Hon. Senators, I wish to acknowledge the presence of a delegation visiting us today. Allow me, Hon. Senators to introduce to you a delegation of members of the County Assembly of Kilifi who are seated at the gallery. The delegation is led by the Speaker of the County Assembly, hon. Jimmy Kahindi. As I proceed to introduce the rest, I request that when an Hon. Member is called, he or she should stand up and be acknowledged in the normal tradition of Parliament. Hon. Adamson Kadenge; hon. Albert Kiraga Hare; hon. Alfonce Mwayaa; hon. Anthony Kenga Mupe; hon. Anthony Ndune Nzaka; hon. Bakari Ali Mwinyi; hon. Boniface Mbkombe Mwango; hon. Cosmas Foleni Kenga; hon. Daniel Chai Chiriba; hon. Daniel James Mangi; hon. Dr. Silas Mzungu Chitibwi; hon. Duncan K. Kaingu; hon. Edward Kazungu Dele; hon. Elina Stephen Mbaru; hon. Emmanuel Kazungu Chai; hon. Getrude Mbeyu Mwanyanje; hon. Hamza Hamisi Hussein; hon. Hassan Muhamed Said; hon. Ibrahim Abdi Athuman; hon. Japhet Katana Chai Nzaro; hon. Jared Kaunda Chokwe Barns; hon. Kahindi Geoffrey Muhambi; hon. Lawrence Kazungu Kilabo; hon. Mwingo Kaingu Boniface; hon. Naphtali Nyae Kombo; hon. Nixon Charo Mramba; hon. Onesmas Gambo Karisa; hon. Pascal T. Jacob; hon. Renson Kambi Karisa; hon. Said Mwachenda; hon. Stanley Karisa Kenga; hon. Stephen Bahati Mlanda; hon. Teddy Ngumbao Mwambire; hon. Theophilus Kalama Fondo; hon. Valentine Matsaki Mwamanga; hon. Gibson Matano Herbert; hon. Christine Fondo; hon. Grace Kwekwe Mwangombe; hon. Anderson Ngombo Kithi; hon. Asha Chiku Wanje; hon. Nashee Nana Mohamed; hon. Elizabeth Muthoka; hon. Sophie Burns Chokwe; hon. Elizabeth Tabu Ngala; hon. Jane Bahati Mwaro; hon. Selina Khadija Salim; hon. Grace Mbodza Chihanga; hon. Priscila 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.
Next Order. I am sorry; I had not checked my screen. Sen. Karaba or Sen. Murkomen. I saw Sen. Karaba’s name on my screen, I call you out and you are looking puzzled. So, I assumed that you may have put the request accidentally. Yes, Sen. Murkomen?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for that introduction. On behalf of this other side and particularly as the Chair of the Committee on Devolution, I would also like to extend our warm welcome to the MCAs, who are our partners at the county level. You have today made history as the first team to visit this new Senate in our first sitting in this Senate since we moved to this Chamber after renovation. This House stands with the county governments and the county assemblies in particular to ensure that we further the interest of devolution. Do not feel shy when you are visiting us, because this Chamber is your House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Except that, Sen. Murkomen, the last paragraph of my communication stated:- “On my own behalf and on behalf of the Senate---”
I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I said “on my own behalf and on behalf of the Committee on Devolution.”
And in support of my---
And in support of the Speaker.
That is the only proper way to put it.
Yes, Sen. Madzayo? 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.
Bw. Spika, kitu cha kwanza nataka kukushukuru kwa kukubali ujumbe wa waheshimiwa kutoka Kaunti ya Kilifi kuja hapa katika Seneti. Wako hapa kujifundisha vile mambo yanaendelea katika Bunge hili la Seneti. Jambo la pili ni kuwa ujumbe huu uko hapa kwa muda fulani na wataweza pia kuungana na Kamati tofauti tofauti ili wakirudi nyumbani waweze kujiendeleza katika masuala haya ya ugatuzi ambayo Bunge letu hili la Seneti linazingatia zaidi. Bw. Spika, pia ningependa kuwashukuru kwa sababu wamekuja kwa wingi na wote wako hapa kujifunza.
Jambo hili litatutia sisi watu wa Kilifi nguvu na Kenya kwa ujumla. Kwa hivyo, nataka kuwashukuru sana waheshimiwa wote waliokuja kutoka Kilifi na pia kukushukuru wewe kwa sababu ya kuwakaribisha katika Bunge hili la Seneti. Asante sana Bw. Spika.
Finally, Sen. Karaba!
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I also extend my congratulations to the team of MCAs from Kilifi. We are grateful that you have come to see where we work from. My Committee of Education, Science and Technology visited Kilifi and we were impressed to see how they are taking devolution trends down to the Early Childhood Development (ECD) level. So, I was there and I had the opportunity to see what we normally do in the Senate. Welcome!
Order, Senators! I have a message from the National Assembly on the Fertilizers and Animal Foodstuffs (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 36 of 2013). Hon. Senators, I wish to bring to the attention of the Senate that, pursuant to Standing Order 40(3) and (4), the Clerk has delivered to me a message from the National Assembly regarding the Fertilizers and Animal Foodstuffs (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 36 of 2013), which was delivered, pursuant to Standing Order 40(2), on 30th June, 2014. It states as follows and I quote:- “Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 41 and 142 of the National Assembly Standing Orders, I hereby convey the following message from the National Assembly:- 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 wish to make the following communication regarding the business of the Senate. As you may have noticed, the House has previously experienced instances when business scheduled in the Order Paper is not disposed of in the sequence in which it appears pursuant to Standing Order No.39 due to absence of Senators to either move or reply after debate has been concluded. At certain times, the House has been forced to adjourn before the designated time due to such absence. Hon. Senators, I wish to remind all Senators that the Order Paper which shows the business to be transacted is dutifully and routinely published by the Clerk pursuant to Standing Order No.37 and uploaded on the Senate sub-site of the Parliament of Kenya website and hence accessible to Senators wherever they may be, within or outside the country. Hon. Senators, let me, therefore, take this opportunity, first, to thank those Senators who are always available for the business, but also to draw your attention to those others who sometimes are absent. The Standing Orders, particularly those relating to Motions, particularly Standing Order No.51 is titled “Time for moving Motions” and states as follows:- “(1) The Rules and Business Committee shall allot the time and sequence of the publication in the Order Paper of every Motion approved by the Speaker. (2) Save for a Special Motion, a Senator who has a Motion standing in his or her name may authorize, in writing, another Senator to move that Motion in the Senator’s stead. (3) Where no Senator moves a Motion at the time specified by or under these Standing Orders, such Motion shall not again be published in the Order Paper during the same Session except with the leave of the Speaker.” 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. We congratulated you yesterday for making it possible for us to use this magnificent Chamber. But I also wish to make this further request on the parliamentary cards or whatever they are called. Many Members are finding it difficult to carry these cards to their homes because when they change their suits, they normally leave them behind.
Therefore, I would like to request if one of the clerk’s can be stationed somewhere and as we go out, we can leave the cards with them and pick them in the morning.
That is a fair request. There will be a serjeant-at- arms officer at the entrance. When you leave, you can leave the cards with them. You may also collect them from them as you enter.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, allow me to comment on something. We have a lot of technology in our country where we have to put in a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or a code. Would I be in order to suggest that the system be revisited by the technologists so that we can enter a number without necessarily carrying the gadget?
Good suggestion. It will be considered.
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 your point of order, Sen. Murkomen as Sen. Karaba is finding his place?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it in order for the Chairperson of the Committee on Education, who has been talking about e-education to be in this situation?
Sen. Karaba, it must be on now.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you can see, it is not only me who is facing problems. I have been assisted by about five Senators and they were unable to log in! Mr. Speaker, Sir, these cards have no names. If the card drops out there, nobody will be able to retrieve it. I wish to suggest that, whoever came up with this technology that they inscribe the name on it. Short of that is what was said by Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki that we use our personal identification numbers.
Order, Senators. Interventions to that debate are over. That does not stop you from writing down your suggestions and forwarding them to the Clerks-at-the-Table. We will consider all of them together. Next Order!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I had wanted to welcome the hon. Members of the County Assembly of Kilifi County. I pressed all the buttons, my name was not called out. It shows my name is not there. Right now, everything is in order here, but my name does not appear there. Yesterday, I kept on coming to the Speaker just to check. I know that the officers concerned with this must have done some checking of the system. But can they redo the checking to see that everything is working? They could do this over the weekend. I am very good at these things! But my plea is that over the weekend the technical staff should recheck the system to see that everything is working.
Sen. Wako, we have been checking even yesterday. Your name is now there. During the other Order, your name was not appearing. So, you must have pressed something else. 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.
That is why, Mr. Speaker---
Order, Sen. Wako! You do not engage the Speaker that way. The Speaker never debates!
Well, there is also a bit of a lag between the time your name is called out and when the microphone comes on.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just got concerned. You called the next Order, Statements. No statement has been issued and I have two pending statements. I would like your direction on this matter before you call the next Order.
I did call the next Order and I can understand why you want us to go to that Order immediately. But you can also understand why your other colleagues also insist on finding out how to use the technology. Without that capacity, they may not even help you. Sen. Omondi. Wait for the microphone to come on.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to put an intervention. I want to support Sen. Amos Wako. I do not know if we are being reflected on the screen there because yesterday I was among the first to put a request. In fact, there were Senators who came in while I was on, but I was left out. I wonder, am I really being reflected there? It is like I am missing in the system. Right now, I pressed the microphone, I put on “intervention” and I still was locked out. I am worried. Am I reflected in the system?
Sen. Omondi, I can confirm you are reflected in the system, but on the wrong button.
There is a difference between a point of order, when you should do the interventions and when you want to talk. You had wanted to talk and there was no business for you to contribute to. Hon. Senators, I would like to suggest that once an Order has been passed, because you may have been interested in the earlier Order, then you need to disengage so that we can get fresh requests. Most of you have maintained and they have just called the Order. Next Order!
The microphone will come on automatically, it takes time. It has now come!
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.
Who had requested the statement?
Well, she has travelled on official Senate business. So, we cannot use that against her knowing that we are the ones who sent her. You can respond to the statement next week.
Sen. Mohamud Abdille. AWARD OF SECURITY SURVEILLANCE TENDER TO SAFARICOM LIMITED
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Information and Technology. The statement relates to the Government’s award to Safaricom of an extra spectrum for the security surveillance tender. In the statement, I would like the chairperson of the Committee to:- (1) clarify the circumstances under which the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) awarded Safaricom the spectrum for the security surveillance tender? (2) State why the process was not subjected to competitive tendering process? (3) Explain why the Government is surrendering its CCTV security operations to a private company and state if this will not pose a security risk? (4) Confirm whether or not the security surveillance contract awarded to Safaricom had already been awarded to another Chinese Company, ZTE? (5) Provide a list of all private communication companies that the Government has entered into agreement with for the security related contract, if any?
Chairperson of the Committee, Sen. Kagwe.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am very much un-analog. I will provide the answer to those questions in two weeks time.
Order, Senator. You will get the response in two week’s time. It is so directed, we do not need your response.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there are two outstanding statements that I had sought. One is from the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget on escalating interest rates. This statement has been outstanding for a very long 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.
Both chairpersons are around. Sen. Billow, you may proceed to the Dispatch Box. ESCALATING BANK INTEREST RATES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to respond to the statement by the Senator for Murang’a County, Sen. Kembi-Gitura, on the escalating bank interest rates. This is an elaborate statement. I want to give the highlights and then I will probably leave it to the Member to determine. The Member had sought a number of issues. It is common knowledge that interests charged by commercial banks have been escalating over time as a result of which borrowing has become very expensive.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Kembi-Gitura?
I want to assure the Members that I am not analog at all. It is only my hair which is grey.
Sen. Billow has said this is a very comprehensive statement and I appreciate that because I know that he is a very thorough person. But the truth is, I have not seen a copy of the statement. Therefore, if it is as elaborate as I suspect that it is, I think it is incumbent upon him to have given me a copy, I have a look at it, so that I can make intelligent interventions, if I have to. My point of order is that, if, indeed, we should find it convenient, maybe the best thing to do is to defer the statement, have him give me a copy, then we can have the statement, next Tuesday or when it is next convenient for the Senate, at your order.
I was also checking for the Speaker’s copy, it is not there. Sen. Billow, you need to make copies at least for the two of us and then you can respond tomorrow. In any case, you have said the statement is elaborate. You will consider the highlights but the Member will be disadvantaged when you do so without him having a copy.
I agree, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I will avail copies to the clerks; so that they can make copies for the Senator, then we can do it tomorrow.
Chairperson, Committee on Education. REINSTATEMENT OF JOHN MAINA NJOROGE BY TSC 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, I am in receipt of a statement which I will release now, of a certain Mr. Njoroge. It reads as follows:- The statement of John Njoroge Maina, TSC No.256488; pursuant to Standing Order No.45---
Order, Chairperson! You know you can do better than that.
I am sure, yes.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I know where Sen. Karaba is coming from. I had sought a statement from his Committee. The response was supposed to be issued this afternoon. I have just been given a copy by the Clerk. I do not know whether or not Sen. Karaba has seen it before because I am the one who gave him an advance copy that I had just been given. So, what he should be doing is either to read it or to seek time so that he can read it and understand it because it raises some pertinent issues, matters of law.
Order, Chairman! Surely, you cannot be reading the statement to the House at the same time as you are reading it for yourself. We defer it to tomorrow, so that you have enough time to interrogate the statement. This is not just a conveyance belt; you are also supposed to interrogate the statement. You might need to understand it or seek additional information, so that when you come to the House, you are properly seized of the issues. We give you another 24 hours.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is good that you have made the ruling. The clerks should make sure that both the person seeking the Statement and the one answering are given copies because most of the time, the one answering is given a copy and the other one is not given. Yesterday, I had to do the same thing, that is, giving them a copy to read. So, I want to ask the clerks to make sure that they give the copies to both parties.
I understand what you are saying and if somebody does not understand, then let him or her understand it today that both the Chair and the Member must have copies of the Statement. That is just basic. Any other Statement? MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF MOBILE PHONE SERVICE PROVIDERS
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to request for a Statement from the Chair of the Committee on Information and Technology on the service provision by mobile phone service providers. In the Statement, the Chairperson should:- (i) explain why services of mobile phone providers especially Safaricom have become poor; (ii) name counties in Kenya where one can carry out uninterrupted phone calls without disruption and explain what measures are being taken to ensure that there is good network in all counties; (iii) state the measures that the Communication Authority of Kenya has put in place to benchmark on performance of mobile phone providers; 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.
Chair, Information and Technology Committee.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I propose that you give me two weeks to come up with the answer to that Statement. I also ask that the Clerk sends the Statements to both the relevant Ministry and Chairpersons as soon as possible.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Wetangula?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you realize that most of the Statements being requested for are very important in terms of policy content; they are very complex and require very detailed information. You did indicate at some point that you may give direction to the Senate that relevant Cabinet Secretaries be availed an opportunity to come and answer Questions in this House and be subjected to interrogation by Members who wish to do so. Many of the answers brought here by Chairpersons, and for no fault of their own, most often fall far short of the expectations of the House and if not, the supplementaries that follow are normally of such a nature that the content of the Statement from the parent Ministry does not help the Chairperson to competently and diligently address those statements. I have read from the media, although we say that it may not be the source of our authority here, but the Lower House has moved in that direction. Having indicated that you would move in that direction as well, I would like to inquire from the Chair whether this process is in the offing and how soon it can be effective. We ask each other questions here knowing very well that it is in the very nature of Government officers to hide information even when it is not necessary to do so. It would be good if they come here and we interrogate them.
That matter is under active consideration and we are yet to finalize it.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
On what basis, Sen. Kajwang?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on that issue. I suspect that it is a constitutional matter which should be considered broadly because the membership of this House is a constitutional issue and those who can speak from this House is constitutionally provided for. In the old Constitution, for the Attorney-General to attend this House, he had to be an
Member. So, it is not a question of the House deciding ad hoc who can come here even for the convenience of answering questions. In fact, for the President to come to Parliament in the old Constitution, it was provided for including where he would sit. I think we can debate it either formally or informally and see whether we can make considerations to allow other people to come and address us. Otherwise, this House may become a place where people just walk in and walk out. It is not easy to be a Member of this House and we must protect this privilege very jealously. Even for you to preside over this House, we had to do a very rigorous 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 am happy that I allowed you because that was a very critical intervention. We are basically elaborating the kind of concerns that we are still trying to figure out how to navigate. I think Sen. Wetangula can now appreciate why we have not been very eager to pursue that route in spite of our intentions.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Wetangula, you have already made your intervention and we have shared sufficiently enough. We do not have to do it repeatedly. When you communicate once, the Chair understands your interest.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not think we should spend too much time on this. The point of order that has been raised points at very important constitutional interpretations in view of the clear separation of powers that we now have under our current Constitution which is a bit modeled on the United States of America (USA) Constitution. Therefore, as you consider the grave constitutional implications that this issue raises, also consider whether or not the Committees cannot exercise their powers. Where the answer falls short of expectations in areas to be covered, the Cabinet Secretary should be summoned before the Committee. When a Cabinet Secretary is summoned, you can allow other Members to come and grill that Cabinet Secretary. I am sure if Cabinet Secretaries are summoned, they will start giving us proper answers but because there is no whip, they do not regard the answers they give to the Senate as of any consequence. They just give us shoddy answers and hope that they can get away with it. I would urge the Committee even now to begin summoning Cabinet Secretaries, where the answer falls short, as we consider the constitutional implications of what we are going to do.
Hon. Senators, I really do not want us to debate this matter. Let me just give a chance to the Minority Leader because he is the one who started before I can make some preliminary remarks.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I fully appreciate the point raised by the distinguished Senator for Homa Bay. What we should probably do, and the Chairperson of Committee should not find this as a measure of inadequacy but it is a measure of doing work, that before they bring answers to this House, they should interrogate Cabinet Secretaries and their officers at the Committee level so that when they come here with Statements--- I do not want to point out any Chairperson but some of them have certainly fallen short of our expectations and we would want to see that things are done properly. So, you may administratively indicate to the Chairperson to interrogate Cabinet Secretaries and their officers at the Committee level and bring adequate responses to this House so that we get value for our questions and requests.
Sen. Kembi-Gitura, I can see you are being persistent. 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, those are two seconds wasted by the microphone. If we complete one session, it is going to be a lot of time lost so I think we need to do something about this system. I am on record as having spoken about this issue. A very good indicator is the statement you have just deferred to tomorrow from the Chairman of the Committee on Education. It is quite obvious - and I am not blaming him - that the Committee has not seen that answer; which means if you allowed him to go on and give it, he would have done it in exclusion of the Members of his Committee. It seems the answer was not interrogated and that is very dangerous. We do not blame them because some people have been Cabinet Ministers and some of them Assistant Ministers and they used to answer Questions in the House. Usually, they discuss them in the Ministry before they are answered in the House so when they go to the House, they have sufficient supplementary answers to address supplementary Questions. I do not think that the new Constitution contemplated a situation where we just get answers and get satisfied but we do appreciate what Sen. Kajwang and Sen.Wako have said. The point being made by Sen. Wetangula is of such great importance that we must find a way round this system. My proposal has always been, and I have said this more than five times in this House, that nothing stops this House from constituting itself into a Committee of the Whole and summoning Cabinet Secretaries and having them answer and be interrogated on the responses that they give. For me, it does not matter whether a proper answer comes to me when I am sitting in the Senate as constituted or whether in the Kamukunji or a Committee of the Whole but it must come in such a way that I get an answer that is satisfactory and that I am able to be satisfied. The Constitution is silent on many things. The Constitution does not say there cannot be Assistant Ministers, for the sake of argument. It says that there shall be a Cabinet Secretary but it does not say there shall not be a deputy or an assistant. So, it depends on whether you want to interpret the Constitution broadly or narrowly, it is your choice. Regarding the issue of Statements that we seek, we do not seek them for the sake of it. The Statement I have sought from the Committee on Education, for instance, is a question of policy. It is not about a school teacher who makes a young girl pregnant to be interdicted or not---
Order, Sen. Kembi-Gitura, please, finish. The Statement is coming tomorrow.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It is of such great importance that we must now make a decision whether it would be in the Committee or the Committee of the Whole where these statements are answered to the satisfaction of all of because the statement once asked is the property of the House and not only the person who asked it.
Hon. Senators, I want to draw your attention to the relevant articles. If you look at Article 125 – Power to call for evidence. Either House of Parliament and any of its Committees have power to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information. It talks of either House of Parliament and any of its Committees. That is where Sen. Wetangula and Sen. Kembi-Gitura find some ground of entry. 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 think this one is waiting for a vote. Where are the Whips? It is always good to have an indication of what is supposed to happen. Where are the Senate Majority and the Senate Minority Leaders? Order, hon. Senators! Let us proceed to put the question. However, before we proceed, let me spell out the procedures, given the new apparatus.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Senator Wetangula, I have just made elaborate procedures. What is it?
The reason I stood on a point of order is because you are standing and, therefore, we are supposed to be reading the screen below you. I have a small point. You have given us guidance. Those who were in the last Parliament knew what you were saying because we were using these gadgets. If our voting here, if you will vote yes, no or abstain, how will the Chair determine who in which delegation is voting, especially for proxy voters? That is very important. As I said last week, there may be a point where proxy vote should be established and proved so that there is no contention. We may need to prove that one has been delegated as a proxy. So, we need clarity on that as well. Sitting and pressing “yes”, “no” or “abstention” without knowing who is voting for what delegation becomes very difficult. Secondly, we had a case here where two Senators purported to be proxy voters for one county. That highlighted some issues which were raised on the Floor. So, you should guide us on that as well. 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.
You have picked the dilemma I was in yesterday when I was doing my own induction. I raised that point. Our people need to advise us.
I think we have a solution but let us hear your views.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to reiterate the point that has been raised which is very pertinent. Under the circumstances, I want to suggest that we use our former voting system until we are sure and have all the letters from the heads of delegations after which we can vote according to what is listed.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it right for someone to interrupt the Speaker while he is on his feet? I would like to seek clarity on that.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My question is the same as Sen. Wetangula’s. What happens to a Member of a delegation who wants to vote on behalf of the leader of a delegation?
Sen. Chelule, I hope you appreciate that our Standing Orders discourage repetitions. When a point has already been made, you are supposed to consume it. I think that is what informed the withdrawal of the sentiments by the Senator from Tana River.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to suggest a way forward. Before we start voting, it is well known that the people who vote on behalf of delegations like today, normally get up and state that they have instructions from their leaders of delegations. The votes are then counted and it is known who is voting for whom. I think after that, we can proceed to vote the electronic way. I think the only discrepancy so far is on Senators who belong to a delegation.
Order, hon. Members. I am afraid that I normally say that I am subject to the will of the House. However, on this one, I will decline. I decline in the sense that there is no better opportunity to start experimenting this process rather than now. So, we cannot just say that we will not continue because we are used to an old system. We are already here. Yesterday, Sen. Kagwe, the Chairperson of the Committee on Information and Technology said that we should not just enjoy the seats. The new technology should also be reflected in having a paperless House including having Ipads. I took those sentiments very seriously. So, by the time we call for the voting, we would have had the bell ringing for eight minutes. In those eight minutes, we will know who are responsible for the proxy votes per delegation. The system is such that for now, it is only leaders of delegations who can vote with the cards we have. The proxy ones, once we have confirmed them, we will activate their cards so that they can vote.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have to confirm that they have been delegated. 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.
Senators, yes, we have to confirm that they have been delegated on that mandate. That is the way we will go. We will start now and not tomorrow. Order, hon. Members! I hope that the leadership of the House will help us in terms of the tellers and the proxy votes. If you look at Standing Order No.74 on electronic voting, you will see that it states: (1) “Unless the Speaker, for the convenience of the Senate otherwise directs, voting on any division of the Senate shall be by electronic voting. (2) When the Speaker directs that an electronic vote be taken, the Division Bell shall be rung for not more than 10 minutes and the Senate shall proceed to vote at the expiry of the 10 minutes, or such further time as the Speaker may, for the convenience of the Senate, direct.” I am tempted to reduce that time to five minutes. “(3) During electronic voting, Senators shall cast their votes by pressing either the “Yes,” “No” or “Abstain” button. (4)At the expiry of five minutes or as soon as the result of the voting appears on the indicator board, the Speaker or the Chairperson, as the case may be shall announce the results of the division forthwith. (5) A Senator who is not able to cast his or her vote due to any reason considered sufficient by the Speaker, may, before the result of the division is announced and after obtaining the permission of the Speaker have his or her vote recorded verbally by stating whether he or is in favour or against the question.” That covers Senator’s Kajwang’s situation. “(6) Where the Presiding Officer has an original vote; the presiding officer shall cast his or her vote from the Chair. (7) Any Senator present in the Senate but who shall not have voted at the expiry of five minutes or after the announcing of the results, whichever is earlier, shall forfeit their right to vote and shall be deemed to have abstained from voting.”
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Sen. Khaniri?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Sen. Haji raised a very important matter with regard to Part XVIII of our Standing Orders. That is about order in the Senate, the whole House and Committees. You were on your feet and my leader here, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Wetangula stood up on a point of order despite the new gadgets that we have. The excuse that he gave was that he thought you would not see your board while standing. Standing Order No.105 is very clear on this matter. That is the Standing Order that my leader here violated. He stood here and shouted “point of order” when the Speaker was on his feet. Standing Order No.87 (3) gives us guidelines on how you should handle a point of order raised by Members. Sen. Haji raised a very genuine point of order. I believe that we have to adhere to our rules under Standing Order No.87 (3) which says that you must give a ruling. “The Speaker shall--” We cannot just brush this away. 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 your point of order, Sen. Wetangula?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, both Sen. Haji and Sen. Khaniri, my distinguished “kid brother” are actually providing comic relief to the House because you have already said from where you are that I was out of order and I bowed and acknowledged that I was and the matter ended there. So, if they want to provide comic relief we can welcome it, but the matter has rested where it fell.
First, I really want to appreciate the Senate Minority Leader for the fact that your “kid brother” as you term it can actually challenge you. It is a very good democratic practice which I personally would wish to encourage. Secondly, for you also not to appreciate his prowess in promoting and maintaining the Standing Orders, you are the one providing comic relief and not him. Standing Order No.105 does not only talk about when the Speaker or the Chairperson of a Committee is on his feet, but also that you must maintain silence. So, for you to interrupt in an oral manner is even disturbing than silence and your “kid brother” did not even go into that. So, I think you owe it to him, even though the House still recognizes that you are the senior brother. The most important point in reference to your position, and I would not want to go that way because we do not need to dispose of everything as Sen. Khaniri would wish to, but he is definitely right that every point of order must be disposed of. Since I want to believe that you have already appreciated the point made, we want to believe going forward, we will adhere to Standing Order No.105 and 87(3). I think that will satisfy the House, Sen. Haji and Sen. Khaniri in particular.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I stand under Standing Order No.75 on technical failure, confusion or error occurring with regard to today’s electronic voting which we want to do for the first time. It is possible that there could be confusion or error occurring in today’s voting. I would wish the Chair to tell us what steps you are going to take to mitigate against those failures and errors.
That is anticipating error. Let us cross that bridge once we reach there. I really do not know why we seem to be so pessimistic that this system will not work. Let us try. In any case, Sen. Kajwang is back. I, therefore, call for the vote. Ring the Bell for five minutes since we have spent a bit of time on the points of order.
Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. you need to assist Sen. Wako. There is a reason he chose to sit there. Hon. Senators, I really hope that everybody is following instructions so far. Order, Sen. Amos Wako! Once you have logged in your card and put your PIN, even your neighbour can assist you to vote if you have difficulties. During voting just press once whichever button of the three and do not remove the card or press any other button. Now, I order that the vote be taken in one minute.
One minute is gone and we have 25 votes recorded electronically. We will invoke Standing Order No.74 (5) for the Senator for Isiolo.
I am told that I have to wait for the printout before I announce the results of the Division. Order, Senators! We now have the results of the Division. Even if you have a card and you are not a delegate, it is also shown. The results of the Division are as follows:-
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) is vested with the responsibility of developing roads in cities and former municipalities; noting that a number of county headquarters are located within areas formerly known as county councils and therefore road maintenance within such county headquarters would not be the responsibility of KURA; concerned that this arrangement gives undue advantage to county headquarters located within cities and former municipalities compared to those located within the former county council areas; the Senate calls upon the national Government to restructure KURA and expand its mandate to cover road infrastructure in all the forty-seven county headquarters.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, road transport accounts for almost 90 per cent of all the freight and passenger traffic in Kenya. Under the Roads Act of 2007, KURA has been given the responsibility to manage, develop, rehabilitate and maintain all public roads within the cities and municipalities in Kenya, except where those roads are classified as national roads. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just to highlight the areas which are currently benefiting from this, we have Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Kisumu and Nyeri, among others. We have former county councils, like Kajiado which is my county, Tharaka-Nithi, Lamu, Tana River, Baringo, Wajir, Marsabit, Samburu, Narok and others which are not benefiting out of this. I want to remind this House that we are under a new Constitution and the Roads Act of 2007 is still in force. Because of this, quite a number of counties are disadvantaged. Up to now, the former county councils do not benefit from any funds allocated to KURA. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the 2013/2014 Financial Year, KURA was given almost Kshs2.5 billion which was used to do only roads within the cities and former municipalities. There are many areas in my county, like Ngong, Kiserian, Ongata Rongai and Kitengela which really need some assistance. While KURA has been doing roads within Nairobi and Athi River which is a municipality, it leaves out other areas like Kitengela, Ongata Rongai and Ngong, yet almost 90 per cent of the people who live there work in Nairobi. The population within particularly areas in Kajiado County, which are adjacent to Nairobi, is about 700,000 people. These people contribute to the economy of Nairobi City, but when it comes to the infrastructure, they are not catered for. 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to second this Motion because I know where my colleague, Sen. Mositet, is coming from. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know very well that after the passing of the new Constitution, roads have been clearly demarcated between the national Government and county governments. But, unfortunately, to date the roads maintenance structure in this country has not changed and realigned to reflect the new Constitution, as indicated in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution, which clearly indicates that there are national trunk roads, under the national Government and county roads under the county governments. Now that we have that definition which is not being adhered to by the roads maintenance system, there is the issue of some money which was supposed to have gone to the counties, still remaining with KURA and not being shared fairly or equitably among the counties. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the roads sector in this country has undergone several developments in terms of maintenance. Initially, we used to just talk of roads construction. Later on, it was felt that we have neglected maintenance and that is why the fuel levy came up under the Kenya Roads Board Act. This Act set up a board to actually manage the fuel levy funds which were supposed to cater for maintenance. Later on, in 2007, we had the Roads Act which created the authorities. Now, we have the new Constitution which actually divides roads into two. We have the national trunk roads, which by definition could be the roads which are under the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA). The rest of the roads are supposed to be under the county governments. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we know, funds are supposed to follow the functions. So, the roads which fall within the counties are supposed to get whatever monies that are supposed to be allocated to them. If you look at the Kenya Roads Board (KRB) Act, KeNHA gets 40 per cent of the fuel levy funds, the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) gets 32 per cent and KURA gets 15 per cent. That could mean that if you go by the current definition, it is basically kind of 50/50 ratio. The national Government gets about 50 per cent and the county governments get about 50 per cent. This fuel levy fund is not a small amount of money. We are talking about Kshs24 billion, by the last financial year. The counties who we were seated here trying to allocate some money to could have 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, Sen. Hargura.
Order, Sen. Kajwang! I believe you got your card, did you not?
Yes, I did, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I cannot see your name on the screen. In the meantime, then, we can have Sen. Mugo. Sen. Mugo, are you requesting for the Floor?
No, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Mugo, I propose that you switch off if you are not requesting for the Floor. My screen here is showing that you have requested for the Floor. I think something is wrong about this system. Yes, Sen. (Eng.) Karue?
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion for which I wish to congratulate Sen. Mositet for bringing it up. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the small towns that we still have in this country have started to be left out in terms of development, never mind the fact that some of them have now become county headquarters. Even when the national Budget is being done over the years, the small towns have always been left out. Even when the donors come to support road programmes in this country, they have come up with programmes called “small towns” which, in my professional capacity, I have taken part in. However, when you look 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, I really want to support this Motion, but I have a problem whether it is taking us backwards or forward. According to me, KURA should be disbanded so that this levy is shared between the national Government and the county government. Whether the sharing arrangement changes or not, definitely, this money should go to the county governments. They can decide to do their roads whether in municipalities, towns or markets according to their own priority. 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion. I will be brief and I would not want to repeat myself. We are now operating under a new system and county governments are under constant scrutiny by the public. We also know that governors are under pressure to perform. They are largely being judged by the tangible outputs that the public is able to recognize. We know very well that infrastructure is a 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion. KURA is a function of the national Government. We are also aware that there is some classification of roads going on. It is the right time for us to support or urge the national Government to restructure KURA, so that it expands its network within the counties with regard to roads and infrastructure. KURA is a developed agency and quite experienced. In view of that, I think KURA will handle construction of roads within towns and connecting counties. Some counties do not have equipment to do roads. If KURA is devolved to counties, it will assist to secure the equipment. With its expertise, the county governments will learn and improve on the quality of roads that they come up with. I, therefore, support this Motion and urge other Senators to do the same.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The indicator here is not on.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Before I allow you to speak from the Dispatch Box, what is wrong with your gadget?
I do not know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I think we need a superior engineer to do this kind of a job.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this Motion which is very important in the line of devolution. For any country to be developed, the most important aspect to consider is roads. This is what we call infrastructure. If a country is devoid of infrastructure, it cannot attain development. To sustain development, therefore, we need to act. We have various counties where people have to move from rural areas to the urban areas; thus, the rural-urban migration. One of the reasons they move is in search of better infrastructure in urban centres. That is what the Motion is seeking to develop. It wants to develop by building more infrastructural benefits in urban centres. This will require more people to live these centres, hence, the need to develop urban to rural 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.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion which I support and to congratulate the Mover, Sen. Mositet for his foresight. We all know the value of infrastructure; good roads are the major deciding factors for economic growth. At the moment, the nation is focusing on poverty reduction so that our people can have better standards of living. A lot of growth is centred in our agricultural centres and those townships, which are not the cities, are the immediate stop and the nearest to our farmers. Therefore, to improve marketing for their produce, it is very important that we put a lot of effort in maintaining those roads. It is true we are at cross roads when things are moving from the national Government and being devolved to counties. Nevertheless, we must not allow a gap where some of the roads become almost impassable. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we, therefore, support this move. In the meantime, KURA which is the one that has been maintaining the cities and the municipalities expands even to those other areas where the headquarters of counties have been established. Until such time when the new move to put some roads under counties and major international roads in the national Government so that there is continuity in maintaining roads in those townships which are now becoming major towns because they are county headquarters. We know that sometimes there has been pulling and pushing between the national Government and the counties as to who is in charge of what roads. That can also be one of the major problems. We urge the counties to move with speed, organize themselves and sit with the Ministry and decide or come up with which roads they are responsible for. The counties will be best placed to really do those roads within their counties. Nevertheless, it is an issue that cannot be left unattended. Many counties are crying that their roads are becoming impassable. That can be detrimental and bad for the economy which we are all trying to grow so that we can have enough for our citizens. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we also know that other amenities such as schools are located in those townships. It is important that the teachers and the students get to schools without having to go through mud like we did when we were growing up and got very dirty. You will find that some teachers do not want to be transferred to some areas because those areas do not have passable roads. I have seen that happen, especially in some areas even in the city where some of the teachers living in the Eastlands area were finding it difficult to be posted in areas whey they felt that the roads were impassable. To promote equality for all counties we strongly recommend that maintenance of roads is addressed equally and that all roads are made passable. I support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. First and foremost, I want to thank the Mover, Sen. Mositet. I am saying this because of two reasons. We all know that people in the rural areas have been suffering because of poor infrastructure. It would be good if the 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to support this Motion. First, I want to congratulate Sen. Mositet for bringing this Motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about infrastructure, the first thing that comes to our mind is roads. Good road infrastructure will open up new areas of this country and encourage development. At the same time, we shall be able to attract many investors. I know that many people support the county governments, but the biggest challenge that most of them are facing is lack of a good road network that will open up different areas of those counties. It is important that KURA supports these county governments, so that they can open up many areas. Many rural areas produce a lot of crops, including bananas, potatoes and so on. However, they are unable to get them to the markets because most roads are impassable. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, citizens do not understand that roads are classified into national trunk roads under the national Government and the county roads are under the county governments. It is important that KURA helps the county governments to build and manage the roads infrastructure. KURA should really be answerable to 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.
Since I do not have any more requests, I now call upon Sen. Mositet to reply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank all my colleagues who have contributed to this Motion. I have picked a few issues out of their contributions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first, all Senators are aware that the Constitution is very clear that we were not supposed to have the existing authorities. We were only supposed to have the county roads and national trunk roads. The county roads are supposed to be constructed, managed and rehabilitated by KeRRA and KURA. Through this Motion, we are trying to see if we can expand the mandate of KURA. At least, some policies can be put in place to align the roads subsector with the Constitution. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the Senators said that we are retrogressing because we will be asking for the disbandment of KURA. But since the Act is still alive, we can make sure that, at least, the monies which have been allocated can be shared, so that the counties whose headquarters are in the rural areas and the infrastructure is quite poor can be improved, for example, Kajiado County. It is even good to note that quite a number of Members of Parliament and other people who work in Nairobi are housed within my county. Whenever it rains, it becomes difficult for them to come out of or get to their homes. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it also worth noting that if we are to attract investors to work with and develop the counties, we really need to give those counties a good face, by developing the roads infrastructure. The existing roads authorities have really brought some confusion. For example, there is a road in my county, between Isinya and Kiserian which was done between 2011 and 2012. In 2013, the road was just abandoned. The small tarmac which was there has even been removed. Some areas are totally impassable and the county does not have the funds to do that. Therefore, this Motion will prompt the realignment of these authorities with the other roads subsectors as per the Constitution. Mr. Deputy Speaker, since this Motion touches on the counties and we do not have a sufficient number of Senators in the House, I would like to draw your attention to Standing Order No.54 (3). I, therefore, request that you nominate another day other than today when you can put the Question. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply.
Thank you, Sen. Mositet. As you have stated, we do not have the threshold and you would like us to defer the voting or Division, under Standing Order No.54(3). I direct that the Division on this Motion shall be on Wednesday 9th July, 2014, at 2.30 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.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware of the critical role played by the agricultural sector in Kenya’s economy; cognizant of the fact that coconut farming is largely practiced in the coastal region; aware that coconut farming has been largely neglected and its potential not fully exploited for maximum benefits; appreciating that the crop has multiple benefits including the natural mnazi drink which has medicinal value, coconut cooking oil, coconut cream, cooking flavours, makuti roofing materials, construction poles and brooms; cognizant of the fact that it takes a very long period for the coconut tree to mature for all these benefits to be realized occasioning delayed revenue generation to the farmer; further aware that modern farming and exploitation techniques of this crop can lead to higher yields resulting in job creation and improved economy; appreciating that the national government is taking various measures to develop the agricultural sector in the country; the Senate urges the national Government to take measures aimed at giving incentives to coconut farmers during the long maturity period of the crop so as to motivate and encourage farmers to plant more coconut trees.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, today is a very interesting day for me and I believe for all of us who have had occasion to either visit the coastal region or to partake of the many benefits of the tree that has been fondly referred to as the tree of life. Today I present before you and these honorable Senators a Motion in support of the tree of life. Why do we call it the tree of life? This mysterious tree has the potential and ability to produce over 100 varieties of products that can be used locally to the benefit of locals; and it can be packaged for export to earn this country foreign exchange. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the last research that was ever done concerning the growing of coconut trees was in 2007. At that time, it was found that we have 4.7 million trees covering a whopping 200,000 hectares of land mainly along the coastal region. The research indicated that the benefits from the products of this tree were valued at that time at Kshs3.2 billion. That is without incentives or support of the Government and without anything at all. This is the time when this tree is just left at the mercy of poor local 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion by Sen. Ongoro. As the Mover has stated, coconut farming has critical importance on the economy of peasant farmers at the Kenyan Coast some of which include cooking oil. She talked about the medicinal value, the mnazi drink, which I normally like to drink whenever I go to the coast. There is also the issue of makuti roofing and construction poles among others. I remember when we visited Indonesia, we went to the beaches. Structures there are constructed using bamboo posts and makuti . They look very beautiful and attractive for tourism. This can be one of the major attractions for our tourists. However, several challenges such as long maturity periods and lack of incentives prevent people of the coast region to optimally benefit from this significant natural resource. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, coconut farming also keeps youth occupied since unemployment is a problem which has led to radicalization of the Kenyan youths at the coast. Therefore, I urge the national Government to take coconut farming very seriously because it will keep the youth busy. Vulnerable groups like women and the disabled also make some income from coconut farming. Therefore, the national Government, in conjunction with counties from the coast region should step up their support initiatives towards coconut farming. This Motion is urging the national Government to provide incentives by specifically doing the following:- (i) Initiate mechanisms to document and disseminate local knowledge to coconut farmers; (ii) establish networks for the exchange of experiences with regard to farming that help to conserve land, water and coconut resources; (iii) come up with strategies for international and regional co-operation in regard to coconut farming by involving world bodies like the World Bank, regional development banks and other institutions involved in rural development; (iv) support representative organizations of coconut farmers; 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I have a few things to say in support of this Motion. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say so. I start by congratulating Sen. Ongoro for coming up with the Motion. At the moment, our economy is largely driven by imported goods. There are products which we can easily grow in this 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 will allow Sen. (Dr.) Zani who has requested to speak because she does not have her card.
Let us first hear, Sen. Karaba.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this Motion which has been moved by none other than Sen. Ongoro. I am even wondering why it was not moved by somebody from the palm tree growing areas, but given the gravity of the matter, it has come at the right time through somebody who is concerned and shares the same environmental background in the name of coming from the lake region. Palm tree farming was developed as early as the 18th Century when the famous Sultan Said Said moved from Oman occupied Zanzibar and extended his empire to the coastal region of Kenya. That was the tree that would generate a lot of revenue for the Arabs for local consumption and even for export, be they finished or unfinished products. This is a very critical tree which after some research was done, it became possible to grow it at the coastal region and to a very great extent, the 20 mile strip from the Indian Ocean. Over time, this tree has become a permanent feature of the coast because the moment you see a palm tree, you only think of being at the coast. This reminds you of the marine transgression time when there was the marine invasion towards land. The tree symbolizes the sea invasion or what is called the retreat of the sea to the land or the land retreating from the sea. The moment you site this tree from Mariakani or Voi areas, you get the feeling of being at the coast. So, significantly, it marks the boundary of the coastal region and what you can call upcountry. It also symbolizes the area which is covered by the Swahili speaking people and so it is a cultural tree. It is a cultural symbol of the indigenous people of the coast. Even when Vasco Da Gama arrived there in 1498, he only realized that he was at the coastal region when he saw the palm tree. The palm tree is dominant along the areas bordering the ocean and more so the Indian Ocean. I have been to quite a number of oceans; the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian, but they are dominant in the Indian Ocean for reasons I do not know. 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.
Asante, Bw. Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa nafasi hii muhimu sana ili nichangie Hoja hii ambayo imeletwa na Sen. Ongoro. Kwanza, dada yangu, Sen. Ongoro, ningependa kukupongeza kwa kuleta Hoja hii ambayo inawagusa watu kwa kwetu kule Pwani. Bw. Spika wa Muda, tumeona mti wa mnazi ukilisha watu, kuwawezesha kuenda shule na kupata chakula. Lakini tukiangalia upande wa ukulima na kuhakikisha kwamba tumekuza mmea huu na njia ambazo tunaweza kuutumia mmea huu na kukuza uchumi, 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion as amended. First, I want to thank Sen. Ongoro---
Senator, are you supporting or seconding the Motion?
I am seconding.
Then say you are seconding the amendment.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I want to second the amendment. My fellow Senators have talked so passionately about the importance of this coconut plant. Many people at the coast region depend entirely on this plant. I am aware that many children and some leaders of this country from the coastal region are successful because their parents have been growing the coconut tree to enable them pay school fees for their children. At the same time, it is a source of income to the people of the coastal region.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. Kindly allow me to confirm whether my request for intervention was on or is it my gadget.
It was on and that is why I had to look at it first before allowing you.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, mine is a small procedure issue, that once an amendment has been moved, then it is procedural that the House dispose it off.
I just thought she is just seconding the amendment and nothing else. I have not even proposed the question.
What I am saying is that the Senator on the Floor said that she is supporting the Motion as amended. So, where are we?
Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki, I corrected her. She is seconding the amendment and then I will propose the Question. Please conclude the seconding of the amendment.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, that is why I am saying that it is important for the national Government to set aside some funds that will boost coconut farming in the coastal region. The national Government should set aside funds so that adequate attention is given to this coconut plant. With those few remarks, I second the amendment.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the fact that the Motion has been amended sounds better. I feel that once it is amended and passed--- 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. Karaba, I have proposed the question of the amendment, so if you want to speak, you will do so on the amendment. Do you still want to continue?
Thank you for the time you have given me to contribute towards this amendment. The amendment is necessary and it is important particularly when we recognize that these people or the farmers along the coast region wait for a long time before coconut or palm trees mature. We have realized that this Fund will also go into alleviating the economic situation of the people living along the coast. This will also give them hope as they wait for the trees to mature. That is very important. We will be considering other areas that require subsidized agriculture, fertilizers and other interventions to increase the crop. In the meantime, these farmers will enjoy the benefits and interventions. The Fund will go a long way to motivate these people to stay longer as they wait for the trees to grow and have them harvested for sale through export or local markets so as to generate income. Most of these people have issues in paying school fees and their income per capita is very low. Before the trees mature after 15 or 20 years, they suffer many economic appraisals. This Fund is of critical significance. It will give these people a source of livelihood. With that, I support the amendment.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity. I want to say only two things about the Motion. There are many things we are talking about regarding the socio-economic set up. The bottom line is money. We are talking about an individual farmer and land owners investing money so that he has coconut that he and the country at large can benefit from 15 years from now. The Mover did not tell us how long the coconut tree takes to mature. Nonetheless, it takes a very long time. For us to encourage farmers to wait, some support efforts have to be put in place. We could very well pass this Motion but if no support mechanisms are put in place, nothing will work. The other issue is the process of setting up the Fund. If we pass a Motion to set up a fund for a particular purpose, there will be need to have a Bill to set it up and in the process, there are a few other issues which will come into play. For example, are there other crops which grow where coconut trees are growing or does it mean that once you plant the trees and you are waiting for it to mature after 12 years, the land does not have any other use? We should bring such issues on board so that the fund is not just limited to the coconut tree farmer. The fund should support other crops which are also grown in the area which may not be doing as well – like one Senator said – but to encourage the farmers.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise to support the amendment which is urging the national Government to set aside a national fund for the purpose of coconut farming. This is similar to what the Government is doing in the agricultural sector by subsidizing the price of fertilizer for the farmers so that they are able to buy fertilizer at a low cost. This proposal for the Government to set up a fund is similar to what is happening in the other sectors. I support 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.
Hon. Senators, it seems there are no more Senators who want to contribute to the amendment.
THAT, aware of the critical role played by the Agricultural sector in Kenya’s economy; cognizant of the fact that coconut farming is largely practiced in the coastal region; aware that coconut farming has been largely neglected and its potential not fully exploited for maximum benefits; appreciating that the crop has multiple benefits including the natural ‘ mnazi ’ drink which has medicinal value, coconut cooking oil, coconut cream, cooking flavors, ‘ makuti ’ roofing materials, construction poles and brooms; cognizant of the fact that it takes a very long period for the coconut tree to mature for all these benefits to be realized, occasioning delayed revenue generation to the farmer; further aware that modern farming and exploitation techniques of this crop can lead to higher yields resulting in job creation and improved economy; appreciating that the National Government is taking various measures to develop the agricultural sector in the Country; the Senate urges the National Government to take measures aimed at giving incentives to coconut farmers during the long maturity period of the crop so as to motivate and encourage farmers to plant more coconut trees by setting aside a national fund for this purpose.
The Motion will be debated for one hour and 50 minutes when we resume the House tomorrow. Hon. Senators, it is now time to adjourn the House. The Senate stands adjourned to tomorrow, Thursday, 3rd July, at 2.30 p.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.