I order that the Quorum Bell be rung for 10 minutes.
Hon. Members, kindly note that it is the practice that when the Quorum Bell rings, you should not leave the Chamber. You only allow those who need to come in to do so.
Order Members! You may now stop the Quorum Bell.
Leader of the Majority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House: 1. Annual Report on Financial Statements of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for the year ended 30th June, 2021. 2. Annual Report of the National Intelligence Service for the year ended 31st December, 2022. 3. Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements in respect of the following constituencies for the year ended 30th June, 2022 and the certificates therein: Tinderet, Central Imenti, Moiben, Ainabkoi, Runyenjes, Tharaka, Marakwet East, Marakwet West, Cherangany, Emgwen, Nandi Hills, Manyatta, Kesses, Igembe Central, Mosop, Chesumei, Tigania East, Chuka/Igambang’ombe, North Imenti and Keiyo South. Thank you.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order, Leader of Minority Party?
I am sorry, Hon. Deputy Speaker, I was at the Clerks Table. I wish I was here early. I rise to raise an issue that may perhaps require the intervention of the substantive Speaker. However, since you are on the Chair, I am sure you are equal to the task. Yesterday afternoon – perhaps this has come to the attention of some members – not so desirable occurrences happened within and outside the precincts of Parliament. I want to take you to Article 118 of the Constitution, Sub-Article (1) which says: “Parliament shall – The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(a) conduct its business in an open manner, and its sittings and those of its committees shall be in public; and, (b) facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of Parliament and its committees.”
Sub-Article (2) says: “Parliament may not exclude the public, or any media, from any sitting unless in exceptional circumstances the relevant Speaker has determined that there are justifiable reasons for the exclusion.” The point here is that, yesterday between 1.30 p.m and 2.00 p.m, there was commotion at the gate of Parliament within the precincts of Parliament along Parliament Road and Harambee Avenue to an extent that the police fired tear gas canisters, whose effects permeated the precincts of Parliament, including my office, and it affected my staff. What I have been briefed is that, in anticipation of debate on the Finance Bill, some members of the public came to the precincts of Parliament at the gate to either show solidarity with Members of Parliament or to express their feelings about the Finance Bill. Essentially, they were picketing within the meaning of Article 37 of the Constitution. The reason why I am raising this issue is so that we set the record straight. I do not think that as the Parliament of the Republic of Kenya, we should act differently from other civilised Parliaments of the world. Parliaments the world over are known as public institutions with public access at will. That happens at the Capitol Hill in the USA and at the Westminster Palace in the United Kingdom. I want you to make a ruling to guide the House, and more importantly the police. If we allow the precedent that was set yesterday to have its way, we will basically be telling Kenyans and the world that the Parliament of the Republic of Kenya wants to isolate itself from the very public that it is supposed to serve. What kind of threat was the unarmed public going to pose to the House or anybody else by coming close to Parliament to picket, cheer and jeer? We cannot afford to be seen to be complicit in gagging of the public when they are expressing their views on issues that they feel are pertinent to them. The public must be allowed not only to access Parliament, but also to picket around it at will.
I am raising a very serious issue and my friend does not understand. He has no capacity to understand what I am trying to do.
We have come a long way as a country. Kenyans went to the trenches to attain the kind of freedoms that we currently have under the Constitution. We must jealously guard these freedoms enshrined in the Constitution…
What is out of order? Have you completed?
Let me conclude.
Hon. Members, let us be tolerant. We have been in this House with my friend, Kimani Ichung’wah and others. Today you are there shouting to please people in the Executive. Tomorrow you will be here crying. I am telling you because we have seen it all. Hon. Deputy Speaker, let us not be people who curtail the freedoms and rights of Kenyans as enshrined in the very progressive Bill of Rights in our Constitution. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I submit. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Leader of the Minority Party. Next is the Leader of the Majority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I agree with the Leader of the Minority Party; that, it is good for us to conduct ourselves with decorum and allow each other to be heard. As he rightly said, today you may be here celebrating and next time you will be on the other side crying, like he is doing today. Nine months ago, he used to sit where Hon. John Mbadi is seated because he liked that corner. He would be cheering as Hon. John Mbadi celebrated very major atrocities against Kenyans. I cannot stand here to celebrate atrocities against anybody or travesties on the justice of the people of Kenya. As Hon. Opiyo Wandayi has said, Parliament is an open place to the members of the public. However, we live in a civilised democracy and in parliaments all over the world, there are picketing corners. In the Parliament of the Kenya, members of the public are allowed in the Public Gallery and with the Speaker’s permission to the Speaker’s Gallery to watch and follow the proceedings of the House. In an endeavour to have an open Parliament for the welfare of society and the just Government of the people, our debates are televised live by the Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit (PBU). This is to ensure that Kenyans, wherever they are, even from the comfort of their homes can follow debate. This does not mean that we live in an island. I think on Thursday or yesterday, the Speaker reminded us about our own safety within the precincts of Parliament and mostly in this Chamber. He reminded us about bombing of Parliaments around the world in Beirut, Lebanon and most recently, in Burkina Faso, where mobs took over Parliament and burnt it. We have seen what those who associate with Opiyo Wandayi, the Leader of the Minority Party, believe to be peaceful protests and demonstrations. Therefore, if the police, in their wisdom, feel it is insecure to allow people who purport to be picketers or peaceful demonstrators around the precincts of Parliament to protect Hon. Opiyo Wandayi, Hon. Mwenje, Hon. Owen Baya and others it is within their right to exclude anybody who they feel is a threat to our national security and security of Members of Parliament, including Hon. Opiyo Wandayi, who must at all times be protected. That is why the Government of Kenya, through the Inspector-General of Police, has provided a minimum of 14 bodyguards for him as the Leader of the Minority Party. Hon. John Mbadi may be unaware that the Leader of the Minority Party is entitled to 14 bodyguards to even guard his residences in the village, Nairobi and elsewhere.
The police want to ensure that the Leader of Minority Party, the Leader of Majority Party, each and every Member of Parliament and the staff working in this House are protected. Therefore, we should not think that anyone is excluding people from following the proceedings of the House when the police do their work. I want to speak to those being mobilised because I have engaged a number of intelligence officers who are in, outside and around this House. I can hear Members asking, “By who?” I do not know what is itching them. People have been mobilised to intimidate Members of Parliament to ensure that they did not carry out their constitutional mandate yesterday afternoon, and that they do not do so even today and tomorrow. I want to ask the Inspector-General, if anybody wants to picket around Parliament, they should notify the police when and why. I am sure somewhere around Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), there is some space designated as a picketing corner. Your right to picket and demonstrate ends where mine of carrying out my constitutional work as a Member of Parliament begins. Nobody should attempt to stop any Member of Parliament from coming The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
here to do their work, however you feel about the Finance Bill or any other business. You may as well protest in the constituencies or anywhere else but do so peacefully and in line with the provisions of the Public Order Act. I do not think there is any sinister move in excluding people who the Inspector-General of Police feels are a threat to the security of Members of Parliament. Above anything else, as the substantive Speaker said yesterday, our own safety here is paramount. That is why he was pleading with us to allow the Serjeant-at-Arms to conduct body searches on each one of us. I allowed the Serjeant-at-Arms to carry out a body search on me. I was hoping he would name the Member who threatened to strip because a Serjeant-at-Arms officer asked for permission to search her. As the Speaker said yesterday, we must be careful so that we do not lose anyone because of a bombing or somebody walking in with a gun. I remember in the last Parliament, there was an incident where a Member who was seated behind me was said to have carried a gun into the Chamber. The issues we are raising are not hot air.
Hon. Speaker, you need to protect Hon. Babu Owino. He has never carried a gun into the Chamber but elsewhere. You need to ensure that him and Kimani Ichung’wah do not walk in with guns, grenades or anything else. I beg that we allow our security agencies to secure us. I want to tell Kenyans and the world that Parliament, and by extension the National Assembly of Kenya, is an open place for people. Kenyans are free to picket and air their views. Yesterday, I said that the Finance Bill is the only Bill that has had the most robust public participation in the last 15 years. This morning, I was listening to a vernacular radio station called Kameme FM. I heard a former Member of County Assembly (MCA), who was a cleaner in my county. He used to be a sweeper and was fortunately elected as MCA. He was pretending to be a finance expert in that talk show, saying all manner of fake things. Since we know the owners of Kameme FM are part of the propaganda machinery against the Finance Bill, we allow them. I also want to assure the people of Kenya even as they picket and express their views; as I said during the Second Reading debate, a lot of misinformation, lies and propaganda, including that on Kameme FM, that what you are being told, is not true. Nobody will die or get hurt because this Finance Bill has passed. I want to ask Hon. Robert Mbui this afternoon to be ready to vote for those progressive clauses in the Bill that he thinks will be beneficial to the people of Kathiani. With regard to those that you think are not beneficial, I urge you to bring amendments and not to play to the gallery. Hon. Deputy Speaker, let me end there because we have very important business ahead of us. I do not think this was a matter for debate. I just wanted to respond to my good friend, Hon. Opiyo Wandayi, and assure him that he is secure and safe. However, as much as you are safe, please do not organise anybody to stop me or other Members of Kenya Kwanza or Azimio from coming to the House to work. Members must not be intimidated by people who support this Bill from coming here to oppose it on the Floor of the House. Hon. Babu Owino should have the freedom to come and oppose this Bill on the Floor of the House. I know those who are not in the House, like my friend, Hon. John Mbadi, get very excited because he needs to be seen to be opposing this Bill. Those who never voted for the Second Reading in Azimio need to be seen and heard to be opposing this Bill. You have seen the kind of letters they are getting from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). The ODM, as a political party, must stop intimidating its members.
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Order, Members! I will give a chance for response to Hon. Nabii Nabwera. You have the microphone.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to raise two critical things. We have a duty to protect the Constitution and the integrity of this House. The most important thing that Hon. Opiyo Wandayi raised is the issue of throwing tear gas in the precincts of Parliament, where there was no threat at all. Secondly, I was out there when police were blocking people. Those people were not armed. In fact, I left my car and walked peacefully to this place because the police had blocked the road. It is not fair for the Leader of the Majority Party to insinuate that Kenyans who are peaceful, are always rowdy. It is not fair for the public who have sent us here, who want to participate by picketing or observing the proceedings to be blocked by the police. I want to confirm that all of us want to have a sober debate. It is unfair for the Leader of the Majority Party to turn the matter into an ODM/Kenya Kwanza issue. That is very unfair and we cannot allow it.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. John Mbadi?
Hon. Deputy Speaker I want to appeal for sober debate in this matter. The question before us is about the right of Kenyans to picket and express themselves vis-a-vis what the Leader of the Majority Party has said about the security of Members of Parliament. Those are two issues we need to deal with as a House. I agree that Parliament, as an institution, must be protected from any kind of harm, threat or insecurity witnessed elsewhere in the world. We do not want to have a situation like what happened at the Capitol Hill, USA, when supporters of former President Trump invaded the precincts of that institution. However, we must allow Kenyans the latitude and freedom to peacefully express themselves around the precincts of Parliament. There is no indication or evidence that the Kenyans who came to the precincts of Parliament yesterday threatened the peace or security of Members of Parliament. If there was such evidence, it should be tabled in this House. We need to be tolerant. As a House, it is time we created space for picketing around Parliament Buildings. You cannot ask those who want to picket about parliamentary proceedings to go to KCC. They must do so around Parliament Buildings. We have always been tolerant as a public institution. In fact, at the gates of Parliament, we have seen Kenyans come with pigs and call us “M-Pigs.” We never beat up anybody. We allowed them to picket. It is very unfair for the Leader of Majority Party, who is a good friend of mine even at a personal level, to come to the House and tell Kenyans that when I was the Hon. Leader of the Minority Party, I was cheering the tribulations of other Members. I am one person who power has never gone into my head. I do not allow power to get into my head. I do not need to prove anything for my coalition or party to know my level of loyalty or commitment towards the just cause of the people of Kenya. I have done it previously, I continue to do it and I will do it up to the time that God has planned that I will be sitting in this House. My friend, Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah, I want to persuade you that when you get power, manage power. I see the Leader of the Majority Party, a gentleman who used to be very polished when he was the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. He was my student in the Legislature. I have been tutoring him including coming to my house. I have been telling him how to conduct himself. He has become an Hon. Leader of the Majority Party, and is completely wasted. He has become arrogant. He even talks to seniors like me very rudely. Hon. Deputy Speaker, save us from the Hon. Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Member, you cannot impute improper motive on the character of others. Hon. Members, we have other business to transact. Hon. Jared Okello, you do not have the microphone. Hon. Members, the issue has been raised by Hon. Opiyo Wandayi and responded to by various Members, who have given their views. As we know, the happenings of yesterday…
Hon. Babu Owino, you do not have the microphone. You are out of order. You have risen without permission. For you to rise and shout from your chair is in fact disrespectful. This matter has been well ventilated on. Everyone who has spoken has given their views on it. Unfortunately, I am unable to make any decision on it now because I do not have the facts. I have not investigated what transpired yesterday. So, I will defer that matter for later communication from the Speaker. We will now go back to business for efficiency of Parliament.
Yes, I know that. The matter is not properly before the House. Therefore, there is no need to debate it. You will have an opportunity to debate it later. Let us go back to Order No.5. Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, proceed.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on its consideration of the following Bills: 1. The Equalisation Fund Appropriation Bill (Senate Bill No.3 of 2023); and, 2. The County Allocation of Revenue Bill (Senate Bill No.16 of 2023). Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Procedural Motion:
THAT, this House resolves to exempt the business appearing as Order Nos.9, 10, and 11 in today’s Order Paper from the provisions of Standing Order 40(3), being a Wednesday Morning, a day allocated for business not sponsored by the Majority or Minority Parties or business sponsored by a committee.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, this is just a Procedural Motion to allow debate on the consideration of the Supplementary Estimates II for the Financial Year 2022/2023. We also have the County Allocation of Revenue Bill (Senate Bill No.16 of 2023) and the Equalisation Fund Appropriations Bill (Senate Bill No.3 of 2023). These Motions and Bills are sponsored by the Budget and Appropriations Committee and we need to avail time for their passage. These are very important financial Bills that have timelines. That is why we agreed as the House Business Committee yesterday that we would exempt that business from the provisions The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of Standing Order 40(3) to allow us to transact them this morning. Therefore, we will stand down Private Members’ Motions and Bills until we finish with Order Nos.9, 10, and 11.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, should we finish them in time, since we have slightly less than three hours to transact them, there are also other Motions lined up for debate. However, looking at the clock, we may not have enough time. Even as I call on the Seconder to second, if you indulge me, my good friend, Hon. Mbadi, alluded to the fact that I could be arrogant. I have been to his house, and he knows what I went to do there. He knows that I had no tinge of arrogance.
He knows that I am a person who believes in the truth. At times people like John Mbadi will mistake being told the truth for arrogance. I have no tinge of arrogance, but I have a penchant for the truth and seeing it as it is.
Please, proceed with the Motion.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, even as I say it as it is, I will ask that he bears with me. It is obvious that at times a student becomes better than his or her teacher, which causes problems.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, allow me to ask my good Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party, Hon. Naomi Waqo, the Member for Marsabit County, to second.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to second. Thank you.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. Makali? Let me propose the Question first.
Hon. Makali, please state your point of order after I propose the Question. The Motion has been seconded. Hon. Member, I politely requested you to take your seat so that I propose the Question.
Put the Question!
Hon. Makali, what is your point of order?
You know, Hon. Deputy Speaker, with all due respect to Hon. Members, you must realise that this is a House of rules and procedures. A point of order is allowed under the Standing Orders. You cannot deny a Member the right to raise a point of order.
What is your point of order? Go ahead with your point of order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, yesterday, when the Speaker of the National Assembly gave guidance before we went into the Committee of the whole House, he said that if we would not have completed the Finance Bill by midnight, we would move a Procedural Motion this morning to continue with it. The Leader of the Majority Party has not moved a Motion for this House to debate the Finance Bill, but has moved The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
a Procedural Motion for us to discuss other Bills, when the Speaker of this House directed that Members would debate the Finance Bill this morning if we would not have completed it by midnight last night. We are very much aware that we did not complete the Finance Bill. How I wish that you, as the Speaker in the Chair, would have guided the House to that effect before we consider any other business, because that was the directive from the Speaker.
That is my point of order.
The Speaker did not make any such ruling. Is it the mood of the House that I put the Question?
In any case, the Leaders of the Minority and Majority Parties sit in the House Business Committee and know what transpired there.
So, I will put the Question.
Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following…
Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, just hold on for one second before you move the Motion. Hon. Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, you may now proceed.
Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. I will move this Motion in an amended form, especially in the Schedules, where we have an increase of Ksh189,000,000 under Vote 1052, the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs; and a reduction of Ksh189, 000, 000 under Vote 1053, State Department for Foreign Affairs. This is basically a re-arrangement.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the Second Supplementary Estimates for the Financial Year 2022/2023, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 20th June 2023, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 223 of the Constitution and Standing Order 243 – (i) approves an increment of the total Recurrent Expenditure for Financial Year 2022/2023 by Ksh9,515,817,997 in respect of the Votes as contained in the Schedules; (ii) approves a decrease of a total capital expenditure for Financial Year 2022/2023 by Ksh34,977,926,251 in respect of the Votes as contained in the Schedule; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(iii) approves an overall decrease in the total Budget for Financial Year 2022/2023 by Ksh25,462,108,254 in respect of the Votes as contained in the Schedule; and, (iv) resolves that the Schedule forms the basis for the introduction of the Supplementary Appropriation (No.2) Bill, 2023.
Hon. Chairperson, you are doing very well, but your time is almost up.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, this country was to borrow Ksh1.1 trillion in this Financial Year 2022/2023. Therefore, when the National Treasury borrows now, it is to implement the budget for this current financial year and not for this current regime. We are just fulfilling the revenue of the Budget that we got in place when we assumed the positions that we currently occupy. Generally speaking, we are just cleaning up areas that cannot absorb those monies by the 30th of June, and directing those small marginal monies to areas that can absorb them. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I thank every Member of this House for their contributions. As the Budget and Appropriations Committee, we always gain from those interactions. We come here to listen and learn from such debates. Having said that, I want to ask the Chairman of all transformers in Kenya in the Energy and petroleum sectors, Hon. Vincent Musyoka Kawaya, to second.
Thank you, Hon. Chairperson. Those are quite some credentials you have accorded me. I appreciate. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise to second this Supplementary Estimates II. First, allow me to thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee, which did a great job especially by accommodating most of the Chairpersons whose Budgets for their respective Ministries were affected by this Supplementary Budget. They sat up to late hours dealing with this. Often, we are never realistic with our budget projections. At the end of every financial year, we have to come to the drawing board and find a way to rationalise our budgets. On many occasions, the projections are over-estimated while the A-in-A that we project from our SAGAs is under- estimated. We need to confront this issue. For example, if you look at the current estimates and the financial statements presented to the National Treasury for our MDAs, you will find that barely two weeks down the line, they have already changed their estimates to ‘not applicable.” In most cases, there is an intention to understate the A-in-A that is projected to be collected. In all Supplementary Budgets II, there is a spending spree by most of the MDAs. Most of them spend this money in buying funny things like furniture, vehicles and going for workshops, because this money is set aside specifically for spending at the end of the financial year. Again, the energy sector is facing a new challenge where absorption is a problem. This is not necessarily absorption from the Exchequer, but on the process that leads to the absorption of foreign funding, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of their budgets. Those rigorous procedures and processes delay the absorption of resources. Hon. Temporary Speaker, we cannot discuss the Supplementary Budget II in isolation. As a country, we also need to have an honest discussion around budget financing. Every Budget in this House has a source of resources. Our discussions in this House are interesting, especially those around the Finance Bill. You will rarely find any Hon. Member who is uninterested on discussions relating to projects going to their respective constituencies. However, when it comes to the discussion on how to raise those funds, then we all want to play to the gallery without any due regard of how to raise resources to finance those budgets. It is only fair for us, as leaders, to tell the country that there are reasons for the actions that we are taking. We have failed in telling Kenyans the ‘why’ and only dwell on the ‘what,’ especially on revenue raising measures of the Finance Bill. We must tell Kenyans that the Kenya Kwanza Government inherited a shell of an economy because our predecessors decided to loot and carry money in sacks from our coffers. They borrowed everything they could, and now we are left with a huge burden that we cannot somehow run away from. Hon. Temporary Speaker, facts are stubborn. Our revenues are barely Ksh2.1 trillion. Our debt repayment is at Ksh1.4 trillion. This means if we collect Kshs2.1 trillion and pay our debts at 1.4 trillion, we are only left with Kshs700 billion, out of which our Recurrent Expenditure stands at Ksh600 billion. That then leaves us with Ksh100 billion. The county governments demand Ksh376 billion from the remaining Ksh100 billion. Even if you were to give them the Ksh100 billion, you have to borrow another Ksh276 billion. Therefore, as we discuss on revenue raising measures, I ask Members, especially from the other side of the political divide, not to play to the gallery. The easier way for us is not to expand the tax base in the country. It would be to summon the Former President, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, and his brother who put us in this mess. They should tell us where those monies went. Then we can plug that deficit without targeting Kenyans to raise that money. As a country, we have a responsibility. There is no gain without pain. As we move towards the current estimates, I think The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
there is something to learn from the current Supplementary Budget. We should work closely towards having budgets that are manageable with realistic estimates. The current budget is more responsive without excluding important items. I think it takes a bit of wisdom and creativity to come up with a responsive budget. I support that statement. In the energy sector, we had a budget of about Ksh90 billion compared to the current reduced budget of Ksh65 billion, which seems to be more responsive and giving Kenyans a better solution for the low cost of power than the budgets we have had in the past. There is an attempt in this Budget…
Hon. Kawaya will be heard.
Protect me, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I know the problem is the looting part, but please bear with me. The problems we are facing as a country originated from two brothers. Something to also note about this Supplementary Budget is Article 223. In the past, this Article has been purely misused by most of our Government departments. Most of our ministries feel that it will not easily pass expenditure through this Parliament, which is an oversight authority. They spend this money through Article 223 and wait for Parliament to pass that expenditure through the Supplementary Budget. I would like to commend this Government for flagging an expenditure from one of our lines — the Loiyangalani-Suswa line — that is currently the subject of an audit. We have seen reduced appetite for expenditure through Article 223. You cannot get much benefit from this Article because it is rarely used in good faith. As I conclude, we must resist the attempt by some National Treasury officials to make budget for this Parliament. We have seen occasions where supplementary recommendations by the Budget and Appropriations Committee are overturned by the National Treasury or attempt to overturn them. It is important for this House to stamp its authority. We have seen attempts to reduce allocations to projects affecting Members, terming the proposed expenditure for some of those resources as low priority. I urge Members especially…
He already seconded when he started, but you can give him the microphone for the sake of Hon. Mbadi. Give him the microphone briefly so that he seconds.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, with those few remarks, I second. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Hon. Musyoka. Hon Members, before I do the needful, I wish to recognise in the Public Gallery, the presence of Ongata Royal Academy from Kajiado North Constituency in Kajiado; and Students from Ndurarua High School from Dagoretti North in Nairobi County.
We welcome them to follow the proceedings of the National Assembly this morning and wish them the best in their tour of the City this afternoon. Hon Members, it is now my time to propose the Question, but before I do so, I will remind you that the Motion was moved in an amended form under Standing Order 148. The amendment affects the Schedule and not the Motion as moved and, therefore, as you debate, you are accordingly advised.
Of course. Hon Members, I will follow this. I am assuming that those who have put interventions… I have been in this House since it started. There are Members who put interventions this morning because they wanted to contribute to the matter of protests. That is why I said I will follow the list as it appears here, as I always do. If you want to contribute, you will inform us and thereafter proceed. The first chance goes to Hon. G.G. Kagombe of Gatundu South, if he is in the House.
I will give that chance to Hon. Wilberforce Oundo of Funyula.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Supplementary Estimates II for the Financial Year 2022/2023. I must laud the Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee for taking us through a basic or elementary lecture on economics and macro-economics. As I have always stated, Supplementary Budget is an epitome of laziness in economic planning. Article 223 was never in any way meant to cover inefficiencies of the planning department and the Executive. It was generally meant to cover cases of emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, like what happened during COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 and 2021. It baffles anyone who has attended any economic class that the Government cannot, at any given time, precisely project the revenue it is likely to get. This is because the population and people who generate income does not change as much. It behooves the technocrats who are in a better position to clearly — with some element of precision — determine the revenue that will come at hand. If you look at the figures that are being reduced on the capital expenditure side, it is a clear testimony that the system operates to frustrate the implementation of certain projects. Hon. Temporary Speaker, if you listen to principal secretaries, MDAs and many executive technocrats who implement projects, they always tell you that there is this twin tendency where there is donor funding and counter-part funding. The National Treasury will deliberately delay the release of counter-part funding so that they can frustrate that project; and by the time we come to the end of the Financial Year, we have money that we cannot spend, and the National Treasury would obviously use those unorthodox means to recall or recover that money. Secondly, it is also another way of corruption. Many MDAs and State Departments do not have coherent procurement plans and if they do, they are unable to implement because the National Treasury’s releases and disbursements are deliberately delayed so that the only funds that go to those projects are earmarked for looting public funds. We have always argued… I hope Hon. Ndindi Nyoro, being the new kid on the block, will really get out of this old mindset and start talking to the guys in the National Treasury to understand that Members of Parliament are getting fed up with those piecemeal changes to the budget every financial year. If you look at the Schedule attached - and I have not had the benefit of reading the Report in details - we are unable to pick out from which vote-head precisely or from which State Department the reduction has been made. Again, any Kenyan getting hold of this Order Paper would be unable to know where those particular changes have happened. We need to tighten up; and as we have always continuously said; and all in their Reports, be it for the Supplementary I or the Budget Policy Statement (BPS), the Budget and Appropriation Committee has always called upon for a review…
Hon. Oundo, I do not intend to interrupt you at all, but the Order Paper that you have has the schedules. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, it is true it has schedules. However, the schedules it has have got the vote programme and revised Budget Estimates for Financial Year 2022/2023, but they do not provide the comparative analysis after Supplementary Budget I. I am lucky I went to school, and I can read and understand. I know how to compare. God has been very kind to me and I am forever grateful for that. I went to Starehe Boys Centre and not to those other secondary schools where people go to.
We are dealing with Supplementary Budget that is coming almost a week to the end of the Financial Year; 30th is Friday, next week. And this is coming less than a week to the end of the financial year. Does it mean that this Ksh34 billion or so has just been lying somewhere? What has happened to the Ksh9.53 billion that was meant for Recurrent Expenditure? That explanation is not coming out clearly and, for the many First Timer Members, they might not even understand what we are talking about here. That is why many of them would not be able to constructively engage in this debate. Members deserve a little more disclosure. That disclosure will help us make informed decisions. But as it is now, it becomes extremely difficult to tell exactly what is happening or what is specific. This is because the Budget is based on specific projects. For example, we are putting money in project Y or X. For us who sit in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), we are always confronted with huge pending bills that consequently attract penalties, court charges, court damages and those kinds of things which comes out of that kind of arrangement. As a country, Parliament, Executive and the Parliamentary Budget Office, we must be bold enough and tell the Budget and Appropriations Committee the truth. This is because they work at the behest of the Executive and not the people of Kenya. That is why we are entangled in too many issues. When an economy is in recession, you need to spend money. If the Ksh34 billion was spent on providing electricity, for example, to various villages in the country, people would be employed and would get resources from the infrastructure that enable Vision 2030 to get this economy to a certain level. Instead, we are reducing expenditure, no placid explanation has been given and somehow, you will find another scandal erupting from here. I can assure you, Hon. Temporary Speaker and members of the public, we will have pending bills, penalties and interests will accrue, and contractors and service providers will go to court. As I conclude, the Chairman has mentioned the issue of the structure of the economy. He has said that the economy is driven by the service sector, at 60-something per cent. They have also said that the primary production only accounts for about 18 per cent. Who is to blame? In any case, what is the problem with the service sector? If it is of high productivity, why can we not invest and ensure that adequate enablers expand it to all so that we get to a certain point? There are countries in this world that essentially depend on visa processing or processing services as well as tourism, and are doing far much better than our country. We have talked about value addition for donkey years and yet, if you look at the Budget that we have passed, the amount of money that have been allocated to manufacturing is less than 2 per cent of the over Ksh2 trillion or Ksh3 trillion that is in this Budget. Those stories they are playing to us are simple propaganda that has no value to the people of Kenya. But for now, because I have brought it under Article 223, let us approve it, but knowing very well that this is another scandal in the offing. We will get into the Public Accounts Committee in the next few years to come, and I will come and tell you that I told you on this day. I hope the
will correctly capture what I have said. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. John Mbadi. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. First, let me start by thanking and praising the Budget and Appropriations Committee for a job well done. I want to praise the Chairman of this Committee. I think he is coming out as one of the best Chairpersons of the Budget and Appropriations Committee so far. He is detailed in his approach and in moving of the Motion. He is eloquent and I want to support that. This tradition of Supplementary Budget II started around 2016. It never used to be there. It is because of the poor planning on the part of the Government, as Hon. Oundo has said. However, an increase of Ksh9 billion in recurrent budget under Supplementary Budget II is not something to consider lightly as a modest increase because we have just a few days to July. I know this money has already been spent under Article 223, and that is why I am proposing an amendment to the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act. It should come for the First Reading soon to bring out clear procedure of spending under Article 223. Parliament needs to be involved and be given days to consider requests from the Executive. The idea of giving a blank cheque to the Executive to spend at will and just seek for post facto approval must stop. In the Ruaraka land issue – and I keep repeating it – the Committee rejected that expenditure under Article 223, and it remains that Parliament rejected it. But what happened? The money had been spent in billions. We must have post-facto information from the Executive to Parliament through the Budget and Appropriations Committee. They can say what they want to spend under Article 223 of the Constitution and allow 14 days for Parliament to consider it. Nothing will bring Kenya down in 14 days. If Parliament has not dealt with it in 14 days, then the Executive can go ahead and spend. There is also a decrease of Ksh34 billion. I want the Chairperson to listen to this. A lot of this expenditure that is being reduced in capital expenditure, as you have rightly put it, is usually under development partner-funded projects. The problem is usually not with the development partners. I sit with Hon. Oundo in the PAC. The problem is the counter-part funding from the Government of Kenya. That is what halts and obstructs all donor-funded projects, some of which take the form of grants and loans with favourable terms for Kenyans. The Government of Kenya does not meet its part of the commitment which, in a number of cases, is not even 10 per cent of the project implementation cost. That needs to be addressed. You have rightly put it as A-in-A. When I was a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, we were moving towards insisting that the Government try to remove this idea of A-in-A and have most, if not all, revenues collected and taken to the Consolidated Fund so that they are expended properly. The moment you allow A-I-A, most MDAs will just under-declare their revenue because they need more money from the Exchequer. Hon. Temporary Speaker, there is the issue of borrowing. I agree that the Budget we are implementing is the last Budget of President Uhuru’s regime. That is a fact. Nothing stops this Government from restructuring it to suit their interests. If anything, they came into office at the end of August. That was just about one-and-a-half months after the beginning of the financial year. So, they had all the time to restructure this Budget to meet or be in line with the Manifesto of the Kenya Kwanza Government. The idea of borrowing because the other regime had planned to do it does not make sense. You do not have to borrow because someone had planned to do it, and you have now taken over from him. So, you must actualise it. I would like to challenge your figure on what was planned for borrowing. It was not Ksh1.1 trillion. I have the figures. It was Ksh824 billion. That was the budget deficit split into net domestic borrowing of Ksh395.8 billion and net external borrowing of Ksh428.3 billion. Those are not my figures. They are even with the Parliamentary Budget Office. Whatever it is, even if it is Ksh1 trillion, the bottom line is that you do not have to borrow. You are the ones in charge. In fact, I want the Kenya Kwanza Government to move away from the rhetoric that the previous Government borrowed, where they found a tattered economy or one that had been run down and people were carrying money in sacks. You talk as if Kenya is a kiosk or supermarket. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
How can you tell people that the money that can run the economy of Kenya was carried away in sacks? Those sacks can fill the City of Nairobi. Even if we want to lie to Kenyans, we need to be decent in our lies. We can say that some people have stolen from our coffers. That is a fact. There was theft under President Uhuru and President Kibaki regimes. It is the degree that differs. Under the Ruto regime, we have started seeing theft. I have not measured the Road from James Gichuru Road to Ole-Sereni, but it cannot be more than 15 kilometres. The work that should be done on this road is purely re-carpeting. You award a contract worth Ksh1.9 billion, and then you hear that those are firms that are well connected in the system. There is theft already. We have read, seen and heard about it before the Nation Newspaper brought it out. There is the issue of edible oil. Members of Parliament here cannot mention the names. Some of them told me that there is a lot of theft. It has turned out to be true. Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) is sinking this country into one of the major scandals. We are watching many other things. Under Article 223 of the Constitution, which you are saying the current Government is not using a lot, there is theft going on. Actually, we have ordered an audit of all expenditures under Article 223 of the Constitution. I do not want to go further, because I am waiting for the Report of the Auditor-General. I am the Chairperson of PAC. I am waiting for it.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order? Hon. Mbadi, please take your seat. There is a point of order.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The distinguished leader, Hon. John Mbadi, is the Chairperson of PAC. It behoves on him to bring a report to this House with what he is saying, instead of speculating. He is a good accountant who knows that before you say anything, you should have facts that have been investigated and proven beyond reasonable doubt. He is giving a tirade and yet, he is known for facts. I do not know why he wants to sink so low and go on a tirade about things he has no facts. But be who you are, Hon. Mbadi. You are a man who looks at facts. Stop speculating and sensationalising information like the current newspapers that we have. I want you to take advice from your junior that you need to concentrate on this Motion. If you feel that money has been stolen, please come to this distinguished house as the Chairperson of PAC, table reports and show us. As Members of the Kenya Kwanza Government, we will heed those reports and ensure that the theft does not take place. Take my advice.
Thank you. Hon. Mbadi.
Thank you. Hon. Baya is my very good student. I know whatever he says is in good faith. I want to take it as such. Let me conclude by saying that, as the Chairperson of PAC, we are just concluding on Financial Year 2020/2021. The Report will be here at the end of July. We will start on Financial Year 2021/2022 and conclude it latest in October. We will not have any pending financial year. However, we cannot stop talking about emerging issues. PAC is a post-mortem audit committee. Hon. Temporary Speaker, give me one more minute. Immediately after we finish with those older accounts, a special audit will be conducted on special accounts, and there will be a continuous audit. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the Motion.
Thank you very much. I just need to advise you. We make very good recommendations in our contributions. I wish we could follow them with proper laws. All of us agree that we need to discipline Article 223 of the Constitution. Why not do it? Members, because there is too much interest in this Motion, I propose that we contribute for five or six minutes. This will be so that more Members can contribute. I had given an The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
opportunity to two Members on this side. I will give an opportunity to two Members on the other side and then go back to this side again. Let us have Hon. Rindikiri Mugambi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. First, let me play from the point of ignorance. We were told that we come from some schools that are not well adorned with knowledge. The fact is they are the ones who are teaching us how to apply economics. President Mwai Kibaki put a lot of emphasis on economic planning. The Jubilee and Azimio Government did away with the State Department for Economic Planning. You will agree with us that it will be very difficult to prove the existence of looters. The Jubilee Government and their Azimio brothers concentrated more on aspects of downgrading proper planning. Our Kenya Kwanza Government is very keen on executing its plans and the first step is to align the available resources with the activities it wants to do. I want to reply to my colleague and professor of the University of Nairobi that it is very difficult to project theft. The infamous sacks of carrying money were done away with on the day of the Supreme Court ruling. Hon. John Mbadi, we did not have time to take control of the National Treasury until the President was sworn in. I want to applaud the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee for taking keen interest in realigning the expenditures in a short time. They should have given us the names of notorious departments well known of misusing public finances. For sure, the remnants of Azimio and Jubilee Party are still in Government and in control of the various ministries. So, this is their problem yet, they are spending a lot of energy shouting and playing to the gallery. They are not saying they are part of this. I can assure you that we will get rid of them. I have been in this House slightly longer and I am not a cheerleader. Nowadays, people do not recognise cheerleading. The Budget and Appropriations Committee has taken time to realign revenue with activities the Government wants to do. I am happy because this Supplementary Budget is addressing a factor which is dear to us like putting money into the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) account, funding stalled projects, realigning and addressing repayment of debts. Since Independence, there has been no other Government which has come out clean to state the challenges and solutions. This is what the Budget and Appropriations Committee has done. It is very unfortunate to play to the gallery. The senior Members who were in leadership in the last Parliament are the same ones demonising the Kenya Kwanza Government. We heard what the Leader of the Minority Party and Member for Funyula said, and it is on The Hansard . We are on the other side and know what we are doing. We do not want you to criticise us but critique. We know what the Kenya Kwanza Government is doing. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. This Budget is directing finances to due plan.
Thank you. Next is Hon. Pukose.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Supplementary Budget II. From the outset, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and join Hon. Mbadi in saying we have a very efficient and capable Chairperson whose leadership has contributed immensely to the budget process. As the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee of Health, I want to thank the Budget and Appropriations Committee for always giving us an opportunity to present our budgets and ensuring whatever we request is implemented. Looking at the Supplementary Budget II, it is expenditure, and under Article 223 of the Constitution, we are regularising what has been spent. Hon. Oundo said it shows a bit of inefficiency by the Government in budget The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
making. This is true because it is not a Kenya Kwanza budget but it was done by the previous Government under the handshake which he was part of. What the Kenya Kwanza Government did through Supplementary I was to put priorities correctly and realign the budget to their manifesto. In this one, they want to ensure commitments already undertaken are paid and whatever the various ministries or state departments undertook, money is released since procurement processes are complete. They want to regularise through these Estimates. Looking at the previous budget you will see it might not absorb what is given. So, an efficient government should look for where to decrease, increase or not fund. To me, this is the way to go. Going forward, I would like the Supplementary Budget II to be given adequate time because it is very short. I wish we could look at the Supplementary Budget I again towards the second quarter of the financial year. Then, the Supplementary Budget II towards the end of the third or fourth quarter. This will give us time to make corrections. Hon. Temporary Speaker, with those few remarks, I support.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. Chepkonga?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I do not know why Hon. Pukose is protesting my point of order and he knows it is a good one. Ordinarily, I would accept his point of information so he should accept my point of order. Listening to him and many others who have spoken, it appears what we are discussing is purely post-mortem. There is very little we can change. So, I rise pursuant to Standing Order No.95 seeking your… As you can see the next Order is very serious. Most of the time, we have been accused by the Senate for not prioritising their matters. As you know the County Allocation of Revenue Bill is extremely important. I do not know why Hon. Makali Muli is raising a point of order yet he knows I am on a point of order. I do not know why he is protesting.
You shall prosecute your point of order without being disturbed.
Very good. Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. We need to save time so we can give money to counties fairly quickly. So, I am calling…
Hon. Chepkonga you are on a point of order but you are anticipating debate. Move your motion.
Fine. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move that pursuant to Standing Order 95, the Mover be now called upon to reply.
Is that the mood of the House that I call upon the Mover to reply?
Members, I want to propose that the order coming next and the one after, is such that you can still contribute on what you want to say on this without missing your point.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
, the next Motions are very much related and we still have the Appropriations Bill to debate on. Therefore, Hon. Members, I thank you very much for your contributions. I thank Hon. (Dr) Oundo for the enriching contributions. I also thank Hon. Mbadi. Thank you very much for your contributions. We have learnt from them. Just to highlight some issues that we have mentioned…
Member for Rangwe, you are totally out of order!
Hon. Ndindi, take your seat.
Member for Rangwe, you are out of order! Order, Member for Rangwe! I order that the Member for Rangwe be moved out of the House for the rest of the day. Proceed with your reply Hon. Chairman, Budget and Appropriations Committee. Those orders shall be carried out forthwith!
I want to request Hon. (Dr) Nyikal…
You will not go on until the Member for Rangwe leaves the House. Serjeant-at-Arms, I have said that the Member for Rangwe leaves the House so that we can proceed with business.
Chairman, Departmental Committee on Budget and Appropriations, proceed.
Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Speaker. I thank all the Members who have contributed. We have benefited from those insights. I want to highlight just two things. One, I agree with most of the sentiments that have been said especially under Appropriations-in-Aid and to enhance it. That has already been done through policy. Two, I want to repeat: The deficit for this financial year was Ksh860 billion but upon assuming the positions in the Budget and Appropriations Committee, we realised that Ksh200 billion had already been spent under Article 223. Therefore, the real deficit is actually Ksh1.1 trillion. I hope that Hon. Mbadi will peruse the books to show that reality. In terms of borrowing, we have already scaled down from those figures to currently the deficit of Ksh718 billion which is only 4.4 per cent of our GDP. We will be doing much better in the next financial year. Having said all those remarks, I thank all the Members. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I beg to reply.
Do we have the numbers, Clerks- at-the-Table?
Put the Question! We have the numbers!
Hon. Members, having confirmed that we have the requisite numbers, I proceed to put the Question.
On a point of order.
What is out of order, Hon. Baya?
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. Gikaria?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. This is to kindly request the Chair who will be on the seat for the rest of the day to give us opportunity. Sometimes we come here very early, we have Committee issues that we also want to prosecute, but you find in the next Motion again the same Members who have spoken are the same ones who will be given an opportunity to speak. We have issues that we would also want to prosecute as Members. I agree we all were elected to represent people and we want to prosecute their issues. In future allow us to also be given a chance. If you have given Hon. Gikaria, next time give someone else. Not when we come here, it will again be Hon. Mbadi and other same people who have spoken in each and every Motion. We are also Members and we have been elected to come and represent our people. It is not right for us to continue this way. In the Government of Kenya Kwanza we have decided that we cannot…
Hon. Gikaria, take your seat. In this Session, I have not personally presided until today. Therefore, you are out of order completely. I can say without fear or favour that if you want to speak you know what to do. You will come to the House on time and queue. You know all that!
Hon. Gikaria, you are out of order! I will not pass anybody because somebody came to talk to me. I will not do that even in the next order. We will have to follow the rules the way they are. Hon. Baya.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I would like to implore among us as Members… We have the Finance Bill that starts in the afternoon but we have two very important Bills that have timelines. The County Allocation Bill and the Appropriation Bill. We have to manage these between now and 1 O’clock. I suggest that we reduce the speaking time to five minutes so that everybody gets an opportunity to speak. This will ensure that we give more people an opportunity to speak on this, and at the same time, beat our timelines.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I request that we do that, so that everybody who has come to debate gets an opportunity to do so. This is so that we do not have this kind of raucous interaction in the House.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Ndindi, take your seat. This is how it is done. We reduce the speaking time after we have moved the Motion. Just before we start debate, anyone who wants to propose that we reduce the speaking time can do so after we have moved the Motion. After that, we can reduce the speaking time.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move that the County Allocation of Revenue Bill (Senate Bill No.16 of 2023) be now read a Second Time.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I will take very little time because I also want other Members to get an opportunity to contribute.
This Bill horizontally allocates money to our counties. The amount of money that we are giving our counties in the next financial year is Ksh385 billion. This is an enhancement from the last financial year, where we allocated about Ksh370 billion to our counties. This is because the President and this administration are focused on supporting devolution. Over and above the Ksh385 billion, we have also allocated an additional Ksh72 billion in conditional grants to our counties. Therefore, we have allocated enough resources to keep our counties going and to participate very well in terms of infrastructure-building and development of our communities. Some of the monies that we have allocated as conditional grants, which I will be tabling later, have been given to all 47 counties. This is because all of them, including Nairobi County, have an element of agriculture. We have allocated Ksh4.7 billion, or Ksh100 million for each county, as a matching fund, a shilling per shilling to build aggregation centres across all 47 counties.
The horizontal sharing of the Ksh385 billion is done through a formula that is generated by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), which is the institution that we have charged with coming up with a formula that allocates monies to our counties. Some of the areas that we have put a lot of weight on – and I hope counties will help our country in – include healthcare, which is a devolved function; Early Childhood Development (ECD); and community projects to rehabilitate unclassified roads.
We have noted something that we hope we can progressively find a lasting solution to. Our country has a penchant for allocating colossal and unproportionate amounts of money to Recurrent Expenditure which is gobbling up most of the monies that we give to our counties. We feel that this is not sustainable in a country that is forward-looking in terms of the growth of the economy. I hope that we will be able to adhere legislatively to the fact that Recurrent Expenditure should not take up almost the entire budget that we allocate to our counties.
As I conclude, the other area is that of own revenue. As the Budget and Appropriations Committee – and from the “air” in the House, I feel that the same sentiments are shared by other Members – we feel that our counties have the capacity to collect more revenue than they actually do. Even as we support our counties through equitable shares and conditional grants, they should optimise on revenue collection, especially by deploying technology and expanding their base in terms of collection of revenue, so that it can be a substantial revenue stream.
We will keep on supporting devolution because it is very important to us. When we devolve governance, we devolve decision-making. Therefore, that devolved decision-making The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
takes care of the farthest areas of our country. I hope that that is what devolution is doing through our governors and Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs).
I am sure that Members can also peruse the schedules. We have set ceilings for our county assemblies and county executives with regard to the share that we are allocating, so that we can have decorum in allocation of resources and adhere to a certain ceiling that we must always operate under. We do the same in the national Government and in Parliament. We have recommended the same to our county governments.
Lastly, I would just like to bring to the attention of Members that we can freely debate this Bill. We are not gagged from doing anything, including introducing changes. However, changes may have very dire ramifications because as you can see on the Order Paper, this is a Senate Bill. Therefore, most of what we are expected to do is to debate the Bill because it has been well-thought-out by the Senate. As a House of Parliament, we respect their decision- making. However, that does not mean that we cannot make our own decisions. It is good to bring to the attention of Members that these kinds of Bills are tabled for us to debate because they have been thoroughly considered by the Senate.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I now request the Member who might be exiting the House to manage the same resources that we are allocating to counties to second the Bill. I am sure that the people of Taita Taveta have been requesting the said Member to be the executive of that county. I request Hon. Dan Mwashako to second this Bill.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity. Thank you, Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee for giving me this opportunity to second this important County Allocation of Revenue Bill (Senate Bill No.16 of 2023).
I will be brief. The Bill gives us an opportunity as a country to allocate funds to counties in good time so that, as we start a new financial year, counties will get money to run their programmes.
In the Bill, the Senate recommends that Ksh385 billion be allocated to our counties this year. Therefore, as my Chairperson says, we may not amend this Bill, but in line with the Standing Orders, the Bill comes to this House so that we can debate and share what our Senators have done.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, there is horizontal sharing of resources in this country. There has been elaborate debate around the formula that is used to horizontally share this revenue. After we passed the Division of Revenue Bill in this House, the County Allocations Revenue Bill comes about when the Senate sits, and with the advisory of the CRA, they are able to share resources according to the formula. The third basis revenue allocation formula recommended that 50 per cent of the equitable share should be shared equally, and the other 50 per cent should be shared out according to the formula that takes into consideration weighted parameters that include population, land, poverty, status of roads and other things. Even as we do this, Hon. Temporary Speaker, we need to take into account that there are five or six counties that receive extremely low allocation. If nothing is done in the near future, the residents of those counties may never benefit fully and may not get the fruits of devolution. I am talking about counties like Lamu and Laikipia which receive slightly above Ksh5 billion, Taita Taveta that receives Ksh5 billion, Tharaka Nithi and Elgeyo Marakwet. These counties receive an extremely low allocation under the equitable share. Therefore, it should not be lost to this House that even as we continue supporting devolution, we must find a way to support these counties to the level that they are not left behind and create another level of marginalisation. We have national resources in these counties. Taita Taveta County has 63 per cent of its land under the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Therefore, only about less than 37 per cent The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
can be put into economic use. We need to really have a debate and agree that the resources that are found in the counties that receive little allocation must be shared with the national Government. For instance, Tsavo East and Tsavo West give this country approximately Ksh2 or Ksh3 billion a year, yet Taita Taveta does not receive even a shilling of that revenue. We must do everything possible to make sure that every county is able to enjoy the resources that are within their areas. Lastly, Hon. Temporary Speaker, we know about pending bills in counties. If nothing is done, then counties that have new leadership that have got into office will lose contractors and supplies. Our Small and Medium-Size Enterprise (SMEs) sector of this country is extremely important to generate employment but fall victim of pending bills. The Senate and Controller of Budget must find a solution. The county governments must be forced to, first of all, pay pending bills as a first charge to all the money that is appropriated to them. County assemblies have been allocated around Ksh40 billion. They are extremely important in overseeing what the county government executive does. We must call to order the county executives that do not give county assemblies enough budget in time so that they cripple them to a level that they cannot oversee the executive. With all these remarks, I second and indeed call upon my colleagues to support this Bill and pass it without amendments. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Wakili Muriu.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise under Standing Order 97 which clearly states that the House may on a Motion made by any Member in accordance with this Standing Order, impose a limit in the respect of the debate of any particular Motion or Bill by allowing a limited period of time for such debate or by limited time during which Members may speak in such debate or by imposing such limitation. Motion for limitation of debates under this Standing Order may be made without notice. There are quite a number of comments which have been made by the Members here. Most Members here left this Chamber close to 1 O’clock in the night. They slept for about an hour or two then came back at 9 O’clock. It is only fair that we give them an opportunity to talk and contribute especially to the County Allocation of Revenue Bill which is very pertinent. As we know, devolution in this country is very key and touches the core of this nation. On matters of the Equalisation Fund, which has not taken effect for the last close to eight years, we need to make sure that it is grounded and benefits our people. My request, Hon. Temporary Speaker is that the Mover of the Motion, moving forward should be granted a minimum of ten minutes; the seconder should be granted five minutes and other Members should be given three minutes so that everybody can contribute. We only have one hour to 1 O’clock. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Member, for clarity, how many minutes do you want each Member to be given?
Hon. Members this is not a decision for me to make. It is yours because you are the ones going to contribute to this debate.
Four minutes it is. The first Member that will have the first bite on this from my list is Hon. Julius Rutto. Before he rises on his feet, I wish to recognise two schools that are in the Public Gallery: Kangira Umoja Secondary School, Maragwa, Murang’a County, and Kalisasi Secondary School, Mwingi Central, Kitui County. Their Member of Parliament is sitting here today. We welcome them to witness and follow the proceedings of the House this Afternoon. Hon. Rutto.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for according me this opportunity to make my contribution to this very important Motion before us on the discussion and approval of the County Allocation of Revenue Bill. It is good to recognise and appreciate the fact that if there is any good spirit and profit that the new Constitution brought to the Republic of Kenya, it is devolution. As we talk now, effective after the promulgation of the new Constitution, a lot of changes have been felt by the citizens across the country in an equitable way by virtue of county governments being put in place and executing their mandate. It has ensured that service delivery has been brought close to people. In every region in the whole of Kenya, people feel that the government is on the ground. On these matters of the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, I appreciate that the National Treasury is helping the national Government in one its functions of supporting devolved governments by ensuring that cash disbursement is adhered to. As we approve this Bill, the schedule of cash disbursement should be made a tool to guide the same. On the other side, I call upon the practitioners and the actors in devolved governments to ensure that as we are approving the Bill, their work plans are in place to ensure service delivery is given to wananchi. Most of the challenges we are going through even as of now are the pending bills. Most of these pending bills arise majorly because of lack of proper preparedness and not having procurement plans in place. It is at this time they begin to execute them by virtue of the slow disbursement of cash. They begin to initiate procurement at the end of a financial year. What does this mean? It means many activities and commitments are made at the closure of a financial year. What does this mean? It is at this time we realise that our revenue collection nationally and at local governments may have not been sufficient to finance the entire Budget. Therefore, it is also a call to governors or executives in county governments, and county assemblies, to ensure they also prioritise proper plans for prudent use of resources and timely service delivery to wananchi . It will also ensure that their plans and budgets align with the goals and objectives of the national government. That is so that we move together as a country, unlike a scenario of a devolved government focusing on goals that are far away and different from those of the national government. At the end of the day, we do not have similar objectives bringing the nation to a clear direction.
Lastly, we need to focus on the core areas of investment like agriculture. Food security is a problem in the Republic of Kenya. As we speak, and for the first time, Kenya has been converted to a consumer country and net importer of food. This is a call to county governments and the national government to put our minds together. Let us give priority to desired areas. The main area is food security and healthcare. As we move the country together, let our productivity support our population by ensuring it affords food to our nation by supporting agriculture, livestock and healthcare services.
Thank you very much. I support.
Hon. Makali Mulu. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support this important Bill coming from the Senate. From the outset, I want to say that it is good this is coming from the Senate. We would want to see our Senate legislating many more Bills relating to counties and spending most of their time working on issues relating to counties. We have seen situations where our Senators take too much time focusing on duties of the national government and forgetting counties. I will be very brief because of the time element. As I support this important Bill, I have the following observations. The first is exchequer releases. Counties are going through hard times because of late exchequer releases. It does not make sense when we have money in the Budget and we do not support them in implementation. Second is the autonomy of county assemblies. My plea to governors is that they facilitate county assemblies to do their work since county assemblies do not have financial autonomy. We have heard of situations where county assemblies are at the mercy of governors to get money to do their work. In that case, it affects their effectiveness. It is high time governors became facilitative so that assemblies do their work as expected in the law. The third item is own revenue. It is important that county governments plan well so that they improve their revenue. In that case, they will supplement equitable share from the government and achieve much more for their people. You will note that the gross domestic products at local levels in some counties were even better than when governors took over. That means some counties are becoming worse with devolution, as compared to where they started. It is time governors took time and ensured they are improving the lives of their people. As I conclude, it is good to ensure we address corruption. There is this common talk in the streets that we devolved development and corruption at the same time. Only governors and their County Executive Committee Members (CECMs) can change that perception. It is high time Governors and their CECMs did away with mainstreaming corruption in their operations. In that case, we will be getting many benefits from what we have been doing.
With these remarks, I thank you for the opportunity.
Thank you for saving time. Hon. Nyikal.
Hon. Gakuya, if he is in the House. Hon. Marianne Kitany.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support the County Allocation of Revenue Bill that is before the House. I support it on two issues. One is on the revenues given across the counties. County functions are supposed to be done. Even as we support, I encourage the CRA on one thing. It should ensure there is adequate funding and resources for monies budgeted for by counties and are given to the services counties are supposed to provide according to Schedule 4 of the Constitution. That is so that those functions benefit the common mwananchi . When the Constitution provided for two levels of government—the national government and county governments—it was so that county governments can reach people in mashinani . Therefore, some functions like healthcare and water need to be adequately funded because that is where the common mwananchi can access services. Therefore, we need counties to ensure the functions are financed properly.
The second issue is on revenue collection by counties. Currently, we find that the revenue collection from the counties has really gone down. The CRA needs to put in a mechanism like they had in the first and second phases where the counties that were able to collect more revenue were rewarded. I think that mechanism should come back so that that reward mechanism encourages counties to collect more revenue because the same revenue they collect, goes back to their counties to help them increase on their allocations and thereby give services to the people they represent. So, if that mechanism is brought back, then we know that counties will collect more revenue just like the way the national Government is busy looking for methods and ways of collecting more revenue like through the passage of Finance Bill that seeks to increase our revenue. In the same breath, the counties should also be encouraged to look for ways and means of increasing revenue and be rewarded for increase of their revenues like the way the national Government is doing.
The other issue is that monies counties receive should be used prudently because we find that most counties have a lot of pending bills. If those pending bills can be sorted out and the monies they receive are properly budgeted for and ensure that the services they budgeted are properly paid for, then we will be able to solve the issue of pending bills. We have many contractors, suppliers and businesspeople who have closed businesses because counties have not been able to pay for the services and goods they have consumed. When the Finance Bill is passed and counties receive money, they should sort out the pending bills and ensure that going forward they procure services as and when required and use the money they have prudently.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Member. Many Hon. Members who have put their cards here are not in the Chamber. Actually, I cannot see the first 10 on my list. So, I will go to the Member for Kilgoris.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, in supporting this Bill, I wish to make three points. The first one is, part of the reason there was an increase in the allocation of the counties was because an additional service was given to them, and that is the library services. This to me is a big milestone because the development of libraries around the country has not been as robust as it should have been. Many counties do not have libraries and now that the counties have been given money to start these libraries, we hope that they do not go and re-allocate these money for other purposes which are more familiar to them. It is very important that we establish a reading culture for our country and these libraries that should be started in the counties, should be digital libraries in addition to the traditional libraries. We hope that this will pave way for the country to also ensure that museums are eventually devolved so that each county can have a reserve of its pride and knowledge. It is a very encouraging thing and I hope that our great county of Narok will be able to, first of all, implement this issue of libraries and build a big library, hopefully in Kilgoris.
The second point is that when you devolve matters agriculture as it is the situation now, we hope that counties will pay attention not just to the traditional ways of agriculture. In places like Narok now, there is a huge potential for growing of pasture rather than waiting for it to grow on its own. But, once you grow grass for your cows like hay, boma rhodes or whatever other grass, the machinery to cut the grass once it is ready and also to bale the grass is very important. I hope that the budgetary process will allow the governors to do a lot of purchase of machinery for the development of pasture so that we who are in pastoralist communities can now grow grass and find it easier to process that grass into edible fodder.
Lastly, I hope that most of the county governments stop this idea of having single-line budgets because that does not help them a lot. You find that a county says it is allocating Ksh1.2 billion for roads but it does not specify the roads or it says it is one-point-something million for environment but it does not say exactly what it is going to do. At the end of it, the MCAs cannot oversee because they will be told on a general note money has been spent on that particular line. I think instead of having single-line items, budgets should be itemised so that we can see the true fruits of devolution.
Whip of the Minority Party.
I stand to support the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Devolution is what is going to change this country. When the new Constitution brought in devolution, changes have been seen in the villages and in small towns in the counties. There are only two funds that go directly to the people of Kenya — the monies that we send in form of devolved funds and NG-CDF. Those are the only monies that Kenyans are sure of doing their work. For all the other monies that we appropriate here, nobody can be sure that they will go to what they are intended for. They can just disappear in the air. This is the first time that devolved functions have received the lowest increment since devolution began in this country. This is the first time that they have received an increment of only Ksh10 billion. I know times are hard and difficult, but this is the lowest increment devolution has ever received in this country. I thought that this time devolution will get over Ksh50 billion or Ksh100 billion because I thought that the Kenya Kwanza Government would support devolution better than this. The Ksh10 billion is just a drop in the ocean. That is very little money and you know the amount of work that goes on in the counties. That is where majority of Kenyans live. The 80 per cent of Kenyans live in rural parts of this country and that is where the rubber meets the road, where we need health services, education and maternal The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
services. If we do not take more money to the counties, majority of our population in this country will suffer.
I know there are issues of accountability. People normally ask whether these devolved monies are used for their intended purposes. That is a different question. There are institutions and agencies that are supposed to be in charge and look after that money and how it is spent. That one we leave it to them, to go and investigate and see where the money is but we must devolve more money. I am saying this because I know that is what Kenyans want. Before devolution, there is no way a county like Migori where I come from could have ever seen Ksh5 or 6 billion. There is no way especially when things go the way they normally go during elections. The only guarantee they have that they are going to receive Ksh5 or 6 billion is through devolution. If devolution is not there, those people will be getting peanuts for the next 100 years. I know there is the other Bill that is coming for what used to be called conditional grants, but it has now been turned into a Bill on extra money. But let us safeguard devolution. Let us fight for devolution. Devolution is what is going to save our country. Let us all make sure that devolution works in this country because that is where the Mama Mboga and all the other people we speak about live. That is where they stay — in devolved functions. So, Hon. Temporary Speaker, with those few remarks, I support.
The Mheshimiwa for Manyatta.
(Hon. David Ochieng’)
(Hon. David Ochieng’)
(Hon. David Ochieng’)
(Hon. David Ochieng’)
Hon. James Gakuya.
Embakasi North, ODM): Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute on the allocation of revenue to our counties. I rise to support. I want to emphasise on what we need from our counties because we transitioned from the former local authorities to the current devolved governments. The reason for this system is to purely ensure services are taken near the people. Pending bills in our counties are too high. Most service providers in those counties are local people. It is very ironical to see our people suffering after getting contracts from counties. They supply goods and services but they do not get their dues in good time. You will realise that most service providers are being auctioned by banks that lend them money. It will be prudent if the resources get to the counties. Devolution is meant to bring services closer to the people. We have realised that in most counties, money is used for Recurrent Expenditure. Issues to do with development are quite minimal. Even the liabilities incurred during the transition time were kept in safes and yet, those were services delivered by Kenyans. It is high time we ensured counties are doing the right things at the right time. Once they get this money, they should make sure they pay pending bills. It is also their responsibility to take charge of solid waste management. The biggest dump site in the City is in my constituency. There are a lot of toxins there which affect people and the ecosystem.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. My point of order is under Standing Order 95 so that we can go to the more crucial business on Equalisation Fund. Will I be in order to request you to call upon the Mover to reply?
Hon. Members, as I said, I do not have a vote and the Standing Orders do not stop anybody from rising as many times as they want under Standing Order 95. So, is it the mood of the House that we call upon the Mover to reply?
Hon. Beatrice Elachi has quoted Standing Order 95 about calling upon the Mover to reply.
Mover! Two minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to thank all Members who took part in debating this very crucial Bill - the County Allocation of Revenue Bill. Their contribution was very informative, especially guiding on how we can polish our counties and devolution. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to reply.
Are we voting on this? Hon. Members, I now put the Question.
THE EQUALIZATION FUND APPROPRIATION BILL (Senate Bill No.3 of 2023)
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I beg to move: THAT, the Equalisation Fund Appropriation Bill, (Senate Bill No.3 of 2023), be now read a Second Time. I want to thank all the Members of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and others who were involved in deliberating this matter. This Bill is appropriating money to be used in regard to the Equalisation Fund. Across the country, there are around 34 counties that benefit from this Fund. Some benefit much more because they need to be at par with the others. This is not a matter of county issues because the Fund goes to specific areas. That is why you find others that ordinarily would not be drawing money from this Fund having various areas to draw the money. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the highest beneficiaries of this Fund are the counties of Turkana, Wajir and many others like Bomet. Also, in my own county of Murang’a, there is an area called ‘Ithanga’ that is represented by Hon. Wakili Muriu, which needs to be uplifted as we consider other areas to benefit from the Equalisation Fund. I can read the mood of the House that Members want to contribute to this Bill. I had time to contribute to other matters and so, I do not want to take much time so that the available time can be spread across Members. Since we are a House that upholds and respects our women The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
leaders, I give the opportunity of seconding to the very able Member for Laikipia County, who is doing a very good job - Hon. Jane Kagiri.
Laikipia County, UDA): Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to second this very crucial Bill. First, allow me to thank the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriation Committee and the Member for Kiharu Constituency for giving me this opportunity. This is an indication of great leadership and mentorship at its best. In regard to the Equalisation Fund, I would like to appreciate the great minds that thought about it. It is a well- thought-out idea considering that we have areas in this county that are less equal than others. We have areas where people wake up to a running water tap and we also have areas where people have to walk 17 kilometres to fetch a jerrican of water. This is a Bill that needs the support of this whole House because, considering that I am Women Member of Parliament and Laikipia County being a beneficiary amongst the 34 counties, it is a bitter sweet experience for me because, sometimes, I wake up to a ward in my county where people have tarmacked roads. I move to another area where we have to clear bushes for us to even make a way through. Hon. Temporary Speaker, because this Fund was created to provide water, roads, electricity and even health facilities, I believe we all need to remember that when we are enjoying some facilities like electricity, there are people who may have never come across it. When we talk about health facilities, we have our women delivering on the roads or even at home because of lack of access to health facilities or they may be very far off from where those women live. It is well to note that by 2019, Ksh29 billion had not been released from the Equalisation Fund and yet, the people in particular areas are in dire need. Currently, we are talking about Ksh13 billion, which I believe will go to help those areas. In Laikipia County in particular, we are expecting about Ksh160 million which will go to five out of 15 wards. With immediate execution of this money, our people will enjoy better facilities. Let us not forget the Equalisation Fund was implemented from the promulgation of the Constitution in the year 2010. That tells us that it has been running for 13 years now, and 65 per cent of the time is already gone. What do we have to show? Are our people accessing electricity, water, health facilities and roads? That is the big question we have to ask ourselves. Although this House, in its wisdom, is allowed to extend that time from a period of 20 years, allow us to judge ourselves first and ensure that we implement what our people have elected us to do. With those few remarks, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I second the Bill.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Owen Baya.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, in the spirit that we get more people to contribute to this Bill, and the fact that we are almost coming to the end of this Sitting, I propose that we do four minutes or three minutes per Member so that we have many more people contribute to this very important Bill. I beg to move.
Hon. Members, it is your House and Hon. Baya has moved that under Standing Order 97.
Member for Tinderet. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to speak to this Senate Bill. I want to thank the framers of the Constitution for having thought it wise that it is important to have an equalisation fund that will bring some other parts of the country to the equal level with the others. We realise that since we attained Independence, there are certain regions in this country that lack basic social amenities such as hospitals, roads, electricity, schools and many others. It is, therefore, in the wisdom of the framers of our Constitution that we need to have a fund that will only be meant for areas that are least developed than others. As the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee has just put it, the areas mentioned are mainly the Arid and Semi-Arid Areas. Pockets of poverty spread across all our counties. Areas such as North Eastern…
Hon. Members, allow the Member who is contributing to contribute without interruption.
If you go to regions such as Coast, North-Eastern, parts of Rift Valley, parts of Central Kenya, parts of Nyanza and many other parts of this country, you will realise that there are a number of areas that are completely inaccessible. They have very poor roads, no electricity, no schools and no hospitals. This Fund endeavours to ensure that such regions are brought to the same level as other developed areas of this country. Areas like Nairobi and those surrounding Nairobi are far much developed. Areas such as Mandera, Kisumu and even parts of Nandi County, say my Constituency of Tinderet, are least developed. I support this Bill. A lot of funds need to be disbursed to counties so that they can have enough money to bring other regions with pockets of poverty to equal levels of development. I support, thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Member for Alego Usonga.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. Let me begin by saying that I support this Motion on Equalisation and Appropriations Bill 2023. In supporting this Bill, I would like to say that we have just seven years before the end of this Equalisation Policy and yet, we have not been able to allocate the required resources in full. As a House so far, we have only allocated about Ksh26 billion and appropriated Ksh12 billion only. So, out of Ksh54 billion which this House should have allocated by now, we have a huge deficit. This House must endeavour to allocate all those resources to this Fund. Secondly, the marginalisation policy which is in place is not very comprehensive because there are many sections of this country that have not been factored in this policy. An example is my constituency. I have not benefitted completely from this policy and yet, I have pockets of areas that should be considered as marginalised. I would like to urge that the next policy, which is going to be in place, must be comprehensive to capture all the areas in this country that deserve those resources. This Fund is very important. I was going through a Report of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics on poverty. It is very sad that large sections of this country are still very poor, for example, Turkana and Mandera. It is important that we endeavour to allocate sufficient resources so that those sections can catch up with other parts of the country. We need to have a country that is fair, that every part and every section contributes to the overall development of the country. If we continue to have a country that is really marginalised, where a large section of the country is not contributing to the overall development, we will never achieve the aspirations we have as a country of being developed. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support.
Hon. Member for Laikipia East.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I support this Bill. It is important that it addresses areas that are less advantaged or marginalised in one way or the other. However, there are issues that must be brought out clearly of those targeted areas. We have heard and seen that this Fund is operating in 37 counties, but the way the formula came out is a bit worrying. We have to relook at the formula of allocating those funds and the method being used. If you even look at those counties that the funds are made available, like Laikipia... I agree with my colleague that out of 15 wards, only five benefits. Even in the neighbouring Kieni Constituency is as dry as Samburu, or as any other ASAL area in this country. Areas like Buuri Constituency in Meru and other parts of Meru neighbour counties or constituencies that are well endowed with good climate conditions and are mistaken to also have the same conditions as such areas. It is the same as mistaking people who live in Kibera, that because they are neighbours of Muthaiga, they are as rich as those people living in Muthaiga. We need to look at isolated areas…
Sorry. One looks at people living in Mathare and mistake them for people living in Muthaiga, or those people living in Kibra, and mistakes them for people living in Lang’ata and Karen areas. Those cases must be isolated so that even Nairobi can have an opportunity to petition the Fund. We should look at all those areas which are disadvantaged constituency by constituency and on need basis. This way, every Kenyan will enjoy the resources because they qualify not by virtue of being thought to have been in areas that are conducive. This is very different from the actual assessment when it comes to poverty levels in those constituencies and those parts of the country. I support.
Hon. Member for Marsabit County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to this very important Bill — the Equalization Fund Appropriation Bill (Senate Bill No.3 of 2023). I thank God for getting the opportunity to speak on this because I come from one of the marginalised areas, that is, Marsabit County. We have been left out for many years in terms of development. Our area has suffered because of lack of basic needs, which this Bill will take care of. We have had challenges with water and sanitation. One time we spoke to our President and we told him that if we can solve the water problem in Marsabit County, 80 per cent of our problems will have been solved. If this Equalisation Bill would have been passed and appropriated 10 years ago, I am sure that we would have transformed some of our counties that have been suffering. Water is life. Water is everything. Even in the few schools that we have, most of the time the education system is interfered with because of lack of water and sanitation. This is because we have no service roads. It is true that the Great North Road was done during President Kibaki’s time, but still many service roads have not been done. This Fund would have taken care of that. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I would not want to sit down before I speak about health because it concerns each one of us. In the few hospitals and dispensaries that we have, we do not have enough equipment and facilities to help patients. The distance between one hospital to the other is huge. Imagine a woman having labour pains and she has to travel 350 kilometres to get to the hospital. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Therefore, once those funds are released, I am sure that many people will benefit. It is my prayer that proper use and accountability will be put in place so that we can be good stewards of the funds and resources that God has given us. Again, Marsabit County is one of the many other counties that have been left behind to suffer because of lack of electricity. In the 21st Century, many of our homes have no power. Even if in my county, we have the Lake Turkana Wind Power...
Order, Hon. Elachi. Remember, it is four minutes. I intend to give six more Members. Do not worry about what you see on the board.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support the Equalisation Fund, Bill No.3 of the Senate. I just want to say a few things and put them together with the Report that we have just debated. I want to appreciate the Budget and Appropriations Committee under the leadership of Hon. Ndindi Nyoro. It is important for us in this House to push the Senate to give us a Bill that is able to push the Kenya Revenue Authority to collect revenue for the counties. It is now ten to 15 years down the line since we devolved funds to the counties. It is important for us to come out from word “marginalised.” We have counties that still have challenges in discharging their functions. They have not been able to access basic amenities like water, electricity and roads. We should appreciate Kenyans who have been paying taxes. We need to see development given the monies that are allocated to the counties. We cannot allow counties to continue like this. For the last ten years, Ksh1 trillion has been disbursed to different counties and yet, the citizens continue to cry as they did 60 years ago. It is not fair. It means we are mismanaging our resources. It is important to appreciate the areas in Nairobi like Kibra, Mathare, Korogocho and Kawangware among others. For us to remove our young people from helplessness, we must ensure that we bring resources to them. We need to bring change and dignity to their lives and that of their children. We must change how we look at Kenya.
As I support, I want to tell the Senate that it is time we had one authority to collect revenue in this country. That is because the money will still go to their accounts. They will be told the amount that they have and how much the National Government can add them.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Equalisation Fund. Article 204 of the Constitution provides for Equalisation Fund. In Article 204(2), there is need to have this Fund to address the issues of water, electricity and roads in marginalised areas. It is ten years down the line and less than 10 per cent of this money has been utilised. As we debate this Fund, I suggest that monies be disbursed in full. Some of us have reservations on the criteria through which some counties were identified as “marginalised” since the promulgation of the Constitution.
I do not know how some counties were identified as marginalised because the Constitution provides for marginalised areas and not counties. About two or three Wards in Elgeyo Marakwet County have access to good roads and electricity. As for the other Wards, there is no good roads and water. Therefore, as we process this Bill, we request that all the areas in the country be scrutinised well so that we can identify which areas are, indeed, marginalised. Hon. Elachi has said that there are areas in Nairobi Country that have been marked as “marginalised.” They do not have water but they are not factored. We need to relook at the criteria of how those areas were identified.
With those many remarks, I support the Bill.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The drafters of our Constitution were very wise to come up with the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Equalisation Fund. In the first Policy, it was supposed to take care of 14 counties. However, subsequent policies added a number of pockets which were also marginalised. It now covers 34 counties in specific areas. The most important part is that the Fund has a sunset clause of 20 years. We are already far behind by 13 years. We are left with seven years. The most unfortunate part is that this money has not been released to be used for what it was supposed to do. You can imagine that we are now discussing this Bill which is supposed to appropriate the Budget for Financial Year 2021/2022 that was passed. We have seven years to go and we have only utilised 25 per cent of the Equalisation Fund. If this is not utilised, what does it mean? It goes back to the National Treasury and it is allocated somewhere else. We understand that there are issues concerning identification of projects and procurement issues which are administrative. The most important part is that we want the Equalisation Fund to work for the people we represent, even if it will be handled by counties as per the current regulations. We still have reservations on that. The most important thing is that this money must be released by the National Treasury immediately so that it can serve the people in those marginalised areas. It covers 34 counties right now. As it has been said, there are a number of pockets. I am sure the coming policy, as Hon. Bowen has said, will address other smaller pockets which have issues of marginalisation. Let those funds be appropriated and used properly. To the counties, please, ensure that the monies released to you are properly utilised, accounted for and serve the good people of those marginalised counties. I support the Bill.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I stand to support the Equalisation Fund Appropriation Bill. We have missed the intention that was meant for this Equalisation Fund. It looks like it is no longer an Equalisation fund. When the drafters of the Constitution were coming up with it, the idea behind it was to bring up the 14 counties that were marginalised at the time. This Fund is less than Ksh20 billion. Members of Parliament are talking as if this is the money that is supposed to address the shortcomings of the country or constituencies that they represent. This Fund was meant for 14 counties which were marginalised at that time to bring them at par with the rest of the country.
You are talking about pockets, Kibra and Karen. The national Government should have addressed the issues of Kibra for the last 60 years and brought them at par with the rest of the Nairobi City County. My understanding of the Equalisation Fund is that it was meant to address the issues of the 14 counties.
While I support what is on the table today, I think we should go back to the original intention, as the Speaker of the National Assembly said yesterday. The intention was for the 14 counties and not pockets. As a result of that, it has watered down the allocations that the original 14 counties will get. Everybody who comes here as a Member of Parliament says that his or her constituency is supposed to be addressed. The Fund will not address the original intention. My contribution is that while we support this Bill, we should go back to the 14 original counties to address the marginalised areas that were considered at the time.
Let us have Hon. Ruweida.
Asante Bw. Spika wa Muda. Hii pesa ya usawazishaji, kutoka kwa jina lenyewe, inaonyesha ni kusawazisha. Lakini vile mambo yashatokea, afadhali nusu shari kuliko shari kamili.
Order, Members. I have just given four Members from this side an opportunity. Go ahead. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Ni muhimu hii pesa ije hata kama ni kidogo. Bora tuipate itumike vizuri. Hii pesa muda wake usije ukaisha kabla haijatumika. Sisi miradi yetu ikija kule iwe ni miradi itakumbukwa na hata vizazi vijavyo. Kuna sehemu nyingine kama vile Lamu Mashariki ambayo ilipata pesa hii ya usawazishaji. Pesa ilikuwa ya kujenga barabara lakini hiyo barabara tukiitafuta leo haiko. Zaidi ya Ksh1 milioni zilitumika. Tunaomba pesa hii itumike vizuri. Haki pia itendeke. Kila Wadi ipate haki yake. Isiwe wadi nyingine kama Basuba Ward inaambiwa kuna mambo ya usalama basi siku zote haifanyiwi miradi kwa sababu ya mambo ya usalama. Ikiwa hivyo, siku zote basi sehemu zisizo salama hazitawahi kupata maendeleo. Zitabakia vilevile. Basi kama ni hivyo waamue watugawanye watupeleke upande mwingine wa Somalia. Au kama ni Kenya, miradi ifike kule hata kama ni Boni Forest. Ahsante Bw. Spika wa Muda.
Let us have Hon. Bidu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I come from Isiolo South. I agree with my friends here that this Equalisation Fund was meant for the 14 counties. There are counties which are fully marginalised and not just pockets or portions. When the drafters of the Constitution talked about this matter and inserted it in the Constitution, they thought about those 14 counties. Now every other day, year, or successive regime, we think of adding others. Our lives have not changed up to today. The 14 counties have been marginalised and are still being marginalised in Kenya up to today. There are no changes that we have got and what we would have thought of as a reprieve was this Equalisation Fund. It may be our problem, but it is the majority who win and that is why we are doing what we are doing.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, we have to go back again and ask if we are marginalised. Are we attending to the marginalised counties or are we talking of pockets of counties? My County, Isiolo, is totally marginalised. While supporting this one, we have to think twice again. TheAnimal Farm concept should not be applied in Kenya: that others are equal while others are more equal than others.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. King’ara, what is out of order?
( Inaudible) .
A good question by the Hon. (Dr) Pukose. How did the Hon. King’ara get the mood of the House? However, it is not for me to decide that question. It is for you to decide that question. The Hon. King’ara has risen on his seat and moved that the Mover be called upon to reply. Is that the mood of the House?
How do you ascertain that? By voting on it.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I applaud all the Members, because as the country knows, we left the Chamber at 1.00 a.m. yesterday, which was actually today morning. We sometimes assume that the day starts at 7.00 a.m. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, all those Members were here by 9.30 a.m. It is very laudable that we have parliamentarians who have given up their lives to serve our country, and to also serve the citizens of Kenya, who have employed us. I want all Kenyans to know that they elected the right people to the 13th Parliament, who are going out of their way to make sure that they serve the Republic of Kenya. I have listened to many sentiments from all Members. They are all meant to enrich the debate around the Equalisation Fund. I also want to tell the Member for Isiolo South that it is good to wholesomely consider counties that should be capacitated through the Equalisation Fund. You can even quote Isiolo County. I have been there. Isiolo County has amazing people. Isiolo Town is not the same as Merti, Garba Tula or Kina towns. The formula looks at different pockets in a county because a county could be deemed as being marginalised and yet, it is only in certain areas. For example, in Marsabit County, Moyale Town may not be the same as Saku Constituency. Tinderet may not be the same as North Horr. That is the wisdom of zooming into areas that need support. With those many remarks, I beg to reply.
Hon. Members, please be upstanding. The time being 1.13 p.m., this House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.13 p.m.
Clerk of the National Assembly Parliament Buildings Nairobi The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.