Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the Senate today, Thursday, 16th July, 2015. The Annual Public Debt Report for the Financial Year ending 30th June, 2014 from the Treasury.
We will come back to this Order later. I know that Sen. Elachi is preparing some work for the Senate and she is on her way coming. Who will go first? Where is the Chairperson for Finance, Commerce and Budget?
Since Sen. Elachi has come, we could go back to Order No.6. RESOLUTION TO HOLD EXTRA SITTINGS
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I beg to give notice of the following Motion. 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 us move on to the next Order.
Hon. Senators, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No.45, I will present the business of the Senate for the coming week. The Rules and Business Committee (RBC) will meet on Tuesday, 21st July, 2015 at 12 noon to schedule 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, 22nd July, 2015, the Senate will continue with business not concluded during Tuesday’s sitting, including Bills that will have been concluded at second reading and further consider the following Bills and regulations at the Committee of the Whole. The County Early Childhood Education Bill (Senate Bill No.32 of 2014); The Public Appointments County Assembly Approval Bill (Senate Bill No.20 of 2014); The Food Security Bill (Senate Bill No.23 of 2014); The Tobacco Control Regulation, 2014 and the Reproductive Healthcare Bill (Senate Bill No.17 of 2014) The Senate will consider any other business scheduled by the RBC. As Senators have noted in today’s Order Paper, there is a Motion to resolve to sit on Wednesday morning for the next two weeks to dispose of outstanding Statements. Therefore, this to notify the Chairs of Committees and all Senators that they need to facilitate the process so that we live up to our oversight role. On 23rd Thursday, 2015, the Senate will consider Bills at Second Reading, deliberate on Motions and any other business scheduled by the RBC. Hon. Senators, I take this opportunity to appeal to Senators to make themselves available so that we dispose of pending business, especially Bills at the Committee of the Whole. I hereby lay the Statement to the Table.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You heard the Senate Majority Whip say that next week we will be sitting in the mornings so that we dispose 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree with that and I know that we normally alert them. I believe also that the Secretariat normally alerts the Member. To add on that, could we have a way to alert the Senator to dispose of the statement if it comes to the House twice?
Order, Senator! You know you took away my role. The point of order was to the Chair. I take it that you are supporting the Chair. I still insist that the matter raised by Sen. Billow is good. It is a good suggestion. We need to ensure that adequate notice is given to Members so that they know when the statements are due and ensure that both parties are aware of the Statements that are coming up, so that we do not have this mismatch between the Chair and the Members. Sen. Billow, we will endeavour to do so. HEALTH STATUS OF CHILDREN MISHANDLED BY MEDICAL STAFF IN BUSIA COUNTY
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise on Standing Order No.45 to seek a statement on the situation of children who were mishandled by medical staff in Busia County by being given wrong or expired medication or whatever it may have been that cost the children the loss of their limbs. On Thursday last week, you ruled that the Ministry of Health should urgently issue a statement on the situation of Malaria in Western Kenya to this House. Up to now, we have not received any statement and they are reluctant to do so. We now have a situation where people have taken advantage to give children of Kenyan citizens, medicine that is either expired or given in the wrong root. In the statement, I would want the Chairperson of the Committee on Health to confirm the following:- (1) Whether it is true that this happened in Busia County, and if so, in which villag did it happen? (2) Which drug was used on that day? (3) What were the qualifications of the personnel that administered that drug? (4) What is the current medical status of the children after that medication? (5) What remedy will be taken to treat those children to full recovery? (6) What compensation will be given to those affected children?
Sen. Kittony, that is, indeed, a grave matter.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was intending to give a reply on the issue of Malaria outbreak last week, but the Mover requested that I wait until this week. I am 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.
Sen. (Dr.) Machage, do you wish to advise otherwise?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am seeking for the rescue from the wrath of the gracious Senator on me because of the request for a statement. The statement I have sought today is completely different from the one that was sought by Sen. Khaniri last week. The situation of the children that were given wrong or expired medication in Busia County is the main gist of that statement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, he mentioned Malaria outbreak so naturally I had to respond. If he does not want to have Malaria included, let him bring a new statement as we wait for Sen. Khaniri.
Order! I want to agree with Sen. Kittony, that Sen. (Dr.) Machage had alluded to the Statement on Malaria outbreak that has delayed. The Vice Chair has explained that the delay was occasioned by consultations between the Senator who sought it and Committee leadership. I can confirm that it was ready and Sen. Khaniri only asked for time, which I want to believe is now. Sen. Kittony, more importantly, why do you find it more prudent to deal with a by-the-way and not the substantive issues?. You should have dealt with both. You did not go long enough in your response. So, what do you have to comment on the statement being sought by Sen. (Dr.) Machage?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am ready for the statement sought by Sen. Khaniri. What Sen. (Dr.) Machage is asking is a new statement.
Order Sen. Kittony. I direct that you bring that statement sought by Sen. (Dr.) Machage on Tuesday, next week because it is an issue of major concern. You may now proceed to issue the statement by Sen. Khaniri. OUTBREAK OF MALARIA IN WESTERN KENYA
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to respond to the Statement on Malaria outbreak in Western Kenya. The statement was requested by Sen. Khaniri from Vihiga County on 1st July, 2015. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Senator sought to know the following:- (1) If the Cabinet Secretary for Health is aware of the outbreak. (2) What the Government has done so far to contain the outbreak of Malaria. 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. The statement that the Chairperson is reading to the House is about a matter of life and death, where children died en masse . You can see clearly that she is even unable to read the written statement to us because of the technicality of the issue. The region is waiting for a comprehensive answer and they are following this debate live. We will be unable to interrogate her further. You have to sort out the issue of communication before we attempt to deal with the statement. With all due respect---
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! One does not need to be a medical doctor to be a Chairperson of the Committee on Health. The Chairperson has admitted and owned up that there are some words that she cannot pronounce. To deal with the challenge, you need to sit closer to the neighbour on your right hand side, because he has a hard copy that you can read. Please, bear with us because what you are asking the Chair to do, took you many years to achieve. It cannot be done this afternoon.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, may I proceed.
Please, proceed, Sen. Kittony.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is a doctor and I am not. I am just a Vice Chairperson of that Committee. I am reading what the Ministry gave me. He cannot make me a “Dr. Kittony” overnight. (4) Advocacy on the importance of using health facilities on noticing early symptoms of malaria is ongoing through local as well as national media platform. (5) A series of trainings on Malaria case management were carried out in 2014, which included public as well as private health facilities. The Ministry will continue to work with the county governments to ensure that any challenges in the prevention, control and treatment of Malaria are quickly addressed. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Vice Chairperson has struggled to pronounce some of the medical terms, but all the same, I thank her for the statement. In response to the first question as to whether the Cabinet Secretary is aware, the Vice Chairperson says that the Ministry is aware of the reported Malaria outbreak in Kakamega and Vihiga counties. She goes ahead to say that we can see the details of the investigations carried out in the appendix to this statement which she has attached as Appendix No.1. In the appendix, the Vice Chairperson says that the two counties fall under the endemic region of Malaria transmission where the transmission cycle spans the entire year. Therefore, an outbreak is very unlikely to be caused by innate immunity acquired over the years by the population. This is a contradiction because she says in her answer that, yes, she is aware. However, in the appendix that she has attached, she says that people there have acquired immunity, and, therefore, an outbreak is unlikely. I want to know clearly whether there was an outbreak or not. Secondly, what entails an outbreak? She has given us some statistics here of Kakamega County with 1,192 cases from January to June this year and then goes ahead to say that it is not an outbreak. Thirdly, I want to know how many people died from Malaria in that period.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the statement is very clear that the Ministry of Health is aware of the reported Malaria outbreak in the county of Vihiga. I do not know what the Senator for Vihiga County is asking, yet it is very clear that the Ministry is aware and they made an effort of taking medication to the ground. Vihiga County, through its Level 5 hospital, should also help its people and not only depend entirely on the Ministry of Health.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Vice Chairperson has told us that the Government took 17,200 doses of anti-malarial drugs to Vihiga County. This means that only 17,200 people could be treated, considering that the population of Vihiga County is 600,000 people. What could happen to the rest of populace in case of an outbreak? 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, there is an old adage that prevention is better than cure. Literally every month, there have been many epidemics in this country. For the last three years, there has been a running epidemic of a disease called dengue fever that is spread by mosquitoes. In western Kenya, the malaria epidemic has been running from Kisii to the former Western Province for months. In other parts of this country it is cholera. Mr. Speaker, Sir, has the preventive department that deals with vector-borne communicable diseases collapsed in the Ministry? If it has not, what is exactly happening? Why are we having vectors like mosquitoes causing basic preventable communicable diseases? Where is the coordination between county governments and the Ministry of Health in preventing these diseases or has the Ministry actually abandoned medical and preventive services to counties? Counties do not have the immediate capacity to handle everything?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Listening to the statement that was read by Sen. Kittony and the issues which are being raised now, would I be in order to ask the Chair to refer that statement to the relevant Committee to be worked on again? If possible, the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for that Ministry should appear before this House to answer those questions which are too deep and not contained in the statement that has just been read.
You are definitely in order, but that guidance should come after exhausting the interventions and after listening to her response.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I empathize with Sen. Kittony in trying to deliver a very complex and important statement. In the month of January onwards up to about June, there is a lot of rain in western Kenya and that is when the mosquito larvae breed to make it possible for mosquitoes to bite people. What is important is to take preventive measures before the mosquitoes bite people and then you look for scarce medicine to treat people. Therefore, the statement demanded by Sen. Billow is very important. To what extent is the Ministry taking preventive measures before the onset of the long rains? This will ensure that breeding of mosquitoes is prevented particularly by getting rid of stagnant pools of water in the affected regions. Delivering mosquito treated nets can also help prevent mosquitoes from biting children, their mothers and ourselves.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My understanding is that there was an outbreak of malaria in Kakamega and Vihiga counties during that period. However, 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.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the statement that was read by the Vice Chairperson states that over 37,000 drugs for treatment of malaria have been sent to Vihiga and Kakamega counties despite the fact that the population is about 600,000. It is not possible that all those people will suffer malaria. Secondly, she says the Government has supplied 37,000 mosquito nets for prevention in the two counties. I agree with Sen. Muthama that if these explanations are not adequate, may be, we should ask the Cabinet Secretary (CS) to come here and explain further.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is an issue which will completely change the lives of these young children. I would want the Committee to tell the House whether they are able to do so immediately and be in Busia because health has been devolved so that we can know exactly what is happening. Secondly, what happened when they went out to look at the issue of malaria drugs? Have they presented a report to this Senate? Could the Vice Chairperson tell us whether the drugs we have in the country are still fit for human consumption? It has been alleged in the media that most of the drugs in the counties have expired and yet the doctors continue prescribing them?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I read the statement as given, but I also want to say that our Committee has been very active with regard to issues pertaining to health in the country. We have done a number of visits to different counties. When Ebola broke out, we were quickly at the border to ascertain what was going on. I have said that the Ministry was aware of the outbreak and they have taken measures and delivered mosquito nets and given drugs to those counties. You realize that health facilities have been devolved. County hospitals should assist where possible. Unless the Senator who sought this statement needs more information, he could request in the formal manner.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Chairperson has not responded to the clarifications we sought. Treated mosquito nets are not preventive measures for mosquito control. Prevention means dealing with the vector that is responsible for the breeding. Could the Chairperson tell us how a Ministry that is able to send dozens of specialists all the way to West Africa to fight Ebola is unable to send a specialized team to these counties where there is a crisis, even with the county governments in place? There has to be some action by the Ministry. This is not about devolving.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to request the Chair to direct that because these proceedings are matters of record--- 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! You do not just want. You request or better plead with the Chair.
I am so guided, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Because these are matters that will remain on record, in her answer the Chair has allowed the Ministry to insult the people of Vihiga and Kakamega counties by saying that, yes, these children had malaria. However, they died because over and above the malaria, they were having herbal intoxication. This is on record. Secondly, she says the children died because over and above malaria, they suffered anemia. I want to confirm the reason they had anemia is because the malaria was not treated. Therefore, it broke down the red blood cells and the children became anemic and died. Could this be struck out of record? Equally importantly, could the Vice Chairperson go to the Ministry and find out how much money the Ministry will spend on purchasing chemicals that will be used to spray to kill the mosquito itself so that there is no vector that can bite a child? You simply spray and it is very cheap. When is the Jubilee Government going to do so? When Sen. Obure was the Minister for Finance, he used to do it repeatedly. Those days I was the MOH in Machakos. Why are they not spraying? Basic methods of treating malaria! Bure kabisa!
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! I want the Chairperson to know that those accusations are not directed to you because you are not the Government. Let us get the last interjection from Senator Wetangula and then I will give directions.
(Sen. Wetangula); Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was going to say what you have just said. To be fair to the lady, when she was reading the word “intoxication”, she even admitted that she did not know what it means. So, let us forgive her. I urge the Chair to order the CS Health - given what the Senator for Mandera, the Senator for Kisumu and others have said and this is a problem, not only in Kakamega and Vihiga counties, but everywhere – to appear before the Committee of the Whole so that we can interrogate him fully on this matter.
Hon. Senators, I am convinced that there is need for this matter to be interrogated further and that the most competent person to be interrogated should be the practitioners. The Committee Chair is directed to give a date on when the CS and his team will appear before the Committee. We will invite the rest of the membership to join the Committee. You have got real statistics from a doctor who decided to retain the knowledge, but not the practice.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. As the Chair, you have very ably concluded the matter. However, I want to raise some concern in relation to the manner in which Cabinet Secretaries have not been attending to committee meetings. We had a Kamukunji yesterday in the morning and we expected Prof. Kaimenyi and Maj (Rtd) Nkaissery to appear before us, but it never happened. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as you have already directed that the Chairperson invites the Cabinet Secretary, sometimes as chairpersons of committees, we have the challenges of securing the attendance of the Cabinet Secretaries, but we also ought to be assisted by the leadership, especially from the Majority side. Therefore as you direct the Chairperson, could you also then extend the same direction to the Senate Majority Leader or the Deputy Majority Leader and the Whip to ensure that Cabinet Secretaries appear in the House when we need them?
Thursday, next week, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
It is so ordered. Hon. Members, it is true there is a lot of concern about the performance of the CSs and the leadership of the House that is supposed to support Chairs in compelling the CS to be available. On the specific matter raised by Sen. Abdirahman, there was a good explanation. In fact, I read that statement because it had come from them, but then there was a change of schedule with the public lecture given by the visiting Prime Minister of Italy at the University of Nairobi. I think that is understandable. I do not think the House should feel impotent. Sen. Khaniri has always invoked it and it has worked for him. However, we have Articles 125 and 153 of the Constitution. So, the tools are already there for you to use. When they fail, we will try to be friendly by just inviting them. When they fail to come, you should issue summons. If they fail to obey the summons, we will commit them to the High Court and they would be jailed. So, the power is with you. If you need my support and voice, you know what to do. You should request for it and it shall be granted immediately. I do not think the peoples’ representatives should be taken for granted. These are issues affecting Kenyans. Sen. Kittony, I remember that one time, the delay on this statement was on the basis that the staff of the Ministry of Health was undertaking performance contracting exercise. I also recall asking you what was a better way of demonstrating performance and we agreed that it was by delivery. So, that should be on Thursday, next week. However, do not invite the Cabinet Secretary (CS), but instead summon him. Failure to honour the summonses, the consequences are clear. It shall only be consequential. Thank you, hon. Senators.
Yes, choices have consequences!
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Hon. Senators, I have a communication to make. Hon. Senators, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery this afternoon of some visitors who are part of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Expert Mission to Kenya on Women’s Participation and Representation in Parliament. The IPU, as you all know, is the world organization of parliaments and is a global forum for parliamentary dialogue, cooperation and action. The IPU advances democracy and assists parliaments and parliamentarians throughout the world to fulfill their mandates. The IPU facilitates parliamentary debate, dialogue and cooperation and also promotes and defends democracy and the rule of law while assisting parliaments in coping with an ever-growing international agenda that is relevant to their duties. Seated in the Speaker’s Gallery this afternoon are members of the IPU Expert Mission to Kenya on Women’s Participation and Representation in Parliament. I request each member of the Mission to stand when called out so that they may be acknowledged in the Senate tradition. The members of the Expert Mission are:- (1) Ms. Betty Amongi, MP; Member of Parliament from Uganda and a member of the IPU’s Coordinating Committee of Women Parliamentarians; (2) Prof. Drudre Dahlerup – this name is not part of the medical ones, but it is equally challenging – from Stockholm University. She is an IPU Consultant on gender and quotas.
(3) Ms. Zeina Hilal, Gender Partnership Programme – IPU Secretariat, Geneva; and, (4) Ms. Mariana Duarte, Gender Partnership Programme – IPU Secretariat.
Hon. Senators, the Expert Mission is in Nairobi to assess and identify means and strategies to achieve a balanced gender representation in Parliament as per the Constitution and to explore tools to enhance youth participation, people with disability, the minority and marginalised communities. I hope that they have had fruitful deliberations during their visit to our great country and Parliament. On behalf of the Senate, I wish them well for the remainder of the visit. I thank you.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank you very much for welcoming them on our behalf. However, I would like to confirm that we have engaged with them in a very fruitful manner that has been very beneficial to us, especially the women, who are trying to fight for women space in the affirmative action. We have benefited a lot. We thank them for that. I take this opportunity to welcome them to the Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join you and Sen. Sijeny in appreciating the team. When they had meetings, we hosted them as the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. As indicated by Sen. Sijeny, we learnt a lot from them in terms of the ongoing consensus towards the one-third gender rule implementation in this country. Therefore, I thank them for the support and insights they shared with us. We wish them well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Why are you not declaring that you are our representative to the IPU in terms of young parliamentarians?
I thought you feared that you might be exposed that you are not that young?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also thank the delegation headed by Betty Amongi who is also the Chairperson of the Uganda Women’s Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) in Uganda. On behalf of the women of Kenya, we have always appreciated all the capacity building programmes we have received across countries in terms of understanding how we could achieve affirmative action. However, more importantly, as we approach the deadline on 27th August, 2015, we, as a country, hope that we shall have more consultations. We also hope that we will incorporate our male colleagues in the discussions and come up with a homegrown position that all Kenyans will appreciate and be beneficial to the country. The process is ongoing. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join you and my colleagues in thanking the delegation, especially from the leadership of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) and the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association (KYPA). I wish to thank them for the outreach they have done, especially to the leadership of Parliament as we deal with 27th August, 2015 deadline, concerning achieving the one- third gender rule. I hope that from the discussion we have had, we will have a way forward regarding dealing with this problem. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to join you and the rest of the Senators who have welcomed our guests from the IPU. The IPU is a very important forum because it is where parliamentarians meet twice a year to discuss issues affecting the world. I would like to welcome them because their visit to Kenya came at the right time when we, female politicians, were discussing about the one-third gender rule as we struggle to find space. I am sure that we have benefited a lot from the ideas. Owing to that, we can now sit together and deliberate on issues that were raised. I would also like to say that we are a Member at the IPU in the UN Committee. Therefore, we are together. Thank you very much.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in my other life as a women rights advocate, I also wish to thank the team that is around. It is good to learn that there is consensus building. I also take this opportunity to warn those in offices who want women to forget about the one-third gender rule. There are people in offices in this country who get coverage in the media stating that women should forget about what is rightfully theirs. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I met with the group and we had very useful deliberations yesterday. However, let me assure this House that the struggle for women liberation is not just a matter for women. It is an important agenda in the second liberation. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you will remember that when you were in the NGO world, as we struggle for gender parity and efficacy in this country, that was a very important issue in the second liberation. I must say that as has been incorporated in the present Constitution, the principle is there, indeed, the two-thirds representation of either gender in all representative institutions must be realized. It would be part of the struggle to take the second liberation to its logical conclusion.
Finally, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the reason I have stood is because I want to congratulate the leader of this delegation and tell the persons who are nominated that she was also nominated and has moved to competitive election. But even more importantly---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Did you hear Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. refer to distinguished honourable Senators who are nominated as “persons who are nominated?”
Order! Sen. Ong’era, I think you are---
Yes, oversensitive. I think you have given me a better word than the one intended to use. Proceed. 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, also, very insightful views about the persons who are representing special interests, who want to protect those positions in terms. The Professor also gave us various insights about the proposals that have been made about what they are calling “a sunset clause.” I urge the persons, particularly my friend here, Sen. Sijeny, to consider those views because they will help the legislation that we will make in this country. We have now discovered that it is just a problem of law. However, we need to do more to educate members of the public than what we are attempting to do in this Republic of looking at 27th August as if it is a day of Armageddon. We will need to work on this like Uganda has done since 1995. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
I am glad that you came at the very tail end to conclude it all, save just to say that you are still giving Sen. Sijeny the responsibility. Even if there is no problem in law, at one time the Deputy Speaker, who is also the Senator for Murang’a said that you also have a legal duty of care. Sen. Nabwala also talked about ladies. This is not a problem of ladies, but a new shoe for all of us, including the other men who have contributed, that is, Sen. Okong’o and Prof. Anyang’-Nyong’o. It is our problem as a nation. Next Statement.
The Chairman, Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget is here, but Sen. Bule is not here present for the two Statements that he requested for. CRITERIA USED IN ALLOCATION OF UWEZO FUND IN THE 47 COUNTIES
The Chairman of the Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity is not here, but I see Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki present. Where you have the Senators present, that statement must be given priority in the next sitting, which will be on Tuesday. 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 beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, pursuant to Standing Order 30(3)(b), the Senate resolves to meet on Wednesday, 22nd July, and Wednesday 29th July, 2015 from 9.00 a.m to 12.30 p.m. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a straightforward Motion. I think all of us understand why we are re-introducing the morning Sittings. Looking at the business that we have before we go for our long recess, we would appreciate, as an institution, if we could finish and forward it to the National Assembly. We are also facing another challenge regarding most of the Bills that we have forwarded to the National Assembly. We have never received any communication or Bill that has been finalized in the National Assembly back to the Senate. Indeed, as much as we would want to conduct business, I think it is time for the leadership of the Senate also to start asking ourselves how we will move forward and what the law says in terms of the long period that the National Assembly has stayed with the Bills. Having said that, that cannot stop us, as an institution, from finalizing our work. I urge the Members that as we proceed to have the morning Sittings, let us be punctual so that we can clear, especially, all the Bills that are in the Committee of the Whole stage. If we are able to finalize that, I think we shall go for our long recess, knowing very well that we have done our best. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move and ask the Senate Minority Whip, Sen. Muthama to second this Motion.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to second this Motion. The Motion is asking for only two days to work in the morning hours. Looking at the pending business before this House and considering that the recess is approaching, that is, the end of this month, I wish to second this Motion.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Sen. Muthama is making a very important speech and the Senate is apparently recessed into 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! If you have to consult, do so, in low tones. The only official business before the Plenary is this particular Motion. If you have any other business, then you are transacting it at the wrong place. Proceed, Senator.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, considering that we are asking for only two Sittings in the morning hours and given the issues which have been raised by the Senate Majority Whip, it is important that we pass this Motion, so that we can do the pending business that is ahead of us. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to second.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to oppose this Motion. Some members of this House have not been taking the business of this House seriously. Now, we are being told to sacrifice our mornings in order to catch up because people failed to participate in the proceedings of this House for which they have been elected to do. Every day, in the afternoon we are here. We are unable to execute decisions such as voting for Bills and issues regarding the Committee of the Whole due to lack of quorum. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is about leadership of this House. There is no institution which can operate if the leadership of that institution does not take the business of that institution seriously. The leadership of this House with due respect, I am not referring to the Speaker’s office, but the leadership. I am talking about the people who sit on these chairs and not being available - In fact, particularly on my side - not being available most of the time to execute the business of the House.
Sen. Billow, for avoidance of any doubt, let me clarify. There is a difference between the leadership of the House by the Speaker and the political leadership.
Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am referring to the political leadership. I want the hon. Senator who moved the Motion on behalf of the political leader of this House. She normally sits next to me here. However, in the last few days, she had to occupy the empty spaces here because those leaders are not there. Now, we are being told to come next Tuesday, Wednesday and so on, to spend our mornings here yet every day we are here and there is nobody to conduct business. This House is inundated with business now. Some Committees have a lot of work. The House also has a lot of work. There is a lot of work being generated for the Senate. However, without proper organisation, leadership, commitment and involvement by the people who sit on those high tables, we will not be able to move this House. Tomorrow when the audit is done, we will end up as a House that has received 500, Bills but executed 200. 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, after the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, Commerce and Budget has spoken, Sen. Billow, who shoots straight every day, I would like to support him. First, we have Committees of this House which have scheduled their meetings on those mornings when we are being requested to come here. These Committees sometimes have time-bound responsibilities. They cannot afford to change their sittings. Secondly, these Committees also invite people who are equally busy to appear before them. Bringing this Motion today, when we have already scheduled meetings for next week, makes it difficult for us, as Committees, to function. I remind the House that quite a good number of Members of this House are Members of multiple Committees. They try their best to serve them almost on a daily basis. Since these Committees have to meet in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Now, we even meet on Mondays and Fridays to catch up on our work. As we come towards going for recess next week, therefore, the Committees also want to make sure that they do their work. Further, we are even scheduling ourselves to meet during the recess. This means that we are taking our responsibility further to invade the period of time that we could have spent in our counties. I, therefore, request the political leadership of the House, that when such Motions are being brought to the House, they should consult with Committee Chairpersons to find out whether this will be a possibility or not rather than come to the Floor of the House, be ambushed by a proposal like this, and then we are compelled to oppose because of other schedules of Committees which are equally important. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the House to another issue that Sen. Elachi mentioned. The National Assembly does not pay attention to Bills passed by this House; neither is it reporting back to us. Could I be in order to appeal to the political leadership of the House to meet their counterparts in the National Assembly and in the spirit of fulfilling the principles in the Constitution; that we are a Parliament of two Houses, and the laws that we make in both Houses, are towards the building and good governance of our nation--- Any form of political hubris or peer rivalry between the two 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. Adan.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry. I do not want to contribute to this. It was an earlier one.
Sen. Haji, why are you confusing contributions to an ordinary Motion with your Committee business? When the Vice Chairperson is not available, the Chairperson is.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry. I thought that you confused her with me.
You have made your case worse. I was to give you an opportunity, but people might think that I confused you with her. For avoidance of doubt, I have not confused. You are Sen. Haji.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, many a times we have been lamenting about lack of response to statements requests by the Cabinet Secretary, but I think we are the worst enemies of ourselves. Nowadays, Committees are not able to work efficiently because Members are serving more than three or four Committees. Therefore, what is happening is that most of the Members are not there and if they come, they only make technical appearances. In this way, we cannot discuss and come up with something worthwhile. The leaders of both sides should collapse these committees together so that we have fewer committee, but working more efficiently.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, like my colleague neighbour, Sen. Billow said, before we think of creating more time to deal with the business of the House, we must utilise the time that we have to the fullest. Whenever we have business for the House that requires attention, there are leaders in this House who have a day or two in advance to make sure that Members come in the House at the time of debating or voting. This has to come out; that we need to take our work seriously. When we have an extra duty in this House, we must take it seriously. There are some chairpersons who are permanently not here and so some of the questions are not responded to.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the distinguished Senator for West Pokot, who is a Member of the Rules and Business 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, my colleague Sen. Ong’era was absent when we met on Tuesday. There was a proposal that in future we may have to meet, but we cannot meet when business is not being transacted properly here. I was present and we did not quote these dates. We said that there may be need to meet.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo is a Member of RBC and any business of this House originates from there. Whether he attended the meeting or not, is he in order to come here and pretend that he does not know where this Motion originated from?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you can now see when I was talking about leadership that is absent in the House and when they arrive they want to speak on behalf of their colleagues. He is the Deputy Whip. When I look at my leadership here, they are almost permanently absent. Similarly, he is lucky he is in today. Let us address the issue at hand. Before we create these two extra sittings, many Petitions have been brought. Today Sen. Hassan was chairing a meeting where we did not even have time to finish because of the excess work we have---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. An impression is being created that if you sit in a Committee, be it the RBC or any other Committee and a decision is made, you cannot then come to this House and object to it. Is it in order that such a perception is being created?
Hon. Senators, that is a matter that is exercising my mind as well. It is a very serious matter. A Member has several roles to play; it is a fact that this Motion was approved by the RBC. The question is: If you are a Member of the RBC and you did not raise objections at that particular time, are you entitled to raise objections on the Floor of the House? Ordinarily, no, but I do not see anything legally binding or otherwise, to prevent a Member on the Floor of the House as the Member for a county or representing a particular county to change his or her position. They say that it is only fools who do not change their minds. The only argument you can have against a Member is maybe an ethical argument that maybe he voted for it, but in some of these decisions, we do not vote. So you have nothing holding a Member. Proceed, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
I thank you for clarifying the issue and making it the choice of the Member.
Let me add that the rule in the Committee is that if you are completely opposed to a certain position you may vote against it and sometimes you can vote against it, but still maintain that the majority have their way and do a minority report explaining your circumstances. I am also aware that there are many instances where even the Committee Members who may have approved a particular report come back to disown the same report on the Floor of the House. I am yet to find any practice in any Parliament where sanctions were put against such Members. Proceed. 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, this Motion then brings a lot of thoughts from the leadership of this House. From today, if they are listening to us, they need to take their work seriously so that Members can also have time to attend to other business of this House which is transacted in the morning hours of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. When you look at the amount of work in the Committees, it is so huge that we may not finish if we interfere with that time, particularly the petitions that have come and have a deadline. Sometimes, we need to rescue some counties from further mess. Therefore, it is important that we do it. Lastly, it is also true that sometimes as the representatives of counties we have a lot of work and it would not be prudent to overload ourselves. With those few remarks, I oppose.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am afraid that the leadership of the House has not given us a reason we should forfeit the work of the Committees and concentrate on Plenary. I am now speaking on behalf of the Committee on Finance where we have Petitions. We have many Petitions such that if we have to put them on the Floor, they would go all the way to the round-about. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are scheduled to meet people the whole of next week. Yesterday, Sen. Ongoro, who is a Member of the Speaker’s Panel, issued something that appeared to be castigation this House. We were discussing the County Assembly Services Bill and there were only six Senators in the House. After we finished the debate, she issued a Communication to the six of us here and those watching the debate on television or they can read the HANSARD. Therefore, I am not convinced that if we sit on Tuesday or Wednesday the situation will change. Yesterday, the Senate Majority Leader- sometimes when I mention him he gets upset--
.: Mr. Speaker, Sir, my position is that there is no reason whatsoever why we should suspend Committee work that you have directed to us. We are going to sit here and the people who do not come will not come. It would be the order of the day; same script, different players and it will not help. Mr. Speaker, Sir, what is even worse is that there is a tradition; that has been set that towards the end of every term, this Motion is sneaked into the Order Paper and the person who is supposed to move it does not come. We have this argument every end of term and we are setting a bad precedence. I suggest that the business that is in the Order Paper throughout the term should be taken seriously. More importantly, we, as the foot soldiers of this Senate, we want to task the leadership from both sides, that is, the Senate Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader, to sit with us here until 6.30 p.m. Yesterday, the County Assembly Services Bill was on the Order Paper after the RBC met. Therefore, the foot soldiers of the Senate have refused to come on Tuesday and Wednesday morning not because we do not want to The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first, I stand to oppose this Motion for the reasons which were exhaustively and eloquently given by Sen. Billow, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang'- Nyong'o and others who have spoken before me. Secondly, we took a deliberate decision to remove Wednesday morning as part of our sitting for very good reasons. I do not see any need now to go back on that decision. Thirdly, we re-scheduled our diaries in such a manner that we are now occupied for other business on Wednesday morning. Therefore, it is futile to suggest that we come back here on Wednesday morning. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I oppose.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there comes a time where the Eminent Senators in this Senate must challenge themselves on what they stand for. Are they patriots? When we were splitting Committees, I was on record opposing it. We sit in four Committees, but the tradition is that you see a Senator walking in, signs for the tax-payers money and walks away to go to attend another Committee sitting. There comes a time when we need to challenge ourselves and ask ourselves if we are serving this country truthfully or not. This morning, we had business to do, but we started our business five minutes later. On 28th of this month, we had slotted to have governors coming to our meeting to deliberate on matters of reports of the Auditor-General. We should not hide and give small petty excuses. We should serve the full term of the Senate as mandated in the Constitution and the people of our counties. If we are not, we need to do a lot of introspection to see whether we are patriots. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have been told that our sister House does not comply with Bills which we have approved. If the reason is to comply with some portions of our work which goes to the National Assembly and that is why we are being called to sit on Wednesday morning, then I do not find any value for that. We, as citizens of this country, I reiterate that we need to do a lot of soul-searching without fear or favour. We have a big mandate and many people follow what we do here. With those few remarks, I oppose.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I also rise to oppose this Motion on account of the fact that we need to be better organized as a Senate---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Reading the mood in the House and this being a procedural Motion, I rise under Standing Order No.98 to move that the Mover be now called upon to reply.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, whereas the Senator for Mandera might be right, the tradition in this House is that on a matter where a Senator has spoken, he cannot rise to suggest that other Member be denied an opportunity to speak. I am not saying that he is wrong, but let us remember that he is out of order because he has already spoken. Therefore, he cannot prevent Sen. Hassan from contributing. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said, I rise to oppose---
Order! What is it, Sen. Billow?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you heard the Senator for Kakamega. Could he clarify what Standing Order prohibits a Senator who has spoken from moving from Standing Order No.98? Could he do so or withdraw his remarks?
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale! When you are challenged, you do not just ask your opponent to relax. You should rise to the occasion.
Give Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale a microphone. In your particular circumstances, all Kenyans appreciate that you are passionate about bull fighting. So, by extension, you must appreciate taking the bull by the horns.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I was commenting, I was laughing and because the distinguished Senator is a very old Member of Parliament (MP). He knows that Parliament operates under traditions, usages and practices. In this particular case, he knows that it is true. Standing Order No.1 provides for exactly what I have said.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, where there is a Standing Order provision, you do not apply Standing Orders No.1. Standing Order No.98 is very clear that a Senator may rise in his or her place and may move “THAT, the Mover be now called upon to reply”. There is no provision of whether he spoke or not. So, is the Senator for Kakamega County in order to mislead this honourable House?
Order, Senator! This is a good day because you have raised quite a number of procedural issues. I was of the same opinion like Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale when Sen. Billow rose to ask that the Mover be called upon to reply. That was the expectation because it is a custom and tradition. However, when you closely examine the particular Standing Order that he stood on and when Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale failed to give a counter Standing Order and sought refuge in Standing Orders No.1 - It is actually a qualifier. We will invoke the customs and traditions, in the absence of a provision. I am afraid that this has not been qualified and it is a serious oversight in our Standing Orders. This is because there was a lot of reasoning behind it to avoid a lot of self interest, for example, when a Member has spoken and does not want others to contribute. However, it is not in our books. I will leave it open because there is only Sen. Hassan and Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale who want to contribute. What is your point of order, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang'- Nyong’o?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Would I be in order to suggest that such traditions are usually set by rulings of the Speaker if the matter is not expressly provided for in the Standing Orders, therefore, such rulings The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
I think that is a fair request. However, for the Speaker to do so, and in order for it to be binding to the House, I need to give my considered opinion and not just on the basis of the exchanges now. However, I will consider it now and invite you. If I do not do it in good time, you will remind me. Let us proceed because we only have two more Senators to contribute. Please, proceed, Sen. Hassan.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. As you consider your ruling, it would also be nice to set a tradition that we should allow a Member on his feet to finish before one raises that kind of a point of order. In fact---
Order, Sen. Hassan! I can assure you that you are violating all the provisions of the Standing Orders. The whole purpose of a point of order is to stop one in their tracks, just in case one is taking us where we are not supposed to be. So, if we allow you to finish, you will have landed us to the devil. Please, proceed, Sen. Hassan.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I stand guided. I rise to oppose this Motion on account of the fact that the Senate now needs to start planning its business more thoroughly. I particularly beseech the leadership of the House to take the business of this House more seriously. As other Senators have said, they should not plan business and then absent themselves from the Sittings of the Senate. Plan the business and be part of it. Therefore, the ambush of constantly being told in the last week before recess that we need to meet twice or thrice more to conclude the business is something that we will not accept. We do not also want to start creating a tradition where it is normal that every time we bring this type of Motion to alter our calendar. This morning, I chaired the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) and we scheduled to meet certain county assemblies and executives next week. Therefore, it would lead to rescheduling of other businesses of this House that are equally important. So, on account of that fact, I think that we will dispense with the other business when we resume on the 15th of September 2015. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to oppose this Motion and urge my colleges to do the same.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I support this Motion because in the beginning this House did not have a lot of business. Therefore, we did something that was against the tradition of sittings of Parliament of Kenya by removing the Wednesday morning sittings. Now that it has occurred to the Rules and Business Committee (RBC) that there is justification for us to be sitting on Wednesday morning, the long term solution is that the decision that was made earlier on when we used 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.
Let me give a special consideration to Sen. Murungi to be the final contributor. Please, proceed, Sen. Murungi.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to oppose this Motion.
Time has come for us to learn better management techniques to manage the business of this House. If you consider the amount of time spent on points of order and digressions, we would not be calling for Special Sittings. I am calling for more efficiency. We should not punish Members who have already organized their schedules for Wednesday and Thursday mornings. We should not ask them to cancel whatever they had planned so as to accommodate poor planning in this House. I beg to very strongly oppose this Motion.
Order, Members! We have exhausted the number of people who wish to contribute. Before I call upon the Mover to reply, I feel constrained to clarify Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s issue about the tradition of Sittings and why we, as a Senate, removed the morning Sitting. It was not because of lack of business. We decided to do so because of the Bicameral nature of Parliament and a Presidential system where the Committees of the House generate a lot of business. I am happy that most of you are opposed to the Motion on the bases that the Committees already have prepared schedules to transact their businesses. In fact, they have a lot of work. These are some of the traditions that we should not borrow. Even when we are told to consider a tradition or custom, it must be a good one. It must reflect the circumstances of our time. Definitely, the Eleventh Parliament is very different from the other Parliaments because we have two Houses and there is business between them. You must literally generate most of the Business. That was the major consideration of doing so. It was good that time and it is still good now from where I sit.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I thank all Senators, especially chairpersons of Committees. While we appreciate that we have committees going on, we also have reports that are supposed to be tabled in this House coming from those committees. Therefore, I urge chairpersons to ensure that their reports are ready for tabling before this House. We were just trying to come in to ensure that all constitutional timelines and Bills are complied with before we go on recess. Since this is a House of consensus and can agree to even extend sittings in the evening when we feel it is necessary, I think that is what we will move and I appreciate the views of Members. I beg to move.
Order, Senators! This is not a matter affecting counties, but your calendar. I will put the Question. It will be a voice vote and not electronic.
Next order! INQUIRY BY DEVOLUTION COMMITTEE TO ESTABLISH THE COUNTIES THAT NEED FACILITIES FOR COUNTY HEADQUARTERS 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 physicalfacilities whether they inherited the envisaged facilities or not; CONCERNED that the situation, continues to impact negatively on theperformance of the said counties; ACKNOWLEDGING that it is the mandate of the Senate to protect theinterests of the counties and to ensure that their governments are fully operational; NOW THEREFORE, in order to form the basis for possible assistance tocounties for headquarter facilities, the Senate resolves to establish a SelectCommittee to conduct an inquiry into the needs of each of the forty – seven counties and report to the Senate within three months, and further that the selectcommittee shall comprise the following Senators- 1. Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki Karue Muriuki; 2. Sen. George Khaniri; 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, for giving me the opportunity to continue moving this Motion. I had already read out the Motion. If you go back a little on the history of the country before the new Constitution, the country was divided into provinces, districts and down to divisions.
The Government was straightforward, we had the national Government then called the central Government and the local authorities; county, municipal and town councils. When the new Constitution was promulgated---
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, there is a lot of consultations. I wish to be heard.
Order, Senators! Consult in very low tones
Mr. Temporary speaker, Sir, with the new Constitution, we came up with the national Government and counties. Those who crafted the Constitution looked very cleverly at a good way of designating counties and that is the former districts the way they were before the escalation of sub-division of districts to be mini districts. I think that was 1991 when we only had 47 districts which were then named counties. The gist of facilitation of premises where they would operate from, either the headquarters or other facilities like the works offices, was that they would take over those offices which were being used by county, municipal or town councils. Also, facilities of other depots like staff and vehicles. They generally took over everything that was under the local authorities. To that extent, it was generally fairly adequate that counties take over what was in the local authorities and what was in the provincial administration. It was generally adequate for the purpose. However, there were also a number of unique situations where a new county found itself with none of those local authorities or even the provincial administration. I The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I beg to second this Motion moved by Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki. As usual, he has a custom of breaking into new ground. This, indeed, is a new ground. As Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki says said, this is an issue that was handled by the TA but it did not handle it as a long-term measure but as an emergency measure. In other words, given that counties had just been established, and that county assemblies had been elected, neither the county executives nor the county assemblies could have been assured premises where they did not exist. Where those premises might have existed in terms of old local authorities, they needed to be adopted to serve the new dispensation in the counties. For example, local authorities did not necessarily need to have HANSARD records and, therefore, some of those adjustments had to be made in such premises and the TA budgeted some Kshs61.2 million that was sent to counties to cater for urgent expenses that were needed to settle in both the county governments and the county assemblies. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, now time has come to see county assemblies and county governments as aspects of our governmental system which must last for long. We should look at the period of the TA; as its name suggests, it was a transition. We need now to make a transition to a permanent existence of devolved government. Therefore, whatever we do should be additive to that permanent existence in the long run rather than ephemeral to that existence. I think the Motion that Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki has brought to the House is extremely timely. When the TA was doing this with the county governments, I think they approached the secretariat of the former Ministry of Public Works to come up with models of county assemblies. I think the Ministry in charge should come up with models of the executive government of counties. I am saying this because if you go to the United States of America, which perhaps is one of the most advanced systems of devolved government, if you go to any State, you will always know where the State Capital is by 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, from the outset, I support this Motion brought by Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki. I believe that this is arising from the need of his county – which is starting almost from scratch – to have facilities at the County Headquarters. This is an issue that should have been done right from the time devolution came into place. The TA should have looked into this matter and brought it forward. Under the provisions of the Constitution, this matter, I believe, could have been looked at because it is provided that the national Government had a duty to ensure that county governments had a ground start. Funds or resources could have been allocated right from the beginning to meet special needs of counties such as Nyandarua County. Nevertheless, I do not think that it is too late. This can still be done. Counties should be facilitated to have their headquarters. If some counties are required to use meagre resources – the equal share – which they are given like any other counties, then, development or other services that are essential may suffer. I support that this matter be looked into. The Senator raised the issue of facilities at the county headquarters. There are other things other than facilities that several counties also lack. These are issues of health facilities and county hospitals not being at the same level. Some counties have better facilities than others. Those should equally be looked at. Some counties also have machinery for road construction or agricultural purposes and others do not have, particularly those which were formerly provincial headquarters had better facilities. So, the same way we have been giving special consideration to Level 5 hospitals, we should look also at the special needs of different counties. For example, Trans Nzoia County is feeding the country in terms of grain. Even though agriculture has been devolved, even if the meagre resources that are allocated to Trans Nzoia County are applied to subsidize fertilizer and procure grain for Kenyans, they will not be enough. Therefore, it is important that as we devolve certain functions, the resources must follow those functions proportionately and not in equal measure. This is because there are special needs for different counties. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, on the issue of formation of a Special Committee, in my view what we require is not so much a special Committee, but experts or a consultant to be engaged, to visit all the counties, look at their needs and come up with a report. There is no reason to form a Special Committee of this House, when there is already a Sessional Committee on Devolved Governments. That is the work of that Committee, unless it has said that it is not able to perform that function. I would object to another Committee being formed, when there is already a Committee tasked with that duty or mandate, to ensure that devolution actually takes place. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, there are so many other issues concerning counties. We have the issue of county headquarters. The other day, we recommended that all county headquarters, when it comes to classification of towns, be deemed to be, at least, at the municipality level, even if they are just starting, like the ones in Tharaka-Nithi or Ol Kalou. They should start with municipality status. The facilities may not be there, but 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. I rise to support this Motion by Sen. Karue. In fact, when I saw this Motion on the Order Paper, I remembered that when we joined this Senate, the first thing that Sen. Karue was agitating for was the headquarters of Nyandarua County. This is because they were starting from nowhere. I have also visited where they are operating from and know that they started from a point of disadvantage compared to other counties. They did not inherit any infrastructure. I think the same case applies to Tharaka-Nithi County. It is unfortunate that we have not been able to come up with a way forward in terms of this capital expenditure, considering that it is not a small expenditure. It is going to be a major investment into making sure that these counties have places they can call headquarters. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, looking at the way the Motion is framed, I want to support the membership of the Committee that has been proposed. I have full confidence that they will be able to deliver within 90 days. The good thing about this Motion is that 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. M. Kajwang.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
Order, Sen. M. Kajwang. As per my machine here, it is Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, Sen. M. Kajwang will speak after me. He is my younger brother. I also rise to support this Motion by Sen. Muriuki. In a nutshell, it talks about what was done by the previous government before devolution came into practice. Immediately after the new Constitution was promulgated in 2010 - in this Constitution, devolution is a key aspect - A team led by the Ministry of Public Works then was formed to oversee transition. Sen. Obure was the Minister while I was the Permanent Secretary (PS). We were tasked to visit countries that already had devolution and assess how their structures have been set up to support it. 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. Murkomen.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, what was in the minds of the leaders of the last Government is that we needed uniformity so that when you go to Lodwar, you should see a similarity with Lamu County. What about a county like Nakuru which already had the facility? You will realise that this is not the original Senate Chamber of 1963, it has been redone. All the chambers in the counties were supposed to be redone but it was agreed that it will be done in phases. A budget of about Kshs4.7 billion was allocated to complete the works. The chambers were supposed to be uniform so that in case the Senate wants to go and transact business in Mandera, they can get the same facilities as elsewhere. Following this, planning of the headquarters was also done; an estimate was done and a budget prepared. It was estimated to be about Kshs200 million. Just before the funds were given, the Commission on Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) came up and messed up with everything. Consultants were brought from all counties so that the work could be done in two years. By now, all the work would have been concluded. That aside, look at the actions of the people we put in place; the CIC told us not to talk on behalf of the county assembly speakers or the governors. The result of that kind of a decision is that they went to court. As a result of such decisions, the amount of money allocated to devolved functions, part of it was used for what Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’-Nyong’o is calling The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I rise to second the amendment. The gist of that amendment has been made very clear by the previous speaker, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, who has put in the value of the names of the two Senators that he has proposed to be added to this Committee that is being put in place to make the necessary investigations. The two names he had put forward are Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo and Sen. Obure. He has indicated clearly that they already have a lot of experience and done preliminary work in looking at the needs of the various counties in terms of physical facilities needed, buildings and input needed Indeed, he has also spoken about data which is critical for this exercise that they already know about, drawings and names of various officers Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, we always say that there is no need of reinventing the wheel. If this team is enhanced by having new Members who know more and who have done the work, then the work of this Select Committee is going to be enhanced. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo has also indicated money should be allocated for travel because it is also good to benchmark and see how other countries are going about it. It is really unfortunate because with devolution, it was expected that each of the county governments would have those structures in place. Human resources are always very critical but they do not operate in utopia, they operate within a specific space. We need a situation where we know the job for someone to do. The job is not going to be done from the trees or from open spaces; it will be done within a building. They need to have facilities so that they can do that. They need to be aware of what their job description is so that they can do the work properly. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, as I visit some of the counties, I find a lot of personnel who do not seem to have clear job specifications. You cannot locate them and where they sit. If you were to ask for them for performance because at the end of the day, we need to have a way to evaluate the input that somebody has put to their work, you cannot do that because we do not know where to trace them and the responsibility they have been given, where they are working from. If we do an audit in many of these counties, you might find that many of them do not have space to sit and do the work. In fact, it was my suggestion that it is critical at the Senate level that each Senator is allocated a place to sit and where people can meet them in close proximity of the work that is happening within the counties. It is unfortunate that the county boards that we advocated for in this Senate did not work. One of the most important things about those boards was that they were to get all the leaders within the counties together to map their development agenda for that particular county. They had to do it within a particular space. Then, they would have to identify their task, goal and objective in the counties and break it to sub-objectives and find a way of actualizing the facts within those particular counties. This did not happen. 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 amendment has been moved and seconded. I will now propose the question of amendment and after that; we are going to debate the amendment, dispose it and then go back to the original Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. First of all, I would like to congratulate Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki for coming up with such an innovative Motion. I remember very well when Sen. Obure was the Minister for Roads and Public Works and Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo his Permanent Secretary. At that point in time, I was serving as a member of the taskforce on devolved Government. When they proposed that we needed 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.
Well done Sen. Murkomen. I read the Motion as amended. So, I think will just continue to ask Members to debate. I now call upon Sen. Elachi to contribute to the debate.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I also rise to support this Motion. If you remember well before we went for the first recess, Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki requested this House to pass a Motion on the same issue. I know at that time Members did not want 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. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to comment on the Motion moved by Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki. When we were The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity to also support this amendment and the Motion brought by Sen. (Eng.) Karue, also referred to as the father of the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). He is fighting for those marginalized counties in terms of office space. On the amendment, the two Senators who have been brought on board are men of repute. They have the experience and expertise since they worked in the national Government which will be useful to this Committee. We have seen county governments and county commissioners differing more often than not in terms of space. That is an issue that we need this Select Committee to look into and come back to us with a very appropriate report on the action to be taken. This not only affects the county governments or the governors. The county assemblies also have their challenges. For instance, the County Assembly of Nyamira operated from rented premises for almost a year. As a result, a huge amount of taxpayers’ money was used to pay rent. They were operating from church premises. So, this Motion is timely. The Select Committee also needs to interrogate further the actions of the Transition Authority (TA) when they were undertaking some of the functions in the counties. Some of us are aware that the TA has been stifled by the national Government. In some cases, its mandate has been suffocated. Right now, the TA is surviving on donor funds. This issue is mindboggling. I do not understand how the Jubilee Government can stifle the TA which derived its mandate from the Constitution to operate and put counties in place. This is one among the many areas that I would like the Select Committee to look into. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I remember a few months ago the Governor for Kisumu had earmarked some building for his operations, but the County Commissioner went there and demolished the sign posts. I, therefore, support this Motion so that these issues can be looked into. Since our role as the Senate is to protect the counties and devolution, this Select Committee should work with the counties and bring an appropriate report, so that we can have a clear picture on some of these issues. We might not want to have a replica of all county assemblies or county governments. Some counties have diversities in terms of culture, which may influence the kind of structures to be put in place. Some follow their historical and cultural backgrounds of their regions. We do not want to create separate entities called county governments. We want to have counties which co-exist in diversity with the national Government. I concur with the sentiments of my brother, the Senator for Homa Bay, that the Select Committee must look after the taxpayers’ money. We toured Germany with the Liaison Committee a couple of months ago and visited assemblies under decentralized forms of government. Those assemblies have chairs which do not cost more than Kshs5,000. These are issues that the Select Committee should look into. As the people given the mandate by Kenyans, we should at all costs defend their interests and oversight the monies which have been given to them. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion as amended. I want to congratulate the Mover of this Motion and members of the Select Committee that is going to look into this matter. Indeed, the time to handle this issue is long overdue. Every county is now coming up with buildings which cannot serve the citizens of this country well. As the Committee goes round, it should look into the matter of the facilities that are being used by the county governments. They also need to look into matters of accessibility to those county facilities. For example, the buildings where the Kisumu County Government operates from locked out a number of citizens, including the older persons, expectant women and persons with disabilities. They cannot climb the stairs to access the services that they require. I urge my colleagues who will be undertaking this task that as they go round, they should encourage the county governments to come up with offices that can serve every Kenyan. The offices which serve most citizens, like the cash office, must be on the first floor. There should also be provision for ramps and elevators. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it is a shame to see some of the county governments operating from shopping centres. They cannot make adjustments to their offices because the owners of such buildings have to give consent. Even if they are allowed to make adjustments, it is a waste of money because at the end of the day, those buildings do not belong to the county governments. The TA must be given the facilitation they require. They need to account for the facilities and funds that were under the former municipalities and local authorities. If the TA is not funded, it cannot undertake this task properly. As a result, we might end up losing some of the facilities that were under the local authorities. It is a good idea to have this Committee in place. It will help us to understand what is happening in our counties and know which county needs support, which one does not and which county is moving on the right track and which county can be used as an example of the best practice as far as devolution is concerned. It will regulate and ensure that we have harmony and understanding within the county governments, for example, where to locate the headquarters of the county government by building consensus with the residents of that county. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it will also be good if they get the views of the people within the counties so that if they are agree to the plans the county government has in terms of changing the headquarters or retaining where it is, or if they feel the location of the headquarters is not appropriate to them or is far away, and does not ensure that service delivery is close to the people, as is it required by devolution. For devolution to address the needs of the people, there must be an understanding between the service provider and the person receiving the services. As this team goes round, they will know if the people receiving services from county governments are benefitting and are comfortable or not. If they are not comfortable, what can be done to ensure that devolution is benefitting them? Most of them are regretting and they do 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.
Order, Senators. I want to make this clarification. So far, people have been contributing on the amendment that is adding Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo and Sen. Obure. If you want to continue contributing to the main Motion, you may allow me to put the question on those two additions, so that I may give Sen. Mugo the Floor to make a contribution on the main Motion, if that is her intention. Is that okay with you Sen. Mugo?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, thank you for the opportunity----
I have asked you a question: What people are contributing to in the Motion, is the amendment of two names. If it is okay with you, we may dispense with that amendment, and then you can contribute on the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I support the Motion with the amendments to add---
Sen. Mugo, you cannot say that you support the Motion with the amendments until they are passed. If I put the question with the amendments, you will then support them.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, that is okay.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion with the amendments because they are important additions. There is value in knowledge 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.
Order, Senator. Sen. Mugo, you will have 12 minutes next time this Motion resumes.
Hon. Senators, we have now come to the end of today’s sitting. It is now 6. 30 p.m. It is time to interrupt the business of the Senate. Therefore, the House stands adjourned until Tuesday, 21st 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.