Hon. Senators, I would like to acknowledge the presence, in the Public Gallery this afternoon, of visiting students and teachers from Kabiro School, Nairobi City County.
In our usual tradition of receiving and welcoming visitors to Parliament, I extend a warm welcome to them. On behalf of the Senate and my own behalf, I wish them a fruitful visit.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Let me join you in welcoming the students from Kabiro School, Nairobi City County. I encourage them to go back after this session in this House and work hard. I wish to tell them that the Senate is a House of order. This is where we make laws that govern various institutions in this country. Looking at this House, you realise that we have Members of both gender, meaning that if you work hard, your dreams will always be valid, and at one time, you may be in this House as well.
You have very strong leaders in your county. One of them is Sen. Sakaja, who is my Chairperson in the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, a Committee that is working very hard and solving a lot of labour issues. We also have Sen. Omanga, Sen. Kwamboka, Sen. Mugo and very many other leaders.
I encourage you to work hard, be disciplined, focused and shine in school. Come the future, you will go very far.
Hon. Senators, I hereby report to the Senate that a Petition has been submitted by Dr. Isaac Mwangi Mugo and Mr. P. Njiraini Wanjohi, regarding recognition of graduates in Range Management and Animal Production course to treat livestock diseases and offer related extension services. As you are aware, Article 119(1) of the Constitution says - “Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation.” Hon. Senators, the salient issues raised in the Petition are - (a) Since the passage of the Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Para- professionals Act in 2011, graduates who had undertaken training in Range Management and Animal Production at the Government run Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI), have been The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
discriminated against through non-recognition of their qualification to treat livestock diseases and other related extension services. Come in and take your seats.
(b) The said officers have also been discriminated against when it comes to accessing continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities for professionals serving in the veterinary field, thus impeding their career growth and progression. (c) That, additionally, the said graduates are not represented on regulatory bodies such as the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB), which has further extended their marginalisation. (d) That there is a huge shortage of agricultural extension officers in counties and correcting the anomaly in the law to recognise the academic qualification of these officers will enable them to secure employment with county governments and thus, address the said shortage. The Petitioner, therefore, prays that the Senate - (i) Amends the Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Para- professionals Act, 2011, with a view to merge the Range Management and Animal Production Course with that of Animal Health and Production. (ii) Advocates for graduates who have graduated in Range Management and Animal Production courses to be permitted to handle livestock diseases and provide extension services, which will also cure the shortage of veterinarians in the country. (iii) Advocates that the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) permits all students trained in livestock disease and related fields to be permitted to access the continuous professional development course. Hon. Senators, pursuant to Standing Order No. 231, I shall now allow comments, observations or clarifications in relation to the Petition for not more than 30 minutes. Sen. Were.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Petition. Recently, I came here with information that 70 per cent of veterinary doctors will be retiring in two years’ time. I sought a Statement from the Ministry of Agriculture to tell us how they are managing succession in this area of veterinary and animal production services. Even as we wait for that Statement, this Petition comes in handy. It is providing a solution to the shortage of veterinary doctors and meat inspectors that we expect in this country. It also comes at the right time when we have the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other viruses that are transmitted through animals. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
If we do not manage this process properly, we will continue to have these diseases that are spread by animals because we do not have enough veterinary doctors to deal with this issue or to make sure that we are eating meat that is inspected and healthy. Recognizing the graduates of veterinary management and animal production services is crucial so that they can meet the shortage. In the meantime, let us recognize their certificates and levels of education and incorporate them in the county government structure, because agriculture is a devolved function. This is to ensure that counties are able to make use of these graduates and deal with the shortage which will be massive in two years’ time. I support the petitioners. Thank you.
Sen. (Prof.) Ongeri.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. At one time, you were the Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Livestock. One of the most critical things that we need is a well-oiled and trained manpower to manage our livestock industry. It is one of the most expanding industries and important challenges of income generation for small scale farmers and holders of small parcels of land. Unless we have very competent, highly trained and well-motivated technical officers, it is going to be extremely difficult to handle the livestock department as it is today. Mr. Speaker Sir, you are aware that the parcels of land are particularly shrinking in Kisii County. You were the District Commissioner (DC) and District Officer (DO) there. We need to be able to keep livestock. The only persons who can reach in time are the veterinary technicians. I remember, when I was the Minister for Health, one of the things I had to grapple with is to create a structure where the health cadre workers required some level of recognition, depending on the type of qualification they have. There were technicians who had certificates and those who had diplomas. We then created another cadre of people apart from nurses and clinical officers who were working in the laboratory to help the medical cadre. I believe that veterinary medicine and human medicine are parallel in terms of order, hierarchy and the management of these professionals. Therefore, I support this Petition and I will be looking forward to my input. This is because I think it answers the very critical element of devolution of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to counties. Therefore, you need competent and well-versed individuals; more so, when you know that the surgeons who are going to retire after 70 years will leave this area bare. I support this Petition.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I thank these two individuals who sent the Petition to this House. Ordinarily, the Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries should be championing these kind of things, even without ordinary citizens prompting this House. I do hope that the eventual outcome of this Petition will be an amendment to the law. Many Senators here, including my colleague from Uasin-Gishu are very good dairy farmers. They will tell you that 90 per cent of the attention to their livestock is not The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
by degree holders. It is by certificate holders and diploma holders from the Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI) colleges. They do a wonderful job. There is not a single degree holder out there who is carrying out Artificial Insemination (AI) services or field extension services that go from farm to farm, home to home, battling diseases against poultry and goats and cows and all livestock. For a law to discriminate against this cadre of professionals, as Sen. (Prof.) Ongeri has said, is actually retrogressive. This is because out there, even when you go to other fields like engineering, one engineer needs about 200 mechanics, fitters and spanner boys to work. One doctor needs almost 100 nurses to optimally work. It is this kind of people that turn the economy around. If you go to a country like Germany, it is those low-level and mid-level colleges that churn out graduates that turn the wheel of the economy. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I urge the Committee that you will commit this Petition to, to move urgently and restore the respect and dignity and recognition of this cadre of veterinary professions. Colleagues who have been around a little longer like my sister Sen. Mugo will tell you that in the old days, it is diploma holders and certificate holders that moved around to help farmers. This was whether it was on coffee farms, maize farms or dairy farms. That situation has not changed. If we are talking of devolved veterinary services, employing certificate and diploma holders in the counties is cheaper than employing degree holders, yet they will give the same services. Therefore, this Petition is very important. The Committee should bring results as soon as possible. The Chairperson of the Committee should note that we have Petitions as good as this. Committees work and bring reports here, but this House does not have an Implementation Committee to follow up the outcome and ensure that the House is resolving what the committees are doing. The Committee will help to amend the law and change the policy. I urge that we bring back the Implementation Committee, so that when we have outcomes such as this one, the Committee will obligate and monitor the committees to ensure that accompanying and attendant legislation comes, for the people to benefit from the industry. It will also encourage patriotic Kenyans such as Mr. Mwangi Mugo and Mr. Njiraini Wanjohi, who I congratulate for bringing this matter. This is because it is so critically important to the success of devolution, particularly the field of agriculture.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to support this Petition on recognition of graduates in Range Management and Animal Production courses to treat animal diseases. For some of us who come from areas where we rely heavily on animal production for milk, animal health is very critical. When the animal is healthy, the milk and meat production will be quite high. This Petition is timely. In our counties, especially where the farmers come from, we have an inadequate number of extension and veterinary officers that assist farmers with advice that safeguards the health and productivity of the animal. This is because we should try to minimize the input and maximize the output. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, acquiring veterinary officers to treat and control animal diseases has been a huge challenge and that is why most farmers have been affected in one way or another. Seeing that the agricultural sector is one of the devolved functions, we should encourage counties to ensure that we increase the various professionals that provide extension services to our farmers. This is not only for animal production but for other production that occurs in farming. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is right that this recognition is given so that counties can be self-reliant. This is because in northern Kenya, parts of western Kenya, North Rift and other areas where they rely on these services, we need these professional veterinary officers to ensure that their extension services and provision of animal health is being provided. Finally, even as we look at this Petition, I hope the Committee that you will direct it to, will deal with it expeditiously. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in as much as we invest in animal health and animal production, we should also look at the pricing. We want to commend President Uhuru Kenyatta because a few months ago, he gave directions that the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) should buy more milk. We are being told by the Meteorological Department that the planting season has begun, the rains have also started again, and so we expect that milk production will go high. Therefore, we hope that with the directive of the President, the KCC, other actors and agencies should ensure that they mop up more milk so that we do not see a milk glut. This is so that even as we invest in animal health and animal extension services, our farmers can get value for their money. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I, therefore, look forward to the report from the Committee so that we can ensure the recognition of more professionals and put in place more focus in supporting our farmers through extension services. Thank you.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. This Petition is timely, and I agree with Sen. Wetangula that, maybe, we should have recognised this team of people earlier. In fact, I am wondering why you need 60 days. In this particular Petition, they are simply asking the Committee to move an amendment. Their inclusion into this profession and recognition can be dealt with at the public participation stage. The amendment should come on the Floor, and once the Bill is published, we would like to hear the objections that have been raised by various stakeholders. However, more importantly is to understand why they have been excluded. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the need to do this cannot be over-emphasized. The Governor of Kitui attempted artificial insemination recently, and she ran into headwinds; absolute headwinds. Everybody was wondering what she was doing. Part of the reason is because we do not have extension officers who are the people to explain artificial insemination. All the Wakambas in Kitui were just wondering what in the world artificial insemination is. Therefore, this is urgent. It surprised me a great deal – those who speak to Government functionaries should listen – that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are importing beef from Ethiopia, when many of our neighbours from Kajiado and Narok are famous for livestock The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
production and their cows are roaming everywhere. This is something we can exploit. Recently I heard that the people who are promoting agriculture want to be considered one man, one vote, one shilling. I want us to consider the people who are doing livestock farming as one man, one cow, one vote, one shilling or something. Thank you.
That is a nice one.
Proceed, Sen. Poghisio.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Let me also join you and the rest of the Senators in supporting this Petition. We are going this way now, even with public health, where we are considering community health workers. This means that we are beginning to look at how to reach the villages and the remote areas in our country. These graduates from AHITI and other institutions will help a lot in getting to the far-flung areas of our country to help with farming, especially in livestock and range management. Therefore, I want to congratulate the petitioners and wish them well. I also ask that the Committee that is going to handle this matter to begin to understand that there was a time in this country when we had institutions. We then converted them into institutions of higher learning and shut down some of those colleges because we did not think that they were useful. It is now time to bring them back and even open more, so that these people can be trained even in the counties themselves, so that we have many of them. Even if these professionals are not employed by the county governments, farmers can begin to hire these people in their farms for their own services. Therefore, let us move in that direction because we cannot wish them away. This is the cadre that will help most of us, especially people living in the pastoral communities where they are roaming with livestock. These are people who can actually walk and work with the pastoralists. Thank you. I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Petition. Mr. Speaker, Sir, you recall that since the mid-1980s, the national Government stopped absorbing university graduates of the department of veterinary medicine. I remember that some of our classmates of that time really suffered. While other graduates like teachers in the education sector and others in the agriculture sector were being absorbed, they were left out. To date, they have never been the same. Madam Speaker--- I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
I am sorry. Yesterday we had a madam Chair there. That was a slip of tongue. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the training of these young men and women takes place at AHITI in Kabete.
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Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. should listen and hear what I am saying. Maybe you did not know that your father-in-law, the late Ancent Mung’asia, was a registrar of AHITI, in Kabete.
Formerly, a friend of our Speaker, who worked under you when you were a Permanent Secretary (PS). Dr. Ancent Mutua also happened to have been the Principal of AHITI, Kabete, and he is currently the Principal of AHITI, Ndomba. I know that authoritatively. We also have another school of NIT situated in Athi River, Mavoko, in my constituency. What I am saying, in short, is that, this country is not short of the pool of technocrats in that area of veterinary and range management. There are very learned people, and I appreciate them because they deal with zoonotic. For those who are ignorant, zoonotic is the science of animal and human diseases. Therefore, as we face this tragedy of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), there are no better placed personnel to deal with this problem than these people. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if indeed, we go by analogy of medicine, we appreciate that we have very few doctors in Kenya in terms of their ratio to the population. The people who do the donkey work are the nurses, and I am sure that they are listening. Almost 80 or 90 per cent are the nurses, and they are doing their best. We appreciate some areas such as North Eastern Kenya and other related areas, where you may find one doctor in the entire Upper Eastern. The people who take care of the health status of our people there are the nurses.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Kenya being an agricultural economy, it is high time that these persons are well endowed. They need to be trained well, funded and given the jobs because they are doing a lot for our economy. I, therefore, insist that their funding needs to be enhanced.
Madam Speaker--- I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, Sir---
Senator for Machakos County, what were you doing yesterday with madams?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I appreciate that my sugar level is going down. I did not take lunch, but that is not to justify the slip of the tongue.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order Sen. Wetangula?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Sen. (Dr.) Kabaka is a very articulate and knowledgeable lawyer and Senator. He never makes these careless mistakes. What is it that he knows that we do not know?
Let me wind up---
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
There is another point of order from Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, somebody said that his name ‘Kabaka; in Uganda means “husband of husbands.” Could that be the reason; having too many wives?
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I think it is a revenge mission, because normally when you leave in the evening, the other lady Speakers are always referred to as “Mr. Speaker.”
Not at the rate at which the tongue of the Senator for Machakos is slipping. Please conclude.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for indulging me. It is a nice afternoon jest. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I wind up, I support your Petition, that these Kenyans citizens be supported by the State. Let us amend the law where it is necessary to render the relevant effect.
Hon. Senators, subsequent Senators will have three minutes each, because we have to manage the time.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to support this Petition and congratulate Dr. Mugo and Mr. Wanjohi. This is a very progressive Petition they have brought forward. This country is about 80 per cent arid and semi-arid, which means that arable land is only about 20 per cent of the land mass of the country.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, graduates of range management and animal production are some of the people that have been ignored for a very long time. Some of us know very well that whereas we used to have extension workers, the range managers were very few and scattered. Whatever the reason was, they were disadvantaged.
I like the way they have petitioned that they should be allowed to treat livestock because currently, a range manager is a useful person in beef and even dairy production. Some of us have used them successfully. Without the aspect of health and treating animals, they will still go and look for somebody else to treat their animals. The production aspect is very small, because it is about feeds, which you can advise a farmer as they write down. However, the treatment of the animals is what sustains these graduates.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I like this Petition. The Committee should see to it that it goes beyond the current content that is being offered in our institutions. Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI) is well known for animal health. Why we produce a graduate from an animal health institution who does not practice health is something that AHITI needs to think about.
I appeal to Members of the Committee that if necessary, they should go beyond just inquiring about whether the current products can do it. If they cannot, they must be made to do it. That means that the content of health should come in. There is no harm having an officer who is an expert in range management and animal production and health, because the same AHITI produces graduates who are experts in animal production and health. They also have a course in range management and animal production. We The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
need people who are packaged properly to manage animals in a rangeland situation for beef production and also be able to treat the animals.
This is a very important Petition. The Committee should find it necessary to invite the institutions and question the curriculum they are using to train the experts that we have. The truth, like Sen. Wetangula said, is that diploma graduates are doing much more that the graduates. The graduates have narrowed themselves to areas of specialization. These are the most useful cadre of staff we have in the field currently. Therefore, it is important that we equip them properly, distribute them properly, and start considering serious beef production.
Like some Members have said, it is true that once upon a time, we used to export beef. Kenyan beef was one of the best delicacies in the world. Corned beef that used to be exported was one of the best products from this country. We need to go back there. To go back there, we must first have experts in production so that we produce the best beef that can be canned, the way we used to do, and we will do well.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the chance to support this Petition. I wholeheartedly support it because I am from a pastoralist community. Those of us from pastoralist communities will appreciate some of the extension and range management officers being all over the North Eastern counties, because we depend on our animals. Our existence, livelihood, culture and traditions all depend on animals. Due to that, these are the people who should be supported by the Government so that we produce enough animals to sustain the lives of Kenyans living in the North Rift and North Eastern.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when you hear that people are starving in places like Turkana, the reason is not because of lack of food or anything else; it is because of something contributed by nature, such as the locusts that have invaded the areas. They consume all the grass and, consequently, our animals have nothing to feed on. As result, they do not produce enough milk, therefore our people start starving. At the same time, there are diseases that come and wipe out our animals. Imagine a whole man, like Sen. (Prof.) Ekal, sitting there watching his animals get decimated by a certain disease because there is no medicine to treat them! This is very heartbreaking for the pastoral communities. We should have these extension officers and veterinary officers out there to help people deal with these diseases so they do not lose a lot. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when you look at the economy of the country, every time I sell my he-goats, the Government gets money from that. Therefore, there should be support in such way that more of those animals can be reared so that people have meat to consume. Where will Kenyans get their meat in a few years’ time? Those pastoral communities should be helped to rear more animals so that the rest of the country can continue to get their proteins and food. I would like to support this Petition, which is timely and welcome. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Petition. This is not just a Petition as it were. This is more of a cry from individuals and young people in The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
this country who took time to go to school, they spent so much time to get an education and, at the end of the day, they came out with certificates. A lot of money was expended to ensure that they got an education because their parents paid school fees. At the end of the day, they have nowhere to run to, other than to come to this Senate, because somebody somewhere has not recognised them. Why would the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) not recognize people who have been trained and have been churned out to the market? Why would they not allow them to even develop, career-wise? To me, this is louder than just a Petition. It is more of a cry that something must be done regarding these people, who have gone to school. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have children who have refused to go to school. We have people who are rogue and have refused to even get an education. We have others who would otherwise have wanted to get an education, but their parents were not able to pay their fees. However, these particular ones are a group that has gone to school. Why would we not allow them to get into the market? In fact, denying them to join their professional bodies and denying them recognition in the Act means that we are denying these people a livelihood. We are denying them their right of education, which is so wrong. I hope that this will be handled with the urgency that it deserves. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
I can see Sen. Wambua looking at me with begging eyes. Now that the people in Kitui County did not understand what artificial insemination is, let me give you three minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for the three minutes. I want to join you and my colleagues to support this Petition from Dr. Mugo and Mr. Njiraini. I want to say two things; one, when I look at this Petition, the first port of call for me would be to look at the curriculum being offered at AHITI. We should also look at its relevance to present day challenges facing livestock farmers in this country. It would be appreciated that we are developing new breeds of livestock and encountering new diseases affecting our livestock every now and then. It would be important that the AHITI relooks its curriculum, and aligns it with the present day realities in the livestock industry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the matter of the petitioners on behalf of their colleagues not being allowed to undertake continuous professional development, that is almost criminal. When you go for training and you want to advance in your field, it is only fair that the necessary opportunities are given to you to advance your training in the area that you are specialized in. A huge percentage of this country is arid and semi-arid, and that is where we practice a lot of livestock husbandry. The services of extension officers are really needed there. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as the Senator for Makueni County mentioned, there was a recent attempt by the County Government of Kitui to undertake artificial insemination there, and it ended up very badly. This was partly because of poor planning; but for a better part, because of a decision not to use the people who are trained and are professionals in that field of livestock keeping to undertake the project. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support Dr. Mugo and Mr. Njiraini in this Petition, and urge that the least that we can do is to respond to their prayer No. 3; that these students be allowed access to continuous professional development courses. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Order, Senators. In my previous tour of service, like they have said, I worked in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; I was actually the Permanent Secretary. Therefore, this Petition is very important. Pursuant to Standing Order 232(1), the Petition should be committed to the relevant standing committee for its consideration. In this case, I direct that the Petition be committed to the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. In terms of Standing Order 232, the committee is required, in not more than 60 calendar days from the time of reading the prayer, to respond to the petitioners by way of a report addressed to the petitioner and laid on the Table of the Senate. I hope that the committee will move with speed as they did when it came to the report of locusts. I thank you. Next Order.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to lay the following paper on the Table of the Senate, today Wednesday, 4th March, 2020-
Report of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and related meetings, held in Belgrade, Serbia, on 13th to 17th October, 2019.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give Notice of the following Motion- THAT the Senate notes the Report of the Parliament of Kenya delegation to the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related meetings, held in Belgrade, Serbia, on 13th to 17th October, 2019, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 4th March, 2020.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to give Notice of Motion requesting for an extension of the mandate of the Select Committee on Managed Equipment Services (MES)- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
THAT, AWARE that the Senate resolved to establish a select Committee comprising nine (9) Senators to investigate and establish the facts surrounding the leasing of the Medical Equipment in the now 119 beneficiary hospitals country wide; APPRECIATING, that the mandate of the Select Committee is due to lapse on Friday, 6th March 2020; REGRETING, that due to heavy workload and sheer magnitude of the assignment, the Committee is yet to table its report in the House and requires more time to hold hearings with crucial witnesses, amongst them Mr. James Macharia, EGH Cabinet Secretary, in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development, and Public Works; Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, CBS Principal Secretary, in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning; and Amb. (Dr.) Cleopas Mailu; NOW THEREFORE, the Senate resolves to renew the mandate of the Committee by a further period of thirty (30) days to enable it conclude its work and table its report in the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
We move on to the next Order.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise pursuant to Standing Order 47(1) to make a Statement on a matter of national, international as well as general topical concern, namely celebrating international women’s day . Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my great pleasure to address you this afternoon in my capacity as the President of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU), the world organization of parliaments, as we celebrate the International Women’s Day on 8th March, 2020. Mr. Speaker Sir, talking about celebrations, the IPU turned 130 years old last year. At the time of its creation in 1889, when the IPU first brought together parliamentarians from across the globe, all of them were men. It was only in the early 1920s that women parliamentarians started attending IPU conferences after they were first elected to national parliaments. However today, women are extremely prominent and vocal in the organization as a result of the mechanisms provided by the Bureau and Forum of Women Parliamentarians for women to influence the decisions made at inter- parliamentary forums. Mr. Speaker Sir, the IPU has been a pioneer in introducing positive measures to ensure women occupy key positions in the organization. For example, in the 1980s, quotas for women in the Executive Committee were introduced. Resultantly, the Executive Committee today is made up of nearly 40 per cent women, and is chaired by Gabriela Cuevas. Gabriela Cuevas is a young woman parliamentarian from Mexico, and The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
the second woman to occupy this position in the IPU’s history. This experience shows that there is political will. However, we still have a long way to go, based on data collated by the IPU. Mr. Speaker Sir, 2020 is a watershed moment. This is because we are celebrating 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA), which provides a roadmap for gender equality. In 1995, the States that were gathered in Beijing committed to achieving gender equality in political decision making. 25 years later, we have gained 13.6 per cent points in women’s representation in parliaments, moving from 11.3 per cent to 24.9 per cent overall. We haven’t even reached 30 per cent, as intermediate target. From a regional point of view, the political momentum since the 1990s has led the Americans to make substantial progress. The region has reached over 31 per cent of women parliamentarians on average in national parliaments, up from 13 per cent in 1995. Europe comes second, just below 30 per cent. The Sub-Saharan Africa is third, with 24.4 per cent women parliamentarians. This is something to be proud of since 25 years ago, Africa had less than 10 per cent women Members of Parliaments (MPs). Mr. Speaker Sir, the Middle East and North Africa region has made spectacular progress, moving from over 4 per cent in 1995 to more than 16 per cent in 2020. Since the mid-2000s, no country in the region restricts women’s right to vote or stand for elections any longer. After Qatar had women appointed to Parliament in 2017, the region no longer has Parliaments without women members. As regards women Speakers, they are now 1 in 5; whereas in 1995, they were 1 in 10. Today, among 57 women Speakers, 16 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. That is the same figure as in Europe. Progress is real but too slow; we need to move faster. Mr. Speaker Sir, since Beijing, the IPU has made it clear that genuine democracy requires gender equality in representation and in effective decision-making power. Today, we know that gender equality in decision-making is also key to achieving sustainable development and peace. Therefore, there should be no more talk about why it matters, but rather how we get there. Mr. Speaker Sir, in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), positive measures have been adopted in every single continent, both at the level of political parties and in electoral laws. 130 countries have some type of gender quota in place. These measures aim to redress the historical discrimination that has led to women’s under representation in politics, such as limited access to resources, lesser decision-making power within families and society; and gender stereotypes that confine women to the domestic sphere. Mr. Speaker Sir, while we need to address these underlying causes of women’s under-representation, there are measures that can have immediate effect and increase the number of women in political leadership. At the IPU, we have supported parliaments to enact legislation that promotes women’s participation. These measures help break down mental barriers, both to the public and to women themselves, who have role models to aspire to. Mr. Speaker Sir, in spite of this, gender quotas should not become another glass ceiling for women by targeting a minimum goal or critical mass of 30 per cent. For the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
IPU, 50/50 should be the ultimate goal and the norm, everywhere. Today, Rwanda and Bolivia have reached the top of the IPU ranking of women in parliament through laws on affirmative action that have allowed them to achieve gender parity. Others have followed suit, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mexico. Mr. Speaker Sir, out of the top 20 countries with the largest share of women in Parliament in 2020, 16 apply some form of gender quota. In these countries, gender quotas have often formed part of comprehensive reforms to advance gender equality in politics and in society. Political will is required to enact ambitious quotas. However, for them to bear fruits, we must also incentivise political parties to recruit women, ensure equal access to resources and media coverage during campaigns; build a more gender- sensitive political culture, support civil society efforts to empower women and girls; and remove all societal, economic and legal barriers to women’s full autonomy. Mr. Speaker Sir, progress has been achieved in every corner of the globe through decisive action by political leaders, men and women alike. Everywhere, male Speakers have paved the way for women to lead, and women Speakers have served as spectacular role models for other women. Gender equality is everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, national parliaments should lead the way by becoming fully gender sensitive institutions where women and men share responsibilities, and where there is a culture of zero tolerance towards sexism, harassment and violence against women, in line with the IPU guidelines on this matter. Parliaments must be gender-sensitive, inclusive and family- friendly workplaces. Mr. Speaker Sir, I take this opportunity to urge all hon. Senators to walk the talk and aim to achieve gender parity by 2030. I also take this opportunity to invite all of you to a Pre-International Women’s Day breakfast meeting tomorrow, 5th March, 2020, at 7.30 a.m, in the New Restaurant, New Wing, Main Parliament Buildings. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
That is good, Madam President. I was there when you were elected, and you are right to say that we must lead by example, because the Senate leads IPU. Before I allow a few Senators to contribute, I have a brief Communication to make.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I join the distinguished Senator for Nakuru County on that Statement. I expected her to acknowledge that yours truly and you, Mr. Speaker, come from a county that has made major strides in women elections. In Bungoma County, out of 45 Wards, we have 13 elected women, which is just shy of the one-third constitutional rule. Out of those, the only woman Majority Leader in Kenya in the county assemblies is in Bungoma. The Chief Whip and the Chairperson of the Budget Committee are women, and they do a fantastic job.
As we talk about women liberation, I expected also the distinguished Senator to acknowledge that the last frontier of women operation, Saudi Arabia, last year, opened a very small window by allowing women to drive and watch football, something that they were never allowed to do before. It is that crack in the window that will eventually open up the door. As I speak, I want to salute women like the distinguished Senator for Isiolo and the Senator for Uasin Gishu, who took the gauntlet, faced men, raced against them, defeated them and came to this House in their own right. I want to urge my sister Senators not to wait to be given, but to go for it. The late Tanzanian President Mwalimu Nyerere said that you should not wait to be made relevant by anybody; fight for your space and relevance. I was once nominated like you are, for one term, and that was the end. So, move on and go and wrestle these seats from men because as you say, what men can do, women can do even better. We salute our women folk and encourage them not to fight for tokenism, but for rights. Rights are fought through competition and not tokens.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Allow me, on behalf of the House, to first welcome the students from Makadara in Nairobi. These are my constituents. I ask that they feel very welcome and see what their Senator is doing amongst other Senators. Let them also know that one day, whatever they choose to put their minds to, especially the girls who are there, noting that 8th March, will be International Women’s Day, if they are disciplined, believe in God and their abilities, they will make it. I am looking forward to visiting them soon. I want to thank Sen. Kihika, Madam President of the Women’s Bureau of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for bringing this Statement. She forgot to say that in this House there are also male champions for women; the he-for-she movement. I am proud to have led the delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Conference the other year. However, when I was going there, some Members were complaining asking: “Why is Sen. Sakaja going to mkutano wa wamama ?”
You are wondering why we left you. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the campaign for gender equality is one that affects us all. In fact, this year’s theme for the International Women’s Day is: “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Right; Each for Equal.” That is the hash tag. It is talking about the campaign moving one generation lower. It is not just any other International Women’s Day. This year is the five-year milestone towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and also the 10th Anniversary of the UN Women Establishment; it is a special one. I am dedicating this year’s International Women’s Day to my daughter, Emily, because I pray that by the time she comes of age, there will be no difference between what is seen as a horizon or limit for a woman and what is there for a man. Anything that is available out there career-wise or professionally, women should be able to get. Unfortunately, girls and women have been under-valued for a long time. Women have to work more and earn less. In politics and leadership, they have to do twice as much to get half the attention that men get. That is why, in the last Parliament, I am proud that as the Chairperson of the Committee on Cohesion and Equal Opportunities, we brought the 30 per cent Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO); 30 per cent procurement opportunities for women, youth and persons with disabilities, in as much as the uptake is low and there has been a lot of games being played by people. These are the things that we might continue championing, so that our women can be economically free. Politically, I am proud because I have been a party leader. We are very few in this House, that is, my distinguished uncle, you, Mr. Speaker--- You have been a party leader. In the 2013 election, when I was Chairman of The National Alliance (TNA), out of the 16 women elected, half – 8 out of 16 - were from The National Alliance (TNA). Madam President was a speaker in the Nakuru County Assembly courtesy of that. The trick was not giving women any favour in the election, but making sure that there was a free and fair playing ground. When there is an even playing ground, women and young people will excel. Finally, I pray that we can ensure that we get more women elected. Our claim to democracy is severely tainted when half of the team is not on the field. We cannot have a country where half of the team is left out of the field and the game is left just to men. Even with the corruption cases, the ones affecting women are very few, although the ones who commit the crimes are very vicious. Thank you, Madam President for bringing this. We will support you and I want to urge male Members to, please, attend this breakfast. Let us show our women colleagues that we support them because a candle does not lose its light when lighting another candle. Let us support what they are looking for in the 30 per cent rule and the quest for gender parity. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This Parliament and particularly the Senate, nominated me to be a rapporteur for the IPU Parliament on Gender Parity. The theme then, and I believe maybe Rt. Hon. Former Prime Minister Raila Amollo Odinga and President Uhuru borrowed the Building Bridges Initiative from there, was how men can build bridges together with women, where men become the champions for gender parity. I am unapologetically a champion of gender parity.
Unapologetically, and it is at 50 per cent. My Party believes the same. If we take power, it will be 50-50, no negotiation. Yes, that is a promise. I want to confess that even when I was advising Sen. Dullo, even her own party was discriminating her. We want to encourage our daughters – and you know that I have a very strong sister who is a lawyer - that they are not growing up in a country where their brothers and men are going to discriminate on them. Whether it is positions of employment or leadership, it is a fallacy to have 30 per cent that whilst women are 50 per cent, and we are saying that even 30 per cent is a ceiling, it cannot be. We must continue advocating for women to occupy positions of leadership. Lastly, there is a certain correlation between development and recognition of women. Rwanda is at 66 per cent; no wonder Rwanda is doing better than Kenya by far.
Sweden and Norway are amongst the Nordic countries that are the richest in the world with balanced budgets, and where I went with Sen. Dullo, everybody was in shock and awe because in all leadership positions, 1, 2 and 3 were women. Therefore, it is my submission that there is correlation between under-development, corruption, tribalism and discrimination of women. That is where Kenya is.
Whereas most do not recognize the efforts made by Sen. Mugo, I have got the women atlas of the world. In that acknowledgement, one name of a Kenyan by the name Sen. Mugo was recognized for her unrelenting fight for women of this world. That is what it takes for leadership in this country; it is recognition. Fight for your space. It is not a question of tokenism; get there, fight and wrestle these men out of business. I am looking for a country where you have a President like in Croatia, a lady who takes their national team to the World Cup. That sort of thing and not a meeting of stags. There are many men in Jubilee Government and that is why you are giving us problems.
What is your point of order Sen. Sakaja?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, is it in order that he speaks very well for 10 minutes and spoils the last minute by bringing in the Jubilee Government. The case is the same in all our parties, including Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya (WDM-K). The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
That is what happens in football. A goal keeper can do very well and then let in a goal in the 89th minute and the match is over. Sen. Dullo.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity, I wish to join my colleagues in congratulating Sen. Kihika. Sen. Kihika, you need to hear that and Sen. Wamatangi, please take your seat.
Women are in charge today. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I thank Sen. Kihika for this Statement because she has represented Kenyan women in the Inter-Parliamentarian Union (IPU) all over the world. Secondly, I would like to thank the Speaker of the Senate. I remember when Sen. Kihika was looking for this opportunity to travel to the first IPU meeting, we went with her to see the Speaker and requested him to give Sen. Kihika the opportunity, which he did. When he gave her the opportunity, she was elected the President of IPU. Thank you very much for lifting the hands of women in this House. Thirdly, the theme for this year is: “Fighting for your right as women”. We have come from very far as women and we have really struggled to be where we are. Some of the men have supported us to get to where we are today. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can give my own experience; that women do struggle and fight for positions and when the real action comes, we are shortchanged. I supported Jubilee Party and Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. can bear me witness, but I was almost thrown out of Jubilee Party the last minute, even after participating in all activities of the party; writing manifestos, attending meetings and putting everything in order. Unfortunately, they had to bring a man to contest against me in the Jubilee Party nominations. The Jubilee party did not take me seriously. They went round saying that I will not make it to the Senate and asked why I was wasting their time. Before the results were announced, so and so called me to tell me: “We are so proud of you”. I am just giving an example. Clearly, we are struggling and working hard but we can only be recognized when we have made it.
Sen. Sakaja, I can see you are yielding to pressure. What is your point of intervention?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me finish.
He is on a point of order.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I really feel for the Senator for all she went through. As she says that, she should remind this House that courtesy of Jubilee party, she is the first female Deputy Leader of Majority. Even when you bite, you must blow a bit.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, he does not have to blow the trumpet for me. I can do that. It is good to share the experience so that people can understand where we have come from. As he said, after the call, I was promised the position of Deputy Majority Leader, having worked entirely without their support. Let me take this opportunity to thank the Isiolo community and voters for having trusted me as a woman – more so, a Muslim woman – in this position. I really thank them because this can open a way for other women in our counties. Having said that, we have gained a lot, but we are still having a lot of problems, for example, access to resources. Women, especially in the rural areas are having a lot of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
challenges. For instance, the legal requirement for women, youth and persons with disabilities to access 30 per cent of Government procurement opportunities. Today, men are going for those contracts and it is given to them, which is not fair. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this morning, I was calling the civil society to support women in my county to celebrate the International Women’s Day. Unfortunately, the county government have a budget for gender but cannot support those women. It is really unfortunate. Shame on them! Violation of women’s rights is still happening; gender based violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), husbands beating wives and vice versa in some cases which is about 1 per cent. Reproductive right is a right within the provisions of our Constitution. Unfortunately, our women are dying in most of those hospitals. The Government has provided a lot of money to take care of women reproductive rights and women are denied those opportunities which we still continue to fight for. Finally, politically, we have made strides and in the last election, we had many women elected in various positions. We should gather more courage and fight for those positions. As our colleagues have said, nobody will lift your hand and tell you to come for the position. You have to fight for space and make sure that we are equal; not biologically but fighting for opportunities. We are equal and we should fight for those positions. We should also recognize women who have gained various positions. As a country, we should take International Women’s Day seriously so that we recognize that day, what we have and need to achieve. Normally the International Women’s Day in our country is a low key celebration, where it looks like a women’s only issue and men do not participate. I have participated in several celebrations. However, as a country, we need to give it weight so that we can recognize the gains of women in this country, encourage others to come up and fight for their rights. I thank you.
I can see a lot of interest. I will give the rest three minutes each. Sen. (Dr.) Musuruve, you have the Floor.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I want to congratulate the President of IPU, Sen. Kihika. I also thank her for coming up with this Statement. It is an honor for the women in Africa. The theme for this year is: “Each for equal”. An equal world is an enabled world. Everyone must be involved in ensuring women are somewhere and there is balanced gender parity. Everyone has a duty and responsibility of ensuring that women achieve. When celebrating the Women World Day, we are celebrating women’s achievements politically, socially, economically and culturally. When we look at the history of women development, we see that women have come from very far. At one point in 1913, there were very few women attending this Summit, but with time, the number has increased. Women can never make it without men. We need the men to come in and stand for women for us to reach somewhere. That is why this year the theme is: ‘Each for equal’ because we have realized that when we have the good will of men, it is possible---
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Let us consult in low tones. I can see so many of you on your feet. Proceed, Sen. (Dr.) Musuruve.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. As women, if we have the support of men on our side, we can go far. It is not possible to have sustainable development if we have women lagging behind.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when talking of equality, equality should prevail everywhere, including in media coverage. When it comes to media coverage, there is need for women who have actually made it to be covered by the media in order to mentor others. This is because when it comes to setting the agenda, the media is very important. Therefore, the mainstream media should come out and cover women who are making it because we must progress. Women have stagnated for quite some time, but I appreciate that women in many countries in Africa are making a milestone and are progressing. That is why we are saying here, as women, that even if the two-thirds gender rule fails, there is still a window for us. This is because currently, women are lobbying for more positions; and we are also talking of the Opposite Gender Rule. That will help in increasing women visibility politically and socially---
Your time is up---
The world has heard you loudly and clearly.
Okay; you have one minute.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the whole world must hear this. When we are talking about women empowerment and women in leadership, let us also consider women with disabilities, who have been forgotten. This is because when we look at the women being profiled in the media, both the local and international, women with disability are not being profiled. I request the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to kindly take that into account so that women with disabilities are profiled. That way, we do not leave behind other women as other mainstream women climb up the ladder. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for adding me the opportunity.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I congratulate the IPU President, Sen. Kihika. Women issues should also become part of men issues. I encourage women to use men as the champions of most women issues in the world. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I was telling my Chair, Sen. Sakaja, that although the Commission on Status of Women (CSW) Conference has been cancelled because of the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) fears, he should have allowed some of us to attend the conference because men can champion more for the issues of women. Secondly, Mr. Speaker, Sir, from where I come from in Nandi, I am proud of Nandi County because out of 30 Members of County Assembly (MCAs), five are elected female MCAs. That is what we should encourage. My neighbour, Sen. (Prof.) Kamar---
Order, Members! Let us consult in low tones. The Senator for Nandi County is making a pregnant point.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, out of 30 MCAs in Nandi, five of them were elected women; and we are very proud of it because it is unique. My neighbouring Senator for Uasin Gishu County is a woman of prolific profile; Sen. (Prof.) Margaret Kamar. Of course, she might become the future Governor of Uasin Gishu County. These are some of the things that we want to encourage. Even as we discuss issues of affirmative action, assisting women to achieve their gains, which I know has not been easy--- I congratulate Sen. Kihika, my leader, Sen. Dullo and all women. This is because at least now in the Council of Governors (CoGs), although we lost Dr. Joyce Laboso, we have quite a number of women; although some of them do not give a good picture for women. Here in the Senate, I am proud of all the women Senators that were elected. We are very proud of them. Women issues should be given priority. Finally, Mr. Speaker, Sir, even as we have the national discourse and the validation programmes of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), I want to encourage Sen. Kihika, the IPU President, to have a cogent presentation before the BBI Committee so that women issues can be captured. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Basi tusikize Kiswahili kutoka kwa Sen. Zawadi.
Asante, Bw. Spika. Nataka kumpongeza Sen. Kihika kwa kuleta mjadala huu wa kina mama. Bw. Spika, Mwenyezi mungu alimuumba mwanamke akiwa ametulia sana kwa sababu alikuwa kiumbe cha mwisho kuumbwa.
Vitu vyote vilikuwa vimeumbwa, lakini akaona bado havitoshi; kuna upungufu; ndio maana akamuumba mwanamke. Kwa hivyo, mwanamke ni kiumbe ambacho The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
hakifananishwi na mtu mwingine yeyote. Yeye ni kiumbe cha kipekee ambacho Mwenyezi Mungu akakipa hadhi kubwa. Vile vile, Bw. Spika, kwa uchache tu, kuna msemo naskia wazungumshi wakizungumza siku hizi, kwamba gavana akiwa mwanaume, mwana chini wake awe mwanamke. Mimi napinga hilo. Nasema kwamba gavana akiwa mwanamke, basi chini yake awe mwanamume kwa sababu twaweza kina mama. Na haya sio mambo na pesa---
Hoja ya nidhamu, Bw. Spika.
Sen. Faki, what is your point of order? Hoja ni
Bw. Spika, sio nia yangu kumsimamisha Sen. Zawadi, lakini anaposema kwamba mwanamke ni kiumbe maalumu au tofauti, wakati twajua kuwa mwanamke alitoka katika ubavu wa mwanamume---
Sen. Zawadi, endelea.
Wajua mahali pengine hapana mjadala. Upende, ukatae; mwanamke ni kiumbe muhimu. Kama ulikuwa wa maana sana, mbona ubavu utolewe nitengezwe mimi, na ulikuwa uko nao mwilini mwako mwenyewe? Kwa hivyo, mwanamke ni kiumbe muhimu; tukubali hilo kwanza. Halafu pia nataka kuishukuru Serikali ya Kenya; pamoja na yote ambayo uko nayo, imenifanya mimi nimekaa hapa Seneti leo. Hii ni kwa sababu ya Serikali ya Kenya na vyama vyetu tulivyo navyo.
Najipongeza kama Seneta niliyekaa hapa, lakini bado sijatosheka. Kama vile Jakobo alikuwa anampenda Rachel, lakini hakumpata akampata Leah. Sio aliyekuwa amemtaka, lakini hakufa moyo; akarudi pale pale mpaka akampata Rachel. Nasi pia vile vile tuko hapa, lakini bado tuko na ari na mawazo ya kwamba kesho tutapata pale mahali tulipokuwa tukipataka. Sen. Wetangula, lako hilo nnakupa. Tuko hapa, lakini kisha baada ya muda, na sisi pia tutatoka tuwe na vile viti ambavyo twavitaka. Mwisho nikimalizia, Bw. Spika, nataka kumsifu mwanamke. Mwanamke amebobea mpaka kwa jua kali pia yupo; sio katika vyeo vikubwa tu, hata jua kali. Wanawake wamekuwa wabunifu, na wanafanya kazi zote ambazo mwanamke alionekana kuwa hawezi kufanya. Vile vile pia, vyama vyetu vya kisiasa pia vyafaa vituangalie. Mara nyingi mwanamke akisimama, anaulizwa iwapo ameolewa; ilhali mume haulizwi iwapo ameoa. Kwa hivyo, kuna sheria fulani ambazo bado zinatugandamiza kama wanawake katika jamii, na tunafaa tuziondoe. Mwanamke ni kiumbe, kama kiumbe yeyote mwingine, na anaweza kufanya kazi yoyote ambayo mwanamume anaweza kufanya. Kwa hivyo, tusibaguane kwa misingi wa kijinsia kwa sababu sote tuko sawa mbele za Mungu. Asante, Bw. Spika.
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Asante, Bw. Spika, kwa kunipa fursa hii kuchangia hoja ya Seneta wa Nakuru, Sen. Kihika. Kwanza, nampongeza Sen. Kihika kwa kuleta Mswada huu kuadhimisha siku ya kina mama ambayo itakuwa tarehe nane, mwezi wa tatu mwaka huu. Ijapokuwa wanawake walipata matatizo mengi huko nyuma, sasa hivi tunaona kuna mwangaza umetokea katika vita vyao dhidi ya kubaguliwa; dhidi ya zile itikadi za zamani ambazo ni kinyume na maadili na kanuni; na vile vie pia dhidi ya ujinga. Wakati tulipopata Uhuru mara ya kwanza, tulikuwa tunapigana vita mbili; umaskini na ujinga. Kwa hivyo, tumeona kwamba wanawake wamepiga hatua kubwa katika vita dhidi ya mambo hayo. Bw. Spika, mbali na kuwa wanaume pia wanachangia kurejea nyuma kwa wanawake kwa sababu ya shida ambazo Sen. Zawadi amezungumzia, kwa mfano, kuulizwa iwapo ameolewa ama hajaolewa wakati anataka nafasi ya kisiasia, hiyo ni dalili kwamba unambagua mwanamke kwa sababu ya hali yake ya kijinsia. Kwa hivyo, lazima wanaume sasa wasonge mbele ili wahakikishe ya kwamba wasiwaache akina mama nyuma. Bw. Spika, nimefrurahi pia kwamba hivi majuzi, Serikali ya Uhuru Kenyatta ilimchagua msichana anayeitwa Nadia kutoka Mombasa - aliye katika wale ambao wako chini ya miaka 30 – kuwa ni Principal Secretary au Katibu wa Kudumu katika Wizara ya
Hili ni jambo la kutia moyo sana, kwa sababu limeweza kuwainua wasichana wadogo. Hii ni kwa sababu wao pia watakuwa na matumaini kwamba Serikali inaangalia masilahi yao, na pia kuwa wanaweza kuongoza katika nchi hii. Bw. Spika, nikimalizia ni kwamba hili ni jambo ambalo lazima tuwatie moyo wanawake, wahakikishe kwamba wanaweza kufikia malengo yao kwa upeo mkubwa zaidi.
Inasemekana kwamba kwa kila mwanamke aliyefaulu, kuna mwanamume anayemuunga mkono. Lazima tuhakikishe tunasaidia wanawake kutimiza malengo yao ya kimaisha na vile vile ya ulimwengu utakaofuata. Bi. Spika wa Muda, wasichana wetu lazima walindwe kutokana na itikadi mbovu kama vile ukeketaji, ndoa za mapema na mambo mengine kama ubakaji kwa sababu wao ndio---
Your time is up, Sen. Faki. Kindly proceed, Sen. (Rev.) Waqo.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this Statement as well as congratulate the President of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). I thank the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
people of Nakuru County who did not go wrong in electing Sen. Kihika. She is a great woman who has represented the Senate and women Senators in the IPU well. Sen. Kihika is doing a good job in representing the people of Nakuru County in the Senate. I congratulate her for the great things that she is doing for this nation on behalf of women. Women in Kenya are very committed in whatever they do. Unfortunately, the only time men distance themselves from women is when it comes to sharing of political positions. Other times, men try to please women and get close to them but when it comes to sharing of political positions, men become selfish. That is why it has taken long to achieve development in Kenya. Madam Temporary Speaker, there are few elected women Senators in this House. You cannot compare elected women Senators to our male colleagues. Sen. Dullo, the Senator for Isiolo County has always stood firm and supported her people. We congratulate the elected women Senators and urge the nominated women Senators like myself to go for elected posts. I thank the Jubilee Party for nominating me and giving me this opportunity. However, women should aim higher and fight for the positions that they want to acquire in future. There are many young women who are talented and committed. Many women in the counties need to be encouraged because they are intimidated in many ways. We cannot allow women to be intimidated further. I urge the women MCAs to be firm, focused and always fight for their rights. If women do not fight for their rights, the men will never remember when it comes to leadership positions. We need to nature our young girls, so as to empower the generations to come. The young people need to be empowered so that they can compare themselves to---
Your time is up, Sen. (Rev.) Waqo.
Senators, consult in low tones for us to follow the deliberations. Sen. Kihika, this is your Statement. Kindly pay attention. Kindly proceed, Sen. Wario, Senator for Tana River County.
Asante sana Bi. Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa fursa hii. Naunga mkono Rais wa Bureau of Women Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU), Sen. Kihika, kwa kuleta Taarifa hii kwenye Seneti. Nawaunga mkono akina mama hapa Seneti. Wanawake wanapaswa kuinuliwa katika nyanja zote za maendeleo. Wasichana na wavulana ni watoto katika familia. Tunapoinua wavulana, ni vyema tuwainue wasichana pia kwa sababu katika kujenga taifa dhabiti, lazima nguvu zote zitumike. Akina mama wakiwa na hafla yao, Maseneta wanaume wanafaa kuwaunga mkono. Wanawake hutulia zaidi wanaume wakiwa karibu nao. Wanaume wamekuwa wakiwaunga wanawake mkono katika mambo mengi. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Seneta mwenzangu alisema kwamba wanawake ni viumbe waliotulia sana lakini kwa wanawake kutiuia zaidi, lazima baba awe karibu. Kwa hivyo nawaomba Maseneta wanaume wasikose hafla itakayoandaliwa kusherehekea siku ya akina mama. Katika hafla hiyo, ukiona mama ameketi peke yake, tafadhali nenda ukae karibu naye ili atulie kama maji ya mtungi.
Nawapenda Maseneta wanawake na nimeona wamefurahishwa na jambo hilo. Nitahudhuria hafla hiyo ya akina mama. Naunga mkono Rais wa akina mama katika IPU ambaye aikuwa Spika wa Kaunti ya Nakuru na Seneta anayewakilisha Kaunti ya Nakuru sasa hivi.
Finally, Sen. (Dr.) Milgo.
I thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for giving this opportunity. I would like to congratulate Sen. Kihika for representing Kenya and Africa in the IPU well. The position that is held by Sen. Kihika in the IPU was highly contested but she emerged the winner. I am happy that she has performed her roles well in that position. In supporting her Statement, I would like to state that gender equality is a human rights issue. However, there are many gaps existing that can enable women get to the decision making table. Although currently women hold 40 per cent of position of leadership, we still have a long way to go. You will realize that in the just concluded census, women are well over 50 per cent, yet they still lag behind in political and corporate leadership. They also still lag behind in other areas. There are very few opportunities that are available to women despite the fact that we make up more than 50 per cent of the population. Women own less than 1 per cent of the world. All over the world, women are affected by a range of issues. Mostly, women are normally left to take care of the family when men desert them. Women have been treated to situations where men have ran away leaving them to take care of children. It is still a challenge for the girl child to access education in this country and Africa at large. Women are still at a higher risk when we talk about HIV/AIDS. In most cases, women are faithful and when their men are infected with the disease, they take it home and that cause a lot of devastation.
Regarding political representation, our parties should be implored upon to encourage more women to be brought on board in terms of nomination because we have-- -
Hon. Senators, time is spent for Statements. I request that the rest of the Statements be deferred to tomorrow.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity. I wish to move this Motion which is fairly straight forward.
Before I do that, I thank this House for giving us an opportunity, as a Committee, to look into Managed Equipment Services (MES) project in this country. We have done a lot in terms of investigation on the project. We have visited several parts of the country and summoned various witnesses who appeared before us. So far, ---
Hon. Senator, please move the Motion first.
Sorry, Madam Temporary Speaker. I think I was in a hurry to finish this. Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion- THAT, AWARE that the Senate resolved to establish a select Committee comprising nine (9) Senators to investigate and establish the facts surrounding the leasing of the Medical Equipment, in the now 119 beneficiary hospitals country wide; APPRECIATING, that the mandate of the Select Committee is due to lapse on Friday, 6th March 2020; The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
REGRETING, that due to heavy workload and sheer magnitude of the assignment, the Committee is yet to table its report in the House and requires more time to hold hearings with crucial witnesses, amongst them Mr. James Macharia, EGH Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri, CBS Principal Secretary, in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning and Amb. (Dr.) Cleopas Mailu; NOW THEREFORE, the Senate resolves to renew the mandate of the Committee by a further period of thirty (30) days to enable it conclude its work and table its report in the House. Madam Temporary Speaker, as I have said earlier, I wish to thank the House for giving us an opportunity to investigate this matter and also the trust they gave us to serve in the Committee. We have done a lot of work handling several witnesses that have handled MES project under the Ministry of Health. We have traveled to several counties in the country. A good example is my own county where, where equipment is still in boxes, despite the country paying over Kshs200 million per year. The same applies to Elgeyo-Marakwet County where the Senate Majority Leader comes from. Some of the equipment that is meant for theatre is still in the boxes. Apparently, the information we were given is that after they were supplied with two of those equipment, out of the five, there is only one that is working. This clearly defeats the purpose why the MES contract was entered into in this country. This was a very noble idea by the Government of Kenya but unfortunately, we are not utilising the equipment as required by Kenyans. We have listened to several witnesses in terms of what transpired. A good example is yesterday when one of the witnesses, who did the pricing and procurement of the equipment, told us and even tabled a document showing that they signed the contract on 13th October, 2014. On 17th October, 2014, that is three days down the line, they submitted their report. This is a sheer lie. There is no way you can submit a report within three days and you are paid over Kshs100 million for consultancy. Clearly, a lot of information is coming out. I do not want to preempt the report. If I may just point out this, there is one instance where one officer appeared before us wondered how the Ministry of Health carried out a variation of the figures from Kshs95 to Kshs200 million. The Ministry did its work where they considered the variation of below 25 per cent. The information the Committee was told is that they do not know how the variation from Kshs95 to Kshs200 million was arrived at. They are now pointing fingers at the National Treasury. We already sat with the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for the National Treasury but as the Committee, we will be forced to call him back to clarify that information; whether they or somebody else did it. Madam Temporary Speaker, we have a draft report with a lot of information that will benefit our report that will eventually be tabled. That is why we are requesting for 30 more days. For example, we are getting information that the Attorney-General’s Office was not involved in the contracts that were signed by the Ministry of Health, yet billions of The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
money was used for this purpose. When the Attorney-General of this country says he was not involved, clearly, that is breach of procedures. The Attorney-General actually requested to be given more time because he does not even have copies of those documents in his own office. The Committee wanted the backing of the Attorney-General to look at those contracts to see whether the due procedures were followed. For example, the Seven Seas Technologies Limited’s contact was cancelled recently as a result of investigation by this House. The Attorney-General came out clearly saying that the contract was fraud abinitio . He even went ahead to say that the contract was skewed to benefit the contractor against the Government. Clearly, Madam Temporary Speaker, a lot of information is coming out. We do not want to hurry this process and leave out some information that will be useful to our report and the country. That is the reason we are asking for extension of time. We might not take the 30 days but we feel that there are crucial witnesses that we cannot leave out before we wind up. I thank you and request Sen. Wambua to second.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I rise to second the Motion on the extension of the mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee on MES. I do not wish to belabour the point because my Chairperson has ably moved the Motion. I only have just two things. The first one is that the things that the Committee is coming across in this project are mind boggling. It will be important for this country to get the full details of exactly what transpired and who was involved in doing what. Like the Chairperson has said, every day that we meet witnesses, we get more information that point to a premeditated scheme to loot public coffers. A good example is yesterday and the Chairperson has made reference to a witness who appeared before us. How can somebody sign a contract that clearly states that they have 42 days to compile an advisory to the Government on ---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Sen. M. Kajwang', what is your point of order?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I do not object to the Motion and the contribution by Sen. Wambua. However, I just wanted to find out whether it is in order for him to refer to a matter before a committee. I just wanted to guide him accordingly, so that he does not refer to proceedings of a committee that is yet to report back to the House. Is he in order to refer to the proceedings of a committee?
Sen. Wambua, you are out of order because the issue at hand is the extension of time so that the Ad Hoc Committee is given more time. It is not about the substance of the Motion.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I am properly guided. However, if Sen. M. Kajwang’ had just given me a minute, the reference was not on the substance of the proceedings of the Committee, but the reason why it needs an extension. However, I am properly guided. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, we have already done a draft of the information that we are receiving, but there is need for us to get more documents from Government offices, which are becoming critical as we continue meeting other people. The last visit that we made confirmed the fears that we have had in the country. During the county visits, we found equipment lying in boxes and not being used. The original manufacturers of the same equipment confirmed that some of the equipment that is supposed to be at Meru Hospital is still with the manufacturer, yet the information that the Government has given is that all the equipment has been delivered. Therefore, we will need time to get documents from the Government and crosscheck what is on the ground using the documents that they will give us and within 30 days we shall give a report. Madam Temporary Speaker, I second.
Hon. Senators, I would like to acknowledge the presence, in the Public Gallery this afternoon, of visiting students and teachers from New Junior Campus Academy, Nairobi City 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 my own behalf, wish them a fruitful stay. I thank you.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker for giving me an opportunity to support this Motion. It is a good thing to extend the time of the Select Committee, so that they can do thorough investigations. In as much as time will be extended, there is need for the Committee to work with speed. I say this because there are a lot of ills that are happening in the health sector in the country at the moment. Currently, there are some clinical officers who have gone on strike because their demands have not been met. What they are demanding is right. They are demanding that their salaries be increased. They want better remuneration because of the nature of their work. Madam Temporary Speaker, Sen. Dullo and Members of her Committee should also interrogate the nature of the leased equipment. I am certain that a lot of money has been used in the 119 hospitals, but can it be equated to Universal Health Coverage The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(UHC)? Do we have service delivery with regards to this equipment? If the equipment is in the counties and it is not being used, it is just a white elephant project, yet the equipment is supposed to benefit the health sector and Kenyans. At the moment, many Kenyans are not getting health services because of the ills in the hospitals. The Ministry of Health should give priority to some needs of the health sector. At the moment, we do not have enough capacity when it comes to human resource in the medical area, yet this is core when it comes to achieving UHC. UHC does not have anything to do with equipment. It is a fallacy that when you have the equipment, then UHC is taken care of. There is need to find out whether the equipment is working, and if it is working, who is operating them? Do we have the personnel to operate them? Are the personnel who are there motivated to do their work? If they are demotivated and are not given incentives, then the equipment is just in vain. As I speak, there is a lot of outcry from the counties that medics are not being paid and the workers have gone on strike. Therefore, there is a need for the Committee to ensure that money goes to the right priorities when it comes to healthcare in the counties, so that we do not have people suffering. Recently, I read in the newspapers that there is poor infrastructure near one of the hospitals in Nyanza region. The beds were just empty. Some hospitals have not been completed and all that. There is need to divert money to the right course. UHC does not have to do with procurement of contracts. UHC is not supposed to benefit contractors. It is supposed to benefit the common man. Therefore, there is need for the Committee to interrogate and find out whether it was a worthy venture to lease the equipment. If it was not a worthy venture, can the Ministry of Health divert the money to the right cause, so that we can deliver to the common man? Madam Temporary Speaker, I support.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I wish to support this Motion and I will do that very briefly. While supporting this Motion, allow me to also join you in welcoming the students form New Junior Campus Academy whom I have seen in the Public Gallery looking very smart, focused and following our proceedings. This is how we do our work here; looking after the interests of counties. In this case, we are looking at the interests of counties with regards to the MES project. A special committee has been formed with regard to this. Madam Temporary Speaker, what is coming out is that there is already a draft report and so there is a lot of progress. Secondly, the Committee is covering all the 47 counties and that is a lot of work. In fact, most of the time when a committee is given 30 days, it always seems like a lot of time. Considering that there is a lot of work that they are also doing in other committees and as Senators in their own counties, I think an extension would suffice, given that we need a good result. The Motion is very clear, that they are targeting specific individuals like Mr. Macharia, Mr. Nicholas Muraguri and Amb. Cleopas Mailu, and trying to get feedback from them. I think at the end of the day, we are going to end up with a good result. I support this Motion that they get the extension. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I rise to support to Motion and also congratulate the Team that we commissioned to inquire into what is turning out to be one of the greatest scams of this generation. They have done well in terms of positioning the Senate as the defender of devolution and profiling it as a House that has zero tolerance to corruption and inefficiency in Government. I just want to encourage the team that if we grant them additional days, let them use the opportunity properly and engage the public in everything that they do. We must remember though that Ad hoc committees of this nature are commissioned to undertake a specific project. A project is defined as something that has a definite beginning and end. Therefore, we should not be too elastic. I think this should be the last extension that we are granting to this Ad hoc Committee, so that it can report back to the House. It is important that on 14th April, we will be making a resolution as a House on The Division of Revenue Bill and The County Allocation of Revenue Bill. In our decision on the Budget Policy Statement, we had resolved as a House that the payments of the Managed Equipment Scheme (MES) should be discontinued. That decision should be supported by the resolution or recommendations of this Select Committee. Therefore, I want to urge the Select Committee that even though they have asked for 30 days, please, attempt to bring back a report back to the House, to inform and influence the position of the Senate on The Division of Revenue Bill and The County Allocation of Revenue Bill. I hope the recommendations that will come from this Committee will be actionable, specific, achievable, realistic and time bound, so that this country does not continue to bleed. The MES was supposed to be a seven-year programme and the clock is ticking. We are almost coming to the end of this matter and if we want to save taxpayers, we need to arrest the problem before the project comes to a close. I support and urge the Chairperson of this Committee to, please, try and bring the report earlier than the 30 days that the House has granted them.
Thank you, Senator.
Senator, you can go ahead and reply.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. On behalf of the Chairperson who has rushed to another meeting, I want to thank this House for the continued unqualified support and confidence in the Committee. The Committee has done a good job, and I can see two of our Members here, Sen. Omanga and Sen. Wambua. The scandal that is MES is something startling. Seven-year leased equipment is still lying in cartons in hospitals out there, as counties are being crimped of Ksh200 million in every year’s budget. Things that look like products of fiction are what is coming out. So as not to pre-empt debate, I just want to give an example of a witness that we had yesterday; a professional person, an accountant and an advisor on procurement. His The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
services are procured on 13th April, 2014 and given 14 days to prepare a value for money assessment for this scheme and handover to guide and inform the process of procurement. Exactly three days later, he hands in a 100-page report already done, when the terms of reference required this fellow to go to all the 47 counties and assess the situation. He hands in a report in 3 days. Four days later, he hands in a second report that now gives a roadmap on the work that he is supposed to do; very strange indeed. This is what we are looking at. People are behaving like comics and the contract sum moved from Ksh35 billion to Ksh63 billion. It is taxpayers’ money that is being creamed off on the lives of Kenyans. We thank the House for the support. Sen. M. Kajwang’, the distinguished Chairperson of County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC), we assure you that we will bring the report to this House latest within the next two weeks, or at least not more than two weeks. This is because we have done substantial work, and as my colleagues told you on Friday morning, we are hearing the Cabinet Secretaries and the Principal Secretaries who were involved in this. The National Treasury will be coming back for further questioning. Likewise, the Attorney-General will be coming back for further questioning, and this Committee will make this House proud. Madam Temporary Speaker, we want to take this opportunity as a Committee to thank the media because they have been giving the proceedings live coverage. Kenyans far and wide in the counties have been sending very emotional messages of support. We think this House gave this Committee a membership that is committed, hardworking and will bring to a halt the pilfering and outright squander and theft of public resources through dubious procurement processes. I thank the House and beg to move the Motion; that the House do extend our time. I am happy that the feeling of the House is not only positive, but unanimous. Thank you Madam Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Senators, I think this has been a problem going back and forth. It will be very important for the Committee to give a proper report on this, so that we conclude this matter. This is because it has been coming up many times without proper solutions to the problem.
Hon. Senators, it seems like we cannot proceed with Order Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. By the look of the numbers in the House, it is not possible to attain the mandatory number that is required for us to take a division. Order No. 16 is on the Committee of the Whole, and Sen. Olekina is not in the House. Likewise, Order No.17 is on the Committee of the Whole, and Sen. Seneta is also not in the House. Order No.18 is on the Committee of the Whole, and the Senate Majority Leader is not in the House. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order No.19 is also on the Committee of the Whole. Sen. (Dr.) Zani is in the House, but the Committee that is dealing with the Bill is not here. Therefore, it means we cannot proceed with Order No.19.
At the same time, we cannot proceed with Order No. 20 because Sen. Halake is not in the House. She was moving the Motion and had a balance of five minutes.
On a point of order Madam Temporary Speaker.
Yes, Senator. What is your point of order?
Madam Temporary Speaker, on that particular Order, the Speaker made a ruling at the commencement of the business of the House today, because I rose on a point of order asking whether the Motion was properly before the House. The Speaker confirmed that debate could continue. My recollection is that Sen. Halake had moved. I do not know whether she has to consume all her time for it to be seconded and debate expedited.
Senator, according to the records, she did not conclude the moving of that Motion. So, we cannot proceed.
Hon. Senators, having concluded and/or deferred the business of the day, it is now time to adjourn the House. The Senate, therefore, stands adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 5th March, 2020, at 2.30 p.m.
The Senate rose at 4.45 p.m.