executive to come to our constituencies to preside over Harambee to raise funds for construction of school buildings? The NG-CDF provides development resources to all the 290 constituencies such that as development happens in Rangwe, it also happens in Wajir as well as in all the Coastal Region constituencies. The NG-CDF is a fund that is not discriminative. I would like to remind ourselves for the purpose of the record that the more we suppress the poor in this country, the more we will be cursed as a nation. A time will come when we will go back to God and cry for punishing His poor. God is a God of the poor. If we continue sitting in the comfort of our beautiful seats in here, or in the court rooms, and we do not go to our rural homes to see what the NG-CDF has done, we will not understand. I am telling the judges who have made rulings in the name of the Judiciary to go home and see what the NG-CDF has done for the people of this country. When the Hon. Members of the Judiciary return to their chambers to make rulings after touring the country, they will be able to make rulings that are compassionate to our poor. Right now, everybody across the country is following this debate on radio or television. Kenyans want to know the fate of the NG-CDF. I started my contribution by asking Members of this House to, kindly, tell me the home addresses of the judges who have been on the NG- CDF case. I know that from your social networks you know where the particular Hon. Judges or Magistrates live. Kindly, give me the pins of their residences. I am going to take to them 14 buses we have bought over a period of five years using NG-CDF. I will fill them with students The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
from poor families and take them to their homes so that they do not make that grave mistake again of suppressing the poor through court rulings. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I am not yet done. It is my time. As Members of this House, we have said, time and again, that the NG-CDF has nothing to do with us personally. All we want is for the Committee we have constituted to move with speed and bring us a report. Further, before we go on recess, we need to discuss this matter in a Kamukunji. In the meantime, we are asking those people who have been meddling in matters NG-CDF to leave the children of poor people alone. I thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
(Hon. Omboko Milemba)
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for allowing me to contribute to the Motion as amended. This constitutional amendment brings life and hope. It also sets the stage for the saving of educational and academic advancement for children from the poorest communities and parents within our constituencies. We have had the COVID-19 pandemic, which unfortunately disrupted the education cycle thus interfering with the bursary disbursement cycle as well. As we recover from the effects of COVD-19, the Judicial, through the court system, has introduced another bottleneck. This is a setback for the education of children from poor families who have been benefitting from bursaries. The criteria used for awarding NG-CDF bursaries is poverty levels within families, with orphaned children and children of single mothers receiving the highest attention. In my constituency of Endebess, I decided that needy children who score 350 marks and above in Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCSE) should be provide with full bursaries to cover their education. This has served as a great motivation that has seen many children from the poor families excel in school. Unfortunately, with the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic initially, and subsequently from the judicial system through our courts, we have been unable to continue with this scheme. Our judges have given a very unfavourable ruling as far as NG-CDF is concerned.
The NG-CDF is not a devolved fund. It is a decentralised fund of the national Government. The Member of Parliament has no direct role in NG-CDF operations. We only provide oversight. It was expected that judges would be able to read the law and understand the structure of the NG-CDF as it relates to the Constitution. Unfortunately, because of penetration of our court system by judicial activism, the magistrates and judges who presided over the CDF case ended up hurting these vulnerable groups of our society by ruling against the Fund. The court ruling is hurting many children of this country, which is quite unfair. I hope the Committee that has been constituted will sit down and, within 90 days, bring a report to this House. The phrase “within 90 days” means that the Committee can complete its work even in a months’ time. They should work with speed and make sure that when we come back from recess in February, we are able to process this constitutional amendment. We will be able to mobilise ourselves and pass it, so that we entrench in the Constitution the NG-CDF and the other funds. Hon. Temporary Speaker, this time round, we should make sure that we get it right in order to protect these funds once and for all. As it stands, the NG-CDF hangs in the balance. So, what do we do in the meantime? The processing and enactment of the constitutional amendment Bill will take long. What do we do? I am asking the Chair of the NG-CDF The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Committee to call the Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury and Planning to come together with the Attorney-General so that we can sit and brainstorm on this matter. We still have undisbursed funds. Let those funds be disbursed.
This House has approved the National Constituency Development Fund Committee, which is waiting to be gazetted. What is the committee going to do in the meantime? Let us have the undisbursed funds released to the constituencies. The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning should be able to disburse the funds to the NG-CDF Board. The Board should be able to disburse the funds to the constituencies, and the constituencies should be able to prepare themselves to issue bursaries to needy students when schools re-open in January. Even students sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) hoping to join universities, and those sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination hoping to join Form One in January, should be able to get financial help. We have even Grade Six candidates hoping to transit to Junior Secondary School in January. Where are the classrooms if we cannot be able to build some using NG-CDF?
The President of this country has publicly, and in this House, acknowledged that he supports the NG-CDF – which is a good thing. I think the rest of the executive should support the President to make sure that the NG-CDF becomes operational again so that it delivers on its mandate, especially bursaries, construction of classrooms, offices of chiefs and assistant chiefs, et cetera . The other day the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration, Prof. Kithure Kindiki, while on a tour of Kilifi County, said that we need to put aside funds for construction of offices for Assistant Chiefs and Chiefs and make sure that the National Government Administration Officers operate in a good environment. That can only be actualised through the NG-CDF. So, Hon. Temporary Speaker, we need to have an action plan in place before we break for long recess. We need to have a kamukunji in this House. We should invite the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning to come, alongside and the Attorney-General, who happens to be the former Speaker of this House, so that we proceed fast with this matter. They should come to this House to help us have the NG-CDF running again as we process the envisaged constitutional amendment Bill.
With those few remarks, I support.
Next is the Member for Masinga Constituency, Hon. Joshua Mwalyo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me a chance to speak on the NG-CDF. Having been a Member of the NG-CDF Committee for five years in the last Parliament, and also being Member of the same Committee in the13th Parliament, I am conversant with the issues surrounding the NG-CDF. This is a great moment during which we are debating the NG-CDF issue. The ad hoc Committee being constituted by this House should work on entrenching the NG-CDF in the Constitution. Last year, we had a related exercise of enhancing the allocation of the NG-CDF to 5 per cent from 2.5 per cent. The NG-CDF Committee was able to visit all the 47 counties in 30 days. Therefore, this ad hoc Committee can do the same and collect the views of the public within that period of time so that we entrench this Fund in the Constitution and move on. Hon. Temporary Speaker, it is important for judges to know that there are students from poor families and orphans whose education is solely sponsored by the NG-CDF. These children cannot go back to school unless their school fees is catered for through bursaries from the Office of Fund Managers in the respective constituencies. The situation has been difficult for this category of students in the Third Term of the current academic year because we have not been able to disburse cheques from the NG-CDF for them to go back to school. Majority of the students are at home as we speak. In some parts of the country, there is famine and parents are torn between paying school fees and feeding their children. Many parents have opted for the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
children to stay at home instead of them selling their cows to pay fees. It is very sad that we have famine and at the same time there is no school fees. I urge the Members of this House to unite as we proceed to the proposed kamukunji with the Cabinet Secretary of National Treasury, and the Attorney-General. We need to convince them on a percentage. If some students have not been able to go back to school during the Third Term, it means they are going to repeat a class because they did not sit for the end of year exams. We do not want to punish those children. A notice is normally given before such decisions are taken. We should have been given a notice of intention to stop operations of the NG-CDF of, say, five years by the court rather than just pressing the brakes and letting all the NG-CDF beneficiaries suffer. I would like to urge this honourable House to unite and ask, even if it is for the first quarter, for the NG-CDF to be released to every constituency. That is so that we can deal with the matter that is pressing us: school fees, taking students to form one, and others to the university and the next classes. I think if everybody will come to his senses that the thing this country is going through is not the best. We are not doing justice to our students and children wherever they are. They are used to Members of this House trying to give them the bursaries in their schools.
Secondly, we will have a lot of waste if the NG-CDF money is not released. Too many projects were going on. There will be no value for money as there will be stalled projects all over this country. The best is for the NG-CDF to be released so that we complete all these projects and we continue the way we have been operating. If I give an example of my constituency, the only project seen in that constituency is the money that comes from the NG- CDF. Whatever comes from the county government cannot be seen. For the last five years, only five boreholes were done in my constituency. It is very negligible, compared to whatever the NG-CDF did. My argument would be let us release the NG-CDF so that life can be smooth the way it has been for our students, our projects and for everybody that depends on funds from the NG-CDF. With those few remarks, I support the ad hoc Committee.
Very well. Hon. Florence Jematiah, proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. From the onset, I support the Motion on the Floor on matters the NG-CDF. I want to speak and echo my colleagues who have spoken before me that the Petitioner should have taken time and understood the importance and benefits of the NG-CDF. As I speak, I come from a very humble background. Those days we used to be helped and supported to go to school by organisations like the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) and the USAID. I was privileged to have schooled in a boarding school at an early stage of my life. Due to that, I got better education. That is why I am here today. What the NG-CDF is trying to do is to bridge the gap that was there. It gives opportunity to children from poor backgrounds. Also, the NG-CDF has complemented a lot of development right from the national level to the county level. As one of us, Hon. Pukose, has said, these are decentralised funds. History has proven right that politicians, as much as they are elected, are good managers. They understand and get in contact with people day in day out. The NG-CDF has proven that it can do much, with good management by Members of Parliament under decentralised funds and regulation of government. It has taken care and caters for many projects and helps many people, especially children going to school, to live like many other Kenyans or Kenyans of better status. I want to add that in recent times I have seen what NG-CDF has done. It has built police stations and capped the opening in society which the national Government could not handle in time. This is because when a Member of Parliament interacts with the people, he/she easily The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
relates to the problems they go through day in day out. This way even school going children and widows are picked to benefit from NG-CDF in terms of bursaries. We also have NGAAF which has been contentious of late. We want to ask our counterparts in the Judiciary to consider we are all working for Kenyans. In as much as I have been elected, I am giving service to the people of Kenya in all regard. When I get such an opportunity, I want to ask the petitioner to relook at this issue, do due diligence and understand that NG-CDF is not fighting anyone. In fact, it is entrenching services to the people of Kenya in a better way. Suffice this, there are many problems for example, I come from Baringo where there is a lot of banditry. Many times, when we discuss this issue, we are told there are children not going to school specifically in Tiaty. I want to say there are other areas where NG-CDF is not properly utilised. As the Member for Baringo County, I have noted with a lot of concern that some areas in my county do not utilise NG-CDF properly. This is because no schools or police stations have been built. There is no effect because at the end of the day in as much as many other Members…The other day Hon. Ndindi Nyoro took Members of Parliament to his constituency to showcase what NG- CDF has done. I have a problem in my county where NG-CDF is not effectively utilised. We have heard stories like NG-CDF is supporting banditry, buying guns or encouraging people not to develop their place. In as much as I support NG-CDF we need to understand that some leaders do not utilise it properly.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. Millie Odhiambo. Give her the microphone.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I do not want to interrupt my very good friend, Hon. Florence. Is she in order to mislead this House that NG-CDF is used to buy guns and things like that? She says she is supporting NG-CDF and furthers fallacies about it. So, she is setting-up Kenyans against it. NG-CDF has a very clear structure and system and nobody can buy guns using it. So, is she in order to mislead this House? I wish I sought a point of information so I can inform her clearly on how NG-CDF works. Perhaps another Member can do that. She is really out of order and misleading the country about what NG-CDF can do or not do.
Baringo County, UDA): Thank you…
Order, Hon. Florence! This is a House of records. It is really important when you pronounce yourself on certain matters, especially as weighty as this one, you must be able to substantiate. Therefore, proceed but stick to issues you are able to substantiate.
Baringo County, UDA): Hon. Temporary Speaker, I stand guided. I have spoken about lack of proper utilisation in some areas and I stand guided. As I said, there is utilisation in other areas but, I stand guided on that one. Going forward, for sure the NG-CDF has done its bit. I have seen projects coming up. However, even as we fight for the NG-CDF to come back together with the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NG-AAF), we will be appreciative if society understands that the NG-CDF is as important as any other part of Government. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Very well. Next is Hon. Adan Haji of Mandera West. Is he in the House? In his absence, next is Hon. Johana Ng’eno. Proceed, Johana Ng’eno.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I do not want to delve too much into this particular topic because many of us have canvassed it on several occasions; especially at a time when the kitty has been halted by the courts. The The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
courts never properly understood the major intention of the activist who appeared before them. Sometimes you wonder why Kenyans question matters which go to the main “artery” of poor populations and leave matters that are completely destroying the country. There has been a lot of corruption in previous years that has “eaten” into the core of this country, but no one has gone to court about it. There have been so many people in this country who have stolen billions and trillions of shillings and they are walking on the streets scot-free. No one is looking to arrest them and make them pay back the money that they have “eaten” from this country. There are people in this country who have made it their responsibility to waste whatever is in any Government Ministry. No one is going to court about it. Why are they questioning a small amount of money that has been allocated to the poorest of the poor in society? There were so many schools in this country that had mud walls. There were so many students in our country, especially in the countryside, who studied in dilapidated classrooms. I am one of those people. When I was young, I studied in a classroom where every other week, I had not less than 10 jiggers in my fingers. That is now history because of the introduction of the NG-CDF. I do not know why some people have never understood the reason why the NG-CDF was introduced in the country. There were days in this country when parents used to sell land to educate their children. Many people lost their land and livestock because they had to sell them to educate their children. There were days when children used to defer their university education because they could not manage to pay fees. There were days when people died on their way to hospitals because there were no roads. People died by the roadsides because there were no roads and maybe it was during a very rainy season. People would be carried in gunias to hospitals. There were days when we used to have children named Kiptoo and Kibor because they were born by the roadsides. There were no hospitals or good roads. That is history. It no longer happens. I do not understand why we are fighting over something which assists the people of this country. Why our country and many other African countries are backward is because people concentrate on things that do not matter. The reason our country and many African countries are backward is because people concentrate on matters that are not important to the development of society. Instead of being vigilant on billions of money which are being spent carelessly, people are vigilant on money that is helping the poor in this country. Instead of arresting big corrupt individuals, we are fighting over small allocations meant for the poor. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I do not want to say much. I want to say it is the responsibility of this House so that we will not be whining day and night. Articles 94, 95 and 96 give this House the power to legislate and to make any law in this country. It is our responsibility to ensure that we amend the Constitution, and entrench the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG- CDF) in the Constitution so that the coming generations benefit from the amendment of this Constitution. The law was created to help man not the other way round. Man was not created to help laws. It was created to help man and women. That is why we are in this House. We are here to amend the law that is meant to help us. If there are some sections in that particular Constitution which are not helpful to humanity, it is our responsibility to amend it. I urge Members to stop whining and put efforts to the amendment of this particular Constitution. I urge the ad hoc committee which has been picked to do their responsibilities even in 30 days but ensure they go to every village and ask the people what they want with this allocation. If they want it removed, they should bring it here and we will remove it. If they want it entrenched in the Constitution, we will do so. Whoever wants to go court, can go to any court in the country but we must entrench the NG-CDF in the Constitution just like we entrenched devolution in the Constitution. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I wish to support. I am asking Members who are going to do public participation to ensure that they follow the law just like how Hon. Speaker ruled in the last minute that we must follow the law in composing the ad hoc committee. We must follow the law in public participation and collect views from Kenyans. I support and thank you.
Next is Hon. Millie Odhiambo- Mabona, Member for Suba North, and a senior counsel. The requests we have here are over 22, and we barely have 55 minutes to go. If you can make your point and save time for colleagues, it will be better so that we are all heard.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I will try to be brief so that other Members can also get an opportunity. While we were discussing here, I noticed that one of my friends on Facebook called Mutumishi Koroso is asking why the discussion on NG-CDF by Members of Parliament is very emotive. In fact, he has made a specific reference to Hon. Lilian Gogo on why she is emotive. The reason this is emotive is because we deal directly with members of the public unlike him who deals with people on Facebook. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I can cite a case in my constituency where people used to ask me to contribute to funerals and I would give very little. Sometimes I would contribute at most Ksh5,000 but usually it was Ksh3,000. At one point, I asked someone why I should be giving such little money that will not help, but I underwent a transformative situation that made me realise that little money to me means the whole world to somebody. I was told to visit a home where a woman had died a night before in Rusinga Island on Gumba Hills. When I went there, I found that the body had been there for a day covered with a net that was donated by UNICEF because they were not able to provide any preservative. They were not able to afford a coffin of Ksh3,000 and they were not able to take this body to the morgue. The woman had three children and the eldest of the only people surviving in the larger family was 14 years. Many of us do not understand the kind of situations that we deal with on a day-to-day basis. We are dealing with desperately poor people who cannot raise Ksh3,000 to bury their dead. We are dealing with people who cannot raise Ksh500 to buy unga and you want to argue with us on Facebook . Sometimes when posh Kenyans on Facebook find me in a good mood, I abuse them and when I am in a bad mood, I block them because they need to go back to the ground and discover what Kenya is all about. The NG-CDF has helped so many people and continues to do so. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the reason I interrupted my good friend, Hon. Florence, when she was speaking is that the challenge we have in relation to NG-CDF is a lot of misinformation. Many people think that as a Member of Parliament, you just go to your constituency and ask for Ksh1 million from the NG-CDF kitty. Nobody is going to give you any money. The NG-CDF has a board which is in Nairobi. That board is the one that actually sets up a committee which is passed in National Assembly and then it hires people who then work for NG-CDF. As Members, we may put in a word the way we influence appointment of principal secretaries and other people. That is normal in life. The NG-CDF is one of the best structures and best managed funds in the whole country. I want to encourage the organization called Tisa that sometimes those of us who come from civil societies, are very genuinely accused of being elitist because sometimes we are. I come from a civil society background and we need to understand that sometimes we are elitist and that is why people do not take us seriously. Go back home and understand how the NG-CDF is transforming lives. Right now, because the money for NG-CDF has delayed, there are so many people in our own constituencies who have dropped out of universities. There are some that we are forced right now to sponsor. There is a boy I have sponsored from a place called The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Usao who deferred his university medical degree last semester. Again, he is deferring this time and I had to get money from my own pocket for his fees. How many people can Members of Parliament sponsor from their own pockets? It reaches a point where I have to say I cannot do it anymore but the NG-CDF does that to individuals who are suffering. As Members of Parliament, we can make recommendations when we see situations like those. When this committee is finally constituted, it needs to look carefully at the principle of separation of powers and how to deal with it in the amendment. If we do not look at it carefully the way we are looking at the issue of separation of powers, then the issue of the basic structure concept, which I so dislike, might just rear its ugly head again. I would want to encourage Members who want this to pass to look at it vis-à-vis the principles and values that are contained in Chapter 10 of our Constitution that talks about equity, non-discrimination, and fairness. When is it fairness when poor people are suffering and then we want to argue? I want to thank Hon. Lilian. She was very emotive and asked who has cursed Kenyans. It is not Kenyans. I wish to ask who has cursed Africans. When something good finally happens in Africa, we in Kenya want to kill it. Everywhere I go, in every country… I used to be a Member of the Pan African Parliament and I interacted with several Members from other African countries. People want to know how we are managing the NG-CDF. Zambia is doing very well with it and perhaps only Kenya rivals it. Everybody else wants to see it because it is transforming lives. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I almost called out names but let me withdraw. Let it go inside. You have people who do not understand what is going on. They are asking you why we should have the NG-CDF. What used to happen when we did not have NG-CDF is that Members used to queue at the Executive asking for money. Now I do not have to go and queue anywhere to ask for money. It gives us the power and authority to deal as Members. Even as the Opposition, I can deal without going to queue anywhere. It gives me my independence. I want to conclude and even encourage my good friend, Hon. Alice. I know she was out last term so she does not know. I am actually exercising my own fairness to cede my time because it is not by law. I am actually rushing if you notice. I am actually ceding my time so that you can also have time. In concluding, I want to say that as Members, it does not matter whether you are in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) or the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). If you do not have the NG-CDF, you are going home early in the morning because our people will have no confidence in you. Whether we are giving it up or not, let us have a kamukunj i before we go. We want to tell the Executive to release the money for the NG-CDF otherwise you will face the wrath of Members of this House. Let the President learn what Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta did not learn last time. The way he dealt with MPs cost him a lot. So, we want to tell this President that if he is joking, he will deal with our wrath across the board.
With those few remarks, I support and urge these Members not to spare anything or anyone. Thank you.
Is the Chair of the National Assembly Select Committee on the NG-CDF in the House?
We cannot hear you Hon. Temporary Speaker.
I was asking whether the Chair of the National Assembly Select Committee...
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Is there is a problem? Hon. Temporary Speaker’s microphone is not working? Am I now audible? Yes, as you contribute Hon. Musa Sirma, please also explain to the nation why the NG-CDF has not been disbursed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I will be replying.
So, when you reply, tell the House why the NG-CDF has not been disbursed because so far I am aware that there is no order or anything stopping its disbursement. If we are a serious House, we should not just be crying as if we do not have anything to do. Let us have Hon. Beatrice Elachi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support, but more importantly to thank the House leadership, both the Leaders for Majority and Minority parties, for ensuring that this committee is indeed complete and within our guidelines of our Standing Orders. Having said that, I want to very fast pick from there and contribute by agreeing with you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, that the House should proceed to do what is necessary to ensure disbursement of the NG-CDF is done. The ruling of the Supreme Court dealt with the NG-CDF Act of 2013 and that of 2015. The President of the Supreme Court has no idea about the 2015 Act and the further amendments of 2022. So, we will be even wrong ourselves by putting ourselves into a crisis. As we constitute this committee, our first stop must be in her office so that she explains to us to enable us understand her ruling. I think the NG-CDF should continue because what she dealt with was the 2013 Act. Today I have been to several schools and when you look at those candidates who are going to sit for national examinations… In one school I have 800 Form Four candidates; 420 class eight candidates; and around 402 Year Six candidates who are supposed to be sitting the national exams. In total, we are talking of 20,000 candidates in just one constituency yet we have other kids who are now at home. They were under the NG-CDF bursary but have been sent home due to lack of fees, yet as a country we purport that education is the key and the future. We are lying to our children and the country. There is also the former Cabinet Secretary for Education who decided to give out desks to schools but they were never enough. I think each school was getting about 50 desks. If the desks were through the NG-CDF, every school would have desks. Today I contributed 200 desks each to six different schools.
If it was the NG-CDF, all the schools would have desks. Look at the way we are dealing with this matter. Children will close school soon. We will cry for our children because they will be roaming in the streets. The NG-CDF used to come up with programmes like sports for our children, when they close school. For two months, we have nothing to give them. Therefore, those who live in urban areas will be roaming in town and along Nairobi roads because they do not have any place to go and do indoor activities, play football or other games that can keep them busy for the next two months. When we collect views, we must take a petition to the Judiciary so that they tell us what they want to do with Kenya. These are our children. Do they want to kill Kenya? Where will they get future judges and lawyers? It is very unfair. The national Government does not have programmes even for a classroom and yet we are about to transit to Grade Six going to Junior High School and others going to other classes.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to finalise so that others can get a chance to contribute. It is very unfair to see that you have a transition of a whole education system into something that we do not know. How will we ensure these children are in Junior High School and have classrooms? Parents with children in Standard Six and Standard Eight are wondering where they are headed with them. Will they afford their school fees? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
If you are supporting one child in Kenya today, you are told to buy the uniform in school. If the school does not have it, they tell you where the shop is. The Ministry and Cabinet Secretary must put a cap to this. You cannot buy uniform at a cost of Ksh23,000 and yet you have not bought school shoes or beddings. This House must be very serious. We must also put a cap on uniform and allow parents to get it from the Kenya School of Uniform.
I beg to support the Motion. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Let us have Hon. Kuria Kimani, Member for Molo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for, giving me this opportunity to contribute to this discussion. It is quite unfortunate that this afternoon we are spending all this time debating about only 2.5 per cent of the ordinary revenue of the Government of Kenya; 97.5 per cent of it does other projects and things in this Republic. Only 2.5 per cent of the ordinary revenue is what Kenyans see trickle down to every household in this Republic.
Members here have talked about success stories of bursaries. I am here courtesy of an NG-CDF bursary. I did my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2001 and qualified to go to a secondary school. Being a child of a single mother, there was no money to take me to school. My grandfather, may his soul rest in peace, approached the Member of Parliament for Molo, Hon. Mukiri Macharia, and asked him to support me. I went to Kieni Mixed Day Secondary School for four years. I was supported through Molo Constituency Development Fund (CDF). That is how I was able to complete my secondary school and join Kenyatta University. That is why I am here today as a second term Member of Parliament and the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. If there was no NG-CDF, this would never have happened. Probably, I would be looking after goats and sheep in my remote village, Mukinyai, in Molo. This is so personal to me. In 2017, when I decided to vie to be a Member of Parliament for Molo, I found myself vying against Hon. Mukiri Macharia who educated me through high school and university. It was very tricky for me.
I remember one time we met at a function and the only words I would say is, “you took me to school and told me I am the leader of tomorrow, and tomorrow has now come.” That is how I was able to convince that multitude to vote for a 28 year-old man and not the experienced one. To date, he is someone I talk to and really respect. He has been a great mentor in my life. The success of CDF has many of us as examples. How unfair would it be if we do not extend this olive branch to the millions of poor Kenyans in this country? A lot has been advanced about NG-CDF and its control by Members of Parliament. Let me inform those uninformed judicial officers that we have a fund that is run through Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA). The 22 per cent and the 10 per cent. The only role of a Member is forwarding or recommending members of the Constituency Roads Committee. Then the Constituency Roads Committee draws up a programme of how the roads will be done in the constituency and this can be seen as what has been an equaliser in doing our constituency roads. So, if the 22 per cent and the 10 per cent KeRRA roads can do our roads in the constituency, and you claim that the Member of Parliament is not involved and then say that this is unconstitutional because there is involvement of Members of Parliament, are you not double speaking? I really urge these judicial officers, you might be children of rich men and women in this country, you might have gone to privileged institutions, most of you take pride in calling yourselves learned friends because you went to the Massachusetts and the Oxfords of this world, but many poor Kenyans would never afford or even imagine of going to those The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
schools. They school in those dilapidated classrooms in primary and secondary school. If those schools are not given NG-CDF, they will never have the correct infrastructure to produce the next lawyers or judicial officers in this country. We are talking about the importance of the fund to the constituents, but let me introduce a new concept - the importance of that fund to the NG-CDF Board. We have a whole board in this country with an infrastructure and with a total of 391 employees. We have an average of six employees in each of the 290 constituencies which is an additional 1,740 Kenyans. When you add to the 391 employees, we have 2,111 Kenyans who are going to lose their jobs if this action by this court is implemented. Just the employees at the board contribute Ksh19,827,376 as Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which amounts to Ksh237,928,512 per year.
Need I remind you that I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Hon. Zachary Thuku? So, this means that if this decision is carried forward, we are going to render 2,111 Kenyans jobless, and from our coffers we will lose Ksh19 million per month which accumulates to Ksh237 million per year. So that I give an opportunity to others to contribute, this is my last point. The reason our elections are extremely competitive and end up being very divisive is because there is a strong belief that you need to be part of the government to get development in your constituency and county. This is true because we have a total of 160,000 kilometres of road in this country, and even if the Government would be so gracious to do 1,000 kilometres per year, they will only do 5,000 kilometres in five years. It will take another 20 years to do 160,000 kilometres of roads. That is why when we see the President or Deputy President visit our constituencies, we are quick to tell them which road can be done. This is because we lack criteria for ensuring that development is skewed proportionally across the country. If not for anything else, I am on the Floor of this House courtesy of the NG-CDF and I pray and hope that we can provide this chance to millions of other Kenyans.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. John Waluke is back in the House. I will give him a chance to speak.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am back after having been away for a very long time. I want to speak about the NG-CDF because it is the most cost-effective Fund. It has changed the lives of children from poor families because they could not afford to go to school. As we speak right now, there is a problem of hunger in Turkana. The NG-CDF has managed to take children to school despite the many problems.
When I became the Member for Sirisia Constituency there were 91 primary schools and almost of all of them were mud-walled. The children used to carry cow dung to smear on the walls. So, with the help of the NG-CDF Committee, I managed to build permanent classrooms for almost 68 schools. Sometimes I think the people who are instigating removal of the NG- CDF are not normal.
I was so proud while driving along Uhuru Highway to see about 28 school buses. I even told my bodyguards and driver to look at them yet there are people out there saying that the NG-CDF should be removed. Eight of the buses had been written ‘Fully funded by NG-CDF’. I was very proud as a Member of Parliament. Children from poor families have benefited a lot because some of them receive full bursaries. For example, in my constituency every year, I give full bursaries to 61 bright students from poor families as scholarships. Without the NG- The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
CDF they would not afford to go to high schools or universities. Now, many of them have gone to universities courtesy of the NG-CDF. As a country, every time we have problems, we blame ourselves as Members of Parliament because we are the law makers. I have been in this House for three terms and the NG-CDF problems occur every term. They have removed the NG-CDF yet we are the law makers. This is now the time - and let it be the last time - for us as a House to make sure that we amend the laws. Let us change and amend the Constitution to allow the NG-CDF money to be used. This is taxpayers’ money. Those poor women and men in the rural areas are the taxpayers. Their children are supposed to learn. They are supposed to go to school and this being taxpayers’ money, this money is not ours. We are there just to manage it. Even the National Treasury manages this money for these poor people, these poor women, but it has taken long. Many children are back home. They have not gone to school due to lack of school fees because the NG-CDF is not there and bursaries are not there. The committee that has been constituted today needs to hurry up. I know they are going to take long going round the whole country doing public participation but when they come back, the National Treasury should release billions of shillings because they have been saving money for the NG-CDF and, therefore, there should be no complaint from them saying that courts stopped the NG-CDF bursary or CDF. This is their time. From the time we went for elections up to date, they have got enough money and enough time to make sure that they release it with immediate effect. Many countries have come to our country to learn how we use NG-CDF because they hear Kenya has a fund called CDF. Before we went for elections, I saw Members of Parliament from Uganda here to learn about how NG-CDF is utilized. We are proud because maybe in Africa, it is Kenya which started this fund and other countries are learning from us and so, we need to continue. It should not be that they come to learn from us here and then we remove ours. We cannot blame the courts or the Judiciary because these cases were taken to them. The NGOs did this, and I think God will punish them because these poor people at home are crying. They are not going to school. These poor families and poor mothers at home are crying that their children are at home. I saw those people. They were still even arguing that they are also going to remove the NG-CDF. They are shameless but because of time, let me donate my time to another colleague to contribute. I support.
Thank you very much Hon. John Waluke. Your wisdom was missed. We wish you well and pray they do not mess up with your liberty again. Hon. John Kawanjiku.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity so that I can contribute to such matters of importance in our Republic and matters that concern the people whom we represent. Let me take this opportunity to say that first of all, the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that took the matter to court and the judges who made that ruling did it against… I am even looking for better words to describe them because they live in an illusion where they do not understand what happens to the common mwananchi in our constituencies. I came to this House through a by-election. I was able to support 8,000 students within a period of one year by giving them bursaries so that they can see the doors of high school. They were unable to raise the school fees demanded by public secondary schools. Even raising Ksh100 to support your family is becoming an issue today in our country. So, bursaries given through the NG-CDF come in handy. Some Members of Parliament managed to come to this House through bursaries that they were given through the NG-CDF by their then Members of Parliament. It will look bad if we can only fund our children to go to secondary schools and other institutions yet, children of poor people, peasants, and those who are unable to raise school fees cannot go to school The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
because of a judgment made by a judge sitting at the Milimani Law Courts without considering what those people will go through. We have already received millions of phone calls from people asking us when we will disburse bursaries because they cannot keep their children in high schools. Through the NG-CDF, we have even been able to come up with new high schools. For example, in my constituency, we are currently constructing a high school due to the high number of students in public primary schools. We need a 100 per cent transition from public primary schools to public secondary schools. We have constructed new high schools to give those children an opportunity to learn, so that they can also become better people in our society. Through the NG-CDF, we have been able to reduce the number of those unemployed because some would not have managed to get employment because of lack of education. We must come together as a House regardless of which political side you come from; whether the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance Coalition or the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, and support this agenda. We must make sure that the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning releases money for the NG-CDF before we go on recess so that we can plan and ensure that students stay in school. We will also ensure that other ongoing projects in our constituencies are fully functional. We should support them and ensure that we keep our students in public schools. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the NG-CDF has been a good fund and it has been managed very well. We have seen constituencies that have done exceptionally well by renovating their public schools thus giving students a better opportunity to learn in a better environment and ensuring that we have a 100 per cent transition from public primary schools to public secondary schools and thereafter, probably to universities. Let us give them an opportunity to become better people within our society. I support this ad hoc committee. Before we go on recess, we demand to hold a
through your office to deliberate on this matter together with the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning as well as the Attorney-General. We will be able to unlock the problem. By the time we come back from recess, we will be able to support those students who are looking up to us to provide bursaries and ensure that they are in schools so that they can support their families in the long run. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Alice Ng’ang’a, Member of Parliament for Thika Town.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important matter pertaining to the NG-CDF. Hon. Temporary Speaker, we were together in the duration of 2013-2017 but I did not came back for the 12th Parliament. However, I am back for the 13th Parliament. I am here courtesy of the NG-CDF because of the bursaries I awarded students from Thika Constituency. As we speak, my offices have bulk forms of bursaries because most of the students never even resumed back to school this term because of lack of fees. When I was a Member of Parliament, I built a police divisional headquarters in a place called Koriba. The level of insecurity in that area at that time was so much. Of all my wards, it is the only one without insecurity issues. I think the NGO that went to court is alien. Maybe they do not live in Kenya. If they do, they should have experience on what parents are going through. People assume the NG-CDF belongs Members of Parliament. It is like we use this money as we wish. What they do not understand is that there is a board which assigns those projects to be to be undertaken at our constituency levels. We need to discuss this matter without fear of anybody. Every Member of Parliament has his or her money. We are employed by Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) but we were hired by our constituents. We have our salary but the people we represent have nothing. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Our country is experiencing hunger at the moment. There is no food leave alone money to take children to school. If we sit down here lamenting and crying without having a way forward, we are the ones to lose the trust of the people who believed in us. The people who brought us to this House are suffering back at home. Soon, we are going for recess. What are we taking back? What are we going to tell the people who sent us to Parliament? Are we going to tell them that somebody somewhere does not want to release this money? They will not understand because they gave us all the powers. Remember we are representatives of the people who elected us, and that is why we are here. However, if we go back home and tell our constituents that somebody somewhere went to court so that the money cannot be released, they will definitely not understand. We have an ad hoc committee that has been formed today but moving forward – across the House – the Kenya Kwanza Coalition and Azimio One Kenya Alliance need to come together we discuss this matter. We need to bring on board the Attorney-General and the Cabinet Secretary responsible so that they explain to us the reason as to why money has not hit the accounts at the NG-CDF level so that programmes start running. Parents are going for a long Christmas holiday. They look forward to taking their children back to school. Why are we giving them stress? Children are now at home because they have closed school apart from the Class Eight, Grade Six and Form Fours who are sitting for their exams. What are we going to tell these parents when they are taking these Grade Six to Grade Seven and Class Eight to Form One and Form Four when they will be joining university? Can we tell them there is no money because the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning has not released the money? They need to release the money. On the Floor here we will say “Kesi baadaye.” Let us rest the case when the money is already at the constituency level. However, we cannot sit here debating and we are not taking any action to make sure that our NG-CDF money is at the constituency level. Since there are people who do not understand, I need to inform them that as for the projects that we do with NG-CDF are concerned, it is the board that comes up with these projects, and they fund them. We are only patrons of this money. We are only there to assist and oversee that everything runs smoothly at our level. We also need to inform them that, at no given time has the Member of Parliament come into contact with these funds. Our work is to ensure that the bursaries are awarded to those vulnerable children from our constituencies. We also engage in building police posts, divisional headquarters or starting new schools. For example, I started Thika Girls, Karibaribi with only 80 students. As we speak today, we have 1,000 students. This year, 250 students are sitting for their Form Four examinations. That is what NG-CDF does to this country. If you move across from one constituency to another; from Central, Western, Coast to North Eastern, you will see a mark. For every project we do with the NG-CDF, there is always big board erected indicating that the project was undertaken by NG-CDF. Therefore, those people who sit somewhere and think that they can run to court and deny the Kenyan people the opportunity to be given services by Members of Parliament are wrong. We are not going to condone them. We are telling them to leave us alone. All we want is for our children to go to school, build our schools, buy desks and also make sure we have dining halls in our schools. I pray that before we break on 2nd December, we sit down to make sure that this NG- CDF will be ready in two weeks instead of the three months that we were given. I thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
(Hon. Peter Kaluma)
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I must say that sometimes the debate going on in this country is confusing people. You hear all the time people talking of CDF being outlawed by the court. That is true and nobody is The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
contesting that but then people do not differentiate between CDF and NG-CDF. Even in this honourable House, when I was listening to the debate, a number of times Members referred to CDF which is non-existent. However, I just hope that we are just shortening NG-CDF to replace it with CDF in this House because of time. Otherwise, there is no problem with NG- CDF. No court has ever given any judgement against NG-CDF. Judgement was against CDF. I think this needs to be made clear. It is even made worse by the National Treasury which issued a statement that they were referring the case to the Attorney-General as to whether they should release the funds or not. There is no issue to refer to the Attorney-General. I think this needs to be very clear. There is no issue to refer to Attorney-General and no issue whatsoever, legal or otherwise against the release of NG-CDF. In that case, National Treasury should take their responsibility and make immediate payment because our children are suffering. The Kenyan children are not going to school. Let me just remind you of what you know. We went through a hard time when COVID- 19 attacked this nation and all schools were closed. Our children resumed school in 2021 and progressed with their education up to sometime this year. However, from August when they started the last term for the year, they were again not able to get any money to pay fees. From August when they started the term, which is the last one in the year, they were again not able to get any money to pay fees. Their mothers and fathers are crying. I wish any of these people delaying the payment could know how much tears women and their husbands shed. In fact, it is pathetic. Every day, and I am sure all the Members here go through the same experience, I get not requests but cries of people whose children are at home. If you see somebody crying for the future of his or her child, know that the person is in a problem. We are soon going on recess. I do not know how we are going to deal with the situation where everybody comes to you crying. Some of them bring two or three children who have not gone to school. Are they going to remain home again when the year starts?
Order, Hon. Andrew Adipo. I am told that the time has come for the Mover to reply under the Standing Orders, regrettably.
I oblige, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. Mover.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to reply. Before I do so, I would like to donate two minutes each to Hon. Cynthia Muge, Hon. Betty Maina, Hon. Omar Mwinyi, Hon. Eve Obara and Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi.
Hon. Cynthia Muge.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker and Hon. Sirma, for the opportunity to make a comment with regard to the ad hoc committee that has been proposed to be formed for purposes of looking at NG-CDF, NG-AAF and the other empowerment funds. I stand in support of establishing the said ad hoc committee. It should have happened earlier. As Members have said, we are at pains to explain why there are no NG- AAF and NG-CDF funds to pay school fees for school-going children. I was moved when I went to pass my condolences in a village called Cheptarit in my home. I found a person by the name Rev. Tello who used to serve in the NG-CDF committee. He said that the woman who had died had six children in school, three of whom were under full scholarship by NG-CDF. They were now all at home because NG-CDF money has not been released and therefore schools could not admit written commitments on the same. Anyone out there who thinks that NG-CDF, NG-AAF and other empowerment funds are not important, I want to tell them that these funds are as important as the breath that everyone takes. They are important to the children who depend on the funds to go to school and have good facilities. I support this Motion and urge Members to support it. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Betty Maina.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me a chance to contribute to this Motion. I want to make a very deliberate comment. Most Members in this House are parents who are capable of paying their children’s school fees without struggling. Their salaries can support that and their ventures are not one bottom trusted. When we talk about NG-CDF and NG-AAF, we are here as ambassadors of the most vulnerable people in our societies, children who depend and look upon us. In October, I donated part of my salary to parents in dire need of school fees because children are just about to sit for exams and they do not have money. Hon. Temporary Speaker, when we talk of NG-AAF and women empowerment, we are not empowering the rich women in this country but those at the grassroots who are in dire need of money, those who need capital even for the smallest businesses. When we talk of administration blocks, those are archaic and old blocks and we are trying to bring up new facilities for our people who elected us. We are the voice to the voiceless. We support the most vulnerable people and we are the bridge between the Government facilities and our voters. I support this and would like to tell the people who are opposing this to be more philanthropic. They should visit their villages and see how people suffer to access these facilities. Thank you.
Let us now have Hon. Omar Mwinyi, also known as Simba Tena.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. First, I want this House to know that we are not debating about NG-CDF on our own behalf. We are representing the voices of our people in the constituencies who yearn for NG-CDF, not the Members of Parliament. If people want to believe that NG-CDF is the only thing that makes Members of Parliament to be re-elected, statistics show that 70 per cent of Members of Parliament get voted out despite having access to NG-CDF. This should not be a matter to be considered. The NG-CDF has taught people about real public participation. It has also ensured equitable distribution of resources in this country. Other African countries like Zambia and Tanzania came to benchmark here in 2015 after we introduced this idea to them. If an idea is good, then it should be allowed to proceed. Finally, I am looking forward to inter-county sports. Sports is dying because of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) politics. I am sure that if NG-CDF is given more funds, we can have inter-county games which would perhaps ensure that our youths are encouraged to participate in sports and become stars in the making. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity.
Hon. (Dr.) Eve Obara.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Let me too add my voice in supporting the establishment of the ad hoc committee to move around the country and collect views from the people of Kenya on NG-CDF and eventually entrenching it in the Constitution. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the benefits of NG-CDF cannot be understated. What we have heard here today are success stories of what the NG-CDF has done in the different areas of this country, ranging from bursaries, infrastructure and development of laboratories and classrooms. We have Members of Parliament here who have benefited from the NG-CDF. They have given testimonies that they would not have gone through school had it not been for the NG-CDF. Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me your two minutes. I support. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Lastly, Hon. Abraham Kirwa you have two minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to this Motion on the ad hoc committee that is going to go round the country to gather views. I am in support for two reasons. One, NG-CDF makes a difference in the lives of many Kenyans especially in my constituency. I can tell you that almost a half of the students who go to school depend on bursaries from the NG-CDF. By not allowing the NG- CDF to continue, that means most families will not afford to send students to school. I am asking those who are behind these court cases to withdraw them for the sake of this country. It is not helping anybody. It is not for the best interest of the country. Let us withdraw those cases and release the NG-CDF funds so that we continue to meet the needs of most of our Kenyans. They depend on this NG-CDF. I support this Motion.
Mover, as you reply, respond to the question I had asked.
I take this opportunity to give a reply on this Motion. It has been deliberated on and really debated by Members who were active. The interest on NG-CDF in this country can never be overemphasised. It is the mainstay of every constituency. Without the NG-CDF, there would be no development. In fact, the NG-CDF is the equaliser of all developments in this country. Whether you are in Government or not, you will get funding. Therefore, activists in this country have gone beyond and overboard. Some of them are trying to play the role Okiya Omtatah was doing. They think that they will be Senators like Okiya. It is time they know that it is not activism which will develop this country. We need patriots in this country so that we can have a good country in terms of development. I am one of the Members who served in this House without the CDF, during the 1997- 2002 term. We sold our properties. We gave everything we had so that our people could give us another chance to run because we were paying fees or doing harambees for schools, funerals and even bursaries to all schools. I can assure you that the NG-CDF has brought real change to the development in this country. When you look at the development of CBC, as has been mentioned by many, nobody talks about the wrong or the bad structures put up by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Nobody even thinks or has a second opinion on it. They just say that the Government has done it. We are being looked at so seriously, to deliver. It is good for you as a Member to do it.
As you asked why NG-CDF has not been disbursed, I want to give a notice and summon the Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury and Planning and the Attorney-General to this Chamber next week. That is so that every Member can ventilate on issues touching on the NG- CDF. They should tell us the legal minds they have which are different from Kenyans. The Supreme Court has gone ahead to do wrong things. It time we punish them, actually by denying them funding. Why do they think that they are the only people who are supposed to get funding? I think we need a bipartisan approach in all matters in this country. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to support and reply.
Thank you, Hon. Musa Sirma. I know how passionate you are. Several Members are disappointed because they did not get a chance to speak on this matter. As the Motion states, this matter will involve a lot of public participation which will require even your views. I regret and register my apologies to the Members who never got a chance and thank them for their patience. Since the House does not quorate, the Question on the Motion will be put the next time it will be scheduled by the House Business Committee.
Hon. Members, the time being 7.05 p.m., this House stands adjourned until Thursday, 24th November 2022 at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 7.05 p.m.
Clerk of the National Assembly Parliament Buildings Nairobi The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for informationpurposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.