I direct that the Bell be rung for 10 minutes.
You may stop the Quorum Bell. Proceed, Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: 1. Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements for the year ended 30th June 2023 and the certificates therein in respect of: (a) Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project Credit No.5638-KE IDA – State Department for Roads. (b) Horn of Africa Gateway Development Project Credit Number 6768- KE – State Department for Roads. (c) Northern Corridor Rehabilitation Programme-Phase III – Kenya National Highways Authority. (d) Kenya Youth Employment and Opportunities Project (Credit Number. IDA 5812-KE) – National Industrial Training Authority (NITA). (e) Nairobi Southern Bypass Road Project – Loan Agreement No. China Exim Bank PBC No.(2011)32 Total No.(183) No.14203030520112115528 - Kenya National Highways Authority. (f) Nairobi - Thika Highway Improvement Project Lot 3 Government Concessional Loan Agreement No. (2009) 39 Total No. (290) - Kenya National Highways Authority.
I thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Next is the Co-Chairperson, Joint Committee of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs and the Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations. Hon. Tongoyo, we are waiting for you.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table: 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.
Report of the Joint Committee of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs and the Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations on its Consideration of the Request Regarding Deployment of Officers of the National Police Service to the Multinational Security Support Mission to Haiti.
Next Paper is by the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. It will be deferred to a little bit later. We can move to the next Order.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, taking into consideration the recommendation of the Joint Committee of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs and the Senate Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations in its Report on the Request Regarding Deployment of Officers of the National Police Service to the Multinational Security Support Mission to Haiti laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 15th November 2023 and pursuant to the provisions of Article 240(8)(a), this House approves the deployment of officers of the National Police Service to the multinational security support mission to Haiti.
Thank you. Again, the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. We will defer that for a moment. We can move on to the next Order.
Acting Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 30(3)(c), this House resolves to hold Morning Sittings on Thursdays of 16th, 23rd and 30th November 2023 commencing at 9.30 a.m. for purposes of considering priority business ahead of the December recess. We are faced with a situation where we have several important matters before this House. We are approaching recess in December and it behoves us, as Members of this august and honourable House, that we complete the business. Therefore, we are seeking approval to start having sittings in the mornings and afternoons on Thursdays. This request seeks the approval of the House.
As you are aware, Hon. Deputy Speaker, we have a Supplementary Budget coming to this House probably today. We will need ample time to debate, discuss and approve the Budget. We have the Motion and Request for a Statement on the Haiti matter, and many other pending matters. Therefore, we request the House to approve the sittings so that we can start in 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.
morning tomorrow and every Thursday. We wanted to have a Tuesday also, but I think the Speaker overruled that. I think we can make do with Thursdays if the House approves.
I request the Member for Kipipiri - the dragon-slayer, the former East African Legislative Assembly legislator, the gracious lady, Wanjiku Muhia - to second.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. Considering the weighty business in the House, especially the Supplementary Budget, the many reports queuing on the line, the interest of recess, and the fact that we need to conclude all the businesses before we close the year, I beg to second.
Put the Question.
It is the mood of the House that I put the Question.
On point of order.
Hon. Junet, what is out of order? Give Hon. Junet the mic.
Hon. Temporary Speaker
Order, Hon. Junet. First, the Chair is not vacant. The Chair is properly occupied. You do not need to see the Deputy Speaker on the seat. Secondly, you are pre-empting debates. That was a notice of Motion. We will have enough time to prosecute that matter as a House. Hon. Tongoyo, are you speaking to the same or have I guided the way you would have wanted to say?
It is just to support what you have said. I think the very senior Member, Hon. Junet, is pre-empting. We will have the entire 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.
He can bring his issues. I confirm to Kenyans and this House that we really followed the due process of law to the letter. We did the publication and had public participation done. Nevertheless, you will have the opportunity to raise any concerns.
Hon. Tongoyo, I have already guided. That is sufficient.
We will continue with the debate under Order No.11. The Member of Ol Jorok had a balance of four minutes on this Motion. Apart from three Chairpersons, I am guided that every Member is speaking for five minutes. The three are the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Defence, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations, the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs. Every other Member is five minutes. Member for Ol Jorok, Hon. Muchira, you are on the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. As I said in the morning, I laud the President for being forthright and candid to Kenyans on the real state of the nation. As he was giving his Speech, the President appreciated that it is true the cost of living is high and that it is true he took over a country that was ridden with debts. The most important thing is that the President gave an assurance that he is working towards fixing the mess he inherited from previous regimes.
On debt, the President indicated that he is working towards rationalising the budget and reducing its shortfalls. That way, we will, as a country, reduce external borrowing. Secondly, the President indicated that he is working towards payment of the expensive and exploitative Eurobond that is due next year. He indicated that he intends to pay that debt ahead of time. This will reduce the pressure the country is experiencing, of servicing debts that fall due.
On the cost of living, the President indicated that the programme of fertiliser subsidy that has reduced the cost of fertiliser from Ksh6,500 to the current Ksh2,500 hence subsidising 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.
production rather than consumption is working. It is a matter of time before the price of food continues to reduce. We have seen a reduction in food prices. With time, I know prices of food will continue to reduce.
I was impressed listening to the President sharing success stories about the financial inclusion fund, also known as the Hustler Fund. This Hustler Fund is a game changer for the hustlers of this country. We, as leaders, need to encourage Kenyan citizens to apply for these funds. People have enterprising minds and brains out there. They have good ideas, but lack the capital to implement those ideas. With the Hustler Fund and the fact that you do not need to know anyone to apply and get it, you will get these funds, apply your ideas, and start that small business.
We also need to encourage and sensitise Kenyan citizens. For one to get more loans from this Hustler Fund, one needs to borrow and repay. We know it is true there are Kenyans who have increased their borrowing limit, as the President stated, by borrowing and paying multiple times. We also know there are Kenyans who have not repaid. It is important to encourage them to keep on applying and repaying. I also encourage relevant State departments to continue sharing these success stories with Kenyans so that Kenyans know it is true one can rise from the bottom up through business.
Finally, I laud the President on education. There was a recruitment of over 55,000 teachers last financial year. This is laudable because of the implementation of junior secondary schools and ensuring standards of education are enhanced in this country.
With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you. The next chance will go to the Member for Kibwezi West, Hon. Eckomas Mutuse.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I now confirm that coming early and logging in early pays. I stand to contribute to the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellency the President before the Joint Sitting of Parliament on 9th November 2023. First, the President's Speech was concise, brief and without verbosity. It was not ambiguous. It was very specific and eloquently delivered. It was also delivered within a good time. Many times people deliver speeches until the people listening get very bored. I applaud the President for having a specific, timely and eloquently delivered speech.
Having discussed the form and manner of delivery, being the Member of Kibwezi West and the Vice-Chair of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, I want to speak to issues the President spoke about, especially concerning the governance, justice, law, and order sector. You will realise that our Constitution is very right.
Hon. Basil, what is out of order? Hold on, Hon. Mutuse.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I think I am standing on Standing Order 85. My brother, Hon. Mutuse, is misleading the House. He says the Speech was short and precise. However, it was too long. It had over a hundred points and ran for more than one hour. Please, it will be crucial to be factual.
Hon. Basil, you are totally out of order. Read your Standing Orders. Standing Order 85 is on anticipation of debate. You are totally out of order. Continue, Hon. Mutuse.
Thank you very much. You know it is very important for Hon. Basil to get an opportunity to speak in this House. We have come a long way with the Member for Yatta. You know, “short” is in context 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.
because we are also comparing the speech with what has been done in the past. We know this House has been engaged in speeches that would run for more than three hours.
I want to contribute specifically to the issues the President spoke about regarding the justice, law and order sector. Fundamentally, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is very rights- and-freedoms centric. That is why the chapter on fundamental rights is among the most elaborate in our Constitution. I am happy the President touched on issues on fundamental rights, including political, civil, economic and social rights as demanded in our Constitution. One of the most important things the President spoke about was the appointment of the six judges of the Court of Appeal delayed by the former President. Under our Constitution, the president's role in the appointment of judges is largely ceremonial. Therefore, a president cannot purport not to appoint judges based on imaginary intelligence reports on integrity issues not put forth to the country. In reviving the economy, we also know that you require a very efficient Judiciary. Investors will not go to a country where the judicial system is not working - a country where commercial disputes cannot be resolved within time. The number of judges and judicial officers is very key to the concept of judicial efficiency. That is why we in the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs applaud this House for increasing the Judiciary’s budget by Ksh3 billion when the President proclaimed that he would do so. I can confirm that more judicial officers have been hired because of that increase. More judges are currently being hired. You recall that we recently passed the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act that amended Section 7 of the Judicature Act to increase the number of judges of the Court of Appeal from 30 to 70 so that justice can be dispensed expeditiously. The country is on the right trajectory in our view. We request those who get funding from this House, including the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the Judiciary, to prudently expend those resources. Kenyans are concerned that members of the JSC appear to be living large. Reports that all members of the JSC are touring countries abroad and living luxuriously are not very pleasing. Even as we appropriate money to other arms of Government within the justice, law and order sector, such...
Your time is up, Hon. Mutuse. Hon. Junet.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to contribute to this debate on the Presidential Address. First, I want to bring to the attention of the House that the Constitution requires the President to once a year report to Parliament the country’s achievements in certain parameters that are stipulated in the Constitution. That provision was included in the Constitution so that this House can hold the President accountable. We are not here to sing a chorus thanking and appreciating what the President said. That is none of our business as a House. We want to know from his speech whether he has achieved the issues that he is supposed to report back to the House in the last year. I listened very keenly to the President on that day because I was in the House, and I almost thought he was re-launching his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) manifesto for the second time. The entire Speech was full of promises. Those promises must come to an end. Kenyans must be told what the Government of the day has achieved in the last one year. One year is quite a long period. A lady can get a child in one year after getting married. A human being can be produced in one year through marriage. If you can produce a living human being in nine months, which is less than a year, what can you not achieve in one year? Let us be honest with Kenyans. Let us not address them as though some of them live on earth, while others live on the moon. I heard people say that we have stabilised the economy. I do not understand what the term “stabilisation” means when people are suffering, and the cost of living and food is high. What have you stabilised? Maybe you have stabilised things in a manner that Kenyans 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.
see. We are struggling with debt payment and revenue collection, and then the President has the audacity to tell Kenyans that we have stabilised the economy. A stable economy is one that has fewer debts and higher revenues, where you do not need to borrow to pay debts. We are living in an economy where if we do not borrow, we will not pay our debts. The President mentioned the Hustler Fund where somebody borrowed Ksh740,000 and he is now a rich man because he bought a tuk-tuk. I do not know if we are living in the same country or in a different part of the world: Ksh740, 000 is enough to buy a tuk-tuk. That is like me getting Ksh1 million and going to buy a big truck or something. Let us be honest. Honesty is the cornerstone of leadership.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. Owen?
What did I say that is wrong?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, Hon. Junet was born in affluence. He has lived as a rich kid. He does not know how much Ksh700,000 can transform a person's life. He does not know that the price of unga today has reduced from Ksh250, which he supported during President Uhuru's Speech in this very House, to Ksh135.
Order, Hon. Owen Baya. That is a point of debate. You will have your chance to debate. Hon Junet.
Thank you for protecting me, Hon. Temporary Speaker. If the President and his Government are relying on advice from Hon. Baya, things will get worse going forward. I expect him, as a leader, to tell the President that he is wrong on this one. I did not hear the President mention in his Speech any measures to address the high cost of living. The high cost of living is killing Kenyans. The Government promised to lower the cost of living, not to buy tuk-tuks for people. People are concerned about ugali, their stomachs, and their lives. I hope that in the next President’s Address, which will be a year from now after two years of this Government being in power, there will be something…
Your time is up, Hon. Junet.
I will not add you more time. You were each allotted five minutes to contribute. The next chance will go to the Member for Westlands, Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to also contribute to the President’s Speech. I thought the President had forgotten his Speech when he stood up to speak. He looked worried and spoke without reading. I later realised that maybe he had memorised it. He gave what looked like a self-examination of his conscience and a report to the country. Only those who sit in Government believe that things are okay. The President is a worried man judging from his body language on that day. Things are not working. He just stopped short of informing the country that we are in trouble. I believe he has good intentions for the country and he will move speedily to get us back on track within the next 12 months. Some people serving with him in Government are not helping much. We saw in the media a lot of wastage on Monday, the day they declared a national holiday for planting trees, by a Government that is already struggling with cash constraints. Cabinet secretaries and senior Government officials were flying from one corner of the country to another to plant trees. Deputy County Commissioners (DCCs), chiefs, and local leadership could have done that job very well. I believe that that is part of controlling Government expenditure. The President needs good people around him to help streamline economic 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.
recovery as we struggle with lack of cash. I can see there is no seriousness in the Government from the direction that we are headed in. We hope to see something different from the Government after the bipartisan report is tabled so that the Government starts functioning as Kenyans expect. The Kenya Kwanza Government made many promises to Kenyans who have very high expectations. They are very frustrated by what they see. They are still waiting to see the bottom- up economic agenda being fulfilled and hustlers rising and achieving something. I am also yet to see the effects of the Hustler Fund. The President said that a lot has been done. I am still waiting to hear anybody from my constituency telling me how the Hustler Fund has impacted their life. We are looking forward to all these things. I am very sure that with the President’s determination, and as a man who has a lot of energy, if he gets the right people in his Government, he will deliver for Kenyans. I doubt he will do so as things currently stand.
The next chance will go to the Member for Keiyo South, Hon. Gideon Kimaiyo. He is not in the House. The next chance will go to the Member for Isiolo South, Hon. Bidu Tubi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to air my views on the President’s Address. The Speech by the President had good things, but he forgot some issues. The good things include education. The requirements for teachers’ training have been lowered so that many people can go to school. That is a good thing. He overlooked several things about the economy. It seemed as though the entire Speech was biased towards agriculture. There are people who depend on livestock for their livelihood. He did not touch on those issues yet they are the mainstay of many people in the northern part of the country. The President did not bother to touch on that. There is also the issue of floods, which have caused many problems in the country. Four centres in my constituency that are along the Ewaso Nyiro River have been closed. Nothing is being done to address the issue. Gafarsa, Ole Saboro, Sericho and Badana towns have been cut off because of floodwaters. The President did not say anything about that. He also talked about the bottom-up economic agenda. There are people who engage in artisanal mining in Kom in Isiolo County. The provincial administration shut down that mining site, where hustlers were trying to earn a living, in the name of insecurity. What do we do? The President says that we should hustle, get money and put food on the table, but the provincial administration shuts down our source of livelihood in the name of insecurity. The Government should provide security for individuals and their property. You cannot shut down a site which provides people with a source of livelihood, simply because of alleged insecurity, which is the responsibility of the Government and the police to solve. There seem to be many contradictions. Next time, the President’s Speech must equally cover all areas of the nation.
The next chance will go to the Member for Igembe Central, Hon. Daniel Karitho.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to add my voice to the debate on the President’s Address to the nation. The Address was generally well-balanced. The President gave hope to his people as a leader, which is what a leader is supposed to do. Not only did he give hope, but he also touched on certain issues such as the importance of the nation, and the things that he and his Government have accomplished in the last one year, which we can see such as employment of teachers and revival of the economy. The President talked a lot about the revival of our economy. He also alluded to the fact that our economy is not doing well at the moment because the world is going through a crisis 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.
especially on matters fuel. However, he did not talk about generating revenue from foreign countries. There is no way we can increase our income unless we sell and vigorously campaign to have our local products exported to earn the necessary dollars.
The President had an oversight on local products. He mentioned coffee, tea and fish. He forgot to mention that we have a product from Meru known as miraa that can bring billions of dollars every year to this country. Miraa has been exported to Europe and some countries in Asia before, but we are currently experiencing some problems. It could, however, be raising a lot of money. When miraa used to be exported to Europe, Kenya Airways made a lot of profits. If we get a market in countries like Djibouti, West Africa and even South Africa, the dollar issue could have been eased through that product.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, we are grateful that the employment of teachers has made the education sector bearable. The performance will improve because the teacher-student ratio has been enhanced. On infrastructure, paying contractors to continue clearing the roads that are currently ongoing will improve our economy. We laud that and support the President for a job well done. The President also talked about the Hustler Fund. It is working well in rural areas; local traders and businesspeople have been borrowing loans and repaying them. This has really improved their operation base and they are contributing to the economy which is seriously needed. I think the whole Address was well balanced. I congratulate the President. In my view, the Government is doing well so far. In terms of production, we have seen the subsidised fertiliser. Farm produce especially maize have seriously improved. As time goes by, we will soon feed ourselves. If a country is able to feed itself, it will eventually grow economically. This is because the reserves that would have been used to import food will import other essential and very necessary merchandise that we need in this country.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support.
Thank you. Before the next speaker, allow me to recognise in the Public Gallery, students from Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS) Technical College, in Starehe Constituency, Nairobi County. On behalf of the House, we welcome you to observe the proceedings. The next chance will go to the Member for Alego Usonga, Hon. Samuel Atandi.
He is out of the House.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make my submissions on the President’s State of the Nation Address.
I was not present in the House when the President was here, but like many other Kenyans, I was able to listen to the contents of his Speech. I concluded that the President had nothing substantial to tell the nation. In his Speech, the President averred that withdrawal of subsidies on petroleum and fuel products had led to the stability of the economy. This is dishonesty of the highest order. You all know that millions of Kenyans are sleeping hungry in their houses without food because the economy has been battered by wrong policies and corruption. I want to say that the President had nothing really serious to tell the nation. As my colleague Hon. Junet has said, in the next speech, we would like to see a serious President and not the one who was here. The one who was here was basically engaging in gerrymandering, hypocrisy and all manner of stuff that I cannot describe.
On a point of order.
What is out of order, Hon. Caroli? 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, is it in order for Hon. Atandi to complain about the high fuel prices when, together with Hon. Junet, he voted for the introduction of the first eight per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel?
I will ignore him because he was not in this House at that time.
I want to conclude because I do not want to make a long speech.
Conclude and be factual.
If the President spoke about the stability of the economy when he was here, then he was really being dishonest. As we all know, this is the worst leadership that this country has ever seen. It is worse than Moi’s and Jomo Kenyatta’s presidencies. If you are a president who is presiding over an economy such as what we have, when you come to Parliament to give your State of the Nation Address, the least we expect from you is to be honest with your fellow citizens. And just like many other Kenyans, we believe the President is a liar. He will never say the truth. He should, however, lie to Kenyans on the streets and not in the National Assembly.
On a point of order.
What is out of order, Hon. Owen?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I thought Hon. Atandi said he was here before the Member of Parliament for Suba. He knows it is very unparliamentary to use the word that he has used, ‘liar’. It is unparliamentary and it should not be used. Use other adjectives. If you have not gone to school properly, I could educate you. Please use words like: ‘‘He was far from the truth; he did not convince us; or he misled us’’. If I could educate you on the words to use…
Hon. Owen, do not be tempted to debate.
The word liar is unparliamentary. He should withdraw. He cannot use that word on the President. He should withdraw.
Do not be tempted to debate.
Please, Hon. Atandi. Be gracious enough. Gracious is an English word. Withdraw the word liar.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I withdraw the word liar and replace it with dishonest.
As I conclude, Kenyans are watching and they expect this House to be their saviour. And so, it is important for this House to reject the President’s speech because…
Hon. Atandi, I was just confirming. Did you say the President is a liar? 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 did and I withdrew.
Okay. You have withdrawn.
Yes. I withdrew and replaced it with dishonest.
As I wind up, I want to say that if Members of this House do not change their strategy of legislation and approach to national issues, then most of them will not come back, especially Members from the Government side. This is because you seem to support things that you should not be agreeing to including a dishonest speech made by a President who is bringing down the economy. He has failed to even do simple things.
Thank you, Hon. Atandi. The next chance will go to the Member for Nandi, Hon. Cynthia Muge.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to make comments regarding the President’s Address. I first want to appreciate the President for ensuring that he fulfilled his constitutional duty to address this House on the State of the Nation. As I make a comment on the economy of this country, I want to say that I lack what many people call a lived experience. When we talk about the Gross Domestic product (GDP) of this country being at 0.6 per cent in 2002, I was in Class One. In 2013, when we talk about the GDP of this country doing better after the Kibaki era, I was a very timid first year student in the university. In 2017, when I had just opened my eyes and I was a Member of the County Assembly, the GDP of this nation was at 4.9 per cent. In 2022, when we were campaigning, the GDP of this country was at 4.8 per cent and in 2023, which is this year, the year when the President gave his Address, the GDP is at 5.5 per cent. When a Member says that there has been no progress made so far, I wonder if I am the only person who is seeing these things. I ably compensate my lack of lived experience with reading, listening and asking questions. The statistics of this country show that we are doing better than we were in 2022. When some Kenyans went to the streets with sufurias earlier this year, most of them were complaining about the cost of food. During his Address, the President spoke about the cost of food. I can confirm that in Kapserton Village in Mosop Constituency, where I come from, we are asking farmers who harvested many bags of maize to stop selling them at Ksh2,500 a bag. We are asking them to sell them to the Government which is offering a better price of Ksh4,000 a bag. That tells you that the complaint about the cost of unga that took some Kenyans to the streets with sufurias has been ably sorted by the President who has made deliberate decisions to lower the cost of production of that particular product. We are not being honest when we say that there has been no change. We have had change. We are not yet where we are going, but we still have faith to get there. Secondly, human beings would naturally see negative things. They rarely see the positive things. When we sit here and say that we have not seen any development, I pride myself in this President considering that it is this House that passed the Bills that are going to enable the Universal Health Coverage (UHC); every Kenyan will have access to medical care. Kenyans will no longer bear the burden of selling their land or property to afford medical care. Since I came to life in terms of understanding things, it is the first time that I am hearing the Government saying that it is going to pay for the Eurobond debt. According to the President’s Address, it is this same Government that has hired a whopping 56,750 teachers. Every Member of this House who represents a constituency, special interest groups or a county can speak and be a witness to that. This same House has live experiences of what the President was talking about. I cannot speak to the examples that 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 gave, but I can speak for myself. I started borrowing the Hustler Fund when it was Ksh500. It is not like I needed it, but I wanted to see if it is actually working. I borrowed and repaid. I borrowed a second time and repaid. I borrowed for the third time, and I now have a maximum of Ksh6,000. So, it is progressing and working. The President is capable and he has demonstrated that. I think it is time we stopped asking what this country can do for us as Members and show what we can do for this country.
Thank you. Member for Sotik, Hon. Francis Sigei.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to also comment on the issues raised by the President when he addressed this House the other week. First of all, I would like us to be thoroughly honest because the President was very honest. He was very honest and he told us that things are not good; the economy is bad yet we are talking as if he said everything is okay. His Speech was very comprehensive, bold and addressed issues without hiding anything.
I want to address an issue which affects my constituency of Sotik. In the history of this country, the Government was able to roll out issuance of fertiliser very well. Every household in my constituency got fertiliser and farmers were able to produce maize. We are asking the Government to look into the prices which are dropping and address them. This means the President addressed the cost of living. In my place, the price of gorogoro or small container of maize, has dropped from Ksh250 to Ksh80. To me, this is a very good achievement and we should laud the President for this. I was very happy to hear him say that he supports the NG- CDF. Everybody should laud this move. Another area I was very impressed with was digital transformation. The women in a market centre in Sotik are using Wi-Fi. What else can you tell people out there? They are very happy with the President. Everything is not okay, but he addressed issues that matter. He also spoke on politics being personalised and gave us freedom to do whatever we want in this country. Another milestone is the TVET. We must laud the President for this education system. The young people are now enrolling in TVETs. We are very happy because soon we will have skilled labour in this country and this will reduce unemployment. I also want to laud the President particularly, for employing the six judges. This was a good milestone. I ask him to continue being bold, tell Kenyans the truth and be honest so that we can be proud of our country. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support his Address.
Thank you. Member for Butula, Hon. Joseph. He is not here. Member for Yatta, Hon. Robert Basil.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I stand to contribute on the President's Address. First, it was too long and boring because many Members were struggling to stay awake. He did not indicate how he intends to reduce the cost of living. If you look at global prices of fuel, they have reduced by 5.68 per cent. He never mentioned about fuel and he was elected on a promise of lowering the cost of living more so, fuel. He was mute on this. Second, the President never said anything about having electricity connectivity in all villages. Many people in the villages are crying to have electricity connection considering they are taxpayers. Third, he talked about job creation and did not specify on ethnic distribution. Recently, we saw 57 per cent of recruits at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) are from two tribes. I expected him to explain to Kenyans why these two tribes benefited. Fourth, he never indicated meaningfully what he was…
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Wait, Hon. Member. What is out of order, Member for Thika?
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Is it in order for the Member to stand and say the recruits were from two tribes? Which tribes?
Allow me to respond to the…
Give us evidence.
Allow me to respond to the Member for Thika. She seems to be uninformed so I will inform her. She should have read the daily newspapers on the new recruits at KRA. They clearly mentioned that 57 per cent of the new recruits were from two tribes. I do not want to appear as an ethnic biased person, therefore, I will not specify the two tribes, but this was in public domain. So, I ask her to read and appraise herself.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Kawanjiku, what is out of order?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. As we appreciate what the Member for Yatta is saying, we also need to make it clear that this is a House of records. The moment he has said that the job opportunities went two tribes, he should have substantiated depending on the records he has. So, it is not in order for him to lie to this House.
Order, Hon. Kawanjiku!
They are interrupting my speech…
Order, Hon. Basil! Hon. Members, this is guidance for every Member including the Member for Yatta. Responsibility of statement of fact is in Standing Order 91(1): That a Member shall be responsible for the accuracy of any facts which he or she alleges to be true and may be required to substantiate any such facts instantly. Kindly, let us adhere to our own Standing Orders and be guided that newspapers are not sources of information which are admissible in this House. So, let us be careful as we debate. Hon. Basil.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to make reference in this House. The issue of job distribution was debated by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Economic Planning, Prof. Njuguna, when he was here. He acknowledged this. I do not have the actual records, but this was discussed in this House.
is clear and that information can be retrieved. I even have a pending Question supposed to be brought on the Floor of the House on the same issue.
Hon. Member, do not refer to pending Questions that have not been discussed on this Floor.
But that issue was already on the Floor of the House.
They are not yet a record of the House.
That issue was already discussed. Anyway, let me proceed with my speech. If you intend to get this information, I can always share. My fourth point is that the President did not mention what the Government intends to do about revising the balance of trade. Currently, we are importing more than we export.
Your time is up. I will not give you another minute. You are notorious and also interfering when other Members are contributing, and I did not add them more minutes. Next chance goes to the Member for South Imenti, Hon. Shadrack Mwiti. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the President’s Address on the State of the Nation. The President’s Speech was accurate and had a lot of impact on the future of this country. I would like to comment on the Universal Health Care. Healthcare in this country is very critical and His Excellency the President ‘aroused’ the UHC just the other day. Kenyans are convinced that primary healthcare back in their villages will be of importance. The Government is focused on service delivery, health financing and governance. These are the pillars of healthcare in this country to ensure that Kenyan citizens are able to access UHC. The Facilities Improvement Act is very important as most of the health facilities will be retaining the funds they collect so that their facilities can be revamped by supplementing the contribution from the county. The Digital Health Care Act to establish comprehensive integrated digital health information system is very important since it will enable accessibility and communication of various activities in health institutions.
The Social Health Insurance Fund to replace the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is important to introduce emergency attention, chronic and critical illness funds, which will be utilised in healt care. On the issue of agriculture, we know very well that Kenya is an agricultural country. Kenya earns its income from the export and also it is very important in earning the economy of this country. South Imenti where I come from relies on agriculture and the subsidy of fertiliser will enable more production of the crops. The yield will be higher delivering better resources. Hence, the distribution of fertiliser in the National Cereal and Produce Boards (NCPB) makes the accessibility of the Kenyans to fertiliser easier. The removal of tax on livestock feeds gives farmers reduced expenses. Domestic farmers are more competitive in the market. This will increase their profits since more farmers will manage to do the farming. With water for all, various irrigation and water pans will make the arid areas to be more productive. I hereby support the President's agenda to make the...
Your time is up. Hon. David Gikaria, Member for Nakuru Town East.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. It is unfortunate the Member of Parliament for Yata is not around. When he started speaking, he said that the President's Speech was long, boring and that some of the Members were sleeping. From his contribution, I think he is one of those Members who were sleeping and did not listen to the Speech when it was done. It was alluded to the fact that the President never spoke about the cost of living. If you look at the Speech of the President, he said, for those who cared to listen, that the cost of living is something that has to come down gradually through a process of some intervention. One of those interventions is about the fertiliser insurance that has successfully been done in this country. The success of harvest which is double or triple harvest has been witnessed this year. At the same time, he also mentioned that out of that bumper harvest, the cost of maize flour in some shops has dropped significantly to up to Ksh150. It is important we look at the Speech of the President objectively. Regarding the creation of jobs, more than 50,000 housing units, which have already been constructed and occupied, a record of over 100,000 youths of different expertise, be it plumbers, masons, painters and the like, have been engaged in this very important sector of affordable housing. Over and above that, a commitment that the President has said that ownership of shelter as indicated in our Constitution is something that he has to address. 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 also alluded to corruption, wastages, inefficiencies and negligence. It cannot go without saying that he has come out with an elaborate programme. Without anticipating debate, tomorrow we will be discussing the Supplementary Budget Estimates which has reduced wastage and inefficiencies in respective ministries significant by almost Ksh200 billion. My Committee is responsible for matters to do with climate change. Kenya had an advantage of being the host of the first African Climate Change Conference which brought over 40,000 delegates from different countries to talk about the weather changes. The President has said that we will not be complaining, but we need to start giving direction as Kenya and as an African Continent on what affects our climate and other climatic issues that we need to address. The President has gone further to talk about other conferences which are coming up on matters to do with oriented politics. The President has given it a thought and has also allowed the bipartisan talks that is going on to allow Kenyans to speak. Even if we were elected democratically, the President has given a hand for the minority to bring their issues on the table in the National Dialogue Forum that is going on. Among others is the bilateral and multilateral issue and there was an agreement to that effect.
Your time is up. Member for Narok North, Hon. Agnes Pareyio.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the President's Speech. At the outset, the President's Speech was good. I say so because he touched on issues that affect our people. The first issue that he touched on is the youth. We will have digital hubs in our constituencies that will help create jobs for the youth. He also touched on subsidised fertilisers which will provide a long-term solution to hunger in the country. Availability of fertilisers will ensure that farmers grow their own food and have bumper harvest, thus securing the country from hunger. It is also a solution because it will not only put food on the table, but will also be a source of income to farmers. The President also touched on education. He has ensured that a good number of teachers are hired in primary schools. We had a shortage of teachers in the country. He touched on matters education in general especially on issues that have been affecting us.
Order, Members. Consult in low tones. You are disrupting the Member for Narok North. Continue, Hon. Agnes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for protecting me. As I was saying, the President talked about education by stating the number of teachers that were hired. He also talked about the plan to have our children get access to university education through Government loans so that they can further their studies. The President also touched on housing. He talked about housing programmes in every constituency to benefit Kenyans who do not own houses. This will bring dignity to our people by ensuring that they live in decent houses. In terms of health, he touched on universal healthcare as envisioned in the Social Health Insurance Act. Our people will be assured of a medical insurance to help them access medication. For that reason, I support the President’s Speech. It was a good Speech. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you. Member for Webuye West, Hon. Daniel Wanyama. Maybe that will break the kamukunji there led by Hon. Kalasinga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Allow me to contribute to the President’s Speech. The trajectory that the Speech took will bring Kenya back to the right footing in terms of economic recovery. The two issues that he mentioned that touched my heart are food security and universal healthcare. The moment any country fixes those two issues, the citizens will have a good life. That will in turn help address the issue of cost of living. From the President’s Speech, it is clear that other than subsidy on consumables, it is better to have subsidies on production. This is evident because in my home area we have already had very good yields as a result of the subsidised fertiliser. This has led to bumper harvest this year and that will be the same moving forward. Consequently, the issue of hunger in this country has been addressed I come from the sugar belt. The Kenya Kwanza Government has done what other governments did not do, namely, to write-off debts for the sugar factories. In particular, Nzoia Sugar Company where I come from, will relieve sugarcane farmers from the bondage of debts that the factory owed them. Most of the farmers will be paid their money. Previous governments offloaded the debts of coffee. The trajectory of the coffee sector has started picking. The sugar factories will also take it up and move forward. That will improve the economy and change the situation of the farmers in the sugar belt. Farmers will earn a better living going forward because they will be in a position to even pay school fees for their children. On universal healthcare, the President has given the plan that the Government has. Once that is addressed, I am sure Kenyans will have it easy. Additionally, lack of drugs in referral hospitals will be a thing of the past. Hon. Tim Wanyonyi indicated that the President did not have his speech. Given that I come from the same region with Hon. Tim, I will inform him that technology has advanced. The Member expected to see the President with a file of papers, but we have gone digital. The Speech was read on a teleprompter. I will offer tuition to Hon. Tim Wanyonyi so that he can understand that one does not have to carry files to read speeches. Finally, the cost of living has come down. This is evident by the drop in the price of
, unless we just want to play politics. Just last year, two kilogrammes packet of unga was selling at about Ksh250. But at the time the President delivered the Speech, the cost of the same
was at below Ksh175. That is the right way to go. All we need to do is to support this Government and the President so as to make sure that the economy of this country is revived. I thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. Member for Kipipiri, Hon. Wanjiku Muhia.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. At the onset, I support this Speech. As a Member who hails from Nyandarua County, I appreciate the fertiliser subsidy because Nyandarua County is one of the food baskets in our country. Many Members have spoken on different issues. It is not right to say that the Kenya Kwanza Government has not done anything. We agree that times are hard, not only in Kenya but worldwide, but there are tangible things that have happened. For instance, 400 markets have been constructed and Kipipiri is one of the beneficiaries through Geta and Oljoro Orok markets. This is a big deal because women and other vendors can run their businesses even in harsh weather conditions. This is something that has never been experienced before. 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.
On matters education, when I was newly elected, I did an education audit in Kipipiri because I wondered why my constituency was recording poor performance. There were students who scored Grade E in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). Additionally, the rate at which performance deteriorated was alarming. From the audit, I discovered that there was a shortage of more than 200 teachers in my constituency. Therefore, the employment of 56,750 teachers by the Kenya Kwanza Government ensures that Kipipiri and many other constituencies close that gap. I can confirm that in Kipipiri constituency, we have sealed the gap by over 50 per cent. This is also a big deal because a student who could have got bad grades against their expectation is already rescued. I am the Chairperson of the Committee on Regional Integration. On matters international obligation, Kenya continues to pride itself in the international arena. I can confirm that in annual remittances to the East African Community (EAC), Kenya is always number one in upholding its obligation. Hon. Temporary Speaker, in terms of the debts that this country owes which we all know where they originated from, it is now time for the East African Community to sit with a serious timeframe. Although they have already given a timeframe of 2030, maybe they should consider moving it forward and start thinking of our East African shilling. This will be a big deal because we shall take loans, if any, with our shilling. The debts continue to escalate. The opposers of goodwill try to show, sometimes, that the Government has continued to take more loans. It is simply because the dollar has been rising. We should have a common currency and then we can take loans or debts with it which will be very much safer. As I conclude in supporting the President’s Speech, I cannot fail to tell my President and the Kenya Kwanza Government that it missed a very crucial item which is the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
It is an indication of what happened for the last one year. In education matters, thousands of teachers were employed. On health matters, Universal Health Coverage was covered. As we discuss this Speech, what happened to the persons with disabilities community? It is time this country became very intentional on matters of persons with disabilities. If it is in education, we need an inclusive education system because mothers, guardians and relatives of children with disabilities are suffering. Even employment is not there. When it is there, the caregivers choose between the job and giving care to their persons with disability. In future, I believe that every cabinet secretary gives his or her performance, I urge the Ministry in charge of persons with disability to also give what is expected and show what has happened. We need devices for these people. The system of education needs to be looked into and many other avenues.
The next chance goes to the Member for Kituto Rural, Hon. David Mboni.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I am the Member for Kitui Rural, but not Kituto Rural. Let me also say a few things about the President’s Speech. It was not very bad. Mostly, it was a proposal going forward. I want to comment on the cost of food. With the fertiliser programme, its price has gone down from Ksh6,500 to Ksh2,500. This has made the production and prices of food to go down which is a very commendable thing. Do not forget that the cost of living has gone up. Last month, the inflation rate was 6.8 per cent which is very high for Kenyans. The fuel prices which are still very high in this country have contributed to this. We should start asking ourselves some questions. If petroleum prices are going down in Uganda and Tanzania, where are we buying our fuel? Are we not buying from the same market? What happened to the Government- The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
to-Government agreement from which we expected the prices of fuel in the country to go down and reduce pressure on the dollar because our Kenyan Shilling has been depreciating over time? Apart from giving fertiliser to the maize growing areas, we have a lot of rain in Eastern Province where I come from. The President should have addressed distribution of fertiliser in Kitui region so that we can also grow maize and become self-sufficient in food. I also expected to hear that more irrigation schemes are being done in Eastern Province so that we can grow food.
I listened to the housing scheme. I asked myself about the cost of cement and steel. Their prices have been going up. The cost of one bag of cement was Ksh680 in March. It now costs Ksh750 in Nairobi and Ksh800 outside Nairobi. These are the things which we need to address to make some of these things a bit cheaper. I listened to the President’s Speech on public debt. It is very good because he addressed the issue of repaying the Eurobond. Two weeks ago, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning admitted that we are in debt distress or financial crisis. Borrowing is not bad since everybody borrows. In fact, every Member of Parliament has a loan. What matters is what you do with that money or loan and its impact. The debt to GDP ratio of the United States of America (USA) is 133 per cent. It is 250 in Japan, 186 in South Sudan and 67 in Kenya. We are crying that we are in debt stress. We need to address this issue. The other issues which we need to address are corruption and wastage in Government. If we address them, strictly implement fiscal consultation and reduce unnecessary trips, we will end up somewhere. I read somewhere, but I do not know how true it is, that President Kibaki made only 33 trips in 10 years. Our current President has made 40 trips in a year. If one trip costs Ksh300 million, how much are we going to spend on the President’s trips and other trips which are being made by Government officers in five years? In terms of savings, we, as a country, have the lowest savings rate globally.
The next chance goes to the Member for Githunguri, Hon. Gathoni Wamuchomba.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to give my contribution on the current debate as we analyse the President’s Speech on the state of the nation. I listened to it because I was keen to understand the extent to which we have made progressive steps and achieved milestones towards economic development with the aim of improving the livelihoods of our people. I was quite impressed when the President spoke about the many avenues he has sought to bring the cost of living down. He mentioned his efforts in the agricultural sector, and more particularly his effort to bring fertiliser to our farmers. As a Member of Parliament representing a constituency that is greatly involved in agriculture, I was keen to know to what extent the subsidised fertiliser will reach our people. Where I come from, fertiliser is a very important input for our coffee, tea and subsistence farmers. However, I was very happy when he said that he acknowledged that the subsidised fertiliser does not get to all the farmers who require it because of the distance factor. He committed that he would work very closely with county governments so that subsidised fertiliser can get to the nearest points of collection for our farmers. I was very impressed because farmers in Githunguri travel over 75 kilometres to access subsidised fertiliser in Thika which is very unfair to them. I hope the President’s handlers and cabinet secretaries who serve under him will take what he promised this House and put it to reality so that we do not come back complaining that the promise was not kept. However, I was very interested…
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.
Please, protect me from the consultation near me, Hon. Temporary Speaker. They are very loud. Thank you.
Hon. Kawanjiku and your colleagues, take your seats.
I was very keen to note that the President did not mention and commit himself to issues on the cost of fuel. It is because it has been a very thorny issue. The cost of living has gone very high. It is something that I thought he would commit to - the baseline being the cost of fuel in this country. I thought he would commit by saying he would have made efforts to bring the cost of living down by reducing the cost of fuel in this country in the coming year. But, that notwithstanding, as a farmer and a representative of the farmers in Githunguri, I wanted to hear the President commit himself to his efforts on matters of milk. He has spoken about maize and coffee. However, he did not mention anything to do with milk. Noting and considering that he has been visiting our areas of representation, and more particularly Githunguri, where he has been promising, not once or twice, that he will make efforts to provide coolers to our farmers... He has promised those coolers not once or twice but they have not been presented. He did not commit himself to when those coolers will be delivered and yet, he has committed and promised many times. How I hope his handlers and the people working with him will make him honourable by making sure he delivers whatever he promises in our backyards. As I sit down, I am keen to note that his Speech did not mention anything to do with the elderly persons of this county. Somehow, they have been forgotten. We have assumed them for long. We have bundled their money in waiting for over nine months. Even the way we distribute their monies - the social protection’s Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme - is sometimes so inhuman. We need to dignify the elderly persons of Kenya. I hope that we will hear more about the inclusion and consideration of the elderly persons of this country in the next presidential update. We should make sure we commit not to delay their monthly monies that we usually delay. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. Alice? What is it? Is it a point of information or a point of order?
It is a point of information. Let me just say something.
The Member for Githunguri has already taken her seat.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to let the Member for Githunguri know that we have streamlined the Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme. The elderly are getting their money at the beginning of every month, with no delays. Even the ones we registered just the other day will start receiving their money in January. As the Chair concerned, I can confirm that.
Order, Hon. Alice. I have indulged you because you are the Chairlady of the Committee. However, the information had to be accepted by the Member for Githunguri Constituency. I ask that you streamline some of those issues while making your contribution. I will not give you the microphone back, Hon. Wamuchomba. We will continue. As earlier alluded to by the Hon. Speaker, we will interrupt debate and go back to Order No.5 and Order No.6, which are by the Chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
You are not yet ready. Okay. We will go back to it when you are ready. The next chance goes to the Member for Roysambu Constituency, Hon. Augustine Mwafrika.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this glorious opportunity to discuss the Speech of the President. Allow me to thank His Excellency the President for the honour and respect he accorded this House. At the outset of his first statement, he referred to this House as a distinguished assembly of democratically elected representatives of the people of Kenya. I thank His Excellency for that reference and respect to this House. The President talked about transforming this country for present and future generations, despite the three primary challenges that he outlined. They are external shocks, fiscal distress and external imbalances. The President emphasised his commitment to improve the economy of this country. He also expressed his commitment to stop and reverse the negative trends of unemployment. This has been demonstrated by the rolling out of the housing project across the country. He also talked about tackling the poverty that is denying Kenyans their dignity in this country. The President assured Kenyans of his commitment to bringing the national values and principles of governance to his leadership. This is expected to improve the well-being of Kenyans, promote unity and security, and bring development across the country. He also recognised leaders who have undertaken the process of the bi-partisan national dialogue. He said that those leaders are expected to come up with a common ground that is expected to deepen our democracy and enhance unity in our country.
The President also talked about subsidised fertiliser whose price reduced from Ksh7,200 to Ksh2,500. We thank God for the rain. We expect to have a bumper harvest at the end of this season. We know some people made wrong use of the cooking sufuria. They were misusing it as their headscarf. With the supply of subsidised fertiliser, going forward, I believe we shall have a bumper harvest across the country. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the President’s Speech.
Hon. Owen Baya.
I have already spoken.
Why is your name still there if you have already spoken? Anyway, Hon. Abraham Kirwa.
Again, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the President’s Speech. I stand to support the Speech by the President of the Republic of Kenya. I was very keen while following the Speech. One of the areas I was keen on was agriculture and how it would affect the people of Mosop. I was very pleased to know that the fertiliser subsidy he introduced from Ksh7,000 to Ksh2,500 has made a really big difference in very many parts of this country, especially in my constituency, where we grow tea, maize, sugar-cane, and many other crops. Farmers were very pleased. It has made a big difference. I also thank the President because his Speech touched on corruption. He was categorical in his commitment to make sure that corruption will be dealt with. His Government and administration is serious in ensuring that corruption is brought to an end. 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 also touched on healthcare. He mentioned something about 100,000 community health workers, who have been dispersed to visit homes in different parts of the country. The President mentioned that they had visited 1.2 million households as of last month and had met several people. Those officers visit households with electronic gadgets that can measure conditions like blood pressure and other basic necessities of healthcare, as well as disburse medicines. We have made huge strides in the last one year if you look at where we were when he took office and where we are now. He said that it was time for Kenyans to live within their means. He added that Kenyans have been living beyond their means for a very long time and that it was now time to swallow the bitter pill and live within our means. One issue that he was very careful about in his Speech was the Eurobond. Many of us are worried that we could be in a bad situation by this time next year. The President assured us that we will make a US$300 million payment by this December to bring down the US$2 billion Eurobond debt. We will pay up the rest by June next year so that we are not put in a situation where we have to compromise many things as a country. The President also mentioned his co-operation with several banks and institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. He mentioned that we have worked very closely with those institutions because of the financial measures that we have put in place as a country. It will ensure that we are on the right trajectory, so that we do not get into a situation where we are declared bankrupt. I was very pleased because, as much as we are going through tough times as a nation, where the cost of living is still a bit high, the President and his administration have put in place systems to stabilise the country and grow our economy. I support the President’s Speech that we are on the right track.
Hon. John Makali. Is he in the House? He will be followed by Hon. Beatrice Elachi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the President’s State of the Nation Address. The Speech was given pursuant to the provisions of Article 132 of our Constitution, which requires the President to give an account of the implementation of the national values as set out in Article 10 of the Constitution, which sets out the rule of law as one of the critical concepts or national values which each State officer has to comply with. I appreciate the President for complying with the rule of law on constitutionalism because he is obliged by law to give that Speech. There are a few issues that stood out in the President’s Speech. First, was the implementation of Universal Healthcare, which was a plus for the President. The education sector reforms in terms of employing teachers were also a plus for the President and the Government. Debt servicing is also a plus. However, there are several other issues that need to be taken into account as we look at his Speech. We still have major issues in terms of school infrastructure and remission of capitation to support our schools as much as we have employed teachers. As a farmers’ representative, specifically in the Nzoia Sugar Company, I was very pleased that the President indicated in his Speech that he will carry out policy reforms in the sugar industry to ensure that all those who have been “eating” farmers’ sweat are removed. However, we need to be cautious in carrying out reforms in the sugar sector so that we do not allow sugar barons and cartels that have previously controlled the sugar sector to come back and run it. I congratulate the President for waiving all debts. I urge the House to consider setting aside funds in the Supplementary Budget to pay all farmers, suppliers and employees so that they can have a Christmas gift before the end of the year. We may be getting out of debt, but we are paying those debts at a very heavy cost. Kenyans are being heavily taxed. We are saving but we need to put in place measures to ensure The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
that savings of Kenyans through the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) are safeguarded. Money remitted to the NSSF has been siphoned in the past. That is not a good thing in terms of the implementation of the Bottom-Up Economic Agenda. The President’s Speech did not mention how we will ensure that each part of the country is connected to electricity. I know of the Rural Electrification Programme, but 90 per cent of my constituency is yet to be connected to electricity. We will put in determinate steps moving forward to ensure that the Rural Electrification Programme extends to all parts of the country, especially my constituency. The high cost of living remains the elephant in the room. Each side of the House acknowledges that Kenyans are suffering due to the high cost of living. The President equally acknowledged as much in his Speech. He said that we need to take determinate and affirmative steps to bring down the cost of living. I know that we have reduced fertiliser prices, but we still need to ensure that fuel prices go down. We will continue singing the song to reduce the high cost of living to no avail if we do not bring down fuel prices in the country. We should take determinate steps to ensure that we bring down the high cost of living because Kenyans are hurting. We must ensure that we listen to our people and bring down the high cost of living as a Parliament, which serves for the welfare of society and the just Government of the people.
Hon. Bearice Elachi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to thank the President for his Speech. We sometimes find ourselves in a situation where we all need to work as a team as a country. All Kenyans are hurting and crying because of the high cost of living. I came up with a Motion on the National Youth Service (NYS) when I was a Senator, which evolved into the current NYS. One of the four pillars of the Motion was that any young person who goes through the NYS must thereafter join any of the disciplined forces. This is because the graduates are young men and women who are not looking for any salary, but are ready to be patriotic and to work for the country. I am happy that we can see the fruits of that Motion after 10 years. We will start singing a song of what we want to see in the country if we pay our debts. We must receive money and use it accountably and transparently. People should see that transformation. We must pay our debts in the end. I also thank the President for that. I am worried when I look at the team that is working with the President. Transforming this country requires solutions. Give the President solutions. Technocrats must tell us what is the best step to take now that we are hurting. Their advice to the President must offer solutions and not raise other questions. Is it the President who has to work alone for Kenya to move? I doubt that. Therefore, I still question the team advising the President. This team must remember that we came from COVID-19. It was a post COVID-19 period and there was inflation. You must have solutions on how we can start ensuring that the cost of living comes down. It is true that we have huge harvests that are coming, but the climate is telling us there is huge harvest on one side and there is water on the other side that is taking all over. Mandera and other areas are in another world. What happens in between? We have to rethink. In this country, when one side has abundance of harvest, the other one is in drought. How do we harness all this to make sure when this side has no food, there is food on the other side? If we say that we are moving on well, then we must see the cows of Kajiado staying at home and feeding within Kajiado. If we find them looking for pastures elsewhere, then it means that there is still a challenge. All of us have to stand on this economic pillar and agree. I submit to our Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee that there is need to put an allocation to rebrand our airport. We must ensure that the door, the hub of Kenya, becomes an airport that when everyone enters Kenya, they respect and believe in it. They must know that this is a The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
country where people have democracy and are able to do a good thing that will sustain the generations to come.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officers are looking for resources in the wrong way. Even as we look at the President’s Speech, we want to support it, yes, but with solutions. Hopefully very soon, the President will change his economic advisors. We must see good and new ones.
Hon. Ibrahim Saney, followed by Hon. Paul Biego of Chesumei and Hon. Alice Ng’ang’a of Thika.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. If you look at the language and tone of the President’s Address, you realise that it paints a Government that is painstakingly divorcing itself from a dark past. A past of poor economic management to one that may offer respite to that poor economy so that it can fulfil its promises. I am keenly attached to the President’s Address on corruption. If we deal with corruption and slay that devil, all the other things will fall into place. What I expect to see from the Kenya Kwanza Government is a firm decision on how to deal with corruption decisively. If I may cherry-pick some few things on the Address, food security and by extension the cost of living has been a concern to Kenyans. We know the past bad economy, the post COVID-19 impact and the drought that has lasted for nearly four years have entirely impacted on the economic status thereby affecting our food security. However, the Government has taken bold initiatives by providing subsidies on fertiliser and, at least, making sure that some of the machines required like tractors are zero-rated in terms of tax. We need to move further. We know that planting seeds are very expensive in this country. Tractors cannot do anything by themselves. They require farm implements like planters, harrows and ploughs. As we speak, all those farm implements are vatable. Kenya can only be food secure if we highly subsidise the agricultural sector. We need to do much more. In as much as I appreciate the Kenya Kwanza’s initiative towards attaining food security, more needs to be done in the same sector. The Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) was inherited from the past regime. We know it is expensive and would have been implemented in a piecemeal manner. However, the objective of CBC is welcome to this nation. We equally appreciate over 50,000 teachers who were recruited by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). I know there have been some arguments about the status of employment. Some say it is by contract, while others say that a few are on permanent and pensionable basis. That is neither here nor there. An employment by whichever means is an employment. I congratulate the Government for employing over 50,000 teachers. After all, all we needed was employment and teachers for our students in every part of the country. However, I disagree with the capitation for every student in the country. Wajir North and Daadab do not have the same environment for every learner like Nairobi. I cannot understand why capitation has been equalised when we are unequal in all the aspects of life. Universal healthcare is a move in the right direction. Until the Ajuran community are included in the Government, I believe that a commendable job done by this Government is not fully implemented. Wajir North is not part of this Government. We need to be, at least, accommodated in the Kenya Kwanza Government. Otherwise, in so far as the value of inclusion is concerned…
On a point of order.
Who is on a point of order? What is your point of order?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I am just concerned that you are giving too many opportunities to the other side. 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.
Order! The first basic rule you learn in Parliament is that you do not cast aspersions on the Speaker. Proceed, Hon. Biego, followed by Hon. Alice Ng’ang’a.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for protecting the House. I stand to give my voice on the President’s Speech. From where I sit, the President did a very good job. The Speech was okay.
Hon Biego, I will interrupt you. You will have your minutes. Take your seat.
Hon. Members, I wish to recognise the presence of Members of Parliament from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and staff from their parliaments.
The Members of Parliament from various commonwealth countries including Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe, United Kingdom and its territories, Asia and the Pacific, are seated in the Speaker’s Row and members of staff and other parliamentarians are seated at the back. Ordinarily in the olden days, when the Speaker was making this communication, he used to sit. Members of Parliament will be required to stand up to be recognised when called and when the Speaker is on his feet, everybody should freeze. So, you will not have an opportunity to stand to be recognised. I am, therefore, going to do this while I am sitting. Hon. Members, the Parliaments represented comprise The National Assembly of Gambia; the Parliament of Jamaica in the West Indies; National Assembly of the Kingdom of Lesotho; the States of Jersey Assembly...
Order, Hon. Members! Order, Hon. Kiborek! We have the Parliament of the New South Wales in Australia; Nova Scotia House of Assembly, this must be somewhere in Canada; Parliament of Sierra Leone; Parliament of Uganda, our neighbours; United Kingdom Parliament - the mother of Parliaments; the National Assembly of Zambia; and, Parliament of Kenya. I am sure Hon. Makali David is here. Let me finish my Communication first. A special mention of the Chairperson CPA, United Kingdom (UK) Branch, the Right Hon. Dame Maria Miller. I hope I have pronounced your name well. Welcome Madam Maria Miller.
Hon. Members, the delegation is attending a workshop on strengthening parliamentary action to address gender-based violence and modern slavery in supply chains. It is organised by the CPA, UK Branch in partnership with the National Assembly of Kenya.
Hon. Members, the main objective of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for parliamentarians and relevant stakeholders to consider and discuss from multiple perspectives including legislatively, culturally, socially and legally on how to collaborate better within their countries, with a view to ensuring an impactful process in ending modern slavery and gender- based violence in every nation in the Commonwealth. 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. Members, on my behalf, representing the Speaker of the National Assembly, that of Members of the National Assembly and CPA, Kenya Branch as a whole, I thank them for participating in the workshop and welcome them to Parliament. I wish them fruitful engagements during the workshop.
Hon. Members, I also take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in ensuring the success of this workshop including: the CPA, UK Branch; the Parliament of Kenya; various Commonwealth Parliamentarians; facilitators; resource persons; and, the secretariat from both the UK and Kenyan Parliaments. Your input and commitment have enabled the success of this workshop. Thank you very much.
I give an opportunity of exactly two minutes to a Member of CPA, Kenya Branch from National Assembly, Hon. (Dr) David Makali.
Thank you, very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to join you and my colleagues in welcoming Hon. Members from different countries, who came for this important workshop.
Hon. Members, this workshop is focusing on two issues. One, is parliamentary action addressed to gender-based violence and two, is modern day slavery in supply chains. Since yesterday, those delegates have engaged on those two topics. I want to report to this House that we have gone through very fruitful deliberations and Members are coming up with good proposals on how to address those two issues.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, once more, I thank the CPA, UK Branch and CPA, Kenya Branch for organising and hosting this important workshop. With those many remarks, I want to ask the delegates to continue deliberating, and at the same time, enjoy this country. Kenya is a very beautiful country. Create time to visit different areas and, more so, our national park, which is right at the centre of the City.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I submit.
Sorry, I forgot the Legislative Council of Saint Helena. You are most welcome. The Member for Chesumei, you can conclude your contribution on the President’s Address.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I rise to give my weight and comments on the Presidential Address. The President gave the State of the Nation Address as it is, unlike what other Members have said that he did not say much. I believe he covered a number of things and probably, the ones that were left out will be considered another time.
I am wondering because people who share the same political ideologies… I saw many good things in his Speech, especially the implementation and support of the five pillars of the Government’s plan, as outlined in our Manifesto of the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) 2022-2027. The main pillars are agriculture; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) economy; housing and settlement; improved healthcare which was promised to all Kenyan; and, digital superhighway and creative industry. I was happy to hear all of them being mentioned.
Of course, we are taking into account that the President and Kenya Kwanza Government are just one year in office. I heard somebody comparing it with the era of Moi, who ruled for 24 years. There is no comparison there! You cannot compare somebody who has served 24 years with one who has served for just one year. What I want people to see, and I do not know why we cannot see, is that the Hustler Fund has helped too many people and no other Government has ever done this. The exemplary performance of the Hustler Fund should be taken seriously because it is good.
Again, on the subsidised fertiliser, I come from an agricultural area and many farmers are happy with the subsidised fertiliser because it has boosted production. Again, it is worth noting that I went to Nyeri for a harambee and the area Member of Parliament told us 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.
housing programme houses are ready. I believe the affordable housing programme is up and running. This is commendable and our Government is doing well.
The establishment of the projected 25,000 free public Wi-Fi hotspots countrywide is something which caught my attention. We need to applaud the efforts by the President and his Government for the last one year. The creative sector has also been supported through the establishment of the Talanta Hela Programme. This is something that caught my attention and I was happy.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, as I wind up, I come from an area where farmers grow maize. The President categorically said that they have provided maize drying services at a fixed cost of Ksh70 per bag down from the previous Ksh350. The first consignment of 100 mobile dryers for use by farmers has docked into the country. I heard about all the achievements he has done in one year and I know in the next four years, Kenyans will see much more.
For productivity and better farm returns for dairy farmers, the Government is working very closely with relevant agencies to assist them. So, the issue of food security is well taken care of.
(Hon. Farah Maalim)
Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I beg to lay the following Papers: Reports of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on its consideration of: (a) The First Supplementary Estimates for FY 2023/2024; and, (b) The Amendments by the Senate on the County Governments Additional Allocations Bill (National Assembly Bill No.23 of 2023).
I thought you also wanted to contribute on the President’s Address to Parliament? Or, you are putting in the notice of Motion? Proceed and give the Notice of Motion.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion: THAT, this House adopts the report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee on the First Supplementary Estimates for FY 2023/2024 laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday 15th November 2023 and, pursuant to the provisions of Article 223 of the Constitution and Standing Order 243: 1. Approves an increment of the total recurrent expenditure of FY 2023/2024 by Ksh90,717,383,737 in respect of the votes as contained in the schedule. 2. Approves a decrease of the total capital expenditure for FY 2023/2024 by Ksh24,515,810,722 in respect of the votes as contained in the schedule. 3. Approves an overall increase in the total budget for FY 2023/2024 by Ksh66,201,573,015 in respect of the votes as contained in the schedule. 4. Resolves that the schedule forms the basis for the introduction of Supplementary Appropriations No.3 Bill of 2023. 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 Alice Ng’ang’a followed by Hon. Ndindi Nyoro and then Hon. Catherine Omanyo.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also rise to comment on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency President William Ruto. The Speech was short but to the point. The President addressed the critical issues of our nation. This is not to say that whatever he did not address is not important. What he did, he addressed the most crucial issues he promised when he was campaigning. In terms of affordable housing programme - and I am one of the beneficiaries - we have seen that 46,792 affordable housing are underway whereas 40,000 have already commenced, and moving forward many more are going to come up. Among the affordable housing we have the social housing that also takes place as well as the market category housing, for people to choose whatever they want or they are comfortable with or they are able to pay back or repay back. It is worth noting that many people have been suffering and that they would like to own homes, but they did not have an opportunity to do so. Now they have been given an opportunity to do it with a very good repayment package. I am encouraging all Kenyans, anybody who has ever wanted to own a house that they have an opportunity to do it, and thanks to the Kenya Kwanza Government. I would also not forget education. During this year’s Budget, the education sector was given a big amount of money to streamline it. Not forgetting that in the history of Kenya, this is the only time we have hired very many teachers at a go. When the Kenya Kwanza Government took over, we found that the new system had a challenge and it was streamlined. I mean the CBC. We have the Junior Secondary School (JSS). Right now, the ones in Grade Seven are headed to Grade Eight and that is why we are partnering with the Ministry of Education, through the NG-CDF, to build more classrooms for JSS. It is doing quite well and with the partnership of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), I am very sure by the time they will be in Grade Nine, the classrooms will be ready. Thanks to the Kenya Kwanza Government. I know the President did not touch on issues of the elderly, but I want to state that they are well taken care of. We did registration in September and they were all registered. In January, they will be receiving their dues. We have streamlined the Inua Jamii Programme. Under the Kenya Kwanza Government, the Inua Jamii Programme is receiving money before any other civil servant has received the money and that is an achievement. I also want to say that the ICT hubs will be in every ward. Every ward of this Republic of Kenya will have an ICT hub where our young men and women can go with their innovation and make a livelihood for themselves. This is an achievement too. I know my time is up but not yet... I also want to commend the Hustler Fund; it is a success story where Ksh6.6 billion has been borrowed.
Hon. Ndindi Nyoro.
Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I rise to laud the very articulate State of the Nation Address that was well articulated by the President. The entire Speech of the President was laced with realism on how we are, and how we are doing as an economy. I thank the President for not painting misplaced optimism on how things are. This is because part of the leadership is to talk straight and talking straight is to tell the truth. The President addressed the nation on the reality of matters and, of course, also showing the direction which we are taking. First of all, I would like to talk about the micro economy which the President referred to. There are two perspectives in the measure of the economy. One is the economy of the pocket, which includes the cost of living and other things that affect Kenyans directly, while the other is the macro-economy. I want to agree with the President that we are burning 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.
midnight oil, but there is a lot of room for improvement. We are doing what we can to ensure that the cost of living is commensurate with the macro-economy. Beyond the hardships in the economy, leaders also need to associate with reality. The macro-economy in Kenya is actually doing well compared to other nations of the world. Those are the facts which are not just generated by a regime, but also by international bodies like the IMF and the World Bank. Quoting data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), which is buttressed by data from IMF and the World Bank, I will use two parameters, that is, inflation and economic growth, to show that Kenya is doing better than it appears. In comparing Kenya’s economic growth to other nations, in the first quarter of 2023, Kenya’s real GDP grew by 5.3 per cent while the nominal GDP grew by a much higher rate. In the second quarter of 2023, Kenya’s GDP grew by the same rate. According to data by World Bank and IMF, Kenya was the 29th fastest growing economy in the world. Those are existing facts. The entire world has been faced with increased inflationary pressures. In comparing Kenya’s inflation now and before, we were almost cruising into double digits. Currently, Kenya’s inflation is within our own benchmark of 5 per cent. We are doing fairly well at the current rate of less than 7 per cent. Food inflation has also reduced but its advantages are being weighed down by inflation on fuel, which we are doing our best to stabilise. On agriculture, the policy on fertiliser is working very well. Kenya is likely to have the best harvest ever this season. We are anticipating over 45 million bags of maize in one season. All the other previous regimes...
Being a ranking Member, I have the discretion of giving you an additional minute.
Thank you. On education, all the other previous regimes feared implementing the CBC because of its expense and complexity. We thought it is not right to continue postponing a good thing, which is why it is already working. Tomorrow, I will be enumerating the measures we have taken with regard to Supplementary Estimates. I want to assure Kenyans that we are sufficiently funding our education sector because it polishes and adds value to our human capital. I thank the President and laud him for an articulate and best Address so far.
Next is Hon. Catherine Omanyo, followed by the Woman Representative for Kirinyaga County and Hon. Amina Mnyazi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I appreciate this opportunity to discuss or give my opinion on the President's Speech. Most of it was like throwing a mare’s nest on Kenyans, because we heard a lot of non-factual information. I have heard people’s praises, especially on fertilisers, but who was given the mandate to supply the fertiliser? He might have been given a very beautiful report after the fertiliser was supplied, but the truth is that real farmers are buying the fertiliser. If it was for the benefit of farmers, some of them, especially in Busia, did not even understand the procedure or who was handling the programme. If the bottom-up economic model must work in future, there are village elders, Nyumba Kumi administrators and chiefs who understand and know where the real farmers are. I remain optimistic, but we should not lie that very soon the poverty will be reduced or done away with. To continue poking the bubble, the nation is being over-taxed. Every so often, we wake up to a surprise of new taxes; dodgy or crafty means are being used. At the airport, Kenyans and visitors are in shock. It is staggering that it has taken too long for someone to take stern action to stop those dodgy means of taxing people. You cannot tax people until you see them bleed to death. A true leader will protect their people as opposed to leading them to graves. If that is the case, I do not want to be one of the people who are going to die. 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 also mentioned that he has been employing people, but it does not reflect the true face of Kenya. There are a few tribes that benefit more than every other tribe in Kenya. I, therefore, wonder: Do we have seat fillers and others who truly deserve a chance to live in this nation? If all tribes matter, including Wajir, Turkana or a small village called Ateret in Teso North, then we should see all regions represented in all the vacancies advertised.
On a point of order.
What is your point of order, Hon. Julius Rutto?
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker. The Standing Orders of this honourable House provide that whenever you make a statement that carries weighty matters, it has to be substantiated. On matters employment, the Member before us should be clear for Kenyans to follow. Who does not know that this is the only Government that has brought...
Order, Hon. Rutto. It is not a specific claim on a Ministry or individual. It is a very general statement. The circumstances in the House allow candour and banter. Hon. Omanyo, you may proceed.
Thank you. Some people are idle and are trying to seem to be participating. I am not forcing anyone to agree with me. This is about what I took in. If it did not go well with what I know or how I see things, he should not come to correct me.
On a point of order, Hon Temporary Speaker
Who is that Hon. Member at the end there rising on a point of order?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, the Member is referring to “some people” in this House. What we know is that all the Members of Parliament are democratically elected. Is she in order to refer to Member of Parliament as “some people"?
Order! The rules for substantiation are very clear. When you make specific complains or claims, you are supposed to substantiate. However, when a Member makes general complaints like the economy is not doing well or there is an element of nepotism somewhere, he cannot be asked to substantiate. If a Member claims that such and such a Ministry or so and so recruited people on the basis of nepotism, then he has to substantiate that. You cannot cast aspersions on an institution of Government except in generalities. Proceed.
Thank you, Temporary Speaker. When I heard the President giving more and more hope whereas some things had not been fulfilled, in my mind, I thought he should have, at least, done the things he promised without promising more. A time is coming when the President will be talking and we will not take anything that he says seriously. It is now becoming a common practise for the President to talk on El Nino rains, fertilisers and petrol whenever he stands somewhere to talk to citizens. We have to trust our President. If he continues to say things that are not factual, then anytime he will say anything, we will know that it is coming from a point of lies. Thank you.
Hon. Owen Baya, you are on a point of order.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I know as you sit on that Chair, you carry with you a virtue of always desiring to maintain the decorum and respect of this House. The tradition and practise in the Commonwealth, the Westminster and in this Parliament is that you cannot say that someone lied or is telling lies in the House. That last 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.
statement from Hon. Catherine Omanyo is unfortunate. We have said it here time and again that even though one could be a new Member, he or she should learn faster. We can forgive a Member for being slow…
Order, Hon. Baya! You have made your point.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, it is important that she withdraws that remark.
Order, Hon. Baya! The Chair has taken note of your sentiments. Order! We will not degenerate to name-calling that you want. Yes, there are certain words that are not parliamentary. For example, “lying” is not parliamentary, especially when you are referring to a fellow Member of Parliament or a Minister. You can use a more decent and civil word like “misleading.”
Order! You are not on the Chair.
Hon. Members, I will still implore you that this is our business. This is our institution. This august House is where we are all Members of Parliament. Let us protect the dignity of our institution by avoiding language that is essentially unparliamentary. Proceed, Hon. Njeri Maina.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for indulging the new Members. Indeed, we are learning and learning in good speed. I want to laud the President for his very pragmatic Speech. The President spoke about the reforms in the coffee sector that were championed by our Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua. He said that we have already ensured that there is Ksh4 billion from the Coffee Cherry Fund so that we can secure the interest of our farmers. I come from Kirinyaga County and I am a product of the proceeds of coffee farming. Therefore, I laud the President for having delivered on his mandate and promise to the people of Kirinyaga County. The President also spoke about the measures of safeguarding and ensuring that there is food security in this nation. From the last Budget that we passed up to this point, we have put in Ksh5 billion for the subsidised fertiliser programme. Several Members here have alluded to the fact that the subsidised fertiliser has not been reaching their constituencies. I will speak on behalf of the people of Kirinyaga. I took the initiative of ensuring that we secure over 100,000 bags of fertiliser and I oversaw the distribution of the same in Kirinyaga County with Senator James Murango. I laud the President for increasing funding for the JSS. However, I want to insist that we still have glaring inequalities in terms of education infrastructure. We must ensure that every child has access to basic education. The President spoke about the affordable housing programme. I can say that it is a momentous and life-changing initiative by the Kenya Kwanza Government. Yesterday, I visited the affordable housing programme in Gichugu Constituency, Kirinyaga County. The cashflow in the community, the economic impact and job creation that has happened is commendable. I commend the President with regard to the universal healthcare coverage. He has ensured that we have community health service providers to bridge the gap of access to health care services in this nation. 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 take note that we have challenges. I want to speak on the plight of the young people in this nation. I have thousands of applications in my inbox from young people. The Government, still has a lot to do in terms of ensuring that we have a healthy environment that can enable job creation and for doing business. We always wait on our young people because they are qualified. The young people of this nation form more than 50 percent of the populace and they deserve to have a share in the resources of this nation. In terms of job creation, I want to urge the Government – which I am part of – to constantly ensure that we create job opportunities for the young people in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Government should also create opportunities in business and facilitate access to finance. Thank you for giving me this opportunity and may God bless this nation.
Hon. Mnyazi Amina. Now that I have given you an opportunity, you will be followed by Hon. Nabwera Nabii and then Hon. Kawanjiku John.
Ahsante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Ningependa nami nitoe sauti yangu kuhusu Hotuba ya Rais aliyotoa hivi majuzi. Kuanzia wakati nilipokuwa mtoto mpaka umri huu ambao nimefika, katika mila na desturi za Wakenya, Rais anapotaka kutoa hotuba, huwa sote tuko juu juu. Raha huwa ziko juu na kila mtu hutaka kusikia ni maneno gani au mipango ipi aliyo nayo Rais kwa nchi yetu. Cha kustaajabisha ni kuwa, katika Hotuba aliyotoa Rais juzi, watu wengi walikuwa hawana interest ya kuisikiza kwa sababu maneno ambayo tulielezwa katika Bunge la Taifa ni yale yale maneno ambayo Wakenya husikia kila siku wamuonapo Rais amesimama juu ya gari akiwahutubia watu barabarani. Hiyo ndiyo maana sijaona tofauti ya yale maneno ambayo sisi husikia mitaani na yale ambayo Rais alizungumza katika Hotuba yake.
La pili, Mhe. Spika wa Muda, ni mengi ambayo Rais alizungumzia. Kuna mazuri hapo ndani. Vile vile, ni lazima tukashifu pale ambapo tunaona kuna mambo ambayo hayako sawa. Kitu ambacho nitaunga wenzangu mkono ni kuhusu hili suala la Hustler Fund. Imenishangaza na mpaka dakika hii, nimepigwa na butwaa kusikia kwamba kuna mtu amepata Ksh4,500,000. Labda, ningepata namba ya simu ya huyo mtu ili nihakikishe kwa sababu sitaki kuita mtu mwongo. Hii Kenya tunayoishi, dakika hii, mtu yeyote anayeweza kupata Ksh4,500,000 kwa kupitia Hustler Fund, nina hakika habari ingekuwa imesambaa katika mitandao yote na kila mtu angekuwa ameiona. Ninataka kuhakikisha tu. Sijaita mtu mwongo.
Tukiendelea mbele, maanake Mhe. Rais mbali na Hustler Fund, alitaja mambo mengi hapa kuhusu wakulima. Alisema yeye mwenyewe hupigia hao watu simu. Ningependa hilo jukumu liwe letu sisi kama Wabunge. Tupigie watu simu na tuwaulize kwamba leo hii kuna fertiliser imepunguzwa bei kutoka shilingi 6,500 hadi shilingi 2,500. Je, huo ni ukweli? Lakini, wewe ambaye unafanya mtihani, huwezi kuitunga. Ninaona hilo jukumu lingekuwa ni letu sisi.
Kitu kingine ambacho ningependelea kiweze kuongelewa zaidi ni kuhusu gharama ya maisha. Hili sasa ni donda sugu katika Kenya yetu. Hili ni jambo ambalo tumelizungumza na kulikariri zaidi ya mara moja. Sikusikia jambo lolote kuhusu mafuta yetu kushukishwa bei. Sasa hapo ndipo donda sugu la matatizo ya Kenya yanapoanza. Sijasikia chochote kuhusu stima na kama itashukishwa bei. Tukisema gharama ya maisha imepanda, hatumaanishi kwamba ni unga wa sima peke yake. Tunamaanisha bei ya chakula, stima, maji na karo ya watoto wetu shuleni iweze kushukishwa. Kwa hivyo, kama Hotuba ya Rais ingekuwa imeangazia zaidi kuhusu masuala ya mafuta, maji na stima, ningekuwa mtu mwenye furaha kabisa.
Kwa kumalizia, kama vile dada yangu alizungumza hapa kuhusu ugawaji wa kazi, mimi ninatoka Malindi, Kaunti ya Kilifi, sehemu ya Pwani. Watu wengi ninaowakilisha kule ni Wamijikenda. Ninataka nikuhakikishie, katika huu mwaka mmoja nimekuwa katika hili Bunge, idadi ya wale watu wangu ninaowakilisha walioajiriwa kazi ni dogo sana. Kwa hivyo, 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.
pasipo kuwa na usawa katika ugawaji wa kazi, sisi kama Wakenya bado tunajikuta katika mahali pabaya.
Ahsante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. A very long, lofty in words and, as usual, full of promises was the Speech that we were treated to here.
The Constitution requires the President on that particular day to address himself on what he has achieved in realising national values in the country. It is very clear that the values we espouse in this country are patriotism, participation of the people, rule of law, equity, human rights, non-discrimination, human dignity, among others.
The problem I have with the President’s Speech is that he was unable to recognise the fact that the country is facing an impending collapse of the education system because of the following: Non-release of capitation money as given in the Budget, failure to have enough teachers to handle JSS as we move into the second class in January, lack of over 6,000 classrooms and zero resource centres in JSS.
I am even more worried because the President did not recognise the fact that his Cabinet Secretary is overseeing the discrimination in the roads sector in this country. He is allocating funds from the Fuel Levy discriminatively to some sub-counties at the expense of others. We are aware that he allocated Ksh300 million to one sub-county and zero to another. I am even worried because the President did not recognise insecurity in this country. Which human dignity are we talking about when a woman in Matunda, Likuyani Sub-County, cannot do business at 7 p.m.? A young boda rider in Lugari, whom they usually refer to as hustler, cannot go around with his business because he will be shot by people in a country where we have taken an oath to protect our people.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, do you know as we are here and as Members praise the President’s Speech, we have people who cannot afford a meal in their houses? Do you know that I was taken by surprise and in shock when I heard that a gorogoro of maize costs Ksh60? Where does it cost that in this country so that I can go and buy for my people? They are dying because there is no food. As we stand here to speak, we are having a glare at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) where employment is based on tribe. For you to qualify to join, you must belong to a particular tribe. Is that what our national values talk about? The answer is no. Therefore, I give the President’s Speech a D+. Thank you.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
I will give the opportunity to Hon. Kawanjiku. You cannot rise on a point of order when there is nobody on the Floor. Proceed, Hon. Kawanjiku.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. As I take this opportunity to talk about the President’s Speech, I also want to tell my friend, Hon. Nabii, that if a gorogoro of maize is not being sold at Ksh60 in his constituency, he should visit Uasin Gishu County or any of our constituencies. It is all over. It is good to substantiate whenever you are giving out substantive information. 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 addressed the nation. I can confirm that most of what he talked about was the preparation to take our nation to the next level. He talked about debt that has really choked this country. It is good for our friends from the Minority Party to appreciate where this nation is. We need a lot of intervention across the board. I agree that there is a lot of political goodwill. If you look at what the President and former Prime Minister are doing in bilateral talks, they are trying to bring our nation back to track. When we took over from the last regime, this country was really messed up by the handshake brothers. The debt is choking our nation. The President confirmed that almost Ksh500 billions of our national revenue that we are collecting will pay debts. We must also appreciate that there are a lot of external forces when our Kenya shilling is not doing well. I sit in the Budget and Appropriations Committee. We had to re-allocate funds. We had to do what you call budget cuts for us to take care of interest rates that have increased by about Ksh150 billion. We did not take a loan. We did not borrow. Due to inflation and fluctuations of the Kenya Shilling, we are losing to the tune of about Ksh40 billion almost every day our shilling loses value against the dollar. We have many responsibilities and yet, we must honour our international obligations of paying our debt. We congratulate the President because he has said we cannot continue to borrow and that we must look for ways and means to sustain ourselves as a nation. On top of that, he brought the subsidies. I want to correct the Member who said there is no fertiliser of Ksh2,500. That fertiliser is even in my constituency. I am a farmer. I am learning how to farm because we must do what we call collective responsibility. We must help the President make sure we sustain ourselves with food security in our nation, even if it is in our small farms of 100 by 100. I bought the fertiliser at Ksh2,500 even as a serving Member of Parliament. I bought it in my Kiambaa Constituency. I can even help her to access the Ksh2,500 fertiliser if she does not have it. It is ignorance of the highest order if she does not want to access the fertiliser. It is misleading to say that the fertiliser is still at Ksh6,500. As you are aware, we are expecting to have a bumper harvest for the first time. This is because we agreed that we were not going to do subsidies in consumption but in production. The subsidised fertiliser is to the tune of about 50 million bags. For the first time, we are certain that our country will attain food security reserves in the next year. He talked about Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions (TVETs). He stated that we must make sure to increase the number of TVETs in all constituencies. He also talked about Kenya Medical Training Colleges (KMTCs) and universal health. After you have gotten food to eat at any time of the day, the next big thing is your health. We appreciate what the President and the Executive are doing to re-organise the health sector and make sure hustlers access healthcare. Even if you do not have money to pay for the NHIF, the Government will pay so that you can access healthcare services every time you go to a hospital. The Government has done some of those interventions to make sure we take care of our people at the end of the day. The Hustler Fund is there. Whoever is saying that you cannot borrow Ksh4 million is misleading.
Hon. Kiborek, followed by Hon. Oyula and Hon. Rebecca Tonkei. Proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I stand here to give credit to the President. Our President was elected at such a difficult time. We can equate this time to the time the then Queen appointed Winston Churchill into office. He addressed the House of Commons during such a difficult time. Churchill said that his was a time of blood, toil, tears and sweat. We can equate this with our situation in Kenya. President William Ruto was elected to office at a time when our economy was facing depression. We were going through a downturn of the economic curve. The President came in The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
handy to resuscitate our economy which was not doing well. He has done his bit; he is still doing his bit. Only that it is easy to criticise the man in the arena, as it was once said. All those Members here come from constituencies. They are criticised when constituents feel they are not doing good. However, they know the efforts they are making. It is very difficult to govern when there is an economic crisis. The President made a deliberate move to put about 27 per cent of our Budget into the key issue of education. He was elected when the CBC was about to take off. He has done his best to put CBC on the right path. He has employed 56,000 teachers. That has never been seen in this country. We applaud the President for that because education is the foundation of our country’s economic growth. The President did well on healthcare matters. I sit in the Departmental Committee on Health. We have come up with three to four Bills, the Social Health Insurance Fund, the Primary Healthcare Fund and the Emergency Chronic and Critical Illness Fund. That will bring our economy back and do radical reforms to it. As one who sits in the Departmental Committee on Health, I can assure you our healthcare system will have changed in the next 10 or so months. There will be a paradigm shift from how we used to do things in this country. He brought about 100,000 Community Health Promoters (CHPs) who will go a long way in identifying and solving disease issues at the primary healthcare level. Since the time of COVID-19, the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) has been facing a downturn. It has been in a total crisis and problems. The President, in his wisdom, came up with a plan to resuscitate and bring back KEMSA. It will supply drugs to our hospitals and make our healthcare system run smoothly. We commend the team at KEMSA and the President. In the Budget, the President increased the allocation to KEMSA. That is so that it picks up from where it was to serve this country well. Cattle rustling is a very serious challenge in the northern part of the country where I come from. We commend the President. He is on a journey to silence the guns that have been terrorising our people. He spoke well about it. His formula seems to be bearing fruit. We tell the President that we support him. As Kenyans of goodwill who love peace, we have to stand with him so that he brings to an end the menace of insecurity that has been in this country since Independence. Some of the Members here who come from towns and areas where there is no agriculture do not know the impact the fertiliser subsidy has brought to this country. We encourage and commend the President for what he has done to subsidise fertiliser and transform agriculture in our country. The President is a President at a time when there is no other leader who could have taken Kenya through the challenges we are facing. Had we got the handshake brothers, this country would be a banana republic. Thanks to the genius of Hon. William Ruto, he has kept the country going. He removed the country from the economic cliff it was facing courtesy of the handshake brothers. Today we have seen that they constructed a leaking airport. It is a shame how the handshake brothers ruled this country in the past three years. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Okay. Is Hon. Tonkei next? Yes, Hon. Oyula. Hon. Tonkei then Hon. Jessica Mbalu and the Member of Parliament for Magarini will follow you. We will go in that order.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment on the presidential Speech. The President started his Speech very well. He identified the key economic problems the nation was facing. Those were external shocks, fiscal distress and structural imbalances. You start by identifying the problems you face. The President did very well. He identified the problems and expounded the key thrusts of his economic agenda. The key areas of his economic 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.
agenda covered expanding agricultural production to deal with the cost of living. We are all talking about the cost of living. The President was very clear that agricultural production will help reduce the high cost of living. He went on to talk about affordable housing, increasing jobs and a dignified living. The President also talked about Universal Health Care, which is very important for this country since many people in the rural areas have many health problems. He talked about digital transformation for job creation and efficient access to Government services, which will help the youth of this country to search for jobs and communicate freely with others.
The President then shifted to Kenya’s debt situation. He mentioned that the Government will pay off part of the Eurobond loan to the tune of about Ksh300 million starting this December, which is an assurance that our debt situation will be reduced because the Eurobond has been one of the biggest problems for this country.
The President’s Speech dwelt a lot on the transformation agenda. Transformation can be very costly and painful, therefore, it is important for Kenyans to accept to go through this current painful situation in order to transition from a bad economy to better living standards.
The President mentioned issues that affect Kenyans throughout his Speech, but that did not clear up the situation as was expected by Kenyans. The education sector is still contaminated with a lot of corruption, which needs to be looked into urgently. That sector needs to balance the deployment of teachers across the country.
Hon. Rebecca Tonkei.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the President’s Speech, which was delivered on Thursday, last week. I want to congratulate the President for the State of the Nation Address, which captured what the Kenya Kwanza Government has done in its first year. I am a Member of the Departmental Committee on Education. I want to congratulate the President for employing 56,750 new teachers and training 8,200 primary school teachers for junior secondary schools. This is the first time that teachers from Narok County have had an opportunity to be employed. The new rule that was adopted by the TSC at the suggestion of the Departmental Committee on Education ensured that trained teachers in Narok County were employed. The Member who said that our people do not get opportunities for employment was not truthful. Every county had an opportunity to employ teachers. The revised entry requirements for teacher trainees has seen an increase of 300 per cent in enrolment in teachers training colleges. I am a witness. Narok County had low enrolment levels at the Narok Teachers Training College, where there were more tutors than students. There are currently 20,456 teacher trainees in teacher training colleges.
The healthcare laws that we passed will be a milestone for Kenyans. The reduction of the contribution amount from Ksh500 to Ksh300 is a gain for all Kenyans, especially those who could not afford to contribute Ksh500. We are all aware as politicians that we hold many harambees to cater for medical expenses of our ailing constituents. Our people will get medical insurance with the new healthcare coverage programme, and we will move a step ahead as Kenyans. This will help the common mwananchi.
The Hustler Fund, which was effected by the Kenya Kwanza Government, has helped Kenyans. We are aware that many Kenyans have been able to access the Fund to engage in their day-to-day business. Sometimes people want to engage in business but they lack financial support. With the Hustler Fund, our people can get money to do business and refund the money.
The first achievement of the Kenya Kwanza Government was the appointment of six judges, whom the previous administration had refused to appoint due to impunity. The President appointed those judges and enhanced the allocation to the Judiciary by Ksh3 billion, which will facilitate it to serve us better.
I support the President. He did very well. 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.
Next is Hon. Jessica Mbalu, who will be followed by the Member for Magarini, Hon. Kemei of Kericho County and then Hon. Rutto Julius. Proceed in that order.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for allowing me to contribute to the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya. Before I critique the Speech, I must say that the President did well to appear before Parliament and to appreciate Members of Parliament as democratically elected representatives of the people. We are represented by Members of Parliament from different constituencies, who are democratically elected.
The President said that he had a substantial report to give on the progress made in fulfilling his solemn covenant. I was in Parliament to get the gist of what he was coming to do. He was supposed to take us through the measures taken by his Government, under his leadership, to give full expression and effect to the soul of our constitutional dispensation. He gave a very detailed Speech, which was just about his policies. His detailed Speech touched on his vision and dream. However, I expected the President to give us a scorecard of his achievements one year after taking office. What has he achieved in terms of employment from 13th September 2022, when he was sworn into office, to 9th October 2023, when he gave his Speech? How many youths has he employed? Are there numbers that can be substantiated? Hon. Temporary Speaker, in terms of infrastructure, because his Government is still in the vision, mission and the dreaming part of it, I expected the President to give a report of the evaluation and monitoring of the works that they have undertaken in the last one year. These are some of his policies and I am sure he was not just speaking to us but also to other constituencies. How many kilometres of road has been tarmacked in Kibwezi East? Those are the ones that he really knows because he has been in the Government for long. How many kilometres of road have been tarmacked in Mukurweini, Kajiado and other places? That is the scorecard that we expected. The common mwananchi was listening to us as the representatives of the people.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
What is your point of order, Hon. Tonkei? And it better be a serious point of order.
Yes, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Is the Member in order to say that the President was not able to substantiate the number of youths he has employed, and that he did not give his scorecard yet the President gave his scorecard for the whole year? The number of teachers…
Order, Hon. Tonkei Rebecca.
Thank you. This is my 13th year in this Parliament.
The President is a public property. He is the President of the Republic of Kenya and these things are policy matters and people have their different opinions. This is a House of opinions. You might not necessarily agree with that lady, but when you get your opportunity, give me your scorecard in the manner that you want it. You should allow everybody to give their opinions. However irrelevant you think some opinions are, they are still allowed. Those are the rules of democracy. Proceed.
I have been in this House for 13 years. We have had different speeches and I am able to differentiate between a good speech and a bad one. I am not here to say that the President’s Speech was bad. I am just saying what was supposed to be done at the stage of his vision and mission for the country. I want to tell the Members of Kenya Kwanza that the President is not only for them. When we are elected, we represent our constituents, but in our oversight role, we must tell the President what he is 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.
supposed to do. I want to advise him to look at his advisory team and ensure that they do better. When it comes to the scorecard from 13th September 2022 to 9th October 2023, my people want to hear the number of electricity connectivity in the last month. How many people have been able to get electricity in Kibwezi and Makueni constituencies? People were expecting to hear something on the cost of living. That is what he should have done, but he might do it in his next speech. How has he dealt with the cost of living? People are crying. How has he dealt with the fuel cost? We do not want a situation where they increase fuel prices and then play with our money. How many tittle deeds have been issued? If it is Makueni County, how many titles have been issued and from what year? In the water sector, how many families have been able to get water? He talked about employment of 56, 000 teachers, but those are very few. How many teachers have been employed and trained? We expected to have more than 150,000. That is what we call a scorecard. When it comes to education infrastructure, what have they done? In this Parliament, we have seen what the NG- CDF has done. How may classes have been built?
Let us have the Member of Parliament for Magarini followed by Hon. Kemei, Hon. Rutto and the Members for Lamu East and Kitutu Chache Constituencies. Is Hon. Japheth there? Proceed in that order and then I will give the next round. Proceed.
Asante, Mhe. Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa fursa hii kuchangia Hoja kuhusu Hotuba ya Rais. Ninampongeza Mhe. Rais kwa Hotuba yake ambayo imeangazia mambo mengi ambayo ameyatenda pamoja na utawala wake. Nikiangalia suala la walimu, kitu ambacho hakikuenda sawa ni ugawanyaji wa hawa walimu 56,000. Wangegawanywa sawa kwa yale maeneo Bunge 290. Eneo Bunge moja lingeweza kupata walimu 180 na kuzidi. Kwa baadhi yetu ambao tuna uhaba zaidi, tungeweza kukimu sehemu hiyo ya elimu. Tukizingatia usawa wa nafasi za kazi, ni muhimu siku za usoni nafasi zote iwapo ni kwa Idhara za Usalama na Huduma za Taifa zigawanywe kwa maeneo bunge na hapo tutasaidika zaidi. Ninampongeza Rais kwa uamuzi kwamba wale vijana ambao wanaenda kwa Huduma ya Taifa, wanapohitimu masomo, wapewe nafasi za kwanza kuajiriwa katika vikosi vya usalama humu nchini. Hilo ni jambo la kusaidia kwa maana ukiwaangalia hawa vijana, hawapati chochote lakini wanajitolea katika nyanja zote kuona kwamba wanahudumia taifa hili bila kuogopa, wasiwasi na hata bila kujali maslahi yao. Hatua hiyo ya Rais inastahili kupongezwa. Mradi huu wa nyumba zenye gharama nafuu unastahili kupongezwa tukizingatia kwamba tuko na wakati mgumu kabisa kiuchumi lakini Rais anajizatiti kuona miradi hii inaendelea. Ametupa matumaini watu wa Magarini kwamba hivi karibuni mradi huu utatufikia. Ni tamaa yetu kwamba mradi huu unapofika, tutabuni nafasi za kazi, na kupata makao kwa wale ambao hawawezi kupata nyumba za bei nafuu na kuishi katika mazingira mazuri. Kwa hakika Mheshimiwa Rais yuko na maono mazuri kwa nchi hii. Tatizo ni kwamba baadhi yetu sisi wananchi wa Kenya hatuna maono aliyonayo wala hatuwezi kuyaangazia kwa undani tukajua amelenga wapi. Tusikose kufahamu kwamba panapo mawimbi mazito ndipo palipo na mla. Mla ni mla leo, mla jana kalani? Hilo ndilo linatusumbua sisi. Tunataka kila kitu kifanyike sawasawa bila wasiwasi wowote kwa wakati ambao hata hauwezekani. Lazima tuwe na wakati mzuri wa kupea nchi kupona. Kufikia hivi sasa, nchi imeanza kupona polepole. Kwa Kiingereza tunasema: ‘ The country is now healing and we need to give it time.’
Asante . As part of the rules, if you start with English, you must end with English. If you are too comfortable with Kiswahili, then you must do the whole presentation in Kiswahili. We will have Hon. Kemei followed by the Member for Kitutu Chache. We can then have the Member for Kesses, Hon. Rutto and proceed 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.
like that. I will thereafter call out a second round and I think most of you will have had a chance to say something on the President’s Address. Proceed, Hon. Kemei.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to speak on the President’s Speech. From the outset, I appreciate it because it was on point, accurate and impacts our future. I want to specifically speak on some areas. Let me start with agriculture. We have reforms in the coffee, tea, milk and sugar sectors which I appreciate. I come from Kericho County where we grow coffee, tea, milk and sugarcane not forgetting horticultural crops like avocados. At the moment, we have food security because of subsidised fertiliser. In Kericho, we grow a lot of maize because it our staple food, so there is enough unga . Those who are not sure whether a gorogoro is selling between Ksh60 and 75, should visit Kericho and Trans Nzoia to buy. My only concern is that the prices should not go below this, since farmers need to make profit from their produce. The subsidised fertiliser is well distributed. I plead with the chiefs to ensure it is fairly distributed and gets to the people on time. So, they do not move up and down for it.
Although, in his Speech the President did not mention tea, the reforms in this sector are being seen. For example, the tea and coffee bonuses were given and there was an increase in the farmers pockets which they appreciated. Regarding the milk sector, in his Speech he talked about having coolers to boost its quality. I pray for the milk prices to rise so farmers do not get less than Ksh50 per litre.
On health matters, I appreciate the UHC. The CHPs will be visiting and treating patients which is a plus for us because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. The employment of 200,000 new health workers is a plus because their families will have a source of income.
On savings, the saving culture has been embraced. That is why the NSSF has grown by 6.5 per cent and I appreciate. The Hustler Fund where most hustlers borrow and repay is a plus to us. In the education sector, employment of 56,000 plus teachers is something which has never been done before. Therefore, I ask Kenyans to be patient because the cost of living will go down. I believe in next year’s speech the economic situation will have improved.
Proceed Hon. Julius Rutto.
Thank you, very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to also contribute on the President’s Address on the State of the Nation. Let me start by saying that if there is a man who has proven to be man enough to tackle the problems Kenyans are facing, it is the President of the Republic of Kenya. He did not give a speech full of cosmetic promises and words to please us. He came out candidly to express the confidence and trust which Kenyans have in him. He told them the reality, that we are facing a dire and tough economic situation. Not only generated from within our nation but from external economic politics of the world which are seriously affecting us. This is by virtue, that more than 70 per cent of our consumption is from imports which are affected by inflation. We appreciate that the United States of America (USA) is working on their economic challenges like inflation. The Federal Reserve is working on their monetary policy to ensure they mop back all their dollars outside their economy. This has affected us because we use dollars when importing. That is why the cost of living is high.
We also appreciate that Germany and Japan are now working on their recession. Generally, across the world there is a serious recession going on and Kenya is not exceptional. I ask my colleagues on the other side of the Chamber to stop castigating and opposing what the President said during the State of the Nation Address. I want to remind them that his Speech 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.
was not about promises but an account of what he has done in the country to turn the economy around.
Kenya is not endowed with minerals, so we cannot speak of an economy dependant on mineral exportation. Right now, tourism is facing many challenges. The manufacturing sector was killed over time. In the milk sector, we have witnessed that we rely on powder milk from foreign countries which is converted into liquid form and it has affected our prices. The only sector which the President said is on the right direction is production and agriculture. This has reduced the dependence we had in the last few months, on importation of staple food like maize. To an extent our Cabinet Secretary travelled out of the country in pursuit of land to plant maize to feed the country. You will agree with me that any nation planning to feed its people from importation is doomed to fail. I want to appreciate the President for pronouncing a reduction in fertiliser and farm input prices. As we speak now, production of maize in the region where I come from is estimated to have grown by more than 40 million bags compared to the previous financial period. In essence, this means Kenyans will feed on their own maize production. This will absolve the aspect of importation inflation from foreign countries and create employment. Now, we can see value addition becoming a discussion after production. On the livestock and fisheries sectors, the President confirmed that along the coastal strip, we have 22 landing points for fish collection. This reduces our earlier dependence on imported fish from China which is our staple food and alternative protein. Doctors always prefer people to eat white meat instead of red meat. The President has sorted this by increasing the domestic fish market which has created employment. Also, to an extent of exporting fish for purposes of competing with the world. We are endowed because we are not land locked and have the advantage of utilising the ocean. On the aspect of employment and education sector, I heard a Member say that the President has not demonstrated what he has done. Employing 56,000 teachers in the Republic of Kenya in less than one year is a fact and not a promise. Employing askaris and jeshi from NYS is a fact and not a promise. Employing over 100,000…
Next is Hon. Ruweida. What happened to the Member of Parliament for Kitutu Chache North? Okay, Hon. Ruweida you may proceed. Hon. Nyakundi will be next after you.
Asante Bw. Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipatia nafasi. Nilifurahia sana Hotuba ya Rais. Rais hakutupea dawa ya kutuliza maumivu, yaani ruuku; bali alipeana dawa ya kutibu ugonjwa. Dawa ya ruuku, au ukipenda painkiller, inatumika kutuliza maumivu kidogo, ugonjwa ungalipo. Rais anajua kwamba Kenya inaugua wapi na hataki kutupatia dawa ya kutuliza maumivu bali anataka kututibu. Saa hii ni wakati wake wa kutibu ugonjwa. Kiongozi lazima atibu ugonjwa na sio kuubembeleza. Rais ameweka mikakati mizuri ya kutibu ugonjwa huu. Nilifurahia zaidi Rais alipotaja jamii zilizotengwa. Alisema mengi lakini la muhimu sana ni swala la mifugo. Tunaona kuwa Rais anazingatia masilahi yetu kwa sababu wakati mwingine, sehemu zingine zinapotajwa, wengine wanaumwa sana. Hii inaonyesha kuwa kuna kasoro kati yetu; hatuchukuliani kama Wakenya sote. Lakini Rais alitoa msimamo kuwa Wakenya wote ni Wakenya. Maswala ya mifugo ikitiliwa maanani basi uchumi utaimarika katika maeneo yaliyotengwa. Rais pia ameanza kutenda anayosema. Wiki iliyopita, tulimwona akitembelea jamii zilizotengwa na pia anatimiza ahadi zake. Kwa mfano, ameanzisha ujenzi wa barabara Lamu ambapo hatujakuwa na hata inchi moja ya lami kwa miaka sitini. Lakini Rais ameanzisha mradi huu na kweli tunaona kuwa atafanya yote anayosema. Rais pia alirejelea maswala ya uchumi samawati. Alisema kuwa ataweka tuvuti za kutua katika kila kaunti katika Mkoa wa Pwani kutoka Shimoni hadi Kiunga. Tumeona tovuti hizi 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.
zikijengwa na zikifunguliwa. Tovuti ya kutua ya Kiunga ndio tu iliyosalia na Rais alihaidi kuitengeneza. Tunatajaria kuwa itatengenezwa. Tovuti ya kutua ya Mkowe pia imepangiwa kutengenezwa. Hili likifanyika, tutaweza kuvua na kuhifadhi samaki wengi. Rais alizungumzia maswala ya uchumi samawati kutoka moyoni. Kwa hiyo, tunaimani kuwa biashara ya uvuvi itaendelezwa na itasaidia Wakenya wote. Wengine wakipanda majani chai, sisi tunavua samaki na hivi ndivyo tutaendeleza nchi yetu ya Kenya. Lakini watu wakitaka tu maendeleo katika maeneo yao wakati sehemu zingine zinaachwa nyuma, mwishowe sote tunaumia. Jambo ambalo sikulifurahia ni aliposema kuwa maafisa wa polisi watachukuliwa kutoka miongoni mwa makurutu wa NYS. Huu ni mpangilio mzuri lakini sehemu zingine kama kwetu vijana hawaendi sana NYS. Tunahofia kuwa tutakosa nafasi za Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) na polisi. Tunaomba Rais ahimize kuwa vijana asilimia 50 wachukuliwe kutoka NYS na asilimia 50 kutoka maeneo mengine. Vijana kutoka Lamu wamezoea kuchunga mifugo na kuvua samaki na wakienda NYS wanaona wanapoteza. Kusema kweli, tumeona walimu wakiajiriwa. Namba ya walimu ikiongezeka tutasaidika. Huko kwetu Lamu, waalimu wakifunza miaka mitatu tu wanakimbia kisha wakirudi wanapelekwa sehemu zingine na wanalipwa mishahara kama kawaida. Jambo hili linatutatiza sana kule kwetu. Rais anafutilia maswala ya elimu kwa karibu sana. Kwa mfano, anataka kujua kwa nini katika eneo Bunge la Lamu Mashariki ni mwanafunzi mmoja tu ndiye anafuzu kuenda chuo kikuu. Rais ameweka mikakati kamili na pia kutuhusisha viongozi wa sehemu hizi kuhusu jambo hili. Ukweli ni kwamba, Rais anatenda anayvosema. Tumpeni tu muda na tumuunge mkono ili atende kazi na uchumi wetu uimarike. Asante Bw. Spika wa Muda.
Next is the Member for Kitutu Chache North.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to the debate on the State of the Nation Address. First of all, I applaud the President for giving a very realistic speech and a clear road map towards the economic growth of this country. I also applaud him because when he came in, the education sector was marred with a lot of uncertainty, especially the CBC. He has managed this well by employing over 56,000 teachers in two years. This is the first time this has been done. This will help reduce the gap between teachers and students. In the end, this will improve the education standards in our schools. The President also managed to transfer about Ksh3.4 billion from the education sector to the NG-CDF. This money will help in constructing classrooms and laboratories for the JSS students. The President also has come up with a new funding model for our students in the universities and TVET institutions; Ksh4.3 billion has been set aside for this. On universal healthcare, the President has employed 110,000 CHPs, who will support about 100,000 households. This will go a long way in identifying the sick people at home, diagnosing them and referring them to health providers. This will help us in referring patients to either a Level 1 or Level 4 hospital. Our people at the grassroots will greatly benefit from this. This new universal healthcare model has reduced the cost of NHIF from Ksh500 for the less fortunate to Ksh300. Most Kenyans do not have money to pay for NHIF. This reduction will ensure that our people pay for NHIF. One of my colleagues said that they have not seen the subsidised fertiliser. As a Member of Parliament, that is negligence because this is in the public domain. The price of a bag of fertiliser was reduced from Ksh6,500 to Ksh2,500. As a result, we have experienced a bumper harvest of about 50 million bags. The Government has also bought dryers for our maize. It has also reduced the cost of drying maize from Ksh350 to Ksh70 per bag. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
In the housing sector, the Government has built too many houses for the less fortunate. This affordable housing has also created employment for many young people, artisans, masons, electricians and many other skilled workers in this country. In the blue economy sector, the President has bought piers, boats and cooling machines for our people in Nyanza and Coastal regions. The President has also put money into the mining sector so that those…
Hon. Beatrice Adagala followed by Hon. Gideon Kimaiyo then Hon. Stephen Mogaka. Hon. Bernard Kitur you will have your shot, do not worry. Proceed, Hon. Adagala Beatrice.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity at this particular time, to give my views on the Presidential Address on the State of Nation in this Parliament. The message was clear and short, keeping in mind that he has been in office for only one year and a few things have been achieved. From the outset, let me start with agriculture. I applaud the President for the subsidised fertiliser. I want to echo the same sentiments echoed by my colleagues and ask the ministry in-charge to continue that way so that we can eradicate poverty and hunger by enhancing agriculture in this country. I ask the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives to ensure in the next disbursement to counties like my county Vihiga where farmers have small farms, they package the fertiliser in 5, 10 and 25 kilogrammes so that everybody can afford. This is my request, adding to what the President said on agriculture. I love the way the health sector has changed because we have passed several Bills on health. The Universal Health Care under Afya Nyumbani Programme has enabled village health workers to be recruited. We must ensure the Kenyan nation is healthy so that things are done properly unlike, having an unhealthy nation where everybody is sick and cannot work or do anything. So, I appreciate the President for this. I also want to appreciate him for recognising the village women and men who normally assist villagers with health matters. Rome was not built in a day. I heard a colleague shouting “hunger” from the top of his voice yet his constituency is among the food baskets in the western region. When a leader shouts “hunger” in Parliament, he should assist the President by ensuring all farmers in his constituency are registered. So, when fertiliser comes at the beginning of the year, they get it. I want to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Co-operatives to add seedlings for farmers who cannot afford to buy. We have widows, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and young people in the villages, who cannot afford to buy seedlings and fertiliser. By adding seedlings, we shall appreciate so that our nation can eradicate hunger once and for all. I also appreciate the President for setting a record in the history of Kenya. He gave money to all governors in the 47 counties. I think this is where everything starts and is the bottom-up approach. So, governors have funds to steer counties to another level so that we can stop complaining about poverty, hunger, diseases and others. I think the President has tried in those few days. If he is given more time, I am sure in his next Address here, we shall see more developments. We want to see the President working on the corruption issue in this country. We saw the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) leaking roof yet we want to attract many tourists. The Cabinet Secretary in-charge should look for a solution. We are also lucky to have the Hustler Fund. We thank the President for them, but we have to do more.
I will seek the indulgence of Hon. Kimaiyo. Before I give you a chance, I will give it to Hon. Sitienei. I apologise. I kind of missed out on that because you had already given a notice and you have had an accident before. So, you should have had a chance much earlier. Proceed, Hon. Sitienei. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the rest of the Members who have spoken before me. At the outset, I want to applaud His Excellency the President for articulately prosecuting the journey of transformation in this country, which is realistic as evidenced by his commitment to live up to the Kenya Kwanza plans despite the myriad challenges that he encountered when he set into office. On the agricultural sector, I really thank the President. He has gone along to support the farmers through the subsidised fertiliser because deep down in his heart, he had food security in mind. He wanted to ensure there was food security in this country so that people can move on with their development agenda. He subsidised fertiliser from Ksh6,500 to Ksh2,500 per bag, which was key in enhancing food production. That is why today our farmers have food full in their stores and they have enough to sell to the market at a cost of Ksh4,000 per bag. At the moment because there is surplus of food, we are having the price of maize at Ksh70 per 2kg gorogoro unlike what people are saying. Those who are complaining do not know because many of them are not in the production line. He also ensured that farmers, through his leadership, were enrolled through the digital register. There were people who were employed to enrol them and put them in the register so that every farmer can access subsidised fertiliser. That is for all my sister to note. In the dairy industry, he has ensured that there will be milk coolers for every dairy and, therefore, our dairy farmers are going to market their milk without challenges. I also applaud the President on the UHC because at the outset, he looked at the preventive, promotive and the palliative healthcare. He has ensured that every Kenyan through the UHC, is going to access comprehensive and quality healthcare. He has also ensured that those CHPs) who are helping us in our communities have got some stipend to do what we call promotive healthcare. He has ensured that 100,000 of them have been employed under the AfyaNyumbani Programme. Each CHP will attend to 100 households. Therefore, I applaud him for ensuring that the country is going to be digitised very soon. That will ensure that there is efficiency in our governments. There has been a lot of challenges in our governments in terms of work. This digitisation is going to ensure that there is efficiency and accountability. We really thank the President in trying to reduce the Eurobond debt. There is a Swahili proverb that says “ Dawa ya deni ni kulipa ”. He has tried to reduce the Eurobond debt by about Ksh300 million and this will go a long way in stabilising the economy of our country. I also thank the President because he has assured us of security in the country, especially in the former provinces of North Eastern, Rift Valley, parts of Eastern and Coast. He has been very decisive on this through the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Administration. We have seen calm in those regions that had conflict because of banditry.
Hon. Gideon Kimaiyo. The Member for West Mugirango and Hon. Bernard Kitur will contribute after Hon. Kimaiyo. We will then have one more round for other Members who wish to contribute.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity. I join the rest of my colleagues in commenting on the Speech of the President. It was a commendable one. I applaud him for a well-delivered Speech that touched on the areas of progress that he has made in the last one year in office. Allow me to quote the President in the last paragraph of the Speech: ‘We have laid a firm foundation for rapid development and Kenya is no longer at on-your-marks. The state of our nation at this moment in time is prepared and ready to go.’ 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 agree with the President 100 per cent. He acknowledges the challenges that we were in. He inherited an ailing economy but he does not run away from the challenges. He understands that we have a debt problem and he is working hard to ensure that we do not default. I thank the President for the progress he has made in agriculture. When he was elected, he promised Kenyans that he would subsidise production. He has kept his promise. Today, the cost of one bag of fertiliser is Ksh2,500. This is commendable of the Government, led by His Excellency the President. He has pronounced himself and given a plan. I now urge the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Cooperatives, through the Cabinet Secretary, to work with county governments to ensure that the fertiliser reaches the farmer in the village. It should not only be available in one centre in the entire constituency. I also thank the President for his approach on milk prices. He has promised a farm price of Ksh50 per litre. This will happen soon and assist subsistence farmers in the country. For example, in Keiyo South Constituency where I come from, almost every household has a dairy cow. If the prices will be kept at a minimum price of Ksh50, it will go a long way in assisting farmers. On education, the President promised Kenyans that there would be changes in the sector. We can see that already. All the years, we saw a pattern where every student who went to university got an equal bursary regardless of whether they can afford fees or not. But now the President has said that we need to bring equity in education. University funding will be based on who can afford fees and who cannot. Some students are given 100 per cent scholarships, but those who can afford to pay for their education will do so. There is no need for someone who was able to pay school fees in private primary and secondary schools to be given a bursary in university like other students who did not afford such a privilege. The President stamped his authority on this and we thank him for that. Additionally, the President is doing a commendable job to ensure that CBC works. We have seen a plan where the President has budgeted for money, in conjunction with NG-CDF, to build classrooms for junior secondary schools. He has promised that we will work together. In terms of diplomacy, we have seen the President go round the world, and he has become the best diplomat for this country. We have already seen the fruits of his diplomacy from the various Heads of States visiting Kenya. That shows this country is now being recognised internationally. Last but not least, I urge Kenyans to give the President ample time. This is only his first year, and he came into office when there were challenges. Firstly, we must recognise that there was the challenge of COVID-19, and we are now facing the effects. Secondly, there was the issue of wars in the international space. We have seen wars in Israel, Russia and other parts of the world. Thirdly, there was maandamano, which also inhibited the President from delivering 100 per cent on what he could have done. Imagine what he could have done if there was no
Next to contribute is Hon. Mogaka, followed by Hon. Bernard Kitur, Member of Parliament for Nandi Hills who will be followed by the Member of Parliament for West Pokot. He will be followed by the Member of Parliament for Gichugu Constituency. Proceed in that order.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker for this opportunity to make my contribution to the Motion on the President Address that was ably delivered in compliance with the constitutional requirement of this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
At the outset, I want to make my contribution on the basis that there is a constitutional underpinning on why the President has to deliver his State of the Nation Address to this House. We are the representatives of the people. More reason is that after that Speech, it is the duty of this House to make legislative policies and other interventions to make the country prosper. Therefore, it will be a failure on my part if I start taking lamentations to my electorate when it is my duty as a legislator to make the necessary legislative interventions, do the correct oversight on the Executive to ensure that the policy interventions under budgetary directions that are required to take this country where it should be are implemented. I want to thank the President for doing a correct diagnosis of the state of the nation. In Paragraph 7 of his Address, he clearly told the nation that this country is facing three problems which are, external shocks, physical distress and structural imbalances. They are coated with geopolitical conflicts which have caused shortages like that of fuel in this country leading to the devaluation of the dollar. I want to thank the President, for laying bare before this House that this is where we are. I urge us, legislators to rise to the occasion and give the necessary interventions that are required to take our country where we want it to be. We are all aware that the Government does not do anything that has not passed through this House. It is, therefore, wrong for us to start lamenting and punching up a Government that has come to this House with its policies and budgetary proposals which in our wisdom, we have approved and told them to go ahead as we oversee them. I also thank the President for the reason that when he gave his first State of the Nation Address in this House a year ago, he had done the diagnosis and a year later, even before one quarter of his budget has been absorbed, the country has a food surplus and the shame of hunger is behind us. I want to thank the President and ask the Government to continue on that trajectory. For those of us who have not seen a drop in the price of gorogoro in their region, of course we know the answer; it is market forces at play. There are naysayers who never took advantage of the cheap fertiliser and never went to the farms. Since the price will remain where it was, they will have to spend a little more to go to markets where the farmers had gone and took advantage of the cheap fertiliser at a subsidised price. On the state of the national debts, I have a banking background, especially in credit risk analysis. The last thing one wants to suffer from is to be blacklisted as a defaulter. I thank the Government for taking proactive steps to ensure that the Eurobond that was going to blacklist this country is behind us. With that, the Sword of Damocles that was hanging on the country, so that we could not access affordable funding, is behind us. I thank the President and request that he continues in that trajectory. I submit.
The Member for Nandi Hills, followed by the Member for West Pokot.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute on the State of the Nation Address by the President of the Republic of Kenya. On that particular day when the President walked into this House, everyone was very expectant, and the President never disappointed. It was the first time that the President of the Republic of Kenya used a teleprompter in this House while giving his Speech. That was quite impressive. The President gave a progress report of what he has done since he got into office: the promises he had made, the achievements he has made and the plans he has going forward on what he intends to do. He mentioned that immediately he got into office, he appointed the six judges of the Court of Appeal, where there were very many pending cases. The judges that had been proposed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had not been appointed for some 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.
reason. The President took a deliberate effort immediately and appointed those judges. Not only did he do only that for the Judiciary; he went ahead and looked at the budget challenges of that arm of government and made sure that it got an additional Ksh3 billion to address the issue of justice in the country. Equally, it was notable that the President raised the issue of independence of the National Police Service (NPS). The NPS has been misused in the past years. He empowered them by giving them a budget. He also called on the former Chief Justice to lead a task force to look into the welfare of police officers. That is something that is extremely commendable. When we talk about food crisis and the cost of living in the country, one of the things that the President has done is to look at the production side of the economy. What is that one thing that we have in the country that can give us an advantage of having the ability to not only create employment but also reduce the cost of living? It is agriculture. The President mentioned that as much as he removed subsidies on many other aspects of the economy, he immediately gave subsidy on fertiliser. What was the effect of that? We were able to have almost 18 million additional bags of maize this season. The cost of food in the country has gone way down. He further went ahead and brought in driers. Once we have a bumper harvest, the biggest challenge we have always had is that most of this produce gets spoilt. He imported many driers and brought down their cost. They have always been charged Ksh350, but now we have them at KSh70. This is something very commendable. The President also mentioned fiscal discipline in the country. He gave us a lot of comfort. When he came in, we were facing debt that was taking this country down. But he made a comfort statement that by the end of this year we will make the first repayment of US$300 million. That is a firm word from a President who is well planned and organised; he knows what he wants to do for this country. I would like to delve into the issue of the seven million Kenyans who the President removed from the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) immediately he got into office. He also talked about the Hustler Fund of Ksh36 billion. Many people have said too many things about it, but you realise that many Kenyans have borrowed from the Fund. There are about 7.5 million repeat customers. That is something worth mentioning. On the issue of employment, over 57,000 teachers have been employed in this country. On housing, over 50,000 people have been employed in the 46,000 housing programmes that have been done and the 40,000 others are ongoing. These are the things that the President of the Republic is doing. It is extremely commendable and worth an applause. Lastly, is the issue of health of our Kenyan people.
(Hon. Farah Maalim)
(West Pokot County, KUP)
Next is Hon. Gichimu, MP for Gichugu, who will be followed by Hon. Kiunjuri and then Hon. Peter Kaluma, Member for Homa Bay Town.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for granting me this opportunity to also contribute to the Motion on the State of the Nation Address by the President as obligated under Article 132 of the Constitution. This Address depicts a President who has a plan, is very organised and has a vision for the country. Considering that it is the first State of the Nation Address in the first term of the present presidency of five years, and going by the contributions made by Members of this House, the President and the Kenya Kwanza Government has scored an A. Why? It is because of the success stories flowing out of this Address. The first success story is in the agricultural sector. We all know that it is the backbone of the country both economically and in terms of food security. The Government stuck to the fact that the only way we can lower the cost of living in terms of availability of food is by subsidising production and not consumption. It is yielding results because some politicians, I will not mention names, were saying that the cost of unga is very high. What else did they expect the Government to do other than to subsidise production? Production is key to food security. There is no way the Government can give people food, but at least it can subsidise production and that has been done. The cost of fertiliser has gone down as the Address has indicated, from a high of almost Ksh7,000 to Ksh2,500 per bag. Farmers in Gichugu, who farm tea and coffee, are now happy. I can confirm that tea farmers already have access to the Ksh2,500 subsidised fertiliser which will go a long way in improving their yields. It will go a long way in adding money into their pockets because they will be economically empowered.
The other success story is on the Hustler Fund. Around Ksh36.6 billion has already been disbursed to applicants. This money has already been injected into the economy. Of course, if it is circulating within the economy, it means there are people relying on this Fund for their daily bread. There is even a bodaboda rider who got about Ksh714,000 from this Fund. That is a success story. There are many success stories, including 100,000 kilometres of the Last Mile fibre optic connectivity. That will create jobs to youths in the villages. They will employ themselves through the digital space that will be provided. Connected to this, this Government says it will construct a digital hub in every constituency where youths can access jobs and learn computers for free, and many things that have been said. 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.
Without belabouring so much, this is an A-score in the first year of the Kenya Kwanza Government. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to join others who have supported the President’s State of the Nation Address. I am also aware that we have only five minutes left between me and my brother, Hon. Kaluma. I will take two-and-half minutes and then leave the rest to him. That is brotherhood, although he is on the other side and I am on this side. We have to share the time.
You do not have to share. There is enough time. Proceed. You can have your five minutes and he will have his five minutes. There is no problem.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I have known the President for a very long time. He is executing his plan. For those of us who have read Kenya Kwanza Plan, there is nothing that is being done that is not in his manifesto. A house cannot be built on quick sand. For you to have a firm foundation, you really need to work on it. A good builder will ensure that his foundation is firm. I am happy because the President is not panicking. Being an experienced politician and having been in Government, from being an Assistant Minister, Minister, Deputy President and President, I have all the reasons to believe in him. The President has pronounced himself on very many things. He came here and enumerated his achievements so far. There are too many of them, beginning with the reforms that took place immediately he came in: the Judiciary, police force, the Hustler Fund, fertiliser subsidies, and for the first time, employing over 55,000 teachers. They can be counted one by one. At the same time, he is aware of the challenges that are facing him, both natural and those ones created by the previous administration, and other unforeseen challenges. He has not shied from telling Kenyans that we need to go through pain for us to achieve our goal. Therefore, his intention is not hidden. It is known. We all know where he is taking us. The only reason I would be worried is if we are now approaching the third year, and we have not started seeing light at the end of the tunnel on what he promised us in the first year. As a Member of Parliament and an experienced person, I also had the advantage of seeing the Moi Government in power, transition to Mwai Kibaki Government and the challenges he faced in the first three years. To an extent, during his second year, some people said, ni heri Moi, at Nyayo Stadium. However, that did not stop him - God rest his soul in peace - to work hard. His plan and ideas came to fruition. One of the most remembered Presidents in this country today is Mwai Kibaki. I pray that in the next three years, President William Ruto, with his plan, will say this is the journey we have taken together through pain. It is true that Kenyans are suffering. However, it is equally true that you cannot run away from the reality. Where we stand today, we have a game plan. The question is on whether we have an end game. If it is there, that means that this country will come from where we are, we will stabilise and a new dawn will be there for us to enjoy, and remember that even though we suffered, we have something to enjoy from this Government. With those few words, I beg to support the Motion.
Next is Hon. Peter Kaluma, Member for Homa Bay Town, who will be followed by Hon. Fredrick Lusuli Ikana, Member for Shinyalu. Proceed Hon. Kaluma.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, this is my third time to be elected to sit in Parliament. I have listened to very many State of the Nation 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.
Addresses. If I was to candidly advise the President, I would request him to sack whoever wrote this State of the Nation Address. It does not speak to the matters the President ought to address under Article 132(c) of the Constitution. The matters the President is required to address are matters regarding national values and principles of governance and how his regime has complied with them. If you look at this State of Nation Address by the President, it is about what the President imagines as his achievements. You would think the President is giving himself a scorecard in terms of what he has done, not in terms of how his regime is securing the full realisation of the national values and principles of governance. If I were to refer colleagues and Parliament to Article 10, those national values and principles of governance are set out in Sub- Article 2. They are patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people, human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalised. In addition, we have good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability. It is, therefore, not sufficient for the President to tell us, for instance, that his regime has secured the employment of 56,000 teachers. That one is the duty of Government. These teachers are being paid by taxes raised by Kenyans. What we want to hear from the President is how these 56,000 teachers have been distributed across the country in a manner that secures those ideals under national values. I can tell you that there are parts of this country where teachers have been employed up to teachers who graduated in 2022. If you go to constituencies like mine, I have teachers who are retiring without having ever been employed. These are the skewed things the national values and principles of governance wanted to do away with. You saw a short while back even politicians distributing TSC employment forms in our constituencies and you get two or three people being sent. So, the Government is interfering with even the independence of the TSC in securing these national values relating to equity and fairness. This is what we should be talking about. Just a short while back in terms of inclusiveness, non-discrimination and equity, we were here with the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and National Planning confirming the last employment of KRA officers went largely to two regions, the others were just droppings here and there. I can confirm in Homa Bay Town none at all. These are the matters the President ought to address, it is not a matter of telling us that the UDA government or Kenya Kwanza is going this direction. Hon. Temporary Speaker, it is one thing to say that the regime is successful and quite another to be realistic. When you say, for instance that from the Hustler Fund, a Kenyan has borrowed Ksh714,000 but that person is still in a call with the President asking the President to raise the Fund so that he can buy a tuk tuk, what does it tell you? The Hustler Fund has failed. If you have borrowed up to Ksh714,00 you should buy very many tuk tuks. What is this system that can keep you borrowing but cannot enable you to invest? These are the things we are talking about.
I have given you two additional minutes, proceed.
Proceed, you have taken five minutes but I have given you the leeway.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. We may talk about the regime seeking to have an independent police so that the security measures the President ought to address are addressed. We are talking about the Judiciary being given their money and their independence being secured. However, it is one thing for the regime to say we promised the Judiciary Ksh3 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.
billion and we gave it to them. It is quite another to allow the Judiciary to access that money. There is an animal called ‘Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS)’ at the National Treasury where all arms and agencies of Government including this Parliament budget for monies and they can see it but they can never reach it. I can tell you the Judiciary is struggling just like this Parliament cannot even move currently. We have measures being implemented where Parliament is budgeting but other agencies are determining the budgets and have access to the funds. How have we secured the fight against corruption to ensure that there are enough resources to be equitably shared in the nation? This regime came in with the collapse of the fight against corruption. Cases are being dropped by the courts at a shocking rate. There are people who can be identified as corrupt individuals by what they earn. If you talk to members of the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and those of us who oversee some commissions in administration and internal affairs, you will realise commissions and independent offices are underfunded. For instance, the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), which is an independent police oversight authority, has an annual budget of Ksh100 million. Their annual travel allowance, including external travels, is Ksh850,000. In the supplementary budget we will be dealing with, it will go to below Ksh300,000. Not Ksh300 million but Ksh300,000. We have disabled the commission that fights against corruption.
You have had your time. Next is the Member for Shinyalu, Hon. Ikana.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to comment on the Presidential Address that was made in this House last week. From the outset, I confirm that it met the expectations of most Kenyans, including myself. It was in full compliance of Article 132(c) of the Constitution of Kenya. I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few things that I managed to capture from it. One of the things that the President ably elaborated was the cost of living which is the elephant in the room. It is a subject that affects all Kenyans across the political divide. He ably explained to this House and the nation the initiatives he is taking to ensure the burden of the cost of living is ameliorated. The President also highlighted subsidies on production, which we have witnessed. He focused on reducing the cost of production as opposed to subsidising consumption. How has he been able to achieve this? One of the key areas he has focused on is the subsidy on fertilisers. From the time he took office, we have seen the cost of fertiliser dropping from a high of over Ksh7,000 to Ksh2,500 per bag. This will ensure more Kenyans put arable land into productive use. Additionally, he has waived debts that were owed by sugarcane factories and sugarcane farmers. A lot of Kenyans from western counties rely on sugarcane farming and live through this initiative. All factories that are currently shut should start booming back to production and business. I was also touched by the provision of the Hustler Fund to hundreds of thousands of Kenyans. Kenyans have already borrowed Ksh36 billion. The President was quick to give us an example of Harrison Karisa, from the Coast region, who has borrowed up to Ksh714,000. In my own constituency, I have a success story of Mama Shikokoti of Khayega Market. She is a mama mboga who has borrowed close to Kshs500,000 through the Hustler Fund. What does that tell us? It tells us that we need to ensure that we support initiatives that bring more Kenyans to the bankable space and make them access affordable and cheap credit. The other thing that I want to highlight on is the Universal Health Care that the President launched the other day. It will ensure that more Kenyans get access to health and medical care. With that, I support the President’s Speech. Thank you. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Order! Hon. Harrison Kombe.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise under Standing Order 35 on quorum during the proceedings of the House. Looking at the House, it seems we lack quorum.
Indeed, you are right. We do not have quorum. Can the Serjeant-at-Arms ring the Quorum Bell so that we get quorum? The Whips should whip Members to come to the House so that we can continue with the debate.
Order, Hon. Member for Shinyalu! When the Quorum Bell is ringing, no Member is allowed to get out of the House except the Whips, who are supposed to go and whip Members to come to the House. You cannot leave the Chambers. That is the rule. Serjeant-at-Arms, ensure that no Member leaves the House until we exhaust the 10 minutes of the Quorum Bell.
You can stop ringing the Bell now. There is no quorum.
Hon. Members, the time being 7.21 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Thursday, 16th November 2023 at 9.30 a.m.
The House rose at 7.21 p.m.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Clerk of the National Assembly Parliament Buildings Nairobi The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.