Hon. Senators, I would like to acknowledge the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery this afternoon, of visiting students and teachers from ACK St. Barnabas Kipkenyo Secondary School in Uasin Gishu County. In our usual tradition of receiving and welcoming visitors to Parliament, I extend a warm welcome to them and on behalf of the Senate and on my own behalf, wish them a fruitful visit. I thank you.
Hon. Senators, I have another Communication to make. I would like to acknowledge the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery this afternoon, of Hon. Isaac Melly, the immediate former and first Senator for Uasin Gishu County under the Constitution, 2010. In our usual tradition of receiving and welcoming visitors to Parliament, I extend a warm welcome to him and on behalf of the Senate and on my own behalf, wish him a fruitful visit. I thank you.
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Hon. Senators, I have a Petition by Joel Kenduiywa, a member of the minority Ngerek Community concerning the resettlement of the Community following their proposed eviction from South Nandi Forest in Nandi County. Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Order Nos. 226(1)(a) and 230(2)(b), I hereby report to the Senate that a Petition has been submitted, through the Clerk, by Mr. Joel Kenduiywa, a member of the minority Ngerek Community concerning the resettlement of the Community following their proposed eviction from South Nandi Forest in Nandi County. As you are aware, under Article 119(1) of the Constitution, and I quote- “Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation.” The salient issues raised in the said Petition are as follows- (a) That, the minority Ngerek Community, comprising about 244 families, has resided in the South Nandi Forest, at Ngerek Village, Chepkumia Location, Emgwen Constituency in Nandi County, since before Independence; (b) That, in 1996, the then Government proposed the resettlement of the minority Ngerek Community from the Forest to enable its conservation and protection as a water catchment area; (c) That, under the proposed Chepkumia Exchange Programme, the 244 families from the Ngerek Community were to be relocated from an area comprising 466 hectares and to be resettled at a parcel of land comprising approximately 1,000 acres in Yala and Kapkangani area in Nandi County; (d) That, once the said parcel was identified, prominent persons who were not members of the Ngerek Community immediately moved in and occupied the land, leaving the minority Ngerek Community without a place to relocate to; (e) That, subsequently, the Government, through the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), issued eviction notices to the said persons who had unlawfully occupied the identified parcel of land. The said persons moved to court to stop the KFS from evicting them. The court ruled, in the year 2007, that the KFS should proceed with eviction of the unlawful occupants and resettle the rightful people, who were the minority Ngerek Community; (f) That, the National Land Commission (NLC) also investigated the matter and, in mid-2018, issued a two months’ notice to the persons unlawfully occupying the land set aside for resettlement of the minority Ngerek Community to vacate the said land. However, the said persons have not moved from the said land; The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I hear minority groups complaining particularly about forest evictions, I feel for them. Since the previous Parliament, I have always said that some of us are lucky to be here. There are people who have occupied land which used to be forest, therefore, leaving squatters and especially young and school going children to suffer immensely. I have a personal experience of having had to sleep in shanties after eviction from the Embobut Forest. I do not like to hear that anyone is being evicted; whether from the Mau, Embobut or South Nandi forests because it is barbaric. We have a Government. That means that we have self-rule, law and order. I personally witnessed it happen in Narok. Why should poor children and mothers suffer when the Government has alternative solutions? The Petition actually indicates that the Government can always get alternative land to settle people. They do not have to punish them in the manner in which people are inhumanely evicted. If you go to Narok, for example, the situation in Mau, particularly the Narok side, there are ten schools that are closed, with almost 4,000 students being out of school. I know of many intelligent people who we went to school with and who would have been in a better position than I am. They would have been doctors, engineers, lawyers or even Senators and Governors but because of these inhumane evictions and wanton violation of human rights, it led to their inability to go to school. I urge the relevant Committee that you will assign to look into this matter, to do it with the seriousness it deserves. I challenge my senior, Hon. Tobiko, who is the Cabinet Secretary (CS) in that Ministry, that he must rise to the occasion, beyond parochial and communal interests and understand that any violation of human rights---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Sen. Seneta? The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Senate Majority Leader in order to discuss a Cabinet Secretary who is not in a position to defend himself here? He should talk about the Petition; let him be relevant.
Senate Majority Leader, you are out of order to discuss a Member who is not here to defend himself.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not out of order and I stand my ground. The only person who has responsibility---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Sen. Malalah?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is the Senate Majority Leader in order to start exchanging with the Chair of the House? If the Speaker has ruled, it is parliamentary for him to obey the rules of this House. The Senate Majority Leader is not senior to the Speaker and this House and, therefore, he should conduct himself in a way that honours the dignity of this House. This has gone on for a very long époque in this House and we want to take this opportunity to---
Order, Members! What is your point of Order, Senator?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Senate Majority Leader is not conducting himself in a parliamentary way.
Order, Senate Majority Leader.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, his continued shouting and heckling at us at any time is not acceptable and, therefore, you must take charge of this House. This House cannot be controlled by the Senate Majority Leader, but by the Speaker.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Senate Majority Leader.
Order Members. I have ruled that it is not fair to discuss a Cabinet Secretary who cannot defend himself in the House and, therefore, Senate Majority Leader, proceed along the lines I have given direction on.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to get your ruling so that we can obey from this day going forward. Are you saying that this Senate cannot mention a Cabinet Secretary just because he comes from a particular community, and we cannot mention his name? This is so that we now know that from today henceforth, if a Senator mentions the name of a Cabinet Secretary and his responsibility, he is out of order. 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 Members. I have capacity to also understand, in what context you are discussing. Mentioning is different from trying to discuss the character of a Cabinet Secretary. If it is just mentioning, then there is no problem, but when you start discussing him then that is out of order. Proceed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to insist that the Cabinet Secretary must rise above any parochial, communal and personal interests and protect the interests of the people of Kenya. We must always understand that those who hold public office hold in trust. They hold it in trust because---.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order Senator?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with tremendous respect, I refer the House to Standing Order No. 96(1) on page 66. I want my colleagues to listen to me carefully. Allow me to read this paragraph, 96 (1) which states- “Neither the personal conduct of the President, nor the conduct of the Speaker or of any judge, nor the judicial conduct of any other person performing judicial functions, nor any conduct of the Head of State or Government or the representative in Kenya of any friendly country or the conduct of the holder of an office whose removal from such office is dependent upon a decision of the Senate shall be referred to adversely, except upon a specific substantive Motion of which at least three days’ notice has been given.”
Mr. Speaker, Sir---
A Cabinet Secretary falls under one of the categories, if you---.
Order Members. By the way, the petitioners are in the Gallery following this debate.
I am on my feet, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think my colleague has been with me in this House since 2013 and he knows the rules. It is a bit unfortunate that at this particular stage, because yesterday he mentioned Sen. Olekina, a colleague who was not in the House. It is happening again today; he is mentioning a Cabinet Secretary who has not been summoned by the House to come and--- I think we are going outside the jurisdiction of this House. He is not in order and I want you to rule on that.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order Members. What is your point of order?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think the Senator is misleading the House. The Cabinet Secretary does not fall under any of those sections. The Senate is not the House that removes or impeaches a Cabinet Secretary; but the National Assembly. I believe the Senator is misleading the House.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want you to give guidance in this House. You have made a ruling on this matter. You have already ruled the Senate Majority Leader out of order. Are we re-opening debate on this matter after your ruling?
I made that ruling and the Senate Majority Leader should proceed along the lines I have ruled.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have no doubt with my experience and the knowledge I have in this House. If there is anyone who is supposed to defend Cabinet Secretaries it is me because they come from the Majority side. For the best interest of this country, we cannot start saying as a House that we will not be questioning Cabinet Secretaries, when they are running a docket. Tomorrow, it will be Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., raising an issue about another docket in a Government Ministry. I am just saying that when a Cabinet Secretary is running a docket of the position that is dealing with matters of minority groups like the people who are in the Gallery, we have the opportunity here, to pontify and enjoy the debate. There are people who are sleeping outside, whose houses have been burnt. You were a District Commissioner in Marakwet and you know how people used to suffer in Embobut Forest. There is one thing I will never stop saying, anything involving the suffering of the people in Embobut or any squatter in this country, is personal and emotional to me. As a leader, if I get an opportunity to come and sit in this House and defend them, I will defend them whatever the cost. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we, as leaders, are in a position of privilege. We must speak for those who are weak and down-trodden. I hope the Committee that will be given this responsibility will take it seriously. We have not said that we will not protect the forests and the environment. However, when we deal with the protection of the environment, it must be done in a manner that will not hurt our people. This is because it is the same Government that has the power to move people who live in a particular area to another area and ensure that they are settled. Even if that is the case, why would you want to punish small children who are less than 18 years? Why would you want to punish school going children for the sins of their fathers, assuming that they live in a particular area? Why would people want to subject people to live in deplorable conditions? We, as a nation, must rise up to the occasion. The Cabinet Secretary (CS) in that Ministry must also rise to the occasion. This is not a matter of the Ministry of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I apologise for coming a little late when this matter was already on the Floor of the House. However, right from the outset, I support the Petition. Having said that, we must remember the history of these evictions. It is important that it is put into perspective. No amount of shouting will alter the history behind these evictions. There are some born again Christians who, today, will speak very loudly about the issue of evictions. However, when these evictions started right at the beginning, they were quiet about them. I heard the Senate Majority Leader say that he is the one who can defend the CSs in this particular Chamber or Parliament and he could have defended them. However, it is the responsibility of Government to settle those who have been evicted and make sure that the rule of law is maintained. This is something which we cannot debate about. If we begin pointing fingers at each one of us, we will run into a lot of trouble. If we start pointing fingers without offering solutions, we will not be part of the solution. This issue is so emotive that you can see even on the opposite side, the language is different. They say they are prepared to speak on their behalf as Senators and not mind about whether they are part of the Government or not. For this matter to be resolved through this Petition, we must find a lasting solution. The Mau issue is so important that if you just begin to point fingers to particular Members or officers in Government, including the CS concerned, we will not be part of the solution. This is a matter which, if need be, we can summon CSs. I dare say that in this country, we are so fearful.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a matter that in another jurisdiction, we would have summoned the President before this Parliament. We could also have summoned the Deputy President to tell us what is happening and how they are dealing with this problem. Yesterday, I was listening to the security team on the ground telling us how they are dealing with it. In fact, if we look at what the security team is doing in terms of the Constitution, it is not quite right. It is also not quite right to point at some body in the Opposition or Minority trying to point fingers.
There is Opposition.
There is Opposition.
We are partners! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let those who are talking about there being no Opposition know what happened in the National Assembly. The point I am trying to make is that let us be part of the solution. It is part of incitement of our people talking without offering solutions. I have a background in Kericho and Narok counties. If you want to know how I am related to people in Narok County ask ole Nampaso. I also have relationships in Kajiado and Meru counties. I am a true Kenyan. Even in Isiolo County, I have some background. If you have any doubt just ask Sen. Fatuma Dullo what happened during the elections. However, that is for another day. I rose to say something about this because when we have any issue that relates to Members of this august House, instead of pointing fingers, let us bring a substantive Motion. If you have a problem about a Member of the Cabinet, we can summon that particular CS. If this debate is on the basis of ethnic orientation, ethnic debate or bigotry, then I do not want to go there. I ask the Senate Majority Leader to be part of the solution. I like the emotions with which he is speaking. However, he may find himself in the twilight zone, with respect, where he also becomes part of the problem. We must watch that all the time. We do not want anyone of us to be part of the problem.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. Is Sen. Orengo in order to insinuate that I am not part of the solution when a Petition has been brought to this House so that he and the rest of us, Senators in this House, resolve the problem? Why is he picking on me when the whole Senate is now seized of a very important Petition where all of us will be part of the solution?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I said: “He may be part of the problem.” The word “may” is permissive. He can either be part of the solution or part of the problem. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. However, since he lives in the twilight zone as far as the English language is concerned, I sympathise with him.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir. The Senate Minority Leader is being economical with the truth. As a former CS for Lands, he created the problem. So, it will be impossible for him to now try to insinuate that I might be part of the problem when we will discuss who might have been the real cause of the problem. The former CS for Lands is sitting here pontifying and he is the cause of the problem.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, yesterday, I was in Iten with the Senate Majority Leader and he could see what they people here think of me as compared to him.
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Order, Members! Sen. Cherargei, you are from where the Petition has come from. Proceed.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to welcome the great people of Nandi, who have presented this Petition.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, can you protect me?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. From the outset, I welcome the people of Ngerek and Chepkumia Ward in Emgwen Sub-County, Nandi County. During my campaigns I was able to visit one of the primary schools that is near there and know that there are issues affecting the Ngerek in Chepkumia Ward. I support this Petition and want to assure them that we will do anything within our powers to ensure that this issue of land is resolved, especially in Nandi County. For purposes of record, I wish to point out that I had brought this issue, among other issues, to the attention of the Cabinet Secretary in charge of lands, Madam Farida Karoney. The Ngerek, as a community, have been marginalized because they were displaced from the lower part and brought there. Most of them live in deplorable and sad conditions. They need to get title deeds, so that they can build and do farming. I want to assure them that, as their representative in this House, we will canvas this issue and come up with appropriate solutions. I know that there are many other issues, including historical injustices on land in Kericho and Bomet counties. These are the same issues that we have been trying to address. Let us use this example to resolve the many historical injustices on land. I know that we want to protect our forests and other vested interests, but at the end of the day, land issues must be addressed. The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Environment and Forestry, Mr. Tobiko, issued eviction orders along Sang’alo- Kebulonik in Mosop Sub-County to move people, yet the cutline had been approved. As much as we want to protect the environment, let us do so in a humane way. I want to assure the people of Chepkumia, the Ngerek minority, that as their Senator I will stand with them through thick and thin, to ensure that justice is done, be it through legal or extralegal means. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Members! As the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, we do not expect you to talk about illegal means. You are out of order!
Order, Members! I think I have warned him. Hon. Senators, considering the time, pursuant to Standing Order No. 232(1), the Petition stands committed to the Standing Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources. In terms of Standing Order No. 232, the Committee is required, in not more than 60 days from the time of reading the prayer, to respond to the petitioners by a way of a report addressed to the petitioner and laid on the table of the Senate. I thank you.
Hon. Senators, there is another Petition by land owners affected by construction of the Eldoret Town Bypass Project in Uasin Gishu, regarding delayed compensation by the National Land Commission (NLC). Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Orders No.226 (1) (a) and No.230(2)(b), I hereby report to the Senate that a Petition has been submitted, through the Clerk, by land owners affected by construction of the Eldoret Town Bypass Project in Uasin Gishu. The Petition is with regard to delayed compensation by the NLC. As you are aware, under Article 119(1) of the Constitution, and I quote- “Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including to enact, amend or repeal any legislation.” The salient issues raised in the Petition are- (a) That the national Government intends to construct a 33 kilometre road, which starts at Cheplaskei Trading Centre on the Eldoret-Nairobi Highway and terminates at Maili Tisa Junction on the Eldoret-Malaba Highway; (b) That the project affects 256 parcels of land along the said route, across Ngeria, Kapseret, Simat, Kamagut and Leseru locations in Uasin Gishu County; (c) That vide Gazette Notice Nos.1822 of 18th March, 2016 and 5265 of 2nd June 2017, the National Land Commission published notices of intention to compulsorily acquire the said parcels of land, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 107(5) and 112 of the Land Act No.6 of 2012; (d) That subsequently, in January, 2018, the National Land Commission issued award letters to the affected land owners, which would pave way for their compensation and commencement of construction work on the bypass project; The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I know that people will make comments, but I do not want to do so. Considering that the Committee is already seized of this matter in terms of investigating it and was even widely reported across the country, what is the status in that situation? I know that the Vice Chairperson is here and they even visited the parcels of land. How should we proceed in such a situation?
Since I had already approved the Petition and it is in the House, the Chairperson can comment.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we visited the bypass but we advised the petitioners to submit the Petition to the House, so that it is tabled and we can take it up from there.
He had already chosen me.
Yes, I had given Sen. Olekina a chance.
Let us use three minutes, so that we have more people contributing.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Petition. I have always been an extremist when it comes to freedom and liberty; issues of justice and environment. 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. Olekina. Stick to the Petition!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is not fair to rise a point of order when I am focusing on the Petition. What is the point of order?
Order, Members. What is your point of order, Sen. Wambua?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is Sen. Olekina in order in terms of being relevant to the issue we are discussing?
Order, Hon. Members! That is why I was cautioning him that he was veering off the subject matter of the Petition. Please, try to stick to the issue.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I stand guided. It is good for us never to have any double standards in terms of focusing on the environment. When we talk about the bypass, it affects the environment in one way or the other. People are moved from the way they used to live; maybe they had planted their trees and all that stuff. All I am saying is that we are happy and very lucky that we have a Government that is protecting the environment and taking the steps that have never been taken by any other government before; not Mzee Kenyatta’s, Moi’s or even Kibaki’s. However, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government is actually taking the first steps of protecting the environment. We talk about these bypasses because they affect the environment. Therefore, when we talk about issues about the Mau Forest---
On a point of order Mr. Speaker, Sir.
It is not for us to deviate. Let us focus on the environment.
Point of Order! Point of Order!
What is your point of order Sen. Wambua?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the petitioners have raised specific issues where they accuse the Government on matters of compensation. The Senator for Narok should actually declare whether he is in support of or against the Petition. 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. Olekina, I am giving you half a minute, because your time is over.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I support the Petition in as much as it protects the environment and focuses on the issues raised. The issue of compensation is broad. We are talking about compensating people and identifying whether they are the rightful owners or not. I am, therefore, totally relevant in what I am saying.
Your time is up, Sen. Olekina. Proceed, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Article 28 of the Constitution is very clear that every person in this country has a right to human dignity. This Petition and the previous one point out illegalities that have been conducted through official purposes. It is very surprising that the original awards are not with the owners of the land. It is equally surprising that awards were given in 2016 and yet no payments have been done to date. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Senate had an opportunity to raise similar issues, because the Ruaraka Land Scandal speaks to the issues that are in this Petition. We had an opportunity to set the precedent of what the National Lands Commission (NLC) should do. This is yet another opportunity, because the law and Constitution are very clear that people must be paid promptly and adequately. The NLC, led by Prof. Swazuri, is worse than a disaster. This is called a disaster and this Senate must speak with one voice. I know that Sen. Murkomen might get personal and angry about these issues, because they touch him at a personal level. However, this Senate has always spoken with one voice. The first Petition I brought to this House was for the squatters of Masongaleni, who finally got titles. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let us speak with one voice when it comes to the matter of Kenyans; whether they are the Nandi, the Kikuyu or the Kalenjin. Let us treat these people like Kenyans!
so that we protect these people.
The country is looking up to all of us, Senators.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I have just heard Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. mentioning Prof. Swazuri and kongoi missin . I do not know kongoi . Is he in order?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I probably got carried away about something we were doing yesterday; but that is a greeting that means we are doing well. I am prepared, just the same way we went to the Talai clan on historical injustices. Lastly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I moved a Motion through this Senate for the rules on historical injustices. This Senate unanimously passed that the Bill on historical injustices should be brought to Parliament for passing. Prof. Swazuri and his team at the NLC went ahead and skirted around the Bill on historical injustices and brought about what we are The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Let me finish the point.
On a point of order Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Sen. Murkomen?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the consistency of this House, nobody stood for Prof. Swazuri. When a different public officer was mentioned in a different Motion earlier, my colleague behind here was up in arms. However, when Prof. Swazuri was mentioned, nobody on this side even shook; it is only Sen. Madzayo who tried. Can we be consistent?
On a point of order Mr. Speaker, Sir. Members should take your rulings seriously in this House. When you have ruled on a particular subject, then it stays as a ruling. However, when Members keep on repeating the same mistakes and the whole country is watching, it is not fair to see your rulings being discarded. I, therefore, just wanted you to caution my colleague and tell him that we should not go against your rulings in this House.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for this House to set a precedent, that where a member of certain community is mentioned, the Maasai wake up; when a Luhya is mentioned, the Luhya wake up; when a Kikuyu is mentioned, the Kikuyu wake up? This is not a tribal House; let us rise beyond this! We are talking and handling matters pertaining to our country. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, hon. Members!
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I stand accused because I am the one who was defending CS Tobiko. In his particular case, the Majority Leader was not speaking of Mr. Tobiko as a CS; he was accusing Tobiko and the personality of Tobiko---
Order, Sen. Seneta!
Order, Majority Leader! First of all, nobody mentioned anybody’s name, unless you are being suspicious of the way you conducted yourself.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, please protect me.
Order! Order, Whip!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Committee investigating this matter should do it quickly. Let us not lose the opportunity that was lost by the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) to set a precedent on what consists a hearing, what consists compensation and when people should leave their land---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I just want us to be clear and go on the record accurately. Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr., who is a Member of the Senate Business Committee (SBC), should not mislead the House to say that this House has missed an opportunity, when a report has been tabled and has not been withdrawn from the House. Is the Senator in order to say that we have missed the opportunity?
He is out of order. Conclude, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Committee knows what I am talking about; I do not need to repeat it. Therefore, let us exorcize those ghosts and get to the bottom of these matters as quickly as possible. This House must rise above petty and tribal politics to discuss anything affecting Kenyans. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to also support this Petition. Development is important for this country thus, the importance of building this bypass cannot be overstated. Compensation to the land owners must be done promptly. It is terrible that the National Land Commission (NLC) has taken its time to compensate these people. We are left wondering why they are waiting to get to a point where people will come with figures that are impossible. Recently, we heard of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and other programmes where compensation skyrocketed and a lot of malpractices were reported. We only hope that the Committee dealing with this matter will deal with it expeditiously and that compensation will be given to the people concerned. I will not support the issue of halting the construction of the road. The construction of the road must continue and people must be compensated. I support.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. I believe that land is an emotive issue. I support the Petitioners because I am sure that this is their only source of livelihood. We must protect land issues in this country. As a Senate, if we get petitions, we must look at them critically. We cannot say that road construction should continue yet people are losing their land; that is impossible. We should halt the project and allow the people to be compensated. Normally, the wrong people are the ones who get compensated. I say this because a list has already been given here which indicates that these are the right people who should be compensated. I am sure that the NLC also has another list hidden somewhere. 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.
Ahsante, Mheshimiwa Spika, kwa kunipa fursa hii kuunga mkono Ombi ambalo limeletwa la kuwalipa ridhaa wale ambao wameathirika na bypass . Ni kweli kwamba serikali inazembea katika kulipa wale wanaoathirika na miradi ya maendeleo ya serikali. Tuko na mfano wa SGR kule Mombasa ambapo watu zaidi ya 76 hawajalipwa. Hii ni kuanzia kilomita zero hadi 20. NLC ililipa mashirika matatu Shilingi Bilioni tatu na nusu na wakaacha walalahoi karibu 70 bila malipo yoyote. Tuliuliza swali hili katika Bunge la Senate lakini halijashughulikiwa mpaka leo. Wananchi bado wanalalamika ya kwamba hawajalipwa pesa zao. Ni muhimu ya kwamba watu lazima walipwe na serikali inapochukua ardhi kabla hawajaingia katika ardhi na kuanzisha miradi. Hii ni kwa sababu wengi wanaotakikana kulipwa ni walalahoi na wakiambiwa wavunje nyumba zao, hawajui watakapokwenda kuishi. Naunga Ombi hili mkono na ni lazima walipwe ndio waondoke. Mradi usiendelee mpaka walipwe ndio waondoke. Asante.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. We are the backbenchers, so it is possible that you were not seeing us. I support the Petition but my concern is that we have delayed compensation whereas we have borrowed heavily. One, therefore, wonders where the money goes to if we are not compensating the land owners who have been affected. The other issue is that delayed compensation and money need to attract interest. This is because these people are losing a source of production. They need to move on and be productive by way of getting the money. I say this because the value of the Shilling today is not the same as tomorrow. That kind of delay needs to attract some interest. The people who are looking at the issue of compensation need to factor in interest. As I conclude, at one point in time I wondered whether we are drifting and behaving like the ‘upper house’.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir, for this opportunity to pronounce myself on this Petition. I congratulate the Petitioners for bringing this matter to the Floor of the House. I got an opportunity to visit a section of this bypass and we went up to Laini Tisa and Kapseret. The complaint of the public is a common thread and the issue of compensation for land used for the construction of the road has become a thorny 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.
Consult in low tones, Hon. Members.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. The value of this project is set at Kshs5 billion and the compensation figure is set at Kshs4.2 billion. Kenyans are being asked to get out of their land and homes for these works to continue but nobody is giving them money for resettlement. Nobody is compensating them for houses that have developed cracks arising from activities of the contractor. The other issue that I saw and I see in this Petition is the matter of workers; unskilled labour, that is being used along this road. There have been numerous complaints, and it is not just in this section of the road but in other sections of the road as well, of a contractor who comes to site and brings on board unskilled labourers from outside the region yet there are people within that region who are able to undertake the works being done by people from outside. I support.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. I support the Petitioners. We interacted with them when we visited the bypass. As Sen. Wambua has said, the cost of compensation is almost the same amount as the cost of the project. A Government borrows money to construct the road but it is the responsibility of the Government to resettle or to compensate the land owners. However, it is now assuming that the land owners will just stay like that and they are being asked to move out.
Order, Members. Let us consult in low tones.
We have to make sure that Kenyans are not dispossessed because of a project. It is true that the road is important but the livelihood of those Kenyans is more important. When you bring the road, it is those people that you are trying to serve but if they are the ones that you are impoverishing, then that is the wrong way to go. We will take the Petition seriously so as to make sure that the Government promptly pays the affected persons before the project is started.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir, for your indulgence. I support this Petition because the Petitioners had approached me and I advised them to bring it to the Senate. I agree that there is a problem because this also affects part of my County. We share a common border. This project will cost Kshs5.1 billion and more than Kshs4 billion should be paid in compensation. I agree with most of my Senate colleagues.The law is very clear and it states that when you are doing compulsory acquisition of land, the payments should be prompt. I request that the project be suspended and the Wu-Yi Company should move all 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.
Finally, Sen. Madzayo.
Asante, Bw. Spika, kwa kunipa nafasi hii. Jambo la kwanza ni kuwapa heko wale ambao wameleta maswala haya mbele ya Bunge la Seneti. Hawa watu wana uchungu mwingi sana kwa vile ardhi yao ilitwaliwa bila fidia yoyote au kufanyiwa haki. Wengi wao wanaambiwa watimuliwe kutoka kwa mashamba yao bila haki yao kutekelezwa. Matukio haya yanaendelea katika nchi nzima. Tumeona watu wakitimuliwa kutoka kwa mashamba yao bila kulipwa chochote. Tumeshuhudia haya yakifanyika katika Kaunti ya Kilifi. Nina uchungu sana kwa sababu watu wetu wametimuliwa kutoka mashamba yao bila malipo yoyote. Matajiri wana weka ua bila kujali kama kuna makao, vijiji, Misiki na makaburi. Wanatumia mashine makubwa makubwa kama vile greda kutoa miili ya watu wetu bila heshima. Ikiwa kuna mradi wanaotaka kuanzisha, basi ni vyema kuwahusisha watu wa sehemu hiyo na lazima walipwe ridha zao ili waweze kuondoka. Tuliona vile walianzisha mradi wa SGR na vile watu wetu sehemu za Mombasa na kwingineko wanendelea kuteseka. Ndugu yangu, Mhe. Faki amesema watu hawa hawajalipwa fidia au pesa zozote. Ni muhimu kwa Bunge la Seneti kuangaliwa swala hili kwa makini sana.
I can see Commissioner Cheruyiot. Let me give you an opportunity
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. From the very onset, I stand with the petitioners. This is because on matters fashion, I always swim with the current. However, on matters human rights, I stand solid as a rock. The petitioners have been taken round in circles. They have gone to all Government offices seeking for their rights, but all in vain. If you listened to the complaints that have been raised by my colleagues Senators, we have racketeers masquerading as project managers in this country. They are pretending to be managing Government projects. However, they are profiting from public money. If we go deep into the details of this matter, there are people who have been paid, but they are not the genuine land owners. The poor and downtrodden of this country have no other hope other than to look up to this House for justice. We must stand up against all masqueraders, including land grabbers and tribal bigots masquerading as environmentalist.
Order, Senators! The Commissioner is using very heavy vocabulary. Pursuant to Standing Order No.232(1), the Petition stands committed to the Standing Committee on Roads and Transportation. In terms of Standing Order No.232(2), a Committee is required in not more than 60 days from the time of reading the prayer to respond to the petitioner by way of a report addressed to the petitioner and laid on the Table of the Senate.
There are loud consultations in the House.
Order, Senators. Let us consult in low tones.
Thanks to the “big English” from the Commissioner. There is a consultation as to who is who.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of Senate today, Thursday, 27th September, 2018- Report of the Standing Committee on Energy on the consideration of the Petroleum Bill (National Assembly Bills No.48 of 2017).
Let us move on to the next Order.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, pursuant to Standing Order No. 47(1), I rise to issue a Statement on an issue of general topic regarding the danger posed to society by hyper-liberalism jurisprudence of Kenyan Courts. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Let us consult in low tones, Hon. Senators.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, allow me to give five reasons why I disagree with those decisions. One, a majority of Kenyans do not support gay relationships in this country. That has been confirmed by surveys which have been conducted. Article 1(1) of the Constitutions states- “All sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only in accordance with this Constitution.” Sovereignty means ultimate political authority. Therefore, the Constitution vests ultimate political authority on the people. If the people of Kenya oppose gay relationships, the same court should also uphold that. They should not impose gay relationships on Kenya. I am opposed to that jurisprudence that is being pushed by our courts. The courts appear to be encouraging these relationships, and therefore, their decisions are counter-majoritarian. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
What is your point of order, Sen. Malalah? Sen. Kang’ata, there is a point of order. Take your seat.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for Sen. Kang’ata to put this House in uncomfortable mood because even discussing the issue of gayism is uncomfortable? We should postpone this discussion. We should not give it audience. Therefore, I request Hon. Kang’ata to wind up his presentation because I am uncomfortable. I do not like listening to these things, I am a religious person. I do not support gayism and I would not want anybody to lecture me on issues of gayism. So, Hon. Kang’ata, kindly, you are a newly wedded person, please wind up on this topic so that we move on to serious matters that affect this country.
Sen. Kang’ata, wind up your Statement so that we can have other issues.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what my colleague is trying to insinuate is that by keeping quiet this issue will fade away but you are in actual sense assisting the courts to continue giving us this fake philosophy of supporting gays. So, we must come to this Senate and rise up and say no! The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
What is your point of order, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jr.?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I have listened very carefully to Sen. Irungu Kang’ata. His Statement is not a personal statement. It is a general statement of matters of topical concern under Standing Order No.47(1). If it was his personal statement, then we would understand he is making a personal view. I am concerned about our Standing Orders, whether in allowing Sen. Kang’ata to issue a blanket condemnation to courts; we would not be interfering with Standing Order No.96. This is because any decision made by the court is not final. Any party who is aggrieved has the right to appeal. Can we use this Floor to condemn the Judiciary wholesome yet maybe he is referring to one judgment by one judge? On what basis did you allow this Statement to be read in such ambiguity, that it appears from the ‘upper’ House we are condemning the whole Judiciary? I am extremely concerned.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. when I saw this Statement on the Order Paper, I thought that Sen. Kang’ata will introduce the subject of hyper liberalism as opposed to the ultra-conservatism that is capturing the world but he has brought about issues of morality which even though I sympathise with him, but for a lawyer of the standing of Sen. Irungu Kang’ata, who is doing his PhD--- He knows that when he is unhappy with the decisions of the court, a good lawyer like him would go on to appeal. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we cannot sit here in Uasin Gishu today as a Senate to condemn the Judiciary. When the Judiciary ruled us out of order on the County Development Board, we were unhappy but when they allowed us to be part of the Division of Revenue, we were celebrating them. We cannot build and form a habit of condemning the Judiciary when we are aggrieved over certain rulings which, if it is true they ruled in that manner, it is unconstitutional. The Constitution does not allow same sex marriage but we cannot take this opportunity to lecture the Judiciary and legislate on morality. Mr. Speaker, Sir, could you declare Sen. Irungu Kang’ata out of order so that he goes back to his honey moon?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I sympathise with the views of Sen. Kang’ata. Right now in the USA, they are trying to go through confirmation hearings of certain judges to go to the Supreme Court. As a lawyer, the best thing to do is; lay before the House the judgments that he is complaining 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.
What is your point of order?
I actually did not want to interrupt Sen. Orengo because I thought he was standing on a point of order. However, as he proceeded, he used the same Standing Orders to comment but a response had not been given on the points of order raised by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. and Sen. M. Kajwang’. Could that point of order be dispensed, so that Sen. Orengo completes his comment on the same issue because we need to operate in an orderly manner?
Sen. Kang’ata, I hope that you know the concerns that were raised about condemning the courts in general.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have two things to say. First, I was very careful when I was drafting this Statement to ensure I do not attack a certain court. I did not mention a certain judge or decision. That is the reason I came up with this Statement to fight the jurisprudence. By the way, that jurisprudence is not only negative in terms of those of us who are moralists but it is also negative to us the politicians. It is a jurisprudence because you find a judge who is not elected sitting there alone and making laws. That is legislating while seated at the bench. Do you get the point? You may say that the so-called gays have rights but that is an issue that should be brought to us parliamentarians. What I am fighting against is the idea of one person sitting somewhere and making decisions that impact on our work. I am just giving an example. Finally, this Statement was approved by your Office, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Your office was categorical. They edited to ensure that I did not bring issues which may impact negatively on the Judiciary.
Sen. Orengo, please conclude. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I just want to remind Sen. Kang’ata that if you have same sex marriages or relationships, sodomy is still an offence in this country. It has not been rendered unconstitutional. Try it tomorrow and you will see the consequences.
By the way, I like the company you had yesterday.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Did you hear Sen. Orengo directly telling a Senator in this House to try sodomy? Is he in order? If he wanted to give a fictitious or a general comment, he should have put it in general. However, he directly pointed at Sen. Kang’ata and dared him to try. Mr. Speaker, Sir, is he in order considering that Sen. Kang’ata just wedded recently? He had a successful wedding and he just came back from honeymoon.
Order! Sen. Orengo, you may proceed.
Sen. Kang’ata can live with that because I know his views. He is a very conservative young man and I think that is good. It is difficult to find people of his age who are conservative and I appreciate that. He knows that the family is the foundation of our social structure under the Constitution. Generally what I want to say concerning the issues that Sen. Kang’ata raised is as follows. If you read the Penal Code, there is no room for the kind of things that worry Sen. Kang’ata. I agree with him but if there is any decision that made legal what he was trying to say, then some of us will be ready to challenge it at the appropriate fora. As far as I know, the film called Rafiki, which he is complaining about, is not about the question of the practice but about freedom of expression. It is being seen from that context. It is not about what is in the movie but the basis of freedom of expression.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
Proceed, Sen. Kang’ata.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the Senior Counsel is arguing that the film is perceived from the angle of freedom of expression. Does it mean that it was allowable because it is just an issue of expression? Being a Senior Counsel, I would like him to explain to us the following scenario. For instance, assume that a court allowed the Al-Shabaab to show a film in Nairobi because that is freedom of expression. On the basis of that judgment, do you think the Al- Shabaab can say they should be allowed because it is their right to express themselves? For me, that film ought not to have been allowed because it will form a precedent that will open a pandora’s box. That is the reason I am opposing.
Order, Sen. Kang’ata. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I would like to conclude by saying the following and this may be a repetition. Sen. Kang’ata should have brought those decisions here for us interrogate instead of talking about them without a basis. I thank you.
Next is Sen. (Dr.) Kabaka. You have less than three minutes to contribute.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I have heard Sen. Kang’ata sort of attack judges in their pursuit of dispensation of justice.
Order, Sen. Kang’ata! Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Kabaka.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I do not support such practices. As a Christian, even without citing the Holy Bible or the Quran, I wish to read part of the preamble of the Constitution which states that- “We, the people of Kenya– ACKNOWLEDGING the supremacy of the Almighty God of all creation”. I do not need to explain that. Those who want us to go to Theology will be in trouble because the attributes of God are very clear. We are told that we were created in the image of God and that God is perfect and He is the truth. Other things which have arisen because of human misconduct have no relevance in creation. These are some of the western practices and traits. Therefore, we do not support as a family; men and women here--- That topic ought not to have been brought here. It should be struck out on its face.
Hon. Senators, we will now proceed to the next Statement under Standing Order No.52(1) by the Senate Majority Leader. BUSINESS FOR THE WEEK COMMENCING TUESDAY, 2ND OCTOBER, 2018
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the Senators for their attendance and active participation in the Plenary and Committee sittings in Uasin Gishu County. The Sittings have been very successful and this forms the foundation for future Senate sittings outside Nairobi. I want to personally thank all Senators because our attendance was always above 33 or 34 Senators. If we needed a Constitutional amendment, we would have been in a position to do so since our super majority was always here for the whole 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.
What is your point of order, Sen. Orengo?
Normally, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, nobody is required to comment after the Leader of the Majority has gone through the timetable for next week. However, I seek your indulgence, particularly because of what he has said, which were very positive remarks as to why we have sat here. If you could give me just a few minutes to say something about it in support of what he has said---
Proceed, Senator. 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, there are those who have been talking about our sittings here in Eldoret in very negative terms. We have a Constitutional direction under Article 6(3) which reads as follows- “A national state organ shall ensure reasonable access to its services in all parts of the Republic, so far as it is appropriate to do so having regard to do so nature of the service.” This provision is not talking about “organs at the county level;” it says “a national state organ.” Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, if you look at the kind of services we have offered – not in Uasin Gishu alone, but in this region – even on the issues of farmers--- When I saw the Speaker sitting there, not as a Member of the Committee, but giving that process the full might of the Senate – nobody in his right mind can criticize the Senate for sitting here in Eldoret. Secondly, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I took trouble yesterday to talk to the Clerk and his staff, because I feel obliged. If we spend a cent more by coming here to Eldoret, my conscience would not be very clear. I had a little meeting with them and found out that we may actually have saved some money. If the calculations are done properly and considering the way the attendance has been here, the Senate has saved some money. This is unlike other organs of the State, when they hold meetings outside their normal stations. Therefore, instead of being discouraged, we should continue and hold other sessions in other regions at an appropriate time. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir.
Let us move on to the next Order.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I have had the opportunity to consult the Minority Leader, who is a very popular man in my County.
I want to thank him for giving me the honour and privilege, by visiting my county. I also want to thank the people of Elgeyo Marakwet for giving him a bigger reception than myself and others who are from the Jubilee side. He has assured me that if I visit Siaya County, I will get a bigger reception. The other place where I noticed that Sen. Orengo The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Order No.61(3) following the request by the Senate Majority Leader and consultation with the Senate Minority Leader, I, therefore, defer the Division on the Petroleum (National Assembly Bill No.48 of 2017) to next Wednesday.
Let us move on to the next Order.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I beg to move the following Motion- THAT, AWARE THAT Youth Polytechnics, also known and used to be known as Village Polytechnics and now Vocational Training Centres, are educational institutions that offer primary and secondary school leavers opportunities to acquire relevant knowledge especially technical and vocational skills to increase their employability; FURTHER AWARE THAT youth polytechnics provide industrial and entrepreneurial skills training to young people in order to increase employment opportunities, reduce dependency levels and increase self- reliance among the youth; RECALLING THAT in 2005, the Youth Training Department of the then Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was established through the Presidential Circular No.1 of 2005, with a mandate of revitalizing the Youth Polytechnics countrywide in order to empower youth through provision of accessible, appropriate and quality training in technical, vocational, industrial, entrepreneurship and life skills; COGNIZANT THAT youth polytechnics are a devolved function; The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for giving me the chance to make my contribution on this very important Motion which has been ably moved by the Sen. (Prof.) Kamar. This morning we went round this county inspecting conditions of these institutions that squarely under the docket of the Senate. The promotion of these institutions is very important because many of our youth are not employed. They lack the necessary skills to be absorbed in the job market. Many of them are loitering in our villages and centres because of lack of employment. The importance of having these TIVET in our villages is cost effective. There will be no boarding facilities. Food will not be an issue because students will be operating from their homes. Therefore, we should establish many TIVETs as possible in our counties. They will help us reduce unemployment which is currently a very big problem in our country. I support this Motion because the moment our youth are trained and equipped with necessary skills, crime rates will greatly reduce in our country. For example, skilled youth like mechanics and other artisans do not engage themselves in crime. They are busy working throughout the day. It is those who are not skilled and are loitering around over the places who are culpable of committing crime. Many of our boda boda cyclists lack the necessary training to handle their motorbikes. We know most of them cause accidents on our roads. I want to laud most of the counties that have introduced mass trainings of their cyclists. In fact, when we visited the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) we were told that Uasin Gishu County has been taking most of their boda boda cyclists to be trained in the garage. That has greatly reduced accidents in this county. To reduce the risks, people must have skills. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, most of the people who are working now must have obtained the skills. As I mentioned earlier, if we encourage training in our counties, we will reduce crime and accidents. Out of my experience as an educationist, the challenges that have been facing in these vocational training is the attitude towards them. We normally encourage pupils in primary school to excel in their examinations so that they may go to national schools or district secondary schools. However, if they fail to go to secondary school, they are taken to the local polytechnic. We, as leaders, must encourage our children to have a positive attitude toward these institutions. They are not for the failures. It is, in fact, a strategy and immediate way of getting employment. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, there is another problem that is affecting enrolment in these training centres. The Government has provided capitation of Kshs30,000 for these institutions. For anyone who enrols the school fees is Kshs56,000, but the Government provides Kshs30,000 capitation to all students. If we go to Eldoret Polytechnic, the RVTTI and any other in this country, the Government provides Ksh30,000. The student remains with a balance of Ksh20,000 which he can get from the HELB. As I speak here, the Government provides a HELB loan of Kshs40,000 to students in TTIs. When one gets Kshs30,000 plus a HELB of ksh40,000, it totals to Kshs70,000. The fees required is Kshs56,000. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir. I want to thank the Mover of this Motion, Sen. (Prof.) Kamar. In order to put the records straight, as the then Minister for Technical Training and Applied Technology, I was given the first responsibility in 1988 to set up the youth polytechnics and Technical Training Institutes (TTI) one of which was the Rift Valley Technical Training Institute. One of the biggest headaches that we had at that time was that it was difficult for our school leavers to go to a job that would dirty their clothes; a job where they did not have a tie and a suit. Therefore, they were unwilling to go to those places. If you remember, during the vertical mobility of some of these students, it was very difficult to get everybody because their transition rates was below 40 per cent which we later raised up to something like 93 per cent or 75 per cent to be precise. We are talking about youth who are in millions. We are talking about youth who may not have the opportunity to advance beyond Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). We are talking about youths who may not have the opportunity to translate to the university education beyond the secondary level. Therefore, it was necessary that we put structures in place. Not many youths have the predilection of going for upward mobility particularly in the academic line. There are those who are imbued with certain talents that are essential and all we need to do is to develop them. That is why the youth polytechnics became a novel for every one of 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.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. Before I contribute, I would like to thank Sen. (Prof.) Kamar for coming up with this important Motion that addresses devolution. As Senate, we are mandated to protect the country and the interests of counties. Therefore, this Motion squarely falls under the Senate. I want to say that we need to make devolution a reality. We will be judged harshly if we do not make it a reality. We will also be commended as the Senate if we ensure that devolution is a reality. When we are talking of village polytechnics, these are polytechnics that would serve all the youth in this country. For a number of reasons, 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.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this chance to also contribute to this Motion by Sen. (Prof.) Kamar. Youth polytechnics are The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support this Motion. I would like to say that we do not have a choice in view of the systems that are being put in place courtesy of devolution. I say this because right now, there are many challenges that come with development, new things and devolution. We can only address these challenges with innovations and creative ways of handling small problems in view of development. I also think that---
On point of order, Mr. Temporary Speaker. I stand under Standing Order No.106, to request that we reduce time for debate to five minutes to allow more Members to contribute because there is a lot of interest on this Motion.
On a point of order!
Order, Sen. Olekina. Before the Chair rules, you cannot stand on another point of order. Proceed.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I know it is not good to come before you but I am a little bit confused when it comes to the issue of this Standing Order. I do not know whether it applies to limiting debate when debate has already started. Yesterday, this issue came up but it is good for us to be procedural. The Standing Order No.106(3) states as follows:- “A Motion under paragraph (2) shall not be made in the course of the debate to which it refers unless it is moved after the adjournment of such debate and before the debate is resumed.” Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I know the decision is yours but it is important for us to be guided in terms of how we apply the Standing Orders. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, with regard to the Standing Order raised by Sen. (Dr.) Zani, it does not require the House to reduce the debating time to five minutes. However, if that is the mood of the House, we can still reduce time to five minutes per a Member. Sen. Pareno, please proceed.
Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, I was saying that because of development as a result of devolution, then we need to get skilled labour in order to match the kind of work that we expect from counties for us to develop. Yesterday and even this morning, as we were coming from the hotel to this place, I saw a young man along the road side who seemed to be of unsound mind, and I was touched. The young man was seated by the road side with a rope that he was using to make baskets and I kept wondering if somebody of unsound mind can sit somewhere and do the kind of work that I saw him do, what would happen if we did a lot of input in terms of empowering our youth? Since we came, the man has always been there. He seems to be doing a lot of work without talking to anybody. Later on, I approached the Senator for Uasin Gishu and asked whether the man needs rehabilitation or some sort of training or if he can be empowered through training in some of the technical institutions that we are talking about. Many of our youth are unemployed. I am sure that having tertiary institutions is the way to go for us to develop. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, the polytechnics or vocational training centres are a bridge or ladder for people to better their trainings, improve their credentials and move from one stage to another. You can imagine somebody who dropped out of school at the Form Four and had nowhere to go because they did not qualify to join university. The polytechnics are a ladder up the scale for people to improve on their studies. You also notice that in the polytechnics, the courses are designed in a way that they are short and cheap. The courses are actually demand-driven. If you see that an industry needs a particular skill, you go for it and train people who will be out into the market within a short time. Most of the times, because they are demand-driven, the market or job opportunity is there. Instead of having many youth out there or sitting at home with no employment because they did not make it to the next level of education, it is time for us to tap and ensure that counties have polytechnics. We should have polytechnics in each county and if possible, down to sub- counties. This is because we call them village polytechnics. Can we actualise that and ensure we have village polytechnics that will help our people to acquire the necessary skills? These polytechnics and tertiary institutions combine theory and practicals. I have always wondered why I was taught about Napoleon II in Form Six. I am a lawyer and have never, along the way in my practice, applied what we were taught in History. I keep asking myself why I was taught about Napoleon II and other things. Why was I not just taught how to behave in a court, read the law and apply it? Some of these things are designed in such a way that they address the actual need that a community requires or what we need in development. That is better for us to move. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, if you have visited any of these polytechnics, you will also notice that they have small classes, and not big ones of over 200 or 300 students. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, I now reduce the time for contributing to this Motion to ten minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, for allowing me to add my voice to this important Motion on the establishment of youth polytechnics in our counties. I support the Motion and thank the sponsor because it touches on each one of us, as leaders. Again, we all know the dilemma that we are all in as a nation. We are proud to have many youth in our country, but, again, as leaders, we are saddened that a large number of them are unemployed. At the end of the day, they are frustrated because they have no hope for the future and no one to guide them. If we sit here and deliberate on important issues, without thinking of the young people who are unable to go beyond Class Eight, then we will not be doing any justice. My reason for supporting this Motion is because of our own experience. We know that almost half the number of the pupils who enroll in Class One drop out when they finish Class Eight or even before that. This exposes them to many challenges and also promotes poverty in our country. Many of us come from marginalised areas. It is even worse for students from those areas because the challenges that they go through are huge compared to those that come from urban areas. When our girls do not go beyond Class Eight, they are exposed to early marriages. Sometimes because our area is known for tribal clashes, they lose their husbands even when they are young and become so hopeless in life. If we can ensure that polytechnics are established in all counties, we will empower the girls and boys to depend on themselves. Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir, many parents invest a lot in their children. We should not call some of our children or students failures. This is the language that we use back in the villages. If one has not gone to high school or is unable to join high school, we call them failures in life. That is in itself traumatising, it brings down their hopes and frustrates them. As a result, many young people have committed suicide and parents who have invested in them from Class One to Class Eight have lost a lot. Their hope of one day their son or daughter giving them support is shattered. Therefore, the establishment of polytechnic is something that we all need to support and stand for. Establishment of polytechnics in every county is an important thing, but we also know that in all the counties there is a lot of corruption. Tenders are awarded to friends and relatives. Sometimes, those in offices end up benefitting from this. They then do some shoddy work which cannot help the people on the ground. As we establish the polytechnics, it is good for us to also stress on equipping and maintaining them, so that the resources that the country is putting into establishment of polytechnics will be felt even 20 years from today. As a nation, we are known for just doing things for the sake of it and not maintaining. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity. I congratulate the distinguished Senator for Uasin Gishu for bringing this Motion. However, because of the constraints of time, I will be very brief. Madam Temporary Speaker, we have a serious shortage of skills in this country. I remember that three years ago, a company that was undertaking the construction of a highway from Eldoret to Malaba wanted to recruit drivers for earthmovers and bulldozers. Surprisingly, in the whole of my county extending up to here in Eldoret, Kitale and Kakamega, they could not get anybody. Drivers are available, but they are not technically trained and equipped to drive earth moving equipment and those heavy equipment. Madam Temporary Speaker, I visited South Africa a year ago and I found them importing welders, fitters and other technicians from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India to do their work. Africa is now growing and we need skills. Therefore, in the process of approving this Motion, I want the Mover, Sen. (Prof.) Kamar, to consider the following, one, that, perhaps starting a polytechnic in each location is a bit too ambitious. We probably should think of one polytechnic in every ward; or maybe two serious polytechnics in every constituency. This is because if we start a polytechnic in 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.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for also giving me a chance to add my voice to this very important Motion. From the outset, I want to congratulate our host Senator, Sen. (Prof.) Kamar, for having thought deeply about this important function of the county governments. Madam Temporary Speaker, I want to remind this House that polytechnic education and Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) are functions of county governments, which we need to support. These are some of the functions where county governments must put a lot of resources and invest in. They must fully support these functions without leaving some parts of them being performed elsewhere in the Ministries. Madam Temporary Speaker, when we were going round with the Committee of Education, we realized that the County Government of Uasin Gishu – which I want to congratulate – should put in some effort to revive some of the village polytechnics, which are right now called vocational polytechnics. I have seen some of these polytechnics having equipment and also the county government sponsoring some students there. County governments must ensure that they equip these polytechnics with the necessary equipment of good quality. These polytechnics must also be given proper, competent and adequate tutors so that they can transfer the necessary skills to the learners. County governments need to sensitize the communities on the importance of these village polytechnics. Madam Temporary Speaker, we are aware of the issue concerning these village polytechnics in Kajiado and other counties. Most of our communities and students look at these as institutions for those who failed in their examinations. I think it is high time that county governments took an initiative of educating the community to appreciate these village polytechnics as important institutions that offer important skills to our people. These polytechnics need marketing. I rarely see brochures or adverts telling students when the intake is on. I wish this campaign can be taken seriously by county governments to make sure that they advertise. They should advertise the intake to these polytechnics in vernacular radios and social media so that our students and communities can get to know when they are required to enroll. When we were going round, I also realised the issue of courses that are offered in these village polytechnics. These courses should also be tailored towards the market. What does the market have at the moment? I admire one of the polytechnics we visited today that has very nicely equipped hairdressing. Professor was also given good service there this week. I think I should also visit the institution to empower them because they are doing good work; a market tailored thing. One cannot miss to get customers and work if you have those skills. The courses must be developed according to the market and must be relevant to the community. In some of our communities where we are doing dairy keeping, livestock keeping and agriculture, we have a problem of getting the services of an extension. Many The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Let us have Sen. Olekina.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity. I rise to support the Motion by the Senator for Uasin Gishu on the establishment of youth polytechnics in counties. I hold the view that, first of all, before we establish these youth polytechnics in these counties, we must carry out skills audit and align it with the current development in this country. This morning, we went through audit queries relating to the County Government of West Pokot. When I look at this Motion, it is proposing that we should establish youth polytechnics in every ward. Sometimes I think we aim too much without understanding the reality of things. Last year, a county such as West Pokot only managed to collect Ksh80, 000,000. They were allocated Ksh80 billion by the Equitable Share Fund. Before thinking about establishing a youth polytechnic in each ward, we must ask ourselves what industries are there. Do we have any industries where these youth will get local jobs once we train them? Madam Temporary Speaker, Sen. Wetangula spoke about the oil industry that is very key. Even in universities, we are now training doctors and engineers. However, when we look at the oil industry, for every one engineer, we need 12 technicians who can only be trained in these youth polytechnics. If we decide that every ward will have a youth polytechnic, I think we will be missing the point. It is my humble submission that we carry out a skills audit in every county. We have masons and everyone here is constructing; I do so almost on a daily basis maybe it is a fence, a small classroom. I just get a few people who are masons and some helpers. The first thing we need to do is to carry out this skills audit, since this issue of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity. When education came to Kenya, there was a conspiracy where sectors were either identified as white collar jobs or blue collar jobs. To a large extent, people felt that one 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.
Kindly, wind up.
We need to give them a chance so that they make a difference. It would be very wasteful for this country and a disappointment when a lot of investment has been made in that sector, and then, it does not turn out to churn out the young people who can make a difference to this country. This is the direction for us to go as Kenya, especially in the education sector Madam Temporary Speaker, with those remarks, I support this Motion.
Asante, Bi Spika wa muda, kwa kunipa fursa ya kuchangia Hoja hii ya kuanzishwa kwa vyuo vya ufundi katika kaunti zetu. Ningependa kumpongeza Sen. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank Sen.(Prof.) Kamar for this timely and very important Motion. It is timely because we, as a nation, are dealing with the Big Four Agenda and the Vision 2030. This needs to be realized. It can only be realized if we send our youth to technical institutions to acquire skills that will be critical in the realization of the two. Youth polytechnics are very important in our society. It creates a skilled manpower and, eventually, we will have a skilled society. We shall have plumbers, masons, hairdressers and electricians, among other technicians who are very important in our society today. Having technical institutions shall improve and enhance our industrial productivity in terms of having manpower for our own local industries and hence grow our local industries and eventually become an industrialized nation. This will create employment for our youth. With their creativity, they will come up with companies that will employ other youths with the same skills. This will generate taxable income for the Government and improve the overall economy of our nation. I agree with Sen. (Prof.) Kamar that we need to revamp the existing institutions and create awareness among the youth, especially, in the rural areas. Most of them are not even aware that these institutions are there for them. They are not aware that they can get bursaries; the Kshs30,000, that hon. Senators have talked about. Madam Temporary Speaker, we shall solve many challenges among the youth of this country if we engage them in productive activities. We will solve unemployment, reduce dependency levels and the crime rates will go down. Polytechnics should be made available and accessible to our youths. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion that has been brought by Sen. (Prof.) Kamar. I applaud her form coming up with this Motion. This Motion has come at the right time to the right people, especially during this era of implementing devolution. Many youths should be absorbed in the youth polytechnics and vocational training institutes. The prevalence rate of youths living with HIV/AIDS is alarming. Over 300,000 young people in Kenya are currently living with HIV/AIDS. What are the factors that contribute to this? One of them is poverty. Poverty is unforgiving in our communities. Many of the youths are looking for employment and ways of earning a living just like other members of the community. As they do so, they get trapped and get infected with HIV/AIDS. Sooner or later, part of the generation in this country will be wiped out by this scourge if we do not engage the youths. Madam Temporary Speaker, I also support my colleagues who talked about aligning skills in various counties with the opportunities in those counties. It is very important to note that skills, for example, in Turkana are not the same skills that are found in the county where I come from, Kakamega. So, it is high time that the vocational institutes are aligned based on what is important to the population of the youths in particular counties. This will enable us to make use of resources in specific counties. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I rise to support this Motion. I wish I had read this Motion before. We have had a problem which I would like to bring it to the attention of the Mover. While this is a devolved function, national Government has not funded it either through conditional grants or shareable revenue. To the extent this function has not been funded, the little the counties are doing, we have not managed as Senate, to interrogate and audit up to what extent the budgets of counties are incorporating this part of Schedule Four into their budgets and implementation. In the last budget, we requested the national Government to consider a grant specifically to every county in excess of Kshs5 billion, which will enable these counties to set up these village polytechnics. The issues raised by Sen. (Prof.) Kamar are without doubt. In Makueni, when you need plumbers and carpenters, you have to go and look for them in Machakos. Why? It is so because the technical institutes – except now that we have one – is highly technical. It does not offer the sort of labour that you would require for simple things as electricity or carpentry. Although the national Government is now building technical colleges, one in every constituency, it is not enough. As we go along, there are more young people who cannot access universities or secondary schools and they are becoming criminals. Some are in Nairobi. It was a mistake to convert Mombasa Polytechnic and the Kenya polytechnic into universities. We have a crisis in the country. The ultimate goal, Sen. (Prof.) Kamar, is to sit with the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and in the recommendations they will make for purposes of county budgets, we must have a specific figure, like the one we have done for roads, on village polytechnics. Once we ring fence a certain amount of money from the national Government for the creation of these facilities, the next objective would be to check whether that conditional grants – and that is the reason why I am saying ‘conditional’ – if given to governors, they will find a way of putting it into budgets for reasons other than village polytechnics. The Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) are busy chasing for their Equalisation Fund and most likely, we would not see this as a good thing to do. A conditional grant where we are supervising would ensure that at the first instance, because I am not quite certain whether we can, as proposed by Sen. (Prof.) Margaret Kamar, that you can establish youth polytechnics in every location. This is extremely difficult but we can come up with a structure. In a county, at the beginning, we can have one polytechnic in every ward. It would make it easier so that we can have things that we can target. Makueni County has over 3,217 locations. It will take us a lifetime to attempt to do this vis-a-vis the sort of allocations counties are getting. I would have proposed a faster method; put them in every ward. It is easier to manage them that way even if we make them flagship projects. But the first time we begin defending this function, the way we defend the function of roads and health, the better so that we can offer an opportunity 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.
For your information, I think we have 1,450 wards countrywide. So, it is manageable.
Madam Temporary Speaker, yes. That is what I am saying. The Motion has proposed every location in a county. If it was Makueni, you would have 3,117 locations which would be much more difficult than setting up 1,450. We have over 3,000 villages and locations. Locations are less. That would form a good basis for us to set up these polytechnics and make it a must. We have asked the National Treasury to give us money to build county headquarters and county houses---
You have one minute so that we have time for the Mover to reply.
There is no reason why a Motion like this cannot get the sort of support that we gave Sen. (Eng.) Karue, former Senator for Nyandarua, to create five headquarters where each got Kshs465 million. It is possible. If we cost how much it would take for us to have 1450 youth polytechnics through the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), we can make sure that have a budget to do this in the negotiations that will start in December. I thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I also thank Sen. (Prof.) Kamar for the wonderful hospitality in the “County of Champions”.
Senate Minority Leader, I wish that you be brief so that we have the Mover to reply because we would like to conclude.
Madam Temporary Speaker, first of all, I would like to congratulate Sen. (Prof.) Kamar. For those who know, this is the work that she is taking forward from where she started, having been a lecturer at Moi University then rose to the level of administration having served as a principal of a whole college for over 21 years if I am not wrong. Thereafter, she served as a Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology and she was also passionate. She was in charge of matters of education especially related to technical institutions. That shows she is passionate in so far as education is concerned. The good thing with village youth polytechnics is that you do not have to know good English or Kiswahili. You only need to be trained in metalwork, roofing and so on and so forth. You can also do masonry and many other things. If we want to deal with unemployment in this country, this is the direction we must go. As a Senate, we must support that. The problem is that once village youth polytechnics were devolved to counties, many of the governors felt that to be seen to be working, they need to put up huge buildings or tarmac roads. Even if you want to tarmac a road as a county government, you require five to ten years to complete a reasonable tarmacked road. The most important thing to do for you to have a quick win is to establish youth polytechnics as structures and institutions for resolving the question of unemployment; so that self- employment can be achieved in the counties. 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.
Having no further interventions, I now invite the Mover to reply.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. May I appreciate all the Members who have contributed to this Motion; Sen. (Prof.) Ongeri, Sen. (Dr.) Musuruve, Sen. Milgo, Sen. Pareno, Sen. (Rev.) Waqo, Sen. Wetangula, Sen. Seneta, Sen. Olekina, Sen. (Dr.) Zani, Sen. Faki, Sen. Chebeni, Sen. Shiyonga, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.; and Sen. Murkomen. I appreciate the contributions because they have supported this Motion overwhelmingly. I also appreciate the concerns that have been raised. Madam Temporary Speaker, let me just clarify a few things. The first one is on the issue of what should we do first; should the polytechnics be at the location or at the ward? I think that is going to be a matter of procedure; therefore, let us approve the Motion as it is for the locations. The way we process it at the county level is different from how we will end; but that should be the goal. The reason I am insisting that the goal should be to have them at the location level is because I have just given you the data on the transition from Class Eight. All of us should be concerned, because the transition rate to secondary school in Kenya is below 60 per cent. The question, therefore, should be where are the 40 per cent going? The highest transition in Kenya is in our Majority Leader’s county, Elgeyo-Marakwet, which is now at 78 per cent. They are the ones who are pulling us a little higher. However, they still have many students who are drop outs; but they are not really dropouts, because they have completed Class Eight genuinely, but they are nowhere now. My concern is where we will park them. We must give them an avenue for them to be somehow skilled. Secondly, Madam Temporary Speaker, the training that has come with TVET these days is modular. You can even go for training on painting only; and you will paint to perfection and then go out into the market. After that, you can go back and do carpentry. Therefore, I am pushing for allocation so that it can provide a classroom for tailoring only. Let the youth have an avenue where they can go and train. I still feel that if every ward could have a venue for their students to go and learn, they will have an 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, Madam Temporary Speaker. This is a Motion concerning counties. If I may speak on behalf of the Mover of the Motion, it will only be right that we defer putting of the Question to the next day so that we can do a proper Division. Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Senators, thank you for that intervention. Having heard your submissions, I now rule that this is a matter that touches on counties and, therefore, it will have to be a vote by county delegations. That means that we put it off to the next Order Paper, as we resume next week.
Hon. Senators, it is now 6.30 p.m., time to interrupt the business of the Senate. The Senate, therefore, stands adjourned until Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018, at 2.30 p.m. in Nairobi. The Senate rose at 6.30 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.