On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise under Standing Order No.30 (1). In view of the provisions of this Standing Order, I would like you to guide us whether you think we are properly instituted and commenced on the business of this House since we are starting way behind after the time that is provided for under the Standing Orders. Standing Order No.30(1) reads:- “Unless the Speaker for the convenience of the Senate otherwise directs, the Senate shall meet at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but more than one sitting may be directed during the same day.” Mr. Speaker, Sir, do you think we can transact business today in view of the fact that we have failed to comply with Standing Order No.30(1).
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. While I appreciate the concern raised by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, according to my watch, it is actually 2.30 p.m. Which watch is the Senator using?
Sen. Sang has raised an important issue. What time is it by your wrist watch, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am guided by the wall clock which as of the time I rose, was 36 minutes past two o’clock. By the time the procession of the Speaker came in, it was 35 minutes after two o’clock.
At least you have made reference to the procession. When it says, “it shall start at 2.30 p.m. that is starting from my office. The bell is rung five minutes to 2.30 p.m. then I start the procession from my office. Therefore, depending 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. A strict reading of the Standing Order under reference is very clear. It says that “the Senate shall meet” and not “shall start the procession” at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. So, if usage has been taking over the Speaker’s office at 2.30 p.m. then we have been flouting this Standing Order. I used to sit in the Speaker’s panel in the Seventh Parliament. The bell always stopped ringing at three minutes to 2.30 p.m. to give the Speaker three minutes to walk from his office to the Chamber. That we have been doing the wrong thing does not make it right. We request the Chair to direct all those that support you in the discharge of your duties that 2.30 p.m. means just that and nothing less.
Order, hon. Senators! I am actually surprised that a mundane matter like this one is preoccupying us. I want to make it extremely and abundantly clear that you may have served in the Seventh Parliament in the same capacity as I served in both the Ninth and Tenth Parliaments and the practice was the same. Since we began the Senate in 2013, the practice has been the same. So, the tradition is not just a matter of the tradition or convenience; it is a tradition that has already been factored. For five minutes the bell is rang; by 2.30 p.m. you are expected to be inside the Chamber yourselves. You do not expect the Speaker to arrive before you have arrived. So, that is already one other consideration that you must put into account. The rest is a balance of convenience. In any event, the Standing Order No.1 allows the Speaker to follow where it is not provided for. It is not because it is not provided for. When it is not provided for, a tradition is something great that can be part and parcel of how we conduct business. If you really need to challenge me, then I will refer you to the same order. Unless the Speaker so directs, I am going to direct then, but I do not think it is necessary.
On a point of order Mr. Speaker, Sir. We have received your message very well and understood its contents. We are not under-estimating your wisdom with regard to the management of this House. However, it is always important for us as the leadership from all the sides to know how many or who is going to serve in a particular committee or in an opportunity like this one. It is just to help us take stock of who served where so that we can have our entire membership serving in one way or another. However, we have no objection to our representation by my brother, Sen. Khaniri, into what you proposed. Thank you.
The Deputy Minority Leader, you may wish to appreciate that I have not taken away that power because when you nominate names to committees, it is you who does it. I have only picked the membership from the relevant Committee that is dealing with the Bill.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you for the last Communication. I would like to bring to you attention, not that you might not be knowing, but because we are the ones using the gates. Our experience is that until around four months ago, the Senate gate was very orderly because it was only us, Senators, who were going through. However, for some strange reasons, the gate is full of Members of the National Assembly. They even use our parking space and we get stuck. This prolongs the security checks. I would like you to consider that. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have also noticed that---
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, I do not want to cut you short. However, that is a matter that could be best canvassed in tomorrow’s Kamukunji, if you do not mind, in terms of our own management .
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 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, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! I had advised that since these are more in-House issues, I could give you an opportunity tomorrow to raise them at the Kamukunji .
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could I conclude on the social media?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the social media today, there is a---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the membership of this House, all the time, to be subjected to discussions on issues that are not the core business of the Senate? The issue raised by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, in fact, is a role that belongs to the security agents in this country. If we convert the secretariat of the National Assembly or that of the Senate into a government agency that screens employees, we may be heading the wrong direction as an institution. As much as we support general measures with regard to security in this country, I do not think we will be heading in the right direction if we adopt such kind of measures. However, I seek your guidance on that.
My guidance was very clear. Definitely, the issues are very important. Security of the nation, an institution and the individuals working in those institutions is of paramount importance. We should ask ourselves whether we wish to discuss some of the issues in the plenary or in a closed session. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is perfectly in order to raise the issues. That is why I invited him to raise them in a better forum, but not this one. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, these are the kind of responses I did not wish to have in the plenary. However, we would like to have them during the Kamukunji. Please, reserve whatever else that includes social media because we will deal with them in the
. Order Members, let us just exhaust Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s issues.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on social media today---
Order, Senator! I have appealed to you thrice now.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thought that because you had opened it, I should conclude. I am guided. 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 was hoping that your conclusion would be guided. That is what I expected, but not to continue prosecuting the same matter. I have said that I will give you an opportunity to do so, tomorrow.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I will make full disclosure tomorrow.
My advice to Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale cuts across.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just have a further suggestion. This concerns the nation, but not just this building. Our Commissioners in the PSC should also consider working with the County Government of Nairobi County and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. The Parliament Road should be blocked from the Intercontinental---
Order, Sen. Murkomen! The advice that I gave to Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale was not personal. It was for all of us. I will give you an opportunity to raise that suggestion tomorrow. That is also a good suggestion; I am not refusing it. However, you know the mood of the House and you are actually participating in contributing to that good mood that some of these things could be dealt with tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thought that some of the things that we prosecute in the House have national policy decision and we do them publicly. I thought that welfare issues are the ones we deal with privately. I want to suggest something that has national policy decision. It is something which the people of Elgeyo-Marakwet and Nairobi County should follow. However, the ones that we will prosecute tomorrow in our
are for us and they are welfare related issues.
Since they are related, why should you not prosecute them tomorrow? I will still give you an opportunity if you feel that they should be prosecuted in the plenary.
It is okay, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you. Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give a notice of Motion regarding the Department of Education:- THAT, aware that the country in general and the north-eastern region in particular currently faces an acute shortage of teachers; noting that the problem in schools in north-eastern region counties has been exacerbated by the recent refusal of teachers to report to their duty stations in the region, and; concerned that the national Government has no plans to overturn the current freeze on regular recruitment of teachers, the Senate calls upon the national Government to immediately reintroduce untrained teacher programme as well as in-service training for the untrained teachers 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, hon. Senators. Before we take statements, I wish to recognise the presence of the pupils and teachers from St. Theresa’s Tartar Girls High School from West Pokot County seated in the Public Gallery who are visiting the Senate this afternoon. As you all know, hon. Senators, the tradition of receiving and welcoming visitors to Parliament is a long time tradition and one we shall endeavor to continue upholding. Of course, they come from a county neighbouring my home county. On behalf of the Senate and on my own behalf, I extend a warm welcome to the pupils and teachers of St. Theresa’s Tartar Girls High School. Thank you.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I expected you to tell the young girls that their Senator is here seated and they are fully welcome to come and watch the proceedings.
You are right, but I thought that it is better coming from you.
Let us now take Statements. Sen. Obure.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity. I stand to seek an urgent Statement from the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education regarding the predicament of students of Garissa Teachers Training College in Garissa. We all remember the extraordinary security challenges that the country faced last month in which a big number of Kenyans, many of them students at Garissa University College, lost their lives. We also know that these challenges have not been overcome, although we appreciate that various measures have been put in place by the Government. Could the Chairperson, in his Statement, address the following specific issues:- 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.
Chairperson, Committee on Education.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I undertake to give an answer in two weeks’ time.
Order, Senator! This is a matter of students who are supposed to be reporting. Two weeks is a long time. Why do you not undertake to give a Statement in one week?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is because this issue involves also security agencies and not only the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, but also several other Ministries. So, we have to liaise with the relevant Ministries to arrive to an amicable answer.
It does not matter, Chairperson. It is the expectation of this House and country that all the officers responsible knew of the situation - this is just basically a reminder – and have already done something about it. Therefore, a sense of urgency must be there. Give it a shot.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the shot is two weeks.
I am directing that you give the Statement next Tuesday.
I will struggle, Mr. Speaker, Sir. HAZARDS POSED BY NAIROBI DAM
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise pursuant to Standing Order No.45(2)(b) to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Land and Natural Resources regarding the hazards posed by the Nairobi Dam, especially during the rainy seasons. In the Statement the Chairperson should:- (1) Explain the steps that the Nairobi City County Government has taken to clean up and rehabilitate the Nairobi Dam, as it has become a health hazard with water hyacinth, toxic materials and effluent from the neighbouring Kibera slums and estates. (2) Explain the measures that the Nairobi County Government has put in place to deal with garbage in slums and the effluent and toxic material, finding its way into the streams and resulting in foam that covers Mbagathi Road after rains, posing a grave danger to people using the road and living in the surrounding areas. (3) Explain why despite many requests to attend to the degradation of the environment by the Nairobi Dam, the Nairobi City County Government has failed and/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.
Vice-Chairperson, Committee on Land and Natural Resources.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, although the Statement is directed to my Committee, there are so many aspects of the Statement that the hon. Senator has sought that do not fall under my Committee. There are issues of garbage disposal and collection and health that fall under different Committees. I do not know what you will direct in this particular case because most of the issues actually do not fall under my Committee.
Let me have a copy of that request for the Statement.
Vice-Chairperson, maybe you need to have a copy of the request for the Statement. Part 1 of the request reads:- “Explain the steps that the Nairobi City County Government has taken to clean up and rehabilitate the Nairobi Dam as it has become a health hazard with water hyacinth, toxic materials and effluent from the neighbouring Kibera slums and estates.” That is in your docket. The other part reads:- “Explain the measures that the Nairobi County Government has put in place to deal with garbage in slums and the effluent and toxic material, finding its way into the streams and resulting in foam that covers Mbagathi Road after rains, posing a grave danger to people using the road and living in the surrounding areas.” That is in your docket, because it talks about effluent and toxic material finding its way into the streams. Everybody remembers the cleaning of Nairobi River. The other part reads:- “Explain why despite many requests to attend to the degradation of the environment by the Nairobi Dam, the Nairobi City County Government has failed and/or neglected to implement any of the several proposals made by stakeholders and the donor community.” That is still your docket. The other part talks about footbridges across the dam. The last part reads:- 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 stand guided. Since there are some aspects that we may require to get information from other departments, I will ask for three weeks.
Let us establish a good practice of two weeks. If by that time you will feel that you have difficulties in accessing some information, I am sure that, that is a request that we can entertain. Hon. Senators, on those two, especially the one on education and environment, I think you need to appreciate Article 42 of the Constitution on environment and that every person has a right to a clean and healthy environment. For purposes of the Chair on Education, Article 43(f) on economic and social rights in particular states that:- “Every person has a right to education”. Article 47, which is one Article that I am appreciating of late is on fair administrative action. Article 47(1) states that:- “Every person has the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair” So, if you underline the words expeditious and efficient, you will have a sense of why we should do things in the quickest time possible. Under Statements that are in the appendix, we still have 2(a) which deals with the Chairperson of Lands and Natural Resources on a Statement that was supposed to have been issued yesterday. We agreed that I was to give a decision and my direction is that the Chair will do it as a Statement and not as a report. As requested by Sen. Kembi- Gitura, that Statement will be made tomorrow afternoon. Is that okay with you Chair?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oblige. It is ready.
Statement 2(b) for the Chair of the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare? STATUS OF CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMME
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a Statement in response to an inquiry or to a question raised by the distinguished Senator for Kitui, Sen. Musila on Thursday 19th February, 2015. The distinguished Senator for Kitui County requested the Committee to provide information regarding the status of cash transfer programmes and most specifically the number of senior citizens receiving cash transfers and the names of the recipients in each of the eight constituencies in Kitui 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.
Order, Chair! If you have copies of the responses to the Statements, I would appreciate it if you hand over to the Member who sought it as well as a copy to the Clerks-at-the-Table
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first and foremost, I want to thank the Chair for providing the information, though it is being provided three months since it was requested. This is a very important matter concerning all counties of this Republic. The matter of cash transfers to the under privileged, including the senior citizens is of major concern to the people of this country. As you can see, I am holding a huge book that has been handed over to me by the Chair. Though I have been waiting for it seriously, I must request the indulgence of the Chair to give me more time to peruse this document and also share it with my colleagues, 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.
Proceed, Chairperson. That sounds like a reasonable request.
I oblige, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
When do we slot it?
Tuesday, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
It is so ordered, Tuesday, next week.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also have another Statement to give sought by---
Order! Just look at your Order Paper on the appendix, the last page. Your Statement is there. However, before your Statement there is another one. Just to give a break to your voice, it would be good to get the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations first. Proceed, Sen. Adan. INSECURITY IN SAMBURU NORTH, SAMBURU COUNTY
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have a Statement which was requested by Sen. Leshore on insecurity in Samburu North, Samburu County. The hon. Member sought to be informed on whether the Government is aware of an incident where two people were killed and livestock stolen in Sujane area of Samburu North in Baragoi by suspected cattle rustlers on 9th March, 2015. Secondly, he wanted to know the action being taken to recover the stolen livestock and extend support to victims of the said incident. Lastly, explain the long term measures that the Government is taking to stop recurrent conflict in Baragoi in Samburu North, Baringo North and Turkana South regions to bring to an end the problem of cattle rustling. I wish to state as follows:- The Government is aware that on 9th March, 2015, suspected Turkana bandits attacked Sujane area and killed two people; Lepasi Lemetila, who was 14 years old and Legishi Lorikai, who was 30 years old. The attackers made away with unknown number of animals and disappeared into Suguta valley which is not accessible due to poor communication, visibility and network. However, plans are underway to provide aerial support to track the bandits. It is suspected that the attackers were on a revenge mission following the previous attack on 1st and 6th January, 2015, which is suspected to have been perpetuated by the Samburus, where three Turkana tribesmen were killed as follows; Lorwatan Lorisia, who was 25 years old, Losiria Akorot, 26 years and Ng’ilimo-Ng’irikale, 45years. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the following measures have been put in place to promote peaceful co-existence amongst the area residents:- 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.
Proceed, Sen. Leshore.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to ask the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations, on the issue of cattle rustling and insecurity in particularly Samburu North, Baringo East, West Pokot, Turkana South and Turkana East. I have asked this question since March. Had the Government taken the opportune moment to bring peace and to see that cattle rustlers are apprehended and stolen cattle are returned to the owners, the recent weekend incidents between West Pokot and Turkana, Baringo East and Turkana, Samburu North and Turkana or even Sarima in the border of Marsabit would not have happened. Could the Chairperson tell us whether this Jubilee Government is serious about the pastoralists who are fighting day in and day out, just because of all drought stricken animals known as cattle, camels and goats, and leaving her own citizens to die just like wild animals? I remember that when we took over the Government, the Deputy President, Hon. William Ruto stated that “we want to issue an ultimatum to cattle rustlers, that after the 4th March, 2013, elections, they will have nowhere to live in. They should either move out or end their way of living.” Then immediately the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for---
Order, Senator! I do not want to cut you short, but this is not a debate, you need to ask for clarifications.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is this Jubilee Government serious because what they have stated that they are going to do to make that a peaceful area is not satisfactory?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Statement that has been read by the Vice Chairperson of the Committee has nothing new. It is a replica of many statements that are being made day after day when we ask about security issues in these areas.
Shame! Shame! 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, as I speak, a large number of Kenyans have died in Turkana and West Pokot areas; over 100, I understand. Only two weeks ago, we were decrying the killing of innocent Kenyans by the Al-Shabaab, but this recent killing of Kenyans by Kenyans appears to be taken as usual or normal by the Government. Can we get concrete information and reasons why Kenyans continue to kill each other in these areas of Samburu, Turkana, West Pokot and so on and so forth? They do not need to go to the files and get us statements that were read last year and come and read them on the Floor of the House as the Vice Chairperson has just done.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what my former Provincial Commissioner (PC) and District Commissioner (DC) is telling us, is true. The facts are here. Even the Chairperson of the Committee was a PC in Rift Valley where some of these problems are coming from. Could the Government not seek better methods of combating the menace by even putting up some military barracks in that notorious Suguta valley instead of just blaming the valley for nothing?
Put up a wall!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, not a wall. They should put up a military barracks in the valley to ward off the warriors. I think that is something that can be negotiated by the Government.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, further to the question asked by Sen. Leshore, I concur with Sen. Musila, that the responses we have been getting from this Committee are being plucked from a famous template from which the same answer is being printed. It resembles exactly what was read last week on the question that I had asked. The Suguta Valley--- I heard that sometimes they call it the “valley of death”. Why is it that to date, 51 years after independence, it remains unopened, no road goes in. The Vice Chair is now being generous to tell us that Samburu County will be requested to open the road. This is a security nightmare. It is an area where a PC and a DC died at one time. Is the Government unable to contain this cattle rustling? Today’s headlines read; “Over Hundred People Slaughtered by Bandits in Suguta Valley.” We should ask the Chairperson to go back and bring us a good answer. However, if they cannot deal with the issue of insecurity, they should also tell us.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Chairperson assure the nation, given the fact that when Arachi was the Acting Inspector General, the country was calm and quiet and there were no incidences, that this is not deliberate sabotage by over 400 senior police officers who were bypassed to pave way for Boinnet to become the Inspector General? The second assurance you must give Kenyans because we are very angry--- Now that the area concerned has been found to be rich in minerals, could it be that politically, highly connected, correct business people and warlords are deliberately chasing away locals so that they do not partake of the shares of the new discoveries? 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. I have listened to the Chairperson giving the answer and I have become very curious about Suguta. She said that cattle rustlers drove livestock into Suguta Valley which is inaccessible. How did they drive the animals into Suguta Valley if it is inaccessible? How are the security forces in this country unable to access Suguta if the animals were driven into the same valley? I have heard of Suguta Valley. I lost a very prominent person who was a former District Commissioner in Suguta. I would like to understand whether the Government has the capacity to handle the security situation or not. That must be made clear.
Sen. Obure has raised a very fundamental point. If the bandits can access the Suguta Valley with animals, how would Government officers fail to access the same?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Further to what my colleagues, distinguished Senators have raised, I want to concur that the report is inadequate, bureaucratic and does not address the issues we are concerned about in Pokot and Turkana. In fact, this is a cut and paste report. Further, this report does not even address the plight of many women and vulnerable children in that region. Today, I read that almost 90 per cent of the people hurt in the incident that just occurred were women and children. We know that regarding the incident raised by the distinguished Senator for Samburu, in that incident, women and children were the majority of the victims. If this Government does not address the plight of children and women, especially in security issues, very soon, the women of Kenya will say no. We want answers. We cannot sit as women legislators and see our mothers, daughters and our own children being maimed and killed. We know that in any country, a good government protects women because we are the ones who give birth. Otherwise, this country will have no population or citizens. I support what my colleagues have been saying.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to enquire from the Chairperson whether the Government as a consequence of the constant attacks by bandits or raiders has put permanent patrols in these areas. If yes, why are they being overwhelmed? Second, coming from the human rights domain, the duty to protect is a fundamental responsibility of any State. In fact, it touches on the very legitimacy of a government. There have been constant and repeated instances of almost mass deaths of Kenyans, and this touches on the core issue; to protect. Could the Chairperson assure us that the Jubilee Government has the capacity to undertake its duty to protect the citizens of Kenya from terrorists and other incidences of insecurity, including banditry?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to share my concern with my colleagues regarding the insecurity that is taking place in Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot.
Order, hon. Senator. Seek a clarification.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek a clarification over my concerns. I would like to know why every time the question of insecurity is brought to the Floor of this House, we are given repeated answers and yet no action is taken. 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 would like to add my voice on the same. While we were in Kisumu with the Committee on Devolved Government, we expected the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Coordination to be present so that he could have responded on a number of issues that were raised by the participants; both from the county and national governments. One major concern was that the national Government should come up with a working MOU to enable the county Governments to sit in the security committees so that we tackle these issues. Up to today, we have not got any response. Another concern is that we lost young people in Garissa. Those were students, young people and the leaders we need in this country. However, up to today, nothing substantial has been given to the parents so that other people in primary and secondary schools can see that it is okay to attend school in any county and be comfortable. I will expect the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs to participate in giving a response concerning what happened. We are all aware that the information about the attack was reported to the police stations, but no action was taken. Lastly, there is a saying; usalama unaanza na mimi . As Kenyans, we are tired of what the Government of today is doing. We pay taxes. It is the responsibility of the Government to take care of our security as it is stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya.
Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to bring to the attention of this House that even as we discuss Turkana, there is breaking news that 13 Kenyans have been killed in Marsabit following attacks between herders from two communities at Loiyangalani. At least 13 herders have been killed in two separate attacks in Sirima and Mt. Kulal in Marsabit County. This is the latest update by the Nation online, just about five minutes ago.
Order, Senators! You had bombarded the Chairperson with a lot of clarifications. Now she wants to respond yet you do not want to listen to her.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to respond by saying this: First, as regards the Statement, on the issue of cut and paste, with all due respect to my colleagues, the Committee does not do so. The question has been clearly answered according to the way it was asked. So, I cannot answer on the issue of cutting and pasting. However, according to the answer that I gave, it responded to the question that was asked by Sen. Leshore. Secondly, on the issue of sabotage that was raised by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, I do not think that is right and I do not want to give a confirmation that the police officers are sabotaging Mr. Boinett. So, the issue of sabotage is not there. On the issue of minerals that are found in those areas, we do not have a clarification on that. I do not want to respond to it because we require an investigation in that. This concern was also raised when we went to Kapedo over the killing that happened there. That matter will be handled by the Committee when we give our report. 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 request the Chairperson, you in particular
Next Statement. STATUS OF CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMME TO PERSONS WITH SEVERE DISABILITY
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This is in response to a Statement that was raised by Sen. Omondi. The distinguished Senator, requested for information regarding the cash transfer of funds to persons with severe disability. More specifically, she sought information on why despite the requirement of cash transfer disbursement to persons with severe disability to be done every two months, it is now taking six months for the payment of the same to beneficiaries. Secondly, she asked whether the Government is aware that the delay greatly inconveniences this category of Kenyans who are unable to fend for themselves. Lastly, she sought to know what the Government is doing to rectify this anomaly. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the beneficiaries of the persons with severe disabilities cash transfer programme are entitled to receive a monthly stipend of Kshs2000 in order 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Chair for the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare because he has also gone an extra mile to add some of the challenges that the group of severely disabled people is facing. I expected that after giving us a number of issues and challenges, he should also give us an equal number of plans or strategies that the Government will use to alleviate these challenges. The issue of signing a contract with the new pay service provider, is raising a lot of issues because the beneficiaries are complaining because of only one service provider, 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, as I indicated earlier, the Ministry has signed a new contract with the service provider for cash transfer, that is, KCB. I think it is important that we learn to be a bit patient and see how the new service provider will perform. It is too early to start judging them. I would kindly urge my colleague to be patient and give the Ministry and the service provider an opportunity and see whether they will be in a position to reach those people with severe disabilities wherever they are.
Chair, in summary what undertaking did you give?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have indicated that it is important that the distinguished Senator accords the Government and this new service provider an opportunity to prove whether it is going to work. I would urge for some patience because there are a number of people in distant places who cannot be reached for the time being. I urge patience in this matter.
What time frames are we talking about?
We are looking at about six months.
In your own Statements, you admitted that there were delays.
Yes, initially there were delays, but with the new payment service provider, we hope service will improve and that is why I am urging my colleague to be a bit patient and see whether the new service provider will fulfill the conditions.
Let me direct that if the disbursements are on a monthly basis, you may wish to update the House on the quarter so that instead of the six months, you can come and give us the status of things as per that time. 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, Sen. Ongoro! There is another petition to the Senate by Maj.(Rtd.) Joel Kiprono Rop, concerning the state of the tea industry in Kenya. THE STATE OF THE TEA INDUSTRY IN KENYA Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Orders No. 220(1)(a) and 225(2)(b), I hereby report to the Senate that a petition has been received from one Maj.(Rtd.) Joel Kiprono Rop, a citizen of Kenya and a resident of Bomet County, concerning the state of the tea industry in Kenya. As you are aware, under Article 119(1) of the Constitution: “Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation.” Hon. Senators, the salient issues raised in the said petition are as follows: (1) The systematic and brutal acquisition of previously communal ancestral lands in the Kenyan highland by the British colonial government to pave way for white settlers to cultivate tea on large scale. (2) The subsequent transformation of the said lands from communal ancestral lands to, firstly, Government land and later to private land in the hands of multinational companies and individual private owners. (3) The domination of the tea sector in Kenya by the said large scale tea estates and multinationals to the detriment of small scale farmers who have been unable to fully benefit from the sector. 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 stand to support the petition that has been raised by one of my constituents, whom I am aware is raising it from a personal point of view because I know this is one of the tea growers in the industry. The issues raised by the petitioner are issues of a long lasting duration and, of course, affecting the citizens if this country, particularly the tea growers, not for a short time, but for a long time to come. This is so because of particularly one of the petition issues which has been raised and has to do with land. As you are aware, land is one of those things that have affected the way we live in this country and is going to do so for years to come. Indeed, most areas of land that was community land where the Kalenjins or Kipsigis lived years past, was annexed by the colonial Government between 1905 to 1916 and people brutally evicted from these lands without any compensation. The land was eventually used by her Majesty the Queen and, through her orders, it was eventually used by the multinational companies to grow the tea. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the people of the area still feel they belong there and that this land rightfully belongs to them. It is important that this issue is addressed, not only as a matter of tea alone, but also ownership of the land where the tea is. I suggest that this petition that has been raised by one Mr. Rop, be placed before this House and be considered seriously as it affects the lives of close to 2 million people, particularly as it deals with land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a whole issue about reparation of the land. This is one of the issues that have been raised because it is something that is possible. It is possible for some form of compensation to be done for the people who were forcibly evicted, some of whom are still alive and have children. Some form of compensation can be given to the inhabitants of the area so that they feel a sense of belonging and ownership of the land which they truly believe is theirs, but was taken away from them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support that the petition be put before this House and matters which have been raised be considered seriously. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also stand to support the petition and call the attention of the House to the grave situation existing in the agricultural sector as a whole, tea just being one of them. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we live at a point when agriculture has been devolved to counties. It is also a time when agriculture as a whole is facing a very serious crisis within the international economy which has been highly globalised. As a country that exports agricultural commodities like tea, coffee and sugar, we are in a position where 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, Professor! You should be concluding.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, allow me to conclude. While we are debate this petition, it is very important that this Senate urgently meets with the Privatisation Commission to find out how we shall deal with agricultural production which is a function of the counties and now facing a major crisis. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a very important Petition. Indeed, it goes to the root of the economy of this country. We sympathise with the petitioner and the Kipsigis Community which he comes from. This raises a fundamental issue of what is now generally called “historical injustices”. 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, it is quite in order for the petitioner to petition the Senate. However, we should consider the larger interest of Kenya as a country. We know that tea is one of the major exports which earn this country foreign exchange. We know, from experience, that we used to have large farms where livestock was being reared particularly beef animals. We used to export beef to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Mauritius. Those farms have been acquired by the indigenous people and subdivided, some of them into one, two and three acres, which is not even economical for them to produce enough food. Some of the multinationals which have been driving these large tea farms have been in this country for over 120 years. I presume that many of the investors are also Kenyan citizens today. Besides disrupting the economy of this country, we do not want to run into a situation similar to what is happening in Zimbabwe. Because of forcible takeover of farms, that country is totally ruined economically and it is now a banana republic. Because of those happenings in some parts of Africa, I think the idea of removing these investors so that people can subdivide these farms into half-an-acre or one acre portions will not even be useful to the people. Therefore, since this matter is already in court, maybe we should wait for the wisdom of the courts; to decide whether these people should be compensated or not. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. 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, listening to Sen. Kiraitu and Sen. Haji, it reminds me of the need for us to approach this matter with a lot of care and greater sobriety. This is because the situation on the ground in Bomet and Kericho is that the leases are just about to expire. So, unless we allow the National Land Commission to be completely in control and completely block politicians from the unfolding events in Kericho and Bomet, we can destroy the economy of this country. I come from one of the areas in this country where we had the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) farms. Those ADC farms had made the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) and the former Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) stable, but as soon as they were divided into small portions, we have become food insecure. Therefore, we will need to be very sober. On Monday, I had an opportunity to sit in the morning for a cup of tea at Ray’s Hotel in Kericho. It is so beautiful and when you look across, you will see the former home of the current Governor of Kericho. Given that he also normally has an opportunity to sit there, one can understand very well why he has gone to court. We should, in the interest of protecting Kericho County, stand behind the Governor, but persuade him that they should not be looking forward to repossess the land, but get some form of compensation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my last point, as I congratulate Mr. Rop, is that he has spoken for many. He has spoken for the tea farmers in Vihiga, Kakamega South and Kakamega East. We have all been saddled with debts that we have been paying and special cartels that sit at the tea auction at the end of the year just arbitrarily decide that the farmers of the regions that I have mentioned will get a bonus of Kshs8 per kilogramme, but the farmers in other areas where members of this cartels come from, get Kshs39 per kilogramme. You do not understand what it is that the tea from Limuru and Kirinyaga has that can make a difference of Kshs31 by way of bonus. We will need to be very sober. Tea was initially one of the highest contributors to the foreign exchange that we earn in this country. Since we see where we are going in terms of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country, we must protect the tea industry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support this Petition.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to join my colleagues in contributing to this Petition. It is the right of the petitioner and, indeed, the people of that county to feel that the manner in which they were dispossessed of the land was not just. In view of the coming expiry of the leases, it is now time that they took back their land. It is a feeling that is natural because that, indeed, is their land. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you can talk about the same elsewhere. In Trans Nzoia County when the British came some indigenous communities were dispossessed 100 per cent and still remain so. Even when the land was taken by the Government---
On a point of information, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Ndiema, do you wish to be informed by Sen. (Prof.) Lesan?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the leases for the land which is referred to by the petitioner were for 999 years. With the coming into effect of the new Constitution, 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, whatever the case, even when the land was repossessed by the Government in some counties like Trans Nzoia, the losers did not benefit. This is subject to the issue of historical injustices that have been discussed. I think that the solution will finally come out of the action on the report on historical injustices. As I speak now, in Trans Nzoia County, we still have land on leases, for example, the ADC farms and the original owners still exist. Perhaps, it is time that the Government took bold action to ensure that if they are not returnable to the owners, then they be compensated adequately, as communities and individuals. I would seek the indulgence that this Petition be discussed on a broader perspective, knowing that it is not only in Kericho that we have such matters, but it is a national issue. Trans Nzoia has so many squatters and each one of them would want to see some justice done, so that they are settled finally. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Karaba, just to indicate that you may have only one minute or so.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I find it fit that I contribute towards this private Petition coming from one Mr. Rop from Kericho. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you reckon that tea farming, like many other plantation crops, is selectively for that area. So, it is a natural selection for the given area. When a crop has already been adopted through natural selection, it has to grow in that area. There being no other crop, it is important for us to think about what would happen if that community growing that crop will cease to grow the same.
Please, conclude because the time allocated is over.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government, therefore, should be up in arms. Let it realize that the farmers, particularly in tea growing areas, including Kirinyaga, are suffering and need redress. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Order No. 227(1), the Petition therefore stands committed to the relevant Standing Committee. In this case, it is the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. In terms of Standing Order No.227(2), the Committee will be required to, not more than 60 days of their time of reading the prayer, to respond to the petitioner by way of a report addressed to the petitioner and laid on the Table of the Senate. The Chairman of the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Committee raised the issue of the Governor of Kericho and quite a number of Senators have spoken to it including Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. Having raised the same matters in court, the petitioner claims that none of the issues raised in this Petition is pending in any court of law, constitutional or any other legal body. When you look at our Standing Order No. 223(g), it states that:- “The petitioner is required to indicate whether the issues in respect of which the Petition is made are pending in any court of law or other constitutional or legal body” 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. For avoidance of doubt, do I understand you to mean that if a determination is made within the Committee, that there is an active matter concerning what this Petition is mentioning in court, they will still do the investigation, bring the report but we shall only be prevented from debate, so that Mr. Rop can still be served with the answers to his concerns?
I am persuaded to agree with you. The report should be comprehensive to address the issues that the petitioner has requested. The Committee should also take into account any issues that are sub judice and state as much. You will also remember what our Standing Orders say on the issue of sub judice, we have to petition on the Floor of the House and convince the House that these issues are already active before the courts and that decision still has to be taken by the Speaker, whether to sustain or not. In terms of the deliberations of the Committee, nothing should restrict them from proceeding, so that the petitioner can get full information on the issues raised. He may also wish to remember that we do not debate petitions, it is a report to the petitioner through the House and you will only be allowed commentaries of not more than five minutes, so, it is not a full debate in the normal way. The issue Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is raising is whether in commenting within those five minutes the rules of sub judice apply. We will deal with it at that moment when the Committee has given us the findings of the issues that are sub judice.
Order, Chair. My body language has been very persuasive. Even before then, I had directed that it is going to your Committee.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, then I am right in seeking this clarification because in my own view, the proceedings before a committees are governed by the same rules of procedure as the proceedings before the House. When I sit as the Chairman of the committee, I sit as an equivalent of the Speaker in the Committee. I assume it is for the Chairman of the Committee to look at the issues brought before the Committee and deal with this issue of sub judice. If we verify and get information which confirms that the matter is actually sub judicism, the Committee can make a finding that we cannot proceed with that line because the matter is before the court and we bring that finding to the House as part of our report. I just wanted to seek whether that is the correct way to go.
That is the correct way; the Chair of the Committee has the same powers at the committee level with the Chair of the House. So, the rules of
still operate in terms of our Standing Orders. 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. Members, as I had earlier indicated, I will be making a communication after this Bill has been read the first time. The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill (National Assembly Bill No.40 of 2014) which has just been read a first time now, was published on the 8th December 2014 as a Bill originating in the National Assembly. It was passed by the National Assembly on 30th April, 2015. The Bill is subject to a constitutional timeline of 27th May, 2015. The deadline was initially 27th August 2014 but it was extended for a period of nine months by the National Assembly pursuant to the provisions of Article 261(2) of the Constitution. Therefore, I direct that the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget for scrutiny and public participation and that the Bill be listed for Second Reading on Tuesday 12th May 2015 and its deliberations be expedited with the aim of having the Bill passed before 27th May, 2015. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, just to use your own words, this Bill is time bound. I would like you to recall that this Bill and the Bill in Order No.9 were the subject of a press release by the Speaker of the National Assembly where he informed the country that we are sitting on Bills that are time bound and that he was asking the Senate to ensure that these Bills are passed timeously. Now, given that the National Assembly extended that period by nine months and they have waited from the first month up to the eighth, only coming now, would I be wrong in requesting you that before we go into the Second Reading, you come and read to us an apology from the Speaker of the National Assembly for imputing improper motives on our Senate and its membership collectively? Also, would I not be in order to request that in reading that apology, you also communicate to the country that should there be any threat of failure to meet that timeline, we, as the Senate, will not be to blame because they could have even given us that Bill in the second month after the adjournment, third and fourth month and so on and so forth? 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, apparently nothing passes you. That is a correct observation. Unfortunately, I think the correct position is that the country now knows that we have been seized of the Bill as per today, 6th May, 2015 and not before that particular time. Our Standing Orders do not allow us to deal with what happens in the other House. So, I will not proceed on the way of seeking an apology. The truth is out there; it does not require rocket science to know who is on the right and who is at fault. Let the jury determine that on our behalf and history will judge the Senate favourably. Let us proceed with the next order.
Order, Senators. This is one of such Bills again which is time bound. The Fair Administrative Action Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 10 of 2015) was published on 13th March, 2015 as a Bill originating in the National Assembly. It was passed by the National Assembly on 23rd April, 2015. The Bill is subject to a constitutional timeline of 27th May, 2015. The deadline was initially on the 27th August, 2014 but it was extended by a period of nine months by the National Assembly pursuant to the provisions of Article 261(2) of the Constitution. I, therefore, direct that the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for scrutiny and public participation and that the Bill be listed for Second Reading on Tuesday, 12th May, 2015 and its deliberations be expedited with the aim of having the Bill passed way before 27th May, 2015. Thank you.
What is it, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, so that it does not look like it is Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale who is complaining about these stringent deadlines that are coming at a wrong time, and you being given a narrative as to when we should finish, we are also capable of reading the deadlines stipulated. It makes sense that the two Houses work 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.
As Pilate said; when Jesus was responding to the question from Pontius Pilate; “you have said it.”
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I know that this is a dangerous area to go but judging by your pronouncements in the recent past and now, could it be that you have become born again?
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, matters of faith are personal, they cannot be subject to plenary deliberations.
Order, Members, we must go on a division on this. I do not think that we have the numbers. So, we can postpone it to tomorrow. Next order.
Sorry, I have been advised by the Clerk. We still need to ring the Division Bell, just in case the Members are within the building. Let us ring the Division Bell for two minutes.
Order, hon. Senators. We are unable to raise the requisite number for the division to take place. Therefore, I direct that Orders No.10 and 11 be pushed to tomorrow afternoon. We will now take Order No.12.
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.
When we last considered this Bill, we went up to Clause 36. Today, we will pick up from where we left and proceed from Clause 40 onwards.
The Mover is not in the House. Has anyone been delegated the responsibility to undertake? Hon. Senators, we are in some kind of situation. Without the Mover and the Seconder, we may lose this and we do not want to lose it. Therefore we are working around it to see how to save the Bill. Otherwise, if it is dropped that means that it will take another six months for it to be brought back.
Madam Temporary Chair, Sir, previous debate on the same Bill passed through contributions from Members. There was a deliberate effort to kill this Bill. In fact, one Member moved to suggest as much. Could the Chair guide us on whether the Mover of the Bill has deliberately refused to be present so as to help his Bill to die?
That is a good observation, Senator. I was in the House when that matter was raised by the Majority Chief Whip. However, we want to be optimistic and give it some benefit of doubt. We will carry out consultations and talk to the whips so that we give it one last chance. So, we will save it but according to the Standing Orders as we move to the next.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Chairlady. Does that mean that you have made an undertaking that before we commence an undertaking on this Bill, you will make a formal communication regarding the response to my concern in respect of a deliberate effort by the Mover so as to help his own Bill to die?
Quite definitely, Senator. That is why we will save it and have extensive consultations from the Mover, Seconder and other Senators including both Majority and Minority leaders and the Chief Whips. 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 Chairperson, pursuant to Standing Order No. 139, I beg to move that the Committee of the whole do report progress on its consideration of the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.5 of 2014) and seek leave to sit again tomorrow.
Madam Temporary Chairperson, I have two points of order. First, when you stood up, you only bowed to the Government side. You did not bow to the Opposition side. Are you being partisan?
If my memory serves me well, I bowed to both sides. We could even request for the clip to be played. I really do not have to bend over for you to see me bowing. Bowing can be as simple as that which I did.
Madam Temporary Chairperson, my second point of order is; why are we standing? We have been standing for the last seven minutes.
Senator, we are waiting for the Speaker who has just walked in to assume the Chair. Since we already stood, according to procedure, we are not allowed to sit again before the Speaker assumes his Chair.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to report progress; that the Committee of the Whole has considered the Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.5 of 2014) and seeks leave to sit again tomorrow.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the committee in the said report.
seconded. 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, this is a resumed debate. Sen. Wetangula had Seconded and spoken on the issue. The Floor is now open. Please, proceed, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to contribute to this Bill; The Parliamentary Service (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.21 of 2014). From the outset, I want to thank Sen. Murungi who is the originator of this Bill for a job well done in addressing and looking at the holistic status of Parliament, which is now no longer unicameral. It is a bicameral legislature. If you look at the Act that established the Parliamentary Service Commission, it only talks of Parliament as strictly the National Assembly. It does not take into account existence of the Senate. Prior to the year 2013, before the enactment of the new Constitution, there existed a Parliamentary Service Commission and the Act was in place but it has not been aligned to the current status of Parliament for which it should be noted that we have a Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the Nation Assembly. Hence, the duties of the Members that serve Kenyans in those two distinct Houses; the Senate and the National Assembly, are clearly spelt out in the Constitution. It, therefore, follows that attention was supposed to be paid to the Senate just like it is paid to the National Assembly. This Bill specifically seeks to establish two service committees that fall under the Parliamentary Service Commission. It is mentioned here; the National Assembly Service Committee and the Senate Service Committee. This way, we may end up removing some of the hiccups and problems between the two Houses. When the Constitution was being written, the Parliamentary Service Act was supposed to be rewritten but since it was not done, it necessitated that an amendment is supposed to be introduced and that has now come. This is to align it with the Constitution. The functions of the Senate and those of the National Assembly are very clear. Article 96 is very clear and Kenyans need to be taken through. We hear many theories being advanced that the Senate has no powers. When the Constitution says the Senate represents counties, what does that mean? It means that the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is supposed to know and give the necessary support for every Senator to represent their counties appropriately. The Constitution also says that the Senate serves 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. 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 rise to support this Bill by my colleague, Sen. Murungi; amending the Parliamentary Service Commission and establishing new structures and institutions that will better help manage Parliament. I listened very carefully to my colleague, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, contributing to this Motion and citing Article 96 of the Constitution which establishes the role of the Senate as a House of Parliament. This is an article in the Constitution that is highly misunderstood or very unfortunately unappreciated in terms of its importance in the Constitution. If you read that article, you will find that this House has an enormous task to this nation, especially when the same Constitution establishes the two levels of Government. One of those levels of government is county governments. Therefore, an institution established at the national level to represent the counties and to serve to protect their interests and their governments is an extremely important institution. Madam Temporary Speaker, the next thing that we must ask ourselves as the Senate – this is very important – is that to what extent have we passed laws that will help us implement that article of the Constitution? A Constitution is usually written to establish general principles and values that govern or give sense to a nation. The general principles and values are found in the various chapters and articles of the Constitution. It is then left to the law-making agencies, the legislature, to pass laws that will bring to life those general principles, values and prescriptions. We have not yet passed enough laws in this House that will help implement Article 96 of the Constitution. We have laws like the County Governments Act which mainly concentrates on how county governments will be governed and various other laws establishing how the Senate will be involved in the budgeting system. That is not enough. We now need to sit down and carefully look at Article 96 and say that in the final analysis, how is this article going to be implemented? Sen. Murungi is now the first to attempt this by saying that the first thing that we should do is to make sure that as a House of Parliament, there is a way in which we shall manage ourselves within the framework of the Parliamentary Service Commission that will make this House effective. This is a very important step forward. I would like us as we continue – I think we should have this dialogue very seriously – on what other laws we want to pass in this House to make our role as representing the counties, serving and protecting their interests, meaningful. Madam Temporary Speaker, when you come to the other aspects of that article dealing with the debating on the monies going to the counties, these are pretty clear but the role of representation, oversight and protection of the counties and so on, we have not done very well. We had the Sen. Sang’ Bill which, unfortunately, was grossly misunderstood by governors.They thought that we were going to be around nosing into their affairs. Of course, oversight is a form of nosing, really. However, it is a nosing that increases transparency and accountability and you cannot keep yourself accountable all the time. You need other institutions and agencies to keep you accountable. Even in a family– God himself knew this – that man and woman are made complementary to each other as wife and husband. In that union, they account to each other and keep each other in check. Indeed when in the Christian religion people are getting married, the whole 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.
Senator, you have two and a half minutes.
Yes, Madam Temporary Speaker. I will use the two and a half minutes effectively. Madam Temporary Speaker, you must have the capacity to do so. For example, my friend, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, mentioned something very interesting. He said that in his county, there are many mountains. Therefore, you cannot travel from point “A” to point “B” in a straight line. You will have to “break mountains” in the process which is a much more expensive exercise. You need a four-wheeled car to go round them because the terrain is also very rough. The roads are not that good either. You need to experience that to know how much resources we need in West Pokot County to improve infrastructure. In the meantime, you cannot use your personal vehicle to do public works. That is a form of corruption. In other words, the public would be getting from you what they should not be getting. The public should give you the instruments for serving it so that you do not sacrifice your own personal resources doing so. That is a form of exploitation that we should end. You could be tempting Senators, in that regard, to begin seeking favours from quarters that they should be oversighting. For example, you may have to go to a governor who may wish to allow you to use a public vehicle to do something. However, you should not do that because you are supposed to be oversighting that institution which may be giving you services. 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. (Prof.) Anyang’- Nyong’o.
Madam Temporary Speaker, having read this Amendment Bill very carefully, I confess that I cannot help admiring the ingenuity and industry of the Senator for Meru County, Sen. Murungi. This is because, had he not put serious thought into this, the only cure to what he has attempted to achieve through this piece of legislation would have been to amend the Constitution. Now that he has managed not to amend the Constitution and achieved what that amendment would have required, kudos to him. Madam Temporary Speaker, I was thinking about this Bill last night. I was wondering; when political expediency led to the killing of the Senate in 1966 - give the devil his due - I do not think killing of the Senate in the present day Kenya would be because of political expediency. To me, it will be because of this Senate itself. If we refuse to assert ourselves, then we are dismissed by Members of the National Assembly, Members of County Assemblies (MCAs), members of the public, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), the National Treasury and whoever it may be that will dismiss us, we will have ourselves to blame. We must assert ourselves. Any cent spent in this country in enabling us to assert ourselves - so that devolution works - is a cent well spent. Madam Temporary Speaker, I am lucky that I saw the red flag very early on in the day. I remember Governor Oparanya offered me an office at the Kakamega County Headquarters and I refused. When they renovated the old building in the former Kakamega County Council to be the County Assembly of Kakamega, I was also offered an office, and I refused. This is because it occurred to me that for me to effectively ask questions of oversight from both the Governor and the Clerk of the Assembly, I would have to detach myself from them. I did it and I think that we have worked fairly well to that extent. Madam Temporary Speaker, speaking about the Parliamentary Service Commission as presently constituted, it is completely ill-equipped to serve the Senators in defending county governments. As constituted, we have sent there three very senior Members of this House, but they have nothing to write home about. This is because 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, thank you for giving me the chance to contribute to this Bill. I wish to state from the word go that I support the amendment of the Parliamentary Service Act. This is because it will definitely enhance efficiency within our mandate, the entire Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the National Assembly and the Senate. We know that the Constitution has given us unique roles, the oversight roles of the counties is not an easy thing. Many people still do not understand what our functions are. I know Kenyans do not have a culture of reading and they have not read the Constitution very well, so, there is need for sensitizing them on many issues. As it is, many Kenyans do not appreciate what the drafters of the Constitution had in mind. No sooner had the Constitution passed and promulgated than they already wanted to flush away the gains especially for the women. I am talking about the affirmative action. I am a nominated Senator and I am here on the strength of the Constitution. When we went to Kisumu for a devolution conference, our badges bore our names with the title “nominated women” Our constituency is definitely women. How do we oversight within the counties to ensure that women issues are protected? We have to oversight the gender policies and their implementation. They are unique and very delicate. There are many spheres which need our roles and participation as Senators and more particularly as nominated Senators. I will highlight on this because when I look at this Bill, I see an opportunity where the work of the nominated Senators can be seen. They can be facilitated and prepare their agenda through the various committees. As we have seen, committees within the Senate are very efficient. That is the most efficient way of performing our duties to monitor and account for everything. We have seen within the society and all over the country that there is need to protect the women. There is still a lot of discomfort and violence within the family, we have just seen a 16 year old girl who was brutally burnt, harassed and hidden by the husband. Nobody could reach them- as much as marriage is prohibited amongst children, it is still being practiced Madam Temporary Speaker, I am happy to report that with the help of the network of women leaders within this nation, they helped the woman and this is because of facilitation and networking. What programmes can we come up with? There are many other gender issues which, with the implementation and passing of this Bill, will enable the nominated women Senators to reach out to their clientele. We know that there is still need of gender mainstreaming within many aspects. There are many issues in education, we must ensure from the basic early childhood education to the highest institution within the universities that there is gender mainstreaming, we have accounted for our actions, followed up and protected them. In agriculture, women are the majority agriculturalists; they do a lot of farming. Are they protected or do they have some unique issues that need to be tackled? We know that we have our colleagues of the opposite gender but as Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale has just said, we have a way of bonding with them and finding out ways of how they can help. We can help them to open up to others and the way we relate to them is different. 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, Senator. Proceed, Sen. Keter.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Bill. From the outset, I thank the Mover, Sen. Murungi, for coming up with this Bill. If we look at the history of this country, we have really come a long way especially the Kenyan Parliament. I listened very keenly when the mover was moving this Bill yesterday, giving the events of what exactly happened. It was not easy to get to where we are. It was a fight. I want to thank the people who were there before me; Sen. Orengo and Hon. Castro Peter Oloo Aringo for spearheading the reforms of parliamentary democracy in this country. Parliament was just part of the Executive; they could not do anything without the sanction of the Executive hence independence was not there. I was told that before, people used to run to the Office of the President to be paid their allowances, where sometimes you were kicked out or queue with other members of staff. I was also told that people used to queue to see the President on a Friday to be given some money to go home, make political statements and shout so much because of the pay they had been given. I thank God for our colleagues, brothers and sisters who fought such that today, as Parliament we are happy. When we joined this Parliament, I remember very well that offices at Continental House had not been taken over. Members of Parliament did not have offices. They used to work from Parliament, their cars, hotels and everywhere else. It was chaotic. They were also not facilitated very well. They did not even have cars to drive to their constituencies where they represented people; to have a decent home in Nairobi. They were subjected to the market in terms of getting the loans, hence Members of Parliament were a condemned lot of the society despite the fact that they are very important in their 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 also rise to support this Bill. According to the Constitution, this is the “Upper House.” However, we are not viewed by Kenyans and by the people we represent as Members of the “Upper House.” Just to add on what Sen. Keter said, I campaigned in a county of eight constituencies. 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.
Sen. Muthama you have seven minutes left to continue with your contribution when this debate resumes tomorrow.
Hon. Senators, it is now time to interrupt the business of the Senate. The Senate, therefore, stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 7th May, 2015, 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.