I direct that the Quorum Bell be rung for 10 minutes.
We may proceed. First Order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table. 1. The 2023 Budget Review and Outlook Paper from the National Treasury. 2. The Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP IV) 2023-2027 from the National Treasury. 3. 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) Kambui Girls High School. (b) PCEA Kikuyu High School. (c) Mosop Mixed Secondary School. (d) Dr Kiano Girls Secondary School. (e) H.G.M Ting’ang’a Secondary School. (f) Moi Girls Secondary School Kamangu. (g) Muhoho High School. (h) Dr Kiano Boys Secondary School. (i) Kirangari Boys High School. (j) Kairi Boys Secondary School. (k) Kirenga Girls High School. (l) Ikonge SDA Mixed Secondary School. (m) St. Agatha Ngoloki Secondary School. (n) St. Clare Butula Girls High School. I thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Member for Makueni. Hon. Suzanne Kiamba, proceed.
ORDINARY QUESTION The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I wish to ask the following Question to the National Police Service Commission. Could the Commission: (a) Explain the circumstances that led to the dismissal of Mr Henry Mutunga King’ola, of ID No.25987997 and Service No.239072 on 18th February 2022? (b) Explain why the Commission is yet to re-instate Mr Henry Mutunga King’ola after the High Court in Makueni acquitted him…
Hon. Suzanne Kiamba, you are asking a Question or giving notice of Motion?
Then start again if it is a Question and not notice of Motion, for purposes of record.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I wish to ask the following Question to the National Police Service Commission. Could the Chairperson of the Commission: (a) Explain the circumstances that led to the dismissal of Mr Henry Mutunga King’ola, of ID No. 25987997 and Service No.239072 on 18th February 2022? (b) Explain why the Commission is yet to re-instate Mr Henry Mutunga King’ola after the High Court in Makueni acquitted him on 28th July 2022 of all the two charges leveled against him? (c) State the action(s) the Commission has taken to reinstate Mr Henry Mutunga King’ola to the National Police Service and compensate him following the unlawful dismissal in 2022?
Thank you, Hon. Suzzane Kiamba. Next Order. Hon. Dekow Mohamed, did you have a Question or a Statement?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker
Hon. Deputy Speaker. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 44(2)(c), I wish to request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security regarding the unexplained abduction and disappearances of several persons within Garissa Township Constituency. Hon. Deputy Speaker, on 8th October 2023, Mr Adow Mohammed Hassan of ID No.25572443 was abducted from his house in Garissa Town. The father of nine has since been missing. On 18th of October 2023, again, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamud of National ID No.26323016 and a father of six was abducted from a hotel within Nairobi, Eastleigh area and has not been seen since then. Less than two weeks later on 30th October 2023, Mr Abdirashid Hirsh Mohamed of ID No.30391407, a father of five, was picked by police officers from his shop in Garissa and his disappearance remains a mystery to date. 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.
Families of these three missing persons are facing a heart wrenching uncertainty about the whereabouts of their loved ones. In all the stated cases, the abductors of the victims are believed to be police officers apparently cracking down on terror suspects. While we truly support the efforts by the Government, police officers, and the security agencies to fight terrorism, the recent developments raise deep concerns regarding the violation of the fundamental rights of suspects by subjecting them to ethnic and religious profiling. Arbitrary arrests and possible extra-judicial executions without due process of the law. The criminal justice system is clear on the manner of processing suspects. Therefore, it is important that security agencies uphold the principles of due process at all times. It is against this background that I request for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security on the following: (a) What circumstances led to the police abduction of Mr Adow Mohammed Hassan of ID No.25572443; Mr Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamud of National ID No.26323016; and, Mr Abdirashid Hish Mohamed of ID No.30391407? (b) Where are the three missing persons being held and the status of the investigations if any? (c) What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that the counterterrorism initiatives and efforts are carried out in strict compliance with the law and the international human rights standards?
I think there was also a Statement by Hon. Member for Soy Constituency. Hon. David Kiplagat.
The Standing Orders provide for the timeline for the relevant Committee to obtain these answers from the National Police Service or the relevant institution. Are there any more requests for Statements?
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hold on a moment I confirm if there is another request for a Statement. Okay, you may proceed Hon. Raso with your point of order.
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker. There are two Statements sought by our colleagues in the House this morning. One, there is abduction of citizens. In the last Government, many Kenyans were abducted from their homes, cars, and offices and to date, many of them are still missing and the families are suffering. I believe under the Government of President William Ruto, the law must take its course and not a single law enforcement officer should take the law in their own hands. Let those who are suspected or seem to be involved in vices such as criminal syndicate or even associated with terrorism have their day in court. The idea of extra-judicial killing or making Kenyans to disappear must stop. From this House, we all have one or two people still missing from our constituencies. This Government should not allow that state of affairs to continue. On what the Member for Soy Constituency raised, the National Police Service is said to be Utumishi kwa Wote and no life is more important than the other. All lives are important. For that reason, as the Vice-Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs, I will bring a report back to the House in two weeks.
Okay, we can proceed to the next Order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Procedural Motion: THAT, this House resolves to exempt the business appearing as Order Nos.10, 11 and 12 in today’s Order Paper from the provisions of Standing Order 40(3) being a Wednesday Morning, a day allocated for business not sponsored by the Majority or Minority Party or business sponsored by a Committee. You will notice that there are Orders that were planned for tomorrow afternoon sitting at 2.30 p.m., but now a matter that is in the public domain and communicated by the Speaker is that H.E the President will address Parliament tomorrow on the State of the Nation. It is, therefore, important that we reschedule these Orders to Wednesday Morning, a day allocated for business not sponsored by the Majority or Minority Party or business sponsored by a Committee. I move and ask Hon. Martha Wangari to second. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Did you move the Procedural Motion as indicated in the Order Paper?
Yes, I did. Thank you.
Proceed, Hon. Martha
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. This is for good order and the convenience of the House. Therefore, I second.
Put the Question.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Procedural Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 120, this House resolves to reduce the publication period of the following Bills from 14 days to eight days — 1. The National Lottery Bill (National Assembly Bill No.69 of 2023); and, 2. The Gambling Control Bill (National Assembly Bill No.70 of 2023). You will realise that we only have about one calendar month to dispense with all the business in this House within this very busy session. We have many Bills that are lined up in this House to follow all the procedures and it is only imperative that we try as much as possible to condense the procedures that we have. The publication period should not be very short or very long so that we are able to dispense with this business right in time. There is the National Lottery Bill, which is very crucial, and the Gambling Control Bill which has been debated in this House previously. There has been an issue that every person has interest and people have really shared a lot about gambling matters in this country. We felt it wise to reduce the publication period from 14 days to eight days. That is not too long or too short. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move and ask Hon. Rahim to second.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I second.
Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, Hon. Koech.
I could not see you actually.
I was here. I took your seat today. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move 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 the Nominees for Appointment as High Commissioners, Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, November 7, 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 approves the appointment of the following persons as High Commissioners, Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors-
(i) Ambassadors and High Commissioners
You can give him three minutes to complete.
Amb. Betty Cherwon has had an outstanding service and testament to her education.
Another notable nominee was Mohammed Nur Adan, our nominee to Doha, Qatar. Mr Maurice Odhiambo Makoloo, our nominee ambassador to Vienna, was another notable nominee. He is currently the Vice-President of the United Nations’ Habitat for Humanity International in Africa. He is going to help us, particularly where the Kenya Kwanza administration is focused on, the affordable housing.
Let me say in a nutshell that most, if not all, of these nominees were extremely impressive in pitching for their nomination. For that reason, therefore, the Committee recommends that the House approves the appointment of: 1. Ms Jane Wairimu Ndurumo as the High Commissioner of Pretoria, South Africa. 2. Amb. Isaac Keen Parashina as the High Commissioner of Abuja, Nigeria. 3. Ms Janet Mwawasi Oben as the High Commissioner of Kigali, Rwanda. 4. Mr Peter Munyiri as the High Commissioner of New Delhi, India. 5. Dr Wilson Kogo as the High Commissioner of Canberra, Australia. 6. Mr John Ronald Ekitela as the High Commissioner of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 7. Amb. Philip Mundia Githiora as the High Commissioner of Maputo, Mozambique. 8. Ms Sabdio Dido Bashuna as the High Commissioner of Gaborone, Botswana. 9. Prof. Peter Ngure as the Permanent Representative of Paris, UNESCO. 10. Amb. George Morara Orina as the Ambassador to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 11. Col. Rtd. Shem Amadi as the Ambassador to Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. 12. Mr Jeremy Nyamasyo Ndola as the Ambassador to Juba, South Sudan. 13. Mr Jeremy Laibutah as the Ambassador to Khartoum, Sudan. 14. Mr George Macgoye as the Ambassador, Djibouti, Djibouti. 15. Ms Joyce Khasimwa Mmaitsi as the Ambassador to Luanda, Angola. 16. Hon. Iringo Kubai as the Ambassador to Mogadishu, Somalia. 17. Ms Fouzia Abdirahman Abass as the Ambassador to Bern, Switzerland. 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.
18. Amb. Betty Chebet Cherwon as the Ambassador to Paris, France. 19. Amb. Fredrick Lusambili Matwanga as the Ambassador to Rome, Italy. 20. Amb. Angelina Kavindu Musili as the Ambassador to Stockholm, Sweden. 21. Amb. Stella Orina as the Ambassador to Berlin, Germany. 22. Ms Nairimas Sharon Ole Sein as the Ambassador to Madrid, Spain. 23. Mr Maurice Makoloo as the Ambassador to Vienna, Austria. 24. Prof. Emmy Jerono Kipsoi as the Ambassador to Seoul, South Korea. 25. Mr Mohamed Ramadhan Ruwange as the Ambassador to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 26. Lt. Gen. Albert Kendagor as the Ambassador to Tel Aviv, Israel. 27. Mr Mohamed Nur Adan as the Ambassador to Doha, Qatar.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move and urge the House to adopt this Report. I request Hon. Major (Rtd) Sheikh Abdullahi Bashir, my Vice-Chair, to second this Motion. I thank you.
Did you mention the Permanent Representatives?
Yes, I did.
Thank you. You may proceed to second.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I second the Motion that this House approves the appointment of the 27 persons nominated for appointment as high commissioners, permanent representatives and ambassadors. The offices lie under the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. The duties of the office of the head of mission, pursuant to Section 21 of the Foreign Affairs Service Act (No.12) of and (No.21), are well known to all of us. They are well documented. I do not want to go back to what my Chairman has said. I will skip that point.
During the approval hearings, the Committee paid due regard to the procedures used to arrive at the nominees. We looked at any constitutional or statutory requirement relating to the offices and suitability of the nominees proposed for appointment in regard to whether the nominees’ abilities, experience and qualities meet the needs of the country's foreign service. We also looked at the demeanour and composure of each of the nominees during the vetting process, so that we could decide whether they make the cut. Hon. Deputy Speaker, upon conclusion of the approval hearings, we scrutinised the personal, academic and career backgrounds of the nominees. We were fully convinced that they were all fit to be heads of the missions they had been nominated to serve. There is something to note. Half of these nominees are career diplomats and people who have served in the line ministries. This is actually the very first time that most of the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs staff have been considered. This improves the morale of the team that works at the Ministry. This is very important because half of them are career diplomats. We scrutinised these nominees for two weeks because they are 27. That means we took our time to look at each of them and we saw that they all make the cut. I wish to assure the House and country that we have the right individuals to steer our foreign policy in the respective stations. We, therefore, recommend that the National Assembly approves their appointment to serve as High Commissioners, Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors in their respective stations. Some of the candidates made the Committee’s work very easy because they were composed and they defended their positions. Let us look at one of the candidates, Prof. Peter Ngure. He is an academician but he is going to serve at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which is about education and culture. That is where he makes the cut. We also had two Members who previously served in this House, who were also nominated to serve in those stations: Hon. Kubai and Hon. Kogo. Having served in the National Assembly before, they make the cut because diplomacy is also about parliamentary diplomacy. They did their best. The last nominee we vetted was Mr Mohamed 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.
Adan. He was the most composed amongst all the nominees. He answered our questions in a very composed manner. That tells us that all the 27 nominees make the cut.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I do not want to take too much time. I urge the House to adopt this Report, so that the 27 nominees can go to serve the country diligently at their stations, which lack representation now, as High Commissioners, Ambassadors or Permanent Representatives. The vacancies need to be filled now. Without further ado, I second the Motion and urge the House to adopt this Report.
I will give opportunity to a few Members, starting with Hon. Jane Kagiri.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to support this Motion. Firstly, I take this opportunity to congratulate the 27 nominees because it is a huge fit, considering that they were picked amongst more than 52 million Kenyans. Secondly, I congratulate the Committee for a job-well-done. They have given us a breakdown of the nominees, their strengths and where they think they should do better. Allow me to support this Report but with some advice to the 27 nominees. I would like to remind them that they are going out of the country as representatives of Kenya. We seek that they continue the good bilateral relations we have with the various countries. We request them to foster those relations further. The Prime Ministers of Japan and Czech Republic, and the Chancellor of Germany visited our country. King Charles III visited our country last week. That speaks to very good bilateral relations. We ask the nominees to foster them further and create more opportunities for this country. Secondly, I urge them that when they go out there, they are the parents of Kenyans in the diaspora, including students. They should remember that they are supposed to assist them with any consular services out there. This particular Motion reminds me of my years as a student in a foreign country. When my visa almost expired, I was required to reach out to my High Commission. When I made a phone call there, the officer who received it told me that I would not be the first student to be deported. The immigration officer in the host country looked at me and told me that he would assist me, if those were the kind of officers who were supposed to serve me. I know that my story is one amongst many of Kenyans in the diaspora who struggle. I urge these nominees to defend Kenyans and be there for them. Thirdly, let them remember that they are also supposed to manage crisis in the countries they will be serving. We watch television images of our people who work outside the country suffering. They send videos to their relatives, and those videos are aired by our media houses to inform us that Kenyans are experiencing challenges out there. I challenge these nominees that when they go to serve in those countries, they should be there to assist Kenyans, in case of emergencies. A Kenyan does not need to call out for help back home when there is an embassy or High Commission that is supposed to assist him. Fourthly, they are going out there to promote our country’s tourism sector. I took time to check the leading country in tourism last year. It was France and they had 79 million tourists while Kenya had a paltry 1.5 million tourists. I want these nominees to walk away with these numbers. They should realise that as we complain of the weakening shilling, the only way to bolster it is by increasing our foreign exchange by having more tourists coming to this country. So, let them increase our trade. If you look at last year’s diaspora remittance, it was around Ksh483 billion. It is good for the 27 nominees to remember that we need Kenyans in the diaspora so we can increase our The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
foreign exchange. They should serve, support and assist them accordingly, so they can continue supporting our economy. As I conclude, let them remember that we grow tea, coffee, cotton and we have human capital. These should be marketed out there, so as to increase our foreign exchange. Having said that, I wish them the very best as they proceed to serve our country. We know that they are up to the task and will deliver greatly. To the 27 nominees, Laikipia County was voted as the leading tourist destination, where you can easily spot the big five. Once they get out there, the nominees need to be a walking brochure and tell people of wonderful destinations to visit in this country. Finally, Laikipia is the host of the honey bear in Africa. They need to have this information as they go out there. With those remarks, I support the Report and wish them the very best.
Thank you. Next is the Member for Marsabit County, Hon. Naomi Waqo. Hon. Members, who want to contribute to this debate, kindly press the intervention button. Let us be mindful of the others by not being repetitive. Keep it brief so that as many Members as possible can have an opportunity to speak.
Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to this Motion. First, let me congratulate the Committee for doing due diligence and coming up with these recommendations. I also want to congratulate the 27 nominees, who will be representing our country. They are our ambassadors and should serve this country in the best way possible. They are greatly honoured because many people would have loved to be in these positions but, through the mercy of God and the Kenya Kwanza Government, they have been picked to represent us. I have gone through the Report and looking at their names, I know they are well-educated and are equal to the task. They will serve this country in the best way possible. There are areas they will need to give special attention to. As we all know, Kenyans are very dynamic and they invest a lot in education. We have students all over the world and sometimes they are exposed to a lot of danger. They face many challenges and at times they have visa issues. I request them, as representatives of this country, to give our students a lot of attention. Their parents and relatives are back here while they are out there, advancing and excelling in their academics. They should give them a lot of attention and help where they can, so that they can maximise their time. In particular, I want to talk to Mr Mohammed Nur Adan, the nominee to Doha, Qatar; and Mr. Mohammed Ramadhan, the nominee to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They should consider the young people who go to those countries in search of jobs and suffer in the hands of their employers. Some have lost their lives and bringing back their bodies has been a challenge because Kenyans lack money. I request these ambassadors to support all the people doing different jobs outside the country. They should be treated as human beings. There are Kenyans who go outside the country for medical attention, who also should be given a lot of attention. As I conclude, let me talk about Dr Wilson Kogo, the nominee to Australia, who was here in the 12th Parliament. I know him because I interacted with him in the 12th Parliament. He should represent our country in the best way possible. I congratulate him together with all the others. I pray that this time round, they show people that Kenya is a country which produces good people and leaders. In particular, I want to refer to nominee No.8, Ms. Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, who is a great lady from Marsabit. She is a professional, having invested a lot in education and served this country in different capacities with a lot of integrity. She takes care of herself and has committed to serving this country in many ways. As she goes out there, as one of the women leaders from Marsabit, I am proud that one of us has been nominated to represent 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.
I know she is very hardworking and passionate about serving this country. I want to tell her that the women of Marsabit and this country are proud of her and wish her all the best as she represents us out there. We will give her all the support she needs. Hon. Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I wish all the nominees the best as they serve our country and represent us in the best way possible. Let them be agents of transformation; promote tourism, trade and everything that Kenya needs promoted. We proudly give them all our support. Thank you.
Member for Gilgil, Hon. Martha Wangari.
Thank you Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate about this very good Report brought to the House by the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee of Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations – of which I am a Member. We sat for long days to scrutinise this list of 27 nominees brought by the President, on their nomination to different countries. I take note that this list is well balanced. As you can see, there are nominees from Marsabit, Nyeri, Kajiado and from all over the country. Most importantly, gender wise, out of the 27 nominees, 10 are women. This is 37 per cent and we have very high confidence that they will be very good representatives of our country. This nomination list is quite unique because it has mixed nominees from different fields of experience. In the list, we have academicians like Professor Peter Ngure, the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of St. Paul's University, a Professor of Parasitology who is widely published. His knowledge and capacity are much needed at UNESCO as a representative. There are other people in the list, like former politicians Hon. Kogo and Hon. Kubai Iringo. They are knowledgeable in terms of being people’s representatives and have capacity to represent this country. Looking at the international NGO world, you will find nominees like Madam Fouzia Abass and Mr Maurice Makoloo, who have worked in international organisations. More importantly, we also have serious career diplomats, who have served this country in the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs and have risen through the ranks to top level management. They include Ambassador Philip Githiora, Ambassador George Morara, Ambassador Stella Orina, Ambassador Betty Cherono, among others. It is quite a good mix.
Let me correct you because I grew up with her and went to school with her. Her name is Cherwon.
Ambassador Betty Cherwon not Cherono. She is also a career diplomat. They have all previously served this country in other stations. We not only scrutinised their capacities but also their knowledge of the areas that they have been assigned to. We scrutinised their academic qualifications and integrity. We did that against the backdrop of fair administration of justice in that you are only proven guilty after you have been convicted. That was with regard to Mr George Macgoye because the EACC flagged him out. The EACC should not just flag out someone without giving proper details. If an issue has not been escalated to a charge, it cannot be used to deny someone the opportunity to serve this country. These ambassadors will represent the good “face” of Kenya out there on behalf of the President, and in terms of furthering the pillars of our foreign policy, economic relations and the diaspora. They must be a one-stop shop for Kenyans out there, as other Members have said. I say so because we experience conflicts like the current one between Palestine and Israel. I remember that we asked the Ambassador who will be posted there whether he would evacuate Kenyans. Kenyans should be confident that if they are in a country that is on the brink of war, they can be helped by the Government to exit. An embassy should be a one-stop shop where they will be assured of assistance. 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 President has done very well in the last one year in terms of placing this country on the map of the world. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic was in the country just yesterday. We either have senior officials or presidents of various countries regularly visiting our country. The ambassadorial nominees should remember that they must follow up after the President starts bilateral and multilateral relations. That speaks to deliverables. They should not just be called Ambassadors, High Commissioners or Permanent Representatives. If they are sent somewhere for four years, they should create jobs for our youth. We are dealing with issues of unemployment and a dynamic labour market in this country. Therefore, if you have served in one station for four years, you should be able to quantify how much business you have brought to the country, how many investors from the country you are stationed in are investing in our country, how many jobs they have created, and how many people you have assisted to get scholarships and be employed in that market. The nominees should handle those deliverables from the moment they arrive at their stations. Without taking much time, I support the Report. We thoroughly scrutinised these people. We had all the time to ask questions and scrutinise their documents. They had all been cleared by the statutory institutions that are required by our Constitution and other laws such as the HELB. They are not officials of political parties. As a Committee, we are confident that once these nominees are approved by this House, they will be the representatives we need to further our relations with the countries in their stations and other countries in the region. We are really struggling as a country to maintain hegemony in the region. Our hegemony is under threat. We should assert Kenya’s position in the region, the continent and the globe, as the President is doing. We hope that these nominees will back up the President’s efforts. I support the Motion.
Next is the Member for Kipipiri, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia. Give her the microphone.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Report. I would like to start by congratulating the Committee for a job very well done and also notify the House that the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations works very closely with my Committee. I serve in the Select Committee on Regional Integration. We need to work well with the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations for us to integrate well and for prosperity. I would like to speak to the 27 nominees and ask them to maintain and improve our foreign relations. They should be kind to Kenyans, especially students. We hear very sad stories every time we travel overseas and attempt to hold a dinner with Kenyans abroad. Kenyan students get stranded because their passports have expired or are about to expire. They try to reach our embassies but they do not get any help. The Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations needs to explain to this House the job description of ambassadors. What is their work? How can a student or Kenyan be stranded in China or India yet we have an embassy there flying our flag? I urge these nominees to be kind. They should get out of their offices and try to understand Kenyans living in the countries they are stationed to represent us. We debated Sessional Paper No.1 of 2023 yesterday on the accuracy of data in planning. We spoke about the billions of shillings that we get from Kenyans who work and live 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 foreign countries. Our ambassadors should also get accurate data of Kenyans who live in foreign countries. We are aware that there are those who live there with papers and others without. I urge our ambassadors to give the real situation of any country they represent so that when Kenyans are planning to travel, they can do so wisely. For instance, the Canadian Embassy is currently issuing hundreds of visitors’ visas. When Kenyans land in Canada with a visitor’s visa because they are trying to find better opportunities and greener pastures, they cannot work and end up sleeping on the streets. We challenge ambassadors to inform Kenyan citizens of the real situation on the ground. They should know that they need a work permit to work in a foreign country. Failure to obtain one will mean that they cannot work. I am happy with this list because it has a number of women. This House also has a number of women. I want to speak about persons with disabilities. I do not want to speak about women because there are many women on the list and we have already spoken about them. I do not see any ambassador representing persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities have proven themselves to be hard workers. I urge our President and the Government, which I am part of, that persons with disabilities would be happy if they found one of their own on this list. We appreciate that Hon. Mwaura is the Government Spokesperson and he is doing very well. He has proven that he can perform well. We look forward to having one or two persons with disabilities on future lists.
We work with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as the Select Committee on Regional Integration. I look forward to working with Ambassador Isaac Parashina, whom I know very well. He previously served in Tel Aviv. Now that he has been stationed in a country which is affiliated with ECOWAS, which we work with time and again, we look forward to working with him. We also work with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and we look forward to working with Dido Bashuna, who has been stationed in Botswana. We also look forward to working with George Morara at the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. We look forward to be working with Shem Amadi, who has been assigned to Kinshasa because the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has come on board. For the information of this House, we already have a tripartite of the three regional bodies, namely; COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The success of this regional integration will also count on the ambassadors at these stations. So, they should be kind to Kenyans. That is my message to the Ambassadors and High Commissioners who will be going out there to represent Kenya. Thank you.
Next is the Member for Vihiga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. Let me start by congratulating the Committee under the Chairmanship of Hon. Koech for a job well done. They have told us that they spent hours on this vetting and I take note that the list was very long. Secondly, I want to congratulate the 27 nominees for the appointments that they have been bestowed with. There are three things that I take note with satisfaction when I look at this list. One, when you go through all the names as they appear in the list, they represent the face of Kenya. This is very useful because time and again we have had skewed nominations that do not represent the face of Kenya. So, I congratulate the President on that one. Two, a lot has been talked about the gender rule and I agree with what has been said. There is good representation of gender when I look at this list. Three, I note with satisfaction the mix between various careers that have been tapped in this list. For example, we have academicians and ex- military officers who have been given a chance at diplomacy. So, it is a very good mix of people with different experiences being tasked to do diplomacy. One thing I will ask before these nominees leave for their respective foreign missions is that they get a very good pre-departure training. Some of them are going to countries whose 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.
cultures are different from ours. It is very important to appreciate the different cultures of the places we go to. So, let them have a good pre-departure briefing so that they know what to expect where they are going as Ambassadors and High Commissioners. I have an appeal to these nominees in relation to what they will do to encourage Kenyans to register with the embassies that they will serve. Having lived in the UK, I will give an example of the late Ambassador Shadrack Kimalel – may his soul rest in peace. That gentleman had an arrangement where every Friday he had a social meeting at the Embassy. That encouraged a lot of our people to come from wherever they were to the Embassy. So, we need to see a lot of our people registering. What is our expectation from these diplomats? We should move to economic diplomacy. We want these people to go abroad and create opportunities for us. So, they should focus on issues of economic diplomacy apart from the usual consular services. One of the responsibilities that I urge our nominees to undertake when they go to these missions abroad, is to safeguard our assets abroad. How often do you go to a mission and find a pile of vehicles all over and dilapidated buildings? They should know that it is their job to safeguard our assets abroad. The other point I want to make is an appeal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the President. It is about our diplomatic footprints in various parts of the world, especially in Africa and South America. I have noted that in a vast continent like South America, we only have one embassy in Brazil. We should consider having a very strong diplomatic footprint all over the world. I appreciate that in Africa we have done very well. We were lagging behind in West Africa where we used to have one Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria. Now a lot has changed and we have a good foot print there. I will encourage that we have a big footprint in the South America continent, especially in Argentina and Colombia. We are in Brazil and Cuba only. How do we judge the performance of our Ambassadors and High Commissioners? There should be a yardstick on how we judge them. The clear yardstick should be how much they contribute in consular issues and economic diplomacy. Last is on an issue that bedevils us, which is the issue of people getting stranded in foreign countries. I am aware that the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, together with the Ministry of Labour, are coming up with a Migrant Welfare Fund for such people. The creation of such a fund should be fast-tracked because it will be an important fund. When our people are stranded out there, something will always be done to help them because often times, the embassies are unable to do anything about people who are stranded outside the country. So, I encourage the Government to fast-track the actualisation of the Migrant Welfare Fund, which will take care of stress when our people are out there. With those many remarks, I support.
Thank you. Next is the Member for Kamukunji.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I would like to join Members in supporting the Committee’s recommendations on the nominees. As a Member of the Committee, I want to say that this was one of the most arduous vetting exercises that we have ever undertaken. I speak from experience having been in this Committee for four terms now.
They were 27 ambassadors and high commissioners. That is a big of number to vet. We are in a changing global environment with a rapidly changing global landscape. So, ambassadors 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.
high commissioners require more specialised skills and knowledge, and more experience to operate. The field of foreign affairs and diplomacy is not for everyone. You cannot have everyone in there. I am now relieved. At one time, we had a lot of nominations from the political side and the foreign affairs docket was becoming a dumping ground for people who the administration did not want. However, in this nomination list, we received 27 people who are very qualified. Several of them hold PhDs and they have specialised in their own fields. Many of them are professional carrier diplomats who are stuck in the system because of various reasons. They need to do the job that we need them to do. It is dealing with economic diplomacy, multilateral issues, climate diplomacy, soft power and cultural diplomacy, digital diplomacy, diaspora and crisis management, and many other roles that are required in today’s diplomatic service. There are people with really specialised knowledge among the people that we have recommended to represent us in this list. We are now recommending those who have made it to represent us. Those on this list are people with really specialized knowledge. They have economic, scientific, and much specialized bilateral knowledge. I think they will serve us very well as we send them to missions across the world. I also wanted to say that however good or effective a diplomat is, he or she cannot be the best diplomat in the world without the support of the Government. If you do not have…
Excuse me, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am distracted here. You are not going to succeed if you do not have the support you need from your base—supporting government ministries and departments. Let me take the example of tourism. A diplomat works very hard to sell our country, holds seminars and exhibitions, and promotes tourism then the tourists come in big numbers. When they land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, they get harassed by customs officials, policemen and immigration officers. That effort by any diplomat would come to nothing because that tourist will not come back to this country again. We must also fix our affairs so that we have an enabling and supportive environment for the work ambassadors are doing out there. I also want to compliment the President for the balance. We have a very good regional, ethnic and religious balance among the appointees. For example, for the first time in recent years, I see we now have the right diplomat in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Previously, our ambassador was more or less irrelevant because he did not fit very well with the culture, religion and ethics of that neighbourhood. We now have an ambassador who will be able to open doors for us and work with the Muslim community going on pilgrimage to Jeddah, Mecca and Medina every year. Overall, this is a very good balance of representatives. They are well qualified and well experienced. I wish them well. I urge this House to approve them so that they start their jobs in the various missions all over the world. With those remarks, I support.
Hon. Members, I would like to listen to you contributing. Several of you are consulting with me at the same time. One is on this side of my ear and another one on the other side. Allow me to listen to those contributing so that I also get to know what is going on. Avoid approaching the Chair. Member for Uasin Gishu County, go ahead. You have the microphone. Is your microphone on? 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. Just a moment. My apologies, my microphone was stuck underneath some of the gadgets here. Hon. Temporary Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on the Report on the vetting of persons for positions of Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Permanent Representatives to UN bodies. I commend the Committee for having done a very good job in vetting the various nominees. However, in the interest of time, I want to go straight to one particular point. In his moving notes, the Chairperson of the relevant Committee stated that the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to the KRA, and the EACC, among others, seeking information relating to the ethics and integrity about the nominees. He said that all responses were favourable, save for that of Mr George Macgoye, Ambassador nominee to Djibouti. That is the one that was flagged out. In its response to Parliament, the EACC stated that it was progressing in an inquiry where the said nominee had been mentioned in a matter that related to the Kenya Maritime Authority. The question that we need to deal with here as Parliament is the confirmation that the EACC has no authority whatsoever, in law, to purport to clear nominees for any position as ambassador, high commissioner or permanent representative. I will refer to the Leadership and Integrity Act of 2012, Section 13(2), on what the Commission is allowed to deal with. There is a requirement for persons to fill out self-declaration forms. It is for persons running for a State Office. That self-declaration form does not give the EACC power to purport to clear a person of any criminality. The self-declaration form is intended to be used at a later date, should the person be under investigation for any wrongdoing or anything contrary to the Leadership and Integrity Act. It is similar to the wealth declaration form. It is not intended to be used to prevent a person from being approved for any office. It is for later use, should the person come under investigation subsequent to their appearance before the Committee. Here, we are allowing the EACC powers it does not have. In fact, the response from the EACC was null, void and unnecessary. The Committee must inform the EACC that it cannot write to say a person cannot be cleared because it is inquiring into some corruption allegations made against such a person. It also goes contrary to the Constitution. Article 47 of the Constitution on fair administrative action says that everyone likely to be adversely affected by any adverse administrative action has the right or fundamental freedom to be given written reasons. At what stage was the EACC going to get an opportunity to give reasons to Mr Macgoye in time for him to be cleared as the Ambassador nominee to Djibouti? It is completely unfair and malicious people in those commissions can use that to prevent people from being appointed to state offices. Another issue we need to clarify is that when a parliamentary Committee is sitting, it has the powers of a High Court. The person appearing before a parliamentary Committee will usually take an oath to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. If that person is asked whether there is any matter against him or her pending in court or whether he has ever been convicted by a court of law and so on, the person has an opportunity to say yes or no at the risk of committing a perjury, whose punishment we all know. It is wrong for the EACC to purport to be the investigator, the prosecutor and the judge in relation to persons and deciding whether a person has been cleared to meet the integrity standards set out for appointment to public office. It is my plea to parliamentary Committees to ensure that they do not create monsters out of some of our independent commissions in undertaking their duties. For example, it is self- 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.
defeating and futile for a parliamentary Committee to write to the DCI asking if a person meets the standards of integrity and ethics. The DCI has no capacity in terms of human resources and databases to make that determination. They can hardly keep up with the number of criminal cases and investigations already in their hands. We are now adding them another job of interrogating specific individuals. We have systems and institutions which will catch up with these nominees at the appointed time. Even if we approve them for these positions, it is not the end. At a later date, should they be found to lack integrity, there is process for removal from office, but we should not put the cart before the horse. With those few pointers that I have noted… Lastly, instead of writing to the DCI to make a subjective decision, you simply asked the nominees to submit a certificate of good conduct, which shows they have no criminal record. It is as simple as that. Let us stick to the processes which already exist. If we are not satisfied with them, it is very simple: This House has the power and mandate to legislate various laws and regulations. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity. With those few remarks, I support.
I am sure the Chairperson of the Committee is listening. In future, we need to review what we ask from nominees. Member for Mandera South.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity. I want to congratulate the Committee for the wonderful Report. They have taken a long time vetting these nominees. It is good they have given us 27 credible nominees for approval as ambassadors and high commissioners. In this world, a lot of things are happening and diplomats like the ones we are approving are very key in international relations. We need them especially at a time like this when Kenya is becoming a highly recognised country in the world. The fact that we were asked to lead the Haiti mission is an example of Kenya's growing credibility in the world. We need credible men and women to represent this country in the diplomatic circles. I take this opportunity to congratulate the 27 nominees for being nominated as ambassadors and high commissioners. In particular, I want to congratulate two nominees from my county, Ms Fouzia Abdirahman Abbas who will serve in Bern, Switzerland and Mr Mohamed Nur Adan who will serve in Doha, Qatar. Also, by extension, I congratulate a neighbour of Mandera County, Ms Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, who will serve in Gaborone, Botswana. Congratulations to all of them. Thank you.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. (Dr) Pukose?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I know this is a very important Motion on approval of ambassadors so they can start working. I can see everybody is supporting it. Will I be in order to ask that the Mover be called upon to reply?
Hon. Members, from where I sit, I can read the mood of the House. Hon. (Dr) Pukose, you are my friend, but for the first time, I disagree with you on this matter. We will allow a few more and then the Mover will be called because the same Standing Order you are standing on allows more Members to debate. Please do not raise your hands because I am following the list. All of you want to speak, so I will follow the list on how you came in. Next to speak is the Member for Sotik. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to comment on this important issue. On the onset, I was privileged to serve this country as a diplomat. This is a position of honour and I thank the President for giving us the face of Kenya. If you look at the names of nominees to these posts, they are from all over the country and professionals. So, I thank the Committee for doing a very good job. As I said earlier, I had the privilege of working in Nigeria as the High Commissioner. I managed to put up offices and staff quarters and I am very proud. I ask these nominees to make sure they work for the Government, bring goodies to this country and mainly work on economic diplomacy. When I was in Nigeria, I tried very much to influence intra-African trade, but there were many problems in West Africa. I urge the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs to give these diplomats capacity, officers, staff and working space so they can deliver on behalf of this country. The other day, I was in Canada and I realised there are many opportunities there. We should work together and create connections so that Kenyans can trade and get jobs available there. I am very sure our country will benefit a lot and so I appeal for capacity building of these diplomats. Let them be given proper technical and diplomatic training so that they can discharge their duties. I also ask the nominees to make Africa the place to go. They should improve trade relations between African countries. I support this Motion.
Hon. Caleb Amisi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this chance. It is becoming increasingly difficult to speak in this House. I do not know why, but I am happy…
You are out of order, Hon. Caleb Amisi. You are No.15 on the list and I have given seven Members from this side. Come on! You cannot say that.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I was referring to earlier sessions and not this one. I appreciate being given this chance. Thank you for catching my eye. I support this Report by the Committee which I serve on appointment of ambassadors and high commissioners. Ambassadors and high commissioners are the highest rank of diplomats with full potential and powers to represent the State and Government. In this respect, they must be Kenyans of high quality with impeccable records of professional acumen. Sitting in the Committee vetting these ambassadors, I was well convinced because they were drawn from various departments and professions. So, for the first time we have majority career diplomats. In the last Parliament, we passed a Bill to protect our career diplomats so that we have a good percentage of them being appointed as ambassadors, which is one of the highest positions in their career. As a student of international relations, in which I am currently undertaking a master’s degree, I have interacted with these ambassadors from an academic angle and I am satisfied they are people with impeccable knowledge in education and international relations. Currently, the globe is changing in so many spheres; economically and militarily. There are power struggles across different regions: Hegemonic power struggles in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) region and the African region. When Kenyans who have knowledge in security matters are tasked to represent us in an anarchical international environment, we give our country enough power and expose knowledgeable Kenyans to carry our flag in whichever circumstances that occur internationally. There are a number of members of the diplomatic corps with a background in economics. For example, my good friend, Mr Matwanga, has worked in various missions and has an impeccable record in matters economy. We have been talking about how to harvest economic advancement out of our missions abroad. When we have diplomatic representatives 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.
well equipped with knowledge in matters economy, we are comfortable that they will tap into the global economic dynamics that change every day and we feel well represented whenever matters of the Kenyan diaspora economic pillar are mentioned. As we send our people in the diaspora to represent us, as one of my colleagues mentioned earlier, we need to give them proper pre-departure sensitisation. They must be keen on our ever-evolving foreign policy statement. We keep changing our foreign relations, treaties, negotiations and bilateral and multilateral agreements, whatever the case may be. These representatives need to know the existing agreements and treaties that Kenya has and how they benefit our country. We have had interactions with members of the diplomatic corps. Some of them do not have an idea of what agreements Kenya has with other countries. Therefore, we do not envisage them representing us well if they lack knowledge of how Kenya relates with other countries. It is important that we give them pre-departure training. We have a college. In the last Parliament, we passed a Bill to establish a Foreign Relations Training College. Members who do not have knowledge in matters of international relations or who have come from other backgrounds can be trained and be well equipped so that when they go out, they represent us fully and diligently. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to support and give other Members an opportunity to support. Thank you.
Thank you. Member for Dagoretti North.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I support the team and, more importantly, to appreciate the Committee for the work they have done in considering the appointment of ambassadors and high commissioners. This is the most sensitive docket that we have, but sometimes forget about. I congratulate all those who went through the interviews and now are headed to different missions to serve Kenyans. I humbly ask them to go out there and make us proud and be our brand. You are the ones who carry the image of how Kenya is back home. Go and serve Kenyans. Right now, Kenyans face many challenges with some of the missions out there. We hope that the ambassadors will have a way of dealing with the challenges. Go and work well with your staff. You will find Kenyans who have been in the missions. Let us not find people writing back home that they are going through a lot of challenges because of a new high commissioner or ambassador. We have many challenges with rent in most of the missions. Parliament must relook and think through the issue. We need to ask ourselves how Uganda and Tanzania have survived. Tanzanians have survived by using their National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to buy property for their missions and the money meant for rent is paid back to NSSF. Kenya should be thinking about going through that route. You can imagine how we are struggling with the economy in this country. What about the missions out there? How are they surviving? As we go for benchmarking, we would want them to come to the airport to receive us, but do they have the resources? Are we giving them enough resources to do that? The best thing is to think of a way to make it sustainable by having our own mission buildings back home. The Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs must pay NSSF back. The same way we are doing affordable housing is the same way we should be thinking about our missions across the world. There are many opportunities. We must think of ways to export so that we can reduce our exchange rate to the dollar. The challenge of the spiking rate of the dollar can be dealt with by ensuring that we have exports. These ambassadors can champion what we can export out of our country to ensure that we start working on our economy. As I congratulate all of them, especially those I know, I want to tell them to remember to carry our flag high. Remember that Kenya is the hub of East Africa. Make it that hub. With those few remarks, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to support.
Thank you. Well done. Ongea kidogo so that we can get more people to speak. 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 Kibwezi West.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I was inclined to support the request by Hon. Pukose that the Mover be called upon to reply because Members are saying the same thing repeatedly. As I do so, allow me to say the following.
I am in support of the Report that has been tabled by Hon. Nelson Koech, the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations. The 27 nominees to the different positions of ambassadors, high commissioners and permanent representatives should be approved by this House. We must remember that Kenya enjoys a very good place in the international community. We have a very good footing in the international community and our image out there has been one of the impeccable images in Africa. The people who are appointed can only be expected to make our image better, not even to maintain what we have. Reading from the Report, because I did not have the privilege of listening to the nominees during their suitability appearance before the Committee, it appears that the Committee of this House is satisfied that the persons so nominated and vetted by this House have what it takes to take the image of this country forward. Hon. Temporary Speaker, it cannot also be lost to this House that diplomats are funded by taxpayers’ money. We pay them salaries, and they would be housed by taxpayers’ money. They will have offices, vehicles and residence. Part of the many privileges they enjoy is that their children will go to international schools. Their personal bills will be catered for by taxpayers’ money. Therefore, this House must be demanding as part of our oversight mandate that there must be results. The people being so appointed must also give results so that the money that we are expending can give value to the people of Kenya. My request is that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must give the diplomats, as they are being posted, specific targets so that every diplomat from the station where they are appointed can account for what they have brought to this country or what they have helped this country in their specific area of posting. Lastly as I sit, we have also many places in the world where Kenya does not have diplomatic foot print. Many of them are being coordinated by embassies that are far away and I would urge that the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations urges the Government to increase the funding to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that we open more consulates and missions so that our footprint can be everywhere in the world. As I finish, it is a matter of public notoriety that many of these embassies are not properly funded. I sit in the Publics Accounts Committee and recently we went to our mission in Geneva. Geneva has an office and we congratulate the outgoing High Representative of Kenya to the WHO, the Former Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Eric Mailu, who hails from my constituency, because he was doing a good job there. But even as we do so, we realise from the audit reports a lot of these missions are complaining that they are not adequately funded and, therefore, they are not able to execute their mandate. We want to request that the Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations finds it necessary, as part of the budgeting role of that Committee for our missions, that when we send ambassadors there, they are also adequately resourced so that they are able to bring results back to the country. With those few remarks, I beg to support the Report and reiterate my earlier comment that the request by Hon. Pukose…
You are out of order.
I had not completed; I do not know. Sorry. 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.
You are out of order.
(Kibwezi West, MCCP) Because I had not finished.
You are out of order.
Thank you very much.
Hon. Ali Raso.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Let me congratulate the Committee led by Hon. Nelson Koech for this Report. I think for the first time the way the interviews are conducted, and the way the reports are filed it is very clear that they are able to match the individual nominee to the qualification or the experience they bring to this particular docket. I also want to thank His Excellency the President for the list of diplomats that he has selected to be approved by this House. He has clearly looked at the face of Kenya and gender. In this particular case, we have 10 women out of 27. I think this in itself meets the one-third threshold that we have always been fighting for. They also represent the face of Kenya and regional balance. It is a mix of people from industry, academia, public and also career diplomats. When you pick somebody like Ambassador Orina, who was the Director- General at the MFA, to go to our mission in Addis Ababa, it simply means somebody has thought through it. Addis Ababa is the most important mission. Not that there are other missions that are not important, but in this particular case, it is in the heart of Africa where 53 other diplomats are going to sit. So, for that reason, I think somebody has been thinking through this. I want to take specific names in particular Ms Sabdiyo Dido Bashuna, a lady from rural Marsabit, the sub county of North Horr. I think she happens to be the first female who has been appointed an ambassador from that region. We really thank the President for this particular lady who is a trailblazer and also a champion for the issues of youth, gender and empowerment. I would also wish to recognise fellows like Col. Rtd. Shem Amadi, Lt. Gen Albert Kendagor, Hon. Kubai Iringo and Dr Wilson Kogo. These are individuals who have sound professional footing. They bring a wealth of experience to those particular dockets of diplomacy. The issue of diplomatic representation is to establish a home away from home. As we visit the different countries around the world when we meet our embassies, the staff and the ambassadors it means we are meeting one of our own. As they work in those countries, they must know that they are representing everybody. They are representing the Head of State of this country in that country of assignment. Secondly, they are the face of Kenya out there. My colleagues have talked about the dilapidated nature of our embassies, underfunded, underrepresenting us, not able to do most of what we expect them to project including economic diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and also allowing Kenyans to access those countries for opportunities. We have created the Department of Diaspora in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I think it is not lost on us that our diaspora remits so much back to the economy. That is why our ambassadors or our diplomats must really look after the welfare of Kenyans wherever they are. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Let us have the Member for Taita Taveta.
Asante sana Mhe. Spika wa Muda kwa kunipatia nafasi ili niweze kuchangia hii Ripoti ambayo ni nzuri kabisa. Ninataka kutangulia kwa kuwapongeza wanakamati kwa kuweza kuikalia na kupiga msasa hao mabalozi ambao waliteuliwa na kutuletea Ripoti hii ambayo tumeweza kuiangalia. Ni Ripoti ambayo imeandikwa kwa ufasaha. Ninataka kuunga mkono Ripoti hii na kuwapongeza mabalozi wapya kwa majukumu yao mapya ambayo wanaenda kuanza kuyafanya. Ninataka ujumbe huu uende kwa mabalozi wapya kwamba wao watakuwa wazazi wa Wakenya wengi ambao wako nje ya nchi. Tuko na Wakenya wengi ambao wako kule nje, 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.
ambao wanawatazamia sana kwa msaada mmoja ama mwingine. Tafadhali wakifika kule waweze kuwatambua Wakenya walioko kule waweze kuwaskiza na kuwahudumia kwa hali ambayo ni ya sawa. Tumeona Wakenya wengi wakipata changamoto nyingi wakiwa kule nje ya nchi, wengine wameenda kimasomo, wengine wameenda kikazi na wananyanyasika kule ilhali tunao mabalozi ambao wako kule wanaostahili kuwasaidia. Ni jukumu lao. Ninataka pia kuwaeleza wakiwa kule nje ya nchi kuwa wao ni macho ya nchi. Vile vile, wanasomwa kama waakilishi wa nchi, na ni vyema waweze kujibeba kizalendo kwa kupeperusha bendera yetu ya Kenya juu na kuweza pia kuangalia nafasi nyingi ambazo zinaweza kuboresha nchi yetu, kama vile nafasi za kazi na biashara, na pia kuuza nchi yetu kwa zile nchi nyingine kwa mambo ya utalii na mengine kama hayo. Ninachukua fursa hii pia kumpongeza Rais kwa uteuzi wake ambayo ameufanya kwa uangalifu kabisa. Tumeona idadi ya wanawake walioteuliwa ikiwa nzuri kabisa, wakiwa wanawake kumi, na pia tumeona ameweka idadi ya wanaume kisawasawa. Vile vile, ameangalia sehemu mbalimbali na utendakazi wa hao mabalozi. Tunamjua vizuri Balozi Mama Betty Cherwon ambaye anapelekwa kule Ufaransa. Ni mama ambaye ana ueledi sana wa mambo ya kidiplomasia. Ningependa pia kumpongeza dada Janet Oben Mwawasi ambaye anatoka Kaunti ya Taita Taveta. Hata yeye amepata fursa ya kuwa balozi wa kule Rwanda. Ninampa kongole sana. Asante Spika wa Muda kwa kunipatia hii fursa ili kuchangia Ripoti hii. Ninaunga mkono. Asante sana
(Hon. David Ochieng’)
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the Report. First of all, allow me to thank the President for the nomination of potential diplomats who are going to represent our country. The nominees show coverage of the whole country, gender balance and even regions. I congratulate the Committee for the good work it has done, and the long time it took during the vetting process and the great work it has done in form of a Report. I also congratulate the nominees for getting the opportunity to go and represent our country in the globe. I wish them all the best as they proceed to go and serve as ambassadors, high commissioners and diplomats. They are going at a time when our shilling has depreciated a lot, and so, they need to go and look for business and work closely with our trade attaches in several areas and ensure trade agreements are implemented. That is going to help our country to grow in different sectors - warehouses, businesses and tourism. I support the Report. Thank you.
(Hon. David Ochieng’)
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I take this opportunity to congratulate the nominees for the ambassadorial positions. To the nominees, know that you are the face of Kenya to the rest of the world. I want to take a keen interest in one of the nominees, Madam Janet Oben Mwawasi, a lady who was my classmate at the University of Nairobi, Parklands School of Law, and an advocate of the High Court. This is one of the best decisions that has been made by this Government. As a person The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
who can testify, this is a lady who is intelligent, astute and whose intellectual capacity is at optimum and whom I believe will deliver on behalf of this nation. For the first time, I would like to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya. I did not know that he can make such a serious decision.
May God bless this nation.
Member for Keiyo South.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I join the rest of my colleagues in congratulating the nominees and also to thank the Committee led by Hon. Nelson Koech for a good job. The role of an ambassador is to safeguard the interests of a country and its nationals out there. As they do, they do in four ways. One, they go out there to listen on behalf of our country and I encourage the nominees to listen for us in terms of the best technology and security so that our country can be safeguarded against the new challenges, including terrorism. As they go out there, I encourage the nominees to advocate for our country. They should advocate for our tea, coffee, tourism and athletics. I come from the County of Elgeyo Marakwet, Keiyo South Constituency, Kaptarakwa Ward where most of our athletes come from. I listen to their outcry when they are out there and how they are misused by foreign managers. I ask the nominees who will go, especially to Europe, to assist our athletes so that they are not taken advantage of by their managers. I also ask them to go and advocate for our human capital, so that we send more of our people to work abroad. I also encourage them to advocate for our culture so that they project our image, and identity a brand as Kenya. Finally, as they go out there, I encourage them to represent us in getting scholarships for our students and increase the number of people that can get employment out there. At the moment, we have the problem of unemployment in our country. I also use this opportunity to thank the President for giving career diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs a chance to reach the peak of their careers. When somebody joins the Ministry as a cadet officer, one of the biggest ambitions is to one day be called an ambassador. The previous regimes rewarded different people from different sectors, but they always omitted people at the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, but our President has recognised the people within the Ministry. For this, I thank His Excellency the President.
Thank you. Member for Igembe South.
Asante sana Spika wa Muda. Ninaungana na wenzangu kuunga mkono Ripoti hii ya Kamati kwa uteuzi wa wajumbe wa kidiplomasia ambao wanaenda kuwakilisha nchi hii kule nje. Wakati ambapo mabalozi huteuliwa, wao huteuliwa kwa dhana ya nchi, ili nchi iweze kufaidika wakati wanaiwakilisha kule nje. Wao pia ni wahusika wakuu kwa kuleta uhusiano mzuri kati ya nchi ambayo iko na nchi hii. Kwa hivyo, ni nafasi nzuri ambayo wamepewa na nchi hii kuiwakilisha ili nchi hii iweze pia kuheshimika kule nje. Tuko na bidhaa nyingi ambazo tunaweza kuuza pale nje. Mabalozi watakaotuwakilisha watakuwa na njia mwafaka kueleza nchi hizo kuhusu mazao yetu mengi ya ukulima. Ni muhimu wajue kuwa tunakuza vitu vingi ambavyo pia tunaweza kuuza kule nje. Wamepewa nafasi muhimu ili waweze kuimarisha uchumi wetu kwa kukuza yale ambayo nchi hii inaweza kuzalisha. 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.
Mhe. Spika wa Muda, nchi hii pia imeimarika katika utalii na ni jukumu lao kukuza maeneo ya kitalii katika taifa hili ili tupate watalii wengi watakaoleta fedha za kigeni zitakazoimarisha Shilingi ya Kenya sababu imezorota sana. Tutakapopata watalii wengi nchini, tutaimarisha hela za nchi hii. Tuna wanafunzi wengi ambao wako na maono ya kusoma katika zile nchi za nje. Ni jukumu la hawa mabalozi wakati ambapo wametumwa kule na Serikali kuhakikisha kwamba wanatafuta nafasi nyingi kwa watoto wetu ili waweze kwenda kusoma na pia kupata ajira katika nchi zile. Hawa mabalozi wetu wataweza kuinua jina la taifa hili kwa sababu Rais wa sasa ameimarisha uhusiano wa Taifa la Kenya na nchi zingine. Kwa hivyo, ni jukumu ambalo wanafaa kulichukulia kwa umuhimu sana ili tuweze kupata marafiki wengi watakaoshirikiana na nchi hii. Mhe. Spika wa Muda, ninawapa kongole, na wanapoenda kwenye nchi hizo wafanye kazi vyema. Ninaomba kuunga mkono Ripoti hii. Ahsante sana.
Member for Tinderet.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the Motion before us. I want to thank the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations, and the Committee for doing a good job. I also want to thank the President because he made a good selection. Hon. Temporary Speaker, international diplomacy is based on the Vienna Convention which clearly spells out what a diplomat is supposed to do in the receiving nation. In this particular crop of diplomats, Kenya has chosen the best knowing very well that in international diplomacy, the issues of the nation are at stake. I know the Foreign Office will put all the diplomats that we are sending under induction. They will learn issues of diplomatic circles. However, one of the things that this country is really looking for in international diplomacy entails the interests of this country in areas such as tourism, cultural exchange and educational diplomacy. If you look at the two, the highest earner that brings money to this country is education. Kenyans have been known worldwide to have very good standing in terms of knowledge and expertise. The choice of diplomats was done well. For instance, India is a new world power where the presence of Kenyans in terms of technology, industry and medical tourism is very important. You will note that the choice of these diplomats was well done. Dr Wilson Kogo is a renowned educationist and many Kenyans from many parts of this country have been flocking to Australia. We have scientists, statisticians, nurses, among others. So, as the diplomats move to those particular areas…
India or Australia?
As Kenyans flock those particular parts of the world, they need to be placed in the right sectors of the economies of those countries so that as they make earnings, this country will have a lot of foreign income. We also have regional politics which is going to be played by our diplomats especially in Ethiopia, South Africa and even the Great Lakes Region. Therefore, the postings of these diplomats in this particular region will put the image of Kenya before the regional community and project how we stand in the community of nations. Nigeria is now the world leading economic power in Africa together with South Africa and Egypt and so, those postings are very important. In terms of military diplomacy, you will appreciate that the choice of Gen Kendagor is very important in the Middle East, more specifically Israel. Though there is a war going on The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
there, that particular nation is strategically important militarily to this country and many other postings across the world. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the crop of diplomats we have before this House are able, knowledgeable and will deliver for this nation. However, I want to ask the Foreign Service to ensure that every diplomat is given targets to achieve so that wherever Kenyans have distress calls in those parts of the world like Ukraine, Malaysia, Sri-Lanka or any other part of the world, they are called upon to come over and take up that particular matter. I support this Motion.
Member for Navakholo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support this Report by the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations on the appointment of ambassadors and high commissioners. The key issues on appointment of ambassadors are to represent us wherever they go in terms of our national interests, promotion of our national products, encouraging investments in and out of our country and maximising on economic diplomacy. The ambassadors and high commissioners who have been proposed are ladies and gentlemen who fit that category of individuals who are capable to represent this country. I want to single out the military diplomacy front and look at a person like Col (Rtd) Shem Amadi. This is a person who was once a teacher, rose through the ranks and joined the Kenya Armed Forces. He was decorated thereafter in the Armed Forces. The President also saw it fit and even decorated him with awards like the Moran of Burning Spear (MBS) and the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW). This is a person who is able to represent us in Kinshasa, DRC. We want a person who can manage the situation in Kinshasa in terms of representation. I also want to look at the appointment of our two colleagues. Hon. Kubai Iringo was a very genuine and honest Member of this House, and he can represent us very well in Somalia. He is very capable. We are proud that, at least, one of us will be representing us in Somalia. The second person is Dr Kogo, who is a scholar, a colleague and an astute debater in this House. We thank the President for considering those two former leaders of this House and believing that they can take care of us in our diplomatic missions. Hon. Temporary Speaker, the only wish I want to make is that while we are appointing those officers to the foreign missions, we saw the Principal Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Affairs complaining about resources the other day. We should fund and support foreign missions from the Exchequer so that we do not have our representatives begging. Therefore, I beg to support this Motion. Thank you very much.
Hon. (Dr.) Jackson Kosgei.
The Hon. Member will be heard in silence.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. From the onset, I wish to congratulate and appreciate the work that has been done by the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations. I also appreciate their Report that has been tabled before the House and the presentation of names that have been nominated by the President for diplomacy on behalf of this country. I also want to congratulate the nominees for those positions. This is an important role in the representation of our great country. In political science, we say that dialogue and diplomacy are the only guarantee of lasting peace anywhere in the world. In history, the world has not survived only by the presence of military forces, but diplomacy that has also played a 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.
great role. Diplomats, wherever they are, safeguard the people and the interests of our great country. As we approve these names, I wish to remind ourselves that the Ministry concerned should fund our foreign diplomatic offices and enable them to serve our people wherever they are. I wish to thank and appreciate the President for creating the new State Department for Diaspora Affairs which will take care of our students and Kenyans in different parts of the world. Therefore, all the diplomats and high commissioners must be intentional in representing our country. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support
Thank you. Next is the Member for Tigania West.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me the opportunity to also add my voice to this Motion. I would like to thank the Committee for the good work it has done in vetting those individuals and confirming that the President made the right choices in proposing their names. I also would like to appreciate the systematic manner in which our President has managed his Government and approached issues of appointments. I wish to note three things in this particular appointment. First of all, he has clearly and finely balanced the regional representation. The Kenya map is apparent in these appointments. The second thing is that he has clearly and carefully managed the age factor, which is mostly forgotten. Our youth, who are the majority, have been complaining about this. He has also carefully managed gender balance. The gender equation is well represented here. Ideally, we owe him a lot of gratitude. I would also like to caution those appointees. The former Member of Parliament for Igembe Central is a close friend and neighbour. This team needs to go through thorough and focused training. A training that will mould them into better diplomats who are going to represent our country better. Out there we have seen some diplomats who use some undiplomatic approaches and actions. I question most of the laws concerning diplomats. Hon. Members should remember that we are the ones who are looking at this list. We are the ones who vetted those nominees. We are the ones who meet them out there in those diplomatic circles and they do not respect us. So, they ought to realise that the one-Government approach should take centre stage. Hon. Temporary Speaker, there is also the issue of diplomats failing to support Kenyans in other countries. We travel to several countries and Kenyans complain that they do not have access to the ambassadors and they do not support them in what they do in those countries. In other cases, the ambassadors do not even know them or have sessions to meet with those Kenyans. I would like to caution these nominees to take Kenyans seriously and support them in whatever they are doing. Secondly, these nominees need to have the Kenyan context in perspective. They need to remember whom they represent. They are the representatives of His Excellency (Dr) Williams Samoei Ruto in those countries. The President is of impeccable character and knowledgeable. So, they need to be extremely knowledgeable. They need to assess what is happening in the country so that they can align it with what they do. This represents our country better. They also need to attract tourists and sell our products. The geographical indication is a key characteristic of what we sell out there. They need to note some of those issues and many others that are important to us as a country. Finally, those diplomats need to supervise other officers under them in the permanent missions. We have permanent representatives in many countries who operate as if they have their kingdoms. Those representatives need to report to them. Sometimes, when we go to The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
conferences and meetings, our permanent representatives are missing in action. The ambassadors need to know what is happening with the permanent representatives because sometimes they misrepresent us. With those few remarks, I wish to support.
The Member for Kwanza.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me the opportunity. I want to congratulate the Committee for giving us a very exposed team. I have looked at the list and I am impressed. Some of these nominees are diplomats. Others are technical people. Therefore, I thank the Committee for coming up with the list of those appointees. As the previous speaker has said, those diplomats must be exposed. When we go out there, Kenyans complain that the diplomats do not have time for them. I know there are many scholarship and trade opportunities out there. For example, there is the opportunity for us to export milk to the Middle East and yet, our ambassadors have done nothing. When I worked for Kodak, I used to go to the Middle East and I would find milk from Kenya. If you go there today, there is nothing. Our ambassadors should know and take advantage of some of the products for export. We have tea and coffee. Therefore, I hope that the Ministry will take time to train and expose them for them to understand what should be done. I also congratulate the President for nominating people from across the country. These nominees do not come from one area. We have people from all over the country, which is a good representation of the country. With those few remarks, I thank you. I support.
Thank you. Finally, let us have the Leader of the Majority Party.
I rise to support this Report and Motion for the approval of these 27 nominees. Hon. Deputy Speaker, there is the risk of repeating what has been said by many contributors who have supported this debate. I note with gratitude that speakers this morning have spoken in favour and support of the appointment of all the nominees. In a way, the 27 nominees restore the dignity and the hope of many career diplomats who have worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for years, but have always been overlooked when it came to the appointment of ambassadors and high commissioners to our various missions abroad. You will note that close to 80 per cent of the nominees we are approving today are career diplomats. You have seen in the Report career diplomats who have served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 22 years and others for close to 30 years. Some are even about to attain their retirement age. Despite earning the term “ambassador” – as they are always referred to as
in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Harambee Avenue - they have never had an opportunity to serve their country in line with their training and experience of the years they have gained. That is why I assert that His Excellency the President has not only given hope to other career civil servants in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also to other careers civil servants serving in the Government. We have also seen administrators like George Macgoye who has served as a District Commissioner (DC) and as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Deputy President. He has served in various other capacities as an administrator, including the Kenya Maritime Authority. Now, such have the opportunity to use their expertise and experience in government to serve our nation abroad.
Now that I have mentioned George Macgoye, it is important to advise the EACC. As much as it has a constitutional mandate to investigate matters touching on corruption, it is not wise to write letters and say so and so has been mentioned on a matter we are investigating. Anybody can mention anyone. That will be abused if we were to use it because all I need tomorrow is to name Hon. Osoro in a matter that touches on corruption. Anybody else can The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
name me and the EACC will use that as a basis to deny a person an opportunity to get a public appointment. A denial or disapproval of an appointment to public office must be based on facts that dent your integrity in line with Article 6 of our Constitution. Not telling us that somebody has been mentioned. I do not know what the definition of mention would be to EACC.
I have mentioned that many of those career diplomats have done much. If you look at someone like Ms. Kavindu Musili, we are told that she played a pivotal role in the first labour agreement between Kenya and the United Kingdom for the employment of nurses in the UK. You have heard the President speak numerously about job opportunities for our nurses, medical professionals and other young Kenyans in the ICT sector, who can exploit opportunities outside this country. Some can move to those countries and many others can work from this country. That is why His Excellency the President has been pleading with Members of this House. During the debate on the NG - CDF Amendment Bill, many Members contributed to the need to have ICT hubs that will become the linkage between our millions of unemployed youth and job opportunities in the diaspora.
I encourage Ms. Angelina Kavindu Musili as she moves on to Stockholm, Sweden. Just like many other European countries, Sweden has a huge shortfall of labour, especially in the health sector. We have a repository of very well trained nurses and medical professionals in this country. From the good work she did in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in playing that pivotal role in linking us to jobs in the UK, we encourage her to do the same and link us to the other Scandinavian countries beginning with her station in Sweden.
I also take particular note of Ms. Jane Wairimu Ndurumo who has worked in the Ministry of Trade, Investments and Industry. If this Motion is approved this afternoon, she is being approved to go and serve as our high commissioner in Pretoria, South Africa. All the other nominees have huge tasks.
The President has been very emphatic and has said, by the end of this year, no African will need a visa to come to Kenya. The reason the President is doing this is to open our country and Africa for trade. I advise Ms. Ndurumo to use the expertise and experience she acquired when she was a trade officer and a trade attaché in various destinations around the world. Her last one was in Tehran, Iran. I urge her to use that to grow the trade between South Africa and us. Intra-Africa trade can outstrip trade between Kenya and other countries of the world.
I encourage Amb. Macgoye who is moving to Djibouti upon his appointment that there exist opportunities to sell our tea and coffee to our neighbours, Djibouti. The same goes for Ms. Oben to our neighbours in Rwanda and to Ms. Jane Wairimu Ndurumo, South Africa. I have been to South Africa recently. I had not carried my KETEPA tea bags or Kericho gold tea because I was there for a very short visit. From the cup of tea that I got there, I truly wished I looked forward to that time when we would travel to any of the countries in the world and enjoy Kenyan tea - especially countries where these ambassadors and high commissioners are being sent. We want to enjoy Kenyan coffee and eat Kenyan beef or Kenyan mutton and lamb when we go to Tehran. The growth of economic diplomacy is what will help grow our economy beyond what the President is doing here.
In conclusion, I know many busybodies out there have been criticising the President for his foreign travel, and for being Kenya's ambassador number one. I encourage President William Ruto to continue travelling the world and tapping into opportunities that will better the lives of millions of young Kenyans who are looking for opportunities. The President is our diplomat number one. He is our top-most ambassador. I encourage him to continue travelling the world and looking for opportunities for Kenyans. As I encourage the President, you can see the tens of presidents, heads of government and heads of state, who are also paying homage and visiting our country today. They are exploiting the opportunities that His Excellency, President William Ruto, has identified and got into bilateral engagements with other heads of state and heads of government around the world. 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.
Today, we are hosting the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Next week, the President of Romania will be here. The President is also due to travel to sign bilateral and multilateral agreements that will deepen not just our diplomatic engagements, but also create more economic opportunities for Kenya. As these diplomats settle down in their various stations, I plead with them to remember this country today is recovering from a deep economic crisis. The best they can do for this country as second diplomats, beyond President William Ruto as our top diplomat, is to help us tap into economic opportunities around the world. I plead with them because they will be deployed to their various stations carrying the title His Excellency, Her Excellency, High Commissioner or Ambassador. It is a title that they carry on behalf of His Excellency the President, being his personal representatives as the top diplomats in their various stations and being the representatives of Kenyans.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I have travelled to countries in the past and found diplomats who are partakers not of tea or coffee, but they use their stations to taste the various alcoholic drinks that are manufactured in their host countries. I ask all diplomats that we will approve today to not only be representatives of His Excellency the President who is very sober, but also be good representatives of the millions of ethical Kenyans who hold a very high moral standing. Represent us in the best way you can. When you represent our country, be it in a cocktail, please carry yourself with the dignity that comes with the office that you will be serving. I say that because those of us who have travelled as Members of Parliament have been to various stations in the world. I will not mention the names. The people who represent us in those countries do not carry the dignity that this country should carry. They do not represent the aspirations of the appointing authorities and Kenyans.
I plead with those 27 nominees to carry our dignity, respect or honour that Kenya is honoured with around the world. President William Ruto has placed our nation at a very high pedestal on the global stage. None of those diplomats whom we are appointing or debating today should lower that high pedestal that President Ruto, as our number one diplomat, has put our country.
I wish to conclude by congratulating all those nominees and thank them for their diligent service in Public Service, those who have come from other areas and those who are career diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. I ask them to serve our country with diligence and to serve as shining examples to those who are behind them in their career progression in the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. There are those who come from the private sector and political space like Dr Wilson Kogo, who are also professionals and career educationists. Dr Wilson Kogo will serve us in Australia where many Kenyans exploit education opportunities. This, indeed, is a good place to place him. I encourage them to take their time and learn the best they can and represent us well.
With those remarks, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to support the Motion.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
There is nothing out of order. Hon. Marianne.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise, pursuant to Standing Order 95. Because this Motion has created immense support, we can call upon the Mover to reply.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Let me start by thanking Hon. Members for very positive contributions towards these nominees. Generally, 100 per cent of the Members of Parliament who have spoken today have supported these appointments.
Let me also use this opportunity to thank the Members of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations for foregoing their recess to do this noble job of vetting these ambassadors. Hon. Temporary Speaker, you will have to find time, I do not know when, for those Members to have their recess. They have worked tirelessly to make sure that we have this Report on the Floor of this House today. As I take over from the Leader of the Majority Party, I will be very brief. The ambassadors that have been nominated to various missions must live to their name. Recently, when the President visited the United States (US), you saw how Meg Whitman, the US ambassador to Kenya, pitched for our country as an investment destination. She did this so eloquently you would think she was our Kenyan ambassador to the US. Having said that, let our ambassadors put their best foot forward, brand and market our country as a tourist and investment destination in the globe. As they do so, in this country, we must ensure that investors are not harassed at our airports. Of interest, is the exit terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), which Members have mentioned in their contributions. Visitors and travelers are being harassed and we have raised this matter with the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs and relevant agencies. There are overzealous and extremely corrupt employees of KRA at the exit terminal. I have sent their names to the relevant authorities so that our visitors and tourists are not harassed, their luggage unnecessarily handled by people checking for perfumes, littering the place with underwear, creating a lot of drama and traffic in our airports. As we look for investors, we must facilitate easy movement of people who are visiting this county as a destination for investment opportunities. With that … Hon. Osoro is harassing me! Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I beg to reply.
Very well Chairperson. Hon. Members, I beg to put the question.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move: THAT, the Cancer Prevention and Control (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, (National Assembly Bill No.45 of 2022), be now read a Second Time. This Bill regards cancer prevention. Most of what is contained in the Bill was covered by the Digital Health Bill. 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 Bill seeks to amend Section 2 of the Cancer Prevention and Control Act No.15 of 2012. We are defining e-health as the combined use of electronic communication and information technology in the health sector. We are also defining telemedicine as the provision of healthcare services and sharing of medical knowledge over distance using telecommunications, and it includes consultative, diagnostic and treatment services. In addition, e-health and telemedicine will reduce congestion in hospitals as cancer patients will be treated from the comfort of their homes. We are also amending Section 5 of the Cancer Prevention and Control Act No.15 of 2012 by adding new paragraphs after paragraph (b): “(ba) promote the use of e-health and telemedicine for the prevention and treatment of persons with cancer; (bb) promote treatment of persons with cancer as a component of primary healthcare.” Primary healthcare is very important. The last amendment is on Section 31 of the Cancer Prevention and Control Act No.15 of 2012, where we are inserting a new sub-section (3) immediately after sub-section (2), which states that the National Cancer Institute shall collaborate with the national Government department responsible for public health to promote the training of human resource for oncology services. One of the functions of the National Cancer Institute is to advise the Cabinet Secretary on matters relating to the treatment and care of persons with cancer, and to advise on the relative priorities to be given to the implementation of specific measures. Sections 31(1) and 2 of the principal Act state: “(1) The Institute shall liaise with the national Government department responsible for public health to ensure that education and information dissemination on the prevention and treatment of cancer and the care of persons with cancer, including palliative care, shall form part of healthcare services by healthcare providers. (2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the national Government department responsible for public health, in collaboration with the institute, shall provide training for healthcare providers to acquire skills for proper information dissemination and education on cancer prevention, control and palliative care.” Hon. Temporary Speaker, by adding the third section, number three, we are saying that the national Government together with the county governments should go further and do the training of human resource. As we stand in this country, we have a shortage of personnel, especially oncologists. The ratio of healthcare professionals to the population is very low. If you allow me, I will read out the number of healthcare professionals that we have in the country. Currently, as it stands, we have one doctor to 26,000 patients. For dentists, we have one dentist to 236,000 patients. For pharmacists, we have one pharmacist to 141 patients. For clinical officers, we have one clinical officer to 19,000 patients. For nurses, we have one nurse to 2,465 patients. The nurses that we are talking about are not the oncology nurses. As a country, we need to move forward. It is very important that we now… Although the Digital Health Bill has already been signed into law by His Excellency the President – and I thank him for that – the use of e-health will assist people who cannot go to hospitals or who cannot access hospitals from far-flung areas. It is a challenge and costly for people who come from far-off places like where Hon. Naomi comes from in Marsabit, Turkana or Lamu, to access those facilities which are basically in the cities and the urban areas. That is how e-health will assist together with telemedicine. E-health has grown in this country, but we have a challenge of connectivity. Some people do not know how to use internet and others do not have the tech savvy phones. However, due to increase in the number of mobile phone users, we are getting somewhere. The use of e-health has the following advantages in cancer treatment: E-health allows cancer patients to connect with cancer specialists regardless of their geographical location like far-flung areas. 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.
E-health platforms allow for seamless sharing of patient information among healthcare providers involved in cancer treatment. This facilitates better care coordination, enhances communication and reduces the risk of information gaps. E-health technologies enable remote monitoring of cancer patients during and after treatment. E-health platforms offer various resources for cancer patients, for example, educational materials. The Kenya E-health Policy of 2016 - 2030 aligns itself to Vision 2030. It is indicated that there is lack of a comprehensive legal framework on the use of e-health systems which we hope, with regulations, can be cured. An increase in mobile users and the outbreak of COVID- 19 has led to increased use of telemedicine. We have a couple of telemedicine providers in this country. There is SASAdoctor, Bliss@Home Services and MYDAWA. Furthermore, private hospitals have taken up telemedicine to their patients. Aga Khan University Hospital, Gertrude Children's Hospital and the M.P. Shah Hospital are amongst the hospitals that offer their patients telemedicine. The importance of telemedicine is that it allows cancer patients to access specialised care regardless of their geographical location. This is beneficial to patients that are living in rural areas where access to specialised treatment is limited. Telemedicine eliminates the need for patients to travel long distances for routine visits, thus reducing the physical and financial burden that is associated with transportation and accommodation costs.
It allows cancer patients to have real-time discussions with the doctors, ask questions and receive explanations about their condition and treatment together with their families, so that they can listen to the recommended interventions. The integration of telemedicine into a patient's treatment plan enhances access to healthcare and improves his experiences. In order for telemedicine to be effective, efforts should be made to improve technological infrastructure as this limitation may disrupt communication and impede delivery of high-quality healthcare to cancer patients. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I can see that my time is almost over. Can you give me, at least, five minutes to finish?
You will get two more minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the additional time.
The National Cancer Institute of Kenya was not established to provide information only. I am suggesting that it should do more than this in this Bill. Cancer is the third leading cause of death in Kenya after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. From 2012, we had 28,500 deaths from 37,000 cases. Up to 2018, we had 32,987 deaths from 47,887 cases. As we stand currently, we have nearly 40,000 deaths from cancer. It behooves us, as a country, to integrate e-health and telemedicine in primary healthcare. With those few remarks, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I request Hon. Marianne Kitany to second the Bill.
Thank you. Hon. Marianne Kitany.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I stand to second the amendments to the Cancer Prevention and Control Act, especially on the addition of e-health and telemedicine. This is because they will help many people access medicine.
A doctor trains for seven years and then you add the experience that is required to start treating patients. Many of the health issues that we have today require a doctor who has not less than 20 years of experience. We have health issues, especially cancer issues, that are coming up in our health sector today. We need to take advantage of all or most of the oncologists who are across the world. E-health and telemedicine will help us access those doctors. It will not matter where you come from or where you are in whichever village. An old 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.
man in my village in Aldai Constituency does not need to travel to Nairobi, India or look for oncologists in the United States of America (USA) or any other part of the world. At the comfort of people’s homes, they will access telemedicine and e-health. This Bill has come at the right time, when we are amending our Social Health Insurance Fund. Once it is in place, we know that those particular people will access the right medication, even as they use the technology that is in place. So, this Bill is very good. If you look at the statistics that we have been given, you will find that one doctor serves about 26,000 patients and one dentist serves 326,000 patients. With the kind of numbers and diseases that are coming up every day in our constituencies and villages, the number of doctors we have will not serve the population adequately. If we take advantage of e-health and e-medicine, we will go a long way. This was experienced and practised during the COVID-19 Pandemic when physical contact was not required. We saw that patients could be treated from the comfort of their homes with e-health, and they got all the right medication during that time. We should entrench this provision in our Constitution. The Bill has come at the right time when the country is planning to roll out 100,000 kilometres of fibre optic cables, together with opening up ICT hubs and centres in every ward in every constituency in the country. We expect everybody to access e-health from the comfort of their homes. They do not have to travel far. I am happy that we are amending the Cancer Prevention and Control Act so that it also conforms with technological advancements.
With that, I beg to second the Bill.
Member for Mosop, Hon. Abraham Kirwa.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to support the Bill, which touches on e-health and telemedicine. I am a big supporter of improving our healthcare. Kenya should have long ago adopted telemedicine and e-health, which most advanced countries have adopted. That is the way to go.
First, e-health and telemedicine reduce cases of mis-diagnosis because we will be able to make use of qualified doctors and advanced diagnostic equipment. Most remote areas in Kenya do not have access to some advanced equipment. Use of telemedicine and e-health will help reduce mis-diagnosis. It will give citizens of this country an opportunity to access better healthcare systems. I support the Bill because it will revolutionise medical treatment in Kenya. It will revolutionise medical advancements, especially with the new system that the Government is proposing, which allows people to be treated in Levels 1, 2 and 3 hospitals for free. E-health and telemedicine will help to improve that provision. I support this Bill which will improve the healthcare of our nation.
Hon. Naomi Waqo, do you want to speak on this? Hon. Kirima.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to this important Bill about cancer prevention. Cancer is a real pandemic in Kenya, which was not foreseen in the 1960s. It has become prevalent due to our lifestyles, imports from European countries and farming activities. This is a timely Bill. Most Kenyan families have been affected by the cancer scourge. We have all been affected. Those that are not affected have been infected and, therefore, this Bill is very necessary. We should advance the idea of compulsory cancer screenings whenever one goes to hospital. If you go to hospital because of any other illness, it is necessary and compulsory for one to be screened for cancer. I understand that the moment you are screened 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 advance and it is found that you are in the first stage, cancer is treatable. You can recover from it before it goes to the second, third and fourth stages. Hon. Temporary Speaker, this disease is claiming the economy of the country in all ways.
Hon. Kirima, I hate to interrupt you, but the time is 1.00 p.m. You will have the balance of your time, when the Bill is placed next in the Order Paper for debate.
Hon. Members, the time being 1.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.00 p.m.
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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.