Hon. Members, the numbers look very scanty. Serjeant-at-Arms, can you ring the Quorum Bell?
Order, Hon. Members. We now have quorum to transact business. Clerk-at-the-Table, we can roll out the first Order.
Hon. Tom Odege, Member for Nyatike.
Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, I rise to present a Public Petition on the gazettement of Nyatike Constituency as a hardship area. I, the undersigned, on behalf of the residents of Nyatike Constituency comprising the residents from Nyatike West, Nyatike North and Nyatike South sub-counties draw the attention of the House to the following: THAT, harsh climatic conditions in Nyatike Constituency have become a great concern affecting the locals and even the Government workers who are posted to work there; THAT, Nyatike Constituency meets the requirements of a hardship area due to its vastness of the three sub-counties, deplorable road networks that have hampered movements, human wildlife conflicts, lack of clean drinking water, food scarcity, poor communication networks and lack of basic social amenities among others; THAT, the geographical orientation of the said sub-counties are also characterised by barren sandy soils, rugged and rocky terrain, poor rainfall, torrential floods and devastating poverty that continues to affect education standards and general harsh climatic conditions; THAT, the Government workers posted to Nyatike Constituency have been reluctant in taking up jobs in the constituency including those promoted to work in the region and those who take up the jobs, seek for transfer after a very short time; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
THAT, schools in Nyatike are extremely understaffed with the few teachers available, poorly motivated due to non-payment of hardship allowances by the Government; THAT, teachers in the neighbouring sub-counties experiencing the same climatic and economic conditions are receiving hardship allowances for instance; Suba North, Suba South, Kuria East and Kuria West; THAT, basic Government services including issuance of birth and death certificates, and other crucial services have been greatly hampered because of non- availability of Government workers to undertake them; THAT, Nyatike Constituency has been deprived of quality Government services due to inadequate working force occasioned by harsh climatic conditions; THAT, despite Nyatike Constituency having met the criteria used to qualify and gazette it as a hardship area, the Government and the relevant ministry or agencies have not effected to date; THAT, efforts made by the Petitioners to have the matter addressed have not been successful and that the matters raised in this Petition are not pending before any court of law, constitutional or any other legal body; Therefore, your humble Petitioners pray that the National Assembly, through the Public Petitions Committee, recommends to the relevant ministry or agencies to gazette Nyatike West, Nyatike North and Nyatike South sub-counties as hardship areas and make any other appropriate recommendations it deems fit in addressing the circumstance raised in this Petition. And your Petitioners will ever pray. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Odege. Yes, Hon. Martha Wangari, Member for Gilgil.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I want to support the Member for Nyatike on that Petition. This issue of hardship areas has made some of us almost sound like a broken record. I remember we even brought it here in the last Parliament. I brought it on behalf of Gilgil and until now it is still not clear who is supposed to gazette these areas as arid. That means that we cannot retain teachers in rural schools. You will get schools in towns getting over-populated with teachers, but far-flung schools are not able to retain teachers just because of this hardship allowance. However, even as the Public Petitions Committee considers this Petition, the issue is to make it clear to the House who is responsible for the gazettement. Secondly, what are the parameters that are used to decide that an area is arid? For instance, you will get a county like Nakuru not classified as a hardship area, but some areas like my constituency inside the county are hardship areas. So, how do we get these classified? In executing this issue, I hope that the Public Petitions Committee will be able to tell us the parameters, and how to ensure that different constituencies in areas that are not ordinarily considered to be hardship areas are also considered positively. That way, we will have a clear guideline so that this matter does not keep coming up as a sporadic issue from each and every constituency. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
No. You cannot choose yourself 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.
The Member at the back, Hon. Julius Sunkuli. Hon. Jared Okello, you are out of order.
Hon. Speaker, I want to support the Member for Nyatike. Knowing the geography of Nyatike, of all the places that deserve to be hardship areas, it really needs to be included. I do not know the exact reason why it is not included. However, coming from a hardship area myself, I would like to alert the Member that there are good sides of being declared a hardship area and there are also bad sides of it. Kilgoris is a hardship area. We are unable to deal with the teacher crisis because the neigbouring counties of Nyamira, Kisii and others are not hardship areas and teachers like to go to hardship areas. So, we are now trying to get our local teachers who have been delocalised to come back. They are now being re-localised and we cannot get teachers to go back to their homes because they like being in hardship areas.
Hon. Speaker, I would like to urge the Members that most of the areas surrounding Kilgoris should actually be declared hardship areas so that teachers go back to their areas. On a more serious matter, I think it is important for the Member's Petition to be considered. Nyatike Constituency is, indeed, a hardship area.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I support the Petition by Hon. Odege. We should do a classification up to the location level like what the Equalisation Fund is doing. If I tell you that there are some parts of Meru that are hardship areas, you will not believe me. It is because Meru does not look like one. However, some locations next to Tharaka and Isiolo like Igembe Central, Igembe South, Tigania and Imenti are hardship areas. We need a policy where locations are considered as hardship areas as opposed to complete districts. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Is that the Member for Chepalungu? Yes.
Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. I rise to support our colleague, the Member for Nyatike, and echo the sentiments made by Hon. Martha on the same. As a country, we ought to look at the parameters that we use to qualify a specific region as a hardship area. Chepalungu Constituency borders Emurua Dikirr on the southern part which is gazetted as a hardship area, while my constituency is not. As I stand here today, teachers from Chepalungu Constituency have refused to go back, even after delocalisation, and we face a shortage of teachers. I will also bring a Petition. When it comes before the House, I request the Public Petitions Committee to look into the matter of Chepalungu Constituency and consider it as one of the hardship areas. In the last one to two years, there are areas in my constituency on the southern part like Nogirwet and Kamongil that have not received a drop of rain, even at this time when the entire country is receiving high volumes of rain. I support the Petition by Hon. Tom Odege, Member for Nyatike.
Hon. Memusi Kanchory.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. We want to add our voices. All Members here attest to the same thing. 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.
First of all, I thank the Member for Nyatike for bringing this Petition. It is the same story for most of the constituencies here. For example, Kajiado Central is 5,208 km2 but it is not classified as a hardship area. As Hon. Martha has said, when you ask the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), it says it is not it; that the classification comes from the Office of the President (OP). If you go there the OP says it is TSC. As the Public Petitions Committee considers this Petition, it will be very important for all Members to be given an opportunity to present views on this matter. Kajiado East neighbours Kajiado Central. It is only a road that separates us. A teacher who teaches in Mashuru Primary School or Mashuru Secondary School receives a hardship allowance. However, a teacher who teaches in Megumi Primary School or Megumi Secondary School on the other side does not receive it. Hon. Speaker, I support the Petition and urge the Committee to consider views of Members.
Hon. Jared Okello. Give him the microphone.
You are mischievous here.
I thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. On the same breath, allow me to congratulate Hon. Odege. Just as my sister—Hon. Wangari—has said, this issue arose in the last Parliament. Many Members of this House rose and spoke about it. However, up to now, we do not know which office this matter falls under. Even without the involvement of the Public Petitions Committee, we request your indulgence to give direction on this matter. Nyando Constituency sits right between Nyakach Constituency and Muhoroni Constituency. Both neighbouring constituencies enjoy the benefits of hardship allowance. Nyando Constituency is known for its perennial flooding but it does not enjoy the benefits of hardship allowance, yet it is the flooding prototype that was used in order for these two constituencies to benefit. This matter is very key or important to Members of this House. We may ask for a complete re-evaluation of all the parameters that were engaged for constituencies to be earmarked for hardship allowance and those without. No public officer or state officer wants to serve in an area where there is no hardship allowance, if it is there in the neighbourhood. For example, teachers are posted to Nyando Constituency and they apply for transfers the following week to go to either Muhoroni or Nyakach. All these problems are presented to the doorsteps of Members of Parliament to deal with. For once, help us. Last year or the year before, there was a multi-agency team that went across the country to apprise itself on the hardship situation of every constituency. This Report was thrown out of the window. We do not know where exactly it is up to now. We indulge you to give direction, just as you have done before. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute.
Asante, Mhe. Spika. Kuna sababu maeneo bunge mengine huitwa maeneo ya ugumu. Hawa Wabunge wakisikia hivyo, wanafikiria zile pesa au faida watakazozipata. Ninakubali na ninaamini kuwa Kenya yote ni eneo la ugumu ama hardship area . Lakini, kuna wale ambao wana matatizo zaidi. Hili Bunge linafaa lifanye usawa kwa Wakenya wote. Pengine, Wabunge hawajui maana ya maeneo ya ugumu kwa vile hawakai huko na hawaelewi wengine wanapata matatizo gani. 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, ninakuomba utembeze Wabunge, hasa Lamu East. Mwalimu anayefunza Lamu East ananunua maji lita ishirini kwa Ksh50. Huwezi kumfananisha na mwalimu anayefunza Nairobi au kaunti nyingine. Mtu aliye Kiunga analipa Ksh8,200 ndiyo apate kitambulisho. Nilivyoona Wakenya wanalalamika kulipishwa Ksh2,000 kupata kitambulisho, nilisema ni sawa walipe kama tunavyolipa sisi. Ninaweza kufanya hesabu rahisi. Ukitoka Ishakani, pikipiki ni Ksh300 mpaka Kiunga. Kutoka Kiunga hadi Mkokoni kwa gari ni Ksh700. Kutoka Mkokoni, upande boti hadi Mokowe ulipe Ksh3,000. Kutoka huko, upande pikipiki mpaka kwa ofisi ya vitambulisho ulipe Ksh100. Hiyo hujalala au kula. Huwezi enda siku moja na urudi. Hiyo ndiyo inamaanisha hardship area . Kule kwetu Kiunga, Lamu East, kuna walimu wanapewa siku za mapumziko lakini hawaendi kwa sababu hawawezi kumudu kuenda nyumbani. Wanaokaa kule, haimanishi ni wabajuni peke yao. Kuna kila kabila na wanapata shida. Lakini, nyinyi mkiskia ni mgao au faida, kila mtu anataka kupata. Wabunge, muwe na busara. Kuna watu wanaumia hii Kenya mkikaa hapa. Ndiyo saa hii tunataka kufanya marekebisho. Kuna maeneo ambayo hayana hata inchi moja ya lami. Serikali hii ndiyo inaangalia mambo haya. Tulizindua barabara ya kwanza juzi juzi. Tukipeleka wanafunzi Lamu West au Mombasa, ilikuwa waende wakaone lami wajue ni nini. Kisha mnataka kujifananisha na sisi! Ninaomba wanaopanga maeneo ya ugumu wasijulikane. Ninaomba sana ili hawa Wabunge waweze kutuelewa. Tafadhali pangeni safari mkaende mwone marginalisation ama hardshiparea. Kuna askari wako Kiangwi ambao hawaogi. Wanaishi kama wanyama kwa sababu hawana maji. Kila mahali ukichimba, maji ni ya chumvi. Mhe. Spika, ninakuomba tafadhali, kwa hisani yako, panga Wabunge waende wakaone maeneo ya ugumu ili wajue inamaanisha nini.
Can we close there? You are saying the same thing. Hon. Ruku.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Mbeere North is a hardship area. We have 68 excess teachers in primary schools who should be transferred to other areas. This is because of the hardship allowance. TSC is an independent constitutional body. Therefore, it should be in a position to come up with human resource policies to rationalise this issue of hardship allowance and areas where it is not there. It is important to retain talent and ensure that each and every teacher is comfortable in any corner of the Republic of Kenya where he or she is working. This will ensure that many constituencies will not have excess primary and secondary school teachers, while others lack enough teachers. It is upon the TSC to regularise and come up with a policy and ways of ensuring this hardship allowance will not skew the way teachers are posted in different corners of the Republic of Kenya. It is upon them to work on a policy which will guide the staffing of each primary and secondary school to ensure we have enough teachers who are well remunerated, but not necessarily through hardship allowance.
The Member next to Hon. Irene Mayaka.
Hon. Jalas. I have not been seeing you in the House.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. It is my first day back at work after my thirty days of sick leave.
Pole sana. Ugua pole.
Asante. 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.
When I hear people mention hardship areas, there is no any hardship area in this country more than Nairobi City County. It is worse. It is called Shamba la Mawe to insinuate that this is where hardship begins. For example, we have Highrise Ward in Lang’ata Constituency where we have only one public school, Joash Olum Primary School. With one school in the whole ward, it means all their children go to the same school. Can you imagine what the teachers there go through? I want to tell my sister, Hon. Ruweida, to talk about issues of Lamu County.
If each one of us tells you what our teachers in Nairobi City County go through, you will not believe it. We are dealing with issues of overpopulated classrooms and understaffed schools. The slums are even worse. It is raining right now. It is hard for children and teachers to get to school. Let us not talk about the muggings and killings that teachers go through. Let us declare Kenya a hardship country. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
I will stop there. The Petition is committed to the Public Petitions Committee to report back in 30 days. Those Members who have issues can go before them and articulate them. Hon. Members, before I call Hon. Irene Mayaka… Is it the time to call her? No. We have not reached there. Allow me to acknowledge university student leaders from different universities in Manyatta Constituency, Embu, who are in the galleries.
Hon. Members, I also wish to introduce to you a delegation of students under the National Junior Frontiers Incorporation, a programme from the USA, seated in the Public Gallery. Justice Jawad Rashid, a retired judge from the United States of America and the national president of the said delegation, leads the delegation.
The National Junior Frontiers Incorporation is a youth educational and cultural programme that prepares students for undergraduate and postgraduate studies as well as orient them to professions that they may venture into upon completion of their studies. As part of the programme, students undertake international tours to educational institutions in various countries in the African diaspora to explore, learn and interact with their peers. The delegation is, therefore, on a study visit to Kenya and inter alia to learn and understand the history and workings of our Parliament as well as to undertake a tour of the facilities.
On my behalf and that of the National Assembly, I welcome them together with the university students from Manyatta to the House of Parliament and have fruitful engagements during the visit.
The Member for Manyatta has asked me to give him one minute to welcome the students. You can combine it with the American group.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Asante sana for that. I have student leaders from all universities in Embu County, specifically Manyatta Constituency. I welcome them to the National Assembly, which is the House where we have leaders who make laws that impact their lives and the rest of the country. I was wowed to see 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.
them conduct a well-organised election. I said the elected student leaders needed to visit the National Assembly and see how business is conducted. We have to do something about our student leaders and the model used to elect them. We need the vibrancy of previous or yester years coming back to our student leaders. I call upon the Government to release the Higher Education Loans Board’s money and funds for universities so that our students can continue learning and surviving in universities as soon as possible. That is so that their lives can move on.
Thank you very much. On my behalf and all Members, I welcome the student leaders together with the other delegation.
Thank you. Next Order.
Deputy Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: 1. Address by H.E (Dr) William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya. 2. The 10th Annual Report on the measures taken and progress achieved in the realisation of national values and principles of governance. 3. The 10th Annual Report on the measure and progress made in fulfilling the international obligations of the Republic of Kenya. 4. The Annual Report to Parliament on the state of national security. 5. The Legal Notice No.175 of 2023 relating to the public finance management of the Ulinzi Prime Health Services Fund Regulations of 2023.
Leader of the Majority Party, I am told you have not laid the document under (v). Do you have the document with you? The document under (v) is stayed until tomorrow.
I order that that be expunged from The Hansard . Be ready to lay the document tomorrow. On the next Order, there is a statement from the nominated Member, Hon. Irene Mayaka.
I wish to request a Statement regarding the clearance by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) at points of entry. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 44(2)(c), I wish to request a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on the recent directives issued by the KRA regarding customs and duties levied on items for passengers travelling through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). 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 KRA issued a directive seeking to tax travellers or passengers arriving into the country with items worth US$500 and above from international destinations through the JKIA. The directive stated that all goods, whether new or used, valued beyond Ksh75,000 must be declared and subjected to taxation at various entry points. This includes personal and used household items. These issues have elicited widespread disconnect and have the potential to adversely affect our tourism sector which is important to our national economy.
It is against this background that I request a Statement from the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning on the following: 1. What is the legal basis and framework for the customs and duties directive, particularly the Ksh75,000 value cap for any used and personal items? 2. What steps have been taken to ensure that the customs and duties directive is enforced within the boundaries of existing laws and regulations, and what legal safeguards are in place to prevent arbitrary action by authorities?
I thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Irene. Hon. Kimani, that is directed to you. Will you respond in two weeks?
Bring the Statement next week on Tuesday. Yes, Hon. Ruku. There is no provision for commenting on or debating a request for a Statement. You are out of order if that is what you want to do. I will allow you if there is something else.
The same issue was raised today before the Committee on Delegated Legislation.
It may have but there is no provision for you to comment on a Statement on the Floor. Take your seat.
I order you out of order, Hon. Okello. Next Order.
Order, Hon. Members who are on your feet. Take your seats. The Member talking to Hon. Gikaria, take your seat.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, take your seat.
Hon. Milemba, take your seat quickly. Hon. Farah, take your seat or disappear to wherever you are going.
Before we go to the next Order, I want to bring something to your attention. Following repeated requests to the Speaker to give direction on the dress code in the House, I will deliver a comprehensive and far-reaching direction on the dress code next week on Tuesday. I encourage all of you to abide by the ruling and direction. It will be based on the longevity of the Speaker in this House, comparable jurisdiction, and our Rules and Standing Orders that govern the dress code. I assure you that the House Business Committee has weighed in on this matter. In the manner we have been going, it has advised that the decorum of the House is sinking to its lowest. Members come to this House dressed in any manner they like. In some way, our ladies in the House Business Committee even took issue with the manner their colleague ladies dress. I will give a very compressive direction so that from there on, enforcement will be left to Serjeants-at-Arms.
Anybody who will come dressed in a manner other than what we shall have advised will be deemed a stranger to the House. That is so that we maintain decorum and respect the dignity of the House in every respect.
On a point of order, Hon. Speaker.
Yes, Hon. Julius Sunkuli. What is your point of order?
Hon. Speaker, as the main upholder of the Constitution in this House, I understand that most of your decisions are binding. Is it not in order for you to conduct public participation for Members of this House to share their comments on the dress code? I come from a constituency which would like to have an input on how Kenyans should dress in their national House. Let us encourage public participation before you make a ruling.
Hon. Julius Sunkuli, the Constitution states that we exercise our powers directly or through our elected representatives. Your elected representatives are Members of the House Business Committee, and they have made known their findings and stand on the matter. You are ably represented. Whatever we decide has been properly canvassed by your elected representatives, as is provided under Article 1 of the Constitution. Members, as a result of how you have been mismanaging the screen, where you walk in at 1.00 p.m. or at 1.30 p.m., log in and block the screen before we even finish the prayer or any Order is called, I have directed the Clerk and the Clerks-at-the-Table that from now on, the screen will be wiped clean at the end of every Order. You will log in again when another Order 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.
is called so that we can know who wants to speak on a particular Order and who does not. You have seen the embarrassing situation where the Speaker calls out a Member, who says that they did not want to speak to that particular Order, yet their name is at the top of the screen. The Clerk and the Clerks-at-the-Table will enforce that new rule so that when an Order is called, you will key in again. The Chair will exercise discretion. Sometimes we take into account gender and regional balance in debates. We also take into account party and age balance. We have young Members whom we want to grow, therefore, we sometimes give them opportunities. We will be strictly following the order on the screen. For instance, we have now wiped it clean. When the Leader of the Majority Party starts moving the next Motion, those who key in will be called upon to speak. I hope that that will give us a little order instead of some Members raising both their hands while others stand up, and others shout for points of order when there are none. Members, before the Leader of the Majority Party moves the next Motion, I also want to add something to the issue of the dress code. The direction that I will give will also cover your conduct in committees. Remember that the committees in which you sit are an extension of this House. I have been horrified to see Members turning up in committees dressed in jeans, T-shirts, and all manner of regalia. Chairpersons of committees will be enjoined to enforce whatever direction I will give. You are expected to display decorum in this Chamber and in committees. When members of the public appear before you and you look like street fighters, you do not display a very good image of this House. For the upcoming Motion, the Mover has a maximum of 30 minutes to move, and the Leader of the Minority Party has 20 minutes to contribute. Each Member has five minutes to contribute. You do not have to exhaust your time. If you make your point before your time is up, you can give way and allow as many of your colleagues as possible to speak. Secondly, this Motion will be debated the whole of this afternoon, tomorrow morning, and we will conclude with it at the end of tomorrow’s afternoon sitting. We have set aside this afternoon, tomorrow morning after the preliminaries, and tomorrow afternoon for this Motion. Thereafter, we will give way for other business on Thursday. Leader of the Majority Party, the Floor is yours.
Those who want to speak can log in now.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 24(6), the thanks of this House be recorded for the exposition of public policy contained in the Address of His Excellency the President delivered in Parliament on Thursday, 9th November 2023, and further, that this House notes the following Reports submitted by His Excellency the President in fulfillment of the provisions of Articles 132(1)(c) and 240(7) of the Constitution, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 14th November 2023– 1. The 10th Annual Report on the Measures Taken and Progress Achieved in the Realisation of National Values and Principles of Governance; 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.
2. The 10th Annual Report on the Progress made in Fulfilling the International Obligations of the Republic of Kenya; and, 3. The Annual Report to Parliament on the State of National Security. Hon. Speaker, as indicated, His Excellency the President gave his State of the Nation Address last week on Thursday. Allow me to thank all Members of Parliament in both Houses, who sat patiently for close to one hour when the President gave his State of the Nation Address. I must also appreciate His Excellency the President for noting in his opening statement that he was coming before the democratically elected representatives of the people to discharge his constitutional mandate under Article 132(1)(c) of the Constitution. He stated that he was coming to give an account to the people of Kenya on measures taken by their Government, under his leadership, to give full expression and effect to the soul of our constitutional dispensation by implementing our national values and principles of governance set out in Article 10 of our Constitution. I take this opportunity to commend the President for noting that he was not only playing his role as a leader charged under our Constitution to deliver a certain mandate and certain reports to the House and the people of Kenya through their elected representatives, but that he was also being accountable to Kenyans on the progress that has been made by his administration and Government. I noted with excitement and satisfaction that we have a President who appreciates that this is a Government that belongs to the people of Kenya. In his opening statement, he spoke about measures being taken by the people's Government. He said, “…the measures taken by their Government...” It is the people's Government – under his leadership. I, therefore, take this opportunity to commend His Excellency the President for recognising that he is only one amongst equals, not just the leaders who serve our nation, but also the people of Kenya, who have bestowed him with a unique and great responsibility of leading a Government that belongs to them. For that, I commend His Excellency the President and his administration. The President went to great lengths to not only speak to the progress made so far in terms of realising our national values and principles of governance, but also in the realisation of all the pledges and commitments made by the President and the Kenya Kwanza Government to the people of Kenya. The President took us back to where he took over the reins of leadership on 13th September 2023, noting that he needed to undertake an urgent transformation of our economy to stop and reverse the negative sense of runaway unemployment. He described this as a yawning inequality and widespread poverty which denied millions of Kenyans the ability to prosper by extinguishing their dignity and dreams of living in a country, they are not proud of.
Hon. Speaker, the President spoke to the mass appeal of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) that he campaigned on. Many of us in Kenya Kwanza campaigned on the same model. I appreciate that the President re-affirmed his commitment and that of his administration to bring the national values and principles of governance to life. This would significantly enhance the well-being of each Kenyan and promote the unity, stability, security and development of our country. In his exposition, the President took us back to a struggling economy that he found in place. He said that we had begun implementation of the mandate to transform Kenya’s economy from the bottom to up under extremely difficult circumstances. The President was quick to say that he would not excuse failure or justify inability or omission to do necessary work; rather he emphasised the significance of the progress made so far. He underscored the possibility of transformation under very daunting conditions. He expressed the well-founded confidence that when sufficient progress is made, as a nation, we shall do much more in delivering the Kenya we want for our generation and posterity. 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.
Allow me to commend and appreciate the President because he took the leadership of this country at a time when our economy was fledgling. Using the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda, he set out on a mission to transform our economy. He noted that he has no time and space to give excuses for any failure or even to justify the Government’s inability or omission to do the necessary work. This tells us that we have a leader and President who appreciates where we are coming from. He knows and appreciates the progress made so far. If Members go through the speech –which I believe is now at the Table Office—the President enumerates the progress made so far. He also appreciates that we are coming from a difficult global recession. The whole world is still recovering from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The wars in the Middle East and Europe – Russia and Ukraine – disrupted the global supply chain. We also experienced the worst drought in four decades. Without giving any excuses, the President enumerates the measures that his Government has taken to safeguard the welfare of our nation, and to facilitate the recovery of our economy using the bottom-up economic model. The President spoke of the fertiliser subsidy. He also spoke to some farmers on phone. Members will remember the mention of Mr Samuel Chacha in Kuria and Mr Albert Munyi from Embu, who talked to the President and appreciated the impact of the subsidised fertiliser in not only improving the productivity of their farms as individual farmers but also contributing to the 18 million extra maize bags. We cannot forget to thank God for he has been gracious to us by providing us with adequate rains in the last six months. The President did not stop at that. He enumerated the challenges that will come with the El Nino rains. Maize has been harvested and we have an additional 18 million bags in our supply chain. However, the El Nino rains will come with many challenges. For example, part of this maize may not be dried because of the prevailing weather conditions. Appreciating this, the President noted that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) will assist farmers in drying their maize at a very subsidised price of Ksh70 from Ksh350 per bag. He also indicated that on Wednesday last week, the first consignment of 100 mobile dryers to be used by farmers arrived in the country at our port in Mombasa. The President did not forget our dairy farmers. He mentioned that the Government is in the process of mapping out the milk-producing areas. This will guide the purchase of coolers and milk-processing facilities ready for use which will ensure that farmers hygienically store their milk and secure post-milking loss. The milk will not only be cooled but also transported under hygienic conditions. This will enable our farmers to reap the highest benefits from milk production. Hon. Speaker, coffee and tea farmers were not left behind. His Excellency the President enumerated what our fishermen in Nyanza, the Coast region, and the Mountain where people are engaging in fish farming… The Blue Economy space is one of the areas that the Government has invested in. The President talked about 22 new fish landing sites in nine counties in Nyanza and the Pokot region. I was fortunate to have accompanied the President to Kanyagwal Kabanyo, in Kisumu County, and Kilifi County, where the Deputy Leader of the Majority Party hails from, to commission part of the 22 new fish landing sites. Hon. Speaker, in a way, this is one investment that will change in a big manner, the communities around the lakes and water bodies whether in Nyanza, Naivasha, Bogoria, Turkana or the Coast. They will be able to reap maximum benefits from the fish they extract from our water bodies through processing and marketing in very hygienic conditions from the landing sites. On increasing productivity, the President alluded to the challenges he found in his office. Since last night, the conversation on social media, hotels and even our Members’ Lounge has revolved around the cost of living and principally, around the cost of fuel. The President alluded in his address to the nation, to some of the challenges he found in office when 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.
he took charge. He came to settle bills of over Ksh60 billion on account of fuel subsidies and from Ksh4 billion to Ksh8 billion on account of consumption subsidies, geared towards subsidising maize flour and sugar, in the last two months of the last regime. Hon. Members, will remember these measures were taken in the run-up to elections. There has been a clamour for the re-introduction of these subsidies. I am glad that the President went to great lengths to explain to the people of Kenya the difficulty of entrenching consumer subsidies vis-a-vis having a system with sustainable production subsidies. As the President stated, it was left to his regime or administration to settle bills of consumption subsidies effected in the last eight weeks to elections. These subsidies were geared towards enticing the people of Kenya to vote in a particular way. It is one thing to seek political popularity and another to do the right thing for posterity and future generations of this country.
I have just come from Stony Athi Resort, where we are retreating for the national dialogue process. The question of the cost of living is one of the key issues we have been dealing with even at the national dialogue. I want to encourage Kenyans to continue conversing and dialoguing with each other until we are able to look at each other in the eyes and tell each other the truth. That, it is untenable to subsidise fuel and continue shoring up our shilling against other hard currencies. I must commend the current administration in the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). This is because they told us to deal with economic fundamentals as they stand without shoring up our shilling against the dollar or other hard currencies. That, we have to deal with the economic fundamentals and sustainable economic solutions for the benefit of our generation and future generations. In the last two months of the last regime, we risked driving our nation into a pit that we would never have seen the light at the end of it. I am glad, from the measures enumerated by the President and what Kenyans can see, this country is on the right trajectory in terms of recovery of the economy. As I said, over the years, it was one thing to do all the things that would excite the masses. Today, it will be very easy for the President to act populist like those ahead of him did. He can subsidise maize floor, fuel or even declare that we have done away with Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel. We must look at each other in the eye and ask ourselves; ‘today, even if we do not have a single tax on fuel, will its cost continue rising amidst the global rise of oil prices?" The straight answer is that taxes are loaded on some products we use like fuel, due to the global oil prices rise on account of the war in the Arab world, Middle East, Ukraine or Russia. So, we are unable to change certain fundamentals like wars and global supply chain disruptions that came with the COVID-19 Pandemic and climate change issues. The people in the Western countries like in Europe and America are now on the onset of winter. The demand for fuel to heat their homes is at a very high level and will continue rising. Until and unless we deal with those fundamentals, we can only be lying to each other and the people by pretending to shout from rallies and funerals that we can subsidise fuel. Today, our economy cannot bear the burden of subsidising fuel. I must note this is an administration and regime that is sensitive and alive to the realities of the global challenges that pervade the world. This administration, even with a consistent rise in global oil prices, is using the Fuel Stabilisation Fund and has been able to pre-empt very high spikes and standardised pricing. I want to believe even in the expected review of fuel prices this month, the Fuel Stabilisation Fund will be utilised and that is the right way to do things. Otherwise, we can continue subsidising fuel and accumulating bills to the tune of Ksh60 billion for a period of only seven to eight months and sink our economy and country into a dead hole that we will never get out of. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The joy we must celebrate today as a nation is that even with the difficulty around the world, today, in our country, as the President stated, we can confidently stand up with our shoulders and necks high and tell the world markets that we are ready to start repaying the Eurobond. We shall not be defaulting on any of our international financial obligations. I must commend this administration and the President for the measures taken to ensure we do not go the route taken by other African countries. Hon Speaker, it all begins and ends with leadership. With the right leadership, you do the right things, at the right time. With the wrong leadership, you will be tempted to do all the populist things you speak about in funerals and rallies over the weekends knowing very well we cannot afford to subsidise food and fuel. All the things that we cannot afford as a country, we must be bold enough to look at each other and Kenyans in the eye. We must tell them that we were in a bad place but we are getting somewhere. I am very confident. I know those who never voted for this Government and who never believed in this administration. Those who do not support this administration would not agree with me or agree with the President when he says that this economy has now been stabilised. We are now out of the hole. We can now see the horizon. We can see where we are going as an economy. That may not be clear to those who believed in subsidising consumption. Those who believed that state capture and the fight against corruption was a war to wage against individuals and not something to do for posterity… I am glad the President spoke and addressed the nation on what his administration not only intends to do, but is doing on the fight against corruption. I know many of us again, those who never believed in this President and in this administration have taken issues with the
” phrase. That is just how bold we have to be. His Excellency the President did allude to the Conflict of Interest Bill. Without anticipating debate, that Bill is before this House. I wait with bated breath to sit and listen to how many of us in this House who pontificate on the fight against corruption, will stand to oppose the Conflict of Interest Bill that stands to decisively deal with matters state capture and the fight against corruption.
The soaring up of our shilling against the hard currency… Kenyans may not know that on account of state capture, our shilling and our foreign exchange reserves were being manipulated on account of state capture because those who held instruments of power were also players in the banking sector.
Government agencies and departments were being forced to bank with particular private banks. However, we have opted out of magnanimity not to look back but to forge ahead knowing that we found an economy that was in the doldrums. We are not looking back at who did what through state capture so that we focus on what needs to be done now urgently to get our economy working again. Not working for those in Government today, not working to those who are policy makers today, but working for the downtrodden, and for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. We speak about social protection. What greater social protection can we speak about if not the National Social Insurance Fund that seeks to create a Social Insurance Fund for millions of Kenyans who cannot afford their healthcare today? We may speak until the cows come home.
You are on homestretch, Hon. Leader of the Majority Party.
I have noted the amber light Hon. Speaker and that is why I am saying I can speak until the cows come home. However, I cannot 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.
overemphasise the need for all of us to stand up as patriots and do the right thing for our economy. For all of us to stand up and join in the fight against corruption for the sake of our generation and future generations. For all of us to stop being populist and do the right thing to get this economy back on its track even without looking back but forging ahead together. United as a nation for the posterity and prosperity of our great people and our nation, our motherland Kenya. Hon. Speaker, I now beg to note the thanks of the House on the State of the Nation Address and request the Hon. Deputy Leader of the Majority Party, the Hon. Owen Baya, the Member for Kilifi North, to second this Motion.
Hon. Baya, you have five minutes to second.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. First, I note the thanks of the House on the President’s State of the Nation Address by noting the President's emphasis on transformation. Transformation is underway. A President gives hope to his nation. A President looks at the sunny side of things for the country and President William Ruto did just that when he came to this House to deliver his State of the Nation Address. Given the many things that he has done cumulatively, there is hope for this country. A hope that his BETA is going to transform this country and put it on the steady. This country is looking forward to better days than where we have come from. So, I commend the President for this speech. It is a speech filled with hope and promise. It is also a speech filled with important items and activities that he has undertaken in the first one year to ensure that the country has been put on the steady. One of the most important things that I thought I picked in this speech is that BETA is not just about economic transformation, but it is also about, as he sets it in his fourth paragraph, about social justice. It is about inclusivity, democracy and protection of the marginalised. Very many people did not go into the depth of what BETA is about. It is about social justice. Very many people in this country have suffered under state apparatus in this country. We heard about the many killings that were being undertaken by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). We heard about the River Yala bodies. We heard about people being killed by instruments of Government. BETA has brought that protection of the marginalised, protection of human rights and protection of the state of Kenya and the people that live within it. As we talk about transformation, we are not just transforming the country economically, but also transforming social justice, the fight against corruption in this country, and bringing law and order. I am sure very many people were surprised when the President fired some of the officers in Government. Some of them were taken to court very fast on allegations of corruption. Something that we have not seen, that used to drag investigations for many years in the past. We have seen what BETA also means in the social justice sector.
Hon. Speaker, if you go through the President's speech, you also see that he notes and he is aware that we are in extreme difficult conditions economically as a country. He knows that he does not run away from that fact. He notes it, but he does not just note and stop there. He gives us a way in which we can get out of the doldrums that we find ourselves in, in this country. He talks about the transformation in agriculture, that is, the inputs he has made and the kind of infrastructure laid out in agriculture. Kenya is still an agrarian country. Manufacturing in this country will come from nowhere else but from agriculture. It behoves the Head of State to ensure that he develops the sector of agriculture, especially the subsidies on fertiliser, seeds and other inputs. The credit that goes into agriculture will bring us positive results as we trudge on the way. I note with appreciation when the President says we are putting the shame of hunger to rest for this country. Every year, this Parliament says that we have hunger in 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.
and we need to mobilise resources. The President, this time, has decided to take the bull by its horns and has told this House in his State of the Nation Address that henceforth, we must put to shame the issues of hunger in this country. The culture of donating food to hungry Kenyans must stop. We need to grow food so that Kenya is food-secure, for both nutrition and manufacturing. The President also notes the transformation in the education sector. In the 12th Parliament, we had many issues with the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). Everybody was apprehensive about how CBC would be implemented. There were questions on what Junior and Senior Secondary Schools would be like, but the President has steadied the ship. In his State of the Nation Address, he talked about CBC with passion and precision. He has affirmed that, under his leadership, the education sector in this country started off on the right footing. Hon. Speaker, I can see that the signal light on the Clerks-at-the-Table’s desk is red but I am on the high.
Your time is up. You are aware of the time that was allocated to you. Hon. Members, when you are given an opportunity, organise your points within the required time. I will now propose the question.
Hon. Victor Koech.
On a point of order, Hon. Speaker.
Yes, Hon. Ruku.
Hon. Speaker, I rise on Standing Order 97. Following the immense interest in the President’s Address, I suggest that we reduce the time from 10 minutes to five minutes so that every Member from both sides can contribute.
The time is five minutes. I already gave direction that the Mover had 30 minutes and the Seconder five minutes. Every Member will have five minutes each to contribute. If and when the Leader of the Minority Party wishes to speak, he will have 20 minutes. The Chairpersons of the following Committees will also have 10 minutes each, if they wish to speak: Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations and Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs. Member for Chepalungu.
The Chairman of what?
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
He is a stranger to the Standing Orders of this House.
Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. I rise to speak on the President’s Address to Parliament in fulfillment of the requirements of the Constitution under Article 132(1)(c). The President chose to speak from his heart. He spoke about the issues that affect the common mwananchi. The President knows what Kenyans expect The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of him. He deliberately chose to stop the culture of borrowing. Additionally, he talked about subsidies and stated that he decided to go the subsidy way in food production. With the introduction of the subsidy, there has been a drop in fertiliser prices by a margin of Ksh4,000, in a record one year. As a result, there has been an increase in maize production by almost 80 per cent. This will help in the eradication of hunger that has affected our people for a long time. The President also talked about the Government’s agenda to increase the cost of milk. This is particularly dear to my constituents, who solely depend on milk production for their livelihoods. Currently, the cost of milk is Ksh31 per litre. There is an intervention by the President, in terms of installation and carrying out surveys on where milk coolers will be installed. This means that henceforth the prices will depend on the quality of milk produced. This is in line with the Government’s agenda of increasing milk prices. The rise in the price of milk will go a long way in improving the economy of our country. Further, the President talked about universal healthcare as envisioned in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto. The Government has decided to go digital in order to ensure that Kenyans have access to universal healthcare. Among the many issues that the President talked about, I singled out one important issue: he has declined to borrow for recurrent expenditure. Previous governments borrowed for recurrent expenditure. However, the President has decided that as a country we shall not live beyond our means. We must live within our means. This will greatly improve the country’s economy. With the few remarks, I support the Motion and laud our President for understanding the needs of the common mwananchi and Kenyans at large. One pastor in Mombasa preached that there is a period between giving a promise and a period in which one delivers the promise. The period between giving a promise and delivering is called ‘wait’. The President has promised us that the Government will work on the manifesto within the shortest time possible. Further, upon recovery of the economy, he promised that our roads will be constructed, electricity supply will improve and we will have access to clean water. Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I support.
Thank you, Hon. Victor Koech. Hon. Shakeel Shabbir.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I would like to comment on the speech of His Excellency the President. The President has recognised and based himself on the three pillars of Kenya Vision 2030, namely, economic, social and political pillars. In the speech, he recognised the fact that the country is faced with hard times. Tough times call for tough measures. We must cut down the cost of living. What I did not hear, but I am sure is in the speech is the fact that there must be certain deliberate measures to reduce the cost of living in the country. For example, in Parliament one can see flowers that cost up to Ksh5,000 each to set up. Those are the things we need to stop, not only here but in all the ministries. I was very pleased to hear about the approach of the President on corruption. He also talked about State capture. We have never dealt with corruption, but I was so pleased this time that he clarified his stand on it. If we have the Executive’s will, we are going to deal with corruption. We will sort out many issues of corruption.
I was most pleased by his request that the Conflict of Interest Bill be passed quickly. The rain started beating us under the Moi regime or maybe the earlier one when civil servants were allowed to trade and have businesses. No matter what we tried, the Executive was not going to listen to us.
That was not in the Moi regime. It was in the Kenyatta I regime.
I apologise, Sir. I thought maybe it was the earlier one, the Kenyatta regime. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
That has gone on and on. At this moment in time, in these procurement plans, the budgeted corruption that takes place is over 80 per cent of the corruption in this country. I am very pleased with the President’s remarks that he is going to take swift action. I agree with what he said about mambo matatu . I will support if people who have been involved in grand corruption are going to be hanged at Uhuru Park. The fact is that our poor are getting poorer. Economic injustice is not being dealt with in a proper manner. I plead with the President and his team to make sure that we start cutting the cost from the rich so that the poor can benefit. Right now, the poor are paying more for unga, water and everything in the slums. That is economic injustice. I agree with the Leader of the Majority Party and the President that subsidisation is not the way out. It is just digging a hole down further. In my view, this is what we need to do: Mr President Sir, the debt office must be made independent. Let us make the debt office autonomous so that it is not monitored by others. Finally, I want to suggest that as Members of Parliament, we should fly on the economy class when going anywhere on our visits abroad, like the British and the Americans are doing; not business class which is five times more costly. Thank you for giving me the time.
Hon. Dorice Donya.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. Children are taught in schools about developing and developed countries. When we come to Kenya, as leaders, we should ensure that we eradicate poverty and extreme hunger. During the President’s Speech, I noted there were some things which were not coming out clearly, especially on the price of gorogoro of maize. I got excited immediately he spoke of Ksh60 to Ksh70, but when I went to Kisii, I found that the price of gorogoro of maize was retailing at between Ksh120 and Ksh150. There is still a gap on how to eradicate poverty and hunger. When you meet people on the streets, they want to hear when the youths are going to be employed, good roads are going to be constructed, and when schools will have sufficient water. During this season, it is raining well in our land. However, the problem is that immediately after the rains, we are still going to experience hunger. I suggest that the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation comes up with ways in which we can harvest this water so that during the dry season, our people can benefit. Apart from prices of unga going down, we have the Maasai community which relies on meat and milk. It should not be perceived that when the price of gorogoro of maize has gone down, which has not, we have solved the problem of poverty and hunger. Too many people are crying. We do not even have clear measures on how our children are transiting to Junior Secondary Schools (JSSs) with a good number of teachers. The ratio should be good so that we have good participation of students and teachers. I agree that we are improving our environment. The President has been talking about mitigating and reducing the expenditure. We used to have scouts in our schools. When I was in Kaplong Girls, we used to plant trees and visit the sick in hospitals. If planting trees can be taken back to our learners, they are taught and it is made a daily routine, we can save and have a better Kenya.
Thank you, Hon. Dorice. Hon. John Waweru of Dagoretti South.
Hon. Speaker, I thank you. I will start by congratulating Parliament for organising such a good afternoon for the State of the Nation Address with yourself on the Chair, Hon. Speaker, being the main host. I congratulate His Excellency the President, not only for honouring his duty and doing what he is required to by the Constitution, but also boldly and candidly venturing into the business of letting the country know where exactly we are. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The President was not shy to let us know that we are working in very difficult situations. Difficult situations at home and abroad. Difficult situations that are exasperated by the conditions of drought that have prevailed for several years ahead of these rains that we are experiencing today. The situation globally is also affecting the economy of this country. There are wars all over, which have interrupted the supply chains. There is also the situation with which this Government came to office, and what it found. With all these, as the leader of the land, the President said that he is not here to excuse any failure. He tackled issues head on. One most amazing thing about the presentation of the State of the Nation Address is the style that the President did it. Ahead of his speech, he took time to call numerous Kenyans across the nation to have a candid one-on-one discussion. So, the speech was based on what the people on the streets would call a ‘collabo’ between the President and his people – reporting what the situation on the ground is verbatim. I will take a few moments to just observe some of the sentiments that the President put across. On a very critical sector, the digital economy, the President took time to report on the project called the Digital Superhighway, where the Government intends to roll out 100 kilometres of fibre, establish about 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots and 1,450 digital innovation hubs around the country. That means if this project takes off, in every single ward of this country, there will be a digital innovation hub. In her contribution, Hon. Dorice Donya asked where the jobs will come from. I want to report here that with the few digital innovation hubs that have been installed around the country, the results are almost immediate. If you go to the one in Nakuru County, you will find that it generates over Ksh6 million daily – money that is earned in US Dollars by young Kenyans who are working round the clock by getting digital jobs from international companies.
If you go to the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology, the same is happening. When you go to Dagoretti South Constituency, Kabete National Polytechnic and PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute, the same thing is happening there. I take this opportunity to let Members know that the digital innovation hubs in their constituencies are investments that shall pay dividends almost immediately. The impact of the plans that are being laid out, as numerated by His Excellency the President, are going to start gathering fruits immediately. He rolled out his ideas for the mid-term and long-term plans.
I take this opportunity to also congratulate His Excellency the President on ending on a high note by giving hope to this country. In short, the speech was short, punchy, to the point and very well loaded. I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute.
Thank you, Hon. Kiarie. Hon. John Mbadi.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I was here on Thursday last week. I listened to the President carefully for one hour and six minutes. He sold us hope. I have also listened to the Leader of the Majority Party today, who has sold us excuses. I just want to remind the two leaders that you cannot sell hope and excuses 14 months into your leadership.
I want to remind them that this administration has taken 25 per cent of the time it was given by Kenyans, if at all they gave it. It is remaining with only 75 per cent of the time. This is not the time to tell us that you have stabilised the economy when the facts and figures are pointing to the opposite direction. This is not the time to tell us that we are out of the hole when we know that we are still inside and we are continuing to dig it even further. Where is the evidence that we have stabilised the economy? If you want to know that the economy is stabilised, you need to check the interest rates. They are in the region of 16 and 18 per cent on Government premium instruments like Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds. This signals that our banks will definitely and certainly charge around 24 per cent interest. That is not an The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
economy that has been stabilised. We know that the value of our shilling is on a free fall. No matter how many excuses you give us about it, we deserve answers to that.
The other issue that we need to look at is whether inflation is down. It is not. The only inflation that has gone down is food-led. However, non-food items inflation is biting this country hard, starting with the prices of petroleum products. We know that there are challenges in the global economy and the Middle East, which again you were told during the campaign period. At that time, they said that our fuel prices had nothing to do with the problems being experienced in Ukraine and the rest of the world. I do not want to go to that direction because we have talked about it many times. There are solutions that we can use to reduce the price of fuel to under Ksh200 per litre. This is not the right time to increase taxation on petroleum products. However, it was done against the advice of all the leading economists in this country. If I was the President, the first thing I would do is to fire all my economic advisors and the economic team and get fresh ones with fresh minds to advise me appropriately.
The purchasing power of Kenyans has been eroded yet you are telling them that they are better off. Where is that evidence? Ask Kenyans in the streets of Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi. I do not know what percentage of Kenyans can tell you today that their life is better than it was a year ago. Most Kenyans will tell you that it is worse. When the economy is not doing well, you cannot increase or change taxation policy to the disadvantage of consumers. When people are struggling, you cannot increase taxation. Therefore, where we are, you have affected the purchasing power by reducing people’s disposable income. The net effect is reduced demand for goods and services, which causes low production that leads to unemployment. How are you helping the economy? You cannot claim that you are fighting corruption when your senior officers are using Government resources to hire eight choppers to attend a single fundraiser in the village. You asked all your cabinet secretaries, on Monday, to buy seedlings for Ksh10,000 each and hire a chopper for Ksh1 million to go and plant trees. What kind of austerity measure is that?
Hon. Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that Kenya is on a drip. If we were talking of it being in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) before the last election, it is now on a drip. We are just surviving by the grace of God. We are praying that somehow a miracle happens for Kenya to survive. At this rate, with this administration...
Hon. Omboko Milemba.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute. I was also here on Thursday to listen to the President on behalf of the people of Emuhaya. I listened with my third ear.
As a student of History and Government and Rudolph Verderber on speech, I was happy because the President was very confident and he gave hope to Kenyans. He was also very clear in his mind to say what was truthful, what can be done and what cannot be done. That is what this country possibly needs because we cannot afford to live a lie. That is the general outlook of what I saw in the speech. What Kenyans really need is hope. He was able to explain where we were, where we are headed and where we intend to go.
I will highlight three remarkable things which were spoken. Firstly, he spoke on education. He explained an array of reforms that he has brought to bear to try and improve the education system. I must begin by thanking the President because I have been in the education system for a long time. I know that employment of teachers has been and is still one of the biggest challenges that we face. Even previously, we would only employ 5,000 teachers annually and about 25,000 teachers in every five years. It is remarkable to indicate that within his reign, in one year’s time, he has employed 55,000 teachers. I know they are not enough. However, I must begin by congratulating him on that because I have been around and I know what happens. 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.
He forgot to indicate that also in terms of promotions, we have been having a lot of stagnation of teachers. When the Supplementary Budget comes, I will ask this Parliament to allocate money for promotion of teachers. He forgot to say that within the period in which he has operated, we have had promotion of 14,000 teachers in the first phase, 6,000 and now 36,000 teachers who have been advertised. I am glad to indicate and report to the President that most of the 55,000 teachers he employed, we thank him for that, were interns. They are the ones who are in JSS. They look forward to become permanent and pensionable.
I was in Bomet County over the weekend and most of the teachers are crying out that after one-year internship programme, they should be confirmed as permanent and pensionable. I ask this House to support the President by allocating money to make all intern teachers who are in our JSS and other parts of schools permanent and pensionable.
Hon. Speaker, the next thing I want to speak on, which came out very clearly in the President’s Address, is the issue of the economy. He was very firm and clear on it. As the Mover of this Motion indicated, the cost of living needs to be given more time as an agenda in the bipartisan talks. It needs everybody looking into each other’s eye. I was very proud when I heard the Leader of the Majority Party use that phrase because that is my slogan back home. It is mbenga mmoni in my language, which translates as “look in my eyes”. We can easily lie to ourselves if we do not deal with that matter very seriously. He was very clear to indicate that the borrowing had reached its maximum and it was not possible for us to borrow any more. We, as a House, know that we had even been downgraded in our ability to borrow on the grading system of borrowing around the world. It is very important that we tighten our belts and live within our means. We shall collapse if we continue with the borrowing.
He was also very bold to indicate that, for the first time, we want to face the challenge that we have always feared for the longest time, namely, the Eurobond. We want to tackle it so that we may give confidence to international markets to invest in us. Most countries are defaulting. The repercussions of defaulting are usually very severe. They do not last one month or one year. They last a number of years because investors lose confidence in your currency. It is usually very terrible.
In the interest of time, I will have to stop there. I am unable to speak on agriculture, which I think is the most important thing because productivity must be encouraged and not consumption
Thank you, Hon. Speaker.
Hon. Zamzam Chimba.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika. Nikichangia Hoja kuhusu Hotuba aliyoitoa Rais hivi karibuni, ninajua kwamba hali ni ngumu sana katika Taifa letu. Lakini, ningependa kumweleza Mheshimiwa Rais kwamba wanaomshauri wanafaa wawe na uwazi na yeye. Si vizuri tukiona Wabunge hapa wakimpigia upito wakati wanajua kuna matatizo. Kiongozi mzuri ni anayependa kuambiwa hapa kuna shida na hapa uko sawa. Nimeona kweli Rais anajaribu kujibidiisha ila kuna maswala ambayo hakuzungumzia. Kiongozi mwema huzungumzia matatizo aliyo nayo na mazuri aliyofanya. Hatukuona hilo katika Hotuba ya Rais. Hotuba ya Rais pia, haikushika hali tata ya hisia za wananchi zilivyo katika Taifa hili. Wananchi wanahangaika na njaa, tax ziko juu, ushuru unapanda kila kukicha. Tumeona zingine katika vitambulisho. Bei ya chakula pia, imepanda juu. Kwa hivyo, wananchi walikua wanasubiri kusikia atashika maswala gani yanayogusa mwananchi wa kawaida; wa kule chini. Nikizingatia kuwa mafuta ama fuel imepanda juu, stima pia imekuwa katika hali tata katika nyumba za Wakenya wengi. Mhe. Rais pia, alikwepa kuzungumzia swala hili. Ninamweleza Rais kuwa, ndio anajaribu. Lakini, ninafikiri kuwa washauri wake hawamshauri vizuri. Inakuwa aibu kwa kiongozi wa Taifa kutangaza kuwa mvua ya El Niño haitokuwepo. Kisha anasema hawezi kuwa na mipango ya kukabili El Niño halafu sasa tuanze kuona mvua 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.
inanyesha. Hii sio hoja ya Rais mwenyewe. Alishauriwa kwamba hii haitokuwa. Ndio maana ninasema huenda yeye ana nia nzuri kwa Wakenya lakini wanaomzingira na kumshauri hawamwelezi vizuri. Wabunge wenzangu, msiwe watu wa kupiga ngoma tu mkicheza na hamjui mziki waenda vipi. Hili ni Bunge la uwazi na ni lazima tuelezane ukweli. Tumwambie Rais amefanya vipi hapa, wapi kumepunguka na wapi ajibidiishe. Huo ndio mjadala unaofaa kuendelea katika Bunge hili. Si sawa tukiwa watu wa kusema twampongeza na kumpongeza wakati mambo si sawa kule nje. Hata yeye mwenyewe anapokaa anajua kweli kuwa hawa Wabunge wake hawampendi. Msifikiri kuwa Rais hana akili. Ana akili zake. Anajua na anaangalia. Anatamani Mbunge aliye upande wake amwelezee ukweli hata siku moja kuwa kuna shida; iko hivi hapa
. Mheshimiwa Rais, wananchi wanalia bei ya mafuta imepanda na hawana chakula. Tunaweza kufanya namna gani? Kiongozi mzuri ni yule anaangalia kama hali ni mbaya katika taifa. Asifanye mambo elfu moja kwa wakati mmoja. Achague jambo moja ambalo linaweza kugusa mwananchi na kuinua uchumi. Azingatie jambo moja na kulitenda kwa ubora zaidi kisha mengine yatafuata polepole. Lakini, Rais amezingirwa na mambo ya barabara, miundo msingi, agriculture . Sijui kama anataka kufanya mambo hamsini kwa wakati mmoja wakati ambapo uchumi hauko sawa. Mimi kama Mama Mombasa simchukii. Hapana. Ninampenda tena sana lakini nitakuwa muwazi kwake kusema kuwa hali si sawa kule mashinani. Asiwasikize hawa Wabunge wanaompigia kengele na ngoma. Asikize tunaomweleza mambo halisi yalivyo katika mazingara ya wananchi kule chini. Mhe. Spika, mpaka wakati huu tumekubali huyu ndiye Rais. Tunataka kusonga mbele kama Wakenya kwa sauti moja. Vile tumekubali, tunasema asidanganywe hapa na hawa Wabunge wanaompigia ngoma na kusema ooh ni kuzuri au ooh tunakusifu. Hapana. Kama Mama Mombasa, ninamwambia Rais kuwa hata hawa walimu 56,000 ambao ameajiri hawatoshi. Kwa walimu 56,000, Kaunti ya Mombasa tumepata walimu sita peke yake. Kati ya hizi free Wi-Fi hotspots 25,000, ninamweleza Rais kuwa Mombasa imepata mbili peke yake. Kama kweli anapenda ugatuzi kama alivyosema, pengine wale wanaomshauri hawamwambii vizuri. Mimi kama mama wa Kaunti ya Mombasa, ninamwambia ajibidiishe na kukazana. Asidanganywe na hawa Waheshimiwa wengine. Asante sana.
On a point of order, Hon. Speaker.
Order. Hold on mama . What is your point of order, Hon. KJ?
Mhe. Spika, ningependa utueleze kama Mjumbe huyu wa Mombasa amekiuka Kanuni za Kudumu hapa Bungeni kwa kuwapotosha Wabunge kwa kuwaeleza kwamba kuna vituo vya kidijitali ambavyo vimebuniwa. Anajua vyema kwamba wewe mwenyewe ulituita mkutano wa kamkunji hapa na tukajadili maswala haya ya vituo hivi na ktukakubaliana kwamba ni majukumu ya Wajumbe kushirikiana na Serikali kuu kubuni vituo vya kidijitali. Pia, ninadhani kwamba huyu Mjumbe anatupotosha anapotuambia kwamba kutokana na wale walimu 56,000 ambao waliajiriwa, ni walimu sita pekee ambao wameajiriwa katika Kaunti nzima ya Mombasa.
Mhe. Spika, je, huyu Mjumbe anatupotosha? Je, amekiuka Kanuni zetu za Kudumu?
Hayo maoni na namba ni yake .
Zamzam, in future, you take your seat when your colleague is on his feet on a point of order. Maliza in 30 seconds.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika. 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.
Ninamweleza Mbunge mwenzangu kuwa mimi ndio mama mwakilishi wa Mombasa. Ninachunguza na kuangalia. Ni kweli tulikuwa na yule Waziri hapa. Lakini, unapopinga hapa, je wajua alizindua sehemu mbili za kuweka Wi-Fi ? Usilolijua ni usiku wa giza. Angalia ya kwako niangalie ya kwangu. Kule kwetu walimu walikuwa wachache sana tukizingatia namba ya 56,000 ambayo imetolewa. Kwa hivyo, tuheshimiane. Zungumza ya Dagoretti, au sijui ni ya wapi, na uniwachie ya Mombasa.
Ninampenda Rais. Ninamwombea Mungu amuwezeshe kukazana na kufanya kazi kwa bidii lakini asisikize wengine.
Thank you, mama Mombasa. Hon. Geoffrey Ruku.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. It is important to reveal that I was not in the House. However, I followed the Address online from the time the President came to the last sentence. I rise to support all the sentiments raised by the Head of State and Government. I congratulate him for a job well done for the past one year. He put it clearly in his State of the Nation Address that the six judges he appointed came in handy to support the Judiciary and the justice administration system of our country. The fact that he also allocated Ksh3 billion to the Judiciary is a clear indication that the President supports the justice administration system in the country, which has not been fairing on well for a number of years. In his speech, he also highlighted that he has set the Inspector-General as an accounting officer to ensure that the National Police Service (NPS) is well managed. At the same time, he appointed Justice David Maraga to lead a taskforce to review the terms and conditions of our women and men in uniform. The NPS has been experiencing challenges. To ensure that Kenyans enjoy security, protection of life and property, the President set up the taskforce in his first days in office as the Head of State and Government. The Government, led by the President, has invested a lot in agricultural production and livestock value chain addition so that the cost of living comes down. It is currently yielding fruit. The cost of fertilisers has come down from Ksh7,000 to Ksh2,500 per bag. We are currently witnessing huge harvests in different parts of the country. The Government has also controlled wasteful expenditure. The President has ensured that no Government officer spends more than seven days outside the country. Unnecessary expenditures in public service offices have also been cut down. The Hustler Fund has displayed an exemplary performance with disbursements of large amounts of money to a tune of Ksh36.6 billion, and savings of Ksh2.3 billion. These are all achievements within one year in office of our visionary Head of State. We witnessed the employment of almost 60,000 primary school and 8,000 JSS teachers. This has been done by a committed President. He clearly outlined that achievement in his speech, and it is known to every person within the Republic of Kenya. This has never been done in the past, and it can only be accomplished through commitment, passion and diligence in service to the people. The Government, led by his Excellency the President, championed the passage of the Social Health Insurance Act, 2023; the Primary Health Care Act, 2023; and the Facilities Improvement Financing Act, 2023, to enhance healthcare.
Your time is up, Hon. Ruku. So that you do not appear to be unfairly truncated when you are contributing, look at the Clerk’s Table. There is an amber light that warns you when your time is almost up. When the amber light comes on, it means you have a minute left, and when the red light comes on, you are automatically switched off. Hon. James Nyikal. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for allowing me to comment on the President’s Speech, which is in line with the constitutional requirement under Article 132 of the Constitution. This allows the President to indicate measures undertaken and progress made in achieving the principles that guide us as set out in Article 10 of the Constitution. My summary is that, once again, we were given a list of promises to be fulfilled. He gave us a fair report on process indicators on what needs to be done and where we have reached, but he did not tell us what he has actually done. We expect results that affect our daily lives, and not a list of the good plans or processes that have been put in place. For example, we will not tire of talking about the cost of living. We keep saying that we cannot use subsidies to mitigate the cost of living, but if you have a crisis on your hands, you first deal with it before you pursue long-term measures. We keep saying that the cost of fuel cannot be touched because it is a consumption subsidy. Nobody can convince me that fuel subsidies are consumption subsidies. There is no single mover of the economy like fuel. Fuel subsidies may be better production subsidies than fertiliser subsidies, which we all agree are production subsidies. When we say that the high cost of fuel is a problem that arises from other events happening in the world, why are there differences in fuel costs within the region? There are five levies charged on the cost of fuel, including heavy Value Added Tax (VAT). Those are things that we can handle. I was expecting that we would, at least, take care of that. We had good primary school, secondary school and university education but we have many students in universities whose fees are yet to be paid. We have come up with laws on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but that is not the same as getting results. I am worried that the laws that we have come up with have opened us up to many interventions from the private sector. We may literally hand over the processes to the private sector. I am not sure we will get there. We have changed the structure of our social protection programmes. A Member mentioned the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). I do not know if we are aware that there are two tiers of payments being made by employees in the new arrangement. Tier one is a small proportion, which the NSSF will manage, while tier two, which is the bigger proportion, will be managed by the private sector. I am worried because the President spoke a lot about processes and policies, but he did not say what we have achieved and how it affects our daily lives. There are 35 landing beaches in Kisumu County alone. What are 11 landing beaches for the whole country? That is a drop in the ocean! Regarding the justice system, you can say that you have employed judges and allocated funds to the Judiciary, but if Government structures do not work, we will still not get results. We are looking for results. The President talked about funding the police. We must move away from thinking that policies and funds will eventually turn into needed service delivery. We should pay attention to issues of governance which will move us to allocate…
Your time is up, Hon. Nyikal. Hon. Ruku, I gave you a chance to speak, you finished, and logged in again. That is not right. Your name is still stuck at the top of the screen.
Then something is wrong, Clerk. Next is the Member for Nyali Constituency, Hon. Mohamed Ali.
Ahsante sana, Mheshimiwa Spika. Ningependa kuzungumzia Hotuba ya Rais. Yale aliyoyasema yalikuwa mambo ya wazi na aligonga ndipo. 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, ninaposikia Waheshimiwa wenzangu wakizungumza jinsi hali ya maisha ilivyo, ninashangaa sana. Hii ni kwa sababu, wanaotuzungumzia na kutueleza hayo mambo ni wale waliotutia katika shimo la matatizo katika taifa hili. Katika uongozi wao walipora mali ya wananchi na kupeleka katika mataifa ya nje. Walitumia pesa za wananchi vibaya kwa kufanya
zisizo na kichwa wala mguu za Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) na wanaketi mbele yetu na kutuambia vile taifa hili litaendeshwa. Mhe. Spika, deni la Kenya haliwezi kulipwa na mtu mwingine, ila sisi Wakenya. Kenya ni nchi huru ambayo inafaa kujitegemea, kuzalisha mapato yake, ajira na mambo mengine. Kwa hivyo, Rais wa Jamhuri amehakikisha kwamba minyororo na mitego iliyokuwa pale awali, ya sisi kila mara kuomba na kutegemea mataifa ya nje imeisha. Na wakati wa kulipa haya madeni ni lazima tutafute njia mbadala ndio tuweze kujikomboa. Nimesikia mheshimiwa mmoja akisema kwamba Rais anatoa ahadi nyingi sana. Ati, achague jambo moja na kulimaliza. Hata wewe mheshimiwa kwako nyumbani huli sima kila siku. Leo ni sima, kesho chapati na kesho kutwa pilau. Kwa hivyo tumuache Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kenya azunguke, aombe na atafute. Nyinyi hata leo mnapiga kelele kwa sababu ya upanzi wa miti. Tusipopanda miti mko na maneno na tukipanda miti mnaanza kusema watu wameenda kupanda. Jambo ambalo ni la…
On a point of order, Hon. Speaker.
Hold Moha’s time. Yes, Fatuma what is the problem?
Mhe. Spika, I would like the Member to explain to us exactly who he is talking about because he keeps on pointing at the three of us saying, ‘H awa ndio walichukua deni na wanapiga kelele miti ikipandwa.’Tunaomba utuambie kikamilifu unamzungumzia nani. Kama huna habari, huu ni mwakawangu wa kwanza kuwa kwenye Bunge. Sina deni la mtu.
Order, Hon. Fatuma! You are out of order. People like Italians speak figuratively with their hands. The fact that you are in the direction he is facing does not mean he is talking about you. Go on Mohamed.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika. Ninadhani wakiambiwa ukweli wanatafuta vijisababu visivyo na kichwa wala mguu. Nikisema hawa, ni nyinyi ambao mlikua katika Serikali iliyokua hapo awali – nyinyi ambao mliwadanganya wananchi na kuwaambia mambo ya porojo, ilhali mlikuwa mkipora mali yao. Kwanza, inafaa mrudi kwa wananchi na kuwaomba msamaha, mseme nyinyi ndio mlifanya makosa ya kupora, kufuja mali ya Wakenya na kutuletea haya matatizo. Walikuja na kifua wakisema watafanya mambo mengine kwa lazima. Leo, wanakaa mbele yetu bila aibu na kutuambia vile taifa hili litaendeshwa. Hata Hayati Emilio Mwai Kibaki alichukua miaka miwili kujenga nchi. Wewe pia kama Mbunge ulipochaguliwa huwezi fanya miujiza na kipindi cha mwaka mmoja. Kwa hivyo yale ambayo Rais alizungumzia yalikua ukweli bayana. Alizungumzia maswala ya elimu, kilimo na deni la Eurobond . Dawa ya deni ni kulipa; usidanganywe na mtu yeyote. Sisi Wakenya ndio tutalipa hilo deni na kusukuma hili gari mpaka tufike mahali ambapo patakua sawa kwa kila Mkenya. Asante sana, Mhe. Spika.
Member for Kabuchai.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for giving me time to speak on the President’s Speech. I listened carefully to him and he is an economic tailor. When you take your clothes to a tailor, he takes your measurements and tells you to return after two weeks to pick your suit. You do not sit around to see how he takes the scissors The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
and cuts the cloth because you might get worried. So, the President is an economic tailor, who has cut into the structures of this Government. It is important to note very well that he brought fertiliser subsidy so that our country can have food security. As we talk, most farms are doing a second season under the fertiliser of Ksh2,500 per 50 kilogrammes. It has been moved from the NCPB Headquarters to the sub- county level to give farmers a chance. I am requesting that they increase the amount so that more farmers can get it. When we get a lot of food… I was left wondering, when I heard Hon. Mbadi say that he has not seen signs of development in this country. When we harvest well and we have enough food, like in his constituency, sufurias are busy. They have a lot of food and you cannot find sufurias on their heads. That is why we started with food. That is a fact, and it depends with where you went to school. We have something we call the precautionary principle of assessing the degree of danger. You have to start from somewhere.
If today a dog comes and bites your leg, and your vehicle starts rolling downwards because you left it on free gear, at the same time your house catches fire and inside there is a child who is sleeping, it is upon you to know where to start. You have to decide where to start. That is called the precautionary principle of assessing the degree of danger. You will start with the burning house and take the child as the dog bites your leg because you can go to hospital. So, the President has chosen what to start with, and that is food. Hon. Deputy Speaker, if he stabilises the food situation, this country will get somewhere. Secondly, I would like to comment on the issue of infrastructure to productive areas of this country. We need better roads going to the farms where food is produced. We need roads in certain zones, where fresh milk from the farms can quickly be picked and in two hours, it reaches the cooling centres. That is what we need in this country. We also need roads going to farms in the inner most parts of this country which produce perishable food, so that it can get to the market. That is what the President is focusing on. I also want to say something on the national dialogue that is ongoing due to the magnanimity of the President. He chose that we come together and talk. So, we expect fruits from this dialogue. This should not be done in futility. When the report comes to this House, let us work on it and see how to make it better. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I cannot finish without mentioning that the President and the First Lady are a praying family. A praying family makes a praying nation. If we pray together and work hard, Kenya will get somewhere.
Next is the Member for Kilifi South, Hon. Ken Chonga.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I stand to express the feelings and wishes of many Kenyans in as far as the President’s Speech is concerned. Let me take cue from Hon. Zamzam, who said that as we debate this Speech, we should understand that we are here for the interest of Kenyans. Honestly, the way we debate is based on how they feel. When we stand in front of this chamber and debate from our thorax and mouth, the way Hon. Mohammed Ali was doing, honestly, it adds no value. We come here to debate issues because we are not at war. Allow me to say that to many, the President’s Speech was a very big disappointment. Let me take you to the time when we were campaigning. The ordinary mwananchi was 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.
promised many things by this Government. It was the expectation of every mama mboga, every bodaboda operator, and every other hustler that life would be better than it is today. If there is anything that mwananchi expected, that is what he wanted to read and understand from the Speech of the President. Hon. Deputy Speaker, let me tell you where the rain started beating us. The rain starting beating us when we passed a punitive Finance Bill in this House. We talked about it, we discussed it, we could see the weaknesses and some of the elements that were in that Bill, but there was nobody to hear because the numbers were less. The Finance Bill is the biggest cause of the cost of living today. On 8th November, Members of Parliament from the Government side were at State House. They expressed their concerns openly that they had become less popular because of the cost of living. That is something that is in this House’s domain. I am told what the President said is that ‘you do not need to be popular.’ Indeed, if they are unpopular, are they not feeling what the mwananchi is feeling on the ground? I was keenly listening to the Leader of the Majority Party and his Deputy and the kind of lies they were making to Kenyans. One of the reasons why the cost of living is not going to go down very soon is the cost of fuel in this country. You and I know very well that Kenya went into an arrangement of government-to-government with the Government of Saudi Arabia. Look at the players in this arrangement. First of all, if there is something that I can call a scam, this is the biggest scam. They are telling us that the cost of fuel is going up because of the war in Ukraine and Palestine. How come the cost of fuel is going down in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda? What explanation can the President give on that observation? It is in public domain that the companies which were given the tender to bring fuel tied their hands in such a manner that when the cost of fuel goes down they cannot renegotiate these terms. You know very well that as long as the cost of fuel remains high, the cost of everything else in Kenya will remain high.
On a point of order.
What is your point of order, Hon. KJ?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, as emotive and as misinformed as Hon. Chonga might be, is it in order for him to say that we are speaking lies here or the President is speaking lies? To the best of my knowledge, that is very unparliamentary language. Using such language is going against our Standing Orders. I think it is in order that the Member withdraws his remarks on the issue of lies. It is unparliamentary language. He needs to withdraw the remarks and apologise.
Hon. Chonga, if you make allegations…
Hon. Deputy Speaker, if you heard me well, there is nothing that I called a lie. Maybe I should use a different language for Hon. KJ to understand what I am talking about.
What did you say exactly?
Hon. Deputy Speaker, what I said is on what the Leader of the Majority Party has just said here is that the cost of fuel in Kenya is going up because there is war between Israel and Hamas. Why could he not go a step further and explain to Parliament why the cost of fuel in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda is coming down? Simple. If you did not understand it…
Hon. Chonga, it is not your place to decide what a Member says. You give your view and let other Members give their views.
Thank you, I stand guided, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I know my time is up, but I just want to make this submission if you will allow me because Hon. KJ has taken almost one minute of my time. I want us to come to the realisation The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
that mwananchi is actually suffering. As much as you are fixing the agriculture sector and many other sectors, we need to know how the cost of living can come down. If we play around with this matter, I refer to what Pastor Mackenzie said, that kitawaramba (you will be consumed). This Government is in place because of the people who put it where it is. It is the same people who are complaining how life has become unbearable.
Conclude, Hon. Member. I have given you an extra minute so that you can conclude.
Thank you. I am concluding. Hon. Deputy Speaker, with the realisation that we are where we are because of the promises that we gave to mwananchi, be you on the opposition side or on the Government side, the feeling of the people on the ground is the same.
Let us not wait to be consumed by this situation. If we insist that everything is correct and yet everything is very wrong, then kurambwa tutarambwa. We will eventually but surely be consumed.
Hon. Gabriel Tongoyo. What is your point of order, Leader of the Majority Party?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I came running from the office. So, if I pant, it is because I came running. You know I am a stickler to the rules and procedures of the House. I was listening as Hon. Ken Chonga made his contribution. He was challenged through a point of order by Hon. KJ, and Hon. Chonga asserted that he did not use the term ‘lies.’ We must be a House that adheres to our own rules and procedures because Hon. Ken Chonga talked about ‘the kind of lies being said to us by the Leader of the Majority Party and his Deputy.’ There is something called statement of fact. Hon. Ken Chonga has been in this House long enough to know our rules. Therefore, he cannot, on the basis of a point of order raised by the Hon. KJ, assert that he did not use the term ‘lies.’ He actually stated that, ‘the kind of lies being told to us…’ You know we are not speaking to Hon. Ken Chonga. We are speaking to the country and we are not telling lies. That language is unparliamentary. We must not allow Hon. Ken Chonga to get away with it because we are degrading the dignity of this House by allowing Members to utter careless statements without substantiating and without giving facts. Give us a statement of fact. What is it that the Leader of the Majority Party or his Deputy said that was untrue? Hon. Members do not tell lies. The Member for Kilifi North cannot be telling lies. He is a Member of Parliament.
You had your opportunity, Hon. Chonga. Let him finish prosecuting his point of order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, if Hon. Chonga does not withdraw the remark and apologise, I request that you invoke Standing Orders 107 and 108, and find him to be grossly disorderly. I will be moving to name him because we must restore the dignity of this House. As I contributed, I asked all of us to be patriotic enough and to be leaders. There are things you can say at funerals and at public rallies but you cannot say them in this honourable House. I know it is exciting for those who are politicians and not leaders to want to say things that will excite the masses. Hon. Deputy Speaker, also, protect me from Hon. Catherine Omanyo. I keep teaching her. Allow me to keep guiding her. Do you find what I am saying to be unpalatable? You went to school to be able to stand on your ground and articulate your issues. Do not shout from your seat. You can shout at market places in Busia, but not in this House. In this House, we articulate 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.
issues and engage each other through debate. This is a debating chamber and not a shouting chamber. I know it is common for one to shout in some places in Busia, but not in this House. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg that you require Hon. Chonga to withdraw those remarks and apologise, failure to which we shall be moving a Motion to name him.
Hon. Chonga, I have just confirmed from the Clerk-at-the- Table that you did, in fact, allege that the Leader of the Majority Party and his Deputy had told lies. I would like to bring to your attention Standing Order 91 on responsibility for statement of fact. It states that a Member shall be responsible for the accuracy of any facts which the Member alleges to be true and may be required to substantiate any such facts instantly. When you were informed that you had made those remarks, you said that it was false. But it has now been confirmed by The Hansard that it was in fact true. If you do not convince me, I will move to Standing Order 107 and find you liable for disorderly conduct. I will give you a minute to respond.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I regret to say that I was misunderstood. The statement that was made by the Leader of the Majority Party and his deputy is that by virtue of the war between Israel and Hamas, the prices…
Hon. Chonga, I gave you an opportunity to withdraw the remarks, apologise and proceed. You are making it worse by restating the comment. Are you disputing The Hansard ?
I cannot dispute what is in The Hansard, but I will stand by my word.
Hon. Chonga, I will not allow you to sit down. You can leave the House to confirm and then come back.
Okay, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
We will decide your fate in 10 minutes after you have confirmed.
Order, Hon. Chonga. You are being disorderly. I have not given you the microphone.
Hon. Chonga, you did not have the microphone, but you proceeded to speak. I rule that you stay away from the House for the next two sittings.
Let us proceed. Next is the Member for Narok West.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speake, for this opportunity.
On a point of order.
If he had not begun contributing, you could make your point of order. Let him make his contribution.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the President’s Address. I was present in this House when the President was addressing the nation and I was in fact seated where I am seated today. I had the opportunity of not just listening to him but also looking at and reading his body language. I was convinced The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
that the President was really inspiring hope in Kenyans. He gave the history and journey that Kenya has walked since he took over a year ago. He addressed several issues that are important to Kenyans, ranging from the economy and its trajectory, food security, national security, housing, UHC and many others. I want to mention a few things, starting with matters of national security. The President started by outlining his commitment to Kenyans to give the National Police Service (NPS) financial autonomy to enable them execute their mandate to serve Kenyans and ensure that Kenya is safe. He lived true to his promise to Kenyans. In the first Executive Order, he gave the police financial autonomy. As the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs, I can confirm that. It is true that Kenya has had security challenges, ranging from cattle rustling, terrorism and especially banditry in the North Rift and North Eastern parts of the country. Our very disciplined, committed and competent security forces have continuously been executing their mandate to ensure that Kenya is safe. In the endeavour to make sure that our police officers and our security forces are well equipped to execute their mandate, the modernisation programme that the President had promised Kenyans is on course. We can all confirm that the issue of cattle rustling and banditry in the North Rift has significantly reduced. Members who hail from that region can confirm the same. Of course, we still have a few challenges, but we are really up to the task. He also mentioned the issue of the National Youth Service (NYS). We are going to double the intake and ensure that, in future, 80 per cent of NYS graduates are recruited into the security forces; that is, the NPS and KDF. On international obligations, the country is on the right track. We are proud that Kenya has cemented its position in the global arena, especially in matters peace. We are currently participating in several countries which we are helping to stabilise peace, including the anticipated deployment of our forces to Haiti. On food security, the President clearly stated what the Kenya Kwanza Government has managed to do. The subsidy on fertilizers has increased produce and doubled harvest in less than a year. He talked about reducing post-harvest losses through the provision of dryers. I am proud that the first consignment will be in the country in a week or two. On UHC, this House passed a Bill to establish the Health Facility Improvement Fund, which will reinvest the funds generated by health facilities for their improvement and for better service delivery to Kenyans. It is going to be a game changer. The leading cause of poverty and sale of property in our communities is high hospitals bills due to lack of insurance cover. Once this programme is rolled out, that problem is going to be a thing of the past. This is a big achievement and a commitment that the President has lived up to. On housing, we have made great progress. There are many housing units coming up all over the country. I am sure in due course Kenyans will live in a dignified manner. On the Eurobond debt that has continuously been a concern to Kenyans, as has been said by a majority of Members who have spoken before me, we were in a hole. We are aware of the kind of burden and debts that were on our shoulders when the Kenya Kwanza Government took over. We are proud that the President committed and promised the country that in due course we are going to live up to the obligation of clearing the Ksh300 billion debt that is due. We are aware of the challenges including, of course, the fluctuation of the shilling against the dollar and other major currencies. We know the challenges that are there, including the issue of fluctuation of the Kenyan Shilling against the dollar and other major currencies. Members have talked about the cost of living and the cost of petroleum products. However, it is good to note that – Members should be very honest – this is an issue that is beyond Kenya as a country. It is a global challenge and problem. The President and the Kenya Kwanza Government are doing their best to cushion Kenyans. Subsidy is not a solution to this. The The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
President made it very clear that the right thing to do is to have subsidy in production and not consumption. That is exactly what the Government is doing. We had a government-to- government tender as a mechanism to lower the cost of petroleum products. If the President had not taken this intervention, I am sure we could be talking a different story now. The President talked about our role to honour our international obligations as a country. He went further to illustrate the several international security missions that Kenyan forces undertook in the past and what they are currently undertaking. I will mention something as a proud Kenyan; as a country, we are continuously making Kenyans proud. The President did not mince his words. He gave a picture of a promising future. He managed to give a picture of the country’s trajectory that showed a country that is on the right path to prosperity. Challenges are going to be there, but we will surmount them. We have the right captain steering the ship and we are going in the right direction. So, the President managed to talk about matters that affected Kenya. On the Hustler Fund, I was surprised that he had a connection with hustlers in the villages like the tuk tuk rider who talked from his heart on how the Fund has transformed his life. We have a President and I am proud to be a Kenyan.
Thank you. Before I call the next speaker, Hon. Esther Passaris, Member for Nairobi City County, a Member asked what Hon. Ken Chonga did. For avoidance of doubt, I asked him to leave under Standing Order No.107A, which states that: “(1) A Member commits an act of gross disorderly conduct if the Member— (a) defies a ruling or direction of the Speaker or Chairperson of committees; (b) declines to explain or retract use of unparliamentary words or declines to offer apologies, despite having been ordered to do so by the Speaker; As you saw, I severally requested Hon. Ken Chonga to apologise. Part (c) of this Standing Order says “demonstrates or makes disruptive utterances against the suspension of a Member;” Even without the microphone, the Member continued to do what I asked him not to do. Standing Order 107A (3) is very clear. It states that the Speaker may call a Member whose conduct is grossly disorderly to order, and shall order the Member to withdraw immediately from the precincts of the Assembly for a minimum of five days and a maximum of twenty- eight days, including the day of suspension.” The Member has to keep away from the precincts of Parliament for a minimum five days. Unfortunately, he has a minimum of five days.
Let us proceed, Hon. Member for Nairobi County.
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
The Member has not even spoken. What is the point of order about? No one has spoken.
You cannot have a point of order over nothing. Hon. Kibagendi, I was referring to a decision I made earlier. It is not a new matter. Proceed, Hon. Passaris.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I am standing here…
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Can you, please, stop shouting “point of order.” I want to contribute. I have not even spoken. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President. Hon. Deputy Speaker, I need your protection. I am speaking and the Member keeps saying “point of order.” I do not know what I am supposed to do. I want to contribute to the Motion.
Hon. Passaris, ignore him and address the Chair.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the problem is that he is right next to me. So, he is really distracting me. Please, can you wait until I finish?
Do not address him. Address the Chair.
Through the Chair…
Hon. Passaris, you are losing your time.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I take this opportunity to speak on the State of the Nation Address by his Excellency President William Ruto. The first thing that caught my attention is the respect that the President gave to the august House by referring to us as distinguished Members who were democratically elected. I take note of the fact that every time we have a function, where the President is present, he gives utmost respect to elected Members. That is something that I never saw in my last tenure in the last Parliament. So, I commend him on that. That puts us in relationship that we can respect each other and work together. The President mentioned the words national values many times in his speech. We need to have the national values of our country defined. Once we understand what our national values are as citizens and leaders, we will move forward. Our national values are enshrined in our Constitution. They are also enshrined in our national anthem. However, we have forgotten our national values. The reason I say that is because sometimes when I take a drive on the highway, I notice that the solar street lights that were erected by various bodies have been stolen on the highway and I feel that we have no respect for the investments that have been made to make this country progressive. I feel that we need to do a lot of work in defining our national values to the people.
The President talked about restoring the dignity of our citizens and their ability to dream. He talked about our challenges and he did not shy away from telling us that, as a nation, we have a lot of challenges and we are in a deep hole that we need to get out of. The result of us working together will be sharing the prosperity that was envisioned by our fore fathers. That is the prosperity that the President hopes to achieve for the nation of Kenya. This week we saw the return of David Cameron as the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign Secretary. He was the former Prime Minister and he has been absorbed back in the Government. In an interview on the Cable News Network (CNN) today, he said that as a public servant, he is looking forward to coming back at such a time as this to help steer the country and the world in the right direction. I feel that sometimes as Members of the opposition, we The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
should look at how we can aid the Government to deliver to the people. We are all citizens of this country and we know that the country is in a place that begs for positive attention. As an opposition Member, I can say that the President is trying. He is working hard. He is travelling trying to make bilateral relationships with other countries so that together we can steer...
Thank you. Your time is up Member for Nairobi County. Member for Molo.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I am not the Chair of the Finance Bill, but of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. Hon. Temporary Speaker, a lot of conversation has been around subsidy and I will try to take the first two minutes to really explain why subsidies are not a solution to reduction in prices. If you look at demand curve, you have prices on the left and quantity on the right. A demand curve slops from left to right meaning the higher the price, the lower the quantities that people will demand of that particular product. This is when all factors are constant unless that product is a luxury good. A supply curve slants from the right to the left, which means that the higher the price, the higher the quantity that producers will be willing to take to the market because they want to maximise on that high price. A subsidy is supposed to move that supply curve to the right by the price that has been subsidized. The consequence of that should be to reduce the price of that particular good or service. However, what does it actually do? That subsidy goes to the producer who can take advantage of that price to maximise his profits. Let me try to bring it into better perspective. We have seen the great success of subsidising fertilizer, but you will find that the percentage decrease in the cost of fertilizer has not led to a proportionate decrease in the price of maize. Although farmers have saved money in their production, they are still holding onto their maize because they want better prices. The same thing was happening when we subsidised maize flour through the millers or fuel through the oil marketers. They saw a window of maximising their profits and so, we are essentially using taxpayers' money to go into the pockets of a few people who are the oil marketers and the maize millers and consequently, the price is not reduced. The former Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Hon. Munya, told us then that the price of maize flour will go down to Ksh80. It never happened. The cost of fuel did not go down despite us sinking billions of shillings, which was never paid. That money has been paid by this regime through this budget. This consequently shows that subsidising, especially consumption, cannot be a way of reduction in prices. It has been proved by very many economic theories. It is practical. Right now, farmers are not willing to sell their maize at a lower cost even though they were subsidised fertilizer by more than 160 per cent. The advantage of this programme is that the money will go to the farmers' pockets, the people at the bottom of the pyramid; Bottom-Up economic transformation. The increase of circulation of money to those farmers by increasing their disposable income because their cost of production is lower than the previous years means that they will spend more and thus increasing velocity of money in the market. Hon. Temporary Speaker, having settled that one, what are some of the highlights as the President said? Education and recruitment of teachers, clarity in JSS, reduction of the cost of fertilizer, moving from curative to preventive health care, the digital highways, the ICT hubs are all geared towards enhancing our human capital. The biggest resource we have been able to prove as a country is not necessarily coffee or tea for export, but human capital. And that is why our remittances from our brothers and sisters in the diaspora are our highest foreign exchange earners. 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, as ably said by the President, will lead to reduction in the cost of living and better times for the Republic of Kenya. We have started seeing investors coming to our country. With those remarks, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to support.
Thank you. The next chance will go to the Member for Busia, Hon. Catherine Omanyo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I carefully listened to the President's Speech that day and too many things were a little bit amiss. He mentioned that a gorogoro of maize will go down to Ksh60. Coming from Busia and that being our staple meal, I got very excited, but when I went back home this weekend, the reverse is what I found; the cost of a gorogoro of maize has not gone down. It has been instead hiked. We have seen all the taxation crisis and drama by people we thought would make Kenyans lives better. We have seen the tourists at the airport being tortured. Our country is going down the brink. It is a high time the President listened to people who care about this nation. He needs people who will tell him the truth; those who will call a spade a spade. Hon. Temporary Speaker, days after the President gave his Speech here on reducing spending, we saw cabinet Secretaries and Permanent secretaries flying helicopters all over the country using over Ksh300,000 to just go and plant seedlings that are worth Ksh10,000. Where have we really gone wrong? I thought maybe God is punishing us because of what we have done. We have carried Bibles all over saying that God is good contrary to our actions. If you do not seal the gaps of corruption in Kenya, but insist on increasing taxes, the same money that you will collect will still go to these tunnels of corruption. There is a lot of confusion in the country; the President told us that there will be no El
, but the weatherman said that there will be El Nino . Some of us who are farmers were forced to harvest prematurely fearing the destruction that would be caused by El Nino . After a short period, the President said that the people at the Meteorological Department lied to us. Recently, I heard the Deputy President saying that the rains that we are currently experiencing are El Nino . It is time the Statehouse Spokesperson tries to issue factual statement and not leave the President looking like a cartoon when he says some of these things. A lot at the moment is lip service. We want real service. All the leaders must tell the President the truth and not keep visiting State House with a lot of lies. During his Speech, when the President took a break to sip water, people were still clapping and I was wondering; are they clapping because he is thirsty? Let us not exaggerate. Real Kenyans, the hustlers that we said we will protect, are committing suicide because they are not seeing any development. From today, as leaders, we must be accountable with our statements because Wanjiku will look at us and there is nothing we will do in future to convince them. Hope is gone, Kenyans are not happy and that is the truth. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. The next chance will go to Hon. Nelson Koech. As directed by the Speaker, unlike other Members, you are entitled to 10 minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. Hon. KK seems to have an issue with the time, but I will try to be very brief so as to allow other Members to also make their contributions. Hon. Temporary Speaker, thank you for allowing me to give my remarks on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President. For those who cared to listen, the President’s Speech was reassuring amid the grim and a lot of anxiety in the country. The President sought to reassure the country that we are on the right track. 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.
At the time His Excellency, President William Samoei Ruto, and his team took over leadership, this country was literally in the brink of an economic collapse. This country was heading to the dogs because of the manifestation of fiscal indiscipline that we continue to see. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I am sure many of you have seen the pictures that are going round online and on social media groups and different fora on the leaking roofs of our airport. Those are some of the things that were done in the dying days of the previous administration. They really paint the picture of how, as the President put it, we were living large on borrowed money. We literally did not have any discipline. The President had the luxury to come in, sit pretty and continue borrowing until this country collapsed. However, he decided to take the bold step of restoring fiscal discipline and avoiding unnecessary wastage.
Firstly, there is funding of production rather than subsidising consumption. Many have said it here, and I am sure it is even in our farms. For instance, the production of maize has increased today in my farm. Just like the President stated in the State of the Nation Address, we will have a bumper harvest this year. We will have production of almost 80 million bags that will feed the country. When you lower food inflation in any economy, you are in the right trajectory. You are actually trying to stabilise the economy. That is exactly where we, as a country, are by lowering the cost. When we came in, there was a lot of noise about lowering the cost of flour. The President stated that the prices of unga are between Ksh140 and Ksh175. That tells you that the fertiliser subsidy has worked and the cost of food will come down going forward.
I want to refer quickly to the Finance Act, which the President also enumerated. He mentioned the importation of fish from outside the country. He said that there is construction of landing sites in Kisumu, Homa Bay and many other areas along Lake Victoria. This will enable the fisherfolk to continue to harness the potential of the fish farmers and make sure that the fish within the lake region is sold in the market for good value. Farmers there can earn something from Lake Victoria. That is a brilliant move that Members of Parliament need to participate in to ensure that we restore the market and deny the fish that come from outside the country the market within.
On independent institutions, the President indicated, as it has been mentioned by many of my colleagues, that the first thing that he did that evening after being sworn in was to appoint the judges of the Court of Appeal. Secondly, he gave autonomy to the police by allowing the Inspector-General (IG) of Police to be the Accounting Officer. That brings accountability and it gives freedom to our independent institutions.
On the sugar sector, the President mentioned that he has written-off billions of loans that were owed by different sugar milling companies. This will allow all those in the sugar- cane growing areas an opportunity to start afresh and bring the sugar industry back to the fold. It will also allow as many farmers as possible to utilise the potential in the sugar sector.
Order, Hon. Koech. For the benefit of Members, take your seat for a minute. I know Members were asking why the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations was given 10 minutes. This was a Resolution by the House. It was agreed that the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs would speak to the Report, submitted under Article 132 (1) of the Constitution, on the measures taken and progress achieved in the realisation of national values and principles of governance. The Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations would speak on the Report, submitted under Article 132(1) of the The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Constitution, on the progress made in fulfilling the international obligations of the Republic of Kenya. Finally, the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs would speak on the Report, submitted under Article 240(7) of the Constitution, on the state of national security. That is why there are extra five minutes for the three chairpersons, as it was decided by the House. Even as you conclude Hon. Koech, ensure that you also touch on the international obligations.
I will finish with that, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
On the international front, the economic diplomacy that the President has engaged in for the last one year has been extremely gainful. I am sure many of you are aware today that China is now relaxing its visa requirements to enable the ease of business. The President has gone for many trips outside the country. They are meant to benefit this country in terms of financing in different sectors like energy, agriculture and many others that the President has engaged in. Most importantly, there is peace. Kenya is now an anchor State of peace within the region. The President has continuously engaged particularly in areas of security. It is also worth noting in the House that our Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), amongst other forces within the region, are in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) trying to restore peace under the umbrella of East African Community Regional Force that has been largely successful. In the area of defence, Kenya has been restoring some order in Somali. As we enter into the draw-down by our military officers, it is also worth noting that Kenya has succeeded in restoring some normalcy in Somali. As it has been indicated, our officers will come back to the country very soon, and that is very important. Instability within the region is instability within our country. The President has continued to make sure countries within our borders continue to be peaceful. Part of that is making sure that the deployment of our officers and security forces continue until there is peace within our borders. Earlier this year, joining force with the NPS, KDF was sent to the North Rift Region. I am sure Members from that region can attest to the fact that even though there has not been complete elimination of insecurity, there is relative calm. Hon. Temporary Speaker, with those very few remarks, I beg to support the debate on the President’s Address.
Thank you. Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Labour - Member for Runyenjes, Hon. Eric Muchangi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I was seated here last week when His Excellency the President was delivering his Speech. I listened keenly to the issues that affect our people. I am glad because he spoke to a number of things that impact on our people. One of the things that he talked about is farming. A hungry person is an angry person. That means you cannot please the people when they are hungry. One of the things the President started by doing was to subsidise fertiliser. He mentioned a farmer from Embu County, Mr Albert Munyi. I wish to confirm that together with Mr Munyi, many of our farmers have received the subsidised fertiliser, which they were previously unable to buy owing to the fact that the cost was about Ksh6,500. They were able to buy the same fertiliser at a subsidised amount. While we were planting trees yesterday, the message from our people was that they needed fertiliser more because they are now top-dressing. A number of them have received it from the Government of Kenya and continue to do so. We appreciate and thank the President for thinking about food stability, availability and security in our country that causes many people to make noise, especially when they cannot afford meals. I was delighted to listen to the President talk about coffee and tea. This morning, I was delighted to see His Excellency the Deputy President chair a committee that was supposed 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.
operationalise the coffee cherry advance revolving fund that was to be made available to coffee farmers. As we speak, farmers are anticipating and highly expectant of the money that they are supposed to be given from the sale of their coffee. We are delighted that our farmers are going to receive the money. What we request from the Government is for the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to make sure this money is available to farmers as fast as possible to make sure they do not continue suffering from delays in the disbursement. I was delighted to listen to the President talk about UHC. This issue is very dear to Kenyans because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. I remember we passed a Bill here a few weeks ago—the Facilities Improvement Financing Bill. It is supposed to ensure that our Level 4 hospitals utilise the funds that they collect. What used to happen was that a Level 4 hospital like that in Runyenjes could not utilise the money once it received it. They were channelling the funds to county coffers then wait for the same funds to procure fuel for ambulances or even buy essentials they could have otherwise bought from the finances they received. We believe the approach the President has taken on the UHC will work for the benefit of Kenyans so that we take care of our health. We require great leadership even in challenging times. We thank the President for providing strong leadership as he steers this Republic out of the debts that we owe the Western countries and the Chinese. We believe better days are ahead and that it is just a matter of time. With those few remarks, I thank you.
Thank you. The next chance will go to the Member for Masinga, Hon. Joshua Mwalyo.
Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak on the President's Speech. I like the way the President started his Speech. One of his phrases said “together, with the people of Kenya, we have changed everything.” That means the President is following what Kenyans are saying about his leadership and what he needs to do for this country. One of the things that is troubling us is the cost of living. The cost of living is being addressed by the farmers who have come out to do serious farming. The Government has given fertiliser subsidies which have reached every Kenyan. Even the farmers in Masinga Constituency, which is in a very remote area of Machakos County, receive notifications on their phones to pick their fertilisers from the depot. There is even a conversation that the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) should build a store for them so that we have a store in the constituency instead of the regional centre. That is a conversation we are going to have. That means there is goodwill in this fertiliser initiative and farmers are taking it very positively. I am aware that digital transformation is also going on. I did four hubs in my constituency during my previous term. I have seen a lot of change to young people. They can now do their work, applications and assignments from their various universities and colleges from the hub that I installed for them. I am sure the hubs the Ministry is implementing will be a game changer because the small ones we installed have already transformed our young people. We have seen happy young people looking for jobs from those platforms. The other thing I picked from the President's Speech is the support the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives is giving to farmers. For example, they have plotted areas where to grow dry grains. The drying centres are being built in five centres. Two in Meru and one in Bomet. There are others I cannot remember. I have picked them from the adverts that is floating tenders that will support farmers to do that. The other thing is the fish landing base. The blue economy is also doing wonders. Twenty-two landing bases have been identified. Some have already been built and fishermen can fish from the sea and Lake Victoria. They come and put the fish on those landing bays, 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.
cold rooms and processing rooms that are there so that people sell their fish from those centres. Fish exporters can access those landing bays and sell the fish abroad.
Your time is up. Member for Mandera South, proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I remind us of a Speech by the late President Moi when he described what a good speech looks like. He said a good speech should be like a short skirt - short enough to generate interest and long enough to cover the subject. That is what the President's Speech was like. It was short. It was precise. It was inspiring. It was forward-looking and foundational. The President reminded us of the successes the Hustler Fund has made. The Fund has disbursed Ksh36.6 billion and that there are savings of about Ksh2.3 billion. He also reminded us of pension savings which had increased from Ksh1.4 billion to Ksh6.5 billion per month. The President also reminded us of the successes the fertiliser programme has had, especially towards contributing to food security and food production in maize-producing areas. The President also told us about the successes that we have achieved in the education sector, particularly the radical recommendations in the Report of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms. The President also reminded us that his regime has employed 56,750 teachers. He also mentioned that the health sector has been revolutionised, where the Afya Nyumbani Programme has employed 20,000 employees and 100,000 community health promoters in our counties. The only thing that the President left out, and which I wish he had talked about, is that while he elucidated the successes that we have enjoyed in agriculture and food production, he forgot to mention the successes that we have enjoyed in the livestock sector, which supports about a fifth of our country’s population. Arid and semi-arid (ASAL) counties in this country hold a population of 10 million Kenyans, which is a fifth of the population. They rely heavily on livestock, which contributes about 13 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). I wish the President had mentioned the successes that we have enjoyed in the livestock sector because they impact pastoralists, especially those in the north western and north eastern parts of the country. I also thought that the President would talk about the ravaging El Nino rains that have caused havoc, particularly in northern Kenya. We have been told that there have been 46 flood- related deaths that have been caused by El Nino rains as of Monday, but the President did not talk about them. I wish he had addressed that issue to make his Speech even sweeter and more inspiring. Finally, while the Hustler Fund has enjoyed many successes, where Ksh36.6 billion has been disbursed, and savings of Ksh2.3 billion have been made so far, it has locked out a huge section of the population of this country that professes Islam as a religion. Muslims cannot take loans from the Hustler Fund because of the interest rates that they attract. I hope that going forward, we will discuss how the Hustler Fund can accommodate all Kenyans. Financial inclusion should accommodate everybody, even those who are restricted because of cultural and religious factors. It should not benefit just one section of the population.
Member for Moiben.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to comment on the President’s speech. First, I want to allay the fears of some Members who spoke earlier and said that the President is being misadvised by people who are close to him. The President was a Member of Parliament for 15 years. He was later a Deputy President and is now the President. He listens to people and understands Kenya. There is no way anybody can purport to misadvise him on how to run the 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.
We understand what the state of the economy was before the President came into power. He corrected a previous anomaly by appointing six judges immediately after he took over. Some cases have been fast-tracked since the judges took office. We were able to put up a new court in my constituency. That means that the President is aware that cases should be fast-tracked for Kenyans to get justice. The President has built farmers’ capacities to ensure food security. For instance, farmers were given subsidised fertilisers at cheaper prices. Subsidised fertilisers were devolved to our constituencies, wards and counties. Farmers are currently enjoying a good maize harvest. I can say without fear of contradiction that our brothers and sisters who were previously carrying sufurias should visit Moiben Constituency to buy maize at very affordable prices. We should not be crying about the price of unga . There is plenty of maize in my constituency. Those who have no unga can visit Moiben. The Presidential Task Force on Education Reforms has made great strides in this dispensation. Over 56,000 teachers were employed all over Kenya to sort out issues in the education sector as soon as the President came into power. Most learners were unable to practise what they learned in class in the previous 8-4-4 curriculum. We will soon see learners putting into practice the knowledge that they acquire through the new education system as a result of education reforms. We have started to see reforms in the education sector, including the universities’ funding model. Most universities previously had debts and were struggling with finances because the funding model was wrong. The current Government, under the stewardship of Hon. (Dr) William Samoei Ruto, has put things right, and our universities will be back on their “feet” very soon. Finally, the President promised that the Eurobond will be cleared in the next three months and the economy will start picking up. The beauty of a debt is to pay. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. My time is up.
The next chance goes to the Member for Kaiti, Hon. Joshua Kimilu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to this important Speech of His Excellency President William Samoei Ruto. I was here on Thursday keenly listening to the President’s Speech. He touched on many important things that he is doing like paying off debts, which is the elephant in the room. It is important to give credit where it is due. It is encouraging that he is doing something good. He talked about fertiliser subsidies, which will give farmers high yields leading to improved living standards for our people. I expected the President to touch more on the country’s economy and how to make life affordable for Kenyans. Parents are currently suffering. Hustlers like the mama mboga and boda riders are suffering with the current state of the economy. They have closed their kiosks and shops. I was in my constituency over the weekend and I met boda riders carrying small bottles of fuel because of the economy. One cannot buy enough fuel with Ksh100 for a motorcycle to go for a kilometre.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, with such an economy, I was expecting the President to give a solution to the current situation in our country. I think in so doing, he would have made Kenyans happy. As we speak, university students are struggling because they were expecting the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) bursaries to reflect on their portals. Today, we are getting calls from all corners by students asking for bursaries. As you know, National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) bursaries have not been dispatched. We are expecting the Government to dispatch HELB bursaries to university students. This will help them because, currently, we are headed in the wrong direction.
I was also expecting to see the President talk about the stalled projects that were started by the former regime. One day, I will become the President of this country. I will ensure I 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.
complete all projects that were started by the former President. This is very important. When I checked last year’s budget, there is a road in my constituency from Sultan Hamud to a place called ‘Kikoko’, which was started in 2016. In the last budget, it was allocated Ksh500,000. That money was removed and, as we speak, that road is in a pathetic condition. This morning, I got a call from the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) and Deputy County Commissioner because the examinations in five secondary schools were delayed. They started at around 11.00 a.m. because of the bad weather. That road was halfway done and so, I was expecting the President to talk about such projects because it will be a mirage to our people. Even though the current regime talked of having shares in this Government, I want to remind the President that he was elected as the President of all Kenyans. I want him to serve all Kenyans equally because they all belong to this country…
Your time is up. Next is the Member for Marakwet West, Hon. Timothy Toroitich.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important debate. I wish to thank His Excellency the President for the eloquently presented Speech he made in this House. He gave hope to majority of the Kenyans who voted for him and those who did not. The President gave a uniting Speech in the House. Majorly, he dealt with the rule of law. We have a President who has shown outrightly that he respects the rule of law. The first decision he took to show that he respects the rule of law is by appointing the six judges. For me, this was a fundamental step towards the respect of law and independent institutions in this country. As you will remember, the appointment of the six judges was pending. They were not appointed by the last regime because of unclear issues at that particular time. On the allocation of Ksh3 billion to the Judiciary, for me, this will give independence to the Judiciary. A country only survives when the Head of the Executive respects the decisions of the Judiciary. The President of this country has shown a lot of restraint in respecting the decisions of the Judiciary. He has never come out at anyone time to criticise their decision whether it favours his Government or not. On the insecurity issue, at some point along Kerio Valley, there was the deployment of the military. As a Member who comes from that region, I can say this deployment was done in a manner that respected human rights. We never heard of extrajudicial killings in the North Rift. This is one of the issues I want to highlight and give utmost respect to the President as the Commander-in-Chief of Kenya Defence forces because we never heard of matters to do with human rights compromise in that region. We pray that peace continues to prevail in that part of the country. On the issue of agriculture, the President made it very clear that he moved away from consumption subsidy to production subsidy. This means that the issue of subsidising fertiliser has assisted in agricultural prosperity in this country because this year, the maize yield will move from 44 million bags to a projected yield of almost 70 million bags. So, the production yield in fertiliser has improved food production and will ultimately lead to a drop in the prices of food commodities. On the issue of inclusivity, the national dialogue is currently ongoing. For me, the President was elected by a majority vote but someone went to court and challenged that decision. The same court rendered a decision that the President was validly elected and he went ahead to accept a national dialogue. We should give him credit. He was very clear in his Speech that he embraces the dialogue led by Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah and Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka. Of course, this will cement the kind of leadership and legacy he will leave behind. In terms of education, the Competency Based Curriculum Taskforce he formed was a progressive step in terms of the new curriculum of education. He was very clear and candid The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
that since he came to power, 56,750 teachers have been employed in this country. This is something that was unprecedented. For me, this is one of the ways the President and his Government have created employment. It is something I lauded in this Speech. Consequently, 8,200 teachers were re-trained for the purposes of Junior Secondary School (JSC). This is an achievement by his Government because most teachers were trained. Also, the enrolment to Teachers’ Training Colleges (TTC) has increased by 300 per cent according to the President’s Speech and so, almost 20,000 trainees were recruited to join this year.
Your time is up. The Majority Whip.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also want to contribute to this very important discussion on the President’s Speech. I listened keenly to him from when he started his address to the end. I took notes which I have here. I noticed Hon. Irene Mayaka was somehow confused when he was giving his Address. She asked her colleague seated next to her why he was not reading because he was not looking down. I want to tell her that, of course, the President knows everything about this country in his head and so, he was not reading and she was right. There are so many things we promised Kenyans when we were campaigning. We told them about the housing agenda, food security, markets and the Hustler Fund. The President gave a highlight of what he has done in the past one year and the preparations set to achieve the other promises he made while campaigning. On food security, he said that we need to encourage people to push food production rather than giving them food aid. That is why he talked about the success story on the subsidised fertiliser that was distributed all over the country. He talked about the reduction of the price from about Ksh7,000 in the previous regime to Ksh2,500. This clearly shows that in another two months, the yield will be very high. With this, we can achieve the food security that we need. That is a success story.
The President also talked about the Kenyans who were enjoying the success of the Hustler Fund. He mentioned gentlemen from Mombasa and Kisii whom he made calls to. This is a fulfilled promise. During the campaigns, we promised Kenyans this and we have seen it working. The President also talked about the affordable housing units. We are building 46,000 units which he gave a record of. He gave the status of this project and examples of units that are almost done. Before coming to give the State of the Nation Address, he was in Ruiru that morning inspecting the affordable housing units. He displayed the practicality of the housing units that are being done. As a coalition, we have achieved close to 50 per cent of the promises we made to Kenyans. The other percentage will be achieved in the subsequent years.
It is in this regime that we have hired 56,000 teachers at a go. This has never happened before. We all live in this country and we saw this. This is a success story. The President also addressed the issue of sugar mills. He illustrated how the Government has made efforts to mitigate their debts and revive those sugar mills.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, there were many positive things from the Speech. This includes the independence of the Judiciary. The Judiciary has now been empowered with more funding so that it can make decisions without depending on the Executive. This was the best State of the Nation Address that I have witnessed so far. We are used to speeches that are just stories but this one was…
Next is, Hon. Irene Mayaka. Maybe she can confirm what the Chief Whip has said.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Hon. Osoro knows very well that I am a tech wizard. I know what was going on that day. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I will give my remarks in terms of a scorecard of 90 to 10 per cent, where 10 per cent means what went well and 90 per cent is what did not go well with the State of the Nation Address. I think Hon. Osoro pre-empted what I need to say. There was a trending video of the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee of Communication, Information and Innovation, Hon. John Kiarie, saying how the President was conversant with the teleprompter. I will award him 5 marks for that. By using the teleprompter and not papers, the President saved half a tree. The President also spoke about the bottom-up agenda. I will give him 5 marks for this because it is true that our taxes have moved from bottom to up. The Kenyan Shilling and the cost of living have moved from bottom to up. The President is very right that he is focused on his bottom-up agenda. For that, I will award him 5 marks. On the 90 per cent of what went wrong in that speech, I expected to hear a lot about the macro-economic issues we have in this country. Our inflation is at a bad rate. The Central Bank base lending rate is doing badly. I wanted the President to give us a clear picture of this because numbers never lie. The cost of living is a cause of worry for all of us, including those of us who are seeking re-election in 2027. You will have tough conversations with Kenyans explaining to them the cost of living. The other day, I went to the washrooms at an eatery and there were some young ladies seated there. If I may quote what they were saying: ‘ Unajua tunaogopa Serikali hii kwa sababuinaweza kuja kutax hata sisi tunaoosha choo .’ That is the kind of conversation that is going on out there. Kenyans are worried. Things are not looking good and we need to stop painting this rosy picture of giving people hope like Mexican soap operas. This is not a Mexican soap opera. Things are bad in this country. The other day, we were being told that now a young person who turns 18 years will spend Ksh1,000 instead of Ksh200 to get an Identity Card (ID). I want to tell Members that come 2027, since they are now saying replacing ID will cost Ksh2,000, the people who are supposed to vote for them will all say that their IDs are lost so that they give them Ksh2,000 to get new ones. You are not seeing the harm this is going to do to us. On the tangible results that were shared and the state of the economy, I want to refer to the third paragraph of the President’s Address, where he said that immediately after he was sworn in, he undertook to ensure urgent transformation of the economy. But the economy of this country is actually falling faster than my mammary glands. That is how bad things are in this country. We need to put things into perspective and tell Kenyans the truth. We cannot have a one-hour and six-minute speech giving us hope but not telling us the true state of our country. We live in a country where the international airport is leaking. I saw a Twitter fight between Hon. Sen. Cherargei and Cabinet Secretary Murkomen. Children of the Kenya Kwanza Government are literally eating each other. Why are you going to social media to tell us about the bad things that are going on?
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. Osoro?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, is it really in order for Hon. Irene Mayaka to mention people who are not in this House and cannot defend themselves, and lie to the public without substantiating the fact that JKIA is leaking? Which part is leaking? The JKIA is so massive. She is confusing the House with the JKIA matter.
Hon. Osoro, I will leave that to be a point of debate. What I would guide you on, Hon. Mayaka, is not to mention a senator without a Motion because it is against the Standing Orders, but the rest of the issues raised by Hon. Osoro are snippets of debate.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I will withdraw mentioning specific names. I just want to lay the facts as they are. The other day, 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 was a video trending of the international departures’ terminal leaking. I want to tell you, Hon. Osoro, that my house has no issues. It is just that I cannot invite you there.
I want to tell you my house is not leaking. What is leaking is the Government of Kenya, because there are issues and you need to start addressing them and not look at personalities. As I finish, so that I can donate the rest of the time, I want to say this: Ten years ago, there was a very high intake of Treasury bonds and bills in this country. Right now, there are no Kenyans investing in that space. We need to be very concerned as a country because that is one of the avenues for the Government to raise funds. Now it cannot do it even from local investors. Even worse is that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has gone to the extent of allowing commercial banks to open depository accounts to encourage more Kenyans to trade in this space, but the trade is not happening. Things are bad. As I said, we need to take care of these issues so that our economy can stop falling as fast as my mammary glands. I thank you.
I do not want to ask about the exact glands as Hon. Otiende is doing. I will give you the next chance. Of course, your time is up, Hon. Mayaka. There is no time to donate. You have exhausted your time. Member for Saku, Hon. Dido Raso, will take the next chance.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to add my voice to this debate on the President's address to the nation. I would consider it in terms of constitutionalism, democratic accountability and governance. We have lived in this country long enough to understand what is really going on. This is the first President who is telling Kenyans that this is what I am doing and this is a clear glass. Look at me and judge me with what I am doing. It is a rare thing. We have also seen the last Government which was operating in a lot of opaqueness. Many of us were in this House and did not know that we were borrowing money from individuals. We were subsidising individuals and, in the end, they were just a few cartels who were milking Kenya dry. Today, we are telling each other that this economy is not doing well. This President is not doing well. No country in the world can be turned around in a span of one year, but this President has given us some of the very important things he has done. It is the former American President Bill Clinton who said that the economy is stupid. This President said bottom-up economic agenda where he is saying, we reduce the external debt and internal borrowing so that we do not crowd out the private sector and individuals who wish to bank into the economy. One of the problems in this country has been wasteful borrowing where we are borrowing from the Chinese, the multilateral donors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. In the end, Kenyans are told to pay through their nose. Our colleagues from the other side are really crying that the economy is not doing well and our people are badmouthing the Kenya Kwanza Government. From what the President told us a few days ago, he is saying that we trust and walk with him because he wants to fix the economy. In Kenya, if we do not fix the economy, all the other sectors will be phantom and hot air. On the issue of subsidies, we have been told - and somebody on the Floor of this House attempted to elaborate - that we should not be digging when we are in a hole. We should never throw away good money after bad money. The idea of subsidies forces us to borrow much more and yet, at the end of the day, it is our debt as a nation that continues to rise. The other important thing that the President talked about is food security. Unless we are going to be food self-sufficient in this country, buying food from outside and spending so much of our foreign reserves must stop somewhere. 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.
Finally, the issue of waste, negligence and corruption must be pursued by the President ruthlessly. With those remarks, I beg to support this particular debate. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Member. The next chance will go to the Member for Tigania West, Hon. John Mutunga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also add a few ideas on the President’s Address. The President did well to fulfil his mandate as per the Constitution. Among the many speeches I have listened to, his is equal to none. He recognised that he was addressing democratically elected leaders of this nation. He emphasised that transformation is necessary and urgent in this country. That is in line with the Kenya Kwanza plan to transform this country. He said that he must listen and address the needs of Kenyans. That means he is an objective and listening President. Some of us can attest to this because we have interacted with him in many places.
My personal opinion of this Speech is that it was finely balanced, objective and factual. Due to time limitation, I will only highlight a few issues. The Speech dwelt in-depth on the state of the economy and what needs to be done to improve the same. This is in line with the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA). Among the few issues I will pick out is the issue of landing sites. The President stated that the Government has established 22 landing sites. Many Members have spoken to landing sites. Some Members say that the landing sites are too few, while others are saying that many have not been attended to. In the development process of a country, we do not do everything at once. We only talk about what has been planned and funded. That is a fact. Some of my colleagues have said that the Speech was not factual, but I will prove that it was factual. The President spoke about farmer registration and subsequent digitalisation. This country witnessed the registration of 4.8 million farmers by the end of last year. To date, we have 6.3 million farmers registered. The farmers are not just registered, but their data is fully captured in the digital device. The Government plans to have extension services that will target farmers by using various provisions of digital resources.
The President also talked about the fertiliser subsidy which has impacted food production costs in the country. Fertiliser prices have been reduced by up to 60 per cent. This means that the farmers can produce at a much lower cost. Currently, maize is retailing at between Ksh2,800 and Ksh3,800 in some parts of this country. Therefore, the cost of maize has been reduced. I will borrow some words from the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning. He talked about the demand and supply curve. If these issues are not attended to and the cost reduction is not transferred to consumers, then the efforts of the government to bring down the cost of production will not have the correct impact.
Further, the President talked about post-harvest loss intervention. This intervention has led to the importation of 100 driers that will help reduce the moisture content of the grains to around 13 per cent. This is helpful especially during maize storage as it prevents moulds from growing in the maize. This is a biological product that continues to grow. As it continues to grow under storage, the value of the produce is significantly reduced. This intervention has already been factored in the Budget. There is Ksh2.34 billion that is targeted at buying the driers. The President also talked about the Ksh4 billion that has been budgeted for interventions in the coffee stabilisation support. Additionally, he talked about the waiver of the debt owed by five sugar companies, including Muhoroni Sugar Company and Nzoia Sugar Company, totalling to Ksh117 billion. The subsequent support of Ksh1.7 billion is already in the Supplementary Budget. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Your time is up. Hon. Members, remember it is five minutes for every Member. Plan your contribution. Member for Kinangop, Hon. Thuku Kwenya.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I was paying attention to Hon. Mutunga. He has a hang on.
I take this opportunity as well to add my voice to the President’s Address to this House. As per the Constitution, the President discharged his mandate in as far as bringing the country to speed as to what he has done for the last year and the plans he has. I was impressed to realise that the President is trying to operationalise Article 43 of the Constitution on social and economic rights of the citizens in terms of access to health, education and clean water, though that was not a subject as at that time. On social security, you realise that, at the time the President took over office, social protection had a backlog in terms of the money that was supposed to be transferred to the elderly, people with disabilities and orphans. He unlocked it and the monies were transferred and it has been ongoing. He has registered more than a million elderly people into the cash transfer programme, which is a very good thing in terms of taking care of our disadvantaged, elderly and sick people.
Education had become an issue in this country, where we were uncertain as to the progression of our children after graduating from Grade Six. We were not sure where we will domicile JSS until the President set up the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms. They came up with recommendations as to the effect that JSS is domiciled in primary schools. There has been deployment of teachers to ensure that there would not be any hiccups as was envisaged by many of us who were so uncertain as to what would happen. The President, while he was very new in office, took a very important step to set up a team that came to save the day for our learners.
The Open University of Kenya acquiring its charter was another milestone in education matters. The President was very candid to state to the nation that there would be an intake of 1,000 students starting January, who are going to be beneficiaries of the Open University of Kenya education. Article 43 of the Constitution clearly stipulates that education is a basic human right for every Kenyan. Therefore, making this a reality will give an opportunity to every interested learner to acquire the highest level of university education. This will help even in terms of collaboration where the Open University will reach out to some of the renowned universities in the world to offer services from far and interact with our learners locally. On the economy, which is really hurting many people in terms of the cost of living, the President was very candid to state that the headache we are in today is because of debts that are spiralling. There is a deliberate effort by the Government to honour all its financial obligations that we have with either our external partners and local lenders. We live to honour and deal with our debts. The fact that, at the beginning of the year, the President stated that he will be paying the first Ksh45 billion to settle the Eurobond is something that is coming as a relief to many of us and business people who were afraid that if we are not able to honour…
Member for Ganze, Hon. Charo Kazungu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to also add my voice to the Motion on the President Address. First, I commend the President for the short but precise Speech on very many issues that are affecting this country at this particular moment. I commend him on education. In one year, he has managed to employ over 56,000 teachers. In the previous years, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has been agitating for the employment of teachers, but it was not possible in previous regimes. Within one year, we have seen a President who has made it happen and 56,000 teachers have been employed. We need to congratulate the President for that. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Secondly, I commend the President on the reforms in the health sector. This is a sector that has really suffered. But we have seen light at the end of the tunnel. We acknowledge that some Bills have been passed in this Parliament to make the Government take up the cost of treating critical ailments. We have seen people, especially those who have patients suffering from critical ailments like cancer, paying a lot of money. I know of a friend who has a sick father who is suffering from cancer. The father was admitted at Aga Khan University Hospital. In one week, my friend called to inform me that the bill was around Ksh700,000. His father did not have a medical insurance. You can imagine the kind of suffering that Kenyans with patients suffering from critical ailments are going through. By the Government taking up this burden, we know for sure that it will be a relief to Kenyans. We have to commend the President for that. Also on the health sector, there are now community health promoters. Those are people who give very essential services to the community especially at the grassroots. They were working free of charge. This Government has now put them on a stipend and they will get at least something at the end of every month. We need to thank the President because he has made it happen. On the Judiciary, we commend the appointment of the six judges who had not been appointed by the previous regime. We also commend the increment of the Judiciary Fund. We have seen new courts coming up. I can attest that in my County of Kilifi, there is a new court that was opened the other day. I can attest that in my County of Kilifi, there is a new court whose construction was started the other day. In Ganze where I come from, I have information that the Judiciary is looking for land to build a court. As it is right now, for the people of Ganze to access justice, they have to travel all the way to Kilifi, Malindi, Kaloleni or Mariakani, which are many kilometres away. We are already seeing the fruits of the new Government. Now that they have increased the Judiciary Fund, new courts are already coming up. This will make it easy for people to access justice. On food security, I commend the President on the measures he has put in place by introducing subsidies on production rather than consumption. Those measures are bearing fruits. I did a sampling survey when I was in my constituency last Sunday and the cost of unga has gone down. In every shop that I went to, the cost was between Ksh140 and Ksh145, down from Ksh200. This is a manifestation that whatever the President is doing is bearing fruits. Because my time is up, I will end there. I really support the Speech. Thank you.
Thank you. Hon. Fatuma, full
from Migori County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. While seated here, I decided to listen to the President’s Speech again ten times. I am shocked. The Bible says: “Thou shall not lie”. When the President stands there and mentions a name, I think it was Karisa, somebody from the Coast who has taken Ksh714,000 Hustler Fund loan... For his information and the public at large, an individual can only get between Ksh500 and Ksh50,000. May I know how Mr. Karisa got Ksh714,000 and reported to his President. It is a lie. The President has lied. Mr. Osoro, I can see you are jittery. In case you do not know, I want to let you know that you can only get such figures…
On a point of information, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Fatuma, do you want to be informed by Hon. Osoro? 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 am very well informed, very sober and as a Muslim, I say the truth. So, do not inform me about lies. I am here to say the truth.
On a point of order.
What is your point of order, Whip of the Majority Party?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I think Hon. Fatuma is misleading the country. It is, indeed, true that the individual can only access up to KSh50,000, but it is also true that there are groups. That individual is not blocked from accessing funds as a group. He may have accessed as an individual and then got more money when he joined the rest in such groups and so, he got Ksh714,000 as a group.
Member for Migori County, is that what you meant?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, may I inform the House that birds of a feather flock together. I can repeat here. The Hustler Fund is under the Special Funds Accounts Committee. I speak to inform you once more that if it was a group, there is no group called… I will give you the exact name that your President talked of: Harrisson Karisa can never be a group. That is an individual. If it was a group, then tell your President to come back here and say that it was a group, because he lied. The truth is he lied and there are more lies. The guy has perfected his lies that these days he does not write or read them anymore. He has them off his head. What I expected Mr President to speak more about is the cost of living. Justify it or do not justify it, but please, put some peace into our hearts by telling us that there is something you can do about the cost of living. Instead, he told us that there is nothing to be done and we have to live with it. There are people who are dying because of hunger and it is painful when a President speaks this way. He eats seven meals a day and so, he has no pain of what wananchi are going through. I can tell you the famous saying that, ‘ vitu ni different kwa ground’. These Members who are speaking here cannot go home and say those things that they have said here. They know that vitu ni different kwa ground. It is a painful incident when you go back home and see how wananchi are suffering. When we were doing demonstrations, there was police brutality. We lost lives. Some might have been his votes which he lost. Others might have been somebody else’s votes, but the bottom line is that we lost Kenyans. I expected an apology from the President because those are Kenyans and he is the Head of State. Those are his people who died. Through any other circumstances, I expected an apology. I expected him to at least tell us: ‘Stand for one minute’, as the Christians do; standing in honour of the dead for at least a minute. I expected that from him. It did not pain him because he did not lose anyone, but God knows how he will tackle that.
I expected the President to talk about unity. The country is divided. It is the truth. We pretend here in the House and joke about it, but if I meet Hon. Osoro in the field outside there, I will not shake hands with him. The country is divided. It is the reality.
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That was an example and do not take it personal Mr Osoro. It was just an example that us leaders here in the House, we joke and hug but when we go out there, the country is so divided that I would not even wish my electorates to see me hugging another person. That is how divided we are. As the Head of State, I expected him to give direction….
Please protect me from Mr. Osoro. He is a heckler from Kenya Kwanza.
Hon. Fatuma, we will maintain decorum in the House. You will refer to your colleague as the Member for South Mugirango or Hon. Osoro.
I will refer to him as Hon. Osoro but he is also heckling me. Corruption is a disease that is killing us. Do you know how the President brought it up? He said that the misuse of funds and other forms of corruption are unacceptable and he will deal with them. What do you mean you will deal with them? When will you deal with them? You have been in State House for over one year. The President once said in church that he can make promises that will take a long time to be realised, but he will not take us for granted. When he says that corruption is a disease, he should deal with it. The President promised to deal with corruption when he came to this House to give us his first Speech after we had just been elected. He has come back one year later to, again, tell us that he will deal with corruption. Is he trying to confirm or justify the statement that he made in church to please churchgoers that some promises take long to fulfil? We cannot wait any longer for him to deal with corruption because we are losing millions of shillings. Hon. Members, as much as you want to celebrate your President, tell him the truth that vitu kwa ground ni different. He talked about mama mboga . I spoke to a mama mboga in Kondele who asked me whether I see the President when I go to Nairobi. I told her that I see him from a distance. She said that if I ever got close to him, I should tell him never to refer to mama mboga again. They are not his people and he used them. He does not care about them. The country is bleeding. Let us not pretend. Wananchi are in pain, whether they supported the Kenya Kwanza Coalition or the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance. Let us tackle the struggle to obtain food before we talk about medicine or anything else. I disown the President’s State of the Nation Address. He did not address the nation, but he undressed the nation. It is painful.
Hon. Wilberforce Oundo, Member for Funyula.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The President delivered his State of the Nation Address as required by the Standing Orders and the Constitution. I do not want to comment on Hon. Fatuma’s statement because it is not honourable for men of my age to talk about undressing people. I will focus on three areas. Truth be told, the President’s Speech was underwhelming. It never made any attempt to address issues affecting mama mboga, neither did it make any attempt to address the core issues that affect this country. It was all about platitudes. One would imagine that you were in a campaign rally and that the President was launching a manifesto. The President told Kenyans that the economy has stabilised, which is not true. The Quarterly Economic Review for April to June 2023 that was released by the CBK painted a dire picture. It painted a picture of a situation that is rapidly spiralling out of control. The revised annual inflation rate is about 8.8 per cent up from 6.2 per cent in the same period last year. Economic growth has contracted from 6.2 per cent last year to 5.3 per cent this year. The The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
cost of finance has shot up tremendously. The interest rate on the 182-day Treasury Bill was 9.07 per cent in 2022 and it is now at 11.54 per cent. That means that the sovereign risk of the country is increasing. For the President to come and tell us that things are okay is unfortunate and unforgivable. Some members of a certain WhatsApp group sent me two picture captions. One picture depicts the President on the campaign trail on 30th June 2022. On 30th June 2022, this is what he said: “The challenges of the cost of living are not scientific but increasing agricultural productivity and the whole story of Ukraine is a lost course”. On 14th November 2023, he said: “The way Ukraine has created a dire situation in the whole region as a result of the war, the prices of commodities have escalated and this has resulted in a higher cost of living.” Hon Temporary Speaker, we are Christians and are duty bound to tell the truth, to speak from both sides of our mouths and not to engage in double speak or public relations when people are suffering down there. Let us not lie to ourselves. I expected him, because he has gone to school and knows when writing a thesis, to identify the problem, illustrate it and formulate data capture methods or tools to get answers to the problem. Here, the problem was seen but we have buried our heads in the sand and so it is not there. We proceed to address a problem that does not exist, and to offer comfort and solace where it is not needed. It is like giving to a patient who requires surgery pain killers. It is to take them for granted or for a ride. When we come to the State of the Nation Address, we must be truthful to all Kenyans and tell everybody the truth. This was underwhelming, and if I may use a very strong word - very condescending - to the suffering Kenyans. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
The next chance goes to the Member for Tetu, Hon. Geoffrey Mwangi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I note that time is running out and I will be very brief. I will restrict myself to the ICT issues that were raised by the President in his Speech. As you will remember, enhancing the digital superhighway remains one of Kenya Kwanza key pillars in the Manifesto. I have picked five very important interventions which the President proposed are ongoing or planned. First, is the digitisation of five Government services. Second, the rolling out of 100,000 kilometres of fibre. Third, rolling out of 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. Fourth, use of NG-CDF to support Ajira centres. Finally, construction of ICT hubs at the constituency level. I must admit that in my own constituency Tetu, the NG-CDF Board has set aside Ksh10 million for the construction of ultramodern ICT centre, which will see most of our staff access digital services. ICT will help in lowering the cost of doing business in the country. Also, enhance its image as a silicon savannah, reduce corruption and improve speed of service delivery. It will generate big data that will inform the country on how to make interventions for various problems that are bedevilling this country. Approximately 1.2 million Kenyans make their living from digital jobs like being digital content marketers, transcribers, online writers, online content developers and software developers. It is important that we give those people a chance. This is because the barriers they face today are expensive internet, lack of digital access and Wi-Fi connectivity, high mobile termination rates by our mobile companies, high data rates and internet bundles disappearing. The President is promising all those interventions plus others which the Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation hopes to bring in this House. We believe they will make a positive contribution to this country’s digital readiness. This is what is required if the country wants to effectively participate in the economy of tomorrow. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I applaud the President’s Speech especially on those interventions on the ICT sector and as a member of that Committee, I will fully support and we will basically work with this House to ensure that we realize this digital superhighway. Hon. Temporary Speaker, with that, I rise to support and thank you very much.
Order, Members. Hon. Members, the time being 7.00 p.m., this House stands adjourned until tomorrow Wednesday, 15th November 2023 at 9.30 a.m.
The House rose at 7.00 p.m.
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