Sen. Sang, are you seeking a point of order?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am standing on a point of order. I noticed that after the prayers, you nodded instead of bowing. I seek your guidance on whether the Speaker should bow or nod after the prayers.
What is the problem? I did not get you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as it has appeared to me, the tradition is that when the Speaker is done with the prayer, he bows to both sides of the House. I noticed that you nodded towards our side first although you were a bit stiff and then you bowed to the other side.
How do you define bowing? What is your understanding of bowing? What did I do that I should not have done? Could you, please, demonstrate?
Order, Sen. Sang! What did you read in that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was wondering why there was disparity in engaging the head.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I clearly saw you bow to both sides. I do not know which Deputy Speaker the Senator for Nandi was observing. 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. Sang, you are completely out of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I recall that a few seconds ago, you did exactly what Sen. Sang has said. Would I be in order to make use of this opportunity to thank you profusely for bowing yourself into the future Government?
Order, Sen. Khalwale! You are also completely out of order.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. According to the provisions of the Standing Order Nos.110(b) and 110(2), we all noticed the Deputy Speaker bow to both sides of the House. However, Sen. Sang breached Standing Order No.110(b). Could you, please, use Standing Order 110(2)(a) to teach him a lesson?
Sen. Sang, do you know what Sen. (Dr.) Machage is asking me to do? He wants me to ask you to withdraw from the precincts of Parliament because you are in pera delicto as we would say in law. I do not believe, however, that you have gone as far as breaching Standing Order 110(2)(a). Therefore, I will rule Sen. (Dr.) Machage out of order. Could we now move to the business of the House now?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Hon. Senators, I have a short communication to make. This afternoon, I am pleased to acknowledge and welcome to the Senate, members of the Kitale West Cultural Council of Elders who are seated in the Speaker’s Gallery. I request that when their names are called out, that they stand up so that they are acknowledged in our usual Senate tradition. (1) Peter Masinde – Chairperson; (2) Mr. Boniface Mwibada; (3) Mr. George Wekesa; (4) Mr. David Nabwera; (5) Mr. Vincent Wafula; (6) Mr. Moris Tembe; and, (7) Mr. David Maboga. Hon. Senators, on behalf of the Senate, and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to wish the members of the Kitale Cultural Council of Elders a happy and fruitful visit. I also note the Senator from the county they have come from is present in the House. Thank you. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank you for welcoming the Kitale West Cultural Council of Elders from Trans Nzoia County. I appreciate the role of all the elders from the county for the manner in which they have conducted themselves in ensuring that there is peace, unity and cohesion in Trans Nzoia County. It could not have been possible without the council of Elders. I also acknowledge that they have appreciated and made their way here to the Senate to see us in action. They appreciate our work. This morning, the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, held a meeting on issues concerning the cash transfers to elders. This has been a matter of great concern that they have always raised with me, as to why some elders are paid while others are not paid. I appreciate this morning, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services was here to address that concern. I am sure that they are anxiously waiting for the final results, so that all elders in this country can benefit as envisaged. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. As we appreciate the visit to this House by the Kitale West Cultural Council of Elders from Trans Nzoia County, it reminds me of the laws that are archaic that we still use in this House. More often than not, they are suspended in certain occasions. When a new Parliament is inaugurated, we usually have elders give traditional prayers dressed in their traditional regalia. I see no reason a council of traditional elders from our communities visiting this House, should not visit us in their traditional regalia to give this House the respect that their sanctuaries have. We have to relook into our rules and to remove the British sort of mentality on what type of dressing is supposed to be called decent.
I said “decent dressing.”
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I join my fellow Senators in appreciating the visit by this team. It is a great honour to have the Kitale West Cultural Council of Elders from Trans Nzoia County visit the Senate. This is the first cultural 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 would also like to appreciate the visit by the council of elders from Trans Nzoia County. We are honoured today because we know that these are old men of honour who have played a key role in mapping the politics in Trans Nzoia and in bringing about peace. I, therefore, congratulate them and hope that they will enjoy their stay as they watch us deliberate in this House.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank Sen. Ndiema for enabling the elders to come here. They are my neighbours and I can confirm to this House that the peace that we have between West Pokot, Turkana and Trans Nzoia counties as well as Uganda, has been primarily driven and maintained by such elders. It is, therefore, an honour to have them. It is my opinion and advice that other counties that have problems should engage and use their elders, including some of the leaders, like those in the “Lower House” who have problems. They should be advised frequently by such elders. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to welcome the elders who have visited this House. I feel so proud to see elders take the initiative of learning what is happening in the current management of the country. This will help them match how culture and the Constitution can help nurture the young people of this country. I remember that I used to be taught by my grandfather on how to behave, obey the rule of law and respect the elders. They are going to give us a way forward on how 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.
Hon. Senators, I have a short message to give. Pursuant to Standing Order No. 42(1) and (4) of the Senate, I wish to report that I have received the following message from Kilifi County Assembly. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.38 of the Kilifi County Assembly Standing Orders, I hereby convey the following message from Kilifi County Assembly: WHEREAS, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) is mandated by the Constitution to make recommendations on financing and financial management by county governments and to encourage fiscal responsibility by county governments, and; WHEREAS, the said circular attached indicates that construction of new county assemblies and construction of new executive offices are non-priority capital projects in the first five years of devolution, the construction of office block to accommodate offices for MCAs as well as provide for committee rooms for the county assembly is an essential capital project that has been factored in both 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 Kilifi County Assembly budgets. NOW, therefore, in accordance with Standing Order No.38 of the Kilifi County Assembly Standing Orders, I hereby convey this Message, the object of which is to seek the Senate’s intervention to direct one of its committees to urgently investigate and deliberate on the issues raised in the attached circular and come up with appropriate recommendations to address the issues raised. Hon. Senators, in accordance with Standing Order No.42(6) of the Senate, I now direct that the Message be committed to the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget for consideration and, of course, report back to the House. 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.
Am I hearing somebody seeking a point of order? There is no request on my screen, except Sen. Billow’s. Make use of your electronic gadgets and if you want to be assisted, you should say so. I do not want to see hands raised in this House.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I appreciate your ruling on the Message. However, I am seeking your indulgence on this matter because under Article 216 of the Constitution, the CRA is among other things, empowered to make recommendations on matters of financial management regarding counties. That particular circular issued by the CRA is one such recommendation among many that they often issue to county governments to help improve the way counties use their money. I am seeking your guidance in terms of the Statement being sought by the county assembly. Are they challenging that CRA is interfering with their work? I do not understand because CRA is simply giving recommendations in accordance with the Constitution. I do not know what this assembly is concerned about with regard to that circular. I come from a county where in the first year of operation ---
Order, Senator! I have referred this to your Committee as a matter of fact. What you are telling us now may be what you will tell us when you have considered this issue. Standing Order No. 42(1) states:- “The Speaker of the Senate shall read to the Senate any message from a County Assembly to the Senate and such message shall be in writing and shall be signed by the Speaker of the County Assembly.” To me, it is mandatory. I have done my work. It is now up to you and your Committee to sit and consider that Message. Should you find it is in contravention of any law or the powers that are given to the CRA or any other statutory body, then that is what you are going to report to us? We will then convey that Message to Kilifi County Assembly. That will be the end of the matter. I will be negating my duties if I receive this Message and sit on it because I am mandated by our own Standing Orders to mandatorily give it to the House and commit it to the relevant committee which in this case, fortunately, is yours. Please, consider it and answer the questions that you have raised and give us the answers in due course.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we thank you for whatever you have read ---
What do you mean whatever? It is a message.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a Message that has come, yes --- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Senator! If you listened to my response to Sen. Billow, I do not want us to pre-empt the Message. I have referred it to a committee of the Senate. Let it tell us the things you are now seeing. Remember that all these committees are open to anybody. Should any Senator feel like they want to give some information to the Committee, they are quite welcome to do it. We cannot debate the merits and demerits of the Message at this point. That is the point I am trying to make. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, if that is the same point that you want to make, you may want to hold your peace.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for this Message. I would like to urge the Committee to give it the seriousness it deserves because I have personally been to Kilifi County Assembly. I know for a fact that if those ceilings are going to be applied, then a very noble project will stall. This also applies to several county assemblies. It will, therefore, be important for this Committee to come up with an answer that will respond to the needs of development of various county assemblies. In fact, when Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo was a Permanent Secretary (PS), he gave us a model design of a model county assembly across the 47 counties. This Committee should come up with a recommendation that should push the Jubilee Government to release more money as conditional grants purely for purposes of constructing county assemblies, if we are really committed to making devolution succeed.
Thank you, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. Sen. Billow, you will report back to the Senate in due course. Next Order!
There are several Statements on the Order Paper to be issued. At the same time, there are also several Statements that are being sought. However, I want to deal with the Statements being sought first. Proceed, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo. KILLINGS IN MT. ELGON CONSTITUENCY IN BUNGOMA COUNTY
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the standing Committee on National Security and 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.
Could you repeat part “b”.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it reads:- (b) State whether he is aware that the matter was reported at Kapsokwony Police Station by the said killers; KWS officers---
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, your statement does not have the word “the said killers”. Could you expunge that for my statement? You should read what was approved by the Speaker.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it reads:- (b) State whether he is aware that the matter was reported at Kapsokwony Police by the KWS officers, purportedly to have killed bandits and managed to recover a bullet magazine.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the event happened in my county. The facts are that KWS officers killed unarmed helpless herders.
Order, Sen. Wetangula!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am asking a further question.
(Sen. Kembi-Gitura) If you start by saying that they killed harmless unarmed helpless persons, you are pre-empting the answer that you are going to get. Could I hear what you want to say without any pre-emptions?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Statement further tell this House and the country what the Ministry of Environment, headed by Prof. Judy Wakhungu, is doing in order to rein in wayward and trigger happy KWS officers who shoot unarmed, helpless citizens on sight, plant ammunition on them and make entries of false OBs in police stations calling them bandits? This happened in my county. I thank Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo for bringing up this matter which had already been brought to my attention. If I was not unwell in the last couple of days I was going to bring it myself. I hope the answer will be comprehensive, not just in the case of Mt. Elgon, but these senseless killings are going on all over the country where KWS operates.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to seek further clarification. The killing of these two boys happened in a gazetted forest area and not in a national The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. Haji, that relates to your Committee. When will you be able to give an answer?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, my condolences to the bereaved family. We will give the answer on Wednesday, next week.
Thank you, Sen. Haji. Sen. Melly, what are you seeking the Floor for?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to make a very small contribution on the same.
Too late. We have moved on. UP-SCALING OF MINIMUM CAPITAL FOR COMMERCIAL BANKS
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, pursuant to Standing Order No.41(2)(b), I wish to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget regarding the recent up-scaling of minimum capital for commercial banks. In the Statement, the Chairperson should address the following:- (1) What informed the policy announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury to upscale the minimum capital for banks to Kshs5 billion. (2) Was this policy statement subjected to public and sector participation? (3) What is the effective date of this policy? (4) Is the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury aware that this Statement serves to bolster and perfect the dominance of foreign and established local capital and cartels or effectively kills competition and the emergence of new local players in the banking sector? (5) Is the Cabinet Secretary aware that small and emerging financial institutions and banks are established to serve specific niche markets and special interests compared to the major established banks, some of which are out of reach for local entrepreneurs, especially women and the youth? (6) Is the Cabinet Secretary for Treasury aware that this policy announcement violates the provisions of the law against monopolies? (7) For the foregoing reasons, could the Cabinet Secretary vacate this policy to allow the banking sector develop with the dynamism of a free market economy that the Kenya Government embraces?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I recall that in the Parliament of 2002 to 2008, there was a similar attempt and the entire National Assembly stood against it. President Kibaki intervened because the then Minister was now succumbing to the wishes of a small cartel made of a group of people who currently have interest in banking and who do not want competition. 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.
Are you talking about President Kibaki?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the former President Kibaki has now exited State House. This powerful cartel has finally gotten hold of the Jubilee Government and they now want to control the business environment to the extent that the small people who want to do their own type of banking and eventually grow to become big have no chance. Who are these people?
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! I have actually given you a lot of leverage. Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., are you on the same?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Okay, go on.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, perhaps, we should seek further clarification. We should also get a list of banks that are below Kshs5 billion so that we can understand – as the Senate and leaders in this country – the mischief that the Cabinet Secretary is trying to cure or alternatively the persons who the Cabinet Secretary or the policy is targeting to swallow. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Yes, Sen. Melly.
If you have no issue, please, do not log in. If you are not seeking a chance to speak, please, do not log in. Sen. Billow, how long do you require for this? There are those two further extensions to the Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the hon. Member because that is a good question; a topical matter. The issue of raising the minimum capital to more than double is a matter that needs to be looked into. That is a very important matter on the economy. However, like the Senator for Kakamega County has said, he needs not to worry---
Sen. Billow, you just need to tell me when you will give an answer or statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will tell you. However, I just wanted to assure him that since he is not in big businesses like banking, he needs not to worry. I will give an answer in a couple of weeks.
No, Sen. Billow. I want a definite date on which you will give an answer. 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 need two weeks from today.
Two weeks from today. Is that okay with you, Sen. Wetangula?
Okay, next Wednesday but one. RAMPANT CASES OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE BY TEACHERS IN KENYAN SCHOOLS
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Statement on the rise in cases of sexual molestation in schools. Pursuant to Standing Order No.45(2)(b), I wish to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Committee on Education regarding the rampant cases of child abuse and molestation by teachers in Kenyan schools. In the Statement, the Chairperson should address the following issues:- (1) Is the Chairperson aware of the ever increasing incidences of sexual abuse and molestation by teachers in Kenyan schools? If so, what are the reasons for such escalation? (2) Could the Chairperson provide the details of such cases which have been reported to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) or other agencies in the last five years and indicate the action taken in each of the cases? (3) Could the Chairperson confirm that some of the cases have been settled out of court? If so, what has the Government done in such instances to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and disciplined appropriately? (4) What other measures has the TSC taken to ensure that the menace of sexual offenses against students in schools is completely eradicated and ensure that disciplinary measures are taken against the teachers involved? Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a further question.
Sen. Wetangula, be brief.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Senator. This is a very important issue. You may recall that last year in Mt. Elgon which is in my County, over 10 young girls were made pregnant by one teacher. You saw in the media yesterday, that in Kilifi, nine young girls have been made pregnant reportedly by one teacher. That is dangerous. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the Statement, could the Chairperson of the Committee assure this House and the Country that any teacher found molesting, impregnating or, in any way, compromising the dignity of young girls in schools will summarily be dismissed from the teaching profession and prosecuted? If convicted, send to jail for a long time as a deterrent? Thank you, Mr. Deputy 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.
Let me make this clear. I had mentioned it to Sen. Wetangula before. I do not know why he decided to transgress again. The reason a Statement like this one is sought is so that we know about both policy and the action being taken. However, when Sen. Wetangula wants to mete out even the punishment to be given, then what is the point of seeking the Statement? If you want to seek a further clarification or to ride on the Statement so that you enrich it, please, do it to that extent only. Do not pre-empt or give us the answer that the Chairperson of the Committee is expected to give us when the Statement is finally issued in the House. Sen. Kanainza, please, one minute.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also wish that the Chairperson of the Committee on Education to clarify what measures will be taken to ensure that the lives of both girls and boys are taken care of in such a case. What is the outcome of sexual molestation? We are aware that when children go through sexual molestation, after the case has been settled, or the teacher has been taken to court, the education of the child is interfered with. Nothing happens to ensure that the child either goes on with his or her education. They do not also go through counselling sessions and all that. The Chairperson should clarify about measures that are taken to ensure that the lives of the victims are safeguarded. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is, probably, what I wanted to say?
I need protection. I am being attacked by Sen. Wetangula. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this House passed a Motion by Sen. Ongoro. It was about the aftercare of the young children once they have been impregnated while still in school. I would like to know the roadmap that the relevant Ministry has taken.
Sen. Karaba, when will you give an answer?
I have not seen your request, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. You have just made your request after I had called Sen. Karaba. What is it that you would like to say?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Chairperson also enlighten this House on regional distribution of this funny behaviour per county for the past five years?
I am not sure that your question has anything to do with the Statement. You are talking about “funny behavior” yet we are talking about sexual molestation. You need to call it what it is. Okay, Sen. Karaba.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I need enough 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.
How much time?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, about three weeks so that I come up with true data on whether it is the girls, boys or the teachers who are on the wrong.
I need time.
Order, Sen. Karaba!
Point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Sen. Wetangula. You have already said what you had to say. I know you want to raise issues about the three weeks’ time that Sen. Karaba has requested. Allow me to rule on it. Sen. Karaba, the only reason I will all you three weeks is because the Statement is extremely important. Secondly, there are some riders on the Statement; the one by Sen. (Dr.) Machage, Sen. Sijeny and all the other Senators. The last that has been raised by Sen. (Dr.) Machage is about the prevalence of the cases. So, you need to go into the depth of it. It is a very serious situation which is very prevalent. We hear about it every day. That is the only reason I will allow you three weeks. However, I expect you to give us a very comprehensive Statement on this issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
You see, we will now go into problems. You know, there are about 10 requests of points of order on this one. There are about ten requests for points of order on this issue. Maybe, it speaks then to the importance of it.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know if you heard what the Chairperson said. He said that he needed three weeks to check whether it is the boys, girls or the teacher in the wrong. In the molestation of a child who cannot in law give consent to sexual intercourse, how can you talk of going to check whether the boy, girl or teacher is wrong? Being a consummate lawyer yourself who is witty and very sharp, I expected you to pick up that and tell him that he is grossly wrong. This is because children cannot consent to any sexual activities.
Sen. Wetangula, what do you want me to do?
Order, hon. Senators! Sen. Karaba, I must apologize to the House because I did not hear you clearly. Is what Sen. Wetangula has said what you said? 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 am involved in some of these cases. In the past, I have been involved in investigations. What I found is that even the students do those things. So, I have to come up with a true record on what should happen to the boys, girls and even teachers when they are victims.
Order, Senators! I want us to move on. Sen. Karaba, I hear where you are coming from. However, the point raised by Sen. Wetangula is extremely important. Even in law, there is an age below which neither a boy nor a girl can consent to sexual conduct. So, when you say that you want to go and check whether it is the boys or girls who are wrong, vis-à-vis the teacher, I believe the point made by Sen. Wetangula is valid. It cannot be a relationship because a relationship is by consent. However, if there is an overture by a teacher and the child is below 16 years, then there cannot be a relationship. So, you need to appreciate that below a certain age, you cannot consent. So, even if you do your own research and investigation, you will find that child is still innocent of consent. This is because children have no capacity to consent. That is the point being made. Sen. Karaba, if that is what you said, then, of course, it will not be expunged, but it is a wrong statement to make. It will be out of order on the face of it. That is a matter of law and I will let it rest at that. Hon. Senators, if all of you wanted to raise the issue with Sen. Karaba, I think Sen. Wetangula has done it on your behalf. So, we shall proceed. Sen. Khaniri, are you seeking a Statement? OUTBREAK OF MALARIA IN THE WESTERN REGION
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 45(2)(b), I wish to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health concerning an outbreak of Malaria in Western region, in particular, Kakamega and Vihiga counties. In the Statement, the Chairperson should explain:- (1) If the Cabinet Secretary for Health is aware of this outbreak. (2) What the Government has done so far to contain the outbreak? (3) What support the national Government has offered to complement the county governments of Vihiga and Kakamega in the effort to fight Malaria in the counties?
Where is the Chairperson of the Committee on Health? Sen. Kittony, when are you going to give that Statement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the issue has now come to our Committee, we will respond in two weeks’ 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.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are talking of an outbreak of Malaria. When the Senators talks about two weeks, I wonder whether we are really serious about this issue. We expect a statement in two or three days and not two weeks.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, tomorrow is a Thursday. Even if I went to the Ministry tomorrow, I may not get that Statement this week. We will issue it on Thursday, next week.
Did you say on Tuesday next week?
Yes, on Thursday, next week, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
I will order that you give even a holding Statement on Tuesday, next week. You can work on it as a Committee tomorrow, Friday and Monday. IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF THE REPORT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TASKFORCE ON PARASTATALS REFORMS
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am following up on my Statement with regard to the Presidential taskforce on the reforms in the Tourism Authority that I had requested a while back from the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget. I understand that the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget was ready with the Statement yesterday, but I was not available.
Why were you not available?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was indisposed.
Sen. Billow has been carrying that Statement and has been ready to issue it since March. Yesterday, he actually asked me to direct that it be dropped. The reason I refused to drop it, is because it is the property of the House. So, it is not sufficient for you to tell us that you were not available. But if you have a better reason maybe you can tell us and I can direct that we extend time for you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was unwell. I apologize.
Order, Senators! Sen. Gwendo, let me indulge you. Will you be in the House tomorrow?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Billow, may I request that you issue the Statement tomorrow afternoon.
That is okay, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you very much. Who is “Temporary 2”?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am “Temporary 2.”
Do you have a point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was on the Chair yesterday when Sen. Gwendo walked into the House. Is she in order to misinform this House that she was unwell when a day before yesterday she was live on television and looked very 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.
Order, Senators! It would be an extremely unfortunate situation if a Senator would mislead the House. Unfortunately, I have already dealt with that issue. Therefore, I am functus officio as pertains to it. If I was seized of the information that now a Member of the Speaker’s Panel is giving, that she was sitting here when the Senator came in---
Looking very hot!
Order, Sen. Musila! Maybe I would have made a different ruling on it. As I said, now I am functus officio and I will not go back to it.
Hon. Senators, I have a short Communication to make. Hon. Senators, I wish to recognise the presence of students and teachers from Lukenya Boys High School, Machakos County, seated in the Public Gallery who are visiting the Senate today. Hon. Senators, as you all know, the tradition of receiving and welcoming visitors to Parliament is a long time tradition and one we shall endeavour to continue upholding. On behalf of the Senate, and on my own behalf, I extend a warm welcome to the students and teachers of Lukenya Boys High School and hope that their visit to the Senate will be fruitful. Thank you.
Sen. Sang, is it a point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it would be really unfortunate if we leave the issue raised by Sen. Ongoro at the level we left it.
Sen. Sang, you are lawyer. When I said that I am functus officio, I meant that it is a matter that is now closed. I will not reopen it. So, I will not deal with it now. 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, yesterday you directed that I give this House a Report on the Status of the Reports of Audited Accounts of all the 47 Counties. The first question which I raised this morning with the Auditor-General was the issue of the delays in the release of the reports. He said that when those reports came from the field and were brought to his table, he found that they were not satisfactory. He told me that they were prepared in the traditional way that reports have been done under the old Constitution. Further, he said that using the best international practices, he redirected them to create two centres; one for the county assembly and the other one for the county executive. This has been done. He told me that a second cause of the delay was the shortage of staff. He is forced to audit these accounts, not in the counties, but in hubs. He has created nine hubs. The first hub is in Nairobi which deals with Kajiado, Machakos and Nairobi counties. The second one is in Nakuru dealing with Bomet, Kericho, Narok, Samburu and Nakuru counties. The third hub is in Nyeri dealing with Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyandarua and Nyeri counties. The fourth hub is in Kisumu which deals with Homa Bay, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira and Siaya counties. The fifth hub is in Mombasa which deals with Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Mombasa, Taita-Taveta and Tana River counties. The sixth hub is in Kakamega dealing with Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Kakamega counties. The seventh hub is in Eldoret dealing with Baringo, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and West Pokot counties. The eighth hub is in Embu dealing with Embu, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni, Marsabit, Meru and Tharaka-Nithi counties. Finally, the ninth hub is in Garissa dealing with Garissa, Mandera and Wajir counties. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the second issue was when the reports will be available in this House. He told me that so far, as of this morning, he has signed a total of 35 reports for county executives and 34 reports for county assemblies, respectively. He told me that these reports are on their way because there is an element of bureaucracy right from the registry before they land here. He disclosed that he received 35 reports from the executives and 34 from the county assemblies, respectively. However, the reports of the following counties will be late by three weeks. These are Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Kilifi, Meru, Samburu, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kericho and Bomet. 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, I thank you most sincerely for what I consider to be a job very well done because the direction was given yesterday. I am happy to note that the Auditor-General appreciates the importance of furnishing the Senate with information, in the first instance, under Article 96(3) of the Constitution and not making the Senate an appendage of other institutions by copying these reports to the Senate. I want to believe that will happen. What is not clear and you did not explain is why the reports of some counties, including Murang’a, will be delayed for three weeks. You did not say the reasons he gave for that delay. I heard you say that he assured you that there will be no interference with those reports, whether in his office or in the field. However, you did not say the reason for the delay.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can answer it now.
Yes, could you, please, do so because the HANSARD has to be completed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, due to shortage of personnel, the Auditor-General has created nine hubs. This means that in a particular hub, he has instructed a maximum of four and a minimum of two officers. When they are in a hub and they descend on a particular county, they are supposed to exhaust it completely, return to Nairobi, make reports and go back to the next county. This ends up taking a long process. No county will be given priority; it is just like picking from a bag. That is how those twelve counties have been left out.
Sen. Khaniri, is it on the same?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, just a small follow up. My Chairperson stated that the Auditor-General indicated to him that he has received 35 reports from the executives and 34 from the county assemblies. Could he indicate to us when we are likely to get the remaining reports? 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 want to repeat that he confirms that the reports will be ready within three weeks.
I thought you said that already.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Chairperson of the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) for that detailed report. He said the Auditor-General deals with one county before moving on to the next one. Could he go back to him and impress upon him to complete one and bring it first? I would like him to start with Nyandarua County.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is disturbing to hear reasons given by the Auditor-General on delays on giving us reports on audited accounts of certain counties. I have Narok County in mind because it has been in the news for misappropriation of resources and yet it is given less priority for submission of reports. Allow me to show dissatisfaction on the work of the Auditor-General in handling his duties. I am not satisfied.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, noting that these reports are coming exactly one year after the end of the financial year; they were for 30th June, 2014 and we are now in July, 2015, could the Chairperson tell us when these clusters will end and every county to have its own team of auditors? What time-frame is he looking at now that he was allocated additional money?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to request the Chairperson to tell us exactly what would happen if a county is found to have embezzled money. What steps should the Auditor-General take when it is one year after the event has taken place?
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, you now appreciate the importance of this issue. It is one of the instruments upon which we are able to exercise our mandate under Article 96 of the Constitution. The issues raised, including the one raised by Sen. Karaba, is that it may end up making the Senate just morticians because we are not able to deal with real issues. We are dealing with an issue long after mistakes have been committed. I am sure you have heard the sentiments by Members and you do know the timelines you have given us. However, I hope we will get these reports so that your Committee can get to work and give us the necessary reports as your mandate requires.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will do exactly that. I would like to respond to the Senators as follows: Regarding the question raised by the Senator for Nyandarua County, I will impress upon him that there is need for him to expedite the process and give Nyandarua County priority. May I clarify something to the Senator for Narok County. We can bear with the Auditor-General on the issue of Narok because the audits that were in the newspapers necessitated a special audit for a special project. That was done conclusively and cannot be the reason he is assumed not to have completed his work in Narok. That was a different project and a special audit. Regarding the issue of the Senator for Mandera County, I alluded to the answer that fortunately there is Kshs1 billion in the current Budget. He is going to use 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.
Hon. Senators, we still have Statements to be issued, but as you can see, it is already going to 4.00 p.m. I have consulted with the leadership of the House and we have agreed that I alter the Order Paper a little. I want to stand down Statements for a moment so that we can handle Orders No.8 and 9 which are Division. After voting, we shall go back to Statements. We have about five or six Statements to be issued. It is so ordered. I am standing down the issuance of Statement.
Next Order! The Division Bell is going to be rung once and then we vote on both of those Bills, but the results will be announced separately. Ring the Bell for two minutes so that we can give the people in the lounge time to come.
Hon Senators, the results of the Division are as follows:-
Sen. Adan, Isiolo County; Sen. Billow; Mandera County; Sen. Bule, Tana River County; Sen. Chalule, Nakuru County; Sen. Elachi, Nairobi County; Sen. Haji, Garissa County; Sen. Kagwe, Nyeri County; Sen. Karaba, Kirinyaga County; Sen. G.G. Kariuki, Laikipia County; Sen. Kembi-Gitura, Muranga County; Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, Kakamega County; Sen. Khaniri, Vihiga County; Sen. Leshore, Samburu County; Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, West Pokot Couty; Sen. (Dr.) Machage, Migori County; Sen. Madzayo, Kilifi County; Sen. Melly, Uasin Gishu County; Sen. Mohamud, Wajir County; Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki, Nyandarua County; Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., Makueni County; Sen. Ndiema, Trans Nzoia County; Sen. Obure, Kisii County; Sen. Okong’o, Nyamira County; Sen. Sang, Nandi County and Sen. Wetangula, Bungoma County.
Hon Senators, the results of the Division are as follows:-
The Bar and the door may now be opened.
That marks the end of Division.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Very well. Go ahead and issue it. CONTINUED CLOSURE OF GARISSA TTC
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to give additional information on Garissa Teachers Training College, following the request for more information regarding the predicament of the students of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Sen. Karaba. Please, proceed Sen. Obure.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank the Chairperson for those clarifications. As you have heard, the Chairperson of the Committee on Education has said that there are a number of students who have given a firm indication that they do not wish to go back to Garissa TTC due to fear for their lives. He has also said that the Ministry will be considering what action to take in regard to those students. We are now coming to the end of the second term and it would appear that considerable time has been wasted. Will these students catch up? Why can the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology not make an immediate decision so that these students can resume studies and complete their courses? That is what we really need to hear from the Ministry. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the second point is about security in learning institutions which is an issue of great concern in the country. What we wanted to know is what specific measures the Cabinet Secretary (CS), in conjunction with the national Government, is taking to enhance security in all learning institutions in the country. He has not been specific.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Chairperson of the Committee on Education has been repeating these answers for the last few weeks, regarding the safety and security of students and teachers in the north eastern region. The Chairperson has repeated his usual statement that security will be provided. The reality is that education institutions in the north eastern region have collapsed. There is no single teacher from outside that region who is teaching in all the schools in Mandera and Garissa counties. This is the only tertiary institution in the whole region. It is also facing closure because students are leaving for lack of security. What exactly is the Ministry doing about the education crisis in that region, as a matter of Government policy? The Government is not the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology only. What is the Government doing, through this Ministry, to address the issue of the crisis in education in that region that is affecting students, residents and locals whose schools have all been shut down? If we shut down every school and college in the north eastern region, we will play into the hands of terrorists. What do you expect to do with the people from those regions? Has the Government surrendered? Could this Cabinet Secretary (CS) be serious in the response he is giving on this matter?
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I raised a similar matter to Sen. Billow’s. First, you heard the Chairperson say that they have advised people to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I support my friends. I do not believe that we have realised the gravity of the closure of the schools in north eastern region. The cause of Al Shabaab is being enhanced by the closure of those institutions. The real determination of how to defeat Al Shabaab is through education. If we close the institutions that are supposed to educate people to stop joining an evil institution such as Al Shabaab, then where is the answer for the future? What we would have liked to hear from my Chairperson is that there will now be 40 or 50 individuals from the Administration Police Unit who will be stationed in that institution. There will be a garrison that will be constructed near the University of Garissa. Transport will be provided to students and staff. An additional funding such as an equivalent of so much money has been given to provide the walls that the institutions have been asked to build to enhance security. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, honestly, I believe that the Chairperson must emphasize that. If necessary, let us call the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology to this House to discuss security in our education institutions. I do not think we will get sufficient answers at this point from the Chairperson of the Committee on Education.
Chairperson of the Committee, do you have the same feeling that we may not get sufficient answers and that we may need the Cabinet Secretary to come and be interrogated by the House?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, exactly. I was also thinking that we should have the Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government.
The reason I asked you is because there is so much interest in this issue and I like your candidness. If you seriously feel that there are some areas that you are unable to delve into, then Sen. Kagwe’s proposal might be the best way out. Let us have the Cabinet Secretary here to tell us what action has been taken to ensure that Garissa TTC and other institutions are opened.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The issue of education in the northern part of Kenya is not given the serious attention that it requires. A generation of young people has now lost completely in education in the country. 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. Haji! Your private discussions with Sen. Karaba were just that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will leave it, but I have made my point. The Government should not pass the buck. It is its responsibility to make sure that all Kenyans wherever they are, are given security. As Sen. Kagwe said, we are playing into the hands of Al Shabaab when we continue talking and doing nothing. Are we saying that we, as a country, are not capable of giving our children the education they need because Al Shabaab is causing insecurity in the country? We should face them, deal with them and allow our children to get the necessary education.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, surely, there is a serious crisis in the education system in the north eastern part of Kenya. I support what my former Chairperson has indicated. I would like to also urge that we call both the Cabinet Secretaries for Education and the Minister in charge of security so that they can give us an in-depth into this issue. As you know, we are already in the month of July and students from the north eastern part of Kenya are supposed to take the same examinations with the other students in the nation. Surely that is unfair. We, as a House of integrity, must find a solution to this system. As a matter of priority, we need to pass the Motion that the Deputy Minority Leader has already tabled in this House. We should prioritize it, so that we can introduce the untrained teachers in the education sector so that the students can be kept in schools for the time being. For information purposes, I called the Principal of Garissa Teachers College. He informed me that at least 427 students have reported and almost all 42 lecturers have reported. They have provided 20 security officers in the institution. Again, I plead with the House that we prioritize the Motion brought by Sen. Abdirahman, so that we at least find a solution to this problem.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very sad issue. I hope and I am praying that the teachers who decided not to go back to north eastern part of Kenya are not, at the moment, earning a salary. It would be very sad if they are earning a salary and yet they are at home doing their own businesses. We have students who are supposed to start their mock examinations in July and are supposed to be assessed like any other student in the country. 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, most of the issues that I wanted to raise have been raised by my colleagues. When this attack happened, the first call that I got was from an international caller. That tells you how widely it was covered both nationally and internationally. The whole community, globally, is waiting to see what Kenya will do in reaction to what happened. Our brothers and sisters in the north eastern part of Kenya are actually bearing this brunt on behalf of all of us because of their proximity to Somalia. It is known that idle minds are a fertile breeding ground for just about anything. The more we allow these students not to be integrated back to the system and to be positively engaged, we are actually risking giving them more opportunity to even now then, in apathy, cross over to join the other side. I want to plead with the Chairperson of the Education Committee that I have listened to him make a suggestion which is really good that we also should involve the Cabinet Secretary in charge of security. However, as a Committee, they are mandated even before we reach that stagnation and stalemate to have thought it wise to seek any other Ministry that has some relevance to this issue. This is not just a matter that we should seclude to north eastern; it is a matter that is affecting all of us . Al Shabaab is now waiting to see how long and whatever else we put in place before they, probably, cross over to attack the University of Nairobi or Bondo University. I plead with the Chairperson of this Committee, on behalf of this nation, that this is, probably, the most important matter that has been brought to their Committee and we want to see very serious undertakings through your Committee by the national Government on the matters and process, complete with timelines, that it is doing to ensure that we do not experience this kind of attack again, not just in north eastern, but in any other institution.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a very serious matter that some students in this country are not going to school because of attacks by criminals. What is the effect of that? Al Shabaab are considering themselves winners because they have managed to stop the entire education system in the former North Eastern Province, where my good friends come from. This means they have succeeded that far. If we do not arrest the situation now, these people will make sure that in another county there is no schooling. We must understand that this is not a matter of the northern part of Kenya alone, but the entire country is affected. These people can attack anybody because, in their records, they know they have won the war in Kenya. By not attacking Nairobi or Mombasa, it does not mean that we have achieved anything. The Chairperson of the Committee should understand the implications of this matter in terms of the students. If my child cannot go to school because there are thugs around my house, can I claim to be a free person or a prisoner of militia? 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 would like to believe that the Chairperson of the Education Committee has listened to you carefully with the appeal that we have the two Cabinet Secretaries to address this issue, especially so, on the way forward in the north eastern part of Kenya. Two days ago, we saw in the media, the Vice Chancellor of Garissa University ordering all the staff to report back to the institution. Whether that was a good sign that there was security or it was just semantics, nobody knows. Some of the questions we want answered are; first, what is the designed pattern of education henceforth in the north eastern part of Kenya, taking cognizance of the fact that there is that interruption? Secondly, what plans does the Ministry have to solve the problem of shortage of teachers in that area? Additionally, we need more information so that we know what will happen to the child of the north eastern region in terms of education.
Sen. Obure, do you want to add to this?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
One minute, please.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was initially worried about the few students who have not gone back. However, much more fundamental issues have emerged; the fact that all learning institutions in the north eastern counties are closed. This is a very serious matter. We are denying children their fundamental right. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with the suggestion made by the Senator for Nyeri County, Sen. Kagwe, that the Cabinet Secretary (CS) should be invited here so that we discuss with him and avoid giving the impression that we are giving in to terrorists. We should put our foot down as a country and ensure that people enjoy their rights. I think that is the best way to handle this matter.
Thank you, Senators. Sen. Karaba, you are the Chairman of the Committee.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Leshore, you have made your request rather late.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to add my voice to this very grave issue happening in north eastern Kenya. However, this is not only affecting north eastern Kenya but also Baragoi which is in my county. Three secondary schools have been closed down because of cattle rustling. I would like the Chairman to include all the schools which have been closed down in the north rift and the former North Eastern Province and come up with a solution which will ensure that all schools are given enough security.
Thank you, Sen. Leshore. Sen. Karaba, as the Chairman of the Committee, obviously, I will give you a right of reply. However, you must have noticed that I have done something unusual. 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, Members, who are my colleagues, should understand that I am equally concerned as they are. Having been a teacher and a principal, I know what it means for a child not to be in class that long. I am aware of the kind of examinations that students are supposed to sit by the end of the year. I am wondering about what kind of substance they are supposed to present in the papers given the questions. So, I am equally concerned. My Committee can summon both the CS for Education and the one for Interior and Coordination of National Government. However, they too might not give us the answers. So, I am of the opinion that we make it an open sitting for all of us. We can even include the Office of the President because this issue does not only affect education. We have other officers including those offering health services like the doctors who have not reported. Of late, we have had the same Al-Shabaab attacking our barracks. This is something that is unusual and unheard of. If they could do that, what can they not attack? It is my prayer – given the gravity of the issue – that I can use my office, as the Chairman, to invite the CS for Education. I will ask him to be accompanied by the relevant Ministers to the House at a time we will agree with the Office of the Speaker.
Very well. So, I will make a direction on this issue. This morning, we had the CS in charge of Labour, Social Security and Services meet the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare – as a Committee of the Whole – to inform Members on what is happening about cash transfer programme. In the same manner, the Office of the Speaker will make arrangements for the CS for Education together with his colleague in charge of Interior and Coordination of National Government to appear before both Committees. All Members who would like to be here will be invited so that we interrogate the two of them on these very important two issues; the issue of education and that of security in the north eastern part of this country so that the questions that Members have asked here can be raised to them. I heard you say that they may not be able to answer the questions. I think that will be a very sad day. However, I do not want us to pre-empt or get there now. That is the direction that I will give. I am sure that there will be a communication very shortly for 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.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have instructions to answer on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee. However, the Member who sought for the Statement is not in.
Are you talking about “d’?
I am not talking about “d”.
Which one do you have instructions on? Is it “d”?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have instructions on Statement “e”. The Statement was directed to the Standing Committee on Land and Natural Resources.
If it is “e”, that is fine. I know that Sen. Khaniri has indicated--- Are you also answering about Statement “d”?
Your gestures cannot be captured by the HANSARD.
I do not have answers on “d”, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I only have answers on Statement “e”.
Fine. DEPRECIATION OF THE KENYAN SHILLING AGAINST OTHER MAJOR CURRENCIES
Let us listen to Sen. Billow.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Senator for Nyeri County had sought for a Statement on the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against other major currencies. In particular, he wanted to know about the following four issues:- (1) the cause of depreciation of the Kenyan shilling; (2) the mitigating measures taken by the Government to address the issue; (3) the impact of the depreciation on the foreign loans repayment programme; and, (4) whether the Government has any plans to hedge our foreign borrowings against adverse exchange rates. 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.) Machage): There are some interventions from “Temporary 2,” Sen. Elachi and Sen. Kagwe. Proceed, Sen. Kagwe.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I thank the Chairman for the answer that he has given, but wish to point out the following: He has just said that the depreciation of the Kenya shilling has been consistent over the years. Going by that trend then, I presume that he is also saying that we can expect that to continue. To say that we 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.) Machage): As you intervene on Sen. Kagwe’s concern, let us know whether the Cabinet Secretary or the Ministry intends to have a free fall of the Kenyan shilling or they intend the depreciation to go to a certain level and then mitigate. So, let us have that clarified. I think Sen. Kagwe’s question will be more complete with that. Proceed, Sen. Obure.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I also want to thank the Chairman for a very elaborate answer. However, in the face of increasing volumes of imports, what specific measures is the Government taking to stem this trend? Secondly, what strategy or incentives are being offered to promote exports of goods and services in order to mitigate the decline in the balance of payments? In my opinion, that is urgent and we need to come up with that strategy.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Remember that the Senator for Migori put an agendum wanting to know a comparison of the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling to other currencies of the East African Community (EAC). Is the depreciation the same or how has it faired on with the local East African currencies? Please, continue, Mr. Chairman. Hold on, please. Sen. Wamatangi, do you want to say something?
No, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Proceed, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, let me start with the question you asked on the comparative. In the answer, there is a comparison with almost ten or twelve 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.) Machage): Very well. Next Statement. Where is the Chairperson of the Sessional Committee on Devolved Government? Proceed, Sen. Elachi. RELOCATION OF THE HEADQUARTERS OF KIAMBU COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, this is a Statement that was requested by the Senator for Kiambu, Sen. Wamatangi. The Senator wanted to know why the Governor relocated the headquarters of Kiambu County to Thika. The answer is as follows:- The Transition Authority was established to facilitate and coordinate the transition to devolved systems of government as provided under Section 15 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. In response, I would like to state as follows:- The designated headquarters of Kiambu County Government is Kiambu Town. After touring and inspecting the infrastructure and facilities available in all the 47 counties prior to the general election of 2013, the Transition Authority identified the following to serve as county government offices for Kiambu County: The former County Council of Kiambu offices in Kiambu Town to be used as the county assembly. The former Municipal Council offices to house the county executive and the county treasury to be housed at the former Municipal Council of Kiambu offices. All the three identified premises are in Kiambu Town and hence the County Government of Kiambu headquarters is Kiambu Town. As per the attached advisory published in all the daily newspapers on Tuesday, 17th January, 2013, the Transition Authority has continued to give advisories to the county governments as per their mandate of facilitating and coordinating transition to devolved system of county government. However, some counties have ignored some of the advisories, not only such a case but on such issues as recruitment of human resources. The Transition Authority is requesting that the Senate intervene and the County Government of Kiambu to immediately relocate back to its offices in Kiambu Town and an advisory be given on the same so that the Senate and the Senator to know when they will be going back to Kiambu Town. Before any decision is made to transfer the headquarters of the county, it is important for all the stakeholders of the county, the leaders, wananchi and the Transition Authority to be consulted in a manner to ensure smooth transition, efficient and effective services delivery.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee on Devolution for that answer. This has been a long outstanding matter in Kiambu. In the response the Transition Authority has requested the Senate to intervene and ensure that this is done. For the last two-and-a-half years, the Governor of Kiambu County has been playing hide and seek; a cat and mouse game on the location of Kiambu 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.) Machage): May I remind you that you are supposed to be seeking for a clarification. I have been a little bit patient because of your concern but my patience is running out.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, my concern is for the people of Kiambu so that they can finally get the justice they deserve. The effect and authority of this House should be respected. That is why I took time to request the Chair to give direction that this directive be obeyed. I would like the Chairperson to clarify when this is going to be done.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): I am being put in a very difficult position. Chairperson, let us hear you.
I think it is an issue of the House now. It is a very direct issue and should be dealt by the House to assist the people of Kiambu. Therefore, I request the Chair to give directions.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): I have listened carefully to the Statement read to this House by the Chair of the Committee. I have a copy of the same Statement but in a summarized manner. It is signed by the chief executive officer, Mr. Stephen K. Makori. I will not give direction on this prayer now, but I will want to study it as tabled in this House, through the HANSARD and also authenticate the powers of Mr. Stephen K. Makori in such a direction before I make my decision on Thursday next week. Next, the Chair of the Committee on security. 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, let me confirm to this House that yesterday I promised to issue a Statement requested by Sen. Musila but unfortunately this morning, I was in the Cabinet Secretary’s office by 8.30 a.m. and the Statement was not adequately addressing the question. I managed to call the Inspector-General of Police to facilitate a proper answer and also fast track the process. In view of that, I request Sen. Musila to give us time until Tuesday so that we can get a comprehensive answer.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, this question was asked three weeks ago after my people were killed by people who had crossed into my county. I am told every other time that the Statement will be coming tomorrow. I want to say that I have a lot of respect for the Vice Chair because she has done a lot of work. Yesterday, she committed herself to this House that the Statement was ready only that it lacked the signature of the Cabinet Secretary. You have heard what she has said. I do appreciate her position but this is happening when our people continue to be murdered by herdsmen from another county and the Government is doing nothing. Every other day, there are incidences of people being killed by people armed with AK 47 rifles. Could I be in order to tell the Vice Chair that tomorrow should be the final day to reply to the Statement because it has been postponed so many times? Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I want to be on record to condemn, in the strongest terms possible, my disappointment with the manner in which the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government is dealing with the matter of security at the border between Kitui and Tana River counties.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Very well. I think your concern has been noted by the Vice Chair of the Committee. In view of her answer, there is nothing more we can do. Tuesday is not too far. I hope the same will be executed effectively on Tuesday. Next Order! Hold on, Sen. Ong'era, you have an intervention? HAZARDS POSED BY NAIROBI DAM
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. Sometime in May, I sought a statement with regard to the hazards caused by the Nairobi Dam. This answer was supposed to be submitted to the House by 20th May, 2015. Today, it is over six weeks and no answer is forthcoming from the Chair of the Committee on Lands and Natural Resources with regard to this very sensitive and important question. As I indicated last time, the hazards caused by Nairobi Dam have killed very many people including my bodyguard’s son. I thought that this matter should have been given the due urgency it deserves. 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.) Machage): Very well, that is quite a legitimate concern. I order that this Statement be issued on Tuesday. I hope the questioner will be in the House so that we do not have time wasted.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I am most obliged.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Next Order.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Sen. Ong’era, you had 13 minutes.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to conclude my contribution to this Bill. As I indicated yesterday, this is a very good Bill which, for the first time in the history of our country, brings a law to regulate issues of food security, particularly to give effect to Articles 21, 43 and 53 of the Constitution. This Bill seeks to ensure that there is adequate food in this country and not only adequate food but also good quality food. The food must also be nutritious. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, these are some of the issues with regard to food security that we have sought for a very long time and we did not get legislations that translated into law. However, I have some concerns which I hope the Mover will address. I hope that by formulating this Bill and eventually enacting it will not be another way of using the back door to bring back the principle of the management of food in this country by the national Government. As you are aware, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries was devolved to the counties and with that, the issues of food security were also devolved. I want to particularly look at Part 3, Clause 11 of the Bill. I did not expect a national authority to be formulated. I expected to see a county food security authority which is specific to the needs of each county. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as you are aware, concerns of food security differ from one county to another. For example, I feel that the situation in Marsabit County will not be the same in Kisii County. Therefore, there was need of forming a county food security authority, so that we get people who are experts and tailored for that county’s specific needs, as opposed to having a national authority, whereby there is a chairperson appointed by the President, a Principal Secretary for the designated Ministry for Devolution and Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and 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.
On a point of order Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): What is it, Sen. Elachi?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I agree with the sentiments of my sister but it would be important to tell the country that we do not have in mind whoever will be the chair. I would have replied to the issues that she is raising during the time for reply---
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): You stood up on a point of order. So what is not in order?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, what is not in order is that we have no idea who will be the chair. This is an issue that was brought with 21 memoranda in that Committee.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Maybe you did not execute it well. You should have said that, is Sen. Ong’era in order to--- You have to execute it properly for it to sound like a point of order.
Mr. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, is the Senate Minority Whip in order to say that we, as the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, know whoever will be the Chairperson of this Committee?
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Sen. Ong’era, can you substantiate that?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I had asked a question and I am very happy to hear the Mover say that they have nobody in mind. I was worried by the manner in which the criterion was set. It is normally a criterion that is not set for Chairmen. I have been a drafter of Bills, having worked for a long time in the Attorney General’s Chamber, and I know that when you are presenting the qualifications of Chairmen, you do not get into such details, unless it is for the post of a director general or a managing director. I am very happy that the Mover has indicated otherwise. Clause 5(g) is with regard to having special food programmes for food poor persons. The Mover could consider making some amendments to provide for concrete 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.) Machage): Sen. Ong’era, I suggest that you move the amendments, because Sen. Elachi is the drafter of the Bill and that is what is in her mind. She may also not be very interested in making that amendment. So, if you feel that there is a necessary amendment, then you are at the mercy of the House to accept your amendment or not and not the Mover.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I stand guided. I shall definitely be doing so at the relevant time. Otherwise, I would like to congratulate the Mover once again for coming up with such a Bill, because food security is an issue that especially we, as women, are very passionate about because we are the ones who know the pain of a child sleeping hungry in a home. I beg to support this Bill.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I join a number of the Members who have contributed to this Bill. I support this Bill and congratulate the Mover. We have had a lot of amendment Bills in this House and quite a few concrete Bills of this nature. A country that is not food secure cannot claim to be proud of being a nation. The responsibility of every Government and leadership is to ensure that their citizens are food secure. A lot of the challenges that this country has faced in terms of the governance structures and poverty issues, have contributed to food insecurity. When this country decided to go into a devolved system of Government, and this has been highlighted by Sen. Ong’era; that we now have two Governments; the national and county Government. The wisdom behind our country agreeing that we need to devolve agriculture was because we needed to find a mechanism of ensuring that we have a governance structure at the local level that would respond to a number of issues, look at the environmental situations within the county, identify the food crops that could survive well within the local areas and identify the priority areas that they need to support to ensure that the citizens within our counties are food secure. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as much as agriculture and issues of food production in this country are largely a devolved function, the President and the national Government still have the responsibility in terms of policy formulation, which I think is being addressed in this Bill. If you look at the national budget that was considered by the National Assembly just the other day, it saddens to see that even with the fact that this country ratified and was part and parcel of the Maputo Declaration that requested countries in Africa to allocate at least 15 per cent of their national budget to agriculture, this country is still way behind at about 6 per cent. We must decide as a country that food security is a priority and therefore, this should be seen even in the national budget that is being considered. If you look at the national budget, a lot of resources were given to some sectors that may not merit the amount of resources that were given to them, while the agricultural 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir. First, the initiative by Sen. Elachi to bring this Bill at this opportune time is a big step in the right direction. Food is life and this Bill is, therefore, very important. I congratulate her for this initiative and urge my colleagues to support the Bill. In accordance with Article 210 of the Constitution, every Kenyan has the right to be free from hunger and, in fact, the right to access good quality food and in the right quantities. This places a requirement for both the national and county governments to work together in matters related to food and coordinate their activities in a manner to ensure that all Kenyans are guaranteed access to quality food wherever they live in this country. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it is also the duty of both levels of government to provide an environment which enables Kenyans to access food. It is their duty to put in place mechanisms that guarantee availability of farm inputs such as equipment and other 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for the opportunity to thank the Mover of this Bill and to support it. This Bill has come at a very appropriate time. In fact, it should have come yesterday. I am saying this because 50 years down the line, we have been a country governing itself, but we have not been able to manage the hunger that our people experience. There is no business seeing people going hungry simply because we have not managed our food resources very well. Establishment of a Food Security Authority will be of great help. I would like the Mover to go into the details and amend some of her proposals and make sure that food storage becomes a priority. If we have food and we do not have the proper storage, then we shall still be talking of the same story and people will continue going hungry. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, God gave Kenya very fertile soil. We have enough food but we have not been able to manage it. As I said, this Bill has come at an appropriate time, but unfortunately I have just seen it now. I have not had enough time to go through it. However, as an experienced farmer, if the food that we produce is managed properly, Kenyans will no longer go hungry. It is a shame that sometimes people starve to death because of lack of food as a result of drought and other reasons. In Article 53 of the Constitution, every person has a right to basic nutrition. Article 21talks of the implementation of the rights to fundamental freedoms under the Constitution and the connected purposes to make sure that it is a right for every Kenyan to access food. Every household should get food at the right time. Therefore, Mr. 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.) Machage): Yes, Temporary Card No.2.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as I give my contribution in support of the Bill, I am skeptical. However, I believe that this time round, this kind of a Bill which is timely and appropriate will not suffer the gap that has existed in this country between policy formulation and implementation. We pass very good Bills; we have very good policies passed in this nation but implementation is the problem. I hope that this time round, just with a little bit of strategy, focus and facilitation including adequate budgetary allocation, we will ensure that this kind of a Bill is implemented. It is, indeed, a shame that 50 years down the line, a nation like Kenya is still discussing food security. We really do not have any reason to pride in being an independent nation when we cannot feed ourselves. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I have always been shocked to find, for example, processed fish on our counters when our own lakes and rivers produce a lot of fish. We have not just had the strength and the mental focus to put just a little bit of budgetary allocation in the right Ministry at the right time with the right emphasis to process our own fish. I was a Member of the Tenth Parliament which proposed an allocation to encourage people to start fish farming. However, there was no subsequent allocation to build or construct a processing plant that would encourage the finished product to be harvested and taken to a national plant for processing. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it is really shocking that every year in this nation, we suffer drought. You will see pastoral communities losing thousands of cattle. We know that it will happen every year. Why would this Government – the Jubilee Administration – not find it reasonable to put aside some money to buy cattle in good time and construct a meat processing plant in the pastoral areas so that they can be slaughtered in time, processed and stored for redistribution to Kenyans in need? I do not understand why, for example, we do not have a fruit processing plant. We produce very many mangoes and other fruits in all parts of this country. Why are we not processing, for example, fruits from the former Eastern Province so that the issue of nutrition that we suffer every other time is sorted out? Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as long as this nation will not take it seriously to put enough resources towards the harvesting of water in other parts of this country that experience a lot of rain and even in other parts that experience drought and rain in equal measure so that we store the water and use it for irrigation, then this kind of food insecurity will persist. I do not understand, for example, why we still do not even have budgetary allocation for urban agriculture which is something practiced globally. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, sometime earlier this year, I was on a foreign trip and I found myself in a library over the weekend. It was very interesting to know that the relationship between poverty eradication – which we always put a lot money into – slum upgrading, insecurity, cattle rustling, environmental degradation and many other items 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to this Bill. First, I want to congratulate and thank the Mover for bringing this very important Bill. I want to talk about marketing. Today, many farmers are suffering because of lack of good marketing strategies. We have farmers who practice horticulture and also people who come from Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs), for example, Turkana and other areas. In Nakuru County, for example, we grow a lot of potatoes, cabbages and other vegetables. I hope that the issue of inter-county business will be addressed in this Bill, so that potatoes and other horticultural produce grown in some counties can be sold in other counties. We know that many farmers suffer today because they cannot take their produce to the market due to poor road networks. I hope that this Bill will enable farmers to easily take their produce to the market. I also support the formation of authorities at the county and national Government levels. This will address the various problems that we go through as a country. At times, we face famine which cannot be addressed at the county level, but the national level. When we begin adding value to our produce, the farmer will benefit from it. I hope that this Bill will promote value addition and storage. I am specifically referring to potatoes and other perishable produce. With value addition, farmers will have time to market their produce, as opposed to the case now where farmers are forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices because they do not have storage facilities. Also, 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. (Dr.) Machage): Very well. I see no other Member interested in contributing. I, therefore, call upon the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. First of all---
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): It is always good to speak from the dispatch box when you are moving or replying to a Bill.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, first, I thank all the Senators who have contributed and appreciate their input in ensuring that we enhance the Bill as we go to the Committee Stage. The key object and purpose of this Bill is to provide a framework that promotes the realization of the right to freedom from hunger and access to food of acceptable quality as a fundamental human right. The Bill is anchored in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The Government will always call upon the Cabinet Secretary of this Ministry to ensure that food supplies are taken to the counties where there is hunger or emergencies. I have listened to most of the contributors with regard to the establishment of the authority. We had wide consultations in the Committee stage with regard to this authority. It is important to note that the President is the Head of State and is obligated to ensure that this country is food secure. It is his responsibility to ensure that no Kenyan sleeps hungry. The Bill also ensures that when we have an emergency and wish to seek assistance from international donors, it will be the responsibility of the Head of State to do so. If we leave it to the 47 counties to seek assistance, it will be difficult for the donors to come to our support. To ensure inclusiveness in the composition of the authority, we have three members from the Council of Governors. We also have committees which have many 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.) Machage): Can you say, I beg to move.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I beg to move
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Very good. Next order!
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I beg to move this Bill. In doing so, I thank the Members of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for the work we did.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Order! Read the Bill.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I stand guided. I beg to move that the County Hall of Fame Bill (Senate Bill No. 33 of 2014) be read a Second Time. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, this Bill provides for a platform through which county governments can recognise and honour exceptional persons within the county who have in one way or another made significant contribution to the county and the State. The Bill seeks to provide county governments with a legal framework through which they can preserve their history, culture and heritage of the county. In so doing, we can provide a basis through which future generations can be educated about the history and culture of the county. The Bill seeks to address a gap which has been identified with regard to the operation of the National Honours Act (2013). The Act provides for a mechanism for the conferment of honours by the President on the recommendation of the National and County Government Honours Advisory Committee, the Parliamentary Honours Advisory Committee and the Judiciary Honours Advisory Committee. However, within the National and County Government Honours Advisory Committee, the Committee would only make the recommendations relating to state officers serving within the national and county governments. That means that the provisions of the Act do not support a situation whereby you have some people who have done exceptionally well for the counties, but are unable to be recognised within that advisory committee. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the Bill proposes to establish a mechanism through which the county government can honour their own who may not necessarily be persons serving in national or county governments. The county should honour those who have brought fame and honour to the county but who may not necessarily have been recognized by the President pursuant to the National Honours Act. In providing for the establishment of the County Hall of Fame, the Bill would enable counties to have a place, a repository of information and knowledge pertaining to the history and culture of the county. The Bill further allows for 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. (Dr.) Machage): Order Sen. Sang, you will have 45 minutes when this Bill is next scheduled. 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.) Machage): Hon. Senators, it is now 6.30 p.m., time to adjourn this House. The Senate, therefore, stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday 2nd July, 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.