Hon. Senators, who is presenting the Paper on the National Authority for Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) to the House? Is it the Committee on Health? Sen. Kittony, do you have any Paper to lay on the Table? There appears to be nobody from the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations. Let us move on to the next Order.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for welcoming the delegation from the County Assembly of Nyamira. Let me also reiterate the contents of what you have said. I hope their coming---
Order! Have I welcomed staff and Members from Nyamira?
Kisii County delegation, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
But I thought you said Nyamira.
Yes, it was a slip of the tongue.
Okay, go on.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the Kisii delegation and the Gusii Community in general, I hope their meeting will be fruitful and they will learn a lot which they can take back to their county assembly.
Sen. Kittony, are you on a point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, maybe I am out of order, but I want to join you in welcoming the delegation from Kisii County Assembly. When we visited The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
You are definitely not out of order. You are quite in order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to add my voice to your communication to welcome the Members from Kisii County Assembly. I am particularly delighted to see the Broadcasting Committee. Many of the county assemblies are not heard in our counties because they are not on radio or television. Communication has become a major problem. So, it is encouraging to see a committee that has come out to see how broadcasting of this House is done. I want to encourage them to work on a policy to communicate with the residents of their county because it is very important. Otherwise, Kenyans will not appreciate what the county assemblies are doing in providing oversight role. Therefore, it is really comforting to see them here and encourage them to continue that way.
Thank you, Sen. Billow. Next Order!
Hon. Senators, there are a number of statements as listed on the Order Paper. Are there any Senators asking for statements so that we can start with them? DETENTION OF MR. DON BOSCO OOGA GICHANA IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yesterday, during Statements Hour, you directed that we get a position on a statement I had requested from the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations in regard to a Kenyan who is in detention in Tanzania. You directed that today, the Committee gives direction if they are in a position to answer the statement by Tuesday, next week, as they had requested.
What do you have to say, Sen. Dullo?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to confirm to this House that I do not have the statement with me right now. I tried reaching the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary yesterday. Apparently I am told the Cabinet Secretary will be back in the country this evening or next week. I will try my best to see to it that I have the statement next week, preferably, on Thursday if Sen. Okong’o will agree with me.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it seems the Vice Chairperson was not in yesterday. One of the Committee Members who was present yesterday committed that they would issue this statement on Tuesday, next week. It seems that the Vice Chairperson is shifting goal posts. This statement has been lying with the committee for over one month. It affects a Kenyan who is languishing in detention in Tanzania. For the Vice Chairperson to tell this House that the Principal Secretary is not in the country, they are not taking this matter seriously. I need more commitment than 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.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to join the Senator from Nyamira County over the same statement. The issue that touches on humanity should not be given a long duration to give a response. I am sure when the Cabinet Secretary is out of the country, his office is still functioning. Therefore, this matter should be taken seriously and urgently.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Vice Chairperson of this Committee and a number of us in this House, have requested statements from this Committee, but they take time to respond. When we ask the reason why they delay in responding to these issues, we are told it is because the Cabinet Secretary is out of the country. His docket is Interior and Coordination of National Government. What is an interior Cabinet Secretary doing out of the country most of the time? We should be able to get a better explanation. We are not asking for questions from the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, it is the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. You do not do that out of the country.
Sen. Sang, that is not entirely correct, that the assumption that since it is the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordinaton of National Government, he has to be within the country. I know that, as well as everybody else. Your interpretation about the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government is too narrow. It is not possibly acceptable. Having said that, Sen. Adan, yesterday, like Sen. Okong’o has said, I gave direction on that issue because it has taken too long. It cannot be sufficient reason that the Cabinet Secretary is out of the country or is not available. The position of the Cabinet Secretary is institutional. I am sure he does not make the statements himself; they are done by officers in the Ministry or in the office. You were not here yesterday when this issue was canvassed with some other issues to do with your Committee. The feeling of the Members is that the same reason is being given too often and that the Members do not feel satisfied with it. If I may tell you because you were not here yesterday, Members canvassed at some length about the provisions of Article 153 and Article 125 of the Constitution. It is not good for a Chairperson of a Committee in the Senate to appear to be frustrated by not getting answers when they ought to get answers. I understand where Sen. Okong’o is coming from. I hear you as the Vice Chair of the Committee, but I think much more commitment needs to be shown in this regard. Hon. Senators do not ask for these statements for their own sake. It is because there are issues of concern and they need to get satisfaction that something is being done about them. I had said that you must indicate to us today when the answer will be given. A Member of your Committee had indicated that he will be able to give the answer on Tuesday, next week. However, we thought that it was good that you stood in the House today and gave us an indication yourself. I do not think that Thursday is acceptable. You must be able to give the response to us by Tuesday, next week. At least, you may tell us that you have not been able to get it. Tell us whether or not you propose to proceed according to the other provisions of the Constitution. I hope that is clear.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. On the same matter, we need guidance as Senators, especially Chairpersons of Committees, from the Chair on 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 sympathise with Sen. Dullo because as a Chairman of a Committee myself, I appreciate the difficulties that the Chairpersons are having with CSs. Most CSs do not take seriously the questions that are sent to them by Chairpersons of committees. They try and use delaying tactics. Over and above that, there is genuine absence of the CSs. There has to be some change in our Standing Orders. For example, if a CS is unavailable on two occasions, ask them to present themselves to the House, as we have done in various instances. That way, they can respond to questions from all Members. There is a limit to how much we are willing to keep on pushing and harassing Chairpersons of Committees, as if, they are the CSs themselves. Therefore, the House should think of some sections of our Standing Orders so that we can organize ourselves in a manner that we do not just summon the CSs for the sake of the Committee, but summon them to present themselves to the House in a Kamukunji, perhaps, to address various cases being asked for.
In what context did you use the word, ‘harassing’?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, “harassing the Chairpersons of Committees” refers to that situation when a Committee Chairperson has been asked a question here and is being taken to task on this side while at the same time he is asking for answers from the CSs, but getting none. The only definition in an English word that you could describe that status of the Chairperson is ‘harassment’. Now, who is harassing who, is a matter of debate and conjecture. However, we know that the Chairpersons are harassed per se.
I can see some requests, but I do not want to protract this issue because we canvassed it at great length yesterday afternoon. However, I do not agree with Sen. Kagwe that Sen. Okong’o is harassing Sen. Dullo. Sen. Okong’o or any other Senator seeking a statement does not look behind the chairperson to know why it is not coming. The correct position is that, in my view and in answering to what Sen. Billow has asked, Article 125 of the Constitution talks about a committee. So, you can express your frustration in the House like Sen. Dullo is doing, or the Committee itself, in its own session, must decide whether or not the moment has arisen for it to use Article 125 of the Constitution. That is a decision only the Committee can make in their session, and not in the House. Thereafter, it can trigger the provisions of the Article 125 of the Constitution which are administrative because you might require the services of the Clerk of the Senate, for you to issue summons. That is an administrative matter. I cannot sit here 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.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in addition to the discussion that is on the Floor of the House, it is important for the Senate to reconsider some of the rulings that we have made in this House in the past. Yesterday, when I left this House, I went to look for the CS for Interior and Coordination of National Government all the way to his office. That is not my responsibility. I go out of my way and run around to get a statement, come to the House and then I am harassed or frustrated because people think that the Committee is not doing its work.
Order, Sen. Dullo! You cannot say that it is not your responsibility. You are the Chairperson of the Committee. A question or a statement has been sought. Therefore, the people who have sought it expect an answer. What you do to get it is not the business of the House. You must give a statement when it is sought. You can explain the way you have done now, but you cannot shift the responsibility to someone else. The Standing Orders and the Constitution give you the powers to deal with such situations. That is all I can say. I want us to close that issue. Sen. Dullo, will you be able to give the answer or an indication on a way forward, on Tuesday?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can only give a statement on Tuesday, next week, if the CS will be back. There is a ruling in this House that they can only accept a statement that has been signed by the CS. We have to reconsider that position because if the CS is not in the country, then the Principal Secretary (PS) or an alternate, can sign the statement. Those are the things we need to reconsider as the Senate.
You are quoting us out of context. The ruling I made about a week ago at the behest of Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, was that there is nothing against the law or the regulations, for a statement to be signed for or on behalf of a CS. There is nothing that says that it must bear the signature of the CSs themselves. Incidentally, in the Presidential system that we are using, it is actually the statement from you, as the Chairperson of the Committee, not anybody else. Unless somebody wants to look behind the statement, it is the statement of the chairperson of the committee that matters. That is the procedure and position as I understand it in the current constitutional dispensation that we have. So, Tuesday, next week, should be okay with you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Tuesday, next week, is okay with me. ONGOING PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT ON LORESHO RIDGE
Thank you, Sen. Dullo. There are some statements that need to be issued. The first one is 3(a) if from the Sen. of Murang’a. However, I do not see the person who is supposed to issue it. It will be stood over to Tuesday, next week. Sen. Khaniri, that is for you to issue. 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, it can be put on Tuesday. However, I must report to the House that we do not have the statement yet. We wrote to the CS on the 29th of August, did a reminder two weeks ago, and up to now we have not received any communication form the CS. We have now invited the CS to come to the Committee. So, if it is put any time next week, we will be able to report progress on the same.
So, let us make it on Tuesday, next week.
Most obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
The Chairperson of the Standing Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations. A statement sought by Sen. Ndiema. KILLING OF MR. JOSHUA MWANGI, A FIRST YEAR STUDENT AT MASENO UNIVERSITY
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have this statement with me, but we had discussed with Sen. Ndiema to give me until Wednesday, next week, to be able to issue.
The Chairperson of Sessional Committee on Devolved Government to issue a statement for Sen. Dan Mwanzo. RECENT FLOODS IN NAIROBI AND ACROSS THE COUNTY
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am ready to issue the statement, but I cannot see Sen. Dan Mwanzo. It is a very important statement because it relates to floods. I will wait for your direction, but I am ready to issue it. In the alternative, since Sen. Mwanzo is absent, I have another statement that has been pending. Could I go ahead and issue it?
Let us deal with the first statement, please. Let us wait a little bit until Sen. Mwanzo is here. There is a statement from the Standing Committee on Roads and Transport for Sen. Ndiema. STATUS OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN URBAN AREAS BY KURA
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Committee has the response to the statement. However, it has very detailed appendices that run up to 40 pages. Since this statement just got ready this afternoon, I have discussed with Sen. Ndiema. I request that we first furnish him with copies of the appendices, and then we can respond to this on Wednesday, next week. I seek your indulgence.
That statement is not just for Trans– Nzoia, but for the whole country. So, make sure it goes to the dispatch or Clerk’s office The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we had discussed that Wednesday, next week, would be appropriate.
So be it. That seems to be the end of all statements. Sen. Khaniri, what is your point of order? CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH OF MR. ALEX MADAGA
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Last week I sought a statement from the Standing Committee on Health. That is the time that the chairperson had just arrived from a long absence. The statement was in regard to the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Alex Madaga, the young man who was kept in an ambulance for 18 hours before he was admitted. He eventually passed on. The Chair ruled that the Chairperson of the Committee should give some provisional statement today, Thursday 22nd October, 2015. We are burying this young man on Saturday. The family, the whole community and I believe the whole country, is very anxious to know exactly what happened to Alex Madaga. He comes from my county. The Chairperson of the Committee is not here, but I can see the Vice Chairperson. However, she is not rising up to give the statement. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I seek your guidance on this matter.
Sen. Kittony, what is the position of the Committee on this matter?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we had a meeting this morning, but the issue did not come up. Therefore, I do not have a statement or anything more to say on this issue.
At least, you are honest that the issue did not come up in your Committee meeting. All in all, how do we proceed? The Chairperson is not here. You are the Vice Chairperson, but you do not have the statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we will bring the statement on Wednesday, next week.
I can see that Sen. Khaniri has lost interest in that matter. He is now concentrating on other issues.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what has she said?
Sen. Kittony has proposed to give the statement on Wednesday, next week. Is that okay with you?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was consulting my two colleagues; Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale and Sen. Wako on the same matter. I did not hear the proposal. However, it was our expectation and hope that we would get some provisional statement before we The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Whereas as leaders from that region we might allow the Chair to give us an answer later, could she convey the condolences of the Government to the family because the young man died due to the rot in the Ministry of Health? If that death had occurred in certain corners in this country, condolences would have been overflowing and the Government would have undertaken to underwrite the funeral expenses. I would like it to be known that just like all taxpayers, we deserve an apology for the death of this young man. If the money is there, they should also underwrite the expenses the same way they do in other disasters in this country.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, is it in order for Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale to tribalize a very serious national disaster in the death of a young man who died inside an ambulance? The fact that the person is a Luhya and died in Nairobi, is it right for this House to reduce such a serious matter which could have happened to anybody even from the Njemps Community or any other small community in country? Is it right for a Senator, just because he is from western region to speak to that issue from the perspective of his tribe instead of seeking answers as a serious matter that affects this nation?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is Sen. Murkomen in order to classify disaster? What means does he use to measure and classify incidents as disasters? Everybody’s life is very precious. Is he, therefore, in order to say that the person who lost his life was not important in the development of this country?
Sen. Murkomen did not say that. Please, proceed, Sen. Billow.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thought that when such things happen as a matter of procedure, the Ministry responsible would ideally, even without prompting by the House, have a statement ready. When something of professional negligence to that scale happens, normally they would have a statement ready. Therefore, I am surprised that a week after the incident, a statement from the Ministry of Health is not forthcoming unless they are trivializing the matter because normally they would have a statement by now on what actions they intend to take.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to add my voice to Sen. Billow’s proposal that under such circumstances, in normal Government, there would have been an immediate committee established to look into what could have happened in that ambulance. Ambulances are meant to save lives, but not to detain people until death. This is a very important matter for the Ministry of Health. There should have been an inquiry established immediately both by the Ministry and regulatory authorities that manage health delivery systems in this country. There is a big lapse in Government somewhere over this particular issue.
Hon. Senators, the issue is extremely important. What is it, Sen. Kittony? 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, allow me to contribute to this issue because I cannot be forced to give my personal condolences when I do not even know the person. However, I sympathize with the whole situation. However, condolences can only be received from the Committee where I am the Vice Chairperson. As I said, the report will be issued on Wednesday, next week. The Chairperson did not tell us that he had committed himself to bring a report this week. I also do not think that the Committee has money that can be used to write off the expenses.
This is an extremely important issue that has been raised by Sen. Khaniri and it has been raised here three times, but no answer has been given. If I recall, one of the reasons Sen. Khaniri wanted a provisional answer is because the Cabinet Secretary had indicated there is a committee set up to inquire into the issue and that an answer would be given within a short time. Sitting here, I sympathize with the situation, but there is nothing more that I can do if there is no statement, except to look at what Sen. Murkomen has alluded to. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is out of order because while considering the issue as the Senate, it is not an issue that needs to be tribalised or put in a certain context. It is an issue we take seriously as a House. I, as the Senator for Muranga County and the Deputy Speaker, I take it very seriously. We all need a statement on this issue because just like Sen. Murkomen said, it could have happened to anyone and it is so unfortunate. That is why we are keen to know what exactly transpired and what your Committee is doing to assure the House and the nation that it is not something that we expect to come up again. Therefore, it is important that you deal with it as soon as possible. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, the reason I will not allow you to make another point of order is because we have gone through this issue for too long. If we continue with that, then it appears that no statement will be forthcoming this afternoon.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would not want to challenge you. However, because you are riding on the remarks by the Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet---
The reason I am sitting here is because I have to listen to what everybody says and I heard what you said.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Indeed, by right every Senator in this House is free to ask a question either concerning his region, county, community or the country at large. The Senator raised this matter because the young man comes from Vihiga, and I happen to come from the region and community. The point I was making which is very important – which the Senator was trying to cleverly burry – was that the Government responds selectively depending on where disaster has fallen. It is not too long ago, Sen. Murkomen knows that when teachers lost their lives in Mandera, the Government never responded to those who principally came from our counties. It never gave any apology or assistance. When the same thing happened elsewhere, none other than the President himself gave an apology. You cannot- --
The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. The fact that Sen. Khaniri sought that statement because the young man who, unfortunately, lost his life is from his region does not mean, at least not in my understanding of the issue, that another Senator would not have asked the same question although the person may not be from the county. I will not allow such an important issue to appear to be trivialised. That is why I agree with Sen. Khaniri that, that is an important statement that has to be issued. However, it will not be issued because of the sentiments that you are raising concerning the issue. We must be very clear about that. That is the point at which I thought you are out of order on that specific issue.
Order! Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. Sen. Khaniri, unfortunately, it appears you will be given that statement next week. Sen. Kittony, you should prevail upon your Committee to give us a statement by Tuesday, next week. Is that okay?
I am most obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Our Committee treats all Kenyans equally. We care and it is their right---
Order, Sen. Kittony! We have finished that issue. I ordered that you issue a statement on Tuesday, next week.
Hon. Senators, I have a short communication to make.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I join you in welcoming to the Senate members from our counterpart committees from counties. I also thank you because you have always been there to grace the occasion every other time we have had an opportunity to invite our counterpart committees from counties. I want to mention to the House that we have met our counterpart committees from over 35 counties. This is one of the responsibilities of the Senate; to mentor our counterpart committees in counties. I thank the team that is here today. I invite other committees from other counties that have not had an opportunity to interact with.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also take this opportunity to welcome the delegations from Turkana, Vihiga, West Pokot and Nyamira counties. I am sure that we did a lot of induction to them. I can assure you that they are now qualified to do what they have learnt from the Senate Committee on Delegated Legislation. I thank you.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to join you in welcoming the distinguished members from various county assemblies; Vihiga being one of them; the county that I proudly represent in this august House. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will realise that this is the second delegation in a period of one month from Vihiga County Assembly visiting our Senate. This demonstrates clearly that this is one Assembly that believes in the institution of Senate. I have always told them that we are partners in ensuring that devolution works. Therefore, they must always look at the Senate as the “big brother” and be ready to learn from it. It is only yesterday that I presented to this august House a petition from the very Vihiga County Assembly with regard to the registration of persons; the issue of Identity (ID) cards which was a stormy issue. It is an issue that emanated from the county assembly. I wish them well and a fruitful stay in Nairobi.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I join you in welcoming the delegations to the Senate because it has been realised that the Senate is the right place for them. I also The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am assuming that you have finished the issue of welcoming. I also join my colleagues on behalf of the great County of Kitui to welcome the hon. Members from the various counties. Having said that, yesterday, you asked me to raise the issue---
Order, Sen. Musila! I see a few requests and I think they have to do with the---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, okay.
Please, insert your card. Do not remove your card so that I can call you.
Sen. Kagwe, is it on this issue?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you can protect me from Sen. Adan who is standing in front of me, as I speak. However, I excuse her because the harasser is Sen. Billow. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I join you in welcoming the delegations that are here. We have visited most of the areas they come from, including Vihiga County. As we learn to do what we are supposed to do in these Assemblies, I urge them that we maintain high standards of debates and proceedings in our county assemblies so that devolution cannot only be in name, but also in the kind of standards that we keep in those Houses. I also urge the Senators to support the county assemblies when they are looking for money to construct chambers so that they sit in a kind of Chamber they are in now. Thank you and I wish them well.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I join you in welcoming our counterparts of the Committee on Delegated Legislation from the county assemblies. We met and we had a very fruitful deliberation. They have learnt a lot from us. We too have learnt from them. I can assure the Senate that this is a very competent and hardworking lot. We stand to gain a lot. I am sure the people they represent are happy with their work. What we have learnt mostly is that we need to collaborate and meet more often. We should also look for resources to give them for development and other uses for further interactions and make this country better and devolution to work.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on behalf of myself and the people of Elgeyo-Marakwet County and the Committee on Devolution, I welcome our colleagues from the county assemblies to this House and to tell them that this is home. I remind them that they are our close partners on devolution. Having been the Member who chaired the Select Committee on Constitution Review, I assure them that our draft Report which is in circulation captures their interests and the independence of the county assemblies. It 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.
Sen. Murkomen, do you want to make any disclosure?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conclusion, I hope that the counties from Kerio Valley, that is Turkana and West Pokot Counties, as they sit together in the Speaker’s Gallery, leaders of the county assemblies continue to converse on how we can ensure Kerio Valley is safe. Yesterday, I watched news about conflicts between the Pokot and Turkana. The Kerio Valley from Elgeyo-Marakwet to Turkana is the future of this nation. I ask them to continue working together for peace and bonding to ensure that their counties remain peaceful. I wish them the best as they visit this House.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also add my voice to those of my fellow Senators who have contributed in welcoming the members of the county assemblies from various counties. We are so happy to have them. I am a Member of the Senate Committee on delegated legislation and we were so happy to have a session with them. I know they got, especially from you, a very strong presentation this morning. I am happy the Committee is well represented and the women are represented, especially in this visit and other Committees. I hope they are all aware that there are devolved funds which are supposed to assist the women, youth and the people with disabilities. I request them to do serious sensitisation about these devolved funds. We wish you good stay here and we are happy to see you. We need to work together. Thank you so much.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I join my colleagues in welcoming our partners in county assemblies. They must be aware that they play an important role in the implementation of our Constitution. Article 1(3) of the Constitution provides that:- “Sovereign power under this Constitution is delegated to the following State organs, which shall perform their functions in accordance with this Constitution-” Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the first State organ mentioned is not the executive or the judiciary. The first organ mentioned is Parliament and the legislative assemblies of the county governments. I emphasise on that so that you are aware of the important role that you are playing in the implementation of this Constitution. Yesterday, I was pleased the Committee on Justice of the County of Vihiga - Busia is not very far from Vihiga - petitioned the Senate on an issue that concerns the county, but which is cross-cutting and of national importance. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like other county assemblies to come up with issues which may be experienced in the county, but which are also cross-cutting so that the Senate can come up with recommendations, policies and legislations that cover those issues nationally. I want you to encourage the others. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
That is it. I am sure the delegations have heard the sentiments and I am sure they also feel welcome. We also know that we have a job to do together. That brings a close to that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I apologise for the earlier intervention when the hon. Members were being congratulated for being here. As I said earlier, I join my colleagues in welcoming them. Yesterday, the issue of security of Kitui-Tana border arose and the very able Vice Chairperson, Sen. Dullo, promised to come today and tell us when the Cabinet Secretary for Internal and Coordination of National Government is coming to brief the whole House about the security situation in Kitui-Tana River border and other areas that have been affected, so far. Therefore, I am standing to remind the Chair and the House that today is the day we have to get the date that the Cabinet Secretary will visit the Senate Chamber.
Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir, as I said earlier before Sen. Musila came to the House, the Cabinet Secretary is not in the country and he might be coming back today. Therefore, we will confirm by Tuesday the date when he will be coming to the House.
Sen. Musila, Sen. Dullo had stated that the Cabinet Secretary is out of the country and that she is pursuing the issue and he might be coming to the House next week.
I am much obliged, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. RISING INSECURITY IN NANDI COUNTY
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will remember that about two months ago, I sought a statement on the rising insecurity in Nandi County. That was to be responded to in two weeks. It is now two months, but I have not heard from the Vice Chairperson as to when she will be ready with the answer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have the statement and we will issue it on Tuesday, next week. 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.
Why can you not issue it today?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not have it with me here. I have just received a message from the Clerk that he will bring it to me.
Tuesday, next week. It is so ordered. Sen. Murkomen, you have a statement that you want to issue at the behest of Sen. Khaniri.
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Is it long?
Yes, it is long, but I will summarise it. TERMS OF OPERATION/ENGAGEMENT FOR COUNTY SECURITY AND ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS
This is a very important issue. Sen. Khaniri requested for a statement regarding the terms of operation and engagement of county security and enforcement officials, commonly referred to by Senators as “county mamluki”.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, a statement was issued by the Vice Chair while I was away, but it was declared unsatisfactory. Thereafter, another statement was given by the Council of Governors which may cover the issue fairly satisfactorily. I may read the response of the Council of Governors and two paragraphs of the Attorney-General’s opinion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Council responds as follows:- (b)The Council is cognizant that the security function is constitutionally assigned to the national government. The Council is further aware of and continues to respect Article 239 of the Constitution which establishes the three national security organs. We recognize that the role of the county government in security is limited by legislation, that is, County Governments Act, Section 54(6) and the National Police Act which creates the County Policing Authorities (CPAs) and Community Policing Forums (CPFs). The roles of the CPAs and CPFs are more of advisory and oversight in nature and not a police force. The Council notes that during the Senate discussion on the subject matter, the term militia was recurrent – and you have heard me saying “mamluki” which was also used – The Council takes great exception to the allegations lodged that the county governments are recruiting and training militia. These are serious statements that must be substantiated with evidence. County governments are fully aware of their role in security as illuminated above. Moreover, we recognize that pursuant to Article 239(4) of the Constitution, counties cannot establish a military, paramilitary or similar organization that purports to promote and guarantee national security, except as provided for in the Constitution, or an Act of Parliament. 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---
Are you interrogating the statement? What is your point of order, Sen. Keter?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had pressed this long time ago before he completed what he was responding to. However, he mentioned that we happened to be in a county which he did not name and where there were askaris lined up and they were shouting down whoever was not for the governor. Could he substantiate that so that we know, because I do not remember?
Did you mention, Sen. Keter’s name?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we were with Sen. Keter somewhere in a constituency.
But he says he cannot remember.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was in Konoin. As we wanted to address the public, there was a group of county askaris in uniform who shouted at us. I was wondering which of these functions was devolved.
Sen. Billow, is it a point of order on that issue?
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I will be brief. The Chairperson read out a very good response. However, in the end he used the term “militia.” The meaning of “militia” invokes people who are armed and out to kill. He needs to substantiate because he is the Chairperson and this is a House of records. If he refers to it yet it is not contained in his statement, it would be risky. Could he clarify?
Is it in the statement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, no, he said it after he finished reading the statement. He referred to them to as militia.
I was not looking at him, but was the “militia” part in your statement?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I said there is a difference between the practice, the statement and the law. The Council of Governors acknowledged the law. However, when it comes to practice, for example, a group of so called county askaris in Kitale used to clobber members of the public who were protesting using rungus and
pins. The same happened in Nandi County where a group of persons acting on behalf of the county, purportedly defending the county government, used rungus to beat people. It is a characteristic of a growing--- in my honest definition, it is in the manner closer to a militia. If that continues, every county will have a group of people carrying
and machetes. I have not seen machetes, but I have seen people using rungus to fight people who were protesting and exercising their constitutional rights. There is a growing trend that must be nipped in the bud before it grows to be a serious cancer in this country. Therefore, the use of the word “militia” in the context of what they were doing is correct. 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. Deputy Speaker, Sir. According to the English dictionary, Sen. Murkomen is absolutely in order to use the word “militia.” Is Sen. Billow in order to mislead the House?
Order! Give us the definition of the word “militia”, but you cannot rule whether or not, he is in order. That is not in your competence.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the word “militia” has four definitions, two of which are relevant here. One of them defines it as follows:- “A militia is a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.” Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, these are the characters that we are talking about on the ground. By way of their function; it states as a follows: “It is a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against a perceived interference with a Government.” This is exactly what they are doing in the counties. They are militias.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
He is completely out of order to defend Gov. Kidero ---
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, procedure and doing things in order are very important. You do not have the capacity from where you sit to say, whether or not, Sen. Murkomen is out of order. That is the competence of the Chair. You can make your comments and observations but you cannot make a ruling as you now purport to do. Are we together? That is a quiet position, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. You cannot purport to have that authority. Sen. Billow, I hope it is not on the same issue.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, no. I just want the same definition of the English version; whether by that definition the group that accompanied the Hon. Senator to the Milimani Law Courts, was a militia or not.
The trouble we have here is that Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale read the definition but he did not tell us from which dictionary. Having said that, I now close the issue because I think we are through with it. Sen. Murkomen, you should use the word militia more correctly in future, so that you do not call for the wrath of your colleagues. Sen. Khaniri, let us take a very short time to interrogate the Statement.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, I appreciate the distinguished Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet County who is the Chairperson of the Committee on Devolved Government for the very elaborate Statement that he has delivered to the House. At the very outset, let me state that I am not against county governments recruiting enforcement officers to help them enforce the by-laws that are enacted in the county. However, the basis of requesting this Statement was to find out whether there is a The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Okay. Now, the others have to be very brief.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, long before counties came into being, the famous Nairobi City Council askaris had actually been engaged in the same thing for many years. They maimed, injured and in some cases even stabbed to death innocent Kenyans or hawkers in the streets of Nairobi. It is very inhumane and reports have been written about it. There is a problem. Could the Chairperson tell us what action the Government will take to come up with appropriate policies and measures to prevent this inspectorate, enforcement officers or whatever they are called, in counties from descending into the kind of city council
who are really nothing but people whom I described earlier?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to add my voice to the concern that Senators have expressed about security at the county level. I also underscore Sen. Khaniri’s concern that, while this security is needed at the county level, it should be done within the order of law. In other words, there should be a proper legal framework that governs security at the local level under devolved government. You will realise that a society where devolution works, county authorities have control over local security and this is still a crisis in this country. We seem to pretend that we have two levels of government but there is one level of Government where the security apparatus are alienated from the county. This is the mischief that must be dealt with. So, we may skirt around the issue or mamluki - some militia - but unless we hit the nail on the head, this problem is likely to stay with us for a very long time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to add my voice to this issue because it happened about three months ago in my county of Kericho. The so-called county
“ kanjo ”, under the supervision of armed police, did something terrible. They went after a matatu, threw in their spikes and the matatu rolled killing a woman on the spot. The askaris disappeared but were arrested later. 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, this is a very serious problem. In Narok County, Julius Tapuro Dikir, an askari of the Narok County government is alleged to have shot and killed Mr. Sigona Ole Montet on 26th January, 2015. In Kakamega County, these people go to boda boda drop-off and pick-up points, pick boda boda riders, arrest and put them on a pick-up and drive away. There have been incidents where the
boys have responded leading to total breakdown of order and security in the town. Could the Chairperson undertake to come back to the House next week, with an order issued by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to all county governors, to disband this militia until a legal framework is put in place by this Senate or the National Assembly?
Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Allow me to add my voice on this one. It would appear that what the Chairman is calling militias, notwithstanding the definition by Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, the fact, is that the militias are everywhere. It does not matter what they are called or whether they are uniformed or not. In fact, the citizens in the county are better off when the governor has the askaris in uniform. What is happening is that - I do not wish to bring the agenda of my county here - when the governor has something to do, he comes up with a militia of up to 300 in number and at a fee. It would appear that the governors seem to have a lot of free money; I think it is the duty of this House to somehow curb the usage of this money through legislation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think it is fair to go according to Sen. Khaniri’s suggestion. I think the formation of the enforcement askaris should be formalized and the place to formalize is this House, so that we do not have individual training here and there. We should have a Kiganjo somewhere where every governor or a county government which wants to establish this enforcement, is under some legal framework and some common training where what they are supposed to do and how, is common. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there should be legislation to state clearly that they are not a militia for the governor but for doing certain functions so that when the governor does not do so, maybe he would be breaking the law. At the moment, the whole thing is illegal and he is not breaking any law because there is no system under which they are operating.
Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. From what we have heard this afternoon, there is a tendency now in the counties for some form of enforcement groups to be established by governors, and there is need for something to be done. What also comes out is that there is a vacuum somewhere where there is a government which 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.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the English language or any other language has a way of borrowing words and metamorphosising and bringing about new words. The “ Kanjo” means those council askaris because they are not askaris per se . So, I cannot call them askaris because they are not legally askaris. So I do not know which word to use. But I would say that they were the enforcement officers.
Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I hear what Sen. Murkomen is saying. This is a lot more dangerous than we are seeing. In the United States and other places where they have devolved security, the sheriff at the village level is actually elected by the people. In this particular case, the enforcers are actually appointees of the governors. In other words, it is as if the governor has a private army. This is an extremely dangerous situation because even those Senators who are sitting in this House who are planning to run against governors have a very serious challenge in their hands including a military that is going to be operating against them 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 see that we still have a lot of interest in this matter. Please, proceed, Sen. Karaba.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is being said here is that there are governors who have come up with their own armies.
What is it Sen. Adan?
On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I wish to inform the House that from the discussion we had with the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, the Ministry is developing rules and regulations to govern the guards who are being hired by the county government. I am sure that they are almost finalizing on it. Furthermore, there is a lot of violation that is happening at the hands of these guards or rangers under the county governments. They have requested the Ministry to train them, but unfortunately, the Ministry has refused until they have a framework that will govern how they are going to be formalized. I, therefore, think that there is something in the offing and we will follow up. That is in the process and we will follow up and ensure that it has been finalized as quickly as possible. 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 hope that information has shed light so that we are clear on that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Sen. Adan is advising what is supposed to be done in a normal situation. However, there are some governors in this country who have their own guards for their own protection. No one else can hire them even if you are a Member of Parliament. It will be very hard for anybody else to use those guards. In fact, we refer to them as gangs that have been recruited mysteriously. We want to get rid of those gangs in our counties. Otherwise, we might find ourselves in a lot of problems when the campaigns start. These gangs might be used against us. Therefore, let us play by the rules of the game.
Sen. Wako, you have one minute.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank Sen. Adan for the information she has given us. It is precisely because of that information that I support Sen. Kagwe that this must be brought to a stop now until we have proper legislation in place. Initially, I was of the view that maybe the legislation may time out. However, because we have been told that it is around the corner, it has to be stopped now. Security issues are very delicate even for those operating under legislation; they still create problems. How much more problems can be caused by those operating under no legislation whatsoever? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we move towards elections, these are the groups that will be active in the field, fighting the lawful groups of security like the police officers. About a month ago, Sen. (Prof.) Anyang'-Nyong'o and I, were going to a funeral. On our way there, we were stopped by people who appeared to be policemen. After we stopped, vehicles passed us in an entourage and I thought that was the Vice President or somebody of that nature, only to discover that it was the governor. That was at a time when Maj. (Rtd.) Nkaissery had said that there should be no---
Order, Sen. Wako! You are not supposed to be debating now, but seeking clarification.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I want to clarify and recommend is that---
Order Sen. Wako. This is Statement Hour. What you should be doing now is seeking clarification on the statement that was issued.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could all the groups that have been formed in our counties be stopped forthwith? Secondly, could a Bill be brought within a month so that we enact it? Thirdly, could the Inspector-General of Police take up the issue because the Constitution is very clear that they must operate under the supervision of the National Police Service (NPS) and the command of the Inspector-General of Police? In the interim before the legislation is even brought, could they be brought under the supervision of the Inspector-General of Police? I say this because--- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Sen. Wako! You have made your point. You are seeking a clarification. You are the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. If legislation has to be brought, it would most likely come from your Committee or through your Committee. The reason I have given you so much leeway is because I appreciate you as the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, We know that the police structure operates at the county level. Could there be a directive that all the structures operate under the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) so that they know that they are not operating under the directive of the governor, but that of the OCPD? They should only operate on issues concerning the enforcement of bylaws and such other issues rather than as security for the governor.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a serious issue that we are handling here. It is like giving a child a knife or letting them play with fire. We are creating monsters with such groups and this House is the right place to effect that. I support Sen. Kagwe for saying that we should have a Bill immediately so that this issue can be put to a stop once and for all.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can summarize what the Members have said into this one sentence: There is absence of legal framework and we need the law. As the Statement indicated, there are ongoing consultations. Sen. Haji has attended one of the consultation meetings. I hope that the Committee on National Security and Foreign Relations can work together with our Committee on Devolved Government and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to expedite the process so that we have a legal framework. While reading the Constitution, I did not see an Article that says the Nairobi City County has the constitutional authority to continue maintaining the askaris . It is good for them to be maintained for the purpose of the service they are doing and because we are used to them. However, in the absence of the Fourth Schedule, Part 2, providing for the permission of county governments to have askaris, I think that the legal framework is missing so that we have to fall back to Article 249 which permits the creation of an enforcement agency. Therefore, we have to fall back to Article 249 which permits creation of an enforcement entity. That is why we really need a legal framework. Even if we were to give advice as a House, that the recruitment of these officers be stopped everywhere immediately, there would be chaos because it would be impossible, for example, for the Nairobi County government to collect revenue and enforce certain things. Therefore, a middle ground must be achieved. Counties that already had askaris before the Constitution came to place can continue with the system. For example, in Uasin Gishu County, it was only in Eldoret Town. However – with the advent of all this – every county wants to take it to every place in the village. Bomet County, for example, never had any askaris for whatever reasons because they did not have a town of serious magnitude to warrant that kind of thing. Kericho County had it in Kericho Town alone. I do not think Elgeyo-Marakwet had and I do not think they have that at the moment. Therefore, the legal framework is very important. 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.
Did you deal with the situation of how they are recruited or trained?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. In the Statement, the Council of Governors (CoG) argued that they were recruited and established based on county legislation. That is why I said that I do not believe that the legislation is constitutional because they have no authority to legislate---
Order. I am not interrogating you. However, did you check what legislation that they purport to proceed under 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.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I did not check the counties which have not done that. Those are issues to follow-up.
Did you manage to check whether or not they are trained, in any form, on how to handle, deal with crowd or arms or other issues?
As Sen. Adan informed the House, counties were making requests for preparation of training but the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government stopped them from doing that. However, I did not check that.
I am talking about the ones on the ground as currently constituted.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, they are not trained except for those who were council askaris and have been there for a long time. They are found in cities like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu because the training process has been there for a long time. There are people who have worked in such cities for over 20 or even 30 years. I am not aware that there is any proper training in most of the counties which are being established.
Sen. Khaniri, that brings us to the end of that Statement for now. Hon Senators, I have a short communication here to make.
Hon. Senators, as you may recall, the issue of cash transfer programmes for vulnerable groups has generated a lot of interest in this House with numerous concerns being raised on the status of its implementation. Consequently, the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare has invited the acting Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Labour, Social Security and Services to a meeting of the Committee to deliberate on the matter. The meeting is aimed at seeking clarification on a number of pertinent issues, among them:- (1) The formula used to divide and allocate the national resources allocated towards cash transfer programmes per county and constituency. (2) The claim that there are persons who are benefited from cash transfer programmes yet they do not meet the set criteria. (3) The mode of transfer of the monies to beneficiaries and what mechanisms the Ministry has put in place to ensure that the rightful beneficiaries receive the money. (4) To provide audit reports for the cash transfer programmes for vulnerable groups. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 27th October, 2015, at 10.00 a.m., in this Chamber. All Senators are invited to the meeting. I urge all of us to attend and participate in the deliberations on this very important matter. I thank you. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
This one has to do with a specific matter of the Committee regarding the cash transfer programmes for vulnerable groups.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am asking that because devolved funds still fall under the same Ministry.
The good thing about us meeting the acting CS in a Committee of the Whole where every Member can come is because we can raise any issue we have with the Ministry on any matter that pertains to its mandate.
Sen. Chelule, you rose on a point of order and asked a question. I am sure that you do not know the answer I gave to your point of order because you were not concentrating. I even wonder why you raised a point of order. Do you get my point?
You raised a point of order but you did not concentrate on the response to it. That should be the end of Statements.
One final Statement from Sen. Kiraitu. BUSINESS FOR THE WEEK COMMENCING TUESDAY, 27TH OCTOBER, 2015
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I make the following Statement on behalf of the Senate Majority Leader concerning the Business of the Senate for the week commencing 27th October, 2015 pursuant to provisions of Standing Order No. 45. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 45, this is to present the Senate Business for the coming week. On Tuesday, 27th October, 2015 the Rules and Business Committee (RBC) will meet at12.00 noon to schedule Business of the Senate for the week. Subject to further directions by the RBC, the Senate will continue with Business that was not concluded this week focusing on the Committee of the Whole on the following Bills:- (1) The Climate Change Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 1 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. Following the Statement by Sen. Murungi on behalf of the Senate Majority Leader, I have an issue with regard to the Bills he has listed which are coming at earlier stages. We have a situation where the Bill is read for the Second Time then it takes a long time to come to the Committee Stage because of the procedures of the Committee. For it to come to the Committee Stage, we need the Committee itself to give their report pertaining to the amendments if any which they have. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have a case in point on the County Development Industrial Bill which has taken a very long time and every time I check with the Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Finance and Budget, the explanation is that they have not had it before the Committee. When he calls for a Committee meeting, they always lack quorum to proceed. The result is that the Business of the House delays. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale is it on the same issue?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, yes.
Sen. Murungi do you want to dispose of Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki’s issue first? Although that is not a point of order but a Statement, do you have an answer?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I can only undertake to bring Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki’s concern to the attention of the Rules and Business Committee and they can issue their guidance.
Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki I think you have to do with that.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think the position taken by Sen. Murungi on behalf of the Senate Majority Leader is correct. I know it is a matter of procedure and we may end up grounding ourselves mainly because either the Members are busy or generally not available for some reason and business which would have come in gets held up for a long time.
Sen. Murungi sits in the Rules and Business Committee and he should deliver your message effectively because it is an important issue.
On a point of order Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I thank Sen. Murungi for that Statement but given that he rose under Standing Order No. 45 (2) (c), which makes it mandatory for the Senate Majority Leader or the Senate Minority Leader or in their absence a Member of the Rules and Business Committee to make such a Statement, could he tell this House what informed the Senate Majority Leader or the Senate Minority Leader or the Rules and Business Committee not to issue this Statement last week?
I do not expect Sen. Murungi to answer that. Is it throughout last week?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it was Thursday last week.
A similar Statement was not given?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, no.
But that must have been a breach. What can Sen. Murungi do about it now? He cannot give you any answer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Senate Majority Leader or the Senate Minority Leader and the Rules and Business Committee Members whom we would have directed the inquiry to were absent. I was waiting for them today to tell us 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.
It cannot be optional. The trouble is that I cannot answer that because I cannot recall what happened last week in the absence of the benefit of the HANSARD. I do not expect Sen. Murungi to deal with it.
On a point of order Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. For purposes of the dignity of this House which cannot be belittled at all, allow him to make an undertaking that he will cause the Senate Majority Leader to explain why he chose that this becomes optional. It is mandatory.
What is the trouble Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale? I have already mentioned this to you. I cannot recall whether what you are saying it is correct or not. I do not have the benefit of a HANSARD and I do not want to say it is an ambush. We are talking about last week and not today. Sen. Murungi will deal with what is here today only. If you have an issue regarding last Thursday when a normal Statement like that one is issued, then you can raise it as a point of order on any of the Business days next week. With the benefit of a HANSARD you will raise it with the Senate Majority Leader when he is here. That would be my direction on that issue.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to thank you for giving me that latitude but as you prepare for the next Order, could you please prepare for the sanctions that you are going to impose on the Leader of the Majority, the Leader of the Minority and Members of the Rules and Business Committee?
I am not going to anticipate. I do not know the sanctions. You can only know the sanctions after you have sought them and if you have any powers to do so.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was going to allude to what Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki said earlier in relation to the Bill called the Kenya National Examinations Council (Amendment) Bill, (Senate Bill No.7 of 2015). As you would appreciate, this is Bill No.7 and we have already reached No.37. I want to go on record that this Bill was drafted and presented to the Committee in December last year. It is still on the Order Paper and it is nowhere near being debated. I think the Rules and Business Committee ought to consider Bills which stay so long before being debated. I have in mind the Bill I did in December last year and it has been moving around until you personally intervened. Finally, it was done but as of now, it is still very far from being read for the second time. The point I am making is that we are taking too long to process Bills. I want to plead to the Rules and Business Committee to ensure that Bills do not stay too long on the Order Paper.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The issue of delays, if not checked, will hamper the business of this House. The issue of quorums in our Committees is becoming a problem. Is it in order, therefore, that we continue forming other committees while those already existing are not performing? Is it in order that we continue sanctioning ad hoc select committees on issues that can be handled by the Standing Committees? 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.
Why is this creating so much interest? It is not usual, Sen. Karaba.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reason is that we are all concerned about these Bills. As the Chairman of the Committee on Education, I have heard the same kind of mistreatment in the name of presentation of Bills in this House. You realize that when a Bill is read the First Time, it might take about two or three months before it is read a Second Time. When we are all here and ready to vote on county matters, people just walk leisurely out of the Chamber. I do not know whether we have Standing Orders which can prevent people from going out when there is a serious matter to be discussed. We need to dispense with some of these Bills on time so that we can continue functioning. Some of the Bills are very urgent, particularly, that one brought by Sen. Musila. Exams are now on and if the Bill had been passed earlier, we would have eased some of the problems encountered.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of legislation and the business of the House should be organized in such a way as to give utmost priority to legislation because that is our core function. These Motions, important as they are, should take second place and I am not belittling them. I am saying this because after a long struggle, my Bill on County Attorneys, has seen the light of day although it meant sitting here up to 6.30 p.m. for two weeks. I would urge the Rules and Business Committee, now that we are coming to the end of the year, to organize and give priority to passing of legislation. There is a time the Rules and Business Committee was complaining that we do not have enough draft Bills but we now have quite a number and people are complaining that we are not legislating. Could we now give priority to enacting those legislations? The other issue is timing. I remember in the Eleventh and Eighth Parliament, Question Time was limited to one hour; by 3.30 p.m. the House went into other business and if there are Questions remaining, they were postponed to another day. Any Question on the Floor of the House would not take more than five minutes. The Speaker would enforce that rule very strictly. What I have discovered here is that Question Time and Statements normally end at about 5.00 p.m. Therefore, we only have one and a half hours of business.
On a point of information, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to inform my friend, not only as a former Provincial Commissioner (PC) but also as a former Deputy Speaker; that we used to process 15 Questions in one hour but now we do process seven Statements in two and a half hours. That is my information.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is the impression I had but he has now put there statistics which has enriched that point. Therefore, the Rules and Business Committee should consider a strict enforcement of the Statement Hour, because every 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. G.G. Kariuki, do you have a point of order? Are you seeking the Floor? Proceed, Sen. Orengo, then finally Sen. G.G. Kariuki.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will do it very briefly. I appreciate because I have just come in and normally one would not really want to intervene when he or she has been away. However, I remember in the “old House” Question Time was known as show time. It was not part of serious business. What bothers me is that even the Statements that are given do not come directly from the Cabinet Secretaries as Sen. Wako has said. It is second hand information. In any case, even by dint of the Standing Orders, the Statements should be from Chairpersons. Therefore, in those circumstances, where there is separation of powers, our duty is oversight and legislation. We should think seriously about reducing the time we take on Statements. I have raised this in the Rules and Business Committee (RBC). We are taking too much time on Statements. The effect of it is that when you have real business like legislation - when people find that most of the time goes to Statements, when it comes to legislation, nobody is interested. In fact, yesterday, as soon as Sen. Wako moved a Bill which is very important, everybody including myself was moving out. There is nobody to listen to what is the business of the House. Similarly, even the serious Motion that was being moved by Sen. Murkomen yesterday, nobody was paying a lot of interest because we have put too much premium on Statements. Statements come from people who do not come here. Sen. Murungi was crying about his Statement which has been pending for so long; coming from people who are not interested in the Legislature because they are a distinct arm of the Government. So, I would also want to add my voice. I am in the RBC and we will try to change the order of things so that the core business of the House does not suffer.
What is the point of order, Sen. G.G. Kariuki?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are in charge of this House because we elected the Speaker and appointed the RBC. Are they doing the job that they are supposed to do? If a point of order can take 45 minutes or one hour, what do you expect? Maybe a Statement can take a longer time but just a point of order should take a shorter time. For example, I raise a point of order; somebody else repeats the same or picks other things to discuss within the Standing Orders. There is something wrong. I hope what I am saying will not amount to challenging the Chair but I think there is something drastically wrong, contrary to the way we understand the procedure and the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Like now you are on a point of order, are you not?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
And you are debating.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am on a point of order because everybody is behaving in a similar manner. There is need for the RBC, the Chair and the Clerk of this House to discuss and see whether they are doing the right thing.
Thank you. Hon. Senators, I do not know whether Sen. Murungi wants to answer this but let me say this---
Order, Sen. Wako! You cannot ask for direction or finding then you walk out. It is important that we must have a meeting of minds. Before Sen. Murungi says anything on this issue - if he wants to because I do not think he needs to - I find it interesting that most of you have risen on points of order pursuant to the Statement issued by Chairpersons of Committees. You are Chairpersons of Committees, and, therefore belong to a Committee called the Liaison Committee of the Senate and meet often. In my opinion, it is futile to raise those issues in the House because, for example, Sen. Wako talks about the seventh, eighth or the ninth Parliaments when question time was one hour. It must have been by a decision of the House Business Committee in that case, that question time went on for a particular time but until that happens, it is very unlikely that when either the Speaker or I are presiding, we would be able to say that now this is the cut off time because the RBC has not made that decision. Therefore, the challenge is back to you. You are the Chairpersons of several Committees; there is the Liaison Committee which is supposed to advise and talk to the Speaker about issues. Also, almost all of you are Members of the RBC. So, until you give direction to this House and say; this is how we expect things to be done, when you raise a point of order, I find it very difficult to stop you because I cannot anticipate what you want to say until you have started speaking on it and then many times we must try as much as possible to be fair and reasonable. The ball goes back to the RBC and the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I concur with everything that you have said and have nothing useful to add. I will communicate to the RBC. I am happy that Sen. Orengo, who is also a Member, is here; he will assist me in communicating the urgency and importance of this matter to the Committee.
Thank you very much. Next Order!
Now, this is resumed debate. The balance is one hour and 16 minutes. I do not know who was on the Floor. I have a few requests for the Floor.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you, for giving me this chance to contribute to this important Motion. I stand to support this Motion moved by the distinguished Senator, Sen. Adan. I did not have the benefit of listening to the Mover when she moved the Motion, nonetheless, it is spelt out clearly and it is to do with the status of persons who, for one reason or another, are imprisoned or detained by the state. One of the things that one notices around correctional facilities – we call them correctional facilities, a soft word away from the word “prison” which I preferred – is overcrowding, which has gone out of hand. If the reports that we are getting from the media every so often are anything to go by, the overcrowding in our detention facilities is just too much. However, in this case, we have to deal with the persons who are detained and the warders. Some years back, I happened to be part of a team which was looking at the possible improvement of facilities at an institution called Nairobi Remand and Allocation Prison in the Industrial Area. We found many facilities – not for the prisoners but the warders – were such that most of them were built sometime before Independence; 40 or 50 years ago. Others, though built later, are still decades old. Most of them are round huts made of iron sheets, the elements have already taken toll and the iron sheets have rusted such that if you bend down enough, you will see officers in the houses. 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 this opportunity to speak to this very important Motion by Sen. Adan. I have every confidence in the proposed Members of the Committee. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this topic reminds me of what Justice O’Kubasu said about prisons. He said to be in prison is like being sentenced to death because of the deplorable state of affairs that are there in the prison. It reminds me of one Stanley Oloitiptip who was the Minister for Home Affairs and in charge of prisons. When he was the Minister, he moved around, he was a giant. He moved about with flashy cars and so on, but it came a time when he had also to go to prison for a few days and when he came out, his weight had been reduced to almost half, his hair had been cut, the shoes that he was wearing were now very buggy and so on. He said he wished he knew, he could have done something when he was the Minister for Home Affairs in charge of prisons. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it reminds me of one former Vice President who hailed from Busia County - he had those qualities for reforms - one, Moody Awori was in charge of prisons, and we can all recall that he undertook a number of reforms to such an extent that what he did there was recognized worldwide and he was awarded a Doctorate by Boston University. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since the days of Moody Awori, we have not heard very much of what is going on in prisons, they appear to have gone back to what they were before. The Motion as it reads talks about resolving to establish a Select Committee to undertake an inquiry into policy and legislation. If you just take the part of legislation, to me, that may be the easiest because it states here that:- “A legislation that takes into account the various international standards.” Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a plethora of international standards on this matter. It will be quite not really much of a big task to get hold of those international standards and ensure that our laws are tied in. If they have to complete within three months, they should just employ some experts, and here the former Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs used to have a Non-Governmental Organization called Good Governance and something, which was very good at drafting legislations, to tie in with the international standards to which Kenya is a party; they could get that particular service. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, such international standards are found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in particular, Article 10 which says:- “Anyone deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for their inherent dignity as human persons.” Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that section talks about the separation of the accused and the convicted persons when they are in custody. That particular article talks about the penitentiary. The aim and focus of the penitentiary system must aim at reforming 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.
Sen. Murungi, do you have a point of order?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, pursuant to Article 107(c) of the Constitution and Standing Orders No.18, the Senate resolves to elect Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale to preside over the business of the Senate for the reminder of the sitting today, Thursday, 22nd October, 2015. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reason I move this Motion is because I have observed you sit there for a long time and I know that you are a human being like the rest of us. I think that there is need for you to take a short break and allow a very experienced Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, who is also a very active Member of this House to sit there for a while. I believe that he will be fair in recognizing all the people who want to contribute. Sen. G.G. Kariuki has kindly agreed to second the Motion.
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I see that there is nobody interested in contributing to the Motion. Let me put the Question.
Let us proceed with the debate. It is your time to speak, Sen. Murungi.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in view of what the House has just done, I thought that Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale would have taken the Chair by now.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. From the outset, let me state that I have great respect for Sen. Wako and the Mover of this Motion, Sen. Adan. All of us are Members of the departmental Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the deplorable conditions of our prisons and other places of detention in our country are known worldwide. Many reports have been written and Sen. Wako forgot to mention the tremendous steps that we took when I was the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in trying to alleviate the conditions in our prisons. Although I did not get a doctorate like the then Vice President, we worked together with Uncle Moody Awori and raised a lot of money through the project that we created with Sen. Wako called Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector (GJLOS). It is through that project that we raised money to buy buses for prisoners in this country. We supported this department and understood the great challenges that the prison department was facing largely because congestion in prisons was not being created by the prisons themselves, but the police. Over the weekend, they would go and sweep all the drunkards and bring them to court on Monday and the magistrate who remands them was not in communication with the prison officers to know whether there was space in the remands where they were being sent to. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, there is need for intervention in the entire justice chain. The spirit of the Motion is good because if I understand it correctly, Sen. Adan wants to get the Prisons and the Borstal Institutions Act to be amended and brought in line with the new Constitution of Kenya and the international instruments on human rights of the detained persons. This is a matter which concerns the implementation of human rights, constitutional provisions on human rights and implementation of Kenya’s international obligations on human rights. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Thank you, Sen. Murungi. Nominated Senator and Member of the Delegation from Trans Nzoia, Sen. Kittony, it is your time to speak.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice and congratulate the Mover of this Motion, Sen. Adan, for a very well researched Motion. I would like to add some amendments because the Motion is very clear that conditions of people in prisons are deplorable. I would like the Motion to include an amendment about people who are remanded in police cells. I do not know if you are aware of what is going on in police cells. What I witnessed in police cells is the most deplorable situation I have ever seen. Police officers mix, for example, murderers and innocent people. They lump them in one place with one bucket used as a toilet. Therefore, this amendment should be incorporated. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, this is a very good Motion and it needs a lot of support because the Mover thought about it keenly. I was planning to move a Motion of this nature because of my discovery of what happens in prisons. However, when I heard that this had come to the House, I thought it is important that we add some amendments to it. What goes on in prisons is not good yet people who have been detained have a lot to be desired. Therefore, something has to be done. It is time this august House looked at the situation. We should also look at what has been stated here in order to save our people from suffering because some of them end up dying in prisons as a result of wrongful detentions. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I beg to support this Motion. I urge the House to also give it the necessary support. Once again, I thank the Mover of the 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.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Welcome, Sen. Kittony. Please, remember to move an amendment at the appropriate time.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I must admit that sometimes, it is difficult to conceive you sitting on the Speaker’s Chair. However, because the Motion has been moved and seconded, I accept that one of the greatest debaters is, today, confined to the Speaker’s Chair.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Sen. M. Kajwang, could you continue?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, allow me to get to substance of the Motion because I suspect Sen. Hassan has got something mischievous up his sleeve. I support this Motion for its content and essence. Our Constitution is very clear. Article 51 of the Constitution talks about rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned. It states very clearly that anyone who is detained, held in custody or imprisoned retains all the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights except to the extent that any particular right or fundamental freedom is clearly incompatible---
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Order, Sen. M. Kajwang. What is the problem, Sen. Hassan?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I regard you as one of the highest ranking legislators in this Republic. The Senator for Homa Bay said that it is inconceivable that you are sitting on that Chair. I wanted to bring that to your attention. In what way is it inconceivable for the Chairman of the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) and also one of Kenya’s highest ranking legislators to have no conception that he can sit on that Chair? In fact, that is one of the chairs that you can easily dispense with ease.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Sen. M. Kajwang, did you say that?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I regard you as a brilliant and excellent debater in this House. You are like a great footballer who sometimes is difficult to imagine being a referee. It is in that context that I used that phrase.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Sen. M. Kajwang, I take it that you said all that with a light touch and so, it is not a big deal. For your information, this is not the first time for me to sit on this Chair. I chaired the House many times in the 11th Parliament. You may continue.
Getting into the substance of this Motion, I have just quoted Article 51 that talks about rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned. It is obvious that the Prisons Act that was initially enacted in 1977 and the Borstal Institutions Act that was done in 1991 are clearly out of date and touch with the requirements of the new Constitution. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Thank you, Sen. M Kajwang, for that nice presentation. Today there is a communiqué from the Chief Justice and the Inspector General of Police that the traffic offenders attracting a jail term of less than six months will get instant fines as an option.
Temporary Speaker, Sir, indeed the leader of the delegation from Mandera County will speak to support this Motion. The essence of prison is correction. In the United States of America (USA), a prison is referred to as a correction institution. The idea is to change an offender in prison so that when he is released, he is reformed. Unfortunately, our institutions, historically, have achieved the opposite objective; that after coming out of those institutions, one comes out a more hardened criminal than before. The obvious reason is about the prison environment. However, over the years, attempts have been made to reform our prisons and other correctional facilities. I remember when the former Vice President Moody Awori was in charge of this docket. He introduced reforms and, in fact, he made the lives of people there a bit comfortable. He brought reforms that were necessary. However, if you go across this country, you will find that the level of investment by the Government in the institution of prison is extremely low. It is not a place to rehabilitate people. Therefore, the Government in terms of allocating resources and investing in that institution looks at it as a waste of resources. They are all in a dilapidated condition. Prisons are an eye sore in most parts of this country. That is the mindset that needs to change. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, in the rest of the world, people have moved on. Prisons have been modified and modernized to the extent that they have now been outsourced to the private sector in some countries where you literally go into a hotel-kind of room run by the private sector, not by the Government. If people are heading there, they are actualizing the objective of a prison which is to rehabilitate. It is not a place to punish or make one a worse criminal than he or she is. Unfortunately, in parts of this world, there are still situations where certain governments, for example, the United States of America (USA) has not lived up to the expectations. It is creating the kind of prisons that the British created in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries which resulted in some of the countries in this world today; where an island is taken as a detention camp or prison like what we have in Guantanamo Bay and so on. People are held in situations where the objective is not to rehabilitate but to punish. That is the mindset that we still have in our country. That needs to change. The objective of this Motion should be to create that change whether through legislation as envisaged in this Motion or otherwise but the objective of this Committee should be to bring that change. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, a lot has been said about the fact that we seem to be dumping everyone in prison; from those who have been arrested on small misdemeanors here and there, from traffic offences, to anything; people have been dumped together. If you go to Central Police Station now – and I agree with the proposal by Sen. Kittony that we should amend to include even the remand prisons because they still form part of the prison - you find anyone, if today you were arrested for anything here, you will be dumped together. That situation has created a very bad image of our prisons. We have 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.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Members, I notice that I have two requests here; one is from Sen. Ndiema and the other from Sen. Sijeny. However, it is now time for the Mover to respond. I invite you to respond but you have an option. Since you want to carry as many people as possible to support your Motion, you might want to use your 15 minutes partly to donate a bit of talking time to the two senators who wanted to speak to your Motion. If you want to, please, note that the rule will be that you will indicate the number of minutes that you are donating to each Member and that they will speak before you. However, it is not mandatory. You may proceed.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I will donate five minutes to each of my colleagues who want to contribute to this Motion and then take five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this very important Motion. I also want to thank Sen. Adan for donating the time to me, because I have been here this afternoon waiting to contribute. It would have been very disappointing if I left without contributing. Our prisons, as we know them, are supposed to be places where offenders go for correction so that when they come back to the community, they are useful and law abiding citizens. It is unfortunate that that is not the case. Our prisons are no longer correctional institutions but institutions where punishment is meted, sometimes causing permanent damage to the individuals such that even after release, they will not fit into society. We all know that the trend now is for the prisoners who have been released to seek the earliest opportunity – even for those who have been given amnesty – to go back there. It is not because the conditions in prison are better than outside, but because they have not been prepared to integrate back to society. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Order, Senator! Your time is up.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity and Sen. Adan for donating your precious time to me and more so, for bringing this Motion. This is well thought and thank God it had to come from a woman. This means you have really thought and emphathised with the situation of our fellow citizens who find themselves on the wrong side of the law and some quarters which are probably unfamiliar. I have had the opportunity to visit a few prisons especially when the Vice President and our party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, was in charge of prisons in the then Ministry of Home affairs. We have seen that despite the efforts of the former Vice President Moody Awori and his successor-- Moody Awori really tried to implement some of those recommendations. However, as the situation is, things still deteriorated later and it is truly an area that, we, legislators, need to do something about. These are common 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.
(Se. (Dr.) Khalwale): Order, Sen. Sijeny. Can you conclude the good story? What then was the decision of the court after the women refused to go home?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the court cannot rule then, a date was given where they were going to be given a hearing. I did not follow up, the court needed to interrogate why they did not want to go free. At times, prisoners will always say that they are not sure of their security and et cetera.
(Se. (Dr.) Khalwale): In your experience - because members of the public are following this very important debate - if a prisoner refuses to go home and requests that he or she be heard, what is the mind of the court about a prisoner who does not want to go home? 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, as I have said, you have to interrogate because some concerns are genuine. You will go home and you will be killed if it is a domestic dispute and you have not been removed from that hostile environment. If it is something you witnessed, people find themselves in the wrong side of the coin for one reason or the other. So, it needs to be interrogated; your safety must be guaranteed, but if the court finds that you are just being too comfortable for nothing in prison, then it will rule and say that you be set free.
(Se. (Dr.) Khalwale): I hear you. Sen. Dullo.
Thank you Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I wish to take this opportunity to thank Members who have contributed to this particular Motion. Let me say that this Motion is long overdue. I remember one time I went to Ghana for a prisons conference when I was with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. One of the presenters was a former Minister for Home Affairs who worked under the prisons department when he was in the office. After he retired, he ended up in prison, and he actually said that he wished he knew that he was going to end up in prison, he would have reformed prisons. So, this clearly shows that for those of us who are leaders, it is important to look at all these institutions and really think about them in future because we are also prone to getting into trouble and ending up in those areas. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, a lot has been said and I am sure this is an area that we critically need to look into. One of the things that we need to look at as a Committee is budgetary allocation. This is where the constraint is. The money allocated is not enough to run those institutions, and again the issues of pending bills that are too much. So, we really need to see how we can be able to increase the budgetary allocation to be able to reform this institution. Again, minor offences where people end up in prison instead of going under community service order, because there are several places where these prisoners can be given a better place where they can be able to operate. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the welfare of staff is very critical because that is why we are having the problem of contrabands in prisons, where the officers are colluding with inmates to bring in contrabands. Congestion is a big problem. Again, I have also visited Norway. The experience in Norway is that, because of the family unity and relationship, towards the end of their term of sentence, they are normally given leave, of course, they have better technology but they are given leave where they can go and stay with their families for a certain time so that that link of the family is not disconnected. I think those are the things that may be, internationally, we need to borrow. If the budget allows, it is good to have an experience of an international correctional services and see how we can be able to borrow some of the experiences from there to our country. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, with regard to issues of policy, I remember there was a policy sometimes back where Government institutions could buy furniture and other things from the prisons department. Of late, county governments have been buying furniture from private investors. So, it is important to come up with a policy where furniture from prisons can be bought by Government institutions so that the same money can be ploughed back to the Exchequer. 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.
(Se. (Dr.) Khalwale): Thank you, Senator. Before you sit, may be you want to respond to the concerns of Sen. Kittony who was worried that your Motion was leaving out people who are detained at police cells. May be you want to reassure her because I think it is clear.
(Se. (Dr.) Khalwale): Very well. Looking at your Motion, Senator, just look at Paragraph 1 where you say:- “ WHEREAS Article 51 of the Constitution of Kenya protects the rights of detained persons, persons held in custody and other imprisoned persons under the law, and requires Parliament to enact legislation to provide for the humane treatment of such persons with due regard to the relevant international human rights instruments.” To me, the people who are falling under the category, “Persons held in custody” whether it is at a police cell, is it not custody; so, it covers them. I thought this covers them.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I am happy that you brought up that point. I want to include people who nowadays are being held in the usual detention by either the armies, intelligence or many others. It all falls under that word, ‘persons held in custody’. The Constitution is very clear. It says:- Anyone held by any institution, say, Kenya Wildlife Services, the Armed Forces, Kenya Police, the Prisons Department, the following should happen. It is covered and needs to be looked at in a broader sense.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): Sen. Dullo, do you agree with Sen. Billow?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I realize that there is so much interest in that area. As Sen. (Prof.) Anyang’ Nyong’o was proposing, if time allows, we can look at that particular area even if it means one or two institutions of detention.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): You are welcome. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale): This is the Motion which had already been moved and six Members had spoken to it. The last Senator speaking to it was Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo. Fortunately, he had finished his time. So, is there anybody interested in this matter? Hon. Members, I will defer this Motion. Even if there was interest, time is up.
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