Sen. Wako, do you have a statement to issue?
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir but the questioner, Dr. Khalwale, is not here. Should I continue?
No, just hold on. That is the statement “h” which is the last one. Probably he figured out that by the time we get to that point, he would have entered the Chamber. Let us move on to statement “a”. Should we move on to “b”? Is there no one to respond? Let us move on to statement “c”. Where is Sen. Haji?
I have very many of them to respond to but I have a sore throat.
You have only “c”.
Sen. Murungi is not here.
He is not here. Let us give him some time. We could deal with statement “d” and the Senator is here. 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, Sen. (Prof.) John Lonyangapuo requested for a statement regarding the issue of security along the Turkana and West Pokot county borders. The Senator wants to know; (1) Whether the Government is aware that the leadership of the two counties signed a mutual agreement that as a first step to end insecurity in the area, no construction or any other development should be undertaken by either side without the concurrence and full participation of the other. (2) Whether the Government is aware that the Turkana County Government is currently constructing a road from Kainuk, Turkana County, to Sarmach in West Pokot County thereby reneging on the agreement. (3) Whether the Government is aware that as a result, tension is building up between the two communities. (4) What the national Government is doing to forestall the rising tension and prevent a flare up of violence. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government is not aware that leaders drawn from Turkana and West Pokot counties had agreed that no development should be undertaken in the disputed area along the common border by either Government without the concurrence and full participation of the other as a first step to end insecurity in the area. However, the Government is aware that Turkana County Government had commissioned the construction of a road from Kainuk to Sarmach, which heightened tension between the two communities living along the border. The project was thus stopped barely eight kilometres from Kainuk and normalcy has since been restored. The national Government through the national Government administrative officers has been sensitizing the communities living along the border to co-exist peacefully. Peace caravans have also been held in the area to forestall flare up of hostility between the two communities. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I thank the Chairman for bringing the response as I sought. I also want to confirm that because of the intervention of Sen. Munyes, other leaders and I, that construction on that road was stopped because it was already causing problems between the two communities. However, the first part of the answer from the Government has really surprised us. This is because in January this year, the leadership of over seven counties sat in Boma Inn Hotel and came up with a blueprint, which the Minister signed and he has disowned it. The blueprint indicated, among other things, that no kind of construction should take place in some of the disputed areas, unless the two county governments, supervised by the national Government, are involved. We repeated this plea under the chairmanship of the Deputy President twice in his Karen Office. The President did also meet all of us. So, I am surprised by that answer, that “the Government is not aware”. I am wondering 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 apologize if that is the case. But I can, perhaps, guess that the Ministry is overwhelmed with so many other assignments and statements. There might have been an oversight. Since things are now moving on very well, I want to apologize to my brother.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, at the time Sen. Lonyangapuo requested for this Statement, there was a lot of conflict in Turkana and West Pokot. But I must report to this House that matters have been calm for the last three weeks. We want to encourage the two communities to work in harmony and develop joint projects that will help improve the economy and lifestyle of our people there. I would only encourage the leadership of Turkana and West Pokot to consider initiating the stalled projects, like the eco-lodge that was stopped by West Pokot from being constructed in Turkana. We could also meet as a county in supervision of the national Government and see whether we can restart these activities in that part of the world.
Sen. Haji, I am at a loss whether you should respond or Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo should do so, but you are the Chairman.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, actually I only want to say that it is very encouraging to hear both leaders talking of peace in the area. His suggestion is very good and I hope that we will sit with my friend, the Senator for West Pokot, and do whatever is necessary. I will convey the same message to the Cabinet Secretary, so that you can get any assistance that you require from the Government.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, I think that is very clear. What do you have to say?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to expound on what my brother, Sen. Munyes, said. I want to confirm to this House that the problems that we have been reading about in the newspapers since April this year have stopped, because of commitment from elected leaders and other stakeholders on the ground from the two communities and even in Baringo and Samburu. Some of the stalled projects in the near future will now have to be done because of the path that we have chosen to walk. The only caution that we put across was that no county government should do anything without the involvement of the other. If there is a dispute, we should determine what is supposed to be done and involve the local people on the ground. Projects should not be started on one side of the county without involving the other. We are committed and trust God.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to compliment my two colleagues from West Pokot and Turkana because, for the first time, I have heard Prof. Lonyangapuo calling Sen. Munyes “my good brother.” I think all of us must compliment them, because since I became a politician, the two tribes have been enemies. We have now started enjoying peace since we started the peace caravan about a month ago. I must compliment all the leaders from the North Rift, including you, for supporting us. Thank you very much. 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. Leshore, I thought you wanted to be enjoined also in being called “my good brother,” since you qualify. Next Statement. What is it, Sen. Dullo?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I have two Statements that are not in the Order Paper. With your permission, I could issue them.
We must appreciate the enthusiasm of Sen. Dullo and I cannot hold it against her. I think it is something to be celebrated, but let us at least go through what is already on the Order Paper and then we will give you an opportunity to respond. At least one of the Statements on the Order Paper was deferred yesterday. CAUSE OF FREQUENT POWER FAILURES IN KISII AND MURANG’A COUNTIES
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to read a Statement on the question which was asked by the Senator for Kisii, Sen. Obure, and a supplementary one by the Senator for Murang’a, Sen. Kembi-Gitura.
Sen. Mwakulegwa, this is (g).
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you called out (g) after (h). That is why I am saying that it is a typo error.
I do not see Sen. Obure’s name on the matter, neither do I see Sen. Kembi-Gitura’s name.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the request I had at that time was that the Senator for Kisii asked this question while the Senator for Murang’a asked a supplementary question. Therefore, I have a substantive answer for Kisii and, then, a supplementary answer for Sen. Kembi-Gitura.
Proceed, Sen. Mwakulegwa.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Senator for Kisii sought a Statement and I wish to clarify as follows: One, on the causes of frequent power failures in Kisii, Migori, Homa Bay and Nyamira counties; the power interruptions can be broadly categorized into four main areas; sustained breakdowns, transient breakdowns, controlled outages and planned outages. Over the period under query, analysis of the causes of breakdowns was found to be and not limited to the following; broken poles and conductors, trees and tree branches falling on lines, equipment failure, illegal extensions and tapping of electricity. Thirdly, the interference through road construction, people cutting trees, vehicles knocking power poles, birds causing short-circuits across the overhead conductors. As I said, there are mainly four areas: Sustained breakdown, there were 54 instances; transient breakdown, there were 23 instances; controlled breakdowns, there were 24 instances during the period and planned outages were three. 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. Obure.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, I want to thank the Vice Chair for a very comprehensive response but you notice that in the month of April, 2015 alone, there were a total of 80 incidents of power blackouts in Kisii and the surrounding areas. This arose from various causes. This averages 6 to 7 blackouts per day. This is far too many and far too disruptive. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the efforts being made and I hope that the construction of the new sub-station will reduce the distance and therefore reduce the number of blackouts being experienced. Otherwise, I am grateful for the answer.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also take this opportunity to thank the Vice Chair of the Committee for a very well researched answer and I appreciate the work being done in the several sub-stations being built. I can confirm that there is a tremendous improvement in the stability of electricity supply in Murang’a County. Since it is work in progress, I am quite satisfied by the answer given.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not happy with the answer given by the Vice Chair despite the appreciation shown by the other two Senators. If you look at the efforts being made to stabilize power in Murang’a, we have about four sub-stations being built at the same time while in Kisii, Migori and Homa Bay, there is only one being built. Therefore, we are not seeing any alleviation to the already existing problem. The question is; is it a calculated effort by the Jubilee Government to marginalize the so- called non-supportive counties in politics so that they do not get enough power to maximize on the industrialization and improvement of the per capita incomes of their population?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I have just heard the Senator from Kuria asking whether it is the policy of Jubilee Government to marginalize the so- called non-supportive counties when it is very clear that some of the areas he says are marginalized are extremely supportive of the President and the Jubilee Government even if they sit across the aisle. 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 will come back to you, Sen. Khaniri.
On a point of, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think it is important to note that many times when we have Statements here and attack the Government, we should also be mindful of what has happened since the Jubilee Government took over. I am sure that in South Nyanza where---
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on a point of order to bring to your attention that the Senator for Nyeri referred to the Senator for Migori as the Senator for Kuria. Is there a Senator for Kuria in this House? Is he in order?
Sen. Kagwe, what did you say?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said exactly something connected but not quite. I referred to him as “my friend from Kuria”. I would like him to deny that he is not from Kuria.
Order! I thought Sen. Khaniri was going to suggest to me that both Sen. Kagwe and Sen. Karaba were completely out of order. The Senator for Migori asked a very legitimate question. I am convinced that the Vice Chair has sufficient capacity to respond on the basis of the good knowledge that he has. I do not think it is difficult for him to prove otherwise given that the Members who sought the Statements across the political divide are completely satisfied. Proceed, Vice Chair.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have the capacity and the capability to respond to the question by the Senator for Migori. We have Boresha Initiative . This means that they can shut down the lines for two or three days to clean the system. That is why I said that there is an improvement countrywide. I stated that there are two sub- stations being constructed; one in Chemosit and another one in Awendo which will supply South Nyanza. Therefore, Kenya Power has a target to make sure that there is power 24/7. If by any means, the Senator for Migori comes up with details, I will take up the matter. In terms of interruptions, especially during the rainy seasons, our distribution system is overhead. When you look at other countries like South Africa, the distribution system is underground. Therefore, when it rains, the trees fall and power might be interrupted.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is not yet in the House. So, we can defer his Statement to Tuesday. Is the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health here? 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 know I promised to give the response today but it has been difficult to get any answer unless I now use the power given to us by Article 125 of the Constitution. We have not been able to get through to the Ministry, so I have no answer. If you allow, I invoke Article 125 of the Constitution on power to call for evidence. I do not have any other option. I do not want to disappoint the Senator for Vihiga again.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I consulted the gracious Sen. Kittony a while ago. She told me that they have not received the answer from the Cabinet Secretary. I brought to her attention that the Constitution under Article 125 gives us the powers to compel these people to give the answers that we require as a Senate. I am glad that she has bought the idea. I want to request that we expeditiously issue summonses and invoke Article 125 in full and in totality to ensure that we get the answers because the matter at hand is urgent and requires very quick response. We are talking about outbreak of malaria which is a serious issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am in the Committee on Health. The Vice Chair has given adequate reasons why the answer has not been given to this House. I want to communicate to the House that the reason the Ministry could not give us the answer is because they are busy signing performance contracts. It is very disturbing that the Committee has to be given such a reason for getting a reply to a medical emergency in this country. I wanted that to come to the notice of this House.
That matter was raised last time and we had quite a debate about it. This is a House of records. I do not think we needed to raise it again.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I had put a request to you for approval so that I can seek a Statement. I have just received it right now. Could I ---
Yes but first, let us finish with the Statements before we go for the requests. Sen. Adan, there was the issue regarding the visa for South Africa.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. Kembi-Gitura?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, before we proceed, Sen. Khaniri owes me a Statement. He told me that he had it on Tuesday, so I thought he has kept it for today. I do not know what is going on because this is taking too long. I know that Sen. Khaniri is a very efficient Vice Chairman of the Committee, so I am surprised that he told me that he had Statement on Tuesday and now he does not have it.
Hon. Members, I had already called out Sen. Adan to issue a Statement. Proceed, Sen. Adan. 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 wish to respond to the Statement sought by Sen. Kagwe of Nyeri County. Pursuant to Standing Order No.45 (2) (b), he requested for a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations regarding the treatment of Kenyans applying for visas to South Africa at the South African High Commission in Nairobi. In the Statement, the Senator sought to know the following:- (1)State whether South Africa had adopted hostility in its relations towards Kenya and if so, why? For the last five years, Kenya and South Africa have experienced challenges resulting from different immigration policies, particularly on visa and work permit applications. It is important to note that Kenya does not levy visa fees to South Africans visiting Kenya for less than one month and no visa is required for the same period. South African visitors who require to stay in Kenya for more than one month can apply and obtain visas at our ports of entry. Kenyans on the other hand are subjected to a referred visa regime in order to enter South Africa for business, holiday, study, or medical tourism. Mr. Speaker Sir, in addition, South Africa requires Kenyan nationals transiting through South Africa to obtain transit visas even when the person transiting does not leave the airport. Kenyans holding diplomatic passports visiting South Africa for less than a month are allowed entry without a visa. In December 2013, the Government of South Africa outsourced the visa application process to a private company. In addition, a visa processing fee of US$70 was imposed, whether or not the visa is granted. However, holders of Kenyan diplomatic, official, service passports and official delegations holding ordinary passports requiring visas to travel to South Africa on official visits continued to apply through the South African High Commission, provided the applications are forwarded through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Mr. Speaker Sir, we are aware that obtaining residence permits by Kenyan nationals who have either secured employment individually or work for multilateral organizations based in South Africa is long and tedious. Kenyans travelling to South Africa for medical purposes are usually granted a visa for the duration of treatment not more than three months. In the event that the treatment is extended, the person seeking treatment is required to return to Kenya to extend the visa. Students are granted a one year renewable study permit whose renewal is expected to be effected back in Kenya. (2) The second question is to indicate if Kenya was reciprocating with similar difficult terms for issuance of visas to South Africans wishing to visit Kenya. 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 raised this question in response to very many problems that Kenyans are experiencing with regard to travelling to South Africa, including Members of this House. Just a while back, I remember Sen. Boy Juma Boy told me that he could not travel through South Africa - not because he wanted to go there, but even being in the airport without leaving it, he needed a visa. South Africa is supposed to be a friendly nation to Kenya. However, I believe that at the moment, they are treating Kenyans like poor cousins; with disdain, arrogance and disrespect. This is not how brotherly nations are supposed to treat each other. When you look at the trade between us and South Africa, they are basically the net gainer. So, one would imagine that under the circumstances, they would treat Kenyans with a lot more respect and modesty than they are currently doing. I would like to know how many people are currently paying US$70 and not eventually getting the visa. They are basically losing their money and not getting the visa to travel to South Africa. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we are told that somebody in a hospital bed needs to come back to Kenya to get a visa so that they can go back to South Africa, that in a nutshell is hostility at the very best. Therefore, we are asking the Government, one, to speak to the South African Government so that they can treat Kenyans the way we treat them; with respect like brothers, sisters and people that we like. Kenya is not a banana republic and Kenyans are not trekking down to South Africa to go and look for mine jobs. Therefore, it is not necessary for them to treat us with such disdain. Secondly, if the South Africans cannot reciprocate and treat us with respect, then it behooves on the Government of Kenya to treat the South Africans exactly the same way that they are treating Kenyans. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. At the risk of repeating, I would like to fully support what Sen. Kagwe has said about the reciprocity of the visa regime between these two countries. This is because I did not quite understand what the Chairperson said regarding why Kenya backtracked and then decided to issue visas anyway to South Africans, never mind that they were still very vigorously opposing or rejecting Kenyan applications for visas. 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 am not responding to that Statement. I would like to request for a Statement. I wonder if this is an appropriate time.
This is definitely not an appropriate time. Please proceed, Sen. Kittony.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This issue of South African Visa is indeed paining. The other day, a student from my county was taken to Robben Island because her visa had expired. That put the parents into agony. So, the South African government has to respect this country or we will also treat them in the same way that they have treated us. I think that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade should do something about this issue. I feel a lot of pain when I see people walking to the counters at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and getting visas without any problem; and yet getting visas to other countries is a nightmare. Why then are we so cheap as a country? We really need to review our policies and ensure that we are equally treated as human beings of the same by the same Creator. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, and I support what ----
Order, Senator! I really want to warn you, Members, that this is not an open debate. I know that it is an important issue, but we have used a process that has certain limitations. So, you only seek clarifications.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Chairperson still convinced that South Africa is a friendly country? If so, what reasons does the Chairperson have to be convinced as so?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My clarity from the Chairperson is that I did not quite get the reasons why South Africa imposed such apartheid type of visa requirements on a black population. Secondly, I heard the Chairperson say that they were going to reciprocate if these measures are not put into place. Why can we not reciprocate first and then negotiate from a position of strength, so that we impose these restrictions tomorrow? When we negotiate, we should do it on both ends, so that if South Africa wants us to lift the restrictions, vis-à-vis, they lift their restrictions. 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, although the Chair does not participate in this business, but Sen. Hassan, if we are decrying the fact that a friendly country is not treating another one in a friendly manner, why would you also want to do the same? We should instead seek improvement for all. Please, proceed, Sen. Ndiema.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank the Chairperson and the Ministry for being frank and saying that the South African visa regime on Kenyans is hostile and wanting. The Chairperson indicated that the Government of Kenya had reciprocated by instituting similar measures but had to withdraw them. Could she clarify what interest forced us to backtrack on what we had undertaken? The visa regime that South Africa has with Europe is much better and yet we are their brothers in the same continent. We were with them in the struggle for independence. Why is South Africa favouring Europe against her own brothers and sisters in Kenya?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I just want to seek a clarification about the seven day window that is given for visa application. A delegation that had Members from the Senate was denied visas and missed a very important meeting in South Africa, where they were even scheduled to make a contribution. The reason that was given was that there has to be a seven day window. Even after the seven days when there was still a chance to travel, we were denied the visas.
It is not so much about not being given the visas but the level of communication and the way the matter was handled in a way that was very demeaning especially for the Members. We were shocked that even after applying for the visas, we were denied. I wonder whether we are more courteous when it comes to us giving visas to South Africans and how we need to go about it. We need to open up and that clarification needs to be made clear. We need to open very clear lines of communication between this country and South Africa so that such processes can be done expeditiously and properly as would have been expected.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think many nations are taking Kenyans for granted and more so as a country. When it comes to issuance of visas to other countries, may be it is only Kenya which is suffering but not the foreigners coming to Kenya. To get a visa to Britain, you have got to go to South Africa before you are issued with a visa and it is very expensive and even impossible to get it. I am asking the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations to scrutinize and find out whether it is just Kenya which is being marginalized by other countries in the world or there is something wrong that we have done to the international community because it is well spread. 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.
Just a point of correction, Sen. Karaba. For the UK visa, you do not have to go to South Africa physically. It is the visa that is processed in South Africa and not in Nairobi.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, but it takes too long.
Yes, it was just a correction. I thought it was important to make that correction for you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is that processing that we are wondering why it should be done in South Africa.
It is a good question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this issue very strongly. We travelled to South Africa with Commissioner Ali who is one of our appointed commissioners from outside Parliament. We were shocked when he was denied entry just because the name on his yellow fever card and the passport did not match completely and the date of birth. We tried to plead with the Ministry and our High Commission was even alerted. The immigration would not even listen to the High Commissioner when she tried to plead with them and even refused to allow her to come in to see Commissioner Ali and try to plead for him. Definitely, we are being mistreated and South Africans are not reciprocating our kindness. Kenya was very instrumental in helping them to get Independence when they had apartheid. Those of us who got in raised this even with the Parliament of South Africa. Of course, they were non-committal and a bit sorry but it is the immigration. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also request that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade complains on our behalf about the mistreatment of a Commissioner and an hon. Member of the Kenyan Parliament. He is not an elected Member but he is in a Commission and a former MP.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is the Chairperson aware that Kenyans who have been working in South Africa have been denied work permits? While we keep issuing work permits to South African citizens, Kenyans are being sent back. Many of them from my former employer are back and jobless while we have many South Africans being given work permits as they wish.
Sen. Kagwe, I will give you the Floor if you want but after Sen. Adan has spoken on the issue and I will most likely close the issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. In view of the very strong sentiments that have been expressed by Senators – I know that Members of the National Assembly are also of the same view – would I be in order to request the Chairperson to speak to the South Africans in the event that they insist on the same? Would I be in order to propose that if South Africa will remain hostile to Kenya and other African countries, whether it is not in order for the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to request that the Pan-African Parliament situated in South Africa be moved to Kenya or Ethiopia so that it can be in a country where members can travel respectfully and with dignity? 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.
Very strong sentiments. I am sure that the Chairperson will assist on this issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I highly appreciate what Sen. Kagwe has just said. However, I think we are going against Standing Order No.86 – speaking twice on a Question. It says: “No Senator shall speak more than once to a Question except in the Committee of the Whole.” Sen. Kagwe had spoken on this matter ---
This is not a Question but a point of order. This is not a Motion and so Standing Order No. 86 will not apply. These are points of order that have been raised. I do not think Sen. Kagwe has done anything wrong.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in light of the sentiments expressed by my colleagues, I think this is a very well documented matter on the kind of attitude and treatment that not only the people of Kenya, but the rest of Africa have been receiving from South Africa. This has to be recorded clearly. If we can remember, very recently there were videos that did rounds all over the world of people being butchered mercilessly in South Africa.
Order, Sen. Wamatangi. I do not want us to go out of the ambit of the matter before us. The matter before us has to do with the South African Visa regime. If you wish to discuss South Africa as a country, you must remember the provisions of our Standing Order No.90. I am not going to allow you to take that tangent.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I stand guided. I was only trying to build the momentum for my case.
I will not allow you to take that line. Speak on the issue at hand.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is an attitude that has been assumed. It is not a coincidence. The best remedy is to ensure that a complimentary attitude is also assumed by us. We may argue that two wrongs do not make a right, but we also have citizens of this country who require equal consideration and humane treatment by the Republic of South Africa. I support what Sen. Kagwe has said; that if the attitude of the South African Embassy in relation to issuance of visas to Kenyans does not change, we need to mete out in equal measure, a similar attitude and requirements for them, including moving our Embassy from there.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to agree that this has generated a lot of interest and discussion. There is some kind of disappointment amongst Kenyans who are applying for the South African Visa. Nevertheless, the Ministry has owned up to the challenges they are facing, and that was elaborately explained in the Statement which I have just read. We should appreciate the efforts made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to make sure that Kenyans are not suffering as a result of the stringent measures that have been put in place by the South African Embassy. 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. Adan, I would like to get it straight from you if that is your final answer to this Statement or you have left it open ended; that you are going to make further consultations and come back to the House. There is the issue of the PSC and several other issues that were raised by your colleagues that you have actually not dealt with. I know you cannot talk about reciprocity from where you are standing, but is your answer final?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have said that there are a lot of issues that were brought out in the discussions. We will be able, as a Committee, to get further clarification on those issues probably by the end of next week or Thursday next week.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am actually not surprised that you also noticed that there was open endedness in the reply from the Vice Chairperson with her reconciliatory approach to the whole thing. This may be because it is Ramadhan season and she may not want to speak badly. Would I be in order to request that this House calls the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade to appear before the House to answer some of these questions in detail?
Sen. (Dr.) Machage, you know that we have been calling Cabinet Secretaries here quite often. A lot of issues that have been raised from the House – I dare say all of them very important and pertinent – I do not know whether the time is ripe to ask her to come here or whether you would like to have further consultations and then come back on Thursday next week with 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 would request the House, with your permission, to let me respond to the issues raised in the House by Thursday next week and if they are not satisfactorily answered, then we could summon the Cabinet Secretary, with your permission.
So, in the first instance, Thursday next week. STATUS OF REGISTRATION AND ISSUANCE OF NATIONAL IDENTITY CARDS
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, pursuant to Standing Order No.45 (2) (b), I wish to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations regarding the status of registration and issuance of national identity cards. In the Statement, the Chairperson should address the following specific issues:- (1) What measures the national Government is taking to decentralize the processing and issuance of identity cards to counties, considering that delay in issuance of the document locks out the applicants who are mainly women and youth from economic opportunities? (2) Could the Chairperson provide a per county break down of all the applications received, processed and issued between 1st July, 2014 and 30th June, 2015 and indicate the number of applications rejected per county? (3) What were the budgetary allocations for registration and issuance of national identity cards in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 financial years, and whether he could provide the per county breakdown of the disbursements? (4) What were the targets for national identity registration in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 financial years and whether he could provide per county breakdown? (5) Could the Chairperson provide per county breakdown of uncollected identity cards and explain what strategies are being employed to ensure that the documents are collected or delivered to the owners? (6) Could the Chairperson also update the Senate on the current status of the ongoing digital identity project?
Sen. Adan, how much time do you require for this?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I request that the Senator gives us about two months so that we give a comprehensive answer. This is because he has inquired about uncollected identification (ID) cards and other issues. We request that he gives us that time so that we provide him with a comprehensive report in terms of what is happening and also about the budgetary allocation for that particular Department. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to seek your guidance. Two months sounds exceedingly long. I wish that that could be fast-tracked. Being a The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
The ID cards that are lying uncollected are physical but not digital. That may be a bit difficult. However, Sen. Adan, two months seems very long. You must tell Sen. M. Kajwang the truth that in two months, we shall have gone on recess and even come back. So, you are talking about September. Am I right?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, even if I request for one month, we will still be on recess if I am not wrong. Maybe, the secretariat needs to confirm that. We are supposed to go on recess from 31st July, 2015, to 15th September, 2015, according to the information that I have. Therefore, I request the Senator to allow me the two months that I have requested so that we physically go to the ground. You know that some counties are very far. I request if he could bear with us and allows us two months so that we provide a comprehensive report.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, owing to that explanation, we could wait for two months.
Thank you very much. So, Sen. Adan, that should be on the 1st Thursday in September after we resume from recess. MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF CORPORAL BERNARD OKINDO MAGETO
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to seek a Statement from the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations regarding the death of Bernard Okindo Mageto, a police officer who was found dead at his station of duty on Friday, 19th June, 2015. Corporal Bernard Okindo Mageto was attached to the Administration Police (AP) and deployed at O’Moraa AP Camp, Kegogi; Marani Sub-County in Kisii County. In the response, the Chairperson should address the following:- (1) the circumstances which led to his death; (2) whether the police carried out investigations on this incidence, and if so, give the outcome of the investigations; (3) why the National Police Service (NPS) was not represented at the burial ceremony of the deceased in keeping with the tradition observed by the Service; (4) whether a post-mortem examination was carried out, and if so, what were the results; and lastly, (5) whether the family of the deceased officer should expect to receive any compensation or terminal benefits in respect of services rendered to the state, and if so, how much and when will the benefits be paid. Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Sen. Adan. 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 request Sen. Obure to allow us two weeks to come up with a response, if that is okay with him.
That sounds reasonable.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order, Senators. Before we proceed, I have a short communication to make. Hon. Senators, I wish to recognise the presence of students and teachers from Nzeluni Academy in Kitui County, students and teachers from Mutuini Primary School in Nairobi County and students and teachers from Chebara Boys High School in Elgeyo- Marakwet County. They are all seated in the Public Gallery. In our usual tradition of receiving and welcoming visitors, hon. Senators, I extend a warm welcome to them. On behalf of the Senate, and on my own behalf, I wish them a very fruitful visit.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had sought for intervention on a different matter. However, now that you have acknowledged students from Nzeluni Academy from my county, I join you in welcoming them to the Senate. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, some two weeks ago, if you will recall, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Labour and Social Welfare came and talked to us about the issue of cash transfers to the elderly, People Living with Disability (PLWD) and the youth; specifically, Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC). The conclusion of that useful meeting was that in two weeks’ time, she would come and address us on the issues that were outstanding on that day. Two weeks have since elapsed. I request the Chairman of the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare to tell us when we should expect the CS to come back as she had promised.
The Chairman is Judge Madzayo, is it not? I cannot see him in the House. Is there anybody from the Committee in 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.
I am much obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Thank you. That, to me, appears to be the end of Statements. Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, do you have a Statement to make?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. BUSINESS FOR THE WEEK COMMENCING TUESDAY, 14TH JULY, 2015
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I make the Statement, I would like to recognise students from Chebara Boys High School because they are my neighbours. Sen. Murkomen who is my neighbour is not around. Chebara Boys High School is one of the leading schools in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. Hon. Senators, pursuant to the provisions of the Standing Order No.45, I wish to present the business of the Senate for the week commencing on 14th July, 2015. On Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, the Rules and Business Committee (RBC) will meet on Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, at 12.00 p.m. to schedule the business of the Senate for the week. Subject to further directions by the RBC, the Senate will continue with business that will not be concluded in today’s Order Paper, focusing on debate on Bills at the Second Reading stage. On Wednesday, 15th July, 2015, the Senate will continue with business not concluded during the Tuesday Sitting, including Bills that will have been concluded at Second Reading and further consider the following Bills at the Committee of the Whole: (1) The County Early Childhood Education Bill (Senate Bill No.32 of 2014); (2) The Public Appointments (County Assembly Approval) Bill (Senate Bill No.20 of 2014); and, (3) The Reproductive Health Care Bill (Senate Bill No.17 of 2014). The Senate will consider any other business scheduled by the RBC. On Thursday, 16th July, 2015, the Senate will consider Bills at the Second Reading stage, deliberate on Motions and any other business scheduled by the RBC. Let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank you, hon. Senators, for availing yourselves to dispose of the business that was scheduled for this week. The following Bills were concluded at the Committee of the Whole and passed: (1) The National Government Coordination (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.30 of 2014); (2) The National Drought Management Authority Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 42 of 2013); and, (3) The Parliamentary Service (Amendment) Bill (Senate Bill No.21 of 2014). The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to move this Motion which has been lying on the corridors of this House for the last one year. I beg to move:- THAT, cognizant that the core mandate of the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) is to develop strategies, policies and guidelines relevant to the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS in Kenya; noting that the operational structure of NACC has not been aligned to the Constitution of Kenya 2010; acknowledging the objects of devolution as set out under Article 174 of the Constitution; recognizing that under the Fourth Schedule, the health function has been devolved except for the health policy and referral hospitals; concerned that an estimated 1.2 million Kenyans are infected with HIV/AIDS and a 100,000 are infected annually; recognizing the need to achieve an
by stepping up the fight against the pandemic at the county level, the Senate urges the National Government to set up the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) County offices in all County Headquarters with the National Headquarters providing overall coordination and that the resources allocated for the fight against HIV/AIDS be disbursed and managed at the county level. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I brought this Motion because the HIV/AIDS pandemic which was first reported in Kenya 30 years ago has spread its tentacles to the villages. The promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in August 2010 introduced devolution by establishing the national Government and 47 county governments. The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution outlines the functions of the national Government and county governments. Some of the functions of the national Government with regard to health services include national referral facilities and health policies. Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule outlines one of the functions of county governments as county health services, which include county health facilities and pharmacies, ambulance services, promotion of primary health care, licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public, veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession), cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria and refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal. Some of 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. Leshore, will you allow me to bring to your attention the provisions of Standing Order No.84?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir,
You may want to look at it.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. As I conclude, according to the World Bank, in combating HIV and its benefits, the Government needs to devolve functions. It should transfer authority, decision making, finance management and quasi autonomous units to county governments. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, devolution has been recognised as a possible answer to many of the governance problems as we bring services closer to the people. It is noted that some of the operational and coordination problems including off-loading its control and prevention programmes, would be addressed by a devolution programme which will accelerate the implementation of projects at all levels of society. It is observed that those living in urban areas normally have better access to health care than those living in rural areas. Devolution is also viewed as a means of mobilizing skills, commitment and resources at the local level to deliver educational, counselling, medical and support services to a variety of targeted groups. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, through devolution, HIV/AIDS services and programmes are also possible to develop factors and main programmes specific to a certain county. That is to effectively monitor the progress that has been achieved and identify where more needs to be done. Devolution assigns specific services to specific counties. They can identify problems that are specific to a county, their needs and the resources they may require. Through devolution, the NACC resources will be brought closer to the people and funding will be based on the tailor-made programmes specific to each county. This is one of the ways of giving counties more funds. The 2013/2014 NACC budget was about Kshs700 million. If we were to give Kshs100 million to each county, then, Kshs470 million will go to the counties while Kshs370 million will remain at the headquarters for purposes of administration and coordination. 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.
What is it, Sen. Hassan?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thought that I should do the honours of service to Sen. Leshore. When you told him to take note of Standing Order No.84, he may not have referred to it. It states:- “No Senator shall read a speech but a Senator may read short extracts from written and printed papers in support of an argument and may refresh memory by reference to notes.” As he finishes his speech, I also thought---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is not a speech. I was just referring to the points and I hope my dear colleague will understand. Devolution of the NACC will create an effective grants management system, strengthen the management and administrative system with NACC and create linkages among organizational, local and implementing agencies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conclusion, every year, we celebrate the World AIDS Day on 1st December. I urge Kenyans to observe that. Efforts to prevent the spread of the disease have been stepped up. Awareness campaigns, improved health facilities and antiretroviral drugs have been provided by the Government and health partners. I beg to move and call upon Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo to second.
Thank you, Sen. Leshore. Proceed, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this Motion by Sen. Leshore. On the outset, I congratulate him for bringing this Motion in good time. As he said, the Motion has been with us for some time, but because of the bulk of work that was before the Senate, it took this long for it to be brought before the Floor of the House. In 2010, we passed a new Constitution and it clearly identified the functions and powers of the county governments as well as the functions and powers of the national Government. In this particular case of health, what was devolved was the county health services which include; county health facilities, pharmacies and promotion of primary healthcare for the people of Kenya. 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 start by appreciating the effort of Sen. Leshore for bringing such an important Motion to the Senate. Sadly, it has been lying around with us for about one year. During that time, we must have lost so many people to this pandemic. In the spirit of devolution, decentralization and of our new Constitution, I support the decentralized of the support structures of the management of this pandemic called HIV/AIDS to the county level. It is only through this that we will have critical mass of people availing themselves for testing. It is only through this kind of management structure that we will have a management system that will be people-centred and closer to the people at the county level. It is only through this kind of decentralization and approach that we will facilitate a more serious approach on the issue of civic education on matters pertaining to this disease. As I speak, there are communities which still have a lot of misinformation and fear towards anybody who is suspected to be infected. 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, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion and to compliment Sen. Leshore for coming up with the idea of this Motion. We are in a transition and the Motion by Sen. Leshore is actually a wake-up call on quite a number of other issues happening at the county and at the constituency. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, about 15 or 20 years ago, when the country was labouring with how to get closer to the people, quite a number of things were moved towards the constituency. The major one was the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Along those lines and a little bit earlier, we had the District Roads Committees (DRCs), which eventually ended up being a Constituency Roads Committee (CRCs). When the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), came into being, it also ended up being a constituency committee. The HIV/AIDS committees operated from the then district level. However, the real effective unit of the committee was actually at the constituency. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what Sen. Leshore has raised is Straightforward. He is asking us to redirect our efforts towards fighting this pandemic in counties. As Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo said, from the national level, the effort to fight this pandemic is quiet. However, two months ago, the AIDS Committee from Ol Jororok came to see me in my office. If you look at Article 117 of the Constitution, you will see that among the many principles of devolution, one of them was to bring services closer to the people by decentralizing state functions. Perhaps, we, as a Senate, must look at the law through which the NACC operates and amend it accordingly in order to achieve what is proposed in this Motion by Sen. Leshore. As I said, a number of things were done at the constituency level where we had a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the interests of the constituency. This was done in good faith. However, because of not taking this function to the county level, we have ended up sideling the county governments in terms of the services being offered by the NACC or any other body. When we continue with the old domain of concentrating on the constituencies, we find that many things happen with no reference to the governor or county government.
Madam Temporary Speaker, it is the same concept which also ends up with Senators being sidelined because no information comes to us. The mainstream information is quite often coming from the national Government to the units at the constituency level, which as I said, were done in good faith. However, it is time we revised that concentration. Sometimes we see ourselves being sidelined as Senators. However, if you look at the structure from the national to the grassroots level, it is such that the Senator is not The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion which was ably moved by my dear friend, Sen. Leshore, the Senator for Samburu County. The Motion is timely and very important. My colleagues who spoke previously - who include; Sen. (Eng) Muriuki and you - have emphasized the prevalence of HIV/AIDS that continues to bedevil our nation in terms of its distribution nationally. We know there are certain areas which are more affected than others. They have also brought into focus the fact that health as a function has been devolved whereas the institution that looks after problems of HIV/AIDS, the NACC remains a national institution. Madam Temporary Speaker, the mischief that this Motion tries to deal with is how the counties will deliver health programmes and projects, particularly those that regard HIV/AIDS while the key institution remains national. As I see it, the proposal in the Motion is to devolve the NACC to the counties. This is laudable and should be undertaken. While saying so, let us remember that it is, not only the bureaucracy of the NACC that we want to devolve, but two things as well; the functions performed by the NACC and the resources that they use to deal or run the projects and programmes of HIV/AIDS. I want to bring to your attention a piece of information that is very important. The NACC’s work has for a long time been largely supported by the donor community. Secondly, if you look at the Anti-retrovirals (ARVs) that have been used in this country by those infected by HIV/AIDS scourge and are prolonging their lives by their use, you will find out that our Government has devoted much less money to the purchase of ARVs than the donor community. The donor community has done that within the ambit of the NACC. Once we devolve the NACC, we must come to an agreement with the donor community that the funds will now be channeled to the devolved NACC rather than the headquarters. This is because the implementing agency for HIV/AIDS will no longer be the national headquarters, but the devolved NACC. This is very important because if we just deal with the bureaucracy, it will not change a thing at all. The NACC is still running its programmes today across the nation, notwithstanding devolution. 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. First of all, I wish to join my colleagues in thanking Sen. Leshore for bringing up this Motion. I heard him say that he filed his Motion over a year ago, but I hope it was going through the process. Now that it is on the Floor of the House, I support it. The function of the NACC should be devolved to the counties. This should have been done with the rest of the other health functions. This afternoon I wish to speak to matters of policy with regard to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this country and elsewhere. About 100,000 new infections every year is very high. This is approximately 1.2 million cases added to the 1.2 million cases that are in existence. We know that HIV/AIDS is a killer disease. Therefore, we keep on losing these people who have been infected. Madam Temporary Speaker, one of the functions of the NACC is to set policy which is aligned with our Constitution which states how we should carry on these functions. One of the causes which is documented, has been studied and which we are aware of and which has contributed a lot to these numbers, is homosexuality. I want to use this Floor to state that homosexuality is a despicable act. It is a very alien thing to the African community and, more so, to the communities which we represent in Kenya. Biblically, it is abominable. It is condemned both on earth and in heaven. It is is a pity that it is contributing a lot to the spread of the HIV/AIDS in this country. The NACC should look at the Constitution of the country and see how they can formulate and improve on policy. As it is at the moment, our Constitution states that it is only people of different gender; that is, man and woman who should get married. That is 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 also stand to join fellow Senators in supporting this important Motion, and also in the same vein, congratulate my friend, Sen. Leshore for bringing this matter to us once again. It is 31 years ago since the outbreak of HIV/AIDS scourge in this country. Precisely, this was in 1984. Madam Temporary Speaker, Kenya, like the rest of the world, joined the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic with a lot of force. In this country, we even declared HIV/AIDS a national disaster. We went ahead to do many things, for example, HIV/AIDS testing and education, among other things. I can remember that even at places of work throughout the country, there was a committee on HIV/AIDS. Even in rural areas, there were cells of committees promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS. Regrettably, the momentum which started very well appears to have died sadly. There was a time when about 700 cases of HIV/AIDS related deaths per month were reported in this country. Now, the cases have gone down. I believe that if the force with which we started the exercise continued until now, we would be very near to making our country an HIV/AIDS free society. Somehow, the momentum was lost. Nowadays, nobody talks about the HIV/AIDS pandemic as it used to be. The only thing closer to HIV/AIDS warning that we see is the advertisement of trust condoms on televisions. This has happened after devolving health functions. As previous speakers have said, the idea of devolving health services was to reach the population down at the grassroots level. What is more important at this age and time than reaching out to the counties concerning issues of HIV/AIDS? As I said, HIV/AIDS testing is almost non-existent. Supply of the ARVs drugs in the country is very erratic. As a result, opportunistic diseases like Tuberculosis (TB) have sprung up and even become more killers than other diseases. Thanks to the allowance of the HIV/AIDS scourge to continue in this country. One would ask himself or herself; why would we rely on donor funding for issues of national disaster like HIV/AIDS? I said this because the ups and downs of promotion or creating awareness about HIV/AIDS depend on the supply of donor funds. When donor funds are non-existent, we forget about HIV/AIDS. It is high time we revived – with a lot of energy – the issue of creating awareness about HIV/AIDS, testing and ensuring that all people have access to testing facilities so that they know their status and, consequently, present themselves for treatment. I strongly believe that if we had continued in the manner in which we had started from the beginning, we would have gone very far by now. The NACC did a very good job from the beginning. I had a discussion with some members of the body regarding the attitude of not moving as fast as they used to do. The answer was that they had no funds. It appears like the Government has, sort of, given up 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 congratulate my brother, Sen. Leshore, for coming up with this very important Motion. While seated, I listened to wonderful contributions by my colleagues. I thought about 1963 all the way to 1970s when senior Sen. G.G. Kariuki and other legislators like Martin Shikuku and others were very active in the National Assembly. So many Motions and Bills were passed over the years. I wonder how many of them have been acted upon and implemented to assist the poor and true citizens of this country. We debate in this House simply to end the day, say sweet things and show Kenyans that we are working. Time has come for us to make a painful decision. This House could even debate between 10 and 20 Bills and Motions that can be implemented. When Sen. Karue brought the Bill on the CDF in the National Assembly, it was debated, passed and CDF was put into place. Sen. Karue can now be proud and say: “I brought that Bill.” What is the fate of all the Motions that we passed from the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC) where we started, all the way to County Hall and then here? That is the first problem. Secondly, I looked at this Motion which partly says:- “The Senate urges the National Government to set up the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) County offices in all County Headquarters with the National Headquarters providing overall coordination and that the resources allocated for the fight against HIV/AIDS be disbursed and managed at the County level.” Madam Temporary Speaker, the suggestion is wonderful, but who are the implementers? When devolution started doctors were put under the governors and what played out was a shame to this country. Well educated governors, who are supposed to unite this country and Kenyans, were the first to say that they will only employ doctors from their respective counties. This happened before the eyes of Kenyans, yet the top leadership of the country did not intervene. Even the President himself did not send a message of caution to the governors, telling them that they are expected to unite Kenyans. We saw doctors and nurses being rejected and even those who were accepted were not paid salaries. Recently I toured Kangundo Hospital and went into the wards. There was no water, medicine or nurses. There was a terrible smell coming from those wards. Looking at what my brother is asking for in this Motion, I guess we will witness the same game being played out. The problem in this country is not lack of funds. Look The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. First, I would like to thank the Senator who brought it to the Floor of this House. If we devolved the NACC to the counties, I am sure our people at the grassroots level will benefit. As it is now, these services are provided by the Constituency AIDS Control Committee (CACC). Our people are suffering because of lack of drugs and civic education. Others are afraid of taking HIV/AIDS tests. Therefore, they are not aware of their status. We need to conduct civic education on this scourge. Otherwise, people will die and think it is because of witchcraft or other diseases. However, if the NACC is devolved to the counties, it will be easier for the CACC to provide services to our people. There are so many people doing research on this scourge. After their researches, we expect them to share their information with us so that we safe live. Through devolution of NACC, our people will benefit from such information because information is power. If members of the community will get the information at the right time, they will mitigate, intervene and accept their status. Many people who die of HIV/AIDS complications do not die because of the virus, but they die out of stress related issues such as stigma. If the relevant personnel conduct exhaustive civic education at the community level, people will begin to accept, live positively about it and take care of themselves through the right nutrition and other appropriate measures. I thank all those who have contributed positively to this Motion. However, Sen. Muthama, at some point, deviated from the Motion and discussed other things. But at the end, I am happy because he supported this Motion. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I would like to thank Sen. Leshore for bringing it. The Senator decried that this Motion has spent about a year in the corridors of this House. However, in that one year, two things have happened. The Kenya National AIDS Authority Bill is being discussed in the National Assembly. This Bill seeks to change the NACC from its current status to a body corporate that will draw budgetary allocations from the National Assembly. In that one year also, the national Government has come up with a Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework. In that framework, one of the things is that HIV coordination units will be set up at the county level. There seems to be something that has happened in that one year period which tells us that we need to hasten Motions when they come to this House, so that good and noble ideas like the ones that Sen. Leshore has are not rendered irrelevant by the passage of time. Madam Temporary Speaker, I talk to this matter, not as an expert, but as a Senator of a county that leads in HIV/AIDS prevalence. It is not something that we are proud of as the people of Homa Bay County. When you look at the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Homa Bay--- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of information, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Senator, do you wish to be informed by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I wish to be informed.
Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale.
Madam Temporary Speaker, allow me to inform the Senator on the Floor. In fact, Homa Bay County is second to Nairobi County which is leading in HIV/AIDS prevalence.
Hon. Senator, please, take note of that. The information you gave us at the beginning should be corrected.
Madam Temporary Speaker, whereas Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is correct that Nairobi County has got more people infected with HIV/AIDS, but in terms of percentage, Homa Bay is leading. Nonetheless, I accept the information. We have 159,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Homa Bay compared to 177,000 people in Nairobi. I came to this House having garnered 127,000 votes. That means that the people living with HIV/AIDS in Homa Bay County are more than the number of people who brought me to this House. If people living with HIV/AIDS would be a constituency or a voting bloc, it would be a significant voting bloc in Homa Bay County and other counties that fall within the hyper endemic status. Madam Temporary Speaker, HIV/AIDS affects more women than men in my county. I believe that is the trend nationally. What is interesting about HIV/AIDS in this country is that in a place like Homa Bay, 31 per cent are not tested. So, they do not know there status. When we talk about these percentages, they could even be higher if more people opt to go for testing to ascertain their status. The bottom line is that HIV/AIDS poses a huge burden on Homa Bay County and the country as a whole. For example, today being a Thursday, many of us will be rushing to our constituencies to tend to be funerals. When you look at the issue of funerals, probably, a quarter of the funerals we attend are as a result of HIV/AIDS scourge. If we are not attending funerals, we are attending fund raisers to assist children whose parents are incapable of sending them to school. When you are not attending fundraisers for schools, you are attending one for medical purposes. What this has done to our economies, particularly in Homa Bay County, is that people mobilize capital, but for social ventures rather than for economic ventures. This means that we shall perpetually be locked into that circle of poverty. When you mobilize capital, for example, if you raise Kshs1 million and spend it all in one day in a funeral, rather than mobilizing the same amount so that you can invest in something that can take you to the future. It is all eaten in one day because of the HIV/Aids pandemic. So, it is not a light matter. Madam Temporary Speaker, there is an intention by the Government to provide cash assistance to vulnerable children, orphans and the elderly. Certain cultures do not understand the concept of orphans. The culture I come from, when the parents die, those children are not strictly defined as orphans because they are adopted and immediately 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 this opportunity so that I may also make my contribution to this important Motion. From the outset, I would also like to join my colleagues in congratulating the distinguished Senator for Samburu, Sen. Leshore, my father and senior whom I have a lot of respect for right from the days when we were working together in the Government. Madam Temporary Speaker, this is a very timely and important Motion as many Senators have said. I feel very sad that it has taken over a year before it could come to this House for debate. In fact, by now we should be bringing legislation with regard to this Motion. As you are aware, the NACC was set up in 1999. Its mission statement is:- “To provide policy and a strategic framework for mobilizing and coordinating resources for the prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention, provision of care and support to the infected and affected people in Kenya.” In this plan, we must congratulate the NACC in what it has achieved because it has mobilized resources and managed to reduce the rate of infection to at least 50 per cent. It has also dealt with issues of HIV/AIDS related mortality which has been reduced to 25 per cent and HIV/AIDS related morbidity which has also been reduced. However, this notwithstanding, I think the body’s work and mandate has a reached a point where it needs to be devolved to the counties because we have already devolved health facilities. If I was the Mover of this Motion, I would actually go further and request that instead of creating county offices for NACC, we should actually create county HIV/AIDS control councils in the 47 counties in this country. Why do I say this? We are aware that NACC’s role is to be a mobilizer of resources, but it does not implement any policies. We know that most of the resources are issued through NGOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), the private sector and public sector organizations. Therefore, which better organization, other than the county government, can be given the donor funds to deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS, once 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.
Madam Temporary Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute in support of this Motion, regarding HIV/AIDS in the country. However, we talk, but we do not implement. I hope that my friend, the Senator from Samburu County, will follow it up to make sure that the discussion which is done in this august House is carried on to be legislation in form of a Bill. We need to implement the proposals in this Motion. If we do so, the affected, infected and the economy of this country will move forward. This is one of the ugliest situations we have in the Ministry of Health. We have had several diseases claiming very many people. Several people have died resulting from various infections of diseases. However, this one is a silent killer which is not known how it gets into someone because there are so many causes. Earlier on, we were told that the main cause was sexual intercourse, but it has been proven that it is not the only cause. There are very many causes which may affect anybody who is healthy. It is a pity that we might be having healthy carriers who do not know their status. As a result of that, it might spread to the country or even become a global menace. Madam Temporary Speaker, as the Chairman of the Committee on Education, my Committee and I have been to various schools in this country. I was one time moved when we visited some schools in South Nyanza and we were told out of the population, more than the three quarters were orphaned and the main reason was HIV/AIDS. We are The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. Sitting here this afternoon and listening to my colleagues, has been worthwhile, as it shows a good grasp of such a technical issue. I take this opportunity to thank Sen. Leshore for this timely Motion. However, in view of what the Senator for Homa Bay County told us in terms of the industry on this topic that is currently on going in the National Assembly, it would be good for us to now urge for that Bill to come to the Senate for concurrence and the ideas that are coming in from these contributions can inform our improving on the Bill. That way, we shall be promoting the work of a bicameral system of Parliament in this country. Madam Temporary Speaker, the gist of this Motion is taking money for combating HIV/AIDS closer to the people under the devolved structure of the counties. May I inform the Members of this House that the Global Fund, amongst other things deals with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. In the period just before devolution, the three years; 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Global Fund spent Kshs204.476 billion for this effort. That this kind of resource is available, but the impact is not as readily observable as we find today is a huge statement on our inability to manage resources for sorting out such a preventable illness. It should disturb the Government in particular that for every 12 children born in Kenya, one dies in the first five years of life. The child dies because of treatable and preventable illnesses namely; Pneumonia, Malaria and Diarrhea; illnesses that are very 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! We do not have any of those words that you are using in the English language. Could you use parliamentary language that can be understood? What do you mean by whaa, whaa ?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I was incited by my consultant in English, Sen. Ong’era. She is the one who whispered the word “ whaa, whaa”. I withdraw those words. It is important that people know this. A penis which is circumcised develops resistance on the outer skin. The one which is not is soft and, therefore, during the minor bruises that might take place during sexual intercourse, there are minor scratches and cuts. If the sexual partner is infected, then the risk of the sexual juice leaking into those little minor scratches and cuts is higher and, therefore, the risk of HIV infection. People should know that when you are circumcised, you are just as much at risk of getting infected as somebody who is not circumcised. Finally as I conclude, I am sad to report to this House of devolution that this afternoon there have been running battles in Kakamega Town - which I want to condemn – between mama mbogas whose goods have been thrown on the road and people being tear-gassed all in the name of the Governor thinking that the mama mbogas are the cause of Kakamega Town not being beautiful. I want to tell the Governor of Kakamega that our mama mbogas are very beautiful people. Leave them on our streets. I support.
Sen. G.G. Kariuki, did you withdraw your request? I could see you had earlier requested to speak and then I saw a withdrawal. Was that intentional?
Madam Temporary Speaker, Sir, I did not want to speak for only five minutes. It would have been a waste of 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.
Okay. I call upon the Mover to reply.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to thank all the contributors to this Motion. They have said very many good things which we, as a country and as a House, must follow to the letter to ensure that they are part of law. Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to thank Sen. Ong’era for proposing that there be county AIDS control councils. We need more funds both for counties and the national Government, so that they reach even the orphans left behind as a result of their parents dying of HIV/AIDS. Madam Temporary Speaker, I also thank hon. Senators for saying we give preference to Bills or Motions when they are brought in this House. Whatever the “Lower House” comes up with, we should see how we can bring the opinions of the two Houses together so that our nation benefits. With those few remarks, thank you very much, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Senators, this matter does not affect counties. Therefore, I will proceed to put the question.
Next Order! INQUIRY BY DEVOLUTION COMMITTEE TO ESTABLISH THE COUNTIES THAT NEED FACILITIES FOR COUNTY HEADQUARTERS
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker for giving me the opportunity to move the Motion on the Order Paper. Before I move the Motion, I wish to report that I approached the Speaker for a small amendment on it. In accordance with the Standing Order No.49, I would like to move the Motion in the amended form.
That is in order, Senator. We have approved your request. Therefore, you will move the Motion in the amended form.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to move:- THAT, noting that county governments were allocated offices and premises formerly occupied by the defunct local authorities and, to some extent, by former provincial administration; OBSERVING that these arrangements were satisfactory in most counties; AWARE that some counties had little or no such offices or premises to inherit resulting in serious operational challenges of such county governments; APPRECIATING that there are many counties with inadequate physical facilities whether they inherited the envisaged facilities or not; CONCERNED that the situation continues to impact negatively on the performance of the said counties; ACKNOWLEDGING that it is the mandate of the Senate to protect the interests of the counties and to ensure that their governments are fully operational; 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. (Eng.) Muriuki, you will have 18 minutes to make your contribution as you move the Motion.
Hon. Senators, it is now time to adjourn the Senate. Therefore, the Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday, 14th 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.