Hon. Senators, I have a Communication on the convening of this Special Sitting. I take this opportunity to welcome you back for this Special Sitting during the Fifth Session of the Senate. I sincerely thank you for finding time from your busy schedule to attend this sitting. I am aware of the busy schedules each one of you has at such a critical time as this in our election calendar. Hon. Senators, by a letter dated 5th June, 2017 and pursuant to Standing Order No. 29 (1) of the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader, supported by the requisite number of Senators, requested the Speaker to convene a Special Sitting of the Senate to conclude consideration of the following business:- (a) The Division of Revenue Bill (No.2) National Assembly Bill No.22 of 2017) and other pending Bills before the Senate; and, (b) Petitions due for presentation and reporting to the Senate. Hon. Senators, following consideration of the request by the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, I was satisfied that it met the requirements of Standing Order No. 29(2). It is in this respect that I convened this Special Sitting of the Senate via Kenya Gazette Notice No.5338 of 7th June, 2017.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Thank you for the Communication. The prerogative and responsibility of convening such a Special Sitting rests entirely on the membership of the House. Our Standing Orders are very explicit; they describe that to seek such a sitting, we should at least have 15 Members. My concern is that the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders consulted before convening this session. However, we are short of the required 15 Members. I am not trying to raise a quorum issue because I think they will be coming. My concern is that they should have been the first to arrive. Indeed, we need to later consider our Standing Orders such that if a Senator appends his or her signature as one of the 15 Members, he or she is compelled to attend such a sitting.
Order, Members. What Sen. (Dr.) Machage has stated is self-explanatory. I have nothing more useful to add. Proceed, Sen. Leshore.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to strongly support the sentiments of Sen. (Dr.) Machage. I was one of those Senators who appended my signature on that paper. I am, therefore, compelled by that signature to be here today, otherwise I would have been in Samburu County campaigning. Let us critically look at the Standing Orders. Whenever anyone appends his or her signature, he or she is compelled to be here.
Hon. Members, you will have an opportunity to do so when you review the Standing Orders but as it stands now, there is no such provision. I think we all appreciate the circumstances. Let us give it a bit of time as Sen. (Dr.) Machage had earlier stated. I have the same belief that the Members are on their way. SENATORS’ KAMUKUNJI TO REVIEW REPORT ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO STANDING ORDERS Hon. Senators, I have a second Communication from the Chair on a Kamkunji to be held in the Senate Chamber on Tuesday, 13th June, 2017 at 11.00 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to comment and seek some clarification on the first Message regarding the Division of Revenue Bill. My memory recollects that the Senate and the National Assembly had gone to mediation on this particular Bill where the Senate had made recommendations that were beyond what the National Assembly had proposed. Is it in order for this House to be briefed on the outcome of the mediation and a report of the mediation committee also be tabled in this House? Further, is it in order for us to understand whether this is a fresh Bill or an original one that has gone round from the National Assembly, the Senate, to mediation and back to the National Assembly? If, indeed, it is a fresh Bill, has it waited for the six months that a Bill is supposed to wait before it is re-introduced, if the first effort fails?
Let me just take all the points of order. Proceed, Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My comment is on the Division of Revenue Bill. Where we are now as a country is a very awkward situation because in a few weeks, we will be starting the new financial year. However, without the Division of Revenue Bill, and subsequent to that, the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, it will look like we can end up with no money going to the counties. Mine is to seek direction from the Chair, because presuming we are due to adjourn sine die next week on Thursday and it looks like the normal process and the time needed will not be there; and presuming I am correct that the sine die adjournment is on Thursday, maybe give us direction ahead of time on which way this is likely to go. Even if we did the Division of Revenue Bill and that was in place; in which case we now know for sure how much money will go to the national Government and how much will go to the county governments, without the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, funds will not go to the county governments. But it will go according to Article 220 and 221 in the Constitution; for the national Government it will go, but for the county governments, it will not go. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would wish to seek direction ahead of time because we are in campaign mood and members are not available fully here to transact this important business. Perhaps, you could give us direction so that we could mobilise our colleagues to come here so that funds get to our counties.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Considering that the Bill of Division of Revenue had earlier come to this House; the two Houses had disagreed and we have not been told what the final decision is. Without pre-empting debate on this matter and considering the time that we still have, what would happen in the event that we do not agree again with the two Houses? Would it not be in order that this matter is deliberated in a Kamukunji way initially so that some issues are ironed out before we formalise some of these matters?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Let me comment on these two messages from the National Assembly. About EALA, the list we had last time and the deliberation we had in this House, we referred a lot back to the coalition parties where, for example, the NASA or CORD fraternity were supposed to raise 12 people instead of 4. What has come here---- We would definitely want to see whether the names have now been trimmed from 15 to 5 for the Jubilee and from 12 to 4 for the CORD coalition. A number of us here are very keen because we are in a coalition government or a coalition of friendly parties. We are moving to the next stage of election and the interests of particular parties must also be catered for in this. Otherwise, political parties’ marriages can collapse before 8th August this year. Lastly, about the Division of Revenue Bill, it seems like there is a game going on concerning whatever this House decides and passes on behalf of the counties. We are legally in this House to protect the interests of those counties and represent them while our colleagues who are in the “Lower” House are simply rotational fellows and leaders who are supposed to be taking care of sub-counties or constituencies. Why would they, in the first place, return the document without taking into consideration what we and the
Finally, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. Hon. Members, remember this communication from the Chair is not an issue for debate. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Machage.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Thank you for the advice. My concern is with the nomination of the EALA members. This is the second time in the History of the East African Community (EAC) that the function of EALA may be put into prejudice because of the inability of the Kenyan Parliament to select or appoint members to that House in good time. My concern is the bad name that we are creating with that perpetuity. Indeed, the EALA is not sitting because of an injunction that was raised in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). It is a pity that we have Sudan that is now following in the footsteps of Kenya. They are finding themselves in a difficult situation with regard to the nomination of members to EALA. The important issue here is to note the significance of coming out with the treaty within which the East African Community operates. I happened to have been an Assistant Minister for East African Community sometime back. It is an organ that deserves to be taken with pride by all the membership of the 5 countries. My advice to our Houses is that let us not enjoy the gimmicks or game that is now being played by the major parties of our Parliament. The Jubilee and--- I do not know whether NASA is a party; it is not to our fame and pride as Kenyans.
I had said, “Finally Sen. (Dr.) Machage,” but whenever I say so, it seems like I trigger more interest. Sen. Sijeny.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I also wish to comment on the issue of the EALA nominees.
Order! Sen. Sijeny. You need to be charitable to me for allowing you to speak.
Thank you very much. That is why I say “thank you, Mr. Speaker”. I did not finish the sentence to appreciate your reconsideration and using your prerogative powers to give me a chance to comment after you have said “finally”. This issue of EALA has become very embarrassing. I have just come from Kampala where I met the EALA nominees from other countries and the comment they made was that, “Kenya; why are you denying us an opportunity to work as we wish to?” “Why do you not sort out your issues?” I tried to look for a few words here and there and I told them that the matter has been resolved. I know that to be the case because, as a Coalition of NASA, we have given our list. I do not see why our brothers and sisters in Jubilee would want us to give another list. I will just wish for this matter to end immediately because the confluence is neither here nor there. We should rise above our differences or personal interests and let people move and give others opportunity. Tomorrow will come and there will be more years and
Finally, I can confirm that there is no further interest on this matter. I will deal with the issues raised on the Communication on the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA). I know that most of them are points of argument. However, I want to confirm that both Houses are seized of this matter. We formed a Joint Committee that sat and gave us a report, which we passed without amendments and the National Assembly did the same. So, we are just informing. A process was put and ‘without amendments’ meant that the side with minimal numbers needed to increase them. That is your work and output. There is a timeline where that was called. We voted names and the Committee will sit on Tuesday. From the deliberations of the same Committee, it will come here for your final determination. As far as I am concerned, we have put our own timeline of activities that should lead to election of Members to the EALA. However, I also want to agree with the sentiments by Sen. (Dr.) Machage and Sen. Sijeny that we seem to be developing a very bad habit of stalling processes. That is not our nature as Kenyans; I do not know what we can do about it. On the second matter, you have raised all the substantive issues in terms of procedure, expectations and our Calendar. I will give a substantive Communication next week. In the meantime, for Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki, Parliament can work optimally when it decides. So, I am not so much worried about the timeframe. I have given instructions for the County Allocation of Revenue Bill to be published and to be ready by next week. It is, therefore, really for you to mobilise your Members. It is possible to get it done within the remaining period. Whether it is an original or new Bill, subject to certain duration, you know what happened to the mediation process. I hope that the Members of the Mediation Committee will give us a full report. It is my expectation that they will do so next week. However, my understanding is that we definitely formed a Mediation Committee that sat and elected the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly as the Chair. However, that Committee could not get quorum, and we would like to know the details. Given the period allowed according to Standing Order 154 (6), the Bill elapsed. The idea of a Mediation Committee is to agree on a version of a Bill acceptable to both Houses. The fact that, that process did not take place is another question in itself. However, on the basis of just the elapsing of the period, a new Bill had to be prepared. These are all within our procedures and so, the Bill is properly before the House. To allay the fears of Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, you know what the Bills go through. You will deal with them either in the same format or change them. Those opportunities will be availed to you and that is why the Bill has come. However, I think there are quite a number of issues that we may need to deal with, including the deliberations on when the Bill was introduced in the other House. It is important for people to appreciate that a Bicameral Parliament is in existence and it must work. Thank you. Next Order!
Order No. 3; Petitions.
Do you have a petition, Sen. M Kajwang?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we moved to the next Order rather fast. I just want to seek one clarification following your Communication.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am looking at Standing Order No. 146 against Article 113 of the Constitution. We went into a Mediation exercise where there was no quorum and the Bill was negativated. For the same Bill to be reintroduced, our Standing OrderNo. 146 is quite clear on the duration. Are we satisfied as a House that, that duration has been respected or has there been any amendment to these Standing Orders that we are not aware of? My expectation is that the Mediation process would have provided the cure to the problem that we currently find ourselves in. We have not received a report of the Mediation Committee. In the spirit of being statesmen and stateswomen, probably, this Mediation Committee needs to go and sit somewhere and pretend that they have agreed with the version that the National Assembly wants us to pass today. Otherwise, we will be committing an illegality. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mediation process is a constitutional matter under Article 113, while the issue of reintroduction is in our Standing Orders. We cannot sit here and perpetuate an illegality for the purpose of being expedient. More so, we have been treated to the kind of charade by the National Assembly, which seems to live in a cloud where they think that Kenya is a country where Parliament consists of only one Chamber. It would be improper for us to proceed to consider this Bill without addressing those fundamental questions in Standing Order 146 and Article 113 of our Constitution. It would be unfair for the Mediation Committee not to give us a report. If they want to break this impasse, they should retreat to somewhere and pretend to be doing something. They can work backwards to give us a solution to this. Otherwise, what we are doing today on the Division of Revenue Bill is illegal.
Order, Sen. M Kajwang. There is nothing we are doing today that is illegal. We are just reporting on a Message sent to us. You are at liberty to disagree, but we not doing anything illegal. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am sorry for coming to the House a bit late. It is because we are already in the field, campaigning, and our counties are far removed from Nairobi. I thought about this as I drove to Nairobi - for all the hours it has taken me - and told myself: Let me see how the Speaker will drive this. According to parliamentary traditions, the Speaker does not move the House on its business. Regarding the business before this House, in respect of this Mediation Committee, the very least I would have expected is that we be moved by the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader or a person representing them. If the Committee failed to meet and elect a Chair and Vice Chairperson, who would then have ordinarily moved this House on this important business that nothing took place? In the absence of the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader moving the House, are we sure that we are doing the right thing when we now give you that responsibility; that you are reporting to us that a Committee which you appointed did not meet?
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. To which side will the Speaker go if he leaves the Chair? As I have already said, I will give a comprehensive Communication on this matter. You are raising substantive issues, but remember that there are two processes at work here. One is that I am not moving the House, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, perish the thought! Maybe because you came late, I was responding to what hon. Members had raised. I would be shirking my responsibility if I did not respond and give the information that I have. Whatever information I have, definitely should be for the benefit of the Members and the House. Secondly, there is the whole process of mediation. I think Sen. M. Kajwang is raising issues with the rest of the Members that addressed those issues earlier. That is one issue we will address in terms of what happened to that process, the expected outcome, whether some of the recommendations he is making are workable or not, or whether the time has expired on that particular root. The second one is the issue of a new Bill or a Bill being introduced. How do we proceed? Those are issues that we will address on Tuesday. Next Order.
Order, Members! If you look at the Order Paper, the next Order and the subsequent Orders, most of them are the Committee of the Whole. I do not think we have enough numbers to proceed on that basis. So, under the circumstances, we will go to Order No. 32.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I beg to move:- THAT, the Senate adopts the Report of the Mediation Committee on the Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2015) laid on the Table of the Senate on
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. The amendments will come at the time of the amendments.
Sorry, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I am moving the Motion in an amended form by inserting one word. I have to do that at the beginning as the mover.
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. There is also a procedure for doing so. When you move a Motion, you move.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already moved the Motion.
Just repeat, Sen. (Dr.) Machage.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move: That the Senate adopts the Report of the Mediation Committee on the Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2015) laid on the table of the Senate on Thursday, 25th May 2017 and pursuant to Article 113 of the Constitution and Standing Order No. 155 (3) of the Senate Standing Orders, approves the mediated version of the Bill.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to be guided.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for the guidance. I am going to move the Motion in an amended form. Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 49, I wish to notify that I will be moving Clause 18 of the mediated version of the Health Bill 2015 in an amended form in Paragraph 18 B of the Bill by inserting the word “other” immediately after the word “form”. This is because the amendment will ensure that the Director-General of Health mandatorily forms the directorates contemplated under Clause 18 A. Further, the amendment will make certain that Paragraph A of the Bill is not discriminatory. Finally, the word was erroneously omitted from the Order Paper but appears in the final version of the mediated Bill that was tabled in the House.
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. You need to help me. The amendments must be approved by me. I have not seen any. Two, how do you amend a mediated version of a Bill? The whole purpose of mediation is for both Houses to agree on a form of a Bill as acceptable, which means it must be accepted at the time that the Report was adopted.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it was accepted. It is only that the word was erroneously omitted. However, I seek your advice on this. It is the only word that was omitted as an editorial issue. The document that was tabled includes that word.
Which word, Sen. (Dr.) Machage?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the word “other”.
So, is that more clerical?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is more clerical than the way they changed the whole subject. However, I stand advised on this. It is just an omission in the document that I am now using.
Order Members! Sen. Machage, you may approach the Chair as I allow Sen. Okong’o to rise on his point of order.
Proceed, Senator. I gave you the Floor.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the concern was on the presentation by Sen. (Dr.) Machage alluding to the fact that they want to make an amendment on a Bill which was accepted through mediation. Variation, be it a letter, word or comma may reshape the agreement. That is why we are waiting for your guidance; whether Sen. (Dr.) Machage is in order to move an amendment on a Motion while presenting a Bill.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I note the concern of Members of the House but let me inform the House that the same clerical error has been amended in the same form in the other House. So, I am moderating the papers to be similar. We agreed. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if I may be allowed.
Hon. Members, what the Chairman calls an amendment is clerical. We even allow our Clerks-at-the-Table to do those things before Bills are assented to. So, proceed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this may be the last Bill that I may present to the House before I move to the ---
Order, Senator! Move your Motion.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have already moved it.
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage, you are being directed to move the Motion. Do not argue with the Chair. You have moved it in two versions. There is one we have agreed on.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move:- THAT, the Senate adopts the Report of the Mediation Committee on the Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2015) laid on the Table of the Senate on Thursday, 25th May, 2017 and pursuant to Article 113 of the Constitution and standing order 155 (3) of the Senate Standing Orders, approves the mediated version of the Bill. This is with a slight amendment. The Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 14 of 2015) was published in the Kenya Gazette Supplement No.44 of 2015 as a Bill originating in the National Assembly. The Bill underwent the First and Second Readings and was subjected to public
Order, Sen. (Dr.) Machage. How many Senators go by the name Sen. (Dr.) Machage?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is only yours truly.
So, you are thanking yourself.
Yes, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, allow me also to thank the following Members from the National Assembly:- Hon. (Dr.) Rachael Nyamai, MP – Chairperson Hon. (Dr.) Purkose, MP – Vice Chairperson of the Health Committee of that House Hon. (Dr.) Naomi Shabaan, MP Hon. (Dr.) Enock Kibunguchy, MP Hon. (Dr.) James Nyikal, MP Mr. Speaker, Sir, although most of this information is in the report, allow me to comment on a few of the mediated clauses. I particularly, will zero in on the fact that a lot of attention is put on the clauses that were mediated; Clause 5 which was describing the standards of health in this county; Clause 15 which described the duties of the national Government. There has been controversial on what the national Government should control in the Ministry of Health. We had to put it to rest because the places they occupied were hitherto thought to belong to the county governments. This has been rectified by this Bill. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on Clause 16, office of the Director General was created and its functions described. Clause 17 also gave the functions of the Director General. Clause 18 created directorates under the office of the Director General which included directorates of medical services, nursing, pharmaceutical services, public health and administrative services. Clause 19 is also important. Clause 20 describes the duties of the county governments in enacting this Bill. Clause 24 discusses the retention of service provision. Clause 25 talks about classifications of all levels of health care facilities in this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is important to note that we classified hospitals in this country into several levels; for example, we have level 1, level 2, level 3, level 4, level 5 and level 6. In so describing, we protected the current level 5 hospitals which are being developed by county governments from automatically being taken over by the national Government once they attain standards that could have been described as level 6. That was a major protection by this Bill so that county governments are not prevented from improving hospitals under their jurisdiction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Clause 30 describes the establishment of the Kenya Health Human Resource Advisory Council. In view of what is going on in the country, this may be a major topic in this Bill. We all know nurses, doctors and other medical personnel are on strike. This is because they have no council to negotiate for enhanced salaries, promotions and better working conditions for them. This is a very important clause that will help clear the current mess in the medical services in this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the discussion and deliberations of these clauses were thorough because three quarters of membership of the Committee are medical personnel. I, therefore, proudly present this Bill to this House and beg Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki to second it. I beg to move
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I stand to second this Motion. In seconding it, let me, first of all, start by commending the work of this Committee. I was a member of this Committee. It is one of those few occasions where a mediation Committee between this House and the National Assembly has come to a fairly cordial conclusion. I would urge this House to adopt this report. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have had many occasions where Bills originate from this House and when they are send to the National Assembly, we hear of petty arguments being advanced by our colleagues in that House. Those arguments sometimes are driven by forces outside Parliament. I would urge the incoming Parliament to desist from allowing outside forces to interfere with its legislative work. Mr. Speaker, Sir, currently we are in a health crisis because of the strike by nurses. Prior to their strike, we had the strike by doctors for more than three months. This strike by nurses is not about to end anytime soon. Having been in legislation for sometime representing a constituency for some time and seeing how medical services operate, especially in the grassroots level in medical health centres and level 4 hospitals; it is wananchi who feel pinch of this strike. There has been a back and forth approach of throwing the buck from the Council of Governors (CoGs) to the national Government and so on. The national Government seems not prepared properly to tackle a crisis of this magnititude. Currently, we are seeing the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of the Health indulging in endless discussions while our people continue to suffer. The national Government pretends to be the saviour. However, in the real sense, no one wants to take up responsibility fully so that we can take care of our medical personnel. My suggestion is that we should revisit Article 248 of the Constitution which sets out various independent commissions and create a Medical Workers Service Commission which will take care of the wellbeing of medical personnel. The service maybe within the County, but like we do with the teachers where we have the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), a teacher can work in any part of this country without necessarily having to be employed by this county or that county. This commission can deal with the transfer of medical personnel and so forth. I foresee a situation where if we had a commission dealing with the medical workers both the doctors and the nurses and other people in the medical fraternity, probably, we would be closer to having a more harmonized situation of medical workers. Right now, we see a number of governors dealing with their medical personnel independently because of frustrations. They are proposing to pay their nurses or doctors in their counties better than their counterparts in other counties. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the harmonization which was supposed to be done by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was never done. This passing of the buck, I believe would come to an end. I believe one day we will have a harmonized system where the medical workers will work under one commission. At the same time when devolution started we had very many cases of doctors being posted in some counties, but county Assemblies had issues with them. Some rejected them on the basis of ethnicity or hailing from this and that county and so on. If we had one umbrella body, it would oversee the transfer of a doctor from one county or level 5 to level 6 facility without much noise being made. We know some
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to move that the County Pension Scheme Bill (Senate Bill No.20 of 2016) be now read a Second Time. You will recall that this Bill, in an earlier version, was tabled before this House way back in 2014. The House, in its wisdom, rejected that original version of the Bill. The Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, in conjunction with various stakeholders, developed another version of the Bill, which is what is before the House. This Bill was subjected to public participation and because of the very wide interests in the national Government and across the county governments, which have quite a number of separate entities--- There is the Speakers’ association, several workers’ associations, the Council of Governors’ and so on. This Bill has gone through a lot of consultations and stakeholders’ participation. The version which is now before the House is what has been agreed upon by the all the stakeholders. The Committee has come up with a number of suggestions; we will be shortly tabling a report on that, I believe on Tuesday. If there is anything important that this Senate is going to do for this nation and the devolved governments, it is the passage of this Bill and the eventual establishment of a harmonised pension scheme for the county government workers. At the moment, we have a very awkward situation where some pension schemes and provident fund schemes were inherited from the earlier local authorities. When devolution came into place, those who were manning the several schemes under the local authorities moved quickly to try to incorporate the workers into this or that scheme. The Council of Governors also had their way of thinking on how the county government workers would be catered for once they retire. At the moment, we do have a semblance of two schemes. One is an insurance scheme and the other is a provident fund. We, as a Committee, looked at a way of harmonizing this. We would like to urge the House to pass this Bill after we have harmonised this, after consultation with all the other Members. We do appreciate that this Bill, after being passed by the Senate, will still go to the National Assembly for
Since there is no interest, I will call upon the Mover to reply. Order, Senators! Sen. M. Kajwang would wish to contribute.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would wish to, first of all, thank the Committee that worked on this particular Bill and for bringing it to the House.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Order! Senator. Who is rushing it? Please, watch your language. If you talk of rushing, then you must substantiate who is rushing it. I have not closed contributions on the same. Be careful.
Much obliged, Temporary Speaker, Sir. I said I hope that we are not rushing it. I still hope we are not rushing it.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Order! I order that to be expunged from the HANSARD record. Proceed.
Thank you, Temporary Speaker, Sir. Probably I was the one in a rush. I will take a few minutes to wind up my contribution. This is a good Bill, we should have passed it way back. We could have passed it if we had done the right thing in terms of consultation and stakeholder engagement. I am praying that as we process this Bill, we will learn from the mistakes of the past efforts and make sure that we do proper stakeholder engagement and consultations. We have about 130,000 workers under various schemes. This is a huge population that we must give hope to. The demographics of these workers is that many of them are about to retire. Soon, this fund will be expected to pay out benefits to these members. Therefore, we need to get it right. I support the Bill and when it comes for the Third Reading, we will be able to make the amendments that will have originated from the stakeholder engagement. Thank you.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Let us have, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I also join my colleagues in contributing to The Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No.14 of 2016).
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): What is, Sen. M. Kajwang?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, on a point of information---
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Order! what do you want?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I wish to inform Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Could you, therefore, stand on a proper address to the Chair?
On a point of information, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Sen.(Prof.) Lonyangapuo, do you want to be informed?
Yes, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I wish to inform Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo that the contribution was on The County Pensions Scheme Bill and not on The Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No.14 of 2016).
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, you have been informed. I can see you are not amused.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I am not amused because what is on the Table is The Health Bill (National Assembly Bill No.14 of 2016).
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I have a contribution to make.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Can you notify me through the computer? I am Information Technology (IT) compliant.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I thank my colleague from Homa Bay County, which is north of West Pokot County. It is quite important to make sure that the Pensions Act governs pensions of our retired officers because the process they go through when they retire is very frustrating. When they are active in the service, they are valuable to the nation. They are paid and awarded titles of recognition on time. They are also given opportunities to express themselves. However, the opposite of this happens the moment they retire from the service. This unfortunate thing happens in third world countries although Kenya is now slowly moving to a middle income country. For example, retired teachers were valuable when they were still working. However, the moment they stop working, they became completely irrelevant. Today you see them queueing from one Government office to another, in search of their benefits and other services. We need to implement The County Pension Scheme Bill so that we can take care of the people who made us proud. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, The County Pension Scheme Bill should also cater for the uniformed officers who suddenly become beggars the moment they retire. The worst of all are officers who die in the line of duty because it becomes hard for their loved ones to access their benefits to cater for school fees and other needs. It is a nightmare. I hope that this Bill will address how these hiccups will be removed so that the retired officers are assisted easily after retirement. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, lastly, the beneficiaries of retirees are the most affected. The other day I read in the newspapers about teachers who retired many years ago and have formed a club to seek for support. They look back at the memorable times when they brought up senior citizens in Kenya like us and others in the national Government. This Bill should address how they can look-up to their retirement fund and the other benefits they will get instead of being frustrated. The other day, councilors were also seeking for assistance. The County Pension Scheme Bill should provide other benefits for retirees, for example, to enable them to access facilities in their former places of work just like the way former parliamentarians get parking and catering services when they visit Parliament. This Bill should address the welfare of civil servants after they retire from the service. In short, we should not waste the brains of Kenyans who have served this nation by making them irrelevant. We should make them useful so that they can appreciate their motherland until the time when they will retire completely from this world.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Very well. I see no other interest. I call upon the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. Let me start off by thanking all the Members who contributed to this very important Bill. Let me tell Sen. M. Kajwang that the public participation is normally done in between the First Reading and the Second Reading. So, it took place. In fact, we did it twice for the simple reason because of what happened on the first Bill. This is the one this House rejected. We had the first public participation with various stakeholders who presented to us a lot of memoranda and so on. We, as a Committee, even ended up giving opportunities to specific stakeholders like the insurance industry and the Council of Governors (CoG) to make presentation. We wanted to mop-up as much of the views and suggestions as we could get to enrich this Bill. Of course, that does not mean that we agreed with everything. Sometimes, you will find that many participants in the public and the Government make almost the same suggestions about the same provisions. Therefore, the Committee has to analyze all suggestions. I must say that the controversy was very little in terms of the provision; it was much more to do about the board, who is appointing and so on. The provisions themselves, I would like to assure Sen. M. Kajwang and others; that I think that one has been done very well. Again, as I said, that does not mean that every view has been incorporated. It can be incorporated in the sense of that view and this view and so on. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, once this Act is in place, we will be talking of hundreds of billions of shillings. It is true that if the CoG and the county governments fraternity saw this and build this as the investment source of funding of choice, I think it will go a long way in also giving an opportunity to the county governments workers to buy shares in investment projects where, over and above the investment itself, they would also end up with some extra income out of the investment. Let me echo one of the speakers, I think Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo, who cited the need for when somebody, unfortunately, for example, passes on, sometimes we have a lot of problems of beneficiaries getting benefits, school fees and so on. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, looking at some of these things, we realise that a large part of the problem is created by ourselves because you will find a person passing on and he never told anybody that he had three other wives and so on. Their children and ladies will suddenly show up and so on. The handicap has got nothing to do with the law; it is probably our way of life. There is the issue of workers who work for many years without a pension scheme of any sort. A case in point, cited variously, is the councilors who worked for many years. They would be elected and earn only on an allowance because of the system; there was no law to help them. Even now, it is very difficult to help them because they have to be accommodated through ex-gracia because the law does not allow. So, it is very important that the county government workers are taken care of from the onset. Last but not least, we are in the Third World; I believe there must be a second world somewhere. In the First World, pension is taken very seriously. I remember one time I was in a delegation of Parliament, when I was in the National Assembly in Europe. We were interacting with workers variously and at that time there was talk in Kenya that we are very heavily taxed in Kenya. However, we realised that we are not taxed heavily. People in some of those countries are much more heavily taxed because that money goes
(Sen. (Dr) Machage): Order, Sen. Ndiema! Do what you are supposed to have done.
Yes, that is called civilization.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I believe he is dully civilized now. I wish to back the suggestion by one of the Senators in respect to one of the matters before the House earlier on, which is that when we have little time and the matter is not overly controversial, it helps to re-agree in an informal way, so that when we come to the Plenary, assuming we have the numbers, we do not have many speakers because it does not need a lot of time and we are able to pass it quickly. With those few words, I beg to move and request under Standing Order No.5(4) that the question be put another day. Thank you.
(Sen. (Dr) Machage): It is so granted. What is it, Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. Allow me to read Article 96(1) and (4) of the Constitution. “(1) The Senate represents the counties, and serves to protect the interests of those counties and their governments. (4) The Senate participates in the oversight of state officers by considering and determining any resolution to remove the President or deputy president from office in accordance with Article 145.” I have read this because this House was recalled to come today for this business. We got letters and Short Messages Service (SMSs) from the leaders of this House; the Senate
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the version I was bringing was that when the new House reconvenes in future, we need to have a clause. If we can attempt to remove people from the national Government, like the President and Deputy President, we must have a clause in our Standing Orders to remove our own leaders, even in a week, when they misbehave. That way we can offer Kenyans the direction we so need. I came all the way from West Pokot County where I was campaigning, hoping to go back to be a village elder serving as governor. Now, I am here and my bosses are not here; it pains. We need to revise these laws so that when we are not here to lead, we should be removed from office and replaced.
(Sen. (Dr) Machage): The Standing Orders already prescribe for the same. Just go over your Standing Orders before you leave the Senate. I do not know whether you want to be a Governor, but before we adjourn Sine Die, make sure that at least you go with one understanding that the current Standing Orders that we have for the Senate contain a prescription on the modalities of removing a person from the leadership of the House, even if that person is appointed to this House by the political parties. So, it is not a lacuna . What is it Sen. Abdirahman?
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, it has been overtaken by events. I almost responded on a point of order to the allegations; you might have overlooked.
(Sen. (Dr) Machage): Very well. I have granted that the question will be put later according to the request by Sen. (Eng.) Muriuki. That is under Standing Order No.54 (3).
I defer Order No.5 all the way to Order No.30.
(Sen. (Dr.) Machage): Hon. Senators, there being no other business for the House, the Senate stands adjourned until Tuesday, 13th June, 2017 at 2.30 p.m. The Senate rose at 2.00 p.m.