Serjeants-at-Arms, we are not doing too well on quorum. Can you ring the Quorum Bell?
Hon. Members, we now have a quorum. Clerks-at-the-table, can we proceed?
Order. Hon. Members, take your seats. Hon. Dawood, take your seat. Hon. Members, welcome back from your short recess. I have to convey a public petition regarding the settlement of Ontulili Mount Kenya Forest Squatters.
Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. The Petition brought to the House by these landless squatters in a section of the Mt. Kenya Forest is very important. I agree with the Speaker that the Departmental Committee on Lands moves with speed to resolve the outstanding issue. These people have been landless ever since, possibly since the world was created. The history they have given is exactly what has happened to most Kenyans. Kenyans have been dispossessed of their land simply because they do not have the power to defend themselves. Clearly, this land was excised to settle these landless people. In between, you hear a developer came in and took over the land and it has been endless litigation from there. As a House, it is important that we take a decision to defend even those who cannot defend themselves. Such people include the ones of Ontulili Forest Block.
Thank you, Hon. 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.
Indeed, I am very conversant with the matter at hand because the Ontulili area is in Buuri Constituency. I know for a fact that the Committee on Lands visited the area in 2018 and gave recommendations as you have read. There are about two groups of squatters; the Ontulili Forest squatters and the Kiambogo Farmers’ Association. They are squatters in this area. From what you have read to us, the complication that arose after the 2018 visit by the Committee on Lands was caused by the NLC. Hon. Speaker, according to the courts, the NLC was supposed to call for arbitration and involve the two parties; the investor and the squatters. But instead of calling the squatters, they also called all the purchasers of those pieces of land and the petitioners to come to this House. It is the best thing because this is the only place where justice can be given to all these squatters. I support this Petition and ask the Public Petitions Committee to give it the attention it deserves so that these squatters can enjoy their civil rights.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Member for Kamukunji, Hon. Hassan.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I fully support the Petition. It is very unfortunate that in 2023, we still have squatters in this country. The concept of squatters was brought by the colonial system that dispossessed the African people of their land and pushed them out. It has now become the normal way in our language given the fact that we have been unable to resolve many of these issues that relate to poor people who are landless or land poor. There are many communities in that limbo all over the country; they live less than perfect lives because they do not enjoy their fundamental God-given rights of people who have land to either build, till and make a life out of it. In my view, this Petition is timely and that community should be given every opportunity so that they can possess that land, settle properly as human beings, cultivate, produce and make a life out of it. We should also work on the many other squatters that we have in our communities and country so that we liberate ourselves from this horrible colonial legacy. We should give ourselves and our communities the freedom and the rights that they deserve in their country.
Who is the Member at the back? Ah! Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri. Sorry. It is because of the background light that I cannot see your face properly, my friend. There you are. Give Hon. Kiunjuri the microphone.
If you keep moving, they will not know where to keep the microphone. There you are. Yes, Hon. Kiunjuri.
I would like to join my colleagues in supporting this Petition. The people of Ontulili neighbour my constituency, and I want to confirm to this House that these people are living miserably. Some of them are in a village called Kangaita and across Likii Village in Nanyuki Town. Hon. Speaker, the squatters we are talking about extend all the way from Ontulili to Kiambogo up to Nyahururu. Ontulili and Kathioro squatters were removed and pushed out of the forest without the Government recognising that they had been settled there by the colonial Government. They have taken care of those forests for many years, but they were just thrown out without any compensation. Unfortunately, even those from Ontulili who had been given land were denied that opportunity to occupy the land. They have lived miserable lives and suffered over the years. From Kibaki’s Government, Uhuru’s and now this Government, these people have been crying for their rights. It is high time that other petitions are also heard. We have a petition for those people who live in Kwa Mburi Village just near Ontulili, and others 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.
in Kahurura and Gathiuru villages. These people must be given justice so as to stop their suffering.
With those few remarks, I hope the Ministry concerned plus the National Land Commission takes immediate action to ensure that this matter is sorted once and for all.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I also rise to support the Petition because land issues have really affected food security in our country. We have many squatters who suffer on a day-to-day basis, especially women and children. Women are not able to live with dignity because they are unable to farm and provide food for their families because they are squatters. Squatters are not just in Buuri constituency which borders Hon. Kiunjuri’s Constituency, but we also have them in Mbeere North in a village called Ngiiri in Mutio Location. There is a huge piece of land which was taken over by Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA), and there are many squatters who cannot farm. They are not allowed to do subsistence farming leave alone putting up the semi-permanent structures. In the process, women and young girls will only depend on men who are in the transport of sand sector to get some money to buy food for their children when, in essence, they have land that they can use to farm. This is something that needs to be looked into by the NLC, the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development and the Departmental Committee on Lands. Some of these injustices subjected to our people must come to an end. Hon. Speaker, I support the Petition. I also want to request the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development and the NLC to look at how some of these injustices as far as land is concerned are taken care of. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Member for Tigania West, Hon. Mutunga.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for the opportunity to also add my voice to this very important Petition. Hon. Speaker, people do not become squatters because they want to; they do so because they do not have a source of livelihood and nothing to rely on. They, therefore, have to look for somewhere to live. These people have been living in that forest for a long time, and I believe that they are putting a lot of effort to be salvaged from the situation they are in, but that has not happened. Now that it has come to this House, I believe that the relevant Committee will use all the powers bestowed upon it to sort them out. We have several categories of squatters in this country. While conducting a public participation exercise, we visited one sugar cane plantation that I will not name for purposes of keeping the business going. We found professional squatters; people who squat on a piece of land and remain there for as long as they want, knowing that the owner will try to beseech or persuade them to leave that land. They finally sell it out and move to another corner of that land. Even as the NLC and the Public Petitions Committee look at this issue, I think there is need for the nation to evaluate the true squatters. This is because we have some who are not true squatters, but are in the business of squatting. Hon. Speaker, I support.
Thank you, Hon. Members. The Petition is committed to the Public Petitions Committee. They should report back in 60 days, Chairperson of the Public Petitions Committee. Next Order.
Leader of the Majority Party. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: 1. Legal Notice No.161 of 2023 relating to the Access to Information (General) Regulations, 2023 and the Explanatory Memorandum from the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy; 2. Legal Notice No.162 of 2023 relating to the Companies (Beneficial Ownership Information) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023, and the Explanatory Memorandum from the Registrar of Companies; 3. Legal Notice No.163 of 2023 relating to the Limited Liability Partnership (Beneficial Ownership Information) Regulations, 2023, and the Explanatory Memorandum from the Registrar of Companies; 4. Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements for the years ended 30th June 2021, and 30th June, 2022, and the certificates therein in respect of; (a) Muguga Wa Gatonye Secondary School; (b) Uranga Mixed Secondary School; (c) Butula Boys High School; (d) St. Brigid Nangwe Girls High School; (e) St. Monica’s Butunyi Girls Secondary School; and (f) AIC Leseru Girls School. 5. Report of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements on Global Fund to reduce malaria incidence and deaths by at least 75 per cent of the 2026 levels by 2023, and the certificate therein – National Treasury. 6. Report of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements on Green Growth and Employment Thematic Programme for the year ended 30th June 2023 – National Environment Management Authority and the certificate therein; and, 7. Performance Audit Report on Efficiency in Utilization of Debt Funds by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development – Case Study of Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) – Office of the Auditor-General. Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, allow me also to take this opportunity to welcome Members back after the brief and the very short recess. I want to request them to prepare for very busy five weeks before the long recess for the Christmas break. I urge them to be keeping time when we are starting the House. As they can see, the Deputy Speaker today came to the House in a very colourful outfit. She is very smart. I want to encourage many Members to emulate the Deputy Speaker. If you got the opportunity to see her, right from her shoes to the trench coat she is wearing, the colour is quite conspicuous. Thank you.
The Chairman, Departmental Committee on Health. Hon. Duncan Mathenge.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table, on behalf of the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Health: Report of the Departmental Committee on Health on the winnowing of the proposed amendments to the Kenya Drugs Authority Bill (National Assembly Bill No.54 of 2022). Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Thank you. Chairperson, Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations, Hon. Koech. 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. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table: Report of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations on its vetting of nominees for appointment as High Commissioners, Permanent Representative and Ambassadors.
Thank you. Chairperson, Select Committee on the National Government Constituencies Development Fund.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table: Report of the Select Committee on the National Government Constituencies Development Fund on vetting of a nominee for appointment to the National Government Constituencies Development Fund Board.
Hon. Members, before we go to the next Order, allow me to recognise delegations from the Parliaments of Uganda and Zambia. I wish to recognise two delegations of staff from the Parliaments of Uganda and Zambia, seated in the Speaker’s Gallery. The delegation from Uganda comprises seven members of staff drawn from the Directorate of Serjeant-at-Arms, and the delegation from Zambia comprises six members of staff drawn from the Motel and Catering Department. They are welcome to observe the proceedings of the National Assembly. Next Order.
Order, Leader of the Minority Party and your former friends. You are disrupting the proceedings of the House by engaging in animated discussions. I did not know there could be such camaraderie between Hon. Wandayi and Hon. Sabina Chege.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, taking into consideration the findings of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations in its Report on the Vetting of Nominees for Appointment as High Commissioners, Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 7th November 2023, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 132(2)(e) of the Constitution, Section 20(2) of the Foreign Service Act, 2021 and Sections 3 and 8 of the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, 2011, this House 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.
approves the appointment of the following persons as High Commissioners, Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors:
Thank you, Chairman. Hon. Musa Sirma, Chairman of the Select Committee on the National Government Constituencies Development Fund.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, taking into consideration the findings of the Select Committee on the National Government Constituencies Development Fund in its Report on the Vetting of a Nominee for Appointment as a member of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund Board, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 7th November 2023, and pursuant to Section 15(1)(e) of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund Act, 2015 and Section 8(1) of the Public Appointments (Parliamentary Approval) Act, 2011, this House approves the appointment of Hon. Gabriel Kago Mukuha as a member of the National Government Constituencies Development Fund Board.
Thank you. Next Order.
Hon. Members, at Order No.11 on Committee of the whole House on the Kenya Drugs Authority Bill (National Assembly No.54 of 2022), the report from the winnowing process on the myriad amendments to the Bill has just been tabled by Hon. Mathenge. The House Business Committee directed that the Office of the Clerk and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
the technical team of Parliament will go through the report against the previous amendments that were proposed so that they ensure that what has been agreed upon is reflected in the report. You know how contested many of the clauses were during the Committee of the whole House stage. So, the matter will be stepped down this afternoon and may find itself back in the Order Paper tomorrow afternoon or early next week.
Hon. Members, the record shows that the last Member to speak on this was Hon. Makali Mulu, and he had exhausted his time. I will give opportunity to any other interested Member. The screen is full; I do not know whether it is for this Motion. Hon. George Murugara, Hon. Geoffrey Ruku, Hon. Samuel Atandi and Hon. Beatrice Elachi, are you all queuing for this? Order, Hon. Members. Now that those whose requests are on the screen are not queuing for this, are there Members who want to speak or we call the mover to reply?
Call the mover to reply.
Is it Hon. Musa Sirma or the Leader of the Majority Party? Chairman of the Decentralised Funds Accounts Committee. Hon. Mulyungi, Member for Mwingi Central. Hon. Robert Mbui, where is your member? Any member of the Committee. Who is the Vice-Chair of that Committee?
Hon. Ruku, are you a member of the Committee?
No, I am not a member of the Committee.
What do you want to say? I have called for a reply.
Order Hon. Ruku. When I called you to contribute, you said you had no interest. We are not calling anybody to contribute as a matter of last resort. Who is the Vice-Chair? 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.
Do you have the capacity to reply to the Motion?
Hon. Speaker, I reply.
I beg to reply, Hon. Speaker.
Technically, that is enough; morally, it is not tenable.
Leader of the Majority Party and your team, take your seats. This is not a good show from you and the Deputy Leader of the Minority Party, Hon. Robert Mbui. Members of committees, particularly Chairpersons, whether your matter is on the Order Paper or not, you have been given positions of responsibility in this House, which enjoins you to be the first to enter and last to leave on any sitting day. We pay you allowances for being Chairpersons for committees.
We cannot have a situation where a matter is on the Order Paper and you know it is coming up - the Order Paper is circulated way in advance; 24 hours to be exact - but the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are nowhere. So, we end up in a situation where the Member for Kilifi rescues the House by simply saying; ‘I beg to reply’ without knowing what she is replying to. This is not right! Leader of the Majority Party, you better caution your Chairpersons from both sides of the House. Those who are not ready to continue chairing committees know what to do.
Hon. Members walking in take the nearest seats. I want to put the Question.
Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Sports and Culture. I saw him walk in. Yet again, Hon. Ichung’wah.
I was made to understand that Hon. Naomi Waqo will move on behalf of the Chairperson and Hon. Caroli will second because they are both Members of that committee.
Go ahead, Hon. Naomi Waqo.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. This is a Motion on the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing 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.
Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, that this House adopts the reports of the Departmental Committee on Sports and Culture…
Hon. Speaker, let me repeat. I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Sports and Culture on its consideration of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 12th October 2023 and pursuant to the provisions of section 8 (4) of the Treaty Making and Ratification Act, 2012, approves the ratification of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Hon. Speaker, I request Hon. Caroli to second. Thank you.
Hon. Naomi Waqo, you have not moved the Motion because you just read it. What is it about? Leader of the Majority Party, it is important that you rein in your Chairpersons. The fault is not Hon. Naomi Waqo’s.
In my many years in this House and the other House, I have never heard of a Motion being moved like that.
Before that, Hon. Dan Wanyama, the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Sports and Culture, we called an Order which you were supposed to move a Motion, but you were nowhere to be found. Now, we have stayed the matter and are moving to the next Order. Will you apologise to the House for that inconvenience?
Hon. Speaker, I apologise. I was here earlier and I went to attend to a very urgent issue. So, I have just walked in. I am sorry.
Hon. Members, this is not just for Hon. Dan Wanyama. In future, if your matter is on the Order Paper and you want to step out, assign the duty to your Vice- Chairperson, with the moving notes, then you can come back and contribute. Do not just walk out without instructing anybody. Poor Hon. Naomi Waqo, she was trying to rescue the House with no instructions or facts. It is not right for the House, let us do things better. Yes, Leader of the Majority Party.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. We canvassed this matter in the House Business Committee (HBC). This morning, it was an agenda in our Parliamentary Group meeting, on the commitment of our Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons. As you have rightly said, if the Chairperson is not there, there is no reason why the Vice- Chairperson should also not be there. As a House, we are all very frustrated with the performance of our Chairpersons. Hon. Speaker, I want to put it on record that they have now done a full cycle of one calendar year as Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons of committees. Members are at liberty without interference from the Office of the Leader of the Majority Party or the Whip to put in place Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons who will work and be available in the House. That is the only way we will have Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons who are committed to their work.
Hon. Speaker as you said, Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons are earning a responsibility allowance. When they chair committees, they earn more than any other Member of that committee. It is extremely unfair to the House and the country to be earning money you are not working for. I especially want to advise Members of Kenya Kwanza, if you have a Chairperson of a committee who is inept, do what you have to do to give us an efficient and effective Chairperson who will help us transact business in the House. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Members. I do not want to open debate on that issue. The Leader of the Majority Party has spoken for you.
Order, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia. I do not want to open debate on that, but I want to send a general caution to all of you.
Order, Member for Thika Town. We are talking about chairpersons who are not performing. I want to send a general warning like the Leader of the Majority Party has done. Please, do not hold up the business of the House because you are either unwilling, reluctant or unable to discharge your responsibility. Call out Order No.14.
Is that your Motion, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia? Where is the Chairperson for the Select Committee on Regional Integration? We are on Order No.14. Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, proceed.
Hon. Speaker, I was trying to catch your eye on the same Motion. I wanted to request that you fast-track the business of chairpersons who are always in the House. Their business is always scheduled towards the end of the Order Paper. For instance, this Report was tabled back in July and is yet to be considered, yet my Vice- Chairperson and I are always in the House. You should bring forward such reports for consideration so that chairpersons who are always in the House can transact their business.
Now that the Report has been brought forward, go ahead and transact it.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. As I have indicated, I have been waiting to move this Report since July. I will move it, although I do not have any notes because I did not expect to transact it.
It is always there on the Order Paper, but we never reach it. My Committee decided to visit the Northern Corridor…
Hon. Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Select Committee on Regional Integration on its Inspection of Various One-Stop Border Posts in the Northern Corridor in the East African Community, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 5th July 2023. Hon. Speaker, my Committee decided to visit the Northern Corridor to see what hinders trade within East Africa, and precisely in Kenya. The Committee visited several border posts from Mombasa to Busia. The Committee noted that there are 27 roadblocks from Mombasa to Busia which are hindering trade. The Committee consulted with the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration and agreed that starting this November, those roadblocks would be removed so that trade can thrive. We are waiting for the Cabinet Secretary to act in accordance with the Committee findings. Without much ado, I urge the House to adopt this Report. I request Hon. Naomi Waqo to second.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I take this opportunity to second the Report that my Chairlady has tabled. The whole Committee agrees with it.
Are there Members who want to speak to this? Yes, Leader of the Majority Party. Members who want to speak to this, kindly press the intervention button.
Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion on the inspection of various one-stop border posts in the Northern Corridor in the East African region. Let me first commend the Chairlady, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, and Members of the Select Committee on Regional Integration. As the Chairlady said, she is one of the better chairpersons of committees, together with Hon. Pukose. They are very diligent and are always in the House, especially when they have a business on the Floor of the House. It is the same with Hon. Chepkonga, Hon. Murugara and his Vice-Chairperson, Hon. Mutuse. I am sure that there are many chairpersons who want me to name them, but their Members know them. Chairpersons and vice-chairpersons who are absent also know themselves. As we noted in the House Business Committee, Members of committees will now be at liberty to elect chairpersons who will lead their committees, and also be available on the Floor of the House. One-Stop Border Posts along the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to Malaba and Busia should facilitate trade across the East African region between our country and landlocked countries in the Great Lakes region, including Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville and Rwanda. It is such an important corridor that we cannot have non-tariff barriers to trade. The Report that the Chairperson, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, tabled noted that there are many roadblocks along the Corridor which do not enhance either the security or safety of trucks moving from the Port of Mombasa to Busia or Malaba, but become a hindrance to trade. We are in an age where we are speaking about opening up our borders, not just with our neighbours in the East African region and those that are served by the Northern Corridor, but also in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Members may note with great 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.
appreciation the efforts by His Excellency President William Ruto to ensure that we will now be operating in a visa-free regime such that any African from any African country can come into our country without being asked for a visa. I listened to the President speak in an international forum in the DRC the other day where he enumerated to the congregants how the 27 countries of the European Union (EU) overcame visa barriers. It is high time we also overcame barriers such as police roadblocks that have become disincentives to trade and the free movement of both goods and people across our region. Uganda has been our number one trading partner in Africa for many years. Therefore, it becomes a hindrance when trucks that are registered in Uganda, Rwanda or the DRC take a long time to move from the Port of Mombasa across the border in Malaba or Busia. Therefore, many roadblocks become a hindrance to the efficient movement of goods and their timely delivery to customers in respective countries. Our Port of Mombasa has become extremely uncompetitive compared to other ports in the region.
Our Chair, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, is a former Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) which is based in Arusha. She had the opportunity to visit the Port of Dar- es-Salaam many times. She will tell you that the management of the Tanzanian Port is working very hard to catch up with the Port of Mombasa. Therefore, we must ensure that our Port is not only efficient in clearing goods swiftly, but also efficient in moving goods and people from the Port of Mombasa to countries that are trading with us beyond the borders of Kenya. Our Port is a trans-shipment one.
I want to encourage the Committee not to leave the One-Stop-Border-Post (OSBP) as they have proposed in their Report. They should not only be frequently inspected, but the Minister and the departments in charge should also be held to account. Every road block along the northern corridor must be a road block that serves a particular purpose. Officers at the road blocks should be checking the weight of trucks carrying goods to ensure that they do not damage our roads. They should also check those who are smuggling goods into the country and those that are trading in goods that are supposed to be in transit but who open and trade them within our borders without paying taxes. Therefore, all road blocks should serve a purpose. We do not need 27 road blocks. We can do with three or four road blocks along the entire corridor because the same goods are inspected at the Port of Mombasa. At the Port, they inspect whether you have narcotics or contraband goods and whether the goods conform to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). If they are goods that are being trans-shipped through our country, they are locked up in containers that are tagged. They have a system that ensures they are not opened until they cross our borders. Therefore, having many stops along the way becomes a hinderance to how fast one can move the goods.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, if you can plead with Hon. Ng’eno to stop laughing as if he is in Mugondoyi, which is a small village in Narok county. I used to visit it often in 2017. Hon. Ng’eno knows that he is a kingpin in Mugondoyi area, but not beyond there; not even in Narok County.
Since the King has left Mugondoyi, it is only good that Hon. Ng’eno listens to issues to do with the trans-shipment of goods from our Port of Mombasa to land-locked countries of the East African region, and how fast we can move goods from the Port of Mombasa to Mugondoyi in 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.
Narok County or move goods from Mugondoyi to the Port of Mombasa to be shipped outside the country.
I was saying that I want to encourage Hon. Wanjiku and the Regional Integration Committee to ensure that they also serve as a facilitative committee. They should oversee the Minister and the departments in charge to ensure that all those road blocks do not become a hinderance to trade. There is need for efficient movement of goods and services across our region. The President said that we have a visa-free regime, especially with our neighbours with whom we can quickly trade. It is possible to have breakfast in Nairobi, lunch in Kampala and dinner in Kigali, and go back to Nairobi to sleep. Therefore, with that arrangement, we will be able to move goods and money across the region. I want to encourage us to ensure that we move towards a common currency in our region so that we are able to deal with the problems that we are having today of hard currencies across the world. With those many remarks, I once again congratulate Hon. Wanjiku Muhia for her diligence, her Vice-Chair for being available in the House and the Members of the Committee who took time to travel across the northern corridor to identify areas that are disincentives to our trade. Those areas can become non-tariff barriers to the trade between the East African countries. They also spoke to issues to do with the One-Stop-Border-Posts. I beg to support.
The Member for Dagoretti North, Hon. Beatrice Elachi. Her card is on and she is not there. Hon. Member for Endebess, Hon. (Dr) Robert Pukose. Press the intervention button. Each Member has five minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for allowing me to contribute to this very important Motion. At the outset, I want to thank the Committee that is headed by Hon. Wanjiku Muhia for having visited the One-Stop-Border- Post in the Northern Corridor. I am informed that she went to Busia but she forgot that there is also Suam One-Stop-Border-Post in Endebess, which is bordering Uganda and Kenya. This Report has important points that promote trade within our areas. However, there are various challenges that are brought about by our own employees who work in the One- Stop-Border-Posts. They are frustrating the people who cross the borders, be it from Uganda to Kenya or from Kenya to Uganda. We want to see free movement of goods and services across those places. One of the biggest challenges that you face after crossing the One-Stop- Border-Post as you come to Kenya are the too many police road blocks, for example, between Suam and Kitale. At those police road blocks, they ask for kitu kidogo from those who are transporting either maize or beans. They even ask from those who are transporting wananchi. So, this is something that is not promoting free movement of people and free trade within those areas. The Inspector-General of Police should look into it. I saw the other day the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration saying that all police road blocks should be removed. Unfortunately, in many of those border points, we still have many police road blocks collecting kitu kidogo from bodabodas, matatus and lorry transporters. That is a shame. It is a very pathetic thing to watch. This is something that has persisted and I do not know how this country is going to solve it. We have talked about it but it never changes. Unfortunately, the EACC has not sorted out that pathetic situation on our roads. We know that –with the East Africa agreement – whether you are in Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda, you are allowed to own property in any of those countries. However, our people face many challenges. For example, if you are from Bukwa and you have a farm in Endebess and you do maize farming, when you want to transport your maize back to Bukwa, you will have to pay something for you to do that. Hon. Deputy Speaker, if you are farming on the other side and you want to bring your maize to Endebess, then going through that border post becomes a problem. I think those are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
small things that need to be looked into so that it can promote free movement of goods and services across the two countries. The other issue which I forgot concern security. It should also be looked into, especially between the neighbouring countries. That will promote the wellbeing of the two countries. With those few remarks I support.
Let us have Hon. G.K., the Hon. Member for Mbeere North. Hon. Member for Kirinyaga, you will go next.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion by the Chairperson of the Regional Integration Committee and congratulate the Committee for the work they have done. The issue of food security is very important in the Republic of Kenya. We have seen many lorries queuing at various border posts, including Namanga Border and Busia Border, to ensure that Kenya is well supplied with cereals as well as other food crops for consumption in the local markets. If we do not take care of border integration and security, this is an issue that can affect food security in our country. There is need to ensure that there is exchange of security information within our borders for instance, between Tanzania and Kenya or Kenya and Uganda, so that we can remain secure within our borders. We know what has happened in the past in the Republic of Kenya as far as terrorism is concerned. Many people have lost their lives and if our borders are well managed and the exchange of security information is well coordinated, it will go a long way in ensuring that the people of Kenya are safe. That can only be achieved through the kind of work which has been done by the Regional Integration Committee. On the issue of technology, the exchange of technology between Kenya and its bordering countries is also key to ensure that the technology which is used by Kenya at our border controls is the same technology which is used by other neighbouring countries. The exchange of programmes within our borders would ensure that there is security. Also, issues of food security in terms of exchange programmes like technology at the border should be well taken care of. The other very important point which has come out of this Report is about employment. We have seen what Rwanda did a few weeks ago. That every African can fly to Rwanda and do whatever they want to do there as long as it is not criminal. We also need to achieve the same in the Republic of Kenya: that all people from African nations can come into our country, do business, and go back or even live here in Kenya and integrate properly. This is extremely important. I highly commend the work which has been done by this Committee. With those remarks, I support.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I see the Leader of the Majority Party is not here. However, I would also like to thank him for noting and giving a headway that we can remove inept Chairs. Young people are ready to take charge and we are here. I want to pledge my loyalty to my Chair, Hon. Murugara, just in case he thinks I am planning a coup in the Departmental Committee of Justice and Legal Affairs. I rise to support the Report by Hon. Wanjiku. One-Stop-Border-Points will ensure that we have free trade in East Africa. As we haggle and push to ensure that we open up our borders, we must also ensure that governance structures are protecting countries that are not economically privileged. They will also ensure that they facilitate ease of movement of people. We have various short falls and road blocks even within the confines of Kenya. Those road blocks, for lack of a better word, are conduits for corruption. As we speak about One-Stop-Border-Points, we must ensure that the internal road blocks that do not serve the interest of the people are done away with. The AfCFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have also made calls to ensure that we facilitate the putting up of One-Stop-Border-Points. This is so that we can also ensure 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.
that we reduce the bureaucracy in the paper work and facilitate ease of movement of people and goods so that our economies can grow. I thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. John Mutunga.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the adoption of this Report. I wish to thank the Committee for taking time and conducting a detailed study on the Northern Corridor Roads. That road is part of the Trans-African Highways and it is very important. It is an international road and many travellers from many countries use it. As a country, we need to improve and sustain our dignity. It is important for us to also learn from other countries. When we have too many road blocks from Mombasa to Malaba, it means that we are dissuading transportation. We are exposing ourselves not so much in good light to the other users of the road. It is important for us, as a country, to take the pride of Kenya and the heritage of this country forward by ensuring that we do not have people demanding any kickbacks along the road. It is, therefore, important to be adopted and implemented in the sense that we need to know what exactly needs to be done. The fact that the Committee has taken the opportunity to engage the Ministry of Interior and National Administration to do something about those road blocks is a very important step forward. Kenya has worked very hard to have the East Africa integration work very well. We have now opened up the borders. We have agreed on a common external tariff. We are moving towards the customs unions. In that respect, we cannot be having roadblocks that are dissuasive along our roads and highways when we are telling our neighbours that we want an integrated country. We need to have harmonised transportation checks that are as good as those you will find in those other countries. That is why this Report is important given the fact that it has highlighted the issues that you find along the roads. It has also proposed mechanisms that will ensure that we remove the road blocks. Hon. Deputy Speaker, even as we speak here, it is important for our police officers, especially traffic police officers, to become friendly and stop the business of demanding any payments along the roads. Our National Police Service is very important in the sense that it is even being identified to go for peacekeeping and maintenance of law and order in other countries. The fact that we are getting international credit and recognition means that we need to have a highly professional police force. That professionalism is what needs to be exemplified and shown in every aspect of performance of the police officers. That is why it is important to adopt and implement this Report, so that we can do the right thing when it comes to the utilisation of highways within our country. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I support the Motion.
Member for Kathiani, Hon. Robert Mbui.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute. I rise to support the adoption of the Report of the Select Committee on Regional Integration on its inspection of various One-Stop- Border-Posts in the Northern Corridor in the EAC. Firstly, let me appreciate the Committee for carrying out this mandate that it is given by Kenyans which is basically to oversee and ensure that systems are working. Going out of their way, travelling all over and very far distances to check what is happening is really commendable. Secondly, the idea of a one-stop border post is critical. Previously, in every border region, each country would have its post. For example, if you were moving from Kenya to Tanzania, you would go through a clearance place at the Kenyan side and on the side of the other partner State. When One-Stop Border post idea came into being, it brought the two migration partners to work from the same place which made it a lot easier and faster for people 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.
to get clearance for movement of goods and services. That, obviously, means that belonging to EAC is beneficial to us. Kenya is one of the oldest partners within this Community, which is also growing. We started with three countries. Later on, we added Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and others. It keeps growing. Basically, the idea is good. What was the vision behind EAC? Firstly, they intended to find a way to make movement of goods and services easy. That assisted us in trade and employment. There are very good things that have happened. The One-Stop Border Post is one of them. Vacating visas is also a very good thing because movement of goods and services will become easier. There was also the proposed arrangement where we would end up with a common currency. I know that it has not been reviewed and removed. I would like to understand something from the Committee because this has been a story for a very long time. When are we going to end up with a common currency? Maybe, it will save our country because our shilling is ‘dropping’ like a hot cake. When you open a newspaper everyday and switch on your television or radio, you see that the value of our shilling is really dropping. I do not know when we will have a common currency that will help the partner States to come together and strengthen their currencies.
There is also the issue of political federation. We were going to end up under one political leadership. I do not know whether the dream is still in the pipeline, and if there is a timeline. I am sure the Committee keeps talking about those things every time they have their meetings. It will be a good idea for this House to be informed and to know where we are on the matter of political federation. I know it is an issue that will bring countries that have not been in very good terms together. Is it still viable? Are we changing the Treaty? Are there changes that we are coming up with? It is important for us to know. Uganda is our partner within EAC. The President and his Parliament said recently that they wanted to stop purchasing fuel from Kenya. That will bring a very big dent on our revenues. Is there something that this Committee can look into and figure out what we have done wrong. We said that we would do government-to-government trade, which was supposed to bring the price of fuel down. But it keeps going up. The Cabinet Secretary has threatened that it is likely to go up to Ksh300. It is important to sort out those things. Some of the countries in EAC are land-locked and yet, their fuel prices are lower than the ones in Kenya? I know Tanzania has a port. Why is fuel cheaper in Tanzania than in Kenya and we are in one Community, buying from the same destinations, and selling to the same people? It is important that we are given some of those answers. With those few remarks, Hon. Deputy Speaker, I support the Motion. The Committee must keep on working to ensure that EAC is brought together and prices of things like fuel are brought to the same low level. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Member for Kibwezi West, Hon. Eckomas Mutuse.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. For starters, the Northern Corridor stretches for a distance of about 12,000 kilometres. About 567 kilometres of it is in Burundi, 4,000 kilometres is in the DRC and 1,328.6 kilometres is in Kenya. We also have a distance of about 3,000 kilometres in Rwanda. Therefore, when we talk about the Northern Corridor, we cannot just restrict it to Kenya. I have a request to the Committee as we look at removing road blocks in Kenya and creating one-stop border controls at Lunga Lunga, Taita Taveta, Malaba and Busia, because those are the common borders that we share with our partner States. It is also important that Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi commit to reciprocate. Traders from Kenya are often mistreated when they are doing business in other countries. As we push to have reforms in our country, which are very welcome, let us also talk to our counterparts in the partner States for reciprocation. If there are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
no road blocks in Kenya, they should not be there in Uganda, Tanzania and DRC. Our people should not be stopped anyhow on the roads to be asked for immigration documents. I highly support the idea of the partner States coming together and putting their officials together. Even as we do that, we need harmony within our country. You realise that as the police officers put road blocks, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has now come up with a unit called the Border Control Unit (BCU). My constituency stretches over a distance of about 100 kilometres within the 1,300 kilometres of the Northern Corridor. I know that you can find a police road block in Kibwezi, where trucks are being inspected. When you move for a distance of about 30 kilometres to Emali, you find KRA officials have a road block. The idea of harmonisation enables the agencies that control the border to work together. The road block where the police officers inspect and check security issues should be the same place where KRA checks the things that they are supposed to check.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. Ruku?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I do not intend to interrupt Hon. Mutuse. However, the Whip of the Majority Party is not properly dressed. He is dressed as if he is in a wedding ceremony. Please, we need a ruling on whether he is appropriately dressed to be in this House. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
I know his coat buttons are closed to the top. For abundance of caution, I will look at the Speaker’s ruling relating to dress code in a minute. I need to see the exact descriptions and then I will let you know.
Hon. Osoro, stop waving at me. I have seen you. Proceed, Hon. Mutuse. I will let you know in a minute.
Thank you very much. Hon. Deputy Speaker, as we await your ruling, I was also equally concerned. I have requested that we have a reciprocal effect from our partner States.
As I conclude, the biggest problem that this country is facing is that of our economy. We want to create jobs for our people, and for us to create them, our trade and systems must be efficient. Lately, Rwanda and Uganda have been threatening to stop using our port and part of the reason is the long turn-around period that trucks are taking from Mombasa to Rwanda and Kampala. Therefore, for us to turn around our economy, we must support the Report that has been presented by the able Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, so that we remove the road blocks and have efficiency. In fact, some people have argued that the biggest threat to the Kenya Kwanza Government is no longer Azimio…
Just give him one minute to finish.
The biggest threat the Kenya Kwanza Government is facing now is the revival of the economy.Therefore, any person in Government who undermines efforts that are geared towards reviving the economy as recommended by the Committee must give way to the right people who have the right thinking to reform this country so that we can move forward. Thank you very much.
Member for Baringo North, Hon. Makilap.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the work of the Committee that is chaired by Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, on the border points of this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The Northern Corridor that stretches from the Indian Ocean all the way to Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia and all our neighbours, have porous entry points of illegal firearms, sugar and all manner of smuggled goods to our country. To promote open trade so that people do not participate in illegal trade, there is need to secure those border points for free interaction of our people with those from Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda. The firearms that have caused a lot of insecurity in the North Rift are as result of porous borders that are not under the control or managed by the Immigration Services or Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). In some parts of Northern Kenya, there is a place where donkeys are knowledgeable. They are used to transport sugar all the way from Somalia to Kenya, and they know where they take that kind of sugar. This is the only way we can redeem our image and raise revenues that have been lost for some time. Those revenues will enhance programmes in our budget. We lose a lot of revenue along that porous border that could have been used to increase the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), thereby increasing the funds that are meant for education and providing services to the people of Kenya. When we open the border points to become free trade areas where there is exchange of goods and services, many people will be engaged in trade and business, and we shall have opened a part of Kenya that could have otherwise been left behind for many years. I support the work of the Committee in the area of international relations between Kenya and its neighbours. For example, the Turkana and the Nyangatom of Ethiopia are the same people. For some time, the border around Kibish and South of Sudan has been a free area that has not been manned by the Kenya Government. We, therefore, need to control our border points to become one-stop shop for doing business along the boundaries of Kenya. This is the only way we can secure our borders from infiltration of firearms into our country. If we fix that, we shall have a country that is secure. We will be able to do business with our neighbours and also have people who are able to engage in many other things. We also need to look at the border points at the South. It is not only the Northern Corridor. This is because in some places, people just walk freely to the neighbouring country and come back without any order. In some places like Kacheliba, there are people who have dual citizenship. They come to Kenya to vote and also go to Uganda to vote. To enhance democratic space between our neighbours and ensure that proper elections are done around those areas, the checking of those border points is necessary and very good to manage our internal affairs so that we can have business to raise enough revenue for our country to support our programmes. I beg to support. Thank you.
Thank you. Member for Dagoretti South, Hon. John Waweru Kiarie.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion, which is a Report on the Inspection of the One-Stop Border Posts in the Northern Corridor in the EAC. I would like to start by thanking the Committee. This is a Committee that has received a shot in the arm with the new leadership of Hon. Wanjiku Muhia. A seat is as good as the leader who is sitting on it. This is one of the committees that had been considered as one of the lower committees in previous parliaments. With the new membership and leadership, this Committee is rising to the occasion and doing that which is required to do as informed by the Standing Orders in this House. After supporting the Committee, I would like to say that the proposals that have been made in the Report are proposals that this House must stand with. The idea of demolishing the boundaries that divide the countries in this region, is a mission that should be undertaken with new valour. We all understand that the borders that we talk about today are artificial borders 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.
that were put up by the colonialists. The new effort in the region to break down those physical barriers is an effort that should be supported. The destruction of those boundaries should not only happen physically, but should also happen in our minds. The mental divisions that we have as members of the different member States must also be destroyed because the mental barriers are barring the progress of the EAC. That is why I support the Report by this Committee. The observation by the Committee on the police roadblocks along the highway is an issue that this Parliament needs to take up seriously because we are creating human bottlenecks along a corridor that should be flowing in goods, services and even ideas. The archaic model of policing our roads using road blocks is well past its user date. In today's world, we are able to police traffic using technology. If we were able to upgrade our policing to today's methods, there is available technology in the form of surveillance, cameras, use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and new knowledge that is available for this country. The bottlenecks that we form in the name of police road blocks are slowing down the progress in terms of the exchange of goods, services and ideas. This is a great proposal by this Committee and road blocks should be done away with. Finally, Hon. Deputy Speaker, I would like to put in one word that has to do with this region. We are freshly coming out of the delegation that you sent to Luanda, Angola, for the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The delegation experienced some great success. Members of this Parliament were placed in committees. Yours truly got re-elected as the President of an all- important bureau at the IPU. In this Region, I can proudly report to this House that the candidate we supported, Hon. (Dr.) Tulia Ackson, was elected as the President of the IPU. This is a President of the Parliament of Parliaments. The support that this Parliament gave to this candidate was invaluable. We celebrate the East African win in taking up that seat.
I thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for supporting and leading that delegation.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I support.
Thank you. I have looked at the Speaker’s ruling and I have confirmed that Hon. Osoro’s dress code conforms to the rules. Next is the Member for Laikipia, Hon. Jane Kagiri.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to support the Report on the Inspection of Various OSBP in the Northern Corridor in the East African Community.
I support this because it will facilitate trade. After all, the many checkpoints will now be consolidated into one. This will enable traders to save on time and cost. In the end, this will bolster economic growth. It will also enable improved security in the Region. The more checkpoints, the more corruption and the more difficult it is for our traders.
It is good to note that this one-stop checkpoint will enhance East African co-operation. This means that there will be fewer local checkpoints and thus fewer limitations for our people.
With those remarks, I support.
Let us have the Member for Taita Taveta, Hon. Lydia Mizighi.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this Report concerning the inspection of various One-Stop Border Posts in the Northern Corridor in the East African Community. 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 applaud the Committee for the good work. My county happens to be among those with a border post named Holili. I have seen the many hustles that happen in those borders that are caused by the many barriers. It is high time that we got rid of those barriers so that we can have efficiency at the border points. The idea of having a one-stop border point is the best. We need to support it fully. The personnel working at the border point need to be empowered. Therefore, more funding needs to be allocated to the border posts. Allow me to talk about the sensitisation of the communities around the border points. This is for the communities around the border points and, in my case I am speaking about the Holili and Taveta people. There are many opportunities that communities at the border points are not aware of. I wish that a lot of sensitisation was done so that the neighbouring communities can benefit from this. I thank you for this opportunity.
Hon. David Gikaria, the Member for Nakuru Town East.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this Report by the Committee on Regional Integration. It is worth noting that the House Business Committee (HBC) should, at times, prioritise some of these critical reports that have far-reaching timelines. We have reports which were signed in June last year. We are now in November. The recommendations in that Report were for budgetary allocation. The HBC must prioritise some of those reports so that recommendations by those committees can be of use. For example, recommendation No.1 in this Report is about budget allocation. Now, we are talking about a Supplementary Budget. The Supplementary Budget has not included what was anticipated by the Report as per the programme. The purpose and the intentions of those visits are clear. One was to establish the efficiency of the movement of persons and goods in the East African Region. I have not gone through the Report. However, the Chairperson, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, should consider the border posts on all sides of the country when replying. The effect of this is the movement of goods and persons in Kenya and the other regions. I say this because I agree that the roadblocks have become a menace in Kenya. If the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration cannot address this, then we will never address this problem. The other bit about this is a matter in your constituency, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Sometimes, one is forced to spend 24 hours at the Gilgil Weigh Bridge just because of negligence and some drivers who do not follow traffic rules. If there is a long queue, I should keep to my lane. The traffic police and the drivers ought to be sensitised to avoid unnecessary standstills. I am talking about Gilgil because I have experienced that thrice. As we talk about the road blocks, we should also look at the traffic jams in those areas. Hon. Temporary Speaker, you have been a Member for Gilgil for a long period. You have vast land that you can use for parking whenever there are standstills so that the other passengers are not affected. I totally agree with the harmonisation of legal frameworks. Hopefully, the Committee will bring those amendments here for our consideration. Matters concerning staffing are a big challenge in this country. I am the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Environment, Forestry and Mining and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), which is a big institution, is also under-staffed. As recommended by the Committee, we need to look at the staffing, but this also has to do with the budget. I see my time is up. With those few remarks, it is important that the Chairperson and her Committee critically look into this so that they can bring improvement and…
Your time is up Member for Nakuru Town East. I can confirm that you have been stuck at the Gilgil gridlock, not once but thrice. That has happened to other Members too. 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.
Member for Kitui West, Hon. Nyenze.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this time to support this Report by the Committee on Regional Integration. I note that it is very important to have one-stop border posts at our borders. This would improve trade and facilitate good traffic and efficiency in our operations as the EAC gears towards achieving one currency and one government. I am sure the team looked at the infrastructure at those borders, especially when you compare infrastructure on the Kenyan sides in Busia and Malaba and the other posts on the other sides. I have gone there in the past. Our side looks pathetic. You cannot compare what other East African countries are doing with what we are doing in Kenya. However, improved one-stop border posts in this corridor would reduce delays that usually occur especially with transportation lorries. It would reduce duplication of procedures where one is required to clear with the Kenyan side and the other side. It would also reduce corruption at the border points. Eventually, this will promote economic integration and co-operation within the EAC. Those borders are essential to create a more efficient and inter-connected trade network in the region. I remember some borders were taking a lot of time to check and clear when we had the Corona virus. I observed this especially when travelling to Tanzania. It caused much duplication of procedures and delays. This is very much welcome if it can cure such issues. With that, I support the Report. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Member. As we had indicated, kindly indicate in the interventions if you are willing to speak to this. Member for Dagoretti North, Hon. Beatrice Elachi.
Thank you, Hon Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support the Report and to appreciate Hon. Wanjiku. I believe events have overtaken some of the things in that Report. Having said that, I appreciate that there are issues in it that are key. If you look at the Report that was done way back in 1985 when this treaty was enacted, East African countries came together in 2006 and agreed on how to move on to enhance cross-border trade investment and reduce costs. One of the things we did, as Kenya, is the Standard Gauge Railway. It came to enhance trade and integration and reduce the cost of transport in those countries. What we need to push in this House is to ensure we realise what the President is trying to do by bringing the Standard Gauge Railway through to Malaba. That way, we will have expedited the movement of goods and reduced the cost of transport. We shall still be a key hub of transit within the EAC. When we talk about the Northern Corridor, which is the route we take through Gilgil Town going all the way to Malaba, we also need to ask the Government to think of how to give us an expressway or something like that. The expressway has become a very busy road for those who are using that road. We lost 11 people just the other day because it is a very busy road. With this rain, all the trucks on the road, and how we drive, it has become a risk to many. We also have border management agencies. Those agencies were to come in to ensure a one-stop border point for goods coming in and leaving. With the new regulations Tanzania has brought in, they are advancing more. Trucks coming from Tanzania have more security features than ours. For goods coming even from Mombasa going up, many people prefer to use the Port of Dar-es-Salaam. Mheshimiwa Wanjiku knows when we talk about cross-border trade because she has been in the East African Legislative Assembly. They are advancing their transport system very much. As Kenya, we have to pick up and advance. We have always been way ahead. Right now, we are forced to catch up on many things. Tanzania is doing everything correctly, to ensure its transit system is safer and faster and yet, we have the shortest route. However, you will find people prefer to use the Port in Tanzania. The most important thing for me is how to ensure this Committee works with the region very closely. I hope our Cabinet Secretary for the East African Community, ASALs and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Regional Development who recently came from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, understands those issues. This is because I know she had challenges even when she was in tourism. I challenge her to understand those issues. She should know it is time we started exporting. If goods are coming in, we want to see a country that checks and clears at One-Stop Border Posts. Can goods destined to Rwanda or the DRC be cleared in two days? That is so that we can continue being the greater route that everyone preferred when this Treaty was being done. As I support, I am challenging and saying that even the Government must awaken itself to the fact that we are in a very great competition. Investments might leave our country. That is why we are finding ourselves with many challenges in this economy. With those few remarks, I support.
Member for Tetu, Hon. Geoffrey Mwangi.
Thank you for allowing me to also lend my voice and support to this Report about One-Stop Border Posts. From the onset, let me start by commending the team because this is a step in the right direction. I would like to say that intra-Africa trade is very low at only 14 per cent, if African countries were to pull themselves by the boot-straps and out of poverty. Specifically, a country like Kenya must enhance its trade not only with our traditional trade partners in Europe and Asia, but also enhance intra-Africa trade. We have a huge market in our neighbourhood. The DRC needs our milk and we need their mineral resources, timber et cetera . However, Africa has for a long time been used as a source of extractive economy by exporting raw materials and basic commodities which we do not get much value out of. For Africa to develop, we must seriously start thinking about how to enhance our trade barriers. This is a very important step to speed up the movement of goods and people, remove non-tariff barriers and reduce the corruption that has been a big issue as far as intra-Africa trade is concerned. Hon. Temporary Speaker, you will note that moving maize from Malawi to Kenya can end up taking longer than moving machinery from China to Africa through water transport. How can African countries, specifically Kenya, lead dialogue in ensuring that we enhance and work on removing all the barriers? Today, absence of infrastructure, delays, cost and the other factors that we know inhibit trade between African countries weaken trade. Kenya taking a lead on this, is a step in the right direction. We hope to do more. As an economy, how can we open up ourselves, not just for investments from the West and Asia, but from our fellow African countries. When other countries come here to build railways, roads, airports and ports, most of the time, they are not doing it for the benefit of their people. I repeat, as African countries, if we want to pull ourselves out of poverty, we must seriously think how we can develop intra- Africa trade. We need to have our own railways, ports, roads and airports connecting our countries, so that we can enhance intra-Africa trade. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise to support the Report because it is a step in the right direction. However, this is one out of the very many steps we need to take if we want to integrate this huge market of 1.2 billion people, most of who are emerging from absolute poverty status to having some income. How can we ensure that we expand this market? I rise to support but the Committee needs to do more . Ahsante sana.
Member for Garissa Township, Hon. Barrow.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. My correct name is Hon. Dekow Barrow. I rise like my colleagues first…
Hon. Member, are you saying Barrow is not your name? 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.
Yes, it is. But the official...
But it goes together with Dekow? Hon. Dekow Barrow.
Thank you. I want to congratulate, commend and appreciate the Report by the Committee on Regional Integration, led by Hon. Muhia for the good work they have done. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the importance of integration in the region cannot be underscored. Trade is a major area we can take advantage of as a country. This is because Kenya has a competitive advantage over other countries in the region in terms of the developed infrastructure. We have the Port of Mombasa, Mombasa-Malaba Road, Nairobi-Moyale Road, airports and a railway system. As a country, we must make use of what we already have as a competitive advantage against other countries in the region, like the Port of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. It is very important that we protect the Northern Corridor from Mombasa to Malaba all the way to Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan. We have a population of almost 500 million people in the East African region, if we add Somalia and Ethiopia. As the economic hub or power base of the region, Kenya must take advantage of what it has. Hon. Temporary Speaker, one of the recommendations of the Report is the removal of trade barriers in this area; one of them being road blocks that are a hindrance to free movement of people, goods and services within the region. As it is, we have a problem and I want to ask the Committee to look into it and see whether they can open up the northern part of this country, that is, the border post of Somalia with Mandera and Liboi, which is one of the very important areas. As you know very well, Ethiopia imports most of its goods through the Port of Djibouti. We are building the Lamu Port, South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project. If we do not remove all barriers that hinder trade and co-operation within the region, we will lose to our competitors like Tanzania and the Port of Djibouti. Some of those ports and road networks are not developed like ours. So, removal of barriers is very important. We have a road between Garissa and Liboi Border Post of about 200 kilometres. If we improve that infrastructure, this country will be able to trade with areas like Somalia and Ethiopia. On the issue of road blocks that are put up by police officers on the roads, I heard the Cabinet Secretary saying that they will be removed by November, but up to now, they are still there. For example, in my county, there is a bridge between Garissa and Tana River. One side is manned by police officers from North Eastern or Garissa County and the other side is manned by police officers from the Coast region or Tana River County. For a bridge which is 20 metres, you are asked where you are going on one side and where you are coming from on the other side. You find a distance of 20 metres with two different police officers from two different regional commanders. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support this Report and I urge the Committee to follow-up its implementation. Thank you.
Thank you, very much. Member for Kitui Rural, Hon. David Mboni.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. At the outset, I support this Report on the One-Stop Border Posts. They are seven of them and were constructed with the assistance from the World Bank. They are supposed to enhance cross-border trade and investment in the country by making it easier for traders to conduct business across the borders and reduce the cost of trade. Hon. Temporary Speaker, looking at this Report, it gives mixed signals if we are to benefit from cross-border trade in the one-stop border posts. Most alarming is the non-tariff barriers of trade. As you are aware the East African countries have harmonised taxes and tariffs among themselves. They have the common external tariff to protect imports from other 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.
countries. Looking at the Report, they are saying the mobility of goods and services is being hindered by legal framework and un-harmonised border procedures. If East African countries want to benefit from trade among themselves, they must harmonise the legal frameworks. There is no way a country will develop if it will not open up its borders and have common legal frameworks and procedures at the borders. This will reduce the cost of doing business. It is very alarming that within the corridor, we have six weigh bridges. So, how many times are trucks weighed between Mombasa and Malaba and how much time is wasted? In fact, if you go to Mlolongo, you will be surprised because the trucks are too many and they waste a lot of time. I think it takes one week to travel from Mombasa to Malaba. So, if we reduce the border posts, as the Report is suggesting, to two, we will reduce the travel period from Mombasa to Malaba to two or three days instead of one week. If the time is reduced, we will reduce the cost of doing business. Double taxation is whereby goods from Kenya are taxed here and when they cross the border, they are taxed again. I am in the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning and I am seeing the Chairperson here. These are some of the things we need to look at to make our goods competitive out there. Instead of levying tax on them here, we can decide not to levy tax on goods going out. On the issue of police roadblocks, they are very many. I do not understand why we should have too many of them. On trucks, the KRA has a very good system for tracking them. They can tell when a truck stops. They can see it in their system. They usually call the driver to ask him why he stopped there and what he is doing there. It is important that roadblocks plus weighbridges are removed.
The northern part of Kenya, where there is a lot of trade, needs border posts so that we can collect revenue from those areas. This can sort the issue of lack of funding. With those few remarks, I support.
Member for Molo, Hon. Kuria Kimani.
Asante sana, Mheshimiwa Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa nafasi hii nichangie mjadala huu. Ninataka kwanza kumshukuru Mwenyekiti wa Kamati hii kwa kazi nzuri ambayo amefanya kwa hii Ripoti ya masuala ya kuhakikisha kwamba katika mipaka yetu na nchi jirani kuwe na usafirishaji mzuri wa bidhaa na binadamu bila pingamizi yoyote.
Mheshimiwa Spika wa Muda, ni muhimu sana kwako na kwangu kuona kwamba barabara kutoka Rironi kuelekea Naivasha, Gilgil, Mau Summit hadi Malaba magari hayasimamishwi kiholela. Mbali na hilo, inafaa kuwe na barabara inayoitwa kwa kimombo
. Kama alivyosema Mheshimiwa Gikaria, ambaye amejipata amekesha kwenya barabara mara kadhaa katika eneo la daraja ya Gilgil, haya ni masuala ambayo yanastahili kushugulikiwa.
Hata tunapozungumza kuhusu bidhaa na binadamu kusafiri katika nchi zetu jirani bila pingamizi yoyote, ni vizuri pia kuzingatia ule ushuru ambao tunaita cess, ambao unatozwa na serikali za kaunti. Mkulima wa viazi kule Molo anaposafirisha viazi vyake kuvipeleka sokoni kule Mombasa, anapovuka mpaka wa Nakuru County na kuingia Kiambu County, anapata serikali ya Kiambu imeweka roadblock na inaitisha cess. Akiingia Nairobi County, anatozwa
. Akitoka Nairobi apitie kaunti nyingine hadi Taita Taveta County, anatozwa cess . Anapofika Mombasa County, anatozwa cess. Kwa hivyo, hata tunapozingatia usafirishaji wa bidhaa baina ya nchi jirani, na hasa nchi za Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki, ni vizuri kuhimiza Bunge letu la Seneti kutunga sheria ambayo itarahisisha usafirishaji wa bidhaa miongoni mwa kaunti zetu tofauti bila wakulima kutozwa cess . Pendekezo langu ni kwamba cess itozwe na serikali ya county ambako bidhaa hizo zinatoka na serikali ya county ambako bidhaa hizo zitauzwa. Lakini pengine tukisema cess 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.
itozwe na serikali ya county ambako bidhaa hizo zitauzwa itakua vigumu kuhakikisha kwamba
imelipwa. Ninafikiria njia bora zaidi ni kuhakikisha kwamba cess inatozwa katika gatuzi ambako bidhaa hizo zinatoka. Na ikiwa hivyo basi inamaanisha dereva wa gari linalobeba bidhaa hizo anapaswa kuwaonyosha risiti maafisa wa ushuru katika gatuzi mbali akiambiwa alipe ushuru.
Kuhusu, masuala ya ujirani wetu hasa kama Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki, ukiangalia nchi ya Marekani, imeweza kuendelea sana kiuchumi. Hivi sasa tunaona kwamba Dola ya Marekani ikikohoa kule Philadelphia inasitisha ufanyikazi wetu hapa nchini. Tunajaribu lakini unapata hatuna kile tunachokiita kwa kiingereza control kabisa kwa hiyo Dola na depreciation
na shilingi yetu. Kwa hivyo, hio nchi imeweza kuendelea kwa sababu zile States zote za Marekani ni nchi moja ya watu wa Amerika. Na sisi hapa tunashinda tukilalamika na kuzingatia mipaka iliyowekwa na wabeberu. Ukiangalia utaona kwamba wale Wameru ambao wako Meru ndio Wameru ambao wako Tanzania. Wamasaai ambao wako Kenya ndio Wamasaai ambao wako Tanzania. Kuhusu wanyama pori wetu, ninakumbuka wakati Rais Suluhu alipokuja hapa, alisema wanyama wetu wanatoka Masaai Mara wanaenda Serengeti kufanya vitu vyao. Kwa hivyo, hata sisi tusizingatie hiyo mipaka sana ndio tuweze kuishi pamoja kama Jumuiya moja ya Afrika Mashariki. Asante Mheshimiwa Spika wa Muda.
Asante Mbunge wa Molo kwa kuchangamua na kukikuza Kiswahili. Ninajua tukimpatia challenge hiyo Mheshimiwa Ochanda itakuwa mithili ya kumwambia ameze ulimi.
Kwa sasa, wacha nimpe fursa hii jirani yako, Mbunge wa Manyatta, Mheshimiwa John Gitonga.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to congratulate my brother, the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning for speaking fluent Kiswahili. It was a trial.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I will stick to English, but I will try to do something on my Kiswahili. Coming to the agenda on the Floor of the House, I congratulate the Committee and say that these are good recommendations. We are discussing this at the right time considering the post COVID-19 issues that we have been having and looking at how our economies can do better.
The East Africa Community, which boasts of almost 280 million people, is a market that we have to really maximise on through inter-country trade amongst the citizens of our member States. Trade within the region right now stands at about US$10 billion – which, in my opinion, is very low considering the potential that a market of 280 million people has. The Committee has delved a lot into the challenges of inter-State trading. I think one of the issues is infrastructure connectivity. I believe many Members will agree with me that we need to work on our transport infrastructure, and more so the rail and road systems.
I remember a few months ago, as I was coming from Tanzania, I got stuck for close to three hours at some point where stormwater was passing through the Namanga route. I thought the amount of traffic stretched close to where I was coming from. That is something we need to work on. We need to improve on our infrastructure. In this regard, I call upon the specific governments to see what can be done. 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 support the point that has been put across by the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning Chairman on even our internal trade as a country. You find that a branded vehicle leaves my County of Embu coming to Nairobi, and on the way, the driver pays close to five different cesses. We are here to make laws to support value addition initiatives as well as the county aggregation and industrial parks. If we have those things and we continue to charge cess at every single stop in every county, what we are doing would be effort in futility.
This House has to stand out and call upon the Council of Governors (CoG) to work out a formula that can be used when it comes to sharing of revenue amongst the counties. One has to pay close to Ksh20,000 for a lorry-load of sand travelling from Machakos County to Kiambu County. It is a big shame. It is actually killing traders. It will be a big problem if you add that to the issue of fuel costs. I also want to insist on a point that appeared in this Report on the issue of technology. We can improve efficiency when it comes to technology by capturing number plates and ensuring that whatever is supposed to be paid is paid immediately. We can impose that at our border posts on trucks moving across the region. Last but not least is the issue of police roadblocks. We do not need them. They have been a source of a lot of corruption.
Your time is up, Member for Manyatta. Next is the Member for Meru County, Hon. Kailemia. There is a microphone next to you. If your microphone is not working, try the next one.
Meru County, UDA): Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to the debate on this Motion. I also sincerely thank the Chairlady for the good Report that she has tabled. One-stop border posts will make it very efficient for goods and persons to travel from one country to another within the EAC member States. That is why I support this Motion. Something to note is the multi-agency approach. You will find different agencies like the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) when you go to the border posts. After you are through with one agency, you find that others have gone for lunch and you have to wait for them to come back. That causes a lot of delays in movement. I support this Motion because the northern corridor is shorter on our side than on the Tanzanian side. However, they are not asleep, but are watching us. As much as the port is very efficient at the moment, police roadblocks and weighbridges are causing a lot of delays. I support this Motion to ensure easier movement of goods and people. I would like to, again, thank the Chairlady of the Select Committee on Regional Integration, Madam Muhia, for this Report. It is very detailed. It took the Committee a lot of time to put it together. As a Member of the Committee, I confirm that she made us work very hard to ensure that this Report was ready on time. I also support that we have One-Stop Border Posts.
Thank you. Next is the Member for Kwanza.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. We have to think outside the box. I used to hear of the East African Community when I was young. Things were perfect between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Trade was very smooth. I also accept that we should think outside the box for the sake of development within the region. First and foremost, there have been fatal accidents along the Northern Corridor, which I use every weekend as I travel to my constituency. Those accidents are not due to anything 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.
else, but our own making because of trailers travelling from Mombasa to the Malaba Border Post. I am told that there are 27 police roadblocks. What happens? A truck driver from Mombasa to Malaba takes not less than two weeks. Sometimes I go home for the weekend and on my way back, I meet a lorry which I passed in Kiambu getting to Nakuru because of roadblocks. We should do something about that because we have lost out on trade with our neighbouring States. In fact, I was with the Member for Dagoretti in Angola, where we voted for the Speaker of the Parliament of Tanzania as the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). She said that she would work very hard to support us. We should do something about it. In fact, we voted for her because she is our neighbour. She said that she would return the favour because trade between Kenya and Tanzania is a problem. That aside, roadblocks are uncalled for. The Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration promised to reduce the so-called ‘artificial roadblocks’ by November, but he has done nothing so far. The Cabinet Secretary should appear before the Committee and explain the cause of the delay. Police officers at all roadblocks indulge in corruption to the detriment of people who are legally transporting goods to Uganda, South Sudan, the DRC or Rwanda. I talked to one of them and he said that he is stopped more than four times. He said that he did not want to do that job because he is stressed by Kenyan police officers. We should do something to reduce corruption. We have a big market for our goods. We have developed and Kenya is respected in the region to the extent that even the world is asking us to send policemen to Haiti. We have a good system. We should do something about the One-Stop Border Posts. My colleague, Hon. Wanjiku, says that there are almost 300 million people in the region. That means we have enough market for our goods. Why not think outside the box? We should involve the concerned parties, remove some of the barriers and promote trade within the States. That will benefit
We should do something about it because there is a big market for our goods. I have been to Europe, where there are no barriers between member-States. People move freely. Let us have legalised checkpoints so that there can be free trade between African countries. There are many countries in the East African region. I can tell you that from what I saw in Angola, many countries want to come together and work within State borders. Therefore, I suggest that we sit down and…
Your time is up. Next is the Member for Seme, Hon. James Nyikal.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to support the Report of the Committee on One-Stop Border Posts in the EAC. We are actually crying and chasing something we lost 60 years ago. We had it and we lost it. Members have talked about single currency, a single market and free movement of people and services. That is exactly what we had before Independence. We were moving towards a political federation and that is what we are talking about here. In fact, the late President of Tanganyika was keen to delay its Independence so that the three East African countries could come together as one nation. We had everything going for the East African Community. We had the University of East Africa with Law Degree being offered in Dar-es- Salaam, Medicine Degree in Makerere and Engineering Degree in Nairobi. We had the East African Road Services, the East African Railways and Harbours, the East African Post and Telecommunication, and the East African Research Council. If you were to put all these institutions together, we would have been a free movement. I remember as a child, we moved from Kenya to Uganda. We had relatives all over. When they closed the borders, some of my relatives remained in Tanzania and Uganda because they did not see the need to come back to Kenya. The first Director of the British Training School for Cooperative Societies in Tanzania was from my village. He was there as a Tanzanian while his mother was in my village as a Kenyan because she refused to move. That is what we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
had, but we are still struggling with the East African Treaty that we started. We are still on the bit of single currency and free movement. We are writing and talking, but we are not doing anything. We are all aware that the power of nations is in numbers – that is the size of a nation and its population. If you look at India, China, Russia and the USA, the single big factor about each of them is that they are big countries with large populations. That is what we want. I, therefore, plead with our people in Kenya and other East African countries that when they are in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), they should not adopt an adversarial attitude as if we are competing against each other. We should embrace a cooperative attitude and work towards building one big nation of East Africa. Although we have not got the three countries together, we now have South Sudan, the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi as EAC member States. If we do business together, professionals within the community can move and practice their trade anywhere within the community as and when they want. How wonderful would that be? We are tied up because of the small considerations. Some of us have realised that if we become one big union, the problem of tribalism will just fizzle out. There will be no single tribe that will say it is the major tribe because the whole region will be very large. It is amazing that animals and diseases are doing better than us. They do not know boundaries. They move from one boundary to another and we acknowledge that.
The truth is that boundaries are a creation of leaders and the laws that they make. Ordinary citizens at the borders are restrained. They do not want to be recognised. If you go to Migori or Busia, we have the same people across the borders. When Moody Awori was the Vice- President in Kenya, his brother from the same mother was a Cabinet Minister in Uganda and he was vying for the Presidency in that country, but we are still struggling with the formation of the East African Community.
With those remarks, I support.
Thank you, Hon. Nyikal. Before I give the Floor to the next Member, for those who are coming in, indicate through the intervention button if you are willing to speak to this Motion.
The next chance goes to the Member for Samburu North, Hon. Eli Letipila.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support the Report and commend the Regional Integration Committee for a job-well-done. I am a former Customs Officer. I commend the Customs Officers across the country for the great job they are doing at our border points, especially those in far flung hostile border points. The One-Stop Border Posts are intended to reduce stoppage time. The main reason as to why they are being put there is for trade facilitation. The Port of Mombasa is the heart of East and Central Africa, especially with the expansion of the East African Community to include countries like South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The non-trade barriers that the Committee has proposed continue to be the reason why trade facilitation has not been completely achieved. Many Members have spoken about the road blocks erected by police officers. The road blocks have increased the transit time, for example, from Mombasa to Malaba and onwards. There are also One-Stop Border Posts in this country that have been closed. An example is the One-Stop Border Post at Lokichogio. It is actually a shorter border route to Juba than going through Limule in Uganda down to Lokichogio. I know this for a fact because I have worked 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.
in Lokichogio. I recommend that the LAPSSET Corridor be quickly implemented. It will help in opening up of the northern frontier counties to international trade through the Port of Lamu. The LAPSSET Corridor goes through Garissa and Isiolo, and it connects to the Marsabit Road through Moyale to Ethiopia. It then comes through Samburu, down all the way to Turkana. It then goes up through Lokichogio to Nakodok in South Sudan. If that corridor is opened, it will open up the northern frontier counties to trade in the same way the highway from Mombasa to Malaba has opened up trade along that route. It will also help in reducing conflict in those regions. Those regions are victims of Sessional Paper No.10 of 1965, which subjected them to legal marginalisation. With those few remarks, I support the recommendations of the Committee and laud the Members for a job-well-done.
Thank you, Hon. Member. The next opportunity goes to the Member for Bondo, Hon. Ochanda.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The whole idea of...
Hon. Kimani messed up when he was talking about the dual carriage way. He forgot about the Kiswahili bit in it. Anyway, that is why I am not using it, Hon. Kiarie. The whole idea of One-Stop Border Post was fantastic, and as a country, we ought to have utilised it optimally. However, what is happening is that we are missing opportunities. A lot of the goods and services that move across the region are from Kenya and from the international community through our ports. The long corridor between us and Uganda, for example, is in Kenya. Therefore, all the problems that most of these people are encountering in the movement of goods is basically on our side. We are not doing enough to see that commodities move flawlessly, which is to our disadvantage. Talking of One-Stop Border Posts and the small administrative matter that happened, quite a bit of that is international. The local communities in Busia or Migori hardly use the border posts. They just cross from one country to the other using all manner of routes such that by the end of it all, it is not benefitting them. That is exactly why there was the idea of Jumuia Market, which has been talked about over ages and we have not seen it come up. One was supposed to be in Busia. Funds were there for its construction, but it has never come up for the purposes of benefitting the local communities. So, local communities are not really benefitting from the One-Stop Border Posts. Another thing that is causing problems is the breakdown of systems. Every time we talk about breakdown of systems. In a week, the Kenyan side experiences more of these breakdowns than any other country in the region. The idea of goods from Kenya being charged on the Ugandan side causes an immediate breakdown of system for charging goods from the Ugandan side coming to the Kenyan side. Due to that delay, the other side reciprocates even when there is no system breakdown. When that happens, it means that we are the ones who are losing in the process. We are the ones who have all these many control points. Instead of the whole process benefitting us, this country is losing. We are losing to an extent that if you go to Malaba, you find that the Ugandan side has water, but the Kenyan side does not have water. Toilets on the Kenyan side do not work, but those on the Ugandan side work. Instead of Kenya Revenue Authority staff and Customs officials staying on the Kenyan side of Malaba, they stay on the Ugandan side. When it comes to parking, in the evenings, all vehicles move from the Malaba-Uganda to Malaba-Kenya because parking is free. We have it free, but on the Ugandan side, if they cross, they are charged. What is it that we are doing? We are losing revenue as we watch. I have just given the example of water. You know you cannot pipe water from Malaba- Uganda to Malaba-Kenya because you have to cross the border. They will not allow you. These 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.
are small things that we are losing as a country. We are losing big yet we have the opportunity and the advantage of exploiting the good stuff of the one-border posts. Asante.
Your Swahili goes thus far.
Hon. Bernard Kitur is next.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to sincerely appreciate the Select Committee on Regional Integration for a Report well done. I appreciate the Chairperson and the Members for the good work. This is a very timely Report, especially as it touches on issues of trade in the EAC. Having been in this space for some time as well, I feel I really want to particularly contribute on issues that have been raised by my colleagues. When we talk, for instance, of the challenges that have been there, the issue of weighbridges has been a menace. I have a very strong feeling that all transit goods that are loaded in Mombasa essentially ought not, in any way, go through weighbridges. Why do I say so? When cargo is being off loaded from the ship, the cranes can measure the weight of these containers. When they leave the port, they usually have tracking devices installed by the KRA. As a truck moves, it is monitored all the way. If at any one point the tracking device is tampered with, the KRA, in their control room, can immediately pick that up. So, you wonder what the point of subjecting thousands of trucks to weighbridges all the way to Mombasa is all about yet you can track them. Secondly, on the issue of police roadblocks, in the same breath, as a truck goes to the port to load cargo, you have the opportunity to inspect that truck, whether you talk about its tyres or insurance. Before a truck leaves the port, all these things ought to have been checked. There is no point of stopping transit goods trucks along the way as they ferry cargo to their destinations. In fact, there are some roadblocks which are very notorious in this country that truck drivers have to park their vehicles somewhere to wait for the time police officers will leave the roads so that they can pass, which is very unfortunate and unfair. More so, they usually target trucks of foreign nationals or those with foreign number plates. These are colleagues we are trading together and they need greater support when they are on our side. I am talking about some notorious roadblocks like the one at Salgaa. It is one of the worst roadblocks in this country. It is sad that we are still discuss the issue of roadblocks in this House yet the matter has been discussed time and again. A very firm action needs to be taken. Since the Cabinet Secretary has expressed himself on this matter, unless there are people who have some interest in a particular way, the roadblocks ought to have been removed. On the issue of the agencies that participate in clearance of containers, at some point you find that the officials of certain agencies are not in the office. Time has come for us to unify all the agencies and provide for a timeline within which a certain document should be processed. That will make matters very clear and serve as a way of measuring the speed at which trucks are cleared. I can see that my time is running out very fast. We want to have unified systems that can be used between various States. On many occasions, when you reach the border, you are told that the system is down on this side of the border, but it is up on the other side. I wish we had a unified system. Lastly, on the issue of porousness of our borders, once we have the One-Stop Border Points working, let us find a way of toughening the process to ensure that our border points are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
not porous so that we do not have leakages of essential goods like what happens in the north- eastern Kenya regarding issues of sugar and other commodities. With those remarks, I beg to support this Report wholeheartedly and thank the Members of the Committee for the good work they have done.
Thank you, Hon. Member. Let us have Hon. Stephen Mogaka.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this golden chance to contribute to the debate on this Report, which prescribes a One-Stop Border Point for this country and all our neighbouring countries. The Committee has done a commendable job because enhanced trade is the only way through which our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow. Unless we simplify trade, movement of goods and services and human beings across our borders, we will be impeding our hope for a faster economic growth. I am particularly excited that the Committee went into great length of examining the documentation that accompany the goods that flow from country to country. A simplified certificate of origin that accompanies goods will help the citizenry of States that are interested in trading with citizens of other States. It will also make it easier to asses any taxes that are applicable to goods being shipped across borders and enable expedition of clearance of goods at our border points. I am particularly impressed that KRA has been shouldering the cost of making the One-Stop Border Point work. I urge all the other actors within the Government agencies and our good neighbours that an idea of this nature, which will make our economies grow, should be embraced by all. Each player should do what he ought to do to make it work. I am also humbled because we have the AfCFTA. If the EAC leads, like Kenya is doing, I am sure we will have a borderless continent where goods will move from northern to southern Africa unhindered. It will defeat the purpose of investing in major infrastructure across the continent if our goods and people will not move freely and exploit or take advantage of it to ensure that farmers and business people get returns on their investments. With those remarks, I support the Motion.
Hon. Beatrice Kemei, Member for Kericho County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Motion for adoption of the Report on inspection of various One-Stop Border Posts in the Northern Corridor in EAC. First, I appreciate the fact that this Report has come for discussion at this particular time. We have been waiting for it for long. We are thankful that it has eventually come. I am a Member of the Select Committee on Regional Integration and I thank the Chair for making it possible for us to visit these institutions in Kisumu, Busia and Migori counties. I visited the Busia One-Stop Border Post, the Jumuia Market in Malaba, and the Lake Victoria Basin Commission in Kisumu. The main objective of our visit was to assess the economic and social impact of the one-stop border post and establish the efficiency of the movement of people, goods and services in the region. I wish to inform the House that issues concerning One-Stop Border Posts affect trade between Kenya and other East African countries. During our visit, we found out that there were too many weighbridges on the roads. We proposed that they should be reduced, especially in the Northern Corridor. However, one thing that was very clear is the police roadblocks along the Northern Corridor. I remember when the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration came to the Committee’s meeting, he promised that by 1st November, which is over, the roadblocks would be removed. I am wondering whether he forgot since he has not communicated. We are just waiting. It was in the news. We were very excited that things would move and we would The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
work well. Let me give him this week. I believe he would have done so by next week, unless he is very busy elsewhere. I believe whatever he promised will be delivered. Hon. Temporary Speaker, we also found out that the road on the Kenyan side at the Malaba Border is incomplete while the one on the Ugandan side is done. We felt that things were not working well for us. If you look at the Ugandan side, the road is well made. However, the civil work is not done on one-kilometre road that controls traffic on the Kenyan side. We felt that it should be constructed. When we met the Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport and Public Works in Mombasa, he promised that the roads would be constructed. I believe things will improve. We hope that money will be allocated and adequate funding will also be given to the EAC and the Ministry. As I conclude, since I know time is not on our side, understaffing is an issue that affects our people. Some of them said there was inefficiency and long queues because they work for 24 hours.
Member for Nandi County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion that has been brought by Hon. Wanjiku Muhia. They normally say that the strength of a Committee is as good as its leadership. I appreciate Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, Hon. Chairlady, for showing leadership.
This is the point where you appreciate experience. Having been a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), she has been able to tackle issues that affect our borders adequately. The reason we must have working border points is because we want to simplify trade across the borders, just like what Hon. Members have said. Everyone in this country must have a side hustle, even if he or she has a job, which is always business and trade. Parliament has a responsibility to ensure that we have policies and laws that are responsive to the issues that affect our people. The adoption and implementation of this Report is a responsibility of this House. As it has been noted by the Committee when they went for the fact-finding mission, there were too many issues. They have spoken about lack of proper legal frameworks, the number of weighbridges in the Northern Corridor, issues of double taxation and police roadblocks. Allow me to call it thuggery because the kind of things that people go through when they are stopped on these roadblocks are not printable. We have trade loopholes that should be sealed. We have serious bureaucracies that come with trade and clearance. There are also inadequate holding areas. Like you have heard, many trucks are packed on the road causing traffic congestion. I went through the Busia Border to Uganda in 2020 and the documentation there is very poor. I crossed the border and my passport was scanned and stamped. However, when I came back, I was told that I went to Uganda illegally because of poor record keeping. We also have the number of waiting days. You cannot make someone’s son or daughter wait for five days in a queue. That is inhuman. The Committee has effectively spoken to the proposals that they feel will help us in sorting out the One-Stop Border Posts issues. I support what they have said in totality. We must reduce the roadblocks and stop that thuggery. We must make them two at most, and they should be coordinated. We must also make people aware of their rights, so that rogue police officers do not erect roadblocks and tax people. We must also ensure that we follow up the implementation of this Committee’s recommendations because they are well-thought-out and well-researched. 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.
This will be a great milestone in addressing the challenges that we have on our borders. Our borders are very effective in many things. The food that comes in from Uganda and Tanzania cannot be quantified. We are dependent on them as much as they are dependent on us. We must protect our road network and railway lines. It is through these recommendations that we can protect that infrastructure. We must also accept to exchange technologies that are being used by other countries in our borders, and integrate so that we can have an efficient system of doing our works. Lastly, we must have a well-coordinated staffing so that we can reduce the double taxation that is affecting our people. I appreciate this Committee for paying attention to an issue that affects our people. With those remarks, I support the Motion. I will ensure that we follow it as a House so that we can get full implementation.
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
Asante sana Mhe Spika wa Muda kwa kunipatia nafasi hii niweze kuunga mkono Hoja hii iliyoko mbele ya Bunge hili, na pia nimpe kongole Mwenyekiti wangu wa Kamati ya Regional Integration, ambaye nilitembea naye pamoja katika haya maeneo ambayo yamezua utata leo hii juu ya ujengaji au uidhinishaji wa kituo kimoja cha kupima mambo ya mizigo na uchukuzi. Kwa kusema ukweli, mimi nimetoka sehemu ya Pwani. Sehemu ile ina sehemu nyingi sana ambazo kuna vizuizi ambavyo ukiangalia haviwezi kujenga na kuweza kulainisha biashara inayotoka sehemu ya Bandari ya Mombasa. Hizi ni sehemu ambazo tukiwa na kituo kimoja cha kuweza kupima mizigo ambayo inaelekea sehemu ya juu ya taifa hili au Uganda, Sudan ya Kusini na mataifa mengine ya Afrika Mashariki, yataweza kulainisha biashara. Hii yote inasababisha usumbufu kwa wafanyibiashara wetu ambao wanatumia sehemu hizi. Jambo jingine ni kwamba katika ukanda wa kaskazini mwa Kenya, kuna vizuizi vya barabarani visivyo pungua 27, ambavyo ni usumbufu zaidi. Unazuia na kuvunja mioyo ya wafanyibiashara wengi wanaotumia barabara zetu wakiangalia kuwa unasimamishwa bila sababu yoyote, mzigo unaangaliwa, ambapo katika sehemu uliotoka ya kwanza kabisa mahali mzigo ulipakiwa, mzigo ule ulipimwa na kuidhinishwa kusafiri. Lakini unapata kuna usumbufu mwingi katika barabara. Kamati hii ilipokaa baada ya kutembea, ikaonelea kwa nini tusiwe na kituo kimoja cha kuweza kupima, kuidhinisha, kuwezesha, kurahisisha na kulainisha misafara ya kuweza kuelekea sehemu zingine za nchi hii. Nimetoka sehemu moja pale Lunga Lunga. Ukipita pale mpaka wa Kenya na Tanzania, unapata kuna vizuizi vingi barabarani vya kuzuia tu wafanyibiashara wadogo na vijana wetu wa usafiri ule wa daladala au bodaboda. Hii ni mbinu ya ndugu zetu wale wa usalama. Tunajua wanachunga usalama na wanafanya kazi nzuri, lakini sasa ikifika kusumbua wale wanaosafari au wanaosafirisha mizigo bila sababu yoyote, unapata mtu anasimamishwa mara tatu, nne au tano, mpaka unakuta ule mzigo alioubeba unapoteza dhamani yake. Kulainisha sheria ya kuwa mzigo ukitoka kwa kaunti ile ambao umetokea ama imetengenezewa pale, mbona kusiwe na sheria ya kuwa hio kaunti pekee yake ndio inawewa kutoza ushuru? Unapata mzigo umetoka sehemu ya Lunga Lunga, unakuja mpaka mahali inaitwa checkpoint, analipa. Anatoka, hata kilomita mbili ni nyingi, unapata tena mzigo unalipishwa tena ushuru mwingine na watu wa Kaunti ya Mombasa. Ukisonga tena kidogo ukifika Mariakani, pia utalipa ushuru. Kamati hii ikaona huo ni usumbufu kwa Wakenya, na sisi tuko hapa kulinda masilahi ya Wakenya wetu wanaofanya biashara na kusafiri. 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.
Baada ya mzunguko huu wote tuliofanya, tulionelea kama Kamati kuitayarisha Ripoti hii iliyoko mbele ya Bunge hili. Tunawapenda Wakenya wetu, na tunataka waishi maisha mazuri na ya kuheshimika kama mataifa mengine kule ughaibuni yanavyofanya. Kwa hayo machache, ninaiunga mkono Hoja iliyoko mbele ya Bunge.
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity. I support this Report and congratulate Hon. Wanjiku Muhia for preparing a comprehensive Report on the issue of One-Stop Border Points. One of the things that should be emphasised is having a legal framework that supports all the countries we share borders with. If you look at the movement of goods and services, one of the biggest hinderances – you had noticed this even as we were analysing the trade that we have – is the delays that are sometimes caused unnecessarily at the border points by different legal frameworks that people have to try to be on the right side of either country. Secondly, it is very important that we make the movement of goods and services trouble free. Having over 20 roadblocks for goods that have been checked and sealed is totally unfair to transporters, drivers and anyone else involved in that business. It is like you are working at cross purposes. If you look at the Police Service, they are under one command, which means that if a certain road block has confirmed that the goods are okay, then there should be no need for having more than 10 in the same journey. Our agencies are able to tell the people who are notorious and say that certain transporters or people are notorious and their trucks or transport companies would be looked at, so that the people who are obeying and complying with the law are able to do their business as they should. I also think that the issue of weighbridges also falls under the same. Why would you have someone taking your weight at Athi River, then 10 kilometres later, someone else is insisting on doing the same? We are trying to make working for our country easier and doing business faster and good for everybody. The Committee has prepared a comprehensive Report on these matters. They visited the ports, and anyone who has been able to travel via road between Kenya and Uganda, for example, has observed that there are different measures on different sides. The facilities are also different. One side has better facilities than the other. The other issue I want to mention is that of having all the agencies that do checking - the police, KRA and everybody involved - to work at the same spot so that you do not have people being delayed during their journeys because you were cleared by one agency and officers at the other agency are not there. I wish we can make movement of goods and people easier for everybody. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I will finish by asking whether in the Committee - because I have heard three honourable Members and they are all ladies - Hon. Wanjiku Muhia has… ( inaudible ). That is on a light note. With those remarks, I support.
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. May I beg, if you allow me, to give Hon. Karemba and Hon. (Eng.) Kiragu one minute each?
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
I am donating one minute to each Member. I am doing this so that we can accommodate the Member who comes from near the border in the discussion today.
That is in order. Hon. Karemba.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to thank the Chairperson for this Report. It is well done. Establishment of One-Stop Border Posts will help facilitate the ease of doing business between our countries. There are many business opportunities if we have convenience in doing things. We have heard stories of traders who spend days and weeks at these border points. One of the traders stayed in one country for a long time and this affected her business badly. Therefore, I support this Report and congratulate the Chairperson for the good job.
Thank you, Hon. Member. Next is the Member for Limuru.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support this Report. The solution to the many challenges in the movement of goods between the port and the border can be addressed by technology. We can have scanners to establish what is in the containers, road cells to monitor the axle load and weights and speed cameras to monitor the speeds. We need to address the issue of time too. For this, we have to rope in road designers so that the tracks can have designated climbing lanes to accommodate them when they breakdown. I also know that we have social issues surrounding this. There are more stops due to the many ladies who position themselves along the road between the port and the border. This is a social problem that we cannot ignore. Some of the drivers deliberately stop to spend a night not taking into consideration the goods they have to transport.
Your time is up. Hon. Wanjiku, did you donate some minutes to the Member for Navakholo?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I appreciate, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia, the Chairperson of the Committee on Regional Integration. First, I want to congratulate the Committee and the Chairperson for the good Report they have prepared. I appreciate the Report, especially on the targets they have to highlight the various Governments’ involvement in the northern and southern corridor. What is a one-stop border point? It is a project that takes care of a government moving from the central area to the crossing point from one country to another. We must recognise the involvement of Trade Mark East Africa in this project. This organisation, in conjunction with the national Governments, helped with the finances, structuring, planning, implementation and laying of the border posts. I appreciate the Committee because, through this involvement, we have good towns. It is not only about the movement of goods. I come from the border and previously, we used to cross over from Kenya to Uganda through panya routes. Now we have formalised how we cross over the borders. We have disciplined and dignified ways of crossing over from one country to the other. In any case, people joke that when you cross over, you have travelled abroad. It is as good as flying to any other country in the world. Therefore, this is a good thing. However, I request the Committee to continue with the same spirit. Highlight this for us. Let us have more budgets for these kinds of programmes so that Kenyans can get the feel of a growing Government. What happens to a truck driver driving 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.
from Mombasa to Kigali? They have to relieve themselves. We do not have toilets and medical facilities along the roads. How can we deal with accidents along the roads? This can only be through such a programme. This is a good Report. The Committee should formalise whatever it has into the budgetary processes of this country. With those remarks, I support the Report.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. On a light note, we have able men in my Committee. Hon. Japheth is a Member. The Vice- Chairperson is Hon. Farah Salah. We have Hon. Zaheer and Hon. Salasya too. If the Info-Track report is anything to go by, the top 10 men were from my Committee. Having said that, allow me to thank all the Members who have debated this Report objectively. I am sure many Members were not expecting this Report today. As you heard, many had prepared to contribute to it in many Sessions, but it was never reached. I hope the Office of the Clerk has also noted that matters of regional integration are of interest to many Members. The way Members have spoken passionately means that such business should always be given priority. Hon. Temporary Speaker, Members have raised many issues. I will try and summarise them. On the issue of adequate funding, this is a recommendation in our Report. My committee is planning a conference for all Regional Integration Committee Members from the seven partner States and all the chairpersons of the budget committees. We intend to exhaustively discuss the matters concerning the budget in the EAC. It does not have any meaning to have a Community that we are not budgeting for and funding. We have staffing challenges and the one-stop border post is not effective and efficient because of lack of sensitisation and other issues. The other issues relate to hygiene, people with disabilities and parking fees. We hope that this Parliament and many other Parliaments within the partner States will put to an end this discussion on the budget. On the issue of roadblocks, we invited the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration. He committed that from 1st November 2023, there would not be any roadblocks apart from the point of entry and the point of exit. We have not received any report. As such, I know our clerks are following this debate and we shall invite him again to give us the way forward. On a light note, maybe he was waiting to redeploy them to Haiti and now that there are still challenges, he is still planning on where to redeploy them.
On the issue of the weighbridges, when we travel abroad, particularly in Europe, the weighbridges are at the entry and exit points. We also intend to have such in East Africa. In Kenya, the Gilgil Road has been mentioned by several Members. When this road is complete, we shall do away with the weighbridges at Mlolongo, Mariakani, Gilgil and others. This is upon the availability of funds. At the Northern Corridor, we intend to have only two weighbridges once the Rironi-Mau Summit-Malaba Road is complete. On the harmonisation of legal frameworks, taxation and processes, one Member has demonstrated how we do not charge parking fees in Kenya while it is charged in Uganda. My Committee intends to invite Hon. Justin Muturi, our former Speaker, to give us the levels of harmonisation of the legal frameworks. On issues of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), these are mental roadblocks not necessarily police roadblocks. We are working with our line Ministry to indicate extra budget during budgeting. This is because we find that the Ministry of East Africa Community, ASALs and Regional Development seems to concentrate so much on Arusha manenos . However, they should have a sufficient budget to create awareness in the country so that citizens know 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.
available opportunities. That is how they shall know their rights. This will also help us to address the non-tariff barriers. On the issue of county cess, I am 100 per cent in agreement with the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. For instance, in county A, you will find that you are charged a cess that makes trade very expensive and non-competitive to the neighbours. On the issue of the central corridor, a Member who has left the Chamber indicated that we should have visited Burundi. For the record and by way of information, I want to state that my Committee intended to pay a visit to both the Northern and Central corridors and converge at Kigali, Rwanda. In that case, Tanzania and Burundi are in the Central corridor. We are now struggling with lack of funds as a Committee, but once we have them, we shall still have this tour and bring a report. It is, however, important to remember the sovereignty status of each country. We may not be able to speak on what should be implemented in the neighbouring countries at this juncture, unlike what we are saying we should do away with the police roadblocks in Kenya. Hon. Mbui had asked a question on the issue of one common currency and the Federation. I want to say that the dream is still very valid. The common currency was intended to be in place by 2024 but because of many issues and lessons learnt from Brexit, the East Africa Community has extended it again to 2030. When I left EALA, everything in terms of laws and statutory monetary union was in place. It is just a matter of establishing a very firm avenue on how to actualise that. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I request to be added a minute. On the issue of the Federation, my Committee gave a memorandum to Arusha…
You will have two more minutes.
The Federation is the ultimate pillar in East Africa. But because we are not able to attain a Federation, the East Africa Community decided to start with a Confederation. That authority requires a Constitution, and we have already given our views. The Constitution making process is underway and in the fullest of time and in the very near future, we shall have a Confederation. We shall then wait for a Federation. As I conclude, another Member was interested in how best we could have handled COVID-19. We learnt very good lessons particularly from Uganda which has experience of Ebola. As a Member who was traversing and overseeing the borders then, I can confirm that COVID-19 was handled properly in terms of health but poorly in terms of transport. I remember there were very long queues particularly in Malaba and other borders. We intend and aspire to do better. Finally, Hon. Temporary Speaker, allow me to congratulate the Speaker of the Parliament of Tanzania, Madam Tulia, for her just concluded election as the President of IPU. This is togetherness. The Members from this Parliament went and voted for the Speaker of Tanzania in a common way and avenue to show that we are not Tanzania, Kenya, but the East Africa Community. This is the spirit. Hon. Temporary Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to request that you look at Standing Order 53(3) and defer putting the Question to the next sitting. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Well said, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia. The Question will be put in the next sitting.
Hon. Kimani Kuria, Chair of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I admire the zeal and understanding that the Chair of the Committee on Regional Integration has on matters of regional integration. Hon. Karemba here is saying that she is also passionate in those matters. Therefore, in future when I become President, we have agreed she will be the Cabinet Secretary for Regional Integration or EAC. Hon. Muhia also talked about the membership of her Committee. The Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning has only one lady Member and 14 male Members. We only have Hon. Umul Kheir, the County Member of Parliament for Mandera County, but she says that she is not complaining. She does not want competition, and so she is okay.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I stand to move Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on the Kenya National Population Policy for Sustainable Development. Today, we are discussing a matter of great significance for our beloved nation; the Fourth Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on Kenya Population Policy for Sustainable Development. The decisions we make today will shape the future of our country and well-being of the generations to come…
Hon. Kuria, you have heaped praises until you forgot to move your Motion. Please move your Motion properly as in the Order Paper before going to the details.
Whereas I agree with you, the Motion has to be properly moved first before you move to the explanation.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the Report of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on its consideration of Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on Kenya National Population Policy for Sustainable Development, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 4th October 2023, and further that his House approves Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2023. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I was saying that the National Population Policy is very important for the following reasons: Kenya’s population is growing rapidly and if unchecked, it can strain our resources, healthcare system and infrastructure. Therefore, a national population policy is crucial to manage the growth in a sustainable manner. A properly managed population growth can contribute to economic prosperity and through this policy, we can ensure that our population becomes an asset rather than a burden leading to sustainable development. Hon. Temporary Speaker, a well-structured policy can help harness the demographic dividend creating a youthful, skilled and productive workforce. A comprehensive population policy will prioritise healthcare services, family planning and education. This will ensure that every Kenyan has access to quality healthcare and education. The issue of population can be looked at in two ways and depending on how well we can use our human capital, it can either become a burden or an asset. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the demand for human capital from Kenya across the globe has demonstrated that the best resource and exports that this country can harness is not tea or coffee, but human capital. Kenyans are sought after by employers globally in different 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.
respective fields. If you recall, Kenya is even on the record for donating the former President of the United States of Africa, His Excellency Hon. Barack Obama. That tells us the quality of human capital that we have as a country. In formulating the Fourth Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on the Kenya Population Policy for Sustainable Development, the National Council for Population Development adopted a multi-sectoral inclusive and participatory approach process which involved the following; extensive and intensive review of relevant information and data, public participation nationwide through the 47 counties, consultation with experts, leaders, policy makers at national and sub-national levels to capture a wide range of perspectives, validation of documents by stakeholders and approval by relevant authorities of Government such as the National Development Implementation Technical Committee and National Development Implementation Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICC). These policies recognise the fundamental rights of human beings and communities to have equal access to all opportunities to improve their well-being. I urge Members of this House to debate this process and advocate for its success so that we can together create a policy that ensures the well-being and prosperity of all Kenyans now and in the generations to come. The policy provides an overall framework and proposes key policy measures to be undertaken to address critical population challenges in the following key broad population thematic areas: population size, growth, age structure and vulnerable populations, fertility, morbidity and mortality, mobility, migration and urbanisation, population, human settlement, environment and disaster risk, data, research and innovation, and resource mobilisation. The policy proposes effective management of the population programme through improvement in human capital for sustainable development through appropriate nutrition, health and well- being, quality education, job creation and skills development, integration and mainstreaming of population and development issues in all sectors for the improvement of the welfare of families and communities, harnessing departmental aspects of migration as a key social change phenomenon and, at the same time, minimising risks that come with migration, particularly the illegal forms, ensuring availability and accessibility of reliable and timely data and enhanced research on population and attendant issues. The policy proposes an implementation framework that will be carried out through a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional approach that will involve the national Government, county governments, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, private sector, faith-based organisations, the media, institutions of higher learning and research institutions among others. The policy will be implemented within the broader framework of the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Constitution of Kenya. This Sessional Paper highlights some emerging challenges, diverse cultural and religious beliefs and proactive issues such as child marriage. It is really disheartening to know that in 2023 we still have challenges of child marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM) cases in this country and yet we have Government officers and parents. Those that are supposed to protect these innocent children are perpetrators of these heinous acts against children and young women. We have low involvement in family planning programmes. Population control or family planning has been mainly a women’s issue, leaving out men. In any case, a child belongs to both the man and the woman yet the involvement of men in family planning programmes is very minimal. We also noticed low involvement of women in decision making. Although we have passed a very progressive Constitution that recognises the role of women and women leadership and the two-thirds gender rule, you still find very low involvement of women in decision making. Women are continuously being involved in many affairs, but when it comes to the critical moment of decision making, we continually see them being left out. This needs to be corrected. Myths and misconceptions about family planning and contraception still continue to hinder proper decision making on contraception. We have so many opposing views 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.
and miscommunication around contraception and family planning. Some of them are as a result of conflicting messages being given by the political class and religious leaders. On matters of human development that I alluded to earlier, the Human Development Index (HDI) summarises the country's achievement in providing its citizens with quality education, health care, longevity and the necessities to lead a decent life. It is very important to note that latest data on HDI estimates Kenya to be at 0.579, which is slightly lower compared to the country with the highest, which is Norway, at 0.954, but we are doing quite well because the lowest is Niger at 0.377. The quality of a decent life measured through HDI seemed to improve in Kenya, something we must really applaud Kenyans and everyone for. Annual changes in HDI since 1990 has been about 0.77. Currently, we have moved from the low- developing countries to developed countries in terms of quality of life as measured by HDI. Between 1990 and 2018, Kenya's life expectancy at birth increased by 8.9 years. The mean years of going to school has increased by 2.8 years and the expected years in school has increased by two years. We continuously see more people going to and taking longer in school. This has a positive correlation with what we see in human capital. In addition to speaking the national language, compared to our neighbours, our command of English is quite good. That is why the demands for human capital especially in English-speaking countries is higher than that of our neighbours. You can see the increased number of years of study has a positive correlation to the quality of human capital that we have as a country. Kenya's Gross National Income (GNI) per capita increased by 34.7 per cent. Again, this can be attributed to the things that I spoke to earlier about the quality of life in terms of health care, education, access to school, access to good nutrition and prudent use of family planning. On the morbidity and mortality issue that I alluded to, it is interesting that life expectancy in men increased from 47 to 64 years since 1968. For women, it has increased from 54 to 69 years. Women have a longer life expectancy. I do not know what we could attribute this to. I think women are less risk-takers; they make better decisions. Perhaps because they mostly prepare our meals, they take the best nutrition of those meals. They also take good care of their mental health. Women will spend their time at the spa, the salon or shopping. They generally take good care of their mental health. Therefore, this can be the reason for the increase in life expectancy for women compared to men. Men, on the other hand, are known to mislead each other. They spend their time doing all the harmful things to their bodies. It is a challenge to men in this country. We are doing very badly. Our life expectancy has significantly reduced. Women have a longer life expectancy of 69 years compared to men at 64 years. We need to take good care of ourselves so that we do not run the risk of being extinct in the next few years. As the spouse of the Deputy President says, the carrier of the seed needs to be protected. In this Sessional Paper, you can see that the carrier of the seed is under threat for the reasons that I have given above. I urge this House to interact with Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on the Kenyan National Population Policy for Sustainable Development and urge all agencies in Government to use data in their decision making. There is the decision that is made, for example, by the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) on equitable revenue sharing formula between the national Government and county governments. Whether it is the allocation of the NG-CDF or the County Allocation of Revenue Act, there is need for resources to be shared based on data. Once we remove politics from our Budget and do not have it as a tool then even the heavily contested elections we experience every five years cycle will go down. For example, if all people in the country could be certain and sure they will have development in their areas irrespective of the way they voted, their community and beliefs, even the political intolerance, religious extremism and atrocities we see being done on other communities like the unfortunate thing happening in Lamu will end. Examples of extremisms are cattle rustling and banditry happening in Kerio Valley and Pokot. Majority of the times, it is a matter of The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
competition of resources. Therefore, I urge all decision makers including those in this House, that when making decisions, let them be based on data so as to ensure we send resources where they are most required and will have the greatest impact in the society and country.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, with that, I beg to move and ask Hon. Adipo Okuome a member of my Committee, to second.
Member for Karachuonyo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to second Sessional Paper No.1 as explained very strongly by the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. This Paper is very rich with what we need. A country without a policy on its population is lacking so many vital issues necessary for the well-being of that population. Education is key to our population and we must plan and do something for our people, so that they can get the desired education that will make them enjoy life on this planet. We need a policy to guide and plan on how we can feed our population. We also need a health policy. A population without good health is more or less a sick population. We need to plan on health facilities that will take care of our population and make it productive. These thematic factors are very important so that we can enjoy the life we have. Most details have been explained by our Chairperson. I add my voice to what he has said and support Sessional Paper No.1 as moved. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Sorry. I not only support but very strongly second Sessional Paper No.1.
Thank you, Member for Karachuonyo.
Member for Kirinyaga.
Mhe. Spika wa Muda, ninakushukuru kwa kunipatia nafasi hii. Hata ninamskia Mhe. Muhia akicheka kwa kunisikia nikizungumza lugha ya Kiswahili. Mhe. Spika wa Muda, ninakumbuka nilipokuja katika hili Bunge mara ya kwanza, niliweza kuchanganya lugha ya Kiswahili na lugha ya Kimombo. Nilirekebishwa na kuambiwa kuwa hatufanyi hivyo. Ninakumbuka kuwa niliona watu kwenye mitandao wakinukuu MaidenSpeech ya Kirinyaga Woman Representative. Sasa safari imeanza. Nimekolea kidogo na ninajua kuwa vijana hapa Bungeni wanajikakamua. Ninaiunga mkono Ripoti hii. Ugawaji wa rasilimali ni swala nyeti hapa Kenya.
Ninashangaa huyu anataka nini jamani. Huyu anafikiria mambo yake. Yeye ni mtu wa kanisa.
Mhe. Osoro, tafadhali.
Mhe Spika wa Muda…
Mhe. Osoro, hakuna Hoja ya kufahamu katika Kanuni za Kudumu. Haiwezekani. Kama unatumia lugha ya Kiswahili, zungumza katika lugha hiyo. Kwa sasa, mwache Mbunge wa Kirinyaga ajikakamue na uchanganuzi wake wa Kiswahili. Tukiangalia katika Kamusi, tunajua maana ya maneno “swala 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.
nyeti”. Lakini kwa wale ambao fikira zao ziko mbali kama Mhe. Osoro, wanafikiria kuwa neno “nyeti” linahusu sehemu za mwili tu. Hapana. Hatuko hapo. Mwache Mhe. Njeri amalize mchango wake. Mhe. Njeri, usiangalie hawa Wabunge. Jadili na Mhe. Spika wa Muda.
Mhe. Spika wa Muda, tutamwondoa huyu Mbunge. Ninajua kuwa Mhe. Cynthia Muge ni mtu wa kanisa. Kwa hivyo, ninajua kuwa Mhe. Osoro ataokoka ili atoe fikira zake kwa mambo ambayo sio ya hapa Bungeni. Ninaunga mkono Ripoti ambayo imeletwa hapa na Mhe. wa Molo. Tumekuwa na mazungumzo hapa Bungeni na pia kule nje, tumesikia watu wakisema kuwa tuhakikishe kuwa tunagawa rasilimali za Kenya kulingana na kanuni ya kura moja, mtu mmoja, na shilingi moja. Kuna wale pia wanasema tuongeze kilomita ya mraba moja katika lengo hilo. Ni tatizo wakati kama huu kujua kuwa kuna watu ambao hawafikiri kabisa rasilimali hapa Kenya. Tumekuwa tukihakikisha kuwa tunaandikisha na kujua ni jumla ya watu wangapi ambao wako katika viwango tofauti. Bado kuna watoto ambao wanabaki nyumbani na hawaendi shuleni. Kuna watu katika sekta tofauti tofauti ambao wamesaidiwa na zile fedha ambazo zinapeanwa na hili Bunge kwa usaidizi wa masomo. Lakini kuna sehemu nyingine ambapo watoto wanabaki nyumbani maanake tunagawa rasilimali za hapa Kenya kwa namna ambayo si sawa kabisa. Kuna shule kule Mwea, Kirinyaga County ambayo haina misingi. Hakuna mahali pa watoto kuketi na kuchezea. Hatuwezi kufananisha watoto hao na wale ambao wako katika shule ambazo zina misingi bora. Masomo yao hayawezi kutoshana na masomo ya wale ambao wana rasilimali za kutosha Tunajua kuwa tuna sheria ambazo ziligatua mambo ya afya kwenye...
… kwenye counties, Mhe Spika wa Muda. Tulipoleta devolution, hatukuhakikisha kuwa tunajua ni watu wangapi mahali fulani ambao wanahitaji dawa. Hakuna dawa katika hospitali zetu kule Kirinyaga County na kwingineko. Kwa hivyo, tukizungumzia hayo maneno, lazima tuhakikishe kila mtu anaweza kujivunia kuwa Mkenya. Vijana wetu wamesoma lakini kazi hazipo. Lazima, kama Bunge, tuhakikishe kuwa tunajua, kwa mfano, ni vijana wangapi wanaoishi hapa Nairobi. Kama ni Kirinyaga County na county zingine… Tunajua kwamba kuna migration, kwa mfano, watu watoke Kirinyaga waje Nairobi. Tunahitaji kujua ni watu wangapi wako Kirinyaga County na tuunde misingi ya kuwawezesha kujikimu kimaisha wakiwa Kirinyaga County ili waweze kujikuza. Ninaunga mkono Hoja hii. Tuhakikishe kuwa tunagawa rasilimali kwa usawa kwa kila Mkenya. Shukrani.
Ashante, Mheshimiwa wa Kirinyaga. Ninafikiri motisha leo imetoka Molo ikatembea mpaka Kirinyaga. Nimemuona Mhe. Harrison Kombe na Mhe. Fatuma wakikubaliana na wewe kwa sababu uko sawa. Ni vizuri tukijizoesha kuongea lugha hii. Hii ni lugha yetu. Duniani, watu ambao wanakizungumza Kiswahili ni zaidi ya milioni mia mbili. Inafaa tufike pale ambapo tutakienzi na kukizungumza Kiswahili. Nafasi hii nitampa Mbunge wa Nandi, Mhe. Bernard Kitur.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Allow me to appreciate the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning as I support Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on Kenya National Population Policy for Sustainable Development. The Report that has been tabled in this House is timely so to speak. Kenya is dynamic. So many things have been changing over time. This Sessional Paper was a revision of the 2012 Sessional Paper. There are so many things that have happened since 2012 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.
up to now. So, it is appropriate that as many things happen, we allow our thoughts, as leaders, to help us take a step forward in giving our contribution to have a policy that is futuristic. One of the things that has captured my attention is the broad-based manner in which this policy has been made. When I look at the actors that participated in developing this Sessional Paper, they are broad. They include people from the international development partners, national Government, county governments and the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). They are very broad. Equally, the alignment of this policy will occur by enjoining various treaties and agreements that have been signed by this country. For example, it is a desire that this policy aligns with the international development agenda and frameworks like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the East African Community Vision 2050, the African Union 2063 agenda as well as the Addis Ababa declaration. This is the right time that we can have our policy align to all these so that as we move forward…
Hon. Member for Nandi Hills, do not be distracted.
They are consulting loudly, Hon. Temporary Speaker. In supporting this Sessional Paper, I agree that there have been very many dynamics in terms of the population size, the age structure and vulnerable populations. It is important that we have a policy that aligns to all of these. When we talk about fertility, there are very many dynamics in that space as well. I agree that on social aspects, time has come that men also participate and play a key role in family planning and matters like that. In fact, the other day when the National Assembly was on recess, my locals, in their own thinking, encouraged me to increase the number of people in my household.
I want to agree with them.
Where are you on that front?
I am trying. I did not want to work with what my locals were telling me. However, we need to have a progressive approach on this matter. The aspect of mortality has been captured in this policy. Hon. Temporary Speaker, when we are talking about a new dynamism that is happening also in this country, Kenya has become an attractive place for labour migration. Several parts of the world especially developed countries are having an aging population and an unstructured population. I do not think as a country we need to go to that direction where we do not know what to expect as we go along. As we are having this serious labour migration, we need to have a policy that is very clear on that aspect. Equally, when we are saying we need to embrace data so that when we are doing the distribution of resources, it must be well informed. I want to agree and support this in that even as we go along data and technology, any resource that we collect in our country must be well divided. We need to have a well-planned society that is well structured and futuristic. Lastly, is the aspect that has been captured on issues of healthcare; to having a very healthy generation. I would want to have a population that is an asset, well-structured population, and a policy that supports the same that is an asset not a liability. Therefore, I want to support very much this Report that has been Tabled in this House.
Thank you. Let us have Hon. Beatrice Elachi. 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. I also rise to thank the Chair and to appreciate this Sessional Paper which is very critical in terms of our population but more importantly how we develop the country. This Sessional Paper now picks the census that we had in 2019. You will realise that this is a nation with a very young population that is very youthful. If you look at the brackets of 0 to 15 years, you will realise they took 39 per cent of the census at that time. This means from that time to date, they are now growing. They need schools and infrastructure. We need to rethink the plan on how we move. Just the other day the ministry was picking data for vulnerable children. We realised that today if there is a place with the highest number of vulnerable children who are all over the streets, it is Nairobi. It is very sad that they are looking for food and anything they can do. There is no field in Nairobi where they can play as everything has been grabbed. One of the things we want to look at even as we pass this Sessional Paper is how do we deal with urban cities, where we have very high population but less amenities for children to play even when they have closed school. Today, the Governor has what we call the Dishi na County. I plead with him that it should continue so that they can come to school, play in the grounds but at lunch time they can have a meal. This is because the Report says we are dealing with shelter. We want to deal with the land policy that everyone must have shelter but you realise those are the challenges that we are dealing with today. More importantly, we want to look at the nutrition of children which is worse. If you look at our children today, I will tell you we are not doing well. In fact, we can have a few of the ministries - Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection - that deal with protection of children and the vulnerable to work together and look at how we are dealing with children. If we are not careful, by the time they reach their productive age, we shall have more children in crime than those who are supposed to take over the country. The other day there was a documentary in London after COVID-19. Kenya also faces the same challenge that we have children who never went back to school after COVID-19. Today, in one of the eastern sides of London, you cannot walk, because children below 14 are the ones who are mugging, walking with knives and terrorising citizens there. They were talking about it and I am like, yes, it is happening in London and London is coming to give Kenya money but it is also happening in our country. If you are in my constituency at around midnight, you will still find children on the streets. What are they doing now to ensure they are dealing with children who will not commit crimes, yet we do not have juvenile courts? I support this Report. I have looked at the demographic, how it talks about resources and all these things we need to do. The first thing we must safeguard are the children of Kenya, especially the children of Nairobi. I finalise by telling my Governor, Hon. Sakaja, that it is time for him to look at what is happening in Nairobi, especially at night. He must close some of the bars that I see all over that are terrorising us. With those few remarks, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you. Member for Navakholo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 on Kenya National Population Policy for Sustainable Development. There is a school of thought that invites very many of us to think about it and listen to what it says. It carries on to say that if you want to fail, do not plan. You will simply be planning to fail by failing to plan. Therefore, this Sessional Paper invites all Kenyans to know what is going to happen to them today or a few days to come. I invite my colleagues, especially to page 37 of the Sessional Paper. It has tabulated the forecast of what is likely to happen to the entire population. I want to single out one area which has caught my eye; total fertility rate and population size. What are we looking at? Even if you The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
are not interested in increasing the population rate, the Bible tells us to go to the world and multiply. What will you do when your population comes down and your fertility rate drops? Definitely, you will not have your images in the likeness of God in future. Our fertility rate is dropping. It is currently at 3.4 per cent but it is now projected at 2.1 per cent in 2050. We have to work around it and establish what we shall do. What will we do in our healthcare to make sure our physical fitness is good enough to encourage our reproductive systems?
When I was watching news on my television two days ago, it was revealed that about 4.2 million Kenyans have reproduction issues: low sperm count and inability to reproduce. This is one area that good professors of healthcare should help us to address. Our population growth from 2019, as tabulated here, is at 47.6 per cent. I foresee a scenario where we will be at 82.6 per cent in 2050. That means we must plan. Let us look at the way the Sessional Paper is addressing us in the Report which is very well documented by the great Member for Molo Constituency, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), who will become Fellow Certified Practising Accountant (FCPA) very soon. If you look at the issues of human capital, this will contribute a lot by enabling us to meet the planning aspect of our country.
There is a difference between human capital and development. The Committee has given us the difference. If you look at the Human Development Index (HDI), we are marginally improving it which is a position that is now making us work hard to improve our schools. How do we raise it? We must have good schools and invest in education. If you look at the new programmes in the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), they are definitely asking us to invest more money. If you hear the Departmental Committee on Education asking for more money to make sure that education is accommodated in the Budget, this is an area which we must emphasise on. The Report says that the use of family planning has improved. We have moved on from the initial lower percentage of 39 per cent in 2014 to the current standing of 58 per cent. That acceptability does not mean that when you do family planning, you do not have children; it means you only have children at the right time and size that you can manage. If you also look at the issues which the Committee has highlighted in terms of marriage, there is a tendency that in a marriage, at least, for every first marriage, there is a likely increase of 0.6 per cent in terms of the years for both male and female during the last decade. This means there is very low uptake or acceptability…
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
Thank you. There is very marginal acceptability of marriage, a case which I want to invite my countrymen to accept that we are Africans and we value marriage. I am married and it is important that we also encourage our children to get married so that they live in a union that they can plan jointly, put resources together and have a better life. Finally, there are issues of population, human settlement, environmental and disaster that the Committee has highlighted. This is very key. Most people tend to say they want to move from the rural areas. I am a representative of a 100 per cent rural constituency. I will encourage my people not to see Nairobi as the destination of a better life. Instead, I would wish that more institutions can move from Nairobi to Navakholo, where there is cheap land and set up their institutions cheaply. We have boys and girls in Navakholo who have gone to school and who can still produce what can be produced in Nairobi at a cheaper cost. Therefore, I would not want to encourage movement from Navakholo to Nairobi. Instead, we move resources from Nairobi down to Navakholo. Thank you. I support this Sessional Paper.
(Hon. Martha Wangari)
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to support the Sessional Paper on the Kenya National Population Policy for Sustainable Development. I start by saying that planning is everything and we need to plan so as to know how to appropriate and manage our resources. Kenya and Africa at large has one of the fastest growing populations. Actually, the average age within Africa is around 19 years, whereas the average age in the Western world, say, the United States of America, Great Britain and Australia, is around 45 years. What that means is that the Western countries are in need of labour and the only source of labour now is Africa, particularly Kenya. Kenyans are known for being aggressive, active and can thrive everywhere. I support this policy since we need as many people as possible out of the country to go and work. This can only be possible if we are going to ensure that we have clear statistics on the number of people that we have, especially the young people, and also ensuring that these young people are educated right from the basic level to the highest level of education attainable. This is one way of ensuring that they are marketable and employable. This will help our country. As the Chairman has said, previously we used to net a lot of foreign exchange from the export of coffee and tea. So, it is important to have this policy in place so that we can take as many people as possible out of the country.
The health of our population is important. My attention is specifically drawn to mental health. A lot is unsaid about mental health. I am a disturbed Member of Parliament because we buried a young man from the famous Kianjokoma, who took his life. In the same constituency, we have two other young men who are yet to be buried. They also committed suicide. This can be attributed to the issue of mental health. As we consider the health of our population, this Government must invest heavily in mental health. For a very long time, we have talked about diseases such as cancer, HIV and AIDS and tuberculosis. It is high time we started talking about mental health.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I wish to support this. This Committee has done a great job.
Thank you. The next chance will go to the Member for Nandi, Hon. Cynthia Muge.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Report by Hon. Kimani Kuria. He does a good job. The Sessional Paper is important. I was asking myself why we have to update the population status. However, looking at the Report, the last update on this matter was in 2012. I was in my first year in university then. You can imagine how many children I have now and how many things have changed in my life that would not have been captured, if this Sessional Paper had not been updated. From the look of things, the Sessional Paper is going to align the priority actions to many agendas that have been set locally, internationally and regionally. As the Chairperson presented, the Sessional Paper tackled many issues that affect the population. However, allow me to pay attention to three matters. The first issue is on fertility. The data shows us the fertility levels regarding adolescents – early pregnancies and childhood marriages. This is still very high. The statistics are going higher. These are teenage girls in Nandi and in Kenya that we are referring to. The maternal mortality rate on Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2023 indicates that we lose 5,000 women, mostly young girls, due to birth complications. My heart bleeds because of this. At this time and age, we cannot have women dying while trying to give life, especially young girls who are raped or impregnated. We must find a solution to this issue. We have the data; we just need all the actors 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.
in this sector working on it. I have seen women who suffer from fistula. Being a woman, I know you understand how that feels. This data also provides information about the youthful population. We have a rapidly growing youthful population. This population does not have jobs and, because of poverty in their areas as has been put forward by this Report, cannot continue with their education. Hon. Temporary Speaker, this Report speaks about vulnerable people and people with disabilities. I note with a lot of concern that I was at home when we were on short recess last week. There was one man whose name is Mr Shadrack Lelei who walked into my compound. He is a reverend. He told me, “ Mheshimiwa, I am coming here to ask you to pay salaries for staff in my school.” I asked him, “Why are you telling me to pay staff in your school when you have 70 students?” He told me, “These are children with disabilities and they do not have birth certificates to get NEMIS numbers.” This is a red flag regarding how children and people with disabilities are treated. The parents hide them and the Government is not doing enough to fish them out and ensure that they have the requisite documents. I felt bad for them because this is a very important service to the community. The people around the area of Mosop are benefiting from it. However, they cannot access funds from the Government courtesy of the lack of requisite documents that should be provided by the same Government. The Chair mentioned something to do with life expectancy being better for women. He was comical enough to say that it is because women go to salons to do pedicures and manicures. I was telling my friend, a Member from Kirinyaga County, that the same men go to barbershops four times a week. A week has seven days but these people go to the barbershop four times in seven days. You wonder who should have a better life expectancy.
This brings me back to the point made by Hon. Karemba here about mental health. Mental health issues are a monster. I can tell you that the body of a chief from an area of my Aldai Constituency is lying in the mortuary. Allegedly, he found his wife cheating on him. He decided to ingest a poison called Roundup Turbo. He is dead as we speak. We should pay attention to mental health. It should be in this Report for the Government to act on it. Hon. Temporary Speaker, Hon. Kimani also spoke about men being extinct. Let me say something at the last minute. A very comical pastor is doing rounds on social media platforms. He says the reason we have fewer children, and fewer men for that matter, is because men are into drinking a lot and they have wasted the very strong slow Y chromosome. The men are giving the X chromosome only. Alcohol has contributed to this. The Sessional Paper should address some of these issues.
Thank you, Hon. Muge. I do not doubt that the Y chromosome is working because I recently came to see your baby who is a boy. I will give this chance to Hon. Kuria Kimani to reply.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. With your indulgence, I would like to donate two minutes to Hon. Muhia and another minute to another Member.
You are out of order.
Hon. Cynthia has already spoken to this Motion. She exhausted her time.
I donate two minutes to Hon. Muhia and two minutes to Hon. Keynan who is a Member of this Committee.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I have looked at this Sessional Paper, which I support. I have not seen the issue of persons with disabilities come out very conspicuously. When you look at different topics, the issue of persons with disabilities has been put under vulnerable persons where they have also put unemployment and several issues. I would like to see the issue of persons with disabilities come out strongly in the next Sessional Paper. Employment is being redefined today because we have realised that we have full-time caregivers. There is a mother to an autistic child who does nothing but look after her child. In future, we should amend the law on employment of persons with disabilities and add their caregivers. Time and again, we have heard the Executive saying they are negotiating for employment in country A, where our 200 youths will be sent. In the next sessional paper, I also expect to see the number of Kenyans living abroad grow both settled and unsettled. How many Kenyans are in Canada or Uganda? This is because resources follow population. So, it is upon us to accurately attend to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and our futuristic vision, by knowing how many we are. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support and congratulate Hon. Kimani and his team, for the very good job they have done.
Thank you, Hon. Wanjiku. Hon. Keynan, one minute.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am a Member of this Committee and this is a very good paper. We all live in this country and understand the dynamics of our politics and demography. I liked the contribution by Hon. Cynthia, and we need to listen to such voices. Sessional papers have been politicised in the past. Population and development are intertwined. So, if this country wants to achieve meaningful development, we need to depoliticise numbers which have been made emotive and politicised for no apparent reason. Where I come from, we do not believe in numbers especially, the last census. So, some individuals have gone to court. We should go out of our way to professionalise and institutionalise parameters of development. I hope this Report will go a long way in helping us depoliticise numbers so they are used to achieve meaningful and realistic institutionalised development. That is why data is very important. I support this Report because I know the Committee has done a good job.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, these reports are very good. If you go to the archives, you will find some of the best reports. If Parliament passes this Report, will it be implemented? I am sorry to say there are floods in my area. So, I was talking to a Cabinet Secretary who visited three counties and did not go with any Member of Parliament. How will development be projected? How will the people on the ground appreciate the existing synergy between Members of Parliament and the Government? These are the things we are discussing here today. There is a need for a paradigm shift…
Thank you, Hon. Keynan. Hon. Kuria.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I have noticed it is two minutes to the adjournment of the House at 7.00 p.m. I would like to thank all Members who have contributed to this debate. They have given us great insights about being more deliberate when capturing data on people and persons with disabilities as proposed by Hon. Muhia. Issues of mental health have been spoken to very well by Hon. Cynthia and my comrade Hon. Karemba. We will speak with the National Council for Population and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Development (NCPD) to enhance this, so the next sessional paper encompasses all these details. Most importantly, we have seen His Excellency the President will soon launch a number supposed to encompass all details of individuals. It is paramount when someone is born, their birth certificate number be what they use when enrolling in school, identification as a citizen and paying taxes to KRA so that we can avoid all the mini registrations going on. This is a waste of money and with technology, it is possible to incorporate all these. In addition, as we talk about data let us remember we have the Data Protection Act. When sharing data about other people, it is important to be cognisant of this new law. Hon. Temporary Speaker, with that, I beg to reply. Under Standing Order 53(3), I indulge you to postpone putting of the Question to a future sitting. Thank you.
Thank you very much. It will be so. The Question will be put in the next sitting.
Order, Hon. Members. Be upstanding.
Hon. Members, the time being 7.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 8th November 2023, at 9.30 a.m.
The House rose at 7.00 p.m. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
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.