Hon. Senators, we need to determine if we have a quorum.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have 29 hon. Senators present. We have a quorum
Let us proceed.
Hon. Senators, I have various Communications to make. I will start with the one on a retreat for hon. Senators. WORKSHOP FOR HON. SENATORS ON DEVOLVED SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT The Commission on Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) in conjunction with the leadership of the Senate has organized a one-and-a-half day retreat to be held in Mombasa on Friday, 17th and Saturday, 18th May, 2013. The aforementioned retreat is a follow up of the Induction Workshop for hon. Senators that was held in Naivasha on 19th and 20th April, 2013 and is aimed at developing a common understanding of the devolved system of Government. In particular, the Retreat seeks to contextualize and elucidate the role and place of the Senate in the devolved governance structure. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on two points of order. First, I want to thank you for that Communication, which has created a way forward. At the moment, we are fairly uncomfortable. It looks like we will have to re-look at some of the decisions that were made, either by the CRA or in consultation with the Treasury.
Yes, pigs! Whereas my point of order is not intended to interrogate---
Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon. Senators are applauding the arrival of Nyong’-Nyong’---
Thank you, for that correction. My point of order is not intended to interrogate the merits or demerits of that particular demonstration. However, given the structure that we have around the Senate, at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) and between the KICC and where our offices are hosted, we would like the Chair to assure us of our security. For somebody to go out of his way and carry live pigs, some of them dead, carry blood and pour it, that is someone who is very angry. Most of the time, I normally just walk between KICC and my office. I can imagine if I was walking, with that kind of angry person, we do not know what else that person would have done. I am not too sure that this was not stage managed. To cover a live event, the mobile transmission unit of a television station has to be mobilized in advance. How come mobile television stations were at the gate of Parliament without the express authority of the Speakers of the lower and upper Houses? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, let me speak to the second point of order as raised by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. Indeed, the Chair is aware that demonstrations have been taking place, and they have not followed the directive that was given previously in the Tenth Parliament. I want to assure all hon. Senators that immediately we learnt of the would-be demonstrations, we ensured that our Serjeant-at-Arms, in consultations with the police, were out there to ensure that hon. Senators were protected. We also mobilized efforts, including the police station within KICC. So, to that extent, I want hon. Senators to feel free, comfortable and know that they are secure. To the demonstrators, I want to reiterate what my predecessors have spoken on. This is a country of civilized people, of laws and constitutionalism. The Constitution allows members of the public to demonstrate, including hon. Senators, hon. Members and members of the civil society. That is everybody’s right. But our laws also very clearly spell out that you cannot impede an hon. Member or hon. Senator from moving from point “A” to point “B” especially when coming to perform their legislative work. Hon. Senators, I will, therefore, sit with my counterpart to ensure that the provisions that had previously been provided for are complied with. We will also look at other ways, which you can make suggestions on, on how any would be protestor can be accommodated without necessarily interfering with the work of legislators. Next Order! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, I have a Message from the National Assembly that I wish to bring to the attention of the Senate. Pursuant to Standing Order No.40(3) and (4), the Clerk has delivered to me the following message from the National Assembly regarding the Division of Revenue Bill:- THAT, the Division of Revenue Bill, National Assembly, Bill No.1 of 2013 was published in the Kenya Gazette Supplement No.63 of 29th April, 2013 as a Bill originating in the National Assembly and was passed by the National Assembly on Thursday, 9th May, 2013 in the form attached hero; And further that the National Assembly now seeks the concurrence of the Senate to the said Bill as passed by the National Assembly. Signed by the Hon. Justin B.N. Muturi, M.P., Speaker of the National Assembly. 14TH May, 2013.” Hon. Senators, Standing Order No.146 requires that a Bill which originates in the National Assembly be proceeded with by the Senate in the same manner as a Bill introduced in the Senate in the manner by way of First Reading in accordance with Standing Order No.127. I, therefore, now direct that the Bill be listed for First Reading tomorrow morning. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity. I beg to give notice of the following Motion which is directed to the Ministry or Department of Transport and Infrastructure. The Notice of Motion reads as follows:- THAT, noting with concern the skewed infrastructural development in Kenya particularly in the road sector, aware that without suitable roads to connect all counties, the nation cannot meaningfully achieve the development goals envisaged in Vision 2030; noting further that in his Presidential Speech on the occasion of the State Opening of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Yes, Sen. Musila.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, last year, I had seen the Chair wanting to raise a matter under a Standing Order. I thought after Statements, you would give me an opportunity to do so. Is this the time that I can raise the matter?
You can proceed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand on a point of order seeking the Ruling of the Chair on a matter concerning the Equalisation Fund. This is not necessarily connected with the point of order that was raised by Sen.(Dr.) Khalwale, but it specifically concerns the Equilasation Fund. As you are aware, Article 204 (1) of the Constitution states:- “There is established an Equalisation Fund into which shall be paid one-half per cent of all the revenue collected by the national government each year calculated on the basis of the most recent audited accounts of revenue received, as approved by the National Assembly.” Article 215 of the Constitution also establishes the Commission on Revenue Allocation whose functions is to make recommendations, and I emphasize, “recommendations”, concerning the basis for the equitable sharing of revenue raised by and tabled by National Government. Article 216(5) further states as follows:- “The Commission shall submit its recommendations to the Senate, the National Assembly, the national executive, county assemblies and county executives.” In addition, I want to recall that Article 96 of our Constitution gives the role of the Senate as, among others, to determine the allocation of national revenue among counties. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am privy to information that the CRA determined that only 14 marginalised counties should benefit from the Equlisation Fund. To the best of my knowledge, this Senate never received recommendations from the CRA on the criteria The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. Musila, your request will be considered. I will give an appropriate Communication the way we have done for the hon. Senator for Kakamega County. But to make the distinction, in terms of the Equalisation Fund being considered by a House of Parliament, this is indicated in Article 216(5). The Chair is fully aware that we did not follow the same procedure which we had outlined in answering Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s query where the National Assembly then, which was acting as the Senate, dealt with the matter. On the issue of the Equalisation Fund and determination of marginalised areas, for purposes of Article 204(2), that procedure has not been followed. But let me look at this issue in detail and give a more considered opinion. Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, acknowledging that County Governments are an essential framework, pillar and structure of governance and democracy in Kenya and exercise constitutional authority and functions; aware that the work and performance of county governments may be undermined, burdened and frustrated by debts and loans incurred by local authorities as previously constituted under the law; recognizing that devolved system of Government must be protected and defended in order to attain the underlying principles, objects and functions as set out in Articles 1, 6, 10, 174, 175 and 186 as well as the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010; the Senate resolves that the National Government takes over the servicing and payment of all major debts and loans owed and incurred by all the local authorities or other such entities that existed before the establishment of county governments. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is my great pleasure and privilege to second this Motion by my old friend and comrade in the struggle, Sen. James Orengo. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the system of devolution is under serious threat and we, as the Senators, and as the people who are in charge of making sure that devolution works, have to take these threats seriously. Mr. Speaker, Sir, these debts which have been inherited and which have been listed by the honourable Senator could give the county governments a stillbirth, and all the promises of devolution that have been made in this country could be reduced to zero The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to start by congratulating the Senator for Siaya for bringing such an important Motion to the Senate. If you look at the operations of the county governments, although in their infancy, you will get a very clear impression, as the Senator for Meru said that there is every intention to malnourish this child. All things are going wrong. You cannot start county assemblies with no intention to make them assemblies to do their work. All you need to do is to look around and see comparable jurisdictions that have similar sets; the provincial legislatures and governments in South Africa, the State Legislatures and Governments in Nigeria and in Cameroon, among other places, you will see that we got it all wrong. We seem to think that county assembly members and structures are a promotion in a very miniscule manner of county councils. That is not what we intended. It is not right that you put a Governor in place, give him a good salary, give him Kshs300 million to build a mansion and no corresponding Kshs300 million to build a little house for the Speaker and no talk on how to handle the very assembly that will legislate, oversight and do everything else in the county. You are asking County Assembly Members in Nairobi to pass and oversight a budget of Kshs15 billion and yet you are paying them Kshs79,000 a month. If our intention was to tame corruption, then we are The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support my brothers who have spoken before me. As far as I am concerned, this is a serious matter but we need to view this matter as something that is not very new to us. Listening to my previous speakers, they look “emotionalized” over something which needs very serious thinking and cannot just be a matter of playing to the galleries.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for Sen. G.G. Kariuki of Laikipia who has the distinction of having been a Member of the First Parliament of this country and who we expect to learn from in terms of experience, age and practice to say that those who spoke before him, that is, Sen. Orengo, Sen. Kiraitu and I, were playing to the gallery when we are dealing with very serious issues? Is he in order? This is casting aspersions on colleagues.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope you will protect me and allow me to air my view independently and with confidence without being harassed by my friend who has been in Parliament for quite some time. I think time has come when we all forget that we have been practicing---
Order, Sen. G. G. Kariuki! You have just been challenged to demonstrate that the speakers before you were not playing to the gallery. So, you need to respond to it before I dispose of the matter.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not find that as a point of order but an argument. That is my personal judgement. When we are here---
Order, Sen. G. G. Kariuki! Please, resume your sit. This is a Motion that has been approved by the Speaker and further approved by the Rules and Business Committee which is a committee that you gave to the Senate to manage the business. As Sen. Wetangula has said, it was the Mover, the Seconder and then one other contributor whom I gave the opportunity by virtue of being the minority leader. So, who among them is playing to the gallery? So, just apologize and proceed, Sen. G. G. Kariuki.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, to avoid confrontation from the Chair, I would like to withdraw the word “gallery” and continue. I hope the hon. Senators would just listen because I gave them a lot of my ears when they were talking.
Order. You know the Chair is a good friend of yours but some of these things are so basic. Withdraw the words “playing to the gallery” and apologize. When you proceed, I will protect you.
I apologize. Having apologized, I can now be allowed to proceed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very important Motion and I wish my friends could have given me time to express myself over this matter. This is a Motion that we all know there have been a lot of problems during the old Constitution where the county councils were being ordered to give money out to friends and now all that is debt to be paid by the county councils. It is very difficult especially for the person who is familiar with the past system of government. Things were very bad. While I support this Motion, it is important for us to note that we should not just pass this Motion the way it is, and I am not proposing any amendment because they are just my views. When we are talking about all the debts to be paid by the central government, there is need for the Senate to decide and sit with the officers of the Senate and determine how much money we are talking about and who is owed. There are some local authorities like the City The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Your time is up, Sen. G.G. Kariuki! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
I beg to support, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
The Senator for Kisumu.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion by my friend, Sen. Orengo, which has been seconded by Sen. Kiraitu Murungi from Meru. I also must appreciate the contribution of my long time friend, G.G. Kariuki, the Senator from Laikipia. I want to make a few points on this Motion and I also want to make an amendment, particularly to capture some of the issues that Sen. G.G. Kariuki was talking about. But let me assure you that this is not an apparition; this is me. It is not an image of me, it is actually I. So, I thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and my fellow Senators for giving me solidarity and I want to thank you for this very cordial Chamber that we are in. I think this is a very good atmosphere to meet in. I think it is going to lead to very constructive deliberations. The first point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that the counties that we have established, as Sen. Orengo said, are actually going to be entities for doing business. And if you are going to do a business and your balance sheet is not in order, you cannot borrow money. So, the first thing that must be done is for these counties to have proper balance sheets so that they can be able to borrow money and invest. Because one other thing we are going to do as a Senate, as Sen. G.G. Kariuki said, is to look for money for these counties, and this money is not just going to come from Government. This money will have to come from other sources where the Constitution allows the counties to borrow money from. Therefore, our first responsibility, as Senators, is to look at the balance sheets of these counties and like all the speakers have said before, they are not in very good shape. I was the Chairman of the Public Investments Committee (PIC) for about three years in the mid 1990s, and Sen. Leshore was in my Committee; one of the things we realized is that most of the county councils or districts then had not had their books audited for 17, 20 or even 25 years, and it was very difficult for them to do business with anybody. We remember dealing with a lot of private sector entities who were owed money by these entities and it was very difficult to recover. That is o ne point. The second point I want to make, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that when we look at some of the money that was owed to county councils or districts then, some of them were debts which could have been paid. As Sen. G.G. Kariuki says, in those days, a district officer or a district commissioner could be ordered to give money to somebody, just because that somebody was somebody. Now, this is the kind of money that cannot just be written off; it must be paid. The third thing is that a lot of money owed by county councils are actually statutory deductions; money that should have been paid to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF)---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Senator for Garissa?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry to interrupt my neighbour friend, but is he in order to insinuate that district officers were just able to give money? Some of us were The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’Nyong’o): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was a Member of the District Development Committee (DDC) of Kisumu District for 10 years, and I do remember very clearly; we raised this issue where every March, we could assemble to pass a budget and then in May, we could go around the district supervising the money that had been invested, and there was very little to show for the money that we had passed. And there were cases where contractors were actually given cheques to perform projects which they never performed. These are the kind of things we are talking about and they are there in the books, and we can look at them. Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, which is very important and which is the point I was making, these statutory deductions owed by municipal councils or county councils then are actually money that is owed from one government body to another government body. So, it can very easily be sorted out without necessarily we, as Senators, voting money to our counties today and then using that same money to pay the statutory deductions. It does not make sense. What we need to do, as the spirit of this Motion says, is for us to look at these monies owed and let the Government sort them out government to government or department to department. The last point I want to make before moving my amendment, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is that in terms of development, if indeed the counties are going to engage themselves with the act of development, we must make sure that they have a bigger development budget than a recurrent budget because---
Order, Professor! In fact, we are consulting here because, strictly speaking, previously you would move your amendment and then speak to it. But our Standing Orders now permit you to amend it at any time. But I am just reminding you that you have less than five minutes to go. So, if you have an amendment, you may wish to prosecute it first.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’Nyong’o): Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for educating me. Mr. Speaker, Sir, therefore, I will move my amendment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Motion be amended as follows:- By deleting the full stop after the word “government” at the end of the Motion and inserting the following words “after proper auditing of these debts and loans and the concurrence of the Senate.” So, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not know whether you want me to read the whole Motion again, but my colleagues understand.
You can read the last line.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): Let me read the last line, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The last line says – it is a very long line.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): “---such entities that existed before the establishment of county governments after proper auditing of these debts and loans and the concurrence of the Senate.” The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Then you have nothing to delete.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): No---
You are just adding.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): I am just adding, but you have to delete the full stop.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): Because if you do not delete the full stop, it is not proper grammar. So, you have to remove the full stop and then add that. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me say the following; it is really our responsibility, as Senators, to work very closely with the county assemblies. For us to work very closely with the county assemblies, we must ensure that our colleagues in the county assemblies are respected. I think the point that Sen. Murungi was making was very important because if, indeed, county assemblies feel that they are no better than the previous councillors, we are not going to engage in very meaningful discourse with them because they are going to see us as imposters from above, who are big boys talking to underdogs. Let me give you an example, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The son of Joe Biden, the Vice President of the USA, is currently the Attorney-General of Delaware State. When his father was named the Vice President, he was asked to take over his father’s seat as Senator for Delaware and he refused. He said he had rather continue as the Attorney- General for Delaware State to complete the work he was doing at the State rather than go to the Senate. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is the kind of spirit that we must instil in our county assemblies; by making sure that this so-called Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) must know that in order to attract good human resources, you must give them good terms of service to perform well.
The Senator for Kisumu, your time is up.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): I beg to move the amendment.
(Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o): My seconder is Sen. Khaniri.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and thank you, Professor, for allowing me to second your amendment. But just before that, I want to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Sen. Orengo for bringing the original Motion. This is a very, very good Motion; it is very important and I want to assure Sen. Orengo that if he had not brought this Motion now, in the next two or three weeks, I was coming up with a similar Motion. Therefore, I want to thank you and congratulate you for that. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Motion as moved by Sen. Orengo is fantastic, but it has even been made better by the amendment that was moved by the good Professor, my friend and neighbour, Prof. Anyang’-Nyong’o. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Senator for Busia! We do not raise hands in this House.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to contribute to this very important Motion brought by our brother, Sen. Orengo. From the beginning, I would like to support the Motion. The mandate given to the counties through the Constitution is very clear. Under the Fourth Schedule, Article 2, it is stipulated from No.1 to 8 some of the functions that are expected to be undertaken by the county governments. As we all know, counties cannot undertake the mandates which the whole country during the elections went to the polls expecting. Leaders told wananchi that the Constitution had given them the right to have their own system of devolution as stated in the Constitution and that under this system, local leaders who would be elected would undertake the mandates. It would be very sad for the National Government or for anyone else to negate this policy which Kenyans went out and voted for under the referendum, overwhelmingly, hoping that the county governments would take up their responsibilities in ensuring that development is not skewed as we have seen previously under one single national government. I understand that any successive government will be held responsible for any loans that the previous government had taken. However, this time round, this is quite different. A local government entity is quite different from the devolved government system because no one had to vote for the local authorities to be established. They were established without consulting people and, therefore, Kenyans do not feel obliged that any loans or money given to the local authorities that was misused by those who were running the authorities should be paid by the devolved governments. We will not be doing justice to this new system of government. I subscribe to those who feel that these loans should be taken over by the Government in one way or the other. That is why Sen. Murungi has told us about Kenya Airways, among other entities. We also know that individual loans given to farmers by the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) were written off. Some people took loans under the Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR) and could not pay back. These loans were written off. These are quite different. They are not loans given to an individual. They are loans which were given to local authorities which were there before. Therefore, if anything went wrong in administering the funds, then the mistake lies with the Central Government which had all the powers to ensure that nothing went wrong in dispensing the funds. We all come from areas where there were county councils. There is nothing tangible that shows what local authorities did with the funds that they were given, The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir? Would I be in order to suggest that you put the question of the amendment?
I suppose, Senator for Garissa, you have already concluded yours. Before I agree to put the question, what is your point of order, Sen. Murkomen?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am very sorry to interrupt at this moment. I rise under Standing Order No.33 to move a Motion of Adjournment of the Senate to discuss a very important but urgent issue which I want this Senate to discuss with your permission. This issue is known to all the Senators. It is about the impasse and the paralysis of the county assemblies. As you all know, all county assembly members are on strike. Considering that this is one of our very important mandates, under Article 96; to protect the counties, I want to request that this House, at your convenience, Mr. Speaker, do adjourn and discuss this important Motion.
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Order, hon. Senators! Hon. Murkomen had hinted this to the Speaker. I, therefore, find the matter urgent, definite and of national importance. He has acquired more than the necessary number of Senators to support him. I, therefore, order that this matter is debated later today, any time from 5.00 pm or when the other matter - which I will put the question - is concluded. I say so because before I put the question for the amended Motion, we must remember this is a matter affecting counties. You know the procedure for this. I rule that the proposed amendment is affecting the counties and in accordance with Standing Orders Nos.69, 73 and 74, we will proceed to division and roll call voting before I put the question.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, do I have a right to speak to the amendment of the Motion?
Order, Sen. Orengo. The Chair was trying to be sympathetic to you but then you added the rider and repeatedly so that you have a right and for that point to sink, you have no right absolutely and therefore, it is not a right. Once you move the Motion, it is already the property of the House and there is no single Member who has a monopoly over it. It is gone and out of you. Just influence in terms of the influence to be made.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I was apprehensive that you will move to the more substantive part before I raise the Motion. The Motion I wanted to raise is that we have not quite spoken to the amendment except one or two people. I would have wished that you give a chance to two or three more people to speak on the amendment before you can put the question. It is an issue that can completely overturn the Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Senate to vote on a superfluous amendment because Section 7 of the Transition to Devolved Government Act already obligates the authority to make an inventory of the assets and liabilities of the local governments? Therefore, to the extent that this superfluous amendment actually defeats the purpose of the Motion, I think we should not vote on it. If you want us to debate on it, I am prepared to make more submissions on why it is superfluous. Is it in order for us to do that?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On the same? Okay, I will give a chance to Sen. Orengo and Sen. Billow to speak on what the Senator for Busia has said.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Unfortunately for me I had spoken to Sen. Anyang’-Nyong’o on this matter and he was generally in agreement. When Sen. Murungi spoke on this Motion, it was brought to my attention that there is a specific provision in the Transition to Devolved Government Act which gives it the function to ensure the successful transition to the devolved system of Government, prepare and validate an inventory of all existing assets and liabilities. To that extent, I think it will be touching on an issue which there is already statutory provision or The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it in order for the hon. Senator to suggest that validation of an inventory of assets and liabilities is indeed the same as an audit? The issue is that whereas the act requires that statements of assets and liabilities be prepared and validated by the local authority, what we are saying in this amendment is that there has to be an audit, that is, an independent auditor verifying those liabilities in particular and to “concur by the Senate” means those audited debts with audit reports are provided to the Senate where the relevant Committee approves and forwards them to the Government of Kenya.
Let us finalize with the Senator for Kakamega and the Senator for Meru.
On a point or order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am just rising to request you to find out whether it is in order for the former Attorney-General to mislead the House that this amendment is superfluous when the intention of the amendment is to put law and quality to the Motion; law in the sense that it is only the Attorney-General who can submit to this Senate an audited document that can stand any challenge in a court of law. Also in this amendment, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o is attempting to ensure that no deals are cut at the local level whereby people will introduce claims that are not real. So, he is saying that this be brought to this House so that we can register our concurrence. Is he in order to mislead the House that the amendment is superfluous?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
He was responding to your arguments. Points of orders cannot be part of an endless debate. Honourable Minority Leader, it is not your business to know who I give the chance. I was only disposing the issue with the Attorney-General because he was already on his feet. So, let us finalize this with the Senator for Meru.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I do not think that it is in order for us to spend so much time of this House just on semantics and trying to split hairs. Section 7(2)(e) of the Transition to Devolved Government Act is very clear that the Transition Authority has to validate the assets and liabilities of all local authorities before handing over to the county governments. On the point by the Senator for Mandera, that there is a difference between audit and validation, how do you validate without finding out whether it is valid or invalid? Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Question should be put. We all understand the arguments around this issue now. I do concur with the very learned, emeritus Attorney- General that this amendment is superfluous. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Senators! There are two issues I want to rule on. The first one was whether we would give more time for the Senators to speak to the amendment, which the Senator for Homa Bay had strongly persuaded me, but given that many people have attempted to do the same through points of order, I therefore wish to decline to pursue that route. RULING ON WHETHER PROF. ANYANG’NYONG’O’S AMENDMENT IS SUPERFLUOUS OR NOT
The second matter is what became the subject of the numerous points of orders. First, I am persuaded that the amendment by the Professor is not superfluous. Two, and why I am persuaded so, is that the section of the Transition to Devolved Government Act you are quoting about and I have it on the authority of the Chair of the Transition Authority that, even that inventory is not complete as we speak now. But assuming that it was even complete, then it can be part of the audit – if I can use the layman language and not the strict accountant language that the Senator for Mandera was referring to – it can still be part of the audit. So, I do not see any disconnect between what the Transition Authority could be doing, which to me could be part of the proper audit that is required here. But the more fundamental point really for me is that the Senate would want to be a responsible Senate. You do not want to put a case and you are not very sure of the issues you are raising. So, it is important that the case for the waiver for the debts and loans be based on concrete evidence and data. As Senators, you may also wish to recall that when the Government set out the Local Authorities Transfer Fund (LATF) programme, it was for purposes of clearing debts. But you and I know that those debts are yet to be cleared, and that is why we have this Motion today. They seem to be increasing instead of decreasing; so, I think it is only reasonable that, as a House, we do what is reasonable and what is right. Therefore, we will proceed to put the Question. I, accordingly, now direct that the Division Bell be rang for eight minutes.
Order! Order, Senators! Our eight minutes have elapsed. Please, resume your seats. Eight minutes have now elapsed.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. After discussions with my colleagues and appreciating what is written under the law, I would like to withdraw the amendment. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Senator in order to withdraw an amendment which is properly before the House? This is the property of the House and it no longer belongs to him.
Order, she is right! The amendment had already been proposed. Therefore, it is the property of the House. More fundamentally, we had reached a stage where we called for a division and the Bell was rung and we even locked the doors; what else do you really want us to do? I direct the Clerk to call out the roll.
Sen. Boy Juma
Hon. Senators, I wish to announce the results as follows.
Hon. Senators, since the “Ayes” are less than 24, the Motion is lost.
The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, would I be in order to request that you explain the 24 Members rationale because this should be a computation of the total number of Members in the House before the vote is cast.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the interest of time, I would like to remind my good brother, the Senator for Migori that you have already very clearly explained to the House this matter. The threshold for voting is 24. For us to pass a Motion, we must have 24 votes. If the Motion we are voting on does not have 24 votes in support, then it is lost. He explained this very certainty. My brother was in the Chamber when you did.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think you had made an earlier ruling on a Motion for Adjournment and said that the Debate would start any time from 5.00 pm. That Motion of Adjournment should start because it is now after 5.00 pm. Would I be in order to request that you postpone the matter at hand, so that we move on to the pending Motion?
Sen. Wako, you are definitely not in Order! You need not to remind the Chair of its own ruling. That is what I was about to decree, but let me dispose of the request by Sen. (Dr.) Machage and also to remind Senators that there is no harm if a Senator seeks information. We agreed that from the very beginning, we are all learning. I suppose like in all schools, not all students learn at the same time and pace. So, if you look at the Constitution of Kenya, Article 123(2) regarding when the Senate is to vote on any matter other than a Bill, the Speaker shall rule on whether the matter affects, or does not affect counties. Article 123(3) states that when the Senate votes on a matter that does not affect counties, each Senator has one vote. Article 123(4) (c) states that the matter is carried only if it is supported by a majority of all the delegations. The majority of 47 is 24. Dr. Machage, I know you are a doctor. However, the level of your confidence in your profession is usually higher than the average. So, you need to get that threshold of 24 and above. Anything below 24 which is 23 and below, is lost. Even if there was no single vote on the Noes, the Noes will have it as Sen. Hassan would want to hear alongside others. Having said so, we will suspend this business to proceed with the main Motion tomorrow then we will take the Motion of Adjournment as earlier sought by Sen. Murkomen.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, noting the important functions and responsibilities of county assemblies as set out under Article 185 of the Constitution; aware that the county assemblies play an integral role in development of the counties; concerned that all the county assemblies in the country have adjourned sine die in protest at their terms and conditions of service; recognizing that it is the role of the Senate under Article 96 of the Constitution to protect the interest of county governments, the Senate urges the Transition Authority, the National Treasury, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution and other relevant bodies and organs to initiate immediate dialogue with the county assemblies and take the necessary action and measures with a view to ending the impasse and enabling the county assemblies to resume their operations. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as honourable Senators are aware---
Order, Sen. Murkomen. You need to move the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Therefore, I beg to move that this House adjourns to be able to deliberate on this very important Motion. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we are all very much aware, all the counties across the country have adjourned. I met some of the county assembly Speakers in Nairobi. Some of them were asking me to give them directions to the office of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. I even do not know the directions to that office because the Chair of that Commission has not been so friendly as to attract any elected Member to visit her. The county assemblies as at now are not operating. We all know the serious responsibilities of the county assembly members as provided for in Article 185 of the Constitution. I had the privilege of serving at the task force on devolved government. Parliament did a very good job in the County Government Act, because it provided not only the functions of county assemblies, but went ahead to enumerate the roles of the county assembly members. As we all know the county assemblies have a responsibility to vet and approve nominees for appointment to the county public office as provided for in the Constitution and the Act. As at now, many county governments have appointed their county executive committee members, but they cannot operate if they do not get approved by the county assemblies. If they are not sitting to be able to discuss the issues and if the Governors bypasses that provision, the people of Kenya in respective counties will lose because they will not have an opportunity to ventilate and audit the competences and qualifications of people being nominated to the State offices at the county level. This exercise is very important. We need the counties to be able to operate and perform this important function. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, what is it?
I want to contribute.
Since Sen. Hassan Omar has been called out, let us allow him to second.
Madam Temporary Speaker, thank you for that extremely wise ruling.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker. This is a Motion that is likely to elicit a lot of interest from every Senator present. I want to request the Chair to reduce the time of contribution to, perhaps, three or five minutes, so that everybody can ventilate because we still have another agenda coming at 6.00 p.m.
The time allowed for this is five minutes, so I think we will sustain that.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I stand here to second this Motion by my brother Sen. Murkomen, Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet. As a Senate, we need to assert our fundamental role in the Constitution as those who protect the interest of the county administration. It is not in doubt that systematically one institution after another has tried to define and undermine the role of the Senate, county assemblies and devolution. I am reliably informed by my friends from Mandera that each county assembly member in Mandera County is a university graduate. That is the kind of seriousness at the county level. We, as a country, must attach that seriousness to the county assemblies for whatever definition or considerations. Therefore, for the Salaries The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Your time is up!
I beg to support.
The Senator for Kakamega.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I would like to talk to two people; that is, the Kenyan public and the President of the Republic of Kenya. When we passed the new Constitution, we knew it was going to have consequences. These salaries we are talking about are because of those positions which were created in the new Constitution. Unless they have an answer for this, things will not be easy. If they hide behind pigs, they hide behind strong statements from high offices which would create a crisis in this country. Madam Temporary Speaker, I come from one of the largest counties in this country. My member of the county assembly, lives in Soi, which is actually in Eldoret. He comes to Kakamega for debate and goes back, he has done this for two months, I must congratulate them. They are really resilient. I support the issue of better pay for members of the county assemblies. Madam Temporary Speaker, I forgot to come with the copy of a document that has now been circulated from Treasury directing the kind of people who will be hired to serve under the county governor. There is the old set up from sub county administrator up to village administrator and assistant village administrator. Believe you me, hon. Senators, those people attract a better salary than members of the county assembly. They even have house allowance; they even have airtime allowance and travel allowance, yet the legislators who were voted for popularly by the people are not going to be enjoying these particular privileges. Madam Temporary Speaker, may I speak on behalf of Kakamega County? Kakamega County has got men and women in the county assembly of high intellect. I know, for example, the Leader of the Majority in the County Assembly of Kakamega, Mr. Reuben Nyangweso Sechere of ODM is actually a pharmacist. He is doing us, the people of Kakamega, a favour to bring those kinds of qualifications in the debate to our assembly. We would like more and more of those kinds of people. I know of a young man in my assembly, who is a County Representative of Idakho Central; he is called Onesmus. Onesmus is a clinical officer who actually runs his own medical practice which is thriving. He is not in the assembly to collect funds. In fact, recently he gave my community a free ambulance which we are using. So, we must debunk this idea that these young men and women are out there to make a kill. What “kill” is there about Kshs79,000? It is all known to all of us that these members in the lower house – we have been there for many years – and we know that there is no day you will go to the constituency – if you come from Western or Coast Province – and if you are lucky, you The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Your time is Up! Sen. Lesuuda.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I want to thank Sen. Murkomen for bringing it up. It is something that we have been grappling with. It is something that the county representatives have been raising with us from the counties that we come from. Even though not being the leader of delegation, but now being a registered voter in Samburu, of course, I interact with the county representatives from there. Madam Temporary Speaker, it is very sad for us to see politics being criminalized in this country. Politics is like any other career. It is really unfortunate because just as any other profession, we want to professionalize politics in this country. It is a pity that, at the same time, we want to criminalize it, especially for county representatives. I know, for example, in Samburu County, we had a big number of wards. Most of them were lumped together. Therefore, one county representative now has to take care of a very large area. Roads in Samburu County are very impassable. A county assembly member has to wake up two days earlier if he has to participate in the sitting. This Kshs61,000 is not enough because it does not include house and traveling allowances. Let us just be fair to these people. Secondly, these are the people who are closer to the people even more than us. These are the people who when anyone in the constituency or in the county or ward would want to reach, he or she will reach the county representative first. We, as Members of the Senate, who are committed to safeguarding devolution in this country must listen to them. We must initiate dialogue immediately to end the current impasse in country assemblies. We want to see county assemblies working. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I want to follow the footsteps of all those who have spoken and support the Motion very strongly. I recall that when I first entered Parliament in 1993, we were being paid Kshs23,000 every month. Sen. G. G. Kariuki was there too. I had been working for the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) Programmes and I was being paid Kshs86,000 a month. Therefore, I took a tremendous salary cut to be a Member of Parliament. It is only in Parliament where there is no career path and recognition of how long you have served. It does not matter how many times you are elected. The rate is the same. What is worse is that after the Cockar Commission had recommended, very wisely, that the terms of service for Members of Parliament be improved. After that had been implemented to an extent that salaries came to about Kshs800,000; somebody now wants not only to refuse to recognize the length of service people have given, but also to take us down to a lower figure. I do not think that in terms of human rights and the national labour laws, this is allowed. One thing that is certain is that it is good to have a Salaries and Remuneration Commission because for a long time we always said that Kenya needed to review incomes. However, when you are doing so, you cannot import injustice into the process. This will not work. Further, I gave you an example earlier when I was speaking to the previous Motion of the son of Joe Biden who is the Attorney-General in Delaware. He refused to take up his father’s position in the Senate because he was serving the people of Delaware. He loves his job and values that there are citizens in Delaware. He is being given a proper remuneration to stay there rather than go to the Senate. This is what we must look into with regard to county assembly persons. They should stay in their positions long enough to add value to the assemblies, but not to run away as they have run away today, from what I understand. That does not set a very good example. In any case, if we refuse to recognize these needs and insist that because of some figures worked out somewhere they must continue to serve as determined by this person, they will be disgruntled for the five years they are there and we will not get very good value from their service to the assemblies. This is what the English call being penny wise and pound foolish. You are trying to conserve money, but you are not getting value for what you are giving. This is really foolish as far as I am concerned. It is better to enter into dialogue with the county The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I want to join my colleagues in supporting this Motion. I agree with Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale that there are many of us who had reservations about this Constitution. We said, from one side of the House, that apparently the whole nation was being driven by the civil society in drawing up the Constitution. If you look at the coalitions we have had in this country, you will see that they have been draining the resources. They are driven by lawyers who want some kind of employment to supplement their jobs in Parliament. Madam Temporary Speaker, the fellows who are running around here with pigs are people with no stature; who do not know what they are doing. They are being misguided and used by the civil society. If you watched them on the television, I am not shy, to say some of them looked like hippos. They continue to abuse Members of Parliament and Senators as if we are silly. We are not silly. The people who elected us to this House are not fools. They are not fools because they knew what they were doing. We were the best choice among many other candidates who stood, but did not make it to the National Assembly or the Senate. Madam Temporary Speaker, if you watched Ms. Serem as she said what she was saying, she was full of airs, very abusive, she demeaned us and we will not let her go unchallenged. Both the Senate and the National Assembly should pull up and make sure that we place her where she belongs together with all her members. This is totally wrong. If you asked to know about the salary of her driver, you would realize that he earns about Kshs80,000 and yet county assembly representatives who have been elected by thousands of people are expected to earn Kshs61,000. They have no houses. I was surprised when my brother was talking about one of the councillor’s who comes from Eldoret. If you go to Wajir and Mandera, you will see that the representatives go for over 300 kilometres to go to the county headquarters. Do we expect them to eat sand? Do they not have children The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support the Motion. I congratulate the Senator for Keiyo, the total man Senator for bringing the Motion. This is a Motion that sheds a lot of light on problems that are going on in the country. Those county representatives have a lot of responsibilities as enumerated by Sen. Murkomen. Right now, it is budget time, but they have adjourned their sittings indefinitely, meaning that neither will they pass budgets nor will they approve the county executive committees. Nothing is going on. What we are seeing is a whole lot of arrogance. I have a county representative in Bungoma County who represents 38,000 voters; one county representative, a lady. She comes from almost 100 kilometres away from Bungoma Town. She has to travel by bus, matatus or piki piki to go legislate for the county. If you look at Nairobi, you will see that 60 per cent of the county’s GDP comes from Nairobi. You are saying that the county representative in Nairobi earns Kshs61,000 and yet, we know how much the rents here cost and the cost of education. We have young graduates who have left their careers to go into politics. You are telling them that asking for proper remuneration is comparable to greed. I do not know what the word “greed” means any more. We have people like rejectionist philosophers, unemployable people running on the streets of Nairobi saying all manner of things against anybody and everybody everywhere. They are the ones who went to dump pigs at the gates of the National Assembly. To borrow the words of Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, “such fellows are so profane that they are only beneath pigs and dogs.” That is what Robert Mugabe said to people of such behaviour. They must be sensitive to others. We have our Muslim colleagues who go to that Parliament. How should they feel when they find pigs at the gate of the National Assembly? We must find a way of bringing sanity to our public lives. This country needs proper direction. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission must listen and find out what jobs people are doing. You will hear them talking and wonder whether they have dropped from outer space and yet the Commissioners themselves are earning extremely obscene salaries. These are obscene salaries that nobody else is getting in Government. They are giving us unsolicited lessons about the economy by saying that it is not doing well and that when it is doing well, they will look into these issues. This country will not run like that. If this is an attempt to truncate devolution, we want to put them on notice that they will fail because this Senate is there to protect devolution. We will protect devolution and make sure that it works. I recommend that we go beyond this as a Senate and call upon the Executive. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission is independent to the extent that nobody interferes with it, but it is not independent to harm others. This will not be allowed. I beg to support. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this chance to say one or two words about our county representatives. You know that we and the county representatives are products of very strenuous campaigns which, of course, went on for more than two years. The culmination of these campaigns was the election of the county representatives, Members of Parliament, Governors and here we are as Senators. People need to understand the pain of becoming a county representative, a governor or a Senator. It has taken us a lot of time. We have spent a lot of money to be in this august House. Similarly, county representatives spent a lot of money to be where they are. I remember one time when the newspapers had indicated that county representatives would earn Kshs300,000. I do not know what happened, it was reduced to Kshs79,000. At the point of reduction, these people had spent a lot of money to become county representatives. This was like an ambush. They were ambushed to the positions they are at a salary of Kshs79,000. At the realization of that, most of them are now rebelling. If the trend continues, we may have civil strife. There will be rebellion in our counties and we will not make any progress. It has been very expensive to introduce devolution. You will also note that the Constitution making process was done in the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 and cost the Government a lot of money. The greatest achievement was devolution. Now that we are nursing the child, devolution, as Senators, we are the custodians. We are the people who should provide oversight. We must do it without shame so as to protect governors and county representatives because they are at our mercy. If this does not happen, we will be held responsible. It is a challenge and that is why we are here. We are not wasting time, but to make sure that county representatives are properly remunerated. Some of them, as you have heard, cover a big region, for example, those who cover the North Eastern, the Rift Valley and parts of the western region. Some of them represent over 50,000 voters, but at the end of the month, they get Kshs61,000. This is a salary equivalent to that of a house help who is employed by officers who earn high salaries. We need to move in solidarity. We have the responsibility to ensure that county representatives are well endowed. I support.
Madam Temporary Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet for bringing to the attention of this Senate this grave matter. The county assembly members have not abandoned work because they want to do so. They have done so, because it has been impossible to sustain themselves while doing the work which they were elected to do. Therefore, this Senate must stand in solidarity with them throughout the country. As many Senators have said, I have county assembly members who have to travel 300 kilometres to the county headquarters in Kitui and have to stay there living in hotels or elsewhere they choose. I even do not know how they have been able to live in hotels and survive. This is an action taken by members of county assemblies that must be supported by us. When the Constitution was being crafted, and I happen to have been one of those who were in the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution, the idea of reducing local county council representatives was to ensure that they were properly remunerated. That is why we made decisions to ensure that the areas The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, let me also thank Sen. Murkomen for bringing this Motion, so that we ventilate on the serious issue of salaries. As I speak here, the Speaker for Bomet is upstairs in the cafeteria. He came to see the famous lady to try and resolve the problem as send by his county assembly members. For all the reasons we know, he was not able to see her and so he decided to see the Senator for Bomet to try and resolve the problem. When I try to fit into the shoes of the members of the county assembly as they try to come out of this tricky situation, I think we are expecting a miracle here if we do not do the necessary things. We should, probably, be down on our knees or we should turn the clock back to 2000 years ago when miracles were plenty. Right now, miracles are difficult to come by. Therefore, we need to do something. As we continue to lament about this issue of salaries, we should be able to address some of the shortcomings in the systems that we have. For example, there is a huge disconnect between this Senate and the county assemblies. These are areas in legislation that we need to amend. Whereas we have Standing Orders No.41 and 42 where we receive and can send messages to the National Assembly and the President can send a message to the Senate, we do not have a provision where county assemblies can send messages anywhere, whether to the National Assembly, or to the Senate. So, there is no communication between us and the people we purport to stand for. It is very important The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I will be brief. I also want to congratulate the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet. I want to say that if these positions of county assemblies are positions that we could wish away, then they could not have been there in the Constitution. The positions of county assemblies are offices established under the Constitution. If you look at the structure of the Government in the counties, the offices of the county assemblies are established before the offices of the executive committees. The offices of the county assemblies are established before the offices of the Governors. If that was not the wish of those who authored this Constitution and those who enacted it, the position of county assemblies would have been created in some subsidiary legislation. If you look at even the hierarchy within the Constitution, the position of county assemblies come before the commission on salaries. So, in the constitutional arrangement, the position of county assemblies is critical to the system of Government that is established under the Constitution. I would beg and urge this Senate to be together in this issue. I know of county representatives in Siaya who are lawyers. They left their practices in order to add value to the county assembly. So, they are professionals. There is somebody who is an agriculturalist, but he wants to spend a lot of time in the county assembly doing oversight and other roles. In Siaya, I have a county representative who comes from an Island, he has to hire a boat for three hours to get to the main land and then drive for another two and a half hours. We are not serious about these county assemblies. The Constitution says that there are two levels of governments and two levels of Parliaments, that is, the National Assembly and the county assemblies. Those that are opposed to this are part of the enemies of devolution and we must protect it and defend it.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I also stand to support the Motion. The first thing that amazes me is the civil societies who were in the front defending the Constitution and fighting for devolution. Today, they have even gone beyond abusing the same Constitution without respecting the religion of others. When you bring pigs in Parliament and you know very well we have our Muslim brothers, it means you have gone beyond by not respecting those who are represented by them. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I join my colleagues in supporting this Motion. For exactly 50 years, we have had a Constitution that has not taken our country well. We, therefore, found it fit to come up with the devolved government system for which we are going to have two governance structures; one at the national level and one at the county level. We also have two legislative arms; Parliament and the county assemblies. Madam Temporary Speaker, we all know that for that Constitution to be changed, some parts of this country remained marginalized for a long time. The idea of the devolved government system came in so that, possibly, there can be an equal measure of development in this country. When these elections came, some of us from those counties that thought we were marginalized for a long time, went for our best brains to come and serve the county. We thought that maybe for the first time, we can bring value directly to the people who were born in those places. To this extent, West Pokot, where I come from, we have 20 wards and 20 Members of County Assembly (MCAs). You will be surprised that 16 of them have degrees, some with first class honours; this is in West Pokot where sometimes people think the people have not gone to school. What does that mean? It means that we had hope and we still have hope that this system is going to bring all the intellect that is going to build the county. Madam Temporary Speaker, when we heard and when we saw the type of salaries that were released just two days before elections, which were supposed to be released before the roll out of the election programme, it was a shocker! We expected that we should not punish the intellect of the people that we have sent there. Not only do we have those problems and challenges, they also do not have anywhere to stay. I have one fellow from Alale Ward, which is the size of Nairobi County. He has to move 350 kilometres to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this time to contribute. First and foremost, I must thank my fellow Senator who brought this Motion to the Floor. I am in support of it because of the following reasons. I hope that under the new Constitution, there are no personnel who do not know the difference between a Member of the County Assembly (MCA), a Senator, a Governor and, maybe, a Member of Parliament (MP). As I speak today, I want to speak about the issue of the area of coverage for the MCAs. We must not forget that for their area of coverage, three wards were put together for these people. Today as I am standing here, a number of MCAs are representing more than 100,000 people. When we do not take them into consideration, it means that we are targeting the community itself. It is not a salary for nothing, but a salary for quality services. These people should be given enough money so that they will render quality services to the community. Today as I am standing here as a nominated Senator from Nakuru, I know there is an MCA who travels more than 250 kilometres from Kipchororo to Nakuru. So, can you imagine such an MCA coming to Nakuru to legislate because it is part of the roles of an MCA. Such a person cannot even mobilize people to talk about legislation just because he has been demoralized. So, today, we are not happy to say that we are Senators who are protecting the interests of the counties if we are going to keep quiet about this. Madam Temporary Speaker, I stand here this afternoon to support the Motion.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I also want to support the decision that has been taken by the MCAs across our country. Madam Temporary Speaker, I am speaking as the Senator for Tharaka Nithi and I want to say as follows. We have watched with disbelief as we vilify elected leaders and make it as if it is a criminal offence to be in representational politics. But no other cadre of leadership has been humiliated more than the MCAs. Madam Temporary Speaker, the gap between the salaries of MCAs and that of Members of the National Assembly and Members of the Senate is too big for no apparent reason. The Constitution prohibits me not to use this forum and my position of privilege as Senator to discuss my own salary. However, I just want to say that the same Constitution empowers me to protect the county governments and the interests of our counties. Those county governments are both the executive arm and the legislative arm; The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Speaker.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Thank you, I welcome the information.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I just want to inform Prof. Kindiki that, indeed, this salary that has been approved by the Transition Authority (TA) for the personal assistant of the Governor alone is exactly close to Kshs90,000; the salary for the secretary of the Governor, approved again by the TA is Kshs79,000---
That is the same as the one for the MCA!
That is equal to or actually more than what a whole leader of a ward who is responsible for approving a budget that runs into billions and being responsible for oversight of the same billions. Again, the lowest paid public servant in any of these counties, including the local authorities that were there is almost Kshs40,000. In fact, in the remotest ones like in my county, the lowest paid public servants is paid Kshs40,000.
(Sen. (Prof) Kindiki): I want to thank my colleague, Sen. Billow Kerrow, for that information. We are not saying that secretaries are not important people. We are saying that people should be paid according to their qualifications and the functions that they perform. Having said that, I want to make a final remark. The Chair of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission whom we respect because of the Constitutional Office that she holds has gone overboard to abuse her constitutional position. She is behaving like a politician; she is issuing political statements and competing with politicians. In a nutshell, to exhaust my 20 seconds, I want to say that we will not entertain; as elected leaders, being lectured by public servants. She is abusing her powers under the Constitution. She should tone down and speak with decorum when she is speaking to people who have been elected.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I would like to add my voice to this Debate. I will give about three points that I need to add. First and foremost, is the role played by the county assemblies in terms of supervising the County Executive. The County Executive Members, as per the structure, are earning Kshs225,000, if I am not wrong. The county assembly representatives are earning Kshs79,000. So, who will be supervising who? Clearly, we will have a big problem because the members of the Executive will misbehave simply because they will look at county representatives as their juniors. We must do something about that. The second point is that these structures were developed before these institutions were put in place. It is important for the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to review these structures. It is important to learn from the current experience and practice that what they had looked at before the institutions were put in place has been proven to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I want to join my colleagues in supporting this Motion. I think, as my colleagues have mentioned, the responsibilities bestowed upon Members of the County Assemblies is huge. We, therefore, need to facilitate them. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission is setting up Members of the County Assembly so that they fail. If you give huge responsibilities to a county assembly member and then deny them the resources required to carry out the responsibilities, in that sense, you are playing politics. I want to join my colleagues in asking the members of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to be reasonable. The reasons that we needed a salaries commission is because we needed to rationalize salaries. However, we are in a situation where the Salaries and Remunerations Commission is creating more problems than we expected. So, it is important for all of us to support this agenda. I propose that since we have a Devolution Committee in this House then we can task the Committee to engage with this matter a little bit more so that we can deal with the issue once and for all and get the county assemblies back to work. We have seen county assembly members, despite the fact that they are earning meager resources and have not earned their first salaries, doing a great job. We have seen them rejecting some of the County Executive nominees. We have seen them doing thorough jobs in terms of vetting. We need to motivate them and ensure that we can sustain this kind of performance by the members of the county assembly. We, therefore, need as a House to stand with them. While we still negotiate behind the scenes for our salaries, we need to be bold and come out openly and help members of the county assembly to press the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to review their salaries and provide them with mileage transport/allowances. Some of them travel up to 200 kilometres. Let us help the county assembly members so that we can have county assemblies playing their rightful role of oversight. You cannot play an oversight role if you are earning Kshs79,000 and yet the person you are supposed to check is earning close to over Kshs1 million. We need to be realistic so as to work together.
Thank you Madam Temporary Speaker. I just want to add a couple of points. The most important thing to note is that what this Commission has argued, time and again, is about the wage bill. However, the wage bill is Khss500 billion for the 700,000 public servants and the fact that the Government cannot sustain it. The total amount of the wage bill for the elected leaders who were affected by the reduction of salaries; Governors, Senators, County Assembly Members and Members of the National The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I am going to try and support this Motion in the shortest time possible. While my fellow Senators were talking I remembered a county representative I interviewed a few months before I came to this House. This county representative came to Nairobi in 2004 to get a job. He has been a watchman from 2004 till today. He took his time to educate people in Kibera about the Constitution and encouraged them to register as voters. Finally, he was voted in as a county representative in one of the wards in Kibera. This is a man who understands that the Senate is supposed to safeguard their aspirations. He called me the other day and asked me what we are doing to help them. So, as we support this Motion, let us do something about it even if it means summoning Serem to go and dialogue with them because in the press conference she said she is ready to dialogue. In that small window The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
We still have one minute.
Madam Temporary Speaker, first of all, I would like this House to remember that I am the one who said that our county representatives are really feeling bad. I just wish that I could be given some time so that I can narrate a typical case in my county. I have a county representative who lives in Loitokok, his name is Leng’ete. He represents Ilasit Ward. He travels for about 250 kilometres from Njukini to Kajiado. Every week he sells one ram at a cost of about Kshs7,000. He then uses Kshs2,000 for travelling, Kshs1,000 for lunch and dinner then he lodges with Kshs2,000. We were just told the other day that the allowances for those people are Kshs3,000, but you can see that he ends up using about Kshs5,000. This is somebody who left his job, he was a lawyer, to represent his people.
Hon. Senators, we have come to the end of today’s sitting. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 15th May, 2013 at 9.00 a.m. The Senate rose at 6.30 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.